Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) | Founders Brewing Company

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

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.40%

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."

ABV varies by batch.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-13-2004

User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,985 | Ratings: 11,604
Photo of nortmand
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is my review from the sample I savored at the MBGSBF.

Pours deep, dark brown with a dark brown head.

Nose is dominated by roast, with a bit of bourbon thrown in for good measure. Coffee notes is well.

Very complex flavor. Chocolate, maple, bourbon, coffee, roast merge into a bludgeoning mass of flavor. Really, very nice.

Huge body, smooth and very nice. Not a summer beer, but I'll never turn down the opportunity.

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Photo of hudsonskunk
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I do not fan boy a lot of beer, but for me, this is as good as it gets.

This beer pours darker than most any beer I have seen. The color resides somewhere between french press coffee, and oil. If poured in a tulip glass the edges reflect a beautiful tinge of mahogany.

The smell is unreal. This beer is 11.2abv, and you can smell a little bit of alcohol. Most of the aroma from beer rests around roasted flavors, peaking around bitternotes with flavors of coffee and oak, and sweet notes with touches of cream and molasses.

Taste is out of this world. When served chilled your roasted barleys and chocolates pop along with bitter notes of american hops. The aromas of hop flavors are suppressed between coffee and cocoa notes, but the bitterness is still there bringing out some of the sweeter tastes of malted milk, and cream. At a more cellar temp. this beer will bust out fruity elements hinting at notes of wild blackberry. Like I said before, the alcohol still supplies a noticeable bite on the back end.

Mouthfeel is perfectly weighted drifting slowly over all plains of the tongue dancing ever so slightly between savory and sweet tastes. Viscosity looks a lot heavier than it actually is, but this comes as a relief in the end as the flavors are so complex a quick finish is most likely favored to ensure all elements of the beer can be enjoyed. (just my opinion, may be total bullshit.)

Overall, this beer is the only beer I would go broke for. It only comes once a year, and it is by far the most consistent and satisfying beer that founders currently produces. If you get a chance, enjoy this beer with a friend, but beware, you may never experience something this good again.

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Photo of spartanjd
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2012 vintage, after much searching from all over Chicago was finally able to get my hands on one.
Appearance: pours oil black with a slight head disappears quickly
Smell: Chocolate, bourbon, vanilla. subdued but rich.
Taste: AMAZING more of the chocolate, bourbon, alcohol, so smooth goes down great.
Mouthfeel: smooth coats the mouth, feels delightful relaxing to drink.
Overall: completely lived up to the hype, overall just an amazing beer so glad I got my hands on a bottle.

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Photo of duke1258
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Great vanilla aromas up front with a bit more forward hops this year, but still the warm malty end taste. Just as smooth as always, and more complex than the standard Breakfast Stout. There is a depth to this beer beyond just the Barrel aging. Definitely more bold Whiskey than other aged beers and yet very subtle alcohol.

I had this on tap once again at Founders and was offered a sample of the Canadian Breakfast Stout, aged in Maple Syrup Barrels, and found it to be a great twist on the KBS, though a bit sweeter. Still the best beer in the world, KBS is progressively becoming even better.

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Photo of ocelot2500
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep ebony color with a tight, mocha head that leaves chunks of lacing.

Smells of bourbon, espresso, and chocolate notes.

Tastes of deep roasted notes layered with vanilla and bourbon. Roasted notes lead off with cocoa, brown sugar, and espresso with moderate sweetness. This gives way to some baker's chocolate along with some vanilla. Oaked bourbon notes come next. Finishes with a lingering, roasted and vanilla sweetness.

Mouthfeel is full with a smooth amount of carbonation.

Overall, this is an incredibly tasty stout that hits all the right notes. Almost like an adult chocolate milk, plus the alcohol is hidden really well, dangerously so.

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Photo of Armand
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a tulip glass. Smell was amazing, and what I expected after wanting to try it for some time. Smell of chocolate and roasted malts swirled throughout the glass. Oaky and and slight bourbon floated on the palate. Genuine beer lives up to its reputation. Small head lingered for the first few sips. Great beer to chill to. Smoother and sweeter as it cooled down. Great 'til the last sip. Savored every moment.

