Dismiss Notice
Get 12 monthly issues of BeerAdvocate magazine and save $5 when you select "auto-renew."

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join our email list →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.

Founders Breakfast Stout - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Breakfast StoutFounders Breakfast Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

3,608 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 3,608
Hads: 15,508
Avg: 4.47
pDev: 19.24%
Wants: 1,759
Gots: 5,459 | FT: 244
Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

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: 3,608 | Hads: 15,508
Photo of raoulduke37
4.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Got this in a trade from psunate in PA. Thanks again, Nate!

This beer pours a thick, viscous black, with a nice brown khaki head, which retains fairly well. Excellent lacing all around the glass as you drink this bad boy. Smell was quite interesting: once again I utilized my mom's nose to better distinguish it and she nailed it: smells smoky, but it has a distinct Greek olive smell. Those big Greek olives you get on your salad. Since I don't really like that smell, I had to knock it down a bit. Taste was fantastic - chocolatey, smokey, raisins, and black black coffee. Definitely not a taste for the faint-hearted. Mouthfeel was the strongest feature - creamy, smooth, and soft all the way down your throat. This isn't a session beer, but with its abv, I'd probably order two or three, especially on tap. Don't pass this one up, gents.

 843 characters

Photo of MillySox
3.96/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a rounded, stemmed beer glass. Solid dark body. Near black with shades of brown on the edges. Creamy dark brown head the sticks to the glass the whole way down. The aroma was sweet with a lot of coffe tones. Heavy and smooth with a big coffee taste. Some bitterness gets through but the lasting flavor is a toasty, chocalatey and overwhelming coffee one.

 385 characters

Photo of darklordlager
3.93/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pitch black in colour, pours very thick with a light brown head that sits for a minute and then decides to duck underneath the liquid.

Smell is of a big French Roast coffee press that sat too long, extracting some bitterness-chocolate, nuts, and a lingering acidic smell. Light fusel alcohol smell lies in the background.

Taste is of slightly bitter coffee, roasty malts, dark chocolate. Roasty flavours and bitter coffee dominate this as it warms. (Not as complex as I was expecting) Alcohol still remains elusively hidden.

Mouthfeel- is creamy, not syrupy like the pour led me to believe.

Drinkability- Rich, to be taken one at a time.

 644 characters

Photo of mugglesandhops
4.85/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received this in trade. This is one of my favorite beers to date. Loved everything about it. It poured a dark brown almost black body with a 1-2 finger sandy brown head that had good retention and fair amounts of lacing. The smell was phenomenal, huge coffee, chocolate, roasted oat smell. The taste was just as good if not better, I take that back it was better. Again with the coffee and chocolate, more coffee than chocolate for sure though. Medium to full bodied . Overall this is an amazing beer. I just wish it was available around here. I would drive hours to buy this beer in bulk and drink it for breakfast lunch and dinner.

 633 characters

Photo of colts9016
4.53/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to kels for this bottle.

This the beer that started my quest for finding craft beer 2 years ago. I have been trying to get this beer to see what the rave was about. Poured into a pint glass at 51 degrees.

Appearance: A very dark brown almost black color beer. There is a 3 finger head that is rocky and foamy, the head is a dark tan color. There is some effervescence in the beer. The clarity of the beer is opaque. There is a lot of lacing on the pint glass.

Nose: A rich roasted coffee, and dark malt. There is a nice bitter sweet chocolate, oats, molasses, burnt sugar, and vanilla. There is a floral esters in the background and it is very subtle.

Taste: A rich dark malt and a wonderful coffee flavor followed by a very nice bitter chocolate. There is a nice oat, molasses, burnt sugar, and a subtle floral esters. There is a touch of vanilla to finish this beer off.

Overall: The mouth feel is chewy, full body, and richly intense. The finish lingers wonderfully long on the palate. This beer is insanely wonderful. There is a great balance in the beer between the hops and malt and the other ingredients. The bitter sweet chocolate kicked it into overdrive. It is more than I could have dreamed. There is a slight burnt character in the beer that border on a slight harshness.

 1,299 characters

Photo of Beejay
4.12/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Thick Dark and Oily... Not a lot of head at all, but what is there is a nice deep brown..

S: Rich Roasted Coffee and Chocolate.. Like a well made mocha.. Sweet and rich.. You can smell this guy all the way across the table, and it is a good thing...

T: Rich and malty.. bitter coffee flavor kicks in a bit later.. Chocolate notes, and a great aftertaste..

M: Oily and thick, sticks with you..

D: Overall a very good beer. Is is it the best I have had.. No. But quite exceptional.. A great stout to go with food, or as a night cap.

'This... is my BOOM Stick!!! S-Mart's Top of the line!'

