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Founders Black Rye - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Black RyeFounders Black Rye

Educational use only; do not reuse.

440 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 440
Hads: 1,525
Avg: 4.04
pDev: 7.92%
Wants: 108
Gots: 286 | FT: 8
Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Rye Beer |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: maxpower on 09-17-2004

78 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Founders Black Rye Alström Bros
Reviews: 440 | Hads: 1,525
Photo of jwc215
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 12/06/22014:

Pours black with a thin lasting tan head.

The smell is of chocolate with some pine, dark bread and rye.

The taste is of chocolate, coffee, with earthy/piney hop spicing and bitterness. Minty rye in the finish.

Full-bodied (or close enough to call it that.)

An all-round well-brewed beer. Well-hopped but doesn't clash with roast. A nice touch of rye gives it a unique character. An enjoyable dark, hoppy, rye beer.

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Photo of fscottkey
3.33/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

A: [4.00] Pours a dark black color. There is a tiny amount of light penetration with back lighting. The pour forms a 1/4 finger of tan head. The head leaves nice lacing on the glass. The bottle clearly lists the ABV (7.5%), the IBU (78) and the bottled date (12/17/15).

S: [2.75] I get chocolate and roasted malts. If I was handed this beer I would guess a stout based on the appearance and the nose. After a few sips the nose has a "chlorine" like scent. Chlorine is the best descriptor that I have for it. It starts to dominate the nose.

T: [3.50] The taste follows the nose but there is something in addition to the chocolate (which is present throughout the palate). The malt is there too - but some other "spicy" element exists too. The flavor is a bit like chlorine.

M: [3.75] Smooth and creamy. Very nice body overall. There is a little bitter flush right at the end.

O: [3.25] This is a great beer with a flaw. There is an off taste and smell that keep this from really knocking it out of the park. I'd be tempted to buy another one of these and see if it was a bad beer. I enjoy Founders brews but I have to rate what is in front of me. That being said I have to knock some points off this one for the "chlorine" smell/taste.

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Photo of Daktah
4.18/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Deep black. Great smell of hops and dough. Taste is more of the same with creamy body. Perfect balance of hops and rye malt - not trying to kill you with hops or rye or roasted notes like a lot of beers in this category. Great overall beer and something I hope to see again.

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Photo of Pencible
3.79/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: This poured a nearly opaque espresso color with some light tan head.
S: It smelled like fresh coffee and earthy whole wheat bread, with some spicy rye.
T: It tasted like spicy marbled rye bread and dark roasted coffee, with some earthy whole wheat and copper hops. It had a clean and earthy bitter aftertaste.
M: It was watery with moderate carbonation. Decent body.
D: This was like a black IPA with extra rye added. Nice balance in the scent and taste, although the body was a little weak. The finish was fairly smooth, so it was pretty easy to drink. Nothing ground breaking, but a unique, high quality brew.

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Photo of Mateer
4.56/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

12 oz typical Founder's bottle with a black label, no date.

Pours black in color with little head retention. A slight red, brown hew when put directly under a light. Otherwise, this looks more like a stout than an ale.

Thick hops, burnt coffee and bready notes. A little alcohol sting and lingering bitterness pushes through at the end but nothing extreme.

Again, Founder's calls this a "hopped dark ale brewed with rye" and I think it tastes like a stout with rye. It is similar to their Breakfast Stout with less of everything but hops.

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Photo of BradtheGreat7
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Review taken the day this arrived in Kentucky 2015.

12 oz Founders 'stout' shorty bottle with a black label with Black Rye written in AC/DC style font. What a totally bad ass label. Poured into a Founders standard American pint glass.

A - in reality this is an extremely dark blackish brown with blood red ruby painting the bottom corners though this is as black as it gets when the light is pulled away. Nearly opaque anyway. Burnt dark malts, citrusy hops, and whole grain all balance well with the spiciness of the rye. Even some coffee notes in this aroma.

T - man, this is superb. Floral hops with light citrus appeal. Toasted malt, dark chocolate, black roasted coffee, and a well done spice from the rye make this offering extremely tasty. Almost a burnt sugar sweetness to the malt as this warms up a bit with more spice from the rye and hops.

M - medium bodied and pretty robust. The rye and dark malts balance the hops to perfection. Smooth, thick texture is as expected for a brewer with this sort of reputation.

