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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: 16,179
Photo of spartanfan
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

fresh 12 oz bottle from this year's brewing
a: pours a dark black with nice tan head
s: smells of dark roasted coffee, perhaps a faint note of alcohol as well
t: taste is rich with roast coffee, roasted malts , and some chocolate as the beer warms. a nice bitter finish.
m: very creamy, full, mouth coating mouthfeel. light carbonation
d: not bad considering the alcohol content i could drink a couple of these

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

A: Pours practically solid black with a menacingly dark tan head. Even with a vigorous pour the head doesn't amount to much and fades quickly but the lacing really sticks to the glass and doesn't budge.

S: very smoky, if I was into cigars or "fine tobacco" products I think I could be more descriptive....I have friends that are...I should have them take a whiff of this...dark chocolate, dark roasted coffee beans, hint of dark fruits

T: This really does taste like breakfast...I'm a coffee drinker...and I could totally imagine me replacing this with my morning cup-a-joe...I've had a few coffee stouts and it seems a lot either have just a hint of coffee or they taste like they have artificial coffee flavors added...this beer hits the mark for me...other than coffee...bitter dark chocolate and smokiness again...as the beer warms up the flavors start to take over my mouth...nice bitter finish

M: medium carbonation...slick, but not quite as thick as I'd like it...but it still carries the richness very well...it does get better as it warms

D: for how rich this beer is...it's very drinkable...and it gets better and better as it warms...

Overall very excellent...I figured the name "breakfast stout" was just a gimmick...but I really wouldn't be surprised if I'm craving one of these in the morning..

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Photo of hargettf
4.74/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Best part of theis wonderful beer is the strong, strong coffee smell. I have some bottles from last year and that part is gone, so drink fresh. Pours black as night. Thick mouth feel, with a bitter coffee taste. This is my favorite of all the coffee beers and I am trying to taste them all, so i have had a few.

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Photo of nickd717
4.2/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle via trade, twice. Need to keep track of my trades better so I'll know who to attribute these beers to.

A - Pours black with a nice tan head.

S - Real nice coffee aroma, along with roast and cocoa.

T - Somewhat bitter with lots of coffee, roasted malt, oats, and chocolate. This really would be a nice breakfast beer, and I'd drink it every morning if I didn't mind being a raging alcoholic.

M - Nice and full but a little more astringent and less over-the-top syrupy than something like Dark Lord or whatnot. Some hop/coffee bitterness lasts on the palate.

D - High for an imperial stout.

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Photo of Heferwiezer
4.59/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought as a single bottle at discount liquors in milwaukee, wi. this beer already has my mouth watering as the label read "double chocolate coffee oatmeal stout"

As I pour I can tell this stuff is very viscous, reminds me much of motor oil looks sticky and syrupy. Black black black, not hint of ruby whatsoever. Head is thin but very creamy looking, very suiting for the chocolatey mess im getting myself into.

Smell- wahwahweee coffee! nose is all coffee to me with lots of sweetness and subtle chocolate notes.

Taste much like the nose. This beer is very distracting from my review, i want to just stop typing and keep drinking. Chocolate upfront with a definite coffee aftertaste. Mouthfeel is sticky, creamy just the right amount of carbonation.

Easily quaffed.

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Photo of JoePat
4.31/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.
Poured a dark black with absolutely no light making it into the beer.
Dark, Rich, Roasted malt smell. Hints of coffee but nothing really strong.
Roasted malts and chocolate taste up front with coffee not far behind. Coffee taste gets better and noticable as it warms.
Creamy mouth feel with a bit of dryness at the finish.
Over all a great beer. Can wait to have one of these on a cold afternoon...or morning.

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Photo of jbone78
3.71/5  rDev -17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my third or so Founders Breakfast. I think it is time for a review.

A- Pours a nice black stout color with a pretty tan head. Perfect lacing.
S- Full of esters with a slight smell of chocolate.
T- As I have had a few of these, I have had consistant experiences. Overrated and not all that super. The taste to me is too hoppy and chalky for a Breakfast Stout, but this is my palate.
M- Light to medium carbonation with that same chalky aftertaste.
D- Overall, I would order it at a restaurant (if there were Founders around here), but would reccomend something different for someone who is looking for a Great Breakfast Stout.


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Photo of BigJim5021
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Went to the liquor store hoping to see some fresh 4-packs of BS for sale. No luck. I did, however, find a year-old bottle hiding amongst a bunch of Old Curmudgeon and Cerise. Score!

I hard-poured the shit out of this stuff and was still only able to put a tiny head on the fucker. Even when served too cold it poured like motor oil with a small, brown head. There's not a drop of light shining through. Brilliant.

The smell is roasty-toasty malts, dark chocolate and coffee beans.

