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Founders Breakfast Stout | Founders Brewing Company

3,662 Reviews
For Trade:
Founders Breakfast StoutFounders Breakfast Stout

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.30%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Availability: Sep - Dec

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

60 IBU

Added by marburg on 07-26-2003

User Reviews
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Reviews: 3,662 | Ratings: 15,807
Photo of Sean9689
4.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap @ The Rotten Apple in Grafton, IL.
Poured into a pint glass.

A - Black with a cream-colored head which vanishes leaving some lacing along the sides of the glass.

S - Lots of dark chocolate, coffee/expresso, oats, nuts. Really melds together well and is very pleasing.

T - Like dessert. Chocolate, coffee, expresso, roasted nuts, oatmeal, creamy sweetness.

M - Nice and rich. Medium-full in body. Little to no carbonation.

D - This is a great stout that I really love. A must-try!

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Photo of cmistre
5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Happened upon this little treasure at my local beer spot and jumped on it, as I had it on good authority that this was one to try, and boy is it!
It pours a thick viscous black with little to no head and very slight carbonation.

The first taste is an explosion of rich coffee and caramel, followed after a brief swirl around the mouth by more subtle chocolate with a hint of vanilla.

The mouth feel is thick and creamy and the minimal alcohol taste lends to this stouts exceptional drinkability and enjoyment. Going in for number two is a must.

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Photo of stonequarrywest
4.7/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

If I knew oatmeal and coffee tasted so good as a child I might have not drank Oj and ate cookie crisp.

Beautiful black pour with an excellent aroma of coffee/chocolate.

Taste is awesome ....Mouthfeel is excellent with a near perfect carbonation for me.

Drinkability...Hmmmm I know that I have to buy it by the case....doesn't last long at all.. Especially as soon as buddies realize what they have been missing.

One of my top 5 beers ever.

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Photo of washburnkid
4.83/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: A huge head explodes out of nowhere. Super creamy light brown foam isn't going anywhere for a while. I can't see many more hues beyond the black. There's mountainous retention and beautiful lacing.

S: Sweet malt on the pour. Roasted coffee and dark (bitter) cacao. Dark fruit malts and berry esters are also in the game.

T/M: Everything I expected from the aromas. I've heard a lot about this beer being huge on coffee, but it definitely has a great balance that holds its own against other big RIS names. Dark chocolate alternates with sweet milk chocolate. Carbonation bordering on crisp brings out spicy characteristics in the beer. There's something dark and interesting in the back of the aroma and flavor but I can't quite name it. Medium-bodied (one of the thinner imperial stouts I've had), but still great complexities and subtleties. The oatmeal also really comes out with warmth. The last sip ends in bitter chocolate oatmeal. It really holds up 'til the very end!

D: This is easily one of the best beers I've ever had. Dangerously drinkable. I highly recommend it to ALL.

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Photo of ThaBobfather
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a chocolaty blackness with dark brown think, glass rimming head.
Smells strongly of coffee, beans, chocolate, and roasted malts.
Tastes strongly of coffee and roast. Maybe some chocolate with some tingly toasted malt on the very back end.
Finish is crisp and long lasting, giving me a coffee/chocolate taste that is delicious.
Exceptionally drinkable given the flavors and finish.

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Photo of Gosox8787
4.7/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

As this is one of the best reviewed beers on BA, I did not hesitate at all to buy it when I saw it at the package store. Bottle came as part of a four pack and was reasonably priced, considering how hyped it is. Onto the beer.

Poured from the bottle into a glass with a dark brown, one finger head that quickly settles into a nice lacing. Lacing coats the glass for a few seconds after each sip. The aroma is strong with notes of sweet bourbon, vanilla, expresso, and chocolate all balancing quite well. The flavor is also exceptionally balanced. Sweet bourbon notes begin each sip and slow transition into a nice smokey, roasted flavor from the malts. Vanilla, chocolate and coffee/expresso notes all become apparent as well. The oatmeal does a really good job at offering a sweetness that this beer needs. Completely balanced flavor. The mouthfeel is thick. The first couple sips leave a dry, sticky mouthfeel that subsides soon after. The drinkability is good for this heavy a stout with this high an ABV. Actually makes you want more rather than getting bored of the flavor.

