Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) - Founders Brewing Company
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Ratings: 6,394 | Reviews: 2,320 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by Stevedore:
4.49/5 rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Context: 12oz bottle of the 2013 vintage (just obtained today in the Great KBS Derby of Madison 2013) poured into a Bell's tulip. This is the first I've had of 2013, but I've had 2012 in the past. Disclosures: there is the potential for the extra work of obtaining this beer to influence this review, as I left work early and drove across town to get some.
Aroma: Smells just as good as I remember it. Very big, pungent nose that I can smell coming out of the bottle. Very, very bourbon barrel forward nose- vanilla and oak dominating. There is some dark brewed coffee, and some cocoa and chocolate malt aromas that comes to the front as it warms up. While its dominated by the bourbon barrel characteristics, it's up there with BCBS and Black Note when it comes to aroma.
Colour: Looks great. Pours a viscous jet black body- not quite Ten FIDY but really thick. It may be the way I poured it, but it comes with nearly no head whatsoever and leaves just a thin brown collar. It might have to do with me drying my tulip glass by hand with a towel just before drinking this. I'll revisit when I drink another one in a clean dry glass, but even then- the relative lack of head is pretty typical of imperial stouts. Also, the lacing is pretty average- it's there and sticks, but there isn't a ton of it. Overall it beats some of the other BA stouts I've had but not by much.
Flavour: Nice. The first sip of this beer kicks me in the face with its bourbon barrel-forward character. Tons of vanilla and oak. Just like the nose. It's pretty much all bourbon barrel for the first few minutes. And as it warms up, I can make out cocoa and dark chocolate malt flavours, almost on the bitter side even. Warming up some more, the coffee definitely makes its appearance, tasting like cold brewed coffee- not too stale, not too pungent- not too coffee forward like people seem to always be saying about fresh KBS. A nice progression of flavours that continue to layer on top of each other. It's quite fun to sip on as it goes from fridge-cold to room temperature.
Mouthfeel: Compared to what I remember of last year's, it's actually a bit thicker on the body which I'd classify as on the thinner side of thick body. Last year would be thicker side of medium bodied. This could be pure semantics or pure folly. It's as creamy as ever that leaves my palate with a dry finish. Carbonation is average for beer in general, and is just about right for this kind of beer. The aftertaste is a nice, smooth mix of bitter coffee and chocolate and the bourbon barrel oak flavours. And I definitely feel the heat as the beer warms up to room temperature. This beer doesn't disappoint in the mouthfeel department.
Overall: Despite all the naysayers saying this year's KBS is thinner bodied, has no bourbon, etc., it seems to me that this is the same KBS that we've all come to enjoy. I'm happy to have gotten my hands on some of this year's vintage. It's a nice, complex beer that's great to sip on- it really should be released 3 months earlier in the winter. But anyway, time for the comparison game: is it BCBS? No, but it's much more drinkable out the gates. Is it Black Note? Well, not quite, but it brings its own dimensions that Black Note doesn't. What it isn't is BCBCS, which is my gold standard for bourbon barrel-aged coffee imperial stouts. But that is a high standard to meet, and KBS gets as close to it as I've seen. Peruvian Morning has this same bourbon barrel forward flavour with some coffee flavours, but it's not quite on the level of KBS- I find the body of KBS to be thicker, smoother with more chocolate bitterness. That's sort of nitpicking though. So where does all this leave KBS? It's a fantastic bourbon barrel-aged coffee imperial stout that any BA stout fan would really enjoy and that's as simple as that. Ignore the hype, taste the beer and be happy.
Note: I would consider holding onto this beer for a month or two to see if the bourbon barrel contribution mellows out a bit and to see if you can get some of the underlying malt flavours.
Serving type: bottle
04-03-2013 04:11:39 | More by Stevedore
More User Reviews:
4.21/5 rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Aroma: roasty caramel and molasses. Slight roast barley. Coffee and whiskey are blended nicely, not too up front.
Appearance: black and opaque. Brown head that lingers well for high alcohol level.
Flavor: Slightly astringent whiskey and vanilla up front, mid palate is mostly bitterness, finishes with nice coffee roast bitterness on the sides of the tongue. Whiskey dominates a lot of the flavor notes. No DMS, no diacetyl.
Mouthfeel: Medium-heavy body with medium carbonation.
Overall: Great beer. Can only really drink one but it is really enjoyable. I think I prefer plain breakfast stout though, there is a lot of stuff going on here, a lot of similar bitterness from whiskey, coffee, and roast malt all at the same time.
Serving type: bottle
03-08-2014 00:37:46 | More by PPOmaha
4.48/5 rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75
Very excited to finally try this one.
Beer is jet black with a very small tan head which fades quickly.
Nose is very good. Contains coffee, bourbon, chocolate. Very nice blend of the scents, all well integrated. A bit of vanilla.
Taste is like the nose. Moderately bitter, tasting of both coffee and chocolate. The bourbon is quite present, providing some vanilla and a bit of sweetness that offsets the bitter. Roasted malt. Like the nose, the flavours are super integrated. The bourbon not as intense as expected, but quite present.
Full bodied, moderately carbonated. Some alcohol heat.
Overall, excellent stuff. An extremely well done BBA stout.
Serving type: bottle
03-07-2014 02:50:01 | More by jrenihan
Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 6,394 ratings.