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: 12,153
Photo of LarryV
3.9/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Definitely a good stout, but (IMHO) way over-hyped and overpriced. Poured with virtually no head at all, very light carbonation if any. It's pretty well balanced, the bourbon notes don't overwhelm and the coffee is pretty subtle. An enjoyable beer but at $25 a 4 pack around here, I'll pass. There's a ton of more reasonably priced alternatives. I prefer Goose Island Bourbon County stout over this one.

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

2016 Bottle

Deep brown to black in color with minor head and significant lacing as it drank down.

Smell is boozy, bourbony, and a minor bit of coffee.

Taste is malt and vanilla, bourbon and coffee, oak, and booze.

Mouthful us medium to medium heavy and smooth with medium to medium low carbonation.

This is another homer for me. Very very drinkable and very balanced. Compared to Victory Java Cask, this is more booze forward and maybe a hair heartier but both can hold their own. Smell, taste, mouthful are all on point. Find this and drink it.

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

On Draft. A- opaque and very dark; S- mild tannin and bourbon, roasted malt with obvious vanilla; T- mild bourbon and vanilla somewhat dominating over roasted malt and tannin, with suggestions of coconut; F- surprisingly a little on the light side for such a full bodied stout; overall, this beer is what it's cracked up to be.

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Photo of NoYouDidnt
4.39/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black pour thin tan head. Surprised how pulled back the aromas are. Little bit of coffee and bourbon(Hennessy as it warms up), and grape medicine hint. They really seem to marry nicely here. It's mouth watering. And wow this is really good. I don't like coffee I admit. But it's a subtle coffee flavor, subtle bourbon, subtle chocolate, subtle plum. The texture in the mouth is smooth and creamy. Not a real presence in alcohol. Overall. Thumbs up. They made a great beer, not a great coffee beer.

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Photo of Jeff_Grndmn
3.48/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3

Beautiful black stout with a thick tan head. Nose was all bourbon with the merest hints of malt. The feel in the mouth was creamy with an alcohol burn. Unfortunately the flavor was much like the nose. I enjoy both stouts and bourbon but a boiler maker is not the best way to experience either. There may well have been a quality beer under the booze, but sadly it was largely hidden.

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Photo of pezhead_79
4.67/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

No much new to add here, clearly one of the best beers around. The alcohol is not overpowering and the added time of aging helps further bring forward the chocolate flavors.

This stuff is great, if you have never had one don't wait any longer.

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

From XXXII. In Teku glass. Reading CSHTP6 Ch18. Tastes like coffee a lot. I dont like coffee. But this brew is so great that even Ive enjoyed its coffee. The more you drink the more you want. A pity its high ABV that keeps you from repeating. Well, and its price here (8€)

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Photo of StoutElk_92
4.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottled 02/16/16

Pours opaque pitch black with a dense, creamy, frosted milkshake-like brown foam head. Smells like roasted coffee, dark chocolate, vanilla, oak, bourbon, spice, caramel, some dried cherry, toffee, with mild grassy pine. Tastes like a dark, rich, baker's chocolate milkshake with dark roasted coffee, charred oak, bourbon, vanilla, caramel, toffee, some dried cherry, and mild earthy grass. Feels thick, medium bodied, soft, dense and creamy with low carbonation. This one meets the hype for me. Pretty much how I imagined it would be, but maybe better. Really rich dark chocolate, coffee, marshmallow vanilla, oak, bourbon, perfectly balanced and met with a creamy milkshake-like look and feel. Overall a really great bourbon barrel aged coffee chocolate imperial stout.

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Photo of brureview
4.24/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

First time drinking this stout. I have tasted BCBS and some of the varietals but this beer is difficult to find.

Poured an opaque chocolate brown color with a 1F head- I couldn't seem to get a bigger head.

The aroma is prominent coffee. A bit of vanilla, chocolate. No Bourbon or oak as in other IS.

The taste follows the aroma. Very strong coffee, the strongest I have tasted in an imperial stout. However, the vanilla and chocolate seem to be missing. No oak or Bourbon.

Excellent bitter coffee finish.

Overall: a lot of hype, although an excellent beer. This IS is not in another class. The top of the class is still BCBS and its varietals. This stout is excellent. However, it's only standout quality is the coffee prominence. An excellent beer, one of the best of the IS, but not outclassing any other stouts to rise to another level.
Sunday Morning Stout is as good or pehaps more enjoyable. Great beer. Very complex, but not in a class by itself.

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

This was really good, but I don't understand the hype of standing in line to get one. I have a had this a few times and its a really good beer. I only had the 2015 KBS.

