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.

5,498 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 5,498
Reviews: 1,581
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 8.7%
Wants: 492
Gots: 1,318 | 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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 5,498 | Reviews: 1,581 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ItsBeer4Me


4.5/5  rDev +3%

01-20-2013 16:25:26 | More by ItsBeer4Me
Photo of xdefeatsy


4.5/5  rDev +3%

01-05-2013 20:28:29 | More by xdefeatsy
Photo of Fargrow


4.5/5  rDev +3%

05-28-2013 19:39:36 | More by Fargrow
Photo of Piddmeista


4/5  rDev -8.5%

08-20-2013 04:17:05 | More by Piddmeista
Photo of Lucnifter


4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

03-13-2014 03:04:05 | More by Lucnifter
Photo of Skunkdrool


3.75/5  rDev -14.2%

09-13-2013 22:39:58 | More by Skunkdrool
Photo of speedvagen


4/5  rDev -8.5%

02-24-2013 22:44:15 | More by speedvagen
Photo of WYVYRN527


4.08/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours jet black with a thick tan head, that settles to a small film on the surface. Lacing is minimal.

S: Very roasty, with notes of chocolate, espresso, and burnt toast. The booziness comes through on the nose as well.

T: Taste is very much like the smell. Chocolate, coffee, and toast are most apparent up front. The alcohol is also present. It is rather hoppy on the finish, drying and pleasant.

M: Full-bodied and very viscous, along with a warming booziness.

D: This brew is quite drinkable, but one that I would consume as a nightcap on a cold evening like this one.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2009 06:36:17 | More by WYVYRN527
Photo of tykechandler


5/5  rDev +14.4%

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


3.55/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks go out to headyhops81 for this one. Poured into my Stone RIS tulip. Notes from Friday night BBQ.

A: Pitch black. The pour produces two full fingers of light brown head appears and retains well. The lace is sticky and spidery.

A: Right on par with the sytle. I get chocoltae, coffee, molasses, roasted nuts, and licorice. Very nice earthiness to it.

T: Just a touch let down here. Don't get me wrong, I think it tasted very good, I was just expecting a little more from a big Founders brew. Coffee and chocolate shine, but there is a distinct bitterness from the earthy hops that do balance the beer.

M: Heavy body, good amount of carbonation give it a little bite on the back end.

D and overall impression: At 10.5% ABV this one's a sipper. Overall, this is a very good beer, I'm just not blown away with it. There is not much originality here. One par with the style, I just wanted more. Maybe a little age would do this one some good. Skal.

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2009 12:25:45 | More by Gtreid
Photo of Mistofminn


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

Recieved this bottle from iconoklaztor. Thanks, again Don! I've been drinking a lot of your beer lately.

12 oz bottle, vintage unknown (although it was waxed on top, so maybe Don has some knowledge of it's age) pours a viscous black-hole black into a tulip glass. Thin, dark brown head is produced, and doesn't stay for long. Only leaves tiny spots of lacing here and there. A good swirl leaves a thin film of brown liquid on the glass...now thats what I like to see...the ultimate test of an Imperial Stout. If it stains your glassware...it's good to go.

The nose is strong on toasted malts and chocolate, light bitter coffee, vanilla and alcohol. There is a lot of complexity going on, but it's a little more muted than I would have hoped.

Taste is pretty much the nose but vamped up. Everything is more defined, and the complexity of the malts shines through in this one. Alcohol is nowhere to be found (contrary to the nose) and notes of vanilla and chocolate come out. Tasty!

Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, thick and rich. Very low carbonation is appropriate for this brew. Slides down my throat, beckoning me to drink more. Drinkability is great, the age on this (whatever it is) has done away with the alcohol and made this an incredibly drinkable brew.

Overall, another great beer from Founders. When this hits Minnesota, I'm definitely getting more of this. It's not a world class Imperial Stout, but it's definitely a good one, and one that I will be drinking a lot more of.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2009 08:40:11 | More by Mistofminn
Photo of Rado


4.5/5  rDev +3%

12-23-2013 18:05:22 | More by Rado
Photo of KAP1356


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

Reviewed from notes. 2010 bottle from mattgreger last time I was home. Poured into a Victory tulip...

A - Pours a nice opaque black color. A creamy, dark brown sugar colored head forms about 2 fingers thick. Head leaves some really nice lacing along the glass.

S - Nice aromas of sweet chocolate and dark roasted malts. Dark, sweet fruits and some slight coffee aromas follow. At the end is some slight vanilla and a little bit of booziness.

T - Dark fruits, sweet chocolate, roasted (almost burnt) malts. Vanilla, caramel and some dark toffee also come out. Follows the nose quite well except that the booze is less prominant.

M - Medium to heavy bodied beer with moderate carbonation. Slightly slick on the tongue. Could be a bit creamier and thicker to me though.

O - For my first time having this, I am extremely impressed. Really enjoyable beer and surprisingly very drinkable. Glad I got to try it.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2011 23:19:14 | More by KAP1356
Photo of birdsellam


3.75/5  rDev -14.2%

02-11-2013 18:17:47 | More by birdsellam
Photo of Schlafly33


4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

02-05-2014 16:17:42 | More by Schlafly33
Photo of scotorum


4.46/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bought two bottles in Traverse City Michigan in June while on vacation/business. Saved them to age for cooler Fall weather.

