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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: 3,151 | FT: 232
Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  11.20% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes/Commercial Description:
This stout is brewed with a hint of coffee and vanilla then aged in oak bourbon barrels for over a year.

Note, this is NOT simply barrel-aged Breakfast Stout. It is an entirely different beer.

Now labeled as "KBS."

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-13-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) Alström Bros
Ratings: 8,624 | Reviews: 2,514 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dippy
4.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I love the Founders breakfast stout and I love bourbon. So when I saw this I had to pounce.

Poured a dark brown. The only reason I knew it was brown was the tell tale head which was a dark tan on top. This is a dark beer. Head didn't stick around. I blame a poor pour.

Smell is straight coffee. I appreciate this as dunkin's ice coffee was not up to snuff today. There is a little sweetness/ vanilla scent as well.

First taste is coffee. You could swap this in with my breakfast cereal any day... Chocolate immediately follows. Then the sweetness, vanilla. I am guessing that the vanilla is the bourbon coming through. As I drink more I am picking up more bourbon undertones.

This is a pretty dope beer. Might be a little happy after a 4 pack of these pupies.

A definite try is you see this one around.
I will buy again... for breakfast tomorrow. Imagine this beer with bacon and waffles... Has anybody made bacon beer yet???

dippy, Apr 10, 2010
Photo of Augustiner719
4.15/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a duvel tulip.

Appearance: Pourse a jet black, motoroil like black color with zero visability. Great viscous looking body with a tan thin layer of foam on top.

Smell: Smells beautiful. Big vanilla, almond and cream components make up the bourbon background. Solid brown sugar and marshmallow undertones are synced with the deep coffee and chocolate maltiness.

Taste: Tastes a bit hot as its a 2010 release. Big bourbon bite leaves the mouth dry. Huge does of bitter chocolate followed by a marshmallow like sweetness with a touch of coffee and rich brown sugar.

Mouthfeel: Slightly astrigent, overly bitter. Nice texture but with age i suspect this will be fantastic.

Drinkability: Its got a slight dryness on the backend that makes this a slow sipper. Worth the 25$ 4PACK sticker price but it will be great with age.

Augustiner719, Apr 10, 2010
Photo of OlRasputin989
4.45/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a snifter...

A: opaque black with a small mocha cappucino head. fades quickly and leaves lacing in small arches.

S: rich and delicious! chocolate, vanilla, earthy wood, coffee, and a boozy hint of bourbon.

T: equally as rich! bourbon and espresso, and vanilla. not hard to detect the wood barrel aging at all. not as much chocolate in the flavor as in the aroma. finishes with a bold coffee bitterness, ethanol, and wood.

M: heavy and full body, that has a silky smoothness before revealing the tingly bitterness and warming alcohol. almost like drinking straight liquor.

Overall, this one is a drinker's drink. The characteristics of a top shelf stout blended with the aging in bourbon barrels has created something to be sipped, savoured, and sought after. Also , reminds me of an Irish Car Bomb (Guinness, Jameson, and Bailey's).

OlRasputin989, Apr 09, 2010
Photo of mherring
4.78/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Definitely black. Not even sure a flashlight would shine through it. Very small amount of light brown head at the top.

S - You can really tell they piled in the malts with this guy. I got mostly a coffee scent with some alcohol laced in there as well.

T - Very, very smooth. I picked up a lot more chocolate in the taste than I got from the scent, but that is most certainly not a bad thing. Finishes with a nice bite from the alcohol, but at 11.2 abv, I'd say that's to be expected.

M - Very solid. A little more carbonation than I had expected from such a dark, alcoholic beer.

D - Great stuff. Seems like a perfect beer for winding down at night. Malty, rich, smooth, and strong enough to make you sleepy.

mherring, Apr 09, 2010
Photo of jdflyer06
4.03/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

A big thanks to an unbelievably kind dude at DLD '09. It's been about a year so I thought I'd crack this bad boy open. Poured into a snifter.

