Founders Brewing Company

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IPA - Imperial
Ranked #809
Ranked #3,259
4.12 | pDev: 11.17%
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
Notes: Previously known as Hand of Doom.

Doom may be impending but that doesn't mean you have to fear it. A collision of worlds, the intense hop character of our Imperial IPA mingles with the warm vanilla and oak notes imparted from the time spent in our favorite bourbon barrels. Like all good things, Doom comes to those who wait.
Reviews: 506 | Ratings: 2,249 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of npolachek
npolachek from New York

4.16/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After being cellared for two year this beer definitely mellows. It's still pretty boozy, but solid. Notes of vanilla and oak and definitely a high ABV.

Sep 08, 2019
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dacrza1 from New Jersey

4.39/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

DATE: June 18, 2019... OCCASION: a monster evening of moving stuff to storage, with a huge shout-out to Dad, Uncle Joe, and Matt--with a lot of work by Shan too! This one has sat for about a year... GLASSWARE: Maudite snifter... pours a nearly opaque orange brown amber body, lively enough despite its doom-laden 12.4% ABV... given that number, its head is amazing retentive, holding a half-finger of white bubble clusters that ring the glass unevenly... the bouquet is an explosion of sharp flowers, candied brown sugars, deep whiskey hints, herb garden, light resin, earthy citrus--pomegranate, orange, and mango--and some malty aspects like caramel and rye sneak in as well... a wealth of aromas, but it returns to a stiff DIPA hoppiness... murky, dense and extremely resinous... this sips smoothly, thick and buttery--that characteristic bourbon dryness late, and its heft is disguised, cloaked in a body that presents like an IPA--dangerous and seductive... as this drinks, the bourbon gains in its profile, buttery, grainy, and sweet... it begins to dominate past the hops, but the combination weds well regardless--the citrus shines through, and the resin drips with a thickness that hols long after the sip finishes... this is a beer worth cherishing slowly, with butterscotch and fruity esters mingling sweetly... slightly nutty, with strong vanilla, and this is a great way to end a Tuesday... would seek this out on tap when Liquor Factory next has it available...

Jun 19, 2019
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jrc1093 from Connecticut

4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2017 vintage; on-tap at The Malted Barley, Westerly, RI

Pours a gorgeous, clear, deep golden orange-amber capped with a persistent head of off-white foam; a heavy smattering of thick, soapy lacing coats the glass while a dense collar of foam cling holds tightly through the final sip.

Aroma shows an eclectic combo of prominent vanilla and bourbon welcoming herbal hops and citrus peel almost effortlessly into the fold, well-integrated hints of smoky barrel and tinges of caramel and flambeed orange for further depth and contrast; potency and detail keeps pulling me back for more nosing.

Taste shows the bourbon and vanilla toning themselves down just a bit, allowing more caramel, grapefruit, dank candied orange, oaky barrel, and honeycomb through at varying intensities; impressive mixture of hoppy citrus and sweet barrel tones continue to meet in the middle for harmonious results in the palate.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied and moderately carbonated, and capped with an excellent booziness; sticky at first, but dries out quickly and evenly along the palate; faint hoppy bitterness/oaky grit appears on the finish, allowing a subtle boozy/hoppy character to continue developing calmly even after the swallow.

I can't shake the feeling I came across this beer at its apex in both age and serving format (~2 years old and on-tap); I'm thinking it would be much boozier and possibly unhinged fresh out of a bottle. That bit of unwarranted pessimism aside, what I've presently got in front of me is a ridiculous collision of barrel and big-time DIPA, no doubt aided by 2 years aging, but nevertheless resulting in a great warming type of beer; the booze is so well integrated as to be present but unobtrusive; whatever it is (maybe due to the aging), it's resulted in an impressive brew straddling beautifully the fine line between two contrasting profiles.

May 01, 2019
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GuyFawkes from Illinois

3.75/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Murky golden color.

White head; nice lacing.

Bitter oak nose.

Medium mouthfeel.

Blast of oak & bourbon up front, hint of citrus. Too much bourbon for me but this is complex and different.

Mar 04, 2019
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MercInc from Wisconsin

4.29/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

High abv .. Beware! this stuff will sneak up on you. 3 bottles in a hour is the same as an average 6 pack of discolored Rocky Mountain spring water. Great taste.

