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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10,378 Ratings

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Ratings: 10,378
Reviews: 2,856
rAvg: 4.62
pDev: 8.87%
Wants: 4,132
Gots: 4,643 | FT: 373
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 10,378 | Reviews: 2,856
Photo of ATLbeerDog
4.42/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 2/8/10

Pours a thin pitch black with a quickly receding small beige head. Smells of bourbon and booze dominate as much of the coffee has long faded. First taste is heaven – with bourbon and dark chocolate and a big splash of strong coffee all blending to make one of the finest beers ever. Thin bodied but well carbonated. The excellent carbonation makes up for the thin body to combine for an overall great mouthfeel. The 11.3% ABV is well hidden. What a great beer!

Photo of seabass87
4.42/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another excellent gift I got as an anniversary present. Bottled 02/25/11.

A- Pitch black... One of the darkest beers I've seen. Aggressive pour forms just a finger of dark brown head. Head dissipates quickly and leaves a frothy ring that yields slight lacing.

S- Dark chocolate biscotti, bitter mocha, bourbon, vanilla extract. The sweetness is balanced well by the warm bourbon. Inviting.

T- The bitter chocolate and bourbon tastes are dominant in the front. The bourbon is handled very smoothly, and doesn't have a strong bite during transition phase. Instead, a nice coffee taste comes along and eases over into a well-balanced combination of all of the above flavors. This carries into an aftertaste I can best describe as like an irish carbomb.

M- Medium-thick bodied for the style. Zero carbonation - this is a good thing for this beer. Dry, sticky finish - as one would expect from a strong stout.

O- I love this stout. It has all the classic stout flavors one could want, and handles them in a very smooth fashion. Slightly difficult to come across, but if I see this again I'll be buying lots of it.

Photo of chumba526
4.42/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appears black with small medium bodied brown head.

It smells of strong freshly roasted, roasted malts, subtle vanilla, coconut and mild bourbon.

It tastes strongly of bourbon but it is very smooth. I get a subtle note of vanilla and coconut. It is not "oaky" like many bourbon barreled stouts. I get a nice somewhat bitter coffee finish to the beer. the beer has plenty of flavors mingling together yet it is very smooth and easy to drink. I expected the beer to be more intense then it is. regardless it tastes very good.

the beer has a thin mouth-feel it also is low in carbonation. this is a bit of a lighter beer then i though it was going to be.

Overall a great beer. it is clean and it has a great collective flavor. however it did not blow my mind. regardless I would love to have this beer again.

Photo of blakesell
4.42/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This year's 2008 model, poured from the twist off 12oz bottle into a wine glass.

Appearance- Beer pours a solid obsidian oil slick with only a ring of red foam around the sides of the glass. Lacing is glued to the sides and is a rich tan.

Smell- Rich espresso with hints of bourbon and masses of Belgian chocolate, cream, lactose, brown sugar, caramel, bourbon is more powerful as the beer warms. Vanilla extract snakes through on the finish.

Taste- Bourbon, chocolate, creamer, black licorice. Chocolate gets more powerful like a marraige of dark and milk chocolate. Whiskey warming on the finish, just like taking a shot. Hops and fruity notes are nonexistant.

Mouthfeel- Creamy, warming, full-bodied as all hell, evenly-carbonated, lightly prickly, smooth and gluey.

Drinkability- The Kentucky Breakfast Stout I had enjoyed in the past was not near as great as this KBS. This could damn well be teh best double stout in the world.

Photo of scoand
4.42/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pitch Black, one finger head dissipating to coffee brown head. Appears to have significant carbonation.
Smell: Bourbon, alcohol, toffee
Taste: Bourbon, alcohol, toffee, mocha/coffee. Bitter at the end. Warming, earthy.
Mouthfeel: great mouthfeel, warming syrupy.
Overal: Exceptionally special RIS.

Photo of Malt_Man
4.42/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

L) Very dark chestnut brown, opaque. Thin bubbly tan head.

S) Bourbon is the major smell. Some sweetness, some chocolate. No beer.

