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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.

8,947 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,947
Reviews: 2,531
rAvg: 4.62
pDev: 9.09%
Wants: 3,493
Gots: 3,283 | FT: 235
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: 8,947 | Reviews: 2,531 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of zchall23
4.9/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottled 2/25/11
Served in a Dogfish Head Signature Glass

A: Jet black color with a lighter espresso colored head that lingers.

S: Exquisitely balanced scents of bourbon, chocolate, vanilla, and a light caramel note.

T: Chocolate quickly, but smoothly, transitions to bourbon, with a malty vanilla flavor on the finish.

M: Creamy full bodied feel that has a nice gentle warming effect when swallowed.

O: The more I have this beer, the more I love it; I can sincerely say that this is one of the best beers in the world! I advocate hitting the Founders brewpub to see if you can get fortunate enough to get this on nitro, or other remarkable beer.

zchall23, May 24, 2011
Photo of Treebs
4.97/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottled 2/25/11, Thanks Gushue3 for the trade!
Poured into my Founder Snifter glass (I'm tacky like that)

A: Poured very thick, like a deep black cream. 1 finger brown head leaving a nice ring lace around the glass.

S: The smells that immediately hit my nose are incredible. Coffee grinds with an incredible malt backbone. Bitter chocolate with a slight bourbon smell on the very end.

T: I've never tasted anything like this. A light creamy vanilla with a roast coffee back. Smooth malts and milk chocolates finishing with a nice sweet bourbon and light woody taste.

M: Heavy bodied with an amazing lingering mouthfeel. Slight carbonation with a nice oily film that leaves an amazing subtle coffee with vanilla taste. Coats the palate with precision.

O: WOW! This was my first KBS and it didn't last long. This is by far the best beer I've ever had. The complexities of this beer are outstanding: the roasted malts, bitter coffee, sweet chocolates and vanilla, finished out with the wonderful hints of bourbon and the oak make this an incredible beer. I hope every BA gets a chance to try this beauty at least once.

Treebs, May 24, 2011
Photo of angelogarcia3
4.83/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a great beer with a very dark color that allows very little light to pass through it. A very chocolate colored head greets the drinker along with aromas of Hershey's chocolate and hints of bittersweet chocolate. The mouthfeel is very thick but creamy. The taste is very chocolatey with a slight hint of vanilla and bourbon giving this beer a strong flavor that is enjoyable by itself or with BBQ. Had it at The Lark in East Northport, NY.

angelogarcia3, May 24, 2011
Photo of beerprovedwright
4.83/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pour looks like used motor oil with some head. About a one finger head of light brown foam. Rings of lace down the glass, not a lot of pattern, but good cling where it settles. Color is a 40 on the SRM beer color chart. Black as coal, even in a shot glass it is black. Smell is very intense, aromas of coffee, raisins, caramel, semi sweet chocolate, and plums. Taste is rich and complex, with flavors of roasted coffee, dark chocolate, dates, raisins, plums, caramel, oak aging, and lemon zest. Warning, the demon alcohol, which is masked by the wonder flavors, comes like a thief in the night and hits you the side of the head...wow. Mouthfeel is velvet cream, moderate zing, and a slight dry feeling in my soft palate. A touch of maple syrup aftertaste lingers in the back of my hard palate. Not for chain drinking, although I would like the flavor to go on for a month. Breakfast, well maybe with waffles covered with chocolate syrup. A wonderful treat anyway you look at it.

beerprovedwright, May 23, 2011
Photo of phishdaly
3.63/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark chocolate brown with a faint tan head

S - chocolate syrup, sweet bourbon

T - dark chocolate, sweet bourbon, raisins. Immediately taste the chocolate notes, followed by a sweet bourbon, and a little overwhelming alcohol warmth. Not picking up any coffee.

M - full bodied. A little syrupy. Would prefer a little more carbonation.

