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Founders Imperial Stout - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Imperial StoutFounders Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

5,881 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 5,881
Reviews: 1,600
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 8.72%
Wants: 536
Gots: 1,419 | FT: 122
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: 5,881 | Reviews: 1,600 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of don1481
4.21/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into Ol' Trusty Pint Glass.

Appearance: Holy blackness. I hold this up to the light and NOTHING gets through. And with a chocolate-colored head. Wow. This clearly means business.

Smell: Lots of coffee here. Some hints of chocolate, smokiness. I don't really smell alcohol here.

Taste: Tastes like coffee with hints of chocolate coming through. I'm not really tasting any of the alcohol, which is surprising. None of the flavors are particularly overpowering - it's a little more... subdued... than what I expected from other reviews. I expected to have to sip this one a little more, but it's going down MUCH more quickly.

Mouthfeel: Pretty clean. Taste doesn't linger at all. Not sticky afterwards.

Overall: Ohhh boy. This is dangerous - I can drink this MUCH faster than the other stouts I've recently reviewed. I'd say that this goes down almost too easy, but since when is that a bad thing when in the confines of one's own home and not driving back from a bar?

don1481, Jan 16, 2014
Photo of tectactoe
4.88/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

As I was pouring this beer, I thought to myself - "what beer is more black than this one?" ...and the answer is none. None more black. Not only is it black as can be, it's thicker than you can imagine. It plops into the glass without making a sound. Then, to top it all off, the head is the darkest MF'ing head I've ever seen. This head is darker than most brown ales. Huge, foamy, frothy, two and a half finger head that lasts for a long, long time. I've never been so aroused by just looking at a beer.

The smell is incredible and it hits your nose while you're pouring the beer, well before you bring it to your face. An abundance of roasted malts and barley washes over your senses like nothing else; deep, dark, bittersweet cocoa beans, espresso, molasses, char-broiled smoke, and a wave of leafy hops. The nose is as powerful as this beer is dark, and the only thing left to do is taste it.

FIS hits your palate like a semi-melted milkshake or warm syrup - this stuff is thick, bold, and robust beyond belief. So many traditional RIS flavors clashing, yet executed so elegantly well. Deeply roasted malts, hot molasses, dark, thick espresso - it's all there. Some light hints of sweetness come through; licorice, old figs, anise, dark fudge - but the sweetness is balanced extremely well by a huge wave of hops. At 90 IBUs, this RIS packs a punch in the hop department - slightly floral, leafy, ashy, dry, and a touch spicy, the hop bitterness plays well with the malt bomb and makes this 10.5% stout incredibly drinkable.

The alcohol is present, warming, and adds a bold character without being abrasive or off-putting. A nice smokey and campfire-roasted element can be found in FIS; almost similar to Founder's Porter, only amped up about ten times. A nice woody, charred, and smoked flavor in the aftertaste really adds a great deal to the already massive flavor profile. Coupled with the huge, creamy, and thick body, this beer is one of the most bad-ass things I've ever had the pleasure of drinking. Carbonation was just right, enough to make the body silky and bring out the flavors.

Good god, Founder's knows what the hell they're doing over there in Grand Rapids. For the longest time, I used to rave about FBS, but the FIS takes things to a whole new level. I know they are slightly different styles, but this is a pinnacle in Founders' line-up and really, a pinnacle in RIS's altogether if you ask me. Kind of hard to find, even in season, but worth taking the time to seek out a few 4-packs. This beer is goddamn delicious.

EDIT: recently had a bottle aged two years (bottled Jan 2011, enjoyed Jan 2013). The alcohol was still bold, still assertive, and still mild enough to enjoy perfectly. The smokey, campfire aspect was a little toned down, but this allowed for the chocolate to really jump out. Mouth feel was still silky smooth, and though the carbonation had lost some of its bang, it was still enough to produce that gorgeous, dark tan head. I think I prefer this one fresh, but it's amazing either way.

tectactoe, Jan 08, 2013
Photo of NHbeerguy
4.48/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2013 bottle poured into a snifter

Pours a super black. A nice 1 inch mocha head when poured. Dissapears to a nice ring around the glass. Leaves great lacing.

Smell is slight coffee with roasted malts. slight smokieness. A great beer I am gathering.

Taste is amazing. Coffee, chocolate, raosted malts maybe even dark fruits. This beer is awesome for the price. Nice taste from start to finish.

Feel is what you would expect from a RIS. Thick with a smooth texture.

Overall this is a great all around beer. Glad I have many more to enjoy over the next several months/years.

NHbeerguy, Yesterday at 11:55 PM
Photo of wingedeel
4.16/5  rDev -4.6%

wingedeel, Monday at 09:22 PM
Photo of xanarchyx
4.4/5  rDev +0.9%

xanarchyx, Monday at 04:45 AM
Photo of jmartinger
4.92/5  rDev +12.8%

jmartinger, Monday at 04:44 AM
Photo of flr0605
4.68/5  rDev +7.3%

flr0605, Sunday at 04:37 PM
Photo of Smokesnotes
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

Smokesnotes, Sunday at 03:56 PM
Photo of smaddock
3.52/5  rDev -19.3%

smaddock, Sunday at 02:40 PM
Photo of Dimos23
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Dimos23, Saturday at 08:24 PM
Photo of drew74
3.48/5  rDev -20.2%

drew74, Saturday at 03:49 AM
Photo of vinylrooster
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

vinylrooster, Saturday at 02:18 AM
Photo of Nietzsches_Horse
4.51/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nietzsches_Horse, Saturday at 02:16 AM
Photo of buzzedup
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

buzzedup, Oct 16, 2014
Photo of tanksfoles
4.16/5  rDev -4.6%

tanksfoles, Oct 16, 2014
Photo of Jeff412pgh
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Jeff412pgh, Oct 15, 2014
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4/5  rDev -8.3%

CheChe, Oct 15, 2014
Photo of wiescins
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

wiescins, Oct 15, 2014
Photo of Clarkson
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%

Clarkson, Oct 15, 2014
Photo of livingtodie
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

livingtodie, Oct 15, 2014
Photo of djchrismac
4/5  rDev -8.3%

djchrismac, Oct 14, 2014
Photo of Jameson_Daniel
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

Jameson_Daniel, Oct 14, 2014
Photo of stencom1
4/5  rDev -8.3%

stencom1, Oct 14, 2014
Photo of Thor0082
4/5  rDev -8.3%

Thor0082, Oct 14, 2014
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Founders Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 5,881 ratings.