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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.

2,848 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 2,848
Hads: 11,060
Avg: 4.56
pDev: 17.54%
Wants: 4,385
Gots: 5,257 | FT: 413
Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

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: 2,848 | Hads: 11,060
Photo of PilotPreacher
4.9/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

As much as I enjoy Backwoods, the booze is a little too forward for my tastes. Founders gets the combination just right, however, in KBS. As it warms, the bourbon takes a more prominent places in smell and taste but never overpowers the delicious chocolate and coffee. Worth the hype, effort to find, and money to buy.

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Photo of emyers
4.9/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

12 oz. bottle poured into a Founders snifter.

Appearance: Pours viscous and black in color with essentially no head initially, then a thin dark brown head slowly materializes and hangs around indefiniitely, leaving a beautiful lacing down the glass.

Smell: Mind-blowingly good blend of bourbon, coffee, and dark chocolate. Some vanilla and oak character along with some caramel malts enter the picture as well. The beauty here is in the way the aromas interact - the bourbon, coffee, chocolate, etc are all very bold and developed on their own, yet they are blended together in a perfect balance.

Taste: Coffee and bourbon hit first followed shortly by rich dark chocolate. Oak, caramel, hints of dark fruit, and roasted barley are all present, along with the constant presence of the bourbon and coffee. Once again, the level of balance that is achieved in this beer is impeccable. I once drank this side by side with a Bourbon County Coffee and this made the BCBCS seem overly sweet and boozy, and just generally unbalanced in comparison (and don't get me wrong, that is a phenomenal beer). There isn't a single thing I would change about the flavor profile of this beer. Perfect.

Mouthfeel: Rich and viscous mouthfeel, very smooth going down. Appropriately low carbonation.

Overall: My two favorite things in the beer world are bourbon barrels and coffee stouts, and, for my taste, KBS is head and shoulders above all others of its kind. I've probably gushed about the balance of this beer far too much already, but it really is mind-boggling how they are able to pack in this much flavor while keeping this level of balance.

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Photo of LAp
4.9/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Pours an opaque deep brown-black, with a one finger mocha-brown head. A truly unique nose - rich bourbon with dark chocolate undertones - few other bourbon barrel beers capture the bourbon scent as well on the nose as this beer. Palate opens with coffee, chocolate, and boozy bourbon-y sweetness. As with so many beers in this style, the palate opens dramatically as the beer warms, and the deep bourbon elements swell to dominate the flavor profile. Mouthfeel is wonderfully thick. A truly rich beer. Overall, a truly exceptional beer that occupies the bourbon barrel imp stout category with classic Founder's rich sweetness. My only critique is that beer doesn't quite have the same depth and complexity of some other imperial stouts. That doesn't stop this beer from occupying - or rather, dominating - a unique flavor niche within the bourbon barrel category. Simply phenomenal.

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Photo of guityler83
4.9/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2013 vintage

A: After letting the bottle sit out of the fridge for a half hour (agonizing), the beer was poured into a tulip glass with moderate aggression. The head built 1 finger tall the color of tan leather with dense tiny bubbles. After sitting for about a minute the foam receded into the pitch black liquid leaving behind a wave of lacing on the glass. No light shines through the beer when held to a light. Moderate alcohol legs pop out when the beer is agitated.

S: The nose is full of rich dark chocolate, sweet cocoa, hints of vanilla, mild caramel and toffee, very complex. Although I can detect the vanilla and toasted barrel character with a hint of bourbon it doesn't come off alcoholic at all. No hop aroma detected. Light coffee and roasted notes come out on further inspection.

T: Lots of complex chocolate flavors, dark chocolate, bakers chocolate, milk chocolate only a small roast and a nice coffee finish. The middle malts are caramel, toffee and candy raisins that have a nice balancing sweetness with the barrel tannins. Vanilla character coming through with the oak throughout the experience. No hop flavor, and the bitterness is just enough to keep the sweetness from being cloying.

M: There is a large body with mild carbonation that leads to a nice creamy mouthfeel. No astringency detected. Alcohol warming is surprisingly minimal. And that nice tingly sensation with a well made bourbon barrel beer.

