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Founders Porter - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders PorterFounders Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,452 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,452
Hads: 6,618
Avg: 4.24
pDev: 20.05%
Wants: 368
Gots: 1,208 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Founders Porter Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,452 | Hads: 6,618
Photo of Edwaka01
4.55/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up at Finger Lakes Beverage Center. Founders in upstate NY!

Poured from 12 oz into nonic pint.

A - Absolutely black. Thin layer of foam on top, leaving lace on glass, but not much head to speak of.

S - Chocolate malt, roastiness, coffee. Floral hops buried under the malt aromas.

T - Smooth. Tastes like I know most imperial stouts minus any alcohol burn or warming. Lots of roasty dark malt, and a bit of smokiness. Coffee and chocolate type notes along for the ride.
Nice hop content throughout, but not at all overwhelming.

M - Low carbonation, but nice sized body. Not huge but not thin by any means.

O - My first founders. I hate how much I hear about some breweries like Founders, RR, 3F, because sometimes the beer doesn't live up to the hype, but this one definitely did. Can't wait to try more of their stuff.

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Photo of Roxie_B
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Appearance: No head whatsoever. Pitch black.
Smell: Coffee, roasted malts, wood, dark fruit and a hint of floral.
Taste: Roasted malts up front, coffee, and walnuts/pecans, chocolate on the finish.
Mouthfeel: Lively but thick despite the lack of carbonation.
Overall: Not bad.

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

A. Poured into a snifter from a bottle. Pours dark, cola like with moderate carbonation. Condensation sweats on the outside of the snifter as a creamy tan head forms with a frothy ring of lace.
S. The aroma of freshly cut wood. A whiff of smoked malts and burnt sugar. It smells like black coffee thats been on the burner for a while. Dark chocolate and roasted nuts with a faint hint of alcohol. The slight aroma of a smoldering campfire.
T. Founders Porter is a fantastic tasting Porter. Upfront it's smokey, earthy bitter and sweet. The taste of rich dark chocolate and almonds. Burnt sugar, caramel with a hint of vanilla. Bready like pumpernickel. Espresso like bitterness with a warmth of alcohol.
M. A medium body feel. Creamy slick and oily. Slightly dry at the end.
D. A slow sipper with everything you could ask for in a Porter. It has a big taste for a little beer. The very last sip was as good as the first.

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Photo of clarkm04
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance- Very dark and robust. Forms a nice creamy head that dissipates

Smell- Definite notes of the roasted and chocolate malts. Very inviting.

Taste- Has a bittering taste upfront that transitions to a very smooth aftertaste. Very light and creamy on the palate for the last 2/3 of a drink. Lots of chocolate malt notes in the taste. Very full favored yet with an easy after taste.

Mouthfeel- A little harsh and ever so slightly unbalanced. Probably the low point for me on this either wise outstanding porter.

Drinkability- Very good. You can easily drink two or three of these in one session.

Overall - Very good example of this style. Definitely a little more bittering then some examples of porter but I really like the overall experience. Another very good beer from the Founders folks.

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Photo of MikieV
3.7/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From bottle, poured into my beer bug very dark, almost black. Very thin tan head. Pronounced coffee scent. Not at all unpleasant. Mine left no lacing.

Taste is similar to scent. Roasted coffee and roasted malts dominate the flavor. If that's what you are looking for, you'll find it here in abundance. Very smooth mouth feel. Actually felt thinner than it looked like it would be. Bitter aftertaste makes you thirsty for another drink.

This was not a bad porter by any means, but it wasn't necessarily what I was expecting .

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Photo of iBeer16
4.32/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed In a tulip glass.

A: pours a very dark black color with about a one finger mocha colored head that dissipates fairly quick But leaves nice thick lacing.

S: very sweet chocolatey malt aroma also mixed with a strong roasted coffee scent.

