Founders Black Biscuit | Founders Brewing Company

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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.

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Ratings: 257 |  Reviews: 150
Photo of Jmoore50
3.75/5  rDev -15.2%
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 NorthsideFred
4.23/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoying 10 oz pour at Binny's Southloop for $8.  

Pours almost black with a light creamy head.  The lacing clings to the glass like glue.  

Smell is somewhat muted, maybe it needs to warm up a little. 

Tastes wonderful. Very sweet, nice bourbon, perhaps vanilla, a slight hint of licorice, some roasted malts. 

This is a creamy full bodied beer.  The carbonation is probably a little lower than I'd expect. 

The drinkability is way up there. You'd never guess this is 10.5%.  

Overall an outstanding beer.  Hopefully they bottle this sometime in the future. 

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Photo of ssuggs01
4.35/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got to try this one right before it was out at Duckworths. And boy am I glad I did. Served on tap into a goblet.

Pours a deep brown, almost black. Thin tan head at the top that provides impressive lacing. Roasted malts, mollasses and caramel hit my nose immeadiatley. Flavors similar to the smell but a lot more bitter chocolate. This is a very smooth drinking old ale/baltic and i cant wait to try this one again.

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Photo of ShogoKawada
4.78/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

big thanks to sarro for this 64oz growler, much appreciated! Ticked this beer before but now I get to sit with it. Split w/ roommate, into Newport Storm pint glass.

A- Nice oatmeal cookie head ontop of this dark brown beer. Thin lacing, about a half-finger of dense sandy foam ontop of this.

S- Vanilla, bourbon, a bit of alcohol. Draws you in for another whiff. Inviting.

T- Chocolate covered raisins, molasses/maple, bourbon, vanilla and oak. A bit of cherry. The flavors are very intense, especially the bourbon and maple, but everything is well-rounded and no one flavor outshines the others. Reminds me of a white rum at some points.

M- Heavy, but silky smooth. No real sign of ABV. A Smörgåsbord of flavors.. and they're in perfect harmony. Each sip has me wanting more.

D- Fantastic for the ABV. Glad I'm splitting a growler as this packs a punch, but this stuff is the real deal. A world-class beer, no doubt about it.

PS this needs to be bottled, I think I like this more than CBS. This one seems a bit more intense.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.48/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served from tap into a goblet at the Founders event at Duckworth's in Charlotte. Poured black as sin with a minimal light light tan head. Maintained phenomenal lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of roasted malt, bourbon, and chocolate. The flavor was comprised of sweet malt, roasted malt, chocolate, molasses, slight vanilla, and bourbon (this wasn't barrel aged!? WHA!?!?!?). It had an extremely heavy (almost syrupy) feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this one was QUITE excellent and probably my second favorite brew of the event (CBS being #1). The flavors in this one were very nicely balanced and I was surprised that this one wasn't barrel aged as the flavor would make you think otherwise. It did take a good bit of warming up for the aroma to make its way through though, but once it did it was quite nice as well. The heavy mouthfeel was almost a turn-off for me, but the mild carbonation helps to break it up and make it quite drinkable. Big thanks to Duckworth's for giving me the opportunity to try this one!

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Photo of Habmike
4.3/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Duckworths in Charlotte.

Light amount of light tan head. Some lacing and black center with ruby edges.

Molasses and vanilla with a roasted malt aroma. Good depth.

Toffee and vanilla flavoring. Tastes barrelled. Roasty with some bitterness and booze.

Pretty big mouthfeel with medium carbonation.

Pretty hot so that hurts the drinkability but this one is quite delicious so I'll choke down a few glasses!

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Photo of paulozanello
4.23/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had this on tap at a Founders event at The Big Hunt in DC.
This was the best looking beer of the night.
Pours a brown mohagony color with head hues. Great creamy head with lots of retention and lacing.
Smell is really odd but not in a bad way. Hard to define but I get yeasty banana, vanilla, some malt, white grapes and faint citric hops.
Taste is also very unusual. Dark malts, with a sour note that reminds me of grapes. I also get vanilla and a bitter aftertaste.
Body is moderate and alcohol is well-hidden. Carbonation is on the low end and it works well. Drinkability is high.
Never had a beer that tasted like this one and I consider that a great thing.

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Photo of BeerAndBourbon
3.83/5  rDev -13.3%
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 plaid75
3.9/5  rDev -11.8%
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 Urbancaver
3.79/5  rDev -14.3%
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 feloniousmonk
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep blackness (in this pitch dark bar) slimmed cocoa tan head.

Sweet roasted malt aroma, a little oat-y, creamy and smooth, a little toasty. Rich and chocolatey.

