Founders Brewing Company

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American Imperial Pilsner
4.11 | pDev: 9.98%
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Notes: Imperial IPL
Reviews: 191 | Ratings: 1,616 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Tripel_Threat
Tripel_Threat from Michigan

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

Excellent IPL! Served on tap at the pub. Nice golden colored liquid with a chill haze and two fingers of bubbly foam. Nice aromas of lemon and cracker, pepper and pine, papaya and mango. Classic pilsner flavor with a citrus and tropical finish, with just a clean, piney bite.

Oct 22, 2019
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GuyFawkes from Illinois

3.75/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled summer 2014; drank 8/15/14 @ the Yarchives.

Semi-opaque orange hue.

Eggshell head; frothy lace.

Mild melon & mango nose.

Medium thin mouthfeel.

Mango, orange & banana notes mingle agreeably, but the finish is a touch too dry, leaving you with too much bitterness.

Good not great.

Mar 04, 2019
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rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.92/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a golden color, some clarity is obscured by the lager yeast and hop quotient possibly. Aroma was nice, like a hoppy Bud. Simcoe I'd guess. Maybe even some Magnums, there is a peppery edge to it that isn't malt/rye based apparently.

Taste is good, light toasted pale malt body, packs a good amount of hops, bitterness and alcohol on top of that.
I enjoyed the beer, but it would never be a repeat purchase at this price and it just doesn't stand out compared to what much cheaper IPL's bring to the table at an even or even better quality and quantity standpoint, just can't hang. Pine seems to jump the most flavor wise.

May 08, 2016
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Emersonio from District of Columbia

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

Pour: Bomber bottle into a tulip glass. Appearance: Light gold with brief white head that dissipates after settling. Aroma: Big floral nots with a light hoppy and malty profile. Taste: Hoppy with a peppery bite. Aftertaste. Consistent with the taste spicy and peppery on the back end. Overall: Enjoyed the experience. Unique style contrast. Very good: 4 out of 5.

May 07, 2016
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SLeffler27 from New York

3.94/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Fills a hand-blown pilsner glass with an almost clear yellow (SRM 3), while a big, four finger fluffy white foam builds above. As the head slowly dissipates it leaves fizzy, sticky lace behind.

The aroma is that of fresh, sunny, lemon peel with lingering tangerine and faint straw.

The flavor is quite bitter as should be expected from an India Pale Ale, though this is a Lager. Generally the flavors are unfocused and lacking the crisp character expected of a Lager. Other flavors include grass and light pineapple. A long finish is dominated by bitterness. Surprisingly warmth helps clean this one up significantly.

A medium body with soft cotton texture. Quite dry with fizzy carbonation and alcohol as expected. Unfortunately it coats the palate with an unpleasant astringency.

While certainly drinkable, this one is unexceptional. I will, however, finish the bomber with a strong bleu cheese and could imagine it would pair well with wild game.

Jan 02, 2016
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Sabtos from Ohio

2.42/5  rDev -41.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Good god this is harsh. Bitingly piney and resinous, fiery grapefruit, with maybe some other citrus flavors but it's painfully bitter and tongue searing.

Dec 21, 2015
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MHurley from Arizona

4.16/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Light in cold, orange with a nice size head, smell of tropical fruit. Lacing is thin and does not stick around to long. Taste im getting is more piney, lightly hopped.

Pretty good beer and id definitely drink again if i could find. Was lucky enough to pick one bottle up and a local store.

Sep 05, 2015
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dcotom from Iowa

4.39/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I found a bomber of this on a closeout shelf at the supermarket and figured it would be worth a try for the price. After I found out that it was a one-off, I wish I'd bought them out. Pours a light amber, with a malty aroma. Taste is somewhat sweet, with a lasting bitter finish and a nice bite from the alcohol. Hope to run across this one again.

Jul 24, 2015
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Jadjunk from Georgia

3.88/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No label information. Dissenter Imperial IPL is brewed in the style of an India Pale Lager, released in 750 ml. and on limited draft as part of the Backstage Release series.

