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Founders Imperial Stout - Founders Brewing Company

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Founders Imperial StoutFounders Imperial Stout

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6,674 Ratings
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Ratings: 6,674
Reviews: 1,737
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 8.49%
Wants: 639
Gots: 1,838 | FT: 147
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: 6,674 | Reviews: 1,737
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.

Photo of brewmudgeon
3.1/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

founders FIS, fresh

a 3.5 tiny cocoa colored head above a very dark body. transient grainy lace.

s 3.5 char, dark chocolate, hops, some alc. almost smells like a black ipa.

t 3 the hops are clearly there, flavor and bitterness-wise, much more so than in the 11-month cellared bottle i tried before. this makes the beer a very different beast than even the slightly aged version. the finish is still predominated by a dry char that i do not find nearly as charasmatic as that in tres. can't say i'm loving this, but it is certainly bolder and more interesting than the cellared bottle.

m 3.5 medium to full body, a bit more viscous than at 11 months. the harsh finish is still bugging me.

o 2.5 a beer that i have tried to like now in two forms. still not succeeding. does not seem to come together at all and adds up to less than the sum of its parts.

Photo of davey101
4.35/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 12/22/2011. 12 oz bottle into a DFH signature glass at cellar temperature.

A - Pitch black with a lasting dark khaki head. Decent lacing and retention.

S - Super roasty. Some smoke, leather and dark malts followed by light chocolate and coffee notes.

T - Similar to the nose. Starts off roasty and malty, but this leads to some very sweet chocolate and coffee notes. Given the 90 IBU's it does have a bitter finish, but not exceedingly so. Very smooth and velvety. Alcohol is hidden extremely well.

O - Probably one of the best non barrel aged stouts I've tried. Really great roasty body with just the right amount of sweetness and hop bitterness to balance it out. The mouth feel is near perfect.

Photo of zornig
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of M27
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of smerrell
4.8/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Having tried the Breakfast stout, but not yet the KBS nor the CBS, I was looking forward to this beer. Served after letting it warm up a bit, the coffee-brown head dissipates quickly, leaving the pitch-black glass of goodness with a lot of lacing.

A strong aroma of roasted malts meets your nose. At 90 IBUs, this is more bitter than many other stouts, such as Old Rasputin and the like. The flavor is rich and bitter, not quite chocolate, not quite dark coffee. you don't really taste the alcohol, but at 10.5%, you quickly discover its presence.

Overall, this is an excellent Imperial Stout. I wouldn't hesitate to order this one again.

Photo of btesta
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of Otis77
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of gatornation
4.22/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

from 12 oz bottle

A-pours a thick black color with a small tan head with a good amount of lacing on glass

S- was semi -sweet chocolate,cocoa, coffee, roasted malts

T- a superb taste of bittersweet chocolate,coffee, roasted malts, with a good amount of hops

M- nice mouthfeel that coastes the taste buds with the above but still had a smooth texture alcohol well hidden

O- a great imperial stout thick and robust but enjoyable to drink

Photo of HopsHopenstein
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of GJ40
4.42/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled from a 12oz bottle in a snifter.

A - Small tan head that dissipates quickly. Nice lacing though.

S – Cocoa, brown sugar, coffee and vanilla. Very interesting and it only gets better as it warms.

T – A variety of notes including dark chocolate and molasses. It’s got a firm bitterness that’s balanced nicely by a mild sweetness.

M – Silky and chewy but also light and airy. A nice low to moderate carbonation.

O – A great, enjoyable beer with lots of flavor that all comes together as one.

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle.

A - Black in color with a rich, fluffy, malted milk, tan head that recedes rather quickly leaving an incredible lacing on the glass.

S - Roasted notes, coffee, dark chocolate maybe some carmel.

T - Rich, roasted coffee and sweet chocolate with a nice layer of hops that weaves its way through. Dry finish, kind of like the cocoa powder topping of a Tiramisu.

M - Very creamy, light carbonation, medium bodied, coats your mouth goodness.

O - Really like this brew, drinking it on a cold snowy day with a bad headcold, tastes great

Photo of timtim
4.03/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours pitch black with an almost brown head that shrinks to a thin coat and leaves tons of pretty lace. nose is huge, strong roast (mainly coffee and dark chocolate), a touch of heat and an underlying fruit scent that reminds me of laffy taffy if there was such a thing as a caramel/overripe (almost rotted) dark fruit flavor laffy taffy. maybe some smoke and vanilla in there as well. taste is big, bitter roast malt, cafe con leche, chocolate and citrusy/earthy hops. the hops seem to be fighting for attention a bit, and maybe need a little bit to smooth out. full, creamy body with a bit of a milkshake feel to it, although the bitterness and the heat seem to cut through it a bit. definite bit of alcohol heat in the finish that is mostly hidden throughout the rest of the experience. a lot of competition in this amazing class of beers. this is definitely one big ass beer, and should be enjoyed by any imperial stout fan. not enamored or as impressed as i was lead to believe i would be, but still wuite enjoyed myself. i would love to do a side by side with a year old bottle.

Photo of ortie
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%

Photo of beckard13
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of mcorwin
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

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Founders Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 6,674 ratings.