Founders Breakfast Stout | Founders Brewing Company

3,801 Reviews
Founders Breakfast StoutFounders Breakfast Stout

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

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

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Reviews: 3,801 | Ratings: 16,440
Photo of hoppymeal
4.32/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer pours dark black with a reddish tan head that quickly dies away. Mmm, the smell is like walking into a nice coffee house; rich dark roasted coffee beans. The beer has a medium to heavy body with a nice low level of carbonation that just tingles on the tongue. Tastes of more roastiness, a little dark chocolate with a slight cola sweetness and a sour/acidic (not unpleasant) finish. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of GuyFawkes
4.32/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 8/28/15; drank 1/15/16 @ the Yarchives.

Black/brown appearance.

A violent pour yielded a nice dark tan head; nice lace.

Roasted coffee bean, milk chocolate & faint cream notes in the nose; bold!

Medium thick, creamy mouthfeel.

Cream, roasted coffee bean & sweet cream flavors up front; mild hop bite on the finish. A touch too sweet but very enjoyable.

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Photo of 71ADub
4.31/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

was well into my session when I had a bottle of this i'll follow the KISS method:

A -black
S-roasted coffee, toasty, chocolate
T- off the chizzle! tastes of coffee, chocolate, roasty,
F - low carbonation, thick body - awesome silky mouthfeel, with some minor astringency
O- I need to have this when I am sober....but it still was one of the best uber stouts I have had.

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Photo of Mongrel
4.31/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Picked a four-pack up from the store last week only to find out it was bottled 18 month ago -- 8/2/12. I believe this will be my first "aged" FBS experience.

Really nice concentrated syrupy nose that oozes black licorice, chocolate, cherry and black coffee. Serious dark fruit presence. This one is old enough where there's not much hops left on the nose, instead it's much sweeter than I recall.

Taste has also been transformed a bit, with a healthy amount of sweetness to balance the roasty, bitter coffee and hops. Nice dry notes of black coffee balanced by black cherries and chocolate, also a touch of fennel. This beer still has that x factor -- some sort of bitter umami -- that keeps you coming back for more and more.

Mouthfeel is on the light side for an imperial stout but coats the palate nicely with its sweetness and leaves a dry, almost chalky finish. Nice.

Overall, it's amazing what a year and a half has done to this beer. I sort of miss the big hop bitterness, but the dark fruit sweetness is a nice replacement. Coffee remains either way. I've made an effort to judge this beer based on both the current bottle in front of me and my memory of fresh tastings. It's one of the world's great beers any way you look at it.

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Photo of DaneBramage
4.31/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: One-finger head; dark and thick like motor oil with 3,000 miles on it.

S: Chocolate and coffee.

T: Chocolate and coffee with a little oatmeal. Much more robust than your typical stout.

M: Strong. Not for the weak of heart or faint of big-beer flavor.

O: The bottle says 'double chocolate coffee oatmeal stout' and they weren't kidding. Not necessarily strong in alcohol content, but very strong in terms of flavor. I could only handle one in a single sitting and I'm used to multiple stouts and porters at a time.

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Photo of JohnL9013
4.31/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: When I poured this out, I literally said aloud, "What ... the ... F***??" This is black as night, and viscous like chocolate syrup. Almost no dead, almost no indication at all that it is, in fact, beer. What a presentation.

S: Oh what a nice stouty nose! Largely coffee and bittering hops. Not a huge smell, but a very good one.

T: When I tried the Southern Tier Java Stout, it gave me a terrible impression of coffee stouts because it was simply too sweet, overdone, and the coffee wasn't good. Founders gets it perfect, period. I love Sumatran coffee, so the coffee flavors are an absolutely delight. It's sweet, but doesn't cover up the flavors at all. The "chocolate" effect from the perfectly balanced coffee is very significant... and when I brew coffee myself, it tastes like chocolate when I get it right, so I have a high respect for the blending and homogeneity here. The taste isn't over the top, but it is definitely exceptional.

M: Low carbonation, silky smooth. Let this one roll around for a while and enjoy!

D: I'm really surprised by how drinkable this is. Like I mentioned, it's very full, but not totally over the top. Regardless, I would not drink more than one at once, but could if I was in the mood.

I didn't know why everyone was going ballistic over this stuff, but now I do. It's an exceptional brew that's well balanced and just has a ton of complexity. Pick up a small (or a bomber if they make it) at your local shop and enjoy.

