Founders Black Biscuit | Founders Brewing Company

150 Reviews
no score
Send samples

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.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 150 | Ratings: 257
Photo of Arbitrator
3.52/5  rDev -20.4%
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.

 2,217 characters

Photo of Jayli
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had at Armsby Abbey 4/16
Served in a snifter

A: This beer pours a deep dark opaque brown, almost black. One finger of brown head that recedes nicely and just leaves one big sheet of lacing behind.

S: Nose is raisin, molasses, and vanilla.

T: Taste starts with a bit of roastiness then a molasses and sweet chocolate move in. Body lightens and a bit of bitter chocolate and raisin comes through. There is a nice complimentary vanilla flavoring and bit of bourbon in the finish.

M: Fuller side of medium body, lighter carbonations, nice creamy, silky body.

O: Goes down easily, very tasty, somewhat filling, decent kick and a nice representation of style. I highly enjoyed this beer and would order it again in a heart beat.

 729 characters

Photo of Satchboogie
4.54/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Reviewed From Notes 4/16/11:

A: Pitch black with no head, just a thin froth with some mocha brown bubbles much like an espresso.

S: Chocolate, molasses, woody/earthy, vanilla, hint of dark fruits, a touch of booze akin to bourbon or rum.

T: Complex and balanced, I really don't know how to describe the transition of flavors as everything seemed very well incorporated. I did get a little bit of the bourbon/rum and vanilla up front and it quickly transitioned to tons of chocolate and roasted malts, very earthy wood tannins, sweetness was more toffee than molasses. Dark fruits come through in the middle to finish, almost port like. Finish is just a little boozy with the bourbon/rum. Just fantastic complexity and balance, dare I say I enjoyed the taste profile more than CBS.

M: Thick and viscous, though not quite as much as the massive KBS, I'd say it's on par with CBS. Extremely smooth, almost oatmeal stout like smoothness. Finish was a little boozy and with port like qualities (dark fruits and sweetness).

O: I heard a lot about this so it was a must try and I'm glad I did. Just an unbelievable level of complexity, balance, and smoothness. The flavor profile had that chocolate soaked in rum with earthy notes and touch of dark fruit that I just adore. As mentioned before, I actually enjoyed this more than CBS. I found it had more balance and complexity and just was more "Yummy" to me.

 1,409 characters

Photo of glazeman
4.08/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

snifter at the black party

a: dark brown with some lucency around the edges. Whispy light tan head that leaves moderate lacing and has good retention

s: I get a lot of oatmeal mixed with licorice

t: like the nose, licorice and oatmeal meld to create a cola like flavor that is sweater than I had expecting and far less roasty.

m: medium body with appropriately low carbonation and a pretty good aftertaste.

o: a pretty good beer. If they ever bottled it I would by it. Fairly unique and interesting.

 504 characters

Photo of woosterbill
4.09/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

32oz growler into a snifter. Big thanks to Chris for sharing this elusive monster.

A: Clear, dark russet body with a momentary covering of fine tan bubbles. Ok, but nothing to write home about.

S: Sweet, woody, and intense. Dark chocolate, licorice, spirit-soaked oak, molasses, and straight booze. Big, complex, and engaging.

T: Molasses, licorice, coffee, chocolate, oak, vanilla, and plenty of alcohol. The boozy finish is a bit much, and contains a bit of hard-to-define astringency; overall, though, it's quite tasty.

M: Smooth medium body with low, but nicely soft, carbonation.

O: It was telling that nobody at the tasting really reacted strongly to this beer, despite its reputation and limited nature. Yeah, it's a good, strong barrel-aged beer from a terrific brewery, but it really isn't anything all that memorable. I found the anise notes to be compelling, but the ethanol burn far less so. If Founders is going to bottle certain specialties, I think they can do better than Black Biscuit, as tasty as it is.


 1,035 characters

Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.08/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap at Local Option in an 8 oz. stange. From notes.

Appearance: This pours molasses, nearly black. A small ring is the only head present due to a continuous pour form the tap. The small head actually retains fairly nicely. Spots of lace.

Smell: Molasses, caramel, figs, burnt caramel malt.

Taste: There is definitely a strong sweetness up front, with burnt sugar and molasses really driving the flavor. Roast and caramel malt add some further flavor, and then a nice blend of figs and other dark fruits provide even more depth. Some booziness sneaks in here and there.

Mouthfeel: Slightly sticky with a very full body. Light to medium carbonation. Smooth, a little harsh and boozy at points.

