Having heard of Founders Brewing Co. and never trying them, I figured what better time than now. Having been on a bit of a spending spree on beer recently and hearing nothing but amazing things from this Grand Rapids, Michigan brewery, it was time to finally put them to the test, which I would do with their Imperial Stout. Founded in 1997, owners Mike and Dave decided to break the norm of the beer industry and wanted to push the envelope of what people were used to, with more flavor, bigger body, huge aromatics, and increased complexity. In this search, they would find consumers looking for the same thing out of a brewery. And here at Mutineer Magazine, we can definitely appreciate their efforts and what they are all about. Taken from their website, “At Founders we don’t brew for the masses. We leave that up to the mainstream shooby-doers. Instead, we craft a beer for a chosen few, a small cadre of renegades and rebels who enjoy a beer that pushes the limits of what is commonly accepted as taste. In short, we make beer for people who appreciate something different. We make beer for people like us.” Well said.
The first thing you’ll notice about this beer is that it pours dark and it pours thick — dirty motor oil came to my mind immediately. Poured into a pint glass, there was about a quarter inch of mocha brown head that quickly dissipated into some light lacing that hung around for a few minutes.
The smell on this guy is amazing and you know it’s going to be full of flavor. Smelling it, I can picture a chunk of dark bitter chocolate being shaved and picking up a handful of the shavings and just smothering them against my face. Also very apparent is some burnt coffee and roasted malts among other things that could keep your nose busy for hours.
The taste is an explosion in your mouth. It’s very complex and rich and the flavors are very strong. Right in line with the nose, it’s full of roasted malts and bitter dark chocolate. The mouth feel is rather thick, but still very drinkable and it has a very nice creaminess to it.
Then the shocker comes that it is 10.5% ABV, which you will barely notice as it hides itself very nicely among its complexity.
The only downside I have found to this beer is its price. I purchased a four pack, which with tax came to $12 and some change. Part of this is due to the store charging a bit more than they should, but still a bit on the pricey side for a four pack. However, this price wouldn’t deter me from buying more from this amazing brewery and I can’t wait to try the other beers in their lineup.