Wednesday night, Ribco had a tapping party for Founder's Breakfast Stout and Kentucky Breakfast Stout. Like their Stone release party earlier this month, the purchase of the Breakfast Stout also meant you got to keep the glass it came in. The KBS is the Breakfast Stout aged in oak bourbon barrels for an entire year. We attended with Joey, Sheri, Brendan, Erin and Tyler (thanks to Tyler for getting the table some nachos to share). Tim gave me the honors of writing this comparative post, so hope you enjoy!
Appearance: Served in a pint glass, the coloring is an oily black hue. Head dissipates to become a toffee colored ring clinging to the side of the glass and leaves a small patch in the middle. Slow rising carbonation breaks the surface in small patches. Lots of wet lacing on the side of glass.
Aroma: In comparison to the KBS, the Breakfast Stout's aroma consists mostly of roasted malts and coffee beans. Subtle hints of wood, sweet dark chocolate and toffee. The aroma is quite enticing.
Taste: Taste starts off as a sweet dark chocolate flavor that is immediately followed by bitter coffee tannins. The mixture may come across as sour, but the combination of bitter and sweet fooled my tongue at first. Malt backbone and finishes with a hoppy bitterness. Some inclination of wood in the flavor. The tannin bitterness suggests that the coffee beans were over-roasted.
Mouthfeel: Has a thick body that feels kinda sticky and tacky and coats your mouth. It's especially noticeable on the roof of your mouth. Yet the alcohol still has a drying effect on the palate. The carbonation from this batch was kinda harsh.
Overall Impression: Other friends of ours had the bottled Breakfast Stout and commented how they liked it better than the batch on tap. Personally, I was so impressed with the complexity of the KBS that it was hard to switch to the Breakfast Stout. Still, this beer is quite impressive for a stout and should definitely be given the chance if you find it a bottle or on tap.
Kentucky Breakfast Stout (KBS)
Appearance: Poured into a 6 or 8 oz snifter. The appearance is exactly the same as the Breakfast Stout: an oily black color, a nice tan head that slowly dissolves into gorgeous wet lacing along the side of the glass.
Aroma: The smell is really complex, it's quite the conglomeration of rich, fantastic aromas. You can definitely catch the appearance of oak and bourbon in the nose which is what differentiates it from the Breakfast Stout. Hints of dark chocolate, molasses, roasted malts and coffee complement the sweet bourbon.
Taste: First thoughts, "Woah that's rich" and yes Tim and Sheri made fun of me for writing that down. Well it's the truth. You can definitely pick out layers when sipping on this brew. It starts off as sweet with the flavors of molasses and chocolate. The alcohol from the bourbon hits midtaste and once its gone it leaves a very warm and woody aftertaste. It slowly mellows into the roasted coffee flavor that hangs around in the mouth and throat. Overall, the chocolate sweetness is the dominating flavor but once you reach the bottom of the beer, the alcohol midtaste becomes predominate.
Mouthfeel: Heavy, thick body with perfectly coordinated carbonation. The carbonation is not in the slightest bit foamy or biting. KBS is smooth and creamy and it has a drying effect in your mouth and throat.
Overall Impression: The aging in the bourbon barrels does the Breakfast Stout good. The aging process with bourbon oak barrels helps mellow out the biting coffee bitterness that overwhelmed the palate in the original Breakfast Stout. Underlying booziness that will sneak up on you if you're not careful and becomes more noticeable by the end of the beer. The complexity of the layers are amazing and is what ultimately makes the KBS stand out. Great for a cold winter night or if you are in the mood to sit, relax, and enjoy. I was definitely disappointed to finish my glass, hopefully Ribco still has it after the weekend, but that's probably wishful thinking.