Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) | Founders Brewing Company

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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

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

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Reviews: 3,070 | Ratings: 12,093
Photo of locstir
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

when we got this into the store me and the guys had to try it. the aroma is light coffee with a hint of chocolate. the body is thick and rich. the flavor is is full of coffee and chocolate with a nice lacing of bourbon in the finish. In my opinion it is worth every penny you pay

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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.


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

Let me preface this by saying I've never given a 5 before in my life, and a always skeptical about so-called "perfcet" or "unbelievable" beers. That havign been said, I now, humbly admit that I understand and agree with the comments posted before; this is one of the best beers I have ever tasted.
Poured a dark almost ruby-brown with a huge tan head which had excellent retention. The aroma was wonderful and complex; dark and sweet roasted malts, chocolate and hints of wood and charcoal. Vanilla and toffee round out the smell as well as a beautiful, creamy taste that is as perfectly balanced as you can get. I agree with bort about the butterscotch; something I wouldn't have picked up on but a good call. The molasses-type taste isnt overpowering and neither is the bourbon; it is smooth and sweet and just the right ammount of bitter.
The feel is full-bodied and goes through several iterations of feel, from sweet to bitter and creamy. I loved this beer and despite the 10%abv, I could drink these until I ran out. As I said, I admit that this lives up to it's hype, and then some.

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

In my limited beer drinking career, this is the "best" beer ive had so far. I jumped through hoops to get this beer, what with all the hype and one bottle limit per customer stuff that was prevalent in MA, but it was SO worth it. 2011 was a great year for KBS.

black with a tan one finger head, little to no carbonation

The smell was straight Bourbon. It smelled like i jammed a bottle of jack up my nose. Then, the stout smells started to trickle in. The smell is outrageously good.

Complex, and so incredible. The bourbon is so present, and almost too much, but JUST mellow enough for it to avoid being completely overbearing. The chocolate and coffee notes seep through. This is so well crafted. I feel lucky to be drinking this beer.

There is a big alcohol burn happening at the end. but at 11.2%, and filled with bourbon, you kinda see it coming. Definitely a beer where you can taste and feel its ABV.

very complex, and very special. it definitely lived up to the hype for me.

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

Bottle received in trade last summer from nflmvp (big ups, Steve!). Poured into a 17-ounce snifter. Ridiculously black -- pitch, tar, etc. -- with a dark mocha foam cap that fizzles to a dedicated ring and a thin swirled mass in the center of the glass. Simply amazing aroma complex: striking scent of earthy wet hardwood, with unsweetened Mexican chocolate, vanilla, and coffee aromas rounding out the scent. And the taste is just unbelievable. Every sip is a mouthful of sweet dark chocolates filled with incredibly smooth whiskey and white pepper. The 10% alcohol by volume is unmistakably noticeable, but the way in which it has been so deftly melded with the rest of the flavors is beyond belief. There are also dark fruit flavors: dried Bing cherries, prune nectar, currants. The silkiness of the mouthfeel is otherworldly -- no alcoholic slickness, just pure zero-resistance smoothness. An earthy finish gives way to an aftertaste of all the above-mentioned flavors that aboslutely demands repetition of the entire experience.

God. Damn.

I had been sitting on this bottle for a few months now and only opened this one tonight because I recently received another one in trade (maximum respect to hoppymeal for that one!). I am so terribly glad that I did. This most certainly must be one of the most beautiful beers available in the world today. Nothing short of peerless.

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Photo of adams82
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours black, opaque, with a 2 finger tan head. Smells of dark roasted coffee, bourbon, chocolate and tastes very much the same.

The flavour is intense. Coffee and chocolate dominate, then a kick of bourbon, a little alcohol, vanilla, hazelnut, more bourbon, coffee and chocolate. Heavily roasted flavors dominate this beer with the mellow chocolate and bourbon offering balance while the vanilla and hazelnut round everything out. Very complex, very tasty, very delicious and very, very worthy of a perfect 5.

