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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: 3,012 | Ratings: 11,712
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 TheBeerTruck
4.79/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2013 KBS - Opened a bottle on March 27th, the first day of this year's bottle release:

A - As always, a super dark oil black color with a nicely creamy light brown head.

S - Coffee and bourbon all over the top of it in a great way. Behind them, chocolate with hints of vanilla.

T - This beer ages great, but it's so nice to have it fresh again. The bourbon comes through in a way that just doesn't hang on with aging. It makes me wonder how much bourbon was still in the barrels when Founders put the beer in them.

M - The aroma and taste has lots of great boozy characteristics, but it's not hot in the mouth the way one might expect.

O - Amazing! I can't wait to slowly drink my bottles over the next year to experience the diversity time will give this beer's flavors.

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Photo of nrbw23
4.79/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours either a very dark brown or black. No head at all just a few tan bubbles.

S- Very rich and very deep. Expresso with hints of bourbon and chocolate, cream, lactose, brown sugar, caramel, bourbon is more powerful as the beer warms. Vanilla extract comes out near the finish. Smells really awesome.

T- Follows the nose really well and is very complex. Burnt coffee up front with a lot of roasted malt coming through. Dark bitter chocolate and a hint of bourbon.

M- Crisp and very smooth, medium to heavy body, light to medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D- Drinkability is very good. Everything about this brew is impressive. Highly recommended.

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Photo of SacoDeToro
4.79/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured a rich coal black with a small brown head.

The aroma was huge. It was bursting with roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, bourbon and vanilla. There was a little alcohol in the nose as well. No hops.

The flavor of the beer was richly malty with a ton of intense coffee and bittersweet chocolate. Vanilla was there to accent things. The bourbon flavor was very pronounced. I'm a big bourbon fan so this was a real treat for me. There was a nice creaminess to the beer and it also had some faint tangy notes. The hops were there to balance things out, but weren't too powerful.

The carbonation was perfect. I can't believe this beer is 10% - it's dangerously drinkable at that level. This beer is a superior example of complimentary flavors, most notably stout, chocolate, and coffee.

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Photo of epickup
4.79/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Finally got my hands on this after two years of trying and I was not disappointed.

I'm not an IPA pimp by any stretch & I don't like most rice adjunct crap from the mega breweries.

This case cost me right around $122.00 give or take some change but was split between several friends buying in. averaged out around $5 / bottle.

smell: Good lord in heaven can this be an aftershave?

taste: dark chocolate, coffee, something sweet I couldn't place, honey maybe, milk chocolate? Great notes from the bourbon cask.

first drink: not sure - my eyes rolled back in my head. The flavor was amazing, I wonder how this beer would do under Nitrogen, instead of CO2

second drink: able to taste the above flavors, a bit of euphoria, and I could feel the alcohol evaporating in my mouth. No lingering, nasty aftertaste.

end of bottle: small buzz, definitely slightly impaired.

halfway through second bottle: I feel like I've had about 9 Yeunglings in an hour, on my own buzz-rating.

I'd love to taste the difference from bottle to tap, but I get the feeling there really wouldn't be much of one.

damn glad I bought it, damn glad I drank it.

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Photo of ixodus
4.79/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: KBS pours jet black in color with a small mocha colored head that dissipates immediately leaving a few floating bubbles. Light does not penetrate the beer.

S: Strong hints of bourbon, vanilla, and coffee

T: This is most balanced bourbon oaked beer I have ever had. The first thing I taste is bourbon and vanilla followed by rich dark coffee . The flavors really compliment each other, nothing is overpowering. The aftertaste lingers for quite awhile.. I wish it lasted forever.

M: Very smooth and creamy with a medium body. Carbonation doesn't appear in the head but it's definitely there and perfect for the beer.


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Photo of DesolationAngel
4.79/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I went into my favorite country store to buy milk for my boys and walked out with a four pack of Double Dose and a single of KBS that the owner had hiding in his office for loyal customers.

Opened after work at my bar and shared with a bartender poured into snifters.
Looks like my trucks motor oil with 8k miles on it. Actually looks 'thick' as it hits the glass, with little head forming that disappears quickly

Smells of fresh ground coffee, good whiskey and chocolate.

Tastes as the smell suggests. Dark chocolate, dark roast coffee and a bit of warmth from the well integrated high abv. Just beautiful. Look over to the bartender and she cant believe beer can taste like this. Six months ago she only drank Mich Ultra. This is as advertised.

Mouth feel is thick and creamy like chocolate milk. Coats a bit without cloying.

