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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.

2,807 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 2,807
Hads: 10,817
Avg: 4.56
pDev: 17.54%
Wants: 4,282
Gots: 5,091 | FT: 416
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 2,807 | Hads: 10,817
Photo of ekardz
4.45/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - pours midnight black, no foam, little/no carbonation. very intriguing, you couldn't see a spotlight shined directly on this thing! I am ready to jump right in and taste the hype.

S - coffee, chocolate, expresso, caramel notes, reminds me of a starbucks double shot.

T - am I drinking a beer or a coffee? it's got a very nice stout taste, lots of coffee flavors, definitely taste some chocolate, and even seems a bit creamy, reminding me of an irish coffee. I also can taste the bourbon flavoring quite well.

M - not as thick as it looks, very smooth and no carbonation at all. the alcohol is there but do not feel any burn

D - 11.2% Holy Shit! I don't feel any burn at all. I might need to wake up to a KBS every morning to start my day off right! I would have again, wouldn't mind aging one of these beasts for a year or so and tasting again.

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Photo of DividedAvery
4.38/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into my New Belgium Snifter

A: Pours pitch black and has a one finger brown head that lingers for quite a while.

S: Whiskey is the main smell I'm getting off of this which hides some coffee, vanilla and chocolate flavors. My mouth is really salivating

T: Wow, lots of bourbon on the taste. In fact that's the dominating flavor for me, bourbon heat. Hidden behind the bourbon is some good coffee and vanilla notes with a great chocolate aftertaste.

M: strong. That's the best word to describe it. Thick as it should be and a little creamy

O: I'm not happy with the amount of booze heat there is in this stout. In my mind after a year or two this could turn into a truly amazing beer. Parabola at this same age had a lot more smoothness to it's character and so itstill ranks higher for me but overall a great beer..

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

Had on tap during the Evacuation Day bar crawl.

Smell was complete booze...smelled like Jim Beam. Not terrible, but a little over the top (but what am I supposed to expect with a bourbon stout?)

Taste was great. A little boozy, but very balanced. I don't really know what else to say about this...if you can get it, give it a shot--you won't be disappointed!

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Photo of surfcaster
4.73/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2013 Bottle enjoyed in parallel with an Event Horizon

A: Pitch black in a tulip. Pour with low carbonation and a thin small brown head that tracked down the glass.

S: Even after warming on the counter, this kept smelling better through the pour. Lots of bourbon with some light coffee and vanilla notes.

T: Just delightful. Bourbon hits you first but is so integrated that the other flavors immediately follow as you send this one to the back of the tongue. Even at 11%+, no burn at all and a long lingering finish.

M: Decadent. Rich, smooth.

O: Just about perfect. I love having this in a 12oz format to enjoy by myself and if I want to share, I just open a second. One of the best examples of the style there is. MAKE MORE.

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

My uncle brought one of these to Arizona for me to have, thanks to Uncle Gary!!!

Poured from the bottle, into large snifter. Poured a thick black, not a lot of carbonation, but it was thick, tan, almost brown.

Smell was amazing! Complex, lots of caramel, vanilla, and bourbon, with some chocolate/coffee.

Taste was more then what I was expecting from the aroma. Every bit as complex as the smell, and then some. Strong woody bourbon flavor, with a dark roasted coffee flavor, and chocolate throughout.

Very smooth drinking beer for a 10%+ complex beer! Sorry I only had one!

This beer is truly a work of art, is all I have to say! Simply amazing beer! (my first perfect score!)

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

I recently (~two weeks ago) had a bottle of 1 yr old '08 KBS and a fresh '09 KBS. Shout out to Andrew the manager at Binny's on North Ave. in Elmwood Park for hooking me up with the aged bottle! I'm having another bottle of the fresh '09 tonight and will attempt to review both...

Overall, I prefer the aged KBS to the fresh, at least this year - bourbon flavor was more forward in the '08, coffee a bit more muted, and flavors were better blended and overall richer. Both of these served in my Duvel tulip at about 58F.

Both pour thick and black in color with minimal head but a nice dark cap. There's dark chocolate aroma in both, a bit of nutiness, but the big difference was that the bourbon and vanilla was a lot bigger in the '08 and the coffee a lot bigger in the '09. The coffee in the '09 is a bit too much, actually, and I'm even a coffee drinker. I may wait another 3-6 months before revisiting this one in order to let the coffee ease a bit.

