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Founders Imperial Stout - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Imperial StoutFounders Imperial Stout

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6,377 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 6,377
Reviews: 1,658
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 8.49%
Wants: 594
Gots: 1,658 | FT: 125
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: BeerAdvocate on 02-12-2005

90 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,377 | Reviews: 1,658 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of FalconA
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of tjdemon
4/5  rDev -8.3%

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

Poured into a tulip for complete enjoyment. A mildly agressive pour yields a gorgeous, frothy head. The overall consumption experience is top-notch. My only critique is the bitterness ... would prefer if that was scaled back a bit. A little too much burnt taste too. Other than those minor nits, it's a great beer.

Photo of noyellowfizzbeer
5/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of Rusty18
4/5  rDev -8.3%

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

Bottled: 12/15/11; Poured in a tulip.

A - Two inches of creamy, thick mocha colored head with superb retention; Pitch black in color; Awesome web of lacing left all over the glass

S - Good balance of chocolate and roasty smells with a touch of molasses and some milky sweetness as well; Distinct smoky quality in the aroma

T - Lots of flavors going on here; Overall taste is smoky, much like the nose; Rich dark chocolate and cocoa flavors hit first with a bit of milky sweetness and hints of vanilla and caramel; A shot of bitterness is felt up front as well; The taste becomes roasty, toasty, and warm in the finish with the bitterness still intact; Woody, earthy, molasses-like, and subtle hop flavors come through in addition

M - Full bodied; Little carbonation; Leaves mouth fairly dry; Thick and ultra smooth mouthfeel

O - Man, why didn't I buy more of this when I had the chance? I haven't had too many RIS, but this is got to be my favorite thus far. Everything about this beer is very well done. The array of flavors and incredible mouthfeel make this beer so addicting, which allows the 10.5% ABV to creep up on you fast. I would put this beer at the same level of greatness as Founders Breakfast Stout, and can't wait to enjoy this brew again.

Photo of danielp215
5/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of SirWalkAbout
4/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one pours thick. Definitely one of the 'motor oil' types. It's basically a black hole. The head was a great dark brown coffee color, but disappeared quickly. Would have liked for it to stick around.

It smells very malty, smoky, and chocolaty. The alcohol smell is present.

Very nice flavor. Very smoky, a little bitter, but overall it's pretty smooth, especially considering it's 10.5%.

Overall, this one is damn good. On my pallet, it's better than the breakfast stout. Worth seeking this one out.

Photo of lilnicky068
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of deapokid
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

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

2011 edition (12/22/11).

First time around on this'un.
12oz stubby emptied into a snifter...

A: Sludgy motor oil black with an almost three-fingered mocha head that won't leave. Big bubbles slowly pop on the surface. Grappling lace. Very big looking.

S: Smoke, dark chocolate, booze, licorice, spent coffee grounds, biscuit-y malts, milk-dipped Oreo.

T: Big roast malt with a nice black grain bill. Rich, dark cocoa. French press coffee, some licorice again. Earthy hop that stings a bit. A little hot right now (got two more of my four-pack sitting). Mildly sweet. Interesting dissection of pale malts still uncovered, somewhat of a fortune cookie flavor evident. Big bitter finish.

M: Big and creamy and chewy. The carbonation lets no one here down. Feels like hot chocolate con panna.

O: Another great brew from the Founders group. This is a must have. I'd rate it higher if it were a bit more mellow. Age'll do it good. Enjoy!

Photo of founder26
3.5/5  rDev -19.7%

Photo of BarryMFBurton
4/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Founders absolutely kills it when it comes to stouts – so glad to have a glass full of their Imperial. For some reason, this beer wasn’t too popular at my local bottle shop compared to their Breakfast Stout…good news for me, because this beer looks badass. Cheers!

Brewed a little over a month ago (“12/22/11” on the neck of the bottle).

A: The head materializes into a finger of rich mahogany foam; a little bit of red comes through, especially as it first rises. The body’s black as midnight, encircled by a slim ring of dark lacing. Looks absolutely sinister.

S: Aromas are instantly recognizable as Founders, like Breakfast Stout. Powerful alcohol, rich roasted coffee, vanilla extract, and caramel cream (emphasis on the cream). Its milky, chocolaty, and just a bit fruity; cherry cordial, in fact. Still can’t get over the alcohol character which, with its strong-as-vodka kick, makes it bolder and spicier than Breakfast Stout, for sure. Dry wood and cinnamon toward the end.

