Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) | Founders Brewing Company

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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

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Reviews: 3,161 | Ratings: 12,367
Photo of midnite2sixman
4.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2010 KBS on draft in a snifter from the source @ Founder's in GR.

A: Not a ton of head, which seems to be typical of the draft version of this. Little globs of lacing. A nice swirl livens up the caramel colored foam. Pitch black in the glass otherwise.

S: Roasted oak notes mingle with dark chocolate and coffee undertones. Slight bourbon as well.

T: The bourbon definitely shines through...oaky, roasted malts, mocha, and then some more whiskey on the back end.

M: So smooth, a touch of a bit, but so smooth for this style. Round warming mouthfeel.

D: A true score. Any time you can find it.

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

Bottle of 2009 Vintage KBS poured into a large snifter.

Appearance: the ideal, motor oil, watery rim, chocolatey/tan head - nice lacing on glass.

Smell: Bourbon, chocolate, coffee, vanilla, hint of pecan, fresh cotton, tree bark, leather, hint of pinaud aftershave,

Taste: vanilla, milk chocolate - a chocolate flavor that melds with the buttery oak flavor to create a smooth flavor, the hops mold with the coffee flavor to dry out the mid-back end and the rest is smooth bourbon whisky, semi-sweet chocolate morsel, clove, honey, molasses, a hint of citrus/hop bitterness/sour acidity comparable to lemon. This beer screams hot toddy! Hot chocolate chip cookies.

Mouthfeel: silky, thick, smooth, dry, crisp, fills every corner of your mouth - robust,
chewy - bourbon cleans up the finish with a minty mouthfeel on the roof of my mouth.

Drinkability: a sipper, however, were it readily available in keg form, I'd probably drink it non stop - I could probably hit this beer like the glaze curtain at Krispy Kreme. Beautifully crafted. A great standard in the bourbon barrel aged imperial stout category.

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Photo of B33R501
4.03/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

first of all big props to craft ale house limerick pa for having this, not publicizing it, ok its available for sit in only, so ill sit in. nice mellow quiet thursday after work. no fuss, no hysteria, no line, especially no line, no sold out in 10 minutes, just the way it should be, yes ive said it before. call me hypehater1.

and now that we're on that subject, im glad i tried it, but this beer is very good, 12th best in the world? not. another overhyped beer from the most overrated brewery on this planet, and not one ill need to seek out again.

pours black, complementary head, pretty beer. smells just ok, coffee, hints of bourbon and vanilla, refined. and thats what it tastes like, along with a dark fruity presence i like. mouthfeel could be better, thicker, but this is strong and satisfying.

my recommedation would be make it thicker, more available, and in 4 paks everywhere and i would get one every year. but i wont have one again until that happens.

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Photo of fern22
4.23/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

You can't slam this beer for being overhyped. That's not how this works. You like it, or you don't. Pay homage to this bad boy: it started a revolution. Its rating rides on its revolution. For a time, it truly was a one of a kind beer. I get it every year out of respect for what it has done, and I do enjoy it everytime.

That being said it's not worth the trouble you're going to go through to get it. People sold bombers and bottles for exorbitant prices. In order to get KBS (in 2017 anyway), you have to smash F5 on your keyboard to refresh founders ticket ordering system online as the 1 minute mark approaches to the pre-order release. Then you have to quickly order the regular size (not the junior) so you could get their bomber bottles and then get enough regular bottles for your friends. Then, after your 30 second - 1 minute transaction, the site is sold out, and you have to be buddy-buddy and pay premium at your specialty for it if you didn't preorder in the small window or want more.

To the point, the KBS isn't what I remember. It's got a thinner body and whiffs straight bourbon. Not nearly as much coffee as I remember. Have it cold, have it warm, age it. Try some things on this one. The taste doesn't really resonate much flavor as it used to either. Not nearly as much chocolate. You still won't have any problem downing this, but it's really isn't as good as it should be. I would dare say I prefer the regular breakfast stout over this now, due to the poor melding of bourbon into the taste. I compared them side-by-side and about smacked myself if I should speak that, but that's how I felt about it and now I'm sad. Currently, I still prefer BBA Flying Buffalo Coffee Stout. More body and flavor.

My rating for this was way higher, but that doesn't mean it's bad. If you have the chance to nab a KBS, always take it, don't trade it, drink it.

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

A - Pours a black thick liquid. Almost no head from a vigorous pour. Tiny rim of bubbles around the rim of the glass. Lacing is good. Coats the glass as I swirl the remaining sips around.

S- Lots of Dark chocolate with Coffee undertones. Hints of Vanilla and oak are detectable.

