Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) | Founders Brewing Company

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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)Founders 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.

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
3,154
Ratings:
12,348
Avg:
4.56
pDev:
8.77%
 
 
Wants:
4,495
Gots:
6,519
For Trade:
515
User Reviews
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Reviews: 3,154 | Ratings: 12,348
Photo of bditty187
4.47/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It’s not often a “Top 15” Best of BA beer is given to me (or loosely traded for). This beer has stared at me too long. It is time to pop it...

Really dark brown in hue with an infusion of black ink; impressive. I love dark foam; the bubbles were a lovely shade of brunette. At the apex the head was a half finger tall, sadly the bubbles collapsed quickly to a thin, soapy cap. I suppose the lack of head retention can be expected. The subsequent lacing was spotty and not widespread. For some reason I was expecting a dark (thicker looking?) beer. Of course I want better head retention and more lace. What a fucking complainer. Yeah, this beer looks like shit. Christ, how can I really complain about this beer’s appearance?

The nose is a dead-on match for an iced-mocha espresso with a shot of bourbon! I can clearly detect the “regular” Breakfast Stout qualities. I looked back at my review for that beer and I noted, “The first thing that popped into my mind as I took my first sniff was how much it reminds me of Thunderhead’s award winning Black Sheep Espresso Stout. I wish I could do a side-by-side sniff test… I smell amble roasted coffee notes, dark chocolate, a hint of sweetness and a roasted/acidic finish.” That is all true for this version. The bourbon aging is very subtle, especially compared to Goose Islands Bourbon County Stout. Don’t get me wrong the bourbon notes are hardly hidden but I was expecting more. Damn you Craft Beer Radio! Moderate-high potency, very complex and chatty… I am impressed. It is not the earth shattering event I was expecting but it was awesome nevertheless! It is time I take a sip.

Thunderous palate… wow. The bourbon heat is scorching on the throat. Hot. Pain. Pain is good. I think I am getting heartburn. Seriously. It is taking quite a few sips before I can deconstruct any sort of beery aspects. Like the nose I am detecting ample amounts of iced espresso and coffee grounds. Bitter baker’s chocolate, some vanilla, a kiss of oak, some dark chocolates, dark berries, chocolate covered cherries, hints of caramel and malted balls. Hell, there is even a slight earthy underbelly. Warm, smoky, alcoholic, sweet finish… it is oh so luscious. The palate is very special. However, personally, I think I prefer both the original Breakfast Stout and Goose Island Bourbon County. Can you imagine pouring both those beers into one glass? Holy Shit!

Almost full body, low but natural carbonation, the mouthfeel was almost perfect. It is surely big enough but I found it almost slick and oily. Maybe this is nitpicking. Nevertheless the mouthfeel fits this beer very well. The aftertaste is remarkable, hot and lingering with plenty of maltiness and bourbon. My belly is warm. My brain is soaked. My mouth is worn-out (but in a very good way!).

Powerful. Complex. Alcoholic. And yet it is damn drinkable. This is yet another amazing beer from Founders. Michigan is golden for great beer. While I might prefer Breakfast Stout I am very, very grateful that RedHaze graciously supplied me a bottle of this succulent beer. I hope I can try this again… I really like it. But, really, who wouldn’t? It is big and beefy but with plenty of complexity and depth. Highly Recommended.

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Photo of rajendra82
4.43/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received from BA orbitalr0x as part of BIF 33, this much anticipated beer came in a stubby bottle with a label design reminiscent of bygone time. When poured, the deep brown opaque body aided by a mocha colored, one finger thick, foamy head was inviting and imposing at the same time. The aroma was heavily laden with dark roasted coffee and freshly hewn oak. I took a half a point off for the smell being a little too acrid, and lacking either the chocolate or dark fruit undertones of other imperial stouts. The taste was naturally coffee driven as well, with the Bourbon barrel aging providing a smoother, and drier feel than was expected in a stout of this strength. The vanilla like oak tannins and the substantial hop and roast grain bitterness came through much clearer towards the end of each sip, before being subdued by the eventual warmth of the peppery ethanol. The mouthfeel was abundantly thick and just a hair short of chewy. The hefty punch of alcoholic strength made this a fine late night digestif, but detracted from the drinkability a little. If you drink this at breakfast, call in sick and go back to bed till noon.

