Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Founders KBS (2011 edition)


How else to celebrate my 500th episode than by reviewing one of the most highly-acclaimed and sought after beers in the world - the Founders KBS (which stands for "Kentucky Breakfast Stout" but they changed the named to avoid confusion as people thought it was made in Kentucky). I also go back to my roots of the first season and review standing up in the kitchen next to the stove and in front of the fridge. If you've been watching me for a while you know I've often found so-called "Holy Grail" beers to be only good rather than great - would that happen with Founders KBS? Watch and see.

Thanks to Dan Harper for sending me this beer in a trade
http://youtube.com/TheEndosymbiosis

5
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
Chad9976 (630) - Albany, USA - JUL 19, 2011
I hate it when beers don’t live up to the hype. But when a beer not only lives up, but exceeds the hype - well, that’s something that only occurs a few times in a lifetime and that’s the case with Founders KBS. This is a beer everyone has been raving about for years, garnering it the buzz, acclaim, and exclusivity of Westvleteren 12 (and if you live outside of Michigan, as equally difficult to obtain as Westy 12). One of the best beers I’ve ever had.

I received a 12oz bottle from a friend in Michigan in a trade (thanks, Dan!). I poured it into a snifter.

Appearance: Completely opaque black with no red traces around the edge. Forms a surprisingly large, frothy, dark brown head that retains and laces very well considering the potency of the beer.

Smell: All the traits of an imperial stout - deeply roasted malt, some coffee and dark chocolate with a prominent sweet whiskey aroma at the core (not to be confused with alcohol per se).

Taste: There is so much going on with this beer it’s quite daunting a task to list the flavors coming from this beer and in the order they appear but I’ll try: vanilla, wood, deeply roasted malts, semi-sweet chocolate, coffee, bourbon sweetness and a residual coffee bitterness. Wow, just wow. Founders KBS is absolutely delicious - words really can’t do it justice, it’s a beer you have to experience for yourself.

I love the bourbon sweetness that is prominent throughout the palate. It imparts vanilla and a campfire smoky sweetness, but the genuine flavors of the stout are able to ride alongside it rather than underneath. It’s bitter from the roasted malts and the coffee-like flavors to create for perfect balance.

Mouthfeel: Completely full-bodied, thick and soft. The beer coats the entire mouth in its glory, and yet it finishes remarkably clean with only a slight dark chocolate and coffee aftertaste which is very satisfying itself.

Drinkability: Barrel-aged imperial stouts tend to be sippers, even if their potency is in single digits, but Founders KBS drinks like a beer half its size. The 11.2% ABV is nowhere to be found in the nose, taste, or body. Its silky smooth mouthfeel enables the beer to glide across the tongue and down the throat. I had to actually hold myself back from slugging it down because it was such a great drinking experience.

Overall, Founders KBS is an amazing beer that deserves its reputation as a world class brew. Buy it by the CASE and enjoy it as much as you can.
Grade: 10/10