KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) | Founders Brewing Company

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KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)
13,222 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: 13,222 |  Reviews: 3,355
Photo of SQNfan
4.7/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On tap at Founder's on release day. Dark black in color with a deep brown head. The aromas were powerful with scents of coffee, milk chocolate, vanilla, oatmeal and bourbon. This continued into a powerful but smooth palate that was complex and extremely well balanced. Not much has to be said about this one other than it this truly was wonderful!

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Photo of m1ked
4.88/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2008 release. Recieved in a trade with HopHobo...thanks for the opportunity, cheers.

A- Pitch-motor-oil-darker-than-the-center-of-your-eye-black. A thin dark chocolate milk ring around my Delirium Noel tulip. Significant sticky lacing around the rim as I drink. Makes my mouth water just to look at it.

S- Boozy woody, rich chocolate, mocha. It seems to have a well blended aroma that I have to really concentrate to pick out individual flavors. I feel like their are many more flavors that I can't quite verbalize.

T- MMMMmm, a soft chocolate milk with bourbon throughout. Some woody coffee notes.

M- Soft, creamy, chewy, boozy.

D- Oh man, this is something special. I can't rave about this one enough. this is one of the few beers that can really put the booze out there and get away with it, due to all the other rich mingling flavors that make it well balanced. I could drink as many of these as I could, until my liver packed up and hit the road.

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Photo of d0ggnate
4.68/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A good friend (m1ked) recently traded for a few of these and was kind enough to toss one my way. I broke open the bottle tonight I knew I had to write a review as soon as I poured.

A: Oil-like brown/black pour. A ring of head lines my snifter and last throughout drinks.
S: Strong coffee aroma, dark chocolate notes, and a rich roasted malt hint found.
T: Rich dark chocolate carries over and amazes my palate. An overwhelming rich flavor of coffee, but more than welcomed here.
M: Very smooth and velvety. A lasting flavor and a nice warming alcohol affect.
D: So rich and delicious. I can't believe I had no desire to try this beer. I now wish I had more. This will now be added to my Wants List. Amazing flavor and texture.

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Photo of CrazyMacHarris99
4.82/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one poured a thick oil-like opaque black with a thin mocha head that quickly dissipated to a thin ring with good lacing. I have been waiting to try this one for a while. The smell was straight up coffee upfront. There was a hint of vanilla and bourbon there and some chocolate as well. The taste started out as strong espresso with a hint of mocha and vanilla. The bourbon came in the finish and there was hardly any alcohol aside from the oak tinted bourbon flavor. The mouthfeel wasn't thick like one would think. It was extremely smooth and pleasing. The drinkability was great but be careful with this one. Overall, I loved it and am looking foward to aging the other bottle I have.

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Photo of throwitallaway
4.66/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to saucya for this one! Poured from bottle into snifter. Very dark with absolutely no head at all. Big aromas of coffee, chocolate, bourbon, and vanilla, with some alcohol underneath. Probably the best smelling beer I've had in the short time I've been a beerhead. Big taste of coffee, bourbon, and vanilla, with a bit of chocolate underneath. Alcohol warms the throat, but isn't nearly as noticeable as I thought it would be in such a big beer. Mouthfeel is right in the middle where I like it. Drinkability is surprisingly high considering the style. This beer definitely lives up to its hype, nicely balancing the flavors from the barrel with the flavors from the beer.

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

Special thanks to tprokop7 for the KBS!!

Poured aggressively into a pounder produced a great 2" creamy light brown head.

Incredible nose of milk chocolate, espresso, bourbon and malt.

Tastes of bitter chocolate, strong coffee and licorice followed by bourbon and alcohol.

Velvety liquid with a myriad of complex flavors swirling around.

I had to give this stout the highest ratings possible. There is nothing you could do to improve on this beer short of having more of them! Simply incredible! No hype here, just incredibly well-balanced and full flavored.

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Photo of Lothore
4.32/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a nice black color letting no light pass through with a small, mocha head.

S- Smell has a whole lot going on. Strong coffee, bourbon notes, a sort of syrupy sweetness, roasted malt.

T- Starts off with sweet dark fruit notes and moves into a strong but balanced bourbon taste which lightens into coffee that lasts quite a while.

M- Thick and creamy with appropriate carbonation.

D- This is a sipper but honestly it is the best of the style that I have experienced. I don't put much stock in Imperial stouts but if you are going to try one, this is the one to try.

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Photo of unholy2
5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I poured this dark oil into a corsendonk goblet.It produced no head at all with very little carb.I have had alot of stouts but this is the first one I had that taste and smell like coffee I mean it has no hints of anything else.Now I did have this at room temp so I don't know if that would really effect it but man when they say breakfast stout they were'nt kidding.This would go great with some bacon and egges.The next time I drink this it will be at breakfast

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

On Tap at Andy's Corner with my dudes-- hopflop and JM.

