Founders Black Rye | Founders Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 450 | Ratings: 1,583
Photo of schusterbauer
3.94/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a -- dark dark ruby, approaching black; medium head that grows thin but reemerges with the slightest motion of the glass

s -- roasted malts, hops, more hops, powdered cocoa, cereal, corn flakes, cocoa pebbles, robitussin... somehow these things all work together to make a pretty nice aroma. maybe a bit strong, but nice.

t -- ibid
(i don't know if i'd call this a balanced beer, but it's certainly interesting enough to keep your attention, and it does taste pretty damned good.)

m -- very thick and chewy; sticky; aggressive carbonation, but not too much. all of the spiciness of the beer builds in your mouth over time, with a slight numbing effect

d -- not for somene looking for a relaxing "drink it and forget about it" kind of beer; drinkability is heightened by how much attention the beer demands, leaving you curious to have another. spicy, warming, and delicious, but i think that 1 or 2 would be enough at any one time.

 945 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.33/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Tpaliga: Poured a medium black color ale with a medium foamy head with average retention. Aroma of hops is dominant with some traces of malt being noticeable. Taste consists of predominantly citrus hops with a bitter finish and some light roasted malt. Body is a bit thin IMO and rye is very hard to detect. I would have appreciated a bit more complexity and less reliance on hops personally.

 411 characters

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

appearance: Gives a nice, light mocha colored head that slowly falls back to a ring. The beer is a very deep brown in color.

smell: A great blend of roasted malt and evergreen hops with a light note of whole rye. Balanced, straightforward, and solid.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is medium, as is the body.

taste: Roasty malts with a touch of rye flavor just behind. Good, dark green hop flavor, a little evergreen. A touch of cinnamon toast in the background. Nice, moderate-high bitterness taking over in the finish with a touch of roast in the background. Not very complex, but well balanced.

drinkability: Interesting and flavorful enough for me to drain the glass pretty quickly.

Shipped southward by dirtylou. Notched bottom center of the front label...September?

 782 characters

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

Served from bottle into standard pint glass.

Pour verydark brown/black, almost opaque, with faint ruby traces when held up to the light. Half-inch fluffy tan head, excellent retention. Lots of lacing.

Aroma is bready rye malt, coupled with a citrus hop presence.

Flavor is dark roasted malts, coffee, with some nutty elements. The rye really comes through in the dry finish, leaving you with a crisp grainy rye flavor that melds in perfectly with the hops to give you a nice lingering bitterness

Medium body, moderate carbonation. Balance is excellent. Alcohol is hidden well, no trace of it in the flavor or aroma. Great mix of flavors, this one is definately unique. This is one of those beers I could drink again & again.

 736 characters

Photo of plaid75
4.32/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a murky and dusty black hue with a half finger foamy tan head. There was decent retention and lacing.

The smell featured an excellent upfront burnt grain with a solid spicy hop aroma.

The taste consisted of a strong burnt spicy rye malt. Rye toast comes to mind. A good hop presence maintained the beer's dryness. An excellent toasty biscuity aftertaste.

The mouthfeel was full and dry. A slight chewiness as well.

Overall an excellent and flavorful beer. Really the perfect winter brew. Very drinkable and a solid ABV to boot. Thanks to robertdoesbeer for this one.

 585 characters

Photo of msubulldog25
3.96/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a 12 oz. bottle to a 25cl taster; thanks to zrrbrrt for providing this beer in trade.

A: Burnt dark brown with a massive frothy/bubbly tan head, at least 3 fingers. Head retains very well, maintaining a 1 finger cap throughout with attractive lacing.

S: Mild malts, dark rye and dry hops. A slight graininess with a bit of metallic finish.

T: The taste of burned cinnamon toasty, lightly spiced and nicely grain-flavored. Toasted nuts with a touch of sourness. finish is dry with a hoppiness that tastes mildly citrus.

S: Tons of wonderfully crisp, prickly carbonation in the mouthfeel. One of the more 'active' beers I've had of any style. Lingering coffee/malt bitterness with a clean, dry finish.

