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): 11.80%

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: 3,161 | Ratings: 12,368
Photo of TerryMills
4.47/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2017 bottle ..

Bourbon notes ,lightly roasted malts ,maybe a hint of chocolate ,pretty thin for an imperial stout imo..

Good drinkable beer but I don't get the hype .. Black belle and several others are better imo.

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

This is hands down the best beer I've had the pleasure of drinking. Also my first 5.0 overall. The complexity is outstanding with notes of dark roast, chocolate, coffee, vanilla, oak, raisins, and bourbon. The praise for this beer from the community is well deserved. Believe the hype!

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Photo of NicholasL
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2017 release.

Dark, rich, creamy and. Dark chocolate and coffee flavors. Slight Bourbon follow. Perfect balance of flavors without one overpowering the other. Overall excellent beer. One of my favorites.

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Photo of futiledevices
4.76/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

2017 release. Bought 4/5/2017 for $6 a 12oz bottle, surprisingly enough. Bought the hype. Lived up.

L: Pitch black, medium brown creamy head, lots of lacing

S: Massive chocolate, sweet bourbon, fresh oak, charred oak, chocolate milkshake, medium roast coffee, hazelnut

T: Like drinking a chocolate milkshake at first. Creamy and sweet with lots of dark chocolate, oak, bourbon, marshmallow, overripe dark berries, ganache-like richness. More and more and more whiskey as it warms up. Flavor comes in big waves well after the drink down.

F: Super sticky and creamy. Decadent.

Overall, this is worth the hype for me. I love Breakfast Stout, but this is a completely different animal. So rich and flavorful. Like chocolate cake soaked in bourbon and espresso. Beautiful.

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Photo of Radcpa
4.73/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Very dark appearance with minimal head. Very nice bourbon and coffee aroma. Taste is also coffee and bourbon. Very smooth without any alcohol taste. Aging is not necessary

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

Tasted in an 8 oz snifter from draught at Firkin on April 4, 2017. A very nice balance of flavors. The barrel notes compliment the coffee and chocolate flavors without overwhelming them. Highly recommended.

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Photo of TX-JROD_81
4.76/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

L- Pours very dark brown and opaque. Head of medium bubbles, sticky and tan.
S- Cacao nibs and cake batter. Faint back of fresh ground coffee.
T- Much of the same. The roasted coffee back becomes more noticeable. The bourbon barrel comes through with hints of raisin and vanilla. The intensity of flavors picks up as it warms. Pour this one mid 60s and finish near room temp.
F- Like velvet from start to finish. Perfectly carbonated. Smooth in the mouth and slightly sticky on the lips. 5 stars.
O- Magnificent stout. I will buy more of this if I find it again.

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Photo of CochonKing
4.92/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

2017 Founders KBS - Served in the 2017 Founders KBS glass.

Look - The beer pours a nice black with brown edging. Foam is sturdy with a large amount of longevity and it forms thick legs that run down the glass.

Smell - Coffee, chocolate and raisins are in the initial attack for me when I first opened it up. Vanilla comes off the nose next as well as some of the more subtle whiskey notes throwing in a little tar and tire at the end. The bouquet is beautiful and has a lot of depth as it starts to warm up slightly.

Taste - Chocolate leads in the taste based off of my perception with some of the roasted coffee notes to follow. The alcohol then picks up its intensity. Vanillas, chocolate, molasses, burnt wood, caramel and burnt sugar. The flavors are amazing.

Feel - The mouthfeel is incredible as well. Full bodied and similar to heavy cream in texture the bubbles are small and yield to the intensity of the beer beautifully. Creamy and rich this beer is a beast.

Overall I'd say I'm really happy I bought this beer. Took a lot of searching in NY but when I found that Half Time in Poughkeepsie was selling it after I've been waiting three years to try it (always sold out before I got out of work).

