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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.

8,626 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,626
Reviews: 2,514
rAvg: 4.62
pDev: 8.87%
Wants: 3,325
Gots: 3,151 | FT: 232
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) Alström Bros
Ratings: 8,626 | Reviews: 2,514 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of thedoubler55
4.45/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

bottle poured into snifter

A - Pitch black, tiny tan head that leaves little lacing around the glass.

S - Taste of vanilla beans with some coffee roast and lots of bourbon.

T - First taste is complete bourbon, with hints of coffee and dark malts.

M - Medium-full bodied, nice coating.

D - This beer is phenomenal , definitely will be aging some bottles.

thedoubler55, Jan 05, 2011
Photo of OakedCanuck
4.33/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into Maudite tulip. from notes. 09 vintage.

This beer is pitch black with the slightest dark brown edging against the light. Brown head was not retained well but that wasn't surprising. Smell was a nice mixture of roasted malts, chocolate, bourbon and vanilla. Taste was much the same with the chocolate and bourbon fighting each other for dominance. The vanilla and some molasses do make an appearance later on, which is nice. The subtle nuances of this beer come out as it warms. Heavy in the mouth with some burn, but in a good way. Absolutely delicious beer and I can see how some age brings out its different components.

OakedCanuck, Jan 05, 2011
Photo of Stoneyrok
4.97/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - The most beautiful black I've seen, perhaps because of the hype and anticipation of this beer. I didn't get any head at all from a 2009 bottle, and this was my first and only bottle, so it was hard to lift up on the bottle opener! Only did it because I know I can get some more soon. Mild February, not as much as I want, but still...

S - sweet dark malt, hint of bourbon and chocolate, as well as vanilla, smell was kind of weak overall compared to the taste. There were hints of all the popping flavors that came and described below.

T - ummm. Nearly perfect, let's get this exact. Each time I went to take a sip from my etched New Belgium globe glass, I had to stop and smell first. On the sip, first you get coldness on the draw with a slight tingle and great carbonation, then perfect amount of sweetness, with subtle bourbon, more subtle chocolate, with perhaps even more subtle vanilla mixed in there. Point is; nothing is over powering. It is probably the most balanced complex beers I've ever had and I am a beer geek and brewer myself. I am sure the creaminess is due to the higher temp mashing process, or some crystal malts, doubtfully maltro-dextrins, but maybe carapils, or even lactose powder, I just don't know, but I am close. NO DOUBT, there is espresso somewhere in there. It's almost as if someone threw a little bourbon in some fudge, but the hops and malts chill it out some. Bourbon can over power a beer, but this is the first bourbon beer that is NOT over powered. I don't really like bourbon, so this is the perfect amount.

M - stated above, creamy, perfect and slightly tingling to the tounge. Just the best balance of any beer so far. They did a lot of test brews to come up with this one. Fucking awesome! Sorry, but it is true. I love it, ~ drink this before you go out for dinner.

D = yes, all night, no probl3m

Stoneyrok, Jan 04, 2011
Photo of icculus304
4.83/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz. bottle from Beer Baron - Livonia (bought it in March 2010). Snifter. Pours deep black with very little head. Nose of vanilla, coffee and alcohol/bourbon barrel. Very balanced taste. Smooth and creamy mouth-feel with a nice bourbon finish. Great beer!

icculus304, Jan 04, 2011
Photo of psiweaver
4.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had one of these on the day after christmas in my Duvel tulip.

Pours a thick viscous black almost motor oil consistency with a brown small head on it.

smells great with lots of coffee chocolate and richness. There is some bourbon smokeyness to it.

great rich taste with lots of coffee and chocolate a nice bourbony richness. The alcohol is very well integrated into it, very smooth.

great thick motor oil mouthfeel

pretty drinkable for its high abv and richness though definitely a sipper.

psiweaver, Jan 04, 2011
Photo of sugit
4.93/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Black, black and black. Nice mocha head that hangs around for a bit. At first I didn't think any would appear during the pour, but out of the depth, it began to rise! Sticky lacings left behind.

