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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.

5,370 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 5,370
Reviews: 1,572
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 8.7%
Wants: 481
Gots: 1,281 | FT: 111
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: 5,370 | Reviews: 1,572 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tewaris


4.25/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

90 IBUs
Bottled 11/27/2009; Sampled 12/28/2010; 12 oz bottle poured into a 25 oz snifter.

Pours thick and tar black with an excellently formed very very dark brown head. The head retention is great and the lacing is fantastic too. Looks just as good as any other, or better!

Molasses, sweet alcohol, roast, and massive coffee notes stand out; it should be noted that the coffee, although strong, is nowhere as strong as in the Breakfast series.

Coffee forward taste with a very bright & coffee-like acidity. Bitter on the palate, and with good amount of roast too.

Silky mouthfeel. Carbonation is appropriately low; full of roast but still not harsh; finishes sweet but can't be called cloying over a reasonable serving size; and warming.

In my memory, fresh Founders Imperial is more coffee forward and in that sense it has aged for worse.

Overall, an excellent stout and it's tough to choose any other over this, within the same style.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2011 09:20:10 | More by tewaris
Photo of jnardone235

New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev +3%

01-20-2014 03:16:57 | More by jnardone235
Photo of sludgegnome


4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

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


4.5/5  rDev +3%

05-28-2013 19:39:36 | More by Fargrow
Photo of aubuc1


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

12 oz bottle poured in to a snifter.

Pours a pitch black with a sticky tan head.

Smell is roasty, earthy, and a whiskey like strong aroma.

Taste is a smooth, warm, roasty with a light alcohol warming.

Very creamy mouthfeel and smooth drinkability.

This is a great stout. Not pure coffee, but plenty of richness.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2009 00:39:30 | More by aubuc1
Photo of Skunkdrool


3.75/5  rDev -14.2%

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


3.75/5  rDev -14.2%

01-30-2014 04:52:27 | More by zbooks
Photo of mixed_master7


4.5/5  rDev +3%

03-31-2013 02:21:03 | More by mixed_master7
Photo of johnyb


4/5  rDev -8.5%

02-17-2014 12:51:10 | More by johnyb
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 brownbeer


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

2009 vintage

Oily, black pour with a big, pillowy abyss of very dark brown head that's gonna leave some lacing. Very nice.

Hefty nose of hops, bitter coffee, oak, dark chocolate, sawdust?, maybe leather. Alot going on here for sure.

This one is not for the faint of heart. Thick and milky in the mouth, coating all surfaces with intense dark chocolate, alot of hop flavor for the style,an earthy dustiness, and a nice little alcohol burn to warm ya up to go with the long, dry finish.

This is a hoss and a sipper for sure. I'll be putting a 4-pack of it in my cellar shortly.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2010 00:56:10 | More by brownbeer
Photo of WakeandBake


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

A very black color pour with a thin, creamy, dark brown head that diminishes to a nice thin ring,and leaves some good lacing down the sides of the glass. The aroma is of dark roasted malt, light coffee, faint toffee, and sweet dark fruitiness.Flavor is very roasty malt driven, coffee,bitter chocolate notes some wood or maybe grain,very balanced. Medium-bodied light carbonation, slick mouthfeel with a dry, bitter-roasted finish that features just a touch of alcohol. As always Founders makes it Yummy !

Serving type: on-tap

02-12-2009 22:22:21 | More by WakeandBake
Photo of denimdemon


5/5  rDev +14.4%

01-18-2012 00:22:33 | More by denimdemon
Photo of Khazadum


4/5  rDev -8.5%

02-12-2012 00:26:41 | More by Khazadum
Photo of OgreSanchez


4.5/5  rDev +3%

03-05-2014 02:56:30 | More by OgreSanchez
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 PhineasGage


5/5  rDev +14.4%

12-14-2011 05:10:04 | More by PhineasGage
Photo of JohnnyMc


4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

05-14-2012 17:32:52 | More by JohnnyMc
Photo of jroberts8811


4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

01-22-2014 05:24:11 | More by jroberts8811
Photo of Hendrick24


4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

01-11-2014 05:13:11 | More by Hendrick24
Photo of mjw1200


4.47/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lots of different aromas. some espresso and chocolate. Its a roasted smell.

Flavor is what separates this beer. Impressive hop flavor in an RIS. Love that it takes more than one drink to take in the different flavors. love the dark chocolate and roasted coffee.

The end leaves a good flavor, the beer is so smooth it does not hang around as long as some. Also a good pucker at the end, almost too much sourness.

great beer. glad I found it. Excited to see how it develops with time.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2011 20:14:58 | More by mjw1200
Photo of scxcrunner


4.5/5  rDev +3%

08-25-2013 00:39:43 | More by scxcrunner
Photo of GregSVT


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

12oz bottle into a snifter

A: An aggressive pour of a deep black liquid produces a huge tan head with good retention and leaves tons of lacing as it recedes.

S: The aromas are cocoa, coffee, and a hint of hops. The hops give it an almost earthy aroma which I find very unique. It's also slightly smokey as well.

T: The taste is earthy as well which is odd for a RIS. After that I pick up a lot of cocoa/bakers chocolate and a hop bite on the finish. Very interesting flavors.

M: The feel is thick and creamy with great carbonation for the style.

D: ABV at 10% and the hops in the flavor are the only thing hindering this from being highly drinkable. It's a lot like Old Raspy but a bit better IMO.

Worth a try for sure. I'm grateful for the opportunity from one of my trading partners.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2010 01:52:57 | More by GregSVT
Photo of qcbrewer

North Carolina

4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

01-01-2014 04:16:47 | More by qcbrewer
Photo of imyourhero21


4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

04-01-2013 19:21:43 | More by imyourhero21
Founders Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 5,370 ratings.