Founders Breakfast Stout | Founders Brewing Company

3,801 Reviews
Founders Breakfast StoutFounders Breakfast Stout

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.30%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Availability: Sep - Dec

Brewed with flaked oats, bitter and sweetened imported chocolates, Sumatra and Kona coffee.

60 IBU

Added by marburg on 07-26-2003

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Reviews: 3,801 | Ratings: 16,440
Photo of bsp77
4.42/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Jet black with thin tan head that leaves slight spotty lacing.

Smell: Espresso beans, dark chocolate, vanilla and licorice. Some noticeable alcohol.

Taste: Not quite as coffee dominant as it smelled. Tastes like a fantastic mixture of coffee, chocolate and roasted malts, with light fruitiness and licorice detected. Unlike some coffee beers, I can actually taste the Stout underneath. Nice bitterness at the end, which seems to be due to hops as much as burnt, roasted malts.

Feel: Liquid velvet. Very, very smooth rich full body with low carbonation. Slightly warming.

Drinkability: Great sipping brew, but I have never been compelled to drink a lot of coffee beer at once. That said, this may be the most drinkable one I have had.

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Photo of fropones
4.39/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured black with very little tan head. Smelled of coffee and dark chocolate. Taste was slightly acrid, coffee, chocolate, oats, some molasses. Maybe some dark fruits. Mouthfeel was creamy and lightly carbonated. Drinkability was high, especially drinking it with breakfast. Alcohol not even noticeable. Had to double check the bottle that it was over 8% abv.

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Photo of TLove
4.18/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a hefeweizen glass.

A deep brown/black, viscous liquid that could be mistaken for motor oil, until you see the soft, brown head beginning to form. A little bit of lacing. The smell is laden with Kona coffee and espresso, with a touch of oats and wheatberry. There is a strong chocolate presence in there, as well as the beer begins to warm. Exceptional flavor with an intense, rounded coffee/chocolate flavor, a touch of nuttiness, and a bit of earthiness as well.

I don't feel that the hop structure is overwhelming, as many of my colleagues claim, largely because the temperment begins to round out on the back end. Certainly not thin in the mouth, but it does possess a softness reminiscent of the oats that balances the beer remarkably well. Again, the beer seems to come into its own and develop a more full-bodied structure as it warms. Very drinkable, even at 8.3% ABV, as the alcohol and carbonation are cleverly hidden.

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Photo of WYVYRN527
4.75/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

About time this one showed up in our area...

A: Pours black with a light tan head that settles to a thin film on the surface. Lacing is amazing.

S: Coffee dominates the nose, with some hints of dark chocolate. Toasty malt aromas linger behind the intense forerunners.

T: Freshly roasted coffee beans, bittersweet chocolate, and burnt bread are predominant. There is also an earthy quality to this beer. Hops are faintly present in the backround, giving it a very clean finish. One of the most balanced coffee stouts I have ever tasted.

M: Full-bodied, viscous, and very lively. This beer has a finish that stays for what seems to be like eons between each sip.

D: This is truly a breakfast brew. Forget pairing it with anything. One of these and you are ready to start the day. This beer will be joining me in the upcoming deer hunting season. It's scary how easy to drink this elixir is.

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Photo of SpecialK088
4.73/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a willy from the bottle

Pours thick and black as a starless moonless night, blocks out even direct light. Head is minimal but laces nice and sticky down the glass.

Coffee, chocolate and rich roasted malt dominate the nose, upon a big sniff you will pull some alcohol out as well as just a subtle hint of vinilla.

This is hard to describe everything comes out from the nose rich roasted malt and coffee, the very bitterest of dark chocolate blend together to create a flavor so thick and rich its not even possible to imagine that founders improved on this beer. Also some traces of vinilla bean mixed in. Roasted bitter chocolate finish leaves a dry fantastic finish.

Mouth is thick and viscous very silky smooth on the palate and going down. Carbonataion is right where it needs to be.

Easy to drink, maybe to easy its like candy going down but still tastes like beer which I love.

