Founders Brewing Company

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Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
American Imperial Stout
Ranked #18
Ranked #53
4.6 | pDev: 8.7%
Aug 02, 2022
Dec 13, 2004
Notes: What we’ve got here is an imperial stout brewed with a massive amount of coffee and chocolates, then cave-aged in oak bourbon barrels for an entire year to make sure wonderful bourbon undertones come through in the finish. Makes your taste buds squeal with delight.

KBS stands for "Kentucky Breakfast Stout"

ABV varies by batch.
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Photo of mvogt
Reviewed by mvogt from Massachusetts

4.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
Attractive thick tan head, fairly opaque. Delicious combination of coffee/chocolate/bourbon. A little sweeter and more overtly chocolate than my ideal, but still extremely good.
Aug 02, 2022
Photo of Geater
Reviewed by Geater from California

4.38/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25
This is a highly-rated beer which prompted me to try it. It's wonderfully complex - chocolate and bourbon on the nose, full-bodied and rich with a velvety mouth feel, finishing off with more bourbon, a little bitterness, and a hint of sweetness.
Aug 01, 2022
Rated: 4 by LAM01833 from Massachusetts

Jul 31, 2022
Rated by TODDRESSEL1 from Indiana

4.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
World class stout. It hardly gets better than this.
Jul 24, 2022
Photo of stcules
Reviewed by stcules from Italy

4.36/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
Black, beige foam, ok.
Toasted smell, chocolate, coffee, artichoke. Intense. Good.
Salty caramel, vanilla. Barrel notes, smooth and chocolately. Almost oily.
Bitter aftertaste, again caramel and vanilla. Oak.
A classic, very good.
Jul 24, 2022
Rated: 4.54 by JoeDKSki

Jul 21, 2022
Photo of Brumaster77
Reviewed by Brumaster77 from North Carolina

5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
A most impressive imperial stout. Beautiful chocolate color with a light head rising to the top. Respectfully strong but smooth, light hints of bourbon and chocolate taste. Not over powering and does not disappoint. This beer clearly demands a high rating! My favorite stout to date.
Jul 14, 2022
Photo of MadMadMike
Rated by MadMadMike from Florida

4.43/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
An American Classic. Lovely.,.
Jul 13, 2022
Rated: 4.26 by Erestis

Jul 12, 2022
Rated: 2.72 by nickb2000

Jul 02, 2022
Photo of zman1974
Reviewed by zman1974 from Florida

4.9/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5
So happy to see this on a SW Florida Publix supermarket shelf today. I am a bourbon lover and I can't imagine a better partner for a fine, high proof bourbon than this beer. Enjoying my first bottle with a healthy pour of Lil'Book Chapter 3. Dinner can wait.
Jun 28, 2022
Rated: 4.3 by nung51

Jun 19, 2022
Rated: 4.26 by Chuckg93 from Oregon

Jun 13, 2022
Rated: 4.8 by Danny27

Jun 03, 2022
Rated: 4.58 by BD3 from Wisconsin

May 21, 2022
Photo of 13adam13
Rated by 13adam13 from Kentucky

3.94/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Very much like Kentucky Bourbon Barrel, which stands to reason.
Good textures and colors.
May 21, 2022
Rated: 4.75 by cold_beer

May 20, 2022
Photo of tone77
Reviewed by tone77 from Pennsylvania

3.83/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of chocolate, bourbon. Taste is strong of bourbon, some chocolate, a bit on the boozy side. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a solid beer, but I was expecting more based on the ratings here.
May 08, 2022
Photo of sglooney316
Rated by sglooney316 from Texas

4.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
May 04, 2022
Rated: 3.47 by Affinity from Missouri

May 01, 2022
Photo of Ramzeldamsel
Reviewed by Ramzeldamsel

4.76/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
Poured from bottle into snifter after about a day in the 50 degree wine cooler.
Look: deep brown, nearly black, with a light coffee colored head. Delightful
Smell: IMO this is the best part of the KBS. Comes off almost like a Mexican hot chocolate with deep chocolate notes, some small cinnamon hints. Booziness apparent from the scent.
Taste: Matches the smell nearly to a T. Heavy alcohol heat throughout with the chocolate notes brightening as it leaves your mouth. Just like a barrel stout should be. Quite sweet, but even as someone who doesn’t love sweet beers, it’s great.
Feel: Carbonation is quite low, so the combination of the stout density and boozy heat creates a rather unique, slick feel in the mouth. High sugar content seems to be enhanced by the slick feel.
Overall: King of barrel aged stouts for me. Great stuff
Apr 24, 2022
Photo of LukeCov49
Reviewed by LukeCov49

4.44/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
Preface by saying I’m not the biggest stout fan.

Bottled 12/4/2021 poured straight from the fridge into a frosted glass. Started around 48° and it was very closed up. Still able to get all the main notes of coffee, dark chocolate, and bourbon, but they were nowhere near as strong until the beer warmed up. My favorite temp was about 55-60° but I sipped until it hit closer to 70°

Overall: Incredible stout. Loads of separate flavors that all come together perfectly!

L: pitch black color, can’t even see light coming through when held up to a lamp. Toasted brown head with good retention and lacing from top to bottom.

S: at first I got more chocolate than anything else, but as the beer warmed up 5-10° I got a much darker chocolate and strong coffee notes followed by bourbon on the end. Chocolate heavy overall

T:cold straight from the fridge at 48° I got some coffee and chocolate and maybe some black licorice with a heavy hit of alcohol at the end. As the beer warmed up the alcohol completely disappeared. Strong coffee flavor followed by dark chocolate and some nice bitterness that you would get from a nice piece of dark chocolate. Bourbon follows on the aftertaste. Slightly sweet at first with a bitter ending. Some roasted malt, but coffee and chocolate are by far the strongest notes.

