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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) | Founders Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
100
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3,040 Reviews
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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:
3,040
Ratings:
11,860
Avg:
4.56
pDev:
17.54%
 
 
Wants:
4,438
Gots:
6,139
For Trade:
503
User Reviews
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Reviews: 3,040 | Ratings: 11,860
Photo of Fartknocker
2.64/5  rDev -42.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from from a 12 oz bottle into a globe glass.
A- Very black and thick
S- Good combo of coffee and bourbon
T- Starts out as a combo of coffee and bourbon but quickly is overpowered by simply a bourbon flavor
M- Thick, like whole milk or cough syrup
D- one and done, maybe it's just me, but it ended up as drinking as a lightly fermented bourbon.

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Photo of MysterySwirl
2.65/5  rDev -41.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Opening a 2009 - this beer is opaque black with little head and a strong coffee flavor. Smells charred and bitter as if they burnt the coffee before putting it into the barrel.

This one tastes more chocolate-y and bourbon like. The vanilla notes are much more muted this year than the previous years and I honestly prefer the extra vanilla's presence. Not really complex flavor but decent mouthfeel. Honestly, I enjoyed the aroma more than the taste bc I could pick out the sweet/fruit notes better that way.

This beer isn't that complex. Maybe I've been spoiled - maybe it's not aging well with the bourbon notes mellowing and bringing out the coffee... I just know that it didn't live up to my expectations.

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Photo of tlsmith
2.65/5  rDev -41.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Missed several opportunities to get my hands on this beer. Finally found it at a new bar tonight. Ok beer. Would rather have a CBS, Founders Imperial Stout, Founders Breakfast Stout, Hoppin Frog Oatmeal Stout, Stone Imperial Russian Stout, Old Rasputin, ect. KBS gets a lot of hype, but seems everyone out there is just conforming to popular opinion. Tasted like a bad bourbon. There are much more enjoyable stouts out there. Definitely did not live up to the hype.

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Photo of liquidnoise
2.74/5  rDev -39.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Allow me to be the (presumably) first to say I didn't enjoy this at all. It tastes like burnt, old coffee with whiskey mixed in. I've had coffee stouts before, Schaffly's comes to mind, that I have enjoyed, and I love coffee by itself, so it's not that I just don't like the style. I made it through two bottles and opened a third just trying to enjoy it (because I paid 20 bucks for it, not because it is highly rated, I'm not that lame) and I gave up on the third one for a Budweiser I had in my fridge. Sorry if your a fanboy and I'm stepping on your toes, and you can flag this review all you want, and if they take it down I really dont care, but the truth is the truth and the truth must be known. I hope I can save others from wasting 20 bucks on this stuff.

Most DEFINATELY doesn't deserve to be the third highest rated on BA.com. And only 200 reviews are putting it up there with those legendary beers. They really need to weight the number of reviews before compiling lists like that.

BTW, if any of you Founder's fanboys live in the Peoria IL area and want the last one, email me. It's yours for free.

Oh, here's the mandatory stuff --

Served from a bottle.

Poured motor oil black, barely any head, the appearance was kind of a turnoff.

Smelled mostly of coffee.

Tasted like old, stale coffee with whiskey mixed in, and alcohol was prevalant. Taste was very disappointing.

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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 Shaon94
2.82/5  rDev -38.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Founders KBS is a specialty stout, not an american double / imperial, IMO. I love the normal Breakfast Stout which is in the same class as this, but this one is just ok, and really does not taste much like a beer.

Appearance - Outstanding appearance. Jet black with a amber head (very small one with a quick pour) Sticky looking lacing left behind. Think, Breakfast stout without the head.

Smell - Bourbon? Ok, I know that is the type of barrel it was aged in but wow this first bottle is overpowering me. I am sensitive to liquor smells so that is all I am getting out of this one other than maybe a slight woodsy smell some coffee in the back.

Taste - Bourbon, and damned if it is not strong on the bourbon. Maybe this is a bad bottle? I mean it has a hint of the Breakfast stout behind it, but it pales in comparison to the taste of the liquor. I am going to have a second one on another day before I make this my final verdict*, but I am not fond of the taste in the least. It almost tastes like they added bourbon instead of just letting it soak up the flavors naturally from the wood. *Second bottle as strong as the first. They definitely added bourbon here. I think this would be much better if they had not added and just let it natural soak it from the wood.

