Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) | Founders Brewing Company

3,159 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.80%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
This stout is brewed with a hint of coffee and vanilla then aged in oak bourbon barrels for over a year.

Note, this is NOT simply barrel-aged Breakfast Stout. It is an entirely different beer.

Now labeled as "KBS."

ABV varies by batch.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-13-2004

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 3,159 | Ratings: 12,360
Photo of wolfinthemirror
3.27/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Pours pitch black like the night sky of the countryside of Kentucky. about a fingers worth of chocolate colored head resulted from a moderately aggressive pour, doesn't last too long. No light can be seen through the body of this beer whatsoever.

i can smell strong boozy notes up front and immediately upon putting my nose to the glass. scents of vanilla/licorice, some dark chocolate, sweet rich malt. Very enjoyable nose.

The alcohol is very strong in the taste as well. Big bourgon flavors, lots of oakiness. Not tasting any kind of coffee, a hint of chocolate in the back, though. The booze really dominates everything else, its a bit overpowering.

Full bodied, but maybe not quite as thick as I had imagined it, which is a bit of a disappointment. I'm definitely getting a warming sensation in the back of my throat, which is always good on a cold night.

I can't get this in Oklahoma, and at 11.2%, i don't think i would want to drink very often if i could. This is definitely an interesting beer to try, but probably not one i would want to drink again and again. Thank you Beerwolf for the opportunity to try this beer.

 1,131 characters

Photo of drgonzo3705
4.32/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep black beautiful looking beer with little head that dwindles to a tiny ring around the edge. Not much lacing going on.

S: Big coffee nose with a nice oaky undertone and a splash of bourbon.

T: Nice bitter chocolate and coffee up front. Some oak and bourbon rides smoothly underneath.
M: Full bodied and just chewy enough. Good carbonation. Leaves a nice stout coating in your mouth.

D: Not too bad at all definitely a sipper but so worth having.

 459 characters

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

12oz bottle poured into a nonic.

A - jet black like used motor oil with a hint of a dark brown head that in a flash was gone. (as to be expected with bourbon barrel aged beers.)

S - chocolate, roasted barley, tobacco, smoke, charred barley, oak, vanilla. the smell is essentially Breakfast Stout that has a bourbon barrel tinge to it. very coffee heavy.

T - very coffee heavy. coffee, roasted barley, espresso, smoke, tobacco, charred malt. vanilla, oak, and alcohol come into play as the beer warms. there's also some dark chocolate in the finish. Essentially it tastes like sweetened guinness draught that's been bourbon barrel aged, but that's simplifying it too much because it's so much more.

M - thick and viscous. it appeared to leave a film on my glass.

D - very good beer. I'm glad i picked up a few (seven) extra bottles for cellaring.

Additionally: Does it live up to the hype? Yes. Definitely one to seek out if you're an Imperial Stout fan.

 960 characters

Photo of WallingBrew
4.9/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

yes, it has consistently lived up to the hype.
yes, I believe it is worth seeking out each year.
Mad props to Founders for consistently putting out a phenomenal and world class beer.
I have found it to be more available in the south vs. the mitten (way to go Virginia and Florida).
Easily a top 5 beer and great for gifting.

 324 characters

Photo of Casedogg43
4.24/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013 out of the bottle, poured into the world famous "Raise your Pints" glass.

Looks quite tasty nice head dark milk chocolate Stout color.
Nose is Coffee and chocolate and sweet bourbon!

I let it warm for approximately 30 minutes, It's slightly chilled over room temperature.
Taste is very coffee forward followed by nice silky chocolate with Bourbon allover the middle and backend. A hint of Vanilla touches the buds too.
The bourbon and coffee linger in your mouth and pallet.

I will say, for as hard as is to get, it didn't live up to expectations. I've previously had bottles of the CBS, And in my opinion KBS isn't at that level.
But that does not mean it's not an absolutely terrific stout! As it is absolutely wonderful!

 731 characters

Photo of The_Epopt
4.62/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Smells exactly like it should and how you want it to. Well balanced between alcohol and flavor, nothing hot on the tongue. Slides down the throat too easy for a high ABV beer.

 176 characters

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

Founders regular Breakfast Stout is probably the best widely available stout you can buy (AleSmith's regular Speedway Stout also comes to mind). But I fail to see how KBS (at least the 2016 release) is much more special than regular Breakfast Stout. In short, like Breakfast Stout, KBS is a terrific beer, but having paid the same price for one bottle of KBS as a four-pack of regular Breakfast Stout ($8.99), let's just say I'm a little perplexed.

 448 characters

Photo of ebby82
3.92/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The initial smell was a delicious blend of coffee, chocolate malt, and bourbon. I also really enjoyed the first taste. But overall, I'm not a big fan of this beer due to its overwhelming Bourbon flavor. I'm sure it's great if you like bourbon, but I really don't. It's a well made beer, but the bourbon flavor is too much for me. The appearance was a beautiful deep tarnished black, however. The mouthfeel was intensely thick. I could never drink more than one of these, and at the price, I probably won't be drinking it again.

 527 characters

Photo of PirateUlf73
4.67/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass. Bottle claims an ABV of 11.2%.

