This is my favorite time of the year. I love the fall and the winter. I love the holiday season. But it also so happens to be stout season! My favorite style.
This was originally intended to be one of the first articles written for DocHopHead. There were numerous reasons that I thought that it needed to be mentioned. One was because it was so highly recommended. Another was that it was highly recommended and it is easily found in North Texas. It distributes here from Founders and it is NOT a limited supply like their highly sought after Kentucky Breakfast Stout. In fact, if you check all the other beers that rank above this one in the BeerAdvocate 250 list, you’ll only find one that ships here and is not a very limited release. That is Atrial Rubicite by Jester King.
However, the Breakfast Stout is seasonal. By the time I was ready to write the article in April, it was already gone from the shelves. I was quite disappointed. But I wasn’t heartbroken as my first impressions were mediocre. Well, it’s back for stout season! And now I’ve had more time to reacquaint myself with it. Like other beers that I’ve drank repeatedly over time, this one grew on me. If you’re an Imperial Stout fanatic like I am, this needs to be on your short list. In fact, that short list really should only have this one beer on it. Now, I’m not saying that you’re going to like it, not at first. But there’s no denying that this beer is bold. If you don’t don’t like at first try, definitely stash some away and come back to it weeks or even months later.
Like almost every other Imperial Stout out there, it is pretty much an opaque black. It has a moderate light brown creamy head with mild carbonation. The head is dense but not excessively so and it has mild retention with minimal lacing. The aroma is where it gets interesting. If you’re an Imperial Stout drinker, you’ve probably had stouts infused with coffee or espresso before. The coffee in those other stouts are basically pansies compared to this. This beer is aptly named “Breakfast Stout”. Coffee notes pour out of this thing. I almost feel like I need a bowl of oatmeal (as suggested by the label) when I smell this beer. There is another aroma that I can’t quite place. Roasted coffee? Burnt brown sugar? It’s hard to describe. But it’s very intense. The first taste is to your taste buds as the aroma is to your nose. It’s big and it’s bold with coffee, coffee, COFFEE! Those burnt/roasted undertones are there as well. It’s one of few beers that I’ve had where the flavors vary little from start, to middle to finish. And there is little aftertaste. It’s not quite as creamy as a Ten Fidy. It has a thinner body and mild carbonation. And its not overly alcoholic (8.30% ABV) compared to other Imperial Stouts, so having a couple of these is not a stretch. And I found myself wanting to come back to it over and over. It was like I was rediscovering something new with each new tasting. Try it for yourself and see what the fuss is about, but don’t wait too long, it’s only here until December.