Monday, January 27, 2014

Founders Imperial Stout (2014)

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (1050) - Albany, New York, USA - JAN 27, 2014
I poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. It was bottled on 12/18/13 and cost $4.75 ($0.40 per ounce).

Appearance: Extremely dark black with an almost purple hue. Completely opaque. Pours to a very large, dark brown, frothy head which laces and retains excellently.

Smell: Distinct vinous aroma of black grape and alcohol. Some roasted malt, though surprisingly mild for such a big beer.

Taste: Founders Brewing Company makes several of my most favorite beers of all time. In fact, everything I’ve had from this brewery I’ve really liked. I actually had Founders Imperial Stout back in 2010 and really liked it at the time. Three and a half years later I’m finally able to buy this at my local beer store, though it’s not quite as great as I remember. The fact it’s only very good and not a mind-blower is a bit disappointing. Though I’d rather concentrate on the good qualities.

The first thing I noticed about this beer is its intense bitterness. The bottle indicates 90 IBUs, though that’s not surprising since huge stouts need a lot of hops to balance out their super sweet maltiness. I think Founders Imperial Stout might be a tad over-hopped, though. There’s a strong taste of classic imperial stout flavor through the middle. It imparts flavors of chocolate, red wine, coffee, and roasted malt. There’s a consistent alcohol character as well in the background, which gives it a bit of vanilla or rum-like character, but at the same time is noticeably dry and warm. While tasty, I was a bit disappointed this beer wasn’t a little more complex, though the flavors that are here are enjoyable despite their repetitiveness.

Drinkability: Founders Imperial Stout drinks exactly like at 10.5% ABV beer of the style should. The mouthfeel is thick, viscous, though soft. There’s a strong intensity to the mouthfeel due to the high bitterness. This is a sipper if ever there were one. The alcohol creates for a warmth that’s difficult to overlook, though it’s not cloying or distracting. It actually finishes surprisingly clean with just a trace of dry bitterness on the aftertaste. 
Grade: 8/10
Watch me and Jay's review from 2010 here:

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