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Photo of puffthestuff
4.64/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

L: pitch black pours. Small mocha colored head that sticks around a while
B: Boozy, Vanilla, bourbon notes. Wonderful smell actually
T: chocolate with vanilla wood and oak. Barrel sweetness and bourbon bite isn't too strong but the barrel flavors are very apparent. Love the taste
F: this 2016 blows 2015 out in the mouthfeel field. Much thicker chewier absolutely great feel. Much better than 2015 in my opinion.
O: huge improvement from last year. I have redeemed faith in this brew. Warms the belly and makes the palate happy. Loved this years batch. Only know one place I can get more unfortunately and it's a 20 dollar bottle. Still it was worth it to have another year of KBS wonderful mouthfeel smell and taste. The barrels chocolate and coffee really take this stout to its fame. I don't know think it lives up to the hype it's wonderful but I've had better but it is an excellent beer.

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Photo of d3brewing
4.66/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A delicious BA stout that rivals any out there. I prefer these over Parabola based on mouthfeel and over Bomb based on taste. Always a treat to get in a trade and an awesome bonus for us poor San Degians who rarely if ever get these on the shelves.

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Photo of PerfecTool
4.09/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This is a great beer - everyone knows that. An outstanding bourbon aged stout, no doubt. However, I'm not sure it's worth all the hype. If you've never tried it, it should definitely be on your list. I wouldn't break my neck to get it though. I actually prefer Sunday Morning Stout.

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Photo of MichaelCoyne
4.78/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

No where near CBS, but still phenomenal. Worth the hype. 2015 KBS was one of the best beers I've had. Great chocolate, vanilla, coffee, and bourbon barrel taste.

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Photo of IPA1978
4.4/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This stout looks amazing, pitch black, tiny tan bubbles sparkle as they lace down the glass. Smells of chocolate, coffee and a bit woody. Taste is big dark chocolate, coffee, vanilla, toffee and a hint of bourbon barrel. No burnt overwhelming flavors, or cloying sweetnes at this abv, well balanced. My experience with big imperial stouts is that one particular flavor typicaly overwhelms other subtle flavors, not the case here. Mouthfeel is full boddied with flavors that linger and drying tannic qualities. Incredible BB aged stout, a must try.

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Photo of OrangeMen
4.46/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2016 vintage
~ 3 months since bottling date

Appearance- Pours a black color, opaque. Half finger thick, medium tan colored head, creamy and frothy. Lots of sticky alcohol legs and spotty head lacing.

Aroma- Roasty coffee, spicy espresso bean. Dry, astringent oak, leathery earthiness, bourbon undertones. Bittersweet dark chocolates with plenty of milk chocolates, caramel, and vanilla.

Taste- Rich and earthy coffee, spicy and green. Mocha sweetness, roasted malt, bittersweet dark chocolates. Lots of dry oak, sweet bourbon, sweet milk chocolates, vanilla, caramel, and toasty creamy coconut.

Feel- Medium to full feel, slightly less than full. Creamy and smooth. Lower carbonation.

Overall- All advertised flavors come through and come through well. Coffee is so rich and unfolds in complex layers. Barrel adds a great deal of oak and creamy vanilla. Chocolates give the beer a great dessert-like feel without getting too sweet. Wonderful beer.

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Photo of alexpcat13
4.63/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Alright so here's the deal.

Flavors- Really awesome bourbon, coffee and vanilla all with awesome balance.
Look- Yeah, she's real dark
Smell- Bourbon and spices... not necessarily coffee for me

Body- its not what i expected, to me, its thin for a stout that is rated as highly as this. Sorry, in my humble opinion... this is the only place this beer falls short.

Obviously excellent... if not a little bit overhyped.

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Photo of Beertelligence
3.76/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Second time having this beer, first time was last year's, liked it better than this year's.

Beer pours jet black, minimal to no head whatsoever. some lacing, not much though. You get a real subtle bourbon scent, not too overpowering. Strong coffee, chocolate, and caramel notes. You, get a medium mouthfeel with a strong boozy finish one this one. Overall, a great beer. Missing oak flavors in my opinion.

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Photo of moysauce
4.2/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pitch black, like oil. No head to speak of. No lacing. You get rich bursts of coffee on the nose. Tastes like rich dark coffee. Very warming. Felt very rich. Not super thick, but definitely lingers in your mouth. Overall, this is a great beer. I don't find it to be a true 100, but then again, stouts usually aren't by favorite beers. With that being said, I can recognize a good beer when I taste one, and this is definitely good, no great. Very incredibly similar to Abraxas. Good stuff, just not exemplary, in my opinion.

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Photo of SuperRevs96
4.61/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Just got this beer in stock at the liquor store I work in. Bought at another store so I wouldn't have to deny anyone the experience of drinking it.
Poured into glass with a very dark stout color and a thin dark brown head.
Smells very heavily of alcohol at first with a rich mix of chocolate.
Taste: This beer really grabs you by the horns. You can really taste the alcohol in the first sip, followed by an extremely rich chocolate flavor with hints of coffee in there as well. Slight bitter aftertaste.
Overall: A beer your need to prepare yourself to drink. It's extremely rich chocolate flavors alone makes this tasting an experience.

