Founders Porter - Founders Brewing Company

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Founders PorterFounders Porter

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1,451 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,451
Hads: 6,611
Avg: 4.24
pDev: 9.43%
Wants: 368
Gots: 1,203 | FT: 26
Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-11-2003

No absence of hops gives Founders' robust porter the full flavor you deserve and expect.

45 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,451 | Hads: 6,611
Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color porter with a nice thick foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of roasted malt and chocolate is quite powerful and interesting. Taste is a nice mix between some black chocolate notes with medium roasted malt notes though the overall mix is balanced by just enough sweetness. Body is full and has a super nice creamy texture with good carbonation. Very well brewed and something I wouldn’t mind having on a regular basis.

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Photo of largadeer
4.65/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottles from Tyson. Thanks again.

Pours black, completely opaque in the glass with a huge three finger dark brown head that retains remarkably well, leaving webs of lace clinging to the glass.

The aroma is of chocolate and roasted grain, coffee and carob.

Roasty on the palate, dry and robust with flavors of coffee, burnt toast and carob showing up mid-palate. Medium-full in body, rich in flavor but impressively drinkable. It finishes semi-sweet with a lingering baker's chocolate bitterness. Exceptional stuff.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.17/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, from a visit to Dearborn, Michigan a few weeks ago. At least now I know what the hell "Rouge" means for the Ford Motor Co.

This beer pours a solid black, with very slight cola edges, and two fingers of thick foamy, melted marshmallow tan head, which leaves some decent arching lace around the glass as it settles. The aroma is lightly roasted caramel malt, mild coffee grounds, and a bit of boozy chocolate candy. The taste is toasted, grainy malt, chocolate caramel, a mild creamy, sour milkiness, and soft earthy, piney hops. The carbonation is quite laid back, the body medium-full in weight, somewhat creamy, and decidedly smooth. It finishes resplendent in coffee/chocolate laden malt, assailed on both sides by a lingering lactic tang, and persistently understated hops.

An enjoyable American porter, big all around, and with a nod to London Porters of old. Dark, rich, and sexy? Sure, why not, you've earned it.

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Photo of emerge077
4.37/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a 14 oz. tumbler and the head rose exactly to the rim. About a finger of dark tan mocha foam, with a sticky ringed web of lace. After a few minutes it settled to a skim with groups of larger bubbles here and there. The head could have used more staying power, but it wasn't a big deal. Light couldn't seem to penetrate the inky darkness of this Porter.

Warm roasty aroma, dark Belgian chocolate, dark roast coffee, and pipe tobacco. Rich and silky feel, mild bitterness, earthy char, layered espresso and dark chocolate that fans out in waves. Pretty rich, one or two should just about do it. Very tasty, and probably among the top 1-2 American Porters i've tasted.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Raven's eye black with the slightest glimmer of sepia along the edges. Thanks to a barely audible escape of CO2 on crown cracking, the beer received a high-altitude pour. The end result was two fingers of dark caramel colored foam that is some kind of creamy. Nice lace too.

The label includes the tagline 'Dark, Rich & Sexy', which pretty much describes the aroma. It smells like there's a generous amount of black and/or roasted malt in here... and quite a few hops as well. 45 IBUs is pretty impressive for an American porter (if you're a hophead).

Founders never ever skimps on flavor. Porter is full to bursting with porterishness, which makes all the difference when compared with most other craft versions of the style. We aren't talking Edmund Fitzgerald good, but this is damn tasty beer that has the malt-hop yin-yang thing working like a dream.

What a tasty treat! These guys should seriously think about kicking up ingredients and the ABV. Then again, they have such an outstanding array of big-ass stouts that this offering is perfectly situated in the lineup. Never mind.

The flavor profile includes dark chocolate, dark caramel, a splash of black coffee and a big shot of grapefruit juice, courtesy of what must be a generous amount of Centennial hops (or something similar). Warming doesn't broaden, but it does deepen.

