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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2,750 Reviews
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Reviews: 2,750
Hads: 10,492
rAvg: 4.55
pDev: 8.35%
Wants: 4,158
Gots: 4,767 | FT: 388
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
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Reviews: 2,750 | Hads: 10,492
Photo of macktbone
4.54/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was a surpise offering from ThirdLap for absolutely no occasion at all. From the bottle and split into Low Ball type glasses to get a true example of the product.

A-Obsidion reflectivness with medium brown edge hanging onto the glass. Minimal head but nice to look at.

S-Quad Espresso. This one was a 5 for me, my first in relation to smell. This was tough for me to put into words but; Dirt, nuts, with a little mint. Roasted malt. [crazy time] Granite and stones after a rain. You know that granite that turns one color when it gets wet then goes back when it dries...? This is what I'm talking about.

T-Old coffee, tea and small after heat of bourbon.

Second Smell- cherries and bitter sweet chocolate.

Second taste- anise aftertaste

M-very limited carbonation and average stout creaminess.

D-not a feasable daily stout, but great on a Sunday morning or for no appearant reason at all.

Aging the bottle since first review and decided to crack it for Father's day 2010.
Much smoother after the year has passed, the vanilla on the nose is much stronger and the bourbon heat has become much sweeter. I think I would raise the rating on this if you could get ahold of an older, well aged bottle! (1,217 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 br3wmeister
4.85/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Silky thick dark brown head that has very strong retention. Great lacing as the head holds all they way to the bottom of the glass. The beer is dark as night, letting no light through.

S- Lots of bitter roasted aromas. Dark roasted coffee and dark chocolate. Also some good sweetness in there but it is hard to pic out specific aromas over the roasted goodness, maybe molasses. Hint of dark fruit as well cherries and plum.

T- Huge roasted flavors. Lots of coffee and dark chocolate. Some nice sweet notes as well cherries, molasses, brown sugar and roasted nuts. A lot of good spicy notes as well, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Almost no detectable alcohol.

M- Super thick and very silky mouth feel, much like drinking chocolate milk only way more spice and texture. Very good mouth feel.

Overall- This may be the best stout I have had to date. It is extremely complex with an amazing mouth feel and drinkability that should not be able to be attained by an Imperial Stout. Find this beer, Drink this beer. (1,018 characters)

Photo of bifrostguard
4.72/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

HUGE thanks to largadeer for bringing this as an unsuspected, but enormously appreciated offering on our first night of great beer and heavy metal havoc. I am blown away by your generosity! If this is the beginning, then my liver is fearful of the end...

A - Pours an ominous black, occluding the sorcery and dark magic that is undoubtedly present within this opaque shroud. A dark tan head guards the perimeter with an intimidating presence paralyzing all those that gaze upon it with a terrible fear.

S - Characterized by rage and hate, it burns down the lining of the nasal passage showing no mercy. A blitzkrieg of bourbon, vanilla, coffee, ash and smolten ruins left on the side of a mountain are formidable.

T - The taste buds shake with the palate decimating rhythm of warriors marching into battle. Bourban, vanilla and coffee have stormed through all lines of defense and taken the keep. Heat, ash and smoke are all that remain of this raped and pillaged land.

M - Thick with a heaviness akin to bench pressing a blue whale. Carbonation keeps it lively giving the demoralized a false sense of hope.

D - The gods have surely cursed this upon me. Thor's hammer has smashed my taste buds and Odin's ravens have ingrained themselves into my skull with the ruins of this delicious beverage. It will surely be what the victors drink in cool their sore throats and please the Asagods.

Cheers brother, this stuff is effing great! (1,453 characters)

Photo of BeerStine
4.85/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 batch. 12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours opaque - like motor oil. An aggressive pour produces a brown, sticky, fluffy head whose lacing sticks to the glass like foamy caramel. Smells of rich, dark, roasted coffee and chocolate with the perfect lingering smell of alcohol. Taste is just like the smell: coffee and chocolate with the amazing bourbon flavor coming though. Perfect balancing hops help finish the flavor. Mouthfeel is medium/light with little carbonation. Drinkablity is outstanding. By the look, smell and ABV of this beer you would think it would be difficult to drink more than one, but I could drink a four pack of this, no problem.

Founders took an amazing beer and barrel aged it. I'm a whore for barrel ageing - especially if the barrels once housed whiskey.

I have very fond memories of this beer. Several years ago, during my early experiences with craft beer, I had this beer at Founders' old location, on Monroe Street, by the Grand River. I have a very selective memory, in which my brain has the tendency to discard information lacking future use. Clearly, my memory of drinking this beer for the first time has been stored for euphoric purposes.

