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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: 2,977 | Ratings: 11,579
Photo of Jay_P22
4.9/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

KBS! Poured from the tap into a snifter.

Looks like a regular stout, with a nice head and lacing.

Nose has an amazing chocolate and coffee smell.

Taste is chocolatey goodness and coffee, with the right amount of bourbon. Some styles are too agressive, or boozy, but this is almost perfection.

Overall this brew smooth for a 12% abv. This is my favorite stout. I could drink these all day. I love that it comes in a regular 12 oz bottle as well. Most times I don't want more bourbon stout than 12 oz, and this style usually comes in bombers. KBS is amazing, and worth seeking out. The distro is getting a little easier now to find. I recommend buying some and aging some. I had a 14 recently as well and it was just as good or better than when I drank it in 14.

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Photo of HorseheadsHopHead
4.67/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours like motor oil from the bottle. It's a pitch black in the glass, with a thin finger of mocha brown head that leaves splotches of lacing.
The aroma is a perfect marriage of sweet bourbon and roasty coffee. You get butterscotch, caramel, vanilla, milk chocolate, espresso bean, and burnt toast.
Upfront, you get milk chocolate candy and bittersweet dark chocolate. Toward the middle, you get burnt toast, black coffee, caramel, and toasted coconut. Finishes with butterscotch, bourbon, and bright vanilla beans. Finishes semi-sweet with lingering cocoa, vanilla, and oak.
Smooth, silky mouthfeel. Ghost-like carbonation. It's not super creamy, but it's filling and enriching.

Another awesome bourbon barrel aged imperial coffee stout. I've had ones with better bourbon elements, but the coffee really shines in this one. It's still a world-class beer.

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Photo of Metalsnota
4.06/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I liked this beer, but it was a bit too coffee heavy for my liking. It was a great beer, but not my personal forte. My local option from Bent Paddle (BA Double Shot Double Black) was much better imho. However, it was a great beer though.

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Photo of JNPIII127
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

An absolutely perfect stout. I had this on tap (2015) today and was blown away by the flavor, smell and appearance of this fine brew. Tasted like chocolate with a very faint hint of coffee. It absolutely hid the alcohol to a point where you couldn't even taste the high ABV. An Absolute world class beer.

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

It's KBS! What else is there to say? Poured a 2016 into a snifter from the bottle. Poured as hard as possible and it produced about 1 inch of a tan foamy head. I was surprised that it poured a little more brown that black but definitely dark black in the glass. I know this is heresy but I enjoyed it cold from the refrigerator as opposed to warmed up a little. As it warmed it felt thinner not necessarily bigger. Definitely more bourbon as it warmed. Loved it!

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Photo of diddy4l
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2015 bottle aged for an entire year, carmel notes,chocolaty, super smooth...so glad i waited so long to crack one open,would aged it longer as well...so good!

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Photo of Gables
4.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

First experience with KBS. 2016 poured into a tulip. Coffee, chocolate and bourbon just as advertised. Velvet in a glass, I don't know if I'd even age this one as the coffee pairs wonderfully with this brew. Awesome

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Photo of h0wdy
4.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Look: Deep brew.
Smell: I detected a strong smell of coffee throughout the entire brew.
Taste: The smell of coffee was in the taste with a nice finish of the liquor.
Feel: A worth while investment to your beer collection in my books!
Overall: Over the course of drinking this two nights in a row, I would recommend to pick this up the next time you see it for at least a tasting of one bottle!

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Photo of Raff1150
4.16/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I will start by saying that I don't particularly love stouts. I will try to be objective.

L: Pretty standard look for a stout

S:Lots of coffee and and chocolate

T: Again lots of coffee and chocolate, followed by bourbon

F: Impressively light for a 12% abv. This is what really made the beer for me. I was expecting something more thick from such a high abv dark beer.

O: I am not a huge fan of stouts, and this beer was not enough of a revelation to change my opinion. I would probably not pay the ridiculous price for this beer again (I'd like to see this site add a "value" tab in addition to LSTFO). But compared to other stouts, this one does have features that stand out. So if you are a stout fan, go for it! And PS: yes it's better at room temp.

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

Dark black with a light mocha colored head. Has a slight creaminess to it.

Aroma of sweet chocolate up front, with the bourbon behind it, not overly aggressive but its bright and present.
I dont really smell the coffee.

