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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,805 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 2,805
Hads: 10,805
Avg: 4.56
pDev: 17.54%
Wants: 4,274
Gots: 5,074 | FT: 417
Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  11.20% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-13-2004

This stout is brewed with a hint of coffee and vanilla then aged in oak bourbon barrels for over a year.

Note, this is NOT simply barrel-aged Breakfast Stout. It is an entirely different beer.

Now labeled as "KBS."
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 2,805 | Hads: 10,805
Photo of kaimcm
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

on tap at the publick house

my first experience with the Kentucky breakfast and i dare say it was nothing short of perfect. everywhere I though the regular breakfast stout lacked, or fell shy of perfect, this beer improved on. huge aromas of chocolate, coffee, vanilla, hints of bourbon, cinammon, pastries. huge flavors of the same. incredible chew in the mouth, huge full body, coating. extrememly balanced, no booze to be found anywhere. unbelievably drinkable for such a huge and high alcohol beer. i put down 4 with total ease and sheer joy. this is truly an amazing brew. i hesitate to even try and describe it. thats it, im done. excellent.

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Photo of Jahjehwa
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2015, on tap and in bottle are both amazing (No hype required). I won't compare it to the other bourbon aged beers because it has its own unique way of doing things. To me the bourbon is present but it is more subtle and doesn't overwhelm the other flavors of chocolate and coffee. I do love the bourbon heavy beers as well, but KBS is much smoother and refined imo. Had a chance to meet Jeremy K. The brew master at a local seminar and local tapping. Smaller town in MN and was not crowded at all. Very laid back and humble about all his beers. I haven't rated a lot of good beers that I should have. I would say, don't pick a favorite. Also just because it's new and super rare and you got some, doesn't make it better or worse than those who have been perfecting their style and can make more of it. Beer isn't a hipster fashion trend it's been around a long time and will be for a long time.

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Photo of SkinnyElvis
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Purchased at Capone's in Norristown. Pours a deep black with a little foam. Huge smell of coffee and chocolate. Taste is amazing: chocolate and coffee dominate with a hint of the bourbon aging plus vanilla. Mouthfeel is extremely smooth. I can't taste the ABV of 10% at all. This is truly an exceptional beer. My first beer rated as "5's" across the board. I am glad that I have a few more sitting in the stash.


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Photo of jondeelee
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the rarer beers on the market, this is released every March and is, according to the maker, available pre-order only. A contact at a local liquor store begged and wheedled his way into a case of the stuff, and I then begged and wheedled my way into a small, expensive fraction of that case.

Even the smallest whiff lets you know that you're in for a unique beer experience. This is a stout, so has many of the standard stout aromas--heavy chocolate malts, coffee, caramel, pure vanilla--but smells like the juice of four stouts had somehow been wrung from their bottles and poured in a concentrated form into a fifth bottle.

The taste experience is no less incredible, and the sheer quantity and volume of flavors that rush over the tongue are truly astounding. The almost-burnt flavors of chocolate malt are more massive than in pretty much any Imperial Stout I've tried, and are matched by black coffee flavors that I've only seen equaled in Turkish coffees. Vanillas, caramels, and tobaccos dance gaily in the background. And all of this rests thickly over a base of bourbon flavors that will leave your soft palate tingling--as well as your nose, if you're not careful.

I do admit that the sheer size of flavors in here will prove a hindrance to many, if not most beer drinkers. As for me, I've just found a new favorite stout.

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Photo of jjshowal
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a growler into a Balloon Goblet.

This is simply one of the most enjoyable and best beer experiences I have ever had. I was with my older brother on a cool spring night in March on the outskirts of Cincinnati.

I won't even go into the specifics of each aspect of the beer, but I will say this is the only imperial stout that I have experienced three wonderfully distinct and vivid flavors in a row.

As soon as the extremely thick, black, syrupy consistency beer pours into the glass you are hit with an unforgettable aroma that is complemented by the perfect amount of carbonation for an imperial stout. The thick, amber-colored foamy head remains through the drink followed by a beautiful lacing.

When it hits your tongue, the drinker experiences a creamy chocolate taste that is infused with hints of vanilla. While in the mouth, a deep and rich coffee flavor erupts that is very powerful, yet very drinkable. The finish is a distinct flavor of aged oak and bourbon that is bitter and strong without being overwhelming. An incredibly soothing and warming experience. After being refrigerated overnight, we let the growler sit out for about a half hour or so drinking it at about 50 degrees.

