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Founders Imperial Stout - Founders Brewing Company

Founders Imperial StoutFounders Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,913 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 4913
Reviews: 1545
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 8.47%

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: 4,913 | Reviews: 1,545 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of SQNfan


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

On tap at Founders. There were aromas of coffee beans and chocolate. In the mouth it was powerful with a slightly bitter finish from the hops. Overall this was quite nice an powerful but did not have the complexity and balance of the KBS. I would love to have a few bottles of this to age.

Serving type: on-tap

04-24-2008 20:26:37 | More by SQNfan
Photo of Roeters


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

A: Pours black as night, with just a slight head of brown bubbles

S: Slight coffee smell, over powered by the smell of dark malts

T: Dark rick flavor of a great Stout followed by the mild taste of Alcohol making this a true Imperial.

M: Leave this great mouth feel with a slight foaming action on the tongue as it passes thru. Making the experience that much better.

D: The only thing against this beer is the high alcohol content, after one or two 10% beers you're going to be going down the road to get kicked in the face after some more beers.

I love Imperial Stout, it is one of my favorite beers. Thank God I live in walking distance of the tap house!

Serving type: on-tap

06-25-2008 06:21:30 | More by Roeters
Photo of turnstile


4.22/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours thick and syrupy out of the bottle. Pitch black with a coffee-brown head that develops for a few seconds before receding into a thin ring around the glass. Minimal signs of carbonation.

Smell: Boozy; dark molasses with freshly-ground coffee with bittersweet chocolate mixed in. Roasted malts evntually come through against strong alcohol aromas.

Taste: Lactic-sweet with notes of milk chocolate and coffee. Moderate bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied to say the least. Smooth and thick on the tongue with little carbonation noticeable.

Drinkability: Typically bitterness + high ABV = sipper, but it's not the case with this brew. The delicious sweetness up front affords some great drinkability, but you'd be wise to enjoy this one slowly. Finishes a little too syrupy for my liking - the last few sips are tough to get through.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2010 05:47:08 | More by turnstile
Photo of ryantho00


4.4/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Oil blackness with a slick chocolate head becomes this beer once poured. I sniff cocoa, coffee, deep sweet maltiness, ester alcohol and some dark fruits undertow. The first sip gives way to the deep mocha flavors from a nice warm espresso and plumy sweetness to some deeper hops and a roasted smokiness that is warmed at the end by the alcohol. This brew is simply fantastic, as always perfectly balanced and artistically created from the genius minds at Founders. Good beer in the family of breakfast stouts/imperial stouts, from Founders.


Serving type: bottle

02-26-2012 02:26:37 | More by ryantho00
Photo of Callenak


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

12oz bottle poured into a tulip.

A - Pours a jet black with small, coffee colored head.

S - Smell is chocolate, coffee, and a hint of alcohol.

T - A very pleasant beer. Good deep chocolate flavor. Small traces of coffee. For 10% the alcohol is very subdued but still warming.

M - Very thick and robust. Slight carbonation.

D - I think I paid about $10 for a 4 pack of this in Ohio. That's a great deal. Of course not a daily drinker, but could easily enjoy this once a week in the winter.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2006 22:20:56 | More by Callenak
Photo of ROBORB

North Carolina

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

12 oz bottle served in a tulip. It pours deep black with a 1/2 inch brown head. The aroma consists of chocolate, some sort of fruit, malts and soy sauce. The taste is very good for the style. The finish is bitter chocolate, plenty of hops and coffee. Highly recommended!

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2009 02:02:45 | More by ROBORB
Photo of scottyg354


4.33/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Originally reviewed this beer with a weak palette. So my review was pretty off.

A: Pours thick with a two finger creamy brown head. Non Transparent.

S:Licorice, Dark Chocolate and smokiness.

T:Some espresso. licorice and Chocoalte notes hold true to the nose. There is a mild burnt taste along with hints of tobacco. Nice

M: Smooth and Creamy. Mild Carbonation. Goes down smoothly yet warms.

O: Good Solid Beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2011 00:42:15 | More by scottyg354
Photo of Richardbeerlover


3.65/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours without a head and then a very thin head forms that quickly dissipated. Very thick black color. Smells like a typical dark stout. Nice slightly sweet taste without bitterness. Has a nice thickness to it. The 10% ABV shows up towards the finish. I really like this one.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2014 06:01:50 | More by Richardbeerlover
Photo of AnPiobaire

New York

4.13/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Founders Imperial Stout initially pours a rich inky brownish black with no hue coming through when held up to light. The head was a very thin, fine reddish brown head that quickly dissipates to a caramel ring with some minor lacing.

