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Founders Imperial Stout - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Imperial StoutFounders Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

5,483 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 5,483
Reviews: 1,580
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 8.7%
Wants: 492
Gots: 1,316 | FT: 112
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
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Ratings: 5,483 | Reviews: 1,580 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jakea


4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

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


4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

03-24-2013 13:42:45 | More by mwar
Photo of Boston_Steve


4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

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


4.28/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

from the bottle poured black with a brown head and a lot of lacing. aroma, chocolate, molasses, cherries, coffee, coco, cola,plums, roasted malts, alcohol. flavor bitter sweet chocolate, coffee, malts, alcohol, some smoke, a nice bitterness, and smooth mouth feel. like this one

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2005 23:06:59 | More by walleye
Photo of ajs4bd


4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

12-22-2011 18:28:36 | More by ajs4bd
Photo of juliusseizure

New York

4/5  rDev -8.5%

01-21-2013 06:03:09 | More by juliusseizure
Photo of ridgeline23


4.5/5  rDev +3%

01-07-2014 02:53:05 | More by ridgeline23
Photo of RMoeNay


4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

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


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 VaTechHopHead

4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

02-19-2013 21:02:54 | More by VaTechHopHead
Photo of IronLover


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 BlackBelt5112203


4.74/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter at cellar temperature.

L – Pitch black with a 3-finger bubbly, rocky brown head. Really nice retention and excellent sheet-like lacing. This pours like motor oil. Wow, this is thick.

S – Lots of big, roasted coffee-like barley, dark chocolate, molasses, plums and figs, and even some faint citrus hops. Alcohol is slightly apparent. There may even be a hint of licorice. This runs the full gamut of aromas that can and should be in a big imperial stout.

T – This is absolutely delicious. It starts off sweet with molasses, plum, and fig flavors. As the taste progresses, milk chocolate sneaks in, followed by bitter roasted coffee. The roasted flavors mellow out a little bit at the finish and give way to bittersweet extra dark chocolate. There may even be hints of bitter orange hops at the finish, almost like a chocolate-covered orange. I may be grasping at straws with that last bit, but regardless this is amazing.

F – Full-and-I-mean-full-bodied with nice carbonation for the style, an unbelievably creamy and velvety smooth mouthfeel, and a fantastic bittersweet finish. Dark chocolate lingers on my tongue for a great amount of time. There’s certainly an apparent but pleasant palate-and-throat-warming sensation from the alcohol, as well.

O – This beer is absolutely fantastic. It has everything I could ever ask for in a great RIS. It looks perfect, smells great, and tastes and feels nearly perfect if not perfect. From the first sip, I was thinking to myself, “Wow, this is a great beer.” If Founders was a boxer, this would be a complete knockout. Of course, they normally win most bouts by knockout, but I’m talking Ali knocking Liston down in the 1st round and standing over his body taunting him with this one. It’s that good. Nearly flawless beer from Founders.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2013 04:01:14 | More by BlackBelt5112203
Photo of Boilerfood


4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

01-19-2013 14:54:20 | More by Boilerfood
Photo of Alextricity


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
Photo of stewart124


4.58/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This imperial stout pours jet black with a thin tan white lace for a head.

The smell is quite robust and a very potent roasted nose. Lots of roasted barley and black patent but nothing acrid.

Taste is so smooth and easy drinking that it's hard to believe this cup of motor oil is 10% abv. Lots of roasted barley in the taste with a spicy hop character that blends very well. Bits of oak and a toasted note really bring out this imperial stout. I am having a hard time picking out any flaws.

The aftertaste is to no suprise a huge amount of roasted character and this finishes dry with a very subtle sweetness.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2009 02:10:23 | More by stewart124
Photo of DaveHS


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

A-Dark, dark brown, almost black, with thin mocha colored bubbles.

S-Roasty, some dry hoppiness. A touch of toffee sweetness.

T/M-Oh yeah. Dark bitter chocolate, charcoal bitterness, cocoa powder. The bitterness is read as hops in the nose are probably more attributable to roasted malts. The finish is dry and chocolatey.Full bodied with low carbonation.

D-Another standout beer from Founder's.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2011 01:47:45 | More by DaveHS
Photo of kevanb


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 mscudder


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 tzieser


4.22/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. pitch black in color with a very small brown head that receeds slowly.

s: deep roasted/burnt chocolate malt character, with subtle notes of booze. decently complex, but nothing over-the-top either. fits the style perfectly.

t: the taste was much smoother and more complex than i expected. dark chocolate flavor up front, followed by notes of roasted coffee and a subtle hop backbone. alcohol is barely noticeable. an excellent true-to-style imperial stout.

m&d: smooth and creamy mouthfeel. drinkability is good.

a great RIS. definitely worth picking up. i'll definitely be putting two of these away for a year or two.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2010 21:03:10 | More by tzieser
Photo of Houser


4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

12-24-2013 03:49:01 | More by Houser
Photo of kushlash23


4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

02-07-2014 00:51:52 | More by kushlash23
Photo of wdarcy77


4.5/5  rDev +3%

11-22-2011 15:54:19 | More by wdarcy77
Photo of user785335


4/5  rDev -8.5%

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


4.15/5  rDev -5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - WOW one of the darkest and viscous beers i have ever seen. To call this motor oil is an understatement. Nice chocolate fluffy head.

Smell - Awesome bitter dark chocolate, roasted malts, hints of vanilla and coffee

Taste - Chocolate, big time. Right up front you get hit with the bitterness which leaves room for the roasted malts and subtle notes of coffee and vanilla to come afterwards. What i like the best is the lingering flavor of melted dark chocolate in your mouth from this.

Mouthfeel - Awesome, coats the mouth and leaves an amazing taste for you to long for more.

Overall - Another fucking amazing Founders stout.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2012 01:53:32 | More by aorloski
Photo of wyatt13


4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

03-31-2013 03:54:40 | More by wyatt13
Founders Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 5,483 ratings.