T) Lots of things happening here... boozy but not overpowering slightly sweet bourbon flavours come in first, followed by subtle bitterness from roasted malt. Ends on a mellow caramel / slightly sweet malty note.

F) Lovely density to it. Alcohol warmth at the end is very nice. Slight bitterness in the aftertaste, but nothing like as strong as other stouts can be.

O) Lives up to the hype. £5.50 well spent, will buy another perhaps later in the year.

Photo of Tmyhre802
4.42/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Not a stout fan, but this definitely isin't a regular stout. I couldn't have enjoyed this more.

A- Extremely dark with a slight bubbly brown head.

S-Coffee and Chocolate all day, awesome smell.

T-Neither the coffee or chocolate was terribly over whelming and complemented each other perfectly.

M-Full body but not overly syrupy at all.

O-Believe the hype, this beer is the real deal. Real pleasure to enjoy!

Photo of cquinn17
4.42/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.
2013 vintage.

A- Black, 1 finger thick mocha head that dissipates quickly. Pretty much just a pitch black barrel aged stout.

S- Lots of coffee and chocolate lead the way in the nose. The bourbon and oak characteristics are a little more subdued. To me it almost smells like a mix of FIS and FBS. Wish there was more bourbon in the nose.

T- Again, fresh, bitter coffee beans are balanced out by silky smooth milk chocolate. The bourbon comes through a little more on the taste but there still isn't as much barrel as I'd like. I get a little vanilla, oak and even some anise at the end, but its mostly a coffee and chocolate bomb, which isn't a bad thing.

M- I'd say its a medium to full body, not as thick as I'd expect but not too thin to where it detracts from the beer. Pretty high carbonation for a barrel aged stout as well.

O- After trying many barrel aged stouts this year, (bcbs,bcbcs, peruvian morning, cwbbs, parabola), this falls in the middle of the pack. Nothing spectacular for me, but still a very solid beer. Something everyone should definitely try once, but if you miss out on it, don't feel too bad.

Photo of ASymon13
4.42/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This one pours a viscous black, with no visible light passing through it. It has almost no head, despite a fairly aggressive pour. The smell is full of black coffee, with some solid bourbon and roastiness. Kinda like a southern version of an irish coffee.

The coffee and bourbon really work magic in the flavor. Neither one is overpowering, and they complement eachother wonderfully. There is some slight hop bitterness that hits you early on, but mellows out very quick. There is a hint of anise, some very slight sweetness to it and a decent spicy alcohol twinge, but this beer really is all about the melding of coffee and bourbon, and the two flavors linger long afterwards. The carbonation is pretty low and the body is lighter than I expected.
Overall, this is an excellent brew. A nice blend of southern goodness with some eye-opening coffee.

Photo of mortarit
4.42/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Every now and then this little town gets some good stuff.

Absolutly no head during the pour, only around the sides

Smell seems to be weak but the taste packs a punch. Bourbon, yes I can taste it. You can feel the complelxity of all the notes but in unison.

This deserves a spot on the boards.

Photo of lunarbrew
4.42/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Beer pours tar black with about one finger of dense brown head. Head dies fast and leaves a nice sticky lacing. Smells unbelievable. First sweet chocolate, which hit hard. Next, bourbon (and a lot of it). Finally, dark coffee and a little black malt. Phenomenal nose. Flavor is rich, complicated, and smooth. The attack is sweet and bourbony. Almost no heat, but I know there is plenty of alcohol hiding. There is a huge coffee flavor and a little bit of vanilla. Mouthfeel is a little on the thin side, medium-low carbonation, and extremely creamy. I wish there was a little more bourbon, a thicker mouthfeel, and a little stronger head/retention.

Photo of chicano4craft
4.42/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours black as night in my snifter. The small tan head disappears as fast as it appeared. Leaves a thin halo.

Nose has hugh bourbon notes. The alcohal mixes well with the strong, woody barrel aroma. There's slight chocolate and coffee. Very nice.

