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: 3,161 | Ratings: 12,367
Photo of Rutager
4.47/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ahh, the elusive KBS. Been trying to get my hands on one of these for about a year. Thanks to Hooliganlife, I can finally taste this fabled brew on this lazy Sunday morning ...hey, if it has "breakfast" in it's name, who am I to argue?. Here we go. 2010 vintage.

Appearance. Pours thick and pretty much black, like hot dirty engine oil. Just a skim of brown head.

Smell. Bourbony vanilla, some sweet chocolate and booze with a little roasty coffee. Smells nice and rich.

Taste. Wow. Coffee, bourbon, vanilla and chocolate all fairly mellow, but blend to form a rich and ballanced flavour. Some roasty bitterness present at first, which fades into the flavours mentioned with just enough booze to compliment.

Mouthfeel. Full body with lower, smooth carbonation. Just a little warmth.

Overrall. Really nice beer here. The flavours are all nicely balanced and just a hint of sweetness which makes this beer fairly easy to drink despite it's enormity. Then again, why would you want to drink it any fasster than you would have to? This one is to be savoured.

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

Thanks to jmu500 for this one.

Poured into a Bruery tulip.

A: Pitch black dark with the darkest head I've ever seen. Pores fairly thick . No light gets through this one. The head is on par with the color of chocolate milk and coats the sides of the glass with nice lacing.

S: Wonderful strong smell here. Bourbon, vanilla, coffee, cream, and a touch of oatmeal all blend together for a stinging complex nose.

T: Coffee, roasted malts, and a nice layer of bourbon and vanilla all fill the tastebuds. My first bourbon aged stout, but this sets an enormous bar for the rest to come.

M: Rich with moderate to low carbonation. Would think this beer would be more creamy being a stout. A little thin, but surprisingly the bourbon kind of flows with this feel in my opinion.

D: From what I've read this one goes down very smooth. For me, the bourbon takes a little out of the drinkability. Warms up the stomach and nose during consumption.

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

First review. Can't believe I've never reviewed and have been on BA for a while.

2011 12oz Bottle. Bottled on 2/25/11.

A- Pours pitch black with a small tan head. No light getting through this baby.

S- Bourbon upfront followed by vanilla and dark Belgium chocolate.

T- Lot's of fresh coffee upfront, dark Belgium chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, burnt sugar. Coffee and slight boozy aftertaste.

M- Low carbonation, but very creamy and smooth.

O- Wow, thought this might be a booze bomb, but is incredibly well balanced and dangerously drinkable. One of the tastiest and most unique beers I've had in a while. Have another bottle to age and hoping to grab a couple more bottles.

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Photo of turnblom79
4.47/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Poured rich and dark, nice caramel colored foam collar.

Smell- Full smell, with vanilla, coffee and caramel hints.

Taste- This is where it kind of lost me. It tasted like a good Imperial Stout should, until the after taste where it hit me like I had just taken a shot of less than premium whiskey. Good thing is, it encouraged me to take another drink quickly to replace the taste.

Mouthfeel- Not overly carbonated and the perfect heaviness for the style.

Drinkability- The texture of it was great, and it went down smooth, up until the after taste.

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

I was lucky to get this beer... Joe at Julio's had a four-pack left in his cooler, and he had someone go get it for me at one of their beer fests. (Which are VERY good events, by the way, and well worth attending.)

This beer had a thin layer of head off the pour made of small foamy bubbles. It died quickly. I had expected a bit more, but perhaps I was a bit timid in pouring.

Aroma first hit me with very strong roasted malts. Then notes of coffee, dark bitter cocoa (not chocolate, but pure cocoa powder) and hints of vanilla and bourbon came through. As it warmed, the alcohol became more noticeable in the nose.

Taste again was initially very strong dark roasted malts. Then coffee flavors flowed in, with a slight fruitiness. Overtones of oak and bourbon wafted around, and the finish was a long one, full of roasted barley flavors.

Mouthfeel was smooth and silky... wonderful.

Drinkability was excellent. It went down easily, and I could have had another without a problem, although it would have knocked me on my ass. I can't wait to see what aging does to this one. The other three bottles are cellaring.

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Photo of Smurf2055
4.47/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received thanks to a trade with jrob21. Well worth the wait!

Pours black with a burnt tan, quickly dissipating head.

Smell is over the top coffee/espresso, huge roast notes, liquorice, caramel, toffee, vanilla.

Taste is coffee, nuts, bit of chocolate, vanilla, and some booze.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly light, but coats the mouth, right amount of carbonation.

Delicious and amazing, well balanced, great great beer.