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Photo of ohbeer89
4.31/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours inky black with subtle mahogany tones with a thin tan head which dissipates completely within a minute or two. Mostly coffee on the nose, a darker roast that's been cold brewed. Some faint malt characteristics and bittersweet chocolate. Tastes of bittersweet chocolate with some coffee undertones. Medium body. This one just gets more and more chocolatey and chewy and malty as it warms. Some graham cracker notes (from the oats?) as you exhale through your nose. Those 60 IBUs keep everything in its place , as well as the coffee notes. Overall FBS is the imperial stout by which I judge all other imperial stouts. An excellent example that sits right in the middle of the style.

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Photo of ghostwalker
4.31/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Impenetrable black body with a solid finger of thick brown head. This stuff is easily as dark as Stone RIS.

Nose is fresh ground coffee beans.

Flavor is more fresh ground coffee, bitter chocolate, creaminess from the oatmeal. It's definitely different than any stout I have had to date. really great stuff!

Mouthfeel is thick and oily. A creamy, thick, chewy treat.

Drinkability is probably really good for a fairly big stout. I won't be finding out today, though. I had to drive to Michigan to get this stuff and it's $9.99 a 4 pack, so the remaining three will be rationed carefully.

Overall, a great specialty stout. If you can find it, it's worth the price.

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Photo of Craigory
4.31/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

32oz Growler fill at Green's Piney Grove, poured into a Conquest Brewing tulip pint glass.

A: With a vigorous pour, I get several fingers worth of fluffy, mocha head that sticks around for a while, eventually settling to a thick ring that lasts to the end. The body is dark brown/black, with barely a ruby hint as I hold it to the light. Minimal lacing, but on the whole, this looks just like a nice stout should.

S: A little roasted barley, tons of sweetness and chocolate, with nary a hint of coffee. This actually smells just like a milk-stout; I suppose the coffee may have faded a bit if the keg is older.

T: A little hops bitterness, a little roasty-stout bitterness, and lots of dark chocolate. I get just a bit of a coffee flavor on the finish.

M: This beer is full and creamy.

O: This is a great double stout, definitely worth picking up every year. I'd get it fresh, though, as some of the aroma and flavor are slightly muted here compared to what I remember from a few months ago.

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Photo of StoneTSR
4.31/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

APPEARANCE: Very dark with only traces of red and brown light getting through at the very edges when held up to the light. The light brown head is stronger than expected, rising to a full finger and staying intact for a good 30 seconds. When it falls, though, it falls hard and leaves only a few traces; a ring of foam around the edges and a small mound that will not go away right in the middle. The etching on the bottom of the glass is enough to keep a bubble geyser flowing strong enough to keep a little lump mid-glass.

SMELL: The roast is apparent immediately and it overwhelms the hints of dark chocolate, tobacco and dark fruit.

TASTE: That roast is still all over this beer, but it is not overwhelming. Some aggressive hopping adds to the bitterness, but as the beer warms a big and delicious dark chocolate flavor becomes evident, as does a lot of caramel.

MOUTHFEEL: This is not a complex beer. It is a straight forward, in your face, big stout…and it is delicious. I can’t quite say this is medium in body, but it is on the lighter side of big than most stouts in this category. There is very little sparkle, but that adds to the creamy, smooth feel that allows it to go down incredibly easy.

OVERALL: What more can be said about this beer that hasn’t been already? As far as Imperial Stouts that have not been barrel-aged go, how do you beat this?

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Photo of JoePat
4.31/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.
Poured a dark black with absolutely no light making it into the beer.
Dark, Rich, Roasted malt smell. Hints of coffee but nothing really strong.
Roasted malts and chocolate taste up front with coffee not far behind. Coffee taste gets better and noticable as it warms.
Creamy mouth feel with a bit of dryness at the finish.
Over all a great beer. Can wait to have one of these on a cold afternoon...or morning.

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Photo of DocJitsu
4.31/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours out of the bottle like used motor oil out of the catch pan when the drain plug's removed. Very dark brown colored opaque viscous liquid. Not much of a head forms, but the one that does is a medium-shade mocha color. Aromas of smoke, coffee, and dark chocolate. Mouthfeel is heavy on the tongue initially, but as it is swallowed, it thins out quite a bit. A lot of olive flavor. Some griddle smokiness. Quite a bit of strong, black coffee. There's a peculiar flavor that I'm not able to put my finger on that emerges late. It's not necessarily an absolutely unique flavor, but it is so misplaced in a beer like this that I can't determine what it is. Smoky olive bitterness at the finish. Pretty good breakfast stout.

