Founders Imperial Stout | Founders Brewing Company

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Founders Imperial StoutFounders Imperial Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
75 IBU

Added by mjohn27603 on 01-13-2003

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,840
Ratings:
7,659
Avg:
4.34
pDev:
8.53%
 
 
Wants:
730
Gots:
2,389
For Trade:
153
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,840 | Ratings: 7,659
Photo of ARoman
4.19/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

*transferred from previous notes 1/21/2014*
On tap into a tulip glass. A dark fruit and sweet chocolate aroma with a background ashy trace greet the nose. As it warms, the chocolate smell turns to caramel and a light cookie dough smell appears. There might also be an earthy and/or barnyard note in there, but I couldn’t lock onto it. There’s a very thin mocha brown head that dissipates quickly and leaves nearly no lacing. The beer itself is a very dark, near opaque black-brown. It’s mostly chocolate syrup sweet with some minor smokey/oaky bitterness. A resin (grainy) and ashy coffee and chocolate flavor hit the tongue first for this medium-full bodied beer. The sticky and oily texture doesn’t have much carbonation to it (mainly flat) and it leaves behind a mild ashy smokey finish although pretty clean for the most part.

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Photo of TTAmod
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into pint glass.

A: When pouring, it's very, very dark brown. Once it was all in the glass, it was pitch black. Even when held to the light, nothing shoes through.

Head is two-finger chocolate milk colored with ruby hues. Retention is really damn good.

S: Deep waft brings heavy bitter chocolate, a bit of coffee (but not as much as Breakfast Stout,) roasty malts, dark fruits, bit of hops, and a touch of alcohol.

T: Starts off with subdued roasted malts. Picks up steam midway with some dark fruit (plum) flavors. This beer finishes really damn good. There is coffee, hops, and bitter chocolate. Leaves a lingering, mocha aftertaste with a bit of an alcohol burn.

M: Honestly more carbonation than I'd like. The body is creamy and heavy, which is good for the style, but I feel that the carbonation takes away from the taste a bit.

O: A good RIS. The taste is nice and complex. The mouthfeel is a little bit off for me, but everything else is a prime example of a great RIS.

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

Great RIS! Thick, black pour, short deep brown head that didn't stay very long. Chocolate, coffee aroma. Big taste, anise, more chocolate and coffee, a tad on the sweet side but the bitterness kicks in with some alcohol at the end. Get some!

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Photo of Jesstyr
4.1/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Duvel tulip with a ribeye.

Pours pitch black with dark brown hues. Head is dark brown, almost firm in its appearance. A full finger, which lingers well throughout the drink. Nose is heavy in chocolate, coffee and alcohol - heavily roasted. This is a stout.

There is no question that this is a good tasting beer, but its roast outweighs its breadth. I miss the vanilla that others speak of. This beer has a roast and hop character that is quite deep. Full bodied, a true stout.

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

Serving type- 12 ounce bottle poured into a Surly pint glass.

Pours a jet black with a tan head that disipates quickly. There is no visible carbonation and no cling after the pour. Good Russian Imperial Stout but does not have any qualities that might seperate it from the others. This is my second offering from Founders and I can sense a theme going on, that being of a solid brew that doesn't exactly who you but does bring a good solid beer to the table. I enjoyed this beer but would probably pass it up for other RIS's if available.

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Photo of wyattshotmaker
4.38/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured into a snifter,more or less black. nice almost brown head.smells like dark chocolate,coffee,black cherries,dark fruit.

taste is incredibly rich,some dark cherry flavor upfront,big coffee and dark chocolate flavors,somewhat sweet, follows through,finishes with some coffee like acridity. this beer has more coffee acridity than most other beers,but it is nice.

incredibly rich mouthfeel,just super thick.i almost have to scrape my tongue off after each sip.great beer.

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Photo of digita7693
4.38/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A dark dark dark, nice dark brown head
pours thick like molasses

S bitter chocolate, coffee, malt

T delicious, like a nice stout on steroids... slight bitter chocolate, coffee, but nothing overwhelming, in a good way,

D carbonation could be a little higher, but this is a very smooth, very tasty imperial stout

Pretty much my go to IS when it is around, I really do not think it gets much better than this, so balanced and delicious.

