KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) | Founders Brewing Company

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KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)
13,258 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): 12.30%

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

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: 13,258 |  Reviews: 3,364
Photo of Speakeasy01
4.85/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the first beer I've ever taken the time to write about. It truely is quite an impressive brew.

I won't follow the format the I usually read ( although I like)

I will simply say that my morning coffee does not taste the same after I have tasted this beer. I now taste hints of KBS in my morning coffee and would like to replace with a KBS :-) Wow! Vinalla, Chocolate, Coffee, Bourbon mixed to sweet perfection.

If the opportunity allows you...it is worth the price and effort!

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Photo of neenerzig
4.35/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got a single 12 oz bottle of this at La Ca Du Vin recently. Paid $5.00+ for it, which is more than I am usually willing to shell out for a single 12 oz bottle of beer. Recommended to me by a good friend. Poured into my new Stone imperial pint glass. This beer is a very dark brown color. The tan brown head is about 2/3 inch when poured. Settles to a decent surface coating with a nice thick ring lining the inside of the glass. Good lacing. Aromas of vanilla, bourbon, chocolate and coffee are very nice indeed! Flavors of vanilla, caramel and chocolate upfront, followed by roasted malt and bitter coffee, and a bit of bourbon. The sweeter flavors do tend to come about more. Very good! Has a very smooth, creamy, slightly crisp, full bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Very easy to drink especially as it starts to warm up. Wow! I have to admit I was quite impressed. Better than I expected as I have thoughts that a lot of Founders beers are overhyped, still good, but overhyped. This one lived up to the hype. One of the smoothest beers I have ever had.


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Photo of Yetiman420
4.46/5  rDev -3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my trusty Unibroue tulip glass in the low 40's.

Black. Thin chocolate milk head with irregularly sized bubbles - larger ones toward the side of the glass.

Aroma is mostly coffee grinds with a punch from either bourbon or alcohol or perhaps the combination of both.

Follow up sniffing reveals a bit more roasted malt and some chocolate.

First sip. Damn it's good. Thick, full, and chewy and incredibly well balanced. For 10% there is a moderate touch of heat on the finish. Nothing major and a great reason to taste this over time.

Exceptional mouthfeel (5) - in fact, on it's own, this stands as an incredibly noteworthy beer for this aspect.

This is the fourth time I've had this beer in the past year and I'm consistent impressed (including nitro tap at the brewery).

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Photo of PrinceDarren
4.31/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Excited to find a bottle at Brixies!

Due to rarity and hype, I thought KBS would be comparable to FFFs Dark Lord. I was way wrong. This is much more delicate (whereas the latter is brutually massive).

Flashback: On cool winter nights, I like to enjoy a glass of hot chocolate with a couple of shots of Irish Whiskey while watching a bad DVD rental. KBS reminded me a lot of those evenings. The best way to describe it would be as follows: 1) go to Starbucks and buy a mocha latte 2) add an extra shot of espresso 3) add too much extra chocolate syrup 4) put it in the fridge until its cold 5) toss in a shot or two of bourbon. Congratulations, you've just created a glass of Founder's Kentucky Breakfast Stout.

KBS is a little weak on the nose, a light aroma of bourbon is to be expected, but there is not much more than that. It is surprisingly drinkable - no need to share it with a friend - you'll want to hog it all to yourself anyway. It is not so much a "beer" as it is a "dessert drink". I could sip on this any night of the week, after a full meal, and feel full and content.

Bottom line: KBS is a fine dessert beverage that I, personally, won't soon part with $10 to try again (not in the near future anyway). I do look forward to trying this when it is tapped at Bavarian Lodge.

Now excuse me while I head over to Applebee's and order a mudslide.