The mouthfeel falls *just* short of the next highest score. A fraction more silky creaminess would have gotten it there with no trouble at all. It's improving over time, but the beer is disappearing so fast that time is running out. Quickly.

Choosing between Bell's and Founders as the best brewery in Michigan is an impossible task for me. Having said that, Founders Porter puts quite a bit of ballast on the Grand Rapids end of route 131. Next time I'll go for the sixer, not just the single.

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Photo of zeff80
4.46/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Poured out an opaque, jet black color with a small, foamy, caramel colored head. It left soapy trails of lace.

S - It smelled of chocolate, tons and tons of chocolate. Some roasted malt and floral aromas, too.

T - This beer has a great chocolate taste with a slight coffee taste. Nice roasted malt flavor, too.

M - It was crisp and smooth with a subtle creaminess. A medium-bodied beer.

D - I love this porter. Great chocolaty flavor.

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Photo of oberon
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Always good to get my hands on new stuff from my home state.Poured into a standard pint glass a deep near black dark brown with some ruby highlights thruought,a thinner but well sustained mocha colored head atop.A mix of earth,roasted nut,and dark chocolate in the nose with lingering fruit.Alot of complexity and nuance on the palate,starting out with some sweeter chocolate and dark fruit melding into big earth and some rawness in the finish with a bit of espresso roast coffee.Wow for a "standard" porter this is hella top notch,awesome.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.58/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I grabbed a bottle of this at State Spirits the other week. One of the founders beers I had yet to try, I dove right in. Served cold and poured into a pint glass to warm up, this one was consumed on 03/31/2009.

What a pour. Black as night with a rich tan colored head that reached a height of at least two inches before settling down to a respectable inch of head that did not go away. Lots of chocolate and coffee leading the way here. Hints of molasses as well. Huge flavor here, maybe the best tasting porter I have come across. Lots of cocoa and chocolate, rich, huge flavor with a smooth creaminess that was second to none in my eyes. Really fantastic balance here as the chocolate really starts to come out as it warms. Lots of flavor here with a ton of mellow notes that were just all over the place. Nice tight, dry finish as it fades off into the night, this was a great way to end my evening.

Overall a very solid beer. One of the best i have had as a standard porter in a long, long time. I would have no issue going after thi one any day.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
4.23/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours black with a dark tan head which yields sheet lace. Roast, dark chocolate and cocoa powder aroma. Taste follows nose with some faint coffee notes. Overall a solid porter.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks for this bottle, Jeff. And thanks to Derek for the matching Founders glassware.

A: The beer pours an almost black color with a finger of mocha colored head.

S: Roasted malts dominate the aroma. There is an intense coffee aroma to the beer that is quite pleasant. Lots of bitter, cocoa powder notes with a light sweetness of toffee. A slight earthy character underneath it all.

T: Lots of roast and coffee flavors all the way through. Perhaps just as much bitter dark chocolate and cocoa powder with a light hop bitterness. Earthy tones, a bit of espresso, and some light caramel on the finish.

M: Medium bodied with a smooth, medium carbonation.

O: An outstanding porter, one of the best I've had, come to think of it.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle - $1.79 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Dispenses an onyx black body sporting a tall, proud-looking, dark tan head with plenty of staying power and substantial lacing.

Smell: Rich malty nose of bold, roasty coffee beans, melty bittersweet chocolate bars, licorice sticks, and moist dark fruits. A delightfully sultry scent, indeed.

Taste: The firm roastiness leads in the taste, with a flavor of strong coffee unabashedly laced with chocolate sauce, licorice, and a hint of real vanilla bean. Amply sweet throughout. Dark fruitiness buried within the heady maltiness. Roasty, earthy bitterness. Shot of cream. Long, leisurely, roasty finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Smooth, succulent creaminess to the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: It's really pushing at the boundary line between porters and stouts. A sterling, tasty robust porter from ole Founders and one I freely, even cheerfully recommend to others.

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Photo of nickfl
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - pours with two fingers of tan foam on top of an opaque, black body. The head settles slowly and leaves moderate lace.

