Founders Black Rye - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Black RyeFounders Black Rye

Educational use only; do not reuse.

433 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 433
Hads: 1,467
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 7.9%
Wants: 101
Gots: 257 | FT: 9
Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Rye Beer |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: maxpower on 09-17-2004

78 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Founders Black Rye Alström Bros
Reviews: 433 | Hads: 1,467
Photo of TastyIsBeer
4.34/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Probably the closest thing I've had to the Blakkr collaboration (that was Real Ale/Surly/3F, I had the Surly version): a deep, roasty, almost savory taste that is preceded by a dark rye nose. Unless and until Blakkr comes back this may be my go-to Black IPA. Founders is really getting serious with the bitter black between this and Dark Penance (also quite good)... (369 characters)

Photo of Chris_the_Tartar
3.99/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very dark brown with a 2 finger head that sticks around. Smells like hops, rye, and a hint of coffee. Tasted like hops and rye and was surprisingly smoky. Felt almost like eating sourdough bread, texture was definitely a strong point. Had me thinking it'd be an excellent beer to enjoy with BBQ. Would buy again. (312 characters)

Photo of mothmanscott
4.31/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep brown so dark it appears black producing 1.5 fingers of somewhat lasting tan finely bubbled head that leaves a pasty wash of blotchy, streaky lacing. Aroma is dark malt, roast, cocoa, toffee, faint coffee, smoke, pumpernickel bread, brown sugar, some caramel & spice. Taste is dark malt, burnt dark bread, bold rye maltiness & spice, molasses, smoke, prune, brown sugar, tobacco & a lively bitter finish that lingers long in the burnt malt, smoky, dry aftertaste. As with a number of rye beers a metallic note emerges in the background & becomes most prominent in the aftertaste but is not detracting . Mouthfeel is medium bodied, moderately carbonated, lively & crawling with prickly spice, dry & astringent in the aftertaste. Exceptional! (753 characters)

Photo of hosehead83
4.09/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12oz. bottle into a "balloon" glass.
Black, cola in color, with a sturdy head of tan foam.
Aroma-Oily hops, roasted malt.
Taste-Spicy rye, Dark roasted malt, piney hops leading to a dry finish. Well-balanced and flavorfull, a faint chocolate note emerges upon warming a bit. A great match for a cheeseburger with the works, or a well-seasoned steak.
(363 characters)

Photo of elNopalero
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This has an intense porter/stout character to it. “Rye beer” only tells half the story!
This pours a solid jet black with cocoa colored foam. There's an intense roasty chocolate-coffee aroma on it. This tastes like a roasty rye stout with a long intense finish. (265 characters)

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.87/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a teku.

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown color. The head is around a finger high, with a mocha shade. Retention isn't all that hot, and very little lacing is left on the glass. (3.25)

Smell: The nose strikes a good balance between an IPA and a rye porter. While I do pick up some nice hops (mainly floral in quality), the maltiness are every bit their equal. Not only do I get rye, I also get some chocolate, brown sugar, and even a touch of roast. There's a definite mish-mash of styles going on here like I said, but it's well focused in spite of that. (3.75)

Taste: Some floral hops initially appear, before turning into more of a piny, grassy flavor. Malts are sneaky, subtle, yet very much present - combined with the hop bitterness, it develops a nice coffee flavor. Gentle undertones of rye last throughout the flavor profile, and the roastiness managed to both be sneaky and bold. This could have been a total clusterfuck, yet the fact that it's balanced and cohesive is a real testament to Founders. (4)

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied yet lively on the tongue, it still features a crisp, dry finish. It's not bone-dry, though - everything about the feel is metered quite well. This is just dry enough to be easy drinking, and wet enough to feel rich. (3.75)

Overall: This one just works. Certainly, it works a lot better than Dark Penance did. Everything about this beer works in near-perfect harmony - of course, none of that would matter if it didn't taste good. Which it does, very much so. Worthy of anyone's time, attention, or money. (4)

3.87/5: Founders strikes again (1,602 characters)

Photo of Sparty1224
4.23/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Serving: 12 oz. bottle poured into a Founder's tap room pint glass. Bottled on 12/17/2014, making this exactly 2 months old.

A: Pours a nearly opaque black, cola-like appearance, with a small fizzy 1/4-finger head.

