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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) | Founders Brewing Company

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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

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

For Trade:
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Reviews: 3,056 | Ratings: 11,993
Photo of DoctorD
4.57/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Poured jet black with a 1/4" head and amazing lacing down the glass. Surprisingly, the bourbon smell was not as forward as I have noted in most other barrel aged beers. But the taste makes up for it - decadent chocolate and coffee give way to a bourbon bite, followed by a sweet coffee aftertaste. Really amazing how the flavors blend together. I fou nd it to be a bit thin and it didn't stick in my mouth as much as BCBS. Because of this, it desn't feel as luxurious or powerful as Bourbon County, but it was just as smooth and I believe had more adjunct flavor. I am surprised to say it lived up to the hype and I am glad to have tried it, although I still give the slight edge to Bourbon County due to mouthfeel.

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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 gregy55902
4.88/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I really loved Founders CBS, and I'm hoping this is on par. Founders is, by a decent margin, my favorite Michigan brewery (love Dark Horse and Bell's as well). Obtained one 12oz bottle from Andy's in Rochester, MN.

A - Pours a nearly opaque motor-oil black color into my XL snifter. Not entirely gentle on the pour - an aggressive 1-finger head forms and dissipates within a minute or two leaving beautiful bubbles and lacing.

S - Bourbon, oak, vanilla, toffee, maple, roasted malt, anise, and various dark fruits.

T - Very complex taste. Vanilla, bourbon, coffee, chocolate, roasted malt. It really tastes incredible and gets better the more you drink it. The flavors linger forever, with chocolate and coffee being very prominent.

M - Very smooth for what it is. I usually have a hard time drinking 'bourbon beers' and this one is definitely a sipper, but it has a rich taste that is meant to be enjoyed slowly. Founders BB-aged it for a long time (1+ year), and it shows - it is 11.2% but there is minimal bite (on par with DH Plead the 5th).

O - This is a monster of a good beer and is right up there with the CBS. It may be hard to appreciate if you don't love a good imperial stout, but if you do then it is entirely worth seeking out. Another extremely well-crafted brew from Founders.

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Photo of BigDaddyWil
4.79/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My vote for most anticipated beer of the year. After having a sample at the MIchigan Winter Beer Fest, I just couldn't wait to get my hands on it. First time bottled and a limited number of cases, less than 250. I sure hope Founder's will produce more in the future, so everyone has the opportunity to try this beer. And at $18.00 a four pack, make it more affordable. Enough griping, on to the review.
Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a snifter glass.
Kick ass label, no freshness or batch date.

Inky black in color, with a half inch dark tan head. Fades quickly leaving some spotty lacing, and a oily like residue clinging to the glass. Beautiful aromas of coffee, chocolate, bourbon, wood, and vanilla. Every whiff just seems to get better. The taste mimics the smell, very complex, but oh so yummy. The boubon seems to tame some of chocolate and coffee flavors. Perfectly balanced and not heavy at all. Creamy smooth, and just a suttle hint of 10% abv. Very easy too drink, maybe two or three in one sitting. Worth the wait!!! If you like the Breakfast Stout, your gonna love this!!! Fantastic job!!!! Already looking foward to next years batch!!! Consider yourself lucky, if you can find it.

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Photo of bradford
3.81/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to davide169 for finally helping me track down a bottle of the much acclaimed Kentucky Breakfast stout.
One of the darkest black beers I have ever seen. The only one that compares off the top of my head is Dark Lord.
Smelled very good. Lots of roasted barley, chocolate, coffee, and bourbon.
Taste left a little to be desired. I felt like it didn't quite live up to the hype for me.
Mouthfeel seemed a bit thin to me. Perhaps the legend got the best o me and I expected something that was just impossible to live up to.
This is a good beer, and I wish I had more. As far as stouts go, this is one of the better ones out there, but I think I was just expecting too much from this one to possibly deliver. Recommended

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Photo of drink1121
4.35/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A-Black with a dark tan head. Lacing throughout.

