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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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8,997 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,997
Reviews: 2,533
rAvg: 4.62
pDev: 9.09%
Wants: 3,518
Gots: 3,296 | 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:
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: 8,997 | Reviews: 2,533 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kawilliams81
4.5/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a 16 oz. snifter.

A- Pitch black, 1 finger brown head. Very little lacing that resides quickly down the sides of the glass.

S- Maple syrup, coffee, bourbon, a little oak.

T- Coffee and bourbon right away. Sweet maple syrup and vanilla near the end, with bitter dark chocolate at the finish.

M- Full bodied. Slick and oily texture, and the bitterness leaves you with a dry tingly aftertaste.

O- Very good beer. Had this in the spring and for some reason it didn't impress me, but glad I was proven wrong. The barrel aging gives it so much more complexity then the original breakfast stout.

kawilliams81, Jul 23, 2011
Photo of SubpoenaDeuces
4.72/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Founders KBS, Imperial Stout, 11.2% abv

A: Deep oily hues, with very very faint brown at the thinnest edges of the glass. The viscosity on this beer is ridiculously thick and it coats the glass like chocolate robitussin. It pours with a big foamy collar and huge khaki bubbles.

S: Wow. Deep chocolate scents with hints of boozy bourbon notes, cocoa and vanilla bean. The wood is faint and I would appreciate a Pappy Van Winkle version of this but, now we are splitting hairs of what is already an amazing beer.

T: Again, just outrageously good. Being from the west coast it is difficult to admit absolute defeat but the tag team of this masterpiece with Rare BCBS must make me raise the white flag on imperial stouts. It has such a deep taste to it with a ton of complexity to it. This is chocolate robitussin with a heavy yoohoo coating and hot alcoholic balance on the front. The sweet lingers a bit and the smoky and coffee notes go to work and dry out the back sections of your mouth, which would piss you off if you didn't see the interplay of how well it works together. It’s a simple dynamic of, drink, coating, swallow, want more, drink more. Again, this is very drinkable and may crack out of the imperial stout cloistering for warmer climate drinking. Some things are just delicious enough on their own to defy pigeonholing.

M: this is exxon mobil in a glass, perfect for sipping because a little bit goes a long way, you put the glass down for a few moments and joy representatives are still within your gumline cleaning seals and waiting for the smoke and coffee notes to clear. Drink it in the morning and taste it all day. Overall a fantastic stout and the only contender to really put an even challenge up against the abyss and perhaps even defeating it, wish I had more test data to contrast. A couple bottles of this simply is not enough.

D: this is its roughest area as it is so aggressive so filling so hectoring in approach you have a hard time welcoming it for long periods, it kicks your mouth all over the room like a spaghetti western brawl and when the 12oz is done you are cast through swinging double doors and brush the coffee notes off of your chest, but you do want more. You want to slide this KBS across an old tymie piano simply because the fight itself is so enjoyable.

Narrative: Claire Murkmuggins didn’t mind the delta. Shoot, half her family couldn’t tell you the way rightside out of the delta. In fact, she kinda liked its murkiness, the way the cool silt ran through her toes when she was fishing for crawdads. The deep black nights where the bayou water looked like shimmering oil, ignited by the moonlight. I mean sure, she liked all that just fine, but what she really aspired to do, I mean, someday of course, Claire wanted to take over the family Chocolate Milk dairy. She grew tired of harvesting coffee beans all day with all the youngins, she had that dark capitalism spirit and she wanted in on that chocolate empire. Sometimes at night she’d sneak into the old cocoa refined and push her slender arm deep into the 70% dark chocolate and feel a secret power in its stickiness. She was refined but poised, in control, but sprightly. One day, she too would revolutionize the stodgy old chocolate milk world.

SubpoenaDeuces, Jul 22, 2011
Photo of caSSino
4.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2011 bottle poured into a Captian Lawrence tasting glass.

A: Dark, dark brown almost black with a tan one finger head that fades to a thin cap. Light lacing on the glass through out.

S: Roasty sweet malt, chocolate, and bourbon.

T: Light roast coffee, with a sweet chocolate, bourbon and vanilla come through as the beer warms, finishes with a lighr bitter char.

M: Great slick, oily, thick, chewey, mouthfeel with good carbonation.