A: Jet black with a very thin chocolate-brown head.

S: Soft notes of oak and bourbon mingled with dark chocolate and coffee. Almost like a cold Irish coffee.

T: Taste is dominated by woody bourbon, coffee and semi-sweet chocolate. The three work flawlessly in harmony with one another, creating an almost singular flavor that's hard to pinpoint. Fairly strong roasted malt character. Comes off sweeter than the bottle's claim of 70 IBU's, but I'm not complaining. Alcohol is masked pretty well and serves to warm the throat and belly.

M: Big, oily and slick with a lower level of carbonation. Goes down very smooth for its ABV. Aftertastes are of coffee and bourbon.

D: A sipper to be certain, and opens up beautifully as it warms.

I fancy myself a cynic and a skeptic when it comes to beers as hyped and talked-about as this one, but it won me over in the end. A quite delicious brew that melds its flavors beautifully. Sip and savor. While I shall refrain from gushing endlessly about its merits, this is a beer that won't disappoint, provided you like some coffee flavor in your brew.

 1,151 characters

Photo of capeannbass36
4.7/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle 02/25/11

A- Rough pour into a tulip. Damn near black. no light getting through this. Topped with a one finger, dark tan head that dissapated quickly.
Light lacing left behind throughout.

S- Bourbon, coffee, chocolate. Sweet roasted malt.

T- Follows the nose. Little more intense. Some more chocolate with a hint of vanilla. Belly warms immediately after swallow.

M- Low carbonation. Slick and oily.

O- Bought 2 single bottles, 1 each from two different shops back in April or May?? Initially did not understand the hype. After 7 months, I think the somewhat aged bottle tastes way better?? Kind of tired of the Founders hype and lack of availability...but this stuff is DAMN F-ing tasty!

 708 characters

Photo of hopluva1
3.39/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

bottled 2-25-11
served in a snifter @ 50*

This is my first time trying the much anticipated KBS.
In the glass it looks great, black coffee with a 1 finger light brown with a hint of red head that sticks around a while.

For me that was the highlight of this beer, the taste is big coffee, oak, maybe a bit of dark chocolate. The flavor reminds me of cold burnt coffee (i personally did not get any bourbon barrel). It seemed a little simple for a world class stout, and with all the hype i must say i was disappointed.

 521 characters

Photo of GregA135
4.52/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Grabbed this one at House of 1000 Beers. Had it on tap along with other Founder's Brewing Company Beers! This was a delicious stout! Poured a dark brown with a tan head. Smelled of coffee beans, a hint of chocolate, and bourbon. Once it hit my palate it was a nice and smooth body and tasted great! Tasted of coffee, chocolate, bourbon, and a bit of vanilla! Founders Brewing Company you guys did good! Two Thumbs Up!!!!

 420 characters

Photo of RidiculedDisplay
4.6/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to RoyMunson for this.

Poured into an Oversized Wine Glass.

Appearance: Pours with a barely-there tan froth. Lacing is impressive - spotty and long-lasting, wtih some arms and calligraphic patterns. Body is an opaque impenetrable dark brown-black.

Smell: Whoo, this is a formidable stout. A smokey hotness dominates the aroma that is part alcohol, part chipotle peppers. General spiciness. Black pepper. "Dustiness." Old boot leather. Bourbon barrel wood. Slight cream. Slight brown sugar. Slight molasses. Dark and bittersweet chocolates. Turkish coffee. Undeniably complex, but not subtle.

Taste: Bourbon. Smoke. Deep espresso and turkish coffee - more coffee flavor than the nose hinted to, but reveals itself in a wonderfully nuanced and pleasant way. Mmm. The aftertaste is pure roasted coffee beans. Dark chocolate, very little sweetness. Slight vanilla. Wonderful flavors that have some of the most pronounced lastingness of any I've had in a stout. It smacks your mouth around a bit, but rewards it with a lasting, roasty aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Spicy, but coating, and full.

Drinkability: A sipper.

A fantastic stout. The roastiness and barrel wood flavors are absolutely excellent. Extremely balanced while not being overly subtle. Great.

 1,262 characters

Photo of raveskdr
4.92/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle from 2011. Poured into my Bruery tulip.

A - Midnight black on a starless night in the wilderness. And a great mocha head.

S - Tons of coffee with some chocolate and bourbon on the back end. One of the best smelling stouts out there, no doubt about it.

T - Great coffee flavor, even though it is a year old. Tons of smooth bourbon vanilla character. No alcohol burn after it being this far out. So fantastic.

< - Super smooth and velvety. Fresh, it does have an alcohol burn. But with time, this really mellows out.

O - Easily one of my favorite beers out there. I could drink this all the time. Definitely worthy of its huge score. And then, there is CBS, which is just slightly better.

 701 characters

Photo of mcann2pu
3.95/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pours a silky pitch black, motor oil-esq color, has a thin tan head, not much lacing.

Smell: malty, coffee, chocolate smell on this beer,

Taste: very rich stout taste with some good warming alcohol taste from the barrels,

Mouthfeel: smooth, but it has a good body,

Drinkability: it packs more of a punch than I would have though, but it was good.

