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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.

5,748 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 5,748
Reviews: 1,594
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 8.72%
Wants: 514
Gots: 1,393 | FT: 118
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: 5,748 | Reviews: 1,594 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of larryi86
4.65/5  rDev +6.7%

Thank you betsona for this one
12 oz bottle poured into a snifter

A- Black with a small dark tan head that stays around

S- Roasted malts, chocolate, dark fruits, hint of hops.

T- Roasted coffee and rich dark chocolate, nice bitterness, touch of caramel, 10.5% ABV is well hidden.

M- Smooth, thick, creamy, just amazing.

D- Super easy to drink for 10.5% ABV. Solid RIS, if I could get it near me I would pick this up a lot.

larryi86, Mar 15, 2011
Photo of brian44556
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%

2011 vintage poured into Stone tulip at 55 degrees.

The appearance of this beer was great. Poured a small foam head, jet black in color, and left a nice chocolate lacing around the glass. The smell the first 10-20 minutes was very metallic in nature. Still had hints of coffee, but I didn't smell the chocolate until it warmed up. Halfway through the glass the smell was great. Same result with the taste. The first 20 minutes the taste was just OK. Not until it warmed up did it have the very bitter chocolate taste with a coffee backbone that I look for in a RIS. The mouthful was great, carbonation was noticeable, but I didn't pick up on any notes of alcohol once it warmed up. Overall an another exceptional beer from Founder's. I could easily drink a 4 pack, but with the hefty ABV, 2 may be my limit.

brian44556, Mar 14, 2011
Photo of JLeege
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

2011, poured into a snifter

Appearance- Pours jet black with a small tan head. Good retention and impressive lacing.

Smell- Chocolate, coffee and roasted malts up front, with a bit of piney hops lying underneath.

Taste- Again, chocolate and coffee lead things off. Mixed in with some caramel, licorice, and subtle dark fruits. Cocoa and a very slight smokiness. A semi bitter pine pops up towards the finish. Lingering dark chocolate on the palate, slightly boozy as well.

Mouthfeel- Full body, ample carbonation. ABV is noticeable, but hid well overall. Very smooth.

Overall- What more can you say, another excellent stout from Founders, they flavors stay with you long after the drink.

JLeege, Mar 14, 2011
Photo of augustgarage
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%

Thanks ShogoKawada for the bottle(s)! Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Portsmouth tulip.

Motor oil brown liquid, thoroughly opaque with a slow building slick and lasting collar of fallow foam. Viscous legs, and thin sandy, glistening lacing.

Rich roast coffee, cocoa nibs, molasses, aged rum, and fruit pits in the nose along with a touch of grain.

The aromas all come through on the palate but in magnified form with additional licorice and dark brown sugar. A nearly savor flavor suggests marjoram (perhaps from hops?) and even bacon at times. Rum, vanilla custard, and brandy soaked bread crusts in the finish - which is sweet but decently attenuated.

Velvety, slightly oily, full bodied mouthfeel - warming, though the ABV is somewhat concealed.

Lush and deeply satisfying stout - the perfect night-cap.

augustgarage, Mar 14, 2011
Photo of Katulus7
4.18/5  rDev -4.1%

Beautiful thick and dark with a bit of tightly laced head.

Dewy deep coffee scent with overtones of strawberry.

Surprising crisp taste, sweet with increasing espresso notes that increase steadily as the aftertaste fades into moderate bitterness.

Tremendous satisfyingly thick feel with low-moderate carbonation.

Katulus7, Mar 14, 2011
Photo of digr
4.7/5  rDev +7.8%

A - Pours a Deep Dark thick liquid with an initial almost black 1 cm head with small bubbles. Over time the foam slowly fades as the bubbles expand and the color lightens to a mild tan. Very cool indeed.

S - Nice! Subtle but definite dark malts and a very mild vanilla like essence. Literally mouth watering.

T - Thick and smooth and yummy. Definitely an american stout, but so smooth with just a touch black roasted bite. good balance with a slight residual sweetness tempered by just enough bitteing hops to balance. This is really good. Nope, can't tell it is 10% ABV other than the viscosity. no alcohol bite. A great winter sipper by the fire! The long term finish is that wonderful dark roast malt aftertaste that lingers between the teeth.

M - yeah really awesome. Did I say smooth? Despite being 10%ABV and thick as treacle, still slides down easily.

D - yeah, same a Mouthfeel in that it is remarkably easy to drink despite its Imperial nature. But I am putting this sway much faster than expected, so the proof here is in the almost empty glass...

Overall I REALLY liked this beer. I think it is just as good as the famous KBS, and much easier to drink and actual pint.