O: A great beer that I have been happy to try on many occasions and one that I would never turn down

caSSino, Jul 22, 2011
Photo of Labonix
4.03/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Has a sweet chocolate/vanilla aroma. This beer pours a deep black with a small amount of head. It has a nice amount of lacing around the glass. I can definitly taste the chocolate and vanilla in this beer with a slight amount of bourbon at the end. This beer has a nice amount of thickness to it, but not too thick. Overall this is a very enjoyable beer. It would even be better with a good cigar.

Labonix, Jul 21, 2011
Photo of Kayn169
4.3/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a tulip
Vintage: 2011

A- Pure black, no light coming through at all. Very nice carbonation for a stout. Tops off with just over a finger of mocha colored head. Head is a medium density, that sticks around for quite a long time. Although after about 15 min the carbonation subsides substantially.

S- Upfront there's bourbon, old coffee grounds, and a good dose of oak that seems to weave through the other aromas. Behind this there is an undertone of very bitter chocolate, something almost metallic, and a slight alcohol burn

T- Just like the nose, taste is full of coffee grounds, bourbon, that seems to increase was it warms, oak, and a vanilla that I didnt get in the nose. Although I may have misidentified the odd slightly metallic smell, and could have been the vanilla, mixing with the bourbon. Bitter chocolate finishes as it passes the back of the tongue.

M- Suprisinly light and well carbonated for such a big stout. This cuts the thickness and stickiness of the sugars, from clinging on the tongue. Very nice

O- Very good, glad the bourbon is an accent to the beer versus a completely dominating attribute. Also glad for just a hint of vanilla, I'm always scared when vanilla is used as a descriptive flavoring, as it is usually used in excess. Over all a solid A

Kayn169, Jul 20, 2011
Photo of infi
4.4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 02/11 – originally had during Thanksgiving, but now reviewed with a proper sized pour!

Poured into a Corsendonk tulip.

Black body with very little carbonation. Very thin, mocha-colored head that reduces into a cap and leaves mini bits of speckled lacing. Smell is full of dark-roasted coffee and dark, bittersweet chocolate pieces. Great barrel-aged qualities, with the oak, vanilla and bourbon– all leaving aromatic identities. The bourbon presents a thin amount of heat towards the end.

Taste is actually filled with coffee-like roastiness, but also massive amounts of oaky tannins, vanilla and caramel. Great amount of bittersweet chocolate on the end, which leaves a subtle astringency in the finish. The bourbon leaves a thin burn at the end too, but not as hot as I originally remembered. Complexity arises further as you let warm. Very, very comparable to Parabola in taste with its flavor qualities.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied– not as big and thick as other bbl-aged ones. Just about silky with little to no carbonation in feel. Amazing tasting beer, even for how fresh it might be (~5mo old). Not as great as CBS, but definitely has the clout. Drink one now or age further – you won't be disappointed.

#3 of 9.

infi, Jul 18, 2011
Photo of ajsdad06
4.5/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle.

Pours black with a small (half finger at best) light brown head that disappears instantaneously.

The aroma met me half way: strong coffee, chocolate, and smoky wood.

I couldn’t wait for the first taste. It did not disappoint. The coffee/espresso, roasted malt, and chocolate dominate however they are not alone. The bourbon and alcohol flavors are present along with more subtle vanilla and dark fruit flavors.

Full bodied which leaves a fairly strong coffee taste in the mouth. I have not been able to drink beer for a week due to a surgery and I’m glad I made this one my first.

ajsdad06, Jul 18, 2011
Photo of chugalug06
3.98/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Slight *PST* released when opened... Small carbonation. A 1/2 finger head build when aggressively poured. Kind of disappointing head... Head is tan, brew is black. Brew swirls nice vanilla-chocolate. When swirled, head builds to a mild level.

S - Smooth! Very nice milk chocolate. Lots of deep wood scents, vanilla. A very light scent indeed, not over powering, or even close to... Slight brun.

T - Great smooth and balanced flavor. Nothing is overwhelming about this brew. Lots of over-whelming coffee flavors... Great milk chocolate flavor, just like Hershey's. Lots of deep vanilla radiating from this brew.

M - Very chewy. Awesome (super light) carbonation. Mild burn from the heat, time could do this brew wonders. A little bit more bitter than I typically enjoy.