Overall, just a great stout with loads of flavor that is nicely balanced throughout the brew. A great start to the day if you so choose, but good at anytime. Just an enjoyable beer in every way. And a good value to boot.

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Photo of ryrust5301
4.8/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Black as night and almost looks like a cup of pure black coffee. Ever so thin layer of coco powder colored head shot up after pouring, but settled into a tan almost glowing ring.

Smell - So gentle and caressing that it's hard to believe. Coffee notes are so soft yet so bold, and it's all mixed together with a pinch of swirled vanilla. A brush of chocolate is dropped in to sweeten things up.

Taste & Mouthfeel - Oh my goodness, this tastes like a cup of coffee in beer form. The only thing that makes it different is that instead of the bitterness that overwhelms each sip of coffee, a sweet chocolate and vanilla flavor is there to take the edge off. This beer is blended to perfection. The aftertaste bursts with coffee bitter until it fades away. Not thick and big, but soft and gliding in the feel. The sweet creamy taste just helps it slide down the tongue. Unlike most big stouts the burn from the alcohol is nowhere to be found, and makes it dangerously drinkable.

Drinkability - I like this one even more than the KBS. Sublime to drink and maybe my favorite big stout out there. Easily one of the most drinkable stouts brewed today.

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Photo of crazeguy
4.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A - Pitch black with a creamy light brown head two finger lengths thick.

S - Hints of chocolate and espresso. Smell seems well balanced and tasty

T/M - thick and viscous, slightly oily. Taste likes dark chocolate with some pleasant coffee beans. I'm not a fan of coffee but it balances this brew in a remarkable way.

D- Its very enjoyable. No real notice of a boozy flavor. Its awesome.

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Photo of BeardedBoffin
4.55/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I have been looking forward to trying this, unfortunately, it is as an after dinner quaff, and not a breakfast brew. Nonetheless, this is one tasty beer.

It pours a deep dark chestnut brown with a beautiful wisps of tan foam. The aroma is mocha coffee and chocolate. Slightly earthy hops are mingled in to provide some depth.

O so smooth and velvety, full bodied. A deep roasted coffee flavor with a nice bite. Waves of bittersweet chocolate are interspersed with the coffee. Smokey, dark and bitter without being overly astringent; that is the beauty of this beer.

It closes out smooth, with a ghost hint of hops and an alcohol warming.

A quality brew to say the least. And paired the coffee-chocolate cake with mocha mascarpone frosting that I just made, it cannot be beaten.

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Photo of drcarver
5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A beer and brewery that changed my life and my view of beer. This beer shows that you don't have to do anything crazy, you just need to do something really well inorder to succeed.

A - Pours like motor oil, a deep black color. The deep brown head was small and faded quickly.

S - Burnt roasted nutty aroma with heavy coffee and hints of chocolate.

T - Smokey and burnt flavors. Finished with the bitterness of coffee. The heartiness of the oatmeal is evident in taste and body. The is a slight metalic flavor as well.

M - Full bodied with a smooth dry finish.

D - Probably more drinkable than it should be. Smooth and creamy they go down smooth. And absolutely fantastic brew. Congrats Founders.

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Photo of tr4nc3d
3.22/5  rDev -28%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a jet black color with a tan mocha colored head that resides rather quickly. Lacing coats the sides of my glass beautifully.

Fresh brewed coffee, vanilla, oatmeal, roasted malts, toffee, smoked wood chips, black licorice. Lots of great smells coming from this brew, I can not wait to try it.

Smells a lot better then it taste. Very upfront pretty bold bitter dark coffee taste, charred malts, and should I dare say quite watery. A very teeny tiny sweet taste does try to show up but definitely is overpowered with the coffee bitterness.

Medium with light carbonation. A little sticky or chewy should I saw. Left with that coffee aftertaste.

I picked up a 4 pack and will compare notes with the others. Maybe I'll age one. Anyways this did not do it for me really that much.

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Photo of MusicaleMike
3.83/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Here we have Founder's Breakfast Stout. It comes in these stubby 12 oz. bottles with a label portraying an equally stubby child scarfing down breakfast in some Rockwell-like painting. The beer is pegged as a "double chocolate coffee oatmeal stout." What a mouthful!