Founders is known for making extreme beers and stouts and the Kentucky breakfast is no exception. Simply put, this beer will kick your ASS! I do not recommend this as a session beer. One is all you need to enjoy. After finishing the beer, I lit up a Makers Mark soaked Cigar that was an excellent cap to probably the best beer I have ever had.

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Photo of Zachb4au
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is the second year in a row I've had KBS. I had to go to Georgia to get it last year, but it came to Alabama this year.

A-Black as night, in the best possible way.

S-Coffee, bourbon, chocolate, vanilla. It smells amazing.

T-Roasty, with great notes of bourbon, chocolate, vanilla and roasted nuts. All the flovors harmonize in amazing fashion. I also pick up some good bitterness, and a bit of boozy warmth. No complaints, as close to perfect as possible.

M-Thick and viscous, almost chewy.

O-As good a beer as I've had. I'm partial to all things bourbon barrel aged and this is as good or better than any. KBS is worth the effort and wait to get it.

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Photo of ahlavato
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I can't say anything more than has already been said about this brew. Exceptional in every way, it is well worth knocking off early from work to be sure you get this before it's gone. And it will be...soon.

At least if I and any of my 4 friends here have anything to say about it.

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Photo of lnashsig
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

#BOTG 67! A pretty special one...2012 KBS! My triple header ending of tonight, something to sip on for sure. Poured from bottle into my CBS snifter. Pours a pitch black motor oil thickness, brown tan head that bubbles up like a tarpit from the glass. Beautiful. A tan ring settles around the circumference of the glass. Smell- amazing. Sweet molasses, caramel, honey, chocolate. Just absolutely decadent. Maybe a little bit of cinnamon. Taste- buttery caramel, molasses, spicy tobacco reminds me of Red Man from my HS baseball days. Sweet bourbon, espresso roast finishes the end. Wow. This is absolutely mind boggling good. This is so smooth, the bourbon flavor is absolutely present, but this shows no booze at all. I'm glad to have had the chance to taste this (thanks Eric!), and will seek it out again. World class, lives up to the hype. This is a home run, a perfect 5.0.

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Photo of IntriqKen
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Many, MANY thanks to AlohaC for making my tasting of this beer possible.
Hmmm...where to begin.
Pours a deep used motor oil black with a creamy tan head that melts to thick glass-sticking lacing.
Aroma is unbelievable chocolate, espresso coffee and cream, followed with vanilla and a hint of the bourbon barrel aging with definate oak scents.
Mouthfeel is oh so buttery smooth and creamy with just a tingle of hops/carbonation.
Taste is also unbelievable. Coffee...lots of vanilla....light boubon....chocolate...almost a cream chocolate...more vanilla. WOW.
This could be the inside of a cream sees candy...or better a Beligium chocolate..a handmade Belgium chocolate.
Aftertaste is again sudden vanilla...chocolate, bourbon vanilla.
This is more than a desert...more than a meal....more like a sin.
I know that all 5's are not often supposed to happen and I have only given them to one other beer. 5's mean you cannot improve anymore.
For this beer, I do not think there could be anything better.
Thanks again, AlohaC

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Photo of Futbolmanby
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Honestly the best beer I have ever had, I'm pretty sure explication isn't needed for why this is one of the top 5 beers that's still being produced RIP CBS

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Photo of nicnut45
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I will tell you the truth. With all the hype surrounding this beer I was sure this was going to be a HUGE let down. As I was not too impressed with the regular breakfest stout. Now I have this to say, I dont think the Lord our God would let a beer get any better.

Appearance: Thick, as black as the night, not too far from used 5w30. A thin brown head that collects around the sides of the glass. This head looks like a cloudy sattelite photo of the earth.

Smell: Oh man, like those sweet vanilla cigars old men smoke, like a fresh bottle of vanilla, leather, good coffee, a pleasent alcohol sweetness with nothing offensive detected.

Taste: I drank this at room temp. Who could do this beer justice and describe its taste? This is like creamy vanilla ice cream and port wine. Its not too sweet though I would say on a scale of 1-10 its about a 6. But once you get that initial sweetness the hops come in to keep it in check.

Mouthfeel: Its thick. Like vitamin D milk. Subtle carbonation, I love its touch and how it sets my mind at ease. No fizziness.

Drinkability: When it comes to high alcohol beers you expect them to be a bit harsh and kind of tough to get down. This is an exception, its super smooth. I would like to drink this all the time.

This is the best beer I have had thus far. For me it has surpassed the hype. I imagine only the Saints in Heaven are drinking anything better.

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Photo of dowen17
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours black as ink. Gurgles as I pour. Thick chocolate colored one finger head. Good retention and nice lacing.

On the nose is coffee, dark chocolate and fruits, vanilla and oak from the bourbon. Very complex and inviting.

