Founders Brewing Company

Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Robust Porter
Ranked #1
Ranked #960
4.27 | pDev: 9.13%
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
Notes: No absence of hops gives Founders' robust porter the full flavor you deserve and expect.

45 IBU
Reviews: 1,748 | Ratings: 7,810 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by mechamifune:
Photo of mechamifune
4.06/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours into an imperisl pint glass a not quite pitch black, but very dark for a porter.

Starts with a .5 in light brown head that quickly gives to about .25 that never really goes away. Very nice and obvious lacing. A good looking beer.

Smell is mostly chocolate and dark malts. I find it somewhat muted though, but by that note I don't really think of porters as being vrey aromatic. Anyway, its a good smell, but not really a standout aspect of this beer.

Taste is very rich up front. The chocolate notes come through in the beginning and give way to a slight bitter kick by the end. A very "stout" like porter IMO, but still to style. Taste feels complex though I admit I am having a hard time describing it in any additional meaningful detail.

Mouthfeel is a standout, as it is with so many of Founders beers. Very rich, smooth, and velvety. More so than some imperial stouts i've had. Remarkably smooth and easy to drink.

Overall this is an underappreciated gem of a beer, and i feel slightly guilty for going so long between purchasing it. In terms of founders "regular" lineup, this might be the best beer they make.

 1,127 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of tectactoe
4.4/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a very deep, dark brown, appearing nearly pitch black if you're in a room that isn't well lit - a very tiny amount of light is allowed to pass through this one. The head is nice and tan, made of tiny bubbles with a fine definition and moderate retention.

The aroma is full of milky chocolates and roasted malts; it gives off a very nutty and woodsy smell as well, reminding me of roasting marshmallows over a campfire. Very robust, powerful, and commanding. Slight hints of char and smoked goodness wrap this one up. Between some of the sweet malts and smoky characters, this makes for one of the more complex and unique porter aromas out there.

The flavor follows the nose profile right along, super nutty and toasty from the get-go. A slight hint of coffee beans sits in the immediate background, along with a nice dose of creamy chocolates and cocoa powder. This one has a very low to moderate floral essence to it, imparting a tiny bit of extra bitterness midway through to balance out the sweetness - it works very well.

Other bitterness is mainly contributed from some of the darker malts, in the form of ashy, burnt wood and bittersweet cocoa. The beer ends with an obviously malt-heavy finish, leaning more towards the sweet chocolate and dry nuttiness side. Medium-heavy body - the mouth feel on this porter is one of the best ever. Silky, smooth, creamy, fluffy - carbonation is just right, letting the flavors pop without being astringent.

This porter is pretty amazing. The best one I've had to date. Even better than Eddy Fitz in my opinion (although that is some righteous shit, too). Great smell, amazing flavor profile, orgasmic mouth feel - and still only around 9-10$ for a sixer. You can't beat that.

 1,731 characters

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.23/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #47 (Dec 2010):

Thick beading of tiny bubbles produces an amazing-looking head and sticky lacing; pitch-black color is saying it's a serious beer as well. Slightly burnt biscuit aroma is quickly followed by a sweeter mocha tone. A welcome hefty body here with just enough bubbles to get by. Slightly burnt choco maltiness has a firm grip on the taste buds. Hops give a quick sting of bitterness and an earthy flavor in the middle. Roastiness is well flexed and shows its range, from faint, smoky, charred wood to bitter dark chocolate to over-toasted bread. Some yeast and fruit in the end as well, as a sweetness lifts from the ashes. This Porter means business--one of the best robust Porters around.

 744 characters

Photo of Krabapplekid
4.61/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This is the Patrick Roy of porters, the porter which with all others must now be compared. Founders substantiates the state of Michigan in the brewing community. If the sitcom Fargo could be enhanced by a beer, it is this beer. I would rather have one six pack of Founders Porter per week for the rest of my life than world peace, the ability to fly, or Scarlett Johansson.

 373 characters

Photo of BigH75
4.74/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Purchased a 1/4 barrel for my home bar.

