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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) - Founders Brewing Company

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

8,431 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,431
Reviews: 2,505
rAvg: 4.63
pDev: 8.86%
Wants: 3,254
Gots: 3,072 | FT: 219
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:
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 added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-13-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 8,431 | Reviews: 2,505 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of theembalmer


5/5  rDev +8%

I recently had the pleasure of drinking this fine beer. It has one of the most complex flavor profile's I've tried. It is a very strong coffee smell and taste along with some nice caramel notes. I'm reminded of Kahlua and cream. I loved this beer and yet again am proud that I live in MI with so many fine breweries.

09-14-2010 23:54:28 | More by theembalmer
Photo of Brabander


3.78/5  rDev -18.4%

This review is for Liam, the newborn son of Kevin (Schmaltzy). A new BA is born!!

Got this bottle from jeff2486 when we saw each other in Brussels. I brought him a sixpack with westies and he gave me two bottles of the best USA beers.

I poured this one in my struise glass. Pitch black fluid with almost no head. You have to pour the beer with some force into the glass to get some.

There is no carbonation visible. The smell is very strong with burned coffee and dark chocolate. You can also smell the barrels this beer was in.

For me the taste is too strong, i like the fresh American beers better.

Thanks Jeff for giving me the chance to try this one!

09-13-2010 20:43:59 | More by Brabander
Photo of Luk13

Quebec (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev -24.4%

Bottle. Pitch black pour, almost no head. Aroma is really strong I could already smell the coffee while it was pouring. Strong coffee notes, bourbon, booze and tobacco. Taste is a potent mix of espresso coffee and bourbon. Palate is actually dissapointingly thin with huge bourbon/alcohol burn on the end. Good, but still, generally dissapointing. Very hard to drink.

09-12-2010 22:06:19 | More by Luk13
Photo of TKEbeerman


4.78/5  rDev +3.2%

Poured into my SN XXX glass, this brew pours a black body with a chocolate 1 inch head. Not the darkest stout out there, not the most impressive looking, but note worthy none the less.

S: The nose is by far the best I've ever smelled on a stout. Pure mouth watering Bourbon backed with espresso bean, vanilla bean, and a slight cocoa bean.

T: The flavor profile is dominated by Bourbon. A healthy amount of time was spent in those barrels. Espresso is tame compared to FBS. Notes of chocolate want to poke trough, which I'm sure will with a little age. A little vanilla is present to smooth is all out.

MF: The mouthfeel is light for such a big stout. I expect this is due to the Bourbon. Would have liked a tad bit more carbonation also.

D: Drinkability is above average. Even mild Bourbon lovers will get a kick out of this brew.

Over all Founders KBS is an almost perfect stout. Compared to the big boys of the top 100, KBS IMO stands out as the reigning champ. This brew would make good ol' Jim Beam proud.

09-12-2010 16:53:25 | More by TKEbeerman
Photo of fear025


4.7/5  rDev +1.5%

This is the 2010 release.

Aroma:Bourbon, dark chocolate, dark chocolate malt, cocoa powder, and marshmallows.

Appearance:The head is a mocha or cappuccino color, great viscosity, great lacing. The beer is black and opaque.

Taste:The flavors on the foreaste are charcoal, roasted malts, chocolate, dark chocolate, burnt toast, bourbon, and vanilla. On the midtaste, I get raisins or figs. The aftertaste is the same as the midtaste, but slowly fades away.

Mouthfeel:Medium to heavy body, really really smooth. Subtle carbonation that is trying really hard to get thru the thick liquid.

Drinkability:This beer is amazingly balanced, and very complex, founders did an great job this year. Delicious.

09-11-2010 22:22:32 | More by fear025
Photo of Gobzilla


4.45/5  rDev -3.9%

Thanx to nopucophop for sending one of these my way

A: poured a black like motor oil with absolutely no head present and honestly no lacing either sticking to the glass.

S: yup.... there is plenty of bourbon to go around with brown sugar, oak notes, slight, spice and toffee notes. I did get a little chocolate and roastiness but for the most part the bourbon dominated the nose.

T: like the nose the bourbon takes over the palate but does give a little room for the brown sugar, oak, vanilla, and chocolate, to take a peak. it also seemed to have coffee on the tail end of a sip but had cocoa coming through as well and slight hop character as well.

