Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine and select auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

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: 10,807
Avg: 4.56
pDev: 17.54%
Wants: 4,276
Gots: 5,077 | FT: 416
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
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 2,805 | Hads: 10,807
Photo of thepenguin
4.53/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottled March 2014
Reviewed 11/6/15

L: Black as a hearse, with a very minimal tan head. Nice sticky lacing left behind.

S: A bit more vinous and oxidized than fresher bottles, but once you get past the green olive briny note the bourbon and oak pull through, mingling with a nice mild chocolately roastiness. Compared to FBS, I’d say the chocolate is a bit more dominant than the coffee. The coffee pops a bit more as it warms, coming across as musky and earthy rather than vibrant.

T: Creamy and deliciously sweet. Again, the bourbon is definitely apparent (not so much the oak) with semisweet chocolate, vanilla, and rugelach (may be the first time someone’s pulled that out in a beer review). At 70 IBUs I expected this to have a pretty firm backbone but instead leaves little noticeable bitterness while still remaining incredibly balanced. The taste doesn’t have the same vinous sherry-like flavor noticed in the aroma, but flavors do seem more muted than with fresher bottles.

F: Unbelievably tame for 11.2% served at just under room temperature. Creamy and chewy, with very moderate carbonation. Very impressive in this category.

Overall: KBS is a delightful beer – truly one of the classics in the BBA Stout category. This was a delightful beer to drink – not as pronounced, nuanced or frankly tasty as a fresh bottle, but quite balanced with the bourbon notes holding up nicely.

 1,402 characters

Photo of fscottkey
4.09/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: [4.75] Beer is very dark brown to black. It forms about 1 finger of tan colored head. The head takes a while to recede and leaves a coating around the glass. Sipping the beer leaves tons of lacing clinging to the glass. The bottle lists the ABV (11.2%) and it has a born on date (03/05/15).

S: [3.75] Vanilla, coffee and booziness and maybe a bit of smoke. I let the beer warm for quite a while but it is still not as open as I'd like on the nose.

T: [4.00] Chocolate, coffee, toasted marshmallow, slight heat from the booze. The booze accumulates with each sip. But so does a pleasant smokey flavor. Like you get from whiskey.

M: [4.50] Nice rich body. Minimal carbonation contributing more to the heft and chewy feeling.

O: [4.25] I think head to head I'd choose Founders Breakfast stout over KBS. FBS has similar flavors but without the extra booziness. Don't get me wrong this is a really good beer, extremely smooth mouthfeel. The flavor has elements of chocolate, coffee and toasted goodness. For an 11% beer I was expecting a bit more nose. The nose was good but subdued a bit. Tip of the hat to the Founder's Sales Rep that did a tasting and sold this to me. I am glad I was able to sit down and drink this one.

 1,248 characters

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

This was an exceptional beer, if I recall it was the 2013 I first tried and fell in love - very smooth chocolate and coffee and wonderfully oaky. Unfortunately the 2015 was more boozy/hot and had less barrel character.

 218 characters

Photo of VirginiaBeerMan
4.54/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

5 oz. pour at Fireworks in Leesburg. outstanding top to bottom. Bourbon aroma is far steonger than the taste, which is fantastic. Smooth, smooth , smooth.

 157 characters

Photo of BWood
4.62/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

L: dark as night. Small head around the edges.

S: coffee and chocolate.

T: amazing. Coffee right away that smoothes into a dark chocolate finish. Very subtle bourbon touch. I'm actually happy with this coffee/chocolate blend.

F: super smooth. Silky finish with coats the mouth.

O: I think this beer lives up to the hype. This 4 pack was unclaimed at my local bevmo so I got a call that they had it for me. This is rare on the west coast and I'm happy I got to drink it.

 475 characters

Photo of Trevor11
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Very powerful beer. Had both 2015 and 2014. The aged beer was more enjoyable with the mellowing of the strong flavors and prominence of the alcohol in this barrel-aged beer.

 173 characters

Photo of BSiegs
4.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big dark pour, two fingers of light brown head. Dissipates and leaves average lacing. The nose is phenomenal. Big bourbon, coffee, chocolate, slight barrel notes. The taste follows exactly with coffee, bourbon, dark roasted malts. The coffee bitterness lingers on the aftertaste. Lower end of full bodied with low-moderate carbonation. Super silky. Really fantastic beer.

