Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) | Founders Brewing Company

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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.40%

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."

ABV varies by batch.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-13-2004

BEER STATS
Reviews:
3,042
Ratings:
11,891
Avg:
4.56
pDev:
17.54%
 
 
Wants:
4,446
Gots:
6,164
For Trade:
507
User Reviews
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Reviews: 3,042 | Ratings: 11,891
Reviews by backbaybrewer:
Photo of backbaybrewer
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

More User Reviews:
Photo of SoCold
4.94/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Well it's official. KBS is the greatest beer of all time, ALL TIME. It's like breakfast stout and dragons milk had freaky circus sex. Nine months later had a kid. Then that kid spent a year in a cave learning how to be a ninja and that ninja kicked the s**t out of my taste buds.

 279 characters

Photo of don1481
4.71/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

My then-28 week pregnant wife bought me this bottle on KBS Day. To celebrate the arrival of our son at home after 6 weeks in the NICU, I'm having this.

12oz bottle poured into glass.

Appearance: Pours a very, very dark liquid from where no bubbles can escape. A caramel colored head sits atop of this for a bit.

Smell: Chocolate? Check! Coffee? Check! Bourbon? CHECK CHECK CHECK! Some vanilla hints to the aroma, as well. This smells heavenly.

Taste: It kinda tastes like a bourbon-infused mocha. Just the right balance of chocolate, coffee, vanilla... and booze. Honestly, this is right up there with BCBS in my book. Whereas BCBS is a little more complex in its flavor profile, this has a certain "rough around the edges" hit to it that makes it stand out in a different way.

Mouthfeel: Goes down smooth. Leaves a coffee and booze aftertaste.

Overall: I still have a second bottle in my basement. I'm going to age it until the next round of BCBS comes out late this year. Very excited to see how some more aging goes with this.

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Photo of bgold86
2.24/5  rDev -50.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2.5

One of the most disappointing BBA stouts I've ever had, have "enjoyed" both fresh and aged, coffee smell and taste was old and stale, quite the letdown. Perhaps the greatest downfall of this beer minus its vegetative nature is its incredible thinness. Perfect example of a hype beer.

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Photo of ProfessionalJ
2.94/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

i am completely baffled with the hype over this beer, and this is coming from someone who loves bourbon barrel aged imperial stouts (barrel aged grimm double negative and barrel aged bomb being some outstanding ones i've tried in the last few months). i took an hour off of work to grab two four packs from two different beverage centers (4 pack limit) thinking i had my hands on gold and fifty dollars later i'm stuck with what i think is the worse imperial stout i've ever had. i don't get it? i much rather have a plain old founders imperial stout than this crap, here's my taste review cos it looks good but who cares
taste; rubbing alcohol. maxwell house. carnation instant breakfast. vantage cigarette butts. jim bean. rubbing alcohol.
KBS kentucky bullshit stout

 770 characters

Photo of Joe_Boxer
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Notes from a 2014/2015/2016 vertical completed on 4/13/16:

2014 - bottled 3/23/2014 - aging mellowed this out. The 11.2% takes the stage, pours black with limited head, and great coating in the mouth. The oak is very subtle, as is the coffee. Chocolate sweetness is very present throughout sip to swallow.

2015 - bottled 2/12/2015 - CHOCOLATE IN MY FACE! So much more oak -- the vanilla is markedly present on the finish. Same black pour with just a tad more head than the 2014. The coffee is more present on the finish. The alcohol is harder to find in this one... but it's there.

2016 - bottled 2/11/2016 - Barrel on the nose, smooth barrel and coffee on the lips. Finishes chocolate. Burns in the back of the mouth... and that caused me to check the label... 12.4%. Yep. Pours thick with a bit more head than 2015. Less chocolate with this one, as the taste is predominantly barrel and alcohol.

The 2015 aged very well... I enjoyed it more than the 2014. The 2016 seems to be an entirely different beer. It's fantastic and with another year on it, will likely be much better than the 2015. Buy all the 2016s.

