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Founders Imperial Stout - Founders Brewing Company

Founders Imperial StoutFounders Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,913 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 4913
Reviews: 1545
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 8.47%

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
90 IBU

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-12-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,913 | Reviews: 1,545 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Reason2B


4.68/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Dark as night; got to be one of the darkest pours I’ve ever had. Very little head, what head there is, is a dark burgundy.

S: Smell is very much in line with taste, there are just no surprises.

T: I think flavor complexity is phenomenal: coffee, roasted malts are most of what I taste, with some chocolate…it just gets better and better with every sip. The only improvement would be a little age, which would make it flawless. The front-end has a surprising bitterness, which lessens sip by sip. It is a little bitterer than I thought that it was going to be. I think with age, the bitterness will lessen and all the other flavor complexities will take over and come to the forefront.

M: Just outstanding, smooth and making love to your month.

O: Highly recommended, any more details will just decrease its impact.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2012 06:10:14 | More by Reason2B
Photo of adamdarcy


4.68/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

After coveting this for so long...Finally I found it at a local store (Park Place Liquor in Grosse Point, MI!)

Delightful! Too drinkable for the ABV...I could guzzle these things! Not that there's not some slight hop presence and carbonation, but not too much. Really just balanced so great.

The only small drawback for me was the mouthfeel. It was like a protein powder that I tried to stir by hand into a glass of milk, and the powder just hadn't blended in completely. But the roasty, coffee, dark chocolate smell, with the commensurate taste outdid the "grainy" mouthfeel by a mile.

Seek this out and try some!!

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2012 04:37:16 | More by adamdarcy
Photo of frenchblood21


4.68/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into Goose Island Tulip.

Appearance- Pitch black with a half finger of dark tan head. Beautiful looking stout.

Smell- Chocolate and coffee...not much else.

Taste- Same as the nose, but throw in some malty alcohol.

Mouthfeel- Just wonderful! Thick and creamy...like drinking delicious used motor oil.

Overall- Great beer...Not as good as Breakfast Stout, but not much is.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2012 23:51:45 | More by frenchblood21
Photo of beerboy9960


4.68/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer #3 courtesy of BarrytheBear! Thanks again man! 12 ounce bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a very dark brown almost black in color. A paper thin mocha colored head appeared after a bit.

S: Roasted malts and bitter chocolate dominate the smell. Also picking up a little bit of sweet notes along with some booze.

T: This beer has a very thick texture to it. A very full bodied beer. Lots of roasted malts and booze on the initial taste followed by a very bitter chocolate aftertaste.

O: Another very solid offering from Founders. Always love trying their beers!

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2012 03:31:50 | More by beerboy9960
Photo of ThisWangsChung


4.68/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Momar42 for the bottle! 12 oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

A: Pours an ultra-viscous looking pitch black color. It's an amazingly heavy looking monster. The head is a one-finger dark tan color with fantastic texturing. Retention isn't perfect, but the level of lacing is downright beautiful. It just looks amazing.

S: Wow, this is one of the most chocolaty-smelling imperial stouts I've ever encountered. There are also notes of hazelnut, cream, vanilla, roasted malts, coffee, and slight dark fruit. No frills, but fuckin' fantastic regardless.

T: It seems like Founders took the basic essence of a standard-issue RIS and distilled it into rapturous glory. I first notice flavors of cream, vanilla, and chocolate; before roasted malts envelop the tastebuds. The umami qualities on the finish are glorious, melding together with anise, tobacco, and pine flavors. It has just enough complexity to keep the palate guessing, while being simple enough that one can easily pick out the differing handful of flavors. Yum.

M: You wouldn't expect such a thick, creamy monster to be so drinkable - but the delicately dry finish and brilliant alcohol concealment means this will be all gone before you know what to do. It's not so dry as to render its aftertaste gutted, however; some syrupy linger remains without creating overpowering sweetness. One of the best RIS palate feels I've ever encountered outside of Nogne O's RIS.

