Founders Imperial Stout - Founders Brewing Company
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Ratings: 5,499 | Reviews: 1,582 | Display Reviews Only:
4/5 rDev -8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.25
As always, this beer is reviewed live, not from notes. As always, it is reviewed to style (ala BJCP), modified by personal taste (contra BJCP), unlike the "hedonic scale" of certain beer-review sites. If I reviewed solely to taste, certain beers, poor exemplars of my preferred styles, would receive consistently higher marks than excellent exemplars of styles I do not favour.
Presentation: 11.2 fl oz/330mL stubby bottle, 4 for $10, I believe, poured in to a Samuel Adams' imperial nonic (it barely fills the glass half-way) at around 40ºF (too cold), warming as I write.
A: Pours a dark, thick, engine-oil - or chocolate syrup in consistency - opaque black - absolutely opaque, not even a hint of highlight - and with an apparent high viscosity. On a very vigorous pour, one small finger of head is produced - did I mention this beer is THICK? like unto used engine oil - which has little retention, and recedes in to a scum on the face of the beer and a ring around the edges of it, leaving a spotty, patchy, bubbly-looking lacing as it goes.
S: Toasted and burnt malts. The "ten malts" advertised by the brewer come through strong. Some alcohol. Bitter baker's cocoa. An almost-peaty, soapy aroma peeks through occasionally. Not very complex for the RIS style: it's generally vaguely "stout-y". Avery's Czar - hell, even Leinenkugel's Big Eddy and Guinness' Foreign Extra - all have more going on in the nose than this.
T: Plum, prune, liquorice, sour grapes, vinous alcohol, dry, toasty, pumpernickel bread, southern buttermilk biscuits, bitter chocolate, whole coffee beans dipped in dark chocolate, undefined-yet-present hopping. Most of those flavours are from malts, so, it can not be said this beer lacks complexity on the palate.
M: Smooth and creamy, lacking carbonation, as is standard for the style. Thick in body, as in appearance.
D: Low-Moderate. Alcohol is well-hidden, but drink is very thick, and quite intense with the roasted flavours.
O: A pretty good imperial stout, a fine example of the style, but not up there with the likes of Avery's Czar, which is similar in ABV, or with the weaker RIS examples such as Barley's Alexander or Guinness Foreign Extra (not technically an RIS.. I digress). The lack of carbonation leaves something to be desired, as the beer feels a bit flat, and the flavours never pull together in an ideal way, although they do pull together in some way. Not adventurous or new; somewhat pedestrian, standard RIS (what can be said of a beer-drinker, when he believeth a 10.5% ABV beer to be "pedestrian"?).
Comparable to a coffee/cocoa-forward counterpoint to the liquorice-forward Leinenkugel's Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout.
To style: 84/100
To taste: 72/100
Serving type: bottle
03-29-2013 12:54:27 | More by Chrysostom
Founders Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 5,499 ratings.