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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) | Founders Brewing Company

3,038 Reviews
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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

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

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Reviews: 3,038 | Ratings: 11,853
Photo of Netdigger2
3.83/5  rDev -16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 bottle acquired in a trade, served at 50°F

Pours black with dark mocha head. Sparse lacing throughout.

Smell is oak, coffee, malt, cacao

Taste is oak and chocolate, some booze.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, softened by the oak, heavy carbonation.

This is a good beer, but so overly burnt oaky, that it is tough to finish alone.

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Photo of julian89
4.87/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

So yeah, I went to Brick Store Pub's annual breakfast before work and had KBS 2010, CBS 2010, and Blushing monk to make an awesome 8-10 oz per cup beer flight, all on draft. Yes It was a great start to my work day. I had the CBS from bottle last year, from what I remember it's just as fantastic.

Appearance: Pours a viscous-looking black body with a small, short-lived tan head. It's viscosity is similar to a light molasses.

Smell: Heavy aroma hits with strong notes of smokey roasted malt, brown sugar, vanilla, fine pipe tobacco, dark chocolate charred wood, and smooth bourbon all blended well.

Taste: Oh... my.. god... these three beers were my breakfast and all I needed. The smooth mix and booming taste of roasted malts, dark chocolate, and strong vanilla-flavored coffee hit me on the start. Distinct, yet subtle bourbon flavor with tastes of smokey wood and dark brown sugar. Sweetish bourbon, roasty taste on the mild alcohol warming finish.

Mouthfeel: Full body and mild carbonation. Oh so smooth.

Drinkability: If I had to trade breakfast for liquid for the rest of my life, all I would drink are Founders KBS, CBS, and regular breakfast stout. Such a smooth well mixed beer.

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Photo of montesown
4.24/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Tried this for the first time at the Beer Fest in GR. On tap - 2014. The coffee taste takes over all the rest, and unfortuntately I am not a coffee person. Maybe with age, or warmer (it was 18 degrees out) it would taste different. I have higher regards to Bourbon County and Backwoods.
Cheers -

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Photo of khumbard
4.87/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at the brewpub a few weeks ago for the first time. Then was very surprised to find a single at my local store... had to pick it up in spite of the high price tag. At the brewpub it made a HUGE impression on me, and I thought might be my favorite beer of all time, so I had to make sure it was legit.

A - pours heavy black (into Duvel tulip) with very little to no head. Small carbonation ring around the outside which leaves some decent lacing on the glass.

S - This smells like heaven. Chocolate, bourbon, coffee, roasty malts, deliciousness, vanilla, and did I mention bourbon?

T - The taste is just as good as the smell. Coffee and chocolate up front, bourbon vanilla, then a touch of bitterness on the finish. This is a very high quality beverage. Some slight booziness as it goes down. Definitely warming my insides, but nothing too crazy. Very well hidden 11.2%.

M - Founders has their stuff together when making stouts, similar mouthfeel to their regular BS, and imperial. Maybe a little silkier, but very similar. Super smooth.

D - Definitely one of the more drinkable big stouts around. I could easily put away 2 or 3 of these if they weren't so rare and expensive. I'm going to be sad when I reach the bottom of the glass...

Overall this is an awesome beer, and if you find it somewhere, DO NOT pass it up. Pay the high price tag, it is worth it.

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

Had on draft at Twains. Oh my God. Go for it. Seriously you are losing out. Bourbon and chocolate. They go to the courthouse and get hitched. Have a baby named Yummy and live happy ever after. Ok, they have a couple of babies, but they are all pretty.

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Photo of nc41
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One hell of a big brew. Looks kinda flat then the head appears at the end of the pour. Nice rich Bourbon nose. Taste you have to experience. If you like Bourbon or whiskey in general you'll love it. Exceptional in every way. Loses a few points for drinkability because it's so damn dominating. A one at a time brew, but it's also priced that way too. A can't miss if you like world class stouts.

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Photo of seedsofchaos
4.23/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle with no distinguishing marks of vintage or bottle number. 2010 batch.

Poured into a chalice/snifter a thick and opaque black reminding me of the mirror like qualities of a crystal ball... only jet black like the darkest of nights. Carbonation was fantastic and bubbled upwards to create a finger width head filled with colors of cappuccino and creamed coffee with just a touch of red. Head quickly fades to just a skimming but with great lacing that seems to haunt the side of my glass in large menacing rings and drips.

