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Founders Inspired Artist Black IPA - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Inspired Artist Black IPAFounders Inspired Artist Black IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

35 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 35
Hads: 208
Avg: 4.11
pDev: 9.25%
Wants: 35
Gots: 17 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: pb9613 on 08-27-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 35 | Hads: 208
Photo of ehammond1
3.38/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Bottle (2013)

Acquired via trade

Not quite black, but more of a very dark brown. Not particularly heavy or thick in body, but moderate. Nice sticky lacing left down the glass. A pretty enough black IPA; above average.

Nice amount of roast and a slight char character in the aroma. Very mild, muted hops. Simple and straightforward. Not unpleasant, but unexciting.

The flavor follows the aroma. The flavor is dominated by mild roast notes and just a hint of char and the slightest of smoke. Very mild pine hop character. Drinkable enough, but very unexciting.

Medium bodied with moderate-high carbonation.

A decent black beer, but really quite boring. Firestone Walker, for example, does a much, much better take on this style. There's really nothing IPA about this beer at all.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
3.42/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: a deep brown. looks black through middle but brown along edges. almost opaque but not quite. finger of a foamy head that leaves a bit of a lacing

Smell: hops, citrus and pine. roasty malts.

Taste: opens up with a lighter pine hop, this gives way to a blended taste of citrus and roasted malts, chocolate takes up the back end

Mouthfeel: kinda light. some bitterness and roastiness left behind

Overall: A pretty decent beer. I thought about liking it for a few sips but i just can't stand the flavor combo

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Photo of kevanb
3.62/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a Founders Brewing Company Snifter.

The beer pours a dark cola brown, touches of Black and Tan with a foamy, khaki head that rises about 2 fingers high that has moderate retention and leaves just a touch a touch of lace behind. The aroma is heavy on roasted malt, toasted coffee, bitter dark chocolate with a nice backing of resinous pine and bitter hop spice. Lots of bitter pine and roasted malt on the tongue, toasted coffee beans, a touch of citrus is notable but this isn't really the most complex or exciting CDA. The mouthfeel is lively, crisp, active carbonation, coats the mouth decently well with a dry finish.

Verdict: A decent CDA/Black IPA from Founders, but it lacks depth and complexity. The hops certainly bitter the beer, but don't add too much in terms of flavor or aroma, the malts are still king here.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.66/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to GRG1313 for sharing this one at his tasting.

Pours a clear dark brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of roasted malt, cocoa, and citrus zest aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa and citrus zest flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast and hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a nice citrus hop presence that comes through slightly better in the taste.

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Photo of rudzud
3.66/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received as an extra in a trade. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a nice deep brown almost black with a one finger mocha head that fades to leave a thin, mocha halo and light lacing. Quite appealing.

S - Aromas of light chocolate and sweeter malts, light brownie notes, hop profile I am not a fan of though. Wet and dank, earthy, light citrus. Maybe its not the hops but that smokey oak like aroma that I'm getting. Its making my mind think it smells like something one would smoke.

T - Yeah...I taste marijuana, its that simple. The smokeyness and the hop profile washes my pallet with that taste. Its one of the strangest experiences for me, very odd. Smokey, light citrus and grapefruit peel, faint chocolate malts. The bitter skunky hops...yeah.

M - Mouthfeel is pretty solid for the style. Drinkable.

O - Overall, I think there are plenty of other really, really good representations for this style. The skunky hops here just did not work for me.

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Photo of GRPunk
3.73/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle poured into a shaker pint. Date 08/15/13

A- Sweet, Art Prize inspired, logo. 1-finger, dense, foamy, brown head. Near black body becomes a deep red and quite clean when held to light. Medium-heavy carbonation, good retention at 1/4 finger, awesome rings.

S- Quite hoppy. A ton of citrus, grapefruit mostly. Cracker-like grains.

T- Much more balanced than the aroma lets on. Citrus early, malty middle of caramel and cereal, more hops to spice up and clean the finish. Maybe a little grainy overall.

M- Quite clean/dry. Slight hop bite. Moderate body and carbonation.

