Imperial Stout
Founders Brewing Company

Imperial StoutImperial Stout
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Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
Stout - Russian Imperial
Ranked #45
Ranked #721
4.36 | pDev: 8.26%
Apr 05, 2022
Jan 13, 2003
Imperial StoutImperial Stout
Notes: Brewed with an abundance of malts, this stout is smooth as silk, yet complex and rich in body. Best enjoyed at cellar temperature to allow the notes of chocolate, dark fruit and caramel to soar. Put another log on the fire, sit back and enjoy the moment with this full-bodied and utterly delicious cold weather companion.

75 IBU
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Photo of RyanK252
4.33/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by RyanK252 from California

2015 Bottle poured into a Founders Brewing Co snifter

A: Pours basically black with a frothy cocoa brown head that settles to a light layer and leaves a little nice lacing.

S: Roasty, earthy, a little char, dark chocolate, coffee, molasses, burnt sugar, slight umami notes, and faint hints of dark fruit.

T: Roasted malt, dark chocolate, black coffee, a little char, earthy, molasses a touch of toffee, and faint dark fruit on the finish.

M: Full body, mild carbonation, creamy smooth.

O: Somehow I think this one went straight from the store to my cellar and has been there ever since, so it's about time I crack into it!
Total time capsule back to before every imperial stout was loaded up with adjuncts and it's aged beautifully. Another example of why Founders is quite possibly the best at brewing dark beers.

Apr 05, 2022
Photo of trevormajor
4.69/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
by trevormajor from Ohio

12 oz bottle, born on 11/5/19, poured into a snifter at 55 degrees F:
L - dark mahogany with a hazelnut head that lingered around the edges
S - roasted malt, molasses, bitter chocolate, coffee
T - follows the nose very well
F - thick mouthfeel with minimal carbonation
O - this beer lives up to the founders standard; it is supposed to age well and just under 2.5 years in it is still sensational

Mar 14, 2022
Photo of TooManyGlasses
4.43/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by TooManyGlasses from Canada (AB)

Single 12 ounce bottle from Founders in Grand Rapids Nov 2019 when travel was still a thing.
Pours pitch black with finger of creamy mildly reddish brown head.
Aroma of dark fruits, caramel, mildly roasty with notes of chocolate and just a hint of coffee.
Taste is rich with plummy note, chocolate; a brief wave of smoke drifts across the palate, caramel malt and a touch of espresso bitterness balancing the sweetness.
Rich and smooth full creamy mouthfeel with a hint of boozy heat - wonderfully bittersweet. Wish more had followed me home.

Jan 28, 2022
4 by -Andrew- from Michigan on Nov 09, 2021
3.96 by QuintusHorace from California on Oct 31, 2021
Photo of crm871
4.23/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
by crm871 from Utah

Look: Poured from 12 oz bottle into a snifter. Midnight black with a creamy burnt amber head. Wonderful looking beer.

Smell: Roasted coffee beans, malts, caramel, dark chocolate.

Taste: Chocolate, cacao, malts, coffee. Also getting some dried fruits - possibly cranberry or cherry.

Feel: Creamy thick mouthfeel, this thing just rips as it goes down. Has a dark feel to it (literally and figuratively), great for sipping with a book. Gets better as it warms.

Overall: One of the best Russian Imperial Stouts you can find pretty widely available, highly recommend. If dark evil beers are your thing, pick this up.

Aug 13, 2021
4.12 by Eltrandos from France on May 09, 2021
Photo of jimmah120
4.16/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by jimmah120 from Minnesota

12oz bottle. This thing has been aged in the mini-fridge for 5+ years (!) and now is the time to crack this sucker (review from notes)

5 years and it still has a decent amount of carbonation and a nice little ring of foam. It was meant to age, this is telling me. Smells like coffee, alcohol, chocolate, and hops. Prominent alcohol flavor, even at chilled temps and with the age on it. This was a bad boy back in the day, I bet. Tons of cocoa powder and a honey malt backing that compliments and stands up to the choco malt and alcohol flavors that come close to dominating

This is impressive, to be this awesome after 5 years. In my mind this was developed specifically to age, and I wouldn't be surprised if that wasn't literally true

