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.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

2,754 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 2,754
Hads: 10,503
rAvg: 4.55
pDev: 8.35%
Wants: 4,162
Gots: 4,773 | FT: 387
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: 2,754 | Hads: 10,503
Photo of pdoran10
4.4/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. Drank at Haute Dish along side CBS this fall.

Pours out a vicious black with half a finger of tan head. not very lively, but complex looking.

Smell is chocolate hint of vanilla, and bourbon and oak flavors all pretty tame.

taste is a mellow beautifully blended mixture of bourbon, roast, chocolate. Very smooth harmony they really got the bourbon flavor amount just right here.

Mouthfeel is thick and chewy with very low carbonation as many barrel aged stouts are. works fine here.

A very complex but smooth big beer that I could have a few of in one sitting. Surprisingly drinkable. Great brew! (625 characters)

Photo of berserker256
4.4/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I sampled this beer at the 4th annual Michigan Brewer's Guild Beer Festival in Comstock Park at the Fifth/Thirsd Ballpark. This lovely beer was served to me in na a 6 ounce clear plastic cup. It was blackish and retained a head of hickory-colored large bubbles. It was thick and delicious with low carbonation and had motor oil-like qualities... In a good way. It was rich like a heavy burnt oatmeal milkshake. It was semi-sweet like a Hershey's Special Dark chocolate bar but also had bitterness and slightly smokey heavy overtones. It was God Damn delicious. I wish I had more than 6 ounces. Sort of viscous and fatiguing to drink in any kind of quantity. (657 characters)

Photo of montageman
4.4/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a St. Bernardus chalice. Very thick, almost syrupy pour that is topped off by a little bit of lacing. This is one dark beer - pitch black & beautiful. The smell is dominated by espresso & high quality espresso at that with a bit of vanilla in the background. Complex is the best way to describe the taste - espresso, dark chocolate, vanilla, and a little sugary sweetness. A nice tasting beer, but the taste cannot live up to the smell. Mouthfeel is disappointing - the carbonation adds to the complexity, but I would like more creaminess here. All of that said, this is a highly drinkable stout - perfect for dessert on its own or paired with any number of sweets. Highly recommended. (697 characters)

Photo of jimmy82063
4.39/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass....Jet Black with minimal to no lacing. The smell is very coffee forward with a hint of Oak and Vanilla. Taste, there is a bit of bourbon up front; as this warms the bourbon is more noticeable, coffee comes up as well as a bit of vaniila and some chocolate. Alcohol is certainly well hidden. Mouthfeel is very smooth. Awesome beer! (357 characters)

Photo of IdrinkGas
4.39/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into a snifter.

A: As black as it gets with a very small mocha colored head. Lacing is practically nonexistent.

S: Oak, chocolate, coffee and big bourbon notes.

T: Tons of competing flavors. Vanilla, bourbon, oak, coffee and dark chocolate. Some heat in the finish. Boozy finish helps remind me to savor it.

M: Bigger bodied stout with an appropriate level of carbonation.

One of the top beers for a reason. This is how I like my stouts! (459 characters)

Photo of spinrsx
4.39/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz Bottle received in trade with igeunard - 2012 edition

Appearance - Dark brown colour with a small size frothy light brown head. I can't make out the amount of carbonation showing and there is some fair lacing. The head lasted for around 2-3 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, chocolate, coffee, bourbon

Taste & Mouth - There is a below average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, chocolate, and vanilla. There is also some coffee, wood, and some bourbon. There is also a bit of a nuttiness.

