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Founders Imperial Stout - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Imperial StoutFounders Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

6,364 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 6,364
Reviews: 1,655
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 8.49%
Wants: 595
Gots: 1,652 | 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: 6,364 | Reviews: 1,655 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of boilermakerryan
3.5/5  rDev -19.7%

Photo of TTAmod
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into pint glass.

A: When pouring, it's very, very dark brown. Once it was all in the glass, it was pitch black. Even when held to the light, nothing shoes through.

Head is two-finger chocolate milk colored with ruby hues. Retention is really damn good.

S: Deep waft brings heavy bitter chocolate, a bit of coffee (but not as much as Breakfast Stout,) roasty malts, dark fruits, bit of hops, and a touch of alcohol.

T: Starts off with subdued roasted malts. Picks up steam midway with some dark fruit (plum) flavors. This beer finishes really damn good. There is coffee, hops, and bitter chocolate. Leaves a lingering, mocha aftertaste with a bit of an alcohol burn.

M: Honestly more carbonation than I'd like. The body is creamy and heavy, which is good for the style, but I feel that the carbonation takes away from the taste a bit.

O: A good RIS. The taste is nice and complex. The mouthfeel is a little bit off for me, but everything else is a prime example of a great RIS.

Photo of RedHunter
4/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of leschkie
4/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of Spiekerbox
4.63/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Black as night with a thin dark brown head.

S- Dark roasted malts with a coffee/chocolate background....i have a bad sense of smell and this is a pretty strong aroma beer

T- Strong roasted malt is the backbone of this. There is a nice chocolaty flavor in this beer with a touch of that "dark dry fruit" flavor. A bit of a hoppy bitterness and alcohol warming comes out as you drink more of it and it warms up.

M- Thick and creamy with carbonation that you notice as you move it in your mouth. Nice alcohol warming that sticks around during the finish.

O- This is GOOD, by far my favorite RIS that I have ever had, not much else to say about it!

Photo of jackrodgers77
5/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of BeerHownd
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of BMBeerhead
3.93/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured out of a bottle into a pint-style glass.

A - Pitch Black. Beautiful Black. Small head, which too is dark. A nice, dark brown head. The head stays for a while but then mostly disappears. The Appearance is without a doubt my favorite part of this beer, and is fantastic...

S - Very roasty, dark chocolate Smell. Overbearing almost, exactly what one would expect with this style.

T- Roast hits you up front, followed by the some chocolate like tastes. Very strong tastes. Even though my first few sips are fairly cold (around 45ish F) the alcohol warms quickly. It has an odd aftertaste, almost a hop flavor but I'm not entirely sure. As it warms up, I taste more flavors and complexity. But they are all mixed together well and I am not entirely sure what I am tasting. Bitterness comes from the roasted malts and from hops, and is not at all aggressive on the hops.

M - Thick. So thick I feel like I'm drinking malt syrup. i don't feel much carbonation, but its so thick I can't really tell. This is not that pleasant to me, but I understand its a product of style. But I would have preferred just a little lighter thickness in order to better taste the beer; I felt that the thickness took away some of the qualities of this beer.

O - Amazingly full-bodied, dark, well tasting beer. One of the better Imperial Stouts I have had.

Photo of CTAID
4.52/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Aight yo. I have no special interest in tracking down uber-rare CBS/KBS'es, so this is the Founders Imperial Stout that I'm going to stick with. Poured into the finest diamond imbued goblet of Silenus. JKJK typical beer stein. Pours black as a black cat on a cloudy night without a moon. Where there's no stars or anything. Really quite black. That's what I'm getting at here. Maybe a hint o f brown? Smells like coffee. I can already tell that I'm in for a treat. Hop bombs are nice, but malt bombs are somethin' else. Speaking of, this label reads '90 IBUs'. I haven't a clue where this number comes from, but certainly not the taste of this beer or its smell. The taste follows the nose - oatmeal, coffee, a little booziness, just enough hops to keep things in check. The mouthfeel makes this beer to me, it washes down like cream. Like it enters your body on a carpet of clouds and leaves behind Care Bears. This shit is dangerous, it weighs in at 10.5% ABV but feels like it should be maybe 7-8%. Bravo, Founders!

Photo of gdodd12
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of Ohiovania
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of takashi37
5/5  rDev +14.7%

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

A - 12oz bottle (courtesy of ChadlyG - Thanks!!) poured into Cigar City snifter, one of the most opaque black stouts I've ever seen. Like black ink. Dark brown head forms only at the end of an aggressive pour, retains for a bit until washing away but leaving a net of lace all over the glass.

S - Dry semi-sweet chocolate, like when you open a bag of Tollhouse morsels.

T - Huge cocoa and black coffee notes up front, mid-palate finds the 90 IBUs intertwined with black coffee and they all play into the finish where the 10.5% ABV pops its head out. Strange floral splash of lavender on the very end, but doesn't hurt it.

M - Full-bodied, rich, coats the mouth and feels like it's almost flat even though there is some carbonation.

O - Wow. Had no idea what to expect but this one blew me away. Glad I traded for several bottles and will gladly trade for more.

Photo of samie85
4.58/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours an engine oil black with a two finger, dark mocha head.

S-Huge roasted and dark chocolate notes with a cocoa and vanilla .

