KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) | Founders Brewing Company

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KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)
12,904 Ratings
KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)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:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 12,904 |  Reviews: 3,265
Photo of Lupe
4.97/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to metallitone1 for this one

Pours black as night and looks thick - not a tinge of light passing through. Creamy coffee colored head is dense, and settles down to a thin film - leaving behind traces of lace.

Wonderful aroma of bourbon, oak, vanilla, and fudge brownies. Mild charred oak and bright breakfast blend-style coffee round things out. Aroma is strong yet soft. Absolutely mouthwatering.

Flavor delivers what the aroma tells you - rich sweetness with chocolate, caramel, light coffee, and smooth bourbon. Notes of vanilla and charred oak. Finishes with alcohol warmth and lingering dry oak. Incredibly well balanced - no one flavor overwhelms, and the bourbon is super smooth and held in check.

Full bodied, super smooth, a bit chewy, and not heavy or syrupy as you would expect. Too easy to drink - should be a sipper but hard to put down, as it begs for another gulp. Desert, night-cap, or with breakfast, I'd make many excuses for having one. Truly a special beer.

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Photo of emerge077
4.42/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Some days, when it's only 7º outside, you need a stout of this fortitude, there's just no substitute.

Black oily pour into an Arcadia glass. Mocha tinged foam sticks around for a minute, then retreats to the edges. Served around 50-55º, don't drink this straight from the fridge, it will mute some of the smell and taste.

Special aroma of dense fudgy chocolate, and woody vanilla traces from the barrel. A little bit of ashy char is there too, though not over the top. Flavors deliver on what the nose hints at, rich chocolate, minor coffee undertone, vanilla, oak, and trace heat from the 10%. Over time it really develops and builds, a long finish connects between each flavor-packed sip. Some light bitterness that is identical to unsweetened chocolate is there, and lingers in the finish.

Incredibly smooth (oats?), not heavy or syrupy, yet it's a sipper. Perfect to sit and contemplate without weighing you down. There's a reason it's ranked so high...it's a very balanced imperial stout, possibly the most balanced i've ever had.

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Photo of dave1822
4.87/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wow! This beer is incredible. I had this beer out a bottle and poured it into a normal pint glass. The color and head were exceptional. A rich dark brown head that was the perfect size. The smell was like a cup of freshly brewed coffee with a slight campfire edge.

This beer is a huge beer and may take some getting used to for some but is one of the best beers I've ever drank.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I got this bottle in a trade with hoppymeal. Thanks Derek!

It pours from 12 oz bottle a near pitch black witha finger tannish head of thick creamy foam.

The smell is very *very* nice. Tons of bourbon, chocolate, coffee, dark fruit and toffee tickle my nose buds.

The taste on first sip gives me loads of chocolate and bourbon followed immediately by coffee and some dark fruit and a nice hot cocoa bitterness. Yum!

More sips in, and that's quite easy to do as this has great drinkablity, I find more of the same but this is anything but boring. I really can't believe how darn tasty yet smooth drinking it is. As for the abv, there's just some slight warming after the swallow and the mouthfeel? Thick and chewy and absolutely superb. One of the best I've had to date.

I'm *trying* to stretch this bottle out for as long as I can but my glass keeps beckoning me to take another sip and I just don't have the will power to say no. ;^) What a drinking experience I'm having here...Founder's really set a high standard for the style when they brewed this puppy.

Btw, the foam retention is *very* good and there's lots of lacing hugging the side of my glass. Another point to mention is the aftertaste. It lingers on for a like forever and I couldn't be happier. Again, Yum!

Bottom line: A world class brew that is worth seeking out again and again. In fact, it's going right back on my Wants list as I write this review....

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Photo of tayner
3.98/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle.

Poured pitch black and oily from the stubby bottle and left a nice milk chocolate head behind that formed a nice ring. not much lacing, probably due to the 10%

Smell was coffee followed closely like bourbon.