Pours a completely black color, with thick brown head. Instantly smell the dark roasted malt. Beautiful initial smell and appearance. Mouthfeel is lighter than the appearance would imply, appropriate for the style. Roasted flavor of chocolate or coffee without being too assertive. Easy drinking for such a deeply flavorful beer. Flavors on many levels, it is far from being one note. Left a ton of lacing on the glass.

Overall, the best porter I have ever had and one of the finest brews from a really top notch brewer. Doesn't get as much notoriety as the stouts from Founders (Breakfast, Imperial, KBS, CBS), but really holds its own. Given its year-round availability, it is really a shame if people don't take the opportunity to try this gem

 799 characters

Photo of Auraan
4.52/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep brown, almost black body with one finger of tan head that stuck around almost the entire glass. Overall impression of appearance is of a wonderful porter. Scents of black coffee, rich dark chocolate. roast malt and hints of coffee with cream, toffee, and a burnt character with light floral notes. Overall impression of aroma is of a deep, rich porter, very true to form and well done with an array of aromas on display. Flavor begins rich and deep with notes of roast malt, black coffee and bitter cocoa with light notes of toffee and very light fruity hints. Middle continues this flavor, adding bittersweet chocolate and light burnt caramel notes. Finish is roasty and bitter with notes of coffee with cream, black coffee and roast malt along with a light sweet caramel. Aftertaste is of burnt toast and roast malt. Overall impression of flavor is of a fantastic porter, deep and rich with a nice variety. Very good. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and creamy with a moderate carbonation. Overall impression of mouthfeel is of a very good porter. Overall this is an amazing American Porter, one of the finest examples of the style. All aspects are close to perfect and a wonderful example of the style. A truly wonderful porter.

 1,240 characters

Photo of REGreenBTRB
4.62/5  rDev +8.2%

Bottles on 05/08/14. Poured into a snifter.

A:4.75 - Beautiful beer! Pours VERY dark, you can't see any light through it. A dark tan, creamy head sits nicely on top, maybe about one finger. It leaves a little lacing.

S: 4.5 - A delicious smelling beer, it has a dark roasted malt scent backed up by some dark chocolate and hints of coffee.

T: 4.5 - The smell prepares you quite nicely for the taste. It's all there; the roasted malt, dark chocolate, coffee, caramel. It's awesome.

M: 4.75 - Not too thin like some porters I have had. This seems like the perfect medium between a porter and a stout. There's a creaminess to it that you don't get with other porters, but not as "thick" as some of the stouts. Very smooth, very drinkable, very nice.

O: 4.62 - This is the best porter I've had to date. Thank god Founders distributes to Arkansas - they make some awesome stuff. Just as the label states, this is dark, rich and sexy. Very sexy. The Kate Upton of porters.

 975 characters

Photo of 1993Heel
2.92/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I've been a sort of beer geek for two decades now but I've never really explored the full range of dark ales made today. I've had many a beer from every continent but I want now to explore American dark ales. I've decided to start with this one. Porter was an early love of mine before I was seduced by belgian tripels and german doppelbocks. Everything comes around but it's never the same twice I guess.

G - Scaldis (Bush) Noel tulip glass.

A - Pours medium bodied black with a nice fluffy tan head. Very promising. Significant amount of carbonation adhering to bottom of glass.

S - A hint of coffee, chocolate, and an off-smelling pair of phenol and medicinal odors at first whiff that disappears. A turnoff. As the beer opens a little alcohol owns much of the nose.

T - Sharp and surprisingly hot for 6.5% ABV. Prickly hops overwhelm the start of a decent set of malt flavors. Nice smooth rich malty finish. It has a long finish that lingers that isn't average but rather has two components that together average out that way.

M - Soapy on the end of the tongue, dry in the back of the palate. Not very integrated or smooth. Too carbonated.