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Photo of dorianmarley
4.42/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is rich, almost-black. Light head, but it is a pretty, unique wood-brown. Some light lacing.

Nose is rich, dry coffee with milk chocolate and smooth malt.

Taste is rich and dense. There is plenty of roasted coffee, with very dark chocolate. There is also sweet cream and light cherry. It has a woodsy finish.

Mouthfeel is very dry, but also creamy. Carbonation is light. Alcohol warmth.

Overall, this is rich and dense with flavor. It is a fireside sipper, for sure, but is easy to drink from beginning to end.

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Photo of Maestro
4.77/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This baby was a doozie. I really enjoyed the fact that the alcohol was so well blended with a perfect mix of malts and hops. None of the three overpowered. This one was quite dark, black actually. The beer had a roasted, chocolate nose with hints of sweet caramel malt. The taste was out of sight, with lots of chocolate, coffee coming through. The rich, syrupy mouthfeel was well accented with the perfect carbonation. Drinkability is good, especially considering the extreme alcohol. I would recommend this to any stout lover who wants to let their expectations become exceeded.

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Photo of juhl31
4.35/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

-good and black with a nice brown colored thin head

-roast mixed with dark chocolate hit me right off the bat and stick around and chill for awhile

-wow! that is really good. i was expecting a good taste, but not as big and bold as this. a ton of dark chocolate flavor and the roast in the background. there is a hint of coffee grounds as well and some good malt sweetness. enough bitterness comes through to make it taste like dark chocolate over milk

-i am loving how thick this is. it leaves a big thick saliva feel in the back of the throat as well

-i am completely fine with drinking this beer. it's 10.5 yet doesnt blast your mouth out. i wish this was more accessible to me

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Photo of jmerloni
3.87/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - jet black in color with nice big brown, creamy head that has very nice retention and laces very nicely on the glass.

S - chocolate, coffee, toffee, alcohol.

T - Follows the nose plus a little brown sugar. More alcoholic than I originally expected, thought the alcohol is detected on the nose. Finishes kind of like a scotch ale and it's a little weird. Not quite as smooth as it looked.

M - Creamy but a real hard alcoholic finish that's not too pleasant. Carbonation is unbalanced, however.

D - Not very drinkable. I'd have a hard time drinking two of these. Every sip is kind of a bitch going down. It's a good beer, but not great. Would be better at like 8% ABV instead of 10.5. Don't think I'd get it again when there so many other great imperials out there.

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

Bottled 12/13/13

Pours pitch black barely any head. Just a ring of tannish ruby head.

Smell is smoky wood and alcohol, maybe some black licorice.

Really deep roasted flavors. Charred smoky wood and deep dark roast coffee are first impressions. ABV hidden exceptionally well. Some bitter aftertaste to round out the first few sips. Liking this one. A little bit of semi-sweet dark chocolate but very subtle. Some alcohol burn late in the glass as it warms.

Feel is very thick, heavy, mouth-coating. Probably the heaviest bodied beer I've ever had. Moderate to low carb., fits the bill here.

impressed with this RIS. Complex and doesn't have really any dark fruits or prune notes which normally turn me off of an RIS.

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Photo of CooperEllis
3.89/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12oz into the DFH snifter.

Pour is deep and dark brown, with a rich chocolate head that leaves a mess of lacing across the brew and sides of the glass.

Very strong licorice aroma; some malt at the back but simply overpowered by the licorice.

Full rich flavor. I had this paired with dutch gouda and the flavors balanced nicely, the mouthfeel comes into play a good deal with the thickness of the stout allowing more of the complexity to be revealed as it takes longer for the liquid to clear the palate. Roast, licorice, coffee and malt.

Very thick but not syrupy. Good carbonation. Really spot on mouthfeel.

Aside from the abv being masked in the flavor and the nose by the stong licorice notes this is quite an easy (perhaps too easy) a drink.

(99th)

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

Poured into glass, medium head, strong brown color. Beer is dark brown/black and pours thick and heavy. Scent is malty, roasty, with chocolate tones. Scents develop as temps rise.