S: You can smell this bad as soon as you crack the bottle. Lushes chocolate, lots of sweet bourbon, coffee, and vanilla. Even a little bit of oak in there as well. Heaven.

T: Lots of roasted coffee. Vvanillia, and chocolate, with the bourbon makes its appearance shortly after, all coming together for just one kick ass tasting beer. The bourbon isn't too strong which help the other flavors not get lost in the mix. Would like maybe just a tab more vanillia.

You taste the alcohol, but very little burn, esp for 11%

M: For something so robust, it's comes in with a med body. Would almost like it just a bit fuller. Creamy, excellent carbonation level...very very smooth.

D: Goes down like water to me. I could kill a four pack on a good night. Great price point, IMO.

Hot damn, I love this beer. I can never get too much of this stuff.

sugit, Jan 04, 2011
Photo of webbcreative
4.97/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2009 edition

A= blackest stout I have seen I believe - could not find any mahagony or dark brown colors on the edge of my glass despite holding it directly at the sun. Got little to no head On this one but what i did see was dark brown.

S= got a bug whiff of chocolate syrup at first. Then as it settled in a little more I could smell the bourbon barrel a little more and also some coffee aromas as well but chocolate definatley takes center stage here.

A=chocolate upfront supported by coffe flavor then get the burbon and oakiness faintly. I actually like the flavors in that order of prominence. The alcohol is very much an afterthought to my tasebuds, I would have never guess 11.2% on this smooth beer.

Mouthfeel is great right on the thicker side of medium.

Overall this is the best stout i have ever have and really can't see anything about it I would change for my personal taste aside from the appearance, wish there was more head. Some burbon lovers would probably prefer more bourbon flavors. But this us just how I like it!

webbcreative, Jan 01, 2011
Photo of mbusster88
4.55/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle.

A: Pours jet black, really thick literally like motor oil. Brown head is minimal and nearly non-existent. Cannot see anything in this beer, carbonation is not present either.

S: Chocolate chip cookie is what I get right away. Then there is some booze notes in the nose. Also get some coffee flavors and some very sweet bourbon type notes.

T/M: Dark chocolate malt flavors in the front. Some light booze in the middle and finishes like a chocolate chip cookie. I stress the cookie part. Great thick mouthfeel and good balance between bitterness and malts.

D: Love this beer. Probably would not session it, but wonderful to have when you just want something amazing. Quality not quantity is the idea here, especially since I can not even get this is NY.

mbusster88, Dec 31, 2010
Photo of myatomicpolygon
4.88/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance- poured from a growler into my snifter black as night, thick, and oily with nice finger of mocha head that dissipates into a nice ring around the glass and leaves great lacing.

Smell- roasted coffee dominates with chocolate, booze, bourbon and oak undertones. wow! there is a lot going on here. when it warms the bourbon and vanilla flavors slowly become more pronounced.

Taste- bourbon comes through in the taste but is well balanced with the coffee and a sweet chocolate finish- lots of well balanced flavors...vanilla...bourbon is complimentary and lingers throughout.

Mouthfeel- thick creamy delicious perfect carbonation warming finish

Drinkability- off the charts for something this high in ABV. Very well balanced and easy to put down for a barrel aged stout.

myatomicpolygon, Dec 30, 2010
Photo of beerman20
4.88/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Black with a nice caramel colored head. Unfortunately the head didn't last long. A nice caramel colored lace was left behind.

S - Love this part. Nice bourbon aroma, mixed with vanilla, chocolate, and you can definitely tell this is a strong beer with a sweet alcohol aroma present.

T - This was worth the wait! Despite the high alcohol content it wasn't an immediate slap in the face like some of them. I first got the roasted coffee, chocolate, and vanilla flavors. The bourbon flavor emerges shortly after that, along with the warming sensation of the alcohol.

M/D - Surprisingly smooth for an 11% ABV, with little carbonation, this makes for a wonderful drinking experience. You know the alcohol is there, but won't blow you away as you drink it. Very nice!

