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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) - Founders Brewing Company

Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

7,148 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7148
Reviews: 2415
rAvg: 4.63
pDev: 8.64%

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 Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) Alström Bros
Ratings: 7,148 | Reviews: 2,415 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of iflah45


4.68/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Kappys in Medford for hooking me up with this bottle.

Pours jet black with a creamy copper head.

Hints of oak and vanilla with a slight toasty bourbon smell. Stong coffee tones

The taste is amazing, coffee upfront with some sweet bourbon and vanilla. Also some strong chocolate and roastiness.

The mouthfeel is good but I feel it was a little under carbonated. Very thick and creamy with a little warming from the alcohol.

Overall an absolutely incredible beer. So glad I got to try it!

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2011 13:47:20 | More by iflah45
Photo of TomTwanks


5/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Oh the infamous KBS, what a treat. Too bad I practically had to give a testicle to get some! Well, it was worth it...
Pours a deep deep black with a dark mocha head.This is a great start...
Smell - Vanilla, bourbon, coffee grounds, sweet chocolate, roasted malt...in that order for the most part. Just outstanding.
Taste - Very similar to the nose, but wow so integrated. I mean, its so balanced. Def the most balanced stout I've ever had. So good. It would be hard to top this in any genre or beer. Holy shit, no wonder why assholes chase the truck for this...screw it I'm gonna rob the truck driver!
Mouthful - So smooth, so complex, so inviting you for another sip. Medium to heavy. Fantastic

Overall - don't read this, get this is you can. Founders did it again...between GI and Founder's barrel work, theres no need to move from the midwest! Stunning world class beer

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2012 04:17:39 | More by TomTwanks
Photo of cquinn17


4.43/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.
2013 vintage.

A- Black, 1 finger thick mocha head that dissipates quickly. Pretty much just a pitch black barrel aged stout.

S- Lots of coffee and chocolate lead the way in the nose. The bourbon and oak characteristics are a little more subdued. To me it almost smells like a mix of FIS and FBS. Wish there was more bourbon in the nose.

T- Again, fresh, bitter coffee beans are balanced out by silky smooth milk chocolate. The bourbon comes through a little more on the taste but there still isn't as much barrel as I'd like. I get a little vanilla, oak and even some anise at the end, but its mostly a coffee and chocolate bomb, which isn't a bad thing.

M- I'd say its a medium to full body, not as thick as I'd expect but not too thin to where it detracts from the beer. Pretty high carbonation for a barrel aged stout as well.

O- After trying many barrel aged stouts this year, (bcbs,bcbcs, peruvian morning, cwbbs, parabola), this falls in the middle of the pack. Nothing spectacular for me, but still a very solid beer. Something everyone should definitely try once, but if you miss out on it, don't feel too bad.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2013 03:16:45 | More by cquinn17
Photo of Fusion7777


4.91/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I don't really have much more to contribute over what's already been said by more experienced palates, but KBS is absolutely phenomenal. Poured motor oil black into an oversized wine glass with a modest creamy mocha head. Hints of mahogany when held up to the light. Scintillating aroma with a lot going on; roasty and sweet. Taste is elegantly layered, like a dark chocolate coffee cake in liquid form, revealing hints of caramel, vanilla, and oak as it warms. Muted bourbon character that isn't overpowering but comes together well with the other flavors. Incredibly balanced and nuanced. Mouthfeel is moderately thick but thinner than other big stouts. Dangerously drinkable, luxuriously smooth, and not as hot as you would expect for the ABV. Definitely one to sip and savor. A real treat. A shame this is so much of a hassle to acquire.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2013 20:46:52 | More by Fusion7777
Photo of jdkitchi


4.08/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured black with large brown head into a large snifter. There was good head retention and sticky lacing.

I mostly get wet coffee grounds on the nose along with some malt. There is a somewhat sweet coffee flavor up front. I get a little bit of cocoa and bourbon barrel after that. The mouth feel is medium.

About halfway through I'm getting more of a balance of the bourbon barrel flavor with the coffee. I started this at cellar temp of about 55F but I think it's a little better as it warms up from there.

I don't know if it is worth the $7 for a 12 oz bottle. Goose Island BCBS is much more intense. Central Waters BS has much more of the bourbon barrel notes. Overall, this is a very good imperial coffee stout.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2013 00:26:51 | More by jdkitchi
Photo of BobaFret


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

2013 batch.

A - Same appearance as FBS: black as motor oil with a quickly dissipating light tan/coffee head.

S - The bourbon barrel character is very strong; a slight hint of chocolate is there.

