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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)
BA SCORE
4.61/5
World-Class
12,764 Ratings
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
Ranking:
#26
Reviews:
3,251
Ratings:
12,764
pDev:
8.46%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
4,513
Gots:
6,721
Trade:
522
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 12,764 |  Reviews: 3,251
Photo of dmorgan310
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Photo of emerge077
4.42/5  rDev -4.1%
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 -8.7%
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 WillieThreebiers
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of oline73
4.77/5  rDev +3.5%
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 Phyl21ca
4.25/5  rDev -7.8%
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 zeff80
4.45/5  rDev -3.5%
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 SocalKicks
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of LXIXME
4.47/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of largadeer
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%
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 superspak
4.38/5  rDev -5%
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 Boone757
4.35/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of Kurmaraja
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Photo of mothman
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%
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 DrBier
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.97/5  rDev -13.9%
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 chinchill
4.43/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

 733 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
4.67/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Served on tap at The Pony Bar in New York, NY

A: Pours a midnight black with a thin light tan head which reduces over time but leaves a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass. Moderate lacing is observed.

S: A very delicious smelling beer - lot of dark roasted malts, chocolate, coffee ,vanilla, and oak. Lots of complexity, the hints of bourbon from the barrels is very noticeable.

T: What a great complex and well balanced beer. Starts with a lot of coffee/espresso and chocolate flavors, moves to an oaky vanilla, and then finishes with a linger coffee bitterness.

M: Medium to full bodied with light to moderate carbonation. Very creamy and very smooth.

O: A fantastic beer that really hides the high ABV very well. I look forward to this beer every year in the late winter and this year again it does not disappoint. Great complexity to the smell + flavor and a great balance between the sweetness + bitterness in the flavor. I wish I could get this one more easily.

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Photo of jlindros
4.85/5  rDev +5.2%
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 olradetbalder
4.25/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.32/5  rDev -6.3%
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 oberon
4.54/5  rDev -1.5%
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 Thorpe429
4.47/5  rDev -3%
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.

 884 characters

Photo of nickfl
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.61 out of 5 with 12,764 ratings
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