KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) | Founders Brewing Company

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KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)
13,401 Ratings
KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: American 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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 13,401 |  Reviews: 3,390
Photo of ColForbinBC
4.63/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter; 2009 Vintage

Pours a viscous deep, dark brown, almost black. After an aggressive pour, the cocoa brown head rose very little and subsided rather quickly. A thin, bubbly collar forms around the edges and leaves strings and dots of lace in its wake.

Bourbon fills the air. I can smell it from an arms length away. I get coffee off the bat, with vanilla, oak, bourbon and bittersweet chocolate rounding out the nose. Not very deep, or broad, but what it does, it does well.

The bourbon flavors attack you first. Vanilla, oak and booze, but then the booze subsides quickly and the coffee and chocolate take over. The finish is a combination of all of the above. Very enjoyable.

I've had very few beers that can compare with the slickness of this beer. Velvety smooth but not overly thick. Leaves an oil slick coating the mouth. Delicious.

You know, this beer is pretty big and bad, but it plays nice. The vanilla and coffee do an excellent job of keeping the booze at bay. With all that going on, it isn't nearly as thick as I would have thought.

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

After searching all over the place I finally got a 4 pack of this! Pours a coffee black with a one finger fluffy chocolate milk head. It smells much like oak, coffee, and chocolate. The taste is just insane! It starts off with oak barrels and some bitterness. Then you can taste the coffee, bourbon and malts. It finishes with a hint of chocolate and vanilla. The after taste is a mix between chocolate milk and coffee. This is incredible! The mouthfeel is thick and chewy. It laces the throat on the way down. No wonder this is in the top 10 beers in the world. KBS is just.. (near) perfect. Drinkability, I couldn't have too many of these in a row (and wouldn't want to due to the price OUCH), but I wish I had these around all year long. Kentucky Breakfast Stout is an amazing beer.

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Photo of brokenleadedcask
4.69/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I'm glad I waited until my second experience to review this one, liked it better in the pint glass than the snifter.

A- Pitch black, very minimal head even with a hard pour

S- Caramel, bourbon, vanilla, and espresso

T- Espresso, tastes like un-brewed coffee beans smell. Is just a touch hot and would age exceptional

M- Thick and chewy but nice and smooth at the same time

D- A little high to have more than one at a sitting, amazing sipper. If the hype machine wasn't in full effect it'd be easier to get.

Edit 2010: Drove up to GR for the release, luckily my girlfriend jumped out of the truck & got in line as I got the second to last case. In conscience I couldn't buy the last two cases even though friend was disappointed. Totally worth the trip, KBS on nitro is a dream.

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Photo of IBUnit63
4.53/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

For lunch on a day off I hit Sunset in the hops that KBS would be on tap. Lo and behold...served up in a sniftah...

Pours with a deep dark 2-finger head probably milk chocolate/brown sugar in color. Body is espresso brown/black and opaque as can be. Lacing is prevalent and quite viscous, creating nice trails on the inside of the snifter.
The bourbon chocolate/coffee nose has a pleasant dryness to it that works well with the expected copious oak and good piney hop profile. Sure, there's creamy sweetness as well but it's dialed back just a bit to keep the balancing act in check.

Bittersweet is the theme carrying the day - sweet chocolate, vanilla and bourbony oak slithers down the palate with a brick shithouse of a malt backbone to meet a drier texture - not quite slate but well-balanced coffee and more of a baker's version of chocolate. Slight alcohol burn? Maybe just a bit. Quite complex indeed but everyone's in this one together.

I can't complain about any of this too much. While there's a certain dryness to it on one level, I found that the sweetness is still there but more balanced than in the bottle. This is so creamy on the palate it's not funny.

This is like Barry White - wayyy too smooth for its weight class. For such a high-octane ABV wallop it primes the pump very nicely. Enjoy!

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Photo of raninator84
4.9/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Savored in bottle that I found at Miami Valley Liquor and wine in Huber Heights Ohio, thanks to Sohio for giving me the heads up.