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Photo of hooliganlife
4.62/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours jet black with very little cocoa head but decent retention. light cocoa lacing along the sides of the glass

first up was coffee with faint hints of chocolate. a slight roasted scent was there as well.

very bold with a nice hop presence. sweet flavors like toffee and fig give way to big chocolate and finish with a large coffee kick. very bold and flavorful all of the way through. quite sweet as well. a slight bitter hop aftertaste.

carbonation has a little to much bite, kind of sharp in a way. very full and very slick feeling. coats your teeth.

this is amazing and its very fresh. such huge scents and flavors really let this stand out. unlike KBS, this is just too amazing fresh. now that its available in our area, i plan to test out some age on this. i tried last year but it never happened. these are just too good.

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Photo of skrib09
4.39/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

poured pitch black and oily with an immense dark brown head up top.

smells like a freshly opened bag of starbucks coffee and bitter baker's chocolate. hints of sweetness and caramel as well.

taste is bitter chocolate mixed with a sweetness of caramel and strong fresh coffee. hints of vanilla in the after taste.

mouthfeel is a bit grainy, again, like the bottom of a cup of coffee. not a bad thing. overall well balanced on the palate and drinkable.

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Photo of MaltistLupulist
3.83/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had tried this once before, but the bottle I had purchased was smothered in dust and might as well have been in a petrified state by the time I got to it. Despite its robust 8.3% abv, it is still a bit too weak to age gracefully, and it was clear that the flavor had been compromised, calling for a do-over. Some eighteen months later, with a bottle of freshly-released BS in my possession, the time has come.

Poured into an oversized snifter. Opaque black with a gray, maroon-tinged foam, which slowly settles into a quarter-finger of sustained head, yielding moderate, if patchy, lacing. It doesn't look particularly viscous, but no worries, flavor trumps mouthfeel any day, in my book at least.

The aroma consists of an interplay between coffee and chocolate, both bitter, minimally refined in the case of the chocolate (cacao nibs) and heavily refined/darkly roasted in the case of the coffee. I dunno....I'm starting to become a bit skeptical: I'm sort of a coffeegeek, so I'm very finicky about my a.m. beverage of choice, and while I like Indonesian coffee (BS is brewed with Sumatra), I detest dark roasts, as darkly-roasted beans will obscure the subtle (in this case, earthy) flavors of the coffee itself and yield only that roasty flavor with which those of us who have been conditioned by Starbucks have become so familiar. Oh, and I don't care much for chocolate, either. I rather abhor it, actually.

The flavor affirms my suspicions: acerbic, a bit too bitter for my taste. It's difficult to tell whether the chocolate or the coffee is to blame. They're certainly both culprits, but in the final analysis I think the chocolate, despite my diatribe about the evils of darkly-roasted coffee, is the senior offender of the grimace-inducing duo: that taste reminiscent of those natural chocolate bars you get at Whole Foods and natural foods stores that are like 70-80% raw cacao is unmistakable and, in my case at least, cringe-inducing. The coffee plays a role, too, for sure, but I may have unfairly impugned its function in my earlier rant: it may even be a quality medium roast that holds the harsh flavor of the cacao at bay, that is, this beer'd be a degree bitterer if it weren't for the coffee. On the other hand, though, perhaps only a dark roast has the fortitude to withstand the brewing process and to emerge as a peer of the other flavor characteristics at play. Speaking of which, there's also a subtle but noticeable hoppiness (Piney? Grassy? Horsy? Who knows-- it's there, but this isn't the kind of beer in which lupulin is the focus) which would have eluded detection if it weren't for my allergies (I's sneezin' like a m---f---).

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied (other reviewers say this is viscous, but I flirted with classifying it as "light-to-medium-bodied"; standards differ, I suppose...) with a mild sticky sweetness; lightly carbonated.

Some alcohol is just barely apparent in the taste: if I were rating drinkability purely in terms of alcohol, this'd be a 5, but that acerbic cacao flavor knocks it down a ways.

In summary, I'm a coffee lover, and for a long time I was open to the notion that coffee and beer could mix well together in the same vessel, make bosom buddies. BS has made me rethink that position. Sure, this was better than the monstrosity that resulted the time I lobbed a shot of Counter Culture Toscano into a Stone RIS, but it nonetheless made me want to keep my coffee and my beer on polar opposite ends of the kitchen, with zero likelihood that they cross paths. To be sure, this is an impressive brew in many ways, for instance the manner in which the chocolate and the coffee interact with each other and present a united front to one's palate. However, to someone with as narrow a sense of taste as I, this is a beer which will be checked off and seldom revisited.