 371 characters

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

Black with tan head great lacing. Smells of chocolate, coffee, bourbon and toasted oak. Tastes the same with a great balance. Pretty much a perfect beer.

 153 characters

Photo of W_Des
4.77/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours black with a tan head. The nose is a swirl of coffee, chocolate, oak and bourbon. The beer tastes fantastic with a nice coffee roast followed by chocolate and light bourbon heat in the finish. A truly classic delicious beer.

 230 characters

Photo of jakecattleco
4.72/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

2015 batch into a shaker pint. WOW, easily the best new beer I've had in 2015. Lots of chocolate and whiskey on the nose, with hints of currants and/or raisins. Taste blends all the flavors well, and equally balances the start and finish to the palette. Would love to have access to this routinely, but damn glad to have had the opportunity to sample this fantastic beer!

 378 characters

Photo of DaverCS
4.86/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Split between 2 people. Pours jet black with a small but lingering light-brown head.

Aroma is pure bourbon. I get some beautiful molasses and vanilla as well. I get coffee on the finish. However, the dominant aroma is the bourbon and the barrel characteristic.

This beer is exquisite and constantly changing. It's a perfect balance between sweet, smokey, and bitter. Dark chocolate and roasted coffee peaks through in the beginning. Each individual flavor surfaces for an instant before rejoining the others. The beer is not overly sweet, as it is cut by a slight bitterness in the finish. Plenty of barrel and tobacco smokiness in the middle of the sip. Pure bourbon and bitterness extend past the sip. A mild alcohol presence and heat is active as the beer warms.

Overall, this is a world class beer. My only disappointment with the beer is that it is a touch thin in the mouthfeel in comparison to the flavor. It is a bit of a mismatch. Don't consume this with anything. Sip it slowly and enjoy with a clean palate. It gets a 97/100.

 1,040 characters

Photo of Myotus
4.38/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle (bottled 03Mar15) into a Spiegelau stout glass.
LOOK: Pours with a half finger's worth of khaki foam that halves itself after 50 seconds. Black in color with orange tint. Rising bubbles are very small in size and moderate in quantity. Lacing is thick and moderate.
SMELL: Strong aromas of molasses, figs, and plums, entangle with mild aromas of vanilla, sweet chocolate, sweet coffee, and subtle aromas of oak, bourbon, and bitter roasted malts.
TASTE: Initial taste is of strong molasses, fig, and plum flavors. Mild sweet chocolate, vanilla, and sweet coffee flavors enter right after. Next, enters mild flavors of oak along with subtle flavors of bourbon and bitter roasted malts as all flavors persist, except for vanilla and coffee, which grow stronger.
FEEL: Full-bodied with hints of carbonation. Goes down smoother than a Keystone and creamier than cream itself. Finishes with a moderate dryness.
NOTE: An amazing imperial stout, however, I feel this is strongly hyped. I have definitely had better.

 1,034 characters

Photo of TruePerception
4.28/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Founders' KBS, Bourbon barrel aged stout, brewed with chocolate and coffee. 11.2% ABV.

A: Pitch black, with three fingers of chocolate milk colored head, which doesn't seem to want to go anywhere. Dark brown in the dimple, with a reddish brown glow. Very slight sheeting, but no lacing holds.

S: Roasted coffee dominates, but a smooth bittersweet chocolate and slight Bourbon char quality are right behind. Very dark toffee comes out as it settles.

T/MF: Very smooth texture on the palate. A lot of Bourbon-y char and dark toffee. More bittersweet chocolate, finishing with a dark coffee flavor. Dark toffee and sweet char linger quite long.

This needs a nice juicy steak, but unfortunately, I haven't one...

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle, into a Belgian tulip glass.

 770 characters

Photo of bennyman12
4.37/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Just finished a bottle of 2012, poured in a somewhat fluted glass, which may have minimized the aroma.

What's interesting about this beer is the way the bourbon and coffee play as the bass note. There's very little roast to balance the sweet dark caramel malts, but the bourbon and the coffee provide a strong enough foundation--without it being hot or astringent. There has to be some lactose in this, as the body is creamy, though by no means thick. 2012 still holding up well. I love this beer!

 498 characters

Photo of reds2harleys
4.87/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Superb beer that certainly lives up to the hype. I love Founders Brewing and this is one of the reasons why. All of their Stouts are amazing and so full of flavor and this is no exception. I'd rate it a small notch below CBS but a wonderful brew.

