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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) - Founders Brewing Company

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

8,429 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,429
Reviews: 2,505
rAvg: 4.63
pDev: 8.86%
Wants: 3,252
Gots: 3,070 | FT: 219
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:
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 added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-13-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 8,429 | Reviews: 2,505 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tehmogue


3.25/5  rDev -29.8%

06-10-2013 13:48:56 | More by tehmogue
Photo of ftalley13


3.25/5  rDev -29.8%

04-09-2013 21:17:28 | More by ftalley13
Photo of TLambrechts

North Carolina

3.25/5  rDev -29.8%

04-02-2014 00:27:17 | More by TLambrechts
Photo of jlordi12


3.25/5  rDev -29.8%

04-07-2014 19:28:48 | More by jlordi12
Photo of Randent

3.25/5  rDev -29.8%

08-03-2014 19:40:19 | More by Randent
Photo of derederew


3.25/5  rDev -29.8%

12-09-2013 01:07:34 | More by derederew
Photo of nwu008


3.25/5  rDev -29.8%

11-14-2011 21:42:25 | More by nwu008
Photo of Nutwood


3.25/5  rDev -29.8%

04-15-2013 17:31:27 | More by Nutwood
Photo of LindsayKuron

3.25/5  rDev -29.8%

04-23-2012 15:51:02 | More by LindsayKuron
Photo of Skagnetti


3.25/5  rDev -29.8%

08-26-2014 18:21:42 | More by Skagnetti
Photo of DanU


3.25/5  rDev -29.8%

04-17-2014 21:20:17 | More by DanU
Photo of RedDon


3.25/5  rDev -29.8%

08-05-2014 23:34:20 | More by RedDon
Photo of shbobdb


3.28/5  rDev -29.2%

Welcome to Starbuck's, would you like to try our Irish-American Coffee today?

'Cause that is how this beer tastes. It tastes like coffee and bourbon together with a nice sweet backbone. It tastes pretty good, since I like coffee, I like bourbon, and I don't mind a little bit of sweet with both . . . but what is lacking in this beer is the, ummm, beer element.

It pours jet black. Maybe at the bottom of my glass I can get a hint of red, but not really. The head is thin and flimsy, but it does stay there and it leaves a nice lace as I drink this malt beverage.

It smells like fresh ground coffee with a nice amount of vanilla present. A little bit of the oaky bourbon shows though. It smells like a very nice coffee.

The taste is quite pleasant. The coffee and bourbon play together with the vanilla supporting both and a nice sugary-sweet backbone.

The mouthfeel is a little flat and slick. Coffee with a dash of motor oil.

Look, this is a fine beverage, but we have to draw the line somewhere. Smirnof Ice is brewed with malt, does that make it a beer? There is nothing beery about this beverage. It is an Irish-American coffee malternative.

05-05-2007 18:15:39 | More by shbobdb
Photo of charlesw

New York

3.28/5  rDev -29.2%

Check this, homes... There's a reason this is an A+ and boris is only an A (really lower, but grade inflation and all). It's awfully pretty. Pours deep and dark. No head? What? Oh. Wait. Ha. You just had to wait for the bubbles to rise up. There they are! A decent-sized head of tiny dark bubbles. Would be better if they lasted longer.

Smells like Quick. Really - nothing but chocolate milk. Well, and a little smoke...

Tastes like Quick with a little smoke. OK, not quite so sweet. But pretty close. Ah, OK, it's bitter, too.

04-22-2009 23:21:29 | More by charlesw
Photo of schellsbeer


3.28/5  rDev -29.2%

Reviewed from notes from Early December 2008.

A - Very Dark Brown to almost black. Thin with little head present.

S - Alcohol is very present. Bourbon. Clean and crisp. Quality in the smell.

T - Strong Alcohol Burn for a 10%. I have had better in which the alcohol was greater but its taste was hidden. I was expecting more from the smell. Also, I wish it was thicker. Hard to get in Minnesota so I am greatful for trying. Some Coffee and chocolate taste but overpowered from the booze taste.

M - Thin but very smooth.

D - Not really. Not found in Minnesota. Also, because of the high alcohol content, a sipper at best. Just not my favorite.

01-01-2009 20:18:38 | More by schellsbeer
Photo of trippytbta


3.28/5  rDev -29.2%

Poured into snifter, bottle had no date that I could find on it

A: black with slight tan head

S: a little char and coffee

T: chocolate and coffee, when u swallow, it's very alcoholic, almost like its spiked with vodka. This is my first KBS through a trade so I am skeptical. The hype has not been proven with this one...

