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Founders Imperial Stout - Founders Brewing Company

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Founders Imperial StoutFounders Imperial Stout

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6,682 Ratings
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Ratings: 6,682
Reviews: 1,738
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 8.49%
Wants: 638
Gots: 1,843 | 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
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 6,682 | Reviews: 1,738
Photo of yaksurf
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of NickyDee21
4.67/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of coachdonovan
4.21/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter from a 12/22/11 bottle, it's obviously pure black. One of the darker heads I've seen in a while too; it starts out about an inch thick and fades to a thin layer of mocha foam, solid lacing. This is the picture you find in the dictionary next to "Imperial Stout."

Nose is equal parts coffee and unsweetened chocolate. A little tingle of alcohol is there, but just barely. The malt brings to mind the aroma of roasted chestnuts on a New York City autumn afternoon.

First pull from the glass is smooth and viscous. The aroma themes are still there - roasted coffee and bitter chocolate - but this flavor profile goes much deeper. There is a juicy fruitiness that balances all that darkness, and now I find the 90 IBUs referenced on the label. The roasty notes come through again in the finish.

I'm taking my time with this one because I want to enjoy all the flavors, not because the 10.5% abv is obvious. This is simply really really good. If the coffee flavor was dialed back just a bit, it might be perfect.

Photo of mfigueroa713
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of chickenm
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of hopstermonster1
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of EmmetD
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of Blaze5445
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of pentasyllabic
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

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

12 oz bottle. Bottled on 12/29/11.

Appearance is outstanding. Dead black body with a solid dark brown head. Just beautiful in my CBS snifter.

Nose is bitter chocolate and coffee. I'm getting quite a bit of hops as well.

Flavor is all about bitterness and intensity. Hops are prevalent. Bitter chocolate. This brew hits the palate like a shot!

Mouthfeel is rich and somewhat oily. Slick and moderately coating.

Overall, this is a fantastic RIS. The hop loading is reminiscent of Storm King, but the overall drinking experience is even better.

Photo of jayp82
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of closisinthehouse
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of djwhit24
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of Peyton5410
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of sleuthdog
3.83/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle with a bottled on date 12/22/11 poured into tulip glass

A: This Founders offering pours a dark black with about a one fingers size head. The head color reminds me of the color of chocolate ice cream. I see some tiny bubbles fighting to squeeze in between each other along the edge of the glass. Seemed to pour rather thick as it seemed to "chug" out of the bottle. There is some nice moderate to heavy lacing.

S: Upfront I get the roasted/char character. I also get expresso/coffee beans and dark bakers chocolate. There is an ever so slight hop character present and very light alcohol scent.

T: On first taste I get the charred/roasted characteristics and the chocolate notes. This has a very distinct bitter chocolate taste like dark chocolate but more like unsweetened dark chocolate. I definitely get the hop bitterness on both the initial taste and the swallow/after taste. The alcohol is almost non existent.

M: Not as viscous as I thought it would be after pouring. It has a nice balance between the carbonation and what I'm used to in a big stout for a change of pace. This beer leaves the palate fairly quickly after swallowing, which also surprised me.

O: I enjoyed this beer as a change from other stouts, probably because of the bigger hop character. I also enjoyed the lack of sweetness as a change of pace. I have 3 more in the cellar and am interested to see what some age does to this one.

Photo of Rckmo10
3.75/5  rDev -14%

Photo of rumorsofsurf
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of DarthKostrizer
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of siege06nd
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage poured into a British pint...

A: Pitch black with a finger of rich brown head. Excellent lacing and legs.

S: Chocolate, vanilla, mocha, brownie batter. Quite a decadent but mellow nose on this. Big rich chocolate notes, maybe even some molasses, and faint traces of coffee.

T: Chocolate, vanilla bean, faint coffee, some leather, very subtle traces of brown sugar and molasses. Very sweet and cloying...delicious.

M: Full bodied and light carbonation. A kiss of alcohol heat on the finish, but this is drinking like chocolate milk with a year on it. Flavor balance is excellent.

O: One of the best Imperial Stouts I have had. You probably assume this drinks like non-barreled KBS, but this is a unique beer in its own right. Rich, decadent fudge notes blend perfectly with vanilla and bready malt to create a truly special impy stout. Another proven winner from one of the best breweries in the country.

Photo of Hachiman
4.36/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Looks fantastic, like heavy motor oil. Scanty brown scummy head with a little bit of tiny, delicate lacing. Very industrial.

Aroma is roast, coffee and definitely alcoholic. Not as complex as some imperial stouts.

Taste is very good. Rich dark chocolate, roasted coffee, smoothly bitter hops, marred only by an ash-like roasted taste.

Thick and a little sticky on the lips, but lightened by adequate carbonation. Slightly warming at the finish.

Photo of DSlim71
4.38/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Dave (backfat) for this great extra. 2011 bottle. Cheers!

A - Pours thick and black as night. This beer doesn't allow any light to shine through. Half an inch of dark tan head settles to a ring which remains around the glass.

S - The aroma starts off with with roasted malt, black coffee and dark chocolate, which was expected from a brew that looks like this. A nice hop presence can be detected along with a light whiff of alcohol which picks up as it warms.

T - Definitely follows the nose. Dark, roasted malt, coffee and some dark chocolate. You can get a little smokiness in there as well, with a little heat from the alcohol. The bitterness from the hops plays well with the bitter, roasted flavors at the end. It continues to linger for a little while after the sip.

M - This beer coats the mouth immediately with its thick, viscous body. The first few sips had a medium to high level of carbonation that settled throughout the pour. Finishes a little sticky followed by some dryness.

Another winner by Founders. I really like the strong flavors this one brings to the table, especially the way the bitterness from the hops and roasted malt come together towards the end. It also has an excellent feel to it with a good amount of carbonation. Would definitely reach for this again if I had the chance. Thanks again Dave!

Photo of twowheelssoar
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of pwf316
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Another great brew from Founders. They have the ability to create some of the best stouts I have ever tasted. They are full of body and flavor that can compete with any great stout brewer. This like many Founders beers pack a punch and for my taste is a little too hoppy. I am someone who enjoys a slightly less hoppy flavor, which is why a give it a 4.5 for taste and mouthfeel. But, still overall it is a great beer.

Photo of bcostner1
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of Kinsman
4.23/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a viscous black body with a dark tan head making a nice appearance on top, albeit not quite as sticky as some.

Rich bittersweet chocolate and strong espresso notes great the nose. Alcohol presence is detected but not overpowering. Faint hints of tobacco and maybe some licorice mixed in as well.

Bold and complex on the palate full of roasty-toasty goodness and a nice bit of chocolate and brown sugary sweetness. Notes of licorice add a bitter touch to it and a light hint of alcohol rounds it all out.

Mouthfeel is a real winner with an incredibly creamy and smooth full-bodied texture. Overall, Founders knows how to make great beer, no doubt about that and Imperial Stout is only further proof of that.

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Founders Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 6,682 ratings.