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Founders Imperial Stout - Founders Brewing Company

Founders Imperial StoutFounders Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,914 Ratings
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 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 JohnnyChicago


4.25/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 64oz growler into a snifter.

A: This is about as perfect a picture an RIS can paint. Pours like melted black chocolate and forms a beautiful brown head that refuses to fall. Beautiful.

S: Rich chocolate and maltiness. Hops are citruscy, medicinal and earthy.

T: Bakers chocolate, tobacco, toffee. Hops are big here and balance the rediculous malt flavours very nicely.

D: For a beer this big, the does not drink like it. Mouthfeel is full and velvety.

Overall: This is a remarkably good beer. One thing you can say about Founders is that they know their stouts. Smooth and balanced, yet assertive and extreme. Damned good beer.

note: I also had this in bottles. I saw no change between the two containers; same great beer.

Serving type: growler

01-27-2012 23:57:04 | More by JohnnyChicago
Photo of DoubleSimcoe

New York

4.6/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Founders Imperial Stout, one of my favorite beers of all time. 64-oz growler filled at New Beer in Manhattan for $18 plus tax.

Appearance: I love how this looks and pours, thick and intense and rich. The way every Imperial Stout should look! Black and dense, with just over one finger of café-con-leche head. Good retention, beautiful lacing.

Smell: Roasty-toasty goodness! Kalamata olives, smooth anchovies, balsamic vinegar. Cold coffee, bitter chocolate, some hops… gasoline. Strange and alluring.

Taste: Follows nose, with a more pronounced chocolate and coffee taste. The savory part is still there, pickling liquid and olive oil. Smoke and a tad of wood. Prickly hops at the end and freshly-made choco truffle. A bit of booze and gasoline, reminds me of smelling gas right out of the nozzle. Fairly simple, but so outrageously delicious! I can’t get enough of this.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, creamy, rich but not overwhelming. Slightly dry at the end but not overtly so. Superb chocolaty feel all around. Full body, medium-to-full flavor and perfect carbonation. A great mouthfeel indeed.

Overall: This thing is amazing. On tap, bottle or growler… it is THE perfect example of the quintessential Imperial Stout. Drinks beautiful, tastes great, so well balanced. Hard to find a flaw. I seize any and every chance to drink Founders Imperial Stout. Had it last year on a 32-oz growler from Whole Foods Columbus Avenue, but this time around (January 2011) I liked it even better.

Serving type: growler

01-21-2012 22:50:14 | More by DoubleSimcoe
Photo of Holland


4.15/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a growler into a pint glass. Got the growler from Founders, and it traveled thousands of miles in a cooler. I taped the top with packing tape, so it had a better seal. Left it in the refrigerator for a month, had some one day and some the next. This review is from the growler, though I tried it on tap too.

A: beautifully syrupy and thick. Looked like used engine oil as the cliche goes, except it didn't have nasty sediment. The head was small, about a half inch at first, but as it warmed the lacing was nice and left bits of head on top with each sip. Not as sticky as I thought.

S: smells of wood, earthiness, roasted malts. This is certainly a malt bomb, and I love it.

T: yes, it's still a malt bomb. Here I get some chocolate and coffee, but not much. The heft of the beer taste and smell are the malts, but you can even detect some of the hop bitterness. Beautiful.

M: thick, coats your mouth nicely, and has a crisp hop to it that is almost drowned out by the roasted malts.

O: a pint is a lot to have of this, but it was worth it. It was only slightly better on tap - the growler keeps forever!

Serving type: growler

08-09-2011 16:27:33 | More by Holland
Photo of sendsilk


4.9/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is freaking awesome. No, they don't have a special release for this beer like Dark Lord or Darkness or Hunahpu. But if they did this beer would be completely sought after and considered rare.

Awesome mouthfeel, delicious chocolate flavor assault the palate and nostrils upon first sip. There's nothing that can be done to improve on this beer. On of my top 5 favorite stouts of all time.

Thanks Founders, for making this accessible to people without having us have wait in a line at 8am for a 1 day only release.

Serving type: growler

06-03-2011 04:04:05 | More by sendsilk
Photo of Vdubb86


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

Served in a mug

Thanks to The Stretch for sharing the growler I got for him at the brewery with me.

This is my second review of this beer, because IT GOT BETTER. This has the blackness of the abyss of space with a brown foam that is amazing. The smell is rather vacant, but has hints of coffee and molasses. The taste is a combination of lots of molasses, some star anise, coffee and lots of cocoa powder. This is really smooth going down. I can't believe it lasted this long in the growler (4 months). It's really really tasty. Overall this is one of the better imperial stouts that I have had the good fortune to have. It goes to show that at the right temperature Imperial stouts can be one of the best styles around. I love this thing.

