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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) - Founders Brewing Company

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

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2,790 Reviews
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Reviews: 2,790
Hads: 10,701
Avg: 4.56
pDev: 17.54%
Wants: 4,236
Gots: 4,979 | FT: 408
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: 2,790 | Hads: 10,701
Photo of HoosierBrew
2.91/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3.25

I want so bad for this beer to live up to the hype. I had the '15 version in April, and now 6 months later and it just doesn't do it for me. The appearance is non eventful, the smell is light bourbon and chocolate but both are distant. The taste is okay but not as smooth as you would expect. Mouthfeel is disappointing. I would expect relatively thick but it's not here. Very light and overly carbonated.

Overall takes a back seat to other fine BA Stouts in its class. Goose Bourbon, Greenbush Delusion, Pirate Bomb, and Bells Black Note are well ahead of this one. A disappointing offering from such a fine brewery.

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Photo of DovGibor
3.55/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

8 oz. pour at On Tap in Whole Foods Columbus circle. (Founders did a tap takeover the day before and 9 of their beers were still pouring.)

Pitch black with a hair of head that lingered nicely. Very minimal aroma, just a touch of roast but not much else. Mouthfeel is full with light carbonation on the tongue.

Rich and smooth flavor. Well balance of roasted malt and bourbon barrel. No noticeable alcohol in the flavor; well integrated for 11%.

Overall it's an enjoyable stout, but didn't live up to the reputation.

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Photo of Bowers-Brew
3.99/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2013 -Served in snifter @ 50degF

L - Nice and dark with little medium brown head

S/T - Chocolate with coffee, bourbon, and oak in the background.

O - It's a good stout, no doubt, but I've had so many really good stouts in the 2 years since I picked this up that I can't help but feel a little disappointed. My buddy did say that KBS is best fresh, I'll try one without age to see if I agree.

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Photo of Brew_42
4.27/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2014 bottle that someone gave me that was bottled in 2013. Not sure if it should have been enjoyed earlier.

A- Jet black, like motor oil with a barely-existent tan head.

S mell and Taste- Put them as one because the taste follows the nose to a T. Coffee and bourbon are the big flavors. More bourbon than coffee. There's a hint of chocolate but the bourbon is the big flavor here.

MF- HEavy and smooth. Almost creamy. Some warmth from the booze too. The ABV is not concealed in this one.

Overal;- Really good stout, and I understand all the hooplah about it. That being said, if you are like me and you aren't huge on bourbon/whiskey flavor, this one might be a little jarring.

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Photo of Coolcheech
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Drank from a tulip, 2015 KBS.

Appearance: Poured jet black, with a bubbly thick head. Left some lacing.

Smell: After pouring you there was a strong aroma of coffee. After drinking the beer for a while I could detect some chocolate.

Taste: You could taste coffee and some smoke. There was also a subtle flavor of alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Medium to heavy body, with some slight burn from the alcohol.

Drinkability: This is a great beer to just sit and sip. I felt it after one, and I wish I had another to follow it up.

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Photo of tregan_20
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I purchased the beer at a local liquor store and poured into a pint glass. The appearance was really dark, almost black. The head was tan in color like espresso/mocha. The smell consisted of roasted chocolate, espresso and bourbon, with a hint of oakiness to it. The taste is very close to the smell... coffee / espresso / mocha / bourbon / malty flavor. The feel was a bit heavy and somewhat chewy. Overall, this is Founder's best offering in my opinion, just above their Breakfast Stout. Definitely worth trying! Cheers!

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Photo of Elsuperjefe
4.96/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Phenomenal. Strong caramel nose followed by a perfect balance of roasted coffee, vanilla and sweet malt. Can't say enough about this master stout. Light carbonation dances to the back of the palate delivering perfectly balanced goodness. Perfection.

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

Pitch Black, wouldn't expect it any other way. Smell was roasty, vanilla, a little oaky from barrells, chocolate with little hint of booze. Taste amazing. Chocolate, Bourbon, Coffee all on the palette with small hint of booze. Mouth feel was great, would consider it thick, full. Awesome, one of my favorites

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Photo of NolaHopHead
4.52/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Have had on tap and bottle. This was a 12 oz bottle. Nearly jet black, thick tan head fades pretty quickly leaving lace and a thin rim of tan suds around the edges. Very nice vanilla bourbon aroma. Taste is similar with coffee, vanilla and bourbon, blends really well together, none of the flavors dominate. Carbonation is perfect and mouthfeel is so soft. Alcohol shines a little at the end but is mostly well hidden. Overall this is an outstanding balanced BBA stout, will enjoy many more.

