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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) | Founders Brewing Company

3,013 Reviews
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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)

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

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.40%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
This stout is brewed with a hint of coffee and vanilla then aged in oak bourbon barrels for over a year.

Note, this is NOT simply barrel-aged Breakfast Stout. It is an entirely different beer.

Now labeled as "KBS."

ABV varies by batch.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-13-2004

User Reviews
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Reviews: 3,013 | Ratings: 11,715
Photo of AgentMunky
4.4/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a St. Bernardus goblet.

A: Black-opaque with fine bubbles. Mocha head forms and fades quickly. Scattered lacing.

S: Vanilla and hints of coffee. Just want I wanted. However, I also detect something astringent...I wonder if it's soap residue or strong alcohol.

T/M: Bourbon and vanilla nibs. Harsh but strong. Silky smooth mouthfeel just glides down the throat. Not obviously excellent, but actually quite well-balanced. Loads of chocolate malts and a touch of bitterness from both hops and coffee beans.

O: A pretty great beer. I would definitely have some more if I could ever find any. Incredibly drinkable for the ABV and the epitome of a bourbon-barrel aged beer. They don't get better than this.

IBU: 70
ABV: 11.2%

17 January 2015 EDIT:

HUGE coffee in the nose. Licorice and anise. Less bourbon-y, much more bitter and less soft-sweet.

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Photo of gmcfarre
4.4/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into snifter
Thanks to orbitalr0x for the trade

A - Pours a piercing black that spills out the bottle mouth like oil. Head is small but a very nice latte color. A sheet of lacing slowly falls when tipped, leaving spots of lace on the glass. Incredibly dark and opaque.

S - Scent of crisp toasted/burnt malt and alcohol with a strong vanilla flavor. A touch of coffee that grows more prominent as it warms. Alcohol has a strong oak context that is earthy and interesting.

T - Starts with a mild sweetness and then a quick wallop of strong oak flavor. Vanilla comes on strong, with a hint of coffee bitterness. Roasted and nearly burnt malt. Aftertaste is sharp with alcohol and maybe some drying hop bitterness, as well as some residual sweetness on the tongue.

M - Moderate carbonation with a full and very oily mouthfeel. Very interesting mouthfeel on the tongue, as midsip its many flavors seem to dance on the palate with a tingle. I've never had that sensation in a beer before.

D - Alcohol plays a strong role in this beer, both in flavor and effect. Very different from any other strong stout I've had, although I don't think any of those have been aged in oak barrels for a full year. Lives up to the hype, but not a beer I'd want to have everyday with its very oaky flavor. This is definitely a sipper.

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Photo of Sean9689
4.4/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nitro-tap @ Founders.
8oz pour into snifter.

A - A silky black with a fluffy head with a tight tan color. Super sticky, lots of lacing along the edge of the snifter. The head does not disipitate at all, it just hangs around.

S - Chocolate covered coffee beans, bourbon, caramel.

T - Milk chocolate, bourbon, slight bitterness, coffee beans. I would smack my lips together over and over after every taste, so good!

M - Smooth, creamy, soft, medium-full bodied but not overly so, just right. Very little fizzy carbonation, perfect.

D - So easy, so scary!

I didn't think KBS could get better but out of the nitro-tap, it is!

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Photo of DmanGTR
4.4/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes. Thanks to a generous BA for throwing in a 4 pack of this in our trade!

Deep, viscous black liquid fills my tulip, topped with a long lasting light tan head. No lacing, but I can almost see legs on the side of the glass. Rich vanilla and oak wafts through the air, maybe a touch less intense than expected. The chocolate and roasted barley is somewhat muted but there is definitely some coffee and cream. Flavor is bursting!! Very nicely done. Initial sweetness of toffee, caramel, and vanilla is followed quickly with a hint of burnt toast and leather, then bourbon rounds out the end adorned with a nice dose of freshly ground coffee. Wow. Exceptional smoothness and perfectly carbonated. I am truly impressed. Alcohol sneaks up on you... afterward haha. Please sir, can I have some more?

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Photo of mikeyv35
4.4/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Date: 04/15/2013
Type: 12oz. Bottle
Vintage: 2008
Glass: Southampton Tulip

*Excited to crack this 2008 vintage bottle with the scaled down 10% ABV and wild west Kentucky Breakfast Stout spelled out label.

Pours a midnight black in color w/ only a few dark brown bubbles that leave no lacing on the glass. Aromas of coffee, oak, bourbon, and vanilla. The flavor was of coffee up front, leading into very smooth oak/vanilla/bourbon, and finishes w/ ever so slight hop bite and char. Full bodied, but a bit thin due to the carbonation falling off a bit over 5 years in the bottle. Very easy to drink as the ABV is well hidden and the flavors are so well melded together.

Overall, this is the KBS I remember and it took me back to a better time in beer 5 years ago. When this beer was fresh and the carbonation was there this beer was a lush monster, this rich and lush monster is what built the reputation and high score for this beer. If the carbonation was there that once was this would get a much higher score. The KBS now is only a shadow.

