Dismiss Notice
Get 12 monthly issues of BeerAdvocate magazine and save $5 when you select "auto-renew."

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join our email list →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.

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.

2,849 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 2,849
Hads: 11,064
Avg: 4.56
pDev: 8.99%
Wants: 4,385
Gots: 5,261 | FT: 412
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: 2,849 | Hads: 11,064
Photo of JackRWatkins
3.08/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

it's good, it is not great. It is perhaps the most memorably overrated beer that I have ever had, tastes hot and and a little too hopped for the style. Sorry folks, I'm not new to beer, craft beer, or imperial stouts, and this is just really nothing special, thought that new holland dragons milk was far better. two ehh's up

 325 characters

Photo of OompaMentor
4.81/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A - rich dark pour in a snifter; thick Carmel colored head
S - bourbon with dark chocolate and coffee
T - full bodied (let it rest on palate), bourbon followed by chocolate and hint of coffee
M - thick, rich
O - it mellows as it warms - drink on!

 247 characters

Photo of dee4maine
4.81/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Founders can do no wrong ! What amazes me is the drinkability for something so strong of an ABV. great bourbon nose and flavor along with the intense coffee and layers of choclate.

 180 characters

Photo of IamwhatIdrink
4.47/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Great stout, nice thick feel on the mouth, the coffee comes through beautifully and the bourbon is present throughout. The bourbon and the 11% ABV puts you in a great mood.

 172 characters

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.

 927 characters

Photo of jhavs
3.86/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

10oz. pour into a snifter from tap at Worthy Kitchen in Woodstock, Vermont. Left over keg from their charity event the night before.

A= Jet black with thin tan head. Head settles fast to tan ring around the glass with a few large bubbles stuck in it.

S= Big blast of bourbon, not as nuanced or subtle as BCBS or other big Bourbon BA stouts I have had. Maybe because new 2015 that needs a bit of age.

T= I don't know, this may be what you want, or like, but IMO the bourbon seems to really overpower the other flavors. Can get some bitterness from the coffee but don't taste the vanilla.

M= Thick silky smooth and syrupy. Light carbonation that is suitable for the style.

O= I don't consider this my favorite style, but I have really enjoyed many Bourbon BA stouts. This one was just too much bourbon for me. Hid the other flavors too much for me.

 858 characters

Photo of BlushingMonk
4.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Having tasted bottles through the years, this is a review of 2015. Pours a dark burnt umber, almost black, but not. The dark tan head hangs around and gently fades. The nose is a WHISKY punch with a faint whiff of coffee following behind. Over the tongue it is super smooth and creamy with an explosion of dark chocolate, espresso, and tons of bourbon. This is a damn good beer, although I think earlier years were better. Having said all that, KBS has fallen of the pedestal in my book as other BA stouts have caught my attention. KBS has earned its place in beer history that's for sure, but I find myself wanting more from 2015 KBS than it is willing to give. The story of it in my head, call it "the hype," is more than it can live up to.

 742 characters

Photo of RobertConway
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had my first bottle last night after securing a four pack in a trade. Probably the best example of a bourbon barrel aged coffee stout I have ever had. I would love to try this fresh, but even with a bit of age, it was still incredibly balanced and delicious.

 260 characters

Photo of DsntMatter
4.94/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a dark black with a great nose of bourbon. Mouth feel is like drinking a chocolate cake and the finish is dark chocolate/bourbon excellence. This truely is one of the all time greats. I love the complexity and the deep chocolate taste. Bottle was from 2014.

 263 characters

Photo of Mr_Moe
4.51/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2015 version / 2014 Version

jet black, looks amazing!

Smells like Bourboun, some coffee in there and chocolate(as well as spices and berries)

You really taste the Bourboun barrels, some bitterness from the beer, burnt coffee and I'd say some vanilla. I love bourbon but it really over powered this beer.

Mild mouth feel for a stout, a little too thin for my taste.

Slightly let down.

End of 15 review.

Aged 1 year do not recall when it was bottled but boy it was so much more amazing.

Smells perfect, this time I could taste the complexity of this beer and the many flavors, I absolutely recommend you age your KBS and let this bad boy mellow out to produce an amazing beer.