F: low carbonation, thicker and slightly creamy without being overly heavy. Very smooth
Mar 18, 2022
Photo of lswanzey
Rated by lswanzey

4.56/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
pretty delicious stout, not too much comes close. love the blend of choco and coffee.
Mar 13, 2022
Rated: 4.75 by randelhall from Ohio

Feb 19, 2022
Rated: 4.75 by BML1995 from Kentucky

Feb 18, 2022
Photo of Christianriveraaa
Reviewed by Christianriveraaa

5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
Look: Poured from a 12 oz into a glass - Midnight black pour just like a stout. lightly thin/ brown foam risen to the surface. Quickly dissolves over time. A bit of lacing on the sides like some of these bubbles don't want to give up.
Smell: Getting the heavy notes of sweet bourbon barrels - getting some chocolatey vanilla aromas to it. Not much on the coffee side this pour.
Taste: Definitely tasting the heavy chocolate, coffee and bourbon. The initial taste is coffee, followed by the taste of coffee, finishing with the bourbon after taste. Very nice!!!!
Feel: Getting light carbonation - very smooth. Very well hides the alcohol.
Overall: This bad boy proves to live up to it's standards. Wasn't sure because barrel aged stouts aren't my route but this proved me differently. Will buy again and if you haven't tried it. This is a must try beer!
Feb 15, 2022
Photo of rudiecantfail
Reviewed by rudiecantfail from Pennsylvania

4.51/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
12 ounce bottle poured into a snulip glass. Bottled on 9/9/21.

L---Darkest brown color. Fairly thin light brown head faded quickly to a ring and left ok lacing. Head doesn't sound like much, but I think it's actually pretty good for the high ABV.

S---Strong chocolate, lighter vanilla and bourbon barrel. Not as much coffee as I was expecting.

T---Wow, very flavorful and nuanced. Chocolate, coffee, bourbon and vanilla are all distinct. ABV is well hidden behind sweetness.

F---Medium/full bodied with minimal carbonation. Almost a creamy texture with no alcohol burn.

O---I have been looking forward to trying this one and I was not disappointed. The best offering from an excellent brewery.
Jan 29, 2022
Rated: 4.59 by jschurter from Georgia

Jan 29, 2022
Photo of Perioddicals
Reviewed by Perioddicals from Texas

3.72/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
I recently tried and reviewed Founders - Breakfast Stout, which is also highly regarded. Similar to that review, I will state that I actively dislike coffee. Both the taste and the smell. So I don't foresee me falling in love with this beer, but I did want to try it out to see what all the fuss was about.

L - Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter glass at roughly 55 degrees. The beer pours a dark black opaque. Very thin film of tan head which quickly faded to bubbles. The thin head only leaves moderate lacing.

S - The roasted coffee comes up front with a slight hint of chocolate. Not much else. It's pretty much straight-up coffee smell.

T - The coffee roast comes up front, then fades to a chocolate. There’s a little bit of cola flavor there too. The flavor is then balanced with a slight bourbon at the end. Aftertaste is a mild coffee roast. Toward the end of the beer though, the coffee notes fade a little and the chocolate notes take center stage. The taste is much more complex and pleasing than the smell.

F - The carbonation is almost like a cola. Smooth texture overall. Easy to drink.

O - Again, I tried this a week after trying Founders Oatmeal Stout. From memory, they are very similar. (Not sure about side-by-side comparison.) As I stated in that previous review, I do not like coffee. Taste or smell. But these were so highly regarded that I had to try them. I still don’t prefer the coffee taste, but this is still a great beer. Very smooth flavors that go together well. The 12% alcohol did not make this boozy at all. It was all flavor and no sign of high alcohol. I personally won’t try this again, but for a coffee drinker, this would be a fantastic beer.

Again, in all honestly, I don't like coffee one bit. The smell, the taste, all of it. But after the initial coffee hit, this was a great beer with balanced flavors. I don't see myself seeking this out in the future, but I'm glad I tried it, and I wouldn't hesitate to suggest it to any coffee-loving friends in the future.
Jan 27, 2022
Rated: 4.59 by not2quick from Missouri

Jan 19, 2022
Photo of wartarthur
Rated by wartarthur

3.95/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Very strong coffee and bourbon flavors. The coffee flavor seemed a little odd to me.
Jan 12, 2022
Photo of tradershmulie
Reviewed by tradershmulie from Connecticut

4.28/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Beautiful color and head. Notes of chocolate. Slight coffee flavor while sipping. Very slight bourbon taste, which is fine. Very delicious, but not as rich as I was hoping or expecting.
Jan 10, 2022
Photo of jbolger
Reviewed by jbolger from Connecticut

4.58/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
1/5/22 Bottled 10/14/21. Chocolate predominates aroma & taste then coffee. Full bodied, smooth & sweet. Beautiful creamy head. Excellent but prefer slightly less alcohol.
Jan 06, 2022
Rated: 4.65 by DarrellK from Florida

Jan 06, 2022
Photo of Crusard
Reviewed by Crusard from Texas

4.83/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
Very similar to CBS and also just as good. I lack the finer filters to define taste as well as most other reviews can, but I do enjoy the taste of this beer.
Dec 26, 2021
Rated: 4.64 by Jaymgould from Minnesota

Dec 24, 2021
Rated: 4.5 by twax from Florida

Dec 24, 2021
Rated: 4.52 by minstrelwb from Indiana

Dec 19, 2021
Rated: 5 by djkrause from Georgia

Dec 10, 2021
KBS from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 100 out of 100 with 14083 ratings