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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) | Founders Brewing Company

3,038 Reviews
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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.40%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
This stout is brewed with a hint of coffee and vanilla then aged in oak bourbon barrels for over a year.

Note, this is NOT simply barrel-aged Breakfast Stout. It is an entirely different beer.

Now labeled as "KBS."

ABV varies by batch.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-13-2004

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Reviews: 3,038 | Ratings: 11,853
Photo of Joe_Palooka
3.72/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Okay, KBS shows up in Northern Illinois and most places that sell it get about 12 to 24 to distribute among their customers. Some sell it at suggested retail while some double the price and also make you purchase some additional Founders products. After scurrying about I was able to purchase about 6 bottles and I want to tell you I am not sure it was worth the effort. It was not as good as Avery's Barrel aged products. Last years KBS was fabulous but this years seemed a bit thin to me with a very faint Bourbon flavor. I am going to try several more as well as age a few so I will re-rate this beer again in the future. This beer kind of reminded me of a cross between Founder Imperial Stout and Founders Breakfast Stout with a slight Bourbon Flavor. It may be unfair to expect it to be of the same quality of Avery's Uncle Jacobs or Mephistopheles Stout. Again, I will re-rate and hopefully I just was not in the right frame of mind to sample this beer this time.

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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 HockeyBrewmeister
4.58/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottled 2/12/16 - 12.4% ABV

Look - Black with thin lacing around the glass.
Smell - Tons of coffee with a quality dose of bourbon and bitter chocolate.
Taste - Again, tons of coffee with smooth oakey bourbon and bitter chocolate on the backend. I also get some flakey oats similar to the original breakfast stout. Extremely well balanced.
Feel - actually a little thinner than I imagined, but nonetheless very enjoyable.
Overall - I know Founders doesn't like to advertise that it's simply the original Breakfast Stout aged in Oak Bourbon barrels, but that is exactly what I taste. I honestly wish they would just release KBS as a standard brew every Spring as opposed to a (VERY) limited release. Nonetheless, an extremely enjoyable brew worth having again and again.

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Photo of THSmusicman
4.41/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2016 edition poured into an Allagash sample glass.

Look: No complaints here. A nice, super dark stout with a half a finger of khaki head, which leaves a very nice lacing.

Smell: Doesn't smell as good as last years did; a bit more alcohol on the nose. Starts with that, with coffee and chocolate showing up, then a bit of caramel.

Taste: Tastes much boozier than the 2015 I had. Taste mostly reflects the nose with a very alcoholic aftertaste.

Feel: Thick and creamy, as a huge barrel-aged stout should feel.

Overall: I enjoyed the 2015 edition much more than this but still enjoyed this. I will probably age a good bit of the other bottles I have.

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Photo of Dragginballs76
4.59/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours - Jet black nice thick mocha colored head excellent lacing head lasts quite a bit.

Smell - The first thing I noticed was the dark chocolate, as it warmed the booziness came out. I can also pick up some vanilla and dark roast coffee excellent nose.

Taste - Big chocolate flavors the alcohol is noticeable but blends excellently with the chocolate and vanilla notes. I also get a little more of the coffee flavor than I did in the smell.

Feel - Thick very creamy coats the mouth, slight burn from the alcohol.

Overall - I kept hearing about how great this beer was and did not expect it to live up to it but it does. An amazing beer!!

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

After trying this, I will have to downgrade every flavored Stout I have ever tried! Perfect look, perfect smell, perfect feel. Perfect in all ways!. The most smoothest tasting Stout ever! A masterpiece of a beer. 5.00

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Photo of bwood06
4.6/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle into a stout glass

A - Moderate pour produces a head that is 3 fingers in height and is very creamy in appearance and dissipates very slowly. The head is a very dark khaki in color. The beer itself is pitch black with only tiny bubbles visible around the edges of the lower third of the glass. These bubbles rise fairly quickly. 4.5/5

S - The aroma is incredibly dark and complex with chiefly dark roasted notes but a bit of sweetness as well. Vanilla, bourbon, caramel, toffee, dark roast coffee beans, dark chocolate, blackstrap molasses, pumpernickel bread, tar, tobacco, and smoke all come out at once and create an amazing aroma that makes you just want to sit and smell this beer. Hops are hard to distinguish but seem to be slightly earthy. 4.5/5

T - The flavor is somewhat dull at first but then leaps forward a warp speed into caramel, vanilla, bourbon, and oak all at once, very similar to a bourbon sip. As undertones to these notes there is molasses and toffee. Very strong sweetness to start things off here. The dark roasted coffee beans and dark chocolate comes in right in the middle of the flavor profile alongside some smokiness and burnt pumpernickel bread. The final third of the sip features a bit of tar and tobacco along with a bourbon and oak spiciness and finishes out with a roasted coffee bean bitterness that lingers slightly alongside a hint of booziness. 4.5/5

