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Founders Imperial Stout | Founders Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
96
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1,830 Reviews
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Founders Imperial StoutFounders Imperial Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
75 IBU

Added by mjohn27603 on 01-13-2003

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,830
Ratings:
7,591
Avg:
4.34
pDev:
17.28%
 
 
Wants:
725
Gots:
2,366
For Trade:
153
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,830 | Ratings: 7,591
Photo of TheKlevin
5/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Textbook definition of an imperial stout. Amazing beer fresh or aged, I have bottles going back to 2011 and they all taste amazing. Extremely under hyped beer, and my favorite non adjunct non barrel aged stout.

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Photo of Zebulan
4.4/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Extremely dark pour with dark brown foam.
S: Not an overpowering smell but strong enough; dark malt and chocolate smell.
T: Warm from the start. Chocolate taste and a good bitter taste, espresso bitter.
F: Solid body. Warm all the way around.
O: I really like this. It is simple and pleasing stout but I know it is crafted extremely well. Any RIS fan would like to have this.

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Photo of rbenitez25
4.58/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Great pour and great head. Very much an imperial stout. Strong nose, roasted beans and chocolate with a bit licorice. Very much roasted coffee on the tongue. Mouthful of a beer.

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Photo of Nic1985Ace
4.77/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle with a bottling date of 11/24/15

L: Pours a rich dark black with a thick tan head that waterfalls down the glass like a Guinness.

S: Smells of dark chocolate, dark fruits, and roasted malt.

T: Taste is toasted nuts, dark chocolate, dates, plums. Alcohol is hidden well. Flavors open up nicely as it warms.

F: Smooth, good carbonation. Very nice going down.

O: This is a great stout. Not much not to like here. I was a little surprised by the fruitiness here, but it adds some nice character to the beer.

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Photo of EMH73
4.53/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a 3 finger mocha head, very well laced. Smells of roasted malts, chocolate and coffee. Tastes just as it smells with a slightly bitter finish. Founders does it again, another great beer.

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Photo of MIBeerGeek
4.11/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured deep black with a very deep mocha colored head that lingered for a bit. Smelled of roasted malts and chocolate, slight licorice smells as well. Tastes of roasted malts with a slight smoked malt under tone as it finishes dry and slightly bitter. Nice heavy winter beer that goes down well and is not overpowering or too hot. Overall I'm looking forward to enjoying a few more and aging a few out. Will run into more next year!

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Photo of MAFC_Trainer
4.68/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

L - poured into a founder sniffer glass. Chocolate brown thick creamy head with a dark black thick body
S - chocolate, coffee, toffee, maple, sweet, malty
T - just like the smell. Chocolate, toffee up front with a malty sweet caramel maple after taste
F - super smooth beer that goes down easy w low carbonation. This is a thick beer you can chew on that really coats the palate
O - when it comes to imperial stouts, this is the best I've ever had. A sexy looking beer full of flavor and a thick body that you can chew on. Founders never disappoints and this is a great stout that meets everything that you want in an imperial stout.

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Photo of Lingenbrau
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another knock out from Founders. Just what you would expect from an Imperial stout. Rich, dense, chocolate, roasted, sweet and bitter...and delicious. Cheers!

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Photo of TequilaTom
4.48/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle that I nitrogenated with the NitroBrew I got as an Xmas present and poured into a snifter. First thing I noted was how viscous this monster of a stout is! Poured a thick, deep, dark brown with a 1-2 finger dark tan head. Smells of roasted malts (duh). Thick and creamy on the palate. Took my time drinking this one as it is VERY filling. Felt pretty good once the 10.5% ABV kicked in. A good brew to enjoy on a cold winter's eve. Thanks Founders!!

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Photo of SaulFox
4.46/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep black with dark mocha head. Elegant lacing.
Dark chocolate, roasty malt, very light espresso.
Roasted espresso bitterness, rich chocolate.
Rich heavy mouthfeel.
Very nice winter brew....glad us Californians are included in Founder's distribution.

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Photo of PA-hunter
3.38/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured 12 oz bottle into snifter glass. 10.5% abv

Appearance- Pours a coal black with a two finger bark brown head that dissipates fast. Quite opaque.

Smell- Earthy. Roasted, sweet malt. Chocolate and licorice aromas.

Taste- A heavily roasted malt up front. Some chocolate mixed in with the malt flavor. A smoky flavor fills the palate. Mocha towards the finish. This stout finishes extremely bitter.

Mouthfeel- Extra thick/heavy bodied. Low carbonation.

Overall- Alright. Not as complex as I thought it would be considering it used ten different malts. This stout was also unusually bitter for it being fresh. It detracted from the smoothness. I would say this would be much better if aged a year or two.

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Photo of Tonyjenlasc
4.51/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Look - Black as night. Gorgeous two finger mocha head. Killer lacing that stains the glass when you swirl.
Smell - Bakers chocolate, coffee, smokiness, dark roasted malts
Taste - Big pop of dark chocolate up front followed by espresso type coffee bitterness. Some smokiness/ash on the back end.
Feel - Nice full mouthfeel. Creamy, smooth, mouth coating, thick.....exactly how I like my stouts!

