Founders Brewing Company

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IPA - Imperial
Ranked #731
Ranked #4,063
4.17 | pDev: 10.07%
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
Reviews: 21 | Ratings: 90 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Sigmund
Sigmund from Norway

3.28/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

On tap at Cardinal Pub & Bar. Orange colour, moderate white head. Aroma of piney hop and orange marmalade. The flavour has loads of piney and grapefruity hops, again with notes of orange marmalade. Very bitter.

Jun 15, 2018
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Alieniloquium from Florida

3.36/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Das Biergarten. Orange and a little hazy. Big white head with lots of lacing. Smells of orange, grapefruit, and a sharp Simcoe backdrop. Also, lots of sugar there. Tastes of Simcoe onion and garlic. Some pine. Sweet caramel malt. Kinda heavy. Good profile, classic DIPA flavor, just too big, which is also probably part of the classic DIPA profile.

Sep 25, 2017
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oberon from North Carolina

4.24/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Came in a stemmed glass a clear copper color with a thinner white head atop.Big tropical fruits with a bit of sweet onion as well,as it sat more sweet alcohol creeped thru.Bright citric flavors with pine resin underneath making for good hop complexity,it gets some alcohol sweetness coming in the back end but never gets overly sweet like many of the style.A nice medium body with lower carbonation,another fantastic beer from my favorite brewery.

Sep 17, 2017
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Pontzie from Florida

4.51/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On draft at the beer stop.

L: poured a clear dark orange amber color. Large bubbled, 2 finger head of creamy white foam. The carbonation was relatively inactive in appearance. The head dissipated slowly and left think lacing.

S: A clean blast of orange over the nice bitterness of fresh hops. Smell was appetizing. Made me want to dig in to a good cheeseburger to pair with this beautiful beer.

T: for all the orange in the scent the immediate taste was far more hop centered. Bright bitter hops. Good at first but left an acidic after taste of a sort of old orange peel. It was a little of putting and made me wish I actually had that burger with some strong blue cheese on it to cut into this beer's aftertaste.
F: the light carbonation in the appearance plays it as expected in the mouth. A bit flat. Maybe this keg had been on tap a bit too long??? Wishing this were a bit more lively. The hops leaves a long pucker in the throat. Kind of nice for an IPA to have that strong character.
O: Good beer. Like the orange scent. Like the hops - they are bright and fresh here. However there was something a little flat and .... well .... slightly off here. I'm not sure if it was the keg or the beer itself.

This could have been a rockstar if it had a bit better balance on the palate and had been paired with the right food.

Aug 27, 2017
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John_M from Oregon

3.52/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at NW Growlers the other day.

The beer pours an orange amber color with pretty good head retention and decent lacing. On the nose, there's really not a whole lot there, though I'm picking up some light graham cracker, onion and light sweet malt. The flavor profile is more of the same, and I have to say that for Founders, this is not a particularly impressive beer. There's really no citrus or tropical fruit to speak of, and the bitterness is dialed way down as well. It's there, but it doesn't really seem to add anything to the beer. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, and the alcohol is well integrated into the flavor profile.

Not exactly sure what Founders is going for here, but the best thing I feel I can say about this beer is that it's pretty inoffensive. Pretty hard imagining an occasion when I'd ever want to try this again.

Aug 18, 2017
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elNopalero from California

4.48/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Tried this in January. Thought it was an all around classic DIPA. Crystalline clear, big piney aroma, bitterness for days with a clean finish. Yeah, I liked it.

Aug 13, 2017
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BEERchitect from Kentucky

4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A bit of a throwback IPA, when the motive was to achieve equal parts hop aroma, hop flavor and bitterness with a dry and crisp malt backbone. But in the world of less bitterness overtaking assertion and haze outdoing bright, it seems that the imperial IPA of yesteryear is now just a ghost. But the brewers at Founders say "long live the IPA" with 10k.

10k IPA pours a modestly hazy golden amber color, rising with a creamy white cap. Its scent is chocked full of citrus, pine, earth and spice; and with a background of caramel. To taste, the beer is easy on the tip of the tongue with continuations of caramel, graham cracker and honey.

Its floral upstart and soft malty beginnings soon give way to the hops. White grapefruit, slightly under ripened orange, and a likeness to lemon rises for a bright and zesty citrus punch on the middle palate. Trailing into a bittersweet finish, the hops release a stern smack of citrus pith, fresh grassiness, herbal flavors to close the session boldly.

Medium bodied and trending crisp and bitterly clean, the ale never relinquishes to total dryness. Instead, it retains a smooth underlay of caramel and honey to offset the spicy alcohol and assertive hop bite that trails into a deep, long and gripping aftertaste.