I can unequivocally credit this beer (with the help of one of my friends) as the catalyst that truly started my craft beer experience. Call me biased, but I love this beer. World class. Enough said. (1,388 characters)

Photo of sonicdescent
3.93/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is one I've wanted since day one, thanks to vwcraig for finally putting an end to my hunt. 3/08 written on the bottle.

Looks good, dark black and thick. Thin tan head with nice lacing.

Smells..uhoh, smells like a while lot of bourbon. Shades of black magick here and that scares me. Swirling the glass releases some of the other scents, making this less one dimensional.

thankfully the taste us not nearly as overly hot and one dimensional as I had feared. Vanilla, smoke, choclatw, coffee.

Pretty full bodied and medium carbonated.

This is good but I still prefer OPS and Homewood Reserve when it comes to barrel aged beers. Very complex but even after a year of laying down a tad too hot. (706 characters)

Photo of jstilwell
4.1/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to weirdbeer for bringing this to the Kate the Great tapping!. Glad I have a few more coming in another trade!

This bad boy pours an absolutely beautiful jet black motor oil with a thin dark brown head that exhibits intermittent shades of burgundy and purplish tints. Nice lacing on my glass and a fair amount of crabonation bubbles as well. The scent is overwhelming with the bourbon but upon swirling the complexities come out. Although this scent reminds me of my Ol' Grandad/Jack Daniels days, I can also detect deep wood, vanilla, coffee and a hint of black pepper. This is truly spicy but also has a mix of syrup and caramel on the initial sip. This turns to mild bitter chocolate and a serious big ass bourbon blast for the finish! mouthfeel is thick, heavy and smooth though not quite creamy. There is no way in hell I would crack a second one of these consecutively, but I do look forward to a time when I can share this with my bourbon afficianado friends! (974 characters)

Photo of Reagan1984
4.57/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A big shout out to two great traders - Estarrio and paco1029384756
For both providing this in trade. I wanted to have a back up bottle. This is my first one..
Thanks to both of you guys...

Pours with a very think dark tan head that vanishes very quickly. Beer is totally black.. a touch shiny. Around the edges it's deep dark brown.

Aroma is of Vanilla, oak... Bourbon like that's for sure. Slightly sweet smelling.

Well, it is about as good as everyone says.. Founders has clearly perfected the Bourbon Barrel Age routine. This and Backwoods Bastard are both awesome. Starts bright and immediately the smooth vanilla hits. Then a moment of roasted goodness. Some sweetness and then back to vanilla. At this point you taste the bourbon notes, wood and then some alcohol. The alcohol notes work perfectly and are not over powering.. After you swallow the flavors continue. Layers of nice sweetness and vanilla all tagged with some dark roasted malts.. Never too sweet, never far from the bourbon flavor.

Silky smooth very slightly carbonated and two clicks shy of creamy.

Insanely drinkable. I'll be interested to see the drinkability scores after I post this review. Really drinks like candy and seems far from a 10% ABV. A 4 pack of this could cause trouble.

I am so happy to have the opportunity to try this beer. I am hoping that Founders allows some to make it's way to MA in '09... Also glad to have another bottle. (1,426 characters)

Photo of trill
4.22/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This one comes from an anonymous, generous BA in the Sponsor a BA LIF.

From the bottle into my Surly pint glass, this one is black with ruby highlights and very little head. Aroma is intense coffee with bourbon, raisin, and faint fusel notes. Powerful smoke and coffee in flavor, in addition to musty, spicy hops. Chocolate and toffee notes appear in the aroma as the beer warms. No real vanilla, this is more of a charred oak, with ash, cola and espresso beans in the flavor. Appropriately thick mouthfeel, but the slightly hot finish hurts drinkability. The oak and coffee might drop out, but it'd be interesting to see how this one ages. (641 characters)

Photo of jwc215
4.42/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Thanks to BrewerB for this!

Pours black with a brown head that becomes a wisp. A bit of lacing sticks.

The smell is of chocolate, coffee, roasty with bourbon.

The taste is of chocolate, coffee, bourbon - wow - this is tasty! (I think I might like the actual coffee and chocolate used in the other Breakfast Stout a bit more, but I'm far from complaining). It has a great bourbon character to it, while allowing the dark complexities and roast to come through. Doesn't get too sweet, as there is roast and a dryness in the finish.

Silky smooth, it has just the right touch of carbonation to keep it full but not too thick or syrupy.

Awesome! Overhyped? Nope. Very well-done - a great sipper! (695 characters)

Photo of hoegaardenhero
4.23/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thanks cooperrip for the brew.

a: deep black body with a 1/2 inch light brown bubbly head; light lace

s: roasted coffee; light acid and abv; compost; earth; raisins and prunes; vanilla; dark chocolate

t: roasted espresso coffee grounds; light thick wheat biscuit; acidic/abv; dark chocolate; vanilla; raisins

m: smooth with kind of a not unpleasant grainy feel; maybe a little aggressive for me

d: a good american double that is amazingly sweet and complex for a stout with such high abv (492 characters)

Photo of BARFLYB
4.57/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a regular pint glass. This bottle is a little under a year old. Found this unexpected on a beer run, i was surprised.

