May 9, 2011
Just popping the gold foiled cap of this hazy chestnut mare colored/minimal headed bourbon barrel aged old ale release a rather complex aroma of figs, caramel, vanilla, tobacco and, naturally, a whole lot of wood mellowed bourbon. As it sits to breathe in the glass four feet away from me it's all I can smell in the room. WOW! I'm thinking "Wow! This is really something else" and haven't even tasted it yet.
First sip IS a total WOW! too. Very silky and thick in texture. The woodsy bourbon flavor comes right on front and center but is not over powering as it curves through many different things though it's flavor profile. Vanilla, black molasses and a hint of maple syrup take the first turn. Then there's another swerve through some very rich chocolate, dark fruits, a little bit of pepper and anise and then finally returning to the bourbon flavors that started the trip but not before it throws a little bit of a Port wine thing into the mix.
With all that though the finish is one of the most interesting things about it. Having a pretty top end alcohol content, after all, we're looking at a 13.5% abv here, is that there isn't much of a hotness to it as one would expect until each sip has cleared the taste buds and bring out a warming effect through the entire body. Let me say it again one more time-"WOW!"
I'm five sips into this and each one has me smiling more and more. Good thing I don't have much to do the rest of the evening as I think this is one great beer that you just can't down in a glass in a short period. It is definitely one that's worth taking one's own sweet time with.
Mar 23, 2011
"What about KBS" It'll be in stock in a few days" a buddy who orders the beer at one of my go to party store's in town asked.
"Well, that doesn't count because it's not just a stout but something close to pure manna" I said to him "but even after that NO MORE STOUTS til the old man winter weather returns."
Then last night BOOM! ANOTHER FREAKING WINTER STORM. Mean, thick, heavy sleet fell down. It was some back breaking work digging the car out of the nasty and wet mess that had dropped from the skies out but it had to be done. KBS had arrived to the area. It's a rare bird and is not something that can be put off picking up "sometime later in the week" because it doesn't last long on the shelves after it's released and when it's gone IT'S GONE FOR A WHOLE 'NOTHER YEAR (unlike this freaking snow though it seems).
A thin but hearty coffee with cream colored head sits on top on what has the be the darkest stout brew on this and, though it melts a bit, still hangs on all the way through the session. The aroma is first and foremost bourbon and oak wood due to it being casked in whiskey barrels for over a year. Other scents that follow it are coffee, chocolate and vanilla.
The scent alone is enough to make one smile and the flavor bursts open the tastebuds senses in ways the aroma was just hinting at. The bourbon characteristics warm the tongue and body even faster than they did the nostrils. Warms the heart of a serious beer lover too as it is making me smile despite no matter where I look outside I see a six inches of cold and clumpy mass covering everything.
The bourbon flavors don't overtake everything in this velvety and thick brew though as the sweetness from the chocolate and vanilla flavors and coffee bean bitters come in and balance each other out. Compared to other years this finishes with a slight hop hotness but it works incredibly with the bourbon warmth that goes along with it.
Other brews attempting the same kind of thing that Founders is doing with this may try to come close but none of them can match the twists of complexities that are going on here. There's a reason why KBS gets ranked one of the top end beers of the world in places like Beer Advocate (where it currently ranks as #4). Utterly amazing stuff here. No doubt about it.