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Founders Imperial Stout - Founders Brewing Company

Founders Imperial StoutFounders Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

4,914 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 4914
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: 4,914 | Reviews: 1,545 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Ohiolager
Ohiolager

Ohio

4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Founder's Imperial stout 4pk bottles $13.99(OH)

12 fl oz brown bottle poured into a stemless white wine glass. Bottled date marked in yellow just below neck. (bottled 12-14-13) So this is real fresh by stouts standards. Properly stored they can sit for over a year. (I am going to keep a few in my dark fridge for a while to age.)

Pours pitch black, with a dark tan almost brown head standing three finger tall. The thick brown head lasts forever! It finally gives way to amazing lacing. Almost two inch's of the glass is covered in a connecting design of lacing. A little less than a one finger head remains covering the surface.

The aroma is bittersweet malts, a smokey black olive smell. A hint of chocolate or cocoa, and a nutty caramel note towards the end. The smell is very smooth and inviting, one smell and you know it's an imperial.

Taste follows the nose but so much more powerful and robust. A smokey malty coffee taste hits you in the taste buds, followed by a bittersweet caramel chocolate flavor. The end is dry, bitter and kind of floral with a subtle hop taste. The 10.5 % ABV is super well hidden. If I did not see the bottle I would guess this was about 7.5 to 8.5 % ABV.

the mouth feel is very nice. A medium-heavy bodied brew. Carbonation is minimal which is just right for a quality imperial. That sweet powerful stout feel and taste clings to your mouth and wont let go. A carmel, coppery, bittersweet feeling that is robust and powerful.

Overall. WOW! I am impressed. and this stout is not even aged. Its jet black, amazing appearance, smells like an Imperial should, and tastes even better than i thought. It is a little pricey for a 4pk but, well worth it. Best imperial I have had to date. One to remember that's for sure. Exceeded my expectations, and then some.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2014 03:58:17 | More by Ohiolager
Photo of Jay_Ulreich
Jay_Ulreich

Indiana

4.3/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

While I am sure I have had this before, it feels like the first time. Its really exceptional, but hey, come on, this is Founders we're talking about here. I don't think they make a bad brew.
A- The only thing lacking in this beer is head. I got zero. Just a faint ring of deep tan fighting to maintain. Virtually no lacing. Motor oil, the dirtiest. I think its actually absorbing the light from the room. I like it.
S- Mmmmm yes. Dark chocolate. Roasted malts. Hop bitterness. No actual hint of what kind of hops, just that they are there, and are bitter. 90 IBUs indeed.
T- Most other stouts need to bow down to this one, (cough cough Ten Fidy cough) This is my second favorite of all time. Expedition by Bells is the only one that tops this one. Anyway, huge dark chocolate and a creaminess that is unmatched. I bet some would call this a complex stout, but Id be willing to be there are few ingredients. Its really simple, and really awesome. I dont detect any alcohol at all at 10.5%.... Thats pretty impressive.
M- Upon further sampling, I upped my score from 4 to 4.25. It is so silky smooth and creamy... I use the word "chewy" alot.... this definitely full bodied, but it isnt chewy. It is just plain smooth. If I was an arrogant idiot (which some might say otherwise) I would chug this down very fast. But since I am not, I savor each rewarding sip.
Overall, I love this, and wish I had kegs filled with it. Hmmm, make that a cellar filled with it. If you see this? You would be dumb not to get it. Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2014 03:46:41 | More by Jay_Ulreich
Photo of BradenMK
BradenMK

Ohio

4.55/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Served from a 12oz bottle into a 12oz coke glass (seriously, I have not yet found a better beer drinking glass; it doesn't matter what style, this glass always delivers).

Appearance (4.5) - Sweet Christmas, it pours like a jet black motor oil. I was cautious on my first beer of the night. The head rose, slowly, to about a finger's width. On my second beer I was sure to be a bit more aggressive, conjuring up another slowly expanding two and a half fingers of head. So nice. There's even some great lacing left down the glass as I drink.

Smell (3.75) - In the past I have found this beer to smell much more chocolatey and smokey. This year, I thought the smell was barely there. This may be because my nose has taken a beating this winter from extreme dryness, but, objectively, I do think the aroma is somewhat lacking this year.

