Style: Imperial stout
Brewery: Founders Brewing Co.
Some beers are good and some are great. Some are even excellent, but there are very few that become world-class beers. This beer is however one of those. Rated as 100/100 on Ratebeer, it has been voted in the top 10 imperial stouts of all time in numerous occasions. When these appeared in my local shop, I knew straight away that they would end up in an upcoming tasting. Founders Brewing, who were founded in Michigan in 1997, are renowned for being great brewers but this might be the jewel in their crown.
As expected, this was deep brown to black with a mocha coloured head. There was nearly zero carbonation and head disappeared very quickly, but the body was so thick and heavy it suited the beer well. The aroma was lovely, with the big oak notes resonating well with the coffee and milk chocolate. A hint of cocoa powder and vanilla also came through in the smell. The taste was… astonishing. The big wood notes instantly hit along with the sweet vanilla, then faded into burnt chocolate and espresso notes. The oak lasted long on the palate, with a hint of charcoal for good measure. The alcohol burn lingered in the chest for a long time after swallowing, which is not surprising given the 12% strength.
This isn’t the first time I’ve tried this beer, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. Big, bold and boozy, this really lives up to its label of being world-class. This is not for the faint hearted but if you like your stouts on the heavier side, this is perfect for you.