Poured from a 750 ml. bottle to a tulip glass. Served above 52 degrees Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a frothy foam head of a golden cream color over a moderately hazy golden amber body with light, relaxed carbonation. Retention is good and lacing is light and spotty. 4

(Smell) Hop aromas forward, floral, grassy and soft tropical fruit hops atop a clean pilsner and pale malt body with a mild sweetness, suggested ideally as an imperial pilsner for a moderately enhanced body. Potency is moderate. 3.5

(Taste) Sharply bitter up front, with pithy citrus peels, raw grass and resinous pine. A malt body of cracker malt with some mild pale malt sweetness and caramel underneath grants a soft body to rest on. This is a very hoppy lager forward with a strong bitterness throughout, but an enjoyable one that invites each subsequent sip. 4

(Mouthfeel) Texture is slick, silky, clean, moderately dry. Carbonation is moderate, generating a medium frothiness and a moderately crisp finish. Body is medium+ for the style, medium+ overall. Balance is moderately bitter over sweet. Alcohol presence is mild and there are no off characters. 4

(Overall) Dissenter is a fine example of Founders talents expanded into the Lager scene, in profiles where the brewery has not experimented in quite some time, but this beer, simple as it may seem amongst the Backstage Series lineup, is a soundly crafted IPL with an excellent and boldly bitter hop profile and reserved but substantial enough malt body to appropriately pair. The heightened price may make some craft beer drinkers wary of purchasing a 750ml. bottled lager, but I think it warrants a try especially if it can be found on draft, where the price may be far more reasonable. 4

Founders Brewing Company's
Dissenter Imperial IPL

Jul 08, 2015
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do_ob from Kentucky

4.08/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber into a pilsner glass. I don't get to use these glasses enough! Pours a hazy golden with lots of carbonation. 2 finger head of white, sticky foam rests on top, and eventually fades into a lacing about half way through. This beer...smells like marijuana. Not even joking, this beer reeks of skunk weed. I'm not a smoker, but damn, this thing smells awesome. Also some hints of grapefruit and orange in there somewhere. Light weight, and very crisp and clean mouthfeel. Lots of hops up front with a decent bitterness. Malty on the back end. A little bitterness hangs around for the aftertaste.

In a blind taste test, not sure I could tell this apart from an IIPA, but it does have a bit of a hop-to-malt character with little taste in between. More malt-forward as it warms up, but IMO, it's best consumed cold. I feel like this beer was made to get you drunk on a nice, summer evening with no questions asked. 8.7%, but by the bottom of the bottle, you'll swear it was 11%. Good stuff.

Apr 03, 2015
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michiganmatt from California

3.13/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Appearance - 4/5
Pours a nice golden-orange-amber color. Extremely clear. About 1 finger of slightly beige foam head. A small amount of carbonation can be seen rising slowly to the top.

Smell - 3.5/5
Pine citrus hops, lemon, another flavor I can't pick out. Basically it smells like an IPA. I assume the lager-ness will come out more in the taste.

Taste - 2.75/5
Still taste like an IPA. Pine citrus flavors, and the beer is kinda syrupy and has a weirdly sweet taste. Don't really like it. I know there is a difference in how the brewing happens for an IPA vs. and IPL, but you could have told me this was an IPA and I would have been none the wiser. Kinda disappointed, was hoping for something more lager-y.

Mouthfeel - 3/5
Fairly syrupy, though the sip crisps up near the end. Medium-bodied. Light to medium carbonation. Quite bitter, but still fairly smooth.

Overall - 3.25/5
I was not really a big fan of this beer. My best succinct description of it would be "a syrupy IPA".

Mar 22, 2015
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Tucquan from Pennsylvania

3.99/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on 2015-03-07 in Clarksville, IN from a bomber bottle

A - Hazy golden-orange with a short while head and mild lace.

S - Peach, mango, candied orange, rising bread, floral. Sweet.

T - Lightly toasted sourdough bread with tart orange marmalade. Herbal, and plenty bitter.

M - Medium body and carbonation. Smooth going down but prickly in the aftertaste.

O - Nice combination of flavors. More bitter/aggressive than Sierra's Hoppy Lager. The candied fruit sweetness in this beer saves it from being too bitter. I like it.

