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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.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

8,752 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,752
Reviews: 2,519
rAvg: 4.62
pDev: 9.09%
Wants: 3,382
Gots: 3,215 | FT: 230
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: 8,752 | Reviews: 2,519 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of StayWhatYouAre2
4.7/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage poured from a 12oz bottle into a Central Waters snifter.

A- Very dark. Not quite pitch black, but the look of some very heavily used motor oil. A pretty hard pour only yields a half finger head that is caramel brown. There is some pretty sticky lacing that leaves some very nice patching.

S- When first poured the smell was heavily dark chocolate up front with hints of sweet bourbon, bold roasted coffee and vanilla. As the beer begins to warm the bourbon takes center stage as the dark chocolate joins the coffee and vanilla in the back seat. The smell of alcohol only intensifies as time goes on and takes on the presence of oak as it warms.

T- Very bold dark, bitter chocolate hits you right up front as you take your first sip just as it does in the smell. As the beer sits on your palate and reaches the back there is plenty of warm, mellow bourbon that finishes with a sweet vanilla and roasted coffee. Much like the smell, as the beer warms the flavor of bourbon and coffee become stronger and stronger until they almost match the flavor of the strong flavor of dark chocolate.

M- Very smooth and balanced. Definitely one of the most mellow bourbon flavors I have tasted in a beer with this alcohol content. Carbonation is low, as expected, and the finish is drying.

D- The beer as a whole has a very rich flavor and should not be drank as a session beer, but rather a sipping dessert beer on special occasions (unless you were lucky enough to get more than a case). Very worth seeking out if not available in your area.

StayWhatYouAre2, Mar 23, 2011
Photo of aficionado
4.75/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Jet black body with a 1 finger caramel colored head and low lacing.

Pleasant, mellow bourbon aromas that don't hurt your sinuses when inhaled. Freshly made dark chocolate fills up the nose as if you were a chocolatier in a bakery. The same goes for the quality coffee aromas as if you were a Barista in a coffee shop. Some mild vanilla on the back end to bolster the rest of the aromas.

Decadent Belgian bittersweet dark chocolate, roasty bitter espresso, real Madagascar vanilla beans, and the most smooth bourbon flavor I've ever encountered. Simple, but extremely well executed.

Quite smooth indeed given the alcohol content, the richness, the low carbonation, the thick mouthfeel, the sweetness and the bourbon notes. I would love to brew this, but I doubt I could pull it off without decades of practice. It's very drinkable. The head brewer and all of his relatives are quite possibly the luckiest beer drinkers in America.

2012 update:

Drinking this again in a Chimay Chalice. Not too cold.

More sweet dark chocolate this year with a decent amount of bitter espresso. The vanilla and oak are tamed and balanced like always. Smells a little hotter than the taste. Smooth, creamy, lush mouthfeel.

In the past 3 years, I preferred 2010 > 2011 > 2012.

aficionado, Mar 22, 2011
Photo of weatherdog
4.22/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 12oz. bottle poured into a Bells tulip glass

It pours a nearly pitch black with a 1 finger head rising from the depths of the beer. Retention is medium and a minimal amount of lacing lines the glass. Impressive head formation and retention for a 11%+ beer

The nose is a hodgepodge of sweet bourbon, chocolate and roasted coffee. The coffee and chocolate fade towards the end and a little nose hair tingling alcohol aroma wafts up.

In the taste the chocolate isn't as present but up front a medium strong roasted coffee. The barreling then becomes very evident with a strong dose of vanilla and then a nice smooth bourbon taste. The finish is a hint too strong in the alcohol burn down the throat, but I'm sure that'll age out.

The body seems very thinned out by the bourbon, not thick and viscous in the least. Carbonation is medium low. There is also the alcohol burn previously mentioned. I really just prefer more body in an Imperial Stout.

I've had this a number of times and am just getting around to reviewing it. While I do like this beer and think it's great, it's just never been world class to me.

weatherdog, Mar 22, 2011
Photo of weizenbob
4.75/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2011 vintage, 12 ounce bottle, no bottle date, poured into a large wine goblet.