T - Wonderful stout. Lots of sweet Malt goodness. Dark Chocolate and the dark fruits play well off each other. The Bourbon complements the finish very well.

M - Light for such a deep stout. The carbonation is a touch light.

O- This is an amazing stout. Its just missing a bit of carbonation and a few notes in the taste to be called perfect.

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Photo of jstilwell
4.1/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to weirdbeer for bringing this to the Kate the Great tapping!. Glad I have a few more coming in another trade!

This bad boy pours an absolutely beautiful jet black motor oil with a thin dark brown head that exhibits intermittent shades of burgundy and purplish tints. Nice lacing on my glass and a fair amount of crabonation bubbles as well. The scent is overwhelming with the bourbon but upon swirling the complexities come out. Although this scent reminds me of my Ol' Grandad/Jack Daniels days, I can also detect deep wood, vanilla, coffee and a hint of black pepper. This is truly spicy but also has a mix of syrup and caramel on the initial sip. This turns to mild bitter chocolate and a serious big ass bourbon blast for the finish! mouthfeel is thick, heavy and smooth though not quite creamy. There is no way in hell I would crack a second one of these consecutively, but I do look forward to a time when I can share this with my bourbon afficianado friends!

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

A very complex beer, I really enjoyed everything about this stout but it was missing that je ne snae pas.

Some theorized that the coffee was beginning to fade from the overall flavor profile, but I am not sure if I will buy that at this point in time.

The notes were in fact muted but I liked it a lot.

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Photo of surfcaster
4.73/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2013 Bottle enjoyed in parallel with an Event Horizon

A: Pitch black in a tulip. Pour with low carbonation and a thin small brown head that tracked down the glass.

S: Even after warming on the counter, this kept smelling better through the pour. Lots of bourbon with some light coffee and vanilla notes.

T: Just delightful. Bourbon hits you first but is so integrated that the other flavors immediately follow as you send this one to the back of the tongue. Even at 11%+, no burn at all and a long lingering finish.

M: Decadent. Rich, smooth.

O: Just about perfect. I love having this in a 12oz format to enjoy by myself and if I want to share, I just open a second. One of the best examples of the style there is. MAKE MORE.

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Photo of eljefe21
4.67/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Black motor oil with a thin tan head and lacing.

S: Heady dark chocolate and slight bourbon smell.

T: A wave of dark chocolate and a slight coffee taste up front that fades to a slight, sweet bourbon and strong alcohol taste.

M: Thick and chewy up front, flowing smoothly over the tongue. Leaves a beautiful warming tingle in the mouth after it's gone.

D: A wonderfully balanced beer of strong and complex flavors. The dark chocolate and warming bourbon flavors plus the high alcohol content make this a perfect beer to enjoy in front of a fire in the winter.

Served: in a tulip glass.

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Photo of bbb099
4.37/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to scottfrie for this amazing beer! Shared with mjyoung.

A - Mocha colored head that dissipated almost instantly, leaving a thin ring of head around the glass. Color of the beer itself is pretty much jet black.

S - Incredibly strong aroma of coffee, bourbon and licorice with quite a bit of alcohol scent to it.

T - Complex mix of chocolate, coffee, and spicy bourbon tastes. Has an alcohol bite to it and it goes down warm.

M - Minimal carbonation, a little flat. Body is a little light, but still good.

O - One of the better imperial stouts out there, could maybe use a little aging.

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Photo of kaips1
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Notes from 3/21/11

Founders kbs  12oz into av snifter  2/08/10 bottle date

A- jet black, no light penetration, very dismal head, mostly a ring of bubbles, reminds me of nemesis 
S- Strong bourbon smell a year later, small bits of chocolate and toffee, more coffee as it warms 
T- very chocolately, hints of bourbon, lots of coffee at the end 
M-boy a year later and this beer is still lively, lots of tongue tingle a bit of heat in the after taste
O- what a winner, I don't taste any of the alcohol but you can feel the strength a quarter of the way into the glass...believe the hype it's awesome 

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Photo of Dawgboned37
4.84/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Had this one a number of times, but my favorite was on tap on 5/16/14. Served in a tulip glass with a 2 finger head that I could just bury my nose into. Smooth bourbon on the nose with lovely aromas of roasted malts. Creamy mouthfeel and delicious roasty bourbon and even chocolate on the sip. The coffee flavors come through so well as it hits the back of my tongue. The I breathe out and catch all of the great flavors again. Bravo.