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Photo of DaltonCastle
3.74/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

First time trying this legend of a beer-

Looks- Poured a typical imperial stout jet black color.

Smell- Dark chocolate and coffee not picking much of a bourbon barrel quality

Taste- again Dark chocolate and coffee again not much of a barrel presence.

Feel- A lot thinner than I anticipated plus has a boozy burn to it.

Overall- Not worth the hype nor the cost in my opinion.

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Photo of matt_duthie
4.46/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2015 bottle; Will follow up on the last of four from this year when I get to it...but I like this one better.
A: A properly black beer with nice brown cap on the pour, minimal lacing, head all but disappeared quickly. Still nice at 11+%
S: Bourbon, dark chocolate, boozy heat, hint of vanilla, touch of coffee.
T: The chocolate and vanilla shine here, smooth but mellow bourbon especially through the finish, oatmeal, some dark fruits hiding in there somewhere. What's left of the coffee just contributes to the roasty malt and intense chocolate flavor, it's definitely still tasty. Mighty tasty.
F: Smooth, a touch slick, just a bit thin, but enjoyably creamy and solidly medium+ body. Little carbonation, but plenty enough to be enjoyable to sip on til it's gone.
O: Preferred to 2016 even if the coffee's faded. Very very good.

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Photo of MNAle
4.49/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

(2016 Release)
Very dark, opaque. 1 inch tan/brown head, creamy and think, recedes slowly. No visible carbonation, but then, nothing is visible except black. Initial odor is bourbon, a bit boozy, follow by distinctly chocolate with coffee underneath. Some roastiness as well. Thick mouth feel, but still no carbonation on the tongue. Mild, coffee, bourbon, chocolate initial taste with a nicely bitter and bourbon finish. As you drink, it leaves a thick, clingy, stringy lacing down the glass. A bit boozy, but just wonderful overall.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
4.32/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Type: 12-oz. bottle
Glass: AleSmith Barrel-Aged Reserve snifter glass
From: San Diego Wine Company in Miramar (San Diego), Calif.
Price: N/A
Purchased: N/A; Received on April 23, 2016
Consumed: April 27, 2016
Misc.: Bottled on March 3, 2016 at 1:21 a.m. ET

Thanks, Tom!

My wife’s uncle, Tom, brought this as a gift, along with Trapistes Rochefort 8 and Acoustic Ales Instant Triple Karma. Unbelievably nice as I hadn’t had the chance so have either. I had obviously really been looking for this one. Wasn’t sure what he paid for it (was able to check the other prices on the place’s website), but have heard others pay anywhere from $7 for a single bottle to $24 for a 6-pack. Have unbelievably high expectations for this one. I’m talking 4.60 range.

Poured a pitch black color with two fingers of frothy, tan head. Great uneven, spiderweb lacing. Very good retention. (Sight - 4.50)

Smelled dark milk chocolate and black coffee malts. After second effort got smooth bourbon, oaky wood, booziness, toffee, caramel, crayon, hints of vanilla and roasted hazelnut. Reminding me a bit of Tioga-Sequoia’s Autumn Rush. (Smell - 4.25)

Taste followed the nose nicely. Still reminding me of TSAR. Got dark milk chocolate, boozy bourbon, oaky wood, creamy vanilla, hazelnut, chocolate milkshake, roasted coffee malts, toffee, caramel, Oreo cookies, wet cocoa and hints of spice (cinnamon?). (Taste - 4.25)

Full body. Creamy-to-sticky texture. Average carbonation. Long, smooth, warming finish. (Feel - 4.75)

This was just an awesome beer. I still think I slightly overrated it a tad with the pedigree, but so be it. It is not elite to me, but just a great beer. (Overall - 4.25)

4.32 | 96 | A

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Photo of dream
3.99/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Look: This beer pours pitch black with a slight brown retention. A very nice looking stout.

Smell: Smells strongly of bourbon and coffee.

Taste: Very strong (but smooth) bourbon beginning note, transitioning into a mid way coffee note, then back into a relatively smooth bourbon finish.

Feel: Not bad, but not as thick as other barrel aged stouts I've had. It could use some maturation in this area.

Final Verdict: After enjoying many high end barrel aged stouts such as BCBS, Parabola, Black Tuesday, and Pugachev's Cobra, I would have to say that KBS ranks below these in terms of an all around world class barrel aged stout. With that being said, coffee lovers might find this brew to be awesome and on a perfect 5 level, though the non infected BCBS Coffee is superior to this.

I honestly think founders just took the base Breakfast Stout and barrel aged it because that's exactly what it tastes like to me. You won't get the chocolate, vanilla and char notes in this stout - It's all coffee IMO. I actually enjoy drinking the regular founders breakfast stout more than this.

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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
4.56 out of 5 based on 12,153 ratings.
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