A very aggressive pour yields about half a finger of dark mocha head. Retention is low, which is unsurprising given this stout's alcohol content. Sticky lacing leaves small patches on the glass. The brew is very dark, though not quite pitch black. I loved the color of the head but I wish it could have held on longer.

Though KBS is supposedly a different base beer than regular Breakfast Stout, the aroma is reminiscent of that brew. Like Breakfast Stout, KBS is also brewed with chocolate and coffee. Like Breakfast Stout, those scents are very prominent and literal in the nose. There is a trace amount of oak to be noticed but for all practical purposes the aroma is dominated by chocolate and alcohol. Regardless of whether or not it is the same beer as Breakfast Stout, it smells delicious.

Then came the first sip. At the expense of sounding like a Founders fanboy, I think my mouth just had an orgasm. A quick glance in the mirror confirms that I am indeed making the "oh" face. Make no mistake; this is NOT the same beer as Breakfast Stout. Flavors are full and wonderfully blended. Chocolate is forward on the tongue with a sweetness reminiscent of raisins. There is a beautifully smooth alcohol presence. It's very noticeable but also quite mellow for a stout of this strength. A year in bourbon barrels has done this beer good. The result is greater than the sum of the parts.

The mouthfeel is incredible. Everything about this beer has blended together into one unified smooth caress of the mouth. The body is heavy; the carbonation is mild, and the alcohol is velvety. The weight is perfect and this stout is unbelievably smooth.

Unfortunately, 11.2% ABV does not a drinkable stout make. This beer smells, tastes and feels amazing, but the alcohol content and overall cost make this prohibitive to session drinking. That's not a huge worry however as this is very much a dessert brew; and one 12 ounce bottle is more than enough for one sitting. This is really quite an astoundingly constructed beer.

---

The Two Schlitz Scale™: (see my profile for an explanation)
This bottle cost almost as much as a six-pack of Schlitz and it was completely worth it.

weizenbob, Mar 22, 2011
Photo of Satchboogie
4.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle (2011) poured into a balloon snifter:

A: Pours completely pitch black, absolutely no light gets through this. I got just over a finger of mocha brown head that was really frothy and actually took a good couple minutes to dissipate.

S: Chocolate fudge, coffee, vanilla, bourbon, oak. The flavors are just bursting from the glass.

T: First thing out of my mouth (and repeated quite a lot) was "WOW!". Chocolate fudge with vanilla is really the best description for the overall base of this beer. I don't get as much alcohol in the taste as was suggested in the nose (fine by me). First thing is that awesome chocolate followed by vanilla and sweet bourbon. The bourbon flavor is no where near overpowering, it just adds another dimension and brings the nice oak and vanilla sweetness, not just that boozy alcohol taste like many other bourbon barrel ales have. There's a bit of medium roast coffee in the background and I get a nice bit of earthiness as well, I'm not sure if it's from the high-quality coffee used or the barrel. There seems to be just a hint of dark fruits in the background towards the finish. Tons of dark roasted malt, though not charred. Finish is dry and just a little warm, getting mostly chocolate, vanilla and oak. I'm shocked just how little alcohol is apparent, again you get mainly the flavor of the bourbon, not the alcohol burn. Just an incredibly delicious, balanced, and deeply complex flavor profile.

M: Medium carbonation to low, just enough to give a little "umph" in the middle. This is very thick and chewy, close to TenFidy thick. Very smooth and luscious, it coats the entire mouth and slides down the back of the throat with ease. The barrel did a hell of a job smoothing this out, it's velvet. Probably the best texture behind '11 Kate.

O: Does this live up to the hype? Absolutely. I can honestly say this was even better than I imagined, and I had high expectations. Probably the most perfectly balanced bourbon barrel aged stout. When I first tried a BCBS, I thought it we be perfect if the heat was turned down (in a year old bottle), the bourbon was less boozy and overpowering, and with a little more depth/complexity. KBS is the beer with those improvements, in my eyes, the perfect balanced bourbon barrel aged beer. It's like a moist, chewy espresso chocolate cake soaked in bourbon with vanilla ice cream... but way better!

