Founders Brewing Company

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Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
Porter - Robust
Ranked #1
Ranked #1,939
4.25 | pDev: 9.18%
May 10, 2022
Feb 11, 2003
Notes: No absence of hops gives Founders' robust porter the full flavor you deserve and expect.

45 IBU
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Photo of Whyteboar
4.24/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by Whyteboar from Michigan

Poured pitch black with a mocha color 1 finger head that slowly dissipated and left no lacing. But just looking at it made me really want to drink it, looks wonderful.
The aroma was toasted coffee and baker’s cocoa with some caramel around the edges.
The taste followed- with the addition of what seemed to be hops. A distinct bitterness closed out the sips with an almost stout like malt flavor leading the charge.
The feel, well, made for sipping, it’s ideal for that!
I have had this on tap and should have rated it then, but better now (from 12 oz bottle) than never. It’s very good, but I think I prefer Baltic Porters.

May 10, 2022
Photo of Profundobaso
4.08/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by Profundobaso from New York

Look - 12 oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass. Dark brown in color, approaching black. small tan-colored head with moderate lacing retention.

Smell - dark chocolate with subtle malty notes, along with some light smokiness. contrary to the bottle and other reviews, I don't detect a lot of hops in the smell alone. the smell is well balanced and very pleasant.

Taste - light black malty bitterness hits the palate first, which builds. this is then complemented by hoppy bitterness that is very much apparent (unlike in the smell), which creates an interesting contrast. other characteristics from the smell, including the dark chocolate and smoky notes all displayed prominently in the taste profile. finish is long, with some lingering bitterness.

Feel - medium bodied, above average carbonation, and on the higher end in ABV for the style at 6.5%.

Overall - I think one of the reasons this beer gets such high marks is how clearly it fits the definition of a robust porter and how clearly it delineates from a stout (or a lighter porter). it does check off nearly every box for the style, and is an excellent textbook representation.

May 05, 2022
Photo of Emichaelbray
3.34/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25
by Emichaelbray from Pennsylvania

Not very excited about this one. It began when I paid $15 for a six pack. It was labeled incorrectly on the shelf. There were ten people in line behind me and one clerk so, grumbling, I paid and left. Probably for the last time.
Refrigerated for 24 hours and then left to sit 30 minutes or so at room temperature. It’s 71 Fahrenheit today actually.
Poured into a wine stem. No surprises. Opaque, black beer with brownish foam.
First impression on the nose is pure hops. For me, never a good sign. Beneath that, some pretty standard chocolate and light coffee-caramel action. If you know the style, it’s textbook and uninspired.
Taste repeats the nose. Nothing special here at all, which they attempt to hide with the hops. Just lazy.
Finishes better than it begins but it’s a low bar. Pretty heavy and thick. I would have thought the ABV higher.
I have enjoyed a few Founders brews but this is not one. The high score is bewildering to me but, hey, enjoy it if you can. Cheers!

Apr 24, 2022
5 by Karren from New Jersey on Apr 15, 2022
4.13 by Beecham from California on Apr 02, 2022
Photo of SLeffler27
4.34/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
by SLeffler27 from New York

This is a beer I have enjoyed for many years and was surprised to realize I had yet to review it. While irrelevant to the review, I love the label art.

A big, two-inch head glistens with dark, chestnut hues. A pancake batter forms over the opaque blackness within a Harp nonic. The batter ever so slowly retreats, leaving dense patches of lace in its wake. The head never fully dissipates, rather, it forms a quarter inch of dense cream to be penetrated with each sip.

Dark roasted Bakers chocolate yields to rich, roasted coffee beans. Later, malted chocolate mixes with caramel and light hints of floral and mint notes from the hops.

The flavor follows the nose, while the roasted nuances are subdued. Bitterness edges out sweetness and both are well controlled. The hops are more like pine straw than the floral or mint observed in the aroma. This could be a savory dessert with its light umami dancing in the long, mild finish.

The light to medium body is low for the style. A smooth, fluffy texture envisions dense fur. Soft carbonation lifts the light dryness, while residual sugar builds on the lips.

