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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10,398 Ratings

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Ratings: 10,398
Reviews: 2,865
rAvg: 4.62
pDev: 8.87%
Wants: 4,139
Gots: 4,670 | FT: 376
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: 10,398 | Reviews: 2,865
Photo of hrking
4.35/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this both on draft at the Founder's Brew Pub at the release party and picked up my alloted 2 cases while there. If you are a big bourbon stout fan this one's for you. This is a totally different beer than the regular breakfast stout from Founder's ( one of my favorite craft brewer's). Bourbon is very present both in the nose and taste with a heavy coffee taste mixed in as well. Just go ahead and throw a shot of bourbon in a cup of day old cold coffee and you get the picture! I personally like the regular Breakfast Stout from Founder's better but that's my personal taste. Try them both and make up your own mind ..Thy are both worth seeking out!

Photo of rawthar
4.57/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Wow. I thought it almost lived up to the hype after I had a bottle a few weeks back, but after having it on tap at Teresa's this weekend, it surpasses.

All of the countless best flavors of the best of the bourbon barrel aged imperial stouts, with a delicious dry oak undertone that pulled the whole thing together sort of like the Dude's rug pulled the room together.

Screw it, let's go bowling.

Photo of bierenutz
4.58/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Poured into a glass, a dense, 2+ finger width, light brown head appeared and remained for several minutes leaving a fairly uniform residue around the glass. The beer was very dark, virtually black with redish hues and so thick that direct sunlight could not penetrate through.

S-Potent malty-coffee-chocolatey aroma is immediately evident with hints of vanilla, oak and bourbon fighting for their place.

T-Despite the lack of aging, the bourbon is well masked until after the swallow and the heat then reveals itself. The coffee and chocolate flavors meld well together and there is a smooth silkiness throughout the tasting process.

M-Very thick and creamy and the liquor presents itself at the swallow with a slight bitterness and heat which should mellow with aging.

D-Excellent sipping beer. I started at cellar temperature and allowed it to come to room tempature as I sipped and enjoyed this one for over and hour. I can't wait to crack the next one!

Photo of biga7346
4.8/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5


A - Pours deep mahogany, flat, black and dense; pours flat with a slight lift of chocolate-colored foam.

N - Whiskey, oak and cream, strong notes of vanilla bean, cocoa, burnt toast, boozy; very bready backbone like biscuit, reminds me of a chocolate brownie. Suggestions of dark, sugary fruits like fig, raisins, glazed fruit and even candy corn.

T/M - Chocolate brownie, biscotti, quite fudgey, chocolate chips, vanilla bean, coffee and cream all set against a chewy, dense mouthfeel; balanced for a BBA imperial stout - it has just the perfect touch of bourbon whiskey and charred oak in the finish.

D - World class, alcohol is tucked away nicely.

Photo of larsenju
4.69/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to psychotia for setting me up with this!

A-Black with a rich brown head, 1 finger, dropped relatively quickly leaving a pretty decent amount of lacing.

S-Smells like a top shelf bourbon. Very creamy sweet caramel with a little toffee and vanilla along with a nice oak character. Just a little heat (11.2, really?!) completes the bourbon aroma, and that is all backed up with a big smooth chocolate, a little biscuit, and finally some freshly roasted coffee beans. The coffee didn't really take center stage for me, but rather acted as a bridge for the other aromas, well played Founders.

T-Coffee and chocolate are a little more prevalent here with the bourbon taking a back seat, but it does come out after a second with some sweet brown sugar and caramel notes, vanilla, and just a touch of oak. For me the flavor was kind of a reversal of the smell, smell was bourbon first, then beer, the flavor was beer then bourbon. I started to get a little more heat here, still not on pace for what it actually is, but again it reminded me more of an actual bourbon.

M-Very low carb, super creamy and smooth, very nice.

D-One of the best I have had, I felt like everything was incorporated very nicely, and the ABV is hidden very very well. I recently had Peruvian Morning (great beer, don't get me wrong) but I feel like Founders did a much better job using the coffee to add complexity, rather that just adding another ingredient. This beer truly lived up to the hype.