Both bottles were big a chewy up front and quite tasty. Lots of roast malt and chocoloate flavors. Same comments about the bourbon and coffee in the flavor department as I already said about the nose.

Mouthfeel on both is quite nice, with the '09 being a bit thinner than the '08. Still big and thick though. Carbonation is good.

Drinkability is good for the style, I could have another no problem.

Overall, a great beer. I just tend to prefer a bit less coffee and a bit more bourbon, so hopefully laying these down for a little while will help with that.

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Photo of Captainren
4.53/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Somehow, living not even five minutes from the brewery, I missed out on getting any bottles of KBS because of all the people following the delivery trucks from store to store. Luckily, I was at the right party at the right time and was given a bottle. And another two weeks later, I was in a store that had a "stash" and sold me two. Now that I have multiples, I can drink one now and age some.

Brandy snifter - as dark as you can get without actually being black in all the right ways.

Aroma - A first whiff, a sharpness that made me think it needed aging badly or it needed to breath/warm up a little. After about an hour, it's taken on a completely different aroma. Chocolate is the most prominent thing I get. I can definitely smell the wood, and I say wood on purpose instead of oak specifically. Very thick and roasty overall.

Taste - Where to start with a beer like this? It's like going to Cedar Point and trying to decide which roller coaster to ride first. The chocolate and wood take me for a ride right away. The Bourbon barrels definitely add a mild sweet vanilla oak taste and when the rides over, coffee is left on the taste buds.

Mouth Feel - For a beer over 11 percent, its characteristics overwhelm the sensation some beers can have at this level. If actual coffee had this great of a finish, I'd never sleep.

Overall - A Dantastic beer, but I can't help but think it will be much better with some age behind it. Nevertheless, it's still a great beer that will impress your friends or reveal that they have no idea what a great beer is when they gag after tasting it. That can be the sign of a great beer.

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Photo of ManVersusBeer
4.49/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is deep black with a reddish brown head that disappears into bubbles. Coffee is the first note that hits the nose followed by milk chocolate, light maple syrup, bourbon, and a bit of oak. I almost don't want to drink it because it smells so good. Almost. The bourbon is not shy in this. Comes out right away in the taste, but smooths out into oak-hinted toffee, creamy chocolate, and roasted coffee which lingers and bitters a bit with a mild whiskey burn at the end. A little chewy with a sweet malt feel and a little carbonation, but velvety and well-blended--a great libation. The label disclaims any remedies, but this is a cure for all that ails.

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Photo of brokenleadedcask
4.69/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I'm glad I waited until my second experience to review this one, liked it better in the pint glass than the snifter.

A- Pitch black, very minimal head even with a hard pour

S- Caramel, bourbon, vanilla, and espresso

T- Espresso, tastes like un-brewed coffee beans smell. Is just a touch hot and would age exceptional

M- Thick and chewy but nice and smooth at the same time

D- A little high to have more than one at a sitting, amazing sipper. If the hype machine wasn't in full effect it'd be easier to get.

Edit 2010: Drove up to GR for the release, luckily my girlfriend jumped out of the truck & got in line as I got the second to last case. In conscience I couldn't buy the last two cases even though friend was disappointed. Totally worth the trip, KBS on nitro is a dream.

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

A: Toasted / Roasted malts are dominant, No hop aromas, no esthers. Bourbon is especially present which combines with coffee and slight chocolate aromatics.

A: Pours black and couldn't see through even when held to light. (Maybe I need a beer flashlight?) The head was thin and off-white and quickly dissipated.

F: As in the aroma, toasted and roasted malts are present, but the balance of this beer leans toward the coffee and bourbon. The only hops that I could possibly perceive would be in the finish which are coupled with an oak bitterness/tang.

M: To me this beer was surprisingly light in body, and I was expecting more chew. There is a slight warmth from the bourbon but not overpowering. I couldn't perceive any creamy feeling. There was a slight astringency from the oak/bourbon/hops in the finish but is appropriate to style.