T - The bourbon barrel character is perfectly balanced. Unlike with the smell you can definitely taste the coffee, chocolate, and roasted malt with a slight bitterness. This is an amazingly well-crafted stout/beer.

M - Extremely smooth. Not too thick, not too thin; just right.

O - Perfection. Beg, borrow, or steal to get this beer; it lives up to the hype.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2013 03:21:26 | More by BobaFret
Photo of BA_Berto

New York

4.1/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Founders has proven to be one solid brewery! Take one awesome breakfast stout, throw it in Bourbon barrels and the result is amazing! The taste of coffee, with a bourbon finish is something that I don't think I would ever get tired of. I wish that this was more readily available, and that you could find it at any point in the year, and not on just one or two days depending on where it is being released.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2013 03:27:09 | More by BA_Berto
Photo of leighton

United Kingdom (England)

4.3/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle at home in London as dusk approaches to cap a rather pleasant Sunday. I drink this beer as the ceremonial 4000th rating, but also to celebrate an anniversary. The beer pours black-brown with a sturdy, creamy and tight beige foam head. Lots to take in on the nose. Dry coffee hits first, followed by oak chips, dark cocoa, alcohol, mild roast, a bit of tobacco and earth. Great flavor, very rich, very sweet. Lots of charred malts, brown sugar, vanilla, chocolate cake, oak and straight burnt wood, some mild earthy bitterness. Full bodied, lightly chewy with fine carbonation. Warm finish with lots of dark sugars, licorice, molasses, dark chocolate, light coffee, mocha, vanilla, chocolate syrup, light peat, burnt grass, burnt wood. Certainly lives up to the hype. It’s a robust, nicely nuanced beer with plenty of punch. I love it. A great way to commemorate this happy day.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2013 19:08:34 | More by leighton
Photo of krkearney


4.15/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, sampled alongside the Breakfast Stout. Pours pitch black, with a short, light brown head that quickly diminishes to a thing ring of bubbles that hugs the walls of the snifter. Strong coffee aroma; with some dark chocolate, oak and vanilla. The coffee aroma is stronger here than it is in my Breakfast Stout. The coffee again defines the flavor, again with some bitter dark chocolate in the background along with caramel and burnt toast flavors. Bourbon was not as prominant as I expected. More intense than the Breakfast Stout, but still smooth and enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2007 03:01:14 | More by krkearney
Photo of sculls65


4.68/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

pours completely dark ,,,no light through it...solid middle finger worth of tannish head that dissapates to a halo around the glass...smells of dark mocha coffee and bourbon..wows..almost tickles the nostrils...the taste changes as the glass settles and warms..offering dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malts and fruits followed by that warm bourbon rush...leaves your mouth wanting more..probably a good thing this is so limited as i could see how this would be incredibly addicting!!

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2009 21:38:08 | More by sculls65
Photo of DarbyOGill


4.68/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours just like regular Breakfast Stout, jet black with one finger of brown head.

S: A nose of coffee, alcohol, soy sauce, and roasted malts.

T: Wow, it is like Breakfast Stout on steroids. Starts with a strong, bitter flavor of coffee followed by a nice chocolate taste. Almost like a mocha coffee. After the strong coffee and chocolate it gets boozy but nicely accompanied by roasted malt. I also get a tinge of oak which balanced out the alcohol flavor very nice. Very nice alcohol and oaky aftertaste. I didn't get the soy saucy taste I usually get with most stouts, which was a little surprising since I picked some up from the smell.

O: This is the finest stout I have ever had and if I ever see it on the shelves again I will surely pick up some more.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2009 04:15:56 | More by DarbyOGill
Photo of Plenum

New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one dark brew. There's not a bit of light making it through here. Some lacing left at the end, but a thinner beer than I thought it would be.

The smell is definitely that of bourbon...lots of it. Can taste the coffee and hints of chocolate. Bourbon lovers will definitely take to this beer.

Good mouthfeel, good drinkability. An excellent example of the style. Glad I have another 5 backed up in the cellar...will be nice to see how these age.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2009 13:27:05 | More by Plenum
Photo of Tom8Analise


5/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Phenomenal...to be able to have just as rich (if not richer) chocolate and coffee flavors as a Peche' Mortel but have 11.2% alc. as opposed to 9.5% blows me away!

My girlfriend and I had it for the very first time last night and what made it even sweeter is whoever rung us in at the register charged us for only 1 instead of 4!!!

Extremely smooth and HIGHLY recommended to anyone that enjoys a good american double!!!


Tom and Analise

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2009 20:40:43 | More by Tom8Analise
Photo of myatomicpolygon

New York

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

Appearance- poured from a growler into my snifter black as night, thick, and oily with nice finger of mocha head that dissipates into a nice ring around the glass and leaves great lacing.