M - Light carbonation tickle up front but smooth and creamy the rest of the way. Light alcohol burn but nothing unpleasant. Very heavy beer but not unpleasantly heavy in the slightest. Coats the tongue and has only a bit of drying on the back end of the sip but this does linger slightly. 4.25/5

O - Incredibly well balanced between sweet, bitter, and earthy with a complex aroma and flavor profile that is a wonder to sip on. This is a sipping beer, no doubt about it (if nothing else due to the high abv). The bourbon does not come out and beat you over the head like many bourbon barrel aged beers do. Rather it comes across as a complement to the coffee, chocolate, and molasses notes. 4.5/5

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Photo of Nachojon
4.56/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Long time want, finally go to crack one open. I'm a huge FBS lover, so this one was right up my alley. Not too much oak or bourbon here, just enough to add depth to the heavy hits of dark chocolate, coffee and vanilla in the nose and taste.

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Photo of Jay_P22
4.9/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

KBS! Poured from the tap into a snifter.

Looks like a regular stout, with a nice head and lacing.

Nose has an amazing chocolate and coffee smell.

Taste is chocolatey goodness and coffee, with the right amount of bourbon. Some styles are too agressive, or boozy, but this is almost perfection.

Overall this brew smooth for a 12% abv. This is my favorite stout. I could drink these all day. I love that it comes in a regular 12 oz bottle as well. Most times I don't want more bourbon stout than 12 oz, and this style usually comes in bombers. KBS is amazing, and worth seeking out. The distro is getting a little easier now to find. I recommend buying some and aging some. I had a 14 recently as well and it was just as good or better than when I drank it in 14.

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Photo of HorseheadsHopHead
4.67/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours like motor oil from the bottle. It's a pitch black in the glass, with a thin finger of mocha brown head that leaves splotches of lacing.
The aroma is a perfect marriage of sweet bourbon and roasty coffee. You get butterscotch, caramel, vanilla, milk chocolate, espresso bean, and burnt toast.
Upfront, you get milk chocolate candy and bittersweet dark chocolate. Toward the middle, you get burnt toast, black coffee, caramel, and toasted coconut. Finishes with butterscotch, bourbon, and bright vanilla beans. Finishes semi-sweet with lingering cocoa, vanilla, and oak.
Smooth, silky mouthfeel. Ghost-like carbonation. It's not super creamy, but it's filling and enriching.

Another awesome bourbon barrel aged imperial coffee stout. I've had ones with better bourbon elements, but the coffee really shines in this one. It's still a world-class beer.

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Photo of Metalsnota
4.06/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I liked this beer, but it was a bit too coffee heavy for my liking. It was a great beer, but not my personal forte. My local option from Bent Paddle (BA Double Shot Double Black) was much better imho. However, it was a great beer though.

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Photo of JNPIII127
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

An absolutely perfect stout. I had this on tap (2015) today and was blown away by the flavor, smell and appearance of this fine brew. Tasted like chocolate with a very faint hint of coffee. It absolutely hid the alcohol to a point where you couldn't even taste the high ABV. An Absolute world class beer.

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Photo of Bleer
4.72/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

It's KBS! What else is there to say? Poured a 2016 into a snifter from the bottle. Poured as hard as possible and it produced about 1 inch of a tan foamy head. I was surprised that it poured a little more brown that black but definitely dark black in the glass. I know this is heresy but I enjoyed it cold from the refrigerator as opposed to warmed up a little. As it warmed it felt thinner not necessarily bigger. Definitely more bourbon as it warmed. Loved it!

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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 Gables
4.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

First experience with KBS. 2016 poured into a tulip. Coffee, chocolate and bourbon just as advertised. Velvet in a glass, I don't know if I'd even age this one as the coffee pairs wonderfully with this brew. Awesome

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Photo of h0wdy
4.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Look: Deep brew.
Smell: I detected a strong smell of coffee throughout the entire brew.
Taste: The smell of coffee was in the taste with a nice finish of the liquor.
Feel: A worth while investment to your beer collection in my books!
Overall: Over the course of drinking this two nights in a row, I would recommend to pick this up the next time you see it for at least a tasting of one bottle!

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Photo of Raff1150
4.16/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I will start by saying that I don't particularly love stouts. I will try to be objective.

L: Pretty standard look for a stout

S:Lots of coffee and and chocolate

T: Again lots of coffee and chocolate, followed by bourbon

F: Impressively light for a 12% abv. This is what really made the beer for me. I was expecting something more thick from such a high abv dark beer.

