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: 231 | Ratings: 710
Photo of SHDoyle
3.86/5  rDev +1%
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 -1.6%
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 -2.4%
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 -7.6%
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 +10.7%
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 -20.4%
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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Photo of GobletOfRock
2.71/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Whoa! The first sip was a shock...I hadn't thoroughly read reviews on this and bought it based of the Founders name and it being a fruit imperial stout that was barrel aged. But the sweetness is pretty revolting and can only get down a few ounces at a time. Blueberry is over the top but the sweetness is what kills this beer. There's a good balance between vanilla and chocolate, but the barrel is barely noticeable above all the other flavors and the sweetness coming at you. Will be a challenge to finish this 750.

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Photo of derftron
3.63/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap for Founders party in PDX.

Looks and smells great. Sweet sugar, malt, bourbon, and maybe a hint of blueberries. Nice head about 1/2 inch of light brown goodness.

Taste...hmmmmmmm. This beer is dangerously close to being WAY too sweet, and at times during my glass it crossed that line. Didn't get that much blueberry and it came across as more of just a general cloying sweetness than specific blueberry flavor.

As an imperial stout, it was still enjoyable. If I was somewhere cold and this was offered up I would certainly have a glass. Much more than that and I wouldn't want any more. I would say pair it with a dessert but this beer is too sweet to even do that. Maybe vanilla ice cream??

If it was less sweet and more barrel forward with a more pronounced blueberry flavor, they would have a winner.

All in all, not bad, but not that great either

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Photo of ajm5108
3.71/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.75

Traditional optics, maybe would have liked a fuller head. Warm chocolate upfront on the nose, followed by the blueberry. Smells like a KIND (or similar variety) granola fruit / chocolate bar. Maybe a tad medicinal. Not incredibly enticing but not off-putting to me.

The blueberry definitely comes out on the palate strongly. Founders has a bit of a reputation when it comes to fruit additives & them being syrupy or artificial tasting, and unfortunately I did find that to be the case here. Now, I am not adverse to sweetness in beer, and there is still good stuff here - the chocolate is delicate, and the vanilla tickles in the background - but that main blueberry note is just a little too sweet. Very little bourbon character, a wink of heat at the end. Mouthfeel is velvety and exactly as it should be.

Overall, it isn't a bad beer, and I wouldn't mind half a pint with some black raspberry cheesecake, but I was hard pressed to down a whole bottle without the syrupy quality being a bit too much. Split it with a friend or two after dinner & enjoy.

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Photo of mitch3114
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

5 oz serving at Madison Pourhouse

Basically exactly how the reviews state. It's an explosion of flavor in your mouth. Sweet, chocolatey with a blueberry finish. A dessert beer that could be great poured over vanilla ice cream.

As it warms up the chocolate aroma is unmistakable.

Not bad but wouldn't want more than 5 oz. serving.

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Photo of dbl_delta
3.2/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Undated bottle into pint glass. Pours a deep cola color with a nice tan head. Initial impression is waaaaaaaaay sweet blueberry, with everything else totally obliterated. Once it warms you get a little vanilla and maybe a hint of bourbon, but hey - it's a sweet fruit bomb. Mouthfeel is nice and creamy; carbonation is like nitro. Finish is sweet, but not quite as sweet as the first sip.
If I hadn't paid so much for this, it'd be a drain pour. Yuck. What a disappointment.

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Photo of Dragginballs76
3.96/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours oily black color with thin mocha colored head not much lacing.

Aroma - The aroma was pretty sweet, blueberries, vanilla, milk chocolate and roasted malts. i am not really getting a lot of bourbon in the aroma.

Taste - The taste is very unique, it is sweet initially and the tart on the backend. Lots of tart blueberries, vanilla and sweet milk chocolate. I am also getting more bourbon in the taste but it is not overpowering. I will say the more you drink the sweeter it gets until i was not sure I would finish the beer.

Feel - Slick oily feel, well carbonated and just a touch of warming from the alcohol.

Overall - I have to say it is a pretty great beer, the only thing I would say is it is a little too sweet.

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Photo of BJMVH9
4.48/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This is certainly a polarizing beer in reviews, I wonder if it had anything to do with different batches. I had this beer for the first time and it was outstanding - look is great, smell awesome, taste was off the chart. I've always felt that your feelings prior to something really impact the outcome. As an example if someone tells you to see this movie because it's the best ever...probably going to be let down. The opposite also happens, so many bad reviews I thought this may be terrible - it wasn't for sure. So I ended up buying two more bottles from two other stores and opened the second one - awesome. So far so good - looking forward for the 3rd in a few months time. Fun beer that really has the crowd split.

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Photo of Hyptochrons
4.52/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Only had a sample of this on tap. Really excellent though, some tarte blueberry goes well with sweet notes of vanilla, caramel, chocolate, subtle touch of bourbon. Very little boozieness. Solid mouthfeel, velvety smooth.

Based on other reviews I can't understand the knock for being overly sweet... but perhaps that's due to the small serving size I enjoyed. Still, I think there is a place for a very sweet, decadent stout - a true desert stout. However maybe I have a bit of a bias as some of my favourite stouts are extremely sweet, such as Apple brandy barrel noir, kbs & bcbs.

