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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.

8,624 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,624
Reviews: 2,514
rAvg: 4.62
pDev: 8.87%
Wants: 3,322
Gots: 3,150 | 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: 8,624 | Reviews: 2,514 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jbone78
4.3/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had a little vertical of this the other night. 08-10 and I liked the 09 the best.

It poured black with 1/8 inch tan head. Coffee, chocolate balanced well with the bourbon flavors, but the 08 were very faded to me. This is just an overview of my tasting. I really think the fresher the better in my opinion.


jbone78, Nov 14, 2010
Photo of chicano4craft
4.43/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours black as night in my snifter. The small tan head disappears as fast as it appeared. Leaves a thin halo.

Nose has hugh bourbon notes. The alcohal mixes well with the strong, woody barrel aroma. There's slight chocolate and coffee. Very nice.

This taste like it was poured straight from the barrel! Lots of alcohal soaked wood. A little vanilla plays on the coffee of the stout. I get more wood than any other similar beer I've ever had. That's not a bad thing at all. The complexity grows as the beer warms.

Despite the big abv it's surprisingly drinkable. The carbonation seems to fade as the beer warms leaving a nice syrup quality. The body has some depth but isn't chewy. Thinner than I expected.

This one lives up to the hype and then some. Great beer that should be enjoyed now...and later. Another Founders beer that has me wishing for distribution in CO.

chicano4craft, Nov 09, 2010
Photo of BuckeyeOne
4.9/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Stub & Herb's in Mpls. Served in a 10 oz. snifter. Poured a impenetrable black with a mocha-colored solid head that left only a trace of lacing.

The aroma was perfectly wonderful --- bourbon, vanilla, dark chocolate, molasses, dried fruit, and only a hint of coffee. No hint of alcohol in the nose.

The taste was exceptionally blended together, while the nose had distinct, somewhat separate aromas. The flavors were blended into a sweet (vanilla, molasses, dried fruit), yet bitter (dark, bitter chocolate, espresso, and bourbon) elixir. As this warms, it becomes ever more flavorful. Like the nose, I didn't get a taste of booze at all.

The mouthfeel is oily and slick with just the right amount of carbonation to hold the whole thing up. It becomes downright creamy as it warms.

I could (and would if it were distributed in my area) drink several of these at a sitting. This might just be the best imperial stout I've ever had. For me the high alcohol content would limit its drinkability and is the only non-5.0 rating I've given this exceptional beer. While I couldn't taste the heat of the alcohol, I certainly could feel it.

BuckeyeOne, Nov 08, 2010
Photo of liamt07
4.83/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle courtesy of TMoney2591, via the Support Your Team BIF! Cheers dude, a dream come true to sip this one. Into a brandy snifter, bottled on February 18, 2010.

Pours pitch black, less than half a finger of DARK brown head, leaving some bubbles and a collar in its wake. Lacing is trace. Nose is wonderful: loads of dark chocolate, coffee, bourbon, a general lovely roastiness, more coffee, a touch of alcohol. Taste is bourbon sweetness upfront with some molasses and licorice, melds seamlessly with lots of coffee and some lesser chocoalte. Lingering alcohol burn in the throat; long, long finish. Nose and flavour alternates between being dominated by either bourbon or coffee as it warms, pleasing everytime I raise this to my nose. Very warming, smooth, creamy and sweet in the mouth with some stickiness. Excellent drinkability for the ABV.

liamt07, Nov 07, 2010
Photo of soze47
4.63/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had a 12 oz. bottle of 2010 KBS at Armesby Abbey in Worcester last night. This was my first time with KBS, but I've been a huge fan of Breakfast Stout for years. Poured by the bartender into a Founder's Tulip.

Rich, deeply khaki tan head on top of a slick looking black body. This one looks rick and deep. Hardly a shred of light can cut through this guy.

I get a very boozy, dark chocolate whiff right off the bat. Warms the nostrils. Not so much coffee flavor here, but a nice host of roasted malts are in the scent too.