Taste, well. coffee. bourbon. I know it is more complex than that, but for the sake of making it simple, it tastes like someone made me a cup of very, very strong coffee (you know, the kind you can stand a spoon in?) and then spiked it with a shot of whiskey. Plain and simple, thats what this beer it. It goes down warm like whiskey.

Mouthfeel is thick and coating. Heavy and filling.

The 10% is very warming, but i wouldn't say hot by any means. It is a sipper, but i can see how it could replace your morning cup of joe on sunday morning (or any morning you dont have to work). Although, at 10%, and so heavy, one at a time is plenty. IMO this is WAY better than FBS.

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Photo of brewandbbq
4.4/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Vintage 2006

Pours opaque black, with dark brown bubbles that struggle to overcome the viscous liquid.
A inverted cascade of ulta-fine carbonation swells to a half inch with an exaggerated pour.
The whipped batter lasted less than two sips and dissolved to barely a whisp on the surface.
Aromatics are pungent with heavily roasted coffee, bitter chocolate, and a small dose of bourbon.
The mouthfeel is thick, chewy and slightly grainy. Plenty of gription and cling-power.
The pallet is laden with plenty of dry, bitter, dark chocolate, black-roasted coffee grounds, oak char, and burnt malt.
Hopping is subdued, and alcohol is slightly warming.
Finishes with lingering brownie batter infused with espresso, and spiked with a hint of whiskey.

The bourbon in this beer is quite subdued and is complimentary to the coffee and chocolate.

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Photo of Stoneman78
4.57/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Currently #7 on the BA List, opened to kick off the 2008 Super Bowl, acquired via trade from MuenchenerKindl, poured into a Stone Old Guardian tulip glass, "Is good for everything a stout ought to be good for"!!!

Appearance is thick and dense brown-to-black motor oil, minimal brown head mostly disappears but there is some cream and bubbles on the edges, very mild lacing

Smell is huge roasty malts, espresso with tones of bitter chocolate, bourbon, woody oak, and vanilla are prominent, touch of dark fruits and molasses/brown sugar

Taste is predominately bitter coffee/espresso complimented well by the bourbon alcohol and wood presence and backed up with bittersweet chocolate, there is great balance here between those primary flavors, some molasses and alcohol warming in the finish

Mouthfeel is very full-bodied, thick and viscous texture you need to chew through, ample carbonation

Drinkability is good, I liked this considerably better than the original Breakfast stout which was much more coffee-forward and not as balanced, the alcohol is subdued despite the 11% level, this was definitely a treat, hopefully I can get my hands on more in the future.

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Photo of jwolfie70
3.1/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

I had a lot of expectations regarding this beer, and I think I may have enjoyed this more without the expectations. The beer pours a very dark brown, with little head. The smell is of bourbon with some vanilla and roasted coffee. The taste is over the top bourbon, with burnt coffee. The taste just didnt do it for me, it was a little too overboard and tasted like a cold coffee and bourbon mixed drink. Given the hype around this beer, I will someday probably come into possession of another bottle and see if my first impressions were off.

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Photo of deepsouth
4.12/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

this beer poured a jet black color with no head. the smell was BIG coffee, burnt fruits, raisins or dates maybe. the taste is consistant with the smell, but far less complex that i'd expect from a top ten beer. the mouthfeel is full and slightly oily. the alcohol smell isn't present at first but comes through slightly in the end. it's also not in the first tastes either, although even though it's not in the taste and smell right away, you do feel the warming of the alcohol on the way down.

overall this is a great beer, but not near as complex as i figured it would be. even though it got better as it warmed, it still was pretty one dimensional, coffee.

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Photo of sfoley333
4.38/5  rDev -5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into a New Belgium snifter. Poured black with a dark tan head that foamed up two fingears than faded a minute later. Smell is dominated by coffee with hints of vanilla, chocolate, and a whiff of charred fussel oak. Taste coffee with darkfruit, molasses, and a alcohol warmth. While a great sipper or really drunk start to the day I could enjoy a couple but with 10 abv you might have weird afternoon.

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Photo of illidurit
4.72/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Viscous pitch black liquid with a very thin brown head. No lacing.

