Kentucky Breakfast Stout (KBS) is an annually released bourbon barrel aged beer from Founders Brewing Company. KBS was first conceived by Founders over 10 years ago. The initial batches were simply comprised of their staple Breakfast Stout and then aged for six months in Jack Daniel’s barrels. The KBS recipe has since morphed into its own style, becoming an imperial Russian stout made with espresso beans and chocolate. It is aged for one year in bourbon barrels which are laid away in cold storage caves. KBS’ popularity and has grown to mammoth proportions, especially over the past few years. Certain publications regard it as high as to call it one of the best beers in the world. It’s hype and beer-geek lore exponentially increase after each batch is released in mid to late March. The 2014 KBS batch was sent out for distribution on April 1st. Most of the local Buffalo shops were sold out in less than 20 minutes (even with a one or two bottle limit per person at most stores.) BWG was lucky enough to get our hands on a few bottles, but our sampling came at an even better stroke of luck. We stumbled upon a stock pile of KBS at Pizza Plant, a favorite local craft beer bar. For us, most things never live up to the hype. We’ve been disappointed on more than one occasion after going out of our way for a hyped up whiskey or beer. KBS certainly needed a good amount of effort to acuire and it wasn’t cheap, but after delving into this brew and breaking down its flavor profiles, we found the KBS worthy of its hype and more. From nose to finish the balance of coffee, chocolate and bourbon is absolutely perfect. Many bourbon aged beers tend to accentuate the booze on the back end, leaving a void in the drinkability category. KBS manages to bring the wonderful bourbon flavors to the forefront, while still leaving plenty of room for roasted espresso notes and a delicious chocolatey sweetness. The palate has a robust creamy texture, medium carbonation and features all the balanced flavors of the nose. The finish is a silky ribbon of chocolate and bourbon. We could drink this 11% abv. brew all night if we were so inclined. Despite being infamously difficult to acquire and its $6.99 per 12oz. bottle price, this bourbon barrel aged stout earns every bit of its hype and its accolades. Rating: 95/100.