A heavy of bouquet of espresso beans, rich coffee and chocolate is quickly complemented by oak and vanilla. The vanilla lingers onward with hints of alcohol sharpness and bourbon richness.

Heavily alcoholic, the brew hits like the first sip of whiskey but then comes the chocolate... An interesting mixing of dark chocolate, black coffee, light oak, light molasses and espresso beans confuse my palette. Definitely enjoyable but very different. The more I sip, the more I feel as if I am drinking a cup of really great coffee as the aftertaste is only of coffee, cream and light vanilla.

Mouthfeel is medium heavy and a bit syrupy at times. For a stout, it drinks nicely and as I would expect.

Drinkability? I've downed half a chalice at this point and, at 330 pounds, feel warm and fuzzy... Don't even try to make this a session beer unless, perhaps, you're used to drinking moonshine. The beer is smooth enough, however, and the alcohol becomes dangerously more hidden over time. Careful drinking if you're having more than one.

All in all, this is a great beer with, perhaps, a little too much hype surrounding it at times. I would still recommend any BA to try one or two of these but don't go trading one-for-one for a Westy or vintage DL or anything. This is a grade "A" beer but it shouldn't be a white whale. This is another great offering from an already solid brewery that finds it's beers as regulars in my cellar.

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

Poured from 12oz bottle into snifter. Pours black like oil with a thin brown head. It smells of coffee, chocolate, slight toasted malt slight booze. The taste follows with vanilla and bourbon. So delish! Let this warm a bit. This ale is full bodied- almost syrupy but in a fantastic way. I would love to drink 4 of these but the ABVs remind me to consume slow. This will only get better with age. My second favorite beer of all time.

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Photo of derekrick420
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Teresa's tapped a 2010 firkin the day before the Super Bowl, unfortunately one was spilled on my coat. All I have to say is...it was 25 out, and windy. My coat was soaked with KBS and all I thought was how lucky I was that my coat smelled like KBS while I waited on a commuter train platform.

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

I just got comped this from my distributor.
I know thats annoying and cliche, but damn, this is the best damn beer I've had that I can remember.
On the pour it's all motor oil, with a limp head that dies early. I figure Whiskey doesnt have a head when you pour it, so this wont have much either.
The smell is huge: coffee, whiskey, dark chocalate, english toffee, and sweet molassis. I'm sure I'm missing something but it's just too big.
The taste is strong as hell at first. Like a meaner Breakfast stout, but it mellows and molds to a subtle and complex beer (is beer the right word?). It's got a lot of a whiskey/cognac taste in it, but that serves to temper and smooth out the coffee roast. Without becoming repetitive and long winded...this beer is f-in amazing.

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

A friend traveling to Michigan picked me up several 4 packs and boy what a treat. Poured motor oil black with a frothy toasty brown head that left great retention. The aroma of bourbon was up front with hints of vanilla, dark prune and dates somewhere lost in the middle and a heavy scent of burnt coffee towards the end. What I smell is what I taste. The body was full almost thick, syrupy and softly carbonated with one hell of a bourbon alcohol feel on my palate. Careful, at 10% ABV this brew will creep up on you as it did to me after my third one of the night. Overall, Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout is among one of the best brews I've had. Thanks and Enjoy.

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Photo of jeremy13586
4.82/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Managed to snag a few of bottles from work. Reviewing one and sitting on the rest. Bottled 2/17/12 and poured in to a snifter. Chilled this down to about 55°F. Had this once a couple of years ago, but I think I'll probably appreciate this more now.

The beer has an oily black color. Formed a one finger brown head in my snifter. Looks appealing enough.

Dark and roasty aroma and an alcoholic burn are the first things to hit the nose. The booze does turn in to more of a pronounced whiskey aroma with notes of coffee and chocolate.

The bourbon taste is definitely up front, then follows the coffee and chocolate. The beer has a finish of vanilla and finally ends on a minor licorice note. There is only a very slight lingering bitterness. All the flavors have their place, but mesh together wonderfully.

The mouthfeel was very smooth, slick, and oily. Pretty heavy in body and full flavored.

I'm very glad that I was able to re-visit it and have a few to sit on. This is one of those beers that you wish you could drink all the time, but you're almost glad that you can't. It would take away from the beer, in a way. Anyways, totally awesome.