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Photo of Chriscrundwell12
4.31/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Darkness snifter.

Bottle Date: 09/24/10

A- Pours a ½ finger brown head that dissipates quickly to a bubbly ring around the glass, pitch black color, opaque, well carbonated, splotchy lacing.
S- The aroma is fantastic, big espresso coffee aroma, roasted malts, oats, some cocoa and chocolate come out in the background.
T- Wow, big coffee flavor, oat presence, really roasty, the carbonation is not really apparent in the taste, some cocoa notes, bitter as well.
M- Medium/Big Mouth feel, coats the palate, bitter aftertaste.
O- This is a solid beer from Founders, love the roasty notes, and the big coffee presence, perfect winter beer.

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Photo of Jadjunk
4.31/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to my Founder's Snifter. Served above 51º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a dark brown creamy head over an inky, viscous near black body. The head is short lived, however and surface cover is thin and specked. Carbonation is mild and relaxed. A decent looking beer in terms of body depth, but the head quality was surprisingly shallow. 3.5

(Smell) The aroma is certainly complex. Semi-bitter coffee and dark chocolate malt up front with a fainter black patent malt pairing as well. Coffee beans trail into the midst of the aroma as well as roasted malt blends. Oatmeal is milder, focusing instead on the former chocolate and bitter coffee aromas, although it compliments some body to the remaining flavors. Hop bitterness is certainly notable, although hop character is faint- earthy and resinous are two hop notes I pick out directly from the aroma. The yeast profile adds some notable characters too with some dark fruit notes, the beer has a mild tartness as well, possibly from the coffee. Despite its complexity, the beer has a general balance for the style, and both bitter and sweet characters come through equally. Potency is medium+. 4.25

(Taste) Up front is coffee, followed by chocolate and roasted caramel husk malt presence finishing with an oatmeal thickness on a earthy black coffee bean bitterness. The flavors are enjoyably complex, and the balance maintains a near 50/50 representation of bitter and sweet notes, although the bitterness is a bit more notable in colder temperatures, consider holding out on opening a bottle until the mid-late 50ºs for best balance and flavor. The flavor as it stands is very enjoyable. I don't know if its the very best of its style, but it's certainly excellent and worth trying. 4.5

(Mouthfeel) Mild, sticky flavor with a faint oatmeal chewiness. Carbonation is mild, exempting an airy note on the finish. Mild creaminess from the oatmeal, although a touch less than anticipated- oatmeal doesn't contribute much to the beer overall. Coffee bean bitter, very mild dry finish. Body is medium+ for the style and heavy overall. Alcohol presence is low. 4.25

(Overall) There's no doubt that Breakfast Stout is worth a try. It's a very complex and enjoyable beer for the stout crowd. There are some minor tweaks that would balance the flavor even more, although the flavor as it stands is largely successful. A touch more sweetness over balance would be the ideal fix, although I'm likely to age a bottle or two to see if some age holds up the quality of this beer. I'll certainly be making return visits to this beer every year. 4.25

Founders Brewing Company's
Founders Breakfast Stout

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Photo of Dakin
4.31/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look: Tar black with some amber notes around the edge of the glass. sliver of a head with some minimal carbonation.

Smell: Smells great. Coffee, caramel, toffee, nuts, whiskey, roasted malts.

Taste: Strong black coffee, hint of caramel and nuts, somewhat bitter finish. Taste like the perfect breakfast beer. Would be excellent for a morning of camping.

Feel: Good mouth feel. Doesn't feel cheaply made.

Overall: Very good stout, lives up to hype. Would be an excellent pairing with bacon, eggs, and home fries. Let it warm up a bit and the flavors will intensify and reveal notes you hadn't noticed before. Getting Indian spices as well as vanilla and strong maple near the end of this brew. Will buy again at some point. 8/10.

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Photo of coronajm
4.31/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a tulip.

A- Beautiful black without a hint of light through a 100 watt bulb. One finger of burnt mocha head leaving a nice ladder down the glass.

S- Nose is not very big but smells of roasted malts, coffee, and rich mocha chocolate. Could be a bit more potent.