Satchboogie, Mar 22, 2011
Photo of jsulko
5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle poured into a snifter

Thanks to a coworker for finding it at his local place.

Pours a very dark almost black coffee color with slight redness at the edges.

Taste

Bourbon comes out prominent in intial tasting. As the beer warms up the coffe and chocolate undertones appear with the coffee being slightly more pronounced. Didn't think I would like it as I am not a coffee fan but the flavors worked well together.

Finishes with a bitter aftertaste. Very smooth.

Dind't know if this would live up to the hype. It sure did for me.

jsulko, Mar 22, 2011
Photo of jale
4.6/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours like a thin used motor oil with a quarter of brown head.

S: Bourbon, chocolate coffee and just a hint of vanilla.

T: Bourbon and booze up front leading to bitter coffee. I seem to get a lot more oak in the aftertaste this year compared to past years. Just a hint of vanilla.

M: Thick body and somewhat oily, yet not cloying.

D: I will drink many more.

jale, Mar 22, 2011
Photo of madvermin
4.75/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Big, huge thanks to ChadQuest for generously sending me a bottle of this in our trade; Chad you are a sick trader!

Vintage: 2010

Pours a borderline slimy viscous oily jet black. Head is nonexistent. This is a bottle of shadow, and looks as dark as any beer I've ever seen. Light mahogany bubbles at the edges are the only sign of any carbonation. I guess this is what to expect from an enormous stout like this.

Nose is just incredible. Sweet vanilla bourbon is perfectly weighted to not ever be too sweet or harsh, while milk chocolate fudge adds to the ice cream sundae package. Nutmeg and spice are also present. What perfectly summarizes this is my brother's homemade eggnog in the winter except better balanced and with more chocolate. Flawless.

The taste follows the smell exactly, offering an awesome combination of stronger bourbon flavors, vanilla/chocolate milkshake and new found coffee bitterness at the finish. This has to be one of the finest dessert beers out there. Nutmeg and cinnamon add to the holiday chocolate delight and give the beer further dessert quality. The bourbon is stronger here than in the nose, but not so much so that it dominates the other flavors. Woody flavor bursts through as the beer warms to complete the picture at the finish.

Smooth, creamy, viscous, and syrupy, this beer ticks all the boxes a big stout should. When I swish it it feels like I have Hershey's Chocolate Syrup in my mouth. Drinkability is good, as you wouldn't find me complaining about eating ice cream sundaes. Everything is balanced well enough that the sweetness and bourbon don't get out of hand. I can see the flavors perhaps leaving a mark after a couple of these though (along with the fact that the smell is good enough it makes you not want to drink the beer). The alcohol is definitely a bit too strong to make this a quick drinker, but as a sipper it's great. Definitely could see this becoming a perfect drinker with age, but for now, even after a year of age, I have to say it doesn't match its smell, taste, or mouthfeel in this category.

I really wish I lived in the Midwest just so I could pick this up off the shelves, although many haven't been able to do that anyhow.

madvermin, Mar 22, 2011
Photo of DelMontiac
4.9/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I was so glad I asked about KBS at the Brown Derby International Wine Center in Springfield, MO. Ask and thou shalt receive! They keep it in a cooler out of sight. Since their supply was so short, a two bottle limit was imposed by the owner. Hey, I'm not complaining, I'm celebrating!

I poured KBS at about 60F into a New Belgium globe. (Don't be a hater of the globe 'cause they be good glasses.) Body of thick black darkness topped by deep caramel tan somewhat disappointing (yet velvety) thin, scant head creating minimal lace. Bubbles so tiny I can barely see them which is a good thing hinting of the creaminess to follow. Was hoping for some good froth, but whatever.