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a plain tumbler.

a: Pitch black with a half finger tan head which receded quickly to even surface foam and some peripheral lacing.

s; Dark malt.

t: Very dark espresso strength malt with hop balance lending a bitter bottom line which is not bothersome in the least because the malt flavor is so dominant. Very high ABV is exceptionally well hidden.

m: Medium, silky smooth.

o: Excellent stout, not quite as impressive-looking as the Old Rasputin I had last night, but heavier yet smoother tasting and with even more flavor. Not quite as easy drinking as a result, but a wonderful sipper that won't quit delivering great imperial stout flavor.

UPDATE 1/3/14: Had the other bottle tonight and differences noted:

Bottled 12/20/12, so this has a year on it.

Poured into a Samuel Smith English tulip pint.

a: Opaque black with an inch and a half brown head which receded slowly to heavy surface foam and dense patterned lacing.

m: Medium to heavy, silky smooth. Now this is what I had hoped the Harviestoun's Old Engine Oil that I had recently would be like.

The rest of my earlier review was fully reconfirmed.

Anxiously awaiting the release of the 2014 model.

UPDATE 4/24/14: New fourpack bought a few months ago and saved for later. This is still great but the bitterness stands out more, the flavor a bit less. Lowering ratings accordingly: a: 4.5-4.25; s:4.5-4.25; t: 4.75-4.5; overall 4.75-4.5.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2013 04:17:41 | More by scotorum
Photo of sludgegnome


4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

03-10-2012 21:10:26 | More by sludgegnome
Photo of Risser09


3.6/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter - Fridge temp - 2008

Appearance: Pours a midnight, jet black color with a slight, brown head that goes away pretty quickly. No lace. Not a very lively brew.

Smell: Deep roasted malt, coffee, leather and a pinch of hops. The label indicates 90 IBUs, so they must not have spared. Licorice is in there, too.

Taste: Extremely roasty flavor is indicative of burnt toast, charcoal, and dark espresso. A hoppy bitterness further accentuates the roasty feeling. Mild sweetness and a nice belly warming feeling.

Mouthfeel: Lots of roastiness and warming alcohol. Medium bodied with little carbonation action.

Drinkability: This beer is okay. It's bold and powerful, but feels over-attenuated without much flavor complexity. Worth consuming, but there are better RISs.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2009 11:57:54 | More by Risser09
Photo of ZachKelly


4/5  rDev -8.5%

06-05-2014 23:48:57 | More by ZachKelly
Photo of HoppyBastard2


4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

02-16-2014 11:21:40 | More by HoppyBastard2
Photo of azdback


3.88/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a brandy snifter. Deep, dark black. No light getting through this one at all, even at the edges. The head came and went before I could even snap off a couple of pictures. While it was there it was a tad smaller than a finger and molasses caramel color. The beer sits in front of me now with no head or lace to be seen. It does leave a weird oily resin on the glass.

Smell is of deep roasted malts that almost smell of a doused campfire. Some booze in the nose with a bit of coffee and vanilla. Very nice!!

The first thing I get is almost a smoky dark chocolate. Some French Roast coffee, vanilla and some sweetness, caramel comes to mind.

The mouth is not even average. This beer isn't completely flat, but it's carbonation is almost non existent. There is pretty much no body nothing to really grade on.

Overall I must say that this beer was pretty tasty and smelled great, but I was really disappointed in the other two categories. The head, lace and carbonation never even said, "here!", when called on. ("9 TIMES!") If I were Ferris I would show up to school.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2011 06:54:31 | More by azdback
Photo of Murchmac


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

Murchmac bows head in silence for Younger35. As a couple of BAers were sitting round my table discussing founders and the imperial stout isn't being brewed anymore, Mr. FedEx rings my door and what do I get as an extra? Founders Impy. Thanks Daniel.

10.5abv, 90IBU? huh? Pours a dark black with coffee mocha ring around the collar.

Smells roasty toasty dark malts, as it warms up, dark chocolate. Always bet on black, Wesley Snipes did in White man can't jump and Woody lost all the money.

Tastes in order: Hops, thick dried dark fruits, leather, chocolate, toughness. Like if a gay chuck norris were turned into a chocolate easter bunny.

Fantastic when warms up. Chewy creamy aftertaste, with some burn in your throat. Feel the burn.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2009 04:15:54 | More by Murchmac
Photo of Kadonny


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

Poured from tap into a tulip style glass at the Craft Ale House in Limerick PA.

A: Jet black with a one finger light brown tight head. No light comes through this fine liquid. Full ring glass lacing.

S: Coffee, expresso, dark chocolate and a slight hop nose.

T: Follow the nose. Lots of dark coffee flavors inculding espresso, dark chocolate and dark fruits like cherry. Cocoa and milk chocolate come after with the sweetness and the finish ends up bitter with a nice slight hop bite. Alcohol becomes apparant on the finish.

M: Thick and creamy, very creamy with a full coating mouthfeel. Finish as I said has lingering bitterness. Medium alcohol can be tasted especially after it warms. Low carbonation too.

D: Low, this needs some time to balance out and let the alcohol subside and meld in with the other flavors. One 12 ounce glass was enough for me.

Overall a very good impy stout. Another quality beer by Founders, but not one I would enjoy every day like many of their other beers. Still very nice.

Serving type: on-tap

02-23-2009 15:06:48 | More by Kadonny
Photo of lonewolfcry


4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

02-06-2013 01:30:04 | More by lonewolfcry
Photo of zbooks


3.75/5  rDev -14.2%

01-30-2014 04:52:27 | More by zbooks
Founders Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 5,498 ratings.