A: Black, pitch black. The head is pretty thin but leaves some sticky lacing as it goes down.

S: Coffee notes dominate as well as dark chocolate notes. Hints of vanilla as I take it in as the bourbon has mellowed out a bit. Woody and oaky. Very sweet in the nose.

M: Rich and creamy with some soft carbonation. A little bit of heat in the throat. Just about perfect for the style and ABV. Finishes fairly clean with a bit of a dry afterbite. Awesome.

T: Coffee and dark chocolate up front, followed by vanilla and oaky notes. Just as I expected. The flavors are nicely balanced. Not the most complex tasting beer but extremely well done. Some alcohol comes through but is pretty well hidden given the ABV.

O: An excellent offering from Founders. It has some obvious differences over their standard breakfast stout. It's a nice change of pace but I'm glad to have the traditional breakfast stout around all year with this to bring a nice surprise once a year. I actually prefer the Canadian Breakfast Stout which I was lucky enough to try last year. The drinkability is low but honestly, who wants to drink this all night? It's decadent and a perfect one-off.

jdflyer06, Apr 09, 2010
Photo of blackenmn
4.45/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a small glass:

A:Poured a nice heavy black with brown showing through on the edges when light shines through. Very much like thick coffee in appearance. An aggressive pour left a small creamy brown head which faded pretty quick.

S:Smelled of chocolate, plenty of coffee and roast on the nose. Along with a bit of bourbon which went along nicely with the slight oak/wood smell. This lets it origins be known.

T:There were some slight similarities to FBS. This had plenty of heavy hitting characteristics going on at once. Sweet chocolate, delicious coffee, vanilla and molasses like sweetness, and definite straight oak flavor on the tail end. Not alot if any hop pressence

M:This went from creamy and sticky to dry and bitter. They both worked complimented eachother nicely and kept anything from being too overwhelming.

D:This was a very drinkable, enjoyable brew. A great unique treat. Nothing is needed to accompany this due to the various heavy flavor and feel throughout. It finished a bit dry while it was extremly fresh but that was about the only thing close to a complaint I could come up with for this thing.

I've been wanting to try this one for a while. Pleased as punch it made it to MN.

blackenmn, Apr 09, 2010
Photo of phreak1983
4.3/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I decided to reward myself for doing my taxes tonight and drink my only bottle of KBS! Here goes nothing...

A- Black with a slight tan head that goes away pretty quick and some odd looking oily foam that sticks to the side that I wouldn't really call lacing.

S- Coffee, vanilla, and a light bourbon scent

T- Coffee and vanilla along with some oak and roasty flavors I didn't smell. The coffee flavor is the dominant aftertaste.

M- A little more thin than I expected, finishes dry.

D- Excellent! The 11.2% ABV doesn't show at all. I could drink this until it crept up on me and kicked my ass.

phreak1983, Apr 08, 2010
Photo of Monfort
4.43/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I literally dumped this beer in to my Kasteel glass knowing it wouldn't foam over. Color is a nice deep black with a golden tint around the edges of the glass. This beer has to be served slightly cool to be truly appreciated, when served under 65 degrees its nose and palate become muddled and not as pleasant. I poured this beer at about 45 degrees, I let it decant and warm up to about 65 degrees to room temperature. Wow! opened up and warm this beer shows how amazing it truly is. The nose includes nuances of vanilla, cinnamon, caramel, bourbon, oak, sweet oatmeal, cappuccino and chocolate. All of these characteristics follow on the palate, absolutely delicious with a lingering aftertaste that please. The mouthfeel is full bodied but not chewy or oily. Great beer I can't wait to get some more.

Monfort, Apr 08, 2010
Photo of wedge421
4.9/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- Black as night with a kakhi colored head of about .5 fingers.

S - Chocolate with coffee notes followed slowly but surely with the bourbon notes. Just an absolute gem to smell!

