KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) | Founders Brewing Company

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KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)
BA SCORE
4.6/5
World-Class
13,100 Ratings
KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
foundersbrewing.com

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

Now labeled as "KBS."

ABV varies by batch.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-13-2004

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#32
Reviews:
3,334
Ratings:
13,100
pDev:
8.48%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
4,531
Gots:
6,948
Trade:
517
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 13,100 |  Reviews: 3,334
Photo of NextBestThing
4.73/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This beer is a legend and another that has somehow become fashionable to take shots at, sort of like Hopslam and a bunch of others. Not sure how Bourbon County escapes this, maybe because it's a sloppy boozy mess? Anyway, absolutely easier to find than it was two or three or 8 years ago, but still outstanding.

I get about 1/8 inch of head after an aggressive pour, quickly dissipating into a ring of tight, creamy foam around the perimeter of the glass. Not quite black but very dark. Aroma dominated by chocolate moreso than coffee, light bourbon on the nose. Not overpowering whatsoever. Excellent.

Tastes like it smells. Very smooth going in and zero alcohol burn. I would never guess that this beer is even similar in abv to say, Black Note. Nice chocolate flavor, very faint coffee presence, zero alcohol. This is not to say that it's a training wheels beer, but rather it's approachable and actually superb.

Medium body, decent carbonation, which surprised me. Similar in the mouth to the last batch of CBS.

This beer remains world class. I do not have anything close to a criticism of the beer itself, and it's not even difficult to find anymore. I guess it's expensive? I paid $8 a bottle, I suppose that's a lot. Recommend highly.

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Photo of ssgunbond
4.54/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Fear4Beer
4.66/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I'm not a big fan of stouts (even though my highest rated beer is a stout... go figure) but this is something glorious. I didn't see any ABV on the bottle at first and I'm here drinking it and thinking to myself: "I'm only half way done with the beer and I feel drunk!". haha. What is truly amazing is that this 2018 release has 12.3% ABV in it and you CANNOT tell it is that strong. Masterful blending! I've had beers at 9% ABV and you can tell it is strong by the burning alcohol. Not this beer!

Inky black in color, khaki colored head, smells of cocoa and coffee. The taste is VERY smooth. The bitters are there but it reminds me of the sort of bite that you get from drinking Barqs Root Beer. It doesn't turn your face inside out, very smooth and easy to drink. SO easy to drink.

This is my first time trying KBS so I can't compare it to prior years but comparing this to other stouts... this is my 2nd favorite stout I've ever tried. I've tried several stouts and they are often WAY too bitter. This is more my style. Really good beer! The negatives is how expensive it is and how difficult it can be to acquire.

I'm drinking it to celebrate finishing my taxes! I needed something to uplift me after such a grueling tax season. Note to the wise: drink this carefully. I drank 3/4th of it in 15 minutes and I'm a bit drunk!

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Photo of RayCannata
4.4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I don't like stouts like I used to, but this is my favorite. Very smooth even though its very dark and full of flavor.

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Photo of E-Rock_GLord
4.39/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Scottsbeer described this beer to a T. I had this beer several years back at a tasting event, and I remember it being superior to what I just imbibed. Last year's regular breakfast stout also seemed a bit more one-dimensional than in the past. Could be in my head. Still very delicious. Vanilla extract scent, Espresso-forward with a dry cinnamon finish. The closer to room temp, the more you taste the bourbon on the back end.

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Photo of goodbeergoodfood
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Krajnyak
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black as night, not much head. Excellent nose with lots of bourbon notes. Great flavor. Found the coffee right away. Good and strong. Can taste the alcohol at the finish of this one. Pricey, but worth it. Only critique, which is a personal preference, would be...I like stouts to be a bit creamier.

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Photo of Apellonious
4.49/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle, bottled 2/15/18 , 12.3 %, poured into a tulip glass. Pitch black, no head, only a thin rim of off tan lace. The aroma is even; coffee, vanilla, chocolate, a smidge of oak and bourbon. Flavor is right in line, very well balanced, the barrel comes through more as it warms, and with it there is no heat or burn. Mouthfeel is medium heavy, with a decent amount of carbonation holding it together. Slight stickiness as it warms. After several years of not finding this, glad to finally get the opportunity to try this for beer #700. It's a very well blended beer, everything is there, and no flavor dominates.

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Photo of TheDude805
4.46/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

It’s hard to give a lasting review as this beer changes slightly each season. The 2016 and 2017 were phenomenal. 2018 (this review)is a bit too coffee forward which eclipses the bourbon and chocolate profiles. A hard pour into a snifter glass gives a nice tan head. Tilt pours don’t fully form the head. I smell the coffee more than the bourbon, chocolate or oaky barrel. The beer itself is as dark as my soul. It’s has a nice silky feel and the flavor lingers on the tongue. Again, this is my impression of 2018 KBS solely. I prefer the 2016 rendition.

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Photo of mwilbur
4.53/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2018 vintage. Poured from 12 oz bottle into snifter. Bottled on 03.05.18. 12.31% ABV.
A: Pours an extremely dark brown with nice 1 inch dark mocha head with good retention.
S: Smooth dark chocolate, medium roast coffee, cream, vanilla, and a hint of bourbon.
T: Very smooth dark chocolate, soft medium roast coffee, vanilla, cream, sweet bourbon, and hint of charred wood.
M: Extremely smooth. Viscous feel. Darkly sweet. Mild alcohol burn. Charred wood comes through more in the finish. Nice lingering and maturing on the palate.
D: Finally got around to this one! Solid brew...but very expensive. Will be interesting to see how this develops over time.

