I’m not easily overwhelmed when I sample a good beer. My favorite brews are typically pretty complex, especially since I’ve been pulled along for the KOTBR “We Love Hops, Yes We Do!” ride. But the Founders Brewery Kentucky Breakfast Stout that we sampled recently at Hot Shotz Ale & Grill knocked me for one hell of a loop…and I still don’t think my taste buds have recovered.
As the other Beer Geeks have noted the beer pours thick, somewhere in between really strong coffee and motor oil, with just a tiny hint of a beige-ish smudge at the top of the glass. I could smell the roasted vanilla coffee before I even picked up the bottle to pour, and sipping it cold was like sipping the iced espresso that is my daily lifeblood. Good, but a little, well, overwhelming.
Flash forward to about 20 minutes later, and the espresso had given way to a smooth, incredibly rich caramel coffee flavor, with the spicy sweetness of the bourbon starting to come through. Oh, how lovely this beer is at the perfect temperature! Beautiful! Perfect! I think I was grinning into my glass. But wait…
Jason mentioned how fascinated he was with the complexities of the beer, and I’m in total agreement. Especially since just ten minutes after I loved the beer…I haaaaaaated it! I let it get just a little too warm, and the last few sips of the beer were like chugging straight Kentucky bourbon. I think my eyes might have rolled back in my head a little.
Now, I don’t know if it was the food (excellent, spicy and plentiful), the service (attentive and helpful), the conversation (I think at one point we went from talking about kosher meat preparation to David Beckham in one sentence) or the beer itself (an amazing transformation), but by the end of the evening, my head was spinning like a top—in a good way, of course.
I give the beer four solid mugs and a couple of aspirin for good measure.