Jan 09, 2019
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jopezu from Georgia

4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pouring a bottle that’s been sitting in the fridge for 18 months. pours a clear, dark “cognac” amber with a medium head; lots of dark, solid floaters. nose; warm oak & vanilla, light ethanol, floral orange, caramel & mellow citrus hops. taste; light pale/caramel malt, oak, ethanol, leather, bourbon, light vanilla, orange rind, & citrus hops - pretty hot on the end, and the ethanol lingers. medium carbonation & mouthfeel. has a fanstastic nose, but is still way too hot even after a year+ in the fridge. maybe 2 years next time!? :)

Nov 20, 2018
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RaulMondesi from California

4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Ok. Yes. As the kids say today, this beer is “fire.” Like Dawson’s Creek in the 90’s, this one should bring all the peeps to the yard. It’s an IPA, it has all those ipa flavors, but it also has beautiful subtle heat, and smooth honey flavors.

Like Rihanna licking a honeycomb, I concur.

Jul 05, 2018
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elNopalero from California

4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This pours a caramel tinged tan. Thin lacing. I get vanilla and some toasted coconut on the nose. The bitterness is present but it's rounded out with vanilla and a touch of oak. Tastes like a big hoppy barleywine. Lots of candied orange peel. Gets a little harsh as it opens but otherwise a good sipper.

Jul 02, 2018
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Ego from New Jersey

4.21/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2 fingers of thick white foam, light orange hue, a little cloudy, some crowding of carbonation, great lacing

I guess the first aged imperial I smelled was DFH Burton... this totally takes me back to that, musty, caramel and hops, some vanilla notes with just the ever hint of charred barrel

bourbon all over the place, bourbon bourbon in my face, this really smacks of the spirit but the carbonation reveals the real drink, definite strong char flavor here (awesome), frankly the hops almost get in the way a touch, I could do without them here, the bitterness at the end of the sip kind of interferes with the more wonderful notes from the barrel, this is easy to get used to even if the ABV still has a kick, the bourbon notes are the clear winner here

not as impact-full as the game with the same name when it came out, has some really strong flavors and one hell of a mule kick, flawed but worth trying because where it succeeds it succeeds large

Jun 17, 2018
BIGPOPPAS from New Jersey

4.16/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very close in all characteristics to their new release of Dankwood .. o shared a bomber of this with friends, so I didn’t get to try as much as Dankwood . Dankwood I would choose over this, but very similar and tasty Imperial BBA IPA’s..
Solid and tasty brew alll the way around for any BBA fan .

May 22, 2018
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larryarms847 from Illinois

4.06/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep coppery rust orange and a bit of sediment.

Oak, leather, vanilla, char, and caramel.

Strong barrel character and becomes more interesting as it warms up.

Full-bodied, low-medium carbonation, rich, semi-chewy, a bit hot.

Overall, a little hot in terms of alcohol heat, but a nice warmer.

May 04, 2018
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Jeffo from Netherlands

3.5/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Doopie broke out this one for beer night a while back. Cheers!

From a 750 into a snifter
Barrel aged triple IPA

APPEARANCE: Pours a two finger, medium looking, foamy white head with great retention. Clear rust orange in color with no carbonation. Head slowly fades to a good film and clings to the glass. A half wisp remains until the end leaving touches of lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Lots of hops, citrus, lemon aromas, caramel notes, with a bit of wood and bourbon on the nose.

TASTE: Melon, caramel, wood, bourbon and booze up front. Wood and alcohol with citrus and caramel sweetness at the swallow. Bold and boozy finish with bitter hops, pine, citrus and caramel sweetness lingering on the palate.

PALATE: Medium body and medium levels of carbonation. Creamy enough on the palate, goes down with a good burn and finishes a bit mouth-coating. Some heat lingers.

OVERALL: Good stuff. The triple IPA is the most prevalent here but the barrel component is there if you look for it. I’m not sure this style of beer needs to be this strong and boozy, but for what it is, it’s done well and is worth checking out if you have one. Thanks again doops!

Apr 11, 2018
Photo of thebeers
thebeers from Pennsylvania

3.79/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Hazy dark, brownish orange with a fing r of soupy white head that's quick to dissipate. Leaves a soupy crown.

Earthy hops and big bourbon in the nose with plenty of wood and a hint of vanilla. A whiff of alcohol as well.

Orange hard candy, stale hops, earth and big alcohol all stand out in the taste. There's some creamy, vanilla bourbon mid-palate and then a bigly bitter finish.

Full, creamy feel.

Having this on tap at Churchkey. I don't really know how fresh it is but it tastes huge and stale. Not something I'm likely to revisit. A definite ass-kicker.

