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: 7,862 |  Reviews: 1,901
Photo of Dirtinabottle
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of rudabegga9
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of RickS95
4.81/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Your eyes will never see anything more attractive that this RIP in a glass. Next time you go to have your oil changed, ask the service guy to let you see the spent oil. That's what this looks like. It's a thick pour, as dark as the darkest black. There's no head early on, it takes its time to form. When it does finally get around to being a head, it's brown bubbles a finger thick that retains well. It's a classic look.

Very malty as you might imagine. Very roasty grains, a skosh of chocolate and you can actually smell some of the 90 IBUs. A good amount of char, think burnt coffee.

As good as anything I've ever had. Plenty of malts and seemingly lots of different types. There's a party on the tongue and chocolate, expresso, coffee, caramel, vanilla and alcohol were all invited. The alcohol is fairly prevalent, but this is as good as it gets.

It's pretty smooth and creamy despite the ABV and heat from it. Thick and full bodied, it presents a sweetness followed by a drying bitterness. The bitterness lingers, but so does the chocolate and alcohol, keeping a decent balance during the whole sip...and at 10.5% ABV, I suggest you sip even though the taste is amazing.

Overall, it's one of the best beers I've ever had. It goes down easy, in spite of the high ABV and IBUs. Bordering on flawless.

 1,309 characters

Photo of mythaeus
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of Roze
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of MbpBugeye
4.46/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Finally got my hands on a bottle of this. I've been wanting to try it for about 2 years now. Its always been tough to find in Columbus.

Bottled on 02/09/11

The head is super nice. Its a very dark tan with rusty shades of red thrown in. Very large and has an extreme penchant for lacing. The glass is completely coated in dark foam. The beer looks black as black can be. When the beer is swirled it moves slowly, like crude oil.

The aroma is this beer's weakest part. Its just nothing special. Lots of charred and roasted grains, some coffee and dark cocoa. A little bit of dark fruit helps to sweeten things up.

This is a very well crafted beer. We need more straight forward RISs that are this good. Things start off smooth and creamy with a nice dark chocolate and coffee bean combination. Dark fruits come in towards the middle as licorice rope is ushered in. A little bit of vanilla is seen. The finish holds charred malts and dark fruits, with some faint acidity and a nice, even alcohol flavor of rum soaked fruits.

Woah, this stuff is great as it rolls around the mouth. Low carbonation with a super full body. Some light alcohol warmth is felt in the chest and tip of the tongue. The beer is a little sticky, leaving residual charcoal flavors behind on the teeth.

This drinks very smoothly. Each sip leaves you wanting another. A very well crafted RIS. No frills, no gourmet chocolate, no espresso beans, no barrels, no weasel shit, just good brewing.

 1,511 characters

Photo of zac16125
4.1/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Founders Imperial Stout
12 oz bottle poured into a snifter
bottled on 12/22/2011

A: Pours a viscous opaque jet black, that even with a very aggressive pour still only yields but a sliver of very dark mocha colored head, which quickly dissipates to leave only an outer ring. What little head that is present does leave a little bit of patchy lacing, but not much.

S: Heavy roasted aroma, a good amount of black licorice, an astringent/medicinal quality as well, some coffee characters and a bit of dark chocolate, an alcohol presence and there’s no hiding that. Good aromas, but you really have to work for them, otherwise you would likely just get roasted malt and alcohol.

T: Straight up roasted malt, with a grassy character, an ill defined nutty flavor, and some bakers chocolate on the backend that lingers for quite some time after each sip. Not terribly complex but enjoyable.

M/D: Very smooth, I love a smooth IS. Full bodied, coats the palate nicey with an oily mouthfeel, appropriately low carbonation, excellent job of masking the double digit ABV, and surprisingly good drinkability. Doesn’t get much better than this.

O: Overall this is a damn good beer. I’ve been really spoiled in that I’ve had the pleasure of drinking some of the finest Imperial Stouts on the planet over the last couple of months. This certainly doesn’t live up to the best of them (which to date I would claim to be The Abyss and Alesmith Speedway), but it’s a fine beer nonetheless and certainly worth a drink if you can find it.

