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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) - Founders Brewing Company

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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)

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9,348 Ratings

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Ratings: 9,348
Reviews: 2,587
rAvg: 4.62
pDev: 9.09%
Wants: 3,915
Gots: 3,518 | FT: 239
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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-13-2004

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 9,348 | Reviews: 2,587 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of hophead247
4.77/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

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.

Photo of ratedz
4.67/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

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.

Photo of GabrielM
4.87/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

Photo of Urbancaver
4.82/5  rDev +4.3%
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 :)

Photo of beerpirates
4.7/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: pours thick and black as night. 3 finger light brown head that disappears to no head leaving little lacing

S: vanilla, bourbon, chocolate, oak, coffee , very complex, smells awesome

T: bourbon comes on first and gives way to vanilla and sweet chocolate, oak, Bourbon , dark roasted fruits, , coffee , flavors change as it warms , this is à BIG stout , wow

M: thick, chewy, heavy, with mild carbonation

D: at 11.2% abv very drinkable. a sipper for sure but that part of the beauty of this beer. the more it warms up the more flavors come out in it.

Overall, an amazing beer. So complex and wonderfull.

Photo of sixthglass
4.88/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Black and beautiful. 1 finger reddish brown head that fades quickly into thin lacing. Held up to light, cannot see through it.

S - Coffee and Booze.. Slight whiff of vanilla .

T - Coffee, Bourbon, Sweet, Goes in your mouth, into your nose, and warms everything.

M - Surprisingly smooth, coats the inside of your mouth well, and warms everything it touches.

D - If this were readily available It would be a wonderful go to beer to always drink.

Photo of codewarrior
4.8/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz from a 4 pack (2010), poured into a Boulevard Smokestack Series Chalice.

I picked this up in a trade with masterhomebrewer ... and good lord was this bad-boy ever worth the cost (russian river sours were involved).

A: No head to speak of, near black with reddish hues.

S: Sweet with coffee up front, back is bourbon all the way.

T: Bourbony, overwhelmingly so in the nose as the strong bitterness of the coffee hits the front of the mouth. Delicious carmelized hops and coffee dominate up front, then straight coffee, the straight up bourbon finish all the way to oblivion. The bourbon finish is enjoyably soft, yet potent. This, is a HUGE beer. The only fault in the taste could be that there is too much going on, I could see it being confusing, but not to my palate.

F: Rich, Velvet, Chocolate. The Feel is phenomenal.

D: For how massive this is, it goes down real smooth. A very drinkable, and very massive beer.

This lived up to the hype, although I would have difficulty pairing it with any meal ... even more so than bourbon, as this would not work at all as an aperitif. This beer is so strong, and so lasting that the Old Rasputin I drank an hour later didn't make a dent in my mouth. **** me.

Photo of geryeb624
4.92/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz. bottle poured into my DFH signature glass. Received in a trade from idrinkgas. Thanks man!

A- Pitch black with thin wisps of tan head. Considering its such a small head, it has decent retention and lacing, leaving a rim of foam around the top of the beer.

S- Wow, incredibly complex aromas. Coffee, chocolate, bitter roasted malts, boozy bourbon notes, some creamy vanilla. Very nice.

T- Again, wow. Starts boozy with recognizable bourbon flavors with some oakiness and vanilla. Finishes with some bitter coffee and chocolate notes and a warming alcohol.

M- Rich and creamy without being too syrupy. Would've liked a tad more carbonation, but this is near spot on.

D- Well, considering this tastes almost as much of whiskey as it does of beer, and has the ABV to prove it, you'd think it would be low. Well, it isn't. This stuff is phenomenal, and although it is a sipper, I can sip this pretty quickly.

One of the most hyped beers I've had the opportunity to try, and this doesn't disappoint. Nearly perfect on every level.

Photo of rwf08
4.94/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Pours thick like used motor oil into my tulip glass. No lacing, no head. A thin mocha ring hugs the glass. If you could contain a black hole in a glass this it what it would look like.

It is not just black, it pulls light from the room. Once I poured the beer it got darker and I had to turn on a few lamps to get to my desk.

S: Chocolate syrup, coffee, vanilla, and some faint oak. I do not get the usual dark fruit or molasses in this. This beer seems more decadent and almost evil.

Did the snake offer Eve fruit...or was it KBS?