This goes well with a cigar, however, it is so good on its own, that one should reserve most of it for the pure drinking experience. It elevates a ribeye. Today, I enjoyed it while reading as my wife played the harp, on a cold, wet, November, Sunday afternoon.

Mar 26, 2022
Photo of AlexandraDen
4.07/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
by AlexandraDen from Canada (ON)

Pours a deep, dark mocha-brown, giving it a brown-black hue rather than ruby. A thin, half finger tan head appears and quickly recedes.

Gorgeous aromas here, there are three stars: chocolate and rich cocoa, roasted and toasty caramel malts, and smoky coffee beans.

Taste follows the nose to a T. The chocolate is smoother here, more sweet with toffee and caramelized sugar notes than cocoa. The smoky notes are tones down, and the roasted malty, toasted bread flavours are a little more subtle. Some lighter coffee bean tastes, but it’s in the background and well integrated, which is nice and gives this a balanced flavour profile. No major appearance of hop flavours aside from a very light bitterness on the finish. The bitterness feels like it comes from the roasted malts rather than typical hoppy notes, which is enjoyable in a Porter/stout.

Semi-dry finish, with a medium body that leans to the lighter side. Lower carbonation, which results in a very smooth sip, the very very gentle bubbles roll over the tongue and lightly froth at the end creating a creamy sensation. Gentle finish, lightly bitter with nice malty and chocolate notes.

After a lot of (sadly local) poor stouts and porters, when I cracked this open and poured it and got a whiff of delicious aromas just from opening it, I got very excited! That being said, I will temper that a bit by saying I don’t think I can rate this as high as it is on BA. I definitely enjoy stouts and porters with huge, bold flavours. That said, Founders Porter doesn’t necessarily need to be powerful, holding its own by dialing up a few key flavours and melding then together in complex and subtle ways.

The line between porters and stouts is very blurry, and between a ‘robust’ porter and stout (or imperial stout), well, it gets quite confusing. Some would say (and they have!) that these porters are meant to be more subtle and complex than stouts. Since the line is so blurred I just try to take it on my personal tastes. Regardless of all of that, this is still an excellent beer. My next aim is to try this on tap (unlikely for now as I live in Canada) and trying to get a super fresh bottle. Mine was four months out of bottling so some of the flavours might have mellowed

Mar 19, 2022
4.18 by Abstractspirit from Rhode Island on Mar 13, 2022
Photo of Christianriveraaa
4.46/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by Christianriveraaa

Look: Dark black pour with very little foam risen to the surface.
Smell: Reminds me of a stout kind of chocolate with high malts. On the bottle it says there's a caramel smell to it - didn't catch that in my pour.
Taste: Immediate taste of malts, chocolate, slight caramel taste as well towards the end with a bitter finish. Well done! This is a really good porter - probably the best I've tried so far. (I've only tried 6 porters - more of a stout guy).
Feel: Medium to full bodied - light carbonation.
Overall: The reason I bought this beer was because I've heard about it before, and in some way it reminded me of a stout. This beer is a very good beer, definitely would buy again in the future.

Mar 07, 2022
4.25 by Patches826 from Massachusetts on Mar 04, 2022
3.67 by KT3418 from Colorado on Feb 22, 2022
Photo of IKR
3.97/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by IKR from California

Appearance: Very dark brown bordering on black with a generous-sized foamy dark beige head that slowly faded. A very good-looking Porter.

Smell: Fairly moderate roasted malts and mild brown sugar notes.

Taste: The taste profile features subdued roasted malt note, some dark chocolate notes, and mild coffee notes, with some bitter hop notes at the end. The finish is fairly dry ending on the roast malt notes and bittering hop notes.

Mouth-feel: on the light side of medium bodied with a fairly generous level of carbonation.

Overall: A good non bal-aged porter. The flavor profile nicely integrates all the different elements present.

Feb 06, 2022
Photo of Sadsack
2.22/5  rDev -47.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2
by Sadsack from Massachusetts

Bought a case of this about mid-2021, tasted like the label described, smooth, etc. Bought another case the other day, bottled December 2021, tastes like a campfire. Never liked that in a stout, let alone a Porter, and certainly wouldn't have repurchased if the previous batch tasted like it. Anyone want 23 bottles of burnt Porter?