Photo of STKPICR0720
5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle date 2/17/12

Wow this brew is amazing. Well worth getting no matter what it takes. The alcohol is prevalent but hidden well. Boozy to the nose but wow great mouth feel. I would love to drink this brew at least a couple times a week if my waistline and budget could cover it. A truly phenomenal brew hats off to Founder's well done, well done.


Photo of hotpauko
4.59/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally got to have one and well worth the wait. Very nice strong coffee bourbon smell. A really smooth flavor and high ABV packed stout. The high ABV is present but nowhere near a presence you would expect of 11.2, just enough. The flavors other describe of coffee, chocolate and vanilla are superbly blended. The coffee flavor is most apparent, more of a smoky coffee flavor (note, I don't drink coffee) that hits the mouth in the front. Silky smooth mouthfeel, a tad heavy but not too much. Best I've had but looking forward to other future top tier coffee stouts for comparison.

Photo of Joey2timer
4.48/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

the newer years have been a little thin. great beer but i would rather drink Sunday morning stout, which is cheaper and better in my opinion.

Photo of Cannibalgasm
5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at House of Pizza. All I can say is this truly lives up to and transcends all the hype. This is honestly the best beer I've ever had. I will write a more formal review once my mind is capable... But for now I must continue to drink this godly brew.

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

Thanks to Goliath for this one..
poured into an ommegang tulip

A - pours a near pitch black color and quickly engulfs the glass with nothing but darkness and a cappuccino colored head that quickly dissipates into a thin covering with some clinging to the sides of the glass

S - aromas of bourbon and oak are in the foreground followed by a nice blend of coffee beans that all together seems perfectly balanced. The nose on this thing alone is a master piece; with this much complexity it would seem easy to muck this beer up, but founders pulls it off beautifully..

T - the taste follows suit with the aroma perfectly and everything you would expect from the smell is there in the taste. Deep and very complex, outstanding. lots of vanilla and maltiness along with some bourbon flavors that just go deeper and deeper. I have a feeling that after a bit more warming of this beer I could come back and write a whole nother review. what a fantastic beer..the flavors linger and linger; outstanding

M - ow carbonation and the body is very pleasing for all the flavors not too heavy but not too thin either. Enough mouthfeel for this beer to hang on well after each sip..

D - I try not to read too much into hyped beers, but this one is well deserving of any recognition it receives. This beer is utterly unbelievable in its complexity; where do I order cases of this stuff???yeah right we all wish..

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

Very delicious imperial stout. Pours a dark black color with a caramel colored head. Has an aroma of bourbon with hints of coffee, vanilla, and malt. The alcohol comes through on the smell and taste. This stout has it all sweet and malty on the front, bitter and biting alcohol on the back. Thin mouthfeel. Notes of vanilla and coffee which linger on the tongue through the finish. This is most definitely a snifter worthy stout.

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

A- 4.5 Pours a dark, dark brown. You can tell it is brown and not black because of its thin, dark tan head. Ultra fine bubbles lace the sides of the snifter smoothly. It looks great overall but I was hoping for just a little more head retention. Not that this is keeping me away, obviously...

S- 5 Dark roasty malts, chocolate, and coffee dominate. There is a definite bourbon aroma in the background which balances its sweet smell nicely. I can smell the oak from the barrels as well, which is a surprise! It smells as perfectly as you'd imagine from reading its label.

T- 5 As you'd suspect from its aroma, this wonderful stout is bursting with flavors of chocolate and coffee. There is much more heat from the bourbon present in the taste than the smell, which is to be expected. I love that about this beer, though! It has a strong, excellent kick and it balances the initial sweetness perfectly, reminding me of its potency.

M- 4.5 Nice feel to this medium-full body stout. It isn't too heavy considering the strength of the brew, but it does coat the mouth well. There is just a bit of syrup on the tongue from the booze which leaves my senses tingling. There is a mild carbonation.

D- 4.5 One thing I love about this complex, beautifully crafted stout ale is that it really isn't that complex to decipher. All of its flavors are pronounced in their respective ways as it is balanced perfectly. It is definitely high in volume and flavor... And unfortunately, price. At $23.99 / 4-pack, it lost some of its "drinkability" for me before I was able to snag it off the shelf (or should I say from the employee who brought it out to me from the back room of the last store in town to have it stocked). Honestly, it is just so limited, so expensive, and so powerful that I couldn't see myself drinking more than one (maybe two on a special night). I'd rather hoard it! I'm wishing now that I would have saved one from last year to compare it with vertically... I'll be sure to do that for the 2012 batch! Excellent beer.