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Photo of Trevor11
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Very powerful beer. 2014 > 2015. The aged beer (2014) was more enjoyable with the mellowing of the strong flavors and prominence of the alcohol in this barrel-aged beer.

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Photo of RandyKemka
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I have had this beer both on tap and 12oz bottle
Served in a snifter

A - It pours very dark and fairly thick. A half inch of head rests on top.

S - I get the coffee, bourbon and vanilla that is advertised.

T - AWESOME, I get a hint of coffee with a nice bourbon finish. The

M - Full and creamy

O - This beer is one of the best, it's so sad that it is so hard to get. Founders once again does an outstanding job with an outstanding brew.

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Photo of SeaUrchin
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

review of a 2011 bottle, fresh, poured from the bottle into a tulip

appearance - Black, held to the light and very little lightens it up even around the edges, mocha colored head thats about 1 finger tall but faded to about 1/2 a finger and remains throughout the brew, low visible carbonation

smell - up front is coffee, strong coffee but less than FBS, second is whiskey, but a mellow whiskey almost sweet smell, in the back ground there was hint of chocolate and alcohol, the nose alone on this made me drool

taste - now i dont believe in god but i heard angels sing upon my first sip, up front is a nice roasted coffee flavor(less than FBS) that moves into a sweet whiskey, nice roasted malt and chocolate notes with coffee still being the main player, that quickly moves into a a sweet whiskey, and finishes with a slight burn, the after taste is like a frozen mocha coffee with a shot of whiskey in it, absolutely delicious, as close to perfect iv ever tasted, enjoyed this one far more than last years but i feel iv evolved as a beer drinker, and iv tasted many more BA stouts so i have other things to compare it to.

mouthfeel - very thick, rich velvety mouthfeel, very little noticeable carbonation, this is what i feel a big stout should feel like

drinkability - i know this is no longer rated but old habits die hard, if i could drink this every day i would be a happy man, i could of enjoyed another after but its too precious to drink at once

overall - my first ever perfect score but waiting for KBS is like waiting for christmas, if i had to pick a beer as my favorite it would be KBS, one of the few beers i can honestly say "i would have paid more for this and still been happy)

planning on aging at least one and doing a side by side next year, i planned that last year too and it didnt work out, only time will tell

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Photo of STKPICR0720
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle date 2/17/12

Wow this brew is amazing. Well worth getting no matter what it takes. The alcohol is prevalent but hidden well. Boozy to the nose but wow great mouth feel. I would love to drink this brew at least a couple times a week if my waistline and budget could cover it. A truly phenomenal brew hats off to Founder's well done, well done.


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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had to go for something special for my 200th review. I had the good fortune of picking up 2 4 packs of 2010 and even more 2011 (well, actually 2009 and 2010 if you count when bottled).
Yes, I know this is an extremely hyped beer, this years causing a frenzy even. In my opinion, this is one that that lives up to the hype.
appearance: Black, black, black, gorgeous mocha head.
smell: Incredibly smooth mocha. Coffee w/o over the top bitterness, chocolate w/o over sweetness, and that buttery barrell aged thing in just the right amount to balance all.
taste: again, all this coffee, chocolate, and barrel aged goodness in perfect mellow harmony.
This is my second perfect score. Not sure if that's over-use or not but I just can't imagine this beer being any better. Like a great work of art, nothing should be added or taken away.

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Photo of jcnd9803
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: A motor oil slick look with no head but incredible lacing.

S: A wonderful mix of vanilla, bourbon and coffee.

T: Just an amazing flavor! The taste mirrors the smell. The alcohol is there, but it's really smooth.

M: Three words: thick, chewy and creamy.

D: For such a big beer, it's amazingly drinkable. For it's heat and thickness, I would reach for another one after drinking one, it's that good.

For me, this is the gold standard of beer. I've had at least 35 of the top 100, and I would take this before any other beer.

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Photo of 120minuteman
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2013 Batch, popped open on New Years Eve (12/31/2014). Poured in to Wild Turkey tumblers.

