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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

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Reviews: 3,056 | Ratings: 12,002
Photo of BierRunner
4.44/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lovely dark color with coffee and chocolate on the nose. To quote a friend, it tastes like chocolate cake dunked in coffee. What makes it outstanding is its balance when dealing with such big flavors. No one thing overly dominates and a long pleasant finish lingers after the sip. Mouth feel is viscous, like motor oil (if motor oil could taste amazing).

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Photo of thatche2
4.84/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 12 oz into a tulip glass.

Appearance is deep black in color with little but creamy tan head with good retention. Good lacing around the glass.

Smell is a lot of chocolate with some vanilla and roasted malt flavor (not much coffee). There is also a delicate bourbon flavor without too much heat.

Taste follows the nose but some vanilla and cold brew coffee flavors balance out the chocolate and roasted malt. The bourbon flavors are beautifully intertwined with a little heat on the back-end. As it warms, some bitter coffee starts to come out. There is some good sweetness up front and on the mid palate with a fairly dry finish (bitterness is fairly low).

Mouthfeel is smooth and medium to full in body with nice effervescence. This beer is slightly more watery than some of its peers but it works well overall.

Overall this is an outstanding coffee/chocolate stout. It is relatively easy to drink considering the bourbon and array of chocolate/vanilla flavors. The bourbon profile may be more delicate and well balanced than any beer I have had. Excellent.

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Photo of Pierre_Pressure
4.36/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Drinking side by side with Avery Brewing's Tweak.
A: Pours with a 1/4 head which dissipates quickly leaving a light brown lacing. Body is a nice dark brown, almost black.
S: Faint coffee aroma followed by alcohol, not unpleasant, but not as bold as I would have liked.
T: Right off I'm hit with a strong coffee flavor with a hint of chocolate. As it warms the flavors shift and I find the chocolate coming through more.
F: Very slight carbonation. Thinner than I prefer for a stout, but still has some body to it.
O: I've found some brewers have a tendency to make their coffee stouts overwhelmingly coffee-centric. While coffee is still the star here, it doesn't come across as a cold coffee with alcohol, rather it presents as a fully integrated drink with multiple elements presenting themselves. There is a sweet spot temperature-wise when drinking this. As it warmed, it started becoming more intricate and flavorful, but towards the end of the glass the alcohol was becoming more present in both the nose and flavor. Overall, this is definitely one of the best I've had in it's class and definitely the best bang for your buck.

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Photo of Jeffwise
4.98/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Pure greatness. Way too smooth for everything going into this beer and the abv. I'm not much on hype but this definetely lives up to its hype. Extremely bummed I have to drive 30 minutes home because I could sip on a few of these and love each sip more and more

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Photo of gdiddy13
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Yes it was good. No it's not the best thing I've ever had. I feel like the hype+scarcity of getting your hands on this beer it what drives it to get the 100 score.
That's not to say it is bad. It is good, not great and I liked it more as it warmed up. Let's all calm down a bit about this beer.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Iconic taste, excellent smell. Not a huge stout fan, but you can't go wrong with this one! Thick and lovely looking. Slight coffee taste with a big aftertaste (but not very big for 12.4% ABV, which is awesome) and a notable bourbon scent

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

Pours pitch black with tan head. The aroma permeates the atmosphere unleashing bourbon and coffee notes. It tastes like chocolate, coffee, bourbon. Hints of vanilla in there as well. If there is anything to criticize, it's that it's a little thin. It hides the booze well. KBS is an excellent BA Stout, but not necessarily one worth the outlandish hype and hoopla surrounding its acquisition. Founders just makes wonderful stouts.

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Photo of ajcuster89
4.64/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I love keeping up on my vert with this beer. Haven't had a 2016 yet, but I cracked a 2015 and the coffee hasn't fallen off yet. HUGE chocolate flavors, subtle coffee, and a smooth bourbon finish that lays on the tongue. Great beer.

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

Has an amazing look, pours black like used motor oil with no light coming through. Nice small dark caramel colored head that stays put. Smells very sweet and malty with a hint of bourbon. Can taste coffee and roasted malts with bourbon at the end.

