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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.

2,850 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 2,850
Hads: 11,070
Avg: 4.56
pDev: 17.54%
Wants: 4,386
Gots: 5,270 | FT: 411
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
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Reviews: 2,850 | Hads: 11,070
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!

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

Some people say this beer has gone downhill over the years. I couldn't disagree more. It just keeps getting better. Bourbon, Coffee, Oak, Vanilla...So good. By far one of the best BA Stouts around.

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Photo of DaverCS
4.86/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Split between 2 people. Pours jet black with a small but lingering light-brown head.

Aroma is pure bourbon. I get some beautiful molasses and vanilla as well. I get coffee on the finish. However, the dominant aroma is the bourbon and the barrel characteristic.

This beer is exquisite and constantly changing. It's a perfect balance between sweet, smokey, and bitter. Dark chocolate and roasted coffee peaks through in the beginning. Each individual flavor surfaces for an instant before rejoining the others. The beer is not overly sweet, as it is cut by a slight bitterness in the finish. Plenty of barrel and tobacco smokiness in the middle of the sip. Pure bourbon and bitterness extend past the sip. A mild alcohol presence and heat is active as the beer warms.

Overall, this is a world class beer. My only disappointment with the beer is that it is a touch thin in the mouthfeel in comparison to the flavor. It is a bit of a mismatch. Don't consume this with anything. Sip it slowly and enjoy with a clean palate. It gets a 97/100.

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Photo of Myotus
4.38/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle (bottled 03Mar15) into a Spiegelau stout glass.
LOOK: Pours with a half finger's worth of khaki foam that halves itself after 50 seconds. Black in color with orange tint. Rising bubbles are very small in size and moderate in quantity. Lacing is thick and moderate.
SMELL: Strong aromas of molasses, figs, and plums, entangle with mild aromas of vanilla, sweet chocolate, sweet coffee, and subtle aromas of oak, bourbon, and bitter roasted malts.
TASTE: Initial taste is of strong molasses, fig, and plum flavors. Mild sweet chocolate, vanilla, and sweet coffee flavors enter right after. Next, enters mild flavors of oak along with subtle flavors of bourbon and bitter roasted malts as all flavors persist, except for vanilla and coffee, which grow stronger.
FEEL: Full-bodied with hints of carbonation. Goes down smoother than a Keystone and creamier than cream itself. Finishes with a moderate dryness.
NOTE: An amazing imperial stout, however, I feel this is strongly hyped. I have definitely had better.

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Photo of TruePerception
4.28/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Founders' KBS, Bourbon barrel aged stout, brewed with chocolate and coffee. 11.2% ABV.

A: Pitch black, with three fingers of chocolate milk colored head, which doesn't seem to want to go anywhere. Dark brown in the dimple, with a reddish brown glow. Very slight sheeting, but no lacing holds.

S: Roasted coffee dominates, but a smooth bittersweet chocolate and slight Bourbon char quality are right behind. Very dark toffee comes out as it settles.

T/MF: Very smooth texture on the palate. A lot of Bourbon-y char and dark toffee. More bittersweet chocolate, finishing with a dark coffee flavor. Dark toffee and sweet char linger quite long.

This needs a nice juicy steak, but unfortunately, I haven't one...

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle, into a Belgian tulip glass.

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Photo of bennyman12
4.37/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Just finished a bottle of 2012, poured in a somewhat fluted glass, which may have minimized the aroma.

What's interesting about this beer is the way the bourbon and coffee play as the bass note. There's very little roast to balance the sweet dark caramel malts, but the bourbon and the coffee provide a strong enough foundation--without it being hot or astringent. There has to be some lactose in this, as the body is creamy, though by no means thick. 2012 still holding up well. I love this beer!

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Photo of reds2harleys
4.87/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Superb beer that certainly lives up to the hype. I love Founders Brewing and this is one of the reasons why. All of their Stouts are amazing and so full of flavor and this is no exception. I'd rate it a small notch below CBS but a wonderful brew.

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Photo of Buck1
4.48/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Went to a local pub that had a 16 tap Founders take move with KBS and Backwoods Bastard. Had not been able to find KBS . Place was packed. Me and the Mrs. got the 1st 2 snifters. Since I like bourbon it was love at 1st taste. Wife thought it was too boozy and liked the Backwoods Bastard much better. It was cold off the tap and the bourbon was strong. As it warmed the chocolate came out to play. Did it live up to the hype . Yes. It was excellent but since it is hard to find I have no problem with Breakfast Stout which I liked on tap just as much and is much easier to find and I have case from last year in the cellar.