A- Founders Kuntucky Breakfast Stout comes out pitch black with a 1/2 inch dark tan foamy head. Once that dies a few spots of foam can be seen on the surface. A few patches of lace cling to the glass, nothing much. A bit of red comes through on the outer rim of surface.

S- A whole bunch of chocolate and malt up front with hints of sweet vanilla. Dark roasted coffee with dark malts follow. While cold the bourbon isn't much but comes through with warming. The oak is there from the barrel. I could smell this for days if it was possible.

T- The bourbon comes up front with some rich chocolate following. The vanilla is more powerful in taste than smell, while I am getting some licorice also. Coffee is there with espresso qualities also but not as much as regular a regular breakfast. Some sweet sugar with caramel background. The oak qualities come forth with warming and add to the rich flavors.

M- A very heavy mouth feel and quite pleasing. Very viscous while having smoother qualities as it warms. Room temp is the best for this one. Softer than some barrel aged stout's but KBS still coats the palette with goodness. KBS isn't very bitter. Quite warming feeling all around.

D- This is very drinkable for me but one and done. I have to admit that i enjoyed this better fresh rather than this 9 month old bottle, even though founder's website say's KBS has legs for two years. The bourbon was more pronounced fresh and the flavors collided better. Oh well live and learn. Don't drink this one too cold as it only get's better.

Now i just need to get this founder's Imperial Stout to get the full spectrum of this brewery's darker selections. (1,789 characters)

Photo of ckeegan04
4.67/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Black. Maybe even balcker than black. A thin one finger creamy head with decent retention and leaves behind a thin sheet of dark brown lace.

S - More coffee that bourbon, but a fair amount of both. Very strong aroma of freshiy roasted coffee beans. Hints of oak and vanilla as well. Wow...amazing aroma.

T - Strong coffee notes initially before the bourbon really kicks in. Tastes very similar to that of the nose. Underlying hints of vanilla, oak, and a nice spiciness. A plethora of flavors that all play off of each other remarkably well. A touch boozy as well.

M/D - Full as can be and incredibly smooth. There is a slight alcohol burn but nothing overwhelming. Incredibly good stout that makes for an excellent evening sipper. (738 characters)

Photo of sleazo
4.88/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A_Pours an opal impenatrable black with a three finger cappacino like head. Lacing and retention are both superb.

S_A deep dark roast of the finest espresso with a bit of burnt tobacco and a hint of dark chocolate. Not overpowering but really well done.

T_A deep rich and dry coffee flavour exude out of the first sip. This is followed by a bit of chicory and dark chocolate. The aftertaste brings a slight acidity like a good espresso would. A very pleasing burnt bitterness lingers in the mouth hinting at a vague but present grassy/medicinal hoppiness. There are undercurrents of vanilla, cream, woody smokiness and a bit of sherry. The alcohol is there but not dominant. The oak is barely detectable but the aging process has left this mellow as can be.

M_Rich and creamy, Oatmeal stout-esque. A slightly above average carbonation for the style cuts through a bit.

D_For once the emperor wears clothes and they are of the finest fabric. What a truly tremendous beer. Well done and delicious. (1,000 characters)

Photo of tigg924
4.1/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: dark black, next to no carbonation, no head

Smell: strong burnt coffee, oats, and molasses

Taste: more burnt coffee and a little toasty smoke, some oak

Mouthfeel: I found it heavy and chewy

Drinkability: I am not always a stout person, but I find this excellent for its style. It is what I will reach for in its style..There are lots of layers here..A very complex beer...I could have several (408 characters)

Photo of Monkeyknife
4.44/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle a deep dark purplish-black color with just a whisper of coffee-colored head.

Big sharp aroma of bourbon, oak, vanilla, tobacco, and black coffee. The force, I mean the booze, is strong in this one.

Multi-layered taste of bourbon, coffee, oak, vanilla, soap, dark ripe fruits, and dark chocolate.

Full-bodied, rich and smooth, with little carbonation.

Sit back and enjoy everything that winter can throw at you with this beer. Mmm...nice. (464 characters)

Photo of shivtim
4.18/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to aforbes10 for the bottle.

Pours out a deep oily black, with a dark mocha head that slowly fizzles. This sucker has real legs. Looks fantastic. Smells of burnt coffee, molasses, oak and bourbon, and charred malts. Very nice. Taste is heavily roasted malts that transition into smoky bourbon. Some slight alcohol, but mostly just toasty flavors. Mouthfeel is good but it doesn't feel as thick as it looks. Good drinkability as long as you take your time. (468 characters)

Photo of tmoneyba
4.5/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Draft at MBG Winterfest.

