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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)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
foundersbrewing.com

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
3,056
Ratings:
11,999
Avg:
4.56
pDev:
17.54%
 
 
Wants:
4,479
Gots:
6,233
For Trade:
509
User Reviews
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Reviews: 3,056 | Ratings: 11,999
Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bourbon is an American taste and while some finds its way over here, it's simply a novelty. This is a medium or possibly less thick stout. I guess my expectations were primed for the breakfast level of stout. I taste the stout, the bourbon, some roast, a tad coffee. It's a nice stout to drink with some different flavouring.With great appreciation to Putnam for allowing me to buy the last bottle in the store, hidden away for someone like me.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.74/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

HUGE thanks to GrandCruDrew for sending me this one!

Pours a super thick pitch black color with a tiny 1/2 inch dark chocolate colored head that fades to a film on the top of the beer. Wow, this beer smells absolutely fantastic. Chocolate chip cookie dough, sweetened coffee, cinnamon, with a whiff of the oak bourbon barrels. Taste is extremely rich and decadent. Cocoa powder, cookie dough, sweetened coffee with creamer, cinnamon, vanilla, coconut, with the woody bourbon taste coming through on the finish. Mouthfeel is very thick and creamy on this one. Mild alcohol burn in the throat after each sip. I have been wanting to try this one for a long, long time and the hype and all the good things I have heard and read about this beer are all warranted. This is an exceptional beer and it's no wonder this one is super hard to find.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4.64/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Rare opportunity for me in the southeast to have this one. I had about a shot glass if it once before.

A: thin off white head with excellent lacing on a jet black body. A little more head and it would be perfect. May be pour related and do to the fact it is on draft

S: aroma is dominated by milk and dark chocolate and oak with vanilla, bourbon and dark fruit notes. I was sitting under a fan and yet the the aroma stayed full on the nose.

T: I had this one cold then let it warm up to are how it changes. The bourbon dominated when cold. As it warmed I got more chocolate, oak and vanilla. I must say I want more coffee which was more in the after taste. Last years seemed to have more coffee.

M: thick body but doesn't overly coat the palate, smooth with moderate carbonation. Carbonated a bit more than I wanted for the style to make it perfect but damn close.

Overall: I have tried many great beers and this one is at the top of that list. Best thing about it honestly is that it lives up to the hype which for a beer this highly rated is difficult to do. My biggest knock was not enough coffee to balance the sweetness. Alcohol is dangerously hidden

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.54/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

a huge thanks to drlovemd87 for making this a reality. he is a gentleman and a classy BA. the holy grail here, it pours a chocolate brown color, dense and creamy looking, with an inch or so of espresso colored head that doesn't budge. the nose is awesomely coffee heavy. not acidic, but bright and mellow at the same time. some mild dark chocolate notes, a ton of roast, but not bitter at all. the flavor really features this coffee, somehow with a neutral ph. the ultra roasted barley gives an almost smoky flavor, while the chocolate stays in the background. I am most blown away how I taste no alcohol at all in this beer. the founders imperial is hotly alcoholic, in this beer, its totally hidden, even though its stronger. some bourbon hints with char and vanilla come through, but this beer isn't sweet at all. not teeth coating, not heavy. its remarkable how drinkable it really is. the coffee feature is as good as it gets, almost weirdly refreshing, like an iced coffee. the depth and complexity of this fine ale is second to none, and the perfection of its craftsmanship is mind boggling. I cant remember a beer so highly hyped that delivers as well as this gem does, save pliny the younger. its that good. thanks again to drlovemd87, youre a bloody legend mate!

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Photo of nmann08
4.55/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 Vintage

Pours a thick dark black, soft tan head, a bit low on the carbonation on the pour, but the head still appeared.

Smell is roasted coffee, molasses, chocolate, hints of oak and vanilla. The smells are very distinct, don't have to think hard to find them.

The taste is boozy up front. Still very hot. Bourbon. Roasty espresso in the middle, with dark chocolate and bitterness on the end.

Great mouthfeel. Very smooth, full on the mouth, milky finish.

Overall, this is a great beer, but still needs at least another year on it, maybe 2 before it hits its stride.

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Photo of Knapp85
4.67/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Managed to score a few bottles of this at Abe's Cold Beer when they got in a very limited supply of them. The sale price wasn't too bad for this beer surprisingly enough.

The beer itself pours out as a really nice black stout. The head does vanish pretty quickly. The aromas of coffee come first than the bourbon and vanilla come trough later. The taste is powerful. It's got to be sipped over a set period of time, don't waste this and drink it fast. Sit back and enjoy it. I also felt that this beer was a little thinner than I expected which was a bit of a bummer. I have one bottle of this left and I'm gonna age it for just a bit before I crack it open. Just want to see if anything changes in it.

Just opened a bottle of this that I bought in June 2010 and split it with a friend. I found this to be even better now after some time has passed. The smell and taste of the beer is much better overall I think. Just a great beer for sure.

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Photo of metter98
4.4/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer poured out of the bottle with little carbonation, almost resembling the viscosity of motor oil.
S: There's an intense aroma of bourbon intermixed with notes of coffee and vanilla.
T: Bourbon flavors really stand out in the initial taste, but they are nicely balanced with the hints of coffee and vanilla. The bourbon flavors are strong, but not overpowering. The taste and balance improves as it warms up and the coffee flavors begin to come through a little more.
M: It has a medium-bodied feel on the palate and the alcohol is very well hidden, but detectable in the finish with some warming sensations.
D: This is a beer to sip to appreciate all of the flavors come through as it warms up.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.84/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

KBS is as complete of an assault on the tastebuds, as much so as any beer I've had. In many ways, the complexity of roast, espresso, malted milk, and cocoa-rich chocolates is overwhelming, but in others it's beautiful in its simplicity.

The beer opens with a creamy and viscous pour. A mousse-like head forms on at the top of the glass as the opaque black beer settles and cascades while the foam rises. The head reliquishes some over the 11.2% abv. Only nitro-infused beers look better.

Extremely bold aromas of espresso, cocoa beans, and roasted barley take hold of the nose. But their intensity is unmistakable. Strong alcohol scent rises as the beer warms and stimulates the olfactory senses. Simple yet pure.

Flavors take over where the aroma ends. Extreme flavors of espresso, cocoa, and roasted barley set the tone. Malt sweetness takes a far backseat while fully attenuated malt flavor gives just enough of a foundation to support the robust complementary flavors. A subtle grassy, piney hop flavor begins to rise after I become acclimated to the cocoa-coffee attack. Esters and phenolic spice are also left behind, not to muddle the pure Stout flavors. Again, the alcohol flavors are evident and gives a bit more complexity to the taste.

The mouthfeel is stupid-crazy. Creamy, rich, and round while also smooth, velvety, and somewhat powdery. Bitterness arrives from a lot of angles: hops, espersso, cocoa, and alcohol. Never cloying, the beer has attenuated extremely well for a malty-rich texture and no residual sweetness left to the mouth.

Interestingly, this whole review has gone without the mention of the bourbon barrel aging. The barrels have taken the rough edges off of the base beer, as oak aging usually does, but the direct bourbon influence is not that apparent. The added alcohol adds a hint of cherry flavored alcohol (maybe a bit of cough syrup) and only a hint of boozy bourbons. Too light on the caramels, vanillans, and simple oak flavor to mention above the intensity of coffee and cocoa.

The beer is complex in its sheer proportions of relatively few dominant flavors, yet simple in its intent. Coffee- Cocoa- Malt- Hops. And it succeeds at every faucet. It has earned its way onto the worlds greatest beers and rightfully so.

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

Appearance - Impenetrable black with a thin coffee-colored head.

Smell - Intense coffee and bourbon stings the nostrils. Java-chocolate brownie. Not much complexity here, but that's not a bad thing.

Taste - Coffee, double chocolate brownie, burnt bread and a hint of vanilla. Very dry. Boozy bourbon clings to the roof of the mouth while a sharp, drying bitterness consumes the palate in the finish. This is pretty hot, boozy stuff - the alcohol doesn't hide itself much.

