Founders Breakfast Stout | Founders Brewing Company

3,785 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: 3,785 | Ratings: 16,354
Photo of Northsider
2.26/5  rDev -49.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Had this in bottle. I was super excited to try this because of all the great reviews I've heard about it.

Holy jesus christ... "double chocolate, coffee, oatmeal stout"?! I don't think that's enough...let's try to cram some more crap into this beer! What a flavor overload, and not in a good way. This beer was just way overwhelming for me, and as usual, way over hyped by snob-, erm, beer advocates. This was the most bitter thing I've ever tasted in my life...the taste alone made me almost gag and puke, and subsequent smells from from the glass tickled my gag reflex.

It's just too much of everything in this beer. PASS.

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Photo of negroobserver
2.39/5  rDev -46.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance... Looks very dark. Pours very dark with about a half inch of cream colored head.

Smells... Burnt, smokey scent is what stands out. Hints of chocolate and coffee.

Taste... Strong coffee flavor, which transitions into a bitter coffee flavor. Not very impressive.

Mouthfeel.. Watery. Light creamy texture. More appropriate for a porter than a stout.

Overall... It's a disappointing beer. Had great expectations for this one.

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Photo of mrasskicktastic
2.44/5  rDev -45.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

A - Dark brown brew with a finger and a half of dark tan head. Small specks of lacing are everywhere on glass, but they are scatter and practically refuse to clump.

S - Extremely potent coffee. It smells exactly like intense dark roasted coffee beans. It smells like a coffee from a French press. I honestly don't like that smell much (I don't really drink coffee) - and definitely not when it is this pronounced.

T - The other flavors are completely overshadowed by the dark roasted coffee beans - an espresso-esque flavor. A touch of chocolate and burnt malt. The aftertaste is partially a slightly bitter coffee aftertaste, but mostly the unpleasant chemical aftertaste that I abhor in coffee. There is a bit of bitter burnt malt and even less dark chocolate in the aftertaste as well.

M - Medium viscosity, a tad subpar in smoothness. Not refreshing on the tounge, but it is on the throat.

D - Wow. I can't remember the last time I have been this disappointed by a top rated beer. I can understand why coffee achievers might be enthralled by the beer, but that it not me. A subtle coffee presence is appreciated, but drinking a cold carbonated mocha isn't what I want when I want a stout. The drinkability is pretty bad because the coffee chemical bitterness is relentless - it just never disappears. The mouthfeel isn't helpful - my tounge feels like a raisin.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
2.54/5  rDev -43.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color ale with a nice dark foamy head with average retention. Coffee aroma is quite overpowering with some subtle roasted malt. Taste is totally overpowered by coffee and as much as I like some coffee characteristic in my stout I cannot drink coffee. Total lack of balance or complexity, just an overpowering of coffee. Definitely not one for me.

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Photo of rmargeson
2.57/5  rDev -42.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

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

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Photo of RickyS
2.59/5  rDev -42.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pitch black. Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. A load of coffee. A few days ago I did drainpour another beer for the same reason. Which automatically makes me skeptical on this one which I have been waiting a long time to get my greedy little hands on. Let's taste it. Well this is not really bad. Now I get some malts too, maybe a sweet dark fruit component. My problem with this is that I hate cold coffee. And I don't want to boil this beer. What can I say about it? Maybe I don't like the style but this is a major disappointment. Will not buy again. But is just my problem. I guess.

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Photo of jdoolin
2.61/5  rDev -41.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Presentation: 12oz bottle, poured into a snifter

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

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

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

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

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Photo of ericwgbeer
2.67/5  rDev -40.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of Daniellobo
2.69/5  rDev -39.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A decent, if overrated, burnt coffee stout.

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

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

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

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

M - Full bodied, with smooth carbonation.

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

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

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

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Photo of samie85
2.71/5  rDev -39.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of pepsican
2.76/5  rDev -38.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

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

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

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Photo of mbrown26
2.76/5  rDev -38.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

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

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

S: Smelled good of chocolate and coffee.

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

M: About average for a quality stout.

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

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Photo of imstimpy
2.78/5  rDev -37.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The pour is nearly black with a head that looks like a cola (thin ring around the edge of the glass). There is a bit of a roasted malt, maybe oatmeal, smell but it is subtle. The taste starts oatmeal, goes to a roasted dark chocolate bar, peaks briefly with a bit of alcohol, with a long roasted chocolate finish. The feel is thick, but doesn't coat; it is smooth, but not nitro smooth. I've tried this a few times now and it just doesn't float my boat. The FBS is just a little too middle of the road for me. It is definitely more subtle than the Young's Chocolate Stout, but if you are to make a chocolate stout, I say make a chocolate stout!

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Photo of IrishLace
2.87/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

This beer was recommended to me on this website and I had really high hopes for it, but instead I come away a bit disappointed. While it smells delicious of coffee and chocolate, it has a really bitter taste that I don't particularly like. It has a moment in the middle of sweetened chocolate on my palate but overall it has a very bitter taste to me. Maybe I just happened to get a bad batch, but I don't think I'll be buying this beer again.

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Photo of BlindPig
2.93/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

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

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Photo of crnipeter
2.93/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of bob182
2.93/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

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

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Photo of kscaldef
2.93/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Big light brown head, very dark brown body

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

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

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

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

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Photo of PDXHops
2.99/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

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

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

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Photo of coachdonovan
3/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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

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

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Photo of BigKahuna97
3/5  rDev -32.9%

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

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Photo of WyethBednar
3/5  rDev -32.9%

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of philipquarles
3.01/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

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

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

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Photo of QuentinCall
3.02/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

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

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Photo of MowryJC
3.05/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Founders Breakfast Stout from Founders Brewing Company
4.47 out of 5 based on 16,354 ratings.
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