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Photo of jbone78
4.28/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had a little vertical of this the other night. 08-10 and I liked the 09 the best.

It poured black with 1/8 inch tan head. Coffee, chocolate balanced well with the bourbon flavors, but the 08 were very faded to me. This is just an overview of my tasting. I really think the fresher the better in my opinion.


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Photo of Seanem44
4.44/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I finally landed this whale. Really one of the last big must-have beers that I should have had in the past put eluded me.

I enjoyed the beer a lot. Strangely, I didn't really taste a lot of coffee though the chocolate was there. The bourbon was there most definitely.

For this beer, I'd say the warmer the better. Even warmer than 55 degrees. Honestly, I may sound silly, but I wouldn't be afraid to drink this at room temp. The beer got increasingly smoother as it warmed up from my usual 55 degree start point.

I will cellar some, though I have heard it best to drink it fresh. Overall, KBS did not disappoint. I know a lot of people compare to BCBS. I won't. They are two different beers, both enjoyable in their own.

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Photo of kdmorse
4.58/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured vigorously into a pint glass to leave 2 fingers of tan head. As head recedes, lacing clings longingly to the glass. Body is pitch black.

S: Smell is incredibly similar to its Michigan brother (Breakfast Stout) at first. Coffee! Some oatmeal and dark chocolate, but lots of coffee. As it warms slightly, bourbon sweetness takes over. Aging seems to mellow out the aromas.

T: Coffee flavor floods the tongue and is followed by a wave of dark chocolate and hints of bourbon and oak. Hops sneak around like a thief in the night to balance the beer. Coffee in the finish and aftertaste with sweet memories sticking around.

M: Creamy and thick mouthfeel.

D: Don’t taste the alcohol, but can feel it is there. Easy and fun to drink, but it is 10%.

Notes: After a side-by-side tasting, I prefer the regular BS. This is more subtle and smooth, but lacks the boldness of its un-aged version.

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

Bottled 2/17/2012

Poured a dark black that was totally non-translucent. Produced virtually no head and has just the slightest dark mocha colored lacey ring around the glass. I don't drink many stouts these days so it's pretty uncommon for me to see brews this dark. First aromas are of sweetened coffee, slight chocolate, hints of caramel and roast, Kaluha, deep malts and of course... bourbon! Unlike Goose Island BCS, this one is not over the top on the bourbon alcohol booziness tastes. The chocolate coffee is complimented by just the right amount of bourbon. As the brew warms, I notice the bourbon tastes becoming a bit more prevalent. It has a very crisp mouthfeel, not very heavy or sludgy. 11.2% abv? Seems about right. Perhaps even a bit smooth for that high of an alcohol content. Glad I finally got to try the infamous KBS. Worth a taste! Hopefully I can find it on tap some time.


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Photo of dciBA
4.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

hhhhmmm, pours jet black into my snifter, no head, no lacing, nothing, kinda disappointing. Onto the smell...

Oh my god! The smell is is amazing. This is a beer that makes me glad to be a beer geek. I could smell this for hours without even taking a sip. In fact, that's exactly what I did for 15 minutes, just smell, no taste, I may have a problem here. Lot's of chocolate, mostly milk. The bourbon smell mixes in perfectly as well as a strong coffee note when it warms up.

The taste is equally amazing. Man, I hate gushing about a beer but this everything I want in a beer and then some. Plenty of chocolate, like the smell, but the bourbon is much stronger on the palate. Chocolate, coffee, and bourbon, all very strong, assaulting your palate, but yet, perfectly balanced.

Slick consistency, low on carbonation, but exactly how I want the beer to feel in my mouth. Ya, perfect mouthfeel. So the beer doesn't look too great. Like a glass of used motor oil, but who cares? Smell it, taste it, feel it tickle your beer geek G-spot like no other, and sit back an enjoy.

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Photo of CaptinRedBeard
4.69/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

09 Vintage

A: Poured into a Duvel tulip. Pours pretty much black no light gets through this one at all. Pretty much no head and no lacing.

S: Strong coffee aroma. A little bit of bourbon and vanilla as well.

T: The coffee comes through in the forefront followed by hints of vanilla and bourbon. The bourbon is subtle and not overpowering, which is a good thing in my opinion. A bit of roasted malt flavor comes through but it takes a back seat to all of the bigger flavors in this beer.

M: More carbonated than I expeced, but still a nice smooth mouthfeel.