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Photo of sarigianis
4.15/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours deep inky black. The head resembles a chocolate milkshake.

Aroma reminds me of dark chocolate covered espresso beans. A creamy sweetness comes through.

At first sip it is very creamy, but it quickly turns to an overwhelming roasted bitterness, followed by a hop bite. The finish is warming and you can tell where the 8.3% is. Coffee bean bitterness takes control in this brew

This is an intense beverage. I original though it would be super creamy and smooth, but from the name, I can tell now that this beer is suppose to wake you up. Well done Founders.

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Photo of Reaper16
4.33/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

fresh 2009 bottle served into a tulip

Pours a deep brown that looks viscous and black coming out of the bottle. The shade of the head strikes me as mocha, but that might just be subliminal coffee thoughts talking. An easy-going pour yields a one and a half finger head that leaves nice notches of lace.

A predominance of coffee hits the nose first and foremost. Chocolate malt and generic grain scents peek through. As the beer warms, you can make out the oat presence. This is a beer that really opens up as it warms. What was initially a generic coffee bouquet that was lacking in complexity has turned into a rich, nutty smell that marks some quality brewing. Decent grade espresso smells shine through at the peak temperature.

Taste follows the nose. Let this beer warm up a bit. Once you do, you'll realize that this has to be one of (if not THE) best coffee stouts in the world. The roasted flavors and the light, fruity acidity make for a remarkable fully realized coffee flavor package. The chocolate isn't to be ignored, either, tempering the acidity with a certain degree of nuttiness. Some earthy hops on the back end provide welcome bitterness. This is all so well-crafted. I wouldn't call this a balanced beer, as the coffee is the focal point, but all of the flavors work together so well.

The mouthfeel is right on the money. A touch thinner than I expected, but the relative lightness works well with the flavor profile. I have no choice but to score the drinkability high. This is a stout that, if the flavor profile appeals to you, will have you thinking about seconds, thirds, and a trip to the liquor store to pick up a case. At only 8% ABV yet fully-loaded with flavor, this is a dream.

I'm glad that this is readily available where I live now. This is a seasonal beer to look forward to and to be cherished. Superbly executed.

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Photo of armock
4.23/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured a black color with a brown head that leaves lacing behind

S - Is of roasted malt that gives off strong coffee scents

T - Lots of coffee flavor and thats about it lots of coffee

M - This beer has a full body with lighter carbonation to it

D - If you like coffee and beer with your breakfast this is the one for you a very good beer thats worth getting your hands on to try

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Photo of BarrelO
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On draft at Pizzeria Paradiso in Dupont Circle.

A: Black with brownish edges. Tan head slowly fades but leaves an absolute ton of lacing.

S: Coffee, coffee, coffee. All about coffee. In a good way.

T: Even more coffee. A hint of chocolate, which I kind of struggle to detect. Finishes fairly dry.

M: Thick and creamy.

D: Amazing. I'd have this for breakfast any time. Not to mention lunch, dinner, and dessert.

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Photo of Bobbydigi
4.35/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a nice frothy tan head with great lacing. Just the faintest amount of light makes it through when held up to a light. Big roasted malt and coffee smell and just a hint of chocolate. Big coffee up front followed by sweet roasted malt and chocolate. If you were going to taste the hops its at the end and in the after taste. This beer goes down like butta, perfect carbonation makes for easy drinking. At a little bit over 8% this beers hides it well and i could definitely drink more than one. I so happy Founders is available near me now one less awesome beer I have to trade for. As usual, well done Founders.

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Photo of soupyman10
4.56/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Saw this one on tap at the fantastic new Pizza-P's in Dupont Circle and couldn't possibly pass it by. Pours a pitch black color with a beautiful tan foamy head that sits around for ever. Excellent lacing as it drains. Basically looks perfect. Nose is very nice, if a little milder than expected. Coffee (more than just about any other beer I've smelt), roasted malt, chocolate dominate. Maybe a touch of dried fruit in there. Taste is excellent - like the nose, but stronger. Chocolate all over the place, mixing with a dirty roasted malt and a quite but continual mix of coffee as well. Really an excellent flavor. Body is perfect, creamy and thick. Overall, a fantastic beer that, despite it's thickness and heaviness, I could legitimately drink all night.