The nose is rich and complex with some chocolate and dark dried fruits. The alcohol makes its presence known as well.

The taste is rich and creamy and hits all the taste buds. It is not too boozy with a hint of tobacco and finishes with a nice pleasant bittersweet chocolate finish.

Mouthfeel as I said above is rich, creamy, and warms your chest as it settles in. A very nice imperial stout worth the taste.

Overall I would say that I have become a fan of Founders and am trying to neep myself from opening the bottle of KBS I have waiting til next winter. DO yourself a favor and make sure you try this Imperial Stout.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2011 16:33:36 | More by AnPiobaire
Photo of 2378GCGTG


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

Apperance: True deep black body under a 1 inch copper/brown head which retains well and clings to the glass for what seems like eternity.

Nose: Chocolate, coffee, black toast and burnt roasted malt.

Taste: Roasted and burnt malts with an excellent chocolate support and a slightly bitter coffee taste all of which fade into a smokey finish

Mouthfeel: Flows like molasses in winter time, it's thick and extremely present, almost heavy, on the palate as it rolls around. This is a truely excellent body.

Overall: A truly excellent RIS, and amazing for the price, not truly perfect because I would like to see a bit more sweetness and a bit less smoke in the taste.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2012 15:08:37 | More by 2378GCGTG
Photo of JWD


4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to jcb890 for 4 of these badboys,

A- This looks great, Black with a dark brown head, look like an Abyss!!

S- Very heavy chocolate, coffee, and even some sweetness coming through. Once again very similar to the Abyss here IMO.

T- Great, tons of flavors and tons of it. I will say for the 3rd time this is very close to a muted version of the Abyss, This is a great beer!!

M- Great, on par with all but the best RIS out there. thick but not syrupy or chewy, medium carb.

D- Great, You can drink cold or warm and i would advise you to take you time and taste the changes as it warms.

Another great offering from founders, I would say this is the best value in the RIS catagory right there with Old rasputin. I liked this better though.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2009 17:01:55 | More by JWD
Photo of brydeen


4.45/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle Date 12/15/11 poured into a Snifter

A: Pours a jet black, like motor oil. A very thin but creamy chocolate colored head forms, and stays put for the most part. Sticky lacing throughout the glass.

S: Huge hits of chocolate in the nose, almost like cocoa powder. Smells candy sweet, with a faint roasted malt backbone.

T: Huge roast flavor with loads of bittersweet chocolate, and toffee. The sweetness in the nose is nowhere to be found in the taste. Not even a faint hint of the 10.5% alcohol.

M: Creamy, luxurious full-bodied stout. Subtle carbonation.

O: This is simply fantastic. You'd be hard pressed to find a better non-barrel-aged Imperial Stout. There's nothing lacking here at all, just a pleasurable drinking experience.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2012 22:18:52 | More by brydeen
Photo of ironchefmiyagi13

New York

4.38/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Being a fan of FBS, I knew I had to try this...

A. Pours jet black with a creamy espresso creme head

S. nice chocolate and coffee on the nose. I like the faint scent of hops and resin from thia beer. glad to see it isnt absolutely mellowed out and still has some spink. What you would expect with an RIS

T. The same coffee and chocolate notes, with a presence of hops and a cloying bitterness that exists from the first sip after the swallow.p

M. Syrupy with an astringent finish. Nice and pleasant

O. Not the best OR worst RIS I have ever had.though it definitely is up there with the tastiest. Would definitely order again

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2013 04:29:14 | More by ironchefmiyagi13
Photo of Flopjack


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

Bottle into tulip

Appearance - Black with a half finger mocha colored head.

Smell - Dark roast coffee, subtle sweet chocolate, biscuit, slight alcohol.

Taste - Dark rich roasty flavors. Dark malts give a variety of flavors such as coffee, dark chocolate, sweet milk chocolate, bread, and biscuit. The end flavor and after taste are slightly smoky, and medium alcohol.

Mouthfeel - Full bodied, mellow carbonation.

Overall - Good beer. This beer moves across a nice combination of characteristics both in the smell and taste. As it warms it also brings out more chocolate notes, slightly more alcohol, and also a bit more smokiness especially in the smell.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2014 17:23:35 | More by Flopjack
Photo of MarkBlackout


4.9/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I wasn't aware that Founders beers were available here in Indianapolis until today. I promptly picked up a 4-pack of their Imperial Stout.

