KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)
Founders Brewing Company

KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)
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Style:
American Imperial Stout
Ranked #12
ABV:
12.3%
Score:
100
Ranked #28
Avg:
4.65 | pDev: 8.39%
Reviews:
3,522
Ratings:
13,832
From:
Founders Brewing Company
 
Michigan, United States
Avail:
Spring
Wants
  4,584
Gots
  7,275
SCORE
100
World-Class
KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)
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.

Now labeled as "KBS."

ABV varies by batch.
Reviews: 3,522 | Ratings: 13,832 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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just1cho from California

4.6/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

*KBS 2020 poured into a Teku glass from a 12oz bottle*

*Bottled on: 03/05/20*

*Drank on: 05/30/20*

This beer poured a pitch black color with a khaki brown colored head which was about a finger thick. The head had moderate retention to it and had a pretty nice diversity of micro and rocky bubbles making it look very appealing.

Notes of coffee, roasted sweet malts, chocolate, and a bit of bourbon filled my nose upfront. I expected more of a barrel-forward aroma but was pleasantly surprised that it wasn't too overpowering and the coffee and chocolate characters were able to shine on the front of the aroma. I got more of the bourbon aroma in the back-end, which was coupled with a roasty herbal coffee and a slight earthy oak note.

Upfront on the taste I got notes of cocoa, herbal/earthy cold brew coffee, and bourbon. The bourbon was present pretty much from start to finish but it didn't overwhelm any of the other flavors of this beer. I tasted more of the sweetness from the roasted malts in the middle but this subsided a bit in the end when I just got cocoa nibs and an espresso-like bitterness.

The aftertaste on this was pretty bitter overall, leaving you with tastes of coffee, chocolate, and bourbon which weren't very lingering. This beer is pretty warming on the throat and chest but I couldn't really taste the alcohol at all; this along with being full-bodied and low in carbonation makes this super silky smooth and dangerously drinkable.

I loved this beer, it has everything I typically like in an imperial stout: big notes of coffee and chocolate with a bit of sweetness and bourbon that aren't overpowering. Smooth, velvety, and easy to drink, I definitely had to slow down and remind myself to only sip on this and let it breathe.

Wednesday at 11:26 AM
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JJKBeerLvr from Pennsylvania

4.92/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into pint glass in May 2020. There was a bottled on date of 2/20/2020 @ 10:31, so the beer was about 3 months old.

Appearance: Very dark black with a thick dark brown head. Head was about 2 fingers high, and lasted a minute. It leaves only a little lacing on the glass, and ended with a thin tan head still on the beer.

Smell: Excellent aroma mix of coffee, chocolate, and bourbon. There is also some vanilla, caramel, and some other sweet aroma like black licorice, but overall the coffee and chocolate dominate the others. It is a very nice balance of aromas, and I expected the bourbon to dominate which is did not.

Taste: There is a nice balance between the coffee, bourbon, and sweetness like chocolate and licorice flavors. There is some smokie roasted flavors, some caramel and vanilla flavors, and a little amount of bitter hop flavors to enhance the taste and add some complexity. There is a strong alcohol presence, which matches the 12% on the label, but it is balanced nicely by the sweetness. The taste is an excellent mix.

Mouth-feel: Thick like liquid licorice, but with a smooth body. Not overly smooth like a Milk Stout.

This is an excellent, complex, Imperial Stout, and it has a variety of flavors that adds a nice complexity to the beer. Although this is a big beer, it is very smooth and enjoyable to drink. This chocolate sweetness nicely contrasts the bourbon flavor, and is a nice balance to the high alcohol content. This is one my favorite Founder's stout, and one of my favorite stouts overall. I just wish it was not so expensive. My current favorite stouts are:

Founder's CBS
Founder's KBS
Goose Island Beer's Bourbon County Brand Stout
Weyerbacher's Sunday Morning Stout
Fegley's Bourbon Barrel Aged Insidious
Hoppin' Frog's BORIS Oatmeal Imperial Stout - Barrel Aged
Sierra Nevada Barrel-Aged Narwhal
Founders Breakfast Stout
Avery Bourbon Barrel-Aged Czar Imperial Stout

May 09, 2020
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UWDAWG from Washington

4.76/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a snifter.

Look- Black, light brown frothy head, average head retention, above average lacing.

Smell- Coffee, bourbon, chocolate.