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Photo of deejaydan
3.92/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a midnight black color, minimal head, as expected by the ABV. Aroma is charcoal like, some oaky character there as well. Taste is burnt, with a hint of high alcohol. Taste is good, a touch astringant from the oak, but that's to be expected. Kind of puckering. Charcoal again on the taste. Mouthfeel is good, but thin, probably the bourbon coming through. Drinkability is okay, but this isn't my favorite barrel aged beer.

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Photo of Gaisgeil
4.32/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's been a while since a beer with such hype really lived up to it in my mind, but this one certainly does! I love the bourbon touch to this brew, some beers that try this stray too far from beer territory and are closer to just basically tasting like bourbon themselves, this one balances things nicely. Pours a deep dark black, viscous and marvelous. No real head to speak of but a thin medium brown crown formed a few seconds after finishing the pour. Nose is roast, wood, cocoa, vanilla and of course, bourbon. Taste follows suit but with a nice milky consistancy as well. Impeccible balance, well done! Beautiful!

Slàinte!

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Photo of merlin48
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served slightly chilled into a Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale snifter. Pours a viscous, ebony body, very opaque. A small cocoa head slowly arises and quickly falls into a garnet hued ring that lasts the distance. Delicate specks of lace compliment the garnet rings.
Aroma opens with a profound note of chocolate, followed by earthy oak wood, premium bourbon, and some powerful coffee aromas. The coffee notes are of fresh roasted and unroasted beans like you'd find in a good coffee shop. Very robust! Vanilla and fresh cut sawdust complete the nose.
Mouthfeel is medium full, the carbonation soft and subdued. Some alcohol burn is present here. The dark roasted malts make their presence known here, with some assertive bitterness.
Taste is complex, like the aroma. Chocolate and coffee dominate the flavors. Chocolate is more prominent than expected, but the coffee beans are the real highlight here. Bourbon is easily noted, but is more muted than expected. A bitter, fresh roasted, coffee bean presence comes to dominate as it reaches room temperature. A hint of figs and smoke adds to the complexity.
This one is worthy of its hype, a true masterpiece that is an ultimate sipper.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.37/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer poured into the glass black with a brownish black low head which formed slowly and fell slowly to lace the glass.

The aroma was coffee with a strong expresso influence. The aroma contained wafts of bourbon, but not overpowering, much more subdued in nature. The alcohol was present and with the roasty character almost led to a spicy conclusion. Coffee and roast still rule the day with some caramel and bourbon thrown in for good measure.

The flavor was complex and smooth with chocolate and coffee melded together with a strong expresso character and bourbon. The bourbon was mellow and smooth with chocolate and caramel and some vanilla. Some dark fruits were present at lower levels, raisins and cherries, but the emphasis was certainly on chocolate, coffee and bourbon. As the beer warmed the bourbon gave the beer a muted smoky character.

The finish was dry with a lasting bit of bourbon, chocolate and coffee well into the aftertaste and beyond. The body was full, but not viscous with a low carbonation level. Alcohol was prevalent all through the aroma, flavor and especially in the warming that occurred after consumption. A luscious and well achieved brew!

12 ounce bottle, thanks AKSmokedPorter (justcas I will get to the bottle you sent me soon enough!)!

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Photo of Mitchster
4.25/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

$4.39 for a single @ Jack's. I had to try a single before deciding if I needed more at this price. This brew literally pours out to a glossy piano black. The stream of beer is so dark, it shines like the CGI "Black Oil" from X-files, forming a super thick creamy dark brown head akin to espresso crema. The head is creamy and whipped like meringue, something not easily found in a bottled product, but the mild tempered carbonation helps out in this respect. Retention is excellent as are the solid sheets of lace. The aroma is thick and huge, starting with caramel-sweet bourbon, coffee grounds acidified by modest amounts of green oily hops and a ton of freshly ground vanilla bean. Dark chocolate and the faint suggestion of smoke are evident with swirling. Has a "cool" smell, like it actually cools off the nostrils. As it warms, alcohol warms the nostrils and the bourbon flavors really pop out. Cleanly fermented with no off-aromas. The mouthfeel is oh-so-pillowy-soft, like 1/2 & 1/2. Dense, oily huge sticky body. The taste begins with an interesting coffee acidity which is okay, but I would have used a lower acidity coffee in here...it throws the sweetness and balance out of whack. There is a modest woodsy whisky flavor (which I appreciate more that I'm starting to develop a taste for scotch) in the middle, but it's most evident in the super-long finish, imparting a sweetness to the back of the throat like a mild licorice. Anise, dark molasses, and vanilla open up in the middle. Bitterness is mild yet very herbal in nature. Towards the end of the swallow, and particularly as it warms up, the alcohol takes on an isopropyl nature and becomes quite evident. Despite how complex this is, I think it tastes much better cold as it shows some flaws as it warms up.