I turn up some Aphex Twin and pour my beer into a Founder's pint glass, noticing the very dark brown liquid as the bottle empties. The head takes a few seconds to settle down, finally culminating in a tight, two fingers worth of mocha-colored head sitting on a black stout body. The head surprisingly drops to a thing lace rather quickly, though it looks like it will be leaving a fine lace. Alas, by the end of the glass, there is very little trace of a head anywhere.

The strongest point of this beer, in my opinion, is the bouquet. "Huge" is one word to describe it. Immediately, there is coffee. It is very obvious and it stands out among the other aromas. But this smell is no ordinary coffee bean. We are talking about the aroma of a deeply roasted, rich and earthy coffee bean from Kona! I find it pleasant, while I can see this turning a lot of people off. Not surprisingly, under that aroma is a substantial dark chocolate smell, with the whole acrid 70% cacao thing going on for it. Semi-sweet raisin is there tucked underneath all this; and while I myself cannot pick out an "oatmeal" aroma per se, I would say that the smell is quite reminiscent of Sam Smith's Oatmeal Stout, with an injection of coffee and chocolate. So I guess what I am saying is that this smells EXACTLY like a double chocolate coffee oatmeal stout!

The flavor profile is again dominated by coffee. This isn't Folgers coffee. This is serious coffee that is full-bodied and rich. Earthy and acidic. Oily mouthfeel. There are slight hop flavors, seen largely in the aftertaste. Occasionally, I thought I could taste sweet notes of chocolate, but now I think I may have been fooling myself. This is coffee beer, folks! If you don't like coffee, stay the hell away. I do like coffee personally, but I also wish that they would pull back on the coffee addition so that the chocolate and hops could shine through a bit more.

The carbonation is fairly intense and the mouthfeel is definitely full-bodied. It is almost to the point of being syrupy, but the sharp carbonation keeps it all in check. I harp here though because I think this beer is missing that signature oatmeal smoothness.

With all that being said, I think the drinkability factor is pretty piss poor. I would definitely have this again, and I think it would make for a good after dinner drink, you know, instead of coffee. But for breakfast? I dunno...I wanted to try, but I couldn't bring myself to do it ever. Also, I don't think this is much of a beer to drink multiple of in one sitting. Hence the low "drink" marks. Definitely worth a shot though if you see it around.

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Photo of ToddT
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Almost black with minimal tan head. Head fades quickly to a ring and leaves minimal lacing on the glass.

S- Chocolate, coffee, malt, and caramel all in a quick succession.

T- A rush of semi sweet dark chocolate and coffee that fades to a light hop bitterness all surrounded by a backbone of roasted malt.

M- Chewy but not overly thick, creamy and with light carbonation. Finish is dry with a lingering earthy aftertaste of coffee.

D- Easy drinking, the 8.3% ABV is well hidden. Taste leaves you wanting just one more sip.

A truly outstanding beer. One that should be sought out and tried.

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Photo of jsh420
4.82/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

notes from turkey day 2008

served @ room temp
agressive pour leaves 1/2" tan head and a body that is pitch black.. smell is coffee coffee coffee like jaun valdez and his mule popped out of the bottle and said "Buenos dias" - beyond the coffee is some nice chocolate and raosted malts. taste is even better then the smell bitter chocolate with lots of coffee and a nice earthy hop bite finish. mouthfeel is thick and creamy but not too much that you feel you have to use your molars to chew it down. overall this is one of the best stouts i have had. this stout is best when fresh say 1month after bottling. after that the coffee fades and takes it out of that mind blowing beer status(but still very good).

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Photo of Birdiebeagle
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle Pours a deep reddish brown with a disapating tan head. The head laces well. Has good aromas of chocolate, coffee, spices, and fruits. Has a good carbination. A hearty mouthfeel. This one is full bodied with a thick texture. The flavors are good with lots of chocolate. Has a good solid finish and a good aftertaste. This is a real good beer

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Photo of Pencible
4.08/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This poured pitch black with dark tan head. It smelled like roasted coffee and toasted oats, with bitter chocolate and a bit of cream. It tasted like bitter roasted coffee with some semi-sweet chocolate and toasted oats. It was somewhat thick with a bit of carbonation, and had a bitter aftertaste. Overall this beer had great flavor at first, but it ended somewhat flat. It was nice and clean, and not very complex. It had great body and hid the alcohol fairly well, so it was easy to drink. I could imagine this mellowing out even more with age. Solid beer fresh, but perhaps a bit harsh for breakfast! And I'm not convinced that this beer quite lives up to the hype.