Smell- roasted coffee dominates with chocolate, booze, bourbon and oak undertones. wow! there is a lot going on here. when it warms the bourbon and vanilla flavors slowly become more pronounced.

Taste- bourbon comes through in the taste but is well balanced with the coffee and a sweet chocolate finish- lots of well balanced flavors...vanilla...bourbon is complimentary and lingers throughout.

Mouthfeel- thick creamy delicious perfect carbonation warming finish

Drinkability- off the charts for something this high in ABV. Very well balanced and easy to put down for a barrel aged stout.

Serving type: growler

12-30-2010 16:16:26 | More by myatomicpolygon
Photo of corcoranjc


3.98/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Bryant Lake Bowl!

Appearance - pitch black, very little tan head or lace. little carbonation.

Smell - woah. sweet coffee, roasted malt, and boozy bourbon. very inviting.

Taste - toffee, bourbon, coffee, nice warming booze on the first sip. alcohol and bourbon presence progressively more prevalent as the beer warms. Very nice.

Feel - not nearly as thick and heavy as I expected from the appearance. very smooth, but very low carbonation.

Drink - higher than expected for such a big, flavorful beer...but the high ABV makes this one a sipper.

Overall - I'm really glad I tried this beer. It is definitely unique and extremely well crafted. I don't think I will be searching it out in the future as the bourbon is not entirely to my taste.

Serving type: on-tap

02-04-2011 03:24:38 | More by corcoranjc
Photo of Flipadelphia84


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

A- Couldn't be blacker, looks lower in carbonation and has a very dark mocha head, again about as dark as I have seen. A heavy lacing covers the glass as it goes down.

S- Heavy on the bourbon, coffee comes in second. Chocolate and a very slight roastyness. Bourbon really takes over the nose.

T- The bourbon is very up front and makes it a little boozy. Roasted coffee malts and chocolate. All in all, its very balanced and delicious.

M- About as heavy of a stout I've had. Coats the throat. Carbonation is just right for a stout. Exceptional.

Overall, this beer is very well balanced it may be a little boozy for my taste but that is what your getting into with a bourbon aged stout. It's Founders Breakfast Stout with added complexity. Really Good!

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2011 22:15:01 | More by Flipadelphia84
Photo of amanofbeer


4.75/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours very flatly, little to no head at first, but carbonation comes through seconds after the pour, creating a tan head. The liquid is visquous and coffee like. Dark dark dark.

The aroma is instensely roasty, and actually quite sharply bitter, seemingly from the coffee, but maybe hops too?

Very sweet. complex, and sharply chocolatey. Bitterness comes through with both the hops and the coffee and chocolate.

Again, very viscous and coating. Good feeling, but could stand more age at lower temps.

Overall, I think this beer is one of the top of it's class. It exhibits the sweeter imperial stout qualities while including the coffee and chocolate 'breakfast' flavors.

Serving type: bottle

08-17-2011 06:06:53 | More by amanofbeer
Photo of plehnus


4.55/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma: Spices, pepper, bitter chocolate followed by vanilla and cinnamon as the beer warmed.

Appearance: Thick black body with a tan-brown head.

Flavor: Roasted caramel, chocolate, and hints of bitterness. The alcohol is well masked.

Mouthfeel: Heavy full-bodied beer with a short creamy and every so slightly dry finish.

Overall: Very subtle for a huge barrel aged stout. Lots of interesting spice and roasted malt notes. Easily drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2011 22:58:52 | More by plehnus
Photo of richalexander78


4.4/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011. I had my doubts about thia one before i tried it, but it was awesome! Very dark, thick as mud. Complex and easy to drink with lots of complexity. Plenty of vanilla from the barrel ageing, not to mention some licorice flavor. This is a sip and savor beer for even the most hard core beer drinker. This is the type of stout I love trying and there are few of them. Well done, and cant wait to have another.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2012 01:54:13 | More by richalexander78
Photo of montrealbcr89

Quebec (Canada)

4.55/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

FInally was able to try this one fresh.

A: Poured a very dark brown, verging on black. Highlights of brown and red. In the glass, the beer is pretty much black, with blood red hints around the edges of the glass. The head was a dark khaki brown (3/4 of a finger) that dissipated very quickly.

S: Upfront, you get the coffee. This is a nice change, as the other time I tried KBS (an aged bottle), the coffee was gone, and the bourbon was dominant. After the coffee, you get the bourbon, along with the vanilla and a touch of coconut. And then, all of a sudden, you are hit with strong notes of sweet, runny chocolate. I really dig the balance between coffee, chocolate, and the bourbon characteristics.