Pours up beautifully with an agressive pour, a three-finger head which recedes with nice lacing to about a centimeter or so. Totally opaque. Smells roasty, alcoholic, rich. Foreboding!

The taste is sweeter than I expected, but at least as rich as the aroma. Some raisins on the side offset the sweetness a bit and allowed me to explore the bitter (more enjoyable, for me, as usual) aspects of this beer more closely. This palate adjustment increased my enjoyment of Founders Imperial Stout: I was less distracted, put off by the sweetness. Good brew.

original review (above) 5/22/05: new review 1/16/12

Scores were lower on original review. I wouldn't be shocked if they upped the ante on this and made it into an even better brew. This stuff is amazing; thick, and rich, and very drinkable. abv has a presence but not much, other than of course your brain's level of intoxication. This is my favorite IS and one of my favorite beers. Founders is the shit!

Addendum to new review: after reading other reviews: I was going to leave it to others to describe flavors, but I will say that tobacco, coffee, and cacao are all over this. Wars were fought for this stuff! With a four-pack you have enough to share. ;)

Serving type: bottle

05-22-2005 03:06:26 | More by MarkBlackout
Photo of infestaxion


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

A - Pours a nice thick black with a mocha head that fades into a lacing around the glass.

S - Mostly malty chocolate. Slight hint of caramel.

T - Big roasted malt with bitter chocolate. Again a hint of caramel. A bit of warmth in the aftertaste. Complex and rich. I love the creaminess.

M - Nice and thick. Just the way I love it.

D - A bit warm but not overly so considering the ABV. Smooth going down. I could have a couple of these.

This is a pretty good Imperial Stout. I feel like one lucky little boy right now.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2009 03:45:55 | More by infestaxion
Photo of JonMich13

North Carolina

4.63/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A= Pure oily black like a good stout should. Even a hard pour produced a minor brown head. It thinned quickly and left only a little lacing on the glass.

S = Not a huge aroma here. Actually I'm getting more of a hoppy waft than anything else. Roasted malts there as well. Strangely smell hints of Belgian yeast. Interesting.

T = Taste is huge up front with big thick roasted malts. Almost a rum taste in there with some super dark fruits. Bitter dark chocolate is also present. A bit of hop bitterness kicks in with some boozy alcohol and the rum presence lingers in the aftertaste. An exceptional tasting RIS.

M = Just about perfect. Thick, coating and viscous in the mouth. With each sip you do not get cheated. Not quite as creamy as the Breakfast Stout, which I consider my perfect beer. But this is darn close.

D = For a RIS, this is extremely drinkable.

Wow, Founders is definitely becoming my go-to for stouts. These guys know what they're doing.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2009 00:01:16 | More by JonMich13


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

12oz. Bottle poured into a small snifter

Appearance : inky black in color. Small brown head froms with vigorous pour that dissipates quite quickly.

Smell : strong roasted aromas. Lots of coffee and bitter sweet coco

Taste: strong roasted taste with some smoky flavors. Hoppy bitterness comes though on the finish. Lots of coffee and bitter sweet coco. very well balanced beer that hides the alcohol well.

Mouthfeel : full body with little carbonation

Overall : great beer very well done exactly what I would expect coming Founders. This beer is definitely a beer I'll be having again and would recommend to anyone looking for a imperial stout.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2011 03:20:28 | More by BUNZILLA
Photo of dejrrma


4.73/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

4pack, 9.49 @aleyeah. Bottled 12/29/11. Poured into a snifter.

a- pours pitch black. a rich, creamy tan head of about 1.5 inches sits on top, then settles out to a half inch head that maintains through out. Impressive lacing that coats the walls of the glass.

s- cocoa powder, lots of roasted malts, milk chocolate and sweetness

t- malty bitter chocolate. it tastes like if you turned chocolate covered espresso beans into a delicious ris. definite bitterness with some vanilla hints.

m- Thick and full-bodied. It's a creamy perfection of an imperial stout. Seriously it's like coffee/chocolate whipped cream.

o- I wish this was available year-round. I just wanna drink this all the time.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2012 19:28:01 | More by dejrrma
Photo of IPAdams


4.2/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance- Pours thick and pitch black with a small tan head that recedes quickly and leaves minimal lacing.

Smell- I get some vanilla and coffee with a background of milk chocolate and caramel. Very sweet smell, almost like French vanilla coffee with a bit of espresso in the back, very nice.

