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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: 10,814
Avg: 4.56
pDev: 17.54%
Wants: 4,282
Gots: 5,083 | FT: 417
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: 10,814
Photo of kirkmichel
4.67/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm phoning in this review in because I love this beer so much I want to get back to it ASAP. Garage door is open at Leon's Full service and we're all enjoying the weather.

A- Beautiful black-brown opaque with a thick caramel head. Lacing is almost solid down the glass as it empties.

S- Chocolate and porter-esque dirt. Or is it more proper to say "earthy"? The chocolate is wonderfully overpowering and is finished off with a whiff of whiskey.

T- Balance: chocolate, bourbon, malt...wow. What really amazes me is how strong the bourbon and chocolate come through without being too sweet or too boozy.

M- Can you use the term "chewy" with beer? If so, this is it. It's thick, but still has an unexpected level of carbonation.

D - I may actually have another, this is so good. Remarkably masked alcohol, and it is just plain delicious. Plus, I have a DD!

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Photo of pepsican
4.08/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pitch black with a finger high dark tan head. Very strong coffee ground aroma, a bit of vanilla and toffee. Flavor is coffee, dark chocolate, toffee, vanilla, and a just a tad bit of bourbon, but that is a stretch even. Amazingly hides the alcohol almost completely. Dry, slightly sweet finish with a little bit of carbonation. Thick and almost chalky, not quite. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of spaceycasey
3.84/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle from at the Blind Tiger in Manhattan

A - pitch black with no discernable head.

S - Wow, what a complex aroma. Bourbon, coffee, oatmeal, vanilla, cocoa powder, dark chocolate. I spent a good amount of time just smelling this beer. One of most interesting experiences I've had with the aroma of a beer in my life.

T - The bourbon and coffee were most prominant, almost as if sucking on boubon-soaked coffee beans. Rich malty sweetness but almost astringent roastiness.

M - full bodied and rich, but a slight slickness of the tongue.

D - Sharing with friends would prolong my ability to consume these, but fairly average drinkability for the style.

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

Poured like dirty, black,sludgy motor oil. Darkest beer I think I've ever poured.
Smell was HEAVY roasted coffee, light chocolate, and very slight booze.
Taste is black coffee with a hint of bitter chocolate and light booze hitting in the middle. The bitterness and booze linger a bit in the finish.
A rich, full bodied brew. Drinks smooth though and the booze never overpowers the beer. Well balanced. Drinkability is a lot higher than I expected for 11.2% ABV. Glad I had the chance to try it.

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

Phenomenal. Strong caramel nose followed by a perfect balance of roasted coffee, vanilla and sweet malt. Can't say enough about this master stout. Light carbonation dances to the back of the palate delivering perfectly balanced goodness. Perfection.

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Photo of turamarth
4.55/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Split a 12oz poured into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: This Cure-all pours a syrupy thick opaque brown. Even cures away the light from the lamp next to me. About 3cm of copper creama colored head. Lingers for a second or two then recedes to a thin film on the surface of the oil. Specks of lacing on the walls of the glass; probably will disappear once drinking has begun.

Nose: First wiff this elixer smells like a top of the line Mocha from my fav coffee haunt. Soft milk chocolate hints laced around some bitter coffee and sweet milk. A sort of dusty coffee scent as well, like if you were to sniff a really, really thick cup of dark coffee brewed in a french press. Almost makes me think that when I taste it, it will leave a coating of sedimentary coffee grounds. A bit of toffey. And a hint of booze.

Taste: Again reminds me a lot of a very sweet mocha. The flavors here are very subtle and bold at the same time. There's a big coffee chocolate base to the flavors. But, there's also a milky softness to the palate. Vanilla is there, along with milk chocolate, and a nice espresso-in-a-latte bitterness. Some musky hops rest on the aftertaste. Booze is in the taste, some may think a little too much. This is super tasty.