O: Founders didn't reinvent the wheel, they just showed every other brewer how it should be made in the first place. A brilliant reminder why this is my favorite style out there, and a not-so-brilliant reminder that this was the only bottle I had. :(

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2013 23:50:39 | More by ThisWangsChung
Photo of scotorum


4.68/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bought two bottles in Traverse City Michigan in June while on vacation/business. Saved them to age for cooler Fall weather.

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a plain tumbler.

a: Pitch black with a half finger tan head which receded quickly to even surface foam and some peripheral lacing.

s; Dark malt.

t: Very dark espresso strength malt with hop balance lending a bitter bottom line which is not bothersome in the least because the malt flavor is so dominant. Very high ABV is exceptionally well hidden.

m: Medium, silky smooth.

o: Excellent stout, not quite as impressive-looking as the Old Rasputin I had last night, but heavier yet smoother tasting and with even more flavor. Not quite as easy drinking as a result, but a wonderful sipper that won't quit delivering great imperial stout flavor.

UPDATE 1/3/14: Had the other bottle tonight and differences noted:

Bottled 12/20/12, so this has a year on it.

Poured into a Samuel Smith English tulip pint.

a: Opaque black with an inch and a half brown head which receded slowly to heavy surface foam and dense patterned lacing.

m: Medium to heavy, silky smooth. Now this is what I had hoped the Harviestoun's Old Engine Oil that I had recently would be like.

The rest of my earlier review was fully reconfirmed.

Anxiously awaiting the release of the 2014 model.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2013 04:17:41 | More by scotorum
Photo of KFBR392


4.69/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Pitch black, poured with a very heavy thickness. Lacing would creep up and down the glass with a menacing thinness.

Smell: Very subdued aroma from this brew. Some light malt and chocolate/toffee presence. The lack of a prominent aroma keep you wondering until you get the first taste.

Taste: Wow this is what makes this beer elite. The front of this beer is a heavy roasted malt flavor that is everything one would expect from a Russian Imperial Stout. The beer yields to a very dark sweetness of chocolate. A wonderful thickness and the layers of this beer seem to never stop. Simply incredible how the flavors dance around on the palette. The hops and malt play off each other so well. Simply wonderful. This beer is meant to be slowly sipped to really bring the full flavor out.

Mouthfeel: Heavy. Sticky tack lingers in the mouth, making you go back for more.

Overall: Founders always brings it. This beer is no exception. Probably the best Russian Imperial Stout I have ever had. Has everything an elite stout should and then some. An easy drinking experience here. Enjoy it friends.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2013 02:41:48 | More by KFBR392
Photo of adamette


4.69/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Live Review. Poured from the 12 oz. single that I bought at Save-On in Mentor, Ohio for $3.00 about a week ago into a clean, clear Voodoo Brewery pint glass. "01/02/13" stamped on the neck of the bottle with something else above it that I cannot make out. I am not sure if that is the bottling date...I suppose that it could be. This beer has to have at least a 5 year shelf life I would guess.

A Actually a deep, dark brown head over an absolute motor oil black body. I admit to being easily impressed with the look of a good RIS but really, can this be improved? It is foreboding and awesome! Oh, one more thing....the lacing left on the inside of the glass after repeated sips clinches my highest rating. 5.0

S Dark roast malt and dark chocolate. This promises to be very good indeed! 4.5

T Oh yes, this is the bomb! Deep dark roast malt, some chocolate notes and silky smooth. This is one badass Russian Imperial stout and as I repeatedly sip it I am thinking that it might be THE RIS to pour for someone to demonstrate the style. The alcohol is well hidden until you get into the aftertaste. After the silky smooth beginning and then the syrupy middle there is a burn left behind. Just great, really. 4.75

M Big, huge, thick, syrupy, silky. Everything that you'd hope for. This is the strongest feature of the beer. 5.0

