Breakfast Stout | Founders Brewing Company

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Breakfast StoutBreakfast Stout
17,299 Ratings
Breakfast StoutBreakfast Stout

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

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

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Ratings: 17,299 |  Reviews: 3,966
Photo of
3.75/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle. 2006 version.

Poured a very dark brown, almost black, viscous fluid. Basically opaque when held up to light. Brown head (modest), not much lacing, but very leggy.

Aromas of alcohol, bittersweet chocolate (pretty dominant), coffee and some roast notes.

Flavor was composed initially of roast notes mostly. This morphs into something sweeter as the beer warms. Alcohol present, but not overbearing. Chocolate picks up, again with temperature. Hint of dark fruits, raisins mostly. Hop bitterness at the finish, melds with coffee in aftertaste. The bitterness mellows considerably as the beer warms.

Body was medium and nowhere near as thick as I expected. Carbonation seemed quite low. Very smooth. Alcohol warming kicks in about half way through bottle.

Overall, a good beer, but not great IMO. I liked Peche better, for a coffee stout. Not as complex as I expected, and mouthfeel seemed off (thin bodied for a stout, carbonation almost non-existent). I will certainly try again in case this was an off bottle.

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Photo of petemoss14
4.37/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

1st of a 4-pack brought back from X-mas in Boston and now in my keller here in Bavaria...

Here's to this beauty making it to Beantown for the second consecutive year! Now if only the Kentucky... Alas, on to the beer!

Pours black as squid ink and thick as motor oil into the center of a snifter. Struggles to produce a meek dark tan head that quickly recedes to the edges and escapes back into the abyss. Held directly up to the light it is COMPLETELY opaque. A black hole.

A cyclone of coffee aroma swirls around the snifter, flinging about notes of bittersweet cocoa, burnt caramel, and whisps of soy sauce. Nice!

Loads of roasted malt on the palate. Espresso-like. Or, rather, coffee grounds, and a burnt graininess. Nice dark chocolate. Very full bodied with a nice creaminess imparted by the oats. Finishes firm, roasty, and moderately bitter.

Very nice coffee stout. Still, I dream about the Kentucky Breakfast that I sampled at EBF a couple years ago. Maybe this year it will finally make its way to MA (damn you Illinois!!!), where I can have my step dad run around town to find us some, but this will have to do for now!

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Photo of BeerBelcher
4.27/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is truly outstanding. It is somewhat light in flavor and flavored with coffee and smokiness. Delicious.

Appearance is an inky dark with a fairly minimal dark head. Aroma is of coffee. Coffee notes permeate the taste along with a taste reminiscent of a Rauschbier. This beer feels good in the mouth and is wonderfully drinkable.

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Photo of GeoffRizzo
4.62/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pure black in color, the appearance mirrors motor oil with that black slick look and feel; an initial 1/4inch rocky tan head that dissolves quickly. A decent bubbly ring is it's child and bounds to the walls of the goblet rather nicely. Coffee and espresso notes, dark roasted barley, chocolate and traces of cocoa powder on the nose. Very rich upon the initial sips; an espresso-like creaminess with tons of flavorings, most notable are dark roasted coffee beans, brownies and chocolate. There is a sharp bitterness that couples with the massive flavorings of this gem! There are traces of oatmeal, hops and dark fruits--strawberries and pitted cherries. The body is medium, the palate is left craving more of the rich offerings here. A finish that is sweet and a bit acidic, with all of the noted flavorings still in full affect. World class stout here!

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Photo of Cresant
4.88/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured this 12 oz. brown bottle into a nonic. Dark, dark brown body supported an espresso beige foamy head that was about 1/2 inch. Served barely chilled. A clear viscous film sticks to the glass when swirled. No date.

Smell was lightly metallic upon opening. Coffee grounds. Fine cocoa powder. Slight leafy hops aroma. Ashy.

Taste was malty sweetness. Syrup. Hops bitterness. Dark chocolate. Well hidden alcohol. Rich without being cloying or difficult to drink. Flavors work very well together.

