Founders Black Biscuit | Founders Brewing Company

257 Ratings

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
A cross between an Old Ale and a Baltic Porter. Brewed with a significant amount of biscuit malt and molasses.

Added by sweemzander on 12-18-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 257 |  Reviews: 150
Photo of Jammer42
2/5  rDev -55.6%

Photo of brock125
3/5  rDev -33.3%

Photo of AleWatcher
3.06/5  rDev -32%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Got this as an awesome extra from ShawnM213-- He hand-bottled this one and sent it along, like I said, as an EXTRA! Thanks for the chance to try this one man!

Reviewed from notes (in my ongoing effort to get caught up on my reviews!)

Pours a deep brown, almost black with some reddish hints in the legs. No head due to this being a handbottle. No lace either. Color looks good, and I'll give this a decent rating here on the basis that I had an "improper" serving of this beer that was detrimental to the carbonation.

Nose is big booze. Anise and molasses and boozy alcohol and some sort of wood note. The smell is harsh and muddy-- a little unpleasant. Lots of dark malts and a ton of astringent, rubbing alcohol booziness.

Doesn't smell/taste oxidized, but the boozy level is waaay too high for 10.5%!

Taste follows the nose with a little smokiness, woody oakiness, and huge booziness. The sweet malts and other "beer" flavors are lost in a sea of booze.

Mouthfeel is fine-- I'll be generous here again due to the improper serving. Nice nearly full body-- in my case, it needs more carbonation...

Not really feeling this one. Way too hot and harsh. Seems like the flavors don't blends well. Would be happy to try it on tap if I ever come across it! I won't be searching out another hand bottle though!

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Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -22.2%

Photo of NvMyBeer
3.5/5  rDev -22.2%

Photo of Arbitrator
3.52/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Growler generously shared by alfrantzell. Thanks, Arne.

A: Pours, as you might expect, a pitch black with a small ring of translucence. It's oily looking, with a small mocha head that vanishes quickly into a bead around the rim.

S: When cold, the beer was incredibly rummy, with pronounced molasses, burnt sugar, and toast. As it warmed, it evolved a licorice and mild dark fruit (raisin) aroma. It also has a mild booze presence in the nose; it's not solventy, but you can tell it is hot. It's not an unpleasant aroma; the meatiness is pretty attractive. But I'd say it falls more under Baltic Porter than Old Ale.

T: The taste followed the nose. This is extremely decadent and sweet, bordering on cloying. Molasses and burnt caramel dominate when cold, but raisins and licorice fight their way to the forefront as the beer warms up. I don't know how to taste the 'biscuit' part of the name. The element brings out some toasted oak. I don't pick up much bourbon or vanilla (was this aged in plain oak barrels, then?). It's definitely a bit boozy, though. Again, I'd liken this to a high-octane Baltic Porter. I'm not sure what the "old ale" components are here; I was hoping to find some smoke or tobacco, which are my favorite components in that style. This is a grade better than AleSmith Decadence '10, but it doesn't hold up to Cherry Adam, Matt, or even regular Adam if I had to be honest.

[EDIT: I was informed this was aged in maple syrup bourbon barrels. I had trouble picking up either maple or bourbon. Molasses was more dominant for me.]

M: Thick and oily: very heavy beer, with a noticeable heat. Carbonation is low. Its mouthfeel is spot on for a beer of this magnitude. It coats the palate without being impossible to scrub off. The flavors are in good balance.

O: I had very high expectations for this one. I'm a big fan of the Founders stout lineup, particular the base IS, KBS, and CBS. While this isn't a stout, I expected this to follow in the tradition of excellence. Although it was enjoyable to drink, it didn't have the same complex, vibrant flavors as those beers, and its execution is overall lacking. I still find Hair of the Dog to be the gold standard in the Old Ale category.

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Photo of brystmar
3.55/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 vintage on tap at Barcade Brooklyn.

Dark brown body, nearly opaque. Some tan head and silky brown lace up top. Too bad it smells like nail polish. Acetone++

Old ale malt base joins the dry yeast and maple barrels to create a unique profile. Boozy, roasty, spikes of sweetness, finishes dry. Not much biscuit left. Did I mention boozy?

