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- Brewery: Founders Brewing Company
- Website: foundersbrewing.com
- Country: United States
- State: Michigan
- Style: Russian Imperial Stout Spirit-Aged Beers
- ABV: 11.2%
- Tasting Notes: Vanilla, Coffee, Chocolate, Bourbon
- Preferred Glass: Snifter
- Food Pairing:
- PHM Grade: A
Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout (KBS)
Written by Team
Michael: “Is good for everything a stout ought to be good for.” With that lofty acclaimed scrawled across the label of my KBS, I undoubtedly had high expectations. Also, the fact that after I had poured this motor-oil-black brew into my glass, I saw it selling on eBay for 19.95. For one. If I don’t like the first sip, maybe I can funnel it back in and make a profit.
As I said, it most definitely poured dark, but not quite the deep tint of Bourbon County. It was as black at the core, but its edges were deep, deep brown. The head was nothing special, a slice of medium brown that quickly melted into the darkness. I’ve never tasted bourbon, but after Goose Island’s rendition, I know what it smells like. Upon popping the cap, the Kentucky spirit rushed into my nose. There was a sweetness, too, mingled with something akin to coconut.
While the bourbon barrel aging was most definitely present, it was not overwhelming. I knew that I wouldn’t necessarily need the remainder of my evening to sip it down. The alcohol is there, but decently hidden behind the bourbon flavor and an interesting combination of grape juice and soy sauce. A good brew. While it isn’t mind blowing and not quite worth eBay’s selling price, its worth trying to grab one from the back room of your beer store of choice.
Note: Due to the incredible drinkability of this fine beer, I may have consumed it more rapidly than was completely necessary for the flavors to warm to room temperature and thus become more pronounced. Fortunately, my dad’s got one more stored away for me! Grade: A
John: BEWARE. DON’T DRINK THIS BEER COLD!!!! I started drinking this acclaimed beer at 45 degrees and 2:30 in the afternoon. I finished at 72 degrees and 5 p.m. What a ride. I’ll give the the blow by blow around the temperature.
45 degrees – Very little aroma, head and taste except for alcohol and bourbon. Smooth, but not what I expected for all the hype. I was disappointed.
56 degress – Taste and aroma went like this; bourbon led but coffee and alcohol were right behind.
60 degrees – Coffee and chocolate took over. The bourbon and alochol were moving to the rear.
65 degrees – Chocolate over took the coffee. Bourbon and alcohol were fading but all flavors were blending together for a wonderful aroma and taste. KBS was becoming even smoother with alcohol as the finish.
67 degrees – Vanilla started to show itself with chocolate, coffee, bourbon and alcohol in that order.
70 degress - The best temp to drink this stuff. Rich chocolates, coffee with a hint bourbon and the punch of alcohol that was appropriate.
72 degrees - This was as warm as I went cause I ran out of beer! But I’m sticking with 70 degrees.
After this temperature experiment I pulled my other KBS out of the frig and left it sitting on a table in the basement. Can’t wait to have it all at 70 degrees. By the way, it was somewhat odd to have a thermometer in my glass all afternoon but I won’t have to do it again and now you don’t have to at all. Grade: A+
Tom: This beer is incredible! I will not lie. I’ve been able to enjoy at least 1 bottle every year since 2008 and the quality has continued to impress me. I too like Michael, drink this beer rather quickly due its smooth and flavorful drinkability. I found this surprising for an 11.2% abv, highly astringent grain, 70 ibu, Bourbon barrel aged beer. Ok, here is how it went down. The pour is thick…just like Breakfast Stout. Black and viscous the head was moderate, but appropriate considering the alcohol. It faded rather quickly however the carbonation helped to lift the heavier flavors off the palate during my session.
My goodness the aroma was complex. Woody, earthy, bitter (hops and malt), licorice, chocolate, coffee, robust, bold, and boozy. A dark fruit component was found in the layers and smelled like dates and figs. This added some sweetness to the mix, but the fruity Bourbon quality was definitely present. It was mellowed, yet very much a part of this beer. Probably the best use of Bourbon barrels I’ve come across as it was assertive, yet well balanced with the rest of the beer. I find that the coffee is highlighted in this beer more than any other component. Something happens in the barrel that brings out the bitter/astringency which sets this beer apart. The chocolate gives that rich smoothness and mouthfeel. The oaky finish displays a great charred wood and wood sugar/caramel sweetness that is juxtaposed by the bold burnt malts. A top notch brew for sure. I personally think that it lacks the complete smoothness and flavor CBS has. Grade: AFounders Kentucky Breakfast Stout (KBS),