We the people of Sommbeer sure love our stouts. Bell’s Expedition Stout, Dragon’s Milk, KBS, and Neapolitan Milk Stout are just a small sampling of the stouts that we love. Hanging in there with them is Founders Imperial Stout; A big burly heavy beer that hits shelves at the beginning of each year to put the holidays to bed and warm your belly in the cold winter months with some Imperialistic goodness.
Founders Imperial Stout is a big beer. Really Big. To further use the words of Douglas Adams you just won’t believe how vastly hugely mindbogglingly big it is. This stout pours about as black as any beer that I can think of which lends to its beautiful thick creamy body that’s topped off with a mocha colored head which leaves a flawless lacing with the glass. Did I mention this beer was big? The aroma from this beer is all-encompassing, strong scents of roasty coffee, vanilla and chocolate paired with alcohol are immediately noticeable all while managing to come off as balanced and pleasant. If there’s such a thing as a good punch in the nose this beer packs it.
Ten different varieties of malted barley are loaded into Imperial stout. All that malt aids the balancing act this beer does with all of those big flavors and gives the beer its malty mouth feel and dense body. This imperial stout drinks about as smooth as possible, so smooth in fact that the 10.5% ABV is hardly noticeable. There’s no surprises in this stout, no notes of jelly and pumpkin spice peaking through or anything of the sorts to throw the beer out of whack. Founders Imperial Stout is simple and complex in all the right ways. The coffee, vanilla and chocolate flavors all come through vibrantly capping off another stout by Founders that not only hits its mark but also sets a standard for how great a Russian Imperial Stout can be.
Another topic that Sommbeer loves is cellaring, the art of aging beer. Founders Imperial Stout is one of my most hoarded beers. It not only holds up extremely well with a couple of years to its credit, but like any great ageable beer it improves with time. Many beers that age well come along with a pretty hefty price tag. Founders Imperial Stout will usually run you about $10-$14 a 4 pack which makes it a relatively easy beer to stock up on and keep around for the later parts of the year in which it might not be available on store shelves. Founders releases Imperial stout in January and normally can be found in stores until some time in early spring. Whether you’re looking for a beer to be the ultimate winter warmer or a beer to start building a cellar inventory this Imperial stout is an excellent choice and can fill either role.
Founders has quite the reputation for making some fantastic stouts. The Breakfast Stout series sends beer nerds in a frenzy every year and the Nitro Oatmeal Stout stands in the midst of current nitro trend as a delicious hip curiosity. Founders Imperial Stout, in comparison, receives relatively little hype when it’s released each year. If you like stout, of any variety, I would recommend this beer highly. There aren’t a lot of beers that provide more bang for the buck or that are more satisfying than Founders Imperial Stout.
Founders Imperial Stout Factoids
Calories: 315 ABV: 10.5% IBUs: 75
Available: January – February
Price: $12 / 4-pack