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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:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,843 | Ratings: 7,681
Photo of Trevor11
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Founders makes some amazing stouts and this one is definitely among some of their best work. Nice and black body with caramel colored head, smells of chocolate and coffee. However, it tastes mostly of chocolate for me. Overall, a delicious, rich stout that is a solid choice when available.

 290 characters

Photo of ForceForGood
4.31/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. Bottled 12/15/15

Look: Pours a thick, dark black. Head is caramel mocha, average retention.

Smell: Cocoa, roasted malts, and coffee.

Taste: Immediately noticing cacao type flavors, followed by a moderately sweet smokiness. Somewhat bitter in the finish, with the smoky flavor lingering.

Feel: Chewy and sticky, but also smooth. Overall a really good stout!

 368 characters

Photo of Stevem68
4.17/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a motor oil black with a mocha head. Aroma is deep roasted charged malts with a dark fruit like sweetness. Flavor follows the nose with some bitterness on the back end. Almost like a cocao with some smokiness. Has a rich smooth body and overall a delicious stout.

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Photo of edthehead
4.29/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown with thick dark brown head that sticks around a long time for the style, and has a dense glue-like lacing effect down the entire glass. Coffee and molasses on the palate and nose, and super mouth feel.

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Photo of Hyptochrons
4.36/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

bottled 12/2014. appearance is black with a very thin head that recedes quickly. nose is pretty strong with aromas of dark malt, chocolate, cherry, raisin, licorice, molasses, leather, light spice. taste is chocolate and roasty malts up front, molasses, some dark fruits for sure, tobacco, and a slightly bitter roasty note reminiscent of espresso. mouthfeel is pretty solid - chewy. overall quite impressed with this one, and the two year old bottle has held up well.

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Photo of Vader444
5/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle pour into tulip.

My first full house! This is simply incredible stuff. Easily the most flavoursome luxurious tasting stout that I have ever encountered. Trying hard to find a reason to take off a mark or two as I don't really believe in perfection but this really does tick every box for me. A regular buy for sure.


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Photo of RickyS
4.48/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I think I never saw a thicker and creamier head, of pure chocolate brown, on top of a darker liquid. The smell is fantastic: chocolate, vanilla, hints of peat, espresso. Kind of a drying aroma. The taste diverges heavily toward tobacco and cocoa powder. A hint of licorice in the long finish. Very thick, oily and heavy but no alcohol around. One of the best imperial stout I have ever had.

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Photo of MusicBeer_1961
4.88/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

2015 vintage bottled 12/02/15.. Poured into a snifter...

Pours dark as night. Absolutely ZERO light or even reddish hue.. Completely dark as night. Smell is wonderful milk chocolate. It smells like a chocolate shake. The taste is phenomenal. Smooth with a medium to thick mouthfeel.. Taste is tremendous roasted, chocolately malts, a hint of dark fruit, and sweetened, charred French roast coffee..

This is a great brew..and if you enjoy Imperial Stouts, it's a must try...

 475 characters

Photo of crimsonfloyd
4.3/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Black with dark, tan head. Smells of bakers chocolate. Tastes of dark chocolate followed by tobacco and black licorice. Mouthfeel is thick and creamy.

 150 characters

Photo of BeerMan99
4.71/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Loved everything about this beer. Great appearance, great aroma. I actually prefer this to KBS although I am probably in the minority. Very easy drinking Imperial Stout.

 173 characters

Photo of Dentist666
4.66/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured into pint.
Thick as hell, pitch as profound darkness with deep brown head, chthonic retention.
Roasted and chocolate.
Thick and delicious.
Ultimate in its perfection.

 173 characters

Photo of johnnyd10vt
3.78/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

High grav American stout with dried fruit overtones. Perfectly black with a pretty dark brown head that is very thick. The smell and taste both feature that heavy dried fruit essence which, while I appreciate the complexity, isn't entirely my bag, baby

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Photo of Uscjojo
4.56/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This stout pours thick oily and black. I had a 2 finger head that eventually turned
into a dark brown ring. The smell is chocolate, coffee, a hint of dark fruits, and malts.
The taste is a strong chocolate with a bitter hop finish. There is also a sweet molasses taste
upfront as it warms up. The feel is thick, chewy, and clings to your mouth nicely. Overall, this is
a nice stout to sip on and enjoy as it warms up. I am not too keen on hop bitterness, but this stout
blends it in very nice. This stout will never get old.

 528 characters

Photo of Bulabeers
4.42/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

L: Black with thin tan head, great lacing on the glass
S: Dark chocolate, roasted malt,
T: Dark chocolate, toasty bitter brew
F: Thick and sticky but not super thick and sticky
O: Great beer

 191 characters

Photo of Reema
5/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Serving type: 12 oz bottle into a snifter glass

Pours deep mahogany brown (essentially black). Smell is of intense dark chocolate, roasted coffee, slightly sweet plum scent, with a small amount of hoppiness. Taste reflects the smell beautifully. Initial dark chocolate and toasted flavors lead into a prune/plum like flavor that finishes with a lingering roasty bitterness. Mouthfeel is thick, viscous, and carbonated just right. Overall this is a very good beer with great tastes and scents. An exemplary Russian imperial.