O: KBS really shines in its chocolate and barrel flavor balancing act. Its extremely drinkable not overly sweet and has a nice body. Theres not much out there as well brewed as KBS, a shame I could only get 2 bottles this year.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.9/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I got this bottle in a trade with hoppymeal. Thanks Derek!

It pours from 12 oz bottle a near pitch black witha finger tannish head of thick creamy foam.

The smell is very *very* nice. Tons of bourbon, chocolate, coffee, dark fruit and toffee tickle my nose buds.

The taste on first sip gives me loads of chocolate and bourbon followed immediately by coffee and some dark fruit and a nice hot cocoa bitterness. Yum!

More sips in, and that's quite easy to do as this has great drinkablity, I find more of the same but this is anything but boring. I really can't believe how darn tasty yet smooth drinking it is. As for the abv, there's just some slight warming after the swallow and the mouthfeel? Thick and chewy and absolutely superb. One of the best I've had to date.

I'm *trying* to stretch this bottle out for as long as I can but my glass keeps beckoning me to take another sip and I just don't have the will power to say no. ;^) What a drinking experience I'm having here...Founder's really set a high standard for the style when they brewed this puppy.

Btw, the foam retention is *very* good and there's lots of lacing hugging the side of my glass. Another point to mention is the aftertaste. It lingers on for a like forever and I couldn't be happier. Again, Yum!

Bottom line: A world class brew that is worth seeking out again and again. In fact, it's going right back on my Wants list as I write this review....

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Photo of cvfish
4.9/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - This beer poured black as a struck match, no light shining through, that produced a small dark brown head that had little retention and left spotted laced along the side of the glass

S - The mix of aromas produced by this beer was incredible, scorched malts, bittersweet chocolate, ground coffee beans, vanilla, and whiskey

T - The taste of this beer had lots of things going on, scorched malts, bittersweet chocolate and milk chocolate, a nice espresso, vanilla beans, whiskey, molasses, and brown sugar round out all the flavors found in this beer

M - The mouthfeel of this beer is probably the only negative thing I can pull about this beer, heavy body and a slight amount of carbonation, I only wish there was more bubbles in this brew

D - This beer is remarkable, hands down one of the best crafted beers I can think, while I can really drink a lot of this, this bad needs to be on everyone's want list

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Photo of pkalix
4.9/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

black as used oil in an old ford pick up truck.
smell is beautiful! lots of bourbon and alcohol, but not alcohol heat. vanilla. no coffee, but I get the chocolate fudge someone else described. like brownie....
taste is very nice. seems warm even though it's been in the frig for 3 impatient weeks.... some chocolate. vanilla. the other guy said it perfectly: extremely rich and decadent. woody bourbon.... i'm not so original, but I like to pick out what others have referenced. some are very poetic!
overall, I really like this. one of my top brews/stouts. up there with the Eclipse and Bomb! although different in taste. rich and decadent indeed. it may not have scored as highly as some of my other favorites, but then, we score these at different times and our palates and perspectives change over time, right?

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Photo of gkatsoris
4.9/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Motöroil!!! Midnight black. No head. Holy intimidating.

S: Nuts, roasted nuts. Expresso. Roasted coffee grounds. Anise. Chocolate, and cocoa. Coffee.

T: Sooo smooth!!! Balanced beyond. Roasty coffe goodness. Roasty chocolatey goodness. Expresso. Alcoholy. Roasted nuts. Slight bitter, almost a pleasant bitterness. WOW!!!

M: Thick, chewy and delicious. Coats the tongue, lingers; man this is awesome!

O: This ball is outta here!!! I think I could only drink one due to the viscosity, but without question; this is thee greatest beer I've ever had... peroiod.

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Photo of boostsr20
4.9/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Slightly chilled poured into a snifter.

Appearance: Deep black. The head was roughly an inch thick with a caramel coffee coloration. Left a thick lacing behind as well as a "stained" look on the empty glass.

Smell: This beer has an invigorating smell that is remeniscent of espresso beans with a hint of Bourbon.

Taste: A seemingly complex taste for a stout. The beer has a bourbon laced coffee taste. It is malty and sweet with a smooth taste of bourbon/vanilla. The alcohol can easily be sensed from the first drink making it a nice beer to savor. Took me about 35 minutes to finish the first one.

