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Founders Black Rye | Founders Brewing Company

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450 Reviews
Founders Black RyeFounders Black Rye

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: Rye Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
78 IBU

Added by maxpower on 09-17-2004

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 450 | Ratings: 1,583
Photo of M_C_Hampton
4.06/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass, dark almost black with a tan head that lingers leaving good lacing, clear

S: pine hops and peppery spice, nice malt character in the background

T: heavy on hops up front, middle shows the presence of the rye, peppery, spicy, finish is bitter citrus and pine hops

M: thick and slightly sticky

O: nice rye that is heavily hopped

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Photo of drunkenmess
4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

I recently tried this brew again. But due to my palate change and my maturing taste for beer. I gave it a poor review... ex: "Way too bitter for my taste... rye beer was never my forte. Too much rye, hops, sourness. Idk no good, at least I tried lol."
Since then I've broaden my horizons and opened my mouth to many delicious offerings. Hence my revised review!

Pours heavy black with off white minimal head. Very light lacing. Smells of bitters and slight dark fruits with hints of burntness. Taste is strong yet delicious and inviting.
Strong up front dry hops with actually suttle hints of rye. Also little boozy on the tongue. Light cocoa and slight burnt fruit of some sort? After taste is very well balanced. Overall I'm glad I tried this again. Amazing!

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Photo of kbwalters
3.89/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured cold into a UK style stout glass. Bottled on 12/5/14, consumed on 1/9/15.
Look = 3.75 Pours brown into an opaque black in the glass with brown highlights. .5 fingers of brown head quickly fades to a ring. Spotty lace.
Aroma = 4.0 Hop hit me first, citrus notes, balanced by roasted malts and rye. The roasted malts dominate the aroma. Coffee notes come through too.
Taste = 3.75 Rye flavors upfront, a little spicy, with roasted malts on the finish that linger into the aftertaste. Moderate bitterness. There is a little bit of citrus hop flavor too.
Feel = 4.0 Medium bodied with light to medium carbonation.
Drinkability = 4.0 Standard drinkability for a black IPA, the rye neither adds or detracts here.
Overall = 3.875 A pretty solid black IPA and the Rye adds a second interesting dimension.

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Photo of titty_mcbitty
3.59/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Looks great like a hearty stout - black with a finger of tan head.

The aroma carries some rye and spice as well as some malt.

Rye, malt, leather, some smokiness or char, coffee, and hints of chocolate shine through the most. I expected more of a spicy rye taste (almost like hop rod rye).

I also expected a more viscous mouth on this beer. It was not disappointing, but could have been better.

Overall, this beer was okay. Not bad by any means, but not my favorite.

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Photo of far333
3.71/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown and opaque with ruby highlights around the edges. A half inch head of rocky light brown foam lingers long.

Low aroma of roasty malt and hops. Rich flavors upfront of dark malt with notes of cocoa, espresso, and leather. Well balanced, no particular flavors dominate.

Rich and full mouthfeel, round and creamy. Very tasty beer.

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Photo of Chico1985
3.82/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

12oz single dated 12/6/14. Had this once before closer to the initial re-release.

A - Dark brown/not quite black with a small tan head. Decent retention and some lace.

S - Pretty roasty with coffee tones, woodsy piny spicy hops, slight citrus, licorice.

T - Less hoppy than expected after the nose, but really an impressive balance of flavors. Some cocoa joins the roasted coffee malts, I never quite get rye but rather a general foresty citrus spiciness. Again some licorice coming into play.

M - Very smooth and crisp feel to it, not too heavy and a very good body overall, a fair amount of bitterness but never comes close to overpowering. Classic Founders great mouthfeel.

O - Not big enough to feel like a stout or porter and not hoppy enough to be mistaken for a black IPA, this finds a nice comfy in between, though the rye flavor is somewhat lost on me I think it did good things here.

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Photo of mdcrouser
4.23/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark chocolate to the eye, refined for purity. An inch of tan head fades away before the first drink.

Chocolate, coffee and a faint whiff of citrus on the nose - enough nose that one might mistake it for a stout.