This was the first beer I had on the Founder's tap night at Andy's Corner. I was trying to think of a metaphor for this beer, something to compare the complexity, luxury, and beauty of this beer. It's a true wonder. I told my fellow-Geeks that this was one of the best beers I've ever tasted--not necessarily because it's the "best" stout or the "best" whatever other category. This beer is it's own genre.

If this sounds like it's a bit gushing, well... it should be. The Kentucky Bourbon Stout has the appearance of other breakfast stouts--a tan-ish head and dark brown body--but the comparisons sort of stop there. The smell is truly wonderful. I kept smelling the glass over and over to catch the prominent bourbon scent. The bourbon is not overly-aggressive, and it fuses with the mocha and caramel scents as well. the head is minimal, the lacing is there, but the taste is what knocks this beer into its own stratosphere.

Upon the first sip, I was blown away--almost surprised. I expected something quite different, and I had to quickly take another sip. It has a prominent bourbon taste at first while the pour was still a bit cold. The hints of bourbon subside, however, once the glass warms. Then the nuances of caramel and stout emerge.

It is extremely balanced. The alcohol is not pungent or off-putting at all. It really is something to try and comprehend.

It takes a while to find the proper way to describe it. I still haven't figured out how. And that's a wonderful thing.

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

In New Jersey! Who'd have thought? From Andy's Corner Bar, on-tap. Here we go...

Appearance - Deep black, just a hint of light. A bubbly cap of cappucino foam. Lacing as thick as rubber cement. A beauty.

Smell - Wow. Coffee, Kahlua, bourbon, roasted malt. A ton of stuff going on. Very complex, yet very aromatic.

Taste - Bourbon, surprisingly strong. Butter, vanilla, cappucino. Big alcohol warmth. Interesting, complex.

Mouthfeel - Slick and oily texture. Medium-bodied. Well-attenuated.

Drinkability - Huge ABV, monster sipper. Complex and tasty, but not a session beer in any way.

A unique beer, the bourbon leading the charge to what may be an unprecedented extent. Enjoyable, thought-provoking. A perfect nightcap. Absolutely recommended.

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

On-Tap at Andy's for the Founder's promo night.

Poured into a wine-shaped glass, small, but ample enough to hold a good amount of KBS.

A- Extremely dark black liquid filled the glass. Beautiful creamy brown head lingered on top. Some lace lingered through the entire duration of consumption.

S- The nose is of bourbon and vanilla. I did detect a strong alcohol presence in the nose as well.

T- First sip was sweet and milky like vanilla ice cream. The next couple of sips were robust and heavy with flavors of black coffee, espresso beans, and some oak like flavors. There was a fruit presence in some sips, but not in all. Fruit was faint, but it certainly was there. Finishes up with a HUGE bourbon taste, think the best kentucky bourbon you have ever had.

M- Mouthfeel was creamy and full bodied, but surprisingly smooth.

D- Amazing beer. I can't wait til we start getting founders here in NJ on a regular basis.

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Photo of maximum12
3.79/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to mully for this one. He posted a note in the Midwest forum that a Hudson store rec'd a case or two & I promptyly left home for the 25 minute drive that netted me my first Kentucky Breafast Stout. Last ones in Chicone's!

Even a hard pour gets only a bit of head - I think all of the beer's energy is going into its unique weirdness with nothing leftover for show. And as is proper for an Imperial Stout, it's a very dark version of black. The smell's a little disappointing. COFFEE, it screams. As it warms it gets a little more subtle, but there's still nothing else. I think I could slip this into my wife's coffee mug & she'd never notice the difference until it hit her tongue.

Taste is...strange. I think this is the most complex beer I've ever tasted & for that I have to give it props. There's the coffee, the bourbon, & all sorts of other stuff I can't identify. Again, as it warms to its proper temp, the beer gets better.

Mouthfeel is thick & full, stout-like. Drinkability is really good, it's going to take me an hour at least to down this, the only note is there's a touch *too* much coffee to make it perfectly drinkable.

Overall, really good, but there's still two stouts I'd put above it. Not to say I'm not happy to still have several in the beer fridge!

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

I'm drinking the 2008 vintage about a month after its release. I recently had a vertical with the 2007, and in my opinion, this beer does not age well. I think it loses a lot of the great coffee taste. Most stouts age well because they mellow, but the greatness of the KBS is its strong, harsh, coffee malts, and those fade over time. Drink it fresh. Now to the review.

