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): 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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
12,640
Reviews:
3,233
Avg:
4.56
pDev:
8.77%
 
 
Wants:
4,498
Gots:
6,682
For Trade:
529
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 12,640 |  Reviews: 3,233
Photo of djrn2
4.25/5  rDev -6.8%

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.

 943 characters

Photo of t0rin0
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

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.

 578 characters

Photo of oriolesfan4
4/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

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.

 704 characters

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.

 2,264 characters

Photo of biboergosum
4.33/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, shared by a random at rogerdandy's latest typically epic bottle share.

This beer pours a solid black hole, with one finger of medium brown head, which leaves some scattered island chain lace around the glass as it slowly sinks away.

It smells of pungent Bourbon barrel notes, bittersweet cocoa powder, cafe-au-lait, grainy and roasted caramel malt, black licorice, and a further barely-restrained booziness. The taste is bready and doughy caramel malt, some free-range ashiness, bitter coffee, still heady Bourbon (the barrel and the whiskey therein), milk chocolate, anise candies, and a weak earthy, leafy, and perfumed floral hoppiness.

The carbonation is average in its meek frothiness, the body a decent medium-heavyweight, and dead smooth, with a nice full and rounded creaminess. It finishes in a sweet confectionery and saucy Bourbon manner.

Overall, this is certainly a stellar big boy brew, with lots and lots of the promised and expected flavours, while not disappointing in the least. Totally worth sampling or imbibing should you get the opportunity.

 1,084 characters

Photo of kojevergas
4.14/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pry-off cap served into a snifter. 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

---
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-

***
04/11/17:

Bourbon is reticent. Not a lot of coffee in this vintage. Plenty of maple.

A lot less depth of flavour is present here than in previous vintages.

B / GOOD

 4,840 characters

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.

 1,043 characters

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

 734 characters

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.

 662 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of dmorgan310
5/5  rDev +9.6%

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.

 571 characters

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.

 633 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of LXIXME
4.47/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

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.

 596 characters

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of superspak
4.38/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 2/14/2017. Pours opaque dark brown/black color with a 1-2 finger dense and rocky tan head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Great dense soapy lacing clings around the glass. Fantastic appearance. Aromas of milk/dark chocolate, cocoa, dark roasted coffee, caramel, molasses, vanilla, bourbon, toasted oak, coconut, dark bread, light smoke, and roast/oak earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/roast/bready malt, chocolate, coffee, and bourbon barrel notes; with solid strength. A bit of booze as it warms. Taste of huge milk/dark chocolate, cocoa, dark roasted coffee, caramel, molasses, vanilla, bourbon, toasted oak, coconut, dark bread, light smoke, and roast/oak earthiness. Light roast bitterness and bourbon/oak spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of milk/dark chocolate, cocoa, dark roasted coffee, caramel, molasses, vanilla, bourbon, toasted oak, coconut, dark bread, light smoke, and roast/oak earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt, chocolate, coffee, and bourbon barrel flavors; with an awesome roasted bitter/sweet balance, and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Slight dryness from roast bitterness and bourbon/oak spiciness as well. Light-medium carbonation and full body; with a very smooth, creamy/silky/velvety, and slightly tannic/chalky mouthfeel that is awesome. Minimal warming alcohol for 11.8%, with zero barrel booziness. Overall this is an amazing barrel aged imperial coffee stout. All around incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt, chocolate, coffee, and bourbon barrel flavors; very smooth and dangerously easy to sip on for the huge ABV. Pretty much perfectly balanced between barrel, malt, and chocolate/coffee flavors. A highly enjoyable offering.

 1,902 characters

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.

 2,276 characters

Photo of Boone757
4.35/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of DrBier
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
4.56 out of 5 based on 12,640 ratings.
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