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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: 3,028 | Ratings: 11,796
Photo of charlottebeer
4.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours like motor oil (in a good way!)This is dark! Loaded with fantastic flavors & notes of coffee, chocolate, bourbon and vanilla. my mouth was watering just watching it pour. The warmer this gets, the better it is. Pour this baby into a beautiful snifter and let it slowly warm while enjoying it all the way through. Don't confuse your palet by having too many hoppy beers prior to enjoying this one. Stick with malty selections for the evening. Bravo! (Although I'm not crazy about them having to change it's name. This is still America right?)

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Photo of BlackBelt5112203
4.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

HUGE, HUGE, HUGE thanks to beersndrums for this one. I’m just starting to realize how many awesome beers I’ve gotten to try because of this guy. Really an awesome dude!

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter at cellar temperature.

L – Jet black color with a 1.5-finger frothy, rocky, brown head. Great retention and fantastic sheets of lacing. Very viscous.

S – One of the best-smelling stouts that I’ve ever had the pleasure of smelling. There’s a perfect blend of tons of chocolate and coffee, vanilla and oak from the bourbon barrels, and rich dark fruits like plums and currants. All of the aromas are in the perfect proportion and work so well together.

T – It starts off sweet with chocolate, molasses, vanilla, and dark fruit flavors and rapidly picks up a wonderful bourbon and oak flavor. As the dryness from those two flavors builds, bitter roasted coffee appears and also continues to build. Once the coffee starts to fade, beautiful bittersweet dark chocolate comes in to finish up the taste. While bourbon flavors are certainly apparent, alcohol is not. This beer is absolutely delicious.

F – Full-bodied, more carbonation than expected, a silky-smooth, velvety, and sticky mouthfeel, and a bittersweet and dry finish. Coffee, dark chocolate, and bourbon flavors linger along with a smooth throat-warmth from the alcohol.

O – This beer is fantastic and everything that I dreamed it would be. It looks fantastic, has one of the best aromas I can remember, tastes heavenly, and has a great mouthfeel to back it up. It comes close to perfection and is by far my favorite bourbon barrel-aged stout that I’ve had so far. I love bourbon but I don’t want it to overshadow the beer when the two are blended. I think Founders absolutely nailed the blend. The bourbon flavors and aromas are present without any boozy sting. I really wish this beer was more readily available because it’s too good to only be able to get a bottle or two via trading. Maybe my luck will change in the future and I’ll be able to find more. In the meantime, thank you SO much, Jared, for the chance to try this wonderful, wonderful beer!

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

Inky black in color. Low carbonation level. Huge espresso aroma. Very subtle notes of dark chocolate and anise. Big espresso flavor backed with a lingering bourbon flavor. Big, big roasted malt flavor that is well matched to the coffee/bourbon. Hops? Where? None needed here. Velvety smooth moutfeel. Has a nice oily slickness to it. Very, very drinkable beer. An amazing combination of characteristics that brings the entire package home. Basically all I can say on this one is...F'in A!!!

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Photo of BrewIrish98
4.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving: Out of a bottle into a Rastal Snifter.

A: The black hole of beer, light cannot escape it. Very minimal jello pudding skin of a head.

S: Coffee, licorice, chocolate, hint of bourbon sweetness. Not surprisingly a whiff of the empty bottle brings on the bourbon, big time.

T: Deeply roasted coffee malt, dark chocolate flavor, catch some cocoa bitterness toward the end. The alcohol is buried deep in the flavor profile, but when it gets there you get the woodly bourbon. Nearly reminds me of a "Black Russian" cocktail.

M: Delivers a creamy entrance, a little waxy which melts away. Finishes thin, but a nice almost sour bitterness lingers. Large moutfulls go down smooth, small sips bring out the alcohol.

O: If you can drink one stout a year, this would be the one. A lot of flavors here, and so much character. As the bottle warns "Is good for everything a stout ought to be good for".
It's a lot to handle, a thimble would be enough for an evening. Enjoy Responsibly.

