Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) | Founders Brewing Company

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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: 2,988 | Ratings: 11,615
Photo of PhillyB
4.99/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Damn. I was really hoping this beer was overrated and that it wouldn't be as great as I'd heard.

Look: Black. Pours like used motor oil, thin brown head.

Smell: Slight alcohol, dark fudge, black coffee, heavy cream

Taste: Dark chocolate fudge, espresso, and a vanilla/bourbon that grows as the beer warms.

Feel: Thick, creamy, and almost oily. There is an ever so slight alcohol nip in the beginning and towards the end. Just gives a nice warming sensation, very well balanced.

Overall: This is the only 5/5 overall I've given, and it is rightly deserved. This fulfills every expectation I have in a Imperial Stout, and surpasses it. Well done Founders, well done!

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Photo of jphipps83
4.61/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Not a stout guy, but couldn't pass it up when my local asked me if I wanted it. Bottle poured into a snifter, 2016 version. Black in color, little head that disappeared quickly. Bourbon, bourbon, bourbon, with a little chocolate on the nose. Taste is great, bourbon and chocolate are very heavy, and a little heat in the aftertaste. Thick, viscous mouthfeel, goes down very easily to be such a heavy beer. Glad I got this one, and will seek out again. I would put this slightly ahead of the Abyss, great beer.

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Photo of ShawnoftheD3ad
4.68/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Such an excellent stout. Very coffee forward this year. Alittle bit thin on the mouthfeel but hopefully a little age will cure that. Not as hot as I heard but freshness will make that noticeable. Bottled 2-16-2016

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Photo of MACrist
4.76/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

APPEARANCE: Pours a rich black with a finger of tan head that settles down quickly into a foamy ring. Good looking carbonation when rocking the glass. Some spotty lacing and legs down the glass.
AROMA: A whiff of bourbon right off the bat. Molasses, nice coffee, chocolate, and vanilla notes, and also slight licorice, smoke, and leather.
TASTE: Basically everything I got in the aroma with the bourbon coming out first and then a nice blend of all the other flavors following along with a nice lingering, growing bitterness.
FEEL: Plenty of carbonation but still had a creamy quality. Sticky on the lips, pretty full body.
OVERALL: First BBA stout for me, won't be my last. This was a nice treat.

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Photo of jaypaul522
4.91/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Real fresh from 4/1 beer hunt. Poured deep black with nice thick head. Smell is strong bourbon, coffee and chocolate. First taste hits hard with the bourbon, but from then on it is smooth with the coffee and chocolate coming through very nicely. The feel of this was medium - not as full as some others. Overall, this is as great a beer as everyone had told me, and I loved the aroma and taste.

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Photo of CoreyC
4.58/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fresh as possible - 4/1 release, purchase and consumption
A - Super black with a tremendous tan/brown head
S - Very strong and pleasing coffee and chocolate
T - Delicious with coffee flavor dominance, very slight bitterness at the finish
F - Thick and oily
O - Fantastic coffee stout - results meet the hype. Lucky enough to have landed 11 more that I'll consume over time (up to one year unless it starts lose too much coffee).

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Photo of Tsharma
4.94/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The alcohol is surprisingly well hidden on this, considering the 2016 release is 12.4%. The aroma is mostly coffee and bourbon. It tastes of coffee, chocolate and bourbon and the bourbon lingers. Has a thick oily mouthfeel.

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Photo of MusicBeer_1961
4.9/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This 2016 release is a fantastic brew. It's superbly blended. 12.4% ABV? It's so smooth, it won't slow you down..but you'll want to take your time with this one. Like all fine imperial/double stouts, the flavors of KBS get more complex as it warms. On the taste, you get coffee, chocolate, bourbon and the oak flavor from the barrel.. But one does not dominate over the other. All flavors coexist in perfect harmony. The smell is as good as the taste. It's just slightly on the thin side as it relates to mouthfeel, so that's the only area I would downgrade it a bit.. I'm glad I was able to score a 4 pack of this yesterday. I'll drink 3 fresh and save one for age.. I have a few Bottles of 2016 SMS left and plan to do a 2016 KBS vs SMS side by side. I can't wait for that as I really like both brews.. Cheers!...