Mouthfeel - Dry and medium-to-full in body, certainly not the fullest imperial stout I've tried, but very rich in flavor.

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Photo of brentk56
4.21/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours a jet black color with a bubbly tan head that leaves tracks of lacing around the glass

Smell: Bourbon and coffee dominate the nose with chocolate shavings underneath

Taste: Starts with a boozy Bourbon-influenced chocolate flavor with some bitterness building in the middle; after the swallow, the Bourbon arises and meets the coffee tones, imparting a mellow flavor; the finish is relatively sweet but that bitter coffee flavor persists to the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and smooth; not as thick as I expected and there is very little carbonation despite the foamy head

Drinkability: This is a wonderful stout to contemplate as an after dinner sipper but it is a bit boozy and the mouthfeel is a touch thin

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.25/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy from CBA and Moejuck: Poured a deep black color stout with a small foamy head with limited retention but some lacing. Aroma of coffee and vanilla is well balance and even more so then the regular version. Taste was a nice and well balance mix between some coffee, vanilla and light bourbon. The alcohol was hidden and didn’t overpower the beer, coffee was well balance as oppose to the regular version and body was oily with a full texture. I have to admit to being quite impressed with this after having been totally disappointed by the regular version.

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Photo of emerge077
4.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Some days, when it's only 7º outside, you need a stout of this fortitude, there's just no substitute.

Black oily pour into an Arcadia glass. Mocha tinged foam sticks around for a minute, then retreats to the edges. Served around 50-55º, don't drink this straight from the fridge, it will mute some of the smell and taste.

Special aroma of dense fudgy chocolate, and woody vanilla traces from the barrel. A little bit of ashy char is there too, though not over the top. Flavors deliver on what the nose hints at, rich chocolate, minor coffee undertone, vanilla, oak, and trace heat from the 10%. Over time it really develops and builds, a long finish connects between each flavor-packed sip. Some light bitterness that is identical to unsweetened chocolate is there, and lingers in the finish.

Incredibly smooth (oats?), not heavy or syrupy, yet it's a sipper. Perfect to sit and contemplate without weighing you down. There's a reason it's ranked so high...it's a very balanced imperial stout, possibly the most balanced i've ever had.

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Photo of kojevergas
4.24/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into an EKU 28 snifter in me friend's gaff in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. Props to Schlimenhaumer for the bottle share - thanks, man. I've waited a long time to try this one and I couldn't be more excited. Expectations are through the roof. 11.2%. No best before or bottled on date. I'm approaching it skeptically on account of the hype.

Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Paired with dark chocolate.

A: Pours a one finger rich tan colour beautiful head of great cream, fantastic thickness, and damned impressive retention for the high ABV. Colour is a nontransparent solid black. no yeast particles are visible, but it's nontransparent and opaque. No bubble show. It's looking damn good so far.

Sm: Rich chocolate and quality mocha coffee java notes. Roasted barley and dark malts. Marvelous bourbon oak - but not too much. Who knew they could make bourbon so subtle? Some great vanilla on the climax; it's a bit buried but it's there. Cream. It's so rich and exquisite I can barely wait to drink it. Yet in spite of its rich complexity and subtlety, it's surprisingly restrained - it's moderate in strength. I'm just hoping the taste delivers on the promise of the aroma. No alcohol or yeast comes through.

T: Rich chocolate and exquisite coffee. Dark malts form the foundation. Cream opens and closes the beer. Roasted barley gives it a solid but subtle backbone. The bourbon is so damned subtle it's unbelievable. I'm having trouble finding the vanilla, but I do get it on the climax - though I will say I wish it were a touch stronger. There's a vague cookies n cream esque vibe to the climax. No yeast or alcohol comes through. It's all around incredibly balanced and very well built. I'm impressed. Very complex and subtle. This is a damn good imperial stout. Hardly any boozy heat comes through at all, except perhaps on the finish.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Rich. Creamy up front but the cream bleeds through to the end. Just thick enough; perfect. Ideal carbonation. Suits the flavours near perfectly.