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Photo of dpuia
4.79/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 bottle poured into a Chimay snifter. Pours rich dark color with no head. The smell is full of fresh ground coffee, nice and aromatic. The taste is like no other, best way I can describe it is take a mild IPA, and mix it with an iced coffee, with a smoked wood overtone. This beer is so thick you can nearly chew it. Drinkability is not exceptional for one reason, high ABV and smooth taste, can be a dangerous combination.

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Photo of craytonic
3.33/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from last year's release, so just a little over a year old.

Appearance: Like motor oil, I put it directly next to a light bulb and nothing got through my snifter. Nice coffee foam, almost no lacing.

Smell: Mostly old coffee and lots of dark malts, barely any bourbon, I wish it was the other way around. It is actually more alcohol than bourbon - barely any of the molasses, vanilla, etc I would like to smell.

Taste: Old coffee, lots of licorice, soot, charcoal, dark malts, fudge, blackstrap molasses, and hardly any bourbon. Something burnt. I really don't get the reviews saying the alcohol is concealed - on both the aroma and taste I get raw, pure alcohol smacking my nose and tongue like a 2x4. Let me clarify that is alcohol, not bourbon I taste.

Mouthfeel: A little grainy, I couldn't help but think of sand or used coffee grits.

Drinkability: Definitely a sipper, the coffee and raw alcohol are overpowering.

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Photo of AleDrinkToThat
4.97/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I think I can honestly say that this is my favorite stout ever. I've got to give a BIG shout to rockstarnati who traded this to me...as an EXTRA! Thanks a million, dude.

Appearance: Poured into my DFH snifter. After bringing the pour a literal FOOT high from the glass, there was a milk chocolate-brown 1/2 finger head. I swear, this stuff would look like a tiny dark spot against the backdrop of space. Light simply does dot penetrate into this beer.

Smell: I work at a coffee chain and have to smell coffee at its freshest and at its most stale states. I'm not easily impressed by coffee-infused stouts. Really only Peche Mortel has knocked my socks off in that regard. Well, it's been dethroned. There's a sublime aroma of chocolatey coffee beans here, with a nice oak underbelly and the slightest hint of bourbon. I'm salivating.

Taste: The perfection of the balance among the flavors and body is impressive, to say the very least. The roasted malt and coffee notes hit immediately, but very quickly open up to reveal deep, semisweet chocolate and oak flavors. The bourbon is still only a pleasant hint, and it hits closer to the finish and in the aftertaste. I'm in love.

Mouthfeel: Thick and viscous, in the most beautiful way. My mouth almost feels coated with a film from all this mature malt. The carbonation is extremely low but it seems better for that. There's no cloying sweetness, but the semisweet chocolate notes do make my sweet-sensitive taste buds perk up a little. There is very little alcohol fuming in the finish, which is amazing considering the 11.2% ABV and the bourbon remnants.

Drinkability: This is surely a "sip slowly and savor the hell out of it" beer. For stout lovers, this is that dusty little wooden cup hidden among all the jeweled chalices. Shamelessly drinkable. Just watch yourself, or you will get sucked into the black hole of intoxication. Which is probably almost as dark as this beer.

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Photo of Evan87
5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 2009 bottle to a snifter. I was never a big bourbon fan, but now I find myself thinking about this beer alot. It has converted me.

Pours a thick black syrup. Chocolate, coffee and bourbon flavors are perfectly balanced. Alcohol falls just short of overpowering. I doubt my craving for this beer will ever stop. Reminds me of when I had my "aha" moment with an IPA. I went on a hop binge for years. I think I maybe on the verge of a similiar bourbon stout binge.

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Photo of HopDerek
4.62/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A bottle of KBS saved from 2008's batch. Poured into a KBS glass.

Pours a viscous inky jet black with very little burnt tan head. Smells of bourbon, vanilla, caramel, molasses, chocolate, and coffee. Tastes of caramel and dark chocolate up front then some coffee and roasted malt character. To follow is some vanilla and bourbon warmth then an espresso bean finish. Full in body with low carbonation. Silky smooth with a nice thick chewiness and a soothing bourbon warmth that compliments the other flavors and doesn't become too overpowering. A fantastic brew, but a little too much to want to enjoy often. Definitely worth breaking out for special occasions though.

