Founders Session Noir | Founders Brewing Company

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14 Ratings

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.90%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by TCgoalie on 03-26-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 14 |  Reviews: 11
Photo of skriv
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of warnerry
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Notes from 5/16/11

A - Pours black with less than one finger of brown head. Head is somewhat persistent and leaves some nice lacing.

S - A lot of coffee, citrus and pine up front. I smell some sort of mint as well, along with some dark bread malt.

T - Similar to smell with more chocolate in the taste than the nose. Good amount of roasted malt on the finish. Very enjoyable.

M - Mouthfeel is light/medium with good carbonation. Earthy bitter finish.

O - This is a nice full flavored and very drinkable black ale. For all the complex flavors, it still has a nice lightness to it.

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Photo of keithbrouillette
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of salinasa
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of gordavidson
4.27/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to warnerry for sharing his growler.

A- A pretty dark brown liquid with a thin but creamy brown head that leaves nice lacing as it works its way down the glass.

S- Some citrus with a bit of a roasted aspect. There are notes of coffee and chocolate. Pretty aromatic.

T- Citrus-y with a nice roasted aspect. Caramel and coffee are noticeable. Tasty but not intense by any means.

M- A nice creamy body and leaves a bit of a coating in the mouth on the finish.

O- An excellent session beer- good flavors without much of a punch.

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Photo of Viggo
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler picked up at the brewpub, also had on tap there. Thanks grub!

Pours a clear dark ruby reddish black, dark and brown away from the light, a bit of colour in the edges, thick and chunky light tan head forms and settles down to a medium ring around the glass and a solid layer, tons of lace sticks everywhere.

Smell is really nice, chocolate wafer roast, big biscuit, some caramel sweetness, light chocolate milk, grapefruit and some pine, orange peel, floral, lightly spicy, juicy, with some big and roasty malts, but still light.

Taste is really nice, chocolate milk, chocolate wafers with a bit of espresso, biscuit, real nice hoppiness, malt balls, light grapefruit, sweet orange peel, light fruitiness, a bit of raisin and cherry, balanced finish, super smooth.

Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied, real chewy for the ABV with low carbonation. Goes down too easy, really nice, great mouthfeel, just enough character to keep it interesting and low enough ABV to drink way too much of it. Thanks Russ!

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Photo of grub
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

growler purchased at the brewery april 28/2011 and kept refrigerated. sampled may 8/2011.

pours deep dark brown, neither black nor opaque, with a small cap of fine tan head. the head drops slowly and leaves a thick layer of lace as it falls.

aroma is good. earthy and herbal hops. bit of wood. big malt presence - whole wheat bread, biscuit, and cracker. faint alcohol. anise and light roast. hints of coffee and milk chocolate, but still not coming across as something like a stout or porter. lightly fruity. nice caramel character. bit woody.

taste is great. dark and milk chocolate dipped noble hops. earthy and herbal, with a nice accompanying light piney character. slightly toasted white bread. cracker. hint of biscuit. there's a bit of american porter character, but lighter. bit of alcohol. faint caramel. touch of dark fruit.

mouthfeel is good. just under medium body. slightly below medium carbonation level.

drinkability is great. nice balance. good depth and complexity. tasty and drinkable. it doesn't go overly far into IPA territory, and where it does it sticks to the more herbal side of things than the assertive citrus+pine combo. certainly lives up to the "session" part of the name, even if about 1% higher than such things usually are. it just seems like a beer you could easily drink all night. damn tasty.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery last Friday. Served in a snifter.

Pours near black with a good creamy off-white head. Good retention and a bit of spotty lacing on the way down. The nose starts out with a great coffee and mild roast aroma. Behind that comes some nice piney bitterness. The flavor combines the roasted malt and pine-hop character quite well. Nice bitterness coming from multiple angles. Light coffee as well. Light body with a nice, dry finish. Highly recommended. Founders wins, as per usual.

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Photo of Bung
4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tap at Founders.
Dark cola pour, finger of tan head retains well. Sticks to the glass surprisingly well.