Dr: Incredibly drinkable, especially for the well-hidden ABV. I'd definitely get this again - if I was so lucky. Really an incredible imperial stout all around. I quite love it. In a world populated by so many imperial stouts, it's hard to stand out - but this beer does. It lives up to the hype. I'm really blown away. It's not quite perfect, but it's a damn good beer - that's for sure. This one delivers.

A

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12/31/13: Truncated notes for a 2011 vintage bottle. Tasted side-by-side with BCBS.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a half finger head of khaki colour which recedes within 30 seconds to 1.5 minutes. Body is a solid opaque black. No yeast particles/sediment is visible.

Sm: Sweet. Rich vanilla/oak bourbon notes. It's rare I find bourbon executed better than it is here - certainly better than the 2012 BCBS I'm drinking at the same time. Dark malts. Chocolate malts. Some subtle roasted barley. Cream. Gorgeous coffee/java with some coffee roast and the perfect amount of bitterness.

No hop character/alcohol is detectable.

T: Ah yeah. That's the stuff. Damn near perfect bourbon notes are seamlessly integrated with the base beer. Subtle coffee, good sweet dark/chocolate malts, cream, and hints of hazelnut.

There's the perfect amount of alcohol warmth, but no booziness or harshness.

Damn near perfectly balanced. Build is gestalt; you couldn't remove anything without damaging it.

Mf: Great creaminess. Smooth and wet. Great presence on the palate. Ideal body and thickness for the style. Complements the flavour profile beautifully, but doesn't quite custom-tailored specifically to it per se.

Dr: Incredibly drinkable for the high ABV. It's certainly a treat, but I do think I prefer it a bit closer to fresh. This is a beer I'll continue to seek out and enjoy. It's real difficult to compare to the BCBS - both are great beers, and I think age determines which is better.

High A- (4.25)

***
04.02.15: Brief 2nd impressions from a 2015 bottle.

Opaque black with a restrained head that don't stay around long.

Aroma is luscious bourbon with great chocolate tones. Great notes of white oak.

The bourbon barrel aging is amongst the best in the business, and melts seamlessly into the chocolatey base, which boasts a near ideal sweetness. Balanced near perfectly, with a very cohesive gestalt build. Quite a treat, with ample subtlety to its execution and plenty of complexity. A nice cream note.

Nice creamy soft mouthfeel. Perfect carbonation. Full-bodied.

Fucking magical.

A-

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Photo of zeff80
4.45/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 version into a goblet

A - Poured out an opaque, jet black color with a one finger, bubbly, caramel-colored head of foam. It left thin rings of sticky lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of coffee, chocolate and bourbon. These three aromas were all very balanced, none overpowered the others. There were very mild notes of vanilla and toffee.

T - Some boozy, bourbon flavors with dark roasted coffee flavors. Nice chocolate, caramel and toffee flavors, too.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied beer with some warm alcohol heat.

D - First of all, it's delicious and fairly easy drinking considering its potency.

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Photo of oline73
4.77/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into a Hunahpu's glass.

Appearance: Pours a thick black color with a layer of off white head that fades to a ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Roast and bourbon, this smells so smooth. Dark chocolate sweetness with some warmth from the alcohol.

Taste: Sweet, smooth bourbon and roast. Dark chocolate with a hint of dark fruit. The roasty coffee bitterness stays on the tongue through the end of each sip. So smooth and easy to drink.

Mouthfeel: Thick body with very smooth carbonation and a slick finish.

Overall: One of my favorites. I'm glad I finally got around to rating this. I'll have it again every time I get the chance.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.47/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

G: Oversized snifter.

A: Pours very, very dark and thick with a single-finger caramel-colored head, which has plenty of carbonation and air bubbles. Head recedes quickly; nice lacing.

S: Coffee and dark chocolate. A little bit of hops. Bourbon presence with a little bit of alcohol.

T: Burnt espresso to go with the bourbon; lots of malt and a little bit of hops to go along with the alcohol. Chocolate and creamy flavors linger after the beer goes down. Hints of caramel and vanilla as well. Incredibly complex--each sip brings something new.

