1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.

8,538 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,538
Reviews: 2,509
rAvg: 4.63
pDev: 8.86%
Wants: 3,282
Gots: 3,116 | FT: 224
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: 8,538 | Reviews: 2,509 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ZeroSignal
4.8/5  rDev +3.7%

Poured from a 12 oz bottle

A - Pours motor oil black with a good one finger's worth of cappuccino colored head. Retention settles to a thin layer but remains until the end; sticky lacing.

S - Immediate smell after pouring is like Hershey's Chocolate Syrup. After sitting for a bit, notes of coffee bean, espresso, chocolate, and a woody/earthy aroma come through. A bit of alcohol is also present in the nose.

T&M - Thick and full bodied but smooth. Many bold flavors; chocolate, vanilla bean, cocoa nibs, and a big earthy presence. There is a woodsy, ashy quality here that contributes to the earthy factor. Fresh roasted espresso beans and coffee notes. The finish is somewhat tannic with a bit of alcohol warmth, and the chocolate and coffee notes seem to linger forever.

D - I wouldn't guess that this was over 11% ABV. What a tasty, deicious and drinkable beer. So many flavors but all well balanced. This is a home run from Founder's, and it would get solid 5's from me but for the high ABV impacting the drinkability

Notes - I was actually expecting this beer to be over hyped and not as good as described...I was very happily proven wrong. I think this beer would be fantastic with dessert or as an aperitif, but my pairing preference would be tiramisu.

ZeroSignal, Aug 07, 2010
Photo of cbak999
4.83/5  rDev +4.3%

Big Thanks to CampusCrews for the trade that allowed me to sample this treat. The month is not readable on the bottle, but the year is defintely 2010.

A- Black. Simple as that. A small tan head that quickly fades to a ring around the glass. There is no light getting through this beer.

S- Bourbon, chocolate and coffee, in that order. But the overwhelming smell is the sweet bourbon.

T- Coffee is the first taste. Then boubon is the first aftertaste. The predominant aftertaste fades to chocolate. This beer is complex!! There are so many other tastes going on.

D- I love it! The 11.2% is well hidden, but not so much that you forget that you are drinking a monster stout - the king of imperial stouts. This beer is awesome....there is no doubt it stands up to the hype! I only wish it were more readily available.

cbak999, Aug 07, 2010
Photo of AdamGarcia
4.13/5  rDev -10.8%

12oz bottle served in Unibroue tulip. I've had KBS quite a few times now this season so I figured it was time I reviewed one.

A: High viscosity is apparent from the pour. Looks like old motor oil. No light whatsoever seems to be able to permeate this one. Half and inch of light brown head initially that quickly dwindles to a thin ring.

S: Dark roasty malt. Charred, but in a good way. Vanilla and oak along with chocolate and coffee. Cappuccino? Little bit of toffee.

T: Sweet up front, almost too much so. Combination of semisweet and dark chocolate with some chocolate syrup to boot. Coffee makes an appearance. I feel like the bourbon is present in an appropriate amount. Sometimes it gets overdone (I'm looking at you GIBCS) but KBS gets it about right. Finishes bitter in preparation for the next sip.

M: Viscous and slick. Low carbonation.

D: Complex and interesting. Evolves over the course of 30-60 minutes.

I'm a very big fan of Founder's and KBS is no exception. It is a great beer, however, given its high price and limited availability you can do better. Old Raspy, Peche Mortel, Yeti, and Founder's Imperial Stout are all more readily available, easier on the wallet, and arguably as good or better than KBS. Don't get me wrong, I rate this beer highly and I'll continue to pick up some of this every year. I just feel that this is one of those beers in which rarity plays a big role in its lofty reputation.

AdamGarcia, Aug 05, 2010
Photo of chase2634
4.47/5  rDev -3.5%

This beer pours a dark black with a dark brown head that settles down to a nice ring around my glass.

The smell is of coffee, bourban, chocolate, burnt malt. Excellent aroma.

The flavor is very complex. First you get a bit of coffee presence in the front but it is fought off with the bourban nose. The middle is a lot of chocolate and roasted malt. The finish is a mixture of bourbon, chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, and i think even a hint of caramel. All of these flavors just blend together perfectly.