Pours thick and dark, only a very subtle head on this one that fades as quick as it comes. Lacing is smooth and light. Smell is amazingly complicated, hints of coffee bean, vanilla, raisin, orange peel, chocolate, bourbon, hops, and strong alcohol. Breathe it in, for it is heavenly. Taste is the shock of more complexity, hit with a strong coffee and bourbon with a nice and subtle burning, and as it uses every bit of your taste buds, gently rolls through fruits and vanilla, still with a prevalent bourbon flavor. As the nectar slowly falls into slumber a burst of chocolate comes flowing up from the depths like a long lost love. As the moment subsides the taste lingers with hops and then every flavor awakens again, but only for a moment.

Wow, I understand the hype and it has delivered. If you can find it, please buy it. A decision you are unlikely to regret.


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Photo of Frosty80
4.35/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color: pours very dark brown. not the darkest ive seen. sits black with a small brown rim. fluffy milk chocolate head

Smell: lots of coffee with some chocolate. mild alcohol presence

Taste: lots of roast/coffee with chocolate. just a hint of bourbon, otherwise just taken for straight ethyl. chocolatey roasted finish with a drop of bourbon

Mouthfeel: full body. very smooth. moderate carbonation. booze and bitterness really tingles the tongue

Notes: delicious, powerful stout. pretty intense booziness but not too distracting. great beer, but the mystique lay in its limited availability

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Photo of Klgkenny
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

WOW! This is a tasty mothafucka!

If you have ever drained the transfer case on a thirty year old pickup truck, then you know how this one looks. Thick, viscous, 65w oil.

Smells like heaven. Coffee, coffee, bourbon, coffee, dark fruit, coffee, roasted malt, coffe, dark chocolate, vanilla, and a hint of coffee. From the time I cracked the cap on this bottle, the smell hit my nose. Wonderfully pungent and overpowering!

Generally, I am not a fan of the bourbon barrel aged beers. With the KBS, that huge coffee flavor balances the bourbon perfectly. It is oh-so-smooth! Again, I say, "that's a tasty mothafucka!"

For a beer that poured so thick, it seems just a tiny bit thin. Not thin in comparison with a normal stout, but thin for such a highly touted brew. It's big in the mouth, but I always want just a little more...

As for drinkability, the high abv, price, and availability keep this from being a 5. I could actually drink this all day, every day, if I had the money and founders had the production.

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Photo of beerorRIP
4.52/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

ah, the hype... the difficulty finding it... the limits on buying it... regardless i was looking forward to this one. founder's really does good things with bourbon barrels.

the hilarious olde-time label certainly makes for a nice bottle (and a twisty top, always forget that). poured into a tulip aggressively yielding a deep brown, one-ish finger head that dissipated after a few minutes. the obsidian liquid lets no light through. a small ring of foam remains around the edges, not much lacing but littles suds do stick to the glass.

wow. after just opening the bottle and taking a sniff, i knew this was indeed something good. chocolate... coffee... vanilla... roasty malts... and just the hint of booziness. i like.

ok, this what mattered the most and always does. i was throughly impressed. the mixture of flavors is really really well done! up front is the rich chocolatey goodness... followed roasty malt, coffee bitterness... and then shifts to a slightly sweet vanilla - bourbon flavor. goddamn dessert in a bottle.

a thick and rich mouthfeel, full bodied and no mistaking it. the slight prickles of carbonation help keep it from becoming an oil slick.

11.2%? oh, i can feel it. but the presentation combined with the aromas and flavors makes this one drinkable. must remember to sip. i want more.

a really superb beer.

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Photo of twelvsies
3.85/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I hate to knock this beer, but I'm going to. Starts out fine, a good looking stout and smells great - dense malt and overtones of the mentioned coffee and vanilla, as well as the bourbon. The taste is where it goes south, sadly. I found this beer to be cloyingly sweet. I dig the bourbon barrel aged flavor but the vanilla is just too much. It tastes artificial to me, and that I don't like. I love Founders so I was disappointed not to like this beer. It would be better served as a desert beer or even like a beer ice cream float. I love stouts but this one does not hit the mark for me. So if you're getting ready to trade away treasures from your cellar for this one, be warmed - it may be your thing, but it is very very sweet, to a fault in my own opinion.