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

Pours ink black with a nice finger of mocha-colored head. Dissipates fairly quick, but a swirl brings up a layer of foam through the glass. Smell initially made me think it was chocolate bourbon candy. The bourbon definitely dominates, with chocolate and coffee underneath. Taste is the same, with the coffee coming in more in a slightly bitter aftertaste. Sweetness is slight. Alcohol is almost nonexistent, which is amazing at this ABV.

Feel is a full, rich medium. It can seem a bit thin compared to other viscous imperial stouts, but it's really nice and appropriate.

Overall, an awesome beer. Maybe not as complex as some upper-tier imperials, but dang fine.

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Photo of HeadyHopHead
4.93/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Lives up to the hype. Definitely a top-five stout. Bourbon isn't nearly as pronounced as Goose Island BCBS, but the coffee notes make it oh so balanced. If only it were as easy to find as Breakfast Stout!

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Photo of Gobearswalter34
4.7/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

So much anticipation with this one. Sharing with the wife and she took first sip and is loving it. Also drinking it in front of real fire place at home on a cold, rainy spring Sunday.

Pours a dark brown with a thin, off-white head.
Smells of coffee, sweet malted bourbon.
First sip allows coffee, chocolate and bourbon to come through in which all blend together nicely with the malt. A good bourbon burn on the back side. I will allow to warm up. As it warms, some vanilla notes appear.
The mouthfeel is nearly perfect along with the bourbon burn finish.

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Photo of badgustav
4.94/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

From the bottle, poured into a tulip, temp @45. The beer is a deep chocolate brown, almost black in color, with a thin nut-brown head that dissipates but continues to lace the glass. On the nose there is coffee, first and foremost, followed by chocolate maltiness. Coffee leads on the tongue but opens up to chocolate, sweet malt, hints of bourbon, and then a surprising hint of malt bitterness that finishes with a roasted coffee and dark chocolate bite. There is a light astringency I associate with wood aging. The mouthfeel is rich, smooth, and not cloying as one might expect. In all, one of the best barrel aged stouts I've had.

As the beer warms up, notes of vanilla and oak become more prevalent. It's a beer that keeps on giving

I'm not doing this beer justice. Suffice to say, if I ever see it again, I will buy as much as I can.

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Photo of NotAlcoholicJustAHobby
4.21/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2016 release

L-The beer pours thick, viscous, and black. No light penetration whatsoever. The head is about 2.5 fingers of fine mocha. The head almost looks like a nitro pour. Lacing clings everywhere and lasts throughout.
S-The nose is coffee immediately, with hints of chocolate midway, finishing with some alcohol at the back end.
T- The taste is initially a pleasant chocolate which transitions to some coffee. There is some bourbon presence, but its much more muted than it is in a BCBS. The alcohol in the nose is covered much better than expected.
F-The carbonation is light as you would expect. The beer isn't as full in mouthfeel as some other stouts, but is thick enough not to detract.
O- As someone who is not a coffee drinker, I was concerned I wouldn't like this beer. Those doubts have been pushed aside. While it's not something I could drink every day, it is an excellent treat. The coffee bitterness is balanced out nicely by the chocolate. The bourbon presence is more muted than I was expecting, but still the beer is enjoyable. I'd rate it a touch below BCBS in the grand scheme.

 1,103 characters

Photo of basaywhat
4.83/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle. Pours deep black with a very small tan head. Aroma hits you with big notes of chocolate, bourbon and coffee. Very nice thick, but not too thick mouthfeel. Taste of slight bourbon notes of roasted malts, chocolate and coffee. Overall one of the best beers I have ever had!

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Photo of jngrizzaffi
4.48/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pitch black color with a small brown, foamy head. Retention and lacing are both almost non-existent. Strong coffee and chocolate aroma. Some roasted malts. Bourbon is strong. Strong chocolate and coffee flavor with some big time bourbon and some vanilla. Medium to heavy bodied with low carbonation. Very good but cannot drink a lot.

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

12oz bottle into a tulip. Nice to see in California for the first time.
Look: Very nice frothy head that dissipates slowly. Color is like motor oil.
Smell: Mostly coffee and chocolate.
Taste: Same as the nose but with vanilla coming through.
Feel: Just the right amount of carbonation, smooth, velvety, and booze at the end that is over the top.
Overall: A very well made BA stout. For being around over a decade, this not only classic but hard to beat overall. This is the standard of BA stouts.