O - Time would do this brew *wonders*... I can't wait to try my other in a few years... The coffee flavor need to mellow significantly. Right now, I'm significantly underwhelmed by this brew. Thanks for sharing djeucalyptus!

chugalug06, Jul 16, 2011
Photo of Janderson91
4.55/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Finally, the elusive KBS. Thanks to McNuts for sending me this particular bottle and aaronwhit for hooking me up with some more! This one was bottled on 02/25/11 at 2:43pm. Enjoyed on 07/14/11.

A - Poured into a Stone goblet. Absolutely pitch black, can't see any red around the edges at all. A very small tan head forms and recedes quickly. Leaves no lacing, has really good alcohol legs. Good looking high alcohol stout.

S - Lots of bourbon still present at this beer's young age. Behind the oaky vanilla of the bourbon is some light espresso and some dark chocolate. I know there's no lactose sugar in here but it smells as if there is.

T - What an excellent beer. Big milk chocolate and bourbon oak up front. Then comes a bitter dark chocolate and espresso onslaught balanced by the vanilla from the barrel. A lingering chocolatey sweetness and some vanilla is offset by a pretty hefty alcohol burn. There's so much going on here, the vanilla, chocolate, and coffee work together so well.

M - Mouthfeel is perfect for an imperial stout. Very thick and creamy with just a hint of carbonation.

O - Overall, this is one of my favorite beers to date. Lots of alcohol burn at the moment but it works well. One of the most complex beers I've had.

Janderson91, Jul 14, 2011
Photo of Tree43088
4.68/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Got a bottle from Kappy's in medford.

Pours black with little head that is coffee colored

Smells strongly of coffee and chocolate notes, with a hint of the oak barrels in the background

Tastes just like it smells but the flavors are blended so smoothly. I've tried other bourbon stouts and this one takes the cake. The coffee and chocolate are mixed beautifully. It starts sweet and finishes slightly bitter with hints of bourbon.

The mouth is velvety smooth and full bodied. While the carbonation is week it doesn't take away from the well balanced thickness

Overall the beer is fantastic. By far the best bourbon stout I've tried and so happy I got my hands on a bottle. I'm going back on Friday to see if I can get another.

Tree43088, Jul 13, 2011
Photo of iflah45
4.68/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Kappys in Medford for hooking me up with this bottle.

Pours jet black with a creamy copper head.

Hints of oak and vanilla with a slight toasty bourbon smell. Stong coffee tones

The taste is amazing, coffee upfront with some sweet bourbon and vanilla. Also some strong chocolate and roastiness.

The mouthfeel is good but I feel it was a little under carbonated. Very thick and creamy with a little warming from the alcohol.

Overall an absolutely incredible beer. So glad I got to try it!

iflah45, Jul 12, 2011
Photo of mikul93
4.72/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A Black, hard pour with little head that dissipated quickly.

S Coffee, vanilla, bourbon and some chocolate. Coffee is the most pronounced and then the bourbon.

T Lot's going on here. Roasted Coffee, chocolate, vanilla, bourbon. Almost tastes like there's maple in it, but I don't think it's an ingredient.

M Thick but smooth.

O This is a great great beer. The more it warmed up, the more I enjoyed it. It's crazy good.

mikul93, Jul 10, 2011
Photo of Klym
4.83/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a syrupy black with a small tanned head. Dark and deep like a good BA stout should be.

S: Espresso, bourbon, spice, and chocolate-- everything dark and rich.

T: Pretty much the same as the nose. Your classic bourbon barrel aged stout flavors, all exceptionally deep and rich. The most amazing thing about this beer is that while it deals with such dark flavors and has a classically thick mouthfeel, it's amazingly sessionable. This is the only BA stout I've ever encountered that I could imagine knocking back four or 5 glasses of. Everything is so incredibly well blended together, you can't get more blend and balance than this.

M: Really balanced mouthfeel, thick but thin enough and smooth. Unlike some BA stouts it doesn't make you feel like you're drinking delicious mud. Again, I don't think you can get more balance than this.

O: KBS is worthy of its worship, I think that can't be denied. If you're talking about classic flavors of bourbon spiciness, chocolate, coffee, and a little roast, I don't think you can put those flavors together any better than it's done in KBS or deliver them in a better mouthfeel. I will say though that if you're looking for not just a perfectly executed version of a classic bourbon barrel aged stout and instead are looking to be surprised with new and bold flavors, that KBS might disappoint you. Besides the balance, blend, and excellent execution, I'd argue there's little here that's very original or new to an experienced stout drinker. Anyway, my hat goes off to founders for this one. Great beer.