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Photo of mschantz
4.4/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Have enjoyed KBS a number of times in the past but never in a setting that allows for proper consideration and review. Pours nearly black with just a hint of mocha on the fringes. Moderately viscous with a slight dark brown head that brings the foam of an espresso to mind. Nose is nice meld of bourbon, coffee, vanilla and hints of cinnamon. The coffee and vanilla are upfront upon tasting with a nice warm boozy finish. Mouthfeel is quite slick and the finish smooth.

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Photo of yungbrew
4.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fantastic. Great beer. Taste is remarkable especially considering the alcohol content; however sometimes I get a syrupy aftertaste that I could do without. If it has a lower ABV this would probably be my favorite beer ever. Big Lushious is better in my opinion

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Photo of JaredSammy
4.64/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

L - pitch black to brown edges.
S - brown sugar, coffee, chocolate, bourbon.
T - Bourbon boozy front end. chocolate and coffee middle, smoky marshmallow finish.
F - extra soft pillow feel. A bit thinner than most imperial stouts I assume the barrel aging causes this. great carbonation bubbles for days.
O - I wouldn't say this is the best imperial stout I ever had but it is an excellent bourbon barrel aged stout. Parabola > KBS.

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Photo of Willvoll
4.79/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A beastly stout. Very strong. Appearance is blackish brown. Mouthfeel is boozy and thick. Smell is a sign of things to come.. Taste is coffee, smoke and whisky. Get it if you can

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Photo of MeLoynes
4.66/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 02/12/15. Pours black with medium brown foam into snifter. Smells of chocolate, bourbon, oak, caramel, and vanilla. Tastes of roasted malt with strong bittersweet chocolate notes, caramel and oak. Creamy with light carbonation.

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Photo of Jacobob10
4.35/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 03/04/2015, 12 oz bottle.

Poured into a snifter.

Pitch black color, opaque, with a small tan head that sticks to the side of the glass. Decent retention initially, but fades the longer it sits. Sparse lacing, and a quick swirl of the glass reveals some legs from the barrel aging.

Heavy chocolate malt aroma. Some coffee mixed in, as well as a hint of vanilla. The alcohol is quite prominent, though it’s more reminiscent of straight alcohol or vodka than bourbon. Not much complexity. Chocolate definitely dominates here.

Upon tasting, the bourbon hits you right away. It’s amazing how well-masked it is in the aroma yet jumps out as soon as you take a sip. You get more of the chocolate too, but the coffee is a distant memory.

The texture was my least favorite feature. A bit too thin given the strength of the aroma and flavor. Medium to full bodied, but could definitely benefit from more. Moderate sweetness from the combination of bourbon and chocolate, yet not overdone. Long lasting flavor.

KBS was something I had wanted to try for a long time and it lived up to expectations. I previously missed out on several opportunities to try it at bars. The timing just never seemed to work out. Then, when I was least expecting it, the local store near my office had “found some bottles in the back” and individually scattered them throughout the beer section. A lucky find indeed...

#5 Beers of Fame; #16 Top 250 Beers; #16 Top Rated - USA; #2 Top Rated - Michigan; #10 Top Rated - American Imperial Stout.

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Photo of James_Michaud91
4.16/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a thick, opaque, pitch black, with a small brown head that fades quickly. Smell has a TON of chocolate with some minor coffee notes (2 or 3 year old bottle). The flavor is again dominated a bit by the chocolate, but it is still really tasty. As it warms in the glass the roasted malt flavors begin to wake up a bit. Would love to try this a little fresher when the coffee is a bit more prominent. The texture of this beer is damn near perfect, thick and mouth coating without being cloyingly sweet. Really glad I got to try this.

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Photo of TomMorris
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Was lucky enough to catch this on tap at World of Beer in Stamford, CT.

Look: Mine came out pitch black with about a full finger of chocolate-brown head, which quickly dissipated.

