Big Lushious
Founders Brewing Company

Big LushiousBig Lushious
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American Imperial Stout
3.98 | pDev: 11.81%
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Big LushiousBig Lushious
Notes: Big Lushious is a deep, rich stout that’s packed with flavor: roasted malts, all-natural dark chocolate, a subtle suggestion of burnt coffee grounds and a kiss of tart raspberries. At 7.8% ABV, it’s big, sumptuous and extravagant, but also balanced
Reviews: 208 | Ratings: 1,458 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of drunkenmess
4.38/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2014 bottle

Pours dark black with thick sticky lacing. Fades away to a nice surface layer. Minimal oily lacing there after.
Smells of sweet chocolate, little to none burnt malt and raspberries (of course). Taste is sweet burnt chocolate up front followed quickly by abundant tart raspberries. Yet nothing overpowering. Almost considered a dessert stout if anything. Like Lizard of Koz but with raspberries instead of blueberries, but not as sweet. Time has calmed this beer it seems. Nice creamy mouthful. Medium to low carbonation.
Big flavor for such a low abv stout.
Really enjoyed this one.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.16/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Coffee black with a thin tan-red head.

Smells like chocolate covered coffee beans. A little earth, some raspberry chocolates.

Whoa. Very cloyingly sweet. Wasn't expecting that from the smell. A sour raspberry note hits first, following with some syrup, and then the syrup gets bitter as it enters coffee territory with a flavored fruit-coffee taste. Firm hop bill comes forward like a wall. The sweetness gets cloying pretty fast, but you don't get the sugar flavor from it, it's like you're eating a dozen candy bars but you don't fully taste them. It's like a sugary, bitter raspberry syrup with sips of breakfast coffee. Actually it grows to be downright gross after a little while.

Buzzing carbonation with a firm, thick body.

Overall, it's okay for the first couple of sips. After that, whew. This is rough.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.6/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Rating from notes taken Spring 2015 in Austin, TX:

High B (3.75) / GOOD

Review from notes taken Fall 2015 in Austin, TX (I think at Bangers bar).

Served on-draught.

HEAD: 1 finger's worth of head height. Gorgeous tan colour. Fantastic creaminess. Boasts a stellar full consistency of good thickness, even and smooth. Supple and soft in appearance. Good (~5-6 minute) retention. Leaves no lacing as it recedes.

BODY: Opaque solid ink-black. Clean, lacking any visible yeast(s)/lees or sediment within.

Appears aptly carbonated for the style and serving method.

Not unique within the style, but attractive for an imperial stout.

AROMA: Tart raspberries, dark malts and accompanying sweetness, creaminess, powdered sugar, chocolate.

An inviting aroma of average strength with no overt yeasty notes, alcohol, or off-notes. Definitely to style.

TASTE: Raspberry, some berry puree, dark malts, faint specialty chocolate malt, creaminess, pale malt sugars, schwarz malts/specialty dark malts. Lacks sufficient chocolate given the beer's premise, and roasted barley never makes an appearance, which is unfortunate.

Strangely imbalanced. The fruit emphasis doesn't work well.

Average depth, duration, and intensity of flavour.

Not at all a complex or subtle expression of the style. It's not bad work, but one does expect better from Founders - especially when it comes to an imperial stout.

TEXTURE: Smooth, wet, lightly creamy, and unfortunately a bit thin and overly light-bodied for the style.

Doesn't elevate the beer as a whole or accentuate specific flavours.

Suits the taste okay. Fairly soft.

OVERALL: Downable but underwhelming considering the brewery. I wouldn't get it again (at least not fresh on-draught). A rare disappointment from an oft-terrific brewery, and very overpriced for what it is.

I definitely prefer the bottled version.


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Photo of Samp01
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle. Pours a viscous black with a large brown head, some lacing. Aroma is sweet chocolate covered raspberry and dark roasted malts. Taste similar to aroma, mostly chocolate and raspberry flavors with some underlying dark roasted malt notes. Palate is medium to full body, creamy and smooth going down. Finish is sweet chocolate and raspberry flavors mild dark malts. A sweet beer, alcohol is well behaved with some lingering notes of raspberry. Overall a very good full flavored and tasty brew. very nice.

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Photo of SHODriver
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: pours thick into a snifter to a deep black topped by a finger of dense dark tan head that fades slowly to a small pool with some lacing
S: Smells of raspberries, chocolate, slight coffee and roasted malts with some slight sweetness
T: Taste is tart raspberries and bittersweet dark chocolate with hints of coffee and roasted malt. Swallow is more jammy raspberries, roasted malt, coffee, and lingering chocolate
M: This beer is thick and slightly syrupy on the palate with soft carbonation that is very adequate. This beer has a drying finish.
O: This beer is delicious. The raspberries play very well with the decadent chocolate and roasted flavors that this beer brings. Great complexity, flavors and balance make this one a joy to drink. I hope this beer makes a comeback.

