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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10,381 Ratings

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Ratings: 10,381
Reviews: 2,858
rAvg: 4.62
pDev: 8.87%
Wants: 4,134
Gots: 4,652 | FT: 374
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: 10,381 | Reviews: 2,858
Photo of DrDogbeer
4.37/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to Saucya for this extra!! Poured into a goblet. Pours a deep black with small tan head. Oily pour. Good aromas of chocolate, roasted malt, coffee and slight bourbon. i was expecting more bourbon or oak. Tastes like it smells. Great finish on this beer. Makes you want to keep sipping. Great full and creamy mouthfeel. Like smooth silk. Extremely drinkable. I would have to give the edge to BCS, though on overall flavor.

Photo of Mebuzzard
4.37/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Received bottles from grub and Unclejedi...drank one of them, saving the other.
This has a tremendous reputation, so I'll try to remain calm.
Pours black, silky, some dark burgundy/ruby hints. Head comes to about a 1/2 finger. Medium brown. I think I served it a bit cold, we'll see how it holds up.
Wow, the smell is rich coffee grounds, roasted coffee beans, some prune and anise. Chocolate seems to linger, but not a lot. Alcohol? I don't detect it. Man, this coffee is strong.
Taste is fantastic. Starts as expected with the coffee. A slight intensity is followed by a move toward more caramel and whisky, hint of alcohol. Then it moves to a slight bite of anise and hops, earth tones. Then it moves on to the chocolate. A rich dark chocolate aftertaste, clean and silky. Which leads me to the feel. Silk, not really heavy, not velvet. A smoothness to it. Real nice. Drinks very well for the style, abv, and for me.
What a brew!

Photo of bbb099
4.37/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to scottfrie for this amazing beer! Shared with mjyoung.

A - Mocha colored head that dissipated almost instantly, leaving a thin ring of head around the glass. Color of the beer itself is pretty much jet black.

S - Incredibly strong aroma of coffee, bourbon and licorice with quite a bit of alcohol scent to it.

T - Complex mix of chocolate, coffee, and spicy bourbon tastes. Has an alcohol bite to it and it goes down warm.

M - Minimal carbonation, a little flat. Body is a little light, but still good.

O - One of the better imperial stouts out there, could maybe use a little aging.

Photo of hwwty4
4.37/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Jtrockchalk for this one.

Poured a 12oz bottle into my Chimay chalice. This baby pours a jet black with a slight dark tan head that left lacing down the glass. The aroma is huge on Bourbon with mild hints of coffee, vanilla, and chocolate but dominated by bourbon. The taste is right up the same alley. The Bourbon really comes through even giving me a little of Whiskey shudders. Coffee is the next big flavor with it really coming out in the finish and coating your mouth with an espresso flavor. The mouthfeel is full and creamy leaving an oily coating the holds the flavors in your mouth. This is a really good stout, but the Bourbon is a bit overwhelming for me. I wonder with age if it mellows a bit or if the bottle I received was mellow and its always that hot.

Photo of Slynger
4.37/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Fortunate enough to snag a couple of these babies a couple of months ago, and now feels like the perfect time to crack open the first one.

Pours thick, impenetrable, obsidian black with a creamy lid of deep mocha coloring.

The nose is just as dark. Dark chocolate and dark roasted coffee, with molasseses, prunes, bourbon and pine.

KBS is a full, thick, creamy milkshake. It brings an organized ruckus of the nose in the same order, and in excellent balance.

I don't really have much more to say about this one. It is a great beer and it knows it. Not my favorite imperial stout, but that is no knock on it. Be sure to grab all you can if you can ever find this stuff.

Photo of KI9A
4.37/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Jet black, some head.

S: Bourbony malt. Coffee, chocolate.

T: Follows nose, add vanilla to the mix. Nothing overpowers the rest. Great balance of boozy bourbon, bitter chocolate, and sweel vanilla malts.

M: Heavy body, but not "gooey". Wraps your mouth up in goodness.

D: High ABV limits the D on this, but, a fine sipper.

Photo of Jacurdy60
4.37/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours like any typical stout, with one difference. This one just looks better than the rest. Deep, pitch black color with a tan, copper colored head that dissipates fairly quickly. The color is sublime.