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Photo of JMDroski
4.41/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer looks nearly perfect with a subtle amount of head off the pour that dissipates quickly. It smells quickly of coffee and vanilla and a touch of spice. The taste is spot on and all founders desert with blueberry, chocolate and vanilla in that order and ends with a subtle tart complexity with it feeling like a grand, bourbon aged desert stout. Thickness sticks with you for a bit. Overall, fantastic and worth the value.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.89/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured a black body with minimal head and left a lace ring down the glass. The aroma is pretty much blue berry and quite frankly that describes the beer itself. Smooth, medium body, has bits of other flavors but reminds me of a liquefied blueberry pie and then finishes clean and sweet.

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Photo of Futbolmanby
3.56/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Look: big 1.5 inch creamy khaki head, oily black in color
Smell: tons of artificial blueberry, little malt, Carmel, bourbon and vanilla... really lack luster
Taste: big front of fake tasting blueberry fallowed by hints of vanilla and malt finishes with a very mediocre bourbon
Feel: little tart, mild body and carbination, rather dull

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Photo of Scotchboy
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

750ml split three ways (thank God).

A: Beautiful dark brown pour reveals an opaque black body with plenty of khaki head and lacing for a big stout.

S: Enormous sweetness, notes of vanilla, bourbon, blueberries and chocolate. The sweetness is a touch chemically.

T: More of the same, huge vanilla/bourbon barrel sweetness with a good amount of blueberry tartness poking through. Milk and dark chocolate, oak as well. Teetering on cloying.

MF: Full bodied and fairly rich if you can overlook the sweet assault.

O: This is a perfect beer for people who like sweet dessert concoctions in a bottle. Still needs to be split multiple ways in my opinion. The sweetness borders on artificial in my opinion, although the bottle doesn't mention 'natural flavors'. Thanks Aaron for sending it!

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Photo of mjwellman
1.9/5  rDev -50.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

This is one of the worst beers I've ever had and I love porters and stouts

L: dark and rich with a nice head
S: Good sweet aroma
T: OMG I want to throw up. The blue berry is overwhelming. Completely ruins this beer. It be fine if we were talking maple syrup to go over my pancakes but this is God awful
F: I want to throw up
O: What a fucking disappointment. Founders I now know that I can trust a beer just because it has your name on it. I bought a bomber and drank 8oz the rest went down the drain. Though I have some concern about polluting our water supply with such a tragic beer. If you enjoy imperial stouts DO NOT BUY THIS BEER

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Photo of jopezu
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

pours an opaque dark brown sludge with a medium creamy head. nose; berry candy, dry cocoa, & dark toast. taste; heavy chocolate malt, tart & sweet blueberry puree, vanilla, chocolate, toffee, very light ethanol, & mild hops. vanilla is the only note coming from the barrel aging; no wood character here. heavy carbonation & mouthfeel. the 10.5%abv is magically subdued - almost no hints of it anywhere. gets points for being decadent and getting a berry flavor that doesn't ring artificial, but definitely on the sweet side. right up there with evil twin brewing's dessert style stouts. a thick chocolate stout spiked with lots of blueberry.

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Photo of Red5StandingBy
2.8/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from 750ml bottle into standard pint glass. No bottle date present.

L: Opaque black. Tight half finger brown head on the first pour.

S: Strong bourbon alcohol presence overpowering all.

T: Really imbalanced and overpowering in bourbon. Blueberry masks everything else. Gross.

F: Light bodied.

O: Really disappointed but I would be willing to age this for probably 2+ years and try it again.

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Photo of Bum4ever
4.77/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

L: dark black, large head that lasts. Some lacing.
S: sweet and tasty smell. Mouth watering.
T: very sweet, blueberry first, then strong chocolate taste. Finishes very nice.
F: full bodied stout.
O: I usually like sweet stouts and this one was amazing. Tastes exactly like the bottle describes.

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Photo of Chasegator
4.18/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

9 oz snifter
Look- Dark brown with a small dark tan head
Smell- chocolate, bourbon, roasted malt.
Taste- More of the same as the nose. Bourbon, chocolate, and heavy roasted malt with a nice chocolate aftertaste.
Feel- Very heavy bodied.
Overall- Good beer. Chocolate and bourbon is definitely a tough combo but this beer does a good job at it. The sweet chocolate aftertaste of this beer is fantastic.

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Photo of dvmin98
3.63/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap. Deep brown color. Smell is fruit and roasted malts. Flavor is very big on the blueberries and heavy vanilla. Not a big barrel presence.I didn't get the overpowering sweetness that others have, and I hate sweet beers. Basically tastes like it says, other than the barrel. Its the blueberry version of Big Lushious. Fair

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Photo of Jwale73
4.02/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This beer looks perfect in the glass. Inky black with a tight, half inch, khaki-colored head with minimal dispersion. Nose expresses blueberries, coffee and vanilla extract. The flavor profile is decadent - blueberry syrup, roast and sweet vanilla notes. I don't really detect the bourbon barrel though. Mouthfeel is light-medium in body (but closer to light); however, it comes off a bit thin for the style. Acidity is a bit too present and carbonation is a little too assertive. Overall, a pleasant surprise as I haven't liked too many of the large format Founders offerings as of late. It's too bad the mouthfeel is so thin. That said, I think 12-18 months in the bottle might meld the flavors nicely.

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Lizard Of Koz from Founders Brewing Company
3.82 out of 5 based on 710 ratings.
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