 1,536 characters

Photo of Cubatobaco
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of brbrocc
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of Sazz9
3.75/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of Proteus93
3.97/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Blackity black. Light tan head, not huge, but creamy and retention is good.

S: Roasted malts, smokiness, with that smoked scent going so far as to give it a bit of a meaty scent. It compliments a light anise and very soft chocolate aromas.

T: A hoppiness I don't usually pick up from the style... it adds a nice bitterness and a little touch of spiciness. Maltiness, unsweetened chocolate.

M + D: Medium heavy, but got a bit hot as it warmed and rightly so, I suppose Good beer certainly... but a bit too intense.

 522 characters

Photo of JDizzle
4.27/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz bottle that was about 8 months old.

Pours a very black, mocha tan head, nice lacing. Very enticing! I expected more head though(of course I did).

Smells beautifull! Coffee, chocolate, roasted malts, and oak. Smells as good as it looks. O can't smell hops even though the IBU's are way up there. Smokey on tap!

Taste of black burnt malt with espresso, coffee, chocolate and a slight alcohol burn. It all comes together so nicely. It does wear on you over time though. Not as smooth as Expedition from Bell's.

The mouthfeel is full and dry with minimal carbonation. Not the chewiest, but no where near thin. Oily with a nice sheen

I think this may be better with some age on it due to the fact the bitter hops never came through. $11.99 a 4-pack.

 769 characters

Photo of Bosoxfan20
3/5  rDev -30.9%

Photo of krl2112
3.5/5  rDev -19.4%

Photo of VaTechPhilly
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of Schlafly33
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of ivegot3Dvision
4.84/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of speedvagen
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of Filabee
3.27/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Stum-pub
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of FBarber
4.36/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours jet black and oily. Momentarily a thin brown head that dissipates leaving only the faintest of rings of foam around the top of the beer.

Smell has aromas of milk and dark chocolate, prunes, raisins, and roasted malts.

Taste follows the nose with a nice blend of milk chocolate, prunes and raisin flavors. Roasted malts are prevalent with some dark chocolate, cocoa, and maybe a slight coffee note. Slight booze taste, but its certainly there as the beer warms the mouth as you drink it. Ever so slight hop bitterness on the back end provides a nice dry finish.

Feel is very nice for the style. Real heft on this beer with a nice smooth velvety feel. Minimal carbonation.

Overall an outstanding Russian Imperial Stout. Wonderful complex flavor that doesn't rely on coffee. Nice mild hoppy bitterness. Just all around really good.

 842 characters

Photo of deadliest
3.75/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of brianmandell
4.29/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle dated 1/6/14 in snifter. Black as night with a quickly dissipating dark tan head. Chocolaty, roasty coffee scent. The taste is big. Chocolate sweetness up front then booze and a bright hop bitterness that lingers along a roasty ashiness. The finish dries out the tongue and leaves a very bitter ashy flavor. The mouthfeel is excellent. Slick but not too thick or cloying. I like that it's not overly sweet but the hops overpower the experience. The beer is well crafted but the hoppy character at 30 days old is not to my preference. I think this makes it a good candidate for aging. I will stash a few in the cellar and revisit over time.

Update: Bottle dated 12/7/13 enjoyed on 11/4/14: 11 months in the bottle has improved this nicely. I'm revising my score upwards to reflect the latest bottle. Everything has melded together nicely. The hop character is still prominent and the beer is still quite bitter and campfire ashy. However the light chocolatey sweetness and slick and silky mouthfeel feel decadent. There are some very slight sherry undertones that add a wonderful complexity.

 1,098 characters

Photo of SinjaminBentek
4.34/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jwinship83
4.38/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- pours a black body with a finger of beige colored head. The head sticks around for the entire beer and leaves its mark along the sides of my glass.

S- the nose is full of coffee and roasted malts. Some chocolate is detected.

T- very dark and roasted tasting. Lots of coffee and chocolate also. Nice blast of hops at the end.

M- full bodied and rather thick. No trace of the alcohol in this one. Very smooth.

D- a solid RIS that goes down pretty quickly. A few of these in an evening would be a treat. Glad they brought this one back.

 541 characters

Founders Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company
4.34 out of 5 based on 7,862 ratings.
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