T - Perfection! Perfect mix of chocolate, coffee, bourbon and followed by a slight hint of the alcohol. Just blended so perfectly! Bravo

D - Its 11.2% so more then 2 would be tough if you still want to appreciate this absolutely epic brew. BUt other then that it is just so smooth and drinkable.

Check out my full HD vid review at:

wedge421, Apr 08, 2010
Photo of kylehayworth
4.93/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I feel lucky to have had this on tap, thanks to Jason for keeping me posted. With more to come I'm sure.

A: I watch as the bartender at Chumley's in Broadripple poured my liquid gold into a half pint snifter. It was extremely dark, the light cried out, but I ignored it.

S: It was bottled KBS, but with subtle differences, the bourbon smell was a little more pronounced. You get slightly more alcohol, bourbon smell, with hints of vanilla and caramel.

T: It was simply smooth, great nose helps you taste it before the first sip. This is so well balanced, everything is working together: hints of bourbon, vanilla, roasted coffee, slivers of chocolate.

M/D: I could actually drink this all day. Considering the high ABV (11.2 thanks Jake for the quick response) its amazing. This is what they serve in heaven, because CBS is even hard to get there, maybe someday...

kylehayworth, Apr 08, 2010
Photo of Adamdc
4.45/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

'09 KBS 12 oz bottle poured in tulip snifter

A: Black as night. When held up to light, nothing penetrates. Half inch of dark tan head recedes but leaves lots of sticky lacing

S: Very nice combination of aromas going on----dark/bitter chocolate, coffee, molasses, dark fruits, slight bourbon, slight vanilla and booze.

T: All the above mentioned aromas blend very nicely in the taste with a nice finish of bourbon and booze. The bourbon is perfect, the booze is a little too much. Everything blends together very nicely. If the booziness was a little less I would have given it a 5.

M: Thick-bodied! Very full mouthfeel on this one. This is how a big stout should be.

D: As mentioned above, the booziness detracts a little from the drinkability of this, along with the 11.2% abv

I first sampled this last year when I first picked it up and it was much 'hotter'. It has definitely dissipated quite a bit but is still a little on the hot side. With that said, this is a very well-done, big stout. I still have another '09 to have, along with a couple of '10's. Another gem from Founders!!!!

Adamdc, Apr 07, 2010
Photo of billshmeinke
4.47/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Review number 111!!! (I forgot to have something special for review 100, so this will have to do.)

Bottle poured into a Duvel glass. Thanks to a trade with triptens.

Dark black with a hint of brown. Pours a one finger mocha head. Quickly resides to a soapy ring of foam around the edge of the glass. Oily, spotty lacing down the walls of the glass. Exceptional looking, especially when considering the abv and barrel aging.

Smells of mocha, coffee, vanilla, and molasses. Also, a light bourbon and light oak presence. Strong, complex nose. Smells great.

Taste comes full force with mocha, dark chocolate, vanilla bean, bitter coffee, toffee, molasses, and oak. Some boozy bourbon at the end accompanied with a bitter smokiness. The bourbon flavor is lighter than expected. The bitter coffee/dark chocolate flavor is pretty strong, but balanced with all the sweet flavors (vanilla, molasses, toffee). Very flavorful, complex and delicious.

Full bodied, viscous and chewy. Low end of medium carbonation that serves to break up the thickness. Smooth and creamy. Slightly hot as well. Mouthfeel met my greatest expectations for this beer.

This beer is balanced enough, and the alcohol is hidden well enough to be considered to have good drinkability. Also, the flavor is complex and delicious which continues to invite you back for more.

A truly exceptional beer. I'd buy a case if it were distributed out here.

billshmeinke, Apr 06, 2010
Photo of CampusCrew
4.99/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

We had a rare beer night and we all brought some stuff over I'll be reviewing on memory for this one as we had alot of smaples that night. Nearly 10 I beleive.

Wow!!! World Class from the first sip. Not overrated at all. Poured deep dark black and has a nice full body with loads of coffee flavor and some good barrell aged oak flavor.

