Thursday, December 22, 2011

Beer Review: Founders Imperial Stout (2011)

Reviewing the Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company. A hearty thank you to BeerAdvocate user davesway10 for hooking me up with this one in a trade!
Score: 92

January 2011 vintage bottle served in a snifter glass. This beer is a few weeks shy of one year old.

Appearance: Pitch black and opaque with slight ruby highlights at the top of the glass. Pours a half finger of dark chocolate colored, creamy head that settles into a ring around the glass and thin lace across the top of the beer. This is how I love my stouts to look. Pretty solid lacing on the side of the glass too. 4.5/5

Smell: Roasted chocolate and coffee grounds. Some black coffee and creamy milk chocolate too. A touch of booziness and hints of hoppiness. Burnt chocolate and coffee present as well. 4.5/5

Taste: Roasted chocolate and raw coffee bean flavors up front. Toasted malts. Bitter coffee grounds on the mid-palate. Bitter, unsweetened chocolate and dry, unsweetened dark fruits in the finish. Solid linger. Can't wait to see how the coffee flavors in this one taste when its fresh. 4/5

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus bodied, minimal carbonation. A little more carbonation honestly might have helped make some of the flavors in the beer pop a little better, so let's see how a fresh bottles compares when it gets released in a few weeks. Mouthfeel is also creamy. Finishes bitter and slightly acidic. 4/5

Overall: This is my favorite style of beer (Russian Imperial Stout) and it comes from one of my favorite breweries. Founders Imperial Stout is a beer that lives up to its hype, and is not too hard to find when initially released. I highly recommend grabbing a four pack or two.

Recommendation: A pretty balanced raw chocolate-and-coffee flavored imperial stout that hides the alcohol well. This one can be safely recommended to beer geeks and casual beer drinkers alike.

Pairings: Steak.

Cost: $15.99 for a four pack.

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