Overall - I feel these big beers win ratings for alcohol content. The alcohol is a bit too much. Though it may mellow out with aging. I've been getting into single malts and small batch bourbons/whiskeys. Barrel aged beers tend to be too reminiscent of sweeter low quality whiskeys. I was attracted to this beer for the time and care listed in it's preparation. I would try it again, but am glad I only got a bottle for now at $6/bottle in NYC. Would like to age one and see how it matures.

phishdaly, May 23, 2011
Photo of jabergess
5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had on draft at Twains. Oh my God. Go for it. Seriously you are losing out. Bourbon and chocolate. They go to the courthouse and get hitched. Have a baby named Yummy and live happy ever after. Ok, they have a couple of babies, but they are all pretty.

jabergess, May 22, 2011
Photo of Jimmys
4.13/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: pitch black with a one figure deep sepia brown head. some visible legs aren't shocking considering the ABV.

S: tons of dark chocolate. vanilla and bourbon. almost smells woody.

T: raisins and sweet bourbon. bourbon reminds me of banana foster. still pretty boozy in my opinion. even a slight burn. glad i have another that can sit for longer cause everything else is pretty spot on.

M: very gentle on a very full body. pretty much spot on.

D: great sipper. glad i got my hands on one of these. looking forward to trying it with some years on it.

Jimmys, May 20, 2011
Photo of CFHMagnet
4.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A. A vigorous pour left me with a half finger of light brown head that quickly retreated to little more than a ring around the glass. This beer is such a dark brown into black color, I imagine it is something like a black hole, in that no light that enters this beer will escape it. Very light delicate lacing throughout.

S. I first smell the chocolate and coffee, but these are quickly overtaken by the strong aroma of bourbon. After the bourbon hits my nose, nothing else is apparent.

T. I'm first struck by roasted maltiness, and this quickly flows into the chocolate and coffee flavors. Bourbon follows this up, and the beer finishes with a big oak taste that seems to be complimented by bitterness.

M. Heavy bodied to be sure, not as creamy as expected, but that does not detract from this beer. Has the perfect amount of carbonation and ends with a lovely alcohol burn in the back of the throat.

O. This is a beer to savor and remember, I wouldn't have more than one of these in a sitting as the supply isn't abundant enough for me to want to just drink them away. The high ABV is also a deterrent in this. Definitely a sipper, but it still has a lot of drinkability.

CFHMagnet, May 19, 2011
Photo of Alpar
4.25/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review #3

A: Extremely dark, light penetration is non existent. LOTS of lacing that is sparatically left around the snifter. Almost looks like a craft maple syrup.

S: Coffee ALL day, this beer is a few months old now and the coffee has not subsided whatsoever. A lot of malts, very little bourbon, vanilla and marshmallow.

T: Fantastic! Coffee stout love child. This is the only vintage I've tried but I imagine the previous batches were similar. Alcohol is pretty muted (at least to me) I can taste the oak but for the most part it is pure coffee and malt.

O: This is really good but I was expecting a bit more, especially on the bourbon side. I had no clue it was more coffee heavy. Seek this out if you love coffee stouts because you won't be disappointed but if you are a Bourbon Barrel fan, this is not a must.

Alpar, May 19, 2011
Photo of beer2day
4.88/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Jet black pour with 1-finger of possibly the darkest head I have seen on a glass of beer. Thin, thin sheen of bubbles leftover all the way to the last sip. Motor oil dark with no hint of anything else.

Nose is mocha, light vanilla, and deep bourbon. Underneath is a bit of bright, dried fruit. Getting more mocha and light roast malt, with coffee, as the glass warms.

Vanilla, dark roast coffee, a touch of mocha and cream, and a blast of bourbon define the taste. Lots of layers here. Excellent bitters in the finish and not the least bit harsh. Very smooth and creamy. Light fruit here, too, with a bit of cherry and very light citrus. Alcohol burn starts to kick in with the 3rd or 4th sip. Hard to get better than this.

Feel is very creamy, slight bit of fizz in the finish, and very smooth.

Overall, wow.

beer2day, May 19, 2011
Photo of mltobin
4.13/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, poured into a small wine glass.

Appearance is black with barely in head to it.
The smell is powerful, a mix of bourbon, rich coffee, dark chocolate. Taking a small sip and I taste charred bread, dark chocolate, bourbon, raisins and roasted malt. The body of it is full and has a certain syrup quality to it. KBS is a big beer, that has a good complexity and quality to go with it. It would be perfect for putting alongside some vanilla ice cream after a hearty meal.

mltobin, May 18, 2011
Photo of kenneyho
4.97/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer lives up to the hype! Smells of bourbon, chocolate and molases. Taste like a bourbon chocolate bomb eploded in your mouth! Crazy good! I would drink this beer everyday and twice on Sunday if I had that many KBS in the cellar! It is a pain to get but well worth the effort.

kenneyho, May 18, 2011
Photo of jbertsch
4.68/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter.

