KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) | Founders Brewing Company

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KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)
13,211 Ratings
KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.30%

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

Now labeled as "KBS."

ABV varies by batch.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-13-2004

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 13,211 |  Reviews: 3,354
Photo of GrumpyGas
4.27/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass shows a light-forced dark brown body floating a 1/2in dark brown head and leaves aggressive lacing.

Chocolate aroma is strong immediately on pouring. Malt roast and oak join with vanilla and bourbon.
Flavor is coffee forward, but chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, oak, and even some stone fruit follow soon after.
Mouthfeel is full, thick and slick.

Well deserved praise.

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Photo of TWStandley
4.27/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2011 vintage poured into my KTG Snifter.

Poured a dark black/brown color with very minimal head.

Smelled immediately of booze/bourbon. Really hot smelling. Can pick up some burnt caramel and chocolate notes.

Taste is absolutely phenomenal. At a semi-chilled temp - I picked up a lot of the bourbon/barrel flavors. Somewhat boozy tasting. As it warmed, the vanilla flavors came through, and the taste turned much sweeter. Very complex. This is a beer that you take a decent sized sip of, and let it roll around your palate. Awesome awesome awesome.

Mouthfeel was pretty oily, slightly carbonated. Really complements the complexity and flavors.

Overall - this is a world-class beer. I enjoyed every sip, and the 12 oz bottle lasted me over an hour. Great beer from a company that just keeps blowing my mind. So glad I have a few more 2011's and some 2012's on the way!

UPDATE: 2012 Batch drank on 1/20/14.

This was very underwhelming. It appeared very thin and taste quite one-dimensional. I will know not to age this anymore.. :(

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Photo of Bierguy5
4.27/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Dilly Deli at the Founders tasting. Pours a pitch black with a thin tan foamy head. Head disappears quickly. Aromas of chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, and coconut. Deep rich chocolate flaovr, coffee, a bit oaky, with vanilla as well. Bourbon is subtle, not overwhelming. Medium body, maybe even a bit thin for a beer of this magnitude. A lot of great flavors going on here. Somewhat warming, but the alcohol is not overbearing. Very nice. Thanks to Founders for bringing this treat on tap!

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Photo of StarlightSeraph
4.27/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into my Chimay goblet.

Appearance: Dark, dark brown, almost black. Almost no head, despite a force pour - a thin layer of dark chocolate colored foam that quickly subsided to nothing.

Smell: Sweet chocolate, and strong notes of bourbon in the background. Coffee intermingles with the bourbon. This baby smells strong. Doesn't smell like any beer I've had before, but it smells awesome.

Taste: Incredibly smooth. Bourbon and coffee mixed together, with no one flavor really dominating. Chocolate notes come out as well. Each flavor is highlighted at a different point during the sip, and the taste lingers long after. Doesn't taste nearly as strong as it smells, or as I expected it to be, but there is a very nice warming sensation from the alcohol on the back end of each sip. All of the flavors complement each other perfectly. If I had a complaint, it is that at times the flavors almost seem to separate, instead of blend together. As the beer warms, the bourbon flavor begins to dominate.

Mouthfeel: Incredibly creamy, almost chewy. Perfectly carbonated. *Slightly* thin, but only just.

Drinkability: This beer is dangerous. It tastes very good, and the alcohol is only evident in the aftertaste - not nearly as much of a sipper as I thought it would be. Very glad I had the opportunity to pick up a few bottles of this.

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Photo of Steban
4.27/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Stefko
4.27/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Snitko
4.27/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Anatole
4.27/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jensenmoon
4.27/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Terptwerp
4.27/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had this on tap at Duckworth's in Huntersville. It is a very good imperial stout with hints of chocolate, vanilla and coffee. I was expecting a little more bourbon than there was. The flavors blended together very well. A very good beer, but not my favorite bourbon barrel stout.

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Photo of TheFightfan1
4.27/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

After all of the bottles being sold out before the case hits the store I get a stroke of luck and land one of these bad boys at Philly steaks,wings ,and beer.

Poured into my cigar city snifter.Pours an opague black with a very weak light coffee colored heading that disappears to nothing and stays flat the entire session. Looks like oil leave rings lacing after every sip.

When the cap was popped, a rush of coffee. After the pour nice aromas of mocha, some bourbon there not too overwhelming just lingering in the background. Dank,funky oak goes right along with it.

Something about the taste seems off. Not as hot and heavy as I remembered on tap. This seems very tame with that hot boozey bourbon element, that funky oak taste is there but the bourbon is very tame. Heavy coffee notes and cocoa powder lingering in the finish.

