Founders Imperial Stout - Founders Brewing Company

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Founders Imperial StoutFounders Imperial Stout

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

1,711 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 1,711
Hads: 6,948
rAvg: 4.32
pDev: 7.18%
Wants: 660
Gots: 1,991 | FT: 151
Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

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

90 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,711 | Hads: 6,948
Photo of stompilator
4.64/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 12oz. bottle, into a snifter. Bottled 12/2/2014.

A - Poured completely jet black, milk-chocolate-brown head.

S - Chocolate, burnt sugar, toffee, booze.

T - Big explosion of baker's chocolate and toffee. Immensely sweet, with an incredibly elusive, complex malt profile. A very subtle roastiness hangs out simmering underneath this, meshing with the hop bitterness that comes out a bit near the end. Booze and dry chocolate hang out in the aftertaste.

M - Hugely full body, incredibly silky smooth, with a little dryness.

O - It's not often an imperial stout hits this level of excellence without any adjuncts. A gargantuan, wildly complex brew. (663 characters)

Photo of GrinkoN
4.4/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

L: Black, little head quickly fades

S: dark chocolate, some vanilla, little caramel, roasted coffee bean

T/F: chocolate, light vanilla, some caramel. Light hops yet bitter on the back end. Light carbonation, Full bodied. Fairly balanced.

O: a balanced and flavorful imperial stout. Would definitely buy again though I'd like to try more stouts to see how it holds up against others. (386 characters)

Photo of lakemarkham
4.32/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Looks great. Dark looking beer with a fat, tan head. Lingers for a good while.

Smell is about what you'd expect from a beer of this sort: big and roasty, great malt scent, with just a little bit of molasses. Taste is similar, but with some coffee in there, and a big alcohol bite on it. The alcohol and espresso almost lend themselves to a Kahluha taste.

The feel's not as creamy as I would like, but I may just be spoiled by milk and oatmeal stouts. All in all, this is just a well-done stout. It's not one of those specialty beers that's going to have a whole lot going on, but I would probably fight over the last one in the fridge. (638 characters)

Photo of BSiegs
4.73/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Black with a beautiful tan head. Hard to imagine a better looking pour. Great tasting, get a lot of roast, nice bitterness. Supremely full bodied mouthfeel. Fantastic beer. (172 characters)

Photo of Edman5P
4.19/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on 12/22/2014
Poured out like heavily used motor oil with no head although it tasted quite nice. Sweet dark chocolate and coffee on the nose and a very heavy taste of dark coffee and chocolate on the palate. Very nice imperial stout (241 characters)

Photo of classixIII
4.54/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Great RIS! Thick, black pour, short deep brown head that didn't stay very long. Chocolate, coffee aroma. Big taste, anise, more chocolate and coffee, a tad on the sweet side but the bitterness kicks in with some alcohol at the end. Get some! (241 characters)

Photo of brap
4.59/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

A lot going on with this one. Smokey overtones with other flavors of chocolate, fruit, and sugars that seem to reveal themselves as you drink on. Really fantastic. Very impressed by this and a lot of the beers that Founder's has put out. (240 characters)

Photo of MA_hops
4.42/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Hard hitting Russian imperial!!
A: Midnight black with a thick, mocha head that dissipates into a thin lacing.
S: Roasted malt, raisins, candied fruits, mixed nuts.
T: Superbly balanced between the roastedness character and the slight bitterness. Tastes similar to the aroma.
M: Big beer, thick mouthfeel. Goes down smooth and with a punch!
O: One of the better RIS's out there! (378 characters)

Photo of Arnar_Hallsson
4.34/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very complex taste, creamy and smooth, rich in flavor. Slightly nutty aftertaste where you can really taste the "strength" (alcohol) but in a nice way. (152 characters)

Photo of infinitebruner
4.2/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

May 13, 2015

12 oz bottle, snifter

A – Pours inky, oily black, and very viscous. A half-inch of rich chocolate brown foam, sudsy-bubbly, with very short retention.

S – Rich, dark chocolate, vanilla, some caramel, and boozy alcohol esters/fruitiness. Some pine and/or resin present. A touch of roasted coffee bean and brown sugar.