Taste: Cocoa and ash, charcoal and maple. A little coffee, a little toffee. ...silky smooth, undulating deliciousness, slick and tasty dark malt washes back wave after wave.
Long lasting finish, hangs in hard on the palate, never quite quits, never wants to, never will.
Straddles the line of sweetness and strength, malt dominates, hops lay low, flavor it unbeatable.
Goes without saying that this will be another classic once they bottle it. On top, it's utter loveliness.

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Photo of caskstrength
3.85/5  rDev -12.9%
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 kbutler1
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Draft at Mackenzies for ABR. Pours a very dark brown almost black color with a slight tan wispy head. Really good aroma of dark roast malt, coffee, dark chocolate, with a slight alcohol note. The taste is very robust. Very solid velvety medium/heavy mouthfeel. Semi sweet up from followed by a good blend of dark fruit like plum, chocolate, and light coffee. Fairly sweet after taste that lingers along with some licorice notes. Good lace. Overall, a very solid beer.

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Photo of hawks10
4.2/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Finnegan's in Plainfield - 8oz pour into a snifter...

Pours a very dark brown, dark/reddish brown around the edges when held to the light. Two fingers of light tan head forms, some decent lacing is left behind with a haze left on top of the beer...

Bittersweet chocolate and molasses are the dominant aromas. Roasty and oaky with a sweet bourbon aroma...

Sweet. Chocolate and vanilla. A nice touch of oak and bourbon. Alcohol heat is very apparent, warming. Molasses and smoke lingers...

Thick and low carbed, sticky. Loads of alcohol heat on my gums...

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Photo of yeahnatenelson
4.79/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Founder's Dinner at Finnegan's in Plainfield, IL - 9/22/2010

Appearance -- Pours a rich dark brown with an abundance of ruby highlights. nearly no head to speak of. Bringing the glass to the light reveals how much of Curmudgeon's character this beer is going to have.

Smell -- Vanilla, molasses, chocolate, bread pudding, maple sugar, mild bourbon, faint smoke, and a little bit of spicy hops. Alcohol is present, not quite as detectable as Curmudgeon.

Taste -- In a word, decadent: Vanilla, cocoa, molasses, maple candy, and a kiss of bourbon. Finish is molasses, cocoa, maple, and smoke.

Mouthfeel -- Very full body, slick and viscous, mild carbonation. A bit of alcohol bite. Would be perfect if that alcohol could be lessened.

Drinkability -- This is Curmudgeon taken to the next level. The maple elevates the rich malty character to the next level and the addition of black patent malt gives it an extra dimension that makes this a real treat. Would gladly take a glass of this over a growler of CBS any day of the week. Top-ranking Old Ale!

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Photo of abrand
4.45/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

on tap at iTap poured into a snifter.

The biscuit pours a deep dark brown color with a very nice 2 finger ebony head that never fades. Lots of lacing on the glass. The aromas are huge with this. Chocolate, coffee, syrup, and sweetness are all very well pronounced. Some subtle bourbon hues are also noted. Taste is amazing. Lots of roasted coffee beans and bourbon up front. Sticky syrup lingers on the tongue as well as some malts. One of the better ales I have had. Mouthfeel is thick and syrupy. Drinkability is great. Obviously could only handle about 10 ounces of this but the taste is amazing and I would love to see this again in the future.

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Photo of AleWatcher
3.06/5  rDev -30.8%
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 OWSLEY069
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours jet black, with a light brown head. In the aroma, bourbon and roasty coffee. In the taste, more like the aroma, bourbon, coffee, and oak hints. A smooth and medium to big bodied mouthfeel, with a semi dry coffee and small alcohol like aftertaste. Mellow at first, then it gets quite large.

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Photo of cpetrone84
4.18/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on draft at Smokin Joe's, part of the Big Pour Event.

A-pours a dark brown, almost black color. it is virtually opaque with a thin tan latte colored head.

S-the nose is lighter in strength and seems dominated by chocolate and roasted coffee. the bourbon and wood is faint and seems slightly chalky with notes of creamy vanilla and maple syrup.

T-the tastes starts with loads of roasted malts, coffee, hints of creamy vanilla and some light appearance of maple syrupy. a rich chocolate cake flavor steps in on the middle of the tongue as the bourbon comes in with extremely dry oak. a dark fruity malt sweetness comes in at the back as a coffee bitterness lingers in the finish.

M-this is soft and creamy on the palate with a good full body but not chewy or thick, rather full and creamy.

D-this is a tasty brew, nice balance of the malt to the bourbon and the barrel. the sweetness opens up as it warms and becomes a rather nice compliment to the rich chocolate cakiness to this beer. Subtle, soft and balanced.

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Photo of IronCitySteve
4.3/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a thick black color with a small one finger off white foam head. There is some moderate retention with a small amount of lacing.