T: Bitter-sweet chocolate, cake batter, cinnamon-sugar, and molasses-y malts start this off rich. More bready than I was expecting, though the spices give it a pumpernickel character. The alcohol is just as woody as in the nose, though its sting is powered by a breath of fresh, dark hop oils: a smoky, resiny combination. It’s a tart, refreshing stout that’s just as powerful as its Breakfast brother. The aftertaste is almonds, dried fruits, and a delectable Founders mustiness. As rich and interesting as I was expecting, for sure.

M: It has a bubbly, crispness that makes it so drinkable. Seriously, watch out for this one: its drinkability-to-ABV ratio is close to Hopslam. This is certainly lightest stout from Founders I’ve had so far.

O: From the first sip, it’s Founders, which puts it into a category all its own. Needless to say, it’s tasty. As good as Breakfast Stout? Close, but no. Still, I’ll take another 4-pack, please.

Photo of xavier390
5/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of brealbg
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%

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

Poured from a 64oz growler into a snifter.

A: This is about as perfect a picture an RIS can paint. Pours like melted black chocolate and forms a beautiful brown head that refuses to fall. Beautiful.

S: Rich chocolate and maltiness. Hops are citruscy, medicinal and earthy.

T: Bakers chocolate, tobacco, toffee. Hops are big here and balance the rediculous malt flavours very nicely.

D: For a beer this big, the does not drink like it. Mouthfeel is full and velvety.

Overall: This is a remarkably good beer. One thing you can say about Founders is that they know their stouts. Smooth and balanced, yet assertive and extreme. Damned good beer.

note: I also had this in bottles. I saw no change between the two containers; same great beer.

Photo of justintcoons
4.58/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter.

A: Pours as black as the depths of Hell with 1 finger of deep brown head that dissipates quickly. Has fine webbed lacing and a good film that clings to the glass.

N: Highly aromatic. Roasted barley, dark fruits, caramel, bittersweet chocolate, espresso, molasses and black licorice.

T: Bittersweet chocolate, black licorice, roasted barley and espresso upfront. Mid-palate has rich caramel, espresso, figs, overripe plums and I’m even picking up some faint citrus and floral hops. Finishes with truffle, dark chocolate, dark fruits and some pine & citrus hops.

M: Full bodied, silky, chewy, sticky, dry and bitter.

O: I haven’t had this beer in two years and I’m glad that it still lived up to my expectations. Excellent roasty chocolate, espresso and dark fruits are all over this one. Overly impressive appearance and mouthfeel. Just phenomenal all around! Founders is the king of Stouts.

Photo of inlimbo77
4.18/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle. Bottled 12/29/11. Poured into Boulevard snifter.

A: Pours like motor oil, for real. Thick as hell! Basically no head. What faint tan head that was there settles into a ring around the edges of deep brown and reddish hues. The swirl conjures up a quarter finger dark tan head. Little sticky lacing bits. Alcohol feet clinging to the glass.

S: This is the base beer for KBS, no? You can tell. There isn't much coffee in the nose, it's dominated by deep dark chocolate and milk chocolate notes. Maybe a little dark fruit behind. Some raisin maybe? And I do actually get some dark espresso beans after a while.

T: Bitterness from the IBUs on the tip of the tongue for sure. I do get what some dark roast coffee beans, espresso. Then really deep bitter dark chocolate follows. The finish is very long. You do get some warming from this big beer! It's not soft like FBS, that is for sure! This might benefit from a little age, as I feel it's a little hot right now.

M: Full bodied and chewy as hell. Coats the mouth totally.

O: Impressive again from Founders. Their beers are just so well crafted. This is an A beer for me, and might go higher with a little time.

Photo of pjs234
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of JimmyW
5/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of hefehead12
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of areich6
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of nrs207
4/5  rDev -8.3%

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

The beer poured a dark, almost black and produced a reddish brown creamy head, which leaves nice lacing after dissipating.
The smell is chocolate, coffee and plum.
Tasting the beer, chocolate ad coffee notes are certainly dominant up front. than the roasted malt flavors give the beer a smokey feel in the middle. In the end some hop character is noticable.
The almost syrup like beer is extremely drinkable. What a great brew this is. The ABV of 10.5 is well hidden. Certainly one of my favorite Stouts.

Photo of ixodus
4.47/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours motor oil black in color with a chocolate color head. Head retention is moderate with decent lacing.

S: Ground coffee, burnt malt, sweet vanilla, dark chocolate, caramelized raisins. Aroma is strong and a little bitter.

T: Dark coffee, rich dark chocolate, sweet vanilla, roasted malts, slight hop bitterness, it has an interesting burnt/smoke taste to it. The beer is bit hot.

M: Thick, viscous, rich, and creamy, carbonation is on the soft side.

O: Overall an excellent RIS, one of my favorites. I definitely recommend.

Founders Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 6,377 ratings.