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Photo of LordAdmNelson
4.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours inky opaque black. About a half inch of brown head. Moderate lacing.

S- Chocolate, oatmeal, coffee, roasted/woody malt. Lots of complexity here, and pretty strong.

T- Follows the nose well. Dark chocolate, oaty sweetness, coffee, toasted malt, like hop bitterness (piney) on the finish. Maybe some dark fruit (grapes? cherries?). Dark and complex.

M- Thick and creamy, lightly carbonated. What I wanted it to be.

D- Surprisingly drinkable for ABV and thickness. Taste keeps me coming back for more.

Just a great beer... complex and delicious. Worth seeking out.

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Photo of Florida9
4.07/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pitch black; opaque. Poured heavy to try to get some head, but all I got was a 1/8 inch of tan foam which dissipated quickly. No lacing

S: Strong aromas of coffee, chocolate, and heavily roasted malts. Impressive.

T: Dark roasted, almost burnt, espresso coffee. Smokey/Wood accents. Vanilla. Cola. Coffee and cola flavors linger faintly on the tongue.

M: Medium heavy body, but not thick or viscous with decent amount of spry carbonation to lighten this beer a little further. However, for a DIS, I think I want a little more heft, a little more body, a little something more to separate it from the "single" stouts.

D: The lighter body lends to easier drinking, but I'm not so sure this should even be an easy drinking beer. Overall, its a very good stout, but not a great one. Aromas and flavors are quite complex, but weight of this beer seems to be missing.

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Photo of JKrout
3.8/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured black, like used motor oil. Not much of a head, very little lacing.

Smell: Coffee and chocolate.

Taste: Roasted coffee beans, bitter dark chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Smooth.

Drinkability: This was very easy to drink. Could probably have two or three at a sitting.

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Photo of BronYrAur
4.28/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A. Pitch black, not even a sign of any highlights around the edges. A dark tan head that dissipates slowly and leaves some nice rings around the edges. The perfect look?

S. Wow, this is the most coffee and chocolate I think I've ever smelled in a beer. The mocha scent is deep and very rich.

T. Unbelievably, this may be the weak point of this beer. It is labeled as an oatmeal stout but I'm not sure I get that. The bittersweetness of good oatmeal stouts like St. Ambroise, Barney Flats, and Sam Smith's is absent. It still tastes great, but just not quite like a proper oatmeal stout. Perhaps it's the absence of this that makes me slightly disappointed in the flavor. Still, this is a very nice tasting brew. Initially the mocha/chocolate flavors dominate. Very rich, dark, and quite good. The finish is marked by a drying bitterness that is much more reminiscent of the coffee than beer. Add that to the fact that the high alcohol content(8.3%) is hidden better than any other beer I've tasted of this strength and you really do have a fantastic "breakfast stout."

M. Thick, chewy, and almost devoid of carbonation. Not quite as creamy as I would've liked.

D. As mentioned, for such a strong beer in terms of alcohol, it is amazingly drinkable. I mean, I can't even perceive it. The roasted bitterness is also restrained just enough that it doesn't take a toll on your taste buds. Quite amazing to see a beer like this that is so drinkable.

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Photo of Liverpool08
4.65/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

WOW! AMAZING! This is a truly great stout.
Pours a super dark chocolate black with a light chocolate colored head that sits there all the way thru the drinking experience. Smells of rich mocha. Its aroma gives off a breakfast vibe, coffee, with a hint of chocolate and cream. The taste is even better. Rich and chewy coffee and chocolate flavors. Incredibly smooth, with a lovely coating in the mouth. This could be a breakfast as well as a dessert! Two or three of these would be the perfect way to end an evening.

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Photo of pokesbeerdude
4.4/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Extra special thanks goes out to DoctorDog for this one in a trade. I've been really excited for this beer for a long time, the only thing I'm more excited for is the KBS! Oh man...but that's gonna wait!

12oz Single

A: Thick and black, no light penetrates this one, sadly not a whole lot of head, but what did show up is dark tan, almost brown. A few spots of lacing when I swirl it. Spot on for the style.

S: Chocolate, like Hershey's syrup, milk, and a definite coffee presence, almost like having a cup of coffee in my hands, huge roasted malts, HUGE, some black patent smell in there too, but not overbearing, as its warming a little more I'm getting some boozey notes as well. Excellent!

