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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: 10,601
rAvg: 4.55
pDev: 8.35%
Wants: 4,189
Gots: 4,904 | FT: 395
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: 10,601
Photo of GregJ
4.59/5  rDev +0.9%
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. (266 characters)

Photo of JebBeerFish
3.92/5  rDev -13.8%
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. (342 characters)

Photo of AppaZappa
4.46/5  rDev -2%
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. (293 characters)

Photo of bassfishingguy
4.45/5  rDev -2.2%
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. (506 characters)

Photo of Cannibalgasm
5/5  rDev +9.9%
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. (255 characters)

Photo of KM_Seahawk
4.45/5  rDev -2.2%
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. (521 characters)

Photo of ohbeer89
4.82/5  rDev +5.9%
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. (326 characters)

Photo of Ready4aHeady
3.81/5  rDev -16.3%
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. (222 characters)

Photo of Pourharddrinkslow
4.77/5  rDev +4.8%
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 (503 characters)

Photo of arizcards
4.71/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I missed the KBS boat last year due to being out of town but did manage to score a single at TW Arrowhead Tuesday after work for $5.99. Bottled on 2/12/15.

Beer poured black with a very nice tan head that is still hanging around and leaving some lacing behind.

Nose is dark chocolate, coffee, and soft whiskey barrel.

Taste is coffee, dark chocolate, light whiskey, light vanilla, and oak. I kind of get the pepper take that some folks have as a result of the flavor combination -it is lurking in the background and may become prevalent over time.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and very smooth.

Overall this brew goes up a notch or two compared to FBS. The barrels used lend a nice easy touch which is appreciated. Epic brew, I understand why the craft beer geeks chase this down after enjoying it today! (810 characters)

Photo of circus_cat
4.79/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

L: motor oil black, thin ring of mocha head, inviting
S: bourbon, currant, coffee, cigar
T: bourbon, booze (in a good way), cigar, dark fruits
M: velvet-smooth

This lived up to the expectation! (194 characters)

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

Been waiting to try this beer for over a year. I am not really a stout fan. This beer is deserving of a 5 rating. It's everything I was hoping it would be. (155 characters)

Photo of Austin32
4.6/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Just an exceptional barrel aged stout. Hides the heat of 11.20 abv very well and all the flavors of breakfast stout shine through the barrel aged flavor. Love it! (162 characters)

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

2015 KBS Bottled 3/05/2015 drank on 4/10/2015

Look: Pitch black like you just turned the lights out in a bright room, brunette head like Monica Lewinsky, decent lacing.

Smell: sweet, boozy scent takes the forefront, chocolate, spice, and very slight coffee linger in the back. Smells like it would smell if you snuck a jack and coke into your starbucks cup before you go to work, without the scent of shameful alcoholism.

Taste: Very bourbon forward, like the aftertaste left in your mouth after a sip straight from the bottle if you chased it with cold coffee (good cold coffee). Chocolate chills in the background and is forgotten until the brew warms a bit, which brings a bit more of a mocha character heightened by the malt. Heat from the bourbon isn't as present as its sweetness, which was alleviated by the beer getting a bit warmer.

Feel: Nice and velvety without being like a syrup. Perfect median between what you would expect from a stout and a bourbon, very pleasant but heavy if enjoyed with anything other than a dessert or by itself.

Overall: I try not to think of beers as products of their own hype, but hype as a product of a beer. That being said, this is a very good BA stout that deserves a lot of credit and deserves to be sought after. Perhaps it is overblown due to availability, but it is a mistake to discredit this beer or any in its same class due to its scarcity or popularity. It is extremely complex and well balanced and only improves as you sip. Highly recommend seeking out at least a couple bottles annually. Excellent.

