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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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2,775 Reviews
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Reviews: 2,775
Hads: 10,592
rAvg: 4.55
pDev: 4.18%
Wants: 4,180
Gots: 4,887 | FT: 393
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: 2,775 | Hads: 10,592
Photo of BrewsforBreakfast
4.92/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Another beer that had me worried about the hype. It lived up to it, as did Heady.

A- brownish blackish black. Coffee head that got to about 1 finger with an aggressive pour then calmed down quickly.

S- bourbon, chocolate, coffee, sweet. So much complexity. There were so many flavors it was hard to pull them all out.

T- Rich, sweet, smooth, tiny alcohol burn that I hoped for. Too easy to drink. Left me wanting a second one. Tasted bourbon, coffee, vanilla.

M- nailed the consistency. Velvet. Creamy. Not oily. Not overly thick. Just what I hoped for. Carbonation balances the beverage but is hardly noticeable past that.

O- I just said to my wife "I was really looking forward to this one, but I would rather sit on these last few than drink them on anything other than a special night." This beer shocked me. Best stout I've had. Phenomenal. (855 characters)

Photo of saintwarrick
4.92/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This brew pours black as night, damn near opaque, with a slow forming dark tan head that laces the glass like an IPA. Aroma is at first a strong roasted coffee, like a Starbucks in the morning; but that gives way to a more powerful chocolate flavor, bitter and dark like a Russian chocolate bar, also lots of sweetness there, malty like cocoa malt and caramel, some faint hints of vanilla. Taste is thick and meaty, espresso and burnt hot cocoa dominate, nice bit or warming alcohol there that lets you know this is a big brew not to be trifled with. Aftertaste has some of the bourbon characteristics, very woody.

This is a very complex brew, as any RIS, eisbock or barley wine could be. A brilliant beer that must be experienced. (732 characters)

Photo of larryi86
4.92/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to buffs9 for this one
12 oz bottle poured into a snifter

A- Pitch black with a small dark tan head

S- Roasted coffee, chocolate, oak, bourbon, vanilla. Very rich and complex.

T- Just as complex as the smell. Nice chocolate flavor in the middle, roasted coffee and oak up front. The bourbon in the finish is a little strong, but not off putting. Just amazing

M- Smooth, creamy, thick.

O- Awesome beer and a great sipper. A little hot, but in a good way. I would really like to see what this would be like with some age on it. (541 characters)

Photo of mcomben
4.92/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served on tap at Foran's Grand Trunk Pub (Detroit, MI) Founders' event 8/4/2011:

A - Deep dark color, so brown its almost black. Came to the table with a nice mocha colored head on it.

S - First smell is of coffee, but sweeter, followed by an almost burnt caramel scent.

T - Roasted taste hits up front, dark chocolate, with the unmistakeable flavors of bourbon.

M - Coats the tongue without feeling syrupy.

O - I was first introduced to Founders via their Breakfast Stout at many a Michigan Beer Night in Mt. Pleasant during my more formative College drinking years. After being made aware of KBS I've spent a long time tracking this beer down and was ready to be disappointed simply because of the build-up. Fortunately the beer did not disappoint one bit and my patience was rewarded with a great tasting beer. Would love to find this beer in the wild (i.e. bottled) next year and see how some age treats it. (917 characters)

Photo of TheBear11D
4.92/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle

Pours black with a thick dark wet sandy brown head that lasted about a minute.

The nose is excellent! The sweet malts stand out at first with plenty of coffee aroma up front and chocolate is noticeable in the background. The bourbon is then picked up by the nose and it mixes well with the sweet malts.

The flavor is unreal! The bourbon is a pleasant addition to the coffee and chocolate. The sweetness of the malts are picked up on the tongue first but the bourbon is not far behind and rounds the beer off very well.

Medium body with minimal carbonation.

Excellent brew. I am fortunate to have 2 more bottles left to enjoy this year. This is an amazing stout and if you have the chance to get any of this, you should. (736 characters)

Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.92/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to ncmussell for this one.

A: Black liquid with a fine light brown head.

S: Chocolate, coffee, bourbon, oak, toasted malt; I just want to dive right in.

