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Friday, November 2, 2018

Feature Beer Friday: Founders 2017 Kentucky Breakfast Stout

By Eric Ducote

Good morning everyone on this Gameday eve, and welcome to another edition of Feature Beer Friday!  Today I'm headed up to Michigan, in the figurative sense, to try the 2017 version of the Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout.  Founders Brewing has been around in Grand Rapids, Michigan since 1997, making it pretty old and established in the world of craft beer.  Technically Founders is no longer considered a 'craft' brewery as they are 30% owned by San Miguel's parent company, but in my opinion that's a far cry from the breweries that have sold out 100% to AB-Inbev.  

One of Founders' most successful and popular beers is the subject of this review, the Kentucky Breakfast Stout.  It's a big imperial stout brewed with a lot of coffee (hence the 'breakfast' in the name) and chocolate.  It's then aged for a year in bourbon barrels before being released once annually each spring.  It can be found on tap, in 12 ounce 4-packs, and in 750ml bottles.  The bottle I have today is a 12 ounce bottle from the 2017 release, so at this point it's getting close to 2 years in the cellar.

Founders 2017 Kentucky Breakfast Stout

The pour is dark rich brown, almost black, with a couple of fingers' worth of frothy tan head.  The aroma is strong with bourbon and coffee, with a bit of roasted malt bitterness.  The taste is smooth, especially considering this beer is just over 12% alcohol, with more coffee and bourbon notes but also some sweet tones from the chocolate and still a hint of bitter roasted malt.  The mouthfeel is silky smooth, this is a dangerously easy drinker, and I think I'm going to have to stop after one and switch things up!  This still reigns supreme as one of the best barrel-aged imperial stouts in the world, so this Spring, if you see some of the 2019 release on the shelves, make a purchase.  Cheers!