The rye is immediately prominent, spicy as any rye beer I've had. Coupled with an undercurrent of of chocolate and pine, it's a curious concoction and one that is as unique as they come.

Prickly on the tongue, with a big hops, booming from the tongue.

Good beer, unique in many aspects.

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Photo of brewskifan55
4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Enjoyed in a tulip glass. Thanks, Darren.

A: Black with a one-finger tan head that lingers. Curtainy lacing.

S: Dark chocolate and rye with light hops.

T: Follows nose with a robust charge of dark chocolate and heavy rye. A nice hoppy backbeat. Warming only makes it better.

M: Medium to heavy with medium carbonation. A dry finish.

O: A terrific rye beer. One I would drink again. I bet it's great on tap.

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Photo of arizcards
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Picked up a single the first of February from TW Arrowhead for $3.39, Bottled on 12/17/14.

Beer poured black with a beautiful tan head that is long lasting.

Nose is rye bread, citrus, and a hint of cocoa.

Taste is full of different flavors that meld well together. There is a slightly roasted malt with light cocoa, touch of rye, and citrus hops.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, somewhat smooth yet decently carbonated.

Overall another winner from what is seemingly been my favorite brewer over the past year since entering the Arizona market!

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Photo of predikit
3.6/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Been awhile since I had this, but I didn't get any rye notes whatsoever.

It was pretty much a stout with a different name, coffee and chocolate notes took most of the spotlight, smooth and creamy. Medium bodied.

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Photo of jwc215
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 12/06/22014:

Pours black with a thin lasting tan head.

The smell is of chocolate with some pine, dark bread and rye.

The taste is of chocolate, coffee, with earthy/piney hop spicing and bitterness. Minty rye in the finish.

Full-bodied (or close enough to call it that.)

An all-round well-brewed beer. Well-hopped but doesn't clash with roast. A nice touch of rye gives it a unique character. An enjoyable dark, hoppy, rye beer.

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Photo of fscottkey
3.33/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

A: [4.00] Pours a dark black color. There is a tiny amount of light penetration with back lighting. The pour forms a 1/4 finger of tan head. The head leaves nice lacing on the glass. The bottle clearly lists the ABV (7.5%), the IBU (78) and the bottled date (12/17/15).

S: [2.75] I get chocolate and roasted malts. If I was handed this beer I would guess a stout based on the appearance and the nose. After a few sips the nose has a "chlorine" like scent. Chlorine is the best descriptor that I have for it. It starts to dominate the nose.

T: [3.50] The taste follows the nose but there is something in addition to the chocolate (which is present throughout the palate). The malt is there too - but some other "spicy" element exists too. The flavor is a bit like chlorine.

M: [3.75] Smooth and creamy. Very nice body overall. There is a little bitter flush right at the end.

O: [3.25] This is a great beer with a flaw. There is an off taste and smell that keep this from really knocking it out of the park. I'd be tempted to buy another one of these and see if it was a bad beer. I enjoy Founders brews but I have to rate what is in front of me. That being said I have to knock some points off this one for the "chlorine" smell/taste.

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Photo of Daktah
4.18/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Deep black. Great smell of hops and dough. Taste is more of the same with creamy body. Perfect balance of hops and rye malt - not trying to kill you with hops or rye or roasted notes like a lot of beers in this category. Great overall beer and something I hope to see again.

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Photo of Pencible
3.79/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: This poured a nearly opaque espresso color with some light tan head.
S: It smelled like fresh coffee and earthy whole wheat bread, with some spicy rye.
T: It tasted like spicy marbled rye bread and dark roasted coffee, with some earthy whole wheat and copper hops. It had a clean and earthy bitter aftertaste.
M: It was watery with moderate carbonation. Decent body.
D: This was like a black IPA with extra rye added. Nice balance in the scent and taste, although the body was a little weak. The finish was fairly smooth, so it was pretty easy to drink. Nothing ground breaking, but a unique, high quality brew.

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Photo of Mateer
4.56/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

12 oz typical Founder's bottle with a black label, no date.

