Breakfast Stout | Founders Brewing Company

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Breakfast StoutBreakfast Stout
BA SCORE
4.51/5
World-Class
17,192 Ratings
Breakfast StoutBreakfast Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
foundersbrewing.com

Style: American 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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#129
Reviews:
3,947
Ratings:
17,192
pDev:
9.09%
 
 
Wants:
1,938
Gots:
6,704
Trade:
228
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 17,192 |  Reviews: 3,947
Photo of jasonjlewis
4.7/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to beer being for the sample

Ridiculously huge head and retention. 5 fingers worth of head and ridiculou retention. Nice dark brown color.

Smell is wonderfully complex. I smell tofee, caramel malts, chocolate, cofee, and roasted malts. Faint piney and citrusy hops pull through, very faint though. As the beer warms I get an undertone of mint.

Taste is sweet upfront with some caramel and chocolate malts. This is followed by roasted barley and cofee bitterness. Undertones of mint come out as well. As the beer warms I get a tofee flavor as well. Hopping is low but citrusy and coarse with a slight pineyness. Tannins are kept in check very well. Hints of oak throughout.

Mouthfeel is wonderfully creamy.

One hell of a stout. I will try the kentucky breakfast stout on Saturday during breakfast.

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Photo of pmcadamis
4.46/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - An inky black viscous brew pours out of the bottle, and immediately forms a growing dark brown, almost purple head that recedes to a cap and a fatter collar as it turns a lighter shade of brown. It's still a pretty dark colored head. The brew lets absolutely no light through, and swirling leaves a lot of really nice dark brown lace on my snifter while building up the head and turning the head a darker shade of brown. I've never seen any color change from swirling before.

S - Dark roast coffee, espresso, Count Chocula marshmallows, woody bark, and slightly burnt oatmeal. I'm picking up some Hershey's dark chocolate syrup too.

T - Rich dark chocolate and super dark espresso all over the place! I'm a big coffee lover, and this one has got "chocolate mocha cappuccino with a few extra shots of espresso and with whipped cream and chocolate shavings on top." This reminds me of those Starbucks cappuccino milk cold drinks that come in the little bottles....but with extra espresso and dark chocolate syrup.

M - Rich, creamy, extra full bodied, and smoothly carbonated with tiny tingly bubbles that never feel raspy. Silky and exquisite.

D - Decent, but I paid four bucks for one measly bottle so I'm definitely too poor to drink this as a session beer. Plus, with all of those rich dark complex flavors, who would want to do anything but slowly savor this from a big snifter at room temp?

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Photo of elmore
4.73/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: thick viscous pour from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. opaque, black - when held up to a light nothing gets through. The bubbles stuggled up through the thick malt to form a tan-brown 1 finger head that quickly receded to form a ring around the glass and left a thick lacing down the glass.

S: very complex. The smell of bitter coffe up front with notes of sweet cocoa. no real detectable hops. I think a smell a little alcohol.

T: Tastes of roasted malt and bitter unsweeted dark chocolates. Coffee not as detectable in the taste, but definitely there. I think it comes through as a bit of bitterness up front. Slight bitter after taste - may be some hops in there.

M: thick and creamy. coats the mouth. oily with minimal carbonation.

D: A bit too rich to drink many of these, but I'll have to try one in the future, I'm having a little trouble wrapping my head around all these flavors.

A great beer that lives up to the hype. One of the most complex interesting brews I've had.

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Photo of kenito799
4.78/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Many thanks to tizzod for furthering my midwestern beer experience.

This beer pours thick like motor oil, not a photon of light can penetrate its inky depths. Light brown creamy head is raised and the recedes slowly; crusty fine lacing covers the inside of the glass. Beautiful!

Nose is super rich and complex with mocha, coffee, chocolate, crushed espresso beans, vanilla all swirling around in the air. Mouthfeel is rich, creamy, thick, palate-coating joy. And the flavors fall in line and live up to all expectations raised so far...this is one delicious beer that is also extremely balanced! All the flavors of the nose come forth in tangy complexity. Sweetness and bitterness dance with each other, leaving roasted coffee and some citrusy hoppy bitterness in the finish...but the bitterness does not overwhelm. ABV of 8.3% completely undetectable..maybe it is perceived as warmth. My, what a beer! Lives up to the hype.