M: the brew was full body with a very low amount of carbonation which was sweet, silky, slight chewy, bitter, and boozy finish.

D: it drank pretty damn good considering the ABV on the beer and was really living up to all the hype. I have to say that it is a beefed up regular breakfast stout and is a brew you definitely have to share with friends.

09-11-2010 10:43:26 | More by Gobzilla
Photo of bronco94


4.33/5  rDev -6.5%

Poured strongly into a pint glass

A - pitch black with minimal dark khaki head, not too much lacing. Great color and thickness, but i would have liked to see more head

S - amazing...woody bourbon, hints of dark chocolate and coffee, dark roasted malts

T - very similar to the smell, only intensified. bourbon, coffee, chocolate, slight hint of vanilla, mild alcohol taste

M - thick, smooth and viscous, mild carbonation, feels like every inch of your mouth is being coated by the liquid

D - a very drinkable double/imperial stout. The alcohol presence is there, but balanced well. The beer is thick and heavy, but for the style it is pretty easily drinkable.

Overall, great beer...I can't wait to try this again and hopefully buy more of it next time.

09-10-2010 19:34:29 | More by bronco94
Photo of Bonis


4.05/5  rDev -12.5%

A - Pours pitch black with a half finger of tan head. Decent retention and lacing.

S - Sweet, sweet bourbon. I get mostly bourbon, maybe a little bit of coffee, but the bourbon overpowers the nose, which isn't entirely bad.

T - A smack in the face with bourbon, followed by a smooth and creamy dark chocolate espresso that lingers until the next drink. The aftertaste is amazing, but the bourbon is just a little too much for me. This one is very warming after just a few sips.

M - Thick and creamy. Bourbon coats the mouth.

D - Only good to have one in a night. I guess if it were readily available, I might drink more. I like some barrel aged beers, but this one wasn't quite my thing. I've had CBS before and it was much better. I think this one is a little hyped for me.

09-09-2010 23:41:33 | More by Bonis
Photo of BMan1113VR


4.05/5  rDev -12.5%

Pours like ink. Black body with a small and quickly leaving brown head. Alcohol legs and good lacing. Aroma of black coffee, chocolate, dirt, minerally, and light bourbon. Taste is bourbon, chocolate, and dark coffee. Syrupy mouthfeel, little lively bubbles and a long finish. Good beer, but does not live up to the hype for me.

09-09-2010 21:49:44 | More by BMan1113VR
Photo of bwiechmann


4.6/5  rDev -0.6%

12 oz. bottle poured into an over-sized snifter.

A- Black as black can be with a small, dark-mocha head. Medium lacing. An imposing-looking brew.

S- Bourbon, dark roasted coffee, vanilla, and roasted malts. Very complex.

T- Wow. Doesn't get much better than this. Intensely complex with primary flavors being roasted malt, bourbon, vanilla, leather, coffee, and very dark chocolate. Just enough booze to hint at its strength.

M- Low carbonation and very smooth and silky. It actually pleasures my mouth.

D- A touch of heat from the alcohol prevents an exceptional drinkability rating but for the style and strength it is very good.

I love KBS. There is no way around it. I consider it worth double the money I paid for it and would recommend this brew to anyone and their mother. World Class indeed!

09-08-2010 16:08:28 | More by bwiechmann
Photo of mdwalsh


3.83/5  rDev -17.3%

Aged about 6 months.

A: Pitch black with a thin (1/3 inch?) brown/tan head. This looks dense and sticky. Nice thick lacing and i can catch some hints of active carbonation. Really though, the head is too small.

S: Super cofee. Very much the dominant smell here. Maybe some nice graininess. But for me, this is too much coffee.

T: STILL pretty coffee, but not as much as I expected based on the aroma. It lacks the roasted graininess that I would like to see in a stout, but makes up for it in general robustness. There's a hint of vanilla in the finish, but none of the sweeter, dark fruit flavors that are often in a stout. I don't get any chocolate.

M: Smooth, supple and with good carbonation. Feels like a stout. It is sticky though!

09-07-2010 21:10:53 | More by mdwalsh
Photo of domtronzero


4.13/5  rDev -10.8%

A - Slightly murky, very dark brown with a small, tan, long-lasting head.

S - Coffee, dark bitter chocolate, dark roasted malts, caramel, vanilla, oak, alcohol.