I am aging three bottles from this year and will update with a review at 6 months, followed by a side-by-side comparison to next year's version. (1,713 characters)

Photo of enternalhoppiness
4.32/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2015 lacked the mouth feel of 2014 . What happened? It is till in class of stouts by itself other than Founders Russian Imperial Stout which I feel is better. (160 characters)

Photo of Deshaies
3.87/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

April 2015 / 12oz Bottle. Got a really strong bourbon taste and smell, but a bit underwhelmed by the beer, coffee and vanilla notes which was described. Decent mouth feel, but slightly muddled flavor. Might have been over excited for this one. (243 characters)

Photo of oldn00b
4.89/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Just had it on draft, came home and had a bottle. Bottled, this year, is way better than on tap. Everything would have been about .5 lower if rating the draft. Coffee was way more forward on tap. This bottle is fantastic and a perfect balance of the coffee, chocolate, and bourbon. Wish I had more. (303 characters)

Photo of BergBeer
4.58/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Look: Opaque black with a light mocha head. Quite carbonated for a beer aged this long.

Smell: A big wallop of coffee and chocolate greet the nose followed by a sweet vanilla aroma and beautiful bourbon that makes everything pop and meld into one of if not the best smelling beer I've had. Amazing. The dessert like sweet masks most of the booze.

Taste: Rich coffee and decadent chocolate greet the tongue that then turns either coffee or hoppy bitter that fades to a beautiful sweet vanilla bourbon with more rich coffee as it faded to a beautiful mixture of decadent chocolate, coffee, bourbon, and a dry oaky finish. Fantastic.

Mouthfeel: Rich and velvety on the tongue. Almost like a cushion of liquid decadence that is only interrupted by the bitter that brings it back down to the palate and a dry finish. The booze is only present on a slight warming on the back of the throat and chest.

Overall: Wow. This is my first crack at this beer and I must say it was worth the wait. It's so rich and complex with flavors popping in sync through the duration of the ride. The coffee is fantastic and I really enjoy the huge bright vanilla/bourbon mix that jumps out. Is it the best BA beer I've had? No that probably still goes to Bourbon County Coffee but this deserves the praise and is one outstanding world class brew. (1,329 characters)

Photo of Wowcoolman
3.97/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I've had this beer many times- finally getting around to making some comments. Hype train is huge with this one- for many it might be their first BA coffee Stout. The coffee character is bitter and peppery, and the whiskey character is a bit harsh. Bourbon beers and coffee Stouts have come a long way since this beer first made the scene. Can't compete with the likes of BA Speedway or CBS for that matter. (407 characters)

Photo of Jwburns75
4.31/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This was my first KBS. Poured into snifter, jet black, small head that dissipates quick, strong lacing throughout. Heavy bourbon in the nose. Taste was more mild than expected after smelling, at least with the bourbon. It was present for sure in a big way, imparting a smooth, almost vanilla-like taste. I didn't get the roasty, coffee presence FBS brings and I was actually glad for that. This was a sipper but a very smooth one. Very much enjoyed my first KBS. (469 characters)

Photo of Beer-Revelry
4.94/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Duvel snifter glass.

A - 5 - Pours a viscous, oily, jet black color. With a heavy-handed pour, it forms a good, creamy and solid finger of extremely dark tan colored head. Medium head potential, low head retention. Nice solid walls of lacing left behind on the walls of the glass.
S - 4.75 - Extremely roasty malt, medium-sweet chocolate, macchiato coffee, peanut butter nuttiness and light touches of whiskey booze.
T - 5 - Wow, this totally lives up to the hype for me. Roasted malts, medium-sweet chocolate, cherry-almond-marzipan, vanilla tobacco, the perfect amount of whiskey, and a medium-bitter coffee ending. Perfectly balanced.
F - 5 - Extremely, thick, oily, creamy and viscous. Like a coffee creamer consistency. Amazing.
O - 5 - There are very few beers in the world that I have taken my first sip of and was left just simply smiling and speechless for a minute. Not to get poetic in my review but, it was everything I had hoped it was in my mind and, for me, completely lives up to its hype. This is the IDEAL, perfectly balanced bourbon barrel imperial stout, and you'd be hard pressed to find one better. (1,135 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 BrewLancer40k
4.81/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The strong oak taste opens with notes of chocolate and coffee follow. The after taste brings the bourbon characteristics along with some tobacco and leather. (157 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 garrettdeanjohnson
5/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Cream of the crop currently. This is one of my favorite stouts. I had a chance to have it from tap and in the bottle. Both were satisfying. Hard to come by and there was a 1 bottle max per person, but I had the chance to snag a few.

Overall, great beer. (255 characters)

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