Taste-Can definitely taste the 90 IBU's. First sip is burnt toast and espresso. As it warms the bitterness subsides a little and gives way to notes of chocolate, licorice and some flavors of burnt caramel. I like the flavor but the bitterness and burnt toast take away from the other characteristics

Mouthfeel- Very full bodied and creamy. I like the mouthfeel but again the bitterness is quite drying on the back end.

Overall- Pretty good Imperial stout. Nice flavors, smell and body. I definitely recommend letting it warm up to help diminish some of the bitterness.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2014 18:46:36 | More by IPAdams
Photo of DrewOSU


4.03/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass, purchased at Belmont Party Source in Dayton, OH

A - Pours black with a ¾ inch tan head. A good amount of light brown lacing, sticking to the edge of the glass. By the end of the glass, a very small amount of lacing remains

S - Rich, roasted malt aroma with coffee and chocolate under tones detected.

T - Initial sweet malt taste followed by the sting of alcohol. Medium body feel, even though it poured thick. I didn't feel like I had to chew through it. This beer is young, but very drinkable. Smoky, burnt coffee after taste. The alcohol can be a tad over powering in the after taste, yet it does not leave your pallet dried out. I think it could use some time to mellow and balance out a little.

MF- Thick and syrupy on the tongue, almost biting a little from the carbonation.

D - With its medium body feel and acceptable APV (10.5%), I think I could drink a couple of these in a siting. The after taste is not over powering and all in all, it has a very smooth, rich flavor.

I enjoyed trying this Founder's Stout for the first time and look forward to drinking my others in a year to compare.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2009 00:58:21 | More by DrewOSU
Photo of blackenmn


4.45/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter:

Appearance and Smell:Poured a nice opaque black similar to ten fidy. Left a nice thick, extremely dark brown creamy head which left nice layers of lacing down the glass. Smelled of very rich chocolate. Quite a bit of roastiness present, with a bit of caramel malt which compliments its nicely and helps hide the mild warmth on the nose from this one.

Taste and Mouthfeel:I really enjoy the flavor of this brew. Quite a bit of milky chocolate and molasses. Very rich decadant brew with some feint bitterness on the tail which really makes this brew. Pretty medium to heavy bodied brew which was slick and creamy on the tongue. Just enough bitterness to keep any of the sweetness from being too much. The last few sips of this were nothing far from delicious.

Drinkability:Very drinkable considering the style, and ABV of this brew. The very mild warmth and creamy body make this thing just slide down. Enough complexity to keep me sipping. I highly recommend trying this one.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2009 06:40:54 | More by blackenmn
Photo of BehindtheFinBrew


4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle to tulip
No freshness date

A: Pours like a cold coffee. Thin carbonation with a milk chocolate head that dissipated quickly. Some lace clung to the glass.

S: Bittersweet chocolate and roasted malt dominate the smell. Alcohol twinge is there as well but not with an astringent character.

T: A beautiful smooth alcohol warming on the finish. Sweet raisins and roasted malt with the overlying bittersweet chocolate flavors. There is a lot of residual hop and malt bitterness. The flavor is clean, bold and sweet.

M: Low carbonation. Thick and slick yet crisp on the finish. Often Imperials can be overly thick with a syrup texture, but this one did not go that way.

D: Definitely a short session beer. It was a meal and a dessert in one ha! Not to mention the 10.50% ABV. A great treat though.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2010 19:59:48 | More by BehindtheFinBrew
Photo of vince4953529


4.35/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is one hell of an opaque beer, with minimal carbonation to boot.
It tastes a bit chocolate-ly, and it's rich and smooth without the boozy effects.

This drinks supremely easy, just wish it is available easily in CA so it would become my daily session beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2010 21:11:41 | More by vince4953529
Photo of hopstradamus


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

A. Thick, opaque black with minimal chocolate colored foam that dissipates quickly into a ring around the inside of the glass with a bald spot in the middle.

S. Caramel, coffee, and burnt sugar layered between malt sweetness and the scent of dark chocolate.

T. Smoky roasted malt with hints of chocolate and licorice and maybe even a little vanilla. While the malt sweetness dominates, there is a hop bitterness in the finish.

M. Chewy and thick but also creamy and rich. Exactly what you expect from the style.

D. A real treat, a great beer to help wind down and eventful day or as a desert.

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2010 20:38:43 | More by hopstradamus
Founders Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 4,913 ratings.