Andrew: I love a good stout. I also love coffee. I think that I love stouts because I love coffee. But this stout has no coffee in it at all.
This obvious connection between roasted malt flavors and coffee has led many brewers to brew stouts that include actual coffee in the beer. But this beer—Founders Imperial Stout—is like a dark roast coffee or espresso, but without any coffee added. Founders has managed to make one of the most coffee-y stouts I’ve ever tasted without adding any coffee at all.
It’s not aged in oak or bourbon barrels, it’s not flavored with cocoa, coffee, chillies, or vanilla—it’s just a great imperial stout. That’s not really a surprise, coming from a brewery that makes some of the best stouts in the world, like KBS and FBS. These two stouts are amazing, but to achieve their own greatness, the brewers add coffee, chocolate, oats, and, in KBS’s case, bourbon barrel aging, too. Founders Imperial Stout is brewed with 10 different types of malted barley to achieve this beer’s intense roasted, smokey coffee flavors—no fancy, schmancy additions—that’s it.
It pours pitch black with a creamy dark brown head. The aromas and flavors are both very smokey and roasty. Like all of the Founders stouts, the mouthfeel is super silky, thick, and oily.
It’s a perfect stout. Really, it’s hard to beat.
If you like your coffee black, you’ll like Founders Imperial Stout. If you like things that taste good, you’ll like Founders Imperial Stout.