Full bodied, average carbonation but excellent balance.

Very drinkable maybe not sessionable but I could definetley have another one. In the end is it worth it? I would say so very happy to have tried both on tap a few years ago and now bottled. I do prefer this one on tap.

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Photo of PNWhops
4.27/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Looks almost black with a nice foamy head. Smells strong of roasted oats and with strong hints of it in its taste.

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Photo of Peepskp
4.27/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Purp1eOne
4.27/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of dboon
4.27/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured black as a steer’s tuchus on a moonless night. The smell of bourbon and coffee permeated the old nostrils. When first sipped the bourbon dominated the show, but as she warmed up a bit the coffee, roasted malt, and chocolate slowly oozed into the fracas. Personally I find KBS and Nemesis a little too heavy on the bourbon. Perhaps a coon skin cap and a musket would improve my demeanor...

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Photo of Boston_Steve
4.27/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of LambicPentameter
4.27/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed out of a 12 oz brown bottle that I was luckily able to procure from the madhouse that was the Founders tap takeover event at Bier Station in Kansas City on July 1st. I must caveat my review by saying that I'm reviewing based on only a 6 oz pour, as I couldn't bring myself not to share with my two buddies who weren't so lucky in getting their hands on a bottle at the event. Poured into a small, tumbler-shaped 8 oz tasting glass.

Appearance - Like looking into a black hole, with the viscous inky liquid seeming to move in slow motion when sloshed. The head is fairly sparse, with an--at best--one finger mocha colored head that dissipates to a bubbly layer of foam on top of the liquid, about a quarter finger thick. Some larger bubbles are interspersed. Just what I would expect from an enormous barrel-aged imperial stout.

Smell - A symphony of coffee, bittersweet chocolate, roasted malt, and bourbon, with undertones of oaky vanilla and some alcoholic esters hinting at how much of a wallop the taste is going to pack. I also detect a bit of sweetness, much like what you might expect from a milk stout. A delicious smelling beer--here's hoping the flavor lives up to it.

Taste - Here, the booze is more present than in the aroma, which was dominated by the espresso and cocoa nib notes. Now, the bourbon is very much on display, being complimented by the softer profiles of the oak and vanilla. Not to worry, however, as the traditional stout profiles make their presence known and prevent this from becoming an unbalanced whiskey bomb. I think I prefer the smell better, but the taste is definitely quite good.

Mouthfeel - Viscous and thick, like drinking a boozy beer milkshake. Carbonation is fairly low, but actually not as low as some BA beers that I've had. There's enough of it to provide a bit of a bite to the otherwise thick beverage. Finish is semi-sweet, from the chocolate and oak.

Overall, a beer that certainly lives up to the hype. I think personally, I prefer the standard FBS to this modified version, but that's mostly an individual taste issue than anything else. And since this one is so damn hard to get hands on, I imagine I will continue to drink FBS to get my imperial stout fix from Founders.

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Photo of bbtkd
4.27/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Founders KBS!!! I didn't expect to get my hands on this in South Dakota but nabbed 6 bottles. Other BBS's I have had and can compare to are BCBS, Dragon's Milk, and Central Waters. Fairly thick, decent brown head that stuck around, and opaque. Those expecting a bourbon-forward BBS will be under-impressed, as this is more coffee forward, with a lingering chocolate taste. I really like having a beer that has the coffee taste without the strong coffee bitterness many stouts have. Though this tastes quite different from the others, I like it as well as BCBS and Central Waters, and prefer it over Dragon's Milk. ABV aside, I could sit and drink a lot of these. As with most all stouts, this gets better as it warms. Based on other reviews I had half-expected it to be an OMFG experience, and though it's not that, it will go on my favorite whale list.

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Photo of tarheels86
4.27/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

355mL 2008 ed.

A- A midnight black, motoroil pour yields a thin, dark, brown head. Spotty lacing sticks to the snifter.

N- Very nice: dark chocolate ganache, plums, dates, spiced rum, vanilla extract.

T- Intense milk chocolate, cocoa, mellowed out roast and heavy coffee. Bourbon, oak, vanillin are muted and soft.

P- Rich, oily, soft, ending fairly dry.

355mL 2009 ed.

A- Head formation is still not spectacular. Weak lace.

N- Soft butterscotch, buttery bourbon quickly devolve into rubbing alcohol.

T- Soft up front with rich bourbon and coconut oil. Moves in the mid and finish to tannic oak, drying chalk, sort of like over oaked red wine.

P- Silky for a moment but ends chalky and dry.

Definitely inferior to the '08 batch.

