Founders Breakfast Stout - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Breakfast StoutFounders Breakfast Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

14,408 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 14,408
Reviews: 3,601
rAvg: 4.52
pDev: 9.07%
Wants: 1,623
Gots: 4,412 | FT: 227
Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  8.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: marburg on 07-26-2003

Brewed with flaked oats, bitter and sweetened imported chocolates, Sumatra and Kona coffee.

60 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Founders Breakfast Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 14,408 | Reviews: 3,601
Photo of rmargeson
2.57/5  rDev -43.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

I don't like coffee and this tasted just like iced coffee - and strong coffee at that. It looked good and poured well. I did not find the chocolate taste of the double chocolate. Unfortunately, I bought a four pack and my wife doesn't like stouts. Need to find a "friend" to foist the rest of them onto.

Photo of jdoolin
2.61/5  rDev -42.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Presentation: 12oz bottle, poured into a snifter

Appearance: Dead black with a light brown head that didn't last

Aroma: Smells like... uhh... coffee. Maybe a *hint* of roasted malt, and mere traces of chocolate.

Taste and Mouthfeel: Very creamy, silky and smooth. Very nice chewy mouthfeel. But the taste was less than outstanding. It tasted like a dry stout mixed with a cup of day old black coffee. Strong coffee with very little roasted malt character. I didn't get chocolate at all unless I thought really hard about chocolate. I wouldn't have guessed it was in there had I not known beforehand. No hop presence, but that's not a big deal. The finish was dry. In fact, it was only sweet at the very first. The coffee bitterness was there throughout.

Notes: This was quite a disappointment. I love Founder's and everything I've had from them, and I love oatmeal stouts, coffee stouts and chocolate stouts. But this was just not balanced. Way too much coffee. I won't be having this again.

Photo of ericwgbeer
2.67/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Founders site calls this brew "the coffee lovers consummate beer".
I will definitely give them that.

Poured into a pint glass. Served at 45-50º.

A - The darkest brown possible without being black. Head is 1.5 fingers with a beautiful dark tan color that leaves some nice lacing as the brew is consumed.

S - Coffee, coffee, and burnt malt & burnt coffee. Some hops. Slight chocolate as well. Not too bad overall, but the burnt malt/coffee just dominates and smells...well...burnt. The smell lets you know what's coming.

T - Very coffee. A bitter and burnt finish that won't go away. Not very complex overall.

M - Full-bodied. Very good for the style.

D - I was disappointed, overall, for such a highly rated brew, but this is not a beer that I would choose again. If you are looking for "the coffee lovers consummate beer" and don't mind a bitter, burnt finish, this is the beer for you.

Photo of Daniellobo
2.69/5  rDev -40.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A decent, if overrated, burnt coffee stout.

Presentation: 12 oz bottle. Old fashion design around the illustration of a boy eating from a bowl, mixed with the Founders branding. Five word description: double chocolate oatmeal stout. Does not show date of bottling, but displays IBUs (60), and Alc. (8.3%) Poured into a snifter.

A - Almost opaque pour leaving a thick black color with a nice creamy head that shows good retention and leaves fine lacing.

S - Burnt coffee aromas (Espresso gone wrong, like a morning coffee maker that has been too long on the fire). Roasted malt that escapes-adds to the burnt coffee feeling, faint chocolate under the dryness of some oats. Strong and characteristic but not particularly pleasing.

T - A tone richer than the smell, the maltiness is capable of holding part of the burnt coffee closer to calling some part of the flavors "roasted" instead, but without much success. Luckily the malts don't hinder the coffee blend entirely and in fact may rescue some of that spoiled coffee taste with a distinct richness that lingers on an acidic note. Chocolate is buried under the exploded coffee wall but there is a faint semi-sweet note that embraces whatever is left struggling of that ingredient.

M - Full bodied, with smooth carbonation.

D - Hmmm, it can be drunk, but I'm feeling more and more disappointed as I progress through the beer. Unless you are passionate about the way the flavor unfolds, and also like the smell that takes a persistent front seat this is not going to be too easy to be had.