Pours black in color with little head retention. A slight red, brown hew when put directly under a light. Otherwise, this looks more like a stout than an ale.

Thick hops, burnt coffee and bready notes. A little alcohol sting and lingering bitterness pushes through at the end but nothing extreme.

Again, Founder's calls this a "hopped dark ale brewed with rye" and I think it tastes like a stout with rye. It is similar to their Breakfast Stout with less of everything but hops.

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Photo of BradtheGreat7
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Review taken the day this arrived in Kentucky 2015.

12 oz Founders 'stout' shorty bottle with a black label with Black Rye written in AC/DC style font. What a totally bad ass label. Poured into a Founders standard American pint glass.

A - in reality this is an extremely dark blackish brown with blood red ruby painting the bottom corners though this is as black as it gets when the light is pulled away. Nearly opaque anyway. Burnt dark malts, citrusy hops, and whole grain all balance well with the spiciness of the rye. Even some coffee notes in this aroma.

T - man, this is superb. Floral hops with light citrus appeal. Toasted malt, dark chocolate, black roasted coffee, and a well done spice from the rye make this offering extremely tasty. Almost a burnt sugar sweetness to the malt as this warms up a bit with more spice from the rye and hops.

M - medium bodied and pretty robust. The rye and dark malts balance the hops to perfection. Smooth, thick texture is as expected for a brewer with this sort of reputation.

O - Black Rye is down right awesome! There's just something about black ales (ipa) brewed with rye that do me in. It just goes well and makes it a brew I can enjoy any time. I didn't get to try this back the first go round, but I'm glad they released it. I'm hoping this is one that will be around for years to come. One of the best black ales I've ever had.

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Photo of Neorebel
4.51/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Black Rye is a beautiful opaque obsidian shade, and a stubborn antique white head encircles the perimeter of the glass after the initial pour. Quite a bit of lacing is left artfully behind. A lively woodsy aroma comes off the brew, with bitter citrus, oak smoke, whiskey grains, burnt toast, and a touch of brown sugar as well. I am loving this! First of all I must say that this is very soft and smooth, and lighter-bodied than expected, however, there is a bit of a warming sensation following a good gulp. The hops are in the foreground, and they present themselves in a nicely dry and bitter way. I'd say these are almost herbally pungent, in essence. The roast and rye serve to compliment the hops with subtle grace. I would strongly recommend this to any person who likes to explore the complexities of hop bitterness in a unique way.

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Photo of MacMalt
4.06/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into pint glass. It pours a pretty, black color with a foamy, tan head with good retention. It smelled of dark roasted malt, rye grain, and floral hops. It has much the same flavors: rye bread with a nice hoppy bitterness. It's medium-bodied, moderately carbonated, and the 7.5% ABV gives it substance without being overwhelming. Overall, as one would expect from a Founders offering, it's nicely crafted and pleasant to drink, although I confess that Rye Beer is a bit of an acquired taste for me. I'll definitely try this again. I have a feeling that I'll grow to like it more.

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Photo of drdiesel9483
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look - black with a tan head and great lacing
Smell - hoppy and malty, got some coffee smell
Taste - almost like a coffee stout but well balanced. More you drink the more hops you get
Feel - smooth medium light body
Overall - fantastic beer

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Photo of mattymoe812
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled in dec. Pours a very dark. Nice quarter inch head. Alot of chocolate on the smell same with taste. Back end is where the rye comes in. A ton going on in this beer and i love it.

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Photo of snaotheus
3.63/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle served in a tulip. Bottled On date is 12/21/2014. Not as fresh as I would like, but here goes.

Pours pretty darnn black with very little head. Last little gush from the bottle had a cloudy brownish look, so it's probably bottle conditioned or unfiltered. Smell is slightly cherry, slightly chocolate, and quite mild. Very slightly floral.

Taste is coffee and roast, slight bright fruity splash -- more of that cherry characteristic. Strong floral aftertaste. Interesting.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly effervescent. Overall, pretty good beer.

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Photo of Beer-Revelry
4.47/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a standard nonic pint glass.