Taste is chocolatey fudge and bourbon. There is an alcohol burn in the back of the throat at first, not as bad as the beer warms. The vanilla appears as it warms as well.

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Photo of gshak
4.44/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 2/16/16. I'm comparing this to the only other beer I've tasted like it - Alesmith's BBA Speedway.
A - A nice pour out of the bottle at about cellar temperature, yielding a mocha head that dissipated quickly. Not quite as sludgy as the BBA Speedway.
S - Huge aromas of bourbon and coffee straight out of the bottle. Some oak and vanilla, but the coffee and bourbon are pretty much dominating everything else.
T - Intense bitter coffee notes, sharp bourbon, chocolate, roasted malt.
F - Feels thinner than the Speedway. Perhaps the beer is a touch too young, and the alcohol and the hops combine to give it a thinner mouthfeel than it otherwise is.
O - A very impressive beer that will likely be better in a few months from now.

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Photo of Reckage
4.91/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottled on 3/4/15. Little over a year cellared, busted this one out for the Walking Dead season finale. Look is black with some light on the edges, nice mocha head, some lacing here and there. Smell is bourbon alcohol with coffee lite chocolate. Taste is amazing, like a bourbon coffee fudge dessert bar with bourbon leading the way. Mouthfeel is medium heavy, leaning towards medium. Overall a crazy stout with crazy hype, love it from start to finish. Let this beast warm to get full effect. Did not really see any big improvements from a year of age, but am looking forward to grabbing 2016 version this Tuesday. Top notch brew indeed, now just need to get my hands on the ghost which is CBS.

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Photo of atr2605
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-pours black with a tan head with great retention
S-cocoa, vanilla, oak, toasted marshmallow
T-more cocoa and vanilla, tons of roasted coffee, and more toasted marshmallow
M-full bodied and creamy
O-excellent imperial stout, oak adds nice complexity and smoothness

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Photo of BrewsingBuffalo
4.68/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2016 Vintage|Bottled 02/16/16

L: Pours a near-black, with a mocha-like head that which recedes to a creamy collar. Some lacing is apparent, but not in abundance.

S: Roast, coffee, bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, booze, a slight hint of smoke, and some dark fruits.

T: Similar to the aroma: Roast, coffee. chocolate, oak, bourbon, char, vanilla, a bit of booze and it's accompanying heat, a lingering roasty bitterness that is not at all overwhelming or out of place.

F: Lighter than expected (which is a strength for my palate) Very smooth with moderate carbonation and a stickiness that compounds over time.

O: Fantastic. Brilliantly complex and the flavors are delightfully balanced. The booze is slightly more apparent than I'd like, but I presume a little time will assist in that regard. Highly recommended.

Note(s): Warming this beer before serving is imperative to experiencing all of it's lovely nuances. 10 minutes out of the fridge was not sufficient.

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Photo of mobrado
4.36/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Not among my favorite bourbon-barrel-aged stouts, but very pleasant nonetheless. Surprisingly the vanilla and cocoa notes almost overpower the coffee for me (not a bad thing). The main drawback is that it feels thin for the ABV. Terrific value when compared to some other barrel-aged offerings (if you can get it).

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Photo of PhillyB
4.99/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Damn. I was really hoping this beer was overrated and that it wouldn't be as great as I'd heard.

Look: Black. Pours like used motor oil, thin brown head.

Smell: Slight alcohol, dark fudge, black coffee, heavy cream

Taste: Dark chocolate fudge, espresso, and a vanilla/bourbon that grows as the beer warms.

Feel: Thick, creamy, and almost oily. There is an ever so slight alcohol nip in the beginning and towards the end. Just gives a nice warming sensation, very well balanced.

Overall: This is the only 5/5 overall I've given, and it is rightly deserved. This fulfills every expectation I have in a Imperial Stout, and surpasses it. Well done Founders, well done!

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Photo of jphipps83
4.61/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Not a stout guy, but couldn't pass it up when my local asked me if I wanted it. Bottle poured into a snifter, 2016 version. Black in color, little head that disappeared quickly. Bourbon, bourbon, bourbon, with a little chocolate on the nose. Taste is great, bourbon and chocolate are very heavy, and a little heat in the aftertaste. Thick, viscous mouthfeel, goes down very easily to be such a heavy beer. Glad I got this one, and will seek out again. I would put this slightly ahead of the Abyss, great beer.