T: Wow. Extremely complex. A whirlwind of flavours. Up front it is on the bitter side, with flavours of coffee and toasted malt; this gives way to chocolate and some alcohol with a bourbon and oak aftertaste.

M: Medium to thick viscosity and a low level of carbonation. Slight drying from the alcohol.

O: A legendary and beautiful beer. Its like a mocha cheesecake and a swig of a good bourbon all in one mouthful. (579 characters)

Photo of LaChupacabra
4.92/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Pours thick, opaque black with deep espresso brown tones around the edges. Has decent amount of mocha colored head from a vigorous pour. Head dissipated somewhat quickly, leaving thin foam ring around the glass and an oily layer at the top of the pour.

S: All the standards you would expect from a BA Stout: bourbon, coffee, chocolate, oak, vanilla, roasted malts.

T: Same as smell: bourbon, coffee, chocolate, oak, vanilla, roasted malts. Also some alcohol warmth. Great balance on everything, especially as it warms to room temp.

M: Thick, chewy mouthfeel. Leaves creamy coating on mouth. Low carbonation.

O: IMO this is a nearly perfect beer when fresh, but doesn’t do too well with age on it. (706 characters)

Photo of AApparel
4.92/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Pours Dark Black with a light carmel head.

S: As soon as it was placed in front of me, it overwhelmed me. Definitely could smell the Bourbon & Chocolate, with hints of coffee, oak, toasted malt. Instantly made my mouth water.

T: Very complex. Flavors coming from everywhere. The first favors to come though was with coffee and toasted malt, then it gives way to chocolate and some alcohol. Lastly you taste the bourbon and oak aftertaste. It's not an overwhelming Bourbon taste though.

M: Low carbonation, with a heavy to medium viscosity.

O: I had waited a long time to try this, since I live on the West Coast. This was everything I had hoped for. Definitely an amazing beer, that lives up to the hype. Was able to get this at 3 Floyd's Brew Pub, to my surprise. I went there for all their beers, but had to try this one before all the others. (852 characters)

Photo of jamescain
4.92/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into my Duvel tulip glass

Appearance: Dark brown and tan head quickly fades into a lacing and then a ring on top of the beer. Its pitch black and in the low lighting that is my apartment there is no chance of seeing through this one.

Aroma: Upon taking the first whiff I thought I heard and saw trumpets sounding and light emanating from the glass. This is a truly sublime smelling beer. This is without a doubt the perfect blend of vanilla, coffee, bourbon, chocolate, and subtle fruity esters that I have ever experienced.

Taste: It took me a while to finally take the first sip because I was too busy enjoying the aroma bursting through the rim of my glass. Upon my first sip I realize that I shouldn’t have waited so long and fall into an unconsciousness serenity. Amazing balance of coffee, oak, bourbon, sweet molasses, chocolate, and a slight boozy finish are the flavor profile I can discern.

Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation that only tingles and awakens your taste buds. Silky smooth and very easy to drink, almost too easy, I had to force myself to slow down and enjoy it.

Overall: This is an incredible beer! There is no doubt that next year I will attempt to trade for at least a 4 pack. Truly world class, one of the best beers I have ever had the pleasure of enjoying. It easily lived up to the hype and surpassed it. (1,346 characters)

Photo of mnphish
4.92/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

12oz 2013 edition poured into a Snifter, first time having it fresh.

A vigorous pour leads to a fat two finger khaki head that stays afloat on top of a pitch black body. Smells of subtle sweet bourbon notes, dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, vanilla, oak, and hints of booze.

The taste brings on lots of fresh roasted coffee beans, followed by subtle bourbon notes and the classic rich sweet dark chocolate, milk chocolate, cocoa, and vanilla perfection. Pretty mind-blowing.