Note: so after the initial tasting, I sat on a couple 4 packs and tried another last night, wondering if a bit of the vanilla had mellowed out. I'm glad I did. Not nearly as cloying as I remember, and after only a few months of aging, the vanilla has mellowed out and blended with the bourbon. Much more balance and harmony. Still, this is on the sweeter side for a stout but much improved over the super fresh version. My advice would be to stick this right in the cellar when you buy it and age for maybe 6 months or even a year if you are patient before you try it. For what it's worth...

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Photo of schroederm
4.78/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

In a snifter:

I got an overpour, but clearly the head was thick - I have a solid blanket of chocolatey head on top. Jet black body, no light gets through. Tons bitter chocolate aromas, with some coffee, and bourbon as well. Tastes unbelievable: there's a perfect maltiness to balance heavy coffee bitter, followed by a wonderful bourbon aftertaste. It's thick and velvety as well, with perfect carbonation I could drink so much of this. The only thing that diminishes drinkability in my mind is it's ABV.

Overall: I enjoyed this so much more on tap than I did from a bottle. This is a truly unique and delicious AIS.

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Photo of cvstrickland
4.54/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

"The Amazing Kosmicki's Highly Acclaimed KBS" with the antithetical snake oil pitch on the label; stubby with a twist-off top; my Tyler's Speakeasy shaker pint glass; yadda, yadda... let's turn the hype up on this brew with one more review notch...

Presented lightly chilled and served in the aforementioned pint-sized vessel, Founders KBS is glossy patent leather black in body with a melted chocolate milkshake colored cap of creamy foam atop. The topping fades to a thin skim with large bubbles at the collar, and leaves freckles of lacing scattered about the glass.

Invisible tendrils of Bourbon and vanilla reach out to me from the shimmering blackness, the notes potent even at an arm's length, alerting my nose that something wonderful is about to happen. The edible aromas are etched with cool, crisp notes of oak, potent and winey French roasted coffee beans, and the drink's overall profile of sweetness is augmented further with a sprinkle of warm caramel and a dusty blast of dark chocolate truffles.

The taste is rich and mocha-like with a splash of premium Bourbon, the overall profile reminiscent of dark semisweet chocolate truffles, espresso crema, spicy molasses, fudge brownies with creamy coffee, charred caramel, more vanilla-- all topped off with a hefty drop or two of Wild Turkey in the chaser position. Mild burnt-grain, smoky bitterness and cooling, cleansing alcohol do very well to knock the sugar factor down, allowing the drink to finish at a near-perfect balance of sweet, earthy, tangy, and savory.

KBS is creamy-firm and full-bodied with mild carbonation and plenty of belly-warming booze. It's a wonderful sipper and a truly magnificent beer, but ho-hum-- I'm no longer suprised by anything Founders puts out-- it's all f*cking magnificent and thus it's nearly boring as all hell to keep stroking their egos... stroke, stroke, stroke.... ;)

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Photo of alovesupreme
4.4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a 13 oz snifter at Sunset Bar and Grill, this beer was dark as night with a small light brown head that sat atop. I should mention that the beer was served much colder than suggested and I drank slowly and warmed the beer with my hands.
Smells of Bourbon, chocolate, vanilla and coffee.
A chocolate taste is first to come to prominence which then gives way to the bourbon, vanilla and coffee character. This beer finishes with a very pleasant maple syrup character.
Low carbonation which is expected with a slow sipper such as this. A rich creamy thick mouthfeel makes up the body of this beer.
A fantastic beer which I wish was easier to get a hold of. I will drink this at any opportunity in which it presents itself.

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Photo of abecall98
3.98/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thank you WakeandBake for a chance to try this highly sought after beer!