 683 characters

Photo of hopflyer
3.9/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2015 version bottled 3/5/15. Consumed 12/5/15.

Pours jet black, no highlights even when held up to light. Head is one finger, light tan. Retains a thin ring and sparse film on top. Looks really good.

Nose is mostly bourbon whiskey. Not in your face, but that is the smell. Not picking up much coffee, chocolate. If anything, there's faint light roast coffee. Where's the chocolate?

Taste again is whiskey forward all the way. There is a touch of coffee but everything else is dominated the whiskey. Some bitterness, which is expected with 70 IBUs. Bourbon retreats a little as it warms, but only opens up to bitterness instead of char, wood, or chocolate. Some vanilla arrives late.

Feel is just medium body and carb is sufficient and not overdone. Surprised and let down that this isn't heavier. Lingering bitterness, maybe too much, and some boozy heat.

I gotta say I'm pretty disappointed. I chased this each year and struck out. Got one bottle this past year. This doesn't have much depth beyond the bourbon. Doesn't even carry a whole lot of oak, wood from the barrel and I'm really not picking up any of the chocolate. Yes there is coffee and bitterness, but for something sought after be so many, I would think this had something special. It doesn't! Nonetheless, it's a decent BBA Coffee stout, but not worthy of such high marks.

 1,362 characters

Photo of madbrewer9
4.56/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great aroma of coffee, chocolate, bourbon and dark malts. Pours thick and black with a big dark tan head. Taste is fantastic, big chewy malt, chocolate, roast and lots of bourbon. One of the best imperial stouts out there, a wonderful treatment of an already great beer, breakfast stout. A bit boozy when fresh, definitely improves with some age!

 346 characters

Photo of dbell23
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Since this beer's younger brother got a 5, this one does as well. Admittedly I love breakfast stout. KBS is even better. Same look, better smell with great whiskey notes added to the chocolate and coffee, taste is incredible with nice whiskey undertones, mouthfeel is the same as breakfast stout which is perfect for a stout. I really like the bourbon taste with an already great beer. I'm really sorry this is so hard to get in Hooterville where I live but at least I have another one to enjoy. This is a must have if you like imperial stouts.

 550 characters

Photo of tekstr1der
4.12/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Springvale Publick house, forgot to review. While I don't enjoy whiskey, I wasn't going to pass this up. Pours jet black with thin mocha top. Aroma's of whiskey dominate, but malty roast comes through as well. Flavor is similar - almost too much whiskey-ness for me to handle. But... I can very easily discern that had this not gone into a barrel, it may be my favorite imperial stout yet. So smooth and creamy mouthfeel, it's notably quality brew.

 458 characters

Photo of q33jeff
4.89/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

**FROM OLD NOTES, 04/09/15
Thanks to Dave for sharing this rare find with me.Appearance: dark black, medium off white head, impressive lacing as it fades.Aroma is chocolate and whiskey, nicely blended.Taste is coffee first, whiskey later. Smooth and sweet. As close to perfect as I can imagine at this point in my cabeer (beer career.)Feel is smooth, not as lively as some.A gem of a brew.Tasting side by side with the regular Founders Breakfast Stout and it is superior, which says a lot. **

 493 characters

Photo of thepenguin
4.53/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottled March 2014
Reviewed 11/6/15

L: Black as a hearse, with a very minimal tan head. Nice sticky lacing left behind.

S: A bit more vinous and oxidized than fresher bottles, but once you get past the green olive briny note the bourbon and oak pull through, mingling with a nice mild chocolately roastiness. Compared to FBS, I’d say the chocolate is a bit more dominant than the coffee. The coffee pops a bit more as it warms, coming across as musky and earthy rather than vibrant.

T: Creamy and deliciously sweet. Again, the bourbon is definitely apparent (not so much the oak) with semisweet chocolate, vanilla, and rugelach (may be the first time someone’s pulled that out in a beer review). At 70 IBUs I expected this to have a pretty firm backbone but instead leaves little noticeable bitterness while still remaining incredibly balanced. The taste doesn’t have the same vinous sherry-like flavor noticed in the aroma, but flavors do seem more muted than with fresher bottles.