CampusCrew, Apr 06, 2010
Photo of md311
3.9/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Was excited to get a couple of bottles thanks to the recent distribution deal in NY. After hearing so much about this for so long, I couldn't wait to get my first taste. Chilled it just right in the fridge from room temperature, and poured the bottle into a pint glass.

Decent head, great aromas. Tons of tastes going on, very complex. First hits with the chocolate, then the coffee, with hints of vanilla and oak. Then the bourbon hits, which I didn't enjoy so much. Was a bit too boozy tasting for me. Overall good, but a bit of a disappointment.

md311, Apr 06, 2010
Photo of olympuszymurgus
3.83/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

From the beerman.. 09, I believe.. 150, it is true..the awaited kbs

I pour the octopus ink into the duvel tulip...well, I watch it be poured...and the darkness creeps up the side of the glass slowly like a disembodied hand in a horror film. Very little carbonation, a touch disappointing but the blackness makes up for it...

Bourbon seethes beneath the placid surface. Coffee and chocolate, slight vanilla and oak. It flows like well used motor oil down my throat, quelching any hope of any scream escaping.

It disappears fast, leaving me wanting. I had heard such things, and now, confronted with the beast I am not as blown away as I had hoped. This was enjoyable. This was nice. This was not The Abyss.

Thank you.

olympuszymurgus, Apr 06, 2010
Photo of mnstorm99
3.45/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Pours a nice black color, but I really have to work to get a quick fading decent head (which is somewhat common for Impy Stouts).
Aroma is very nice with an in your face bourbon barrel punch to the face and a rounded coffee and malt background.
OK...they have lost me now, the taste is ok, but this is a muddled mess. Complex? Or...just too much going on? I'll go with the latter. I get the bourbon, I get the coffee, I get the great malt, and I get a good bitterness. These this didn't seem to marry very well here for me.
Mouthfeel is almost perfect, carb. levels are spot on and this one isn't too thick (like many impy stouts). But, again the drinkability of this one (especially for the price) is pretty low compared to others.
I think I'll stick to Breakfast stouts and Bourbon barrel stouts seperatly. More for all of you :)

mnstorm99, Apr 05, 2010
Photo of drabmuh
4.35/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2010 release, had to try it, couldn't wait.

Poured into a goblet. Beer is black and appears thick. Forms a thin head of brown bubbles that is diffuse on the surface and quickly breaks. Head leaves some lacing on the glass, carbonation is low.

For being aged in bourbon barrels, I expected a little more booze. Strong sweet, coffee aroma. Booze and bourbon secondary in the nose. Smells good, not as forward with the bourbon as I thought the BCS is in general. Still smells good.

Its not hot, moderate in body, finishes nicely. Sweet up front, not a lot of bitterness in the back, highly drinkable in the palate. Second taste, chocolate, slight, hint of bitter this time in the back, like coffee. Overall an exceptional beer truly.

drabmuh, Apr 05, 2010
Photo of nickadams2
4.72/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A_Thick dark brown liquid capped of by a thin dark brown head. Little retention. Thick lacing.

S_Coffee,dark chocolate, bourbon and vanilla.

T_Dark chocolate, coffee, and bourbon blend together tremendously. Bourbon upfront from start to finish but doesn't overwhelm or overpower the other flavors.
the most well done bourbon aged stout in my opinion.

M_Thick and full bodied warms on the way down.

D_Definite sipper but more than one isnt out of the question.

nickadams2, Apr 05, 2010
Photo of Billolick
4.7/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle, etched on the bottle, "Bottled 2/08/10" Pours black, plain and simple, the head is dark mocha, on the loose side, stays around for a good while, leaves scattered fine bits and some blobs of lace. Bold nose with waves of chocolate, dark coffee, vanilla, and some wood. Rich and thick, a double expresso, mocha, chocolate shake comes to mind....with 11% alcohol tossed in to boot! Simply yummy stuff...dark, flavorful, complex, smooth, cheewy, heady stuff. Hope I can get some more of this stuff soon...Stout lovers rejoice and go get some.