T & M- Huge as hell and extremely viscous! Very little carbonation. Creamy roasted chocolate malts go down silky smooth with rich oats on the back end--reminiscent of a big chocolate oat cookie. Thick, silky milk chocolate almost completely masks the 8.3% abv, which is now starting to come out now as the beers warms to room temperature.

D- Incredible. I could drink another of these almost too easily. I would love to try it next to a bowl of maple oats one morning.

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Photo of ricke
4.3/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The pour is dark dark brown with a small tanned head that leaves some lacings.

The smell is a really tight mix of coffee beans, sweet dark chocolate, roasted malts and subtle hop aromas.

The taste follows suit. It's somewhat sweet in the mouth with intense notes of coffee beans, freshly brewed coffee, sweet chocolate, bitter chocolate and roasted malts. It gets slightly tannic in the middle. Hints of hops. The finish is rather dry and has a nice coffee bitterness to it, and faiding notes of roasted malts and chocolate.

Smooth on palate with well balanced carbonation. A bit too dry in the finish though.

All in all, an impressive coffee beer. Not overly complex, but the flavors are integrated in a really impressive way.

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Photo of OStrungT
4.3/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours an inky black. The head is very dark tan. The head never really fades. It just kind of sits there. It leaves laces that also dont want to go away. They coat the glass very thickly. It smells very strongly of chocolate. Also, there is a strong aroma of coffee. This stout is good. It tastes like coffee with chocolate mixed in. I also taste rosted malts. This beer is very rich. It is also quite thick. The flavor is very aggressive. It leaves my mouth tasting like I just sucked on a coffee bean. This beer is carbonated just right. This beer is very god, but I dont think I could drink it all night long. It is so very rich and filling that I would probably feel bloated after a few. Also, it is just a little high in alcohol, so some people might not be able to consume too many for that reason. If I ever see this beer in California, I will definately buy it. Thanks go out to karst for sending it to me.

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Photo of eweneek83
4.3/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This stout is not as sweet as I thought it would be. Smells great like a sweet coffee-like mocha. Pours dark dark brown, almost black. No light gets through. Very burnt coffee like taste. chocolately stout also... very basic. But still good. Leaves a good lacing, and very interesting mocha aftertatse that sticks around for a while... Definitely worth a try, but I wouldn't pay $16 for it again.

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Photo of TheycallmeTim
4.3/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a shaker pint.

A--Opaque pitch black body--looks like molasses. Pours out thickly, too--super viscous looking brew. Heavy. Head is tiny, maybe a finger tops, deep brown colored, and fades to skim quickly. Some spotty lacing.

S--Grown up chocolate milk. Dark chocolate followed by something silken and vinous you find in those $6 dollar bars you can buy in fancy NYC grocery stores. On top of that is a definite coffee bite.

T--Three distinct waves for me, none of them subtle. Wave one consists of a chocolate covered espresso coffee bean. Deep, dark, and bitter. A full opening flourish. Second wave is super smooth and mellows out the ride--behind all the huge coffee and chocolate flavors there lurks a very big oatmeal stout, and it's like waxing your butt and riding downhill on a mirror. Last wave is actually my favorite. First it's all bitter coffee grounds, like licking a basket filter, then rounds out to something very roasty, a big bitter melding of the coffee and the roasted malt. Satisfying finish.

M&D--Mouthfeel is perfect, and boosted considerably I would think from the oats. Silkier than Teddy Pendergast's pajamas. Absolute joy, especially as it warms. So massive, velvety--wow.

A sipper, and surprising--at first I hated it for its lack of subtlety. But in the course of my first bottle somewhere, maybe halfway through, it won me over. I couldn't turn my lips away from the glass. I'm more of a more with less kind of guy, but this beer is so distinctly huge that I can't refuse. Bummed I only got one bottle to sample, and that I drank that bottle /before/ dinner, rather than after.

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Photo of GuruDel
4.3/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip

jet black body with a 1 finger mocha colored head.

S: Wonderful notes of toffee mixed with strong coffee and chocolate.

T: big bold coffee flavor with hints of toffee in the front, finished with a rich chocolate taste that lingers.

M: thick, coating and oily, very pleasent and extremely enjoyable.

O: and excellent beer that I wish I had access to in CA.

