Every year in March, Founders Brewing Co. releases its well known bourbon barrel aged stout on the world. KBS is another beer for the argument of aging, but this is more in the mind of preference. Big notes of coffee, bourbon and a sticky, roasted malt sweetness and cocoa wrap up this full bodied beer and is quite a treat when fresh off the taps.

Aging this beer has a noticeable effect on it. The aroma is comprised of some biscuit, soaked oak wood, faint dried fig and other dark fruits. Some molasses and dark roasted malt linger along with faded spent coffee grounds. Whiffs of cocoa make an appearance but aren't in abundance. There isn't as much chocolate and caramel in the nose as there was when it was fresh, but it still smells incredible.

The taste is big on chocolate with some creamy vanilla and a large coffee backbone. There is a mix of sweet milk chocolate and bitter dark cocoa that blends nicely with the dark malts and coffee flavors. This is a tasty stout with staying power. The lingering flavors on the back of the taste are a mix of sweet bourbon and bitter coffee with roasted grains tying it together.

As it warms and oxygenates, the individual flavors start to blend together better to create a flavor as if it were dark cocoa bark with a coffee dusting. It is quite splendid. The aroma lends itself more to the oak barrel and malty characteristics.

A lot of fans will say they prefer this beer fresh because the coffee is so prominent and up front. I think this beer does well with aging a few years and shows a bit more under the coffee canopy after some time.

This particular bottle was cellar kept away from light with temperature fluctuation between 50-60 degrees throughout the year.


Our CELLARED series aims to explore the world of aging beer and sharing the effects of time in the bottle. Bottles have been kept away from light and at temperatures between 44-60 degrees. Individual experiences may vary depending on storage environments.

Posted on February 7, 2014 .