Overall - One of the best Imperial Stouts I have ever had. The chocolate flavours are very rich and you can tell they used high quality ingredients. It's bold yet well balanced and the alcohol is incredibly well hidden. (736 characters)

Photo of skipxtracer
4.39/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Had this on draft at the founders event at tap and mallet. Dark black with no head. I am not usually crazy about stouts but this is incredible. Dark chocolate, coffee, coconut flavors. A little effervescence at the end. I can't believe how great this tastes. (258 characters)

Photo of Hayes86
4.39/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A little mild on flavor. It is creamy and had a thicker feel. Minimal lace. Got 3x as good as it went from cold to warm. Chocolate forward. Good stout. Just not sure if its the best. Going to have to try this again. Better the second time for sure. (248 characters)

Photo of bowzer4birdie
4.39/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've tried this beer a number of times from a bottle and the vast majority of the time I have been somewhat disappointed with the lingering bitter aftertaste. Almost burnt-like from the coffee / chocolate. Still a world-class beer but I don't know that I'll go out of my way to grab multiple bottles of it next time around. Perhaps I should try it on draft and see if that makes any significant difference. (406 characters)

Photo of Auracom
4.39/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle (2011 vintage) in a mini snifter on March 19th, 2011, shared with my old roommate of 3 years. We were both pretty ecstatic to try this one.

Clearly, KBS' reputation precedes itself.

A - As expected, really. Very dark, close-to-pitch-black coloring. Virtually no head nor retention and very little lacing on the sides. Swirling leaves a light brown coating on the glass. The visuals convey an attitude of "okay, let's get on the important stuff already."

S - The nose isn't as huge as I thought it'd be. Clearly the bourbon is the emphasis but Founders didn't go for broke and did a great job of avoiding overkill here. Everything secondary to the bourbon is subtle and points to complexity - coffee beans (of course), chocolate, caramel, and a *very* slight roasted -almond- quality.

T - More of the same notes as the nose in a similar mellow fashion. A bourbon focus/emphasis on the front end with secondary character following closely behind. The mellow nature of this brew is really something to behold. Founders gives you the flavors as advertised and does so in a truly relaxed manner. KBS exudes craft in every aspect of the taste. Bourbon gets more prominent as the drink reaches room temp; this was neither better nor worse for me.

M - Not quite as expected. Not completely full and not at all chewy. Medium body, average carbonation that doesn't really come through until the backend of the drink.

D - Incredibly drinkable. Absolutely no ABV presence, not even when room temp. Honestly, I feel like the slightly-thinner body contributes to a higher drinkability for this particular brew. It doesn't drink like any other stout I've had. It wasn't really necessary to sip this one beyond trying to savor my 6-7 oz. (1,745 characters)

Photo of semihobo
4.39/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up one bottle of KBS in March for $6.49 (I believe this is currently a personal $ per oz record, unfortunately), drinking it now for no particular reason. 12 ozer in a chalice.

Very little head that quickly subsides to nothing. Black, black, black. No "ruby highlights" or anything, just black. Cool wild west medicine-style label design.

Smells of cocoa and cold-brewed coffee. Bourbon smell is subdued, beautifully smoky and peaty. No smell of alcohol.

Surprisingly smooth. Chocolate and coffee are understated, nothing too over the top or one-note. More like very strong coffee than the char you see in many imperial stouts. The bourbon emerges toward the finish and is gently smoky. Some vanilla phenols go well with cocoa. These have to be the least-noticed 70 IBUs ever. They provide some bittering but hardly play a dominant role. Alcohol is well-masked, although the fact that the beer has the bourbon flavor helps -- an alcohol burn would feel totally appropriate. Finish is nice and bitter, equal parts hops and coffee.

Very low carbonation, moderately heavy body, both appropriate to style. Slightly oily finish.

An excellent beer, both in general and within the style. Must acquire more... (1,213 characters)

Photo of mhksuccess
4.39/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured from a bottle into FFF teku
it is pretty dark little or no head at all
smell is of mostly coffee hints of chocolate come through
taste is similar with heavy coffee and slight bourbon and chocolate on the back end
very smooth i like the coffee flavor is nice not overpower and not acidic
i think i do prefer this beer with some age on it
but overall it is a nice contender (380 characters)

Photo of infi
4.39/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 02/11 – originally had during Thanksgiving, but now reviewed with a proper sized pour!