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Photo of obiwan_k3n00bi
3/5  rDev -34.2%

Driving 4 hours to find a beer at a grocery store doesn't make it good, even if it was $20+ a 4 pack.

101 characters

Photo of PerfecTool
4.09/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This is a great beer - everyone knows that. An outstanding bourbon aged stout, no doubt. However, I'm not sure it's worth all the hype. If you've never tried it, it should definitely be on your list. I wouldn't break my neck to get it though. I actually prefer Sunday Morning Stout.

 282 characters

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

Complete... utter... total... Stygian black. Despite a big blast of July sunshine behind the glass, there's no hint of lightening at the edges. I think I said the same about Founders Imperial Stout, but I don't know that I've ever seen a darker dollop of foam. The head is 'coffee with a small splash of cream' brown and is incredibly thick and rich. There's even a huge amount of lace for such a high-ABV ale.

Every ingredient that's said to be present is easily noted in the nose. I'm a little disappointed that coffee is in the foreground and bourbon is in the background. I wanted 'Kentucky' to be emphasized more than 'Breakfast'. That said, this is still an incredible aroma. It smells like a prodigious amount of roasted and black malt has been used, complemented nicely by espresso, vanilla and bourbon whiskey.

Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout is delicous beer. My first few mouthfuls tell me that it doesn't live up to my (probably unrealistic) expectations, but that's the last time in this review that I'll be anything other than positive. I know one thing, I'll buy every bottle that I can get my hands on each and every year.

The flavor profile consists of a monolithic maltiness that is Stonehenge-like in size. Think dark chocolate fudge cake flecked with pulverized coffee beans and swimming in dark caramel and molasses sauce. Of the accessory flavors, vanilla is the most prominent, followed by a burnt sugar, bourbon barrel character that, again, should be more up front. As a bourbon whiskey lover, I wish my favorite liquor saturated every sip.

The most amazing thing about KBS is how completely the alcohol is buried. Other than the beginnings of tongue numbing as I reach the halfway point of the bottle, I have a hard time picking it out. Maybe that because it tastes like bourbon rather than like ethanol. In any case, there's no need to age this beer since there's no alcoholic heat whatsoever. Of course, I'm drinking it almost four months after its release.

I'm tempted to bump the flavor score as the beer warms, but can't quite do it. For all the reasons stated above, I can imagine a better KBS, so this one will have to settle for a less than perfect flavor score. The mouthfeel is luxurious. It's medium-full with a heavy silkiness that promotes gulping rather than sipping. I could get into trouble in a big hurry with this beer.

I don't believe there's a brewery in existence that can match Founders when it comes to big stouts. Breakfast Stout, Imperial Stout, and now Kentucky Breakfast Stout are three of the most incredible beers that I've ever had the pleasure to drink. Never has twelve ounces seemed so much like six. Good thing I have three more bottles to go.

 2,712 characters

Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.95/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Founders KBS has a thin, tan head, a super-dark brown appearance, some bubble streams, and noticeable tan chunks roiling about. Lacing is minimal. The aroma is of a strong bourbon smell, with background dark-roasted malts. Taste is of the same, with vanilla, chocolate powder, dark coffee, bitterness (not so high), and sweetness. Mouthfeel is mostly heavy, with a velvety aspect coming into play, and Founders KBS finishes somewhat powdery and fairly drinkable for such a strong beer.

RJT

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Photo of EagleAgedStout
2.06/5  rDev -54.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I am in disbelief, this beer fell flat on it's face! Drinkable is the nicest description I'm willing to grant this failure. I would take a backwoods bastard over a KBS evey time. If you want a great bourbon barrel aged beer, do yourself a favor and try anything from 50/50 in Truckee, CA

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Photo of RutgersEng
4.24/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz bottle with unknown date. I have to thank Dan for supplying this bottle on my retirement after 40 years.

Poured black with almost no head, but plenty of lacing on the side of the glass.

