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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.

9,345 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,345
Reviews: 2,587
rAvg: 4.62
pDev: 9.09%
Wants: 3,902
Gots: 3,517 | FT: 240
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: 9,345 | Reviews: 2,587 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of eldiablito
5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of d1224
5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of johnsonni
4/5  rDev -13.4%

Photo of adamdarcy
4.75/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of radiofish
5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of Lambocalrisien
5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of rodlavers
4.81/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2012 vintage poured from bottle into Founders snifter, now with 4-5 months on it. Thin dark chocolate coffee brown head which fizzes out quickly leaving an extremely thin layer around the inside of the glass and on top of the body; some chunky lacing left behind, I think more so now than fresh. I thought it would smooth out a bit more, creating "legs" with the bourbon, etc. Color almost black. Coffee aroma has dissipated somewhat at this point, leaving sweet and boozy chocolate with some oak. Taste is similar; less coffee, more sweet vanilla and bourbon coming through now. Sweet bourbon is prominent. Mouthfeel seems to have balanced out a bit more, both bitter and smooth now, I'd say a tad less creamy. Light carbonation. Going to let this one sit and breath for awhile. Still, it's one of my "special" beers, glad I have 5 or 6 more to enjoy in the future. Cheers.

Photo of Soxfan45
5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of BigGingDrinker
5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of dantezeull
5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of MikeD71
5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of feltondengler
4.75/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of Zbeetleman
4.75/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of Ajlvt
5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of GJ40
4.76/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Sampled at 50 degrees from a 12oz bottle in a chalice. I reviewed this one side by side with a regular Breakfast Stout to get a better sense of the difference. Thanks surge1311!

A – Black with no light and a very small tan head. It could have used more.

S – A nice medley of bourbon, chocolate and coffee. Well done.

T – The bourbon take center stage pushing the coffee into a supporting role with the chocolate and vanilla. Despite starting at 50 degrees, the bourbon gets better and better as it warms.

M – Creamy, chewy and silky with a nice low carbonation. Goes down smoothly.

O – Wow, this is a good beer. I'm not a bourbon drinker but I've come to love BA beers. This is very well done.

Photo of 00chris
4.75/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of ausonius
4.75/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of saxclar123
4.75/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of MistahBeah
4.75/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of BeerBuddy2122
4.75/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of ygolordned
4/5  rDev -13.4%

Photo of jegross2
4.52/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Reviewing the 2011 vintage of KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) (2011) from Founders Brewing Company out of Grand Rapids, Michigan. This is one of Founders' most well-known beers and probably their most sought out special annual release that is bottled. I have not been a fan of the 2012 or 2013 vintages, so I thought I would dig into my cellar to revisit the last year I recall enjoying this brew. I originally reviewed this vintage of KBS back in January 2012.

Score: 96

March 2011 vintage bottle served in a Founders' snifter and enjoyed on 07/07/13. Review is from iPhone notes.

Appearance: Pours a jet black color with minimal head. Poor lacing and retention. 3.75/5

Smell: Stale coffee, vanilla, oak, and lots of chocolate. A little "old stout" smell and cocoa too. Still smells nice, but not nearly as sublime as when it was fresh. 4.25/5

Taste: One of the reasons this beer is so great is that it used to be so balanced (the last couple of years have been overly acidic/bitter in my opinion). The bitter chocolate and coffee in this vintage counters the sweet barrel and sweet chocolate notes. This bottle has become drier and more bitter with age, but it is not acidic or acrid. Despite being one of the post-vanilla vintages and two years, I still detect ample vanilla notes from the bourbon without the oak or brown sugar -- a lovely quality I think is quite lacking in the recent two years. Dark chocolate is also present, and there is less coffee than nose. Has an "old roastiness" quality to the flavor that I love. The vanilla present is mostly upfront, with the drier/bitter favors prevalent on the finish. The complexity of this brew really shines as it flows from the front of the tongue to the back, and it opens up nicely as it warms. 4.75/5

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, minimal carbonation. The mouthfeel has lost a little of the smoothness as it has dried out with age. The finish no longer leans sweet, and is arguably more balanced from the bitterness that has grown a bit in the flavor profile with age. I originally claimed it was a better beer than fresh Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout, but I think it's a slight notch below how the 2011 vintage is currently drinking. 4.75/5

Overall: As was the case with 2008 KBS, 2011 KBS is not quite the same beast that it was fresh (it was near perfect then), but I think that it is still drinking quite nicely with age and better than the fresher vintages. The coffee has faded a little and the brew has dried out some, but that has lent it a slightly better balance. I was surprised by how much vanilla I detected in this bottle considering that it is a post-vanilla vintage. Give me properly cellared KBS over the newer releases any day; hopefully Founders gets KBS back on track in 2014.