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Photo of OldManMetal
4.47/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

(2016 release) This seasonal imperial stout from Founders is a great-looking beer: a giant pebbly brown head lasts nicely atop an impenetrable black body, devoid of highlights save for a slight orange glimmer at its base; lacing is quite good, consisting of bands and caverns. The nose is medium-big in intensity; it leads with bourbon and oak, backed by subdued milk chocolate, brown sugar and modest alcohol undertones. The palate is a seamless blend of bourbon, milk chocolate and molasses riding atop a quite assertive undercurrent of alcohol; it lands just a bit on the sweet end of the balance. The finish is a good hit of booze and chocolate, followed by the onset of a slight chocolate flavor that lingers, with a modest oaky bitterness, for a few minutes. Mouthfeel is on point for the full body, and quite warming; the texture is viscous, sticky/creamy, and slightly peppery from the well-expressed carbonation. The bourbon character is nicely done- it is central to the flavor and aroma, but not domineering in either case. While the oak is very prominent on the nose, on the palate it plays coy, declining to act the diva as can sometimes be the case with barrel-aged stouts. (12 oz bottle, 73 days after pkg)

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.47/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

G: Oversized snifter.

A: Pours very, very dark and thick with a single-finger caramel-colored head, which has plenty of carbonation and air bubbles. Head recedes quickly; nice lacing.

S: Coffee and dark chocolate. A little bit of hops. Bourbon presence with a little bit of alcohol.

T: Burnt espresso to go with the bourbon; lots of malt and a little bit of hops to go along with the alcohol. Chocolate and creamy flavors linger after the beer goes down. Hints of caramel and vanilla as well. Incredibly complex--each sip brings something new.

M: Incredibly smooth. Unbelievably sooth and medium-bodied in the mouth, with the perfect amount of carbonation and a striking alcohol presence, which is not overpowering. Simply lovely.

D: Very drinkable for the style and ABV. It's a shame I was only able to pick up two bottles--hopefully I can scrounge some more up somewhere else.

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

03/21/11 - Bottled 02/25/11

12oz to snifter

Ahhh... Spring is finally here... and it's snowing?... this is fine with me, perfect time for my first KBS.

A: Pours an espresso-black with 3/4" cinnamon colored head that was fairly short lived but rich looking nonetheless.

S: Big, Bold, Beautiful - A balance of sweet bourbon, a little more bourbon, charred oak woodiness, coffee, and a bit of chocolate. Didn't pickup on the vanilla, but perhaps it was lost in the bourbon.

T: Kickass layers of awesome. Bourbon starts the dance and is quickly joined by thick dark chocolate, rich coffee, and sweet vanilla (ahh vanilla, I missed you in the nose, but so glad you joined the party) alcohol adds a nice bit of warm spice to the mix. Finish is slighty dry bitter chocolate and splash of bourbon goodness.

M: A hot big bodied beer with thick ankles. The alcohol doesn't hide but doesn't need to as the rest of the components have no problem playing their parts. A super smooth sipper.

O: This tastes like a lil' chuck of vanilla fudge bathed in bourbon then covered in a thick layer of dark chocolate and dipped in bourbon again for good measure. I'm so glad there's snow on the ground to look at while I drink this. I'd welcome a few more inches just so I could run outside to shovel and crack my second bottle as a reward. Spring sucks.

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

12oz bottle served in a snifter.
2011 release (bottled 2/25).

pours a velvety jet black with a thin, mocha-colored head that quickly dissipates (unsurprising on that count given the strength); a bit of patchy lacing evident. good presentation, though nothing i haven't seen in a dozen or so other imperial stouts.

nose is bold and complex, offering strong notes of coffee, chocolate, roasted malt and vanilla... in the background i get a booze, oak, and the bourbon. it's not a BCBS or older viscosity-like bourbon bomb; more subdued.

flavor follows the aroma very closely - chocolate, coffee, vanilla, roastiness, bourbon, and a bit of oak: it's all there. delicious. borderline world-class. maybe world class. a slight touch of hops as well as alcohol in the finish. i think the booziness is going to keep it from a perfect five, but with a bit of age...

velvety, smooth, medium-full mouthfeel with average carbonation. in the final analysis this is a truly great beer, one of those rare breeds that lives up to substantial hype; if only it you could get your hands on more than a bottle or two for 6 fleeting seconds once a year. i'd put it behind BCBS on my personal barrel-aged stout list, but that's hardly a knock considering goose island's product is on a short list of my favorite overall beers.

originally reviewed: 03-18-2011

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

Birthday Breakfast made possible by either Mid or mdfb79. Two great traders that sent me one of these.

12oz into a goblet fit for a King!
2011 vintage I believe

A: KBS pours a deep dark chestnut brown that sits a dark oily black in the glass. Forms a thin rim of turbinado sugar that settles down to a crown leaving light spotted tracks of creamy lace.

