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Founders Imperial Stout - Founders Brewing Company

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Founders Imperial StoutFounders Imperial Stout

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

1,718 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 1,718
Hads: 6,988
rAvg: 4.32
pDev: 7.18%
Wants: 665
Gots: 2,032 | FT: 152
Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: mjohn27603 on 01-13-2003

90 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,718 | Hads: 6,988
Photo of Tenor
5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Pardon my limited vocabulary!

A- Voluptuously thick, viscous, syrupy, lacing that does not stay around too long...

S- Toasty, medium roasted coffee, just a faint astringency

T- Russian Imperial Stouts have a common character that causes my senses to have to re-calibrate! There is coffee, chocolate, and some hops but the balance is done so well that I have a hard time differentiating much.

M- Chewy, quite a bite at the end

O- I don;t think this is a beginner's beer! Definitely one to aspire to, however. So much is going on here, I can't wait to enjoy another one. (612 characters)

Photo of 29mikoyan
5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the best beers I ever had. The taste of fine Nicaraguan cigars, sweet molasses, sweet malt, rich sweet Belgian chocolate, and a beautiful fruit bouquet. Truely a beer to pair with a fine cigar. (201 characters)

Photo of rsyberg01
5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

S - Grey Label bottle, no purple except on the 4 pack holdster. Limited Edition printed on top of body label. According to BA notes, this means the beer I am drinking is from 2004 or earlier which is certainly a pleasant surprise considering I almost soiled myself with joy when I saw it sitting top shelf.

A - BLACK. I hope that my coffin is this black inside when I die, if so I will never wake up and even if I do I wont be able to get out because it is so damn black. You know with other Imperial stouts how you can kind of see a little light get through around the edges, well with this there is just black. Head pours to about an inch and 1/2 then to a tight bubble blanket of light brown tightly joined foam. Jiminy Flip Flappin Christmas this stuff is like syrup when it pours, extraordinary is the only word to describe this.

S - Chocolate hits first and hard, then follows through with a very nicely balanced roastiness and dark fruity vapors, I think its cherry and . Caramel and creaminess also make their way through too. A delicate hit of alcohol spices the nostrils up a bit. A sweet note comes through along with the caramel and chocolate and lingrs through the whole quaff. A seriously complex beer, such a perfect example of art in a bottle.

T - Fruitiness hits accompanied by chocolate and coffee. Creamy and roasty go hand in hand, the whole sip just blends so well together, one sip seems like 20. You just get to the whole taste over and over again in a single drink. A warming character hits you in your chest quite gently and pleasant. Little touch of bitter at the end to finish it until the next drink, Wow.

M - Just covers your whole mouth from tongue to tooth. Not slick or unpleasant at all, it holds on only as long as it needs to and then some just to tickle your mouth that much more. Not overwhelming at all. Perfect, period.

D - If I could have this beer in my fridge all the time, I would be a spoiled little bastard. This beer is a perfect Imp. Stout. When I say perfect I really mean it. My first overall 5. (2,059 characters)

Photo of DesertRat
5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

the fist imperial stout I enjoyed was Old Rasputin, I actually like this beer better than Old Rasputin. The only other imperial stout that competes is the seasonal Sierra Nevada Narwal. I really enjoy this beer any time.

What I like most about this beer is how fresh it always tastes. It has a distinct flavor amongst a long list of high caliber imperial stouts. (364 characters)

Photo of DrDemento456
5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Man I can honestly say this is motor oil in color. I have never been so certain in my life. Little head.
S - I can pick up malts of chocolate and molasses.
T - What a smooth chocolate taste! Very minimal coffee.
M - Creamy. Loved how sipping smooth this beer was.
D - I would drink this again and again. Can't wait to see it cheaper like the rest of the world since it's 4.25 a bottle here. I would gladly pay 10 dollar for a four pack and have no problems saving a couple. (479 characters)

Photo of yuenglingfan101
5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Black beer all the way with a little tan head. Smells of malts and chocolate. The taste is the same as the smell. Mouthful goes pretty much the same smooth and chocolatly and very strong like chocolate liquor. Drinkabilty. This one had me buzzing after 1 beer do to its abv, but its worth the money for this beer. Why pay for chocolate liquor when you can have founders imperial stout for a reasonable price!!! (410 characters)

Photo of bgold86
5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Amazing that a stout could bring up so many different notes (coffee, chocolate, vanilla), without actually having any of those ingredients!

Absolute world class, drink fresh, cellar, doesn't matter .

A perfect 10/10! (219 characters)

Photo of martyl1000
5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

With 14 months of aging, the aroma on this blows my doors. It's Nesquik powder, with a tinge of soy sauce. I know that sounds horrible. It's not.