The aromas are amazing here - dark roast coffee beans and cocoa up front followed by vanilla, a mild woody booze, and notes of chewy caramel malts. Hops are in deep, but it's there. Very nice. Seems we're in for a treat.

Coffee right outta the shute. Then huge vanilla notes permeate the palate as milky chocolate bleeds through. Following is slightly warming bourbon woodiness and caramel chewiness. Probably the complex shades I've ever experienced in a beer. Good god, man, that's just fantastic!

Love the feel - silky, chewy, thick and dry at the same time. More complexity!

KBS lives up to the hype. There's just so much going in a glass of KBS. It really leaves you wanting more and feeling like you'll need a fix soon. If it were more readily available I'd have it on hand all the time. RESPECT THIS BEER.

DelMontiac, Mar 21, 2011
Photo of arktos
4.47/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

03/21/11 - Bottled 02/25/11

12oz to snifter

Ahhh... Spring is finally here... and it's snowing?... this is fine with me, perfect time for my first KBS.

A: Pours an espresso-black with 3/4" cinnamon colored head that was fairly short lived but rich looking nonetheless.

S: Big, Bold, Beautiful - A balance of sweet bourbon, a little more bourbon, charred oak woodiness, coffee, and a bit of chocolate. Didn't pickup on the vanilla, but perhaps it was lost in the bourbon.

T: Kickass layers of awesome. Bourbon starts the dance and is quickly joined by thick dark chocolate, rich coffee, and sweet vanilla (ahh vanilla, I missed you in the nose, but so glad you joined the party) alcohol adds a nice bit of warm spice to the mix. Finish is slighty dry bitter chocolate and splash of bourbon goodness.

M: A hot big bodied beer with thick ankles. The alcohol doesn't hide but doesn't need to as the rest of the components have no problem playing their parts. A super smooth sipper.

O: This tastes like a lil' chuck of vanilla fudge bathed in bourbon then covered in a thick layer of dark chocolate and dipped in bourbon again for good measure. I'm so glad there's snow on the ground to look at while I drink this. I'd welcome a few more inches just so I could run outside to shovel and crack my second bottle as a reward. Spring sucks.

arktos, Mar 21, 2011
Photo of SeaUrchin
5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

review of a 2011 bottle, fresh, poured from the bottle into a tulip

appearance - Black, held to the light and very little lightens it up even around the edges, mocha colored head thats about 1 finger tall but faded to about 1/2 a finger and remains throughout the brew, low visible carbonation

smell - up front is coffee, strong coffee but less than FBS, second is whiskey, but a mellow whiskey almost sweet smell, in the back ground there was hint of chocolate and alcohol, the nose alone on this made me drool

taste - now i dont believe in god but i heard angels sing upon my first sip, up front is a nice roasted coffee flavor(less than FBS) that moves into a sweet whiskey, nice roasted malt and chocolate notes with coffee still being the main player, that quickly moves into a a sweet whiskey, and finishes with a slight burn, the after taste is like a frozen mocha coffee with a shot of whiskey in it, absolutely delicious, as close to perfect iv ever tasted, enjoyed this one far more than last years but i feel iv evolved as a beer drinker, and iv tasted many more BA stouts so i have other things to compare it to.

mouthfeel - very thick, rich velvety mouthfeel, very little noticeable carbonation, this is what i feel a big stout should feel like

drinkability - i know this is no longer rated but old habits die hard, if i could drink this every day i would be a happy man, i could of enjoyed another after but its too precious to drink at once

overall - my first ever perfect score but waiting for KBS is like waiting for christmas, if i had to pick a beer as my favorite it would be KBS, one of the few beers i can honestly say "i would have paid more for this and still been happy)

planning on aging at least one and doing a side by side next year, i planned that last year too and it didnt work out, only time will tell

SeaUrchin, Mar 21, 2011
Photo of robwestcott
4.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured cold from the tap, near black to a 12oz goblet with a full finger, long lasting, dark mocha head with lace to the rim.

great big coffee and chocolate aroma - dark malts, bourbon closely follows, but nowhere near as forward as the bottle.

wow - the bottle's good, the tap is, well, it's something else. near perfect balance of bourbon, chocolate, espresso roast and wait - we're not done, subtly smoky oak.

huge bodied, creamy smooth, hot, subtle bitter, mildly sweet after.

drinkable - who cares ? I'm having another.

robwestcott, Mar 21, 2011
Photo of ColdPoncho
4.4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark thick black liquid pours into the glass creating a compact and powerful looking dark brown head. Impressive looking beer.