Appears black (surprise, surprise) with a tan head that fades to a film. Minor lacing. Leaves more of an oily coating on the glass when you swirl, not so much a sticky lace - but this is expected for this beer given it's ABV and the bourbon.

Aroma of coffee, bourbon, coca, and a little metallic.

Tastes like creamy mocha with notes of caramel, chocolate, and molasses. An alcohol bite lays over everything. The aftertaste showcases bourbon heat and the flavor of dark coffee grinds.

Meadium-to-heavy body (more on the medium side) with a slick, oily mouthfeel.

This tastes like the people who make Baileys Irish Cream made this. You have to like bourbon to like this, though the bourbon isn’t overpowering…it just takes this “beer” into almost non-beer territory…with flying colors. A great sipper, highly enjoyable, and it went very well with high-grade, bittersweet chocolate. Every beer geek should get their hands on one of these at some point in their life.

jbertsch, May 18, 2011
Photo of LaCoursiere
4.03/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ Mackenzie's for MN Craft Beer Week

A - A 10oz pour served in a beer flute. It arrived with a one-finger dark brown head on top of pitch black night. The head dissipated slowly to a few patches and thin collar. A little bit of lacing was produced when swirled.

S - Roasted malts and hot cocoa w/ marshmallows spiked with a healthy shot of bourbon.

T - Tasted roasted malts and coffee up front fading to cocoa and molasses sweetness in the middle. This gives way to a finish of boozy bourbon flavor with oak and leather notes. At the end the bourbon breaks up leaving an interesting hint of cinnamon/brown sugar sweetness.

M - Medium-heavy body with light carbonation without being syrupy or chewy, yet not particularly smooth either. There is generous alcohol warmth.

O/D - This is a bourbon bomb. The bourbon is the dominant characteristic in the flavor profile. I would have liked a bit more depth of flavor in the beginning taste notes to balance out the strong bourbon character that comes after. But that's being picky. This is a great brew overall and I can't wait until I can enjoy it again.

LaCoursiere, May 18, 2011
Photo of LiquidCucumber
4.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage for a cold, rainy night in May.

A - Dark as night. Pours with a thick but small tan head.

S - Sweet malts and bourbon with a touch of oak. A roasty scent coming from the coffee and chocolate as well.

T- Coffee and bourbon right up front. Melts into chocolate and vanilla as well as some sweet prune. Quite a bit of booze and a hint of oak.

M - Lighter than expected yet still full bodied. Unlike many other bourbon-barreled beers this one doesn't leave an excessive film all over your mouth

O - Tasty and indeed one of the tastiest of the style. Founders makes many of the best beers around and this is a prime example.

Update 2013
I did not get to sample 2012, so here's a little update on the 2013 batch:

Getting a lot more coffee in the aroma than before. Lots of chocolate and bourbon too. Super-smooth and velvety, like their porter and Imperial Stout. So much chocolate and bourbon come through in the flavor, I am surprised that the coffee isn't as pronounced as the aroma. This beer is so nice I wish I could get a four-pack like I did in 2011...

LiquidCucumber, May 18, 2011
Photo of Devi0us
2.98/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Let me start off by saying "Letdown"...had this as part of our Blind Epic Beer Tasting Event and it took a unaminous LAST Place overall. List included 2010 Darklord, Rare Bourbon County Stout, 2011 KBS, 2011 Hunahpu, 2010 Abyss.

A- Pours pitch black like old motor oil with a minimal tan head that disappears rather quickly. Very thick with decent carbonation. 

S- This is where it got me. Had a very Musty smell to it. I've smelled plenty of barrel aged brews and this smell is one that I was not familiar with.

T- Taste was bland and left a dry mouthfeel for me but got a little better as it warmed up. Did not expect it to be this bland. Alcohol was undetectable and very well hidden.

M- Mouthfeel is dry and bland. Light carbonation. 