Glad I got to try this, but I wouldn't seek it out again.

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Photo of bashiba
3.58/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a deep dark brown/black with a thick tan head that left light lacing and a long bubbly ring.

The smell was a strange mixture of molasses and bitter dark chocolate.

The flavor was very sweet with big molasses notes and some deep dark chocolate, heavy malts with lots of noticeable dark fruits and a slightly burnt black bitterness that doesn't quite come close to balancing out the sweetness. Didn't really get much of the biscuit flavors this is famous for.

The mouthfeel was actually a bit thin for a beer of this style, also a bit hot.

This was interesting, very much a dark molasses bomb, but the execution wasn't great. I managed to drink two pints, so I guess it was drinkable for a beer this size, but still a bit much after a while.

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Photo of sweemzander
3.63/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

8oz. tap pour at Founders into a snifter.

(A)- Pours a thick & syrupy pitch black color that momentarily cascaded as it was pulled from the tap right in front of me. Produced a rather frothy & fluffy very light tan head with some good retention to it.

(S)- Tons of butterscotch, molasses, vanilla, toffee, and coffee. Man, this is rich & malty!

(T)- Very decadent & rich malted chocolate shake with toffee, butterscotch, cocoa, molasses, raisins, and caramel mixed into it. The slightest bitterness from hops, and a slight roasted component mixed into the various elements. Very sweet but is a rollercoaster of flavor. They said it was an old ale, but its really like that only combined with a stout and a barleywine put together; crazy!

(M)- Great carbonation level to it. Rather thick & very sweet tasting; its almost to the point of being too much, but not quite. This screams dessert beer in every sense.

(D)- A sipper meant to be savored after dinner as a special treat. Very sweet & rich but not in an off-sugary way; Tons upon tons of malts in this! I would love to see this bottled just so I could age it to see how it would change cause this has alot going for it, but it really fills you up with its thick & rich body.

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Photo of yourefragile
3.72/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

32 oz growler shared by capra12 in line at BASC release.

A few months in a well kept growler hasn't been kind to this beer. Still complex, sweet and smooth but most of the maple flavor has faded and a black licorice and molasses flavor has taken over. Slightly oxidized and soft carbonation but still a silky, soft body. Interesting trying some age on this but this beer is never a favorite (though still more enjoyable than Kaiser Curmodgeon)

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Photo of Jmoore50
3.75/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

jh1982 got this in a trade and was gracious enough to share it with yours truly. Don't get me wrong, this beer is really good but not as great as everyone was saying when it first came out at the extreme beer festival.

It pours from the growler really thick and oily, just my style. Not really black, but not far off either. With a really hard pour I could not get a head at all, this beer is high in alcohol and thick as hell.

This beer smells like an almond joy candy bar. Great coconut and vanilla coming through hand in hand with cocoa and a bit of burnt malts. Toffee and some caramel come through as well, the boozy character in this is strong but totally enjoyable.

I thought this beer was overly sweet and somewhat muddled. There were lots of different sugars coming from different ingredients. Maple syrup was a huge one, toffee and caramel, some vanilla as well. There is a nice subtle whisky barrel flavor in this that I think brings it up from a total flavor train wreck.

It has a nice oily mouthfeel with a lower level of carbonation. It is cloyingly sweet, a lower level of carbonation, just some little things that add up. Not a bad beer on any level, a beer I would love to buy in a store or even one I would trade for. I was expecting great things and was mildly disappointed.


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Photo of TMoney2591
3.76/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a snifter at ChurchKey.

And again, the CK makes itself known as the badass of badasses in the District. This guy pours a black so bleak it causes space madness, topped off by a short half-finger of dark ecru foam. The nose comprises some sharp bourbon, smoke and/or charcoal (I'll be honest, I can't figure out which it is here), molasses, burning (yes: burning), maple syrup, and what I can only describe as damp cardboard. I have no idea what to make of this smell. The taste is very similar, with the aforementioned elements along with chocolate, brown sugar, and graham crackers. These newcomers make everything copacetic once again. The body is a rather hefty medium, with a craggy feel (take from that what you's what I wrote in my notes...) and the vague impression of vibrating fizz, like what you feel when you lick a battery. I don't know what to tell you on that last one. Seeing the other reviews from the CK, though, I can't really blame it on the delivery of the beer. Overall, a very solid brew, but not really all that I heard it would be. The overly strong burn in the nose and the electric vibrating in the feel just drag what could have been a stellar brew into more modest company.

