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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Reviews: 3,091 | Ratings: 12,166
Photo of Bum4ever
4.94/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

L: Pitch black with a one inch dark tan head.
S: Bourbon, like burnt oak, chocolate and coffee
T: Perfect balance of bourbon and oak and coffee and chocolate w/ a hint of vanilla
F: Thick full-bodied feel.
O:Been a big fan of Breakfast Stout for a while and this is my first try of KBS. It is amazing, like the most perfect bourbon aged stout. Bourbon does not over power but is very present, all other flavors still come through. Lived up to its rep.

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Photo of spursfaninla
4.66/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I have been looking, and waiting, for this damn beer. Did not disappoint.

Best bourbon aged stout I have had. The bite comes with the first swig or two, but quickly subsides, and this is a STRONG 12+% beer. Bourbon weights in, continues throughtout, but does not overpower, which is appreciated.

Smell could be stronger. Otherwise near perfect.

Up there with best imperial stouts . Bottled, draft, all of them.

MOST drinkable ever.

Paid 6 a bottle for 4 pack and worth every penny. Subtle flavors for an imperial, but I liked that.

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Photo of JakeScully
4.93/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Slightly superior to Founders breakfast stout which is already exceptional. Worth every pennies I spent to find it in Europe. Awesome beer... Cheers!

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Photo of Newbeergeek1
4.79/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This has been reviewed so many times and I ain't gonna improve on any reviews other than to say, this stuff is freekin' great and I grab it when it comes out and ever celler some of it.

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Photo of Celtics17
4.25/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had this a few months back, but finally reviewing.

This needs some age, and I didn't get much barrel which may come with proper aging. Good overall, but this was my first time having this in awhile, and I was hoping for more.. Again with some age this will be great.

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Photo of goWhite89
4.57/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

One of the best bourbon barrel stouts you can have. The hints of coffee, chocolate, and bourbon are consistent, yet different from year to year, varying in from a strong coffee flavor, to a rich vanilla flavor. Holding this up to light allows nothing to pass through, and it's smell is an intoxicating coffee bean roasting, dark chocolate, bourbon distillery tri-fecta. 10/10 would drink before 10am.

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Photo of PaulElk
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the first simply smooth as silk bourbon barrel stouts I've enjoyed. New to the analysis of rating and putting down my thoughts but I'd thought I would start here. I'm on a mission this March for more! Love Founders

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Photo of Everydayoff
4.62/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

355ml bottle poured into a snifter.

Completely pitch black in color with one finger of loose tan head that stays for a while before collapsing to some long-lasting bubble sheet on the surface and leaving behind some spotty and patchy lace on the glass-side, it is quite sticky at time.

Coffee, chocolate, cocoa, vanilla, oaky bourbon, roasted profile, licorice, burnt wood, charred nuttiness, some smoke, dark bread, and some earthy hop, all of these scents are delicately presented in a nose. The aroma is more open when the beer starts to warm with a strong presence of creamy chocolate, black coffee, and spicy bourbon.

The taste is malty sweet at first upon initial contact through the tasted buds, however, it won’t last for long as the bourbon character bursting with its vanilla, oaky, and spicy note. Then it is roasted and chocolate malt profile with notes of coffee, chocolate, cocoa, burnt wood, charred nuttiness, some smoke, and dark bread. Some earthy hop too then it is bourbon barrel again that reclaims its place with its spicy heat of alcohol along the end through the aftertaste.

Full body and sticky mouthfeel but it is rich and soft with moderate carbonation to generate a wave of silky effervescence through the palate. It is well proper to cater all the things inside the smooth palate in very good shape. Finish is dry.

Complex and robust but tasty as hell with a lot of thing going on and changing all along in all aspects, the only thing I can recommend is that take your time and sip slowly to let it developed from time to time. Apart from that, let the quality itself to speak the truth and tell how great it is.

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Photo of 98green
4/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2016 version on tap at founders. Finally got this one after several years of passive hunting. So it has been in a keg for 11 months. The look is brilliant black with soft lacing that hangs forever. On the upfront taste and smell, I'm underwhelmed. This is much more restrained than its BBA brethren. The stout base is more pronounced. Rich and malty. I don't get a ton of that barrel fun. Feel is plenty thick and they hide the abv amazingly well. Overall excellent and maybe I'd like it better "hot" right out of the barrel.

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Photo of Danstaats
4.93/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is truly world class. The bourbon notes, the coffee, subtle vanilla, and the smooth, somewhat sweet, rich taste all come together and create a delightful treat. This beer is a masterpiece.

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Photo of do_ob
3.96/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 3/23/2014

Bottle into a tulip. Black with a thin head of khaki bubbles. Big aroma of coffee, chocolate, and bourbon, but not a whole lot else. Maybe some faint notes of vanilla. Thankfully the taste is better. Bourbon and chocolate, vanilla, caramel malt, and coffee/expresso. Lighter than I expected, though far from thin. Decent alcohol burn on the finish.

