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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: 10,600
rAvg: 4.55
pDev: 4.18%
Wants: 4,185
Gots: 4,904 | FT: 395
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: 10,600
Photo of Bauzen
4.91/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It's dark as night. Hardly any head to speak of, and very lightly carbonated.

Smells of coffee and chocolate... Sweet and candy like. Almost like a Riesen candy, if you've ever had one.

The flavor mimics the aroma identically, but intensifies what you're smelling by immersing your pallet. Absolutely no surprises outside of how easy-to-drink this beer is for an 11.2% ABV. While this is a very full-bodied stout, it drinks like light beer. Before you know it, the experience is over and you feel every ounce of the potency.

I've heard all the hype... And after finally sampling two bottles, I suppose it's well justified. This is an amazing stout. Didn't think I'd enjoy it as much as did, and now I'm sad it's over. Hopefully next April I'll be able to snatch up some more and hang onto it. (796 characters)

Photo of Moerdertaktiken
4.82/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A: Pours a beautiful PITCH BLACK, one finger head. Decent to good lacing.

S: Immediate intense coffee and chocolate notes, very pleasant. All the aromas come together into a perfectly balanced symphony. Behind the coffee and chocolate comes a nice roast malt and caramel undertone. Excellent aroma.

T: Wow. Taste follows aroma perfectly: Intense coffee and chocolate in the front, followed by an assertive bitterness and slightly sweet finish. What's so incredible about this beer is how effortlessly the flavors and aromas play together.

M: Silky smooth mouthfeel. Low carbonation. Chewy and malty

O: This is really an incredible brew, and there's a reason there is so much hype about it! There was great attention to detail and time investment into this brew, and they have surely perfected it. Great job, i'll be picking up a case. (839 characters)

Photo of Mattygross44
3.27/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3.5

I just cant join the hype beer club with this beer it had a very pungent taste off the bat very sweet almost tarty as it warmed it got better but as a very die hard stout drinker and a ex bourbon whiskey drinker this just was a mediocre beer for me. Some of the beers that get a 75-88 score on here taste sooo much better to me. I guess ive been spoiled with parabola and other top of the line as people say beers for to long ...Michigan you can keep this out on the east coast and i will enjoy my west coast stouts out here!! Def would not buy glad i got in a trade. (567 characters)

Photo of micmillon18
4.39/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got 4 pack in a trade from hotpipes29 and thanks much to him. Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. From the cellar, I chilled it for about 20 minutes. Sadly no born on date though I know its this year's batch. The legendary KBS...will she live up to the hype?

A - Pours a motor oil black with a small, sticky copper head. Minimal lacing.

S - Prevalent scents of bourbon and vanilla. Hints of expresso find their way in. Incredibly balanced aromas.

T - There are so many layers to this beer, each so definable. It starts with a bitter chocolate and vanilla flavor. Coffee/ expresso flavors follow which are perhaps the most profound characteristics of this beer. It finishes with a slightly hot bourbon note and a lingering coffee taste. Chocolate and hot alcohol strengthens as the beer warms. Founders has found a near perfect balance between these three tiers.

M - Full bodied and incredibly smooth. Semi dry finish.

O - Outstanding barrel aged stout, perhaps the best of its kind. It's certainly a sipper and one to enjoy over the course of an hour, perhaps more. However, with that said, the booze might be slightly too hot at times, especially as it warms. Luckily, I have the good fortune of possessing a four pack. I'm looking forward to testing this one in stages. See you again in a few months KBS... (1,328 characters)

Photo of Mounty4Life
4.27/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Shout out Dommys Pizza in Vandergrift, Pa! Aged a year on top of barrel age! Poured a opaque black color with a coffee head that came late and fizzled quick. Smell is heavy on bourbon with some vanilla that is trying to get through. A lot of alcohol present on nose. Tastes a lot better than it smells for sure. Smooth and toasty coffee and bourbon shine in this special selection. Roasted malts stick to your tongue while the bourbon warms the sides of your mouth. At 11.2%, I thought I would have trouble getting it down but that was not the issue. Mouthfeel is thick and warming and flavor is popping everywhere. Overall a lot better than I thought for high gravity stout. Tons of robust flavor with some whisky reminding you to drink it slow! (746 characters)

Photo of ktblue22
4.83/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I just realized I forgot to ask if this was being served nitro or not - perhaps I can research and update later. We usually ask to sit at the bar, however, since it was extremely packed we grabbed a table (at the Whetstone Station in Brattleboro- you may have seen ads for it on this site!).