F/M - Coffee, chocolate, roasty, oak, vanilla, caramel, alcohol. Moderate-high bitterness accentuated by the roasty malts. Thick, oily, full bodied with medium-low carbonation.

D - Slightly too alcoholic to have much more than one bottle; however, it is very enjoyable.

09-07-2010 04:24:46 | More by domtronzero
Photo of phillybeer7779


4.93/5  rDev +6.5%

2010 release, poured into a glass.
Appearance- Jet black with very little head or lacing.
Smell- Complex, smells of bourbon and coffee.
Taste- Bourbon is apparent on first sip, with coffee and dark chocolate also present. Alcohol is in the flavor as well.
Mouthfeel- Minor alcohol burn while drinking with right amount of carbonation for the style.
Overall, one of the best beers in the style, deserving of all the praise that it gets.

09-06-2010 04:12:55 | More by phillybeer7779
Photo of siradmiralnelson


4.65/5  rDev +0.4%

Poured from 12oz bottle into Tulip.

A. Poured maybe a 1/2 finger head. Color is jet black. No lacing. Head disappeared very fast.

S. Coffee, oak, vanilla, alochol, bourbony smell. Somewhat hot smell, but it works.

T. Taste is delicous. Coffee, oak, vanilla, bourbon. Extremely smooth for 11%. Feels very refined. Complex beer with a lot of flavors going on, but very well balanced. This is what I think defines an excellent beer.

M. Thick full bodied. Mouthfeel is perfect. Low carbonation.

D. This is an exceptional stout. It is so smooth and well balanced. It drinks like a beer of 5% abv. Founders puts out some excellent beers, and this one is top of the list imho. Delicous!

09-04-2010 01:39:02 | More by siradmiralnelson
Photo of Gfunk720


4.33/5  rDev -6.5%

I've had this beer dozens of times, but this is my first review. 2010 Vintage, served in my Long Trail Brewmaster Series glass.

A- Pretty much pure black, has a coffee colored head. The head is pretty decent for the style, but fades very quickly.

S- Smells intense. Bourbon mostly, with hints of coffee, chocolate, vanilla, and maltiness. There is a sweet and caramelly smell that comes through as well.

T- The heat from the bourbon hits first, but fades to notes of coffee, chocolate, and vanilla. Aftertaste is chocolate and bourbon. A very nice combination of flavors that keeps me coming back for more.

M- The beer is very well balanced. It has a pronounced bourbon flavor, with out being too overboard. It could use a little more time to mellow out, as the 07/08 KBS I've had are much smoother.

D- This is probably one of my favorite styles of beer, so I always want more KBS. The beer is very drinkable, and is less viscous that some similar beers. If it wasn't so strong, I could easily drink a couple bottles.

Definetely a classic, and always a welcome bottle in my cellar. I will update this review with the review of an 08 and 09 soon.

08-31-2010 01:49:46 | More by Gfunk720
Photo of Gosox8787

New Hampshire

4.63/5  rDev 0%

Presentation: 2010 vintage 12 oz bottle poured into my Smuttynose snifter. Bottled on date of 2/8/10.

Appearance: Absolutely pitch black color. Pours with a slight one finger dark brown head. Below average retention. The head sticks nicely to the glass throughout this though.

Aroma: Very assertive dark chocolate and cocoa powder hits first. Strong hints of bourbon, vanilla, and espresso here too. Some of the alcohol can be noticed here and provides a little burn.

Taste: Gorgeously smooth upfront with strong dark chocolate and espresso. Subtle vanilla and bourbon do well to smooth out any harshness. Big burst of chocolate and cocoa powder toward the back end. Balaced, complex and truly sublime.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and very creamy. Smooth, but with a slightly dry finish.

Drinkability: This really is a strong beer in both ABV and flavor. While delicious and incredibly complex, I cannot imagine having more than one of these in a sitting. Just too decadent.

Overall, a truly gorgeous beer in many ways. Complex, balanced, and flavorful. Definitely deserving of its place on BA. That being said, it is not my favorite bourbon stout. Still highly recommended.

08-30-2010 03:40:54 | More by Gosox8787
Photo of sellmeagod


4.15/5  rDev -10.4%

This is an insane beer, and one of the few coffee tasting brews that really manages to man up and be a BEER.

Black tarpit look from mystic legends where monsters might dwell in a devious swamp. Right from the pour, you know you're in for a mighty battle.