S: There is a lot going on here. Sweet chocolate, bread and caramel with a moderate amount of oaked wood and some bourbon hints.

T: Highly complex but blends together for a smooth taste. The sweet malt characters, chocolate, bread, biscuit come through on the front end and last throughout. On the back end I get the oak and bourbon coming through with counters the sweet malt perfectly.

M: Leaves a slick thick viscous taste on the palate.

D: This is a complex brew with a lot of flavors in it. I find it quite delicious. This has a high ABV but a beer that must be tried.

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Photo of Stigs
4.42/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz pour at Smokin Joes as part of a Big Pour event...served in a mini almost weizen-style glass

A - one finger of medium khaki, loosely fluffy foam settles rather quickly to some floating bubbles and a ring. the beer is pretty much pitch black.

S - bourbon, lightly sweetened with some vanilla,brown sugar, rum, pistachio nuttiness. slightly charred black malts and overly toasted biscuits.

T - great complexity here. dark chocolates, molasses, vanilla and rum provide sweetness that melds nicely with the bourbon and alcohol heat. pungent biscuity malts add another dimension near the end and finish. yum.

M - medium bodied, adequate punchy and tight carbonation. slightly creamy with a sweet but dry finish. lingering boozyness.

D - very solid one here, wonderfully balanced...heavy yet delicate and complex. hard to stop sipping this, ABV really makes it dangerous.

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Photo of obireidkenobi
4.52/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Again, I'm a sucker for barrel aged beers. Especially the bourbon ones.

The beer pours pitch black, with a small bit of carbonation.

Smell - Bourbon vanilla. Malt. Especially Biscuit malt.

Taste - Yeah, I love it. Biscuit malts, vanilla, oak, bourbon. That's there the flavors. Simple. Complex if you want to make it.

Drinkable? Yes. Had 3. Didn't get tired of it. Had to slow down because the pours were big, and well it's 10%.

This one is a rare and tasty treat. Recommending if you love the style.

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Photo of ridglens
4.48/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this gem on-tap at the local TGI Fridays.... poured properly into a snifter, the second glass out of the tap (had 4 more throughout the week)

Pours a very dark, dark brown. black except for backlit edges, and then the brown color is visible. little head, but thick bubbles ooz up from the bottom of the glass, live black lave or swamp water or something... excellent! Smell is initially a sweet vanilla cola-like odor, very sweet and pleasant. as it warms, bourbon and wood come out, but still very vanilla-y i'm starting to worry it will be too sweet. as it warms, lots more bourbon comes out.

Taste is very sweet, but is complemented by roastiness and malts and chocolate. lots of spicy bourbon, a building heat and some spiciness. mouth is very smooth and thick, sticky sweet. the carbonation stays in the beer until it hits the mouth, which adds a creamy gesture and the hint of a bite. Drink is good for an old ale, not harsh just a little sweet...

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Photo of WeisGuy
4.67/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Ashley's in AA

a - pours a deep brown a few shades short of black, one-finger tan head with moderate retention and lacing

s - caramel, brown sugar, dark chocolate, light black licorice and molasses, lighter bourbon and oak notes (not sure if this one is even -bal aged)

t - dark chocolate and black licorice flavors up front with a moderately sweet midapalate of caramel, brown sugar and molasses, finish has notes of caramel, dark chocolate, bourbon, oak, biscuit malt and maple syrup, fairly well-balanced between dry, bitter and sweet, light boozy heat but the alcohol is very well-hidden, overall, you really get the baltic porter up front, the old ale on the midpalate and a very nicely integrated mix of the two on the finish

m - medium-to-full bodied, lower carbonation, creamy on the palate, substantial alcohol warming

d - very drinkable for a big 10+% old ale, the alcohol is well-hidden and the flavor is very complex and interesting

Really excited to get the chance to try this on-tap without making a special trip to Grand Rapids. No doubt this lived up to the hype for me. It would be great to see this in bottles (along with CBS) sometime in the future.

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Photo of ditch
4.57/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On draft @ Hopcat down the road from the brewery.

Appearance - Poured black with a caramel head that faded slowly. Left no lacing. Slightly red around the edges in the light.

Aroma - Sweet and malty. Biscuity, caramel and toffee. Maybe a bit of milk chocolate.

Taste - Chocolate, toffee, lightly roasted. Chocolate and cream.

Mouthfeel is a bit thick, but suits the flavors. Silky smooth. Creamy.

drinkability is ridiculous. At 10.5% where is the alcohol? Drinks more like a chocolate milk than a beer with this kinda malt background.

My new favorite beer! Too bad I had to go to the beer bar down the street to try it.

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Founders Black Biscuit from Founders Brewing Company
4.42 out of 5 based on 257 ratings.
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