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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)

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2,849 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 2,849
Hads: 11,065
Avg: 4.56
pDev: 17.54%
Wants: 4,385
Gots: 5,262 | FT: 412
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: 2,849 | Hads: 11,065
Photo of Vultr_of_cultr
3.78/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

This beer starts off as the perfect stout--gorgeous color, light, creamy head on the pour and an amazing smell. Strong chocolate and caramel notes, with coffee and vanilla developing on the palate as well. However, the overwhelming (and at times, overpowering) flavor is the bourbon notes. They hit hard and linger long after the others have gone, being outlasted only by the residual sweetness. I suppose I should have expected it in a bourbon-barrel-aged brew, but it seemed to totally overpower the other complex subtleties in the beer.

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Photo of mrblonde37
4.91/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

An awesome beer! I have been lucky to have it in the bottle and on tap. I will crack my 2014 in a couple of years and cannot wait to see how it has improved.

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Photo of mlockman
3.77/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Cellared for six months, I found it overall not very impressive. Lacked the strong bourbon flavors I was hoping for; maybe I'm just in the "fresh is best" camp, though I haven't had the chance to try it fresh.

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Photo of Maxwell5
4.96/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

On tap at Founders and from the bottle more recently. Basically a perfect beer all around with great pitch black look, bourbon and chocolate smell and perfectly balanced coffee/chocolate/bourbon flavor and thick MF you'd expect for the style. Outside of CBS, I don't know that I've had a better beer.

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Photo of Cheeseboo
3.29/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Truth be told, I am not a fan of Bourbon stouts because I don't like to drink hard liquor. To me, a beer should taste like a beer, not like anything else. The bourbon flavor is overwhelming. I know that some people love this stout, but I'm not a fan. I would much rather have something smooth and creamy that doesn't assault my taste buds with alcohol. My brother paid something like $30 for a 4 pack of this and I don't feel it is worth the money. Again, I'm not a fan of hard liquor, just beer.

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Photo of jmasher85
4.95/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

I could literally fill myself up drinking this for breakfast, assuming I'm not doing much else that morning. Rich, thick, dense, black as sin, and decent foam on medium carbonation, the texture of a great beastly stout is there. And it gets better once you sip it. This is, for my money, the superior big brother of CBS, and while it shares textural qualities, it's a different animal and, aside from being easier to find, my preferred brew.

Not overtly chocolatey, but plenty of cocoa and coffee for sure, which keeps it from being overwhelmingly sweet. The bitterness of the flavor works here better than any stout I've had before, I think. There's also a mesmerizingly chalky, tannic texture to the bitterness brought on by the cocoa and oak - what I assume is charred oak from the smokey smell that, mixed with a hint of vanilla, makes me dream of this beer days later. God, there's so much going on in this beer that it's hard to say much else besides "drink the dang stuff!"

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Photo of Stevem68
4.74/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a dark chocolate color, has a nice aroma of bourbon, chocolate and coffee. The flavor follows the aroma but its very smooth. This is a very flavorful beer that drinks incredibly sooth for how heavy it culd be

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Photo of woemad
4.57/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle courtesy of LehighAce06. No bottling or “best by” date, but it’s the 2015 vintage according to the label. This was a longtime want.

Poured into an Iron Goat snifter, this was inky black and quite viscous looking as it poured out of the bottle. There was a modest tan head that dropped quickly, which was not a surprise given this beer’s potency, but a collar of tan foam remained afterwards. The lace reminds me of pictures of distant clumps of trees on the African Savannah.

Boozy and sweet aroma, in that order. It smells like a dessert. Although the label boasts of 70 IBUs, no hop aroma seems able to cut through the scents given off by the dark malts, bourbon, chocolate and coffee.

This beer tastes rich and decadent. Chocolate and bourbon lead the assault on the taste buds. The coffee flavor is more subdued, kicking in after the initial flavor blast and providing a kind of backbone of rich bitterness to the sweeter aspects. There’s a big, boozy undercurrent here. It doesn’t exactly dominate things, but it keeps you aware at all times that this is a BIG beer. Slight dry, hoppy zap at the swallow, but that’s about the extent of any standout hop character.

Full bodied, with a rich, sticky, coating, velvety mouthfeel.