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Photo of timbro81
4.6/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big props to RickSawyer for this one.

Pours out like motor oil on its 6,0000th mile, mmm. Be wary of the formidable that awaits it's release, close to three fingers of nice dark tan head with nice lacing down the glass throughout. Smell is of all the ingredients listed on the label.Tingles the mouth with what feels like bit of hops but that fades as soon as it makes its way down my throat. (I'm puzzled by this because the IBUs are only 25 and it doesn't seem like enough to be assert itself here). Heavy on roasted chocolate then transitions to coffe. Really painfully good. Aftertaste is slightly sweet and makes the tongue tingle and come to life. I really really like this beer. Someone please send me some!!

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Photo of jeffmonarch
4.08/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle in a pint glass.

A - Pitch black, thick and creamy. Not much head.

S - Strong smell of the coffee and chocolate.

T - Strong coffee flavors. There is some chocolate flavors but they are hidden by the coffee taste.

M - Rich full bodied with a great level of carbonation.

D - It tastes a lot stronger than it is. It would have to be a finale beer because every other beer would taste watery in comparison.

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Photo of Domingo
4.82/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to kryptic for this bottle. I've been wanting to try this for years!
This beer is thick and black. Simple, huh? I actually think it's the thickest beer I've seen when pouring...yet it goes down normally. A dark brown head sits atop. A little lacing, but nothing too extreme.
Smells a lot like coffee and a European-style dark chocolate cocoa. Roasted goodness!
The taste is sweeter and more chocolate as the beer is cool, but it becomes very much like coffee as it warms. The oats mellow things out and make it go down way too easily. They also kill the over bitter, over roasted aftertastes of many coffee stouts. Wow.
I find myself drink this way too fast. This is over 5%. You'd never know as it goes down like an oatmeal stout, but it has the flavor of the best imperials out there.
I seriously wish I could have this all the time. Easily one of the best stouts of any sort you'll ever find. A+

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Photo of quad07
4.78/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

$10.99 a four pack from UFS,
I poured a 12oz bottle into a 23oz tulip beer glass, my glass of choice for reviewing. It was very black with not much of a head that went down very quickly and left a thin dark brown lacing down to the bottom of the glass. There was carbonation to my surprise when held up to the light.

I had flash backs to the smell of my grandfather’s coffee brewing on the stove top and a hint of unsweetened chocolate and dry oats.

The ABV is not over powering but I would consider it a winter warmer. I sipped it very slow and enjoyed ever swallow. It felt very good swirling it around in my mouth before swallowing. I had a total of 3 bottles out of a 4 pack in a four hour period and I felt completely satisfied. Very filling in my opinion.

I highly recommend you try this if you are lucky enough to get it in you’re area. I will add a pack to my ever growing basement collection.

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Photo of twokansamm
4.95/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I smell bacon...
Well, actually, I smell coffee, and I taste chocolate and oatmeal. Wow! This is truly an amazing beer. From opening the bottle to the final drop it was an experience everyone needs to have. Stouts are not my favorite type of beer, but this changes the way I look at them. I have yet to have a Founders beer that was not top quality. Keep up the good work!

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Photo of wheelinshirt
4.82/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2007 Version: Wow. I am not usually a fan of stouts, but this one really took me by surprise. 12 oz bottle from Abe's in Bethlehem that i got for $3.50 (i think). Probably should have gotten another one to try in a year.

Appearance is black, crude oil black with less than a finger of tan head (a shade or two lighter than milk chocolate) that dissapated to a steady collar and some floating foam islands. Very little lacing. I didn't have a snifter on hand so I had to use a stubby little tulip that had some room for swirling. Other reviewers report lots of head and lacing, maybe my glass wasn't clean enough or my pour not vigourous enough. Who knows, still impressive to look at.

Smell is almost all coffee, alcohol is there to warm the nose and mouth but it really isn't there in the smell (or is masked by the coffee). Excellent. I couldn't smell the chocolate until the beer warmed, and even then it was pretty muted. Good thing i love coffee.

