Okay, back to beer time. I’m not under the influence this time around (beyond the half-glass I’ve consumed) so I’m less likely to go off on odd tangents, regardless of their justifiability. In a defining moment of redundancy, I decided to put up a blog post about one of the most heavily reviewed beers in North America: Founders’ double-chocolate, coffee and oatmeal stout referred to as their Breakfast Stout.
Founders are a bit of a rarity around the northwest, especially in Canada, due to lack of nearby distribution. Dedicated beer nerds find a way though. Myself, I lucked out by having a friend bring this bottle back for me from his trip to Philly. Naturally, it was on the bucket list so I’m very thankful for its being delivered to me. Perhaps their KBS is a little more popular, but Breakfast Stout is right up there. When I wandered over to BeerAdvocate I discovered a 100 rating both by user input and “The Bros”. That’s about as impressive as it gets over there.
My review was -7.3% from the BA average, but that’s not because I didn’t like it. I really, really like it. I just don’t think it’s the be-all, end-all breakfast stout. But jeez, it’s close.
I won’t go into a lot of detail about the appearance, because it’s a stout. You can see above. It’s fairly inky, though not thick as it pours. Head is minimal. Not notable. However, things start to pick up on the aroma: bitter chocolate mixed with oats, and a huge fresh coffee presence, like sticking your face into a bag of fresh grounds. It’s so fresh and prominent that you can really dig into the details about the beans and their roast: the roast comes across pretty light, while the beans are fruity and nutty. Most excellent. This is the blur of a beer nerd and a coffee nerd’s delight.
Taste follows with baker’s chocolate coated granola bar on the front half, backed by some coffee towards the back end. Not nearly as much coffee as the aroma, but still very much present. Medium roast coffee I would say, not overly roasty. The chocolate is pretty prominent but absolutely sugarless in flavour – there is very little sweetness and there is correspondingly very little bitterness to balance it off.
For me the surprise was the body of the beer, which was definitely on the thin side. It was still creamy and rich and by no means bad, but it did not have the viscous quality I cross my fingers for in a big stout. That’s okay though, it’s not like the beer needs it at all. It drinks more like a coffee in terms of body.
I would love to have another and I’ve never had a breakfast stout so full of explosive flavour. It’s not my favourite nor even in my top 5 stouts, but it’s still right up there and just awesome in its own right.