Photo of CelticBelly1
4.94/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this on tap, 2014, and lived it. Just had the 2015 and was less impressed.

Photo of goethean
4.5/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Not caramelly. Not hugely bodied. Very strong, stiff bourbon + fresh roasted coffee aroma, which mostly obscures the roasted fruit flavors. Not excessively boozey. Finish is a wonderful bourbon/coffee melange. Very little hop presence.

My guess is that there was some bourbon left in the barrels when the beer was racked into them. Otherwise, I don't see how you get this much bourbon flavor in the beer.

Photo of mully
4.6/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours with a thick brown head with small bubbles leaving leaving a good lace. Black body, no light gets through around the edges solid looking.

Chocolate Whisky coffee and a little malt no hops

Bitterness, patent malt, bourbon, oak, vanilla, coffee and chocolate

smooth like silk big and creamy heat from the booze

Does not hide the alcohol, it displays it like a work of art. No beer bongs for this beer, but it is very drinkable.

Photo of FishGetter
3.96/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours thick, midnight black apperance. Very slight head rims around top of glass.
Spent coffee ground aroma with dull chocolate aroma. Faint tones of oak barrel.
Sweet chocolate blends with dark coffee flavors. Some faint burbon comes on at the end with strong alchol that warms mouth. Drink finishes hot and boozie with Kalua like flavors
Enjoyable mouthfeel, smooth and silkie medium body, close to heavy.
This one may need some time to age to let the alchol mellow out and let the other charecters peak. Look forward to trying another bottle in a year or so. As is, decent offering.

Photo of SwiftyMcBeer
4.47/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

After coming up empty handed in my search for this brew, I was delighted that Greg at the Trion had secured a few for his frequent customers to try. Poured an intimidating dark red, almost black with a milky chocolate head that retained forever. Aroma was bourbon, coffee, chocolate and roast malts and it was good. Same with the taste, this is a monster of a beer. Dense and chewy, with all those stout flavors amped up to an incredible level. As it warmed the tastes continued to change with coffee, bourbon, and the malts being front and center at different times during the experience. It was a little sweet and I can't imagine having more then one of these. Honestly, to me, I like the Founders Breakfast Stout a little better, just because I find it more drinkable. If I had to have just one more sip of a Founders Stout, this would be the one, but if I was to have one to go back to over and over again, the breakfast stout would take the day.

Photo of zchall23
4.88/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottled 2/25/11
Served in a Dogfish Head Signature Glass

A: Jet black color with a lighter espresso colored head that lingers.

S: Exquisitely balanced scents of bourbon, chocolate, vanilla, and a light caramel note.

T: Chocolate quickly, but smoothly, transitions to bourbon, with a malty vanilla flavor on the finish.

M: Creamy full bodied feel that has a nice gentle warming effect when swallowed.

O: The more I have this beer, the more I love it; I can sincerely say that this is one of the best beers in the world! I advocate hitting the Founders brewpub to see if you can get fortunate enough to get this on nitro, or other remarkable beer.

Photo of JoshVandy
4.77/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

355mL bottle into a Founders snifter on April 27, 2011.

Bottled on February 25, 2011.

A- Pours a beautiful oily black hue into the glass with a fantastic dark tan head that slowly dissolves with a gorgeous lacing.

S- Sweet bourbon and chocolate hit me up front. Oak notes come through as well. Glorious and well integrated. As it warms, faint coffee and a stronger bourbon characteristic come through. I could smell this all day.

T- Easily the best part of this beer. Bourbon and vanilla at the start, but very subtle and mellowed. Followed closely by a chocolate presence and then more bourbon-laced vanilla in the finish. Not a trace of alcohol to be found. Absolutely fantastic.

M- A little light on the carbonation, but makes up for it in its insane smooth and creamy feel.

O- Easily one of the best barrel-aged beers I've had, and does not disappoint in its complexity and well-integrated flavors. A very hyped up yearly release that delivers in every way.

Photo of frenchblood21
4.51/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into KBS goblet. This is the 2014 edition of KBS. Date of review is 7/15/14.

