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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
foundersbrewing.com

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:
1,845
Ratings:
7,712
Avg:
4.34
pDev:
8.53%
 
 
Wants:
739
Gots:
2,415
For Trade:
150
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,845 | Ratings: 7,712
Photo of JoePat
4.65/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2009 vintage
This beer pours a pitch black with a two finger mininmum brown head tha slowly dissipates leaving some of the thickest lacing I have ever seen.
I smell a lot of coffee, chocolate, and some smoked malts.
Huge bitter chocolate, expresso and roasted malt flavor. A little smokey flavors as well and it all melds perfectly.
The lightest mouth feel of any stout like whip cream making me want drink after drink.

 419 characters

Photo of generalnotsew
4.45/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pour is deep space black with a nice chocolate head. Not much else you can say about a stout really. Smell is sticky sweet molasses and bitter coffee with hints of dark chocolate. Very fine smelling stout and quite strong too. Taste is sublime! Nice hop/coffee bitterness upfront with sticky sweet dark chocolate with an almost cloying sugar sweetness. I love by bitter IPA's but when it comes to stouts this is what I like to see. Drinkability does suffer a bit due to sweetness though. Otherwise this is top of the line and one of my absolute favorites!

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Photo of ThomasMetal75
4.2/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A- Looked like motor oil! Not even a red tinge could be detected. The head was a deep, dark, brown color. It died to a fine 1 finger that suck around. Not a large amount of lacing, but it was there. The beer has great looking alcohol legs that cling to the glass.

S- Lactic sweetness, but its light. Overall the beer smells on the drier side for an imperial stout. Dark, semisweet, baker's type chocolate is there. Rich coffee notes as well. Some dark fruits. Deep, roasted, maltiness. Smells excellent.

T- WOW! The nose and taste are the same. Very malty, with deep roasted notes to it. Sweetness is there, but it's not like a candied sugar flavor like some of these imperial stouts have. It's more on the drier, roasted coffee side of the flavor. I'm also getting a powdery quality to the dark chocolate flavor. I don't get much of the 90 IBUs at all. The bitterness was masked very well. And so was the alcohol for the most part. The beer has a very nice warming quality to the alcohol. It doesn't burn whatsoever. It finishes somewhat sweet and chocolatey and warming.

M- This is how a good imperial stout should feel. It's a full bodied beer, as one would expect. But in saying that, this was not harsh or hard to drink at all! It coated your mouth and the back of the throat nicely, and some of the flavors did stick around for awhile.

Overall, you need to get this. This is the perfect beer during the messy 2015 snow, cold, and ice we've been experiencing. I used it as dessert, and it worked out fantastically. It got loads of flavor and complexity without the harshness or burn you sometimes get from the style. And it's not overly sweet. Go get yourself a 4pk, try 1, and cellar the rest. A rated beer all day long son!

 1,734 characters

Photo of TechMyst
4/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

CONTAINER VOLUME: 355ml
CONTAINER TYPE: bottle (Limited Edition/ no purple on lable)
FRESH: 2004? (2 years old)
PURCHASED @: Binny
COST: $3
HEAD: none
LACE: Dark brown tiny spots
COLOR: REFLECTED- blackTRANSMITTED- blackest
AROMA: Syrup and dark malts
MOUTHFEEL: thick; burning cond.
PALATE: smooth oily/resinous
TASTE: dark roasted malts...not too sweet
COMMENTS: like Expedition, but not going over sweetness edge
CONDITIONS:
MOWING/WORKING ON CAR- n
WITH FRIENDS- y
SIPPING- y
GET MY BUZZ ON-y

 514 characters

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

Bottle Date 12/15/11 poured into a Snifter

A: Pours a jet black, like motor oil. A very thin but creamy chocolate colored head forms, and stays put for the most part. Sticky lacing throughout the glass.

S: Huge hits of chocolate in the nose, almost like cocoa powder. Smells candy sweet, with a faint roasted malt backbone.

T: Huge roast flavor with loads of bittersweet chocolate, and toffee. The sweetness in the nose is nowhere to be found in the taste. Not even a faint hint of the 10.5% alcohol.

M: Creamy, luxurious full-bodied stout. Subtle carbonation.

