Founders Brewing Company

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Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
IPA - Imperial
Ranked #1,548
Ranked #6,874
4.08 | pDev: 11.27%
Apr 29, 2022
Feb 01, 2009
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.
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Ratings by Danielr26:
Photo of Danielr26
4/5  rDev -2%
by Danielr26 from Michigan

Apr 26, 2013
More User Ratings:
4.33 by hopley from Massachusetts on Apr 29, 2022
4 by micada from New York on Oct 27, 2021
4.36 by Sinister from New York on Feb 21, 2021
4.24 by Cubatobaco from Virginia on Jul 21, 2020
4.42 by Yendor61 from Michigan on Mar 16, 2020
4.06 by dcall384 from Indiana on Jan 22, 2020
4.13 by Seal4676 from Michigan on Jan 01, 2020
4 by neliam24 from New York on Dec 02, 2019
3.67 by baklo from North Carolina on Nov 10, 2019
2.86 by Houborg1 from Denmark on Oct 04, 2019
Photo of npolachek
4.16/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by npolachek from New York

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
4.08 by Yendorwarrior from Michigan on Jun 24, 2019
Photo of dacrza1
4.39/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
by dacrza1 from New Jersey

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
3.95 by zknight from Korea (South) on May 05, 2019
Photo of jrc1093
4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
by jrc1093 from Connecticut

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
4.2 by trancecylist from Pennsylvania on Apr 19, 2019
Photo of GuyFawkes
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
by GuyFawkes from Illinois

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
4.61 by Sir_Goatman from Oregon on Feb 10, 2019
4.25 by TheTinDoor from Maryland on Jan 22, 2019
Photo of MercInc
4.29/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25
by MercInc from Wisconsin

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
4 by Kdouble from Tennessee on Dec 30, 2018
4 by Kurmaraja from California on Dec 28, 2018
4.1 by KMcGrath from Massachusetts on Nov 26, 2018
Photo of jopezu
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by jopezu from Georgia

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
3.83 by dafla67 from Pennsylvania on Sep 09, 2018
4 by Spaten454 from Texas on Jul 21, 2018
Photo of RaulMondesi
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
by RaulMondesi from California

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
Photo of elNopalero
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by elNopalero from California

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
4.13 by Luscious_Malfoy from Illinois on Jun 25, 2018
Photo of Ego
4.21/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by Ego from New Jersey

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
3.62 by Jason1221 from Illinois on Jun 15, 2018
4.5 by Jbk81 from Massachusetts on Jun 14, 2018
4.04 by Hodl90 from Indiana on Jun 09, 2018
2.3 by Chilmer from Iowa on May 25, 2018
4.16/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by BIGPOPPAS from New Jersey

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
4.5 by DigitGrowler from Kentucky on May 14, 2018
3.86 by Chuckdiesel24 from Illinois on May 08, 2018
Photo of larryarms847
4.06/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by larryarms847 from Illinois

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
4.14 by PatGreer from Massachusetts on Apr 27, 2018
Doom from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 2251 ratings