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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

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 6,019
Reviews: 1,606
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 8.72%
Wants: 555
Gots: 1,445 | 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 bradner
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

bradner, Jan 10, 2012
Photo of marine1975
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%

marine1975, Jan 10, 2012
Photo of derricksmalls
3.75/5  rDev -14%

derricksmalls, Jan 10, 2012
Photo of justinm4bama
5/5  rDev +14.7%

justinm4bama, Jan 10, 2012
Photo of PaulMc
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

PaulMc, Jan 09, 2012
Photo of toneigh
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

toneigh, Jan 09, 2012
Photo of Riggsenater
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Riggsenater, Jan 09, 2012
Photo of beerman999999
5/5  rDev +14.7%

beerman999999, Jan 09, 2012
Photo of randylangford
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

randylangford, Jan 09, 2012
Photo of Jimmys
4.4/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle, bottled on 12/15/11.

A: pitch black and one of the darkest brown heads i have seen. good retention and leaving a sticky mess of lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: rich dark chocolate. a little bit of roasted grain, but more chocolate than anything. just warm and inviting.

T: sweet cocoa and roasted grains right off the bat. very meaty. definitely some kind of oat flakes or something to make this thing taste/feel like a milkshake. a lingering sweetness, grain bitterness stays in the finish. all of the flavors are that of your typical RIS, however, the way these things meld together makes this very enjoyable.

M: frothy fizz on a full bodied stout is exactly what this style should be.

D: full bodied, full flavored, this is exactly what an RIS should be. very tasty and very pleasant and this thing isnt even a month in the bottle. glad i have a few of these.

Jimmys, Jan 09, 2012
Photo of ncketchum
4.8/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Update from original review on 4-20-2011

Served at cellar temp in a Duvel tulip

A - Pours a motor oil black with 3 fingers dark chocolate head, 1 of which lingers for some time with thick lacing.

S - Smells of chocolate and roasted malt with a hint of alcohol at the end.

T - this is almost like chocolate milk with hops - sweet, chocolate with a bitterness at the end, hints of roasted malt. Not too sweet (less sweet than CBS)

M - mouthfeel is thick, chewy, little carbonation, good amount of alcohol burn at the end

D - what a phenomenal stout. I'm not sure if it is this year's batch or my palate has changed since I last reviewed this one. I definitely need to do a horizontal tasting with FBS, KBS, and maybe break out my bottle of CBS to look at the nuances that make each one unique.

ncketchum, Jan 09, 2012
Photo of RodSmith
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

RodSmith, Jan 09, 2012
Photo of bbrochu
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

bbrochu, Jan 09, 2012
Photo of TallDrinkOfLager
4.03/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle of this lovely stuff at my local co-op, which is rolling out the dark beers as the real cold part of winter sets in.

Pours like a slightly watered-down version of the stuff you see running out of your car's oil pan during a long-overdue oil change. Almost no head formed on a careful pour, so I poured a little more briskly to agitate things. About a 1/2 inch head the color of chocolate mousse resulted. The beer itself is completely opaque: I even held it directly up to a light bulb, and not a hint of light made it through.

The smell was more subdued than I expected (especially after trying Founders Breakfast Stout a week or so ago). Very sweet, dark chocolate with an underlying haze of alcohol -- maybe just the slightest hint of mocha. I was hoping for a bit more or an enticing aroma, but this beer is a teaser in that regard.

This stuff reminds me of the Breakfast Stout, but on steroids. An intense combination of dark chocolate maltiness and bitter coffee up front; the former subsides to let the coffee flavor take over, which does so with an increasing bitterness. What amazes me about the taste the most is how well the very high alcohol content is masked. I get almost no booze in the front; it appears as a gradually increasing heat as the coffee aftertaste kicks in, but never gets to the point of overwhelming.

In terms of the feel, this is a thick beer. There's a decent amount of carbonation that sort of transports the viscous stuff around the inside of your mouth. Even after you finish one sip, there's enough clinging to your tongue that you'll need to swallow again!

Overall, this is a very good beer. I felt like I wanted a little more in terms of smell, and the intense coffee bitterness made me think they could have branded it as an Espresso Stout or something along those lines -- perhaps the coffee thing in dark beers is a Founders trademark? I'm glad I bought it, and would definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good stout, but not the time-honored classic that, say, Sam Smith's Imperial is.