M: Incredibly smooth. Unbelievably sooth and medium-bodied in the mouth, with the perfect amount of carbonation and a striking alcohol presence, which is not overpowering. Simply lovely.

D: Very drinkable for the style and ABV. It's a shame I was only able to pick up two bottles--hopefully I can scrounge some more up somewhere else.

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Photo of oberon
4.54/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Man was I glad to get my hands on some of this,pours a opaque black with a quick to form mocha colored head that was gone quite fast,oh the aromas the bourban barrel shows thru with its oaky,vanilla tones that match perfectly with the highly roasted somewhat dry earthiness and bitter chocolate notes of the beer its a 5 no doubt.Flavors all come together in near perfection the oakiness is more subdued on the palate wich is nice I dont like overpowering wood flavors like some beers aged in wood have,anyways the complexities are immense vanilla,unsweetened chocolate ,roasty malt,earth,and even a light note of malted milk.What can I say its awesome Iam gonna savor the 8 I have for sure.

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Photo of jlindros
4.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Acquired this beauty thanks to BEERchitect. I've been dreaming of cracking this open for weeks. I've woken up in a cold sweat a few times dreaming of dancing Founders bottles with KBS letters flying out at me and into my mouth, and rivers of dark tasty liquid showering me in droves of awesomeness. And now its finally time to sample this thing. I feel like that virgin 17year old at prom that finally steps into the hotel room with his date, made of beer.

A: AS it pours it leaves a dark stain on the air. As it rims around the glass it also leaves a dark brown syrup on the sides, it so thick I can't even call it a stain. I can only match the thickness of this to 40W oil after it came out of a 200k mile car and was there almost all 200k miles. I can almost see chunks of grains floating out with it, but I think that's my brain on KBS. A very faint almost detectable head starts to appear, but it's just a tease as it fades from memory and leaves a few small cliques of bubbles

N: Despite being able to smell the roasted malts and chocolate from the stains on the air, I decided to go in deeper. I think I need someone to cover me. The nose is so overwhelming I think my insides just stained a dark coffee brown color. Tons of coffee and roasted malts just come billowing out of the glass on a horse of dark bakers chocolate. It does remind me a lot of regular breakfast stout at this point, but then comes the awesomeness of the bourbon and oak. The remnants of the bourbon and alcohol dance their way into my nostrils burning the edges slightly as my nose both cringes and begs for more like a sadomasochistic kid getting his first taste of the whip. Did I mention there was some coffee and chocolate there?

T: Oooohhhh snap! Here comes the train. The molasses thick oil like liquid slowly spreads out over my tongue. Lots of sweetness and chocolate come spreading out. The coffee instantly wakes my ass up, hence breakfast. The alcohol taste and burn really just lashes out at my mouth with hot pokers almost as if my mouth has just died and gone to hell. The bourbon taste starts to come through once the heavy set chocolate and coffee attempt to die out. And by attempt to die out I mean when your mouth starts to become used to it because this stuff never goes away. More dark sweetness that could only have come from the depths of Candyland hell start to berate my taste buds for attempting a second sip. It leaves a thick coating all around the mouth as if it was secretly made of wax that sticks when warm. It also seems to leave a slightly milky residue bringing me back to 5th grade and dousing my milk with so much chocolate I used to just take the Hersheys plastic container and fill IT with milk rather than the other way around. Some quick oats dash their way into the taste enough to make a horse blush. A touch of oak and vanilla round it off, if you can say that.

M: Really? Have you not figured out by now? Super thick and sticky, a viscosity of some huge number. The alcohol burns the edges of the mouth and any flesh that dares stand in it's way. Could use a slight bit of more carbonation, but that is most likely a product of the aging.

F: Finishes semi sweet, like just chewing on a piece of rubber coffee cake and then biting on some baker's chocolate. The thickness fills all the pours and taste buds so much so that I don't think I'll be able to taste my dinner tomorrow. The coffee's caffeine can't be absorbed anymore as everything is coated with that huge thick substance, more solid than liquid. The slight oak and vanilla, followed by bourbon and more alcohol seem to fade last on the tongue, except the chocolate and coffee which never disappear. With it being so ridiculously thick and strong tasting I can barely continue to sip it.

