Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout Review
Yes, I was one of the dorks waiting in line to get my 2 bottles of the 2016 Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout. This was the first year I was able to do so, and let me tell you, it was worth the wait. Well, we didn’t really wait, we got there an hour and a half before the release time, so our “wait” gave us the chance to sit at a table and try a few other beers. That always helps the time go by!
Year in and year out this beer is sought after and traded for all over the country. Part of the popularity might be the fact that it’s brewed in limited quantities, somewhere around 200,000 barrels yearly, and the other part could be the fact that it’s consistently a really good beer.
Around 2001, a few years after Founders was started, two of the bartenders were working at the brewery taproom when the idea for the original Breakfast Stout was conceived. One afternoon a regular customer came in with a bag of chocolate covered espresso beans which they shared as they enjoyed a pint of porter, and, according to legend, that’s where it got its start. A few years later the guys headed down to Lynchburg, Tennessee to ask the Jack Daniel’s Distillery for a few spent whiskey barrels. They came back with 2 barrels, filled those barrels with Breakfast Stout and allowed it to age for 6 months. Little did they know about 10 years later they would be cave aging this beer underground for a year and we would have no problem waiting in lines for hours to drop $25.00 for a 4 pack. At least I know I don’t.
This year’s KBS pours dark black in color with a thick tan head coating the inner rim of the glass. This beer produced some great lacing on the glass. The first scent I picked up on was the huge bouquet of bourbon. I mean seriously, a ton of bourbon. More than I remember from years past. Which, I’m not complaining about at all. Right behind the bourbon is a very nice thick aroma of smooth sweet chocolate, dark coffee, and a really well blended smell of dark roasted malts. The first taste is exactly what I would have expected, a very bold bourbon flavor and a hint of the oak from the barrel it was aged in. To me, coffee is the next dominating flavor, and on the back end of the first sip is where I picked up on some of the chocolate, the bitterness of the hops, and that beautiful bourbon warmth on the back of your throat. One final thing I picked up on with this year’s KBS was the body, which was a little thinner than I remember. I recommend taking this beer out of the refrigerator for about 20 minutes to a half hour. If there is one thing I learned from drinking stouts, it’s the warmer the better. I almost prefer mine to be around 55 to 60 degrees.
Whether you are an occasional stout drinker, or a full blown stout addict like myself, this beer is a must try. Drinking big barrel aged imperial stouts is something that the average beer drinker may find difficult, seeing that the style is so different from what we’ve come to know from ales. The only way to really find out if this style is for you is to find yourself a bottle or a bar that has it on tap and give it a try. You won’t be disappointed!
Aaron Weber is a born and raised Buffalonian who loves beer! He brings many years of drinking and brewing beer to The Radio Blast with weekly craft beer reviews. If you have any craft beer or homebrewing questions you can contact Aaron at Thebrewman81@yahoo.com. And don’t forget to follow Aaron on Twitter @thebrewman81.