Beer Preview: Founders KBS Maple Mackinac Fudge

I've been catching up with as many Black Friday (and Wednesday) events as I could. I was also able to work in another video this week, and now I'm posting it here.

Founders KBS varietals for 2020.

Founders KBS varietals for 2020.

The folks at Founders Brewing Co. have dropped a box of their latest Kentucky Breakfast Stout. I already reviewed their original KBS, a barrel-aged imperial oatmeal stout brewed with chocolate. There are two more variants appearing in stores for 2020, both made with coffee: an Espresso KBS, and the topic of today, Maple Mackinac Fudge KBS.

I opened the Maple Mackinac first, because I thought this would have been brewed with actual fudge. But, no, it's made with maple syrup and Mackinac Fudge flavored coffee. As long as it's not the oddly off-flavored Gloria Jean's coffee, I'll give it a whirl.

The name is a little misleading. It's not made with fudge, but with fudge flavored coffee. Never caring for the flavored coffee from Gloria Jean's, I approached this a little more carefully. But no, I'm pleasantly surprised.

Founders Maple Mackinac Fudge KBS

Founders Maple Mackinac Fudge KBS

I got a rich chocolate fudge nose when I started to pour. It offered up a big head of really dark brown foam. Fudge flavor is foremost as I taste it, too. It takes a while for any other tastes to come through, but I started to get a little bit of maple to it.

The coffee flavor is a warm mocha note. There is almost too much fudge flavor to allow the bourbon barrel flavor out, but I finally pick it once the beer has gotten all over my palate. Thick mouthfeel and plenty of fudgey flavor. Toward the end, I found some of the maple, smoothed by a whiff of bourbon barrel oak.

Having had this just a few weeks after the 2020 Bourbon County Stout flight, I can see the different points of view that go into these brews. BCS goes more for bourbon flavors, while the KBS gets its distinction from the adjuncts that each varietal features. Each is worth picking up and considering, by themselves, or side by side.

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