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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)

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2,848 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 2,848
Hads: 11,059
Avg: 4.56
pDev: 17.54%
Wants: 4,382
Gots: 5,254 | 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: 11,059
Photo of EmperorBevis
4.34/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

looks like expresso & real big coffee roast aroma
Tastes like a really good Irish coffee.
deceptively easy drinking
Fantastically enjoyable, world class?
Hhmmmm nearly, need to research further.

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Photo of drone
4.46/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2014 variant, huge thanks to @fsckewe for providing me with a bottle. Gorgeous coffee and chocolate notes, no 11% notes anywhere to be found. Masterpiece.

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Photo of 2014LM2X1
4.84/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I am a convert to coffee BA stouts; there's something about Bourbon and coffee that really just works. KBS is the best I've had so far; there is so much chocolate, coffee, and barrel at play. It seems as if all the flavors are just fighting to dominate the experience but never quite do it. Very complex, very well balanced, absolutely delicious.

P.S. If Founders could put the craftsmanship of KBS into a Mayan chocolate stout a la Xocoveza, I would give it a 5, no questions asked.

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Photo of pwilliams211
4.49/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2014 bottle. I like this one with some age, all notes are still present, but everything is needed together into a toasty and a pretty complex beer....and it's insanely smooth no booze at all!

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

This is my favorite of the bourbon stouts that I have tried. Goose Island is a great bourbon stout as well, but I find this one a little less boozy overall which makes the difference for me. It's a great beer, but don't let the "breakfast" in the name fool you as this beer packs a punch. You might not want to drink it and then head to work. :-)

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Photo of Illmaticzx
4.24/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A black dk khaki thin head
S roasted coffee bakers choc slight bourbon
T dk chocalate, bourbon, not much coffee
M a little thin for a stout
O not quite as great as i hoped, like backwoods better

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Photo of BayouBengal1537
4.7/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a jet black with 1 finger tan head into a tulip glass. Smells of dark roast coffee, bitter chocolate, roasty malts, big vanilla, big bourbon barrel character. Taste follows with roasted coffee, milk chocolate, bourbon & oak, vanilla. I gave the mouthfeel a 5 because it was easily the silkiest imperial stout i've ever drank. Overall, one of the best imperial bourbon barrel aged stouts I've ever had.

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Photo of Gorilla_Biscuits
4.83/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Smooth creamy coffee and chocolate malts stand out the most. The barrel aged taste isn't as strong as expected, however this beer is amazing. One of the better imperial stouts out there.

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Photo of StJamesGate
4.46/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Viscous jet black that's opaque even with a light behind it and a pocked finger of sepia foam that puts up a good fight but fades under the heavy ABV. 4.25
Fig, leather, cold coffee, oak chips, black shoe polish, blackberry skins, then baker's chocolate, booze, and caramelized sugar - evolves as it opens. 4.5
Ganache, with beef jerky, candied black cherries, dates, coffee candy, creme brulee, and a woody-honeyed bite with a touch of grass. 4.5
Caramel-coated hazelnut finish and spicy drying linger.
Heavy, oily, chewy, hot, smooth, 4.25

The best meals are not just packed full of flavor, but different flavors with each bite. This does that: whiskey in coffee one sip, chocolate plum bonbons the next. Chocolate is big, dark, and right upfront; coffee, less so. Dark fruit all hit on the sweet side, though there's the occasional astringent fig note or hit of dark malt acidity. A massive stout, all right, but incredibly drinkable - one sip follows the next and it's tough to slow down. I’d like to knock off a couple of the boozy notes from the bourbon and see what happens after 6 months.

Another beer that I was prepared to slam but actually lives up to the hype.
“Never has twelve ounces seemed so much like six.” - BuckeyeNation

The right beer to mark moving house.

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Photo of BranfordBound
4.64/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Had on tap at Walrus + Carpenter in late April. The weather outside was still damp and chilly at nice, so this should fit right in. Pours black as night in the snifter glass, small dark tan head rises slowly and sticks around. Deep, complex aroma that gives hints to its strength and barrel-aged origins. The initial flavor is the sweetness and strong coffee, this is followed by the barrel flavor and intense notes of bourbon. Finish is boozy (in the slightest way) and roasted. Char and bitterness remain on the tongue with some chocolate. Vanilla isn't too perceptible as it can be easily confused with the bourbon. Thick and heavy body is actually somewhat easy to drink. Overall one of the best Impy stouts I've had.