T: strong roasted coffee and chocolate flavor. Very rich but not very complex. Flavor that I expect from a porter.

M: very smooth, very refreshing, great carbonation, great full body.

Overall, great porter. No crazy complex flavor but very rich, great flavor. Great beer, very simple great tasting porter.

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Photo of mdr4669
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Very dark with about a half a finger head, that receades quickly. Leaves good lacing around the glass with every sip.

Smell: Strong wafts of coffee, chocolate & vanilla.

Taste: Black coffee and chocolate has a bit of smokey finish which is surprisingly smooth.

Mouthfeel: The taste is richer than the feel, this porter would be great if it had a little more texture.

Drinkability: It's smooth, fresh and easily drinkable.

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

This starts off like your standard porter. It is a dark, opaque brew, almost black, with a minimal head that quickly fades to a light lacing on the glass. The smell is of toasted malts, with hints of chocolate and espresso. Very nice. But then the taste surprises with not only the chocolate and espresso notes, but with the IBUs as advertised on the bottle. And i find i like that subtle bitterness. As it warms, the bitterness becomes more pronounced, but still nice.

This is probably my favorite porter. Everything a porter should be with an extra hop twist.

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Photo of lamarr04
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a mug

A: pours a very dark brown with an inch dark tan head

S: Aroma is roasted malt with dark chocolate and prune in the background. also a bit of vanilla/sweetness to the nose

T:First thing i notice is a nice bitterness followed by dark chocolate and prune at the back of the tongue. A nice malty sweetness balances the bitter chocolate

M: more carbonation than i was expecting although i kind of like that. medium smooth body. the finish is a bit slick and the beer coats the tongue

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3.9/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Founders Porter

Appearance: Founders only year-round dark beer offering pours pitch-black with a massive three fingers of deep tan head. This foam cap quickly dissipates into a crust reminiscent of espresso crema. The beer is too dark to note any carbonation, but, as Founders beers are unfiltered, quite a bit of sediment is noted. The beer leaves very little lacing while sliding down the glass. It honestly looks more like a stout than a porter, but coming from one of the kings of stouts and given the questionable divide between the two styles, this is not surprising or negative. Like the bottle proclaims, this beer looks “dark, rich, and sexy”; but the same could be said for your average porter or stout.

Aroma: Thick, creamy waves of darkly roasted malts suggesting chocolate, coffee, and just the slightest hint of oatmeal waft over the drinker’s nose. Strangely, there is a bit of an alcohol/liquor profile, even at a modest 6.5% ABV, which, while not negative, is unexpected and somewhat off-putting in such a small beer (by craft standards). Not a lot outside the norm going on here, either; it just smells like a basic porter/stout.

Taste: Essentially follows the nose, but with more of an emphasis on the coffee than chocolate, which strays from the very balanced aroma. The chocolate is more of a supporting actor to the coffee, rather than fighting for the spotlight. No real hop profile is present, but this is a malt-focused beer, so the malt-focused bill does not hurt the beer. The aftertaste lingers on forever, it seems, with a slight hint towards dark fruits highlighted in Belgian tripels and quads. Simple and effective is clearly what Founders was going for with this beer. That simplicity is a bit disappointing considering their other more complex (but not year-round) dark offerings.

Mouthfeel: This is the attribute that sets this brew apart from other porters (and Founders other stouts). This is one of the only beers in which “watery” can be used positively. The smooth and velvety nature of the beer make it incredibly drinkable and refreshing, which is in stark contrast to the flavors at play here. Typically, dark beers are thick and syrupy and sometimes need to be chewed, but this one is lighter than air and goes down with no problems at all. There is a slight alcohol warming as the glass empties, but it is pleasant and restrained, if surprising. There is very little carbonation to speak of, but that only emphasizes the velvety quality of the drink. Founders managed to drag this one out of the mediocrity of normal porters with this amazing mouthfeel.