Mouthfeel: It has a nice thick coating feeling which leaves every taste bud tingling and exploring for ever note of the beer. Surprisingly has an alcohol type burn similar to a shot of bourbon.

Drinkability: Like I said, it took me 35 minutes to drink one but this isn't a beer that was meant to be devoured immediately. It seems to mature the longer it sits in your glass so patience is rewarded. Overall drinkability is very good.

Was served out of a bottle. I recently talked with a Founders Rep and he stated they have it on tap currently. I'm going to try and hurry in for some. I guess they also have some great habanero beer. Can't wait.

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Photo of Robbiedob84
4.9/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Black in color, produces about 1 1/2 finger of a dark tan head. Nice creamy mouthfeel with med/full body. Heavy chocolate flavor up front, some coffee and toffee undertones. Subtle bourbon flavor in the finish.

This beer is absolutely phenomenal, it doesn't age quite as well as other beers in this category, but nonetheless I have a hard time believing beer gets much better than this, I run the rat race every year trying to get my hands on this one.

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Photo of djkman
4.9/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Well, got the beer. KBS.....poured one out day before Easter. I have had their Porter and the famous breakfast stout.
Also a fan of the arrogant bastard Oaked. Oh and I like the Johnny walker double black neat and on the rocks.
And bookers bourbon. Diluted of course. Had it neat 1 time. Holy spit!!!
With that all out of the way....KBS.
The hype all the talk...done.
If you can get it IMHO, awsome. If you had any of founders stuff you don't have to do a breakdown review.
Poured it out cold, drank ..I mean SIPPED half... And enjoyed the other half at room temp. I think the bourbon is more pronounced at room temp. Had to get yes. This year made the effort to get it and got 1 4 pack. Aging the rest. ...Ummm ok maybe I will have the other Easter sunday. But I will age the other 2.
And that's my review.

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Photo of jasonpeckins32
4.9/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow! A truly amazing stout here.

It pours a thick, syrupy, jet black color, with a tiny metallic golden burnt sienna colored head. This beer is just freakin' huge.

The nose is of bourbon whiskey, chocolate, molasses, and coffee grounds, and it has a smokey/burnt appeal as well.

It tastes magnificent. Its big on molasses, chocolate, and burnt toast. The bourbon flavor really comes through in the finish. I don't think I could be any more impressed.

The mouth feel is HUGE. Nothing minor or easy about it. This is an extreme beer for the ages. The drinkability is good. Obviously, this isnt one to chug, its a "sit back n sipp'er". I dont think I'd get tired of drinking these either. One hell of a beer.

This is definitely one of the most top-notch stouts I've ever tried, and probably one of the best 5 beers I've ever had.

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Photo of buckslayer50
4.9/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Heaven in a bottle. When cold the chocolaty notes came through but as it warmed the coffee came through beautifully(it was all my will power to not drink it fast and let it warm up some). I haven't been in this craft game long but this is the first nearly perfect beer I've tasted, glad I could score two bottles this year, will get more every year.

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Photo of wedge421
4.9/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- Black as night with a kakhi colored head of about .5 fingers.

S - Chocolate with coffee notes followed slowly but surely with the bourbon notes. Just an absolute gem to smell!

T - Perfection! Perfect mix of chocolate, coffee, bourbon and followed by a slight hint of the alcohol. Just blended so perfectly! Bravo

D - Its 11.2% so more then 2 would be tough if you still want to appreciate this absolutely epic brew. BUt other then that it is just so smooth and drinkable.

Check out my full HD vid review at:

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Photo of beerman207
4.9/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is my first time trying KBS and I wasn't disappointed in the least. All in all a phenomenol beer.

Appearance - looks like motor oil - beautiful creamy brown bubbles with little lacing on the glass. While the beer sits the lacing produces some swirling in the glass which is quite beautiful. When I finished pouring this into the glass, it left about 2 fingers worth of tan head

Smell: The bourbon is strong in this brew. Hint of coffee coming through.

