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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10,396 Ratings

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Ratings: 10,396
Reviews: 2,864
rAvg: 4.62
pDev: 8.87%
Wants: 4,139
Gots: 4,668 | FT: 376
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: 10,396 | Reviews: 2,864
Photo of jojox
4.87/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

a - The blackest black. Thin, holding head.

s - espresso with 3 drops of burbon: Wow. Friggin' awesome. Like chocolate cake or something. Desert-ish, but not sweet.

t - Beautiful expresso/burbon combo. Not as much stout-iness, it's hidden. But its back there. Not much bitterness (thank you!). Lots of vanilla. F-ing A that's awesome.

m - smooth, some roughness and rocky in the mouth.


No reason to hold. Very very small hints of oxidation already.

Photo of thryn
4.33/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a big red wine goblet.

Goths like their blacks nice and dark black. This is that dark, only it's still perceptibly brown. Barely. A little bit of tan foam. no head.

Nose: Coffee like whoa! A hint, my large, beer-accentuated ass. Coffee is something journalists and goths like, so go figure, I'm excited. Slightest hint of vanilla.

Taste: Vanilla is more prominent. Coffee bitterness. A bit of wood. Sweet in the aftertaste, then the alcohol burn. I feel I let this get a bit too cold, alas. Now I just have to exercise patience (which I lack) and let it warm ...

In the meantime, mouthfeel is not quite as thick as I'd expected, but still very sturdy. A little more carbonation than expected.

... ok. It's warmed a bit. The vanilla comes out more, lingering in the aftertaste. The coffee is very present at the front. A bit of astringent wood in the middle.

Why, oh why, do I not live somewhere where I can purchase this? I could drink it all winter.

Photo of Tdizzle
4.45/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to OlieIPA for hooking me up with this.

A- Poured from a 12oz bottle into a New Belgium globe glass, this beer pours motor oil-black. An aggressive pour yields about one-finger of head that's solid brown in color as it settles to a patchy layer, leaving behind lots of spotty lacing on the glass.

S- A sharp smell of bitter coffee and roasted, chocolatey malts with some rough edges of charred oak barrel. A trace of bourbon lingers in the background, but you really have to dig for it.

T- Lots of coffee and roasted malts up front, but these flavors gradually subside to a slightly bitter finish that's accompanied by a mildly boozy taste of bourbon. I would have liked the bourbon character to be more prominent in the taste of this beer, but I do appreciate how well-integrated it is. Very drinkable and coffee-like.

M- The mouthfeel is full-bodied and slightly syrupy with gentle carbonation. Maybe just a little on the thin side though.

D- The 10% ABV is very well-hidden, and this beer is pretty light on the stomach for a barrel-aged stout. I felt like I could easily have two of these in a sitting.

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

Big thanks to both sirhc and Mudpuppet for bottles of this.

Poured in a big wine glass at 55 F/ 13 C.

Black, tinged red at the edges, with a bubbly tan head, and fine rings and speckles of lace.

Smells rich and sweet, with plenty of roast coffee, bourbon, and charred oak, with vanilla, liquorice, and light cookie spices. The bourbon barrel really comes through, and works great. There's also somehow a strong suggestion of Irish cream liqueur. Cohesive and great.

Tastes like sweet smooth dark coffee and whiskey, then after several seconds it gets woodsier, and the wood and building roastiness combine to dry out the sweetness considerably. Next comes a wave of creamy vanilla, and a long long finish of toasty oak and creamy whiskey liqueur.

Rich smooth texture, and highly drinkable, the alcohol isn't a problem at all.

Exceptional stuff.

Photo of jwinship83
4.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- black body with a thick looking coffee colored head. small head on a decently hard pour. very even and complete lacing left on the sides of my glass.

S- chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, wood, and some coffee. theres alot going on with this one.

T- slight astringency. some vanilla and oaky flavors. lots of bourbon chocolate and coffee

M- perfect. thick, creamy, and rich. warming of alcohol as it goes down

D- this one has earned the hype. id love to be able to have several of these in a sitting. i should consider myself lucky to have picked this one off the shelf today! check this one out if you get the chance.

Photo of HardTarget
4.26/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A) Oil black, opaque even in a thin glass. Thin dark tan collar lasts and leaves tidemarks. An impressive sight.

S) Sniffing a bourbon barrel, strong wood, almost tannin notes. There is a chalk dust edge to this as well. Deep in there are a few hints of west coast, citric hops.

T) Coffee, dark and manly coffee. Molasses sweetness, bourbon, all intense tastes that cover hops and even malt. So much going on, and all of it set at "11".

M) Slick, heavy, low carbonation, bits of chew.

O) Wow. Bourbon is a bit heavy handed, but a truck full of flavors that ends up being fairly smooth and drinkable. The alcohol started slowing me down as I reached the end.
Great beer, but not an everyday event.