Smell: WOW, just brilliant. Huge notes of coffee, chocolate, and vanilla held together nicely by bourbon; smells like a decadent chocolate cake coated in bourbon. Quite possibly the best-smelling beer I've yet to experience.

Taste: The immediate taste is an explosion of chocolate with some lighter coffee notes that somewhat quickly fades into a pleasant bourbon and vanilla after taste. After the fantastic and assertive nose, the taste was much more subtle and balanced. Definitely delicious, but lacking the punch I was hoping for.

Mouthfeel: Definitely the weakest part of the beer. This is actually incredibly easy to drink despite the complexity and abv; it does start out thick and viscous but it very quickly becomes thin after contact with the tongue. I would love for this to be thicker and chewier.

Overall: Without a doubt a fantastic beer, probably even one of the top 10 I've yet to try, but I could fathom it being even better if the taste matched the strength of the nose and the mouthfeel had more substance. I would still call this a world-class brew, but it's just lacking that little something that would make it really special.

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Photo of govlady
4.74/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2015 bottle

A - Very Dark, pours just a tiny bit of head, which disappears rather quickly.

S - A lot of Bourbon, Chocolate.

T - I taste what I smell. Bourbon and Chocolate. Hint of Vanilla and Coffee, but the bourbon and chocolate are overpowering.

F - On the thin side compared to some of the other BA's out there.

O - Beer tastes great. I love it. Slighty less than the CBS, primarily because of the maple syrup, but a damn good beer.

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

Bought a bunch of top 20 beers. This is the one I liked the most. Better than Black Note, Bourbon County, and whole bunch of dark stout beers. I like the name too, it's fun to say KBS.

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Photo of Vultr_of_cultr
3.78/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

This beer starts off as the perfect stout--gorgeous color, light, creamy head on the pour and an amazing smell. Strong chocolate and caramel notes, with coffee and vanilla developing on the palate as well. However, the overwhelming (and at times, overpowering) flavor is the bourbon notes. They hit hard and linger long after the others have gone, being outlasted only by the residual sweetness. I suppose I should have expected it in a bourbon-barrel-aged brew, but it seemed to totally overpower the other complex subtleties in the beer.

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Photo of mrblonde37
4.91/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

An awesome beer! I have been lucky to have it in the bottle and on tap. I will crack my 2014 in a couple of years and cannot wait to see how it has improved.

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Photo of mlockman
3.77/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Cellared for six months, I found it overall not very impressive. Lacked the strong bourbon flavors I was hoping for; maybe I'm just in the "fresh is best" camp, though I haven't had the chance to try it fresh.

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Photo of Maxwell5
4.96/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

On tap at Founders and from the bottle more recently. Basically a perfect beer all around with great pitch black look, bourbon and chocolate smell and perfectly balanced coffee/chocolate/bourbon flavor and thick MF you'd expect for the style. Outside of CBS, I don't know that I've had a better beer.

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Photo of Cheeseboo
3.29/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Truth be told, I am not a fan of Bourbon stouts because I don't like to drink hard liquor. To me, a beer should taste like a beer, not like anything else. The bourbon flavor is overwhelming. I know that some people love this stout, but I'm not a fan. I would much rather have something smooth and creamy that doesn't assault my taste buds with alcohol. My brother paid something like $30 for a 4 pack of this and I don't feel it is worth the money. Again, I'm not a fan of hard liquor, just beer.

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Photo of jmasher85
4.84/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I could literally fill myself up drinking this for breakfast, assuming I'm not doing much else that morning. Rich, thick, dense, black as sin, and decent foam on medium carbonation, the texture of a great beastly stout is there. And it gets better once you sip it. This is, for my money, the superior big brother of CBS, and while it shares textural qualities, it's a different animal and, aside from being easier to find, my preferred brew.

Not overtly chocolatey, but plenty of cocoa and coffee for sure, which keeps it from being overwhelmingly sweet. The bitterness of the flavor works here better than any stout I've had before, I think. There's also a mesmerizingly chalky, tannic texture to the bitterness brought on by the cocoa and oak - what I assume is charred oak from the smokey smell that, mixed with a hint of vanilla, makes me dream of this beer days later. God, there's so much going on in this beer that it's hard to say much else besides "drink the dang stuff!"

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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,790 ratings.