T – Dark, unsweetened chocolate with very light vanilla and caramel. Treacle and brown sugar, a faint impression of crème brulee. Hop flavor is minimal, but hop bitterness is very high, strong on the finish and lingering long after.

M – Carbonation is low but very much present. Body is full, but not as thick as I expected based on the pour. Sweetness and bitterness are very well balanced. Juicy to start and finishes moderately dry.

O – A well-constructed, balanced, aromatic, and flavorful imperial stout. Intense but still very drinkable… slowly. (907 characters)

Photo of StoneTSR
4.4/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

APPEARANCE: Motor oil in a glass, and this one is particularly motor oil-ish as it pours, just the way I like my stouts. A thin, but well-organized cap of mocha colored foam appears for a moment or two before it dissolves into a lattice work of hubs and connections on the surface of the beer. What little lacing there is is very similar.

SMELL: The roastiness seems smooth and mellow due to the intense chocolate smells. It could be a touch stronger, but pretty good. Despite the 90 IBUs I do not detect any hop aroma.

TASTE: The milk chocolate in here is amazing. It provides a solid backdrop for a host of other flavors, the biggest of which is a big, strong, coffee finish. A hint of grassy hoppiness sneaks in mid-sip (revealing a few of those IBUs), along with some mild citrus.

MOUTHFEEL: This beer is gigantic. Semi-sweet and very full-bodied. Velvety smooth, but with a touch of sparkle. Beautiful feel.

OVERALL: Founders Imperial Stout is an excellent dessert beer. It's also an excellent beer without dessert. Although I love Founders, I did not expect to enjoy this one as much as I did. Founders comes through with another winner. (1,164 characters)

Photo of heygeebee
3.6/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Hmmmm... Can't believe (1) I haven't rated this and (2) it's such a bland experience for an RIS. Done get it. Moderate roast moderate coffee, little choc, and all this at 10% + ?????
Don't think I have stored badly but tastes past it which is a no-go at this ABV. !!! (267 characters)

Photo of MisSigsFan
4.31/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours jet black with a thin brown head that doesn't leave much lacing. Smell is coffee and dark chocolate with some dark fruit. Taste is strong, bitter dark chocolate and coffee with just a little sweetness. Alcohol is hidden well and really creeps up on you. Mouthfeel is slick and oily which clues you in to how strong this beer is. Overall a very good RIS. Nothing spectacular here but a solid beer. (402 characters)

Photo of Nickwierda
4.76/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours like ink, black and opaque - zero light getting through this one. Dark brown head, darker than most stouts - intimidating.

S: Smells great, like chocolate, a tad bit of vinousness (vinosity?) and dark fruit, but the smell is the "worst" aspect of this beer, which shines in the flavor, where it counts.

T: Holy crap this beer is delicious. The flavor just doesn't stop. Starts out with chocolate and dark fruit - kind of tastes a bit like bbq sauce when it's cold - then transitions to roasted malt, then charred malt, and then some plain ol hop bitterness at the very end. And the flavor lingers forever. Can't taste the alcohol, but after a few minutes you feel it - a sipper for sure.

M: Viscous.

O: God damn I love this beer. Could be my favorite of all time. Definitely the best Founders beer, and I love pretty much everything they make. This beer beats out KBS and Breakfast Stout by a mile. Perfection in stout form. (949 characters)

Photo of ARoman
4.19/5  rDev -3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

*transferred from previous notes 1/21/2014*
On tap into a tulip glass. A dark fruit and sweet chocolate aroma with a background ashy trace greet the nose. As it warms, the chocolate smell turns to caramel and a light cookie dough smell appears. There might also be an earthy and/or barnyard note in there, but I couldn’t lock onto it. There’s a very thin mocha brown head that dissipates quickly and leaves nearly no lacing. The beer itself is a very dark, near opaque black-brown. It’s mostly chocolate syrup sweet with some minor smokey/oaky bitterness. A resin (grainy) and ashy coffee and chocolate flavor hit the tongue first for this medium-full bodied beer. The sticky and oily texture doesn’t have much carbonation to it (mainly flat) and it leaves behind a mild ashy smokey finish although pretty clean for the most part. (838 characters)

Photo of Jon_Hendricks
5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours a pitch black color.