Taste mirrors the nose exactly. Big bitter roast coffe. Dark fruits and coffee. Sweet bourbon. Vanilla and oak. Perfect.

Mouthfeel is huge. Warming from the alcohol but chewy. Sticky. Really coats your mouth and lips.

This beer is all its cracked up to be. Worth what I traded to get it. Can't wait until its released again next year. Will definitely buy and drink again. Just perfect.

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Photo of CoffeePorter
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Essentially the KBS is an enhanced version of the FBS.
A: Midnight black with thin tan like head.
S: Rich notes of dark roast coffee with chocolate and some malty sweetness. Definitely can smell the bourbon.
T: I can really detect the strong notes of coffee and chocolate. Tastes a bit boozy, but combined with the complexity of sweetness and chocolate goodness it is a home run.
M: Mild amount of carbonation, very full bodied mouthfeel.
O: This is an excellent beer, i'm glad to have finally tried it…it's a perfect 5 to me…the first beer i've ever given such a high mark!! Kudos to you Founders!!

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Photo of RocPorterFanatic
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This amazing beer pours opaque brown into the awaiting pint glass. No light penetrates through the inky stout. The initial scent is coffee, no qualms about it. Following the dissolving coffee is an underlying cocoa aroma. The taste is so complex its almost perplexing. Again, coffee is in the forefront. Next, in come the chocolate. Its not hidden, its like a punch in the face, almost syrup-like. The alcohol is well hidden. Its only appearance is at the back of the tongue, just before swallowing. This beer cannot be a session beer by definition, unless your session is one or two drinks. I've been looking for Kentucky Breakfast Stout for quite a while. I am so happy to have found this. This is one of the most amazing beers I have ever tasted. Its so absolutely amazing, words can do it no justice.

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Photo of Heatwave33
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz bottle to a Dogfish Head Snifter.

Color: Black with a dark brown head.

Smell: Bourbon, chocolate, coffee and oak.

Taste: Same as the aroma. AMAZING!

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation, smooth with a light dry finish.

Overall: Is this 11% ABV?! It's so very well balanced and smooth I couldn't tell at all. This is probably one of the best beers I have ever had. Absolutely could not fin anything wrong with it. This brew does nothing but a whole lot of right! Cheers.

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Photo of mdvatab
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into snifter.

Aroma: Chocolate milkshake, dark roasted coffee beans, powdered cocoa, Hershey's bar, and a faint sweet bourbon note

Appearance: Black as ink. One finger of cappucino brown head collapses to a thin layer of foam that clings to the inside of the glass.

Flavor: Moist, rich earthiness up front, a light vanilla note, peppery bourbon heat is tempered by dark chocolate brownie with an underlying coffee note. The label says 70 IBUs, but they're very well hidden. The overall flavor tends, as it should, to sweet roastiness, and avoids acrid notes sometimes derived from the darkest malts.

Mouthfeel: Thick body with creamy carbonation. The bitterness that lingers on the back of the tongue seems to come more from dark, roasted malt than from hops.

Overall: This beer has so much complexity, one can't help but slip into a relaxed, contemplative mood. Lots of great things going on here. The noticeable booziness is not overwhelming, and will probably soften over time. Next time I'm lucky to get a hold of one of these, I think I'm going to cellar it for a few years.

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Photo of sjones5045
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Well, this is about as perfect as you can get. Founders perfected the bourbon barrel beer with this. It pours jet black with a minimal brownish head that fades quickly. Unless a stout is hopped up on nitro I guess this is par for the course. The appearance is probable the only thing regular about this beer.

The smell is crazy with tons of chocolate and sweet bourbon that hits you early. As the beer breaths it remains the same. Almost smells like a dessert beer.

The taste is heaven in a glass. The chocolate gets you first, then a bit of vanilla with a great bourbon sweetness that is consistent and bold. Smooth and silky are the words that come to mind while drinking this. The alcohol is pretty well hidden, but there is enough there to give a nice burn in the throat.

Honestly, I think I appreciate this beer more as I've tried so many others. I feel that all the other bourbon stouts hit you with tons of bourbon taste upfront. And what separates this from the others is that somehow Founders creates a very even taste all the way through. When drinking the other top bourbon stouts it seems like it all hits you at once rather than creating a unique balanced flavor. There may not be a wide variety of flavors here, but the ones that are here are so craft-fully blended and there really isn't another beer I've tried that can accomplish this. World class, and this is the reigning champion of the beer world as far as I'm concerned. If you really separate yourself from the hype and concentrate on the beer, I defy anyone to find a bourbon beer as well balanced as this. It's worth the drive to Michigan for the release every year.