Mouth: Founder's Magical Cure-all is thick and smooth. Milky almost in texture. Still has a nice carbonation that keeps it from getting too muddy on the mouth. Don't need no sugar to keep this medicine down.

Drink: This is a big, thick, coffeyey son of a bitch. Drink this quickly and yous a fool for a number of reasons. This deserves to be sipped and appreciated. And its pretty boozy...

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Photo of 2BDChicago
4.88/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Aroma: Very, very complex in the very best way. First is a coffee, but an exotic blend, then a deep rich molasses, and a little whiskey fire.

1st Taste: Soft, extremely full, burnt brown sugar, and bourbon with a tad of dark, semi-sweet chocolate in the background.

Overall: You know this is a big beer. Costs a ton, aged a year, and as Van Halen says "everybody wants some.", and after this first tasting session I know why. It's statement of the obvious to say this brew has a huge personality. There's a a ton flavors that float around in the background...vanilla, oak, cocoa, oatmeal...go on and on. The sweetness doesn't seem to be malt, but from any of dozens of dark fruits and brown sugar variations. It's presence in the mouth is almost 3D, creamy and oily. And if you like the taste of whiskey fire, buddy this is your beer. Some might argue it's not the best brew in America, I think it's in the running. And, it shows the strength of the mid-west's dominace of the american whiskey(bourbon) barrel aged brews.

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Photo of Graham21
4.55/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black as oil and little carbonation but nice lacing. mm tan head.

Nose- Roasted malt aromas, dark chocolate undertones, a hint of nail polish/alcohol, lots of burnt coffee scents.

Taste- So many flavors, the bitter sweet chocolate, the tangy hops, citrus and dark fruits, coffee, roasted malt, bourbon. Amazing!

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Photo of dondeez21
4/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep Dark Black with a thin almost orange head that disappeared fast
S: The most noteable aroama is black coffee
T: The first taste to hit my tounge is coffee followed by a very slight hint of Bourbon.
M: On the med-heavy side. Very sticky
D: This beer is good as a sipper. I dotn think I would enjoy more than 1 in a sitting. Overall I feel this is a good beer but not worth the price tag. I bought a few extra bottles and plan on letting them age 6-12months.

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Photo of Rbald42
4.28/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours nice,creamy, and thick. First inspection is zero light passing through this dark one. However I do notice it's actually a very dark brown with some light penetrating the top. Leaves a tan thin head.

S- Is roasted chocolate, dark malts, and faint bourbon and oak. The bourbon comes out more as it warms.I notice toffee, and the alcohol certainly comes out as it warms.

T- Taste is definitely an enjoyable ride with flavors playing off one another. Thick toffee sweetness followed by bitter hops and bitter chocolate. The bourbon presence follows with a somewhat chalky aftertaste that is different but not a negative.

M- Mouthfeel is warm, creamy and superb. It's a powerful brew but still drinkable.

D-Overall this is a world class stout. It's definitely deservng of its accolades and it's complex and enjoyable.

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Photo of frognot
4.76/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Dark chocolate brown with a finger of mocha head.

Smell: The aroma is a strong chocolate with faint coffee and bourbon

Taste: Very malted chocolate with smooth coffee, bourbon and toffee notes.

Mouthfeel: Liquid velvet. Expected more viscosity with an 11.2% ABV but was pleasantly surprised.

Drinkability: Wish that I had enough of these to assess drinkability but happy to finally try this fine beer.

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

- 2011 Vintage, served at cellar temp.

Pours with a nice milk chocolate color head of foam. Black, motor oil in appearance. Looks very velvety, and full-bodied in the glass. Foam has dropped down considerably now. Vanilla and bourbon are the first things I pick up on the nose. Behind that I get rich dark chocolate, or baker's bittersweet chocolate. Sweet, burnt, heavily roasted malts. Fresh ground dark roast coffee, a little earthy. Rich chocolate cake or mousse, dark fudge.