The mouthfeel is full bodied with medium carbonation. Very creamy with fine carbonation. Seems to get creamier as it warms up. I caught myself almost trying to chew this beer at times. So much flavor!

Well balanced and smooth. Goes down pretty darn easy to say the least.

chase2634, Aug 05, 2010
Photo of a10t2
4.55/5  rDev -1.7%

12 oz brown stubby, no lot number or date I can find. Pretty neat label art IMHO. Poured into a imperial pint nonic.

A: Pours a viscous, opaque black, but without the legs you might sometimes see on a beer this big. A few tiny wisps of head that fade within the first few minutes, but actually some good persistent lacing all the way down.

S: A distinct whiff of coffee as soon as it's poured, then a more aggressive sniff reveals fairly intense roasty and chocolatey notes. Maybe a hint of spicy or noble hop character. No alcohol.

T: Very up-front in the chocolate, then some coffee, then the vanilla and/or oak flavors come through. Alcohol starts to be felt in the middle of the palate, then builds throughout. The aftertaste is distinctly reminiscent of a good dark chocolate. Extremely complex and long-lived flavor profile.

M: Surprisingly light, some moderate carbonation is apparent. Alcohol is definitely there, but never solventy or overly harsh. Faint oily slickness is left behind, making you want to wash it down with another sip.

D: This is not a session beer by any means, but for what it is it's hard to imagine it being any more drinkable. Highly recommended.

a10t2, Aug 03, 2010
Photo of DeutschesBier
4.75/5  rDev +2.6%

One of the few beers where I truly feel you get a new taste with each sip you take. Even while pouring this great-looking black beer, I picked up coffee and vanilla hints. As I took my first sip, those flavors were in the forefront. The next few sips brought out more of a coffee flavor, followed by more of a bourbon hint. This truly is a great beer. I just wish it was a tad easier to come by.

DeutschesBier, Aug 03, 2010
Photo of ncaudle
4.45/5  rDev -3.9%

Poured from 12oz bottle into snifter.

Pours a nice black color with a slight brownish colored head.

Bourbon. No avoiding that but at the same time, one sip you get the dark chocolate aroma, while the next is an espresso, then a sweet molasses, etc. Keeps you guessing which one will pop up as you drink.

Lightish mouth feel. Not bad, but the barrel aging has thinned down the oatmeal base maybe a touch too much.

Still very drinkable, even at the higher ABV.

ncaudle, Aug 02, 2010
Photo of unclejimbay
4.58/5  rDev -1.1%

Thanks to CampusCrew for sharing this brew on a recent brew day for us to enjoy and discuss.

Appearance was dark coffee in color with a short tan head and limited if any retention.
Aromas of roasty dark malts, mellow burbon and oak whispers without being overly done. Coffee, roasted chocolate and some sweetness sneaks in.
Big on taste. Tasets as it smells. Warms up nice with a silky smooth mouthfeel, low carbonation and well done hop support. Mellow but evident bitterness.

Possibly a bit hyped? Sure, possibly...
This beer is a well crafted Impy Stout for sure, I would pursue it again, but dont think I could drink more than one given its jam packed with flavor, body and character.
Sip and enjoy this one at an appropriatte slow pace. This one requires some time to earn the full respect and complexity it deserves. Ok... I now think I need another one to fully do it justice.

unclejimbay, Aug 02, 2010
Photo of TheHoppiest
4.78/5  rDev +3.2%

Poured from the standard Founders squat bottle into a pint glass. This is my second time having this brew, and I'm quite eager to enjoy it.

Pours an inky black, with a deep tan head that slowly dissipates, clinging slight;y to the sides as it does so.

Has a rich, mocha flavor, dark chocolate and coffee. Alcohol, burnt toffee, and vanilla slightly tickle the nose as well.

Mmmmm, this is as tasty as I remember, better, even, as I allowed it to get good and warm. Rich and creamy, the sweet mocha flavor fades as a burnt coffee bitter rises as the tip of the tongue. Vanilla wamth flows down the throat with a pleasant alcohol burn. This is a pleasant, warming, soothing brew, perfect at the end of the day. I wish I had a few more in the basement to savor on a cooler day than today.

