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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.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

8,977 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,977
Reviews: 2,533
rAvg: 4.62
pDev: 9.09%
Wants: 3,510
Gots: 3,291 | FT: 238
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) Alström Bros
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Ratings: 8,977 | Reviews: 2,533 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of don1481
4.71/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

My then-28 week pregnant wife bought me this bottle on KBS Day. To celebrate the arrival of our son at home after 6 weeks in the NICU, I'm having this.

12oz bottle poured into glass.

Appearance: Pours a very, very dark liquid from where no bubbles can escape. A caramel colored head sits atop of this for a bit.

Smell: Chocolate? Check! Coffee? Check! Bourbon? CHECK CHECK CHECK! Some vanilla hints to the aroma, as well. This smells heavenly.

Taste: It kinda tastes like a bourbon-infused mocha. Just the right balance of chocolate, coffee, vanilla... and booze. Honestly, this is right up there with BCBS in my book. Whereas BCBS is a little more complex in its flavor profile, this has a certain "rough around the edges" hit to it that makes it stand out in a different way.

Mouthfeel: Goes down smooth. Leaves a coffee and booze aftertaste.

Overall: I still have a second bottle in my basement. I'm going to age it until the next round of BCBS comes out late this year. Very excited to see how some more aging goes with this.

don1481, Jun 13, 2014
Photo of RutgersEng
4.21/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz bottle with unknown date. I have to thank Dan for supplying this bottle on my retirement after 40 years.

Poured black with almost no head, but plenty of lacing on the side of the glass.

The smell is of toasted almonds, vanilla and bourbon and very much like most barrel aged stouts. I have been looking for KBS for more than 3 years. It doesn't usually make it out to the west coast. I was very glad to finally get to try this.

The taste follows the nose with some coffee, burnt almonds, vanilla and bourbon notes. I do like coffee stouts and glad that this was done very well. Although the coffee was forward and the burn in the back of the throat testified to the barrel treatment. It was a little more rough than I expected for a refined barrel aged stout. It may need more aging and I don't know what year this bottle was from. When compared to BCBS or King Henry it didn't seem to measure up. I think it is more closely related to barrel aged Victory at Sea or perhaps Black Xantus. I found the date and it is from 12/12, therefore it has rested for 2 years in the bottle/cellar. With that knowledge, I am going to have to reduce the rating a bit as it has rested 1 1/2 years in the bottle. When compared to other 2 year aged coffee stouts it is in the middle of the pack.

Overall it is a very good coffee stout, and I enjoyed every last ounce of it. But it left me wanting for more refinement that perhaps longer aging will help. The coffee is noticabley similar to Black Xantus, but Black Xantus gets really really good after two years of cellaring and perhaps this would also. I'm glad that I could have a chance to drink and rate it. After letting it warm it does improve and becomes more blended and refined. I would wait for it to warm for 15 to 20 minutes to get maximum enjoyment.

RutgersEng, Jun 28, 2014
Photo of Bmonster
5/5  rDev +8.2%

Well, here it is, the legendary KBS. Released only once a year, this is a stout at its heaviest and most complex. Huge amounts of coffee and chocolate are added to dark malts, then aged in oak bourbon barrels. The result is the a beer with a perfect rating.

Bmonster, Aug 21, 2014
Photo of zander4dawin
4.51/5  rDev -2.4%

Pours black as night with the thinnest head imaginable the dissipate rapidly. Smell is roasted nuts, chocolate, and fresh paint. Dark chocolate taste with a smooth cherry vanilla sweetness in the background with roasted toasty coffee malt notes. Smooth velvet texture and I mouth coating chalky aftertaste. Incredible smooth taste given it's ABV.

zander4dawin, Aug 19, 2014
Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.88/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to Shroud0fdoom for hooking me up with this one! 12 oz bottle into a Chimay goblet.

A: Pours a pitch black color. The head is a bit less than a finger high, with a khaki shade. As expected, retention isn't great. Minimal lacing is left on the glass.

S: Wow, this is almost a dark chocolate bomb. But note the almost - it's the underlyling, subtle notes that turn this into a winner. Bourbon, black coffee, vanilla, oak, and bourbon are all soft yet expressive. And did I mention how great the chocolaty tones smell? The nose could be a bit beefier, but damnit I'm still impressed with its aroma.

T: At first, I'm getting nice chocolate flavors, which build into a bourbon-laden middle. On the finish, I'm getting gentle coffee, roast, and vanilla. The alcohol notes also seemingly shift from bourbon to Irish cream in a way. Still, it's never too alcoholic or harsh (really, the bourbon and oak notes are subdued in the best way). I'm enjoying this a lot...but there's something missing. The more I sip it, the more it hits me: the flavors are a bit muddled. Don't get me wrong, it has great complexity, it's just the individual notes are a bit undefined. It's a bit difficult to discern the chocolate/coffee/vanilla/roast notes from one another. Otherwise, this is still a VERY good brew.

M: Generally, the feel is soft and creamy, but a combination of decent carbonation (for the style) and mild alcohol bite the palate a bit. The bite is never harsh, though. Like many BA beers, it's a bit on the thin side (by no means is it insubstantial, however). A very pleasant sipper that isn't overly sweet.

O: Hmmm. I like this - a lot actually - but I'm honestly not blown away. I think my expectations were too stratospheric for this one. After having the "Big 3" of barrel-aged imperial stouts (this, Parabola, and BCBS), I'd put BCBS 1st, Parabola 2nd, and this one 3rd. But to dismiss this beer entirely would be folly: it's more (dare I say) 'elegant' than the other two, every bit as complex, and well balanced with a delicate bourbon character. Like I said, it's just not extremely exciting: BCBS is over-the-top in the best way possible, and Parabola - despite its incredible harshness - is loaded with a metric ton worth of twists and turns. This just seems a little muddled and unexciting in comparison. I'd definitely drink this again. I'd still buy this again if I got so lucky. But I wouldn't chase trucks just to get my hands on this again.

