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 | 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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
3,042
Ratings:
11,890
Avg:
4.56
pDev:
8.77%
 
 
Wants:
4,446
Gots:
6,164
For Trade:
507
User Reviews
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Reviews: 3,042 | Ratings: 11,890
Photo of RacerX5k
4.78/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Had one single last year and one single bottle this year and was not impressed at all. Thin, black licorice, with an unpleasant aftertaste. That review would be a generous 3.0 very average. This is not that review. When I saw the draft pop up on my list at an out of the way bar I purchased a good bit of Heady at last year, I thought, well, if I dont like it its only 7 bucks, and if I dont go after work Ill never know. So off I went. And what a pleasant surprise.

Walked in there is only 2 people in the bar and thats good. My 8 oz pour listed at $7 was only $5 and thats better. Beer looks real good, smells just ok (which does get better as you go), hints of chocolate, coffee, bourbon. First taste blows me away, nothing like the bottle. Big chocolate, coffee flavors mixing with a beautiful bourbon barrel in perfect harmony. Finishes dry, stout like dark fruits. Really impressive balance of flavor, thick and rich. 3 pours later I had my 24 oz bomber equivalent for $15 now thats what Im talking about. Something to chew on and contemplate this rainy, quiet, Monday afternoon. Founders you have finally impressed this Bourbon County lover. I will never care to have just one bottle, but this was a real treat.

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Photo of bozebus17
4.84/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

It poured like a thick syrup out of the bottle into my glass. The color is darker than any I've ever seen, pure black. The small head is tan but doesn't last long. There is a bit of foam around the edges and not much lacing.

Smell is an elegant blend of vanilla, coffee, and alcohol. The best way I can describe it is to say that it smells like Kahlua. Someone should make a scented candle out of this.

Taste is like nothing I've ever experienced. I'm hit with coffee, sweet carmel, and a strong roasted flavor. The alcohol is noticeable but not unwelcome. As this beer warms the flavor of bourbon from the barrel becomes more evident.

Mouthfeel is extremely full and creamy. The alcohol is apparent again and leaves a clean lingering feeling in the mouth. It warms the throat as it goes down. I'd love to have this on a cold winter night. This beer is a pleasure to drink and I was sad when I reached the end of the pint.

Wow, what an interesting brew! I must thank my girlfriend who gave me a 4 pack as part of my birthday gift. I don't know what to say about this beer that hasn't been said. It is like nothing else yet delicious. Founders really pushes the envelope with this one. If you get the opportunity you owe it to yourself to try this one.

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Photo of ltjska04
4.57/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

UPDATE: Recently had this side by side with normal Breakfast Stout. From my notes:

A: Black w/ brown head lasting about a minute. Falls into swirls on top with ring around glass. 4.7

S: Bourbon/chocolate/coffee equally, none dominates the other. 4.7

T: Bourbon is front and center, almost no coffee taste. A little salty when cold. Milk chocolate as it warms and bourbon lessens after a while. 4.7

M: Silky smooth. Doesn't get much better. 4.7

D: Not too hot but the bourbon is still pretty overpowering to drink much. 4

---
I finally nabbed myself this fine beer from Party Source in Bellvue which luckily just started carrying some Founder's brews. I've been loving coffee stouts lately and have looked forward to this. At $7.50 a bottle I hope the beer's worthit; here goes nothing:

A: Poured black and viscous into my Maudite snifter. Nice tan head that dissipated very quickly into a ring that leaves some lacing. No light's getting through this one.

S: Straight up coffee at first. Can't really tell what else is in there but I love it. One of the best-smelling beers I've had yet.

T: Mostly coffee and bourbon, as expected. There's some chocolate and roasty/malty taste followed by a bit of hotness from the 11.2%, but not enough to detract from the experience.

M: This feel pretty thick and coats the mouth well. Even after it goes down the taste lingers around the mouth for a while. The bourbon leaves a bit of a burning sensation around the perimeter of my mouth... not a fan of that.

D: KBS is gonna lose some points here. Don't get me wrong, it tastes great. But the price/availability/abv are going to prevent me from having more than one of these at a time.

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Photo of njmoons
4.07/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A really nice beer, but I think the flavors get overwhelmed by the bourbon. Not to say I don't like a good barrel aged beer, but my 2009 was overwhelmed with bourbon flavor.

