Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) - Founders Brewing Company

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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)

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2,753 Reviews
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Reviews: 2,753
Hads: 10,495
rAvg: 4.55
pDev: 8.35%
Wants: 4,159
Gots: 4,773 | FT: 387
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: 2,753 | Hads: 10,495
Photo of DividedAvery
4.38/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into my New Belgium Snifter

A: Pours pitch black and has a one finger brown head that lingers for quite a while.

S: Whiskey is the main smell I'm getting off of this which hides some coffee, vanilla and chocolate flavors. My mouth is really salivating

T: Wow, lots of bourbon on the taste. In fact that's the dominating flavor for me, bourbon heat. Hidden behind the bourbon is some good coffee and vanilla notes with a great chocolate aftertaste.

M: strong. That's the best word to describe it. Thick as it should be and a little creamy

O: I'm not happy with the amount of booze heat there is in this stout. In my mind after a year or two this could turn into a truly amazing beer. Parabola at this same age had a lot more smoothness to it's character and so itstill ranks higher for me but overall a great beer.. (845 characters)

Photo of kylegillick
4.38/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 12oz. Bottle Aged 1 year

A- Black with fine brown lacing

S- coffee, chocolate, and slight hit on Bourbon

T- Complex stout. Coffee is not overpowering, but certainly there. Chocolate, with hints of vanilla. Very smooth with a bit of a bite at the end. 70 IBU adds a sold bitterness. The oak and Bourbon add a great aftertaste

M-very thick. Classic full bodied stout. HEAVY

Overall: Great for Coffee lovers. The oak aged adds complexity and flavor. Too much hype for this beer, but it is great none the less. (519 characters)

Photo of levifunk
4.38/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had at Madison, WI BA Tasting #2

'07 bottle

appearance - black. medium carbonation
smell - smoke! so smoky I can't smell anything else
taste - smoke is in the flavor, but not as strong as the nose leads on. Its a smoked coffee taste rather than the campfire smoke smell. The caramel sweetness comes in beautifully.
mouth - thick! even with the good carbonation it feels chewy.
overall - so glad I got to try the '07. Booze is almost undetectable. very mellow. (461 characters)

Photo of GBRunner24
4.38/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Not going to do a full review, but I'm sitting at Founders right now and life couldn't be better.

KBS is an amazing beer, but honestly I enjoy Backwoods Bastard a bit more. Mouthfeel is great; smell is full of chocolate notes, coffee, and beer. First taste is fantastic, but the alcoholy burn at the end is what pulls the score down for me. I wish I could've gotten a bottle to age it a bit, however I'm glad I could experience the last keg of KBS of the year (460 characters)

Photo of titty_mcbitty
4.38/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured a dark, thick black. Tan head. Usual stout appearance but maybe with a bit darker head.

Aroma hits with bourbon, chocolate, and coffee.

Alright, so I've had this before - a long time ago when I was drunk and couldn't wait to try it. I remember not being ready for the flavors that hit my palate (as I was semi-knew to the brew scene). Now, I get a less-intense flavor. Coffee, toast, milk and cream, sweet/bitter chocolate, oats and bran, graham cracker, and not a whole lot of bourbon!

The beer, however, goes down so nicely. It's perfectly creamy and full-bodied without being too cloying.

This is still a world-class beer, but I'd give it a 94 overall. I was not disappointed at all, but not shocked at the supposed greatness (lack of bourbon notes). Regardless, this is a wonderful beer. (805 characters)

Photo of nflmvp
4.38/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured very aggressively into a snifter, leaving a thick, one finger dark creamy head. Dispated within a couple of minutes leaving a light creamy foam. It was so dark as to be nearly jet black but just a touch of light shows through the outside edges.

Smell is that of cocoa, coffee, caramel and marshmallow. Taste is sweet but not too sweet. Coffee pokes through in a big way but the finish is lightly alcoholic. Surprisingly light considering the ABV. Mouthfeel is thick and coating and again, it seems VERY creamy. Other than the coffee taste, this has many similarities to cream soda...sweet, smooth and creamy.