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Photo of dlcross
4.98/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Look: Dark as night.

Smell: Sweet smell with malt and toffee. Hints of vanilla and white oak (obviously).

Taste: A bit of alcohol burn, in a good way. Reminiscent, of a good cup of bourbon spiked coffee. Still sweet with a hint of bitter (delicious) coffee on the tail end. Roughly equivalent to the nectar of God's balls.

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Photo of VTR
4.4/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

After several years of failing to get this during the release I surprisingly found it on tap yesterday. It was poured into a snifter. The nose was a mix of coffee, chocolate, vanilla, and bourbon. I couldn't resist taking a sip from this dark brew with a great khaki head. The taste followed the nose but some of the flavors were faint and then the bitterness hit me. OK well I am always one to let my stouts warm up to see if they develop. This beer got better as it warmed. Once warmed all the flavors developed and meshed together very, very well and the bitterness subsided. The flavors danced around your mouth while the beer felt very silky. Ok now the bourbon was there but it did not overpower the beer letting all the flavors and roastiness come through. I really enjoyed that the coffee was not over the top. While I have been let down by other highly sought after beers this is not one of them. To me it was a different animal than the highly acclaimed BCBCS. All I can say is I was very impressed with this beer. Hands down one of the best beers I have had. I am going to head down tomorrow afternoon and hope they still have some left in the keg!

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Photo of smcolw
4.52/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Served, on tap, in a brandy snifter. Good starting head but it settles quickly to rim bubbles. Leaves a small amount of blanketing lace and a couple of spots. Deep dark mahoghany brown where the faintest of light passes.

Chalky milk chocolate aroma up front. Mild alcohol with a powdered cocoa kicker (distinct from the milk chocolate.)

Extremely smooth, perhaps the silkiest, velvety mouthfeel ever. This stout works backwards--it starts with a black patent malt bitterness but this fades as the as a strong sherry-like grape sweetness takes over. Strong alcohol finish with semisweet chocolate overtones.

Usually I'm slightly disappointed by the "top beers". While they are typically great, they usually aren't worthy of their effusive accolades. This one, though, does not disappoint.

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Photo of Mattygross44
3.27/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3.5

I just cant join the hype beer club with this beer it had a very pungent taste off the bat very sweet almost tarty as it warmed it got better but as a very die hard stout drinker and a ex bourbon whiskey drinker this just was a mediocre beer for me. Some of the beers that get a 75-88 score on here taste sooo much better to me. I guess ive been spoiled with parabola and other top of the line as people say beers for to long ...Michigan you can keep this out on the east coast and i will enjoy my west coast stouts out here!! Def would not buy glad i got in a trade.

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Photo of maxifunk777
3.91/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Another disappointing whale a good beer just not a great beer will try another real soon to see if it changes my mind. Sunday Morning Stout is so much better than this beer. I drank a non-BA plead the 5th and enjoyed slightly more.

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Photo of mdagnew
4.24/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

3355ml bottle bought online from McHughs, Dublin

Poured jet black - nothing gets through even when held up to the light. Dark dirty brown head poured thick and foamy then faded to nice thickish covering... very faint lacing...

Aroma - Strong coffee, toasted chocolate malts and vanilla, light oaky bourbon, some sweet milk chocolate, oats, bittersweet cocoa, faint leathery notes, woody, some faint liquorice traces, light spicy hops, burnt brown sugar...

Taste - Lots of creamy chocolate and rich dark coffee to the fore, vanilla, roasted malts, dark fruits, faint smoky notes, some liquorice, some peppery hops, nutty, light molasses sweetness, warming alcohol just coming through

Feel - Very smooth and creamy with just a little sharpness after... full bodied... very drinkable considering it's 11%

Overall - An excellent stout and one i'm glad to have tried although it didn't quite live up to the hype... don't get me wrong i really enjoyed this but there are much better Impy Stouts out there (BCS for one). Definitely worth trying though...

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Photo of jbredbeard
4.47/5  rDev -2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I was expecting a little more coffee notes, however a very good stout. Nice, mild coffee aroma, mild coffee flavor ends with a sticky sweet malt bitterness that really finishes it off. Alcohol shows up towards the bottom of the glass, excellent!

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Photo of Tuck_leepulin
4.95/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

12oz Bottle bottled on 02/12/2015 poured into a snifter.