What a beer! Did not disappoint. Well worth the wait. Very complex beer, yet highly drinkable.

Lots of chocolate and caramel (both in flavor and smell), with notes of vanilla and bourbon. Light carbonation and slick feel on the tongue.

Looking forwards to picking up another bottle on April 1st!

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Photo of theembalmer
5/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

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Photo of carlborch
5/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

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Photo of Tomdee74
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I love this beer!!

S- amazing
T-insanely good
O-could drink everyday!!

This is one of my very favorites! Crazy my wife doesn't like any beer but loves this and is just as crazy about it as me. When I first drank it years ago I didn't like it, but now it's one of my favorites definitely in the top 5.

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Photo of schwemjw
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Deadly Black !! huge mocha creamy head that left fairly quickly after i started drinking but left great lacing. oh man this looks good.

S: WOW! there is so much roast in here! lots of caramel, espresso, dark coffee, and vanilla. there is nice bourbon and oak on the end. i cant wait to drink this!

T: a nice bourbon up front. vanilla, toffee, and burnt coffee in the middle with rum soaked raisens on the end. super complex. i found as i drank this it had 3 distinct verses. the first verse was when it was cold and it very sweet with alot of caramel and toffee with some coffee thrown in there. The second verse was where the bourbon, vanilla and oak came in. the final verse was very fruity with rasiens and figs. absolutely amazing!!

M: creamy like milk. no carbination. this was motor oil thick but it was oh so smooth.

O: Words can't even describe. i came into this beer with a lot of expectations and this exceeded all of them. i drank several glasses and it was just as good each time. a timeless classic. i'll give it my highest rating which is a 99. awesome, awesome, awesome.
2013 vintage.

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Photo of ajramirez1
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Live in NW WA rec'd in a beer trade with my buddy DWitt. Beer cold is really good. Let it warm, it is amazing...
Worth the hype. KBS is best stout to date. Cant imagine how good it taste kegged
With age, this beer would be mind blowing. So if anyone had the beer cellered, contact me. Pink Q Tip


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Photo of ElijahCraig69
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I really love this beer. Its hard to find though. I drink these in the morning. This is one of those beers you start to drink cold but it warms and it still tastes just as good. color is perfect. Smell is incredible. Tastes like bourbon and i like that. Mouthfeel is like a party in your mouth. You gotta love this beer. Pick it up when you can.

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Photo of shadwrack
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ok so I'm reviewing this beer now in tears. A tragic thing just happened in my kitchen. I have some of my rare saved beers hidden away in the back of the fridge. I was rooting around cleaning out old food containers when I hooked the btl cap of my last KBS. It fell out hit the floor and began to bleed coffee chocolate stout goodness. I actually didn't loose too much but I wasn't prepared to drink this particular bottle of beer as you can imagine. There's no special celebrations going on other than the fact that I just got my 4 month old son to fall asleep for the night. So anyway, here I am drinking what I believe to be one of the greatest beers ever conceived/created/brewed/served/sold.
I received a four pack of the KBS as a wedding present from my best man back on Halloween 2009. We each drank one before I was wed. I drank the 3rd one when my son was born and now I drink the last on on a fluke. BUT GOD DAMN THIS IS GOOD ALE!
I'm not going to break it down for you, describing all the intricate flavors and complex I'm just going to tell you to go out and find some, try it, love it. The 4 pack I got came from eBay. My best bud tracked it down and paid $15 a that's $60 for 4 12 ounce bottles of this stuff!

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Photo of Number45forever
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Listen. I love beer, I love craft beer. I get deeper and deeper into this web of delight each day. I've read about KBS. The stories...too good to be true. There's just no way.

Yesterday, on the Ides of March, I toasted Caeser's memory by purchasing 28 bottles of KBS from my local shop. A beer-acle. Lord save me, for I may never see another day so great.

After all this time: my first KBS. I opened one tonight.

It pours an unnatural black. No beverage can be this dark, this transcendently deep, dank and bottomless. How can this be?

This beer smells better than anything else I've ever smelled. I smell it, and I think Mozart. Spine tingling. The definition of balance. Coffee, chocolate, bourbon. Not one note out of place, not one phrase misplaced. Harmony.

