Brewing and reviewing since 2012.
Brew: Kentucky Breakfast Stout
Their Take: What we’ve got here is an imperial stout brewed with a massive amount of coffee and chocolates, then cave-aged in oak bourbon barrels for an entire year to make sure wonderful bourbon undertones come through in the finish. Makes your taste buds squeal with delight.
After spending entirely too much time searching for a single beer than anyone should, a local restaurant (Ott’s) managed to secure a keg of Kentucky Breakfast Stout to put on tap after the Derby last Saturday. This was can’t-miss event, and I wasn’t the only one thinking that judging from how many trays full of just KBS went out as soon as it was tapped.
The wait for Orb to cross the finish line was well worth it. KBS pours a rich, dark black with a thin tan head, although that may have been due to the tap issues they were apparently having. It smells of rich, roasted coffee and chocolate, with just a hint of bourbon, definitely not something that dominates the nose, but just enough to let you know that it’s there. It tastes just like their standard Breakfast Stout, with a heavy body dominated by dark malts, coffee, and a bit of chocolate for good measure. Then, the bourbon comes in.
So subtle and smooth, it’s got a touch of vanilla and oak, and gives all of the delicious flavors expected out of a good bourbon, with none of the burn afterwards. The beer itself is rich enough to easily balance out the taste, and the year spent in barrels has mellowed it out to such an enjoyable point that it really needs to be tried and not read about. The coffee and chocolate flavor their standard Breakfast Stout is known for still take the lead, but the bourbon backs it up and just hangs out, playing Pippen to the original’s Jordan. It doesn’t take over, but is there when you need it, playing off of every other flavor flawlessly.
For a beer that had so much hype, I was really worried that KBS wouldn’t come close to what it had been built up to. I was very excited to be wrong about that, and all my hesitations were put to rest on that first sip. If barrel aged beers, or really any craft beer, are even remotely on your radar, then Founder’s Kentucky Breakfast Stout is absolutely a must have.