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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)

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2,777 Reviews
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Reviews: 2,777
Hads: 10,605
rAvg: 4.55
pDev: 8.35%
Wants: 4,191
Gots: 4,908 | FT: 396
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: 2,777 | Hads: 10,605
Photo of xav33
4.85/5  rDev +6.6%
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 +6.8%
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 DemoniChris
4.86/5  rDev +6.8%
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 +6.8%
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)

Photo of tito42
4.86/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Served on-tap in a snifter at Waldo Pizza on 4/5/2013.

A: Thick and very dark brown with just a hint of cherry color.

S: Bourbon barrels, coffee, chocolate, vanilla. Wonderful.

T: Amazing blend of coffee, cocoa nibs, roasted malt, and bourbon-aged oak.

M: Very full bodied and smooth. Leaves a warm bourbon sensation in the throat without the bite of booze.

O: Just about as perfect as I can imagine a beer being. Glad I finally had a chance to try it. (458 characters)

Photo of strangebrew52
4.87/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black with thin tan head that fades quickly but leaves lacing around the glass.
Smells of chocolate, coffee, booze and a hint of vanilla.
Tastes is much like the smell, chocolate and coffee first and then a nice bourbon flavor at the end.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, silky smooth and has a nice tingle of alcohol as it goes down.
Excellent sipper and on fantastic beer overall. You can't have more than one in a sitting but it's one you'll definitely go back to (471 characters)

Photo of Brenden
4.87/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5


KBS is black with that "motor oil" viscosity present in such a big stout. The brown head is surprising; it's not huge, but it's actually pretty large. It's also thick, creamy, dense and a bit craggy, and it's got some stick to it, making itself known by way of heavy patching in good quantities.
The nose is big. The nose is robust. The nose is massively malty. A huge blending of powdered, creamy milk, and bittersweet chocolate, cold-brewed coffee, roast, barley, vanilla, and oak, with expressive but not overpoweringly boozy bourbon make for what had to be exactly what this beer was going for. The bourbon, in fact, doesn't show off just ethanol; it's the good stuff, and it's the right level for this beer. Perfect.
This stuff is stupidly complex, big rich, and delicious. Everything from the nose is here, from milky and bittersweet chocolate to fresh coffee to wood to vanilla to bourbon, along with something like a hint of cherry. Then, as if it's not enough, there's even a dose of hops; and the hops still let the malts dominate. Roast gives way to the slightest bit of char. it's just so close to perfect...I almost wonder if just the faintest hint more bourbon would do it.
Big, thick, rich, robust, creamy to the point of being like the even smoother love child of velvet and silk, this is everything you want when an imperial stout is making love to your mouth. Somehow it's this big, this viscous and hearty, without being overly filling. I wouldn't have thought it possible.

Jump on the hype train, because there's a reason it left the station. (1,574 characters)

Photo of Dubbledown
4.87/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a Guinness pint glass. Color black, 1-1/2 inch head; chocolatey beige. The smell is overwhelmingly complex -- strong alcohol, molasses, whiskey, coffee, chocolate, burnt sugar and much more. Mouthfeel big and oily -- pancake and syrup explosion in your mouth. It really is a Kentucky Breakfast Stout. First swallow sits in the pit of the stomach like a shot of bourbon. This is a very serious beer. It delivers a warming effect; more intense and, for me, more pleasant than even the best winter warmer. Not a totally unique brew, since Uncle Backwoods Bastard lives right up the holler, but still gets my highest recommendation.

Grade A+ Purchased at Stoney's -- $5.99 each (687 characters)

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

Got a couple of these in various trades.

As I start to pour it I am shocked at how black it is. One if the darkest brews I have seen. No head at all so I pour slightly harder and still nothing.

Smell is amazing. Straight strong burbon and bitter chocolate with alot of charred wood. It smells amazing.

Wow. Awesome taste. Tastes just as it smells. The oak woody flavour is strong with the chocolate and burbon as well. Some vanilla notes as well. You can barely taste the alcohol but after a few sips it warms you chest up alot.

Mouthfeel is great. Smooth and crisp at the end with the wood dominating.

This beer is intense and I can finish a whole one for sure but another right after? I think not... (706 characters)

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

2010 KBS poured into a snifter.

A: Pours out slightly thicker than expected, but a nice light carbonation and 1/2 a finger of head finish the pour.

S: Good strong coffee and malt with chocolate and just the slightest bourbon.