Taste (4.75) - Luckily the taste does not disappoint. This is even better than I remember, and I am so glad. I have been waiting for this beer's release for MONTHS, and for it to deliver so magically, I am very pleased. Deep, unabated malt nectar, with hints of either some smoked malt or some peat in there, I can't be sure. A chocolate BOMB (as of 2013 anyway). So roasty, yet balanced with sweetness from residual sugars, this monster has tons of flavor with lots of complicated nuances to pick up on. This is a malt-head's dream come true. Simply sublime.

Feel (4.75) - Thick, wet, oily, with just enough carbonation to give it the creamy texture. This is basically everything I want in a stout. I only wish it were ever-so-slightly thicker. I mean, this is a beast, don't get me wrong, but I want a stout milkshake, let's be real. Get this guy any thicker and it'd reach a 5 rating here.

Overall (4.5) - Well worth the wait. I think I enjoy this EVEN MORE than I did last year, which is saying an awful lot. It isn't all too often that I try something a year later and am as fond of it as I was the year before, my palate is just too capricious, but this damn beer is a masterpiece and I am so glad to be able to enjoy it with such easy access. Cheers!

EDIT (4/9/14) - Had one today. Just as good as ever. Superb beer. I have a 2012 sitting in the fridge (don't worry it was cellared for a year), and I can't wait to crack it open. In comparison with a 2014 KBS that Core42, a fellow BA, was kind enough to send me free of charge, I find FIS to be slightly, slightly superior. Of course, I don't actually care as much for bourbon stouts. It was still delicious, and if you do like bourbon stouts, then I imagine you'll like it more, but FIS is just that good. A high caliber stout that is a well-accessible. Well done, Founders!

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2014 23:28:44 | More by BradenMK
Photo of lochef81
lochef81

Michigan

4.21/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Having a four way tasting tonight between Plead the 5th, Old Rasputin, Ten fiddy, and this. It's my second of the four pours. The appearance of this stout is simply overwhelming. It pours a very near jet black with just a slight amount if light escaping through around the edges. The head is a large but short lasting beautiful dark brown color (one of the darkest, most handsome heads I have ever seen). It leaves a substantial film and lots of silky lacing. The nose is rather boozy and bitter. Notes of burnt coffee, bitter dark chocolate, and vanilla abound. The mouthfeel is viscous and coats every inch of the palate as it slowly slides down the throat. The flavor is over the top rich and decadent. A very bitter blend of vanilla, chocolate, and a lasting finish of dark roasted coffee. It is a very bold beer. At only a few months old, this stout is near obscenely in your face but I'm quite sure it will smooth with age. Good thing I've got three more in the cellar.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2014 04:16:39 | More by lochef81
Photo of guityler83
guityler83

Wisconsin

4.2/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 1/12/14

A: Poured into the proper glassware, a founders snifter, the head was a finger and a half tall, very dark brown color - like a bar of chocolate. Long sustaining, and when it started to fall it left behind a thick coating on the edge of the glass. The beer is black opaque.

S: A moderate level of roast and char combined with bakers chocolate and cocoa powder. It comes of sweet with some caramel notes at warmer temperatures. A low level of nutty aroma. Also getting some slight piny notes from what I imagine is the hops.

T: A nice mix of roast and chocolate flavors balanced nicely with a moderately firm bitterness. Similar dark chocolate and cocoa flavors as the aroma combined with a roastiness that comes of as kind of a pepper (jalapeneo) flavor. The balance is on the malt side and it comes off moderately sweet. The caramel malts don't come through very distinctly, though there are some toffee notes. The bitterness is a nice compliment to the overall flavor profile of this beer.

M: A nice creamy full bodied beer. The carbonation is medium and there is only a slight bit of alcohol warming. Astringency is kept to a minimum and the aftertaste is left with a chalky like sensation.

O: The balance of chocolate and roast combined with the firm bitterness is a great combination in this beer. I don't think its worth the price tag of a 4-pack, but its a tasty beer none the-less.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2014 01:17:37 | More by guityler83
Photo of Pbody
Pbody

Michigan

4.8/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Wow this stout is exceptional notes of chocolate, and molasses pours great taste great. Only comes in a four pack though and is a little on the pricey side but definitely check this one out great beer just don't have to many, very high in alcohol content. If you are in Grand Rapids MI you should check out Founders Brewery very neat spot with great specials and events.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2014 03:34:21 | More by Pbody
Photo of tmm313
tmm313

Georgia

4.26/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

A- Black. Poured a 1 finger, creamy, dark tan head with pretty aggressive pour. Awesome lacing and trailing.

