Welcome to BeerAdvocate!

Looking to talk, rate or trade beer? Join today by creating your free account.

Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

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

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

  1. starrdogg

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    Posts:
    938
    Likes Received:
    719
    Location:
    District of Columbia
    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. Extravadanza

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2011
    Posts:
    137
    Likes Received:
    143
    Location:
    Ohio
    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. jebsinger

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2012
    Posts:
    139
    Likes Received:
    67
    Location:
    Minnesota
    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

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    Posts:
    10
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    Ohio
    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

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2012
    Posts:
    1,132
    Likes Received:
    2,743
    Location:
    Nauru
    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. starrdogg

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    Posts:
    938
    Likes Received:
    719
    Location:
    District of Columbia
    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

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2008
    Posts:
    1,442
    Likes Received:
    2,698
    Location:
    Indiana
    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

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2012
    Posts:
    3,159
    Likes Received:
    3,433
    Location:
    California
    Super easy to get trading....

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

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2011
    Posts:
    1,887
    Likes Received:
    1,109
    Location:
    New York
    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

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    May 28, 2010
    Posts:
    1,390
    Likes Received:
    835
    Location:
    Virginia
    seek out Dark Horse BB Pt5.
    imo, far better than KBS or Goose Island BCS
     
    beesy, seeswo, bdonley5 and 17 others like this.
  11. starrdogg

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    Posts:
    938
    Likes Received:
    719
    Location:
    District of Columbia
    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

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2012
    Posts:
    3,159
    Likes Received:
    3,433
    Location:
    California
    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

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2010
    Posts:
    530
    Likes Received:
    935
    Location:
    Ohio
    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

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
    Posts:
    1,454
    Likes Received:
    1,018
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    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. coreyfmcdonald

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008
    Posts:
    632
    Likes Received:
    494
    Location:
    Georgia
    Parabola should certainly be in that group of relatively widely available, top tier barrel aged stouts.
     
  16. M1A2

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2012
    Posts:
    187
    Likes Received:
    434
    Location:
    Ohio
    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

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2011
    Posts:
    1,077
    Likes Received:
    1,823
    Location:
    Belgium
    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

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2010
    Posts:
    530
    Likes Received:
    935
    Location:
    Ohio
    Abyss isnt a bad option either.
     
  19. BearsOnAcid

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    Posts:
    3,007
    Likes Received:
    3,010
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    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. starrdogg

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    Posts:
    938
    Likes Received:
    719
    Location:
    District of Columbia
    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

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2012
    Posts:
    3,159
    Likes Received:
    3,433
    Location:
    California
    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

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2012
    Posts:
    131
    Likes Received:
    110
    Location:
    Virginia
    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. BearsOnAcid

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    Posts:
    3,007
    Likes Received:
    3,010
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    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

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2005
    Posts:
    26
    Likes Received:
    43
    Location:
    Washington
    Struise Cuvée Delphine
     
    gpawned, BobZ, kojevergas and 3 others like this.
  25. Devi0us

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    Posts:
    544
    Likes Received:
    1,682
    Location:
    California
    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

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2012
    Posts:
    3,159
    Likes Received:
    3,433
    Location:
    California
    Parabola has too much of that "tobacco" flavor in it for me.
     
    JohnB87 likes this.
  27. alexipa

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2011
    Posts:
    766
    Likes Received:
    609
    Location:
    Colorado
    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

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    May 16, 2010
    Posts:
    134
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    Kansas
    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. Nicolay3535

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    May 1, 2012
    Posts:
    165
    Likes Received:
    106
    Location:
    Florida
    I would put Old Hickory Event Horizon up there as well, very delicious brew.
     
    nUgZ, UNCCTDawg and nc41 like this.
  30. Devi0us

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    Posts:
    544
    Likes Received:
    1,682
    Location:
    California
    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. tehzachatak

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2010
    Posts:
    1,006
    Likes Received:
    840
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    I think Parabola absolutely obliterates BCBS.
     
  32. brewbetter

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2012
    Posts:
    1,132
    Likes Received:
    2,743
    Location:
    Nauru
    I used to live within their distro, but last year, I only got 1 bottle for $11.99...
     
  33. starrdogg

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    Posts:
    938
    Likes Received:
    719
    Location:
    District of Columbia
    Man, KBS is getting killed in this thread!
     
  34. evilc

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2012
    Posts:
    3,159
    Likes Received:
    3,433
    Location:
    California
    Release in a few months - time to drive down the value :)
     
    AmitC, lvoutlawjlh, ColdOne and 13 others like this.
  35. Devi0us

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    Posts:
    544
    Likes Received:
    1,682
    Location:
    California
    Not only in this thread, but by other beers...

    Cheers!
     
  36. codysjb

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2010
    Posts:
    419
    Likes Received:
    244
    Location:
    Prince Edward Island (Canada)

    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

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2012
    Posts:
    277
    Likes Received:
    482
    Location:
    Illinois
    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

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Posts:
    1,032
    Likes Received:
    1,422
    Location:
    Missouri
    In hype? Yes.
     
  39. DevilsCups

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2010
    Posts:
    460
    Likes Received:
    439
    Location:
    New York
    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.
  40. Trevdawg

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2012
    Posts:
    374
    Likes Received:
    419
    Location:
    New Hampshire
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe