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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.

5,775 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 5,775
Reviews: 1,594
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 8.72%
Wants: 515
Gots: 1,398 | FT: 119
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: 5,775 | Reviews: 1,594 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JimmytheSaintPSU
5/5  rDev +14.7%

JimmytheSaintPSU, Aug 19, 2012
Photo of Smurf2055
3.75/5  rDev -14%

Smurf2055, Aug 08, 2013
Photo of topdown
3/5  rDev -31.2%

topdown, Aug 06, 2013
Photo of huntermop
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%

huntermop, May 28, 2014
Photo of zbooks
3.75/5  rDev -14%

zbooks, Jan 30, 2014
Photo of nomad
4.28/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a clown car of an Imperial Stout - if there's a flavor well-known, or even loosely affiliated, with this dark style then it has been squeezed into this beer.

From cool to warm this beer shows an impressive range of flavors - ready for the list? - chocolate, vienna roast coffee, dark caramel, subtle figs and black cherries, pine, citric hops, biscuity malt, slight oxidative sherry notes, simple molasses sweetness, and a tinge of earthy bitterness. Overall effect is extremely balanced with little lingering hop bitterness in the finish, only espresso-like dryness of the roast malts. At times, once my palate adjusts to its girth, this beer even tilts toward sweetness. In fact, over a few slow nights with this brew the seeming lack of attenuation got to me - is it possible to also ask for a little more hop bittering in this already big boy?

On the nose its a little quieter with many of the same tones mentioned above but a bit more demure and definitely tilted more toward the roasted and dark scents. As usual, the appearance is black with a dirtied head that stuck around well-enough after a nice and thick reverse cascade on the pour. Mouthfeel is thick and near-syrupy smooth although aiding to the sweet shading of the beer.

A fine Impy that is ready-to-drink, no aging necessary and, to my tastes, not preferred. Nonetheless, an enjoyable though diabetic pint.

nomad, May 03, 2005
Photo of rapidsequence
3.9/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. I really hate the pictures on their bottles.

Appearance: Ummm. Black. How much more black could it be? The answer is none. None more black. Short lived brown head. Leaves a little lacing, but it doenst stick around long in my big wine glass.

Smell: Give it a swirl and the first thing I smell is sweet smelling alcohol. Its got some bittersweet chocolate too. And there's hops too-- its almost floral. Weird, but good.

Taste: Is the 10.5% well hidden? No. There's a lot of booziness. That doesn't really dominate though. There's bittersweet chocolate, coffee/espresso, and surprising hoppiness which is almost balanced by the stouty backbone and some mild sweetness. Overall though, bitterness dominates the taste and aftertaste. Much more bitter than what I normally expect/want in a RIS, but its really quite good, an interesting beer.

Mouthfeel: Pretty thick, smooth, and rich. Not perfectly creamy and milkshake like in the way that my favorite RISs are.

Drinkability: This is really a hoplovers stout. Its nice, but not really my idea of a perfect RIS. This is the last one of a sixer, and I've enjoyed each one.

Two years later, the actual last beer from this same four pack is amazing. Soft and smooth with a bit of oxidation. Pretty awesome.

rapidsequence, Aug 20, 2009
Photo of richbrew
4/5  rDev -8.3%

richbrew, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of speedvagen
4/5  rDev -8.3%

speedvagen, Feb 24, 2013
Photo of JohnQVD
5/5  rDev +14.7%

JohnQVD, Mar 17, 2013
Photo of MNBeer1017
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%

MNBeer1017, Jan 05, 2014
Photo of beveragecaptain
4.38/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle. Pours out thick, seemingly with chunks. Jet black with a nice cocoa head. Creamy, malty aroma, with strong alcohol in the nose. Huge malt flavor with chocolate, bread, figs, and licorice. Full mouthfeel. Thick, but not syrupy. Remarkably drinkable for such a high level of alcohol. This is an Imperial Stout that rivals the best I've had. I would put it up there with Stone Imperial Russian Stout.

beveragecaptain, Apr 27, 2005
Photo of Gtreid
3.55/5  rDev -18.6%
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.

