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: 7,832
Photo of Phineasco
4.34/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Look: Black, with a massive fluffy khaki head that sticks around for quite a while.
Smell: Rich chocolate, cocoa, fudge, and syrup.
Taste: Rich chocolate cake, cocoa, molasses, and toffee.
Mouthfeel: Thick and chewy, boozy.
Overall: A good no frills imperial stout with no adjuncts. It was a little boozy though.

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Photo of Amguerra305
4.63/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours motor oil thick with an inch dark khaki head that dissipates rather quickly and leaves an intermittent ring around the edges. The nose on this beer is rather nice; big and bold. Notes of chocolate and coffee with a roasty back note and a tinge of alcohol. Taste follows the smell with a slight creaminess up front followed by a bitterness that is a touch shy of acrid from the roast but still pleasurable. It feels pleasantly thick with not much noticeable carbonation and keeps your lips sticky together. Overall this beer is great. Big and bold with complex roast notes that I imagine would get even better with age.

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Photo of kevin3046
4.73/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a very dark black with light brown head. Thick lacing that sticks to the glass. Mouthfeel is a great creamy chewiness and just the right amount of carbonation. The taste is sweet roasted malts with hints of chocolate, fruits, toffee, smoke, and caramel with a dry, hoppy finish. This is a great stout!!!

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Photo of MikeyMcD86
4.74/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Canned 11/30. Drank out of a TEKU glass. Full disclosure, I drank this beer straight from the fridge as opposed to letting it warm up to cellar temp. Beer pours out super dark and inky. Pitch black in the glass with a solid finger of deep dark brown head. Aroma is explosive out of the glass. Tons of chocolate covered cherries which is surprising(and impressive) since I don't think that this beer has had any barrel aging. Just a hint of light roast coffee as well. Flavor is not nearly as fruit forward as the nose. Lots of dark chocolate and coffee with practically no sweetness, which considering it's 75 IBU is not surprising. Beer finishes with an awesome umami(think shitake mushroom) characteristic. Mouthfeel is nice and creamy, in line with other stouts in this ABV range. Not the best stout I've ever had, but for a beer that is relatively easy to find, this thing is absolutely amazing. 97 points!

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Photo of SiepJones
4.13/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle (2016) into a mini snifter. Pours like engine oil into the glass. A frothy cap or reddish brown bubbles sit on top. The head resembles a chocolate milkshake. Thick lacing on the sides of the glass. Tons of roasted malt on the nose with a touch of dark fruit and a little soy sauce. Tastes of roasted malt with some dark chocolate and a bit of ash in the finish. Chewy mouth with low carbonation. I really enjoy this beer, and I grabbed a couple of extra bottles to tuck away for the later.

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

A liquor store by my house had a few 4-packs of this on sale for 5 dollars each. I bought them all. I mention this because the bottled date is 11/24/15 so they were trying to move older stock. This stout still tastes incredibly young and will age extremely well. Much like everyone else has said:
Jet black in color with an awesome chocolate colored head
Aromas of chocolate and coffee, creamy, rich, thick and I'd even say decadent mouth feel.
Wonderful finish that lingers
You can tell some of the alcohol is taming down and the malts are blending together nicely.

Best Imperial Stout I've had.

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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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Photo of rex_4539
4.54/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

L: Jet black color, two finger brown head, superb lacing, lots of carbonation.

S: Dark chocolate, coffee, raisins, alcohol. Smells wonderful.

T: Dark chocolate, coffee, raisins, lots of alcohol. Amazing taste!

F: Full bodied, rich mouthfeel, alcohol overdose.

O: This beer tastes amazing, if only it had half the alcohol. It's just too much. Otherwise it's close to perfect.

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Photo of JakeScully
4.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured the 12oz bottle into a mug

Great Russian imperial stout, another great offering from Founders the top notch brewery in Michigan. Expensive in Europe but worth every pennies. Cheers !

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Photo of Bruno74200
4.7/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

One of the best or maybe the best RIS I've had to date.

L - Beautiful pitch black with a nice mocha head

S - Good complexity. With some chocolate, coffee, earthy hops, very balanced smell

T - Follow the smell with a nice bitterness and a perfect balance.

M - Perfect mouthfeel, thick, creamy, well carbonated

O - A bold but controled russian imperial stout. Really great stuff. Founders really knows how to make imperial stouts

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

Look: Pours a pitch black color with a dark tan two finger head. Laces the glass very well.

Aroma: Dark chocolate, espresso, rich tobacco, biscotti, mild notions of smoke, caramel and butterscotch.

Taste: I'm getting cherries, dark chocolate, creme de cocao, vanilla, coffee, espresso, charcoal, black licorice, hazelnut, caramel and even gentle hints of resinous piney hops.

