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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)

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2,787 Reviews
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Reviews: 2,787
Hads: 10,692
Avg: 4.56
pDev: 8.99%
Wants: 4,235
Gots: 4,972 | FT: 407
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 2,787 | Hads: 10,692
Photo of Jerzdevil1116
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this on tap at Founders Brewery. Stopped there as part of my Dark Lord Day road trip. Served in a snifter.

A: Black opaque body. No head. Little to no carbonation visible.

S: Earthy, oaky, and full of coffee. Hints of bourbon and dark fruits (raisons).

T: Strong coffee presence. Slightly bitter. Nice notes of oak and boubon.

M: Full bodied. Slightly syrupy. Very smoothe.

D: Not a session beer by any means, but I could sip it from a snifter all night like a fine bourbon. I've had it in it's bottle form and wasn't thrilled. Enjoying it on tap opened my eyes to how good this beer really is.

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

Aged 1 year

A: Black as it gets. Very little head. perhaps lost a little carbonation over the year.

S: Black coffee, bourbon, hints of bitter chocolate.

T: The coffee notes are strong, hints of chocolate and some bourbon notes as well.

M: Pretty thick, even for a stout, and quite filling. Actually more carbonation in the mouthfeel than indicated by the appearance.

D: This one's a slow sipper.

This beer is interesting becuase it tastes kinda like coffee gone cold, which I hate. But add alcohol and bourbon flavor with hints of chocolate and vianilla and its GOLD, Jerry, GOLD!

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

Thanks to nflmvp for trading this one to me in person at DLD.

This is my first one all to myself so I thought I would give it a review. Poured this into my Duvel tulip at a little bit below cellar temp. A nice aggressive pour gives a thick dark brown 1.5 inch head. This beer is dark and viscous, just pouring it out of the bottle looked and smelled like fresh brewed coffee. It has thick full lacing all over the glass. The smell while its still cool is just completely dominated by great fresh brewed coffee and espresso beans. As it warms up I get lots of chocolate and a hint of bourbon but the coffee just completely dominates for me. The taste is just incredible. Perfect balance of roasted malts, coffee, vanilla oakiness, and chocolate. One of the best tasting imperial stouts I have ever had. The mouthfeel is nice and thick and viscous. I could seriously drink this all night at anytime. I definitely see why they call it a breakfast stout with this much coffee flavor but I love it. I never really got that much bourbon out of this but I didn't really care; I also had a year aged one at a tasting about a month ago and the barrel aging was much more evident after aging.

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Photo of Avryle
4.63/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to bwyker for breaking this out & sharing. This kicks ass along with Bourbon County Stout. And like Bourbon County Stout, there are not nearly enough bottles available. :(

A- Black and sin with small mocha head. Dark garnet light coming in on the sides

S- Smells like burning wood and coffee.

T- Straight up sexy. Tangy charred wood. The bourbon is not crazy, but definitely has a presence. Sweet coffee at the end. Smokey. Bittersweet chocolate. You can taste this beer in your nose.

M- Medium to heavy bodied. A heavier body along with the heavy taste would not be a good combo.

D- (I dislike this rating system because its so difficult to accurately convey what these fields mean) I could drink a bottle of this over the course of an hour or three and enjoy every second of it.

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Photo of blakesell
4.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This year's 2008 model, poured from the twist off 12oz bottle into a wine glass.

Appearance- Beer pours a solid obsidian oil slick with only a ring of red foam around the sides of the glass. Lacing is glued to the sides and is a rich tan.

Smell- Rich espresso with hints of bourbon and masses of Belgian chocolate, cream, lactose, brown sugar, caramel, bourbon is more powerful as the beer warms. Vanilla extract snakes through on the finish.

Taste- Bourbon, chocolate, creamer, black licorice. Chocolate gets more powerful like a marraige of dark and milk chocolate. Whiskey warming on the finish, just like taking a shot. Hops and fruity notes are nonexistant.

Mouthfeel- Creamy, warming, full-bodied as all hell, evenly-carbonated, lightly prickly, smooth and gluey.

Drinkability- The Kentucky Breakfast Stout I had enjoyed in the past was not near as great as this KBS. This could damn well be teh best double stout in the world.

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Photo of BigFrank71
4.45/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very very black color. Had a wonderful charred bourbon aftertaste that i really liked after the third sip. Once again like the darklord I taste a very dark chocolate like a 72% or higher of coco. I did prefer this beer over the Darklord.
This is also another beer that i think only one bottle would be my fill since it is so heavy, but i savored it and drank it slow. I wonder what bourbon barrel it was in to get that taste. Maybe a makers mark or a pappy van winkel if we are lucky.

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Photo of russpowell
4.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Got this from joe151 in an ongoing trade that hopefully yields him a fraction of the beer happiness I think he's sent my way! Cheers, Joe!