S-Bourbon hits the nose pretty astringently, which I do not like. However, it fades quickly into a deep, complex symphony of chocolate, toasted almonds, burnt oak, and coffee.

T-Quick bourbon bite at the front. Strong on the chocolate and toasted almonds. The bourbon has a lingering taste, but it is not as overpowering as it is on the nose. The bourbon at the front fades nicely into the chocolate and toasted almonds at the finish as I notice its presence again with a faint touch of vanilla. Very well-rounded, full bodied brew.

MF-The body is perfect. Not as thick as most Imperial stouts, but not to thin. A perfect balance between watery and chewy. It feels like I could drink more than 2 in a sitting, which is not typical of an imperial stout. Very smooth and semi-rich with slight carbonation

O-Absolutely exceptional. Worth the money I paid for, however the bourbon presence was a touch too strong. Very complex and smooth, and I wish i could have bought just more than one.

Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.37/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer poured into the glass black with a brownish black low head which formed slowly and fell slowly to lace the glass.

The aroma was coffee with a strong expresso influence. The aroma contained wafts of bourbon, but not overpowering, much more subdued in nature. The alcohol was present and with the roasty character almost led to a spicy conclusion. Coffee and roast still rule the day with some caramel and bourbon thrown in for good measure.

The flavor was complex and smooth with chocolate and coffee melded together with a strong expresso character and bourbon. The bourbon was mellow and smooth with chocolate and caramel and some vanilla. Some dark fruits were present at lower levels, raisins and cherries, but the emphasis was certainly on chocolate, coffee and bourbon. As the beer warmed the bourbon gave the beer a muted smoky character.

The finish was dry with a lasting bit of bourbon, chocolate and coffee well into the aftertaste and beyond. The body was full, but not viscous with a low carbonation level. Alcohol was prevalent all through the aroma, flavor and especially in the warming that occurred after consumption. A luscious and well achieved brew!

12 ounce bottle, thanks AKSmokedPorter (justcas I will get to the bottle you sent me soon enough!)!

Photo of kbutler1
4.37/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Duvel tulip glass.
Appearance: I don't think even Superman could see through this stuff! you basically just see your reflection in the glass. Darkest brown/black. Head is a deep brown turning to lighter as it settles down
Smell: Straight bittersweet chocolate smell, followed by bourbon, coffee, and alcohol
Taste: I keep reading complex from others but for me it really is just the chocolate, bourbon, and coffee I taste. Very pleasant though! Taste lingers in the mouth for a long time
Mouthfeel: Not as heavy as I would have expected. I liked it though
Drinkability: Definitely drinkable, but not something you can drink mulitple glasses of. You'd be drunk and broke in a short period of time!

Photo of drabmuh
4.37/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2010 release, had to try it, couldn't wait.

Poured into a goblet. Beer is black and appears thick. Forms a thin head of brown bubbles that is diffuse on the surface and quickly breaks. Head leaves some lacing on the glass, carbonation is low.

For being aged in bourbon barrels, I expected a little more booze. Strong sweet, coffee aroma. Booze and bourbon secondary in the nose. Smells good, not as forward with the bourbon as I thought the BCS is in general. Still smells good.

Its not hot, moderate in body, finishes nicely. Sweet up front, not a lot of bitterness in the back, highly drinkable in the palate. Second taste, chocolate, slight, hint of bitter this time in the back, like coffee. Overall an exceptional beer truly.

Photo of pwoody11
4.37/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to BEERchitect for this one.

Poured a pitch black with a brown head.

Aroma is of espresso, vanilla, whiskey and chocolate.

Taste was amazing. Dark roasted malts, brown sugar, and a sweet bourbon edge.

Great beer. I can't wait to visit it again sometime.

Big thanks to BEERchitect for hooking up such a generous trade.

Photo of AJacob81
4.37/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2009 vintage, tapped at Hackney's Printer's Row in Chicago. 10 oz. pour in a snifter. From notes.

A - Deep brown/black, mocha colored head, present as a ring, leaves a minimal amount of patchy lacing behind.

S - Coffee, dark chocolate up front, with strong supporting notes of vanilla and bourbon-infused oak. The bourbon notes are very subdued compared to BCBS and its variants. The bouquet is prominent and inviting.