Overall: Very smooth and drinkable.

 743 characters

Photo of pmlondrigan
4.55/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Alex @ decicco's for this, what a real treat. Pours black and thick, with a one finger light tan head. Really nice belgian lace is presented. Whiskey, oak, wet wood, vanilla and caramel notes great your olfactory glands. Altogether the aroma reminds me of a lovely campfire. Smooth rich and thick flavor, big barrel flavor with strong notes of vanilla and caramalized brown sugar. Such an intense malty experiance. A little hot on the way down. So silky and smooth across the palate. This beer is a triumph. I'm sure this is one of my highest rated beers and it is deserving of that honor.

 604 characters

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.13/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Definitely the find of my beer career. Growler from Decicco's Ardsley. Poured into a Portsmouth snifter. Shared by schen9303.

A: Standard pour yields a 2.5 finger frothy light mocha head. Beer is a clear dark brown. Lacing is stringy and spotty with good cling. Very attractive overall with a slight deduction for head retention that could use a little work.

S: Nose is light roasted malt, caramel, brown sugar, brownie, cocoa, and some chocolate. Slight bourbon and vanilla characteristics in the background. Aromatic and appreciatively complex.

T: Opens bourbon, honey, molasses, and chocolate. Slight roasted malt character in the middle along with prunes, other dark fruit, and stale hops. Brownie, cocoa powder, and honey at the end with a sweet, brown sugar spice finish and nutty aftertaste. Nothing too outrageous but very well balanced.

M: Medium to full bodied to light carbonation. Slightly bready and robust in the mouth and smooth and silky going down. Easily the smoothest beer at its ABV. Finish is slightly messy with a quick and dry aftertaste. Perfect in every way and the most sessional 10% beer I have ever come across.

O: An extremely hyped beer and deservedly so. Founders Black Biscuit doesn't have the intense flavors to blow you away but it's incredible balance and perfect mouthfeel make it an extremely impressive offering. Not to be missed if you ever come across it.

 1,401 characters

Photo of kzoobrew
4.8/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed on tap at O'Duffys.

Deep black body, very much opaque. One finger malted milk colored head it set atop. The head works its way back rather quickly leaving a ring around the glass. Lacing finds itself scattered along the sides of the glass.

The aroma was very impressive. Well integrated bourbon, deep caramelized sugars and molasses are noticed first. Maple and hints of bready malt emerge from beneath. In the nose the malt is much more toasted than it is roasted.

Oh my, one week after the KBS release I was not expecting such a treat. Judging by taste alone KBS has some competition in house. Deeply caramelized nearly burnt sugars, molasses and roasted malt dig into the tongue. Subtle smokiness begins to show underneath the roasted flavors. The bourbon flavor develops more on the midpalate, this was somewhat surprising. The chocolaty flavors beneath and the increasing intensity of the bourbon flavor round things out nicely on the back end. Remarkable balance between the burnt and roasted flavors and the fairly assertive sweetness.

Full bodied beer with moderate carbonation. The texture is very smooth, the carbonation is just a touch to high to call it creamy. The flavor lays heavy on the tounge leaving for a long finish.

Call this an Old Ale, I am not sure I am buying. I am not certain what style it belongs in but I am certain it is delicious. Expertly crafted beer on every level. Flavors are well integrated, the alcohol never becomes a factor. Remarkably drinkable, I had a few pours in the sitting and drank with relative ease. Do not pass this by if you have the chance. Excellent beer.

 1,623 characters

Photo of bs870621345
3.8/5  rDev -14%
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.

 420 characters

Photo of Sean9689
4/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Local Option. Finally able to tick this one after missing out so many times when it's been on-tap around town!

A - Pours black, small tan-colored head, thin ring around the glass, some film on top and no real evidence of any lacing from the inital pour.

S - Whisky, chocolate, dark fruits, caramel, burnt sugars. The alcohol note is stronger then expected, and the whisky might be a little too much heat for me on the nose.

T - Chocolate, dark fruits, sweet caramel, some toffee, nice dose of whiskey. The whiskey note isn't as strong on the palate as the nose, so that's nice. Nose dose of malt character as well.

M - Full, rich and thick, smooth, soft carbonation, creamy finish.

D - While it was good, I wasn't really that "wowed" by it. A solid Old Ale that I could sip on continually, but I find myself not as into it as I am with the glass of CBS sitting next to it. A good beer, but not mind-blowing.

 922 characters

Photo of AgentZero
4/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Founders some while ago.