A - This beer looks beautiful. A dark stout poured nicely into my Founders Pint Glass, with a nice retaining half inch tan head.

S - I smell roasts and chocolate, not overpowering either.

T - The taste is strong. It has a rough barrel taste from the aging. Then, a hint of bourbon. After that, comes the coffee and chocolate flavors to finish it off.

M - Very low carbonation, I was hoping for more carbonation, on par of the Breakfast stout, and it is not here. This is the least pleasing part of this beer.

D - I cannot see myself wanting to drink this in rapid succession. It is not the easiest beer to drink on it's own either. Another aspect that is lowering of its score.

Overall - this is a unique and complext beer. I will keep sipping on it as it warms up, and it is a very good beer.

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Photo of doppelmeup
4.44/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

I am very excited to try this beer. Will it live up to the hype?

This pours very much like a cup of espresso into my snifter. The color of black coffee. No head at first, but with a vigorous swirl it slowly builds into about a quarter inch, then is gone, leaving just a thin layer floating on top. Bits of lace typical of an 11.2% beer cling to the sides.

The aroma is very interesting. Imagine a cup of black coffee with just a hint of Jim Beam lurking in the background. Some vanilla and a bit of milk chocolate round out the experience. It what I expected, but better. The bourbon notes don't overwhelm the senses, but compliment the other aromas.

The first flavor that hits the palate is a biting alcohol. It quickly gives way to full bodied coffee, then a slightly vanilla flavor. Quite a multi-dimensional feel. Many layers of flavor here. A chocolate flavor appears after swallowing the beer. Interesting how it hid out in the background then snuck up on my palate. This reminds me of a chocolate pecan pie made with bourbon.

The mouthfeel is wonderful. It is silky smooth. The oats give a very soft texture. Thick and chewy, yet light bodied at the same time. It leaves the palate quickly, but a luxurious coffee and chocolate flavor remain. Eventually, a slightly dry sensation takes over.

Overall, this is a fascinating beer. There are so many dimensions to the flavors and smells. Bourbon stouts are not my favorite style, however this is exceptionally done. It is quite expensive at about $5 a bottle, but I am glad I have tried this.

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

Poured side by side with a Breakfast Stout

Appearance: Pours black as night and thick as molasses. Almost no head, and what tiny amount there is, is much darker than the breakfast stout.

Smell: Heavenly, much more complex than the BS, there is the overwhelming coffee/espresso but now there is a smokey, earthy and plenty of bourbony smell, and maybe a bit of hops as well.

Taste: Okay wasn't expecting this at all, the vanilla and smoke hits hard up front. Slightly after is the espresso/chocolate pounding, and finally a blast of straight bourbon. This may just be as complex a brew as Ive ever had. Also as somewhat assumed, this brew is way sweeter than it's not kentucky friend, but bourbon has a knack for doing that.

Mouthfeel: Thick/jetfuel etc.

Drinkability: That flavor is so huge and complex I almost need to drink two to wrap my head around it. But it is just like drinking a mornings breakfast in a glass.

Notes: And I thought the BS was amazing, I had no idea a concoction like this existed. Do yourself a favor....Get yourself some KBS!!!

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Photo of chaz410
4.23/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Got this bottle at flying saucer in charlotte.
Poured the most syrupy dark black I've seen in a beer.
Smell was full of coffee and vanilla, not much else but what was there was overwhelming.
Taste is fantastic!! Full of chocolate, coffee, and vanilla. Lots of bourbon on the finish.
I LOVED this beer, not much if any hop profile but extreme on the malt taste!

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Photo of ROBORB
4.82/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle served into a snifter. This beer pours motor oil black with a very nice chocolate head. The aroma consists of coffee, bourbon, dark fruit and oak. The flavor follows the smell. The initial taste is bourbon and then it is followed with coffee and chocolate. The carbonation is just right and not overpowering. This beer is fantastic and deserves all the praise it gets. This is a must get for anyone.

