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Founders Imperial Stout | Founders Brewing Company

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Founders Imperial StoutFounders Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
75 IBU

Added by mjohn27603 on 01-13-2003

For Trade:
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Reviews: 1,843 | Ratings: 7,681
Photo of da_beers
4.45/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Got this for my wife for mother's day (her favorite beers are Stouts and Porters) and I had to get one for myself.

A - Poured a gorgeous dark black with a beautiful tan head of about a finger. Poured thick like a syrup almost (exaggerated), was beautiful in the snifter.

S - Smelled of molasses, dark chocolate, and a nice smokey/roasted malt.

T - Exceptional. Warmed the body on its way down. Had obvious chocolate and malt flavors through and through, as well as that molasses again. Was pleasantly surprised at the hop bitterness with this stout coming it at 90 IBUs.

M - Was definitely full bodied and a meal. Every glass has a sandwich in it! Very full flavored and buttery, coating the palate with its components.

O - Overall a great stout, Founders nailed this one. One of my top stouts for sure.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
4.45/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Body is total blackness. No ruby highlights here, a total black hole. Topped by a thumb width of very dark tan foam, which soon resembles a table top with a slightly raised collar.

Threatening nose, full of dark fruits soaking in booze. Wisps of coffee and chocolate breeze along the edges.

Taste is a wonderous surprise. While the dark fruits still abound, the alcohol soak they lounge in is far off. It's more a sweet mocha blend that the dark fruits - plums and raisins and maybe a little prune - are swimming in, with a shot of booze mixed in. Nice mild hop bite at the finish, which lingers and mingles with a late warming glow.

Mouthfeel is fairly light for an imperial, not too light, but not the motor oil feel of many. In turn, the drinkability is increased, and it would be high anyway.

A mighty fine nightcapper. A mighty fine dessert beer. A mighty fine beer. Glad I found this in a trade box.

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Photo of blackenmn
4.45/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter:

Appearance and Smell:Poured a nice opaque black similar to ten fidy. Left a nice thick, extremely dark brown creamy head which left nice layers of lacing down the glass. Smelled of very rich chocolate. Quite a bit of roastiness present, with a bit of caramel malt which compliments its nicely and helps hide the mild warmth on the nose from this one.

Taste and Mouthfeel:I really enjoy the flavor of this brew. Quite a bit of milky chocolate and molasses. Very rich decadant brew with some feint bitterness on the tail which really makes this brew. Pretty medium to heavy bodied brew which was slick and creamy on the tongue. Just enough bitterness to keep any of the sweetness from being too much. The last few sips of this were nothing far from delicious.

Drinkability:Very drinkable considering the style, and ABV of this brew. The very mild warmth and creamy body make this thing just slide down. Enough complexity to keep me sipping. I highly recommend trying this one.

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Photo of sculls65
4.46/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a lovely thick black with a rust colored head that fades yet coats the tip of my tulip glass. Roasty malts, chocolate, molasses, maybe some vanilla and alcohol hit the nose. Tastes as rich as it smells, gives some warmth without being boozy. Mouthfeel is so wonderful its like breastfeeding. Wish it was more available like I do all Founders stouts.

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Photo of KingEdward
4.46/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wow! This beer pours black as night. There was a mocha colored 2 finger head with an aggressive pour that lasted quite a while. A thin layer of head lasted for the entire time i spent drinking this, which was about 45 minutes. There was also alot of lacing that stayed the entire time. The smell is super malty and roasted with notes of bitter chocolate and molasses. The taste is very malty, roasted, and sweet on the front end. On the back end it is hoppy with notes of bitter chocolate. HUGE rich roasted flavors. The beer is full bodied and thick. The mouthfeel is silky and creamy with perfect carbonation for this style. You would never know this was 10.5 percent abv if it din't say so on the bottle. The alcohol did come out a little more as it warmed up. This is a excellent beer;)

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Photo of SaulFox
4.46/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep black with dark mocha head. Elegant lacing.
Dark chocolate, roasty malt, very light espresso.
Roasted espresso bitterness, rich chocolate.
Rich heavy mouthfeel.
Very nice winter brew....glad us Californians are included in Founder's distribution.

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Photo of output01x
4.46/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle (Bottled On 02/09/11) into a pint glass.

