The other night I ventured out to Bodega – which in my [humble] opinion has the best beer list in all of Columbus, Ohio. One of my friends and fellow beer geeks showed up with a rather delightful surprise for me: a bottle of Founders Breakfast Stout – the latest release. Technically, its official release is in September. Lucky for me, I know people. [And yes, I feel special.]
I do not necessarily advocate smuggling beer into bars. BUT, when The Wench has no impulse control when it comes to beer. It was impossible to resist tasting it. And so taste it we did. [Secretly on the patio of course].
There is something quite creepy about drinking a beer with an image of a cartoon baby on it.
Once you get beyond the creepy baby – everything is golden.
We let the beer warm up almost to room temperature before tasting it. The beer poured super thick and oily – just like molasses. The color was so dark it was virtually black. The carbonation level was fairly low. Since I poured it into a small glass from a bottle, there was very little head. [Head color was light caramel.]
The beer had a ridiculously intense aroma of bitter coffee and dark chocolate with hints of oatmeal and roasted malt. If there was any hops in the aroma, I was none the wiser and did not detect them. The beer’s high level of alcohol subtly made its presence known in the aroma.
The taste most definitely delivered. Rich notes of coffee dominated the flavor. The beer was both very bitter and very sweet. Excellent balance of the two tastes. Alcohol also made its presence known in the taste – without being too overbearing. The beer had a very thick and oily mouth-feel and drank like a watered down glass of molasses – very similar to a good espresso. Thick body with minimal carbonation.
For me, this is a half a glass beer – meaning I can only drink it in small doses. Probably would never actually drink it for breakfast, though. However, it would make an excellent dessert beer. I would love to pour it over a few scoops of all-natural vanilla bean or coffee flavored ice cream. Put it in a glass and turn it into an ice cream float!! Mmmm!
I would also consider substituting the beer for water in baking recipes. Picture Breakfast Stout brownies and cupcakes (with a mocha frosting?). Oh my.
Here is Founder’s “official” description of its Breakfast Stout:
You’ve got to love coffee to truly appreciate this phenomenal brew. Brewed with an abundance of flaked oats, bitter and sweetened imported chocolates, Sumatra and Kona coffee. Breakfast Stout has an intense fresh roasted coffee nose topped with a cinnamon colored frothy head that seems to never fade and makes you wish breakfast could last forever. Specs: 8.3% ABV, 25 IBUs
A few months ago I had the opportunity to taste Founders Kentucky Breakfast, the sister beer to the Breakfast Stout. Kentucky Breakfast is brewed with a hint of coffee and vanilla then aged in oak bourbon barrels. Its brewing process ensures that strong bourbon undertones come through in the finish in every batch. And let me tell you, this beer definitely kicked me in the pants. The bourbon undertones are insanely strong and its high level of alcohol is very present in the taste!
According to the Founders website, they are in the process of building a tool that will help people find stores and establishments that sell or serve Founders Ales. Once completed, people can type in a zip code and the distance they willing to travel and be presented with a list of local vendors. Sounds pretty neat. But alas, it is not available yet. Until then, we shall be forced to scout out Founders beer on our own. That’s why its nice to “know” people, eh?
Special thanks to Wildman Dan for giving me the opportunity to enjoy Founders Breakfast Stout, creepy baby and all!!!
Oh, you poor deprived girl. I am shocked, shocked! That you have not had the opportunity to try the gem known as Breakfast stout before. I have plenty of different vintages in my cellar and surely I would have brought one out for the tasting had I known you were so deprived.
It is one of my favourite beers of all time along with Goose Island Bourbon County Stout.
Personally, I like breakfast better than Kentucky breakfast.
Glad you liked the beer, but I go to Bodega so often and am friends with some of the servers, so chances are we wouldn’t have been in trouble if we were caught, just would have had to share ; )
Yay for the Breakfast Stout and Kentucky Breakfast Stout – two of my favorite beers! Grand Rapids is my hometown, so all Founder’s stuff has a place in my heart. My brother and I went to the KBS release this past March, and he’s got tickets for the Sept 20 Founders Breakfast Stout breakfast (http://www.foundersbrewing.com/calendar.html?record_id=434). I’ll be at Independents’ Day in Columbus, otherwise I’d be up there, too!
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on these beers.
Nice review. I so want to try these beers. Unfortunately we don’t get Founders in NYC!