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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) - Founders Brewing Company

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,808 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 2,808
Hads: 10,820
Avg: 4.56
pDev: 17.54%
Wants: 4,284
Gots: 5,087 | FT: 414
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 2,808 | Hads: 10,820
Photo of rmalinowski4
4.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark black with a small tan head that recedes quickly and leaves a small ring around the edge of the glass.

Smells of chocolate, roast malt and bourbon. Very faint hints of coffee, vanilla, and oak.

Tastes starts with rich chocolate/ fudge, follows with bourbon and slight coffee bitterness, finish leaves traces of vanilla and oak along with more chocolate. Leaves a lingering taste of chocolate, simply delicious, smooth, and an absolutely wonderful sipper.

Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, but I feel it could use slightly more carbonation.

Overall this is a very fine beer. Complex, smooth, great taste. Very enjoyable to sip and ponder it's complexities. It is not the best in it's class, but it is pretty dam close.

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Photo of adman08
4.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a very deep dark brown with some deep ruby red at the edges and a small amount of tan foam.
S-Sweet aroma of molasses and bourbon with hints of vanilla and oak, alcohol and coffee.
T-Balanced flavors of bourbon and roasted malt with some coffee, vanilla, oak and some dark chocolate. Slightly sweet, a faint molasses flavor but by no means too sweet. Strong alcohol warmth.
M-Full bodied with light carbonation. Sweet but not exactly sticky with a slightly creamy feel. Lots of alcohol warmth.
Overall, almost as outstanging as I remember from previous tastings. The only thing I might adjust a bit is the alcohol. If it were slightly lower in alcohol content there would be less burn and the sweetness would come through more however, this is true to the style with the alcohol warmth and the strong roasted malt and coffee flavors. There really is no one flavor that overpowers the others. This is just as good as everyone says, absolutely worth a try if you're lucky enough to get some.

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Photo of ramseye4
4.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A=Pours a completely opaque oily black with no head and subdued lacing, the color is enticing.
S=Espresso, rich bourbon, and strong roasted malts.
T=The espresso, chocolate and oaky bourbon blend seamlessly into an extraordinarily great tasting stout
M=Full bodied and highly carbonated with the barrel aging adding a bit of charcoaly goodness
O=DEFINITELY did not dissapoint one of the best stouts I have ever had and a great birthday present to me

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Photo of Sideswipe
4.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 bottle poured into a tulip.

KBS pours pitch black with a finger of mocha colored head. No light penetrates it. The nose is a delightful melange of chocolate, oak, bourbon and vanilla. Taste starts out with sweet roasted malt accentuated by notes of chocolate, coffee and vanilla. A very nice bourbon presence asserts itself in the finish, warming things up a bit. Mouthfeel is thick and viscous with an excellently low level of carbonation which lends a smooth, creamy quality to the beer. This is one of my very favorite barrel aged stouts. The different aspects of the beer are melded together with such skill that the advertised 11.2% ABV is completely hidden. KBS is absolutely delicious and should be enjoyed at every possible opportunity. Highly recommended!

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Photo of Abe_Froman
4.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pour from a bottle into a tulip glass.

Poured nice and dark with a slight amber edge and a milk chocolate head.

Smelled of chocolate and coffee with some malt. I found the smell a bit more subtle than other reviewers.

Flavor was a bit lighter than I was expecting given the pour. Taste sweet on the tongue with hints of coffee/bitter and warm almost bright bourbon flavors without the whisky bite.

Feels light on the tongue and flows freely through the mouth. leaves a nice warm feeling on the back and sides of the palette.

Over all an enjoyable experience. Though given the hype I have been hearing over the last few years I was expecting a bit more.

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Photo of Talisker
4.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Certainly a must-try beer. The hype is warranted enough for you to get your hands on at least one bottle try for yourself.

I'll skip the usual breakdown in this review, and just say that in general I'm not a fan of barrel-aged beers, especially bourbon barrels. Most brewers overdo it the moment a barrel is involved.
And I love bourbon on its own.

But in the case of KBS, bourbon is a beautiful complement to the very rich vanilla and coffee. It definitely works, and isn't even as syrupy as you might expect.

I prefer the Founders Breakfast Stout to the Kentucky Breakfast, but I love both. Your life as a beer drinker is not complete until you've at least tried this magnificent beer.