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Photo of Seiler22
4.27/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Dodgerrigo77
4.27/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Damian
4.27/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Drank from a 12 fl. oz. bottle purchased at Liquor World, Cambridge, MA

I saved this special treat for review #200.
Poured a super thick and viscous pitch black. I have compared other beers' appearances to motor oil but this one much better suits that description than the rest. There was no head on the beer but rather a small amount of coffee-colored, bubbly frothiness. Tiny streaks of lacing clung to the sides of the glass.

The aroma was outrageously rich and beautifully aromatic. (I felt that only giving this beer a "5" for smell was doing it a disservice.) As soon as the beer was poured, sweet-smelling, freshly roasted coffee beans smacked me in the face. (The only other beer that had such an intense coffee aroma was Founder's Breakfast Stout.) Fragrant notes of molasses, brown sugar, vanilla and a distinct oakiness rounded out the nose.

The taste was rich and flavorful but not as smooth as the aroma. Deep roasted malts and coffee were apparent up front. The coffee flavor continued along the palate, taking on an almost Bailey's-esque flavor at times. Oaky, woody notes and maple syrup emerged mid-palate. The initial pleasant alcohol warming on the back end turned a bit hot by the drink's end. The finish was bourbon-like, hoppy (a somewhat minty and tingly hop flavor) and dry and it became progressively stronger as the beer warmed. By mid-bottle, the hoppiness emerged considerably and was noticeable from start to finish. The never ending aftertaste was reminiscent of freshly brewed coffee.

Mouthfeel was extremely full-bodied (this may have been the thickest beer I have ever drank), viscous, creamy and rich. It truly felt like a blanket on my tongue.

As for drinkability, this beer was a mixed bag. I enjoyed the initial flavors immensely, but found that both the hops and the alcohol became a bit overwhelming as the beer warmed. The effect of the 10% ABV definitely hit me hard.

Overall, this was a terrificly complex, flavorful, rich and unique beer. At $20 for a four-pack this stuff is pricey, but I am glad I had the opportunity to try it.

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Photo of brystmar
4.27/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: black and smooth as it pours into my sniffer. Not much brown head forms, but a quick swirl summons fresh bubbles to the top. Sticky lace, but not overly abundant.

S: holy bourbon, Batman! Huge notes of oak and bourbon, ground coffee, bittersweet chocolate, caramel, toffee, malts, and more bourbon. Complex and potent.

T: follows the nose. Bourbon flavors flow throughout as chocolate, sweet malts, bitter coffee, caramel, and roasted malts each take their turn stepping forward. Finishes sweet and roasty with even more chocolate and warming alcohol. Finish really reminds me of chocolate milk. Fantastic!

M: perfectly carbonated and full-bodied, but not as thick as many of its peers. More body would be helpful.

D: pretty easy to drink. A complex bourbon-centric beer that somehow smooths out the rough edges I often associate with the style. Further proof that Founders is among the nation's elite breweries.

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Photo of Scottsbeer
4.27/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

I have tried this before on draft and served too cold, as I recall it was very heavy on the bourbon and boozy heat for my tastes so I have avoided it, but I am a HUGE fan of the CBS so I am giving the 2018 release another chance. Bottled 3/6/18, 12.31 ABV.

L: Poured into a ST. Bernardus snifter, Nice almost ebony color, 1/2" mocha colored head that subsided to a small island with a ring of lacing around the glass. The head disappears as the beverage is consumed and the lacing remaining on the glass is minimal.

S: Chocolate, coffee, vanilla, oak and booze with a hint of caramel and dark fruit. As it warms boozy alcohol increases as does the caramel.

T: Oak, vanilla, dark chocolate, slightly bitter coffee and char at first, creamy dark chocolate, vanilla caramel cream, raisin, date, alcohol and oak in the middle with bitter chocolate strong bitter coffee more oak, caramel, vanilla, alcohol and bourbon on the end. The bourbon, booze and bakers unsweetened chocolate stays with you for some time, well into the next sip. The ABV is evident as would be expected for a 12.31% brew, it is not overwhelming but there is some heat.

F: The mouthfeel is world class! Thick and creamy, chewy and smooth with just the right amount of carbonation.

O: An extremely complex, chewy beer with world class mouthfeel and some great flavor profiles working well together. The only element that keeps it from being as good as CBS or Morning Wood in my opinion is that there is some heat and grain alcohol smell and taste that is objectionable. I believe that some time in the cellar may turn this into an outstanding beer but as a fresh pour, it is really good with possible potential to be more. I have three more from this batch that I will allow to mature and if warranted I will come back to this review and update.

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Photo of captainkrad
4.27/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.6 out of 5 with 13,211 ratings