Pizzeria Paradiso/$7/10 oz

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Photo of Stunner97
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Appearance- Very dark black in color, pitch black for sure, nice bubbles stream nicely up the side of the glass, Nice tan foam head sits beautifully, very nice appearance

Smell- Strong coffee just dominates the nose, slight dark chocolate, but really just more then anything on the nose a strong blast of coffee, could easily fool someone that they were about to sip a nice warm coffee, smell is just so powerful,

Taste- overwhelmingly coffee flavors just destroy your palate up front, then your hit with a very slight chocolate finish but its short, then you taste a wallop of hops in the back end which provide a very nice balance to the initial up front coffee explosion, very extremely long finish that goes on and on, very little at least to me notice of alcohol on the finish, mostly just coffee and bitter hops, its a very tasty beer with a nice finish, i think it really does open up well to as it gets warmer

Mouthfeel- The mouthfeel on this beer is very unique and special, very thick almost feel like you could chew this beer down and a nice touch of carbonation on your tongue,

Drinkability- Extremely drinkable even though I am not truely a real big coffee lover though have become one more and more through enjoying the flavors of the stouts, funny I didnt come the other way came from beer to coffee not other way, Enjoyable but not sure i could ever have more then one of these in a single sitting and I gotta mark down a touch for that just too much coffee for me to drink more then one, One to try and seek out and probably one if your an absolute coffee lover you would love even more then i do,

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Photo of SRossman
4.33/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This bottle has been sitting for a while. There isn't a date on the bottle but it's at least 6 months to a year old.

A: Opaque black color. Even while pouring, light isn't penetrating the stream as it falls into my glass. There's a brief mocha head that fades fairly quickly to a ring.

S: Chocolate is the first things coming through in the aroma. Dark rich cocoa. Very faint coffee just in the background and some underlying roasted malt.

T: Ahhh that's the stuff. Rich chocolate and malt characteristics, balanced out by bitter coffee roast. This beer tastes like chocolate cake and espresso.

MF/D: Very rich and slick on the palate, with the oatmeal helping keep the mouthfeel very smooth. Carbonation and body are right where they should; heavy on the body, low on the carbonation. The 8% ABV is well masked, I only get the faintest hint of booze on the finish. Again, this is balanced perfectly.

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Photo of WorldWideStout
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very dark brown, though not the darkest I've seen. When I tilt my snifter to the side, the color lightens up a bit to a warm medium brown on the sides. I didn't get too much head out of the pour.

S: Perhaps the strongest-smelling beer I've ever had. Wonderful rich, dark coffee smell, as if I just opened a bag of coffee beans. I'm not a coffee drinker, but I spent about a minute just smelling the beer. A bit of chocolate and oatmeal as well, but coffee dominates.

T: Big notes of coffee right at the start, but it quickly recedes. Right after there is some milk chocolate, with a touch of sweetness. Towards the middle the oatmeal comes out, with a bit of coffee appearing again. The coffee flavor appears at the end again, with a bit more acidity this time. A little bitterness lingers as a not-unpleasant after taste, but doesn't stick around too long. I think that if I liked coffee more, I would have given taste a 5.

M: Fairly chewy and full, though not as thick and viscous as I was preparing for.

D: At only 8.3% and with a non-overwhelming mouthfeel, it's pretty drinkable, but the intense coffee flavor makes this one a beer I wouldn't have all the time.

All in all a quite impressive brew, and if I liked coffee more, would probably be my new favorite stout. With the acidity from the coffee bean flavors, it also seems like it would be an excellent beer to have a cigar with, if you are partial to those.

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Photo of WJVII
4.33/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks CDKrenz...
Poured into a pint glass this brew was as thick as chocolate milk and silky smooth. A nice thick and creamy head slowly builds and leaves this nice foamy cap 1/4 inch thick. The smell is of roasted coffee and malts. There is a chocolate presence and some hazelnut. The taste is nice and creamy with a little burnt malt after taste. There is a nice slight bitter hop balance as you drink this and the lacing leaves a map of where you last sips were. This is a fantastic example of a stout and I do not think I have had anything better.

