Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) | Founders Brewing Company

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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)Founders 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

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Reviews: 3,086 | Ratings: 12,152
Photo of BreweryRun
4.36/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the first year a fresh batch of KBS has made it to SoCal, Excited to try this one.

Pours completely opaque black with a fairly quickly dissipating light brown head. Smell is earthy coffee, lots of milk chocolate, oak, and mild booze. Taste follows pretty closely with a prominent woody, bourbon milk chocolate flavor and coffee. Booze is noticeable but not offensive, it hits you along with a warming sensation right at the end. Body is full but not huge, and it finishes pretty dry for the style. I poured this on the warm side to begin with but as it warms the milk chocolate flavor comes even more to the forefront.

Overall, this is a very solid BBA stout that manages to be cohesive and smooth even with a fairly apparent booze character.

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Photo of Moquinbrendon
4.71/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Opened a bottle from the 2014 batch. Smells like oak, coffee, chocolate, earth, tobacco, bourbon. Poured into pint glass. Beer was room temp. At first taste I got coffee, chocolate, vanilla, then the oak and bourbon hit with a nice tingly sensation on the lips. Beer is a very dark in color. This beer is a must if you like barrel aged brew. I was lucky to get this bottle for free from the liquor shop I go to... I am forever greatful.

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Photo of Gojira_Lives
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Is the juice worth the squeeze.....

If you have Indiana Jones type skills and are able to get this beer than go for it, it is a much hyped up beer that actually is worth it. The flavor is exquisite so much coffee, cocoa and vanilla hit the taste buds and runaway with your imagination. This is a rare beer that you must savor because you may only get that one 12oz bottle if your lucky and while the exclusivity definitely lends itself to the lore it is definitely legendary.

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Photo of HopHunter19
4.96/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

A - nice pitch black beer with a big mocha head that sticks and leaves great lacing
S - big coffee and bourbon, vanilla, milk chocolate, oak, burnt marshmallow, roasted malts
T- big coffee, bourbon, vanilla, roasted malts, burnt marshmallow, less vanilla, coconut, molasses than other bba beers
M - this is a big beer, pretty thick but not insane like parabola. Alcohol is present, not as smooth as you might expect from a year long aged beer, aftertaste is coffee and bourbon
O - it's not like other beers in its category for sure, where a lot of them are so smooth and complex this is more in your face with coffee and bourbon, still I feel like I cannot knock this one, it's from my home state of Michigan

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Photo of Mcdrouilla
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This pours with a beautiful thick chocolate color. A light but creamy edge lingers in the glass. There is an inviting nose where the vanilla hints come through. The taste is not overbearing but a great balance of the vanilla, chocolate, coffee and bourbon flavors. The finish leaves you with light bourbon presence softened by the other flavors. I've had a number of other bourbon aged stouts. This one is a real memorable "Yum".

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Photo of brewaddict
4.4/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2015 bottle opened on 2/6/16
L - This pours dark dark brown with a creamy mocha head and lots of lace.
S - I get lots of mocha and chocolate like breakfast stout with the addition of vanilla and cream and some coconut.
T - The flavors are coffee, chocolate, vanilla and subtle bourbon. The finish is a little bitter.
F - The texture is nice and creamy. Not overly carbonated.
O - excellent and well balanced.

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Photo of Crubbsy
4.36/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tall stemmed glass.

Appearance: Pours pitch black like use dmotor oil. completely opaque. short light tan head that disappears quickly. Was visibly thick when coming out of the bottle. 4.5

Smell: Aroma is roasty first, then you can smell the bourbon barrels a little bit, then it turns chocolatey. 4

Taste: sweet first and balanced with roasty flavors and a little bitterness. Barrel aging becomes apparent near the finish. Aftertaste is slightly bitter. Kind of a warm boozy sensation halfway through the bottle 4.5

Mouthfeel: sweetness makes a fairly full body. hefty overall, and leaves a thin bitter coating on the tongue. 4.25

Overall: Worth the hunt. pretty complex w a lot of elements playing on each other. Seemed like the experience kept unfolding as time went on through the tasting. Interested in seeing how aging treats this one 4.25

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Photo of SD-Alefan
4.56/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 2/11/16. Pours an opaque, deep, dark brown with a tan head that is minimal but sticks around and leaves lots of lace.
Aroma: A roasted, nearly charred smell hits my nostrils first followed by dark chocolate, iced coffee and vanilla. A touch of bourbon as well.
Tasty stuff! Lots of bitter dark chocolate and roast notes on the first swallow. Roasted coffee, more chocolate, a bit of vanilla and a bit of boozy warmth. Then some lingering char, some oak, a touch of bourbon. As it warms, it seems markedly sweeter with more vanilla and a bit of brown sugar and a touch of dark fruit.
Mouthfeel is medium-thick, creamy, quite nice.
Excellent beer.

