Welcome to BeerAdvocate!

Looking to talk, rate or trade beer? Join today by creating your free account.

Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) | Founders Brewing Company

3,038 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)

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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 3,038 | Ratings: 11,854
Photo of hophead247
4.77/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an oily black with a nice tan head that disappeared almost instantly. The aroma is strong coffee, light bourbon, alcohol, roasted chocolate, roasty all around. The flavor was also strongly coffee, chocolate, light bourbon again, alcohol is well contained, vanilla extract shows. Different taste for an impy, not quite as sweet. The palate is smooth and rich. Alcohol finishes warm and creates a mild warmth in the stomach. Excellent beer.

 444 characters

Photo of birderbeerer
4.77/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black with a two-finger, latte head. Decent lacing for the 11% abv.

Smells like Kahlua. That's awesome. Dead on Kahlua. So, a chocolate and vanilla liqueur. Super rich. Amazing.

Very rich. Chocolate and vanilla. The bourbon is very subtle at the edges. Syrupy in feel but thin in texture. Gosh that's rich. There's a roast there that really backs up the chocolate, vanilla, and bourbon. I can tell right away that I'm going to let this get nice and warm.

Man, this is freaking delicious. The bourbon swirls in with the chocolate and vanilla along a coffee spine. A few quick sips and I realize the trouble this one can cause. It's a damn dessert and an incredible beer.

 680 characters

Photo of CosmoHopHead
4.77/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Flying Saucer 5/2/10

A: pours thick and black as night. Small thin light brown head with little to no lacing

S: vanilla, bourbon, chocolate, oak, boozy all dancing together. very complex, very fantastic

T: bourbon comes on first and gives way to vanilla and chocolate, oak, dark roasted fruits, figs, molasses. flavors change as it warms

M: thick, chewy, heavy, with mild carbonation

D: at 11.2% abv very drinkable. a sipper for sure but that part of the beauty of this beer. the more it warms up the more flavors come out in it.

Overall, an amazing beer. So complex and wonderful. I'm guessing this beer with change a lot over time and I'm looking forward to it.

 684 characters

Photo of mdfb79
4.77/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Received in a BIF from SpeedwayJim, thanks Jim!Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into my Duvel tulip.

a - Pours a dark brown with 2-3 inches of tan head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of coffee, bourbon, roasted malts, and vanilla. Hints of coffee.

t - Tastes of coffee, vanilla and bourbon. It tasted sweeter than I was expecting, but I enjoyed it a lot. A great combination here as everything is quite balanced. Also some roasted malts and maybe a little chocolate.

m - Medium body and low carbonation, very smooth and creamy. Perfect.

d - I loved KBS. I'm a huge fan of bourbon stouts and this might be the best one I've ever had. I thought the coffee, vanilla, and bourbon in the taste was perfected balanced and that the mouthfeel was perfect for a stout. It's a touch hot, but I still really enjoyed it. Would love to get more of this one.

 855 characters

Photo of BostonBrewins
4.77/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a thick black with a creamy, tan head. Quite a bit of lacing on the glass. Nice looking stout.

S - Smells very strongly of coffee. Chocolate tones are there too. A little vanilla in there too. The scent of bourbon comes in a bit later but its definitely there.

T - Tastes just like it smells: rich, roasty and complex. The coffee and chocolate flavors play off each other beautifully. Whiskey tones are there the whole way, although not overpowering. Its a nice complimentary player. Alcoholic, whiskey like finish.

M - So smooth and creamy. Low carbonation level is perfect. Absolutely amazing mouth feel.

D - This one lived up to the hype for me. Surprisingly drinkable for an 11% beer too.

 708 characters

Photo of awalk1227
4.77/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Consumed on 3/29/11, this was purchased at 5 Points Bottle Shop in Athens. 2011 vintage.

A: A deep brown, almost black pours out. It's pretty dark, like a cold void. A tiny cap of mocha head forms and dissipates into a thin light brown collar.

