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Founders Breakfast Stout - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Breakfast StoutFounders Breakfast Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

3,531 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 3,531
Hads: 15,049
Avg: 4.47
pDev: 19.24%
Wants: 1,726
Gots: 5,025 | FT: 237
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Founders Breakfast Stout Alström Bros
Reviews: 3,531 | Hads: 15,049
Photo of marksto
4.07/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Lucky enough to find a bottle at an Indy beer bar (Badaboomz), since all the retailers are already out of this year's version. Picked one up to take home and review in an optimal setting.

Poured into a snifter after allowing to warm up, appears black with a light tan head that lasts pretty well. Aroma is dominated by coffee/espresso and roast with a little light chocolate in the background. Flavor is again dominated by roasted coffee elements, especially up front, and then dark chocolate notes in the finish. The body is medium, I think a little more chewness might be more appropriate here. There is a nice complexity to the roast and dark chocolate flavors here, but to me this beer is accented a little too strong towards both - a little more body and sweetness would make for a better balance and offset the bitterness.

Overall, an aptly named beer, as coffee and espresso notes are definitely dominate and if you don't like these breakfast beverages you likely won't be big on this beer. I'm an occasional fan of them, and as such I like this beer but not as much as many others do. Worth a try if you get the chance, but not one to die for.

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Photo of rye726
4.58/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Fresh 2007 12oz bottle poured into a goblet at 45F.

The color was midnight black allowing no noticeable light to pass through. The head was a beautifully creamy and rich espresso brown.

Wow, this is a beer I could smell all evening wihtout having a sip and still enjoy it. There is a powerful aroma of fresh roasted coffe. It is surrounded by dark chocolate, oats and lots of roasted malts.

The taste is also of coffe mixed with sweet chocolates and malty oats. I would highly suggest letting this one warm up and everything will really magnify.

The mouthfeel is a bit thin, but well carbonated. I could drink this one all night, or morning;)

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Photo of JDV
3.68/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thick black pour. Very oily looking out of the bottle. Gives a nice sized brown creamy head in a snifter. Smell is of coffee grinds almost exclusively, and roasted malt. Taste is very coffee like. Not getting any oatmeal or sweetness, but rather big roasty malt, and burnt, slightly bitter coffee grounds. It could use a bit more sweetness to pull it all together in my opinion, but it is still good. Overall, too burnt, and not enough sweetness. Good coffee beer, but I don't get oatmeal or chocolate, nor do I like it as much as I had hoped...

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Photo of MiScusi
4.66/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to nflmvp for this bottle, 12oz twist-off bottle. There is no dating on it or anything, but I'm thinking it was probably bottled in the fall of 2006 or so, which would make it about 1 year old (the recommended cellar time per the brewery too).

As I pour the liquid into a mug it appears to be a very thick murky dark brown. It starts forming a huge brown head and leaves great lacing. The aroma I get is not as potent as I thought it would be. I was expecting coffee in the aroma but instead got chocolate and roasted barley- not too bad. The taste starts out with a lot of bitter coffee. That only lasts the first couple sips and then what I mainly taste is roasted malt and bittersweet chocolate. The coffee is always there, and strong, but the roast and chocolate can be detected more as you drink it.

The mouthfeel on this is slick, at about a heavy-light body or so. The carbonation hides within the viscous liquid so as to not tickle the tongue too much. I had this beer for breakfast (why not?), and I don't normally drink beer anywhere near that early, but this went down so easy.. Stands up to every bit of the hype that I've read regarding this beer. Just a great stout overall.

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

I was fortunate to bring one of these back from Dearborn last month, what better gift to oneself for a birthday - the legendary Breakfast Stout. Thanks to the helpful staff at Merchants.

Poured motor oil black with a thin tan head that cleared leaving a wispy surface and a good solid ring around the glass. There were three or four small-bubble centres, an understated carbonation emerging from all that opaque, almost viscose-appearing liquid. The lacing is impressive although thin; more than just legs, a film envelopes the upper part of the glass after a swirl and stays there. The same swirl reporduced a thin head right to the last swallow, very nicely done.