S - Coffee is the biggest thing here. Then there's some vanilla and bourbony notes. dry smoked meats, some earth. Good smells.

T - Coffee and vegetal flavors and bitterness on the front, bourbon undertones throughout. Some chocolate. One of few beers I have that the taste lives up to/exceeds expectations from the nose. A great tasting beer.

M - Super smooth, and a decently thick body. Not as thick as I'd expect, but still a big and full bodied beer.

O (D) - This beer tastes great. It is something I want to drink. It's got a high ABV and is a big beer. It's expensive. I would buy this regularly if I could, and even though there are issues with it, overall I think it's quite excellent (taste trumps).

ColdPoncho, Mar 21, 2011
Photo of SaintJonah
4.95/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Local liquor store got 1 case in and held back a 4-pack for me. I've never been happier.

A- Incredible. Pure black. I don't think you could see a flashlight held to the glass. Just lovely.

S- I could enjoy this beer based on scent alone! Rich coffee, hints of dark chocolate, obvious whiskey presence. Just wonderful.

T- More bitter than I would have thought, but that's not a bad thing! Just floods the taste buds with roasty coffee flavor and smooth dark chocolate, hints of vanilla and maybe a touch of heaven. The alcohol is there, and there's no hiding it...but it's a welcome and splendid addition.

M- Light carbonation. Very heavy, but again...that's a good thing! Perfect sipping beer.

Easily the best stout I've had. I've only drank one so far, and plan to share some with friends but I'm already bummed that I won't be seeing this again any time soon. I can't think of one thing to improve here. Just perfect.

SaintJonah, Mar 21, 2011
Photo of Auracom
4.4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle (2011 vintage) in a mini snifter on March 19th, 2011, shared with my old roommate of 3 years. We were both pretty ecstatic to try this one.

Clearly, KBS' reputation precedes itself.

A - As expected, really. Very dark, close-to-pitch-black coloring. Virtually no head nor retention and very little lacing on the sides. Swirling leaves a light brown coating on the glass. The visuals convey an attitude of "okay, let's get on the important stuff already."

S - The nose isn't as huge as I thought it'd be. Clearly the bourbon is the emphasis but Founders didn't go for broke and did a great job of avoiding overkill here. Everything secondary to the bourbon is subtle and points to complexity - coffee beans (of course), chocolate, caramel, and a *very* slight roasted -almond- quality.

T - More of the same notes as the nose in a similar mellow fashion. A bourbon focus/emphasis on the front end with secondary character following closely behind. The mellow nature of this brew is really something to behold. Founders gives you the flavors as advertised and does so in a truly relaxed manner. KBS exudes craft in every aspect of the taste. Bourbon gets more prominent as the drink reaches room temp; this was neither better nor worse for me.

M - Not quite as expected. Not completely full and not at all chewy. Medium body, average carbonation that doesn't really come through until the backend of the drink.

D - Incredibly drinkable. Absolutely no ABV presence, not even when room temp. Honestly, I feel like the slightly-thinner body contributes to a higher drinkability for this particular brew. It doesn't drink like any other stout I've had. It wasn't really necessary to sip this one beyond trying to savor my 6-7 oz.

Auracom, Mar 21, 2011
Photo of gopens44
3.68/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Purchased at Wine and Beer Westpark for $5.50 per 12 oz. bottle

A - Poured black into a snifter. Head was about 1/2" worth of brown fizzyness.

