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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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2,787 Reviews
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Reviews: 2,787
Hads: 10,693
Avg: 4.56
pDev: 8.99%
Wants: 4,237
Gots: 4,973 | 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: 2,787 | Hads: 10,693
Photo of emalc
4.17/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

2015 vintage, bottling date 2/11/15. I've found quite a bit of variation between the different batches this year, even in a side-by-side blind tasting, but this is the first one I've sat down to do a proper review on.

L - Body pours opaque dark brown with garnet highlights. Thin beige head dissipates quickly.

S - Vanilla, bourbon, molasses, and oak leap off. The oak becomes more prominent as it warms. Moderate coffee roast and milk-chocolate covered almonds. A hint of brown sugar and licorice. No hops, esters, or phenolics. I'm looking for the ethanol, and can't find it - very well masked, even with the prominent bourbon character. I could smell this for hours.

T - Dark chocolate, oak, and coffee predominate. Again, the oak intensifies as it warms. Roasted and chocolate malts are vivid, and a bitterness from the roast and the bittering hops in the finish keep it from even thinking about being cloying. For me, though, the oak is too far out of balance and gives a tannic astringency that really knocks this version down a peg. The alcohol is present here, far more than the aroma lets on.

F - Tannins from the oak gives a significantly astringent finish. Moderate alcohol warming. Medium body - a somewhat fuller mouthfeel could better support the substantial character of the beer. Medium-low carbonation and creaminess.

O - This vintage is over-oaked for my tastes, which really pulls it down a notch compared to some others batches/vintages that I've had. The nose is tremendous, though, and if Founders can ever nail both the nose and the taste in the same batch (as they've done separately, in my opinion) then we've got a real contender for top honors.

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Photo of MyThoughtsExactly
4.2/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle less than a year old into a tulip glass
Appearance: black with decent carbonation. Bubbles of varying sizes. Alcohol lacing.
Aroma: vanilla, roasted almonds, marshmallow, milk chocolate, coffee, roasted malt. Great nose on this beer.
Taste: chocolate, vanilla, roasted malt, and coffee. There is roasted bitterness, creaminess, coffee, and alcohol warm in the finish. The lingering taste is very pleasant.
Feel: Body is medium to full.
Definitely taste the 11% in this once it hits the back of the throat. The noise and finish on this beer is very nice. The taste is good but the alcohol in the middle could be mellowed a bit.

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Photo of Dolphinsmarlins1
4.69/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Finally got my hands on several 2014s. Definitely lived up to the hype of it. I'll be curious how the flavor will change with aging. My favorite part about this beer is the lingering aftertaste of chocolate and coffee along with the mouthfeel. Well done Founders.

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Photo of SoCal_Matt
4.51/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2014 bottle poured into a Teku glass.

A - Very dark brown with just a bit of khaki head that settles quickly.

S - Extremely bourbon forward and oaky.

T - Lots of great bourbon and chocolate, coffee is an afterthought and barely noticeable, and has a bit of vanilla as well.

F - A bit thin for a BA stout. I would say on the plus side of medium bodied at best with minimal carbonation.

O - A great beer for sure, but lacking the thickness that I love in a beer of this caliber.

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Photo of VetsPackage
3.82/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Keep getting these 2015s as free extras in trades for good reason. Disappointing only because of the rave reviews this one gets. Unbalanced bourbon character heavy in oak and lacking in the toasted marshmallow sweatness. Thin body is another let down, all around just leaves you wanting more for a beer that gets the accolades it does.

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Photo of jkinzey
4.45/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle dated 3/4/15. Poured into snifter. Look is very dark with little head. Smells of bourbon, chocolate, roasted coffee but not overpowering. Taste is very nice, not too hot. It is a little thin with no lacing left on the glass. A good beer, but not worthy of its ranking or its demand IMO.

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Photo of ljbonadonna92
4.64/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black color with a small amount of lacing. Smells like coffee, vanilla, bourbon, and sweetness. KBS tastes of coffee at first followed by vanilla and the smallest bit of alcohol heat, and sweet bourbon that coats your tongue and lingers for several minutes to finish it all up. This beer was fun to drink and definitely memorable. One of my favorites at this point. Now I gotta go find some more.

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Photo of jcflorian
4.25/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

I don't get the hype for this beer.

It is a very solid Imperial Stout, but in my opinion pales below its Breakfast Stout counterpart. Not in same league as CBS.

Look and smell are both top notch, but the watery mouthful really bothered me. A beer like this should be rich and think , not watery.

Points off for otherwise a rock solid stout

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Photo of jow_42
4.24/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2014 Vintage (drinking 03/2015) poured into a Stone RIS tulip

A - Pours a jet black with half a finger of tan/khaki head

S - Coffee, chocolate, dark chocolate, subtle bourbon. Wish the bourbon was more present in the nose of this. Sweet milk chocolate follows, roasted coffee bitterness underneath the sweet chocolate aromas.

T - This is a tasty beer. Tons of chocolate, coffee bitterness, but hardly any bourbon is present. This almost tastes like a brownie dipped in a cup of coffee. The coffee on the finish is great. The barrel is lacking though. No oakiness, no vanilla, nada.

M - medium bodied, but not quite chewy. Wish it was chewier.

O - Tad bit of a disappointment considering the hype. Really wish the bourbon was there. As a standard stout, this would be amazing. Grading as a BA stout, it comes up a bit short. Might just be the 2014 vintage isn't as strong as others?

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Photo of Rammed96
4.7/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

What an experience!
Multiple levels of flavor. Chocolate, vanilla and you can actually taste the bourbon as it hits the back of your mouth. It coats your entire mouth and the flavor stick around for a while.