S- Milk chocolate, a touch of baker's chocolate, oats, light dark fruits, some spicy hops, and slight booze.

T- It all mixes together so fast, its hard to tell things apart. Dark chocolate, roasted malts, dark fruits, piney and spicy hop bitterness. Big dark chocolate on the finish. Roasty, dry aftertaste. Grapefruit shows up a few minutes later.

M- It literally took me a few drinks to get used to it. I usually give a big "swoosh" over my tongue right after I take a sip, but the swoosh took more power than I was used to. Heavy, viscous, creamy, drying.

O- This was a pretty good Imperial Stout. The next step is to age one for a a year or three to see what happens.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2014 20:59:29 | More by tmm313
Photo of ajramirez1
ajramirez1

Washington

4.34/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Brought this back from North Carolina to the Pacific Northwest. Aging one but cracked one.

Really solid imperial stout. Its not the best but its well above avg. Initially its pretty sweet. Let it warm to room temp, gets better. Founders imperial just cracks top100. Sounds about right, may be top125...its not bad.

A-

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2014 04:32:42 | More by ajramirez1
Photo of Jnashed
Jnashed

Virginia

4.75/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From a bottle poured into a snifter. 2014 variety

A: dark, little head but fair lacing. Head a brown dark one.. I let is sit a bit to warm up as it was from a fridge. What little head quickly dissipated.

S: Rich dark malts. Fig notes, heavy sweetness, some light chocolates on background to be sure. Smell of old burnt wood not smoke though.

T: so good... Initially wonderful flavors of almost molasses, and heavy malts. Mild backend EtOH burn but not a lot for a 10% beer. Next taste as it warmed up even better. Really some wonderful sweet notes that are present and those figs to me stand out.

M: thick and wonderful. Light carbonation. Almost a heavy syrup.

O: amazing, sublime. No need for the Boubon Barrel aging. No need for adding coffee or chocolate. Proves that a wondersful RIS can be world class without those things. Testament to amazing brewing. Highly rated but honestly under the radar with FBS and KBS. I have a bunch aging also but this is a sublime amazing beer for those lovers of stouts.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2014 01:31:36 | More by Jnashed
Photo of datalager
datalager

Connecticut

4.81/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is absolute black, opaque to almost the extreme edges, and quick to thicken in a shallow stem glass. No real head, just a scant and brief brown sugar lacing at the surface.

Nose of baker's chocolate, anise and rum.

Flavors of Ghirardelli, Good & Plenty, raisins, cherries and Portuguese sweet bread. Hops galore! And not "west coast" hops, but proper hops...something like Lublin. It's got that spicy eastern European flavor that I love in authentic Polish and Russian beers. I suppose it could even be Magnum. I'll have to look it up...

Swallow is thick, oily, and mildly carbonated, but not flat. Extremely robust finish!

This is a peerless Imperial stout with an ideal balance of cocoa, licorice, hop and a full-bodied swill. Wowsers. Get some!

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2014 17:12:28 | More by datalager
Photo of mdagnew
mdagnew

United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)

4.1/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

355ml bottle bought from Lighthouse Wines, Jordanstown

Poured pitch black with no hint of colour even when held up to the light. Dirty nut brown head poured big thick and foamy then faded slowly to decent covering... some decent lines of lacing...

Aroma - Rich roasted and charred dark chocolate maltiness, sweet coffee, some brown sugar sweetness, some sooty like smokiness, some dark fruits (blackcurrents, dates), pine and citric hop notes, toasted (maybe charred ?) fruit loaf, some earthiness, milky notes...

Taste - Dark chocolate, lots of roasted / charred bready malts, barely any alcohol noticeable, treacle sweetness, dark spicy fruits (raisins, date,some figs, red grape), piney and grassy hop bitterness, citrus hints, traces of piney resin, light liquorice, light sourness...

Feel - Fairly smooth and creamy with a little sharpness coming through... fairly full bodied... for a 10% brew this is dangerously drinkable..