T: Coffee and chocolate right away with a nice malty aftertaste and bourbon finish.

M: Creamy and very smooth. The carbonation is present, but blended with the thickness.

D: Delicious. I actually finished this one and considered opening another, but it ended up being just enough for the night.

Cheers! (535 characters)

Photo of BarBEERian
4.87/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pouring the darkest and heavenliest of all jet blacks that I've ever seen, the Kentucky Breakfast Stout had a thick and dark cream head perched atop the beautiful libation. The smell was unbeatable with a dense aroma of seductive bourbon and dreamy cream. The layers of flavor just in the scent were already enough to make me want this beer on my deathbed.

The taste took multiple sips to even begin to separate all the complex and intriguing flavors that radiated throughout. An initial blast of thick cream, toffee, and burnt brown sugar kicks you in the mouth as a whirlwind of dull-sweet chocolate malt and toasted semi-sweet chocolate dances haphazardly on the tongue. The bitterness up front is well-performed and the booze never becomes overbearing or a note worth forgetting. The bourbon, though, is the outstanding element in this beer. The bourbon flavor arrives early to the party, hangs out strong all night, and doesn't leave until the last cigarette is consumed and the last partier is ready for bed. But he never gets obnoxious or annoying; he's the one you never want to go. The only drawback you can even begin to have with this beer is the density and the complexity-it's almost too much at times. Oddly enough, as the beer warmed, I began to like it a little bit less. This really is one to have slightly chilled to catch every last highlight. (1,364 characters)

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

Let me start off by saying, "Holy Hell" this is one amazing beer! Pours a dark, viscous, dark brown color with minimal head. Smell is of roasted stout with the perfect amount of bourbon aging. I’ve had a lot of bourbon aged beers and this is the only one that has hit the blend perfectly. Taste is incredible. A very good underlying stout that features very good coffee/cocoa flavoring, again with the perfect blend of bourbon aging. It’s nice to finally experience a beer that is more than worthy of the hype. (512 characters)

Photo of julian89
4.87/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

So yeah, I went to Brick Store Pub's annual breakfast before work and had KBS 2010, CBS 2010, and Blushing monk to make an awesome 8-10 oz per cup beer flight, all on draft. Yes It was a great start to my work day. I had the CBS from bottle last year, from what I remember it's just as fantastic.

Appearance: Pours a viscous-looking black body with a small, short-lived tan head. It's viscosity is similar to a light molasses.

Smell: Heavy aroma hits with strong notes of smokey roasted malt, brown sugar, vanilla, fine pipe tobacco, dark chocolate charred wood, and smooth bourbon all blended well.

Taste: Oh... my.. god... these three beers were my breakfast and all I needed. The smooth mix and booming taste of roasted malts, dark chocolate, and strong vanilla-flavored coffee hit me on the start. Distinct, yet subtle bourbon flavor with tastes of smokey wood and dark brown sugar. Sweetish bourbon, roasty taste on the mild alcohol warming finish.

Mouthfeel: Full body and mild carbonation. Oh so smooth.

Drinkability: If I had to trade breakfast for liquid for the rest of my life, all I would drink are Founders KBS, CBS, and regular breakfast stout. Such a smooth well mixed beer. (1,196 characters)

Photo of zdk9
4.87/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Quite an incredible beer, as expected.

A- Pours out syrupy and black as night. Almost no head or lacing though, which lost some points in my book, despite the beautiful color.

S- Probably the best nose of a beer I've tasted. It's so complex and pungent that I wouldn't mind just smelling the beer without a taste. It contains all the notes of the taste which I rarely observe. Dark chocolate, fresh roasted coffee beans, oak, bourbon, cream.

T- Taste is just the same. Strong dark chocolate and coffee bean surrounded with a halo of bourbon notes to add complexity and balance. There is the slightest hint of blueberries and currants. Pretty bitter, which I think might even be a good thing in this case, as it's easy to get overly sweet with an oaked beer.

M- Could be a little creamier, but besides that no complants here. The beer does a good job of coaxing your mouth into wanting more, without being too assertive with the bitterness.

D- Absolutly delicious to smell and taste. The bourbon aspects do bring out the alcohol instead of masking it, but I wish I had more than one bottle to savor. (1,104 characters)

Photo of rebis1bear
4.87/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I was worried about this beer due to the hype. Then all I heard about was the price. thankfully I am in a state that this is avaiable in and at 17.99 a 4pk, I was alittle worried.

