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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,805 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 2,805
Hads: 10,805
Avg: 4.56
pDev: 17.54%
Wants: 4,274
Gots: 5,074 | FT: 417
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 2,805 | Hads: 10,805
Photo of raszputini
4.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was the big winner at ThirstyFest - a craft beer festiva sponsored by the Thirsty Monk. The keg didn't make it through the day. Nothing real unusual about it - its exactly what you would expect. A coffee-heavy Russian Imperial Stout with Bourbon barrel aging. There are no curve balls. What distinguishes it is that is such a fantastic example of this style. The bourbon flavor is definitely there, but not overwhelming. This is just a great beer. Drink one at any opportunity you get.

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Photo of VTR
4.4/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

After several years of failing to get this during the release I surprisingly found it on tap yesterday. It was poured into a snifter. The nose was a mix of coffee, chocolate, vanilla, and bourbon. I couldn't resist taking a sip from this dark brew with a great khaki head. The taste followed the nose but some of the flavors were faint and then the bitterness hit me. OK well I am always one to let my stouts warm up to see if they develop. This beer got better as it warmed. Once warmed all the flavors developed and meshed together very, very well and the bitterness subsided. The flavors danced around your mouth while the beer felt very silky. Ok now the bourbon was there but it did not overpower the beer letting all the flavors and roastiness come through. I really enjoyed that the coffee was not over the top. While I have been let down by other highly sought after beers this is not one of them. To me it was a different animal than the highly acclaimed BCBCS. All I can say is I was very impressed with this beer. Hands down one of the best beers I have had. I am going to head down tomorrow afternoon and hope they still have some left in the keg!

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

pours a midnight black brown with very little head. no light transmission.

smell is strong coffee molasses with maybe some fruit. lots of excellent smoke and toasted notes.

taste is flavor overload. awesome strong flavor. only a small sip and pow! sweet toasted coffee with a slight bitter finish chocolaty goodness.

mouth is thick with medium carbonation.

very very good. not as much bourbon as expected. very smooth with excellent flavor.

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Photo of angelogarcia3
4.82/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a great beer with a very dark color that allows very little light to pass through it. A very chocolate colored head greets the drinker along with aromas of Hershey's chocolate and hints of bittersweet chocolate. The mouthfeel is very thick but creamy. The taste is very chocolatey with a slight hint of vanilla and bourbon giving this beer a strong flavor that is enjoyable by itself or with BBQ. Had it at The Lark in East Northport, NY.

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Photo of Abilow33
4.6/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours very thick and dark. A thin dark brown head. I bought this beer while on vacation and saved it until I got home. This beer has a very rich taste. I taste chocolate and coffee right off the bat. The fact it is aged in an oak barrel and has a high alcohol content gives it that extra flavor you don't find in most stouts. I really enjoyed this beer.

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Photo of BobJude
4.6/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Can't add much that hasn't been said. 2014 vintage, perfectly black, bourbon and chocolate to the nose. Taste was fantastic, the bourbon had mellowed in the months since bottling letting the coffee and chocolate come through. Coats the mouth and tongue with silky goodness. Just fantastic - everything I was expecting!

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Photo of OrangeMen
4.79/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance- Black, opaque. Pours almost no head, razor thin deep khaki color, soapy. Excellent lacing on sides of glass.
Aroma- Sweet bourbon mixing seemlessly with big coffee notes, decadent chocolate, and vanilla. Super creamy smell, subtler caramel notes, oaky/earthy aromas, roasted/charred malts.
Taste- Bourbon up front, sweet and boozy. Decadent chocolates, roasty coffee, and a huge creamy vanilla, coconut, caramel profile. Charred malts, coffee, balance the sweet flavors wonderfully.
Feel- Between medium and full, expected thicker, full body. Very creamy and silky rather than chewy full. Lower carbonation.
Overall- Excellent barrel aged offering, the bourbon is definetly up front but its not overpowering. A real sweetness to this beer from bourbon and creamy vanilla/chocolate rich flavors that is counterbalanced well by bitter elements of roasted malts and coffee. Flavors are bold but smooth and rich, wonderful sipper, warming.

