Tom: Do you remember that Folgers jingle? “The best part of waking up…” Well, the answer lies in, “Breakfast Stout in your cup.” Seriously, I’ve had this beer at night, mid-day, after work, but to truly get the full essence of this beer you should enjoy it on a Saturday morning with a hearty breakfast. If you think 7:30AM is too early to be drinking an 8.3% beer then you need to man/woman up.
The beer serves as the base for Founders KBS and CBS beers which are aged in various Bourbon barrels. Brewed with Sumatra and Kona coffee, and imported bitter chocolates this beer has some extra added muscle. I really enjoyed there Imperial Stout so the addition of oatmeal alone give Breakfast Stout a velvety, silky, slick mouthfeel. Not to mention the aroma smells like a bag of oats in a barn.
I let you in on a little secret. Please do not pour or enjoy this beer right out of the fridge. You need to let this reach cellar temp (55-60 degrees) for maximum enjoyment and aroma. This is for a few reasons. 1) the head on this beer adds to the overall presentation and I’ve noticed that many video reviews lack the head that I feel should rightly be there. 2) the colder temps limit the aroma and flavor of the chocolate and coffee. So, if you want to get the most out of this beer…drink it warm(er). I bought my bottle and let it sit on my basement floor for 8 hrs before opening.
The aroma is…bitter chocolate and deep coffee notes. What else could I expect? It had a great black coffee, espresso quality at some points. The astringent bitterness form both ingredients lifted the other to new heights. The dark bitter chocolate notes seemed to rides the coat tails of the coffee flavors. However, other wafts seemed to suggest the opposite. I guess you can say all three aspects (chocolate, coffee, and oatmeal) worked harmoniously to provide a very appealing aroma.
The taste broke down about the same. I’ll be honest, the mouthfeel just about made this beer. Breakfast Stout possessed the right amount of thickness which gave it that meaty, chewy, and creamy quality. The flavors clung to my palate and I didn’t mind. Coffee breath…you’ve smelled it on your co-workers. Now add luxurious chocolate and oatmeal to that and you’ve got yourself the backbone. Coffee up front and on the finish. Smooth, yet bitter in its own right. The chocolate was fresh and reminded me of making chocolate chip cookies with my mother as a youngster.
A beer every stout lover or craft beer lover should try at least once. Grade: A+
John: I love breakfast! As a kid it was my favorite meal of the day. The smell and taste of bacon and eggs can’t be beat. And don’t forget the wafts of coffee in the air. Ahhhh. Hard to improve on a good breakfast. Unless…here’s where Founder’s Breakfast Stout comes in, you have Breakfast Stout. Wow, what a beer! Especially when it’s warm. I love oatmeal stouts. Thick, sticky, smooth stouts. Stouts that confront you with power and strength. This is one of the best I’ve tried. A great way to start out the day. Well not too early. FBS pours a rich, thick, syrupy, blackish brown. Not quite like oatmeal and nothing like bacon and eggs but it gives you a wake up! The cinnamon colored head is a 1/2 a finger then lays low the entire “meal”. The aroma shouts bitter chocolate and rich espresso coffee. What a way to start the day. Oh, I said that. The taste is outstanding. Coffee first, chocolate next, malts and some interesting metallic something. There are some hops in there somewhere. The mouthfeel is medium to thick like a good “earthy” espresso should be. The finish is silky smooth and then stingy (no oatmeal here). What a breakfast. My advice is stretch it out. Long and slow. Warm and easy. Like no other breakfast you’ve had before. Grade: A