Flavor in the mouth is phenomenal: a roasty, dried beef, the sweet, tinny brightness of lychee, plus bakers cocoa and spent coffee grounds, of course. Hershey's syrup is totally palpable. It's double chocolaty goodness -- chocolate (flavored!) syrup over chocolate gelatto. Very sweet, now that the hops have been knocked way back. Finally, behind the symphony of imperial stout classics, there's a minor key of . . . of . . . dang, what is it? It's a proto-tart-fruit, like a prehistoric cherry that's more of a wild berry.

Hear that sound? That's me shaking my head at the thought that, earlier this year, I served this to eight friends, only half of whom have decent craft beer experience. This is simply too atomic for the uninitiated, to gargantuan.

Pro tip: serve it very cold, and only 4 - 5 ounces at a time. It's a total sipper, so, by the time you get to the bottom of your five ounces, you'll have had a chance to sample it at several different temperatures, which is a total treat.
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11/15/2014
Man, flavorful, or what? Now twelve months of aging.

Absolute motor oil, with zero, less than zero, head. Another BA'er points out the soundlessness of the pour; it's a real phenomenon. Aroma of soy sauce and bakers cocoa, which, in the abstract, sounds horrible. It's not.

Flavors in the mouth just keep going and going. The one flavor I'll mention because it's so awesome: ketjap manis (also spelled catsup manis), which is not ketchup, at all, but Indonesian sweet soy sauce. Wife says it would, thus, go well with Indonesian food.

Great mouthfeel, with a lively fizz, despite the syrup viscosity.
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2/23/14
I come to this beer today with doubts, as I'd been sorely disappointed with it a month ago. That time, I spent $10 on a 10 oz. pour of it at Coopers Tavern (Madison). I don't know how to account for that discouraging experience. Was it something I ate? Was it emotion: was it my reluctance to support businesses that overcharge for beer?

Whatever. This brew today renews my faith in my taste buds. I'm thrilled to have brought home two four-packs just now. It's freaking awesome. One 4-pk. is going in the cellar. The other down my gullet.
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10/24/13

I'm making special note that this four-pack is 11 months old, as the Founder's release schedule for Imperial Stout is January.

This one has tipped the scales. It has cracked my Top-5 list of all-time favorites. (Actually, I don't know how I can talk in such hyperbole, when only two weeks ago I declared the same about Mikkeller Black Hole. But that was $14 for an 11-oz. bottle, so I'm sure I NEEDED to like that one a lot.)

Second-blackest beer I've seen this year (after Dark Horse Reserve Special Black). Pours into a tulip glass with a chocolate meringue-like brown head that leaves lacing plastered on the glass.

Dark chocolate and burnt coffee in the nose, first. Then a cascade of stone fruit, especially overripe cherry and black plum. Boozy vapor cuts the sweet.

I just the other day had their Founders Porter on tap, and am now struck by the particular roasted coffee flavor in the mouth, here. Except of course this comes with an undergirding of sweetness to replace the bright/tart hop bitterness in the porter. The massive corn-syrupy, fruit-cake and pecan flavors remind me of Southern Tier Mokha, another of my favorite double stouts. The alcohol politely makes itself known on the backend. (3,586 characters)

Photo of EyeOfBuck
5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thick toasted Carmel, almost like the best toasted marshmallow you have ever had in your life. The sweetness of the beer disguises the alcohol you will soon be filling. I have drank a lot of imperial stouts and this is in my top three! I suggest you shares four pack with someone who likes good ale at a time when you can truly enjoy this great beer! (350 characters)

Photo of Karnivool1
5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Perfect beer, everything I feel a RIS should be. Thick, dark, complex. I much prefer this over the Breakfast Stout. Founders has on tap already, can't wait for the bottles to start selling in Janauary! (204 characters)

Photo of DaBrewski
5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is a great Imperial Stout. Extremely smooth with a nice touch of heat at the end to let you know this is the real thing. Good malts and chocolate flavors. Highly recommended! (183 characters)

Photo of 1fastz28
5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

black as midnight with a big brown head that surpsingly laces quite well. the smell is very chocolately, lots of malt and especiallyi coffee dominate the nose. the taste is just incredible, one of the best stouts i've ever had, even has a slight sweet flavor to it, just an all around incredible beer. one of the few 5.0's i've given (333 characters)

Photo of Jon_Hendricks
5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours a pitch black color.

Overall: It has a thick feel and sweet after taste, with lots chocolate and roasted malt taste. A very fine Imperial Stout, Highly Recommend!! (182 characters)

Photo of Deltrus
5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGLz7KbaI7Y

Serving Type: 12 oz. bottle poured into a Founders Brewing Company Snifter, all 12 oz.