T: Yep...goin' to hell. This is too good. Chocolate and coffee are strong with some warming bourbon on the finish. Vanilla is there to along with the oak. The alcohol is not strong, assertive, or even a player in this. There is just a slight warmth on the finish that it provides.

Makes you want more.

M: Silky, smooth, light carbonation. Almost like a beer-shake. I cannot express the smooth feel of this beer and its full body in mere words. I have never had a beer this full and satisfying.

Chocolate Milk Steak might be a good comparison.

D: Amazing at this high of an ABV. But I don't care about this review anymore. I have someone special waiting on me to finish this. We need our alone time.

Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into a snifter.

A: Beautiful jet black, just the slightest hints of dark brown coloring on the rims when held up to the light. Head has a nice mocha color to it, starts at 1/4 inch and dies down fast but leaves an awesome lacing. Swirls of small head remain in the center of the glass.

S: Dark Roasted Coffee put up evenly with Oaked Bourbon. Vanilla and sweet Milk Chocolate notes, as well as a kind of baking chocolate smell in there as well.

T: Great Balance. I get three phases, as most great beers have:
1) Coffee and roasty flavors up front.
2) Heavy Bourbon, Oak, Vanilla, and an Alcohol burn.
3) Creamy bitter chocolate finish also with a lingering sweetness as well.
Great mix of Sweet, bitter, and savory flavors. Outstanding.

M: This is my favorite part. It is so creamy and smooth, coats but yet has just enough of a carbonation to it as well.

D: Love it, a great beer, couldnt drink too too much of this at once though.

Photo of calir1
4.97/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

had this at a beer bar near by. Was way over priced but had to try at least once. Was quite good and the alcohol was never there and could drink a few. For the price, eh not so much. The beer was good, but would stick to something else though even though this is quite good.

Photo of garuda
3.93/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - Oily, syrupy, thick black in color with a thin brown head that has decent retention and good lacing thats better than expected.

S - Vanilla, bourbon dominate with notes of dark chocolate and roasted malt character coming through as it warms.

T - Again, dominated by the bourbon, with hints of mid palate and slightly bitter dark chocolate in the finish and aftertaste.

M - Full body, viscous and chewy with low, delicate carbonation, very smooth across the palate with some heat from the alcohol/bourbon content.

D - Glad I got to have this, but I feel that the huge bourbon character in the aroma and taste overpower any other complexities that may be in it.

Photo of alpinebryant
4.38/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep dark oil black with a dark tan head that left lacing and sticky sap looking head on the top.

Smell of strong bourbon, coffee, dark roasted malts.

Taste of sweet malt, bourbon and oakiness. Roasted chocolate and caramelized sugars are heavily in attendance. The booziness is mainly presented in odor, but this tastes quite palatable and very smooth at the high abv. At first I am reminded of Bourbon County Stout but this seems to be smoother and more evenly rounded. Both are great, I think this one is a little better and does not burn as much as BCS.

Lots of bourbon, chocolate and coffee. Not much roast, which surprised me. Little to no oak. However, the flavors present are excellent. They mesh well and are wonderfully assertive. Lots of vanilla and some caramel, as well. Actually, this is one of the most vanilla-forward beers I've had in awhile. Alcohol is present but stays inside the bourbon aroma.

Mouthfeel is relatively thick with a light carbonation. There is no ugly charred flavors rearing their head which makes this more desirable to me. I would say when compared to FBS, this is slightly smoother, not as dry with the oatmeal flavors and not as much char flavor whether or not it is just the bourbon barrel masking these flavors.

Id def get more of these if they were not so pricey

Photo of wvsabbath
4.97/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Serving type - Bottle

Appearance - Black as night, looks like oil in my glass. Decent 1/4 tan head that doesnt last long

Smell - Alcohol, whiskey, roasted malts. Some vanilla and oak. Strong smell, be forwarned!

Taste - Very stout with high alcohol, first drink is a bit of a shock. Mouth gets warm, tounge numbs some. Then next drink you can really enjoy all the spices and roasted malts. Theres some vanilla and coffee in the flavor also. The whiskey flavor is present but not overboard as others ive had. Let this beer warm up, then you can taste everything it has.

Mouthfeel - AS i said, you need a few drinks to let mouth get used to it. Your mouth gets coated with everything in the beer from the malts to the spices. After drinking this beer, you need to eat something or drink lots of water to recover.