S - a strongly roasty aroma with coffee and a bit of chocolate.

T - smoky coffee and some dark chocolate up front. A little bit of spice comes out in the middle with notes of chicory and licorice. Finishes with lots of coffee and moderate malt bitterness.

M - a fairly thick body, moderate carbonation, and a balanced finish.

D - nicely done, this is a bit on the thick side for a porter, but very well balanced and flavorful.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.8/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

"Dark, rich, and sexy." Indeed. Our eyes met from across the brewpub. She stood at the bar, all decked out in righteous finery. It was when she peered over her shoulder that her beauty took hold of me: those dark brown, nearly black eyes; those burnt ochre tresses, somehow simultaneously thick and light, that she nonchalantly brushed away from those aforementioned eyes; she certainly appeared nearly perfect. I had to speak to her. As I neared, her perfume caught my nose, sending me further over the edge before we've even met. It was dark, it was roasty, it reminded me of a chocolatier's workshop. Finally, I made it to the pinnacle: I old-fashionedly cleared my throat loudly, springing the trap. I thought she'd bite, but instead she ended up trapping me within those dark eyes, which in turn were reinforced by that rich, creamy skin. I was stunned. Luckily, she took the lead. As we spoke, grew closer, her very essence dove into my senses, recalling and complimenting her perfume. The sweetness, the roast; the chocolate, the molasses, the brown sugar (how come it tastes so good!?), the nutmeg, the coffee, the subtle vanilla. I don't know how I survived the encounter. In fact, she was so rounded, such a complete package, full of energy yet more than willing to slow down and savor the moment, that we talked, nay connected, far after the doors were closed. I had fallen hard. And we've been together ever since. Now, Dean-o, THAT's amore!

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Photo of Kegatron
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into a glass.

Pours a nice deep black with several fingers of chocolate brown foam. This settles down into a thin creamy retention that skims the surface, leaving a nice looking thick coating of spotty lacing and brown oils behind. This was definitely one of the darkest Porter pours that I've ever seen. Just a great look here. The aroma is quite dark and toasty smelling, with a dominate roasted malt presence and coffee notes adding a definite bite to the nose. Thick chocolate and caramel sweetness form a beefy smelling undercurrent that raises this bouquet up.

The taste is very similar to the aroma, with an even balance between the roast and sweetness in this. Dark roasted chocolate malt character imparts both a toasty bitterness AND thick sweetness to the profile, while accents of acrid coffee and sweetened caramel adding an extra layer to the taste while still evening each other out. Finishes with a trailing mix of malt and bitterness that hangs lovingly on the palate. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied with a lower feeling but still smooth carbonation that gives off a nice thick feel in the mouth. Wow, the lingering roastiness of this is just great!

Wow, what a fantastic Porter! Hugely full flavored and tasty, with a great drinkibility for a 6.5% beer. This is probably one of the best in the style that I've had and it's awesome that Founders has put this out in bottles now. I need to keep more of this around!

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Photo of jlindros
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Founders is one of my fav breweries, just gotta get around to review more of their beers. Can't wait to try this one.

A: A thick almost black 1/2 finger head rises and sticks around for a while over a pitch black luscious looking beer.

N: Lots of malts on the nose. Some chocolate, lots of roast, some luscious dark chocolate malts, slight sweet malts, and just overall darkness. A very slight hop aroma as well.

T: Lots of luscious malts. Mostly roasted and chocolate malts, and lots of coffee. A nice bitterness with some spicy hops. A chewy malt composition adds lots of dark malts, chocolate, and slightly bitter acidic earthy charred malts. A slight salty soy sauce flavor comes through as well. It is smooth and slightly velvety with a slight chocolate milk feel.

M: Semi thick, luscious, velvety, spicy acidic, lower but OK carbonation.

