Founders Inspired Artist Black IPA | Founders Brewing Company

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Founders Inspired Artist Black IPAFounders Inspired Artist Black IPA

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by pb9613 on 08-27-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 35 | Ratings: 209
Photo of pb9613
5/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance – This beer pours a dark black with a large tan head that is maintained throughout the drinking experience. If you hold it up to an extremely bright light, you can see a slight mahogany tint.

Smell – This beer has a heavy pine and citrus smell with a back ground of coffee, chocolate and caramel.

Taste – This beer is interesting with a roasted malt flavor that is perfectly balanced by the pine and citrus of the hops that hit you right after the roasted malt and finishes with a caramel/bitter balance that lingers.

Mouthfeel – A light roasted malt hit that is balance with the citrus/pine perfect hops. It is then finished with a caramel malt balance with the bitter hops.

Overall – This limited release for Artprize is a huge hit. I have never had a better balanced black IPA. Most seem to go overboard on the roasted malt or the hops. This one has a great balance. Get it before it is gone. Actually it should take first place at Artprize!!!!

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Photo of CraftAle
4.83/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Outstanding grapefruit flavor with lots of tang. Hop bitterness in aftertaste. Red highlights in almost black color. Medium head and body. A superior brew that needs to be full time! 7.5% ABV is less than most top ranked beers in this style---and is appreciated. The best black IPA that I have tried!

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Photo of JulsFelic
4.47/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Purchased from the Store in Mount Pleasant. Honestly thought I was going to have to drive to GR to get this so it was a pleasant surprise!

A: Very dark with an off-tan head. About 3 fingers of head. Man, this beer slowly laces down the glass. It is a thing of beauty! Some of the best retention I have seen.

S: Great hop profile. Don't know what hops they used but it seems like a nice mix between some citra and cascade. Not overly tropical, but a great mix of grapefruit, citrus and pineapple. Then to balance it out you have a nice malty/coffee undertone.

T: Wow. First time in a while a beer makes you rethink what is possible with the style. Initially get great coffee taste that smoothly transitions to a balanced ipa. Follows the nose in regards to the hops. Then just the right amount of bitterness to make you want to take another sip. All the flavors play a symphony together. Nothing is out of place. For being an 88 ibu beer it sure is balanced nicely.

M: Probably my favorite part of the beer. Such great carbonation mixed with a thicker mouthfeel that is rarely seen in a ipa. Feels substantial, but not overly heavy.

O: Maybe if we constantly nag Founders they will make this a yearly-release! The saddest part is that we might not see this beer again. Fantastic beer from one of the great breweries in the World.

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Photo of sleuthdog
4.44/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into GI pint
Given to me by steimie

Pour: Pours a shade of dark brown with some dark ruby highlights along the edges of the glass. Head was big, light tan brown and lingered what seemed like forever.

Smell: Nice initial hop with grapefruit dominant. Quickly flows into the other aspects of this beer. Coffee, chocolate, cocoa, dark malts, brown sugar.

Taste: A two tiered beer with the IPA presenting first. Grapefruit, pineapple and some citrus that is fleeting as the coffee, roast, malts and bittersweet chocolate take over. Then there is a perfect bitterness that takes hold to the finish. Very good.

Mouthfeel: Medium feel and a decent amount of carbonation creating a crispness. Bitterness lingers but not overly so. Again very well done.

Overall: I like the black IPA as a style and this beer hits on all cylinders. It says 88 IBU's but I'm hard pressed to find that in this beer. Everything is done in harmony with no one aspect detracting from another. In other words I find this beer to be in perfect balance. Really liked this beer from Founders

Thanks Brian!

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Photo of Mitchster
4.42/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

$7.99 for a 6-pack at Meijer. How cool is that? 88 ibu's, 7.5% ABV. Brewed with midnight wheat.

Pours out to a very dark brown, near black, forming a tall poofy and creamy head with superior retention and beautiful solid lacing. Moderate carbonation, ~2.5 carbs or so. The nose is an awesome combination of pungent skunkweed hops and roasted malts, with touches of pine , a little peppery alcohol, and grapefruit. The mouthfeel is slick, smooth and medium-dense bodied. Just floats on the the tongue. The taste is as I would expect given the nose...pungent hops, roast malt, grapefruit, a touch of alcohol. No off flavors or aromas. Beautifully balanced bitterness. The 88 ibu's does not overwhelm. The finish is roasty and dry, and the aftertaste is all hop pungency.

