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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: 3,056 | Ratings: 11,998
Photo of youngblood
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at Old Town Ale House is Fishers. Thanks to Matt for getting a keg of this! The beer looked like an oil slick with melted chocolate in it. Very dark, but slightly creamy looking. Very thin head due to 5 oz. pour. Smells strongly of coffee and has slight bourbon hints. The strongest taste is the coffee/espresso flavor. It's a warm punch in the face. At the back of the taste comes the more pointed bourbon flavor. It's lovely. Some vanilla flavor as well ties this stout up quite well. The mouthfeel is amazing. Chews slightly and goes down smoothly. Drinkability is good due to it being a liquid, but more over it is very smooth. Hidden high ABV will knock the crap out of you though.

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Photo of granger10
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I think this actually did live up to my expectations. Pours a jet black color with a nice initial cappucino like head. Small traces of lacing and the head dwindles to a skim layer atop the liquid.

Aroma is quite roasty with bitter chocolate notes and woody underlyings. It doesn't come out and grab you like some other beers but it is quite intense. Maybe my nose is a little stuffed. Only hints of the bourbon and vanilla come out during the smell.

Taste begins with a rich dark chocolate flavor wrapped in some fine roasted espresso. Reminiscent of chocolate covered espresso beans. The coffee is not quite as strong as in the Breakfast Stout but the chocolate/coffe interplay might be better, if that was possible. A milk chocolate creaminess comes forth after the dark chocolate dissolves. Slight traces of oak and vanilla lie underneath the whole way. Them along with the bourbon come out quite strongly in the finish cutting out the espresso sensations. Its all much more flavorful than burning though. The finish has almost a candybar (the good ones, not the cheap crap) flavor with the slightest warming effect going down my tummy. Quite amazing.

Somehow this beer, with all the intense flavors and rich complexities, was quite smooth. The flavors had this connection which created a great interplay all around. The moderate carbonation worked beautifully and the body was nice and thick. This might not have been the most complex beer in the world but I think it was just right and stayed concentrated on the flavors in wanted.

This was also quite drinkable. The alcohol was noticeable but did not detract at all from my enjoyment. Much more of a flavor element than a burning one. 3 bottles were consumed over the course of the night with relative ease. I restrained myself from finishing off my 4 pack. I must go get more.

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

They drink used motor oil for breakfast in Kentucky? Odd. Perfect appearance for a stout, as black as you could get, with a creamy full maroon head. Smells like a shot of whiskey with dark chocolate, coffee and maybe a little smoke. Taste is rich, strong, whiskey and coffee are all over the place, yet smooth and concise, working well together. Dark chocolate and espresso are also in the mix. Drinkability is perfect, I will enjoy abd appreciate every sip of this all the way down. Can't get enough of those barrel aged beers. Big thanks to AKSmokedPorter for the bottle.

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Photo of BoilerMo
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Fantastic Imperial Stout. Smooth coffee aroma and taste. The higher alcohol content is masked very well behind a good blend of vanilla and the slight after taste of burbon. Berr night winner for Imperials.

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Photo of MetalHopHead6
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Founders KBS is delicious, completely natural-tasting, and a remarkable experience.

KBS poured black with a short milk chocolate-colored head. It left moderate amounts of lace on the glass. The flavor was remarkable. It was dominated by high-quality dark chocolate, followed by hints of coffee, bourbon, and the slightest hint of vanilla. The flavors were authentic and natural, with none of the artificial nature that many chocolate stouts have. The feel was smooth with a bitter finish. KBS enlivened the mouth. This is a remarkable slow sipping good-to-be-alive experience. It was thrilling to find it.

KBS is a sure-fire top ten beer with a ton of complex nature flavor and a great mouthfeel. It serves perfectly as a dessert, a meal, or a late save-the-day experience. Have I mentioned it's remarkable?

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

Wow! Not a stout fan but this beer is fantastic! Taste is excellent for dinner or breakfast or anytime before or after. Mouthfeel is very smooth almost like drinking breakfast milk. If you have the chance to try this - go for it!! Now if I could get my hands on some CBS!!

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

If you thought Founders Breakfast Stout was epic, this is Epic 2.0. Reminds me of a more potent FBS, the bourbon taste/aroma makes the already existing flavors/smells more pronounced. Thin, silky smooth mouthfeel...this is a real treat!

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Photo of BMoney575
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on 6-21-07
2007 Vintage

Pours a hugely slick deep red/brown. A darkish tan head forms on top, and leaves big, foamy lacing.