O- I would like to have tried this at its freshest. I wonder about a fading hop presence. Still, a really good beer. I can tell its a black IPA that leans toward the hoppy traditions of an IPA, rather than some of the black ales that become quite stout-like. I'd have bought a sixer if I had the chance closer to the bottling date.

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Photo of chugalug06
3.76/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Very dark black brew with nice lacing off tan colored foamy head.

Roasty pine, raisins, herbal. Missing a bit of flavors.

Meaty flavor (literally). Slightly smoked, not over done. Roasty, missing much bitterness. Sweetness is also odd. Light, easy drinking, deep flavor. Sweet roasty flavors. Carbonation sit well at a heavy-medium. Nice light flavor, but it could use a bit more pep.

This is a fairly unremarkable brew, but it could be due to it's age...? It's good, but a bit too roasty for the style..missing much hops, but still well done and an easy drinker.

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Photo of Morakaton
3.78/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Time for the second edition of Morakaton's amateur as hell reviews!

Founders Inspired Artist Black IPA

Serving type : Bottle, poured into a generic Tulip glass.

Bottled in late August with the first batch of Inspired Artist.

Ah, this was a beer I really wanted to love. I typically love most Founders releases, I think their Centennial IPA is top tier for a single IPA, their Porter in my top 3 Porters list, and their stouts are unbeatable. So when I heard they were making a special Black IPA, a style I love for representing the less unbearably bitter side of IPA's, I was ecstatic. I was also slightly disappointed. I guess maybe it was because of the hype I heard from BA, but it wasn't mind blowing at all.

Appearance - It poured nicely with a finger length head, it's not quite black, but dark brown. The head dissipated into a long lasting foam ring around the glass after a few minute, not spectacular, but not offending.

Smell - Whew, this beer had some great aromas, definitely it's strongest aspect. It had a wonderful blend of floral notes, hop aroma, citrus, and roast, all combining for a nasal spectacular.

Taste - Very hoppy and bitter, the floral smell lends to the taste, and the hop character is almost too much for me. The roasty side of this brew doesn't come out until the beer warms up considerably, but it is much appreciated when it does. Overall, the taste isn't at all bad, it's just not well balanced. However, the alcohol is very well hidden, not at all detected by me in a brew with 7.5% ABV. The mouthfeel is thick and chewy, expected from a brew with a massive 88 IBU's.

Overall, I liked the beer, but it was a bit underwhelming for me. For all the hype surrounding it, and how hard it was to track down for me after launch (the initial batch was gone after the first weekend), it wasn't worth it. Perhaps cellaring my last 4 bottles for a bit of time will better balance the beer, but until then, I'll stick with my other Michigan black IPA favorites in Anger (Greenbush) and Special Reserve Black Bier (Dark Horse).
Until next time, stay thirsty!

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Photo of DrinkMoreBigBeers
3.79/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours out black with red showing through on the edges of the glass (could be slightly darker.) There is tiny bubbles streaming up producing a off white fluffy khaki head. Looks like a typical black IPA.

S - As I pour this black beauty out I get a nice fruity hop aroma. Closer whiffs give me a more intense tropical fruit smell of mangoes, citrus, and also some pinyness follow at the end with a faint roasted malt aroma.

T - This beer taste like the nose with a citrus, pine, then the roasted black malt comes through on the end along with the bitterness from the hops. Black malt flavor reminds me of ground coffee. Malt flavor is more prevalent here and seems to build with the bitterness.

M - Mouth is medium bodied with a soft slick feel to it. Wish there was more body here.

O - This beer is a good example of the style and it seems dangerously easy to drink at 7.5%. I would however tweak the recipe slightly. With the black malt and the hop bitterness the aftertaste is slightly overpowering in comparison to the awesome hope aroma and taste. Worth a try if you like the style, Cheers!

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Photo of dar482
3.87/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The beer has some dark brown/black color. The aroma has some piney hops with a bit of roasty malt. The flavor follows with that pine flavor along with a slight bit of roasted malt. It's quite big on the bitterness. That is the big thing about this beer, the bitterness.