Serving type: growler

05-28-2011 22:24:02 | More by Vdubb86
Photo of CHickman

New York

4.78/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours pitch black in color with a 1/2 inch creamy brown head that looked like a chocolate milkshake and faded slowly to average and left a ring around the top of the beer with good spotty lacing sliding down the glass slowly; there was an oil slick/spill appearance on top which looked like the Gulf of Mexico a few years back.

Smells of roasted coffee, cocoa, chocolate, rum or bourbon, light vanilla, burnt wood, molasses, burnt grains, sweet roasted malt, caramel, toffee, and a syrupy sweetness that reminds me of a coffee pot spiked with booze that was left on the stove too long in an old coffee pot. With that being said, this aroma was delicious and so inviting to me that as I was sipping the beer I was savoring the aroma at the same time. An excellent smelling beer, and what I had hoped for in an Imperial Stout from Founders.

The taste was equally as impressive as the aroma, with the same components in the flavor: it starts out with sweet roasted malt, roasted coffee, molasses, cocoa, toffee, chocolate, and then come the syrupy sweetness that then leads to a slight bitterness from what tastes like citrus hops mixed with a burnt Starbucks French Roast. It felt like there was a chalky residue on my tongue after the swallow, like I had just licked dry charcoal but it left a sweet cocoa powder instead of burnt wood; really quite an odd sensation that was a pleasure on my tastebuds and very tasty. Then there are the flavors of bourbon, light vanilla like it was aged in wood or a barrel, burnt wood, brown sugar, hot fudge, and some light dark fruits that were so repressed by the toasted coffee and roasted malts that I couldn't even make them out. As this beer warmed it got better, more complex, and yet stayed true to all of the sweet roasted flavors that made the initial taste blast so delicious. Quite simply, this is an excellent tasting beer and one that I slowed down to enjoy more so I wouldn't finish the whole glass so quickly.

Mouthfeel is creamy, slick and smooth, to the point of being almost watery; the body is medium to heavy, but the carbonation is almost non-existent and flows down like water, or as easy as a Guinness in beer terms.

Extremely high drinkability, as the 10.5% ABV barely peeks through, even with the slight bourbon flavor coming through in waves throughout this masterpiece. For any stout lover or coffee lover out there, this is a must try beer which I thought was excellent overall. A very high recommendation and a beer that I hope to have again soon.

Serving type: growler

05-05-2011 03:32:46 | More by CHickman
Photo of antoines15


3.48/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a growler after visiting the brewery on the KBS release day. The beer pours as dark as oil with a 1/2 inch head that remains throughout. Also, it has good lacing even though my glass wasn't cleaned properly. The taste is dark chocolate and coffee. The alcohol is pretty well hidden and the aftertaste is not bad. Overall, it's another good offering from Founders, but not one of my favorites.

Serving type: growler

03-19-2010 18:32:43 | More by antoines15
Photo of HeyItsChili


4.38/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a growler of 08 vintage Founders Imperial Stout from the Charleston Beer Exchange.

A - I poured this into a tulip glass. Pours an almost midnight-black brown with a thin, microscopically bubbled dark khaki head and quickly slips away to the edges of the glass.

S - Mellow coffee; perhaps was bitter at one time but has been mellowed by aging. Dark chocolate and cocoa, and a hint of hoppiness.

T - Up front it is like gourmet dark chocolate with a touch of added sweetness. Really faint hop bite in there. Ends with a really rich, cocoa filled, alcoholic bite to the aftertaste. Really, really nice.

M - Viscous, slightly more than medium bodied, decent carbonation.


Serving type: growler

01-15-2010 00:31:27 | More by HeyItsChili
Photo of kbutler1


4.35/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured form a growler my brother brought out to me from MI.
A: Pours a deep brown/black color with a reddish tan color head with small bubbles. Head slowly goes down forming a very small head on this beer
S: Bittersweet chocolote, malt, and coffee smell
T: Very heavy coffee/espresso flavor turing to bitter on the tongue. Very complex taste
M: Heavy, which I think is appropriate for this style
D: very drinkable. Definately a sipper that gets better as it warms up a little bit.

Bottle. 2009 vintage, it's been sitting in my cellar for a while. Poured into a tulip glass a very dark brown/black color with a big, think fluffy dark tan head that slowly settles down the glass. Nice left from the head. A big whiff yields some very strong notes of dark chocolate, molassess, coffee, and a slight hint of booze. The mouthfeel is surprisingly a little lighter than I thought with a nice medium, velvety feel. Dark roast coffee flavors mix really well with dark chocolate. There is some sweetness that is really nice in this. Some licorice notes as well. Very nice beer my only knock would be the mouthfeel, wish is was just a little heavier.

Serving type: growler

04-13-2009 00:22:31 | More by kbutler1
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 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
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Founders Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 4,914 ratings.