Overall: It has a thick feel and sweet after taste, with lots chocolate and roasted malt taste. A very fine Imperial Stout, Highly Recommend!! (182 characters)

Photo of EMV
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from bottle, poured into a tulip glass.

L: Pours an inky black, thick with very minimal/bubbly tan head. No significant lacing.

S: Whoa... big time aroma on this one, roasted malts, dark chocolates, and toffee. Hints of espresso.

T/F: It tastes like it smells, big time roasted malts, very smooth with minimal carbonation. A bit chewy with a dark chocolate sweetness at the finish which is well balanced by the roasted malts.

O: A very fine Imperial Stout, and yet another great Founders beer. At 10.5% this one packs too big a punch for a session drink, but is perfect for dessert or a special treat. Best at cellar temperature. May be even better with a little age! (692 characters)

Photo of Plower
4.61/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Very good stout, up there with the best of easier to obtain ones. I mean, it's not like a legendary beer and its not hard to get, but its damn good. Solid 4.5+ for anyone who likes stouts. People just underrating because its common. (232 characters)

Photo of bgold86
5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Amazing that a stout could bring up so many different notes (coffee, chocolate, vanilla), without actually having any of those ingredients!

Absolute world class, drink fresh, cellar, doesn't matter .

A perfect 10/10! (219 characters)

Photo of moonboogie_n8
4.79/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

by close call my favorite Imp stout to date. looks a superb deep black froth when poured, with dark mocha highlighting the edges and head.... smooth drink, roasted chocolate malts and bitters on the tongue, and boozy smokey coffee beans on the exhale. do i detect a hint of vanilla throughout? I think so. another founders gem. (330 characters)

Photo of DarraghKS
4.6/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cappuccino head, almost crema effect with a wonderful rich nose of complex malts and alcohol. Taste is wonderfully rich. Slight smokey taste. Heavy roasting with coffee, chocolate and happy bitterness. Fantastic brew (216 characters)

Photo of Brutaltruth
4.6/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The legend. Thoroughly enjoyed from the 12 oz bottle in a snifter. This FINE imperial pours black as sin with a medium brown head of dissipating foam that forms into a thick ring and oily thick lacing. Nose of bakers chocolate, cream, heavily roasted coffee, sweet toffee, dark fruits, and deeply roasted malts. Flavors are a symposium of chocolate and coffee flavors awash in layers of cream, dark brown sugars, and deep roasting on all sides. Very coating mouth feel with light carbonation. Near perfect....not sure there is much more of a perfect imperial stout out there. Finish is lightly bitter from the roast and sweet at the same time with a light hop bitterness coming through as it warms. Deep character, rich and delicious. One of the best produced. Awesome as always!

CHEERS! (798 characters)

Photo of aleigator
4.31/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a pitch black color, with a small, bubbly head.

Smells of creamy coffee, roasted malts, hints of toffee and molasses. The aromas are very well put together, with rich, slightly smoked, milk chocolate, tying all aromas together. Well balanced between coffee and malts, coated up by slightly earthy chocolate.

Has a supersmooth mouthfeel, with a lower, fitting carbonation, revealing a medium bodied beer.

Tastes of dough milk chocolate among earthy malts, wrapped up by whipped cream. A gentle coffee bitterness acts as a convincing counterpart to the malty chocolate, revealing a decent dryness, which got a sour coffee whiff to it. Coffee bitterness changes the chocolate appearance into a bitter chocolate direction. Finishes with lots of cream and an intriguing interplay between crushed coffee beans and slightly slick, bitter chocolate.

All in all this beer convinces by its perfect composition, decent depth of different flavors with prominent chocolate and coffee, resulting in a great imperial stout. Both, coffee and chocolate, are on par, leaving a lot of space on the palate for a smooth, creamy mouthfeel. (1,129 characters)

Photo of Aliiyoob
4.98/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Can not say enough good things about this beer. So dark you can't see through it, and smelled so rich coming out of the bottle. Overall, an amazing beer and one of the best stouts Ive ever tried. (195 characters)

Photo of 29mikoyan
5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the best beers I ever had. The taste of fine Nicaraguan cigars, sweet molasses, sweet malt, rich sweet Belgian chocolate, and a beautiful fruit bouquet. Truely a beer to pair with a fine cigar. (201 characters)

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Founders Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 1,711 ratings.