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:
1,834
Ratings:
7,626
Avg:
4.33
pDev:
17.32%
 
 
Wants:
724
Gots:
2,377
For Trade:
153
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,834 | Ratings: 7,626
Photo of juhl31
4.35/5  rDev +0.5%
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 classixIII
4.54/5  rDev +4.8%
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 jmerloni
3.87/5  rDev -10.6%
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 CooperEllis
3.89/5  rDev -10.2%
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 -1.2%
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 RiverCityBeerGuy
3.91/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased at Sweet T's in Duck NC. Pour is dark as can be with a thin wisp of dark tan head that dwindles to a corona around the edge of a tulip glass.

Aroma is coffee, chocolate, soy sauce. Very roasty with a hint of booze, although surprisingly little all things considered.

Flavor is the expected chocolate, coffee. Also pick up hazelnut in there. Very nice.

Mouthfeel is thick, feels a little foamy on the tongue. The 90 IBU's make themselves felt for a while on the finish.

Not exactly a beach drinkc but this is a great answer to a week full of wheats and IPA's.

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Photo of haddon
4.07/5  rDev -6%
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 +4.4%
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 BrownAleBollocks
4.63/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours like motor oil, with a two finger chocolate mouse head. Aroma is dark fruit, chocolate. Taste is chocolate, light roast, and light dark fruit on the back end. Mouthfeel is creamy and heavy, but smooth. Overall a great imperial stout, one of the best I've had.

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Photo of hopflyer
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
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 zshaft
4.46/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

this stuff is black as black can be. nice one finger head that dissipates rather quickly. smells like some chocholate and licorace with some burnt malt notes. mouthfeel is nice and silky with medium body. taste is up front burnt charcoal with nice roasty flavors giving way to a surprising hop bitterness at the end with alcohol noted and very end palate dark malt and chocolate subtilities. this beer is a great russian stout and delivers in spades. I get some nice fruity end palate that makes this beer so great and I get some every year. a must buy for any beer lover. fOunders rules!

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Photo of frazbri
4.58/5  rDev +5.8%
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 urwithdave
4.05/5  rDev -6.5%
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 Cavery
3.77/5  rDev -12.9%
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 2378GCGTG
4.58/5  rDev +5.8%
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 +4.2%
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 Bshaw22
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

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 egajdzis
4.38/5  rDev +1.2%
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 +3.9%
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 +6.7%
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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Photo of BillyB
4.55/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I thought this was an outstanding example of the style! Founders certainly knows it's stouts.

Poured a beautiful black/opaque color with a very thin, whispy brown layer of foam.

Aromas of chocolate, vanilla, coffee, mollasses, wood and whiskey dominate this very complex aroma profile.

The taste is just as complex. For a beer to be this BIG and complex at the same time is impressive. Same tastes as aromas as well as some toffee, treacle a subtle hint of caramel. Big alcohol taste but not offensive.

Mouthfeel is very pleasant alcohol warmth and a big, full bodied, oily, slick, chewiness.
Just a fantastic beer!

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Photo of Pinknuggets
4.48/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2011 bottle into hfs Belgian sniffer

A: black as night in the middle completly opaque but some brown to dark dark red on the outsides next to no head but thin mocha ring and 1 year of aging

S: so I don't understand but even with a year on this it smells of booze which somewhat fades with dome time. there is that of that dark chocolate hint of coffee stout like smell that I expect from stouts

Edit (1/13/13) 2012 bottle: having this fresher the coffee smell comes out much more with a fresher bottle and the alcohol has much less of a presence.

T:so the aging may have made a difference to mellow out the alcohol because I can taste it in the finish but not anywhere else. Upfront the is a lot of mocha coffee flavor with hints of chocolate that fades into bitterness with a tail end of malt the fullness of the flavor lasts for a long time

Edit (1/13/13) 2012 bottle: even with a fresher bottle the coffee flavors are more bold and present while the alcohol burn really isn't that bad but seems like it could once again benefit from age. I like this fresh and aged.

M:it starts off semi harsh but quickly fades into a thick smooth creamy texture that is amazing to sip

O: this is a really good stout, it's well balanced with delicious flavors that mix together but do not overpower each other. It's so smooth and clearly get better with age. Well done founders keep doing what you do

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Photo of Frosty80
4.41/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Color: pours extremely dark brown, almost completely black with the smallest of dark brown rims. sits black with a two-finger, creamy brown/mocha head

Smell: very mellow chocolate and roasted malt in balance as well as some light alcohol presence

Taste: rich, roasted and slightly charred malt with just enough chocolate to round it out a bit. alcohol is only an ankle-biter here but comes through a little more in the finish, which is somewhat dry, lightly bitter and mostly roasted/charred malt with light chocolate notes

Mouthfeel: low carbonation. very full, chewy body

Notes: kick-ass stout. the burnt malt flavors are very welcome as they add character and invoke thoughts of malt and fire

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Photo of ThaneMcC
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep, inky black to black with a fb of tan foam which resolves to a fine lacing with scant carbonation. Smells of cocoa, coffee, leather, a bit smoky, roasted malts. Tastes sweet malts forward, mid note of unsweetened cocoa, expresso, smoky/leathery, hint of barnyard/wet burlap, and nice piney twang as the final note with a bit of alcohol tingle and fairly clean finish with just a bit of sweet malty tackiness that lingers pleasantly (like a sweet port or sherry). Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with enough carbonation to keep it from becoming syrupy and just the right amount of alcohol to add a tingle and warmth.
Solid imperial stout .

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Photo of IPAdams
4.23/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance- Pours thick and pitch black with a small tan head that recedes quickly and leaves minimal lacing.

Smell- I get some vanilla and coffee with a background of milk chocolate and caramel. Very sweet smell, almost like French vanilla coffee with a bit of espresso in the back, very nice.

Taste-Can definitely taste the 90 IBU's. First sip is burnt toast and espresso. As it warms the bitterness subsides a little and gives way to notes of chocolate, licorice and some flavors of burnt caramel. I like the flavor but the bitterness and burnt toast take away from the other characteristics

Mouthfeel- Very full bodied and creamy. I like the mouthfeel but again the bitterness is quite drying on the back end.

Overall- Pretty good Imperial stout. Nice flavors, smell and body. I definitely recommend letting it warm up to help diminish some of the bitterness.

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Founders Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 1,834 ratings.
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