This is a very unified, complex tasting beer. I think the alcohol melts all the flavors together. There is indeed a lot of dark chocolate bitterness that get complemented well by dark fruit and roasted malts.

This may be the slickest feeling beer I've ever had. It is chewy and warm, but hardly what you'd call viscous. There is a strong lingering taste to this beer, but it mostly comes in the form of a boozy heat, not cloying body. One of these will do you just fine. Probably no need to drink for than one of these in a night. Just too rich, boozy, and nuanced to have more than one.

I really loved this beer. I'm glad I've had it now so I can compare it to regular FBS. This one definitely cuts down on the coffee presence, but the boozy heat adds a different dimension to the overall flavor profile.

33 Beers Flavor Chart (5 high to 1 low):
Alcoholic/Solvent: 4.5
Dark Fruit: 4
Citrus Fruit: 1
Hoppy (pine): 3
Floral: 2
Spicy: 3
Herbal: 3
Malty: 5
Toffee: 4
Burnt: 3
Sweet: 3
Sour: 1
Bitter: 3.5
Astringent: 1
Body: 4
Linger: 4

soze47, Nov 04, 2010
Photo of ShanePB
4.5/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap at Craft Ale House 3/30/2011, 10 oz pour.

A: Pitch black, bubbly tan head which forms into a tight ring around the glass lasting sip through swallow. Slight lacing, nothing major but for an 11.2% ABV beer, it's impressive.

S: Boozy bourbon notes up-front, dark rum, oak wood, roasted coffee and vanilla beans. Really intoxicating and delicious for a barrel-aged beer. Nicely done.

T: Bourbon notes come through immediately, hitting heavy and dominating the palate. It's not hot, so it's very bearable. Coffee beans are next to help take a bit of the edge off and provide some balance. Vanilla and more wood finish things off and leave a nice warming sensation in the throat.

M: Medium-full bodied, almost chewy, moderate carbonation.

Perhaps I've matured into appreciating (bourbon) barrel-aged beers much more than I did a few months ago. After revisiting, there was no reason this deserved a score so low from me. It's one of the best barrel-aged, carefully crafted Imperial Stouts out there.

ShanePB, Nov 03, 2010
Photo of callmescraps
4.1/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

About damned time. Shared with friends, reviewed from notes.

Appearance- Black, as expected. A half inch tan head. Caps very nicely. Not much legs.

Smell- Lots of coffee roast up front. Bourbon and vanilla. A little more subdued than expected.

Taste- Coffee roast. It's not overwhelming, and pretty nice. However, I'd like some more bourbon and vanilla notes. It's like coffee ice cream with a touch of hazelnut. Also some oak notes.

Mouthfeel- Nice body. Well rounded.

Drinkability- Good. I'd definitely like to have some more.

Was definitely glad to have this one. I've been looking forward to it. It was good, but not my favorite of this style. I wish it was BCS, frankly.

callmescraps, Nov 01, 2010
Photo of JizackFH
4.75/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours the blackest of blacks with a nice very dark tan head that dissipated quickly, leaving some nice lacing on the glass. The smell is great. It smells of Dark malts, chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, oak, and coffee. Tastes awesome. Coffee and chocolate, with the bourbon taste coming through well. There is also a nice sweetness to this beer that seems to stay in your mouth for a while. The mouthfeel is great for this type of beer. Very heavy body with low carbonation. Coats the mouth very well and really lets you taste the beer very well. The drinkability is very good with this beer even though it is definitely a slow sipper. It took me a long time to finish my glass of this, I had a great time doing it though. I really loved this beer and I think founders did a great job making it. This will be the perfect beer for the middle of winter. Great job founders. Cheers.

JizackFH, Nov 01, 2010
Photo of mrandypandy
3.3/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle purchased from Hop City, in Atlanta. 2010 vintage.

A - Pours jet black with a dark mocha head which dies down quickly. Decent lacing.
S - Heavy coffee with subdued notes of bourbon and oak.
T - Tastes strangely like a coffee malt/milkshake with a bitter lactose chocolate kick. I've complained that some beers weren't complex enough, but KBS is overly complex without being harmonious
M - Thick, heavy, sugary sweet. Fully body with a LOT of residual sugars. Good carbonation though.
D - Medium. As said earlier, there is a lot going on, but it all lends itself to the sweet side. One bottle is MORE than enough.