The smell impresses with roast coffee, dark chocolate, lots of smoke, burnt toast. Hints of malted milk to add to the layers of complexity. Taste is rich, dry espresso, dark chocolate, strong roasted backdrop, mocha-coffee with a pronounced nutty bitterness. The mouthfeel is smooth and full, substantial body ... then a brazilnut or walnut dryness in a long, lingering finish that impresses. The finish is really quite remarkable as it just stays with you for a long, long time. Overall, there's a myriad of flavours and textures, complex, rich and rewarding; this is a real delight. The only drawback I thought was a bit of astringency that came with the long, drawn out finish. Not recommended for the timid, but essential for every other lover of well crafted beer. Way to go, Founders.

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Photo of kpantz
4.35/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Executive Summary: Just as good as the Kentucky Breakfast Stout. Deep aromas and flavors and well-hidden alcohol. A beauty on a cool night.

Appearance: Opaque in my snifter with accents of caramel around the edges. Head is moderate, but reduces to a light film. Lacing is moderate.

Smell: Deep, dirty roasted notes. Coffee and dark chocolate.

Taste: Coffee and chocolate come through quickly...a mild residual bitterness balances the hefty malt bill. A faint alcohol flavor gradually appears as the beer warms to room temperature, but it's quite complementary.

Mouthfeel: Mildly carbonated with a distinct creaminess to it, presumably from the oats. Very, very smooth.

Drinkability: A bit high on the alcohol for a session brew, but I don't know of many Imperial Stouts that fit that description. Flavors are well-mingled and complex. Just a great experience.

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Photo of emerge077
4.33/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from the tap with a volcanic chocolate milk head, foamy as could be. Head retention was above average, and there were spindly webs of brown lacing left behind. It was jet black in the fluted tulip glass.

Roasted coffee in the aroma, not huge, but certainly of high quality.

Medium level acidity from the beans, some dark fruit like grape or plum in the initial aftertaste. Deeply roasted chocolate malt serves as the major component, with an unparalleled smoothness from the oats. More drinkable than most beer, and most coffee. This seems slightly more enjoyable on tap, but the novelty may be playing into that for me.

Feeling slightly caffeinated afterward, but I could be just just projecting that. Already had two cups today anyway.

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Photo of benito
4.42/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This was one of the first beers that I ever reviewed on this site, and I hadn't been able to get my hands on a bottle in almost exactly three years. I was excited to see one last four pack on the shelves at Holiday Market, and three years turned out to be well worth the wait.

It's jet black with a cocoa-colored head and bouquet screaming of chocolate and coffee. The coffee flavors are really what keep the whole effort together, as it has a unifying and complementary presence throughout the pint. The taste is a complex and harmonious mix of licorice, marshmallow, and cinnamon at the start, chocolate through the middle, and tar, alcohol, and bitters in the finish. This stout has amazing length and flavor diversity as hints of new flavor come out with every sip. The aftertaste is long and lingering.

It has a surprisingly smooth, creamy mouthfeel (the oats must be kicking in here), and it hides the eight-plus percent ABV easily.

An excellent, special beer. One of Founders finest; hopefully, I won't have to wait another three years to have it again.

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

Thanks to Tevering99 for the trade.

Mammoth pour, with a black, viscous substance coating the entire glass. A preposterously dark head settled down quickly to about a half an inch of carbonation. Great lacing throughout. I don't know if this was bottle conditioned, or what, but the head was gigantic.

The smell, and taste, are powerful and flavorful. Big, roasted chocolate (no surprise) abounds, with plenty of espresso, some dark fruits, and a smoky aftertaste. Delicious, heavy, and packs a wallop.

Not to be missed.

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Photo of MarkSCCOT
4.72/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this beer at the Charleston BA Tasting November 2007.

A. Dark motor oil with a fluffy brown tan head. Generous Lacing.

S. This is an aromatic beer. If you want to impress to a newbie the value of smell, pour this beer and stand back. Strong coffee smell with a hint of cocoa and malt. More cofeee. This isn't just a beer, it is a scented candle.

