Dismiss Notice
Get 12 monthly issues of BeerAdvocate magazine and save $5 when you select "auto-renew."

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join our email list →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.

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.

2,847 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 2,847
Hads: 11,054
Avg: 4.56
pDev: 17.54%
Wants: 4,380
Gots: 5,254 | FT: 414
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 2,847 | Hads: 11,054
Photo of PatronWizard
4.12/5  rDev -9.6%
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

 404 characters

Photo of RocPorterFanatic
5/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

 804 characters

Photo of joepais
4.67/5  rDev +2.4%
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

 577 characters

Photo of deaconsmith
4.4/5  rDev -3.5%
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 nuts..next 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.

 1,097 characters

Photo of GilGarp
4.52/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

 804 characters

Photo of Pehlman
4.87/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

 558 characters

Photo of Mauerhan
4.95/5  rDev +8.6%
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.

 701 characters

Photo of OlieIPA
4.84/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

 1,119 characters

Photo of Melachai
4.43/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

KBS has an wonderful dark chocolately, caramel color. The head is a lighter version of the same color, with small frothy bubbles that fade shortly after pouring.

The dominating smell is the bourbon barrels it was aged in with some coffee in the background.

The is full, rich and strong. The first taste is of the same bourbon you smell, followed by coffee and warm malts.

Mouthfeel is heavy and creamy with mild carbonation.

This beer is very drinkable, but I don't know if I could drink more than one in a night due to the heaviness in flavor and alcohol content.

 569 characters

Photo of McLovinmybeer
4.97/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Let me begin, by stating that this is one of the best beers I have ever had. It poured jet black with a small, dark head. Its aroma was that of coffee, vanilla, and a hint of bourbon. I recall remarking on how I hoped that this beer tasted as good as it smelled. And, it did. The taste was also that of coffee and a hint of vanilla. The bourbon was less pronounced than expected and overpowered by the coffee. This ale was exceptionally drinkable, even at 10% ABV. After finishing the beer, I immediately wanted another; however, at $8.50 a bottle (but worth every penny), there was none other to be had. A more than exceptional beer from an outstanding brewery.

 662 characters

Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.95/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to tpd975 for this gem sent during the Week 4 powerball sweepstakes.

Pours from a 12oz bottle with a notch on the upper side of the label, middle left. I think this means the beer was brewed/bottle in or around March?? Anyway, emerges a pitch black color with a perfect looking, mocha chocolate colored head of about two fingers. Generous lacing and nice head retention as well.

Aroma is beautiful. Coffee, bourbon, chocolate, and more fresh ground coffee. Coffee stouts are probably my favorite style and this may be my favorite of the style. The coffee aromas are wonderful and the slight bit of bourbon/oak aromas add to the complexity and make this a great smelling beer.

Coffee, perfect amount of bourbon, slightly alcoholic, touch of hoppiness. Absoutely perfect. Thats all that needs to be said.

A very full bodied beer. So delicious.

This beer would get me in trouble as I would probably drink it all day. Im sure the price tag is high so this would cause me to go broke. A wonderful beer. Thanks again Greg!!

Well, looks like the UPS man is bringing me another box of Powerball goodness. Yes!!

 1,119 characters

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

I just wanna say up front that I had no idea before I tried this beer that this was gonna be my favorite Oatmeal Stout of all time...

pours up black as night with a big brown head. great lacing! the nose is composed of bourbon, dark malts, oak. taste is oh soooo good! magnificent bourbon, delicious chocolate, secret oak, tastey vanilla, warming oatmeal, a little alcohol spice. full as hell body! perfectly aged! drinking this beer with Tara Reid would be a perfect monday. I just don't want this beer to ever end!

 517 characters

Photo of Proteus93
4.59/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Courtesy cdumler during a couple nights ago. Thanks for sharing!

A: Dark brownish black. Head is touch, but retention is okay.

S: Coffee and malts, with chocolate notes. It's quite reminiscent of a Coffee Crisp bar (more familiar to the Canadians, I believe, though it can be found in the US, as well). A nice blend of the two.

T + M: Very deep roasted malts and coffee flavours. Some bitterness and a touch of astringency that stings a little. A creamy mouthfeel and light on the carbonation... almost like heavily creamed coffee in some ways.

D: Tasty, and somewhat candy line in some ways. The coffee flavours might be a little on the artificial side, but definitely taste great. I'd happily have it again, though it's almost sinful.

 742 characters

Photo of RedChrome
4.47/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An absolutely pure black colored body. Very minimal tan colored head faded to nothing quickly. Too dark to not any carbonation. Spotty lacing.