Easy drinking for such an intense and flavorful beer and this really begs to be made available all year long. The bourbon character is present, but not dominating like most oaked or bourbon beers I have had. It complements the other flavors and helps round everything out, making this quite possibly, the best beer I have ever had in my entire life.

There is no hype surrounding this beer... It has earned it's legendary status.

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Photo of climb4beer
5/5  rDev +9.6%

I had the pleasure of having this on tap up at Moe's in Mass. Absolutely a fantastic beer. Ive always been a fan of the breakfast stout and had KBS in a bottle once but having it on draft... not much comes close.

Appearance: Very dark. opaque and has a brilliant dark brown head to it. not a ton of carbonation coming off

Smell: Quite well balanced. The main players here are coffee and bourbon. there is a nice hint of chocolate

Taste: This is where having it on tap makes a huge difference. So it starts off with coffee and bourbon then transitions to a smooth chocolate with maybe a hint of vanilla. The end is quite smooth with more bourbon woody coffee and an almost creamy hint. a good amount of sweetness to deal with the bourbon and covers the alcohol which you cant taste at all. You can keep sipping on this all day long

Mouth feel: almost viscous and super pleasant. thick and creamy. hits the mouth and coats the tongue. Perfect for a stout

Overall: If i didnt have to drive, i would have sat there all night getting stupid. a really fantastic beer; one which i can not say enough good things about. Would put it in the top 5 if not top 3 with Heady and World Wide. Just a beautiful beer and if you ever have a chance to try it, sell your first born or whatever, just do it!

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

Bottle of 2009 Vintage KBS poured into a large snifter.

Appearance: the ideal, motor oil, watery rim, chocolatey/tan head - nice lacing on glass.

Smell: Bourbon, chocolate, coffee, vanilla, hint of pecan, fresh cotton, tree bark, leather, hint of pinaud aftershave,

Taste: vanilla, milk chocolate - a chocolate flavor that melds with the buttery oak flavor to create a smooth flavor, the hops mold with the coffee flavor to dry out the mid-back end and the rest is smooth bourbon whisky, semi-sweet chocolate morsel, clove, honey, molasses, a hint of citrus/hop bitterness/sour acidity comparable to lemon. This beer screams hot toddy! Hot chocolate chip cookies.

Mouthfeel: silky, thick, smooth, dry, crisp, fills every corner of your mouth - robust,
chewy - bourbon cleans up the finish with a minty mouthfeel on the roof of my mouth.

Drinkability: a sipper, however, were it readily available in keg form, I'd probably drink it non stop - I could probably hit this beer like the glaze curtain at Krispy Kreme. Beautifully crafted. A great standard in the bourbon barrel aged imperial stout category.

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

2011. Hard to rate vintage to vintage but this is the best beer I've ever had. Had a 2012 as week and the aroma and the bourbon were not as present. The balance of the malt, hops and bourbon is amazing. Tons of vanilla and oak. Ridiculously good. Glad I saved one. But wish I had saved it ;)

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

This is always one of the most hyped/limited beers out there in my area (RVA). I even went to the big box total wine the day it was supposed to be delivered and the manager told me they were only getting 1 case (1 bottle per person). imagine my surprise to find it on draft at Brew (chester, VA). Now I know what all the hype is about.

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

wow. What's there not to like abaout this beer. So many in this style all taaste a like. Definitely different than the rest. While a strong coffee aroma, the taste was not as strong in that area. Sooo nice and smooth with a good bit of chocolate. The high alcohol content does not present itself. Many other in this style leave me with a headache even after just one, but not this one. Is really at the top of my list now.

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

A- Very dark, Pitch black, The look of some very heavily used motor oil. A pretty hard pour only yields a half finger head that is caramel brown. There isnt much head to this beer. There is some pretty sticky lacing that leaves some very nice patching.

S- When first poured the smell was heavily dark chocolate up front with hints of sweet bourbon, bold roasted coffee and vanilla. As the beer begins to warm the bourbon takes center stage as the dark chocolate joins the coffee and vanilla in the back seat. The smell of alcohol only intensifies as time goes on and takes on the presence of oak as it warms.