Smell is all coffee, and then bourbon. I seem to get an alcohol smell, but it's probably just my association with the bourbon. Rich, super dark malts followed by a distinct hoppiness.

Taste is superb. Huge malt backbone with a big woody bourbon kick right in the middle. Flavors of oak, dark fruits, anise, and vanilla precede a surprising grassy hop balance. The aftertaste is smooth and oaky, with just a hint of booze.

Mouthfeel is fantastic. Ultra-think and super-smooth, it really conveys the bourbon flavor and oak-aged character.

Drinkability is surprisingly good, very strong flavors but all in a masterfully delicate balance.

Overall, one hell of a beer. The complexity shows an obscene amount of skill from the brewer, and the immense flavors show a daringness as well. Highly recommended.

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

On tap at the South Philly taproom for Philly Beer Week. Just fabulous stuff.

The beer pours the expected black brown color, with good head retention, but with outstanding stickly lacing. On the nose, this is the first inkling that one is in for something special. There is huge aroma of coffee, coffee grounds, touch of licorise and chocolate. As good as this beer is on the nose, on the palate it is simply other worldly. This beer has a huge mouthfeel/presence, with an incredible blast of rich, decadent coffee, chocolate and coffee grounds. What makes the KBS so incredible is not just the coffee flavor, but the feeling that the coffee flavor is extra special as well. The coffee flavor isn't just folgers or hills brothers, oh no. The coffee flavor in this bad boy is from the finest french roast, and is just so thick, rich and viscuous. Mouthfeel is long, rich, smooth and just so luxurious. This beer is just fabulous. Drinkability is just amazing. In the draft version there is a slight booziness, but if anything it enhances the coffee flavor and just adds to the richness. You can tell the alcohol is up there a bit, but it detracts not one wit from this beer's drinkability. One of the finest beers on the planet... what a treat to finally have it on tap. $9 a six ounce pour at the South Philly Taproom, and worth every penny of it.

It just doesn't get much better then this.

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

Yes please. Can I have more?

Serving: 8 oz Michelob Ultra tasting glass @ Hop City Bham (yes, I know - Mich Ultra - but a great beer place).

A: Dark. Very dark. It's a big stout, it's dark. Good head formation and retention.

S: Smells like booze. Delicious, bourbony booze. Some malt coming through on the nose.

T: Well, that's damn good. Excellent beer - lots of bourbon. Coffee notes barely making it through, but enough to know they're there.

M: Coats the mouth in the most glorious way. Exactly what you'd expect from this style.

O: Yep, it's KBS, it's rare, it's delicious.

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

Bottle from 2011

Pours a thick and oily jet black. Coffee brown head that dissipates quickly and leaves a ring of small bubbles around the edge.

Nose is bourbon mocha truffle with woody vanilla undertones. Charred oak. A little soy-sauce and a alcohol tinge. Roasty qualities (chocolate, coffee) become more pronounced with warming/oxidation. Same with alcohol.

Flavors of bitter chocolate, roast coffee and toasted tannic wood are contrasted with caramelized sugar, vanilla bean, and sweet bourbon. This is the epitome of bourbon barrel integration.

Mouthfeel is dense and oily but the bourbon/alcohol meets moderate carbonation to cut through this enough to leave you wanting another sip.

I'm looking for some level of balance in a beer, and then there is a beer like KBS that achieves this in showboat-like fashion. You don't typically get contrast/balance like this in imperial stouts and this makes it remarkably drinkable relative to the style. With that in mind, it has the complexity that makes you want to drink it slow.

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

God Bless KBS.... had at Founders on KBS release day...

Dark Burnt Brown and beautiful...with nothing but tiny bubbles as for head.

The smell is absolutely amazing...vanilla, chocolate,coffee..with a slight bourbon burn...

Taste is perfect.. I think I want to bathe in this one...Heats you up as you sip thru the darkness...

The 11.2 abv is not to ferocious either...which makes it a wonderfully dangerous brew.

Thank You Founders

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

Look: Pours black with a thin chocolate brown head, leaves good lacing

Smell: Coffee, chocolate, bourbon, oak, vanilla

Taste: Again, coffee, chocolate, bourbon, oak, vanilla, roasty malts

Feel: Full body, low carb

Overall: An excellent brew, but not worth the effort to obtain. Certainly world class and worth the places at the top of the lists, but not worth the hunt for me.

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Photo of SteveB24
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Lots of coffee, caramel, oatmeal, chocolate, the booze is complimentary rather then overpowering, little more you can ask for from a breakfast stout.

