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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) - Founders Brewing Company

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

7,106 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7106
Reviews: 2412
rAvg: 4.63
pDev: 8.86%

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: 7,106 | Reviews: 2,412 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of rhong187


5/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2009 vintage poured on nitro tap (notes taken from Philly Beer week)

A - jet black, with a half finger head. Gosh, this looks amazing on nitro...

S - oak, bourbon, chocolate, vanilla, perfection...

T - The coffee hits you right away, followed by the bourbon and a small amount of vanilla. Barely any booze, just a wonderful taste. I thought this was the best beer I ever tasted when it was fresh, and it just got better..

M - so smooth, low carb, minimal alcohol burn...

Best beer I've ever had so far. Worth every bit of the respect that it gets. If you see it, buy it.

Serving type: nitro-tap

10-05-2011 21:08:11 | More by rhong187
Photo of MikeCz


4.75/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The initial smell and taste of this beer reminded me that this beer is not for the faint of heart. Right from the get go you can taste the fact that this beer was aged in bourbon barrels for a year. However, after the initial feeling of sipping a bourbon subsides, you get the real treat. This beer finishes sweet, creamy, and with just the right amount of chocolate notes. This beer was a real find and well worth the hunt and the $6.25 draft price.

Serving type: nitro-tap

04-13-2011 03:54:23 | More by MikeCz
Photo of TCgoalie


4.65/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Notes from KBS day on 3/12/11. This is the Nitro tap version which was excellent. I must say that 2011 Nitro was more appealing to me than 2011 Regular...in terms of beer ratings/reviews. 2009 on tap was the superior brew that day in a vertical comparison with '09, '10, '11, nitro-'11.

Direct short hand notes:

A: Sticky lacing, very black and mocha head.
S: So much Toffee, caramel, dark chocolate, and heath bar.
T: Espresso, toffee, bourbon, and dark chocolate.
M: Very creamy, full, thick, awesome!
O: More drinkable than the regular tapped 2011, so good!

Serving type: nitro-tap

03-18-2011 02:47:05 | More by TCgoalie
Photo of zoso1967


4.43/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on nitro-tap at the 2011 KBS release with my good friend TCGoalie.

Nitro KBS is served up an inky black with a nice tan head that has great retention. It pretty much looks like normal KBS but with a bit more of a whipped head.

The aroma is quite different and a bit muted. Luckily, it is muted in a good way. The alcoholic nature of the bourbon and the astringency of the roasty malts and coffee give way a bit to a nice toffee and chocolate sweetness with a bit of vanilla mixed in. It is a much friendlier nose that is not necessarily better or worse than normal, just pleasantly different.

The flavor is quite similar to normal draft KBS, but still seems a bit less intense. Coffee, bourbon, vanilla, caramel, toffee and molasses are all present, as is a decent hotness.

The mouthfeel is super smooth and velvety, making this stuff dangerously drinkable. The finish is sweet and slightly roasty as well as seemingly toned down just like the aroma and flavor.

I enjoy KBS no matter what form it is in and this glass is no different. If I had to choose between only having draft or nitro the rest of my life, I would probably take draft KBS. However, if I see nitro available I will surely go for it as delicious and hard to find treat.

Serving type: nitro-tap

03-15-2011 20:52:11 | More by zoso1967
Photo of BeerFMAndy


4.47/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

8 oz tap pour into an American tumbler pint and shared with Sweemzander at Founder's Black Party 2010.

A - Totally black, no light gets through this one, with a cascading dollop of tan, dense whipped-cream-like head. Fantastic retention to the small pile and dense lace left on the glass.

S - The typical huge bourbon nose of KBS is smoothed out a lot from the nitro. A big backing of large black roasted malts with a vanilla flavor and light roasted coffee. So smooth in the nose!

T - The majorly bourbon barrel flavor hasn't really changed or smoothed from the nitro like the aroma did. The flavor is almost identical to the bottled version of KBS. Vanilla, coffee, molasses notes, and lots and lots of bourbon.

M - Smooth as silk with a soft texture and milky finish but the bourbon alcohol booziness sensation in the stomach remains the same. Roasted bitterness to the finish and fuuull bodied.

D - Like a normal KBS the bourbon is rather large but still fairly drinkable due to the nitro introduction. I'm really happy that I'm sharing this one. 6 oz poured into a snifter would plenty to nurse though a cool evening.