F: Semi bitter with lots of roast and charred malts, and some nice hop flavors to help. Lingering salty soy sauce though. Some Hoppy bitterness blends with more roasted charred coffee earthy bitterness that linger a bit. Some more coffee lingering. A nice finish for a humbling porter, out of all the Founders beers, not one of the best, but still a great beer as Founders has some amazing beers.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color with a beige head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of coffee, chocolate and smoky roasted malts, with a touch of hops.

T: The taste is very malty with strong & smoky flavors of black coffee, milk chocolate and dark fruits. There's just the right amount of sweetness and a mild but complimentary hops presence. The after-taste is slightly smoky and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, mild kick, very good representation of style, this is very nice porter to drink for a long time.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked this bottle up at Al's of Hampden -poured cool into a willybecker.

A deep brown bordering on black with a tobacco color at the base and rocky med brown cap w/ tight bead. Lace clings decently in a web-like pattern, clarity is opaque and the head has some uneven very large bubbles and compresses to a small bead. The smell is heavy in the cocoa realm with some toast + vanilla in the nose w/ coffee accents. The sweet and roasted malt odor w/ caramel presence are balanced in the nose. The feel is a great smooth body with malt texture and yet moderately full body w/ slightly mild carbonation and mid-range bitterness w/ a hint of dark grain astringency and only mild alcohol in the semi-dry finish.

The flavor of Founders porter is wonderful with slight burnt malt under a sweet toasted and caramel flavor w/ light coffee tinges and mild hop bitterness. The malt astringency is very light and gives the toasted taste and light pine hop notes a chance to mingle in the subtle biscuit and dark roasted flavors w/ some malted milkball sweetness. The taste has a decent amount of dark cocoa and the finish is semi-sweet. Overall a high quality porter in the American Tradition. I think Founders has executed very well with this fine example -so easy to quaff, yet packed with flavor.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.53/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

$2.29 at the Four Firkins. 12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a shitty hotel highball glass in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Reviewed live. Expectations are through the roof. I love this brewery.

Served after a warming period following its removal from the refrigerator. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a one finger beautiful tan colour head of very nice luscious cream, great thickness, and good retention for the relatively high ABV. Colour is a solid nontransparent black. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Assertive coffee, coffee bitterness, dark malts, cream, and caramel. Minimal detectable hops. A strong assertive aroma. Biting bitterness. No yeast or alcohol is detectable.

T: Strong assertive coffee bitterness, a dark malt foundation, cream up front, caramel, dark chocolate, mild hop bitterness (but in a balanced sense), and more of that chilled strong coffee. A well balanced if overly assertive flavour profile. I like it. One of the ballsier porters I've had in a long time.

Mf: Smooth, wet, a touch thin. Good if understated carbonation. Suits the flavours well.

Dr: A good beer for iced coffee lovers. And it's a porter for a reason; it doesn't drink like a senselessly smooth wannabe stout. Another solid brew from Founder's, and definitely one I'd have again - especially on draught. Well priced for the high quality. That said, Founders has better beers at this price point (namely Breakfast Stout).

I wouldn't age this. Drink fresh or fairly fresh.

Would pair well with bitter chocolate or mild nuts.


*I've adjusted the overall score to get the letter grade I want in order to keep my reviews fair and consistent. Please see my profile for more information.

02/19/14 Update: Retried it in a more proper setting.


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Photo of Rifugium
3.88/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Haymarket Pub & Brewery, Chicago, IL

Poured dark brown to black, with a minimal tannish head that recedes to a film. Dark chocolate and roasty malts in the aroma. Malty malty flavor, with notes of dark chocolate and cocoa and some caramel sugar. Medium to heavy mouthfeel, smooth, and very drinkable.

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Photo of russpowell
4.32/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a mahogany hued ebony with 1 finger of rocky mocha colored head. Average head retention & good lacing

S: Coffee & dark chcolate, fades once warm

T: Pretty much follows the nose, very intense flavor up front along with some dryness. Charred wet grain & herbal hops blend in as well once this is warm. Finishes dry with intense coffee/charred grain flavors. A few years ago this wouldn't have impressed me as much, I am really starting to get into beers with coffee flavors more & more...