S: Smells of dark roasted malts with a big bourbon kissed oak influence. Alcohol noted with some lesser aromas of chocolate, caramel, and a dash of black licorice. Really nice with evident bourbon character.

T: Tastes is incredibly rich with deep roasted cereal/grains, bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, and earthy oak. I get secondary flavors of coffee, toasted caramels, and bit of earthy spice hops. Brings in a slight bitter touch to things. Some warming booziness flares at the nostrils but this is amazingly smooth for an 11%+ ABV brew. Bourbon barrel treatment is masterful. Strong and forward but not domineering. Thick, filling and slightly sweet but not syrupy. Just a real delight.

M: Feel is a bit heavier but not incredibly thick. Super creamy with a great silky texture. Oily sleek coating across the palate.

D: A real showcase of what bourbon barrel aging should be. Artfully crafted and incredibly smooth with layers of burnt toast, chocolate, coffee, vanilla, and oak.

A great breakfast sipper. Would gladly trade for more.

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

Poured into DFH Signature glass.

A: This is what a stout should look like, nice dark black with a full mocha cap.

S: Lots here, I'll try to do it in order. Coffee and chocolate, vanillan, toffee, chocolate again, and lastly bourbon followed by roasted malts.

T: This comes in waves as well, and its everything you smell, only opposite. First hit is the bourbon presence moving on all the way to the coffee finish.

M: Just where I'd want a barrel aged stout, full and creamy without being too oily. Bourbon bite lends its warmth throughout the entire palette.

D: This is a great sipper for a snowed in day, should be the sign of a good night to follow. This is one that is better as it warms slightly, but I find if you wait to long it ends up a little thin and disappointing. Its no real worry though, these go down fairly quickly even sipping.

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Photo of Beer4Baltimore
4.47/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

- from the notes, a tasting session, and a small bottle.
A - a stout black brew with a short lived head.
S - bourbon smell is evident. Sweetness and chocolates predominate after the bourbon.
T - wow, there's no doubt what barrels this beer came from. Think chocolate stout in a bourbon barrel that has bourbon left in it. Add roasted malts to the mix and you have the idea.
M - smooth and silky with a little bite.
D - maybe not a session beer but certainly enjoyable.

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

They aren't kidding. This tastes like Kentucky, breakfast, AND stout.

"Kentucky" in that the scent of bourbon, the smoky quality and alcohol, wafts upon the surface. It surfaces in the flavor much the same way, with the smoke in the middle and the burn at the end.

"Breakfast" in that a straight-up coffee flavor dominates the taste. If I didn't know that they used a lot of coffee in the recipe, I would've went nuts trying to figure out how they achieved that. I must admit, this has by far the best utilization of coffee in a beer I've ever had. Normally, I detest coffee in beer, but I can't deny this is fantastic.

"Stout" in that underneath supporting the "Kentucky Breakfast" characters is a solid stout. Probably would stand on its own quite well.

The components of the flavor are all expertly separated and balanced. With each sip, you may get more coffee than the bourbon, or more bitter malt roast than the coffee, and so on. Surprises with that and the fact that, at 11.2%, it's too damn easy to knock back. Nice dry finish doesn't hurt either.

I would most definitely drink this again - morning, noon, or night.

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Photo of jrenihan
4.47/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Very excited to finally try this one.

Beer is jet black with a very small tan head which fades quickly.

Nose is very good. Contains coffee, bourbon, chocolate. Very nice blend of the scents, all well integrated. A bit of vanilla.

Taste is like the nose. Moderately bitter, tasting of both coffee and chocolate. The bourbon is quite present, providing some vanilla and a bit of sweetness that offsets the bitter. Roasted malt. Like the nose, the flavours are super integrated. The bourbon not as intense as expected, but quite present.

Full bodied, moderately carbonated. Some alcohol heat.

Overall, excellent stuff. An extremely well done BBA stout.

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

2011 vintage. Poured into a snifter:

A - Pours jet black with a quarter inch kahki mocha head that dies to a thin ring around the edges. Good signs of carbonation with bubbles running up the side of the glass. Patchy lacing on the sides that just slides off the edges.

S - Peppery bourbon, mixed roast and espresso notes and tones. Bits of chocolate and vanilla, barrel and earthy oak.

T - Smooth chocolate and bourbon. Easy vanilla and roasty undertones. Creamy cocoa and buttery goodness. Little bit of pepper, smoke and meat.

M - Really creamy and smooth. The carbonation sort of pricks up the mouth. The roasty notes leave a bit of drying effect. Reminds me a bit of coffee with a bit of bourbon in it.