Aroma is huge coffee with hot dash of bourbon. This is gonna carry a kick!

Tastes like one shot of espresso, one shot of melted semisweet chocolate, and one shot of bourbon. It's got a nice heat to it that fits with the other flavors. Finish is drier than the Sahara.

Mouthfeel is a bit hot but the dry finish takes over and makes you want more. Drinkability is a bit hampered by the bourbon but this is still pretty smooth for 10% abv.

I feel that this is significantly different in taste but about equal in quality to the regular breakfast stout.

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

Thanks Joe 1510.

Just shy of exceptional... but really really good.

Pours engine oil black, with hardly a lick of head. Expected.

Smells roasty roasty roasty. Chocolate and coffee and a bit more roast, with raisin-y/prune-y sweetness. It's just a bit... flat. All really good, but I'm pulling here, doesn't explode. Maybe I'm being a bit harsh... but I wasn't disappointed.

Taste is more of the same, FINALLY a beer where bourbon compliments and mingles but doesn't overwhelm. The coffee is still definitely predominant (how is the FBS I've got floating around in my fridge going to taste if this is how much coffee is going on here?!), malt flavors are rich and full, sweet, but a beautiful balancing dryness. Grainy, though.

As wonderful as this is... difficult to justify lengthy attempts to acquire it on a regular basis. Would love to have this around as a local brew, though.

Really don't see how this is a top 10, but nothing this good is going to raise any kind of serious complaint from me.

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

This beer poured a deep oily black with virtually no head. The aroma was simply robust coffee (well there might be a hint of roasted malt and slight fruit). The taste is strong of coffee with some possible raisin flavors. The mouthfeel if full and the finish is slightly oily - a bit of an alcohol burn is noticed at the end. This is an easy to drink beer. It is almost like an alcoholic coffee, but it goes down smooth.

Edit: I drank another bottle that I had gotten at the same time about a week later. The second bottle was more complex and interesting. The aroma had more of a bourbon note to it - I'm raising the score by 0.5 simply for the smell.

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Photo of meatyard
4.47/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The appearance is very dark with a short, dark chocolate head that falls away quickly leaving just a bit of lacing. Probably the darkest head I've seen on a beer.
The smell is of dark chocolate (the cocoa is pretty powerful here), coffee and some bourbon.
The taste is much the same but with a lot more of the bourbon and alcohol.
Mouthfeel is thick yet smooth.
Drinkability is good, While the alcohol is there and noticeable it doesn't get in the way, that is unless you were to drink a few.

I'm going to try and pick up a couple more if I can find them so I can age them to see how it goes. I can't imagine it not being better.

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

Founders- Kentucky Breakfast Stout

Big thanks to Pimpp for this 1.

A- Thick black with a reddish tint, chunky head slowly builds up after the pour and leaves a big lace down the glass.
S- Dark chocolate fudge and yellow sponge cake. A nice touch of sweet bourbon in the tail end.
T- Thick dark fudge icing, moist chocolate cake, A touch of vanilla, and a finishing touch of smooth charcoal bourbon.
M- Big bitter chocolate up front but finishing off with a smooth sweet charred bourbon barrel booziness.

Overall- An excellent sipper. This is a great night cap/snowy evening beer!

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

I was lucky enough to be one of the few Pennsylvanians to get to try this beer on tap at Teresa's Next Door a few months back. This, however, will be my first taste of it from the bottle. What a great first beer of 2008!

APPEARANCE: Pours into a Unibroue tulip stunningly pitch black and thicker than most any other beer I've ever laid eyes on. A dark tan head forms initially, but is quite small. It quickly drops to a small collar with a few bubbles left floating on top.

SMELL: My God. This is the most wonderfully smelling beer I've ever smelled. Coffee, chocolate, bourbon, oak, vanilla, dark fruits... everything in perfect harmony. On tap, the bourbon seemed more intense than everything else, but this... this is perfect.

