Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) - Founders Brewing Company

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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)

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10,393 Ratings

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Ratings: 10,393
Reviews: 2,863
rAvg: 4.62
pDev: 8.87%
Wants: 4,138
Gots: 4,662 | FT: 374
Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 10,393 | Reviews: 2,863
Photo of Anthony1
4.02/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Smell is Bourbon and sharp strong coffee. The overall aroma is sharp like fresh strong lightly roasted coffee. Every sniff brings more of that wonderful coffee and bourbon aroma with all the subtle scents you would associate with those smells. Bitter chicory, vanilla, caramel, wine, nuts, oak, and slight amount of black pepper are all in there. I could smell this 24/7 and never get tired of it; they should make a cologne that smells like this.

Taste is slightly sweet and full of smooth coffee and bourbon flavor. Quite strong and tasty vanilla flavor with a tasty chocolate and bourbon aftertaste. Smooth and never bitter

Photo of ShadesOfGray
4.67/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours thick as oil...and dark as too. Little to no head present. A thin ring apears...dark brown. Aroma is very strong, like coffee, chocolate, and slightly bitter. I pick up a little burbon, boozy scent too.
Heavy vanilla, coffee, choclate, raison taste. Not as sweet as a Dark Lord(Three Floyds), but similar in the raison/coffee taste. Very heavy, almost like watered down syrup in consistency. Even more flavors as beer warms up. Very solid Imperial Stout!

Photo of hayesez
4.89/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had a drink of this beer for the first time at Dark Lord Day a couple of years ago, and remember being a little underwhelmed. However, it was early afternoon by that point...

Received this one in a trade with brewCzar - thanks for the hook-up!

Poured into a Westvleteren chalice. Very little head with just a hoola-hoop of tan foam. Very dark and viscous with a small amount of nice lace.

The smell of this thing almost knocked me over at first. It took me quite a while to place the specific coffee smell in there but I finally got it. When you've left your pot of coffee on the fire in hunting camp all day, all of the water has evaporated, you just have that "sludge" at the bottom...if you've ever stuck your nose in there, then you know what I'm talking about. That deep, strong, coffee sludge smell. There's also a bit of vanilla and some dark cherries in there as well, but the hunting camp sludge is out in front - and it is wonderful!

So much more impressed with the taste of this than I remember! As anticipated, I got smacked with a lot of coffee on the front, but this beer is much more complex than that. The chocolate in the middle was very pronounced as well...almost a milk chocolate as opposed to dark. By the third drink, I was stuck on the bourbon taste - right there on the back of the tongue. This was probably the most impressive part of the beer. The bourbon was very strong, but in a very positive way - it really stuck with me long after I'd finished the drink. If you like bourbon, I have full confidence that you will be impressed with the way it is incorporated in this brew! The beer was not alcoholic either - impressively smooth.

This beer is nearly as thick as it looks. It coats the mouth and lingers around long after the beer is gone. Outstanding.

Overall, I was extremely impressed with the KBS. I have six more sitting in my basement and look forward to keeping those around for a few years. Definitely a beer that I'll always have on hand!

Consumed - 11/24/2009

Photo of womencantsail
4.7/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review #200 comes courtesy of imperialking. Jeff was kind enough to hook it up with two bottles of extras!

A: KBS has that wonderful motor oil like pour with a thin layer of mocha colored foam.

S: While I'm not much of a coffee fan, the coffee aroma in this beer is amazing. There are also great chocolate, roasted malt, and ever so slight bourbon scents.

T: Talk about flavor! There are huge coffee, chocolate, roasted malt, and bourbon flavors in this. The alcohol is definitely there, but it's not quite as boozy as I was preparing for.

M: This is a great thick, chewy, creamy beer.

D: The drinkability is surprisingly good for such a strong beer. The beer is not "hot", and the flavors are absolutely sensational. I'm glad that I have another one of these to enjoy.

Photo of capra12
4.47/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed with Speedwayjim.

Appearance: Jet black with 1 finger of chocolate colored head, motor oil thick, the head dissipates rather quickly.

Smell: Roasted dark chocolate and coffee.

Taste: Opens with a rich dark chocolate and roasted coffee. Strong malt backbone as the two flavors revolve around as the bourbon shows it face at the finish with a breif hint of licorice and vanilla.

Mouthfeel: Medium Bodied, medium carbonation and smooth throughout.

Drinkability: I would definitely have this again and I would definitely recommend this to those who enjoy the Breakfast stout but better, maltier and richer in flavor.

Photo of Donerik
3.43/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I liked this the least of the three breakfast stouts, I found the tastes mudded.

A - Black, brown head, low retention, as expected, beautiful

S - Smells good, coffee, bourbon, unmistakable aromas of both combine with roasted malt.