This beers reputation is well deserved. $7 well spent. We get most of this brewery's product in NH but the stouts are an extreme rarity. Breakfast can't be sold in bottle due to its label depicting a minor and KBS is like Sasquatch or Cubs WS appearance.

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Photo of RJB66
4.79/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This is one outstanding flavored stout. I really enjoy the chocolate flavor. Super easy to drink even though this a is a 11% plus brew. I will seek out this beer in the future. I highly recommend this outstanding beer.

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Photo of drseamus
4.79/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was the second time I had had the KBS, both times on tap. The first time was the Extreme Beer Fest, so I could appreciate it more this time. I had remembered it being sweeter the first time but more chocolatey this time. At any rate, I was much more impressed this time. It was served in a goblet at the brewpub.

A: Jet black body with no head. Even when held to the candle at the table, no light penetrated.

S: The smells emanating from the glass were very strong and delicious. Right up front was a ton of chocolate followed by coffee, dark fruits (dates?), some smokiness and a bit of maple syrup. All in all, it kind of smelled like a burnt mocha, but in a good way if that's possible.

T: The taste is just like the aroma, very chocolaty with coffee and some burnt sugar flavors. The smoothness and creaminess are incredible for a beer of 10% alcohol. This is definitely one of my favorite beers, although I am partial to double stouts.

M: As I said before, the creaminess and smoothness are amazing although the beer is lighter in body than it would seem. Many of these high alcohol double stouts have the same quality of only medium body.

D: I wish I lived in Grand Rapids. Enough said.

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Photo of nilesschmidt
4.79/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

a - black, dark tan head that dissipates quickly

s - as good as it gets, coffee, chocolate and whisky all come thru well balanced

t - amazing, only reason its not a 5 is the whisky is a little hot, time will mellow and help this tremendously , i cant wait to try a 12 or 13

m - very solid, finishes light in comparison to other coffee stouts

o - one of my favorite beers all time, rich, smooth and delicious, fantastic beer, believe the hype!

edit: had this next to BCBCS 13 and KBS 14 was hands down a better coffee stout

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Photo of Ellis_the_Executive
4.79/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

4 bottles split up between 3 of my friends and I. Each bottle was poured into a snifter.

A: Black, coal black, poured with fingers worth of dark khaki head. Lacing is exceptional.

S: The nose on this beer is everything a person could ask for. Dark chocolate, fresh espresso, top-shelf bourbon, oak, hints of vanilla and malt just take your breath away. The balance on the nose is fantastic, as well, not one scent dominates the rest.

T: This beer is ridiculously rich. The chocolate and coffee notes come through first and absolutely fill your mouth before the bourbon, vanilla, and oak characters come through and wash it away. This beer warms your body the whole way down. It also gets better as it warms. The chocolate and coffee notes mellow out and the beer becomes far more balanced as it gets warmer.

M: Thick. Life drinking alcoholic mocha. Creamy, full, and smooth.

O: This is the best bourbon barrel her I've ever had. The rich coffee and bourbon notes linger with you and it absolutely gives you something to remember. Founder's has absolutely killed it with this beer.

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Photo of tlazaroff
4.79/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Oh my lord! I smell debittered coffee, vanilla, slight oak, chocolate, raisin, ripe plums, molasses, and brown sugar. This has quite the enticing bouquet!

First thing I noticed is that the lacing is better than expected for such a high ABV beer. It's minimal, don't get me wrong, but its better than I expected. The solid brown head dissipated quickly into the black abyss which is KBS. No light getting through this one at all.

Oh my god! I'm turning into a religious person, apparently. The beer starts sweet. Its sweet like brown sugar, molasses, and vanilla. Hints of other flavors come through on the mid-palate like the coffee. I also get a grain-like taste that is akin to cheerios. The finish is chocolate, vanilla, and coffee with a slight taste of alcohol.

Full bodied with medium carbonation. It has a nice viscous thick feel to it, while being silky smooth too. Very little alcohol burn on the sweet finish, and would pair great with a nice bold cigar or desert.

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Photo of SavvyStudent
4.79/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: pitch black and very thick like syrup. Little lacing
S: a predominating bitter chocolate, cherry sweetness, and molasses. Not as potent as I would have hoped with all of the hype.
T: a unique dry bourbon flavor behind a bitter chocolate. Well balanced and focused in those two notes for me.
M: heavy with little carbonation
O: an amazing well balanced beer but not up to the hours finding and extreme hype. Worth a try but have enjoyed other BB Stouts that surpass this. Hopefully it will aeg well.