O - Black Rye is down right awesome! There's just something about black ales (ipa) brewed with rye that do me in. It just goes well and makes it a brew I can enjoy any time. I didn't get to try this back the first go round, but I'm glad they released it. I'm hoping this is one that will be around for years to come. One of the best black ales I've ever had.

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Photo of Neorebel
4.51/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Black Rye is a beautiful opaque obsidian shade, and a stubborn antique white head encircles the perimeter of the glass after the initial pour. Quite a bit of lacing is left artfully behind. A lively woodsy aroma comes off the brew, with bitter citrus, oak smoke, whiskey grains, burnt toast, and a touch of brown sugar as well. I am loving this! First of all I must say that this is very soft and smooth, and lighter-bodied than expected, however, there is a bit of a warming sensation following a good gulp. The hops are in the foreground, and they present themselves in a nicely dry and bitter way. I'd say these are almost herbally pungent, in essence. The roast and rye serve to compliment the hops with subtle grace. I would strongly recommend this to any person who likes to explore the complexities of hop bitterness in a unique way.

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Photo of drdiesel9483
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look - black with a tan head and great lacing
Smell - hoppy and malty, got some coffee smell
Taste - almost like a coffee stout but well balanced. More you drink the more hops you get
Feel - smooth medium light body
Overall - fantastic beer

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Photo of mattymoe812
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled in dec. Pours a very dark. Nice quarter inch head. Alot of chocolate on the smell same with taste. Back end is where the rye comes in. A ton going on in this beer and i love it.

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Photo of snaotheus
3.63/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle served in a tulip. Bottled On date is 12/21/2014. Not as fresh as I would like, but here goes.

Pours pretty darnn black with very little head. Last little gush from the bottle had a cloudy brownish look, so it's probably bottle conditioned or unfiltered. Smell is slightly cherry, slightly chocolate, and quite mild. Very slightly floral.

Taste is coffee and roast, slight bright fruity splash -- more of that cherry characteristic. Strong floral aftertaste. Interesting.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly effervescent. Overall, pretty good beer.

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Photo of Beer-Revelry
4.47/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a standard nonic pint glass.

A - 4.75 - Pours a deep black. Forms a finger a half to two fingers of light tan colored head. High head potential, low head retention. Minimal, whispy lacing.
S - 4.5 - Malts, almost to a molasses level, spice, rye and a light dusting of hops.
T - 4.5 - Bold. Lightly sweet malt upfront, tons of rye. Ends on a dry, medium bitter rye finish.
F - 4.5 - Good medium/full bodied mouthfeel.
O - 4.25 - This is an excellent representation of the rye beer style. This works as a slow sipper, but would be even better paired up with some barbecue or other smoked meats. Having mine with a smokey, chopped beef barbecue sandwich!

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Photo of Jadjunk
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No label information. Founders' Black Rye is brewed in the style of a Black Rye beer. Available as a seasonal release in 12 oz. bottled 4 packs and on limited draft. Re-released after a multiple year-long hiatus.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a snifter glass. Served above 54 degrees Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a frothy foam head of a creamy mocha brown over a near jet black body. Retention is very good and lacing is light and patchy. 4

(Smell) Toasted caramel grains, peppery, bready and mildly tangy notes of rye malt, a hint of roasted barley, chocolate and coffee bean combine for a potent above-average bodied Rye ale. Secondary notes of spicy licorice and molasses with an earthy and piney blend of moderately bitter hops, although the density of the specialty malts in the body provides sufficient balancing power to match the sweetness of the malt profile. Potency is medium+. 4

(Taste) Flavors of full bodied malts forward, bready, tangy rye and biscuity caramel with a side of black patent and cold roasted grain rounded out with a touch of earthy licorice. The resinous and earthy hop notes are modest enough in flavor by comparison although there is a perceivable bitterness on the midsection, finishing shortly thereafter with a lasting note of heavily roasted barley. Very flavorful and well presented. 4

(Mouthfeel) The texture is faintly oily slick, lightly viscous, smooth and mildly dry. Carbonation is moderate, with a medium frothiness and a modestly crisp finish. Body is medium/heavy for the style and shy of heavy overall. Balance is nearly even bitter to sweet. Alcohol presence is light and there are no off characters. 4