TASTE: Man, that's good. Starts out with a pleasant, almost lactic, sweetness, but the huge oak, bourbon, and coffee flavors kick in soon after. The odd thing is that it finishes somewhat empty given this huge flavors that it has. The finish is mostly just a creamy sweetness that only hints at what you've just tasted. Maybe that's how it gets you to take another sip. So why a 4.5? Maybe I just expected the flavors to match the intensity in the aroma. But still, what a phenomenal beer.

MOUTHFEEL: Huge, creamy, with no slickness at all. Just everything a stout should be. Carbonation level is low and where it should be.

DRINKABILITY: Scary good. I almost find myself wishing I could taste the alcohol more. Either way, there's no way this beer should be in a 12 oz bottle. I need more.

Damn. I love Kentucky Breakfast Stout. What a fantastic kick off for 2008. Happy New Year!

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Photo of pwoods
4.21/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to GrizzlyAdams and Floydster for this trade and a big thanks to nlmartin for giving this to me as an EXTRA!

12oz. stubby brown bottle poured into a Stone IRS Tulip. Yet again, screw Founders dating system.

A: Pours jet black with average viscosity. 1 1/2 fingers struggle to form after an aggressive pour. Head is deep mocha and very tight.. looks almost nitro'd. Nice retention and an amazing sheet of lacing throughout - surprising since this is bourbon barreled.

S: Deep roasted coffee as strong as espresso. Lots of super bitter dark German chocolate and separate notes of sweet milk chocolate, but not dominating. Just a hint of pleasant whisky.

T/M: Very bitter coffee and more chocolate. A nice sweet molasses. Whisky is much more present than in the nose. This probably needs to be aged awhile. Full bodied with medium carbonation.

D: I'm glad I got some more left to age awhile. I'll try this again in a year or so. Overall, not bad at all.

2nd review: Bottle consumed 1 day after purchase at the store.... completely fresh. I complained about the bourbon being TOO strong in my past review... not so much this time. It actually seems a little mellowed. Did Founder ship an aged bottle? lol. Smell was still pleasant. Mouthfeel is still nearly perfect except just a bit too much chalkiness... very smooth nonetheless. It's still a sipper and that I did :)

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Photo of rudylaw
3.9/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap @ the Founders Brewery

Served in a snifter, this was midnight in a glass. There was hardly any head on top of this oil slick.

It has a very strong odor. Coffee, cocoa and bourbon pummels your nose with reckless abandon.

I don't taste the bourbon as much as the coffee, but it's still strong like liquor. There are strong malts at work here... very complex. The bourbon makes a comeback in the aftertaste. Whoo!

All in all, this is a fine beverage, but way too strong and over-the-top for me. I much prefer the "regular old" Breakfast Stout. If you want your ass handed to you in a snifter, sign up for the KBS ride and hold on for dear life.

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

Into the tulip

A - Deep black base, dark cappuccino head, good lacing retention.

S - Chocolate, coffee, subdued bourbon, I suppose (might be more suggestive in the name than actual smell present).

T - Oh, yes. Bittersweet chocolate and coffee and vanilla. Silky chocolate finish.

M - Full body, would have liked more carbonation. Full coating and silky chocolate finish.

D - I like it. More hyped than I thought deserved. My stout isn't as good, but it comes close. Still, glad to try it.

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Photo of Lnedrive14
4.46/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought a 4-pack back at Bauer in April. This is my second (6 months after the first - interesting changes).

Not an attractive beer from the pour. Little to no head that dissipates quickly. Jet back but not motor oilish. The blackness doesnt stick to the side of the glass like grease.

Smell is very powerful. Immediately overwhelms the room with a bourbon stench, with a little bit of coffee and cocoa.

Taste is not as strong in the bourbon as the smell would have hinted. Strong roasted malts, dark chocolate and coffee hit up front, but there is the faintest bourbon sensation in the aftertaste. A very pleasant experience through each sip, and you can really appreciate it on a few different levels.

I didn't like the way it felt. Maybe too thick? I'm not really sure.

Highly drinkable for 10%. Almost no alcohol to overwhelm.

