Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,807 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 2,807
Hads: 10,818
Avg: 4.56
pDev: 17.54%
Wants: 4,282
Gots: 5,091 | FT: 416
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 2,807 | Hads: 10,818
Photo of myatomicpolygon
4.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance- poured from a growler into my snifter black as night, thick, and oily with nice finger of mocha head that dissipates into a nice ring around the glass and leaves great lacing.

Smell- roasted coffee dominates with chocolate, booze, bourbon and oak undertones. wow! there is a lot going on here. when it warms the bourbon and vanilla flavors slowly become more pronounced.

Taste- bourbon comes through in the taste but is well balanced with the coffee and a sweet chocolate finish- lots of well balanced flavors...vanilla...bourbon is complimentary and lingers throughout.

Mouthfeel- thick creamy delicious perfect carbonation warming finish

Drinkability- off the charts for something this high in ABV. Very well balanced and easy to put down for a barrel aged stout.

 781 characters

Photo of turbine2475
4.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Goliath for the chance to try this beer:
A - Pours an opaque black with a perfect two finger mocha head that dissipated to a light film. Lacing was immaculate, completely coating the side of the glass and did not let go.

S - Brunt coffee, dark chocolates, sweet molasses, vanilla, and bourbon. Although the scent is super busy, it is really well balanced.

T - Heavy bourbon and burnt coffee. Subtle chocolates and molasses brings the flavor together.

M - Chewy mouthfeel with a low, but appropriate carbonation. Alcohol burn is present, but works to compliment the bourbon nature.

D - One of the best beers I have had. Good complexity and balance. Alcohol content makes it a little hard to have too many, but who cares.

 734 characters

Photo of denver10
4.85/5  rDev +6.4%

Pours black with a mocha head. Aroma offers some nice bourbon and oak, nice roast, chocolate, coffee, and some vanilla. Exactly what you would expect from the description of the beer and as good as you would expect it to be. Flavor follows suit. A medium bodied mouthfeel, not too active to allow the flavors to stick around in your mouth. Overall, an absolutely phenomenal beer. Exactly what I hoped it would be. Right up there with Big Bad Baptist for my favorite barrel aged coffee stout --> I'll take Big Bad Baptist when I want the emphasis to be on the coffee, I'll take KBS when I want the emphasis to be on the barrel. Either way, can't go wrong. This beer is elite.

 674 characters

Photo of J0E
4.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle dated 02/08/2010 : poured last night into a snifter at 58 degrees Fahrenheit.

A: Deep dark black. Looks like black coffee with the slightest brown ring when tilted and held to the light. Not much head to speak of, but still enough carbonation to create a little lacing on the edges.

S: Chocolate, Coffee, Vanilla, Oak and bourbon all swirling together. A subtle alcohol heat and sweet malts.

T: Bitter chocolate, with smooth vanilla and coffee undertones. A bit of a boubon burn, and some dark caramel.

M: Thick and syrupy. Pleasant carbonation. Perfect for just sipping.

O: With about a year and half on this one in the cellar, it is holding up quite well. Things seem to be leveling out a bit and finding a smoother balance. It's hard to think of improving on this. Just the best barrel-aged stout I've ever tasted.

 834 characters

Photo of sentomaster
4.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

on tap poured into a snifter

A- Black. Pitch black. Jet f*ckn black. Gorgeous mocha colored two finger head pops up. It's surprising to see a monster beer of this abv able to produce such an ample layer of foam.

S- freakin awesome. Served cold, probably about 48 degrees which leads to a much softer nose than what you get after it warms up- regardess, this is a huge beer with massive aromas. When cold, toasty malty and chocolate dominate. The bourbon is not obnoxious, rather it hides behind the HEFTY, thick, roasted malt and cocoa aromas that batter your nose.

T/M- This beer tastes as black as it looks. Unbelievably thick and malty. Malt flavors range from burnt toast to sticky fudge, with the former presenting itself as the beer warms. The first few quaffs may lead you to think the beer is a bit of a one trick pony. The bourbon is again in the background somewhat as the massive malt profile takes centerstage. Roasty dark chocolate, vanilla, and fudge flavors lather and coat your tongue in an epic, huge body that is rounded out by a silky oatmeal smoothness. In the finish the bourbon finally makes its full presence known. After it goes down a woody bourbon heat lingers ever so lightly, falling just short of being too pronounced- perfect.

As it warms the bourbon really comes out in all stages, and the coffee flavors and aromas appear beyond what was just an espresso like quality at first. A bit more astringency and burnt sugar also comes forth. There may even be a slight earthy and herbal hop presence but its almost impossible to tell underneath all this malt, coffee and bourbon.