Klym, Jul 09, 2011
Photo of lisomiso
4.13/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks kdiggidy!

Pours like motor oil. We smell a little bit of acidity, a lot of bourbon, and some milk chocolate, sadly only the slightest suggestion of coffee and only after I taste it. It's hot, too much bourbon and oak for my palate. Walows disagrees that it's excessive, but he concedes those flavors are dominant, particularly oak tannins...

As the beer warms the chocolate comes out more, as does the coffee, but its a bit of a struggle as the heat also becomes more expressive. It rounds out nicely... but it's still kind of aggressive. Enigmatic!

11.2% jesus christ, it's pretty restrained considering the ABV, but Walows thinks it needs some time (he says eight months) and I'm considering not even drinking my 2nd bottle, since someone else will love it much more than I do... I MUCH prefer FBS. It's just better! (to me)

lisomiso, Jul 09, 2011
Photo of micmillon18
4.35/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got 4 pack in a trade from hotpipes29 and thanks much to him. Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. From the cellar, I chilled it for about 20 minutes. Sadly no born on date though I know its this year's batch. The legendary KBS...will she live up to the hype?

A - Pours a motor oil black with a small, sticky copper head. Minimal lacing.

S - Prevalent scents of bourbon and vanilla. Hints of expresso find their way in. Incredibly balanced aromas.

T - There are so many layers to this beer, each so definable. It starts with a bitter chocolate and vanilla flavor. Coffee/ expresso flavors follow which are perhaps the most profound characteristics of this beer. It finishes with a slightly hot bourbon note and a lingering coffee taste. Chocolate and hot alcohol strengthens as the beer warms. Founders has found a near perfect balance between these three tiers.

M - Full bodied and incredibly smooth. Semi dry finish.

O - Outstanding barrel aged stout, perhaps the best of its kind. It's certainly a sipper and one to enjoy over the course of an hour, perhaps more. However, with that said, the booze might be slightly too hot at times, especially as it warms. Luckily, I have the good fortune of possessing a four pack. I'm looking forward to testing this one in stages. See you again in a few months KBS...

micmillon18, Jul 08, 2011
Photo of thomcatr3t
4.28/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2011 KBS poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a snifter. Posted from notes taken on May 16, 2011.

A: Deep deep black, khaki head that did not stick around. It seems to suck in the light from the room.

S: Wonderful. The coffee is much more pronounced than I remember. Some chocolate and bourbon but the coffee steals the show.

T: Very deep. Each sip produces a different quality to the beer. Coffee, chocolate, and bourbon all blended wonderfully together. Not too hot on the finish, but it's still a sipper.

M: Sticks in the mouth, but I would still call it medium. I could live with it being even a little thicker.

O: A wonderful beer. I have to restrain myself from flying through a 4 pack. The only thing I could request more of from this stout is a little more bourbon.

thomcatr3t, Jul 07, 2011
Photo of dboon
4.22/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured black as a steer’s tuchus on a moonless night. The smell of bourbon and coffee permeated the old nostrils. When first sipped the bourbon dominated the show, but as she warmed up a bit the coffee, roasted malt, and chocolate slowly oozed into the fracas. Personally I find KBS and Nemesis a little too heavy on the bourbon. Perhaps a coon skin cap and a musket would improve my demeanor...

dboon, Jul 07, 2011
Photo of colt45n
3/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pretty much what you'd expect. Motor Oil Black with a pretty thin mocha colored head. Lacing is beautiful.

S - There is so much going on. Vanilla, Oak, Tobacco, Chocolate and Bitter Coffee all at once. Although theyre all in there, theyre extremely hard to distinguish because theyre all blended so well due to the aging. Simply amazing.

T - The bitterness of coffee and dark dark chocolate come up front with the vanilla, bourbon and smokiness follows it. This is truly remarkable for an 11 percent beer, but the alcohol is not there at all. Not as much chocolate as I would have thought from the smell.

M - Smooth as can be. The fact that this is 11 percent is shocking, and the carbonation helps to cleanse the palate for the bourbon aftertaste.

colt45n, Jul 06, 2011
Photo of Spider889
4.55/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Review of the 2011 batch, fresh the week it was released. Taken from notes.