Notes: This is probably not my thing. I fear that this and others might be to some notion of style due to a discrepancy in the appreciation of coffee. This is critically burnt coffee and some aspects of the stout do rescue it, and emphatically it is not the other way around i.e. this is not coffee enhancing the brew. Now, there are brews out there doing it much better than this one (without being mind blowing Southern Tier's Jahva does it nicely, or the even their Mokah when it comes to pushing chocolate and coffee.) I have had my share of bad coffee, and this brings too many memories of it after a lifetime of enjoying straight up espresso. Then I also think that, all things considered, this is a decent brew (I do think that Founders work is typically top notch) but it suffers from over hype. Chocolate is subdued, coffee comes as burnt, and a good stout malty base does wonders in trying to rescue the attempt, unfortunately that might be the actual highlight.

As an update, I had another bottle at much colder temperature and while most of the general characteristics remain the same the burnt character that was so present the first time is not that unbearable in the second try, it has better drinkability but does not earn much in terms of memorability...

Photo of samie85
2.71/5  rDev -40%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A- An aggressive pour yields a pitch black beer with a brown, one finger head.

S- Sweet chocolate and strong coffee with a bit of alcohol.

T-Strong, acidic, bitter, roasty coffee with a tiny hint of chocolate and a dry, alcoholic finish.

M-I really thought the oats would contribute a thicker mouthful. To my palate, this is on the very thin side of medium bodied with low carbonation, while having some smoothness.

D-I just really don't understand the hype on this one. I've had coffee stouts before and enjoyed them, but the alcohol presence (even though the ABV is only just over 8%) and strong coffee acidity don't lend themselves to a highly drinkable brew.

Photo of pepsican
2.76/5  rDev -38.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours black with a thin dark tan head. Aroma of coffee and a touch of chocolate. Flavor is coffee up front, but chocolate, maple syrup, oatmeal, malt, and smoke round this out nicely. Nothing is overdone though, and it is indeed just about everything I love about breakfast packed into a bottle. Little carbonation, little trace of the alcohol. Very well done!

UPDATE! R U JOKIN OR WAT PEPSICAN? Thick, harshly bitter, not really picking up on much of what I picked up on for the original rate. Still looks pretty, smells decent, but this is just too much for me.

Photo of mbrown26
2.76/5  rDev -38.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I'll probably go against the grain on this beer and not give it the a+ rating that a lot have.

A: Did have a great look. Dark, Dark, Dark, with a small tan head.

S: Smelled good of chocolate and coffee.

T: Wasn't that impressed with the taste. The balance was nice and probably deserves a high score for the ABV balance, but just not for me. I'm not sure stouts are my thing.

M: About average for a quality stout.

D: For those who like this kind of brew, this will certainly be up your alley.

Photo of BlindPig
2.93/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

A- Thin dark mocha head on a black body. Little lacing.
S- Big coffee aroma with hints of oatmeal. Some drier scent too.
T- Big blend of coffee and oatmeal. Has a dry bitterness in it from the malts and hops. In the aftertaste coffee just dominates the flavors. Lacks complexity.
M- Full body with low carbonation.
D- I really wasn't a fan of this. Seems very simple and I really can't see the attraction behind it. Way to much coffee for me also.

Photo of crnipeter
2.93/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

cit: "Brewed with ...bitter and sweetened imported chocolates, Sumatra and Kona coffee."

355 ml bottle (bottled 11/05/10) into 180 ml baby-Chimay chalice. Pours viscous, opaque dark reddish-brown body with well formed yet small tan head with low retention, leaving walls of lace on the glass-sides before fading out to a soapy film. Aroma is overpowering bourbon-like alcohol with milk-chocolate richness, intense roasted coffee beans and mild malty sweetness. The texture is silky due to oats used while the flavor is a blend of quite aggressive hot alcohol, milk-chocolate, roasted coffee and molasses. Both chocolate and coffee seems chemical, artificial-flavors alike rather than achieved by combination of roasted grains and malt-sweetness. There's a touch of herbal hops towards the medium-dry finish with lingering roastiness and hop-bitterness. Full bodied with moderate, fine carbonation.

In short: An artificially tasting, alcoholic Imperial Stout without any esters of fruit, lacking complexity and subtleness.

This is a marriage of sweet, oatmeal and imperial stout. Equal results (i.e. a rich chocolate & coffee) could be obtained solely from the grain but some like to take shortcuts compensating lack of skills and such brewing-techniques are called »creativity« then.