Incredibly smooth, creamy mouthfeel, and a little warming effect on the finish. Heavy bodied but not too overpowering. This is a magical brew at room temperature. World Class. (659 characters)

Photo of jcartamdg
4.92/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured a 2010 bottle into my bruery tulip. Dark black with a 1finger mocha head that dissipates quickly. Nice lacing that clings to the glass like its glue. Aroma is coffee malt and light bourbon. I thought coffee fades out of beers quickly, I guess the coffee in KBS doesn't follow the rules. Man this beer tastes smooth, it follows the nose but is more balanced with a year on it, less hot and booze. I like it fresh but I love it with a year on it. Fantastic brew! (467 characters)

Photo of JustinMatthew
4.92/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've had this one both on tap and bottled, don't really prefer it one way or the other, it's fantastic either way. But for the review I'll take from my notes at The P.O.P.E during Philly Beer Week '12

Poured very dark to a wine glass, a fingers width of tan head slowly dissipates. Smell is slight bourbon, Some roasted coffee, and Vanilla. Taste is great, so well balanced and delicious. Vanilla, caramel, bourbon, oak, chocolate and coffee.. Everything you think you'll taste, you will taste. Super easy to drink with a rich coating mouth feel. Looking forward to trying a couple aged variants in the coming months. (618 characters)

Photo of drpdaddy
4.92/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

After numerous phone calls and a bunch of stops at different bottle shops, I slowly pour into a snifter. Black as night color, giving way to chocolaty head which quickly dissipates and leaves slight lacing. Aromas of chocolate, wood, bourbon, and faint malt. The taste is second to none, bourbon, chocolate, vanilla, oak, with a cohesive coffee flavor pulling everything together. The booze is apparent but melds well with the other flavors and definitely adds to the enjoyment of this beer rather the detracting from it. Mouthfeel is exactly like I remember it to be, silky, creamy, with a touch of carbonation... Overall this is one exceptional stout and well deserving of all its accolades, I just hope I can find some more because I see myself wanting to revisit this one very soon. (786 characters)

Photo of kif
4.92/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Thick black appearance with a nice brown head that quickly goes down.

S- Chocolate and bourbon are pretty strong, along with some vanilla and toffee

M- Smooth, almost silky.

O- An incredible beer. Very drinkable for such high alcohol percent. Very rarely do I think the beer justifies the hype. This is one of those time. (327 characters)

Photo of sugit
4.92/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Black, black and black. Nice mocha head that hangs around for a bit. At first I didn't think any would appear during the pour, but out of the depth, it began to rise! Sticky lacings left behind.

S: You can smell this bad as soon as you crack the bottle. Lushes chocolate, lots of sweet bourbon, coffee, and vanilla. Even a little bit of oak in there as well. Heaven.

T: Lots of roasted coffee. Vvanillia, and chocolate, with the bourbon makes its appearance shortly after, all coming together for just one kick ass tasting beer. The bourbon isn't too strong which help the other flavors not get lost in the mix. Would like maybe just a tab more vanillia.

You taste the alcohol, but very little burn, esp for 11%

M: For something so robust, it's comes in with a med body. Would almost like it just a bit fuller. Creamy, excellent carbonation level...very very smooth.

D: Goes down like water to me. I could kill a four pack on a good night. Great price point, IMO.

Hot damn, I love this beer. I can never get too much of this stuff. (1,041 characters)

Photo of SawDog505
4.92/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a 16 oz snifter. Pours the most amazing black, with a half inch, of patchy head, with some spotty lacing. Smell roasted coffee, dark chocolate, vanilla, and some molasses, in the nose no bourbon yet. Taste is that, extremely balanced, with a hint of the bourbon in the taste, but very well blended barrel aged stout. Body is thinner than you would expect for its size, nice amount of life for its size, a little dry, and very drinkable. This is amazing and perfect for my 200 review. (495 characters)

Photo of younger35
4.92/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Received in a trade with tpd975. He went above and beyond on this trade and I can’t thank him enough. I was planning on saving this brew for a while longer, maybe review 150 or 200, but I decided while sitting at home by myself, watching football, that today was the day. With Founders “cryptic” dating method I’ve deduced that this beer was brewed in March (of what year is beyond me). Drank from my generic no label snifter while watching LSU (#1) vs. Kentucky (#17).