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Photo of Jwale73
4.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

200th review - Received as an extra from iceicebaby (thanks again Sean). Served in my DFH snifter. Poured a dark, opaque brown. Quarter-inch tan-colored head subsided into a slick of foam with a solid ring around the shoulders. Jagged peaks and valleys of lacing, but adherence is somewhat spotty. Smell is decadent. Lots of coffee and molasses up front with a warm bourbon quality in the background. Dark fruit is revealed as the snifter warmed in my hand. Flavors offer a nice and balanced blend of the qualities presented in the nose. Coffee is roasty without tasting burnt or astringent. Cocoa flavors are detected as well. Bourbon character is complementary rather than over-assertive. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied and silky up front; not at all viscous. A little chalky, but not unpleasantly so. Alcohol is fairly well-hidden and quite drinkable. A great brew to celebrate my 200th review.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanx to nopucophop for sending one of these my way

A: poured a black like motor oil with absolutely no head present and honestly no lacing either sticking to the glass.

S: yup.... there is plenty of bourbon to go around with brown sugar, oak notes, slight, spice and toffee notes. I did get a little chocolate and roastiness but for the most part the bourbon dominated the nose.

T: like the nose the bourbon takes over the palate but does give a little room for the brown sugar, oak, vanilla, and chocolate, to take a peak. it also seemed to have coffee on the tail end of a sip but had cocoa coming through as well and slight hop character as well.

M: the brew was full body with a very low amount of carbonation which was sweet, silky, slight chewy, bitter, and boozy finish.

D: it drank pretty damn good considering the ABV on the beer and was really living up to all the hype. I have to say that it is a beefed up regular breakfast stout and is a brew you definitely have to share with friends.

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Photo of ATLbeerDog
4.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 2/8/10

Pours a thin pitch black with a quickly receding small beige head. Smells of bourbon and booze dominate as much of the coffee has long faded. First taste is heaven – with bourbon and dark chocolate and a big splash of strong coffee all blending to make one of the finest beers ever. Thin bodied but well carbonated. The excellent carbonation makes up for the thin body to combine for an overall great mouthfeel. The 11.3% ABV is well hidden. What a great beer!

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Photo of seabass87
4.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another excellent gift I got as an anniversary present. Bottled 02/25/11.

A- Pitch black... One of the darkest beers I've seen. Aggressive pour forms just a finger of dark brown head. Head dissipates quickly and leaves a frothy ring that yields slight lacing.

S- Dark chocolate biscotti, bitter mocha, bourbon, vanilla extract. The sweetness is balanced well by the warm bourbon. Inviting.

T- The bitter chocolate and bourbon tastes are dominant in the front. The bourbon is handled very smoothly, and doesn't have a strong bite during transition phase. Instead, a nice coffee taste comes along and eases over into a well-balanced combination of all of the above flavors. This carries into an aftertaste I can best describe as like an irish carbomb.

M- Medium-thick bodied for the style. Zero carbonation - this is a good thing for this beer. Dry, sticky finish - as one would expect from a strong stout.

O- I love this stout. It has all the classic stout flavors one could want, and handles them in a very smooth fashion. Slightly difficult to come across, but if I see this again I'll be buying lots of it.

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Photo of chumba526
4.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appears black with small medium bodied brown head.

It smells of strong freshly roasted, roasted malts, subtle vanilla, coconut and mild bourbon.

It tastes strongly of bourbon but it is very smooth. I get a subtle note of vanilla and coconut. It is not "oaky" like many bourbon barreled stouts. I get a nice somewhat bitter coffee finish to the beer. the beer has plenty of flavors mingling together yet it is very smooth and easy to drink. I expected the beer to be more intense then it is. regardless it tastes very good.

the beer has a thin mouth-feel it also is low in carbonation. this is a bit of a lighter beer then i though it was going to be.

Overall a great beer. it is clean and it has a great collective flavor. however it did not blow my mind. regardless I would love to have this beer again.

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Photo of blakesell
4.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This year's 2008 model, poured from the twist off 12oz bottle into a wine glass.

Appearance- Beer pours a solid obsidian oil slick with only a ring of red foam around the sides of the glass. Lacing is glued to the sides and is a rich tan.

Smell- Rich espresso with hints of bourbon and masses of Belgian chocolate, cream, lactose, brown sugar, caramel, bourbon is more powerful as the beer warms. Vanilla extract snakes through on the finish.

Taste- Bourbon, chocolate, creamer, black licorice. Chocolate gets more powerful like a marraige of dark and milk chocolate. Whiskey warming on the finish, just like taking a shot. Hops and fruity notes are nonexistant.

Mouthfeel- Creamy, warming, full-bodied as all hell, evenly-carbonated, lightly prickly, smooth and gluey.

Drinkability- The Kentucky Breakfast Stout I had enjoyed in the past was not near as great as this KBS. This could damn well be teh best double stout in the world.

