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 Boston_Steve
Boston_Steve

Massachusetts

4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

10-31-2013 02:52:31 | More by Boston_Steve
Photo of ithinkimasofa
ithinkimasofa

Washington

4.5/5  rDev +3%

11-15-2011 07:07:46 | More by ithinkimasofa
Photo of RMoeNay
RMoeNay

Connecticut

4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

07-15-2012 14:19:12 | More by RMoeNay
Photo of Hendrick24
Hendrick24

Wisconsin

4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

01-11-2014 05:13:11 | More by Hendrick24
Photo of jeonseh
jeonseh

Indiana

4.48/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a bottle

A - Deep, chocolate brown. Almost black. A small, mocha colored head sits on the edges. Looks like it has a medium body with a slight stickiness to it that coats the glass.

S - Dark chocolate, hints of coffee, smoked malts with a slight caramel sweetness to it. The nose is very fragrant and great smelling.

T - Dark, bitter chocolate with a nice roasted malt aspect to it. There is vanilla and caramel sweetness to it that keeps it well balanced. The finish is dry and slight espresso flavor to it.

MF - Nice, thick mouthfeel with slight carbonation to it. It has a slight stickiness to it that goes well with the sweeter flavors. It manages to be a big, thick beer without being too overpowering.

O - Another great beer from Founders that is a great representation of the style. Definitely of the best, easily available RISs around

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2012 02:48:53 | More by jeonseh
Photo of OldhouseRecs
OldhouseRecs

North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

01-09-2013 00:31:36 | More by OldhouseRecs
Photo of juliusseizure
juliusseizure

New York

4/5  rDev -8.5%

01-21-2013 06:03:09 | More by juliusseizure
Photo of mattparsons
mattparsons

New Hampshire

4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

12-29-2012 07:09:40 | More by mattparsons
Photo of csustar001
csustar001

New York

5/5  rDev +14.4%

11-04-2012 10:51:23 | More by csustar001
Photo of jakea
jakea

Wisconsin

4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

02-16-2013 03:05:52 | More by jakea
Photo of fthegiants
fthegiants

California

4.5/5  rDev +3%

12-20-2013 02:45:17 | More by fthegiants
Photo of scottyshades
scottyshades

Florida

3.9/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on-tap at Barley's Taproom in Greenville, SC for $4.25

A: Pours a very syrupy pitch black color that produces a tiny, basically non-existent head that disappears almost immediately.

S: Initial nose is pure coffee/espresso, followed by a massive burnt malt note, finally bitter hops. Caramel, molasses, and some dark fruit comprise most of the flavors I pick up. The brew smells very sour and bitter. Slightly smokey as well.

T: The flavor was a little sour in my book. The hops really create a distinct bitter flavor that really doesn't sit well with the burnt notes, sour notes, or the smoke. Not exactly my cup...I'll stick with the Breakfast Stout.

MF/D: Very very viscous, long sour coffee finish, creamy body...Not exactly all too drinkable due to the ABV and some things about this that I really didn't like.

There seemed like something was missing...Perhaps it was the 90IBUs that overdid it...Will try again, but this one was a little disappointing

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2009 17:08:12 | More by scottyshades
Photo of JustinMatthew
JustinMatthew

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

04-01-2012 03:40:58 | More by JustinMatthew
Photo of JKV96
JKV96

Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +3%

09-29-2013 21:09:19 | More by JKV96
Photo of warriorsoul
warriorsoul

Pennsylvania

4.2/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A huge thankyou to kmpitz2 for this bonus.
I can locate quite a number of their brews in my area...unfortunately, this one did not make the shelves.
Pours like molasses...black as night w/ just a thin layer of cocoa colored head. Lacing is thin, but has nice cling.
Aroma is filled w/ chocolate malt, coffee, rum raisins.
Taste is just what I expect from Founder's...a style pushed to the extreme.
Filled w/ coffee (no Breakfast Stout mind you), semi-sweet cocoa, with a nice balance of hops to finish off. Alcohol is so well hidden until it works its way to room temperature. Smokiness flavor works its way out after warming up as well.
Mouthfeel is a thick, but refreshing feel...a little bitter, but finished slick and sweet.
Can't say drinkability is up there as this baby is 12%, but I would enjoy a couple in an evening. Thanks again kmpitz2...giving me a chance to try this one.

Edit: Had one of these with a year on it and it would score just shy of a perfect 5!!

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2005 00:23:24 | More by warriorsoul
Photo of tykechandler
tykechandler

Indiana

5/5  rDev +14.4%

06-19-2014 01:32:19 | More by tykechandler
Photo of mscudder
mscudder

Georgia

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

A - This is the darkest black I can imagine. Pours with the consistency of oil leaving nice lacing and a minimal head.

S - I get notes of cocoa and chocolate accompanied by aroma of roasted malts. The scent is controlled and executed brilliantly.

T - As far an imperial stout goes, this brew is perfection. The only stout that I have that surpasses it is the Founders CBS. Amazing mix of complexity with an initial taste of roasted barley and malts which is followed by sweeter notes. This is a great warmer and at 10.5% ABV, all I can say is damn... well done Founders.

