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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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2,777 Reviews
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Reviews: 2,777
Hads: 10,603
rAvg: 4.55
pDev: 8.35%
Wants: 4,190
Gots: 4,905 | FT: 396
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: 2,777 | Hads: 10,603
Photo of tprokop7
4.77/5  rDev +4.8%
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. (788 characters)

Photo of pheggeseth
4.65/5  rDev +2.2%
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 (677 characters)

Photo of grandq
4.57/5  rDev +0.4%
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. (1,170 characters)

Photo of MSchae1017
4.94/5  rDev +8.6%
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. (917 characters)

Photo of drumrboy22
4.4/5  rDev -3.3%
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. (656 characters)

Photo of SQNfan
4.7/5  rDev +3.3%
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! (347 characters)

Photo of m1ked
4.88/5  rDev +7.3%
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. (956 characters)

Photo of d0ggnate
4.68/5  rDev +2.9%
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. (728 characters)

Photo of CrazyMacHarris99
4.82/5  rDev +5.9%
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. (691 characters)

Photo of throwitallaway
4.66/5  rDev +2.4%
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. (679 characters)

Photo of DHGranstrand
5/5  rDev +9.9%
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. (562 characters)

Photo of Lothore
4.32/5  rDev -5.1%
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. (575 characters)

Photo of unholy2
5/5  rDev +9.9%
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 (463 characters)

Photo of jessecarr
5/5  rDev +9.9%
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. (1,553 characters)

Photo of StonyB
4.3/5  rDev -5.5%
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. (750 characters)

Photo of DavidSeanNJ
4.7/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-Tap at Andy's for the Founder's promo night.

Poured into a wine-shaped glass, small, but ample enough to hold a good amount of KBS.

A- Extremely dark black liquid filled the glass. Beautiful creamy brown head lingered on top. Some lace lingered through the entire duration of consumption.

S- The nose is of bourbon and vanilla. I did detect a strong alcohol presence in the nose as well.

T- First sip was sweet and milky like vanilla ice cream. The next couple of sips were robust and heavy with flavors of black coffee, espresso beans, and some oak like flavors. There was a fruit presence in some sips, but not in all. Fruit was faint, but it certainly was there. Finishes up with a HUGE bourbon taste, think the best kentucky bourbon you have ever had.

M- Mouthfeel was creamy and full bodied, but surprisingly smooth.

D- Amazing beer. I can't wait til we start getting founders here in NJ on a regular basis. (924 characters)

Photo of maximum12
3.79/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to mully for this one. He posted a note in the Midwest forum that a Hudson store rec'd a case or two & I promptyly left home for the 25 minute drive that netted me my first Kentucky Breafast Stout. Last ones in Chicone's!

Even a hard pour gets only a bit of head - I think all of the beer's energy is going into its unique weirdness with nothing leftover for show. And as is proper for an Imperial Stout, it's a very dark version of black. The smell's a little disappointing. COFFEE, it screams. As it warms it gets a little more subtle, but there's still nothing else. I think I could slip this into my wife's coffee mug & she'd never notice the difference until it hit her tongue.

Taste is...strange. I think this is the most complex beer I've ever tasted & for that I have to give it props. There's the coffee, the bourbon, & all sorts of other stuff I can't identify. Again, as it warms to its proper temp, the beer gets better.

Mouthfeel is thick & full, stout-like. Drinkability is really good, it's going to take me an hour at least to down this, the only note is there's a touch *too* much coffee to make it perfectly drinkable.

Overall, really good, but there's still two stouts I'd put above it. Not to say I'm not happy to still have several in the beer fridge! (1,285 characters)

Photo of bassmantin
5/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I'm drinking the 2008 vintage about a month after its release. I recently had a vertical with the 2007, and in my opinion, this beer does not age well. I think it loses a lot of the great coffee taste. Most stouts age well because they mellow, but the greatness of the KBS is its strong, harsh, coffee malts, and those fade over time. Drink it fresh. Now to the review.

The color is a very dark brown with a nice little tan head. The smell is overpowering. It has that strong coffee flavor of the BS, but the added bourbon aroma is delicious. The taste lives up to everything the smell promises. The bourbon is so delicious... strong oak notes, vanilla, and general bourbon overtones. Oh my, what a unique beer.

The alcohol is also quite well-concealed given that this is a 10% beer. This greatly helps the drinkability.

I swear, I think this beer is perfect. You must try it. (879 characters)

Photo of HopHobo
5/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A-pours a deep brown/black with a 3 fingers head.

S-Smells of chocolate, vanilla and coffee...a very deep complex smell, many layers here.

T-Wowzer, this beer is amazing probably the best stout I've had to this point in my life. Taste is like the smell very complex, strong coffee and vanilla flavor with hints of bourban and chocolate. The alcohol is well hidden in the beer.

M-Has a nice mouthfeel very thick and creamy...this is how a stout should be.