O- Overall, this was the biggest disappointment of the day. I had a hard time finishing this brew. A bad batch perhaps? Trying this brew again is a MUST. With all the hype surrounding this beer, it has to be better. This was the hardest beer to obtain and was the biggest letdown. As of this review, I have two 4-pack for trade.

Devi0us, May 17, 2011
Photo of ArrogantB
4/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this 2011 in a recent trade with Jedwards, thanks man! Dark black color with a bit of a brown head. Smells like really good coffee to me, nice. The flavor was also really good coffee, not overwhelming, a hint of booze but the alcohol was well hidden. Overall I can see why people like this beer so much but given the price and availability I don;t really have any incentive to get this again.

ArrogantB, May 15, 2011
Photo of cakennedy2006
4.25/5  rDev -8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

My first official review.
Just received this 2011 vintage of Founders KBS today; paid $8.99 per single 12oz. After tax its $40 a four pack! Better be worth the hype.
A- Pours a very thick black with a slight brown head that doesn't stick around long at all.

S- The first scent I pick up is a bourbon and "boozy" smell, followed by chocolate. Wow, its as if I'm smelling a chocolate liqueur with a strong bourbon note!

T- Okay, not as boozy as I expected from the smell but the bourbon flavor has a strong presence. Following the bourbon I taste cocoa or dark chocolate. I'm finding it hard to break past the dominant bourbon flavor (maybe this mellows with age??). The closer to the bottom of my glass and the warmer it gets I can pick out some vanilla notes. Isn't this suppose to be brewed with coffee?? If so, it's a minority in this pool of bourbon chocolate.

M- Full Body, light carbonation, and goes down very smooth for a beer with an abv of 11.2% You wouldn't guess by the smell but the alcohol stays pretty well hidden throughout.

O- Considering the abv this is very drinkable and very smooth. I can't say I'm a huge fan of the bourbon flavor but if I was this would be the perfect brew! I'm very glad I came across this one; just not too happy about the price I paid for it ( $40 a 4 pack!?) I highly recommend this to any bourbon barrel-aged stout lovers, still a must try even if not. Can't wait to age and compare this one!

cakennedy2006, May 14, 2011
Photo of OddNotion
4.03/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

After driving roughly one hundred miles and calling many many stores to track down just three bottles of this spending $21 for them the day it became available in NJ I finally have this beer. With all of this time and effort I was hoping this would be one of the best beers I ever had. I cracked on that night and was a little let down. I decided to not review it, and try it again a few months later away from all the stress and hype.

Poured into my Fantome tulip.

Appearance: Pours a pitch black with a one quarter finger dark tan head. The head sticks around for a little bit.

Smell: One of the most complex smells I have ever experienced in a beer. Chocolate first followed by coffee, vanilla, oak, and then bourbon. Slight booziness is detectible upon a deep inhalation.

Taste: Very complex, yet confusing. When the beer first hits my tongue I get chocolate which quickly turns to oak. At the end of the sip the coffee flavor sticks to the tongue after the beer is gone. As the coffee fades it turns to a vanilla oakiness. Some bourbon is detectible but is well integrated into the beer and it is not overpowering in a bad way at all. For 11.2% it is not overly boozy, but the alcohol certainly is present. Bourbon is much more noticable as the beer warms up, kind of becomes a bourbon bomb.

Mouthfeel: Pretty thick but not nearly the thickest I have had. So I would still call it full bodied, a little more carbonation than expected for how big the beer is.

Overall: Good? Yes. Amazing? I am not sure I would go that far. Given the hype, the insane ratings, the high price, and the insane measures gone through to get it, I was hoping for one of the best beers ever. Instead I was met with a very strong flavored and bold beer that did not quite pull it all together as I hoped it would. I feel like it will do great with some age. Dont get me wrong, I enjoyed the beer, but given all the other factors it did not leave me one hundred percent satisfied. Not worth the insane hype around it. I will certainly drink it again and wouldnt mind trading for it in the future but I will not go through extensive measures to acquire it again.

OddNotion, May 14, 2011
Photo of nataku00
4.08/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A 2011 release bottle, lightly chilled to around 55°F, poured into a tulip glass. Thanks to mtunnell for providing a '11 and a '10 bottle to me in our trade!

