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Review of Founders Breakfast Stout

24 Oct
For today’s craft beer review I’m going to be sipping on a Founders Breakfast Stout produced by the Founders Brewing Company located in Grand Rapids, Michigan.This is a beer that I pick up every year.  It’s one of my favorites, however I have never properly reviewed it, but that’s all about to change.

Let’s look on the website, foundersbrewing.com, and find a description of the Founders Breakfast Stout.

The coffee lover’s consummate beer.  Brewed with an abundance of flaked oats, bitter and imported chocolates, and Sumatra and Kona coffee, this stout has an intense fresh roasted java nose topped with a frothy, cinnamon-colored head that goes forever.

Let’s do this thing.

This beer has an ABV of 8.3% and it comes in a 12 oz. bottle.

The brew poured a super dark brown to black color.  I saw absolutely no highlights at all around the edges.  Even when held toward the light I saw none.  The crown was a dark tan color.  It was very full, tight, smooth, creamy and adequately sized.  The head held its form for a good long while and when it dissipated it left behind some outstanding, thick lacing clinging to the glass.  The cap finally settled to a thin film right on top of the drink that lasted for the duration.  Quick swirls regenerated the fluffy, smooth head with ease.  This beer looked awesome in the glass.

The aroma began with big, bold coffee and espresso notes.  Whoa!!!  It was very similar to sticking my nose into a super fresh bag of coffee beans…. and I loved it!!!  As the beer started to warm and open up, additional hints of bittersweet chocolate (almost like “bakers” chocolate) and creamy smelling oatmeal counterbalanced the heavy coffee fragrance most impressively.  Make no mistake about it, the coffee and espresso notes remained the star of the show here, but it became more harmonious with each passing second.

The taste delivered more of the freshly ground coffee and espresso savors.  Much like the aroma, the chocolate and oatmeal don’t start to break through until after the beer has warmed a bit, but when it does it complements the overall flavor of the beer so well that you never knew they weren’t there.  A very pleasant, fitting and mild bitterness was felt throughout the entire drink.  Maybe even a touch of whole milk was detected too.  Also, for a beer that has an ABV of 8.3% I found nary a hint of alcohol flavoring.  This brew is rich and bold, balanced and even and exemplifies a “world class” taste in my opinion.

The mouthfeel was medium to mostly full.  Very smooth, creamy, dry, chewy and warming.  I did find that it left a touch of chalky bitterness towards the end of the drink however, but like I’ve said a few times before, I tend to really enjoy that aspect when it comes to Stouts.  The palate was completely drenched with flavor for the entire experience, which allowed me to savor every last drop of this fine brew between sips.

Well guys….. I absolutely love this beer!!!!  Personally, I like this better than the KBS.  It’s much easier to drink, easier to find and much more affordable.  This brew is best suited for the cooler months, although I do think that I could enjoy this at anytime during the day and at any point throughout the year.  I could, literally, see myself drinking this in the mornings with some fried eggs, bacon and toast.  This is one beer that I pick up every year without fail and every year it seems to get better and better.  To me it’s better when fresh, however I have had a few bottles of aged Breakfast Stout and they are still mighty tasty too.

At this point during my “better beer” journey this is my favorite brew.  That’s not saying that I won’t find a beer that’s better, but until I do this Stout will be the standard by which I judge all others.  I’m completely giddy when I know I’m about to open a fresh bottle.  It has an amazing smell, taste and mouthfeel.  In my opinion, it’s easily a world class beer.  I would most definitely suggest this brew if you have never tried it.  It is a seasonal beer, so don’t wait too long before sampling the Founders Breakfast Stout.

Which do you guys prefer?  The KBS, CBS or the traditional Breakfast Stout?  Feel free to leave a comment and let me know.  Or you could discuss it with me on Twitter @BeerApprentice).  You can also find me on Google+ (Beer Apprentice).

Thanks for reading and commenting guys.  I really appreciate it.

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  4.9 out of 5 (my highest score to date)
Grade:  A+

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Posted by on October 24, 2011 in Country: USA, Founders

 

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