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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10,387 Ratings

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Ratings: 10,387
Reviews: 2,859
rAvg: 4.62
pDev: 8.87%
Wants: 4,136
Gots: 4,659 | 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: 10,387 | Reviews: 2,859
Photo of cueball52
4.36/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It pours a deep chocolate brown with virtually no head. It looks like motor oil but the smell tells you it isn't.
The aroma is dark chocolate and coffee followed by a faint wet cardboard smell, but it isn't unpleasant. There is also a hint of bourbon. The combination makes for a very good overall aroma with the dark chocolate taking center stage.
The taste is of dark, very bitter chocolate and dark roasted coffee followed with a slight bourbon bite and a warm alcohol finish. The mouthfeel is oily with almost no detectable carbination.
As I get to the bottom of the glass the dark roasted coffee aroma has taken over.
This is a very good complex stout. A couple cups of this in the morning might make for an interesting day!

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

A - Pours a still black with a very thin ribbon of head that fades almost entirely. Very fine lacing.

S - Upfront and at lower temperatures there's a lot of coffee with some notes of bourbon. As the temperature rises, bourbon becomes more apparent and the coffee becomes much harder to detect.

T - Dark chocolate predominates initially, and then gives way to some espresso. Finally, the bourbon becomes more evident. Aftertaste has a balance between the bourbon and the coffee flavors. The warmer it gets, the more bourbon comes through.

M - Very full bodied, quite thick, and no carbonation.

O - This is a phenomenal beer. It blurs the lines between a fine beer and a fine liquor. Even though I think this is a great stout, it would not be my go-to stout. I would save this one for special occasions. I have to say, my favorite stout continues to be Breakfast Stout.

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

Paid $7 for a bottle at International Beverage in Cascade.

Appearance: I rated this a 5, but that is absurd, as this beer appeared completely black to me. Even the head was dark brown. This poured with a fingernail sized head that dissipates quickly.

Aroma: Charred malt and bourbon.

Taste: Malt, oak, and bourbon. There must be some hops in there, but its main effect is to balance the other ingredients.

Mouthfeel: Not a lot of carbonation, a little bit of heat on the way down to let you know where it spent the last year.

Overall: I am partial to consistently excellent beers rather than one-off curiosities. This is a consistently excellent curiosity. If you are going to age something in bourbon barrels it had better be a blockbuster to start with. This works.

For comparison, I had saved a bottle of Backwoods Bastard. The BB is sweeter, lighter in color, and not as big. It really isn't fair to the BB to compare it to KBS, but if you want to know what KBS is about, there is no substitute.

Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.35/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

I was initially offended that someone had dared to ruin Breakfast Stout by adding bourbon flavors. I am NOT a fan of this wretched trend to put every good beer into a Bourbon Barrel just to be big and bad ass.

As the Kentucky Breakfast warmed from cellar to room temp and as my taste buds adjusted, I stopped minding. I took about an hour and a half to drink my first bottle, which I feel was a wise call because the spectrum of flavors changed drastically over that time period. What was at first strong, harsh, and bourbony became smooth, creamy, and complex. Notes of oak and vanilla became more pronounced and wonderful flavors and aromas of chocolate and coffee appeared and then grew stronger. Finally a bit of chicory, coconut, and maybe sassafras (I don’t remember what sassafras tastes like but I feel like it’s in here) enter into the picture. The bourbon mellows drastically as KBS warms and loses its modest carbonation.

Mouthfeel, once warm, is a splendid rich, full bodied lusciousness. Finish is slightly bitter with a mild alcohol burn. Strength is very apparent. I’m buzzed after just one bottle.

I’m impressed. A case of this might turn me into a Bourbon Barrel convert. Drinkability isn’t all there but the appearance, which I have neglected to touch on is great. Pours like crude with minimal brown, splotchy lacing and cream trails. Well worth the price.

