Founders KBS 2018 vs Past KBS Releases...

Discussion in 'Cellaring / Aging Beer' started by Fear4Beer, Apr 4, 2018.

  1. Fear4Beer

    Fear4Beer Aspirant (208) Mar 8, 2012 Pennsylvania

    I found KBS at my local beer store. $23.99 for a four pack (my local store just got their batch in today. 1 four pack per person). I tried searching and I don't see any threads like the one I'm submitting (sorry if I'm incorrect) but I was wondering if anyone who got the 2018 KBS can compare this to past years. Has anything changed in the brew?

    I was thinking of cellaring maybe two of them. Just so I can get a sense of how it ages. This is the first time I've been able to get KBS. I did see a thread here on the forums saying that people who aged the 2012 version thought it tasted REALLY good while some people who aged the 2017 version didn't think it was worth it.

    Give me your wisdom. :slight_smile:

    I'm curious if the 2018 tastes different to you compared to the 2017 version and prior years.
  2. mig100

    mig100 Meyvn (1,006) Aug 3, 2014 Texas

    Fresh is likely best depending on your preference, but it can still be fun to age a bottle or two and see how they change over time.

    Just know that adjuncts will fade with time, especially coffee. Any opinions you get here will be extremely subjective so best to find out on your own.
    Sirnickatnite and jrnyc like this.
  3. youradhere

    youradhere Zealot (516) Feb 29, 2008 Washington

    Come on, put 2 away and drink one in 6 months and one in 12 months.... you know you want to.... :slight_smile:
  4. dlcarst

    dlcarst Initiate (88) Aug 21, 2015 Illinois

    Do you like KBS because of the coffee and chocolate? Then drink within 6 months. They fade pretty quickly. Bourbon fades as well, though more slowly. I personally can't understand why people age this beer other than for the fun of drinking old beer, because everything that makes KBS amazing diminishes over time.
  5. BenHoppy

    BenHoppy Zealot (520) Nov 15, 2017 Michigan

    I have to agree with @dlcarst for the most part that KBS loses what makes KBS KBS when aged and this is my experience with 2017 version.

    However OP asked has anything changed in 2018 version? I'd say yes. Bourbon flavor is already stale and tamed/faded as well is coffee and chocolate. 2018 was a terrible version of KBS and I hope Founders makes it good again in 2019.

    Now my theory on KBS is every year is a different batch. 2017 was so good fresh that aging just destroyed it. 2018 I had and wasn't impressed. I have been told by couple others that 2015 @ 3 years was delicious but never any other was that good when aged. My theory 2018 has potential to age for 3 years. I drunk 1 2018 and aging other 3. But why? I love KBS fresh.

    Because 2018 fresh didn't impress me. I have nothing to lose but to test it. Maybe 2018 is like 2015 whereas the 2018 in 2021 will actually taste delicious. So my take is age 1 every year for 3 years and drink a vertical as 2018 would be a perfect KBS candidate to test out 3 years.
    Dan411 likes this.
  6. mig100

    mig100 Meyvn (1,006) Aug 3, 2014 Texas

    I drank a 2018 last night and thought it was just as good as 2017 was fresh. A lot of things can effect your palette and experience, but this is why I told the OP to find out for himself. Everyone is different.

    I do have a 2015 that I'm going to crack this weekend, will report back.
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  7. BenHoppy

    BenHoppy Zealot (520) Nov 15, 2017 Michigan

    I found 2017 to be very bourbon forward with flavors of chocolate, coffee, and coconut. 2018 seemed imbalanced and not very flavorful with a very mild stale bourbon. So my question is when you had your recent 2018 did you get a lot of bourbon flavor?
    mig100 likes this.
  8. mig100

    mig100 Meyvn (1,006) Aug 3, 2014 Texas

    I don't know that I would classify it as "a lot" but I definitely got it. I felt that it was overall smoother than 2017, more similar to the mouthfeel of CBS, a little less cigarette flavor than 2017 and 2016.