D-So I've had this beer before on tap and in bottle I love this beer so much I would like to freeze it into ice cubes and skate on it. I could drink it all day/night long. Probably not a good hot weather beer...but here in the cold North its perfect!!! (711 characters)

Photo of sholland119
4.72/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a snifter.

A-Pours a deep jet black with a modest dark tan head.

S-Roasted coffee, dark chocolate, a bourbony vanilla, some dark fruits, some alcohol in the background. One of the most delicious, complex aromas I have ever experienced.

T-A smooth, sweet chocolate flavor in the front, followed by vanilla and dark fruit, with some caramel on the finish...then some nice alcohol warmth after.

M-Creamy and smooth. The chocolate-caramel taste linger nicely on the tongue.

D-Very drinkable despite the strong bourbon character.

A much hyped beer that lives up to the hype. Wonderfully complex from the nose through the finish. This most enjoyable barrel aged beer I have tried. I am happy we have three more of these to enjoy.

HV (761 characters)

Photo of JDV
4.67/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

bottles courtesy of hoppymeal and prototypic. Thanks!!
Pours pitch black with a big medium lived dark brown head. Smell is strong coffee, mild bourbon and oak. Very well balanced smell and not overly bourbony. Taste is equally as well balanced with rich dark chocolate like roasty malt, a touch of vanilla, stong oak flavor, a touch of bourbon, and bold coffee flavors. This is really nice, and quite a bit more enjoyable than the original breakfast stout. Medium to thick body and moderate to light carbonation. Awesome beer. (526 characters)

Photo of mully
4.6/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours with a thick brown head with small bubbles leaving leaving a good lace. Black body, no light gets through around the edges solid looking.

Chocolate Whisky coffee and a little malt no hops

Bitterness, patent malt, bourbon, oak, vanilla, coffee and chocolate

smooth like silk big and creamy heat from the booze

Does not hide the alcohol, it displays it like a work of art. No beer bongs for this beer, but it is very drinkable. (436 characters)

Photo of amiles
4.27/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First time trying this brew... I saved my first sips for a nice moment which happened to be this evening.

A: Poured into a Gouden Carolus wide glass. Very dark ruby, aggressive pour stirs up a tiny layer of head that swirls around throughout the tasting.

S: Big bourbon smell, and chocolate.

T: Again, big bourbon taste, which I like. Notes of chocolate, vanilla. Hard to make out anything else.

M: My biggest let down of this beer. It felt very thin, and was hoping for something a little 'thicker'. Though the light carbonation works well.

D: Def a sipper. I cracked it almost an hour and half ago, and still working on it. Not a bad thing at all.

Overall, tasty... and I'm enjoying it very much. Though if I had to have this or GIBC, I'd probably go for the GIBC. (773 characters)

Photo of quad07
4.73/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was lucky to get this find. The way I understand it was a hard to find this year. I purchased a four pack at UFS. $16.99 for a four pack of 12oz bottles with twist off caps. No bottled date that I could find. I picked up two four packs but after shopping I decided to put one back out of the four left of six. Hope others had a chance at this one. After all I only needed one. I'm just one of the lucky ones to try it this year.

A little like Founders Oatmeal breakfast stout, KBS has some similar characteristics. When I pored into my glass it had a very dark black motor oil color to it. When I held it up to the light I could barely make out what looked to be a ruby wine Hughes highlights around the outer edge of the glass. The head was small & a rocky mud color that went away very quickly. Very little lacing left behind while drinking it.

It had a very pleasant smell of coffee a little oats bourbon and very little notes of hops. To my surprise I did not find it strong or over powering at all. There was not a strong alcohol smell at all.

I could taste coffee, dry oats and a mild taste of wooden aged bourbon. I thought it would be a lot stronger. The ABV bite got stronger as it warmed up. Not to say that is a bad thing at all.

It felt rich silky and bitter sweet in my mouth with lots of flavor and no noticeable carbonation.

I enjoyed slowly drinking it and I think the four pack was my limit. A very tasty and pleasant treat. I think every one should try it once. It lives up to all the hype but is not worth all the hording going on.

Cheers (1,565 characters)

Photo of jdoncbus
4.32/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into SA tulip glass. Color is oil and hot tar, thin brown head, with oily lacing.

Nose is burnt oak, vanilla, bourbon, plums, and raisin. Notes of cream, espresso roast coffee, and sweet alcohol.

Palate is bombarded with a silky-slick bitterness followed by a deep molasses, maltiness. After taste reminds me of a caffeinated Yoohoo which leaves a warm, alcohol finish. Mouth is left a bit tart.

A very nice offering and glad I was fortunate to run across a couple of these gems. Despite my three year old knocking over my glass, I really enjoyed this one. It's not my favorite style but the complexities and unique taste make it really good. (653 characters)

Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,777 ratings.