Roasty, malt and coffee. Quite a bit of coffee.

Whole bunch of coffee. Some roast malt and dark chocolate. Healthy dose of piney twang. Cocoa and more roast coffee.

Lighter bodied. Like a cheap coffee thin, though this is not necessarily bad like it sounds. Large flavor for the lightness. Great session brew.

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Photo of Urbancaver
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks brew3crew for bringing this :)

Pours a thin brown with a decent amount of frothy head. Smells chocolatey and coffee heavy. A touch of hop presence on the nose and the tongue. A very light roast coupled with coffeeness. Super drinkable . Smooth and light. Definitely would love to see this bottled

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Photo of brew3crew
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This growler from kzoobrew! Thanks kevin!

A-dark black with nice tan head
S-nice coffee smell on the top of the nose. Almost like Iam taking a coffee straight from the pot
T-almost exactly like it smells. Lots of coffee notes. Almost z bold taste. Love coffee flavors but this is way too much coffee
M-medium body and smooth with a nice coffee after taste
O-nice beer just way too much coffee.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.16/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Chad for sharing this one. Served in a Lost Abbey Rastal Teku glass.

A - Finger-plus of tan foam that settles to a thin cap and glass-coating lace. Pretty close to black body, with a glint of ruby when held to the light. I'm always impressed when a beer looks good in this type of glass.

S - Roasty, sugar cookie, powdered cocoa, light floral hop character, some pungent Centennial orange character as well.

T - Flavor is a nice collection of sweet and roasty malts, like smoke and char, and floral and citrus hops. There's a bit of tar in the finish that I don't care for, and frequently get from beers with certain specialty malts, but otherwise this is quite pleasant. Obviously no alcohol here.

M - Zesty carbonation, a touch gritty, but otherwise medium-bodied. Clean finish with light dryness. Goes down easy like a "session" ale should.

D - Other than the char finish that I didn't enjoy, this was a very enjoyable beer of which I could drink a lot. Would have it again if it showed up on-tap, as it would be a nice, flavorful, low-ABV option to have.

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Photo of zoso1967
3.7/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

These notes have been hanging around my phone since KBS release day when I enjoyed this beer with TCGoalie. I am glad he added it because I have been far too lazy to do it myself.

Session noir is served up a very deep blackish brown and is surprisingly opaque. It was served up with no head at all, but the fine folks at Founders were quite busy that day so I will not complain.

The smell is mostly citrusy and piney hops of front with a slightly smoky and roasty presence mixed in. It also has a bit of a tangy fruitiness that I found set it apart a bit from most other highly hopped black ales.

The flavor is crazy mix of citrus, pine, chocolate and a touch of char. All flavors are very well integrated. In fact, they may even be too well integrated for my taste, sort of like mixing all the paint colors together and getting brown. This is a very dry beer with plenty of bitterness.

The body is on the lighter side of medium and it has a fairly nice smoothness to it. The finish is very dry with some nice hop bitterness and astringent roasted malt character lingering after I swallow.

Overall this is a pretty decent sessionable black ale. While I have a bit of an issue with different flavors competing with one another, this is a problem that a lot of these types of beers have. I think that overall Founders did a pretty good job with this beer, though I would rather crush a few Endurance ales if I had the choice.

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Photo of TCgoalie
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with good lacing. Not much more to say here...solid.

This smells of crisp pine and citrus hops alongside chocolate malts fills my nose.

I enjoy the taste of this one. Mild chocolate malts meet mostly pine hops to create an enjoyable taste. A bit of smoky flavor creeps in adding a small bit of variety. The complexity of this is low, but it is billed as session worthy. I concur.

The carbonation is low creating a better mouthfeel than if this was carbonation heavy. It adds a feature that differentiates this from a run of the mill brew. The feel is medium though each inch if this beer is broadened to create maximum mouthfeel effect.

This is a session black ale that is certainly worth a try. It has been on tap for a couple of weeks, I'm surprised I'm the first to review it.

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Founders Session Noir from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.05 out of 5 with 14 ratings
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