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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

8,105 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,105
Reviews: 2,497
rAvg: 4.63
pDev: 8.64%
Wants: 3,140
Gots: 2,898 | FT: 209
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:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) Alström Bros
Ratings: 8,105 | Reviews: 2,497 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of smakawhat
smakawhat

Maryland

4.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from the bottle into my large Dogfish head snifter, fresh as can be, patiently reserved in line for a simple four pack to be consumed and reviewed. This is my milestone, and my 300th review on Beer Advocate. Much thanks to the brothers. Onward...

Off the visible pour it is borderline motor oil black out of the bottle but not quite... Head is very solid and cocoa light brown I would say with a good solid retention. After falling for LOTS of time (having consumed two of these in one sitting) it maintains a collar that will not go away. The body is my personal favorite walnut brown, but just wants to hint... I mean just hint at black midnight. Based on all that... she looks great. Decent lacing giving up to leopardy like spotting.

Bouquet is jarring for this style and a big surprise considering the abv in front. DRY husky grain, faint dried out wood, not a wood smell that I could pinpoint (regardless that they come from American oak bourbon barrels). The sense is something tannic is coming even though you DO NOT smell tannins. It strangely (dare I say it) feels like fresh cut timber or assembled oak furniture. Very dense and full of body. Some simple cheap store bought coffee also. Extremely unique smelling and balance.. really nice. When I smell these aromas, they feel like I am tasting and drinking this beverage as it is. Cellar like smell with a dampness that isn't ruined, musty, no not BAD.. just down there.... DANK DANK DANK!!!! Chocolate milk bent on the nose. No sense of heat or big booze coming for this large ABV.

Taste is well, stealing something from the vocabulary.. exceptional when factoring the mouthfeel. Almost silky but SOoooo... easy palatable and borderline wet in feel. Big milk chocolate front but not turning into a sweet chocolate bomb. Sweetness hints, faint standard coffee, but extremely balanced profile. Slight tannins in the mouth pushing forward and puckering, it is dry I will give it that but tolerable. What is not here for me on taste just for the record is tobacco and fruit. Vanilla for me personally .... creeps up unknowingly then takes over. It's not apparent at first but then makes it's presence known latter while drinking. This is not a beer that feels particularly like whiskey either. It's not bourbon feeling at all (I have a bias being a bourbon drinker) but that is a good thing this is truly a great beer, and the highly masked abv boozy quality that you would think came from this is completely hidden. This should be considered beer forward and not whiskey. The chocolate and vanilla mix gets into almost ice cream territory, with much fun. This could pass easily as a dessert beer for sure but works also on its own.. So stupidly easy drinking, creamy, almost dark chocolate, balanced soft tannins, woody, FROTHY, too much to desire.

Overall some serious intense craft and quality while drinking this. This is magic right here, and some great feel. Just for the record the high abv on this is dangerous cause I feel like I could just pound these back like no tomorrow. Part of that stupid drinkability, besides all this sophistication and time put into it, is that it feels like a kids morning chocolate breakfast drink, such as Carnation Instant Breakfast drink. Does this beer taste like bourbon... NO. Emphatically no giving way to a good magic that is masking the alcohol.. It is just a great tasting beer and very unique and done superbly.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2011 04:29:29 | More by smakawhat
Photo of mdaschaf
mdaschaf

Washington

4.8/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to DmanGTR for this one! From notes (12/5).

A: Pours a extremely black. A very small tan head forms for a second and then is gone. No lacing.

S: The bourbon aroma hits right away. I also get a lot of vanilla and chocolate, as well as a small hint of coffee. Slight hint of alcohol, but overall very nice.

T: This has an amazing flavor. Lots of vanilla and oak to go along with a rich chocolate flavor. Not as much coffee as expected and for me that is a big plus. Gets better as it warms.

