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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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9,475 Ratings

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Ratings: 9,475
Reviews: 2,616
rAvg: 4.62
pDev: 8.87%
Wants: 4,015
Gots: 3,673 | FT: 258
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: 9,475 | Reviews: 2,616
Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.3/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a snifter.

Appearance: Pitch black, with a small brown head. Some light lace, but nothing significant sticking to the glass. After just a few moments, nothing more than a ring remains around the glass.

Smell: Chocolate and roasted malt, somewhat sweet. Coffee, oak, and bourbon are noticeable as well. Vanilla seems to have faded from the aroma at this point.

Taste: Starts out with the taste of bittersweet chocolate, dark chocolate malt, and roasted malt. Burnt sugar and molasses sweetness comes in next, some light vanilla too, and some booziness gradually seeps into the flavor. Coffee is firmly mixed with the roasted malt flavor, but does not overpower. The finish is more bitter chocolate and a little bourbon.

Mouthfeel: Extremely full bodied; nice and creamy. Carbonation is almost crowded out by the motor oil thickness.

Drinkability: Booze flavor gets the best of me pretty fast, but other than that this is a fantastic sipper.

Thanks to jammapamma for the 4 pack - 3 more left!

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

Thanks a million to Lukafer for this amazing brew!!!!

12oz stub into a Snifter Glass.

A- Pours black as black could be with a nice thin brown head that doesn't stick around to long other than a nice thin line around the edge.

S- Strong oak vanilla nose with a great amount of coffee and a roasted toastiness.

T- So complex! Dark roasted blend perfectly with the strong vanilla oak flavors from the barrels. Getting hints of bourbon, coffee, and bittersweet dark chocolate in the background as well. Some alcohol is present but no where near overpowering like a lot of fresh imperial stouts. Just enough to give it a slight sting on the tongue and fullness. Really well blended and full of so many flavors!

M- Full bodied with lower carbonation and a slight bitter dry in the finish but not bad at all. This brew is so easy to drink it should have a warning label.


Photo of trygger87
4.88/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Big shout out to Hoppymcgee for the bottle on a trade.
Poured from a twelve ounce bottle in to a chimay chalice. Pours pitch black, like roofing tar black. Produced no head what so ever though there were a few tan bubbles popping up here and there. The smell is off dark coffee grounds, serious coffee notes with a hint of vanilla at the back. Taste is out of this world, dark coffee with dark fruits and a slight vanilla character at the end. This beer has a wonderful mouth feel, rich and just decadent. The drinkability is nuts, i only at the end get a slight alcohol bite. For an 11 percent beer this thing rocks!
Again thanks to Hoppymcgee for the trade, i hope you like whats coming!

Photo of HoppedUp420
4.8/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle poured into a pint glass

Appearance - Very dark brown almost black. Opaque, very thick and creamy look. A small amount of coffee colored head appearing at the top.

Smell - Very complex and rich. Strong coffee odor followed by a strong bourbon atmosphere. Chocolate, and Vanilla notes peaking there way though the strong coffee and bourbon smell.

Taste - Simply Amazing. One of the best stouts I have ever had. Coffee, Bourbon, Chocolate, Vanilla. All well balanced to make a delicious beer. Very complex strong taste. Truly outstanding!

Mouth feel - Smooth and rich. The bourbon characteristic warms the mouth and throat. Amazing.

Drinkability - For how complex this beer is, I was able to drink the 4-pack in one sitting with ease. Then again, I drink a 4 pack of regular Founders Breakfast Stout at least once a week, so this was more of a treat for me.

Simply an amazing stout. The bourbon character makes this beer so unique. It warms my insides as does good whiskey and scotch. A+ without a doubt.

Photo of newk340
4.8/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

allowed to warm for 15 mins following refrigeration before being served into a new belgium goblets and shared with hu5om:

A: very dark beer, nearly opaque when held to the light with a quickly dissipating head.

S: very distinct bourbon smell, slightly stings the nasal passage while leaving a lingering heat, overpowers any coffee or chocolate smell that may be present.

