1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Founders Imperial Stout - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Imperial StoutFounders Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

5,524 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 5,524
Reviews: 1,584
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 8.7%
Wants: 496
Gots: 1,323 | FT: 114
Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
90 IBU

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-12-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 5,524 | Reviews: 1,584 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Scrapss
Scrapss

Pennsylvania

4.81/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured straight down the middle of a Turbinator

A: Black as night. Thick 2 finger dark brown head. no active up-carb or down-carb on side of glass. head subsides to a 4 mm disk all the way down to empty. Deep brown at edges.

S: Deep roasted mats, chocolate, coffee, huge phenolics, just a touch of pleasant campfire.

T: As expected, giant wallop of very intense and deeply roasted malts. A touch of smoke butts in, with that campfire bitter voting its share very modestly. I have had a lot of porters and this rendition just seems to be incredibly well constructed and geared for taste.

M: Creamy as can be. Roasty notes yield to that light smoke/fire. Bitterness comes from over-roasted malt and campfire smoke. Pleasant levels of each. Slight chalkiness at ultimate finish as it warms past cellar.

O: Imperial porter has met its match. All other comes, beware. You'd be hard pressed to improve upon this. I am left wondering what a few years aging could even do for this brew.

Anyone who says that stout and porter is the same style needs their head examined. And drink an FIS.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2014 03:52:41 | More by Scrapss
Photo of jxc5
jxc5

Texas

4/5  rDev -8.5%

01-14-2014 03:04:14 | More by jxc5
Photo of sonnmr31
sonnmr31

Wisconsin

5/5  rDev +14.4%

01-14-2014 01:51:58 | More by sonnmr31
Photo of mattmarka1
mattmarka1

Minnesota

4.5/5  rDev +3%

01-14-2014 01:49:26 | More by mattmarka1
Photo of RyanOooh
RyanOooh

Vermont

4.5/5  rDev +3%

01-14-2014 00:53:36 | More by RyanOooh
Photo of Pheno
Pheno

Illinois

4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

01-14-2014 00:39:44 | More by Pheno
Photo of BennyThon
BennyThon

Indiana

5/5  rDev +14.4%

01-14-2014 00:18:32 | More by BennyThon
Photo of Beer_lover89
Beer_lover89

Texas

4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

01-13-2014 16:27:54 | More by Beer_lover89
Photo of Tiernan
Tiernan

Texas

5/5  rDev +14.4%

01-13-2014 06:01:57 | More by Tiernan
Photo of DavidHume
DavidHume

Virginia

4.5/5  rDev +3%

01-13-2014 04:26:31 | More by DavidHume
Photo of bf7
bf7

Pennsylvania

4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

01-13-2014 03:17:26 | More by bf7
Photo of reebtaerG
reebtaerG

Maryland

4.63/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured into 10oz. tulip glass at Rustico

A-pours a jet black with a beige half finger head

S-wonderful aromas of chocolate, roasted coffee, and smoke

T-taste is sweet, chocolate, roasty, with smokey bitters on the finish. I do taste the alcohol but not as strong as the ABV indicates.

M- velvety full body with perfect carbonation flavor, very good beer.

O- great imperial russian stout by founders. Hides the high ABV well

Serving type: on-tap

01-13-2014 02:52:34 | More by reebtaerG
Photo of krustster
krustster

Michigan

4.75/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Uuagghh god man. Just look at me man. Pouring this tape, I was blown away by how BLACK it is. That's said about a lot of stouts, but this is the first one I can think of where even the stream coming from the bottle appeared 100% opaque and black. So thick... and also, 2-3 finger dark brown head, greasy lacing all around the glass, and again, totally opaque. This looks even darker and more viscous than Ten Fidy. Amazing appearance.

As with a lot of these really thick imperial stouts, the nose is pretty closed, giving hints of what's inside but being kind of secretive about it. Kind of an alcohol smell, coffee and somewhat sour dark chocolate, not spectacular but appropriate for the style.

Taste is on another level. Have you ever seen this much muscle on a man? Incredible roasted malt, coffee, bitter dark chocolate, just a punch in the mouth of an imperial stout. Telling what it tastes like doesn't do it justice, because the true power of this beer is how STRONG the flavors are. There's a big blast of bitterness (90 IBU according to the label!) but the chocolatey sweetness slops over it like a wet, oily blanket. It really defies description. The finish is long and intensely bitter, but not in an overbearing way. It doesn't feel like it needs aging--it just tastes like it was designed with this level of bitterness in mind. Utterly outstanding.

Mouthfeel is another wild aspect to this stout. So thick and greasy, just like the appearance. It feels like it should be way more than 10% ABV based on how thick and syrupy it is. I had a regular BCBS right before this, and it doesn't hold a candle in this department (despite how amazing it is in its own right!). There's just enough alcohol presence to kind of seal in the flavors. A "hidden" ABV is something to admire, but my preference is one that is assertive without overstaying its welcome.

Founders has been somewhat jokingly marketing this as a "winter warmer" and they pretty much hit the nail on the head. It's a huge, immensely powerful RIS that essentially takes a dump on its competition. That's pretty damn special for how (relatively) easily available it is. I'll take a case!

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2014 02:38:32 | More by krustster
Photo of OnWisconsin
OnWisconsin

Wisconsin

4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

01-12-2014 23:09:54 | More by OnWisconsin
Photo of Rast
Rast

Maryland

4.5/5  rDev +3%

01-12-2014 22:39:23 | More by Rast
Photo of Jimmeekrek
Jimmeekrek

Wisconsin

4.5/5  rDev +3%

01-12-2014 21:08:44 | More by Jimmeekrek
Photo of jaltland
jaltland

Pennsylvania

4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

01-12-2014 21:05:15 | More by jaltland
Photo of DavidRandall
DavidRandall

Michigan

4.5/5  rDev +3%

01-12-2014 18:06:29 | More by DavidRandall
Photo of jbeervt
jbeervt

Vermont

3.75/5  rDev -14.2%

01-12-2014 17:47:28 | More by jbeervt
Photo of paresis
paresis

Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +3%

01-12-2014 14:42:31 | More by paresis
Photo of cdwil
cdwil

Texas

4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

01-12-2014 13:48:32 | More by cdwil
Photo of Fusion7777
Fusion7777

Virginia

4.5/5  rDev +3%

01-12-2014 05:37:40 | More by Fusion7777
Photo of kew
kew

Texas

4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

01-12-2014 05:22:16 | More by kew
Photo of Jakethesnake503
Jakethesnake503

Indiana

4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

01-12-2014 05:13:20 | More by Jakethesnake503
Photo of Svendozen
Svendozen

New Hampshire

3.75/5  rDev -14.2%

01-12-2014 03:45:42 | More by Svendozen
Founders Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 5,524 ratings.