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:
3,049
Ratings:
11,928
Avg:
4.56
pDev:
8.77%
 
 
Wants:
4,460
Gots:
6,192
For Trade:
508
User Reviews
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Reviews: 3,049 | Ratings: 11,928
Photo of Beejay
4.44/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark and thick like coffee, a small amount of dark brown head..

S: WOW!! Huge amount of coffee, and chocolate.. sweet, sugary and something else in there.. I could smell this all day.. hmmm KBS scented candles?

T: Tart at first.. Lots of coffee flavor, gets a bit bitter at the end.. This is one big beer. very strong coffee.. Not a lot of bourbon flavor in there... :( Still very good.

M: Textbook definition of: Chewy. Thick and sludgy.. damn that's good drinking.

D: Definitely a good beer. Worth all the hype.. probably not, but it is good. I am going to do a side by side with GI BCS in a minute, and we'll see which I prefer.

Notes from a 2010 bottle: A bit more oak and bourbon in the flavor, and it seems a bit more mellow. Nice nice. I don't think this years is as thick, no need to change it's scores, but very nice overall. Glad I picked up this years model. 4-7-2010

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Photo of BierRunner
4.44/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lovely dark color with coffee and chocolate on the nose. To quote a friend, it tastes like chocolate cake dunked in coffee. What makes it outstanding is its balance when dealing with such big flavors. No one thing overly dominates and a long pleasant finish lingers after the sip. Mouth feel is viscous, like motor oil (if motor oil could taste amazing).

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Photo of barefootbrewer
4.44/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a deep oily black with virtually no head. The aroma was simply robust coffee (well there might be a hint of roasted malt and slight fruit). The taste is strong of coffee with some possible raisin flavors. The mouthfeel if full and the finish is slightly oily - a bit of an alcohol burn is noticed at the end. This is an easy to drink beer. It is almost like an alcoholic coffee, but it goes down smooth.

Edit: I drank another bottle that I had gotten at the same time about a week later. The second bottle was more complex and interesting. The aroma had more of a bourbon note to it - I'm raising the score by 0.5 simply for the smell.

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Photo of BB1313
4.44/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage. 12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Pours a vicious black, no light getting though this one. Very thin mocha head and little lacing. This stuff is like motor-oil, no joke. Definitely one of the thickest beer I've come across. The aromas are heavy on the bourbon.. but then the strong milk chocolate will hit you w/ some vanilla. The bourbon is heavy in the flavor as well, almost diminishing all of the other flavors going on. This is a pretty complex brew. There's also nice oak/woodiness to this one, which is very noticeable in every sip. The coffee and tobacco is definitely present as well. Extremely boozy, almost too boozy, not letting the other flavors shine or develop. I can argue the flavors are unbalanced, but they work in the end. The mouthfeel is phenomenal, extremely thick and chewy. Practically no carbonation. Finishes warm, actually hot. Drinkability is okay.. this is a quintessential sipper, one's enough to please. KBS loses points from me for lacking balance in the flavor department.

KBS is a great beer. I'm not going to say it's over-hyped because it's an excellent beer. There's no denying its' complexity. It's definitely a treat.

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Photo of Monkeyknife
4.44/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle a deep dark purplish-black color with just a whisper of coffee-colored head.

Big sharp aroma of bourbon, oak, vanilla, tobacco, and black coffee. The force, I mean the booze, is strong in this one.

Multi-layered taste of bourbon, coffee, oak, vanilla, soap, dark ripe fruits, and dark chocolate.

Full-bodied, rich and smooth, with little carbonation.

Sit back and enjoy everything that winter can throw at you with this beer. Mmm...nice.

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Photo of KMachHops
4.44/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into a tulip. Nice to see in California for the first time.
Look: Very nice frothy head that dissipates slowly. Color is like motor oil.
Smell: Mostly coffee and chocolate.
Taste: Same as the nose but with vanilla coming through.
Feel: Just the right amount of carbonation, smooth, velvety, and booze at the end that is over the top.
Overall: A very well made BA stout. For being around over a decade, this not only classic but hard to beat overall. This is the standard of BA stouts.

