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Founders Imperial Stout - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Imperial StoutFounders Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

1,778 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,778
Hads: 7,300
Avg: 4.33
pDev: 17.32%
Wants: 713
Gots: 2,214 | FT: 154
Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout | 10.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

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

75 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,778 | Hads: 7,300
Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
3.82/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

BLACK body, dark mocha head. I'm comparing the pour to a black background, and it is still starkly black. Aroma is deep, with dark chocolate, charred and toasted malt, a fair amount of earthy and piney hops, and some alcohol burn. The flavor is decidedly acidic and bitter; lots of hop resins, roasted malt, baker's chocolate, alcohol. Thick, full body, yet moderately carbonated.
It's big, but misses the mark for me. Too much acidity, which while within the appropriate range for the style, detracts from any warmth of the other flavors. Also too highly carbonated, and too much presence of pure alcohol; boozy is good, ethanol is not, even when it's faint. Maybe with some age this would mellow out into my preferences, but as of now it is not a favorite.

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Photo of CraigP83
4.48/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black, huge 2 finger mocha colored head. Smells like nesquik chocolate milk. Hops come through on the flavor, mouthfeel is silky smooth for the style but finishes dry.

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Photo of Chiefy770
4.59/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 Fluid Ounce Bottle
Served in a Snifter
Bottled on November 24th, 2015
Reviewed on February 2nd, 2016

Eyes
Poured a syrupy dark-brown body. A brown head formed, roughly two fingers thick. Excellent head retention with plenty of sticky lacing.

Nose
Roasted malts dominated the overall aroma. Dark roast coffee. Toasted nuts. Dark chocolate. Caramel. Faint hint of alcohol.

Tongue
Big hit of roasted malts. Dense layers of cocoa, espresso, caramel, and charred toast. Mild hint of bitterness, similar to the acidic bitterness in coffee and dark chocolate. Finished warm.

Mouthfeel
Dense. Full-bodied. Chewy at times. Low carbonation.

Notes
Remarkable RIS. Founders did an excellent job of showcasing the naturally sweet characteristics of an imperial stout without making the brew a sugar bomb. I cannot recommend this beer enough!

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Photo of Slowjamcdub
4.16/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Wow, this blew me away. Perfect definition of an imperial stout. Amazing beer, under hyped for sure. Dessert beer very heavy very sweet very good. The blackest beer with the blackest head I've ever seen. Well done 8.9/10 Great beer!

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Photo of NateDyk47
4.4/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had a bottle of this at home.

Look: jet black with half a finger of dark brown head
Smell: dark chocolate, dark coffee, caramel
Taste: bitter dark chocolate & coffee
Feel: heavy body, not very carbonated

Overall: really solid beer from Founders. Not quite in line with KBS/CBS, but really close and much more available for a more reasonable price point.

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Photo of 11-52_4hops
4.39/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I am not sure how a stout could look any more appetizing -deep black color; thick - I've poured motor oil with less viscosity; nice tan head with significant lacing (or my glass is real dirty -- will give Founders the benefit of the doubt). Subdued nose - dark chocolate and malts. Taste - straight forward excellence -- not a lot of extra frills, but what this beer does, it does exceptionally well; like the nose, dark chocolate and malts, exceptional bitterness (yes the 75 IBU comes through). Mouth feel is silky smooth, nice carbonation, and a lingering bitterness (see 75 IBU again); high ABV masked a bit -- I think this one could catch up with you. Overall -- this is a truly outstanding Imperial Stout. Yet another example of Founders showing their expertise with dark beers.

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Photo of TheKlevin
5/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Textbook definition of an imperial stout. Amazing beer fresh or aged, I have bottles going back to 2011 and they all taste amazing. Extremely under hyped beer, and my favorite non adjunct non barrel aged stout.

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Photo of Zebulan
4.4/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Extremely dark pour with dark brown foam.
S: Not an overpowering smell but strong enough; dark malt and chocolate smell.
T: Warm from the start. Chocolate taste and a good bitter taste, espresso bitter.
F: Solid body. Warm all the way around.
O: I really like this. It is simple and pleasing stout but I know it is crafted extremely well. Any RIS fan would like to have this.

