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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Ratings: 7,848 |  Reviews: 1,896
Photo of Bierguy5
3.97/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle. Pours a thick dark black liquid. No highlights at all, this is nothing but black. Nice creamy tan head, however it disappeared very quickly. There was not much lace on the glass at all either. Smells of dark roasted coffee and molasses. Also notes of dark fruit and alcohol. The taste is a rich deep dark malt, with some notes of chocolate syrup. Slight astringency. Espresso-like aftertaste, some moderate hop bitterness. Alcohol is not as noticable as the nose would indicate. Full body, somewhat creamy mouthfeel, and low carbonation. Overall, a pretty good drinkable Imperial Stout.

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Photo of drewbage
3.65/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled from a nice clean bottle that was hand traded. Thanks craig.

Poured into a nice clean pint glass.

Beer is reflective of bourbon and vanilla and coffee in the aroma with a strong roasted barley flavor giving a more acrid approach to the middle of the brew, but the body is such that the finish is really clean and smooth to the next sip.

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Photo of StuFox
4/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is probably one of the few beers than can stand up next to the Bell's Expedition Stout. It has a good array of spice and chocolate flavors as well as a very smooth, creamy texture. Not as flavorful as the Expedition, but a better feel going down.

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Photo of beergeek279
4.27/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in the 12 oz. stubby into a pint glass. The color is jet-black, with a wisp of tan head. The smell is chocolate sweet and alcohol. The taste is a rich semi-dry chocolate with a licorice character and just a bit of the roasty malt and a warming alcohol. Mouthfeel is oil thick. As for drinkability, just a bit too big and rich for sustained drinkability.

Thanks to trbeer for a bottle of this one. A nice rich imperial stout, and though it doesn't quite have the sustained drinking that maybe some of the other imperial stouts do, nonetheless it's a worthy beer and one I'd love to see in PA.

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Photo of CortexBomb
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours out dark as midnight, but no head left mere moments after the pour and has a sweet aroma with a tad of hops, quite unusual for a stout, much less an imperial.

Taste is distinctive, and different than other imperials as well, licorice is there, and I'm definitely getting some prunes to go along with it and the sweetness from the aroma is in evidence as well and it has a good bitter finish. Unique, different, tasty.

Consistency is nice and chewy, just like I like my beer while the drinkability is fine on this if you're a regular stout drinker.

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

A very acceptable Imperial stout, stellar if you consider affordability. Founder's example pours a typical dark black with very little head or carbonation. The bubbles that do form are a golden yellow.

The taste is familiar, but unfinished or unrefined. I'll continue to drink this stuff because it's local and it's affordable, but I'm certain there are better made Imperial stouts available.

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Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.35/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12oz. squat amber bottle. No freshness dating (not that it matters...).

Appearance: Poured a ruby-tinged inky blackness with wispy-thin chocolate-colored head. Minimal lacing of the the glass.

Smell: Bittersweet chocolate, mixed with fresh coffee, some medicinal alcohol, and lots of carmal-malty sweetness. Luscious.

Taste: Flavor really makes this a great beer. Chocolate flavors mix with a rich malty sweetness tempers the dose of alcohol that warms the tummy. Some licorice flavors also noted in the backgroud. Finishes with a semi-bitter dryness that leaves a very nice sensation on the palate. There is also a slight smoky flavor that adds a nice dimension to this beer. Very well-balanced.

Mouthfeel: Big, thick, and creamy. Medium-high body. Low carbonation. Drenches the palate.

Drinkability: Paired this with a small slice of chocolate cheesecake and it was wonderful. As the beer warmed, it really complemented the flavors of the cheesecake. Certainly not a multiple-per-night beer, this one lasted for quite some time. A great stout.

Notes: Huge thanks to Winomark for this fantastic beer.

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Photo of AtLagerHeads
3.9/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A very good Imperial Stout that seems fairly close to the style with just a bit of the American over-topping. Great dark body that is light resistant. A small one-finger head of thick, creamy beige-colored head fading too soon to a residual layer of nice lacing foam. The nose is moderate and thoroughly of chocolate and roasted malts.