Final thoughts: While I'm sitting here enjoying this amazing beverage that I have been having wet dream about, I think my house is on fire, my son is probably in the corner chewing on wires or something, and the Patriots are somehow getting their butts kicked by Buffalo, but none of that matters as my world fades into a vertigo feeling as I blissfully attempt to consume and digest this crazy stuff. It's almost as if I'm living vicariously through myself trying to enjoy this, or am I still dreaming. Perhaps its a coma I slipped into when I took my first sip of it. I don't even think there is a word in the English language to describe it, so I'll make one up. This beer, is it still really a beer at this point, anyways this beer is transcendingerompteous. Need I say more? Can't wait till this stuff comes around again.

Edit: The Patriots came back to win with :50 left in the game, 2 hours later, just as I was finishing up the KBS!

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

Review #300! A HUGE thanks goes out to Scoobydank for giving this bottle to me as a birthday present! Bill, you are the man!

Poured into New Beglium Globe Glass.

Pours a 1/4 finger cocoa brown head. The little head doesn't last long, but the etching brings up some carbonation bubbles. Leaves some lace rings for the little bit of head. Color is a dark dark chocolate brown. The tone of brown is like no other beer I have had.

Aroma: Just amazing. Chocolate. Cocoa. Quality coffee. Hardly, any of the 11.2% abv shows here. A little vanilla. A very robust and complex beer. The blend of chocolate and coffee is just perfect. A nice layer of bourbon and oak go with the other flavors so well. If I could only smell one beer in the world, this would be it (to date that is).

Taste: A little alcohol with the bourbon up front. Strong coffee. Chocolate. (As I am reviewing this, I look at the bottle and realize the side says Malt Beverage brewed with chocolate and coffee. Well at least Founders doesn't lie). Vanilla is definitely doesn't hide here. After I sip on this a bit more, I realize that the alcohol I am tasting is the bourbon. As the beer warms up a bit, the bourbon begins to taste better and better. Very amazing tasting beer.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, rich, and creamy (just like CBS). The bourbon loves to shine through the longer it stays in my mouth. Leaves a very chocolate malty aftertaste. Full bodied. The carbonation level is right on the money for a beer like this (a medium level). Ends a little dry and hot.

Honestly, I don't really know if there is anything wrong with this beer. This big stout is drinking better than a lot of other beers I have had and it is so much darker (not implying that darker means anything). My beer is almost gone already and I want more of it. I am so impressed with Founders for this beer. They managed to make an 11.2% abv beer be so damn drinkable. If I had more I would easily want to crack open another. I will be buying as much of this as I can next year if it makes it to MN. A must try!

Edit: As I just took the last sip, I was so sad that I realized I had no more of this amazing liquid. If you can get any of this, don't pass it up... ever!

Edit2: Changed a few things for the fresh 2010 batch. Nothing too major.

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

12 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled 2/17/2012. Re-rate from last year. Pours thick pitch black color with a small 1 finger fairly dense tan head with good retention that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Some slight spotty lacing on the glass. Aromas of big dark chocolate, caramel, vanilla, molasses, toffee, espresso, roasted malt, bourbon, and oak. Fantastic aromas here with great balance and good strength. Taste of big dark chocolate, caramel, molasses, vanilla, toffee, espresso, bourbon, roasted malt, oak, biscuit, and slight herbal hops. Almost no bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, vanilla, toffee, bourbon, molasses, oak, and roasted malt on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic flavor balance, without the bourbon being too overpowering; and no cloying sweetness at all. Light-medium carbonation and full bodied; with an insanely creamy, slick, lush, and super smooth mouthfeel. Alcohol is extremely well hidden at 11.2% with only a slight warming after the finish noticed. Extremely easy to drink, but is still a sipper. Overall this is definitely a world class barrel aged imperial stout. Big balanced and robust flavors; with an incredibly smooth and lush mouthfeel. This is definitely at it’s best when fresh.

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

On tap @ Founders (Grand Rapids, MI) on 4/22/10. 8 oz of the 2010 edition served in a snifter.

