Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) | Founders Brewing Company

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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)
12,825 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 12,825 |  Reviews: 3,258
Photo of bashiba
4.35/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a thick dark syrupy black with a thin little dark tan head.

Smell was creamy sweet chocolate with a touch of vanilla and whiskey.

Flavor was bold and strong while still being pleasant. Some great dark black burnt malts and cereal taste along with nice bits of oak, chocolate, and vanilla with just a touch of whiskey. Leaves a long lasting slightly bitter and smokey hop residue.

Mouthfeel is thick and oily and a touch sticky. Has a nice touch of carbonation and plenty of warmth on the tongue.

Fairly easy to drink for a huge stout, I don't think its quite the masterpeace that the original breakfast stout is, or quite on the same level as Goose Island Bourban Stout, but a really great beer none the less.

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Photo of Slynger
4.37/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Fortunate enough to snag a couple of these babies a couple of months ago, and now feels like the perfect time to crack open the first one.

Pours thick, impenetrable, obsidian black with a creamy lid of deep mocha coloring.

The nose is just as dark. Dark chocolate and dark roasted coffee, with molasseses, prunes, bourbon and pine.

KBS is a full, thick, creamy milkshake. It brings an organized ruckus of the nose in the same order, and in excellent balance.

I don't really have much more to say about this one. It is a great beer and it knows it. Not my favorite imperial stout, but that is no knock on it. Be sure to grab all you can if you can ever find this stuff.

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Photo of JoeMayo
4.59/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours thick and black without very much head

S- Coffee definately comes through loud and clear. Chocolate and smokey aromas also make their way through

T- The chocolate and coffee are definately there and the smokiness of the bourbon adds a little extra complexity

M- Heavy and thick, but still smooth. Medium carbonation.

D- A slow sipper

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Photo of scootny
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle courtesy of hrking. Into my Brooklyn tulip tumbler. An extra dark brown liquid with a two finger dark tan head. Good lacing and retention as it gradually recedes. This stuff is appears to be clear but is so dark you can't see into it. It could have bubbles rising to the surface but who can tell.

Smell is chocolatey coffee and a whiff of the bourbon barrel. Dark whole grain breads and sweet caramel draw me in closer. I try to sniff out the alcohol but it hides very well.

Taste is soooo smoooth. This is a near perfect bourbon barrel aging. I taste a coffee like roasted malt followed by caramel sweetness. Chocolate follows with a subtle graininess. Then the bourbon shows itself as I swallow, turning a superb stout into a trip to Kentucky. Not just any trip but a first class tour of the finest distillery in the state. Smooth and mellow, long and smokey. I know there is alcohol there but it never calls attention to itself and I can't really separate it from the bourbon. It melts into the palate. A shade of vanilla. Finish is where you get a touch of alcohol blended into a strong but mellow hoppiness. More dark grain breads on the palate. This is so complex you need several to get it all down. Alas, I only have one. For now. I really owe the guy who traded me this one.

Moutfeel is somewhat syrupy as this is a thick brew. A little creaminess. Carbonation scrubs the syrup off the tongue and keeps it from getting too heavy. Nonetheless this is a girthy ale and small sips are best. It's too good to chug and your jaw could collapse from the weight, almost.

Drinkability is dangerous. You can't taste the alcohol but it is there. I still want another one regardless. A great session sipper.

Thanks to my main man in Muncie. Bob you RULE

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Photo of ASymon13
4.42/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This one pours a viscous black, with no visible light passing through it. It has almost no head, despite a fairly aggressive pour. The smell is full of black coffee, with some solid bourbon and roastiness. Kinda like a southern version of an irish coffee.

The coffee and bourbon really work magic in the flavor. Neither one is overpowering, and they complement eachother wonderfully. There is some slight hop bitterness that hits you early on, but mellows out very quick. There is a hint of anise, some very slight sweetness to it and a decent spicy alcohol twinge, but this beer really is all about the melding of coffee and bourbon, and the two flavors linger long afterwards. The carbonation is pretty low and the body is lighter than I expected.
Overall, this is an excellent brew. A nice blend of southern goodness with some eye-opening coffee.

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Photo of Onslow
4.68/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

big thank you to stumac for bringing this over!! ..Dispenses into the glass and you immediately smell lots of tar,bourbon, smoked wood, chocolate... complex from the get go .... wow, this has a big bold delicious complex flavour profile ... vanilla, bourbon,smoke flavours ... complex and fuckin wicked stuff ... a joy to drink .. lots of sweet alcohol but it works so wonderfully!! ..been wanting to try this for years and it didn't disappoint...