 1,222 characters

Photo of Duhast500
3.76/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the tap into a tasting glass.

The color is a dark brown with a tan'ish head and some nice lacing.

The smell is pretty bourbony and is thick with some nice maple flavor. There are also some nice earthy flavors that bring me back a bit.

The taste is pretty big with some nice smooth velvety malt flavor. There is some nice molasses flavor that taskes over fr a time and some bourbon flavor that holds for a bit and then releases.

The feel of this beer is pretty darn heavy at first but lighten up with a bit of a smooth feel at the end. This beer is pretty drinkable and is good going down.

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Photo of Urbancaver
3.79/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- 4.5 dark brown with mahogany hues... Minimal head but a bit of foam hanging around the corners

Smell-3.0 smells like malt, malt, and more malt... Also, sour hints peaking through

Taste- 4.0 malt, malt, sour hints (presumably from the age... Just found out this is an09 keg), lots of molasses sweetness

Mouthfeel- 4.0 smooth and great on the palette. Definitely feels great :)

Drinkability- 4.0 pretty damn drinkable. Definitely finished my glass without even realizing it

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Photo of bs870621345
3.8/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours jet black with a half inch of mocha head. Leaves nice lacing down the glass.

Smells like molasses, brown sugar, caramel, smoke, licorice, and a hint of oak. Whiskey is definitly present also.

Taste is boozy. Molasses, caramel, smoke, licorice all make appearances but its really dominated by alcohol.

Mouthfeel is thick and rich with really no carbonation.

Overall, its a good beer, but could have been better.

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Photo of BeerAndBourbon
3.83/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Dutch's. Consumed several hours after KBS and CBS.

A. Pours a dark brown with a tan head that clings nicely.

S. Tart with an almost merlot-like dryness.

T. Bit of tartness, with dark malt, some sweet dark fruit, a bit of malty sweetness, and some merlot dryness.

M. On the thin side of medium with a medium level of carbonation.

D. Quite good, but doesn't quite hold up to the CBS tasted earlier in the night. I'm told that the tart flavors are because it was an '09 keg although they didn't seem to be overwhelmingly out of place.

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Photo of caskstrength
3.85/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap a couple different places in Mpls.

Pours dark with decent head. Old ale? Baltic Porter? Stout? Mysterious...

Smells sweet, some subdued bourbon and molasses, leather. Quality smells here.

Tastes very good, not great. Sweet, thick, roasted molasses and tobacco. some appropriate alcohol. Would have liked more heat and bourbon, but that's me. Kind of gooey, almost too much so. Flavors don't stand out as much as hoped, like a beer that's been aged too long.

Considering how rare it is and how much planning I've had to do to find it and drink it, I'm not sure it's been worth the effort.

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Photo of tewaris
3.86/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The Basics

Founders Black Biscuit (vintage?)
Founders Brewing Co.
Old Ale
10 oz. poured into a snifter on draft at Pracna, Minneapolis.

Appearance 5/5

Poured dark brown with decent head that receded fast. Minimal lacing with a tiny ring of foam. Clear however.

Aroma 4/5

Sweet. Candied sugar. Molasses. Booze. Can't say if this one is barrel aged but there are smells similar to the usual "barrel aged" suspects. No hop aroma.

Taste 3/5 & Mouthfeel 4/5

Roasted bitterness complemented by malty sweetness. Can't decide upon the "biscuit" part. Decently carbonated, yet silky. Warming. Finishes slightly bitter and clean for a strong beer.

Drinkability 5/5

All right for an old ale.


Nothing impressive. One of the not-so-good beers by Founders in my opinion.

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Photo of ShadesOfGray
3.87/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at South Philly Taproom. Poured from tap into a small 8oz snifter. Pours a dark brown to black in color. Little to absolutely no head, nor lacing. Then again, by the time it arrived at my table...a small head may have been present, but disapeared by the time it got to me.