T. As it smells. Coffee, chocolate and more coffee. Just the hint of sweet malt.

M. Very smooth. This beer just falls down your throat.

D. First, it is strong. Secondly it is rare here. Therefore, limited drinkability.

This beer deserves it's rating unlike many artificially high beers. A great beer and worth the effort to sample.

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Photo of Monsone
3.95/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours thick and dark (think motor oil). Has a very small dark brown head.

Smells are some dark chocolate malt and BIG coffee scents.

Taste is about the same as the smell. Big coffee with some chocolate and other dark roasty malt flavors.

Mouthfeel is thick and smooth.

Drinkabilty suffers a little. The flavors seem a little too "in your face" to have more than one. This is from the '07 batch so maybe some time in the cellar will improve it.

It could be that I had a Surly Darkness on draft the night before, cause the Darkness blows this out the water. Overall, I found it to be pretty good, but I have liked others better (BCS, Darkness, Stone etc.)

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Photo of Upgrayedd
4.57/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This four pack is from the 2007 batch, so I'm going to cellar a couple bottles and see how it ages. This is quite possible the thickest beer I have ever poured. I wonder if it has something to do with a high final gravity and the oatmeal content? I brewed a Wee Heavy that had a FG of 1.022, but it did not have the silky smoothness and high viscosity of the Breakfast Stout. Of course it was a deep dark brown like what you'd expect. The taste was not as bold as I had prepped myself for. It had a really subtle roastiness and burnt toffee flavor. The term "liquid leather" comes to mind, but in a good way. I couldn't detect any hop bitterness or flavor, but that is to be expected with so many roasted grains.

In comparison to Imperial Stouts like Expedition Stout and Old Rasputin, this does not have that "kick you in the ass" boldness. But what it lacks in boldness it makes up for in roasted goodness.

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Photo of DIM
4.75/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

a: Pitch black. Light cannot escape the pull of this beer. A thin dark brown head is all that results from a vigorous pour.

s: A coffee smell fills the room initialy. It subsides somewhat after a bit to reveal a very complex nose. Dark cocoa smokey wood and alcohol blend with the coffee.

t: Taste mimics the smell. Overwhelming coffee (espresso?) dominates for the first couple of sips. As it breathes cocoa and smokey malts reveal themselves. The alcohol is extremely well hidden.

m: I swear this beer is so chewy I think I saw oats floating in it. Thick and hearty.

d: The lack of alcohol taste makes this beer dangerous. Should I worry about the caffeine as well?

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

Part two of a nice linear tasting of Breakfast Stouts. This is a '07 bottle. Into the snifter...

A - Dark ass body with a finger of head that left a thin ring of head.

S - Sweeter than the '06 bottle. Sweet chocolate, cherry, irish cream. Good, but I liked the aged bottle more, more dry, seemed more refined.

T - Much sweeter than the '06 bottle in the entry. Lots of cream, sweet chocolate and fruit notes. I found the alcohol to be much more assertive. Bitter chocolate in the finish, with the alcohol giving a long lasting impression in finish.

M - A very good, full, silky body on this beer.

D - This is good young, and great aged. Can't really go too wrong.

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Photo of Atron67
4.52/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- poured a pitch black clear liquid with a thin layer of tightly backed foam on top that was brown, left a little lacing, and the head stayed along time and settled down into a thin film in the middle of the top

S- Coffee flavors pop out first, strong and malty roasted scents come next with undertones of bitter chocolate, lots of maltiness throughout, quite delicious tasting

T- a smooth onset of malty flavors throughout, coffee flavors hit first, strong chocolately flavors throughout. Finished with a nice bitterness throughout

M- a full bodied, medium/high carbonation. flows over the tongue really well.

D- a great stout solidly drinkable, very delcious.

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Photo of pwoods
4.97/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to NJpadreFan for this bottle.

12oz. stubby brown bottle poured into an imperial pint. Dating looks to be around July?

