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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

9,105 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,105
Reviews: 2,544
rAvg: 4.62
pDev: 9.09%
Wants: 3,587
Gots: 3,359 | FT: 243
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:  Recent | Likes | 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: 9,105 | Reviews: 2,544 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bourbon is an American taste and while some finds its way over here, it's simply a novelty. This is a medium or possibly less thick stout. I guess my expectations were primed for the breakfast level of stout. I taste the stout, the bourbon, some roast, a tad coffee. It's a nice stout to drink with some different flavouring.With great appreciation to Putnam for allowing me to buy the last bottle in the store, hidden away for someone like me.

Photo of t0rin0
4.5/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of spycow
5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.75/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

HUGE thanks to GrandCruDrew for sending me this one!

Pours a super thick pitch black color with a tiny 1/2 inch dark chocolate colored head that fades to a film on the top of the beer. Wow, this beer smells absolutely fantastic. Chocolate chip cookie dough, sweetened coffee, cinnamon, with a whiff of the oak bourbon barrels. Taste is extremely rich and decadent. Cocoa powder, cookie dough, sweetened coffee with creamer, cinnamon, vanilla, coconut, with the woody bourbon taste coming through on the finish. Mouthfeel is very thick and creamy on this one. Mild alcohol burn in the throat after each sip. I have been wanting to try this one for a long, long time and the hype and all the good things I have heard and read about this beer are all warranted. This is an exceptional beer and it's no wonder this one is super hard to find.

Photo of djrn2
4.25/5  rDev -8%

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -13.4%

Photo of acurtis
4.25/5  rDev -8%

Photo of Thorpe429
4.47/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

G: Oversized snifter.

A: Pours very, very dark and thick with a single-finger caramel-colored head, which has plenty of carbonation and air bubbles. Head recedes quickly; nice lacing.

S: Coffee and dark chocolate. A little bit of hops. Bourbon presence with a little bit of alcohol.

T: Burnt espresso to go with the bourbon; lots of malt and a little bit of hops to go along with the alcohol. Chocolate and creamy flavors linger after the beer goes down. Hints of caramel and vanilla as well. Incredibly complex--each sip brings something new.

M: Incredibly smooth. Unbelievably sooth and medium-bodied in the mouth, with the perfect amount of carbonation and a striking alcohol presence, which is not overpowering. Simply lovely.

D: Very drinkable for the style and ABV. It's a shame I was only able to pick up two bottles--hopefully I can scrounge some more up somewhere else.

Photo of nmann08
4.54/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 Vintage

Pours a thick dark black, soft tan head, a bit low on the carbonation on the pour, but the head still appeared.

Smell is roasted coffee, molasses, chocolate, hints of oak and vanilla. The smells are very distinct, don't have to think hard to find them.

The taste is boozy up front. Still very hot. Bourbon. Roasty espresso in the middle, with dark chocolate and bitterness on the end.

Great mouthfeel. Very smooth, full on the mouth, milky finish.

Overall, this is a great beer, but still needs at least another year on it, maybe 2 before it hits its stride.

Photo of Texasfan549
4.5/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of GRG1313
4.5/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of olradetbalder
4.25/5  rDev -8%

Photo of metter98
4.4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer poured out of the bottle with little carbonation, almost resembling the viscosity of motor oil.
S: There's an intense aroma of bourbon intermixed with notes of coffee and vanilla.
T: Bourbon flavors really stand out in the initial taste, but they are nicely balanced with the hints of coffee and vanilla. The bourbon flavors are strong, but not overpowering. The taste and balance improves as it warms up and the coffee flavors begin to come through a little more.
M: It has a medium-bodied feel on the palate and the alcohol is very well hidden, but detectable in the finish with some warming sensations.
D: This is a beer to sip to appreciate all of the flavors come through as it warms up.

Photo of kjkinsey
4.5/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of brentk56
4.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a jet black color with a bubbly tan head that leaves tracks of lacing around the glass

Smell: Wow! Bourbon and coffee dominate the nose with chocolate shavings underneath

Taste: Starts with a smooth Bourbon-influenced chocolate flavor; after the swallow, the Bourbon arises and meets the coffee tones, imparting a mellow flavor; the finish is relatively sweet but that bitter coffee flavor persists to the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and smooth; not as thick as I expected and there is very little carbonation despite the foamy head

Drinkability: This is a wonderful stout to contemplate as an after dinner sipper

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.

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.28/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy from CBA and Moejuck: Poured a deep black color stout with a small foamy head with limited retention but some lacing. Aroma of coffee and vanilla is well balance and even more so then the regular version. Taste was a nice and well balance mix between some coffee, vanilla and light bourbon. The alcohol was hidden and didn’t overpower the beer, coffee was well balance as oppose to the regular version and body was oily with a full texture. I have to admit to being quite impressed with this after having been totally disappointed by the regular version.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.63/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Complete... utter... total... Stygian black. Despite a big blast of July sunshine behind the glass, there's no hint of lightening at the edges. I think I said the same about Founders Imperial Stout, but I don't know that I've ever seen a darker dollop of foam. The head is 'coffee with a small splash of cream' brown and is incredibly thick and rich. There's even a huge amount of lace for such a high-ABV ale.

Every ingredient that's said to be present is easily noted in the nose. I'm a little disappointed that coffee is in the foreground and bourbon is in the background. I wanted 'Kentucky' to be emphasized more than 'Breakfast'. That said, this is still an incredible aroma. It smells like a prodigious amount of roasted and black malt has been used, complemented nicely by espresso, vanilla and bourbon whiskey.

Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout is delicous beer. My first few mouthfuls tell me that it doesn't live up to my (probably unrealistic) expectations, but that's the last time in this review that I'll be anything other than positive. I know one thing, I'll buy every bottle that I can get my hands on each and every year.

The flavor profile consists of a monolithic maltiness that is Stonehenge-like in size. Think dark chocolate fudge cake flecked with pulverized coffee beans and swimming in dark caramel and molasses sauce. Of the accessory flavors, vanilla is the most prominent, followed by a burnt sugar, bourbon barrel character that, again, should be more up front. As a bourbon whiskey lover, I wish my favorite liquor saturated every sip.

The most amazing thing about KBS is how completely the alcohol is buried. Other than the beginnings of tongue numbing as I reach the halfway point of the bottle, I have a hard time picking it out. Maybe that because it tastes like bourbon rather than like ethanol. In any case, there's no need to age this beer since there's no alcoholic heat whatsoever. Of course, I'm drinking it almost four months after its release.

I'm tempted to bump the flavor score as the beer warms, but can't quite do it. For all the reasons stated above, I can imagine a better KBS, so this one will have to settle for a less than perfect flavor score. The mouthfeel is luxurious. It's medium-full with a heavy silkiness that promotes gulping rather than sipping. I could get into trouble in a big hurry with this beer.

I don't believe there's a brewery in existence that can match Founders when it comes to big stouts. Breakfast Stout, Imperial Stout, and now Kentucky Breakfast Stout are three of the most incredible beers that I've ever had the pleasure to drink. Never has twelve ounces seemed so much like six. Good thing I have three more bottles to go.

Photo of kylehay2004
4.63/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Rare opportunity for me in the southeast to have this one. I had about a shot glass if it once before.

A: thin off white head with excellent lacing on a jet black body. A little more head and it would be perfect. May be pour related and do to the fact it is on draft

S: aroma is dominated by milk and dark chocolate and oak with vanilla, bourbon and dark fruit notes. I was sitting under a fan and yet the the aroma stayed full on the nose.

T: I had this one cold then let it warm up to are how it changes. The bourbon dominated when cold. As it warmed I got more chocolate, oak and vanilla. I must say I want more coffee which was more in the after taste. Last years seemed to have more coffee.

M: thick body but doesn't overly coat the palate, smooth with moderate carbonation. Carbonated a bit more than I wanted for the style to make it perfect but damn close.

Overall: I have tried many great beers and this one is at the top of that list. Best thing about it honestly is that it lives up to the hype which for a beer this highly rated is difficult to do. My biggest knock was not enough coffee to balance the sweetness. Alcohol is dangerously hidden

Photo of jaydoc
4.75/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of ygtbsm94
5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.9/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Well at long last here it is. The fabled and much adorned Kentucky Breakfast Stout. I was finally able to get my hands on this one, and did not waste anytime in getting my review up here. This was one mean beer, I have to say. This one hurt me, mostly because I did not know it was. Poured a very deep dark black, thick like a shake and a full two finger head of caramel brown foam at the top. Nice gradual settle down left behind some very nice side glass lace. The smell was wonderful, full of sweet caramel and lactose sugar with a rich coffee and chocolate undertone, simply to die for as for as RIS’s go. The taste was so complex and diverse, I did not know what I was trying, this one was nuts to say the least. Full on assault of sweet caramel and chocolate from the very start, as this mellowed some very nice coffee tones. Very full, rich, and robust profile. This was one not to take lightly. The feel was like a dessert shake. Such a warming feeling, with really no hint of alcohol at all. Overall I would have to say this definitely lived up to its hype. It was a fantastic offering and easily one of the best RIS I have ever had. It fully deserves its reputation and its rating on here. A truly top notch beer that everyone should have to try at least once, definitely and whole hearted recommendation from the BA.

Photo of womencantsail
4.72/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review #200 comes courtesy of imperialking. Jeff was kind enough to hook it up with two bottles of KBS...as extras!

A: KBS has that wonderful motor oil like pour with a thin layer of mocha colored foam.

S: While I'm not much of a coffee fan, the coffee aroma in this beer is amazing. There are also great chocolate, roasted malt, and ever so slight bourbon scents.

T: Talk about flavor! There are huge coffee, chocolate, roasted malt, and bourbon flavors in this. The alcohol is definitely there, but it's not quite as boozy as I was preparing for.

M: This is a great thick, chewy, creamy beer.

D: The drinkability is surprisingly good for such a strong beer. The beer is not "hot", and the flavors are absolutely sensational. I'm glad that I have another one of these to enjoy.

Photo of Knapp85
4.66/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Managed to score a few bottles of this at Abe's Cold Beer when they got in a very limited supply of them. The sale price wasn't too bad for this beer surprisingly enough.

The beer itself pours out as a really nice black stout. The head does vanish pretty quickly. The aromas of coffee come first than the bourbon and vanilla come trough later. The taste is powerful. It's got to be sipped over a set period of time, don't waste this and drink it fast. Sit back and enjoy it. I also felt that this beer was a little thinner than I expected which was a bit of a bummer. I have one bottle of this left and I'm gonna age it for just a bit before I crack it open. Just want to see if anything changes in it.

Just opened a bottle of this that I bought in June 2010 and split it with a friend. I found this to be even better now after some time has passed. The smell and taste of the beer is much better overall I think. Just a great beer for sure.

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.5/5  rDev -2.6%

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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 9,105 ratings.