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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2,752 Reviews
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Reviews: 2,752
Hads: 10,495
rAvg: 4.55
pDev: 4.18%
Wants: 4,160
Gots: 4,772 | 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: 2,752 | Hads: 10,495
Photo of MartzMimic
4.85/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours from the bottle thick and black with a half finger of dark mocha head. You can smell the bourbon at arm's length, but it's not as overwhelming nearer the nose. smells of warm, moist chocolate cake. It's like drinking dessert - rich chocolate, vanilla and warming. They didn't allow the bourbon to overpower the stout. Thick, creamy mouth. I've a new favorite barrel-aged stout. (383 characters)

Photo of geodonnokepyo
4.29/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Look - Pours black with a thick, frothy, and creamy light brown head. Nice lacing and retention.

Smell - Bourbon and vanilla are most prominate with some chocolate notes peeking through.

Taste - The bourbon flavors hit the palate first with coffee and chocolate flavor that linger behind.

Feel - Slight alcohol burn in the aftertaste but still masked well considering the high ABV. Super creamy and bit chewy and gritty.

Overall - Maybe a bit overhyped but this is a damn good beer. The mouth feel more than anything stands out to me most. Definitely willing to have again but not willing to search for it. (610 characters)

Photo of Czarkazm
4.64/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottled 3/21/13 which I had buried underground for exactly 2 years. Pours a mahogany brown color. Opaque in the glass with absolutely no light shining through. Dark tan head with lots of lacing. Surprisingly very coffee forward on the nose, even with two years on it. Rich milk chocolate, vanilla, sweet caramel, little bourbon character, with dark fruits starting to come through. Incredible, velvety smooth mouthfeel! Had a bottle of the 2015 recently which I was a little disappointed about and didn't review. Don't think this one lost much at all. Robust espresso and vanilla dominate the flavor, along with some burnt malts, oak, fresh cocoa, and molasses. The 2013 batch swept me off my feet when it was fresh, and I gotta say, my love is still strong with this one. (783 characters)

Photo of B967ierhunter177
4.78/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

Aroma is as complex as the flavor. Coffee, chocolate, bourbon, and a hint of smoke. Flavor evolves as it warms leading with milk chocolate, wood, coffee with cream, and bourbon. It's followed by smooth bourbon, dark chocolate, mild coffee, and vanilla. The pour is pitch black with a brown head and lacing. Mouthfeel is full and is surprisingly drinkable for 11.2% ABV. Highly recommended!! (390 characters)

Photo of KSOZE
4.72/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

One of my favorites of all time. Feel a little thin but everything else on point. Bourbon, coffee, chocolate, roasted malt goodness in aroma and flavor. (152 characters)

Photo of cl3
3.69/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Seriously underwhelmed by this beer. I had high hopes after hearing people sing its praises for so long. Too hot and boozy. Some age might help, but this did not live up to the hype. (183 characters)

Photo of chrisjws
4.25/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Billy's on Grand in St. Paul, MN. Served in a snifter.

A: Black. Next to no head. Clearly viscous, not quite of motor oil consistency though.
S: Dark chocolate. Dark fruits. Coffee. Little hint of whiskey & oak.
T: Lots of dark chocolate upfront. Some dark roast coffee flavors in the middle and finishes up with a bit of bourbon flavor.
M: A little thinner than I expected. Still a medium to large mouthfeel. Minimal carbonation. Coats your mouth.
O: Really good, but honestly did not live up to what I was expecting. There's other BBA beers I think are much better and not nearly as hard to find. Still, a very, very good beer and glad I got to try it. (665 characters)

Photo of NavyGoat
4.9/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

A friend gave me a bottle of KBS to try; oh boy, what a treat! This is an outstanding stout and the flavor was just superior! This was superb is all categories! I need to find more!! (185 characters)

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

The aroma is rich with dark fudgy chocolate and bourbon. Roast coffee and vanilla dance around the edges, adding depth, but for now the cocoa is stealing the show. The palate is so full and plush right off the bat, the coffee becomes more prominent before giving way to just the right amount of bourbon and another solid blow of the dark chocolate. Bitterness comes on late, more reminiscent of an 85% dark cacao bar than a beer- everything is just seamless and works so well together. Midway through the glass the bourbon and vanilla become inseparable as the bourbon takes an even more supporting role. In the end this is just smooth and delicious, extremely well put together, nothing more need be said. A+ (709 characters)

Photo of IvoryFoxhole
4.43/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle 2015 vintage into stout glass

L: Aggressive pour leads to 3 finger tan head with impressive retention, lots of sticky lacing, and cap. Very dark, almost black.