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Photo of WilliamD
4.02/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. Jet black and still. It looks like ink in my glass. Very thin, tan head.
Smells of vanilla, coffee, chocolate, booze. Perhaps some bourbon too.
Intense flavor. The upfront taste is bitter coffee. Vanilla tones and slighly heavier chocolate tones. A bit of bourbon as well. Not as intense as the Bourbon County Stout. Quite bitter as well. A hefty booze finish.
Fairly flat, but tingly and warm from the alcohol.
After finishing one of these, I didn't want another, that's for sure.
Quite good, but I think this one needs some age to balance it out a bit.

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Photo of PrAndo
4.97/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The best beer I've ever had? Only time will tell. But for today, it might win that honor. The best stout I've ever had? Yup. It does all the things I want a stout to do for me in spades. Lately I'd grown a little stout weary, but I think that it's safe to say that this fine brew has rejuvinated my enthusiasm for the variety.

The appearance won me over at first glance. It didn't just poor like motor oil, it poured like it was the last 1/4 of coffee in the coffee pot that had been left to cook on the burner all day. That black. That thick. There is a bit of a head, but not much and it sure doesn't stick around long. For the time it is present, enjoy it it's mocha brown and a little foamy.

The smell eminating from that glass is intoxicating. It "had me at hello". It smells of cocoa and black coffee. Really, it's almost like the smell of the Hershey's chocolate syrup that you put on top of your ice cream.

When it comes to taste, there's not just a little of it and it doesn't last for a short time. It's got taste for days. It taste like it looks and like smells. I first notice a hint of bourbon, followed by the warmth of the alcohol, though it doesn't really taste of alcohol even considering the high ABV. Coffee, bittersweet chocolate, and all the while kind of reminding me of a well stirred glass of Nestle Quick. Even after you've taken a good pull, you taste it in your mouth for a long time.

Mouthfeel: heavy, warm, thick, smooth.

Drinkability: I'd certainly save room for a second (or a third...).

I'm thrilled to have had this wonderful beer and look forward to more opportunities in the future.

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Photo of btuthill
4.3/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours jet black from stubby 12 oz. bottle. Very small tan head fades immediately to a thin skin of bubbles. Smell is of roasted coffee beans and charred oak with a hint of sweet bourbon. Taste is dominated by coffee up front. Warm and roasty. The coffee is followed by a strong vanilla presence - very smooth and a welcome change from the roasted coffee. There is a hint of oak as it finishes, before returning to a strong vanilla and bourbon aftertaste. The finish is the most enjoyable aspect of the flavor profile. Although I don't think the flavor is perfect, I do appreciate the melding of flavors and general complexity of this beer. The mouthfeel is good - a little thinner than desired with a bit more carbonation than I expected. This is a highly drinkable beer, as long as you can find it and afford it. The complex flavors keep you from drinking too much of this 10% goodness too quickly.

A nice offering from Founder's, but I am frankly a bit disappointed. As a sucker for bourbon-aged stouts, I expected a bit more out of this one. I particularly would have liked the barrels to mellow a bit of the roasted coffee flavor, but it wasn't to be. I don't think it holds a candle to my personal favorite, Goose Island Bourbon County Stout.

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Photo of dananabanana
4.58/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep brown, almost black. Thin rim of tan foam along the outside. Trail of little bubbles slips down the glass.

S: VERY alcoholic! Bourbon, vanilla, molasses, burnt sugar.

T: Coffee explosion, right away. Espresso beans. Alcoholic aftertaste, and more of that burnt sugar. Nut/ oat flavor comes about halfway. Towards the end, dark forest fruits. Blackberry, currant.

M: Sort of tingly carbonation, the alcohol burns a little. Very dry. Almost characteristic of red wine.