I generally prefer more citrus or malt in my black IPAs, but still well made.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from a friend in Michigan. Pours a dark brown to black with a creamy small half finger khaki head. Aroma of pine, roast, more pine, but of citrus, sweet chocolate malts. Flavor is sweet tropical citrus up front, some lightly roasted grain in between, a little spice, and a very nice sweet citrus left on the palate. Velvety mouthfeel with medium prickly carbonation. Very similar to Wookey Jack but not quite the bite and complexity. A very nice brew for the style.

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Photo of srv33
4.09/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got one of the last singles of this locally, and was excited to try it as Founders always makes very fine brews and this looked quite unique. The art on the cover is well done too, considering the name. It poured a very dark brown with a beautiful dark creme head. Scent of coffee, hazelnut, citrus, and an almost woodsy scent to it. Taste does not disappoint, and it is well rounded with a well roasted malt component that balances nicely with the crisper hop component. Mouthfeel is well balanced and there is a certain slight oiliness to it that really adds to the overall mouthfeel. Founders, as usual, does it again. Recommended.

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Photo of CMUbrew
4.09/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Definitely looks black, and shows sine dark brown edges in the light. Khaki head is able to maintain a thin cap in this etched Founders glass.

S: Piney hop aroma and a slight roasty scent. Not strong smelling overall.

T: Between the first bottle of my six pack and now, the flavor profile has changed noticeably. The fresher bottles I had were more hop forward with a pine and citrus hop profile with the malt took a backseat. Now this beer is more like a hoppy porter than a black IPA in my opinion. The malt has really come forward with a good malt roastiness and coffee notes, fleeting pine, and general hop bitterness.

M: This has the right feel, with a classic IPA body.

O: A really excellent beer that changed very rapidly. It's a little disappointing that the hops fell off so quickly, but it simply changed to a different, but equally good beer. I hope Founders does more surprise six pack releases in the future.

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Photo of Ljudsignal
4.09/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Last bottle of a six-pack generously traded to me by Spartan13. Poured into my Night Shift tulip glass/snifter hybrid thing.

Pours an utterly opaque, oily-looking black with a thick, creamy, tan one-finger head. Held against the light, deep ruby highlights become visible, and the beer as a whole appears considerably cleaner and less viscous. Cobwebby lacing, moderate retention. Plain, but pretty.

The nose opens with potent citrus--primarily grapefruit and bitter orange--with roasty malt notes of baker's chocolate and coffee following close behind. Some earthy hop aromas and subtle notes of smokiness, almost like burnt toast, are also present.

As several other reviewers have noted, time has done interesting things to this beer. My initial recollection of it was as a pine- and grapefruit-forward beer with coffee notes playing a supporting role. Now the roles seem to have been almost entirely reversed--an opening salvo of potent grapefruit pith and pine resin on the front of the palate is quickly subsumed by malt-forward roastiness. Potent notes of black coffee, bittersweet chocolate, and burnt toast dominate the middle of the palate, along with a subtle but persistent resinous hoppy bitterness. A lingering roasty bitterness appears on the back of the palate, reminiscent of fresh-ground French roast, and blends with a faintly-felt spicy hop note.

Beginning with a snappy, crisp carbonation, this beer finishes unexpectedly--but not unpleasantly--thick, with a lingering, tongue-coating creaminess that pairs nicely with the coffee and chocolate notes that appear on the middle and back of the palate. Alcohol is exceptionally-well hidden.

On the whole, a very solid take on the Cascadian black ale style. Although time has certainly reduced the hop profile of this beer significantly, I believe that reduction has allowed the roasted malt flavors in the beer to shine in unexpected ways without entirely transforming the finished product into just a hoppy porter. Shame this recipe won't be seeing the light of day again any time soon.

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Photo of andrewjraab
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Black / brown with a nice 1 inch cap of off white brownish head. Exceptional lacing and stick.

S - Big grapefruit hop notes, floral, malts, chocolate, brown sugar.

T - Huge burst of hops / grapefruit, centennial hops (?), nice balance of malt flavor, clean bitter finish.

O - This is one of the first black IPAs that I drank and said I NEED to have this again. This is solid as they come - easy to drink. I'm not sure if this is a one time brew for Art Prize, but this is special and Founders needs to keep this in the rotation.

