Thursday, November 18, 2010

Founders Breakfast Stout

Asked recently which beer I would choose if I could drink only one beer for the rest of my life, I quickly selected the Founders Breakfast Stout. Of course there’s no right answer to this hypothetical question. I couldn’t drink just one beer for the rest of my life. I’d miss clean, cheap domestic lagers on hot summer days. I’d miss Oktoberfest brews in the fall. I’d miss Guinness pints with my bangers and mash. I’d miss Christmas beers. I’d miss malty doppelbocks. I’d miss my go-to style, the porter. While it was very easy for me to commit to one woman for the rest of my life, I would never choose to be married to one single beer. But if you put a gun to my head and made me choose, I’d take the Founders Breakfast Stout. You’re paying, right? I’d like it on tap, in my basement, from here to eternity.

While not a coffee drinker at all, I love, love, love, love, love, LOVE beers with coffee notes. The Breakfast Stout, bountifully infused with Sumatra and Kona coffee, packs a massive but not overdone Java punch. Throw in some flaked oats and a variety of delicious imported chocolates, and you’ve got yourself a veritable meal in a glass. While technically an imperial style stout, it’s considerably more “drinkable” than you might expect. Is it a big beer? Yes. Complex? Absolutely. But forget the usual beer snob jargon – what makes this an incredible beer is that it’s just absolutely delicious. When I think imperial stout, I imagine myself on my recliner, in the dead of winter, tucked under my Snuggie, sipping some hugely-hopped, double-digit ABV monster of a drink for an hour. The Founders Breakfast Stout, on the other hand, goes down so easy that sometimes I’ve emptied my glass before I’ve even had time to savor the flavor! And what a flavor is has: roasty as all get-out, with perfect complements of sweetness and bitterness (60 IBUs). Sure, it’s a double stout with the requisite alcohol kick (8.3 ABV). But you don’t really taste the alcohol – unless your idea of alcohol is a chocolate chip oatmeal cookie!

I don’t get out to the Michigan area often. But when I do, I never fail to pick a 4-pack or two of this gold standard black beer. And then I get back home and drink every bottle within the week, wishing I’d bought more! It’s not cheap, but even at three bucks a bottle or thereabouts, it’s worth every penny and then some! Hell, I’d gladly pay $20 for a four-pack if I had to!

It’s hard to go wrong with any black beer, but Founders Breakfast Stout may be the ultimate black beer. If there’s any other that comes close, it’s probably another Founders beer – the porter!

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