Overall - A pretty good Impy stout although in my view there are better examples out there... definitely worth a try though...

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2014 19:11:09 | More by mdagnew
Photo of HopBomb515
HopBomb515

New Jersey

4.75/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A - BLACK, black hole even, no light will escape. Pour is super thick and viscous as sludge. Thin coffee colored head settles but remains as a small ring leaving coffee colored malt coating lacing.

S - Dark chocolate coated espresso beans, roasted malt on top of roasted malt, little smoke in the back. Honestly not the biggest nose on this one, pretty subtle and straight forward.

T - Big roasted malt flavor, double chocolate, coffee notes, sweetness from the malt, and a bitter finish with some hop bite in the end. This is hugely complex. Finish is like a double chocolate chip cookie laced with hops that give just enough bite.

M - Amazing, so smooth and creamy really coats.

O - One of, if not my favorite imperial stouts. Big roasted malt flavors and the expected chocolate and espresso notes and it's done so well. Nice hop bite at the end makes this one different in a good way and keeps it from being cloying.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2014 02:16:23 | More by HopBomb515
Photo of gonzo000
gonzo000

Massachusetts

4.14/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A. Dark black in color with a 1/2 finger brown head. light brown lacing filters down the glass.

S. Mellow smell of burnt grain/ dark caramel.

T. Gently sweet malt/grain taste in front. Finish with more alcohol than I care for. Taste is spot on, finish leaves something to be desired.

M. Mouthfeel was a hard call. Creamy in the front but the finish is so dry due to the presence of alcohol in it.

O. I would revisit this beer gladly.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2014 23:57:20 | More by gonzo000
Photo of Tenor
Tenor

Texas

5/5  rDev +14.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2014 04:09:59 | More by Tenor
Photo of TheSixthRing
TheSixthRing

California

4.64/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on date of 12/13/13

Appearance - Pours black and thick with a cocoa colored finger-width head. Fair retention, leading to a thin layer of suds across the surface. Nice lacing around the glass, with good stick.

Smell - Hits you with a thick burst of fudge across the nose, then underlying coffee ground notes peek through. Faint hints of raisin.

Taste - Coffee and chocolate bliss upfront and throughout. Fudge, milk chocolate and mocha, obviously. An undertone of earthier coffee grounds and baker's chocolate bitterness rides beneath and adds immeasurable depth. Finishes a little more bitter than sweet, but it's almost a see-saw affair between the two.

Mouthfeel - Full-bodied with low levels of carbonation that manage a light tingle on the lips. Nice creaminess, and wow(!) does it go down smooth as hell.

Overall - Glad I got two bottles of this brew in a trade, because it's a monster. It's the big brother to FBS that all the other kids wished was their own. Reminds me a bit of the Drake's Drakonic, but with a thicker body and a deeper coffee undertone. Why isnt this sold in California?!? I NEED IT!!!

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2014 01:38:40 | More by TheSixthRing
Photo of kemoarps
kemoarps

Missouri

4.51/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

For some reason I held back from picking this up initially. I can already see that this was a mistake. Dark as sin and thick as motor oil... I thought I was going to have to thwack the bottom of the bottle just to get all of it out, ala ketchup or molasses. Minimal deep brown head fades to leave nothing but a cylindrical obelisk. This beer teaches monkeys to use tools and visits astronauts in their bedrooms. It is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.

You may have gathered that this beer looks like I love my beer to look. Unfortunately, the aroma is coming up a bit short. It's not that it's unpleasant, it's just... lacking. Absent. Not as pungent as I hoped. What IS there, is enticing: this thing SMELLS thick. I love it. Dark roasty malts, smoothe chocolate, a hint of coffee, maybe some vanilla...

YUP. Follow through on the promise and then some. Sweet to start, as chocolate notes dominate the front. Both creamy milk chocolate and the stiffer dryer bakers cocoa come forward, with the thickfreakness of chewy fudge. Coffee again provides flavour and a bit of bitterness, some roast, almost a touch smokey, but like a well vented fireplace, not like a bonfire or smokehouse. Damn, this beer is amazing. It is a thick bodied, chewy delight which hides it's 10.5% expertly. The finish couples the coffee bitterness with a dry bitter aftertaste that almost veers into smoothed out pith. What won't they think of next?