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Photo of TX-Badger
2.5/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours an opaque dark brown almost black color with khaki colored head. Fake artificial like raspberries on the nose, with some cocoa and roast on the nose; follows onto the palate. Full bodied. Finishes with much of the same. The raspberry flavor just tastes artificial and leaves an odd flavor on the palate.

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Photo of GuyFawkes
2.47/5  rDev -37.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Fall 2014 vintage; drank 12/8/14 @ the Yarchives.

Poured from the bottle into a glass.

Black/brown hue.

Dark khaki head; decent lace.

Strong sweet raspberry nose with hints of fresh earth.

Medium thick mouthfeel.

Unbearably cloying raspberry flavors up front; as this warms, fresh earth & pickle juice notes emerge. Undrinkable sweet; I poured most of this down the drain. An epic failure.

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Photo of bgold86
4.31/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Re-review as bottle is from cellar. Big raspberry and chocolate nose. The surprise was the taste, I remember a really big obnoxiously disgusting raspberry sweetness dominating the flavor, but boy, this has rounded out quite nicely. Chocolate has really stepped up as the raspberry sweetness has mostly toned down.

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Photo of macrosmatic
3.77/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Reviewed from notes. Poured from 750 mL bottle into a 7venth Sun goblet.

A: Black and opaque with a small tan head that fades quickly. A low amount of visible carbonation. Some floaters visible in suspension - these settle out quite slowly.

S: Dark chocolate and cacao nibs with coffee lurking in the background. Only hints of sweet berries on the nose.

T: Chocolate and roasted malts up front. Sweet raspberry flavor with some tart underripe character and raspberry juice mixed in. Burnt coffee and roast bitterness balance the sweet flavors. The fruity raspberry lingers with bitter chocolate.

M: A fairly light body for an imperial stout. Low alcohol presence, fairly low carbonation sensation.

O: Not my favorite. It tastes rather like Rubaeus got poured into an imperial stout, and one that was a little thin at that. Certainly not bad but the flavors don't integrate as much as I could have wished.

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Photo of CHickman
2.98/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Review from 12/20/2014 which I deleted from BA on accident today. Pours pitch black color with a 1 finger foamy brown/khaki head that was full of tiny bubbles and leaves excellent foamy rings as it goes down.

Smells of toasted oats, charred wood, cocoa powder, crushed raspberries, coffee and light black licorice. The raspberry is so strong it dominates the nose and gives off too much fake fruity sweetness, basically killing what I hoped would be a great combo.

Tastes just like it smells, with the raspberry so strong it dominates here as well. After the raspberry sweetness concedes a little flavor then the coffee, cocoa and toasted grains peek through but then get washed away with more fruity sweetness. There is a mild bitterness and the body was light and smooth, but this just missed at every level possible.

I forced myself through most of the bottle, but this was a major disappointment. A rare bad beer by Founders, and maybe the first beer I can say I actually did not like from these guys. This was expensive too ($20), so that added to the disappointment.

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Photo of crob3888
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark black with a light mocha head, fairly large bubbles, reminds me a bit of the head you'd expect from a soda though this lasts a tad bit longer. Aromas and flavors are sweet and luxurious, with raspberry, sweet milk chocolate, blueberry, and a hint of straight up syrup coming through, amplified by a sticky mouthfeel. My recommendation is split the bottle amongst 3-4 people as half a bottle was almost too much for both my wife and I. This beer would also make a great base in a chocolate stout cake or brownie recipe. Personally I wish I had savored only 4 ounces of this and then used the rest as a beer float. It's a good beer but it feels like it'll give you diabetes.

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Photo of q33jeff
3.49/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Very sweet, chocolate, raspberry.
Appearance: muddy, small head.
Taste: sweet milk chocolate, raspberry, blueberry, Yoohoo!
Feel; flat, sappy.
Very sweet and tasty, but lacking in some actual beer qualities .

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Photo of John_M
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

It's really tough to rate/review this beer IMHO.

The beer looks and smells great. It pours a typical rich looking impy stout, with very good head retention and lacing. On the nose, I pick up considerable milk chocolate and vanilla, along with some underlying coffee and raspberry. The flavor profile replicates the nose pretty closely, albeit in a pretty sweet package, but unfortunately, there's a decidedly cherry cough drop, medicinal flavor in the finish. It really makes this beer something of a chore to drink, despite all the other excellent flavors in this beer. Mouthfeel is impressive otherwise; the beer is soft and fairly full, with a long, long finish.

