Porter | Founders Brewing Company

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7,577 Ratings

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No absence of hops gives Founders' robust porter the full flavor you deserve and expect.

45 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-11-2003

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 7,577 |  Reviews: 1,692
Photo of kkipple
4.37/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz single bought right here in Columbia, SC. Thanks to Carolina Craft for bringing this to our podunk town!

A. Opaque, very dark brown and nearly black. Sports a small, thin, red-brown head that lingers and struts and leaves some lace behind. Very pretty.

S. Very solid roasty components upfront - big mocha, chocolate, sweet and singed black bread, a touch of licorice maybe too... no real hops to be found, this is delish malt blackness, but avoids being abrasive or hot. Surely American and bold, stylistically accurate and just flat out good smelling.

T. Layered roasted / burnt malt invades the palate. Black patent roast, chocolate flavors, clean, tight, sweet-burnt finish with just the right amount of roast and hop bitterness dialed in to keep you coming back immediately. Finish is a little grainy and lip-smackingly good. Why, I think I felt a few hairs sprout on my chest in celebration!

M / D. Soft carbonation is more than adequate here, medium-creamy body goes down super easy and the finish is everything you liked about the flavor falling gently down towards a pleasing roasty end. No alcohol heat, astringency, weird flavors or really ANYTHING wrong here. Needless to say, if you like Porters this could be your Alpha and Omega.

Founders has quite possibly made the best American Porter I've had to date, this is assertive and clean and big-smelling, but still manages to be approachable and I daresay, sessionable. There honestly is very little to improve on here. Go get you some!

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Photo of natasharai
4.29/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: poured with a tan bubbly foamy head that dissipated quickly leaving very little lacing. The beer is completely black and lets no light through on the edges.

Smell: Strong roasted malt, chocolate, roasted coffee, and a slight fruity/berry sweetness.

Taste: Strong roasted flavor, chocolate, berry and plum flavors, ending with a slightly smokey wood flavor.

Mouthfeel: Thick body, low carbonation, sweet and sticky, small dry feeling.

Overall: Good drinkability, really big flavors, strong roasted malt balanced by the big sweetness. Great porter, a little bigger in flavor than most but not overwhelming.

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Photo of asabreed
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pretty much opaque jet black, with little light coming through, which surprised me somehow. Good foaming and dense head that leaves good lacing but settles a bit too quickly from how it initially presented itself.

Smell: Dark, roasted malts, mild coffee and bitter sourness, some dark berries, and some citrus sourness in as it warms it seems.

Taste: A little more sour than I'd hoped, but there's still a good balance of very mild chocolate, the subtle notes of black coffee acrid and full sourness, citrus sourness and mild bitterness at the end, and a little too hidden roasted malt flavor, which would be better if it were up front.

Mouthfeel: Not light by any stretch of the imagination, but though it still remains fairly creamy, I thought this would be a lot heavier, lending itself toward a more sessionable porter than maybe many heavier, more flavorful versions out there.

Drinkability: A solid porter, and one that I've heard people raving about. I could have a few of these, as it's not so full that it's only a one-beer-at-a-time brew, but there are others out there that I'd probably pick over this, even though it's good overall.

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Photo of wnh
4.37/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours a deep, dark brown, almost black. Opaque, with no highlights even when held up to the light. Small, rich frothy tan head. Decent spotted lacing that's clinging tightly to the side of the glass.

Loads of roasted malt mixed with complex dark chocolate on the nose. As I continue to sniff, the roasted aromas approach coffee beans, and after a few sips the coffee aromas begin to take over.

Taste is deep, complex roasted malt with more than a touch of sweetness. Surprisingly little bitterness, and what bitterness there is has a coffee-like feel. It seems like there's a lot more going on here, but this beer is so well crafted, and the flavors meld together so well, that I can't seem to pick it apart much further. Long, roasty and bitter finish that fades even more to coffee.

Medium to heavy bodied, on the medium side. Smooth and rich, with a touch of silkiness. Almost velvet-like, in that it's soft and smooth with a touch of 'roughness' from the carbonation. An all around great porter.

Kudos to Founders for following through with a beer that is indeed "Dark, rich, & sexy."

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Photo of BedetheVenerable
4.15/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12oz screw cap brown bottle with cool Victorian-looking woman on the label...it claims to be "dark, rich, and sexy." We'll see.