This is a must try beer.

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Photo of Tripel_Threat
4.48/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful from aroma to taste; big, bold, and boozy. You will feel every ounce of this 11.5 monster, tread slowly. Is it worth the hype, lines, and lists? Somewhat. Try it at least once in your life.

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Photo of mr-jj
4.63/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to snaotheus for the chance to try this. Poured into a snifter.

Color is completely opaque black with a thin khaki head. Smell is delicious - coffee, chocolate, some vanilla, bourbon. Taste might be even better - a great balance of all of the things I like in a stout. The coffee and chocolate are balanced and neither dominates. The bourbon flavor adds additional complexity. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. Overall, a great beer.

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Photo of Moose90
4.48/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2015 bottle, dated 03/04/2015

A — Pours a deep dark brown hue, there is a real deep darkness to this one. Quite thin and dark head appears on top of the beer, leaving behind some spotty and sticky lace.

S — Smells of sweet dry cocoa powder, bitter dark roasted coffee, bourbon, huge sweet caramel, sugary, cinnamon bourbon tone, bit of oak as well as a little bit of alcohol heat.

T — Tastes like the nose though not quite as sweet, really bourbon forward, which I enjoy, little bit of chocolate, very little to no coffee character.

M — Medium-Full bodied, somewhat light actually, incredibly smooth and easy drinking.

O — Very nice overall, I expected it to be a bit heavier but it was a little thin. Good depth of flavor overall though.

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Photo of Berrymon
4.45/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

It was great - a phenomenal beer. I had the 2015 version. Recently had 2013 & 2014 BCBS which I thought were both superior to this though. My take was that KBS '15 should age a bit. There was a sharpness to it that made me think the edge could be smoothed out with a little more time. I have one more that I'll wait on. It was still an incredibly delicious beer.

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

Honestly the best beer I have ever had, I'm pretty sure explication isn't needed for why this is one of the top 5 beers that's still being produced RIP CBS

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Photo of donspublic
4.83/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had this on tap this past weekend while in Tulsa. Found this at a Mixology bar, never discount a non beer centric joint.
Served in a slender stemmed tulip and had about 2 finger light tan head. Smelled of chocolate, coffee and a slight hint of bourbon
Taste was unlike any other barrel aged beer I have had before, it was more of a muted bourbon taste with very little alcohol burn. This is a beer that I would get a case of if I could.
I have one sitting on my desk now that my daughter scored when she was traveling up north. I was planning on opening it this month, but I think I will save it now for winter and a cuban. Well done Founders

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Photo of Vogie
4.58/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Spiegelau stout glass. Bottle date not visible, however the case I pulled it from said 2/25/15.

Pours an awesome motor oil with two fingers of mocha colored pancake head. Aroma is dominated with dark chocolate, vanilla, and wood. Slight whiffs of dark coffee roast, dark fruits, and black licorice? Taste is a chocolate bomb! Loads of chocolate, vanilla, oak, dark fruits, and a alcohol burn going down. Mouthfeel is the star of the show. Smooth, creamy, and decadent.

An exceptional stout that everyone must try. Worthy of the hype? Perhaps not, unless your new to the craft beer scene. On the sweeter end for a barrel aged stout but I'm not complaining. This is probably one of the best barrel aged stout I've had to date.


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Photo of EmperorBevis
4.34/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

looks like expresso & real big coffee roast aroma
Tastes like a really good Irish coffee.
deceptively easy drinking
Fantastically enjoyable, world class?
Hhmmmm nearly, need to research further.

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Photo of drone
4.46/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2014 variant, huge thanks to @fsckewe for providing me with a bottle. Gorgeous coffee and chocolate notes, no 11% notes anywhere to be found. Masterpiece.

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Photo of 2014LM2X1
4.84/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I am a convert to coffee BA stouts; there's something about Bourbon and coffee that really just works. KBS is the best I've had so far; there is so much chocolate, coffee, and barrel at play. It seems as if all the flavors are just fighting to dominate the experience but never quite do it. Very complex, very well balanced, absolutely delicious.

P.S. If Founders could put the craftsmanship of KBS into a Mayan chocolate stout a la Xocoveza, I would give it a 5, no questions asked.

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Photo of pwilliams211
4.49/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2014 bottle. I like this one with some age, all notes are still present, but everything is needed together into a toasty and a pretty complex beer....and it's insanely smooth no booze at all!

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Photo of Mehinaman
4.77/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is my favorite of the bourbon stouts that I have tried. Goose Island is a great bourbon stout as well, but I find this one a little less boozy overall which makes the difference for me. It's a great beer, but don't let the "breakfast" in the name fool you as this beer packs a punch. You might not want to drink it and then head to work. :-)

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Photo of Illmaticzx
4.24/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A black dk khaki thin head
S roasted coffee bakers choc slight bourbon
T dk chocalate, bourbon, not much coffee
M a little thin for a stout
O not quite as great as i hoped, like backwoods better

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Photo of BayouBengal1537
4.7/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a jet black with 1 finger tan head into a tulip glass. Smells of dark roast coffee, bitter chocolate, roasty malts, big vanilla, big bourbon barrel character. Taste follows with roasted coffee, milk chocolate, bourbon & oak, vanilla. I gave the mouthfeel a 5 because it was easily the silkiest imperial stout i've ever drank. Overall, one of the best imperial bourbon barrel aged stouts I've ever had.

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Photo of Gorilla_Biscuits
4.83/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Smooth creamy coffee and chocolate malts stand out the most. The barrel aged taste isn't as strong as expected, however this beer is amazing. One of the better imperial stouts out there.

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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,787 ratings.