D: A good one - nicely balanced, good flavors. Recommended.

 781 characters

Photo of Oxymoron
3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Is it just me or is this similar to Metallica's black label? The pour is a black color with not much red or brown hues coming through when held to the light. A tan head with some red highlights throughout. Good staying power and good lacing as well.

The nose has a good representation of malt. Some astringency and roasted qualities. Lighter notes of chocolate and a bit of earthiness from the hops. As the beer warms, more notes of tropical fruits and figs come out as well.

This is a really unique taste and a fantastic idea. The taste is good with malt being dominate but a great bitterness and zeal from the hops and rye. Chocolate notes are more noticeable then the nose would indicate but are blended well with the roasted black malt flavors. There is a slight almost citrus lemon taste that comes out at the end and more noticeable as the beer warms.

The body has a mid feel but lightened probably due to the rye and hops perception. The beer is easy to drink and quite tasty. Overall I like the new taste, but as for Metallica, I like the old style better.

 1,077 characters

Photo of gmfessen
4.28/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured beer from the bottle into a pint glass, beer is a very dark color with a slight amber tint and a cream colored head that leaves small amounts of lacing. The smell is nice, of hops, roasted malt and slightly of alcohol. The taste is initially of hops, followed by burnt chocolate, rye, and a bitter/alcohol finish. The mouthfeel is great, full bodied with creamy carbonation. Overall I would have to say that this is a pretty drinkable beer, but the bitter finish is a bit much. Definitely worth trying.

 509 characters

Photo of timtheenchanta
3.7/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Half a shade from black topped by a light tan tightly bubbled head with decent retention and thin weak lacing.

Black patent and slight chocolately smell. I'm getting very little hops and none of the rye described on the front of the bottle.

Ah ha. There are the hops. Much more prevalent in the taste. Still they take a back seat to the big black patent and chocolate. There's a slight rye taste but nothing too huge.

Dry somewhat bitter finish. The mouthfeel is thinner than expected but still very good.

An enjoyable beer. Many thanks to trbeer for the chance to try this one.

 590 characters

Photo of HopasaurusRex
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark and opaque with ruby highlights. Very stoutlike in appearance.

Nose of roasted coffee beans and acrid black patent malt.

Full-bodied flavor and tons of bitterness. Akin to a robust porter. Some spiciness due to rye and sharp citric flavor. A little difficult to discern the dry hops among the layers of dark roasted malt.

Overall, another innovative ale from Founders.

 383 characters

Photo of sponberg
3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

beautiful beer to look at - deep chocolate brown with a pillowy, foamy light tan head thet sits there forever. Complex aroma of Munich-y malt, whiffs of roastiness and spicy almost junipery hops, and rye graininess.

And you thought the aroma was complex... starts with a combination of roasty bite, a lemon peel and pine hoppiness, and a thin yet round maltiness. Then a dry chocolate and rye graininess joins in, along with a spiciness that sends vapors up into the sinuses. Finishes with a slightly tart, rye, roast, chocolate flavor that I've *never* had from any other beer. Slightly thin mouthfeel - but drinkable in its oddness.

Can't think of another beer to compare it to - maybe a whiff of Alpha Klaus in there, but still different. Thanks to BA JeffKrenner for the bottle!

 788 characters

Photo of rsyberg01
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

S - 12 oz bottle with what looks like an august notch.

A - A black pour with deep red hues. head is creamy light chocolate that sticks nicely.

S - roasted malty rye, chocolate, slightly toasted caramel, slight tart fruit in the back, citrus maybe. little coffee note. jesus I say slightly a lot.

T - Roasted malts, tart bitter from the fruit and roastiness, small bittersweet chocolate, sweet malt.

M - Nicely balanced between gravity and the carbonation.

D - Roastiness will become fatiguing, besides that though its fairly decent.