 524 characters

Photo of Dinglehacker
4.38/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured bottle into snifter. No fizz till the end, very slow small head and a bracken of lace. Beautiful black color.

Nose is sweeter than expected, with the roast in the tail.

Taste: ah yes. Roasted like coffee, but also chocolate, sweet dark molasses. Ends with smoky wood like mesquite.

Thick, smooth mouth.

World class, indeed. Everything an imperial should be, bold, dark and exquisite. For fans of porters, stouts, and all brews rich and noir.

 453 characters

Photo of ByronDBeer
4.53/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

L: Pitch black. Dark brown very good looking head, dissipates after a bit.
S: Not too much smell, coffee liquor smell?
T: Great balance of coffee, chocolate, and nuts. Great malts with enough hops to back it.
F: Good heavy body, medium carbonation.

Great heavy, dark, but balanced stout!

 288 characters

Photo of Ginagee68
3.78/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had it at JL Beers and it was full of rich flavors but just a little bit too much for my liking and I just felt I could not drink a full pint. I had it in a flight it was very enjoyable but just so much flavors all at once a little overpowering for me. I enjoyed the sample though and could take in small quantities.

 316 characters

Photo of gueuzeonhigh
4.37/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A rotund big boisterous beer.
Pours bible black
An immortal dark brown tight knit head appears that laced the glass as the level dropped.
Every sip a solid russian imperial stout.
The flavor profile is so dense that the over 10 percent ABV hardly makes itself
The flavor is very smooth bearing hints of coffee, molasses, hops, anise-- I could go on...
Produces a long lasting and pleasant finish.
This beer's flavor coats the palate like a blanket and dissipates gently.
This is one beer I could tank all four bottles of the 4-pack in one sitting!

 568 characters

Photo of OrangeMen
4.21/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2016 vintage (bottled 11/24/15)
~6 months since bottling

Appearance- Pours oily and viscous, black color, completely opaque. Half finger thick, dark tan colored head, creamy thick. Alcohol legs cling to glass, some spotty head lacing.

Aroma- Rich roast, deep roasted charred malts. Bittersweet dark chocolates, dry cocoa, and smoke. Mild sweet chocolate aromas, caramel. Touch of coffee and hops.

Taste- Charred malt bitterness, roast, smoke. Dark chocolates, earthy hops, cocoa, coffee. Velvety milk chocolates towards the finish, touch of caramel sweetness.

Feel- Medium to full, bitter and drying. Sticky creaminess to the body. Moderate to lower carbonation.

Overall- A really great age for this beer. Roasty / bitter profile is still in the forefront, but sweetness is coming through more. Robust, rich, sweet.

 821 characters

Photo of crob3888
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Blind-tasted alongside Old Rasputin, SN Narwhal, and Bell's Expedition, this one came out on top easily.

Pours nearly motor-oil black with a thick and dark chocolatey head that sticks around. Aromas and flavors are an intense blend of roasted malts, molasses, coffee, dark chocolate bitterness, and a hint of overripe dark cherries. Thick mouthfeel. One of the absolute best Russian Imperial Stouts out there.

 410 characters

Photo of Gajo74
4.49/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

After a session of drinking an American Blond Ale and then half of an IPA, this was the perfect choice for dessert. I'm surprised I have yet to try this one and will surely come back for more.
It poured a pitch black viscous liquid with a nice tan head that appeared suddenly. It soon dissipated into a thin ring of lace and eventually disappeared entirely. Nevertheless, a good looking drink.
Very complex in both the aroma and taste. In the nose I first detected alcohol, followed by milk chocolate, creamy coffee, roasted malt, dark fruit, and even hops. These flavors were mostly evident in the taste, especially the chocolate, coffee and roasted malt, except that the hops flavors were even more dominant. They provided a moderate bitterness that provided quite a kick; they added balance, an element of spice and a dry finish. The alcohol was well masked.
The body was robust, rich, viscus and full. Very smooth to drink.
This was a fantastic Russian Imperial Stout that had a nice hops kick and was not overly sweet or boozy. I rank it up there amongst the best of the style.

 1,082 characters

Photo of alarmclock314
4.48/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, dated 12/2/15. Pours jet black with a above average sized dark brown head; some lacing. Smells of complex roasted malt, earthy hops, and some char. The taste follows closely with roasted malt, char, hops, and cocoa; good intensity and no dark fruit flavor. Moderate bitterness and light dryness. Above average body and carbonation. Overall, this is a straightforward and well done RIS; very fitting of the style.

 431 characters

Photo of bbtkd
3.92/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Founders Imperial Stout, ABV 10.5%, IBU 75. Brown head, very dark, pours thick. Nose is coffee and alcohol. As far as taste, hard to get by the espresso bitterness and taste much else. Not my favorite, but those who don't mind bitter will like it. It does improve as it warms. Or maybe as I warm...

 298 characters

Photo of gnxr27
5/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This was a phenomenal beer. Especially having vintage years made it even more enjoyable. The 2013 vintage had a nice flavor of dark chocolate and vanilla while the more recent years start to lose that distinct taste.

 216 characters

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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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