Despite my recent ability to fully appreciate Scotch, I would rather have the Imperial stout over this (Founder's brews a truly world-class Impy, IMO). One bottle is like an entire meal. If you really want to taste the bourbon in this, let it warm up to ~58F.

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Photo of raverjames
4.92/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I have rated this higher than most beers, as it is an exceptional brew that doesn't dissapoint. I have had three bottles so far to enjoy, and have a 4th sitting with my vintage beers.
Served in a Brandy Snifter
A: I don't know really what to say about the appearance. I would have given it a 5 in this category, but there isnt much to see. It pours thick and black, with a head that looks like frothing coffee. The carbonation is pretty hard to see due to the thickness.
S: Coffee and a bit of malt. There is a hint of chocolate as well. And when I say coffee, I mean fresh roasted coffee beans. It is a wonderful aroma.
T: Heaven in a bottle. Tastes of coffee, malt, roasted hops, chocolate, maybe even a little smokey. Has a hint of oak and bourbon as well. It is very sweet for being so dark and thick. I will never get tired of that flavor.
M: Thick. It isnt too bad if you are used to Porters or Stouts. I dont think a Pilsner lover would enjoy as much.
D: Excellent drinkability. As soon as I finish one, I wanted another. It is high in alcohol, but you cant really tell. The thickness may be the only thing that could hurt drinkability, but I dont mind that.

This was purchased for $6 a bottle at Binny's in Glen Ellynn, IL (best store in the world). I would have missed it completely if one of the guys I speak with there all the time hadn't pointed it out. The label didnt stick out to me at first. This is one of my favorite beers, and it is hard to get. Binny's is completely out. I hope this isnt the last time I get to enjoy this fine beer.

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Photo of bennetj17
4.47/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thick black pour, beautiful dark tan crust, with a fair lace. Intense aroma of fresh coffee grounds, much like the original, but with an added hint of the bourbon sweetness and light chocolate in the background. The alcohol is not very detectable. The taste is not as overpowering as I expected. Smokey coffee blended with bourbon ending with a moderate bitter finish. Alcohol appears more strongly now but doesn't detract. The mouthfeel is semi-thick, with nice subtle carbonation. There is an intense smoothness present likely due to the barrel aging. Drinkability is good. I would love to have access to this beer anytime, although I think one per sitting would be recommended.

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Photo of skomahon
4.92/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had this at the Publick House in Brookline earlier this week, and was surprised to see it after hearing about this beer online. What a wonderful surprise--probably my new favorite stout. Served in a large wine glass, dark black in color with a small amount of brown head.

The smell of this beer is the first thing you notice--really wonderful, strong coffee scent. Taste is rich, complex with coffee flavors dominant, but also chocolate and others present. The alcohol flavor is actually quite mild given the high ABV, with a beautiful combination of rich flavor and light mouthfeel. Very highly recommended, and deserving of its place in the Beer advocate top 10. I would only put 1 or 2 other stouts in its camp.

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Photo of warriorsoul
4.62/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ok...well since I could not make it out to TPH for this gem on tap, I had to pull this one out of the cellar...this bottle is courtesy of the very generous malty.
Pours a deep dark black with no light passing thru...a 1/4 finger of cocoa colored head sits there for a few minutes and leaves behind some decent lacing.
Huge coffee profile in the nose...like the most freshest Breakfast stout you could possibly imagine. Deep roast espresso, liquor, not much oak hitting me at this point.
Yeah...no mistaking this one for the regular Breakfast Stout...immense coffee with a beautiful blend of vanilla, oak, and bourbon...gets better with each sip honestly.
The malt sweetness is divine and masks the alcohol very well...it does warm you up quickly though.
Mouthfeel is thick and creamy...carbonation low and great for this brew.
Definitely a sipper, but I would never get bored of this flavor...simply divine.
Too bad the bottles did not make it to our area...there is always hope for next year.