Overall: While this beer is quite average in every aspect (except mouthfeel), it almost appears as if Founders meant it to be that way. There is nothing surprising, but also nothing to really dislike. Its drinkability and low ABV make it a great example of a session porter (if such a thing exists). This is also a great introduction to porters and stouts and could be used as a rubric on which to grade all other stouts and porters. Simplicity is sexy, apparently. 15.5/20

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Photo of Brubaker
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Black with a mocha head that shrinks then persists.

S- Malts & coffee

T- Coffee (did i mention coffee?) then the malts with a hopy finish

M- Medium to rich body, very smooth

O- Coffee porter at its best. Good balance of malts, flavors, and hops.

Would Drink
Would Buy
Might Make

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Photo of BradenMK
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Appearance - This has the pitch-black color and foamy brown head of what most people would consider a stout. Which I think is awesome.

Aroma - Roasty. Dark, burnt toast, some coffee, a heavy dose of unsweetened cocoa powder. Extremely dank, but earthy hops. This stuff smells like darkness (and that's not all good, lol).

Taste - Bitter and very roasty upfront, there is only a little sweetness to tame the flavors of the dark malts, and yet there is great complexity in the form of something smoky. I would assume they use neither peated malt or smoked malt in this, but I could be wrong. The malt profile is that of ashy, smoky unsweetened cocoa. Doesn't that sound awesome. The hops bite rather hard too, with those earthy, herbal, bitter qualities.

Mouthfeel - Here's where this beer truly shines, agreeing with Tectactoe. This beer just feels luxurious in the mouth. I have had many beers, and the feeling doesn't get better than this (not for the style anyway). Like silk. Like if you can imagine silk turned into liquid and poured down your throat, that's how this beer feels. It's just tremendously smooth.

Overall - This is actually NOT my favorite porter (that honor goes to Smuttynose's Robust Porter, because the flavor they are able to capture is just amazing), but this has got to be one of the most well-crafted porters on the planet. It was the first time I drank a porter and was really wowed. This is heads and shoulders better than GL Edmund Fitz, in my opinion, it's just got so much more depth to it. If you like porters, this is one of the deepest, most nuanced options available, in my opinion. If you like non-Imperial stouts, this should be right up your alley as well, because this one blurs the lines.

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Photo of Thingus
4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Live tasting 12 oz. bottle into Duvel tulip...

Appearance; pours a deep dark brown out of the bottle, that becomes black in the glass with cola edges... Single finger head falls exceptionally quickly, leaving nothing but a very thin ring of bubbles around the edges..

Smell; lots of roasty malt, coffee, caramel and chocolate...

Taste; quite similar to the smell, jumps right in with coffee and roasted malts, the caramel and chocolate are more subdued and quite nicely accent the roastiness... Medium finish with a nice lingering roasted malt/coffee flavor.

Mouthfeel; on the light side of full bodied, with a bit more carbonation than I would expect, but it definitely compliments the flavor and body of the beer... Slightly sticky, it hangs around a bit on the sides of the glass but nowhere near the extent of a beer like Ten Fidy...

Overall; a damn good beer! My second Founders experience, I've got a few more in the fridge and I can't wait to get into them!!

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Photo of jsolack
3.67/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Very dark brown... almost like chocolate syrup. Pours thick and head is a heavy dark tan.

Smooth and creamy scent. Has a nice sweet smell.

A rich and flavorful beer. A bit bitter in the finish. A hint of spice and a dark coffee flavor.

Not as thick in mouth as I would expect but still a good feel.

A full bodied beer. Strong flavor and bitter coffee like aftertaste is a little much for me.