Photo of Guess2814
4.35/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This beer.. Was a Bruce Lee spin kick to the face .. This beer took me over the top.. Wow! Strong but it tasted so enjoyable with my nice steak..I took my time with this beer.. Great! Beer!! Take your time and enjoy the quality .. It's a stout.. 3 times more intense then a Guinness ..

Photo of MrVonzipper
4.35/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black, oily and viscous. No head with mild brown bubbles.

Nose is rich with notes of dark bitter chocolate brownie, faint oaky bourbon and earthy leathery characteristics.

Flavor follows the nose. Mild alcohol heat from woody bourbon notes on the back end following dark bitter chocolate fudge and mild coffee.

Full bodied silky mouthfeel with a touch of heat. Low carb and fairly dry.

Overall it's a great beer. Nowhere near CBS IMO but I'd be happy to have this in stock at all times.

Photo of bashiba
4.35/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a thick dark syrupy black with a thin little dark tan head.

Smell was creamy sweet chocolate with a touch of vanilla and whiskey.

Flavor was bold and strong while still being pleasant. Some great dark black burnt malts and cereal taste along with nice bits of oak, chocolate, and vanilla with just a touch of whiskey. Leaves a long lasting slightly bitter and smokey hop residue.

Mouthfeel is thick and oily and a touch sticky. Has a nice touch of carbonation and plenty of warmth on the tongue.

Fairly easy to drink for a huge stout, I don't think its quite the masterpeace that the original breakfast stout is, or quite on the same level as Goose Island Bourban Stout, but a really great beer none the less.

Photo of edchicma
4.35/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally found my note from teh Extreme Beer Fest. This brew is exceptional..and a bargain! only one ticket!!! Pours black and extremely inviting. Taste is oak, wine-like, but smoooth. For a 10 abv, this is unbelievable. The mouthfeel is rounded, smooth and extremely nice. Drinks like a much lower abv. A must try.

Photo of joshbhs04
4.35/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Jet Black, very little head. What head that is there is tan and frothy.

S- Holy bourbon batman, followed by a whiff of coffee

T- Bourbon up front, coffee at the end. Some serious alcohol heat as well

M- Silky smooth mouthfell with some vanilla and alcohol on the end

O- A great stout and im glad to be able to get a few thanks to a trade. I would drink this daily and keep it for special events. Think a few months may lower the heat a lil and create an even better brew.

Photo of KYGunner
4.35/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Gorgeous in the glass it served black with a tidy brown head.

Scent of bourbon and dark chocolate with slight notes of coconut. Hints of grain or earthiness, the scent is vivid and telling.

The taste is chocolatey with little hints of vanilla. More bourbon essence in this one, than others of the style, I got a lot of the barrel in this. Very earthy in tone theres alot of the oakiness from the barrel, along with the smokey bourbon flavor. It finished with a tinny alcohol taste. This taste lended to mouthfeel with a thin, stringy, metallic feel.

Overall, a very fine stout, especially for those who prefer more oak and bourbon.

Photo of Frosty80
4.35/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color: pours very dark brown. not the darkest ive seen. sits black with a small brown rim. fluffy milk chocolate head

Smell: lots of coffee with some chocolate. mild alcohol presence

Taste: lots of roast/coffee with chocolate. just a hint of bourbon, otherwise just taken for straight ethyl. chocolatey roasted finish with a drop of bourbon

Mouthfeel: full body. very smooth. moderate carbonation. booze and bitterness really tingles the tongue

Notes: delicious, powerful stout. pretty intense booziness but not too distracting. great beer, but the mystique lay in its limited availability

Photo of mfnmbvp
4.35/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle, bottled on 03/04/2013. Thanks to the generosity of my local beer store dudes, I was able to snag their very last bottle. Exponentially hyped to be able to try this, although that probably goes without saying.

For lack of a snifter, I am pouring this into a St. Bernardus Watou chalice.

A - Pours a rich, thick, opaque black colored body with about a centimeter of mocha colored foam that dies out within seconds. Looks very enticing. Bit of alcohol lacing on the sides.

