BREWERY: Founder’s Brewing
STYLE: Double IPA
Malts: Not listed – but it doesn’t even matter. See below.
Hops: Again, not listed. A very mild 70 ibu is barely noticable.
FROM THE BREWERY:
“It’s up to us to really diversify, we can’t just be limited to stouts… we have to push that envelope. You put the right beer in the right barrel and you’re going to create some pretty interesting flavors…” – Jeremy Kosmicki, Brewmaster
This has been a good beer year, and I hope you enjoy the journey I’ll be on at least a bit. We’re only a few months in and my cellar collection is getting insane in the best of ways. This past week treated me the opportunity to acquire some of the finest Kentucky Breakfast Stouts this side of the Mississippi, and I delightfully obliged. My local store had a strict limit to only two, so I said fine, and was happy with that (there was a guy last year that followed the distributor around and bought over 4 cases of it as it was delivered, so I guess rules are there for good reason).
KBS is a barrel-aged stout produced by Founder’s of Michigan. I’ve never had the delight of trying it before, but I will never miss a release again. I’m a big fan of the Goose Island Bourbon Counties that have a huge following at this point in there life, and this beer can certainly hold its own in that conversation. Its available in 4-packs (allegedly, yet is likely broken up into singles at the store) and bombers (oh, I will find one) for a short time until its gone for the year. This years version comes in at 11.8% abv and 70 ibu – which I really was surprised to see.
At the first pop of the top, this beer sneaks upon you like a chocolate drizzled monster and pours thick and beautiful. If you pour it hard enough, you are welcomed to a delightfully creamy and tanned head that hangs around for the hour or so that you indulge in the beer. The creamy delight is dual purpose – to remind you of the texture you’re about to enjoy, and to keep in the aroma from wafting to your neighbor and having them steal your beer. Its nice.
Its imperative to let the Kentucky Breakfast Stout warm a bit (don’t drink it straight from the refrigerator, please!) so that the coldness doesn’t numb the palate to the layers of flavor that only time in a barrel can develop. The first taste is a touch of oak, that is quickly overcome by a subtly chocolaty sweetness muted by a perfect coffee/cocoa bitter. The strength of the beer does a good job to pull all of the flavor away just quickly enough to prevent this beer from lingering too long. I presume the relatively high IBU assists with this as well. Its fucking art.
CLOSING THOUGHTS and WHERE TO BUY
This is a beer that I hope to see year after year. I can’t wait to collect (read: horde) a handful of sequential years and pour up a vertical of these. The beer is already quite mellow and refined, so I’m anxious to see where it goes from here. I’m not sure what the going rate is for these bottles in your neck of the woods, but mine cost $6.99 each (ouch) – but I can sleep easy knowing it was worth it (and because anything 11.8% will put me to sleep). Much like the review of HOPSLAM, I highly recommend you hunt this one down before its sold out, and you’re forced onto the resale market to find one. And no, that’s not a typo from BeerAdvocate 🙂 Check back next year for our Cellar Talk piece on this one for sure!