Pours oily black with 2+ fingers of mocha/brown head into my La Chouffe tulip. Superior lacing good head retention

S: Big time bourbon smells, coffee & oak, fades a bit as it warms

T: Kahlua, coffee grounds, vanilla & oakyness up front. Chocolate comes through as this warms, along with mocha, a bit of booze, & vanilla. Finishes a little dry, with coffee, chocolate, & bourbon accents with enough restraint to pull everything together

MF: Very rich, dry, with lively enough carbonation to push the flavor out. Becomes fairly warming half way through & super sticky

Drinkability is through the roof for both the style & ABV. Damn near flawless, yum. This damn near pulled a straight-line five, lucky bastards in Michigan that can hoard this!

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Photo of gford217
4.92/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

What better way to top off Derby Day 2008 than with a KBS. 12oz bottle courtesy of knight84 poured into a snifter. Big thanks Dave!

A: Pours oil slick black with a dense one-finger brown head that dissipates almost immediately leaving very good lacing.

S: Roasted coffee dominates the nose with a definite bourbon aroma that is underpinned by a faint malt aroma with a vanilla and dark fruit sweetness (very faint). One of the best noses on any beer I've had, near perfect for me.

T: Wow, the taste is massive! It starts with a huge roasted/burnt coffee flavor with a heavy dose of chocolately malts, bourbon and wood. Then there is all kind of other things bouncing around the taste buds - caramel, dark fruits, vanilla - tough to identify all of it. Bitterness of the coffee taste lingers for...days.

M: Medium body yet very creamy and smooth mouthfeel.

D: Despite the massive nature of this brew, I found it tough to put down. This is, without a doubt, one of the most unique beers I have tasted and I hope to get my hands on some more of it.

EDIT: I've had this numerous times in the last year or so and I had to up my review a bit. This is one of the best handful of beers in the world. Absolutely phenomenal.

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Photo of Rzzzzz
4.54/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Derby Day. What better day to crack this open. Bottle obtained in trade with Imstillthegman (huge thanks!), and labeled "February 2006". I assume that's the purchase date.

Poured into a brandy snifter just before post time, slightly cooler than room temp. Oozed out of the bottle coffee black with a very thin film of milk-chocolate colored head, which didn't stick around.

First whiff was heaven. Smells like Kahlua, with some barrel wood background and a hint of prune.

Tilted back during the singing of "My old Kentucky Home", and what an experience. A delicious and complex brew, with nicely balanced chocolatey/smokey/coffee flavor, notes of prune and bourbon, enhanced by a mild alcohol warmth.

Mouthfeel was thinner than expected (I expected syrupy) but full bodied nonetheless, with practically zero carbonation. Left a tanniny coating on the palate as a nice cabernet wine would.

Alcohol is well masked but packs a whallop. This isn't a beer I'd order a pitcher of (that's a lie...I probably would if I could) but it's easy to drink, and like the label promises, it cured my lame back. I think I did experience some unexpected swelling though (yeah, it's that good).

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.55/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Got this brew in a trade with bluemoonswoon.

12oz bottle, served in a snifter.

L - black color with a light brown head that fell to a layer, leaving some spots of lacing behind.

S - bourbon aroma hits upfront with a roasted malt aroma following.

T - rich, roasted, smokey flavor. The taste of bourbon is there but not over powering. Some very nice espresso coffee bitterness on the finish.

F - full bodied with a super smooth feel.

D - a very nice sipper.

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Photo of tprokop7
4.77/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Myself and a friend opened up a KBS and a standard Breakfast Stout last night to compare... Half a bottle, poured into a 12 oz snifter.

A - Thick and black, almost looks syrupy when poured. No head.

S - Rich and sweet, with definite notes of Bourbon that almost cover up more subtle smells, like molasses, coffee and chocolate.

T - Bourbon is a little more mellow in the flavor than in the aroma, and it balances nicely. Complexity is added by the smokiness from the oak, and the chocolate and coffee come through at the end.

M - Without carbonation and smooth, the sweetness of the beer makes it feel just a little syrupy in your mouth, which is the only unpleasantness of the mouthfeel.

D - I wished I'd had more at the end of the glass, so I can't complain about the drinkability.

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

Thanks to PHawk for this trade.