(Overall) An all-around enjoyable dark ale with lots of malt density and flavor, nearly thick enough to come off as a stout, but just flavorful enough all-around to remind the consumer that there's more to this beer than simply roasted malt. The rye malt doesn't thoroughly stick out through the malt profile, but contributes considerably to the malt complexity as well as to thickening up the mouthfeel. It seems to sit a bit heavy on the palate but I find the balance and respectable alcohol levels easily warrants a second or third glass. This is a beer I applaud Founders for revisiting, as it seems to be a fitting ale for the palate of today, although this must have been a distinctively stand out beer a decade ago when other breweries were merely dipping their toes into "too much" flavor for the consumer. Black Rye is a solid beer and recommended. 4

Founders Brewing Company's
Black Rye

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Photo of Chiefy770
4.24/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 Fl. Oz. Bottle
Bottled on December 6th, 2014 (Printed on the neck of the bottle)
Reviewed on March 24th, 2014
Served in a Stange

Poured a dark brown, nearly black body. A rather dense light brown head slowly collapsed and left a frothy tan cap. Nice soapy lacing, plenty of tan rings throughout.

Very complex aroma. Floral and earthy hops stood out the most. Heavier notes of burnt grains and coffee served as a dense base for the hops to live on. There was a somewhat perfume-like aroma that lingered in the hops. Nothing held back in the nose, that's for sure.

Great hit of floral hops up front. Herbal notes of pine and liquorice developed as the malts started to break through. Burnt malt character all around. Mocha, bitter dark chocolate, and burnt toast. Full-bodied. Moderate carbonation. Semi-dry finish.

Very unique taste. One could mistake this for a hopped-up Imperial Stout. Great slow-sipper.

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Photo of Getalegup
3.81/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Looks like root beer with 1 inch foam.
Smell of hops and rye.
Tastes interesting. Not bad. The rye comes out and stays in palate. Dry hops adds some bitterness, smell.

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Photo of ONUMello
4.06/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle dated 12/6/14 poured into a pint glass
A: Dark brown with a one+ finger tan head that slowly settles
S: Lots of rye grain, hints of caramel and cocoa
T: Quite peppery/spicy between the hops & rye. A bit of pine resin and grapefruit come through as well
M: Light-medium bodied, spicy
O: This showcases the rye quite nicely and the hop profile is complementary. Recommended

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Photo of Bone53
4.04/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black pour with no light coming through. Very thin tan head

Smell: Chocolate, roasted malts, big on the rye, hops, spice, slight smoke and leather

Taste: Smokey roasted malts and slight chocolate upfront, in the middle i pick up the spice from the rye and hops that lingers

Mouthfeel: Medium body; Goes down smooth with a moderate to substantial bitter finish

Overall: This is is definitely an interesting twist on a black ale, but does it work? Id say so. I enjoy the smokey malt flavor upfront with the rye hop finish, but somethings missing to make it truly great and i cant pinpoint it yet. I think id prefer less bitterness on the backend. Very interesting though

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Photo of tekstr1der
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Black pour with thin brown head. Sweet and toasted aromas. Taste some nice hop bitterness up front, with some smoked, coffee notes in a relatively clean finish.

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Photo of Beerdanza
4.28/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours black, as the name says. A nice beige head that laces pretty well and sticks around. Smells of caramel and butterscotch and smoke. The taste is predominately a good hops bitterness and sour rye with an aftertaste of sweet maltiness. The hops flavor here is less flowery, and tempered by a smokey note that finishes the bitterness. Mouth feel is substantial. This is not a light, refreshing brew. It's a serious beer for people who appreciate the bitter and sour. I absolutely love the sour rye flavors. I may be a rye beer guy.

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Photo of maedhros09
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look: Deep dark brown like a porter. Pours with average light tan head that dissipates into a nice film with some bubbles

Smell: An unusual mix of hops and dark roasted flavor with some savory almost onion-like rye notes

Taste: Dark roasted and lightly sweet porter/stout like notes with rye twang and a substantial piney herbal floral bitter hop presence

Feel: medium body and smooth mouthfeel.

Overall: Founder's gets an A for uniqueness - I've never had anything resembling the brew. Only some of the hoppier porters come close but they have a different hops profile and lack the rye flavor of this beer. It all blends remarkably well and makes for an enjoyable drinking experience. I think this works nicely with food - I had it with a bowl of chili. If I have a complaint it is simply the price, but in return you get a quality brew.

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Photo of CHickman
4.21/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours pitch black color with a huge creamy 2 finger tan head that was full of tiny bubbles and faded extremely slowly, leaving very good lacing coating the sides and rings as it went down.