Overall - I have had KBS many times. New. Old. Fresh. Aged. Honestly, this beer is over-hyped and under-performing. It has complexity but nothing meshes together, and I fear too much would put my in a diabetic coma... A decent (not great) beer that is nowhere near Founders best offering.

mrandypandy, Oct 29, 2010
Photo of dpnelson1978
4.55/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz. bottle into glass snifter.

$5.00 / ea.

A: Opaque black body with bright brown edges. Small brown head that quickly dissipates leaving light bubbly lacing and a thin creamy cover.

S: Heavy deep roasted malt with hints of coffee and bourbon. Noticeable hotness but smoothing. Hop aromas are unable to compete or standout, but they are not missed.

T: The coffee stands out more in the mouth than the nose, and is complimented by an exceptionally smooth alcoholic bourbon flavor. Deep roasted malt flavors and notes of bitter chocolate in place of any perceptible hop character.

M: Light to medium body with low carbonation. Very smooth and rounded without any carbonic bite.

D: Dangerously drinkable for an 11.2 abv. Fantastic in a snifter if you take your time and enjoy the nuance and changes as it warms to room temperature.

O: Worth every single penny. Fantastic. The hype is deserved.

dpnelson1978, Oct 25, 2010
Photo of jorg2619
4.3/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This famous beer has come out of my cellar for a taste 6 months later. The pour was black with a multi toned tan to dark brown head that falls to a thin line of foam with large legs and some irregular lacing. The smell is awesome complex, coffee, boozy overtones and a bit of roasted malt and sweet hints of some malt somewhere out in the beer. i found the taste to be complex (understatement) and strong. I taste a hint of chocolate at the front of my tongue. I then am smashed with the collage of coffee, booze, and roasted malt flavors. i also tasted a hint of metal flavor from the extreme amount of strong coffee flavors. The mouthfeel is exceptional and that is all I am going to say about this. I have one more from this year in my cellar so it will remain fro another 6 months to a year. Good beer

jorg2619, Oct 23, 2010
Photo of jlmarshall
4.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark coal with almost no head. It smells of oak and bourbon with a little coffee and hints of dark sugars. The mouthfeel is not quite as full and bready as I expected. It's sharp and bubbly on the tongue, sticky and fairly warm, slightly bitter. The taste is very complicated with the obvious bourbon. The alcohol is fairly strong. Slightly malty with a hint of coffee and chocolate. There's definitely a lot to this beer I don't know how to describe. Kind of a burnt caramel maybe with some vanilla undertones. I quite like it and this beer seems to improve with every drink. What a fantastic brew! It's pretty strong, so I don't know how many I could drink, but I'm pretty sure I'd like to find out.

jlmarshall, Oct 22, 2010
Photo of GeezLynn
4.33/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Jet black with a wisp of brown head. KBS never shows much head but does leave a sticky foam ring around any glass fortunate enough to hold it.

S: Bourbon, chocolate, coffee. Bourbon and malt blend together exceptionally well to give that sweet chocolate effect. Soft coffee follows and along with vanilla and oak, contributes to a smooth yet complex aroma. Very nice.

T: Starts as nice blend of chocolate and roasted malt with molasses, bourbon and cherry. Smoothing effect of the coffee is noticeable through this stage. Bourbon flavor continues and gets progressively hotter, lingering through the slightly astringent finish.

M: Thick with light carbonation. Sticky sweet feel, but not as thick/frothy as what I consider the benchmark for mouthfeel in style - GD OA Yeti or GI BCS.

All in all, a great sipper. I consider it a pretty "hot" beer, with a little too much ethanol noticeable in the flavor even for 11% abv. But I love the depth and flavor progression and the way the coffee fits in with the rest of the beer.

GeezLynn, Oct 22, 2010
Photo of phisigben
4.15/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter

Look- Looks great, so thick light doesn't get through. There is about 1-1.5in of thick chocolate colored head that stays for a while.

