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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Ratings: 12,488 |  Reviews: 3,192
Photo of Briarscratch
4.3/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Tedpeer for this one. First trade success.

Black beer, brown head. Good looking stout. Lace all over.

Bourbon and brown sugar up front. Some smoke and chocolate notes. Some burnt coffee. Molasses and superior malt aroma.

Drinking at room temp with no refrigeration. Hot bourbon at first. I can taste the alcohol and it has a burnt flavor. Its a bit intense if you ask me. Chocolate and coffee hints but so much bourbon. A real hearty beer...puts the hair on your chest. I can sense some hops fighting the sweetness of the chocolate to give it a bold balanced force. There's just way too much going on in this brew.

Mouthfeel is somewhat thinner than I expected. Very dry.

Drinkability? Eh, I think this is my last beer for the night.

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Photo of kdivers
4.3/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Tampalocal5577
4.3/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

This is the 2017 bottle. The 2017 batch is good but not legendary. The negative thing I'll say is that the mouthfeel is thinner than past years. It's almost as if they added more water to stretch it further to make more money. It's still KBS but just not on the level of past years. The fact that I'm willing to trade a few bottles tells the story.

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Photo of jcflorian
4.3/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I don't get the hype for this beer.

It is a very solid Imperial Stout, but in my opinion pales below its Breakfast Stout counterpart. Not in same league as CBS.

Look and smell are both top notch, but the watery mouthful really bothered me. A beer like this should be rich and thick , not watery.

Points off for otherwise a rock solid stout

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Photo of taylor714914
4.3/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

You want coffee, vanilla, bourbon, toasted malts, hints of bitterness, sweet wisps charred oak and a whole lot of loving from a glass?

Welcome KBS, a standout founders offering.

Beer is straight solid, absolutely enjoyable for breakfast. Only point to ding it on is the thin mouthfeel. It's surprisingly odd since KBS coats the inside of the glass, but it comes across as thin. Otherwise it would be 4.5s all around.

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Photo of surlytheduff
4.3/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2/15/10 bottling, so just a few days past one year old - drank from Unibroue tulip. The beer poured typical stout-y black, with two fingers of rootbeer foam colored head that clung tightly to the sides of the glass. It's like, how much more black could this be? And the answer is none. None more black.

Bourbon smell dominated the nose. Behind that was a rich, chocolety malty smell along with oak and vanilla. There was some coffee, but it was pretty subtle. The taste closely matched the smell. Bourbon up front, followed by a rich roasted chocolate vanilla blast of goodness. The finish was slightly bitter. The alcohol, while noticeably present, was very well integrated into the overall flavor of the beer.

It was very rich, coating and creamy. Carbonation was close to spot on to my liking - not too much, not too little. This was a very superb and drinkable beer.

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Photo of nicrm2007
4.3/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of urwithdave
4.3/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Dunt for throwing this one in as an EXTRA!!! Poured into a CCB snifter.

A- Motor oil! A small tan head that quickly disappears. Some lacing left behind.

S- Coffee and bourban as to be expected. Some caramel and molasses.

T- Coffee out the gate. Then the bourbon steps to the plate, not overpowering though. It doesn't drown out the other flavors in the beer. I still get some vanilla and molasses. As it warms I believe the bourbon flavor becomes stronger, however, it's still not overwhelming.

M- Thick and creamy. A little burn in the throat.

D- I could easily drink a 4 pk without even thinking about it. I'm sure the ABV would creep up on me though.

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Photo of daudelin2000
4.3/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

It's always fun to review beers with so much hype. Founders KBS has been on my list for a while. Finally got my hands on some. Pours very dark brown, almost black, with a tan head and little carbonation. Aroma is coffee, chocolate, and bourbon. A slight bit of vanilla if you work hard for it. Taste is more coffee and bourbon with less chocolate. Alcohol is definitely present which isn't surprising for 12.4% ABV. Mouthfeel isn't as creamy as I would have liked for a big stout like this.

Overall, I really like this beer, but I wanted to really love this beer. I think I would've preferred a little less bourbon flavor as I think it overpowers the chocolate and vanilla. Would also have preferred a more creamy mouthfeel with less alcohol burn. I'm glad I finally got to try it, but I'm not sure I'll go through the pain of seeking it out next year.

