Lizard Of Koz | Founders Brewing Company

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Lizard Of KozLizard Of Koz

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
This one is near and dear to our hearts. Brewmaster Jeremy Kosmicki wanted to make the birthday of his little sister, Liz, a special one. So he did what he does best and brewed a stout using a few of her favorite ingredients: fresh Michigan blueberries, rich chocolate and vanilla aged in bourbon barrels to round out those beautiful flavors. Liz was floored and we think you will be too.

Added by Bung on 04-18-2015

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Reviews: 224 | Ratings: 683
Photo of Terptwerp
2.92/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Interesting mix of flavors. I wish that it was a little less sweet. It was hard for me to finish a glass, due to it being overly sweet. Glad that I had one, but will not drink another one.

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Photo of jlindros
4.04/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I haven't been a big fan of the big Founders beers in the past couple years, so I was not planning to get this one, but after trying it at a tasting it was pretty good.

Pours a big dark mocha colored fluffy creamy thick 1 finger head that fades semi slowly, some layered lacing and fair legs, on this pitch black beast.

Nose delivers loads of what it promises, huge amounts of chocolate out front, thick cocoa, dakr chocolate, lush creamy chocolate and some rich vanilla, vanilla ice cream, a little fudge, some caramel, etc, big bourbon in the background, a little toasted barrel but some smooth bourbon, blueberries are there, a little less dominant but there, esp as it warms, caramel and toffee coming through more, some thick dark malts.

Taste starts a bit on the sweet side, and an almost candy syrup flavor and fake chocolate syrup, but it's not all bad, some nice layers of cocoa nibs, hot cocoa and dark chocolate, a little dark fruits in there, some blueberry but a dried dark chocolate covered blueberry and a little skin tannin, some vanilla notes, vanilla ice cream and a touch of bourbon, a little booze warmth, no barrel just that mild bourbon flavor. Finish is a bit sweet and sticky, a touch more booze, more vanilla and big chocolate syrup.

Mouth is fuller bod, a bit of warming slightly tingly booze, decent carb.

Overall not bad, started really nice with a great nose, flavor was a little less so as the chocolate syrup and vanilla had a bit of an artificial flavor, and bourbon was barely there.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.91/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From tasting notes, 02/10/17
Had on-tap @ Final Gravity in Roseville, CA

Appearance - Served up in a 6oz snifter, black in color with thin, cocoa powder colored head. Fair lacing, with broken webbing and some spotting.

Smell - Pungent notes of milk chocolate, coffee, vanilla and blueberry. Lesser notes of caramel, bourbon and oak. Lovely aroma.

Taste - Follows the nose. Milk chocolate and cocoa powder character upfront, with lesser vanilla, oak and bourbon that quickly follow then fade mid-taste, giving rise to a prominent blueberry flavor that fights with the chocolate for dominance. Finishes sweet with cocoa and some berry tartness. Pretty tasty, but a bit wild and tends to get cloying, making it a definite sipper.

Mouthfeel - Full-bodied with moderate carbonation. Silky, slightly creamy texture upfront before turning dry and a bit chalky in the finish.

Overall - If there's ever been a candidate for aging, this is it. This brew shows potential, but drinks all over the place. Some aging might round it out some and give the brew some cohesion. At $20 a bottle though, I'm not so sure I'm willing to take that risk.

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Photo of WunderLlama
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Tap poured into snifter at Barleys Overland Park

Dark brown liquid with one finger brown foam cap. Cascades into the liquid as it settles

Aroma of roast malts , vanilla , blueberry

Taste of roast malts, blueberry , vanilla and whisper of spiciness on the end

Definitely sweet, sipable

Nice beer

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Photo of JamFuel
2.79/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.25

Reviews of this are all over the place, and I can see why...

Pours a lovely, thick black, with a chocolatey foam.

Smell is almost overpowering, sweet with loads of vanilla, blueberries and oak. Nicer as it warms a bit.

Taste is... well just too much. Incredibly sweet, to the point of cloying, with the palate getting thrown into sensory overload with lashings of blueberries, chocolate and vanilla. There is however a sort of tangy quality, that just doesn't mesh at all with the rest of the flavors, making it sweet as hell up front, and almost tart at the back. I really wanted to lke this, but I couldn't finish the glass.

Texture is spot on for an imperial stout, lush and thich, and very, very smooth.

This beer has everything going for it in terms of look, smell and feel, but the taste just doesn't work for me. It's too over the top, and waaay too sweet.