O: This is simply fantastic. You'd be hard pressed to find a better non-barrel-aged Imperial Stout. There's nothing lacking here at all, just a pleasurable drinking experience.

 742 characters

Photo of mattbk
4.34/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A - Whoa that's really thick. Motor oil. Still pours a deep tan head that's long lasting. Very nice appearance.
S - Chocolate. Almost more chocolate than any other beer I've ever smelled. Some bitter roast behind that, not much dark fruit. Excellent.
T - More roast than I expected, still some chocolate, a bit more dark fruit, a little bit of hop there, definitely some bitterness. Some of the bitterness from alcohol, not hot though. It's very good.
M - A bit lighter than I would have liked, definitely lighter in the mouth than from the appearance. Medium to medium heavy maybe? Very light carbonation.
O - A very good imperial stout, the aroma is superb, the taste is very good as well, no heat despite the 10.5%. Absolutely would recommend.

 746 characters

Photo of squaremile
4.72/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

HOLY SMOKES! Winter 09-10 vintage. This beer is insane! Pours straight up motor oil black. Some brown bubbles around the edges of the glass. The nose is decadent! Cocoa, espresso, molasses, licorice, vanilla, and booze. Taste is amazing. All of the above as flavors with a touch of hop bitterness to keep it from being too sweet. Flavor is HUGE. Mouthfeel is medium heavy, very smooth. Drinkability is pretty great considering the intensity of the flavors and the abv. This is one of my fav stouts ever. Maybe 6 more months and this would be at it's peak with the alcohol, which has the tiniest harshness left, which is the only ding for me. Amazing surprise considering how unassuming the bottle is and how under-hyped this is.

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Photo of KomodoDragon
4.55/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A - A violent poor produced a subtle butterscotch head that grew and grew to 1 inch with outstanding lacing.

S - Earthy, chocolate

T - Here is a case where the taste do not seem to follow the smell - to me. roasted vanilla espresso, fig, black malt, hint of sweetness and sugar cane. some sourness in the finish. Alcohol intensifies the flavor rather than overshadowing it. Hoppy finish reminiscent of a black ipa.

M- some creaminess, but also a bit too fizzy for me.

A lot going on here, and wonderful to sip. It'll warm you on a cold night. Solid entry in a favored category.

 583 characters

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

Appearance: Ink black with very dark beige, one finger head that quickly disappears leaving a rim of froth around the glass edge.
Smell: Rich, strong, and sweet mocha coffee; the high alcohol content hits the nose also.
Taste: Burnt toast with a bitter-sweet chocolate after taste. Remind me of a strong coffee with a healthy dose of kalua added. Heaven.
Mouthfeel: Thick, chewy and sticky; like an imperail stout should be.
Overall: An amzing beer and a must try for every stout lover! It's right up there at the top of my list.

 531 characters

Photo of itsscience
4.21/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

It was presented to me black with about a finger of brown head. Smelling it, I get a lot of roasted grains with chocolate, charred wood with a hint of smoke, some coffee, and a slight hop aroma. The taste is much more chocolate-forward. It has a dark chocolate and cocoa powder profile carrying a vein of caramel, with a creamy, full mouthfeel throughout. It finishes with a roasty burnt oat taste with a manageable level of astringency.

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Photo of codsmith
4.37/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Local Option

Black with nice carmel colored thin foam head that clears quickly and sticks to the sides of the glass

Thin chocolate aroma. Almost bitter sweat and you can smell the alcohol.

Very thick and full bodied. Starts out as a very nice smooth chocolate and finishes with a slightly bitter chocolate aftertaste.

Taste lingers and stays with you.

Nice overall beer with def drinkability. The alcohol is present and accounted for with this big guy.

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

Bottled: 12/20/12 - poured into a CCB Snifter

A: Thick and dark - looks like motor oil. Aggressively poured with what looks like no head, until it quickly develops into thick, dark brown, fluffy, 2 finger foam. Remains for several minutes and leaves a perfect, thick lace on the glass.

S: Roasted chocolate malt and barley smells, with piney hops. Smells toasty and bready. Expected a little more chocolate and was taken back a little by the hop presence. Not bad by any means, just a little surprised.

