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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.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

8,767 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,767
Reviews: 2,520
rAvg: 4.62
pDev: 9.09%
Wants: 3,390
Gots: 3,223 | FT: 232
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: 8,767 | Reviews: 2,520 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mdfb79
4.78/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Received in a BIF from SpeedwayJim, thanks Jim!Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into my Duvel tulip.

a - Pours a dark brown with 2-3 inches of tan head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of coffee, bourbon, roasted malts, and vanilla. Hints of coffee.

t - Tastes of coffee, vanilla and bourbon. It tasted sweeter than I was expecting, but I enjoyed it a lot. A great combination here as everything is quite balanced. Also some roasted malts and maybe a little chocolate.

m - Medium body and low carbonation, very smooth and creamy. Perfect.

d - I loved KBS. I'm a huge fan of bourbon stouts and this might be the best one I've ever had. I thought the coffee, vanilla, and bourbon in the taste was perfected balanced and that the mouthfeel was perfect for a stout. It's a touch hot, but I still really enjoyed it. Would love to get more of this one.

mdfb79, May 23, 2010
Photo of MarkyMOD
4.5/5  rDev -2.6%

MarkyMOD, Sep 14, 2013
Photo of beernads
5/5  rDev +8.2%

beernads, Feb 17, 2013
Photo of Mora2000
4.63/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to slasher007 for sharing this beer. This has been on my to-try list for years and it didn't disappoint.

The beer pours a thick black with a brown head. The aroma is bitter coffee with some chocolate as well. The flavor is very complex with bourbon, oak, chocolate and coffee. The aftertaste is heavy on the chocolate with a strong warming from the alcohol. Thick mouthfeel and low carbonation. An outstanding beer overall.

Mora2000, Apr 02, 2010
Photo of jwc215
4.43/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Thanks to BrewerB for this!

Pours black with a brown head that becomes a wisp. A bit of lacing sticks.

The smell is of chocolate, coffee, roasty with bourbon.

The taste is of chocolate, coffee, bourbon - wow - this is tasty! (I think I might like the actual coffee and chocolate used in the other Breakfast Stout a bit more, but I'm far from complaining). It has a great bourbon character to it, while allowing the dark complexities and roast to come through. Doesn't get too sweet, as there is roast and a dryness in the finish.

Silky smooth, it has just the right touch of carbonation to keep it full but not too thick or syrupy.

Awesome! Overhyped? Nope. Very well-done - a great sipper!

jwc215, Jan 24, 2009
Photo of DrunkinYogi
4.5/5  rDev -2.6%

DrunkinYogi, Jun 03, 2013
Photo of Rochefort10nh
5/5  rDev +8.2%

Rochefort10nh, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of Gueuzedude
4.22/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours into my large Tripel Karmeliet tulip with an almost two-finger thick, cocoa stained, dark tan colored head. The beer is a thick black color that shows no light through it. Ample roasted grain notes of black coffee and charcoal are joined by a sort of chalky note that is almost musty (though not quite). Dark chocolate aromas couple with a rich nuttiness and a solid toasted bread crust note are found just behind the huge coffee character that even provides a touch of tartness to the aroma. Despite being such a huge stout, this actually seems to be dominated by the coffee aromatics, though it is offset at times by the nice chocolate aromatics. I don't really get much in the way of Bourbon character in the aroma, which is actually a promising sign for me.

Thick and chewy up front, yet with such a huge roast malt and coffee character that it never becomes overly sweet. The beer finishes with a hit of Bourbon barrel flavors that provide a touch of vanilla and a deep buttery note that lingers for quite some time in the finish. Up front rich chocolate notes are quite noticeable (providing some balance to the roast character), these notes stick around some times through to the finish, where the Bourbon dominates, and are joined by a deep, toasted, nutty flavor. After the first sip, that initial wave of strong Bourbon notes seems to die down some; likely my palate just got used to it, but it becomes much more in balance with the rest of the beer. This definitely has a touch of tartness to it that is a result of both the ample burnt / roast notes (both coffee and grain) as well as some of the Bourbon influence. The finish also has a touch of hot Bourbon alcohol to it that is noticeable more as an aromatic oral nasal thing, but definitely makes me feel like I am exhaling alcohol.