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Photo of ShawnoftheD3ad
4.68/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Such an excellent stout. Very coffee forward this year. Alittle bit thin on the mouthfeel but hopefully a little age will cure that. Not as hot as I heard but freshness will make that noticeable. Bottled 2-16-2016

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Photo of MACrist
4.76/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

APPEARANCE: Pours a rich black with a finger of tan head that settles down quickly into a foamy ring. Good looking carbonation when rocking the glass. Some spotty lacing and legs down the glass.
AROMA: A whiff of bourbon right off the bat. Molasses, nice coffee, chocolate, and vanilla notes, and also slight licorice, smoke, and leather.
TASTE: Basically everything I got in the aroma with the bourbon coming out first and then a nice blend of all the other flavors following along with a nice lingering, growing bitterness.
FEEL: Plenty of carbonation but still had a creamy quality. Sticky on the lips, pretty full body.
OVERALL: First BBA stout for me, won't be my last. This was a nice treat.

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Photo of jaypaul522
4.91/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Real fresh from 4/1 beer hunt. Poured deep black with nice thick head. Smell is strong bourbon, coffee and chocolate. First taste hits hard with the bourbon, but from then on it is smooth with the coffee and chocolate coming through very nicely. The feel of this was medium - not as full as some others. Overall, this is as great a beer as everyone had told me, and I loved the aroma and taste.

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

Fresh as possible - 4/1 release, purchase and consumption
A - Super black with a tremendous tan/brown head
S - Very strong and pleasing coffee and chocolate
T - Delicious with coffee flavor dominance, very slight bitterness at the finish
F - Thick and oily
O - Fantastic coffee stout - results meet the hype. Lucky enough to have landed 11 more that I'll consume over time (up to one year unless it starts lose too much coffee).

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

The alcohol is surprisingly well hidden on this, considering the 2016 release is 12.4%. The aroma is mostly coffee and bourbon. It tastes of coffee, chocolate and bourbon and the bourbon lingers. Has a thick oily mouthfeel.

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Photo of MusicBeer_1961
4.9/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This 2016 release is a fantastic brew. It's superbly blended. 12.4% ABV? It's so smooth, it won't slow you down..but you'll want to take your time with this one. Like all fine imperial/double stouts, the flavors of KBS get more complex as it warms. On the taste, you get coffee, chocolate, bourbon and the oak flavor from the barrel.. But one does not dominate over the other. All flavors coexist in perfect harmony. The smell is as good as the taste. It's just slightly on the thin side as it relates to mouthfeel, so that's the only area I would downgrade it a bit.. I'm glad I was able to score a 4 pack of this yesterday. I'll drink 3 fresh and save one for age.. I have a few Bottles of 2016 SMS left and plan to do a 2016 KBS vs SMS side by side. I can't wait for that as I really like both brews.. Cheers!...

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Photo of ZebulonXZogg
4.15/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a thick black with a surprising caramel colored head. Bourbon aroma dominates the nose with bitter coffee and chocolate flavors and big boozy finish. Overall, I was a bit disappointed in this. I'm hoping a few months in the back of the fridge helps

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Photo of BiaSongThan
4.74/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Rating based on the fresh 2016
bottled 2-11-16 enjoyed 4-1-16. Comes in a beautiful black/ deep brown with a half finger of coffee colored head. Aroma is coffee, chocolate, bourbon, oak, and alcohol. Taste, this one is HOT! the booziness hits up front and comes back in the finish. There is great coffee, chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, oak, dark fruits, etc, but that booze really detracts and disappoints. Also a bit more thin than I prefer my stouts, but if the booziness hadnt been there I probably wouldnt have noticed. I had a bottle of '15 in January and enjoyed it much more, less hot and more of the bourbon and base stout flavors came through. Glad to try it fresh, so happy I have 3 more and I will definitely be aging them in hopes that the heat subsided and the mouthfeel thickens up. In the meantime, I have plenty of FIS to enjoy :)

Had a second bottle of 16. Still not as chewy as I like, but it's not hot. That's just bourbon flavor. It tastes a lot like bourbon, and tonight I'm digging it!

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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,977 ratings.