D/O Drinkability is not good. The HUGE ABV, the mere size of the beer would limit me to one in an evening. Overall this is a world class Russian Imperial Stout and might be the example that I would point others to who are interested in the style. That being said, it may have surpassed classic favorites of mine, Oskar Blues Ten Fidy and North Coast Old Rasputin. That, for me, is saying A LOT! 4.5

Notes: Finally rated this one, bringing my total from the "Beers of Fame" list to 87 out of 100 I do believe. I have come to really like that list as there are some of my all time favorites on it. Additionally, I found 87 of them to be quite accessible seeing as how I don't really trade with other BA's.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2013 03:08:22 | More by adamette
Photo of 1up

District of Columbia

4.69/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a Spiegelau tulip from a 12oz bottle.

A- Opaque dark brownish black. No light gets through. A vigorous pour yields a 1.5 finger head. Looks like motor oil which indicates a lot of flavor to come.
S- Aroma isn't too powerful but I can detect lots of roasted malt and dark chocolate.
T- Coffee, heavily roasted malt, and chocolate dominate the flavor profile at first followed by an extremely bitter finish. Make no mistake, this is one of the most bitter finishing dark beers I've ever had. No alcohol taste which is impressive for a 10% beer. Very smooth.
M- Extremely smooth mouthful, full bodied, and perfect amount of carbonation. Not as full bodied as Ten Fidy but also not terribly far off. Carbonation consists of small bubbles that complement the brew and blend in well rather than standing out.
O- Wow this is an excellent flavorful imperial stout, one of the best I've had.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2013 03:00:13 | More by 1up
Photo of CMUbrew


4.69/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: Deepest black in color with a very dark brown head forming briefly. Looks quite viscous pouring into the glass.

S: Plenty of roast-char aroma, dark malt, and slight dark fruit aroma.

T: Darkly roasted malt with a nice charred edge. Solid bitterness that blots out any possible sweetness. Little to no alcohol is noticeable initially.

M: Thick, silky, and smooth to an extreme degree. Nearly perfect feel on this.

O: The best non-BA stout I've had, and likely one of the best out there.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2014 04:52:03 | More by CMUbrew
Photo of Billolick

New York

4.7/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ouncer sampled w/o any freshness dating. Founders continues to blow me away, when will these fine brews be available in the northeast??
Pours Jet black, stately mocha head, leaving fine lacing. Nose is big and loaded with chocolate, smoke and coffee grinds. Full bodied brew, alcohol present. Complex flavor profile, including lots of expresso coffee, dark chocolate, smoke, alcohol, rum soaked brownies, yum yum ...big bold, full bodied sipper. Seek---age/enjoy

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2005 04:04:09 | More by Billolick
Photo of UncleFlip


4.7/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

OK, I love this beer even before trying it. It's mainly because of the label. During a visit to Russia (my first overseas trip, no less), I became quite enamoured of the double headed eagle, complete with St. George on the shield. It's a nicely rendered version on this bottle.

Now...on to the brew itself.... :)

Appearance takes a hit because of the head- or lack thereof. A nice, deep, rich black liquid hits the glass- but only the scantest of brown heads froms. Let's hold this up tot he light. Erm....no light. Yow. None coming through the glass at all. I can't even see coloured fringes around the edges. That's a good sign, to me!

The smell is lovely, deep and pungent- velvety with qualities of black licorice, ancho chilis, raisins, and coffee.

The flavour is roasty-sweet up front, morphing into more bitter roastiness. Along the way, the flavour has some of the same qualities in the aroma. Just past the midway point, som snice hop bitterness creeps in...no, runs in. I like this one. I like this one a lot.

Nice and thinck- the mouthfeel only takes a half-point hit because the carbonation (which is low and very tight) burns a little more than I like in a stout.

Very drinkable to me- but very intense. It only misses the mark in drinkability in that it's so intense, it may put some people off.