God, I love this beer! It’s great after a late breakfast and coffee, but would be amazing after a dinner or as a nightcap. Going forward, my problem is that I’ll have to trade or do more BIFs just to get this beer again. Thanks, Kevin!

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Photo of crob3888
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours the color of cold brew coffee - mostly black with brown around the edges, and a nice small brown head that sticks around and leaves some lacing.
Smell and taste are both dominated by a ton of chocolate, smooth cold brew coffee notes (no bitterness), and flavors of chocolate covered dark cherries, vanilla cream, caramel, and a smoothness from the bourbon and oak. Overall, it deserves the hype, a great beer.

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Photo of emalc
4.17/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

2015 vintage, bottling date 2/11/15. I've found quite a bit of variation between the different batches this year, even in a side-by-side blind tasting, but this is the first one I've sat down to do a proper review on.

L - Body pours opaque dark brown with garnet highlights. Thin beige head dissipates quickly.

S - Vanilla, bourbon, molasses, and oak leap off. The oak becomes more prominent as it warms. Moderate coffee roast and milk-chocolate covered almonds. A hint of brown sugar and licorice. No hops, esters, or phenolics. I'm looking for the ethanol, and can't find it - very well masked, even with the prominent bourbon character. I could smell this for hours.

T - Dark chocolate, oak, and coffee predominate. Again, the oak intensifies as it warms. Roasted and chocolate malts are vivid, and a bitterness from the roast and the bittering hops in the finish keep it from even thinking about being cloying. For me, though, the oak is too far out of balance and gives a tannic astringency that really knocks this version down a peg. The alcohol is present here, far more than the aroma lets on.

F - Tannins from the oak gives a significantly astringent finish. Moderate alcohol warming. Medium body - a somewhat fuller mouthfeel could better support the substantial character of the beer. Medium-low carbonation and creaminess.

O - This vintage is over-oaked for my tastes, which really pulls it down a notch compared to some others batches/vintages that I've had. The nose is tremendous, though, and if Founders can ever nail both the nose and the taste in the same batch (as they've done separately, in my opinion) then we've got a real contender for top honors.

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Photo of MyThoughtsExactly
4.2/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle less than a year old into a tulip glass
Appearance: black with decent carbonation. Bubbles of varying sizes. Alcohol lacing.
Aroma: vanilla, roasted almonds, marshmallow, milk chocolate, coffee, roasted malt. Great nose on this beer.
Taste: chocolate, vanilla, roasted malt, and coffee. There is roasted bitterness, creaminess, coffee, and alcohol warm in the finish. The lingering taste is very pleasant.
Feel: Body is medium to full.
Definitely taste the 11% in this once it hits the back of the throat. The nose and finish on this beer is very nice. The taste is good but the alcohol in the middle could be mellowed a bit.

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Photo of Dolphinsmarlins1
4.69/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Finally got my hands on several 2014s. Definitely lived up to the hype of it. I'll be curious how the flavor will change with aging. My favorite part about this beer is the lingering aftertaste of chocolate and coffee along with the mouthfeel. Well done Founders.

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Photo of SoCal_Matt
4.51/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2014 bottle poured into a Teku glass.

A - Very dark brown with just a bit of khaki head that settles quickly.

S - Extremely bourbon forward and oaky.

T - Lots of great bourbon and chocolate, coffee is an afterthought and barely noticeable, and has a bit of vanilla as well.

F - A bit thin for a BA stout. I would say on the plus side of medium bodied at best with minimal carbonation.

O - A great beer for sure, but lacking the thickness that I love in a beer of this caliber.

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Photo of VetsPackage
3.82/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Keep getting these 2015s as free extras in trades for good reason. Disappointing only because of the rave reviews this one gets. Unbalanced bourbon character heavy in oak and lacking in the toasted marshmallow sweatness. Thin body is another let down, all around just leaves you wanting more for a beer that gets the accolades it does.

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

Bottle dated 3/4/15. Poured into snifter. Look is very dark with little head. Smells of bourbon, chocolate, roasted coffee but not overpowering. Taste is very nice, not too hot. It is a little thin with no lacing left on the glass. A good beer, but not worthy of its ranking or its demand IMO.

