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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: 2,975 | Ratings: 11,569
Photo of Umdrunner
4.43/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured black with 1 finger mocha head that dissapeared quickly and lightly laced. Scent was rich chocolate, roasted malt, coffee, and light bourbon. Scent was very strong right after pour, then faded quickly. Flavor was roasted malt, coffee, dark chocolate, burnt oak and bourbon. There is a definite, though satisfying, bourbon heat that lingers. Mouthfeel is moderate with lively carbonation. As the beer warms it seems to soften. The dark chocolate flavors blend to milk chocolate and I begin to taste light brown sugar.

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

Sublime - One of the best beers there is. Strong roast and bourbon aroma and flavor, with chocolate and coffee in the background. Thick mouthfeel coating the tongue and letting the taste linger. Warming alcohol evident, but doesn't effect the tast.

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

One of the best Stouts I have ever had! A perfect blend of chocolate and coffee with a subtle bourbon undertone, simply perfection!! Thanks Founders, so glad I live in Michigan, you gotta try this one!

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Photo of luisitoelmatador88
4.56/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Very dark, black with a brownish hue and outline. small tan head that goes like the wind.

Aroma: quite possibly the best characteristic of the beer. You get a fudgey chocolate enveloped in coffee action. Very little alcohol presence to be spoken for. You don't get the bourbon at first, more at the end.
side note: as it warms you get a bit more of the bourbon presence naturally. Also smells like chocolate / vanilla cake to be honest.

Taste: very nice. you get the coffee and chocolate notes up front. Then you get a roasted bourbon type character followed but a decent linger of bitterness. I guess there is a bit a vanilla somewhere in here.

Mouthfeel: pretty satisfactory. Its about a medium, maybe a medium plus at most for the style and strength. carbonation is still well and alive after over a year of aging.

Overall: It's good and I am glad I got to try it.

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Photo of iliketurtlesthx
4.36/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This review is based on the 2016 release, which I had on draft and bottled.

My first impression is that this tastes better than the 2015 release fresh out of the bottle. Tons of chocolate, a little bit of barrel, and love that bourbon heat. Coffee is there, but chocolate flavors seem to overpower it. The smell is delightful. Very nice and thick.

One of my favorite beers. It seems to be easier to find on draft. The bottle hunt this year was a war and I might settle for only draft moving forward.

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Photo of md1313
4.39/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Fantasic beer. Pours black with hints of bourbon coming through. The barrel is strong right off the get, with the chocolate smoothing things out in the end. Slight bitter aftertaste from the chocolate. I think a touch of age make this a perfect beer.

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Photo of RozzieBoy
4.08/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on 3/5/15
L - Deep brown with a small tan head. No lacing
S - Chocolate alcohol
F - Thick yet smooth
T - Bourbon with slight coffee
O - I'm not a big barrel aged beer drinker but this one was good. I know this beer gets high marks here but with my limited experience with barrel aged beers, I was not sure what to expect. Warmed me up inside and I thought it was good from start to end

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Photo of PDXAmbassador
3.99/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

My bottle was 10 months old at time of purchase (it was found in cold warehouse long after its release, apparently).
Poured from 12oz bottle into chalice, while sitting in front of a roaring fire.

Nice lingering tan head, aroma of coffee is fading, roasty, oaky bourbon. Taste was fairly smooth, lighter mouthfeel for the style. A bit less sweet and substantial than I was hoping, and more bitter than expecting. But surprisingly drinkable.

Solid, no serious imperfections (would've liked more richness and coffee, but perhaps time took that away) and way ahead its time as a beer I suppose. But today, not a revelation. I much prefer BCBCS, for example.

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

I had the beer on tap at the brewery during St. Patrick's day weekend, it was great. I just had the first bottle in a four pack today, it was also great!

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

Bottled 3/02/16. poured into trillium tulip and enjoyed at proper temperature

appearance is black with a dark kahki head... looks great!

alcohol, wood, coffee, light roast on the nose

taste is similar with a big bourbon infused chocolate flavor up front, followed by roasty and slightly bitter coffee as well as burnt malts that give way to rich caramel and smooth vanilla. Finishes with a beautiful touch oak and bourbon.

Feel is perfect obviously. Overall, I am completely blown away by this beer every time I drink it. Wish I had been able to get more than 2 four pks but at least I have a few left over to hang onto!