A: Black a sin and thick as thieves. Average pour brings about 1 finger of head that hangs for a bit then dies to a skim and some clumps. Lacing starts nice but dives off.

S: One of the best smells brews I've ever had the pleasure with. HUGE deep roasted dark coffee beans. Seems almost dominated by the coffee but nice bitter chocolate and just a slight subtle touch of sweet candy syrup. Alcohol phenols are much more subdued compared to the on-tap sampling I had. Very complex, especially for having such a strong coffee punch.

T/M: Smooth and creamy with plenty of body. Almost feels like drinking a good thick espresso. Big coffee body with a profound bitter, unsweetened German chocolate base. The just a hint of sweetness round things out from some Molasses. Also... bananas? Alcohol is again nicely hidden. Starts coming through a bit more as it warms further.

D: Just so damn good. This brew really does live up to the hype. I was thinking that I might have to lay a couple down for about a year or so to round out the alcohol a bit. Not sure if I'll be able to or not.

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Photo of MmmIPA
4.2/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was glad to try this beer finally.I had it out of a Chimay chalice.

Black as the ace of spades.I mean really black.It looks like the Valdez oil spill in my glass.NO head what so ever.No sign of one either as I swirled my glass.

The notes are Espresso,very heavy at that.Chocolate,sorta mild,fruity and hoppy.

Espresso,heavy once again.Sweet chocolate and oatmeal during the end of the sip.Bitterness from the hops.Licorice also in the taste.

Mouthful is very slick,oily,thick,strong,smooth and creamy.Carbonation is light.The abv peaks its head out sometimes.

This beer resembles the "blob" on the movie Creepshow,the Raft segment of the movie.I like this but I think it has too much espresso taste to it.It sorta dominates the taste.I have one for the cellar and its a very complex beer,maybe too complex for me.

***2007 vintage***

Still a funk Oder of coffee.Pours black as night still and still thick as sap.Still taste a lot of coffee more so than any other stout I have tasted.The head or whats left when twirled is nice and brown.Very sexy.The taste is great.I thought the coffee would have died out but its still here and no taste of alcohol.Makes me wish I could cap this back up and have it later.I need to search out some more from this years vintage.Mouthful is very silky then the charge of coffee hits.A+ for this beer time still cant tame this beast.

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

A - No head to speak of. Very dark in color. Borders on black.

S - The aroma was very appealing. Espresso with a hint of bittersweet chocolate.

T - Nice balance in the flavors. I noticed espresso, roasted barley, and alcohol. Once again, very good balance.

M - This is a thick sipping beer. Seemed a little bitter and dry but that was a good match for the flavors.

D - I will buy this again if I ever find it in a store. I wish I could have bought a growler from the brewpub. Highly recommended beer.

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Photo of younger35
4.77/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Received this brew along with a bevy of other beauties in a trade with ClockworkOrange. I’ve had the Kentucky Breakfast Stout and it was about the best brew I’ve ever had, can’t wait to try this one. This one is notched for September. Drank out of a Washington State Cougars pint glass while watching the USC vs. California game.

Appearance- Pours black as black with a decent one finger brown head that recedes fairly quickly. Leaves a lily pad like cap and a very thin collar. Leaves moderate lacing, not bad, not great.
Smell- Holy Starbucks! The best part of waking up would be Founders Breakfast Stout in your cup! Oodles of dark roasted coffee shines along with some lightly bitter chocolate. A bit of roasted malt and a slight nuttiness round out the nose.
Taste- Starts with a hint of bitter chocolate and lots and lots of sweet roasted malty goodness. After the smell I was expecting a huge blast of coffee but it’s a bit more subtle than the nose. The coffee is more in the background and semi bitter. A nice milky creaminess is also present with a hint of vanilla. Finishes with a nice bit of citrus hop that somehow manages to peak its head through. The 8.30% doesn’t show one bit through all the goodness.
Mouthfeel- Nice and rich with a bit of a milky and chewy feel. Medium to low carbonation that is perfect.
Drinkability- Couldn’t be better. This beer is a hair behind its big brother from Kentucky but only slightly. Those boys over at Founders know how to put together a tasty brew. Thanks again to ClockworkOrange for this awesome treat!