Overall - A total sipper beer, meant to be Enjoyed slowly with each drink. Smoth, yet strong, only issue with this beer is the price and avaibilty. This jewel should be made year round, and it it was, it wouldnt hurt my thoughts on it, just add to how many times a week id drink it. One of thee best beers on the planet!

Photo of ryantaussig
4.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A pitch black stout with a good head that sticks around. Definitely a great example of what a stout should look like.

S: Smells like coffee and bourbon with a hint of chocolate and charred oak in the background.

T: Quite nice with the coffee and chocolate malts. Bourbon notes come through with the oak and a bit of caramel. Alcohol content comes forward a bit to much for me. Definitely gives off a Kentucky vibe. I'm not so sure about the breakfast feel, but it did pair well with the breakfast play at the Founder's Beer Dinner where I tasted it. (The Good Life, Massapequa Park, NY)

M: Silky smooth, leaving little to ask for. Carbonation is lively, but does not kill the flavor. The finish is medium. It could benefit from a bit more body.

Photo of tewaris
5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Kentucky Breakfast Stout (KBS)
Founders Brewing Co.
Imperial Stout (of the finest kind)
11.2% ABV
70 IBUs
12 oz bottle (from March 2010) poured into a New Belgium snifter on September 22, 2010.

Appearance 5/5
Pours black with a very dark brown head that is quick to dissipate into a thin collar. Expected from a high ABV barrel aged beer. Dark brown on the edges when held up to light.

Aroma 5/5
Coffee, dark chocolate, sweet bourbon in huge amounts. Some alcohol too, which is expected.

Taste 5/5
First impression is bliss. Bittersweet; malts and bourbon lend the sweetness, coffee and dark chocolate contribute towards the bitterness. Very rich, complex, and delicious taste that finishes bitter, and has a character like powdered chocolate. Some acidity of coffee is also felt. Alcohol warming is evident as well. But, this is not an extreme beer, it's a fine example of balancing the extremes.

Mouthfeel 5/5
Silky and full, but not very big. Medium carbonation, bitter, medium finish. Not cloying at all. A stronger body won't hurt this beer, but this is perfection as it is. Who am I to comment?

Drinkability 5/5
Given the alcohol, it's a sipper. But the great taste doesn't let it be one. I can keep drinking this forever.

When I had it first, I thought it was the best beer I ever had. Still belongs in my "all time best beers" category and for a beer of this kind, there's only one that comes close or equals or possibly exceeds it by a tiny bit: Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout. Can only be determined in a side by side tasting, yet to come. KBS is good for everything a stout ought to be good for.

Photo of popery
4.08/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Perhaps, my hopes were a bit high for this one. KBS is certainly a very good beer. On the other hand, I wouldn't quite call it a top tier stout, much less than a top five beer (it's currently at 5 on BA's list).

A: Pretty much perfect for an impy stout. This beer is solid black until you thin the liquid to less than ~1/2 inch. A full glass looks like espresso. The head is tan, about a shade lighter than expected, and very creamy, sticking to the sides with ease.

S: Lots of bourbon, chocolate and coffee. Not much roast, which surprised me. Little to no oak. However, the flavors present are excellent. They mesh well and are wonderfully assertive. Lots of vanilla and some caramel, as well. Actually, this is one of the most vanilla-forward beers I've had in awhile. Alcohol is present but stays inside the bourbon aroma.

T: The taste is simpler than the aroma and a lot more booze comes through, particularly in the finish. I can feel some fusel notes creep up right as I swallow. The barrel notes seem to push the booze from warming goodness toward rubbing alcohol. It's not bad, but it just doesn't quite live up to the promise of the aroma. Fairly sweet with some pleasantly bitter coffee notes.

M: Smooth and fairly thick. I tried their Breakfast Stout recently, and it had a significantly better feel. So, I'm probably being a bit harsh here due to the comparison.

D: The booziness is wearing down my palate. It's a good, interesting beer, but the hotter bourbon notes are tiresome. Maybe, if I had more appreciation for bourbon, I'd feel differently.

Photo of H1N1
4.72/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Got a bottle of this as an extra from Urbancaver. Thank you very much!

A- Pours an oil black. A hard pour yields 1 finger of dark tan head. Head recedes with decent lacing.

