Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Breakfast at Tiffany's

I was only just able to sample Founders Brewing Company's Breakfast Stout for the first time about six months or so ago. It blew me away. It's just an amazing beer all around and easily one of the top five that I've ever had the chance to try. Needless to say, I was giddy as hell when I was able to come across a bottle of the just-as-famous Kentucky Breakfast Stout (or as it's now seemingly known, KBS) not too long ago. Side note: can distillers really claim "Kentucky" as their own, thus seemingly prompting the name change? That's shameful. I could understand if it had been called Jim Beam Breakfast Stout, but Kentucky? Really?

Anyway, the beer poured from the bottle looking like liquid coal, and settled in with a thickness that made it seem as if I had just drained my car's engine oil into my glass. Nice. No real head to speak of, but spots of brown are left on the glass here and there.

The aroma gives off strong notes of wood and vanilla, along with a fair amount of alcohol, all of which compliment the chocolate quite nicely. Coffee might be noticeable here and there but the barrel aging really takes hold in the aroma and makes for a boozy yet enticing experience.

The flavor definitely leads with vanilla as well. Coffee chimes in a bit more here, although is still pushed to the back most of the time, and mostly toward the finish of each sip, where it mixes with a bit of roasted malt and a touch of chocolate. Bourbon of course also comes into play here. It hangs around mostly in the middle of each sip I'd say, and has less of an alcohol vibe to it than one would expect given it's stronger presence in the aroma.

This is a a damn good beer, but I think the "basic" Breakfast Stout recipe blows this one out of the water (yes, they are two completely different recipes/beers. This isn't just the Breakfast Stout aged in barrels). Most people seem to prefer the KBS, but not me. Don't get me wrong, I'd never turn down a bottle of the KBS, but I'm just not typically a barrel-aged type of beer drinker. So for me to say I enjoyed just about everything about this beer says a little bit extra about it in my opinion. It'll be pricey if and when you can ever actually find it, but do yourself a favor and at least pick up a bottle to try if you ever do come across it. A great job all around by Founders.

Hopback, beer, Founders, Michigan, Kentucky, Breakfast, Stout, KBS