T: initial bourbon explosion with a nice segue into a smooth coffee middle and an oaky chocolate aftertaste.

M: slightly milky and smooth all the way down the throat.

D: a premium breakfast stout, very delicious, would definitely try again!

Photo of hu5om
4.8/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Delic. I'm pretty new, but this is the best I've had and it "lived up to the hype" as everyone, mostly, says.

Split in New Belgium Goblets with newk340 alongside Founder's Breakfast Stout.

Made the Breakfast Stout taste thin! Bourbon smokiness in the nose, taste, and it lingers with you for a long time after. Pleasent. A light tingle/burn in the taste. I could feel the warmeth in my exhale after. A lingering heat. There's a dark chocolate smell and taste, slightly less so than the bourbon smokiness.

Glad to split it, a full bottle would be a pretty intense experience.

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

Poured in to Duvel tulip

A - Poured a thick black colour with a small amount of bubbly espresso coloured head.

S - Dark chocolate and some coffee with sweet vanilla and bourbon notes. The bourbon is discernible but is not overwhelming in the nose.

T - The palate has more pronounced bourbon notes at first that become less evident as I drink the beer. Even initially the bourbon is not overwhelming but is definitely the most up front flavour. There is some sweetness here too that is derived from the vanilla flavour and provides a nice compliment to the bourbon. As the beer warmed up even more there were more pronounced coffee and chocoalte notes that were well balanced with the bourbon and vanilla. An outstanding beer.

M - Medium to thick body. Silky. lightly carbonated.

D - A truly amazing beer. Lived up to the hype.

Photo of OWSLEY069
4.73/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours jet black with a nice dark tan to brownish colored head. In the aroma, bourbon, oak, and just a hint of vanilla. In the taste, coffee, oak, and big alcohol presence of bourbon. A small alcohol bite and big bodied mouthfeel, with a semi dry, lingering bourbon flavored aftertaste. Quite a big beer, a good sipper, huge bourbon flavor, small hints of coffee and vanilla, but over taken by the bourbon.

Photo of BobZ
4.52/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Last night I poured 3 bottles of KBS. 2010, 2011, and 2012 releases. Split the bottles with a friend (as my wife is not a fan of either Bourbon or Stouts).

Minutia: 2012 into Duvel Tulips, 2011 into St. Bernardus chalices, and 2010 into Aventinus Eisbock glasses.

The differences were noticeable but not extreme:

The 2012 had the Chocolate, Coffee, and Bourbon, with a fair amount of Vanilla flavors. The bourbon caused the beer to finish a little on the "sharp" side but in all honesty if I wasn’t doing a side-by-side tasting I'm not sure it would have been that noticeable.

The 2011 had the same three components and contrary to what I expected, the coffee flavor hardly diminished (or fell-off) at all, the bourbon mellowed nicely and the beer finished incredibly smooth.

The 2010 did have a more noticeable drop in coffee but again not "extreme drop-off" by any means, the chocolate was more prevalent and the finish had a more noticeable warmth.

I'd have to say the 2011 was the most enjoyable for me, a shame there are only 2 bottles of that year left in the cellar but based on my experience I'll be drinking them sooner rather than later.

Still a great beer that deserves its rep. Never sticky or cloying as it warms (as this was my primary complaint with BCBS as it became like molasses as it warmed) just enjoyable start to finish. Again drinking all three years at the same time, going back and forth, was a great way to enjoy them.

12 oz. Bottle. Thanks to Billy at Muckey's for holding a couple of bottles for me.

Appearance: Very dark brown almost black. Rich with a quickly dissipating dark tan head. Lacing is strong throughout the beer (start to finish).

Smell: Very good and complex, you get everything, coffee, bourbon/booze, and strong chocolate. A lot going on here and it all smells great.

Taste: Wow, all of the flavors in the scent come through in great balance, so clean, literally explodes off the palate, great flavor complexity with no after taste. Great beer!

Mouth feel: Smooth as can be for such a deep and complex beer.

Drinkability: Because it's so rich it's a one beer per session type of beer.

Really an incredible stout, deserves its reputation.