 547 characters

Photo of hckyfn9999
3.96/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep black, a hint of a rub hue when held to light, with a good tan head that lasts a while with good lacing. Aroma is of rye bread and some hops. Taste is sort of like rye bread with some burn malt, a little spicy, and some oily hops. A coffee like after taste as well. There are some hints of chocolate as it warms. Mouthfeel is very good. First few drinks I had I didnt care for. The more you drink of it and it warms the better it is. Interesting brew.

 464 characters

Photo of Cresant
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured this 12 oz., undated brown bottle into a nonic. Opaque brown/black body. One finger of anemic head. Light tan sticky lace hugged the glass.

Smelled Clean and hoppy. Faint alcohol aroma. Grainy. Rye.

Tasted mildly of molasses and flowery hops. Well balanced and drinkable.

Mouthfeel was smooth with an mildly oily texture. Medium to full body. Founders Brewery has become my all-around favorite. Everything I have tried from them has been well above average.

 473 characters

Photo of BeerBelcher
4.44/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color is what the label Tan, sticky foam head has good staying power. Aroma is great! Roasted malt, caramel, and chocolate.

Flavor is definitely roasted malt with a bite of bitterness. This has that burned pizza crust taste that I love! A very, very good beer.

I'm already a huge fan of the red rye, and I'll definitely be buying a six of its darker cousin.

 377 characters

Photo of JudgeRoughneck
4.18/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

There is big 'ol root beer float colored head on this guy that stays just as long. It is a black brew with burgundy highlights. The nose is powerful. I get alcohol, chocolate, burnt caramel, big spicy hop aroma, and a slight vanilla creme. Alcohol is a little strong.

Going in, I'm thinking a dry-hopped, roasty beer, with a rye kick is going to be either brilliant or a total punch in the palate. After sampling, I think it is both. The tounge braces with every sip to receive hop bitter, rye zing, spice, and roasty, burnt flavors all combining to pack a punch while blending so nicely you can't really tell where one character ends and the next begins. All this forefront action is held down by the firm hand of a deep, dark, chocolate-caramel tone that makes itself well-known. There is an aftertaste of bittersweet chocolate.

The midwieght mouthfeel plays a perfect role here, supporting the beast without getting in the way. While I can't stop sipping this beer it is kinda hard to think more than one in a sitting.

This beer is a marvel of architecture. Whoever brews this is showing off, and they deserve to because I doubt many brewers could pull this off so nicely. By all rights, this should taste like hate, but it is so well put together that it is awesome. Definately a different take on rye. Kind of the inverse of a dark lager.

 1,355 characters

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

A dry-hopped dark ale made with rye sounds good to me! Pours an inky dark brown with a voluptuous, creamy, glass-coating, light khaki head. Big roasted malt aroma with whiskey, smoke, peaty earth, and dark fruit. Spicy hops. Roasted malt flavors blend with chocolatey sweetness up front. Whiskeyish fruit comes around as the roasted turns to increasingly bitter and coffee hops. Yum! Faintly warming. Long dark chocolate bitter finish. Medium bodied with a surprisingly spritzy mouthfeel. Nice work!

 499 characters

Photo of kirok1999
4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very, very dark brown, almost black. Nice lingering head with some nice lacing.
Smells hoppy at first, rye speaks up a little later, and then some malt sweetness.
Tastes very dry, clean and bitter. The rye is one of the first notes to chime in, nice floral hops with a lingering finish.
Feels viscous with strong carbonation.
Very easy to drink. Unusual enough to make you want more than one.

 405 characters

Photo of Imstillthegman
3.48/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Flyingbison for this bottle.

Pours an opaque black with a thick dark tan head that fades to a ring. Moderate lacing.

Aroma is a blend of dark chocolate, coffee, rye, burnt brown sugar, and some grapefruit hops.

The flavor, for me, is closer to a stout than a rye. The rye flavor doesn't come through strong enough. Coffee flavor is dominant, with some oats and a bit of the hops at the end. Seems a lot like an oatmeal stout. Over halfway done and still waiting on the rye...