Mouthfeel is like silk, exquisitely smooth and rich.

Highly sipable, one to enjoy slowly.

TheHoppiest, Aug 02, 2010
Photo of BuckyFresh
4.63/5  rDev 0%

Appearance: Poured from a 12oz bottle into a large wine glass. Pours an oily, opaque, black color with a thin chocolate head that dissipates rapidly. I can pick up some dark brown during the poor, but once this stuff is in the glass, very little light finds its way through. Some sticky lacing present as well, but not to a great degree.

Smell: Roasted coffee, molasses, and dark chocolate are the major aromas at play here. The alcohol is fairly detectable and the bourbon adds something nice as well. Overall, the nose has great depth and complexity, with smells varying from very rich to very light and sweet.

Taste: Very smooth and much less boozy than I anticipated. The oak character goes a long way in offsetting a lot of the sweetness, and there is a bit of a bitter quality that is quite refreshing. The coffee, molasses and chocolate are discernible, but the bourbon and oak stand out amongst the other flavors. Top notch!

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied, but fairly balanced because of the oak presence. Creamy, and smooth. The alcohol/bourbon warms the soul and lasts throughout the tasting experience.

Drinkability: Delicious, but intense. I think I might be able to have two of these, but beyond that I think it might get to be a little much.

BuckyFresh, Aug 02, 2010
Photo of EgadBananas
4.18/5  rDev -9.7%

This thing is sexy. Complete absence of color; opaque. A vigorous pour yielded a big mocha brown head. clumpy, stick lacing ensues.

Smells rich of chocolate, alcohol and coffee. The alcohol actually fits into the aroma wonderfully. As a whole though it's slightly underwhelming. Still inviting.

Dark chocolate roast coffee. That's my initial impression. The alcohol punches you in the face, then caresses you and tells you everything is okay. It's a wonderful meld.

This is a thick, full, sludge of a stout and I wouldn't have it any other way.

This is strong, but in no way off-putting. 1 is everlasting in a night, despite it's desirability.

EgadBananas, Jul 31, 2010
Photo of djbreezy
4.93/5  rDev +6.5%

BA user squaremile brought this back from me from the other side of the country. Bottle poured into a snifter.

appearance - pours medium thick and viscous, dark black brown, rich tan head, sticky lacing, head settles quickly but there is good retention on the edges

smell - big chocolate on the nose, roasty malt, oak and bourbon, coffee notes, complex

taste - huge bourbon flavor, roasty malt follows and finish out with huge bittersweet chocolate, vanilla, bourbon burn then mellows, oak, very complex

mouthfeel - smooth, thick but just right, not too thick, good level of carbonation, feels very natural

drinkability - very big and complex beer, alcohol is intense, flavor is intense, incredibly enjoyable

djbreezy, Jul 31, 2010
Photo of jsanford
4.93/5  rDev +6.5%

Poured into my Stone RIS tulip

A - Deep, dark black with just the thinnest creamy tan ring around the glass. No significant lacing.

S - Bourbon, chocolate and coffee. There's no mistaking this beer, one of the most delicious and memorable smells in the world.

T - Heaven in a glass. Bourbon, chocolate and coffee, these are a few of my favorite things, with a bit of vanilla to round it out. Amazingly balanced, despite all the big flavors.

M - Smooth and creamy with perfect "prickly" carbonation. There is a bit of alcohol burn, but I like it. It lets you know you are drinking something with bourbon in it and it puts hair on your chest!

D - I could live off this. I fell in love on first sip, easily one of my favorites of all time. Just an amazing beer, and one that holds a special place for me as my big gateway into the world of craft beer.

jsanford, Jul 30, 2010
Photo of mcann2pu
3.93/5  rDev -15.1%

Appearance: pours a silky pitch black, motor oil-esq color, has a thin tan head, not much lacing.