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

I got to try this beer thanks to my friend Sam. He nabbed a couple four packs and was so nice as to share one with me. The first thing I do whenever I am trying a new beer is smell it, and try to get a sense of what its all about. Wow, this beer smells great. Chocolaty tones and dark roasted malt as well as just a touch of coffee.

When I drank this beer it did not disappoint. All of the flavors were there. As the beer warmed up in my glass, it really allowed the flavors to mellow out and the overall experience changed.

I highly recommend this beer to anyone who likes a big stout.

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Photo of ltjska04
4.57/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

UPDATE: Recently had this side by side with normal Breakfast Stout. From my notes:

A: Black w/ brown head lasting about a minute. Falls into swirls on top with ring around glass. 4.7

S: Bourbon/chocolate/coffee equally, none dominates the other. 4.7

T: Bourbon is front and center, almost no coffee taste. A little salty when cold. Milk chocolate as it warms and bourbon lessens after a while. 4.7

M: Silky smooth. Doesn't get much better. 4.7

D: Not too hot but the bourbon is still pretty overpowering to drink much. 4

I finally nabbed myself this fine beer from Party Source in Bellvue which luckily just started carrying some Founder's brews. I've been loving coffee stouts lately and have looked forward to this. At $7.50 a bottle I hope the beer's worthit; here goes nothing:

A: Poured black and viscous into my Maudite snifter. Nice tan head that dissipated very quickly into a ring that leaves some lacing. No light's getting through this one.

S: Straight up coffee at first. Can't really tell what else is in there but I love it. One of the best-smelling beers I've had yet.

T: Mostly coffee and bourbon, as expected. There's some chocolate and roasty/malty taste followed by a bit of hotness from the 11.2%, but not enough to detract from the experience.

M: This feel pretty thick and coats the mouth well. Even after it goes down the taste lingers around the mouth for a while. The bourbon leaves a bit of a burning sensation around the perimeter of my mouth... not a fan of that.

D: KBS is gonna lose some points here. Don't get me wrong, it tastes great. But the price/availability/abv are going to prevent me from having more than one of these at a time.

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Photo of krisandajt
4.7/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I can't believe I found this brew in my local beer store...

Appearance: Pours a deep black with a slight amount of head that fades quickly. Does leave some nice lacing.

Smell: Wow...picking up chocolate and coffee and just a hint of bourbon. Smells phenomenal!

Taste: The taste is unbelievable! Very smooth, the coffee and chocolate is very apparent, but not overwhelming. I was expecting a bit more snap towards the end, but nothing but sweet smooth goodness.

Mouthfeel: Not too heavy, not too thin...it's smooth and creamy. Perfection.

Drinkability: Complexity is the key word here. This beer gets better with every sip, I wish it wouldn't end. Oh, I just remembered...I have another bottle...

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Photo of beveritt
4/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: Poured form a stubby 12 oz brown bottle with a twist off cap into a Duvel tulip. Label is designed to look like an old medicine bottle and no longer says "Kentucky" on it. No freshness date. Neck label lists 70 IBU's and 11.2 ABV.

Appearance: Pours with the thinnest of heads, barely full coverage. This dark brown foam dissipates very quickly, leaving a few randomly disbursed islands of foam and a ring around the glass. The beer itself is black and completely opaque; looks like used motor oil. Some sediment in the bottle.

Smell: Strong notes of coffee and roasted barley. Hints of vanilla. Bourbon smell is noticeably absent.

Taste: Strong bitterness upfront, not of hops, but like coffee and dark roasted barley. Slight milky chocolate in the middle. Very boozy in the finish; mild alcohol sweetness with hints of anise.

Mouthfeel: Lower than average carbonation level, perfect for the style. Enough to deliver the flavors of this thick stout, but not too high. Body is very good.

Drinkability: A complex and tasty stout. The bourbon is very hidden in this one, which is fine by me. I enjoy the flavors of oak and bourbon: vanilla, cherry, etc., but not the overly alcoholic taste. This one has a bite in the finish form its higher ABV, but not too bad. I imagine that would fade with time.