The smell is of toasted almonds, vanilla and bourbon and very much like most barrel aged stouts. I have been looking for KBS for more than 3 years. It doesn't usually make it out to the west coast. I was very glad to finally get to try this.

The taste follows the nose with some coffee, burnt almonds, vanilla and bourbon notes. I do like coffee stouts and glad that this was done very well. Although the coffee was forward and the burn in the back of the throat testified to the barrel treatment. It was a little more rough than I expected for a refined barrel aged stout. It may need more aging and I don't know what year this bottle was from. When compared to BCBS or King Henry it didn't seem to measure up. I think it is more closely related to barrel aged Victory at Sea or perhaps Black Xantus. I found the date and it is from 12/12, therefore it has rested for 2 years in the bottle/cellar. With that knowledge, I am going to have to reduce the rating a bit as it has rested 1 1/2 years in the bottle. When compared to other 2 year aged coffee stouts it is in the middle of the pack.

Overall it is a very good coffee stout, and I enjoyed every last ounce of it. But it left me wanting for more refinement that perhaps longer aging will help. The coffee is noticabley similar to Black Xantus, but Black Xantus gets really really good after two years of cellaring and perhaps this would also. I'm glad that I could have a chance to drink and rate it. After letting it warm it does improve and becomes more blended and refined. I would wait for it to warm for 15 to 20 minutes to get maximum enjoyment.

 1,817 characters

Photo of YeahRightt
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2015 KBS Bottled 3/05/2015 drank on 4/10/2015

Look: Pitch black like you just turned the lights out in a bright room, brunette head like Monica Lewinsky, decent lacing.

Smell: sweet, boozy scent takes the forefront, chocolate, spice, and very slight coffee linger in the back. Smells like it would smell if you snuck a jack and coke into your starbucks cup before you go to work, without the scent of shameful alcoholism.

Taste: Very bourbon forward, like the aftertaste left in your mouth after a sip straight from the bottle if you chased it with cold coffee (good cold coffee). Chocolate chills in the background and is forgotten until the brew warms a bit, which brings a bit more of a mocha character heightened by the malt. Heat from the bourbon isn't as present as its sweetness, which was alleviated by the beer getting a bit warmer.

Feel: Nice and velvety without being like a syrup. Perfect median between what you would expect from a stout and a bourbon, very pleasant but heavy if enjoyed with anything other than a dessert or by itself.

Overall: I try not to think of beers as products of their own hype, but hype as a product of a beer. That being said, this is a very good BA stout that deserves a lot of credit and deserves to be sought after. Perhaps it is overblown due to availability, but it is a mistake to discredit this beer or any in its same class due to its scarcity or popularity. It is extremely complex and well balanced and only improves as you sip. Highly recommend seeking out at least a couple bottles annually. Excellent.

I am aging three bottles from this year and will update with a review at 6 months, followed by a side-by-side comparison to next year's version.

 1,713 characters

Photo of Mehinaman
4.77/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is my favorite of the bourbon stouts that I have tried. Goose Island is a great bourbon stout as well, but I find this one a little less boozy overall which makes the difference for me. It's a great beer, but don't let the "breakfast" in the name fool you as this beer packs a punch. You might not want to drink it and then head to work. :-)

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Photo of jdhowe
4.54/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2015 vintage came off a little thin. Very boozy, and the thin body worries me that age isn't necessarily the way to go. Didn't like it as much as the 2013 or 2014 fresh, which were both very nice. Still a great beer -- dusty char from the oak really shows itself and gives a unique barrel character that I find very enjoyable.

 329 characters

Photo of Ready4aHeady
3.81/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Second year in a row that it didn't live up to the hype for me... nice body and creamy feel with burnt chocolate and some coffee flavors... but lacks complexity and bourbon sweetness--- much prefer bcbs as my staple stout.

