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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Reviews: 150 | Ratings: 257
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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Photo of Randalld
4.43/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on draught at Ashley's in Ann Arbor. I was pleasantly surprised to see this one on tap again aside from a fest or the brewery.

A-Pours very similar to a stout in color. A very dark opaque black with some very subtle mahagony hues that come through when held into the light. 1/4 inch creamy beige head that recedes almost immediately into spotted lacing.

S-Wonderful nose that took me a while to get past before indulging into my first sip. Lots of vanilla beans, creme brule, maple, chocolate roasted malts, sweet malts, caramel, bourbon, and a little booze.

T-Stays pretty consistant with the smell. Starts off with sweet vanilla, caramel, toasted biscuits, and maple flavors. Picked up on some toffee flavor as well. very smooth and creamy. Mild hops, bourbon and oak in the finish that keeps all the sweets in check.

M-Silky smooth, milk like mouthfeel. Very creamy. Mild hops in the finish.

D-Black biscuit goes down wayyy to easy for the 10%ABV. I had a hard time setting my glass down between drinks. I hope they bottle this one day so it can find it's way into my collection.

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

Pours a dark black with faint garnet highlights when help to the light. Has a thin off white head that recedes to a rim around the top of the beer and stays.

Carries a sweet aroma. The molasses is definitely present, along with bready, roasty flavors peaking through.

Taste is fairly subdued for a beer of this magnitude. Yes, there is a touch of sweetness, but the rest of the flavors keep the molasses sweetness from getting out of hand. The malt plays a role in the balance game with a delicate balance between the typical roasted flavors of a Baltic Porter and the strong backing sweetness of an old ale. The flavors of this beer work very well in concert with one another, making this a very enjoyable brew.

Mouth is full and creamy. Delicious.

Would love to have this one again. Maybe Founders will consider putting it in their premiere 4-pack rotation. One can hope.

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

On tap at the Big Hunt last night. I finally got to try this, and side-by-side with CBS (which was far superior, btw)

Pouring dark brown with reddish brown highlights, this beer has a brown head that recedes to a disk rather quickly. The nose opens with maple, a little smoke, some caramel and brown sugar. I also get bourbon, more brown sugar, vanilla and plenty of candy. Complex and balanced, there's some molasses and licorice to round out the nose.

The palate opens sweet with maple and bourbon with moderate caramel and brown sugar. Molasses is noticeable, and there's some leather. Tannin character is low. Plenty of vanilla and brown sugar. A very nice booziness is present. Medium full body though a little watery towards the finish, this beer is lightly carbonated. The finish is excellent, with flavors of bourbon, booze, vanilla and maple sweetness. Extremely enjoyable, I drank 2 glasses of this.

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Photo of mikey711
3.88/5  rDev -12.2%
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 tewaris
3.86/5  rDev -12.7%
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 Tone
4/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black. 1/4 inch head of a tan color. Good retention and good lacing. Smells of sweet malt, slight oatmeal, slight dark citrus, wood, and strong alcohol. Fits the style of an Old Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, slight oatmeal, hops, alcohol (whiskey).

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Photo of neorunner
4.21/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Churchkey in DC.

Decanted into a 10oz. snifter from a pint glass as the bar was having a carbonation/pouring issue.

Had this beer side by side with CBS. This was a lighter hue of black with similar thick but quickly dissipating head. The major turn off for me with this beer was when tilted in a glass, there was a dark green hue to it. Almost slime in color. Aroma wise there was definitely a spearmint note mixed with the sweetness of molasses. The beer came off as a bit hot, but warmed up nicely and had a great complex flavor that left a sweet resiny aftertaste. I would love to cellar some of this beer as I think it has great potential.

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