A - The beer is black, with an off-white/tannish/grey head that looks like Death (which I drank right before this).

S - Strange smelling, dark fruits, oak, vanilla, little chocolate, and a strange malt characteristic that I am not familiar with. Something of a flour note, but it is not unpleasant.

T - Old ale sounds about right, with a touch of baltic porter-esque sweetness and a really chewy malt characteristic that somehow seems "doughy." Some sweet wood and bourbon, with some molasses and licorice. Interesting combinations, and pretty well done.

M - Full bodied, chewy, doughy, moderate carbonation. Sticks to the insides of your mouth.

D - Doesn't seem easy to drink, but I got destroyed on this stuff. A good and unique beer, would recommend.

 794 characters

Photo of birchstick
4.27/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Kellehers in Peoria

A -pours black with a creamy cocoa head

S - smells of vanilla, charred oak, molasses, and a little bit of caramel malt

T - starts iff with caramel ans biscuit malts and loads of molasses and maple syrup flavors. This fades to vanilla and some charred oakey flavors. Pretty damn solid. Leaves a nice chocolaty, vanilla, molasses flavor on the palate on the exhale.

M - a little thin with bubbly carbonation

D - really solid beer here. A lot of nice flavors combine for a solid old ale. I was really suprised to see this guy on tap. Wish this was in bottles because I would buy the hell out of it.

 631 characters

Photo of myatomicpolygon
4.32/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- pours a rich dark mohogany into my snifter with minimal head but leaves a decent lacing on the glass.

Smell- molasses sweetness up front, with subdued notes of oak, vanilla, bourbon, and smoke all mixed in...kind of reminds me of root beer in some ways.

Taste- much like it smells. There are several layers of taste in this beer. It's sweet, and woody with flavors of bourbon, vanilla, and molasses that are all very well balanced. The molasses really lingers in the finish.

Mouthfeel- thick and oily and warming with mild carbonation. For something with this high of an ABV it is remarkably smooth.

Drinkability- very easy to drink. The sweetness from the molasses really cuts the alcohol burn...but at 10.5% i'd resist the urge to drink more than one or two.

 776 characters

Photo of Neffbeer
4.57/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap Dec 17 from notes:

A: Its' appearance is slippery and oily black. Good size tan head with moderate retention and excellent lacing.

S: The nose is potent to say the least. Some hops, oak, dark malt, maple, and a hint of booze. Raisins and coco appear as the beer warms.

T: It starts out with oak, vanilla, and a fruity/ester flavor I can't put my finger on. Very boozy and woody in a good way. There are a ton of interesting flavor notes going on. A symphony of sorts.

M: Slick and thick with moderate carbonation. The mouthfeel really adds to the overall effect of this beverage.

D: Great brew that I will seek out again. It is a bit too strong for more than 1 in a sitting, but delicious none the less.

 717 characters

Photo of garbercury
4.7/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Vintage Estate Wine and Beer in Boardman, Oh.

A--Deep mahogony, nice beige head.

S--A lot going on in the nose, bourbon, vanilla/oak, maple, its all there, fabulous.

T--I thought the nose was great?! Wow, this is an early xmas gift for the palate. Starts with bourbon, then to that oak/vanilla, with some maple and just the slightest taste of coconut. Such a complex gem of a beer.

M--Smooth and silky, not overly carbonated...

D--Now THIS is what its all about. Truly an epic, world class beer by the best all around brewery I know of. Seek it out, its fantastic.

 579 characters

Photo of JAXSON
4.43/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2009 rate.

Tap, rating from memory. Pours deep brown to black with a precious beige head. Attractive nose, dark chocolate dust, smoke, wood. Beautiful flavors - sweet maple syrup, smoke, black liquorice, star of anise. So rich and lush in the mouth. I drank a few of these, I don't remember much after.

 303 characters

Photo of craytonic
4.89/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pour is a dark black with some mahogany edges and highlights; nice head and some decent lacing

Smell: Just delicious, sweet dark malts with some smooth bourbon

Taste: Very complex; sweet dark malts with a pappy-ish bourbon with brown sugar and sweet molasses with maple, caramel and toffee. I wish I had drank a few more of these!

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy; could have been a bit heaver but otherwise excellent!

Drinkability: Truly off the charts; I liked it much better than CBS and found it much more approachable (had them side-by-side)

 546 characters

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.


 1,305 characters

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. 

 575 characters

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.

 415 characters

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.

 1,037 characters

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!

 1,055 characters

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!

 420 characters

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.

 661 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.