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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

8,966 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,966
Reviews: 2,532
rAvg: 4.62
pDev: 9.09%
Wants: 3,499
Gots: 3,289 | FT: 236
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
Ratings: 8,966 | Reviews: 2,532 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of John_M
4.78/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the South Philly taproom for Philly Beer Week. Just fabulous stuff.

The beer pours the expected black brown color, with good head retention, but with outstanding stickly lacing. On the nose, this is the first inkling that one is in for something special. There is huge aroma of coffee, coffee grounds, touch of licorise and chocolate. As good as this beer is on the nose, on the palate it is simply other worldly. This beer has a huge mouthfeel/presence, with an incredible blast of rich, decadent coffee, chocolate and coffee grounds. What makes the KBS so incredible is not just the coffee flavor, but the feeling that the coffee flavor is extra special as well. The coffee flavor isn't just folgers or hills brothers, oh no. The coffee flavor in this bad boy is from the finest french roast, and is just so thick, rich and viscuous. Mouthfeel is long, rich, smooth and just so luxurious. This beer is just fabulous. Drinkability is just amazing. In the draft version there is a slight booziness, but if anything it enhances the coffee flavor and just adds to the richness. You can tell the alcohol is up there a bit, but it detracts not one wit from this beer's drinkability. One of the finest beers on the planet... what a treat to finally have it on tap. $9 a six ounce pour at the South Philly Taproom, and worth every penny of it.

It just doesn't get much better then this.

John_M, Mar 14, 2009
Photo of biegaman
4.48/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Founders KBS is completely impenetrable by light, even when held directly up to the source. The body is midnight black. Unlike the regular Breakfast Stout, which has a clear brown hue on its edges, this has a distinct maroon tinge. No head and only a slim lining along its outer rim.

The aroma is no one thing; elements of bourbon, chocolate, oak, and coffee are all seamlessly blended together. It smells like charred/roasted wood with accompanying hints of dark chocolate truffles, bitter cocoa, and freshly crushed coffee beans.

The oak is ever present in the mouthfeel - incredibly so - evoking a true sensation of wood on palate. You not only taste, but even more so feel, as much (if not more) oak as you do bourbon. It is quite drying on the palate.

Not to say the bourbon isn't present - oh, it is - and you are reminded with each sip, and also for a long, soothing period after each sip. The bourbon might seem initially faint in taste, but compounds, by the second, until eventually it is resounding through the mouth and crawling through every part of the palate.

With it, of course, comes the taste of bourbon, which lends just a pinch of vanilla to compete alongside flavours of heavily roasted malts, burnt caramel, bitter coffee beans, and dark, dark, (really, really dark) chocolate.

The alcohol in this one is sneaky - you know it's there somewhere but it never lets itself be known. Make no mistake - the drink is strong. But while at times I felt it raising my eyebrows, or opening my nostrils, and certainly, by the end, slowing my blood rate and lightening my head, I never could catch it in the act.

In all honesty, I found this a little raw and certainly a little stiff, but I won't argue about it - this beer is certainly one for the senses! As any caricatured French chef would smack their lips, extend their fingers and proudly proclaim: magnifique! ..

I owe a big thanks to a great pal, SkinnyElvis, for this taste of Blue Grass Breakfast!

biegaman, Jun 02, 2008
Photo of rab53
4.75/5  rDev +2.8%

rab53, Dec 01, 2011
Photo of tdm168
4.5/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to jtd1969 for hooking me up with this.

Pours a deep, dark, oily black with a thick brown head that has good retention. The nose has notes of coffee, chocolate, and a hint of bourbon. The taste is similar; heavy, rich, roasted malts, coffee, and chocolate with a nice, warm, woody, bourbon note coming through in the end. There is a slight hoop character that lends some balance to the finish. The mouthfeel is full bodied, very smooth, chewy, a bit viscous, and lightly carbonated.

This was a fantastic beer. It has a great mouthfeel, a robust, intense flavor, and is absolutely enjoyable.

tdm168, Mar 31, 2012
Photo of KAF
4/5  rDev -13.4%

KAF, Jan 17, 2012
Photo of chinchill
4.39/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured near black; opaque with a proper head.

Powerful, enticing aroma of dark malts, fine bourbon, and faint wood. Slightly boozy, but less than expected for over 11% ABV. There's a lot going on here, with even more complexity in the flavor. An excellent mix with good balance. Taste is just a tad too smoky/burnt.

