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

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Reviews: 1,890 | Ratings: 7,837
Photo of mikereaser
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a complete pitch black with just a fine layer of brown foam that slow disappeared

S - Deep roasted malts with hints of chocolate and coffee

T - Very strong roasted malt flavor and coffee up front with a nice bitter chocolate finish

M/D - amazingly smooth and full of flavor. This is a nice sipper that is just a treat to consume

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Photo of CampusCrew
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance: deep dark black, nearly ebony, loaded head and creamy garnet reddish froth. it was almost metallic swirling around in the glass.

smell: loaded coffee, and heavy chocolate aromas

taste: rich and slight chocolate roasted flavors but had a smooth rich taste, Dry, not sweet at all. loads of coffee flavor. compared to Ten Fidy I say it's right behind, not far.

mouthfeel: thick, creamy, good carbonation and very tasty

drinkability: Founders always right on. great example of a RIS

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Photo of rye726
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black oil with just a shade of brown around the edges. Thin mocha head with nice lacing.

Nose has chocolate, roasted malts, herbal hops, coffee, dark fruits, molasses and a hint of booze.

Taste has lots of dark malts but also a good amount of bitter hops, espresso, molasses, cocoa and ripe pitted fruits.

Full, creamy body is well carbonated. Another fantastic stout from Founders.

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Photo of GabrielM
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter.

A - about as good as it gets with an imperial stout! Pitch black with a nice dark brown head on top.

S - coffee, vanilla, bittersweet chocolate, roasted malts, oak.

T - all of the nose but surprisingly balanced. No one flavor is dominant. It has that Founders stout taste, meaning I can definitely detect hints of the KBS and BS (or maybe it's the other way around) and I love it.

M - extremely smooth and a nice array of flavors on the palate.

D - the only thing that would stop me from drinking this one is the 10.5% ABV, which is basically undetectable, so I guess I'd eventually just pass out.

I really, really wish Founders were available here.

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Photo of AdamBear
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-very dark brown with a thing tan head

S-smells like a dark chocolate bar. almost like if you filled the glass with hershey's dark chocolate syrup. has a decent strength

T-oh wow its like taking a shot of pure ground coffee...yes the solid form. it just sticks to your tongue as if it were a powder. it has quite a good matching after-taste. this is a really impressive russian imperial stout. i didn't expect it to be so smooth. there's also a large lack of alcohol note which i find impressive for this one.

M-very thick and full. medium carbonation with a chalky finish

D-well, its not the easiest drinking stout. it definitely took me awhile to finish but it was enjoyable all the way through. this is highly impressive for this style.

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Photo of GallowsThief
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received in one of many trades from my main man ChugginOil (thanks much as always).

Poured out of a 12 oz. bottle into my tulip.

A – Pitch black. No light seeping through this one. Small tan head produced but dissipates pretty quickly.

S – Big powerful smell with mocha, dark fruits, dark chocolate, vanilla and coffee. You can smell the alcohol.

T - Much like the smell this one has a nice mocha taste to start. Roasty malts follow through. Coffee and dark fruits come next. Has just a bit of a sweet taste. The alcohol really warms at the end giving you that nice burn all the way down. Just a ting bit of bitterness as well.This ones gets better and better as it warms up.

M – Relatively light carbonation with a medium to big body. Leaves a nice sweet taste behind. Creamy.

O – This is a really nice stout. Very glad to get to try it. You can sip on this all night long. The ABV while apparent is not overpowering. Great brew.

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Photo of gr0g
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A viscous pour yielding a jet black brew with about one and a half fingers of head. The rich, khaki-colored head fades to a glass-clinging ring with some spotty lacing. Aroma features a good amount of "char" - roast malt astringent notes. Plenty of rich, dark chocolate and just a bit of espresso. Some grassy hop aroma is there but well hidden under the immense malt character. Detracting just a bit is a weak but noticeable solvent note.

Most apparent on the palate is a near perfect balance between sweet and bitter. Founders has found a very happy middle ground between sugar bomb and hoppy stout. Tons of chocolate and roasted malt yield notes of cocoa and bittersweet chocolate. Balancing hop bitterness on the finish. Alcohol is very stealthy, hiding in the shadows without any boozy flavor notes. Mouthfeel fits the bill perfectly for an imperial stout: chewy, a but syrupy, well carbonated but not prickly. Carbonation has good longevity, so you can sip leisurely without it winding up flat.

Being available in 4-packs, and at a very reasonable price to boot (only $12 for me), this is an outstanding imperial that's also a great value. For now, Founders Imperial Stout has jumped to the top of my non-barrel-aged stout list.