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Photo of stouty1
4.3/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a muddy black with nice caramel head. Smells of coffee and chocolate. The taste is exceptional with a slight bitter after taste. The bittertness is not overpowering just enough to make you know its there. Not a very dry stout either. It didn't leavneeding a drink to wet my whistle, which is a nice feel from a stout. For a 8+ ABV it hides it well, more in the smell than in the tatse. This is one of the better Stouts I have ever had. Nice job, Founders!

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Photo of hopsbreath
4.3/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The label shows a little kid in a bib eating a bowl of oatmeal. It also states it contains 60 IBU's and 8.3% alcohol by volume (ABV). Founders only offers this beer November through January and it is fairly difficult to find. This particular batch was bottled 11-6-2009 as evidenced by the born on date. After an aggressive pour, 3 fingers of espresso foam colored head formed which gradually receded to a thin top layer that never dissipated. The beer itself was jet black and completely opaque even to direct light. The lacing on this beer was wonderful. It built up at every level the beer was left after every gulp the whole way down the glass like growth rings on a tree. Fantastic aroma gave off the smell of stale coffee, grainy hops, and sweet roasted malts. Flavors ranged from bitter sweet chocolate, to strong brewed iced coffee, to the aggressive bitters of the 60 IBU's derived from the hops. Rather high for IBU's in a stout but it worked very well without a distinct floral hop essence. Extremely creamy and smooth texture is probably due to the oatmeal they used in the brewing process and gives the perfect not-to-thin not-to-thick mouth feel. For the ABV this is a scary easy to drink beer with a slightly sessionable feel to it. The only significant sign of the size of this beer is the slightly sticky feeling it leaves on your lips after a swig. This is the third founder's beer I have tried in just over a week and have to say this is a top notch brewery! The Breakfast Stout clearly stands out as an upper tier offering and I highly recommend it. Worth the search.

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Photo of bluemoonswoon
4.3/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz stubby brown bottle, poured into a brandy snifter.

A: Pours that standard, jet black, inky dark, midnight on a moonless night kind of deal that is pretty much standard for imperial stouts. The viscosity seems a bit low, coming out of the bottle at least, but picks up a bit when I swirll it around in the glass and after ever sip as the liquid slowly sinks down to join the rest of the beer. Long story short, this beer has some decent legs. Head forms quick and thick, a good half inch of mocha colored, pillowy soft bubbles. However, the head fades down into a cap not long after, but still manages to leave behind some spotty lacing. Not bad, but certainly not great, I've seen stouts much larger than this still manage to muster up some considerable retention and lacing that far outpaces what is being offered up here. Still though the overall presentation is beguiling.

S: In a word: dry. Dry, mildly floral hoppiness, coupled with cold pressed coffee grounds, bitter chocolate and a suprisingly sweet milkiness, which becomes more pronouced as the beer warms.

T/MF: While I think Peche Mortel has this one beat on taste and feel, Breakfast Stout does not dissapoint. It brings the coffee like not many other stouts can, while still retaining a good deal of complexity. There is coffee here and lots of it, but there is also tobacoo and licorice. This beer is also a great deal drier than other coffee stouts I've come across, not nearly as dry as Beer Geek Breakfast, but dry and constricting nonetheless. While this is not a bad thing, it is also not an entirely good thing as it detracts just a bit from the mouthfeel, which feels chalky at times, and the puckering of the taste buds covers up an otherwise complex beer.

D: An easy sipper, a real joy to drink. Goes great with a football game at night and no work the next morning. Makes for a very relaxing drinking experience, something that other beers seem to lack at times. That is to say, this is a beer that makes you want to take your time, makes you want to hold on and get everything you can out of it before the bottle is gone.

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Photo of TheYeagermeister
4.3/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A--Coffee brown with a mocha head that goes quickly but leaves a little bit of cling.
S--Nose is strong dark chocolate, toasted almonds, and coffee with a suggestion of lactose.
T--Strong overroasted coffee, charcoal, bitter dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and booze. Predominant coffee makes for a bold and bitter stout flavor. Sweeter and more milky chocolate come through as it warms.
M--Thick and chewy as motor oil. Excellent viscosity.
D--Pretty strong, not one to drink more than one or two.
Overall, this one is delicious and complex, but it does have a lingering bitterness in the aftertaste that docks it a bit for me.

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Founders Breakfast Stout from Founders Brewing Company
4.47 out of 5 based on 16,440 ratings.
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