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Photo of ZebulonXZogg
4.15/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a thick black with a surprising caramel colored head. Bourbon aroma dominates the nose with bitter coffee and chocolate flavors and big boozy finish. Overall, I was a bit disappointed in this. I'm hoping a few months in the back of the fridge helps

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Photo of BiaSongThan
4.74/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Rating based on the fresh 2016
bottled 2-11-16 enjoyed 4-1-16. Comes in a beautiful black/ deep brown with a half finger of coffee colored head. Aroma is coffee, chocolate, bourbon, oak, and alcohol. Taste, this one is HOT! the booziness hits up front and comes back in the finish. There is great coffee, chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, oak, dark fruits, etc, but that booze really detracts and disappoints. Also a bit more thin than I prefer my stouts, but if the booziness hadnt been there I probably wouldnt have noticed. I had a bottle of '15 in January and enjoyed it much more, less hot and more of the bourbon and base stout flavors came through. Glad to try it fresh, so happy I have 3 more and I will definitely be aging them in hopes that the heat subsided and the mouthfeel thickens up. In the meantime, I have plenty of FIS to enjoy :)

Had a second bottle of 16. Still not as chewy as I like, but it's not hot. That's just bourbon flavor. It tastes a lot like bourbon, and tonight I'm digging it!

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Photo of Gambyt20
4.79/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Great nose on this beer. Bourbon and coffee dominate the smell in a very good way. Taste follows the nose and the chocolate comes thru at the end. Very well balanced and great sipper. This was from bottle dated 2/16/16 and would love to try this on tap. Stocked up to age some but since I love coffee stouts, might be drinking these sooner than later. Great stuff.

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Photo of ocelot2500
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep ebony color with a tight, mocha head that leaves chunks of lacing.

Smells of bourbon, espresso, and chocolate notes.

Tastes of deep roasted notes layered with vanilla and bourbon. Roasted notes lead off with cocoa, brown sugar, and espresso with moderate sweetness. This gives way to some baker's chocolate along with some vanilla. Oaked bourbon notes come next. Finishes with a lingering, roasted and vanilla sweetness.

Mouthfeel is full with a smooth amount of carbonation.

Overall, this is an incredibly tasty stout that hits all the right notes. Almost like an adult chocolate milk, plus the alcohol is hidden really well, dangerously so.

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Photo of Umdrunner
4.43/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured black with 1 finger mocha head that dissapeared quickly and lightly laced. Scent was rich chocolate, roasted malt, coffee, and light bourbon. Scent was very strong right after pour, then faded quickly. Flavor was roasted malt, coffee, dark chocolate, burnt oak and bourbon. There is a definite, though satisfying, bourbon heat that lingers. Mouthfeel is moderate with lively carbonation. As the beer warms it seems to soften. The dark chocolate flavors blend to milk chocolate and I begin to taste light brown sugar.

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Photo of Biochem_Brewer
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sublime - One of the best beers there is. Strong roast and bourbon aroma and flavor, with chocolate and coffee in the background. Thick mouthfeel coating the tongue and letting the taste linger. Warming alcohol evident, but doesn't effect the tast.

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Photo of Feldpausch
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the best Stouts I have ever had! A perfect blend of chocolate and coffee with a subtle bourbon undertone, simply perfection!! Thanks Founders, so glad I live in Michigan, you gotta try this one!

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Photo of luisitoelmatador88
4.56/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Very dark, black with a brownish hue and outline. small tan head that goes like the wind.

Aroma: quite possibly the best characteristic of the beer. You get a fudgey chocolate enveloped in coffee action. Very little alcohol presence to be spoken for. You don't get the bourbon at first, more at the end.
side note: as it warms you get a bit more of the bourbon presence naturally. Also smells like chocolate / vanilla cake to be honest.

Taste: very nice. you get the coffee and chocolate notes up front. Then you get a roasted bourbon type character followed but a decent linger of bitterness. I guess there is a bit a vanilla somewhere in here.

Mouthfeel: pretty satisfactory. Its about a medium, maybe a medium plus at most for the style and strength. carbonation is still well and alive after over a year of aging.

Overall: It's good and I am glad I got to try it.

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Photo of iliketurtlesthx
4.36/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This review is based on the 2016 release, which I had on draft and bottled.

My first impression is that this tastes better than the 2015 release fresh out of the bottle. Tons of chocolate, a little bit of barrel, and love that bourbon heat. Coffee is there, but chocolate flavors seem to overpower it. The smell is delightful. Very nice and thick.

One of my favorite beers. It seems to be easier to find on draft. The bottle hunt this year was a war and I might settle for only draft moving forward.

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Photo of md1313
4.39/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Fantasic beer. Pours black with hints of bourbon coming through. The barrel is strong right off the get, with the chocolate smoothing things out in the end. Slight bitter aftertaste from the chocolate. I think a touch of age make this a perfect beer.