A: one of the blackest pours I've ever seen, no head or lacing, whoa

S: bourbon, coffee grounds, vanilla with slight caramel, hops in the very back

T: smoked bourbon flavor, a little hickory bacon, some coffee in the middle with a little hop bitterness, chocolately maltiness in the very end that gets stronger in the aftertaste

M: thick and viscous, coats all over the mouth, very subtle carbonation

D: wonderful, a sipper for sure, bourbon taste was a little much at first but I quickly got used to it, alcohol is hidden very well, could drink a couple of these easily, still, I might have to say I like the regular Breakfast Stout better

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Photo of grandq
4.57/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Tried this one side by side with Founders Breakfast Stout (i know, different beers, etc). A lot of similarities but this one goes the extra mile. Pours pretty much pitch black, getting almost zero head in spite of my best efforts. What's there is a very dark tan. Smells of bourbon (duh), molasses, pear, coffee grounds, maple, and some raisins/dark fruit. A bit more "twang" than the FBS, likely the sweet bourbon soaked fruit and slightly more evident alcohol. Taste shows much of the same but in heavier doses: deeper raisin and prune to the profile here, more pronounced hop bite in tandem with peppery alcohol esters, a lot of oak with a kiss of vanilla. Coffee takes more of a background to the oak here and is balanced out by the bourbon sweetness. Overall, in spite of being heavier in the abv department, this seems to address any imbalance issues that show up in FBS. The mouthfeel is thick and coating as one expects from the style, and its overall a really tasty, nicely layered stout - though I'd say there are more complex out there, particularly Abyss. I'd raid the local if this were available here - top notch. Big cheers to autumnaldave for the bottle.

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Photo of MSchae1017
4.94/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Kentucky Breakfast pours black with a reluctant dark cream colored head that dissipates to a thin film and whips quite quickly. This is most likely a result of the high ABV and as I will find out in a minute, the massive fullness of the mouthfeel. The smell is tantalizing. Sweet chocolate malts, faint coffee, and a discernibly oakiness combine with a slight fruitiness to promise a full treat to the tongue to follow. Taking a sip is an explosion of flavor. As mentioned, chocolate, coffee, oak, and fruit, but also a spiciness, vanilla, and bourbon. The mix of flavors is simultaneously infinitely complex and yet amazingly satisfying. As mentioned before, the beer boasts a full body with very subtle carbonation. Just a fantastic beer. While it is a sipping beer with the strength and complexity, it is also incredibly smooth and surprisingly easy to drink. I am not sure if I could ever get enough of this beer.

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Photo of drumrboy22
4.4/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to tmc for this one. Served at cellar temperature, poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Corsendonk chalice. Thick black in color with a deep, dark brown one finger head. Beer coated the glass, but didn't leave any lacing patterns.

Aroma was heavy coffee, vanilla, oatmeal and roasted grains.

Taste was surprisingly smooth. Coffee flavor is very present along with some bourbon notes and chocolate.

This is a very rich and full flavored beer, but again, I'm surprised at how well balanced it is. Very smooth and very well made. Moderate carbonation.

Thanks again to tmc for this 4-pack. This is a rare treat that is well worth tracking down.

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Photo of SQNfan
4.7/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On tap at Founder's on release day. Dark black in color with a deep brown head. The aromas were powerful with scents of coffee, milk chocolate, vanilla, oatmeal and bourbon. This continued into a powerful but smooth palate that was complex and extremely well balanced. Not much has to be said about this one other than it this truly was wonderful!

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Photo of m1ked
4.88/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2008 release. Recieved in a trade with HopHobo...thanks for the opportunity, cheers.

A- Pitch-motor-oil-darker-than-the-center-of-your-eye-black. A thin dark chocolate milk ring around my Delirium Noel tulip. Significant sticky lacing around the rim as I drink. Makes my mouth water just to look at it.

S- Boozy woody, rich chocolate, mocha. It seems to have a well blended aroma that I have to really concentrate to pick out individual flavors. I feel like their are many more flavors that I can't quite verbalize.

T- MMMMmm, a soft chocolate milk with bourbon throughout. Some woody coffee notes.

M- Soft, creamy, chewy, boozy.

D- Oh man, this is something special. I can't rave about this one enough. this is one of the few beers that can really put the booze out there and get away with it, due to all the other rich mingling flavors that make it well balanced. I could drink as many of these as I could, until my liver packed up and hit the road.

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Photo of d0ggnate
4.68/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A good friend (m1ked) recently traded for a few of these and was kind enough to toss one my way. I broke open the bottle tonight I knew I had to write a review as soon as I poured.

A: Oil-like brown/black pour. A ring of head lines my snifter and last throughout drinks.
S: Strong coffee aroma, dark chocolate notes, and a rich roasted malt hint found.
T: Rich dark chocolate carries over and amazes my palate. An overwhelming rich flavor of coffee, but more than welcomed here.
M: Very smooth and velvety. A lasting flavor and a nice warming alcohol affect.
D: So rich and delicious. I can't believe I had no desire to try this beer. I now wish I had more. This will now be added to my Wants List. Amazing flavor and texture.