Mar 07, 2015
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dukeandduke from Illinois

4.05/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2/20 Bottle - Nice solid golden clean pour with a clean white head. Smelled of orange, lemon, and fruity hops. Tasted somewhat bitter, hoppy which I enjoyed it a lot. Higher carbonation than expected, it good drinking. The beer felt stronger/ more intense afterward than I expected based on the ABV, but clean taste and smooth going down. This is another very good offering by Founders, and I look forward to more pours of this and other offerings down the road

Feb 21, 2015
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Ego from New Jersey

3.58/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

the head is jumping out of the bottle like a jack Russel in pursuit, almost three fingers of soapy white asteroid-esqe head (I think I saw han solo hiding in there but I'm not sure), golden straw glowing hue, plenty of carbonation mixes around, lacing is super nice as well as the head retention (barely dropped one finger of height while I spewed out all this blather)

grainy with hints of orange, dry yeast, slight green hops playing with the orange notes, mild but nice (more like an APA really)

taste etc...
after the first sip I am swept off in a tide of hop after glow that really... really... lingers, slightly fruity, the carbonation kind of kicks in late, this is some ultra smooth ass stuff here, the body has just enough heft to have weight but is light enough to forget you are sipping a near 9% brew, in a way it's non descript with some nice highlights

hoppy in the back end, smooth and easy to drink... but for me it was like some movies that won best picture, I get what went into it and how well it is executed, but it just does not speak to me

Feb 06, 2015
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TBoneJones from Texas

4.48/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pilsner glass poured: Very clear golden body, thin appearance, frothy white header, little visible carbonation and decent lacing.
Smells hoppy and grainy and fantastic. Floral, fruit of cherry/ pineapple, pilsner malts, peanut-butteresque dank resin. No detectable alcohol.
Taste is grain and mineral with a healthy balance of dank hops flavoring, with biscuit and just a hint of the fruit-laden nose, and with the extra bitterness that usually follows well-hopped beers. Subtle burn at the end, but clean sipping throughout.
Smooth and crisp. Medium body, somewhat dry finish.
Overall, a superb Founders limited brew that has a bitter, earthy, fruit-hinted hop-bite, and sips quite well despite it seeming at times to exceed the 8.7% abv. as labeled. To me it seems a fine line between a DIPA and an IPL (as this is labeled). Dissenter's hop profile reminds me of Stone's Enjoy By. That's a great thing.

Jan 29, 2015
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SHODriver from North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: poured into a pilsner glass to a fairly hazy yellow topped by a finger of dense white head that retains well
S: smells of citrus, pine, orange marmalade and a light honey sweetness. slightly resinous
T: taste is citrus rind, pine oil, a little orange, slight bready malt and some faint sweetness hop resin as well. swallow is a little orange marmalade, and more resinous pine and citrus
M: lighter side of medium on the palate with slightly prickly carbonation. The finish on this beer is oily hops and is overall refreshing
O: This is a great IPL. Great hop flavors and the malt struggles to balance. decent complexity and a solid mouthfeel as well. Not a lot of clarity but I won't hold that against it. If you like clean hoppy beers this is a good one to try.

Jan 28, 2015
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stephens101 from Oklahoma

4.34/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Golden yellow with a sprightly white head. Smells vociferous with pine, melon, and citrus zest. Tastes of more citrus and other light fruits. Slight chalk and cracker in the middle. Full on pine in the finish. Has a medium, well-rounded body. Alcohol asserts itself in the end. A grand example in a style that shouldn't work but does.

Jan 23, 2015
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lilsmizzul1225 from Indiana

4.24/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

An interesting concoction from Founders in a relatively new style: the India Pale Lager. It's hoppy and bitter in the beginning like an IPA but the maltiness comes in and mellows it out on the finish like a real lager. Fairly good and worth a try!

Jan 20, 2015
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M_C_Hampton from Georgia

3.92/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured from a 750 ml bottle into a pint glass, pale golden colored with a foamy white head that lingers leaving good lacimng, clear

S: heavy on pine and citrus hops, big aggressive nose, floral reminiscent of a west coast IPA

T: heavy on bitter hops, grapefruit peel, grassy, light grain sweetness

M: surprisingly light for the alcohol content which is well hidden

O: nice crisp hoppy version of the hybrid style

Jan 16, 2015
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infinitebruner from Arkansas

3.8/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

January 12, 2015

750 ml, pilsner glass

A – Deep straw to medium gold. About a half inch of white bubbly foam, moderate retention. Mostly clear with a little bit of chill haze.

S – Prominent hop aroma, grapefruit and mango, along with passion fruity. Slightly bready, malty sweetness. Fairly clean, but very similar to an IPA.

T – Passion fruit, perhaps some kiwi, mango, and a lot of hop bitterness. Not much coming from the malts, also some floral notes.