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Photo of DovGibor
3.55/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

8 oz. pour at On Tap in Whole Foods Columbus circle. (Founders did a tap takeover the day before and 9 of their beers were still pouring.)

Pitch black with a hair of head that lingered nicely. Very minimal aroma, just a touch of roast but not much else. Mouthfeel is full with light carbonation on the tongue.

Rich and smooth flavor. Well balance of roasted malt and bourbon barrel. No noticeable alcohol in the flavor; well integrated for 11%.

Overall it's an enjoyable stout, but didn't live up to the reputation.

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

2013 -Served in snifter @ 50degF

L - Nice and dark with little medium brown head

S/T - Chocolate with coffee, bourbon, and oak in the background.

O - It's a good stout, no doubt, but I've had so many really good stouts in the 2 years since I picked this up that I can't help but feel a little disappointed. My buddy did say that KBS is best fresh, I'll try one without age to see if I agree.

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Photo of Brew_42
4.27/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2014 bottle that someone gave me that was bottled in 2013. Not sure if it should have been enjoyed earlier.

A- Jet black, like motor oil with a barely-existent tan head.

S mell and Taste- Put them as one because the taste follows the nose to a T. Coffee and bourbon are the big flavors. More bourbon than coffee. There's a hint of chocolate but the bourbon is the big flavor here.

MF- HEavy and smooth. Almost creamy. Some warmth from the booze too. The ABV is not concealed in this one.

Overal;- Really good stout, and I understand all the hooplah about it. That being said, if you are like me and you aren't huge on bourbon/whiskey flavor, this one might be a little jarring.

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Photo of Coolcheech
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Drank from a tulip, 2015 KBS.

Appearance: Poured jet black, with a bubbly thick head. Left some lacing.

Smell: After pouring you there was a strong aroma of coffee. After drinking the beer for a while I could detect some chocolate.

Taste: You could taste coffee and some smoke. There was also a subtle flavor of alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Medium to heavy body, with some slight burn from the alcohol.

Drinkability: This is a great beer to just sit and sip. I felt it after one, and I wish I had another to follow it up.

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Photo of tregan_20
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I purchased the beer at a local liquor store and poured into a pint glass. The appearance was really dark, almost black. The head was tan in color like espresso/mocha. The smell consisted of roasted chocolate, espresso and bourbon, with a hint of oakiness to it. The taste is very close to the smell... coffee / espresso / mocha / bourbon / malty flavor. The feel was a bit heavy and somewhat chewy. Overall, this is Founder's best offering in my opinion, just above their Breakfast Stout. Definitely worth trying! Cheers!

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Photo of Elsuperjefe
4.96/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Phenomenal. Strong caramel nose followed by a perfect balance of roasted coffee, vanilla and sweet malt. Can't say enough about this master stout. Light carbonation dances to the back of the palate delivering perfectly balanced goodness. Perfection.

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

Pitch Black, wouldn't expect it any other way. Smell was roasty, vanilla, a little oaky from barrells, chocolate with little hint of booze. Taste amazing. Chocolate, Bourbon, Coffee all on the palette with small hint of booze. Mouth feel was great, would consider it thick, full. Awesome, one of my favorites

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

Have had on tap and bottle. This was a 12 oz bottle. Nearly jet black, thick tan head fades pretty quickly leaving lace and a thin rim of tan suds around the edges. Very nice vanilla bourbon aroma. Taste is similar with coffee, vanilla and bourbon, blends really well together, none of the flavors dominate. Carbonation is perfect and mouthfeel is so soft. Alcohol shines a little at the end but is mostly well hidden. Overall this is an outstanding balanced BBA stout, will enjoy many more.

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Photo of mschantz
4.4/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Have enjoyed KBS a number of times in the past but never in a setting that allows for proper consideration and review. Pours nearly black with just a hint of mocha on the fringes. Moderately viscous with a slight dark brown head that brings the foam of an espresso to mind. Nose is nice meld of bourbon, coffee, vanilla and hints of cinnamon. The coffee and vanilla are upfront upon tasting with a nice warm boozy finish. Mouthfeel is quite slick and the finish smooth.

