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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) - Founders Brewing Company

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

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BA SCORE
100
world-class

9,350 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,350
Reviews: 2,587
rAvg: 4.62
pDev: 9.09%
Wants: 3,913
Gots: 3,520 | FT: 237
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: 9,350 | Reviews: 2,587 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Rifugium
4.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

First had: on tap at Capone's, Norristown, PA

Poured a thick brown-black with a small, dense mocha head that mostly dissipated, but laced well. Scents of chocolate, molasses, and bourbon. Lots of coffee in the taste, sweet chocolate and vanilla bean, and bourbon that actually isn't too strong, but rather somewhat mellow and masked by the malt roastiness. Complex and delicious. Super, super smooth, and I almost caught a tiny bit of a subtle fruit finish. Full bodied, and definitely very drinkable.

Better than CBS. Easily.

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.64/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.45/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Deepest ebon hue, an impentrable blackness, above which nestles a modest ring of earthy brown, espresso tinges.

Aroma is chocolate first, followed by coffee, then molasses, brown sugar, and licorice.

Taste: Full and thick as it boards the mouth, slipping rich, deliciousness everywhere...this is stoutness of the highest order. Bourbon flavor is here, but feels less sweet than the same stuff straight from the bottle, an impressive blend of flavors. Further in, I can taste the charcoal, even.

So huge, and rich, and very rewarding. Each sip has enough flavor to taste a good 20 minutes, if you're not too thirsty...definitely a sippin' stout! If you don't take your time, you're spoiling a wonderful experience.

I must say, this is a hyperbolic label, but it's all truth in advertising. Gotta wonder how they slip it past the beurocracy, with it's jesting claims of giving relief from all manner of ailments. It is most assuredly "good for everything a stout ought to be good for."

Very nice bedtime brew. Wish I had a case or three to last me a spell.
Way to go, Founders, another impressive ale!
(and thanks to AKSP!)

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

2010 release, had to try it, couldn't wait.

Poured into a goblet. Beer is black and appears thick. Forms a thin head of brown bubbles that is diffuse on the surface and quickly breaks. Head leaves some lacing on the glass, carbonation is low.

For being aged in bourbon barrels, I expected a little more booze. Strong sweet, coffee aroma. Booze and bourbon secondary in the nose. Smells good, not as forward with the bourbon as I thought the BCS is in general. Still smells good.

Its not hot, moderate in body, finishes nicely. Sweet up front, not a lot of bitterness in the back, highly drinkable in the palate. Second taste, chocolate, slight, hint of bitter this time in the back, like coffee. Overall an exceptional beer truly.

Photo of beernads
5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of drewone
4.25/5  rDev -8%

Photo of mdfb79
4.77/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Received in a BIF from SpeedwayJim, thanks Jim!Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into my Duvel tulip.

a - Pours a dark brown with 2-3 inches of tan head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of coffee, bourbon, roasted malts, and vanilla. Hints of coffee.

t - Tastes of coffee, vanilla and bourbon. It tasted sweeter than I was expecting, but I enjoyed it a lot. A great combination here as everything is quite balanced. Also some roasted malts and maybe a little chocolate.

m - Medium body and low carbonation, very smooth and creamy. Perfect.

d - I loved KBS. I'm a huge fan of bourbon stouts and this might be the best one I've ever had. I thought the coffee, vanilla, and bourbon in the taste was perfected balanced and that the mouthfeel was perfect for a stout. It's a touch hot, but I still really enjoyed it. Would love to get more of this one.

Photo of oriolesfan4
4/5  rDev -13.4%

Photo of jwc215
4.42/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Thanks to BrewerB for this!

Pours black with a brown head that becomes a wisp. A bit of lacing sticks.

The smell is of chocolate, coffee, roasty with bourbon.

The taste is of chocolate, coffee, bourbon - wow - this is tasty! (I think I might like the actual coffee and chocolate used in the other Breakfast Stout a bit more, but I'm far from complaining). It has a great bourbon character to it, while allowing the dark complexities and roast to come through. Doesn't get too sweet, as there is roast and a dryness in the finish.

Silky smooth, it has just the right touch of carbonation to keep it full but not too thick or syrupy.

Awesome! Overhyped? Nope. Very well-done - a great sipper!

Photo of kojevergas
4.32/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into an EKU 28 snifter in me friend's gaff in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. Props to Schlimenhaumer for the bottle share - thanks, man. I've waited a long time to try this one and I couldn't be more excited. Expectations are through the roof. 11.2%. No best before or bottled on date. I'm approaching it skeptically on account of the hype.

Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Paired with dark chocolate.

A: Pours a one finger rich tan colour beautiful head of great cream, fantastic thickness, and damned impressive retention for the high ABV. Colour is a nontransparent solid black. no yeast particles are visible, but it's nontransparent and opaque. No bubble show. It's looking damn good so far.