Appearance: Motor-oil black, thick and utterly dense; a dark tan/mocha cap sits on top this beer and soon fades to a thick dense film with decent retention...beautiful

Smell: Typical porter aromas of sweet dark roasted grains, coffee, and rich dark chocolate...what sets this a little bit apart from the pack is the richness and fullness of the aromas...this is awesome

Taste: Rich and robust, lots of sweet roasted grain up front with mocha in the background. This beer is nicely balanced between bitter and sweet, with just a hint of roasted bitterness creeping in at the end. Not an incredible depth of flavor, but what's there is top-notch.

Mouthfeel: Rich, smooth, and creamy

Drinkability: High

Conclusion: Rich, dark, and sexy it is. I paired this with some medium-sharp cheddar cheese and black bread and it was to die for...This may be the best American Porter I've tried yet.

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Photo of movingtrain
4.73/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a standard pint glass.

A: Nice and dark, coffee-like. A very, very light tan head, if any head at all. I was surprised not to see much accumulate at the top of this one. Could it be the bottle sat on the shelf too long? Maybe.

S: Roasted dark malts, chocolate, coffee, molasses, some faint hop character. Maybe some light raison notes. There is some serious chocolate malt here...dark and smelling quite delightful.

T: Mmm...bittersweet, hints of chocolate, coffee are all over the place. Up front, this is bitter...but sweetens out in the aftertaste. Again, not much carbonation, but just enough to keep that flavor lingering. I pulled this from the fridge, and as it warms up the pronounced chocolate and coffee flavors remain prominent. There is some cocoa powder in there, too...

Overall, one the best porters I've ever tasted. Nothing but the best from Founders.

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Photo of hckyfn9999
4.35/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark cola color with about one finger of tan colored head. Retention is decent, not much in the way of lace. Aroma is of roasted malt, espresso, bittersweet chocolate, and a bit of dark fruit.

Taste is a bit nutty with, lots of coffee flavor, a bit of chocolate, and a little licorice in the finish. Nice level of roasted bitterness. Nice smooth mouthfeel, and very easy drinking. A great porter.

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Photo of jjanega08
4.04/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A= pours a dark jet black somewhat thick looking with a thin tan head that falls so fast you can barely get a glimpse with no lacing.
S= tons of coffee in it with a lot of toasted malts and thin traces of dark chocolate.
T= nice coffee flavor with a lot of toasted malt and some smokyness. Really has a slightly burn toast kind of taste.
M= kinda prickly. Not too impressed.
D= pretty good. Reminds me of the breakfast stout but not as amazing. Still a very good beer.

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Photo of Wheelinb
4.55/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this at the Founders pouring at The Stable. Every time I have something from Founder I always end up happy and this was no exception.

Great dark color and the aroma was pure goodness. Nice malt and coffee aromas. The taste was rich, but not overly so. I could taste a combination of chocolate and coffee. What's not to like. I am glad Founders is now being offered on this side of the river.

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Photo of Vancer
4.13/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap, black as night with a good ivory head, at the Stables for the Founders coming out party in STL, Mo. Poured into a Founders pint glass for the occasion.

Aroma and taste is pure porter, malty with a small pop of coffee beneath the sour ale backbone. Rich and thick, there is no hint of any alcohol to be found; I could drink these all night easily. Except I had to make room for a few pints of the Centennial.

Another fine brew from Founders, I'm glad they're in MO; but I've been savoring these on the IL side for years.

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Photo of KarlHungus
4.84/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer pours an opaque dark brown color. The head is half an inch in height, and recedes quickly into sparse lacing. The aroma is roasted malt, milk chocolate, and smores. It is very aromatic, and quite complex. The taste is like the aroma. Nothing over the top, and nothing far out there. It simply has all the qualities a good porter should have. Lots of roasted malt, ample chocolate, and an overall smores like quality. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with light carbonation, and a velvety texture. Overall, this is a great porter that is sure to become a mainstay in my refrigerator. It reminds me of a slightly more robust Bell's Porter in that it isn't over the top in any one area, but is balanced in everything a porter should be.

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Photo of hardy008
4.1/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pours a dark black color which allows a little ruby to shine through. Has a tan foamy 2 finger head, leaves a nice lacing on the side of the glass.

Smell - Coffee, malt, and chocolate.

Taste - Coffee, roasted malt, and chocolate. Has a mildly bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Smooth, creamy, and full bodied.

Drinkability - Very drinkable. One of the better American porters on the market.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.45/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into a glass.