Taste- Coffee, chocolate, roasted oats, bourbon.

Feel- Full body, average carbonation, sticky smooth bourbon finish that fades to semi sweet chocolate.

Apr 24, 2020
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markkyronaylin from Ireland

4.46/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

look: tan coloured one finger head, fantastic retention for a beer of its strength, tonne of lacing, beer is jet black in the glass, looks great

smell: goodness gracious me, super rich dark chocolate, coffee, cocoa powder, toasted malts, bourbon, brandy, some vanilla sweetness, noticeable alcohol presence, just such a nice aroma.

taste: super chocolatey at first, cocoa powder, then espresso coffee flavours, incredibly rich toasted smokey malt flavours, quite floral and herbal, brandy flavours there too, lovely smack of bitterness on the finish, alcohol flavour very noticeable, just incredibly flavourful.

feel: the fullest of full bodied, light to medium carbonation, somewhat of a powdery feel, sticky and syrupy, a tonne of warming in the throat

overall: a fabulous beer, incredibly flavourful, super enjoyable, great stuff.

Apr 19, 2020
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paltemose2303

4.07/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle from 2/27/19

I haven't had many barrel aged beers before and this easily packed the most punch. The bourbon was definitely there and very pronounced!

L: Black and can't see through the beer. Head was very short, caramel brown with pretty poor retention and no lacing on the glass. May have been my error when I poured the beer.

S: Bourbon jumped off the glass with more subtle roasted notes. Didn't pick up as much of the sweeter notes of chocolate and coffee that others talk about. They were there, but not as aggressive as I've read in other reviews.

T: Lots of roasted malts and bitter bakers chocolate on first taste followed by a rush of bourbon which lingers and dominates the flavor profile. Pretty hard to miss the bourbon, and I really started to pick up the coffee and chocolate when the beer warmed.

F: Big, thick, mouthfeel. Lots of warming sensations about midway through enjoying. Carbonation was pretty mild.

Definitely the most aggressive barrel aged stout I've had.

Apr 14, 2020
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dacrza1 from New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

DATE: April 21, 2020... OCCASION: an Easter like no other: still quarantined, I write a gluten-laden classic while watching the 2016 Cavs/Warriors Game 7... GLASSWARE: Maudite snifter (bottled 2/26/2018)... sizzles out of the bottle into a jet-black body whose half-finger brown body erodes to a creamy halo... whoa, the hammer falls hard: thick molasses, chocolate, smoky bourbon, sweet brown sugar, and roasted coffee malts--a full offering for the nostrils, alluring and lingering, if not intimidating... first sip coats and thickens, a breakfast and dessert simultaneously warming and filling... chewy, oily, and simmering--between the hop tickle at the teeth, the strength in the mouth, and the long, slow burn at the finish, the whole beer seems to be one continuous experience without pause between sips... is it whiskey? coffee? stout? it expertly shape-shifts as all three... its flavor profile is the stuff of legends, a blast of coffee beans percolates between the sweet chocolate and woody pulp of bourbon... some vanilla sneaks late... it cannot be overstated how satisfyingly smooth and full this is--the trendsetter that I have waited a long time to experience... at 12.3% ABV, it's downright dangerous... this makes you want to send a letter to the folks at Founders, thanking them for making some unholy offspring that reminds us why we drink beer...

Apr 13, 2020
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BeerBaronBear from New York

4.48/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Despite this being the "base" KBS version, it was the 3rd that I've tried, after KBS Espresso and CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout). It's really good, no doubt about it! Personally, I liked the punch of coffee in the KBS Espresso and the slightly richer and sweeter taste of CBS. But this was terrific too - its coffee taste and smell is more muted, but still present. The bourbon barrel flavor is very obvious, but it avoided becoming too bitter or too saccharine. What impresses me about this series of beers in general is how much flavor is in there without having an overly thick or syrupy body. It's still a relatively light-bodied stout that goes down easily. I drank one chilled and another at almost room temperature and they were both enjoyable. If you like BBA stouts, this is a great rendition to try!

Apr 10, 2020
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DokiDokiLitFam from New Jersey

4.45/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is my third time having this brew so I think its time to give it a proper review. Bottled on February 26, 2020.

Pours a dark brown, with two fingers of dense, creamy, darker than khaki head. Strong lacing. Very nice looking. Reminiscent of their Imperial Stout.