T: Wow, coffee, big time, yeah, this is a breakfast stout if ever there was one, huge coffee flavor, very dark roasted coffee, definite coffee lingering bitterness, I don't think I can pick a true hop character out. Chocolate flavors are really strong in here too, nice dark chocolate character, it pairs quite nicely with the coffee. A faint hint of booze at the end. This is really something special. Excellent.

M: Nice thickness, velvety smoothness, surprisingly not a lot of alcohol heat at over 8%. Really a smooth sipper. Wow. Quite nice.

D: Too easy to drink for the style, a little on the sweet/rich side for me to be able to crack open another one though. This has made an excellent dessert. If I could get away with drinking one of these and going to work, I most definitely would. Really an excellent beer.

Thanks Ben!

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Very dark and thick with a large, dark head and plenty of lacing.

S: Coffee and chocolate, and a bit of alcohol.

T: Bittered chocolate and coffee flavors. Some mild sweetness and oatmeal notes underneath. Some hops make an appearance as well.

M: Very thick and chewy.

D: Everything gets better as it warms up--make sure to savor this one over an extended sitting.

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Photo of thirdeye11
4.6/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Ktown67 for two of these bottles during an in person trade.

Presentation: Poured from 12oz bottle into Duvel tulip glass.

A: Pours a very dark brown color that is mostly opaque, but lets some light through. There is no head whatsoever even with a vigorous pour; the exception is just a layer of bubbles on top that dissipates quickly. Lacing on the glass is awesome.

S: When cold there isn't much here but coffee. As it warms though it's fairly complex. Coffee, dark chocolate, unsweetened cocoa, and at the very last of my glass as it's warmed toffee comes through. This is really nice.

T: I can't believe how good this is. I should state that I am not a stout drinker. In fact I've never bought one for myself to have in the fridge. I've drank many at beer tastings, but this beer tastes phenomenal. The coffee is right there and up front, but it's like any good coffee. Smooth as silk, dark chocolate without any bitterness, and there is absolutely no lingering bitterness I typically associate with stouts. This beer is perfection among all I've tried in the style. I have zero complaints. It's just that good. And may I state again it's so smooth, like a great cup of coffee! I think this is best beer I've drank that would make a good ice cream float. Never cloying either. Just right.

M: Absolute perfection. Carbonation is nice and not overbearing which it shouldn't be in a stout. Coats the mouth, but not heavy or thick at all. Creamy as well. I don't think this could be improved.

D: I wanted another one, but since I only have two I'm saving it for another night. I REALLY wanted to drink the second one though. I could have 2, 3, 4 of these? Who knows. It's insanely drinkable. No hints of alcohol whatsoever.

Being that I'm not a stout drinker and typically avoid them, I want to state that ANYONE who likes beer (stout drinker or not) should absolutely seek out a 4 pack of this beer. It's phenomenal.

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Photo of Ragingbull
3.85/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was at the point of inputting my 100th review on this site and decided it would be appropriate to seek out a special beer, i.e. one that is rated very high on this site. So, here it goes.

This beer pours a dark black color and looks almost like motor oil being poured from the bottle to the glass. The head is foamy and tan but doesn't completely cover the surface. Mild coffee and slightly smoky roasted malt mose. Perhaps a touch of oatmeal on the nose. Thick mouthfeel follows a mostly creamy initial attack. The flavor starts off clean and straightforward and the most noteworty feature at first blush is the creaminess. It seems to be a little bit "boozy." As it lingers in the mouth the roasted flavors start to come out towards the finish and the aftertaste. I can pick up chocolate very late and probably in fact in the aftertaste. The coffee flavors carry the day late in the flavor for sure. It actually causes me to flip back in my beer notes to a beer that I had a couple months ago from Flat Earth Brewing in Saint Paul, MN called Black Helicopter Coffee stout. I think that I had really hyped this beer up in my mind because of its reputation on this site, and its tough to live up to that much hype. Its good, but I have had stouts that I have enjoyed more. I actually thought it drank more like a porter. My wife and I had this together and she seemed to enjoy it more than I did. I just think it was the hype. Definitely a good beer and worth everyone giving it a try. I don't want to be too glum.

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Founders Breakfast Stout from Founders Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 3,662 ratings.