Smell: malty, coffee, chocolate smell on this beer,

Taste: very rich stout taste with some good warming alcohol taste from the barrels,

Mouthfeel: smooth, but it has a good body,

Drinkability: it packs more of a punch than I would have though, but it was good.

mcann2pu, Jul 29, 2010
Photo of STEG
4.45/5  rDev -3.9%

Thanks to Augustiner719 and enelson for this one.

Poured into a delirium noel snifter from a 12oz bottle. Color is jet black with an initial one finger light brown sugar colored head whose consistency reminds me of the foam present on hot cocoa. Smell is bourbon, chocolate, vanilla, and malted milkshake upfront with undertones of coffee. Taste has coffee burnt sugar and unsweetened chocolate present with toasty malt in the background and the finish is a bit too bitter for me for a stout like this. Mouthfeel is pretty light for a beer that markets itself as this big, although drinkability does take a hit due do the bitterness and the alcohol presence.

STEG, Jul 28, 2010
Photo of Manoftyr
4.13/5  rDev -10.8%

Appearance-Pours a slick total black into the glass with small tan head.

Aroma-Fresh coffee followed by chocolate malt with hints of bourbon around the edges; smells pretty good.

Taste-Bourbon soaked fudge cake is the first thing I think of upon tasting this, then comes the coffee element. It's really surprisingly straight forward, but not in a bad way.

Mouthfeel-Thick and plush with medium carbonation.

Drinkability-One bottle of this is fine for me in a single night of drinking.

Manoftyr, Jul 25, 2010
Photo of Infamous7100
4.85/5  rDev +4.8%

A: Pitch black with a very, very thin tan head.
S: The smell of fresh coffee comes wafting out upon pouring followed up by waves of chocolate and bourbon. Reminds me of the bourbon balls on Derby day. Just an outstanding blend.
T: Absolute perfection. Coffee and chocolate hits you right away and is accompanied by some vanilla. The bourbon rears its head toward the back and makes you take notice. However, not one flavor is too dominate. Founders was spot on when they brewed this.
M: Slick and creamy. A nice aftertaste thats not too dry and a slight burn from the high ABV.
D: Somehow, with all that is going on with this beer, it manages to stay highly drinkable and not too filling. Use discretion at 11% ABV, but this tastes so good, you might as well have another because you aren't going anywhere. Kudos. Best Imperial Stout I have had.

Infamous7100, Jul 25, 2010
Photo of dbossman
4.78/5  rDev +3.2%

A: Black and fairly thick with a thin brown head; nice, even lacing for the style

S: Chocolate, coffee, bourbon dominate but a roasted maltiness also peeks through; so much coffee, chocolate, and bourbon

T: Coffee, bourbon, and subtle chocolate; wow this is complex and delicious; alcohol is well masked

F: Creamy and perfect mouth feel

D: Alcohol is masked making this surprisingly drinkable; great beer

dbossman, Jul 24, 2010
Photo of Cylinsier
5/5  rDev +8%


Pours pitch black, with a dark tan head that is little more than a lacing to begin with and dissipates down to about nothing.

Smells of roasted coffee beans and dark chocolate.

Tastes mildly smokey, a bit chocolaty and a little bacony. Has a good bourbony taste as it warms up.

Feels full with little carbonation.

The best imperial stout I've ever had. Too strong to drink a lot, but I would do it anyway.

Cylinsier, Jul 23, 2010
Photo of doubleipa
5/5  rDev +8%

wow. What's there not to like abaout this beer. So many in this style all taaste a like. Definitely different than the rest. While a strong coffee aroma, the taste was not as strong in that area. Sooo nice and smooth with a good bit of chocolate. The high alcohol content does not present itself. Many other in this style leave me with a headache even after just one, but not this one. Is really at the top of my list now.

doubleipa, Jul 23, 2010
Photo of Bouleboubier
4.47/5  rDev -3.5%

They aren't kidding. This tastes like Kentucky, breakfast, AND stout.

"Kentucky" in that the scent of bourbon, the smoky quality and alcohol, wafts upon the surface. It surfaces in the flavor much the same way, with the smoke in the middle and the burn at the end.