My only regret is that it's taken me this long to try this beer. I highly recommend this for anyone who wants and exceptional stout.

beerman20, Dec 29, 2010
Photo of jpro
4.55/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up at Sam's in Durham a long time ago... decided to save it until Christmas and finally got around to trying it last night.

A: Bottle dated 2-8-10 poured into a Brooklyn Brewery snifter/tulip... Wow, this pours a viscous motor oil black with virtually no head. A thin ring of dark mocha foam clings to the glass; not much lace on this 11.2% sucker... maybe a few specks.

S: Whoa. Ummm... bourbon; some oak and vanilla (see bourbon); some charry roast and sweet malt notes, along with some hints of alcohol; the bourbon aroma on this one is almost overpowering, but hey, its barrel aged (they apparently did a good job).

T: Much more complex than the nose would imply... A swig starts with some sweet molasses... bourbon and vanilla mid-palate... coffee on the lasting finish. Huh - 70 IBU's - doesn't seem that bitter (in the realm of hoppiness, at least) yet it is moderately acrid.

M: Medium-bodied; sticky and palate coating; a little less body than I was expecting, though.

D: Great stuff... a sipper, for sure. Very enjoyable, though. Glad I got to try this rare brew!

(review from notes)

jpro, Dec 29, 2010
Photo of cjacobsen
4.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours black and thick, almost syrup like, and has a hint of head that quickly diminishes.

Smells of coffee, vanilla, chocolate, perhaps a bit of biscuit.

Taste is a nice bouquet of flavor. Maple syrup and caramel make up the sweetness that great you at first. The chocolate and vanilla dance around letting you know that they're there, but not quite sure of where in the mix they come in. It's sweet but gives way to a dose of malt and plenty of coffee in the end.

Fills your mouth, and your gut. It's a smooth, thick brew.

Obviously this beer is awesome. Period. I kept thinking about pouring it over pancakes.

cjacobsen, Dec 29, 2010
Photo of sprucetip
4.58/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Solid black with nearly a finger of dark mocha foam, and leaves patchy lacing. Hard to determine much else through the density of the blackness.

Roasty with woody notes, bourbon, coffee, and malty sweetness bouncing off each other, and are well proportioned. Boozy heat is clearly present but not over the top.

Delicious is a huge understatement. Malty sweetness, wood barrel, roasted grains, coffee, and bourbon all come into play early, in balance, and with good synergistic effect. Booze is there too.

Smooth, rich and full. Alcoholic warming comes with a teeny tiny bite, but is otherwise pleasant. Some mild roasty bitterness in the finish, but pretty clean overall.

A stout lovers dream! I think this is fresh (thank you iowahawk for gifting it upon me), and will likely get even more smooth with time. But this is certainly one of the elite imperial stouts, even without age on it.

sprucetip, Dec 28, 2010
Photo of VaTechHopHead
4.93/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Deep deep black with a quick fading head. No visible carbonation on the top or sides of glass, nice lacing.

S - Milk shake and roasted grain alcohol. Lots of dark aromas but has a lingering sweetness at the end.

T - Roasted malt, lactose sugar, chocolate malt, hershey bar. Sweeter than I expected but it is still straight cash money.

M/D - Quite a heavy body with, again, a sweet aftertaste. Zero alcohol flavor, even though weighing in at 11.20%. Tons of full flavors that fill the palate and way too easy to drink. A milkshake for the BeerAdvocate.

Best Founders beer IMO and has found a permanent spot on my WANTS list.

VaTechHopHead, Dec 28, 2010
Photo of shiptoshore
4.6/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- blacker than the blackest black times infinity. but seriously, it has more in common with motor oil as a color. normally a stout is very dark but you can make out some kind of dark ruby tint, not this bad boy.

Smell- I want to say I can smell some caramel but Im not to sure, definitely get a whiff of the bourbon and chocolate.

Taste- Obviously this can make or a break a beer and KBS does not dissapoint. My first sip I was surprised that I was not catching any of the alcohol or bourbon, but by the following sips I was getting the full flavor of what this beer is about. Malty beginning leads into a crazy assortment of chocolate, bourbon, and a nice alcohol burn.

