Founders Imperial Stout | Founders Brewing Company

7,865 Ratings
no score
Send samples
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 Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 7,865 |  Reviews: 1,901
Photo of brycevolk
5/5  rDev +15.2%

Photo of KGMIbeer
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of montrealbcr89
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of cornpone
2.75/5  rDev -36.6%

Photo of JohnQVD
5/5  rDev +15.2%

Photo of iguana1010
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of grahamboudreaux
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of stortore
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of tuka
4/5  rDev -7.8%

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

I typically try to review special beers for my centennial reviews, such as when I reviewed Collage No. 1 Conflux for my 100th review on BA. Not that it's that big of a deal or anyone cares, but its' important to me. So, once I got close to 200 reviews and I found, by happenstance, some of this beer at an out of the way place, I knew what had to be done. Side poured from the bottle into a Boulevard snifter.

Appearance - Pours as black as motor oil with the same viscosity. No light penetration in the glass whatsoever. A small, half finger dark tan head comes from the brew but dissipates quickly, leaving little lacing. Looks just like a RIS should. I am excited.

Smell - The olfactory gland stimulation is, in my opinion, the weakest point of this beer. It is great, no doubt, but doesn't compare to the overwhelming quality of this beer in the other aspects. That being said, heavy roasted malts, chocolate, and coffee are the dominant smells.

Taste - Much like the nose, but wonderfully so. The smoothness of this beer washes over the palate, coating it with chocolate, roasty malts, and a bit of coffee. Not cmplex, but extraordinarily well done. Very sweet, dangerouslly good

Mouthfeel - My favorite part of the brew. This beer is so heavy, so smooth and thick on the palate and on the finish. A bit of warming alcohol, well masked for 10.5%. So much texture to this beer, it is amazing. They have taken a very strong beer and made it seem like it is sessionable (which I would not recommend).

Overall - There is a reason, at the time of this writing, this beer is #25 on the Beers of Fame list. It is excellently crafted by the personnel at Founders, just another notch on the belt of what could potentially be the best overall brewery in all of North America. Highly recommended and approved by the Condor. Very glad I saved my 200th review for such a great beer.

 1,879 characters

Photo of Buckeye982
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of SaxmanRick
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of CrazyOtto623
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of soze47
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of MalKen
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip. Pours like motor oil, nuff said. Not much of a nose on this actually.

The taste? Exquisite. Starts with deep roasted coffee and dark chocolate, It's dense and the flavor continues to unfold. There is a strong hop presence as well, but not how you would think. The taste goes on for miles. I can't even imagine how much dark malt they use making this. The booze is definitely present at 10.5. The mouthfeel is slightly harsh actually, but it's not bad.

Overall, it's amazing. It's definitely in my top 5 RIS's I've had. It does seem somewhat hard to get a hold of. In my opinion, ten fidy is better.

 641 characters

Photo of blakelive784
3.82/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to Docrock and maximum12!

12 fl oz brown glass bottle served in a snifter, slightly warmed, and reviewed live:

A - Pours an imposing jet black color with a full three fingers of thick, creamy, dark brown head. Retention is astounding given the ABV and when it finally recedes it leaves tight lacing and a bit of boozy legs. I can't wait to try it.

S - Inviting chocolates and dark roasted malts. One of the best pure chocolate malt aromas I've ever encountered. Sweet cream and molasses. Hints of licorice. Faint hits of alcohol. Seemingly sweet. Truly inviting.

T - More bitter than I'd have guessed based on the nose. Bitter chocolates and black coffee. Roasted and chocolate malts comprise the body. It warms as it goes down, but the alcohol isn't really detectable as you're drinking it. I wish it'd focus on the chocolate more.

M - Smooth. Not as full bodied and thick as I'd like.

D - Amazingly drinkable at 10.5%. A damn good stout, but doesn't quite measure up to Founder's others. That being said, I'd definitely have it again.

 1,053 characters

Photo of wardenclyffe
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of Smixam
4.4/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a glass

A - Extremely dark brown, no light transmission. 1-finger head, also very dark brown, heavy lacing as it dissipates.

S - Alcohol, chocolate, malt, some piney hops. Sounds weird but I get what I can only equate to kalamata olive.

T - Alcohol and malt right up front, very deep. Hops kick in as a surprise at the end, finish is subtly spicy and smokey. Alcohol hangs on throughout, malt lingers as well.

M - This is a sipper, very thick/viscous. Heavy alcohol presence is nice if you stretch it out and enjoy it, but definitely a 'sit back and relax' beer. Better slightly chilled than cold, for sure.

O - Honestly, this is an ass-kicker of a stout. Definitely one of the best of this style while remaining a drinkable, enjoyable beer. One to keep on hand when you're in the mood to sip and enjoy.

 827 characters

Photo of Cottzilla
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of b2611
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of wmobley
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of rgilbert
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of DiscLizard
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Founders Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company
4.34 out of 5 based on 7,865 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.