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

on tap at the publick house

my first experience with the Kentucky breakfast and i dare say it was nothing short of perfect. everywhere I though the regular breakfast stout lacked, or fell shy of perfect, this beer improved on. huge aromas of chocolate, coffee, vanilla, hints of bourbon, cinammon, pastries. huge flavors of the same. incredible chew in the mouth, huge full body, coating. extrememly balanced, no booze to be found anywhere. unbelievably drinkable for such a huge and high alcohol beer. i put down 4 with total ease and sheer joy. this is truly an amazing brew. i hesitate to even try and describe it. thats it, im done. excellent.

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Photo of Sycodrummer
4.97/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

First sampled this at the EBF and had reserved myself that barring a trip to Michigan, would probably not see this again soon. To my surprise, had from TPH on 5/23/06.

Presented from the tap in a big oversized wine glass with about a half pour. The beer was a jet black color with slight ruby near the edges. A thin sliver of tan head sat atop the beer and quickly faded. No signs of carbonation (as expected) and served at a significantly warmer temp. than most beer (as expected).

The nose was full of bourbon aromas and semi-sweet roasted malt. The alcohol came with traces of whiskey in it and chocolate undertone pervaded the nose.

The innitial taste is a slight searing of alcohol mixed with chocolate and roasted malt. Subtle bitterness to each sip and the bourbon flavor is quite pronounced. Robust to the finish with a hearty alcoholic presence throughout the sample.

Medium-heavy body with almost no carbonation. A sipping beer all the way.

KBS is extremely drinkable and perfect to sip and savor from a snifer as one would a fine whiskey. I found the bourbon flavors pronounced, but still not quite as much as they were at the EFB. Although "only" about 9% ABV the beer drinks and smells greater than that. Very enjoyable and one I hope to have again even if it means a trip to Mich.

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Photo of bignick
4.92/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap @ TPH 5/24/06. Huge thanks on this one...the keg was "kicked," but I was served the last little bit.

So, so very yummy. This one is all sweet chocolate, and it is the type of thing that I could keep drinking all day. The mouthfeel was full and creamy, but not overbearing at all. It was a superb beer, and blows the regular Founders Breakfast Stout away.

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Photo of karst
4.9/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From my trip to Michigan.

Fine bubbles create a low golden brown head with fine lace from a persistant ring over solid dark body reminescent of Dark Lord. Fine beading from the stem of the Duvel glass creates a small cap not reaching the outer ring after an easy pour.

Outstanding aroma - first of coffee (double crack expresso roasted) At 50°F the bourbon oak barrel aroma and flavor hold back - arriving with the second taste.

Mouthfeel is chewy and a nearly full body with help of good level of carbonation.
I sensed a slight lactose flavor at the end ( but only at initial few tastes).
Start is tangy with a middle that is full of complex flavors and that excellent mouthfeel with a finish that is clean with help of the alcohol, IBUs which are mostly covered by the dark roasted malt bitterness. Any early hints of lactose are quickly burried in the roasted malt complexity. Dark fruit (dates) reveal their flavors.

Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout is comparable to the finest Russian Imperial Stout with its mouth tingling unique tastes.

After clearing my palate and with further warming in upper 50s and lower 60s:

Aroma is like poking you head inside a Kentucky bourbon barrel with the alcohol strong enough to burn the eyes but miraclously staying mostly hidden to taste!
Amazing how this stout evolves with warmth. Bourbon taste is reserved compared to the now dominate bourbon aroma. I would have loved to talked to the brewmaster at Grand Rapids. Michigan is truely blessed!

Flavors softon with the loss of CO2 - no longer show the initial fruity tangyness and the body thins as expected. At 10% abv this is a Kentucky ass kicker typical of a few shots of bourbon. Dark chocolate flavor strengthens. Coffee returns to nose.

The last spoonful sets at the bottom of the Duvel glass - a swirl coats the sides with a used motor oil before sliding back to the bottom as a dark opaque pool that still emits an awesome aroma similar to the first pour.

Only my respect for alcohol prevents my opening a second bottle. Looking forward to seeing how this cellars.

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Photo of Bumpon10s
4.57/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - It's black, but hued brown. No head really, and a razors edge of lace.