Decent carbonation in this medium bodied brew. Coffee aftertaste remains for a while. Some bitterness on swallowing and just a touch of dryness, as well. If you're looking for a rye beer you may want to grab a Founders Red Rye instead. Not a bad beer....just not quite what I was expecting.

 788 characters

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

This is my first rye and was really looking forward to drinking it. I poured this 12 ounce bottle into a glass beer mug and dark body and tannish brown head was suprising. The head had some staying power with medium lacing. The beer smelled very, i guess rye, and was very earthy as well. It may have been the appearence but it has the look of a stout and so that is what I tasted at first but then the taste mellowed on to a nice grainy taste, with a touch of alcohol. Drinkable, I like it.

 491 characters

Photo of terrabyte
3.41/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A nice black pour with a thick tan head.

A small whiff of roasted chocolate and coffee, before the smell of grapefruit hops overtook it.

I like rye breads a lot. They have a very distinct flavor and smell. However, I'm unable to really pinpoint where the rye flavor is in this beer. I feel some oat stout in this, but overwhelmed by a citrus, grapefruit hops. A tart & slightly bitter aftertaste. I would have guessed this was a cross between oat stout and IPA to me.

Mouthful is too carbonated for me, however it did make it seem lighter. However, I like the opposite.

Overall, it's drinkable, but not bold enough for me. If you're going to put RYE in big fonts, lets emphasize it.

 694 characters

Photo of Callenak
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle acquired in a trade.

Pours jet black with a huge, frothy head that lingers and lingers. The Red Rye pours the same exact way. The smell is roasty goodness with a little rye spice. Have to wait 5 minutes for the head to go down before I get a good whiff.

I've been excited about trying this one. Had the red rye a few times and have been a real rye kick lately. This was unlike any rye beer I've had. The taste reminds me of the Okocim Baltic porter I recently had but with a rye spice to it. A perfect balance of alcohol and flavor, not overpowering. The rye flavoring is more subdued than the Red Rye, most likely from the roasted grains used. Nice thick mouth feel too.

A fun beer that I would love to try again. With all the rye beers I've been brewing lately I've been curious on how a rye porter/stout might turn out, this gave me a great idea.

 870 characters

Photo of Westsidethreat
3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Highly carbonated, a nice "pop" when the cap came off. Not surprisingly, a huge light khaki head was conjured once the beer was poured. Appears to be almost jet black, but its really hard to say since no light can make its way through it.

S: Bakers chocolate, chestnuts, some spicy rye and lactose.

T: Rye if very prevalent, much more than the nose would tell you. First thing that hits you is lightly roasted black patent malt and cafe au lait. Rye moves in with all its spicy goodness. Minor cola twang intertmingles with the rye and piney hops. Finishes roasted with a plentiful amount of bittering hops.

M: Medium body with a stand mouthfeel...surprising for how nice the carbonation was.

D: Interesting brew, fairly original which is always nice. This could pass like as an Xmas beer.

 805 characters

Photo of BlackAngus
4.45/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer is jet black, opaque. Big rocky head that fades slowly to a persistent ring.

Aroma is of roasted maltiness, caramel, chocolate and some coffee. No real discernable hops, and very, very little rye.

Flavor is huge, and took several sips to analyze. Coffee, roast, definite rye flavor, subtle hops.

Mouithfeel is just a tad thin for the flavor, but not bad. I just expected something a tad chewier with this beer. But not bad. Very, very smooth.

I wouldn't drink a ton of this at once, but I would drink it often. A quality beer, and very unusual. Highly recommended.

 581 characters

Photo of kennyo
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

by way of Flying Bison

Second beer of the BA fantasy football draft.

This beer is black, just like the name professes, big creamy head, belgian lace throughout. Forgot to wash the glass befre I went to sleep and awoke the next morning and there was a beautiful sticky lace that reminded me how good this beer is.

Aroma is Milk chocolate, coffee, and sweet malt

Tast is spicy, must be the rye, sweet malt, espresso, chocolate, not so much hoppagge here ,tho

Nice body abnd nice carbonation. This is a very drinkable beer that I enjoyed throughout.

 561 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!