O: I am not a huge fan of stouts, and this beer was not enough of a revelation to change my opinion. I would probably not pay the ridiculous price for this beer again (I'd like to see this site add a "value" tab in addition to LSTFO). But compared to other stouts, this one does have features that stand out. So if you are a stout fan, go for it! And PS: yes it's better at room temp.

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Photo of kalosjakar
4.48/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Dark black with a light mocha colored head. Has a slight creaminess to it.

Aroma of sweet chocolate up front, with the bourbon behind it, not overly aggressive but its bright and present.
I dont really smell the coffee.

Taste is chocolatey fudge and bourbon. There is an alcohol burn in the back of the throat at first, not as bad as the beer warms. The vanilla appears as it warms as well.

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Photo of gshak
4.48/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 2/16/16. I'm comparing this to the only other beer I've tasted like it - Alesmith's BBA Speedway.
A - A nice pour out of the bottle at about cellar temperature, yielding a mocha head that dissipated quickly. Not quite as sludgy as the BBA Speedway.
S - Huge aromas of bourbon and coffee straight out of the bottle. Some oak and vanilla, but the coffee and bourbon are pretty much dominating everything else.
T - Intense bitter coffee notes, sharp bourbon, chocolate, roasted malt.
F - Feels thinner than the Speedway. Perhaps the beer is a touch too young, and the alcohol and the hops combine to give it a thinner mouthfeel than it otherwise is.
O - A very impressive beer that will likely be better in a few months from now.

Edit 5/6/2016: What a difference a month makes!
The alcohol has subsided a bit, and that allows the coffee and chocolate to shine. The mouthfeel is much improved as well. This is definitely on the fuller side now. Looking forward to cracking open another bottle in 2 weeks from now to see how it has developed.

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

Bottled on 3/4/15. Little over a year cellared, busted this one out for the Walking Dead season finale. Look is black with some light on the edges, nice mocha head, some lacing here and there. Smell is bourbon alcohol with coffee lite chocolate. Taste is amazing, like a bourbon coffee fudge dessert bar with bourbon leading the way. Mouthfeel is medium heavy, leaning towards medium. Overall a crazy stout with crazy hype, love it from start to finish. Let this beast warm to get full effect. Did not really see any big improvements from a year of age, but am looking forward to grabbing 2016 version this Tuesday. Top notch brew indeed, now just need to get my hands on the ghost which is CBS.

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Photo of atr2605
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-pours black with a tan head with great retention
S-cocoa, vanilla, oak, toasted marshmallow
T-more cocoa and vanilla, tons of roasted coffee, and more toasted marshmallow
M-full bodied and creamy
O-excellent imperial stout, oak adds nice complexity and smoothness

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Photo of BrewsingBuffalo
4.68/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2016 Vintage|Bottled 02/16/16

L: Pours a near-black, with a mocha-like head that which recedes to a creamy collar. Some lacing is apparent, but not in abundance.

S: Roast, coffee, bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, booze, a slight hint of smoke, and some dark fruits.

T: Similar to the aroma: Roast, coffee. chocolate, oak, bourbon, char, vanilla, a bit of booze and it's accompanying heat, a lingering roasty bitterness that is not at all overwhelming or out of place.

F: Lighter than expected (which is a strength for my palate) Very smooth with moderate carbonation and a stickiness that compounds over time.

O: Fantastic. Brilliantly complex and the flavors are delightfully balanced. The booze is slightly more apparent than I'd like, but I presume a little time will assist in that regard. Highly recommended.

Note(s): Warming this beer before serving is imperative to experiencing all of it's lovely nuances. 10 minutes out of the fridge was not sufficient.

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Photo of mobrado
4.36/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Not among my favorite bourbon-barrel-aged stouts, but very pleasant nonetheless. Surprisingly the vanilla and cocoa notes almost overpower the coffee for me (not a bad thing). The main drawback is that it feels thin for the ABV. Terrific value when compared to some other barrel-aged offerings (if you can get it).

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Photo of PhillyB
4.99/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Damn. I was really hoping this beer was overrated and that it wouldn't be as great as I'd heard.

Look: Black. Pours like used motor oil, thin brown head.

Smell: Slight alcohol, dark fudge, black coffee, heavy cream

Taste: Dark chocolate fudge, espresso, and a vanilla/bourbon that grows as the beer warms.

Feel: Thick, creamy, and almost oily. There is an ever so slight alcohol nip in the beginning and towards the end. Just gives a nice warming sensation, very well balanced.

Overall: This is the only 5/5 overall I've given, and it is rightly deserved. This fulfills every expectation I have in a Imperial Stout, and surpasses it. Well done Founders, well done!

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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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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 3,038 ratings.
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