Mouthfeel - Makes up some ground here! The mouthfeel is good. Slight bite, but it coats well. Smooth going down, and the alcohol kicks in giving it a nice warming feeling from the gut all the way up.

Drinkability - I am not sure you would drink more than one of these in a session unless you just really like the taste of bourbon, or just wanted to get drunk quick. But really if your looking to just get drunk there are a lot of other cheaper beers that will do it for you. I would not go out of my way to get this one again, but it is good for what it is I guess.

In conclusion, it looks nice, but smells like liquor and tastes like liquor.

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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

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Photo of dnrobert24
2.94/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

KBS. The notes on BA say this is NOT a barrel-aged version of the breakfast stout. Too bad. I love their breakfast stout. This? Not so much. It pours oily black with minimal tan lacing. No head, really, but none is expected. The first pour stirs up fresh coffee beans and toasty-smoky malts. It is very inviting. Later on, aromas of chocolate and dark fruits emerge. Finally, I start to smell the vanilla. I am encouraged to dive into this beer. But...I am amazed at the disconnect to the taste. There is a bitter sourness that permeates each drink, like I am licking an oak cube. There is a mysterious bitterness that keeps butting in. I keep looking for flavors in the glass and end up furrowing my eyebrows in disappointment. A hot alcohol burn ends up carrying the day. It reminds me of 100 proof cherry brandy. Think of chocolate covered cherries with a grain alcohol center and you get what I'm tasting. Yeah, I like chocolate, and I like cherries, but c'mon, this is too much. Maybe some time in the cellar will do this some good.

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Photo of nkersten
2.95/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

2011 bottle poured into nonic. Color is black with brown edges, a bit light in color compared to most double stouts, and a tiny mocha collar. Smells strongly of oak and bourbon, chocolate, some vanilla, some coffee and a bit of alcohol. Taste is mostly oak and bourbon, some chocolate and coffee, roasted malts, light alcohol, very little hop presence, an unfortunate old cardboard taste in there as well. Harsh oak in the finish. Mouthfeel is very watery for the style with a low carbonation. I know people love this beer, but i think it is average at best and would prefer many other stouts, especially at the price.

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Photo of Murchmac
2.95/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Thanks to Jw347 for this brew.

Before pouring this one you can already smell the coffee, which makes way for the bourbon. Some chocolate thrown in.

Looks a dark brown not much of a head for me.

Hops, coffee, bourbon, in that order. The bourbon is too strong for me. Its not a beer anymore. Its a bourbon with brewers yeasts.

Lingering bourbon aftertaste. Warms your cockels.

Great if you love bourbon, I dont like it though. Maybe aged it would be better. For me this beer was like the rape scene in deliverance, some people think its a classic, for me it leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

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Photo of Devi0us
2.97/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Let me start off by saying "Letdown"...had this as part of our Blind Epic Beer Tasting Event and it took a unaminous LAST Place overall. List included 2010 Darklord, Rare Bourbon County Stout, 2011 KBS, 2011 Hunahpu, 2010 Abyss.

A- Pours pitch black like old motor oil with a minimal tan head that disappears rather quickly. Very thick with decent carbonation. 

S- This is where it got me. Had a very Musty smell to it. I've smelled plenty of barrel aged brews and this smell is one that I was not familiar with.

T- Taste was bland and left a dry mouthfeel for me but got a little better as it warmed up. Did not expect it to be this bland. Alcohol was undetectable and very well hidden.

M- Mouthfeel is dry and bland. Light carbonation. 

O- Overall, this was the biggest disappointment of the day. I had a hard time finishing this brew. A bad batch perhaps? Trying this brew again is a MUST. With all the hype surrounding this beer, it has to be better. This was the hardest beer to obtain and was the biggest letdown. As of this review, I have two 4-pack for trade.

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Photo of jimbomill
2.98/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

KBS was another member of Capone's super Black Friday lineup. Unfortunately, perhaps the sixtel was off.
Appearance was brown - not the near black that was to be expected. The nose was acidic, not floral and creamy. Taste was thin, could this have gotten watered down? Mouthfeel was blah. Drinkability gets punted under these conditions. Normally, I'd be rating this (if I had been taking notes) in the mid-to-high 4's. Yesterday's edition was abnormal.

Fortunately for me, Matt had many other top notch offerings that did not disappoint!