M: full body is slightly harsh (recall over 11% ABV); medium carbonation, if off at all, is a tad high; smooth and warming.

O: had 2-3x in the past on tap but this was the 1st time bottled; perhaps because it had some additional age (no way to tell at this point) this was even better than remembered. An excellent big beer; very rich and complex, and a bit boozy in manner most may find appealing.

chinchill, Sep 14, 2012
Photo of dmorgan310
5/5  rDev +8.2%

dmorgan310, Mar 20, 2014
Photo of Kelp
4.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thank you to BeerisHeaven for this unbelievable brew.

Poured out black as a moonless night. A small head with no lacing to it.

The smell is amazing I get Bourbon and coffee up front. I get the vanilla and chocolate as the brew warms up.

This is what BCS should be right out of the brewery. This was bourbon right off, followed by chocolate and vanilla. Finishes with some more slight bourbon flavor and coffee that fades beautifully.

First thought is how smooth this is across my tongue and the creaminess that fills my mouth. Very little carbonation thought my only real bad thought on this. It's almost like drinking a really nice complex bourbon/scotch.

When I think about drinking this I could see myself sitting back and enjoying a few of these through out the night, sipping at my glass as it slowly disappears. It really is just a sipping beer a small sip many, many times over until you are disappointed because it is all gone and you still want more.

Kelp, Jan 26, 2010
Photo of billab914
4.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Well we survived the DC snowpocalypse of 2010 but still have no power. I'm getting annoyed and the house is getting colder by the hour, so I deceded to get something from the cellar to lighten my mood and warm me up a little. KBS just sounded like a perfect way to start the cold night off, and it's my first KBS ever as well.

Pours black as can be in the dark, and just as black when held up to the candle light. Not much head to speak of but left a little lacing on the glass as I drank it.

Aroma has bitter coffee, chocolate with a little more subtle wood, vanilla, and Bourbon coming through. Very appealing and complex nose.

The taste is very heavy on the bitterness with a lot of coffee, chocolate, and roasted grains coming through. The bourbon also comes through very well and compliments the other flavors, but isn't overpowering. As in the nose the oak and vanilla are a little more subtle then the other flavors, but add a nice complexity to the beer.

Mouthfeel is thick and carbonation is low, pretty much what I would expect from this style. Very drinkable and delicious, I could use a few more of these tonight to warm me up.

Overall an excellent beer. Breakfast stout is already an amazing beer and the barrel aging really adds to it in this case making it more complex and delicious. Can't wait to buy this here in VA this year.

billab914, Feb 06, 2010
Photo of iL0VEbeer
4.75/5  rDev +2.8%

iL0VEbeer, Mar 24, 2012
Photo of Latarnik
5/5  rDev +8.2%

Latarnik, May 24, 2014
Photo of sendbeer
5/5  rDev +8.2%

sendbeer, Nov 01, 2012
Photo of beerthulhu
4.68/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Aged in burbon barrels.

A: Dark viscose motor oil pour sits heavily in the vessel supporting a scant brownish-orange head that dissipates rather quickly.Dark and brooding.

S: Burbon laced burnt chocolate first arrives on the nose with a noticeable alcohol content that is pleasant and well mannered for its 11.0 abv nature. Burbon barrel woodiness comes through nicely, licorice, burnt barley and strong vanilla and cinnamon notes.

T: The flavor is thick chocolate slurry with a strong boozy burbon alcohol. Vanilla, cinnamon alcohol influence, burnt chocolate sweetness and barrel woodiness. A fade of alcohol heat comes with some dark fruit and burnt barley but the flavor is very smooth and silty like a campfire bitterness.

M: thick and creamy, viscose with a warming of alcohol glow. Burnt roasted chocolate bitterness warms the inner cheek and stays behind.

O: Im no fan of hard liquor but if I was burbon would be my choice of poison, just love the influence the burbon barrel aging on beers, especially a hearty stout. The alcohol is no slouch here, a heavy hand helping that compliments the thick viscose stout nature. Burbon and burnt chocolate works well together delivering a blast of bitterness to the taste buds. One bottle is memoriable, fulfilling, and worthy the wait.

beerthulhu, May 31, 2012
Photo of ShanePB
4.5/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap at Craft Ale House 3/30/2011, 10 oz pour.

A: Pitch black, bubbly tan head which forms into a tight ring around the glass lasting sip through swallow. Slight lacing, nothing major but for an 11.2% ABV beer, it's impressive.