 595 characters

Photo of magnj
3.7/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

a - Really deep brown in color, like old motor oil to reuse the worn out comparison. 1-2 finger head from a very aggressive pour. Chunky head subsides pretty quickly to a thin film. Leaves nice chocolate colored lacing.

s - Bitter chocolate comes through more than the coffee for me, though it is there too. Really a unique smell.

t - Chocolate and coffee. Really would be drinkable for breakfast, though I doubt I'll ever manage that one. Call me crazy, but something like hot sauce comes through at the end in addition to bitter, almost harsh dark chocolate. No hop bite. Alcohol taste is not huge but there. Chocolate is real dark. Not bad, but a little heavy on the chocolate and roasted malts to the point that it's overpowering the coffee and this is a pretty fresh example.

m/d - Light feel but flavor covers the mouth. I feel like it should be thicker for the style. Carbonation is low, like I suspect it should be. Smooth. Drinkable for the style, complex and tasty. Of course at 8% it's a sipper and not a session beer. I'll consider putting some of these down for a year or two, I hear they do very well but I'm glad I only got one. The harsh end really ruins what could be a very complex and enjoyable brew.

 1,223 characters

Photo of tmoneyba
4.22/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Draft Founders and tested.

Poured black color with mediem tan head that lasted with good lacing. Flavor was complex combo of sweet coffee and bitter chocolate. Finish was strong and lasting. Medium to full body with a smooth texture and flat carbonation.

This is a standout beer.

 281 characters

Photo of Tolann
4.92/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - very dark, opaque. tan coffee roasted head. Very stout like. I like it.

S - Not overwhelming tho obviously there. sweet, but not syrupy sweet. Chocolate, roasted coffee. Smells like you want to spend Sunday morning in bed.

T - much like the smell. coffee, chocolate, that oatmeal stout thing. so very good not overpowering in any way.

M - smooth, not too much carbonation. Not a huge aftertaste and so you need and want to keep sipping more.

D - so easy to drink. i may need to find more. I had high expectations for this beer which scared me but this beer did not let me down. very good brew and highly recommended. This is going to be good any time of the day. This is just not a breakfast beer! This is the beer I've been looking for this season

 757 characters

Photo of dmamiano
3.45/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep, black brown with a nice tan head and lacing.
Very roasty in the nose. Burnt malts....singed wood in the mind.
Taste was very woody and burnt, ashy and scorched.
A good beer, but seemed to be lacking body. All the taste IMO was an up front ashyness taht was very dominant.

 285 characters

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

Had on tap @ Perv's beer n more in PA

Apperance- Awesome thick black color pours like oil ( but a great tasty oil) A 1" browinsh head emerged and stuck for a little while.

Smell- First to hit is obviously coffee, then some oatmeal and chocolate tones emerge.

Taste,Mouthfeel- Instant coffee upfront with a slight bitterness that only adds to the overall flavor, malts sneak up right behind it all but its hard to get past the abundant coffee flavor(not a bad thing). A good mouthfeel not too thick and definately not thin.

Drinkability- I love this beer, very tasty just what I look for in a big stout. Im not sure what else to say about this except, pick this one up and drink the hell outta it! But savor the flavor!

 722 characters

Photo of trpng0bily
4.77/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is the perfect easy-drinking huge stout. Great, rich nose and flavors of coffee, baking chocolate and oatmeal, with a bit of charred barley thrown in for good measure, and thick in mouthfeel as it is dark in color. And I don't think that the name is a joke - this would actually make a delicious and filling breakfast, and I think I will save my last bottle for just such a lazy Sunday.

 391 characters

Photo of kurlare
4.34/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours black, with a creamy tan head. A rush of carbonation after the pour gathers into a fine, whipped-looking head. Looks smooth and rich. Luxurious even!

Smell: Coffee, espresso... then a burst of hops... some chocolate. Quite a harmony of scents. Can't smell any malt or overt hop notes.. the most dominating scent is definitely coffee, then behind that are some hops and faint notes of chocolate. This is one of the best smelling stouts I've ever encountered.

Taste: Initially, bitter espresso and hops. The malts finally show up in roasty goodness in the middle, bringing some sweetness to the party. Bitterness from the hops lingers in the dry finish. I can't say I detect the chocolate in the taste, but it is there in the smell. Oh, this tastes excellent by the way. Not a single complaint in terms of flavor.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, rich, very nicely carbonated. Not as full bodied as some other stouts, but will satisfy your craving for a thick stout.

Drinkability: I feel like this is the one area in which this beer suffers a bit. At 8% ABV, I personally cannot have more than one of these beers in a session (or my session will be over before I know it). It is bursting with flavor, and by the time I've had a bottle I'm just ready to move on to something else. That being said, I enjoy this beer immensely and it's probably my favorite stout.