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Photo of Murchmac
2.95/5  rDev -36%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Thanks to Jw347 for this brew.

Before pouring this one you can already smell the coffee, which makes way for the bourbon. Some chocolate thrown in.

Looks a dark brown not much of a head for me.

Hops, coffee, bourbon, in that order. The bourbon is too strong for me. Its not a beer anymore. Its a bourbon with brewers yeasts.

Lingering bourbon aftertaste. Warms your cockels.

Great if you love bourbon, I dont like it though. Maybe aged it would be better. For me this beer was like the rape scene in deliverance, some people think its a classic, for me it leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

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Photo of epiinephriine
4.63/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into my Troi Pistole goblet. Off the bat I get plenty of coffee smells. It's a coffee explosion in the nose. Other secondary smells include dark bitter chocolate, rich bourbon and warming EtOH

It has the appearance of the night as most stouts do, with some amber/brown hughes in the corners in natural light. Little head

The taste is strongest with coffee initially and transitions well into other flavors including those mentioned smells above, as well as vanilla. The high ABV can be felt in the nostrils and on the tongue when sipping and gives an appealing warm sensation as it travels to your stomach. As I drank more I noticed some dry flowery tastes like popuri, and perhaps some bitter cherry.

I found it to be surprisingly un-viscous considering how dark and rich the flavor and appearance are.

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Photo of hwwty4
4.37/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Jtrockchalk for this one.

Poured a 12oz bottle into my Chimay chalice. This baby pours a jet black with a slight dark tan head that left lacing down the glass. The aroma is huge on Bourbon with mild hints of coffee, vanilla, and chocolate but dominated by bourbon. The taste is right up the same alley. The Bourbon really comes through even giving me a little of Whiskey shudders. Coffee is the next big flavor with it really coming out in the finish and coating your mouth with an espresso flavor. The mouthfeel is full and creamy leaving an oily coating the holds the flavors in your mouth. This is a really good stout, but the Bourbon is a bit overwhelming for me. I wonder with age if it mellows a bit or if the bottle I received was mellow and its always that hot.

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Photo of Donnie2112
4.44/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

very black and viscous, nice bit of film, no real lace hanging around. Standard stout look really

lots bourbon and coffee on the nose, extremely rich aroma. just a bit of vanilla in there but enough to make this nicely even

I am mostly surprised about the ammount of bourbon I taste. I can even feel a little bit of whiskey burn. There is plenty of coffee here but it's like Irish Whiskey or something where you can definately taste the whiskey. And even though the overall character of the beer is really on the for front the bourbon and to a lesser degree the coffee seem to stand on that base and shout.

Rather carbonated and an oily viscous feel, medium heavy in body

What a flavor bomb, lots of bourbon, lots of coffee a bit of vanilla. I find it quite drinkable especially for the ammount of flavor that is there.

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Photo of DrDogbeer
4.37/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to Saucya for this extra!! Poured into a goblet. Pours a deep black with small tan head. Oily pour. Good aromas of chocolate, roasted malt, coffee and slight bourbon. i was expecting more bourbon or oak. Tastes like it smells. Great finish on this beer. Makes you want to keep sipping. Great full and creamy mouthfeel. Like smooth silk. Extremely drinkable. I would have to give the edge to BCS, though on overall flavor.

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Photo of nrbw23
4.79/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours either a very dark brown or black. No head at all just a few tan bubbles.

S- Very rich and very deep. Expresso with hints of bourbon and chocolate, cream, lactose, brown sugar, caramel, bourbon is more powerful as the beer warms. Vanilla extract comes out near the finish. Smells really awesome.

T- Follows the nose really well and is very complex. Burnt coffee up front with a lot of roasted malt coming through. Dark bitter chocolate and a hint of bourbon.

M- Crisp and very smooth, medium to heavy body, light to medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D- Drinkability is very good. Everything about this brew is impressive. Highly recommended.