Beer pours pitch black with a half a finger of brown milk chocolate colored small bubble head with a vigorous pour. Head dissipates quickly, leaving some light lacing. Swirling shows a bit of alcohol feet sticking to the glass edge. Some carbonation is visible at the edge of the glass when swirling the beer lightly.

The bourbon was very apparent as soon I popped the cap on the bottle. Bourbon overshadows the rest of the flavor notes on the nose, bit of charred oak, burnt sugar, milk chocolate, dark roasted malt, and fruity coffee. A bit too much bourbon on the nose though, but it somewhat makes sense since this is a fresh bottle. As the beer sits, the aroma is weaker than I would have expected from a beer like this.

Very strong bourbon on the tongue, vanilla, caramel, oak, dark fruits, prunes mainly. The stout is somewhat backseat to the barrel treatment, but there's milk chocolate, roasted malt a hint of coffee, some floral hop bitterness. Lots of alcohol warmth in the mouth and the throat. Finish is mostly clean, maybe some bourbon vanilla and oak notes.

Medium body with some good small bubble carbonation to move the flavors along. Definitely a slow sipper with the alcohol making this burn a bit. At this point, this really is a bourbon lover's type of beer, but I would like more of the beer to come through. Curious if I should open the '10 bottle soon and see how it compares.

nataku00, May 13, 2011
Photo of jcartamdg
4.93/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured a 2010 bottle into my bruery tulip. Dark black with a 1finger mocha head that dissipates quickly. Nice lacing that clings to the glass like its glue. Aroma is coffee malt and light bourbon. I thought coffee fades out of beers quickly, I guess the coffee in KBS doesn't follow the rules. Man this beer tastes smooth, it follows the nose but is more balanced with a year on it, less hot and booze. I like it fresh but I love it with a year on it. Fantastic brew!

jcartamdg, May 12, 2011
Photo of gaugebozo
4.8/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2011 batch, drank in May. Served in a small glass (totally not appropriate for beer :) ).

Appearance - Opaque black with chocolate foam. Very lacy foam on the glass while drinking.

Smell - Chocolate, bourbon, and light alcohol.

Taste - WOW. So complex! Chocolate malt milkshake, coffee/vanilla, then boozy bourbon (hardcore) all with plenty of roast. Not my favorite type, but hands down the best beer I've ever drank. Can't taste the hops, but they have to be there to balance the sweetness.

Mouthfeel - Thick and milky. The foam is even milk-shakey.

Overall - This beer is amazing. Easily the best beer I've drank, though I have other favorite types. If you like these flavors, you have to try this. It's never appropriate to pay some of the prices I've seen for it or any beer, ($60 a 4 pack? Please.) but this stuff is great.

gaugebozo, May 12, 2011
Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 3.30.11

Bottled on 2.25.11

A- Pours a black-brown with almost no head. What head is there is a dark brown.

S- Smells like old, leftover coffee.

T- Tasts like coffee with a bourbon bomb in it.

D- No carbonation and flat, oily in the mouth.

O- Good, but not my favorite Stout.

HuskyinPDX, May 12, 2011
Photo of schmoopsbeer
4.7/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served into a eagle rock brewery snifter at cellar temp.

Thanks to Thorpe429 for my first 4 pack of KBS. Cheers Bud.

Color: Solid black. Thin dime head the shade of tan. Minimal lacing with light carbonation.

Nose: Waves of coffee and chocolate hit the nose and you just want to keep smelling. Traces of vanilla and mellow molasses float in the background. Also present are light woody texture that add character to the nose.

Palate: Full bodied,thick and rich.... just like a yummy stout should be. Coffee and chocolate swirl on the tongue and the sweetness of the vanilla tingle your taste buds.

Finish: Long and thick... quite complex and beautifully layered with flavor. The bourbon influence is really present here.

schmoopsbeer, May 11, 2011
Photo of brew3crew
4.97/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2011 vintage

A-nice jet black color with no head :(

S-Great subtle bourbon smell with a nice maltiness in the background.

T-Wowzers. Nice subtle bourbon taste. Very complex taste with a great malt backbone.

M-Medium bodied and oh so smooth. crazy drinkable

O-Fantastic beer. well worth the ratings it has! Lives up to the hype!

brew3crew, May 10, 2011
Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 8,947 ratings.