Mouthfeel- Lightly chewy, if that makes sense

Drinkability- Definitely something one can finish, moving onto a second one right after might be tough. This is a beer to enjoy at the end of the night.

shiptoshore, Dec 27, 2010
Photo of xnicknj
4.72/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle poured into small snifter glass - 2010 vintage

Pours completely black, with little head and lacing, although a nice filmy residue camps out on top of the beer.

Wonderful nose populated by vanilla, bourbon, oak, leather, and some coffee.

Smooth flavor with roasted malts and chocolate right up front. The dark malts continue with molasses and coffee. Velvet smooth bourbon, vanilla, and light smoke. Some light hops fade into the finish with pleasant boozy warmth and rich sweetness.

Full body, lower carbonation, ultra smooth on the tongue. Probably one of the best drinking bal aged stouts ever. This is exceptional fresh and with age, either way.

xnicknj, Dec 26, 2010
Photo of nova009
4.83/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 2010 spring release bottle that has been aged since April into a snifter

A- pours a dark motor oil black, small dark tan head appears and dissipates into a ring around the edge of the glass, the ring clings well to the glass leaving nice lacing, this is about as good of a look as a stout can get

S- oh the smell, unbelievable, strong notes of roasted coffee, dark smooth chocolate, vanilla and a slight oak woodiness, and of course the alcohol and bourbon smell, the smell is perfect

T- the smell translated perfectly to the taste, you get hit with the coffee and chocolate immediately, the bourbon mixes in with the initial tastes in the middle of the sip and combines perfectly, oak a vanilla are subtle but noticeable as you continue to sip, smooth and delicious

M- on the heavy side but in no way is that a bad thing, smooth and creamy, perfect balance of carbonation, you can feel the slight alcohol burn without it being too alcoholic

D- this is a definite sipper but it is one you want to savor forever, this beer is perfect in my opinion and it has only gotten better with age, it is extremely hard going back to other stouts after having this a couple of times, founders' best brew hands down

nova009, Dec 26, 2010
Photo of DmanGTR
4.43/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes. Thanks to a generous BA for throwing in a 4 pack of this in our trade!

Deep, viscous black liquid fills my tulip, topped with a long lasting light tan head. No lacing, but I can almost see legs on the side of the glass. Rich vanilla and oak wafts through the air, maybe a touch less intense than expected. The chocolate and roasted barley is somewhat muted but there is definitely some coffee and cream. Flavor is bursting!! Very nicely done. Initial sweetness of toffee, caramel, and vanilla is followed quickly with a hint of burnt toast and leather, then bourbon rounds out the end adorned with a nice dose of freshly ground coffee. Wow. Exceptional smoothness and perfectly carbonated. I am truly impressed. Alcohol sneaks up on you... afterward haha. Please sir, can I have some more?

DmanGTR, Dec 23, 2010
Photo of CheapHysterics
2.13/5  rDev -53.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

Bottle poured into a snifter. I was excited to try this one and vastly disappointed by the results.

A - dark as night as one would expect, but even a rough pour left a small, short-lived head.

S - bourbon, coffee (but not good coffee, we're talking bad gas station coffee here)

T - bourbon, bourbon, bourbon, and more bourbon, coffee, a little chocolate, and roasted malt. I couldn't enjoy the chocolate maltiness because the bourbon flavor was so overpowering. In spite of all that bourbon taste, I do give it credit for concealing its 11.2% ABV pretty well.

M - nice medium body, probably this beers best feature.

D - glad I tried it once. Left me never wanting another.

CheapHysterics, Dec 23, 2010
Photo of Huhzubendah
4.95/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2007 bottle from my cellar.

A: Seriously black, thick beige head, sticky lacing. I'm not sure what else you can ask for...

S: Coffee! I am happy to report that after almost three years of aging, there still remains a strong and healthy coffee presence. The bourbon aromas are bold from the onset. Behind these two mammoth aromas lurks a very solid roasted malt scent.

T: More of what I described in the aroma. Brash coffee and bourbon dominate the taste, and are blended with artistic precision. Slightly sweet. Really well done. You must like coffee and bourbon stouts to enjoy this beer.

