KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) | Founders Brewing Company

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KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)
12,935 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: 12,935 |  Reviews: 3,273
Photo of DrJay
4.38/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was fortunate enough to get two bottles from BC2. Thanks nlmartin and bax72!
Even on a very hard pour only a thin dark brown cap appeared, then fell quickly to a skim of fine bubbles and a thin ring. The beer itself was black, but with the thinnest of mahogany edges when held up in bright light. Some spotty lace clung to the glass between sips. Assertive roasted coffee aroma, some grounds, toffee and caramel, with wood character in the background. Thick and sweet pretty much sums up the first sip. There was a lot of coffee and roast flavour, but also equal parts dark and milk chocolate along with rich caramel. Oak played a role in the middle, growing into a whiskey barrel, alcoholic finish. Still, it stayed quite mellow for all the powerful flavours. Lots of alcohol warmth, low carbonation and a full, heavy body. Quite viscous and palate coating. Great stuff! Definitely a sipper, but a very nice balance for such a big, flavourful beer.

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Photo of RoBotGod
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Every possible thing I want out of a beer is in this one. Every part of this was good even right down to the package. Its also just getting better with age. The pour looks great. Very dark black with that dark tan coffee head. The smell has breakfast all over it. Coffee and chocolate and sweet vanilla jump out. A lot of sweet bourbon notes up front and then finishes with a dry coffee taste that it leaves in your mouth. Alcohol was not very notable to me. This was my first 5 of 5 after 60 beers reviewed. A kick ass beer.

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

A- Thin mocha head on a pitch black body. Pours like black oil.
S- Big coffee, chocolate, roasted, wood, bourbon, just a hint of grass hops, vanilla, and some smoke. Really complex and all well blended together.
T- Follows the aroma. The coffee is almost overwhelming IMO. It does remind me of the breakfast stout with some more chocolate, and a little bourbon and wood added to it. Light bitterness on the tip of tongue from grass hops along with some warmth from alcohol.. It is complex but I think this beer is over rated.
M- Medium body (a little thin and watery for this IMO) and low carbonation. Nice smooth feel to it though.
D- I think it is good but the coffee is overwhelming and body is a little thin. I still think their Imperial Stout is WAY better than this.

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Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.92/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Found on tap at Founders.

This beer pours a dark black with raisin highlights sneaking through the edges. The head is a creamy, dirty tan collar and a little bit of film. This revitalizes to a creamy cinnamon when swirled.

Smells of campfire roasted marshmallows, vanilla taffy all atop the roasted coffee and green sapling twigs of the Breakfast Stout. This is just amazing, delicious and decadent.

Tastes of green sappy wood oozing with vanilla beans that backs off to reveal an underbelly of espresso beans and bourbon. The finish is a powerful, but smooth well blended coffee.

Feels easy but dense with a tiny carbonation that froths it up ever so slightly.

A magnificent beer and a perfect after dinner sipper. To be paired with chocolate.

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Photo of GRPunk
3.75/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap poured into a snifter

A- This one poured almost jet black with some brown noticeable at the edges. There was a small brown head and good lacing.

S- It was a really sweet scent of roasted malts, whiskey, and vanilla.

T- Definite whiskey and vanilla flavors along with the roasted malts.

M- Very smooth mouthfeel with light carbonation. It was a little thick, but as expected for the style.

D- This one is a little overpowering to be considered really drinkable.

Overall- While I can't say this is a bad beer, I think I went into drinking it with some really high expectations. I found the whiskey flavor to be a bit too broad for my taste. It just ended up being a little too sweet (lots of vanilla tones). My lower drinkability score didn't come from the high alcohol, I knew what to expect there. It was more of the overly sweet tones.

I'm looking forward to giving the regular breakfast stout a try in the near future. I'm a big fan of the style, and of Founder's, and want to check out a more traditional version.

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Photo of franksnbeans
4.7/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque soot black with a chocolate milk head and plenty of lacing. Looks like a beauty. Smells of roasted malts, roasted coffee beens, mild hops and some bourbon oak. Tastes like the smell with a hint of vanilla bean and it is delicious. Each of the flavors present themself proud as a peacock with each sip. Mouthfeel is full, a little chewy. Drinkability is amazing. The ABV is non existant which is rediculous, as it hides behind all the wonderful flavors. Definitly savoring each sip.

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Photo of Hibernator
4.78/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout
12 oz brown bottle
Served in an Allagash tulip glass

Pours an intense jet black. Opaque in appearance with dark tan-colored head that is fluffy. Great sustain leaving trails of sticky lace all over the glassware. A serious looking beer.

The nose is ripe with whiffs of chocolate, roasted coffee and that unique bourbon kick. This brew also smells sugary like a pastry or a piece of cake.

