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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: 3,011 | Ratings: 11,703
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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!!!

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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.

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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.

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

Good friend had snagged one of these and held onto it to split with me and my beer guru. What can be said, awesome beer, smell could be rated above 5 and with the ABV so high it gets an overall as almost perfect. I would love to track down some more of these.

Had it on tap at Billy Jacks, even better

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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.

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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.

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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.)

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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!

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Photo of tito42
4.86/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

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Photo of strangebrew52
4.87/5  rDev +6.8%
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

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Photo of Brenden
4.87/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

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Photo of Dubbledown
4.87/5  rDev +6.8%
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

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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 3,011 ratings.