S: A lot of spicy rye malt. Some nice earthy and piney hop aromas in the background.

T: Classic Founder's ale here. Great balance up front, lots of spicy rye notes, followed by a nice piney hop bitterness. Finishes very dry, bitter and bruising.

M: Great carbonation here. Full mouthfeel for a black ale. Alcohol well-hidden for 7.5% ABV. Nice, bitter aftertaste.

O: Never got to try this back in 2005, but I'm sure it's the same recipe. It's a really nice beer done in the classic Founder's ale-style. Tons of malt presence, hops come through very bitter on the finish. It's a very loud and aggressive beer, which is typical. Not sure if bringing back a black ale adds much to their lineup with an Imperial Black IPA just added and recently doing a single Black IPA for ArtPrize. Either way, it's a nice addition, and another drinkable, well-done beer from Founder's.

Recommendation: Worth a try for even the most casual Founder's fan. (1,161 characters)

Photo of TX-Badger
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown with tan-ish head. Pine, some roasted nuts, and a little floral note on the nose; follows onto the palate. Finishes with more hop resin. Lots of hops for a dark ale. (184 characters)

Photo of TheSixthRing
4.17/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottling date of 12/06/14

Appearance - Pours near black with cola brown edging and a tan 2 finger head sits atop. Fantastic retention, refusing to die down, but Eventually breaks down to a silky, thin and consistent layer of suds. Lacing is sheeted all over the glass, and sticks to it like Spider-man!

Smell - Plenty of roasted malt on the nose that hits on charred smokiness, dark chocolate, lesser notes of coffee and a faint hoppy note that hints at citrus.

Taste - Peppery rye spice bite upfront and throughout. Chocolate, caramel and a hint of smoke come forth by mid-taste, then a big, bitter finish that hits on burnt coffee beans. Bitterness fades to reveal a nutty, earthy and tea-leaf character coinciding with a faded grapefruit pith aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Silky texture, going down smooth before a semi-dry finish.

Overall - Very interesting, unique and totally delicious brew. Those guys in Michigan can brew with the best of them, and it's a shame they don't distribute their product in California. Hopefully the recent announcement of expansion means we'll finally get their beers out here - come on, do it! (1,171 characters)

Photo of angrybabboon
3.58/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Consumed 2/16/15

A: Almost black, but really more of a dark brown with some burnt caramel tones around the edges - pours with a small, lightly frothy head, fades to a few wisps, leaves some nice spots of lacing

S: Dry, lightly burnt, roasty malt - an abundance of chocolate malt - roasty and burnt, with some hints coffee, of dark chocolate and baker's chocolate - some citrusy, fruity aromas underneath the burnt, but also a blast of rye - spicy, distinctly rye aromas - bready and grainy with a minimal amount of sweetness

T: Black malts and rye, so I guess the name is appropriate - primarily chocolate malts, with burnt flavors, dark chocolate, and burnt coffee - some light sweetness with a touch of caramel - not much depth to the malts until the rye makes itself apparent - spicy, bready, grainy - burnt rye toast, basically, which kind of works, kind of does not - earthy and nutty, dry finish - nearly phenolic aftertaste

M: Medium body, mostly crisp and extremely dry, low carbonation

O: Turn down your toaster oven

Something about the burnt flavors and the spicy rye just does not excite me. I enjoy a good use of rye, and I think the concept is interesting, but I can't say I love this. Still definitely worth a try! (1,234 characters)

Photo of TreyIsWilson
4.06/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours black with a two-finger sturdy tan head. The head dissapates slowly leaving lots of spotty lacing.

S - Aromas of roasted malts, piney hops, and dark chocolate.

T - Flavors of roasted malts, dark chocolate, and spicey rye upfront. Grapefruit, orange, and piney hops balance out the dark flavors. More ryes spiciness in the finish.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Smooth mouthfeel with a dry finish.

O - So glad Founders brought this out of retirement. A nice balance of flavors make this very enjoyable. (527 characters)

Photo of Flounder57
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: A one finger mocha head was poured that reduced to a thin layer. It is a pitch black color with no vision of anything. Frothy lacing down the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Smoke, roasted, bittersweet chocolate, resiny pine, old ale, and some burnt toast.