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

I won't go into a whole lot of detail seeing as how everyone that posts on here describes the beer in the exact same way. Here is what I can tell you. I drank KBS for the first time after I had been experimenting with craft beers for about 2 years. What KBS taught me was that I had a deep appreciation for stouts...which up to that point I had not realized. Now, stouts are my preferred beer and I wait anxiously every year for KBS to be released. This beer is outstanding. One of the best regular release beers in the world in my opinion (and I am the inventory coordinator of a beer wholesaler that sells beers from all over the world... so I get to try beers from all over the world). If you are reading this because you are trying to decide if it is worth the price tag.. stop thinking and buy it. There is no way in hell you will be disappointed.

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Photo of johnamo
4.56/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2016 edition, 12.4%abv, poured into an official Founders KBS tulip glass (of course).

Look: charcoal black; nearly opaque. Thin, dark caramel head that disappears without lacing.

Smell: mostly coffee, with sweet vanilla and slight oak.

Taste: a huge, sweet wallop of nearly-fresh coffee and dark, melted chocolate. Alcohol is there, but not overpowering. Lingering notes of slightly astringent tannins from the oak - but pleasantly so, delivering more complexity beyond the initial coffee/chocolate powerhouse.

Feel: thick and creamy, with a sticky, syrupy coffee/vanilla aftertaste. My tongue has an almost anesthetic tingle from the alcohol.

Overall: An excellent, unique beer. Sweet, powerful, and tasty. Never had anything quite like it.

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

First off this is NOT a new KBS!!!! This review is for an aged KBS! The bottle says "bottled on 02/08/10!!!!!!!!! That being said let's begin!

I stored this beer from day one in a cellar fridge always kept between 55-65 degrees.

Look - SUPER BLACK! No carbonation left on pour at all, some in mouth if you let it set. Great pour.
Smell - toasted coffee, dark dark chocolate, leather, tobacco. Very earthy!
Taste - sharp start, bitter chocolate rounded over by coffee under tones. Earthly over all, SUPER CLEAN FINISH! No detectable alcohol taste until after swallowing, then you can feel the vapors at the back of the throat. Smooth as glass. I can taste very little of the "bourbon" quality left (I like bourbon), my wife who doesn't like bourbon can taste it more but loves this beer!
Feel - very coating of the entire mouth until swallowed then fades away nicely to a hint of coffee. Slightly viscous overall.

Overall - happy I waited to age this beer 6 full years from the bottled date!!!!! When I purchased the 4 pack in 2010, I drank one every year for 3 years. Don't really know why I waited this long to drink the last but glad I did!!!!!!!!

Lastly this is prob the longest I might age a KBS, longer and I think you would lose more of the overall flavors. I might be wrong though...

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Photo of gr8dj00
4.73/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Couldn't believe this was sitting on the shelf. Asked if there was more and they said "sure, how many?" Near black with nice head in a snifter. Smell is mocha and vanilla bourbon. Taste is smooth with booze up front and mildly coffee bitterness at end. Gonna be a great year having these at different intervals and comparing to this years brew.

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

Drank side by side with 2015 KBS. 2016 had a slightly darker head. Decent amount of chocolate and coffee on the nose. Mouthfeel was spot on -- slightly more viscous than the 2015 version. Taste was better than I remember -- better than the 2015, and definitely better than 2014 (if my memory serves me right!). This beer grows more complex as it warms, with the chocolate becoming more pronounced. Overall, a great example of a BA'ed stout.

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

Look: Just like a stout should. Pitch black. Good mocha colored 2 finger head which I wasn't expecting with this high of an ABV.

Smell: This beer smells amazing. Bourbon, chocolate, oak, coffee. It's all in there just like the label says.

Taste: Disappointed about the amount of booziness. Still an awesome tasting beer. Right up front you get alcohol, but towards the back is the bourbon, chocolate, and coffee so perfectly blended.

Feel: Thick and creamy.

Overall: Love this beer. I think it deserves the hype. Enjoy the 2016 edition everyone.

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Photo of lukesherlock
4.16/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I can't believe I just paid $35 for a 4-pack of beer..

Great chocolaty aroma, poured beautiful but I'm definitely not taken back by the taste or feel. Don't get me wrong, this is an excellent stout and it is worth trying but I'm afraid it has been slightly overhyped.

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Photo of Lingenbrau
4.18/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Black, opaque, thin tan head. Faint bourbon, oak, chocolate, coffee and alcohol. Taste dominated by alcohol, followed by coffee, oak and subtle dark chocolate, with a super thick creamy mouthfeel. Cheers!

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Photo of Xenoreactive
2.78/5  rDev -39%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Hype beer. Avoid the strangling drama of this brew.