S: Boozy bourbon notes up-front, dark rum, oak wood, roasted coffee and vanilla beans. Really intoxicating and delicious for a barrel-aged beer. Nicely done.

T: Bourbon notes come through immediately, hitting heavy and dominating the palate. It's not hot, so it's very bearable. Coffee beans are next to help take a bit of the edge off and provide some balance. Vanilla and more wood finish things off and leave a nice warming sensation in the throat.

M: Medium-full bodied, almost chewy, moderate carbonation.

Perhaps I've matured into appreciating (bourbon) barrel-aged beers much more than I did a few months ago. After revisiting, there was no reason this deserved a score so low from me. It's one of the best barrel-aged, carefully crafted Imperial Stouts out there.

ShanePB, Nov 03, 2010
Photo of HopHead84
3.9/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter, the beer appears nearly black with a small brown head that disappears almost instantaneously.

The aroma is brimming with coffee and roasted malt character. Beneath the coffee titan lies some dark chocolate. The hops have absolutely no prayer of being noticed. As the beer warms bourbon notes become apparent.

The flavor is, well, a ton of coffee. To be honest, there's too much coffee in this beer for my taste. The notes of chocolate are understated. The roasted malt profile is very strong. Hop bitterness is present at a moderate level, but the hop flavor is overwhelmed by coffee and roastiness, which is to be expected. Bourbon is more noticeable once the beer warms, but it's still not prominent. The finish is bitter coffee and acrid.

The beer is robust, with low carbonation and a creamy, grainy mouthfeel.

HopHead84, May 26, 2009
Photo of Zaphog
4.5/5  rDev -2.6%

Zaphog, Mar 11, 2012
Photo of liamt07
4.83/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle courtesy of TMoney2591, via the Support Your Team BIF! Cheers dude, a dream come true to sip this one. Into a brandy snifter, bottled on February 18, 2010.

Pours pitch black, less than half a finger of DARK brown head, leaving some bubbles and a collar in its wake. Lacing is trace. Nose is wonderful: loads of dark chocolate, coffee, bourbon, a general lovely roastiness, more coffee, a touch of alcohol. Taste is bourbon sweetness upfront with some molasses and licorice, melds seamlessly with lots of coffee and some lesser chocoalte. Lingering alcohol burn in the throat; long, long finish. Nose and flavour alternates between being dominated by either bourbon or coffee as it warms, pleasing everytime I raise this to my nose. Very warming, smooth, creamy and sweet in the mouth with some stickiness. Excellent drinkability for the ABV.

liamt07, Nov 07, 2010
Photo of PEIhop
5/5  rDev +8.2%

PEIhop, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of JohnGalt1
4.45/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Review #500... Woo Hoo!! 12 oz from the cellar.. I believe I got this bottle from Archer Liquors... Poured into my New Belgium snifter.

2 finger head took a few minutes to dial back.. looks like a thicker cappuccino.. pretty lacing... brew is completely pitch black.

Aroma is expected chocolate.. French roast.. and subtle bourbon... vanilla with some soft toasty oak.

Flavor is like boutique store fudge.. but spiked with coffee beans.. some coffee liquor.. deep dark dried fruits.. waves of milky chocolate mid palate... bourbon notes don't taste of alcohol, more like just what my mind imagines bourbon to be.. no burn.. just pure flavor from the beginning to the long luscious finish.... some coffee acidity as it hits room temperature. Body is thick and smooth.. velvety.. this is a sipping beer for sure.. I've been enjoying it for more than an hour now.

4.5/4.5/4.5/5/4

JohnGalt1, Aug 28, 2008
Photo of Viggo
4.63/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

W00t! Received a 4 pack from hoppymeal at DLD (Thanks Derek!!!!) as well as a bottle from nlmartin from BC2 (Thanks Nate!!!!)

Pours an absolutely opaque black, no light visible, thick brown head forms, wicked lacing, settles down to a pretty layer, very sticky. Smell is heavenly, roast coffee, lots of dark chocolate, fruits, toffee, bourbon, bit of alcohol, oaky vanilla, more coffee roast, insane rich and amazing. Taste is insane roasty goodness, like fresh espresso, lots of vanilla, bourbon, oak, chocolate, more espresso, toffee, some dark fruits, tiny amount of alcohol, more espresso and more vanilla, fucking fantastic. Mouthfeel is full bodied, nice and thick, low carbonation, very coating, nice alcohol warming. Easily the best oak aged beer I've had. Captures it perfectly, amazing harmony between the beer and barrel. Way too drinkable, just an insane beer, deserves its accolades and then some. Thanks Derek and Nate!!!