Sm: Rich chocolate and quality mocha coffee java notes. Roasted barley and dark malts. Marvelous bourbon oak - but not too much. Who knew they could make bourbon so subtle? Some great vanilla on the climax; it's a bit buried but it's there. Cream. It's so rich and exquisite I can barely wait to drink it. Yet in spite of its rich complexity and subtlety, it's surprisingly restrained - it's moderate in strength. I'm just hoping the taste delivers on the promise of the aroma. No alcohol or yeast comes through.

T: Rich chocolate and exquisite coffee. Dark malts form the foundation. Cream opens and closes the beer. Roasted barley gives it a solid but subtle backbone. The bourbon is so damned subtle it's unbelievable. I'm having trouble finding the vanilla, but I do get it on the climax - though I will say I wish it were a touch stronger. There's a vague cookies n cream esque vibe to the climax. No yeast or alcohol comes through. It's all around incredibly balanced and very well built. I'm impressed. Very complex and subtle. This is a damn good imperial stout. Hardly any boozy heat comes through at all, except perhaps on the finish.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Rich. Creamy up front but the cream bleeds through to the end. Just thick enough; perfect. Ideal carbonation. Suits the flavours near perfectly.

Dr: Incredibly drinkable, especially for the well-hidden ABV. I'd definitely get this again - if I was so lucky. Really an incredible imperial stout all around. I quite love it. In a world populated by so many imperial stouts, it's hard to stand out - but this beer does. It lives up to the hype. I'm really blown away. It's not quite perfect, but it's a damn good beer - that's for sure. This one delivers.

A

---
12/31/13: Truncated notes for a 2011 vintage bottle. Tasted side-by-side with BCBS.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a half finger head of khaki colour which recedes within 30 seconds to 1.5 minutes. Body is a solid opaque black. No yeast particles/sediment is visible.

Sm: Sweet. Rich vanilla/oak bourbon notes. It's rare I find bourbon executed better than it is here - certainly better than the 2012 BCBS I'm drinking at the same time. Dark malts. Chocolate malts. Some subtle roasted barley. Cream. Gorgeous coffee/java with some coffee roast and the perfect amount of bitterness.

No hop character/alcohol is detectable.

T: Ah yeah. That's the stuff. Damn near perfect bourbon notes are seamlessly integrated with the base beer. Subtle coffee, good sweet dark/chocolate malts, cream, and hints of hazelnut.

There's the perfect amount of alcohol warmth, but no booziness or harshness.

Damn near perfectly balanced. Build is gestalt; you couldn't remove anything without damaging it.

Mf: Great creaminess. Smooth and wet. Great presence on the palate. Ideal body and thickness for the style. Complements the flavour profile beautifully, but doesn't quite custom-tailored specifically to it per se.

Dr: Incredibly drinkable for the high ABV. It's certainly a treat, but I do think I prefer it a bit closer to fresh. This is a beer I'll continue to seek out and enjoy. It's real difficult to compare to the BCBS - both are great beers, and I think age determines which is better.

High A-

Photo of WesWes
4.85/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The beer pours a deep, dark black color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is awesome. It has a warm black and chocolate malt scent along with a beautiful bourban whiskey aroma. It's got a coffee-like aroma that really draws you in. The taste is perfect. This is the best tasting stout I've ever had. It has a very complex palate of flavors ranging from sweet and creamy to earthy and coffee like. The bourban barrel aging really mellows it out and greatly enhances the taste. The mouthfeel is perfect as well. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. I enjoyed this on tap at the brewery. It was the last stop on my roadtrip and was definately worth it. I wish we could get this in NY. This is the best stout I've tried. It's about as close to a perfect beer that you're going to find.

Photo of InspectorBob
4.67/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black as coal with about one finger of thin tan head which dissipates quickly.

The first aromas to hit me was the bourbon followed by some chocolate with a hint of coffee.

The taste was of dark chocolate,bourbon, perhaps a hint of vanilla.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied,very,very smooth. Slight alcohol on the finish.

Very drinkable at 11.2%, a sipper without a doubt...

Photo of Rochefort10nh
5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of Mora2000
4.6/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to slasher007 for sharing this beer. This has been on my to-try list for years and it didn't disappoint.

The beer pours a thick black with a brown head. The aroma is bitter coffee with some chocolate as well. The flavor is very complex with bourbon, oak, chocolate and coffee. The aftertaste is heavy on the chocolate with a strong warming from the alcohol. Thick mouthfeel and low carbonation. An outstanding beer overall.