Waited 15 minutes for the beer to come so you can imagine how antsy I was to finally try it. I was with my partner and one of my best friends, we all were trying it for the first time and the anticipation was exciting and fun. We all took sips at the same time, and we all exclaimed simultaneously OH MY GOD.

Seriously smooth and velvety - vanilla and caramel and sweet sweet bourbon. The aftertaste is a sweet burn from the bourbon barrel. Delicious and very sippable - the intensity of this beer makes me recommend not chugging it! It is also incredibly rich. So happy to have been able to try it on tap, would love to compare it to the bottle! (940 characters)

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

Pours very black with touch of brown, nice thick dark tan head.

Smells delicious, chocolaty, roasted coffee, a little vanilla and a little bourbon.

Taste is super, super, awesome. Excellent barrel ageing. The dark chocolate dominates and the heat from the alcohol is a perfect compliment to the smooth bourbon flavor. By far the best barrel age stout. True excellence!

Mouth-feel is smooth and balanced and the bitter from the dark chocolate blends perfect with the peppery warmth at the finish.

Overall, this beer just, KILLS IT! Definitely worthy of your soul. What else can I say,... well if I were you I'd do whatever it takes to get your mouth on this one. (666 characters)

Photo of AppaZappa
4.46/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours rich chocolate brown with light brown and persistent head. Smell is bourbon, caramel, slight coffee, and alcohol. Taste is similar: bourbon, oak, molasses fades to coffee on tail end with alcohol bite. This is a bit thin for its class but has a creamy and soft mouthfeel. Very enjoyable. (293 characters)

Photo of thickerfreakness
4.72/5  rDev +3.7%
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. (1,184 characters)

Photo of DrewOSU
4.46/5  rDev -2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served on nitro tap at Founders brew pub on KBS day.

A: Pours dark brown to black with a ½ inch super creamy frothy gray head. Looks exactly like Guinness in this form. Huge foamy lacing, draping across the glass.

S: The nitro dulls the smell a little. The smell now is now reminiscent of a chocolate stout, instead of a huge bourbon barrel monster. Dull chocolate, coffee, no noticeable alcohol or hop presence.

M/T: Much lighter then regular KBS, making it a super creamy, medium body. The carbonation much more present then KBS in the bottle or on tap. Second wave is all alcohol, this is a pretty hot beer, followed by roasted malts.

D: With a high APV, couldn't session this one, but the nitro makes it feels much lighter and more manageable then the KBS out of the bottle. I like this version of KBS. A nice twist that might be better than the original? This version does make it more drinkable. KBS is such a huge beer that even though it lost a little with the nitro frothiness, it still is a monster. (1,017 characters)

Photo of ZagZagg
4.53/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2014 bottle into goblet

A: Chewy lookin, super viscous, completely opaque. Moderate pour brought fourth a one finger head of a tan hue that dissipated in a hurry, lacing seems moderate. Not able to access the level of carbonation.

S: Warm dry aroma, roasted malt with dark chocolate. Some mellow wood undertones with a syrupy sweetness. Black cherry, prunes, date, and fig, and light coffee flank the nose. Smells less burnt than the imperial stout, maybe some chocolate liquor or genial whisky

T: Initially tall and roasted, chocolate malts come crashing in before the powerful bourbon profile erupts onto the palate. Dry wood, oak, roots, dirt and earth. The bourbon persists into the middle mouth in a powerful fashion clashing with sweeter notes of milk chocolate and toffee – this creates a façade of chocolate liquor, which incorporates spice of anise and faint caramel. A resounding rich espresso is playful throughout. The resinous bourbon reverberates back into the finish, which is warming; shyly boozy – spiced rum inspired vanilla peaks through in the transition between the middle mouth and finish. Hallowed and delicious

M: Big body, heated, chewy as hell, thick, light to no carbonation. After taste is dry and offly sweet, slightly resinous, can get the oak and some earth in there.

O: Hot Damn! I was honestly scared to drink this, worried about the hype and my preconceived notions. This beer lived up, completely. I was pretty enthralled with the FIS, but this is something else. The bourbon is so forward and so delicious – I wasn’t getting the BA craze, but this makes sense. I likely won’t cross paths with this beer again until next year, but I will now seek out any BA stouts I can find. (1,732 characters)

Photo of Baraka
4.97/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a solid black with a thin brown head. Nose is a wonderful combination of coffee, chocolate, caramel, and alcohol. Taste also focuses on the heavy coffee, bitter chocolate and vanilla with some boozy flavor. Mouthfeel is thick and chewy. Absolutely incredible beer. (270 characters)

Photo of blackenmn
4.45/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a small glass:

A:Poured a nice heavy black with brown showing through on the edges when light shines through. Very much like thick coffee in appearance. An aggressive pour left a small creamy brown head which faded pretty quick.