O: I really enjoyed this beer. The coffee and bourbon play really well together. The only suggestions for improvement I could give are in the way of mouthfeel. This beer was lacking in body to me, but the aromatics and taste more than make up for the slight shortfall. This beer will definitely hold up to age. Excellent beer.

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Photo of mpcrump
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass

A: Black with minimal carbonation. Thin brown head that disappears quickly.

S: Bourbon with hints of chocolate and coffee. The ABV comes through in the smell as well.

T: Chocolate, coffee, and bourbon. Nice warm medium alchohol aftertaste. Starts a bit bitter and ends with a slight sweet aftertaste.

M: For a stout I don't think it has a syrup type of thickness that matches it's look. Minimal if nonexistant carbonation.

O: Very nice. I was initially taken aback by the lack of carbonation - I thought I might have had a bad bottle. Worked as designed.

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Photo of Mattygross44
3.27/5  rDev -28.3%
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.

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

I had this for the first time earlier this year and at the time thought it might've been the best beer I'd ever had. I've since had a few that have given it a run for it's money, but thanks to a few excellent trades, I've got my hands a few more bottles and have decided to see how it stands up now.

Poured into a DFH snifter, opaque black with a very thin head which quickly dissipated into small brown bubbles. Smell is outstanding with salient aromas of bourbon, oak, dark chocolate, and vanilla. Taste is well-balanced and follows the aroma closely, although the bourbon isn't quite as noticeable. Has a silky smooth mouthfeel, almost like liquid chocolate. Goes down very smooth, with a noticeable boozy, chocolaty presence, which lingers for awhile.

This is undoubtedly one of my favorite brews and I'm anxiously awaiting it's arrival in a few months. Great job Founders!!

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Photo of DVoors
4.99/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured single 12 oz bottle into snifter.

A- Poured opaque black with 1 head of tan head. Head dissipated fairly quickly. Little to no lacing,

S- Aroma is wonderful. Vanilla in the foreground with some coffee and candy. Just a slight hint of bourbon.

T- vanilla and licorice candy in the front, chocolate and coffee hits you in the middle and it finishes with some bourbon and hop bite. Just wonderful

F- Mouthfeel is nice but much thinner than I would have expected. Definitely thinner than regular breakfast stout (not necessarily in a bad way) With that said, it is pretty silky.

O- Overall, by far the best bourbon aged beer I have ever had. The only word that describes it is wonderful. I have had BCBS from Goose Island, and everyone raves about that, but in my opinion, this is far better. BCBS is too heavy on the bourbon. This allows the bourbon to come through just enough to give it some oaky vanilla/bourbon accent that really enhances the experience. Well done Founders. If only this was easier to find.

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Photo of MeLoynes
4.66/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 02/12/15. Pours black with medium brown foam into snifter. Smells of chocolate, bourbon, oak, caramel, and vanilla. Tastes of roasted malt with strong bittersweet chocolate notes, caramel and oak. Creamy with light carbonation.

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Photo of NolanGTI
4.78/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A stunner. Pitch black, little head. Huge nose of chocolate and roasted malts, vanilla at the edges.

Tastes smooth and rich with a hint of sweet chocolate at the front that strengthens on finish. Light carbonation makes this beer a great sipper and easy to actually drink in the morning. Have with some chocolate chip pancakes and get your Sunday started off right.

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Photo of nflmvp
4.38/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured very aggressively into a snifter, leaving a thick, one finger dark creamy head. Dispated within a couple of minutes leaving a light creamy foam. It was so dark as to be nearly jet black but just a touch of light shows through the outside edges.

Smell is that of cocoa, coffee, caramel and marshmallow. Taste is sweet but not too sweet. Coffee pokes through in a big way but the finish is lightly alcoholic. Surprisingly light considering the ABV. Mouthfeel is thick and coating and again, it seems VERY creamy. Other than the coffee taste, this has many similarities to cream soda...sweet, smooth and creamy.

Drinkability is VERY good. Very well rounded. I'm happy I splurged for a four pack but I'm afraid I can't afford to drink it as much as I might like to, based on the price of $17.99 a four pack.

