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Founders Imperial Stout - Founders Brewing Company

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Founders Imperial StoutFounders Imperial Stout

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6,529 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 6,529
Reviews: 1,700
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 8.49%
Wants: 615
Gots: 1,760 | FT: 136
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: 6,529 | Reviews: 1,700 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of GuisseppeFranco
3.5/5  rDev -19.7%

Photo of kb2250
4/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of BHansen214
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of chinchill
3.48/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2012 release in a 12 oz bottle served in a pint glass. Plenty of sediment at the bottom of the bottle.

Small light brown head is short-lived but leaves spotty lacing on the glass. Thick, opaque, black-brown liquid.

An earthy barleywine-meets-stout aroma, with some of the ample ABV showing. Rich dark roasted malts with hints of coffee and dark chocolate, and a stronger impression of dark fruits. This profile is more or less repeated in the head, although the flavor is not exactly what the aroma portends: It is less sour, much more bitter, and less fruity. Very rich, with an over-the-top, strong flavor from dark malts, with enough hop load to contribute to the taste beyond just the substantial bittering (IBU = 90!). More coffee in both the nose and mouth, as well as improved flavor with warming.

Feel: light carbonation; smooth and very full body. Can feel the alcohol on the tongue, and in the warming on the way down.

O: an extreme beer. The sheer strength, relatively high bitterness, too much sourness, plus some hints of smoke and burnt malt make this beer a bit of a challenge. Not an attractive substitute for Breakfast Stout.

Photo of chrispoint
4/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of muskiesman
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of johnhenryconway
4/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of dasmusik
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of danoeltico
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of 2dogbrew
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of 9InchNails
5/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the employees, Zack, at Boonton Wine and Liquor Outlet got this brew from the back room for me. Let's see if it's worth it.

As I poured it into my snifter, it looked like engine oil. Creamy dark brown head fades slightly into a creamy ring around the glass. While sitting for about five minutes the creamy mocha-like head formed and came back leaving excellent lacing on the glass.

Roasted coffee, caramel, big time milk and dark chocolate, sweet smelling and charred sugar. Dark fruits and some alcohol become noticeable as it warms.

Wow! Roasted coffee, dark fruits, caramel, chocolate both sweet and bitter, brown sugar, slight alcohol detection and smoke. This is absolutely incredible.

Medium to thick body, silky smooth, leaves the lips sticky, dry at the end, slight alcohol warmth going down and light carbonation. This is definitely a sipper and the body changes as it warms.

This is honestly the first stout, or any beer I have rated perfectly. Simply incredible. I can't imagine how this would taste on tap. Thanks Zack!

Photo of SuperHeavy
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of motorhed
4.2/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased a 4 pack a week ago. Poured into a pint glass.

A: Jet black and what looks to be as thick as motor oil. Poured into a pint glass, about an inch and a half of dark brown head. Massive amounts of lacing even before taking the first sip.

S: Dark chocolate and smoke is what i primarily pick up in this brew. Some roasted malt.

T: First thing that comes to mind is hugely bitter up front followed by some coffee, chocolate, roasted malt, and alcohol on the finish.

M: Full bodied with medium level of carbonation. Feels velvety smooth and thick.

O: This is always one of my favorites and i pick it up every year. This is fresh, i'd be curious how this beer ages after losing some bitterness. Love it the way it is but plan to celler some to see how it ages. If you're looking for a well balanced, imperial stout that is big on bitterness, chocolate flavors, and roasted malt, pick this up. You wont be disappointed. Another fabulous brew from Founders.

Photo of imintune2
4.01/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

bottled 12/22/11

A: dark as night and quite viscous. almost no head.

S: malts, chocolate, stale smoke, olive juice

T: very bitter aftertaste lingers in the nasopharynx (90 IBUs) with a dominant roasted maltiness that just. won't. quit.

M: medium-to-full body with a medium level of carbonation

O: the combination of a high ABV% and high IBUs actually makes my tongue and lips feel a little numb while i'm drinking this (or my dog slipped somethin' into my drink when i wasn't looking). however, the bitterness isn't overwhelming and it doesn't mask the complexity of the roasted malts and chocolate undertones. another classy, understated offering from FBC.

to quote ken griffey jr. as he sucked down a bottle of nerve tonic in the classic episode 'homer at the bat'... "it's like there's a party in mouth and everyone's invited"

Photo of Hophead717
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled dated 12/15/11 poured into a snifter.