TallDrinkOfLager, Jan 08, 2012
Photo of Stumpy29er
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%

Stumpy29er, Jan 08, 2012
Photo of Goobastic
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

Goobastic, Jan 08, 2012
Photo of ADTaber
4/5  rDev -8.3%

ADTaber, Jan 08, 2012
Photo of AshleyMiller
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

AshleyMiller, Jan 08, 2012
Photo of Idesofmarch89
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Idesofmarch89, Jan 08, 2012
Photo of tsauce2
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

P: 12 fl oz bottle in to a New Belgium snifter.

A: SRM is black/dark brown. Opaque. Head is dark chocolate, 1 in, velvety, dissipates to cover the top of the beer. Medium/light carbonation. Heavy lacing.

S: Huge dark roast malt, chocolate, and alcohol. Light hop additions.

T: Big dark roast malt, followed immediately by bittered chocolate malt, then alcohol and light hops on the end. Aftertaste is bittered malt and a light chocolatey sweetness.

M: Full body. Viscous. Malt lays heavy on the palate, but bittered chocolate and alcohol help to cut this. Finished wet down the middle of the palate, but very dry on the edges of the palate.

O: One of the best RIS's out there. This beer is so good fresh, but gets better with age. Great balance, complexity, and flavor. Alcohol is noticable, but nowhere close to being overpowering and is cut nicely by the bittered chocolate, which is in turn cut nicely by the light sweetness. Will buy as much as possible given this is a once a year thing.

tsauce2, Jan 08, 2012
Photo of travMI13
4/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First review for a long-time lurker. Let's give this a go.

From notes on 1/6/12. 12 oz bottle poured into a Founders snifter. Bottled 12/22/11.

A: Pours thick and black as night with a quarter inch of tan head. The head slowly dissipates into a gentle, lingering, tan froth. Nice tan lacing up the glass with each swirl and sip. This is what an imperial stout should look like.

S: Straight up booze and roasted malts. A stuffy nose is obviously impacting my olfactory, but I am not getting the alluring smell that I expected. I'm not sure I would be thrilled with the nose, regardless. However, this is not unlike other classic imperial stouts that I have had.

T: The booze and roasted malts hit first, and they hit hard, with the roastiness dominating. The chocolate comes next, maybe a little caramel mixed in. There is a lingering bitterness, which I would expect from a stout with a whopping 90 ibu. The aftertaste of this is really nice with the hops and the chocolate playing off each other.

M: Thick, viscous, oily. Coats the mouth nicely. The thick, chocolate aftertaste may be my favorite thing about this beer. It keeps pulling me in for more

O: Founders absolutely nails the classic imperial stout style here. Glad that I have another bottle to cellar and revisit in a year. Great beer for a cold winter night.

travMI13, Jan 08, 2012
Photo of mmmaaattt
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

mmmaaattt, Jan 08, 2012
Photo of vobr0002
4.08/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- dark black, caramel color head.

S- burnt roasty malt. Some chocolate hiding in the backgrou nd and maybe a bit of coffee.

T- roasty, chocolate, coffee, and alcohol burn in the finish.

M- thick and creamy. Covers your mouth and higher carbonation level to enhance mouth feel.

O- This is a good stout. I think with some time down in my cellar this beer could become fantastic. Just needs to mellow out a bit for my taste.

vobr0002, Jan 08, 2012
Photo of TVolt1
4.18/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Very thick dark brown beer with a small amount of caramel colored head. While pouring, appeared to be very thick.

S: Smells of chocolate and has a hint of alcohol smell to it. Not super roasty but just a little. Mainly can smell cocoa beans.

T: Tastes very much like the cocoa beans I smelt. I little too much alcohol taste but I do like that it bordered on the chocolate taste versus the coffee bean taste like most imperial stouts. Has a strong kick to it at the end. Maybe I need to age it a little more...

M: Great thick mouthfeel which goes well with this style of beer.

O: Overall, this is a good beer. I like the taste and smell but disliked the alcohol burn at the end of it.

TVolt1, Jan 08, 2012
Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.47/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Finally getting to try this. Bottled 12/29/11.
Appearance: oh so black and perfect. Messy and decadent mocha topping.
Smell: lots happening. Subdued Ris Burnt malt, hints of chocolate, a mellow balance to it all.
Taste: very balanced, mellow, creamy adult milkshake. Mostly dry, chocolate, with a slight bitterness in the finish.
Mouthfeel: tick, creamy goodness.
Overall: a different beast from the fabled coffee stouts, and stands as a great beer. Wondering what some age will do to this bad boy.

cindyjeffsmith, Jan 07, 2012
Founders Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 6,019 ratings.