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Photo of Mojo
4.44/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle -> Highland Brewing Snifter

A - perfect!!! This offering pours up a deep obsidian black with a gorgeous two finger deep khaki foamy head. Lacing is very nice and somewhat unexpected for a beer with this ABV

S - chocolate, vanilla, oak, coffee, chocolate, alcohol

T - Follows the nose basically with a hint of sweet molasses. The finish is fairly boozy.

M - thick and chewy, very pleasant

O - I don't like big boozy beers, but I love this one. It is as good as it's reputation.

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Photo of doppelmeup
4.44/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

I am very excited to try this beer. Will it live up to the hype?

This pours very much like a cup of espresso into my snifter. The color of black coffee. No head at first, but with a vigorous swirl it slowly builds into about a quarter inch, then is gone, leaving just a thin layer floating on top. Bits of lace typical of an 11.2% beer cling to the sides.

The aroma is very interesting. Imagine a cup of black coffee with just a hint of Jim Beam lurking in the background. Some vanilla and a bit of milk chocolate round out the experience. It what I expected, but better. The bourbon notes don't overwhelm the senses, but compliment the other aromas.

The first flavor that hits the palate is a biting alcohol. It quickly gives way to full bodied coffee, then a slightly vanilla flavor. Quite a multi-dimensional feel. Many layers of flavor here. A chocolate flavor appears after swallowing the beer. Interesting how it hid out in the background then snuck up on my palate. This reminds me of a chocolate pecan pie made with bourbon.

The mouthfeel is wonderful. It is silky smooth. The oats give a very soft texture. Thick and chewy, yet light bodied at the same time. It leaves the palate quickly, but a luxurious coffee and chocolate flavor remain. Eventually, a slightly dry sensation takes over.

Overall, this is a fascinating beer. There are so many dimensions to the flavors and smells. Bourbon stouts are not my favorite style, however this is exceptionally done. It is quite expensive at about $5 a bottle, but I am glad I have tried this.

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Photo of Buebie
4.44/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtasy of mcallister. I havnt had a beer in 7 days, I cant think of a better way to get back into drinkin then with this.

Poured from a 12oz brown stuby bottle into my Surly tulip. A billowing head slowly dovelops into a fluffy very dark brown 2 finger head. The texture pours like oil, very thickly from the bottle. Forming thin streaks of dark brown lace. Black in color with no light penetration.

Aroma is robust, with lots of dark malty chocolate, coffee, vanilla, very nice amount of boozy bourban aroma with toasted woody notes. Some sweetness at the knose, ahhh the oaky bourban aromas are intoxicating.

Wow, first sip brings a smile and respect to the brewer for making such an awsome taste possible. Upfront carbonation zing is present but only behind a thick creamy curtain. This is up there with some of the creamier RIS's I've had, for mouthfeel.

The taste is a very dark bakers chocolate, with bittering bite through the swallow. Things get warm here, but not solvent like, it mimicks the bourban warmth more so. Its earthy with toastyness and lots of oak. Chocolate fading at the swallow and coffee coming in as well as a balancing smoothness and more laid back flavors, not as overwhelming at the swallow. All of that boozy warmth and huge bitter chocolate woodyness falls away. Lingering with light chocolate, wood and vanilla.

Very interesting brew. Havnt had anything in comparison to this in a long time.

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Photo of waughbrew
4.44/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

[thanks to JonD for the bottle]

Black with brown cap which stays as a small fuzz and pretty light lace. Aroma is huge coffee with some vodka and vanilla, overall very strong and wonderful. Flavor is again coffee, alcohol, and vanilla. It doesn't develop as much as I would like, but what it is is nice. Really like liquid dessert, reminds me a bit of tiramisu. Smooth as silk. Thankfully the bourbon notes are not over-the-top and actually complement the malt and hop flavors.