M – Moderate to moderate-low carbonation and mild malt sweetness, but high, high level of bitterness carries throughout. Dry and bitter finish, demanding the next drink.

O – Very much like an IPA, but with mostly absent malt character, allowing hop aroma, flavor, and bitterness to be showcased. Bitterness might be a bit out of whack, but this is a very good imperial pilsner, a lot more interesting than I expected.

Jan 13, 2015
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Phocion from Minnesota

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

Notes scribbled on scratch paper I discovered in a jacket pocket. No date on the review but if my memory serves me correctly it was Octoberish.

750ml bottle poured into glass a clear, fairly light gold color with two fingers of retentive white foamy head. Solid sheets of clingy lacing.

Hop-forward aroma. Tons of fruits; grapefruit, lemon, tangerine, and berries. Zesty and a touch of floral notes. Lightly sweet grainy maltiness.

Flavor is slightly more balanced, but still malt-forward. Light bitterness along with floral and piney hops, plus the massive fruitiness in the nose. Somewhat of a juicy sweetness along with a generic grainy sweetness and fairly high alcohol flavors. Luckily there's a bit of astringency to balance it out. Clean.

Medium body and fairly highly carbonated. Crisp but warming (due to ABV) mouthfeel.

Overall this isn't a style I'm usually fond of, but this beer was good. Not something I'm going crazy over, but still enjoyable.

Jan 06, 2015
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Barnoloid from Illinois

4.06/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brings out some deep hop notes amidst a clean palate and crispy smooth mouthfeel. Light floral feel on the nose. Bold and layered. There is an IPA feel but this is rooted firmly in the lager camp, which sort of makes it an odd and unique hybrid. A diversion from the usual Backstage series offerings but worthy of a look nonetheless.

Jan 05, 2015
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scootny from New York

4.02/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle. A hazy deep golden liquid with a large firm white head. Nose is initially a topical fruit bouquet, some dough like malt and a bit of heat. Taste is much the same. clean pilsner malt and yeast leave plenty of room for the hops and they cascade in wave after wave of pine and tropical cones. As a pils there isn't much to counter the hop onslaught and that's OK. Finish is lager clean and dry, short and refreshing. Hops oil lingers as well. A hint of alcohol. Feel is imperial lager, thick across the tongue and an easy drinking swallow. Finish is lightly minted and a phantom of malt. Leafy and faintly fusel. This stuff is quite drinkable as I went through the bottle in short order.
A solid take on the style.

Jan 01, 2015
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angrybabboon from Massachusetts

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

Consumed 12/30/14, with some unusually strong memories of drinking this beer when it was fresher, back on 9/7/14, when I thought I already reviewed this

A: Light chill haze, tangerine-gold in color - pours with a medium-sized, white head, leaves some really nice lacing

S: Rich, ripe, well-rounded citrus - juicy, ripe orange, ruby red grapefruit, and grapefruit flesh and juice - very floral - resinous and lightly leafy - some mint - pale, clean malts, bread dough, and a faint touch of alcohol

T: An abundance of ripe citrus - ripe orange, ruby red grapefruit, grapefruit - flesh, juice, and some zest - herbal and resinous with some pine - pale malts with some caramel - white bread and bread dough - fairly clean overall, with a touch of booze that works oddly well with the flavor profile

M: Medium to full body, very smooth, nicely carbonated, easy to sip or drink like it were not almost 9%

O: I assent

This was great the first time I imagined reviewing it, and it's remarkably still great nearly 4 months later. This might still be worth picking up if it's collecting dust on a shelf. It does not reach the glory of some of the hoppy lagers from Jack's Abby, but that's not really a fair comparison.

Dec 31, 2014
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FLima from Brazil

3.9/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bright golden color with a thin head with short retention.
Nice hoppy aroma with notes of grapefruit, mango, caramels, pine and flowers.
Bitter flavor with notes of caramels, grapefruit, perfume, mild grass, lots of lager yeast, honey, soap, grass and minerals. Dry aftertaste with a long lasting bitterness.
Light to medium body with appropriate carbonation. Alcohol of 8.7% is felt but it is harmonic with the overall beer.
Nice Imperial IPL with a clear bitterness backed by a good deal of caramel malts. I found the Fathom a bit better, maybe it is less sweet.

Dec 31, 2014
Dissenter from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 1616 ratings