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

Photo of Beachbums13
4.54/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Donkster46
4.91/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of Astor31
4.54/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Zeeck
4.59/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2018

Look - This beer is dark and rich looking, a good solid black. However, it still had a nice, healthy finger and a half of tan, frothy head to it.

Smell - The smell of coffee and chocolate was very noticeable immediately upon opening, even from a few feet away. There are also significant notes of wood from the barrel-aging as well as a cinnamon note I didn't expect.

Taste - This is coffee forward, but almost a flavored coffee. It was like a cinnamon espresso type flavor. The chocolate was actually more subtle than expected given how strong it was on the nose. The vanilla was also prevalent, along with a certain dry, woodiness. Some boozy notes are present as well, but overall the cinnamon takes the stage.

Feel - This was surprisingly smooth and creamy, like an Irish stout, rather than thick and oily like so many other barrel aged stouts.

Overall - This is an absolutely delicious cinnamon coffee with cream stout. I have no idea where the cinnamon came from, but it was there. This had a great balance of sweet and bitter to it. Overall I really enjoyed this, definitely more than last year's release.

Pairs Well With - An afternoon pick-me-up.

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Photo of Kfinnis
4.39/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An outstanding example of a good breakfast stout. Not too boozy. It's balanced, thick, remarkably smooth and black as pitch. First time I've had it. Poured from a bottle into a wide-mouthed chalice. Excellent.

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Photo of elohim
4.42/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2018 12oz. Not to boozy at all, I shared some with a friend without telling him what it is and he simply said "tastes like a good stout". Big coffee and chocolate without much barrel flavor but in my mind that is a good thing. While I enjoyed the feel I wish it were a little thicker.

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Photo of drews240
4.59/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of TheBrewsky
3.78/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into 20oz imperial snifter glass. Bottled 2/19/18.
Look: Pours dark brown, near black. About 2 and a half fingers width of a frothy tan head was attained from a simple pour (which dissipated rapidly). Good amount of lacing on the glass.
Smell: Oak forward, with slight chocolate presence. Some coffee is present on the nose, but I am not picking up much. Bourbon isn't detectible on the nose.
Taste: Oak, oak, ash, and more oak. The flavor is overpowered by the oak barrel presence. Even as it warms, the chocolate does become more pronounced, but at minimal levels compared to the oak. I am not sure, but taste wise I am not enjoying this as much as I hoped. The bourbon flavor is present on the finish, but yet again, the oak overpowers in a woody sense.
Feel: Medium body and medium weight, with moderate carbonation for the style.
Overall: I was really disappointed with this years KBS. The oak was just too overpowering for my liking. Maybe next years will be better. Regardless, I am glad to have tried. Cheers!

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Photo of Kinnick21
3.67/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Justinprintz
4.79/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of craigmj7
4.41/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Rdagley823
4.02/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Scottsbeer
4.27/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

I have tried this before on draft and served too cold, as I recall it was very heavy on the bourbon and boozy heat for my tastes so I have avoided it, but I am a HUGE fan of the CBS so I am giving the 2018 release another chance. Bottled 3/6/18, 12.31 ABV.

L: Poured into a ST. Bernardus snifter, Nice almost ebony color, 1/2" mocha colored head that subsided to a small island with a ring of lacing around the glass. The head disappears as the beverage is consumed and the lacing remaining on the glass is minimal.

S: Chocolate, coffee, vanilla, oak and booze with a hint of caramel and dark fruit. As it warms boozy alcohol increases as does the caramel.

T: Oak, vanilla, dark chocolate, slightly bitter coffee and char at first, creamy dark chocolate, vanilla caramel cream, raisin, date, alcohol and oak in the middle with bitter chocolate strong bitter coffee more oak, caramel, vanilla, alcohol and bourbon on the end. The bourbon, booze and bakers unsweetened chocolate stays with you for some time, well into the next sip. The ABV is evident as would be expected for a 12.31% brew, it is not overwhelming but there is some heat.

F: The mouthfeel is world class! Thick and creamy, chewy and smooth with just the right amount of carbonation.

O: An extremely complex, chewy beer with world class mouthfeel and some great flavor profiles working well together. The only element that keeps it from being as good as CBS or Morning Wood in my opinion is that there is some heat and grain alcohol smell and taste that is objectionable. I believe that some time in the cellar may turn this into an outstanding beer but as a fresh pour, it is really good with possible potential to be more. I have three more from this batch that I will allow to mature and if warranted I will come back to this review and update.

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Photo of Claude-Irishman
4.07/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I first must say that I have not rated KBS because I thought the hype was ridiculous. I had no problem buying two cases in the 1 bottle only heyday. I really enjoyed it and will admit to "overdoing" it. That being said this is a fresh review years later. Looks black as used oil with a mocha colored head. Tastes like burnt toast,vanilla,coffee,chocolate,hops. Feels very smooth and well balanced. I remember more creaminess, (perhaps more oats) Overall a highly regarded Adjunct stout.

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KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.6 out of 5 with 13,100 ratings