Very well done. From the name of this, I did not expect to enjoy it, but it must be a blend and not 100% from the wood. I wouldn't mind having one of these every so often as a nightcap.

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Photo of TooHop4U
4.44/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

11.9% (Ohio) version. Bottled 03/09/16, served at 50*F. Dark, rich, complex. Nose is all chocolate and coffee. Bourbon comes through in a nice, subtle way - less coffee on the finish. More savory than sweet...really not too boozy/hot, but somehow sacrificed some flavor

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Photo of Seanem44
4.44/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I finally landed this whale. Really one of the last big must-have beers that I should have had in the past put eluded me.

I enjoyed the beer a lot. Strangely, I didn't really taste a lot of coffee though the chocolate was there. The bourbon was there most definitely.

For this beer, I'd say the warmer the better. Even warmer than 55 degrees. Honestly, I may sound silly, but I wouldn't be afraid to drink this at room temp. The beer got increasingly smoother as it warmed up from my usual 55 degree start point.

I will cellar some, though I have heard it best to drink it fresh. Overall, KBS did not disappoint. I know a lot of people compare to BCBS. I won't. They are two different beers, both enjoyable in their own.

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Photo of Donnie2112
4.44/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

very black and viscous, nice bit of film, no real lace hanging around. Standard stout look really

lots bourbon and coffee on the nose, extremely rich aroma. just a bit of vanilla in there but enough to make this nicely even

I am mostly surprised about the ammount of bourbon I taste. I can even feel a little bit of whiskey burn. There is plenty of coffee here but it's like Irish Whiskey or something where you can definately taste the whiskey. And even though the overall character of the beer is really on the for front the bourbon and to a lesser degree the coffee seem to stand on that base and shout.

Rather carbonated and an oily viscous feel, medium heavy in body

What a flavor bomb, lots of bourbon, lots of coffee a bit of vanilla. I find it quite drinkable especially for the ammount of flavor that is there.

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Photo of slowbie
4.44/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle pours black beer with a small tan head. Hints of bourbon tinges around the edges.

Aroma is coffee and bourbon. Delicious.

Taste is coffee up front fading to a bourbon stout finish. Hints of chocolate but not overdone. The best balance I've ever had in a -bal aged stout (or most any beer for that matter). Mother Earth Silent night is the only one I've had that even comes close to this balance in a -bal aged stout.

Good body and a nice light carbonation provide a nice mouthfeel.

Overall, I had this beer last year and went through the effort to track it down again. I feel like I can say this with most Founders beers but this is one of my favorite beers.

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Photo of jrnyc
4.44/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This one is very solid for sure. Awesome smell, great chocolaty taste. With so many great stouts out there now, it is hard for this one to live up to the hype and its well earned reputation and others have surpassed it. A really good one to drink if you can get it.

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Photo of rtepiak
4.44/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

quite a strange pour. viscus at hell. no head. even when poured aggressively. a small layer that gives the brown tint off the opaque stout color. smell is fantastic. no alcohol really. chocolate, coffee grounds, tobacco, vanilla, coconut sweetness, caramel, earth, woodiness. as for the taste. the bourbon comes forward. not boozy really. quite simple as bourbon can be, some acidity, some vanilla. not a cheap linger afterward. light woodiness, light smokiness, well rounded and dense in appearance but not as dense as expected. quite smooth. finish of some sort of mocha cappuccino assortment but exceptionally sweeter. not as punchy as the goose island. less forward, less dessert like...

as a comparison to another favorite american double. if you haven't had the Péché Mortel (Imperial Stout Au Cafe) get off your ass. its a great beer without the bourbon. excellent example of the style without any funny business. yet there is nothing that makes a beer better than a caring sense of storage.

thank you HIGHPA

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Photo of MusicaleMike
4.44/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pored from a distance into a balloon glass to try and coax the head in this high ABV beer. Great success! Big, two-finger-thick, mocha-colored head that sits with some tight, some foamy bubbles on top. Some lacing too. Deep, black body that does not allow much light to pass through at all. Head dissipates to thin layer after several minutes.