This is one heck of a beautiful beer. It reminds me exactly of the black IPA I had from founders years and years ago. Expertly crafted. I already bought 2 6'ers, but I think I'm gonna go pick up a case at this price. Highly recommended. Seek it out. Probably the best black IPA I've ever had.

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Photo of Vogie
4.38/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark brown almost reddish color with a slight brown head that lingers around the edges of the glass.

S: Strong grapefruit bomb right away mixed with a slight roasty smell of possible chocolate and bread.

T: Roasted malts upfront mixed with the grapefruit. Ends with a strong hop bitterness and dark chocolate. Delightful and very very smooth.

M.F: Smooth, medium body, minimal carbonation which is perfect for this style.

O: As it says on the description, it really makes you think about what a black beer should be.

Founders does it again. Cheers!

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Photo of Gryphon69
4.37/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle
no date

A- A clear black with a amber hue. A light finger high tan head, that still there after 4-5 minutes.

S- Piney hops, some oak, and light smokiness.

T- Grapefruit, orange peel, lighter hops than on the nose, some bitterness, but not strong, nice clean taste. Nice balance, really tasty

M- Medium body, light creamy and smooth. Very easy to drink.

O- This one grabbed my attention on the first sip, this Is a really good beer moved right up on my Black IPA list to "keep in stock" lol. There is a lot more citris going on than what the smell leads on. I highly recommend this one if you are a fan of Black IPAs.

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Photo of PaulyB83
4.31/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Went to every Meijer around and finally found the last 2 6-packs they had. At $7.99 how could anyone not seek this out.

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass

A- Beautiful dark roasted coffee color with translucent garnet on the edges. Wonderful big cafe creme head.

S- Big citrus notes with an edge of roasted acidity

T- Citrus upfront, moving to coffee, the lingering bitterness from both hops and roasted wheat

M- Creamy, with medium level viscosity

O- Was not really a big fan of this style until I tried this beer. Sierra Nevada Blindfold is also another one I liked. I hope Founders takes the positive response to this beer and adds it to a yearly thing, distributing it to all its markets.

Note: After about 2 weeks I noticed and big drop off in the hop forwardness of this beer and the roast flavors started coming through more. With that said, I would recommend that you drink this as soon as possible. Maybe this is why they have only served it at the brewery until now. It is still a great beer though, just more balanced, which may be a plus for some Black IPA fans.

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Photo of archiebunkerjr
4.31/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I have never had a black IPA before. What a unique beer! I filled my growler at Founder's yesterday. I drank half of the growler last night (on the same day of purchase) and I am in the process of finishing it off tonight. I almost feel like I should process two different reviews as I have two different experiences drinking this beer on two different days.

Appearance - nice thick head on the first day. Deep black color with a tannish head on the first day. There was absolutely no head whatsoever on the second day.

Smell - the nose on the first day had typical IPA notes - grapefruit and grass with the grapefruit the far dominant smell. The second day? No grapefruit whatsoever. All I get is roasted coffee stout with small hints of dark chocolate. Very peculiar. Did the head provide the grapefruit note I smelled on the first day and take it away with its disappearance on the second day???

Taste - the first day - Wow! The grapefruit on the nose gave way to roasted coffee stout when it first entered my mouth. It quickly and smoothly changed to the grapefruit IPA flavor as it moved to the back of my mouth and down my throat. The second day? The roasted coffee stout flavor is slightly bolder than the first day. Unlike the first day, the grapefruit IPA notes try but fail to takeover as the beer moves to the back of the mouth. Only when the beer is swallowed is the grapefruit note detected. Even then, the grapefruit notes are not as distinct as they were the first day but they are definitely there. There is a stout presence on the finish the second day that wasn't there the first day.

Mouthfeel - heavy but smooth. Nice carbonation on first day but 100% disappeared on the second day as could be expected.

As most already know, this beer will be sold only in Michigan during the late summer, early fall of this year. I will be sure to bunker some of this beer due to its complexity, 7.5% abv, outstanding price (suggested $9.99 for a six pack but on sale at Meijer today for $7.99!) and limited production.

