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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.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

5,677 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 5,677
Reviews: 1,589
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 8.72%
Wants: 509
Gots: 1,366 | FT: 119
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: 5,677 | Reviews: 1,589 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Mayo2323
Mayo2323

Colorado

4.25/5  rDev -2.5%

02-19-2014 03:51:44 | More by Mayo2323
Photo of AndrewScottPentland
AndrewScottPentland

Florida

4.25/5  rDev -2.5%

02-18-2014 18:07:47 | More by AndrewScottPentland
Photo of CC4IPA
CC4IPA

Alabama

5/5  rDev +14.7%

02-18-2014 18:06:23 | More by CC4IPA
Photo of MacStinson
MacStinson

Michigan

4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

02-18-2014 17:57:56 | More by MacStinson
Photo of BriMaster56
BriMaster56

New York

4/5  rDev -8.3%

02-18-2014 16:01:34 | More by BriMaster56
Photo of david18
david18

New York

4/5  rDev -8.3%

02-18-2014 13:22:02 | More by david18
Photo of LambicPentameter
LambicPentameter

Kansas

4.73/5  rDev +8.5%

Enjoyed out of a 12 oz brown bottle with a bottling date of 12/8/13. Poured into a large 22 oz brandy snifter.

Appearance - As I begin to pour it, I'm struck by just how inky and black this beer looks, as close to used motor oil as I've ever seen in a beer. I finish the pour a little aggressively to coax a bit more head out of the beer and am rewarded with a one-finger head the color of rich, decadent brownies. The foam fades after a few minutes, leaving a sudsy rim and mottled film of dark sepia and bits of sticky lacing along the sides of the glass, like mini chocolate chips.

Smell - This is probably the best-smelling non-BA imperial stout I've ever inhaled. Heck, it's up there amongst all stouts, period. A decadent layering of rich roasted barley, charred toast, baker's chocolate, fresh french roast grounds, molasses, burnt caramel, and even some faint hints of smokiness. The depth and complexity of this beer just continues to amaze, and I'm all the more impressed at the fact that it accomplishes such complexity without the aid of the boozy notes that will often accompany stouts that sit in liquor barrels.

Taste - Honestly, I'm so blown away by the smell that it's all but impossible that I wouldn't be let down by the taste. That being said, saying I'm let down isn't fair to the beer. Many of the same rich notes that are present in the aroma represent themselves well in the taste. Roasted barley and bittersweet chocolate, along with more subtle (but noticeable all the same) notes of espresso beans. Where I did not pick up the heat in the smell, I'm now able to detect the high ABV, but without the esters that can sometimes make a beer seem out of balance. There is a faint bitterness, but it works well with the sweetness of the malt, like a how good counterpoint will make two separate melodies sound as if they are part of the same harmonic expression.

Mouthfeel - About the heaviest-bodied beer I've ever had, and moderate-to-low carbonation, which is admittedly surprising for the style. Perhaps the pure chewy viscosity of the body has impeded the ability for the lacing to get any purchase on the side of the glass--it's just too heavy.

Overall, this is one of the best beers I've had in awhile. It's a take that doesn't rely on any crazy components like additives or barrel-aging, but instead is just a perfect example on how the art of brewing can create a wonderfully delicious beverage. It was good by itself, but could be easily paired with food. Sweet and big enough to be a "dessert beer", but with enough balance to drink just anytime. Right about now I'm wishing I had picked up more than a 4-pack.

02-18-2014 06:17:40 | More by LambicPentameter
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jmint

Missouri

4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

02-18-2014 05:58:14 | More by jmint
Photo of Kevincredible
Kevincredible

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev -8.3%

02-18-2014 04:03:14 | More by Kevincredible
Photo of RollCast
RollCast

Georgia

4.25/5  rDev -2.5%

02-18-2014 03:15:18 | More by RollCast
Photo of jaycar06
jaycar06

New Hampshire

4.25/5  rDev -2.5%

02-18-2014 03:14:18 | More by jaycar06
Photo of rudabegga9
rudabegga9

Georgia

4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

02-18-2014 01:57:44 | More by rudabegga9
Photo of jbird_1973
jbird_1973

New York

4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

02-17-2014 20:15:59 | More by jbird_1973
Photo of jaymo18
jaymo18

Virginia

4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

02-17-2014 18:11:14 | More by jaymo18
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tabascosigned

Virginia

4.25/5  rDev -2.5%

02-17-2014 13:09:38 | More by tabascosigned
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johnyb

Florida

4/5  rDev -8.3%

02-17-2014 12:51:10 | More by johnyb
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ChipMurray

Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

02-17-2014 10:07:58 | More by ChipMurray
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alwaysplayin

California

4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

02-17-2014 05:52:20 | More by alwaysplayin
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Mcwill51

Kentucky

4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

02-17-2014 03:49:23 | More by Mcwill51
Photo of mjurney
mjurney

Texas

4.78/5  rDev +9.6%

Appearance:
Pitch black color. Thick brown head, looks very creamy.

Aroma:
Fudge, brownies, some dark fruit, a little expresso.

Taste/Finish/Body:
Very rich, deep roasted malts, bitter dark chocolate, woody, coffee, burnt toast, with some black cherries. Finish is bitter and dry. Body is full, syrupy, dry, smooth, warmth.

Overall:
It's a world class beer.

02-17-2014 00:29:19 | More by mjurney
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ScotNH

New Hampshire

4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

02-16-2014 23:35:30 | More by ScotNH
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RIKIM

Rhode Island

4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

02-16-2014 21:03:38 | More by RIKIM
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Roguer

Connecticut

4.44/5  rDev +1.8%

The most immediate visual feature of this beer is a massive, chocolatey dark brown head. It pours motor oil opaque black, as expected. The head has excellent retention and leaves nice thick lacing early on.

The aroma is initially dominated by cocoa and chocolate malt, grape-tinged booze, barley, and cream. As it warms, the significant hop presence comes through in earthy, citrus, and resin tones, taking on a slight black IPA aspect.

Smooth flavor: the major bitterness and roasted flavors come through on the back-end and are well-balanced. Up front, there's chocolate malt, cream, barley, and dry cocoa.

Smooth and full mouthfeel, although it's not so much chewy as it is slick. Coats the mouth for quite a while, with the hoppy bitterness shining through. Excellent balance, with a huge back-end bite and dry, earthy hoppiness.

This beer carries a significant back-end bite, but it never unbalances the flavor.

Considering I just had a Narwhal last night, I can certainly put this beer in context of great (non-BA) imperial stouts. My senses' consensus is that, yes: this is a great, great stout, worthy of enjoying along with any of the big boys out there. It's not a coffee stout, and it's not excessively chocolate-focused; it's just a solid, basic, but exceptionally well-crafted imperial stout. No more, but certainly not less.

02-16-2014 19:43:09 | More by Roguer
Photo of KFrank729
KFrank729

Ohio

4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

02-16-2014 17:27:09 | More by KFrank729
Photo of GRap
GRap

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

02-16-2014 17:25:11 | More by GRap
Founders Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 5,677 ratings.