Viggo, May 05, 2007
Photo of GarthDanielson
4.95/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2013 Vintage. Poured from a bottle into mug, the beer is jet black, and pours heavy, with no head and only the slightest dark brown ring of film around the surface. It literally poured like motor oil, and it looks delicious. Aromas of wood and earth, with a backbone of rich chocolate and touches of smoke, highlighted by booze. Flavors are robust, with a smoky, woody forward flavor followed quickly by dark, bitter baker's chocolate and rich, full, roasted coffee. Wow, this one is layered, and it is unbelievably smooth. Smoke and roast fills the senses, as well as the palate, throughout each drink. Creamy vanilla highlights, with a warming sensation from the heightened ABV. This is tremendous. Smooth, full, and creamy in mouth, with an almost velvet feel. Roast and coffee on the aftertaste, with hints of booze. Dry, roasted finish, with a smoked and woody linger. This is a fantastic brew, and I can only imagine it would age very, very well.

GarthDanielson, Jun 18, 2013
Photo of rolltide8425
4.75/5  rDev +2.8%

rolltide8425, Jul 14, 2012
Photo of Bighuge
4.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours with some viscosity. A dense, creamy brown head forms. Retention and lace properties are quite good. Body is thick and black.

Aroma: Chalky dry cocoa, sweet bourbon, vanilla and char.

Flavor: Wow is this smooth. The bourbon properties and the stout properties blend to near perfection. There is really a uniqueness to this beer, even as a Bourbon Bbl beer, that is hard to pinpoint. I'm guessing it has to do with the kind of bourbon and/or barrel aging process used. Smooth kentucky bourbon notes blend with some nice chocolatey and burnt malt tones from the stout. A little of that dry char character is noted as well.

MF: Velvety. Medium to medium-full body. Alcohol is barely detected. This one flows way too effortlessly across the tongue.

DK: This is the closest challenger to the unbelievable barrel aged stouts that Town Hall puts out occasionally. This is damn close. Just not quite there with the Czar Jack and the even more impressive barrel aged oatmeal stout they put out a few years ago. But this one really has great character and flavor and drinkability. I now understand the high accolades this beer receives.

Bighuge, Oct 21, 2008
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.8/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Broke this out for the ol' 4th of July weekend celebration right before the awesome UFC 116 fights.

And while I'm seguing, this heavyweight beer is like a hybrid of the best two heavyweight fighters: massive and daunting strength and size of Brock Lesnar, with the technique, skill, consistency and acclaim of Fedor Emelianenko. A big giant thick black pour. Good bourbon smell, notes of vanilla and cherry as well.

But damn, if the chocolate wasn't clearly the most established taste. I remarked, if Younger's has a Double Chocolate Stout, this is a Quadruple Chocolate Stout. Just immense. So smooth, there's 11+% alcohol here? The chocolate smothers it. But it doesn't smother the vanilla, oak and cherry flavors. They are embraced throughout and so smooth.

At around $5 for a 12oz. stout of this caliber, its a pretty good deal. I think I like it more than Abyss, but then again, Abyss was so easy to get out here, whereas this, I have to go back to my Milwaukee homies to hook this up. We'll see how future tastings (got 2 more to go) work out. As far as my first, excellent, and could easily be the world champion stout. Of course, I still have some Speedway, Hunahpu among others aging right now, so who knows, but I can say with conviction, this is the best barrel aged stout I've ever had.

Beerandraiderfan, Jul 08, 2010
Photo of DrJay
4.4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was fortunate enough to get two bottles from BC2. Thanks nlmartin and bax72!
Even on a very hard pour only a thin dark brown cap appeared, then fell quickly to a skim of fine bubbles and a thin ring. The beer itself was black, but with the thinnest of mahogany edges when held up in bright light. Some spotty lace clung to the glass between sips. Assertive roasted coffee aroma, some grounds, toffee and caramel, with wood character in the background. Thick and sweet pretty much sums up the first sip. There was a lot of coffee and roast flavour, but also equal parts dark and milk chocolate along with rich caramel. Oak played a role in the middle, growing into a whiskey barrel, alcoholic finish. Still, it stayed quite mellow for all the powerful flavours. Lots of alcohol warmth, low carbonation and a full, heavy body. Quite viscous and palate coating. Great stuff! Definitely a sipper, but a very nice balance for such a big, flavourful beer.

DrJay, Sep 18, 2007
Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 8,966 ratings.