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Photo of rbenitez25
4.58/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Great pour and great head. Very much an imperial stout. Strong nose, roasted beans and chocolate with a bit licorice. Very much roasted coffee on the tongue. Mouthful of a beer.

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Photo of Nic1985Ace
4.77/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle with a bottling date of 11/24/15

L: Pours a rich dark black with a thick tan head that waterfalls down the glass like a Guinness.

S: Smells of dark chocolate, dark fruits, and roasted malt.

T: Taste is toasted nuts, dark chocolate, dates, plums. Alcohol is hidden well. Flavors open up nicely as it warms.

F: Smooth, good carbonation. Very nice going down.

O: This is a great stout. Not much not to like here. I was a little surprised by the fruitiness here, but it adds some nice character to the beer.

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Photo of EMH73
4.53/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a 3 finger mocha head, very well laced. Smells of roasted malts, chocolate and coffee. Tastes just as it smells with a slightly bitter finish. Founders does it again, another great beer.

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Photo of MIBeerGeek
4.11/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured deep black with a very deep mocha colored head that lingered for a bit. Smelled of roasted malts and chocolate, slight licorice smells as well. Tastes of roasted malts with a slight smoked malt under tone as it finishes dry and slightly bitter. Nice heavy winter beer that goes down well and is not overpowering or too hot. Overall I'm looking forward to enjoying a few more and aging a few out. Will run into more next year!

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Photo of MAFC_Trainer
4.68/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

L - poured into a founder sniffer glass. Chocolate brown thick creamy head with a dark black thick body
S - chocolate, coffee, toffee, maple, sweet, malty
T - just like the smell. Chocolate, toffee up front with a malty sweet caramel maple after taste
F - super smooth beer that goes down easy w low carbonation. This is a thick beer you can chew on that really coats the palate
O - when it comes to imperial stouts, this is the best I've ever had. A sexy looking beer full of flavor and a thick body that you can chew on. Founders never disappoints and this is a great stout that meets everything that you want in an imperial stout.

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Photo of Lingenbrau
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another knock out from Founders. Just what you would expect from an Imperial stout. Rich, dense, chocolate, roasted, sweet and bitter...and delicious. Cheers!

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Photo of TequilaTom
4.48/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle that I nitrogenated with the NitroBrew I got as an Xmas present and poured into a snifter. First thing I noted was how viscous this monster of a stout is! Poured a thick, deep, dark brown with a 1-2 finger dark tan head. Smells of roasted malts (duh). Thick and creamy on the palate. Took my time drinking this one as it is VERY filling. Felt pretty good once the 10.5% ABV kicked in. A good brew to enjoy on a cold winter's eve. Thanks Founders!!

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Photo of SaulFox
4.46/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep black with dark mocha head. Elegant lacing.
Dark chocolate, roasty malt, very light espresso.
Roasted espresso bitterness, rich chocolate.
Rich heavy mouthfeel.
Very nice winter brew....glad us Californians are included in Founder's distribution.

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Photo of PA-hunter
3.38/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured 12 oz bottle into snifter glass. 10.5% abv

Appearance- Pours a coal black with a two finger bark brown head that dissipates fast. Quite opaque.

Smell- Earthy. Roasted, sweet malt. Chocolate and licorice aromas.

Taste- A heavily roasted malt up front. Some chocolate mixed in with the malt flavor. A smoky flavor fills the palate. Mocha towards the finish. This stout finishes extremely bitter.

Mouthfeel- Extra thick/heavy bodied. Low carbonation.

Overall- Alright. Not as complex as I thought it would be considering it used ten different malts. This stout was also unusually bitter for it being fresh. It detracted from the smoothness. I would say this would be much better if aged a year or two.

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Photo of Tonyjenlasc
4.62/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Look - Black as night. Gorgeous two finger mocha head. Killer lacing that stains the glass when you swirl.
Smell - Bakers chocolate, coffee, smokiness, dark roasted malts
Taste - Big pop of dark chocolate up front followed by espresso type coffee bitterness. Some smokiness/ash on the back end.
Feel - Nice full mouthfeel. Creamy, smooth, mouth coating, thick.....exactly how I like my stouts!