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Photo of ob_carr
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

This beer is bite-your-knuckle sexy, just as the bottle claims. It has a dark, dark brown body close to a muddy black and a short-lived but beautiful head the color of a cup of coffee with 1 cream that disappears right before you've been able to fully appreciate it. It's silky smooth, but not thick, and subtly sweet with a killer, sticky and slightly bitter finish and an aftertaste that gently nibbles at your conscience. It's like eating a tiny piece of mildly dark chocolate and no more. It's like a tauntingly gentle kiss on the lips from your high school crush who's also wearing the perfect, creamy chocolate lip-gloss and (for some reason) holding an open cup of coffee beans and standing in a dewy field. Every time I have one, my eyes pop out like Eddie Valiant ogling Jessica Rabbit then settle back in as the potent but manageable 6.5% ABV washes over.

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Photo of machostacos
4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from chilled bottle into pint glass.

A: Deep mahogany - completely opaque with a 1/4 inch creamy chocolate head that dissipated quickly, leaving a tiny collar. Light lacing.

S: Lots of chocolate (blend of dark/semi-sweet), blended with rich dark roasted coffee, hints of vanilla and smoky charred wood, with a light touch of dark fruit sweetness (cherry, prune).

T: Very full, rich - much like the nose; dark chocolates and dark roasted coffee galore up front followed by a mild chocolately sweetness. Finishes with a mild bitterness reminiscent of grapefruit and dark chocolate. Quite tasty, though not terribly complex. Bitterness lessens and sweetened chocolate flavors shine through more as beer warms.

M: Rich and full but a little thin. Good carbonation.

D: Goes down so smoothly - could easily put 2 or 3 of these away. Delicious pairing with blueberry pie - fantastic dessert or sipper beer.

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Photo of BPudd
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into pint glass.

A: A hard pour that resulted in black bodied brew with a large inch of coco colored head that slowly faded.

S: Not overly complex but coffee notes were strong at first, followed by a semi-sweet chocolate.

T: More complex than smell as coffee flavors are bold at first then a vanilla note precedes the semi-sweet chocolate malts. . Dark fruits made their presence as the beer settled.

M: Medium bodied, rich & creamy

O: One of the best porters I've had recently. Rarely does Founders disappoint.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of Fluke828
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a Murphy's Imperial Tulip-esque Pint/Pub Glass.
Bottle says it was bottled on "03/31/11"

A-> Pours black as night and looks quite thick. Aggressive pour yields just about a full finger of coffee/mocha colored head that quickly fades but still leaves a thin layer of lace/bubbles on the glass as well as across the top terminus of liquid in the glass.

S-> Smell is dominated by chocolate and coffee with some bitter notes in there as well. Burnt biscuit alt smells are also present. Getting a bit of toffee and roasted bread also. Some faint chocolate molasses is detectable as well. Really a lot going on here.

T-> Definitely get the roasted malt/burnt biscuit/breads up front which is quickly followed by a refreshing bitter kick. Smoky dark chocolate makes itself known in the middle and becomes ever more prevalent as I let this brew warm a bit. Going to see if anything else comes through with some more warmth...Really getting an earthy, woody smokiness coupled with bitter and sweet notes in the middle as this goes down. Really a complex brew that isn't effing around....

M-> I want to say full bodied but wonderfully balanced and not thick at all (like I thought it looked from the pour). Not thin by any means yet carbonated enough to be pleasant and refreshing yet smooth and silky enough to retain its robustness. Really admirable...

O-> This is one fine porter. Not that I expected anything less from Founders and at the risk of sounding like a Founders fanboy, this brew is really quite drinkable/enjoyable. Borderline quaff-able. Smooth and crisp, I could drink this as a nightcap or as a dessert beer or with dessert or all at the same time. Wonderfully complex and delicious with a lot going on. Really liked the earthy, woody, smoky flavors that came through that were married beautifully with a mild bitterness that made this exceptionally smooth and drinkable. Founders Porter has solidified a spot in my fridge no matter what season it is....

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Photo of MickeyBeer
4.31/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours very dark with a minimal tan head. Almost entirely opaque when held up to the light.

S- Not as aromatic as I would have hoped. Mild coffee notes are present.