O- This beer is really quite amazing, noticeably better on tap than I remember it being the half a dozen or so times I've had it out of the bottle- which I also thought fantastic. An epic concoction with copious amounts of malt. A no holds barred concoction that I would liken to a bag of dark chocolate, thrown into a bag of coffee, thrown into a bourbon barrel- but that would be only the beginning. The resultant mixture must be tasted- heaven in a glass.

 2,070 characters

Photo of stckhndlr
4.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Poured into a snifter and it looks amazing. Completely black with a 1 inch dark mocha tan head. Perhaps the darkest head I have ever seen.

S- Lots of chocolate. Roasted coffee and caramel behind it. The deeper I go it reminds me of chocolate syrup.

T- Lots of roasted chocolate and cream. The barrels really did the job on this one. I can really pick up the bourbon in there.

M- Super full body and really thick. Has a syrup feel to it. Wow this is thick. Silky smooth.

O- Absolutely perfect. Had to force myself to take this one slow and really just savor this one.

 575 characters

Photo of kkleu357
4.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Drove all the way to Grand Rapids to try some. Was able to come home with some bottles. Poured very heavy, giving a small tan head. Dark thick body. No light comes through. Smell is very minimal bourbon with lots of coffee. Some wood smell. Taste is coffee with more bourbon than the smell. Very good. One of the best beers I've had. Poured the beer somewhere around 55 degrees.

 378 characters

Photo of beer2day
4.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Jet black pour with 1-finger of possibly the darkest head I have seen on a glass of beer. Thin, thin sheen of bubbles leftover all the way to the last sip. Motor oil dark with no hint of anything else.

Nose is mocha, light vanilla, and deep bourbon. Underneath is a bit of bright, dried fruit. Getting more mocha and light roast malt, with coffee, as the glass warms.

Vanilla, dark roast coffee, a touch of mocha and cream, and a blast of bourbon define the taste. Lots of layers here. Excellent bitters in the finish and not the least bit harsh. Very smooth and creamy. Light fruit here, too, with a bit of cherry and very light citrus. Alcohol burn starts to kick in with the 3rd or 4th sip. Hard to get better than this.

Feel is very creamy, slight bit of fizz in the finish, and very smooth.

Overall, wow.

 815 characters

Photo of sdeese21
4.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This bad boy was on tap at Olive or Twist (Baton Rouge, LA) and was absolutely phenomenal. May not be worth searching far and wide for but definitely one of the best beers I've had.

 182 characters

Photo of witschen
4.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

People seem to love to hate on KBS but it's the smoothest easiest drinking big imperial stout on the market in my opinion. Flavors are all apparent but not overwhelming like other stouts in its class. I like the lack of dark fruit flavor vs BCBS. Perhaps less bourbon?

 268 characters

Photo of FATC1TY
4.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5


Managed a 4 pack this year. Haven't had it before, or remember having it to be honest. Didn't wait for it, did hunt it down, and hated the hype. Managed to get it for under $16 bucks for a 4-pack and was happy. Now....

A: Black. Dark coffee color, really creamy and thick looking. Like used oil perhaps. Good lacing, not much of a head with a good pour, but little mocha ring around the glass and nice tiny bubbles on the top.

S: Chocolate, bourbon, coffee, and a boozy fruit perhaps, but of the good old maple syrup.. Pretty inviting.

T: Bourbon. You really taste it, and it's smooth and not overpowered but enough to know the damn thing was aged in bourbon barrels. Really great chocolate, cocoa nib, roasted malts and coffee. Sweetness in there, rich cream. Great taste, you hate the hype until you taste it. Slight warming alcohol finish, but smooth is the key here.

M: Full body and chewy. Creamy and robust. Ultra smooth.

O: I friggin love it. I love stouts, I love higher ABV imperials. I love bourbon too. This beer is fantastic. I really wanted to not love it, the hype, the hard to find, the price gouging. This beer is flat out great. It's everything rolled into one and just works. I would bathe in it, and still drink it.

 1,248 characters

Photo of FatBoyGotSwagger
4.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The highly acclaimed, and for good reason.

I poured every last drop into a chalice
Appearance is very dark with a thin creamy brown head, which slowly turns into more darkness.
Smells good. Bourbon up front with some coffee and other good stuff blending in nicely. It smells kind of hot or boozy but this doesn't affect the taste.

Taste starts out with a very silky smooth chocolate followed by an orgy of sweet coffee and bourbon. Awesome. The sweetness lingers on the back of my tongue. Each sip lends more and more of the aforementioned tastes making this one easy to enjoy. The 11.2% alc lends a nice kick to boot.

Overall KBS is a superb example of what a bourbon barrel stout can be. This bottle is about 5 months old and I feel the flavors have mellowed a bit. I enjoyed the fresh bottles ever so slightly more. the bottles on date is smudged and I can only make out 02/../12. Either way the coffee and bourbon blend together to create a profile that everyone should try.

