Background: I must break rank for a minute and say, without a doubt, this is one of the top 5 beers I have had in my life. </taking off serious pants> I can remember the first time I sipped Kentucky Breakfast Stout; ‘twas back when they called it by its given name, not the more common abridged moniker. It was several years ago, and I can say I still remember reading the description: imperial stout aged in bourbon barrels. It sounded interesting enough, I like a good stout or a neat low ball full of Wathen’s Single Barrel. This was indeed an awakening for me; Beer served in a snifter? But alas, pretentions aside, this drink was fantastic. In the words of one William Smith, “My life got flipped-turned upside down.” I very recently traveled out to Grand Rapids Michigan with the knowledge that the beer had released just one week prior. I was greeted with utter disappointment when I learned they were already dry of the beverage. But there was a thin trickle of good news: The Black Party.
Color: Dark. This Beer was dark. If thick were an adjective referring to shades of light, it would be suitably used in this case. As I deliberately swilled the deep liquid in my glass I watched it velvetly coat the sides, retuning elegantly delayed, with grudging disdain for gravity. Yes, all of this in just its color.
Taste: Like a stout Beer aged in reissued bourbon barrels should: amazing. I was surprised to learn that it was only aged for 1 year because its smooth yet bold bourbon flavor was so well matured. This was not a beginning brewer dumping some liquor into their homebrew and pronouncing it “Bourbon Stout.” No, this was something much greater, as if the corn was distilled in the beer during fermentation. The smooth application of flavors was stunning, and unforgettable. I should add that this photo is only one of the two bottles I was able to procure this year, and they are two of 64 delivered to my county.