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Photo of soccrgump
4.32/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours black w/ a light brown, small head.
Aroma: Chocolate, coffee, dark roasted malt, bourbon.
Taste: follows the smell, bourbon comes through strong and stays on the tongue, definite bitterness; more choc/coffee as it warms.
Mouthfeel: surprisingly thin; light alcohol burn.
Overall: I'm not a huge BB fan, but I am enjoying this beer. Like it much better than last year's.

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Photo of Ikeithbot
4.95/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I really feel in love with weyerbacher Sunday morning stout and evil twin biscotti break. Those were the best bourbon barrelled stouts I had access to. Those are great beers. What brings KBS to a whole other level is how balanced it is. Those you know you are drinking a high abv beer. KBS is like a beer with roofies. Now I know why it gets such high scores. Such a perfect example of the style.

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Photo of ProfessionalJ
2.94/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

i am completely baffled with the hype over this beer, and this is coming from someone who loves bourbon barrel aged imperial stouts (barrel aged grimm double negative and barrel aged bomb being some outstanding ones i've tried in the last few months). i took an hour off of work to grab two four packs from two different beverage centers (4 pack limit) thinking i had my hands on gold and fifty dollars later i'm stuck with what i think is the worse imperial stout i've ever had. i don't get it? i much rather have a plain old founders imperial stout than this crap, here's my taste review cos it looks good but who cares
taste; rubbing alcohol. maxwell house. carnation instant breakfast. vantage cigarette butts. jim bean. rubbing alcohol.
KBS kentucky bullshit stout

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Photo of Zoomslowik
4.38/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

L- Dark brown, almost black. Tan head.

S- Strong coffee aroma. Hints of bourbon, chocolate and vanilla.

T- Very nice blend. Bourbon, dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malt and vanilla. Not a lot of booze given the ABV.

F- Not as heavy or creamy as a lot of stouts.

O- Very good beer, but I'm not sure it was quite worth the rush to get it.

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Photo of Cfred371
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2016 bottles, and my first KBS ever. Let sit out for ten minutes to warm a little.

Look: pours a dark brown with a lot of carbonation and a beautiful tan head. Alcohol legs are sure there.

Smell: all the adjuncts are there: chocolate first, a slight coffee and then a barrel that dominated my senses.

Taste: Taste is similar to the smell, barrel dominates to me, with some chocolate and coffee in there too.

Feel: Holy full mouthfeel. As someone relatively new to the craft beer scene, this is one of the thicker mouth feels I've encountered. Similar to milk. The beers alcohol certainly makes its presence known as there's a warming sensation in the chest. There's a slight bitter finish and a drying sensation as well.

Overall: I came away very happy with this bottle. Loads of flavor and a nice mouthfeel.

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Photo of martinpfal
4.52/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Its founders kbs. It is exquisite. Vanilla nose. Hint of coffee and even less hint of the Burbon in the taste. I hate to say it's very similar to an expedition stout, but it is. 7 bucks for a bottle. Worth it. Yes!

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Photo of B-Stad
4.77/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2016 Edition Bottled on 2/16/16 poured aggressively into a pint glass. Pours a dark, syrupy, sludge with a good two finger head that dissipates rapidly. Good lacing lasts throughout. Smells of coffee, dark chocolate, bourbon, and malts. The taste leads with coffee, middle is chocolate & malts, finishing with almost a burning sensation from the bourbon barrel. Not in a bad way by any means, but there's a stronger, boozy finish. Mouthfeel is medium, to full-bodied. I dig it. Super happy I finally got my hands on some KBS. Paid $6.99 for the bottle, but after seeing/hearing about others experiences, I'm happy with what I paid. Good bottle to add to the collection. Definitely worth trying if you haven't already. Happy hunting!

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Photo of 911CROFT
4.55/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2015 Vintage (11.2%) Aged for 1 year.
355ml bottle into an oversized tulip. Paid £7.35 for a single bottle.

