Review: Founders Brewing KBS Bourbon Barrel Aged Espresso Stout
Fans of Founder’s Brewing Kentucky Breakfast Stout, affectionately referred to as KBS, recently got another breakfast brew option: Founder’s KBS Espresso. The original KBS was already brewed with coffee, but the Grand Rapids-based brewery decided to punch up the java content by aging the original brew on espresso beans. That extra coffee aging happens after the barrels have been dumped, so it’s unclear exactly how long or how much additional coffee contact this new stout is getting. We could use a pick-me-up, so let’s dig in!
The original KBS is already redolent with coffee on the nose, but that’s all I really get now: Lots of dark roasted notes and bitter, dry dark chocolate. The aroma is more dark, freshly roasted coffee bean than drip coffee, so the espresso aging really has done its work. There’s a slight hint of vanilla and some spicy barrel notes, but for the most part it’s all roastery after a long day’s work. The palate flexes less one-dimensional muscle with more of that chocolate coming across, this time richer and creamier than on the nose. There’s a bit of vanilla bean on the mid-palate, but it’s the finish where things return to classic KBS form. Long, lingering notes of sweet cream, brown sugar, and, of course, coffee, carry the experience to an enjoyable conclusion. This is definitely for the coffee stout lover, and if that happens to be you, seek this one out.