S - Nose is comprised of the usual suspects: iced brewed coffee, coffee beans, dark chocolate, and a lovely vanilla / bourbon barrel aroma.

T - Wow, this is a lovingly complex beer with layers of goodness. Silky chocolate body with bitter roasted coffee beans. Finishes with creamy delicious vanilla from the bourbon barrels and a hint of bourbon & some alcohol heat. Perfect carbonation.

M - Sleek, creamy feel, with just a hint of alcohol warmth. Bitter coffee beans & vanilla goodness lingering on the palate.

Overall, it lived up to the hype surrounding it fairly well. Although, I wouldn't trample innocent women & children to have another go at a bottle of this. I have to say, while it is still fresh in my mind from yesterday, that I think the Pipeworks Abduction Coffee Break was a better beer, albeit not aged in bourbon barrels. However, if this beer was more readily available than it is, I could see it as a mainstay in my fridge.

Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) ---4.5/5

Photo of barleywinebrewer
4.35/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

thanks to sudsdog for this via trade! Almost by chance I wound up being able to try this much sought after brew.

A - Viscous on the pour, pitch black, a small dark brown head that quickly dissipates

S - Roasted malts with a big sweet underlying aroma. Reminds me of sam smiths. Hints of bourbon, vanilla and oak initially - poured it too cold - which gather a wonderful strength as the brew warms up to room temp.
T - Rich sweet malts, interspersed with espresso, some bourbon, vanilla and oak.
M - Medium to full bodied. modest carbonation, rich and smooth!
D - definitely a brew to savor! Easy to enjoy and so smooth it belies the strength.

Try it if you get a chance!

Photo of neenerzig
4.35/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got a single 12 oz bottle of this at La Ca Du Vin recently. Paid $5.00+ for it, which is more than I am usually willing to shell out for a single 12 oz bottle of beer. Recommended to me by a good friend. Poured into my new Stone imperial pint glass. This beer is a very dark brown color. The tan brown head is about 2/3 inch when poured. Settles to a decent surface coating with a nice thick ring lining the inside of the glass. Good lacing. Aromas of vanilla, bourbon, chocolate and coffee are very nice indeed! Flavors of vanilla, caramel and chocolate upfront, followed by roasted malt and bitter coffee, and a bit of bourbon. The sweeter flavors do tend to come about more. Very good! Has a very smooth, creamy, slightly crisp, full bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Very easy to drink especially as it starts to warm up. Wow! I have to admit I was quite impressed. Better than I expected as I have thoughts that a lot of Founders beers are overhyped, still good, but overhyped. This one lived up to the hype. One of the smoothest beers I have ever had.


Photo of WanderingFool
4.35/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Kentucky Breakfast Stout pours a midnight black into the glass with a small, creamy brown head on tap. The foam dissolves quickly to a thin ring around the surface of the beer. A few spots of lace cling to the side of the glass.

The robust aroma has strong notes of chocolate, oak, vanilla, coffee and alcohol. The aroma may best be described as a combination of bourbon and chocolate. Each sip of this full bodied beer is very smooth, silky and slightly chewy. The flavor is much like the aroma. Mainly bourbon and chocolate, but neither dominate. Nice notes of vanilla, oak, and coffee are also present. It finishes dry with an alcohol taste and mild burn. Once gone the chocolate and oak flavor lingers on the palate.

This is definitely an interesting and tasty beer. The flavor is much more balanced than the standard Founders Breakfast Stout, which to me seemed like a pint of cold coffee. The 10% alcohol is hidden pretty well and sneaks up on you before you finish off one bottle. Definitely give this beer a try if you can find it.

Photo of DeFaz
4.35/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

2013 vintage. Midnight in color with a surprisingly small head. Smell and taste are complex and wonderful with primarily coffee flavors but the down point is that the alcohol is not concealed at all. Mouthfeel is thinner than expected but not bad. Overall I believe this is somewhat overhyped but being new to the style I can't compare and still really enjoyed it.