Btw, what's a child doing on the front label of an alcoholic beverage? We are fortunate that these people work in the brewing not in the porn industry...

Photo of bob182
2.93/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This is what broke my heavy beer streak. It was just too much for me. Sipping bear to be sure, but one I'll never sip again if I'm paying. However, it was distinctive enough to warrant trying in some different form, like on tap, or, again, on someone else's tab. Mmm, coffee. Like a triple strength brew: Not necessary. Be ready to chew this one and be done. It's an unpleasant meal in a bottle. I gave this one away and didn't bother finishing the 6-er.

Photo of kscaldef
2.93/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Big light brown head, very dark brown body

S: Lots of chocolate, a little coffee. Some sweet breadiness.

T: Bready, with mild chocolate. Not much sweetness.

M: Honestly, a little thinner than I expected. Very dry bitter finish.

O: Nothing I wouldn't drink, but by no means on par with most of Founders offerings.

Photo of PDXHops
2.99/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

2008 vintage on tap in December 2010 in a shaker pint. Appropriately dark body with a modest head and a bit of lacing.

A nice beer, but also a decent argument that coffee stouts aren't meant to be aged. While the nose is quite pleasant, the coffee flavor has faded to the point of staleness. It makes for an odd marriage with the also faded, yet smooth chocolate and roasted malts. The body is thinner than expected. Honestly, not a beer I'd recommend aging based on this sampling. It seems to be at its peak fresh.

Photo of coachdonovan
3/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a jet black (obviously) but absolutely no head. I made sure to let this one warm up, so not sure what's up with that.

Aroma is 100% roasty. Not like a smoky schwarzbier, but more like the aftermath of a fire. Taste is equally roasted coffee with unsweetened chocolate. The alcohol doesn't cause a problem with drinkability, but the burnt and bitter flavor does. Maybe I'm at a disadvantage because I don't like coffee, but this one just doesn't do it for me. I really want to like it more, but I can't do it - too unbalanced.

Photo of BigKahuna97
3/5  rDev -33.6%

Tastes like Mexican Coffee.
Growlers & Gill had it in on tap. Good pour, terrible head. Foam would not dissipate. Great color. Tasted like kahlua and beer. Unpleasant taste. Switched to Founders Porter.

Photo of WyethBednar
3/5  rDev -33.6%

I was really excited for this beer going in, and I would be lying if I didn't say I was pretty disappointed with it. I love stouts, especially oatmeal stouts, so this seemed like something I was gonna be really into. However, the beer was so boozey tasting, it kinda ruined all the other flavors for me. The alcoholic flavor was way stronger than even an 8.3% ABV would suggest, and it was a bit of a struggle to get through it.

Appearance: Really nice. A beautiful, completely opaque black stout, with a thin, creamy head.

Smell: Strong. This was my first indication that perhaps this beer was gonna be heavy on the booze flavor. Though the traditional malt and chocolate smells were present, they were already being overshadowed by the warm smell of alcohol.

Taste: Not really my thing. Very, very strong. A bit like drinking a heavily roasted Irish coffee or something, it was very dark, very smokey, very alcoholic, and not very sweet. The chocolate is present, but again, tastes roasty rather than sweet. the overwhelming bitterness of all the combined heavy flavors is really a bit much.

Mouthfeel: Not as smooth as most oatmeal stouts, but still very nice. A definite warm booze effect in the finish.

If you're really into heavy, boozey beers, you'll probably enjoy this one a lot. However, I found the intensity of all the flavors kind of off-putting and I wasn't really able to get in to the beer.

Photo of pwdiamond
3/5  rDev -33.6%

The coffee flavor in this beer was too strong for my taste. However, coffee drinkers will probably enjoy this.

Photo of UTPharm2012
3/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Very solid beer, easy to drink, and I like stouts but the taste is not my style. I see why everyone likes it but not for me.

Photo of philipquarles
3.01/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to rmasen for this one; I had been looking forward to it ever since I'd tried Péché Mortel.

