Founders KBS is one of those incredibly hyped-up beers that people stateside go mad for; released every April, this landed on our shores in the first half of that very month, so kudos to Grand Cru.
Impenetrable black with a thick cream head, it looks a bit on the heavy side for a breakfast beer. Thankfully, this was more like a late lunch for me. The big hitters are, appropriately, the first to hit; coffee, boozy sweet chocolate (in an ordinary stout kind of way) and then boom, fuckloads of Bourbon, with all the alcohol, vanilla and more alcohol that brings. Surprisingly, it doesn't seem to have the nuance of Bourbon County Vanilla, despite that being a ridiculously strong 15% with more malt character than it knows what to do with, though the KBS does have a flash of the BCS's savoury pleasantry. Full, creamy and slick is the mouthfeel, with Bourbon muscling into the flavour from the off. It does open to some proper 'mellow', woody, chocolatey caramel covered goodness with the slightest finish of coffee, but not a lot, and certainly not enough to repair the one-dimensional impression the beer makes.
In the end, I'm forced to conclude that it is objectively good but a bit of a let down, especially when considering the €8 price tag and even more especially when compared to Founders' ordinary imperial stout, with whom KBS shares shelf space. When the asking price is twice as much as that of a better beer in the same style, it's no wonder I haven't gone back for more.
If you've missed it, you haven't missed much.