M: thick and heavy mouthfeel and lingers on the palate.

Overall: I must retry another bottle (that has a date so I know what I am drinking) this one was a let down for me. Especially being from the west
Coast and finally trying it. I love my BA stouts

06-25-2014 00:57:12 | More by trippytbta
Photo of Landshark67


3.3/5  rDev -28.7%

Paid $30 for a 4-pack

Appearance: (5) Completely black with dark brown head. Minimal carbonation. Head dissipates quickly.

Aroma: (3.5) Chocolate & Charred malt with bourbon - a little raw.

Taste: (3) Burnt malt, bourbon and a little oak character. Not cloyingly sweet.

Mouthfeel: (3) Typical stout but with more heat and a medicine finish.

Overall: Good but not great beer, certainly not epic in my book. I expected a lot more out of the beer. It may improve with some time but it still lacks the roundness of a Bourbon County or Surly Darkness.

Serving type: bottle……..and on tap later in the evening

03-19-2012 13:35:42 | More by Landshark67
Photo of jrallen34


3.3/5  rDev -28.7%

I drank this from a 12oz bottle into my Rochefort glass.

The beer is very black with hardly any brown in the light. The head is very disappointing as there is none and after finally pouring a medium tan head fizzles for seconds and is gone. There is no lacing.

The aroma is very strong but dominated by mostly roasted coffee. There is not much complexity as you get a little alcohol but that's it.

The taste is like the aroma but stronger. Its all coffee but bad stale and bitter coffee. Its simple without any complex flavors. At the end there is a little bourbon and charred wood.

The feel is ok but the drinkability is really down.

I was very excited to finally get my hands on this, but after I did I came away very disappointed. Its not drinkably, not complex, and just not a great RIS.

12-04-2009 03:03:14 | More by jrallen34
Photo of mrandypandy


3.3/5  rDev -28.7%

12oz bottle purchased from Hop City, in Atlanta. 2010 vintage.

A - Pours jet black with a dark mocha head which dies down quickly. Decent lacing.
S - Heavy coffee with subdued notes of bourbon and oak.
T - Tastes strangely like a coffee malt/milkshake with a bitter lactose chocolate kick. I've complained that some beers weren't complex enough, but KBS is overly complex without being harmonious
M - Thick, heavy, sugary sweet. Fully body with a LOT of residual sugars. Good carbonation though.
D - Medium. As said earlier, there is a lot going on, but it all lends itself to the sweet side. One bottle is MORE than enough.

Overall - I have had KBS many times. New. Old. Fresh. Aged. Honestly, this beer is over-hyped and under-performing. It has complexity but nothing meshes together, and I fear too much would put my in a diabetic coma... A decent (not great) beer that is nowhere near Founders best offering.

10-29-2010 02:01:32 | More by mrandypandy
Photo of jcdgoad


3.3/5  rDev -28.7%

I had my brother pick up a four pack at Whole Foods in Ann Arbor and Fed Ex it too me. I was very excited to try this beer. Unfortunately it did not live up to the hype. I'm not saying this is a terrible beer, but I just don't think its as good as advertised. I tasted the bourbon, vanilla, and coffee. The mixture just tasted a bit off to me. I"ll take a Bells Expedition Stout or an Old Rasputin any day over this beer.

04-01-2009 04:04:26 | More by jcdgoad
Photo of craytonic

District of Columbia

3.3/5  rDev -28.7%

Bottle from last year's release, so just a little over a year old.

Appearance: Like motor oil, I put it directly next to a light bulb and nothing got through my snifter. Nice coffee foam, almost no lacing.

Smell: Mostly old coffee and lots of dark malts, barely any bourbon, I wish it was the other way around. It is actually more alcohol than bourbon - barely any of the molasses, vanilla, etc I would like to smell.

Taste: Old coffee, lots of licorice, soot, charcoal, dark malts, fudge, blackstrap molasses, and hardly any bourbon. Something burnt. I really don't get the reviews saying the alcohol is concealed - on both the aroma and taste I get raw, pure alcohol smacking my nose and tongue like a 2x4. Let me clarify that is alcohol, not bourbon I taste.

Mouthfeel: A little grainy, I couldn't help but think of sand or used coffee grits.

Drinkability: Definitely a sipper, the coffee and raw alcohol are overpowering.

03-31-2009 15:01:51 | More by craytonic
Photo of BearsOnAcid


3.33/5  rDev -28.1%

Decided to review this beer after having a 2009 next to a 2010 last night. I'll use the fresh one as the review but will leave some extra notes.