Photo of Griffin2
4.35/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look- nice black stout with minimal tan head.
Smell - nice smell of bourbon.
Taste - a little boozy, but a really nice bourbony taste.
Feel - very little carbonation.
Overall - KBS is a delicious stout. If you like bourbon, you should enjoy it.

Photo of goodbyeohio
4.35/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

thanks muchly to don for breaking up his horded supply for little old impoverished me.

this beer moves thin and settles dark with glowing yellow separated edges, like a pool of squid ink on a layer of olive oil. lacing is very serious.. a tilt of the glass leaves a perfect ring stuck to the glass. sticky sweet thickness proves its fluidity deceiving. fizzy top post-pour disappears quick and leaves a brew that looks like, well, breakfast (coffee).

...and it smells like coffee. like fresh-ground oily bean grits. nasal bitterness of the java is cut by a medium-grade candy vanilla bourbon character.. subtly and carefully imparted into the beer as not to overwhelm. applaudable restraint.

..until you taste it. stronger bourbon grasps on to a tiramisu coffee sweetness and a sugary black licorice note in the aftertaste. caramel exists too. very deep and complex. not too much of any flavor (maybe bourbon for some who don't dig it) and surprisingly well balanced for a huge barrel-aged stout.

drinkability and mouthfeel suffer a bit with a distinctly separate alcohol ingredient.. the abv is not smoothly integrated into the overall drinking experience. something here reminds me of an irish car bomb.

tasty. translates well into the bottle. a real winner from founders. age might help this one too... we'll see.

Photo of bruachan
4.35/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

i am not sure of the last time i saw a head so dark. it lasted only a couple of minutes but was rich-looking while it lasted. the lacing looks like it might be pretty solid

chocolate-coffee aroma hits hard right up front. deep, dark, baker's chocolate, too. none of that milk garbage. toffee. there's a little hop in there, just to remind me that i'm sniffing at a beer and not baked goods (seriously, a blind sniff would yield thoughts of cake or ice cream)

thankfully not as sweet as my nose had warned my mouth that it would be. nevertheless, a mouthful of coffee and sweetchocolatey. hops have been used artfully, if to perform no other role than that of picture frame--keeping everything on one plane.

a 5.0 was not given for drinkability because i could only drink a couple. if "deliciousness" were a category this beer would receive a 5.0 in that. as for any other numbers that might surprise people: i could sniff this guy all day (and sip it) but it's really not all that refined. if i am to evaluate this with the same criteria as I am to evaluate a belgian, KBS just lacks delicacy (though i will say that the bourbon barrel element is subtle)

Photo of srandycarter
4.35/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Into the tulip

A - Deep black base, dark cappuccino head, good lacing retention.

S - Chocolate, coffee, subdued bourbon, I suppose (might be more suggestive in the name than actual smell present).

T - Oh, yes. Bittersweet chocolate and coffee and vanilla. Silky chocolate finish.

M - Full body, would have liked more carbonation. Full coating and silky chocolate finish.

D - I like it. More hyped than I thought deserved. My stout isn't as good, but it comes close. Still, glad to try it.

Photo of BrokenStones
4.35/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A Dark and Darker, 1/2" solid head, legs too. Rich This pours a black-ruby complexion with a thin lacing of foam on top. It has an aroma of toffee and espresso, with a bit of smoke. It’s tasty, with some smoked malt, lots of dark chocolate and dark roast coffee, sweet bourbon notes and a long, smoothly boozy finis

Photo of Domingo
4.35/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Beejay for this one.
Thick and black, just like the original. It's like pouring spent motor oil. Not much carbonation, but the beer does manage to keep a thin head layer throughout.
Bourbon's the first thing that jumps out in the smell, but it's not overpowering like some bourbon aged beers can be. It's there, but you also clearly get some roasted coffee and baker's chocolate, too.
The beer does a good job of keeping flavors cycling. At first you'll pick up the bourbon and vanilla from the wood, but then you'll get waves of black coffee, roasted grain, strong hot chocolate, and then everything comes full circle. The bourbon comes on a little strong in the front of your mouth, but you'll pick everything else up quickly. With some sips, it's barely there at all, which can be welcome to keep it from being too much.
Just like the normal breakfast stout, the texture on this is amazing. Silky smooth. The only beer that can do it any better than this is BORIS.
Goes down easy, but not quite as easy as the normal one. The bourbon brings a potency that makes this more of a sipper. The extra alcohol and whiskey flavors keep this in check a bit more.