Interesting beer with a lot of flavor, but the medicinal finish is a turnoff. Brought this beer to a bottle share and spoke to someone who had tried the beer when it was first released. According to him, the medicinal flavor was even more intense when the beer was first released. That's hard to imagine, as ever after nearly two years, it was still pretty intense last night I thought.

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Photo of Jadjunk
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

No label information. Big Lushious is brewed in the style of an American Imperial Stout brewed with chocolate and raspberries, available in 750ml. bottles as a part of Founders' single-run Backstage Series.

Poured from a 750 ml. bottle to a snifter glass.

(Appearance) Pours a crisp, foamy dark chocolate head over a near black body. Retention is above average, and lacing is light and spotty. 3.75

(Smell) Delicate chocolate and light roasted malts with an initially transparent, but ever-present raspberry undertone, muting the chocolate and roast by comparison, growing increasingly evident. The stout notes are distinctively muted by comparison, very little roast, malt body and the chocolate isn't aromatically vibrant here. Potency is moderate. 3.75

(Taste) A very curious blending of flavors that feel very intertwined, with the occasional focus breaking away to each part of the sum. Raspberry syrups, moderately viscous and certainly more sweet than tart merge with chocolate malts and richer dark cocoa nibs. Finally, the occasional note of moderate roast peeks in to remind us that this is supposed to be an Imperial Stout, and should have a malt build to reflect that. Frankly, I think the roasted malts are underplayed, and the raspberry and chocolate easily steal the show, for a beer that falls closer to a sweet stout. It's fairly enjoyable, but the combination of chocolate and raspberry syrups keeps this beer decidedly sticky, sweet and viscous on the palate. 3.75

(Mouthfeel) Texture is slick, residual, moderately tangy, mildly dry. Carbonation is moderate, generating a medium frothiness and a medium crisp finish. Body is shy of medium for the style, medium/heavy overall. Balance is moderately sweet over roasty bitter. Alcohol presence is mild and there are no off characters. 3.75

(Overall) Big Lushious is ideal as a dessert-beer, and the heavy chocolate and raspberry notes would pair nicely with many rich, decadent dessert items. I find this beer doesn't quite warrant an "Imperial Stout" label, as it really doesn't display a significant amount of malt diversity or roasted malt character, and the gravity is somewhat on the low end, with the main focus on the raspberry and chocolate. I enjoyed it, but this is certainly a bottle to share, as some are certainly likely to find the beer cloying and filling at the same time. This will certainly fare well for fans of Rubaeus and Breakfast Stout, although I think this plays more to the former beer's fans than the latter. 3.75

Founders Brewing Company's
Big Lushious

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Photo of Cmuguy420
4.87/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

Amazing beer. '14 on draft. So chocolatey with strong raspberries that have mellowed over time. Very rich. Dessert beer. One of the greatest of all time IMO.

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Photo of Newport_beerguy
3.96/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a can glass (half filled)...

Look: dark brown, almost black. Frothy tan head

Smell: Raspberry, faint bittersweet chocolate on the back end. Candied sugar, foretells a very sweet flavor.

Taste: Slight chocolate at the beginning transitions to a bright/sweet raspberry. Tastes heavy-handed on the fruit, I wonder if the chocolate came through when more fresh. Somewhat medicinal in the finish, almost TOO strong a flavor.

Feel: Good feel, a little thin but this is on the borderline of impy stout so I was not expecting a BCBS mouthfeel or anything like that.

Overall: A little heavy handed on the adjuncts, but a good sipper and glad I tried it.

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Photo of Sabtos
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black with a dense, thick mocha head that looks like suspended chocolate milk, but once it dies, it doesn't come back.

Smell is almost exactly like those little Raspberry Sticks--sweet raspberry and chocolate up front, with a touch of booze that creates a hint of cough syrup. I'm not sure age did this any favors. I get a little roasted malt nearing coffee territory at times.

This tastes sweeter than I remember, with raspberry, cherry, chocolate, and some wafer. A slight bit of booze again gives an unwelcome hint of cough syrup.

Medium to light bodied, and not too frothy. I liked this better fresher, and on draft.

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Photo of MacMalt
2.83/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into snifter glass. The color is a deep mahogany-black with a thin, mocha-colored head and lacing. The smell is still strongly raspberry with dark chocolate. I let this bottle age for a year in the hope that the raspberry would mellow. However, if anything, the raspberry seems to overpower the chocolate even more. Very disappointed. It's almost sickly sweet. The only other Founders offering I really dislike is Rubaeus for much the same reason. Big Lushious does have a nice, chewy mouthfeel but I simply can't drink it. It's a shame because I'm generally a huge fan of Founders.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
3.84/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pitch black with a light brown head that settles after a time. Spotty lacing.