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Photo of francisweizen
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-Tap at the brewpub in Grand Rapids. Dark opaque bloody black with a big head of moch foam that lasts with superb lacing. Aromas of everything. Deep dark bakers chocolate comes to mind, than cocoa powder. Perhaps some vanilla, caramel, roasted malts, and green leafy hops as well. Taste is hoppy even at the start but roasted and powerful as well. Not very alcoholic, though, which is a plus in my eyes. Chocolate and coffee round out the middle and the finish is raw, green, leafy hops with an almost medicinal quality to it. Mouthfeel is thick, but not cloying or overly sweet or bitter, drinkability remains high, especially for a 12%impy. They serve this and the breakfast stout too cold at the brewpub though. This one really needs to warm up before all of it's complex flavor notes become apparant...

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Photo of siege06nd
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage poured into a British pint...

A: Pitch black with a finger of rich brown head. Excellent lacing and legs.

S: Chocolate, vanilla, mocha, brownie batter. Quite a decadent but mellow nose on this. Big rich chocolate notes, maybe even some molasses, and faint traces of coffee.

T: Chocolate, vanilla bean, faint coffee, some leather, very subtle traces of brown sugar and molasses. Very sweet and cloying...delicious.

M: Full bodied and light carbonation. A kiss of alcohol heat on the finish, but this is drinking like chocolate milk with a year on it. Flavor balance is excellent.

O: One of the best Imperial Stouts I have had. You probably assume this drinks like non-barreled KBS, but this is a unique beer in its own right. Rich, decadent fudge notes blend perfectly with vanilla and bready malt to create a truly special impy stout. Another proven winner from one of the best breweries in the country.

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Photo of drxandy
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tried this on tap april 30th '08, poured into a nonic pint

apperance was dark and thick, standard imperial stout

smell of chocolate, dark malts, hot alchohol

tasting was a bit thinner than i expected, i was surprised that i could feel the kentucky breakfast influence, maybe it's a founders stout thing, but definitely not a bad thing.

hops were certainly more present than the KBS and quite nicely added for the style.

wish this was bottled this year, i tried to get a growler but they weren't pouring it in them :(

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Photo of dukedevil0
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a 4-pack from Sam's Lincoln Park in Chicago, IL.

A: Pours a syrupy, dark black with very little, if any, dark khaki/copper head.

S: Smells like a roast coffee bomb, scents of chocolate...and i actually pick up some hop earthiness too

T: roast, coffee, lots of bitterness, slight dark chocolate...a little alcohol in the finish

M: Very creamy and thick with not a lot of carbonation

D: very drinkable for what it is...however, the roast coffee can be little overpowering

the more i've drank of this, the more impressed I am with it

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Photo of EMV
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from bottle, poured into a tulip glass.

L: Pours an inky black, thick with very minimal/bubbly tan head. No significant lacing.

S: Whoa... big time aroma on this one, roasted malts, dark chocolates, and toffee. Hints of espresso.

T/F: It tastes like it smells, big time roasted malts, very smooth with minimal carbonation. A bit chewy with a dark chocolate sweetness at the finish which is well balanced by the roasted malts.

O: A very fine Imperial Stout, and yet another great Founders beer. At 10.5% this one packs too big a punch for a session drink, but is perfect for dessert or a special treat. Best at cellar temperature. May be even better with a little age!

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Photo of JWD
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to jcb890 for 4 of these badboys,

A- This looks great, Black with a dark brown head, look like an Abyss!!

S- Very heavy chocolate, coffee, and even some sweetness coming through. Once again very similar to the Abyss here IMO.

T- Great, tons of flavors and tons of it. I will say for the 3rd time this is very close to a muted version of the Abyss, This is a great beer!!

M- Great, on par with all but the best RIS out there. thick but not syrupy or chewy, medium carb.

D- Great, You can drink cold or warm and i would advise you to take you time and taste the changes as it warms.

Another great offering from founders, I would say this is the best value in the RIS catagory right there with Old rasputin. I liked this better though.

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Photo of CaptCleveland
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle from 4-pack, dated 12/22/2011, poured into snifter.

Black, opaque liquid, 1/2 inch tan foam, copious tan lacing coats the sides.

Aromas of chocolate, coffee, caramel and roasted malts.

An initial hop bitterness then a wonderful blend of chocolate and coffee flavors, with the malt bill nicely balanced by the hops. Alcohol well hidden.

Initial carbonation gives way to a smooth, silky texture.

Another outstanding offering from Founders.

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Photo of Hopfenpeter
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured a dark, almost black and produced a reddish brown creamy head, which leaves nice lacing after dissipating.
The smell is chocolate, coffee and plum.
Tasting the beer, chocolate ad coffee notes are certainly dominant up front. than the roasted malt flavors give the beer a smokey feel in the middle. In the end some hop character is noticable.
The almost syrup like beer is extremely drinkable. What a great brew this is. The ABV of 10.5 is well hidden. Certainly one of my favorite Stouts.

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Photo of Lingenbrau
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another knock out from Founders. Just what you would expect from an Imperial stout. Rich, dense, chocolate, roasted, sweet and bitter...and delicious. Cheers!