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Photo of StoutHunter
4.29/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I picked a six pack of Founders Inspired Artist Black IPA a week and a half ago for $7.99 at Meijers. So far this is the first Black IPA that Founders has bottle and it's a Michigan only release. I've been anticipating this beer for a while and i'm interested to see how it turns out, so lets see how it goes. Bottled on 8/8/13. Poured from a shorter brown 12oz bottle into an snifter.

A- The label looks pretty nice and the artsy label goes well with the name, it kind of reminds me of Van Gogh painting. It poured a nice very dark brown color that had some slight ruby hues on the edges when held to the light with three fingers worth of nice looking darker tan head that died down to a thick ring that stayed till the end and it left lots of sticky lacing behind. This is a very good looking beer, it's got all the aspects that I look for in the style and the head and lacing were really great.

S- The aroma starts off with a slightly higher amount of medium sweetness followed by a good amount of hops with citrus hops sticking out the most with some nice grapefruit and citrus rind aromas followed by some piney and grassy hops in the background. Up next comes the malts which show up just enough and impart some dark malt, roasted and slight chocolate like aromas with some smokey malts showing up in the background. The aroma was very good, it had a some good complexity, the hops were nice and citrus like and the roasted malts with a smokey background provided great balance.

T- The taste seems to be pretty similar to the aroma and it starts off with a medium amount of sweetness followed by a good amount of hops that still have that nice citrus hop aspect to them with grapefruit seeming to show up the most and there's also some piney and slightly grassy hops in the background. Up next comes the malts that impart a nice dark and roasted aroma with a slight bit of chocolate and coffee coming through and some nice charred and smokey flavors showing up in the background. On the finish there was a medium amount of bitterness with a roasted and citrus hop aftertaste. This beer tasted pretty damn good, neither the malts are hops were too overpowering which made for some great balance and complexity.

M- Very smooth, clean, pretty creamy, just a little crisp, on the thick side of being medium bodied with a good amount of medium carbonation. The mouthfeel was very good and it worked perfectly with this beer.

Overall I really liked this beer and I thought it was a great example of a Black IPA, it's one of the best ones I've had so far, I think I like Arcadia's B Craft just a little more since I thought this citrus hops were a little brighter and showed up a little more, but I thought the balance was a little better in this beer and I think it's much more drinkable. This beer had great drinkability, it was pretty smooth, not overly bitter, clean, not too filling, and the taste did a great job at holding my attention, I think I could drink a few of these without me getting bored of it or it wearing on me, I think it would be a great beer to have when it's starts too cool off at the end of summer. What I liked the most about this beer was how well rounded it was, it didn't have any weak points and there's nothing I would change about it. The only thing that I didn't like about this beer was that it was a limited release, for once this wasn't a hard Founders limited release for me to find and I liked that, but I think it would be awesome if they made this year round and released it more widely so more people can see how great this beer is. I would for sure buy this beer again if they choose to release it again, I think it's all gone at all my local stores, so I'm happy I stocked up and got a case of this while it was around. The price point was awesome I couldn't believe Meijer's was selling this for $7.99, it's a great value. I would recommend this to anyone who likes the style or to any big Founders fans. All in all I was very happy with this beer, I know founders makes great beer, but since I've never had a Black IPA from them I didn't how they would do with this style, but in typical Founders fashion they knocked it out of the park and created one kick ass beer. Great job guys, thanks for showing your home state some love with this release and I can't wait for more Art Prize beers, keep up the great work. On a side not I think it's great founders is working with Art Prize and I would like to see more brewerys fo things like this..

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Photo of larryarms847
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had this while visiting a friend in Grand Rapids for his Bachelor party weekend (on tap at McFadden's).

Pours a deep dark chocolate brown with beautiful caramel froth and plenty of carbonation.

Very malt forward on the nose, mainly chocolate, some smoke, and just overall toasted nuttiness with notes of piney hops.

Flavor outlines the piney hops more than the nose, with some roasted barley.

Mouthfeel is well carbonated but balanced well on the malt spectrum.

Overall, a damn find black IPA, one of my favorites to date, it's unfortunate it was a one off, but I feel fortunate to have tried a few pints!

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Photo of waston
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle, poured into pint glass

A - Pours almost black, deep mahogany color. 1 finger creamy tan head that fades. nice lacing throughout drinking.

S - smells of dark malt, chocolate, hops; scent reminiscent of other Founders IPAs.