Nose is chocolate and coffee for days. Some heat from the oak, a subtle touch of vanilla. A very rich and balanced presence. Nothing dominates too strongly. There's a lot of room for everything to move around and breathe.

Taste is dark chocolate covered coffee beans. Nice bitterness. Reminds me of Nickel Brook's Cafe Del Bastardo. Oak and bourbon come in afterwards creating a warmth and drying quality. Booze is present for a brief moment. The wood/bourbon is quite detailed. An enjoyable lingering aftertaste. Vanilla persists very mildly throughout creating a bright sweetness that balances out the dark, richness of this brew.

Mouthfeel is medium to fullbodied with mild to medium carbonation. It feels very light on the tongue. Not quite as dense as their Imperial Stout. The 12% ABV creates a evaporating/drying quality on the tongue.

Overall another great Founders brew. Well balanced and very drinkable. I really don't need to sing their praises any more than I already have. This beer's legacy can do that for me.

Apr 09, 2020
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Pivopijak from Washington

4.36/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

draught
Very thick with very fine nitro like light brown head. Black with no light coming through next to a light bulb. Dark chocolate & good black coffee with roasted grain, chili pepper and vanilla joining the aroma. Roasted grain, chocolate & coffee arrive together equally on the palate with a touch of booze, initially. A fine, smooth finish with the roasted grain then the unsweetened chocolate combine as the taste trails off. Very good.

Apr 02, 2020
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Ale_Lover from Georgia

4.5/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I seem to be drinking these high ABV stouts lately and Founder's KBS is certainly a standout. Good but not over powering bourbon flavor and the high ABV is hidden well with the complex flavors that seem to layer in nicely with this beer. Great job Founders.

Mar 29, 2020
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Whyteboar from Michigan

4.44/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was the best of the best for me for a while and it remains an occasional treat, even though it's now sold pretty much year round. 2019 specifically is being reviewed.
It pours dark, very dark and has a fair head and smooth aroma, typical of bourbon barrel aged stouts. The taste, when fresh, to me is too hot, so I stick some bottles in the cellar and let them sit a while. A year or two generally suffices for me. This softens the hops heat that is so pronounced when new and makes the flavors meld more. The mouth feel is very good, just what one likes in a BBA stout. While it's no longer my 'best of the best', it is still a favorite that I intend to have on hand in the cellar always.

Mar 26, 2020
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matts2896 from Connecticut

3.82/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Honestly, I think this beer is a bit underwhelming given its rating and enduring legacy.

Nice bourbon barrel presence: woody notes, floral vanilla, heat, and tannic quality. Coffee, however, masks--in the 2019 vintage, the acidity is too bright/all-consuming and provides none of the floral/fruity complexity one might expect--the most expressive qualities of the base beer. I might love the base beer, but I would have no idea. Otherwise, any BA imperial stout is solid regardless

Mar 12, 2020
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Msp004 from New York

4.13/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2016 release 12 oz bottle cellar aged.
Rating is on this aged bottle of 16

Poured black with a paper thin mocha head which dispatched quickly. Some nice lacing.
Nose is dark bitter sweet chocolate and bourbon.
Mouth is bourbon, bourbon, oak, dark roasted malts and hop bitterness.
Coffee has really disappeared with the aging which was to be expected. Very nice bourbon barrel taste but definitely takes on a whole different profile from fresh.

Mar 10, 2020
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BeerAndGasMasks from Virginia

4.4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2019 vintage. From the bottle, it pours a very dark brown/black with a modest brown head that soon diminishes to a ring.
Scent of bourbon, coffee, chocolate and others. The mouth is assaulted by sweetish bourbon flavored alcohol, followed by flavors of chocolate, coffee and roasted malts. Wow!

Feb 28, 2020
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Spikester from Oregon

4.5/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear black with one plus fingers of brown dense head. Rings and swathes of lace as the level drops.
Smell is dark roast coffee cocoa vanilla and a touch of bourbon.
Taste is dark cocoa coffee some bitterness and sweet also.
Mouthfeel is full and good carbonation. The finish is dry and bitter/sweet.
Overall a tasty Imperial Stout. Bottled on 03/06/19.

Feb 25, 2020
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mpruden from Ohio

4.59/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured dark brown, nearly black, into a pint glass, 1/2” brown head with fair retention, little lacing.

