There's really no getting around it: You're going to see us writing an awful lot about stouts as the temperature drops over these next few months. Some of them will be of the big, boozy "Russian Imperial" variety, and some of them will probably be aged in bourbon barrels or infused with sour cherries or bacon or whatever other awesome shit people start doing to these things. To kick off stout season, though, we're going to start with a relatively basic but ridiculously, almost unbelievably delicious interpretation of the style.
Founders' Breakfast Stout is the brewery's fall seasonal release, and it's just hitting shelves in the city this week. According to the label on the bottle, it's a "double chocolate coffee oatmeal stout," which really does serve as an accurate description of what you're getting. There's an initial taste of bittersweet chocolate up front, which then momentarily gives way to a blast of sweetness before finishing like a perfect cup of black coffee. The oatmeal is less apparent, but you'll get hints of it in the aroma if you pay attention. And you really should spend some time with your nose buried in this one—my wife was sitting all the way on the other end of the couch as I drank one of these last night, and she mentioned how strong the scent was, even from a few feet away. The beer shines when it comes to mouthfeel, too. It's not so thick that it's got that chewy feel of some bigger beers, but it leaves a noticeable and pleasant coating across the palate
At 8.3% ABV, Founders Breakfast Stout is certainly on the heartier side, and as it warms you might get the slightest hint of the alcohol in there, but still, the most remarkable thing about it is this beer—aside from its absolutely perfect balance—is how smooth it is, how easily you can convince yourself to open up a second, and how seriously you'll consider not stopping there either. People go crazy for this stuff, and it has nothing to do with it being rare or hyped or absurdly expensive—it just tastes really, really good. Buy a bunch, drink it, then buy a bigger bunch and try to make it last through next year.
Founders Breakfast Stout is available now in 4-packs at Eagle Provisions on 5th Avenue, and should be at all the other fine shops in the city as well.