At times a certain fruit character is noticeable that makes me think of sour prunes, figs and raisins; all of which have been left under the broiler to develop a bit of char. As the beer warms up and loses a bit of carbonation it becomes much more creamy textured and smooth, it also becomes much more mocha / chocolate flavored than it was previously, almost richly so.

I am not sure if my nose is not quite working tonight or what, but I am quite surprised how little of the Bourbon barrel influence is noticeable in the aroma. In the end the balance between roast character and smooth chocolate become really nice, the Bourbon barrel seems to meld into the background such that it supplies a nice complexity; so definitely serves this more towards 59°F / 15°C to get the best flavor balance. Much better and much more balanced than I was expecting; definitely a very good, moderate use of Bourbon Barrel character and coffee if drunk on the warm side.

Gueuzedude, May 28, 2008
Photo of kojevergas
4.35/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into an EKU 28 snifter in me friend's gaff in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. Props to Schlimenhaumer for the bottle share - thanks, man. I've waited a long time to try this one and I couldn't be more excited. Expectations are through the roof. 11.2%. No best before or bottled on date. I'm approaching it skeptically on account of the hype.

Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Paired with dark chocolate.

A: Pours a one finger rich tan colour beautiful head of great cream, fantastic thickness, and damned impressive retention for the high ABV. Colour is a nontransparent solid black. no yeast particles are visible, but it's nontransparent and opaque. No bubble show. It's looking damn good so far.

Sm: Rich chocolate and quality mocha coffee java notes. Roasted barley and dark malts. Marvelous bourbon oak - but not too much. Who knew they could make bourbon so subtle? Some great vanilla on the climax; it's a bit buried but it's there. Cream. It's so rich and exquisite I can barely wait to drink it. Yet in spite of its rich complexity and subtlety, it's surprisingly restrained - it's moderate in strength. I'm just hoping the taste delivers on the promise of the aroma. No alcohol or yeast comes through.

T: Rich chocolate and exquisite coffee. Dark malts form the foundation. Cream opens and closes the beer. Roasted barley gives it a solid but subtle backbone. The bourbon is so damned subtle it's unbelievable. I'm having trouble finding the vanilla, but I do get it on the climax - though I will say I wish it were a touch stronger. There's a vague cookies n cream esque vibe to the climax. No yeast or alcohol comes through. It's all around incredibly balanced and very well built. I'm impressed. Very complex and subtle. This is a damn good imperial stout. Hardly any boozy heat comes through at all, except perhaps on the finish.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Rich. Creamy up front but the cream bleeds through to the end. Just thick enough; perfect. Ideal carbonation. Suits the flavours near perfectly.

Dr: Incredibly drinkable, especially for the well-hidden ABV. I'd definitely get this again - if I was so lucky. Really an incredible imperial stout all around. I quite love it. In a world populated by so many imperial stouts, it's hard to stand out - but this beer does. It lives up to the hype. I'm really blown away. It's not quite perfect, but it's a damn good beer - that's for sure. This one delivers.

A

---
12/31/13: Truncated notes for a 2011 vintage bottle. Tasted side-by-side with BCBS.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a half finger head of khaki colour which recedes within 30 seconds to 1.5 minutes. Body is a solid opaque black. No yeast particles/sediment is visible.

Sm: Sweet. Rich vanilla/oak bourbon notes. It's rare I find bourbon executed better than it is here - certainly better than the 2012 BCBS I'm drinking at the same time. Dark malts. Chocolate malts. Some subtle roasted barley. Cream. Gorgeous coffee/java with some coffee roast and the perfect amount of bitterness.

No hop character/alcohol is detectable.