T-Roast and dark chocolate with a light, clean bitterness and more roast on the finish.

M-Frothy and full-bodied with a mouth-coating milkshake like feel and low to moderate carbonation.

D-Very easy drinking, yet complex and interesting beer. The feel here is just extraordinary mouth-coating and full-bodied without being overwhelmingly so.

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

P - poured into a standard pint glass, cellar temp. Bottled dated 12/22/11.

A - pours a deep deep black oil color, with a thin layer of mocha colored head. Dark as they get!

S - big toasted malt, nutty, a burst of dark chocolate and a hint of used coffee grinds.

T - wow, this is no joke of a stout. Delicious! Starts off with the bittering hops up front, mellowing into this dark chocolate. From the dark chocolate it goes into this delicous hint of vanilla and some heat. I mean this beer is complex. Every sip is continously better. Defintely drink this brew cellar temp!

M - thick, creamy, leaving my throat silky. Dry aftertaste. I approve!

O - a fantastic brew. I really wonder how this beer would be after a little cellaring. if your lucky enough to get this beer do yourself a favor and pick up a 4 pack! One of the best non ba stouts I've had for sure.

Photo of KGarrett
5/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of Zaphog
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%

Photo of page101
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of gafferjohn
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of boilermakerbrew
4.83/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- I have used the "used motor oil" comment before, but this defines it. If your car spit this out, you ran it for 10k miles or better. So basically, this is among the darkest pours I've seen. A paper-thin head that goes away fairly quickly and great lacing.

S- Big roasts right up front. Underlying alcohol scents. Sweet all the way through. Hints of coffee and dark chocolate maybe?

T- Starts off strong with the big malts. I think I was mistaken with the coffee comment, but there is a little chocolate in there. A semi-sweet bite towards the end that reminds me of black licorice. Ends very clean and quick with a slight bitter tartness. Flavor hides the alcohol from the palate completely.

M- Heavy and creamy. Silky going down. A little burn from the alcohol going down, but easy to handle.

Overall, Founders has the stout style down perfect. I have not had KBS...yet, but I really look forward to it. FBS and FIS are now my 2 favorite, no question. I'm aging one of these fr the future, but I wish FBS aged a little better so I could keep as much as possible year round. This beer makes me want to visit Grand Rapids....now.

Photo of kbuzz
4.62/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 12oz glass into my trusty snifter. Bottled on 12/22/11.

A: Beautiful looking beer. Pours almost jet black with a thin head that’s as dark tan/mocha as you’ve ever seen. Fades but surprisingly leaves a bit of lacing.

S: Sweet chocolate and singed malts. Dark espresso notes. Charred pipe tobacco and leather. A bit of a floral hop aroma is noticeable and gives the nose a softness as it wafts from the glass.

T/M: Every bit as complex as the nose. First you’re hit with a nice dose of bitterness from the hops. They compliment notes of bittersweet baker’s chocolate, espresso, char. The heat isn’t all that noticeable…nor is the carbonation. Smooth oily slickness on the palate. Coats the mouth perfectly.

O: Very comparable to their Breakfast Stout, but a little less chocolate and more of a hop presence. I definitely prefer these Founder's stouts that don't have the overwhelming bourbon flavor from barrel aging. Allows the rest of the ingredients to shine. Another neer perfect stout from Founders.

Photo of tvanr
4.4/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled exactly two weeks ago, poured into an oversized CBS snifter.

A: Pours thick like motor oil, black as night even when held up to a light. Espresso colored head lingers a bit leaving heavy lacing.

S: Loads of chewy chocolate, caramel, roasted malts and hints of day old coffee.

T: Tons of milk chocolate, roasted malt, vanilla and a minimal hop bite. Alcohol is well masked for 10.5%. As it warms the coffee becomes more predominant and the alcohol begins to show.

M: Near perfect mouthfeel. Coats your entire mouth in velvity smooth and creamy chocolate. Slight tingle from the hops that come in at a high 90 ibu's.

O: A fantastic RIS as Founders once again proves they can make a mean stout. So many tastes weave in and out. Go ahead and fight for your KBS, just make sure you leave this one on the shelf for me.

Photo of olmane
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%

Photo of ChrisPro
3/5  rDev -31.2%

Photo of Tucquan
4.35/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on 2012-01-14 in Lancaster, PA at The Fridge, again on 2012-01-21 in Enola, PA at Al's of Hampden, on 2013-01-16 and again on 2013-10-15 in Columbia, PA.

A- Deep, dark brown with a 3/4-finger tan head and great lacing.

S - Dark fruit, dark chocolate, dark roasted grain, coffee.

T - Much like you'd expect from the smell except for a strong charred grain.; certainly more than the FBS. This char character melds well with the dark fruit, chocolate and coffee. It's a bold flavor that is acrid and astringent and delicious.

M - Thick body with light-medium carbonation. Full, smooth and creamy.

O - I enjoy this quite a bit and rate it quite highly; a bit below the CBS, about the same as the FBS and KBS. Of all the tastings, I'd say the one I had on 2013-01-16 (bottled Dec 2012) is the best. It's funny how tastes change. The Dec 2012 bottle I had on 2013-10-15 caused me to drop my taste rating by .25 because the char was just a touch too much and I found myself wanting it a little sweeter. Regardless; it's a great beer.

Founders Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 6,364 ratings.