Photo of DrBier
4.5/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.2/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours into my large Tripel Karmeliet tulip with an almost two-finger thick, cocoa stained, dark tan colored head. The beer is a thick black color that shows no light through it. Ample roasted grain notes of black coffee and charcoal are joined by a sort of chalky note that is almost musty (though not quite). Dark chocolate aromas couple with a rich nuttiness and a solid toasted bread crust note are found just behind the huge coffee character that even provides a touch of tartness to the aroma. Despite being such a huge stout, this actually seems to be dominated by the coffee aromatics, though it is offset at times by the nice chocolate aromatics. I don't really get much in the way of Bourbon character in the aroma, which is actually a promising sign for me.

Thick and chewy up front, yet with such a huge roast malt and coffee character that it never becomes overly sweet. The beer finishes with a hit of Bourbon barrel flavors that provide a touch of vanilla and a deep buttery note that lingers for quite some time in the finish. Up front rich chocolate notes are quite noticeable (providing some balance to the roast character), these notes stick around some times through to the finish, where the Bourbon dominates, and are joined by a deep, toasted, nutty flavor. After the first sip, that initial wave of strong Bourbon notes seems to die down some; likely my palate just got used to it, but it becomes much more in balance with the rest of the beer. This definitely has a touch of tartness to it that is a result of both the ample burnt / roast notes (both coffee and grain) as well as some of the Bourbon influence. The finish also has a touch of hot Bourbon alcohol to it that is noticeable more as an aromatic oral nasal thing, but definitely makes me feel like I am exhaling alcohol.

At times a certain fruit character is noticeable that makes me think of sour prunes, figs and raisins; all of which have been left under the broiler to develop a bit of char. As the beer warms up and loses a bit of carbonation it becomes much more creamy textured and smooth, it also becomes much more mocha / chocolate flavored than it was previously, almost richly so.

I am not sure if my nose is not quite working tonight or what, but I am quite surprised how little of the Bourbon barrel influence is noticeable in the aroma. In the end the balance between roast character and smooth chocolate become really nice, the Bourbon barrel seems to meld into the background such that it supplies a nice complexity; so definitely serves this more towards 59°F / 15°C to get the best flavor balance. Much better and much more balanced than I was expecting; definitely a very good, moderate use of Bourbon Barrel character and coffee if drunk on the warm side.

Photo of duceswild
4.25/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Was able to score 6 bottles of the 2012 version. The fist time I had this was on draft so I maybe a little skewed towards the version.

Poured from the bottle into a CBS snifter. Pours a deep dark brown/black with a dark brown head.

Smells of bourbon, chocolate, vanilla, alcohol. Taste was strong of bourbon and booze, but also included vanilla and coffee. Mouthful was smooth and was thinner then some of the other BA stouts that I've had.

Will be looking to see how this one tastes with some age on it.

Photo of GClarkage
4.29/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

03/27/07- Received via trade with Jetsbeer.

Presentation- 12oz bottle with a notch system of freshness. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Black colored pour with a dirty brown head, approx 1/2 inch. Settles at a very light rim. Lacing is spotty and streaky.

Smell- Kind of a cross between some burnt wet cardboard and wet cigarette ashes. Some chocolate and deep malt is also found underneath.

Taste- Taste is spot on. The first sip is very much reminescent of the scent. A swig of cigarette ashes that only lasts for a split second. Then you get a wonderful thick coating of deep dark chocolate in your mouth. Very mild hops are present. Mostly deep chocolaty goodness with a hint of bourbon.

Mouthfeel- Pretty creamy and very coating. Carbonation level is a bit higher than I would like for a stout.

Drinkability- Had hopes this would be my first "5" beer, but the scent totally turned me off. But then the taste turned me on again. A very solid brew worth drinking many a time and not smelling.

Photo of wrightst
3/5  rDev -35.1%

Photo of orangesol
4.2/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 Bottle poured into a New Belgium globe.

A - Pours jet black with a nice one finger tall khaki head, dissipating down to a thin film, leaving

S - Smells of coffee grounds, warm bourbon, light chocolate sweetness, dark roasted malts, and some dulled heat. A bit of dry oak and rubbing alcohol comes thru as it comes to room temp. Not too bad.

T - Starts off with some dark roasted coffee giving way slowly to a mix of dulled chocolaty sweetness and some dry wood tannins. Finish is a mix of dark roast and muted bourbon heat. About a year in the bottle now and it seems to have dulled the coffee and bourbon heat a bit but that is to be expected. I like the direction it is headed in. Can't wait to try this one again in a year.

M - Heavy body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Big, full, feel with a mix of coffee grounds and dulled bourbon heat in the finish.

D - Pretty good. Even with the high ABV. it is still very drinkable. The dark flavors can wear on you over the course of multiple servings but it is worth it. I look forward to this release every year and while I like this beer out of the bottle, I love it on-tap. Can't wait to sit down with a draft and see how it shapes up.