 1,409 characters

Photo of applky
4.45/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A 12oz stubby bottle from a four pack

Completely opaque, tar-like body with very dark brown head. Lots of lacing up and down the glass. An impressive-looking beer.

A caustic coffee flavor up front in the nose. Toasted malts around the edges. This is one of the most aggressive-smelling beers I've ever encountered -- almost as if the alcohol is intent on burning your nose as well as your palate.

Thick, very viscous, coats your mouth with a rich coffee/chocolate/malt flavor. As the beer warms, you're able to pick apart some more component flavors: dried fruit, herbal spiciness, oakiness (?), and oats. This stout basically tries to be everything a stout can be and mostly succeeds. The one flavor I don't really detect is chocolate, unless you count chocolate as a round, full mouthfeel that lingers in the back of your mouth. Very much a sipper, but pretty easy going down -- the ABV is pretty low for an imperial stout.

Not a very smooth beer, but one of the most impressive I've tasted. One of those beers that goes for broke and succeeds.

 1,050 characters

Photo of gory4d
4.45/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours like thinned molasses, with a dark brown head that fades to a skein of bubbles and finally a ring around the glass, leaving just a little lacing. The smell reminds me of sulphured molasses, actually, at once sweet and mineral, but with something rich and floral at the back of it, not unlike lilies. The taste is complex and inviting: the floral notes are forward, passing though to the savory robustness of mocha on through to a bitter finish with some drying but slight alcohol burn. The carbonation is very mild, and the body is thinner than you'd expect -- no sludge here. It's an easy one to drink, but a better one to savor.

 636 characters

Photo of JohnQVegas
4/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into snifter.

Pours black with little to no head at all. Nice legs, leaving a viscous shimmer on the edge of the glass and a ring of bubbles around its edge.

Nose is replete with dark roasted coffee, a bit woody, more spent grounds than fresh java. Nice and intense but maybe just a bit coarse.

Taste is big on coffee up front, dark roasted and woody (like eating an espresso bean), with a light nuttiness from the oatmeal and a very dark chocolate presence in the finish, underneath the mega coffee presence. Rich and dark, with a light acidity present to add a bit of bite towards the finish.

Mouthfeel is low carbonation, full body, silky. Bit of bite towards the finish from the roasty acidity.

Nicely drinkable - alcohol largely hidden, with a big flavorful coffee character that should appeal to coffee lovers everywhere.

Good drinkability,

 864 characters

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

At last I have found it. Thankfully I have 3 more in the cellar. Ihave been looking forward to this brew.

Poured from bottle into goblet, thick inky black. It even pours thick. standard issue khaki colored head with beautiful lacing throughout the enjoyment of the beer.

Smells of everything the bottle advertises: chocolate, coffee, oatmeal stout.

Tastes of everything the bottle advertises: chocolate, coffee, oatmeal stout.

Oatmeal stouts are my fave style, partially for mouthfeel; thick and rich.

The alcohol is smooth with no real "bite" like many double stouts.

Truly a fabulous beer that paired perfectly with some dark chocolate that I was saving for the occasion.

 679 characters

Photo of Stimack
4.87/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I was so happy to stumble on this Founders brew, this is the first time that I have been able to locate any of their products, and thankfully it was the Breakfast Stout. This brew poured to a pitch black color with possibly some dark brown like highlights. The pour generated a full sized medium colored tan head of small bubbles that has very good retention. This retention gives great lacing down the side of the glass. The aroma, whoa, getting strong fresh coffee notes, almost like wet coffee grounds that is so inviting. Chocolate is also there, bitter sweet (?), that gives a fantastic mix. Also some roasty nut like aromas peak through. The flavor is intense, coffee flavor is clear from the start and then the end seems to give a coffee bitter finish. Chocolate is also there and that might be also playing into the bitter end that I notice. This is an amazing brew, such a fantastic flavor, this should be a sipper with the 8.3 %alcohol in it, which is not noticeable one bit, but is going down fast. The feel of this brew is nice and thick, yet smooth. The carbonation is on the lighter side which I like as its does not interfere with the rich malt flavors. This is one of the best brews that I have ever had, it packs so much into it and every part is simply spot on. I will never give a perfect score to a brew but this one is up there. PLEASE start distributing to NY (Capital Region)

 1,398 characters

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

Black! Great head, amazing nice bubble lacing that doesn't really fade.

Smells of heavily dominate coffee beans, little chocolate/cocoa mixed.

