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Founders Breakfast Stout | Founders Brewing Company

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3,744 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

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 3,744 | Ratings: 16,177
Photo of laituegonflable
3.41/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown colour. Head is beige - bordering on ochre - and whispy. Lace is a bit thin. Looks OK.

Smells like coffee. Intense, burnt, spicy espresso, but more so, with a big kick to the gonads to get you up and about. Spicy, rich, earthy. Not much else though. More would make this a huge winner.

Taste is kind of similar. Big choco-malt flavour upfront and on the back as well. Touch of espresso as well, but more meek and feeble. Roasty, a bit spicy, kind of vegetative more than anything though. Like a coffee beer but underroasted.

Smooth body, has a bite on the back from the bitterness though.

Not hugely enamoured of this. It kind of sleepwalks a little through the coffee bear territory without ever enlivening the senses.

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Photo of SanDiegoBeerLove
3.41/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Super Dark with Average Viscosity. Head is light tan that fades quickly.

S - Smells of Chocolate, Coffee and Tobacco Smoke(overpowering).

T - Chocolate, Coffee, and slightly bitter. I feel like I should be smoking with this one because of the Tobacco smells and tastes which makes me think this beer was handled/stored incorrectly.

M - Mouthfeel is good along the lines of the average stout; I would have like it to be a little thicker.

D - Drinkability was good and I will probably be editing my review once I get another.

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Photo of alameda5
3.42/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

My first Founders Stout. Pours from the bottle very black with a nice brown head. This is a dark beer. Light cannot penetrate this beer.
The nose on this beer is not my fave. It smells familiar, but can't place what I'm smelling. Almost a whiskey, coffee smell?
The taste of this beer is wonderful. Roasted coffee up front with dark chocolate on the finish. Has a nuttiness also.
The mouthfeel is okay. Slight carbonation. Nothing spectacular.
Overall this is a decent stout.

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Photo of Way2drunk
3.42/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

I read a few reviews to try and understand why it got a rating of outstanding. Eh! It's average. I first drank it cold and allowed it to warm. I waited for the coffee and chocolate to blossom. It reminded me more of a bakers chocolate with some coffee added but not good coffee! And I LOVE coffee. Southern Tier Mokah and Choklat are much better chocolate coffee stouts. So I kept drinking this and a week later with a bag of fresh popcorn I take most of it back! The salt on my pallet brought out the flavors! I change my mind! It's good! Lol

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Photo of JGargano
3.42/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My initial impression of this beer is "aggressive". It has a big mouthfeel, Big scent and BIG taste.

Very well balanced for the ABV but much too rich to be sessionable.

This is certainly a beer you can have only one of before it becomes too much.

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Photo of elvisnj
3.43/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a Sam Smith's beer glass.

Pitch black with slight brown colored head (It was a careful pour).

Strong coffee nose with a chocolate undertone. Caught some hops in the aroma as well. Smells and looks pretty good.

Pretty smooth brew but with a coffee blast on the back of the tongue. I think that the coffee overtook the hops as the source of bitterness. Taste was a bit too much on the black coffee and dark chocolate, and not enough on the beer/hops. The oatmeal is evident, and smoothed it out some, but not enough.

I know its a double coffee chocolate stout and I get that but I cant agree with all the A ratings for this beer. Maybe I just prefer more dark malt and hops in my stouts over chocolate and coffee.

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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.

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Photo of heygeebee
3.45/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

From Jims. No BB.

A - tar black, tan head, very(!) aggresive pour yields one finger head, fades to lace.

S - oats, instant coffee, licorice.

T - assault of oats, licorice, coffee, choc, significant hops. Dry finish.

M - medium bodied, toward oily, but not there.

O - am I missing something here? or going off Big Beers? Too oat-y. The whole is less than the sum of the parts, and there are some astrigent notes in here that do not make for easy drinking. Doesn't get any better as the end nears, either. Almost like the brewer just chucked far too may ingredients in the mix to see what gave. Would it be better if left a year? hmmmm...
And I realise I am in the minority, but calling it like I see it.

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Photo of JamesS
3.47/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a very deep black color with a very thin layer of initial, tan head that goes away quickly, and it also has very little lacing. Nice scent, the chocolate dominates, although there is a nice hint of coffee, although with very little burnt grain scent and a near undetectable (barely there) oatmeal scent. Very nice flavor, the different pieces come together very well, with chocolate on top, a nice coffee kick, followed by the oatmeal sweetness; I personally find it hard to think the flavors can completely mesh, but this did a good job of it. This beer is also very smooth and silky, very nice and barely rough from the relatively high ABV.

To be honest there are better stouts out there that you can get year around and are cheaper, but it's still well worth the try, even at its higher cost.