Photo of joshstevens87
4.94/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A-pour a solid black with a quarter inch of dirty tan head
S-sweet bourbon and huge notes of coffee with a little choclate and some vanilla and a little bit of alcohol burn
T-an amazingly complex tase with notes of coffee, bourbon, vanilla, and chocolate with a faint hint of aromatic hops this beer is superbly balanced and delicious and tastes no where no its 11%abv
M-this beer is remarkably smooth with a full body and little to no carbonation with only a bit of alcohol presence
D-amazing i cannot say enough good things about this beer it definately lives up to its hype

Photo of rabsten
4.63/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

sharp edge creekhouse, pittsburgh, pa. Snifter. $10 for 10 oz. Worth every penny.

dark oil in the snifter, cocoa colored head, good lacing, slight red color when put up to light. Pretty.

big ol' hit of gin-u-ine Kintuckee bourbon right up front with lurking caramel, vanilla, and chocolate. Hint of the burbon's corn is the sole detractor.

smooth infusion of chocolate, oats, roasted malt, caramel, vanilla, and whiskey. Only possible complaint is tha t the bourbon leads the party.

good but not great mouthfeel. Somewhat acrid at time, and soft at others. Inconsistent. Still, just fine.

more drinkable than an 11% ber should be.

modern masterpiece. Quintessential example of what American ingenuity can do vis-a-vis beer. Worth driving to other states to experience.

Photo of Tripphop
4.33/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Robust, rich, and highly addictive.

Aromas of dark chocolate and bourbon, this drinks incredibly well. Great mouthfeel, smooth and creamy with a crisp bourbon undertone. Can't wait to revisit this one in the wintertime. A must try for stout lovers.

Photo of KAP1356
4.82/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at a great local bar. Can't believe I finally get to have this gem on tap! Poured into a 10-12oz snifter...

A - Dark as night. A half a finger mocha brown/tan head forms just as it is presented to me.

S - Smells of vanilla, chocolate, roasted malts, leather, tobacco, and some slight alcohol comes through. I must say that the bourbon aging does not overpower everything that is going on and seems to be slightly less present then when poured from the bottle.

T - A manly, manly beer. Thick, creamy, oat-y beer with solid roasted malt and chocolate flavors. The bourbon and vanilla sits nicely at the end of the taste bringing along with it some evidence of alcohol, but nothing too harsh by any means.

M - Creamy and velvety, much more so than the bottled version. I could swirl this in my mouth for days.

D - Although I rushed through this one, it was surprisingly easy to drink. The alcohol presence did not make an appearance and let me enjoy it much more than I thought I would be able to.

If you see this on draft, do not pass it up. It is certainly interesting to see the differences between the bottled version and the version on draft. Simply a phenomenal beer and still remains one of my favorite barrel aged beers.

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.52/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Founder's "KBS" - On-tap

Appearance: The darkest of browns with a small light brown head that sticks around the edges. Little specks of lace resembling stars in a distant galaxy.

Smell: Wonderfully potent nose that boasts Vanilla, Chocolate, Charred malt and a hint of sweet sweet booze.

Taste: At first notes of chocolate, pine and coffee greet the palate. There is a nice dark chocolate flavor abundant in this beer. Some charred oak flavors couple with a bourbon like boozyness. As the drink warms, the alcohol becomes more noticable, but it does not overpower the chocolate, oak and vanilla. Complexities abound but the palate is never confused, in fact, it accepts all the flavors at once.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, good amount of carbonation. A bit oily and slick.

Drinkability: This sipper rarely comes around these parts on tap. A stronger version of the bottled counterpart, this beer is simply phenominal.

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

2009 vintage

Well there is no real intro for this beer, it is what it is. It is KBS. Poured dark, and smelled lovely. The Beer attacked the palate like a planned out bank robbery, actually no more like the robbery from the Oceans movies. Matt Damon, I mean the Bourbon, was really well balanced in this, not over powering all the other players. There were hints of coffee that left a nice roasty quality, and then the vanilla. Most Bourbon Barrel Beers have an off flavor of vanilla, Founders was on point with the amount of vanilla in this beer. It was just enough to get you coming back for more. Great Beer!