S: Tart and juicy raspberry. Woody roast and coffee. Chocolate and chocolate sauce. Whiffs of alcohol. It comes across like a chocolate covered raspberry confection.

T: Lots of tart and sweet raspberry juice up front. Waves of roasted barley, espresso, woodiness, chocolate, and fudge sauce eventually envelope the raspberry. Finishes with a roasty mocha note.

M: Medium-thick body. Round, creamy, and silky with low prickling carbonation.

O: Tastes like the raspberry confection in the box of chocolates. Very sweet and dessert-like. It's a good beer, just in small doses. Share the bottle.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
2.99/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Looks ok, like they took some imperial brown ale and dropped a strawberry or two in it to give it a discernable red edge to it. Smell was weird, like candy strawberry in chocolate. Can't give a better descriptor.

Taste is where this starts to go off the rails. Just not integrated, chocolate, off bitterness, sweetness doesn't match up for me. Almost a trainwreck. Not worth the $15 price at all. $5 maybe, and even then, I wouldn't return. These founders backstage bottles aren't worth it 90% of the time.

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Photo of biegaman
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Big Lushious looks both big and lush. It's more seductive even than the sexy lady on its label. Solid as coal and twice as black, it makes espresso seem light by comparison. Even its head has a deep, dark tint that looks almost like rust. And beware, every bottle comes packed with a healthy dose of sediment.

There's something about the combination of bittersweet chocolate and tart berries - one enhances the other. There is arguably no better pairing in the world, at least not when it comes to dessert. It's a match made in heaven and this aroma is downright divine.

In situations like this hyperbole is almost essential. The rich, subtly roasty dark chocolate flavour is on par with - or better than - the most expensive single origin bar I've ever purchased. And the bright, ripe, ultra-juicy, pie-ready raspberry taste is enough to mirror summer's best, freshest produce.

Big Lushious must be a thing of envy for every baker, barista, chocolatier and pastry chef out there. Not only does the beer taste decadent but it achieves a level of silky, satiny smoothness normally reserved only for the bathrobes of the rich. You'd be shocked (or not) how quickly that 750ml bottle disappears.

The beer wouldn't be anywhere as enjoyable if it were this bitter without having any tartness, or so tart without having the bitterness. The two features contrast perfectly so that each mouthful is appropriately balanced. The beer has a symmetry worthy of its own dome in the Alhambra.

Big Lushious came with a price tag as big as its flavour profile - it wasn't only money well spent, but spent scarcely enough. I wish I had filled the cellar with this stuff - this 2014 vintage just celebrated its first birthday and is still tasting great. If there's any left near you, be sure to give them a good home.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

From the 650 ml bottle. 2014 batch. Sampled on November 1, 2015

The pour is a very dark mahogany brown with maybe some reddish highlights held up to the light. Modest tan head.

Big roasted malt and raspberry aromas on the nose. A more subdued milk chocolate character but that may have more to do with the fact that this is year old. It reminds me of a Brookside chocolate candy.

Medium to better than medium body. Smooth and creamy.

The chocolate is mellow but the raspberries are forward and tart and basically taking over the drinking experience. The tartness lingers to the finish. I found this as a closeout a year after it was released so I wonder how it might have been fresh. It still held its own.

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Photo of socon67
4.07/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Dark pout with a cola colored head. The scents of raspberries is clearly in the scent and flavor. The tartness did seem a little off in the finish. I liked this beer and wouldn't mind if they made it again.

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Photo of StJamesGate
4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Speckly beige head over black. 4
Tart raspberry over oak smoke. 4
Pure Belgian chocolate truffle, raspberry juice, fig, whack of sweetness, and a little roast. 4.25
Maple end and sugary linger.
Almost medium, round, silky. 4

Like cherry-chocolate soda after W00t. Sweet, round, and easy with good raspberry character. Better earlier in the evening, though. 3.75

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Photo of Sirwootalot
4.31/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Poured on tap from a year-aged barrel at mackenzie's.

Magnificently dark - even the inch head is the color of fresh caramel. Smells of roasted marshmallow, milk chocolate, and a hint of fruity alcohol.

Absolutely divine dessert-beer all the way down - it tastes of fatty, buttery toffee, dried raspberries, hersheys chocolate, and a hint of fluffy foo-foo starbucks coffee. This is the thickest, richest beer I have had in several years - it goes down like hot cocoa made out of pastry-grade buttercream.

I need to come back again and again to drink this magic up, as it's almost gone forever. Sad day, because it's astoundingly good.

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Big Lushious from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 1458 ratings