T: Ah yeah. That's the stuff. Damn near perfect bourbon notes are seamlessly integrated with the base beer. Subtle coffee, good sweet dark/chocolate malts, cream, and hints of hazelnut.

There's the perfect amount of alcohol warmth, but no booziness or harshness.

Damn near perfectly balanced. Build is gestalt; you couldn't remove anything without damaging it.

Mf: Great creaminess. Smooth and wet. Great presence on the palate. Ideal body and thickness for the style. Complements the flavour profile beautifully, but doesn't quite custom-tailored specifically to it per se.

Dr: Incredibly drinkable for the high ABV. It's certainly a treat, but I do think I prefer it a bit closer to fresh. This is a beer I'll continue to seek out and enjoy. It's real difficult to compare to the BCBS - both are great beers, and I think age determines which is better.

High A-

kojevergas, Jul 18, 2012
Photo of XmnwildX12
4.25/5  rDev -8%

XmnwildX12, Nov 28, 2013
Photo of oriolesfan4
4/5  rDev -13.4%

oriolesfan4, Mar 22, 2014
Photo of Halcyondays
4.7/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a 12 oz. bottle, the legendary Kentucky Breakfast Stout, I've been on its trail for 3+ years and I finally get to try it,

A: Pours a dark brown, light brown head, similar to the CBS.

S: Coffee for sure, but a nice amount of dark chocolate comes as well. Complex and interesting.

T: Dark chocolate and mocha are heavy on this initially. The finish is beautiful with notes of caramel, sweet coffee, cream and brown sugar. Great flavour.

M: Just smooth and elegant, creamy, it's great.

D: Founders blows me away again. While not as full and robust as CBS, this is arguably more complex and shows the great benefit coffee can bring to a beer, I love it.

Halcyondays, Mar 21, 2010
Photo of Gavage
4.75/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: dark brown in color with a short 1/2" tan colored head that breaks down quickly. Some spots of lace stick to the glass during the session.

Smell: loads of roasted malts, vanilla, dark chocolate, and some softer espresso tones leap from the glass into the nose.

Taste: roasted malts, big vanilla flavor, dark chocolate, prunes, hints of bourbon, and a nice bitterness. Alcohol is mildly noticeable. Superbly balanced flavors here.

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy in body. Smooth and thick feeling throughout. Long aftertaste as the flavors stick to the tongue and last awhile.

Drinkability: this beer goes down really smooth, but at the high alcohol levels it limits you in a session. But this is a treat that should be enjoyed slowly. The high cost will also limit your intake, but it is worth the money for this beer.

Gavage, Apr 04, 2009
Photo of GClarkage
4.4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

03/27/07- Received via trade with Jetsbeer.

Presentation- 12oz bottle with a notch system of freshness. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Black colored pour with a dirty brown head, approx 1/2 inch. Settles at a very light rim. Lacing is spotty and streaky.

Smell- Kind of a cross between some burnt wet cardboard and wet cigarette ashes. Some chocolate and deep malt is also found underneath.

Taste- Taste is spot on. The first sip is very much reminescent of the scent. A swig of cigarette ashes that only lasts for a split second. Then you get a wonderful thick coating of deep dark chocolate in your mouth. Very mild hops are present. Mostly deep chocolaty goodness with a hint of bourbon.

Mouthfeel- Pretty creamy and very coating. Carbonation level is a bit higher than I would like for a stout.

Drinkability- Had hopes this would be my first "5" beer, but the scent totally turned me off. But then the taste turned me on again. A very solid brew worth drinking many a time and not smelling.

GClarkage, Mar 29, 2007
Photo of imperialking
5/5  rDev +8.2%

imperialking, Dec 19, 2011
Photo of InspectorBob
4.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black as coal with about one finger of thin tan head which dissipates quickly.

The first aromas to hit me was the bourbon followed by some chocolate with a hint of coffee.

The taste was of dark chocolate,bourbon, perhaps a hint of vanilla.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied,very,very smooth. Slight alcohol on the finish.