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Photo of ZRBE
3.47/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Heard a lot about this guy, finally got a chance to crack into one.

A - Looks like a flat stout. Minimal head and lacing.

S - Really sweet. Berries, chocolate, coffee. Cocoa nibs for days.

M - A little harsh. A bit of acidity.

T - Meh. Quite bitter with the coffee, though the chocolate is nice. I don't drink coffee so I admit the style is not my favorite, but while I've enjoyed other coffee beers in the past this one did little for me.

O - Disappointing. Too bitter, too acidic, the carb and the mouthfeel drag this one down for me.

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Photo of tayner
3.48/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz stubby bottle.

black with a nice head, laces well

smells of coffee, roasted/burnt malts, bitter chocolate.

tastes like it smells times three, heavy bitter coffee, bitter chocolate, ash, burnt malts, and a small hop finish, very small.

chewy mouthfeel, thick, oily.

this one was hard for me to drink, it was like trying to drink bitter motor oil. i could barely get through one.

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Photo of bound4er
3.48/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

My first Founders - very excited that it's Breakfast Stout. This stuff pours black - it doesn't let any light shine through it either. A hard pour produced about 1/4" light brown head that fades fairly quickly. Some light wispy lacing remains.

It smells great - lots of roasted malt, coffee (with vanilla creamer added) and a caramelized brown sugar note.

The taste is a pretty big let down from the smell and appearance. Lots of bitterness - the detracting upfront kind that doesn't allow much flavor through. The bitterness hangs around on the finish too along with a hit of C2H5OH.

The beer does redeem itself with a thick, rich mouthfeel and moderate carbonation.

The bitterness keeps its drinkability down - I am not looking forward to my next sip - a bad sign for any beer.

Maybe this beer does need aging - I am not impressed at this point. I will revisit in a month or two.

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Photo of StaveHooks
3.48/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle to snifter

A - Pours opaque with a small dark mocha head. Average head with specks of lacing.

S - Good dose of coffee, some dry bakers chocolate, dry roasted grains.

T - Sweet grainy malts, spent coffee grinds, bitter dark chocolate. The coffee is dull but seems almost astringent paired with the dark chocolate but has some creaminess mixed in(if that makes in sense). Dry grassy hops come out as it warms, along with some acidity from the coffee. Finishes dry and slightly astringent with coffee and roast bitterness.

M - Medium full body, oily feel. low carbonation, dry finish.

I've waited a long time to try this beer and was somewhat disappointed. I love coffee and coffee stouts and this had coffee flavors but seemed like stale/2nd running's grinds. A good beer no doubt but I was hoping for a more rich and robust stout. I guess i was expecting too much.

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Photo of gillagorilla
3.49/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a Burley Oak snifter (it is either 9/2, 9/3, or 9/8/13)

A: Pitch black with a mocha head that pours into about a finger head, but dissipates quickly. Ok lacing.

S: Smells like freshly ground dark roast coffee or a just opened high % dark chocolate bar. Bitter smelling.

T: It tastes like it smells. It almost doesn't taste like a stout. I get almost no malt. All that I get is coffee with some chocolate roastiness to it. Maybe this is much better with age on it after the strong flavors die down and mellow. It is all burnt coffee and roast flavors.

M: Smooth with almost no coarseness.

O: It smells great but I find the taste lacking something. I don't really get too much body here, it seems quite thin to me. This is much better mixed with Rubaeus. I like coffee to a certain point, but this one is overpowering. I prefer more subtle coffee flavors. I poured it into some Butter Crunch ice cream and it made the alcohol really pop, not in a good way. It was still good though.

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Photo of beertunes
3.49/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to CaveDave for this one. Poured into 10oz goblet. Poured a solid black color, as expected, with less tan 1/4 inch of light brown head that very low (almost zero) retention, and very light lace.

Coffee was certainly the dominant scent, it took lots of sniffing to find any underlying malt or grain. I didn't pick up any chocolate in the nose either. On the tongue, coffee was still the major force of this beer. The chocolate did show up, put it wasn't enough to balance out the roast, almost burnt, taste of the coffee. The malt and grains played a cameo role in this act.

The body was far too thin for a big stout, it washed over the palate too quickly, leaving just an increasingly burnt taste at the back. Drinkability was OK, which is saying something as I am a confirmed coffee hater. Overall, a pretty good beer, certainly worth trying, and the more you like coffee, the more you'll like this.