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Photo of SerialTicker
4.14/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had on-tap at BoatWorks in St. Clair Shores, Michigan for $5.25 a pint.

Appearance: Black. Looked a lot like the Mr. Hyde I had just had beforehand in every way (including head formation), except that the head on this one is a sandy color. Three fingers of head pillowed on top so high the pint got put in to a tall glass so the head could settle. Fantastic lacing. Lemme get my nose down in dare...

Smell: Oh, yes. That's a black IPA. Super fresh, earthy hops are the big time thing I notice when smelling this beer. No fruit character on my nose, just a lot of grass and pine aromas. Keep in mind, I was two beers deep. The "aftersmell" has some of that roasted malt, but the hops definitely dominate the aroma.

Taste/feel: A LOT like the smell, almost exactly. The hops are very significant in here, with a moderate/high bitterness level. The aftertaste is a lot of roast, maybe with some coffee flavors. The hop bitterness is actually balanced a little bit by the already bitter roasted malt. Dry, semi-hoppy finish. I don't find it particularly complex as far as flavor goes, but I DO find it delicious. The feel is about medium, which is good for this... not too runny-thin, and not too feel-like-I'm-drinking-a-meal thick. Drinkable, hopped up nicely, and just another well made beer from Founders.

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Photo of TreyIsWilson
4.15/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Dark brown with a two-finger tan foamy head. Good retention that leads to some nice lacing.

S - Lots of citrus - mostly grapefruit - with dark roasted malts.

T - Citrus is right upfront followed by big dark maltiness. The roasted malts brings nice bit of smokiness. Hoppiness is noticeable in the finish.

M - Medium body with medium carbonation.

O - Not my favorite style, but pretty good. Very well balanced flavors and easy drinking.

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Photo of KFBR392
4.17/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Two solid fingers of thick creamy head on the pour. Lacing stuck to the sides of the glass and crept down slowly. Pours with a dark brown color and sat black in the glass. Little to no carbonation active in glass while drinking.

Smell: There is a wonderfully balanced toasted malt and citrus hops. Some smokey oak mixed in with some caramel sweetness. Earthy pine really brings the aroma full circle.

Taste: Follows the aroma pretty well. The front is a brighter sweetness of caramel and toffee. The beer opens up in the middle with earthy malt tones and pine mixed in with the hop tones. Oaky darkness sticks around on the palate a long time after drinking.

Mouthfeel: Probably the most drinkable black IPA I've ever had. Well balanced darkness with hoppy tones. Easy on the palate but certainly packs a punch.

Overall: An elite black IPA. Balanced throughout. Founder's rarely misses due to their masterful craftsmanship.

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Photo of TheBrewo
4.18/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

We crack a pair, pouring a brew of the deepest black raspberry coloring. It holds two and a half finger tall head of creamy, cakey, and soapy café au lait colored bubbles, showing great retention. This leaves spots and ridges of lacing caked around the glasses as it slowly goes. No haze or sediment is noted, and carbonation appears to be moderately active. The aroma is explosive (!!), with “fresh-squeezed” hops offered in the form of citrics, fruity nectars, and dirty earth tones. These clash with the grain bill, which is chocolate and roasty, with soured brown malt inclusions, and a powdery but silky oat smoothness. Otherwise the nose fills with passion fruit and lemon flesh, booze, cooling vanilla, dill weed, phenolic plastics, green onion fusels, brushes of honey, and light smokiness. Our first impression is that it is very hop forward, as expected, with a showcasing of juicy fruity varietals right as it hits your lips, and an unfolding through the sip to give great bittering char on the end and thereafter. As we sip, the taste opens with sweet grapefruity hop, nectarine, kiwi, and mango fruitiness, powdered oat, black and brown malty roast, lactic sourness, vanilla icing sugars, soft rubbers, mineral, fresh thyme, and light medicinals. The middle peaks with black pepper and booze, apple skins, spicy citric and earthy hop bitterness, continued tropical fruitiness, sticky Thai basil, and the beginning of more of a bittered char and light leathery smokiness from the malt cellars. Washing through the finish is a mix of chocolate malts, metallic yeastiness, sprinkles of table salt, chalk, alcohol, black peppercorn, distant smoke, bittered field greens, carrot tops, syrupy chocolates and chocolate malts, light butters, and final sweetness of honeysuckle, floral nectars, and blood orange sweetness. The aftertaste breathes of smoke and charred chocolate and black malts, bittered lemon peel, green grassiness, copper metallics, yeasty bite, plastic phenol burn, fusel booze, juicy grapefruity and herbal hops, dill, gravel, and cocoa nib chalkiness. The body is fully medium, and the carbonation is medium. Each sip gives soft slurp, smack, cream, froth, pop, and glug, with a silky smooth, but heartily foamy coating to the mouth. This satiates, but does dry between the booze and the hops into a mild pucker, with lightly chalked astringency streaking across the back of the palate. The abv is appropriate, and the beer sips quite easily.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this beer was its beautiful appearance, and its gloriously robust aroma. From the start, the nose was in wonderful harmony, with brightly sweet and freshly organic hop offerings, and the warming, dark, roasty smoothness that was the malt bill. With further sugariness given from other origins based in fruit, the final balance was excellent, and set a big stage for the flavor. Here, too, we were not disappointed. The blend was rich, sweet, and bitter, showing an evolution of sorts from the beginning to the end. The hops started things off nicely, dissolving into a background of bitterness, booze, grain, and char. As the beer warmed, the bittered and charred notes became accentuated, acting to meet and somewhat overshadow, the sweet stickiness of the hops. That said, this was a true and loyal beer, to both the style, and to the fans of Founders alike.

