Founders: Breakfast Stout (USA: Imperial Stout: 8.3% ABV)

Visual: Black with dashes of coffee brown head.

Nose: Real bitter coffee. Smoke. Roasted nuts. Generally quite bitter.

Body: Bitter chocolate and coffee. Smooth creamy nature. Very good texture. Slick but viscous. Chocolate fondue with toffee traces.

Finish; Dry. Coffee and milky chocolate. Nice roasted nuts and a light roasted hop character.

Conclusion: After KBS I was very happy to see this on tap.  Without the bourbon ageing you get a beer that keeps more to the chocolate and coffee with less of the flourishes, however despite that the texture really helps to sell it.  There is a great mix of slick to grip in such a way that there is no impediment to the bitter coffee coming out to play.

In nearly all ways I will say the KBS is better, as the extra ageing gave it much more room to play. This still does well, with just a hint of toffee sweetness to smooth it out. What you do get from the slightly more simple brew is a finish that never seems to end. You just get coffee floating over the tongue for a seeming eternity. For a strong beer that is a great benefit, an incentive to slow down and take your time. Which I tried to do despite the massive range of great beers that were before me at the time.

Overall an excellent Imperial Stout, in around the same area as Alesmith’s Speedway Stout in that it only suffers in comparison to the massive range some of the top Imperial Stouts have in their flavours.  Unlike Speedway this beers smoothness does a much better job of offsetting the weight and bitterness.  For such a heavy head spinning beer the texture does a great job of keeping it easy to drink.

Very good indeed.

Background: Drunk at the “House Of Brews”. An amazing place with an insane number of bottles and a great place to hang out and enjoy a few beers.  There was such a great vibe that I kept the review quite short so I had more time to talk with everyone there.  I have previously drunk KBS which is a bourbon aged version of this beer, which is a great beer so had high hopes for this on tap. According to ratebeer this is made with oats, chocolate and two types of coffee.  Thanks to everyone, staff and fellow drinkers at the House Of Brews, it made for what was one of the most fun nights of the trip. Oh, I nearly forgot Ratebeer lists this as one of its top 50 highest rated beers, which despite that charts massive Imperial Stout bias is still an impressive feat.