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

this fall i have been blessed with the opportunity to try many stouts. all have been really good so far, but this one took the cake. huge thanks to mk for sharing this with me. i owe you one buddy!!! beautiful. super dark with no highlights and a milk chocolate colored head that was as thick as bread pudding. amazing retention and amazing lace. smelled like milk duds and coffee. taste was very complex... different things showing themselves every sip... chocolate twizzler? hershey kiss? fresh roasted coffee? i was really in heaven with this one. velvety and creamy. i could drink this all day and all night 365 days of the year. thanks mk, pc and gumpy g!!!

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Photo of dedrinker
4.17/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'll spare you the visuals - it looked like a lot of other stouts. Nose was powdered dark chocolate and oatmeal with an edge of roast. The flavor is like a chocolate coated malted milk ball, but it finishes dry, so you can keep going. Very delicious, maybe the best yet, but I'm not sure. I'm definitely impressed, and every breath I take is a deep inhalation of this beer. It finishes with more roast, oats, dark chocolate and warm milk. Breakfast stout indeed. Definitely one of the best.

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Photo of phrygian68
4.37/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured thick black,with a nice tan head!
great aroma of coffee and roasted malts!
first sip was of heavy coffee and roasted malts! also oats and vanilla! a very complex and powerfull beer! a great breakfast meal! very thick and chewy! the best imperial stout i have had yet!

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.95/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - pours like motor oil. Looks a tad disappointing, all that fine black liquid and virtually no head to go with it. But like magic, the head materializes all at once, creating a 2-finger cap of creamy, cratery mocha. The glue-like lace sticks all over.

Aroma - monstrous amounts of roastedness, wonderfully intense coffee and chocolate syrup. A heady layer of alcohol floats underneath it all, pushing the flavors, enhancing them.

Taste - roasted malt to the point of char. A grassy element picked up also. Some elements of coffee and chocolate are fighting to get through, but the overbearing malt roast/burnt flavors ultimately prove to be too much. Spicy, herbal swallow, like jalapenos but not hot. If I wait, there is some better roast coffee and cocoa flavor on the downward side of the aftertaste. I would like more balance to the coffee/chocolate side. This is tasty but too one-sided toward the charred grain.

Mouthfeel - silky, velvety, very smooth. The carbonation is lively and mouth-filling.

Drinkability - I'd like to think the burnt character will mellow over time and some of the rest of the flavor profile can come through. As it is, this beer isn't one I'd go after for myself, but certainly for trades, unless the char eases up over time, then I would put several down for awhile.

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Photo of beermanbrian
4.76/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black color with some ruby edges. Thin tan head foams up and then dissapears entirely. No lacing. A swirl of the glass releases some carbonation and causes a thin ring to form around the edge but it's gone almost before you can notice.

The smell is where this one really starts to show it's true colors. Tons of coffee smell with some chocolate in the background and great roasted malts.

Taste is right in line with the smell, coffee with a nice bitterness and some smooth cocoa in the background. Roasted malts and some of the alcohol start to show as it warms. Yum.

This one didn't disspoint, other than the appearance not being any thing to write home about. But really, the taste is what this is all about right? And that is where this one really shines. Highly recommended.

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Photo of fitzy84
4.15/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

When the drink was poured, it almost was like staring into a black hole. It had a nice, coffee-colored top, making apparent the flavors of the drink. A strong caramel/chocolate aroma was extremely strong. It had a great roasty punch to it. A very hearty drink indeed: all its flavors were well executed and very strong. Like any stout, it was a pretty heavy drink, but it had a creamy-sugary finish that let it come down smooth. Overall, stout and chocolate/coffee lovers would adore this beer, while people on the light side of things might want to try something not as heavy.

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Founders Breakfast Stout from Founders Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 3,531 ratings.