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: 7,836
Photo of Masonz223
4.33/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottled: 12/10/15

Smell: Camp fire smoke smoked meat tobacco dark chocolate fudge hints of dark fruits

Taste: upfront dark chocolate dark fruit sweetness raisin middle of the mouth big smokey notes camp fire smoke smoked meat jerky tobacco milk chocolate in the finish you get a big pop of pine bitterness that lingers on the tongue.

Feel: full body creamy. A beer that you definitely want to sip on.

Overall: this is a huge beer. Big smokey notes make this beer unique and very complex. A really good beer that I imagine will get better with age.

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Photo of Benbrue
4.77/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours like motor oil with a creamy coffee head. Aroma is big and rich with some boozy notes but this is a Russian Imperial Stout. Serious beer that is well balanced. I would love to cellar but too good to not enjoy now!

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Photo of Samlover55
4.24/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

From The Cellar
12oz bottle into Libbey Tulip
Bottled on 12/2/15.....bit more than a year old
L- pours a thick syrup-y black with the darkest brown head I've ever seen
S- roasted smoky malt reminiscent of mesquite BBQ, milk chocolate, booze
T- super roasted malt notes that just ooze with sweet and spicy mesquite BBQ flavor, thick chocolate milk flavor, with a toned-down (year old) 75 IBU hoppy finish, and a smoky aftertaste
F- thick and viscous, this is one full-bodied heavy duty sipper, with slight carbonation tingle
Overall this is a balanced and very enjoyable RIS, that seems to have aged pretty nicely and especially great for these cold and wet winter months

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Photo of AustinWadkins
4.07/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours blackish-brown with a minimal that collars around the glass

Smells of roasted coffee, roasted malts, plums, cherry, bit of chocolate, and light smoke

Taste includes, cherry, roasted malts, light smoke, and a bit of booze

Overall I really love this beer! Full and smooth!

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Photo of DraconusDesanctus666
4.61/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a bottle,into a Funky Buddha snifter.

Thick,creamy,dark khaki colored head,with amazing retention.Consists of small,to large bubbles.Beautiful lacing left on the side of the glass,as the head depletes.Once the head dissolves,it leaves a dark khaki ring around the glass,with a creamy patch in the center.The head retention is uncanny.Black as sin,with absolutely no light showing through the glass.If there is any carbonation I cannot see it due to the color.This beer looks amazing in the glass!!!

On the nose I get dark coffee,and dark chocolate up front,accentuated by dark fruits,roasted dark malts,toffee,cocoa,and caramel.The chocolate and the coffee definitely dominate.Also has a bit of a smokiness to it.Smells great!!!

The palate follows the nose,lots of coffee and chocolate up front,as well as dark fruits,caramel,toffee,dark roasted malts,and cocoa.Nice smokey aftertaste.

Thick,heavy,chewy,and viscous in body,it leaves a sticky coating inside your mouth.Little bit of a warm alcohol feel,with a smokey finish,and a chalky mouth feel.

This is a very good RIS,probably now one of my top 5 favorites.The flavors are very well blended,it smells delicious,it's thick and chewy,it's everything you want in a Russian Imperial Stout.

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

Bottled 12/02/15. Poured into a wine glass.

A: Black. Opaque with brown tinges. Espresso crema colored head. About a finger's worth. Excellent, excellent retention with pockets of sticky lacing left onto the glass.

S: Dark roasted malt, malted milk chocolate, dark chocolate, brown sugar and soy sauce.

T: Big roastiness leads. 75 IBU's flexes even after a year. Mid palate takes on some dark fruit characteristics, with intermingling layers of baking cocoa. Not as sugary tasting in the mouth as on the nose. Mid palate picks ups some oiliness and smokiness. Aftertaste of ground coffee beans and slightly sticky sugar.

M: Medium/full bodied. Thick, pretty luscious, with carbonation there to balance out the massive dextrin.

O: Great big bodied Imperial Stout. At a year it's still pretty aggressive. I bet this one would lay down wonderfully. Might have to throw a few down and revisit in a year or two.

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

I first reviewed this from memory, which is never a good idea.
I purchased one bottle the other day and returned to one of my favorite styles of beer to see if my opinion had changed.
Well clearly I had screwed up my original rating .
Founders has another masterpiece here in this Russian Imperial Stout .
Pours a pitch black with a nice thick foamy head that leaves tons of lacing .
The smell is loaded with rich flavors of roasted malts, coffee , chocolate and others.
The taste that follows is just as delicious as the smell. This was nothing like I had remembered from 1-2 years ago .
It was absolutely like "Mothers milk" as another member described it .
I could easily have one of these in a coffee mug with breakfast .
Mouthfeel is slightly lighter than say something thick as their Breakfast stout or a Ten Fidy.

Overall I was blown away and sad I only purchased one bottle as I couldn't even make it last as it was so tasty .
I can't wait to purchase some four packs of these if they are still available.
Again it was nothing like I had remembered, so I'm glad I gave it a return try .


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Photo of Marius
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle at home. Pitch black, 100% opaque, pour, with a tall espresso head with good retention. The aroma includes notes of roasted malts, cocoa, coffee, licorice and light smoke. The taste follows those notes, very roasty chocolate bitteress with some subtle pine resin and grapefruit peel notes. Full bodied, medium to soft carbonation and with a very roasty and full of chocolate finish.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
4.26/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Wow, I don't think you can make a better looking stout, this dare I say might be perfect. Deep as 3am black, giant brown head on it, 1". Aroma hits all those familiar chocolate and coffee malt notes, with a decent hit of alcohol.

Taste reveals a decadent amount of rich chocolate, coffee, smoke and hops, the latter two in a much more restrained amount compared to the first two. Very smooth, makes you think there is oats in here, but manages to still bring the hop presence and bitterness around at the same time. Very restrained in the alcohol's pronouncement.

Great format, great consistency, great price. Elite 1st tier world class stuff.

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Photo of DJ-Hophead
4.65/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle Beautiful Beers, Bury St Edmunds - Pours jet black with a medium tanned head. Medium carbonation. Nice lacing. Aroma - coffee, dark stoned fruits, ash/smoke, dark chocolate, caramel. Taste - sweet, smooth, coffee, caramel, light smoke, dark stoned fruits, crisp bitter finish with a light alcoholic fee. Wonderful RIS. One of the best that I have drank.

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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.

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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!

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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
4.44/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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...

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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Founders Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company
4.34 out of 5 based on 7,836 ratings.
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