The flavor is chocolate with a bit of licorice in the finish, with a thick and oily feel that thoroughly coats the glass and mouth. A long and lingering aftertaste that is nicely bitter and bitey - perhaps just a bit strong, but not unpleasant. Except for the alcohol rating this is a drinkable sipping beer, and the alcohol is not noticeable in the taste making this a very dangerous brew. Very warming on a cold winter's night. Nice.

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Photo of BierReise
4/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black thick and syrupy witha dense cocoa colored head. Has a sweet espresso aroma with notes of coffee, chocolate and tootsie rolls. Hops are also present in the nose. Really smooth and full bodied. Flavor is sweet, chocolatey with a subtle bitterness. Finishes with an alcohol warmth. Empty glass is left with nice even lacing. Very nice imperial, close to the Left Hand.

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Photo of Ellbert
3.93/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow, this was a very decieving beer. I was not smart and ordered it without knowing the alcohol content. The alcohol was very discriminate in this brew. I could not even tell that it was 10%. It did me in for the night though. A very rounded Imperial Stout. It was nice and thick and looked great with a nice head. A great flavor followed the head. Exceptionally drinkable considering the alcohol content.

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Photo of winomark
4.1/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a motor oil black, with an almost non-existent head. Deep brown/black color.

Aroma: Can smell the malt and alcohol sweetness from 2 feet away! Toasted malt, coffe and chocolate on the nose.

Taste: Good balance of the malt, tones of coffee and alcohol. Very well done.

Mouthfeel: Rich and coating. Alcohol is in check thanks to lots of malt and some hops.

Drinkability: Not an everyday brew, but great for a cool, autumn evening. I like this one a lot.

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Photo of maxpower
4/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark jet-black color, has a great tightly bubbled, creamy brown head that leaves a nice lacing in my glass. Sweet roasted chocolate, coffee and fruity aromas, sweet fruity plum-chocolate and coffee flavors. Nice burnt bitter-sweet finish. Medium-full body with creamy and smooth, oily mouthfeel, alcohol really shows as it warms, I like it.

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Photo of Dogbrick
4.28/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is a dark oily black with a thick brown head. Nice lacing. Aroma of burnt chocolate and malt. Rich and a little syrupy with a bold coffee flavor, along with roasty malt, chocolate and raisins. The finish has a little bit of alcohol and hops amid the thicker flavors to keep it from being overbearing. This is a great Imperial but it is not among the elite.

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Photo of beerguy101
3.16/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark black color. Small tannish foamy head. Aroma is chocolate. Dark roasted malts. Choclately and slightly sweet. Touches of smoke, vanilla and dark fruits. Nice balanced. Mouthfeel is full. Finish is clean. Aftertaste is slightly bitter. Nice example of an imperial without being over the top.

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Photo of aracauna
3.83/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful beer. Surpassed only by the Rogue Imperial Stout in the appearance department. Perfectly opaque black body is topped by a beautiful creamy brown head. Very oily pour. This beer actually has a little carbonation to it. The aroma is equally exciting with it's huge but balanced mix of black chocolate, roasted malt, coffee and butter. The flavor is somewhat of a letdown unfortunately. The chocolate remains, but seems unsupported by a good roatiness. The flavor is surprisingly mellow and soft given the aroma. It seems a little flat and one-dimensional. The mouthfeel is actually worth mentioning (an aspect I rarely feel worthy of comment in most beers). It's a very airy and creamy feel on the tongue. Quite pleasant and something that makes this beer feel lighter than it otherwise would. I feel uncomfortable giving this beer such a relatively low flavor score, but I'm comparing it to other imperial stouts. In that category, it just doesn't match up.

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

Pours dark as midnight with a slight brown head. Fantastic roasted smell with accompanying initial flavor. The roasted malt flavor gives way to notes of coffee and mocha. Slight hints of alcohol start to nudge in but are quickly pushed aside by a delicious smoked finish. The drinkability is exceptional for a beer this big. Very enjoyable and you definitely get your money's worth.