To think I almost passed this bad boy up. This is phenomenal. I cannot be effusive enough in my praise. Seriously good work there, Founders.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2014 16:19:50 | More by kemoarps
Photo of IronLover
IronLover

Pennsylvania

4.46/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Oily black in color with a thick viscous appearance. Poured with a thick, short espresso-like foam that quickly reduced to creamy, wispy cap. Rich dark chocolate and earthy, grainy, roasted malt aromas with a touch of dark fruit, wet tobacco, bitter coffee and boozy overtones. Full bodied with slick, oily feel up front and tangy hop bite toward the end. Dark chocolate and roasted malt flavors up front followed by slowly emerging pine and citrus hop bitterness through the middle. A brief note of sweet dark fruit and bittersweet chocolate followed once again  by intensifying hop bitterness. Finished with a lingering charred malt and pine hop bitterness. Incredible complexity in aroma and taste.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2014 03:02:17 | More by IronLover
Photo of hops202
hops202

District of Columbia

4.63/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a Stone Snifter.

Initial appearence looks great. Nice thick chocolate moch head. Aroma has roast, espresso, booziness, cocoa, dark-bitter chocolate. Taste is very complex with dark chocolate, molasses, espresso, with a dry and burnt bitter ending - as to be expected at 90 IBU. Quite unique and definitely one of the best RIS out there.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2014 23:23:52 | More by hops202
Photo of beergoot
beergoot

Colorado

4.4/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle was given to me by alexanf: thanks! I owe you!!

Inky black body with a thick, dense, creamy mocha-colored head. Rich cocoa, chocolate and tobacco aromas. Baker's chocolate and gently charred grain flavors; semi-sweet and heavily bitter tasting; mild booziness. Heavy bodied; smooth and velvety.

Dark lusciousness in a glass! You can taste the blackness and it is good!! Yes, indeed, there is plenty of depth and complexity to be found in a glass of this RIS. It's not overly sweet and emphasizes the roasted grains and hop bittering while tastefully blending the alcohol heat and slight astringency into the overall taste profile. Deep and inviting, and well-worth looking into.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2014 20:58:02 | More by beergoot
Photo of choicegrinds
choicegrinds

New Jersey

4.38/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

12oz into pint glass
Jet black (are jets black?) Looks like burned motor oil. Viscous as well. Awesome dark 2 finger half cooked pancake head. Smells great, like dark chocolate cherry. In taste the aromas are also represented with coffee and a nice earthiness. Definitely a thick, sturdy stout. Not a session beer at 10.5 but if youre like me and only have one or two and make them count..cant lose with this one

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2014 20:01:32 | More by choicegrinds
Photo of goochpunch
goochpunch

Texas

4.39/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours out a jet black body with a head that looks like chocolate mousse. I get a lot of chocolate in the aroma, along with citrus hops. Taste is rather sweet, and full of your typical stout flavors of coffee, chocolate, and roasty bitterness. Aftertaste of resinous hops and ash. Booze heat in the finish. Mouthfeel is full and creamy, and gives a tingling carbonation. Overall, this is a solid imperial stout, but it doesn't do very much to wow.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2014 04:00:52 | More by goochpunch
Photo of hagbergl
hagbergl

Maryland

4.8/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Rodman's in D.C. still had four packs of this dark beauty lying around a couple of weeks ago, so I had to pick up one to enjoy before it disappeared. It's been several years since I've had Founders Imperial Stout, so I'm really excited to drink it and do a proper review of it. Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into my Beer Geek Nation tulip glass.

Appearance (5/5): Pitch black and with a one-finger milk chocolate brown head. Alcohol legs when you tilt the glass. Just gorgeous, and just about the best looking Russian Imperial Stout I've seen.

Smell (4.25/5): Lots of roasty notes in the nose with a healthy dose of dark chocolate and espresso and some fig. Alcohol is clearly present–a little too present in my mind, but it's not offensive by any means. I would have liked to smell a bit less of it, but bottom line is: this is one intense, very good smelling beer.