T - Follows the nose almost precisely. Tastes more like Founders Breakfast Stout than I expected, but the oaky, slightly smoky bourbon notes add another dimension. A hint of smooth buttery caramel is added to the mix, presumably also from the barrel-aging, as I detect something similar in Rare BCBS and some of the finer bourbons I've sampled. This is very tasty.

M and D - Mouthfeel is silky, medium-to-thick in body, and the finish is a bit dry. Definitely a sipper, and although the boozy flavor remains in the background throughout, the alcohol burn becomes more prominent towards the end.

All in all, the hype here is definitely justified, and I hope to try the bottled version soon for comparison.

Photo of corey0212
4.37/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From the time I joined this site, this (along with Breakfast Stout) has been one of the beers I most wanted to try. I have mikesgroove to thank for this bottle!!

Pours nearly black, with some dark brown highlights around the edges, tiny mocha-colored head rises slowly and fades into a thin collar around the beer. Lots of dark chocolate in the nose, spicy bourbon, some black coffee laced with vanilla. Taste follows the nose, some espresso/burnt coffee, some alcohol heat. Really creamy mouthfeel, some belly-warming alcohol, lots of long-lasting coffee/espresso aftertaste. It's delicious, and I need more.

Photo of C20Percent
4.37/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

KBS bottled almost one year ago!

A: Pours an inky dark black with little to no head -- not much more to say. Very clean. Looks like a solid BA Stout. Nothing too special, though. Gonna add some points here because for a beer with minimal head the lacing wasn't half bad.

S: Smells like a bourbon bomb. Oaky. Some subtle coffee notes in the background. Some vanilla, maybe. But, for real, bourbon.

T: Taste waaaayyy better than it smells. Bourbon taste so mild. Alcohol is very mild, yet warm. The oaky vanilla is the first thing I tasted. Tobacco. Leather. Some chocolate , even. Super nice boubony-warm finish. The roasted malts and coffee flavors have really mellowed out over the past year. There's even some sweetness in here. Fantastic.

M: Smooth and creamy. Coating the mouth in what I could only describe as a stout liqueur. Still very nicely carbonated after the year. Velvety. Buttery. Think body. Very good chewiness. Great feel all around.

O: What a great tasting Stout this is. The appearance and smell give way to a wonderfully tasting brew. Gotta try it. I suppose I'd try it fresh the next round, but this beer tasted really good with some age on it too. Great brew. Did not disappoint.

Photo of shrxxm216
4.37/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2008 poured into a snifter

A- Looks extremely thick with very little head. Nice lacing.
S- Smells strongly of coffee and bourbon, but definitely more of a coffee smell. Perhaps a very small hint of vanilla.
T- A lot of chocolate, some bourbon and a strong coffee taste. Very smooth with a warming alcohol feel. Not bitter at all.
M- Incredibly thick and smooth. Not much carbonation to speak of.
D- Easy to drink, especially for what it is. The alcohol is there but in just the right way.
A wonderful beer, I am glad I got to try a 2008.

Photo of KCHopHead
4.37/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from newer logo'd "KBS" 12 oz bottle into a New Belgium Snifter. Unfortunately, I did not have this for breakfast because that would've been perfect.

A - Dark dark stout that shows a tan head (like a RIS). The top showed pockets of head like a belgian yeast typically produces. Great lacing on this guy.

S - Simple, wood and alcohol. Roasted malts and coffee could be picked up beyond.

T - Gets dinged a little because of the sharp alcohol burn, but a fantastic brew otherwise. Lots of chocolate and roasted malts. Heavy oak flavoring to match the bourbon taste.

M - Heavy, creamy, good carbonation. I do like Imperial Stouts with heavy carbonation to let the flavors dance around like a Dark Lord. This is no Dark Lord however.

D - I really wish this was more than 12 oz. I'd like to taste on a 750 ml all night.

Photo of amphion1065
4.37/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I very nearly killed myself hunting down a four pack of KBS this year, only to trade each bottle away and, in turn, trade for a few more. Thank you for this one Handle. 2011 bottle into a tulip.

