Founders Imperial Stout - Founders Brewing Company

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Founders Imperial StoutFounders Imperial Stout

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6,903 Ratings
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Ratings: 6,903
Reviews: 1,781
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 8.47%
Wants: 659
Gots: 1,964 | FT: 149
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: 6,903 | Reviews: 1,781
Photo of aleigator
4.31/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a pitch black color, with a small, bubbly head.

Smells of creamy coffee, roasted malts, hints of toffee and molasses. The aromas are very well put together, with rich, slightly smoked, milk chocolate, tying all aromas together. Well balanced between coffee and malts, coated up by slightly earthy chocolate.

Has a supersmooth mouthfeel, with a lower, fitting carbonation, revealing a medium bodied beer.

Tastes of dough milk chocolate among earthy malts, wrapped up by whipped cream. A gentle coffee bitterness acts as a convincing counterpart to the malty chocolate, revealing a decent dryness, which got a sour coffee whiff to it. Coffee bitterness changes the chocolate appearance into a bitter chocolate direction. Finishes with lots of cream and an intriguing interplay between crushed coffee beans and slightly slick, bitter chocolate.

All in all this beer convinces by its perfect composition, decent depth of different flavors with prominent chocolate and coffee, resulting in a great imperial stout. Both, coffee and chocolate, are on par, leaving a lot of space on the palate for a smooth, creamy mouthfeel.

Photo of Aliiyoob
4.98/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Can not say enough good things about this beer. So dark you can't see through it, and smelled so rich coming out of the bottle. Overall, an amazing beer and one of the best stouts Ive ever tried.

Photo of 29mikoyan
5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the best beers I ever had. The taste of fine Nicaraguan cigars, sweet molasses, sweet malt, rich sweet Belgian chocolate, and a beautiful fruit bouquet. Truely a beer to pair with a fine cigar.

Photo of tjsmith910
4.38/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

damn fine all around brew.

Photo of KillerJigger
4.44/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great feel with balance throughout. Loved it! Great job!

Photo of TBonez477
4.6/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 draft pour. Believe the hype about age on this one. The three year old pour was so amazingly delicious!

Photo of Mone1000
4.8/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Amen amen. Amen amen amen. They wanted words

Photo of ManBearPat
4.92/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This is an exceptional RIS!!!

Thick and gooey- hung strong on the side of my tulip.
Glad I got a 4 pack!

Photo of Alex-Alkis
4.54/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A fantastic imperial stout with heavy notes of chocolate and roasted malt both the aroma as in the taste.

Photo of Oldlogin
4.56/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A much smoother finish than other stouts. A plesant first sip and a decently good swallow---

Photo of von_kaiser
4.3/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dear Lord, if they could only barrel age this stuff..

Photo of lipster
4.83/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a tulip glass, short-lived espresso-like foam head. Visibly thick and viscous while being poured. Smells like dark roasted coffee and red wine. Tastes like a deep mocha with notes of tobacco and smoke, nice delicate balance of bitter and sweet, clean finish. Silky and decadent mouthfeel. Fantastic imperial stout.

Photo of HowardTheDuck
4.38/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2013 bottle poured into a snifter at cellar temp. Very dark, one-finger head that dissipates fairly quickly but leaves beautiful lacing. Outstanding body for a non-BA stout. Thick and chewy, as it should be. I absolutely love this stout and the only thing holding it back for me is the slight smokiness that I would happily trade in for a touch more sweetness. I prefer this to the Breakfast Stout and am glad to see that the cellar is treating it well.

Photo of Dnayew
4.02/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Solid baseline RIS, on par with Stone, and top 10 for sure.

Photo of Spinaltapped
4.43/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 1/6/14.

Look: Pitch black with a small dark khaki head.

Smell: Not my strong suit as a reviewer. I get a lot of roast, a bit of dark fruit, and toffee. Alcohol is present as well.

Taste: Initially some burnt roast bitterness that quickly gives way to dark fruit and a bit of alcohol sweetness and coffee.

Feel: Silky, creamy, but just a bit too thin to be a 5/5 in my book. It does have a nice viscous feel on the tongue and goes down nicely.

So yeah, my first BA review. A 4.4/5 for me. I think with another few months, this will be INCREDIBLE. I'm not a big super roast guy, and that flavor seems to be on the out in favor of dark fruit, coffee, and toffee. Luckily, I have another few bottles in the cellar.

Photo of LagerCognoscenti
4.48/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Jet black with thin head.

Rich aroma of coffee, bitter roasted malt, dark chocolate and booze.

Taste is bitter dark chocolate, treacle, marmite, dark cherries, tobacco, charcoal and goodness knows what else. Its very complex and very flavourful but very well rounded and a pleasure taste.

Overall, a fantastic Russian Imperial stout.Hard to find and slighly pricey in the UK but well worth seeking out. Right up there with Founders Breakfast Stout and Yeti Imperial Stout as a world class beer of this style from our American friends.