S:Smelled of chocolate, plenty of coffee and roast on the nose. Along with a bit of bourbon which went along nicely with the slight oak/wood smell. This lets it origins be known.

T:There were some slight similarities to FBS. This had plenty of heavy hitting characteristics going on at once. Sweet chocolate, delicious coffee, vanilla and molasses like sweetness, and definite straight oak flavor on the tail end. Not alot if any hop pressence

M:This went from creamy and sticky to dry and bitter. They both worked complimented eachother nicely and kept anything from being too overwhelming.

D:This was a very drinkable, enjoyable brew. A great unique treat. Nothing is needed to accompany this due to the various heavy flavor and feel throughout. It finished a bit dry while it was extremly fresh but that was about the only thing close to a complaint I could come up with for this thing.

I've been wanting to try this one for a while. Pleased as punch it made it to MN. (1,239 characters)

Photo of timfc
4.62/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This is a really amazing beer. It has almost everything I look for in a RIS, the one critique that I'd offer; the bourbon is just a bit too hot when the beer is cold. I love the vanilla and tannins that come through, and, as it comes up to temp (or, as I've had half a glass, hm, maybe both?), I can get more of the malt and sweetness as well as more hop-bitterness to balance it out.

I'd call 55 the perfect temp for this beer, and, should I find a place pouring at 55... I'll be happy to sit drink until they cut me off. (523 characters)

Photo of AndyP612
4.99/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

(2013) Bottle poured into Darkness tulip.

A- Thick murdered out black with no light let through with a fingers worth of khaki brown head. I was kind of expecting a little thicker head otherwise looks very inviting.

S- Chocolate and coffee dominant nose with hints of vanilla and bourbon booze prize towards the end. Very inviting proven by the fact that I'm salivating before the first sip.

T- Wow. Follows the nose very, very closely. Big Chocolate and coffee punch to start with the dryness and the alcohol(not overpowering) from the Ol' Heaven Hill bourbon barrels. A lingering taste of bourbon stays with you between sips along with rich chocolate. Burps taste like whiskey. Delicious. So many layers.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Not too thick but so rich and luscious. Velvety while milky.

O- Worth it. KBS definitely opens up as the temperature levels off. Upon first sip, I was seeing many similarities between this and Founders Breakfast Stout, however, as the layers become more apparent, the differences become less subtle. I want more. Is it 2014 yet?

Cheers. (1,073 characters)

Photo of NCalement
4.82/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2014 bottle poured into a Sexual Chocolate TEKU.

A- Pour is pitch black with a fast milk chocolate head. You con't see through this one at all. Nice lacing, looks very good for the style.

S- Chocolate, coffee, and bourbon. Roasted malt, french toast, vanilla, burn form the booze, and sweet malt. Smell is perfect. Everything you want and more.

T- Coffee, chocolate, vanilla, slight bitter roast, fudge, bourbon, and Nesquik. What a great complex stout. Move over BCBCS this is it.

M- Perfect, wont waste time explaining, its perfect.

O- By far one of the best stouts, BA stouts, chocolate stouts, coffee stouts, beers and beverages period. This is best fresh, trust me, no need to age hoarders. (700 characters)

Photo of EveningCordial
4.85/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottle poured into snifter.

A- Dark black. Thin brown head with only a little lacing. Not much carbonation. Served on the warm side from this bar, which I thought was the proper way to taste something of this nature.

S- Mocha and other dark chocalates, fresh ground coffee, vanilla, syrup, and oak. The bourbon is also very present and goes well with the mix of toasted and charred malts and barley.

T- Great BA stout. The bourbon definately stood out first for me. Followed by the rich chocolates and coffee. Much like the smell, the vanilla and oak are also present in the taste. A touch of leather, molasses and caramel as well.

M- On the full side of the spectrum for sure. This is a mouthful, as it should be when you have something of this caliber. Creamy, smooth, and a little on the sticky side.