Oh, momma. Coffee, bittersweet chocolate and massive malts. FBS ain't nothin' to fuck with.

Mouthfeel is silky smooth and borderline chewy. Just like I like my stouts.

Drinkability is dangerously high given the abv. This is just a ridiculously delicious stout.

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Photo of BierFan
4.7/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: Looks very thick. Pitch black with a dark cappucino-colored head. Good head retention.

Smell: Lots of fresh ground coffee. Some bitter chocolate.

Taste: Great blend of coffee and dark chocolate. The coffee is experienced first and once those flavors fade you get the dark bitter chocolates. Very smooth.

Overall this is an exceptional brew and well worth the hype.

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Photo of ballenc
4.52/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I've heard a lot of good things about this brew and I've been impressed with the Centennial IPA so I'm looking forward to this one.

A - A slow pour from a 12 oz. bottle to a pint glass. Very little head - cocoa brown head that recedes quickly with minimal lacing. Beer is pitch black - probably the darkess stout I've seen. A few swirls bring back a 1/2 finger of the dark tan foam.

S - Wonderful aroma of roasted coffee beans with a hint of chocolate and even a bit of anise and molasses. Toasted, bready malts also.

T - Mirrors the aroma - coffee and cocoa beans with a bit of licorice

M - Thinner on the tongue than I expected. A little carbonation but not much. Dry finish

D - Even with the 8.3% ABV, this is a highly drinkable stout. Excellent on the nose and tongue with no sweetness or stickiness that sometimes detracts from bigger stouts.

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Photo of argock
4.37/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a clear glass snifter. No freshness date. Purchased as 4-pack at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $10.25.

A: Totally opaque black with tan edges and short cap of tan head with a few spots of lace.

S: Plenty of dark chocolate and coffee but a ton of leafy, tobacco-ish hops come through with big toasted malts

T: The taste is very bitter but cut nicely with more sweet than bitter chocolate. The leafy hops still play a huge role in the slightly but not unpleasantly acrid finish.

M: The mouthfeel is smooth generally except that the finish is a bit astringent. Carbonation is really low and it has a really nice coating, viscous quality that is good but not too much.

D: Deadly good drinkability and superior quality. Not a surprise given the huge love this brew gets, but I still think I like Expedition Stout and Ten Fidy a little more.

12/5/2009: At 3 months, the tobacco nature of the hops has faded and the chocolate and coffee character is gaining some steam.

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Photo of COBeerBuff
4.65/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Fresh bottle from the August 2009 release...

Appearance: Vigorous pours yields a pitch black, opaque sludge with a finger of mocha brown head that slowly disappears leaving a thing film along the top of the beer, and tons of gorgeous lacing down the sides of the glass.

Smell: From far away, toasted malts of chocolate and grains reigns supreme. As the glass moves closer, coffee, chocolate, vanilla, toffee, and cream all make an appearance. Toasted oats are very faint, but the sweet malts are the most prevalent notes in the nose of this beer.

Taste: Sweet, chocolaty, malty, coffee goodness. At first, this beer seems like it's going to be a coffee stunner, but as it moves to the middle of the tongue, the bitterness recedes and the chocolate and toffee flavors jump forward. The finish is all sticky, toasted oats and grain malt flavors. There's a slight alcoholic taste that lingers as well, but the sheer variety of flavors and the smoothness of the transitions is amazing.

Mouthfeel: This beer has it all. Initially, the beer is perfectly carbonated, and slightly crisp. At the end, the beer is surprisingly sticky, coating the tongue with sweet, molasses yumminess.

Drinkability: This beer is frighteningly drinkable. The 8.3% ABV is well-hidden, but the beer still manages to pack a little bit of a punch. It certainly doesn't help that the beer is so tasty that you find yourself taking sip after sip just to enjoy another kaleidoscope of flavors. This beer is meant to be savored, but it's so damn good that sometimes, that just might not be possible!

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Photo of pmccallum86
4.7/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, this beer pours an amazing midnight black with a medium sized coffee colored head. Dark and delicious in appearance, looks top notch.

The smell is of cold pressed coffee and dark unsweetened chocolate, very heavy aromas.

Taste is delicious, the first sensation is of coffee followed by a dark unsweetened chocolate flavor. Lots of coffee, lots of chocolate, these flavors are so strong none of the others have a chance. Extremely delicious, the flavors here are incredible.

Thick viscous mouthfeel, definitely a great beer for a cold winter's night, perhaps I will save some for such a time. Low carbonation in this beer as most double stouts feature.

Very drinkable, you may not be able to enjoy more than a few in one sitting though, as it is very thick and filling.

Very damn good beer, definitely worth purchasing.

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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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Founders Breakfast Stout from Founders Brewing Company
4.47 out of 5 based on 16,179 ratings.
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