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Photo of beeragent
4.67/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter from a 12oz bottle.

A - The beer poured a dark brown, almost black, forming a 1/4 inch mocha head. Light spots of lace stick to the glass.

S - Very complex strong aroma of roasted malt, oatmeal, and chocolate. Just a taste of whats to come. Very inviting.

T - Strong coffee mocha flavor coats the palate, followed by a noticeable oatmeal flavor. The taste finishes with a nice cocoa finish. Very complex and highly delicious!

M - Somewhere between medium and heavy bodied. Low amount of carbonation and very very smooth.

D - The only thing that would keep me from having too many of these at one time is the ABV. The flavor is amazing and the mouthfeel incredibly smooth. Overall, just an amazing beer. I can see why there is so much hype over this beer. Next, I cant wait to try the Kentucky Breakfast Stout!!!

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Photo of fiver29
4.72/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a nice tan head. Chocolate and dark coffee smells dominate. There are several complex flavors going on in this beer. Upfront coffee and oatmeal flavors lead to a nice chocolate finish. Very nice! Heavy mouthfeel with a silk component. Overall a tasty beer.

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


A: Black, or black-brown, good brown head, looks delicious.

S: I'm not let down here, my nose picks up where my eyes left off. Coffee fills my nose here. Alcohol too.

T: Wowzers! Coffee Coffee Cofee, after that I get well balanced hints of chocolate, and maltness. It's delicious.

M/D: Smooth, Perfect feel for a drink of this magnitude.

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Photo of vacax
4.13/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Black with a one-finger mocha head. Good retention, dies down to a carpet of fine bubbles that leaves a trail of lace. Aroma is full of black coffee, cocoa, sugar cookies, biscuits. The taste has an initial assault of dark roasted malts and loads of black coffee. Some sugar and only the faintest touch of dark fruit are detectable behind all of the coffee which comes close to overwhelming everything. Personally I can't really pick out the chocolate. This is a good stout that brings coffee in my in ridiculous quantities, but balances that with a sweet backbone and lots of roasty goodness. Long coffee and roast finish.

Sure I have had more coffee thrown in my face, but that can get undesirable, and this is fully desirable. Full body, but not thick, the slippery oatmeal quality comes out as it warms. Nice medium smooth carbonation level. The coffee makes me take my time drinking this, but it drinks well. A bottle can be done solo, or it could be shared, yet I am glad I do not have to drink a bomber of this by my lonesome. For me Breakfast Stout is worth drinking on occasion, but not something I would spend energy in seeking out. This costs me $8 a pop and the bottle I had before this one was infected. Too bad we don't get Founders distribution.

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

served in flute

a: a quick tight dark brown head, body is black opaque

s: notes of good espresso, sweetness and ice cream

t: coffee and chocolate ice cream, nice bitterness not too over bearing.

m: full mouthfeel but still crisp

d: very nice finish, clean, does not coat the mouth like you would think. a truly outstanding example. cheers

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Photo of TheViolator666
4.16/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured onto Stone 12th Anniv. glass.

A: Pours jet black with a huge (for a stout) mocha brown head. Leaves great lacing all the way down.

S: Smells like coffee and a hint of alcohol.

T: Taste is pretty solid... better than the KBS I had at the BBE (since everyone else abbreviates everything, I'll leave you to figure out that one) tapping. Strong coffee flavor balanced well by milk chocolate. Not too bitter, really. Oaty, with just a hint of alcohol. I love that aftertaste, espresso?

M/D: The oats definitely make this one so smooth. Carbonation is nice. Very full bodied and a bit sticky/syrupy.

Pretty good, I'm still not sure if this is worth the price, though. But, I think I got somewhat of a steal at $3.99/bottle while I saw the 4-paks going for $17.99... that makes me feel better.

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Photo of dfranks
4.62/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow what a great beer... Just had a great pizza and beer party with friends from my church and someone brought this and I was a little sad that I had to share after tasting. It was delicious. Poured pitch black with little head. Strong coffee smells and wonderful coffee and coco taste. I sure hope I can find some more of this soon cause it was just such a smooth and wonderful tasting beer. Whether breakfast, lunch, dinner, or anytime in between this beer is fantastic.

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