Poured black color with a large rocky light brown head that mostly lasted with good lacing. Good chocolate coffee and woody aroma. Medium to full body with a smooth texture and flat carbonation. Heavy coffee chocolate flavor with a heavy bittersweet finish of long duration.

Very good winter brew. (325 characters)

Photo of schellsbeer
3.35/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed from notes from Early December 2008.

A - Very Dark Brown to almost black. Thin with little head present.

S - Alcohol is very present. Bourbon. Clean and crisp. Quality in the smell.

T - Strong Alcohol Burn for a 10%. I have had better in which the alcohol was greater but its taste was hidden. I was expecting more from the smell. Also, I wish it was thicker. Hard to get in Minnesota so I am greatful for trying. Some Coffee and chocolate taste but overpowered from the booze taste.

M - Thin but very smooth.

D - Not really. Not found in Minnesota. Also, because of the high alcohol content, a sipper at best. Just not my favorite. (647 characters)

Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.74/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Raznug for this!

A- Body is a thick, vicious, motor oil black. An aggressive pour only produces a coffee colored head of <1/2 finger which quickly fades to a thick collar. Collar has perfect retention. No lacing is left behind in the glass.

S-Nose is complex and balanced. Vanilla, oak, and sweet bourbon come through first in the nose with a big roasted chocolate backbone. There is also a slight hint of alcohol.

T-The flavor is somewhat dull upfront but what can be noticed is vanilla, an essence of sweet bourbon, chocolate, oak, and some roasted flavors. Tastes like a roasted coffee upfront. The finish is a huge blast of roasted malt flavors and bourbon heat. Left to linger is alcohol astringency and heat, roasted malt flavors and bitterness, and a hint of vanilla and oak.

M-Medium tingly carbonation and a body that is balanced with thick stout qualities and alcohol. Decent, but a little thinner than I like.

D- This is a decent stout, and one I have been looking for for awhile. It is also only my 2nd bourbon stout. It was an honor to try it and if I see it around I will pick it up and age it, but its a little too hot with alcohol for my tastes. Good overall, but there are much better stouts out there. (1,237 characters)

Photo of JWD
4.16/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

A- the appearance is great, Black motor oil with a small head, tan in color.

S- deep roasted coffee

T -More coffee with a very small hint of bourbon an vanilla, i expected more bourbon flavor.

m - not as thick as I expected but very drinkable

D - outstanding, I could drink a couple of these pretty easily.

I was disapoined as this beer is rated so highly and i find other of the same style to be much better. (415 characters)

Photo of ZAP
3.7/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

First off..big thanks to Big Hugey for hooking me up with this...

A-Looks the part....pours like motor with ruby notes...

S-i get a lot of java....bourbon is there too but in more of a boozy way...not noticing the notes I really enjoy which are oak and vanilla...decent enough aroma but doesn't blow me away..

T-Again a big doze of java and coffee beans...that is the dominant flavor...has almost a coffee liquor taste...the bourbon notes are harder to come by on the taste....definitely boozy...

M-Rich and creamy texture....big body....this is a big hitter and it is definitely NOT light in the shorts...

D-It's always tough reviewing these beers that are so highly rated as you can come into it expecting too much....I don't think that is the case here....I think this is a nice tasting imperial coffee stout with very subtle bourbon barrel aged qualities....very subtle...i wish they were more pronounced but there is no question this is a quality brew...I won't seek it out again though and overall this is overrated in my opinion (but not bad).. (1,067 characters)

Photo of KeefD
4.59/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from tasting notes:

Black with dark brown edges, dark creamed coffee head

Smell: Big coffee and alcohol notes, vanilla-laden, woody bourbon

Taste: Coffee, bourbon, dark chocolate, vanilla, buttery oak

MF: Thick, lightly creamy, strong alcohol warming

Alcohol is very present, very high ABV, warming, loved this beer and the strong bourbon character (360 characters)

Photo of Greggy
4.87/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a thick black color, rusty brown head w/ nice speckled lace.

S- Big buttery oakiness, huge butterscotch + bourbon + coffee

T- Huge buttery bourbon oakiness with delicious coffee, and huge maltiness. Great coffee+bourbon finish.

M- Nice smooth, low carbonation, excellent long coffee/bourbon finish.

D- VERY DRINKABLE! (332 characters)

Photo of Voonder
4.25/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours black in colour with very thin coffe&cream colour head which dissapeared almost immediately. Smell - dark chocolate, coffee, alcohol. Taste. Well, this is the first American Imperial Stout I liked. In fact I loved it. Pretty similar to the aroma, alcohol is more hidden, coffee stands out even more, Very complex, smooth, rich, very well balanced. Drinkability is very good for the style. Great beer, thanks a lot to Viggo for this one! (442 characters)

Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,750 ratings.