Pours black as midnight in the glass, with a thin covering of reddish & burnt looking mocha colored head. Swirling elicits a huge creamy flare-up that drenches the sides with thick swathes of lace and dark goo. I'm surprised by just how much of the Breakfast Stout is coming through upon first whiff. Roasted coffee and chocolate form a decadent smelling pillar in the nose, which the bourbon and vanilla notes rises up and wrap themselves around. Woody tannins and a touch of floral character lend this a certain degree of gentleness in the nose despite this being such a powerful bouquet.

The taste is very rich up front with crunchy coffee chocolate roast before bourbon and vanilla character just absolutely DRENCHES the back of the throat with warm sweetness. The bourbon does have some sharpness to it but never does quite get stinging (although it is close). It definitely does spread a boozy feel across the palate and in the chest. The tannic notes from the oak has a touch of raw and green feel to it, with the bourbon and wood leaving a lot of deep dryness in it's wake. The mouthfeel is full bodied and rich, with a big creamy feel that fills the mouth up with flavor. I'm getting some of that 11% ABV but most of the alcohol appears to come from the bourbon and stays out of the body for the most part, helping keep this a very steady sipper.

It's hard for me to say if I like this beer fresher, with the coffee and vanilla popping, or if I like it more with some age and all of that bourbon and wood showing itself a little stronger. Makes me wish that I had tried a glass of the 2009 next to it. Always the tough decisions to make on these ridiculous pre-DLD trips to Founders in the wake of the Black Party the weekend before...

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Photo of chinchill
4.43/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured near black; opaque with a proper head.

Powerful, enticing aroma of dark malts, fine bourbon, and faint wood. Slightly boozy, but less than expected for over 11% ABV. There's a lot going on here, with even more complexity in the flavor. An excellent mix with good balance. Taste is just a tad too smoky/burnt.

M: full body is slightly harsh (recall over 11% ABV); medium carbonation, if off at all, is a tad high; smooth and warming.

O: had 2-3x in the past on tap but this was the 1st time bottled; perhaps because it had some additional age (no way to tell at this point) this was even better than remembered. An excellent big beer; very rich and complex, and a bit boozy in manner most may find appealing.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.97/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Put on the spot to order a beer quickly, a quick gander at the cooler revealed a beer I'd never had before with a label that read KBS. OK, I'll have that. DOH!!! Once delivered to me I realized that it was Kentucky Breakfast Stout from Founder's. I'd had it before, but the label was different. So, OK, I was having brunch and coffee and bourbon and stout seemed appropriate, and this is a beer that can stand up to (actually dominate over) a spicy mushroom enchilada. What I was not prepared for was the price... $12!!! Damn, if only I'd known.

Anyway, I'm sure there are a million reviews for this out there, so I'll keep it simple. I prefer the Breakfast Stout. I think that the Bourbon just adds a bit too much to the mix, and it clearly increases the perception of alcohol, whether there's more there or not. It also cuts down on the really nice coffee flavor that the standard Breakfast Stout has, and I think, the malt flavors as well.

What's nice about the Breakfast Stout is that it's really complex, but that's kind of lost in the KBS because the Bourbon characteristic cuts through a lot of it (at least at the end of the glass).

So although this is not a beer I'd throw out of bed (you know what I mean), it's just not quite as good as the beer that spawned it.

Oh, and I kind of have to ding it for points on the appearance as the head drops immediately, and it leaves little lacing.

Cheers!

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.32/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired from both plaztikjezuz and jpm30 in concurrent trades, so a big Thank You goes out to them. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep black color, with a very thin brown head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of roasted coffee, vanilla, creamy chocolate, oats and dark malts.

T: The taste is very malty with strong roasted flavors of coffee, vanilla and chocolate as you would expect. There's a significant alcohol sting and a mild hops presence, but there's also a nice balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium-to-heavy body, light-to-medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily for a beer with 10.00% ABV, not too filling, strong kick, very good representation of style, this is one of those good big stouts that is worth drinking for a while until the ABV catches up to you.

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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.

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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
4.56 out of 5 based on 11,999 ratings.
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