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Photo of Monsone
4.62/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured dark black, thick and oily. Small tan head dissapates quickly.

S - Big aromas of coffee, dark malt, with notes of vanilla, oak and of course bourbon (not as strong as I expected)

T - Coffee flavors dominate up front. There is ample dark malts and dark choco flavors. Oaky bourbon with a vanilla component is in there too. Complex and deep.

M - Full bodied and thick.

D - Very drinkable for the style. Raritiy makes having this regularly difficult.

Absolutely amazing stout. This will have to be tried numerous times to fully appreciate it. I think I am up to the task.

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Photo of kfsv034
4.31/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - pours black with a thin tan head that dissipates quickly

S - Vanilla, Coffee, maybe chocolate and a nice bourbon

T - Follows the noise pretty well, Vanilla and coffee and bourbon. Definitely taste the alcohol but in a good way

M - Medium to full bodied

D - after a few of this id be drunk.

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Photo of camp0474
4.62/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured into tulip glass

A: Pours pitch black and very thick. Dark tan creamy head. Good lacing.

S: Smells of toasted malt, coffee, and some notes of chocolate. On top of those a smell of bourbon, which adds a sweet vanilla bean smell, and smells a bit boozy.

T: Barrel aged bourbon hits the tongue heavy. The strong whiskey flavor rides on top of the malt and coffee flavors. The alcohol flavor lingers for a bit, but still allows the others flavors to come through. The bourbon flavor adds woody, smokey, and fresh vanilla notes. Surprisingly a lot going on here other than straight bourbon.

M/D: Thick and chewy with lower carbonation. The finish is a bit dry due to the high ABV. More of a special occasion beer and a definite sipper. But wanted to keep going back for more.

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Photo of jtk21351
4.98/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

The best stout I've ever had, hands down. It was like drinking a liquid Hershey's chocolate bar with a brilliantly smooth finish. Highly recommended, totally lives up to the hype.

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Photo of chadspivey
4.07/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Aged 1 year

A: Black as it gets. Very little head. perhaps lost a little carbonation over the year.

S: Black coffee, bourbon, hints of bitter chocolate.

T: The coffee notes are strong, hints of chocolate and some bourbon notes as well.

M: Pretty thick, even for a stout, and quite filling. Actually more carbonation in the mouthfeel than indicated by the appearance.

D: This one's a slow sipper.

This beer is interesting becuase it tastes kinda like coffee gone cold, which I hate. But add alcohol and bourbon flavor with hints of chocolate and vianilla and its GOLD, Jerry, GOLD!

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

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a snifter

A- Pours dark raisiny brown with a light golden hue. Thin layer of head dissipates and forms large bubbles on the sides of the glass. Nice lacing of small mocha colored bubbles.

S- Smells of sweet bourbon and coffee beans. Roasted chocolate hints with a distinct oak finish.

T- Wow....this is perfect in every way. Sweet bourbon up front followed by coffee notes. Tastes just like it smells and that is delicious. One of the most well-balanced beers I've ever had or will ever have.

M- Thick with little carbonation. Slightly bitter oak finish which lingers beautifully on the palate.

D- Amazing for a barrel-aged beer. So smooth and delicious. This one is right at the top of the list

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Photo of scottyg354
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I want to start this off by saying many hyped beers really don't live up to the hype! Fortunately there is founders. I've been looking for a KBS for a while and scored one Wednesday night. Popped it open Thanksgiving and split it with my dad.

A: Black as black can be, we help up to light there is not see through this, a little mahagony around the edges but that is it. Nice little head that disappates, nice lacing.

S: Bourbon, Oak, Smoky Chocolate, Roasted Malts. Excellenc

T: The bourbon was not to overpowering upfront in this one, it was more on the back end which is great, because I also like to taste my stout along with the bourbon notes. Espresso, chocolate and toast were very noticable. Slightly malty and a mild hop character for a beer that is supposed to be 70 IBU's

M:Very Light carbonation, smooth and heavy.

O: Great, this is a big beer so you have to like that, but this does not disappoint one bit. If you have a chance grab up one or two of these. You won't regret it!!!

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Photo of MBrausen
4.3/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was a 2009 vintage poured from a bottle into a CBS snifter.