Appearance- Pours black as oil with the same consistency. Not a lot of head formed but I gave it a very gentle pour. Almost no cap but a fairly decent collar and it leaves a hell of a lot of dirty brown lacing.
Smell- Wow, as advertised. Big on the vanilla right from the start. Lot’s of roasted coffee and cream with gentle whiffs of “Kentucky”. The bourbon is a lot more mellow than I would have guessed but definitely for the better. Light notes of raw cocoa and bitter bakers chocolate round out the nose. This beer actually smells just like a vanilla Starbucks.
Taste- I’m not sure how to even begin. This is simply the most delicious brew I’ve ever tasted. I was lucky enough to have a Surly Bender last night and was blown away by how good it was. This is 10x better (I know, different styles but when something’s good, it’s good). Big roasted chocolate and caramel malts give a gentle sweetness to start that slowly gives way to the gentle “Kentucky” Bourbon. The whiskey is more than present but very subtle. Oaked vanilla and dark cherries are present along with the coffee. The espresso and vanilla are very nice but not as dominate as the nose implied. Finishes bitter with a lightly fruity aftertaste and the slightest flavor of alcohol. Considering the 10% ABV, it’s amazing how little you can taste.
Mouthfeel- Thick and velvety with a very full, creamy feel. Carbonation is very light and absolutely perfect.
Drinkability- Simply a wonderful beer. So easy to drink and silky smooth. The only thing I’d like to see slightly different would be a bit more of the bourbon. I thought the Abyss had a bit more of a whisky flavor but this is definitely a tastier brew. Do whatever you can to find this beer. It’ll be more than worth it. Thanks again to tpd975 for the opportunity to savor this delight! (2,298 characters)

Photo of kylehayworth
4.92/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I feel lucky to have had this on tap, thanks to Jason for keeping me posted. With more to come I'm sure.

A: I watch as the bartender at Chumley's in Broadripple poured my liquid gold into a half pint snifter. It was extremely dark, the light cried out, but I ignored it.

S: It was bottled KBS, but with subtle differences, the bourbon smell was a little more pronounced. You get slightly more alcohol, bourbon smell, with hints of vanilla and caramel.

T: It was simply smooth, great nose helps you taste it before the first sip. This is so well balanced, everything is working together: hints of bourbon, vanilla, roasted coffee, slivers of chocolate.

M/D: I could actually drink this all day. Considering the high ABV (11.2 thanks Jake for the quick response) its amazing. This is what they serve in heaven, because CBS is even hard to get there, maybe someday... (870 characters)

Photo of djbreezy
4.92/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

BA user squaremile brought this back from me from the other side of the country. Bottle poured into a snifter.

appearance - pours medium thick and viscous, dark black brown, rich tan head, sticky lacing, head settles quickly but there is good retention on the edges

smell - big chocolate on the nose, roasty malt, oak and bourbon, coffee notes, complex

taste - huge bourbon flavor, roasty malt follows and finish out with huge bittersweet chocolate, vanilla, bourbon burn then mellows, oak, very complex

mouthfeel - smooth, thick but just right, not too thick, good level of carbonation, feels very natural

drinkability - very big and complex beer, alcohol is intense, flavor is intense, incredibly enjoyable (713 characters)

Photo of daledeee
4.92/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I was lucky enough to get some of this while in Wisconsin. It sells out very quickly.

I poured this into a tulip glass and saw a very dark head that left a ring around the edge of the glass only.

The initial waft was possibly the strongest smelling beer I have ever had. That went away quickly. I think it was alcohol esters with bourbon. The final nose is charred wood, boiled down coffee and vanilla. However, a swirl of the contents continues to release intense aroma.

Taste is very complex with coffee, dark chocolate some malts, but not that roasted, vanilla and sweet. I did not notice much bourbon flavor. The aftertaste is slightly bitter yet sweet.

Very, very appealing. I see why everybody goes crazy for these. It is not hard to drink at all. The mouth feel and body was not as heavy as I thought it would be. This is a top stout, hard to beat. (862 characters)

Photo of Trystero
4.92/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2010 vintage bottle poured into a Hopleaf tulip and split with EinAyn. The occasion, my birthday. I've actually been lucky enough to enjoy this beer numerous times and stock it in my cellar; I hope that continues.

Appearance: Viscous, dark like the night, opaque. What more do I need to say. Perfect mokah minimual head with thicky gooey lacing.