T- Very bold dark, bitter chocolate hits you right up front as you take your first sip just as it does in the smell. As the beer sits on your palate and reaches the back there is plenty of warm, mellow bourbon that finishes with a sweet vanilla and roasted coffee. Much like the smell, as the beer warms the flavor of bourbon and coffee become stronger and stronger until they almost match the flavor of the strong flavor of dark chocolate.

M- Very smooth and balanced. Definitely one of the most mellow bourbon flavors I have tasted in a beer with this alcohol content. Carbonation is low, as expected, and the finish is drying.

D- The beer as a whole has a very rich flavor and should not be drank as a session beer although i tried after 5 in a hour i blacked out. The rest will go in my cellar.
I walked into a store that i go in from time to time and found a whole case of this beer for 19.99 a 4 pack.

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

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a snifter

A- Pours dark raisiny brown with a light golden hue. Thin layer of head dissipates and forms large bubbles on the sides of the glass. Nice lacing of small mocha colored bubbles.

S- Smells of sweet bourbon and coffee beans. Roasted chocolate hints with a distinct oak finish.

T- Wow....this is perfect in every way. Sweet bourbon up front followed by coffee notes. Tastes just like it smells and that is delicious. One of the most well-balanced beers I've ever had or will ever have.

M- Thick with little carbonation. Slightly bitter oak finish which lingers beautifully on the palate.

D- Amazing for a barrel-aged beer. So smooth and delicious. This one is right at the top of the list

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

Pours very black with touch of brown, nice thick dark tan head.

Smells delicious, chocolaty, roasted coffee, a little vanilla and a little bourbon.

Taste is super, super, awesome. Excellent barrel ageing. The dark chocolate dominates and the heat from the alcohol is a perfect compliment to the smooth bourbon flavor. By far the best barrel age stout. True excellence!

Mouth-feel is smooth and balanced and the bitter from the dark chocolate blends perfect with the peppery warmth at the finish.

Overall, this beer just, KILLS IT! Definitely worthy of your soul. What else can I say,... well if I were you I'd do whatever it takes to get your mouth on this one.

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

Disclaimer: I loved this beer and couldn't help giving it all "5s"

A - A Dark black beauty. Caramel topping recedes in seconds leaving some beautiful lacing. (Can you tell I love this beer at first sight?)

S - Bourbon, coffee and chocolate explode from the glass. I really appreciate a beer that I can smell.

T - Sweet, chocolatey coffee goodness in the front and a bite of Bourbon in the back.

M - Thick and rich.

O - I am enamored with this beer and don't regret a minute I spent pursuing it. I am so grateful that I got to try it.

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

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter

A: Light fails to escape the darkness that sloshes in my glass. I feel I am about to drink a black hole. The tiny half inch head that forms and quickly dissipates is cocoa brown in color.

S: If there is a heaven it smells like Founders KBS. Vanilla, Milk Chocolate, Bourbon, and a mild scent of coffee flood my nose. I spent a solid 2 minutes holding to the glass to my face and inhaling.

T: Vanilla and chocolate assault my mouth. Coffee comes mere moments after followed by the wonderful taste of bourbon. A lovely oak finish. I could drink this all day.

M: Smoooth and mild carbonation

O: Easily the best stout I have had the pleasure of drinking. If you can find it, buy it.

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

A = Crazy dark black. About as black and opaque a beer as I've ever seen. One-centimeter, brown head forms slowly and lingers.

S = I am very pleasantly surprised to catch bourbon straight-away with the initial smell. Much more so than the 2009 version, which lacked in both bourbon and coffee charachteristics. Fabulous, beautiful array of bourbon, coffee, chocolate, dark fruits and roasted malt.

T = A lot like the smell. Bourbon, tons of malt (especially Special B), coffee, roast all work in unison to create a fantastic tasting experience.

M = Really thick and luscious, coating the entire surface of the tongue and palate -- just as I like my imperial stouts to be. Smooth and warm light carbonation that works at bringing out all complex aspects of the beer.