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Photo of CrazyMacHarris99
4.82/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one poured a thick oil-like opaque black with a thin mocha head that quickly dissipated to a thin ring with good lacing. I have been waiting to try this one for a while. The smell was straight up coffee upfront. There was a hint of vanilla and bourbon there and some chocolate as well. The taste started out as strong espresso with a hint of mocha and vanilla. The bourbon came in the finish and there was hardly any alcohol aside from the oak tinted bourbon flavor. The mouthfeel wasn't thick like one would think. It was extremely smooth and pleasing. The drinkability was great but be careful with this one. Overall, I loved it and am looking foward to aging the other bottle I have.

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Photo of throwitallaway
4.66/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to saucya for this one! Poured from bottle into snifter. Very dark with absolutely no head at all. Big aromas of coffee, chocolate, bourbon, and vanilla, with some alcohol underneath. Probably the best smelling beer I've had in the short time I've been a beerhead. Big taste of coffee, bourbon, and vanilla, with a bit of chocolate underneath. Alcohol warms the throat, but isn't nearly as noticeable as I thought it would be in such a big beer. Mouthfeel is right in the middle where I like it. Drinkability is surprisingly high considering the style. This beer definitely lives up to its hype, nicely balancing the flavors from the barrel with the flavors from the beer.

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

Special thanks to tprokop7 for the KBS!!

Poured aggressively into a pounder produced a great 2" creamy light brown head.

Incredible nose of milk chocolate, espresso, bourbon and malt.

Tastes of bitter chocolate, strong coffee and licorice followed by bourbon and alcohol.

Velvety liquid with a myriad of complex flavors swirling around.

I had to give this stout the highest ratings possible. There is nothing you could do to improve on this beer short of having more of them! Simply incredible! No hype here, just incredibly well-balanced and full flavored.

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Photo of Lothore
4.32/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a nice black color letting no light pass through with a small, mocha head.

S- Smell has a whole lot going on. Strong coffee, bourbon notes, a sort of syrupy sweetness, roasted malt.

T- Starts off with sweet dark fruit notes and moves into a strong but balanced bourbon taste which lightens into coffee that lasts quite a while.

M- Thick and creamy with appropriate carbonation.

D- This is a sipper but honestly it is the best of the style that I have experienced. I don't put much stock in Imperial stouts but if you are going to try one, this is the one to try.

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Photo of unholy2
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I poured this dark oil into a corsendonk goblet.It produced no head at all with very little carb.I have had alot of stouts but this is the first one I had that taste and smell like coffee I mean it has no hints of anything else.Now I did have this at room temp so I don't know if that would really effect it but man when they say breakfast stout they were'nt kidding.This would go great with some bacon and egges.The next time I drink this it will be at breakfast

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

On Tap at Andy's Corner with my dudes-- hopflop and JM.

This was the first beer I had on the Founder's tap night at Andy's Corner. I was trying to think of a metaphor for this beer, something to compare the complexity, luxury, and beauty of this beer. It's a true wonder. I told my fellow-Geeks that this was one of the best beers I've ever tasted--not necessarily because it's the "best" stout or the "best" whatever other category. This beer is it's own genre.

If this sounds like it's a bit gushing, well... it should be. The Kentucky Bourbon Stout has the appearance of other breakfast stouts--a tan-ish head and dark brown body--but the comparisons sort of stop there. The smell is truly wonderful. I kept smelling the glass over and over to catch the prominent bourbon scent. The bourbon is not overly-aggressive, and it fuses with the mocha and caramel scents as well. the head is minimal, the lacing is there, but the taste is what knocks this beer into its own stratosphere.

Upon the first sip, I was blown away--almost surprised. I expected something quite different, and I had to quickly take another sip. It has a prominent bourbon taste at first while the pour was still a bit cold. The hints of bourbon subside, however, once the glass warms. Then the nuances of caramel and stout emerge.

It is extremely balanced. The alcohol is not pungent or off-putting at all. It really is something to try and comprehend.

It takes a while to find the proper way to describe it. I still haven't figured out how. And that's a wonderful thing.

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Photo of StonyB
4.3/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In New Jersey! Who'd have thought? From Andy's Corner Bar, on-tap. Here we go...

Appearance - Deep black, just a hint of light. A bubbly cap of cappucino foam. Lacing as thick as rubber cement. A beauty.

Smell - Wow. Coffee, Kahlua, bourbon, roasted malt. A ton of stuff going on. Very complex, yet very aromatic.

Taste - Bourbon, surprisingly strong. Butter, vanilla, cappucino. Big alcohol warmth. Interesting, complex.

Mouthfeel - Slick and oily texture. Medium-bodied. Well-attenuated.

Drinkability - Huge ABV, monster sipper. Complex and tasty, but not a session beer in any way.

A unique beer, the bourbon leading the charge to what may be an unprecedented extent. Enjoyable, thought-provoking. A perfect nightcap. Absolutely recommended.

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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,787 ratings.