Mouthfeel - very creamy mouthfeel

Taste - bitterness was stronger than expected in the finish. That may be why this is listed at 70 IBU vs. the usual 25 IBU. When I bought this from my local beer place, the cashier told me it tastes like chocolate pudding. I taste vanilla, coffee, and a hint of chocolate. Another taste coming through from time to time is the bourbon. The bourbon is definately contributing to the bitterness. This is probably the most complex flavor in a beer I have ever experienced. Fantastic.

Drinkability - the alcohol is definately present in this beer. Then again, it's 11.2% alcohol so it better be present! Even with the high alcohol content of this brew, I believe the drinkability of the beer is quite high. I could definately have 2-3 of these in a sitting.

At $6.00 a beer, I was a little nervous of being let down. Luckily, this beer is as exceptional as everyone on here speaks of. It is amazing.

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Photo of chasesitten
4.91/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Have had the opportunity to taste two separate 355ml pours, one from 2013 and the other from 2015.
Knowing this beer had a sensational hype surrounding it (and the fact that it took me 4 years to track down a bottle), I poured into a leftover Guinness glass I had and watched it settle. Almost immediately, overwhelming nose of coffee and chocolate.

Mouthfeel, if served at proper temp, is BOOZY with caramel and toffee tones. Delicious.

Goes down easy, but roars like a lion. Served at breakfast both times, and had to cancel my morning engagements. If given the chance, try this beer. You won't be disappointed (if you love stouts. If not, give it to someone who does).

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Photo of kimcgolf
4.91/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured to a used motor oil black with dark tan head, that lingered a while, then reduced to lkay lacing. This was the only thing about this beer that could have been better. Aroma was an excellent blend of sweet malt chocolate and toffee, with a nice bourbon-alcohol background. Flavor of this thick-bodied beer was also a perfect mixture of sweetness and bourbon. This all led to a long, smooth, warming finish, with a mild alcohol, similar to a shot of Maker’s Mark.

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Photo of Aurora83
4.91/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: As black as night with a thin Mocha head.

Aroma: Upfront is a big hit of oak followed by a bourbon tone that tails off into a coffee/chocolate blend.

Flavour: Full bodied with medium carbonation. Huge hit of bourbon followed by oak and a slight tone of vanilla. The tail of the flavour is dominated by milk chocolate and a coffee bitterness.


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Photo of JeffoC6
4.91/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottled: 3/2/14 (I think? It's tough to see)
Drinking: 4/4/14 @ 7:30 PM
Setting: Living room couch, watching Bear Grylls: Escape from Hell- CANYONS

Scored one bottle this year. I tried for a few others, but it didn't work out. Happy to have one, and can't wait to enjoy this baby.

A: Poured into a snifter glass after letting the beer sit at room temp for 15 minutes. Poured somewhat aggressively and got a nice 1 1/2 finger of a chocolaty milk-like head. The beer itself is almost jet black with shades of deep purple. The heead fades over about 2 minutes to about 1/2 finger and caps the inky liquid beneath. Deep, dark, and sexy sexy, that's for sure.

S: Dark roasted coffee beans and vanilla cream immediately hit the nose. Huge chocolate presence with hints of bourbon and oak. A faint hint of cinnamon perhaps? Earthy hop tones balance out the rich malty sweetness. Bravo!

T: Taste follows the nose with the bitterness of the coffee and toasted vanilla up front. There's some glorious flavors in here: Creme brule', burnt caramel, roasted coffee and cream, oak, peat, char, toasted coconut, and enough balance from the earthy hop bitterneess to keep everything in check. A wonderful richness throughout.

MF: This beer leaves a lacquer-like coating on the tongue. It washes over all of the taste receptors in your mouth, and because of it's stickiness, allows for all of the flavors to linger and let themselves be experienced, before finishing dry. Really leaves you wanting more.

O: When I had this beer last year, I claimed it to be the best beer I've ever had. Since that time, I've been fortunate enough to try the likes of Heady Topper, Pliny The Elder, Goose Island BCBS, etc...Gun to my head, I'm a stout guy, and because of that, I still lean towards this offering as one of the best beers out there, if not the best. I know it's hyped beyond belief, but maybe-just-maybe it's worth it? Yep.

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Photo of mrblonde37
4.91/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

An awesome beer! I have been lucky to have it in the bottle and on tap. I will crack my 2014 in a couple of years and cannot wait to see how it has improved.