S - Thing only real stand out smell at first was that of whiskey. A few moments later I could start to smell the coffee come out pretty well.

T - When I used to work 3rd shift, I'd make myself a coffee with Jim Beam in it with just a little sugar before I went to bed. This tastes EXACTLY like that. Coffee with whiskey and a touch sweet. The only difference here was a slight hint of dark chocolate coming across after the palate adjusts to the whiskey.

M - Smooth and not as dry as I would have thought. Aftertaste of coffee lay on the tongue for a bit, forcing a serious water drinking frenzy.

O - I love the taste of whiskey, and had been let down by other beers touting "whiskey barrel" before, but this one delivers exactly what it was billed as. If I ever want a beer that has a heavy whiskey presence, I'll grab this one first (if I ever find it again). Otherwise, you really have to be in the mood for this sucker!

gopens44, Mar 21, 2011
Photo of rapidsequence
4.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is a side by side tasting of a 2010 and 2011 KBS. This years was $5.15 from Pints O'Plenty. I'll describe both beers, but the ratings will be for the 2011.

Appearance: Both beers pour totally black. Thin dark brown head on the 2011 with about 1 minute of retention. The 2010 has no head. Both create nice spotty lacing and some legs with each sip. Dark and forboding.

Smell: Roasty chocolatey malt, oaky vanilla and bourbon, day old cold coffee. The 2010 is much more chocolatey and much less coffee-y. The bourbon notes also seem to integrate better in the 2010. Both are excellent.

Taste: Lots of bourbon and coffee flavor with chocolate coming in later. Vanilla and a little caramel flavor in there too. Very little roasted bitterness until the finish, but there is a little bitter alcohol burn in the middle. The finish and aftertaste is like a mocha. The 2010 is very different, where, like the smell, the coffee notes are somewhat muted and chocolate and caramel notes are more dominant. The bourbon flavor is much less harsh, but still dominant and prominent.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth and creamy. Full and wonderful. I think the 2010 is actually a little better than the 2011.

Drinkability: I love this stuff. In 2008 you could walk into a bottle shop and buy a half case 2 weeks after release, now I'm glad to get 4 bottles the day it comes in. Letting it sit for a year is a challenge, but its worth it. Its almost perfect fresh though.

rapidsequence, Mar 21, 2011
Photo of bmonty412
4.93/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Shared this with a friend last night. Poured into snifter type glass to maximize nose.

A- poured slightly warmed, really nice black as night with a minimal size coffee colored head

S- Wow!! Amazing!! One of the best smelling stouts I've ever had..roasty, chocolate, sweet oaky vanilla...coffee!

T- Double Amazing...chocolate, coffee, vanilla, bourbon notes, slightly bitter finish, alcohol warms nicely after swallowing...wonderful!

M- heavier stout that feels great with lighter carbonation.

This is probably one of the best stouts i've ever had..a great sipper!! Only problem with this beer is it's availability, but well worth the price tag!!!

bmonty412, Mar 20, 2011
Photo of Munkaboo
4.93/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2011 KBS Bottle. Drank at about room temperature, which is how you should be drinking it.

Appearance: About as black as night. Chocolately looking head, oh man this is going to be nice.

Nose: The best nose of any stout I've ever smelled. Holy crap. Bourbon, oak, chocolate, almost like theres a shot of Bailey's Irish Creme in it. Wooow.

Taste: Chocolate, oak, bourbon... tiny bit of Coffee on the finish. Much more chocolate this year than the '10. God, so amazing. Such a complex and amazing beer.

Mouthfeel: Creamy mouthfeel, thick, just wonderful. Tiny bit of booze on the finish but its not bad at all. Just great.

Overall: Definitely top 3 stouts, probably #1. Wish I could be more descriptive but its just so damn good.

Munkaboo, Mar 20, 2011
Photo of stonermouse
4.75/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Lucky score at Boston Wine Exchange. Big thanks. 2011 vintage.

Poured the whole bottle into a Sam Adams glass.