Nose: Immediate fragrance of bourbon, and dark roast, some sweetness; the fragrance of the chocolate wonderfully appears as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied, plenty thick.

Attack: Remarkable combination of roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, and bourbon.

Finish: Some hop bitterness but very well balanced. Lingering taste of alcohol.

Overall: It doesn’t get much better than this.

Feb 18, 2020
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Pegasus from Texas

4.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance; Deep brown in color, verging on utterly black, with a thick, dense, tan-colored head, with superb retention. Thin, fine-beaded lacing in the Belgian style adorns the glass walls.

Aroma: Rich notes of whiskey, wood, molasses, burnt caramel, cold coffee, vanilla, dark bread, and bitter cocoa.

Taste: Opens with strong notes of sweet, bourbon-like alcohol, soon followed by molasses, brown sugar, bitter cocoa, and cold coffee. Midway through the taste, the wood notes become more apparent, with the tannins playing off the malt backdrop, lending a good degree of balance. Late in the taste, wood notes and bourbon alcohol dominate. Finishes with a long and lingering note of burnt caramel.

Mouth feel: The feel is soft, extremely smooth and full; quite gracious upon the palate , with only a faint hint of carbonation.

Drinkability/notes: Just a far-and-way superior example of the style, truly without peer.

Presentation: Packaged in a custom stubby twelve-ounce brown glass bottle with a pry-off crown, bottled on 02/26/2018, served in a Save the World Brewing teku.

Feb 17, 2020
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cwm51662 from Indiana

4.57/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This is to date the highest rated and strongest beer I've yet tried. My bottle reports to be 12.2% ABV. Very strong Bourbon smell and taste off the top, mellowing to a chocolate liqueur. Like the amount of thickness, lighter than some but nowhere near watery.Unlike some reviews that found the chocolate first, mine was bourbon strong at first, then trading back and forth with the chocolate. This is another 'don't drink too fast' alert!

Feb 09, 2020
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defunksta from Illinois

4.12/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a dark, thick, jet black color with a moderate darker tan head. SRM of 24-26. (3.75)

Aroma: Strong aromas of rich chocolate initially, followed by a quick bourbon wave with hints of vanilla and oak that comes through. Yet it's not overpowering. The chocolate and vanilla are still present throughout the bourbon course. Then the bourbon fades into a milky, creamy, and malty finish with faint hints of chocolate and vanilla lingering for support. Like bread pudding on the finish. (4.25)

Flavor: The flavor is dark, rich chocolate upfront. This doesn't last long until the bourbon comes through with a wave at 12.3%. Absolutely destructive. The bourbon comes through like a tsunami, but again there are bubbling hints of chocolate that rise to the surface during this process. The two battle for control. The whole time I think the bourbon is winning, and then comes the vanilla and malty finish that cleans off both, but still leaves a lasting bourbon flavor lingering on the tongue that is sweet. (4.00)

Feel: Heavier-bodied. Heavy and thick. Not really syrupy, but approaches that level. Mostly thick and creamy which is nice. Relatively clean for the body. The bourbon and alcohol clean a lot off the palate, and what remains is definitely sweet, but at least relatively tamed. (3.75)

Overall: Still new at bourbon-barreled beer. This is one of my first, however much more pleasant than my previous encounters. This one has a strong bourbon and alcohol component, but also maintains a malt flavor and body that doesn't get knocked to the side. It maintains it's shape. Unlike the Kentucky Barreled Dirty Bastard, which was a disaster and wiped clean of any identity amidst the bourbon, this one maintains it's Breakfast Stout identity. The bourbon adds a unique twist and I can see that it's actually quite palatable. Not my style, but I can respect the quality and complexity that went into creating this beer and am pleasantly surprised. (Final Rating: 4.12+)

Feb 02, 2020
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TomFoolery_x from Illinois

4.52/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Tried a 2017 bottle(750ml) I had in the cellar.

Poured into a 16oz KBS tulip.

A: Dark black head with almost no transmission of light. Dark khaki head from the pour, about a finger and a half tall.

S: smells upfront of muted barrel. Followed by coffee, and a bit of roasted malt on the back end. Faint chocolate On this aged variety.

T: taste is still strong bourbon barrel upfront followed closely by a pervasive bitter coffee note. Not too bitter to where it is ruined but just enough. Coffee is followed by a baker’s chocolate and roasted malts.