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Photo of superspak
4.22/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 8/15/2013. Pours nearly opaque dark reddish brown color with a 1-2 finger dense khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of big grapefruit, orange zest, tangerine, lemon zest, floral, pine, roasted malt, cocoa, coffee, light char, and floral/roasted earthiness. Fantastic aromas with great balance and complexity of roasted malt and hop notes; with good strength. Taste of grapefruit, orange zest, tangerine, lemon zest, floral, pine, roasted malt, cocoa, light char, toast, and floral/roasted earthiness. Moderate pine/roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus, citrus zest, floral, pine, roasted malt, cocoa, toast, light char, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of roasted malt and hop flavors; with a great malt/hop balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a lightly creamy, crisp, and moderately sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a highly excellent black IPA. All around great balance and complexity of hop and roasted malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of Ri0
4.24/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

poured 12oz bottle into snifter. Bottle date of 8/20/13.

A - Deep, dark coffee brown with burgundy highlights with a 2 finger off white head. Great retention that slowly fades to a collar. Some spotty lacing.

S - Heavy on citrus hops with light bitter notes. There is a roasted malt and toast scent.

T - I pikc up the citrus hops right away, but then it leads into the malts. The malts are roasted and slightly smokes. A bit of sweet caramel and toast rounds it off. This has a ver nice, balanced flavor.

M - Moderate body and carbonation with a hoppy finish.

O - One of the better Black IPA's I have had. It is right up there with New Glarus Blacktop.

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Photo of drbenderdo
4.24/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Poured from 12 oz bottle into tulip glass. Deep, dark brown to black color with a thick, 2" head that holds steady for a few minutes. A nice, patchy lacing clings to the glass.

S: Big whiff of floral, piney hops and a subtle scent of roasted malt sneaks its way in there.

T: Lots of delicious, pine and citrus hop flavors balanced nicely with toasty, charred malt characteristics.

M: Medium body with a sharply bitter aftertaste.

O: Very nice black IPA. Expect nothing less from Founders.

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Photo of waston
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle, poured into pint glass

A - Pours almost black, deep mahogany color. 1 finger creamy tan head that fades. nice lacing throughout drinking.

S - smells of dark malt, chocolate, hops; scent reminiscent of other Founders IPAs.

T - Chocolate, hazelnut, coffee notes all support wonderful balance of hops and malt presence. Strong hop finish. Alcohol content well hidden.

M - Med. bodied, med. carbonation. very smooth drinking.

O - Hop character similar to other Founders IPAs - not a bad thing. An excellent take on the style, as to be expected from a world class brewery. Bummer that it is a one-time thing.

