Founders: KBS

How I almost missed out on one of the greatest beers ever

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Sometimes, I can be a real dumbass.

Case in point: last April, I searched high and low for some of Founders KBS (Kentucky Bourbon Stout) in my area. Admittedly, it was my fault for waiting a few weeks to even start looking for it, but I never realized how hard it would be to find at that point. Even the dumb guy at my local beer store claimed they sold out of it in a day.

Then, by dumb luck, I happened to be at a bar and overheard a few guys talking about it, and that the wine store up the street still had some.

Sure enough, they had a 4-pack left, and $24 later, I was running it back to my car.

Now, this beer is special. It’s a limited run of Founders’ stout that’s been aged in bourbon barrels for longer than the average new car lease. It’s been voted one of the top five best beers made. And I had four of these beauties.

Until I gave one to a friend who picked up a bar tab one night.

And traded one to a friend who got me a few interesting bottles of imported beer.

And one bottle to a guy at work who claimed to be a “beer connoisseur” and bought one from me.

Which left me with one. One that I saved for six months. One that I was going to share with a friend who was moving to Florida. One that, long story short, ended up getting shipped to Florida in his suitcase.

Wow, am I a dumbass!

So when I recently came across Founders KBS on tap at my local pub, I jumped at it. Yes, it was out of season, and pricey, but I couldn’t pass up the chance to finally experience it.

You know how they say you shouldn’t meet your heroes? I’m happy to roll the dice because whoever created the recipe for this beer is my new hero. And I’d sure like to meet them and shake their hand.

Because, friends, this beer definitely lived up to the hype.

Let’s start with the obvious – it’s a black, opaque stout with mild carbonation and a BIG alcohol content of 11.8% ABV.

As you can imagine, there’s a bit of a bourbon aroma that infiltrates your nose as you get closer to the glass.

This has to be one of the most complex beers that I’ve had in a long time. The initial taste is a wonderful, warm-tasting toasted malt flavor, which turns into a little bit of dark roasted coffee. At this point, the bourbon flavors start sneaking in as a mild vanilla, interrupted by some quick hop bitterness, and then it’s just wonderful, mildly boozy bourbon flavor and a dry finish.

It all makes for an interesting dynamic that leaves your mouth under the impression that you’ve just had a finely mixed cocktail.

The bottom line? This is a very complex – and very special – beer that should be added to your list. Naturally, you’ll really enjoy this if you’re a fan of stouts or bourbon. If you’re not, find a friend who has some and at least try a sip of it.

Above all, if you get your hands on some when it comes out in March, don’t be a dumbass like me – drink and enjoy this wonderful elixir.

Cheers!

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