Thanks go out to Joe at Gordon's for the recommendation.,

digr, Mar 12, 2011
Photo of projectflam86
4.47/5  rDev +2.5%

Brewed on date - 02/09/11

A- Pours an engine oil black color with a thin brown head that leaves really nice lacing.

S- Woah, this packs a punch! Huge roasted nose with full dark chocolate scents. Really strong aroma that smells just like a RIS should.

T- Strong roasted flavor with dark chocolate and dark malt flavors dominating the profile. Cocoa nibs, molasses, and anise all come through as well with a big helping of alcohol in the finish.

M- Full bodied with nice carbonation. Smooth and creamy feel.

D- Really great brew. The 10.5% ABV makes this a sipper.

projectflam86, Mar 11, 2011
Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.65/5  rDev +6.7%

Poured into a tulip glass from a 12oz bottle.

A - Pours a thick and oily viscous fluid that is ink blot black. There is a very thin head at less than 0.25 inch tall. It is nice and dark tan and for such a small head has some nice retention. A nice swirl raises a nice thick 1 inch head that is dark dark tan almost coffee colored brown and quite dense. Very nice.

S - Starts of with nice dark malt hints. Roasted coffee notes. Espresso hints mixed in with some nice dark chocolate sweetness and bitterness and some slight dark fruit notes. Overall quite a chocolaty beer in terms of aroma with some nice dark and roasted grain notes.

T & M - Taste starts off with some nice sweetness followed by some delicious roasted espresso coffee. There is also some slight bonfire smoke notes in the beer. Very delicious and creamy with a silky smooth mouthfeel. There is some slight dark fruit sweetness but the beer is mostly roasty. There is also some slight boozy notes but nothing too crazy for such a high ABV (10%). To be honest this reminds me of amore robust and hotter Founder's Porter. It has a similar grain profile/ There is some nice hop bitterness that comes in on the back end and balances the finish between dry and sticky.

D - Delicious brew. I wouldn't mind this once per night. Great liquid desert. Founders does it again in my book. This is definitely a 5 even with the higher ABV.

JoEBoBpr, Mar 10, 2011
Photo of bobhits
4.38/5  rDev +0.5%

Imperial Stout

Dark chocolate body, with a deep dark milk chocolate colored head. Huge thickness and creamy looking as hell. Simply amazing looking.

Light chocolate, coffee, sweet malt notes, with a mix of hops. Certainly a dark chocolate dominated beer with a nice hop floral finish. This beer doesn't jump out in flavors but I feel there's just something so flawless in how everything fits together.

Burn dark chocolate up front. Then it rolls down the tongue sweetening, with slight hop and alcohol burn. Mixed in is a bit of coffee, caramel, and toffee.

This is some of the smoothest most "pillowy" oatmeal like stout I've ever had that could still call itself imperial.

Like expedition stout this drinks like a milk shake, but damn this first beer of the night is going down like water.

bobhits, Mar 09, 2011
Photo of kaips1
4.4/5  rDev +0.9%

on tap into a snifter

a-dark as night, dark brown right under the 1 finger head that didnt stay long but left slight lacing
s-lots of malt, lots of coffee, lots of chocolate, amazing
t-exactly as the smell except the chocolate was much more pronounced good malt blend
d-a sipper for me but a drinker for some, could get used to this if it last longer

kaips1, Mar 09, 2011
Photo of Rizalini
3.75/5  rDev -14%

Recieved in a trade from StlThrash, and shared with Nikkibrews13. Thanks for the brew!

A - Pours black with a very minimal brown head leaving almost no lacing.

S - Big roasty aroma and sweet smells.

T - Roastyness and licorice on the forefront, but at 90 IBUs, I can taste the hops in the background.

M - Medium mouthfeel, but kinda lacking on the carbonation.

D - This is a good stout, but a little 'hoppier' than I would prefer my Russian Imperial Stouts to be.

Rizalini, Mar 09, 2011
Photo of Nikkibrews13
4.13/5  rDev -5.3%

A: Founders Imperial Stout comes rich and dark in color. Deep brown head.

S: The aroma is sweet and roasted. A fruity chocolate comes off with a slight boozy after.

T: Nice sweetness in the malts. roasty. with notes of chocolate.

M: Medium mouthfeel, smooth.

D: Very good very drinkable stout.

I think founders imperial is awesome, nice sweetness complimented by a great roasted flavor. if this beer were available in Nevada i would drink it again and again, and enjoy it every time.

Nikkibrews13, Mar 09, 2011
Photo of Spider889
4.34/5  rDev -0.5%

On tap at Bodega.

A true classic example of the style.

Black, really small but tight dark toffee colored head. Very thick and dense. Left a thin honeycomb of lace on the glass.

