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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.

2,850 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 2,850
Hads: 11,069
Avg: 4.56
pDev: 17.54%
Wants: 4,385
Gots: 5,268 | FT: 411
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: 2,850 | Hads: 11,069
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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Photo of EGledhill
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Big ups to saucya for hooking me up with this brew on a trade.

A. Black with a thin tan head that has no retention or lacing at all.

S. Bourbon, chocolate and vanilla take over the smell of this brew with hints of coffee in the background.

T. From the first sip, your tastebuds are attacked with flavors of chocolate, vanilla, oak bourbon, and coffee. Chocolate and coffee are dominant at the beginning, then as it warms, the bourbon flavor start to take over. vanilla and oak remain the whole way through but never peak as dominant as the other three.

M. mouthfeel is wonderfully full and rich

D. Drinkability is amazingly smooth for a 10%er. not sure the stomach could hang with too many as it's quite filling, but I'd like to find out how many I could put down before the stomach says "no mas".

All in all this is one fantastic brew. far and away the best of the bourbon barrel aged stouts I've come across yet. I got to find a way to secure a case of this next go round.

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Photo of pmoore311
4.88/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle on 3/15/10 into a RIS glass @ 50 degrees.

Appearance: They say a picture is worth a 1000 words, well pouring this beer into a glass is worth twice that. Exactly how an impy stout should look, beautiful cappuccino head that sits on top of a black hole.

Smell: Great notes of coffee, charred malt, milk chocolate and bourbon. Coffee dominates the nose, but is very pleasant and not overpowering.

Taste: The coffee is very dominant and I think will settle down with some time on it to allow some of the other spectacular flavors to come through. However what amazes me about this beer is just how great of a job Founders does with aging this beer. The bourbon provides a spectacular finish, that is really unequalled in any bourbon aged stout I have had. It really just lets you know it is there with a soft oaky, vanilla finish. KBS whispers bourbon in your ear as opposed to shouting "HEY THIS IS BOURBON BARREL AGED!" right in your face compared to some of the other BBA stouts out there.

Mouthfeel: Its like drinking velvet...absolutely perfect.

Drinkability: Easiest to drink impy stout out there that if it wasn't printed on the bottle you would say I was lying if I told you it was over 11% abv. I could easily enjoy multiples of this in one sitting.

I think this is Founders best offering, just a brilliant BBA impy stout.

An interesting comparison will be comparing the upcoming GI Coffee BCS vs. the KBS.

This beer certainly deserves all the praise it receives.

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Photo of dfclav
4.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Decided to open this up today, on my birthday - my first one ever.

Poured into a snifter.

A - totally jet black, I hold every stout up to a light test and most of the time in my snifter I will see some shade of brown or red. Not in this baby. Pours a 1 1/2 finger head with nice cascade and nice lacing.

S - Simply fantastic. Big bold coffees shine here with a nice background of bourbon and roasted malts. Chocolate notes and a slight bit of vanilla extract beside the bourbon.

T - Coffee, chocolate, and bourbon. The coffee isn't as prominent in this beer as in Founders Breakfast Stout, but it is replaced by a very well integrated bourbon character. As it warms molasses and a bit of burnt sugar stand out more. Roasted malts and a very subtle hop note on the finish.

M - Founders just has the mouthfeel category down to a science in all of their beers. I really don't think a single brewery in the world can match them. This is just unbelievably smooth for such a high ABV, flavor heavy beer it is stunning.

D - this beer is over 11% ABV and it just seems to evaporate in my glass i'm drinking it so quickly. Fantastic job of hiding the alcohol. This beer is worth buying a case at whatever the cost, because if you have one you won't want to stop at that. Wow...

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Photo of Optifron
4.82/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Review from notes. Enjoyed 4/14/2012 from the bottle.

Appearance: Pours thick. Dark, dark brown – black. 1 finger of brown head.

Aroma: Layers. Strong chocolate with a bit of dark roast coffee and just a hint of maltiness

Taste: Dark chocolate, bitterness included. Interlaced in with dark, almost burnt, coffee. Hints of toffee. Caramel sweetness that lingers with the dark chocolate bitterness. Lingers on and on. There might be a touch of bourbon and vanilla if I look for it.

Mouthfeel: Smooth. Wet. Viscous, but not overly. Hints of small bubbles. The lingering sweetness makes me salivate.

Overall: Absolutely superb. The aroma and taste are incredibly well layered and balanced. Nothing overdone, but nothing left out. Thick and strong, but it doesn’t hurt the drinkability. Could have several before I knew what hit me.

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Photo of Doc_Hops
4.49/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A- Kentucky Breakfast Stout pours a jet, almost motor oil color with a creamy looking heady that is dark tan, if not light brown.