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Photo of WhiteRiverSuds
4.27/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a deep glossy black color with a very small, but lingering head. Nice mocha colored lacing.

S - Smells of roasted malts and dark chocolate that turns more toward warming bourbon.

T - Stong roasted coffee/espresso that work with dark chocolate flavors, and settles into bourbon and subtle caramel. Flavors and intensity quickly varying. Sherry notes at first that disappear as the mouth becomes coated. Lingering roast and burnt chocolate w/ oak becoming more noticeable.

M - Very smooth and creamy body that coats the mouth thoroughly. A nice alcohol warmth that fades as the tongue becomes intoxicated.

D - Very complex beer that grows with each taste. A fine way to end the week. Darius75 has is right...A true gentleman's stout. Very glad to taste my first KBS.

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Photo of BeTheBall
4.25/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Poured a deep black color in my Sam Adams glass. Minimal head despite a hard pour with a little lacing donw the glass.
Smelled of coffee, chocolate and oak. Taste was similar but more rich. Through the coffee, chocolate and oak there was a hnit of the bourbon as well, making this very deep in flavors. Mouthfeel was very thick and rich. I almost wanted to chew it. Very impressive. Drinkability, in terms of drinking more than one is not good, as this is an ABV monster that quickly went to my head, despite it's deliciousness. This one is best as a nightcap, or with dessert, not as a session drink.

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Photo of Darius75
4.82/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle at room temperature, poured into an 8 oz. wine goblet.

A: Black as the devil in the center, lightening to a caramel brown at the edges. Thin, light golden head dissipates fast. I can see the rim of the glass reflected almost perfectly on the surface of the beer. It's like an oil slick on the surface of a magical wishing well. Little islands of foam creep down the sides of the glass.

S: The nose is rich, but not acrid or too insistent. Deep, rich chocolate aromas are the most pronounced, teased forward by hints of coffee and bourbon. This stout smells like a high-class chocolate bar dipped in hard liquor, or a rum-filled truffle dipped in coffee, or a beautiful woman holding a glass of bourbon dipped in high-class melted chocolate. Somewhere between those three.

T: Chewy chocolate and understated coffee flavors predominate for about a second, segueing into a powerful wash of bourbon. The round, tasty bourbon flavor is mellow at first, mediated by the coffee and chocolate. The tail end of the taste proffers hard liquor's delicious sting without numbing the palate, because it's softened by the chocolate warmth that came before. The aftertaste is mostly coffee and bourbon, without the stickiness that makes too-sweet beers difficult to drink. The more I drink, the more I notice the presence of all the flavors throughout each sip.

M: Round, smooth, thick like a dessert liqueur. The pleasant warmth and creaminess linger between sips. The moderate carbonation is not noticeable with all these dapper yet rugged flavors riding into town.

D: This is an incredibly well-balanced brew that goes down easy, unlike flavored stouts (coffee, chocolate, bourbon, or straight-up oak) in which the specialty flavor dominates too fiercely. This is a true gentleman's brew. If only they released it more than once a year.

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

12oz bottle poured into a tulip.

A - Pours an inky black with no head save for a thin cinnamon lace.

S - Smells of roasted grain and dark chocolate. Much more subtle on the coffee than Breakfast Stout. Further sniffs reveal an oaky vanilla note. Bourbon remains pretty well hidden at first, but shows itself as the beer warms.

T - Coffee, chocolate, and vanilla all carry over into the palate, with Bourbon now coming into play as well. The whiskey, although obvious, is very well in balance with the rest of the beer. As the beer warms, the flavors grow more complex, with molasses, raisins, and figs. Hop bitterness builds and really comes through in the long finish.

M - Smooth and viscous, with a warming sensation on the tongue and in the throat.

D - A pleasure from start to finish. I enjoyed this even more than Breakfast Stout - I think the component flavors are much better integrated here. Definitely a beer that lives up to the hype.

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KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.6 out of 5 with 13,401 ratings