O - The bitter and the sweet seem not to go together in this beer. Like west coast American wines this beer is very west coast American in its pursuit of sensory overload even if it's not west coast. There are delicate flavors in there but a lower and different hop recipe would serve it well. Just not for me.

 1,462 characters

Photo of 11-52_4hops
4.1/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L - Opaque black/brown - announces its density, and establishes an anticipation of great things to come.

S - Obvious coffee, but not an overwhelming nose (or I was out in the cold too long today)

T - Leads with hops; coffee trails behind, then the hops return for a nice bitter finish that lingers. Very nice balance between the flavors.

F - As full bodied as the appearance suggests.

O- A first-class porter that will definitely find its way into my beer fridge again.

 473 characters

Photo of tp1962
5/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Hint of Smoky flavor. Exceptional tasting Porter. Great mouth feel.
Is becoming one of my favorites and keeping stocked. Great for sharing! Great price and purchased in 6 pack.

 178 characters

Photo of Joboomafoo
4.41/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought from total wine in a 12 oz bottle.

Look: Jet black, full two finger head that dissipates quickly. Hard to find a better looking porter.

Smell: Coffee, chocolate, roasted malts. Delicious, but no more or less so than most porters at this price point.

Taste: Mirrors the nose, roasted coffee and dark chocolate, distinct bitterness throughout, but not overwhelming. Delicious.

Feel: Suberb. Dense and rich, lightly carbonated on the tongue, leaving a lacey feeling of carbonation and roasted malts on the palate.

Overall: A quite bitter, but overall delicious porter. Founders has yet to disappoint me, and this is no different. Excellent offering for the style.

 672 characters

Photo of ArrogantDeadGuy
4.76/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Black, Black, Black, with a great mocha hued

S: Coffee, chocolate toastiness with the malt
and hop in perdfect balance.

T: Deep rich malt flavors with understated cocoa
coffee, and a slight hop finish

D/M: Rich and creamy with a body that allows
for service at breakfast, lunch, or dinner

 305 characters

Photo of mklmcgrew
4.24/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On draft at Ale Arsenal in San Carlos

L: Dark, dark pour, as in a black hole. You know, like no light gets out. Thin head with decent lacing.

S: Strong notes of chocolate, with some malts and coffee.

T/F: Follows the nose with the chocolate and malts. A little bitterness at the end. Medium body with a creamy mouthfeel. Medium carbonation.

O: Very tasty! I'm just getting into the Porters, and this seems like a great example.

 437 characters

Photo of frozyn
4.27/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

3 month old bottle into a tulip.

L -- Poured jet black, middle-of-the-glass pour created 2-finger thick, dark tan head. Reduced down to a ring, minor amount of lacing left behind.

S -- Roasted, slightly charred bready malts; slight chocolate notes.

T -- Roasted malts provides a lot of depth, spanning from slightly burnt to charred back to light roast. Bitterness adds balance to the light sweetness provided by malts.

F -- Full bodied with enough carbonation to keep it flowing. Rich, creamy, smooth.

O -- Go-to porter for me for now. Hard to beat in terms of value.

 577 characters

Photo of HorseheadsHophead
4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

L: Pitch black with an immense and creamy light brown head. Retention is near-perfect and tons of gloppy lacing is left behind.

S: Milk chocolate, roasted grains, burnt toast, coffee candy, almost maple and toffee-like with vanilla. It's roasted, creamy, bittersweet throughout.

T: Roasted grains, dark chocolate, burnt toast, and lightly sweetened black coffee in spades. Creamy with hints of caramel and vanilla. There's some lingering coffee roast into the finish.

F: Medium-bodied, smooth and creamy upfront. Gets light on the swallow, but never turns watery. Remains very drinkable.

O: One of the best American porters I've ever had. It's "Rich, Dark, & Sexy" for sure. Complex, flavorful, and endlessly drinkable.

 734 characters

Photo of TheSeeker61
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I love the nose on this one. It has a nice dark look. Can smell the dark fruits with coffee nose. The tongue is a dark chocolate with hops and slight malts for balance. Has a good feel. Very classic porter. Has been a main stay for me over seven years during these cold months. A very nice porter.