An incredibly intense bourbon aroma blends with a strong scent of both coffee and vanilla. Good backing of malty sweetness. A moderate amount of alcohol can be detected.

Initial taste on the tongue was a nice roasted coffee flavor. Bourbon quickly becomes apparent as well. A very minor vanilla blends with a nice malt back to show through at end of mouthful. Very tasty balance.

Nice and thick without being to much. A very light carbonation tingles as tastes clings.

An excellent beer. This one is good by itself after a nice meal. Truly deserving of the high marks it earns. A must try for any fan of stout.

 759 characters

Photo of waltonc
4.37/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

M: Extremely thick. This was the first time I have had a stout this thick, so initially took some getting used to. But now I love it. Thank God Founders is smart enough to sell this in 12 oz bottles. Unless you have friends to share with, I don't know why anyone would want more than 12 ounces of this at once. That said, the mouthfeel is great in small doses.

T: The viscosity complements the super strong chocolate, coffee, molasses, and bourbon flavors. Somewhat sweet. Compared to a Goose Island BCS, the bourbon in KBS is relatively restrained.

A: Black with tan head.

Smell: Coffee, bourbon, and chocolate.

 616 characters

Photo of CrellMoset
4.52/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of gford217 at a tasting at the home of proteus93. Poured into a Brooklyn-logoed footed pilsner glass.

Appearance: Poured a opaque black with a creamy coffee head with good retention and great lacing for the abv% and style. Creamy and foamy, this is one attractive looking brew.

Aroma: Unbelievably earthy, bitter coffee and oaky, woody bourbon. This is one dark, dark roast! Dark and light fruity esters and hints of vanilla, but this one's definitely all about the hardy roast and the bourbon. Fantastically pungent!

Taste: Coffee liquor basked in a wave of bourbon is the closest I can describe it. This is an incredibly pungently strong coffee-infused beer. There's some saltyness, but in the light of the coffee, it's reminiscent of ham or sausage, which is nice. Some breadyness and tons of oak and bourbon notes, and the vanilla comes through nicely because there's no complimentary chocolate - it's just all coffee.

Mouthfeel: Thick and syrupy, wonderfully even and creamy with a surprisingly modest feeling head - very smooth and mild, which improves the drinkability greatly.

Drinkability: A beer that's not perfect in any way but really damn good in every way. The darkest/best-infused coffee beer I've ever had - the coffee notes do indeed taste both artificial and real at the same time. It's slightly harsh in places, but wonderfully delicate in others. If you like bourbon, if you like coffee, this one's for you. Just a really nice beer.

 1,476 characters

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

Twelve ounce bottle as shown, obtained in a fantastic (and I DO mean FANTASTIC) trade with shbobdb.

Moderate pour into a New Belgium goblet yields a large chocolate reverse-cascading head over a completely opaque black-brown body, that is obviously thick and viscous. Looks like oil. Head fades fairly quickly, but as I swirl the liquid, lots of dark coating sticks to the inside of the glass and a smallish head returns.

Initial aroma is intensely and overtly vanilla and bourbon, then the coffee and dark chocolate rise up. Perhaps the strongest aroma of any of the 391 beers I've reviewed: you can literally smell this across the room, as if you poured into a warm sauce-pan a cup of warm bourbon and a cup of vanilla extract and a cup of espresso. As I sit here typing, the glass is two feet from my nose, and this beer is ALL I can smell.

Taste is somewhat in reverse order from the smell: espresso first, then the dark chocolate, then the bourbon, then the vanilla. And it's all excellent, and exceptionally straightforward. There is a bit of hops-bitterness in the finish, which dries things out a little, and balances the intense bourbon-vanilla sweetness. Indeed, I found my lips had a sweet taste on them after each swallow. INTENSE, but enough burned malt bitterness and hops to keep this beast from being cloyingly sweet. Honestly, this beer tastes fantastic, and the taste stays long.

Mouthfeel was a tiny bit thinner than I expected in view of the way the liquid coated the inside of the glass. Still, nice and round.

Obviously this beer is too strong for more than one. But the one is wonderfully drinkable.

Overall, a truly exceptional beer, solidly worthy of its lofty accolades. Thanks again to shbobdb for this terrific beverage. Memorable. Noteworthy.

 1,778 characters

Photo of paco1029384756
4.79/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a small, dark tan head that fades quickly into a thin ring of lacing.

Scent of bourbon and coffee dominate with some chocolate, vanilla and raisins in the background. There is a hint of alcohol, but it does not divert from the awesome scent.

Taste is mostly coffee, with a smooth chocolate and bourbon backbone. Roasted malts, some chocolate and raisins come in finishing dry. Wonderful bourbon flavor, but too much coffee flavor.