Be well

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2006 08:49:38 | More by UncleFlip
Photo of jmacdaddy2008


4.7/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I haven't reviewed a beer in awhile, but this one made me want to write down a few surprising notes.
This beer had a nice head, great color and smelled wonderful. I picked up notes of coffee, chocolate and booze.
I remember this beer being a lot hotter last year, but I was really impressed by its drink ability this year.
We were only alloted a few cases in town so I am definitely snagging a few 4pks. before they are gone.
Kudos to Founders for this rendition of a RIS.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2009 14:53:49 | More by jmacdaddy2008
Photo of cbutova


4.7/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

One of the strangest pours I have ever seen! Poured out like a carton of motor oil and it appeared as if there was no hope for the formation of a head. After a very aggressive pour of the whole bottle into my snifter the head came out of nowhere and formed to the size of about one finger. The rising head from inside the opaque beer looked magical after such a strange pour. The head retains pretty well at about half to one finger and is a beautiful, VERY dark almost coffee bean color. A blanket of this head stays afloat on the beer for the reminder of the time. The lacing makes a cream around the glass as the head dies down. The nose on this one is good but very aggressive. I can smell alcohol vapors right of the top of the beer. The main components are, as expected, roasted malts, cocoa and some coffee notes. These are most likely from the malts. I can not pick up any hops in the aroma. The nose is of good strength and represents an Imperial Stout well. Finally to the taste. This beer is huge! Roasted malts and cocoa notes demolish my taste buds and are backed by earthy RIS-like hops very well. The hops help to balance the flavor but do not take over the malts, something I like in an RIS. The coffee is faint but I get hints of it (maybe just from similar roasty flavors). Alcohol is not as present in the flavor as I expected it to be from the aroma. The more I drink this beer, a bunch of times now, it really has one of the best non-specialty RIS flavors. The mouthfeel is amazing. This is the thickest beer I have ever had and it feels so good. It is almost milkshake thick with low RIS-like carbonation. The tongue is left with a blast of roast and earthy hop flavors, very nice. A tiny bit of warming leaves my mouth in heaven. Drinkability is great because of the taste and price for such a big beer. The downside is that this is definitely not sessionable, I would like to enjoy this one bottle at a time and hopefully on tap sometime. Great example of an RIS and one of my new favorites by Founders.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2010 10:06:53 | More by cbutova
Photo of digr


4.7/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a Deep Dark thick liquid with an initial almost black 1 cm head with small bubbles. Over time the foam slowly fades as the bubbles expand and the color lightens to a mild tan. Very cool indeed.

S - Nice! Subtle but definite dark malts and a very mild vanilla like essence. Literally mouth watering.

T - Thick and smooth and yummy. Definitely an american stout, but so smooth with just a touch black roasted bite. good balance with a slight residual sweetness tempered by just enough bitteing hops to balance. This is really good. Nope, can't tell it is 10% ABV other than the viscosity. no alcohol bite. A great winter sipper by the fire! The long term finish is that wonderful dark roast malt aftertaste that lingers between the teeth.

M - yeah really awesome. Did I say smooth? Despite being 10%ABV and thick as treacle, still slides down easily.

D - yeah, same a Mouthfeel in that it is remarkably easy to drink despite its Imperial nature. But I am putting this sway much faster than expected, so the proof here is in the almost empty glass...

Overall I REALLY liked this beer. I think it is just as good as the famous KBS, and much easier to drink and actual pint.

Thanks go out to Joe at Gordon's for the recommendation.,

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2011 05:29:30 | More by digr
Photo of Sunnanek


4.7/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: This one is pitch black and kind of oily. A small chocolate-brown head sinks quickly, and leaves nice lacings.

S: Dark bitter chocolate and strong black coffee, together with loads of dark dried fruits. Complex. Even bitter hops. This is great.