 981 characters

Photo of DovaliHops
4.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first KBS! Bottled in February 2010. Pours an extremely dark black. Even when light is brightly shown behind it, it remains pitch black. Poured aggressively to get over an inch of a very tan, almost brown, thick, frothy head. The smell is very lovely with so much complexity. It seems so well-balanced just by the aroma. Some mixtures of bourbon whiskey, dark chocolates, light coffee, and sweet sugars. The taste is just as complex and smooth as I was hoping for. When fresh, this beer blows a fresh BCBS out of the water IMO. Not too boozy whatsoever. The bourbon flavors are present, but not the slightest bit overwhelming. Some amazing chocolate, coffee, and vanilla notes as well. Amazing taste. The beer's mouthfeel is just as I expected...maybe even a little lighter. It is thick and a bit syrupy/oily, but EXTREMELY drinkable. Outstanding beer!

 855 characters

Photo of 0110x011
4.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours pitch black into a snifter. Thin, wispy tan head disappears faster than the stock market's value. Big coffee & bourbon on the nose. A quick swirl leaves a thin sheet on the sides of the glass, and allows notes of vanilla, chocolate, fig, and leather to appear. Coffee and bourbon dominate at cellar temp, but warming brings an incredible bouquet of flavors, with more chocolate, vanilla, and tobacco. Thick and full bodied, but not too syrupy or viscous. Silky smooth, this goes down incredibly easy, with only a light alcohol burn in the long finish.

Absolutely incredible. Nectar of the gods. Beer like this makes me happy I'm alive.

 643 characters

Photo of gregc
4.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter.
Pours an oil like black, leaving only a small amount of mocha colored head in the middle of the beer.
The smell is amazing...coffee, vanilla, bourbon, oak some chocolate and underlying alcohol...and my girlfriend smells old cigar smoke....
The taste is also great lots of coffee up front, with some vanilla and the bourbon coming through in the finish.
This is better than the founders breakfast stout, the bourbon barrels do so much in adding flavor to a beer.
Wonderful smooth, velvety mouth feel.
An amazing stout, its incredible.

 556 characters

Photo of BeerStine
4.85/5  rDev +6.4%
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 Speakeasy01
4.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the first beer I've ever taken the time to write about. It truely is quite an impressive brew.

I won't follow the format the I usually read ( although I like)

I will simply say that my morning coffee does not taste the same after I have tasted this beer. I now taste hints of KBS in my morning coffee and would like to replace with a KBS :-) Wow! Vinalla, Chocolate, Coffee, Bourbon mixed to sweet perfection.

If the opportunity allows you...it is worth the price and effort!

 486 characters

Photo of FanofHefe
4.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2011 version, bottled on 2/25/11. Poured into a Duvel tulip. Pitch black body with zero light penetration. Surprisingly (for such a high abv) it yields a one-finger dark mocha head that leaves just a little lacing on the glass.

The first aromas present are bourbon and chocolate. As I work my way down the glass, I get more of the roasted malt and just a touch of the coffee notes. Very well-blended scents that do not seem overly sweet or harsh. Very inviting.

The flavor is incredible. More coffee flavor comes through in the taste as compared to the aroma. None of the flavors are overbearing in the least. Bourbon, chocolate, and roasted malt combine with the coffee to a near perfection. It is sweet enough to be enjoyable. The slight bitterness seems attributable to the coffee more than hops, but it also has the exact right amount of bitterness.

The mouthfeel is medium and silky smooth. The alcohol is hidden very well by the abundant flavors. I saved a bottle from last year's release and am looking forward to a comparison. I'm certain this only gets better with age. Do your best to get this if you can. Highly recommended.

 1,139 characters

Photo of Kala1073
4.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Most of the times, high expectations are follwed by big disappointment, but not this time! What can I possibly say that has not been said about this incredibly delicious beer. From the first sip to the last gulp it was something special. I was hoping that this experience would not end.

From the motor oil look, to the intoxicating aroma of bourbon, deep dark chocolate and coffee, to the sinfully silky smooth mouthfeel that coats your mouth with a taste you won't soon forget, this beer is and was everything I had hoped for and more!

A BIG MAHALO goes out to finewinemike for the opportunity to try this!!!

 612 characters

Photo of IamMe90
4.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served in a gulden draak tulip, 2013 vintage.