S: Bourbon, coffee, maple syrup all adorn this one. It's sweet and slightly boozy and just smells like a monstrous stout.

T: Wow! While a sipper for sure, this beer continues to throw new flavors at me with each taste. At first I get rich, vanilla bourbon. Then I get a deep chocolate, both dark and milk varieties. Then a robust, coffee note finishes. This beer is both sweet and bitter at the same time. Very complex.

F: Founders nails mouthfeel. It's silky smooth, coating and slightly oily on the tongue and teeth, with a bittering aspect on the finish. I want to keep sipping it but savor it at the same time.

O: I'm glad this beer comes in 4 packs. It's not a "1-bomber beer." This is one you would reach for every time at the liquor store if it was always on the shelves. I've heard people buy cases of this stuff. I don't blame them. Unfortunately I could only get hold of two this time, and I always look forward to more as extras.

 1,190 characters

Photo of mhatters
4.77/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Served on tap at TJs in a 10oz glass

Pours a coal black with a really small line of a tan head.

The nose has a strong roast, with a big bourbon back note. The malt is overpowered by the coffee at first, but appears at the end with what I perceive as a hint of vanilla

The bourbon pops out at first, but the coffee roast and malt comes through pretty quickly. The vanilla is there at the end, a sweet touch at the end of the sip.

The finish is powerful and the whole experience is warming and beautiful. A classic beer that is worthy of any quest to find it.

 561 characters

Photo of NoLeafClover44
4.77/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

12 oz. bottle poured into snifter. Bottled 2/17/12.

A - Pours a pitch black color with a short tan head that dies quickly to a thick halo. Patchy lacing.

S - Dark roast, bitter chocolate, coffee, a strong oak aroma, and some bourbon. Some wisps of vanilla bean, but nothing compared to the other components. The aroma is a little different from any other beer I have smelled. The chocolate and coffee components are prominent, but there is also an overwhelming roasted, earthy, woody aroma that is undoubtedly form the oak barrel. The bourbon smell is as strong as any BA stout I have come across.

T - The flavor is dominated by the bourbon throughout. It starts slightly bitter with a mix of oak and baker's chocolate. This progresses to a sweet middle of the vanilla I didn't pick up in the nose and some fresh coffee bean flavor. The finish and aftertaste are big bourbon with an oak dryness and burnt flavors. The bourbon flavors are present and the beer is very large at 11.2 ABV, but I would classify the alcohol finish as warm, not a burn.

M - The feel is sticky and lightly carbonated. There is a slickness from the booze and it coats the mouth well. Nicely done.

O - I was happy to get a few of these and tonight decided to finally try one. I was very impressed with the strong roasty aroma which I found to be a complex blend, the likes of which I have never smelled. There was a ton of barrel in this one, with the bourbon and oak flavors dominating. The complexities in the flavors developed as the beer warmed (although it started at ~55*) and I enjoyed it more and more with each sip. It is an amazing beer, but not my top beer ever.

 1,655 characters

Photo of tlpresn
4.77/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

On Draft. A- opaque and very dark; S- mild tannin and bourbon, roasted malt with obvious vanilla; T- mild bourbon and vanilla somewhat dominating over roasted malt and tannin, with suggestions of coconut; F- surprisingly a little on the light side for such a full bodied stout; overall, this beer is what it's cracked up to be.

 327 characters

Photo of K-Dog
4.77/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Being from Michigan I gave the luxury of getting about 2 bottles each year if I'm lucky. This is last year's release with a year of age. Awesome and worth the effort of hunting this down. Drink slowly and let warm to room temperature to fully appreciate. Molasses chocolate and vanilla flavor. As good as it gets. Can't wait to get a few bottles next week to replenish for the cellar.

 387 characters

Photo of Dan3279
4.77/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Perfection in a bottle, thats the first thing that comes to mind. Worth the wait and worth the hype. I recently fell in love with the regular Breakfast Stout and this beer is a totally different beast.