The first taste is something you cannot really prepare yourself for, you just go for it and let it tingle your whole mouth. Tastes of chocolate, caramel, malt and coffee swirl together to bring the whole mouth a treat.

It's a sipping beer, not a gulping beer! It drinks easier than it's 10%ABV would suggest, but will warm the belly and tickle the brainstem if a drinker isn't careful.

My first Founders and if this is any indication of the other brews, I'm going to have to order cases.

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Photo of haddon
4.07/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

have really big looking forward to this beer. thanks to kaips1 for this one.

pours opaque with a tan head that doesn't hang around too long. good lacing down the tulip.

wow, this has some amazing notes going on. very well balanced with semi-sweet chocolate, roasted coffee beans & a sweet boozy note on the back end

bitter chocolate, cocoa powder and coffee bean. there are some bitter hop notes in the middle with a strong alcohol heat that lingers on the aftertaste. the beer is hot and burns a bit.

medium body that is a little dry and chalky. you would expect a bit more creamy feel with full body on a beer this big but its just not there.

highly anticipated this beer and it is a good but not great imperial stout. don't get me wrong, I will drink it again but it has a lot of hype and I was expecting more.

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Photo of Samuel906
4.52/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Really excited to try this. I have heard no end of great things about Founders stouts an d this certainly did not disappoint. Pours absolutely sheer jet black with one of the darkest brown heads Ive ever seen. head dissipates quickly leaving behind the viscous, oily brew. Rich creamy mocha greets you on the nose complemented by toasted malt, and chocolate covered cherries. Taste is a tidal wave of bittersweet chocolate up front with a mellow finish of earthy tobacco, and roasted coffee. Feel is thick and oily, coats every inch of your mouth. A bit sticky. but it comes with the territory. Definitely a slow sipper. Overall, one of the kings of the heavy stouts. Great in all aspects.

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Photo of urwithdave
4.05/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my cigar city snifter.

A- pours black in color. Held to the light I can make out some mohoghany hues. There is little to no head to speak of. Very little lacing.

A- big malt profile followed by hints of dark fruit, molassess and licorice.

T- nicley balanced between the malts and the hops, but I was kind of surprised that there was as much hops present as there was. Dark chocolate and licorice also play a small row in this beer

M- nice and thick.again, a little suprised by the bitter finish, but I'm very happy with the thickness. It's thick like month thick.

D- pretty good. I'd def have a couple more without a problem.

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

Founders Imperial Stout poured jet black with a creamy, mocha head. Chocolate, coffee, and slight floral scent were present in the nose. Espresso, charcoal and pepper flavors were accompanied by a solid bitterness. The body was thick and viscous with a moderate level of carbonation and a warm finish, but not a burn.

Oh mama! This a great beer to drink by the fireplace. I will definitely buy this again. It's also a good canidate for the cellar, if you have the patience.

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Photo of Cavery
3.77/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An extra from Chambic (cheers!). Bottle looks old, label peeling with noticeable signs of age. I can't quite read what looks like date print. Not sure on the year of this brew.

Poured into Over-Sized wine glass, shared with Klym.

Review from notes, offering had the prior weekend.

Black coffees, little head formation, light watery brown bubbles. Actually quite flat with an aggressive pour, a bit troubling. Looks like decaf. Looks like a bottomless pit, looks like it's time to take the dive. 

Creamy exotic blend coffees, a Swiss chocolate note that's intriguing. Raw creams and French vanillas. This is a solid smelling beer. A solid foundation of a nose. Strange salty ketchup in pockets. A little bit inconsistent after multiple sniffs. For the most part quite good though.

Geez, unexpected manly ashtrays with raw charcoal bitter bland harshness. A decent cutting note if licorice anise and tobacco leaf. Thin leathers that share tastes with dried jerkys. Interesting, and not bad. Though the ash rides all the other flavors a bit heavily.

An artisans medium mouth-feel that combines tobacco leaves with salty leathers. I think if the mouth was more full you wouldn't get nearly as much salt or tobacco. I appreciate the fine line this beer walks, and the mouth-feel allows for a more adventurous flavor spectrum in style.