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Photo of drowland
4.36/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle (2009) into a snifter. Pours deep black with shimmering brown when held to the light. The small head is dark leather brown and dissipates quickly into a small ringlet. The aroma is honestly comprised of mostly a big dose of fresh roasted coffee. Underneath this is a small helping of nice bourbon and oak characteristics including a lot of vanilla and a touch of wood. The sweet aroma of whiskey touches through but not much. A drink taken in while inhaling starts quite sweet and flows into wood and vanilla mixed with a touch of citrus. The mid is all added coffee and this is definitely what lingers with undertones of very dark chocolate. As it warms the chocolate comes out more and more. There is a nice carbonation that mingles perfectly with the silky mouthfeel. This is honestly good but I was expecting more bourbon stout and less breakfast stout.

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Photo of Jazzcrop
4.08/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A beer that has tastes of black coffee, M'n'Ms, smoke, oak, bourbon, booze, raw meat, chocolate, grass, tobacco, fabric, dark fruits, cacti, hops and blood. Interesting beer. Smooth but whatever. Had this beer four years ago. Still like it. Still want more.

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Photo of shoky01
4.45/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz poured into pint glass served chilled.

A: think and smooth like oil. Not totally black, like a deep brown. No head and light lacing.

S: smells awesome, all chocolatey and malty with a hint of bourbon.

T: Wow, stout maltiness with cocoa. Hints at alcohol. Bourbony goodness comes forth on a second drink. Little bitter on the back end with tiny burn. Wakes up more as it warms.

MF: tingley and smooth. A little fizzy feeling even without much carbonation.

OA: I need more of this. Brings warmness to the cold days to come in the winter. Not nearly as over powering bourbon like some others but is gooodddd.

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Photo of Allpe45
4.82/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 edition
12oz bottle poured in two snifters

Appears pitch black with a short light brown head that quickly shrinks to swirls atop the blackness. Leaves thin streaks of lacing all over the glass.

At first it smelled like primarily like fresh coffee beans with roast malt, hints of chocolate and vanilla. When agitated, earthy hops were noticeable for a short moment but then it was all bourbon. I couldn't smell anything but bourbon until it settled down.

Taste is incredibly balanced. Roast malt and vanilla up front with coffee beans. Coffee bitterness carries through to the middle with chocolate and molasses. The finish brings sweet chocolate and bourbon, with a pleasantly faint alcohol warmth, followed by coffee bitterness. Just as it was with the smell, the alcohol and bourbon become more prevalent when this beer is disturbed.

Full bodied, low carbonation. Smooth texture. Leaves a sticky coating.

Very balanced for what it is, but must be enjoyed slowly. I am not disappointed.

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Photo of PattyMelt
4.56/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2013 KBS.

A- Dark dark brown, almost black, with a dark tan, creamy head that minimalized pretty quick.
S- Heavy malty, dark chocolate smell, with a strong coffee base. Bourbon is evident in the smell, but not over-bearing. It really smells like a decadent piece of chocolate.
T- Bourbon hits at the front and lingers throughout. Other tastes are the same as on the nose. Very malty, chocolate and coffee. The coffee flavor lingers awhile. Very strong taste.
M- Creamy and smooth. Pretty easy to drink despite the liquor and the heaviness of it. Full bodied.

Overall, a great drink. I'm not sure it quite lives up to the hype, but that is a lot of hype to live up to. ;) It is amazing though, and a definite try!

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Photo of skipxtracer
4.39/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

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

Bottle poured into a torst wine glass, short stem. Bottle date 3/23/2014. Pour is deep dark opaque black, silky looking like oil. Head retains caramel color and foaminess relatively well. Smell is intoxicating to me..deep dark chocolate, cigar, light molasses or brown sugar, coffee. Flavor follows the nose...dark chocolate malt and cream. Mouthfeel is thick and creamy...you really get the chocolate taste in the aftertaste which is extremely pleasant. Reminds me of an old school Italian pastry dipped in dark chocolate..very concentrated. Overall I must say I am impressed. All it's cracked up to be and more..wish I had more than just one!

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Photo of buckslayer50
4.9/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Heaven in a bottle. When cold the chocolaty notes came through but as it warmed the coffee came through beautifully(it was all my will power to not drink it fast and let it warm up some). I haven't been in this craft game long but this is the first nearly perfect beer I've tasted, glad I could score two bottles this year, will get more every year.

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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,807 ratings.