jasonp (1555) - Leesburg, Virginia, USA - APR 22, 2007
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle from a 4-pack (thanks Artusory!). Pours an opaque black/brown with a quickly fading brown head that leaves a constant ring around the glass. Earthy potting soil and rich coffee is propelled up to your nostrils by a gust of bourbon. Flavor has notes of ultra-rich chocolate, oak, bourbon-drenched soil, roasty coffee, dark caramel sweetness and ends with a twinge of tropical fruit. The body, although full, is surprisingly of medium consistency with a rolling fine-beaded carbonation. Everything from Founders is just classic.
whaleman (2178) - North Wales, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 22, 2007
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: APR 28, 2007 Blackened body with a remarkably velvety mocha-brown head. Aroma of top quality premium dark chocolate and fresh roasted espresso bean with subtle bourbon and charred oak in the background. Great coffee, vanilla and dark chocolate characters with tons of sparkling vitality, like a juiced up version of the standard breakfast stout. Velvety and ultra smooth with medium oatmeal starch qualities. Rich, complex and decadent. This is the first new (to me) imperial stout to really reach out and grab me in a long time. Excellent beer. So rich and decadent, but when you want that in the form of an imperial stout, this is spot on.
hoppymeal (38) - Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA - APR 21, 2007
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Beer pours jet black with a reddish brown head that quickly dissipates. Strong roasted malt scents mix with a sweet chocolatey aroma. The first taste brings vanilla followed by roasted coffee beans. The beer is not as thick as one might expect from the flavor and aroma. As the beer warms the vanilla aroma is more evident. This beer has a little more sweet flavor to it than their regular breakfast stout which helps to round out the roasted flavors and also helps to accentuate the vanilla flavor. Very well balanced and highly drinkable.
BillVanE (19) - Zeeland, Michigan, USA - APR 20, 2007
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
this is an amazing beer overall I couldn’t be happier. It is thick like a melted choclate shake in your mouth. its chocolaty, smoky, bitter, malty, every thing I could hope for it was. this was a treat. I could wipe my stout mustache off while drinking this but not my smile, a pure joy to drink.
alohaC (12) - San Diego, California, USA - APR 20, 2007
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Fresh ’07 bottle. Pours a deep, dark brown - almost black and a little oily. A light brown head foams up about a half-inch, but diminishes quickly. Some of it clings to the glass and provides a nice lacing effect, though - something I find in most Founder’s beers. Similar to the regular breakfast stout in aroma with big chocolate malts and dark roasted coffee at the forefront with a faint smokieness of wood and bourbon in the background. Huge coffee flavor still dominates, but is smoothed out and creamier with hints of vanilla. Extremely balanced, smooth and slightly chewy on the palate with just moderate amounts of carbonation. The bourbon really makes more of a presence as the beer warms, but it still maintains its incredible balance and smoothness. Very, very drinkable and some of the coffee bitterness has mellowed. I really like what the wood did for this one. Definitely a beer that lives up to its reputation. I’m glad I have more and some in the cellar from last year’s batch.
stegosaurus (1882) - Levittown, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 20, 2007
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: JUL 6, 2007 2 Bottles sampled one from Capones, and one thanks to Ohiodad. The best stout i have ever had to date. Pours black with a decent size tan head. Aroma of vanilla, chocolate, bourbon, coffee, and oak. The flavor is exceptionally smooth, chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, coffee, just greatness.
JAXSON (528) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 19, 2007
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: SEP 2, 2010 2007 bottle. Pour is nice, rich black with chestnut tones, beautiful creamy copper head. Aroma is weak, just as the Founders Imperial Stout...coffee grounds and not much else. A little something else, maybe oak. Flavor is not bad at all; creamy, balanced, and works a nice progression of flavors on the tongue. Bubbles and chocolate up front, then alot of coffee, then nice oak and bourbon on the finish. About what I expected: very good for a "coffee" Imperial Stout, but inherently limited in that it doesn’t go much beyond that.
EDIT******************************9/2/2010 My tastes have changed a bit in the past few years, and I got some new bottles of this so I have to change the review a bit. What I perceived as singularity and one-dimensionality 3 years ago now I understand as being a honed-in, straightforward but delicious expression of a lightly oaked bourbon coffee stout. Nose is mostly coffee grounds but some light bourbon tones, mouthfeel is so rich and full, flavors are lively, oak and bourbon play well with the charred coffee. Entering new numbers for this now. Not overly complex but excels at what it does.
jason (1681) - Easton, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 19, 2007
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle. Thanks to Puddintane for sending me this. Dark black pour - sludge, oily thick with a very thin head. This was so dark black that I could see my reflection when looking at it from above.
Heavy coffee aroma, bitterness. Malty with some chocolate tones.
First taste: bitter coffee taste mixed with some chocolate, warming up the alcohol, mellowing out to the vanilla bourbon taste that nearly came out of no where. Wow!
Lite mouthfeel considering the thickness that this beer poured.
As it warmed and I take more sips I start to notice the low level of carbonation and the subtle tones of sugar being present. The vanilla flavor of the bourbon is so smooth in this stout that it is a perfect example of a barrel aged beer. Had a very nice warming feeling to it. As it warmed I got some lite wood aroma; as it warmed more and towards the bottom of the snifter, I got alot more bourbon being detected.
One of the smoothest and well balanced Imperial Stouts I ever had!
TURDFERGUSON (3954) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - APR 15, 2007
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle picked up by my father during his recent trip to Detroit. Thanks Pops! Pours black with a half inch thick light tan head that fades a bit but leaves very nice lacing around the glass lasting to the last sip. Nose is a lot of coffee, very similar to the regular breakfast stout. Bourbon aromas become evident as the beer warms, but for the most part it just coffee. Flavor is a bit more complex than the nose, bringing out much more bourbon, coffee ofcourse still there, a little vanilla and cocoa too. Wish it had more of a chocolately flavor than the coffee, but still an enjoyable sipper. Just not my favorite type of imperial. Will be saving a couple of these babies to see how they age.
porterhouse (1581) - Boothbay, Maine, USA - APR 15, 2007
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
(Bottle, a gift from <A HREF=http://www.ratebeer.com/ViewUser.asp?UserID=2 target=blank>OhioDad, thanks Scott!, cellared for 1 year) Didn’t get much complexity from this one...Pours very very dark brown with a thin tan head that recedes to a light film and ring around edges. Aroma of bourbon, oak, char and maybe molasses. Mouthfeel sort of thick but pretty smooth, a little oily. Lightly sticky. Nice fine rings of lacing. Leaves a syrupy coating inside of glass. Taste is mostly bourbon, oak and char - surprisingly rather mild-flavored and little complexity. Also surprisingly not hot at all. The char taste lingers for awhile as an aftertaste. Maybe this is better not cellared. Left me wishing there was a little more to it.