T - Chocolate, hazelnut, coffee notes all support wonderful balance of hops and malt presence. Strong hop finish. Alcohol content well hidden.

M - Med. bodied, med. carbonation. very smooth drinking.

O - Hop character similar to other Founders IPAs - not a bad thing. An excellent take on the style, as to be expected from a world class brewery. Bummer that it is a one-time thing.

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Photo of JoeMans
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

First Review. Acquired via trade.
Bottled on date faded off, though I know its almost exactly a year old. Understandably a tad overdue in time I should be drinking this. But here it goes:

Pours dark, slightly hazy black with a nice off white head that quickly dissipates. Maintains a minimal lacing throughout.

Roast and smoke on the nose, not much else.

Heavy dark chocolate and espresso notes that linger, very long finish. Minimal hop presence but enough to keep things balanced.

I could only imagine what this would taste like fresh. Even though its a year old and past its shelf life, its still a solid beer. I hope Dark Penance is as good, if not better then this.

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Photo of Ri0
4.24/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

poured 12oz bottle into snifter. Bottle date of 8/20/13.

A - Deep, dark coffee brown with burgundy highlights with a 2 finger off white head. Great retention that slowly fades to a collar. Some spotty lacing.

S - Heavy on citrus hops with light bitter notes. There is a roasted malt and toast scent.

T - I pikc up the citrus hops right away, but then it leads into the malts. The malts are roasted and slightly smokes. A bit of sweet caramel and toast rounds it off. This has a ver nice, balanced flavor.

M - Moderate body and carbonation with a hoppy finish.

O - One of the better Black IPA's I have had. It is right up there with New Glarus Blacktop.

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Photo of drbenderdo
4.24/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Poured from 12 oz bottle into tulip glass. Deep, dark brown to black color with a thick, 2" head that holds steady for a few minutes. A nice, patchy lacing clings to the glass.

S: Big whiff of floral, piney hops and a subtle scent of roasted malt sneaks its way in there.

T: Lots of delicious, pine and citrus hop flavors balanced nicely with toasty, charred malt characteristics.

M: Medium body with a sharply bitter aftertaste.

O: Very nice black IPA. Expect nothing less from Founders.

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Photo of superspak
4.22/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 8/15/2013. Pours nearly opaque dark reddish brown color with a 1-2 finger dense khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of big grapefruit, orange zest, tangerine, lemon zest, floral, pine, roasted malt, cocoa, coffee, light char, and floral/roasted earthiness. Fantastic aromas with great balance and complexity of roasted malt and hop notes; with good strength. Taste of grapefruit, orange zest, tangerine, lemon zest, floral, pine, roasted malt, cocoa, light char, toast, and floral/roasted earthiness. Moderate pine/roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus, citrus zest, floral, pine, roasted malt, cocoa, toast, light char, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of roasted malt and hop flavors; with a great malt/hop balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a lightly creamy, crisp, and moderately sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a highly excellent black IPA. All around great balance and complexity of hop and roasted malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of TheBrewo
4.18/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