Photo of HopHead1982
4.57/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I will start by putting this review in context. I have found that I am not that big a fan of beers aged in liquor barrels. To overpowering for me. However:

A - was exceptionally dark. as dark as you will find.

s - you can already smell the bourbon. Great if you like it. Not for me though.

T - same as smell. Truly fantastic with or without the bourbon aging. However, i feel the beer is overpowered by the "aging".

M - As good as it gets!

D - If I appreciated the bourbon aging, I could have several. However, I don't enjoy the "liquor" taste, and therefore wouldn't be able to handle more than one of these.

In conclusion, this is a fantastic beer. As I said previously, I don't enjoy the bourbon flavor, but aside from that, this deserves its place among the elite on BA.


Photo of hopdog
4.64/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle acquired in trade with goldtwins (thanks!).

Poured a dark black color with an averaged sized brown head. Aromas of wood, vanilla, smoke, roast, espresso coffee, and some chocolate. Very nice aroma. Tastes of wood, vanilla (strong but not as strong as in the aroma), roast, coffee, chocolate, and a very light bourbon finish.

The barrel aging was done very nicely as it wasn't overpowering. Light lacing left on the glass. Alcohol content well hidden. This one was very easy to drink.

Notes from and tasted on 8/2/06.

Photo of imperialbigswig
4.85/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

World class indeed!!!
A- heavy and thick, viscous!
S- holy $%#^!!!! coffe, chocolate, oats, bitter and dry!!
T-hevy on the coffee side with some balance from the oat flavor, not as much chocolate as in the smell
M-rich and thick, heavy
D- 1-2 bottles, drinking more than that at once would be a waste
This beer is to bee saved, savored, rationed and enjoyed at special times with people who will appreciate this beer as much as you do.
If and when you see buy as much as you can, but be nice about letting your friends in on this beautiful gem of a stout!!!

Photo of bainard
4.03/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Inky black-brown with a sepia meniscus. Sand-colored head.

Aromas abound of bourbon, coffee, dark chocolate, wood. If I had synaesthesia, this would smell dark brown, all the aromas point to this color.

A much woodier-tasting beer than I remember in the past, the bourbon isn't quite is prevalent in this one as other bourbon-aged beers I've had (Bourbon County and Backwoods Bastard come to mind), but the coffee is extremely strong in this. A bit of bitter chocolate, lots of roastiness.

Definitely thick, with a bit of carbonation, but nothing that coats the mouth too much, nor dances over the tongue.

It's a 10% beer, and you certainly feel and taste that in the beer. But then again, it's friggin' Kentucky Breakfast, you're not looking for something that you're going to down a 6 of before hitting the sports bar.

Overall, this is a tremendously wonderful beer, but I wouldn't put it in my all-time favorites.

Photo of beereality
4.82/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very hard pour, dropped into my 22 oz. tulip. Black creamy pour, that produced a huge reverse cascading head. Nice mocha colored head, that leaves great lacing. I can smell the alcohol in the barrel. I get big vanilla with bourbon in the nose. This beer is complex, nice blend of wood, bourbon, chocolate/vanilla and coffee as it warms. Much better as it warms. I can't belive this is 10 ABV. I love this beer. Thank you Bernie.

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

07 bottle

A - it pours with a dark black color hard to give a top but leaves some tan bubbles instead. these bubbles leave some nice lacing.

S - It has a strong coffee and bourbon smell that is topped with creme vanilla.

T - It give a really smooth flavor which is a surprise after the strong smell. The start is almost like a creamy coffee and finishes with the bourbon.

M - It gives good carbonation and a nice mouthfeel unlike I expected with the bourbon smell

D - This is a very drinkable beer and an excellent beer to drink with some eggs and steak

Photo of champ103
3.93/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A big thanks to Deuane for the extra.

A: Pours a jet black color. A small tan head forms, but recedes fast. Standard for the style. Some patchy lace.
S: Awesome. At first, lots of vanilla comes billowing out. Bourbon and oak aromas. A hint of chocolate. Wonderful.
T: Follows the nose, vanilla, bourbon, and oak flavors. Nice roasted malt flavors. Much more chocolate. Actually fairly bitter and sweet chocolate. Alcohol.
M/D: A full body that is rich and creamy. Kind of chalky. A very easy beer to sip on. The high alcohol shows with some warming bourbon. Again, a great beer to sip on, but not as easy to drink as the Breakfast Stout IMO.

Founders defiantly makes two would class stouts, and I am glad I got a chance to try them. I need more.

EDIT on March 28 2011---

I do still enjoy this. Though I think there is a lot more bitter, and almost acrid coffee grounds in the nose that detracts for me. Much more bitter coffee flavor as well. All things that were absent from a couple of years ago. Still very good, and worth seeking out if you have the means. Though it has changed a little in the years that I first had it.