D: It takes a long time to properly drink and enjoy. You wouldn't want more than one at once, but it's not intended like that.

Also, I got it right from the source, at Founders, about two weeks after release... pretty cool.

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Photo of brewintheLou
4.47/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black as night and very thick coming from the bottle. Not much head of the brown head here.

Smell is very strong roasted coffee. Some creamy mocha in there too.

Taste is a creamy, oaky, roasty, coffee, dark chocolate colaboration. Very well crafted, as the ABV is not noticable. Mouthfeel is very thick and smooth. Drinkable as hell.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.47/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep, deep brown with a small tannish head. Nose is coffee, cocoa, light hints of bourbon, vanilla, oak and oats. taste is heavy oats, coffee but light on cocoa and bourbon. Very tasty and very, very drinkable. Outstanding beer and well worth a try.

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Photo of Imperial313
4.65/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my first review, I'm glad it's a KBS!

After pouring this black espresso looking beer into a snifter, I noticed a dark brown head that only lingered for a little bit. It's a 11.2% beer so I was not surprised.

The aroma is a very strong coffee mixed with malt and dark chocolate. The bourbon is present with some vanilla lingering at the end. I think the bourbon complemented everything and at the same time over powered.

Your taste buds are hit with coffee mixed with intense malt followed by a high bitterness, at the same time you are always followed by the bourbon. At the finish there is a lingering of warmth and a little vanilla/chocolate barrel.

The mouthfeel is full bodied that gives way to low carbonation but laces your throat with goodness.

Overall, KBS has changed form last year. I think the bourbon comes out more adding a different dimension. However, this is a marvelous beer that I enjoyed till the last drop.

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Photo of BDIMike
4.48/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a jet black color with not even a hint of color when held to the light. There is barely any carbonation, but there is still a thin dark tan, almost brown colored head.
Smell has a lot of nice things going for it. All kinds of malts smells, dominated by chocolate coffee malts. There is also a nice bourbon smell, but not the overbearing alcohol smell that I was expecting.
Taste is very nice and gets better as the drink gets warmer. The taste is dominated by good chocolate malts and also some smoky roasted malts, too. Good taste of dark plum-like fruits and a tinge of good bourbon also.
Mouthfeel is awesome. The feel has a nice thickness and still retains a velvety smoothness in the sip.
Drinkability is as good as it gets on this beer. I had heard this was one of the best beers available (or somewhat available), but I had no idea how smooth and drinkable it would be. There is a ton of taste and a lot of alcohol in this beer, but none of it overwhelms the drinker at any point. If you can get your hands on one, pay any price to at least try it once.

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Photo of WakeandBake
4.55/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Notes from 3/15/09. A super dark black color body with a single finger of brown colored head,lots of lacing left behind. Aroma of espresso beans,burbon,and chocolate.Flavor up front is charred malt,burbon,and chocolate then some notes of wood smoke,tobacco,vanilla and black licorice.Little to no carbonation,a slick slightly oily/creamy mouthfeel with a bitter finish and boozy aftertaste.I would not call this sessionable I guess but very good.For the money and the mess around to get this, I think I like the regular Breakfast Stout a little better than this.

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Photo of DSmith24
4.58/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Drank at room temp. Pours jet black with dark fudge brown head. Lots of lacing. Strong coffee scent in the nose, can't smell any bourbon however. Taste is exceptional, coffee, dark chocolate, hints of bourbon. Perfectly balanced. Alcohol very hidden. Maybe my second favorite stout, it didn't floor me like Kate the Great did.

