Sunday, June 2, 2013

Founders KBS Tasting at AWS

Back on April 11, I had the opportunity to attend the Founders beer tasting event at Ale Wine & Spirits (AWS) in Powell.  AWS has a tasting pretty much every Thursday and Friday, open to all their customers who purchase a ticket.  The April 11 tasting was for five different Founders Brewing Co. products.  Your $10 ticket allowed you to sample Founders' All-Day IPA, Breakfast Stout, Curmudgeon, Dirty Bastard, and the star of the event Kentucky Breakfast Stout (KBS).

I'm not an IPA fan, but I did find the All Day IPA to be a more pleasant version of the style.  It is by no means a beer that I love, but if I was somewhere that only IPAs were on offer, this would be one I'd ask for… Like all IPAs, it's hoppy and bitter, but unlike many of them, it's not overwhelmingly so.

Curmudgeon is probably my favorite of the Founders beers.   Dirty Bastard isn't bad, either.  Breakfast Stout is a fairly standard coffee-flavored stout.

Approximately 30-40 people attended the tasting.  A chance to purchase the leftover bottles of KBS (one per person) were randomly drawn at the conclusion of the event.  Unfortunately, I wasn't one of the winners.  In the end, that was fine with me.

Kentucky Breakfast Stout is the Bourbon barrel aged version of Founders Breakfast Stout.  I like it a little better than standard Breakfast Stout, but I can't say that it lived up to the hype I'd read about it beforehand.

For example, Beer Advocate rates it "world-class" and gives 95-100/100 ratings.  It's good, but not that impressive to me.  I'm willing to admit that I may have missed something here, given the very small sample size (see photo at right), but I didn't find KBS to be significantly different or better than Alltech's Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Stout (which Beer Advocate rates only an 84 or "good" rather than world-class).  The Alltech beer has the same strong coffee flavor, the same vanilla and Bourbon notes found in KBS, and a very similar mouth feel.   Founders KBS might feel a tiny bit thicker or creamier, but I can't say that it's different enough or better enough to justify the hype to me.  Your mileage may vary.

If you live or work near the Powell area, you should drop by and check AWS out.  If beer tastings like this sound like fun, get on their email list.  Once a week, they share information about the upcoming tasting, what's available to fill a growler, and any new beers they've gotten in.

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