M/D: Full bodied, but very smooth and extremely easy drinking. Sits warm in my stomach. One of my favorite beers so far.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2010 02:54:24 | More by mdaschaf
Photo of Latarnik
Latarnik

New Jersey

5/5  rDev +8%

05-24-2014 21:25:42 | More by Latarnik
Photo of Bighuge
Bighuge

Minnesota

4.53/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2008 03:36:01 | More by Bighuge
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
Beerandraiderfan

Nevada

4.8/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2010 22:33:51 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of DrJay
DrJay

Massachusetts

4.4/5  rDev -5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2007 02:42:13 | More by DrJay
Photo of tdm168
tdm168

North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2012 19:05:42 | More by tdm168
Photo of Kelp
Kelp

New Hampshire

4.53/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2010 03:54:30 | More by Kelp
Photo of JohnGalt1
JohnGalt1

Idaho

4.45/5  rDev -3.9%
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

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2008 07:13:51 | More by JohnGalt1
Photo of glid02
glid02

Georgia

4.53/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Jeremy - thanks! 2007 vintage.

Pours black with a one-finger brown head. The head dissipates into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of robust roasted malts, coffee, and bourbon with hints of vanilla. The coffee is more intense than it was fresh and the bourbon is more restrained.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Roasted malt and dark chocolate flavors kick things off. Smooth coffee flavors join in shortly thereafter. Midway through the sip vanilla and bourbon flavors make an appearance, the former more intense than the aroma intimates. Mildly sweet oat flavors kick in right before a solidly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is great. It's got a very smooth thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have another.

Overall I thought this was still a phenomenal beer after a few years on it but I was a bigger fan when it was fresh. The bourbon flavors are much bigger although it is boozier when fresh. In any even, it's worth a shot fresh or aged.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2010 05:03:38 | More by glid02
Photo of sendbeer
sendbeer

Georgia

5/5  rDev +8%

11-01-2012 15:24:53 | More by sendbeer
Photo of beertunes
beertunes

Washington

4.05/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to BigBlueBeerGuy and GoGriz for sending me KBS in recent trades. Poured into 10oz glass. Poured pure black with just a very thin cap of deep tan head that no retention or lacing.

The first aromas were coffee and maple syrup. On second approach a bit of the roasted malt was present. On the tongue, the coffee dominated, with some bourbon showing up behind the maple notes.

The body was solid, as expected, but a bit too thin for this style. As I am not a coffee drinker, I found the coffee to be a bit more noticeable than I like, but not as strong as some other brews I've had.

Overall, a very good and solid brew that I enjoyed a lot. Did I enjoy it $6 a bottles worth? I'm not sure. With Old Rasputin and Old Stock Ale, both from North Coast, available for $9 a 4-pack, KBS wouldn't be a regular purchase for me, but I'd have a couple a year. Certainly a worthy beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2010 21:26:25 | More by beertunes
Photo of Gusler
Gusler

Arizona

4.53/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer gurgles from the 12-ounce brown bottle a soot black, the head is thick and creamy, the color a deep chocolate, the size perfect, as it slowly erodes the laces forms a thick concealing blanket to surround the glass. Nose is steeped with toasted grain, hints of chocolate and a touch of Bourbon barrel sourness, quite mouth watering. Start is somewhat sweet with a rich grain profile, the top rich and full in feel. Finish has a nice acidity, the hops plentiful and the deep roasted grain flavor sits long on the palate, a sure fire winner in my book.

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2006 20:08:54 | More by Gusler
Photo of Tone
Tone

Missouri

4.13/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a black color. 1/4 inch head of a tan color. Decent retention and slight lacing. Smells of coffee, roasted malt, sweet malt, alcohol, and slight hop. Fits the style of an American Double / Imperial Stout. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp with an average carbonation level. There is also a strong bitterness from the roasted malts. Tastes of strong coffee, strong alcohol, bourbon/wood, and roasted malt. Overall, great aroma, great blend, good body, but appearance was lacking.

Serving type: on-tap

03-22-2010 22:19:51 | More by Tone
Photo of PEIhop
PEIhop

Massachusetts

5/5  rDev +8%

11-21-2011 02:14:13 | More by PEIhop
Photo of billab914
billab914

Virginia

4.65/5  rDev +0.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2010 23:01:36 | More by billab914
Photo of chinchill
chinchill

South Carolina

4.43/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2012 14:41:01 | More by chinchill
Photo of Brad007
Brad007

Vermont

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

This is it. Review No.1000.

This beer pours a pitch black color, dark as night with a brown one-finger head into my fancy Piraat glass.

The aroma is rich and creamy with a strong whiff of bourbon from the barrels, chocolate and vanilla in the nose. A bit of roasted coffee peeks out as well.

