I’ve gotten to my 99th video beer reveiw. Time to pop another strong beer that’s been sent to me for my comment.

Founders Brewing Co. dropped me their collection of Kentucky Breakfast Stout and two varietals for this season. I already visited the original KBS a few years ago, and more recently their Maple Mackinac Fudge editions.

The Espresso variant is an interesting take. Since the beer is already brewed with coffee and chocolate, it may be overkill to age it on espresso roast coffee beans. And somewhere in the process, it spent some time in bourbon barrels as well.

Founders KBS varietals for 2020.

Founders KBS varietals for 2020.

The bottle I got was packaged on 10/16/20. Right under the cap I got a nice big espresso smell. It pours a solid black, with a rich foamy tan head.

My first taste impression is of more espresso strength coffee, so it succeeds there. Bitterness seems to come mostly from coffee, then the roast of the stout malts settles in. The alcohol is slightly warming, but gets overwhelmed by coffee notes in the end. At first I thought this was not like a Kahlua, but my opinion shifted as I go further into it. There are slight notes of oaky vanillin, and then there’s that chocolate they talk about. Having poured out the bottle, I see the bottom is clear, with no sediment, so some could gather if you chose to age the bottle. On my palate, there’s a coffee aftertaste that sticks around for a while. Notable in that it’s a dry finish rather than the sweetness of many coffee stouts.

In posting this, I also post that I am aware Founders has had ongoing issues with its treatment of its people, both in their brewpubs and even in the sales office. It takes a long time to discuss, and an even longer time to come to judgment. Chances are some people have skipped over this article, and I understand. And although I recorded the video portion of this article last week, I delayed posting it until Tuesday because putting online during MLK Day would have surely been tone-deaf. For myself, I try out what beers are sent to me, and I make note when they have been sent to me for free. The newxt few beers I write about will be some I have bought myself.