Smooth and creamy upfront in the palate. Bourbon and vanilla at first. Smells of fresh vanilla bean. Then like the nose it becomes rich, dark chocolate, fudge. Roasted, burnt malt with, some oak behind it. Earthy, fresh ground espresso beans. Vanilla and bourbon are well balanced neither one dominates the other, though the bourbon comes through more as the beer warms. Has that dark fruity house character I find in Founder's Imperial Stout as well. Abv. is well hidden, not hot at all. Velvety, in the mouth, smooth and creamy with some sweetness on the lips, a little sticky. It drinks like a rich liquid chocolate cake or mousse. Would pair well with cheesecake maybe? or other rich desserts. Always a great beer, it never gets heavy or tiresome. Sadly becoming more
difficult to find each year, oh well I've got a 4 pack to age.

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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 dnrobert24
2.94/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

KBS. The notes on BA say this is NOT a barrel-aged version of the breakfast stout. Too bad. I love their breakfast stout. This? Not so much. It pours oily black with minimal tan lacing. No head, really, but none is expected. The first pour stirs up fresh coffee beans and toasty-smoky malts. It is very inviting. Later on, aromas of chocolate and dark fruits emerge. Finally, I start to smell the vanilla. I am encouraged to dive into this beer. But...I am amazed at the disconnect to the taste. There is a bitter sourness that permeates each drink, like I am licking an oak cube. There is a mysterious bitterness that keeps butting in. I keep looking for flavors in the glass and end up furrowing my eyebrows in disappointment. A hot alcohol burn ends up carrying the day. It reminds me of 100 proof cherry brandy. Think of chocolate covered cherries with a grain alcohol center and you get what I'm tasting. Yeah, I like chocolate, and I like cherries, but c'mon, this is too much. Maybe some time in the cellar will do this some good.

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Photo of beavers
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from 2011

Pours a thick and oily jet black. Coffee brown head that dissipates quickly and leaves a ring of small bubbles around the edge.

Nose is bourbon mocha truffle with woody vanilla undertones. Charred oak. A little soy-sauce and a alcohol tinge. Roasty qualities (chocolate, coffee) become more pronounced with warming/oxidation. Same with alcohol.

Flavors of bitter chocolate, roast coffee and toasted tannic wood are contrasted with caramelized sugar, vanilla bean, and sweet bourbon. This is the epitome of bourbon barrel integration.

Mouthfeel is dense and oily but the bourbon/alcohol meets moderate carbonation to cut through this enough to leave you wanting another sip.

I'm looking for some level of balance in a beer, and then there is a beer like KBS that achieves this in showboat-like fashion. You don't typically get contrast/balance like this in imperial stouts and this makes it remarkably drinkable relative to the style. With that in mind, it has the complexity that makes you want to drink it slow.

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Photo of mbenthall
4.63/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 Batch 11/30/2010
Appearance: rich black little to no head what is does not stay. Smell: lovely roasted malt punctuated with notes of sweet bourbon.
Taste: slightly bitter intertwined w/ rich coffee & dark chocolate,  subtly smoky with roasted malt. Finishes w/ sweet notes of bourbon.  
Texture: dry.  
Drinkability: for this style incredibly so no flavor kills another but w/ this abv will make you reign it in. Value: it takes great ingredients to make a great beer and you will pay more for it. There are many reasons this is limited.

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Photo of Fartknocker
2.64/5  rDev -42.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from from a 12 oz bottle into a globe glass.
A- Very black and thick
S- Good combo of coffee and bourbon
T- Starts out as a combo of coffee and bourbon but quickly is overpowered by simply a bourbon flavor
M- Thick, like whole milk or cough syrup
D- one and done, maybe it's just me, but it ended up as drinking as a lightly fermented bourbon.