Photo of dandandan79
4.69/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The first sip was wonderful, great. Wow this is good. The beer is smooth, heavy, chewy. Its world class. Nothing like it.

Photo of mchegash
3.94/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - 4/5
A small amount of chocolate-tan head which dissipates down to a ring around the edge of the glass. An extremely dark shade of purple when held up to bright light.--as dark as purple can be without being black. When held up to bright light, can also see a lot of large chunks floating around in the brew. Not sure if this is because my pour was off or what. Overall a good look, but not sure about the chunks of stuff in the beer. I don't mind drinking a beer with particles, but I think it lowers the aesthetic of the beer. I really like the color of the head.

Smell - 3.75/5
Very chocolately, slightly sweet, slightly alcoholic. Upon second sniff I get some slight fruit and hops flavors, along with a slightly strong alcoholic smell. The smell is okay, perhaps a little too alcoholic for my liking thought.

Taste - 4/5
Very roasty and smoky. Slightly sweet. Some chocolate and a fairly prominent alcohol taste. I like smoky beers, but I have to be in the mood. I'm sure totally sure if I'm in that mood right now, but I think the smokiness balances out with the sweetness and the alcohol flavor, such that none of these overall, but all work together in harmony. In other words, the taste is complex, which is good.

Mouthfeel - 4/5
Medium body. Smooth, yet slightly bitter (90 IBUs). A light amount of medium-light intensity carbonation. I think the feel works well with the rest of the beer, and I wouldn't change anything about it.

Overall - 4/5
Overall this was a good brew, one I'm glad I tried. I'm not sure I would get it again, as there are a lot of other good Russian Imperials out there, and I don't think this one is my favorite. Still, worth a try. Quality Stuff

Photo of do_ob
4.64/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

12 oz. bottle into a snifter. Pitch black appearance with a 1/2 finger head of dense, brown foam. Smells beautiful; chocolate, syrup, roasted malt, sugar, sasafrass, and smokey wood. Heavy weight, as expected of an imperial stout. Taste is pretty much on par with the smell; chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, sugar, and smokey wood. Oily mouthfeel with lingering hops and alcohol on the aftertaste.

This beer honestly reminds me a lot of FBS, only with a sharper alcohol bite on the back end. It's just as good, in my opinion. This one reminded me why imperial stouts are my favorite beers.

Photo of HorseheadsHopHead
4.99/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a wine glass

LOOK: Pours a midnight black with a small brown head that leaves some scattered bits of lacing. It looks majestic. You can tell immediately that this is going to be an experience.

SMELL: Lots of strong chocolate upfront, followed by charcoal, coffee, roasted barley, burnt sugar, and a smattering of vanilla, soy sauce, and tobacco smoke. This beer smells so complex!

TASTE: A truckload of bittersweet chocolate up front; sweet dark chocolate and a dusting of more bitter baking cocoa. Burnt sugar, toast, caramel, and a bit of coffee and vanilla. It's very savory, with an umami aspect that merits a soy sauce comparison. It's slightly warming on the swallow, but the alcohol is very well hidden for being 10.5% abv. Finishes fairly dry with another wave of dark chocolate.

FEEL: Full-bodied. Thick, rich, and creamy. Like chocolate syrup but not at all cloying. Perfectly balanced. A light carbonation just tingles the palate.

OVERALL: This beer blew my mind the first time I had it, and it continues to do. This is everything you could want in an imperial stout. In my opinion, this is a world-class beer.

Photo of Jwburns75
4.62/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 12/22, snifter pour. Deep dark black, one finger head. Rich roasty nose. Taste is rich, subtle chocolate. Right on par with Expedition and Ten Fidy. One of the very best Imperial stouts out there.

Photo of hoagzzz
3.9/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am an IPA / pale ale guy but want to develop a taste for stouts. Lots of people like them so they must be good right? Sipped this over the course of an hr and it was pretty good. Nice alcohol burn on the back end. This was bottled dec 14 gonna cellar two from the four pack I got.

Photo of PorterLambic
4.49/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours an exceedingly dark brown with a 3/4" high, dark brown head of fluffiness. Retention for the style is amazing, dropping to a thickish film and just staying there. Some minimal lace is left behind.
Smell is toasted malt, dark chocolate, rum, light wood, and some dark fruit notes. Great balance here.
Taste is rich and delicious with brandy, toasty malt, dark chocolate, undecipherable dark fruits but with a slightly bitter note. Balance is good.
Full bodied, light effervescence, nearly cloying. A bit of ash in the aftertaste but not offputting. Dry finish and bit cleaner than I prefer but still a truly great beer.

Photo of CAC329
4.38/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Only my 2nd taste test this week but definitely a winner. I very much enjoyed this stout.
Its taste was kind of coffee yet sweet, even the aftertaste was pleasant.
I would not know it drinking it but it was thick and syrupy in the glass, with a medium to dark foam.
This is a keeper!

Photo of beer4brian331
4.3/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Top 1 jams Fo sho Real deal

Founders Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 6,903 ratings.