The taste is nice and creamy upfront with a strong bourbon presence that increases as it warms up. A good hint of both chocolate and coffee are still there but the bourbon and alcohol seem to dominate.

The mouthfeel is full of warm bourbon and lingering bitter coffee and chocolate. Again, the bourbon dominates the palate.

This is a very good example of the style. However, I should have aged it for a while. Still quite drinkable while young and it doesn't take away from the potential that this beer has. The aroma is intact but the taste needs some age.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2009 06:32:56 | More by Brad007
Photo of HopHead84
HopHead84

California

3.9/5  rDev -15.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2009 05:41:37 | More by HopHead84
Photo of THECPJ
THECPJ

Delaware

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

Reviewed from notes 1/11/2011

A: boozey, molasses syrup, mild vanilla

Ap: black with very minimal mocha colored head, minimal lacing

B/T: very mild carbonation, smooth

Af: sweet, but boozey, syrupy, vanilla

O: very smooth, much easier to drink than Sam Adams Utopias or Bourbon County

Cheers!
The CPJ

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2011 23:53:04 | More by THECPJ
Photo of dmorgan310
dmorgan310

Panama

5/5  rDev +8%

03-20-2014 19:05:33 | More by dmorgan310
Photo of Derek
Derek

British Columbia (Canada)

4.33/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this at the Michigan Brewers Guild Winter Beer Fest, back-to-back with their usual Breakfast stout!

A: Dark black with a tan head (doesn't really look any different, but you can't really get darker than dark black!)

S: Awesome aroma. In addition to the dark roasted notes, this one has a ton of boozy bourbon!

T: Now that's a full flavoured stout! The bourbon actually helps to balance the roasted assault on your tastebuds. The alcohol is assertive, but not overwhelming. Awesome (pushing a '5').

M: I didn't like the mouthfeel as much as the regular breakfast. This one was a little acidic. The carbonation was a little higher as well.

D: Big, bold & beautiful. Obviously not a session brew.

Serving type: on-tap

03-03-2006 01:56:49 | More by Derek
Photo of dirtylou
dirtylou

Washington

4.8/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz single, Riley's, $4.99

This one obviously comes with a tremendous amount of hype and once again Riley's comes through

appearance: generic bourbon bottle label, pours thick and syrupy into a snifter, has that motor oil characteristic to it...rich and dark chocolately brown, bordering on night black. only a small chocolate head that dissipates rather quickly

smell: rich and bold, dark roast comes out in a powerful way! huge roasted malt, charred wood, rich dark chocolate, delicate bourbon aromas, earthy hop presence...pretty damn solid all around

taste: jesus, what a stout! It's thick, it's rich, it's explosive, it's bourbon aged. This is a full flavour stout, no doubt about it. Heavy roastiness felt immediately, rich dark roast beans, defined woodyness definitely felt...bourbon flavours are delicate (not overpowering like some) and very complimentary to the other flavours. the end result is a sweet, alcohol infused kick. sweet and smooth dark chocolate...delicious!

mouthfeel: thick, syrupy, full bodied, smooth, roasted, abv well hidden, bourbon touch on the tongue, slight bitterness

drinkability: so good, so easy

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2006 02:11:48 | More by dirtylou
Photo of TurdFurgison
TurdFurgison

Ohio

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

I've been sitting on this bottle for about 2 months, since buying the last stock from Holiday market in Detroit. The first notable thing is the low carbonation, evidenced by almost no pffft sound when I opened the bottle. Also there was no head, just a thin ring of tan bubbles where the beer meets the glass.

But the smell and taste are the most important dimensions, and both were really good. It smelled STRONG, like whiskey and roasted malt. The flavor was heavily malted and had decent currents of chocolate and whiskey. No coffee that I could smell or taste. Or maybe on reflection just a hint of coffee.

The mouthfeel was thick and chewy, really nice. Overall I'm glad I tried it, but it's too big to drink too often so it's no problem that it's brewed like once a year.

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2006 23:51:21 | More by TurdFurgison
Photo of afsdan
afsdan

Colorado

4.75/5  rDev +2.6%

03-22-2014 20:33:29 | More by afsdan
Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 8,105 ratings.