Whoa...this one is intense beer from start to finish.

Strong flavors of dark chocolate, vanilla beans, espresso & burnt brown sugar. Very flavorful with amazing depth and complexity. This stout is extremely rich in flavor and mighty enjoyable.

Without doubt, one of the best beers I've had in a long, long time. I've been looking forward to checking this beer out for a while now and it surpassed my expectations. Highly recommended.

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

This was the second time I had had the KBS, both times on tap. The first time was the Extreme Beer Fest, so I could appreciate it more this time. I had remembered it being sweeter the first time but more chocolatey this time. At any rate, I was much more impressed this time. It was served in a goblet at the brewpub.

A: Jet black body with no head. Even when held to the candle at the table, no light penetrated.

S: The smells emanating from the glass were very strong and delicious. Right up front was a ton of chocolate followed by coffee, dark fruits (dates?), some smokiness and a bit of maple syrup. All in all, it kind of smelled like a burnt mocha, but in a good way if that's possible.

T: The taste is just like the aroma, very chocolaty with coffee and some burnt sugar flavors. The smoothness and creaminess are incredible for a beer of 10% alcohol. This is definitely one of my favorite beers, although I am partial to double stouts.

M: As I said before, the creaminess and smoothness are amazing although the beer is lighter in body than it would seem. Many of these high alcohol double stouts have the same quality of only medium body.

D: I wish I lived in Grand Rapids. Enough said.

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Photo of ultralarry2006
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle. Leaves less than a one finger espresso-foam colored head that quickly fades, but does manage to leave a small amount of web-like lacing in places. Body is black.

Smell - coffee, espresso, bourbon, vanilla, spicy alcohol. Intense.

Taste - like the smell, but with dark chocolate and dark crusted maltbread showing up among the coffee, espresso, bourbon, vanilla, and spicy alcohol. Espresso, dark chocolate, dark crusted maltbread, and bourbon are strong on the finish. Alcohol is mostly well hidden. Very rich, very hearty, and delicious.

Mouthfeel - medium to full bodied, and dry.

Drinkability - this is excellent ale. It is very rich, hearty and delicious, but it really is more of a sipper than a session beer, and the high abv also limits sessionbility.

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Photo of baos
4.32/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Black as night. Sedimenty.

S: Alcohol, dark chocolate, coffee, burnt caramel and hops.

T: Awesome dark chocolate and caramel brownie flavor at the start then a big alcohol splash thats not too strong but strong enough.

M: Some sediment and light to medium bodied.

D: I had the rest of a friends bottle in the hot sun and it was plenty to buzz me. I'd like to enjoy it on a cool night in a dark pub.

Make me an angel
That flies from Montgomery
Make me a poster
Of an old rodeo
Just give me one thing
That I can hold onto
To believe in this livin'
Is such a hard way to go

Breakfast Stout from your home state will help you Mr. Prine!

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Photo of BattleRoadBrewer
3.92/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 12 oz amber twist top bottle at cellar temp. Reviewed blind against DL, KtG, Abyss, P. Mortel, B. Albert, Stone IRS, Ten Fidy.

Pours oily thick like motor oil, pitch black and 100% opaque. A very aggressive pour led to a half inch of frothy dark tan head, doesn't leave lacing.

Immediate hit of sweet aroma along with vanilla, coffee and chocolate.

Complex flavor mix of alcohol, chocolate, hops. Coffee and vanilla are very subtle.

Creamy smooth mouthfeel with notable bourbon in the finish. Not as heavy as the thick pour suggested. Alcohol

Drinkability is good for such a big, strong beer, but it's a sipper.

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Photo of ghostwalker
4.62/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Midnight black body with a creamy thick tan head that falls off quickly. Beautiful!

Bourbon nose is noticeable from the cracking of the bottle. Deep dark chocolate scents. Bourbon seems to fall off quickly, but a deep booze note persists. Incredibly complex and rich.

Velvety smooth, less chocolate than the regular, generally more balanced. Bourbon flavor is present, but does not dominate. No real coffee presence, this is noticeably different than the Breakfast Stout. Dark fruitiness present as well. Tasty and intense.

Mouthfeel is liquid velvet, coats the entire palate in sweetness.

Drinkability is very good for the ABV. A sipper for sure, but every sip is a delight.

Thanks to cburian for sharing this rare treat with me!

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Photo of waughbrew
4.44/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

[thanks to JonD for the bottle]

Black with brown cap which stays as a small fuzz and pretty light lace. Aroma is huge coffee with some vodka and vanilla, overall very strong and wonderful. Flavor is again coffee, alcohol, and vanilla. It doesn't develop as much as I would like, but what it is is nice. Really like liquid dessert, reminds me a bit of tiramisu. Smooth as silk. Thankfully the bourbon notes are not over-the-top and actually complement the malt and hop flavors.

