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: 7,864 |  Reviews: 1,901
Photo of lunarbrew
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of krl2112
3.5/5  rDev -19.4%

Photo of Roze
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of mythaeus
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of teromous
3.41/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

From the bottle: Bottled 12/15/2014 so it is less than a month old

Appearance: Oily black body. When pouring it came out as a viscous oily substance that I had to adjust my "pour stream" to prevent it from falling out of the glass. It's not necessarily good or bad, just noteworthy. There is a thin dark brown head that fades out rather quickly.

Aroma: The aroma is almost non-present. I pick up the scent of pure alcohol mixed with what smells like chocolate brownies. It probably sounds great, and it does smell good, but it's like smelling the pan that brownies were cooked in rather than the brownies themselves. It is the whisper of a ghost.

Taste: Fortunately that chocolate brownie aroma made it into the flavor. It is here and it is nice, but it is very faint. It tastes as if this beer has been aged for a very long time despite how young the "bottled on" date is. If you've ever aged a truly fresh beer you will know what I mean when I say that the flavors have melded and faded away from the foreground. The alcohol presence is gone which is fantastic. Nothing stands out in this, however in its subdued splendor it is enjoyable.

Mouthfeel: it is thick and coating like brownie batter. Lovely presence on the palate. It could not be better. It has very low carbonation and it works nicely with the nice thick body.

Overall: My overall experience with this beer is that I like it a lot and I would drink it again. Although it is fresh it tastes faded, but somehow it works. Was the beer aged extensively prior to bottling? I don't know. I would recommend drinking it "as is" and not aging it further. I would drink another bottle of it, but I probably wouldn't keep a sixer around.

 1,696 characters

Photo of rudabegga9
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of VaTechPhilly
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of Dirtinabottle
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of Cubatobaco
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

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 brbrocc
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of Sazz9
3.75/5  rDev -13.6%

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 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 Bosoxfan20
3/5  rDev -30.9%

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

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

Photo of Schlafly33
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of speedvagen
4/5  rDev -7.8%

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 Stum-pub
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of Jlabs
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of deadliest
3.75/5  rDev -13.6%

Founders Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company
4.34 out of 5 based on 7,864 ratings.
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