Very drinkable at 11.2%, a sipper without a doubt...

InspectorBob, Dec 05, 2010
Photo of drewone
4.25/5  rDev -8%

drewone, Jan 16, 2012
Photo of yourefragile
4.88/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2008 bottle poured into a snifter, probably should have saved this for 100th review if I cared about such things, but not like I could wait to try this.

A: Pours an extremely viscous, thick, black liquid. Settles in a pretty much solid black, no light passing through this. Hard pour leaves a big bubbly dark tan head that quickly dissipates to a thin film with some splotchy areas of medium sized bubbles. Leaves behind layers of rings of lacing.
S: Geez, as soon as I open the bottle I'm nearly overpowered by the aroma and I love it. Similar to the breakfast stout's smell which reminded me of baskin robbins jamoca almond fudge ice cream. Milk chocolate, rich toasted malt, coffee ground, vanilla extract, all with a boozy undertone asserting the bourbon presence but by no means overpowering in that respect. Amazing blend of all of these flavors. I love just smelling this.
T: Starts off with a nice sweet malt/vanilla taste that in the body blends into the roasted coffee flavors and mild chocolate background. Before you realize it happening the bourbon taste has slowly bled into the beer and takes you to the very smooth finish, slightly oak and spicy. This is very boozy, bourbony tasting without being over the top or having any sort of alcohol burn (at least for me). It's really nice how subtle the transition from the malt, coffee taste to the bourbon is. Also a slight hop bitterness throughout providing a nice amount of balance.
M: Incredibly thick, creamy and smooth. Finish is pretty amazing for a such a strong, complex beer as it is clean and not very harsh. Despite having a strong bourbon/alcohol taste there is no alcohol burn in this.
D: Amazing. I could keep sipping on this for a long time. ICan easily feel the effects of the alcohol but it never gets in the way of enjoying the beer. Obviously something to take your time with and naturally not an everyday beer.

yourefragile, Mar 19, 2008
Photo of corby112
5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Serving type: bottle at the South Philadelphia Taproom, Founders Event, Philly Beer Week 2007.

Bottle brought out as a surprise during Founders event at South Philadelphia Taproom. And what a surprise it was! Pours pitch black with thin coffee colored head. Excellent aroma which is dominated by bourbon and oak but not too much so that you cant't detect the chocolate and roasted coffee. I smelled this beer for several minutes before sampling it. This beer is very smooth considering it's complexity and ABV. Lots of bourbon and oak flavor, roasted coffee maltiness, vanilla, chocolate candi sugar and caramel. Excellent!

corby112, Nov 27, 2008
Photo of orangesol
4.22/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 Bottle poured into a New Belgium globe.

A - Pours jet black with a nice one finger tall khaki head, dissipating down to a thin film, leaving

S - Smells of coffee grounds, warm bourbon, light chocolate sweetness, dark roasted malts, and some dulled heat. A bit of dry oak and rubbing alcohol comes thru as it comes to room temp. Not too bad.

T - Starts off with some dark roasted coffee giving way slowly to a mix of dulled chocolaty sweetness and some dry wood tannins. Finish is a mix of dark roast and muted bourbon heat. About a year in the bottle now and it seems to have dulled the coffee and bourbon heat a bit but that is to be expected. I like the direction it is headed in. Can't wait to try this one again in a year.

M - Heavy body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Big, full, feel with a mix of coffee grounds and dulled bourbon heat in the finish.