I honestly prefer the original just because it's so drinkable, and is almost perfect as is. This is still an absolutely killer beer, but I lean in the direction of the normal BS.

EDIT: A second bottle was even better. Granted I gave this one a pretty stellar score, but my second bottle was on par with the normal Breakfast Stout. The bourbon had mellowed slightly and the flavors had layered more. I'm thinking that holding on to one of these for a long time might be REALLY amazing.

Photo of Elendinn
4.35/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An '09 vintage, poured into my Sierra Nevada tulip glass. Thanks to hellomisterp!

Pours a beautiful black like every stout should -- a tranquil, globular void in my glass, which seems to devour light -- with a modicum of rich, chocolatey, coffee-like head and a surprising amount of lacing. The aesthetics have got me excited and I'm anxious to see how this smells.

Coffee dominates the nose, followed by a fair amount of bourbon (though it's definitely taking the backseat), with hints of roasty malt, molasses, chocolate, and wood. It's not particularly sweet, as the coffee, unrelentingly, seems to overshadow every other facet of the beer. That being said, it's a very pleasant aroma and well-deserving of the name.

Tastes like it smells -- a prevalent coffee flavor, roasty and bitter, heavily laden with boozy bourbon; hints of dark chocolate, vanilla, caramel, spice, and wood round out the backend. Finishes dry, with coffee and bourbon flavors lingering long after ingestion. Not as sweet as The Abyss, or even Bourbon County Brand Stout, but it's exceptional in its own right. The bourbon, as before, plays a decidedly secondary role, which is a little disappointing, but it's still deep, complex, and damn good.

It's full-bodied in the mouth, with light, passive carbonation, making for a very smooth, though slightly viscous, experience.

Living in Oregon, I've grown intimately acquainted with The Abyss. KBS is an entirely different beast -- not even remotely as sweet, with emphasized flavors of coffee, bourbon, and wood. It's also a bit more boozy. Nevertheless, it's a welcome change; the roasted coffee flavors are blended exceptionally well with the sweeter elements and the delicious, almost subversive flavors of bourbon. Drinkability suffers a bit because of the bitterness and booziness, but it's not supposed to be guzzled, it's supposed to be sipped and savored. The Abyss still takes first place in my book, but this beer puts up an honorable fight. I'd buy it frequently if it were readily available, as it fills a niche that other stouts don't. If only I could drink this at work...

Photo of ph2001
4.35/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle in pint glass

pours thick. black in color with a thin layer of head the color of chocolate ice cream. it smells like bourbon and coffee grounds.

it is a very smooth medium body, not nearly as thick as it looks. lots of strong flavors in there. there is a rawness to the coffee flavor that makes it seem more like grounds than beans, not really a bad thing though. theres chocolate and molasses in there too. the more it warms up the bigger the bourbon flavors get huge. the alcohol is slightly warming in the chest but still pretty mellow. very drinkable.

Photo of ThatWineGuy
4.35/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Motor oil black, almost no head, very thin tan coating disappears leaving almost no ring. Perfectly opaque. Full nose with rich smell of roast coffee, espresso, burnt toast and vanilla.

Mouthfeel is silky smooth with substantial body. Bitter taste with astringent bourbon impressions very pronounced, bakers chocolate and burnt coffee, chocolate almond biscotti, some nuttiness. Very complex stout with a huge taste, velvet feel although just a touch too astringent... I could live with a steady supply of these!

Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 10,387 ratings.