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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.

2,807 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 2,807
Hads: 10,814
Avg: 4.56
pDev: 8.99%
Wants: 4,281
Gots: 5,084 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 2,807 | Hads: 10,814
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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Photo of Trevor11
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Very powerful beer. Had both 2015 and 2014. The aged beer was more enjoyable with the mellowing of the strong flavors and prominence of the alcohol in this barrel-aged beer.

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

I have had this beer both on tap and 12oz bottle
Served in a snifter

A - It pours very dark and fairly thick. A half inch of head rests on top.

S - I get the coffee, bourbon and vanilla that is advertised.

T - AWESOME, I get a hint of coffee with a nice bourbon finish. The

M - Full and creamy

O - This beer is one of the best, it's so sad that it is so hard to get. Founders once again does an outstanding job with an outstanding brew.

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

review of a 2011 bottle, fresh, poured from the bottle into a tulip

appearance - Black, held to the light and very little lightens it up even around the edges, mocha colored head thats about 1 finger tall but faded to about 1/2 a finger and remains throughout the brew, low visible carbonation

smell - up front is coffee, strong coffee but less than FBS, second is whiskey, but a mellow whiskey almost sweet smell, in the back ground there was hint of chocolate and alcohol, the nose alone on this made me drool

taste - now i dont believe in god but i heard angels sing upon my first sip, up front is a nice roasted coffee flavor(less than FBS) that moves into a sweet whiskey, nice roasted malt and chocolate notes with coffee still being the main player, that quickly moves into a a sweet whiskey, and finishes with a slight burn, the after taste is like a frozen mocha coffee with a shot of whiskey in it, absolutely delicious, as close to perfect iv ever tasted, enjoyed this one far more than last years but i feel iv evolved as a beer drinker, and iv tasted many more BA stouts so i have other things to compare it to.

mouthfeel - very thick, rich velvety mouthfeel, very little noticeable carbonation, this is what i feel a big stout should feel like

drinkability - i know this is no longer rated but old habits die hard, if i could drink this every day i would be a happy man, i could of enjoyed another after but its too precious to drink at once

overall - my first ever perfect score but waiting for KBS is like waiting for christmas, if i had to pick a beer as my favorite it would be KBS, one of the few beers i can honestly say "i would have paid more for this and still been happy)

planning on aging at least one and doing a side by side next year, i planned that last year too and it didnt work out, only time will tell

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Photo of STKPICR0720
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle date 2/17/12

Wow this brew is amazing. Well worth getting no matter what it takes. The alcohol is prevalent but hidden well. Boozy to the nose but wow great mouth feel. I would love to drink this brew at least a couple times a week if my waistline and budget could cover it. A truly phenomenal brew hats off to Founder's well done, well done.


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

Had to go for something special for my 200th review. I had the good fortune of picking up 2 4 packs of 2010 and even more 2011 (well, actually 2009 and 2010 if you count when bottled).
Yes, I know this is an extremely hyped beer, this years causing a frenzy even. In my opinion, this is one that that lives up to the hype.
appearance: Black, black, black, gorgeous mocha head.
smell: Incredibly smooth mocha. Coffee w/o over the top bitterness, chocolate w/o over sweetness, and that buttery barrell aged thing in just the right amount to balance all.
taste: again, all this coffee, chocolate, and barrel aged goodness in perfect mellow harmony.
This is my second perfect score. Not sure if that's over-use or not but I just can't imagine this beer being any better. Like a great work of art, nothing should be added or taken away.

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

Big thanks to Beerwolf77 for this extra

Part of an epic tasting, along with Sculpin, BCS, BCBCS, and more.

A: Pours a syrupy, viscous-looking, black oil color with a small brown (almost purple) head. Truly a thing of beauty.

S: Ahhh...coffee, oak barrels are apparent in the nose giving a woody note, bourbon (but MUCH more balanced and manageable than BCS)- and not very hot at all, only a little chest warming. Vanilla, a hint of dark berries, toffee, molasses, brown sugar, lactose, oats, chocolate, maple syrup, and a roasted/slightly burnt malt character.

T: See above; nearly identical. The maple syrup is a little less pronounced in the flavor, but you can still get a slight whiff. Bourbon is essentially blended flawlessly into the rest of the profile. Lactose is present and gives a good cream flavor that really goes well with the chocolate, bourbon, and vanilla.

MF/D: Super (I emphasize super) viscous body- one of the biggest I've tasted. Alcohol is very well hidden, and the bourbon is not boozy at all, rather complementary. Low carbonation. This is the closest-to-a-5 beer I've reviewed.

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Photo of jcnd9803
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: A motor oil slick look with no head but incredible lacing.

S: A wonderful mix of vanilla, bourbon and coffee.

T: Just an amazing flavor! The taste mirrors the smell. The alcohol is there, but it's really smooth.

M: Three words: thick, chewy and creamy.

D: For such a big beer, it's amazingly drinkable. For it's heat and thickness, I would reach for another one after drinking one, it's that good.

For me, this is the gold standard of beer. I've had at least 35 of the top 100, and I would take this before any other beer.

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Photo of 120minuteman
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2013 Batch, popped open on New Years Eve (12/31/2014). Poured in to Wild Turkey tumblers.

What a beer! Did not disappoint. Well worth the wait. Very complex beer, yet highly drinkable.

Lots of chocolate and caramel (both in flavor and smell), with notes of vanilla and bourbon. Light carbonation and slick feel on the tongue.

Looking forwards to picking up another bottle on April 1st!

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

I recently had the pleasure of drinking this fine beer. It has one of the most complex flavor profile's I've tried. It is a very strong coffee smell and taste along with some nice caramel notes. I'm reminded of Kahlua and cream. I loved this beer and yet again am proud that I live in MI with so many fine breweries.

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

Pours a beautiful silky, dense, black that absorbs all light. A thick, creamy head forms. The nose is firmly chocolate, bourbon, smoke, layered with notes of vanilla and dried fruits. The palate is rich with a medium-full body, with intense lingering of bourbon, chocolate malt, smoke and vanilla. Attractive lacing. This stout makes me smile. Definitely moreish! Reverence and dedication to sensory exploration is a must. This is not a quaffing ale but a serious sipper for pondering and reflection. The alcohol is hidden behind the richness. With dessert or after dinner or whenever you have time to spare and enjoy.

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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,807 ratings.