Appearance- Black as night with a brown head that disappears almost instantly. Very little carbonation but the lacing looks great so far.

Smell- Roasted malt, coffee and chocolate in that order. Vanilla comes through at the end. There is a complete lack of bourbon, which is strange considering this beer spent over a year in bourbon barrels.

Taste- There's the bourbon! In order of dominance, I get bourbon, vanilla, chocolate and then finally, coffee. Flavors remind me of an Oreo dipped in coffee with cream and vanilla sugar. So awesome.

Mouthfeel- Super thick and creamy. Has the mouthfeel of a milk stout. You get all the flavors at once, and then somehow all by themselves.

Overall- Fantastic offering from the best brewery in Michigan. I went to Grand Rapids during KBS week to pick this baby up and I will be doing it again next year.

Photo of phishdaly
3.65/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark chocolate brown with a faint tan head

S - chocolate syrup, sweet bourbon

T - dark chocolate, sweet bourbon, raisins. Immediately taste the chocolate notes, followed by a sweet bourbon, and a little overwhelming alcohol warmth. Not picking up any coffee.

M - full bodied. A little syrupy. Would prefer a little more carbonation.

Overall - I feel these big beers win ratings for alcohol content. The alcohol is a bit too much. Though it may mellow out with aging. I've been getting into single malts and small batch bourbons/whiskeys. Barrel aged beers tend to be too reminiscent of sweeter low quality whiskeys. I was attracted to this beer for the time and care listed in it's preparation. I would try it again, but am glad I only got a bottle for now at $6/bottle in NYC. Would like to age one and see how it matures.

Photo of alpineclimber
4.5/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to hooliganlife for this one. A stubby bottle poured into my Delirium snifter. A small tan head forms on a black brew, recedes and leaves lots of lacing.

Smell is of strong dark coffee, alcohol and a slight hint of vanilla. This was poured at cellar temperature 55*F, I expected a little more for the nose.

The taste is pretty amazing. The first few sips reveal something like a cafe mocha with vanilla, pretty sweet but amazing. More sips bring a strong coffee taste and a lingering taste of vanilla. The bourbon barrel is there but is not very prominent. The taste finishes with a bitter astringent coffee taste.

A good medium mouthfeel. I was kind of hoping for something a bit thicker. The mouthfeel is acceptable, not perfect.

If I had access to this beer, I would have some on hand when I felt like a great coffee stout.

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

A - Completely opaque black with a considerable amount of mocha brown head. Lots of lacing clings to the glass.

S - Even a few minutes out of the fridge it already has many layers to start picking through, but it's a treat once it's warm.

T - Bourbon and vanilla sweetness countered by coffee, dark chocolate and roasted malts. Incredible complexity without being overpowering or too unbalanced. The oak is also noticeable in amongst all of the other flavours. It's an exciting beer from start to finish.

M - Quite heavy. While not completely motor oil, it's texture is very thick and syrupy. The full body helps to leave an excellent aftertaste as well, with all of the flavours still lingering long after the beer is finished.

O - An incredible beer that I am glad to have gotten a hold of. I had worried from the aroma that it might be on the sweet side, but Founders have done an excellent job in achieving a perfect balance. I'll be searching for this after the next release, I'd love to see what a longer time aging this would produce.

Photo of OrangeAmps
5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

In my limited beer drinking career, this is the "best" beer ive had so far. I jumped through hoops to get this beer, what with all the hype and one bottle limit per customer stuff that was prevalent in MA, but it was SO worth it. 2011 was a great year for KBS.

black with a tan one finger head, little to no carbonation

The smell was straight Bourbon. It smelled like i jammed a bottle of jack up my nose. Then, the stout smells started to trickle in. The smell is outrageously good.

Complex, and so incredible. The bourbon is so present, and almost too much, but JUST mellow enough for it to avoid being completely overbearing. The chocolate and coffee notes seep through. This is so well crafted. I feel lucky to be drinking this beer.

There is a big alcohol burn happening at the end. but at 11.2%, and filled with bourbon, you kinda see it coming. Definitely a beer where you can taste and feel its ABV.

very complex, and very special. it definitely lived up to the hype for me.

Photo of dabear85
4.84/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

best Bourbon Barrel stout I've ever had

Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 10,398 ratings.