- Many styles of beer should not be aged. Other styles are great for aging.
- The beer should become smoother and less boozy.
- The flavor of the beer should become more complex.
We were excited to pop open a Breakfast Stout from 2012 and compare it to a 2011 which we had stored in our cellar. Let’s go through our theories:
Many styles of beer should not be aged. Other styles are great for aging.
Stouts are a good choice for aging, usually. We aged a stout. So far, so good.
The beer should become smoother and less boozy.
Interestingly, this theory doesn’t seem to apply to Breakfast Stout. The 2012 was equally as boozy as the 2011, which really wasn’t overly much. And the 2012 is much smoother than the ’11. *more to follow regarding the smoothness
The flavor of the beer should become more complex.
Sort of. We have tried to cellar other coffee-forward beers before and they just don’t seem to work. The coffee either disappears completely or it turns into a bitter, burned coffee grounds flavor. 2011 Breakfast Stout definitely had the bitter coffee grounds flavor. This may be what led to the lack of smoothness in this beer. The bitterness was simply overpowering. And that flavor came out even more as the beer warmed.
What does that mean?
Don’t age Breakfast Stout. This beer is amazing when it is fresh and less amazing when it is old. So drink it when it comes out. I also contend that perhaps coffee stouts shouldn’t be aged. We have never had success with them retaining their original coffee goodness.
Founders Breakfast Stout
I am going to review the 2012 bottle since it is oh so yummy. Breakfast Stout pours a dark black color. Sniffing this beer leads to a sense of unwrapping a bar of chocolate. The first sip, however, yields an intense coffee flavor. This beer is very smooth without any hint of booziness. As it warms, the chocolate flavor becomes more apparent. But the coffee continues to be the star. If you love coffee, pick up a few bottles of this delectable beer. Go ahead and drink it with breakfast. That is what the title suggests and I whole-heartedly agree. I also think you could drink this beer at any time of the day or night and be perfectly happy. This is one of my favorite readily available (in Cleveland) beers.