Overall - One of my favorite, if not my favorite, seasonal stouts. Possibly the best non BA stout out in my opinion.

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Photo of The_Snow_Bird
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

The look is what I dream about, perfect pitch black like used motor oil. Very dark caramel color head. Has a roasted coffee smell along with some dark chocolate. Very thick with a roasted taste.

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Photo of ThaneMcC
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep, inky black to black with a fb of tan foam which resolves to a fine lacing with scant carbonation. Smells of cocoa, coffee, leather, a bit smoky, roasted malts. Tastes sweet malts forward, mid note of unsweetened cocoa, expresso, smoky/leathery, hint of barnyard/wet burlap, and nice piney twang as the final note with a bit of alcohol tingle and fairly clean finish with just a bit of sweet malty tackiness that lingers pleasantly (like a sweet port or sherry). Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with enough carbonation to keep it from becoming syrupy and just the right amount of alcohol to add a tingle and warmth.
Solid imperial stout .

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Photo of GreatStoutman
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2014 on draft. Pours thick, oily black with milk chocolate head. Leaves nice lace in its way down.

Nose is chocolate and toasty malts. Not overpowering.

Huge, chewy stout. Minimal carbonation and very balanced bitterness. Pretty sweet but very drinkable. Not sure how they got this 2014 keg, but it's awesome.

Overall this is everything it's hyped up to be. If you've got some fresh ones I would vote for letting it age a year or so; the payoff is tremendous.

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Photo of Ksmoove27
4.27/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look - beautiful jet black with red tint and 2 finger mocha head..heavy ring lacing throughout

Smell - malt, mocha and coffee...not overwhelming...could be because it was refrigerated

Taste - roasted malt, baking cocoa...complex but not overwhelming...a little smokiness

Feel - silky and smooth...really nice creamy texture...medium to heavy bodied...not a heavy booze flavor for the ABV...a little bit heavy on the carbonation but not too distracting

Overall - really good...I should not have refrigerated these and served them at a cellar temp...it is really smooth and has a good taste, but the aroma was not overwhelming...leaving it a half step behind my favs (like Founders Breakfast Stout)

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Photo of hardysf
4.33/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Fantastic Shelf beer. The pour is thick and viscous like oil. Jet black color with nice tan head. Leaves some foam behind but not much lacing. Smell is of roasted malts, coffee, and chocolate. Also a smell of ethanol which isn't exactly a want of mine for beer. The taste and mouthfeel is awesome, no alcohol burn or taste. Lots of roastiness and chocolate. Hints of coffee. The mouthfeel is spectacular and I appreciate that there isnt a sweetness lingering, but instead it finishes dry and robust.

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Photo of THSdrummer
4.52/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a jet black with a thin, dark creme head. It leaves behind a ring of lace. It smells of malts and cocoa. The taste opens up as a bit of cocoa, mixed with booze. Very tasty, and easy to drink though. The feel is rather incredible. It feels robust, and creamy. It is a delight to drink. Overall, very pleased with this beer. It's quite incredible.

Served in a 12oz snifter.

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Photo of ccg
4.11/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 2015-12-02. Opened 2016-01-14.
Wow, this beer looks amazing. It has the thick, motor oil look you'd expect from a top-tier stout, but I can't remember the last time I've seen this kind of head on a beer. It's at least a full inch of foam, thick with tiny bubbles, and it's dark brown. As it settles, it leaves a ton of lacing on the glass and lightens in color, settling into a thin, tan-colored layer with some larges bubbles around the edge. If you swirl it around, you can see a million tiny bubbles marching through the legs.
The smell is initially all roasted malt with some coffee and cocoa notes. Unfortunately, if the beer is served too cold (straight out of a standard refrigerator), the smell fades quickly.
The flavor is coffee, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and smoke, all under a layer of slight hoppy bitterness. As it warms, the finish seems to become lighter and less bitter.
It's smooth and somewhat chewy, but it does not have the viscosity I expected from the way it looked when poured.
A beautifully well-made imperial stout.

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Founders Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 1,778 ratings.