A: Pouted black, thick and rich. With a 1/2 finger of brown foam

S: Sweet, roasty, and oak aromas, mingle with bourbon and strong fruits to create a complex and wonderful aroma.

T: The flavor suggested by the aroma are all there. Initially the flavor are balanced and complex. Really enjoyable. The bourbon flavors start to take over pretty quickly and are overwhelming through the finish. I enjoyed the taste, but think this would have been world class had the bourbon been in better balance with the rest of the beer.

M: Thick, but not too thick. Very nice.

D: I would drink these one at a time.

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

Bottle into a snifter.

Pours an opaque black with an inch of dense milky/coffee foam head. Dissipates into a small cloud on the surface with significant lacing.

Rich smell - loaded with bourbon, coffee and chocolate. Lost of toast from the oak in the nose, and a touch of heat. I don't get an overwhelming heat from this, which seems to be a point of contention this year (and in general...). I'd say this - to each their own, but I don't see it out of style. It's well balanced, but the nose doesn't suggest more than a year two of aging. Plenty of depth at the moment: but age could be good.

Very deep and dense on the tongue. Creamy, but not sticky. Very palatable. Coffee and bitter cocoa dominate the flavor - with enough other flavors floating over. Some of the milk flavors are present, but the sweet honey flavors from the bourbon are light. No florals, but a touch of heat from the bourbon. Lots of toasty flavors come into play to keep the warmth in check. Warms well - a hint of metallic stuff on the end.

Clearly, unless someone is in the mood to kill their liver and brain (not to mention their wallet), don't have a bunch in one night. I'll be aging one or two. I can see some complexity coming out and it would be good, but if you like it now, there's not a reason not to drink it if you've got more than one bottle.

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Photo of diddy4l
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2015 bottle aged for an entire year, carmel notes,chocolaty, super smooth...so glad i waited so long to crack one open,would aged it longer as well...so good!

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

Recieved in a DLD trade w/ Sman (insert #'s here).

Poured into my oversized DFH snifter.

Jet black body. "How much more black can it get? Really, the answer is none. None more black". -Spinal Tap
Like I said, very dark body. Dark tannish/brown head. 1finger. Decent retention. Heavy whisps of lace left in the glass once the head subsided.
Huge malty coffee and bittersweet chocolate nose. Semi smokey bourbon with whisps of marinated figs and peat. More alcohol comes through as the beer progresses.
Sooo smooth on the tongue. Oh my god. This is one smooth beer. I'm gonna be all over the place with this one between mouthfeel, taste and drinkability, because I think all 3 play into each other.
Chocolate and coffee instantly assault my palate. But it's a good assault. Bourbon and vanilla oakiness come through almost as fast. This is gorgeous. I find myself wanting drink this beer faster than almost any beer I've ever had. I have to force myself to slow down at every sip. Sips turn into swigs which turn into gulps. And this is definitely not a gulping beer. Although it goes down like one. This is too drinkable for a 10% beer. The bourbon is well present, but so well balance that you don't recognize an alcoholic "burn". It's just not there. I almost want to chew this beer there's so much flavor. I feel like I'm rambling, but it's hard to put into words everything I'm tasting.
This is one hell of a beer. I'm gonna leave it at that. Thanks to Founders for this offering. My first perfect 5 beer.

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Photo of abriggs1
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I almost don't want to write this review since it will break the 666 number of reviews. There's a reason why this beer seems to be advocated by satan. This is the kind of stuff people leave their families for. My buddy and I accidently stumbled on it in Weymouth, MA after looking for the stuff for weeks. It did not disappoint. It pours like crude oil and has a very warm and inviting smell. The complexity of this beer is through the roof. The bourbon barrels give it a beautiful vanilla taste that's mixed with coffee and chocolate. Although it's thicker than the regular breakfast stout, somehow it's smoother and has a mellow but lingering aftertaste. It's really amazing how this beer can be so mellow and subtle, yet so bold at the same time. I only hope I can find more of this stuff. The ABV was 11.3%, not 10%

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Photo of thirdeye11
4.26/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Ktown67 for this during an in person trade.

Presentation: Poured from 12oz bottle into Duvel tulip.

