PilsnerPeter (3030) - Flushing, New York, USA - AUG 18, 2008
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle: (received in a trade about 6 months ago, but I forget from who. Thanks though) Pours opaque with a fading, very deep brown head. The aroma is pungent and charred. Smells like old/used coffee grinds, an ash tray with water poured into it, a touch of vanilla/booze sweet undertones, and lots of whiskey/oak character. A bit harsh. The body has a substantial feel without being cloying. Starts off harsh and one dimensional with just the base beer character showing it’s overwhelming coffee grind flavor. However, as it warms a touch of vanilla comes through, followed by more bourbon/cask character. The sweetness from the barrel balanced the base beers homogeneous bitter coffee grind character. (I’m not really a fan of the Founders Breakfast Stout) But this stuff gained a lot from the barrel, giving it that bourbon sweet bite and balancing the harshness. It worked out really well. This is significantly better than the Breakfast Stout (which had no subtleties) In short, the barrel character saved the beer and gave it some nuances to enjoy.
craftbeerdesign (2250) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - AUG 15, 2008
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: MAR 25, 2011 2011 and 2010 vertical on 3/25/11.
2011 bottle pours black with a slim tan head. sweet vanilla nose with some bourbon seeping through along with light coffee and chocolate notes. not sure what happened here, but I feel this years batch is off a bit. medium body - very creamy throughout. well blended mix of bourbon, vanilla, coffee and chocolate. sweet, bitter and coffee infused finish with a nice layer of bourbon.
pours black with a slim tan head. the coffee has faded on this vintage with the bourbon coming through a bit stronger. solid body with subtle coffee notes, big chocolate candy bar notes, light bourbon and big oats. very smooth throughout. this vintage feels more balanced. still bitter on the finish with coffee, chocolate and light vanilla with notes of bourbon seeping through.
2010 bottle on 8/15/10. deep black pour with a thinner 1/8" tan head which fades to a thin lacing. wonderful nose full of sweet chocolate, deep espresso and lots of bourbon. as the beer warms and recedes in the glass, the coffee notes become more pronounced, while the bourbon fades off. Fresh from the bottle pour, there is a perfect blend of coffee and bourbon. Sweet chocolate thick body (almost chewy), with lots of vanilla, oak, bourbon and smooth dark roasted coffee. It really doesn’t get much better than this. On the finish, the bitterness comes forward and you can really feel the 70 IBUs on this. A dark piece of chocolate coated with espresso beans soaked in bourbon. A true masterpiece by Founders.
2010 bottle on 3/19/10. pours a dark black with a 1 finger tan frothy head... big coffee and bourbon nose... really deep roast. medium body with vanilla, bourbon, lots of coffee and some smooth dark chocolate. big bourbon finish with more chocolate... outstanding, but I think it will continue to get better with age.
2006 bottle thanks to TBC. This rating and bottle is to celebrate the birth of my daughter... I’ve been saving this bottle for a special occasion... pours a deep dark black with a good size tan head. aromas of bourbon, coffee, licorice and vanilla. simply outstanding... nice solid body over the palate with the licorice coming through strong on the front of the palate and the bourbon aged barrels on the finish. coffee undertones on the sides and deep roasted malts throughout. Founders has crafted a world class beer and deserves all the hype surrounding this beer.
marchcow (664) - Coralville, Iowa, USA - AUG 10, 2008
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Strong and rich with a very thick palate and well balanced flavors of oak, coffee, vanilla, malt and chocolate. Deep dark with a reddish brown head. Very good.
Praetorian (86) - Los Angeles, California, USA - AUG 7, 2008
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours like motor oil with a very small head but has good lacing. The aroma is of minerals, bitter black coffee and dirt. Has a flavor of coffee with notes of chocolate and oak. Full bodied and very bitter throughout with a syrupy texture. A good stout, but very harsh-not for beginners.
m4rest88 (387) - Beverly Hills, California, USA - AUG 7, 2008
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours with virtually no head. The body is murky with no particles. The body hue is a very dark brown color, maybe even black.
The aroma of the beer is very moldy, minerally, with a hint of a cobweb scent. - Smells a little like an attic that hasnt been opened up in years.
The initial flavor is moderately sweet with the finish being heavily bitter. The body feels full to the palate and the texture feels syrupy. The beer has soft carbonation. A little Disappointed by this beer.
ajm (1066) - Los Angeles, California, USA - AUG 7, 2008
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: APR 15, 2009 My thanks to nbutler11 for splitting a bottle with me. This bad boy smells like 7-11s used to in the eighties: old coffee and ice. The aroma and the flavor are even layers of coffee, roast, and charcoal, creating a monument of texture and power - monumental, but not super complex, which is why I couldn’t do more in the Palate category. Obviously a masterpiece.
BMan1113VR (7904) - Los Angeles, California, USA - AUG 7, 2008
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle thanks to mibirder. Pours like ink. Black body with a small and quickly leaving brown head. Alcohol legs and good lacing. Aroma of black coffee, chocolate, dirt, minerally, and light burbon. Taste is burbon, chocolate, and dark coffee. Syrupy mouthfeel, little lively bubbles and a long finish. Good beer, but not really a 4.2 beer.
nbutler11 (1267) - Rota, SPAIN - AUG 6, 2008
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Poured pitch black from the bottle with a tan head of foam. Permeates the smell of burnt coffee. Loaded with the flavors of coffee, cocoa, oatmeal, and a faint note of bourbon. Plenty of heat on the finish with a dry aftertaste.
PhillyBeer2112 (2653) - Oviedo, Florida, USA - AUG 4, 2008
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Thanks Santa! Hmmm, a bit unbalanced! Poured a deep black, dark brown head, 2 fingers thick. Aroma is all over the map, with oak, vanilla, coffee, milk chocolate, roasted malt, some resiny hop, and alcohol and swirling and competing for attention. The flavor is quite similar, very sweet and heavy. I think their regular Breakfast stout is a better beer, showcasing the coffee without the bourbon character smearing it all up.
IMtheOptimator (1164) - Bethel, Connecticut, USA - AUG 3, 2008
3.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Poured a thick black with a small semi-creamy brown head. Rich and complex aroma of lightly buttery bourbon, coffee and half and half, chocolate, fruits, and a bit of alcohol. A stoutish aroma with the depth of one from a good barley wine. Taste, for me, is comparatively disappointing. Lots of heavy alcohol and bittering hops dominate the palate, overshadowing virtually everything. If I strain, I maybe could find some roasted coffee and buttery bourbon, but it would probably be more confirmation bias than anything else. If I were to close my eyes, I probably wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between this and a similarly over-the-top bitter and alcoholic barley wine or double IPA. Normally this happens when I drink an imperial stout too cold, but that is hardly the case here. I decanted it at room temperature in a brandy snifter, and it still tastes like this. My only regret is that my fair and honest score, though below this beer’s average, doesn’t quite articulate my disappointment with this beer.