Very good, with flare for unusual flavors. More tobacco less roast. Coffees wait behind licorice and dark bitter roots. Interesting and compelling. Though the drinkabilty suffers a bit too much for me. This a smoker's beer. Would be curious to try different vintages. I don't quite have an solid opinion on this one yet.

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Photo of Bshaw22
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

Drank this with about 11 months on it. I like this beer fresh but it is soooo smith with a little bit of age.
Chocolate on the nose with some burnt malt.
Followed suite with taste
Appearance is beautiful. Brown thick lacing.
Perfect version of the style.

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Photo of 2378GCGTG
4.58/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Apperance: True deep black body under a 1 inch copper/brown head which retains well and clings to the glass for what seems like eternity.

Nose: Chocolate, coffee, black toast and burnt roasted malt.

Taste: Roasted and burnt malts with an excellent chocolate support and a slightly bitter coffee taste all of which fade into a smokey finish

Mouthfeel: Flows like molasses in winter time, it's thick and extremely present, almost heavy, on the palate as it rolls around. This is a truely excellent body.

Overall: A truly excellent RIS, and amazing for the price, not truly perfect because I would like to see a bit more sweetness and a bit less smoke in the taste.

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Photo of Jacurdy60
4.51/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a snifter.

A-Pitch black like almost every imp. stout. Deep brown, toffee colored half finger head with good retention. Leaves lacing on the sides of the glass and looks thick as hell.

S-Bitter baker's chocolate, figs, raisins, clove?, burnt oak, burnt sweet bread

T-Front of the palate is hit by the bitter chocolate and is phased out quickly by the sweet, dark fruits. That fades nicely into the burnt oaky taste and finishes again with a semi-sweet and burnt flavor with a spiced bite from the alcohol that lingers for a while and fades back into the overpowering oaky flavor. A heck of a lot of depth

MF-Creamy like syrup. Probably the best mouthfeel on a beer I've ever had. Absolute perfection.

O-It's Founders and the beer is heralded. What is there to say? My expectations were high and they were met.

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Photo of egajdzis
4.38/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured an opaque black color with a dark brown, slightly red head, and light lacing on the glass. Aroma of coffee, chocolate, and raisins. Very full mouthfeel, included dry tastes of sweet chocolate and roasted malt. Very smooth and creamy impy stout.

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Photo of dukedevil0
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a 4-pack from Sam's Lincoln Park in Chicago, IL.

A: Pours a syrupy, dark black with very little, if any, dark khaki/copper head.

S: Smells like a roast coffee bomb, scents of chocolate...and i actually pick up some hop earthiness too

T: roast, coffee, lots of bitterness, slight dark chocolate...a little alcohol in the finish

M: Very creamy and thick with not a lot of carbonation

D: very drinkable for what it is...however, the roast coffee can be little overpowering

the more i've drank of this, the more impressed I am with it

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Photo of mechamifune
4.62/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a sifter, it has a jet black, almost oily appearance. Very slight brown head dissapears almost immediately. Decent lacing. Looks the part of a big ass IS, I just wish it retained a little bit of the head though.

Smell is a lot of sweet malt up front. Comes through a lot better for me than in a lot of other examples of the style. Coffee/Chocolate is there, but relatively muted... overall probably one of the more pleasant "sweet" smells i've found in a beer.

Taste is subtly sweet upfront, slightly bitter chocolate/coffee in the middle, and finishes with a little hop bite in the end to offset the sweetness (make no mistake though, this is not a "hoppy" stout). A wonderfully blended taste where it really feels like all the flavors have come together. No "off" flavors at all, and none of the slight lactic/sour finish I get in some Imp. Stouts.

Mouthfeel is the real standout here. Incredibly smooth and creamy without feeling too heavy. For the size of this beer, it is very easy to drink, and in that sense i think it is really the benchmark for the style. Never feels boozy or hot.

As a whole, this might be my favorite "normal" Imp. Stout. It drinks incredibly smooth, is sweet without being sticky, is creamy without being overly heavy, and blends together the traditional Imp. Stout flavors as well as any other example of the style I can think of. I was quite happy to be able to buy this beer for 10 a 4pack, I just wish there was more of it to buy. Drink this beer!!

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Founders Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company
4.34 out of 5 based on 7,659 ratings.
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