D - Pretty good. Even with the high ABV. it is still very drinkable. The dark flavors can wear on you over the course of multiple servings but it is worth it. I look forward to this release every year and while I like this beer out of the bottle, I love it on-tap. Can't wait to sit down with a draft and see how it shapes up.

orangesol, Mar 14, 2011
Photo of weeare138
4.4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed with grassrootsVT at 4 am after he helped me fix my toilet with a knife, a nail, and some silicon...
Appears a pitch black with a 2 finger high, tan head. Tons of lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of coffee grounds, cocoa, fresh espresso beans, roasted nuts, creamy vanilla.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with a huge nod to ground coffee and not enough of the oak, or bourbon going on as anticipated.
Mouthfeel is medium/full bodied, rich, huge coffee, sweet, creamy, with a grainy, biscuity feel in the swallow.
Personally, I enjoyed the regular Breakfast Stout more. Maybe it was the bottle? I've heard these have differed.
---
Edit - 5/4/09
I finally got this on tap at Capone's. Man, this was much better than what I remember it being in the bottle. Plenty of bourbon, vanilla, oak, and cocoa adding to the mocha. The draft version was top notch.
Bottle notes...
A - 4.5
S - 4.5
T - 4
M - 4
D - 4

weeare138, Jul 06, 2007
Photo of stakem
4.78/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a snifter, this brew appears black in color with a finger of dark brown head across the top that quickly fades to just a ring around the inside of the glass. Spotty lacing remains on the glassware. A light swirl revives the cap briefly.

The aroma of this brew is sweet with a scent of chocolate laden coffee. It is quite earthy with hops and has a rich vanilla sweetness throughout. A bit of a musty grain character fills the back end of the nose. There is a tangy bourbon influence here that brings the entire smell of this brew together in a wonderful way. As it warms, the bourbon notes come to the front of the aroma with quite a bite.

The taste of this brew has a bold display of roasty grain bitterness tasting like chocolate and rich espresso. A solid bourbon influence is in this brew with both a tangy alcohol presence and warmth throughout the mouth and down the back of the throat. There is an earthy taste of hops mixed with grain in the aftertaste. As the brew warms there is a light oaked quality that imparts a dryness to the finish.

This is a medium bodied brew that is surprisingly lighter than expected. It is modestly carbonated presenting just enough bubbly on the tongue. This is a bold and tasteful brew that was enjoyed on a cold snowed-in day and is equally enjoyed as a nightcap or by the fire. Don't let it fool you, for all the beers that are out there that masterfully hide the amount of alcohol they have, this one is bold and out in the open. However, what makes this brew stand apart from the rest is that the boldness of the alcohol works perfectly with the other flavors included. Awesome stuff.

stakem, Jan 12, 2011
Photo of wrightst
3/5  rDev -35.1%

wrightst, Jul 11, 2014
Photo of dbrauneis
4.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Served on tap at The Pony Bar in New York, NY

A: Pours a midnight black with a thin light tan head which reduces over time but leaves a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass. Moderate lacing is observed.

S: A very delicious smelling beer - lot of dark roasted malts, chocolate, coffee ,vanilla, and oak. Lots of complexity, the hints of bourbon from the barrels is very noticeable.

T: What a great complex and well balanced beer. Starts with a lot of coffee/espresso and chocolate flavors, moves to an oaky vanilla, and then finishes with a linger coffee bitterness.

M: Medium to full bodied with light to moderate carbonation. Very creamy and very smooth.

O: A fantastic beer that really hides the high ABV very well. I look forward to this beer every year in the late winter and this year again it does not disappoint. Great complexity to the smell + flavor and a great balance between the sweetness + bitterness in the flavor. I wish I could get this one more easily.

dbrauneis, Mar 07, 2012
Photo of Billolick
4.7/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle, etched on the bottle, "Bottled 2/08/10" Pours black, plain and simple, the head is dark mocha, on the loose side, stays around for a good while, leaves scattered fine bits and some blobs of lace. Bold nose with waves of chocolate, dark coffee, vanilla, and some wood. Rich and thick, a double expresso, mocha, chocolate shake comes to mind....with 11% alcohol tossed in to boot! Simply yummy stuff...dark, flavorful, complex, smooth, cheewy, heady stuff. Hope I can get some more of this stuff soon...Stout lovers rejoice and go get some.

Billolick, Apr 05, 2010
Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 8,767 ratings.