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Photo of ph2001
4.35/5  rDev -5.6%
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 gregc
4.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter.
Pours an oil like black, leaving only a small amount of mocha colored head in the middle of the beer.
The smell is, vanilla, bourbon, oak some chocolate and underlying alcohol...and my girlfriend smells old cigar smoke....
The taste is also great lots of coffee up front, with some vanilla and the bourbon coming through in the finish.
This is better than the founders breakfast stout, the bourbon barrels do so much in adding flavor to a beer.
Wonderful smooth, velvety mouth feel.
An amazing stout, its incredible.

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Photo of hrking
4.35/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this both on draft at the Founder's Brew Pub at the release party and picked up my alloted 2 cases while there. If you are a big bourbon stout fan this one's for you. This is a totally different beer than the regular breakfast stout from Founder's ( one of my favorite craft brewer's). Bourbon is very present both in the nose and taste with a heavy coffee taste mixed in as well. Just go ahead and throw a shot of bourbon in a cup of day old cold coffee and you get the picture! I personally like the regular Breakfast Stout from Founder's better but that's my personal taste. Try them both and make up your own mind ..Thy are both worth seeking out!

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Photo of bigbelcher
4.77/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow...Pours a pitch black with a small tan head. The head died quicklt, probably due to the extras the beer has added to it. Aroma of chocolate predominate with boubon, coffee, vanilla, and roasted malt. Taste is simply mana from heaven. A nice coffee and bourbon flavor, some chocolate, vanilla and barrel aged oak. A very complex beer, sweet up front with linering roasted barley bitterness. Not totally balanced but so wonderful nonetheless. A very big wonderful oak barrel aged stout.

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Photo of gunnerman
4.32/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Recieved this from Ron at Vintage Estates on my last trip to Youngstown ohio. Poured into a taster glass pours a nice pitch black with minimal head. The smell is jumping off the charts dark chocolate, cocoa, espresso, strong brewed coffee, simply amazing smells coming from this beer. Taste is just as good as the smell, I can pick up a nice roasted nut flavor with a chocolate velvet flavor then with an aftertaste of coffee grounds with oatmeal. I could drink this stuff in my cereal it is that good for a mornng bevereage, who needs coffee when you have this giant.

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Photo of kzoobrew
4.97/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours very dark rich chocolate brown almost black. Slight head dark tan in color. Good lacing

Heavy bourbon on the nose. Roasted coffee aroma backs it up quite nicely.

Flavor is deep rich and complex. Many strong flavor at work here but mix well. Bourbon coffee and chocolate flavors are noticable right away. Vanilla flavors reveal itself the more you enjoy this brew. Slightly sweet chocolate flavor more noticable on the back end.

Mouthfeel is full and smooth. Not very carbonated but this is not a brew that needs it, carbonation suits well. Slightly oily feel on the tongue.

Very drinkable, dangerously so. Way too enjoyable of a brew.

***Upon further review, this beer is ridiculously good. Kalamazoo please forgive me but my favorite stout is not brewed by Bell's. I swear it is so good I would at least consider naming my first born KBS.

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Photo of beachbum1975
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My 100th review, (FINALLY)!!!

Thanks to ajsdad06 for the trade & newtony for giving me the opportunity to try this beer!

Per ajsdad06, this is an '07 Vintage. 12 oz bottle with no freshness date.

A: Pours a thick, opaque, super dark brown/black beer with a rich and creamy dark tan head when agitated. Average size bubbles with lacing climbing up the walls. Slight ring of brown suds remain after the beer relaxes. This is one serious looking stout.

S: Rich, chocolates and bourbon. Espresso or French roast coffee. Slight sniff of dark, cherry sweets - delightful.

Taste: Rich and flavorful mix of fresh coffees, dark and bitter chocolate swirls, heavily toasted malts, caramel. A Starbucks delivery truck just collided with a Jim Beam truck! Little to no bitterness, likely because of the calming effect (buffering) of the oatmeal, expect what's given off from the heavily roasted coffee beans. Aftertaste of more and more coffee beans. Flavor lingers in my mouth for some time. Just the right amount of bourbon seeping through. Very enjoyable, sip and savor this one.

M: Medium to heavy bodied, creamy and sticks to the back of my throat. Low levels of carbonation. It's like drinking a chilled liqueur.

D: Very nice, extremely well-balanced stout. This is an amazingly-crafted brew, wish it wasn't so hard to get. Frankly, it surprises me this is defined as an imperial stout (and not a Russian Imperial Stout). Glad I had the opportunity to try this one.