Pretty underwhelming given the hype. Maybe this one was aged too much, but I was expecting a lot more. Just seemed pretty one-dimensional to me.

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Photo of Drvitlkeyustolit80
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

First Had 4/15/14 at Tavern on Liberty. I've had the pleasure of getting every years version since 2014. It seems to stay the same every year, except when properly cellar aged. The flavors develop a bit more, good thing I stashed a few from last year.

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Photo of patre_tim
4.6/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black with no visible carbonation. Topped with a half finger of rusty beige head. I can see a hair of copper and a hair of amber, side by side when held up to sunlight, like a two toned rainbow.

Smells of coffee, dark chocolate, alcohol, liquorice, and hints of vanilla sweetness. Its got that kind of rusty, earthy, coconut fiber quality I get in a lot of imperial stouts. Umami, soy sauce, salami qualities as well. Cinnamon at moments. The bourbon comes in as it warms.

There it is! So many layers, so much going on in this brew. The coconut fiber, black liquorice tar like, earthy qualities come in first, then it opens like a flower in the middle with vanilla, dark chocolate, sweet carmel notes. It continues then with the umami, soy sauce qualities that come in from another angle, and it finally finishes with coffee and sugar. Like a full course meal! Alcohol is mostly hidden but shows up on feel for sure. The cinnamon comes in as well. I only get the bourbon after it warms, but its there.

Thick and oily but smooth with moderate carbonation. Alcohol shows up mid palate, then burns in the throat and back of the nostrils.

Amazing brew. At first I was like smelling it and going 'There must be more!' but it opens up with each sip. More scents, more flavours, really delicious, well rounded brew. My first time to have this is December 1st, 2016 in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Amazed to have found it online in Thailand! In Michigan, over a year earlier, I saw some empty return bottles in Saginaw and yearned for it, in spite of it not being available. This was the 2015 batch.

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Photo of Stooven
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

So many factors, but it's easily the most balanced beer I've had given what it promises in its price range. Light on the tongue, but rich in flavor. Can barely taste the booze. Fantastic.

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Photo of mrmaps
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Waited until a little warmer than room temperature before opening
L: Pours dark chocolate brown with a fine foam lacing. The lacing residual lasts a reasonable amount of time. Legs don't appear thick as the beer is swirled around.
T: At this temperature the bourbon hits a bit first with its astringency. This is well balanced by the sugars present and the vanilla that comes from the aging. There is wood in this beer too. This beer is just really well crafted and all the flavors are well integrated. It is not an overwhelming push of bourbon.
S: Light bourbon smell -- not over powering and nearly perfectly balanced with chocolate vanilla and oak. The smell sets the table for expectation of a well balanced beer w/o over powering bourbon flavor. Slightly sweet smell with the residual sugar.
F: Smooth without bite. Well balanced between thick and thin. Not cloying. Pretty fricking amazing. Is that a rating?
O: A huge fan of Founders and a lover of stouts overall so this review is probably doubly biased. Despite the more recent push against barrel aging, it does offer an extra depth and done well it is worth the extra coin. (Done poorly and it is a mess) An amazing beer at a reasonable price point. It gets the I love it rating.

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Photo of Beersnake1
3.89/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I had very high expectations for this beer. Poured from fridge temp to a snifter. Color is jet black - looks beautiful. Smell is, to me, like a typical imperial stout. I was expecting some bourbon, but it wasn't there. Taste followed the nose. Not much barrel at all, which was a huge disappointment. I just can't give it a good rating for taste since it just doesn't follow expectations. There are so many BA stouts above this one. Mouthfeel was good, but not thick and creamy. Overall, it's a fine beer, but not what you might expect.

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Photo of IKR
4.44/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Black with a fairly generous-sized dark beige head that gradually faded. A good looking Imperial Stout

Smell: Coffee, Bourbon, mild oak, and mild brown sugar.

Taste: The taste profile features equal measure coffee, Bourbon notes, mild tannic oak notes, and mild brown sugar. The taste profile is balanced with the bal-aging notes notes well represented. Very restrained alcohol presence.

Mouth-feel: Medium bodied with a medium level of carbonation. The body is spot on where it needs to be.

Overall: A very good coffee-infused Imperial Stout.

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Photo of EMV
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip

L: Inky black pour... 1.5 fingers of brown head. Modest lacing.

S: Rich roasted malts, coffee, cocoa, and lots of barrel char/bourbon.

T/F: Very similar to the nose... lots of barrel character. Boozy and warming. Good roast/char and espresso. A bit sticky on the mouthfeel. Finish is slightly bitter.

O: A beer that lives up to its reputation. All around fantastic, and one of the standard bearers for barrel aged Imperial Stouts. Something to keep you warm on a chill night. Sip and enjoy.

