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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) - Founders Brewing Company

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

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9,232 Ratings

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Ratings: 9,232
Reviews: 2,568
rAvg: 4.62
pDev: 9.09%
Wants: 3,749
Gots: 3,455 | FT: 242
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 9,232 | Reviews: 2,568 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tuckerlikesbeer
4.75/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of PaulyB83
4.57/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Enjoyed on-tap in a 10oz chalice at Shakespeare's Pub in Kalamazoo, MI

A- Jet black like dark espresso. Thin, light mocha head that stays around longer than expected. Noticeable alcohol legs as you swirl the glass. Very tiny amount of light comes through on the edges when you angle the glass.

S- The coffee is the main aroma here, then comes some chocolate, vanilla, booze, dried cherry, and some light oak. I do find that the aroma in this beer is not as in your face as some of the other big bourbon stouts, BCBS, BCBCS, Black Note.

T- Similar to aroma but everything comes across bigger. Coffee, dark dried black cherry, chocolate, vanilla, and a medium-high level of booziness.

M- On the lighter side of heavy, a definite sipper and lies somewhere between Black Note and BCBS.

O- I've had this beer a few times now and when I first had it I was pretty disappointed but slowly I've been able to look past the hype of this beer, in both finding it and the high ratings, and appreciate how well crafted it is. I still prefer BCBS and Black Note to this one, the coffee and chocolate are a bit too much and kind of covers up the barrel too much as opposed to working with it, IMO. Still an amazing beer and worth seeking out and maybe waiting in a not too long line for.

Photo of Elfastball7
5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of sfr26
4.5/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of Lothore
4.32/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a nice black color letting no light pass through with a small, mocha head.

S- Smell has a whole lot going on. Strong coffee, bourbon notes, a sort of syrupy sweetness, roasted malt.

T- Starts off with sweet dark fruit notes and moves into a strong but balanced bourbon taste which lightens into coffee that lasts quite a while.

M- Thick and creamy with appropriate carbonation.

D- This is a sipper but honestly it is the best of the style that I have experienced. I don't put much stock in Imperial stouts but if you are going to try one, this is the one to try.

4.8/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle into tulip. 2011 release.
A: The vibrant, black body is deep and very dark, even held to the light this beer looks like a beast. The tan head resembles the color of the bottles label. The head formation pours a one finger thick froth. The retention falls quick, but is adequate for style. Lacing is minimal, but small amounts are left on the glass.

S: The aroma shows wonderful elements of all ingredients. The chocolate comes off strong, with a nice mellow note of coffee. The oak bourbon is present, but not overpowering. A medium to high intensity aroma, but again not tacky and overpowering. The aroma project a very smooth beer, by a well rounded, complex aroma.

T/M: The front of this brew shows a smooth, robust chocolate and coffee battle, the creamy body is second to none. Bourbon flavors a very subtle, as not to shadow any of the other complexities. An oatmeal mouthfeel texture builds the foundation for this big stout. The malt sweetness is very nice and helps to hide the high ABV. I find the coffee and chocolate notes to be at the fore front and would see how this beer is respectable fresh as well as a great one for aging.

O/D: This is a very drinkable high gravity stout, with great flavors and smooth body I could drink a couple of these. Seeing as it is "highly acclaimed" and treated like gold, I can see why now. Great brew.

Photo of TheSleepyMonkey
4.92/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Photo of EnthusedAboutBeer
4.61/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of paulthebeerguru
4.82/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: snifter. pure black in color. dark tan head, almost mocha. medium retention and very light lacing.

S: I expected tons of rich malts, but a huge bourbon flavor masks most of it. tons of vanilla, coconut macaroons, and light cherries.

T: tons of vanilla, cherries, slight coconut, big chocolate and coffee flavors. absolutely amazing. aftertaste stays so long, and is so perfect.

M: big and bold. perfect carbonation level. very smooth for 10%.

D: maybe two of these, but the 10% really hits you with the high gravity and bourbon flavors. this beer is amazing and I am not sure there is anyone who would not like it.

Photo of marcpal
4.64/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Some beers just flat out do not live up to the high and lofty expectations that are made of them because of hype. This one, my friends, is indeed not one of them. Unbelieveable, I wanted to be critical, whiney or let down and was not.

12oz bottle poured into a snifter as directed.

Thanks out to Derek (aka Hoppymeal)

A: Looks like something out of a Penzoil commercial. Fine tan head that was more like a film on top of the liquid. Thick black and patchy lacing which quickly dissapated.