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Photo of israel
4.82/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Goliath for this one..
poured into an ommegang tulip

A - pours a near pitch black color and quickly engulfs the glass with nothing but darkness and a cappuccino colored head that quickly dissipates into a thin covering with some clinging to the sides of the glass

S - aromas of bourbon and oak are in the foreground followed by a nice blend of coffee beans that all together seems perfectly balanced. The nose on this thing alone is a master piece; with this much complexity it would seem easy to muck this beer up, but founders pulls it off beautifully..

T - the taste follows suit with the aroma perfectly and everything you would expect from the smell is there in the taste. Deep and very complex, outstanding. lots of vanilla and maltiness along with some bourbon flavors that just go deeper and deeper. I have a feeling that after a bit more warming of this beer I could come back and write a whole nother review. what a fantastic beer..the flavors linger and linger; outstanding

M - ow carbonation and the body is very pleasing for all the flavors not too heavy but not too thin either. Enough mouthfeel for this beer to hang on well after each sip..

D - I try not to read too much into hyped beers, but this one is well deserving of any recognition it receives. This beer is utterly unbelievable in its complexity; where do I order cases of this stuff???yeah right we all wish..

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Photo of turbine2475
4.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Goliath for the chance to try this beer:
A - Pours an opaque black with a perfect two finger mocha head that dissipated to a light film. Lacing was immaculate, completely coating the side of the glass and did not let go.

S - Brunt coffee, dark chocolates, sweet molasses, vanilla, and bourbon. Although the scent is super busy, it is really well balanced.

T - Heavy bourbon and burnt coffee. Subtle chocolates and molasses brings the flavor together.

M - Chewy mouthfeel with a low, but appropriate carbonation. Alcohol burn is present, but works to compliment the bourbon nature.

D - One of the best beers I have had. Good complexity and balance. Alcohol content makes it a little hard to have too many, but who cares.

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Photo of Jwale73
4.42/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

200th review - Received as an extra from iceicebaby (thanks again Sean). Served in my DFH snifter. Poured a dark, opaque brown. Quarter-inch tan-colored head subsided into a slick of foam with a solid ring around the shoulders. Jagged peaks and valleys of lacing, but adherence is somewhat spotty. Smell is decadent. Lots of coffee and molasses up front with a warm bourbon quality in the background. Dark fruit is revealed as the snifter warmed in my hand. Flavors offer a nice and balanced blend of the qualities presented in the nose. Coffee is roasty without tasting burnt or astringent. Cocoa flavors are detected as well. Bourbon character is complementary rather than over-assertive. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied and silky up front; not at all viscous. A little chalky, but not unpleasantly so. Alcohol is fairly well-hidden and quite drinkable. A great brew to celebrate my 200th review.

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Photo of PhxHorn
4.37/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark dark brown with moderate tan head. Smells strongly of tobacco, bourbon, coffee, chocolate. Tastes as it smells--hard to describe what tobacco tastes like, but mix that with some bourbon, coffee, chocolate, molasses, malt, and I don't know what else, and you've got this beer. Not one you'd drink a lot of, this is more of a sipping beer, but it's a truly great one.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.97/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a thick solid black with a thin off white head that dissipates quickly. The aroma is heavy on the coffee as would be expected. I also get some chocolate, tobacco, ash, and dried fruits. Complex aroma really, but heavy coffee. Taste hits with roast then chocolate, and then comes the coffee on the attack. Finish with some vanilla, and some bourbon that is oh so subtle. Awesome complexity!! Creamy full bodied mouthfeel. Excellant brew, I wish it was more available! Another well done brew from founders.

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Photo of rallison
4.45/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

That is one hell of an aroma. Beautiful rich espresso riding on luscious dark chocolate. Hints of dark fruits hide in the background. Taste the beer? But I'm having so much fun smelling it..

Well, that taste lives up to the hype. That same decadent espresso wrapped in dark chocolate hits you up front. The coffee, thankfully, never gets to be bitter or astringent as can happen with coffee beers. Tasty, funky dark fruits play a much stronger role in the taste. Alcohol is present but not unwelcome. Slightly bitter hoppy finish.

After getting used to the flavors a bit more, I am slightly less impressed. Still very good, but some of the flavors clash just slightly.

Mouthfeel is overall quite good.

Drinkability is very good.

Highly recommended. Definitely one of the better imperial stouts out there.

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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.61 out of 5 with 12,825 ratings
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