Poured pitch black into a snifter glass. The smell hits you rigt away mainly of coffee and vanilla.

I can go on and on about the taste but to me it comes off as being very balanced. There is a lot going on here when it hits your mouth. You notice the coffee & vanilla and then the bourbon. To me you would never guess that the ABV is as high as it is.

You can tell that it is a heavier drink when it first hits your mouth but at the same time it is very easy to drink, though its something that you want to take your time and really enjoy the drink.

I was very lucky to get my hands on a four pack and I hope to find one more.

Very worthy of the hype, and is in league of its own.

 889 characters

Photo of Sintech
4.77/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

12oz Bottle.

Appearance - Jet black.

Smell - Bourbon and vanilla. Wow!!

Taste - Vanilla, coffee, bourbon and chocolate malts. Awesome!!

Feel - Perfect carbonation. Low attenuation. Thick and chewy yet drinkable!

Overall - One of the very best BBS I've ever had. Highly recommended!

Grade (A+)

 299 characters

Photo of siege06nd
4.77/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Jackie O's snifter. At last I'm taking the time to review this bad boy...

A: Extremely dark brown, very nearly black. Deep, uniform tobacco appearance on this. About a finger and a half of medium to dark brown head. Good retention. Solid lacing down the sides. Looks like motor oil. Just how I like'em.

S: Lots of coffee. fudge, oats, wood, with some light caramel and vanilla in the background. Hints of bourbon. This stands out from other barrel aged stouts in that the coffee is very strong when this is enjoyed fresh. But it is well supported by the other notes in the bouquet. Out-freakin-standing. Coffee and chocolate notes here are top notch.

T: Chocolate, caramel, vanilla, and coffee. Some bourbon flourish on the back end and a little bit of heat as it goes down. Wow this is fantastic.

M: The most perfectly balanced stout I have had. Period. All of the flavors get a chance to shine, yet it still comes off smooth and creamy, without much alcohol heat despite its strength.

O: This is the standard for bourbon barrel aged stouts for a reason. Differentiating factors include the strong coffee flavor profile and the amazing balance. One of the very first beers that lived up to the hype for me and well worth the effort of tracking down.

 1,269 characters

Photo of KellyScottMad
4.77/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Why is everyone so high on Founders? I don't understand the fascination with this place. I think they brew good beers and some great beers, but I don't think that they should be tops on all of these lists. With that being said, this Imperial Stout was good, but it wasn't great. Granted it is better on tap at the brewery itself, but still not great in my eyes. I really try to like these guys, but not worth the hype in most cases.

 437 characters

Photo of doughanson78
4.77/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle poured into a tulip. HUGE thanks to mwcullnane for this 4 pack.

A: Very black and thick pour. One finger, mocha colored head, that quickly disappears. Leaves great lacing.

S: Bourbon, but not dominating like other BBA beers. Dark roast coffee comes through beautifully. Chocolate, vanilla, and butterscotch fill out the sweet notes of this beer. A very creamy aroma overall. And even though BBA no boozy aromas come through.

T: Vanilla and chocolate sweetens the tip of the tongue.Then a roasted coffee bitterness comes through, still leaving the vanilla lingering on the tip of your tongue. All the bourbon comes through in the end. Doesn't have the big butterscotch aftertaste that other BBA beers have. Light alcohol and warms the stomach a lot.

M: Amazing mouthfeel. Thick and full but not chewy. Super creamy and velvety. Coats every part of the mouth with flavor.

O: Wow. Not over hyped one bit. Meets every expectation I have. Just lovely. Heard it only gets better with age. Don't really know how that would be possible, but luckily mwcullnane sent me a 4 pack so I have one for the next 3 years. A must have for any beer lover.

 1,153 characters

Photo of rhinos00
4.77/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Received this as a very generous extra from Brent (brentk56). Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a snifter.