Serving type: nitro-tap

04-18-2010 23:40:16 | More by BeerFMAndy
Photo of atpben


4.58/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had this at the Founder's brewery about two weeks ago. Poured into a snifter. Pours blacker than a cow's inside. A light head just sat on the top. Wonderful aroma of chocolate and coffee combined with bourbon - wow what a combo. The taste starts with chocolate and coffe and then the bourbon kicks in with awesome caramel and vanilla flavors. Very smooth, thick and syrupy, the way it should be with a nice throat warming finish. A great sipper and cigar beer. I had the nitro version which I liked way better than the normal version because it tasted a lot smoother. Great beer.

Serving type: nitro-tap

06-15-2009 17:40:06 | More by atpben
Photo of Sean9689


4.4/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nitro-tap @ Founders.
8oz pour into snifter.

A - A silky black with a fluffy head with a tight tan color. Super sticky, lots of lacing along the edge of the snifter. The head does not disipitate at all, it just hangs around.

S - Chocolate covered coffee beans, bourbon, caramel.

T - Milk chocolate, bourbon, slight bitterness, coffee beans. I would smack my lips together over and over after every taste, so good!

M - Smooth, creamy, soft, medium-full bodied but not overly so, just right. Very little fizzy carbonation, perfect.

D - So easy, so scary!

I didn't think KBS could get better but out of the nitro-tap, it is!

Serving type: nitro-tap

05-27-2009 15:51:20 | More by Sean9689
Photo of Deuane


4.55/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A-Rich,lustrous black with a thick, creamy burnt khaki head that reduced to a thin cap and left nice lace.

S-Rich chocolate and espresso notes overlying lighter bourbon notes. Maybe the nitro pour reduced the bourbon aroma or maybe when the beer is fresh the bouron notes are diminished. Regardless the aroma was quite nice.

T-Rich, roasted dark coffee and chocolate with subtle bourbon notes to remind you what you are drinking. The flavours meld nicely to form a complex and delectable brew.

M-Medium body, velvety smooth, silky...absolutely heavenly! Good lingering coffee/chocolate bitterness and dry oak notes.

D-10% ABV---who cares! Bourbon infused chocolate coffee....d'uh, how could this get much better? A sinfully delicious beverage that most certainly could get me into serious trouble. Plus, to have it on nitro, nice touch Brass Rail. As far as I know only the Founders pub also served it this way!

Serving type: nitro-tap

04-13-2009 21:58:20 | More by Deuane
Photo of padan7


4.68/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to Howard (wearing the green kilt) for being a beer angel and directly us to where we could buy KBS. Brewery ran out of 150 cases in less than 2 hours.

OK...I am fortunate to have had the 09 KBS on Nitro-tap & on tap at the brewery. Have not cracked the 09 bottles yet.

This review is for the nitro. $6 for 8 ounces. Not a cheap date.

Great looking, black & mysterious, but there are alot of hotties in the craft world these days.

Wonderful aroma and fun to go sniffing for vanilla & bourbon.

Taste of the nitro is relaxed. It goes down so easy it is truly dangerous. Flavors dance. Bourbon flavor seemed somewhat subdued compared to the draft & the 08 bottle.

Mouthfeel is pure velvet with less slick.

Drinkability- I could drink 4 of these easy. Not a cheap date. Would definetly need a taxi or a sleepover.

If you are within a days drive....hope to see you and Howard there in 2010.

Serving type: nitro-tap

03-24-2009 13:22:38 | More by padan7
Photo of DrewOSU


4.47/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served on nitro tap at Founders brew pub on KBS day.

A: Pours dark brown to black with a ½ inch super creamy frothy gray head. Looks exactly like Guinness in this form. Huge foamy lacing, draping across the glass.

S: The nitro dulls the smell a little. The smell now is now reminiscent of a chocolate stout, instead of a huge bourbon barrel monster. Dull chocolate, coffee, no noticeable alcohol or hop presence.

M/T: Much lighter then regular KBS, making it a super creamy, medium body. The carbonation much more present then KBS in the bottle or on tap. Second wave is all alcohol, this is a pretty hot beer, followed by roasted malts.

D: With a high APV, couldn't session this one, but the nitro makes it feels much lighter and more manageable then the KBS out of the bottle. I like this version of KBS. A nice twist that might be better than the original? This version does make it more drinkable. KBS is such a huge beer that even though it lost a little with the nitro frothiness, it still is a monster.

Serving type: nitro-tap

03-16-2009 02:45:05 | More by DrewOSU
Photo of dar482

New York

4.78/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The beer comes in a dark black color with a brown head.

The aroma has a familiar FBS coffee of espresso beans, deeply roasted coffee. Then onto some bittersweet chocolate, vanilla, and some bourbon to round it all out.