T: Again, coffee upfront. Then the bourbon, and the vanilla. NO soy sauce (which I got hints of in the aged version). Bitter chocolate with subtle bourbon notes. This version (although I am aware that FBS is not the base beer) is very much reminding me of FBS. The bourbon is not "hit you over the head" which I enjoy in a BA coffee imperial stout. I would dock this beer slightly for what I feel is a SLIGHT lack of chocolate.

M: A little higher than medium-bodied. Really nice. Carbonation is JUST enough for the style. So, so drinkable. I am trying to savour my one and only bottle, but it's going too quick.

O: Really reminds me of the 2013 batch of BA Peche Mortel. This is not a "in your face" BA beer. The subtlety works well. Really enjoying it. Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2013 17:35:26 | More by montrealbcr89
Photo of PattyMelt


4.55/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2013 KBS.

A- Dark dark brown, almost black, with a dark tan, creamy head that minimalized pretty quick.
S- Heavy malty, dark chocolate smell, with a strong coffee base. Bourbon is evident in the smell, but not over-bearing. It really smells like a decadent piece of chocolate.
T- Bourbon hits at the front and lingers throughout. Other tastes are the same as on the nose. Very malty, chocolate and coffee. The coffee flavor lingers awhile. Very strong taste.
M- Creamy and smooth. Pretty easy to drink despite the liquor and the heaviness of it. Full bodied.

Overall, a great drink. I'm not sure it quite lives up to the hype, but that is a lot of hype to live up to. ;) It is amazing though, and a definite try!

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2013 13:29:41 | More by PattyMelt
Photo of Abbbp


4.79/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Special thanks to Bryan for letting us dig this out of the cellar, and of course to MajorBuckeye for sending some down in a quality trade, can't wait to vertical that with the 2014 when it drops next April.

The appearance is just crude, crude oil that is. Loved the way it has that "it's so black it's brown" look as you drink it and notice the lackluster, albeit expected, lacing.

The smell is just oak barrel, toasted notes, roasted coffee, dark chocolate, some sweetness from dark dark fruit, just a wake me up smell that's great!

The taste is exactly what you smell, little added piped tobacco in the taste. The mouthfeel lingers just perfectly with the oils of the barrel guiding it down the throat.

Overall, well founders does it again, they really came through with this beast. #3 beer in the world, meh, idk about that, but is it in my top ten and a MUST HAVE, well definitely.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2013 04:32:50 | More by Abbbp
Photo of ali1987


4.64/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A- jet black body with minimal mocha colored head

S- chocolate, malt, bourbon, vanilla... Very little coffee.

T- very similar to the nose. Chocolate, followed by bourbon, & finishing with vanilla. Coffee is barely there.

M- thick, smooth body. Moderate carbonation.

O- Great beer with complex flavors. I'd like to taste more coffee though. For such a high ABV, it's very easy to drink.

Serving type: on-tap

04-08-2014 22:18:01 | More by ali1987
Photo of meich75

North Carolina

4.75/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Very dark, almost black with a small amount of brown head.

S: Roasted coffee aroma with a hint of bourbon.

T: Nice coffee and chocolate taste with a bourbon finish. This beer got better with each drink. I had heard a lot about this one and was not disappointed.

M: Smooth with just enough carbonation.

D: I would definitely get more when it becomes available again.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2009 12:58:42 | More by meich75
Photo of cschepers


4.78/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a room-temperature bottle of the 2010 release Kentucky Bourbon Stout into a rinsed-out sippy cup.

..just kidding, it's in a large wine glass.

Pours black as night. Minimal dark brown head, that sorta sticks around the edges of the glass. Swirl the glass and the beer oozes down the sides. Neat.

Smell is strong with black coffee, charred oak, burnt toffee... and something else I can't quite place. Smells totally awesome.

Taste is chocolate, coffee, bourbon, and charred.. something (maybe more toffee). Lots of coffee and bourbon in the aftertaste. Crap, this is some good stuff.

Mouthfeel is super thick, almost the consistency of heavy cream. The bit of carbonation that's in the beer seems to load up on your tongue and make the beer seem really thick.

Drinkability is as high as an %11.2 abv beer could be. Can't taste much alcohol. Really, the most surprising thing about this beer is how balanced all the flavors are, and how nothing is all that overpowering.

Lives up to the hype. Fantastic. I only managed one 4-pack.. I had planned on putting at least a couple down for a year, but I really don't know how I'll manage that.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2010 01:47:40 | More by cschepers
Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 7,148 ratings.