This taste like it was poured straight from the barrel! Lots of alcohal soaked wood. A little vanilla plays on the coffee of the stout. I get more wood than any other similar beer I've ever had. That's not a bad thing at all. The complexity grows as the beer warms.

Despite the big abv it's surprisingly drinkable. The carbonation seems to fade as the beer warms leaving a nice syrup quality. The body has some depth but isn't chewy. Thinner than I expected.

This one lives up to the hype and then some. Great beer that should be enjoyed now...and later. Another Founders beer that has me wishing for distribution in CO.

Photo of madelfonatree
4.42/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Look - Lighter than oil, darker than coke. Nice dark cream head. Head film down the glass.

Smell – Whiskey and if anything else, vanilla. It is not overpowering.

Taste – Coffee on tongue, hit with the whiskey, mellows out to vanilla and classic stout finish. Tingle stays on the tongue but once again not overpowering.

Feel – Cream explodes in to large, heavy bubbles.

Overall – Is it worth the hype? No. Is it amazing? Yes. For a beginner BA drinker, this is the way to go. The dirty tobacco taste is almost completely lost from Breakfast Stout in the aging, but is there in the after taste. CBS is definitely better.

Photo of hoppymeal
4.42/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer pours jet black with a reddish brown head that quickly dissipates. Strong roasted malt scents mix with a sweet chocolatey aroma. The first taste brings vanilla followed by roasted coffee beans. The beer is not as thick as one might expect from the flavor and aroma. As the beer warms the vanilla aroma is more evident. This beer has a little more sweet flavor to it than their regular breakfast stout which helps to round out the roasted flavors and also helps to accentuate the vanilla flavor. Very well balanced and highly drinkable.

Photo of GeorgeAldi
4.42/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a thick solid black with a thin off white head that dissipates quickly. The aroma is heavy on the coffee as would be expected. I also get some chocolate, tobacco, ash, and dried fruits. Complex aroma really, but heavy coffee. Taste hits with roast then chocolate, and then comes the coffee on the attack. Finish with some vanilla, and some bourbon that is oh so subtle. Awesome complexity!! Creamy full bodied mouthfeel. Excellent brew, I wish it was more available! Another well done brew from founders.

Photo of richj1970
4.41/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2014 vintage poured from 12 oz bottle into snifter.

A: Pours midnight black with an almost crude oil appearance. A very small mocha colored head that dissipated quickly with just some slight lacing.

S: Chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, and roasted espresso beans. A truly wonderful smelling beer. Perhaps not as pronounced as BCBS or the variants, but still very enjoyable.

T: Follows the nose closely. Fairly strong bourbon up front combined with roasty coffee and bitter chocolate. Some vanilla in the back.

M: Full bodied with a creamy texture. Fairly well carbonated for a brew with this ABV. Everything I want in a big stout.

O: I had a small sampling of the 2013 vintage this year at EBF and was a little underwhelmed, but this bottle was truly great beer. Now I need to find a few more...

Photo of LinusBohman
4.41/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from 2010 (thanks adrock7309 for the trade), drunken January 2013. Served from bottle at room temperature into a snifter.

A: Black as a cloudy Kentucky summer night. The thin head is brown mocha coloured. No fizz apparent. It leaves some lacing and sugar residue on the sides of the glass but not as clearly as you would see in lots of similar brews. The head resides quickly and leaves only a thin ring of brown foam around the deeply black liquid.

S: The big ones are coffee, chocolate, bourbon and vanilla. The coffee and the bourbon sticks out. There's also a tart fruityness that is best described as remeniscent of blackcurrants. I can defenitely sense som ethanol there aswell. Hop character is not apparent, neither are any other fruity esters than the blackcurrant.

T: This is multi faceted with an interesting transformation as it travels over and gently caresses the taste buds. On the tip of the tounge I get a sweet yet sour taste which I perceive as spot on blackcurrants. On the mid-part of the tounge, to be specific on the sides of it, I get sweetness and chocolate. After this taste I get bourbon with a distinct vanilla character to it. It all finishes at the root of the tounge with an overpowering coffee taste that ends with a bitter sensation with tastes of dark roasted malts and after that distinct alcohol. The aftertaste is coffee and chocolates with a hint of bourbon and it stays with me a long time afterwards, getting sweeter after a while.