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Photo of RozzieBoy
4.08/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on 3/5/15
L - Deep brown with a small tan head. No lacing
S - Chocolate alcohol
F - Thick yet smooth
T - Bourbon with slight coffee
O - I'm not a big barrel aged beer drinker but this one was good. I know this beer gets high marks here but with my limited experience with barrel aged beers, I was not sure what to expect. Warmed me up inside and I thought it was good from start to end

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Photo of PDXAmbassador
3.99/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

My bottle was 10 months old at time of purchase (it was found in cold warehouse long after its release, apparently).
Poured from 12oz bottle into chalice, while sitting in front of a roaring fire.

Nice lingering tan head, aroma of coffee is fading, roasty, oaky bourbon. Taste was fairly smooth, lighter mouthfeel for the style. A bit less sweet and substantial than I was hoping, and more bitter than expecting. But surprisingly drinkable.

Solid, no serious imperfections (would've liked more richness and coffee, but perhaps time took that away) and way ahead its time as a beer I suppose. But today, not a revelation. I much prefer BCBCS, for example.

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Photo of Barracudas
4.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I had the beer on tap at the brewery during St. Patrick's day weekend, it was great. I just had the first bottle in a four pack today, it was also great!

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Photo of Hyptochrons
4.72/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Bottled 3/02/16. poured into trillium tulip and enjoyed at proper temperature

appearance is black with a dark kahki head... looks great!

alcohol, wood, coffee, light roast on the nose

taste is similar with a big bourbon infused chocolate flavor up front, followed by roasty and slightly bitter coffee as well as burnt malts that give way to rich caramel and smooth vanilla. Finishes with a beautiful touch of oak and bourbon. Feel is perfect obviously.

Overall, I am completely blown away by this beer every time I drink it. Wish I had been able to get more than 2 four pks but at least I have a few left over to hang onto!

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Photo of BowmanR
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I won't go into a whole lot of detail seeing as how everyone that posts on here describes the beer in the exact same way. Here is what I can tell you. I drank KBS for the first time after I had been experimenting with craft beers for about 2 years. What KBS taught me was that I had a deep appreciation for stouts...which up to that point I had not realized. Now, stouts are my preferred beer and I wait anxiously every year for KBS to be released. This beer is outstanding. One of the best regular release beers in the world in my opinion (and I am the inventory coordinator of a beer wholesaler that sells beers from all over the world... so I get to try beers from all over the world). If you are reading this because you are trying to decide if it is worth the price tag.. stop thinking and buy it. There is no way in hell you will be disappointed.

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Photo of johnamo
4.56/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2016 edition, 12.4%abv, poured into an official Founders KBS tulip glass (of course).

Look: charcoal black; nearly opaque. Thin, dark caramel head that disappears without lacing.

Smell: mostly coffee, with sweet vanilla and slight oak.

Taste: a huge, sweet wallop of nearly-fresh coffee and dark, melted chocolate. Alcohol is there, but not overpowering. Lingering notes of slightly astringent tannins from the oak - but pleasantly so, delivering more complexity beyond the initial coffee/chocolate powerhouse.

Feel: thick and creamy, with a sticky, syrupy coffee/vanilla aftertaste. My tongue has an almost anesthetic tingle from the alcohol.

Overall: An excellent, unique beer. Sweet, powerful, and tasty. Never had anything quite like it.

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Photo of bladehines
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

First off this is NOT a new KBS!!!! This review is for an aged KBS! The bottle says "bottled on 02/08/10!!!!!!!!! That being said let's begin!

I stored this beer from day one in a cellar fridge always kept between 55-65 degrees.

Look - SUPER BLACK! No carbonation left on pour at all, some in mouth if you let it set. Great pour.
Smell - toasted coffee, dark dark chocolate, leather, tobacco. Very earthy!
Taste - sharp start, bitter chocolate rounded over by coffee under tones. Earthly over all, SUPER CLEAN FINISH! No detectable alcohol taste until after swallowing, then you can feel the vapors at the back of the throat. Smooth as glass. I can taste very little of the "bourbon" quality left (I like bourbon), my wife who doesn't like bourbon can taste it more but loves this beer!
Feel - very coating of the entire mouth until swallowed then fades away nicely to a hint of coffee. Slightly viscous overall.

Overall - happy I waited to age this beer 6 full years from the bottled date!!!!! When I purchased the 4 pack in 2010, I drank one every year for 3 years. Don't really know why I waited this long to drink the last but glad I did!!!!!!!!

Lastly this is prob the longest I might age a KBS, longer and I think you would lose more of the overall flavors. I might be wrong though...

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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,988 ratings.