May 06, 2021
4 by Burg from New Hampshire on May 05, 2021
4.37 by TheRougeBastard from North Carolina on Mar 27, 2021
Photo of Sigmund
4.4/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by Sigmund from Norway

355 ml bottle, from the Norwegian importer. ABV is 10.5%, 90 IBU. Pitch black colour, impressive brown head. Roasty aroma, roast malts, strong coffee, dark chocolate, liquorice, tar, wood and a hint of smoke. Rich mouthfeel. Medium sweet and rich flavour, roast malts, liquorice and strong coffee galore, bitter hops in the finish. High "Wow!" factor.

Mar 18, 2021
4 by heerboth from Pennsylvania on Mar 18, 2021
Photo of backblast
4.68/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
by backblast from Alaska

11-2019 vintage

Let it warm to at least 55F to really enjoy and it cellared nicely - 1yr 4mos (going to revisit at 2 yrs). Very viscous, creamy mouthfeel was what I noticed first, then a rush of roasted dark malts, dark chocolate and coffee took over. A mild bitterness is mixed in and keeps it from being too sweet. Wonderful finish and aftertaste that holds on. This one handles cellaring very nicely.

Mar 11, 2021
4.25 by KingforaDay from New Jersey on Feb 16, 2021
4.02 by TwilightBeerCareer from Illinois on Feb 15, 2021
4.25 by mrmsmith from District of Columbia on Feb 10, 2021
Photo of WunderLlama
4.48/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
by WunderLlama from Massachusetts

Bottle received from @whyteboar in Bif12.5

Poured into a snifter , pitch black 10w40 motor oil that has been ridden hard and put away wet. Capped by a dense creamy one finger brown foamy layer, good retention, good lacings, settles to a ring with islands

Aroma of roast malts, roasted coffee, dark chocolate

Roasted malts, char

Good sudsing, Very smooth, slight acrid char finish on the back of the tongue

Good stout, thanks @whyteboar

Feb 07, 2021
4.2 by Vaulmas from Spain on Jan 30, 2021
4.24 by GaryM6 from New York on Jan 28, 2021
Photo of JohnFred4
4.19/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25
by JohnFred4 from New York

Look: black

Smell: boozy plums, grapes

Taste: dark and sweet

Feel: syrup. Where it shines.

Overall: I remember this being way too hot but I now actually prefer it to the breakfast stout

Jan 08, 2021
Photo of NCSapiens
4.18/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25
by NCSapiens from Indiana

Classic and iconic Russian Imperial Stout. Pours black with a thin mocha head. The aroma is malt and booze. The taste is dominated by a powerful roasted maltiness with undertones of dark fruit and hops, and a hint of chocolate. Quite aggressive and dry. Savory and not sweet. A bit too much booziness and alcohol warming. Full mouthfeel.

One drawback is the price. If it were less expensive and more widely available I would have it all the time.

Nov 29, 2020
Photo of Whyteboar
4.53/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
by Whyteboar from Michigan

One of the benchmark RIS that I can reliably calibrate my palate with or just enjoy on its own merit.
Consistently good and balanced with the malts dominating and the hops support the depth of flavor. Really good stuff!

Nov 15, 2020
Photo of Roy_Hobbs
4.14/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by Roy_Hobbs from Connecticut

Bottled 11/6/19 and poured into a tulip. Very dark with a faint redish hue around the edges as it poured. One finger of tan colored head that left behind some nice lacing. Aroma didn't waft out of the glass, but once I get close to get a whiff, it's a really nice maltly smell with distinct chocolate notes. Taste is roasty malts, chocolate and coffee. Medium bodied, and actually a hair thinner than I was expecting based on the ABV. Good beer.

Nov 14, 2020
Photo of bret27
4.3/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by bret27 from California

Bottle from cask n flask San Jose.
~1yr old.
L: black with mocha head.
S: molasses, licorice, caramel, roasty.
T: roasted malt dominates, notes of chocolate, coffee, licorice, caramel. Burnt bitter finish.
F: perfect to style.
Overall: unsurprisingly a great stout from Founders.