T: Not at all far from what the nose led me to anticipate. Everything from the smell is here, but the bitterness is a bit stronger. There is also a roasted almost burnt taste in the malt. I can sence vanilla; oak-barrel-aging? Where is the alcohol?

M: Full, thick body, moderate carbonation and a lovely bitter, chocolate aftertaste that stays for a little while.

O: A very complex and well crafted beer. Surprisingly the alcohol was only on the label, and perhaps in my legs afterwards...

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2011 19:47:51 | More by Sunnanek
Photo of jegross2


4.7/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Reviewing a fresh Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company. I had a year old bottle a few weeks ago that I reviewed.
Score: 98

January 2012 vintage bottle served in a snifter glass.

Appearance: Similar appearance to the year old version. Pitch black and opaque with slight ruby highlights at the top of the glass. Pours a half finger of dark chocolate colored, creamy head that settles into a ring around the glass and thin lace across the top of the beer. This is how I love my stouts to look. Pretty solid lacing on the side of the glass too, especially for a 10.5% ABV stout. 4.5/5

Smell: A lot more roasted coffee flavors than the year old verison, with a very light anise flavor. Lots of roasted chocolate and milky coffee creamer . There's some leather in the nose too. Booziness is slightly more apparent than the year old version. Burnt malts too. The aroma is absolutely divine. 5/5

Taste: Tons of roasted coffee and raw chocolate upfront. The coffee flavors is infinitely more apparent in the fresh bottle than it was in the year old bottle. Burnt chocolate and raw coffee beans too. Bitter coffee grounds on the mid-palate. Bitter, unsweetened chocolate and roasted malts and coffee in the finish. Not a lot of dark fruit here compared to the year old bottle, which seems a little old. Definitely tastes fresher, and still lingers well. 4.75/5

Mouthfeel: Still medium-plus bodied with more carbonation than the year old version. The coffee characteristics of the beer really add some perk to the beer. Foamy saliva-inducing mouthfeel and very thick (though not overly heavy). Finishes bitter and slightly acidic. 5/5

Overall: I enjoyed the year old version of this I had recently, but the fresh version is an absolute home run. This stuff tends to sell quick, and was released in IL and WI this week, so snatch up a four pack if you see it before it's gone for another year. Founders proves once again they are one of the best breweries in America.

Recommendation: A must try Russian Imperial Stout.

Pairings: Steak.

Cost: $15.99 for a four pack.


Reviewing the Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company. A hearty thank you to BeerAdvocate user davesway10 for hooking me up with this one in a trade!
Score: 92

January 2011 vintage bottle served in a snifter glass. This beer is a few weeks shy of one year old.

Appearance: Pitch black and opaque with slight ruby highlights at the top of the glass. Pours a half finger of dark chocolate colored, creamy head that settles into a ring around the glass and thin lace across the top of the beer. This is how I love my stouts to look. Above average lacing on the side of the glass too. 4.5/5

Smell: Roasted chocolate and coffee grounds. Some black coffee and creamy milk chocolate too. A touch of booziness and hints of hoppiness. Burn chocolate and coffee present as well. 4.5/5

Taste: Roasted chocolate and raw coffee bean flavors up front. Toasted malts. Bitter coffee grounds on the mid-palate. Bitter, unsweetened chocolate and dry, unsweetened dark fruits in the finish. Solid linger. Can't wait to see how the coffee flavors in this one taste when its fresh. 4/5

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus bodied, minimal carbonation. A little more carbonation honestly might have helped make some of the flavors in the beer pop a little better, so let's see how a fresh bottles compares when it gets released in a few weeks. Mouthfeel is also creamy. Finishes bitter and slightly acidic. 4/5

Overall: This is my favorite style of beer (Russian Imperial Stout) and it comes from one of my favorite breweries. Founders Imperial Stout is a beer that lives up to its hype, and is not too hard to find when initially released. I highly recommend grabbing a four pack or two.