Had a vertical from fresh to 5 year aged. All were unimpressive and considerably overblown.

One positive note is that the ABV is in double digits, so you might forget the mediocrity after 2 or 3.

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

look: pitch black and a chocolate head.
smell: bourbon, chocolate, vanilla, and coffee
taste, a bit sweet but delicious, you taste the bourbon, chocolate and coffee.
feel: full bodied and smooth.
overall: delicious.

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Photo of THSdrummer
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

**2016 variety, poured from self-serve tap, drank on 4/13/16. Reviewed from notes. Scored above.

When fresh, a hearty, creme colored foamy head springs up and hangs around for a while over a jet black beer. Lacing is prevalent. Aroma is chalk full of complexities, including bourbon, oak, coffee, and chocolate. Boozy bourbon and alcohol poke through too. Taste opens with oak and sweet, biscuit malts. A wave of booze, bourbon, coffee, and chocolate hits next. It's mighty strong and powerful. Borderline hot. A little bit of grainy yeast at the end of the finish. Mouth feel is thick, robust, hearty, filling, and slightly mouth coating. Overall, a sublime beer. Borderline hot, so it may suit it to age it and tame the burn a little, but otherwise fantastic. Complex, and yet drinkable.

Served in a 12oz snifter. 8oz pour. Poured straight into glass.

**2014 variety, drank on 2/28/16 Score: 4/4.5/4.5/4.25/4.5

Pours totally black with a little dark caramel colored fizz when aged. No lacing or the like left behind. Sweet biscuit malt, caramel, and oak. Little bit of a booze burn, but nothing bad. Sweet, malty syrup opening, with hints of caramel, coffee, bourbon, and oak coming in later. Mouth feel is extremely smooth and easy to go down. Maybe a little thin, but not watery. Overall, a really good barrel aged stout. Plenty going on, while still remaining filling.

Served in a 12oz snifter.

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Photo of craftbeersweden
4.57/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours like black motoroil with a huge, three finger high, mocca-head.

The nose is FANTASTIC! So deep, rich and creamy. Coffee, dark chocolate, cayenne pepper, marshmallows, oak, bourbon, brown sugar, roasted malt and alcohol.
The taste just keep this up! Chocolate, oak, cayenne pepper, black pepper, brown sugar, vanilla, toffee, bourbon, molasses, red berries and dark fruit.
This is a full body beer! Complex structure. Silky smooth. Oily texture. A light bitterness and dry ending.

This is really something special and unik. I have to go to Goose Island Bourbon County Stout to find something to match this.

Wow! I’m so glad I still have five bottles left in my beercellar...

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Photo of xcdarrel17
4.66/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

This is the real deal of bourbon barrel aged beers for me. Some say its overrated, and while yes it is highly sought after and difficult to find, it finds that perfect balance once you crack the bottle. Smooth at 11% with all of the subtleties you would expect from a barrel aged beer. Finds a good balance and melds the barrel without any overpowering tones. Mouthfeel was a little thin for me in this bottle at 18 months aged.

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Photo of tillmac62
4.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

BOD 3/5/15. Pours dark as a starless night. World class head volume, lacing and retention.

World class nose of bourbon, cocoa, vanilla, a hint of coffee and subtle roast and oak notes over a base of caramel and biscuit.

Almost full body with a texture that is creamy and possesses an oily character as well. Superb carbonation with a nice effervescent middle coupled with a very prickly finish.

The flavor profile is world class. It is intense, complex and masterfully balanced. Bourbon is the primary flavor but is buttressed by a rich malt base that pops with roast producing a somewhat sweet stout. Coffee, oak and chocolate comprise the supporting cast of this renowned stout. Bitterness is mild in the middle with roast rather evident over a subtle oak character. From the middle on, chocolate notes are ascending to challenge the bourbon. The finish has a bit of heat and subtle astringency that actually add to the complexity of this masterpiece. At the end, a long slow fade of chocolate lingers.

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Photo of Shermski
4.57/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2015 KBS

Look: Motor oil, still a tad watery/thin for my liking
Smell: Heaven, complex oak, tobacco, it's a founder's barrel aged
Taste: Boozy heat, vanilla, chocolate, barrel oak
Feel: Like others have said a little more chewiness would of been awesome.
Overall: Badass offering, I think 2014 version was better, looking forward to 2016!

Edit: 16 is definitely better than 15. Thicker, fudgier, melds so well with the barrel but I almost wish there was more even barrel.

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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,975 ratings.