I found the aroma lacking, but the malt-driven beer is very roasty, with hints of sweet chocolate syrup wafting in and out.

The flavor is everything a RIS should be, but then again, it wasn't anything overly unique either. Well roasted, high degree of char and ash is present. Bitter hops and smooth oats on the finish.

Medium bodied, lower carbonation as it should be, not too heavy despite the thickness of the beer. Somewhat sticky.

The abv felt less than 10% while I was drinking it, but it wasn't unnoticeable either. I was definitely feeling this beer afterward though. A wonderful RIS, worth seeking out.

Spider889, Mar 08, 2011
Photo of ommegangpbr
4/5  rDev -8.3%

Motor oil on the pour with a thin bodied but deep deep colored head.
Smells of wood smoke and strong brewed coffee.
Flavors are of great, bitter chocolate, like, 85% cacao chocolate. The ten percent or so of booze vaporizes those chocolate notes.
Rich, deep and pretty straightforward. I'd be happy to have this again.

ommegangpbr, Mar 08, 2011
Photo of ms11781
4.45/5  rDev +2.1%

Bottled 02/09/2011. 12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours a solid black, dark as night, with a minimal dark brown head. The head eventually becomes a very thin, lighter brown ring of foam around the glass. Small wisps of lacing left on the glass, just enough to note.

The nose is full of dark and roasted aromas. Dark chocolate is present along with a ton of roasted malt character. There is a lesser amount of coffee here but still enough to note. There is also a hint of molasses and a sort of underlying sweetness.

Tons of flavor in the taste. Dark chocolate, coffee, some caramel sweetness, brown sugar, molasses. There is a huge roasted character in the taste that is stronger than the nose and seems even a bit smoky at times. There is also a nice bitterness towards the finish. It seems like it from either some bitter chocolate or some burnt coffee flavor.

A thick body with low carbonation gives this beer a very heavy mouthfeel. It's thick and viscous and rich and creamy all at the same time. Finishes very smooth and leaves a bit of a lingering bitterness.

Drinkability is great with this one. Very thick and heavy, definitely a one and done, but very enjoyable. A good beer to sit and sip over a few hours over a winter evening while fresh and also one that might improve with some age.

ms11781, Mar 08, 2011
Photo of JKIRBY
4.35/5  rDev -0.2%

2011 poured into my snifter.

Poured thick and black and beautiful. Very thin dark brown head, never even enough to cover the surface. Retreats quickly to a ring. Each drink leaves a nice ring around the glass. Nice retention on the lacing.

Nose is roasty, full.

Taste is exceptional. Dark roast coffee, dark chocolate bitter. Bitter, but not in a bad way. Flavor remains, but not like a bad aftertaste, just lingering goodness. Masks the 10.2 ABV quite well. Expected it to be hot being so fresh, but only a tiny bit boozy, nothing out of line for the style.

Mouthfeel is very pleasant, little carbonation, but enough. Coats the tongue nicely.

I could enjoy a couple of these.

Another +1 for Founders in my book.

JKIRBY, Mar 08, 2011
Photo of dbossman
4.08/5  rDev -6.4%

A: Black and thick with a thin dark brown head that dissipates quickly; lacing is good

S: Lots of dark roasted malts and coffee; some toasty bready quality; the alcohol aromas and burnt grains peak through as well; a little bit of burnt rubber but it is pleasant enough

T: Burnt and roasted malts up front with some coffee; a touch of medicinal quality there as well

F: Sticky and viscous with great overall mouth feel

D: A great beer but the burnt roasted malts are a bit over the top; this is a good sipper and not too boozy but it's still not one you could drink all night

dbossman, Mar 08, 2011
Photo of orangesol
4.2/5  rDev -3.7%

Served on nitro-tap at Al's of Hampden into a nonic pint.

A - Pours used motor oil black with a small film of khaki colored head, dissipating down to a spotty film, leaving thin rings of lacing down the glass.

S - Lots of flavor going on in this one but mostly coffee, chocolate, dark roasted malt, booze, and a tiny bit of vanilla. Not too over the top like others, just a solid Imperial Stout.

T - Lots of rich dark roasted coffee mixes well with the dark roasted malt and dulled chocolaty sweetness. The booze comes thru more and more as it begins to come to room temperature. Finish is very roasty with tons of it lingering long after the finish. Not too bad.

M - Heavy body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Lots of heavy roast in both the feel and the finish. Good overall balance but the booze crept in toward the end.

D - Pretty good. I enjoyed this one but the roast began to wear me down over the course of the glass. Still a very nice beer. Glad I finally got to try it.

orangesol, Mar 07, 2011
Photo of TheDTrain
4.08/5  rDev -6.4%

Finally an Imperial Stout fit for an Imperial Storm Trooper after a long day chasing down rebels on Hoth.