    I feel like since about 2015 KBS has really had a cigarette smoke flavor to it (the way the coffee and the bourbon mix?) which I don't remember from earlier years (2012-2014). I also think the OG KBS recipe had some vanilla in it, can't remember where I read that though.

    I preferred this years KBS pretty warm, for what it's worth. It's definitely changed a lot over the years.
    Beer_Economicus likes this.
  9. djkman

    djkman Aspirant (245) Jun 18, 2012 New Jersey

    I figured this was the most appropriate place to post this. Despite all the reviews on what to do and what not to do with KBS, I am sticking to my tradition. 2017 bottle up, one 2018 bottle to the cellar. And my other 2018 bottles to be shared and enjoyed.
  10. BigIslandfarmer

    BigIslandfarmer Aspirant (265) Sep 30, 2016 Minnesota

    Doing a side by side comparison of KBS 17 & KBS 18. KBS 17 was stored at 52° since purchase. KBS 18 was placed in cellar after purchase, so both beers are at same temperature.

    KBS 18 has much more carbonation leading to a dense, steady head. Both are the same color, black/very dark brown.

    Bourbon leads the aroma of the 18, while chocolate leads in the 17. Both share vanilla, coffee, & oak.

    Taste follows smell in both vintages, with more bourbon heat in the fresh bottle. Chocolate, vanilla, and coffee seem more noticeable in the 17. Slight oxidation in the 17 adds to the enjoyment.

    The 17 seems to have a thicker mouthfeel at cellar temp, do to less carbonation. Once allowed to warm to room temp both years are very similar in mouthfeel.

    Overall, I prefer the 17. Whether that is do to age, or batch variation is the question. I have one more bomber of the 17, which I will continue to age, & try at 3 years.

  11. mig100

    mig100 Meyvn (1,006) Aug 3, 2014 Texas

    Just cracked a 2015. Bottled 2/12/2015. 11.2% abv.

    Right away oxidation is noticeable in the head, which is still present, but mainly a ring of larger bubbles. Nose is massive chocolate - smells great, even somewhat fudgey, some bourbon is present, not getting any real coffee.

    Taste is chocolate (less so than the nose), definitely stale coffee flavor coming through, slight bourbon. Mouthfeel is immediately apparent as flat, although smooth and not boozy at all.

    Overall, while enjoyable, this is a shell of it's former (fresher) self, in my opinion of course.

    @BigIslandfarmer @djkman @BenHoppy I totally get year-to-year cellaring, but anything that far past 1 year I think really falls off.
    BenHoppy and BigIslandfarmer like this.
  12. Dan411

    Dan411 Initiate (88) Mar 20, 2017 Missouri

    I will answer this, although perhaps I shouldn't, as this was the first year I was able to try KBS. I am certainly a fan of CBS and Breakfast Stout. Unfortunately, I never got to try their imperial stout.
    2018 was fairly bourbon forward on the nose, a little less so in the flavor. Some vanilla and oak, but mostly chocolate. I got lots of chocolate, and wanted more coffee. I procured a 4 pack, so I am going to have one more fresh, and possibly let the others sit a bit.
  13. vette-ss

    vette-ss Initiate (155) Nov 5, 2014 Michigan

    My rather uneducated opinion....I'm not a coffee drinker at all so not a huge fan of coffee forward beers. Because of this, KBS has never been high on my list. I would usually get a 4 pack or two each year and that's it. Most of them were traded or extra'd. I passed on KBS tickets this year, but found myself at Founder's on release day. Of course had it on tap and my mind was totally changed. IMO, 2018 is more bourbon/chocolate and less coffee than previous years. For most, this may be disappointing. For me, it was perfect. Picked up a case from local grocery stores and have already drank about 6 of them. So either my palate has changed, which is possible, or the beer is slightly different this year (in a positive way for me).
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  14. Fear4Beer

    Fear4Beer Aspirant (208) Mar 8, 2012 Pennsylvania

    Thank you! This is exactly what I was wondering.