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

Fantastic. Great beer. Taste is remarkable especially considering the alcohol content; however sometimes I get a syrupy aftertaste that I could do without. If it has a lower ABV this would probably be my favorite beer ever. Big Lushious is better in my opinion

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

L - pitch black to brown edges.
S - brown sugar, coffee, chocolate, bourbon.
T - Bourbon boozy front end. chocolate and coffee middle, smoky marshmallow finish.
F - extra soft pillow feel. A bit thinner than most imperial stouts I assume the barrel aging causes this. great carbonation bubbles for days.
O - I wouldn't say this is the best imperial stout I ever had but it is an excellent bourbon barrel aged stout. Parabola > KBS.

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

A beastly stout. Very strong. Appearance is blackish brown. Mouthfeel is boozy and thick. Smell is a sign of things to come.. Taste is coffee, smoke and whisky. Get it if you can

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

Bottled 02/12/15. Pours black with medium brown foam into snifter. Smells of chocolate, bourbon, oak, caramel, and vanilla. Tastes of roasted malt with strong bittersweet chocolate notes, caramel and oak. Creamy with light carbonation.

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Photo of Jacobob10
4.35/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 03/04/2015, 12 oz bottle.

Poured into a snifter.

Pitch black color, opaque, with a small tan head that sticks to the side of the glass. Decent retention initially, but fades the longer it sits. Sparse lacing, and a quick swirl of the glass reveals some legs from the barrel aging.

Heavy chocolate malt aroma. Some coffee mixed in, as well as a hint of vanilla. The alcohol is quite prominent, though it’s more reminiscent of straight alcohol or vodka than bourbon. Not much complexity. Chocolate definitely dominates here.

Upon tasting, the bourbon hits you right away. It’s amazing how well-masked it is in the aroma yet jumps out as soon as you take a sip. You get more of the chocolate too, but the coffee is a distant memory.

The texture was my least favorite feature. A bit too thin given the strength of the aroma and flavor. Medium to full bodied, but could definitely benefit from more. Moderate sweetness from the combination of bourbon and chocolate, yet not overdone. Long lasting flavor.

KBS was something I had wanted to try for a long time and it lived up to expectations. I previously missed out on several opportunities to try it at bars. The timing just never seemed to work out. Then, when I was least expecting it, the local store near my office had “found some bottles in the back” and individually scattered them throughout the beer section. A lucky find indeed...

#5 Beers of Fame; #16 Top 250 Beers; #16 Top Rated - USA; #2 Top Rated - Michigan; #10 Top Rated - American Imperial Stout.

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Photo of James_Michaud91
4.16/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a thick, opaque, pitch black, with a small brown head that fades quickly. Smell has a TON of chocolate with some minor coffee notes (2 or 3 year old bottle). The flavor is again dominated a bit by the chocolate, but it is still really tasty. As it warms in the glass the roasted malt flavors begin to wake up a bit. Would love to try this a little fresher when the coffee is a bit more prominent. The texture of this beer is damn near perfect, thick and mouth coating without being cloyingly sweet. Really glad I got to try this.

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Photo of TomMorris
4.73/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Was lucky enough to catch this on tap at World of Beer in Stamford, CT.

Look: Mine came out pitch black with about a full finger of chocolate-brown head, which quickly dissipated.

Smell: WOW, just brilliant. Huge notes of coffee, chocolate, and vanilla held together nicely by bourbon; smells like a decadent chocolate cake coated in bourbon. Quite possibly the best-smelling beer I've yet to experience.

Taste: The immediate taste is an explosion of chocolate with some lighter coffee notes that somewhat quickly fades into a pleasant bourbon and vanilla after taste. After the fantastic and assertive nose, the taste was much more subtle and balanced. Definitely delicious, but lacking the punch I was hoping for.

Mouthfeel: Definitely the weakest part of the beer. This is actually incredibly easy to drink despite the complexity and abv; it does start out thick and viscous but it very quickly becomes thin after contact with the tongue. I would love for this to be thicker and chewier.

Overall: Without a doubt a fantastic beer, probably even one of the top 10 I've yet to try, but I could fathom it being even better if the taste matched the strength of the nose and the mouthfeel had more substance. I would still call this a world-class brew, but it's just lacking that little something that would make it really special.

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Photo of govlady
4.74/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2015 bottle

A - Very Dark, pours just a tiny bit of head, which disappears rather quickly.

S - A lot of Bourbon, Chocolate.

T - I taste what I smell. Bourbon and Chocolate. Hint of Vanilla and Coffee, but the bourbon and chocolate are overpowering.

F - On the thin side compared to some of the other BA's out there.

O - Beer tastes great. I love it. Slighty less than the CBS, primarily because of the maple syrup, but a damn good beer.

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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,850 ratings.