S - A wonderful smell of coffee and chocolate with just a touch of the bourbon. Sweet and slightly roasty, a sweeter than sometimes normal stout.

T - Opposite of smell, roasty with a small bit of chocolate. I've kept hearing that the bourbon flavor adds to and doesn't dominate, and I do agree. It nestles and back and complements it with the alcohol warming nicely.

M - Again, the nice alcohol warm with the added bourbon. Not too thick at all, in fact, one of the thinner stouts you'll have, especially being a double.

D - Fairly good, but leaves an odd taste in the mouth, a little from the alcohol and a little from the roast. At 10% it isn't a total killer either.

Not a bad beer at all, still not sure if I like this or the original more however.

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Photo of fizzyfred
4.67/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Got two bottles from a 4-pack. The label looks like an old-fashioned tonic with it claiming to cure numerous diseases and ailments. I poured it into an open-faced sniffer to drink. Very little carbonation and pours a thick, black, motor-oil. Immediate aroma of alcohol and a deep roast. No real head due to the low carbonation. Their is a deep flavor with a strong chocolate tone. Very thick, almost like a cream liqueor. The chocolate and roast flavors dominate a first with some late alcohol "tingling" and definite oak flavors. Very delicious

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Photo of goodbyeohio
4.35/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

thanks muchly to don for breaking up his horded supply for little old impoverished me.

this beer moves thin and settles dark with glowing yellow separated edges, like a pool of squid ink on a layer of olive oil. lacing is very serious.. a tilt of the glass leaves a perfect ring stuck to the glass. sticky sweet thickness proves its fluidity deceiving. fizzy top post-pour disappears quick and leaves a brew that looks like, well, breakfast (coffee).

...and it smells like coffee. like fresh-ground oily bean grits. nasal bitterness of the java is cut by a medium-grade candy vanilla bourbon character.. subtly and carefully imparted into the beer as not to overwhelm. applaudable restraint.

..until you taste it. stronger bourbon grasps on to a tiramisu coffee sweetness and a sugary black licorice note in the aftertaste. caramel exists too. very deep and complex. not too much of any flavor (maybe bourbon for some who don't dig it) and surprisingly well balanced for a huge barrel-aged stout.

drinkability and mouthfeel suffer a bit with a distinctly separate alcohol ingredient.. the abv is not smoothly integrated into the overall drinking experience. something here reminds me of an irish car bomb.

tasty. translates well into the bottle. a real winner from founders. age might help this one too... we'll see.

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Photo of UncleFlip
4.77/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to murrayswine for slicing this bottle my way durng the pre-sale par-tay at Dark Lord Day!

Pours like used motor oil. A not-quite-thin dark tan head pops up quickly, and is very even. Retention is not the best. Held to the light, the blackness gives way to a brownish-ruby aura at the edges. This is the right relationship.

The smell is lovely- like very dark roast coffee right up front. Under that, you can find a bit of dark chocolate, dates, black cherry, hops,and of course, a strong bourbon. It's like spendng a day at Starbucks, with a shoulder flask that's not quite closed...while munching on bourbon balls. ;)

The flavour is similar to the smell, but not quite as fruity and round until the very end. Right off the top, it's coffee again, but spicy and woody. The bourbon hits in the middle, and then the fruity notes come in on the finish. The woodiness seems to stay put throughout. VERY nice.

Slightly more active carbonation than I like in an impy...and the liquid is slightly thinnner and oilier on the toungue than expected.

Drinkable? Oh yeah. But if I gave in to this temptation for more than a couple of bottles, I'd have enough bottled stupid for the entire Prussian infantry- whch by morning, may walk across my tongue in its socks...

Be well
-UF

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Photo of Dithyramb
4.37/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours black and thick with a puffy tan head. Enjoyed while watching the sun set on a chilly Saturday night. Big coffee aromas.

You get a full dose of coffee/espresso and burnt malt flavor you're craving. Full bodied and thick, goes down smooth, easy, and complex.

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

Pours, as so often said before, like "motor oil". Black with a brown head. Aroma is huge with alcohol. Bourbon combines with dark chocolate and oak. The mouthfeel is thick and coating... chewy certainly. To call this a "big beer" is an understatement. Burnt malt and expresso coffee on the front. The bourbon flavor makes an enormous impact midway. Vanilla and oak follow. Things finish with a linger alchohol and vinous taste. There's no disguising the 10% abv here.