S: Coffee and malt up front, bourbon and vanilla in back.

T: Coffee predominates up front. Vanilla comes in, along with maybe some chocolate and anise. Not sweet up front, not too bitter in back. Can't taste the alcohol.

M: Surprisingly medium-bodied compared with expectations. Dry finish, but very little carbonation. Very well-balanced.

O: So this is my first KBS after a few years of trying to find a bottle. I came up with 5 in 2015 using an elaborate game plan. Is it great? Yes. Is it worth all the fuss? Honestly, no.

Glad I had one; I'm aging another for a couple of years, and I gave three away to friends. (795 characters)

Photo of snaotheus
4.51/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle split between a pair of snifters. Bottled on 02/11/2015.

Pours dark brown with little head that fades quickly. Not much carbonation. Smell is chocolate and bourbon. Slight licorice and roast. Slight smoke. Aroma is a little mild.

Taste is interesting. Sweet (but not syrupy), slightly boozy (but as a nice accent), just a hint of chocolate, just a hint of maple. This is delicious.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly light, and slightly gritty. It's a very good beer. (484 characters)

Photo of Griffin2
4.35/5  rDev -4.4%
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. (244 characters)

Photo of Scarfer_Brad
5/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Editing to add a review just had on draft.
pouts a nice just black with a little dark drown head. leaves a nice lacing.

smells of coffee, chocolate some bourbon. very pleasing.

taste is phenomenal. a little coffee, chocolate caramel a little trace of bourbon.

smooth as silk a little light but wow.

Ias much as i liked this in a bottle to have on draft is amazing. it is an orgasm in a glass. easily in my top 3 favorite beers (432 characters)

Photo of thebeers
4.1/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Dark root-beer black with small brown head. Very pronounced sweet bourbon aroma, with hints of cherry and chocolate. Not getting any coffee in the nose. Bourbon up front in the taste, but with nice chocolatey malts and some coffee flavors. A little vanilla. Fairly full-bodied. Smooth, aside from the whiskey bite. (320 characters)

Photo of Aurora83
4.91/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: As black as night with a thin Mocha head.

Aroma: Upfront is a big hit of oak followed by a bourbon tone that tails off into a coffee/chocolate blend.

Flavour: Full bodied with medium carbonation. Huge hit of bourbon followed by oak and a slight tone of vanilla. The tail of the flavour is dominated by milk chocolate and a coffee bitterness.

Glorious. (370 characters)

Photo of Bshaw22
4.68/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This beer really does live up to the hype. I had this version on tap 2015. Coffe was very present. Bourbon was there with oak and bite. Enough to hit your throat. Solid solid beer and worth searching out. (204 characters)

Photo of reds2harleys
4.83/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

One of the few beers that lived up to the hype. I rate CBS just slightly - and I mean slightly higher but this is an excellent beer as well. Founders rocks. (158 characters)

Photo of infinitebruner
3.99/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2015 Vintage

April 12, 2015

12 oz bottle, snifter

A – Deep black, pours moderately thick, not quite viscous. Milk chocolate brown, bubbly foam of a couple millimeters, with low retention. Some legs remain.

S – Cold-pressed coffee, dark chocolate, bitter roasted malts, some oaty-sweet aromas. Some fruit, herbal hop aroma far in the background.

T – Coffee and sweet milk chocolate, light fruity and earthy notes. A bit of vanilla. High roasty bitterness and hop bitterness, lingers through the finish, and is huge on the aftertaste.

M – Low carbonation, and medium-full bodied. Some sweetness up front, but very, very bitter.