Drinkability is VERY good. Very well rounded. I'm happy I splurged for a four pack but I'm afraid I can't afford to drink it as much as I might like to, based on the price of $17.99 a four pack. (816 characters)

Photo of sfoley333
4.38/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into a New Belgium snifter. Poured black with a dark tan head that foamed up two fingears than faded a minute later. Smell is dominated by coffee with hints of vanilla, chocolate, and a whiff of charred fussel oak. Taste coffee with darkfruit, molasses, and a alcohol warmth. While a great sipper or really drunk start to the day I could enjoy a couple but with 10 abv you might have weird afternoon. (424 characters)

Photo of jmdrpi
4.38/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2010 vintage served on-tap, 10 oz pour in quasi-snifter glass. had during Founders event at the Craft Ale House, so notes are brief.

appears jet black, with nice thick head of dark tan colored head. aroma is tons of bourbon, with a bit of vanilla in there. same with the taste. It's dominated with bourbon flavor, but I'm not really picking up any of the coffee that is said to be in there. It appears during the year of aging it has faded away. the alcohol has blended in nicely, no trace of the 11%abv.

mouthfeel is excellent, super smooth, thick and creamy. I had a glass of Fonder's regular Imperial Stout right before this, and the mouthfeel and drinkability of KBS blew it away comparitively.

Overall - I was certainly glad I came out to the event and got to try this elusive beer, and now want to try a fresh version. (830 characters)

Photo of von_kaiser
4.38/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2015 12 oz bottle into a tulip. I've been on a BA kick lately. Starting to really enjoy the style.
A: dark black, 1/2 finger head, trace bourbon tint to lacing left on the glass.
S: booze....I'm picking up a full nose of booze with a faint sweet chocolate scent.
T: sweet stout with a lot of booze. Hint of coffee but not getting the chocolate flavor.
M: well carbonated & smooth sipping. I get a ton of booze on the after taste.
O: had for the first time this time last year. I remembered it being one of the greatest stouts I've ever had, which I still think it is today. One OF the greatest indeed. I too firmly believe goose island nails this particular style. Let's see what age does to her. Cheers! (718 characters)

Photo of BarrelO
4.38/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. 2011 edition.

A: Body is pitch black. Tan head is somewhat anemic but leaves quite a bit of lacing.

S: I'd say it's about 60-40 between the coffee and the bourbon.

T: Lots of coffee and toffee. Also plenty of bourbon and vanilla. Starts out strongly alcoholic but mellows out as it warms up. Each element vies for dominance initially, but they all come together eventually in a perfectly balanced symphony with no one element overwhelming the others.

M: Smooth and creamy.

D: I'm not that much of a fan of bourbon barrel-aged beers, but this is one where the hype is warranted. I'm sure it'd be even better after about a year. (666 characters)

Photo of Winter
4.38/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours, as so often said before, like "motor oil". Black with a brown head. Aroma is huge with alcohol. Bourbon combines with dark chocolate and oak. The mouthfeel is thick and coating... chewy certainly. To call this a "big beer" is an understatement. Burnt malt and expresso coffee on the front. The bourbon flavor makes an enormous impact midway. Vanilla and oak follow. Things finish with a linger alchohol and vinous taste. There's no disguising the 10% abv here.

Equally good, in a different way from the regular breakfast stout. The coffee flavor isn't as apparent, but the bourbon really shines in this example. It's a shame this is so hard to come by. (662 characters)

Photo of DrJay
4.38/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was fortunate enough to get two bottles from BC2. Thanks nlmartin and bax72!
Even on a very hard pour only a thin dark brown cap appeared, then fell quickly to a skim of fine bubbles and a thin ring. The beer itself was black, but with the thinnest of mahogany edges when held up in bright light. Some spotty lace clung to the glass between sips. Assertive roasted coffee aroma, some grounds, toffee and caramel, with wood character in the background. Thick and sweet pretty much sums up the first sip. There was a lot of coffee and roast flavour, but also equal parts dark and milk chocolate along with rich caramel. Oak played a role in the middle, growing into a whiskey barrel, alcoholic finish. Still, it stayed quite mellow for all the powerful flavours. Lots of alcohol warmth, low carbonation and a full, heavy body. Quite viscous and palate coating. Great stuff! Definitely a sipper, but a very nice balance for such a big, flavourful beer. (951 characters)

Photo of alpinebryant
4.38/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep dark oil black with a dark tan head that left lacing and sticky sap looking head on the top.