A. Pours a deep dark black, minimal to no head, and rests at a glassy black finish.

S. Smells of coca, very mild whiskey and LOTS of tobacco

T. Tastes of coca, dark chocolate, mild toffee and tons of tobacco again!

M. This beer was very thick and chewy, heavy body with a very dry finish.

O. A good beer, but I liked the '10 a lot more. The evening I had this, we did a full flight of KBS from '09-'11 and I feel like the more you age this beer, the more the tobacco comes out. Fresh it is a little hot, but I believe the '10 is still my overall favorite of the most well balanced beer. A good beer and always worth a try whenever you can get it.

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Photo of kylelenk
4.95/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

First off, spectacular beer. Cannot wait until next year when the production is higher and the beer should be more available. I live here in GR and it sells out in the market usually before 2PM on the release day and the taproom has it for roughly a week.

I've had fresh and aged at 6 and 12 months. Definitely ages extremely well and it's an almost have to leave it in the cellar for a few months beer.

A: Similar to Breakfast Stout, the head dissipates quickly and leaves a little ring around the edge that produces nice lacing as the beer is consumed.

S: Bourbon, bourbon, bourbon, cocoa/coffee, and barley.

M: Heavy, thick, and a stomach full. The beer will leave you filled up for sure. Only complaint is how difficult it feels to drink two of these. IMO, should only be enjoyed one at a time or with a break/cleansing of the pallet in between. Heavy beer and completely capable of paralyzing your tastebuds.

T: Where can I start. Fresh, it's got a huge bourbon blast at the start. If you like the bourbon portion of BA beers, then enjoy this fresh. Bourbon is complimented nice with the traditional cocoa and coffee flavors so familiar in traditional Breakfast Stout. Aging it will produce probably the best flavor I've experienced in a beer. There are so many things to compare it to. At six months, I've used the words milkshake, chocolate milk, Jamocha Shake from Arby's, etc. It's such a wonderfully balanced ale at that point even though the bourbon has dissipated slightly and still packs the whopping ABV punch.

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Photo of Bumpon10s
4.57/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - It's black, but hued brown. No head really, and a razors edge of lace.

S - A wonderful smell of coffee and chocolate with just a touch of the bourbon. Sweet and slightly roasty, a sweeter than sometimes normal stout.

T - Opposite of smell, roasty with a small bit of chocolate. I've kept hearing that the bourbon flavor adds to and doesn't dominate, and I do agree. It nestles and back and complements it with the alcohol warming nicely.

M - Again, the nice alcohol warm with the added bourbon. Not too thick at all, in fact, one of the thinner stouts you'll have, especially being a double.

D - Fairly good, but leaves an odd taste in the mouth, a little from the alcohol and a little from the roast. At 10% it isn't a total killer either.

Not a bad beer at all, still not sure if I like this or the original more however.

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Photo of JWD
4.16/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

A- the appearance is great, Black motor oil with a small head, tan in color.

S- deep roasted coffee

T -More coffee with a very small hint of bourbon an vanilla, i expected more bourbon flavor.

m - not as thick as I expected but very drinkable

D - outstanding, I could drink a couple of these pretty easily.

I was disapoined as this beer is rated so highly and i find other of the same style to be much better.

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Photo of tprokop7
4.77/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Myself and a friend opened up a KBS and a standard Breakfast Stout last night to compare... Half a bottle, poured into a 12 oz snifter.

A - Thick and black, almost looks syrupy when poured. No head.

S - Rich and sweet, with definite notes of Bourbon that almost cover up more subtle smells, like molasses, coffee and chocolate.

T - Bourbon is a little more mellow in the flavor than in the aroma, and it balances nicely. Complexity is added by the smokiness from the oak, and the chocolate and coffee come through at the end.

M - Without carbonation and smooth, the sweetness of the beer makes it feel just a little syrupy in your mouth, which is the only unpleasantness of the mouthfeel.

D - I wished I'd had more at the end of the glass, so I can't complain about the drinkability.

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Photo of pheggeseth
4.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to PHawk for this trade.