A: As dark and thick as motor oil, with a half inch mocha head. Beautiful beer.

S: Big notes of chocolate and burnt chocolate malts. Coffee is very lightly present in with the bitter notes. There's a definite bitterness coming in the nose.

T: Lots of roasted malt upfront with tons of chocolate mid-sip. The finish is very bitter for a stout, most certainly a combination of the lots of hops and burnt malt. I remember this being less bitter on tap, though.

M: Medium-to-full bodied with a good/slightly low level of carbonation. Works very well.

O: A really good imperial stout from Founders! It definitely compares favorably to Ten Fidy and GLBC Blackout, two of my favorites!

Photo of MAN615
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of McBraniel
4/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of krause316
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of mrebeka
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of WMEugene
4.65/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a thick, dark black with a brown head and excellent lacing.

S - Rich and strong smell of roasted malts. Coffee and chocolate apparent. Amazing.

T - Nice blend of roasted flavors, coffee and chocolate. Slightly bitter - a little more so than this type of beer usually is.

M - Full-bodied, nice carbonation level. Pretty smooth and drinkable. Alcohol heat is not an issue, though the bitterness serves a similar function. Well rounded though.

O - Founders Imperial Stout is a great RIS, no doubt about it. It's rich, dark and strong. The only thing I would do would be to dial back the bitterness just a tiny bit, but as is, it is still world class.

Photo of jp110099
5/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of DCon
4.13/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought a 12oz bottle from Bruisin' Ales in Asheville, NC for $3. Poured from the Blue/White/Purple Labeled bottle w/ a Crest on the front into my 0,3l La Fin Du Monde Tulip Glass. Has no Bottled date this time. Usually on the throat/neck of the bottle.

Aroma- Has a light coffee, strong malt beginning and light roastiness in the finish. Very easy going, balanced, and clean aroma.

Appearance- Pours a 1 finger, dark brown head that has average retention. Pours like motor oil and has a very opaque body. Leaves dark brown suds behind.

Flavor- Many of the attributes remind me of a 2X Coffee Stout. Starts with tons of coffee but smooth, rich and has medium hops. Medium amount of grains as well. Has a medium bitterness level at the finish.

Mouthfeel- Medium Bodied, Light Carbonation, Smooth, Bit of grit on the way down, and light coffee flavors finish out on the palate.

Overall Impression- A very nice Imperial Stout with a huge dominant Coffee base. Would love to see where this one goes if you aged it! Not as intense and overly powerful like other Imperial Stouts but more subtle and smooth. Enjoyed greatly and recommend those who want a big ABV beer but not all the bitterness and body that follows with this.

Photo of Jesse14
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of TenHornsProud
4.17/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a thick black with a big tan head that lingers and laces.

Smells sweet, nutty, coffee, roasty, some dark fig notes with alcohol. Really nice nose.

Up front roast, fruity/spicy hop character that fades into a more astringent roasted character with notes of chocolate and coffee in the finish...lots of dark chocolate lingers. Big flavors with subtle hop character.

Creamy, full body with lower carbonation and alcohol warming. Everything is nicely balanced, and the thicker body is particularly pleasing.

This is a great RIS that is perfectly balanced and complex enough to make it worth your time.

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

Poured from a bottle into a CSB snifter.

A. Pours a dark chocolate black, 1 finder of dark mocha head, quickly drops to a thin layer and rest at a ring of foam with some bubbles.

S. Smells of dark chocolate, strong toffeee and sweet hops

T. Tastes of very strong toffee, dark burned chocolates, slight hops and candi sugar.

M. Medium heavy body, very chewy, medium carbonation, seems like high carbonation for a IS, has a wet finish.

O. A very good beer. Have had it many times, but this is the first time reviewing. Thick and delicious, with lots of bold flavors. Well worth searching out and try.

Founders Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 6,529 ratings.