Smell of strong bourbon, coffee, dark roasted malts.

Taste of sweet malt, bourbon and oakiness. Roasted chocolate and caramelized sugars are heavily in attendance. The booziness is mainly presented in odor, but this tastes quite palatable and very smooth at the high abv. At first I am reminded of Bourbon County Stout but this seems to be smoother and more evenly rounded. Both are great, I think this one is a little better and does not burn as much as BCS.

Lots of bourbon, chocolate and coffee. Not much roast, which surprised me. Little to no oak. However, the flavors present are excellent. They mesh well and are wonderfully assertive. Lots of vanilla and some caramel, as well. Actually, this is one of the most vanilla-forward beers I've had in awhile. Alcohol is present but stays inside the bourbon aroma.

Mouthfeel is relatively thick with a light carbonation. There is no ugly charred flavors rearing their head which makes this more desirable to me. I would say when compared to FBS, this is slightly smoother, not as dry with the oatmeal flavors and not as much char flavor whether or not it is just the bourbon barrel masking these flavors.

Id def get more of these if they were not so pricey (1,323 characters)

Photo of richalexander78
4.38/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011. I had my doubts about thia one before i tried it, but it was awesome! Very dark, thick as mud. Complex and easy to drink with lots of complexity. Plenty of vanilla from the barrel ageing, not to mention some licorice flavor. This is a sip and savor beer for even the most hard core beer drinker. This is the type of stout I love trying and there are few of them. Well done, and cant wait to have another. (410 characters)

Photo of ColdPoncho
4.38/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark thick black liquid pours into the glass creating a compact and powerful looking dark brown head. Impressive looking beer.

S - Coffee is the biggest thing here. Then there's some vanilla and bourbony notes. dry smoked meats, some earth. Good smells.

T - Coffee and vegetal flavors and bitterness on the front, bourbon undertones throughout. Some chocolate. One of few beers I have that the taste lives up to/exceeds expectations from the nose. A great tasting beer.

M - Super smooth, and a decently thick body. Not as thick as I'd expect, but still a big and full bodied beer.

O (D) - This beer tastes great. It is something I want to drink. It's got a high ABV and is a big beer. It's expensive. I would buy this regularly if I could, and even though there are issues with it, overall I think it's quite excellent (taste trumps). (842 characters)

Photo of Dools9
4.38/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle to Founders branded snifter.

A: Black as hell, head was about a finger of chocolate colored head that receded to a skim layer. Looks decadent.

S: Sweet vanilla and oak bourbon combined with loads of dark and milk chocolate, some black coffee and a light whiff of booze.

T: Sweet bourbon, vanilla, very dark chocolate, espresso coffee.

M: Smooth, full, creamy ,lush.

O: Absolutely phenomenal. Drinks like liquid luxury, alcohol is so well masked with the exception of a welcoming warmth going down. Wish i had a few more bottles, but thankful to be able to have tried this one. (589 characters)

Photo of maxk
4.38/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is my first foray into bourbon barrel aged stouts, so I might as well start with one of the best.

A: A deep, rich black. It looks rich and thick with a beautiful, caramel colored head. The head settles down after a few minutes to leave a nice blanket of bubbles atop the fluid. It leaves a trail as it slides down the glass.

S: Lots of chocolate, a little bit of coffee. It has some bourbon booze in there too which really tickles the nostrils in a pleasant way.

T and M: Lots of oak and bourbon are still prominent. There's a bit of coffee there too. These flavors really dominate the palate. There is a tiny bit of some dark fruitiness, but it's incredibly buried. It feels big, rich, creamy and chewy in the mouth with no astringency. So smooth and chewy. It's pretty hot from the booziness, even after over a year.