Smell - Huge bourbon smell, a little coffee, very little chocolate and vanilla. When compared to other BA stouts this smells average/below average.

Taste- Compared to the smell the bourbon is subtler than the other flavors that come through. I get mostly coffee, then the bourbon, and again very little chocolate/vanilla. But the flavors are very well balanced so in the taste category I rate this a little higher when compared to other BA stouts.

Mouthfeel- Thick and viscous it coats the mouth well and the taste lingers on the palate.

Drinkability - I could drink more than one of these at a sitting but because of the availability I have to conserve my bottles. I only have 8 left for the next 4 months L

phisigben, Oct 20, 2010
Photo of cetherid
4.45/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

poured into a tulip


pours pretty much black. a little head that dissipates very quickly. a very nice looking beer.


amazing smell. bourbon, oaky, bitter chocolate and roasted coffee. Subtle notes of vanilla as well.


awesome. perfect amount of bourbon taste. then you get the standard breakfast stout flavors in there. the coffee and chocolate notes. A little sweet tasting as well.


medium to heavy bodied. smooth and a little creamy. Not too carbonated. just perfect.


Ii'll definitely be on the lookout for this. But it's a little difficult to find and the alcohol content is kinda high. Would be hard to have often. I will definitely go outta my way to get this however.

cetherid, Oct 20, 2010
Photo of Armand
5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a tulip glass. Smell was amazing, and what I expected after wanting to try it for some time. Smell of chocolate and roasted malts swirled throughout the glass. Oaky and and slight bourbon floated on the palate. Genuine beer lives up to its reputation. Small head lingered for the first few sips. Great beer to chill to. Smoother and sweeter as it cooled down. Great 'til the last sip. Savored every moment.

Armand, Oct 17, 2010
Photo of Vdubb86
4.63/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Waterford Crystal Snifter

Thanks to TMoney2591 for allowing me to get a bottle of this goodness

This is my 100th review, here's to many more

The KBS pours an absences of light topped with a nice sandy brown finger of foam. The aroma is most notably similar to well aged bourbon whiskey. The main difference is there is a wonderful bouquet of coffee, chocolate, bourbon, oak, vanilla and smoked malts that create a splendid melange of aromas for the nose. The taste is quite similar. There are the distinct flavors of a really good mocha coffee and bourbon whiskey to warm the cockles of the heart. Oak is one of the most prominent flavors on the tongue followed by hints of vanilla and butterscotch. The chocolate flavor works really nicely with the whiskey. The mouthfeel is interesting. The alcohol and bitterness which are indeed flavors are only preemptive of the smoothness that follows. This is a sipper by nature but goddamn if it isn't tasty and velvety smooth. I only have 2 thumbs to put up, but I wish I had more to tell you how good this beer is as a recommendation.

Vdubb86, Oct 13, 2010
Photo of BruChef
3.86/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter, very dark brown, almost black, somewhat viscous with very little, quickly dissipating head. Nice lacing on the sides with a thin layer of tan, head like residue lasting for a few minutes. Smells overwhelmingly of coffee and alcohol. Hard to detect bourbon or vanilla but its there, just need to let it warm up a bit. Mouth feel at around mid 40's is okay but let it warm up to 50 degrees and it's right where it needs to be. Carbonation is subtle, but needs to be compensated with just a little more body. Taste is coffee all the way through with slight notes of vanilla and less of bourbon, both more prevalent as it warms towards the finish. Coffee is very, almost too intense. Some coffee like acidity balanced by some dark brown sugar towards the end as i finish the snifter. Definitely A little boozy too.
Good beer? Yeah. Over hyped? For sure. Would love to try a version with less or without coffee.

BruChef, Oct 13, 2010
Photo of revolt914
4.35/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is extremely good and I really really really did enjoy it but I don't think the cost is worth the drink. With that being said if this cost around $2.50 to $3.00 I would have it a lot more often.

A: Poured damn near black and had about an inch of chocolate colored head, nice brown shade. Looked damn good!