This is a thick black beer. Quite dense and viscous looking. The head took a little coaxing, but was very dark like toffee or coffee ice cream. The lacing on my snifter was very thick and heavy.

Smells super roasty, almost grainy at times. Chocolate and the aroma of heavy pumpkin bread waft forth. Faint dried coffee beans are there too, though the coffee isn't as potent as I remembered (or would prefer). Once the head had receded I was getting much more bourbony alcohol with notes of vanilla and oak.

The flavor is roast up front, followed by bourbon. Coffee comes through too, but again, it seems overpowered by everything else going on in this beer. Lots of alcohol warmth to fresh KBS. This year's seems much boozier than last year's was for me.

Between the bourbon, coffee, and strong roast there is also a lot of really nice chocolate flavor too. Rich cocoa powder and coffee char both linger after each sip.

The bottle claims 70 IBU's... really? You'd never know it. This beer is smooth, smooth, smooth.

As the beer continues to warm the vanilla rises and becomes very potent. Swirling the glass reveals an even stronger whiskey profile - sweet candied dates and Fig Newtons play off of the chocolate.

As for the mouthfeel - this stuff is super smooth despite the alcohol. I really need to try this beer aged, but I don't think I can save my last bottle long enough to notice much of a change. If you have some vintage KBS feel free to send some my way on our next trade!

KBS is not quite as thick on the feel as it appears, though it certainly still holds a bit of chewiness nonetheless. Overall KBS is KBS. It will always be amazing. However, I must say that be it the freshness over the 6-7 month old keg I reviewed from last year, or simply the 2011 batch, the bourbon is really hot here vs my last sampling. Also, this year I have been especially floored by the really rich chocolate and vanilla flavors.

Spider889, Jul 03, 2011
Photo of rwmiscik
4.4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Everything about this beer is amazing. When its fresh it is delicious and has amazing coffee, chocolate, and bourbon all balanced against he oak. When its aged it gets even better and id say it peaks when its around two to three years old because the slight alcohol taste when its fresh completely goes away and the beer becomes even more balanced and delicious than it already is.

rwmiscik, Jul 02, 2011
Photo of zrab11
4.58/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had the 10 and 11 on tap at KBS release this year(2011) ill review this as the 2010

A- Poured a deep dark brown with a nice 1 finger thick tan head and has nice lacing

S- Has a nice potent kick of bourbon up from then i also get some coffee notes and maybe some vanilla as well

T- Wow the bourbon is he first thing you taste then comes the coffee followed by a nice roasted chocolate flavor and ends with alittle bite of bourbon

M-Full bodied with nice carbonation

O-Overall the 10 was awesome. It had a wonderful bourbon flavor that was strong but not over powering. The 11 had too much of a coffee taste. i think give it one year and the bourbon will come out just as it did in the 10. Overall this a brew i will buy a case of EVERY year.

zrab11, Jul 02, 2011
Photo of wiscokid920
4.9/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Served on Tap at the Bodega in La Crosse, WI

A: Deep, dark brown with a slow forming dark golden tan finger thick head that left a dark tan ring around the glass

S: Coffee bean up front than bourbon aggressively dominates the nostrils. Small traces of vanilla bean and dark chocolate as well

T: Absolutely fantastic. Starts off as a delicious dark chocolate and the coffee bean and finishes off with the powerful bourbon that lingers on the palate. Finishes dry and smooth

M: Full bodied with perfect amount of carbonation. Feels as if nearly evaporates off the tongue.

D: Absolutely outstanding! Definitely deserving of a world class title. Once again you didn't disappoint Founders!

wiscokid920, Jul 02, 2011
Photo of Allpe45
4.83/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 edition
12oz bottle poured in two snifters

Appears pitch black with a short light brown head that quickly shrinks to swirls atop the blackness. Leaves thin streaks of lacing all over the glass.

At first it smelled like primarily like fresh coffee beans with roast malt, hints of chocolate and vanilla. When agitated, earthy hops were noticeable for a short moment but then it was all bourbon. I couldn't smell anything but bourbon until it settled down.