D - Nice, smooth sipper. Its good to split with another person or just enjoy by the fireplace. Pretty delicious barrel aged stout, but I just wish it wasn't so expensive. I know this will age very nicely since I have a few bottles from last year in the closet. Lives up to the hype, but compared to some other usual barrel aged stouts (BCS) it is just pretty good.

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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 TerryMills
4.47/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2017 bottle ..

Bourbon notes ,lightly roasted malts ,maybe a hint of chocolate ,pretty thin for an imperial stout imo..

Good drinkable beer but I don't get the hype .. Black belle and several others are better imo.

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

2010 vintage poured into the trusy ol' shaker (again). Poured a very dark black with no head whatsoever (NOT flat, however). Aroma of coffee and booze. Taste was wonderful: a smooth bourbon (MUCHO better than the '09 vintage), chocolate, a hint of vanilla, and coffee. After being quite disapointed in the '09 vintage I got at DLD '09, this vintage is QUITE tasty.

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

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into an Orval tulip at high altitude outside Denver, CO. Really looking forward to this one. Paired with Lindt dark chocolate (70% cacao).

A: Pours an opaque dark brown color with a relatively thin mocha-colored head of moderate retention. It's viscous and leaves quite a lot of lacing behind.

S: In a word: mouthwatering. Coffee, subtle bourbon notes, vanilla, chocolate. Very enticing and certainly no alcohol comes through here.

T: Opens with dark chocolate notes that give way to deep coffee flavors. The coffee notes add just the right amount of bitterness before giving way to a mildly alcoholic bourbon finish that top this one off very well. Delicious.

M: Full-bodied and creamy with a dry finish slightly reminiscent of whiskey. Complements the flavors very nicely.

O: Of the many imperial stouts I've had in my life, this one stands out as one of the best. Believe the hype for this one.

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

The stout pours a black color with little head and a leaving almost no apparent lacing. The initial aroma emits notes of bourbon, followed by hints of vanilla and roasted malts. First taste was of bourbon and the vanilla that comes along with the style. The aftertaste was warm and boozy with hints of vanilla. The beer lacks body to me but that doesn’t diminish from the taste.

KBS is definitely not as sweet as CBS but it is very good. Doing a taste side by side really magnifies the sweetness of the CBS.

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Photo of Qbdoo
4.47/5  rDev -2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally had it on tap at Jerry's in Andersonville. Couldn't believe my luck. It's got the color of black silk and the mouthfeel fulfills the promise of the look. It is super smooth and elegant. The nose was somewhat subdued, coffee, licorice and a hint of bourbon. Taste had these and a bit of tobacco but all in much more distinct ways than the nose. I expected a big monster of a beer but this was smooth, subtle, and nuanced in flavor. Did it live up to the hype? How could it? But it was one pretty amazing beer and an astonishingly well-balanced one.

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

Poured into a snifter.

Color is pitch black with a perfect coffee head that doesnt really stay around.

wow the smell is complex. Starts off with some vanilla and coffee notes. Lots of smokey oakiness in this beer. REminds me of Black Butte XXI. Some whisky and cognac smells. ohh and some more vanilla.

Tastes like a ton of smoke, like I am licking the inside of a fresh barrel. Bourbon is there too. Has a fresh oaky/coffee twang to it. Creamy mouthfeel, not super thick, just creamy. Some chocolate and reoasted malt flavors. This beer has a lot going on. To age or not to age that is the question. Good stuff, wish it were readily available.

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Photo of rjhaupt
4.47/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

A - Practically black with a very light head, tiny carbonation bubbles fighting their way through thickness. An intimidating void.

S - Aroma hits you even as the glass sits on the table. Smells rich and sweet, like fresh-ground coffee and cocoa without the abject sweetness of a mocha. The notes of bourbon linger in the background.

T - The first note that hits is a surprising tartness, which is indicative of it's 70 IBU rating, but it is immediately followed by the sweetness you expect from this kind of beer. The coffee flavor brings up the rear and finishes very mildly leaving a pleasant carmel aftertaste. Gets a much stronger bourbon character once you let it warm up to room temp.

M - Perfect. It's velvet on the tongue. If it weren't for the taste you might not know it was there.

D - The only reason this rating is so low is because you have to drink it at breakfast. You just have to. Any other time of day and it wouldn't be a breakfast stout. However, the kind of mornings for which you need a breakfast stout are limited so the drinkability is necessarily a bit low. Definitely not gonna give you the same buzz as a cup of coffee.

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Photo of jbredbeard
4.47/5  rDev -2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I was expecting a little more coffee notes, however a very good stout. Nice, mild coffee aroma, mild coffee flavor ends with a sticky sweet malt bitterness that really finishes it off. Alcohol shows up towards the bottom of the glass, excellent!

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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
4.56 out of 5 based on 12,367 ratings.
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