Pours like motor oil. Thick is an understatement. This is a meal in a glass...heavy, rich, gritty, and harsh. Powered by heavy roast malt, coco, molasses, brown sugar, boozy undertones throughout, & a strong hop bite.

Put on your big boy pants for this one. A good Imperial stout without the pleasantries of the Founders Breakfast Stout or KBS.

TheDTrain, Mar 07, 2011
Photo of JizackFH
4.58/5  rDev +5%

A - This beer pours jet black in color. It has a beautiful 2-finger frothy head, that is a perfect milk chocolate color. The head has nice retention, and leaves some nice sticky lacing on the glass. This just looks awesome.

S - This smells of dark roasted malt and lots of chocolate. There are also notes of coffee, caramel, molasses, toffee, a touch of hops, and some booziness.

T - The taste is dark and roasty. There are strong bitter dark-chocolate flavors present. Also, I am getting notes of coffee, molasses, toffee, caramel, some hop bitterness, and some booziness. The finish has a great smooth chocolate flavor, and there is also a hint of booziness throughout.

M - It has a nice full body and low-medium carbonation. It goes down very smooth, and in my opinion has the perfect body for this style of beer. There is some lingering bitterness, as well as a boozy warmth in the finish.

D - This has excellent drinkability. I have a hard time putting this one down, even though I'm trying to pace myself. This beer looks, smells, and tastes great. I really like this beer, and I will definitely be having more. I highly recommend this. Awesome job Founders. Cheers.

JizackFH, Mar 07, 2011
Photo of FosterJM
4.33/5  rDev -0.7%

296th review on BA
bottle to NB globe
12 oz bottle

App- A very dark brown. Almost black. A one finger head with a dark tan color. Scattered lacing.

Smell- Chocolate, Malt, Booze, Caramel.

Taste- A big chocolate taste with sweet malt and a hint of booze. A very good RIS. Nice creamy aftertaste.

Mouth- Medium bodied with a medium carb level. A nice blend of creamy, lush, velvet. All those adjectives. A nice dessert stout.

Drink- Why did I only ask for one of these. Damn this was tasty. Big flavors again out of a small bottle. I like that analogy

FosterJM, Mar 07, 2011
Photo of mistakebythelake
3.9/5  rDev -10.6%

12 oz bottle into a snifter.

Pours a dark pitch black with a red amber tine. Los of bubbles and lacing with a lot of foam. Smelled of coffee, chocolate and toffee with some roasted flavors too. Tasted of coffee, roasted alts and cocoa. Thick, creamy, rich and heavy on the mouthfeel. Went down pretty smooth but alcohol% is sneaky especially as it warmed up.

mistakebythelake, Mar 07, 2011
Photo of garbercury
4/5  rDev -8.3%

A--Deep dark mahogany with killer amber red head and tons of lacing, beautiful, scores a perfect 5.

S--Coffee is strong on this one, bit of licorice.

T--This is a strong beer taste wise, coffee and hoppy finish dominate. Flavor is heavy duty, dark malts with a hoppy back end that really hits hard.

M--Fantastic, smooth and silky, milkshake like.

D--Heavy and hot, needs time. This is a beer that will benefit greatly by aging...

garbercury, Mar 07, 2011
Photo of peensteen
4.43/5  rDev +1.6%

Nearly jet black, deep tan head that recedes to the edges of the glass, almost no lace on the glass. Coffee, chocolate, roasted malt and nice bittersweet notes round out the nose. Taste is of coffee, chocolate, nice firm bitterness, mildly hoppy, brownie like taste, rich dark malt, nice chocolaty finish. The taste of this is out of this world. Full body, creamy and almost milkshake like, decent carbonation and overall very nice. Drinks well, great imperial stout, sweet and bitter, very complex and wholly satisfying.

peensteen, Mar 06, 2011
Photo of JoeBloe
4.47/5  rDev +2.5%

reviewing the last bottle of a 4pk -
pours opaque brown/black into a pint glass and puts up a 1/2 finger of rich brown head - leaves rings of lacing from top to bottom - i can smell roasted barley, coffee and and a slight wiff of alcohol - bitter and prickly on the tip of the tongue - tastes of roasted grains and coffee, bitter chocolate and then some vanilla - I don't really taste the alcohol - this is a good beer to end the night with - tastier as it warms -
the bitter chocolate taste lingers on nicely in the finish - mouthfeel is thick at the beginning and soon thins to a nice creaminess - goes down easy -
really good stuff !

JoeBloe, Mar 06, 2011
Founders Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 5,748 ratings.