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Photo of Uscjojo
4.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I just bought this today. Looks pitch black with almost nothing of a head, just a ring around the side of my glass. The smell is vanilla, chocolate, coffee, oak, and bourbon. The taste is awesome, nice bourbon, coffee, chocolate, some sweetness. The feel is good, thick lingering bourbon and coffee. I am glad I saw this one at a local liquor store. He had a limit of one per day. I will buy another one tomorrow. 5.99 for a single bottle. Hotdawg, hot diggity dawg!

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

In Ohio, so this is the 11.9% version, in adherence with Ohio's 12% beer law.

Look: pitch black. Nice sized coffee colored head, not too much.

Smell: Coffee and huge bourbon smell.

Taste: Was worried there would be way too much bourbon flavor but I thought this was perfect. Super strong coffee, and just enough booze bringing the heat.

Feel: Thick and heavy, just what I was hoping for.

Overall: 4.75

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Photo of Czequershuus
4.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This beer pours a motor-oil black with a small but well sustained head. The aroma that hits first is freshly ground coffee, followed by a myriad of other smells - vanilla, nutmeg, oak, plum, apricot, hickory, bourbon, cream, and apple juice. On the sip the first apparent flavor is vanilla, which come is with an ice cream smoothness, as we s some milk chocolate. The mid-palate is where the coffee comes through, but is even more cremy than on the nose, and it is accompanied by plum, date, and fig, and on the finish I get hickory and dark chocolate. The mouthfee is very cremy, not overly sweet but certainly in the dessert world. Overall this is an utterly decadent masterpiece of a beer. My first KBS is an awesome experience.

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Photo of BreweryRun
4.36/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the first year a fresh batch of KBS has made it to SoCal, Excited to try this one.

Pours completely opaque black with a fairly quickly dissipating light brown head. Smell is earthy coffee, lots of milk chocolate, oak, and mild booze. Taste follows pretty closely with a prominent woody, bourbon milk chocolate flavor and coffee. Booze is noticeable but not offensive, it hits you along with a warming sensation right at the end. Body is full but not huge, and it finishes pretty dry for the style. I poured this on the warm side to begin with but as it warms the milk chocolate flavor comes even more to the forefront.

Overall, this is a very solid BBA stout that manages to be cohesive and smooth even with a fairly apparent booze character.

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Photo of Moquinbrendon
4.71/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Opened a bottle from the 2014 batch. Smells like oak, coffee, chocolate, earth, tobacco, bourbon. Poured into pint glass. Beer was room temp. At first taste I got coffee, chocolate, vanilla, then the oak and bourbon hit with a nice tingly sensation on the lips. Beer is a very dark in color. This beer is a must if you like barrel aged brew. I was lucky to get this bottle for free from the liquor shop I go to... I am forever greatful.

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

Is the juice worth the squeeze.....

If you have Indiana Jones type skills and are able to get this beer than go for it, it is a much hyped up beer that actually is worth it. The flavor is exquisite so much coffee, cocoa and vanilla hit the taste buds and runaway with your imagination. This is a rare beer that you must savor because you may only get that one 12oz bottle if your lucky and while the exclusivity definitely lends itself to the lore it is definitely legendary.

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Photo of HopHunter19
4.96/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

A - nice pitch black beer with a big mocha head that sticks and leaves great lacing
S - big coffee and bourbon, vanilla, milk chocolate, oak, burnt marshmallow, roasted malts
T- big coffee, bourbon, vanilla, roasted malts, burnt marshmallow, less vanilla, coconut, molasses than other bba beers
M - this is a big beer, pretty thick but not insane like parabola. Alcohol is present, not as smooth as you might expect from a year long aged beer, aftertaste is coffee and bourbon
O - it's not like other beers in its category for sure, where a lot of them are so smooth and complex this is more in your face with coffee and bourbon, still I feel like I cannot knock this one, it's from my home state of Michigan

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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
4.56 out of 5 based on 12,002 ratings.
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