The color is a very dark brown with a nice little tan head. The smell is overpowering. It has that strong coffee flavor of the BS, but the added bourbon aroma is delicious. The taste lives up to everything the smell promises. The bourbon is so delicious... strong oak notes, vanilla, and general bourbon overtones. Oh my, what a unique beer.

The alcohol is also quite well-concealed given that this is a 10% beer. This greatly helps the drinkability.

I swear, I think this beer is perfect. You must try it.

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

A-pours a deep brown/black with a 3 fingers head.

S-Smells of chocolate, vanilla and coffee...a very deep complex smell, many layers here.

T-Wowzer, this beer is amazing probably the best stout I've had to this point in my life. Taste is like the smell very complex, strong coffee and vanilla flavor with hints of bourban and chocolate. The alcohol is well hidden in the beer.

M-Has a nice mouthfeel very thick and creamy...this is how a stout should be.

D-So I've had this beer before on tap and in bottle I love this beer so much I would like to freeze it into ice cubes and skate on it. I could drink it all day/night long. Probably not a good hot weather beer...but here in the cold North its perfect!!!

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Photo of sholland119
4.72/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a snifter.

A-Pours a deep jet black with a modest dark tan head.

S-Roasted coffee, dark chocolate, a bourbony vanilla, some dark fruits, some alcohol in the background. One of the most delicious, complex aromas I have ever experienced.

T-A smooth, sweet chocolate flavor in the front, followed by vanilla and dark fruit, with some caramel on the finish...then some nice alcohol warmth after.

M-Creamy and smooth. The chocolate-caramel taste linger nicely on the tongue.

D-Very drinkable despite the strong bourbon character.

A much hyped beer that lives up to the hype. Wonderfully complex from the nose through the finish. This most enjoyable barrel aged beer I have tried. I am happy we have three more of these to enjoy.


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Photo of JDV
4.67/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

bottles courtesy of hoppymeal and prototypic. Thanks!!
Pours pitch black with a big medium lived dark brown head. Smell is strong coffee, mild bourbon and oak. Very well balanced smell and not overly bourbony. Taste is equally as well balanced with rich dark chocolate like roasty malt, a touch of vanilla, stong oak flavor, a touch of bourbon, and bold coffee flavors. This is really nice, and quite a bit more enjoyable than the original breakfast stout. Medium to thick body and moderate to light carbonation. Awesome beer.

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Photo of mully
4.6/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours with a thick brown head with small bubbles leaving leaving a good lace. Black body, no light gets through around the edges solid looking.

Chocolate Whisky coffee and a little malt no hops

Bitterness, patent malt, bourbon, oak, vanilla, coffee and chocolate

smooth like silk big and creamy heat from the booze

Does not hide the alcohol, it displays it like a work of art. No beer bongs for this beer, but it is very drinkable.

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Photo of amiles
4.27/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First time trying this brew... I saved my first sips for a nice moment which happened to be this evening.

A: Poured into a Gouden Carolus wide glass. Very dark ruby, aggressive pour stirs up a tiny layer of head that swirls around throughout the tasting.

S: Big bourbon smell, and chocolate.

T: Again, big bourbon taste, which I like. Notes of chocolate, vanilla. Hard to make out anything else.

M: My biggest let down of this beer. It felt very thin, and was hoping for something a little 'thicker'. Though the light carbonation works well.

D: Def a sipper. I cracked it almost an hour and half ago, and still working on it. Not a bad thing at all.

Overall, tasty... and I'm enjoying it very much. Though if I had to have this or GIBC, I'd probably go for the GIBC.

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Photo of quad07
4.73/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was lucky to get this find. The way I understand it was a hard to find this year. I purchased a four pack at UFS. $16.99 for a four pack of 12oz bottles with twist off caps. No bottled date that I could find. I picked up two four packs but after shopping I decided to put one back out of the four left of six. Hope others had a chance at this one. After all I only needed one. I'm just one of the lucky ones to try it this year.

A little like Founders Oatmeal breakfast stout, KBS has some similar characteristics. When I pored into my glass it had a very dark black motor oil color to it. When I held it up to the light I could barely make out what looked to be a ruby wine Hughes highlights around the outer edge of the glass. The head was small & a rocky mud color that went away very quickly. Very little lacing left behind while drinking it.

It had a very pleasant smell of coffee a little oats bourbon and very little notes of hops. To my surprise I did not find it strong or over powering at all. There was not a strong alcohol smell at all.

I could taste coffee, dry oats and a mild taste of wooden aged bourbon. I thought it would be a lot stronger. The ABV bite got stronger as it warmed up. Not to say that is a bad thing at all.