Massive aroma that is pumped up with notes of coffee, vanilla, and dark malts. Coffee definitely dominates the aroma, but those layers of chocolate and bourbon-soaked wood help to add more complexity here. Smells delicious. Delivers what is says it is going to deliver.

Rich coffee/espresso and chocolate notes that are overlaid with notes of bourbon, oak and vanilla. A very supple taste that could easily hold up to some strong food pairings or cigars. As the beer warms the alcohol becomes much more prevalent and even a touch hot.

The beer's body is as thick as can be. Velvety and creamy carbonation. Smooth and rich, with a slick finish. This is a great body for such a big beer. Compliments the flavor and aroma very well.

Yet another great beer from Founders! It isn't something you could drink a lot of, but still remains a tasty beer. I don't think it's the best beer that Founders makes, but it's 100% worth trying and I would definitely drink this again. It exemplifies the signature barrel aged smoothness and bold character that I come to expect from their beers. A must try for barrel-aged beer lovers.

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Photo of OlRasputin989
4.44/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a snifter...

A: opaque black with a small mocha cappucino head. fades quickly and leaves lacing in small arches.

S: rich and delicious! chocolate, vanilla, earthy wood, coffee, and a boozy hint of bourbon.

T: equally as rich! bourbon and espresso, and vanilla. not hard to detect the wood barrel aging at all. not as much chocolate in the flavor as in the aroma. finishes with a bold coffee bitterness, ethanol, and wood.

M: heavy and full body, that has a silky smoothness before revealing the tingly bitterness and warming alcohol. almost like drinking straight liquor.

Overall, this one is a drinker's drink. The characteristics of a top shelf stout blended with the aging in bourbon barrels has created something to be sipped, savoured, and sought after. Also , reminds me of an Irish Car Bomb (Guinness, Jameson, and Bailey's).

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Photo of tectactoe
4.43/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2010 Vintange, aged two years... Thanks, Mick! Pours dark as hell as it glorps itself into the glass, barely making a sound. A deep tan head slowly forms, never getting too big, but perching at a reasonable size and leaving some nice, wet lacing in its path. Who said high gravity stouts couldn't have a nice head?

Big bourbon presence in the aroma, right from the start, but it remains smooth, silky, and inviting; never "hot". Big-time oak and wood notes, outlined with a nutty presence; toasted and again, soaked in booze. The coffee brings up the rear; a nice collage of bitter-roasted coffee beans and a underlying malt sweetness. French blend, cream and sugar, please.

Though I didn't get it at first, after a few more whiffs, super thick and dark fudge becomes apparent. Deep, dark chocolate fudge - bittersweet, savory, and dense. The nose on KBS is fantastic, and I can understand why this beer is held to such high regard. So complex and robust, yet so approachable at the same time.

KBS hits my tongue feeling silky, smooth, and carbonated well considering that it's almost three years old at this point. Not as huge of a mouth feel as Founders' Imperial Stout, but this is still a full-bodied and lightly chewy stout, no doubt. Big, robust, syrupy bourbon flavors are the first things to attach themselves to my palate; heavy yet smooth, well-integrated, and non-abrasive.

Mild notes of oak and vanilla back up the bourbon flavor as well, showing a strong barrel presence in this finely aged stout. Roasted malts are abundant, of course, as is that dark fudge that snuck itself into the aroma later on. Super thick fudge-cake, exploding with dense cocoa flavors and bittersweet chocolate morsels. The wood and oak flavors get heavier as the sip goes on, followed by a bit more nuts and coffee beans.

The coffee is a little less present on the palate than it was in the aroma, but it's still very much there; roasty, creamy, and bold. The aftertaste is full of more thick fudge, nuts, coffee beans, oak, vanilla, all over the fading bourbon background. One of the most beautiful and elegant things about this beer - as it warmed up, the alcohol warmth never got any hotter. If anything, it almost mellowed out a bit and become even easier to drink... very dangerous for an 11.2% ABV stout. I didn't want this one to end.