Aug 11, 2017
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rfgetz from New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Good to see that someone still remembers how to make a classic IPA... glowing amber in color, smell of fresh piney hops with a touch of citrus rind, firm bitterness with a nice malt backbone, could perhaps be a touch smoother.

Aug 07, 2017
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Tommo from Texas

3/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This pours barley wine color, very malty ipa though not exceptionally bitter. Decent fruity flavor. I dont know, but in the modern age of ipas, this is gross

Aug 04, 2017
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BreakfastStout from Michigan

4.32/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Retired, but on tap, straight from the teat. Smooth and subtle DIPA. Darkish amber, lacing subsides quickly, and not an overpowering hop profile. Lighter than expected but glad I had a chance to try this one.

Jan 01, 2017
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kzoobrew from Michigan

4.32/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review input from notes. Enjoyed on tap at Founders on 7/9/11

Vibrant orange body, clear and free of sediment. One finger bone white head. Head works its way back rather quickly leaving limited lacing clinging to the walls of the glass..

Very aromatic beer, huge citrus aroma oozes from the glass. Nectarine and grapefruit aromas are prominent upfront. As you work your way back the citrus is undercut by a pleasant pininess. The malt profile, rather simple and subtle, finds itself buried beneath the hops.

The flavor is rather similar to the nose. The citrus flavor dominates the palate up front. Nectarine, grapefruit aromas are accompanied by a bit of pineapple. Resinous and Pine flavor develops on the midpalate. The more abrasive flavors balance the sweeter citrus up front. There is a substantial bitterness but does not become overbearing and is appropriate for the beer.

Medium body DIPA, carbonation is moderate and appropriate. Rather dry and crisp, slight resinous finish.

10K was a fantastic DIPA, in my opinion it is much better than Double Trouble. Bold flavors, pleasant bitterness and impressive drinkability, you cannot ask for much more in a DIPA.

Nov 05, 2011
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prototypic from Ohio

4.39/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this at the brewpub on our Michigan trip.

10K IPA arrived a gold color. It's slightly hazy. Looks slight amber or copper when held to light. A soft, off-white head caps it. It's very modest, rising to maybe a half a finger in height. Lacing was sticky and moderate in volume.

The nose is excellent. It features a very strong, citric hop profile. Grapefruit and orange scents are prominent throughout. There are some light pine and floral hop notes in the background. Citrus is large and in charge though. There's a light caramel malt scent, but it's definitely secondary. I love that. Definitely smells sweet and a bit sugary. Alcohol is a little noticeable, but doesn't smell like 10% by any stretch. Find job here.

The flavor is likewise damn impressive. Citric hops are definitely the focal point. Grapefruit and orange are the primary flavors. Light pineapple, grass, and pine are also in the mix. It is a little bitter, but it's more balanced than I expected. That's especially surprising given that caramel malt seems to be light. There is a little sugary, caramel sweetness, but it's secondary. Alcohol is there, but doesn't seem to strong. It's a little deceptive in that regard. Finishes with a citrusy, slightly bitter taste.

10K IPA has a medium body. Carbonation is definitely light and soft. I honestly wouldn't mind a few more bubbles. Having said that, it has a nice, smooth feel and goes down extremely easy for such a big beer.

Founders has a knack for making terrific beer. 10K IPA is just another example in their lineup. How does it compare to Double Trouble? To me, it seems a little more balanced and approachable, which is interesting because the malt base seems very subtle. I like it a lot. Hopefully one day this stuff will also find its way into bottles. Easy recommendation.

Oct 06, 2011
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vandemonian from Maryland

4.04/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had Founders 10k IPA on tap at ChurchKey in DC. It's a nice double IPA.

A: Orange in color with sparse lacing. 3.5

S: Lovely combination of maltiness and hoppiness. 4

T: Sharp piney hops over a weak malty base. Slightly bitter finish. 4

M. A little watery. 3.5

O: Nice. 4

Aug 24, 2011
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Smakawhat from Maryland

4.37/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured on tap at Churchkey DC into a tumbler glass (14 oz.).

Appearances brings no head at all. Nothing. This is filled to the brim with only a minor white collar. While drinking, the glass gives off no lacing at all. Looks flat as all get out. Body color is a clear copper amber color. No lacing whatsoever nothing, zippo, nada.

Nose on this is wet, clean, but a distinct flesh grapefruit. An interesting vinous sour that is light, and sense of green supermarket grapes.

Taste takes a back seat to a fantastic texture. This feels almost out of the cask, and buttery. Mid palate brings an almost chewy malt mixed with hop lingering grapefruit juice. Tolerable creeping bitter which grows after each sip.

Overall in appearance... stealth like, in taste and feel, flat out fantastic.

Aug 23, 2011
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drabmuh from Maryland

4.55/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, what a beer!