T- Coffee and chocolate flavors come forward. Alcohol at 6.5% is hardly noticeable. This is a great session porter in my opinion. Perfect for those cold winter months.

M- Very drinkable with coffee flavor and certainly no absence of hops. Carbonation is light.

O- One of the best porters that I have had in a while. Did not disappoint in any way and I will definitely be picking up another 6-pack of it.

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Photo of MrUse
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Looks very dark brown/black. Thin dark tan head sticks around for a while, grabbing the glass with each sip. Smells of dark chocolate and coffee. Taste is similar, more dark chocolate/coffee. Great flavor, hard to just sip this one. Creamy mouthfeel. I will definitely be having a few of these this winter!

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Photo of markmiller
4.07/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I poured this far too cold into a snifter, and it seemed incredibly flat. Leaves nice lacing as it drinks, and a swirl of the glass produces great fizz.

Scents of sweet creamy mocha and roasted maltiness. Very nice and inviting.

Taste is great for a porter. Like a subdued Imperial Stout. Roasty, coffee, tons of cream, chocolate and deliciousness. Hardly any bitterness.

A bit thin for me, would have liked a little more coating.

A absolute stellar porter. Enjoyable to the last drip from the glass. Again, I wish Founders was available to me more often.

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Photo of Durtdiggler
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black oil pour with massive mocha brown head with alot of retention.

Sweet, burnt mocha and molasses aroma fills the nostrils.

Taste is well balanced with sweetness and bitterness of the hops . Flavor very much like it smells. slight burnt roastiness but not enough to lose the sweetness for porter style.

Creamy, balanced mouthfeel with back end hops and clean finish.

Tastes like a bigger beer than the 6.5 Abv implies. Very easy drinking but full of flavor. Not overpowering. Satisfy the imperial craving with friends without the big alcohol effect.

I love this beer and about every style from Founders. Lucky to have them close in distribution.

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Photo of viverlee
3.15/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Too often in a fit of “oh shit the baby’s going to wake up, poop everywhere and need to be changed, fed and played with” I don’t let the beer mellow, to come down a few degrees. I started this review in haste before deciding to take my own advice. Glad I did.

STYLE: American Porter

ABV: 6.5%

LOOK: Unremarkable, the midpoint between oily and soda. An appalling lack of lacing. What head?

NOSE: We’re off to a rather good start. Over a foot away, I can smell the chocolate and red fruits as it pours. Better as it warms. Smoother too. We’ve gone from metallic to mid-range coffee.

MOUTH: It settles into coffee and lightly burnt malts. Not the extraordinary failure I thought it was at first. Medium body, dirty, barn doors, green pear. It has to be sessionable, but not because the ABV is relatively low. It simply lacks something robust, be it flavor or texture.

Beeradvocate Rating: 95

ratebeer Rating: 100

Hayward Abbey Rating: 82

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Photo of FlakyBiscuit
4.6/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12ounce bottle into pint glass. Opaque black body with about half inch of coffee cream colored head. Aroma of coffee and dark chocolate. Thick mouthfeel which reminds me of an Imperial stout. Very slight alcohol bite. The flavors starts of dark chocolate and black coffee . Hints of licorice and more chocolate as it finishes semi dry on the palate. This beer represents an exceptional porter. Please let this warmup to about 50 degrees or so as the chocolate flavors become even more pronounced. A real decadent treat.

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Photo of ihazabucket7
4.58/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Look: Dark as night chocolate color with little to no head.

Smell: Lots of chocolate smells, mild roast very rich.

Taste: Rich, chocolate flavors. Paired it with some caramel chocolate and it went nicely with this balanced beer.

Feel: Felt plain in the mouth didn't wow me but wasn't very heavy either.

Overall: This beer surprised me. Tried to compare this to Sierra Nevada's porter and this one takes it for sure.

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Founders Porter from Founders Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 1,452 ratings.