Pours a completely opaque, pitch-black body that is unchanged when held to the light. A one-finger in height, dark tan coloured bubbly head fades quickly to a patchy film and collar, but leaves behind plenty of thin, soapy lace.

Bourbon undoubtedly leads the aroma, but its presence isn't so powerful as to dominate. Underneath, a complex bitter-sweet mixture of dark chocolate, ripe stone fruit, wood smoke, charred malts and heavily roasted barley comprise the remainder of the nose, whilst subtle roast espresso profiles become noticeable towards the finish. Taste follows suit. Soft, warming notes of bourbon and vanilla slowly transition to a rich and heavily roasted malt profile. Dark, bitter-sweet chocolate and the slightest hint of ripe black cherry join charred, faintly smoky, robust dark malts to form the perfectly balanced mid-palate. Medium to full-bodied with a low amount of carbonation, the mouth-feel starts rich, slick and smooth, despite being just a tad thinner than expected. Towards the end, moderately bitter, dark roasted espresso, cocoa, dark chocolate and woody impressions of the oak barrelling linger on the palate for an age, finishing dry with only a trace of alcohol warmth.

Overall this is an incredible beer. The bourbon barrelling is unquestionably a prominent feature, but it is so superbly well integrated with the base beer that it never becomes too much. The exceptionally well-balanced dark roasted malt profile masks its 70 IBU’s with ease, keeping bitterness in check throughout, and at 11.2% ABV, alcohol is almost undetectable. Undoubtedly this is a treat to be sipped and savoured, I wouldn't hesitate to pick up another bottle should I be lucky enough to come across one in the UK. Recommended.

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Photo of Mateo2699
4.73/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2016 release, bottled 2-12-16. Poured into snifter.

Pour is a dark jet black. Definitely no light coming through. Very very subtle ruby red hue in light. Head leaves some crazy lacing, poured aggressively and ended up very foamy. Lacing sticks through the whole drinking session. Thin foam, great lacing.

Smell is definitely more chocolate and vanilla. I always thought the nose was more bourbon foward, guess I'm wrong. Still get subtle bourbon, but even more oak and wood. Some tabacco and some butterscotch. More sweet than expected.

Taste is a well rounded chocolate flavor, reminds me of nesquick. Once again, more sweet and less bourbon than expected. But it's still very well balanced, and even without the pronounced bourbon you still get that wood and oak very nicely. Very nice sweetness and roasted malt. Warming up a little the bourbon flavor comes through a little more.

Very interesting mouthfeel. It's actually sort of thin, not syrupy and oil thick at all. But with the bold flavors and full flavors, it feels as if it's a thick beer. Don't get much carbonation at all. Extremely velvety and smooth.

Lives up to the hype for sure. Remember the 2015 version being more bourbon foward and less sweet. Maybe it changed with time. Or maybe this being the freshest batch of KBS I've ever had, the sweet chocolate profile is more dominant. Whatever the case is 2016 is great.

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Photo of Eiwatts9
4.69/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look - Nice and dark, decent tan head at first that quickly subsides.
Smell - Lots of chocolate and coffee up front ended by hot boozy bourbon
Taste - More bitter than expected but plenty of the usual BB aged flavors ended with lingering coffee and bitter chocolate.
Feel - Nice and smooth little buttery on the end.
Overall - Just a great beer, everyone knows it and everyone enjoys it.

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Photo of teromous
3.83/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2016 Bottle. On the back in very faint writing: "Bottled 03/02/16 20 11 2:55 12.4% ABV"

Appearance: Black body with a thin head that is a medium shade of khaki. Not much head retention or lacing but for a 12.4% ABV beer it holds a head well enough.

Aroma: There is a definite woody aroma that stands out by itself and also melds well with a bourbon aroma. It does smell a bit boozy but for a 12.4% ABV beer that has bourbon in it that can be expected. Not a lot of aroma aside from what was previously mentioned.

Taste: Up front there is wood and bourbon. In the middle there is a bit of boozy flavor and at the end there is a very well defined chocolate flavor. The chocolate is reminiscent specifically of cocoa powder. I really enjoy the chocolate flavor in the beer and it works very well with the bourbon and wood. The label does state that it is made with coffee and I really didn't pick up any coffee flavor at all.

