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.

10,393 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 10,393
Reviews: 2,863
rAvg: 4.62
pDev: 8.87%
Wants: 4,138
Gots: 4,664 | FT: 374
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) Alström Bros
Ratings: 10,393 | Reviews: 2,863
Photo of BDub_1988
3.92/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Overall very good but the hype for is beer is a little overboard. Wish the bourbon-vanilla flavors would be a little stronger; The cocoa flavors dominate this beer.

Photo of byronic
3.61/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

On draft and poured into a snifter, looks delicious and smells inviting. There are hints of cocoa and a nice dark roast along with some heavy barrel presence. Unfortunately after the hype and the appealing pour the disappointment started settling in. The flavour definitely backs up the smell along with a few other notes such as vanilla; however the barrel aging and alcohol presence is at best overwhelming. There is no subtlety as this is very much brute force. It very much diminished the enjoyment of this brew.

Photo of MichaelNeelsen
4.19/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Drank off nitro tap in a pint glass. A PINT GLASS (which was a mistake, we were later told). Looks like Founders breakfast stout. Thick cappuccino head. Zero light penetration. A thinner beer than BCS or Abraxas. Not motor oil. Pours more like an Irish stout.

S: Chocolate covered espresso beans. Not too intense - I'd like to smell it more, but that could be my subjective lack of sense of smell.

T: Starts off like an Irish stout - little to nothing up front. After a second though, your mouth becomes an espresso shop. Wonderful, rich coffee taste. The finish is where the dark chocolate and vanilla make their stand. Beautiful aura, not the vanilla yogurt candy taste of BCS Vanilla Rye, more like a cloudy vanilla cutting through the coffee notes.

F: Nothing unique - it drinks like a high quality Founders breakfast stout (I drank off Nitro tap).

O: Doesnt deserve to be ranked above BCS as it is currently on BA's American Double Imperial Stout list, but if I forgive that transgression on the part of the critics, the beer is wonderful on its own merits. Really good, but don't kill yourself trying to find it - the rarity of this beer doesn't necessarily pay off in flavor. You can get much of the same flavors from Lakefront Brewing's Fuel Cafe.

Photo of RexBanner
4.56/5  rDev -1.3%
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!

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

What sets this apart from BCBS is its breakfasty-ness. At first I was disappointed because it didn't match the sweetness of BCBS, but once my palate adjusted I really enjoyed it. Smoky, oaky... really cozy to drink in a big leather armchair. Definitely a classic.

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 vinylrooster
5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2015 is better than 2014 (less boozy)

Photo of ajm5108
4.59/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

The bourbon in KBS is probably the most well-blended of the seemingly endless parade of bourbon aged beers. Many of these end up too boozey & hot for my taste, but KBS doesn't punch you in the face with the bourbon. It is a creamy beer, heavy but smooth, not too thick or cloying. A good amount of roasted coffee upfront, a little oak with the vanilla & bourbon coming in as support, with the faintest bit of cherry cola. My personal favorite bourbon aged beer.

Photo of Bisco42
4.54/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Perfect balance of oak, bourbon, coffee for sure, roasted malt, hint of vanilla in the after taste and cream. Really enjoyed this offering.

Photo of titty_mcbitty
4.38/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured a dark, thick black. Tan head. Usual stout appearance but maybe with a bit darker head.

Aroma hits with bourbon, chocolate, and coffee.

Alright, so I've had this before - a long time ago when I was drunk and couldn't wait to try it. I remember not being ready for the flavors that hit my palate (as I was semi-knew to the brew scene). Now, I get a less-intense flavor. Coffee, toast, milk and cream, sweet/bitter chocolate, oats and bran, graham cracker, and not a whole lot of bourbon!

The beer, however, goes down so nicely. It's perfectly creamy and full-bodied without being too cloying.

This is still a world-class beer, but I'd give it a 94 overall. I was not disappointed at all, but not shocked at the supposed greatness (lack of bourbon notes). Regardless, this is a wonderful beer.

Photo of CTbrew32
4.41/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Black in color with no visibility whatsoever. Pours a one finger head that is reddish brown in color. The head dissipates very quickly.

Aroma- Boozy sweetness, oak, chocolate, vanilla, and coffee.

Taste- The barrel is noticeable from the get go along oak and coffee bitterness. The booze sticks around for little but is never overwhelming. In this finish the coffee and barrel gives way to a creamy vanilla and chocolate sweetness.