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Photo of ncvbc
4.4/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This one and the regular BS are pretty equal in my mind. Poured a pitch black with brown/tan head with about a half inch thickness. Smells better than any beer I've put my nose to or at least right with it. Vanilla, bourbon, coffee, hint of chocolate, too much going on here. Taste is just as complex and excellent as the smell. Basically everything I picked up a scent of came through in the flavor here. Tamed bourbon, vanilla, coffee, chocolate, even some dark cherries or some sort of fruit. Alcohol seems to come out a little more as it warms but for the first time I like it! Mouthfeel attempts fullness at first but quickly drops off and seems to absorb on the tongue. Actually, this is pretty much full. It coats my tongue with its greatness and stays there for what feels like an eternity. Overall a damn drinkable brew...not quite as much as the regular BS, regardless of ABV.

Big thanks goes out to czoch75 for the bottle...this stuff is good!

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Photo of brewandbbq
4.4/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Vintage 2006

Pours opaque black, with dark brown bubbles that struggle to overcome the viscous liquid.
A inverted cascade of ulta-fine carbonation swells to a half inch with an exaggerated pour.
The whipped batter lasted less than two sips and dissolved to barely a whisp on the surface.
Aromatics are pungent with heavily roasted coffee, bitter chocolate, and a small dose of bourbon.
The mouthfeel is thick, chewy and slightly grainy. Plenty of gription and cling-power.
The pallet is laden with plenty of dry, bitter, dark chocolate, black-roasted coffee grounds, oak char, and burnt malt.
Hopping is subdued, and alcohol is slightly warming.
Finishes with lingering brownie batter infused with espresso, and spiked with a hint of whiskey.

The bourbon in this beer is quite subdued and is complimentary to the coffee and chocolate.

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Photo of drumrboy22
4.4/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to tmc for this one. Served at cellar temperature, poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Corsendonk chalice. Thick black in color with a deep, dark brown one finger head. Beer coated the glass, but didn't leave any lacing patterns.

Aroma was heavy coffee, vanilla, oatmeal and roasted grains.

Taste was surprisingly smooth. Coffee flavor is very present along with some bourbon notes and chocolate.

This is a very rich and full flavored beer, but again, I'm surprised at how well balanced it is. Very smooth and very well made. Moderate carbonation.

Thanks again to tmc for this 4-pack. This is a rare treat that is well worth tracking down.

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Photo of Beerguy1969
4.4/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a 12 oz glass, dark Carmel-chocolate color with very little head. Taste of coffee and chocolate both are present but neither are over bearing on the palette. By far one of the best stouts I have had so far !

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Photo of Dirtinabottle
4.4/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Oily and Charred.
S- Was hoping to pick up a bit more coffee upfront. This bottle was aged a year.
T- Nutty, Chocolate, and slight burbon. Low booze. I have no other comparison for the depth of flavor.
M- Smooth. Viscous.
Overall- The finest stout I have had. Looking forward to trying this years batch fresh.

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Photo of dnichols
4.4/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I received this brew in a great trade with iconoklaztor. I poured a 2007 vintage 12 ounce capped bottle into a chalice.

A: A down the middle pour resulted deep dark black body with a brick reddish tinted brown and a half finger head. The head rapidly went away and there was modest lacking that did not linger.

S: It had a dominant black coffee and sweet bourbon aroma. A clearly detectable odor of alcohol was present.

T: It presented a bitter chocolate front then there was the bite of straight espresso, tobacco, and earthy and smoky wood. There was a slight flavor of whiskey.

M: This is a full bodied brew with a semi-sweet front, bitter sharp coffee back adn a clean, almost chalky, finish. The brew inished clean and warming with only a minor bitter aftertaste.

D: The full body, large ABV, and powerful flavors make this a one or two beer for me. But it is a great, well condition and balanced beer.

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Photo of alkemy
4.4/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown...lets just call it black. Above it sits a finger of rich, dark tan head. There's a nuttiness to the smell along with vanilla, bourbon, and coffee. The taste is quite good, as expected. You certainly are aware of the alcohol, but it is very smooth. There's vanilla, chocolate, coffee, and bourbon. I also got a maple syrup note. Creamy, sticky feel was a plus. I really like high viscosity beers. I found this quite drinkable, yet my wallet says otherwise.