S- vanilla and oak hit me right away and then some bourbon follows it. Not much roastiness on this one which I think it could use. It seems like the bourbon and oak overtake the beer itself but I like it

T- I get more of that roasty malt in the taste but less vanilla and oak and more alcohol almost rubbing alcohol flavor lie it smells. Time can bring this down

M-Crazy creaminess. I love it. All that needs to be said

D- This has a good bit of heat still and needs calm down a bit but I still love it

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Photo of joshstevens87
4.94/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A-pour a solid black with a quarter inch of dirty tan head
S-sweet bourbon and huge notes of coffee with a little choclate and some vanilla and a little bit of alcohol burn
T-an amazingly complex tase with notes of coffee, bourbon, vanilla, and chocolate with a faint hint of aromatic hops this beer is superbly balanced and delicious and tastes no where no its 11%abv
M-this beer is remarkably smooth with a full body and little to no carbonation with only a bit of alcohol presence
D-amazing i cannot say enough good things about this beer it definately lives up to its hype

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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 kpantz
4.7/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Executive Summary: So yes, it was all I had come to hope and pray for. This is an outstanding and highly drinkable stout.

Major props to Matt at Capone's for the opportunity to purchase this.

Appearance: Engine oil black - not even a glimmer of daylight. Coffee ice cream head starts thin and recedes to a ring around the glass. Lacing, is very, very nice.

Smell: Licorice, smoke, roasted malts, woodchips (barrel?), coffee and chocolate dance around the nose.

Taste: Woody and smoky for sure. What's quite interesting is that there's really no notion of alcohol in this at all. It's tremendously well hidden, allowing a lot of the beauty to shine. Roasted malts and coffee round out the palate.

Mouthfeel: Thinner than expected, but that only serves to enhance the drinkability (see below). Low carbonation - I like that in a stout. Slightly sticky.

Drinkability: Holy crow - I could drink this all night. It's got such a complex aroma and flavor profile. I just can't get bored drinking this. I could, however, get bored being broke from buying enough to make this a session brew, so I'll dial back from an otherwise perfect drinkability score.

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Photo of Rzzzzz
4.54/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Derby Day. What better day to crack this open. Bottle obtained in trade with Imstillthegman (huge thanks!), and labeled "February 2006". I assume that's the purchase date.

Poured into a brandy snifter just before post time, slightly cooler than room temp. Oozed out of the bottle coffee black with a very thin film of milk-chocolate colored head, which didn't stick around.

First whiff was heaven. Smells like Kahlua, with some barrel wood background and a hint of prune.

Tilted back during the singing of "My old Kentucky Home", and what an experience. A delicious and complex brew, with nicely balanced chocolatey/smokey/coffee flavor, notes of prune and bourbon, enhanced by a mild alcohol warmth.

Mouthfeel was thinner than expected (I expected syrupy) but full bodied nonetheless, with practically zero carbonation. Left a tanniny coating on the palate as a nice cabernet wine would.

Alcohol is well masked but packs a whallop. This isn't a beer I'd order a pitcher of (that's a lie...I probably would if I could) but it's easy to drink, and like the label promises, it cured my lame back. I think I did experience some unexpected swelling though (yeah, it's that good).

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

On tap @ Mackenzie's for MN Craft Beer Week

A - A 10oz pour served in a beer flute. It arrived with a one-finger dark brown head on top of pitch black night. The head dissipated slowly to a few patches and thin collar. A little bit of lacing was produced when swirled.

S - Roasted malts and hot cocoa w/ marshmallows spiked with a healthy shot of bourbon.

T - Tasted roasted malts and coffee up front fading to cocoa and molasses sweetness in the middle. This gives way to a finish of boozy bourbon flavor with oak and leather notes. At the end the bourbon breaks up leaving an interesting hint of cinnamon/brown sugar sweetness.

M - Medium-heavy body with light carbonation without being syrupy or chewy, yet not particularly smooth either. There is generous alcohol warmth.

O/D - This is a bourbon bomb. The bourbon is the dominant characteristic in the flavor profile. I would have liked a bit more depth of flavor in the beginning taste notes to balance out the strong bourbon character that comes after. But that's being picky. This is a great brew overall and I can't wait until I can enjoy it again.

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Photo of jaypaul522
4.91/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Real fresh from 4/1 beer hunt. Poured deep black with nice thick head. Smell is strong bourbon, coffee and chocolate. First taste hits hard with the bourbon, but from then on it is smooth with the coffee and chocolate coming through very nicely. The feel of this was medium - not as full as some others. Overall, this is as great a beer as everyone had told me, and I loved the aroma and taste.

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Photo of jmd1978
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Motor oil black color with inch of copper head. Nose of chocolate, vanilla, oak, coffee. Taste the chocolate and coffee with notes of caramel, bourbon, and smokey wood. Lingering finish that hangs around a bit with a little alcohol on the palate. This beer is definitely worth the hype. I could drink this all day long. Smooth like a chocolatey whiskey. Well done!