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Photo of southside
4.79/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I love this beer so much I can't stop drinking the homebrew clone that tastes exactly like it. It's so well balanced, it is well worth the hype. The bourbon aroma and notes add such a great complexity, but are so well hidden that the ABV is quite surprising to be so high. Can't imagine how good this would be if you let it sit for 6 months or so. The body is nice and thin which pairs well with the taste. This is worth the effort to find a bottle even though it's becoming near impossible.

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

A beastly stout. Very strong. Appearance is blackish brown. Mouthfeel is boozy and thick. Smell is a sign of things to come.. Taste is coffee, smoke and whisky. Get it if you can

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Photo of newk340
4.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

allowed to warm for 15 mins following refrigeration before being served into a new belgium goblets and shared with hu5om:

A: very dark beer, nearly opaque when held to the light with a quickly dissipating head.

S: very distinct bourbon smell, slightly stings the nasal passage while leaving a lingering heat, overpowers any coffee or chocolate smell that may be present.

T: initial bourbon explosion with a nice segue into a smooth coffee middle and an oaky chocolate aftertaste.

M: slightly milky and smooth all the way down the throat.

D: a premium breakfast stout, very delicious, would definitely try again!

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Photo of williamjbauer
4.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Shared with good buddy Eric before going back to the grind at work. Bottled served in two pilsner glasses, refrigerated and allowed to warm to room temperature.

A - Black with a ruby tint with a huge 3 finger dark brown fluffy head with excellent retention and great sticky lacing all around our glasses.

S - Warming bourbon notes, chocolate, coffee, flaked oats, oak wood notes, dried fruits. The perfect blend of stout and bourbon aromas.

T - This is one hell of a sipping beer. Really does embody the character of a bourbon while still fully hitting the great chocolate, coffee, espresso bean, vanilla, malt, and a touch of flakes oats that you expect in a stellar imperial stout. The balance is truly refined and my brain bounces quickly from the bourbon flavors back to stout notes, but these are blended masterfully and the alcohol is very much present, but draws out the other flavors rather than inhibit.

M - Very warming booze with a full body and low carbonation. Chewy.

O - One of my favorite beers of one of my favorite styles. This really did live up to the hype and I can't wait to get my hands on another. Next time it will be drank on Christmas eve by the fireplace with dreams of sugar plums and bourbon casks in my head.

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4.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle into tulip. 2011 release.
A: The vibrant, black body is deep and very dark, even held to the light this beer looks like a beast. The tan head resembles the color of the bottles label. The head formation pours a one finger thick froth. The retention falls quick, but is adequate for style. Lacing is minimal, but small amounts are left on the glass.

S: The aroma shows wonderful elements of all ingredients. The chocolate comes off strong, with a nice mellow note of coffee. The oak bourbon is present, but not overpowering. A medium to high intensity aroma, but again not tacky and overpowering. The aroma project a very smooth beer, by a well rounded, complex aroma.

T/M: The front of this brew shows a smooth, robust chocolate and coffee battle, the creamy body is second to none. Bourbon flavors a very subtle, as not to shadow any of the other complexities. An oatmeal mouthfeel texture builds the foundation for this big stout. The malt sweetness is very nice and helps to hide the high ABV. I find the coffee and chocolate notes to be at the fore front and would see how this beer is respectable fresh as well as a great one for aging.

O/D: This is a very drinkable high gravity stout, with great flavors and smooth body I could drink a couple of these. Seeing as it is "highly acclaimed" and treated like gold, I can see why now. Great brew.

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Photo of icculus304
4.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz. bottle from Beer Baron - Livonia (bought it in March 2010). Snifter. Pours deep black with very little head. Nose of vanilla, coffee and alcohol/bourbon barrel. Very balanced taste. Smooth and creamy mouth-feel with a nice bourbon finish. Great beer!

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Photo of alleykatking
4.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Split a bottle with my roommate tonight. His first time and I think he hated it. Doesn't like stouts though.

A- Poured into a pint glass. Quater inch head that slowly went away after a short while leading to a nice lacing around the sides of the glass. Pours pitch black very much like motor oil.
S- Smells of burnt coffee and bourbon undertones. Also, a strong soy sauce smell which kind of makes my mouth water for some reason.
T- Hints of bourbon and oak. Big stout taste which the roasted malts come through and the coffee taste with this one. Little chocolate taste that lingers after it goes down.
M- Heavy! Coats the tounge nicely in a bourbon coffee overload. Little bit more chewy than most stouts I had.
D- This is a beer that I can enjoy when I'm looking for something different than what I have been drinking.