Very well done. From the name of this, I did not expect to enjoy it, but it must be a blend and not 100% from the wood. I wouldn't mind having one of these every so often as a nightcap.

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Photo of bradford
3.81/5  rDev -17.4%
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 marksto
4.07/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A surprise micro-keg was unveiled at the Indiana Brewer's Guild festival this year - near pandemonium ensued when it was tapped and it lasted all of about 10 minutes.. Thanks to Dave and Founders for making it available.

Pours opaque, jet black, and with a small head with light cocoa-coloring to what is there. Has big oak, coffee, roast, even a little smoke in the nose. Flavor dominates with coffeeish roastiness followed with a little oak and a slight bourbon essence. The bourbon is surprisingly light - just a slight essence. Body and mouthfeel actually seemed kind of light for the style, more in tune with that of a regular stout than an american double.

Overall, a very nice beer but for me not quite worthy of the major status acclaimed here. Perhaps it would be different from the bottle, Maybe I'll get a chance to see sometime, In the meantime glad to have had the opportunity today.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Thanks goes out to flybison and ThomasHardy for this brew.

All I can say is WOW! What an awesome brew.

Poured into a chalice a deep thick black color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy tan head, some little oil slicks and sticky lacing around the edges. The nose is malty, oaked, slightly roasted, vanilla, bourbon, and some coffee/caramel. The taste is awesome, hit you in the face malts/oak/coffee/bourbon. There's the sweetness of the vanilla that comes through, then a nice little bitterness finish. The alcohol is almost non-existent. Medium body, very well rounded brew. Very drinkable, definitely highly recommended.

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Photo of Monsone
4.62/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured dark black, thick and oily. Small tan head dissapates quickly.

S - Big aromas of coffee, dark malt, with notes of vanilla, oak and of course bourbon (not as strong as I expected)

T - Coffee flavors dominate up front. There is ample dark malts and dark choco flavors. Oaky bourbon with a vanilla component is in there too. Complex and deep.

M - Full bodied and thick.

D - Very drinkable for the style. Raritiy makes having this regularly difficult.

Absolutely amazing stout. This will have to be tried numerous times to fully appreciate it. I think I am up to the task.

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

Served from a 12 oz bottle.

Appearance: Pours black with a very small tan head that dissipates quickly.

Smell: Dark Chocolate is the most predominate aroma along with coffee, caramel, and vanilla.

Taste: Starts with the flavor of dark chocolate and somewhat bitter coffee. There is a alchol flavor in the middle that is replaced with bourbon and vanilla. End with a great roasted malt flavor.

Mouthfeel: Full and smooth mouthfeel. Very appropriate for this beer.

Drinkability: Great drinkability that only thing that would limit it is the higher alcohol content and the flavor complexity.

What a great beer for founders. I will definitely pick this one up again. Awesome work!!

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

Complete... utter... total... Stygian black. Despite a big blast of July sunshine behind the glass, there's no hint of lightening at the edges. I think I said the same about Founders Imperial Stout, but I don't know that I've ever seen a darker dollop of foam. The head is 'coffee with a small splash of cream' brown and is incredibly thick and rich. There's even a huge amount of lace for such a high-ABV ale.

Every ingredient that's said to be present is easily noted in the nose. I'm a little disappointed that coffee is in the foreground and bourbon is in the background. I wanted 'Kentucky' to be emphasized more than 'Breakfast'. That said, this is still an incredible aroma. It smells like a prodigious amount of roasted and black malt has been used, complemented nicely by espresso, vanilla and bourbon whiskey.

Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout is delicous beer. My first few mouthfuls tell me that it doesn't live up to my (probably unrealistic) expectations, but that's the last time in this review that I'll be anything other than positive. I know one thing, I'll buy every bottle that I can get my hands on each and every year.

The flavor profile consists of a monolithic maltiness that is Stonehenge-like in size. Think dark chocolate fudge cake flecked with pulverized coffee beans and swimming in dark caramel and molasses sauce. Of the accessory flavors, vanilla is the most prominent, followed by a burnt sugar, bourbon barrel character that, again, should be more up front. As a bourbon whiskey lover, I wish my favorite liquor saturated every sip.

The most amazing thing about KBS is how completely the alcohol is buried. Other than the beginnings of tongue numbing as I reach the halfway point of the bottle, I have a hard time picking it out. Maybe that because it tastes like bourbon rather than like ethanol. In any case, there's no need to age this beer since there's no alcoholic heat whatsoever. Of course, I'm drinking it almost four months after its release.

I'm tempted to bump the flavor score as the beer warms, but can't quite do it. For all the reasons stated above, I can imagine a better KBS, so this one will have to settle for a less than perfect flavor score. The mouthfeel is luxurious. It's medium-full with a heavy silkiness that promotes gulping rather than sipping. I could get into trouble in a big hurry with this beer.