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Photo of scoand
4.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pitch Black, one finger head dissipating to coffee brown head. Appears to have significant carbonation.
Smell: Bourbon, alcohol, toffee
Taste: Bourbon, alcohol, toffee, mocha/coffee. Bitter at the end. Warming, earthy.
Mouthfeel: great mouthfeel, warming syrupy.
Overal: Exceptionally special RIS.

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Photo of Malt_Man
4.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

L) Very dark chestnut brown, opaque. Thin bubbly tan head.

S) Bourbon is the major smell. Some sweetness, some chocolate. No beer.

T) Lots of things happening here... boozy but not overpowering slightly sweet bourbon flavours come in first, followed by subtle bitterness from roasted malt. Ends on a mellow caramel / slightly sweet malty note.

F) Lovely density to it. Alcohol warmth at the end is very nice. Slight bitterness in the aftertaste, but nothing like as strong as other stouts can be.

O) Lives up to the hype. £5.50 well spent, will buy another perhaps later in the year.

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Photo of Tmyhre802
4.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Not a stout fan, but this definitely isin't a regular stout. I couldn't have enjoyed this more.

A- Extremely dark with a slight bubbly brown head.

S-Coffee and Chocolate all day, awesome smell.

T-Neither the coffee or chocolate was terribly over whelming and complemented each other perfectly.

M-Full body but not overly syrupy at all.

O-Believe the hype, this beer is the real deal. Real pleasure to enjoy!

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Photo of cquinn17
4.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.
2013 vintage.

A- Black, 1 finger thick mocha head that dissipates quickly. Pretty much just a pitch black barrel aged stout.

S- Lots of coffee and chocolate lead the way in the nose. The bourbon and oak characteristics are a little more subdued. To me it almost smells like a mix of FIS and FBS. Wish there was more bourbon in the nose.

T- Again, fresh, bitter coffee beans are balanced out by silky smooth milk chocolate. The bourbon comes through a little more on the taste but there still isn't as much barrel as I'd like. I get a little vanilla, oak and even some anise at the end, but its mostly a coffee and chocolate bomb, which isn't a bad thing.

M- I'd say its a medium to full body, not as thick as I'd expect but not too thin to where it detracts from the beer. Pretty high carbonation for a barrel aged stout as well.

O- After trying many barrel aged stouts this year, (bcbs,bcbcs, peruvian morning, cwbbs, parabola), this falls in the middle of the pack. Nothing spectacular for me, but still a very solid beer. Something everyone should definitely try once, but if you miss out on it, don't feel too bad.

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Photo of ASymon13
4.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This one pours a viscous black, with no visible light passing through it. It has almost no head, despite a fairly aggressive pour. The smell is full of black coffee, with some solid bourbon and roastiness. Kinda like a southern version of an irish coffee.

The coffee and bourbon really work magic in the flavor. Neither one is overpowering, and they complement eachother wonderfully. There is some slight hop bitterness that hits you early on, but mellows out very quick. There is a hint of anise, some very slight sweetness to it and a decent spicy alcohol twinge, but this beer really is all about the melding of coffee and bourbon, and the two flavors linger long afterwards. The carbonation is pretty low and the body is lighter than I expected.
Overall, this is an excellent brew. A nice blend of southern goodness with some eye-opening coffee.

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Photo of mortarit
4.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Every now and then this little town gets some good stuff.

Absolutly no head during the pour, only around the sides

Smell seems to be weak but the taste packs a punch. Bourbon, yes I can taste it. You can feel the complelxity of all the notes but in unison.

This deserves a spot on the boards.

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Photo of lunarbrew
4.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Beer pours tar black with about one finger of dense brown head. Head dies fast and leaves a nice sticky lacing. Smells unbelievable. First sweet chocolate, which hit hard. Next, bourbon (and a lot of it). Finally, dark coffee and a little black malt. Phenomenal nose. Flavor is rich, complicated, and smooth. The attack is sweet and bourbony. Almost no heat, but I know there is plenty of alcohol hiding. There is a huge coffee flavor and a little bit of vanilla. Mouthfeel is a little on the thin side, medium-low carbonation, and extremely creamy. I wish there was a little more bourbon, a thicker mouthfeel, and a little stronger head/retention.

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Photo of chicano4craft
4.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours black as night in my snifter. The small tan head disappears as fast as it appeared. Leaves a thin halo.

Nose has hugh bourbon notes. The alcohal mixes well with the strong, woody barrel aroma. There's slight chocolate and coffee. Very nice.

This taste like it was poured straight from the barrel! Lots of alcohal soaked wood. A little vanilla plays on the coffee of the stout. I get more wood than any other similar beer I've ever had. That's not a bad thing at all. The complexity grows as the beer warms.