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

As I pour this one it is black as coal with a very creamy Head. Smells of Expreso Coffee and Chocolate,and Bourbon
The flavor is hard to explain but it just comes at you big time. I siped this very slowly as It was given to me by friend at a beer distributer where I live and it is to good and expesive to hurry. I taste coffee,Malt sweetness, vanila and chocolate, With wonderful hits of Pure Bourbon flavor. I loved the true pure Bourbon flavor having worked for Publicker Industries as a 19 yr old kid in 1966 it reminds me of Our top seller in the Old Days Old Hickory Bourbon as when you drank it you had many flavors going through your mouth, changing again and again. This Beer is the Best Bourbon Barrel beer I have ever tasted,it just stands tall above the others, You have periods of Pure Bourbon flavor cuting through the beer sweetly and powerfuly.
It is very creamy and refreshing in your mouth.
This is a grade A+ #1 Bourbon Barrel Beer. Exceptional in flavor and Quality. What a great brew from Founders. Try this for sure it is amazing

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

Founders Brewing Company - Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) - 12fl oz bottle

Look - Pours black as night but thinner than a RIS with a small chocolate head that leaves sticky lacing. There is a nice red hue on the edges.

Smell - Rich chocolate, molasses, coffee, and a hint of bourbon. Maybe a tinge of vanilla cherry.

Taste - So damn rich and smooth! A friggan adult milkshake! Slightly carbonated wave of coffee (espresso), then dark chocolate/cocoa, then back to coffee. The bourbon sits in the background, adding a little oomph. Hearty as hell!

Mouthfeel - Rests a thick burnt sugar, roasted coffee, and toasted chewy chocolate. In terms of booziness it is remarkably light for 11.2%. Drinkable but sip this one, it has a lot to offer and taking your time is the only way to do it.

Overall - Do NOT serve cold as it dampens the flavor! Leave the bottle(s) out for 30 minutes or so before serving, it definitely bring outs the complexity. This is another great brew by Founders.

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

It pours a perfectly obsidian black. In fact, coming out of the tap, it looks like what pours forth after I open the drain plug when I change my oil. The head is thick and milk chocolate brown, and fluffy like mousse. Lacing is thin and ribbed, ringing concentrically down the inside of the glass.

The aroma is a dense melange of black roasted espresso, dark roasted grain, and a woody drizzle of earthy bourbon. Twinges of chocolate and vanilla back up a warm and overt halo of alcohol.

Upon sipping, and admittedly with great anticipation, the flavor verily explodes with a series of elements, including blackened grain with burnt sugar and molasses, dark caramel, deep espresso, charred oak, down-home bourbon, and licorice. As the alcohol heats up, bitter chocolate and vanilla become lightly apparent, and burnt biscuit joins resurgent coffee and grain sweetness. The bitterness builds toward the close, as the finish crisps up but never totally overwhelms the lingering malty sweetness. The seamless complexity of this beer delivers a flavor to be remembered.

Full bodied, it pours like gear oil, then goes all creamy and soft, coating and caressing as it lulls the palate into a happy enchantment.

Simply put, this is one seriously dangerous beer. It is as earthy as can be, it's a coffee addicts alcoholic dream, and the bourbon and oak component gives it a unique and home style feel. The crafting that goes into this brew is apparent every step of the way. While the ABV is very big and bold, the parts come together to lend an eminent drinkability, and therein lies the danger to the unwary. And I dare anyone who loves this style to have just one. I tried, and failed with a huge smile on my face. I made a beeline to be able to try it the first time. Now I'll make a beeline to get it any time I can in the future.

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Photo of fiver29
4.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one reminds me a lot of the GL BA Blackout Stout. Bottle pours black with an aroma that makes me want to keep smelling and drinking it. Smells of dark coffee and some bourbon abound. Head is a dark tan, almost milk chocolate color. Head does not last very long. Tastes like roasted coffee and bourbon from the first sip to last. Mouthfeel is velvety silky smooth with some occasional hints of oats. This is simply an outstanding brew and is easily of my favorites.

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

i was able to get one bottle of this by chance and the graces of the dude @ the beer store. i didnt even know what it was. i know what it is now. kbs is one of the best stouts i have ever had. it pours an opaque black and is pretty thick.the smell is not to strong. i get a little creaminess in the nose. the flavor is rich and complex with a nice bitter that maintains from start to finish as the of background flavors move from coffee- to chocolate by the end. now im pretty sad b/c this isnt around for me to buy all the time.

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

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

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

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

Mouthfeel- thick creamy delicious perfect carbonation warming finish

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of denver10
4.85/5  rDev +6.4%

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

on tap poured into a snifter

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

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

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

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

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

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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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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 3,028 ratings.