We crack a pair, pouring a brew of the deepest black raspberry coloring. It holds two and a half finger tall head of creamy, cakey, and soapy café au lait colored bubbles, showing great retention. This leaves spots and ridges of lacing caked around the glasses as it slowly goes. No haze or sediment is noted, and carbonation appears to be moderately active. The aroma is explosive (!!), with “fresh-squeezed” hops offered in the form of citrics, fruity nectars, and dirty earth tones. These clash with the grain bill, which is chocolate and roasty, with soured brown malt inclusions, and a powdery but silky oat smoothness. Otherwise the nose fills with passion fruit and lemon flesh, booze, cooling vanilla, dill weed, phenolic plastics, green onion fusels, brushes of honey, and light smokiness. Our first impression is that it is very hop forward, as expected, with a showcasing of juicy fruity varietals right as it hits your lips, and an unfolding through the sip to give great bittering char on the end and thereafter. As we sip, the taste opens with sweet grapefruity hop, nectarine, kiwi, and mango fruitiness, powdered oat, black and brown malty roast, lactic sourness, vanilla icing sugars, soft rubbers, mineral, fresh thyme, and light medicinals. The middle peaks with black pepper and booze, apple skins, spicy citric and earthy hop bitterness, continued tropical fruitiness, sticky Thai basil, and the beginning of more of a bittered char and light leathery smokiness from the malt cellars. Washing through the finish is a mix of chocolate malts, metallic yeastiness, sprinkles of table salt, chalk, alcohol, black peppercorn, distant smoke, bittered field greens, carrot tops, syrupy chocolates and chocolate malts, light butters, and final sweetness of honeysuckle, floral nectars, and blood orange sweetness. The aftertaste breathes of smoke and charred chocolate and black malts, bittered lemon peel, green grassiness, copper metallics, yeasty bite, plastic phenol burn, fusel booze, juicy grapefruity and herbal hops, dill, gravel, and cocoa nib chalkiness. The body is fully medium, and the carbonation is medium. Each sip gives soft slurp, smack, cream, froth, pop, and glug, with a silky smooth, but heartily foamy coating to the mouth. This satiates, but does dry between the booze and the hops into a mild pucker, with lightly chalked astringency streaking across the back of the palate. The abv is appropriate, and the beer sips quite easily.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this beer was its beautiful appearance, and its gloriously robust aroma. From the start, the nose was in wonderful harmony, with brightly sweet and freshly organic hop offerings, and the warming, dark, roasty smoothness that was the malt bill. With further sugariness given from other origins based in fruit, the final balance was excellent, and set a big stage for the flavor. Here, too, we were not disappointed. The blend was rich, sweet, and bitter, showing an evolution of sorts from the beginning to the end. The hops started things off nicely, dissolving into a background of bitterness, booze, grain, and char. As the beer warmed, the bittered and charred notes became accentuated, acting to meet and somewhat overshadow, the sweet stickiness of the hops. That said, this was a true and loyal beer, to both the style, and to the fans of Founders alike.

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Photo of KFBR392
4.17/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Two solid fingers of thick creamy head on the pour. Lacing stuck to the sides of the glass and crept down slowly. Pours with a dark brown color and sat black in the glass. Little to no carbonation active in glass while drinking.

Smell: There is a wonderfully balanced toasted malt and citrus hops. Some smokey oak mixed in with some caramel sweetness. Earthy pine really brings the aroma full circle.

Taste: Follows the aroma pretty well. The front is a brighter sweetness of caramel and toffee. The beer opens up in the middle with earthy malt tones and pine mixed in with the hop tones. Oaky darkness sticks around on the palate a long time after drinking.

Mouthfeel: Probably the most drinkable black IPA I've ever had. Well balanced darkness with hoppy tones. Easy on the palate but certainly packs a punch.

Overall: An elite black IPA. Balanced throughout. Founder's rarely misses due to their masterful craftsmanship.

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Photo of TreyIsWilson
4.15/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Dark brown with a two-finger tan foamy head. Good retention that leads to some nice lacing.

S - Lots of citrus - mostly grapefruit - with dark roasted malts.

T - Citrus is right upfront followed by big dark maltiness. The roasted malts brings nice bit of smokiness. Hoppiness is noticeable in the finish.

M - Medium body with medium carbonation.

O - Not my favorite style, but pretty good. Very well balanced flavors and easy drinking.

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Photo of SerialTicker
4.14/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had on-tap at BoatWorks in St. Clair Shores, Michigan for $5.25 a pint.

Appearance: Black. Looked a lot like the Mr. Hyde I had just had beforehand in every way (including head formation), except that the head on this one is a sandy color. Three fingers of head pillowed on top so high the pint got put in to a tall glass so the head could settle. Fantastic lacing. Lemme get my nose down in dare...

Smell: Oh, yes. That's a black IPA. Super fresh, earthy hops are the big time thing I notice when smelling this beer. No fruit character on my nose, just a lot of grass and pine aromas. Keep in mind, I was two beers deep. The "aftersmell" has some of that roasted malt, but the hops definitely dominate the aroma.

Taste/feel: A LOT like the smell, almost exactly. The hops are very significant in here, with a moderate/high bitterness level. The aftertaste is a lot of roast, maybe with some coffee flavors. The hop bitterness is actually balanced a little bit by the already bitter roasted malt. Dry, semi-hoppy finish. I don't find it particularly complex as far as flavor goes, but I DO find it delicious. The feel is about medium, which is good for this... not too runny-thin, and not too feel-like-I'm-drinking-a-meal thick. Drinkable, hopped up nicely, and just another well made beer from Founders.