A million flavors in the nose. Kentucky - woods, bourbon. Breakfast - coffee, sweets. Stout - you get the booze.

Too strong a coffee taste is made up for in the complex other flavors to focus on. Drinks smoothly, easy, ultimate, and will mess with your mind at 11.2 abv and tasting like half that.

A real one.

08-30-2010 01:01:01 | More by sellmeagod
Photo of spaceycasey


3.83/5  rDev -17.3%

Bottle from at the Blind Tiger in Manhattan

A - pitch black with no discernable head.

S - Wow, what a complex aroma. Bourbon, coffee, oatmeal, vanilla, cocoa powder, dark chocolate. I spent a good amount of time just smelling this beer. One of most interesting experiences I've had with the aroma of a beer in my life.

T - The bourbon and coffee were most prominant, almost as if sucking on boubon-soaked coffee beans. Rich malty sweetness but almost astringent roastiness.

M - full bodied and rich, but a slight slickness of the tongue.

D - Sharing with friends would prolong my ability to consume these, but fairly average drinkability for the style.

08-30-2010 00:58:57 | More by spaceycasey
Photo of brewdan


4.8/5  rDev +3.7%

Pours pitch black with a thin tan head.

Smells like awesome dark roast coffee and chocolate with a hint of vanilla.

Tastes like it smells; rich roasted dark coffee with a splash of bitter dark chocolate and a hint of bourbon and vanilla. Amazing.

Mouhfeel is creamy and smooth.

Dangerously drinkable although more than one or two would be a problem due to ABV.

I think the thing that sets KBS apart is that the bourbon and barrel aging don't overwhelm the beer. There are plenty of dark roast coffee and bitter dark chocolate notes to go along with the bourbon and vanilla from the barrels.

Exceptional brew that makes me glad that I live in MI.

08-29-2010 23:42:24 | More by brewdan
Photo of Snow81


4.95/5  rDev +6.9%

Appearance: Black as night, no light penetrates this beer

Head: Thick dark frosty brown head

Smell: Burnt roosted malts with big vanilla and sweet oak, hints of toffee and a subtle heat

Taste: Big smooth bourbon with dark burnt malts and a small amount of heat on the back of the palate, hints of a coco bean and or the after taste of sucking on an espresso bean

Weight: Wow nice heavy thick body with low carbonation

Finish: Great glass of bourbon, thicker, richer, and I won't say cheaper but yum how sticky it is on the lips

08-29-2010 05:32:32 | More by Snow81
Photo of dtivp


4.73/5  rDev +2.2%

Pours a pitch black very thick with a small dark brown head which recedes into a lasting ring with nice lacing.
Aroma of bourbon, roasted coffee and malt.
Taste followed the nose with roasted coffee, bourbon and vanilla.
Medium body, creamy and smooth with light carbonation. The alcohol gives a nice warm ending.
This is one of the best stouts that I have had, very worthy of all the high ratings and hype.
I thank my son for the two bottles of KBS he put in my Birthday beer gift.
Great job Founders.

08-29-2010 01:21:53 | More by dtivp
Photo of sk8man121


4.38/5  rDev -5.4%

Bottle obtained in a trade w/ craytonic.

12 oz bottle poured into Unibroue snifter.

Before beginning, this is my first KBS and I want to make clear that the cap popped with almost no sound and poured no head whatsoever. Someone please feel free to BM me and let me know if this is common, as I'm worried perhaps I got a bottle with some issues.

A: Pours jet-black with no head whatsoever, even with a vigorous pour. Filmy mocha lacing sits atop this brew. As I said, this may be an off bottle, but I'm not impressed with how this looks at all.

S: Cocoa powder is strong upfront, as is vanilla, maple syrup, leather and a hint of freshly ground coffee beans. Smells great, although I'd like there to be a bit more bourbon present.

T: Mmmm...as roasty as it gets, and not overly sweet. Vanilla, cocoa and bourbon; the bourbon is a bit strong, but welcomed as far as I'm concerned, as the heat really brings out the more complex flavors in this brew. Outstanding.

M: Carbonation is low, which may be the result of a potentially poor bottle. Nevertheless, it fits the style and works fine. I'm happy to say that this beer isn't syrupy or overly viscous at all.

D: If I had a few more of these, I'd happily session them so long as I had nothing else to do. The high ABV (11.2%) is hidden extremely well; this drinks more like an 8% stout. I may have hyped this a bit too much in my own head, but I'd by lying if I said this wasn't a pleasurable experience.