O- Such a treat KBS is. It was overly impressing. The fact that these are always special released and harder to come by, make it that much more of a treat when you land them. I will revisit these as often as possible. Great job as usual by Founders. (1,058 characters)

Photo of Jwburns75
4.31/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This was my first KBS. Poured into snifter, jet black, small head that dissipates quick, strong lacing throughout. Heavy bourbon in the nose. Taste was more mild than expected after smelling, at least with the bourbon. It was present for sure in a big way, imparting a smooth, almost vanilla-like taste. I didn't get the roasty, coffee presence FBS brings and I was actually glad for that. This was a sipper but a very smooth one. Very much enjoyed my first KBS. (469 characters)

Photo of maxifunk777
3.91/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Another disappointing whale a good beer just not a great beer will try another real soon to see if it changes my mind. Sunday Morning Stout is so much better than this beer. I drank a non-BA plead the 5th and enjoyed slightly more. (231 characters)

Photo of rings
4.65/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

At a hefty 11.2 percent ABV and 70 IBU, one expects big flavors, but the layering and complexity of this brew is world class--and probably benefitted from being a few months old. It pours deep and black, with a thin brown, milk-chocolate head that clings to the glass like one of those little rubber wall stickers you had as a kid. The nose is soft, silky, and washes over the tongue and onto the roof of the palate in waves of creamy chocolate and roasted malt. There's an herbal spiciness with hints of sweet vanilla, earthy tannins, and a lingering dry, malty finish that beckons the next sip. Opening up as it warms, the full mouth feel and alcohol is in perfect balance with the generous hoppy dryness that cleans up the sweetness, without overwhelming it.

This is one where we can all agree, the KBS and isn't just for breakfast any more. (846 characters)

Photo of GameFreac
4.46/5  rDev -2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage on tap at the Brick Store Pub for the Breakfast Yard Sale - May 19, 2012. 8 oz pour.

Appearance: Pours a midnight black with a brownish small khaki head.

Smell: Smells of chocolate, bourbon, and slight alcohol.

Taste - Taste is chocolate, roasted malts, and bourbon. Gets better as it warms.

Mouthfeel: Thick and perfect for this beer.

Overall: I prefer CBS and FBS over KBS and I wasn't as blown away as I thought I would be but this is still a world class beer and one of my favorites ever. (515 characters)

Photo of Synergy87
4.73/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received the last bottle from the back room of Discount Liquor Waukesha. Bottle dated: 2/17/12

A - Pitch black with some carbonation, and a thin brownish head

S - Light bourbon, coffee

T - Roasted malt, coffee, oak wood undertones, and a buttery bourbon flavor yet surprisingly not overpowering as is typical for the style

M - Believe it or not, the body is somewhere between medium and heavy. Smooth, and the subtle carbonation and warmth from the alcohol, almost seems to soothe the tongue

O - If it wasn't so hard to find and Founder's made more batches, I'd make this one of my go to stouts. This is now my new favorite bourbon barrel stout. It is crucial to let this one warm up to about 50-55 degrees to experience the full range of flavors in this beer. It has a great mouthfeel, is complex and as balanced as a bourbon barrel stout can be given this beer styles strong bourbon flavors. I look forward to next March and will hopefully be able to pick up a 4 pack before its all out. (994 characters)

Photo of skipxtracer
4.39/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Had this on draft at the founders event at tap and mallet. Dark black with no head. I am not usually crazy about stouts but this is incredible. Dark chocolate, coffee, coconut flavors. A little effervescence at the end. I can't believe how great this tastes. (258 characters)

Photo of VTR
4.4/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

After several years of failing to get this during the release I surprisingly found it on tap yesterday. It was poured into a snifter. The nose was a mix of coffee, chocolate, vanilla, and bourbon. I couldn't resist taking a sip from this dark brew with a great khaki head. The taste followed the nose but some of the flavors were faint and then the bitterness hit me. OK well I am always one to let my stouts warm up to see if they develop. This beer got better as it warmed. Once warmed all the flavors developed and meshed together very, very well and the bitterness subsided. The flavors danced around your mouth while the beer felt very silky. Ok now the bourbon was there but it did not overpower the beer letting all the flavors and roastiness come through. I really enjoyed that the coffee was not over the top. While I have been let down by other highly sought after beers this is not one of them. To me it was a different animal than the highly acclaimed BCBCS. All I can say is I was very impressed with this beer. Hands down one of the best beers I have had. I am going to head down tomorrow afternoon and hope they still have some left in the keg! (1,174 characters)

Photo of bainard
4.03/5  rDev -11.4%
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. (921 characters)

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