It just glugs out of the bottle, like thick motor oil. Pitch black. A very dark brown head with some large bubbles forms, but it's barely there before it fades, leaving a ring of lace around my glass. Minimal lacing, nothing too enticing. Tiny legs. Leaves an oily film around the glass.

A very sweet-smelling beer. Wood and a lot of vanilla come through, and underneath there's just a little bit of alcohol. Really not too much coffee here, but there is a strong aroma of dark chocolate fudge. The bourbon is the centerpiece.

Taste is smooth as silk. The bourbon presence is huge: to a greater degree than the aroma, there is just a ton of oak and vanilla. Leather and tobacco compliment these flavors nicely. Oddly enough, my initial thoughts are of smoking a cigar - not necessarily because of the taste itself, but because all of these huge flavors coat my whole mouth like thick smoke so all I can think about is KBS. The alcohol is kept in check, though this is warm going down. Really rich chocolate. Some bitter coffee grounds, but they seem to have toned down after a few months in the bottle.

The mouthfeel is awesome: thick, rich and syrupy. The carbonation errs on the lighter side, which works perfectly. All -bal aged stouts should drink like this.

A standard bearer of the style, it's a shame this has become a hassle to procure in Boston. I was so happy to send my bottles off this spring, and only now can I see the folly of my ways.

Photo of blitz134
4.36/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Review 200 for me...figured I'd celebrate with what seems to be an amazing beer. It is also the first day of summer and we hit 97 in ATL today, so what better reason...

No sense in describing the color, its pitch black...nothing else. Dark chocolate milk colored head, only about 1/4" on the pour, reduced to a slick black surface with some bubble "scum" sitting on top.

Dark semi-sweet chocolate and dark coffee beans. Bourbon alcohol wafts up and fills the nostrils. The taste comes on strange to me, I get flavor at the beginning and when I swallow it, I don't really get anything and then a huge hit at the end...a bit strange. Dark chocolate and coffee blend form the inital basis for this with a bit of charred malts. The finish is strong with bourbon and wood and the definate effects of alcohol. Alcohol is more of a typical whiskey flavor But I don't find the alcohol to burn at all or to be unpleasant. This version really plays up the bourbon.

This is the creamiest beer I've had to date, it feels extremely viscous on the tongue. It coats every bit of the mouth and the flavor hangs in for a long while. Carbonation is low as would be expected.

Drinkability is good. This is a great beer but its upfront nature limit this to no more than one a night for me. I definately would like more, just not tonight. Extremely well done, I like it much better than the original breakfast stout.

Photo of drowland
4.36/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle (2009) into a snifter. Pours deep black with shimmering brown when held to the light. The small head is dark leather brown and dissipates quickly into a small ringlet. The aroma is honestly comprised of mostly a big dose of fresh roasted coffee. Underneath this is a small helping of nice bourbon and oak characteristics including a lot of vanilla and a touch of wood. The sweet aroma of whiskey touches through but not much. A drink taken in while inhaling starts quite sweet and flows into wood and vanilla mixed with a touch of citrus. The mid is all added coffee and this is definitely what lingers with undertones of very dark chocolate. As it warms the chocolate comes out more and more. There is a nice carbonation that mingles perfectly with the silky mouthfeel. This is honestly good but I was expecting more bourbon stout and less breakfast stout.

Photo of Tommo
4.36/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Draft versus bottle is so different, didnt age the bottle a week but it was much much worse

Photo of TMoney2591
4.36/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Pours the way a big, bold stout ought to: deep pitch black (or is pitch "KBS-black"?) with a quarter-finger of burnt sienna head that dissipates into a flat cloud lingering on the surface. A slight bit of sudsily-ringed lacing is left behind. The nose has a seemingly unhealthy amount of wood in it, almost as much as a small forest. There's also some bourbon, maple syrup, molasses, dark roast coffee, and charcoal smoke, making this one of the darkest-smelling brews I have ever had. That said, the coffee, wood, and bourbon o'erwhelm the other notes a bit, leaving me an iota unfulfilled. The taste marks a second manifestation of the nose: heavy wood notes, bourbon, molasses, vanilla, smoke, nutmeg, dark roast coffee, toffee, and a hint of chunky peanut butter. This is a fair improvement on the nose, and leaves very little to be desired. The body is indeed pretty hefty, but not too much so. The low carbonation, thick chewiness, and spitefully smooth feel all lead to a high drinkability, though this brew is clearly not a gulper; rather a highly enjoyable deep-sipper. Definitely lives up to the hype!