Looking forward to keeping my eyes peeled for more KBS in the future.

08-28-2010 16:23:39 | More by sk8man121
Photo of Jeffo


4.72/5  rDev +1.9%

This is one of those highly anticipated brews that everyone tries to get their hands on every year. We were lucky to see a few bottles of Founder's regular Breakfast Stout trickle over here, and it quickly became one of my favorite beers of all time. When I saw some KBS included in a couple trades this past winter, my mouth started to water almost immediately. A big thanks goes out to NYCWheatFan and Masterski for giving my 1 year old boy some drooling competition in this house.

From a bottle into a snifter. I think I'll keep this bottle too.
Vintage: 2010

APPEARANCE: Pours out thick black and sits jet black in the glass. Pour yields a small, medium-thick looking mocha colored head with good retention. Head slowly fades to a sparse wisp and ring. Only the ring remains until the end and leaves some nice splotchy lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Roasted malts, with lots of bourbon and vanilla as well. Some nice coffee beans in there as well as hints of cocoa, but the bourbon qualities really shine here.

TASTE: Really good, and much bolder and more balanced than the nose had led on. Roasted and smoky malt, bourbon and vanilla through the middle from the barrels of course, with some bitter coffee and chocolate at the finish. Some boozy heat near the end as well. Bold and lingering aftertaste is full flavored and well balanced. Like their regular Breakfast Stout, the flavor progression here is great; tells a story from start to finish.

PALATE: Medium body and very soft and creamy on the palate. Soft carbonation and somewhat lighter than anticipated. Goes down very smooth and finishes slightly dry on the palate. A bit of heat and a little bite at the end. Nice stuff, but could use a little more weight.

OVERALL: This brew is definitely worth the hype. The nose had me expecting a bit of an overly strong bourbon stout, but the taste profile is extremely well balanced, going through several stages from start to finish. Great stuff. I had to force myself to slow down. Definitely worth standing in line to get some of this every year. Given how much I loved their regular Breakfast Stout, I guess it's no surprise that this one was right up my alley. Thanks again for hooking me up with this world class brew gents!

08-26-2010 14:04:32 | More by Jeffo
Photo of thegodfather2701

North Carolina

4.65/5  rDev +0.4%

From notes taken on March 16, 2010

A-Pitch black with nearly motor oil like consistency. Small mocha colored head dissipates quickly leaving a dense ring of foam.

S-Dark chocolate, espresso, bourbon, vanilla, burnt sugar. One of the most complex, unique, and intense noses I have ever encountered, simply amazing.

T-Bourbon explosion to start. Chocolate fudge, espresso, cream, coconut, and hint of brown sugar. As it warms the espresso stands out alongside the bourbon more and some oak flavors creep in. There is also a slight alcohol presence. Very, very complex to say the least.

M-Thick, rich, creamy, and silky smooth. Almost syrupy.

D-Good, but due to its complexity, its high alcohol content, and especially its strong bourbon flavor cut into the drinkability. I couldn't drink two of these in one sitting. I love this beer, but that would just be too much.

Overall, one of the most unique drinking experiences of my life. I love this beer and recommend it for anyone who is a fan of the style. I will save the other bottles for special occasions.

08-25-2010 16:03:45 | More by thegodfather2701
Photo of ptykozoon


4.4/5  rDev -5%

~Very nice lil extra courtesy of hayesez~

A vigorous pour reveals the typical dark-dark-dark brown & caramel head with underwhelming retention but great lacing.

Woof! Pungent! Getting a lot of milky chocolate goodness, a tiny touch of liquor i.e. bourbon and a tiny bit of coffee. I want to say I smell cherries even though I know they're not in there. In any event there is a sugary/fruity characteristic and complexity. Very much exceptional.

Incredible; this stout, like Parabola is just ace with the chocolate. It tastes rich and milky. The bourbon aging is there to a small extent and allows the chocolate to taste yummily burnt. Complex, sweet and bitter. Think chocolate milk on acid.

Smooth and satisfying mouthfeel, if just a bit too alcoholic/dry for my tastes.

I wish they sold these here. Deserved hype. But these small bottles are definitely enough for me..hiccup...

08-24-2010 03:14:10 | More by ptykozoon
Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 8,431 ratings.