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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.

5,375 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 5,375
Reviews: 1,572
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 8.7%
Wants: 481
Gots: 1,283 | FT: 111
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: 5,375 | Reviews: 1,572 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of warnerry


4.53/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Jan 2011 release into a tulip

A - Pours pitch black with two fingers of dense brown head. Head has great retention and leaves a solids wall of lacing.

S - Big aroma of chocolate malt and roasted mats, along with some coffee. A faint sweetness and oily hop presence. Very nice aroma.

T - Nice bittersweet chocolate and earthy roasted malts, with a bit of milk chocolate. Some coffee, faint hops, and a bit of dark dried fruits. Very tasty.

M - Full, silky mouthfeel, with a hint of bitter dryness.

O - One of my favorite beers from my favorite brewery. Avoids the sweetness that kills many big stouts. Great in every aspect.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2011 00:58:56 | More by warnerry
Photo of VncentLIFE

North Carolina

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

Fresh shipment. Poured into my new DFH goblet looking thing.

My god its thick. Reminds me of Marshal Zhukov. Very little carbonation produces no head. Initially there was about 1/8th of an inch of caramel colored head, but that faded rather quickly.

I smell loads of roasted grains, chocolate malt to be exact. Hops are surprisingly absent, which is odd for an IRS. The grains smell dry, and theres hints of coffee as well.

The thick body stands out immediately. I almost had to forcefully swallow it The roasted malts (and they had to use a ton of them) coat your mouth. They almost smell charred and burnt. Hints of smoke swirl around with soy sauce, leather, beef jerky, and oak. Odd, but I get a saltiness as well, like the husks of sunflower seeds.

Like I already said, its insanely thick with a full body. Definitely my favorite RIS.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2011 18:58:12 | More by VncentLIFE


4.5/5  rDev +3%

12-29-2011 09:35:26 | More by CORKSCREWFISH
Photo of honkduh


4/5  rDev -8.5%

12-29-2011 07:14:53 | More by honkduh
Photo of Tilley4


4.47/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A great extra from a recent trade...

Pours beautifully into the Lost Abbey chalice... A foamy brown head sits atop a thick black still liquid... Swirls coat the glass with the concoction...

Lovely dark chocolate and coffee aromas waft off of this... Very rich and indulgent smelling... Very similar in quality to the Breakfast Stout and I think this might be better... The roastiness of the malts seems more prevalent and the coffee isn't as forward...

Bitter dark chocolate, vanilla beans, roasted coffee, smooth roasted malts... It's all here and done superbly... Man, Founders does everything well, it seems. This is no exception. A delicious brew... It's rich and creamy yet doesn't feel too heavy while sipping. No booze whatsoever that I can detect. Amazing.

One of the better RIS that's I've had... A well-crafted beer that I will try to acquire some more of. I liked this a lot.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2011 16:13:44 | More by Tilley4
Photo of RViator325


5/5  rDev +14.4%

12-27-2011 23:55:49 | More by RViator325
Photo of UpToMeBeer


4.93/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle. (Aged approximately one year).

Appearance: Black and thick, with a really dark brown head (about 1 finger that dissipated rapidly). A beautiful pour.

Smell: Chocolate, molasses, and coffee. A wondrous balance of aromas.

Taste: Dark fruit, chocolate, raisins, and coffee on the finish. Alcohol is present but not dominant.

Mouthfeel: Viscous with subtle bitterness. Coats the tongue and goes down smoothly.

Overall: Just heavenly. The best Imperial Stout I have yet found. No doubt the year of aging this bottle helped. First time I've ever tried this beer and would seek it out again.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2011 19:58:35 | More by UpToMeBeer
Photo of pmarlowe

District of Columbia

4/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 vintage (so about a year old). 12oz bottle to wine glass.

A: Pours black with motor oil consistency and some dark khaki head, fizzling out within a minute or so, leaving behind a ring and some swirls on the surface. No lacing.

S: A lot of roasted malt, along with coffee, alcohol, and a hint of dried dark fruit.

T: Punches your taste buds with roasted malt and dark chocolate bar, fading out with burnt espresso.

M: Full body and medium carbonation. Kind of a creamy/milky texture. A little alcohol is noticeable.

O: A solid imperial stout. The thick and big roasted flavors make this a sipper, something to enjoy in smallish quantities.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2011 02:36:02 | More by pmarlowe
Photo of Lee45102


4/5  rDev -8.5%

12-27-2011 00:17:52 | More by Lee45102
Photo of jlenik

New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev +3%

12-26-2011 23:41:19 | More by jlenik
Photo of papat444

Quebec (Canada)

4.33/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to grub for this one.

Poured from a 12oz. bottle.

Appearance: Totally black body, thick, with a really dark brown head (about 3 fingers). Looks awesome! Once the foam has died down, the color of the remainder is a cross between strong espresso and caramelized sugar.

Smell: Licorice a bit, chunky chocolate, molasses, rum balls and plums.

Taste: Dark fruit, alcohol soaked wood, chocolate, raisins, cookies and a distinct coffee finish.

Mouthfeel: Some underlying bitterness, a bit boozy, viscous and not completely mouth filling.