M - Perhaps a bit "hot" for a stout, this is thick and dense, yet recedes beautifully.

O - A fantastic brew from Founders. To be concise, get this beer if you ever have the chance.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2012 01:25:48 | More by mscudder
Photo of Rado
Rado

California

4.5/5  rDev +3%

12-23-2013 18:05:22 | More by Rado
Photo of kushlash23
kushlash23

Georgia

4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

02-07-2014 00:51:52 | More by kushlash23
Photo of user785335
user785335

Florida

4/5  rDev -8.5%

02-09-2014 13:39:03 | More by user785335
Photo of kevanb
kevanb

Illinois

4/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a Founders Brewing Snifter.

The beer pours a viscous, sludgy texture out of the bottle, jet black in color with a nice dense caramel colored head, about a finger high that has moderate retention but leaves behind a great network of sticky lacing. The aroma is very nice, roasted coffee and burnt chocolate that eases up into some nice sweet grain and dark pitted fruit. The complexity is a bit lacking, but with the simplicity comes a very nice balance. The flavors are rewarding as well, big roasted coffee with bitter dark chocolate jumps out, molasses and a bit of licorice follow behind that help smooth things out and bring out some nice rich grain and sweeter dark cherries that also provide a hint of tartness that is very pleasant. The body is thick and chewy, rich and fairly smooth, just enough carbonation to prop up the flavors and to give this beer just enough lively prickliness but yet still have an easy smooth finish.

Verdict: A Very nice Russian Imperial Stout from Founders. It’s big and robust yet smooth and rich and while the flavors aren’t that developed, clearly with time this beer will evolve into a really flavorful and special beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2013 00:10:15 | More by kevanb
Photo of Quackus
Quackus

New York

4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

05-11-2012 17:33:28 | More by Quackus
Photo of seaoflament
seaoflament

California

4.35/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to SPLITGRIN for the trade!

Must be an 06’ bottle.

Pours very dark with a quarter of an inch of light chocolate foam.

Aroma is of roasted barley, chocolate malts, bitter chocolate, anise, cocoa, a bit of dark fruits, alcohol, and a touch of wood notes.

The taste follows the aromas very well; very good roasted profile with some coffee, chocolate, anise and wood (maybe hints of oak?). Carbonation is still very lively in the mouth.

A very good RIS, and one I am looking forward to trying again with some more age on it. I think this will easily join the list of my favorite russian imperial stouts.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2007 08:29:11 | More by seaoflament
Photo of IronLover
IronLover

Pennsylvania

4.46/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Oily black in color with a thick viscous appearance. Poured with a thick, short espresso-like foam that quickly reduced to creamy, wispy cap. Rich dark chocolate and earthy, grainy, roasted malt aromas with a touch of dark fruit, wet tobacco, bitter coffee and boozy overtones. Full bodied with slick, oily feel up front and tangy hop bite toward the end. Dark chocolate and roasted malt flavors up front followed by slowly emerging pine and citrus hop bitterness through the middle. A brief note of sweet dark fruit and bittersweet chocolate followed once again  by intensifying hop bitterness. Finished with a lingering charred malt and pine hop bitterness. Incredible complexity in aroma and taste.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2014 03:02:17 | More by IronLover
Photo of Alextricity
Alextricity

Michigan

4.39/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 12/27/13. $3.49 single. Poured into a Sam Adams Shaker Pint.

Appearance: Black, black, black pour. Half finger of a dark brown head that dies down to a slight ring on top. Lacing is decent. Looks thick, rich, sexy. Mmm, baby.

Smell: Depth. Serious depth in this brew. I don't normally pick up a laundry list of things in a beer, but this is one of the exceptions: coffee, char, milk chocolate, dark fruits, smoke... a huge amount of roast, but it manages to come off as sweet and inviting at the same time. A slight note of alcohol is there as well. Smells outstanding, but it's not quite as... bold as I was hoping, I suppose.

Taste/feel: Dear God, that's rich. FIS has a fantastic mouthfeel that coats the mouth right away with its sweet, roasty, chocolatey, fruity ridiculousness without being thick to the point of syrup. A slight alcohol warmth is also there on the finish, but it's not at all harsh. Aftertaste is of char, roast, and dark chocolate and it leaves a black coffee aroma on the breath.

I'll make no qualms about it, this is the best "standard" Imperial Stout that I believe I have ever had. It's not *quite* as mindblowing as their Breakfast Stout, but this is phenomenal.

Quick note: I really love this beer, but unlike most people, I prefer sipping on this one when it's a bit colder. As it warms, the alcohol becomes much more prominent as well as harsh, and the brew becomes really syrupy sweet. If I were to review this one at its recommended serving temperature (I'm not sure what it is, but probably quite warm), I'd not like it as much. I like it soon after it comes out of the fridge, because I pick up more desirable characteristics.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2014 19:20:20 | More by Alextricity
Founders Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 5,524 ratings.