Beer Review – Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout


What’s the best way to end the weekend (or start a new week)?  With a late Sunday night tasting of one funky brew, Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout, at the Pour House in Westmont, NJ.

Thanks to G-LO, who follows the Pour House’s Twitter feed, we got the word that a small batch of Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout (KBS) would be flowing from the taps around 10pm on Sunday.  So we loaded 3/4 of the Booze Dancers (me, G-LO, and LimpD) into the Booze Mobile (G-LO’s car) and headed out for a weekend brew session.

We hit the bar around 9:30 and each had a “starter” brew and some snacks to prepare our taste buds for the 10 PM main course.  Our friend Crazy Eye also stopped by to join in on the fun.  Promptly at 10 the KBS was tapped and we each soon had a chalice of this dark and lovely elixir to taste.

This is one funky brew but before my review here is what Founders has to say:

“What we’ve got here is an imperial stout brewed with a massive amount of coffee and chocolates, then cave-aged in oak bourbon barrels for an entire year to make sure wonderful bourbon undertones come through in the finish. Makes your taste buds squeal with delight.”

Here are the specs as I see them:

  • Appearance: Dark opaque chocolate brown.  Thin quickly dissipating head (it didn’t survive the 30′ trip from tap to table)
  • Aroma: Coffee and dark chocolate with a hint of alcohol (almost wine-like)
  • Taste: Dark roasted coffee and chocolate with a malty nuttiness.  The alcohol comes through with hints of sweet bourbon on the back end.
  • ABV: 11.2%  WOW!

This a high octane brew and a funky, in a good way, experience.  The brew lives up to brewers billing, you get a massive coffee and chocolate experience delivered on the back of the nutty, malty stout that is then punctuated with sweetness of Kentucky Bourbon.  After all that the 11.2% ABV erases your memory.

This is the not a beer and pizza brew or even something I would try to pair with food.  While this may be a good “hair of the dog” breakfast, I suggest you treat this stuff like a nice port wine and pair with a rich chocolate dessert or maybe a nice cigar as a great way to wrap-up the day.

But don’t just go on my review here is what the other guys thought:

G-LO’s Review:

While I have been criticized on numerous occasions for using the term “boozy” in a beer review or two, I feel the need to explain what I mean when I use such verbiage…

When I call a beer “boozy”, I mean that the taste of alcohol is sharp and somewhat off putting. I like booze, but I don’t usually like my beers to taste boozy. One example of this is Bell’s Expedition Stout which has an ABV of 10%. The alcohol was overpowering and overshadowed all of the other tasty elements in this beer. In Bell’s defense, they actually recommend that you age this beer to bring out it’s full potential. But who the hell has time for that???

The Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout is a seriously boozy beer (11.2% ABV!), but unlike the Expedition Stout, Founders has taken the time to let all of the flavors come together. There is dark chocolate, french roast coffee, and a hint of Bourbon in the nose, and these aromas carry through to the palate, which results in a very rich and flavorful beer. Dark chocolate and coffee are front and center, the alcohol kicks in at mid-palate and tingles your tongue, while hints of that Bourbon barrel aging come through in the finish. This is a very enjoyable beer that demands your attention, but please don’t chug it! For lack of a better phrase, this beer will knock you on your ass! You have been warned.

LimpD’s Review:

While I agree with my fellow booze dancers that this is not a beer for the feign of heart, the initial flavor left me wondering whether Founder’s employed those coffee bean eating monkeys as the over-whelming flavor was of monkey’s butt, chocolate flavored perhaps but still monkey’s butt. I am not a coffee drinker and the KBS was an alcohol-fueled monkeyccino.

As the Wookie has repeatedly attested, my choices are toward a mellower, maybe umbrella adorned beverage. So, the KBS was way out of my comfort zone. The notes of chocolate, coffee, wine and bourbon followed start to finish and somehow melded into a powerful, yet flavorful beverage. What struck me most with the KBS was the syrupy thickness. While the coffee flavor is not for everyone, this is clearly a sipping drink, to be enjoyed with the last course of any good meal paired with a heavy dessert or a good cheese.

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16 thoughts on “Beer Review – Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout

  1. Love a good sipper – I’d probably enjoy this one. G-LO, I confess, I borrowed your word “boozy” to describe another beer today. Tis a good word. Enjoying your blogs, especially the head to head reviews. Way to collaborate!

    SimplP

    • Yo Paula!

      It truly was a delicious beer. I guess they call it Breakfast Stout cause it’s practically an entire meal in a glass! And “boozy” is a very appropriate term when we’re talking about beers like this. I wish I could say that I was the first to ever use the term, but I think I heard it used by Zane Lamprey on “Three Sheets” a couple years ago. Glad ya like it!

      And thanks for the compliments regarding the blog! I can’t speak for the other guys, but I’m having a really good time with it. :)

      Cheers!
      G-LO

    • Thanks for the kind words. Our friend G-Lo certainly throws the word boozy about and sometimes it is even in the correct context. Our “collaboration” if that is what we want to call it seems to work well since each of the booze dancers approaches a beverage looking for different aspects (the bite of hops or the sweet flavor of malts or the well blended finish).

  2. LimpD — forget any ideas we have about starting a brewery or a distillery. I say we open a coffee shop and call it “Monkeyccino”. The merchandising alone will make us rich!!

  3. That this beer wasn’t super boozy was probably the thing that impressed me the most about it. So, so good.

    So is this blog – very fun read!

    • You’re right on. While you can tell in the taste that the KBS is a high ABV beer it was not overwhelmingly “boozy” like a lot of brews once they get over 10% ABV. You have to like coffee and chocolate to like this one but if you do it’s a great sipper.

      Thanks for reading!!

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