My only complaint is that its gouged. Much like Pappy Van Winkle this 4 pack cost me 36. Half time, a store in Poughkeepsie I normally love really enjoys making a shit load of money of of this beer.

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

From a 12oz bottle, 2017 release. Served in a tulip.

Pours an opaque, semi-thick, deep mahogany-black with no highlights to be found and a fat, sturdy, creamy-brown head that lasts, and lasts, and then lasts some more. Thick walls of lacing sheet down the glass to join with the thick ring of foamy suds which stays all the way to the end.

The nose is rich caramel eggy custard, milk chocolate, toasted marshmallows and cinnamon, with the merest whiff of booze afar off on the horizon. There is no trace of coffee and it isn't missed. I could lay my nose down on the edge of the glass and take a nap.

Taste follows the nose so precisely that I don't need to repeat myself except for the part about napping in it because, now that I've tasted it, I can't stop drinking it. Finally picking up some bitter cold-pressed coffee at the finish.

Mouthfeel is smooth, rich and creamy, medium-thick bodied, a little better carbonated than it needs to be, and finishes with a slight dry, bitter pucker. Just a little boozy warmth in the gullet.

Overall, delicious. There will be no aging of any other bottles. They will be consumed forthwith. I wish I could save some for autumn campfires but, realistically, that's just not going to happen.

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Photo of bostonbrand65
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Got a heads up on this beer, and as an IPA guy, wasn't too sure i'd like it. Gave it a whirl, then had to run out and get more to stash away.

This beer is a luxury, wonderful barrel aged stout. Enjoy a slow session of 1-2 beers at room temp - to let the flavors (many and complex) linger and lurk on the palate. Best beer I have ever tried. Wonderful stuff.

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Photo of DraconusDesanctus666
4.84/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

P- Poured from a 12 oz bottle,into a large Funky Buddha snifter.Bottled on 02/23/17.

L- Thick,creamy,light brown / dark khaki colored head that stands 1 finger tall with good retention and sticky lacing.Silky / jet black body with no light showing through the glass.Low amount of carbonation.

S- On the nose I get dark roasted coffee,toasted malt,dark chocolate,blackstrap molasses,roasted caramel,smoked wood,and slight notes of burnt maple syrup notes.The nose is strong,yet very pleasant.

T- The palate follows the nose with smoked wood,toasted malts,and dark roasted coffee up front,dark chocolate and blackstrap molasses in the middle,and roasted caramel and burnt maple syrup on the back end.

F- The mouth feel is thick,sticky,heavy,and viscous with a sticky and chalky texture.Low amount of carbonation on the tongue,and a smooth / silky finish.

This is one of the best barrel aged stout I have ever tasted.The sweetness is perfect.The smell,taste,and body are all perfect.I would drink this beer 365 days a year if it were available.If you love Imperial Stouts like I do I definitely recommend it,especially if you like barrel aged stouts like I do.Definitely top shelf...I recommend,and I will absolutely drink again.As usual,well done Founders.

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Photo of frankwynn
4.67/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This highly sought after Barrel Aged Stout pours pitch black with a 2 finger, light brown, slowly receding head with small tightly compact bubbles. Smells are of coffee, vanilla and bourbon. The mouthful is full, coating the tongue and throat. First tastes reveals a ton of Bourbon, Vanilla and coffee bitterness. Chocolate comes much later as this beer hangs around on the palate for awhile. The second drink was more chocolate with a sweetness that kinda of tastes like cinnamon. I paid 6.50 for a 12oz. bottle, so the price point is great. I think it lives up to the hype, it a world class beer no doubt, i can't find anything wrong with it.