Smell: Complex, robust, initial bouquet of bourbon subdued by vanilla with notes of toffee, roasted coffee and dark, deep, rich chocolate.

Taste: Bourbon burn, aged, destroyed vanilla, bitter dark roasted coffee and bittersweat chocolate. Chocolate and coffee reside on the finish followed by a resounding 11.2 alcohol burn. The feel of being alive. I maintain that this beer is better fresh rather than aged because the vanilla and coffee flavors are much stronger...here they seem diminished.

Mouthfeel: Thick and viscous. Alcohol burn is there in the finish and welcomed. Robust in a way that only KBS can be.

Overall: If you can, buy it, if you can't trade for it. (1,020 characters)

Photo of divineaudio
4.92/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

had to try this on tap when we went to founders for $2 pint night.
8 oz pour into a snifter, 2010 batch.

a - pours black w/ some slight red highlights. a thick tan head forms quickly and retreats slowly to a ring around the glass with some spotty lacing.

s - oak, roasted malts and sweet, sweet booze.

t - fantastically complex! roasted and chocolate malts are obvious, with overtones of smoke, molasses and vanilla. perfectly balanced with a bittersweet hop finish.

m - smooth and creamy without being too heavy. enough carbonation to make the flavors really pop.

d - surprisingly drinkable for something so rich and strong. founders clearly put some love into this brew. got a bottle of this in the beer fridge that i'm gonna try to sit on for a while, this should age pretty well. (788 characters)

Photo of TheNightwatchman
4.92/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A legend. What else is there to say in that regard?

A - Dark. Almost black. Light brown head that quickly dissipates. Lacing is minimal in my glass at least. Exactly how I expect a bottle poured stout to look.

S - Delicious. Coffee is the first thing I smell, a slight hint of chocolate, and a noticeable whiskey smell. The whiskey smell definitely comes through more as the beer warms up. A slight hint of alcohol, which also intensifies as the beer warms.

T - Coffee is the first thing I get, follow by the bourbon. The bourbon is there, but it never really threatens to overpower the other flavors. I prefer a bourbon barrel aged beer to taste this way. I personally don't want the bourbon to overpower the other flavors. I get chocolate on the finish, along with a slight alcohol hit.

M - Sweet, sticky as it warms up. A bit oily. Nothing unpleasant to speak of. Carbonation is very subdued, and never threatens to be noticed.

O - Outstanding beer. Very complex. Coffee, chocolate, and bourbon are your primary flavors, as they're advertised to be. Truly an outstanding beer. I've had other barrel aged stouts, but few can match this level of balance between the various flavors. (1,193 characters)

Photo of hail_seitan
4.93/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

8 oz poured from tap in what appeared to be a juice glass

A - Rich black color with a minimal caramel head.

S - Toffee, dark chocolate, tobacco, espresso, and, of course, bourbon. However, none of these scents were overpowering and instead just invite you in for a taste.

T - At first, very similar to the smell. Upfront, I pick up the espresso and dark chocolate notes. However, neither is too strong. Next comes a touch of the bourbon, along with oaky vanilla, figs, and caramel. The finish again brings out bourbon flavors with a hint of warm grain alcohol as it goes down.

M - This was perhaps my favorite part of the beer. The oatmeal imparts a glutinous and almost chewy mouthfeel to the beer. The body is full, but not overtly syrupy. Fantastic.

O - I was astonished by the complexity and balance of this brew. None if the flavors dominated and instead they worked together in harmony to create a splendid beer. Even my fiancée, who usually does not like barrel-aged beers, thought it was great. (1,008 characters)

Photo of themind
4.93/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The good : I finally got a few bottles of KBS. This beer is very good! it pours like motor oil and has an excellent aroma. Rich and thick this stout is World Class for sure. The bourbon gets stronger as you drink the 12 ounce bottle and it's very creamy with a very good mouth feel.

The Bad: It was very hard to come by and for $11.00 a bottle in NJ it's over priced!!! It is not the kind of beer you drink all night, its a ounce in a while treat.

Bottom Line: If you see it...buy it! World Class! (499 characters)

Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,775 ratings.