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Photo of NEdward
3.51/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

a slow to develop but persistent one finger head red clay in color, almost solidly black body, amber highlights peeking from the bottom of the glass. head mostly dissipates but a scrim remains. large bubbles. smell is a muddled sweetness, indirect dark fruit aroma, reminds me of a scotch ale. taste follows from the nose: slight bitterness up front while still having a pervasively syrupy character. once it gets to the middle of the tongue the sweet and bitter impressions seem to come to a halt, fanning out before fading away to an ambient coat of saccarine coffee aftertaste that had me attempting (with no success) to reset my palette against the roof of my mouth.

it's alright, but the form in which it lingered I found slightly unpleasant. would not go out of my way to drink again.

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Photo of Ghenna
3.52/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Inky color, quickly dissipating milk choco head. A roll in the glass shows that the beer has some serious legs.

Nose is burned malt, coffee, and some dark chocolate.

Taste is basically the same. Lots of bitterness- black coffee, burned malt. A little unpleasant truth be told- just too much for me. A bit thick in terms of MF, which suits the style.

Seeing the 98 and 100 lingering atop the reviews page for this beer makes it a little bit daunting for me to be completly honest and not pad my opinion. That said, this is just too much of a roasty bomb for me, way too excessive with the roast sourced bitterness/astringency. Meh.

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Photo of teromous
3.52/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark black body, with barely any head at all. The non-head is light tan colored. No lacing.

S: I get subtle notes of coffee, and a slight oak character to the scent.

T: Coffee flavors dominate. No alcohol flavors. There's a huge roasted bitterness in the back of my mouth. Some oak-like flavor as well. A bit of cherry character but not fruity.

M: There is a slight warming sensation from the alcohol. The beer is very full bodied. It is a beer that I had to take a little time to drink. There's enough body, flavor, and bitterness going on that makes it a slow drink.

O: Overall I liked the bitterness and roast characters of the beer. The label states that it is a "Double chocolate coffee oatmeal stout." I really didn't get much slickness from the oatmeal, or any flavor from it either. I got a lot of coffee flavors, but the chocolate didn't come through for me. I would have liked to at least see these flavors in the beer. Despite all of this, it was still a decent beer.

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Photo of falloutsnow
3.52/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottles brought back from St. Louis for me by A. Much thanks.
Bottled 12/14/2011.
Poured into a New Belgium globe glass.

Founders' Breakfast Stout is an intensely coffee-forward double stout that is, in my opinion, unbalanced and overrated. The coffee aroma and taste overwhelms most of what else the beer tries to offer. Further, the coffee isn't a particularly good flavor, anyway, at least compared to what freshly brewed coffee can offer. While I'm glad I was able to finally try this beer, it's clearly not something I think highly of relative to many others. I will probably not seek this out again.

The pour produces a 1cm tall head of dark tan to light brown foam, mostly composed of small bubbles, though there are a few large, yielding a very dense appearance. Head fades over a minute or two to a thin ring around the glass with a very fine membrane of bubbles atop the body. Leaves some excellent lacing, which is renewed and augmented with each swirl. Body is an impenetrable dark brown or black, with the slightest highlight of lighter brown when held to the lights. I can't make out anything going on inside the beer, so no idea what carbonation is like. An excellent looking beer.

The dominant aroma is coffee, and not particularly good, fresh coffee, but day-old, stale coffee and coffee grounds. I'm kind of amazed that Founders got Sumatra coffee to come across as mediocre. The other major scent is heavily roasted malt, bordering on char or ash. As I pointed out to a friend, "kind of like someone stuck a burnt-out cigarette in your beer." I do not find this a particularly enjoyable-smelling beer, and think those of you who can "smell the oats" or other such nonsense, are imaging things. This isn't the aroma of a stout, it's more the aroma of a bad, old cup of coffee. Very little complexity or depth even.

Taste fairs better than aroma, with coffee notes hitting the front of the tongue, then progressing to some chocolate and roasted malt notes mixed in with the coffee flavors. Ends with continued bitterness, cacoa nibs, coffee, and ethanol. Lingering aftertaste of some bitterness and roasted malt. Again, I don't think the addition of the coffee improved this beer at all: the flavor isn't all that good (again, has an old coffee flavor, which is basically expected because by now the beer contains old coffee), it has depth that is masked by the coffee, and really misses out on other things that stouts can be (a bit of cream flavor, perhaps a bit spicy, etc).

Medium to medium-heavy bodied with a bit of wateriness around the edges. Somewhat surprising, really, given the ethanol and probably malt content of this beer. Carbonation is modest, producing a pleasing, initially crisp, then smooth feel as the beer lingers on the palate. Ethanol is felt in the nosrils and back of palate. Finish is semi-dry.