The beer hits in the front of dark roasted coffee, a milk and bittersweet chocolate. Then mid palate there's an attack of bourbon throughout until the finish. Vanilla melds into the brew and long with a hint of chocolate sweetness and lots of bourbon on the finish.

The mouthfeel is medium for a barrel aged brew.

I highly recommend this beer aged 6-12 months. I also recommend having it slightly cooler than cellar temperature, but not room temperature as the bourbon gets too aggressive.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2014 01:20:12 | More by dar482
Photo of timc100


3.86/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours very dark like FIS and yields a beautiful burnt mocha head, that does linger quite a while. Big lacing on the glass, pitch black - slightly lighter than FIS.

Dark bakers chocolate, cocoa powder, dark roast coffee, oaky vanilla. Not much bourbon but substantial oak.

Very enjoyable, but not much going on. The coffee flavor is pretty one dimensional and the bourbon is not there to my palate.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2014 14:57:59 | More by timc100
Photo of WOBrewstraveler


5/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed on tap from a snifter at Plan B in Simsbury, CT. I didn't want to go right out with all 5s for this review, but truthfully could find nothing to critique that wasn't on-par and expected in the style. It poured black as pitch with a cocoa-colored head. The nose is complex with coffee and vanilla notes right up front preparing my palate for deliciousness. And delicious it was, with all the roasted coffee at first, followed by the sweetness from the bourbon-barrel aging and malts. An outstanding stout, worthy of 100 rating.

Serving type: on-tap

04-18-2014 23:49:00 | More by WOBrewstraveler
Photo of lochef81


4.74/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I've been eagerly anticipating my first taste of KBS and goddamn was it worth it!!! Maybe the best beer I've had to date. The pour is an inky black with a very small and short lived tan head that leaves a slight lacing but lots of legs. The aroma is a perfect blend of(in order of dominance) coffee, chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, oak, and a little hops. The mouthfeel is as silky and smooth as any beer ever made. The flavor is an incredible smooth bomb of coffee, bourbon, chocolate, oak, vanilla, butter, hops. Simply fucking delicious and amazing. I'd sell my soul for a whole case. J/k....not really.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2014 04:46:49 | More by lochef81
Photo of Kramerwtmf


4.31/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I looked to trade for this beer for a long time and finally got a four pack of the 2014 release. While it is a great bourbon barrel aged stout, I personally thought both bourbon county coffee stout and founders breakfast stout were better. I can't wait to revisit this beer every six months until I run out to see how it matures.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2014 03:48:34 | More by Kramerwtmf
Photo of brianmandell

New York

4.25/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Originally rated 4.25 on draft from brickyard in Jan 2014 (2013 KBS)

The bottled version of the 2014 is a very dark brown/black pour with short tan head and lacing. Big aromas of chocolate syrup, coffee liqueur and vanilla.

The coffee and chocolate are forward with a mild sweetness followed by vanilla and marshmallow flavors. There is some oak on the end finishing in a boozy astringent dryness reminding me of lower quality bourbon.

The mouthfeel is silky and delightful but thinner than I'd like. The thin mouthfeel makes this beer easier drinking than other barrel aged stouts.

Breakfast Stout is one of my favorite beers and I love how KBS shares some similarities and adds some of the benefits of barrel aging. The end result is very good but it falls short of my high expectations. The flavors are big but aren't well integrated. The thin body combined with the astringent boozy finish kill it for me until I take another sip of the chocolately goodness.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2014 01:06:34 | More by brianmandell
Photo of bigjerk89


3.08/5  rDev -33.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This has to be the most overrated beer I've ever had. I've been waiting a long time to try try this beer. I was very disappointed. I asked the bartender to check the keg to make sure it was KBS. He knew exactly what I was talking about and agreed with me. Zero bourbon flavor. If this beer was aged in bourbon barrels, then it wasn't for long or the barrel had been used several times. This beer tasted like an iced coffee. The mouth feel was thin. If you think this is a great beer, I suggest you try a goose island bourbon county stout. Everyone around me said the same thing. I enjoyed the beer, just did not live up to the hype.

Serving type: on-tap

04-16-2014 00:23:38 | More by bigjerk89
Photo of hudsonskunk


5/5  rDev +8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2014 17:26:10 | More by hudsonskunk
Photo of ChrisChagnon


4.45/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pitch black like motor oil, with a tiny off-white head

The smell was just a huge chocolate and coffee on the nose. A little hint of alcohol but not much to mask the nose.