A vigorous pour yields a slow rising 1/2-finger mocha-colored head that quickly recedes within a minute to a thin dusting and light foam ring. The body is pure black with no traces of color when held to light. No lacing is seen during consumption.

A delicious mix of dark malts, milk chocolate, and roasted coffee beans entices and excites the nostrils. Decadent and alluring, the smell alone is more than enough to make you want to drink this beer.

Dark roasted malt flavors combine with notes of milk and dark chocolate and burnt coffee beans. A nice alcohol warmth creeps in after each sip. The flavors are bold and pronounced, with perhaps just a tad too much sweetness.

Full bodied with decent carbonation, this beer is thick, coats your mouth well, and leaves a nearly syrupy stickiness. The thick mouthfeel helps to remind you how intense this beer is. However, I would have preferred a little more carbonation to increase the drinkability.

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Photo of Flopjack
4.46/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into tulip

Appearance - Black with a half finger mocha colored head.

Smell - Dark roast coffee, subtle sweet chocolate, biscuit, slight alcohol.

Taste - Dark rich roasty flavors. Dark malts give a variety of flavors such as coffee, dark chocolate, sweet milk chocolate, bread, and biscuit. The end flavor and after taste are slightly smoky, and medium alcohol.

Mouthfeel - Full bodied, mellow carbonation.

Overall - Good beer. This beer moves across a nice combination of characteristics both in the smell and taste. As it warms it also brings out more chocolate notes, slightly more alcohol, and also a bit more smokiness especially in the smell.

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.46/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Finally getting to try this. Bottled 12/29/11.
Appearance: oh so black and perfect. Messy and decadent mocha topping.
Smell: lots happening. Subdued Ris Burnt malt, hints of chocolate, a mellow balance to it all.
Taste: very balanced, mellow, creamy adult milkshake. Mostly dry, chocolate, with a slight bitterness in the finish.
Mouthfeel: tick, creamy goodness.
Overall: a different beast from the fabled coffee stouts, and stands as a great beer. Wondering what some age will do to this bad boy.

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Photo of zshaft
4.46/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

this stuff is black as black can be. nice one finger head that dissipates rather quickly. smells like some chocholate and licorace with some burnt malt notes. mouthfeel is nice and silky with medium body. taste is up front burnt charcoal with nice roasty flavors giving way to a surprising hop bitterness at the end with alcohol noted and very end palate dark malt and chocolate subtilities. this beer is a great russian stout and delivers in spades. I get some nice fruity end palate that makes this beer so great and I get some every year. a must buy for any beer lover. fOunders rules!

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Photo of do_ob
4.46/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle into a snifter. Pitch black appearance with a 1/2 finger head of dense, brown foam. Smells beautiful; chocolate, syrup, roasted malt, sugar, sasafrass, and smokey wood. Heavy weight, as expected of an imperial stout. Taste is pretty much on par with the smell; chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, sugar, and smokey wood. Oily mouthfeel with lingering hops and alcohol on the aftertaste.

This beer honestly reminds me a lot of FBS, only with a sharper alcohol bite & bitterness on the back end. It's just as good, in my opinion. This one reminded me why imperial stouts are my favorite beers.

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Photo of number1bum
4.46/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an absolute pitch black, very thick looking, with a good three inches of dark tan head. The head is dense and creamy and seems to last forever, coating the glass beautifully. This is perfection in a glass.

Smell is very rich with aromas of fudge and dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malt and even some fruit, both a bit of dark fruit and a hint of citrus.

Taste is also very roasty and rich, with coffee and fudgy, dark chocolate flavors as well. There are layers of flavor in this thing, with the aforementioned components bursting onto the tongue with each sip. There is an fruity flavor but not as much as the smell; this baby is all about the roasty, dark malty flavors. There is a pretty good amount of hop bitterness in the finish to go along with the roasted malt and some espresso bean as well.

Mouthfeel is a viciously thick, chewy full body. Very creamy, and yet for its heft also so smooth. Where's the alcohol in this one? Does not reveal it's strength with any alcohol burn.

Wow, this is a great imperial stout plain and simple. I can't believe I haven't bothered to check this one out sooner. Shame on me. I won't make the mistake a second time.