All in all Founder's never ceases to amaze me with their beers. My roommate on the other hand never ceases to amaze me with his chugging skills when he doesn't like a beer.

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Photo of dfclav
4.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Decided to open this up today, on my birthday - my first one ever.

Poured into a snifter.

A - totally jet black, I hold every stout up to a light test and most of the time in my snifter I will see some shade of brown or red. Not in this baby. Pours a 1 1/2 finger head with nice cascade and nice lacing.

S - Simply fantastic. Big bold coffees shine here with a nice background of bourbon and roasted malts. Chocolate notes and a slight bit of vanilla extract beside the bourbon.

T - Coffee, chocolate, and bourbon. The coffee isn't as prominent in this beer as in Founders Breakfast Stout, but it is replaced by a very well integrated bourbon character. As it warms molasses and a bit of burnt sugar stand out more. Roasted malts and a very subtle hop note on the finish.

M - Founders just has the mouthfeel category down to a science in all of their beers. I really don't think a single brewery in the world can match them. This is just unbelievably smooth for such a high ABV, flavor heavy beer it is stunning.

D - this beer is over 11% ABV and it just seems to evaporate in my glass i'm drinking it so quickly. Fantastic job of hiding the alcohol. This beer is worth buying a case at whatever the cost, because if you have one you won't want to stop at that. Wow...

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Photo of sugarbrew
4.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2010 vintage, poured from a 12oz into a nonic imperial pint glass.

A- Oily, impenetrable black pour with some understated lacing. A thin, creamy caramel head lingers densely around the edge of the glass.

S- Bitter chocolate, cracked, dark roast coffee and smoky hickory wood. A powerful and outstanding smell deserved of a brandy snifter.

T- Triumphant. Dark chocolate, espresso, vanilla bean and bourbon notes rise like an Italian aria. Deeply kilned and roasted malt are overwhelming, resonant and thunderous, with carefully balanced adjuncts lingering in the finish. I hate to jump on the bandwagon and proclaim this to be the finest imperial stout I've ever tasted, but I have no reason to lie to you.

M- Can the body get any fuller? This beer coats the tongue richly, like chocolate pudding. A splash of CO2 complements its charred-chocolate character, but a nitro tap would improve its consistency to the point of perfection.

D- So bold that I can't call it sessionable. This beer is a meal, one so satisfying that another plate would just be decadent. Drink this like a fine liquor, or digestif, perfect for after dinner. I wish Michael Jackson (the beer critic) could have lived to try this.

On this St. Patricks' day, I am proud to be from Michigan. This is stout ale. This is real American beer.

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Photo of sugarman71
4.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I stumbled on this by losing a bet...and now I cannot get enough of this. I don't know what it is ... the bourbon taste? the smoothness of the entire pour? It is something spacial! Definitely one of my favorites and I would recommend this to anyone who wants a different tasting stout.

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Photo of biga7346
4.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5


A - Pours deep mahogany, flat, black and dense; pours flat with a slight lift of chocolate-colored foam.

N - Whiskey, oak and cream, strong notes of vanilla bean, cocoa, burnt toast, boozy; very bready backbone like biscuit, reminds me of a chocolate brownie. Suggestions of dark, sugary fruits like fig, raisins, glazed fruit and even candy corn.

T/M - Chocolate brownie, biscotti, quite fudgey, chocolate chips, vanilla bean, coffee and cream all set against a chewy, dense mouthfeel; balanced for a BBA imperial stout - it has just the perfect touch of bourbon whiskey and charred oak in the finish.

D - World class, alcohol is tucked away nicely.

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Photo of endincolorado
4.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Presented in one of Founders' signature short, brown bottles with a very cool label featuring a yellowed-parchment look and western-style font.

Pours thick and black as sin, with a very dark tan head that rises a moment after the pour and settles slowly after into the viscous fluid beneath. When this beer is sloshed around it moves slowly and with a purpose. Great dark sheets of lace cling all around the sides of my snifter.

The aroma is sweet and woody with dark fruit and black coffee. The hint of bourbon in the nose takes me back to touring the inside of Maker's Mark distillery near Bardstown in Kentucky and the annual Bourbon Festival for which I make the trip down.

The flavor of this beer cannot be topped. The rich and full, syrupy texture delivers sweet roastiness, smoke, wood, a healthy booziness, fruit, coffee, and chocolate, all in a perfectly harmonious medley.

I could drink this until my vision blurs and the world goes dark around me. Realistically, one ought not to do this, and the price tag would prevent any frugal man from indulging in more than one per sitting. If I had to choose my last meal this beer would help wash it down.

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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 3,012 ratings.