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Do Bourbon County Stout and KBS just dominate other bourbon barrel stouts?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by starrdogg, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. So I've been at this beer thing for a long while and I've tried a ton of bourbon barrel stouts from breweries all over the country. In the end, however, I've largely given up seeking out new ones because it's so rare that any of them rise above BCBS or KBS, two beers that are a lot easier to get than the rare one-offs. Those beers are just spectacular, and with the rare exception (Bourbon Vanilla Dark Lord), they are just flat-out better than any of the rest of the bourbon barrel aged stouts out there right now. Most new ones I've tried have similar flavor profiles to either BCBS or KBS, but just don't come together as well. Is there any reason to continue my search for new bourbon barrel stouts, or should I just settle in with BCBS and KBS for the foreseeable future?
    Larkin4beer and zchall23 like this.
  2. I have not had KBS as of yet, but after finally getting BCBS from this year (while amazing) my personal taste likes BA BORIS from Hoppin Frog which is a lot easier to find and BA Siberian Night from Thirsty Dog (my all time fav) but they don't bottle that :(
    YogiBeer likes this.
  3. i'd throw CW Bourbon Barrel Stout out there as something up there with those ones... well kinda up there, its a little less flavor but damn good.
  4. misfit1034

    misfit1034 Aficionado (160) Ohio Dec 29, 2009

    I recently had Epic's Big Bad Baptist and I think it blows KBS away. I am also a fan of BA Boris and Black Ops over KBS. I have never had BCBS so I don't know how it stacks up
    nUgZ, ripps1, Hopstout and 4 others like this.
  5. brewbetter

    brewbetter Savant (400) Nauru Jun 2, 2012

    KBS is NOT easy to get. I wouldn't be surprised if they make 10x as much BCBS as KBS...
    Cyclone8, BobZ and DevilsCups like this.
  6. I actually had no idea that Big Bad Baptist was barrel-aged! This is good to know. Perhaps I'll have to pick up a bottle the next time I see it. It's pretty easy to come by.
    nUgZ likes this.
  7. dsal89

    dsal89 Advocate (505) Indiana Jul 6, 2008

    They dont bottle their stuff but all of the BA stouts ive had from Haymarket have been outstanding. To the point where im not sure which one i would choose between bcbs and clares thirsty ale or acrimonious.
    C2H5 and funhog like this.
  8. evilc

    evilc Initiate (0) California Jan 27, 2012

    Super easy to get trading....

    I think I went through 2 cases at least last year.
  9. Bluecane

    Bluecane Initiate (0) New York Dec 30, 2011

    BA Speedway is the best Bourbon stout I've had so far, even over KBS and (12 oz) 2009 BCBS. For stouts aged in any barrel, Peg's RareR DOS and Apple Brandy Marshal Zhukov are just fantastic.
    dman5400, MrHolland10 and Nicolay3535 like this.
  10. ncaudle

    ncaudle Advocate (605) Virginia May 28, 2010

    seek out Dark Horse BB Pt5.
    imo, far better than KBS or Goose Island BCS
    beesy, seeswo, bdonley5 and 17 others like this.
  11. I guess I was speaking relative to something like BA Speedway or another brewery-only release. Founders has a rather wide distribution, and if you live in a place where they distribute, you can usually find some. I've been able to get 1-2 4 packs every year.
  12. evilc

    evilc Initiate (0) California Jan 27, 2012

    Agree that BBPt5 blows away KBS. BCBS not so much, different beers. KBS/BBPt5 do the coffee thing, BCBS is all barrel.
    zchall23, greenmonstah and Marti403 like this.
  13. JM03

    JM03 Initiate (0) Ohio Nov 12, 2010

    I think the only reason it seems they "dominate" is that they are far more available than most others. There are many others that are close to as good or even better but are tougher to come by.
    PittBeerGirl and codysjb like this.
  14. xnicknj

    xnicknj Advocate (730) Pennsylvania May 25, 2009

    i agree. having sampled a ton of BA stouts at this point, KBS and BCBS seem to at least equal, if not surpass many other harder to get beers. i would even almost use the same example as you for a rare beer that really blows most other things away - Brandy Vanilla DL.
  15. Parabola should certainly be in that group of relatively widely available, top tier barrel aged stouts.
  16. M1A2

    M1A2 Savant (425) Ohio Jan 15, 2012

    I say keep seeking out others to try, but in the end i feel the same way about BCBS and KBS. They are hard to top when it comes to BA stouts (with the exception of a few super hard to get BA stouts Rare, BA Darklord ect ect). I also would add BAPT5 into the mix. This is just like my opinion though.......
  17. Dennoman

    Dennoman Savant (495) Belgium Aug 20, 2011

    2011 BBAPT5 destroyed both fresh 2012 BCBS and KBS for me. BCBS with some age on it though... no contest.
    beerhan and Marti403 like this.
  18. JM03

