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Founders Imperial Stout - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Imperial StoutFounders Imperial Stout

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6,676 Ratings
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Ratings: 6,676
Reviews: 1,737
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 8.49%
Wants: 639
Gots: 1,837 | FT: 146
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: mjohn27603 on 01-13-2003

90 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,676 | Reviews: 1,737
Photo of Jamesthebrit
4.48/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: In a tulip glass this bad boy was pitch black. The most stunning feature was the head which looked just like a chocolate muffin. It was certainly dark unlike any stout I've ever had. (or any beer for that matter)

S: Rich and chocolaty. Also creamy. Like creamy chocolate ice cream. Mmmmm...

T: Tastes like you're drinking creme. Super thick and smooth. Tastes of chocolate and coffee.

M: Sits heavy and nice. My problem here was I could really feel the bite of the alcohol. It didn't seem to fit in well with the rest of the flavors. I had a second go at it in the bottle and for some odd reason it actually came out better. The alcohol was still present but it didn't overpower the other flavors.

Overall an exceptional beer. When it came out I just about lost it because it looked like liquid chocolate cake (although I don't like chocolate or cake...) It smelled wonderful and the first many sips were mind blowing. However as time when on the alcohol reared it's ugly head and that's what really brought this brew down in my book.

On a second go (this time a bottled version) I thought my original review was spot on other than I had to bump up the mouth feel. The alcohol was present but it was more complementary this time. A great brew.

Photo of Beezee
5/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of CarpalTunnell
4/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of MeadGuyfromMD
4/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of cfinch2
5/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of adrian21
5/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of J0hnGustafson
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of cgrz
5/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of angrybabboon
4.12/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review adapted from notes taken 9/18/11

Note: 2010 bottle

Appearance: Pours like motor oil, dark black, thick - utterly no head whatsoever - no lacing - seems unlikely that this would lose so much carbonation in one year

Smell: Pretty ridiculous - burnt, cooked, and smoky - a lot of booze - something whiskey-like - some wood, dark fruits, vanilla

Taste: Interesting - burnt, burnt whiskey, dark fruits, and a splash of cola - a ton of woody flavors - complex, to say the least - burnt, roasted chocolate - booze, dark chocolate, tobacco, vanilla, black licorice, coffee, vodka

Mouthfeel: Medium body, but rather thin given the aroma and taste - lacking carbonation

Overall: Good, but not epic

Stouts from Founders are nothing short of legendary. Perhaps the high pedigree of this beer is why I am not particularly blown away. This is good, but not great. Maybe it's better fresh.

Update (1/13/13): Drinking a relatively fresh bottle (2012). The overall carbonation is better than the previous bottle I reviewed. Smell is similarly lovely to last time, but the taste is more intense. This is not necessarily a good thing: it's ridiculously burnt, with loads of char, tobacco, and leather. Scores adjusted slightly (+.5 appearance, +.5 mouthfeel).

Photo of jdprmd
4.28/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in Spiegelau snifter @ 65 degrees

A- poured black as night with 2 fingers of dark tan head. Head dissipates slowly and lovely lacing within the glass as it goes down

S - initial smell is subtle anis and dark roasted coffee. A bit of milk chocolate at the end as well. Smells roasty and sweet.

T- Dark milk chocolate, roasted coffee… almost an espresso taste. This is tasting great right now… subtle dark fruits are starting to pop through as they did in past vintages around this time. After taste is dark roasted coffee

M- Smooth and rich… exactly what your looking for in an imperial stout a full chewy milky mouthfeel. Goes down velvety smooth.

O - this is a great beer year and year again. Every year I wish I had bought more and aged it longer… This would be a fantastic barrel aged beer… hint hint nudge nudge (backstage series release)

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

Bottled 11/27/09

Appearance. Pours thick and black with just a skim of bubbly dark tan head that doesn't last.

Smell. Sweet and roasty dark coffee, some semi-sweet chocolate and a little soy sauce.

Taste. Dark roasty coffee, bitter cocoa, some hops coming through in the finish. Slightly oxidized but otherwise awesome.

Mouthfeel. Full body with low, smooth carbonation.

Overall. Awesome thick and rich stout here. Will seek out a fresh one someday to compare notes, but this was delicious.

Thanks mrbubbler!!

Photo of BigB415
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: pours pitch black with medium head into my Bruery snifter. Heavy lacing with heavy retention.

S: heavy roasted barley. The roasted smell reminds me of a goo cup of coffee.

T: smooth taste. It goes down very smooth and easy once it warms up. A lot of chocolate taste and more of the barley taste.

MF: heavy mouthfeel. A lot of the chocolate stays on my tongue and lips.

O: a fine example of an imperial stout. I like with this one how powerful the roasted barley is and how thick the mouthfeel is. Founders makes great beers and this is just another example o how strong their portfolio is.

Photo of FeelinSurley
4/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of kspongeworthy
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of scratch69
4.3/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I poured a bottle into a snifter.

Appearance- Utterly black with a fingers worth of dark tan head. Lots of sticky lacing.

Smell- Roasted malt and coffee with tiny hints of chocolate.

Taste- Good roasted malt flavor with a burnt coffee and bitter hop aftertaste.

Mouthfeel- Full bodied with a creamy feel. Not much carbonation.

Overall- This is one of the better imperial stouts that I have tried. A good sipping beer for a cold night.

Photo of will1256
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%

Photo of jlove5
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of GameFreac
3.88/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 vintage from the Brick Store Pub cellar in Decatur.

Appearance: Pours a standard imperial stout pitch black color.

Smell: Smells of alcohol, chocolate, and licorice.

Taste - Smooth and chocolatey…so good. Just warming, not any alcohol in the taste. The only thing I don't really like it the slight licorice taste (just don't like any licorice taste in my beers in general) but it's not overpowering.

Mouthfeel: Feels creamy and thick like your usual imperial stout.

Overall: My first aged beer on my 22nd birthday and it was very good. Not as good as FBS, still great on it's own if you try not to compare them.

Photo of marshmeli
2.5/5  rDev -42.7%

Photo of blange3
4.7/5  rDev +7.8%

Photo of HoneyLamb
4/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of IlludiumQ36
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of AaronKashtan
5/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of mcintire78
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of vic21234
4.32/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a snifter at room temperature.

A- Pours pitch black with a nice fingers worth of caramel colored head. Lots of lacing along the side of the glass.

S- Most notable is the strong coffee aroma. I also get lots of roasty malt notes, as well as bits of chocolate. A little bit of alcohol sting is in on the smell, but not much.

T- Really nice stuff. Up front is a roasty and coffee like taste, similar to the smell. I get some hints of chocolate and maybe some vanilla also. The 90 IBUs are notable also, with some hoppy presence to finish out each sip.

M- Thick, chewy, a great sipper. An easy drinker for 10.5%ABV, as the alcohol is well masked within the taste.

Another great beer from Founders, and reasonably priced for a 4-pack. I’m planning on sitting a bottle or two down to see how it develops.

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Founders Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 6,676 ratings.