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Photo of JoeMans
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

First Review. Acquired via trade.
Bottled on date faded off, though I know its almost exactly a year old. Understandably a tad overdue in time I should be drinking this. But here it goes:

Pours dark, slightly hazy black with a nice off white head that quickly dissipates. Maintains a minimal lacing throughout.

Roast and smoke on the nose, not much else.

Heavy dark chocolate and espresso notes that linger, very long finish. Minimal hop presence but enough to keep things balanced.

I could only imagine what this would taste like fresh. Even though its a year old and past its shelf life, its still a solid beer. I hope Dark Penance is as good, if not better then this.

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Photo of StoutHunter
4.29/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I picked a six pack of Founders Inspired Artist Black IPA a week and a half ago for $7.99 at Meijers. So far this is the first Black IPA that Founders has bottle and it's a Michigan only release. I've been anticipating this beer for a while and i'm interested to see how it turns out, so lets see how it goes. Bottled on 8/8/13. Poured from a shorter brown 12oz bottle into an snifter.

A- The label looks pretty nice and the artsy label goes well with the name, it kind of reminds me of Van Gogh painting. It poured a nice very dark brown color that had some slight ruby hues on the edges when held to the light with three fingers worth of nice looking darker tan head that died down to a thick ring that stayed till the end and it left lots of sticky lacing behind. This is a very good looking beer, it's got all the aspects that I look for in the style and the head and lacing were really great.

S- The aroma starts off with a slightly higher amount of medium sweetness followed by a good amount of hops with citrus hops sticking out the most with some nice grapefruit and citrus rind aromas followed by some piney and grassy hops in the background. Up next comes the malts which show up just enough and impart some dark malt, roasted and slight chocolate like aromas with some smokey malts showing up in the background. The aroma was very good, it had a some good complexity, the hops were nice and citrus like and the roasted malts with a smokey background provided great balance.

T- The taste seems to be pretty similar to the aroma and it starts off with a medium amount of sweetness followed by a good amount of hops that still have that nice citrus hop aspect to them with grapefruit seeming to show up the most and there's also some piney and slightly grassy hops in the background. Up next comes the malts that impart a nice dark and roasted aroma with a slight bit of chocolate and coffee coming through and some nice charred and smokey flavors showing up in the background. On the finish there was a medium amount of bitterness with a roasted and citrus hop aftertaste. This beer tasted pretty damn good, neither the malts are hops were too overpowering which made for some great balance and complexity.

M- Very smooth, clean, pretty creamy, just a little crisp, on the thick side of being medium bodied with a good amount of medium carbonation. The mouthfeel was very good and it worked perfectly with this beer.

Overall I really liked this beer and I thought it was a great example of a Black IPA, it's one of the best ones I've had so far, I think I like Arcadia's B Craft just a little more since I thought this citrus hops were a little brighter and showed up a little more, but I thought the balance was a little better in this beer and I think it's much more drinkable. This beer had great drinkability, it was pretty smooth, not overly bitter, clean, not too filling, and the taste did a great job at holding my attention, I think I could drink a few of these without me getting bored of it or it wearing on me, I think it would be a great beer to have when it's starts too cool off at the end of summer. What I liked the most about this beer was how well rounded it was, it didn't have any weak points and there's nothing I would change about it. The only thing that I didn't like about this beer was that it was a limited release, for once this wasn't a hard Founders limited release for me to find and I liked that, but I think it would be awesome if they made this year round and released it more widely so more people can see how great this beer is. I would for sure buy this beer again if they choose to release it again, I think it's all gone at all my local stores, so I'm happy I stocked up and got a case of this while it was around. The price point was awesome I couldn't believe Meijer's was selling this for $7.99, it's a great value. I would recommend this to anyone who likes the style or to any big Founders fans. All in all I was very happy with this beer, I know founders makes great beer, but since I've never had a Black IPA from them I didn't how they would do with this style, but in typical Founders fashion they knocked it out of the park and created one kick ass beer. Great job guys, thanks for showing your home state some love with this release and I can't wait for more Art Prize beers, keep up the great work. On a side not I think it's great founders is working with Art Prize and I would like to see more brewerys fo things like this..

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Founders Inspired Artist Black IPA from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 35 ratings.