A: Pours the blackest of blacks, with a semi-vigorous pour it has no head, but the bubbles settle to the top and form a 1/2 finger of dark tan bubbles. No lacing on the glass, and some odd sediment that lingers on the sides of the glass.

S: Smell is awesome. So complex for a stout which are normally one dimensional. Coffee and dark unsweetened cocoa powder, whiskey/bourbon and even some woody notes that are muted. Even some cream in the smell.

T: Having this and the standard breakfast stout from Founders this week have opened my eyes to the style which I generally don't like much. Lots of coffee, some unsweetened hot chocolate powder, maybe some marshmallow creme, whiskey is on the finish as is some bitternes that I wish wasn't. Very complex it isn't lacking anything I want. The bitterness is really not bad at all, and on the very lowest end of the spectrum compared to most stouts I've had. I really like this one, creamy too!

M: Almost perfect. Creamy, coating my mouth, but slightly more carbonation and it WOULD be perfection.

D: Very high for a strong flavor beer. I could have 2 or 3 of these no problem.

Recommended for any beer drinker even if you don't drink stouts because it's awesome. Complex, flavorful, delicious, even refreshing which is odd to say.

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

I feel lucky to have had this on tap, thanks to Jason for keeping me posted. With more to come I'm sure.

A: I watch as the bartender at Chumley's in Broadripple poured my liquid gold into a half pint snifter. It was extremely dark, the light cried out, but I ignored it.

S: It was bottled KBS, but with subtle differences, the bourbon smell was a little more pronounced. You get slightly more alcohol, bourbon smell, with hints of vanilla and caramel.

T: It was simply smooth, great nose helps you taste it before the first sip. This is so well balanced, everything is working together: hints of bourbon, vanilla, roasted coffee, slivers of chocolate.

M/D: I could actually drink this all day. Considering the high ABV (11.2 thanks Jake for the quick response) its amazing. This is what they serve in heaven, because CBS is even hard to get there, maybe someday...

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

12 oz bottle provided by HopsBreath poured into a snifter.

A: Black as night, could not see through it, no head, little carbonation.

S: Bourbon was the dominate smell here accompanied by coffee notes. Maybe vanilla here and their. Smells awesome.

T: Big stout, BIG STOUT. Bourbon and a dark chocolate/coffee roast combo are the many flavors that I am receiving from this brew. Vanilla notes here and there. Most warming brew that I have ever had.

M: Very thick, mild to no carbonation. Very smooth and warming.

D: With the alcohol at 11.20%ABV, you can tell its there, but goes down very smoothly. This beer is very much a sipper, a beer I could see myself winding down the week with.

Lived up to all the hype it gets. Excellent brew, got to get my hands on to some more of this stuff.

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Photo of TVolt1
4.62/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Great dark brown color with a small amount of off white head. Nice and clear with decent lacing.

S: Smells strongly of coffee bean with a hint of white chocolate. A stronger smell of dark chocolate follows the other smells. Normally when a beer smells heavily of coffee bean, I am not excited to drink it because i am not a coffee person but whatever they paired with this beer, makes me very excite.

T: Initially I get a dark chocolate taste followed heavily by the coffee beans. There is a smokey flavor that empowers the finish of the beer and overwhelms my nostrils. This is definitely, in my opinion, what a imperial stout should taste like.

M: Good thick mouthfeel but pleasant on the pallet.

O: Overall, great beer. I am glad my husband did a trade for this. As much as I love Abyss and Darkness, so glad to have tried KBS and even more glad we have two more bottles! :)

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Photo of travMI13
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Figured I should do a formal review of this one, finally. 2011 vintage. Bottled on 2/25/11. 12 oz. bottle poured into a Founders snifter.

A: Black as night with a half-finger of tan head that recedes quickly. Fantastic lacing. Completely opaque, even around the edges. Whoa. I never realized how dark this is.

S: A perfect blend of chocolate, vanilla, oak, and bourbon. Very sweet and decadent smelling, like chocolate cake.

T: Dark chocolate, with hints of oak, bourbon, coffee, and vanilla mixed in. The bourbon flavor is incredibly mild and takes a backseat to the chocolate and the coffee. This is like drinking a chocolate cake. I would probably even call it liquid sex.

M: Thick, sweet, and lightly carbonated. The flavor coats the tongue and lingers for quite a while. The bitterness from the coffee really balances out the lingering chocolate quite nicely.