Nov 07, 2020
Photo of BubbleBobble
4.47/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
by BubbleBobble from New York

Pours jet black with a one-inch ruddy brown head, nice lacing left throughout. At first, nose is brownie batter, freshly ground coffee, cinnamon. Taste begins up front rather bitter - dark chocolate, cocoa, chocolate covered coffee beans, with a strongly bitter, warming finish. As it warms, the alcohol gets more pronounced on the finish (obviously), but never becomes overwhelming. The bitterness recedes just a touch as well, with a bit more malty/chocolatey sweetness emerging. Mouthfeel is moderately thick, but there is noticeable carbonation. Really pleased to get a bottle (for whatever reason, I never see this around me).

Oct 05, 2020
Photo of WoodBrew
4.63/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75
by WoodBrew from Ohio

I got a bottle of this beer off the single shelf from a beer store in LaCrosse, WI. It poured an opaque dark with tan head that is leaving some lace. The scent had a mix of vanilla, molasses, cocoa and roast. The taste was nicely balanced and easy to sip with molasses, cocoa and hints of cinnamon flare. The mouthfeel was fuller in body with smooth carbonation. Overall it is an excellent beer.

Sep 27, 2020
4.53 by arzt from Russian Federation on Aug 12, 2020
4.71 by dankestcompsci from New York on Aug 03, 2020
4.27 by Insomniac from Canada (ON) on Aug 02, 2020
4.21 by Silke_Neryn from Sweden on Jul 21, 2020
5 by Ziosa from Missouri on Jul 06, 2020
4.32 by TheCakePounder from Pennsylvania on Jun 29, 2020
Photo of Peach63
4.61/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75
by Peach63 from New York

Pours black with a 2 inch thick, foamy head. Heavy lacing to the end.

Aroma of chocolate, molasses, coffee.

Taste is coffee, molasses, cocoa, oak. A bit astringent.

Full bodied, thick and syrupy. Light carbonation. Dry finish.

Another winner from Founders.

Jun 27, 2020
4.5 by Danmullens1 from Wisconsin on Jun 21, 2020
Photo of Emichaelbray
4.37/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by Emichaelbray from Pennsylvania

Just a fantastic RIS I love to return to. Dark and malty, chocolate, coffee... it’s all there on the nose and on the tongue. The 75 IBU rating must be a mistake. So smooth but not too sweet.
World class indeed.

Jun 20, 2020
4.11 by zachary_snackery from Massachusetts on May 29, 2020
4.16 by stephenlee93 from England on May 24, 2020
4.81 by SAUbrewcrew from Michigan on May 19, 2020
Photo of just1cho
4.79/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75
by just1cho from California

*Poured into a Teku glass from a 12oz bottle*

*Bottled on: 11/05/19*

*Drank on: 05/15/20*

The look of this beer is a very dark brown to black. It had an attractive two finger thick dark brown head with great retention. It was very nice, decadent looking, and satisfying to look at. No complaints here!

The aroma immediately hit me when I removed the bottle cap. Rich and decadent, I found that when nosing the glass the aroma brought a nice balance between milk chocolate and roasted sweet malts. This eventually evolved into mellow notes of caramel with a hint of vanilla.

For the most part, the taste follows the nose. Upfront, I got a rich taste of milk chocolate which developed into the notes of roasted barley in the middle. There was also a coffee-like bitterness in the end coupled with a a char taste. Even with 75 IBUs, I found that this beer found a harmonious balance between sweet and bitterness.

The feel of this beer was also phenomenal! It was full bodied, smooth, silky and velvety making this feel like I was drinking liquid chocolate. There was a long lingering bitter aftertaste to it, but I generally didn't mind too much. The alcohol in this was hidden very well making this really dangerously drinkable for its ABV.

Yeah, I really enjoyed this beer. Balanced, rich and smooth, I really didn't find a whole lot of things in this beer that would stop me from drinking this every week. It was sweet without being too cloyingly so, bitter without feeling like I was coating my mouth with cigarette ashes, and rich without feeling too heavy.

May 19, 2020
Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 97 out of 100 with 8062 ratings