T - a bit of a let down here, the three tastes from the aroma just kind of mudd up, the coffee was a bit too overpowering and the bourbon flavor doesn't come all the way through, just as an alcohol.

M - didn't finish as well as the rest of the family, a bit more burning

D - 1 was my limit on this, I've had more than one of both of the others, I didn't enjoy this beer the same way as the others, it was in the finish.

Photo of ThatWineGuy
4.35/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Motor oil black, almost no head, very thin tan coating disappears leaving almost no ring. Perfectly opaque. Full nose with rich smell of roast coffee, espresso, burnt toast and vanilla.

Mouthfeel is silky smooth with substantial body. Bitter taste with astringent bourbon impressions very pronounced, bakers chocolate and burnt coffee, chocolate almond biscotti, some nuttiness. Very complex stout with a huge taste, velvet feel although just a touch too astringent... I could live with a steady supply of these!

Photo of jera1350
4.7/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a thick deep brown/black with a hint of brown foam. Leaves traces of lacing.

Lots of deep roasted malt, bourbon scent, moderate coffee and a hint of vanilla.

Lots of chocolate with notes of coffee, vanilla and bourbon. Perfection! So perfectly blended and outstanding tasting.

Rich and creamy mouthfeel. Full bodied, but not syrupy and sticky. Smooth and dry finishing.

Should be a sipper of a beer, but it makes you want to sip frequently. Outstanding beer, give me more.

Photo of dasfunker
4.67/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

It's my birthday and I did nothing but work for 12 hours. I came home and fell asleep for two hours, so technically, it's no longer my birthday. Be that as it may, I got up and decided to hit the beers. I'm getting a kegerator next week and my refrigerator is currently loaded with 200+ beers. Luckily I'm a chef and can bring food home, because I sure as hell have no where to store it. Irrelavent. Drank many other beers. Decided to have a special beer for the occasion. Good God this is good. I'm not a scientific rater. I'm not going to break this down to categories. What I will say is that I hate coffee. I also hate bourbon. And if I could, this beer would flow from every tap in my home. I went through hell to procure just one 2007 bottle of this Felix Felicitas, and my advice to everyone is: If you find it, buy it. All of it. Elbow people in the face if they get too close before you get it home. You will not regret it. Cheers!

Photo of beermanbrian
4.29/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Oil can black color with a thin tan head. High ABV keeps the head down and there is no lace. Smell of bourbon with some coffee and burnt malt in the background. Taste hits you up front with the bourbon and then the coffee and burnt malts slip in. Some dark fruits and raisin flavors slip in there too. Very full mouth with very litle carbonation. Some major burn in the finish. Overall this one is exactly what you would expect. Big, in your face, full of alcohol. Well done Founders.

Photo of PALMEJ1
4/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

received from mikesgroove as part of "review this" BIF. bottled 2/17/09 poured into dfh snifter

a-pours so thick. even with a 10-12" pour the beer does not splash, it barely moves. little one finger head settles quick. foam ring around the glass is almost a pinkish brown.
s-you can smell this one from 3 feet away. chocolate and espresso comes first. little wood and some alcohol but its smooth and it blends together nicely.
t-big flavors right from the start. chocolate, alcohol, woody notes, mild liquorish. there's a clear taste of molasses, more than most stouts Ive had. the wood/bourbon flavor contributes a big smokiness along with the roasted malt. big time heat you can feel in your gut. I only got mild coffee in the taste. Big but good.
m-thick! the thick mouth does work excellent with the big flavors to make a memorable experience.
d-the heat did distract me. not the mildest 11% I've had, however I did not have a problem finishing the bottle.

Photo of brownbeer
4.79/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Popped this for my 100th review. 2009 vintage

A- Pours an oily black with a short lived burnt brown head.

S- Heavy bourbon barrel, rich dark chocolate, peanut butter, vanilla, a bit of smoke in there, gourmet coffee. Truely wonderful, I could sniff this for days (that's what she said).

T- Similar to the nose. The smoke, coffee, cocoa, and bourbon flavors integrate nicely. 11.2% hidden fairly well.

M- Light carbonation and slight viscosity, subtle silky tannins smooth it out nicely but not as full as I expected.

D- Powerful beer, but tastes great enough to drink a few glasses. As great as this is, I may have liked the Canadian Breakfast just a little more. Just a hair.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.57/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Shared this one with capra12. Served from a 12oz. bottle poured into a Blue Point snifter.

A: Poured a vigorous 1 finger dark chocolate fine head with ok retention. Brew itself was black and opaque like motor oil with near no carbonation. Lacing was spotty but ample.

S: Overwhelming coffee nose with characters of dark and milk chocolate, vanilla, and bourbon.

T: Wow. So damn deep and complex. Starts off with milk and dark chocolate. A strong bourbon character develops along with a nice roasted coffee palate. Finishes with re-emerging dark and milk chocolate and a slightly alcoholic aftertaste.