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Photo of Chris_Hager
3/5  rDev -34.2%

In my opinion, KBS is overrated. It tastes entirely like bourbon with no real detectable beer. I like the idea of bourbon-barrel aged beer, but the bourbon flavor should be more subtle and not overpower the beer completely. Don't get me wrong, I'd drink this over and over again from a shot glass. Quite heavy alcohol flavor as well. But for a beer? Nah. The funny thing is, for all the hype, when I admitted to the guy at work that gave me his last one that I didn't care too much for it, he confessed to not caring for it himself. Ditto for a few other beer buddies at work. I'm a huge fan of most of Founders' varieties. Their porters, stouts, IPAs, scotts and pales are all among my favorites. I'll probably try this again, because I'm not one to give up on something after one taste, but for now I'm not a fan.

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Photo of CarlosDanger
3/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Taste is subjective.

I just don't get this one.

Perhaps it's the limited availability, the price, the cult (sort-of) following, or perhaps this style of beer just isn't my cup of tea, but I just couldn't get myself to enjoy it.

Appearance was dark, Coca-cola-like, and the head was caramel in color. I wouldn't classify it as beautiful but certainly not offensive.

I'm going to address taste and mouthfeel together: syrupy, sweet, boozy. Again, it wasn't offensive, and as I've said in other reviews I'm a newbie, but I just don't understand how anyone can drink more than a few sips of this beer. I could see it being awesome in a flight. Or poured over vanilla ice cream?

I think taste and experience and all those things associated with them are a collective, subjective experience. In KBS's defense the hype surrounding this beer is off the charts. People posting photos of themselves with KBS bottles as if they were holding the holy grail. And if this style of beer is your bag, then by all means, go for it.

I also think value comes into play as well. When I got my bottle at the beer distributor, they only had one left. It was like $12! I was prepared to buy two 4-packs because of the hype. I am so glad they were out, because it would have been a tremendous waste of money (for me.)

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Photo of colt45n
3/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pretty much what you'd expect. Motor Oil Black with a pretty thin mocha colored head. Lacing is beautiful.

S - There is so much going on. Vanilla, Oak, Tobacco, Chocolate and Bitter Coffee all at once. Although theyre all in there, theyre extremely hard to distinguish because theyre all blended so well due to the aging. Simply amazing.

T - The bitterness of coffee and dark dark chocolate come up front with the vanilla, bourbon and smokiness follows it. This is truly remarkable for an 11 percent beer, but the alcohol is not there at all. Not as much chocolate as I would have thought from the smell.

M - Smooth as can be. The fact that this is 11 percent is shocking, and the carbonation helps to cleanse the palate for the bourbon aftertaste.

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Photo of Damian74Shensky
3.07/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

I was excited wife scored a four pack for me. Not gonna go through a full review. I had it smelled like coffee and alcohol. But the taste I just couldn't take it. It taste like bourbon spiked cold coffee. And I don't like coffee. Don't take this wrong I know coffee notes are part of having a stout but usually chocolate is too and didn't get that anywhere in this beer. If ever have again it would be one and done, then go onto another beer. Sorry but this beer is overrated, Or maybe not just to my liking.

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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 hz23hz23
3.1/5  rDev -32%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This is my first review for Beeradvocate. I've been in the booze biz for about 7 years now. I am currently a wine consultant but, I have several years of beer tasting experience. I guess that I have tried well over 100 beers, not including macro brews. The hype in the beer world is no different than the hype in the wine world so, I have to rip on this fairly overrated beer:

A: pours a slightly oily black stew with no head.

S: smells like mesquite wood, fresh ground coffee and dark chocolate. No bourbon aromas to be found.

T: Bitter sweet espresso shot cold. Long finish. Hate to say it but, it tastes just like a can of Starbucks Double Shot Espresso with less sugar and no cream. Not as boozy as a Bourbon County Stout as I thought it would be. Where's the bourbon?

M: Not as cloying as I thought it would be. Palate is on the medium body side and dryer than I thought it would be which is good.

D: One in the morning or one at night. Good with smoked cheese.

Both beer and movies have their "fan boys" (you know, the kind that love eye candy movies like The Matrix and Star Wars and will give movies like that a high rating simply because they are supposed to like it), and this beer will be praised by biased drinkers and will try to tell you it is the best thing ever. I disagree, this is truly an overrated beer but, it's not bad. For the price, Yeti and Storm King are a much better value and you don't have to wait for them to be released.