M: Creamy and oily yet not overly thick. Very little carbonation but I would say the body is on the lighter side of full.
Has a warming of alcohol and bitter dryness as the last impression.

O: This is a beer that has loads of character and depth. There's some really huge chracteristic tastes battling for recognition and I'm a bit impressed that they pull it off as well as they do. But I would say the coffee tends to dominate a little too much and alongside with the alcohol being able to see it's way through this maze of tastes and smells I would not rate this a fiver. I would appreciete a tad more subtle chracters for it to blow my mind completely. Still a world-class beer that's very memorable.

Photo of cfrances33
4.41/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 bottle thanks to thebeerisgood enjoyed on 8/27/12 in a Founder's snifter.

Pour: Pitch black with a quarter finger khaki head. Recedes quickly to a rim. Surprisingly leaves a light lacing. Got some legs too. EDIT: this beer is revised from a 4.5 to a 5 (midglass) for excellent lacing, especially for a beer of this style

Smell: Huge coffee notes, followed by a fantastic caramel vanilla. Bourbon is really in a supportive role here. Some toffee comes through at the end as well, but only a tad.

Taste: Wow. Chocolate, coffee, vanilla, toffee, and roasted malt all meld together is a milkshake of bourbon undertones. It is truly hard to distinguish where one flavor profile ends, and another begins. I would say a raw mocha start, which gets blended with the bourbon vanilla, and then blossoms withs caramel and toffee towards the end. Coffee has the final say, mingling with the bourbon as this hangs on the palate.

Mouthfeel: Like no other bourbon barrel stout I've had. This has all the flavors of a the best bourbon barrel imps (a la Parabola) with NONE of the burn. I'm astounded that at 6 months, this beer is so good and so smooth. A fantastic sipper, not necessarily because it's hard to drink, but because you truly want it to last.

Overall: This beer is a true gem. Bravo Founders.

Photo of ptykozoon
4.41/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

~Very nice lil extra courtesy of hayesez~

A vigorous pour reveals the typical dark-dark-dark brown & caramel head with underwhelming retention but great lacing.

Woof! Pungent! Getting a lot of milky chocolate goodness, a tiny touch of liquor i.e. bourbon and a tiny bit of coffee. I want to say I smell cherries even though I know they're not in there. In any event there is a sugary/fruity characteristic and complexity. Very much exceptional.

Incredible; this stout, like Parabola is just ace with the chocolate. It tastes rich and milky. The bourbon aging is there to a small extent and allows the chocolate to taste yummily burnt. Complex, sweet and bitter. Think chocolate milk on acid.

Smooth and satisfying mouthfeel, if just a bit too alcoholic/dry for my tastes.

I wish they sold these here. Deserved hype. But these small bottles are definitely enough for me..hiccup...

Photo of CTbrew32
4.41/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Black in color with no visibility whatsoever. Pours a one finger head that is reddish brown in color. The head dissipates very quickly.

Aroma- Boozy sweetness, oak, chocolate, vanilla, and coffee.

Taste- The barrel is noticeable from the get go along oak and coffee bitterness. The booze sticks around for little but is never overwhelming. In this finish the coffee and barrel gives way to a creamy vanilla and chocolate sweetness.

Feel- Full bodied, low carbonation, creamy, and a perfect amount of malt sweetness.

Overall- Finally having the famed KBS and it is a great barrel aged stout. Great barrel presence, great coffee flavor, and a sweet creamy finish. Really some great flavors here, and great drinkability for high abv stout as well. While it is great and worth seeking out, I wouldn't go overboard looking for this.

Photo of tr4nc3d
4.41/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Wespatrick for sending this my way

12fl oz bottle poured into my snifter

This poured an opaque like color with no light being able to pass through this darkly stout. Pour produced a very little half inch mocha colored head with less than average retention. As it faded it left a mere ring on the outer edges of the beer. No lacing was left at all.