A- So dark that it almost looked like I was staring at the black hole. Very thin ring of tan head formed at the top of the glass and dissipated quickly.

S- Simply amazing. Had the strong roasted coffee presence, just like the Breakfast Stout, but was offset by a cornucopia of aromas. Among them was molasses, burned malts and a vanilla-like bourbon sweetness.

T- Exactly like the smell. Really enjoyed how the bourbon flavor was real subtle and had a sweet tinge that cut the harshness of the roasted coffee beans. Capped of by a nice bitterness.

M- Well carbonated, thick and viscous. Not much more to add, just perfect.

D- Extremely drinkable. The amazing taste and smell make this the thickness and high ABV just disappear into the background. Only reminder is the nice, slow burn in the chest.

Overall, this is one hell of a beer. It's right up there with some of the best I have had to date. Thanks again Brent! Highly recommended. Can't wait until March to pick up some four packs of this.

 1,109 characters

Photo of phishgator
4.77/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I find this beer better and different on tap. In the bottle it tends to need to age for about a year before it melds.

Served in a tulip glass. Dark brown/black with a tan head about three fingers thick. The nose is molasses, chocolate, and roasted coffee, but the molasses is the highlight. The taste is slightly sweet. There is a good balance of hops and roasted barley. The alcohol is there and you feel it after one. A great selection anytime you can find it.

 464 characters

Photo of letsgopens
4.77/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I've now had this one from the bottle and on tap. Surprisingly they were not only different, but could be mistaken for a completely different beers. Both were outstanding in there own ways. For now I'll focus on the on-tap version.

Sampled repeatedly on-tap from the brewpub at Founders, this American double imperial pours a deep, unforgiving black with a mocha tan head that recedes to some spotty lace.

The aroma is intense. Some fruity, wine-like tannin qualities are present along with chocolate throughout. A bit of toastiness and some sweet black strap molasses.

A lot more mellow than the bottled version. Much less of the bourbon and smoke aspects, and a lot more decadent and sweet. Very sweet in fact with a lot of dark fruit. Sweet milk chocolate syrup and molasses; caramel, toffee, dark fruit, and a very nice warmth from the booze. Extremely sweet but so much that it takes away from the fabulous, deep complexities of this gem. Certainly something to sip and savor. A treat that I probably won't get another chance to experience for quite some time.

The mouthfeel is thick and syrupy. A velvet coating on the tongue with a juicy finish. Low carbonation. Absolutely exquisite. An intense and pleasurable beer experience. Easily worth the drive to Michigan.

 1,276 characters

Photo of W_Des
4.77/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours black with a tan head. The nose is a swirl of coffee, chocolate, oak and bourbon. The beer tastes fantastic with a nice coffee roast followed by chocolate and light bourbon heat in the finish. A truly classic delicious beer.

 230 characters

Photo of cwoods
4.77/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had this from the bottle @ the pit in raleigh, NC. I wish I had it in the glass to really get a good look at it.

The taste was spot on. thick chocolate, malt, coffee and then the bourban oak.

The mouthfeel was much like the original breakfast stout (smooth) but with a crisp burn from the bourban.

Overall I really wish I had the beer on tap, other than that nothing I would change about the beer. Its great when a beer exceeds the hype. There were times when drinking when I was thinking is this coffe, beer or bourban? Keep it up Founders.

 547 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.77/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a viscous-looking black body with a small, short-lived tan head.

Smell: Heavy aroma hits with strong notes of roasted malt, dark chocolate, caramel, vanilla beans, fine pipe tobacco, charred wood, and a smooth, well-aged bourbon.