Appearance: Perhaps the darkest of dark black beers, this was a phenomenal sight, there was no blacker abyss I've ever had. The head was a lovely dark dark tan, leaving superb lacing, and lasting the majority of the hour I spent drinking this.

Smell: Lots of malt and barley with a little alcohol, what I've come to expect from Imperial stouts, especially of the Russian variation. Absolutely superb to smell, could sit there just smelling it for ages. Very pleasant, the snifter most certainly did its job to bring the smell to the front!

Taste: Absolutely wonderful! I've had a few other Russian Imperial Stouts before, but this one tasted the most refined. The flavor was very malty and barley with alcohol not being so prominent, which I really respected, the flavor and smell went together perfectly. The smell did not leave anything being wanted and the taste didn't shock me with anything I didn't expect, it was an extremely comfortable beer to drink, and not too strong in any sense. Loved this one.

Mouthfeel: Silk. Absolute silk. This was so smooth I just couldn't help but metaphorically swoon for this beer. Drinking this was truly, a pleasure.

Overall: Absolutely superb beer. Easily among my very very top beers. Out of nearly 100 beers tried, this is definitely somewhere within my top 10, likely top 5 for being so perfect in every respect. DEFINITELY worth every penny and I hope to get more sometime! (1,556 characters)

Photo of 9InchNails
5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the employees, Zack, at Boonton Wine and Liquor Outlet got this brew from the back room for me. Let's see if it's worth it.

As I poured it into my snifter, it looked like engine oil. Creamy dark brown head fades slightly into a creamy ring around the glass. While sitting for about five minutes the creamy mocha-like head formed and came back leaving excellent lacing on the glass.

Roasted coffee, caramel, big time milk and dark chocolate, sweet smelling and charred sugar. Dark fruits and some alcohol become noticeable as it warms.

Wow! Roasted coffee, dark fruits, caramel, chocolate both sweet and bitter, brown sugar, slight alcohol detection and smoke. This is absolutely incredible.

Medium to thick body, silky smooth, leaves the lips sticky, dry at the end, slight alcohol warmth going down and light carbonation. This is definitely a sipper and the body changes as it warms.

This is honestly the first stout, or any beer I have rated perfectly. Simply incredible. I can't imagine how this would taste on tap. Thanks Zack! (1,047 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Poured a nice rich deep brown/black with good carbonation leaving a nce brown, frothy cap

S: Dark chocolate, milk chocoate and a nice roaste dmalt with a light hint of coffee and oatmeal

T: Wow. Nice rich milk chocolate upfront with some dark chocolate, a bit of booze mixed with roasted malts, oatmeal and some light pine resin. Delicously decadent, a FBS minus the big coffee. The finish is so smooth and easy to down.

M: Big, rich full bodied and down right fantastic. Loads of flavor, booze is well hidden behind the massive flavor

O: Outstanding in every aspect! (574 characters)

Photo of Jeffreysan
4.99/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2013 edition, 12 oz bottle, poured into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, completely opaque, pitch-black color with absolutely no head what-so-ever, except an extremely thin halo of foam that gripped the sides of the glass.

Aroma: Massive aroma of roasted malt up front! Some notes of roasted coffee, a touch of smoke, and tons of brown sugar!

Taste: Wow!! Tons of roasted malt up front, imparting strong notes of roasted coffee beans, a touch of smoke and tons of dark chocolate. The beer is beautifully balanced with tons of brown sugar-like sweetness and finishes with a touch of dark chocolate-like bitterness! Absolutely delicious!

Mouthfeel: Very chewy and smooth as silk, as there is no carbonation what-so-ever. With an ABV of 10%, there’s a very pleasant alcohol warmth on the palate.

Overall: Jesus, what a beer! Big, bold, beautiful flavors of roasted malt, coffee, dark chocolate all wrapped up in a silky smooth beer! Outstanding! (969 characters)

Photo of HorseheadsHopHead
4.99/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a wine glass

LOOK: Pours a midnight black with a small brown head that leaves some scattered bits of lacing. It looks majestic. You can tell immediately that this is going to be an experience.

SMELL: Lots of strong chocolate upfront, followed by charcoal, coffee, roasted barley, burnt sugar, and a smattering of vanilla, soy sauce, and tobacco smoke. This beer smells so complex!

TASTE: A truckload of bittersweet chocolate up front; sweet dark chocolate and a dusting of more bitter baking cocoa. Burnt sugar, toast, caramel, and a bit of coffee and vanilla. It's very savory, with an umami aspect that merits a soy sauce comparison. It's slightly warming on the swallow, but the alcohol is very well hidden for being 10.5% abv. Finishes fairly dry with another wave of dark chocolate.

FEEL: Full-bodied. Thick, rich, and creamy. Like chocolate syrup but not at all cloying. Perfectly balanced. A light carbonation just tingles the palate.

