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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) - Founders Brewing Company

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

8,985 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,985
Reviews: 2,533
rAvg: 4.62
pDev: 9.09%
Wants: 3,515
Gots: 3,295 | FT: 239
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:
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 added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-13-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) Alström Bros
Ratings: 8,985 | Reviews: 2,533 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Thickfreakness
4.25/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

300th review

Pours like liquid brownie into my tulip glass. Thick, dark and chewy. A walnut tan head rises up and fades rather effortlessly back into the abyss leaving only tiny islands of lacing and some foam settling on the murky black.
Rich black coffee, subtle hints of bitter 90% chocolate, little bits of vanilla and bourbon but not fake or overwhelming. Subtle touches of coconut, gently toasted nuts, and I swear just a hint of orange peel. To me KBS never had an over-the-top bourbon punch, just gentle, smokey kisses that cling to your palate without overwhelming you. I had pulled this out of the fridge about 15mins before opening it, and it's now starting to really open up in the nose and come alive.
Bitter black coffee, 90% Belgian chocolate bar, cocoa powder, orange peel dipped in melted chocolate, whisps of vanilla, coconut and smokey bourbon. The bourbon is really opening it up as it warms up. This is a perfect candidate for opening right out of the cellar. I prefer KBS with a year on it so that some of that bitter coffee fades and everything melts together beautifully.
Neither thick or thin. Sticky and chewy enough to stick to the sides and roof of your mouth like a brownie, but still flows and drinks easily. Nice cocoa powder/coffee/charred malt/bourbon blend. Neither takes the lead, but each shares eloquently.
Not my favorite BBA RIS by any means, but still a nice treat on this first decent day of spring in NY. Nice and chewy, a decent blend of coffee/cocoa/bourbon. It's really too bad that this is so limited. I think that's why this one is so damn hyped. A damn fine RIS. Plenty of other better ones that are easier to find, but if you've never had it and have the chance, by all means grab it. I'd love to try this on tap sometime. That must be something else altogether.

Thickfreakness, Apr 04, 2013
Photo of raffy313
4.73/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into my New Belgium snifter. Bottled: 02/25/11. Aquired in another awesome trade with cbeer88. I'm forever in debt to you Carl!

Pours a dark, dark brown(almost black) color, with absolutely no head to be seen... but I'll let that pass, assuming it's due to the barrel aging. Practicaly no lacing.

Aromas are of dark roasted(almost burnt) malts, sweet molasses, coffee, some chocolate, some vanilla and a definate bourbon/oaky note. A bit of an alcohol bite in the nose to let you know that you're in for something special.

Flavors are amazing! Like the nose, I'm getting tons of coffee, bitter chocolate and the sweet molasses. Add the bourbon flavors and a bit of smokiness and you end up with a very complex, nicely balanced stout.

A medium/full body with a perfect amount of carbonation for this style. Feel is rather outstanding... smooth, rich, somewhat creamy and... well, BIG is a good word to describe it. Slightly bitter, and a bit of a dry finish.

Overall, I've had this beer in my cellar for awhile, kinda scared(for some reason) to open, and try one for the first time. I'm guessing it's just one of those beers, with so much "acclaim"... that you just don't want to see it go away. I'm, obviously, absolutely impressed, and will be looking forward to opening my last bottle for some special occasion. In the mean time... anybody reading this who wants to hook a brotha up with a bottle or two... give me a shout. I'll give up something good for it!

raffy313, Jun 05, 2012
Photo of StubFaceJoe
5/5  rDev +8.2%

StubFaceJoe, Oct 14, 2012
Photo of heavenlyStash
5/5  rDev +8.2%

heavenlyStash, Dec 17, 2012
Photo of ACB
4.5/5  rDev -2.6%

ACB, Nov 18, 2013
Photo of dtomes
5/5  rDev +8.2%

dtomes, Feb 01, 2014
Photo of Chuffbomb
4.85/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter

A - Black, with mocha colored head and lacing.

S - Aroma of chocolate, bourbon - subdued, coffee, mocha, caramel.

T - Absolutely amazing. chocolate shake flavors with coffee tones, not as much bourbon on the tongue, but still absolutely great.