Mouthfeel was full and smooth (oats). Mild carbonation. An overall classic.

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Photo of schusterbauer
4.19/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

pours an intense dark brown, essentially black, that leaves the glass tinted brown as it passes over. a couple of drops wind up on the counter, leaving brown spots that need to be scrubbed away. smells of, well, coffee. more precisely, it smells like my french press when grounds have been in there for a day or two -- very bittter, very impressive. taste is candy-sweet, and heavily rosted, like ingredients have been roasted repeatedly. hershey syrup, dark-roast coffee beans, hops... i think i would prefer less hop bitterness -- the coffee is plenty bitter, and can hold up against the sweetness. alcohol is not as masked as you'd expect. the hop level seems to interfere slightly. mouthfeel is oily and thick, very chewy.
delicious, seemingly made with creativity in mind, as opposed to showiness. a once-in-a-while beer. as good as it is, you could burn out on this if over done.

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Photo of phisig137
4.44/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Northertimber for this one.

Pour is viscous and thick, deep, menacing black all the way to the edges, and with a one finger brown head. Decent retention falls, leaving little behind. This is pure evil looking black.

Aroma is amazing. Huge coffee aromas of nice French press coffee, a little fresh espresso aroma, and a good amount of raw chocolate. This is not the usual cocoa aroma, this smells more like a grainy, raw chocolate, like you might experience at a chocolate factory. Just about perfect for what it is.

Flavor again is spot on. Up front tastes like acrid roasted coffee that cooled down to room temp, but then as you swallow, different waves of flavor take over. You can actually taste both lightly roasted beans, as well as beans that seem to be burnt. Good amount of char/roasted grain flavor, along with a bit of malty sweetness, and a smooth transition between flavors, possibly from the oatmeal. The finish is pure Willy Wonka, with big time raw chocolate flavors. Oddly, the apparent absence of hops is noted, but not missed. The roasted grains, bitter coffee, and seemingly bitter chocolate make up for the hops, and balance out this stout well. Mouthfeel is very heavy and thick, aided by little carbonation. Drinkability is great, considering the ABV.

Another real winner for Founders. If I were able to get this in my area, I think it may be my winter go-to beer. Truly an exceptional stout. Highly recommended and worth seeking out... I wonder how this will hold up in the cellar.

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Photo of BeerRun13
4.5/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out like motor oil. A dark tan filmy ring leaves behind some sticky lacing.
Earth aroma. A touch of dark fruit. Chocolate notes with some roasty coffee like notes as well.
Much like the nose suggests. The earthy and coffee flavors stand out. A slight bit of alcohol can be tasted.
Full bodied and oily thick, but not slick. Moderate to low carbonation. Warming alcohol at a mere 8.3%. Slightly bittering finish.
Great beer. Went really well with dark chocolate.

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Photo of Alkey
4.77/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz. bottle poured black with a small dark brown head that leaves a bit lace around the glass. Smell is somewhat mellow with chocolate and coffee notes. Taste follows with roasted malts, sweet chocolate, coffee, oatmeal, and a touch of alcohol warming in the finish. The feel is rich and creamy and the taste is somewhat mellow rather than big robust flavors which makes this brew so very easy to drink.

I received a bottle each of this brew in two separate trades this week so after I had the first I couldn't stop myself from opening the second.

The second bottle looks much the same but has a much stronger coffee aroma that also big in the taste as well. ( I can see why they might call this a breakfast stout )

I only assume that the second bottle is the fresher of the two but as far as taste they are both great tasting beers and I can't wait to be able to walk in my favorite beer spots and order this delicious beer.