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Photo of connecticutpoet
4.47/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was lucky to get this beer... Joe at Julio's had a four-pack left in his cooler, and he had someone go get it for me at one of their beer fests. (Which are VERY good events, by the way, and well worth attending.)

This beer had a thin layer of head off the pour made of small foamy bubbles. It died quickly. I had expected a bit more, but perhaps I was a bit timid in pouring.

Aroma first hit me with very strong roasted malts. Then notes of coffee, dark bitter cocoa (not chocolate, but pure cocoa powder) and hints of vanilla and bourbon came through. As it warmed, the alcohol became more noticeable in the nose.

Taste again was initially very strong dark roasted malts. Then coffee flavors flowed in, with a slight fruitiness. Overtones of oak and bourbon wafted around, and the finish was a long one, full of roasted barley flavors.

Mouthfeel was smooth and silky... wonderful.

Drinkability was excellent. It went down easily, and I could have had another without a problem, although it would have knocked me on my ass. I can't wait to see what aging does to this one. The other three bottles are cellaring.

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Photo of tjthresh
4.56/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I think I had 2 or 3 glasses of this at The Glass Nickle over GTMW weekend. The problem is that my notes were written in Chineese. I managed to be able to trade for a bottle shortly thereafter. Pitch black with a rich lasting brown head. Good lace. Beautiful. The aroma is really blended well. You get all the coffee, bourbon, and oak and such. The aroma is great, but it does nothing for the onslaught of flavor that comes next. Lots of of cold steeped coffee aroma. The flavor is a wonderful blend of chocolate, coffee, soft bourbon, a drop of vanilla, and a good oaky dry finish. Chewy, lush, full body. Very easy drinking. Unbeleivable.

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

Thanks to beerbeing for this beer I think. It might have beenn pimpp, but I'm pretty sure It's beer being.


Pours a decent two finger head with nice lacing and amazing retention, very nice dark dark brown color.

Smell is wonderfully complex. Nice vanilla bean notes with mint and an oaky overtone. Chocolate and roasted malts with some cofee bean. I think I am picking up some nice licoricy notes and bourbon overtones. This beer absorbed some of the bourbon scent.

Taste is wonderfully complex. Oh man, I am lazy and this will take a long time to review! Upfront is a upfront sugar sweet swetness. This is followed by a tartness from the bourbon barrel again. A little mint and vanilla come out. This is followed by thick chocolate malts and coffee beans Roasted characteristics come out to balance. Hop bitterness is low and isn't all that distinctive. The alcohol hides itself well and this beer isn't boozy at all.

Nice creaminess and slight astringency from the alcohol. Very nice mouthfeel.

Wonderfully complex and a true breakfast stout. I find it nice in the cold weather. I don't drink in the morning because I never have a full day off of work at this point, but I wish I would have the oppurtunity to drink one of these in the morning. I want more please.

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Photo of oakbluff
4.4/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Consumed on 7/24/07- bday beer and complements of xav33. Pours out like motor oil. More head than expected-colour of milk chocolate. Nose- bakers chocolate and dark roasted coffee beans. Taste- that is some heavy shit! bourbon, chocolate explosion, vanilla, and so on... Viscous yet creamy mouthfeel and hops have a good bite at the end. Not boozy, not not a beer to be messed with . This bottle took a couple of hours to contemplate as it should.

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Photo of DIM
4.55/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

a: Pitch black with no hilights and a smllish dark tan head.

s: There isn't one dominant aroma, just lots of subtle ones. The coffee smell of Breakfast Stout is still here but it's muted by some vanilla, booze, and oak. The latter is perhaps a bit too noticeable.

t: This beer is schizo, it seems as if every sip is different. There are lots of flavors that assert themselves to various degrees as it warms and breathes. The coffee is, of course, present along with an oaky taste that comes on a bit too strong at some points. Vanilla, booze, and some mild chocolate can also be detected.

m: Thick, hearty, syrupy, and perfect.

d: Big thanks to hoppymeal for the chance to try this one. This is a fantastic beer for sure, but I prefer Breakfast Stout.

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KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.61 out of 5 with 12,904 ratings