Taste (5/5): Wow, follows the nose but adds layers of complexity on top of the original notes. Drop dead gorgeous flavor profile: dark chocolate in the foretaste flexes hard before giving way in the middle to really nice brown sugar and molasses flavors. Deep roasty notes then dominate the back end: espresso, burnt malt, dry and bitter in the finish; far more bitterness in the flavor than you would find in your garden variety stout, which reminds me a bit of Old Rasputin. And, for all the alcohol in the nose, I can't taste a drop of it. Only a little heat in the finish betrays the fact that, at 10.5%, this is a huge beer. Not a highly drinkable beer–you won't be having more than one–but that's fine, because the beer really opens up it warms. This is one intense, flavorful take on the Russian Imperial Stout style. I love it.

Mouthfeel (5/5): Velvety smooth all the way through, until you hit the very dry finish (I can't tell whether it's the hops or roasted malt that adds the drying bitterness to the beer; maybe it's both). Full bodied, medium-low carbonation, true to style.

Overall (4.75/5): I guess Founders really knows the art of brewing imperial stout, huh? Founders Imperial Stout, with its abundance of espresso-esque roastiness, dark chocolate decadence, and interesting brown sugar/molasses undertones, is without a doubt the most intense and flavorful example of the classic Russian Imperial Stout style that I've had the pleasure of drinking. Sublime. Let it warm up and witness a beautiful evolution of flavor!

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2014 17:51:47 | More by hagbergl
Photo of Shroud0fdoom
Shroud0fdoom

Maryland

4.49/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

*12 oz. Bottle*

Look: Black body, 1 1/2 finger deep mocha frothy head.

Smell: Huge roasted barley, nice toffee sweetness, espresso hints of oats.

Taste: Burnt coffee, sweet roasted malts, smooth chocolate, bittersweet finish, alcohol is not present in the flavor but you can feel the heat.

Feel: Almost syrupy smooth body, soft carbonation.

Overall: For this being at 10.5%, it is incredibly drinkable to the point that it should be illegal. Smooth body, balanced between bitter and sweet that aches for constant gulps. This is a prime example of what a great Imperial Stout should be. Highly recommended.

* Originally Reviewed on 7-11-2013

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2014 17:00:47 | More by Shroud0fdoom
Photo of M_C_Hampton
M_C_Hampton

Georgia

4.74/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: poured from a 12 oz bottle (dated 12/7/12) into a pint glass, used motor oil black with a short thick dark tan head that lingers leaving some lacing, clear

S: big nose of chocolate, dark chocolate, sweet, coffee, molasses, dark brown sugar, cinnamon rolls, vanilla

T: bitter sweet chocolate and coffee mingle with vanilla, middle sweetens with molasses syrup flavor, cane sugar, finish dries with a tangy hop bitterness, flavor lingers for some time

M: thick and oily, the alcohol is barely detectable, carbonation is on the lower side

O: I opened this to celebrate some special news. This beer has aged beautifully. Flavors abound as it warms gaining sweetness. Aged this is arguably as good or slightly better than FBS. Buy it if you find it.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2014 03:48:14 | More by M_C_Hampton
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Pegasus

Texas

4.75/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Opaque obsidian body crowned with a fairly large, very dense dark tan head, which retains superbly. Thick, fine-beaded lacing in unbroken sheets adorns the glass walls. The head retention is excellent.

Aroma: Rich dark chocolate aroma with massive roasted barley and freshly-ground coffee. The high ABV (10.5%) is only faintly notable in the aroma, and lacks any unpleasant solvent aroma.

Taste: Opens with very strong bitter cocoa and anise, soon after, strong, rich freshly-ground coffee flavors assert themselves. As with the aroma, the high alcoholic content is very gracefully presented, notable only for a mild, pleasant warming character, and a subtle vinous character. Late in the taste, a wave of bitter herbal hops appear, though even at 90 IBUs (per the label), the hops seem quite understated against the massive malt presence.

Mouth feel: Smooth, soft, and full, velvety.

Drinkability/notes: Despite the massive dark malt backbone, high ABV (10.5%) and strong hop presence (90 IBUs), Founders Imperial Stout manages to be both well-balanced and over-the-top. Surely this is a "bucket list" beer, outstanding in its excellence.

Presentation: Packaged in a short twelve-ounce brown glass bottle with a pry-off crown, served in a New Belgium Brewing chalice.

Sourcing: Purchased at Spec's in Texas for $10.99 plus tax for a 4-pack of twelve-ounce bottles.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2014 02:52:28 | More by Pegasus
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Founders Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 4,914 ratings.