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Photo of brewmudgeon
3.54/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

fbs, bottled 09/03/11

a 4-4.5 smells like coffee grounds. oh wait, what it looks like--it's dark, as expected. the head is light tan. it leaves spotty lace that isn't impressive visually but does have good staying power.

s 3 smells like coffee grounds, wet coffee grounds. not coffee, but the grounds left over in the filter. there's also a little sweetness there, but really i can't seem to pick up on much else.

t 3.5-4 tastes like sweetened coffee grounds. if you like sweet and you love coffee grounds, you will find it very difficult not to enjoy this. there are hints of vanilla and dark chocolate floating around.

m 4.5 the body is between medium and full, closer to full, which reminds me there must be oats in here somewhere. the carbonation is spot on.

d 3.5 some might say a guy who generally doesn't like coffee in beers shouldn't review fbs. maybe, but i've been surprised too many times by beers i was supposed to hate (or love, for that matter). i cracked this one with an open mind, and high hopes of loving it. i hated pretty much every imperial stout i tried until throwing back an old rasputin. tonight, i thought, is the night i love a coffee stout.
fbs is very good beer, no doubt. and i'm trying to err on the side of generosity in my scoring, though perhaps that isn't necessary. fbs just doesn't wow me like i expected it would--and the coffee flavor, though bold and relentless, is not the best coffee flavor i can imagine. ah well. i still intend to try kbs, cbs, etc.

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Photo of lpayette
3.54/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance- Pours jet black with about 3/4 a finger worth of head. Some lacing.

Smell- Intensely smokey/roasted to the point where it's almost overwhelming. Very dark and very rich chocolate similar to devil's foodcake. Strong, black coffee.

Taste- Intense roasted malts that are very rich, strong, and smokey. Sweetness is balanced by coffee bitterness first, followed by hop bitterness. Oatmeal shows up around mid sip but is mostly covered up by the other huge flavors going on. The finish is wood-like and a bit dry.

Mouthfeel- Thick yes, but not as thick as I was expecting based on the smell and taste. Low carbonation level works for this style.

Drinkability/Conclusion- I'm a little surprised that this one ranks as high as it does. That's not to say that this isn't good beer... it is. I just don't think it's "A-worthy." The balance for me is a bit off and the coffee too intense. About mid-bottle it hit me that this tastes nearly EXACTLY like one of my homebrews (muck and mire version #2, batch #12). I've still got a bunch of it because I just don't care for it too much. It hits the spot once in a while, but for the most part it's just not what I would normally go for. I like my big stouts to have more residual sweetness, and a little less bitter coffee flavor.

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Photo of BetterDarker
3.55/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark black with a chocolate brown head that recedes to nice lacing. A great looking pour.

S: Smells of burnt coffee, cocoa, and dark roasted malt. Over all just a bad burn.

T: Very bitter, in a bad way. Can't tell if it's excessive hops, or burnt coffee or chocolate. This 'beer' is as balanced as a Tyson-McNeely fight, what a mess.

M: Very thin.

D: I was not impressed. Alcohol is hidden, but just way too much going on in here. I find it fitting that the label states "malt beverage" as I agree, this is not a beer. I have three left from the four pack, who wants 'em?


Okay, so two months later I decided to give this beer another crack. Glad I'm did, I'm still not crazy about the aroma, but the flavor is fantastic. I found FBS to be much easier on the palate and will definitely enjoy the remaining two from my four pack.

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Photo of tone77
3.55/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a very small head. Smell is of coffee, roasted malts. Taste is also coffee up front, some malts, a bit of oats, just a touch of alcohol. Feels full bodied in the mouth and overall is a good quality beer.

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Photo of NickTheGreat
3.55/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Nope. I've tried two of the bottles now and just don't dig it. Not sure what the deal is.

L (4.25) - Nice dark color with a nice dark head. Looks good.

S (4.25) - Smells like a nice stout. Makes me want to drink it.

T (3) - Heres where I can't figure out. It just doesn't taste very good. Not bad like infection or a problem, just not good taste. I usually don't disagree this much with the other BA ratings. No roasty flavors. No hoppy taste or aftertaste (even for a stout).

F (3.75) - Meh. Not especially thick. Not very carbonated, which is proper.

O (3.5) - Underwhelming for me. The only thing I can think of is that I am not using a snifter to drink from. But I have tried straight from the fridge and letting it set for a bit. Just not there for me. I probably won't buy this again. Weird.

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Photo of funjack5150
3.55/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Founders is finally in the Bay Area. I went out and bought a case because I heard so many great things about this beer. Boy was that a mistake!! This beer is not a drain pour "thank GOD!" but it NOTHING like I expected.

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Founders Breakfast Stout from Founders Brewing Company
4.47 out of 5 based on 16,177 ratings.
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