T: Wow. Roasted, toasty, chocolate in the beginning - almost a hint of some smoke. Mid drink is when the hops arrive. Finishes with some more chocolate and almost a hint of hazelnut with some booze and bitterness that survive in the after taste. This is extremely balanced and works well.

M: Very thick, full, sticky body - which one would expect from a 10.5% ABV RIS. Pretty amazing how easy it went down though.

O: I continue to be impressed with Founders, and this one is right at the top with a couple other seasonals they do. Throughout the drink I kept thinking "this is really good, but also really thick". Then all of a sudden it was gone and I realized it was going down much easier than I thought it was. The balance of the hops, and sweet roastiness is incredible. Can't wait to do a taste of one of these vintage '12 bottles next January with a year of age vs a fresh bottle of Vintage '13.

 1,411 characters

Photo of Richardbeerlover
3.64/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours without a head and then a very thin head forms that quickly dissipated. Very thick black color. Smells like a typical dark stout. Nice slightly sweet taste without bitterness. Has a nice thickness to it. The 10% ABV shows up towards the finish. I really like this one.

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Photo of BigIrishman
4.57/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into pint glass

Appearance: Thick black with cappuccino colored head, not much retention.

Smell: Coffee and chocolate overload the nose, very malty base to it as well.

Taste: Huge coffee/espresso base, similar to the breakfast stout but not quite as much as the BS. Absolutely wonderful finish.

Mouthfeel: Thick and heavy, just the way I like my RIS's.

Drinkability: The 10.5% alcohol is completely unnoticeable, I could pound these down all day.

Notes: Founder's never disappoints, this beer fits perfectly into my RIS gap right now, absolutley wonderful.

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Photo of Hesscabob
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Finally was able to have a snifter full.

A - Impenetrable dark beer with a dark mocha/tan head.
S - Smell of chocolate, fuge, brownies, rocky road ice cream.
M - Creamier than I anticipated, perfect carbonation, no lingering sweetness such as other base stouts. The use of Oats is noted and well taken.
T - Delicious, roasted malts, marshmallow.
O - Great Imperial, much anticipated and it delivered.

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Photo of rabidawg
4.55/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a pure black with an espresso-colored head. Sheets of lacing coat the inside of the glass. Magnificent.

Smell: Bittersweet dark chocolate and french roast coffee aromas. Toasty bread crust and a slight burnt aroma. Rum-like at times, and earthy.

Taste: Soft in the mouth from the low carbonation. Spicy holiday fruitcake flavors initially. Ginger and cinnamon. Rich scorched chocolate and dark-roasted coffee. Slightly slick and buttery near the end, with leafy green hops washing away the residual sugars after the swallow. Alcohol is well hidden, but a slight numbing is present after the swallow.

Kick-ass imperial stout! Thanks to cmaruschak for this midwestern gem!

 697 characters

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

Tasting note founders imperial stout

12 oz bottle poured into mad elf tulip

Aroma strong bitter coffee, bakers chocolate, roasted barley

Appearance black,black, and more black.  Mocha head lacing that lines whole glass

Flavor coffee, bittersweet chocolate, rum, toast, raisins

Mouthfeel/Drinkability nice level of carbonation, not as smooth as breakfast stout but not bad.  Might be able to drink two at a sitting

Overall once again founders doesn't disappoint.  Can't wait till febuary for kbs!!!

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Photo of Onemoresolo
4.66/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottled in Dec '14, opened Dec '15, let's see what a year has done:

Look: Holy viscosity, this looks like motor oil from a car that went waaaaay past 3,000. Not much head, just a dark tan film and ring around the rim. Blacker than black body, no light coming through. Mmmm.

Smell: Lots and lots of rich dark chocolate, roast malt, yum.

Taste: Oh wow! There's still a good amount of bitterness here that carries the smooth chocolatey caramel flavors nicely. Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, caramel, toffee, some dark roast coffee on the finish. There's no hint of alcohol, this is like a chocolate milkshake.

Feel: I think this might be thicker than Ten Fidy. Great full-bodied beer, but the lively bitterness and rich flavors really come together perfectly here.

Overall: Bummed that this is my last '14 bottle, but very pleased that I got to enjoy it. One of the best stouts out there, BA or otherwise.

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Photo of gwguest
4.7/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Founders Imperial Stout hits all of the points for me when I think of "Imperial Stout" without going completely out of bounds on any one area or being a gimmick beer.