Appearance - the weakest part of the beer, and it looks great! deep deep brown, bordering on black hue with present (but small) dark tan head - nice lacing! 4.25

Smell - Wow! what a strong smell. crazy bourbon and oak up front - toasty and boozy, then followed by vanilla, molasses and mocha. one of the more intense aromas I've gotten from a beer. 4.75/5

Taste - holy shit. this beer packs a mean punch! the bouron is pretty forward but not overpowering at all - the best components of bourbon, vanilla and toasty oak, are full force but there's no burn. after this there's coffee, vanilla and thick chocolate cake. all of the flavors meld beautifully to produce a wonderful, balanced taste. 5/5

Mouthfeel - i was expecting it to be thinner from the forum posts, but i actually think it's quite a nice level. it's not as thick as BCBS, but it's way thicker than CW BBS and while not perfect, it's quite and exemplary, silky feel. 4.5/5

Overall - Incredible. I was expecting to be let down, but it lived up to the hype completely! I feel the balance of bourbon with the other stout flavors is much more refined than with BCBS (a beer which i absolutely LOVE). The only thing BCBS has on this beer is the mouthfeel, but KBS wins in every other respect. Just incredible.

 1,320 characters

Photo of xav33
4.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Founder's Kentucky Breakfast Bourbon Aged Stout
12 oz bottle
Bottled 11/05, served with Wheaties 11/06
Medium pour in a large tulip glass.

Poured inky black with an average light brown somewhat lasting head.

Smelt of strong bourbon, dark coffee, toasted oak.

Flavor was upfront bitter charred oak, dark coffee, with light sweet bourbon and bitter sour vegetal soy bean taste, followed by a moderately bitter earth and dark chocolate sweetness on a long oaken finish. Palate was full bodied, creamy, softly carbonated, moderate astringency and alcohol warmth.

Overall, the explosion of flavors begs for another sip, and another bottle...

JesseDaniels is a beer pimp and is owed undying gratitude by me for sharing this little bundle of liquid charcoal joy.

 773 characters

Photo of ELS
4.86/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Acquired an aged 1-2 year old bottle from a trade.

A - Jet black with a thin head. Just what I expect from a good stout.

S - Bourbon, chocolate and a hint of vanilla. It smells great. Bourbon really sticks out but has a great alcohol smell.

T - Fantastic! The balance of bourbon, chocolate and coffee is perfect. The bourbon is not overpowering like other BA stouts I've had. It melds perfectly with the chocolate and finishes with a slight bitter hop bite which just works.

M - Perfect. So smooth, it coats the tongue and goes down so easy. Carbonation is just right for a stout, understated as not to get in the way of the flavors.

O - This is my new favorite stout. Definitely the best stout I've had in a a bottle. I'm ready to trade for some more KBS.

 761 characters

Photo of DaverCS
4.86/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Split between 2 people. Pours jet black with a small but lingering light-brown head.

Aroma is pure bourbon. I get some beautiful molasses and vanilla as well. I get coffee on the finish. However, the dominant aroma is the bourbon and the barrel characteristic.

This beer is exquisite and constantly changing. It's a perfect balance between sweet, smokey, and bitter. Dark chocolate and roasted coffee peaks through in the beginning. Each individual flavor surfaces for an instant before rejoining the others. The beer is not overly sweet, as it is cut by a slight bitterness in the finish. Plenty of barrel and tobacco smokiness in the middle of the sip. Pure bourbon and bitterness extend past the sip. A mild alcohol presence and heat is active as the beer warms.

Overall, this is a world class beer. My only disappointment with the beer is that it is a touch thin in the mouthfeel in comparison to the flavor. It is a bit of a mismatch. Don't consume this with anything. Sip it slowly and enjoy with a clean palate. It gets a 97/100.

 1,040 characters

Photo of DemoniChris
4.86/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2013 vintage poured from a bottle into a tulip.

A - Nice dark black pour as expected. Quite an impressive 2 finger khaki head that stays around longer than I thought.

S - Delectable scents of vanilla, bourbon, marshmallow, milk chocolate. toffee, molasses. Very distinct and inviting; incredible.

T - Much like the smell, but magnified much higher in the taste. Coffee, chocolate, vanilla, hints of dark fruits all come through while the bourbon becomes apparent the more this beer warms. Perfect.

M - Silky, oily heavy mouthfeel suits the beer, but perhaps still a tad too thin. Slightly bitter and fairly easy to drink, but a sipper.

O - This beer is definitely worth the hype! (Tastes better with age.)

 712 characters

Photo of Chuffbomb
4.86/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter

A - Black, with mocha colored head and lacing.

S - Aroma of chocolate, bourbon - subdued, coffee, mocha, caramel.

T - Absolutely amazing. chocolate shake flavors with coffee tones, not as much bourbon on the tongue, but still absolutely great.

M - Perfectly carbonated, overloads the tastebuds with every stout flavor I want. Perfection for a stout

O - This was my first of the "rare" top beers, and I couldn't have picked a better one to start out with. Absolutely love stouts, and this is one of the best without a doubt. Letting my others age and can't wait to taste them over the years!

 630 characters

Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,807 ratings.