Mouthfeel is heavy and smooth, very enjoyable.

Drinkability is good, better than most beers its strength.

After a few months, this mellows into perfection with a strong sweet dark fruit presence in the scent with a nice coffee and bourbon presence still.

The taste is more of the same. Insanely rich with a lot of sweet dark fruit and sugars. The bourbon keeps it lively without being overpowering.

Served at cellar temperature, this beer is among the best I've ever had. I didn't think this beer was worth the hype before, but now I know that it exceeds the hype and then some. One of the best Imperial Stouts I've ever had.

 1,080 characters

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.45/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Review #500... Woo Hoo!! 12 oz from the cellar.. I believe I got this bottle from Archer Liquors... Poured into my New Belgium snifter.

2 finger head took a few minutes to dial back.. looks like a thicker cappuccino.. pretty lacing... brew is completely pitch black.

Aroma is expected chocolate.. French roast.. and subtle bourbon... vanilla with some soft toasty oak.

Flavor is like boutique store fudge.. but spiked with coffee beans.. some coffee liquor.. deep dark dried fruits.. waves of milky chocolate mid palate... bourbon notes don't taste of alcohol, more like just what my mind imagines bourbon to be.. no burn.. just pure flavor from the beginning to the long luscious finish.... some coffee acidity as it hits room temperature. Body is thick and smooth.. velvety.. this is a sipping beer for sure.. I've been enjoying it for more than an hour now.


 880 characters

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

A: Dark black with a dark brown inch+ of head

S: deep, full coffee aroma

T: Complex mix of the full-bodied coffee and the bourbon oak mix. It is such a change from Breakfast Stout.

M: smooth mix of complex flavors

D: The smooth flavor make me want to drink this beer all day long, other then the 10% APV.

 311 characters

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

A: snifter. pure black in color. dark tan head, almost mocha. medium retention and very light lacing.

S: I expected tons of rich malts, but a huge bourbon flavor masks most of it. tons of vanilla, coconut macaroons, and light cherries.

T: tons of vanilla, cherries, slight coconut, big chocolate and coffee flavors. absolutely amazing. aftertaste stays so long, and is so perfect.

M: big and bold. perfect carbonation level. very smooth for 10%.

D: maybe two of these, but the 10% really hits you with the high gravity and bourbon flavors. this beer is amazing and I am not sure there is anyone who would not like it.

 622 characters

Photo of jamesm7485
4.9/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

First off thanks to med for the trade!

Pours a jet black with a dark tan head that lasts quite awhile, sticks to the glass on its way down like motor oil.

The smell is medium on the bourbon with some faint coffee and vanilla tones

The taste is similar to the smell but the bourbon is much more up front and has a very faint smoke note

The mouth feel is very smooth and this goes down very easily, despite the alcohol content being high it is not offensive and does not hinder the drinkability, a sipper but a real treat for sure.

 533 characters

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

Poured a thick dark syrupy black with a thin little dark tan head.

Smell was creamy sweet chocolate with a touch of vanilla and whiskey.

Flavor was bold and strong while still being pleasant. Some great dark black burnt malts and cereal taste along with nice bits of oak, chocolate, and vanilla with just a touch of whiskey. Leaves a long lasting slightly bitter and smokey hop residue.

Mouthfeel is thick and oily and a touch sticky. Has a nice touch of carbonation and plenty of warmth on the tongue.

Fairly easy to drink for a huge stout, I don't think its quite the masterpeace that the original breakfast stout is, or quite on the same level as Goose Island Bourban Stout, but a really great beer none the less.

 720 characters

Photo of Slynger
4.37/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Fortunate enough to snag a couple of these babies a couple of months ago, and now feels like the perfect time to crack open the first one.

Pours thick, impenetrable, obsidian black with a creamy lid of deep mocha coloring.

The nose is just as dark. Dark chocolate and dark roasted coffee, with molasseses, prunes, bourbon and pine.

KBS is a full, thick, creamy milkshake. It brings an organized ruckus of the nose in the same order, and in excellent balance.

I don't really have much more to say about this one. It is a great beer and it knows it. Not my favorite imperial stout, but that is no knock on it. Be sure to grab all you can if you can ever find this stuff.

 672 characters

Photo of JoeMayo
4.59/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours thick and black without very much head

S- Coffee definately comes through loud and clear. Chocolate and smokey aromas also make their way through

T- The chocolate and coffee are definately there and the smokiness of the bourbon adds a little extra complexity

M- Heavy and thick, but still smooth. Medium carbonation.

D- A slow sipper

 346 characters

Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,847 ratings.