Look - Pours a deep dark brown with a caramel mocha colored foam. The pour gives you an accurate impression of the beer you're about to drink.

Smell - Bittersweet Chocolate with coffee and vanilla notes. Deep roasted malts.

Taste - Deep and complex layers of roast of the chocolate and coffee notes with definite charred notes all blend together to be nearly indistinguishable unless tasting it for a review purpose. There is just enough caramel sweetness to balance the roast and the hops do there job to add enough bitterness to check the caramel. There is a very slight hint of alcohol heat in the finish, but I'm being very, very picky on this. Your average BA won't notice it.

What I love most about this beer is that it's not a roast bomb, a hop bomb or a cloying mess. It dials up all of those attributes in just the right level to create a harmonious, delicious beer.

Feel - Lucious and creamy matching and enhancing everything that the beer has offered to this point.

I don't review many beers, but this beer simply deserves it. A fantastic beer that I will buy every time that I see it.

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

First beer I've had from Founders. I wish we could get this stuff here in CA.

Inky black/brown, caramel colored head. The head was the most impressive part. Amazingly deep color.

Maybe too cold, but the aroma was typical deep roasted malts and little else.

Excellent flavor of mostly roasted malts with some coffee... although not too much. Toffee, sweetness, finished up with strong bitterness that nails the equilibrium.

Heavy body for sure, good carbonation. I should probably give all good RIS's 5s for this category since the mouthfeel isn't really going to get any better. I just don't prefer heavier beers.

Top notch.

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

Pours a deep blackish brown, no light shines through. The head is generous and has a very fine carbonation, a burnt caramel color. Smells of big roast, very bold and intense. Flavor is rich and full, lots of roasted malt and chocolate, big finish, alcohol is warming. Overall a solid imp stout, wish it was year 'round, this puppy has some bite.

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Photo of legalpete19340
4.53/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured super thick black and oily into the glass. The head grew and grew from nothing until i blew over the rim of the glass. It stuck to everything and never left. Insane.

S: Deep dark malt everywhere. Dark chocolate, leather, campfire.

T: Huge dark malt blowing up. Tons of smoke, burn coffee, and dark chocolate. The middle smacks of those Harry and David chocolate cherries with hints of lemon. Nice grassy flavor as well. But this is all dark and it ends on dark hoppy malty note.

M: Velvety, thick but not too chewy. Just smooth.

O: Like Megan Fox. What more can I say. This is a dark beautiful masterpiece.

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Photo of tedpeer
4.15/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce poured into a pint glass.

A - Pours an opaque black, with an inch+ tan head that quickly subsides to 1/8. Nice lacing.

S - Roasted malts, hints of coffee and chocolate.

T - Roasted, almost burnt. Bitter finish with alcohol warmth.

M - Thick and creamy with medium carbonation.

D - This is a sipper.

 312 characters

Photo of brian44556
4.26/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage poured into Stone tulip at 55 degrees.

The appearance of this beer was great. Poured a small foam head, jet black in color, and left a nice chocolate lacing around the glass. The smell the first 10-20 minutes was very metallic in nature. Still had hints of coffee, but I didn't smell the chocolate until it warmed up. Halfway through the glass the smell was great. Same result with the taste. The first 20 minutes the taste was just OK. Not until it warmed up did it have the very bitter chocolate taste with a coffee backbone that I look for in a RIS. The mouthful was great, carbonation was noticeable, but I didn't pick up on any notes of alcohol once it warmed up. Overall an another exceptional beer from Founder's. I could easily drink a 4 pack, but with the hefty ABV, 2 may be my limit.

 809 characters

Photo of mikul93
4.38/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A Pours thick and black. Dark mocha colored 1 finger head. Nice lacing

S Chocolate,Roasted Malt maybe a hint of caramel and vanilla

T Sweet roasted malt, Chocolate, some vanilla, slight bit of coffee. Alcohol is not as "in your face" for 10.5 %

M This is some sexy beer. It's thick, but it's smooth and creamy. One of the most creamy beers that I have had.

O Delicious. Lots of roast, chocolate and hints of other flavors. Just great!

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Founders Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company
4.34 out of 5 based on 7,712 ratings.
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