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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)

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BA SCORE
100
world-class

9,347 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,347
Reviews: 2,587
rAvg: 4.62
pDev: 9.09%
Wants: 3,910
Gots: 3,519 | FT: 241
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: 9,347 | Reviews: 2,587 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bruachan
4.35/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

i am not sure of the last time i saw a head so dark. it lasted only a couple of minutes but was rich-looking while it lasted. the lacing looks like it might be pretty solid

chocolate-coffee aroma hits hard right up front. deep, dark, baker's chocolate, too. none of that milk garbage. toffee. there's a little hop in there, just to remind me that i'm sniffing at a beer and not baked goods (seriously, a blind sniff would yield thoughts of cake or ice cream)

thankfully not as sweet as my nose had warned my mouth that it would be. nevertheless, a mouthful of coffee and sweetchocolatey. hops have been used artfully, if to perform no other role than that of picture frame--keeping everything on one plane.

a 5.0 was not given for drinkability because i could only drink a couple. if "deliciousness" were a category this beer would receive a 5.0 in that. as for any other numbers that might surprise people: i could sniff this guy all day (and sip it) but it's really not all that refined. if i am to evaluate this with the same criteria as I am to evaluate a belgian, KBS just lacks delicacy (though i will say that the bourbon barrel element is subtle)

Photo of SamuelJackson45
4.85/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- The body is a nice dark chocolaty brown in color.

S- The smell of dark malts and bourdon. Woody scent since age in bourbon barrels.

T- I can taste coffee and chocolate. And a bourbon taste finnish at the end.

M- Very smooth like whiskey.Nice on the pallet.

D- This beer is amazing with coffee and light bourbon flacors coming out. Oh such heaven.

Photo of WJVII
4.4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a small sampling glass this brew is thick like chocolate milk with a dark chocolate color and a nice firm tan head settling into a solid cap. This brew has strong hints of chocolate, burnt caramel, and light vanilla. The taste is thick and oily with nice burnt malts and a slight chocolate finish. The taste lasts long after the last drop and ends dry. This gets more complex as it warms and was delicious. Must have on a Saturday for breakfast when not working.

Photo of DovaliHops
4.85/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first KBS! Bottled in February 2010. Pours an extremely dark black. Even when light is brightly shown behind it, it remains pitch black. Poured aggressively to get over an inch of a very tan, almost brown, thick, frothy head. The smell is very lovely with so much complexity. It seems so well-balanced just by the aroma. Some mixtures of bourbon whiskey, dark chocolates, light coffee, and sweet sugars. The taste is just as complex and smooth as I was hoping for. When fresh, this beer blows a fresh BCBS out of the water IMO. Not too boozy whatsoever. The bourbon flavors are present, but not the slightest bit overwhelming. Some amazing chocolate, coffee, and vanilla notes as well. Amazing taste. The beer's mouthfeel is just as I expected...maybe even a little lighter. It is thick and a bit syrupy/oily, but EXTREMELY drinkable. Outstanding beer!

Photo of largecar73
4.82/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

120z stubby bottle into a chalice.

A: Absolutely black with a one finger mocha head. Tiny carb bubbles dancing just under the head. Lacing is nice.

S: Bourbon is the first scent that enters my nostrils. Followed by coffee, dark chocolate, cocoa, and roasted malt. Very nice.

T: Bourbon is the first thing I noticed here too. Also expresso, a touch of oak, bitter dark chocolate, and some dark fruit. The hop profile is muted but here also. This is a complex beer.

M: Very thick, and oily, but not overly so. I detect little carbonation. I've tasted plenty of stouts, and this one seems spot on for the style in my opinion.

D: It's hard to believe that this is an 11+% beer! I've had 9% beers that don't hide the alcohol this well. This is a slow sip and savor beer, but each sip begs you to take another. I only wish I would have picked up more.

This is a fantastic stout fully deserving of all the accolades it receives.