Feel- Full bodied, low carbonation, creamy, and a perfect amount of malt sweetness.

Overall- Finally having the famed KBS and it is a great barrel aged stout. Great barrel presence, great coffee flavor, and a sweet creamy finish. Really some great flavors here, and great drinkability for high abv stout as well. While it is great and worth seeking out, I wouldn't go overboard looking for this.

Photo of KBrady
4.98/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Best BA stout I've ever had - heard bad things about 2014 but after enjoying a fresh (<2 weeks old) bottle and then a draft just a couple weeks after that, I can give my nod of best barrel aged stout to good ole' KBS. Managed to grab 4 more to cellar for a short bit as well.

Photo of kg1121
5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

KBS '15 was great. So great I sought out a case of it via a favor from a local distributor to man me their 1 case limit. Complements do not express the experience. Do not miss the chance to try it.

Photo of Joethebeerpro
4.68/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Simply the best stout I've ever had

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

Pours black with a one finger light brown head. Smells of dark malts, bourbon, coffee, molasses. Thick, rich, tastes of chocolate, rich dark malts, rich bourbon flavor, a little boozy, coffee. Heavy body, med carbonation, chocolate and bourbon aftertaste. Excellent.

Photo of JebBeerFish
3.92/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Tried KBS followed by Goose Island Bourbon County. While Founders makes some really solid beers like Backwoods Bastard and their Imperial Stout, this beer is just outclassed by Bourbon County. Mouth feel is thin, something odd tasting in the beer. Not equal to the hype. Make no mistake, still a good beer but many better BA stouts out there.

Photo of AppaZappa
4.46/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours rich chocolate brown with light brown and persistent head. Smell is bourbon, caramel, slight coffee, and alcohol. Taste is similar: bourbon, oak, molasses fades to coffee on tail end with alcohol bite. This is a bit thin for its class but has a creamy and soft mouthfeel. Very enjoyable.

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

I've had the opportunity to have this beer for the past 3-4 years, both in bottles and on tap. To be perfectly honest, I enjoy it more fresh (as I've also had aged varieties both on tap and from a bottle). The more it ages, the more alcohol / bourbon I taste. While some prefer this, I prefer the alcohol/bourbon taste to be present, yet more mild.

I would give the 'fresh' (if you can call a beer aged a around a year in bourbon barrels such a thing) KBS a rating of 4.75, while the aged KBS rates 4.25.

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 bgold86
4.5/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thin, bourbon is almost unnoticeable, lots of chocolate and coffee.

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

2015 Bottle
Pours jet black with a 1/2" caramel head. The aroma is strong coffee, dark chocolate, some bourbon, vanilla & molasses notes. Taste is like the nose, roasted coffee, dark chocolate, balanced with bourbon and vanilla oak. Has a oak dry finish. Full bodied with more carbonation than expected.

Would preferred less carbonation and thought the finish was quite oaky & dry.

Overall- first time experiencing KBS and must say it lives up to the hype. A very well crafted and delicious beer. Complex and balanced.

Photo of ohbeer89
4.82/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Lives up to the hype. A few people have complained about "excessive carbonation," which is BS; it's beer, not motor oil. Does a great job of really playing the bourbon against the coffee and chocolate without having to resort to excess sweetness. Does anyone know what distillery the barrels come from? Tastes like Beam to me.

Photo of bgreen2
5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Absolutely stellar. Full bodied and a finish that you wish would never end. World class for sure.

Photo of Ready4aHeady
3.81/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Second year in a row that it didn't live up to the hype for me... nice body and creamy feel with burnt chocolate and some coffee flavors... but lacks complexity and bourbon sweetness--- much prefer bcbs as my staple stout.

Photo of Pourharddrinkslow
4.77/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2015 Bottle

Look - Pitch black. Looks like a stout.

Smell - Very sweet. Smells like toffee, hints of coffee, caramel, and vanilla.

Taste - Lots of coffee and lots of bourbon. Tastes almost exactly like it smells, with mild tastes of coffee, caramel, and vanilla behind the main 2 tastes. Bold and clean, it punches you in the face and keeps you coming back every time until its gone.

Feel - Very smooth, slightly more carbonated than I would like but that's nitpicking.

Overall - Worth the hype

Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 10,393 ratings.