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Photo of mitch3114
4.91/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Received 5 ounce pour at Saratoga City Tavern

A- very nice, dark, thick, decent cocoa head that was thicker and stuck around longer than I thought

S- I held on to this for awhile until I finished my other beer. I wanted it to warm up. The smell was fantastic; warm bourbon was there with some cocoa and vanilla

T- I hate coffee beers! But it was at the bar so I had to try it. I wasn't dissapointed! The coffee was very there but very subdued. It blended nicely with the other flavors. The same with the bourbon, often these fresh bourbon BA ales come off hot and boozy, bourbon forward but this was not the bourbon was sweet and complimented the brew nicely. Cocoa, mocha, vanilla, hint of coconut, dark roasted malts, very good

M- the mouthfeel was a bit thinner than I had imagined but it seemed to work with this beer. I think if it was thicker it would be too syrupy.

O- overall, i always did want to try this but never wanted to spend the time, energy and money to hunt it down in stores... Plus, as I mentioned I'm not a fan of coffee flavor d beers. This being offered at the bar was a perfect scenario for me. The beer was blended extremely well, yet it was so complex. There were so many flavors mixed in and none really stuck out or outshined the other. A very solid BA offering that is ready to drink. I wouldn't age this one. I think it would risk losing some of those great subtleties and undertones. Plus, I think with time some of the other flavors may fade bringing the bolder flavors forward, thus destroying that perfectly balanced liquid harmony that currently exists!!!

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Photo of Bauzen
4.91/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It's dark as night. Hardly any head to speak of, and very lightly carbonated.

Smells of coffee and chocolate... Sweet and candy like. Almost like a Riesen candy, if you've ever had one.

The flavor mimics the aroma identically, but intensifies what you're smelling by immersing your pallet. Absolutely no surprises outside of how easy-to-drink this beer is for an 11.2% ABV. While this is a very full-bodied stout, it drinks like light beer. Before you know it, the experience is over and you feel every ounce of the potency.

I've heard all the hype... And after finally sampling two bottles, I suppose it's well justified. This is an amazing stout. Didn't think I'd enjoy it as much as did, and now I'm sad it's over. Hopefully next April I'll be able to snatch up some more and hang onto it.

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Photo of smooth_aleing
4.91/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Was finally able to check out the bottle, and well-worth the wait (and hype!).

A= Pours a jet black color, with a one-finger, mocha colored head. Head is good and frothy, and settles down to nice layer of foam, with excellent lacing.

S= Immediately, dark chocolate and strong espresso. Notes of cherry, with underlying whiff of bourbon. Incredible.

T= Big, big chocolate notes. Espresso follows strongly, with notes of dark cherry, bourbon, and roasted malts. Just wonderful.

M= Great, molasses-like feel. Thicker than most stouts of tried, but not at all too heavy, despite of the high ABV. Flavor is excellently-layered on the palate.

O= Lives up to all the hype. Cheers!

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Photo of Trombone69
4.91/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ok, to be fair, I am not a coffee drinker, and I generally don't like my beers to have an ABV over 8. I do like Stout, although I'm not into "Extreme for the sake of extreme".

But I get it. I understand why this is widely sought after, and "highly acclaimed". Highly complex, intertwined flavors that can be individually identified, yet blend together. Not much carbonation, but I didn't feel like I needed or wanted more. A sipping beer, to be sure. Really a thing of beauty.

When I manage to convince the guy at the beer store that I am worthy, and he comes out of the back room with the KBS, I am very thankful. I thank him completely and unabashedly in the hope that he will find me worthy the next time. What a system. I'm not sure that this is how beer, or the free market, is supposed to work.

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Photo of lovethebelgians
4.91/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I won't break it down like some of the pro guys do on here, because I really don't drink a beer like that. The drinkability of this beer is just like that of the breakfast stout, so easy going down even at such higher ABV. It feels like you're drinking frothy thick tasty heaven. Most of the larger stouts I've had with this high of ABV lose that frothy mouthfeel and feel more like syrup without suds, but this still has it. So good, finally got to try this beer and it has raised my stout bar even higher. I think I gotta go back to the store I bought this at and stock up with even more.

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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,848 ratings.