Feb 04, 2022
Photo of eonbluekarma
4.26/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
by eonbluekarma from Michigan

This is a nice contrast to all the coffee-centric stout porters on the market. I want to think that this is a larger fermented porter based on it's character. Either way, larger or ale, the mouth feel is crispy, tingled froth. Nose is edge of smokey roasted, with a base of yeastyness. Appearance is strong, and fades to respectable porter carbonation. Flavor is burnt ends, charred wood, and hop balance. Dark chocolate akaline finish. Overall, a powerful player in the porter game to put balance in the force.

Jan 22, 2022
Photo of Singlefinpin
4.33/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by Singlefinpin from North Carolina

Drinking this at The Parsons Pub in downtown Murphy NC.
Poured from a twelve ounce bottle into a pint glass.
Looks dark brown almost black with a nice tannish foamy head that dropped quickly to a thin cap.
Smells malty, sweet, chocolate and coffee.
Taste follows the nose nicely, lots of chocolate coffee and caramel.
Mouth feel is medium for the style with a nice creamy finish.
Overall a very nice example of a Porter that I would definitely order again.

Jan 11, 2022
Photo of Electricalhair
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by Electricalhair from Pennsylvania

Mmm, pours dark and lovely. Big chocolate notes. Subtle coffee, bit more bitter than I expected. What a lovely porter.

Jan 08, 2022
3.95 by Latarnik from New Jersey on Jan 07, 2022
Photo of jackflaps
4.16/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by jackflaps from Pennsylvania

Bottle to pint glass. Bottled 12/1/21.

L: Deep dark brown (not quite black); coffee-colored. Light brown head that fades slowly.
S: Chocolate, just a little bit boozy. Caramel sweetness too.
T: Lots more chocolate, a little coffee flavor mixed in. A little bitterness but not as much as expected from other reviews.
F: Smooth but heavy enough for a porter.
O: A great example of the style, though not as on the mark as Edmund Fitzgerald.

Jan 02, 2022
4.99 by Chris_lfc1966 from Illinois on Jan 01, 2022
Photo of CyrusT
4.78/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75
by CyrusT

Poured from a 12oz bottle dated 10-20-2021 into a 12oz Tulip glass

This is my first ever review. Here goes. Simply outstanding.

L: Black , opaque . Can’t see through the liquid black gold. Using a flashlight on my phone from the other side no light passes through. A nice fluffy tan , creamy-looking head that dissipates after a couple minutes into a nice thick ring that leaves silky lacing on the glass as it goes.

S: plenty of toasty coffee , and chocolate on the nose, some type of dark fruit maybe ? Malty. And caramel .

T: Non sweet chocolate and malt up front , and tons of toasted coffee and hops on the finish that blend perfectly . Not too bitter, but sweet actually. Roasted coffee beans linger on the finish, and the aftertaste. Simply fantastic.

F: Mildly carbonated , between medium to full-bodied on the mouthfeel. Mild carbonation on the finish that bodes well with the aftertaste . Not as silky as some stouts. Not as full bodied as some stouts. This is a porter. A fantastic example of a Porter.

Overall I give this beer a 4.75 , give or take. Fantastic example of the style . One of the , if not the absolute best Porter I’ve ever had .

Dec 26, 2021
Photo of Byron28
4.61/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
by Byron28 from Texas

This is a good Porter. In fact, though I don’t drink porter much, this is the top of the list. It is thick, flavorful, and smooth. It is nutty, chocolate, and coffee infused. Very tasteful and hardly any aftertaste. Thumbs up!

Dec 21, 2021
4.06 by PaleAleWalt from New York on Dec 17, 2021
Photo of pianoguy
4.7/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75
by pianoguy from Washington

12 Oz bottle. Package date 10/06/21
Poured into a pint glass

Pours a solid black body with a fluffy tan head. Lots of tiny carbonation bubbles noted. Decent retention. Multiple rings of lacing.

Smell is malt forward. Cocoa with a little coffee and a few raisin notes.

Taste is semisweet chocolates with a slight hop bite on the finish. Nice balance!

Silky smooth feel is simply outstanding.

So glad I tried this porter! Loved the balance and the feel. This one is going into the regular rotation.