M: Still crisp, well carbonated and fresh tasting, even with a few years on it. ABV hidden very well.

D: A favorite of mine, this beer is really easy to drink. This is a "must have" beer for my cellar. My highest recommendation. I believe this to be one of the best beers on the planet, and certainly the best bourbon & coffee combo I have yet had.

February 3, 2011

After trying this beer nearly one hundred times, I must say that this is not only one of the best barrel-aged stouts, but one of the best beers I have ever had in my life. Simply terrific.

Huhzubendah, Dec 20, 2010
Photo of SASN
4.4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: dark brown/black, nice head

S: strong but pleasant coffee and bourbon aroma

T: starts great with bourbon, coffee and mild chocolate notes but ends a little harsh and bitter

M: great, smooth

D: smoothness masks some of the alcohol but you still couldn't drink it all night

Conclusion: an excellent bourbon stout but it ends a little too harsh

SASN, Dec 19, 2010
Photo of vkv822
4.38/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into tulip snifter.
big thanks to Stigs for sending this great extra!

Pours black with a chocolate head that dissipates quickly.

The bourbon and coffee are definitely the first thing I notice. In a pleasant surprise, this is not a total bourbon bomb as I expected. The coffee as well as some very earthy notes are quite present as well. It really reminds me of a chocolate covered espresso bean.There are also some faint oak notes.

The taste is a wonderful blend of bourbon, coffee and chocolate malts. The coffee is again of more earthy notes. And I am still pleasantly surprised with the upfront yet unobtrusive bourbon notes.

It has a bit of a thin body. It has just the right amount of carbonation. It is subtle yet not so light that it is flat.

Well I am very thankful that I now understand the love that this beer receives, though now I only want more! This was incredibly well balanced, and hid the 11% ABV extremely well.

vkv822, Dec 18, 2010
Photo of VelvetExtract
4.58/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Ahhh yes, finally. KBS.

A-Pours a complete black. Light has no effect upon the deep rich endless black. Dark brown head appears then dies leaving luscious brown lacing.

S-The most potent stout I have ever laid nose to. A overpowering aroma of bourbon hits. Oaky and burnt. Huge chocolate notes. Alcohol plays into the complexity of the nose. Smells like a monster.

T-An absolute beast. The whiskey flattens out the palate immediately. Literally tastes like bourbon. Oakyness is so potent. Huge milky sweet chocolate. Huge coffee flavor. Big alcohol punch. One of the most intense things I have ever put into my mouth.

M-Satin smooth. Sticky. Well carbonated. Heavy. Awesome.

D-Must sip... so much flavor... so much intense deliciousness...

Completely different than the Breakfast Stout. A behemoth of a beer. Absolutely awesome. One of the most intense beers I have had if not the most intense. Only need one of these and you'll have a buzz. Can't help but appreciate this beer's superior flavor.

VelvetExtract, Dec 17, 2010
Photo of jchow79
5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I have this bottle at home - but I haven't tried it yet. Not sure why not. But I had this at my local watering hole on tap.

It blew my mind - quite possibly one of the best beers I've ever had. My friend and I both had KBS. We ordered a second round, but unfortunately the keg kicked. There was only 1 full pour out of the tap. In fact the 2nd glass was nearly full and the bartender didn't serve it. He put the glass somewhere else which makes me believe he saved it for himself. My kind friend let me have the full glass.

All I can say now is that I need more. In fact I want all that I can find. In NY I only ever saw it once and there was 1 single bottle in the entire store.


jchow79, Dec 17, 2010
Photo of JamisonM
4.03/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: black black black with a mocha color head

S: chocolate and coffee with some roasted notes along with some bourbon and vanilla

T: coffee chocolate bourbon roasted notes bitter on the back end almost too bitter

M: med mouth with low carbonation

D: not really that drinkable because the beer has that bitterness from the coffee or overused oak barrels? no idea....

Overall: a very good beer but I was sort of disappointed because of that bitter finish at least in the bottle I had.

JamisonM, Dec 17, 2010
Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 8,626 ratings.