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Photo of SheepNutz
3.7/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle poured into a tulip-style glass. It pours a deep black color with half a finger of coca-cola colored head that dies away slowly. There is just a tad bit of lacing on the glass. The smell is of roasted coffee with a hint of mocha. The smell fills the nostrils nicely. The taste starts out with burnt malt, a little espresso, and leads to a trace of hops. A bit of smoke to the finish, but with a salty aftertaste. The mouthfeel is fairly thick, and pretty smooth too. The drinkability is a little low due to the 10% and aftertaste. You sure can't beat it for being free. Thanks to brewdlyhooked13 for a great present!

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Photo of TheDM
4.06/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

This brew poured a dark opaque colored body with a large head of dark brown bubbles that was mostly lasting. It had a strong coffee aroma as well as a very heavy strong coffee flavor with a very smooth finish. Another very fine beer I 'd like to have again.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.26/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was poured into a Maudite Belgian (trying/hoping to amplify the aroma), quite the apropos sight, that little orange devil with a backdrop of infinite darkness. Attractive mocha latte colored head, simmers down to a thin covering of varied bubble sizes on the surface. Light brown crystalline lace left behind from the head, but not much sticks to the glass below that due to the heaviness of the beer washing it away.

The aroma is of sweet espresso and smokiness. Some alcohol presence too at some extended sniffing and more easily picked up towards the end of the sampling as it warms.

Initially the taste comes across as just a good solid Imperial. Very dark, nearly burnt, roasted malts, some nice balancing sweetness up front (briefly), fine so far. But the real deal to this beer is the finish and the aftertaste. The sweetness gets a bit vinous, then a respectable hop bite appears rather suddenly. The aftertaste develops as smoky, chalky, slightly medicinal but not at all unpleasant, ending with a dry charcoal residue. The intensity builds all the way as each swallow is engaged.

Mouthfeel is solid and oily, like an Imperial should be. Substantial coating in the mouth, carbonation is right where it should be.

Drinkability? I'll say this - you're gonna get your money's worth taste-wise. But this stuff is 10%. Very well hidden alcohol presence all the way through. Founders Imperial is by far the most drinkable 10%-er I've had to date. I would do a 2nd, maybe a 3rd at home, but it will sneak up on ya', so be careful out there... :-)

Very enjoyable.

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Photo of jcalabre
3.87/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Originally sampled on 11 January 2003. Lots of roasted flavors w/ smokey overtones. Almost a slight saltiness to this beer. It"s a different Imp. It"s almost like a cross between an Imperial Stout & a smoked beer. Has some of the typical cocoa/coffee notes. I liked it. Thanks Hoprus

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Photo of jackndan
3.8/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Founder’s Imperial Stout: Pours a jet black, that no light can penetrate. Very nice, deep brown head, with some lasting power, and that leaves thick coating on the glass.

The aroma is very strong, with more than a little coffee/espresso aromas.

As is typical for any imperial stout, this is a heavy, creamy mouthful. The tastes are absolutely dominated by the strong dark malts, with thick tastes of espresso, and hints of toffee and dark chocolate to boot. There are some hops towards the finish that leave a oily mouthfeel.

Definitely not a session brew, but one to linger over. A good US example, but not up to the level of say the Rogue.

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Photo of Wildman
4.15/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer currently is listed at 10 %, so I don't know if it varys from year to year. This beer poured pitch black with no light getting through it's dark soul whatsoever. It formed a dark tan head that left circular lace as it subsided. The aroma was of malt, chocolate and coffee with a slight hint of dark fruit. The flavor was of malt and chocolate. The finish was a medium body with a slightly burnt chocolate aspect to it. Not as much going on as some others like Bell's or Stone, but a fine imperial nonetheless.

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Photo of mjohn27603
3.7/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours black in color with a light brown head. Smells strongly of coffee. Taste is like coffee also which some metallic notes. I'm marking it down a little for the metallic taste. Not as much flavor of dark fruits like other Imperial Stouts. Bitterness in the low to middle range for this style. An OK version.

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Founders Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company
4.34 out of 5 based on 7,848 ratings.
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