S: You can smell the bourbon in this one quite a bit... everything else is almost masked until you take a sip. Then you get a bit of vanilla and coffee smell.

T: You can really taste the vanilla in this and it could be described as a vanilla coffee flavor then the bourbon smacks you but in a sexy way.

M: Warm and easy to tongue a bit more bourbon flavor than I'd like but A class beer all together!

D: I could sit and sip on one of these and not get tired of it for quite some time, very drinkable but I wouldn't drink to many with the price of over $6 for a single 12oz bottle.

revolt914, Oct 13, 2010
Photo of hophead247
4.78/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an oily black with a nice tan head that disappeared almost instantly. The aroma is strong coffee, light bourbon, alcohol, roasted chocolate, roasty all around. The flavor was also strongly coffee, chocolate, light bourbon again, alcohol is well contained, vanilla extract shows. Different taste for an impy, not quite as sweet. The palate is smooth and rich. Alcohol finishes warm and creates a mild warmth in the stomach. Excellent beer.

hophead247, Oct 12, 2010
Photo of Axic10
4.5/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pitch black with a finger of mocha colored head.

Smell: Bourbon, heavy vanilla, coffee and chocolate.

Taste: Bourbon, roasted malt, vanilla, oak and dark chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and very smooth.

Drinkability: Very enjoyable beer. A completely different beer than the Breakfast Stout. Definitely seek this out when it is available.

Axic10, Oct 12, 2010
Photo of ratedz
4.68/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle (bottled 02/08/2010) pours pitch black with about an eighth inch mocha colored head that dissipates very quickly.

The smell of bourbon hits you immediately followed by dark roast coffee and a hint of vanilla. What more could you want?!

Taste follows the nose with coffee, vanilla, and a lot of alochol heat from the bourbon barrels. This beer takes bourbon barrel aged beers to a whole new level. Ridiculously good now and it will only get better with time as the bourbon mellows and the flavors blend together a little more.

Smooth and creamy mouth feel, not the thickest stout I've had, but about what I would expect from a barrel aged stout. The heat has gone down a little in the six or so months since KBS came out earlier this year, but it's still a little on the hot side. Definitely a sipping beer, but one that I enjoyed every drop of.

ratedz, Oct 11, 2010
Photo of CaptainTripps
4.5/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle provided by HopsBreath poured into a snifter.

A: Black as night, could not see through it, no head, little carbonation.

S: Bourbon was the dominate smell here accompanied by coffee notes. Maybe vanilla here and their. Smells awesome.

T: Big stout, BIG STOUT. Bourbon and a dark chocolate/coffee roast combo are the many flavors that I am receiving from this brew. Vanilla notes here and there. Most warming brew that I have ever had.

M: Very thick, mild to no carbonation. Very smooth and warming.

D: With the alcohol at 11.20%ABV, you can tell its there, but goes down very smoothly. This beer is very much a sipper, a beer I could see myself winding down the week with.

Lived up to all the hype it gets. Excellent brew, got to get my hands on to some more of this stuff.

CaptainTripps, Oct 10, 2010
Photo of GabrielM
4.88/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter.

A - freaking amazing! Pitch black, small amount of creamy head on top that quickly dissipates.

S - bourbon, chocolate, coffee, toffee, vanilla.

T - same as nose, in that order, but much more intense. This beer takes both stouts and bourbon aged beers to new heights.

M - carbonation is perfect, just the right amount of thickness and body, and all the flavors come together amazingly.

D - would've been a 5, but it's still pretty hot. I'm sure it would be outstanding in a year+, but I just couldn't wait.

GabrielM, Oct 08, 2010
Photo of Urbancaver
4.83/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tasted side by side with CBS at dutch's in Cincinnati

Appearance- dark as night and great mocha head

Smell- smells strong of coffee and bourbon. Exactly what i would expect for a Kentucky named beer

Taste- strong coffee taste and a lot of heat from the bourbon

Mouthfeel- well carbonated and smooth

Drinkability- two glasses in and loving it :)

Urbancaver, Oct 07, 2010
Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 8,624 ratings.