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Photo of RedNeckBeerDude
4.38/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Don't understand the hype behind this beer. Yes it is a great barrel aged coffee stout but is it really worth the trouble to chase trucks to get? No. Give me a New Holland Dragon's Milk and I would be satisfied. I think all but one year I have had this and it has been super thin for an imperial stout.
Look - pours black as night with a foam head that dissipates quickly
Smell - bourbon, coffee, sweet malt
Taste - bourbon, coffee, malt, slight fig, slight tobacco
Feel - Thin
Overall - A good beer but like I said before, leaves me wanting more for an imperial stout

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Photo of RichardRankin
4.71/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Have these frequently and use them for trade balancing.

Look is dark, very little light gets through. What does is dark brown, very little red.
Smell is amazing coffee, bourbon, chocolate.
Taste is a little boozier than some other similar BBA stouts, not that that's a bad thing.
Mouthfeel is smooth, full, and complex. Sippable, not for crushing.

One of my favorite beers of all time, definitely world class... only reason for 4.75 is to leave room for something new to amaze me!

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Photo of stevoj
4.41/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle thanks to Rene. Pours out black and oily, small tan head. Big, bold aroma of coffee and chocolate. Sweet chocolate bar, more coffee, roast grains, bourbon notes and vanilla. This one stands up to its reputation.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Thanks @newbeeraday for this elusive beer.

Inky black pour, quite the same as their Imperial Double Stout around Christmas time. The head is minimal, to be expected for a 12% beer. A beige ring manages to form, and of course the body is just a blackout.

Aromas are hot, sticky, and mouth-watering. Lots of boozy bourbon, some milk chocolate, Hershey's syrup, torched/fried bananas, and sweet molasses.

The flavors just soak into the palate as you let it rest there. Chocolate, chocolate syrup, oatmeal, top-shelf bourbon, honey, sticky figs, and honey. The tip of the tongue samples coffee, but washing it to the back mutes that and reveals all of the above. The hotness of the bourbon wraps over the profile and gets stronger as the beer warms.

The feel is total exhuberance. Just thick. Viscous. Not palate-wrecking, not like the Speedway Stout; but rather it coats the palate completely and soaks in like a fine red wine.

Overall, world-class is right. This beer is absolutely fantastic. I'm a frugal guy, but $22 for a 4 pack is an outright steal for this kind of beer. I'll stand in line next year to buy my limit. Absolutely mind blown.

Further analysis : Compared to a standard FBS, aged at 1 year (which in my opinion is optimal as the coffee fades and the chocolate and oats pop up), the FBS drinks more like a porter and is prominently coffee forward, with little dashes of oats here and there. The KBS destroys it. Both good beers, but KBS is an obvious notch or three above.

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Photo of TheDoctor
4.45/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Service: Bottle
Bottled: 2015

Thick opaque black with tight finger of brown velvet-bubbled head, settles to a film; some speckled lacing. (4)

A rich melange of sweet roast flavors and bourbon. Chocolate, leather, vanilla, bourbon, old wood, smoke. (4.5)

Smooth rich chocolaty roast flavors, coffee, nuts, oak with a splash of bourbon character and warmth with a soft vanilla/cocoa flavor at the end. (4.5)

Smooth and creamy, full bodied, low carbonation, alcohol warmth in the finish. (4.25)

Really nice BA Stout.
This one is a tasty, boozy beer that is very smooth and strikes a good balance between all the characteristics at work. The aromas are a smooth stream of chocolatey tones with a roasty, oily coffee backbone and some sweet roast notes. The flavor follows suit. The bourbon is at a nice level for my tastes. It is definitely there and can even be felt going down, but I don't feel like I am drinking whiskey like I do with some BA stouts. Based on it's heat, maybe this is cause the base beer is so crammed full of flavor that it overpowers the sharpness or maybe it's cause it's a year old? Either way, it is a smooth velvety beer, that is way too drinkable and manages to be straightforward and complex at once. Really nice. Hopefully I get to try it again at some point. (4.5)

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Photo of PescadoBlanco
4.83/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

One of the most unbelievable things to cross my lips. Pours really dark, lots of pungent bourbon in the nose. Honestly, I love this stuff. A great beer for aging if that's what you're into. If you get a chance to try it, try it.

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Photo of Vader444
4.84/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle pour into tulip. 2016 bottling.

Man, this is so close to perfect!! Obviously had high expectations for this one given the esteem in which it is held. I admit I was a little boozy before I cracked this as I was saving it for the end of a Saturday night tasting session. Must try again with a clear head. The first smell and sip were mind blowing but I struggled a little with the alcohol burn as I kept drinking. Will cellar a few of these and retry. Overall, I think I prefer the Founders Imperial Stout? A head to head definitely on the cards! Cheers!!

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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
4.56 out of 5 based on 12,166 ratings.
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