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Photo of rayjay
4.44/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally got my hands on some; thanks, northernbrews, for the great trade! Rich, potent nose, with some notable alcohol and just exploding with fresh ground dark roasted Kona coffee beans- simply wonderful and the highlight of the beer for me. The palate is equally explosive in the coffee department; bitter fresh ground beans with a sticky sweet stout body. Very smooth mouthfeel like fatty whole milk; it even gave me a beer mustache. Its a bit thick for my tastes, but it's a very wild and fun beer to drink. Extreme roasted flavors. Finishes smooth and semi dry, with a lingering bitter coffee bite that people will be sure to smell on you as you breath near them. Dehydrating and not very refreshing, not that that's a bad thing. Quite a beer. Cheers!

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Photo of beveritt
4.15/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into a snifter. The label describes it as a double chocolate coffee oatmeal stout and has a picture I can't believe they got approved by the BATF.

Appearance: Pours with a 1/2 inch tan and creamy head. This fades to just the barest of coatings and a slight ring around the edge of the glass. The beer itself is completely opaque, maybe slightly brown around the edges.

Smell: A huge, intensely powerful aroma. Smells strongly of coffee and bitter roasted barley. Slightly sweet, milky chocolate undertone. A hint of hop bitterness.

Taste: A great balance of bitterness from roasted barley, coffee bite and chocolate. Enough residual sweetness form the oats to tie everything together. Nice lingering flavor.

Mouthfeel: Average level of carbonation. Body is nice and full.

Drinkability: A tremendously complex beer that lives up to the hype. Because of its ABV and strong flavors, this is a beer you sip for a few hours, certainly not a session beer.

Notes from 12/19/09 tasting of an 08 bottle: Surprisingly similar to those notes I have from a fresh tasting. Some sediment has developed, but the coffee, chocolate, and bitterness in this one still remain. If anything, some alcohol has faded. Incredibly smooth and enjoyable sipper. Maybe the slightest hint of "wet cardboard" oxidation. Wonder if this will change with the switch to pop caps?

Notes from 12/21/09 tasting of an 06 bottle: Once again, surprisingly similar to above comments. This one had great carbonation, poured with a 3 finger + cap of foam. Coffee is still present, though faded significantly. All in all, bitterness is down and semi-sweet chocolate flavors with smooth coffee are more forward. At 3 years, this one is great, could maybe even go a year or two more.

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Photo of blsfreak
4.83/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is one impressive offering from Founder's. The coffee taste gets you right away, then the chocolate. There are many complex flavors in this beer, I can't get enough of it. You would think you could taste 8.3% abv, but it is well hidden. This beer tastes better as it warm a bit, the chocolate flavor comes out as it warms and it gets more complex. I highly recommend this beer to any stout lover.

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Photo of AmorousAngel
4.55/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle.

Poured thick opaque black with a minimal dark tan head.

Smells like fresh coffee and molasses

Tastes like very strong coffee and bittersweet chocolate (two of my favorite things in the world) with some roasted malt thrown in for good measure.

Mouthfeel is smooth and full-bodied. Minimal carbonation. The alcohol is completely covered by the the other strong flavors.

Very drinkable in my opinion, but only if you really like cofffee.

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

Pouring this one with a lot of anticipation...completely opaque with a shallow dark tan head that fades fairly quickly to an obstinate ring. Evidence of some effervescence struggling unsuccessfully to keep the froth alive. Smells heavily roasted and dark chocolate. Deep silky smooth texture. First past was predominantly a whiff of dark chocolate with a lingering roast coffee chew on the tongue. As it warms slightly, and the aroma is deeper into the glass, the nose and taste are more of the coffee and oats. Almost a bitter cappuccino towards the end; demands your attention all the way.

Sixpoint Bolshoi had a similar coffee 'take-away but not the same flavor and less intensity... to some degree sweeter. Southern Tier Jah-Va is altogether sweeter. All very good in my book.

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Photo of BeerCheese
4.18/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into my favorite glass about 3 hours after removing it from the fridge. Nice dark brown head on this black colored beer. Average head retention. Smelled coffee first, then chocolate. No real hop aroma. Really didn't care for the first taste, as I prefer a stout with a little less hop character. However, after a few drinks it began to grow on me. I preferred the taste in my mouth to the taste at the back of my tongue while swallowing, which was when the hops really presented themselves. Medium/full body with moderate carbonation.