Pours a completely opaque black with a small ochre head that recedes to leave some nice lacing. Smells of thoroughly roasted malt; so roasted in fact that there's no real conventional malt taste. It's essentially all bitter coffee with faint chocolate notes. Burnt, bitter flavors dominate the taste with gobs of coffee and some dark cacao. Earthy character with an astringent finish. As hard as it is for an RIS to be unbalanced, this one is; a dry stout beefed up with spent Folger's grinds. It does have a thick feel, but it's too oily to be a real positive. Definitely a sipper. Maybe my expectations were too high, but this was disappointing.

Photo of QuentinCall
3.02/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Appearance is no more remarkable than any other Imperial Stout I've experienced: jet mahogany with an exuberant, oatmeal colored head that quickly fades to a thin blanket of lace. There is certainly coffee in the nose and while it is the defining aspect, alongside it there is a pronounced alcohol note and an aroma somewhat reminiscent of old books: must and wood and wet rot. Taste follows logically - upfront booze and coffee ballasted by roasted and chocolate malts. Unfortunately, it's monochromatic and hampered by a too-prominent alcohol profile. It finishes with an alternative and, ultimately, unwelcome facet of the coffee - bright and acidic and maybe even possessive of an espresso-like grit. With regards to the style, the feel seems thin, lacking the heft to ably support it.
Overall, it's a nice, but particularly unexciting, beer. Unfortunately acidic and boozy, lacking the depth of character I've come to believe an Imperial Stout can embody. Nonetheless, you should try it. I honestly feel like you should. All these people can't be wrong can they? My perfectly average 3 rating does'nt nullify the fact that this is a really important beer, a benchmark even, to a significant population. Its just that it strikes me as particularly uneventful.

Photo of MowryJC
3.05/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. 2009 vintage bottle into a snifter.

A - Dark, slightly viscous pitch color with no chance of light coming through. Weak, one finger head that leaves virtually no lacing down the side of the glass.

S - COFFEE. I don't get much else, maybe a hint of oats and a little chocolate, but the coffee is too far out of balance, probably because it gets a big old boost by the roasted malts.

T - Again, Coffee immediately followed by a little astringency from the malts, back into coffee. And the coffee seems to have a lot more acidity to it than espresso even. Almost no semblance of chocolate at all. I really can't believe how out of balance this seems.

M - Slightly oily, but not cloying at all, which is quite nice. The chewiness is enjoyable as well especially in the throat. I didn't feel ruined for the night from this beer, which I worry about with such strong flavors in this style.

D - Surprisingly drinkable if it were more balanced in flavor. I have to give this another shot given its reputation, but I was pretty disappointed in the lack of balance for this first round.

Photo of quasimoto
3.06/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Deep black, opaque. Faint ruby highlights are gleaming through. There is a nice big 2inch head on this thing and as I let it sit, it laces nicely.

S - Straight off the bat , it's old coffee grounds. Its not iced coffee, or a frappachino, but old coffee grains. There is a light mixture of some chocolate, in the middle but then turns to deep roasted grains.

T - The aromas transfer over to the taste and make it almost a balanced beer, but not quite. The deep coffee grain is turning to mud, and in turn taking the grains with it. The chocolate is no where to be found in true form but only a perceived notion of its previous existence is left behind. Out of all the reviews I have read, I cant believe no one has picked up the high rubbing alcohol flavor in the back of this beer. Either this needs to age, or this thing is a mess.

M - One of the good things about this beer is the mouth feel. It starts off smooth with the carbonation/bitterness, and then smooths out to a nice creamy mouth feel. The alcohol warms the as it sits, and then warms the throat.

D - I hope this thing needs to age. I really do. Maybe then it will be a true 93/Outstanding beer. But for a rather fresh beer. It's not even close.

Photo of rosmhuire
3.06/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Dark brown coloring with tan-colored head.

S: All coffee on the nose

T: Coffee is definitely the primary flavor here. Also, this is a bit too sweet for my liking.

M: Average

D: I honestly was shocked that I did not care too much for this beer. Everyone on this site has such a hard-on for FBS, I was expecting to love it as well. I love oatmeal and imperial stouts, but this just did not measure up for me.

Photo of LOCAL
3.11/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into Duvel tulip glass

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown/black with no light passing through. Forms a faint coco head that disappears almost immediately.

Aroma: Faint oat, coffee, and bitter chocolate notes... not too much to be honest.

Taste: Similar to the nose with oats and roasted malt up front. The "double chocolate" and coffee seemed like an after thought in the taste profile.... strange considering the name.