M - Perfectly carbonated, overloads the tastebuds with every stout flavor I want. Perfection for a stout

O - This was my first of the "rare" top beers, and I couldn't have picked a better one to start out with. Absolutely love stouts, and this is one of the best without a doubt. Letting my others age and can't wait to taste them over the years!

Chuffbomb, Jun 24, 2014
Photo of Renegawam
4.5/5  rDev -2.6%

Renegawam, Sep 04, 2014
Photo of ILiveOffHops
5/5  rDev +8.2%

ILiveOffHops, Jun 26, 2013
Photo of beerphan
4.18/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle -> nonic
following Founders notching system bottled in Feb.
Year: 2007

Pours an oily impenatrable black with a small brownish tan head that recedes quickly to dishwater suds. Some pangean clumps of lace.

Nose: Upon popping the cap, my first whiff was unmistakeably BOURBON. After the pour, bourbon, smokey wood, licorice, burnt coffee grinds,

Smooth flavor, bourbon takes a step back and is only a lingering tickle on the back of the tongue, very pleasing and well done while not over doing it. (whew, because i am not a fan of extreme bourbon flavor in a beer). Begins with some dark chocolate and coffee grinds. An ever so slight bit of bittering on the finish, with a lingering smokey coffee grind bourbon flavor. Alcohol warms the body, but doesn't overwhelm the flavor.

Thick and chewy mouthfeel.

Definately meant to be a sipper, though my impatience makes me intuitively reach for the glass hoping to discover another complexity in this immense brew. Drinkability suffers dues to high price, availabilty and heavy coffee grind flavors. Glad to have had the opportunity!

earned my Mug with this review!

beerphan, Mar 23, 2007
Photo of MMAJYK
3.75/5  rDev -18.8%

MMAJYK, Feb 22, 2013
Photo of baos
4.35/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Black as night. Sedimenty.

S: Alcohol, dark chocolate, coffee, burnt caramel and hops.

T: Awesome dark chocolate and caramel brownie flavor at the start then a big alcohol splash thats not too strong but strong enough.

M: Some sediment and light to medium bodied.

D: I had the rest of a friends bottle in the hot sun and it was plenty to buzz me. I'd like to enjoy it on a cool night in a dark pub.

Make me an angel
That flies from Montgomery
Make me a poster
Of an old rodeo
Just give me one thing
That I can hold onto
To believe in this livin'
Is such a hard way to go

Breakfast Stout from your home state will help you Mr. Prine!

baos, Aug 12, 2007
Photo of ne0m00re
4.75/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured the 12 oz 2010 bottle into an oversized red wine glass to capture the aroma.
A: Jet black with dark brown hues. It poured with a thick milk chocolate head that died to a film and lace quickly.
S: Dark chocolate, molasses, raisins, raspberries, brandy, and oak... the aroma is very sweet with present alcohol. Wow.
T: Oatmeal and milk chocolate, bourbon vanilla, all with fruity raisin and blackberry oak. The alcohol lingers--as opposed to the usual charred flavors of stouts--like a shot of bourbon and rum. Really... my lips are burning from alcohol just as if I took a shot.
M: Mildly syrupy with a very frothy and creamy feel. Not bad.
D: Difficult. One would really be enough.

My final rating probably doesn't do this one justice. I'd put it up there with the best of imperial stouts.

EDIT: Changed "drinkability" score to reflect overall score, which is much higher. This was done with a live review on 03/16/11.

ne0m00re, Mar 27, 2010
Photo of pavpav12
4/5  rDev -13.4%

pavpav12, Nov 22, 2011
Photo of divineaudio
4.93/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

had to try this on tap when we went to founders for $2 pint night.
8 oz pour into a snifter, 2010 batch.

a - pours black w/ some slight red highlights. a thick tan head forms quickly and retreats slowly to a ring around the glass with some spotty lacing.

s - oak, roasted malts and sweet, sweet booze.

t - fantastically complex! roasted and chocolate malts are obvious, with overtones of smoke, molasses and vanilla. perfectly balanced with a bittersweet hop finish.

m - smooth and creamy without being too heavy. enough carbonation to make the flavors really pop.

d - surprisingly drinkable for something so rich and strong. founders clearly put some love into this brew. got a bottle of this in the beer fridge that i'm gonna try to sit on for a while, this should age pretty well.

divineaudio, Mar 19, 2010
Photo of Chriscrundwell12
4.68/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 2011 12 oz bottle into a snifter

A- Very dark pitch black appearance, thin head that dissipates very quickly leaving nice mocha color lacing on the sides.