M: Oily and flat, this one coats the mouth nicely. Deep bodied and viscous and ends dry and clean.

D: This is Founders Breakfast Stout but just better in every way that it could be better. More chocolate, deeper coffee, and overall more complexity and character. An amazing experience that I can't wait to have again.

Photo of caresville
4.54/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

w-o-w. pours midnight black with an almost nothing beige head. aroma is deeep, dark chocolate, black coffee, kentucky bourbon, and maybe some more black coffee. taste is very strong of coffee, with some chocolate and an alcohol finish. very thick, roasty and full of coffee and chocolatey goodness. one of the best beers i have ever had in general, hands down.

Photo of aaronh
5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is almost indescribable. Jet black body. Aroma of dark chocolate, vanilla, coffee, bourbon. Flavor - more of the same. Unbelievably complex but no odd flavors. Mouthfeel - extremely rich. Drinkability - even at 11% ABV I want to drink this all the time. Next year I need 2 cases.

Photo of McDiddyPop
4.35/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle courtesy of Kryptic. Bottled 2/16/09. Poured into a Cigar City snifter.

KBS pours pitch black. Not a bit of light shines through this one- and I was really looking for it, too. A small dark brown head doesn't stick around long, leaving spotty lacing. As I swirl it in the glass I can see brown, boozy legs slowly sliding down the sides.

Smell is all bourbon and vanilla up front. As it warms I get lots of caramel and chocolate, and finally after searching long and hard I finally picked out a bit of the coffee. I now understand that this isnt FBS from a bourbon barrel- I am dealing with a completely different animal.

Taste starts off tremendously sweet with chocolate and vanilla, finished off with a slight bitter roasted flavor from the coffee. The coffee really helps to balance this one out, but it is certainly not at the forefront. The bourbon heat gives it a nice kick on the finish. I dig this one a lot.

Nice smooth mouthfeel. Minimal carbonation makes this one slick and oily, and the bourbon warmth coats my palate with each sip. It could use a bit more carbonation, but nonetheless it was still a joy to sip on for an hour or so. The drinkability is out of this world for the ABV, but with another year on it I think the bourbon heat will have mellowed out and this one would be just about pitch perfect.

Photo of Jmoore50
4.3/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on Feb-16-09

The appearance is dark dark dark black. Even the edges of this are black. Comes with a small mocha head that leaves fast. It does cover the sides of the glass with a thick alcoholic residue.

The smell is a mixture of the tastes. Bourbon and alcohol are overwhelming smells. Chocolate and coffee and small hints of vanilla. Dark fruits, sweet plumbs mostly. Bourbon overtakes everything.

The taste is fairly hot. Bourbon just takes the stage and steals the show. Coffee flavors are not as present as I wanted them to, chocolate is also a very large character. The chocolate in this is more sweet bakers chocolate rather than earthy chocolate malt flavor. The bourbon is not smooth like Bourbon County, it is a bit more rough on the palate and interferes with some of the other flavors. When it warms up to room temperature the vanilla character comes out.

The mouthfeel is great because I personally love a bourbon mouthfeel, hot and intense. The drinkability is good, but the ABV can be tasted. I would easily drink 4 of these in a sitting and love it. A great Winter brew.
I have read other reviews and maybe mine is either not old enough or too old? I don't know but this is one good beer that I wish I could buy all the time.
Not better than FBS.


Photo of beer1018
4.67/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Birthday present to myself 10102009

Poured into a snifter with a very little carmel colored head. Appears pitch black, this beast is thick. Smells of dark chocolate and coffee, i am not really smelling any of the bourbon. Taste is like a dark chocolate truffle, wow this is tasty and the alchol burn is very mild as well which is nice. Mouthfeel is creamy with bubbles from the slight amount of carbonation. If i was able to drink more then two i would. Best stout i have had so far with blackout stout being a close second. Recomended

Photo of turnblom79
4.47/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Poured rich and dark, nice caramel colored foam collar.

Smell- Full smell, with vanilla, coffee and caramel hints.

Taste- This is where it kind of lost me. It tasted like a good Imperial Stout should, until the after taste where it hit me like I had just taken a shot of less than premium whiskey. Good thing is, it encouraged me to take another drink quickly to replace the taste.

Mouthfeel- Not overly carbonated and the perfect heaviness for the style.

Drinkability- The texture of it was great, and it went down smooth, up until the after taste.

Photo of SteveO1231
5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Received a single sample in a beer trade. 12 oz. stubby bottle with a twistie top. Western looking type treatment and aged paper look on the label. No fresh date to be found.

Pours like dirty motor oil with a similar viscosity. Creamy dark-tan head sits atop the tar pit.

