Total Score: 88.5
Into the cellar again for today’s brew, a 2010 vintage Founders Breakfast Stout (for info on Founders Brewing Company check out my review of Founders Nemesis 2010). Breakfast Stout is brewed with flaked oats, imported chocolates, and Sumatra and Kona coffee. As a coffee abstainer, I don’t know anything about either of those types of coffee. I remember drinking a fresh one of these a few years ago and being a bit overwhelmed by the coffee, but still finding it surprisingly decent. Well this is another one that’s been chillin’ for a year, so without further ado…
From the standard stubby Founders bottle this one pours a desolate black with a small, maybe ½ finger, head that’s the color of whole-wheat pasta with shades of ruby. Head is gone in an instant leaving only patches of foam. Lacing is erratic and minimal. Diminished head and lacing is the price of aging I suppose. The smell is titanic, making itself known from several feet away. Coffee prevails more so than any beer I’ve ever smelled, with really very little to complement. Could be more complex, but if all you want is to get cold-cocked by coffee you’ll be more than satisfied. Other smells include coffee, with a hint of coffee, and just smidge of coffee. Bitterness isn’t as potent as many other coffee-smelling beers. As someone who does not like coffee whatsoever, my instinct is to be repulsed, but strangely I’m not. Taste is again coffee-centric, but definitely has some underlying flavors that add complexity. Citric hops are most notable, with bittersweet chocolate only faintly detectable. More citric hops (a la Old Rasputin) would make it better for me. The fullness of the body seems to weigh heavily on the tongue and fill every corner of my mouth, leaving a nearly syrupy slick everywhere as it’s swallowed. Carbonation is low. Aftertaste is bittersweet and moderately dry. Because of the girth of this one, it’s probably more of a sipper than any beer I’ve ever had.
Without a doubt, this is a
desert dessert beer. Intense flavors and mouth would overwhelm just about any food. Could easily satisfy as a stand-alone digestif.
I hate coffee and this beer is all about the coffee, yet I still find it very drinkable. Are there other flavors I would prefer to see in a beer? Absolutely. But if you’re going to make a beer with coffee features, this is how to do it. Obviously, coffee lovers will like this even more than I did.
Look: 9.5/10 Smell: 8.5/10 Taste: 9/10 All-Arount: 8.5/10