Taste, wow, amazingly rich coffee. Thick chocolate in the middle and finishes clean. The chocolate is almost bitter, adds to the roasted coffee great.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, almost ridiculously great for being 8.3% alcohol. Coats the mouth with bitter chocolate near swallow. Carbonation is perfect, smooth, 1-1 with this full bodied beer.

Filling but very drinkable, I'll definitely try and keep these in stock.

 570 characters

Photo of cvfish
4.51/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Poured a dark brown color that produced a tan head that retained well and left some nice lacing

S - Ground coffee beans, chocolate, smoked malts

T - Toasted malts, bitter dark chocolate, and black coffee

M - Medium to heavy bodied, mild carbonation

D - Thick and robust stout, very filling and drinkable, just ignore the creepy kid on the label

 352 characters

Photo of Gyle41386
4.54/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I have to get this out in the open before I even start my review: that kid on the label creeps me out.

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. The pour resembled motor oil going into my car. Small head that quickly disappeared to no head.

The nose smells like a bag of crushed coffee beans and bittersweet chocolate. Smells like an excellent way to start the day. I don't particularly like coffee, but this smells awesome.

This thing is just bursting with flavor. Huge coffee taste, chocolate, and some citrus from the hops.

Full-bodied, deliciously smooth and creamy, leaves a little tingle on the tongue from the carbonation. This is just a phenomenal beer.

 672 characters

Photo of erz316
4.8/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

short brown bottle poured into speckled hen pint glass

A - well, the head is a bit sparse with huge bubbles, so that is the only fault I can really find in truth: an unatracitve head, not that bad to begin with! the body is black like an ink I use for my caligraphy. can you see through it? no. is there a slight chance you can? no. black as a moonless night in the woods.

S - smells like a freshly ground bag of coffee with some bakers chocolate added in. the chocolate's bitterness becomes blended and less apparent, and blended in with the hardcore bitter espresso/coffee smell. but really: coffee, if anything, then coffee.

T - well, it tastes like an iced coffee already in my tasting process, simply phenomenal!. I know they use coffee in the brewing process but to get such a beautiful taste as this is amazing! it actually tastes like a NYC coffee soda for those ny jews like me that like those oddities from nyc. well back to point: formost it tastes like coffee, no alcohol or much else like that. for the finish: the coffee gets stronger and is checked by a strong bitterness different than the coffee, that of chocolate. the chocolate finally makes an appearance on my palate! with such wonderous effect it graces my buds and makes me want more, though I know my store has no more (I bought the last!). this is truly a beer among beer as far as taste goes. the aftertaste is like that of the highest gourmet chocolate covered espresso beans. I have never tasted something like this before in my life.

MF&D - the feel is a bit thin for something as big bodied as this, I would have to liked to see it as thick as the mikkeller geek. the drinkability as with many great beers is no great chalenge for me, I love it and I am going out to the store right now to get some of my father in law some.

I had this beer after it sat out for a half hour, letting it warm up to some degree in my mildly warm apartment.

 1,922 characters

Photo of tai4ji2x
4.35/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle with no date. a recently-arrived batch from julio's. poured into tulip.

opaque, coffee black. brown head fades to wisps and thin ring. only two very thin rings of lace.

cold, roasted coffee aroma. charred and roasted malts. hint of dried raisins or currants.

flavor has roasted, charred and caramelized malts, with the latter giving a sweetness to the coffee syrup foundation. again, some dried fruit note (figs?). coffee and hop bitterness is bold but kept in check, interestingly, by the gently alcoholic finish.

thick and smoothly syrupy. slight acidic texture or astringency in the end. mild to moderate carbonation; fluffy when rolled on tongue.

 668 characters

Photo of jdklks
3.9/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

reviewed from notes:

black body, dark brown head, thick lacing.

smell is umm, lets see... cant quite put my finger on it... COFFEE! a little hint of chocolate as well

taste is of COFFEE! they call it 'breakfast stout' for a reason. there are also hints of caramel and chocolate. sweet (should be bitter) coffee lingering in the aftertaste. reminds me of the caramel flavored coffee at starbucks or something. about half-way through you start to feel the alcohol tinge in the back of the throat.

its thick, its syrupy, its full bodied, its alright.

overrated, but still good.

 579 characters

Photo of jp62099
4.54/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours thick and black, brown one finger head sticks to the glass.
Smell is unreal, don't want to take my nose out of it, coffee, coffee, more coffee, and dark chocolate. Taste is big in your face roasted coffee, bitter chocolate, oatmeal, slight hop kick in the finish. It has a very smooth, rich, and chewy feel. I could drink a few of these in a sitting, and have. Alcohol becomes more apparent as it warms, but doesn't take away from the drinkability at all.

 461 characters

Founders Breakfast Stout from Founders Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 3,608 ratings.