In the mid 1990s, Mike Stevens and Dave Engbers both drew up a business plan, left their respective jobs and took out huge loans and started Founders Brewing in Grand Rapids, Mich.

The rest is history.

Founders has been at the top of its game since and has continued to produce talked about beers, big and bold, some of which have become hugely anticipated, creating massive lines at releases and pushing and shoving at local bottle shops. KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) is one of those beers, a huge 12.4 percent ABV version of the company’s Breakfast Stout aged in oak bourbon barrels from Kentucky.

Founders KBS (2016) bottle

After brewing, KBS is aged for a year in bourbon barrels in old gypsum mines 85 feet under the ground at a temperature of 38-40 degrees fahrenheit. As with other cave-aged beers that are produced by Founders, finished barrels are lifted from the mines on freight elevators 16 at a time. Each barrel contains 53 gallons of beer and weighs approximately 550 pounds.

This is the 12th year of KBS production.

Poured from a 12-ounce bottle with a simple label that exclaims:

The Amazing Kosmicki’s Highly Acclaimed KBS, A Flavored Stout Is Good For Everything A Flavored Stout Ought To Be Good For

This concoction pours a massively dark color with a minute amount of deep brown highlights along the edges of the glass, producing a finger and a half of beautifully carbonated tan head. Aromas are in your face with big bourbon that singes the nose hairs and ample amounts of chocolate, coffee and roasted malts.

Founders KBS (2016)

Taste hits you again with bourbon, milk chocolate, cocoa powder, fresh brewed coffee, vanilla and hints of dark fruits. The carbonation is great for the style and the mouth feel is slick, oily and coating with a bit of mild stinging from the bourbon. Although slightly tannic and semi-dry on the finish, the effects of whiskey, coffee, vanilla and grains remain bold and present. Balance is remarkably well done and even though the bourbon essences remain at the top, other flavors are still allowed to frolic in this one. Warming of the beer plays a little part, although I would say that the alcohol comes slightly more to the forefront as this event occurs.

Founders KBS (2016)
BREWERY: Founders Brewing Co.
LOCATION: Grand Rapids, Mich.
STYLE: Imperial Stout
ABV: 12.4 percent
IBU: 70
PRICE: $5.50 ($22, four-packs of 12-ounce bottles)
RELEASE DATE: April 1, 2016
AVAILABLE IN: 12-ounce bottles
An amazingly bold beer with huge flavors and a great complexity. Definitely not for the faint of heart, as the bourbon notes attack the senses and all of the flavors gang up on you to produce a highly rated, highly sought after, limited release brew. Don't miss it if you get the chance.
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