So, I missed the KBS train last year... Ill admit it was due to a little bit of ignorance on my part. I just wasn't aware of the excitement the release of this beer generates. Don't get me wrong, I knew it existed but I just wasn't "hip to the hype". So, now that I have finally tasted the beer itself , I'll do a review and tell you whether or not you should go on the hunt for any remaining bottles this year, OR advise whether or not you should prepare yourself for the onslaught of panic that Founder's generates with this yearly release.
Beer: KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)
Style: flavored stout brewed with chocolate and coffee aged in bourbon
This thing pours jet black with about a half inch of khaki head that quickly dissipated. Minimal lacing down the glass, and I was drinking it slow.
On the nose, the bourbon aroma was not overpowering at all (Which, if im being honest I was a bit worried about as im not a HUGE fan of bourbon barrel aged ales... Im sorry, JEEZ!). The coffee stands out first, then I got the chocolate and finally the bourbon to really round it off. In that order. Seriously the aromas don't blend they just kind of manifest themselves from the inky depths (nice, right?) of deliciousness that is this beer.
I was surprised at first taste because again, I expected the bourbon to really outshine the coffee and the chocolate. I am such a huge fun of Founders' Breakfast Stout that, I didn't want the bourbon to take away from that beer too much. Not the case with KBS, the bourbon really enhances it. As with the aromas, I noticed the coffee flavor first. Then, the chocolate really "melts" across the palate (I'm a nerd but that was a nice chocolatey description right?). And, finally the bourbon sneaks in and adds a nice sweetness to the overall beer. Very nice, not overpowering at all it really ties everything together ("That rug really tied the room together Dude.") Over all, this is perfectly blended. I really liked this beer.
So, is it worth the hype?
In my opinion? Yes. Yes it is... Now do you need to bend over backwards trying to find it when its released? Thats a tough call, I think that if you've never had it then yes do what you can to find it. You most likely wont be disappointed. I got lucky, and contacted my local bottle shop (DEP'S in Fort Thomas) via email a couple weeks before the release date and made sure I got my name on a 4 pack. I was contacted when it was available. This is most likely your best bet, do the legwork first, don't go hunting from shop to shop. Call, tweet, email, Facebook... Contact the places you shop at regularly, and find out if they are getting any. If they are, find out if you can reserve some. Even if its only a bottle or 2... You'll be happy you did. People really go crazy for this beer, I get it. It's super good ("super good"being a technical term). I promise you'll have difficulty finding it otherwise. Unless you know where to look and what you're looking for I guess... I haven't seen any more KBS around so, it might be gone until 2014. My point is: Plan, research, and attack.
On the other hand, if you're a serious beer nerd perhaps the hunt is part of the game. In that case, this is the beer to hunt for. Don't waste your time and energy on Hopslam at the beginning of the year. You wont have any trouble finding that... And, honestly there are better beers to get excited about. Don't get me wrong Hopslam is a FINE beer. I really like it. But don't stress about it.... The amount of hype and panic that beer generates should seriously be reserved for beers like KBS... I'm stepping down off my soapbox now.
Anyway, I've got 2 bottles left that are screaming at me from the fridge. It's going to take a lot of effort not to open them. My goal is to have one next year to compare the aged version to the 2014 release... Fingers crossed...