Smells of fresh piney hops, pine cone, strong rye, citrus hops, grapefruit, cocoa powder, pepper and other earthy spices; nose is very piney and the rye and spices blast your senses and then pull back to let the sweet citrus and bready malts come through. Coffee grinds and toffee trail late and add nice accents to this brew, I really like the way it changes from light and spices to sweet and coffee like.

Taste is like coffee or espresso at first, then changes to pumpernickel bread and a biscotti like cookie, and yet continues to change into a spicy treat with rye, floral hops, pine cone/piney hops, pepper, tea leaf and cocoa powder. Very dynamic and while it’s pretty hoppy with a lot of black IPA characteristics, the rye and peppery spices keep it lighter feeling with a sharp bitterness and lesser sweetness. The finish is a mix of roasted grains, burnt coffee, dark chocolate and earthy notes like peat moss, switching again to a grapefruit bitterness with some citrus zest and chocolate sweetness. The roast, rye and hoppy sweetness all compliment each other well.

A roller coaster beer ride of flavors that work very well together with nice balance and smooth almost slick feel. The carbonation was a little lighter than average, the bitterness was slightly above average and the finish was different after every sip. A really enjoyable beer that is very different and hides the ABV completely while remaining quite easy to drink. The rye is present in every aspect of this brew and makes for a wonderful leading role.

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Photo of stompilator
4.02/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a tulip glass.

A - Poured an almost opaque black. Very light, fizzy head, which dissipated quickly.

S - Boozy and grainy, with a gentle hop aroma.

T - Very interesting elements at play here. Very malty and smoky on the front, with the hop flavor popping in near the back, and a nice bourbon-y aftertaste.

M - A little crisp and bubbly for my taste, but certainly not bad.

O - Very nicely layered, balanced taste, especially for a black IPA.

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Photo of Apellonious
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle dated 12/6/2014 poured into a tulip glass.

A - Dark brown/black, with a half finger tan lace that dissapates quickly.

S - Smells fantastic, and I am having trouble trying to put it into words. There is defintely a bourbon component courtesy of the rye, but its equally matched by a ctirus type hop and a dark fruit component.

T - And there is the twist. Burnt grains and mild smoke/oak appear, with a citrus bitter hop finish.

M - Carbonation is average to above average, has a sharp mouthfeel.

O - Grabbed a single (which I wont do again based on the price), but will defintiely be looking for it next year to see if I can pick it up when its fresher. Fans of black IPAs will enjoy this one.

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Photo of Jmamay22
4.28/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours an opaque and deeply dark black with a tan colored head that maintains its size. Nice sticky lacing too. Smells of pine and spicey from the rye. A hint of roast and chocolate. They rye is even more prominent once sipping. Very strong rye flavors and a good firm bitter finish. Hints of roast flavors behind the rye spiciness. Very enjoyable and interesting beer. Mouthfeel is on the heavier side of medium. Well done.

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Photo of cbutova
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Had a bottle of this quite some time ago around New Years. Dated 12/06/14.

A- Stubby Founders bottle pours a mostly black brew to my tulip. A crown tops the beer at one finger with a thick frothy texture. The retention is fairly good as a medium ring remains leaving a thick sheet with webs falling from that for lacing.

S- Earthy hops and blackened barley. Charred dark malts, whole cereal grains, heavily toasted nuts, hearty bread and chocolate brownies. The hops are in between earthy dirt and bright citrus.

T- Rye grows some here with a spiciness that adds onto the charred blackened malts and the heavily toasted browned grains. Cereal, caramel, coffee, cocoa nibs lead up to citrus zest, floral and earthy tones.

MF- Medium bodied and taking into account the flavors it feels just a bit thin at times. The bubbles flow at a medium to high level promoting a creamy texture. Finishes somewhat bitter with burnt and hops contributing.

Definitely some pros and cons to this experience. I think the balance of the aromas and flavor is quite nice. At time the body feels somewhat thin to support what is going on. A solid hoppy dark ale with charred, chocolate grains and bright hops.

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Photo of jmdrpi
4.04/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

served on draft in shaker pint glass

black in color, off white head, decent head retention. nice aroma of a well rounded hop aroma paired with just a little toasty malt flavor. taste is hop dominated.

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Founders Black Rye from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 440 ratings.