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Photo of SpruceFish
4.62/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 bottle pored into a tulip

A- pitch black dark brown head with a little bit of lacing around the glass

S- wow bitter coffee more then i have ever seen chocolate explosion and some boozy bourbon

T- same as the smell intense coffee real bitter dark chocolate bourbon is there but not so apparent needs a little vanilla in my opinion but still really delicious

M- super smooth no real booze at all perfect carbonation

D- great i wouldnt really have more then one of these but it goes down great

overall this beer is one the the best i have had really clean finish im really happy i got my hands on a few of these cant wait to see how these age

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Photo of Ynot2
4.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 from Frog223, thanks for the hook-up. Notes from April 2nd.

Poured into a tulip glass deep black with traces of a lighter black or dark brown at the edges. Very thin beige head and virtually no lacing.

Smelled bourbon and chocolate immediately, and a little vanilla at the end, mmmm nice.

The taste is a chocolate at first and a slight taste of coffee. You can feel the bourbon at the back end, but it is not overpowering at all. I get a slight vanilla taste more of a lingering taste than up front.

Mouthfeel is sweet and kinda thick, not as chewey as I imagined. Very litte carbonation, sits on the tounge nicely.

Overall an excellent beer. Great balance and easy to taste the individual flavors. Can't wait to drink this again.

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Photo of wchollif
4.63/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My first KBS, 2011 release

Beautiful black pour with a espresso-esque colored 1 finger of head.

Smell is super coffee, not getting much oak and almost no bourbon.

Flavor is dominated by coffee. The oak and vanilla come through in the middle/end. I'm still not getting very much bourbon if any, had to re-read the bottle to make sure it wasn't just 'oak' aged.

Mouthfeel is much lighter than I expected. Having trouble scoring it b/c I think it should be thicker, but it works and makes the drinkability great. The drinkability is outstanding, I wanted more and more. By far the most drinkable stout I've had.

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Photo of FARGO619
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer seems to make it to every RIS fan, and it is worth what you trade/buy for it.

Poured into a tulip glass. Smell was amazing, and what I expected after wanting to try it for some time. Smell of chocolate and roasted malts swirled throughout the glass. Oaky and and slight bourbon floated on the palate. Genuine beer lives up to its reputation. Small head lingered for the first few sips. Great beer to chill to. Smoother and sweeter as it cooled down. Great 'til the last sip. Savored every moment.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of BobaFret
4.76/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2013 batch.

A - Same appearance as FBS: black as motor oil with a quickly dissipating light tan/coffee head.

S - The bourbon barrel character is very strong; a slight hint of chocolate is there.

T - The bourbon barrel character is perfectly balanced. Unlike with the smell you can definitely taste the coffee, chocolate, and roasted malt with a slight bitterness. This is an amazingly well-crafted stout/beer.

M - Extremely smooth. Not too thick, not too thin; just right.

O - Perfection. Beg, borrow, or steal to get this beer; it lives up to the hype.

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Photo of flexinwext
3.93/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I have been saving trying this one for a month or so. Easter was the day. Poured a very dark black with no head. Definite whisky nose with some coffee. Great flavor, coffee, chocolate. Very thick mouthfeel. Was a sipper for sure and I think one at a time is enough. Thats good for me since I paid so much for it. Great RIS!

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Photo of tregan_20
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I purchased the beer at a local liquor store and poured into a pint glass. The appearance was really dark, almost black. The head was tan in color like espresso/mocha. The smell consisted of roasted chocolate, espresso and bourbon, with a hint of oakiness to it. The taste is very close to the smell... coffee / espresso / mocha / bourbon / malty flavor. The feel was a bit heavy and somewhat chewy. Overall, this is Founder's best offering in my opinion, just above their Breakfast Stout. Definitely worth trying! Cheers!

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Photo of Seeker41184
4.97/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Date Drunk: 12/25/10

12oz into pint glass
2010 Vintage

It was great having both Breakfast and KBS back to back. This beer has everything Breakfast is missing to make it amazing. Smoother, richer chocolate, oats, and even some quality bourbon now b/c of the aging process. I wish we could freeze it into ice blocks and skate on it and melt it in the spring time and drink it!

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