Photo of cooch69
3.73/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Kentucky Breakfast Stout is very very brown almost black, with a very thin light brown film on top that lasts all the way. It smells of VANILLA , alcohol and espresso, With an emphasis on the vanilla. The aromatics are pretty powerful, so I was wondering if it was going to be over the top. But the body was really good. It was mellower than the nose would have suggested. KBS is very creamy and smooth going down. Definately a sipper, but one that can be enjoyed in the finest of moments. Every founders beer I tried so far was really good, but for some reason I prefer the original Breakfast Stout. That's not to say that I wont be trying this again in the future.

Photo of thecarster1
3.9/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a- bottle poured into a tulip, pours like syrup, black motor oil coloring, slight wispy lace.

s- deep dark roast coffee, bourbon, bready, this beer isn't messing around, you can smell the strength, but only a touch of alcohol.

t- strong, bready, fresh black coffee, toffee, molassas, alcohol, this is the strongest, most flavor-intense beer i've ever had. this is putting me through my paces.

m- so thick and mouth filling - the thickest beer i've ever had.

d- the drinkability isn't great here just because of the strength, this is a huge beer and definately a sipper. definately glad i had the chance to try this, and pop a couple in my cellar to see if they will age well.

Photo of jpmclaug
4.69/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from the bottle into my Stone IRS snifter

A - Black body with a brown/red tint to it. circle of tan head rests on top

S - Bourbon, oak and vanilla all resting on top a solid malty body. Maybe a hint of cherry as well? Smells fantastic.

T - Nice bourbony flavor on top of a roasted malt monster with a hint of coffee. Picking up a lot of coffee flavor toward the end of this. Nice touch of heat at the end

M - heavy low carbonated body with a hint of creaminess.

D - A lot easier to drink than I expected. The bourbon flavor in this is noticeable but mingles well with the other flavors rather than dominating them for a pleasant taste. I wish I had bought more of this when I had the chance but the lesson was learned. Great beer. Worthy of its accolades.

Photo of blackdog1101
4.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Gouden Carolus goblet.

A - Pitch black, with a tan, short-lived head from a hard pour into the middle of the goblet. The lacing clings to the glass, and there is a long-lasting ring of bubbles around the perimeter of the glass.

S - I immediately got the smell of chocolate from the aroma released from the hard pour. Sticking my nose in the goblet I also get coffee, vanilla, caramel, and alcohol.

T - This is where it's at, and it doesn't get any better than this. Coffee and semi-sweet chocolate, vanilla, caramel, and a bit of bourbon, all backed up by the sharp notes of the hops and alcohol. I get the sense of a bourbon-soaked chocolate cake like you might have over the Holidays. Very rich. There's just a ton of flavor going on here.

M - Slick and creamy, with some bite from the alcohol. Without the bite I think the beer would seem cloying.

D - This is absolutely one of my top three beers. I've had quite a few of these, both from bottles and on tap. In my opinion KBS fully deserves the accolades it receives.

Photo of berkey
4.49/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip 08/11/10. I've been looking forward to this one for awhile.

Pours completely black. A rough pour coaxes up a small tan head which settles to a narrow ring along the perimeter of the glass.

The aroma is incredible on this beer. Coffee, chocolate, vanilla, and wood almost completely manage to mask the alcohol which lingers nicely in the background.

Chocolate on the entry and more coffee as is progresses across the palate. Seems there's a fairly prominent hop flavors for the style which actually seems to enhance the bitter sharpness of the coffee character. Of course alcohol comes through on the aftertaste in a beer as strong as this but it's relatively subtle and adds a pleasant warming. I let it warm quite a bit before sampling but even more chocolate and an almost dark fruity character start coming through as it completes the journey to room temperature.

Carbonation is very low but that's not really a huge problem for me in this style. Wish the body was a bit fuller but I'm not going to sweat the details too much as this is a very enjoyable beer.

What's this? A Bourbon barrel aged Stout that allows the barrel influence to do it's work without drowning out the base beer? What a concept! Founders never seems to disappoint and this is among their top offerings I've tried so far.