M: This is the epitome of what a stout should feel like. Thick and sweet but not cloying. Almost chewable with very little to no carbonation, as expected with the age of this one.

O: KBS is and has always been one of my most sought after releases. Year after year I am surprised with both quality and ease of procurement. Laying this one down in the cellar only masked those strong coffee notes when fresh and brought out a whole new barrel character and mouthfeel not found on fresh bottles. A++

Jan 27, 2020
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klarcbarr3

4.69/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I cracked open a cold 12 oz. bottle of Founders KBS, and easily poured a perfect two finger head into a room temperature pint glass. The aroma was quite pleasant.. coffee, up front, with notes of malt and chocolate and bourbon in the mix. The beer is as black as a moonless night in the Adirondack woods. So far , so good. I know the beer is legendary, and as I begin to sip.. BANG! a taste explosion rolls across my tongue and I linger, washing it about.. actually wishing I could chew on it.. WOW! Utterly satisfying, ASTOUNDING! I find myself relaxing.. I do not sense the big time alcohol effect on my tongue, but I find my mind numbing about halfway through, in a good, relaxing, peaceful way. The balance between the coffee, chocolate, and bourbon is outstanding. The head took several minutes to dissipate, leaving beautiful lacing. This WOULD BE MY FAVORITE BEER in the world, if Founders CBS did not exist. I love dark, sweet beers, and FOUNDERS Brewery does them like no one else I know. They are as dear to me as baseball, hot dogs, apple pie, and Chevrolet. Yep, Iconic Americana, that is what Founders KBS (Kentucky Bourbon Stout) is all about. Put it on your bucket list!

Jan 26, 2020
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cratez from Canada

4.47/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Rating from notes. Consumed February 2014. "A delectable coffee stout with dense layers of espresso, bourbon, chocolate, oak, and roasty goodness on the nose and palate. Fantastic beer."

Jan 26, 2020
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PathofChaos from Maryland

5/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance:
Pours a dreamy, black espresso. Forms a mocha head that's thin yet dense and comes off as classy. It laces and lingers with equal pulchritude.

Bouquet:
A deeply coffee aroma that will remind you of a cozy cafe. Y'know, like the kind with cushy arm chairs, soft incandescence, old books, and weathered chess boards. Wafting in the background of this atmospheric coffee cloud are notes of milk chocolate and mellow bourbon.

Taste:
A treasure trove of creamy malts and sinful dark chocolate laced with black coffee, bittersweet cocoa nibs, bourbon-kissed oak, and a clean, smokey afternote.

Feel:
Supernaturally smooth, like liquid shadows. It glides over the tongue with celestial grace; a silky, sensuous, seductive swallow that finishes with a slow warmth imparted by the bourbon. No harsh booze and mild carbonation that fizzes just enough to create a tingle of contrast against all that lush stout. Perfection.

Jan 20, 2020
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NYNorseman from New York

4.79/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Drinking a 2019 release by a roaring fire tonight and I realize that this is the perfect beer for a cold mid winter night like this one. It is intensely black with no light penetration when held up to a light and finely laced carbonation clings to the rim of my goblet. The bourbon notes fill your nose and the taste is smokey dark chocolate, coffee and bourbon. Founders is a great brewery and this is a special beer. Enjoy the twinkling mantle lights and enjoy this high octane dark delight as the Yule log burns.

Jan 17, 2020
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Hooded from Texas

4.77/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Notes from 1/5/2020.
I've had CBS twice, and this is my first KBS.
Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.
The appearance is black with brown foam that lasts a long time for this beer style. A thin cap remains. 4.75
The aroma is between moderate and strong with deep notes of milk chocolate followed by caramel, then dark coffee, bourbon and I start feeling like the owl in that old Tootsie Pop commercial and the kid says to me, “Mr. Owl, how many sips does it take to get to the bottom of a KBS?" 4.5
Damn, that taste! When did Willy Wonka start brewing beer?! Okay. Okay. (Calming myself down.) This has a deep chocolate flavor, dark coffee, bourbon and some bitterness. This is one of those beers that has such a great balance that each sip brings a different combination of depth and strength of flavors. I'm having beer euphoria. 5.0
The mouth feel is thick, and silky. 4.5
Overall, the sweetness level is just right making it extra easy to drink and the high ABV makes it a real pounder. 4.75

Jan 15, 2020
KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 100 out of 100 with 13832 ratings