Despite the big abv it's surprisingly drinkable. The carbonation seems to fade as the beer warms leaving a nice syrup quality. The body has some depth but isn't chewy. Thinner than I expected.

This one lives up to the hype and then some. Great beer that should be enjoyed now...and later. Another Founders beer that has me wishing for distribution in CO.

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Photo of madelfonatree
4.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Look - Lighter than oil, darker than coke. Nice dark cream head. Head film down the glass.

Smell – Whiskey and if anything else, vanilla. It is not overpowering.

Taste – Coffee on tongue, hit with the whiskey, mellows out to vanilla and classic stout finish. Tingle stays on the tongue but once again not overpowering.

Feel – Cream explodes in to large, heavy bubbles.

Overall – Is it worth the hype? No. Is it amazing? Yes. For a beginner BA drinker, this is the way to go. The dirty tobacco taste is almost completely lost from Breakfast Stout in the aging, but is there in the after taste. CBS is definitely better.

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Photo of hoppymeal
4.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer pours jet black with a reddish brown head that quickly dissipates. Strong roasted malt scents mix with a sweet chocolatey aroma. The first taste brings vanilla followed by roasted coffee beans. The beer is not as thick as one might expect from the flavor and aroma. As the beer warms the vanilla aroma is more evident. This beer has a little more sweet flavor to it than their regular breakfast stout which helps to round out the roasted flavors and also helps to accentuate the vanilla flavor. Very well balanced and highly drinkable.

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Photo of GeorgeAldi
4.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a thick solid black with a thin off white head that dissipates quickly. The aroma is heavy on the coffee as would be expected. I also get some chocolate, tobacco, ash, and dried fruits. Complex aroma really, but heavy coffee. Taste hits with roast then chocolate, and then comes the coffee on the attack. Finish with some vanilla, and some bourbon that is oh so subtle. Awesome complexity!! Creamy full bodied mouthfeel. Excellent brew, I wish it was more available! Another well done brew from founders.

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Photo of richj1970
4.41/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2014 vintage poured from 12 oz bottle into snifter.

A: Pours midnight black with an almost crude oil appearance. A very small mocha colored head that dissipated quickly with just some slight lacing.

S: Chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, and roasted espresso beans. A truly wonderful smelling beer. Perhaps not as pronounced as BCBS or the variants, but still very enjoyable.

T: Follows the nose closely. Fairly strong bourbon up front combined with roasty coffee and bitter chocolate. Some vanilla in the back.

M: Full bodied with a creamy texture. Fairly well carbonated for a brew with this ABV. Everything I want in a big stout.

O: I had a small sampling of the 2013 vintage this year at EBF and was a little underwhelmed, but this bottle was truly great beer. Now I need to find a few more...

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Photo of LinusBohman
4.41/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from 2010 (thanks adrock7309 for the trade), drunken January 2013. Served from bottle at room temperature into a snifter.

A: Black as a cloudy Kentucky summer night. The thin head is brown mocha coloured. No fizz apparent. It leaves some lacing and sugar residue on the sides of the glass but not as clearly as you would see in lots of similar brews. The head resides quickly and leaves only a thin ring of brown foam around the deeply black liquid.

S: The big ones are coffee, chocolate, bourbon and vanilla. The coffee and the bourbon sticks out. There's also a tart fruityness that is best described as remeniscent of blackcurrants. I can defenitely sense som ethanol there aswell. Hop character is not apparent, neither are any other fruity esters than the blackcurrant.

T: This is multi faceted with an interesting transformation as it travels over and gently caresses the taste buds. On the tip of the tounge I get a sweet yet sour taste which I perceive as spot on blackcurrants. On the mid-part of the tounge, to be specific on the sides of it, I get sweetness and chocolate. After this taste I get bourbon with a distinct vanilla character to it. It all finishes at the root of the tounge with an overpowering coffee taste that ends with a bitter sensation with tastes of dark roasted malts and after that distinct alcohol. The aftertaste is coffee and chocolates with a hint of bourbon and it stays with me a long time afterwards, getting sweeter after a while.

M: Creamy and oily yet not overly thick. Very little carbonation but I would say the body is on the lighter side of full.
Has a warming of alcohol and bitter dryness as the last impression.

O: This is a beer that has loads of character and depth. There's some really huge chracteristic tastes battling for recognition and I'm a bit impressed that they pull it off as well as they do. But I would say the coffee tends to dominate a little too much and alongside with the alcohol being able to see it's way through this maze of tastes and smells I would not rate this a fiver. I would appreciete a tad more subtle chracters for it to blow my mind completely. Still a world-class beer that's very memorable.

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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,808 ratings.