The aroma is mostly sweet...most likely due to the maple barrels. Not boozy in the nose either. Again, not picking up anything perticular, just a lot of sweet caramel-maple-chocolate. first, flavor took a turn for the worst. Remings me of a maple syrup flavored cough syrup. So relatively thick in comparison to other old ales. After another taste or two...more tolerable. Still very sweet, and remained that way through-out. Picking up burboun flavors as well. A little french vanilla coffee flavor as well. Overall, tasty...but drinkablility lacked for me due to the extreme sweetness.

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Photo of mikey711
3.88/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

thanks to cory for this one!

A: Dark brown when poured but it sat pretty much black in the glass. nice carbonation level that held nicely for a hand bottle and left some splattered lacing.

S: Lots of biscuit notes with hints of chocolate. lots of toffee and caramel as well. Some butterscotch notes. Some burnt flavors as well. A bit of roasty flavor as well.

T: This is one of the most complex beers have ever tried. the flavor profile starts out with toffee and burnt caramel. it transitions a bit into a roasted bready note with some chocolate notes. Some maple syrup notes and butterscotch

M: A bit on the thin side yet there is still some heat present.

D: This is one to drink slowly. this is my secod time having it and i am enjoying it more now than the first time.

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Photo of plaid75
3.9/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a deep black hue with a half finger foamy tan head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a sweet caramel with roasted malts and vanilla.

The taste consisted of a burnt candy sugar, caramel, roasted malt and sweet vanilla.

The mouthfeel was heavy and sticky.

Overall a tasty and complex ale. A bit tough in the drinkability department however.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.97/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at Churchkey in D.C.

A: Dark brown at first. When held up to the light, the beer actually seems rather clear. Maybe a change of title is in order. There is a small head that leaves just a touch of lacing on the snifter.

S: Sweet malt, alcohol

T: This is decent beer, but I was pretty underwhelmed. Black Biscuit is a bit too sweet, and the alcohol is not only very present in the aroma, it is over-involved in the taste aspect as well. The body could be bigger and fuller, in my opinion. There is a sticky sweet quality to the beer that limits my enjoyment of this brew to one snifter.

M: Thinner than I expected, with an alcohol burn in the finish.

D: Overall, an ok beer. Perhaps the hype is derived from the rarity. I'm glad to have tried it.

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Photo of Shumista
3.98/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Notes from earlier this evening, on tap the at brewery. A healthy "8 oz" pour into a snifter.

Pours deep dark brown (black) with a small light brown head. Smell is a lot of maple, some chocolate and brown sugar and a bit of bourbon. Taste is dominated by a hershey chocolate bar like chocolate flavor, with bourbon, maple, coffee and vanilla undertones.

This one was served pretty cold so I got to really experience it open up as it warmed. It definitely became more and more complex and enjoyable as it warmed, however after a certain point with too much warmth it became a little boozy and cloying causing drinkability to suffer. I was ready to be done with it by the time my glass was empty. Probably best drank in a small range of temperatures. Overall, I was really excited to try this one, but I feel like Founders has better barrel aged offerings.

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Photo of WorldWideStout
3.98/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Not much light at Churchkey. Dark body, no head to speak of.

S: The first thing I smell is...grapefruit? Well that's weird. My friend doesn't get any grapefruit, nor does anyone else it seems. It's the flavor but not really the tartness of the fruit. There is also a bit of milk chocolate and maltiness in the background.

T: Grapefruit again, which towards the middle morphs into what might be very sweet molasses. There is also lots of milk chocolate to balance out the grapefruit this time. Towards the end it becomes more like semi-sweet chocolate.

M: Smooth and solid, though I thought there was a bit too much carbonation for this style.

D: Didn't drink like a plus 10% beer.

Well folks, I don't know what the deal with the grapefruit was. I didn't want it to be there, and I can't think of any particular beer or food I had that would have likely screwed with my taste buds. Hopefully I'll encounter this beer again at some point, and we'll see if I still taste the same things.

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Photo of C-Dog
4/5  rDev -11.1%

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Founders Black Biscuit from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.5 out of 5 with 257 ratings
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