 248 characters

Photo of Buck1
4.48/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Went to a local pub that had a 16 tap Founders take move with KBS and Backwoods Bastard. Had not been able to find KBS . Place was packed. Me and the Mrs. got the 1st 2 snifters. Since I like bourbon it was love at 1st taste. Wife thought it was too boozy and liked the Backwoods Bastard much better. It was cold off the tap and the bourbon was strong. As it warmed the chocolate came out to play. Did it live up to the hype . Yes. It was excellent but since it is hard to find I have no problem with Breakfast Stout which I liked on tap just as much and is much easier to find and I have case from last year in the cellar.

 633 characters

Photo of DovGibor
3.55/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

8 oz. pour at On Tap in Whole Foods Columbus circle. (Founders did a tap takeover the day before and 9 of their beers were still pouring.)

Pitch black with a hair of head that lingered nicely. Very minimal aroma, just a touch of roast but not much else. Mouthfeel is full with light carbonation on the tongue.

Rich and smooth flavor. Well balance of roasted malt and bourbon barrel. No noticeable alcohol in the flavor; well integrated for 11%.

Overall it's an enjoyable stout, but didn't live up to the reputation.

 520 characters

Photo of Bowers-Brew
3.99/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2013 -Served in snifter @ 50degF

L - Nice and dark with little medium brown head

S/T - Chocolate with coffee, bourbon, and oak in the background.

O - It's a good stout, no doubt, but I've had so many really good stouts in the 2 years since I picked this up that I can't help but feel a little disappointed. My buddy did say that KBS is best fresh, I'll try one without age to see if I agree.

 396 characters

Photo of Brew_42
4.27/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2014 bottle that someone gave me that was bottled in 2013. Not sure if it should have been enjoyed earlier.

A- Jet black, like motor oil with a barely-existent tan head.

S mell and Taste- Put them as one because the taste follows the nose to a T. Coffee and bourbon are the big flavors. More bourbon than coffee. There's a hint of chocolate but the bourbon is the big flavor here.

MF- HEavy and smooth. Almost creamy. Some warmth from the booze too. The ABV is not concealed in this one.

Overal;- Really good stout, and I understand all the hooplah about it. That being said, if you are like me and you aren't huge on bourbon/whiskey flavor, this one might be a little jarring.

 681 characters

Photo of Coolcheech
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Drank from a tulip, 2015 KBS.

Appearance: Poured jet black, with a bubbly thick head. Left some lacing.

Smell: After pouring you there was a strong aroma of coffee. After drinking the beer for a while I could detect some chocolate.

Taste: You could taste coffee and some smoke. There was also a subtle flavor of alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Medium to heavy body, with some slight burn from the alcohol.

Drinkability: This is a great beer to just sit and sip. I felt it after one, and I wish I had another to follow it up.

 528 characters

Photo of tregan_20
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I purchased the beer at a local liquor store and poured into a pint glass. The appearance was really dark, almost black. The head was tan in color like espresso/mocha. The smell consisted of roasted chocolate, espresso and bourbon, with a hint of oakiness to it. The taste is very close to the smell... coffee / espresso / mocha / bourbon / malty flavor. The feel was a bit heavy and somewhat chewy. Overall, this is Founder's best offering in my opinion, just above their Breakfast Stout. Definitely worth trying! Cheers!

 522 characters

Photo of Elsuperjefe
4.96/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Phenomenal. Strong caramel nose followed by a perfect balance of roasted coffee, vanilla and sweet malt. Can't say enough about this master stout. Light carbonation dances to the back of the palate delivering perfectly balanced goodness. Perfection.

 252 characters

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

Pitch Black, wouldn't expect it any other way. Smell was roasty, vanilla, a little oaky from barrells, chocolate with little hint of booze. Taste amazing. Chocolate, Bourbon, Coffee all on the palette with small hint of booze. Mouth feel was great, would consider it thick, full. Awesome, one of my favorites

 309 characters

Photo of NolaHopHead
4.52/5  rDev -0.9%
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 mschantz
4.4/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Have enjoyed KBS a number of times in the past but never in a setting that allows for proper consideration and review. Pours nearly black with just a hint of mocha on the fringes. Moderately viscous with a slight dark brown head that brings the foam of an espresso to mind. Nose is nice meld of bourbon, coffee, vanilla and hints of cinnamon. The coffee and vanilla are upfront upon tasting with a nice warm boozy finish. Mouthfeel is quite slick and the finish smooth.

 474 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,805 ratings.