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Photo of cbak999
4.82/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big Thanks to CampusCrews for the trade that allowed me to sample this treat. The month is not readable on the bottle, but the year is defintely 2010.

A- Black. Simple as that. A small tan head that quickly fades to a ring around the glass. There is no light getting through this beer.

S- Bourbon, chocolate and coffee, in that order. But the overwhelming smell is the sweet bourbon.

T- Coffee is the first taste. Then boubon is the first aftertaste. The predominant aftertaste fades to chocolate. This beer is complex!! There are so many other tastes going on.

D- I love it! The 11.2% is well hidden, but not so much that you forget that you are drinking a monster stout - the king of imperial stouts. This beer is awesome....there is no doubt it stands up to the hype! I only wish it were more readily available.

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Photo of afdempse
4.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle, 2011 Vintage.

Pours a viscous black liquid with tiny dark brown bubbles that evaporate into the abyss.

Nose is an incredible mixture of vanilla, bourbon, dark roasted coffee and chocolate.

The first sip brings forth solid espresso flavors, followed by bourbon, oak, vanilla, and roasted barley. Bitterness is present, keeping it all in check in a beguiling balancing act. Alcohol definitely comes forward in this beer, but in all the right ways, playing off of the other flavors and enhancing their individual characteristics. Bourbon and sweet vanilla overtones stay all the way through the finish with espresso notes in the breath. Toasted oak takes over at the end, drying things out with an earthy spiciness, and leaving the palate ready for more.

Mouthfeel is super smooth and creamy with oatmeal slickness and sparkly nitro-esque carbonation.

This is the beer that sets the bar high for all others to follow. Sublime in every way, I hope they continue to brew this for years to come.

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Photo of raoulduke37
4.55/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Another great brew from Founder's. Thanks to sarahspat for this awesome trade. Poured it into a tulip glass and man was this a thick beer, black as night, with a very small brown head. A little bit of lacing makes this one look promsing. Smells of smoke, coffee, oak, almonds, and definitely vanilla. The taste is unbelievable roasted malts, hinting at espresso beans. So incredibly delicious. This one is creamy and thick like a good stout, but with a kiss of carbonation that cuts through it and gives you a pleasant break. Simply a magnificent beer.

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Photo of beagle826
4.51/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Beautiful pitch black coloring with a tan 1" head. Chocolaty, roasted aromas. Lingering scent of vanilla and bourbon.

First sip is overwhelming. Awesome roastiness up front, with a smooth vanilla finish. This is what a beer should taste like! 11.2 % is very well hidden, which could be dangerous. One of the best RIS I've ever had!

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Photo of mortarit
4.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Every now and then this little town gets some good stuff.

Absolutly no head during the pour, only around the sides

Smell seems to be weak but the taste packs a punch. Bourbon, yes I can taste it. You can feel the complelxity of all the notes but in unison.

This deserves a spot on the boards.

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Photo of Jerzdevil1116
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this on tap at Founders Brewery. Stopped there as part of my Dark Lord Day road trip. Served in a snifter.

A: Black opaque body. No head. Little to no carbonation visible.

S: Earthy, oaky, and full of coffee. Hints of bourbon and dark fruits (raisons).

T: Strong coffee presence. Slightly bitter. Nice notes of oak and boubon.

M: Full bodied. Slightly syrupy. Very smoothe.

D: Not a session beer by any means, but I could sip it from a snifter all night like a fine bourbon. I've had it in it's bottle form and wasn't thrilled. Enjoying it on tap opened my eyes to how good this beer really is.

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Photo of StLThrash
4.94/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12 ounce bottle poured into my New Belgium globe.

A - The darkest of dark. Thick, dark, brownish/black with minimal tan head and some light lacing.

S - Mmmm... get lots of coffee, chocolate, vanilla, bourbon. A great bouquet of flavors. Almost like a spiked chocolate milk!

T & M - Just like the smell but better. You get deep, dark, robust coffe and dark chocolate, with a kick of bourbon and a hint of vanilla. As it progresses, you get a little bit more bourbon and alcohol. Very smooth and drinkable for an 11.2% stout. You can't drink a lot of this or it will knock you on your ass, but wow is having one just amazing. Medium, chewy body with some rich sweetness.

Overall - glad I was able to score some of this during recent release. Well worth the wait. They should release this beer in the coldest part of winter, not at the beginning of spring in my opinion... this would best be enjoyed on a cold, dark, snowy night in front of a fire.

Great job Founders - another great beer.

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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 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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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
4.56 out of 5 based on 11,993 ratings.
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