Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Founders KBS (2015 edition)

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
Chad9976 (1317) - Albany, New York, USA - APR 1, 2015
When people ask me my all-time favorite beer I usually say Founders KBS and for good reason – it’s pretty much a perfect beer. It’s big and robust, complex, delicious, great-smelling and a pleasure to drink. That’s what makes for a World Class beer in my book.

I poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. It was bottled on 2/17/15 and cost $5.99 ($0.50 per ounce).

Appearance: Inky black in color but faint brown highlights. Pours to a two-finger, tan, frothy head which laces and retains extremely well.

Smell: Huge coffee and bourbon notes. Sweet but not sugary.

Taste: I’ve had this beer every year since 2011 and it does have minor variations from year to year. The 2015 edition seems to be the most overtly balanced of all the brews I can remember. Up front there’s a strong sweet sensation of vanilla and chocolate with sweet dark maltiness. On the second half the coffee emerges with an intensity that’s pretty amazing; akin to gourmet French Roast black coffee rather than sugary iced coffee. Right as it finishes the bourbon and the natural alcohol completely dominate. It’s not quite as intense as taking a shot of bourbon straight up, but it’s awfully close. These flavor patterns repeat and grow a little more nuanced each sip. I don’t detect much in the way of specific hops or malts, though I will say it’s amazing how well-balanced the palette is since there’s plenty of bitterness and at no point does it taste like a malt bomb. Another outstanding brew from an outstanding brewery.

Drinkability: At 11.2% ABV and 70 IBUs, Founders KBS is a big beer to say the least. But it’s not a behemoth by any means; in fact, this is one of the softest, smoothest beers I’ve ever had the pleasure of drinking. The moment it hit my palate the first thing I noticed was the soft, smooth texture – almost like melted marshmallow. And yet, for such a flavorful brew, it’s surprisingly not cloying or sticky at all. It finishes rather dry, but it’s easily tolerable. The first few swigs have significant alcohol warmth, but I grew accustomed to them quickly. This is a liquid dessert in and of itself – do not pair it with anything and enjoy it on its own. 
Grade: 10/10

Founders KBS (2013 edition): Bottle vs. Draught:
Chad Tries.... Founders KBS (2013 edition) ON TAP!!:
Founders KBS (2012 edition):
Founders KBS (2011 edition):

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