Cost: $5 for a 12 oz bottle.


Reviewing the infamous KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company. This beer was offered as part of a special bourbon themed beer tapping at the Brickhouse BBQ in Madison -- one of my favorite restaurants in the area. Due to a misunderstanding, a friend attending the event and GREAT customer service on the part of Brickhouse, I was able to enjoy a glass of KBS with my meal!
Score: 98

10 oz pour served in a globe glass from a 2011 vintage keg tapped at the Brickhouse BBQ on 01/21/12.

Appearance: The body is a completely opaque, jet black color -- almost looks like used motor oil. Served with no head save for a thin dark tan ring around the glass. Leaves an oily film of lacing along the side of the glass. 4.5/5

Smell: Dark chocolate, light vanilla, burnt sugar and smooth bourbon. Some tobacco and dark fruit. A very rich, slightly sweet aroma. 5/5

Taste: Dark, chewy chocolate and sweet raisins/fig upfront with a smooth bourbon and vanilla backbone throughout. There is no real alcohol bite to the bourbon. Some brown sugar and marshmallow on the midpalate. Increasing levels of bourbon marinated dark fruit flavors. Leathery tobacco. Lightly oaky/woody flavors mixed in there too. Finish is sweet bourbon soaked raisins and oaky chocolate. The raisin/bourbon flavors of the finish really linger. 5/5

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, minimal carbonation. Mouthfeel is silky smooth. Finish is a little sweet, but not nearly as "sweet" as Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout. 5/5

Overall: A ridiculously flavorful, balanced stout. Definitely a sipper, but this is not a beer you'd want to chug anyways. KBS is loaded with sweet robust stout flavors with all the deliciousness of bourbon without the alcohol bite. If not for Bourbon County Brand Stout, KBS would be my favorite barrel aged beer. This is a brew to seek out.

Recommendation: A must-seek out brew for everyone who can stomach any degree of bourbon flavors. I was not a fan of bourbon flavors in beer until recently, and even back in the day I enjoyed this beer.

Pairings: Duck legs or roasted duck.

Cost: $19.99 for a four pack.

Photo of JReites
4.5/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of StoutItOutLoud
4.4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013 vintage. 12-oz bottle to tulip. This is my second dance with this bad boy, the first being a few days after the brewery's release at the end of March. (Initial "had" rating was 4.25.) Consumed with a light dinner of grilled chicken, grilled zucchini, and salad on the 4th of July, over the course of an hour, to assess any development in the beer's aroma and taste. I did not sense much change throughout the session.

Initial, soft pour of a few ounces shows that this is a viscous, dark brown brew, with slow bubbling on a surface as quiet as a swamp. The full pour shows it is opaque black with 1-finger mocha brown head. The head dissipates to a lingering 1/2-finger size. The alcohol legs are decent, but this beer does not coat the glass for long.

Oak and vanilla, giving way to rich dark chocolate syrup and molasses. The alcohol does not overpower. It is faint. Interestingly, I did not sense much coffee, either in the aroma or taste, throughout the session (though there is a roast bitterness taste as the glass warms).

Dark chocolate gives way quickly to bourbon at first, with molasses and prune developing later in the session. As with an actual piece of dark chocolate, the inherent bitterness overtakes the sweetness as the glass warms, but vanilla begins to show its head in the last few drops as well.

The mouthfeel is oily and thick, with little to no carbonation. The beer lingers in the back of the palate, but this is not a lipsmacker.

Overall, there are better-tasting bourbon-barrel-aged stouts out there, in particular the ridiculously smooth Black Note and Baudoinia.

The uptick in my score accounts for the phenomenal aroma.

Photo of mcrago
5/5  rDev +8.2%

Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 9,345 ratings.