I really enjoy this beer, but I can't help but feel like it's a little bit unbalanced. The bourbon really dominates. Of course this is my first beer of the style, so keep that in mind, but the bourbon is really intense. (1,050 characters)

Photo of kbnooshay
4.38/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black as hell with a finger width brown frothy head that didn't stick around for long. Light moderate lacing. The smell upfront is bourbon whiskey and butterscotch with coffee, and sweet creme hints. Smells rich with dark chocolate aromas. Tastes bourbony too! Also, lots of coffee and chocolate flavors. Light vanilla flavor but I didn't get much oak. Espresso! At times the sweetness is a bit much. Tastes rich like a fudge brownie. Feel is fairly viscous. This is great! (479 characters)

Photo of theirishdago
4.38/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

At first glance this stuff is like motor oil, black and viscous. The head is nice and thick and creamy with a dark tan color to it. My first aroma I got was the bourbon, then dark chocolate and a fresh cappucino smell. The taste of this stuff is just amazing. I almost feel guilty drinking it, it's so decadent. Huge cocoa up front with a nice bourbon finish. The bourbon flavor is well balanced with the coffee, just enough to let you know it's there. This stuff is potent, although the alcohol is well hidden. I gave it a lower score in drinkability only because I had trouble finishing my second pint. I guess if I were a bigger man, it would have been easier. (663 characters)

Photo of BTPete
4.38/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 "KBS" style 12oz bottle to pint glass.

A: Pitch black engine oil. Seems thick on the pour. Thin brown head that leaves spotty lacing as it goes down.

S: Bourbon on the first smell. Roasty malts, chocolate and coffee when I go back in for more.

T: A little bourbon on the front end, then the chocolate and roasted malts come in. This one does end with a nice little burn to it. Not too much though. I found this to be pretty well balanced looking at the ABV coupled with the barrel aging.

M: Full bodied and low carb. Not surprising for style.

D: This one is a heavy hitter but surely enjoyable. Has mellowed a little since my last taste in March 2009. Very good I would say great stout overall. I think it is a great beer that I will look forward to reviewing against this coming years version. (809 characters)

Photo of robbrandes
4.38/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

reviewed from notes
poured from 12oz into highball glass (damn rental home). this might be the blackest beer i've ever seen. i'm not sure i can give it a '5' on appearance because no light could escape the inky vortex. huge coffee and chocolate nose, head recedes to a 1/4" film.
taste is a blend of caramel, burnt sugar, chocolate, oaky dryness. impossibly dry finish.
damn nice beer, wish it was more accessible on the left coast. (434 characters)

Photo of parchedjay
4.38/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drinking two bottles back to back...a 2009 and '12. Lucky me! First time trying what I've considered the holy grail of stouts. Both pour black holes. Flavor profile similar between the two. Huge chocolate/nibs. Smell the coffee in both but just picking up a bit of iced coffee in the aftertaste (and my burps). Nice bourbon layer in both, much smoother in the '09. Both go down well, the '09 is much mellower and doesn't carry the slight bitterness of the '12. The '12 is a little alcoholic, the '09 went down sooo smooth, almost too easy. The aging flexes itself nicely. Of course they are both fantastic but a little aging does benefit the style very well. It's making my ears pop. Get it if you can. (702 characters)

Photo of rwmiscik
4.38/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Everything about this beer is amazing. When its fresh it is delicious and has amazing coffee, chocolate, and bourbon all balanced against he oak. When its aged it gets even better and id say it peaks when its around two to three years old because the slight alcohol taste when its fresh completely goes away and the beer becomes even more balanced and delicious than it already is. (381 characters)

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.37/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Chris at Ebenezer's Pub for this one. Intensely black, with a small cocoa head. It had an aroma of coffee, molasses, and whiskey. The taste followed right along. Very strong coffee, like espresso, the molasses and whiskey more muted but still present. Fairly smooth in the mouth. This is a beer to sip and savor one at a time. (336 characters)

Photo of wedge
4.37/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2009 (I think...)

Totally black under a thin, bubbly brown head. Rich dark chocolate and sweetened, oily coffee bean aromas. Light char, a smooth oaky vanilla note, and a whiff of bourbon. Heavy sweet cocoa flavor. Fudgy coffee and bourbon, vanilla bean, sugary espresso. Heavy and silky smooth. Very rich, but damn tasty. (323 characters)

Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,753 ratings.