Appearance: Pours an opaque brown with a finger of mocha head

Smell: Rich Chocolate, and licorice

Taste: An impeccable blend of chocolate and coffee with oaky vanilla undertones, roasted notes in the finish with some bourbon

Mouthfeel: Medium and low carbonation

Overall: Often times, we have heard silly phrases like, "nectar of the gods". This meets that definition. Putting aside any hype or disdain for the honors this beer has received, this has shaken up my expectations for a barrel aged beer. Often times I have enjoyed a world-class BA stout or barleywine and thought to myself, "wow, I'm curious how this will be a year or several down the road". That does not apply to KBS. All of the disparate elements are present: bold coffee notes, decadent chocolate, rich malt flavors, oak barrel, and boozy heat of bourbon.

The combination of these notes is so seamless in a way that one does not overpower the other. That is where this beer succeeds. It is from this balance that I initially have not wanted to age this beer any further. I truly first sipped this beer and could not offer any other suggestions for improvement. I will not say this is the perfect beer because that just may never exist. Yet, KBS has become a benchmark for flavored, barrel-aged stouts for me.

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

Why is everyone so high on Founders? I don't understand the fascination with this place. I think they brew good beers and some great beers, but I don't think that they should be tops on all of these lists. With that being said, this Imperial Stout was good, but it wasn't great. Granted it is better on tap at the brewery itself, but still not great in my eyes. I really try to like these guys, but not worth the hype in most cases.

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Photo of oregonduck
4.07/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2014 bottle. First off, this bottle was aged over a year which seemed to help as I tried a 2015 bottle recently and wasn't very impressed. 2015 was very boozy and felt like it needed more time. 2014 is solid, and a very nice BA beer, but even aged 1 year KBS seems overhyped. It is very good, but I don't think it is elite like the FW barrel aged beers. In fact, I recently tried a Lagunitas High Westified Imperial Stout that fresh was very comparable and similar to KBS at 1 year. For the details, KBS smells very nice, has a great, sweet smell almost like vanilla ice cream. The taste is more bittersweet chocolate, but not too hot as the age helped mellow it. The feel is on the thin side for an Imperial Stout. Overall very nice, but not elite like all of the hype would suggest.

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Photo of jtk21351
4.92/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

The best stout I've ever had, hands down. It was like drinking a liquid Hershey's chocolate bar with a brilliantly smooth finish. Highly recommended, totally lives up to the hype.

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Photo of Malt_Man
4.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

L) Very dark chestnut brown, opaque. Thin bubbly tan head.

S) Bourbon is the major smell. Some sweetness, some chocolate. No beer.

T) Lots of things happening here... boozy but not overpowering slightly sweet bourbon flavours come in first, followed by subtle bitterness from roasted malt. Ends on a mellow caramel / slightly sweet malty note.

F) Lovely density to it. Alcohol warmth at the end is very nice. Slight bitterness in the aftertaste, but nothing like as strong as other stouts can be.

O) Lives up to the hype. £5.50 well spent, will buy another perhaps later in the year.

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

Excellent beer, tons of coffee in the aroma and taste, together with roasted malts, a bit of vanilla and some feint bourbon. It seemed to lack complexity, but was excellently well balanced in its simplicity.

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Photo of drew42e
4.58/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours near black with small caramel head. Notes of chocolate, bourbon, coffee in both aroma and taste. Bit boozy though, but not unexpected at 11+%. Bourbon really comes through. Mouthfeel isn't as thick as other imperial stouts, but makes it drink very smoothly, despite the heavy bourbon undertones. Finish is warm. Excellent stout but would put behind Goose Island BCBS among my favorites of the genre.

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Photo of Chris_Burton
3.67/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Deep black body and a large, fluffy, beige head from an aggressive pour, which soon died down. Unsurprisingly, the nose is dominated by bourbon. Lots of coffee and chocolate flavour as to be expected from the style, but with a boozy, bourbon finish. Mouthfeel is as smooth as silk.

KBS is a beer with a huge reputation, but I have to admit I'm somewhat disappointed with it. I've had many imperial stouts I'd rate higher than this. I guess I'm not a fan of the bourbon flavour (if I have a whisky, I'll make it a scotch). I'm grateful I got to try it, but unlike some other hard to find imperial stouts I've had the pleasure of trying, I won't be too sad if I never have another one.

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