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

12oz bottle, served in a big DFH snifter

A - thin layer of dark khaki foam settles quickly to a thin film and few floating islands of bubbles. the beer pours pitch black and thick like oil. dark & ominous.

S - heavy on the bourbon, accented by fresh french roast coffee, oak, chocolate, vanilla beans, and warming alcohol.

T - starts off a bit sweet with some very dark over=ripened fruits before the bourbon really kicks in. joined by strong coffee (with an intense lingering bitterness that lasts and lasts), sweet oak and vanilla.

M - a little thinner I think than on tap, still quite syrupy but with strong biting carbonation. alcohol warms and opens up the drink near the end.

D - like it a bit more from the tap, but still one of the best beers out there. wonderfully robust and intense, yet complex. one of those beers that doesnt need a special occasion, as every time you have one is special enough.

Photo of jimbus
4.74/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle and boy did the aromas explode without hesitation as I filled my glass. Dark as night with a one finger head which slowly dissipated. Nice deep cream color to the head and a bit of lacing left with every sip. Smells of rich espresso, dark chocolate, hints of bourbon, and other complexities. Tastes like it smells, only better. Lots of chocolates, coffee, and just enough bourbon to complement and hide the ABV yet it does not overpower, which I liked. A tinge of alcohol taste as it finishes but the 11.2% ABV is definitely masked well. Full mouthfeel and super rich. One or two of these on special occasions every once in a while sounds just about right. It lives up to the hype!

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

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a clear oversized wine glass. Bottled on 02/08/10 on bottle neck under neck label. Purchased as 4-pack at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $20.99.

A: Jet black with short-lived French vanilla 1-finger head which leaves wisps of lace around the glass.

S: Bourbon aroma grabs first followed by dark coffee, dark chocolate, licorice, and roasted malts. Hops are hard to appreciate with everything else going on, but there is definitely some earthy, tobacco notes as it warms.

T: Bursting with dark roasted flavors such as coffee, roasted malts, and barely bitter dark chocolate. The bourbon barrel aging produces a lot of whiskey flavor but it acts as an accompaniment rather than the lead act here and enhances the coffee and dark chocolate flavors while masking the ABV effectively. The tobacco notes of the hops are prominent as it warms. A really nice bourbon-tinged, coffee stout, but I still think I like Espresso Oak Aged Yeti fresh for the price as a coffee-infused imperial stout.

M: Wonderful balance of creamy carbonation and silky big-bodied brew that layers the tongue. Aftertaste lasts for many minutes with coffee, dark chocolate, and bourbon.

D: A great American stout with huge, varied aroma and flavor profiles and superb mouthfeel and drinkability. Deserves its high regard.

Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.75/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance -- Pours almost pure black, thin layer of brown head. No lacing, but coats the glass well.

Smell -- Bourbon, vanilla, dark chocolate, coffee, and some charcoal.

Taste -- The bourbon is very pronounced. Strong oakiness, coffee, vanilla, chocolate, some charcoal. Finish is chocolate, char, and bourbon.

Mouthfeel -- Velvety, full-bodied with just the right amount of carbonation. Sharp alcohol bite in the finish.

Drinkability -- The bourbon character is very sharp, so much that it burnt my sinuses. Mind you, I enjoy barrel-aged stouts, and Founders Breakfast Stout - what is essentially the base beer - is a favorite of mine. However, I just couldn't fall in love with this one like everyone else. A noble brew to be certain, but I may stick to my tried and trues in the future.

Photo of jonvan04
4.82/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

After keeping an eye out for many months, I was finally able to land a bottle while eating dinner at Hawthornes in Philadelphia. It didn't feel right drinking this straight out of the bottle, so I ended up pouring it into the jar that was supposed to be my water glass. It was jet black without very much head. The aroma is a very nice blend of coffee, roasted malts, and a little hint of the oak. The taste was an intense blend of the coffee and roasted malts. The mouthfeel was rather light considering how heavy of a beer this is, which would made it very easy to drink a few of these. Anyone who likes coffee flavor in their beer would absolutely love this.