Overall - One of my favorite, if not my favorite, seasonal stouts. Possibly the best non BA stout out in my opinion.

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Photo of The_Snow_Bird
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

The look is what I dream about, perfect pitch black like used motor oil. Very dark caramel color head. Has a roasted coffee smell along with some dark chocolate. Very thick with a roasted taste.

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Photo of ThaneMcC
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep, inky black to black with a fb of tan foam which resolves to a fine lacing with scant carbonation. Smells of cocoa, coffee, leather, a bit smoky, roasted malts. Tastes sweet malts forward, mid note of unsweetened cocoa, expresso, smoky/leathery, hint of barnyard/wet burlap, and nice piney twang as the final note with a bit of alcohol tingle and fairly clean finish with just a bit of sweet malty tackiness that lingers pleasantly (like a sweet port or sherry). Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with enough carbonation to keep it from becoming syrupy and just the right amount of alcohol to add a tingle and warmth.
Solid imperial stout .

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Photo of GreatStoutman
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2014 on draft. Pours thick, oily black with milk chocolate head. Leaves nice lace in its way down.

Nose is chocolate and toasty malts. Not overpowering.

Huge, chewy stout. Minimal carbonation and very balanced bitterness. Pretty sweet but very drinkable. Not sure how they got this 2014 keg, but it's awesome.

Overall this is everything it's hyped up to be. If you've got some fresh ones I would vote for letting it age a year or so; the payoff is tremendous.

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Photo of Ksmoove27
4.27/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look - beautiful jet black with red tint and 2 finger mocha head..heavy ring lacing throughout

Smell - malt, mocha and coffee...not overwhelming...could be because it was refrigerated

Taste - roasted malt, baking cocoa...complex but not overwhelming...a little smokiness

Feel - silky and smooth...really nice creamy texture...medium to heavy bodied...not a heavy booze flavor for the ABV...a little bit heavy on the carbonation but not too distracting

Overall - really good...I should not have refrigerated these and served them at a cellar temp...it is really smooth and has a good taste, but the aroma was not overwhelming...leaving it a half step behind my favs (like Founders Breakfast Stout)

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Photo of hardysf
4.33/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Fantastic Shelf beer. The pour is thick and viscous like oil. Jet black color with nice tan head. Leaves some foam behind but not much lacing. Smell is of roasted malts, coffee, and chocolate. Also a smell of ethanol which isn't exactly a want of mine for beer. The taste and mouthfeel is awesome, no alcohol burn or taste. Lots of roastiness and chocolate. Hints of coffee. The mouthfeel is spectacular and I appreciate that there isnt a sweetness lingering, but instead it finishes dry and robust.

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Photo of THSdrummer
4.52/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a jet black with a thin, dark creme head. It leaves behind a ring of lace. It smells of malts and cocoa. The taste opens up as a bit of cocoa, mixed with booze. Very tasty, and easy to drink though. The feel is rather incredible. It feels robust, and creamy. It is a delight to drink. Overall, very pleased with this beer. It's quite incredible.

Served in a 12oz snifter.

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Photo of ccg
4.11/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 2015-12-02. Opened 2016-01-14.
Wow, this beer looks amazing. It has the thick, motor oil look you'd expect from a top-tier stout, but I can't remember the last time I've seen this kind of head on a beer. It's at least a full inch of foam, thick with tiny bubbles, and it's dark brown. As it settles, it leaves a ton of lacing on the glass and lightens in color, settling into a thin, tan-colored layer with some larges bubbles around the edge. If you swirl it around, you can see a million tiny bubbles marching through the legs.
The smell is initially all roasted malt with some coffee and cocoa notes. Unfortunately, if the beer is served too cold (straight out of a standard refrigerator), the smell fades quickly.
The flavor is coffee, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and smoke, all under a layer of slight hoppy bitterness. As it warms, the finish seems to become lighter and less bitter.
It's smooth and somewhat chewy, but it does not have the viscosity I expected from the way it looked when poured.
A beautifully well-made imperial stout.

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Photo of gwguest
4.7/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Founders Imperial Stout hits all of the points for me when I think of "Imperial Stout" without going completely out of bounds on any one area or being a gimmick beer.

Look - Pours a deep dark brown with a caramel mocha colored foam. The pour gives you an accurate impression of the beer you're about to drink.

Smell - Bittersweet Chocolate with coffee and vanilla notes. Deep roasted malts.

Taste - Deep and complex layers of roast of the chocolate and coffee notes with definite charred notes all blend together to be nearly indistinguishable unless tasting it for a review purpose. There is just enough caramel sweetness to balance the roast and the hops do there job to add enough bitterness to check the caramel. There is a very slight hint of alcohol heat in the finish, but I'm being very, very picky on this. Your average BA won't notice it.

What I love most about this beer is that it's not a roast bomb, a hop bomb or a cloying mess. It dials up all of those attributes in just the right level to create a harmonious, delicious beer.

Feel - Lucious and creamy matching and enhancing everything that the beer has offered to this point.

I don't review many beers, but this beer simply deserves it. A fantastic beer that I will buy every time that I see it.