S: As advertised, the coffee, lots of coffee. Sensing plenty of the bourbon and vanilla. Strong fumes of coffee/espresso is backed up by some raisins, alcohol and roasted chocolate. The smoke of a fine cigar builds and fills your nose- tied in with licorice. More sweet than bitter, some zip from the abv.

T: In comparison to the aroma, more bitter than sweetness. Vanilla flavored coffee freshly brewed with a substantial licorice character. The bourbon and espresso are the stars that steal the show, packed in each and every sip. Not as much chocolate but ridiculously complex and well made.

Taste is truly not lacking much of anything. Especially as it warms and the smokiness comes through. Like sipping on melted Ghiradelli at times, flat out intense.

M: Hugely thick viscocity. No bubbly carbonation, just thick and velvetty smooth. The texture is superior and the alcohol is felt.

D: This is a beer to sip and appreciate and I surely am stoked to have had the chance to get this out here. Sure, alcohol is high, but if I were to get my hands on more of this that would not stop me from having on a cold fall night.

Superior accompaniment to just about any dessert.

Thanks again Derek.

Photo of Lukafer
4.22/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours extremely dark brown/black, with two fingers of dark tan head that leaves a beautiful lacing.  Smells are bourbon, coffee, oak and brown sugar.  Tastes are brown sugar at front, bourbon, coffee, slight vanilla, man there are a lot of flavors going on here.  Mouthfeel  is pretty chewy, drinkability is a sipper for most, but I could drink 2-3 by myself.

Photo of RWNay
4/5  rDev -13.4%

Photo of pat_usher
5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of treyrab
4.7/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to warriorsoul for this beauty!

Poured into a pint glass....

A: Poured thick black with low carbonation. Very little head, but the head is the darkest I have seen!

S: The smell is phenomenal! Tons of dark roasted coffee blended with warm vanilla and bourbon. The smell is huge, you can smell this from a mile away!

T: The taste is similar to the smell, but the bourbon takes control. The bourbon hits you first, followed by a hint of vanilla, then some coffee. But this is not bitter nor does it really have a bite to it. Pretty light on the palate.

Overall, a very good beer that I would recommend. It was a little thin for me and lacked on the roast, but the bourbon was fantastic!

Second time having this beer it was much, much better. Pitch black sludge with a dark mocha head. Incredibly scent of dark coffee, sweet bourbon and coffee with a deep, robust flavor of the aforementioned. Fantastic.

Photo of bradfordjohnson
5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of Hopmarc
4.75/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of DRTBrewster
5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of chrishiker1409
4.5/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of BEERschlitz
4.5/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of teddyarrowhead
4.75/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of sailorastro
4.75/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of NHhomebrewguy
4.5/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of CraftEyeDoc
4.5/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of JamesMN
4.37/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2013 Vintage. Having this one for the first time. Pulled out of the fridge and let warm for 30 minutes.

Appearance: Pitch black with visible streams of effervescence along the edges of the tulip glass. Modest half finger cap of dark brown foam. Got some good lacing as well.

Aroma: Lots of chocolate notes, both sweet and semi-sweet. Just a hint of vanilla and a touch of alcohol giving a nice bourbon aroma. Really not much in the nose but what's there is enjoyable.

Taste: A lot to digest here with a complexity that keeps shifting long after each sip. Starts with a lot of milk chocolate and a good charred malt backbone to keep it from getting too sweet. About halfway through you get a bit of a hop bitterness that sort of masks itself in the mocha liqueur-like flavor that the alcohol brings out. At 11.2% ABV it is possible to hide that flavor but it really works wonders in adding to the experience of this beer. The flavor and complexity hits a high note during and right after the finish. The palate is drowned in charred malt, hints of coffee, vanilla, and alcohol. This combination brings the bourbon to mind without it being forthright. The aftertaste lingers for a seemingly endless amount of time with black coffee bitterness, burnt chocolate, and a nice heat in the back of the throat. The oak-aging of this beer doesn't add very much oak flavor but it is probably the reason that all the flavors have matured and blended so well. One of those great beers where every sip is better than the last.

Mouthfeel: Just under full in body. Not really thin for what it is just not as thick as expected. Average carbonation for a BA beer but a vigorous pour is probably a good idea. A nice ease of drinkability.

Final Thoughts: I was very lucky to snag a bottle of this year's release and thoroughly enjoyed KBS. Founder's proves time and again that their seasonals are some of the best beers available. While KBS probably won't break my top 10, it is still a phenomenal beer that every beer geek should get the opportunity to try. Would I drink it again? Yes.

Photo of harryhops
4.16/5  rDev -10%

Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 9,232 ratings.