Equally good, in a different way from the regular breakfast stout. The coffee flavor isn't as apparent, but the bourbon really shines in this example. It's a shame this is so hard to come by.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.84/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

KBS is as complete of an assault on the tastebuds, as much so as any beer I've had. In many ways, the complexity of roast, espresso, malted milk, and cocoa-rich chocolates is overwhelming, but in others it's beautiful in its simplicity.

The beer opens with a creamy and viscous pour. A mousse-like head forms on at the top of the glass as the opaque black beer settles and cascades while the foam rises. The head reliquishes some over the 11.2% abv. Only nitro-infused beers look better.

Extremely bold aromas of espresso, cocoa beans, and roasted barley take hold of the nose. But their intensity is unmistakable. Strong alcohol scent rises as the beer warms and stimulates the olfactory senses. Simple yet pure.

Flavors take over where the aroma ends. Extreme flavors of espresso, cocoa, and roasted barley set the tone. Malt sweetness takes a far backseat while fully attenuated malt flavor gives just enough of a foundation to support the robust complementary flavors. A subtle grassy, piney hop flavor begins to rise after I become acclimated to the cocoa-coffee attack. Esters and phenolic spice are also left behind, not to muddle the pure Stout flavors. Again, the alcohol flavors are evident and gives a bit more complexity to the taste.

The mouthfeel is stupid-crazy. Creamy, rich, and round while also smooth, velvety, and somewhat powdery. Bitterness arrives from a lot of angles: hops, espersso, cocoa, and alcohol. Never cloying, the beer has attenuated extremely well for a malty-rich texture and no residual sweetness left to the mouth.

Interestingly, this whole review has gone without the mention of the bourbon barrel aging. The barrels have taken the rough edges off of the base beer, as oak aging usually does, but the direct bourbon influence is not that apparent. The added alcohol adds a hint of cherry flavored alcohol (maybe a bit of cough syrup) and only a hint of boozy bourbons. Too light on the caramels, vanillans, and simple oak flavor to mention above the intensity of coffee and cocoa.

The beer is complex in its sheer proportions of relatively few dominant flavors, yet simple in its intent. Coffee- Cocoa- Malt- Hops. And it succeeds at every faucet. It has earned its way onto the worlds greatest beers and rightfully so.

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Photo of SheepNutz
4.27/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle poured into a snifter. It pours a jet black color with virtually no head. There's no lacing as well. The actual beer really coats the glass though. The smell is full of roasted malt and coffee, that's it. Smells like a big ol' pot of joe, fresh roasted. Such a huge aroma! The taste is also full of coffee, actually almost tastes more like a spiked coffee than a beer. If it wasn't for the roasted malt present, I probably wouldn't know the difference. It's the best of both worlds. Tasty. The mouthfeel is super thick, and heavy on the tongue. The drinkability is great for a 10% brew. A big shout out to Kev for sharing this.

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Photo of Prufrock
3.92/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

pitch black. an aggressive pour gets a little more than a quarter inch of brown head. head falls quickly and leaves thin rings of lace.

coffee beans dominate the aroma, with some sweet malty sugar behind it. just a hint of vanilla, alcohol, and a slight nuttiness as well.

light carbonation and a smooth, slick mouthfeel. sweetened, nutty coffee, bourbon , vanilla and alcohol in the flavor. finishes with a coffee (what else?) bitterness and some alcohol sweetness. a great beer but definitely one to be enjoyed in small doses.

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Photo of oberon
4.54/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Man was I glad to get my hands on some of this,pours a opaque black with a quick to form mocha colored head that was gone quite fast,oh the aromas the bourban barrel shows thru with its oaky,vanilla tones that match perfectly with the highly roasted somewhat dry earthiness and bitter chocolate notes of the beer its a 5 no doubt.Flavors all come together in near perfection the oakiness is more subdued on the palate wich is nice I dont like overpowering wood flavors like some beers aged in wood have,anyways the complexities are immense vanilla,unsweetened chocolate ,roasty malt,earth,and even a light note of malted milk.What can I say its awesome Iam gonna savor the 8 I have for sure.

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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
4.56 out of 5 based on 12,348 ratings.
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