Pours a nice deep black with several fingers of chocolate brown foam. This settles down into a thin creamy retention that skims the surface, leaving a nice looking thick coating of spotty lacing and brown oils behind. This was definitely one of the darkest Porter pours that I've ever seen. Just a great look here. The aroma is quite dark and toasty smelling, with a dominate roasted malt presence and coffee notes adding a definite bite to the nose. Thick chocolate and caramel sweetness form a beefy smelling undercurrent that raises this bouquet up.

The taste is very similar to the aroma, with an even balance between the roast and sweetness in this. Dark roasted chocolate malt character imparts both a toasty bitterness AND thick sweetness to the profile, while accents of acrid coffee and sweetened caramel adding an extra layer to the taste while still evening each other out. Finishes with a trailing mix of malt and bitterness that hangs lovingly on the palate. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied with a lower feeling but still smooth carbonation that gives off a nice thick feel in the mouth. Wow, the lingering roastiness of this is just great!

Wow, what a fantastic Porter! Hugely full flavored and tasty, with a great drinkibility for a 6.5% beer. This is probably one of the best in the style that I've had and it's awesome that Founders has put this out in bottles now. I need to keep more of this around!

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Photo of GatorBeerNerd
4.33/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz single purchased at Bruisin' Ales and poured into a standard pint glass.

A: Pours a jet black with only the slightest of red highlights at the edge. The short lived head was a very nice dark tan color. I just wish it lasted more than a few seconds. It looks better than a lot of RIS beers. I would give it a 5 if it just had better retention and lacing.

S: Big dark roasted malt aroma just like you would expect for the style. What surprised me a bit was the wonderful coffee and chocolate aromas that came along as well. Just like in appearance, this one outdoes a lot of RIS beers. I hope that trend continues.

T: The taste follows the nose. There is quite a big roasted malty backbone with hints of chocolate and coffee mixed in. There is also some dark fruity flavors which I am never good at pinpointing but it seems like plums. There is a bit of bitterness as well. A much tastier and complex brew than I expected going in. I should have expected more from Founder's since they are dark beer experts it seems.

M: Nice medium to full body brew. The carbonation level is done well, but its not as creamy smooth as I like my porters to be, but its pretty darn close.

D: Its complexity makes you slow down to savor it, but there is nothing in its characteristics that makes it harder to drink.

I expected to like this beer, but not this much. Founder's comes through yet again.

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4.15/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow, this is a jet black oily bodied porter that shows great thickness. Hosts a two finger carmel brown head that is rocky and has some waves of lace. Zesty and slightly smokey up front on the nose, turns deeply rich with some roasted oats and chocolate graham crackers towards the end. When you take first sip you are greeted by smooth rich smokey feel that is just right and not to smokey like some porters. Then comes a wave of coco that is creamy and really oat based for super balance. Just enough bitterness on the end of the palate. This really runs the gambit with taste with smoke, richness, sweetness, bitter and dryness. Super complex. Dry and thick on the mouthfeel but nice. enjoyable to drink from start to finish. Another Founders success.

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Photo of JRed
4.18/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Subtle black with cinnamon head that leaves chocolate lacing down the glass. Strong scent of chocolate, roast, tobacco, charcoal. Dark chocolate cream, coffee beans, roast, tobacco leaves, and spice in the taste. Heavy in body with slight carbonation that tickles the tongue. Highly enjoyable, each sip beckons for the next one to be taken. An instant classic among American Porters.

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Photo of taylorhamrick
4.16/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours out dark, dark brown - about as black as a porter can get, with a thin brown head, with loose bubbles that disappear kind of quickly, leaving very little lacing. Looks average, but I'm very interested. The smell is what's really nice about this. A bit of a battle between dryness and sweetness in the smell. There's a dry, estery smell - reminds me of dark fruits, plums, cherries, and then there's the caramelly, malty sweetness. I also get light whiffs of the dark roasted malts, with some coffee, roast barley, a bit of dark chocolate. The taste continues on from where the smell left off. This was a bit more estery than I expected initially. There's a kind of cola flavor in it, with some bready malts, some background sweetness, and a sort of dry roasted flavor up front, like a dark chocolate bar. Great character and complexity in the taste here. The only thing I'd want out of this one is a bit more sweetness, it would fill it out, and really kick it along - but it's really pretty good the way it is now. The mouthfeel is nice, but I'd say its about average. Not incredibly full, but not really flat and weak. There's not a whole lot of carbonation (which I would expect to enhance the full-feeling body). But I'd say this just about normal. The drinkability is good. A little high on the ABV side for a really easy drinking porter. But all of the qualities of this make it pretty enjoyable, especially with a good, hearty meal. I'd recommend it as a solid example of a porter.