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Photo of Sephiroth
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours innocently enough, average head, some momentary lacing. As thick and black as any imperial stout. As it warms, the aroma really shows well. Chocolate, coffee, and roasty burnt malt are all there.

Taste is awesome, chocolate, both milk and the dark kind, coffee, roasted, then burnt malt, and a dry, bitter finish. Mouthfeel is thick and viscous, low carbonation. Insanely drinkable right now, it will be a struggle to cellar this.

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Photo of EEscobar
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: pure black goodness with a dark tan head
Smell: roasted coffee, malts, molasses
Feel: thick and creamy
Taste: bitter roasted coffee, dark chocolate,
Overall: Great stout with a distinctive flavor of its own. Not overwhelming with sweetness.

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Photo of hardy008
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark black color with a one finger tan foamy head. Smells of chocolate, coffee, and molasses. The taste is just like the smell. Chocolate, coffee ,and molasses.

This is a chewy stout, full bodied, and perfectly carbonated. Silky and smooth. A pleasure to drink. If I had to make one criticism, it would be that this beer should be available year round.

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Photo of ribby
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured into a standard pint glass with a modest dark brown head. The beer is impenetrably black. Hard to ask for a better lokoing stout.

The beer has an intense aroma of roasted malt. The IBUs on this are not what you think, the role of the hops in this brew is to balance the incredibly intense malt, both in aroma and flavor. After the malt, the alcohol is noticeable on the palate.

Overall, amazing intensity, and an incredible demonstration of the brewer's skill of showing off the intense malt with perfect balance, just enough hops to balance the sweetness of the malt. (And with all that roasted malt, not a hint of any burnt malt harshness.)

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Photo of Gwalchgwynn67
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass. This is black, very black. Like staring into an abyss ... only darker. Head, what little there is, is classic stout - cafe au lait brown. It's like espresso froth. Smell is mocha, nibs of dark chocolate with hints of coffee and orange. Taste is sweet toasty malt, balanced by dark cacao bitterness. Thick and chewy, creamy and yet with dark cocoa chalkiness.

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Photo of FanofHefe
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap in a pint glass. Deep dark, black body with a small dark tan head. The head dissipates quickly but leaves nice rings of lace all down the top half of the glass.

Aroma - nearly perfect. Rich chocolate up front, followed by dark fruit, roasted malt and a just a touch of tart hops at the back end. Every other whiff I get a hint of alcohol, but not much.

The taste is amazing. The chocolate, toffee and roasted malt flavors blend effortlessly and are not harsh in any way. I detect nearly no alcohol.

This is the best non-barrel aged stout I've ever had. Delicious.

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Photo of tsauce2
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

P: 12 fl oz bottle in to a New Belgium snifter.

A: SRM is black/dark brown. Opaque. Head is dark chocolate, 1 in, velvety, dissipates to cover the top of the beer. Medium/light carbonation. Heavy lacing.

S: Huge dark roast malt, chocolate, and alcohol. Light hop additions.

T: Big dark roast malt, followed immediately by bittered chocolate malt, then alcohol and light hops on the end. Aftertaste is bittered malt and a light chocolatey sweetness.

M: Full body. Viscous. Malt lays heavy on the palate, but bittered chocolate and alcohol help to cut this. Finished wet down the middle of the palate, but very dry on the edges of the palate.

O: One of the best RIS's out there. This beer is so good fresh, but gets better with age. Great balance, complexity, and flavor. Alcohol is noticable, but nowhere close to being overpowering and is cut nicely by the bittered chocolate, which is in turn cut nicely by the light sweetness. Will buy as much as possible given this is a once a year thing.

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Photo of elephantrider
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Thick and oily pour. Faint head that disappears pretty quick.

S: Molasses, dark fruit and chocolate and roasted malts.

T: Can definitely tell this is a high abv beer. A hint of coffee in the flavor but the chocolate prevails over that and the dark fruit flavor. Little hop bite in the end.

M: Not as heavy as it looks and there is some alcohol warmth that I enojoy.

O: I like this stout alot and if I could do two reviews of one beer I would do a aged one these also.

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Photo of JamFuel
4.51/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours jet black, with a thick head that looks like an awesome chocolate mousse. Truly a beautiful beer!

Smell is huge with roasted coffee and a bit of caramel and chocolate.

Taste is really rich and deep. Loads of coffee, some dark chocolate and a hint of sweetness. Nice, soft bitterness and even more coffee on the finish. As complex as any Impy I've had.

Mouthfeel is smooth, soft and thick. I would have liked a little more heft, but damn good.

Great, great Imperial stout. Layer upon layer upon layer of flavors, and one of the best looking beers I've seen.

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Founders Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company
4.34 out of 5 based on 7,837 ratings.
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