D = The easiest drinking 11.2--percent I've ever had. Just fantastic and delicious, and deadly drinkable. This is a young beer at this point, and I can't even imagine how it well it might age out. Seek and destroy this one.

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

From XXXII. In Teku glass. Reading CSHTP6 Ch18. Tastes like coffee a lot. I dont like coffee. But this brew is so great that even Ive enjoyed its coffee. The more you drink the more you want. A pity its high ABV that keeps you from repeating. Well, and its price here (8€)

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

And now, a beer review update:

I first reviewed this beer almost three years ago, when I was an unexperienced BA. Since then, it has grown on me and become my favorite beer in the whole world, and worthy of all fives. Here's my updated review:

A: Pours out like 10W30, with hardly any head, but what is there is light brown - none of this tan colored head - it was the color of brown sugar.

S: Wonderful! Tons of dark roasted coffee, dark chocolate, bourbon, hints of vanilla, maple syrup, and bread. I could catch whiffs of it a foot from the glass - it saturated my nose.

T: It tasted superb, as well: the alcohol was perfectly present, along with the java and dark chocolate flavors, and even a hint of maple syrup. If I had to drink a beer for breakfast, this would be a good choice. There was a lingering dark roasted bourbon flavor.

M: Rich and creamy, with an appropriate measure of carbonation to complement the alcoholic bite to it.

D: No, you couldn't keep pounding these, but it's a lovely, awesome beer to drink. I love drinking it, and I'm so happy to live in the city in which it's brewed.

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

I was very fortunate to pick up two 4-packs of KBS at a small store in VT. I've never tasted it before so I had to try one and I'll cellar the rest a while. I often feel that many hard to find beers are over hyped, but not this one. It poured out of the bottle to reveal a thick 1.5 finger brown head with lots of lacing. The aroma was rich and complex with chocolate, coffee, bourbon, oak, and raisin all coming through. The mouthfeel was thick and silky. The first taste is predominantly bittersweet chocolate with a medium bourbon. The beer finishes with a light oak and coffee taste followed by an alcohol warmth. I am usually an IPA person, but this is one of the best beers I have ever tried.

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

Bought a bunch of top 20 beers. This is the one I liked the most. Better than Black Note, Bourbon County, and whole bunch of dark stout beers. I like the name too, it's fun to say KBS.

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

Appears black with a very thin dark tan head.

Aroma is fresh roasted coffee, bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, caramel burnt/roasted malt. You know just from the initial smell this is going to awesome.

Initial taste is a quick hint of vanilla followed immediately by a coffee/chocolate taste then a kick bourbon. Then the tastes seem to reverse in the finish followed by a lingering bourbon roasted malt flavor. Wonderful.

The feel in the mouth is heavy and rich. Very rich.

This thing is highly drinkable. I probably couldn't do more than 2 in a night, but I could enjoy those 2 over a couple of hours and be treated to pure heaven in a glass.

Way to go Founders. Thanks!

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

Special thanks to tprokop7 for the KBS!!

Poured aggressively into a pounder produced a great 2" creamy light brown head.

Incredible nose of milk chocolate, espresso, bourbon and malt.

Tastes of bitter chocolate, strong coffee and licorice followed by bourbon and alcohol.

Velvety liquid with a myriad of complex flavors swirling around.

I had to give this stout the highest ratings possible. There is nothing you could do to improve on this beer short of having more of them! Simply incredible! No hype here, just incredibly well-balanced and full flavored.

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

Pitch Black, wouldn't expect it any other way. Smell was roasty, vanilla, a little oaky from barrells, chocolate with little hint of booze. Taste amazing. Chocolate, Bourbon, Coffee all on the palette with small hint of booze. Mouth feel was great, would consider it thick, full. Awesome, one of my favorites

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

We had a rare beer night and we all brought some stuff over I'll be reviewing on memory for this one as we had alot of smaples that night. Nearly 10 I beleive.

Wow!!! World Class from the first sip. Not overrated at all. Poured deep dark black and has a nice full body with loads of coffee flavor and some good barrell aged oak flavor.

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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
4.56 out of 5 based on 12,093 ratings.
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