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Photo of supercolter
4.35/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another good beer from a good brewery...
Appearance is pitch black- seriously hold it up to light, with a small head and minimal lacing.
Smell is faint, but bitter chocolate and coffee come through.
Taste has a bit of alcohol and lots of chocolate and coffee notes. A slight spiciness comes through as well.
Mouthfeel is velvety smooth, medium to medium-heavy in body.
Drinkability is very good for the style.

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Photo of Martin2D
4.13/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pitch black with a carbonate type tan head that fades and barely laces

S - Alcoholy, roasty

T - Huge roasty with notes of alcohol. Hints of coffee and chocolate.

M - Medium carbonation and full in body. Some alcohol heat.

D - Fairly drinkable for a huge porter. Great flavor and nice roasty balance for the style.

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Photo of tastybeer
4.22/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The body is opaque, or very close, dark blackened brown with a subtle red tint. The head color is that of coffee out of a French press, with smooth even density. After the pour it stands a finger high which promptly turns to a slick, fine bubbled 1/8 inch. Aroma is large and extensive. Nuts, coffee, dark bittersweet chocolate, caramel, maple, molasses, raspberries, red grapes, black cherries, smoky leather, decomposing wood.... Its hard to stop smelling to say the least. Taste is filled with, chocolatey-caramel cake flavors and is extra nicely balanced. Robust roasted coffee bitterness, lactose-like sweetness and dark chocolate. Mouthfeel is thick, slightly syrup-like, and creamy smooth filled with extremely fine carbonation. This is in fact, very drinkable.

Good solid porter.

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Photo of Redwood21
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: i love the absolute dark inky night with a deep brown creamy head, i jsut wish the head would last a bit longer

S: there is almost an espresso coffee house aroma but nothing that overwhelms the senses

T: there is an immediate sensation of earthy smokey malts that coat your tongue in a bath or thickness, there is some coffee in the beer but its not overwhelming nor the star. this is almost a heavy scotch ale if it weren't for the chocolate/coffee that comes in the back of the taste to make a more full bodied beer. absolutely a more flavorful stock porter than normal but absolutely drinkable at the same time. a def try for a porter fan

M/D: not too thick, maybe could be a little thicker, to create a more smooth experience, but great beer regardless

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Photo of Lepley
3.88/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours deep brown/black with about a finger of tan head, little retention or lacing.
S: Roastiness, chocolate, coffee.
T: Coffee, roastiness, a little hoppy, slightly sweet, bitter, very strong with alcohol.
M: Thick, creamy, pretty carbonated.
D: The ABV isn't too high with this beer, but for whatever reason I felt like the taste of alcohol or something was too overwhelming. Almost enough to make me not like this beer. Overall its a good beer, but I would probably look for other porters.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
4.43/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Extremely dark brown body, topped by a rich, dark tan dentable head.

Aroma of roasted coffee and chocolate, first individually, then a nice mocha blend.

Taste follows the nose. Roast coffee beans quickly give way to thick lush chocolate syrup. Finished with a crisp hop bite at the swallow.

Thick and chewy, as I prefer my porters. Highly drinkable but worth savoring.

A good porter is a delight to find. This is very good.

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Photo of smcolw
4.18/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Moderate tan head, but it lasts. Leaves generous lace on the glass. So dark (brown, near black), I could not see any light shine through.

Chalky, chocolate milk aroma. Light bitterness in the background.

My first impression is "rustic". There's a little bit of everything here without the smoothness of a well-blended brew. I like that. Lots of hop finish that does blend nicely with bitter black patent malt. Good body, almost chewy, but lots of balancing carbonation. A complex porter, worthy of each sip while wondering each nuance of flavor. Another winner from the guys at Founders.

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Photo of TheMistler
4.12/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour reveals a surprisingly creamily textured concoction, though I wouldn't really go so far as to say viscous. Opaque, of course. It might as well be black, but for some reason I want to say really, really dark brown.

A nice nose. Sweet cream. Coffee. Dark, bitter chocolate - you can smell some hops.

Dark, bitter chocolate and heavily roasted notes up front. Bran. Notable hop presence presents itself towards the end. Sweet but roasted notes evidence themselves at the tail end, but the aftertaste is again rather hoppy.

Very creamy, medium to full bodied, with a slightly subdued carbonation rendered crisp by the slightly bitter, coffee notes. A very nice porter.

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Porter from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.25 out of 5 with 7,577 ratings