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

Had this on tap at Old Town Ale House is Fishers. Thanks to Matt for getting a keg of this! The beer looked like an oil slick with melted chocolate in it. Very dark, but slightly creamy looking. Very thin head due to 5 oz. pour. Smells strongly of coffee and has slight bourbon hints. The strongest taste is the coffee/espresso flavor. It's a warm punch in the face. At the back of the taste comes the more pointed bourbon flavor. It's lovely. Some vanilla flavor as well ties this stout up quite well. The mouthfeel is amazing. Chews slightly and goes down smoothly. Drinkability is good due to it being a liquid, but more over it is very smooth. Hidden high ABV will knock the crap out of you though.

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Photo of erosier
4.53/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A Big Thanks to Thomashardy for this one!

L: Pours a deep black color with a tan colored head that laces the glass nicely on the way down.
S: Smells of sweet roasted malts, caramel, bourbon, brown sugar sweetness, coffee, and chocolate.
T: Tastes like it smells. Rich roasted barley, sweet brown sugar, coffee hints, then a nice smooth bourbon flavor, then some chocolatey finish at the end.
M: Very smooth, warming, rich, a hint of alcohol, and the perfect amount of carbonation.
D: Very drinkable, even at this abv. It is an amazing beer and I wish we could get this up here in CT. I would recommend it to anyone.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.35/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 vintage with the old label and 10%ABV. I'm pretty sure I picked this up at Jessup Beverage Center. Taken out of the DBF and allowed to warm up for about 45 minutes. Poured from a 12 ounce stubby bottle into my Duvel tulip glass. I poured about 3/4 of the bottle, swirled up the yum-yums from the bottom of the bottle, and vigorously poured the remaining few ounces into the snifter. Appears a deep, dark, opaque blackish brown color with a solid two fingers of creamy dark ecru head. The head fades in about two minutes down to a 1/4 inch layer leaving a nice lace on the glass. Smells of bourbon soaked cocoa powder, vanilla beans, molasses, a touch of roasted coffee, and oak/wood. Tastes of bitter baking chocolate squares, smooth bourbon, black coffee, cocoa powder, vanilla, caramelized malts, a bit more bourbon, dark chocolate, and mocha. I'll admit, I was expecting this to be truly full bodied. It didn't seem it to me. It was still rich and satisfying, but just didn't seem as thick as I was hoping for. Medium in carbonation. Alcohol is completely hidden at this point. I prefer "regular" Breakfast Stout once or twice a month. I'll save the KBS for a "every few months" treat to enjoy, sip and savor over the course of an hour or so.

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

God Bless KBS.... had at Founders on KBS release day...

Dark Burnt Brown and beautiful...with nothing but tiny bubbles as for head.

The smell is absolutely amazing...vanilla, chocolate,coffee..with a slight bourbon burn...

Taste is perfect.. I think I want to bathe in this one...Heats you up as you sip thru the darkness...

The 11.2 abv is not to ferocious either...which makes it a wonderfully dangerous brew.

Thank You Founders

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Photo of sculls65
4.68/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

pours completely dark ,,,no light through it...solid middle finger worth of tannish head that dissapates to a halo around the glass...smells of dark mocha coffee and bourbon..wows..almost tickles the nostrils...the taste changes as the glass settles and warms..offering dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malts and fruits followed by that warm bourbon rush...leaves your mouth wanting more..probably a good thing this is so limited as i could see how this would be incredibly addicting!!

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Photo of clayrock81
4.17/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a thick, midnight black with one-finger almost brown head and some lace. Coffee notes along with oak/wood dominate the smell. Also some bourbon, burtn malts and some residual sweetness in the smell (bitter chocolate, caramel). A mix of coffee and burnt malts and oak/wood lead to a dryish feeling w/ this beer, but overall it is smooth and creamy with a sweet taste thanks to the chocolate and vanilla in there. Even a hint of hops in the backend, although this beer is about the malts. The 10% ABV is not overpowering but instead compliments the beer as it lets it warm the tongue and prickles the tongue on the backend. A quick sipper, b/c I noticed as I took my time the beer started to get a little dryer. An excellent stout nonetheless.

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KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.6 out of 5 with 13,258 ratings