ThisWangsChung, Jun 01, 2014
Photo of Vaison
1.4/5  rDev -69.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

I don't really wish to put down a highly regarded beer but I feel this one is very overrated. I think it is unbalanced and tastes more like someone dropping a shotglass of bourbon in a stout. I could almost not notice the coffee or chocolate properties because of the overwhelming bourbon taste. I know most won't agree with this but it was a drainpour for me.

Vaison, Mar 18, 2012
Photo of dvsbizzyb
2.1/5  rDev -54.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2.5

Tried a 2011 bottle on May 15 with two of my friends on our "Epic Beer Tasting Day". The line-up consisted of 2010 Darklord, Rare Bourbon County Stout, , 2011 Hanahpu, 2011 KBS, 2010 Abyss.

Appearance - It pours a very dark brown, almost black in appearance. Had a very thin mocha colored head that quickly disappears.

Smell - Bourbon? Nope I didn't smell any of that. I smelled mostly burnt coffee/caramel and nothing else. Disappointing to say the least.

Taste - The alcohol is just too overwhelming in this. I couldn't taste anything but alcohol. I thought it would have a wonderful balanced flavor of coffee, chocolate, vanilla, and bourbon, but got nothing of it.

Mouthfeel - Very thick as it coats your whole mouth and burns your throat as it goes down. Not a pleasant experience at all.

Overall - Overrated! Very disappointed.

dvsbizzyb, May 21, 2011
Photo of BEERchitect
4.85/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

KBS is as complete of an assault on the tastebuds, as much so as any beer I've had. In many ways, the complexity of roast, espresso, malted milk, and cocoa-rich chocolates is overwhelming, but in others it's beautiful in its simplicity.

The beer opens with a creamy and viscous pour. A mousse-like head forms on at the top of the glass as the opaque black beer settles and cascades while the foam rises. The head reliquishes some over the 11.2% abv. Only nitro-infused beers look better.

Extremely bold aromas of espresso, cocoa beans, and roasted barley take hold of the nose. But their intensity is unmistakable. Strong alcohol scent rises as the beer warms and stimulates the olfactory senses. Simple yet pure.

Flavors take over where the aroma ends. Extreme flavors of espresso, cocoa, and roasted barley set the tone. Malt sweetness takes a far backseat while fully attenuated malt flavor gives just enough of a foundation to support the robust complementary flavors. A subtle grassy, piney hop flavor begins to rise after I become acclimated to the cocoa-coffee attack. Esters and phenolic spice are also left behind, not to muddle the pure Stout flavors. Again, the alcohol flavors are evident and gives a bit more complexity to the taste.

The mouthfeel is stupid-crazy. Creamy, rich, and round while also smooth, velvety, and somewhat powdery. Bitterness arrives from a lot of angles: hops, espersso, cocoa, and alcohol. Never cloying, the beer has attenuated extremely well for a malty-rich texture and no residual sweetness left to the mouth.

Interestingly, this whole review has gone without the mention of the bourbon barrel aging. The barrels have taken the rough edges off of the base beer, as oak aging usually does, but the direct bourbon influence is not that apparent. The added alcohol adds a hint of cherry flavored alcohol (maybe a bit of cough syrup) and only a hint of boozy bourbons. Too light on the caramels, vanillans, and simple oak flavor to mention above the intensity of coffee and cocoa.

The beer is complex in its sheer proportions of relatively few dominant flavors, yet simple in its intent. Coffee- Cocoa- Malt- Hops. And it succeeds at every faucet. It has earned its way onto the worlds greatest beers and rightfully so.

BEERchitect, May 05, 2006
Photo of Studs1991
4.5/5  rDev -2.6%

Studs1991, Today at 12:47 AM
Photo of gobuccos
4.5/5  rDev -2.6%

gobuccos, Yesterday at 08:46 PM
Photo of docoman
4.5/5  rDev -2.6%

Definitely enjoyed, wasn't sure if would live up to the hype, but was very good. I like deliverance ale (lost abbey) and bell's black note better overall, but wouldn't turn away any opportunity to drink KBS when available.

docoman, Yesterday at 03:56 PM
Photo of Mo_fro
4.54/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Mo_fro, Yesterday at 12:30 PM
Photo of voider
4.75/5  rDev +2.8%

voider, Yesterday at 04:45 AM
Photo of Eheander
4.93/5  rDev +6.7%

Eheander, Monday at 10:40 PM
Photo of BryanA
4/5  rDev -13.4%

BryanA, Monday at 06:41 PM
Photo of freshcarl
4.25/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

freshcarl, Monday at 04:38 AM
Photo of mulerofthewhalez
3.75/5  rDev -18.8%

mulerofthewhalez, Monday at 01:51 AM
Photo of trippnwo
5/5  rDev +8.2%

trippnwo, Monday at 01:41 AM
Photo of elizur
4.6/5  rDev -0.4%

elizur, Monday at 01:38 AM
Photo of andesite83
4.25/5  rDev -8%

andesite83, Monday at 01:36 AM
Photo of Cleaver7
4.75/5  rDev +2.8%

Cleaver7, Monday at 12:08 AM
Photo of drewaha
4.8/5  rDev +3.9%

drewaha, Monday at 12:00 AM
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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 8,977 ratings.