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Photo of digitalzombie
4.3/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of leighton
4.3/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle at home in London as dusk approaches to cap a rather pleasant Sunday. I drink this beer as the ceremonial 4000th rating, but also to celebrate an anniversary. The beer pours black-brown with a sturdy, creamy and tight beige foam head. Lots to take in on the nose. Dry coffee hits first, followed by oak chips, dark cocoa, alcohol, mild roast, a bit of tobacco and earth. Great flavor, very rich, very sweet. Lots of charred malts, brown sugar, vanilla, chocolate cake, oak and straight burnt wood, some mild earthy bitterness. Full bodied, lightly chewy with fine carbonation. Warm finish with lots of dark sugars, licorice, molasses, dark chocolate, light coffee, mocha, vanilla, chocolate syrup, light peat, burnt grass, burnt wood. Certainly lives up to the hype. It’s a robust, nicely nuanced beer with plenty of punch. I love it. A great way to commemorate this happy day.

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Photo of bcm75
4.3/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of Rschimmell
4.3/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of BobMessina
4.3/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Photo of fredjr68
4.3/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of OakedCanuck
4.3/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into Maudite tulip. from notes. 09 vintage.

This beer is pitch black with the slightest dark brown edging against the light. Brown head was not retained well but that wasn't surprising. Smell was a nice mixture of roasted malts, chocolate, bourbon and vanilla. Taste was much the same with the chocolate and bourbon fighting each other for dominance. The vanilla and some molasses do make an appearance later on, which is nice. The subtle nuances of this beer come out as it warms. Heavy in the mouth with some burn, but in a good way. Absolutely delicious beer and I can see how some age brings out its different components.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.3/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2012 Bottle tried pretty much as fresh as can be after purchasing it at a store. Pours motor oil like with no head. Smells of heavy chocolate, vanilla, licorice, wood, bourbon and boozy. Taste is like chocolate sauce and light bourbon booze. Very good, but a bit hot. The palate on this one is thinner than I would have expected, and this is usually the impression I get from the BA coffee stouts. Not sure if it's due tot he acidity, but something about the coffee-barrel combination makes things seems thing to me. Lingering bourbon vanilla on the palate and warmth in the throat. Actually like the standard breakfast stout better. Gotta find some again.

Tried a 2011 bottle on Dec 20, 2012. Same impression as before, like the regular FBS better, but this one is a nice warming yumminess. Only complaint is there’s no more coffee flavor. Just sort of bourbony, and slightly metallic but nothing serious.

2013 bottle pretty fresh on 5/3/13. This one seems thicker than before with a little more vanilla. Bourbon is still a little harsh and there are others of the style I prefer. Still a neat beer though.

Alright. Now hitting up the 2014 version at the Tipples Rare and Barrel Aged Beer Tasting on July 13, 2014. Current year's version. This is coming off much better than any other KBS I have had. Lots of coffee on the aroma, chocolate, and even vanilla. The flavor is much more bold on the coffee, vanilla, and chocolate than previous vintages I have had, and the bourbon is not as harsh. Creamier mouthfeel, and plenty of body to this one. Really nice and the rating here is now for this vintage.

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Photo of sleepnbballrlife
4.3/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle, February 2012 batch. Rich black pour with a fairly small, dark brown head. Nose is rife with vanilla, bourbon, wood, sweet molasses, espresso, and semi-sweet chocolate, along with some rich chocolate ganache. Flavor is heavenly, with delightful chocolate truffle, dark chocolate and cocoa nibs, roasted coffee, vanilla, almond, candied pecan... just outstanding. Rich palate but with quite nice carbonation. Awesome stuff.

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Photo of gory4d
4.3/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another excellent bonus from Masterski.

Pours pretty much flat black: no head, a little white lacing. The smell is whiskey, dark dried fruits, toffee, cocoa. The taste is burnt malt, chocolate, whiskey, more chocolate, of the salty, bitter, unsweetened variety, in the aftertaste; coffee taste is mild but throughout. It's viscous, low in carbonation, nicely filling. Too easy to drink: the alcohol is not apparent.