 222 characters

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

For years, I've wanted to try this gem, and despite my best efforts, I was never able to snag even a single bottle; but alas, this year I succeeded! Thanks to my friend Jake, who works at Vineyard Liquors in Plano, IL I was able to score a bottle of this and Firestone Walker's Parabola (cue squeal of delight!), and safe to say, this beer not only met but FAR exceeded my expectations. However, it's hard to really describe this beer because of how harmonious the flavors, aromas and textures play together, alas, this being a beer 'review', I shall sum it up as best I can.

Midnight black, aromas of mellow bourbon and chocolate; vanilla, coffee, bourbon and chocolate dance playfully and beautiful upon the palette.

Maybe it's shock, but that's the best I can do right now!
Some day, I would to trade / buy a bottle to sit on for a year.

Salude!

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Photo of Xenoreactive
2.78/5  rDev -39%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Hype beer. Avoid the strangling drama of this brew.

Had a vertical from fresh to 5 year aged. All were unimpressive and considerably overblown.

One positive note is that the ABV is in double digits, so you might forget the mediocrity after 2 or 3.

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Photo of JackRWatkins
3.08/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

it's good, it is not great. It is perhaps the most memorably overrated beer that I have ever had, tastes hot and and a little too hopped for the style. Sorry folks, I'm not new to beer, craft beer, or imperial stouts, and this is just really nothing special, thought that new holland dragons milk was far better. two ehh's up

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Photo of Urk1127
4.25/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

My first barrel aged beer ever and now i see why its a big deal

Black, tan head. Little head but covers the entire top
Brown sugar, very sweet, chocolate, vanilla, alcohol
Hides the massive alcohol its not even there. Massive french vanilla, chocolate, brown sugar
Hidden alcohol but bourbon is there. Extremely smooth

This beer is so well made its insane. I love the vanilla that comes out. I dont get much coffee but thats ok. This is great.

 445 characters

Photo of TampaRainman
4.46/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2015. Marked improvement over 2014. Big coffee punch, blast of hot bourbon booze. Roasty chocolate. A few months will probably do this bad boy some favors, but a nice return to form.

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Photo of danh53
3.97/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Kyle for sharing this during the NCAA finals. Pours a dark brown with small, brown head. Aroma is chocolate, coffee, coconut, booze. Taste follows the aroma. It has a bitter finish and a distinct alcohol burn. Thin mouth feel. Decent beer, but not worth the trouble to seek it out for one bottle limits.

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Photo of Vaison
1.46/5  rDev -68%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

I don't really wish to put down a highly regarded beer but I feel this one is very overrated. I think it is unbalanced and tastes more like someone dropping a shotglass of bourbon in a stout. I could almost not notice the coffee or chocolate properties because of the overwhelming bourbon taste. I know most won't agree with this but it was a drainpour for me.

 360 characters

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

2015, on tap and in bottle are both amazing (No hype required). I won't compare it to the other bourbon aged beers because it has its own unique way of doing things. To me the bourbon is present but it is more subtle and doesn't overwhelm the other flavors of chocolate and coffee. I do love the bourbon heavy beers as well, but KBS is much smoother and refined imo. Had a chance to meet Jeremy K. The brew master at a local seminar and local tapping. Smaller town in MN and was not crowded at all. Very laid back and humble about all his beers. I haven't rated a lot of good beers that I should have. I would say, don't pick a favorite. Also just because it's new and super rare and you got some, doesn't make it better or worse than those who have been perfecting their style and can make more of it. Beer isn't a hipster fashion trend it's been around a long time and will be for a long time.

 897 characters

Photo of jradar
4.72/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2016 edition

Bourbon dominates the nose, hints of chocolate, coffee sneak through but it's subtle.

Aforementioned bourbon hits first on the swallow. Warm whiskey burn while the characteristic oak and wood elements are upfront.

Chocolate and finally a bitter coffee flavor sit on the back end.

No need to harp about this beer or the hype that surrounds it. Ignore the jaded BA vets and try it for yourself because, despite the price, it's worth it.

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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 3,042 ratings.
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