 302 characters

Photo of DarrellK66
5/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is dirty. The nice and nasty kinda dirty! When poured into a glass I was unable to see any light pass through, even holding it up to the sun. Strong dark smell, strong dark taste. Think dark chocolate with dark burnt coffee with an earthy feel. My wife bought me three 6 packs (18 beers) and I went through them in about a week. My liver hurts... Hurts sooo good!

 373 characters

Photo of ABabbidge
4.44/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: About as black as a beer can be. Dark brown head.

S: Brunt malt and dark chocolate.

T: Starts with with dark chocolate and dark coffee notes. Burnt bread in the middle and finishes with a little bit of sweetness.

F: Fairly heavy body and moderate carbonation. Silky smooth texture.

O: Wow now that is a porter. Can't think of a porter I have ever had that is better than this.

 386 characters

Photo of Vader444
4.14/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into tulip glass.

For one of Founders' core range, this is surprisingly difficult to get your hands on in the UK. I've been trying for a year or so and finally managed to grab a case.

Pours pitch black with a small pale tan head. Definitely at the "stoutier" end of the porter spectrum. Loads of coffee on the nose; a check of the ingredients confirms that no actual coffee is involved in the brewing process. Really rich, dark and roasty flavours. Near perfect carbonation and a long finish with more coffee and chocolate. Quite sweet on the finish; I'd swear that there was lactose in this as it ends very much like Left Hand's Milk Stout. I've had a few of these over the past fortnight and this is one of those beers for which there is an optimal drinking temperature. An hour in my fridge, no more, no less. A well made beer, perhaps lacking a little in character though? Cheers!

 900 characters

Photo of Bruno74200
4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one might be the best american style porter that I've the chance to try yet (I'm talking about real porters not some 12%ABV stuff, like the -by the way wonderful- Lil' B from Evil Twin).
Like every Founder's beer I've the chance to try : it's perfectly balanced. First good point. It's bold but controlled. It's a porter no doubt, it's not a fucking roasted bomb, it's on the chocolate and dark berries mostly. Plus, what might make it exquisite, a great hop presence. It's mostly piney and candied citrus (bergamote? Tangerine?).
Anyway it's a wonderful session beer. I could drink that every day

 603 characters

Photo of blairnheatherbeerreviews
4.69/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Look - the beer is a midnight black with a nice foamy muffin top, about 2 inches high

Smell - A nice rustic chocolate with a bitter coffee aroma. You could throw some malty after smell as well.

Taste - an enriching essence is bottled within the opaque glass of this craft. The fizziness expands and multiplies upon contact with the tongue and spreads throughout the pallet to create a memorable, flavorful experience.

Feel- The mist of Poseidon, flowing throughout your mouth while ultimately being embraced by the taste buds. Heavenly yet tranquil.

 553 characters

Photo of gregO59
4.9/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

this is the kind of beer that when you haven't had it in a while and then taste the first sip the overall impression is that there cannot be a more perfect libation and then the 2nd sip is even better

 201 characters

Photo of seedyone
4.67/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

On tap at Rattle n Hum, NYC. Big maltiness on all fronts. Matched with a measured sweetness & we have a pint of bliss with just enough bitterness o keep it adult & interesting. The 6.5 ABV is managabel for the amout of return visits this blend inspires.

 253 characters

Photo of Radcpa
4.06/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark appearance with tan head thatbdedipates quickly. Nice malt, nutty and coffee aroma. Taste is also a mild malt nutty slightly coffee without and aftertaste or bitterness

 180 characters

Photo of RickyS
4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A beer black as the night. Cappuccino head that dissipates fast. Aroma of coffee, chocolate, dark sugars. The taste is dominated by coffee notes but well balanced with a sweetness typical of molasses. This is how I imagine a porter should taste like from 1800. The mouthfeel is thick but not quite chewy. Awesome beer.

 318 characters

Porter from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 7810 ratings