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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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2,777 Reviews
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Reviews: 2,777
Hads: 10,602
rAvg: 4.55
pDev: 8.35%
Wants: 4,189
Gots: 4,903 | FT: 396
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
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Reviews: 2,777 | Hads: 10,602
Photo of KYBrewgrass
4.82/5  rDev +5.9%
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. (2,027 characters)

Photo of frenchblood21
4.51/5  rDev -0.9%
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. (948 characters)

Photo of goethean
4.5/5  rDev -1.1%
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. (406 characters)

Photo of mully
4.6/5  rDev +1.1%
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. (436 characters)

Photo of FishGetter
3.96/5  rDev -13%
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. (586 characters)

Photo of SwiftyMcBeer
4.47/5  rDev -1.8%
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. (950 characters)

Photo of zchall23
4.88/5  rDev +7.3%
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. (650 characters)

Photo of JoshVandy
4.77/5  rDev +4.8%
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. (967 characters)

Photo of NolaHopHead
4.52/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Have had on tap and bottle. This was a 12 oz bottle. Nearly jet black, thick tan head fades pretty quickly leaving lace and a thin rim of tan suds around the edges. Very nice vanilla bourbon aroma. Taste is similar with coffee, vanilla and bourbon, blends really well together, none of the flavors dominate. Carbonation is perfect and mouthfeel is so soft. Alcohol shines a little at the end but is mostly well hidden. Overall this is an outstanding balanced BBA stout, will enjoy many more. (492 characters)

Photo of phishdaly
3.65/5  rDev -19.8%
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. (834 characters)

Photo of alpineclimber
4.5/5  rDev -1.1%
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. (838 characters)

Photo of StarshipPoopers
4.82/5  rDev +5.9%
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. (1,047 characters)

Photo of OrangeAmps
5/5  rDev +9.9%
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. (990 characters)

Photo of RexBanner
4.56/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a snifter. Aromas of dark roast coffee and 70% cocoa. Thick and dark, like motor oil. Taste followed the nose very close with the exception that the chocolate was more pronounce and a slight syrupy vanilla taste was present . Alcoholic esters were present although very subtle for an 11.2% ABV brew. Finish was sharp.
Overall: Very nice stout. definitely a sipper. Too bad I was only able to get one bottle from my supplier. I'd rather have this than BCBS. Founders should think about making this more readily available to folks. Good stuff! (552 characters)

Photo of danh53
3.97/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Kyle for sharing this during the NCAA finals. Pours a dark brown with small, brown head. Aroma is chocolate, coffee, coconut, booze. Taste follows the aroma. It has a bitter finish and a distinct alcohol burn. Thin mouth feel. Decent beer, but not worth the trouble to seek it out for one bottle limits. (313 characters)

Photo of macktbone
4.54/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was a surpise offering from ThirdLap for absolutely no occasion at all. From the bottle and split into Low Ball type glasses to get a true example of the product.

A-Obsidion reflectivness with medium brown edge hanging onto the glass. Minimal head but nice to look at.

S-Quad Espresso. This one was a 5 for me, my first in relation to smell. This was tough for me to put into words but; Dirt, nuts, with a little mint. Roasted malt. [crazy time] Granite and stones after a rain. You know that granite that turns one color when it gets wet then goes back when it dries...? This is what I'm talking about.

T-Old coffee, tea and small after heat of bourbon.

Second Smell- cherries and bitter sweet chocolate.

Second taste- anise aftertaste

M-very limited carbonation and average stout creaminess.

D-not a feasable daily stout, but great on a Sunday morning or for no appearant reason at all.

Aging the bottle since first review and decided to crack it for Father's day 2010.
Much smoother after the year has passed, the vanilla on the nose is much stronger and the bourbon heat has become much sweeter. I think I would raise the rating on this if you could get ahold of an older, well aged bottle! (1,217 characters)

Photo of phisigben
4.11/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter

Look- Looks great, so thick light doesn't get through. There is about 1-1.5in of thick chocolate colored head that stays for a while.