Photo of Gavage
4.74/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: dark brown in color with a short 1/2" tan colored head that breaks down quickly. Some spots of lace stick to the glass during the session.

Smell: loads of roasted malts, vanilla, dark chocolate, and some softer espresso tones leap from the glass into the nose.

Taste: roasted malts, big vanilla flavor, dark chocolate, prunes, hints of bourbon, and a nice bitterness. Alcohol is mildly noticeable. Superbly balanced flavors here.

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy in body. Smooth and thick feeling throughout. Long aftertaste as the flavors stick to the tongue and last awhile.

Drinkability: this beer goes down really smooth, but at the high alcohol levels it limits you in a session. But this is a treat that should be enjoyed slowly. The high cost will also limit your intake, but it is worth the money for this beer.

Photo of Halcyondays
4.67/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a 12 oz. bottle, the legendary Kentucky Breakfast Stout, I've been on its trail for 3+ years and I finally get to try it,

A: Pours a dark brown, light brown head, similar to the CBS.

S: Coffee for sure, but a nice amount of dark chocolate comes as well. Complex and interesting.

T: Dark chocolate and mocha are heavy on this initially. The finish is beautiful with notes of caramel, sweet coffee, cream and brown sugar. Great flavour.

M: Just smooth and elegant, creamy, it's great.

D: Founders blows me away again. While not as full and robust as CBS, this is arguably more complex and shows the great benefit coffee can bring to a beer, I love it.

Photo of dbrauneis
4.67/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Served on tap at The Pony Bar in New York, NY

A: Pours a midnight black with a thin light tan head which reduces over time but leaves a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass. Moderate lacing is observed.

S: A very delicious smelling beer - lot of dark roasted malts, chocolate, coffee ,vanilla, and oak. Lots of complexity, the hints of bourbon from the barrels is very noticeable.

T: What a great complex and well balanced beer. Starts with a lot of coffee/espresso and chocolate flavors, moves to an oaky vanilla, and then finishes with a linger coffee bitterness.

M: Medium to full bodied with light to moderate carbonation. Very creamy and very smooth.

O: A fantastic beer that really hides the high ABV very well. I look forward to this beer every year in the late winter and this year again it does not disappoint. Great complexity to the smell + flavor and a great balance between the sweetness + bitterness in the flavor. I wish I could get this one more easily.

Photo of superspak
4.62/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled 2/17/2012. Re-rate from last year. Pours thick pitch black color with a small 1 finger fairly dense tan head with good retention that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Some slight spotty lacing on the glass. Aromas of big dark chocolate, caramel, vanilla, molasses, toffee, espresso, roasted malt, bourbon, and oak. Fantastic aromas here with great balance and good strength. Taste of big dark chocolate, caramel, molasses, vanilla, toffee, espresso, bourbon, roasted malt, oak, biscuit, and slight herbal hops. Almost no bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, vanilla, toffee, bourbon, molasses, oak, and roasted malt on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic flavor balance, without the bourbon being too overpowering; and no cloying sweetness at all. Light-medium carbonation and full bodied; with an insanely creamy, slick, lush, and super smooth mouthfeel. Alcohol is extremely well hidden at 11.2% with only a slight warming after the finish noticed. Extremely easy to drink, but is still a sipper. Overall this is definitely a world class barrel aged imperial stout. Big balanced and robust flavors; with an incredibly smooth and lush mouthfeel. This is definitely at it’s best when fresh.

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

Poured from a bottle into a snifter, this brew appears black in color with a finger of dark brown head across the top that quickly fades to just a ring around the inside of the glass. Spotty lacing remains on the glassware. A light swirl revives the cap briefly.

The aroma of this brew is sweet with a scent of chocolate laden coffee. It is quite earthy with hops and has a rich vanilla sweetness throughout. A bit of a musty grain character fills the back end of the nose. There is a tangy bourbon influence here that brings the entire smell of this brew together in a wonderful way. As it warms, the bourbon notes come to the front of the aroma with quite a bite.

The taste of this brew has a bold display of roasty grain bitterness tasting like chocolate and rich espresso. A solid bourbon influence is in this brew with both a tangy alcohol presence and warmth throughout the mouth and down the back of the throat. There is an earthy taste of hops mixed with grain in the aftertaste. As the brew warms there is a light oaked quality that imparts a dryness to the finish.

This is a medium bodied brew that is surprisingly lighter than expected. It is modestly carbonated presenting just enough bubbly on the tongue. This is a bold and tasteful brew that was enjoyed on a cold snowed-in day and is equally enjoyed as a nightcap or by the fire. Don't let it fool you, for all the beers that are out there that masterfully hide the amount of alcohol they have, this one is bold and out in the open. However, what makes this brew stand apart from the rest is that the boldness of the alcohol works perfectly with the other flavors included. Awesome stuff.

Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 9,350 ratings.