Wednesday, April 3, 2013

It's Not Drinking, It's Research

Yesterday, the local Whole Foods got a shipment of Founder's Kentucky Bourbon Stout in. The way they were talking it up in their emails and on facebook, it sounded like something I HAD to try.

You know, for research.

Even though there was a strict limit of one bottle per person, I made sure I was there right at 5 to get mine before they were gone. And it's a good thing, too, because there was a crowd.

"It's good for everything a flavored stout ought to be good for" 

Originally I was going to save it for some kind of special occasion (at $7/bottle, that's what you're supposed to do, right?), but Jen mentioned wanting to try it, so that's all the encouragement I needed to crack it open.
I absolutely support her desire to try new beers, especially if they're big and awesome and outside of her typical comfort zone.

It had a strong smell of alcohol, but you could definitely smell the chocolate and coffee in it. I poured it into my new Dogfish Head glass hoping it would really help open it up, and it did.

Initially, it was hard to pick out the flavors because of the alcohol. I think drinking it on the warmer side contributed to that.

But as I got a little further into it, I didn't notice the alcohol as much and the other flavors really came through. Toward the end the bourbon really started to come through, which was REALLY nice (it was noticeable but certainly not overpowering).

I think that over time the flavors would really come together and the alcohol wouldn't be as noticeable; I just don't have the willpower to tuck something like this away, so I may never know.

My only complaint (and it's a small one) is that I wish the texture was a little smoother. My favorite way of drinking a big stout like this is when it's on nitrogen -- there's just something about the silky smooth texture of it.

Oh, and I was also disappointed that I only had one. It went way too fast.

What I Learned

  • I want my RIS to be as smooth as possible. The original poster of the recipe describes his as:
    "Really pleased with this batch. It is everything i love in a RIS: roasty and rich, nice smooth viscous body, coffee, dark chocolate and the bourbon & oak are present but not overpowering. An excellent sipper that gets better as it warms and hides its ABV surprisingly well even at room temp."
    The "viscous body" was confirmed by another poster, so I'm really hopeful.

  • KBS is aged in bourbon barrels FOR AN ENTIRE YEAR! I don't have that kind of patience, so I'm hoping the flavors start coming together after 6 months or so (although I do plan on aging a few bottles for at least a year).

  • If mine is anything like this, it'll be the perfect beer to drink while sitting around the fire pit in the fall.
Maybe it's the geek in me, but I love research. :)


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