Smell - Huge bourbon smell, a little coffee, very little chocolate and vanilla. When compared to other BA stouts this smells average/below average.

Taste- Compared to the smell the bourbon is subtler than the other flavors that come through. I get mostly coffee, then the bourbon, and again very little chocolate/vanilla. But the flavors are very well balanced so in the taste category I rate this a little higher when compared to other BA stouts.

Mouthfeel- Thick and viscous it coats the mouth well and the taste lingers on the palate.

Drinkability - I could drink more than one of these at a sitting but because of the availability I have to conserve my bottles. I only have 8 left for the next 4 months L (871 characters)

Photo of pocwolf
4.37/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Chimay tulip, fresh from the shipment line. 2011 release.

Appearance: Jet black with just a slight amount of head that diminished to a slight ring that lasted to the end.

Smell: Sweet and roasty followed by bourbon.

Taste: Coffee and bourbon were the first things I tasted with a slight alcohol burn in the back. The more I drank the more I started to get some dark chocolate and maybe some dark fruit. Very little to no hop flavor.

Mouthfeel: Seemed sort of thin to me, but I think I liked it that way.

Overall: Way to drinkable for a beer of this strength. This was my first tasting of KBS and I can say it was worth the hype. I am super excited to see how it changes in a year. (700 characters)

Photo of AdamF625
4.5/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- dark brown to black with a thin brown head.

S- sweet bourbon with strong oak and roasted coffee.

T- strong bourbon flavor, booze, oak, some semi-sweet chocolate.

M- medium body stout, not as thick and syrupy as one would expect.

O- This one was as fresh as it gets so it was a bit boozy, but you can't go wrong here. (326 characters)

Photo of OrangeMen
4.79/5  rDev +5.3%
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. (947 characters)

Photo of stickydankhop
4.68/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I waited an hour in line for two bottles! hype hype. what more could you want chocolate, coffee, bourbon,and tobacco flavors come out. thought it tasted best at 55 F (167 characters)

Photo of Mehinaman
4.77/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is my favorite of the bourbon stouts that I have tried. Goose Island is a great bourbon stout as well, but I find this one a little less boozy overall which makes the difference for me. It's a great beer, but don't let the "breakfast" in the name fool you as this beer packs a punch. You might not want to drink it and then head to work. :-) (346 characters)

Photo of RoBotGod
5/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Every possible thing I want out of a beer is in this one. Every part of this was good even right down to the package. Its also just getting better with age. The pour looks great. Very dark black with that dark tan coffee head. The smell has breakfast all over it. Coffee and chocolate and sweet vanilla jump out. A lot of sweet bourbon notes up front and then finishes with a dry coffee taste that it leaves in your mouth. Alcohol was not very notable to me. This was my first 5 of 5 after 60 beers reviewed. A kick ass beer. (525 characters)

Photo of beersabound
4.75/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Got this one in as a bonus beer in a trade w/ mcallister. And what a bonus it was. This was the best dessert I have had in months. It was like a whisky filled dark chocolate.

The beer was jet black with tiny bubbles that formed a beautiful, tight, dark brown head that fell in average time. This was suprising. I thought the head would hang out like a guinness. But no biggie. The aroma was prominently bourbon and coffee with some vanilla and chocolate. The mouthfeel was velvety, full and so nice I did not want to swallow for quite some time. The low CO2 level was very appropriate for this beer. The taste was very simlar to the aroma and is very flavorful with a long, pleasant aftertaste. I found it quite drinkable and a great dessert after some very spicy thai take out. Pairing this with most things would be futile but it would make vanilla ice cream much more interesting.

Nice work Founders. Keep it up. (921 characters)

Photo of brewintheLou
4.47/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black as night and very thick coming from the bottle. Not much head of the brown head here.

Smell is very strong roasted coffee. Some creamy mocha in there too.

Taste is a creamy, oaky, roasty, coffee, dark chocolate colaboration. Very well crafted, as the ABV is not noticable. Mouthfeel is very thick and smooth. Drinkable as hell. (341 characters)

Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,777 ratings.