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Founders Imperial Stout - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Imperial StoutFounders Imperial Stout

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6,107 Ratings
no score

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Ratings: 6,107
Reviews: 1,612
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 8.72%
Wants: 570
Gots: 1,469 | 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: 6,107 | Reviews: 1,612 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of muskabeatz
4.2/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Just picked this up today. Fresh batch.

A- This seriously looks like motor oil as I pour it into my glass. Super thick, black as black gets, light brown head. Wish that head was just a little darker, then it would be perfect.

S- ROAST. Wow, huge roast presence up front, followed by subtle milk chocolate, and just a hint of alcohol. Not overly complex.

T- Here's where it all comes together. Much more milk chocolate than in the aroma, which couples itself well with the roasted malt. The finish shows off bitter baker's chocolate, and a nice hop bitterness as well.

M- Thick, slick, and oily. Alcohol is detectable, but not overwhelming. I do wish it left a bit more of a mark on my palate. It's almost a little to easy drinking, but only slightly. I want my imperial stouts to be uncompromising, and forceful.

O- I feel glad to say that this beer has left a better impression on me than it did in previous years. With so many people claiming that X beer isn't as good as it was last year, I can certainly say that is not the case from this beer. Excellent offering from Founder's, and one that should cellar well too.

Photo of throwback
5/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of JayS2629
4.28/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a rich, thick, velvety, chewy, oily dark black with a mahogany one finger head that fades slowly into a chocolatey ring. Leaves seafoam walls of lace.

The aroma is of dark chocolate and licorice, roasted coffee, molasis, caramel and hints of dark fruit, plums and raisin with a touch of vanilla.

Dark chocolate on the front quickly interrupted with major roasty, dominant coffee with burnt toffee edges. Pipe tobbacco, dark fruit, licorice and a touch of vanilla. Finishes with a big bitter, chalky, herbal/grassy chord that balances out the malty, fruity middle.

Definitely above average. Thick, not quite chewy, rich, smooth, and creamy.

Overall, it is a nicely balanced, semi-complex, enjoyable sipper.

Photo of nataku00
4.15/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottle (2011 release) poured into a tulip glass. Beer pours a dark opaque brown, bordering on black, with two fingers of chocolate brown colored creamy head. Head stuck around a decent while before receding to a half a finger leaving thick lacing along the insides of the glass. A decadent and rich looking stout.

Nose is greeted by roasted malt and coffee, dark but not burnt with some mild fruitiness. A light citrus hop note in there, as well as some caramel.

First flavors to hit the tongue is the roasted malt, roasted coffee flavors, more darkly roasted than in the aroma, with a slight astringency. Milder coffee and malt, breadiness, caramel, and milk chocolate follow mid tongue. Medium finish is a combination of dark roast and hop bitterness that lingers on your tongue for a while after each swallow.

Full body and very creamy, perfectly carbonated. Silky smooth on the tongue, coating it with the beer flavor. Alcohol is completely hidden, with no alcohol burn or heat. I would have liked a slight bit more sweetness to balance out the roasted flavors on this though. Otherwise, a nice beer.

Photo of legalpete19340
4.53/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured super thick black and oily into the glass. The head grew and grew from nothing until i blew over the rim of the glass. It stuck to everything and never left. Insane.

S: Deep dark malt everywhere. Dark chocolate, leather, campfire.

T: Huge dark malt blowing up. Tons of smoke, burn coffee, and dark chocolate. The middle smacks of those Harry and David chocolate cherries with hints of lemon. Nice grassy flavor as well. But this is all dark and it ends on dark hoppy malty note.

M: Velvety, thick but not too chewy. Just smooth.

O: Like Megan Fox. What more can I say. This is a dark beautiful masterpiece.

Photo of Jimdrinksbeer
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of adamant1912
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of sublime313
4/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of furthurgone
4/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of Reason2B
4.68/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Dark as night; got to be one of the darkest pours I’ve ever had. Very little head, what head there is, is a dark burgundy.

S: Smell is very much in line with taste, there are just no surprises.

T: I think flavor complexity is phenomenal: coffee, roasted malts are most of what I taste, with some chocolate…it just gets better and better with every sip. The only improvement would be a little age, which would make it flawless. The front-end has a surprising bitterness, which lessens sip by sip. It is a little bitterer than I thought that it was going to be. I think with age, the bitterness will lessen and all the other flavor complexities will take over and come to the forefront.

M: Just outstanding, smooth and making love to your month.

O: Highly recommended, any more details will just decrease its impact.

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

From its impersonal but direct and serious name to the subtly majestic imprint on the bottle - a dark blue hued coat of arms - this is a beer which stands firmly in the "meaning business" line.

The pour is viscous and dark, a near-oil slunk into my pint glass with a moderate height of textural brown head, beaded throughout with tight oily bubbles and a slight range of hues, exactly the kind of beauty I hope to see (though often don't) in an RIS.

Smell is all dark malts, chocolate, bits of coffee and not the slightest hop fizz in the tip of my nose. There's alcohol but no burn whatsoever. It's enticing.