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Photo of jwolfie70
3.1/5  rDev -32%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

I had a lot of expectations regarding this beer, and I think I may have enjoyed this more without the expectations. The beer pours a very dark brown, with little head. The smell is of bourbon with some vanilla and roasted coffee. The taste is over the top bourbon, with burnt coffee. The taste just didnt do it for me, it was a little too overboard and tasted like a cold coffee and bourbon mixed drink. Given the hype around this beer, I will someday probably come into possession of another bottle and see if my first impressions were off.

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Photo of bigjerk89
3.1/5  rDev -32%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This has to be the most overrated beer I've ever had. I've been waiting a long time to try try this beer. I was very disappointed. I asked the bartender to check the keg to make sure it was KBS. He knew exactly what I was talking about and agreed with me. Zero bourbon flavor. If this beer was aged in bourbon barrels, then it wasn't for long or the barrel had been used several times. This beer tasted like an iced coffee. The mouth feel was thin. If you think this is a great beer, I suggest you try a goose island bourbon county stout. Everyone around me said the same thing. I enjoyed the beer, just did not live up to the hype.

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Photo of rowingbrewer
3.1/5  rDev -32%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2011 bottle poured into a Southampton snifter, served at cellar temp.

This beer pours nearly pitch black With a very thin mocha colored head that quickly dissipates. The smell is heavy on the bourbon with hints of vanilla and a hint of coffee, there is also a strong roasted malt character to the nose. The flavor is bourbon and slightly boozy a lot of roasty bitterness too barely a hint of vanilla a little more coffee and no residual sweetness. The mouthfeel is thin and lightly carbonated. Overall I was not as impressed by this beer as I thought i would be, the body was too thin there was no residual sweetness and to me it felt like the bourbon and roasted malts were just butting heads.

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Photo of PDXHops
3.12/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

1/2 pint on tap, oily and shiny body with a wisp of head that recedes to a bubbly ring. A bit of lacing.

Whoa, right from the first sniff loads more bourbon than I remember from the bottled version. Roasted malt and coffee are no match. Come sippin' time, the bourbon once again drops the hammer. Coffee's actually pretty strong as well. Dark fruit and chocolate are overwhelmed by the bourbon/coffee 1-2 combo, and roasted malts are mostly an afterthought. Holy mackerel this is boozy. Kinda like Bourbon County Stout randalized through chocolate chips and espresso beans. An intense experience, but not something I'd seek out.

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Photo of bgramer
3.17/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A big thanks out to "WhoKnew" for throwing in a bonus bottle for me!

It poured a dark black with a minimal wispy tan-colored head that quickly disappeared. Remnants of the head sticks to glass and leaves a trace as I drink it down.

As I swirl it about the carbonation rises and surprises me with more flavor hinting at coffee, chocolate fudge, something burnt/roasted, maybe some vanilla(?) until I finish it off. The flavor continues into the aftertaste which turns into a subtle hint of bourbon that's just the perfect balance.

This is very balanced and extremely smooth. The mouthfeel is very full-bodied yet light and made for an easy drinkability but it's bursting potency commands your respect hence the sippability.

This is a world-class stout, deserving of it's rank on BA.

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Photo of RichardMNixon
3.18/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Tried it a second time out of concern that I got the wrong beer the first time. Looks nice in the glass, dark body with a thick dark head rare in beers this strong. Aroma is mostly booze with some stale coffee and splintery wood once it wams up. Tastes confused, like an imperial stout with bourbon poured in, and a fair amount of acid. Finishes syrupy and acidic.

Can't understand the obsession with this, I'd suggest you could add a shot of bourbon to an FBS, but I like FBS too much to waste it.

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Photo of danedelman
3.2/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this in a bottle at Black and Blue in Easton

A-deep dark black with no light shining through and zero head.

S-lots of coffee, bourbon and chocolate. Some Anise in the background and has a booziness to it too.

T-very similiar to the smell. coffee, bourbon and chocolate, thick chewy stout.

M-very thick and chewy. great stout.

overall, not worth the price, not worth anything for the hype this gets at all. Would have thought much higher of it if it wasn't such a WHALE!!

WHALE ALERT!!

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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 3,040 ratings.
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