Taste: Same as above with ashy bitterness in the rear. Balanced qualities to this beer and very smooth.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, full bodied, medium carbonation, charcoal bitterness, and a little creamy.

Overall: Another solid American black ale. I'd have this one again in the future. (609 characters)

Photo of metter98
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is black when viewed from afar but when held up to the light the bottom is clear and very dark red in color. It poured with a quarter finger high tan head that died down, leaving wisps of bubbles on the surface, a collar around the edge of the glass, and lots of lacing down the sides.
S: Moderate aromas of roasted malts are present in the nose.
T: The taste has lots of flavors of burnt and roasted malts along with notes of piney hops; the rye lends lots of spicy flavors to the finish that linger into the aftertaste.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a little crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: I really enjoyed the boldness in burnt/roasted malts and spicy flavors offered by this rye beer. It is definitely one I could try again.

Serving type: bottle (799 characters)

Photo of Ozzylizard
4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 12/12/2014 at 45 degrees into snifter
Aroma roasted malt, no hops
Head average (4 cm, aggressive pour), light brown, fizzy/frothy, diminishing to 3 mm ring and layer
Lacing good - rings of stalactites with tiny bubbles
Body dark brown/black, opaque
Flavor of roasted malt, slight spiciness; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate medium, creamy, lively carbonation

Appearance 4, Aroma 4, Flavor 4.25, Palate 4.25, Overall 4.25 (436 characters)

Photo of bassboneman
3.76/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

L = average dark mahogany - thick head that dissipated shortly.
S = not much to notice
T = very strong chocolate notes from the head - but not very pronounced in the beer - wierd...
F = this is what struck me - the mouth feel was lacking in the "usual" founders luxury! I dont know if it is the rye component to this beer. It is dull - carbonation is fine - just not as silky as I was expecting.
O = I will need to try another and see if my impressions change... (463 characters)

Photo of delta490
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep not-quite-black brown with a thin creamy tan head that holds on and leaves nice small sticky lacing. The aroma is splendid, with hints of rye spice, black malt roast and pine hops. The taste is even better (if you like that sort of thing) with additional floral and earthy hops and some rye spice added in. The body is a great weight, not to heavy or slick but with a nice feel and a little spice bite on the finish. (429 characters)

Photo of jds16
3.6/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Looks quite nice; black with a nice tan head, lace down the glass as I drink it.
Smells like burnt toast and coffee, a bit earthy.
Tastes of chocolate, burnt toast. A nice touch of rye, and I like the surprising citrus of the hops, which I didn't pick up in the aroma. But overall there's something...ashy...about the taste that overpowers some nice flavors.
Medium mouthfeel, a prickle of carbonation feels just right.

I wanted to enjoy this beer more than I did. There are multiple components of this beer I enjoyed, but the lingering sense of licking an ashtray ruined this one for me. I'll probably try another some day just to make sure my palate wasn't off when I drank this, but otherwise I don't see myself coming back to this beer. (745 characters)

Photo of secondtooth
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Deep black with off-white suds. Ornate and lovely yet minimal lace.

Aroma: Roasty chocolate malts, quite nice really.

Taste: Sharp and spiky with lots of roasty, even burnt chocolate malts. The hop content rears it’s head with an earthiness that works well in conjunction with the dark roasted malts. Balance is good, and this is a solid, well-done, and very drinkable ale that I best describe as a hopped-up porter. (432 characters)

Photo of Sandalwood
3.78/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark brown to black color with a huge four finger off white head. There is quite a bit of carbonation and some lacing. The odor is powerful, roasted malts, coffee, bitter chocolate, nutty, herbal, rye, earthy. The taste is full bodied, velvety, malty, nutty, rye, bitter chocolate, grassy, earthy, very roasted. Bitter dry on the backed. (349 characters)

Photo of larryarms847
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours very dark brown and sits near black in the glass with a rather voluminous khaki/tan head of foam.

Roasted malt, toasted nuts, dark chocolate, and a hint of spicy & citrusy herbal notes.

Lots of toasted almost burnt/smoky flavors, slight citrus, piney/earthy hops, and some rye spiciness.

Medium-heavy bodied, leaning heavy, medium-high carbonation, burnt, roasty, earthy, and bitter, dry finish.