S- Rich coffee notes pop out first followed but nicely but some subtle chocolate and bourbon notes. There's a faint hint of vanilla too that is quite pleasant.

T- WOW! What pops out right away is the dominating malt character. Lot's of thick, roasted flavors going on. This is melding very interestingly with vanilla and chocolate sweetness. Quite a bit of bourbon as well; this is actually lingering quite a bit. I'm lovin' it!

M- Smooth like velvet. Full bodied, heavy bodied, whatever you want to call it, this beer is dense and delicious. Not a whole lot of booziness from the 11.2% ABV, which is actually a bit surprising. I'm sure this would mellow out even more with some aging.

O- Absolutely stellar beer. Rich and complex flavors are keeping me wanting another sip. I wish I had one more to age a while to see what it does. Nevertheless, I'm incredibly happy I got to try it. This beer definitely lived up to its reputation. Great stuff from Founders.

Serving Type- 12oz bottle poured into a large tulip

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Photo of JonMich13
4.18/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A = I think this is the stuff that pours out of my Nissan when I pull out the oil drain bolt. Thin brown head dies quick, little lacing.

S = Smell of bourbon dominant for me. Coffee in the background.

T = Bourbon dominant more for me than some other reviews here. Coffee up front and the bourbon sweetness takes over. Very intense bourbon and sugary sweetness. Alcohol is pretty pronounced toward the end. I think this would flourish under a year's cellaring. A bit rough and raw right now. A year would likely bump this to a 5. My other bottle is going into the cellar for sure.

M = Huge mouthfeel here. Thick and sticky sweet. It gets all over you and never lets go. Very intense.

D = This can't possibly be considered drinkable. Mega sweet and boozy, a slow sipper for sure. More than one of these would put me down for the count and leave my mouth numb.

Overall, I have to say I enjoyed the regular breakfast stout a bit better, probably because it was more easily enjoyable. However, I appreciate this creation and look forward to an aged taste. This is one intense beer.

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Photo of infestaxion
4.77/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This year's batch picked up from the brewery.

A - Pours black and viscous with no head to speak of even as I poured more aggressively at the end. It could definitely use more head but still beautiful.

S - Coffee and bourbon. Definitely a good breakfast. Slight malt quality to it. Time for my catch phrase. I wish they made candles that smelled like this.

T - Bourbon, chocolate and coffee. The coffee is by far the strongest flavor. The oak comes through in the aftertaste followed by a bit of burn. Not too much burn though. The lingering taste is just amazing.

M - Thick. Very Nice.

D - I'm trying not to house this thing. Must... be... strong. The high ABV is definitely not a problem here. Well hidden.

This is a great beer. Well worth the 5 hour drive to get a case. Funny though, I remember previous years relieving my neuralgia.

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Photo of jorg2619
4.32/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This famous beer has come out of my cellar for a taste 6 months later. The pour was black with a multi toned tan to dark brown head that falls to a thin line of foam with large legs and some irregular lacing. The smell is awesome complex, coffee, boozy overtones and a bit of roasted malt and sweet hints of some malt somewhere out in the beer. i found the taste to be complex (understatement) and strong. I taste a hint of chocolate at the front of my tongue. I then am smashed with the collage of coffee, booze, and roasted malt flavors. i also tasted a hint of metal flavor from the extreme amount of strong coffee flavors. The mouthfeel is exceptional and that is all I am going to say about this. I have one more from this year in my cellar so it will remain fro another 6 months to a year. Good beer

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Photo of lisomiso
4.1/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks kdiggidy!

Pours like motor oil. We smell a little bit of acidity, a lot of bourbon, and some milk chocolate, sadly only the slightest suggestion of coffee and only after I taste it. It's hot, too much bourbon and oak for my palate. Walows disagrees that it's excessive, but he concedes those flavors are dominant, particularly oak tannins...

As the beer warms the chocolate comes out more, as does the coffee, but its a bit of a struggle as the heat also becomes more expressive. It rounds out nicely... but it's still kind of aggressive. Enigmatic!

11.2% jesus christ, it's pretty restrained considering the ABV, but Walows thinks it needs some time (he says eight months) and I'm considering not even drinking my 2nd bottle, since someone else will love it much more than I do... I MUCH prefer FBS. It's just better! (to me)

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Photo of Trystero
4.92/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2010 vintage bottle poured into a Hopleaf tulip and split with EinAyn. The occasion, my birthday. I've actually been lucky enough to enjoy this beer numerous times and stock it in my cellar; I hope that continues.

Appearance: Viscous, dark like the night, opaque. What more do I need to say. Perfect mokah minimual head with thicky gooey lacing.

