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
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.