Welcome to our weekly beer review, wherein we point you toward the world’s destination ales.
Beer: Kentucky Breakfast Stout
Brewery: Founders Brewing Co.
Availability: Released in April. Founders is available in most of the country, but getting a four-pack of this may cost you your soul or a month’s paycheck on Craigslist.
Tasting notes: The base for this ale is a thick Imperial stout that gets aged in oak bourbon barrels for an entire year. You’ll taste coffee and chocolate with oakiness and vanilla from the barrels. You may also taste heaven.
Learn why God created beer.
Food pairings: Ice cream goes really well with this beer (you might even want to try our chai ice cream recipe or experiment with different Ben and Jerry’s flavors like Karamel Sutra) but you may also consider something light and sweet like a meringue cookie, or suck on a little Mexican chocolate, letting it melt in your mouth and then washing it all down with a sip of this beer. Or, if possible, cook up some s’mores around a bonfire and learn why God created beer.
If you feel like a beer newbie, pay attention. Knowing about Founders’ Kentucky Breakfast Stout, being able to discuss Founders’ Kentucky Breakfast Stout, and/or telling someone you bought some Founders’ Kentucky Breakfast Stout will instantly give you beer street cred. And for good reason: it’s a Holy Grail kind of beer and highly regarded in beer circles as one of the best around — because it is.
A hint of whiskey sends the ABV up to the same level as wine.
This beer is allowed to ruminate for about a year in Kentucky whiskey barrels with the addition of both coffee and chocolate. Once it emerges from the barrel, the final product is an amazingly thick and viscous imperial stout full of the rich dark flavors often utilized by desserts and breakfasts, with a hint of the liquor that, yes, goes best with desserts and breakfast. That hint of whiskey pushes this beer to that next level — and is what sends the ABV up to the same level as wine.
If you can’t find a four-pack of the Kentucky Breakfast Stout (KBS), most likely you’ll be able to get your hands on some of its little brother, Founders Breakfast Stout, a very similar beer that doesn’t have the benefit of aging in whiskey barrels but still boasts a robust stout flavor. This beer is much more readily available and highlights many of the same flavors, especially coffee. As far as the KBS goes, there’s a chance that even if you knew about it a month ago it was impossible to find. But this beer is notorious for sitting on the shelves of small town liquor stores waiting for people in the know to stroll in and make it theirs. So the next time you’re visiting Grandma’s house, head down to the liquor store and see if there’s a four-pack sitting at the back of the bottom shelf waiting to be yours.
For more information, see foundersbrewing.com.