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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) | Founders Brewing Company

3,040 Reviews
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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.40%

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: 3,040 | Ratings: 11,859
Photo of Pauly2X
4.47/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Thanks to prototypic for this, one hell of an "extra"

A- Viscous opaque black, thin wispy head went away as fast as it appeared.

S- Lots of chocolate and coffee aromas. Very powerful and assertive.

T- Alot of the harsh aromas in the nose mellow out in the taste. The chocolate and malt flavors are generaly dominate, but coffee is evident as well. The bourbon sneaks in the suprisingly light and smooth finish.

M- Wonderfully thick and viscous.

D- Disspite the strength this goes down without a fight.

A fantastic stout by any measure. It is even more enjoyable if you love coffee. Personally it falls a little short of the hype. Still worth doing what you can to get your hands on some.

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Photo of TheBierBand
4.45/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Well, I must say that I got sticker shock when I picked up the 4 pack of this stuff today. Party Source in Bellview, KY: 4 pack of 12 oz bottles: $23.95! OUCH! But, you only go around once in this life so....

I poured the contents into my trusty pint glass. I noticed right away that it would take a rough pour to produce any head.... so I raised the bottle up and was gratified with a healthy inch of tight tan foam. The beer was as black as the night and you couldn't even see through it when held to a bright light source. The head slowly dwindled down to a thick cap over time, but left healthy stickage down the side of the glass as I drank.

The smell was very apparent and nice! Lot's of coffee, bourbon, chocolate all swirling around.... very nice!

The taste: Very surprising.... I could definately pick up on the bourbon barrel aging.... big bourbon taste right up front. But, the taste was quickly tempered by some nice rich coffee and sweet roasted malty taste.

Mouthfeel: Here is where this beer excels. This is a thick, chewey beer.... just like I like it. Gotta give it a "5".

Drinkability: This is definately a sipper.... but ya gotta try this stuff.... just bite the bullet and go for it. (Was I ripped off at 6 bucks a bottle?). I at least had to do it once. I probably won't beat a path to the beer store to pay $6 a bottle again.... but I HAD TO TRY IT. I was glad I did.

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

Not caramelly. Not hugely bodied. Very strong, stiff bourbon + fresh roasted coffee aroma, which mostly obscures the roasted fruit flavors. Not excessively boozey. Finish is a wonderful bourbon/coffee melange. Very little hop presence.

My guess is that there was some bourbon left in the barrels when the beer was racked into them. Otherwise, I don't see how you get this much bourbon flavor in the beer.

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Photo of NoLiberty
4.12/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours thick black, very heavy, no light. Almost no head whatsoever with just a thin edging giving hint to dark caramel carbonation.

Big, boozy coffee, chocolate, vanilla nose. Hints of spicy licorice and bitter-sweet roasted malt. Huge. Alcohol dominates and wraps all the intense flavors underneath one blanket.

Big roasty and chocolately sweet up front, followed by bruising alcohol and hop presence. Finishes with a vanilla breath, licorice aftertaste. Big bodied, huge, with nice round feeling

An understatement to call it a sipper, but really nice over a good long session.

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Photo of duke1258
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Great vanilla aromas up front with a bit more forward hops this year, but still the warm malty end taste. Just as smooth as always, and more complex than the standard Breakfast Stout. There is a depth to this beer beyond just the Barrel aging. Definitely more bold Whiskey than other aged beers and yet very subtle alcohol.

I had this on tap once again at Founders and was offered a sample of the Canadian Breakfast Stout, aged in Maple Syrup Barrels, and found it to be a great twist on the KBS, though a bit sweeter. Still the best beer in the world, KBS is progressively becoming even better.

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Photo of Gyle41386
4.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Love the twist top.

Pours black with a very thin brown chocolate head. "Motor oil" and "ink" get thrown around too much when describing viscous, black beers, but it's appropriate to do so here.

Ground coffee in the nose. Subtle hints of oak and bourbon. I was worried the nose may be dominated by booze, but it's not even close. Very nice.

Wow, this tastes great. I'm not a coffee guy, and even I love the taste of KBS. Roasted malt, coffee, and bittersweet chocolate take the early lead. I really like the oak underneath the other flavors. The bourbon is delicious, and not at all overpowering. Great finish. No hot boozy feel in the mouth, either.

The only hint of alcohol I really get is the nice warming sensation. Full body. Really coats the mouth nicely. I wrote in another review that a particular beer coated the mouth like a tasty cough syrup. This is the same. Just a great feel.

This is a really fantastic beer. I'm glad I was able to try it. That said, one is enough. It's delicious, but it's definitely a slow sipper, and the ABV will keep me from over-indulging. Hopefully I'm able to buy another single or two to share with friends, because, unfortunately, the $20 price tag on a four pack is almost out of the question after already buying three of them.

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Photo of jcdgoad
3.33/5  rDev -27%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had my brother pick up a four pack at Whole Foods in Ann Arbor and Fed Ex it too me. I was very excited to try this beer. Unfortunately it did not live up to the hype. I'm not saying this is a terrible beer, but I just don't think its as good as advertised. I tasted the bourbon, vanilla, and coffee. The mixture just tasted a bit off to me. I"ll take a Bells Expedition Stout or an Old Rasputin any day over this beer.

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Photo of Speakeasy01
4.85/5  rDev +6.4%
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 -4.6%
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 -2.2%
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 -5.5%
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 +5%
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%
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 +9%
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 +9.6%
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 +1.3%
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 -11.8%
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 +9%
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 -5.7%
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%
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%
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 +2%
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 -1.8%
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 -0.2%
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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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 3,040 ratings.
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