The beer smells awesome! Best aroma on a beer I had dipped my nose into in quite some time. Tons of chocolate, like the innards of a nestle quick powder container. Tons of wood in there. Some roast, and charred marsh mellow.

The beer is as full bodied as one gets, fluffy, with a slickness that coats the palate.

Lots of chocolatey sweetness up front with a flavor of malted milk balls, black coffee, burnt sugars, some earthy flavors most likely from the oak aging. Finishes with the dryness of a burnt marshmellow and black coffee.

Great Imperial Stout, seriously delicious, seriously potent.


Photo of Mistofminn
4.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This bottle courtesy of seanpacheffda. Thanks for this awsome extra!

2009 bottle with the "KBS" label. Poured into my Suly tulip. Bery dark brown on the pour, but in the glass it looks jet black. About a finger of dark mocha colored head, which fades into a thin layer and leaves some splotches of lacing.

The nose is a complex combination of bourbon, oak, bitter chocolate, coffee, milk chocolate and vanilla, tabacco and a nice roasty character. Very nice nose.

The taste is initially very strong on the coffee and bourbon notes. Vanilla, chocolate and oaky characters come in after the initial bourbon wave. A very nice warming presence. Light bitter taste that sits on your tongue after you swallow. So complex and so tasty, this is very impressive. Another huge upside is that this isn't anywhere near as hot as I thought it was going to be, the alcohol is very well hidden.

Mouthfeel is full and thick, it coates your mouth. Creamy and smooth with an appropriately low carbonation. Very nice. Drinkability is very impressive also. Sip and savor this one.

I'm extremely fortunate and glad to get a chance to try this mammoth of a beer. It completely deserves it's stature among the best in the world. I would really love to try an older bottle to see the differences and changes with this beer. Thanks, Sean for the chance!

Photo of beertooth
4.32/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I decided to crack a 2009 vintage bottle tonight to see how it's aging. 12oz bottle poured into a goblet.

This beer is very dark brown to black with a finger of very silky chocolate milk colored head. The head fades into a thin layer and leaves very spotted lacing.

The nose is full of coffee, vanilla, bourbon, oak, and baker's chocolate. It smells delicious!

The first sip hits me with coffee and bourbon. I'm actually getting a lot more bourbon in this now than when it was fresh. The vanilla and chocolate come next and are rounded out with some oaky tannins and alcohol. There's a slight bitter finish that lingers in between sips. The alcohol isn't hot, but it is warming.

Mouthfeel is full and creamy with low carbonation, but I wouldn't say it's slick.

One of the best imperial stouts out there and a must try if you haven't already. I can't wait for the next release.

Photo of Traquairlover
4.3/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12-oz bottle of the 2008 vintage poured into a tulip.

A = Dark mahogany, very small medium reddish tan head. When I first started pouring I thought it was flat, but some carbonation did show up after all.

S = Vanilla, oak, chocolate powder, some mustiness (not as in an off way) but more of the nice smell of an unused, clean attic, even some hints of dark fruits, plums, dark cherries.

T = Wow! The bourbon tastes are still in there in force, also very strong flavors of chocolate and vanilla, some woody oak, and also still some of those fruits I picked up in the nose but much more subdued given the wealth of flavors up front.

M = A truly exceptional mouthfeel, full bodied, great mouthcoating, frothy, luscious, creamy. Just excellent!

D = A little strong in strength of flavor and burn to rate perfectly in drinkability. You don't just want to quaff this. On the other hand, it is really good, I really want to keep taking each sip and look forward to the next time.

Photo of boostsr20
4.9/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

Photo of natasharai
4.63/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

2009 bottle of KBS consumed on 9/24/09, served in a snifter glass.

Appearance: Poured with a small foamy brown head that dissipated leaving almost no lacing on my glass. The beer is black and lets no light through.

Smell: Amazing, so strong I can smell it 2 feet away. Strong delicious coffee, Dark chocolate, deep roasted malt, faint sweet plum, and a small amount of toffee.

Taste: Strong coffee like the smell, nice roasted malt flavor, sweet malt, plum flavor is more prevalent in the taste than smell, some sweet oaky and bourbon flavors, dark bitter chocolate. The flavors are combined so nicely, I can only imagine what a few more months would do to this beer!!

Mouthfeel: Thick body, very smooth with a nice, but small, amount of carbonation, a little sticky sweet, leaves mouth with a nice roasted dry feel and a little bit sticky. Very little alcohol burn, especially considering the ABV on it.

Overall: Amazing drinkability!! So many huge aromas in the smell, it made me think this would be difficult to finish... until I tasted it. Despite the huge coffee flavor and roasted malt this beer is so smooth!! The sweet character combined with the bitter roasted/coffee/chocolate flavors and oaky bourbon keep me very interested. Quite complex and smooth... just what I was hoping for!

Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 10,393 ratings.