Smell: Complex, robust, initial bouquet of bourbon subdued by vanilla with notes of toffee, roasted coffee and dark, deep, rich chocolate.

Taste: Bourbon burn, aged, destroyed vanilla, bitter dark roasted coffee and bittersweat chocolate. Chocolate and coffee reside on the finish followed by a resounding 11.2 alcohol burn. The feel of being alive. I maintain that this beer is better fresh rather than aged because the vanilla and coffee flavors are much stronger...here they seem diminished.

Mouthfeel: Thick and viscous. Alcohol burn is there in the finish and welcomed. Robust in a way that only KBS can be.

Overall: If you can, buy it, if you can't trade for it.

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

Appearance: Beautiful rich deep dark stout with an auburn rim near the edge of the glass. It has a nice amount of head that is a nice tannish brown in color.

Smell: The scent of this beer is awesome. Vanilla hits my nose right at the start with strong bourbon notes right after. There is some definite but light earthy hopps and oak that linger after if you can dig through the intense bourbon. Some definite heat which is to be expected from something called a bourbon stout and that is 11.2 ABV.

Taste: The flavor profile is a complex mix of bourbon, coffee, vanilla, oak, licorice and spiciness that dances on your tongue and calls you to go back for another shot.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. light enough for all the flavors to coat the breadth of you tongue but thick enough to be savory. Light carbonation so as to not distract from the multitude of flavors.

Opinion: I would drink this everyday if I could, especially now that its winter. Sadly though I am stuck half a country away from the nearest distribution point. =( I miss you already KBS.

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


A - Jet black with a mahogany one finger head

S - Bourbon up front, chocolate, coffee, and more bourbon.

T - Complex and delicious. Much like the nose the first taste yield a large amount of bourbon. The taste quickly balances out with a strong coffee and chocolate sensation. Roasted malts also play a star roll.

M - Thick, dense, and filling like a dark fudge brownie with a hint of cream. This one has the perfect amount of burn going down that you can respect the bourbon and the neutralizing chocolate/coffee notes that pull the entire beer into nirvana. Lives up to hype x10

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Photo of 120minuteman
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2013 Batch, popped open on New Years Eve (12/31/2014). Poured in to Wild Turkey tumblers.

What a beer! Did not disappoint. Well worth the wait. Very complex beer, yet highly drinkable.

Lots of chocolate and caramel (both in flavor and smell), with notes of vanilla and bourbon. Light carbonation and slick feel on the tongue.

Looking forwards to picking up another bottle on April 1st!

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Photo of Bauzen
4.91/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

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Photo of Moerdertaktiken
4.82/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

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Photo of EveningCordial
4.85/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

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

Where do I begin? I'll start by saying this is the second year I've been fortunate enough to have bottles this wonderful brew after having it for quite a few years at the Great Taste. I have 4 still sitting in my cellar from last year, but upon further reflection after having a fresh '08 vintage this evening, I think in a very close battle, I prefer the fresh to the aged (although the aged was marvelous too, but more subdued.)
This review is of the fresh version...
A-Black. That's it. Nothing more needed. Black enough, that when I pour it into my glass, I expect a vortex to form and see everything being sucked in. A small dark brown head forms for a short while but disappears quickly. And man, is this stuff viscous. I don't think I could drain motor oil after 7000 hard driving miles into my glass and have it look darker and coat my glass more than this.
S-I started to drink it slightly cooler than I should have due to the fact that I could not wait for this to warm up to room temp. Aromas of Coffee, Chocolate, and Bourbon assault my nose, more strongly as it warms. Delicious smelling indeed.
T-The smell is amplified in the taste... Flavors of Chocolate, dark and bitter, Coffee, strong and black, hints of oak and leather ride a tide of vanilla and bourbon, like a black wave of some dark forbidden army, assaulting and descending upon my mouth.... Warriors of hops hang in reserve... I know they're there...hidden...waiting... while archers of booziness loose waves of bourbon stained black arrows from all sides.
M-Smooth and silky, but carbonated and coating. Actually more carbonated than I would imagine when pouring it into my glass, but a pleasurable blanket covers my tongue, soothing it with warm and intoxicating hints of alcohol.
D-The only thing that hurts this is the higher ABV. On taste alone, I could drink this often. Even with the strength, I'd easily love to have 2 or 3 in a sitting.
An outstanding brew from Founders and easily one of my top 5 favorite beers to look forward to every year. Pleasure in a bottle.

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Photo of micmillon18
4.39/5  rDev -3.7%
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...

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Photo of GameFreac
4.46/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

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Photo of ktblue22
4.83/5  rDev +5.9%
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!

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Photo of JerUrbans
5/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,850 ratings.