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Photo of jettjon
4.54/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

From a 12 oz bottle marked 12/15, consumed on 1/15. Into my Sam Adams glass (thanks, guys!) this one redefines “engine oil black.” Gorgeous, glossy black color with a thick, 1-2 finger head of dark brown and tan head of fine bubbles. Great retention with a thick cap and collar and plenty of gooey lacing all the way down. Nose is complex with sweet toasted malt with vanilla notes up front, boozy alcohol, powdered cocoa, roasted coffee and perhaps licorice. On the tongue it’s a perfect balance of heavy body and bubbly effervescence. Milky, creamy, but with enough carbonation to give some bite. Flavor is big dark chocolate up front tempered by charred coffee and backed by a heavy boozy note. Wraps up on a nice bitter burn; my only real complaint is that the bitter aftertaste hangs around long enough to make this a one-beer trip.

Overall a really solid RIS. Is this top tier? Maybe. I’m really partial to huge Belgian beers like quads, but this offering is very solid for style. Detract points for a slight lack of drinkability.

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Photo of Fatehunter
4.12/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a thin tan head on a black body.
The aroma is milk, rich chocolate and roasted malt.
The taste has depth with roasted malt, coffee, chocolate and wood, with a lingering burnt malt flavor.
The texture is exceptionally smooth.

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Photo of HopHunter19
4.54/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A - nice dark brown/black opaque beer with big mocha head that leaves nice lacing
S - big mocha, dark chocolate, vanilla, Umami, cocoa
T - dark chocolate, cocoa, mocha, coffee, Umami, vanilla
M - thick, alcohol is hot, aftertaste toasty dark malts, cocoa
O- big beer, more time would do this one some good, bottled mid December 2015 drank 1/8/2015

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Photo of DevWand
4.27/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Looking forward to this for quite some time...Another solid beer from the company!

Pours a midnight black, bitter sweet malty nose.
Tastes of bittersweet chocolate, and malts. Mouthfeel is rich and decadent... Stellar beer!!

I have to say, I do prefer the Breakfast Stout, but that's only because I love coffee notes in my porters/stouts.

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Photo of DaddyFist
4.59/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The beer known as Founders Imperial Stout, pours thicker than an Olympic weight lifters thigh. The sheer mass of this beer pouring into the snifter comes down harder than John Cena's fist on The Big Shows skull at a Texas monster truck rally in July. The color of this beer is darker than the farthest depths of the bayou during the witching hour.

It is by the good grace of the Lord that I survived the interaction between this beer and myself.

While pouring this beer, the aromas spill into the air like the Exxon Mobile Oil spill back in March of '89. The abrupt force of raisins, and dark matter explodes like an atomic bomb and wipe everything out in its path. My humble abode, now turned into ruins. Ashes scatter, teeth chatter, children yelping, ears ringing. Slowly going in and out of consciousness. Instant headache, and incredible pains pulsing through my bones. The Apocalypse has finally arrived. "DEAR GOD! SAVE THE WOMEN AND CHILDREN!"

It was as if I had been taken back in time and placed right in the heart of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. I had been dropped in at peak action in the destruction of Pompeii. History is always doomed to repeat itself, but who knew that it would be brought on by this almighty beer? Not I! For only an evil, wicked mind, could conjure such a concoction, and have the meat to release it!

I search for direction but the mighty ash has blocked out the sunlight. I look to my left, and far in the distance I see the chalice of beer that single handedly brought forward this madness! There is only one way to stop this. I must consume it.

Forward I run! "Faster! FASTER!!!" I scold myself to get ever nearer towards this drink. 78 paces I glide! Weaving through the chaos of falling structures I reach the vessel. I aggressively grab the glass. Splashes of the unholy liquid fall to the ground, poisoning the Earth for eternity. With the most stoic of hearts, I take one for the universe. The fate of all mankind grasps me by the shoulders and performs a death roll, taught by the ancient crocodiles from the times of old. Ripping me limb from limb I continue to drink this beer. Like the heart of Jeffery Dahmer, this beer begins to consume me!

Gasping for air I know it is too late to quit. I reluctantly tip the chalice ever so slightly to finish the last soul devouring drop! Instantly I collapse. Begging for the Lord to save me, a silence falls over the town. The ash begins to settle. The cries of children deplete. Now laying face down, dirt begins to cling on to my stout thickened lips.

Just then, THE ALMIGHTY LORD SWOOPS DOWN playing a drum set made of FIRE that burns from the evil souls of those he has conquered! Neal Peart stands behind the Lord coaching him in his drum solo techniques. Landing next to me like the Apollo 11 from 1969, God, and Mr. Peart wave their drums sticks around creating a tornado of dust, ash, and flame around us. With one gentle tap of the drum sticks to my lips, I am born again. I have a new lease on life!

I am carried skywards towards the heavens! Forgiven and thanked for taking on this mighty task, the lord, Neil Peart and I perform a trifecta of a High-Five! The shock wave from this, spreads throughout the land and wipes away all wreckage, and destruction from the Earth's crust.

That. That right there. Is what it is like to consume this beer.

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Founders Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 1,830 ratings.