1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Founders Imperial Stout - Founders Brewing Company

Founders Imperial StoutFounders Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,938 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 4938
Reviews: 1548
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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 4,938 | Reviews: 1,548 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of orangesol


4.2/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on nitro-tap at Al's of Hampden into a nonic pint.

A - Pours used motor oil black with a small film of khaki colored head, dissipating down to a spotty film, leaving thin rings of lacing down the glass.

S - Lots of flavor going on in this one but mostly coffee, chocolate, dark roasted malt, booze, and a tiny bit of vanilla. Not too over the top like others, just a solid Imperial Stout.

T - Lots of rich dark roasted coffee mixes well with the dark roasted malt and dulled chocolaty sweetness. The booze comes thru more and more as it begins to come to room temperature. Finish is very roasty with tons of it lingering long after the finish. Not too bad.

M - Heavy body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Lots of heavy roast in both the feel and the finish. Good overall balance but the booze crept in toward the end.

D - Pretty good. I enjoyed this one but the roast began to wear me down over the course of the glass. Still a very nice beer. Glad I finally got to try it.

Serving type: nitro-tap

03-07-2011 19:11:27 | More by orangesol
Photo of thain709


4.15/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - The body is black as night and has a head that is pretty much non exsistant...there is a dark brown, wispy cap that formed and became a bead...spotty lacing

S - A lot of roasted malt with dark chocolate and roasted espresso beans mixed in...there is a trace of alcohol on the nose

T - Again, the roasted malt is there and it's the first thing you pick up...it gives way to bitter, dark chocolate and a dark fruit flavor...I'm getting dates and raisins...the ending turns into bitter, roasted coffee/espresso beans...the coffee flavor isn't as pronounced as the chocolate

M - Full bodied...creamy and smooth...bitter chocolate

D - A very nice Imperial Stout that has a great mouthfeel...had it beside a Green Flash Double Stout and this one was my clear favorite...the flavors were full and rich...watch the ABV though because you can't taste it

Serving type: nitro-tap

03-03-2011 20:51:43 | More by thain709
Photo of ZagZagg


4.43/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into goblet glass

A: Chocolate syrup, motor oil, viscous mean obsidian brew that is black as night. Bit of a mean pour brings out a two finger head, the off color of rose gold. A frothy appearance, looks like it has some carbonation based on the head that formed, foam fingers grip the curvature of the glass as the head begins to recede.

S: Rich, deep, burnt coffee, strong roasted/burnt malt, light caramel possibly playing up some sweet toffee. Notes of dark muddled fruits cherry and prune, fig or fig leaves - nose is dominated by dark dark chocolate

T: Blasted up front with bitter burnt malt and burnt coffee. The initial palate is almost dry ushering in a baker’s chocolate tang that is rather piercing. A roasted profile prevails in the middle mouth, where the experience gains a slight sweetness that takes the edge off the burnt character. Burnt/smoky presentation is really astringent; however this enables a sweeter caramel, toffee, and chocolate undertone to balance the flavor. Not noticing a traditional hop presence, slightly warming though not boozy. Big time chocolate malt bomb that has a bitter-sweet duality

M: Full body, viscous as hell, with sharp dryness that embosses itself on the palate - The aftertaste is akin to letting fine chocolate melt on the tongue - Thick, creamy, and powerful – low to no carbonation.

O: Damn this is good. Drinks a lot like TenFidy (one of my favorites). Rich, creamy flavor with a superior malt and chocolate punch - Fantastic mouthfeel really pulls the whole experience together - a delightful sipper, superb flavor, an excellent overall experience.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2014 01:50:02 | More by ZagZagg
Photo of itsscience


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

It was presented to me black with about a finger of brown head. Smelling it, I get a lot of roasted grains with chocolate, charred wood with a hint of smoke, some coffee, and a slight hop aroma. The taste is much more chocolate-forward. It has a dark chocolate and cocoa powder profile carrying a vein of caramel, with a creamy, full mouthfeel throughout. It finishes with a roasty burnt oat taste with a manageable level of astringency.

Serving type: on-tap

04-23-2014 05:24:00 | More by itsscience
Photo of puboflyons

New Hampshire

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

Out of the 12 fl. oz. bottled 1/6/14. Sampled on April 22, 2014.

The pour is deep jet black with a dark brown head that fades some but leaves lacing clinging to the side of the glass.

The aroma is bold with chocolate and dark roasted malts, a hint of dark fruit, a little smoke, and earthy hops that are played down.

The body is bold and creamy.

The taste also brings out the dark rich malty character with a biting early bitterness roaring up from behind and leading to a dry finish. This is about as luscious as an Imperial Stout can be. Definitely a beer to return to and the price is reasonable.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2014 21:51:49 | More by puboflyons
Photo of Ohiolager


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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.


Serving type: bottle

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


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


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 Realbeer1542

New York

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

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 - Dark Chocolate, Coffee and luxurious.

Appearance - Dark brown head to interesting coffee like lacking.

Taste -Dark chocolate, rich cappuccino, light cream, sweet dry finish.

Mouthfeel - Smooth, full stout goodness. Low carbonation. Nice creaminess, flat dry finish.

Overall - Excellent! especially on the second day. Do not eat any food with this one. Enjoy this monster hours before or hours after dinner. Trying to pair with salt or sweet diminished the experience and created an over bitter taste. Drinking without food was fairly erotic and very satisfying. Wish my wife would try it with me but to dark for her. I really like this and enjoyed thoroughly on a cold winters night. The buzz is noteworthy as well if you stick to less than 3 pints. I will look for this again next fall/winter/spring.

Serving type: growler

03-23-2014 21:47:36 | More by Realbeer1542
Photo of 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

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


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


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


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


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


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

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


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
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Founders Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 4,938 ratings.