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Photo of Suds
3.52/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

From a large bottle, this brew is thick and black, with a chocolate-milk head. Lots of fruit...I really get the aroma. The taste is equally fruity.....sweet, nearly cloying, though. The beer has some serious warmth. It reminds me of a strong fruit wine. The body is full and the finish has a lingering fruit and strong malt flavor.

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Photo of ElMariachi29er
4.24/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I'm actually surprised at some of the low reviews on this one but everyone has their owns tastes and then is definitely different so...

I think if you read the description, "blueberries, chocolate, vanilla," and are then surprised that a straight forward BA Stout didn't hit your pallet then you may hate it. But to me it literally has the taste of a stout that has a strong lingering tartness to the finish of chocolate blueberries. Go figure! Very sweet with a slick mouthfeel that you might expect. Couldn't have more than one or two at a time but that doesn't mean it's not worth trying. If you want a sweet and slightly tart endulgence to break up the onslaught of boozy barrel
aged stouts that grace us with their presence in winter, give the Lizard of Koz a try.

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Photo of kitch
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A 750ml bottle with no visible bottled on or best by date. Poured into a snifter.

Appearance: Black in colour with a one finger tanned head that dissipated fairly quickly while leaving some spotty lacing.

Aroma: Roasted malts, milk chocolate, vanilla and sour blueberries. It sounds good, but this combination in this form was a bit of a disappointment for me.

Taste: Overwhelming sweet blueberries and chocolate with only a touch of vanilla. I feel the bourbon is actually there too, kind of creeps in here and there, but is just completely covered by the blueberries.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with low carbonation.

Overall: This seems to be a love or hate beer for a lot of people, even though I appear to be kind of in the middle. I shared this with my girlfriend who had about 200ml, while I finished the other 550ml. The first few sips were actually pretty good, but towards the end, due to the sweetness, it was slow going trying to finish it. I felt this would have been better in a 12 fl oz bottle. This way, one person could enjoy it and you could just open another bottle if you needed more. Perhaps aging this would make it better by toning down the blueberries, but as always, there’s no guarantees.

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Photo of craigbelly
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Looks ands smells fantastic. At first the fruit and vanilla was to much but as you settled into the beer the dark roast started to mellow the sweetness out. I agree it's a little syrupy on the feel, but not syrupy tasting.

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Photo of bshefftz
1.86/5  rDev -51.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I love blueberries. I love chocolate. I love beer. But this is a syrupy (as in cough syrupy), cloying mess. A rare (as in, practically never - see the part about loving beer) drain pour after about 8 nauseating ounces at which point all my hope for this beer vanished and I switched to a mid-price port for the evening. And the port isn't as sweet as this miserable beer! It's all sweetness and berry up front, no detectable vanilla, or barrel, and only a hint of chocolate.

A confession: in days of yore when my palate was less (Ahem...) refined (end pretentiousness... now! sorry...) and my beer budget was smaller I would buy Trader Joe's Stockyard Oatmeal Stout and spike it with a shot of Chambourd (did I mention that I love berries and beer?) and even that poor man's beer cocktail was way better than this mess of a beer! And cheaper too.

I've been impressed by Founders as they start to turn up more and more in CA, but this beer is a massive misfire.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.36/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

On tap at Beermongers.

Black with a thin, dark brown head, this looks solid. The nose is SWEET. Really sweet. Sweet caramel, sugar syrup, mild blueberry, chocolate and caramel sweet. Unfortunately for this beer, it was following the Omnipollo Blueberry Cheesecake Stout, and was all the worse for it. The palate was also very sweet with the blueberry flavor not particularly noticeable. Sweet caramel, bourbon, a moderate vanilla note are present. Sweet on the finish, this beer is medium-light in body and moderately carbonated. In the vein of Black Tuesday, this is a cloying, unfocused mess. A rare disappointment for Founders.

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Photo of arizcards
4.02/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I won the annual super bowl bet with my brother so he brought over a 32 oz Crowler that we shared on my back porch enjoying a 75 degree Phoenix day.. I believe the Crowler set him back $19 at the Craft Beer Quick Stop.

Beer poured dark brown to black with a nice tan head.

Nose was wonderful, roasted malts, chocolate, vanilla, and a hint of bourbon.

Initial taste was a flavor explosion of vanilla, chocolate, bourbon, and tart blueberries over a light roasted malt base. Tartness disappeared for several subsequent sips but became a constant presence the second half the glass. Bourbon definitely is very much in the background but it is there.

Mouthfeel was medium bodied and smooth.

Overall an intriguing beer that was definitely more tart than sweet for me. If you have $20 laying around doing nothing then give this beer a shot if you are into fruit based stouts.

