This is my 300th beer review, which also serves to celebrate the two year anniversary of Beeritual! I just wanted to say thank you to all 117,000 of you for watching, reading, and perhaps drinking along with me. You give me a reason to keep going. Now, onto the review. This illustrious double stout is brewed with coffee and chocolate, then aged for one year in bourbon oak barrels. I was lucky enough to come across this bottle of “KBS” while traveling through Raleigh, North Carolina. It’s been ‘cellaring’ in my wine cooler ever since, and I am so pleased to be finally opening it up!
On the nose, coffee stands at the forefront like a vanilla latte with whipped cream. Roasted specialty malts come across like oatmeal cookie dough, and cocoa powder. Bourbon stands on the back end with characteristic hints of oak, covering the traces of alcohol.
The palate begins like a rush of decadent fudge or chocolate cake, followed up cold coffee with cream and sugar. The middle register is lactic, sort of like a chocolate malted milkshake. Hops approach with weak herbal tones, topped with flavors of coconut, and hints of cinnamon. Caramel sweetness gently rises, overshadowing the roasted bitterness. Esters rise with accents of dark fruit that come in the form of black cherry or black currant. Light phenols depart with a kiss of spice. The bourbon barrel softens the edges, enclosing the finish with flavors of vanilla and oak. Mouthfeel is medium-full in body, super creamy, rounded, wet at times, powdery at others, leaving with a deep alcoholic warming.
I’ve been wanting to try this for a very, very long time, and so I’ve constructed a set of expectations this can’t realistically live up to. However, I can honestly say that this is truly deserving of the hype. By far, the most amazing feat is how they’ve managed to so strategically conceal the alcohol, expertly masked by the bourbon-aging, which makes a statement without completely stealing the show. Few breweries show the same level of expertise when dealing with malts (Deschutes is the other that comes to mind). This beer is complex in scale, yet simple in delivery. There is so much here to love, so savor and sip slowly. I highly recommend it!
Grand Rapids, Michigan