Feel: Mouthfeel is full bodied and creamy. Low carbonation. Sweet and dry throughout.

Overall: Top shelf stuff. Really complex but effortless and harmonious flavor profile. A must try if you're a fan of Russian Imperials.

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Photo of Gobearswalter34
4.78/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I had this last night at the Bacon and Beer Fest in Davenport Iowa
I have had it before but didnt rate. Simply put, this is one of the best I stouts out there. Wonderful chocolate, coffee, licorice and hop bitterness! AS SMOOTH AS they come!

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Photo of HipCzech
4.32/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Serving: 12 oz bottle poured into a 9 oz Libbey Embassy snifter.

Appearance: Inky black with dark brown fringes, capped with a frothy head of medium brown foam and whispy lace.

Smell: Dark roasted grains and coffee beans, burnt wood and some savory notes (soy?).

Taste: Deep, roasted malt with espresso, burnt chocolate and subtle licorice and savory notes. Nice balancing bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Sticky, full body with moderate body and carbonation.

Overall: Deeply roasted, rich and intense stout.

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Photo of MNAle
4.03/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black appearance, dark brown tall head. Dark fruit, smoaky, coffee, chocolate, Thick mouth feel. Roasty, bitter taste. Other flavors noted in the aroma are muted, but present: dark fruit, coffee, chocolate. Strong bittering remains from the beginning, middle, and finish. This is an excellent Imperial stout in the American style: multifacted aroma and flavor, but the bittering hops are the primary story.

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Photo of Radcpa
3.95/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great dark appearance. Aroma is not that impressive a very mild. Bitter taste is surprising and not a high feel factor. I was disappointed in founders for a product that I expected to be much better

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Photo of DenisKolkin
4.54/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle served cold-ish into a chalice.

Appearance - A menacing and ominous jet black beer is poured. Capped with a finger of a coffee with only one cream colored head. Retention is pretty decent given the high ABV. This beer means business.

Smell - Plenty of chocolate (baker's and dark), flashes of espresso, and hints of smoke, tobacco, molasses and licorice.

Taste - Rich flavors. Dark chocolate, black coffee-esque bitterness, smoke, molasses and a touch of licorice. Finishes bitter with some woody and earthy hop bitterness. Just a bit of vanilla sweetness after the initial chocolate rush. Booze in there too. Not a beer to be trifled with. Damn this is good. Complex as hell too.

Mouthfeel - Heavy, chewy, a meal in a glass. Carbonation is fine, body is dense and slick, engine oil like. An astringency in there that prickles the tongue.

Overall - While many imperial stouts are great, this might be the more intense ones out there. Massive bitter flavors, hints of smoke and ash, big league bitterness and the appearance to back it up. What's not to like here. World class all the way. Counting myself lucky right now, enjoying this alongside Smuttynose Baltic Porter, Oskar Blues Ten Fidy and Ballast Point Victory at Sea all for the first time in the past 10 days. To my tastes that's 4 of the very best in the high ABV, stout /porter / flavored stout class. Founders Imperial Stout might be the best of the bunch.

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

Great aroma. Almost black head and lacing. It's a warmer for sure but the alcohol is barely evident. Nice chewy feel and a very pleasant after taste that lingers.

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Photo of Red5StandingBy
4.11/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into standard pint glass. Bottled on November 30th 2016.

L: Opaque black, with chocolate milk colored 3 finger head that stays around for a long time.

S: Coffee, Dark Chocolate that makes your mouth water, dark roasted malts, leafy hops, molasses, vanilla.

T: Rich cocoa/chocolate and coffee, smoke, vanilla, char, leafy hop bitterness with the dark roasted malts adding a touch of bitterness as well. Pretty complex and tasty but doesn't match the flavors of their Breakfast Stout.

F: Full body. Thick, creamy and dry finish.

O: A great "winter warmer" a bit lacking in carbonation IMO but another great beer from Founder's who continues to impress.

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

355ml bottle poured into an imperial pint glass, served chill not cold.

Pitch black in color, the pour forms up majestic creamy dark tan head that stands proud with remarkable strength of retention before slowly subsiding to a forever effervesce layer on the surface and leaving numerous of sticky lacing web all around. I can even see the cascade effect of the head sip by sip, so gorgeous showcase.

The aroma is dominated all over by roasted malt, chocolate, coffee (just slight sour), and cocoa. There are also other varieties of scent as a complement ranging from creamy, charred nut, dark bread, vanilla, caramel, toffee, butter, licorice, and mild leafty hop.