Poured into a Corsendonk tulip.

Black body with very little carbonation. Very thin, mocha-colored head that reduces into a cap and leaves mini bits of speckled lacing. Smell is full of dark-roasted coffee and dark, bittersweet chocolate pieces. Great barrel-aged qualities, with the oak, vanilla and bourbon– all leaving aromatic identities. The bourbon presents a thin amount of heat towards the end.

Taste is actually filled with coffee-like roastiness, but also massive amounts of oaky tannins, vanilla and caramel. Great amount of bittersweet chocolate on the end, which leaves a subtle astringency in the finish. The bourbon leaves a thin burn at the end too, but not as hot as I originally remembered. Complexity arises further as you let warm. Very, very comparable to Parabola in taste with its flavor qualities.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied– not as big and thick as other bbl-aged ones. Just about silky with little to no carbonation in feel. Amazing tasting beer, even for how fresh it might be (~5mo old). Not as great as CBS, but definitely has the clout. Drink one now or age further – you won't be disappointed.

#3 of 9. (1,245 characters)

Photo of upton7418
4.39/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2014 Poured into a snifter

A: Jet black. Thin tan head that doesn't last long. Not much lacing.

S: sweet malt and Bourbon slight alcohol smell

T: Smooth, sweet Coffee and chocolate with a lot of bourbon though not overpowering like most bourbon barrel beers i've had. Alcohol is extremely well hidden and no taste of it

M: low carbonation and very thin and easy to drink. aftertaste lingers and continues to add flavor while the beer itself is gone very nice

O: very good taste i've tried few like it, alcohol does sneaks up as it's very well hidden. would definitely buy again especially as a yearly thing as long as i can find it which was tough this year. worth the hype yes worth the money still debating. very sweet and bourbony but not overly so.

Serving type: bottle (780 characters)

Photo of micmillon18
4.39/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got 4 pack in a trade from hotpipes29 and thanks much to him. Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. From the cellar, I chilled it for about 20 minutes. Sadly no born on date though I know its this year's batch. The legendary KBS...will she live up to the hype?

A - Pours a motor oil black with a small, sticky copper head. Minimal lacing.

S - Prevalent scents of bourbon and vanilla. Hints of expresso find their way in. Incredibly balanced aromas.

T - There are so many layers to this beer, each so definable. It starts with a bitter chocolate and vanilla flavor. Coffee/ expresso flavors follow which are perhaps the most profound characteristics of this beer. It finishes with a slightly hot bourbon note and a lingering coffee taste. Chocolate and hot alcohol strengthens as the beer warms. Founders has found a near perfect balance between these three tiers.

M - Full bodied and incredibly smooth. Semi dry finish.

O - Outstanding barrel aged stout, perhaps the best of its kind. It's certainly a sipper and one to enjoy over the course of an hour, perhaps more. However, with that said, the booze might be slightly too hot at times, especially as it warms. Luckily, I have the good fortune of possessing a four pack. I'm looking forward to testing this one in stages. See you again in a few months KBS... (1,328 characters)

Photo of andrewinski1
4.39/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Bendurgin for procuring this nice growler tick. Poured into a tulip from a 32 oz screw-top growler. The color is black. There is a small layer of tan bubbles that isn't quite a full head.

The aroma is full of chocolate and coffee. I wouldn't know this was a beer from the aroma. I would think it's mocha ice cream or something.

The taste emphasizes the chocolate in the front. There is a nice coffee finish. There is a hint of oak that is more noticeable after a few sips.

This is medium bodied but the carbonation is filling.

This is really great. The coffee comes through nicely when fresh. (606 characters)

Photo of spoony
4.39/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From a 355 ml bottle (bottled March 5, 2015) to a snifter.