O: Quite simply, if not my favorite beer, this is one of my favorite beers of all time. Every time I drink it, I am blown away. In all honesty, if a brewer can make a better beer than this, I don't believe I have had it. Deserving of the all the hype and praise it receives. Founders absolutely kills this barrel-aged imperial stout.

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Photo of atrus138
4.27/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a thick, almost syrupy black. Completely opaque, with a dark brown head that doesn't last long at all. Minimal lacing. Smell is fantastically rich. Smells a lot like Kahlua. Coffee and vanilla are most noticeable up front with notes of oak and bourbon. Taste is huge, sweet, and rough all at the same time. All that was promised in the smell was there and then some. Very earthy. There was also a flavor that I couldn't put my finger on. The flavor kind of reminded me of the way a cave smells. Can't say I ever said that about a beer before! Mouthfeel is monstrously thick. I'll definitely pick up more of this when I find them and see what other flavors may have gone undetected, because I feel that there's more here than I originally noticed.

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Photo of surfer4life
4.61/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Gorby10826 for this one I got in a trade, poured into a tulip from a 12oz bottle.

A - Pours dark brown like molasses and chocolate. Small head takes a few seconds to form but recedes just as fast to a thin film of foam around the edge of the glass. Nice bits of lacing down the glass.

S - Dark chocolate dominates the nose, perhaps it's to cold, but I don't detect the bourbon smell from the aging process. I do get a good hint at some hops for balance, but mostly this is big on the malty, chocolatey nose. Other than that I get some real good toffee notes. This promises greatness.

T - Wow, amazing. Exactly what I smelled, HUGE chocolate taste, with some roast coffee and toffee. Slight hints at hops to balance. The bourbon comes through, but is not overbearing like the Bourbon County Stout. Amazing oak wood flavor as well.

M - Heavy body, medium to high carbonation. Very good alcohol warming and so very very creamy on the pallet. Leaves the mouth completely coated and helps the taste linger for a long time.

D - At 11.2% alcohol, this is remarkably drinkable. As with most great bottles, I would like to have this on Tap!

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Photo of aceseth13
4.59/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: Dark with a inch head that is mocha in color and lots of lacing. 4.25

Smell: Coffee stands out, followed by bourbon. Hints of chocolate and oak. 4.5

Taste: I was expecting a bourbon bomb like bcbs but was pleasantly surprised. The coffee, bourbon, and chocolate mix quite well with none overpowering the other. The aftertaste starts as bourbon and fades to the mocha notes. 4.75

Feel: On the thicker side, coats the mouth and leaves strong aftertastes of chocolate and coffee. 4.5

Overall: I was expecting that this was just over hyped and I was pleasantly mistaken. One of the better bourbon beers I have had. It was nice that the beer played in the fore front and that the bourbon just added to it instead of the other way around. 4.5

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

I can't believe I have yet to review this, probably had this over 20 times with a variety of aged selections. This is based off of a 2011 from this past weekend.

A Pours a nice jet black, with about 1 finger tan mocha colored head. Good retention.

S: Smells of coffee beans, roasted malts, chocolate, vanilla and oak with a touch of bourbon.

T: The coffee is upfront, but does not dominate instead it leads to the baker's chocolate, vanilla and oak, and the bourbon, which is subtle, but noticeably there.

M/D: Big bodied, medium carbonation, not overly thick or syrupy. Very well balanced and crafted.

This beer is fantastic either fresh, or aged for a year or two. It is always hard to keep my hands off them.

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Photo of aglose45
4.52/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into snifter glass at Tally Ho, Bethlehem Pa.

A: Pitch black/ licorice colored, dark ivory/ khaki colored head, which was very minimal and did not last long.

S: Notes of bourbon, chocolate, followed by a sweet malty/ alcohol flavor. There is a hint of bitterness in there as well.

T: STRONG bourbon flavor up front - delicious. this is followed by chocolate and roasted malts, maybe a bit of caramel. There is a subtle bitterness to it, which fits in perfectly for this brew.

M: Medium bodied, very smooth considering the immense bourbon note and high alcohol content. Great carbonation (somewhat light) for the style.

D: I could drink this beer all night. It goes down great; the flavor leaves you wanting more.

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Photo of dowen17
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours black as ink. Gurgles as I pour. Thick chocolate colored one finger head. Good retention and nice lacing.