A: one of the blackest pours I've ever seen, no head or lacing, whoa

S: bourbon, coffee grounds, vanilla with slight caramel, hops in the very back

T: smoked bourbon flavor, a little hickory bacon, some coffee in the middle with a little hop bitterness, chocolately maltiness in the very end that gets stronger in the aftertaste

M: thick and viscous, coats all over the mouth, very subtle carbonation

D: wonderful, a sipper for sure, bourbon taste was a little much at first but I quickly got used to it, alcohol is hidden very well, could drink a couple of these easily, still, I might have to say I like the regular Breakfast Stout better

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Photo of Dubber55
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 vintage

Pours jet black with 1/2 finger mocha/tan/light brown head. Quickly dissipates and leaves a thin collar around. Leaves a bit of lacing on the glass.

Aroma consists mostly of freshly ground coffee. Upon further inspection, I get some bourbon, vanilla, oak, mocha, and fusel alcohol. Possibly some soy sauce as well

The initial flavor that hits my palate is fresh ground coffee. In the midpalate, I get some roasted malts, vanilla, chocolate, and bourbon. The finish is dry: chocolate, coffee, and some bourbon heat with a big roasted/char flavor. One of the things I like about this beer is that the bourbon barrel is kept in check. The bourbon definitely lets you know that it is there but, its not overpowering. The coffee is nicely integrated in this beer as well. I dont get that acrid aftertaste that many other coffee stouts have.

This is a chewy, viscous liquid. Its basically a meal in a glass. Low carbonation but entirely appropriate for a bourbon barrel stout.

Really drinkable stuff. All of the flavors are nicely integrated which makes for an enjoyable drinking experience. I could drink a couple of these in a night. Rightly deserving of its spot.

2011 vintage

Lots of bourbon, oak, vanilla, graham cracker, and chocolate with a little coffee. Really, a dessert in a glass. Very tasty

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Photo of Tomdee74
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I love this beer!!

S- amazing
T-insanely good
O-could drink everyday!!

This is one of my very favorites! Crazy my wife doesn't like any beer but loves this and is just as crazy about it as me. When I first drank it years ago I didn't like it, but now it's one of my favorites definitely in the top 5.

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Photo of hammer09
4.63/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is a very difficult beer to find in Chicago. Many thanks to a buddy of mine for his generosity in providing a bottle of this most excellent brew.

Poured a thick, blackish-brown, but appeared on the syrupy side. Head development was fairly minimal, maybe 1/8 of an inch, but this exhibited a very nice, deep brown color. Smell is malty with a good presence of roasted malt and coffee aromas. Definitely some volatile characteristics owing to the bourbon aging and high abv. Taste is simply exceptional yet complex. Bitter, semi-sweet chocolate and coffee flavors. Hint of vanilla and alcohol. Very good and nicely balanced. While very thick and syrupy, this beer goes down quite smooth. I had to pace myself so that I could savor it fully. Overall, one of the best stouts that I've ever tried and highly recommended.

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Photo of jwolfie70
3.1/5  rDev -32%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

I had a lot of expectations regarding this beer, and I think I may have enjoyed this more without the expectations. The beer pours a very dark brown, with little head. The smell is of bourbon with some vanilla and roasted coffee. The taste is over the top bourbon, with burnt coffee. The taste just didnt do it for me, it was a little too overboard and tasted like a cold coffee and bourbon mixed drink. Given the hype around this beer, I will someday probably come into possession of another bottle and see if my first impressions were off.

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Photo of ryantaussig
4.53/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A pitch black stout with a good head that sticks around. Definitely a great example of what a stout should look like.

S: Smells like coffee and bourbon with a hint of chocolate and charred oak in the background.

T: Quite nice with the coffee and chocolate malts. Bourbon notes come through with the oak and a bit of caramel. Alcohol content comes forward a bit to much for me. Definitely gives off a Kentucky vibe. I'm not so sure about the breakfast feel, but it did pair well with the breakfast play at the Founder's Beer Dinner where I tasted it. (The Good Life, Massapequa Park, NY)

M: Silky smooth, leaving little to ask for. Carbonation is lively, but does not kill the flavor. The finish is medium. It could benefit from a bit more body.

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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,805 ratings.