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

Last night I stopped at the local liquor where the had this on tap. This afternoon I'm sharing a 2016 and a 2017 bottle.
L: Pours a very dark brown with a creamy tan head.
S: The tapped version seemed heavy on the chocolate and coffee smell. I honestly didn't catch a whiff of bourbon at all. The bottled versions similar, but both had bourbon aromas, the '16 version was more pronounced.
T: The tapped beers had coffee and chocolate flavors, again no noticeable bourbon except for the warming effect. I actually thought I was drinking an Imperial Breakfast Stout an nitro. The 16/17 bottles had similar tastes, I think the 16 bottle had more bourbon in the taste. All had the "heat".
F:. All had medium thick feel to them, not in the Ten-Fidy of FIS class.
O: The tapped version went down easy, the ABV not noticeable until I stood up. The two bottles were more sippers. Definitely, one the really good ones. Founders is probably #1 on my list, especially when it comes to stouts. So what happened to Double Trouble and Devil Dancer.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.78/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2017 release. Grabbed the very last one from my local beer store.

Jet black color, very active and fizzy vibe with a dark tan colored foam topping. Fizzes and slowly recedes. There is always a fine swirly covering, thicker mocha colored ring all the way around the outer-edge of the glass that never goes away. Very active for a huge beer layed down for a full year !

A huge malty nose: caramel, roasty chocolate, vanilla and cream, freshly ground french roast coffee bean and dry, earthy hop notes under that. Plenty of high heat tingle and dense, dark fruits. A very intense aroma. The nose really opens up, as the liquid gets warmer, sweeter chocolate, bigger sweet dark fruits and more caramel pop out....even more. The nose is really dominated by the bourbon and alcohol effect. Coffee grounds become much more intense later on as well.

I must comment on the mouthfeel first, the first sip proves to be one of the, if not, THE most LUSH, full and smooth effects I've ever expereinced in a beer. Velvety smooth, full, long and very easy to gulp for such a beast. The heat is pretty high but the addition of chocolate and coffee really make for a "full"effect without the alcohol presence taking over. Thick, viscositous and oily but still exceptionally smooth.

The alcohol heat and bourbon barrel taste hits you first in the flavor. The Oak bourbon barrel effect is huge, adding massive complexity to the already full- bore flavor's of: roasty chocolate, mild, dark roasted coffee, vanilla...?more like heavy cream really; dark roasted grains and dry earthy tones. The hops provide an excellent dry, herbal and earthy counter ballance to all of the massive malty and adjunct style complexities found within the flavor spectrum of this rather incredible brew.

The lable does not give the actual abv. % (after closer inspection, the lable does include the abv... But it was faded) 11.8 % for 2017......but I would guess somewhere near 12%. Usually "barrel aged beers" have a slight oak... And whatever spirit the barrel holds flavoring that is very subtle. This Bourbon Barrel aging actually brings it on home ! Aged for a full year, does the trick! Kudo's for creating a Very aged Massive stout!

The aftertaste has dates and sweet but also sour notes of alcohol infused chocolate. Grassy and very herbal flavor's tend to take over slightly near the end of the glass, when the liquid is at it's warmest.

Certainly an Epic stout. I love how the Bourbon oak cask really effects the already excellent malty spectrum offlavor's. Favorite aspect: The feel. Best ever. If a 6 was

Overall, a true Beast. Epic stout. Not in my top 5 RIS/ADS . But very close.

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Photo of Impfan
4.88/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

With its midnight black pour, and heavy body, it was obvious that this was going to be a stout to reckon with. The nose was coffee, foremost, with chocolate next, followed by mild bourbon. The flavor was more intense with an overall impression of letting a raspberry truffle melt in my mouth. The finish was very long, and completely balanced. This beauty was definitely worth the (years long) wait to enjoy.

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Photo of Meow49
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This was the most decadent, yet balanced imperial stout I've had the pleasure of savoring. Coffee was in the forefront with chocolate and cacao coming through next, followed by dark fruit. The finish was a smooth and mellow marriage of all three, and the finish was quite lengthy. The body was voluptuous; firm, but yet, silky and not syrupy. Yummy stuff!

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Photo of Kdouble
4.74/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A 12 oz bottle listed as 2017 release poured into a tulip.