A-The pour is thick looking and dark; nearly black. The head is mocha in color and starts at one finger tall but fades quickly to a thin film on top. Not much in the way of visible carbonation. No lacing.

S-The aroma is an intense and lovely mixture of drip coffee, milk and dark chocolate, some milkiness, and nice assertive bourbon flavors like caramel and vanilla. It is medium sweet with a little bit of molasses and berry fruit.

T-The taste is similar to the smell with a nice blend of typical stout flavors like chocolate, roasted barley, and molasses. The barrel character is strong and the flavors are well-balanced. I get vanilla and caramel mostly. Booze is not hidden, its right up front, but it works well here.

M-The feel is lighter than I expected, but still average for the style. Carbonation is mild and fits nicely.

O-This is a damn good beer, but I don't know if this one lives up to the hype for me. Everything about this beer is done well, and the balance is there, but nothing really shines for me. The bourbon is very prevalent in the flavor and it works, but there are other beers with similar flavors, better feel and nicer looks. (1,219 characters)

Photo of LyonsHead
4.38/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 release

A: pours black, completely opaque... most opaque beer I have ever seen in fact. small dark tan head with really good lacing.

S: Big coffee aroma that gives way to bourbon and roasted malt, There is a good dose of chocolate in there as well. Im gettin a bunch of really dark dried fruits. reminds me of burnt raison oatmeal cookies with coffee for desert. Im also gettin a smoky campfire and licorice

T: This beer is hugely sweet right from the get go. There is a great malt presence that is in danger of getting overlooked due to the bourbon flavors. Lots of rich roasted malt, burnt bread and coffee from the malt. The actual coffee that was present in the aroma is takes a back seat in the flavor which seems odd cause you would think the aromatic property would be the first to drop off. The benchmark and profile of this beer lies in the bourbon. there is a huge bourbon flavor that is very strong but it doesn't mask everything else, there is a real complexity to this beer. Finally as you swallow and take that first breath you're hid with a nice alcohol warming and flavor. its not harsh or overbearing like i feared, it just makes for a nice warming affect. I wish this beer was released in the fall and not the spring, just seems like a camp fire beer to me (to each his own)

M: With the appearance and sweetness of this beer you'd expect you could cut it with a knife, but its surprisingly short of chewy... now that being said, its still full bodied just not as chewy as i had anticipated

D: If you define drinkability as how many you can suck down in ten minutes then cross this off the list. For me drinkability is synonymous with enjoyability. And this one's up there. Its a solid A beer, Its not my favorite beer, and I can't see drinking it all the time but it definitely deserves a spot in the cellar... vertical serious would be real cool. (1,876 characters)

Photo of Dave128
4.38/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a THICK rich black. There is pretty much no head not that I was expecting any. Comes out almost like a sauce. A small ruby head rises after the pour is finished and fizzes out to the edges.

S - Coffee, Chocolate, and Dark roasted malts. I was expecting to smell more bourbon, but I really don't get much of it at all :(

T - Like the smell, rich and complex. Gets much better as it warms. I made the mistake of pouring this one too cold and wasnt too impressed, but now its true colors are showing. Bittersweet. Alcohol bites pretty hard in the finish on some sips.

M - Heavy with perfect carbonation. Like drinking a liquid breakfast. (647 characters)

Photo of Kanebanger
4.38/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours coffee black with a thin tan head that dissipates pretty quickly. Some spotty lacing on the sides of the glass

S: Smells of toasted malt, coffee, and some notes of chocolate. On top of those a smell of bourbon and a hint of vanilla

T: Small bourbon bite leaves the mouth dry. Huge does of bitter chocolate followed by a marshmallow like sweetness with a touch of coffee and rich brown sugar

M:This went from creamy and sticky to dry and bitter. They both worked complimented each other nicely and kept anything from being too overwhelming

D: Very drinkable, very tasty. Comes pretty close to living up to the hype. (627 characters)

Photo of spark3148857
4.38/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into Founders snifter:

Pours midnight black with a mocha head that dissipates pretty quickly to a thin ring around the edge of the glass. Aroma is of roasted coffee, dark chocolate, and sweet bourbon. Huge notes of chocolate and coffee up front give way to sweet and then bitter bourbon note that coats the mouth. This is my first KBS, and here is where I think Parabola edges this beer out: at this point Parabola explodes with a huge chocolate malt creaminess whereas KBS seems to fade out on the bourbon note. That being said, while it doesn't exceed my expectations of this super hyped beer, KBS at least meets them. (640 characters)

Photo of bowersdm
4.38/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a nonic.

A - jet black like used motor oil with a hint of a dark brown head that in a flash was gone. (as to be expected with bourbon barrel aged beers.)

S - chocolate, roasted barley, tobacco, smoke, charred barley, oak, vanilla. the smell is essentially Breakfast Stout that has a bourbon barrel tinge to it. very coffee heavy.

T - very coffee heavy. coffee, roasted barley, espresso, smoke, tobacco, charred malt. vanilla, oak, and alcohol come into play as the beer warms. there's also some dark chocolate in the finish. Essentially it tastes like sweetened guinness draught that's been bourbon barrel aged, but that's simplifying it too much because it's so much more.

M - thick and viscous. it appeared to leave a film on my glass.

D - very good beer. I'm glad i picked up a few (seven) extra bottles for cellaring.

Additionally: Does it live up to the hype? Yes. Definitely one to seek out if you're an Imperial Stout fan. (960 characters)

Photo of errantnight
4.38/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Joe 1510.

Just shy of exceptional... but really really good.

Pours engine oil black, with hardly a lick of head. Expected.

Smells roasty roasty roasty. Chocolate and coffee and a bit more roast, with raisin-y/prune-y sweetness. It's just a bit... flat. All really good, but I'm pulling here, doesn't explode. Maybe I'm being a bit harsh... but I wasn't disappointed.

Taste is more of the same, FINALLY a beer where bourbon compliments and mingles but doesn't overwhelm. The coffee is still definitely predominant (how is the FBS I've got floating around in my fridge going to taste if this is how much coffee is going on here?!), malt flavors are rich and full, sweet, but a beautiful balancing dryness. Grainy, though.

As wonderful as this is... difficult to justify lengthy attempts to acquire it on a regular basis. Would love to have this around as a local brew, though.

Really don't see how this is a top 10, but nothing this good is going to raise any kind of serious complaint from me. (1,005 characters)

Photo of Tyrawlings
4.38/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. Bottle poured into a snifter glass.

A: Opaque black in color. Soft brown head with a touch of cranberry color pours one finger thick and quickly dissolves into a micro bubble blanket that covers the top of the sample. Thin and spotty lacing.

S: Burnt coffee bean. Dark chocolate. Vanilla. Dark fruit. Oak aged bourbon.

T: Deep roasted day old java is goggled up by a rich and sweet dark chocolate swirl. Some earthy hop presence. Burnt malts add a touch of bitterness that is followed by the sweetness of dark fruits. A soft taste of vanilla is taken over by oak and the subtle warming sensation of the bourbon.

M: Creamy and thick. Minimal carbonation. Warm and drying.

D: A well crafted stout. Creamy and rich with a nice complexity that makes this brew interesting. I am glad I got to try this hard to find beer. (827 characters)

Photo of chiral3
4.38/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer lives up to the hype. I supposedly got two from one of the fifteen cases in my state right now.

Pours pitch black, like spent oil, and not much head, no doubt due to the gravity and viscosity. Not much of a bouquet as expected.

The taste is everything you would hope from this type of beer: complex silky layers of deep chocolate, vanilla, and roasted coffee. A boozy hint as to its abv comes with the pull.

I am consistently impressed by Founders and, while this is no different, it goes to the top of the list in my opinion. (542 characters)

Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,754 ratings.