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Breakfast Stout

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Founders Brewing Co.
Grand Rapids, MI

Style: Stout
ABV: 8.3%

Eddie’s Rating:
one beerone beerone beerone beerone beer   (World class.)

In this world there are very few perfect truths. I happened across one of these rarities while reading an issue of the Great Lakes Brewing News a while back. At the bottom of an ad for Founders Breakfast Stout—beneath an illustration of a Norman Rockwellesque, bibbed kid chowing down on a bowl of oatmeal emblazoned with the Founders logo—I read the following:

“You can’t drink all day unless you start in the morning.”

Never a purer truth hath been uttered.

Welcome to the Beer Dorks’ Founders Breakfast Stout review. To start, I’d like to point out that this beer is not, in fact, a non-bourbon-barrel-aged version of Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout. Indeed, it is a completely different recipe. The bottle labeling calls it a “double chocolate coffee oatmeal stout.” Well, that doesn’t sound complex at all.

This brew doesn’t pour out of the bottle—it oozes. It’s an inky, impenetrable black, so thick you’d swear there were chunks in it. The head that froths across the top of the pour would put a milkshake to shame: dark, dark tan, thick bubbles, luscious consistency. It sits around thick and heavy for the entire drink.

The nose is rich, extremely dark chocolate and mildly roasted coffee, stirred in with vanilla and baked oatmeal. The smell alone is intoxicating in it’s richness. And the taste is not far behind.

The body is thick and heavy, but not nearly as big as you’d expect given the molasses-like pour. Instead it’s sinfully smooth, chocolaty semi-sweetness, helped along by a generous amount of oiliness from the oats. That archaic grain also adds some nuttiness that melds beautifully with the chocolate, adding yet another facet of flavor. The finish is a couple of miles long—you’ll taste the sip long after it’s down your throat.

The best way to get all the flavor from this beer is to serve it warmer rather than colder—take it out of the fridge and let it sit 20 minutes before pouring. Even then you won’t taste so much as a trace of its 8.3 percent ABV. I could go on and talk about firing up a cig after drinking this ridiculously good beer even though I don’t smoke, or make allusions to how it’s better than sex, but we’ll eschew all that randiness and say it like it is: this is one of the best beers on planet Earth.

P.S. I’m not big on drinking before noon, but I KNOW I would be able to drink one of these for breakfast.

Reviewed by Eddie Glick on February 28, 2008.
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