Dec 16, 2021
Photo of thehyperduck
4.26/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
by thehyperduck from Canada (ON)

12 oz bottle from a six-pack purchased at the LCBO; dated Jul 15 2021 and served barely chilled.

Pours an inky, opaque brownish-black colour with crimson red highlights, topped with one finger of soapy, foamy, dark beige-coloured head. It dissipates within three minutes or so, reduced to a frothy collar of suds underneath an arcing swath of sticky lace. The aroma is potent - or perhaps 'robust' is a more appropriate descriptor here - with a nice mix of rich malt and understated hop contributions. I'm getting plenty of roasted malts, with dark chocolate, espresso and herbal, earthy hops; hints of char, licorice, maybe a touch of alcohol and devil's food cake.

A stellar robust porter that delights the taste buds from start to finish. Roasted malts at the forefront, imparting big dark roast coffee and espresso flavours; these are followed up by sweeter notes of fudge and dark chocolate. Earthy, herbal, woodsy hops at the finish, with a touch of licorice and coffee/roastiness in the aftertaste. Medium-full in body, with low carbonation that gently brushes against the surface of the palate; feels smooth, soft, and satisfying to sip. This 12 oz serving was gone before I knew it, and thank goodness there's five more.

Final Grade: 4.26, an A-. Founders Porter is a must-try in the sense that it's an archetypical example of its style - it provides a template, a frame of reference for what to expect when sampling or reviewing robust porters in the future - I believe the term "gold standard" may be appropriate here. There's no additional ingredients or flavourings here - nothing but plain ol' porter, but damn is it a good one. Something I'd probably buy regularly if it were sold in Ontario year-round, but for now I'll have to keep my fingers crossed and hope for another shipment in the new year.

Dec 15, 2021
4.01 by irishevans from California on Dec 10, 2021
Photo of lagrluvr
4.43/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5
by lagrluvr

Pours a very dark, thick body that light doesn't penetrate, with aa full creamy tan head that lasts longer than most I can remember. The aromas of darkly roasted malts are thick, with dark coffee, dark cocoa and rich caramel notes, along with leathery woody note. Epic rich malty taste follows this parade exactly with a feel that is a bit too thick for porter . Perfectly balanced, from front to back, and presents itself more like a stout than a porter.

Dec 04, 2021
4.46 by Plonk from Alabama on Dec 04, 2021
Photo of BGDrock
4.51/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5
by BGDrock from Canada (ON)

Pitch black body, with a dense, thick layer of espresso-crema head, several minutes of good retention, which forms back up with a few swirls.
Dark cocoa, like fudge cake, coffee, and a background of blackberries and dark cherries.
Taste is much more dark, bitter coffee, with cocoa showing up towards the finish; rich and palate-coating, the flavour lingers for days, the bitterness mellowing out to let the malty notes gain some balance; dry finish, clean and crisp; very light fruitiness, of dark berries, like you might find in some coffee beans, and a dash of dark caramel; medium carbonation and body; you wouldn't call this creamy, though it does have some smoothness to it, it's more of a crisp (not too much so!), clean feel.

This is a delight for it's focus, craftsmanship, and subtle complexity.

Dec 03, 2021
Photo of Manta200
4.28/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
by Manta200 from Kentucky

Single bottle from Party Town

Nov 20, 2021
4.45 by Meddwol from Michigan on Nov 11, 2021
4.73 by irishkyle21 from Canada (ON) on Nov 10, 2021
Photo of AuSablePine
4.67/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
by AuSablePine from Michigan

Reliable. Consider my words "novice". Been enjoying random brews and "stays with for awhile" and Founders Porter is one such.
When the cool season comes on it just Feels right.
Days of ice beer long gone with passing youth and nearing 40. But at 56 yrs young, Founders Porter feels like something Burt Lancaster might swig as much as Sid Caesar

Nov 09, 2021
4.33 by irs from New Jersey on Nov 03, 2021
Photo of detgfrsh
4.63/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
by detgfrsh from Texas

From a glass bottle produced 9/23/21. Black color with a finger of foamy brown head. Roasted malt smell. Medium body. Rich malty flavors with some chocolate notes and a bitter finish. Man, this is delicious

Nov 03, 2021
Porter from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 7960 ratings