Taste: Ah, the hearty, robust taste of roasted malts, dark chocolate, and strong vanilla-flavored coffee hit you immediately. A ripple of dark caramel follows. Distinct, yet subtle bourbon flavor with tastes of wood and dark brown sugar. Hint of dark fruit. Just a perfect amount of subdued sugary sweetness. Dash of coarse ground black pepper. Perhaps some mild hops along the way upon warming. Sweetish bourbon, roasty taste on the slightly warming finish. A lingering woody bourbon aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Mild carbonation. Pleasingly smooth mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Remarkably drinkable for being such a powerhouse of a beer. This beer is SO GOOD that it can be hard not to just go on and on about how awesome it is.

 989 characters

Photo of MDDMD
4.77/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A-dark brown black color with a small to medium tan head and some retention

S-coffee and chocolate with hints of bourbon

T-rich chocolate and coffee with a nice overlay of bourbon and hints of oak

F-full body with light carbonation and thick, creamy feel

O-another great RIS from Founders with great flavor and balance

 322 characters

Photo of tprokop7
4.77/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Myself and a friend opened up a KBS and a standard Breakfast Stout last night to compare... Half a bottle, poured into a 12 oz snifter.

A - Thick and black, almost looks syrupy when poured. No head.

S - Rich and sweet, with definite notes of Bourbon that almost cover up more subtle smells, like molasses, coffee and chocolate.

T - Bourbon is a little more mellow in the flavor than in the aroma, and it balances nicely. Complexity is added by the smokiness from the oak, and the chocolate and coffee come through at the end.

M - Without carbonation and smooth, the sweetness of the beer makes it feel just a little syrupy in your mouth, which is the only unpleasantness of the mouthfeel.

D - I wished I'd had more at the end of the glass, so I can't complain about the drinkability.

 788 characters

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

A: A black beer with think, creamy dark brown head. The head is thin but long lasting and easily roused.

S: A rich nose loaded with strong chocolate, coffee, caramel, a vanilla oak character and bourbon aromas. There is a fair amount of carmel to toffee like sweetness, some licorice and a medium floral alcohol sweetness. No hops to speak off.

T: The same flavors as in the nose with the coffee and chocolate leading the pack at first then the vanilla and cinnamon oak flavors take over mid-palate along with the caramel malt sweetness and bourbon. A lot of the dark roast character along with just a hint of charcoal are tasted throughout. There is a medium hops bitterness with the balance being about even but slightly towards the malt sweetness. The finish is semi-sweet with a lingering aftertaste of coffee, roast, bourbon and chocolate.

M: A full bodied beer with a medium level of carbonation. A medium amount of alcohol warmth sits solid on the throat and chest.

O: The flavor and fanfare is everything this beer has claimed to be; a stout richly layered with balanced flavors of roast, chocolate, coffee and bourbon barrel aging. The alcohol is well hidden under all that is going on but the warmth

 1,214 characters

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.78/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Broke this out for the ol' 4th of July weekend celebration right before the awesome UFC 116 fights.

And while I'm seguing, this heavyweight beer is like a hybrid of the best two heavyweight fighters: massive and daunting strength and size of Brock Lesnar, with the technique, skill, consistency and acclaim of Fedor Emelianenko. A big giant thick black pour. Good bourbon smell, notes of vanilla and cherry as well.

But damn, if the chocolate wasn't clearly the most established taste. I remarked, if Younger's has a Double Chocolate Stout, this is a Quadruple Chocolate Stout. Just immense. So smooth, there's 11+% alcohol here? The chocolate smothers it. But it doesn't smother the vanilla, oak and cherry flavors. They are embraced throughout and so smooth.

At around $5 for a 12oz. stout of this caliber, its a pretty good deal. I think I like it more than Abyss, but then again, Abyss was so easy to get out here, whereas this, I have to go back to my Milwaukee homies to hook this up. We'll see how future tastings (got 2 more to go) work out. As far as my first, excellent, and could easily be the world champion stout. Of course, I still have some Speedway, Hunahpu among others aging right now, so who knows, but I can say with conviction, this is the best barrel aged stout I've ever had.

 1,303 characters

Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 3,038 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.