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Photo of ljbonadonna92
4.64/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black color with a small amount of lacing. Smells like coffee, vanilla, bourbon, and sweetness. KBS tastes of coffee at first followed by vanilla and the smallest bit of alcohol heat, and sweet bourbon that coats your tongue and lingers for several minutes to finish it all up. This beer was fun to drink and definitely memorable. One of my favorites at this point. Now I gotta go find some more.

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Photo of jcflorian
4.25/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

I don't get the hype for this beer.

It is a very solid Imperial Stout, but in my opinion pales below its Breakfast Stout counterpart. Not in same league as CBS.

Look and smell are both top notch, but the watery mouthful really bothered me. A beer like this should be rich and think , not watery.

Points off for otherwise a rock solid stout

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Photo of jow_42
4.24/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2014 Vintage (drinking 03/2015) poured into a Stone RIS tulip

A - Pours a jet black with half a finger of tan/khaki head

S - Coffee, chocolate, dark chocolate, subtle bourbon. Wish the bourbon was more present in the nose of this. Sweet milk chocolate follows, roasted coffee bitterness underneath the sweet chocolate aromas.

T - This is a tasty beer. Tons of chocolate, coffee bitterness, but hardly any bourbon is present. This almost tastes like a brownie dipped in a cup of coffee. The coffee on the finish is great. The barrel is lacking though. No oakiness, no vanilla, nada.

M - medium bodied, but not quite chewy. Wish it was chewier.

O - Tad bit of a disappointment considering the hype. Really wish the bourbon was there. As a standard stout, this would be amazing. Grading as a BA stout, it comes up a bit short. Might just be the 2014 vintage isn't as strong as others?

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Photo of Rammed96
4.7/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

What an experience!
Multiple levels of flavor. Chocolate, vanilla and you can actually taste the bourbon as it hits the back of your mouth. It coats your entire mouth and the flavor stick around for a while.

This is a must try beer.

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

Beautiful from aroma to taste; big, bold, and boozy. You will feel every ounce of this 11.5 monster, tread slowly. Is it worth the hype, lines, and lists? Somewhat. Try it at least once in your life.

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Photo of mr-jj
4.63/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to snaotheus for the chance to try this. Poured into a snifter.

Color is completely opaque black with a thin khaki head. Smell is delicious - coffee, chocolate, some vanilla, bourbon. Taste might be even better - a great balance of all of the things I like in a stout. The coffee and chocolate are balanced and neither dominates. The bourbon flavor adds additional complexity. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. Overall, a great beer.

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Photo of Moose90
4.48/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2015 bottle, dated 03/04/2015

A — Pours a deep dark brown hue, there is a real deep darkness to this one. Quite thin and dark head appears on top of the beer, leaving behind some spotty and sticky lace.

S — Smells of sweet dry cocoa powder, bitter dark roasted coffee, bourbon, huge sweet caramel, sugary, cinnamon bourbon tone, bit of oak as well as a little bit of alcohol heat.

T — Tastes like the nose though not quite as sweet, really bourbon forward, which I enjoy, little bit of chocolate, very little to no coffee character.

M — Medium-Full bodied, somewhat light actually, incredibly smooth and easy drinking.

O — Very nice overall, I expected it to be a bit heavier but it was a little thin. Good depth of flavor overall though.

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Photo of Berrymon
4.45/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

It was great - a phenomenal beer. I had the 2015 version. Recently had 2013 & 2014 BCBS which I thought were both superior to this though. My take was that KBS '15 should age a bit. There was a sharpness to it that made me think the edge could be smoothed out with a little more time. I have one more that I'll wait on. It was still an incredibly delicious beer.

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

Honestly the best beer I have ever had, I'm pretty sure explication isn't needed for why this is one of the top 5 beers that's still being produced RIP CBS

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Photo of donspublic
4.83/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had this on tap this past weekend while in Tulsa. Found this at a Mixology bar, never discount a non beer centric joint.
Served in a slender stemmed tulip and had about 2 finger light tan head. Smelled of chocolate, coffee and a slight hint of bourbon
Taste was unlike any other barrel aged beer I have had before, it was more of a muted bourbon taste with very little alcohol burn. This is a beer that I would get a case of if I could.
I have one sitting on my desk now that my daughter scored when she was traveling up north. I was planning on opening it this month, but I think I will save it now for winter and a cuban. Well done Founders

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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,849 ratings.