Beer served in a 10 ounce pour on draft in a shaker glass of sort. Beer is orange and clear with a white head of small and medium bubbles, some lacing, low carbonation, looks good.

Aroma is amazing, nice hop character, great earthiness, pine, some citrus but the pine wins here. Awesome, almost no malt in the nose.

Great great great beer, chewy with the hops but not too dry and not 10000 IBUs on the end, just a solid bitterness, nice subtle malt backbone, great beer overall. A really enjoyable IPA. I love this beer. If I had taken the train here instead of drive I would have had 4 of them and called it a night. I will have this again in a second. Bottle this immediately.

Aug 20, 2011
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CuttDeez from Virginia

4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On Tap at Churchkey.

A - A golden copper slightly amber body with a medium sized resiliant white head. Great lacing throughout.

S - The nose had some great tropical and citrus notes on the front with some pine coming in in the middle to back end. The malt was evident but didn't overtake the crisp bright citrus notes.

T & M & D - Bold citrus and tropical fruits on the front end that are backed by a sizable pine pressence. Much like the nose the taste is strong and complex. The beer finishes with a good level of full palate bitterness without clearing all flavor. The beer is medium to full in body and carries a great flavor profile throughout.

O - A very good offering from Foounders. I enjoy the bold hop flavor and the complexity of both nose and taste.


Aug 19, 2011
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yourefragile from District of Columbia

3.78/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at CK, leftover from their Founders dinner the night before.

Chilled golded copper color with a thick white head; sheets of lacing and an extremely retentive cap. Tons of Simcoe on the nose; citrus and pine dominate with light spice. Body is medium thick and syrupy with strong bitterness and assertive alcohol presence. Pine hops dominate a strong malty body with mild citrus sweetness. Only slightly tastes like a Christmas tree. Very smooth and enjoyable, but the level of alcohol and bitterness wasn't doing it for me.

Aug 18, 2011
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Thorpe429 from Illinois

4.43/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Churchkey in DC. Served in a stemmed goblet of some sort.

Pours a somewhat-lightened copper color with a two-finger white head and incredible sheets of lacing as it goes down. Good cap throughout.

The nose was nice and fairly complex with notes of tropical fruits and plenty of citrus. Some pine in there as well. Lots of Simcoe for sure. The flavor went along the same lines, with the Simcoe really standing out. Really nice combination of tropical, citrus, and pine flavors that came together with a bit of alcohol and a really smooth bitterness. Quite bitter. Beautiful mouthfeel.

Overall, something that I very much enjoyed and would love to have again. Please make this more often.

Aug 17, 2011
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TheBear11D from Michigan

4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap in a pint glass at Founders

Pours a cloudy golden orange color with a thick white head that lasted plenty of time and eventually subsided leaving excellent lacing.

Yes sir, there is hops. No surprise that one may find a good amount of hops in an IPA from Founders. The aroma is nearly a citrus overload which I welcome with open arms.

The flavor is citrus hop dominated, however, there is a small malt backing of sweet honey. The bitterness of the hops almost wipe out the honey entirely, but I am pleased to encounter a touch of malt.

Medium to full body and pretty smooth.

This is another wonderful brew from the Founders family. I continue to be impressed with nearly everything they do.

Aug 03, 2011
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Brew33 from Ohio

4.32/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Founders tap room and had a growler filled for the lake house.

It arrived at my table a glowing orange with a thin white head. The aroma was ALL Simcoe. a Simco bomb. Catty, tropical, and juicy. Slightly solventy in that Simcoe kinda way. The flavor is really good. Tons of bitterness, slightly boozy. The malt bill is very sweet but is overshadowed by tons of hops. A big beer. Medium to full bodied and very sticky on the lips. Overall I really like it but it's a touch boozy.

In short, a Simcoe bomb.... and a damn good one.

Aug 01, 2011
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TCgoalie from Michigan

4.35/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The server mentioned that this was brewed with a good amount of Simcoe hops.

Pours a filtered gold hue with a white crown. The head recedes after several minutes but lacing remains while drinking.

Pineapple, tangerine, and melon round out the semi-tropical aroma. The presence of malt is there but it isn't overpowering.

A pleasant balance between hops and malt occur in this brew. The taste echos what is present in the smell. The resulting bitterness is mild for what the hops create. Some black pepper come in at the end adding a nice spicy note almost as if some rye was used in the brewing. Smooth honey like richness really comes through differentiating from the Double Trouble like taste.

The feel is smaller than the abv indicates. A semi dry aftertaste is complimented with spice. Very smooth and nice.

A solid offering that got better the more times I tried it. I may like this more than Double Trouble.

Jul 07, 2011
10K IPA from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 90 ratings