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Photo of Estarrio
4.83/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Many, many thanks to Tom at Julio's Liquors for this wonderful brew.

As might be expected, this pours like old, viscous, black motor oil. The darkness defines opacity. The full, sticky, dark chocolate head retains quite well, adding the only sense of color in this bewitchingly, black brew.

Heavy sweet, roasted and chocolate malt aromas in the nose with burnt sugar, caramel and molasses. The fresh ground coffee and espresso scents make me genuinely feel like I'm in a fine coffee shop, awaiting a gourmet cup of joe. There are also subtle hints of hops and a suggestion of alcohol in the nose.

The flavor of this fine brew is the very definition of balance. Sweet, roasted malt blends with chocolate, caramel, dark fruit, burnt sugar and molasses. The sweetness is dulled by an earthy, oatmeal presence and then countered by acidic coffee, espresso and a bitter hop finish. The flavor is complex, balanced and oh so smooth. At 8.30% ABV, the alcohol is nowhere to be found. This brew could replace my morning coffee, serve as my afternoon lunch, replace my evening dinner or make for a sublime dessert. The only problem that I see is that I could literally drink this wonderful beverage all day long.

This delightful stout has a thick, creamy, full-bodied mouthfeel with just enough fizz to remind me that I'm drinking a beer and not a wonderful coffee creation.

I've enjoyed quite a few extreme stouts lately, all with massive ABV and flavor profiles. This beer shows that you don't need an overcharged alcohol profile to make an outstanding stout. There is no criticism that I can offer for this superb creation. This is indeed the best double stout that I've tried to date.

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Photo of BlindPig
2.93/5  rDev -35%
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 bobbyc881
5/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to todd1 for shipping some of this down for me!

Pours black, black, black. One of the darkest stouts I've had. Slightly brown around the edges when held to light. Thin, whispy head dissapates quickly.

Aroma is coffee, no doubt. Nice, dark espresso.

Taste is insane. I have a bag of dark chocolate covered espresso beans sitting on my desk, and this beer is without question the liquid version of that. Amazing mouthfeel. Thick and chewy... a perfect match for the bitter dark chocolate flavor of this drink.

The alcohol is completely hidden. Very drinkable. Some beers brewed with coffee overdue it, others, it's barely noticeable. Founders has nailed a perfect balance. A+ Very worthy of the hype.

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Photo of k3n
3.31/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle courtesy of Tangfoot, no freshness info.

A: Holy motor oil! Super dark and viscous. Looks like a glass of super dark brown ink. No bubbles, no head, even with a generous pour.

S: Roasted coffee beans. And more coffee beans. And-- you get it.

T: Lots of black coffee (see above). Melds right into hops. I'm looking for something in the middle (malt? chocolate?), and I can't find it. I know there's alcohol in here somewhere but I'll be damned if I can taste it.

M: Slippery smooth. Goes down easy, hops linger. The slight bit of carbonation helps.

D: Well, I certainly don't think I can drink this for breakfast... I think if I enjoyed black coffee I would enjoy this more. Alas...a well-made beer, for sure, just not up my alley.

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Photo of malcontent
4.65/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Mastodons met their doom in thinner-looking stuff than this; just a thin layer of tan-ish head crowns the kettle-black brew.

Whoa! Did I just brew coffee? What else? Hmmm…nope, just coffee. Good thing I drink pots of the stuff every morning as this smells just fine by me. OK, slight, and I mean slight, toasted oat in the nose as well.

There are hops?!? OK, there is a whole lot of java with a touch of mustiness and bakers’ chocolate as well but the hops are what caught me off-guard. They work beautifully, however, much in the same context that 3F’s used hops in their amazing Alpha Klaus; an unexpected boost to an already incredibly tasty beer. There IS just a touch too much bitterness on the end that seems to owe more to the baking chocolate taste than the hops.

