Review: Founders KBS (Barrel Aged Series)

Thanks Chris for this! A few years ago I was in North Dakota at a JL Beers and it just happened to be a Founders' tap takeover the day I was there - every Founders beer I sampled I would get Founders swag.. pretty sweet tradeoff! The first beer I had when I got there was KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout), a suggestion by the staff that was a must try! As someone who loves heavy, boozy, dark stouts, I absolutely enjoyed it, though at 12% ABV it's a bit excessive for most people.

From the website: This beer taught us that patience truly is a virtue. KBS is a big imperial stout brewed with a massive amount of coffee and chocolate and then bourbon barrel-aged to perfection. Incredibly silky and full-bodied with notes of vanilla, cocoa, roasted coffee and charred oak. 12% ABV / 70 IBU

Appearance: Black-as-the-night stout appearance to it, molassesy. The head is a bit thinner than I expected for a stout but appearance wise, it's exactly what I'd expect in colour - a burnt caramel appearance to it initially that gradually turns into a yellowish-cookie dough colour, very thin layer of head as it warms up.

Aroma: Heavy, boozy, sweet and rich. The Bourbon barrel is the first thing I get from this beer - it's oaky with notes of vanilla, caramel and Bourbon. There's a rich roasted coffee presence to the beer, burnt caramel, as well as a bit of dark chocolate and cocoa nib sweetness to it. Quite bitter, lives up to the breakfast vibe from the name.

Taste: The 12% Alc/vol is very present in this beer, you can feel it hit you a bit almost immediately. The beer is very boozy with a good deal of barrel in the brew to give it a lot of oak, vanilla, Bourbon and caramel. There's a hefty amount of cocoa nibs in the brew to give it a chocolatey sweetness to it. Lots of roasted malt/coffee in here to give it a very morning coffee vibe to it.. very rich, dark and tad burnt. Notes of brown sugar, a bit of peat, and a bit of a bitterness from the hops. The mouthfeel is fairly creamy and boozy, the aftertaste is burnt caramel and peat.

Overall Thoughts: Really good Imperial Stout but I still feel like one of the best I've had is still Kentucky Bastard by Nickel Brook Brewing.. but this is definitely regarded as one of the best for a reason.. it's got flavour for days. Rich, bit creamy, boozy, Bourbony, chocolatey, oh and coffee-ee-ee. Even though this bottle is only 355mL, I recommend sharing this with a friend or two, the high ABV hits pretty quickly. I hope to sample their Canadian Breakfast Stout (CBS) one of these days, one of my friends in the US has a bottle waiting for me but since the border is closed until further notice, I don't think I'll ever try it, but who knows?

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