Mouthfeel: It feels a bit thin. It has a very light coating quality on the palate that doesn't linger long enough to deliver the flavor. Despite the thinness of the beer it still has a full body. It's a bit like if you were to put a bold flavored barbecue sauce on some meat and the sauce was very thin. The impact is there but it just doesn't lather the meat. One very good quality about this beer is the drinkability. This beer is extremely drinkable. While at 12.40% ABV this should be a sipper this beer disguises itself at a much lower ABV in drinkability standards.

Overall: I did enjoy this beer and I will really enjoy drinking the other bottles that I purchased. If I saw it in the store again I would buy it and I would recommend the same to everyone else. I did feel that the beer overall was outstanding but in a line-up it wouldn't be my first choice.

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Photo of Joe_Palooka
3.72/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Okay, KBS shows up in Northern Illinois and most places that sell it get about 12 to 24 to distribute among their customers. Some sell it at suggested retail while some double the price and also make you purchase some additional Founders products. After scurrying about I was able to purchase about 6 bottles and I want to tell you I am not sure it was worth the effort. It was not as good as Avery's Barrel aged products. Last years KBS was fabulous but this years seemed a bit thin to me with a very faint Bourbon flavor. I am going to try several more as well as age a few so I will re-rate this beer again in the future. This beer kind of reminded me of a cross between Founder Imperial Stout and Founders Breakfast Stout with a slight Bourbon Flavor. It may be unfair to expect it to be of the same quality of Avery's Uncle Jacobs or Mephistopheles Stout. Again, I will re-rate and hopefully I just was not in the right frame of mind to sample this beer this time.

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Photo of jmd1978
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Motor oil black color with inch of copper head. Nose of chocolate, vanilla, oak, coffee. Taste the chocolate and coffee with notes of caramel, bourbon, and smokey wood. Lingering finish that hangs around a bit with a little alcohol on the palate. This beer is definitely worth the hype. I could drink this all day long. Smooth like a chocolatey whiskey. Well done!

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Photo of HockeyBrewmeister
4.58/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottled 2/12/16 - 12.4% ABV

Look - Black with thin lacing around the glass.
Smell - Tons of coffee with a quality dose of bourbon and bitter chocolate.
Taste - Again, tons of coffee with smooth oakey bourbon and bitter chocolate on the backend. I also get some flakey oats similar to the original breakfast stout. Extremely well balanced.
Feel - actually a little thinner than I imagined, but nonetheless very enjoyable.
Overall - I know Founders doesn't like to advertise that it's simply the original Breakfast Stout aged in Oak Bourbon barrels, but that is exactly what I taste. I honestly wish they would just release KBS as a standard brew every Spring as opposed to a (VERY) limited release. Nonetheless, an extremely enjoyable brew worth having again and again.

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Photo of THSmusicman
4.41/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2016 edition poured into an Allagash sample glass.

Look: No complaints here. A nice, super dark stout with a half a finger of khaki head, which leaves a very nice lacing.

Smell: Doesn't smell as good as last years did; a bit more alcohol on the nose. Starts with that, with coffee and chocolate showing up, then a bit of caramel.

Taste: Tastes much boozier than the 2015 I had. Taste mostly reflects the nose with a very alcoholic aftertaste.

Feel: Thick and creamy, as a huge barrel-aged stout should feel.

Overall: I enjoyed the 2015 edition much more than this but still enjoyed this. I will probably age a good bit of the other bottles I have.

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Photo of Dragginballs76
4.59/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours - Jet black nice thick mocha colored head excellent lacing head lasts quite a bit.

Smell - The first thing I noticed was the dark chocolate, as it warmed the booziness came out. I can also pick up some vanilla and dark roast coffee excellent nose.

Taste - Big chocolate flavors the alcohol is noticeable but blends excellently with the chocolate and vanilla notes. I also get a little more of the coffee flavor than I did in the smell.

Feel - Thick very creamy coats the mouth, slight burn from the alcohol.

Overall - I kept hearing about how great this beer was and did not expect it to live up to it but it does. An amazing beer!!

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Photo of KensWorld
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

After trying this, I will have to downgrade every flavored Stout I have ever tried! Perfect look, perfect smell, perfect feel. Perfect in all ways!. The most smoothest tasting Stout ever! A masterpiece of a beer. 5.00

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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
4.56 out of 5 based on 12,152 ratings.
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