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

Very delicious imperial stout. Pours a dark black color with a caramel colored head. Has an aroma of bourbon with hints of coffee, vanilla, and malt. The alcohol comes through on the smell and taste. This stout has it all sweet and malty on the front, bitter and biting alcohol on the back. Thin mouthfeel. Notes of vanilla and coffee which linger on the tongue through the finish. This is most definitely a snifter worthy stout.

Photo of liquidcraft
4.42/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours up nice; rich black with a short, enticing mocha head. I've drank my share of these but never with the attentiveness of a review. The smell is heavy with bourbon, but chocolate and coffee are there in full support. I like that the flavors are present above the roasted scents that often accompany stouts.

Taste is just straight up comforting. I'm all about whiskeys and the bourbon variety is no exception. Chocolate and coffee come up first with some of the classic oak-imparted flavor. Bourbon comes heavy in the finish providing a sweet and boozy sensation. There is no mistaking the alcohol in this one but it works for the benefit of this beer, I think the warmth adds to the experience of this. Its carbonated nicely, it wouldn't hurt to be thicker but I dig the balance of KBS. Founders rarely misses the mark with their beers.

Photo of DrDemento456
4.8/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

The legendary founders KBS. Never did I think I would find a bottle without trading. Picked it up at my local mix and six for 6.50 a bottle

A - Fuel black with no head to speak of. Thought it was kind of odd but because of the ABV it seemed right. No bottle date on label or bottle.

S - Right up from the bottle I got oak and coffee but in my tulip glass I can smell coffee and bourbon with more oak. Slight burnt sugars also.

T - Warming bourbon followed by vanilla, oak, then bitter coffee and chocolate finish.

M - Wow the bourbon packs a less than mild punch than expected! Still very noticeable yet the bitterness of the chocolate and coffee malt take some of the heat off.

D - What to think... Really an amazing brew that I guarantee at least an A in this reviewers opinion. Strong flavor and high ABV with expected high price tag. May have it again if I hit up the brewery.

Photo of BeerAndBourbon
4.68/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This, my first KBS, is being consumed on Sunday 13 June 2010 to celebrate the last night of studying for the hardest exam I will ever take (Step 1 of the USMLE - United States Medical Licensing Exam).

Served at 53 degrees in a 12 oz. whiskey snifter.

A. Brisk pour brings up a pinky-finger-thick dark coffee colored head on top of an impenetrably dark black abyss. The head dissipates quickly to a thin ring of coffee around the perimeter of the brew.

S. Super coffee in the nose with a touch of dark chocolate. Some bourbon vanilla notes can be noted as the beer warms.

T. Bourbon barrel up front in the taste quickly followed by espresso, oak, and fine dark chocolate with a finish of bitter coffee and wood with a bit of fresh herb/leafy taste as well. The bourbon in the tail end really comes through; fine sippin' beer here (of course I prefer my barrel strength bourbon neat, too).

M. Medium-thick body with a good level of small bubble smooth carbonation. I'm on the edge with this. If I'd change anything, I'd like this to be thicker and possibly less carbonation. I like to really chew on my alcohol.

D. Excellent. I might have to pop another one of these when my bourbon drinking buddy gets back to town after my exam. That said, I might have to drop $25 on another 4 pack of these at my local beer store in celebration.

Photo of BeerImmediately
4.54/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Finally able to pick some up this year! Poured into a Chimay goblet at 50 degrees.

Pours with a respectable 1F of brown head, fading to film & ring over top of a jet black body. Little bit of lacing as it goes down.

Aromas launch right into roasted espresso bean, vanilla bean, and tobacco leaves. All bitterness.

Really creamy smooth on the mouthfeel, with an explosion of bitter Sumatra coffee grinds, and balanced with dark chocolate sweetness. The bourbon barrel and alcohol qualities sit WAY in the back, much more so than Founders Nemesis which has it punching you in the face.

Hardly a chugger, although the smooth body and delicious flavors are constantly pulling you back for more.

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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 9,475 ratings.