 363 characters

Photo of VetsPackage
3.82/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Keep getting these 2015s as free extras in trades for good reason. Disappointing only because of the rave reviews this one gets. Unbalanced bourbon character heavy in oak and lacking in the toasted marshmallow sweatness. Thin body is another let down, all around just leaves you wanting more for a beer that gets the accolades it does.

 335 characters

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

Wow. I love the complexity of FKBS.

A - Dark, coffee black appearance with little to no foam at all

S - Coffee, chocolate, and delicious bourbon

T - Intiail hit of coffee and vanilla, with a alcohol and a bit of chocolate aftertaste.

M - Little to no carbonation. Good body on it. Get a little bit of acidity on the initial sip

D - at 10%, definitely a once in awhile beer. The ABV actually feels higher than 10% though

There's some debate between this beer and the GI BCS, I think this one is the winner for me. Too bad I can't get this in California.

 559 characters

Photo of madtrixter787
4.7/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a DFH tulip. Beautiful jet black with almost no head. The nose is a hint of bourbon with the sweet dark chocolate coming at the end. I have some 2010 and 2011 in the cellar, but I wanted to see how a 2012 would do 9months after bottling. And what do you know, it's amazing. Just the perfect amount of bourbon gives way to dark chocolate notes, followed by notes of oak, vanilla and toffee. Such a smooth velvety mouthfeel. Just wow. I love every bottle of this beer I drink.

 486 characters

Photo of BeerGodz
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Look: Blackest beer I've ever seen! Medium light brown head with little retention, but great lacing

Smell: Dark roast coffee, roasted malt, chocolate, bourbon.

Taste: Up Front: Espresso, chocolate, vanilla. Finish: Sweet malt, bourbon, roasted malt - absolutely decadent!!!

Mouthfeel: Full body, low/medium carbonation, and very creamy

Drinkability: I did not want it to end, but it would be hard to drink more than one of these

Overall Impression: Another beer that lives up to the hype! Simply amazing across the board. I was expecting more bourbon and less coffee. Regardless, it's one of the greatest Stouts ever!

 622 characters

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

Poured into a snifter.

A - freaking amazing! Pitch black, small amount of creamy head on top that quickly dissipates.

S - bourbon, chocolate, coffee, toffee, vanilla.

T - same as nose, in that order, but much more intense. This beer takes both stouts and bourbon aged beers to new heights.

M - carbonation is perfect, just the right amount of thickness and body, and all the flavors come together amazingly.

D - would've been a 5, but it's still pretty hot. I'm sure it would be outstanding in a year+, but I just couldn't wait.

 537 characters

Photo of dee4maine
4.81/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Founders can do no wrong ! What amazes me is the drinkability for something so strong of an ABV. great bourbon nose and flavor along with the intense coffee and layers of choclate.

 180 characters

Photo of bhalter8
4.69/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

After being such a big fan of the regular breakfast stout I was excited to see what the barrel aging did for it. Aggressive pour into my goblet yields almost zero head, amazing really. A swirl of the glass offers little lacing, as well. The color is oil black. The smell is pure alcohol, the aging really took over the sweet malt and coffee aroma in the original version. This is not to say that aroma completely left the beer, its still there, and makes for greater complexity in the smell. The barrel aging comes through in the taste as well, big bourbon heat upfront followed by the blend of coffee and dark chocolate undertones. A nice hop bitterness even finds a place in the amazingly complex taste. I have to say KBS may have the best consistency for an imperial stout ever, just the right thickness, and silky smooth to boot. This thing is definitely a heater, as easy as it goes down, it later reminds you that you are indeed sipping on a barrel aged stout by leaving heat in your throat and mouth behind.
I have a few bottles, so I am glad I will get to revisit this beer, as it was completely unimpressive looking, but such an amazing, great flavor.

 1,161 characters

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.

 251 characters

Photo of TheBear11D
4.92/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle

Pours black with a thick dark wet sandy brown head that lasted about a minute.

The nose is excellent! The sweet malts stand out at first with plenty of coffee aroma up front and chocolate is noticeable in the background. The bourbon is then picked up by the nose and it mixes well with the sweet malts.

The flavor is unreal! The bourbon is a pleasant addition to the coffee and chocolate. The sweetness of the malts are picked up on the tongue first but the bourbon is not far behind and rounds the beer off very well.

Medium body with minimal carbonation.

Excellent brew. I am fortunate to have 2 more bottles left to enjoy this year. This is an amazing stout and if you have the chance to get any of this, you should.

 736 characters

Photo of pigc
4.22/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 02/17/12

A - Pours pitch black with half finger mocha head.

S - Dark chocolate, raisin, plum, booze, oak, coffee.

T - Starts out with a wave of medium to dark chocolate followed by oak booziness then followed by raisin, fruit cake, rum and coffee.

M - Medium to thick bodied. Oily and viscous.

O - Great stout as all the reviews say. I think I would prefer this with 1-2 years on it as the booze is a bit overpowering right now but not by much.

 458 characters

Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
4.56 out of 5 based on 12,360 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.