The taste dances. Each sip a symphony of fireworks in your mouth. Such greatness. How will any other beer live up? It's all there. Nothing missing. No thought of "this is great, I wish it just had..." No, this is whole. A finished piece.

Moutfeel. Not too thick. Not too thin. Coats just enough, finishes clean. This is a treat.

Overall. Well, how can any beer stack up to this. KBS. I love this beer. I will always remember my first. Sitting motionless for 45 minutes in my seat, savoring each sip. Afraid to move. Contemplating life. What was your journey to KBS? Mine has been a ride. I can't argue with the path, I know the culmination of KBS was worth any price.

Cheers to KBS! To Founders! What a beer.

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Photo of Roke87
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

(Saved something a little special for my 100th review)

12oz. bottle, chilled and poured into a snifter, 2011 vintage.

Appearance- Pours black as midnight, one of if not the darkest beers I have ever seen to this day. Gentle pour yields a very small bubbly top that very quickly disappears into the darkness with a very very small ring around the glass, you almost have to search for any type of head left over after the pour, leaving

Smell- I’m getting huge amounts of bitter coffee aromas right off the bat paired with that woody bourbon aroma, mild dark chocolate in there as well with some sweet hints of vanilla and a mild touch of roasted malt in the nose.

Taste- Holy shite this thing will put hair on your chest, wow what an adventure for the palate! First off I get a milk chocolate flavour paired with the alcohol bite from the bourbon, very sweet with hints of vanilla in there as well, lots of roasted bitter coffee notes coming through next with a mild touch of roasted malts in there as well.

Mouthfeel- Full bodied and smooth as silk, creamy and goes down as sexy as red velvet cake, very little to no carbonation but the tastes more than make up for the lack of carbonation.

Overall- I think only one word can describe this beer; amazing! It deserves all the hype and score that it has here on BA, this is easily one of the best stouts in the entire word. Everything about this beer is absolutely stunning, from the initial kick of the bourbon in the tastes balanced perfectly by the coffee, chocolate milk, vanilla, and woody flavours to the amazing smells right down to the feel of it on the palate. This is a world class beer for a reason, all other stouts take notes because this is what you should taste like, and hides the big ABV extremely well. Will always search this one out and drink it every day if I could, there’s nothing more to say, 5/5, A+ all day everyday.

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Photo of h00dak
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I think that someone supposing to rate any part of this beer much less than perfect would be doing so simply for dramatic effect. Every aspect of this beer is phenomenal.

I finally had the opportunity to buy two bottles of this in Grand Rapids and did so promptly. I'm not one to buy into hype and typically go against the grain when it comes to things that are trendy and popular. This beer is definitely trendy in the craft beer world and you are considered some sort of loser if you haven't had it.

The taste is multi-dimensional and I am pretty sure there are several more dimensions beyond the roasty, woody, chocolatey, bourbon.... the list goes on.

I'm not going to camp or pay $50 for a bottle of this but I wouldn't think less of someone who did. This beer is one of a kind and is simply amazing.

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Photo of techfed87
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a jet black, with a dark mocha head.

Appearance is onyx black, with no light getting through at all.

Smells of roasted coffee mixed with something darker and more sour.

First sip is deeply chocolate, with the smoothest mix of espresso, all of which has a woody boubon-like after-taste, but man, it's just smooth smooth smooth! Everything's just centered and concentrated and organized into a flavor spectrum that feels like it's all meant to be there in exactly the way it is. Hands down, this is the tastiest beer I've had to date.

Mouthful is huge, with new flavors constantly introducing themselves as you drink it.

Drinkability is frighteningly good. At nearly 12%, it balances the mocha sweetness with its bourbon sour attributes to make my favorite beer to date.

Find this beer. Find it and buy it and enjoy it. It really is that good.

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Photo of wdberkley
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Some people say this beer has gone downhill over the years. I couldn't disagree more. It just keeps getting better. Bourbon, Coffee, Oak, Vanilla...So good. By far one of the best BA Stouts around.

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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,985 ratings.