Photo of jminsc76
4.36/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I enjoyed this courtesy of a wonderful gentleman who brought it when he moved out to California from Illinois. He also brought Three Floyds' Dark Lord Imperial Stout, so we started with that, and then after experiencing complete beer jubilation, moved on to this (and experienced a second wave of jubilation). As I was slightly intoxicated from the Dark Lord I cannot comment too much on the look. All I remember is it pours a dark, oily body with slight head, but nothing too extravagant. It's aged two years, so a lot of the carbonation has subsided.

Strong aromas of rye, sawdust, and even oats. Momentarily felt like I was hanging out in a either honky-tonk bar or Irish Pub, you know, the kind with all the sawdust on the floor. Intriguing aromas, but I was not expecting sawdust.

The taste is similar to the smell: sawdust, oak, and oats, but also strong roasted coffee flavors. Keep in mind that my palate may have been a wee bit blunted as I was still reeling from the rich coffee/chocolate/molasses/whatever-else-is-present aromas and flavors of Dark Lord, so any of the molasses or chocolate that other reviewers are alluding to may have been knocked the *bleep* out of me. Perhaps I should have saved this for another night but what can I say? I was inspired from having two top-rated beers in my presence.

The woody, oak-y, and coffee aromas and flavors are the standouts here, and according to the gentleman who brought this to me, it's among the last of its kind. Too bad, I want more.

Photo of jlsims04
4.36/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

Dont really get the hype for this one but it is a solid beer. I much prefer it with 8 months to a year on it.

Photo of sk8man121
4.36/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle obtained in a trade w/ craytonic.

12 oz bottle poured into Unibroue snifter.

Before beginning, this is my first KBS and I want to make clear that the cap popped with almost no sound and poured no head whatsoever. Someone please feel free to BM me and let me know if this is common, as I'm worried perhaps I got a bottle with some issues.

A: Pours jet-black with no head whatsoever, even with a vigorous pour. Filmy mocha lacing sits atop this brew. As I said, this may be an off bottle, but I'm not impressed with how this looks at all.

S: Cocoa powder is strong upfront, as is vanilla, maple syrup, leather and a hint of freshly ground coffee beans. Smells great, although I'd like there to be a bit more bourbon present.

T: roasty as it gets, and not overly sweet. Vanilla, cocoa and bourbon; the bourbon is a bit strong, but welcomed as far as I'm concerned, as the heat really brings out the more complex flavors in this brew. Outstanding.

M: Carbonation is low, which may be the result of a potentially poor bottle. Nevertheless, it fits the style and works fine. I'm happy to say that this beer isn't syrupy or overly viscous at all.

D: If I had a few more of these, I'd happily session them so long as I had nothing else to do. The high ABV (11.2%) is hidden extremely well; this drinks more like an 8% stout. I may have hyped this a bit too much in my own head, but I'd by lying if I said this wasn't a pleasurable experience.

Looking forward to keeping my eyes peeled for more KBS in the future.

Photo of devilishprune
4.36/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 Founder's Kentucky Breakfast Stout - Reviewed 3/26/11

A. Pour yielded NO head at all. I wondered if it was carbonated. Black as the night and thick like motor oil. Has legs in the glass

S. Very alcoholic, vanilla, bourbon, licorice, coffee, caramelized dates. Smells like chocolate espresso.

T. Booze is hidden well here, not following the smell. Like drinking a glass of very smooth bourbon, with raisins in it? Caramel sweetness verging on cloying, but it's still balanced. Finish is all strong coffee.

M. Very low carbonation and VERY thick mouthfeel; almost slick.

D. Half a glass is a good amount for this beer. Definitely up my alley, especially on a rainy cold day. I'd be interested to compare this to a fresher version, as well.

Overall, this is one of the best bourbon stouts I have ever had. It's hard to get my hands on them, but this one still stands out amongst the others that I've had.

Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 10,381 ratings.