Looks like a heavily brewed, perhaps day old pot of Columbian dark roast. Head doesn't hang out too long, but lacing is sticky and nice.

Smell is a little tempered, but coffee-forward. There's a bit of burnt sawdust in the aroma, which isn't off-putting, but is instead rather interesting. I don't sense any booziness yet.

Flavor is quite a complex wallop. I can't believe the complexity here. While it was still cool, it was boozy and bourbony, comparable to Backwoods Bastard. As it warms, chocolate really takes over. The heat never goes away, but intensifies every flavor I taste. The coffee in the aroma is present, and adds a super base for this brew.

Mouthfeel is viscous, and the aftertaste is bitter and dry (could be the hops, but probably more due to the coffee). Just perfect for the flavors.

Sweet fancy Moses, I could bathe in this stuff. Just great. My remaining three bottles are surely special occasion-type brews, and I'd love to shelve at least one of these suckers for a couple years to mellow them out a bit. But fresh, it's still phenomenal. Off the tap must be heavenly.

stonermouse, Mar 20, 2011
Photo of AlCaponeJunior
4.75/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Was able to get a single four pack of the latest 2011 batch. True to the hype, this one didn't disappoint.

Very dark, black with tinges of brown and red, one finger dark brown head and decent lacing. Not all that impressive to look at.

Smell is like a sweet milk chocolate bar with just a touch of cappuccino. It's a bit leathery with a touch of vanilla and woody, earthy background aromas. You can detect the bourbon and the barrels it was aged in, adding a nice touch.

Taste is quite exceptional. Wonderfully strong, yet balanced, vanilla blended with smooth milk chocolate is the first thing I noticed. There's a touch of coffee but it's not the predominant flavor. Smooth bourbony wood flavors accent but don't overpower. Smoky malts are complimented by just a touch of hops. It's very sweet but there's also a touch of bitterness. Fantastic brew that totally does live up to the hype.

Feel is very smooth, slick, full bodied, with a lingering sweet vanilla and chocolate aftertaste.

Drink is fantastic. Off the charts for the style, and wonderful for any beer in any category. I love this beer!

MAKE MORE of this beer already. Struggling to get a four pack or two once a year really sucks. I have not been the biggest founder's fan so far, but this one I would buy all the time if I could.

AlCaponeJunior, Mar 19, 2011
Photo of Rhettroactive
4.55/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From 12oz bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 3/17/11 - Vintage 2011
*From notes

A: It's like someone turned off the lights with this one. Look up the word black in the dictionary and you'll see a bottle of KBS. Supremely elegant 2+ finger bubbly head that looks like whipped motor oil. Thick lacing rims the glass throughout.

S: Sweet vanilla bean and woody, dark, smokey char. The bourbon makes a move and really sears the nostrils.

T: Wow - there is so much happening here it's crazy. Bourbon, really smooth and slightly sweet whiskey. This compliments the vanilla essence which shows up on the mid-palate. Freshly roated coffee and 70% dark cocoa nibs finish this one out and linger on the back of the tonsils for minutes on end. As it warms, the bourbon and 11.2% alcohol really come through.

M: In one word, it's perfect. Like a carbonated, bourbony, chocolate & coffee milkshake. I can't think of another beer that feels quite like KBS. So rich and immensely creamy. Just delicious.

O: Founders KBS is simply a marvelous brew. It's so well put together, perfectly balanced and utterly drinkable. This heavenly nectar is liquid crack.

I have no qualms that this '11 vintage will age beautifully. I can't wait to find out.

Two BIG thumbs up - seek this out.

Rhettroactive, Mar 19, 2011
Photo of InebriatedJoker
4.6/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pured from 12oz bottle into Duvel Tulip -

A: Poured midnight black with half a finger head that quickly dissipated into a thin creamy lacing, decent carbonation.

S: Light Bourbon hints with coffee,roasted malts.

T: Great coffee flavor upfront w/slight bourbon ,hint of vanilla with deep roasted malts.