Gtreid, Jul 05, 2009
Photo of midlifec
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%

midlifec, Dec 10, 2013
Photo of fehrminator
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

fehrminator, Feb 10, 2013
Photo of brewskifan55
4.23/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. Thanks, cvm4

A: The darkest brown imaginable. Slightly lighter ring around the glass. A tan, half finger head that left in the blink of an eye. Thick lacing.

S: Licorice, burnt malts, dark chocolate. Figs.

T: Very light coffee that morphs into toffee. More chocolate as it warms. Rich, robust, smooth. Heavy coffee finish.

M: Thick, chewy. Medium carbonation.

O: One of the smoothest stouts I've tried. Even better towards room temperature. Perfect with Monterey Jack cheese. Very nice with spicy chicken tenders.

brewskifan55, Jun 03, 2012
Photo of ypsifly
4/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz with no dates into a pint glass.

As black as it gets with a small, dark tan head that falls to a veiled ring within a few minutes.

The malts make up most of the nose. Has a nice roasted aroma that is slightly smoky with notes of chocolate, cocoa, good coffee, and just a whiff of dry hops. There is no alcohol to be smelled.

The taste follows along just as the nose, with the exception of some alcoholic heat towards the finish which is quite bitter for an instant, then fades into the sweet/roasty malts.

The mouthfeel is thick and oily. While this is a complex and tasty brew, just what I needed after todays freakish late April snowstorm, it doesn't get many points for drinkability. This one's a sipper. I have a four pack in the cellar. Can't wait to see what she does over time.

ypsifly, Apr 25, 2005
Photo of bluemoonswoon
4.35/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz stubby brown bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

Glugs out syrupy thick from the bottleand even with a hardish pour yeilds only the scantest of a deep mocha colored head. Aggitation brings back more head than there was to start with but it quickly thins from the center of the glass to the edges, leaving behind a little lacing as it goes.

Sort of hot and hoppy at 90IBUs, this one puckers up the nasal cavities on the first couple of snifs. There are certainly other things going on here, most notably an intense, almost charred, roastiness. Then it gets sweeter, opens up with a rather milkier chocolate aroma than I was expecting but also bringing that familiar coffee ground aroma to the table as well. I think I'm awash in deep fruits here, not any dicernable fruit flavors but there is a fruity esteryness that makes its presence known among the phenols.

First instant on the tongue is hot then smooths out a bit as the beer gets a chance to coat the tonuge then gets quite roasty, then, all at once, very sweet, licorice and caramel, the becomes very hoppy and closes with an intense and drying roastiness. And that was just the first sip! That is a step by step process of what happened to me on my first sip of the beer. Second sip is a bit boozier and chocolatier than the first and the beer is begining to latch onto the back of my throat. Third and fourth sips are getting a bit fruitier and adding a nice layer of complexity on top of the base laid down by the first few sips, the darker chocolate is beginning to subside just slightly and the hops are really starting to do their work. Each sip and the beer only seems to get smoother, the sweetness and biterness continue to develop and deepen with each sip.

A joy to drink and interperet as each sip builds on top of the previous one. Alcohol is masked by the intense bouquet of estery and chocolaty flavors. Worthy of inclusion in the Best of BA to be sure.

bluemoonswoon, Jan 06, 2009
Photo of Mark000
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Mark000, Jan 22, 2012
Photo of Kenai4
5/5  rDev +14.7%

Kenai4, Feb 05, 2012
Photo of JSchock7
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

JSchock7, Jun 01, 2012
Photo of illini4x4
4/5  rDev -8.3%

illini4x4, May 25, 2012
Photo of Slay40
4/5  rDev -8.3%

Slay40, Jan 03, 2014
Photo of NonicPanic
5/5  rDev +14.7%

NonicPanic, Feb 15, 2014
Photo of ithinkimasofa
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

ithinkimasofa, Nov 15, 2011
Founders Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 5,775 ratings.