Photo of Bighuge
4.51/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours with some viscosity. A dense, creamy brown head forms. Retention and lace properties are quite good. Body is thick and black.

Aroma: Chalky dry cocoa, sweet bourbon, vanilla and char.

Flavor: Wow is this smooth. The bourbon properties and the stout properties blend to near perfection. There is really a uniqueness to this beer, even as a Bourbon Bbl beer, that is hard to pinpoint. I'm guessing it has to do with the kind of bourbon and/or barrel aging process used. Smooth kentucky bourbon notes blend with some nice chocolatey and burnt malt tones from the stout. A little of that dry char character is noted as well.

MF: Velvety. Medium to medium-full body. Alcohol is barely detected. This one flows way too effortlessly across the tongue.

DK: This is the closest challenger to the unbelievable barrel aged stouts that Town Hall puts out occasionally. This is damn close. Just not quite there with the Czar Jack and the even more impressive barrel aged oatmeal stout they put out a few years ago. But this one really has great character and flavor and drinkability. I now understand the high accolades this beer receives.

Photo of johnd513
4.82/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The perfect beer for my 50th review. This beer pours syrupy black with a frothy creamy head that quickly disappears . Smells of huge coffee/espresso flavors, dark chocolate and molasses. Taste of coffee, bourbon and chocolate. The mouthfeel has a medium body and is creamy and smooth, not as thick as I expected but very smooth. This is the most drinkable high abv beer I have had to date. Truly an exceptional stout!

Photo of marcpal
4.64/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Some beers just flat out do not live up to the high and lofty expectations that are made of them because of hype. This one, my friends, is indeed not one of them. Unbelieveable, I wanted to be critical, whiney or let down and was not.

12oz bottle poured into a snifter as directed.

Thanks out to Derek (aka Hoppymeal)

A: Looks like something out of a Penzoil commercial. Fine tan head that was more like a film on top of the liquid. Thick black and patchy lacing which quickly dissapated.

S: As advertised, the coffee, lots of coffee. Sensing plenty of the bourbon and vanilla. Strong fumes of coffee/espresso is backed up by some raisins, alcohol and roasted chocolate. The smoke of a fine cigar builds and fills your nose- tied in with licorice. More sweet than bitter, some zip from the abv.

T: In comparison to the aroma, more bitter than sweetness. Vanilla flavored coffee freshly brewed with a substantial licorice character. The bourbon and espresso are the stars that steal the show, packed in each and every sip. Not as much chocolate but ridiculously complex and well made.

Taste is truly not lacking much of anything. Especially as it warms and the smokiness comes through. Like sipping on melted Ghiradelli at times, flat out intense.

M: Hugely thick viscocity. No bubbly carbonation, just thick and velvetty smooth. The texture is superior and the alcohol is felt.

D: This is a beer to sip and appreciate and I surely am stoked to have had the chance to get this out here. Sure, alcohol is high, but if I were to get my hands on more of this that would not stop me from having on a cold fall night.

Superior accompaniment to just about any dessert.

Thanks again Derek.

Photo of 0110x011
4.85/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours pitch black into a snifter. Thin, wispy tan head disappears faster than the stock market's value. Big coffee & bourbon on the nose. A quick swirl leaves a thin sheet on the sides of the glass, and allows notes of vanilla, chocolate, fig, and leather to appear. Coffee and bourbon dominate at cellar temp, but warming brings an incredible bouquet of flavors, with more chocolate, vanilla, and tobacco. Thick and full bodied, but not too syrupy or viscous. Silky smooth, this goes down incredibly easy, with only a light alcohol burn in the long finish.

Absolutely incredible. Nectar of the gods. Beer like this makes me happy I'm alive.

Photo of PatronWizard
4.12/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My turn to eat this puppy. Thick creamy look. Welled up a thin brown head. Jet black onyx fluid.

Smells like ground coffee. Period.

Huge coffe flavor, but the bourbon is there is full force as well. Brilliant.

A big drink clears the sinuses. Full bodied, smooth.

To be honest, I prefer the Founders Breakfast Stout, which is divine, but this is still good stuff. A fantastic sipper.

Overall: worthy

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

This amazing beer pours opaque brown into the awaiting pint glass. No light penetrates through the inky stout. The initial scent is coffee, no qualms about it. Following the dissolving coffee is an underlying cocoa aroma. The taste is so complex its almost perplexing. Again, coffee is in the forefront. Next, in come the chocolate. Its not hidden, its like a punch in the face, almost syrup-like. The alcohol is well hidden. Its only appearance is at the back of the tongue, just before swallowing. This beer cannot be a session beer by definition, unless your session is one or two drinks. I've been looking for Kentucky Breakfast Stout for quite a while. I am so happy to have found this. This is one of the most amazing beers I have ever tasted. Its so absolutely amazing, words can do it no justice.