A - 4.75 - Pours a deep black. Forms a finger a half to two fingers of light tan colored head. High head potential, low head retention. Minimal, whispy lacing.
S - 4.5 - Malts, almost to a molasses level, spice, rye and a light dusting of hops.
T - 4.5 - Bold. Lightly sweet malt upfront, tons of rye. Ends on a dry, medium bitter rye finish.
F - 4.5 - Good medium/full bodied mouthfeel.
O - 4.25 - This is an excellent representation of the rye beer style. This works as a slow sipper, but would be even better paired up with some barbecue or other smoked meats. Having mine with a smokey, chopped beef barbecue sandwich!

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Photo of Jadjunk
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No label information. Founders' Black Rye is brewed in the style of a Black Rye beer. Available as a seasonal release in 12 oz. bottled 4 packs and on limited draft. Re-released after a multiple year-long hiatus.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a snifter glass. Served above 54 degrees Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a frothy foam head of a creamy mocha brown over a near jet black body. Retention is very good and lacing is light and patchy. 4

(Smell) Toasted caramel grains, peppery, bready and mildly tangy notes of rye malt, a hint of roasted barley, chocolate and coffee bean combine for a potent above-average bodied Rye ale. Secondary notes of spicy licorice and molasses with an earthy and piney blend of moderately bitter hops, although the density of the specialty malts in the body provides sufficient balancing power to match the sweetness of the malt profile. Potency is medium+. 4

(Taste) Flavors of full bodied malts forward, bready, tangy rye and biscuity caramel with a side of black patent and cold roasted grain rounded out with a touch of earthy licorice. The resinous and earthy hop notes are modest enough in flavor by comparison although there is a perceivable bitterness on the midsection, finishing shortly thereafter with a lasting note of heavily roasted barley. Very flavorful and well presented. 4

(Mouthfeel) The texture is faintly oily slick, lightly viscous, smooth and mildly dry. Carbonation is moderate, with a medium frothiness and a modestly crisp finish. Body is medium/heavy for the style and shy of heavy overall. Balance is nearly even bitter to sweet. Alcohol presence is light and there are no off characters. 4

(Overall) An all-around enjoyable dark ale with lots of malt density and flavor, nearly thick enough to come off as a stout, but just flavorful enough all-around to remind the consumer that there's more to this beer than simply roasted malt. The rye malt doesn't thoroughly stick out through the malt profile, but contributes considerably to the malt complexity as well as to thickening up the mouthfeel. It seems to sit a bit heavy on the palate but I find the balance and respectable alcohol levels easily warrants a second or third glass. This is a beer I applaud Founders for revisiting, as it seems to be a fitting ale for the palate of today, although this must have been a distinctively stand out beer a decade ago when other breweries were merely dipping their toes into "too much" flavor for the consumer. Black Rye is a solid beer and recommended. 4

Founders Brewing Company's
Black Rye

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Photo of Chiefy770
4.24/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 Fl. Oz. Bottle
Bottled on December 6th, 2014 (Printed on the neck of the bottle)
Reviewed on March 24th, 2014
Served in a Stange

Poured a dark brown, nearly black body. A rather dense light brown head slowly collapsed and left a frothy tan cap. Nice soapy lacing, plenty of tan rings throughout.

Very complex aroma. Floral and earthy hops stood out the most. Heavier notes of burnt grains and coffee served as a dense base for the hops to live on. There was a somewhat perfume-like aroma that lingered in the hops. Nothing held back in the nose, that's for sure.

Great hit of floral hops up front. Herbal notes of pine and liquorice developed as the malts started to break through. Burnt malt character all around. Mocha, bitter dark chocolate, and burnt toast. Full-bodied. Moderate carbonation. Semi-dry finish.

Very unique taste. One could mistake this for a hopped-up Imperial Stout. Great slow-sipper.

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Photo of Getalegup
3.81/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Looks like root beer with 1 inch foam.
Smell of hops and rye.
Tastes interesting. Not bad. The rye comes out and stays in palate. Dry hops adds some bitterness, smell.

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Founders Black Rye from Founders Brewing Company
4.04 out of 5 based on 1,583 ratings.
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