O – A big, rich barrel-aged stout with a lot of complexity. Right now seems very bitter, but I believe it will mellow out and fine tune with additional aging.

Note: I have had this several times in the past, and enjoyed a much richer, fuller, more balanced beer. As I said, I'm hoping this one will improve, but it is inferior to previous editions right now. (1,012 characters)

Photo of BDub_1988
3.92/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Overall very good but the hype for is beer is a little overboard. Wish the bourbon-vanilla flavors would be a little stronger; The cocoa flavors dominate this beer. (165 characters)

Photo of byronic
3.61/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

On draft and poured into a snifter, looks delicious and smells inviting. There are hints of cocoa and a nice dark roast along with some heavy barrel presence. Unfortunately after the hype and the appealing pour the disappointment started settling in. The flavour definitely backs up the smell along with a few other notes such as vanilla; however the barrel aging and alcohol presence is at best overwhelming. There is no subtlety as this is very much brute force. It very much diminished the enjoyment of this brew. (516 characters)

Photo of MichaelNeelsen
4.19/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Drank off nitro tap in a pint glass. A PINT GLASS (which was a mistake, we were later told). Looks like Founders breakfast stout. Thick cappuccino head. Zero light penetration. A thinner beer than BCS or Abraxas. Not motor oil. Pours more like an Irish stout.

S: Chocolate covered espresso beans. Not too intense - I'd like to smell it more, but that could be my subjective lack of sense of smell.

T: Starts off like an Irish stout - little to nothing up front. After a second though, your mouth becomes an espresso shop. Wonderful, rich coffee taste. The finish is where the dark chocolate and vanilla make their stand. Beautiful aura, not the vanilla yogurt candy taste of BCS Vanilla Rye, more like a cloudy vanilla cutting through the coffee notes.

F: Nothing unique - it drinks like a high quality Founders breakfast stout (I drank off Nitro tap).

O: Doesnt deserve to be ranked above BCS as it is currently on BA's American Double Imperial Stout list, but if I forgive that transgression on the part of the critics, the beer is wonderful on its own merits. Really good, but don't kill yourself trying to find it - the rarity of this beer doesn't necessarily pay off in flavor. You can get much of the same flavors from Lakefront Brewing's Fuel Cafe. (1,262 characters)

Photo of RexBanner
4.56/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a snifter. Aromas of dark roast coffee and 70% cocoa. Thick and dark, like motor oil. Taste followed the nose very close with the exception that the chocolate was more pronounce and a slight syrupy vanilla taste was present . Alcoholic esters were present although very subtle for an 11.2% ABV brew. Finish was sharp.
Overall: Very nice stout. definitely a sipper. Too bad I was only able to get one bottle from my supplier. I'd rather have this than BCBS. Founders should think about making this more readily available to folks. Good stuff! (552 characters)

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

What sets this apart from BCBS is its breakfasty-ness. At first I was disappointed because it didn't match the sweetness of BCBS, but once my palate adjusted I really enjoyed it. Smoky, oaky... really cozy to drink in a big leather armchair. Definitely a classic. (263 characters)

Photo of hotpauko
4.59/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally got to have one and well worth the wait. Very nice strong coffee bourbon smell. A really smooth flavor and high ABV packed stout. The high ABV is present but nowhere near a presence you would expect of 11.2, just enough. The flavors other describe of coffee, chocolate and vanilla are superbly blended. The coffee flavor is most apparent, more of a smoky coffee flavor (note, I don't drink coffee) that hits the mouth in the front. Silky smooth mouthfeel, a tad heavy but not too much. Best I've had but looking forward to other future top tier coffee stouts for comparison. (582 characters)

Photo of ajm5108
4.59/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

The bourbon in KBS is probably the most well-blended of the seemingly endless parade of bourbon aged beers. Many of these end up too boozey & hot for my taste, but KBS doesn't punch you in the face with the bourbon. It is a creamy beer, heavy but smooth, not too thick or cloying. A good amount of roasted coffee upfront, a little oak with the vanilla & bourbon coming in as support, with the faintest bit of cherry cola. My personal favorite bourbon aged beer. (465 characters)

Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,752 ratings.