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Photo of IronLover
4.46/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Oily black in color with a thick viscous appearance. Poured with a thick, short espresso-like foam that quickly reduced to creamy, wispy cap. Rich dark chocolate and earthy, grainy, roasted malt aromas with a touch of dark fruit, wet tobacco, bitter coffee and boozy overtones. Full bodied with slick, oily feel up front and tangy hop bite toward the end. Dark chocolate and roasted malt flavors up front followed by slowly emerging pine and citrus hop bitterness through the middle. A brief note of sweet dark fruit and bittersweet chocolate followed once again  by intensifying hop bitterness. Finished with a lingering charred malt and pine hop bitterness. Incredible complexity in aroma and taste.

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Photo of OlieIPA
4.46/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A very gracious offering from Mauerhan...and here we go.

A: Looks black and viscous...perfect for an Imperial Stout. On the other hand, the lacing and head profile was not just lacking...but basically missing.

S: A strong mixture of coffee, dark chocolate, brown sugar, molasses, and slight fig quality...beautiful!

T: The coffee and chocolate definitely comes through to dominate the flavor profile, but the sugary and fruity qualities put a nice touch on it as well.

M: Perfect! Coats the mouth great...slightly creamy, with the right amount of carbonation to bring out the flavors.

D: Great...didn't think it was going to be this good; very easy stout to drink.

Overall: Another must try! Cheers!

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Photo of VikingBeer
4.46/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Nice, black color, with an attractive brown head that lasts not nearly as long as I would expect. Decent lacing retention, though. Smell is dominated by as slightly spicy, roasted-malt aroma, with notes of chocolate, coffee, and hints of molasses and hoppy spiciness. Flavors are roasty and fairly dry: bittersweet chocolate, African dark-roast coffee, black-strap molasses, and hints of bourbon, berries, plums, raisins, carob, and even more chocolate and coffee on the fairly dry finish. Nice balance of carbonation level and rich, full body. Excellent, and a great value; please keep it up, Founders!

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Photo of ZAP
4.46/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

My bottle reads 10%..did they tone this down?

Great I-Stout here...looks the part...pitch black with a redish tan lace...Poured out thick...chugged out I guess....nose has some heat on it...the ABV is noticable on the aroma...smells boozy..rum like...dark fruits...

Very creamy and smooth mouthfeel...body is full

Taste is big on the cocoa...some brownie like chocolate notes...also rich dark fruits....molasses...rum...some faint smokey notes...finishes with a splash of alcohol...

A true sipper...this is a big tasting Imperial stout...reminds me of another Michigan brewed stout (Expedition)....would rate in my top 5-to-10 Imperial Stouts if not higher....possibly top 3-to-5. I like this style BIG and this fits the bill....very rich and full flavored....would pair great with a big maduro Churchill

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Photo of Tonerelia
4.46/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark with appearance of motor oil, very very thin line of chocolate colored head

S: immediately chocolate, as it warms up though more smells permeate, I get a bit of licorice, small hit of coffee,

T: licorice with a decent kick of alcohol behind it. The hop character is very prevalent especially after swallowing along with a strong hint of maltyness which helps bring this beer to a well rounded finish.

M: Has a decent consistency a bit thicker and creamier than say and IPA but definitely not as thick as some other RIS.

O: Thank The Lord I bought a four pack of this because I would love to taste this beer over different periods of aging. Magnificent character and a much have for any RIS enthusiast.

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Photo of rodlavers
4.46/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Founders snifter. Beautiful dark/mocha head, about a finger deep, some retention/lacing. Head recedes relatively quickly, leaving a very thin ring inside the glass. Completely black in color, looks like an absolutely delicious Imperial Stout. Roasty, malty aromas blend really nicely with coffee and chocolate notes. There is a small hint of heat, too, which at 10.5% is not all that surprising. Hints of molasses as well. Taste is really similar, and improves as beer warms in the glass. Alcohol "taste" is less present here, with roasted malt and coffee coming through most, with black strap molasses. Mouthfeel is great: super smooth and drinkable, slight carbonation and bitterness on the end. Overall this is an amazing beer, not sure whether it's better fresh or what, but this one is about a year old and is drinking really really well right now. It's my last one, so hopefully I can replenish with a case when it's brewed again (hoping January?). Founders Imperial Stout is really balanced. It's a must-try. Cheers.

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Photo of MbpBugeye
4.46/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Finally got my hands on a bottle of this. I've been wanting to try it for about 2 years now. Its always been tough to find in Columbus.

