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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.

6,019 Ratings
no score

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Ratings: 6,019
Reviews: 1,606
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 8.72%
Wants: 554
Gots: 1,443 | FT: 120
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: 6,019 | Reviews: 1,606 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of don1481
4.21/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into Ol' Trusty Pint Glass.

Appearance: Holy blackness. I hold this up to the light and NOTHING gets through. And with a chocolate-colored head. Wow. This clearly means business.

Smell: Lots of coffee here. Some hints of chocolate, smokiness. I don't really smell alcohol here.

Taste: Tastes like coffee with hints of chocolate coming through. I'm not really tasting any of the alcohol, which is surprising. None of the flavors are particularly overpowering - it's a little more... subdued... than what I expected from other reviews. I expected to have to sip this one a little more, but it's going down MUCH more quickly.

Mouthfeel: Pretty clean. Taste doesn't linger at all. Not sticky afterwards.

Overall: Ohhh boy. This is dangerous - I can drink this MUCH faster than the other stouts I've recently reviewed. I'd say that this goes down almost too easy, but since when is that a bad thing when in the confines of one's own home and not driving back from a bar?

don1481, Jan 16, 2014
Photo of tectactoe
4.88/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

As I was pouring this beer, I thought to myself - "what beer is more black than this one?" ...and the answer is none. None more black. Not only is it black as can be, it's thicker than you can imagine. It plops into the glass without making a sound. Then, to top it all off, the head is the darkest MF'ing head I've ever seen. This head is darker than most brown ales. Huge, foamy, frothy, two and a half finger head that lasts for a long, long time. I've never been so aroused by just looking at a beer.

The smell is incredible and it hits your nose while you're pouring the beer, well before you bring it to your face. An abundance of roasted malts and barley washes over your senses like nothing else; deep, dark, bittersweet cocoa beans, espresso, molasses, char-broiled smoke, and a wave of leafy hops. The nose is as powerful as this beer is dark, and the only thing left to do is taste it.

FIS hits your palate like a semi-melted milkshake or warm syrup - this stuff is thick, bold, and robust beyond belief. So many traditional RIS flavors clashing, yet executed so elegantly well. Deeply roasted malts, hot molasses, dark, thick espresso - it's all there. Some light hints of sweetness come through; licorice, old figs, anise, dark fudge - but the sweetness is balanced extremely well by a huge wave of hops. At 90 IBUs, this RIS packs a punch in the hop department - slightly floral, leafy, ashy, dry, and a touch spicy, the hop bitterness plays well with the malt bomb and makes this 10.5% stout incredibly drinkable.

The alcohol is present, warming, and adds a bold character without being abrasive or off-putting. A nice smokey and campfire-roasted element can be found in FIS; almost similar to Founder's Porter, only amped up about ten times. A nice woody, charred, and smoked flavor in the aftertaste really adds a great deal to the already massive flavor profile. Coupled with the huge, creamy, and thick body, this beer is one of the most bad-ass things I've ever had the pleasure of drinking. Carbonation was just right, enough to make the body silky and bring out the flavors.

Good god, Founder's knows what the hell they're doing over there in Grand Rapids. For the longest time, I used to rave about FBS, but the FIS takes things to a whole new level. I know they are slightly different styles, but this is a pinnacle in Founders' line-up and really, a pinnacle in RIS's altogether if you ask me. Kind of hard to find, even in season, but worth taking the time to seek out a few 4-packs. This beer is goddamn delicious.

EDIT: recently had a bottle aged two years (bottled Jan 2011, enjoyed Jan 2013). The alcohol was still bold, still assertive, and still mild enough to enjoy perfectly. The smokey, campfire aspect was a little toned down, but this allowed for the chocolate to really jump out. Mouth feel was still silky smooth, and though the carbonation had lost some of its bang, it was still enough to produce that gorgeous, dark tan head. I think I prefer this one fresh, but it's amazing either way.

tectactoe, Jan 08, 2013
Photo of ThaJokerWild
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%

ThaJokerWild, Yesterday at 09:01 PM
Photo of EuphonicHops
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%

EuphonicHops, Yesterday at 04:37 PM
Photo of oldsailor
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

oldsailor, Yesterday at 05:22 AM
Photo of griffey123
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

griffey123, Yesterday at 01:12 AM
Photo of harryhops
4/5  rDev -8.3%

harryhops, Monday at 10:12 PM
Photo of Argee
5/5  rDev +14.7%

Argee, Monday at 10:12 PM
Photo of barnzy78
4.61/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

12oz, bottled 12/14/13
A - thick and black pour with a thin light brown head
S - bakers chocolate and roasted barley fill the nose, fruity esters in the background, especially as it warms
T - bold and rich with dark chocolate slathering the palate; roasted barley and dark fruit in there as well excellently balanced.
M - full bodied and thick, velvety smooth, finishes with bittersweet cocoa hanging around on the palate
O - one of my favorite Russian Imperial Stouts. It's been awhile since I had one of these, but it was even better than I remembered it being. I'll have to get some more if I see it.

barnzy78, Monday at 07:07 PM
Photo of tylermac92
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

tylermac92, Monday at 06:07 PM
Photo of saemick
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%

saemick, Monday at 04:50 AM
Photo of Tpain518
4.44/5  rDev +1.8%

Tpain518, Monday at 04:26 AM
Photo of natethamac
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

natethamac, Monday at 02:35 AM
Photo of GRWILK
4/5  rDev -8.3%

GRWILK, Sunday at 08:26 PM
Photo of tappangordo
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

tappangordo, Sunday at 05:01 AM
Photo of Brewski
4.3/5  rDev -1.4%

Brewski, Sunday at 03:47 AM
Photo of Louisehg12
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Louisehg12, Friday at 11:29 PM
Photo of Sean_King
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Sean_King, Friday at 08:19 PM
Photo of Beervana
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%

Beervana, Friday at 04:56 PM
Photo of MrGone
4.24/5  rDev -2.8%

MrGone, Thursday at 10:07 AM
Photo of a77cj7
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

a77cj7, Nov 19, 2014
Photo of Malt_Man
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%

Served slightly cool of room temperature from 355ml bottle into saison glass.

A) Ink black, slight reddish tinge. No head or film. Light carbonation.

S) Rich aromatic dried fruit. Alcohol!

T) Rich fruity malt. The bitterness hits first, balanced by rich fruit that follows. Chocolate hovers around the middle but is soon blanked out by the roast coffee bitterness. You can have five sips of this and pick up on different flavour combinations each time, so very rewarding in that respect.

M) Not overly heavy for the ABV, the slight fizz gives it another pleasing aspect.

O) Awesome strong stout; for me Founders Breakfast Stout just edges it as the chocolate brings better balance, but this is still one of the best.

Malt_Man, Nov 19, 2014
Photo of unclekeith
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%

unclekeith, Nov 19, 2014
Photo of cubsfanshane
4.56/5  rDev +4.6%

cubsfanshane, Nov 19, 2014
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Founders Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 6,019 ratings.