What a huge stout, tons of things going on, and a beautiful display of how bourbon-barrel aging can turn beer into a work of art. KBS was an excellent beer, and while I certainly think it might be a *touch* overrated in the sense that there are many other "just as good or better" beers of the same type that aren't nearly as hard to get your hands on, it's still a fine beer, regardless - there's no denying that.

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Photo of standardcherry
4.43/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, 2010 vintage served into a snifter:

A: Jet black pour with a small mocha colored head. It dissipated in a few minutes
S: Wow. This is aged almost three years and it still has a massive amount of coffee. Lots of chocolate, vanilla, oak and bourbon.
T: LOTS of coffee/oakiness in the first sips. Some oaky bitterness. Balances out well with chocolate, vanilla and roasty flavor. A bit of roasty, heavy flavor.
M: Heavy, syrupy flavor. Lots of chocolate and roastiness. Thick bodied with medium carbonation.
O: This is one of the best BA stouts I've had. Will seek this again.

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Photo of chinchill
4.43/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured near black; opaque with a proper head.

Powerful, enticing aroma of dark malts, fine bourbon, and faint wood. Slightly boozy, but less than expected for over 11% ABV. There's a lot going on here, with even more complexity in the flavor. An excellent mix with good balance. Taste is just a tad too smoky/burnt.

M: full body is slightly harsh (recall over 11% ABV); medium carbonation, if off at all, is a tad high; smooth and warming.

O: had 2-3x in the past on tap but this was the 1st time bottled; perhaps because it had some additional age (no way to tell at this point) this was even better than remembered. An excellent big beer; very rich and complex, and a bit boozy in manner most may find appealing.

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.43/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- pitch black w a thin sticky dark khaki lace... Looks viscous.

S- coffee heavy... Fresh coffee with some sweet malt and cream.

T- like baileys! Coffee and cream with a touch of booze... Vanilla works it's way in...

M- smooth and almost no hints of booze... Silky and medium-bodied mouthfeel.

Excellent beer.

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Photo of WillDavis707
4.43/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This was a great beer all around, but honestly was a bit disappointed only because the fact that it is so hyped up.

Very smooth taste, nothing really stands out, was expecting more bourbon flavor. A treat for sure, but ill drink the regular breakfast stout any day, and just as enjoyable to me.

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Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.43/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a pint glass. The Liquid is dark brown almost black, Ok carbonation. The head is a solid fat thumb, Way Nice chocolate brown and just a bit of lace. About as good as a BA stout can get.

The smell is great, I just love this Style. Great Imp stout Coffee all washed in Bourbon. Ooo, That is nice.

The taste follows with just a slight drop. Not sure if it is a bad coffee Bourbon mix or what but even though this is a wonderful brew and I really love it, It is not my top favorite BA stout. Real close however. I really like the coffee in this brew and the bourbon and oak is one of the best I have had. Chocolate notes come in to play as well. As this brew warms it really comes to a masterful complexity.

Mouthfeel is great, A real dream to sip. Room temp is perfection.

This is the kind of beer you can drink forever sip all night it can sit for quite long time and not loose a thing. What a nice treat.
Many many thanks to NFLMVP for providing me with this very fine brew.
Prosit und Zum Wohl. MK

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Photo of triplecoil
4.43/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served up in a snifter.

Poured super dark with some red and amber highlights with not much of a head and no lace to speak of. Nose is cigar smoke and faintly alcohol. Taste is coffee, bitter chocolate, smoke, toffee, whisky, and vanilla. Mouthfeel is smooth and dry with just a few sharp bubbles.

This is a fantastic brew. Though the nose is a little too much on the burnt plastic side, the rich, complex, and lingering flavor is outstanding. Definitely one of the elite American stouts.

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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
4.56 out of 5 based on 11,928 ratings.
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