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Photo of Skrumpy
2.5/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Hmmmm.... this one doesn't do it for me. It tastes a bit like a mix of stout beer and cough syrup. For $19 a bottle, I cringe. Dark with a thin, brown, foamy head. Not much retention or lacing. Aroma is light chocolate and blueberry. The flavor has some vanilla and blueberry, with a bit of chocolate. A bit tart. The bourbon doesn't really shine. It's more cough syrup boozy like. Not a good beer for me.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
1.97/5  rDev -48.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 1.5

750ml bottle - $18.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a black body with an inch of slowly receding, brownish foam.

Smell: Blueberry chocolate sauce, melted table sugar and a side shot glass of booze. Hmm.

Taste: Blueberry pancake syrup blended with semi-sweet chocolate for a rippling onsalught of cloying sweetness. It's like sipping on chilled simple syrup. Even the meager vanilla and barrel hints get totally overwhelmed by the burgeoning sweetness. The alcohol presence does little to cut or curb the sweetness, leaving this perhaps one of the most undrinkably cloying beers I've ever had.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-light carbonation.

Overall: Water, please! While usually fairly reliable, this was a straight-up repulsive offering from Founders, and, given the steep price-tag, just a real slap in the face.

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Photo of Uniobrew31
1.65/5  rDev -56.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 1.5

A beer that tastes like chocolate covered blueberries is not my thing. It literally tasted exactly like those. Pretty I drinkable imo. If you like chocolate berry flaovoerd beer then go for this guy but it was way too much for me.

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Photo of mmorris15
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black with a really nice tan head. Smell is tons of coffee and chocolatey roastiness, vanilla, and barrel-character. The taste has tons of sweet blueberry, Baker's chocolate, and vanilla up front (and I mean very sweet). There's a slight tartness from the blueberries, as well. Just a hint of bourbon and oak are on the finish. Nice and warming. Feel is a little sticky. Overall, this is a dessert beer for sure and an interesting one. Glad I tried it but I probably won't buy another.

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Photo of SheaDawg
4.99/5  rDev +30.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My first 5!!!! I think it is anyways. My tastebuds tell me so. The blueberry just brings out everything so well! It's a sweet blueberry taste, not the tart or sour taste you might associate with blueberries. This is one that everyone should try and few, if any, will disagree with my praise!

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Photo of John_M
3.55/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This may yet turn out to be a very good beer by Founders, but right now, it's not showing so well. On tap at Tin Bucket the other day.

The beer pours a blackish brown color with fairly decent head retention and lacing. On the nose, this beer really needed to warm up a bit before I got anything. Eventually, I got hints of blueberry, cherry, vanilla and light bourbon. On the palate, this beer is incredibly sweet, with the cherry, vanilla and blueberry in front and center. There's a hint of chocolate and bourbon as well, but right now, the sweet fruit flavors really dominate. Mouthfeel is fairly soft and smooth, with a long finish. Alcohol is pretty well integrated into the flavor profile, but then again, the sweet fruit dominates to the point that it would be difficult to pick up a whole lot of alcohol.

Right now, this is not a particularly fun beer to drink, as the sweet fruit flavor is just too over the top. This might be really good in another couple of years, but at least for right now, this is just not working for me.

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Photo of Celtics76
2.62/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Wow. The sweetness of this beer is way over the top, making it nearly undrinkable. I didn't get any bourbon at all, definitely blueberries/coffee but the sweetness overpowered everything. I had a 6oz pour on tap and could only put down about 80% of it. Big letdown.

Frankly, I think the ratings are amped up a bit because it's Founders. If Shipyard released it, it would be getting hammered.

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Photo of SHDoyle
3.86/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Description: Deep black appearance with a slight coffee colored head. Smell is big and bold with clear notes of vanilla, bourbon, oak and blueberry. Unlike the varied aroma, the taste is much more concentrated and is dominated with blueberries. And you lost me...This is SUPER sweet, almost cloyingly so, and the blueberries drown everything else out. The aftertaste, the residue on your lips, everything is sweet, sweet, blueberry. Feel is nice and what you'd expect from a stout: thick, velvety and rich.

Suggested food pairing: Something earthy to counteract the sweetness, like roasted pork loin

If you like this beer then you should also try: Big Lushious

Overall: 3.5 (This beer is average and I would not likely drink it again) This beer had some good elements, but the taste was off putting. And really, if the taste is disagreeable that kind of means the beer is overall sub par regardless of its other features. After being told by a friend that this was the worst beer he'd ever had, my expectations were low. It wasn't bad at first, but by the time I got to the end of the snifter it was pretty rough and I was glad to be done with it. As mentioned, there were some nice pieces to this but what could have been a good beer was lost somewhere along the way. I give credit to Founders for trying something different (and bold) but this was a miss for me.