Apr 10, 2018
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MonDak_Joe1953 from Minnesota

4.34/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12oz bottle into glass. 2017 Release.
Clear, deep amber colored body. One finger off white head settles to thin cap and bubble fed ring. Just a few spots of lacing, most foam slides back into beer.
Aroma is like bourbon soaked orange, with barrel notes of oak, caramel, and vanilla.
Taste is sweet, then bourbon barrel, mixed in with citrus hops. Also there is oak, caramel, vanilla. Pine bitterness at the back end. Good malt foundation. As the beer warms, there is something like a spice (cinnamon) way at the back end, probably from the bourbon barrel.
Medium mouth feel, with syrupy touch that allows the complex tastes to linger.
Very smooth drinker. The tastes with aging have blended well. Who knew a barreled aged IPA would stand up to cellaring the bottle for a year. Very pleasant surprise.

Apr 08, 2018
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stevoj from Idaho

4.46/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from my brother. Can’t believe the low ratings. This is top notch. Glowing orange copper body initial two fingers fluffy head subsides to tightly beaded cap. Nice mellow aroma of citrus and mats yield little clue to what comes next. Taste explodes on the tongue, orange peel, Bourbon notes, sweet malt, butterscotch. More woody Bourbon notes waft up on the finish, kind of boozy, gentle warmth. This is really well crafted, and the barrel aging dances cheek to cheek with the lovely IIPA. Damn near perfect.

Mar 06, 2018
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stortore from Illinois

4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into a snifter. Bottled 4/28/17, had 6/1/17.

Pours a mostly clear golden orange, with a half inch foamy head and some foamy lacing. Aromas of malt, yeast, a decent amount of citrus hops at first, but that fades, some bourbon- more as it warms, vanilla, some oak and toffee, some pine. The bourbon picks up in the taste, and there’s a good amount of hop bitterness throughout that lingers on the finish. Malt, vanilla, some caramel, light oak, some pine and resin on the finish. Smooth, a good medium body, well carbonated.

It’s good, it might develop more flavor with some age. The flavor is very good, but could use more intensity. Very good aroma. Worth a purchase.

Feb 14, 2018
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BlackBeerPirate from Illinois

3.63/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Taste: intense bourbon, complex, oak, vanilla, warming finish with some hops for balance. Wood aroma with hint of hop nose. Golden hue, semi opaque, nice webbed lace. Medium full body. 100 IBUs

Jan 29, 2018
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Vidblain from Minnesota

4.27/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I've had Founder's Doom fresh, and now I'm drinking it after several months of age. Amazing what barrel aging, and what further bottle aging, does to an IPA. Common sense would tell you that this is going to be turning in to a barleywine any time now... but that doesn't seem to be the case. And I'm not really sure why that is, and don't care to speculate. Let's talk about the IPA.

Doom is aging fairly gracefully - which surprises me a bit, and makes me happy. I'd been slightly dismayed about the number of bottles I stashed away, honestly, after I had my first bottle. I have a four pack, I believe, and a bomber still sitting around in the cellar. But I'm becoming more okay with that after trying this most recent bottle.

While I am not a fan of 120 Minute IPA, I will admit that one thing does impress me - the maltiness. Similarly, Doom is quite a malty little beer. It pours a nice red-gold color, not precisely amber, more of an orange-y color. It smells quite pleasantly hoppy. Again: the girlfriend test says that this beer is no good for the hops haters. The bitterness isn't pronounced, but it's certainly there. The beer has that rich, slightly dry flavor that it had while fresh, but the barrel is fading a bit and the beer has smoothed out slightly. That dry barrel isn't quite so remarkable anymore, which is totally cool with me. It was... disruptive, before.

Doom is turning in to a really great beer. I'm glad I have more to try in the future.

Jan 22, 2018
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SHODriver from North Carolina

4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured into a tulip to a golden orange topped by a dense two finger white head which retains well and fades slowly to a collar around the edge of the glass with minimal lacing
S: Smells of sweet vanilla and oak with some bitter hops and some caramel sweetness
T: Taste is earthy and slightly herbal hops with a hint of citrus before some oak, vanilla and caramel come into the party. Slight alcohol as well. Swallow is more earthy hops, alcohol, oak, vanilla and a hint of caramel. Slight citrus rind at the very back of the finish
M: This beer is fairly thick in body with a slightly syrupy mouthfeel. Carbonation is low but adequate for what they are going for while the beer has a slightly drying finish.
O: Overall this is an interesting beer. It's a unique concept but I think they could have put those barrels to better use. I'm sure it was probably a little better when the hops were fresher too. Definitely interesting and worth a try if you like things to be different. It reminds me a lot of Oaked Old Richland from The Bruery.