Bottled on 02/09/11

The head is super nice. Its a very dark tan with rusty shades of red thrown in. Very large and has an extreme penchant for lacing. The glass is completely coated in dark foam. The beer looks black as black can be. When the beer is swirled it moves slowly, like crude oil.

The aroma is this beer's weakest part. Its just nothing special. Lots of charred and roasted grains, some coffee and dark cocoa. A little bit of dark fruit helps to sweeten things up.

This is a very well crafted beer. We need more straight forward RISs that are this good. Things start off smooth and creamy with a nice dark chocolate and coffee bean combination. Dark fruits come in towards the middle as licorice rope is ushered in. A little bit of vanilla is seen. The finish holds charred malts and dark fruits, with some faint acidity and a nice, even alcohol flavor of rum soaked fruits.

Woah, this stuff is great as it rolls around the mouth. Low carbonation with a super full body. Some light alcohol warmth is felt in the chest and tip of the tongue. The beer is a little sticky, leaving residual charcoal flavors behind on the teeth.

This drinks very smoothly. Each sip leaves you wanting another. A very well crafted RIS. No frills, no gourmet chocolate, no espresso beans, no barrels, no weasel shit, just good brewing.

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Photo of SolipsismalCat
4.46/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a glass mug.

A: Dark black with three-finger, dark tan, creamy head that continued to grow after I poured it and lasted a long time. Fantastic lacing.

S: Roasted malt, chocolate, coffee. Somewhat mild.

T: Moderate sweetness and moderate bitterness. Roasted chocolate and a bit of coffee flavor.

M: Full bodied with with soft carbonation. Chewy and smooth and slightly warm.

O: This Russian Imperial was wonderful. One of my new favorites. Looks amazing and is so rich and chocolatey. Wow.

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Photo of DIM
4.46/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

a: This beer pours thick and black. I poured as violently as I could, and all I got was a thin brown head that faded quickly.

s: I think this is the best smelling RIS I've ever had. Most obvious are the sherry, cherry and chocoalte notes. I've never smelled cherries so strongly in an RIS before. It reminds me a bit of a barleywine. Also present are some faint bitterness and some warming alcohol.

t: The sherry/cherry flavors dominate here as well, blanketed by some very dark chocolate. There is a bit of a bitter edge to the chocolate that tastes of cocoa. Alcohol is present as well and very welcome.

m: The body was surprisingly thin and I wouldn't have minded a bit more carbonation.

d: Thanks to hoppymeal for the chance to try this one. I'm seriously considering moving to Michigan, as Founders continues to impress.

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Photo of HamdenHector
4.46/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A; opaque; very dark brown - virtually black; 3 finger dark brown head that receded slowly to a thick cap; very nice lacing;

S: bittersweet chocolate and pine up front, then roasted grain and pine for a moment, then a bit of coffee;

T: pine and roasted grains up front; becomes pine and coffee by the middle; finish is predominantly black coffee with moderate bitterness;

M: full bodied; moderate carbonation; lightly dry finish;

O: complex aromas and flavors; great looking and tasting beer;

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Photo of jbdpsu82
4.46/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a thick syrupy black with a dark brown head, thick, that fizzles out quickly. Malty aroma with a hint of coffee and chocolate. Taste is smooth and not boozy at all. Nice hint if coffee and malts. Smooth mouthfeel. One of the best imperial stouts. Delicious!

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Photo of bobsy
4.46/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Coles in Buffalo. This has the classical imperial stout appearance, with its midnight black body and creamy mocha head. Great lacing and retention. F*ck nitro, this is how you get a beer to look good without screwing with everything else. Nice rich nose - lots of chocolate and some mild coffee notes. Reminds me of a maltier chocolate milk, but with more depth.

Pretty awesome flavour is simple, but well-executed. Huge chocolate throughout, some dark fruit, coffee and vanilla. Drinks like a regular stout, but with the amped up flavours of an imperial. Rich creamy body adds an extra layer of luxury. Not as roasty or bitter as some, but luxurious and as chocolaty as anything I've come across.

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Photo of ryanmextorf
4.46/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

LET THIS THING AGE! It is leaps and bounds better after about a year or two of cellaring. The intense dark fruit notes fade a little bit and it turns into a delicious, chocolatey, fudgey brownie.

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Founders Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company
4.34 out of 5 based on 7,681 ratings.
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