I don't believe there's a brewery in existence that can match Founders when it comes to big stouts. Breakfast Stout, Imperial Stout, and now Kentucky Breakfast Stout are three of the most incredible beers that I've ever had the pleasure to drink. Never has twelve ounces seemed so much like six. Good thing I have three more bottles to go.

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

Oh My Dear Lord!!!

I had heard abit about the Founders Breakfast Stout from a friend but, hadn't ever had it. When i found out that my favorite beer bar had got a couple cases of the KBS i was really intrested.

I payed 11 bucks for the bottle & was worth every bit. The bourbon isn't overpowering like some other oak aged stouts. The coffee and bourbon blend really well.

I was blown away by this beer. One of the best if not my favorite stout i've ever had.

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

Want to thank wcudwight for this bottle, mighty nice of him.

Pours a deep dark black hole black, absorbing light from all around my snifter. Head is no more then a light skim of chocolate foam that falls to a ring quick strange enough some lace is left behind.

Aroma is big malty coffee nice and smokey with vanilla some oaky wood noted and light bourbon notes as well. Was thinking bourbon would be stronger but its not.

Taste is woo dude big rick malts loaded with coffee, no surprise there, rich caramel or more molasses like. Nice vanilla noted with alcohol and bourbon flavors mixing it up with a lingering coffee presence. Finish as a sharp dry like woody oak flavor that seems to round everything out. This is one big stout like the bourbon flavors but for everyday would prefer the plain Breakfast Stout.

Mouthfeel is fullish but not as big as it looks. Has a light carbonation level as its not dead seems just the right amount for this brew. Feels like a big mocha with some bourbon thrown in.

Drinkability is good an enjoyable big beer that would be good to have on hand for when the mood hits no BCS but very good.

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Photo of weeare138
4.4/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed with grassrootsVT at 4 am after he helped me fix my toilet with a knife, a nail, and some silicon...
Appears a pitch black with a 2 finger high, tan head. Tons of lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of coffee grounds, cocoa, fresh espresso beans, roasted nuts, creamy vanilla.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with a huge nod to ground coffee and not enough of the oak, or bourbon going on as anticipated.
Mouthfeel is medium/full bodied, rich, huge coffee, sweet, creamy, with a grainy, biscuity feel in the swallow.
Personally, I enjoyed the regular Breakfast Stout more. Maybe it was the bottle? I've heard these have differed.
Edit - 5/4/09
I finally got this on tap at Capone's. Man, this was much better than what I remember it being in the bottle. Plenty of bourbon, vanilla, oak, and cocoa adding to the mocha. The draft version was top notch.
Bottle notes...
A - 4.5
S - 4.5
T - 4
M - 4
D - 4

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Photo of kmo1030
4.87/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

black as night with no head other than a thin tan ring around the edge.
the aroma contains big time burnt coffee/espresso. it's also got components of baking chocolate, vanilla, caramel, bourbon, molasses and a hint of black licorice.
the taste is awesomely rich and luxurious. creamy espresso, with bitter chocolate, vanilla, and caramel drizzle. bourbon behind that and in the aftertaste. it's got a charred oaky character that just completely puts this over the top. fantastic.
the mouth feel is very full and smooth as hell... like butter. active, but delicate carbonation.
drinkability isn't perfect, booze and magnitude of flavor contribute to that, but it's pretty near perfect.
this beer is amazing, period. it sets a benchmark for the very deffinition of barrel aged double stout. well worth the price in my opinion. i'm a bit of a beer slut, but i would keep this in my fridge at all times if i could.

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Photo of krkearney
4.16/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, sampled alongside the Breakfast Stout. Pours pitch black, with a short, light brown head that quickly diminishes to a thing ring of bubbles that hugs the walls of the snifter. Strong coffee aroma; with some dark chocolate, oak and vanilla. The coffee aroma is stronger here than it is in my Breakfast Stout. The coffee again defines the flavor, again with some bitter dark chocolate in the background along with caramel and burnt toast flavors. Bourbon was not as prominant as I expected. More intense than the Breakfast Stout, but still smooth and enjoyable.

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Photo of genog
4.7/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle received in trade from JMZ.

Poured into a snifter and the experience began. Rich dark black almost burnt looking. Khaki brown head that leaves a lacing of bubbles floating all around the top of the pour.

Smell is toasted malts, dark dark chocolate, oaky scent?

Taste is where I gave up taking notes. This is my first taste of the beer, and I could not get over how rich and flavorfull this drink was. At this point I gave up and realized I was not worthy to review this beer, but I decided to give it a try anyway.

Need more to review ;)

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KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.61 out of 5 with 12,935 ratings