KBS 2013 (Founders Brewing Company)

Style: Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout

11.2% ABV

70 IBU’s

Brewed with: Coffee and Chocolate

Bourbon Barrel Aged

From: Grand Rapids, MI

Brewer’s Note: “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./ Note, this is NOT simply barrel-aged Breakfast Stout. It is an entirely different beer. ”

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The beer’s label is very text heavy and old-timey in look, kind of like an old bottle of bourbon, which works great considering the liquid within this bottle.  The color scheme is an old, aged yellow/gold which definitely plays into the old-timey feel of the label.  This label is definitely iconic, but I feel like that is mostly because of the beer inside.  The fonts, while easy to read, are a little too new age in look for the rest of the bottle.  I wish the letters had a little bit of fade in their look, to help with that “old-timey bourbon bottle” look.  In the end, I’m going to keep this bottle because it is KBS, and is a coveted beer, but I don’t see the label as the best thing from Founder’s, and on its own it is really only worthy of scrapbooking at best.

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The beer pours black like motor oil, black and almost sludge-like.  The beer pours with a small khaki head that fizzles away to just a ring around the glass.  The head leaves a lacing of thin dry velvety bubbles in root-like tendrils. The beer is properly impenetrable to the eye, like the infinite blackness of space.  On the nose, the beer smells of meaty roasted coffee, creamy dark chocolate, a little touch of charred oak, and even a hint of sea salt chocolate.  Bourbon is pretty weak in the nose, which is not a bad thing.  What does seem to be there, from the bourbon scent is blended beneath the thick roasted coffee notes, but does show a touch of booze.  On the tongue, the beer tastes smoothly sweet and then bitter with a slight savory touch, a lasting wetness from acid, and a final light burn of boozy alcohol.  In flavor, the beer begins as sweet roasted coffee with touches of creamy dark chocolate, and boozy bourbon hiccups that add a sticky sweetness to the beer.  A dry roasted bitter from the coffee flavors sits through the second half of the taste and into the aftertaste along with touches of tannic oak barrel.  The finish is sweet with bourbon and smooth milk chocolate and the aftertaste is slightly bitter but sweet with chocolate and bourbon lingering.  In the mouth, the beer feels like heaven.  Thick and creamy with a carbonation of velvet softness that caresses the tongue beautifully.  This is the best feeling stout that has ever sat within my mouth.  It leaves the mouth slightly dry and sticky with lingering sweetness from the booze and malts.  Overall this beer lives up to its hype.  It feels amazing in the mouth, and carries the perfect amount of sweet bourbon and oak characters.  The coffee and chocolate flavors are much more prevalent in the flavors.  This beer is excellent, and by far the best bourbon stout I’ve tried to date.  I only wish I could actually get a 4 pack of it in my area…

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4.64/5

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3 thoughts on “KBS 2013 (Founders Brewing Company)

  1. Thanks! This beer really is a pain in the ass to find, and unfortunately it is actually worth hunting down because of how amazing it is, haha. I believe Founders is ramping up production of it next year, though, so hopefully they’ll be plenty more for everyone!

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