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Photo of Backer2004
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

wow, everything I thought it would be and more. no need to go into the fine details, you can read that amongst the other reviewers. buy this beer if you get the chance. i thought $5.95 a 12 ounce bottle was a bit steep and though I will not buying cases anytime soon, worth every drop. buy for a special occassion. not sure if i will be able to keep my second one for another 6 months. drink up

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Photo of Bmonster
5/5  rDev +9.6%

Well, here it is, the legendary KBS. Released only once a year, this is a stout at its heaviest and most complex. Huge amounts of coffee and chocolate are added to dark malts, then aged in oak bourbon barrels. The result is the a beer with a perfect rating.

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Photo of nortmand
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is my review from the sample I savored at the MBGSBF.

Pours deep, dark brown with a dark brown head.

Nose is dominated by roast, with a bit of bourbon thrown in for good measure. Coffee notes is well.

Very complex flavor. Chocolate, maple, bourbon, coffee, roast merge into a bludgeoning mass of flavor. Really, very nice.

Huge body, smooth and very nice. Not a summer beer, but I'll never turn down the opportunity.

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Photo of larryarms847
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours very dark brown almost black with a dark khaki finger of foam. Great lacing and very sticky, clings to the glass like syrup.

Pungent coffee and chocolate, oak, vanilla, nuts, and bourbon.

Huge coffee and chocolate flavor, wonderfully enveloped by a sweet, but spicy bourbon glove.

Heavy-bodied, medium carbonation, big, chewy, silky smooth.

Overall, this one will be in my top 5 BBA brews for a long time.

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Photo of hudsonskunk
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I do not fan boy a lot of beer, but for me, this is as good as it gets.

This beer pours darker than most any beer I have seen. The color resides somewhere between french press coffee, and oil. If poured in a tulip glass the edges reflect a beautiful tinge of mahogany.

The smell is unreal. This beer is 11.2abv, and you can smell a little bit of alcohol. Most of the aroma from beer rests around roasted flavors, peaking around bitternotes with flavors of coffee and oak, and sweet notes with touches of cream and molasses.

Taste is out of this world. When served chilled your roasted barleys and chocolates pop along with bitter notes of american hops. The aromas of hop flavors are suppressed between coffee and cocoa notes, but the bitterness is still there bringing out some of the sweeter tastes of malted milk, and cream. At a more cellar temp. this beer will bust out fruity elements hinting at notes of wild blackberry. Like I said before, the alcohol still supplies a noticeable bite on the back end.

Mouthfeel is perfectly weighted drifting slowly over all plains of the tongue dancing ever so slightly between savory and sweet tastes. Viscosity looks a lot heavier than it actually is, but this comes as a relief in the end as the flavors are so complex a quick finish is most likely favored to ensure all elements of the beer can be enjoyed. (just my opinion, may be total bullshit.)

Overall, this beer is the only beer I would go broke for. It only comes once a year, and it is by far the most consistent and satisfying beer that founders currently produces. If you get a chance, enjoy this beer with a friend, but beware, you may never experience something this good again.

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Photo of spartanjd
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2012 vintage, after much searching from all over Chicago was finally able to get my hands on one.
Appearance: pours oil black with a slight head disappears quickly
Smell: Chocolate, bourbon, vanilla. subdued but rich.
Taste: AMAZING more of the chocolate, bourbon, alcohol, so smooth goes down great.
Mouthfeel: smooth coats the mouth, feels delightful relaxing to drink.
Overall: completely lived up to the hype, overall just an amazing beer so glad I got my hands on a bottle.

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Photo of duke1258
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Great vanilla aromas up front with a bit more forward hops this year, but still the warm malty end taste. Just as smooth as always, and more complex than the standard Breakfast Stout. There is a depth to this beer beyond just the Barrel aging. Definitely more bold Whiskey than other aged beers and yet very subtle alcohol.

I had this on tap once again at Founders and was offered a sample of the Canadian Breakfast Stout, aged in Maple Syrup Barrels, and found it to be a great twist on the KBS, though a bit sweeter. Still the best beer in the world, KBS is progressively becoming even better.

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Photo of Armand
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a tulip glass. Smell was amazing, and what I expected after wanting to try it for some time. Smell of chocolate and roasted malts swirled throughout the glass. Oaky and and slight bourbon floated on the palate. Genuine beer lives up to its reputation. Small head lingered for the first few sips. Great beer to chill to. Smoother and sweeter as it cooled down. Great 'til the last sip. Savored every moment.

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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,805 ratings.