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: 1,889 | Ratings: 7,830
Photo of Bum4ever
4.41/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Look is black with a solid tan head that lasted a long time. Tons of lacing. This pours a beautiful beer.
S: roasted barley and coffee followed by a hint of hops and chocolate.
T: super balanced taste of coffee, chocolate, maybe some dark cherries or oak, plus some hop flavor on the back end.
F: medium bodied, but smooth and easy to drink.
O: this is a great regular stout will definitely be searching this out in the near future.

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Photo of wumpshire
3.87/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

One of the best imperial stouts I've had. Pours thick, not a strong aroma but the taste is huge. Chocolate, licorice, coffee with a soft mouthfeel. A solid imperial stout.

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Photo of jjamadorphd
3.63/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

i'm a big Founders fan, but not so much of this offering...

Out of the glass it looks great (and what a great start) - pitch black liquid leading to a dark tan head and lacing that sticks well to the bottom of the pint glass. The smell is a nice blend of booziness and distinctive stout odors that simply made my mouth water from the get-go. But here's were things went a little wonky for me. Though the mouthfeel was full-bodied and rich, there was enough carbonation to distract from the overall experience, then the taste was, well, less than great. In fact, it was by far the booziest imperial stout I have ever had - at least it tasted that way, and I've had stronger ones than 10.5% ABV. The booze flavor simply overpowered whatever else they were trying to do with this. I am a someone who leans towards these, but I'm looking for more complex and well-blended flavors, rather than a short of bourbon or whiskey in my beer. Anyway, it wasn't awful, just not something that tingled my toes. Overall, I like the beer, I'm sure I'll pick up more in the future, but it certainly isn't on the top of my list for imperial stouts.

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Photo of jwilcox767
4.62/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A - Pitch black with a nice mocha head
S - Not overly complex, chocolate, coffee, earthy hops. Everything balanced.
T - Follows the smell with a nice bitterness and a perfect balance.
M - Perfect mouthfeel, thick, full bodied, well carbonated (I prefer slightly more)
O - A bold russian imperial stout, one of the best or maybe the best RIS on my list of regularly available brews.

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Photo of ChilliHeights
4.58/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wonderfully smooth Stout from Founders. Drank from the bottle but could smell the aroma right away after popping th top off. Could not see the color. Enjoyed the smooth feel from start to finish. Great beer to enjoy a sunset or by a fire with friends. Drink slow and enjoy.

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Photo of dee4maine
4.79/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Is there a better decadent stout, when it comes to plain (I can't even use that adjective) ol' RIS, than Founders?? No Sir! This is the stuff stout dreams are made of! Rich, fudgy, loads and loads of dark fruits, smoooth dark chocolate.

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Photo of andrewh995
4.29/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Beautiful pitch black beer with a 1.5 finger tan head. Roasted malts, dark chocolate, coffee, possibly some cherry. The alcohol is somewhat apparent but not overly so. Great RIS.

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

Tasted in a 12 oz snifter from draught at Firkin on April 4, 2017. Look is nearly black with a thick tan head and spotty lacing. Smell and taste is dark dried fruits and dark roasted malts. Feel is full in body.

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Photo of kitch
4.4/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A 355ml bottle, bottled on 30th November 2016. Poured into a snifter.

Appearance: It was black in colour with a nice one finger fluffy brown head that dissipated fairly quickly but left spotty lacing.

Aroma: Roasty, chocolate, cherry and a hint of coffee.

Taste: Roasty malts, rich bittersweet chocolate and coffee with hints of dark fruit balanced with some bitterness. Finish has a lasting ashy charcoal-ness.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, velvety and full bodied with low carbonation.

Overall: Nice and smooth. A good Russian Imperial Stout.

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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.

 503 characters

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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Founders Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company
4.34 out of 5 based on 7,830 ratings.
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