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Photo of OSUBeerStudent
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Ah, my pretty. I love this beer despite the limited number of bottles I've consumed (around 5-6?).

A - Exactly what it should be. Darker than dark body, teeny tiny mocha head that disappears except for a few lingerers throughout.

S - bourbony chocolatey coffeey goodness. Unlike, say, Black Ops, the bourbon in the nose doesn't waft up the booze. Perfectly balanced between the coffee and bourbon (larger notes), vanilla, oak, roasty malt; that's enough of the description while it's sitting here in front of me.

T - heavenly. A bit of sweetness up front with more of the chocolate, which blends smoothly into coffee and vanilla, oak, a little tiny bit of sweet booze. Then it segues into the bitter coffee and oak, with lingering bourbon notes that keep lingering after swallowing. The coffee is present throughout but blended enough that it doesn't overpower - same goes for the bourbon. The blending with aging (after one of last year's) isn't necessary, but it makes it unimaginably smooth. The blend from sweet chocolate to bitter coffee, all the time underlined with the woody vanilla of the bourbon, is sublime. The best-tasting imperial stout I've ever had, taking the title from Sexual Chocolate, Dark Lord, etc.

M - just right. The carbonation is there in moderation throughout, with a great thickness. This isn't motor oil or Guinness, it's where it should be in between. It would be perfect if the carb was just a tad lighter.

D - amazing. If not for my brain, I could easily down one of these quickly and be really happy. Or I could sip on several over the course of a night. For a bourbony imperial stout over 11%, it just doesn't get any better.

And, in my opinion, it just doesn't get any better among imperial stouts. My favorite.

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

I was lucky enough to have this on tap three times, which is good since the kegs only lasted less than a day. What more can i say abouth this except that it is nearly perfect. Hints of chocolate, coffe and carmel are perfectly blended to give this stout an amazing taste. the best thing about it is that it does not have too much smokey aftertaste.

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

12oz. bottle. 2007 release.

Poured an opaque, dark brown. When held up to light, you could see ruby/mahogany edges. Capped with a small, cocoa colored head which faded fast. No lacing, lots of legs. Viscous and thick looking.

Aroma was fairly strong to begin with, and increased with temp. Chocolate and espresso hit me first. Alcohol said hello. Some roast notes, but fairly mild. Dark fruits - figs and raisins. Herbal scents.

Taste was sweet initially, and became even moreso as I drank. Coffee, alcohol and mild roast notes. Dark fruits again and a herbal finish. Aroma and taste were remarkably similar in this beer.

Full/thick/viscous body. Minimal carbonation. Not dry.

This is what a double stout is supposed to be. Much more impressed with this than Founder's regular Breakfast Stout (which is pretty damn good!). A very complex beer, you could spend a long time figuring this one out. I've got a few more in the cellar, and look forward to doing just that!

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

What appears to be a perfect Sunday nightcap after a great trade at Darkhorse 4Elf party landed me a 2011 bottle. Poured into a Founders Tulip.

A: Pours thick and jet black with a dark brown rim.

S: Vanilla, Chocolate, Bourbon and hints of coffee.

T: Perfectly balanced flavors, all the pieces smelled come through but none are overpowering each other. The 11% ABV is surprising given that the alcohol taste is perfectly masked to not come off too hot.

M: Full bodied with just the right amount of carbonation.

O: Fantastic imperial stout - Founders has done a great job balancing all the flavors to create such a robust stout. Finishes very smooth, I feel like I could drink multiples however at 11.2% it might get me into some trouble!

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

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Received as an extra in a trade with D13Logan - thanks a lot!

Pretty much jet black, even when held up to a light. Little to no head with just a thin layer of foam on the top. Not much carbonation. A nice lacing is left on the glass as you drink it.

Strong bourbon and vanilla. Not much of a coffee smell, but it's there. Fairly strong alcohol presence.

Tastes like it smells, strong bourbon and vanilla. The coffee taste is much stronger than the smell and I'm also tasting chocolate. Good presence of alcohol that leaves a nice burn on your lips. The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. Great beer for the colder nights - it's definitely warming me up. The amount of bourbon taste in this beer is perfect, not too overpowering at all. Stronger presence of caramel as it warms.

Definitely a sipper at a little over 11% abv. The many flavors do a good job at masking the alcohol though. This beer is just so damn tasty it would be easy to drink a few.

Truly a standout. Not much else to say, but as it says on the bottle, this beer "is good for everything a stout ought to be good for."