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Photo of Clockwork420
4.14/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours deep black, very slight tan slick on the top. Smell is bourbon. Dark chocolate. Taste is dark chocolate, coffee, and bourbon strong. Its boozy. Mouth feel was on the thinner side. Overall its good. Is it good but it really isnt cult classic good. I wouldnt fist fight a person for some, but would drink it any time it was available if you get my drift.

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

2010 release

A: pours black, completely opaque... most opaque beer I have ever seen in fact. small dark tan head with really good lacing.

S: Big coffee aroma that gives way to bourbon and roasted malt, There is a good dose of chocolate in there as well. Im gettin a bunch of really dark dried fruits. reminds me of burnt raison oatmeal cookies with coffee for desert. Im also gettin a smoky campfire and licorice

T: This beer is hugely sweet right from the get go. There is a great malt presence that is in danger of getting overlooked due to the bourbon flavors. Lots of rich roasted malt, burnt bread and coffee from the malt. The actual coffee that was present in the aroma is takes a back seat in the flavor which seems odd cause you would think the aromatic property would be the first to drop off. The benchmark and profile of this beer lies in the bourbon. there is a huge bourbon flavor that is very strong but it doesn't mask everything else, there is a real complexity to this beer. Finally as you swallow and take that first breath you're hid with a nice alcohol warming and flavor. its not harsh or overbearing like i feared, it just makes for a nice warming affect. I wish this beer was released in the fall and not the spring, just seems like a camp fire beer to me (to each his own)

M: With the appearance and sweetness of this beer you'd expect you could cut it with a knife, but its surprisingly short of chewy... now that being said, its still full bodied just not as chewy as i had anticipated

D: If you define drinkability as how many you can suck down in ten minutes then cross this off the list. For me drinkability is synonymous with enjoyability. And this one's up there. Its a solid A beer, Its not my favorite beer, and I can't see drinking it all the time but it definitely deserves a spot in the cellar... vertical serious would be real cool.

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Photo of jphipps83
4.61/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Not a stout guy, but couldn't pass it up when my local asked me if I wanted it. Bottle poured into a snifter, 2016 version. Black in color, little head that disappeared quickly. Bourbon, bourbon, bourbon, with a little chocolate on the nose. Taste is great, bourbon and chocolate are very heavy, and a little heat in the aftertaste. Thick, viscous mouthfeel, goes down very easily to be such a heavy beer. Glad I got this one, and will seek out again. I would put this slightly ahead of the Abyss, great beer.

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Photo of awalk1227
4.77/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Consumed on 3/29/11, this was purchased at 5 Points Bottle Shop in Athens. 2011 vintage.

A: A deep brown, almost black pours out. It's pretty dark, like a cold void. A tiny cap of mocha head forms and dissipates into a thin light brown collar.

S: Bourbon, coffee, maple syrup all adorn this one. It's sweet and slightly boozy and just smells like a monstrous stout.

T: Wow! While a sipper for sure, this beer continues to throw new flavors at me with each taste. At first I get rich, vanilla bourbon. Then I get a deep chocolate, both dark and milk varieties. Then a robust, coffee note finishes. This beer is both sweet and bitter at the same time. Very complex.

F: Founders nails mouthfeel. It's silky smooth, coating and slightly oily on the tongue and teeth, with a bittering aspect on the finish. I want to keep sipping it but savor it at the same time.

O: I'm glad this beer comes in 4 packs. It's not a "1-bomber beer." This is one you would reach for every time at the liquor store if it was always on the shelves. I've heard people buy cases of this stuff. I don't blame them. Unfortunately I could only get hold of two this time, and I always look forward to more as extras.

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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 ZebulonXZogg
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Last night I stopped at the local liquor where the had this on tap. This afternoon I'm sharing a 2016 and a 2017 bottle.
L: Pours a very dark brown with a creamy tan head.
S: The tapped version seemed heavy on the chocolate and coffee smell. I honestly didn't catch a whiff of bourbon at all. The bottled versions similar, but both had bourbon aromas, the '16 version was more pronounced.
T: The tapped beers had coffee and chocolate flavors, again no noticeable bourbon except for the warming effect. I actually thought I was drinking an Imperial Breakfast Stout an nitro. The 16/17 bottles had similar tastes, I think the 16 bottle had more bourbon in the taste. All had the "heat".
F:. All had medium thick feel to them, not in the Ten-Fidy of FIS class.
O: The tapped version went down easy, the ABV not noticeable until I stood up. The two bottles were more sippers. Definitely, one the really good ones. Founders is probably #1 on my list, especially when it comes to stouts. So what happened to Double Trouble and Devil Dancer.

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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 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 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 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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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
4.56 out of 5 based on 12,367 ratings.
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