S- Very complex, espresso and bourbon come out up front. Alcohol aromas are very evident but not too overpowering, hints of chocolate and vanilla as well, excellent aromas.

T- Warm alcohol taste, the bourbon notes are well balanced with the espresso and chocolate notes, hints dark fruit and vanilla as well as a bit of oak.

M- Medium-Full bodied, excellent warming sensation, very smooth.

D- This is a big beer, very complex, so much going on when it hits your mouth, another gem from founders.

Chriscrundwell12, Mar 19, 2011
Photo of Beefytits4
5/5  rDev +8.2%

Beefytits4, May 31, 2014
Photo of gcamparone
4.48/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured at cellar temperature from a 12 oz bottle into a Founders KBS snifter glass. Purchased in North Providence, RI.

A- Pours a deep brown color that is translucent on the pour but opaque and black once in the glass. The head is modest and brown, reducing to a ring of foam. Leaves a little lacing.

S- Super fudgy.. chocolate brownies with hot fudge, cocoa, vanilla, bourbon, coffee beans, semisweet chocolate. Some booze.

T- The first touch of the tongue reveals a sweet butterscotch, bourbon, caramel, vanilla bean flavor that meshes perfectly with milk chocolate and coffee notes. The finish is absolutely fantastic with a roasted, charred, nearly burnt malt flavor.

M- Thick but smooth, rich, velvety and smooth. Low carbonation. Milky.

KBS did not let me down.. such an amazing beer that is rich, flavorful, and complex without being overly boozy or cloying. Lives up to the hype.

gcamparone, Nov 12, 2013
Photo of CB_Crowe
4.75/5  rDev +2.8%

CB_Crowe, Dec 26, 2012
Photo of robbyc1
4.75/5  rDev +2.8%

robbyc1, Feb 12, 2013
Photo of toppoop
4.75/5  rDev +2.8%

toppoop, May 05, 2014
Photo of DMarlinJ
4.98/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I am re-reviewing this based on having it on-tap now after first having it from the bottle.
I increased my scores because it was noticeably better and having some other big beers to compare it to again, this get my vote for what I like to drink best. This is as close to perfect for me as it can get based totally on drinking enjoyment and fit to style. It may have some flaws to the beer snobs but I don't care.

I hoped this would live up to it's hype. I love the smell and taste. The head is weak and faded quickly. There is a lot going on in the smell. Wood and bourbon barrel, chocolate and alcohol. It is rich and deep. I keep getting different notes as it warms. Long lasting in smell, stronger than most other beers.

My first impression of taste was milk chocolaty creamy goodness. Then the strong bourbon and oak comes in. Coffee is not as present to me as what I expected from others comments. Nice lingering flavors, nothing off putting. I would rate it higher but I think age can improve it by smoothing out some of bite. So I look forward to next year. I'll save 2 of my 4 for that.
After having it on tap, fresher may be better. It was very smooth but I had food with it too. So that may have improved my overall enjoyment of it.

The feel is perfect for me. Creamy, smooth full and rich. Frothy carbonation that is not biting or harsh. A bit sticky lasting coating but I like it. I like how the flavors come out just holding a full mouth it and slowly swallowing.

Overall I think the hype is bigger than the beer but it still is a great beer. So much to offer in complexity. There are a few beers I may like better for wow factor in flavor and drinkabilty but this is hard to beat. For the price it is definitely worth it.

DMarlinJ, Oct 06, 2013
Photo of huddyball
4.75/5  rDev +2.8%

huddyball, May 04, 2013
Photo of 420Rick
5/5  rDev +8.2%

420Rick, Jul 24, 2014
Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 8,985 ratings.