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Photo of dcmchew
4.4/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2015 vintage.
Black pour, small half finger beige head, quick to a frothy string and a really thin film on top. Moderate lacing.
The smell is pretty intense and brings up front exactly what you'd expect: dark, but also some milky chocolate, a lot of coffee powder on top, some Bourbon, caramel and vanilla, not too heavily roasted malts. At least not charred to a crisp. Alcohol doesn't show up yet, a bit of hop tends too, tho.
An interesting, layered sip. Starts with a bit of dark fruit, washed with some clear Bourbon, a bit boozy at first, but it gets just warmer later on. There's a hint of brandy in there. Clear chocolate goodness follows, not the darkest kind, but really rich, with a touch of molasses, more caramel, oaky vanilla and some roasted grain. This nice, but moderate sweetness leads to a pretty contrasting finish, dominated by acidic black coffee, some bitter hop underneath, making up a dry feeling that goes well with the last bite of alcohol.
Each new sip renews the Bourbon taste, making it more and more clear. Still, the alcohol becomes manageable and you're left with nice coffee bean, cocoa and light roast in the aftertaste. Medium body, with a smooth, slightly prickly carbonation, works quite well.
A big bad imperial stout that's well worth the hype. Still, not the perfect monster that i was led to believe, so don't break your neck looking for it. A toe or two would suffice.

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Photo of indiapaleale
4.4/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into two snifters at Sierra Grille in Northampton, MA. Bottle was $9.

Pours a inky jet black color that is very viscous, yes like motor oil. The head is laughable.

Smell is a wave of warm alcohol, vanilla, dark chocoloate and bitter roasted coffee. Very complex and aromatic.

Taste initially is bitter chocolate and vanilla combined. The flavors enhance from there, coffee, toffee, bitter black coffee and chocolate liquer or Kahlua. As it continues to warm a lot of the Bourbon barrel flavors come out. This is a great sipping beer...

Very smooth drinking beer that half a bottle of was definitely plenty to enjoy.

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Photo of VTR
4.4/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

After several years of failing to get this during the release I surprisingly found it on tap yesterday. It was poured into a snifter. The nose was a mix of coffee, chocolate, vanilla, and bourbon. I couldn't resist taking a sip from this dark brew with a great khaki head. The taste followed the nose but some of the flavors were faint and then the bitterness hit me. OK well I am always one to let my stouts warm up to see if they develop. This beer got better as it warmed. Once warmed all the flavors developed and meshed together very, very well and the bitterness subsided. The flavors danced around your mouth while the beer felt very silky. Ok now the bourbon was there but it did not overpower the beer letting all the flavors and roastiness come through. I really enjoyed that the coffee was not over the top. While I have been let down by other highly sought after beers this is not one of them. To me it was a different animal than the highly acclaimed BCBCS. All I can say is I was very impressed with this beer. Hands down one of the best beers I have had. I am going to head down tomorrow afternoon and hope they still have some left in the keg!

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Photo of mschantz
4.4/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Have enjoyed KBS a number of times in the past but never in a setting that allows for proper consideration and review. Pours nearly black with just a hint of mocha on the fringes. Moderately viscous with a slight dark brown head that brings the foam of an espresso to mind. Nose is nice meld of bourbon, coffee, vanilla and hints of cinnamon. The coffee and vanilla are upfront upon tasting with a nice warm boozy finish. Mouthfeel is quite slick and the finish smooth.

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Photo of oakbluff
4.4/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Consumed on 7/24/07- bday beer and complements of xav33. Pours out like motor oil. More head than expected-colour of milk chocolate. Nose- bakers chocolate and dark roasted coffee beans. Taste- that is some heavy shit! bourbon, chocolate explosion, vanilla, and so on... Viscous yet creamy mouthfeel and hops have a good bite at the end. Not boozy, not not a beer to be messed with . This bottle took a couple of hours to contemplate as it should.

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Photo of wyattshotmaker
4.4/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured into dfh chalice. pretty much a black void with a dark tan head.

nose is dominated by coffee and dark chocolate, hint of vanilla.

taste has alot going on. boozey, dark chocolate, vanilla, coconut, roasted barley,slightly nutty, coffee. the coffee flavor is really intense and lingers.

mouthfeel is very viscous. the carbonation is low.

overall i'd expect a richer bourbon flavor. in comparison to BCS it has less bourbon hotness, more coffee. shoulda picked up some BC coffee stout when i was in chicago./

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Photo of egajdzis
4.4/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured an opaque black color with a small tan head, that left light lacing on the glass, Aroma of vanilla, tons of roasted malt, espresso, with smokey malts, nuts, and faint dried fruits. Taste of more roast, chocolate malts, vanilla beans, nuts, dry wood, and faint bourbon... a touch of alcohol in the finish.

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Photo of chickencoop
4.4/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First off, not a fan of the double imperial stouts so don't listen to me, but the hype surrounding this opened my eyes. On that note, putting this in perspective with it's peers, this is pretty solid. Big dark pour, bourbon smell carries throughout, finish was big booze, with booze on top. I liked this, not so much drinkable, but one of the best imperial stouts i've ever had, complex and huge in every sip.

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Photo of pdoran10
4.4/5  rDev -3.5%
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!

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Photo of berserker256
4.4/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

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Photo of montageman
4.4/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

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Photo of jimmy82063
4.39/5  rDev -3.7%
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!

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Photo of IdrinkGas
4.39/5  rDev -3.7%
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!

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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 3,013 ratings.