F: Unbelievably tame for 11.2% served at just under room temperature. Creamy and chewy, with very moderate carbonation. Very impressive in this category.

Overall: KBS is a delightful beer – truly one of the classics in the BBA Stout category. This was a delightful beer to drink – not as pronounced, nuanced or frankly tasty as a fresh bottle, but quite balanced with the bourbon notes holding up nicely.

 1,402 characters

Photo of fscottkey
4.09/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: [4.75] Beer is very dark brown to black. It forms about 1 finger of tan colored head. The head takes a while to recede and leaves a coating around the glass. Sipping the beer leaves tons of lacing clinging to the glass. The bottle lists the ABV (11.2%) and it has a born on date (03/05/15).

S: [3.75] Vanilla, coffee and booziness and maybe a bit of smoke. I let the beer warm for quite a while but it is still not as open as I'd like on the nose.

T: [4.00] Chocolate, coffee, toasted marshmallow, slight heat from the booze. The booze accumulates with each sip. But so does a pleasant smokey flavor. Like you get from whiskey.

M: [4.50] Nice rich body. Minimal carbonation contributing more to the heft and chewy feeling.

O: [4.25] I think head to head I'd choose Founders Breakfast stout over KBS. FBS has similar flavors but without the extra booziness. Don't get me wrong this is a really good beer, extremely smooth mouthfeel. The flavor has elements of chocolate, coffee and toasted goodness. For an 11% beer I was expecting a bit more nose. The nose was good but subdued a bit. Tip of the hat to the Founder's Sales Rep that did a tasting and sold this to me. I am glad I was able to sit down and drink this one.

 1,248 characters

Photo of Oh_Dark_Star
4.79/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This was an exceptional beer, if I recall it was the 2013 I first tried and fell in love - very smooth chocolate and coffee and wonderfully oaky. Unfortunately the 2015 was more boozy/hot and had less barrel character.

 218 characters

Photo of VirginiaBeerMan
4.54/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

5 oz. pour at Fireworks in Leesburg. outstanding top to bottom. Bourbon aroma is far steonger than the taste, which is fantastic. Smooth, smooth , smooth.

 157 characters

Photo of BWood
4.62/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

L: dark as night. Small head around the edges.

S: coffee and chocolate.

T: amazing. Coffee right away that smoothes into a dark chocolate finish. Very subtle bourbon touch. I'm actually happy with this coffee/chocolate blend.

F: super smooth. Silky finish with coats the mouth.

O: I think this beer lives up to the hype. This 4 pack was unclaimed at my local bevmo so I got a call that they had it for me. This is rare on the west coast and I'm happy I got to drink it.

 475 characters

Photo of Trevor11
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Very powerful beer. 2014 > 2015. The aged beer (2014) was more enjoyable with the mellowing of the strong flavors and prominence of the alcohol in this barrel-aged beer.

 169 characters

Photo of BSiegs
4.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big dark pour, two fingers of light brown head. Dissipates and leaves average lacing. The nose is phenomenal. Big bourbon, coffee, chocolate, slight barrel notes. The taste follows exactly with coffee, bourbon, dark roasted malts. The coffee bitterness lingers on the aftertaste. Lower end of full bodied with low-moderate carbonation. Super silky. Really fantastic beer.

 371 characters

Photo of FriedSlug
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Black with tan head great lacing. Smells of chocolate, coffee, bourbon and toasted oak. Tastes the same with a great balance. Pretty much a perfect beer.

 153 characters

Photo of W_Des
4.77/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours black with a tan head. The nose is a swirl of coffee, chocolate, oak and bourbon. The beer tastes fantastic with a nice coffee roast followed by chocolate and light bourbon heat in the finish. A truly classic delicious beer.

 230 characters

Photo of jakecattleco
4.72/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

2015 batch into a shaker pint. WOW, easily the best new beer I've had in 2015. Lots of chocolate and whiskey on the nose, with hints of currants and/or raisins. Taste blends all the flavors well, and equally balances the start and finish to the palette. Would love to have access to this routinely, but damn glad to have had the opportunity to sample this fantastic beer!

 378 characters

Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,849 ratings.