Jan 11, 2018
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Milktoast75 from Wisconsin

4.27/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Brewed date of 5/03/17. Held out as long as I could. 6 pak 12oz. bottle poured into Door Co. Brewing snifter. I was "talked" into purchasing this 6 pak on the cashiers observation of me buying Founder's Old Ale. Hey you might like this? They had one 6 pak left. Uh, ok. Best beer purchase of the Summer.
L. Pours a perfect, smooth, copper hue. Minimal white head dissipates quickly.
S. Hard time with this one. Oak. Some floral. Grapefruit. Vanilla and alcohol. Strangely as it warmed the smell did not change.
T. First taste were sharp wood, grapefruit, floral with a strange back of the throat tartness. Why would I even drink anymore? It only gets better from here. Sip. Wait. Sip. Let it warm. Much smoother. Flavors blend and meld as intended. I did enjoy this beer but for a potent sipper, I prefer Founder's Old Ale. I would buy again given the chance though!
F. Smooth, but not thick or heavy feel.
This is a beer that cannot be defined with one glass or bottle. To say its is a complex beer is an understatement. Some will not get past the initial blast of alcohol or barrel aging flavor. Give this beer the time to appreciate when drinking it that the brewers did to produce it. There is a lot going on and should be treated accordingly. Take your time to fully enjoy this beer. I found the smoothest flavors were found as the beer warms to near room temp.
I try not to compare beers to beers but take them as they are.

Jan 07, 2018
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Pencible from Virginia

3.96/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This poured a cloudy dark gold with moderate white head.
S: It smelled like candied apricots and toasted coconut, with some vanilla and nougat and copper hops and alcohol.
T: It tasted like grapefruit and resin and toasted coconut, with some vanilla and oak and nougat. It had a mostly clean and bitter sweet aftertaste with some alcohol warming.
M: It was oily with moderate carbonation. Nice slick body.
D: This was an interesting brew with bold scent and taste, but not the most delicious combination of flavors. The body was solid, but the finish was hot, so it must be sipped. Probably not for aging, although I'm really curious how this would be after it has more time to mellow out and gel. Fresh is fun to try once, but nothing special enough to buy multiple times.

Dec 30, 2017
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dsa7783 from New Jersey

3.63/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Morris Tap and Grill. Pours a golden effervescent hue with minimal frothing. Mellow aroma replete with hints of citrus and grapefruit. Similar overall flavor profile.

Dec 29, 2017
Photo of hman43
hman43 from North Carolina

3.73/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Look: It pours clear and golden with an off white head. Head retention is good.

Smell: It has citrus, bourbon, and alcohol aromas up front. There are also notes of bread and caramel in the background.

Taste: There are sharp citrus flavors with bourbon and wood. The alcohol is quite noticeable. The is also a bit of syrup flavor and floral elements.

Feel: It is quite heavy with a slick feeling to it. The alcohol warming in quite strong with a slight bit being hot. This is definitely a sipping beer.

Overall, the flavors are complex but the alcohol is a bit boozy and slightly hot.

Dec 27, 2017
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VashonGuy from Washington

4.06/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

What an interesting beer! This one refuses to be pigeon-holed. Don't expect a typical DIPA. It's really more like a light barleywine. There are plenty of hops, but they are balanced with light caramel and oak and bourbon. As far as BBA beers go, the bourbon presence in this beer is mild. Not recommended for style purists. It reminds me a bit of DFH Burton Baton, although they aren't identical at all.

I liked it.

Dec 21, 2017
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FLima from Brazil

4.14/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Slightly hazy amber orange color with a thick off-white head with great retention and leaving strong laces.
Aroma with predominant notes of mild bourbon, vanilla, oak and lychees.
Flavor is more interesting with notes of chocolate-cocoa, bourbon, lots of spices, especially vanilla, orange marmalade and resin. Dry and bitter aftertaste.
Bordering full body with appropriate carbonation. They have slaved its 12% abv. Well done.
Me like it. Very complex and flavorful with no notes shadowing the recipe. Oak and bourbon are delicate. Almost an American Barley Wine without the dark notes. I felt a lot of cocoa upfront with bourbon and oak on the background.

Dec 13, 2017
Doom from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 2249 ratings