Beer pours out black with a caramel head. Nose is soaked with bourbon and chocolate. KBS holds a dark roasted aroma. But it's not overpowering.

This years batch seems a little less carbonated than last years, making it richer and smoother on the palate. Oak, bourbon, chocolate, and roast malt mix together on your taste buds. Still not very over powering. Bourbon is not as hot as some people say it is. I get more chocolate than anything in this batch.

Extra notes: I want to say that KBS, for me, has always been all over the place in flavor. Some will be heavy on bourbon and some will be heavy on chocolate and then the rest will all fall within that range. I've only actually had a few bottles that were fully balanced. But after I was able to get that rarity/hype factor out of my head I can say that I've never actually been blown away by it. And for a stout that has won so much fame, it's no where near as complex, decadent or robust as something like Bourbon County Stout. It excels in drinkability. It's smooth and silky but doesn't cause any fatigue in your tastebuds.

The 09 vintage, thanks to screw off caps, was awful. It had started oxidizing and tasted like wet cardboard and chalk. The nose was even worse. Underneath that, I don't feel like this is a beer to even bother aging. All the things that make this beer good are right there in the beginning and then after a year they start to fade and leave a pretty boring BA stout.

Drink these fresh people.

03-24-2010 20:48:44 | More by BearsOnAcid
Photo of TexIndy


3.35/5  rDev -27.6%

Got in a trade with BeerBeing - thanks! Since trade not sure the year but notch definitely shows March. Poured from a 12oz bottle into my trusty pint glass. Had a cool label with fake claims of health cures. Was pitch black even when head against the light. It had an average sized dark brown head that settled into a collar with just a little lacing. The aroma was strong! It was coffee, coffee, more coffee and then several shots of bourbon thrown in. Also had a good vanilla aroma in the background. Gotta admit that I'm just not a fan of the bourbon/oak barrel aging of beers. Keep trying em hoping that I'll grow into it but I guess I want my beer to taste like beer and not whiskey. The taste pretty much followed the smell. Was an Irish coffee more than a beer. Got marginally better as it warmed but for me this one is overhyped. Glad I tried it as I like to try new things but this is one and done for me. (3, NA, ML, O?)

06-20-2007 02:18:36 | More by TexIndy
Photo of beagle75


3.35/5  rDev -27.6%

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into an half-pint snifter.
2011 vintage

A: Opaque black, showing dark brown light at the edges, with a few scattered bubbles of beige foam. Light lacing remains on the glass.

S: Old wood and hot boozy bourbon stand out with remarkable clarity. There is little in the way of roasted qualities, other than the charred oak of the barrel. As it warms more coffee shows, followed by briny shoyu.

T: Begins dry, with a thin thread of roasted malt preceding rampant spirituous bourbon. Acidity is moderate to high, making the dark flavors struggle needlessly. Chocolate becomes detectable when acidity recedes into the middle, finally adding a layer of flavor that is able to complement the untamed bourbon presence. The finish demonstrates a bitter edge, while other previous flavors are able to marry more closely in the presence of mellowing vanilla.

M: Medium viscosity, disjunct on the palate at first due to due to scathing acidity and alcohol heat, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: The barrel treatment is a process that is all about refinement, where value is added to a product. Amongst barrel-aged stouts, KBS is a relative bargain even after emerging from the oak, but its qualities appear amateurish at times, compared to its contemporaries. Flavors find themselves mostly at odds with each other early, but become passably simpatico during the latter two acts. Challenging textures in the mouth do not help, yet there is still something appealing about it--compared to bourbon it is basically the same taste, but easier to tolerate for the non-spirit drinker. I can appreciate why this profile would appeal to so many, and it does qualify for an extreme candidate of the sub-style.

10-30-2011 18:45:31 | More by beagle75
Photo of oregone


3.35/5  rDev -27.6%

A: Solid ba stout. Deep with tan head that is expectedy reticent.
S: Green pepper. Just all kinds of weird on top of the chocolate and coffee and assorted other desireable aromas.
T: Peppers still the dominant note. Coffee, dark chocolate, vanilla find their way in somewhere.
M: Good mouthfeel with some carbonation lightening the weight. Nice thick silkiness.
D: I could certainly have a few of these, and it's good enough that I wouldn't steer clear.

I waited to review this again after the last batch had the intrusive peppery notes (which some others in my group didn't get) that gave it a less than stellar showing. This is from a different batch, and is distinctly more pronouncedly green (and noticed by all) to its deteriment. Have to assume that it's a characteristic of this beer, and it's not to my taste.

12-08-2010 08:20:19 | More by oregone
Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 8,429 ratings.