Taste again is coffee, dominating at first. As it warms the other ingredients come through, chocolate and oatmeal, I didn't get any hops, but i didn't miss it. This beer looks, smells, and tastes delicious.

Mouthfeel--oh the mouthfeel. I think a big part of my dislike of stouts is the heaviness. This beer, although big and over 8% ABV, seems lighter than i would have expected. Medium carbonation and medium heavy body work perfectly for me. Didn't weigh me down at all.

Drinkability is so high. i had to keep myself from downing this too quickly. A truly world class beer from a terrific brewery--the best stout i have ever had, perhaps the best i will ever have as i tend not to like thick, dark, heavy beers. Now i just have to find the Kentucky BS.

2008 Version: Pretty much the same as I remember it. Coffee still dominates and chocolate plays a nice backup role that lingers and expands with time. Great.

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Photo of Floydster
4.43/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle acquired in a trade with bassmantin last month, thanks for giving me the chance to try this beer

Review #425, December 1st

Poured into my Dogfish Head snifter with a black color and a two inch light brown/tan head, took two or three minutes to settle and left huge amounts of lacing from the very top of the glass to the bottom

Smell was entirely coffee, it pretty much took over anything else that was potentially in there, expected a lot of cocoa in the aroma but could not distinguish any, smelled like walking into a Starbucks store

Taste was enormous amounts of oatmel and loads of chocolate, the coffee smell was definitely in the taste as well, but mostly in the dry aftertaste that stuck around for quite some time, got sweet pretty quickly as it warmed, this one was purely malt, no hoppiness whatsover, very chewy and syrupy towards the end, also large amounts of nutty creaminess, did not like the taste near as much at the "Kentucky" version from Founders, good mix between three different things, nice oatmeal chocolate coffee taste overall

Lots of carbonation for a stout, maybe a little too much, the head was massive, and the body was extremely full and thick, overwhelming mouthfeel

Could probably drink a four pack of these, but slowly because it is filling, especially after a meal, again I could not picture myself drinking a breakfast stout in the morning, but the name is fitting, eight percent alcohol is well hidden and the beer is smooth, making it easy to drink

Another fantastic beer from Founders, definitely deserves all of its hype and I highly recommend it, a little disappointing after its barrel aged version, but still very good, I might be a little biased currently because I have drank so many amazing stouts lately as well, wih I could get this stuff regularly in California, wish I had another one in my refrigerator

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Photo of letsgopens
4.56/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This selection pours a completely opaque black with no visible highlights. The frothy brown head holds well and leaves some good lace. Very impressive, certainly what I like to see.

Heavily roasted malt and cocoa in the nose. Some good coffee and a dark molasses sweetness. Not overwhelming on the nose and the best part is that it allows you to be surprised by the deep complexities of the flavor. One of the only times that a relatively mellow aroma is a positive to a beer of this style. Very interesting.

Deep and earthy. Bitter dark chocolate and some strong coffee grounds. Roasty and bold with just a hint of smoke and booze. One often overlooked quality that I look for in this style is a light note of leafy hops. Not too decadent or very sweet so the hops get to shine just a bit. Certainly adding to the complexity. Big, bold, and flavorful.

Heavy and syrupy with a great thickness that allows the flavor to really lie on the palate and linger. Moderately carbonated, brightening up the finish a bit. A nice bitter cocoa aftertaste as well. Really nice; an excellent example of how this style can vary in some really great ways. Founders rules again.

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Photo of marksto
4.07/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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Photo of rye726
4.58/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of JDV
3.68/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

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Photo of MiScusi
4.66/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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Photo of ThatWineGuy
4.6/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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Photo of kpantz
4.35/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of benito
4.42/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

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Photo of Overlord
4.28/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Tevering99 for the trade.

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

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

Not to be missed.

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Photo of MarkSCCOT
4.72/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this beer at the Charleston BA Tasting November 2007.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of Monsone
3.95/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

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

Smells are some dark chocolate malt and BIG coffee scents.

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

Mouthfeel is thick and smooth.

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

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

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Photo of Upgrayedd
4.57/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

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

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

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Photo of DIM
4.75/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

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

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Breakfast Stout from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.51 out of 5 with 17,192 ratings