MF: Smooth, medium bodied & silky

This one drinks pretty darn easy, might have to hoard this one, not my favorite porter, but right up there!

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.43/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I'm so glad Founders decided to bottle this brew again, another kick ass porter out of the Great Lakes region. Definitely pours pitch black no traces of ruby highlights around the edges, I'm guessing alot of black patent malt. Large creamy textured dark mocha tan head rises well above the rim of my imperial pint glass. Impressive layered lacing sticks to the glass with each sip.

Aromatics are blended nicely, big acidic coffee notes burst through with a mild cocoa presence, and evident hops backing up the party. Dark burn roasted malt notes have creamy edges as well, what a big succulent porter. Hop nose comes off like an herbal mint experience, very refreshing.

Tastes like strong coffee with heavy cream sweetness, dark acidic nearly burnt flavors collide coming off almost metallic. Dispersed hop burps bring back the herbal mint fresh finish, low alcohol burn noticed on the palate. Black licorice notes really nice expressive porter.

Mouthfeel is big and chewy but doesn't weigh me down, carbonations is slow bubbled with a great bitter dry finish on the palate. Very comparable to a lighter version of the breakfast stout, I'm pleased.

Drinkability is great no trouble throwing a few of these down in one session, it's up there with the best porters I've come across go out and seek it. I paid 10.99 for a six of this way worth it.

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Photo of smcolw
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Moderate tan head, but it lasts. Leaves generous lace on the glass. So dark (brown, near black), I could not see any light shine through.

Chalky, chocolate milk aroma. Light bitterness in the background.

My first impression is "rustic". There's a little bit of everything here without the smoothness of a well-blended brew. I like that. Lots of hop finish that does blend nicely with bitter black patent malt. Good body, almost chewy, but lots of balancing carbonation. A complex porter, worthy of each sip while wondering each nuance of flavor. Another winner from the guys at Founders.

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Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into signature pint glass, bottled on 5/8/2013. Pours pitch black color with a 1 finger dense tan head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass. Aromas of milk chocolate, cocoa, caramel, roasted malt, coffee, toast, floral, light pine, and roasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of roasted malt notes with light hop presence; and good strength. Taste of chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, coffee, caramel, toast, floral, light pine, and roasted earthiness. Moderate coffee/pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted malt, toast, caramel, light pine, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic balance and complexity of roasted malt flavors with a light-moderate hop presence; with great robustness and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very creamy and lightly slick mouthfeel that is very nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a small warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a highly excellent porter! Great balance and robustness of flavors; and very smooth to drink. A highly enjoyable offering as expected.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark, rich, coffee bean color, near opacity,, with a creamy tan head nestled above, a nice 1/4" that assuredly slims, but not too swiftly.
Aroma: bittersweet espresso from sniff #1...roasty, toasty, deep, and inviting.
Lush mouthfeel, big chocolatey malt character hits first in the flavor, nice and thick, then it rounds out and quits the mouth on a happy note. And urges further sips and swallows. Fills the mouth happily with the cocoa/coffee quality all good porters must have, but never too bitter, very, very smooth, and not at the sacrifice of flavor and body.
I really like this one. Actually, I really, really like this one, this is truly my kind of porter, and I know them when I find them.
Ful bodied, long, flavorful finish, lush texture...this is one porter I'd be happy to call me own, and would have caseloads on hand at at time, were I the Michigan type...cheers to you who are, for having this fine brew!

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Photo of mdfb79
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Fire Works in Arlington, VA tonight.

a - Pours a dark brown color with an inch of tan head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of strong roasted malts, smokey, chocolate, and vanilla.

t - Tastes of light chocolate, vanilla, roasted malts, coffee, toasted malts, and smokey.

m - Medium to full body and light to medium carbonation. Pretty easy to drink.

d - A very good smokey, roasted porter that at 6% you can def have a few of. Will definitely have again.

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Founders Porter from Founders Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 1,451 ratings.