But it was just as good as everyone says.

It poured out nice and thick with almost no head. Smells great, with a coffee chocolate smell. Upon tasting, I get a rich coffe taste up front with slight chocolate hints but the longer it lingers I got a bourbon woody taste (slight cherry flavor?). I more I drank the more I picked but the backround bourbon flavoring.

Over all, it was great and well worth the price (593 characters)

Photo of kmo1030
4.87/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

black as night with no head other than a thin tan ring around the edge.
the aroma contains big time burnt coffee/espresso. it's also got components of baking chocolate, vanilla, caramel, bourbon, molasses and a hint of black licorice.
the taste is awesomely rich and luxurious. creamy espresso, with bitter chocolate, vanilla, and caramel drizzle. bourbon behind that and in the aftertaste. it's got a charred oaky character that just completely puts this over the top. fantastic.
the mouth feel is very full and smooth as hell... like butter. active, but delicate carbonation.
drinkability isn't perfect, booze and magnitude of flavor contribute to that, but it's pretty near perfect.
this beer is amazing, period. it sets a benchmark for the very deffinition of barrel aged double stout. well worth the price in my opinion. i'm a bit of a beer slut, but i would keep this in my fridge at all times if i could. (916 characters)

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

2009 version poured into a snifter.

A- Jet black with about two fingers of creamy dark brown head. Excellent lacing and head retention throughout the entire session.

S- Aromas of coffee and chocolate rush into my nose followed by strong notes of bourbon. This beer would smell exactly like coffee if it weren't for the bourbon.

T- Definite notes of bourbon, chocolate and coffee. The alcohol warms the chest nicely, however, it never seems to overpower the beer.

M- Velvety smooth and extremely viscous. One of the thickest beers I've drank. Moderate amounts of carbonation.

D- This beer makes me want to keep drinking more and more but it is definitely a sipper and the high ABV (and price) would make it hard to have more than one in a night. (749 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 Shaggy9356
4.87/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Grabbed this four pack at Blanchards in Allston. Been looking forward to trying for a long long while. Pours black as night with a golden brown head that quickly fades into the darkness of this beer. Smells of baking chocolate and vanilla rising upward.

First taste is of vanilla giving way to a dry chocolate and hickory barrel before the alcohol hits. Amazingly complex beer. Ends with a bourbony finsh that hangs around in the back of the throat till the next sip. This is a great beer Founders had brewed up. Gonna cellar this for a year to see if the alcohol notes (10%) settle down a bit. One of the best, most unique beers I've had to date. (650 characters)

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

12 oz bottle poured into a Corsendonk chalice.

A: Pitch black with a small (~1/4 in.) dark brown head, which dissipates quickly with minimal lacing.

S: Huge burst of almost burnt coffee, like a fresh ristretto espresson shot, slightly smoky, hints of vanilla and cocoa.

T: Surprisingly little coffee up front, more molasses, chocolate, and vanilla/oak/bourbon, with the coffee and vanilla becoming more prominent as it traverses the palate. An intriguing little dash of hop bitterness hits the tip of my tongue just as I swallow and fades instantly, leaving the coffee, vanilla, and cocoa to duke it out for dominance on the finish.

M: Heavy, viscous, nearly oily, coats the mouth and lingers.

D: Virtually zero alcohol heat despite it's abv, but perhaps just a tad too much coffee - I could easily have too many of these without realizing it if I didn't know better. (886 characters)

Photo of dave1822
4.87/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wow! This beer is incredible. I had this beer out a bottle and poured it into a normal pint glass. The color and head were exceptional. A rich dark brown head that was the perfect size. The smell was like a cup of freshly brewed coffee with a slight campfire edge.

This beer is a huge beer and may take some getting used to for some but is one of the best beers I've ever drank. (380 characters)

Photo of DNICE555
4.87/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Acquired 2 bottles from table and vine at a hefty price of 8 dollars a bottle. 12oz 2010 KBS.

A - Oil spill black body with a brown head that really has come balls to it.

S - Bourbon, chocolate, coffee, maple syrup, vanilla... wow. Every component stands on it's own and really invigorates the senses.

T - Coffee and bourbon up front. A maple syrup chocolate vanilla finish. I grouped them together but each flavor really stand out just like in the smell. When rating some stouts I am not exactly sure about certain flavors I'm getting. With these stout each component is so pronounced and exciting.