Appearance- A deep thick black with around a 3 finger brownish thick head. The head faded rather quickly, but there was nice lacing down the glass. A classic stout look

Smell- Dark chocolate with roasted coffee are dominant. I was expecting more of the bourbon barrel aroma to come through, but next none there. I did notice some other dried fruits as I let this breathe a little. Really enjoyable mix of flavors with a pleasant change around the middle of the glass.

Taste- The coffee hit me a little strong for the first sip then the dark chocolate and caramel kick in. The dried fruit seemed like a mix of dates and figs with more sweetness. The bourbon barrel smokiness is more like a mellow aftertaste with the sweetness mixed in. The most difficult mix of flavors I have tried to explain- just know that I really liked it.

Mouthfeel- Lite to medium carbonation with warming feel. A slight bite from either the high ABV or the bourbon mix.

Overall- A fantastic stout made to be sipped and enjoyed. This stout leaves no doubt about the 11.80% ABV without a bitter alcohol taste. The complex mix of dried fruit and sweetness definitely shine through. Stock up on it while you can get it.

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Photo of Lahey
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

This is my first beer in 3 months as I've cut down on sugar intake, so this review is skewed. (I couldn't turn down this one though)
The appearance, smell and lacing are all what you would expect for a top notch stout.
The taste is excellent. I'm not partial to bourbon aged stouts, but this one is pleasant. The chocolate, coffee and bourbon all show up in a glorious mingling of flavors. It may be too boozy for people not used to high octane beers, but as a guy who drinks straight bourbon it tastes pretty smooth.
My one issue is with the mouth feel. It feels a bit oiily to me. But that may be because of my departure from beer. I haven't drank sugary drinks in a while.
If you like stouts and especially bourbon aged stouts, give it a try (if you can afford/find it)
Edit: I tried it on tap. It's a little thinner. More chuggable, but I think I like it bottled more. Plus 8.50 for a 12 oz pour is a bit much...

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Photo of CanadianBacon
4.56/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Poured from a 355ml (12 oz) into a teku 11.9% labeled best before :12/20/2017. The beer pours a jet black color and light does not get through the glass just like I would expect. The head pours just under 3 fingers and tanish brown but rather bubbly and fades quick. If it wasnt for the rapidly fading head this would be a no brainer 5/5, oh well though. Nothing is perfect.

Aroma - Deeply roasted coffee and rich dark chocolate are the 2 primary aromas to hit the nose. One of the things I'm used to in these barrell aged beers is a strong oak and bourbon aroma. While they both exist in this beer they sit idly at the back of the nose letting you know. I am a breakfast beer and coffee is what you are getting with me. I will age one of these a little to see how it changes. Inbetween the strong and weak aroma you get a plethora of others including coconut, caramel, a little bit of fig and dates. They all come together to create one heck of an aroma.

Taste - Rich roasted coffee beans are again the first to stand to your attention, than they are followed by a beautiful dark chocolate, caramel and toffee, The oak and bourbon hit the back of my palate with a splash and send me to another world. and some very subdued dates and figs add a sharp sweetness on the back end. The coconut is subbtly there with the oak and bourbon on the back of my throat. These flavors are magically put together.

Feel - Madium mouth feel with a beautiful medium velvety carbonation. There is a very light spice on the end which may be a bit of the boozyness coming through at 11.9$ while retaining its medium body this beer can almost be chewy. It goes down smooth without so much as a burn at 12%.

Overall - While it definitely lacked a little on head quality, the rest of this beer was outstandingly put together from the way each aroma mingle with each other to invite your nose in, The taste profile is equally as irresistable and it has a mouthfeel to die for, With all this being said I am a night shift worker This would be one that I would love to come home and sip on everyday. However I know it has to be a limited release given the aging and in the end the price would make it so I couldn't daily this beer. I can get stouts near this level for half the cost. I think its time founders send breakfast stout to Canada and this will be a once a year treat.