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

Appearance - Pours black with 1/2 inch caramel colored head.

Smell - Probably the best smelling beer i've every had. Smells of
fresh brewed coffe, chocolate, oak & slight burbon.

Taste - Taste follows the nose with the except i get some vanilla
in the taste. Very well balanced beer, nothing is too

Mouthfull - Creamy with light carbonation.

Drinkability - Although this one is a sipper it's a very drinkable
beer, could probably take a four pack in one sitting if
I wanted to.

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

Undated 12oz twist top stubby with a really cool "snake oil" looking label. Purchased at Bello Vino in Ann Arbor and poured into a snifter.

Black with a finger of cocoa that slowly falls and leaves fat rings of lace.

The nose is mostly coffee with a little bit of bourbon, roasted nuts, oak, and chocolate. Very nice.

The mouth is as full as it gets without needing a knife and fork, yet it does not stick or get oily in any way. This is one of if not the thickest beers I've ever had, yet its so damn smooth. The perfect mouth.

The taste has a lot of what the nose promises. Tons of malt with roasted coffee splashed with chocolate syrup and a sweet warming bourbon flavor that brings the barrel it was aged in. My tongue also picks up enough bitterness from the hops to add another layer of complexity. Chocolate powder and malt in the finish that stays on the tongue a long time but never wearing out their welcome.

Solid drinkability until that 10% gets on top of you.

The price for a four pack is a bit steep, but if you can get a single for under $5, go for it.

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

Thanks goes out to flybison and ThomasHardy for this brew.

All I can say is WOW! What an awesome brew.

Poured into a chalice a deep thick black color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy tan head, some little oil slicks and sticky lacing around the edges. The nose is malty, oaked, slightly roasted, vanilla, bourbon, and some coffee/caramel. The taste is awesome, hit you in the face malts/oak/coffee/bourbon. There's the sweetness of the vanilla that comes through, then a nice little bitterness finish. The alcohol is almost non-existent. Medium body, very well rounded brew. Very drinkable, definitely highly recommended.

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Photo of winningwes91
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Here it is folks, my review for the infamous KBS. Pours out a black color with about half a finger of tan head. Smell is coffee and bourbon for days, followed by some chocolate and vanilla taking a backseat. Taste is mostly coffee and bourbon, followed by the chocolate and vanilla, just like the nose. Mouthfeel is a medium to full. Definetely lives up to the hype for me.

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

A- Motor oil with nearly no head. Some bubbles hug the edge of my beer goblet. At first glance it looks black but then you notice it to be a REALLY dark brown - like brown shoe polish mixed with black paint.

S - Chocolate and coffee in a fight to see who wins aroma supremacy. A steady aroma of bourbon maintains a constant presence in this struggle. Picking up some vanilla in the background and some slight coconut notes.

T & M - BOURBON! And then is the vanilla before a finish that reminds me of bittersweet chocolate or is it roasted coffee? I cannot tell. In between all that is something I can't figure out to save my life but its very smooth. Its like what you get when drinking a milk stout but more complex. By the fifth sip, I experience a warming in my chest that rises to the back of the throat. Rich taste with a full body. As it warms, I am getting a nice and complex subtle malt flavor.

D - Savory and tasty - very drinkable.

This beer isn't exactly my cup of tea. I cannot see this beer being one of my go to beers but that doesn't mean it isn't a good beer. I got this on the advice of a salesperson at my local beer boutique. I'm glad I got it. Not sure if I'd get it again though.

As this beer warms, it attains a chocolatey decadence with a boozy backbone. This does warrant a "Wow!" Let this stout warm a bit after taking out the fridge.

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

Got this one in as a bonus beer in a trade w/ mcallister. And what a bonus it was. This was the best dessert I have had in months. It was like a whisky filled dark chocolate.

The beer was jet black with tiny bubbles that formed a beautiful, tight, dark brown head that fell in average time. This was suprising. I thought the head would hang out like a guinness. But no biggie. The aroma was prominently bourbon and coffee with some vanilla and chocolate. The mouthfeel was velvety, full and so nice I did not want to swallow for quite some time. The low CO2 level was very appropriate for this beer. The taste was very simlar to the aroma and is very flavorful with a long, pleasant aftertaste. I found it quite drinkable and a great dessert after some very spicy thai take out. Pairing this with most things would be futile but it would make vanilla ice cream much more interesting.

Nice work Founders. Keep it up.

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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
4.56 out of 5 based on 11,998 ratings.
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