Recommendation: A pretty balanced raw chocolate-and-coffee flavored imperial stout that hides the alcohol well. This one can be safely recommended to beer geeks and casual beer drinkers alike.

Pairings: Steak.

Cost: $15.99 for a four pack.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2011 18:07:33 | More by jegross2
Photo of Craigory

South Carolina

4.7/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

12oz bottle with 11/29/2012 bottling date, poured into a Libby's stout/porter glass.

A: Pours black, with only a thin, mocha head that quickly recedes to a ring on top of the beer. Holding this up to the light, I don't even get ruby tints; this is just black and beautiful in the glass. Leaves some splotchy lacing as I drink it down.

S: I smell bitter chocolate, bitter roasted malt, bitter coffee, a hint of alcohol, and a bit more bitter chocolate.

T: Follows the smell exactly. The alcohol doesn't poke through too much, but I do get lots of bitter chocolate, typical RIS roastiness, a hint of coffee, and more bitter chocolate. A light vanilla sweetness shows itself here and there on the finish.

M: Full and creamy, with moderate carbonation and a bit of astringency.

O: I take this and Ten Fidy to be the best instantiations of the Platonic Form of a non-BA RIS. This beer is just a fantastic example of the style and would satisfy me any night of the week, any season of the year.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2013 00:18:13 | More by Craigory
Photo of fx20736

New York

4.71/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Given to me as a gift by a BA on 4/16/13.

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Sam Smith's Pint glass, served at room temp.

appearance: black as crude oil with a 3 finger mocha brown head, The Lacing is magnificent.

aroma: rich roasted malt, chocolate, some black licorice.

mouthfeel: sinous, silky, velvety, seductive.

taste: thicky, syrupy with chocolate and coffee. Charred bitterness and alcohol on the fade.

notes: Another Founder's masterpiece! Again, a Founder's beer scores high on all criteria. Beautiful to look at, wonderful aroma, amazing mouthfeel and outstanding taste. Little wonder that they are one of my favorite breweries. Like all beers I love this balances rich maltiness with a strong bitterness. In this case the bitterness comes from the charred/ roasted malt rather than the hops. The chocolate and coffee are thick and rich. Probably the best Imp. Stout I've ever had.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2013 22:54:07 | More by fx20736
Photo of jasonpeckins32


4.72/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I tried this one on-tap at the Founders Brew-Pub in Grand Rapids, MI. These guys make a lot of very fun and interesting beers, I'm sure I'll be back there again soon.

Appearance : Very dark brown to black. It sort of looked like a really thick cup of coffee. Not much of a head, but the bit of foam that did work its way to the top of the glass was an orange-brown color.

Smell : Coffee and chocolate. I'm not sure what else I'm smelling but there is a lot more going on. Maybe molasses, and a tiny hint of some vegetable scent? I can also smell the alcohol... an awesome 12.00%

Taste : The taste is surprisingly very sweet at first, tasting like chocolate, caramel, and raisins. This is followed by a bitter coffee-like presentation that finishes quite nice.

Mouthfeel : VERY Heavy-Bodied. Might be the thickest beer I've had.

Drinkabiltiy : This beer is excpetionally smooth and easy to drink. Surprising, considering the high alcohol content and the style of this beer. Very easy to drink.

Serving type: on-tap

04-22-2005 17:57:47 | More by jasonpeckins32
Photo of isubsmith


4.72/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Incredibly dark and dense black. Small brown head quickly dissipates but leaves lacing around the glass

Nose: Roasty, Chocolaty. Some sweeter caramel notes. Coffee and chocolate dominate as the beer warms up

Taste and mouthfeel: Lots bitter/dark chocolate. Hop bitterness as well. Quite strong bitterness right before the finish. Plenty of roast. Big mouthfeel. Sweet malty residue clings to the lips. The alcohol was hidden behind the bitter taste until the beer warmed up.