S- Bourbon is right there. Then I get oak and coffee. dark chocolate. A little brown sugar, but lots of oak. Ver nice!

T- Bourbon and booze. You can definitely taste the alcohol, but the oaky taste balances it and makes it nice. Like a nice bourbon. Imagine that! After that is some dark chocolate and vanilla. Excellent!

M- Great! Full. Coats the mouth nicely. The carbonation is terrific. It works with the taste perfectly.

D- I would always keep these around if I could. I hear it's inexpensive, if you can get it on the shelf. Very good.

Photo of psychotia
4.73/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 2/8/2010

A: Black. Nice one finger head settles to a lace after a few minutes.

S: Chocolate and booze. Some coffee (I know it's stronger fresh).

T: Chocolate, coffee, vanilla! (Oh my!) Everything blends together beautifully.

M: Not too creamy, but not too thin. This is great!

D: I want to drink this all night, but one is probably sufficient.

Dang... this and BCBCS are incredible. Between the two, I think it's silly to say one is better than the other. They both are exemplary. Wow.

On an unrelated note, this is a great experience for me. When I first was getting into good beer, I tried a KBS and though it was OK. So glad I had another to try and I appreciate it ten-fold. Phenomenal.

Photo of wordemupg
4.57/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into tulip sept19 2010

A jet black right out of the bottle and a thumbs width of mocha head falls pretty quick but leaves some lace where it lasted

S smokey bourbon with a little bakers chocolate, coffee, vanilla and some booze

T much like the nose but even better, the bourbon is strong but not overwhelming and works for it, the chocolate tastes more like coco powder in the mouth but again it works well. I'm loving the woody earthiness and the smokey finish just wonderful stuff

M silky but a little thin and considering how dark this one is I'm a little surprised, not flat but could use some more carbonation but the flavors just stick too your gums I'll be tasting this for ages

D pretty good for a giant bold high booze stout, the taste alone is reason for another, there's a little heat from the liquor but I bet it would mellow out with some time

I can see why this beer is so highly ranked it tastes great, truly one of the better tasting beers I've had yet. A big thank you to MasterSki for sending this one my way

Photo of glazeman
4.31/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 bottle poured into a snifter

A: The beer pours black in color with a 1 finger mocha head that has excellent retention and lacing.

S: Lots of coffee and molasses on the nose. There's a smidgeon of vanilla in there as well. By and large, a great smelling beer.

T: Incredible balance in this beer. Nice flavors of coffee at the start, followed by caramel. As I examine this beer more closely I find saltwater toffee and a tad bit of hop bit at the finish. Not an overwhelming sweetness at all as there is in some beers of this style.

M: Great level of carbonation, viscosity, and wonderful aftertaste.:

D: Overall, an excellent beer. The fact that it's not all that hard to come by in the Midwest is a major plus. I probably would have given this a slightly higher overall score, If it only wasn't for the bourbon barrel plead the fifth I had last week that was out of this world.

Photo of bobhits
4.84/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I know this review has been written before but I suppose I deleted it before posting it. Shame on me!

Pitch black once in the glass, it's the darkest mocha on the planet earth. Virtually no head which seems off for this beer, but not by much.

Coffee/espresso notes just dominate this. Vanilla/sour oak aroma in the back ground. Touches of dark chocolate, and burnt malt. This is just amazing...simply amazing.

Way too cold to start. Watered down coffee, oak, burnt malt, and chocolate...I'll wait to finish this till the flavors fully come out. The warmth builds on the flavors. This beer is a coffee flavored, bourbon kicking, chocolate laced, master piece. Sure there's some hop bitterness, mixed with the vanilla and oak flavors subtly mixed in. I like the bourbon county stout better, but this beer is just AMAZING.

This beer is a touch thin for the flavor profile, but the carbonation is extremely good. As a result this beer is just a wonderful sipper. Some beers suffer from the alcohol, this beer relishes from it.

The more I drink the more I suspect this beer simply will NOT age, so drink fresh like an IPA and savor it.

Photo of theembalmer
5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I recently had the pleasure of drinking this fine beer. It has one of the most complex flavor profile's I've tried. It is a very strong coffee smell and taste along with some nice caramel notes. I'm reminded of Kahlua and cream. I loved this beer and yet again am proud that I live in MI with so many fine breweries.

Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 9,348 ratings.