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Photo of andrewjraab
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Black / brown with a nice 1 inch cap of off white brownish head. Exceptional lacing and stick.

S - Big grapefruit hop notes, floral, malts, chocolate, brown sugar.

T - Huge burst of hops / grapefruit, centennial hops (?), nice balance of malt flavor, clean bitter finish.

O - This is one of the first black IPAs that I drank and said I NEED to have this again. This is solid as they come - easy to drink. I'm not sure if this is a one time brew for Art Prize, but this is special and Founders needs to keep this in the rotation.

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Photo of srv33
4.09/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got one of the last singles of this locally, and was excited to try it as Founders always makes very fine brews and this looked quite unique. The art on the cover is well done too, considering the name. It poured a very dark brown with a beautiful dark creme head. Scent of coffee, hazelnut, citrus, and an almost woodsy scent to it. Taste does not disappoint, and it is well rounded with a well roasted malt component that balances nicely with the crisper hop component. Mouthfeel is well balanced and there is a certain slight oiliness to it that really adds to the overall mouthfeel. Founders, as usual, does it again. Recommended.

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Photo of CMUbrew
4.09/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Definitely looks black, and shows sine dark brown edges in the light. Khaki head is able to maintain a thin cap in this etched Founders glass.

S: Piney hop aroma and a slight roasty scent. Not strong smelling overall.

T: Between the first bottle of my six pack and now, the flavor profile has changed noticeably. The fresher bottles I had were more hop forward with a pine and citrus hop profile with the malt took a backseat. Now this beer is more like a hoppy porter than a black IPA in my opinion. The malt has really come forward with a good malt roastiness and coffee notes, fleeting pine, and general hop bitterness.

M: This has the right feel, with a classic IPA body.

O: A really excellent beer that changed very rapidly. It's a little disappointing that the hops fell off so quickly, but it simply changed to a different, but equally good beer. I hope Founders does more surprise six pack releases in the future.

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Photo of Ljudsignal
4.09/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Last bottle of a six-pack generously traded to me by Spartan13. Poured into my Night Shift tulip glass/snifter hybrid thing.

Pours an utterly opaque, oily-looking black with a thick, creamy, tan one-finger head. Held against the light, deep ruby highlights become visible, and the beer as a whole appears considerably cleaner and less viscous. Cobwebby lacing, moderate retention. Plain, but pretty.

The nose opens with potent citrus--primarily grapefruit and bitter orange--with roasty malt notes of baker's chocolate and coffee following close behind. Some earthy hop aromas and subtle notes of smokiness, almost like burnt toast, are also present.

As several other reviewers have noted, time has done interesting things to this beer. My initial recollection of it was as a pine- and grapefruit-forward beer with coffee notes playing a supporting role. Now the roles seem to have been almost entirely reversed--an opening salvo of potent grapefruit pith and pine resin on the front of the palate is quickly subsumed by malt-forward roastiness. Potent notes of black coffee, bittersweet chocolate, and burnt toast dominate the middle of the palate, along with a subtle but persistent resinous hoppy bitterness. A lingering roasty bitterness appears on the back of the palate, reminiscent of fresh-ground French roast, and blends with a faintly-felt spicy hop note.

Beginning with a snappy, crisp carbonation, this beer finishes unexpectedly--but not unpleasantly--thick, with a lingering, tongue-coating creaminess that pairs nicely with the coffee and chocolate notes that appear on the middle and back of the palate. Alcohol is exceptionally-well hidden.

On the whole, a very solid take on the Cascadian black ale style. Although time has certainly reduced the hop profile of this beer significantly, I believe that reduction has allowed the roasted malt flavors in the beer to shine in unexpected ways without entirely transforming the finished product into just a hoppy porter. Shame this recipe won't be seeing the light of day again any time soon.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from a friend in Michigan. Pours a dark brown to black with a creamy small half finger khaki head. Aroma of pine, roast, more pine, but of citrus, sweet chocolate malts. Flavor is sweet tropical citrus up front, some lightly roasted grain in between, a little spice, and a very nice sweet citrus left on the palate. Velvety mouthfeel with medium prickly carbonation. Very similar to Wookey Jack but not quite the bite and complexity. A very nice brew for the style.

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Founders Inspired Artist Black IPA from Founders Brewing Company
4.11 out of 5 based on 209 ratings.
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