    JM03 Initiate (0) Ohio Nov 12, 2010

    Abyss isnt a bad option either.
  19. Everytime I've had KBS in large stout tastings it has always trailed far behind the pack in flavor and mouthfeel. I honestly don't get why there's such a large demand for it anymore.
  20. Admittedly, I was kinda lukewarm on KBS until the 2012 batch. I don't know if it was just significantly better than past batches, or if I finally came around to that beer, but now it's one of my all-time favorites.
  21. evilc

    evilc Initiate (0) California Jan 27, 2012

    Yeah - it's one you need to have alone. It is very thin and lacks barrel character when up against the others. For a nice, rich coffee stout with slight barrel notes, by itself - I love it.
    jawzman likes this.
  22. legend8706

    legend8706 Savant (310) Virginia Oct 31, 2012

    I absolutely loved BCBS, trying it for the first time this year! I have a nice assortment of Bourbon Barrel Aged Stouts right now, I just need some KBS! Hopefully distribution makes to little ole Roanoke in April!!
  23. I would rather go for Big Bad Baptist in that case. Even Speedway stout with a splash of bourbon is better than KBS, IMO.
  24. GCurlow

    GCurlow Aficionado (205) Washington Oct 13, 2005

    Struise Cuvée Delphine
    gpawned, BobZ, kojevergas and 3 others like this.
  25. Devi0us

    Devi0us Advocate (555) California May 3, 2011

    I'd take a Parabola anyday and twice on Sundays over KBS...It would be a toss-up between BCBC and Parabola...Now if they bottled Apple Brandy Hunahpu's, that's a different story...

    Cheers!
    dman5400 and gpawned like this.
  26. evilc

    evilc Initiate (0) California Jan 27, 2012

    Parabola has too much of that "tobacco" flavor in it for me.
    JohnB87 likes this.
  27. alexipa

    alexipa Savant (410) Colorado Oct 7, 2011

    Parabola and Uncle Jacob's are the two best for me, followed by BCBS. KBS is not in the discussion, in my opinion.
    IMSPEAKNOENGLISH likes this.
  28. JeepCop

    JeepCop Aficionado (235) Kansas May 16, 2010

    BCBS is tops for me and Parabola is a close 2nd. I've got some BBPt5th on the way, so I'll have to revisit that soon. As far as KBS goes... highly overrated IMO.
    JimPapadop likes this.
  29. I would put Old Hickory Event Horizon up there as well, very delicious brew.
    nUgZ, UNCCTDawg and nc41 like this.
  30. Devi0us

    Devi0us Advocate (555) California May 3, 2011

    I completely agree with you...I rather have regular old Founders Imperial Stout anyday over KBS...I've have KBS several times by itself and in tastings and it just doesn't do it for me...Same goes for CBS, just not feelin' it...

    Cheers!
  31. I think Parabola absolutely obliterates BCBS.
  32. brewbetter

    brewbetter Savant (400) Nauru Jun 2, 2012

    I used to live within their distro, but last year, I only got 1 bottle for $11.99...
  33. Man, KBS is getting killed in this thread!
  34. evilc

    evilc Initiate (0) California Jan 27, 2012

    Release in a few months - time to drive down the value :)
    AmitC, lvoutlawjlh, ColdOne and 13 others like this.
  35. Devi0us

    Devi0us Advocate (555) California May 3, 2011

    Not only in this thread, but by other beers...

    Cheers!
  36. codysjb

    codysjb Savant (400) Florida Jun 16, 2010


    This. I mean they aren't necessarily off the shelf beers (although BCBS may become one), they aren't terribly hard to get. Yes there are the truck chasers to always arrive and wait at beer stores for KBS but in reality it seems like you can easily attain KBS the weekend it comes out if you do your homework and spend a couple hours driving (not driving a couple hours to a store but rather driving to several stores around the area for a few hours on a Saturday). Realistically I think we would see KBS and BCBS dominated by other beers (BA DL, Bourbon County variants, Damon, Parabola,...) is they were in 12oz bottles and easily available but they just dont have the numbers that KBS and BCBS do hence the reason why these two are always wanted and usually two of the first wants for new BA's that are just starting to learn about beer.
    JM03 likes this.
  37. AJDePaul

    AJDePaul Savant (280) Illinois Jun 29, 2012

    Thanks to this thread I have added 5+ beers to my wants list. Thanks everyone!

    I am fairly new to the barrel aged stout game. I've had the pleasure of trying Apple Brandy Huna... absolutely mind blowing. Parabola is fantastic and is right on par with BCBS. BA Boris, while good is not at the same level. CW BBS is fantastic but a different brew than Parabola and BCBS and thus shouldn't really be compared apples to apples.

    Still waiting to try my first KBS along with the now added wants of Big Bad Baptist, Event Horizon, Uncle Jacobs, etc...

    Great thread
    ESeab likes this.
  38. CellarGimp

    CellarGimp Savant (465) Missouri Sep 14, 2011

    In hype? Yes.
  39. DevilsCups

    DevilsCups Savant (330) New York Mar 3, 2010

    KBS is my all time favorite beer. That said, Parabola and Black Xantus are not far behind. I like my BA stouts with some coffee. I love BCBS as well (especially BCBCS), but those are currently my top 3.

    Never stop seeking out new things to try. At one point in life, that "new thing to try" was KBS/BCBS.
    rhoadester69 likes this.

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