So intense wave of chocolate, cocoa, and coffee sweeps throughout the taste buds and coats the palate for quite some time before roasted, charred nut, some smoke, vanilla, caramel, toffee, butter, licorice, and dark bread following closely together with a bitter kick from both hop and roasted malt to add more depths. It is sweet overall but not cloying being leverage by the greatness of chocolate, coffee, and roasted profile.

The body and palate sensation in term of feeling is nearly flawless, high viscosity, sticky, very full, slick and super velvety smooth through the mouthfeel. Carbonation is pretty low but still has some crisp that is enough to carry all the things well. Finish is pleasantly dry.

This Imperial Stout is a beast. It is tasty as hell and perfectly concealed its alcohol. My recommendation is to enjoy it slowly and only chill not too cold in order to let all the characters disclosing in full scale.

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Photo of Mongrel
4.24/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is possibly the best looking beer I've ever seen. It's what all other imperial stouts strive to be. Clearly very thick as it pours from the bottle, with an inky body and a very dark brown, creamy head. The head hangs around forever and coats the glass gloriously as you drink it down.

Smells like roasted malt, light coffee and chocolate. Not the hugest nose.

Flavor-wise, this beer is ready to go. Inky, concentrated notes of coffee, chocolate and licorice. Ample, but not harsh bitterness. Wood on the finish. No great need to age this one.

Mouthfeel picks up where this beer left off visually. Decadently thick and creamy. Finishes pretty dry despite its gravity and allows some roasty coffee bitterness to linger.

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Photo of BeerGuy8315
4.46/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a snifter. Vintage bottled on 12/27/13.

A: Pours jet black in color. No head or lacing.

S: Aromas of coffee, vanilla, toffee, toasted malts, dark chocolate, caramel, raisins, and other dark fruits.

T: Taste matches aromas very well. Starts with dark chocolate and coffee followed by cream and vanilla, and then finishes with toasted malts, raisins, and dark fruits.

F: Full bodied. Thick, smooth, and creamy. Very small amount of carbonation.

O: Overall, this is a really great imperial stout. Nice that it's readily available. This was my first time trying this one and I really enjoyed it. Wish I would've tried a fresh one prior to the vintage to see how the flavor profile had changed, but I couldn't resist. Will definitely try this one again.

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Photo of Riff
4.47/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours an inky, dark black color with a rich, chocolate colored head that lingered for an exceptionally long time. Smells of chocolate, molasses, and malts. Tastes of coffee up front, strong black coffee. Dark chocolate flavors and molasses. Thick and rich stout with a slight bitterness at the end. Very nice stout, good sipping beer, certainly not one to be rushed but savored.

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

The 2016 release of this seasonal Russian Imperial Stout is visual perfection: a giant, sticky, pebbly dark-brown head looms atop a viscous, effervescent, impenetrably black body that is completely devoid of highlights; head retention is very good and lacing is excellent, consisting of thick slabs and cavelets. The medium-large nose is a delicious blend of black-strap molasses and cocoa with a more subtle chocolate ice cream character and hints of toffee and bitter coffee; it presages a balance between sweet and bitter and lies about the ABV, alcohol overtones being deceptively modest. The palate, as promised, is pretty much exactly in balance: a dark, seamless blend of molasses, rich semi-sweet chocolate and dark, bitter toffee, with modest smoky topnotes and a significant alcohol undertow. The finish is a surprisingly modest hit of smoky chocolate, and is pretty boozy; the linger is a moderate chocolate rebound bitterness that lasts for awhile. Mouthfeel is on point for the extra-full body, and is warming; the texture is sticky/thick, velvety smooth, and slightly peppery from the well-expressed carbonation. (12 oz bottle, 40 days after pkg)

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

Bottle dated 12/12/16. Appearance is jet black with a dark tan head. The head was about two inches. The smell was of roasted coffee and burnt chocolate. It tasted like bitter coffee and chocolate, also. It had a thick and rich mouthfeel. This all led to a bitter coffee aftertaste. This was very good. The bitterness was there, but it did not detract from the beer. This is what an imperial stout should be.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.39/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours pitch black, appearing opaque in the glass, with a half finger, ight brown head that dissipates to patches, leaving light lacing. Aroma of dark toasted malt, coffee, chocolate and hint of vanilla. Flavor is rich dark toasted malt with slight char, dark chocolate, molasses with smoky char developing into a smoky malt finish with light hop bitterness. Medium to full bodied, nice mouth feel. A rich, full flavored stout with great chocolate and toasted malt flavors and good char. Flavor is full throughout the taste, starting mostly malty and then revealing smokey and chocolate elements with hop bitterness in the finish. Really nicely done and balanced. Deserves its reputation.

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Founders Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company
4.34 out of 5 based on 7,832 ratings.
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