Aroma consisted of some bourbon which was not overpowering, some vanilla, chocolate, oak, oats, leather. Very good aroma coming from this beer.

Upfront slightly sweet chocolate taste is first noticed that lead into some vanilla flavor coming through. In between I get some oatmeal with some coffee and a slight bourbon undertone that is really not that noticeable. Overall very smooth throughout.

Mouthfeel is full bodied with average carbonation. Smooth taste all throughout.

My impression of this beer is that it is a very good stout and deserves the praise and hype it gets. The only thing I would have though was that it would have a more prominent bourbon flavor as others have mentioned.

Photo of deaconsmith
4.4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A.-in a thick glass mug it poured a rich creamy cocoa tinted head about a inch thick. very nice retention with great lacing. the beer itself was a pot black heavy viscosity with not much change in the light.

S.-awsome aroma, has a expresso/heavy malt chocolate with a oaky overtone.. and some wonderfull familliar smell i couldnt put my finger on yet..(drove me time lol).. very alive and complex smell..smelled like heaven=)

T.-like the smell the taste is very simular, rich chocolaty expresso/almost barley wineish oaky with a very strong (but not too strong) and well balanced hopy/Alcoholy after taste.

M.-@ 44* It has a very smooth, not alot of bubbles but very delightfull feel in the mouth. and it gose down so creamy and thick

D.- this one should be taken xtra slow if your not used to this type of beer..i personally can drink about 2 at one setting because it is really strong and almost whiskey like in a quiet way. but for this type stout it is very very drinkable

*definate signature taste. very well crafted brew..I personally love it. i would definatly recomend it.

Photo of azorie
4.4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured into a chalice. Pours very dark black and no head, but its was cold at 36F

S: I let it warm until 50f to review: Nice, very strong but smooth bourbon or Kentucky straight whiskey notes.with coffee and Vanilla notes. I also detect a bitter chocolate whiff.

T: its strange though your nose is telling you your drinking strong bourbon, your mouth is tasting, a stout with strong chocolate, vanilla, and oak, lots of caramel malt, no hops detected period. I don't taste any coffee, because the bourbon taste pretty much overloads everything at first.

M: Silky and heavy, very heavy in fact. Its a stout, a Imperial Stout at that, no mistaken that here.

D: Well since I only bought 2 I cannot really say, but I want another one, just not going to pay the mail order price, but these 2 were damn fine beers.

Photo of alovesupreme
4.4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a 13 oz snifter at Sunset Bar and Grill, this beer was dark as night with a small light brown head that sat atop. I should mention that the beer was served much colder than suggested and I drank slowly and warmed the beer with my hands.
Smells of Bourbon, chocolate, vanilla and coffee.
A chocolate taste is first to come to prominence which then gives way to the bourbon, vanilla and coffee character. This beer finishes with a very pleasant maple syrup character.
Low carbonation which is expected with a slow sipper such as this. A rich creamy thick mouthfeel makes up the body of this beer.
A fantastic beer which I wish was easier to get a hold of. I will drink this at any opportunity in which it presents itself.

Photo of Lucho
4.4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to sobeleg for the trade. Cheers

Appearance: pours a thick coffee black with a one finger head that dissipates to a light cream ring around the glass. There is only the slight transparency around the rim of the beer.

Smell: coffee and bourbon on the nose. there is some sweet vanilla.

Taste: WOW! subtle coffee right up front with sweet vanilla rounds off the palate. bourbon hits you with a nice touch but not overpowering considering it was in barrels for a year. There is a grass aftertaste that reminds me of being on a farm with horses all around. guess thats also why its KBS.

Mouthfeel: full and thick but not crazy. finishes nice and resinous on the tongue.

Overall: this is a very special brew that is perfect for the BA stout style. It really sets the bar with perfect balance of vanilla, coffee, and bourbon. Cheers!

Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 10,378 ratings.