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Founders Imperial Stout - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Imperial StoutFounders Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

6,689 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 6,689
Reviews: 1,739
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 8.49%
Wants: 638
Gots: 1,847 | FT: 147
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,689 | Reviews: 1,739
Photo of JohnQVD
5/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of iguana1010
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of grahamboudreaux
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of stortore
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of tuka
4/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of TheCondor
4.47/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I typically try to review special beers for my centennial reviews, such as when I reviewed Collage No. 1 Conflux for my 100th review on BA. Not that it's that big of a deal or anyone cares, but its' important to me. So, once I got close to 200 reviews and I found, by happenstance, some of this beer at an out of the way place, I knew what had to be done. Side poured from the bottle into a Boulevard snifter.

Appearance - Pours as black as motor oil with the same viscosity. No light penetration in the glass whatsoever. A small, half finger dark tan head comes from the brew but dissipates quickly, leaving little lacing. Looks just like a RIS should. I am excited.

Smell - The olfactory gland stimulation is, in my opinion, the weakest point of this beer. It is great, no doubt, but doesn't compare to the overwhelming quality of this beer in the other aspects. That being said, heavy roasted malts, chocolate, and coffee are the dominant smells.

Taste - Much like the nose, but wonderfully so. The smoothness of this beer washes over the palate, coating it with chocolate, roasty malts, and a bit of coffee. Not cmplex, but extraordinarily well done. Very sweet, dangerouslly good

Mouthfeel - My favorite part of the brew. This beer is so heavy, so smooth and thick on the palate and on the finish. A bit of warming alcohol, well masked for 10.5%. So much texture to this beer, it is amazing. They have taken a very strong beer and made it seem like it is sessionable (which I would not recommend).

Overall - There is a reason, at the time of this writing, this beer is #25 on the Beers of Fame list. It is excellently crafted by the personnel at Founders, just another notch on the belt of what could potentially be the best overall brewery in all of North America. Highly recommended and approved by the Condor. Very glad I saved my 200th review for such a great beer.

Photo of Buckeye982
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%

Photo of SaxmanRick
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of CrazyOtto623
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%

Photo of soze47
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of MalKen
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of --Dom--
4.54/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip. Pours like motor oil, nuff said. Not much of a nose on this actually.

The taste? Exquisite. Starts with deep roasted coffee and dark chocolate, It's dense and the flavor continues to unfold. There is a strong hop presence as well, but not how you would think. The taste goes on for miles. I can't even imagine how much dark malt they use making this. The booze is definitely present at 10.5. The mouthfeel is slightly harsh actually, but it's not bad.

Overall, it's amazing. It's definitely in my top 5 RIS's I've had. It does seem somewhat hard to get a hold of. In my opinion, ten fidy is better.

Photo of blakelive784
3.82/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to Docrock and maximum12!

12 fl oz brown glass bottle served in a snifter, slightly warmed, and reviewed live:

A - Pours an imposing jet black color with a full three fingers of thick, creamy, dark brown head. Retention is astounding given the ABV and when it finally recedes it leaves tight lacing and a bit of boozy legs. I can't wait to try it.

S - Inviting chocolates and dark roasted malts. One of the best pure chocolate malt aromas I've ever encountered. Sweet cream and molasses. Hints of licorice. Faint hits of alcohol. Seemingly sweet. Truly inviting.

T - More bitter than I'd have guessed based on the nose. Bitter chocolates and black coffee. Roasted and chocolate malts comprise the body. It warms as it goes down, but the alcohol isn't really detectable as you're drinking it. I wish it'd focus on the chocolate more.

M - Smooth. Not as full bodied and thick as I'd like.

D - Amazingly drinkable at 10.5%. A damn good stout, but doesn't quite measure up to Founder's others. That being said, I'd definitely have it again.

Photo of wardenclyffe
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of Smixam
4.4/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a glass

A - Extremely dark brown, no light transmission. 1-finger head, also very dark brown, heavy lacing as it dissipates.

S - Alcohol, chocolate, malt, some piney hops. Sounds weird but I get what I can only equate to kalamata olive.

T - Alcohol and malt right up front, very deep. Hops kick in as a surprise at the end, finish is subtly spicy and smokey. Alcohol hangs on throughout, malt lingers as well.

M - This is a sipper, very thick/viscous. Heavy alcohol presence is nice if you stretch it out and enjoy it, but definitely a 'sit back and relax' beer. Better slightly chilled than cold, for sure.

O - Honestly, this is an ass-kicker of a stout. Definitely one of the best of this style while remaining a drinkable, enjoyable beer. One to keep on hand when you're in the mood to sip and enjoy.

Photo of Cottzilla
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%

Photo of b2611
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of wmobley
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of rgilbert
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of DiscLizard
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of Danno
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of 1up
4.65/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a Spiegelau tulip from a 12oz bottle.

A- Opaque dark brownish black. No light gets through. A vigorous pour yields a 1.5 finger head. Looks like motor oil which indicates a lot of flavor to come.
S- Aroma isn't too powerful but I can detect lots of roasted malt and dark chocolate.
T- Coffee, heavily roasted malt, and chocolate dominate the flavor profile at first followed by an extremely bitter finish. Make no mistake, this is one of the most bitter finishing dark beers I've ever had. No alcohol taste which is impressive for a 10% beer. Very smooth.
M- Extremely smooth mouthful, full bodied, and perfect amount of carbonation. Not as full bodied as Ten Fidy but also not terribly far off. Carbonation consists of small bubbles that complement the brew and blend in well rather than standing out.
O- Wow this is an excellent flavorful imperial stout, one of the best I've had.

Photo of dt_gbpackersfan
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of RyanSchwam
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%

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Founders Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 6,689 ratings.