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

Thanks Jay23
A 07 Bottle poured into a tulip glass produce a coco colored head that left little lace on top of a pitch black body

Big roasted malts (chocolate and coffee) smell coming off my glass some wood quality in the nose as well even a little tobacco smell that kind of threw me a curve

You can taste the bourbon a little vanilla, of coarse the chocolate and espresso hit your taste buds too. Great mouthfeel to it like a stout should be rich and smooth

Great sippability on this not to be drank quickly as you can tell If I saw this on a shelf I would not pass it by

Photo of deaconsmith
4.4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A.-in a thick glass mug it poured a rich creamy cocoa tinted head about a inch thick. very nice retention with great lacing. the beer itself was a pot black heavy viscosity with not much change in the light.

S.-awsome aroma, has a expresso/heavy malt chocolate with a oaky overtone.. and some wonderfull familliar smell i couldnt put my finger on yet..(drove me time lol).. very alive and complex smell..smelled like heaven=)

T.-like the smell the taste is very simular, rich chocolaty expresso/almost barley wineish oaky with a very strong (but not too strong) and well balanced hopy/Alcoholy after taste.

M.-@ 44* It has a very smooth, not alot of bubbles but very delightfull feel in the mouth. and it gose down so creamy and thick

D.- this one should be taken xtra slow if your not used to this type of beer..i personally can drink about 2 at one setting because it is really strong and almost whiskey like in a quiet way. but for this type stout it is very very drinkable

*definate signature taste. very well crafted brew..I personally love it. i would definatly recomend it.

Photo of GilGarp
4.52/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to rnorgart for this in trade!

Pours slowly into the center of a pint glass. It's nearly black in color everywhere but the edges. It has a very dark brown head but almost none of it and, as it sits now, looks more like a dark root beer.

Aroma is rich in dark roasted coffee and bourbon.

Flavor is outstanding - not too heavy on the bourbon, nicely flavored with roasted malt, coffee, dark chocolate (all of which impart some bitterness) and the sweet cherry character of the bourbon. It's an incredible blend of flavors.

Mouthfeel is nice, smooth, and with just enough burn to remind me it's heavy on the alcohol. The bourbon taste is a good reminder too!

Drinkability is fine but that's all relative.

This is a very special stout and I will have to seek some more out when I'm back in Ohio.

Photo of Pehlman
4.87/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Black! With a dark-tan head and decent lacing. Very Nice!

S: Burnt wood immediately. Slight alcohol in the scent but may just be the bourbon. A bit of coffe as well. Smells like a freshly opened bag of dark roast coffe beans.

T Again with the burnt wood. A nice finish of bourbon balances perfectly with the smokiness. As it warms it brings out a nice resemblance to chocolate covered espresso beans.

M: Perfect carbonation paired with perfect coating of the mouth. Awesome!

D: Love this beer! Could drink it forever and ever and ever and ever! Yummy.

Photo of Mauerhan
4.95/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

this beer is by all definitions a smile beer.

this beer pours daaark. i am pretty sure that i couldnt see through this is i had a searchlight. very little head on the pour. but when swirled i get a small amount of dark rich mocha colored head. slight lacing.

smell is great. full of coffee/espresso , a slight bit of chocolate. slight warm smell of the bourbon.

taste is almost sinful. full. rich. complex. i get the espresso flavors mingling with the smoky-ness of the bourbon barrels. VERY tasty beer.

mouthfeel is great. you get a bit of the alcohol as the beer nears 55 degrees but it is awesome.

this beer is a challenge not to drink to quickly, without a doubt on my top five favorites.

Photo of OlieIPA
4.84/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into my papa's brandy snifter....

A: Poured thick and black like motor-oil; little head retention and lacing.

S: Strong coffee characteristics followed by hints of chocolate and alcohol. There was also some indication of dark fruits, but only slightly.

T: If there was a 5.5 or a 6...I would give it to this beer. Simply put..."freaking awesome". The bourbon is clearly dominant in this beer along with intense coffee and chocolate like flavoring up front. I feel like I'm missing something else when it comes to this beer; very complex flavoring is the best way to put it.

M: Somewhat thick, just about no carbonation, rest on the palate for quite some time, and a chalky like finish. My girlfriend suggested it had an expresso like feel to it...but only better.

D: Because of the high bourbon quality of this beer, I'm not sure how drinkable this would be to the average beer drinker...but if you prefer this style over others...then you'll find yourself wanting a bomber to yourself. I guess its really up to the beer drinker.

Overall: One of the best beers I've had up to this point. Highly recommend.

Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 10,396 ratings.