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Photo of Beerbeaubot
4.3/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of zhanson88
4.3/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled-on date of 2/8/10.

Appearance: KBS pours almost pitch black with about a finger of dark khaki head. Retention is pretty decent considering the ABV, and lacing is pretty good as well.

Smell: Roasted malts and bourbon are the two biggest components on the nose for me. I also get quite a bit of coffee, and very light hints of chocolate and vanilla. Pretty complex.

Taste: Roasted malts, coffee, and chocolate up front, followed by a good deal of bourbon heat and a bit of vanilla. Finish is definitely bourbon/alcohol with a bit of coffee. The bourbon heat is just about perfect. One year old seems to be a good age for this beer.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: Mouthfeel is probably going to be my biggest knock on this beer. It's slightly under full bodied, which is fine, but carbonation is quite low and the resulting feel is pretty slick. It seems to accentuate the bourbon/alcohol component in this beer more than the base flavors. If the malts/chocolate/coffee clung to the palate a bit better my score on this beer would be even higher. That being said, this is still an excellent beer. A good one to sip on and savor.

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Photo of Jmoore50
4.3/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on Feb-16-09

The appearance is dark dark dark black. Even the edges of this are black. Comes with a small mocha head that leaves fast. It does cover the sides of the glass with a thick alcoholic residue.

The smell is a mixture of the tastes. Bourbon and alcohol are overwhelming smells. Chocolate and coffee and small hints of vanilla. Dark fruits, sweet plumbs mostly. Bourbon overtakes everything.

The taste is fairly hot. Bourbon just takes the stage and steals the show. Coffee flavors are not as present as I wanted them to, chocolate is also a very large character. The chocolate in this is more sweet bakers chocolate rather than earthy chocolate malt flavor. The bourbon is not smooth like Bourbon County, it is a bit more rough on the palate and interferes with some of the other flavors. When it warms up to room temperature the vanilla character comes out.

The mouthfeel is great because I personally love a bourbon mouthfeel, hot and intense. The drinkability is good, but the ABV can be tasted. I would easily drink 4 of these in a sitting and love it. A great Winter brew.
I have read other reviews and maybe mine is either not old enough or too old? I don't know but this is one good beer that I wish I could buy all the time.
Not better than FBS.


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Photo of mbalint1
4.3/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Tschnab
4.3/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally got to get a 4 pack of this back in march, reviewed from notes.

The pour is a thick black with a nice dark brown head that dissipates to a small head with tons of alcohol legs. The aroma is a deep roasty richness with bourbon, oak, chocolate, and tons of coffee rushing to the nose. Big aroma that hints at a decent amount of alcohol heat as well. The flavor is not as big as the nose, but it is just a beautifully well rounded beer that touches nicely on the vanilla oak bourbon and chocolate before going to all coffee on the finish. Really enjoyed this, though it wasn't a top 10 or so beer I've ever had. Still that is a silly standard to hold this too, and I really enjoy this one.

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Photo of gueuzedreg
4.3/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

'12 and '13 side-by-side to see how aging affects the coffee. ('14 has something seriously wrong with it)

After having the '12, the '13 did not seem too different to me. I think my BA Coffee palate has been wrecked by Big Bad Baptist and BCBCS.

A- '12 - Jet black with a lot of carbonation with very good retention. Lacing follows the pour when tilted.

S- '12 - I am getting roasty somewhat faint coffee with chocolate and molasses. Not a lot of fragrance with this '12.

T- '12 This one tastes like a 2-year old berserker, with a maltier mouthfeel. I am not getting a ton of coffee. I honestly get more coffee with Big Bad Baptist; but I understand that a coffee stout is about more than the coffee flavor. The base beer is sooo good in this, that the melt-off of coffee still makes a damn good beer.

M- '12 - This is where '12 shines. So smooth. So thick and decadent. Great base beer that holds its' body after BA. Unbelievable in this aspect.

O- '12 - This is a very good beer. I probably could name a few coffee BA stouts that I would rather have than a one-year old KBS. I really enjoyed the '12 though! I am not trying to crash the KBS party. Great base beer!

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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
4.56 out of 5 based on 12,488 ratings.
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