Mouthfeel is less thick than I would have guessed but still totally satisfying. In fact, most double stouts are so thick that I like to savor one and me done with them. This I could actually see going back to the well for. Note to self; cut back to one pot of coffee per morning and increase consumption of Breakfast Stout.

A BIG thanks to kmpitz2 for the taste.

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Photo of Imstillthegman
4.23/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Murrayswine for this bottle.

Dark and murky brown...just one half of a shade lighter than black to the trained eye ;-p ... with a thin peanut butter colored head.

Aroma is strong on coffee with some bitter chocolate and faint crushed oats.

The flavor is practically a liquid form of the smell. It starts with a wallop of coffee that drags you into some dark bakers chocolate. The oats I picked up in the smell aren't really noticeable in the taste. A sweetness is present, but I can't figure out where it's coming from. I find myself enjoying this and I am not a stout or coffee kind of guy. Impressive.

Mouthfeel is thick and chewy . Dry and slightly bitter aftertaste makes me want to take another sip to moisten my mouth once again. The alcohol is hidden very well. I should have no problem finishing this one as I usually can't get through an entire bottle of stout. Maybe I am just developing more a taste for them or maybe this one is just that good.

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Photo of Engibeer
5/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Reviewed July 3, 2006 entered from notes.

Leaves its 12 oz stubby like sorghum from the syrup jar - thick, dark, and slow. A vigorous pour releases 3 inches of espresso foam colored head layered on top. Antique lace clings to the glass. Rocking the glass back and forth reminds me of one of those plexiglass wave toys one might have on a desk.

Odor of strong fresh Italian roast coffee and baker's chocolate but drier and sharper.

Wonderful flavors chase each other around my mouth and dance on my tongue.

Rich thick mouthfeel - absolutely wonderful! 5,5,5,5,5

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Photo of Wasatch
4.67/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Revisit: 17 Nov 18
12 oz. Bottle
Bottled On: 10.23.18

WOW! Almost 12 Fuckn' Years Between!

Poured into a Tree House glass a pretty nice dark brown color, with some pretty nice carbonation, which also leaves a pretty nice thick/creamy one-finger tan head, which also leaves a pretty nice thick/creamy medium size island, and some pretty nice sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, with some nice chocolate/toffee, roasty coffee, with some vanilla. The taste is pretty nice, malty, with a really nice touch of chocolate/toffee, really nice roast coffee, with some vanilla. Medium body, ABV is hidden pretty nicely, a pretty nice complex brew. Overall, a very nice brew. Glad to see Founders around here. I have at least, right now, one other to revisit.

Thanks to CRJMellor for this one.

Pours a thick black color, some carbonation, nice little tan fizzy head which leaves quickly, some islands and sticky lacing left behind. The nose is of sweet roasted malts, hops, lots of coffee, some chocolate. The taste is sweet malty, big coffee flavor hits you in the face, slight bitter/dry finish. Medium body, well rounded brew. Very drinkable, true to style ADS, thanks Founders.

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Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.55/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to czoch for this bottle. I am unsure of the date it was bottled. The brew pours with a little head and a nose of coffee and chocolate. It has a deep rich coffee and chocolate flavor to match its smell. I did not detect and hops at all in the taste. It is easy to drink and the ABV is not noticed. A great stout from Founders which is not a big surprise.


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Photo of beerphan
4.59/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle -> goblet
no date

Pours black with a small head that left quickly. Dotted sporadic lacing.

Nose: Rich chocolate milk and coffee grounds. A deep rich scent. Also, some dark fruit scents emerge with time.

Taste: Coffee and dark sweet chocolate, with full roastiness and a semi-dry oatey bitter finish that lingers and lingers. Alcohol is warming but never more than a sidenote with all the big flavors present, totally leaving any indication of the booze in the dust.

Mouth: Thick, sticky and creamy. Leaves the mouth feeling dry and roasted for some time.

Dangerously drinkable especially if you start in the morning as the name suggest! Drink them slowly so the flavors can escape.

note: # 100.

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Breakfast Stout from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.51 out of 5 with 17,299 ratings