D: This is my first time having KBS and this is great stuff. Going back to the regular Breakfast Stout after this is gonna be tough. Incredible beer. I will savor every one I that have.

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Photo of TheosTheories
4.99/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On draft at world of beer

A- pitch black, small head that doesn't last

S- coffee, vanilla, perfect about of boubon!

T- I'm getting that bourbon up from but it isn't over the top, it's balanced amazingly with the roasted coffee, and dark chocolate, a nice vanilla is also coming through.

M- mouth feel is perfect, on the lighter side of full, sticky and coats the mouth nice.

O- overall a perfect barrel aged stout. It is exactly what I'm looking for in one. Nice bourbon but isn't over the top like I feel like goose islands bourbon county is.

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

Bottle poured into pint glass. Served 50-55 F.
A: Opaque. Tan brown with thick frothy head. Leaves behind a thick sticky lace.
S: Coffee, chocolate, and woody.
T: Malts are very dark and toasted. Coffee is sharp and very chocolaty. Strong amounts of spice. Finishes with a biItter hoppy linger.
M: Sticky and syrupy, Very warming, and alcohol is strong.
D: Big beer. Top to bottom filled with flavor and alcohol. Smells as complex as it tastes and has a great mouthfeel.

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

12oz bottle (bottled 02/08/2010) pours pitch black with about an eighth inch mocha colored head that dissipates very quickly.

The smell of bourbon hits you immediately followed by dark roast coffee and a hint of vanilla. What more could you want?!

Taste follows the nose with coffee, vanilla, and a lot of alochol heat from the bourbon barrels. This beer takes bourbon barrel aged beers to a whole new level. Ridiculously good now and it will only get better with time as the bourbon mellows and the flavors blend together a little more.

Smooth and creamy mouth feel, not the thickest stout I've had, but about what I would expect from a barrel aged stout. The heat has gone down a little in the six or so months since KBS came out earlier this year, but it's still a little on the hot side. Definitely a sipping beer, but one that I enjoyed every drop of.

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Photo of mbusster88
4.52/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle.

A: Pours jet black, really thick literally like motor oil. Brown head is minimal and nearly non-existent. Cannot see anything in this beer, carbonation is not present either.

S: Chocolate chip cookie is what I get right away. Then there is some booze notes in the nose. Also get some coffee flavors and some very sweet bourbon type notes.

T/M: Dark chocolate malt flavors in the front. Some light booze in the middle and finishes like a chocolate chip cookie. I stress the cookie part. Great thick mouthfeel and good balance between bitterness and malts.

D: Love this beer. Probably would not session it, but wonderful to have when you just want something amazing. Quality not quantity is the idea here, especially since I can not even get this is NY.

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Photo of jgagne
4.63/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Finally i got my hands on the famous KBS, it did not disappoint.

A-Pitch black with little to no head of foam

S-Distinct smell of bourbon, and hints of roasted coffee

T-From the smell i was expected overpowering of bourbon but instead i got a well balanced, flavorful, wonderful burst of espresso, bourbon and chocolate. Just wonderful

M-Sits heavy but not overwhelming. Nice abundance of alcohol and just the right amount of sweetness.

O-Great, great beer. Definitely lived up to the hype for me.

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Photo of k_clarkie
2.12/5  rDev -53.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This beer was wasted on me.
I do no not typically like stouts, and not a fan of the whole "barrel aged" thing because I don't do whiskey or bourbon.
I was glad I got to try it.
Don't worry, no drain pour, my good buddy Mikey got to benefit from it.

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Photo of abecall98
3.98/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thank you WakeandBake for a chance to try this highly sought after beer!

A - This beer looks beautiful. A dark stout poured nicely into my Founders Pint Glass, with a nice retaining half inch tan head.

S - I smell roasts and chocolate, not overpowering either.

T - The taste is strong. It has a rough barrel taste from the aging. Then, a hint of bourbon. After that, comes the coffee and chocolate flavors to finish it off.

M - Very low carbonation, I was hoping for more carbonation, on par of the Breakfast stout, and it is not here. This is the least pleasing part of this beer.

D - I cannot see myself wanting to drink this in rapid succession. It is not the easiest beer to drink on it's own either. Another aspect that is lowering of its score.

Overall - this is a unique and complext beer. I will keep sipping on it as it warms up, and it is a very good beer.

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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 3,038 ratings.
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