It felt rich silky and bitter sweet in my mouth with lots of flavor and no noticeable carbonation.

I enjoyed slowly drinking it and I think the four pack was my limit. A very tasty and pleasant treat. I think every one should try it once. It lives up to all the hype but is not worth all the hording going on.


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Photo of jdoncbus
4.32/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into SA tulip glass. Color is oil and hot tar, thin brown head, with oily lacing.

Nose is burnt oak, vanilla, bourbon, plums, and raisin. Notes of cream, espresso roast coffee, and sweet alcohol.

Palate is bombarded with a silky-slick bitterness followed by a deep molasses, maltiness. After taste reminds me of a caffeinated Yoohoo which leaves a warm, alcohol finish. Mouth is left a bit tart.

A very nice offering and glad I was fortunate to run across a couple of these gems. Despite my three year old knocking over my glass, I really enjoyed this one. It's not my favorite style but the complexities and unique taste make it really good.

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

12 oz bottle. Pours pitch black in kind of that thick motor oil kind of pour. Limited amounts of dark tan head but the head lingered until the last sip. Aroma of bourbon and oak with some coffee and earth sprinkled in. Initial flavor is dominated by alcohol and coffee, with some bourbon noted in there at times as well. Flavor ended with much of the same but almost became sweeter from chocolate and less of the bitter coffee taste. Tons of lacing, very heavy body, very limited carbonation, and the alcohol was definitely detectable in this one. To summarize, have fresh pairs of underwear on hand when trying this, you will need them.

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Photo of J0EL
5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

WOW...I bought 8 bottles of this beer before I even tasted it and I'm glad I did! Pours great, smells great (bourbon, vanilla, coffee, caramel), tastes great. I like to take a little swig of this beer and let it just sit in my mouth for a minute or two before I swallow. It's like an orgy of flavor all over my tongue!

Can't wait to taste it on tap at the brewery

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.32/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired from both plaztikjezuz and jpm30 in concurrent trades, so a big Thank You goes out to them. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep black color, with a very thin brown head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of roasted coffee, vanilla, creamy chocolate, oats and dark malts.

T: The taste is very malty with strong roasted flavors of coffee, vanilla and chocolate as you would expect. There's a significant alcohol sting and a mild hops presence, but there's also a nice balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium-to-heavy body, light-to-medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily for a beer with 10.00% ABV, not too filling, strong kick, very good representation of style, this is one of those good big stouts that is worth drinking for a while until the ABV catches up to you.

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

12 oz bottle poured into snifter
Thanks to orbitalr0x for the trade

A - Pours a piercing black that spills out the bottle mouth like oil. Head is small but a very nice latte color. A sheet of lacing slowly falls when tipped, leaving spots of lace on the glass. Incredibly dark and opaque.

S - Scent of crisp toasted/burnt malt and alcohol with a strong vanilla flavor. A touch of coffee that grows more prominent as it warms. Alcohol has a strong oak context that is earthy and interesting.

T - Starts with a mild sweetness and then a quick wallop of strong oak flavor. Vanilla comes on strong, with a hint of coffee bitterness. Roasted and nearly burnt malt. Aftertaste is sharp with alcohol and maybe some drying hop bitterness, as well as some residual sweetness on the tongue.

M - Moderate carbonation with a full and very oily mouthfeel. Very interesting mouthfeel on the tongue, as midsip its many flavors seem to dance on the palate with a tingle. I've never had that sensation in a beer before.

D - Alcohol plays a strong role in this beer, both in flavor and effect. Very different from any other strong stout I've had, although I don't think any of those have been aged in oak barrels for a full year. Lives up to the hype, but not a beer I'd want to have everyday with its very oaky flavor. This is definitely a sipper.

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

A - Pours dark brown and opaque. Borders on black. No light get through this one at all. Head took a little bit of time to form completely and topped out at a little over a quarter inch. Retention was good. Lacing was excellent.

S - Starts off with aromas of strong espresso. Then it starts to get complicated. Secondary aromas include roasted malt, molasses, vanilla, milk chocolate, cherries, warm alcohol, earthy wood, and the list just keeps going.

T - Taste follows smell and is also complex. Coffee and espresso hit the palate first. Flavors of bourbon really come through strong in the flavor. They are followed by some roasted notes and bittersweet chocolate. Bitter friut and a warming alcohol are on the tail end.

M - Full bodied and creamy. Bittersweet finish that lingers for a long time and ends up being more bitter than sweet.

D - Drinkability is good. This is a strong full bodied beer that is very smooth. Everything about this brew is impressive. I would highly recommend the Kentucky Breakfast Stout.

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KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.6 out of 5 with 13,222 ratings