A very drinkable beer, but the alcohol might eventually catch up after a few. Definately recommended.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2005 23:55:06 | More by isubsmith
Photo of GClarkage


4.72/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

07/19/06- Aquired via trade with Irishsnake.

Presentation- 12oz bottle with no freshness info listed. Poured into my Stone RIS tulip.

Appearance- Black as motor oil. Very slight head, almost non existant. Dirty brown light rim of a head that erodes quickly. Some, but light whisps of lace left behind.

Smell- Wonderful scent of roasted coffee beans and quality dark chocolate.

Taste- Tastes just as good as any other RIS I have tasted. Dark chocolate flavors mixed with a heavily roasted malt base. Coffee flavors come in hard in the beginning and make way for the chocolate as the beer warms. Incredible meld of flavors.

Mouthfeel- Light carbonation (just the way I like an RIS), creamy, thick, viscous and gooey.

Drinkability- The abv comes into play quickly. This one is so thick and chewy that it becomes a chore (a good chore) to finish if it's room temp. Becomes super sweet...almost like drinking a melted candy bar that's been left in the sun. Overall though, it's probably the best tasting stout of any kind I have tasted...better than Stone and better than Speedway...super quality brew here....high recommendation! Thanks much John!

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2006 15:40:52 | More by GClarkage
Photo of WeisGuy

New York

4.72/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a - beautiful stout, pours like motor oil, deep dark black, tan head with retention around the edges, nice lacing

s - roasted maltiness and dark chocolate dominate, espresso in there too, slight bitterness and alcohol

t - roasted malt and dark chocolate are at the forefront in perfect balance, the finish has a nice bitterness with only a hint of alcohol

m - full bodied, very smooth, coats the mouth well

d - I could sip on this impy all night, very drinkable, the only thing prohibiting me from doing just that would be the abv

Another very impressive brew from the folks at Founders. Everything I want in an impy. Makes me even more excited to get my hands on some Breakfast Stout and KBS.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2006 03:17:22 | More by WeisGuy
Photo of Ezekiel81923


4.72/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Secured a 12oz bottle the afternoon before the Superbowl. Poured into my Sam Adams perfect pint.

Appearance: Pours black, thick, like motor oil. 1/2 finger brown head disappears quickly living a thin layer of foam on the top of the brew. Beer lets absolutely NO light through. Spotty lacing all around the glass.

Aroma: Toasted malts. Cocoa notes are pretty prevalent after a few sniffs. Some dried fruit sneaks in there. The cocoa might be hiding some coffee or espresso bean aroma, hard to distinguish it.

Taste: Toasted malt greet you first, followed by the cocoa bean flavor as you swoosh it around a little bit. I can't seem to find the dried/burnt fruit flavor that I found in the aroma. Finishes with the burnt coffee bean that sits on the tongue for quite a while after the swallow. Actually, sometimes it almost feels like the chocolate and the coffee bean tastes alternate with each other on the tongue before finally settling on coffee.

Mouthfeel: Some carbonation that is just enough to tickle your tongue. No bitterness, no detectable hops. Full bodied brew that coats the tongue and covers the whole palate. Finishes a little dry.

Drinkability: A sipper, but I think most stouts are. At 10.5% abv, its advised. Could certainly drink more than one if it were not for the alcohol though.

I like this more than the Breakfast Stout. Hopefully my scoring reflected that. BS is still my go to Founders stout though, solely based on drinkability and price.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2009 02:19:28 | More by Ezekiel81923
Photo of atsprings

North Carolina

4.72/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2 12oz bottles into a Duvel snifter, pours a deep opaque black with a thin tan head that lasts as a thin layer and leaves great lacing. Aroma is loaded with roasted malts and cocoa with hints of fresh ground coffee. The taste is a nice plethora of roasted malts with cocoa subdued in the finish. The beer is somewhat heavy, but the alcohol is fairly well hidden. This is certainly an exceptional Imperial Stout.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2009 03:24:26 | More by atsprings
Founders Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 4,913 ratings.