"Breakfast" in that a straight-up coffee flavor dominates the taste. If I didn't know that they used a lot of coffee in the recipe, I would've went nuts trying to figure out how they achieved that. I must admit, this has by far the best utilization of coffee in a beer I've ever had. Normally, I detest coffee in beer, but I can't deny this is fantastic.

"Stout" in that underneath supporting the "Kentucky Breakfast" characters is a solid stout. Probably would stand on its own quite well.

The components of the flavor are all expertly separated and balanced. With each sip, you may get more coffee than the bourbon, or more bitter malt roast than the coffee, and so on. Surprises with that and the fact that, at 11.2%, it's too damn easy to knock back. Nice dry finish doesn't hurt either.

I would most definitely drink this again - morning, noon, or night.

Bouleboubier, Jul 21, 2010
Photo of rawthar
4.58/5  rDev -1.1%

Wow. I thought it almost lived up to the hype after I had a bottle a few weeks back, but after having it on tap at Teresa's this weekend, it surpasses.

All of the countless best flavors of the best of the bourbon barrel aged imperial stouts, with a delicious dry oak undertone that pulled the whole thing together sort of like the Dude's rug pulled the room together.

Screw it, let's go bowling.

rawthar, Jul 20, 2010
Photo of oglmcdgl
4.5/5  rDev -2.8%

09 batch on tap at tnd. Sweet!

A- comes to me with a cm or so of coffee and cream colored head that settles quickly to a small ring and some spots of lace. Absolutely pitch black in color and thick and viscous looking.

S- with a year the coffee has really taken the lead. With the oatmeal almost gone and the chocolate very subdued this is all about the coffee and a bit of the barrel.

T- opens up with coffee and bourbon barrel, hints of vanilla and molasses with a bit of chocolate. Dark berries and other fruits in the finish. This stuff lingers on the palate for ever and takes you for a big ride.

M- full bodied and mid to low carb. Chewy and sticky.

D- its 11.2 abv and a beast in the flavor department but even with all that taken into account its an amazing brew that is worth all the hype.

oglmcdgl, Jul 18, 2010
Photo of Pdiddey3d
4.72/5  rDev +1.9%

Finally!! One of my most sought after beers since becoming a fan of craft beer is in my clutches and at my mercy. Will it live up to the hype or disappoint like so many ballyhooed brews before it???

Pours as dark as dark can be, almost pitch black, mocha colored "head" disappears as quickly as it appeared leaving no traces that it had ever been there.
The smell surprises me a bit, much less bourbon than I had imagined but it is in there. Chocolate, some fresh coffee, roasted malt and a slight hint of vanilla. Color me impressed so far.

KABLOW! Man the taste is insane. Just delicious, I would say the best IS I have had up until this point. Great balance between sweet chocolate, bitter coffee and the bourbon. So much going on here, very complex. Bitter chocolate, coffee, bourbon, malts, picking up on all of these but the coffee and chocolate really shine. Just outstanding.

Mouthfeel is perfect. So smooth and luscious with perfect carbonation. Somewhat thick and syrupy but in an amazing way. I could sip on this all day, this is the beverage that makes a man feel smooth as shit. Mouthfeel is pure pimpin.

Drinkability? Well it suffers due to the fact that I cannot get it on a regular basis and now have to plot to trade for enough to last me the winter this year, but aside from that its great. Smooth, the alcohol is present but never on your mind while drinking. Defiantly a sipper, but more to savor the complexity than anything.

Ladies and gentlemen I am happy to report, much to my enjoyment, that KBS lives up to and firmly lays the smack down on the hype. This beer is for real.

Pdiddey3d, Jul 18, 2010
Photo of strangebrew52
4.88/5  rDev +5.4%

Pours pitch black with thin tan head that fades quickly but leaves lacing around the glass.
Smells of chocolate, coffee, booze and a hint of vanilla.
Tastes is much like the smell, chocolate and coffee first and then a nice bourbon flavor at the end.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, silky smooth and has a nice tingle of alcohol as it goes down.
Excellent sipper and on fantastic beer overall. You can't have more than one in a sitting but it's one you'll definitely go back to

strangebrew52, Jul 17, 2010
Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 8,538 ratings.