Taste was just awesome, everything was blended together perfectly (bourbon, chocolate and even more coffee once it sat for a bit) Slight bourbon bite, but not bad at all.

Thick filling mouth-feel to this one, chewy and just coats the inside of your mouth completely. In a good way.

This beer is good, but after having BCBCS this year, I wasnt as impressed as I was in my original review, so I redid the review.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2014 14:39:04 | More by ChrisChagnon
Photo of TravlynMan


4.58/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hello!! My first review, fitting it should be with such a demigod know as the KBS...

So I tried three bottles at three different temps over three days to get all the possible flavors I could out of the beer. First off this beer does a great job masking the alcohol at 11.2 %. Started with refrigerated bottle into snifter which gave off vague bourbon tones (good thing) but had to wait tor the dark chocolate and coffee tones to become more present as beer warmed. Second day poured room temp into pint glass. Chocolate and coffee tones more present in smell which becomes sort of an oatmeal cookie (again good thing). Third was cellari-sh temp and followed more like the second tasting. Overall very smooth and rich, the best BALANCED bourbon barrel aged stout I've had but I've Only just begun...

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2014 22:10:52 | More by TravlynMan
Photo of Murph-Dawg


4.81/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Lynnfield Yardhouse had a small release on tap of both 2013 and 2014, I preferred the 2013 but both had Excellent flavor, well worth the lunchtime trip!

2013 was a bit stronger of a bourbon but was soo good!!!

2014 seemed slightly less bold in terms of the bourbon flavor but again absolutely lived up to the reputation!

This beer is the real deal, completely deserving of all the hype!!

Serving type: on-tap

04-12-2014 22:46:23 | More by Murph-Dawg
Photo of GregA135


4.51/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Grabbed this one at House of 1000 Beers. Had it on tap along with other Founder's Brewing Company Beers! This was a delicious stout! Poured a dark brown with a tan head. Smelled of coffee beans, a hint of chocolate, and bourbon. Once it hit my palate it was a nice and smooth body and tasted great! Tasted of coffee, chocolate, bourbon, and a bit of vanilla! Founders Brewing Company you guys did good! Two Thumbs Up!!!!

Serving type: on-tap

04-12-2014 18:39:27 | More by GregA135
Photo of hail_seitan


4.94/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

8 oz poured from tap in what appeared to be a juice glass

A - Rich black color with a minimal caramel head.

S - Toffee, dark chocolate, tobacco, espresso, and, of course, bourbon. However, none of these scents were overpowering and instead just invite you in for a taste.

T - At first, very similar to the smell. Upfront, I pick up the espresso and dark chocolate notes. However, neither is too strong. Next comes a touch of the bourbon, along with oaky vanilla, figs, and caramel. The finish again brings out bourbon flavors with a hint of warm grain alcohol as it goes down.

M - This was perhaps my favorite part of the beer. The oatmeal imparts a glutinous and almost chewy mouthfeel to the beer. The body is full, but not overtly syrupy. Fantastic.

O - I was astonished by the complexity and balance of this brew. None if the flavors dominated and instead they worked together in harmony to create a splendid beer. Even my fiancée, who usually does not like barrel-aged beers, thought it was great.

Serving type: on-tap

04-12-2014 13:13:48 | More by hail_seitan
Photo of Kevin-Wieken


4.71/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)
Founders Brewing Company, Michigan
---from bottle to tulip---

Almost entirely black, deep brown around edges when held to light. Little khaki head.

Mocha and bourbon, very subtle, hint of vanilla

Dark chocolate, bold coffee, slightly burnt malt, heavy bourbon – very awesome

Medium bodied, good bitter to sweet, starts and finishes with bourbon, 11ABV gives it a warming feel and makes this beer last a good while

Definitely worth the hype. I was able to secure three bottles (2014) and paid dearly for them. I would do it again. Very complex and inviting stout. Almost perfect!

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2014 02:59:51 | More by Kevin-Wieken
Photo of Abe_Froman


4.43/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pour from a bottle into a tulip glass.

Poured nice and dark with a slight amber edge and a milk chocolate head.

Smelled of chocolate and coffee with some malt. I found the smell a bit more subtle than other reviewers.

Flavor was a bit lighter than I was expecting given the pour. Taste sweet on the tongue with hints of coffee/bitter and warm almost bright bourbon flavors without the whisky bite.

Feels light on the tongue and flows freely through the mouth. leaves a nice warm feeling on the back and sides of the palette.

Over all an enjoyable experience. Though given the hype I have been hearing over the last few years I was expecting a bit more.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2014 05:55:01 | More by Abe_Froman
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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 7,106 ratings.