O: Overall this was a treat to drink , goes down easy considering the high abv%,very well balanced and blended beer,the flavors come together nicely my taste buds squealed with delight..

InebriatedJoker, Mar 19, 2011
Photo of smakawhat
4.88/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from the bottle into my large Dogfish head snifter, fresh as can be, patiently reserved in line for a simple four pack to be consumed and reviewed. This is my milestone, and my 300th review on Beer Advocate. Much thanks to the brothers. Onward...

Off the visible pour it is borderline motor oil black out of the bottle but not quite... Head is very solid and cocoa light brown I would say with a good solid retention. After falling for LOTS of time (having consumed two of these in one sitting) it maintains a collar that will not go away. The body is my personal favorite walnut brown, but just wants to hint... I mean just hint at black midnight. Based on all that... she looks great. Decent lacing giving up to leopardy like spotting.

Bouquet is jarring for this style and a big surprise considering the abv in front. DRY husky grain, faint dried out wood, not a wood smell that I could pinpoint (regardless that they come from American oak bourbon barrels). The sense is something tannic is coming even though you DO NOT smell tannins. It strangely (dare I say it) feels like fresh cut timber or assembled oak furniture. Very dense and full of body. Some simple cheap store bought coffee also. Extremely unique smelling and balance.. really nice. When I smell these aromas, they feel like I am tasting and drinking this beverage as it is. Cellar like smell with a dampness that isn't ruined, musty, no not BAD.. just down there.... DANK DANK DANK!!!! Chocolate milk bent on the nose. No sense of heat or big booze coming for this large ABV.

Taste is well, stealing something from the vocabulary.. exceptional when factoring the mouthfeel. Almost silky but SOoooo... easy palatable and borderline wet in feel. Big milk chocolate front but not turning into a sweet chocolate bomb. Sweetness hints, faint standard coffee, but extremely balanced profile. Slight tannins in the mouth pushing forward and puckering, it is dry I will give it that but tolerable. What is not here for me on taste just for the record is tobacco and fruit. Vanilla for me personally .... creeps up unknowingly then takes over. It's not apparent at first but then makes it's presence known latter while drinking. This is not a beer that feels particularly like whiskey either. It's not bourbon feeling at all (I have a bias being a bourbon drinker) but that is a good thing this is truly a great beer, and the highly masked abv boozy quality that you would think came from this is completely hidden. This should be considered beer forward and not whiskey. The chocolate and vanilla mix gets into almost ice cream territory, with much fun. This could pass easily as a dessert beer for sure but works also on its own.. So stupidly easy drinking, creamy, almost dark chocolate, balanced soft tannins, woody, FROTHY, too much to desire.

Overall some serious intense craft and quality while drinking this. This is magic right here, and some great feel. Just for the record the high abv on this is dangerous cause I feel like I could just pound these back like no tomorrow. Part of that stupid drinkability, besides all this sophistication and time put into it, is that it feels like a kids morning chocolate breakfast drink, such as Carnation Instant Breakfast drink. Does this beer taste like bourbon... NO. Emphatically no giving way to a good magic that is masking the alcohol.. It is just a great tasting beer and very unique and done superbly.

smakawhat, Mar 19, 2011
Photo of Chriscrundwell12
4.68/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 2011 12 oz bottle into a snifter

A- Very dark pitch black appearance, thin head that dissipates very quickly leaving nice mocha color lacing on the sides.

S- Very complex, espresso and bourbon come out up front. Alcohol aromas are very evident but not too overpowering, hints of chocolate and vanilla as well, excellent aromas.

T- Warm alcohol taste, the bourbon notes are well balanced with the espresso and chocolate notes, hints dark fruit and vanilla as well as a bit of oak.

M- Medium-Full bodied, excellent warming sensation, very smooth.

D- This is a big beer, very complex, so much going on when it hits your mouth, another gem from founders.

Chriscrundwell12, Mar 19, 2011
Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 8,752 ratings.