Overall: Brash & thick. I was pleased with this one but the body didn't completely do it for me. This is still a top notch brew though.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2011 13:44:11 | More by papat444
Photo of Jakers90


4.5/5  rDev +3%

12-25-2011 21:03:41 | More by Jakers90
Photo of gbbass16


4.5/5  rDev +3%

12-24-2011 17:38:20 | More by gbbass16
Photo of ShemRahBoo

New Jersey

4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

12-23-2011 20:07:37 | More by ShemRahBoo
Photo of bootsdomino


5/5  rDev +14.4%

12-23-2011 03:12:25 | More by bootsdomino
Photo of CelticAleMan


4.5/5  rDev +3%

12-22-2011 23:11:46 | More by CelticAleMan
Photo of FoundersPounder

New York

4/5  rDev -8.5%

12-22-2011 21:05:40 | More by FoundersPounder
Photo of ajs4bd


4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

12-22-2011 18:28:36 | More by ajs4bd
Photo of jegross2


4.7/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Reviewing a fresh Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company. I had a year old bottle a few weeks ago that I reviewed.
Score: 98

January 2012 vintage bottle served in a snifter glass.

Appearance: Similar appearance to the year old version. Pitch black and opaque with slight ruby highlights at the top of the glass. Pours a half finger of dark chocolate colored, creamy head that settles into a ring around the glass and thin lace across the top of the beer. This is how I love my stouts to look. Pretty solid lacing on the side of the glass too, especially for a 10.5% ABV stout. 4.5/5

Smell: A lot more roasted coffee flavors than the year old verison, with a very light anise flavor. Lots of roasted chocolate and milky coffee creamer . There's some leather in the nose too. Booziness is slightly more apparent than the year old version. Burnt malts too. The aroma is absolutely divine. 5/5

Taste: Tons of roasted coffee and raw chocolate upfront. The coffee flavors is infinitely more apparent in the fresh bottle than it was in the year old bottle. Burnt chocolate and raw coffee beans too. Bitter coffee grounds on the mid-palate. Bitter, unsweetened chocolate and roasted malts and coffee in the finish. Not a lot of dark fruit here compared to the year old bottle, which seems a little old. Definitely tastes fresher, and still lingers well. 4.75/5

Mouthfeel: Still medium-plus bodied with more carbonation than the year old version. The coffee characteristics of the beer really add some perk to the beer. Foamy saliva-inducing mouthfeel and very thick (though not overly heavy). Finishes bitter and slightly acidic. 5/5

Overall: I enjoyed the year old version of this I had recently, but the fresh version is an absolute home run. This stuff tends to sell quick, and was released in IL and WI this week, so snatch up a four pack if you see it before it's gone for another year. Founders proves once again they are one of the best breweries in America.

Recommendation: A must try Russian Imperial Stout.

Pairings: Steak.

Cost: $15.99 for a four pack.


Reviewing the Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company. A hearty thank you to BeerAdvocate user davesway10 for hooking me up with this one in a trade!
Score: 92

January 2011 vintage bottle served in a snifter glass. This beer is a few weeks shy of one year old.

Appearance: Pitch black and opaque with slight ruby highlights at the top of the glass. Pours a half finger of dark chocolate colored, creamy head that settles into a ring around the glass and thin lace across the top of the beer. This is how I love my stouts to look. Above average lacing on the side of the glass too. 4.5/5

Smell: Roasted chocolate and coffee grounds. Some black coffee and creamy milk chocolate too. A touch of booziness and hints of hoppiness. Burn chocolate and coffee present as well. 4.5/5

Taste: Roasted chocolate and raw coffee bean flavors up front. Toasted malts. Bitter coffee grounds on the mid-palate. Bitter, unsweetened chocolate and dry, unsweetened dark fruits in the finish. Solid linger. Can't wait to see how the coffee flavors in this one taste when its fresh. 4/5

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus bodied, minimal carbonation. A little more carbonation honestly might have helped make some of the flavors in the beer pop a little better, so let's see how a fresh bottles compares when it gets released in a few weeks. Mouthfeel is also creamy. Finishes bitter and slightly acidic. 4/5

Overall: This is my favorite style of beer (Russian Imperial Stout) and it comes from one of my favorite breweries. Founders Imperial Stout is a beer that lives up to its hype, and is not too hard to find when initially released. I highly recommend grabbing a four pack or two.

Recommendation: A pretty balanced raw chocolate-and-coffee flavored imperial stout that hides the alcohol well. This one can be safely recommended to beer geeks and casual beer drinkers alike.

Pairings: Steak.

Cost: $15.99 for a four pack.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2011 18:07:33 | More by jegross2
Photo of Elfastball7

New Jersey

5/5  rDev +14.4%

12-22-2011 16:22:29 | More by Elfastball7
Photo of Jzmhector

North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +3%

12-22-2011 01:08:26 | More by Jzmhector
Photo of eroc360


4.5/5  rDev +3%

12-21-2011 09:17:49 | More by eroc360
Photo of NvMyBeer


4/5  rDev -8.5%

12-21-2011 07:27:08 | More by NvMyBeer
Photo of jtmcgraw


5/5  rDev +14.4%

12-21-2011 06:09:27 | More by jtmcgraw
Photo of ElGrecoVerde


4.5/5  rDev +3%

12-21-2011 04:10:42 | More by ElGrecoVerde
Founders Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 5,375 ratings.