Taste is incredibly balanced. Roast malt and vanilla up front with coffee beans. Coffee bitterness carries through to the middle with chocolate and molasses. The finish brings sweet chocolate and bourbon, with a pleasantly faint alcohol warmth, followed by coffee bitterness. Just as it was with the smell, the alcohol and bourbon become more prevalent when this beer is disturbed.

Full bodied, low carbonation. Smooth texture. Leaves a sticky coating.

Very balanced for what it is, but must be enjoyed slowly. I am not disappointed.

Allpe45, Jun 30, 2011
Photo of azdback
4.88/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a large tulip glass. Color is as light sucking as possible. Black on black. The only light is the reflection off of the glass. As expected there isn't much carbonation and not much of a head either. What head does show up is dark brown and quite creamy. Lace is trying it's best with the %11.2 abv. it doesn't stand a chance of hanging out.

Smell is fantastic!!! Dark roasted aromas of coffee bean and vanilla. Maybe even chocolate coated coffee beans dipped in vanilla. The vanilla flavor is obviously coming from the bourbon barrels but this isn't that bourbony, maybe it is the absents of the alcohol smell.

Taste is out of this world. Everything that you want in a barrel aged beer is here and doesn't take any searching to find. The dark roasted coffee's and chocolates, the vanilla bean, the pipe tobacco smoke, the boozy bourbon undertones, and the dried fruit tartness, all blend together in a beautiful symphony of palate pleasing awesomeness. Wow!!! I drank this too fast, but I couldn't stop myself. I still have to review the mouthfeel with my last few swallows. Guess I blew my load too quickly... again.

Mouthfeel is rich and smooth, and soft as Italian leather. There aren't a whole lot of Imperial Stouts that can match this one. There is some nice warming of the throat from the alcohol. Maybe the standard by which all others should be judged in this style.

Overall, what else can I say. This is phenomenal beer that deserves all of its accolades and deserves to be as sought after as it is. Find a way to get more than one so you can share this with another BA or just a great tasting partner. Thanks to aandresen for this trade.

azdback, Jun 29, 2011
Photo of CHickman
4.58/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Bottled on 2/25/2011: pours pitch black like a tar black hole with no light coming through and a 1 finger creamy light brown head that was full of bubbles and faded slowly leaving great tan foamy lacing and a layer on top.

Smells of bourbon, vanilla, oak barrels, burnt wood, coffee, toffee, cocoa, peat moss, dirt, syrup, molasses and roasted grains; this nose is sweet and reeks of bourbon, with hints of malt, grains and coffee grinds. This aroma is strong and the alcohol is a big factor, but not in a bad way. The booze came out the second the cap came off of the bottle.

Wow, this is rich and strong…the heat hits you up front, with the sweet bourbon and vanilla followed by coffee bitterness. After the swallow there is a mix of coffee, syrup, molasses, cocoa powder, roasted grains, herbs, perhaps some light citrus hops, sweet malt, and then a huge blast of chocolate and toffee. This is very sweet and boozy, complicated and confusing, and all the while delicious. The nose made me think that it would be full of bourbon, but this is chocolately and mellower than I anticipated. Considering the ABV, this goes down quite easy.

Mouthfeel is creamy smooth and almost watery, with basically no carbonation, a medium to heavy body and an overall heavy feel that still seems to slide down nicely with only a minor alcohol burn as it goes down. Very impressive feel considering the complexities of this brew and the bourbon and ABV.

While this is definitely not a session beer, it is an excellent experience beer and an excellent stout that was extremely flavorful. Founders has again lived up to the hype with another superb product which I highly recommend.

9/29/14-Had a well aged version bottled on 2/25/2011 and it still has the strong bourbon, oaky and smoked notes in the aroma, but the feel is so smooth it was like chocolate milk. Aftertaste is all bourbon, but it incorporates coffee, vanilla, chocolate and smoky flavors and tastes like the beer was just poured off the side of the barrel. As it warms the bourbon seems to pick up ground and dominate more, so you'd better like booze if you're drinking this one. The complexities of the wood and peat moss notes come out more too as it warms, and about the only thing that I might adjust was the heat level as it could to me be dialed back just a little bit. Even being 3 1/2 years old in the bottle plus the barrel aging can't stop this bad boy from coming on strong. This is Clint Eastwood's kind of beer, bad ass all the way. Really enjoyable.

CHickman, Jun 29, 2011
Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 8,997 ratings.