Taste reflects the nose, amplified proportionately: the chocolate and coffee notes strike a nice balance without overwhelming the straight malty stout profile, and it's clean without any cloying, sticky sugary sensations. There's a smoky undertone that lends a real elegance to its flavor.

Mouthfeel is a home run. This thing fills, massages the tongue, goes down smooth as silk; a gulp of milkshake perfection couldn't knock this sensation. It's where I fully expect a decent RIS to excel, and it stands head and shoulders above most of them.

There's nothing specifically standing out and shaking my shoulders, pointing my attention to where it specifically rises above its competition; the Founders Imperial Stout simply stands tall and tasty, a proud member of an elite crew of leading RIS examples the likes of which we should appreciate more. The sheer physicality demands respect and the finesse it's pulled off with is awesome. This is one of the best stouts I've had in a long while.

Photo of sparx1100
4/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of mjweth2
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of zaphodchak
4.08/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours like ink with a brown head that stays around a while. Laces a treat, too.

Roasted malt fills the nose--- I'd almost say crunchy, but that doesn't make sense. It smells nice, regardless.

This is powerfully bitter; more so than I expected (despite the IBU's on the side). It's less than a month old though, so I guess it's to be expected. I have an old bottle that I will crack and review in the future. It's mostly straight up malt, there's a trace of that super-bitter chocolate that's labeled in percent cocoa big and bold on the front so you know it means business.

Nice and smooth; couldn't ask for more here.

Not to knee-jerk on cellaring, but this guy needs more time to suit my tastes. Into the closet with you and don't come out until July!

Photo of LambicKing
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of ksimons
4.72/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-pours a silky ink black with just the fainest dark brown highlights. This also has one of the darkest heads I have ever seen, a dark mocha that leaves a bit of lace on top.

S-rich roasted malt, roasted black coffee, molasses, and dark chocolate

T-taste matches the smell well but is kicked up a notch in all the categories. Rich roasted malts, espresso, molasses, and dark chocolate. Really excellent.

M-full body, milk shake quality, perfect amount of carbonation, leaves a dry roasted feeling

This might be the best RIS I have had, huge flavors, full body, and while the alcohol leaves a slight warming there was no burning sensation. Amazing.

Photo of sevenarts
4.88/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark brownish black, with a modest head that nevertheless leaves nice lacing behind.

S: Molasses, fruits, burnt roasted aromas.

T/M: Rich, layered flavors, the sweet of the molasses and fruit notes blended seamlessly with bitter, toasted flavors, some coffee, subtle nutty accents, so much going on here. And yet it all goes down really smooth.

O: This is just amazing and delicious.

Photo of Pat316
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of IlPostino
5/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of Beertracker
4.45/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Founders Imperial Stout (08/09?) pours up with a modest effervescence that creates a compact mochachino colored head that dissipates slowly over the opaque garnet-jet black body. The aroma is dominated by roasted barley, but has a pleasant underlying caramel sweetness supported by dark chocolate, mocha, and toasted bread with hints of burnt molasses, charred wood, cocao nibs and layered with fruitiness i.e cherry preserves, fig bar, sugared almonds, etc... The alcohol is certainly noticeable, but extremely well integrated. The heavy roasted flavor starts off a bit rough, but is quelmed by a supporting caramel sweetness & chocolate maltiness that's balanced by a slighty assertive earthen bitterness that keeps check on this bold, multi-layered Russian Imperial Stout. This is a stealthy beast with superb complexity and extremely drinkable for its strength. Here's to a long cold winter!

На здоровье! Beertracker

Photo of xxcarpxx
5/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of blackcompg
4.78/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from their 12oz bottle, bottled 12/22/11..

Appearance - Pours nearly a finger of deep dark cinnamon brown head, color of the beer is an opaque rich glossy black. Gorgeous coppery brown lacing covers the inside of my glass.

Smell - Sweet molasses and dark fruits, roasted grains, hints of black coffee and dark chocolate.

Taste - Oh my goodness! This is soooo rich, complex and well balanced. Starts with ripe dark fruits, sweet burnt toffee, dark chocolate and slightly sweetened black coffee. Then there is added fresh warm baked pumpernickel bread, strong black coffee, tart plum peels and candied hops. After the sip there are some dry breadcrusts and strong coffee grounds, with slight bitterness and smoke. So good!

Mouthfeel - Full and mouthcoating, rich and creamy smooth, like melted ice cream. Carb is low and feels soft on the tongue and almost adds a lightness, akin to a coffee chocolate moussse melting on the tongue. Such a nice full bodied and complex sipper.

Overall - I am blown away by this RIS, darned near perfect. I can't say enough about this beer, buy it and try it - DO IT! What a wonderful treat, it will be hard to discipline myself into aging a few of these, it's so good now, will be very hard not to drink them. A MUST try for any RIS fans out there.

Photo of spamages
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of CMack
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of jraras
1/5  rDev -77.1%

Founders Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 6,107 ratings.