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Photo of champ103
3.76/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours nearly opaque black in color. A one finger tan head forms with good retention and plenty of lace left all the way down the glass.
S: Vanilla, chocolate, a touch of roast, and light wood all intermingle up front. Everything is really well balanced, and then the fruity aroma comes into play. Tart, with a nondescript berry character. Really nice, really enjoyable.
T: The tart berry character is much more up front than the nose. Almost jam like. The vanilla and chocolate are in the background. Not much of the stout or barrel comes through. If I had this in another phase in my beer drinking trek, I probably would have a much higher opinion here. As is, still enjoyable, but the stout and barrel, as well as all the additives, take a back seat to the jammy fruit.
M/O: A full body with moderate carbonation. Appropriately sticky and resinous for the style and how big this is. No alcohol can be detected. Enjoyable to drink in small doses, but not something I crave to come back to.

I am normally the pretend old guy shouting that the kitchen sink style stouts are too much and over done. I can easily say that about this, but wont. While I feel the tart berries take over to much after a while, it is still very enjoyable and that Founders hit what they wanted to make. Maybe not something I am going to continually reach for or crave. Though enjoyable and interesting to try to say the least.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Nice frothy head upon the black pour.

Aromas of rich chocolate and dark fruits. Very dessert like and decadent.

Mild roast coffee hits first. And holy shit. Way over the top sweetness. Just too much. Blueberry tannins meet canned pie blueberries drenched in blueberry syrup, then covered in a hard chocolate shell, then at the end there's an alcohol bite with torched sugar. Don't you dare let it warm up - it will taste like cough syrup.

Feel is thick and full, very smooth.

I'll put it like this, I'd rather have this than an over the top bitter beer, but it's still too much.

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Photo of GOBLIN
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It's a stout with blueberries and barrel aged. I like all of these things but I found out that I dont like them together. Not a totally bad beer but it's hard to finish even a glass. Rather sweet with with a sugary blueberry syrupy finish much like cough syrup.

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.23/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Imperial stout brewed with blueberries, chocolate, and vanilla and aged in maple syrup bourbon barrels. Poured from a bottle into a MadTree snifter. The pour is black and sports a finger of fine tan head with good retention for a barrel-aged beer. The smell is sweet and rich, like tiramisu. I get strong notes of vanilla and toasted oak along with bourbon and milk chocolate. I get no berries on the nose.

Full body with a really well-balanced sweet-and-tart flavor. Toasted malt, toffee, milk chocolate, and cake frosting up front, then just when you think this beer is going to be sweet to the point of cloying, the blueberries add a welcome tartness. The blueberries arrive mingled with the barrel notes, chocolate, and vanilla and they carry through the finish. I get lingering flavors of tart blueberries, vanilla, and dark chocolate. Like any Founders barrel-aged beer, you get the richness of the bourbon barrel without any harshness, booziness, or oxidation. After trying numerous barrel-aged beers from other brewers that have any or all of these characteristics, I don't know how Founders does this. It's art.

After reading a few reviews of this beer, I thought it was going to be overly sweet. Admittedly, I tend to gravitate towards sweeter beers, but I did not find this beer to be overly sweet at all. It's very flavorful, enjoyable, and well-balanced. Recently, I reviewed a beer from Braxton that was inspired by Graeter's Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip ice cream (if you're from Cincinnati, you probably know what that is). This beer tastes a lot like that ice cream - tart fruit, dark chocolate, and sweet vanilla all mingled together. Imagine KBS with blueberries instead of coffee and you get the idea.

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Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
3.04/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

Dark cola body, thin, with a ring of tan head and a few dots on the glass. Nose is sweet, displaying notes of real vanilla bean (yum), milk chocolate, and a bit of blueberry. The flavor is extremely sweet, and that's coming from a guy with a big sweet tooth. Blueberry is much more obvious here, along with the chocolate and vanilla. But it's so sweet that it becomes chemically, and drowns out any nuance. Despite the intensity of the sweetness, the feel is the worst part: thin and sugary. Blech.
This was insanely sweet, as I've mentioned, which I was actually fine with. It was the artificial aspect and the watery, sugary, enamel-dissolving body that sunk this one. I'm grateful I only had a 7 oz. taster; share the bomber with a friend or make sure you have an insulin guy for your eventual diabetes diagnosis.

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Lizard Of Koz from Founders Brewing Company
3.83 out of 5 based on 683 ratings.
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