Photo of rjhaupt
4.47/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

A - Practically black with a very light head, tiny carbonation bubbles fighting their way through thickness. An intimidating void.

S - Aroma hits you even as the glass sits on the table. Smells rich and sweet, like fresh-ground coffee and cocoa without the abject sweetness of a mocha. The notes of bourbon linger in the background.

T - The first note that hits is a surprising tartness, which is indicative of it's 70 IBU rating, but it is immediately followed by the sweetness you expect from this kind of beer. The coffee flavor brings up the rear and finishes very mildly leaving a pleasant carmel aftertaste. Gets a much stronger bourbon character once you let it warm up to room temp.

M - Perfect. It's velvet on the tongue. If it weren't for the taste you might not know it was there.

D - The only reason this rating is so low is because you have to drink it at breakfast. You just have to. Any other time of day and it wouldn't be a breakfast stout. However, the kind of mornings for which you need a breakfast stout are limited so the drinkability is necessarily a bit low. Definitely not gonna give you the same buzz as a cup of coffee.

Photo of coryking
4.02/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I have had several different vintages of this beer with several different cellaring ages on it. From an 09 vintage tasting with no cellaring on it...

A: Nothing to special. Pitch black, no carb, I like, but not good for judging.

S: Now we are talking! Bourbon, vanilla, molasses, some dark fruit, obviously coffee, toffee, and chocolates. Whoa, more bourbon now. This is going to be hot.

T: I love it! The love isnt shared amongst everyone doing the tasting. Hot bourbon. This beer needs aging. Im a bourbon fanatic, but this is too hot for a beer. I will say that this thing is super complex and fun to sip, savor, and discuss!

M: Viscosity is a little lower than I was wanting and expecting.

D: Not really drinkable for most. The 12oz bottle was shared with a friend. More than enough. This beer truly drinks like bourbon. Warm it up, give me a 2oz pour in a snifter and call it a night.

Amazing, complex beer nonetheless. Epic, yes. But there are so many better ones out there.

Photo of uturn
4.67/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz capped bottle poured into a Dogfish Head snifter.

A: Pours dark brown to just about black, leaving a thin dark tan head.

S: The first sniff you get is loaded with coffee, then you find some cocoa and a mild hint of the bourbon.

T: As far as the taste goes, it's of roasted coffee, chocolate and just the right amount of bourbon, if you dig down you could pick up some of the vanilla.

M: Thick, rich and creamy.

D: You only get some mild heat form the 11.2%, but it's still a sipper for sure.

This is the "best" bourbon barrel aged stout I've had to date.

Photo of gcpanda
4.9/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Found this at a 10th anniversary celebration for a bar I frequent. Poured a very dark brown/black with light head and a strong vanilla/coffee aroma. Taste was intense, largely of vanilla, and bourbon. Definitely something you sip as opposed to full on drinking. If you can find it, definitely worth a taste.

Photo of Lazerlobe
4.3/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2010

A: Pours thick, black and creamily with minimal beige head.

S: Old coffee, booze, woodsy scents and light vanilla

T: Bourbon and percolated coffee dominate first, with molasses, oak and booze filled chocolate subtly working their way in. I'm having a tough time picking out the hops because the rest of the beer is overwhelming. Pretty hot still, but the aftertaste is like tiramisu with a kahlua based sauce drizzled over it.

M: Luxurious and creamy, the carbonation is spot on. Gentle mixing with the tongue whips it in to a velvety cream.

D: My first KBS, I'll let the rest mellow out a few years. A solid drink all around.

Photo of ZeroSignal
4.8/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of cbak999
4.82/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of AdamGarcia
4.15/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of chase2634
4.47/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of a10t2
4.57/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

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

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.

Photo of ncaudle
4.45/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of unclejimbay
4.59/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of TheHoppiest
4.75/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of BuckyFresh
4.6/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 9,347 ratings.