Billolick, Apr 05, 2010
Photo of Mdog
4.15/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black, super thick, big brown head, nice lacing. Pretty stuff!

Smell: Kind of get a smoky smell before the bourbon kicks in with vanilla and oak. A hint of coffee.

Taste: Follows the smell, sans the smoke. Very bourbon-centric and boozy. The bourbon covers up most of the stout flavors, a little coffee comes through.

Drinkability: Definitely a sipper/special occasion beer, pricy.

Finally got to try some KBS. I think I will like it more with a little age on it to take the edge off the boozy flavors. Maybe the underlying stout would make more of an appearance with some age. Quite tasty!

Mdog, Apr 04, 2010
Photo of MisterClean
3.9/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Abecall for sharing at his tasting.

A - Pours a dark brown with no head, may be slightly flat, even for style. Leaves no lacing.

S - Chocolate, roast toffee, and light bittering hops.

T - Chocolate, roast toffee, some dark roast coffee notes in there as well, some smoke and finishes with bittering hops.

M - Full-bodied, definitely malt dominated and finishes dry. Malts are not astringent.

D - Good overall. I was hoping for more malt complexity and aroma/flavor hops. Nice that there were no traces of alcohol.

MisterClean, Apr 04, 2010
Photo of FreshmanPour77
4.6/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Reviewed 03-28-10
Reviewed cold from a bottle to a glass

A - Black, no head retention but had reddish lacing

S - Bourbon, coffee, malts, warming feeling up through the nose, dark chocolate

T - Smooth, very smooth with sweetness but then masked by a bourbon bite at the end

M/D - Very tasty imperial stout, smooth tasting, very easy to have more than a couple but then I wouldn't remember much and have a massive hard alcohol hang over!! I did only have the one and have one more to try with some more time on it. A see why it came and went so fast, wished I would have gotten more of these!!

FreshmanPour77, Apr 04, 2010
Photo of ekardz
4.45/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - pours midnight black, no foam, little/no carbonation. very intriguing, you couldn't see a spotlight shined directly on this thing! I am ready to jump right in and taste the hype.

S - coffee, chocolate, expresso, caramel notes, reminds me of a starbucks double shot.

T - am I drinking a beer or a coffee? it's got a very nice stout taste, lots of coffee flavors, definitely taste some chocolate, and even seems a bit creamy, reminding me of an irish coffee. I also can taste the bourbon flavoring quite well.

M - not as thick as it looks, very smooth and no carbonation at all. the alcohol is there but do not feel any burn

D - 11.2% Holy Shit! I don't feel any burn at all. I might need to wake up to a KBS every morning to start my day off right! I would have again, wouldn't mind aging one of these beasts for a year or so and tasting again.

ekardz, Apr 03, 2010
Photo of carlborch
5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a beautiful silky, dense, black that absorbs all light. A thick, creamy head forms. The nose is firmly chocolate, bourbon, smoke, layered with notes of vanilla and dried fruits. The palate is rich with a medium-full body, with intense lingering of bourbon, chocolate malt, smoke and vanilla. Attractive lacing. This stout makes me smile. Definitely moreish! Reverence and dedication to sensory exploration is a must. This is not a quaffing ale but a serious sipper for pondering and reflection. The alcohol is hidden behind the richness. With dessert or after dinner or whenever you have time to spare and enjoy.

carlborch, Apr 03, 2010
Photo of david18
4.63/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I hate to be so agreeable with everyone but this was a pretty amazing beer. I poured it from a bottle into a 20 oz snifter.

Color is very dark, darker than tenfidy. Aroma is amazing, i think the best part of this beer. Carbonation is great and the flavor is very good. Maybe slightly sweeter than I might like but not too hot and I could really taste the oak.

david18, Apr 03, 2010
Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 8,624 ratings.