M - Thick full body. So smooth and creamy. I could sip on this and let it swirl around my palate all day. The alcohol is completely hidden.

D - I split this one with soupedup and put mine in a tulip. I went back and fourth on it - smell, sniff, smell sniff, ect. I tried to make it last but had a hard time doing so.

No hype here. This is an amazing stout. My new favorite in fact. Too bad I have to cellar my last one for another year before I can have it. (1,068 characters)

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

Pours a deep next to black color, opaque. Half an inch of a caramel colored head falls to a ring with some lacing.

Smells like bourbon and cola. There are some hints of chocolate, caramel, toasted marshmallows, and vanilla, but the bourbon is the main think I pick up.

The first thing I taste is a pleasant, mellow bourbon flavor. Oak, smoke, vanilla, leather. This would be excellent with a cigar.

Medium body, full flavor, light carbonation, not too dry, warming. Very pleasant bourbon aftertaste.

Highly sip-able. Very smooth and pleasant. Everything works well together.

I love bourbon and I love beer, this is Heaven!

Edit: 12.23.10...This beer was better fresh; it does not age well...IMO

Edit: 3.16.11...This beer is definitely better fresh. I just did a vertical with this years, and last years. The fresh KBS is much smoother, and has better balance than the year old bottle. (891 characters)

Photo of eatabagofbooger
4.87/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz bottle to a snifter.

A: Pours a thick black with a touch of mahogany at the edges if you hold it up to light. Actually a lot like black coffee in color. Decent sized light coffee colored head and nice lacing.

S: Bourbon, vanilla, dark chocolate, coffee, bourbon, licorice, molasses, and bourbon. Decadent and beautiful.

T: at first, bourbon and coffee dominate (surprising, as coffee was less prominent thane vanilla and chocolate in the nose). Molasses and licorice take a back seat. Bitter dark chocolate seems subdued at first, but is prominent in the finish. Tobacco smoke
Is noticeable as well. As the beer warms, chocolate becomes more pronounced, but still takes a backseat to bourbon and coffee. Faint hints if cherries come through as the beer warms as well. Floral hops are present, but very subdued-you've got to pay attention to notice them. I love malty beers that are more bitter than sweet-that is to say, bitter in the sense of dark chocolate, molasses, and coffee as opposed to a hoppy bitter. This beer definitely fits the bill, as it comes across as slightly more bitter than sweet, although the bourbon provides a nice sweet balance. I should also point out that the beer gets better as it warms, to a point where it encouraged me to increase the already high score I had given for this category. Quite a while after finishing this one, my tongue thinks I just finished eating a fine bar of dark chocolate.

M: If this beer has a weak spot, this is it. It's full bodied, but not quite as thick as I expect from a world class impy stout. Still, it leaves a nice coating on the tongue and has just the right amount of carbonation.

D: Definitely a sipper. Yet I find it difficult to hold back and just sip and savor it, it's so delicious. Kudos to Founders for putting this in a 12oz-a bomber would be too much. Very happy to have a few if these, as I'm excited to see what some more age does for this beer. (1,947 characters)

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

Had this on tap at the brewpub a few weeks ago for the first time. Then was very surprised to find a single at my local store... had to pick it up in spite of the high price tag. At the brewpub it made a HUGE impression on me, and I thought might be my favorite beer of all time, so I had to make sure it was legit.

A - pours heavy black (into Duvel tulip) with very little to no head. Small carbonation ring around the outside which leaves some decent lacing on the glass.

S - This smells like heaven. Chocolate, bourbon, coffee, roasty malts, deliciousness, vanilla, and did I mention bourbon?

T - The taste is just as good as the smell. Coffee and chocolate up front, bourbon vanilla, then a touch of bitterness on the finish. This is a very high quality beverage. Some slight booziness as it goes down. Definitely warming my insides, but nothing too crazy. Very well hidden 11.2%.

M - Founders has their stuff together when making stouts, similar mouthfeel to their regular BS, and imperial. Maybe a little silkier, but very similar. Super smooth.

D - Definitely one of the more drinkable big stouts around. I could easily put away 2 or 3 of these if they weren't so rare and expensive. I'm going to be sad when I reach the bottom of the glass...

Overall this is an awesome beer, and if you find it somewhere, DO NOT pass it up. Pay the high price tag, it is worth it. (1,379 characters)

Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,777 ratings.