On the nose is coffee, dark chocolate and fruits, vanilla and oak from the bourbon. Very complex and inviting.

Taste mirrors the nose exactly. Big bitter roast coffe. Dark fruits and coffee. Sweet bourbon. Vanilla and oak. Perfect.

Mouthfeel is huge. Warming from the alcohol but chewy. Sticky. Really coats your mouth and lips.

This beer is all its cracked up to be. Worth what I traded to get it. Can't wait until its released again next year. Will definitely buy and drink again. Just perfect.

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Photo of VTR
4.4/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

After several years of failing to get this during the release I surprisingly found it on tap yesterday. It was poured into a snifter. The nose was a mix of coffee, chocolate, vanilla, and bourbon. I couldn't resist taking a sip from this dark brew with a great khaki head. The taste followed the nose but some of the flavors were faint and then the bitterness hit me. OK well I am always one to let my stouts warm up to see if they develop. This beer got better as it warmed. Once warmed all the flavors developed and meshed together very, very well and the bitterness subsided. The flavors danced around your mouth while the beer felt very silky. Ok now the bourbon was there but it did not overpower the beer letting all the flavors and roastiness come through. I really enjoyed that the coffee was not over the top. While I have been let down by other highly sought after beers this is not one of them. To me it was a different animal than the highly acclaimed BCBCS. All I can say is I was very impressed with this beer. Hands down one of the best beers I have had. I am going to head down tomorrow afternoon and hope they still have some left in the keg!

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

look: pitch black and a chocolate head.
smell: bourbon, chocolate, vanilla, and coffee
taste, a bit sweet but delicious, you taste the bourbon, chocolate and coffee.
feel: full bodied and smooth.
overall: delicious.

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Photo of rlshep
4.07/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2012 Release
Aroma: Big alcohol followed by lots of bourbon. A touch of chocolate with some bready malt. Low to no hop aroma.

Appearance: Less than a finger dark mocha head, dissipates quickly. Pitch black, no light coming through. Good alcohol legs.

Flavor: Good chocolate flavor, Lots of bourbon. Soft warm bread flavor. Plenty of roast but not getting a lot of coffee more chocolate and a bitter roast. Medium high bitterness. Low to no hop flavor.

Mouthfeel: Starts off creamy then the alcohol and bourbon kick in with a bite. Lots of alcohol a touch hot. Finishes drier than I expected, still leaves a sticky sweetness on lips but not tongue.

Overall: A really nice beer, but honestly I’ve had better bourbon imperial stouts. I wish I had bought more so I could have aged this for another year, that could have mellowed out some of the harsh edges. Worth the hype? I had better have a few dozen more before I decide.

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Photo of ph2001
4.35/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle in pint glass

pours thick. black in color with a thin layer of head the color of chocolate ice cream. it smells like bourbon and coffee grounds.

it is a very smooth medium body, not nearly as thick as it looks. lots of strong flavors in there. there is a rawness to the coffee flavor that makes it seem more like grounds than beans, not really a bad thing though. theres chocolate and molasses in there too. the more it warms up the bigger the bourbon flavors get huge. the alcohol is slightly warming in the chest but still pretty mellow. very drinkable.

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

Aged approximately one year. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a large wine glass.

A: Opaque dark brown. Little head, perhaps a side effect of aging.

S: Chocolate, coffee, and of course bourbon. Small hint of vanilla from the oak.

T: Like sipping on an espresso with dark chocolate. Finishes with a bitterness like a freshly brewed cup of black coffee.

MF: Thinner than appearances suggest, but a good medium body without the heaviness like many other big stouts. Well carbonated despite the lack of head.

D: Ultra smooth with no hint of alcohol. Amazing!

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Photo of mkotsayfan
4.97/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to a generous trader, I finally get a chance to try this great stout. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter. Pours a dark inky black with a dark mocha colored head. The aroma is amazing - chocolate, bourbon, and coffee all stimulating the senses, and in a balanced fashion. The taste is just as wonderful, chocolate and bourbon are a little more pronounced than the coffee. The mouthfeel is heavy-bodied with good carbonation, and is smooth and silky.

This is how a BA stout is made, it is amazingly balanced and hides the ABV pretty well.

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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 3,042 ratings.
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