P.S, I'm also gonna age a couple of these a year and see if the bourbon and oak become more predominant. Cheers!

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Photo of Nicolaiw
4.35/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2016 Vintage.
Pours pitch black with small tan head
Aroma has lots of bourbon, bitter chocolate, roasted malt, vanilla,
Taste is cold brewed coffee, bitter chocolate, peppers, bourbon heat in the finish

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Photo of Red5StandingBy
4.6/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2017 release on tap at Founders.

L: Deep dark black with faint ruby edges, thin layer of tan head. With swirl, half finger head appears, doesn't stick around for too long. Spotted lacing.

S: Lots of chocolate and cocoa, licorice, wood smoke, sherry.

T: Starts with a rich chocolate, a good amount of cocoa-y-ness to it, wood smoke, and sherry again, the burn from the bourbon barrels is quite smooth. Just a wonderful beer.

F: Light-Medium body, slightly dry.

O: I have been after this beer since I became a craft drinker and hands down the best I've ever had.

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

A-Thick luscious moka head on top of a dark coffee coloured brew
S-So many layers of wonderful aromas, I get coffee, caramel and toffee mostly. Outrageous bourbon notes!
M-Medium body with a medium to high carbonation that is very slightly peppery and helps cleans the palate after each sampling
T-Sweet and peppery upfront with a peppery alcoholic wave before a coffee flavoured bitterness takes over and lingers for a while along with caramel and toffee on the tongue and surrounding areas
O-What a fantastic beer. Crafted to the height of excellence. This drinks like the finest scotch/bourbon available.

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Photo of egregor35
4.79/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Enjoyed in snifter at Founders Taproom 3/23/2017
Look: Jet Black body, thin brown head
Smell: Cocoa, coffee, notes of smoke, dark fruit, bourbon
Taste: Bourbon immediate, fading into a cocoa, vanilla-like sweetness. Excellent contrast with perfect balance
Feel: Smooth, velvety mouthfeel. Absolutely decadent.
Overall: Tremendous beer, tremendous brewing institution. An absolute pleasure and my favorite in the style.

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Photo of kevinlater
4.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

355ml bottle, 11.9% abv. "best by: 20.12.2017", enjoyed on mar 22 '17. toasted coconut, bittersweet chocolate, vanilla, fresh coffee. subtle roast flavour. wow. sweet and a bit hot, but unbelievably delicious. every flavour meshes together perfectly, and none overpowers the other. the bourbon flavours tend to open up more as the beer warms. mouthfeel is a little on the lighter side, but is still rather fitting i find. a phenomenal beer -- believe the hype!

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Photo of ludachris
4.37/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

It pours cola brown out of the bottle but is black in the glass. A frothy coffee brown head quickly moves to the edges. Sheets of alcohol coat the sides of the glass after a few swirls.

Deeply rich and roasted coffee grinds and loafy dark, spicy bread start things off in a big way. Sweet booze and dark chocolate combine to give off a soft impression of cake icing. This gradually unravels as it warms. Sticky raisins and dates are close to its core. A bit of vanilla and oak are underneath. The bourbon comes through very slowly and melds into the rest of the flavors as opposed to standing out on its own.

Softy and chewy oak and vanilla coat the palate. From there, everything happens. Rich and rounded coffee grinds and dark chocolate are dominant. Raisins and dates continue its sweetness into the finish which closes a bit dry, roasty and with a boozy bourbon note. Vanilla beans and fluffy oak have the last word.

The combination of wheat, oats, and an extensive aging process in bourbon barrels gives off a remarkably velvety, silky, chewy texture. It's full, satisfying, and decadent.

This is a wonderfully balanced and rounded RIS. Its high ABV is hidden behind its silky, fluffy decadence and feel. The barrel aging comes through in its texture and its balance more so than in its aroma and flavor. I really was expecting more bourbon character but I'm more than happy with what I've got in front of me.

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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
4.56 out of 5 based on 12,368 ratings.
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