Mouthfeel: On the heavier side. Sticks to the tongue.

Overall: Its OK. The alcohol is very well hidden given the ABV. I was really expecting a lot more from this brew. Not much in the way of chocolate or coffee in this one, at least not with the name tag it comes with.

Photo of Khazadum
3.14/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Ahh, what a couple months. From the start of my craft brew career to my current status this beer has haunted me. I started with it and now I hit it up again after educating myself for quite some time. Poured into my brandy snifter once more, a fresh batch versus a few months old.

Pitch black void body with dual toned froth. Not much carbonation and head as I would have liked, but a bit did develop. Most of the cream and mocha bubbles have floated away, but a nice noodle thin bracelet hugs the edge of my glass. Decent lacing can be noted with a few patches of bubbles holding on to dear life around the edges. With a bit more carbonation this would be good to look at.

Intensely smoky. I feel like a cigarette was blown into my face, unfortunately. It isn't campfire or burnt grain. It is nicotinic in nature for my nostrils. Overwhelming to the point that I almost missed the chocolate. The coffee is melded into the initial aromas. It takes quite a bit of effort to weasel out what is the cigarette and what is the coffee.

Flavor Profile
Just like the nose, the flavor opens up intensely smoky. It isn't as carcinogenic in taste, but still reminds me of a cigarette. The coffee is extremely faint. It comes through in the common bitterness of black coffee, but the other flavors I normally find in coffee stouts are missing.

I would say it is more a chocolate and smoke beer than anything else. The finish is quite lovely, though, reminiscent of quality dark chocolate melted in my mouth five minutes ago.

Oral Sensations
This is probably where this beer shines the most. It floats into my mouth like a tongue snuggy. Its full bodied presence leaves interesting resides on my palate, lips, and teeth. They are the evolved molecules of the liquid. Positively enjoyable and with little drawbacks.

When sipping this beer, I find it to be one of the smoothest stouts I have had to date. It has minimal tingling due to carbonation, and flows with the greatest of ease around my mouth and esophagus.

An interesting beer. It is almost exactly like I remembered from months ago. The flavors are quite underwhelming, although unique. The aromas are nauseating in a health perspective sense and yet... I still find myself feeling like I may drink another in the future.

A side note really quick, the 8.3% alcohol seems to be a lie. I feel this alcohol in both mind and body faster than beers labeled at a higher alcohol than this. It is definitely a strong buzz forming from a single bottle of this brew.

It is not a beer I would want anytime soon again, but I feel that is a lie. Maybe it really does have nicotine in this bad boy. My brain tells me I shouldn't want another, but my body craves it. I know it is not good, but I find I can't say no to another sip.

Photo of Moon2Goddess
3.16/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Color:Identical to a dark roast coffee, deep mahogany, completely opaque.

Head:The second pour at a warmer temperature elicited a better head an inch or more high. Texture is incredibly creamy, like half-n-half.

Aroma: Pleasant, but weak. Mostly vanilla, coffee and chocolate.

Texture: Sexy. A truly viscous consistency, ultra smooth nicely coating your mouth, the silky layer lingers on the roof of your mouth long after you have finished. If it were not so bitter, it would seem luxurious. If only the bitterness did not force me to swallow, I would hold it in my mouth forever!

Flavor & Balance: Flavor is divergent; coffee to whiskey to licorice to beer to coffee again and finally oatmeal a full minute after swallow. As it warms, however, it is like drinking a cold, double batch of over-roasted, bitter coffee. If I paid for a cup of coffee, I would want it to taste better than this. Completely lacks any butter-nut or rich, warm qualities, it is bitter through and through. The chocolate additives separate from the beer and seem to settle to the bottom, like an unstirred espresso drink. Tasted best when it was freshly cold and exhibited pronounced licorice accents.

Sustained Taste: Loses varied flavors over time and becomes simply coffee and very dark chocolate--chocolate flavor does not even vary. Would probably be best with a cookie or biscotti to offset the bitterness. Not a good stand alone beer. Wish it had a more pronounced beer flavor, or a higher alcohol content to make it worth drinking the whole bottle. I don't even feel a buzz and I am looking for a piece of gum.

Founders Breakfast Stout from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 14,408 ratings.