OVERALL: This beer blew my mind the first time I had it, and it continues to do. This is everything you could want in an imperial stout. In my opinion, this is a world-class beer. (1,171 characters)

Photo of Gear54
4.99/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

From a bottle into a pint glass. Had this one about a month. I wanted to wait until I could enjoy it for a while after the kids went to bed. Here goes

A: absolutely pitch black. A thin layer if dark brown head that sticks around for a while. Thin lace as the foam recedes.

S. An absolutely mouth watering combo of dark chocolate, malts, and raisins. I could literally smell this beer all day. I can't wait to get that first sip.

T: I had this beer at 59 degrees out of my beer cellar. The tast follows the smell exactly. The best I can say is Hershey's dark chocolate and an oatmeal raisin cookie all in one!

M: full flavor coats the mouth completely but still really easy drinking!

O: the only markdown I gave this beer was in appearance because I like I bit more head on my beer. Honestly after drinking it I feel guilty for even that small markdown! Bottom line...buy this beer! (888 characters)

Photo of Aliiyoob
4.98/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Can not say enough good things about this beer. So dark you can't see through it, and smelled so rich coming out of the bottle. Overall, an amazing beer and one of the best stouts Ive ever tried. (195 characters)

Photo of TheHopfather
4.97/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

bottled 12/09/10
poured into snifter

A- jet black.. very very minimal head. Looks like engine oil. Would like a little more head, but i love thick thick stouts so this excites me.

S- Absolutely amazing. I would swear this is barrel aged. Heavy heavy oak smell.. perplexing to say the least. I smell oak, heavy chocolate and vanilla, coffee and burnt wood. This smells better than any "un-barrel aged" stout I've ever had.

T- in one word.. "complex". I get tons of chocolate and oak. A bit of coffee and decent vanilla. Alcohol is an afterthought at 10.5%. Hard to beat even in competition with harder to get stouts.

M- Big bodied stout we have here. Exactly what i want in a stout.. thick and syrupy that coats the tongue. Perfect

D- This is a sipper as expected. With that in mind, the alcohol is extremely well hidden and this one drinks unbelievably smooth.

O- This one was about a year old and held up amazingly. The smoothness of this one is almost unreal. I recommend to buy this one up on sight and at the price point it may be hard to beat. (1,054 characters)

Photo of boralyl
4.97/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2010 vintage. Served at 50F in a tulip glass.

A - Produces a 1/4 inch of dark brown head that fades pretty quickly but leaves a thick ring of lace. The beer is black and completely opaque.

S - The aroma of this beer is off the charts. I can smell it from a mile away. There is sweet chocolate paired with roasted malts. It's all melded together very well. No hint of the 10.5% alcohol contained within.

M - Full in body with light carbonation. Extremely creamy and silky smooth, coats the inside of your mouth.

T - Molasses and dark chocolate make their appearance first followed by a warming alcohol flavor that grows before being overtaken by a roasty, coffee like bitterness that lasts into the aftertaste.

An absolutely outstanding imperial stout. There are so many other imperial stouts that get hyped up that fall below the level of this beer. I wish I would have found out about this one sooner, will definitely be re-visiting it again. (948 characters)

Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.95/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Founders Imperial Stout has a medium, tan head, lots of lacing rings left on the glass, and a black appearance. Some slight brown does show up on the edges, under direct sunlight. The aroma is of sweet, sharp, intensely dark-roasted malt. Taste is of charred malt, sweetness, some cream, a bit of coffee, possibly chocolate and dark fruits, a shade of licorice, and high bitterness, seemingly from the burnt effects. Mouthfeel is heavy and slick, and Founders Imperial Stout finishes rich and impactful. The alcohol provides warmth, as the beer is consumed.

RJT (563 characters)

Photo of gangstafaceclay
4.94/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance is pitch black with no visibility through it and a thin tan head.

Smell is chocolate, coffee, a little bit of booze and roasted malts.

Taste is fantastic. Creamy chocolate, coffee, hints of Carmel, molasses, vanilla, smokey-wood, roasted malts, and a bit of saltiness! It's great. The high ABV is pretty well hidden. Very complex and balanced!

Mouthfeel is very thick full bodied, creamy and smooth.

Overall, another nearly perfect stout by founders. They seem like they can do no wrong. (503 characters)

Photo of erialbill
4.94/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Never considered myself a stout man but this beer changed my opinion of stout's. Was like drinking an extremely smooth dark chocolate/espresso milkshake. What a beer... maybe the best I have ever had. Poured thick with no immediate head but a nice 3/4 inch amber head formed at the top. Nice lacing on the glass. Honestly was sad to finish the glass now I am on a crazy search to find more. Great job Founders! (410 characters)

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Founders Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 1,718 ratings.