Overall, I'd enjoy this a bit more if the toasted/burnt flavors were more subdued and the hops shone a bit more. (518 characters)

Photo of Phocion
3.97/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle bottled on December 17, review on February 6. An aggressive pour creates a thick, frothy, khaki, moderately retentive head with a thick and strong layer of lacing. Dark brown-black body.

Aroma is well-balanced but big. A hoppiness that is primarily pine-forward but with a hint of citrus combines with a series of rich, dark malts. Baker's chocolate, toasted malts, and a bit of smokiness are all present, with a fairly light touch of spicy rye.

The flavor tastes... well, quite black. A roasty and lightly toasted astringency is cut somewhat by the spiciness of the rye. Coffee and burnt toffee. I can taste a citrus fruit character but can't really identify the particulars through the dark malts. Finishes with spicy and somewhat resiny rye and hop flavors.

Medium body and moderate carbonation. Creamy but semi-dry and very lightly astringent finish. Somewhat chalky.

Tasty and one of the very first Black IPAs (well before there was such a thing). Worth a try, and to the nostalgic beer nut in me, it's always nice to see beers that have been retired for nearly a decade make a return. (1,111 characters)

Photo of buschbeer
3.98/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 FL. OZ. bottle
Served in a snifter

L - It looks pretty black to me. It is capped with an inch of tan head and leaves some lacing.

S - The rye stands out. The hops play well into the rye aroma. I get some citrus and rye. The roasted malt comes in as it warms.

T - I like what is going on here. There is roasted malt that is cleansed from my palate by the rye that offers a dry mouthfeel. That gives the hops a fresh start to do their thing. The hops taste is not overwhelming like some dark IPA's, but complimentary with the rye.

F - Medium

O - This is an enjoyable beer. I wasn't expecting to like it much. I guess that is why I try to sample them all. (661 characters)

Photo of Tuck_leepulin
4.22/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle poured into a tulip glass and bottled on 12/06/2014

Appearance: Pours a deep mahogany with ruby highlights and 1 and 1/2 finger of head

Smell: Some Piney hops and the rye malt shows in the aroma

Taste: Similar hop flavors to the aroma and balanced by roasted flavors from the malt and accented by the spiciness from the rye

Mouthfeel: The underlying bitterness creates a lighter body than expected

Overall: I never had the opportunity to try when this first was out, if the recipe truly hasn't changed then this is a very impressive beer considering it was around before the Black IPA trend was around. Good balance between the hop bitterness, roasted malt flavor, and spicy rye notes. Also impressive the rye component in the aroma. (754 characters)

Photo of Stevedore
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle 12/6/2014, served in a Founders' snifter 2/4/2015.

A- Dark black body, two finger offwhite head with very nice retention time and longevity, nice lacing. Actually looks black as the name implies. So that's something.

S- Citrus, pine, a bit of smoke, some roast. I'm trying to place the rye, but it seems to be a bit lost in the hops. I think its the smokiness that I'm getting from the rye, but I won't pretend to know that's what it is. Hoppy kick on the nose, nice complementary malt sweetness.

F- Very tasty! Clean chocolate malt flavours, sharp rye flavours, citrus in the middle and pine on the backend with a nice smoky roasted malt flavour. Nice complexity, there's quite a bit going on but it isn't messy by any means. Very tasty.

M- Medium bodied, nice carbonation, drinkable and reasonably bitter pine with a nice smoky roast on the backend.

O- Very tasty rye beer that I enjoyed quite a bit. Lots of flavours, nice complexity, good integration. The rye works well with the hops here. (1,011 characters)

Photo of dbl_delta
3.71/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 12/17/14, the bottle sez. Pours a very dark reddish amber, almost but not quite black. Minimal tan head.

This is kind of a rough beer, at least initially: there's not much going on except burnt rye and a noticeable hops bitterness. As it warms, I detected a slight sweetness, especially in the finish. Alcohol is well disguised. Moderately full-bodied; moderate carbonation. Not a real standout in any sense.

To be fair, this is my first of the style and maybe it's a good example of what a rye beer should be. I like everything else that Founders puts out. I'll definitely revisit after I've tried a few other examples. (640 characters)

Founders Black Rye from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 433 ratings.