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 | 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: 3,042 | Ratings: 11,896
Photo of Seanem44
4.44/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I finally landed this whale. Really one of the last big must-have beers that I should have had in the past put eluded me.

I enjoyed the beer a lot. Strangely, I didn't really taste a lot of coffee though the chocolate was there. The bourbon was there most definitely.

For this beer, I'd say the warmer the better. Even warmer than 55 degrees. Honestly, I may sound silly, but I wouldn't be afraid to drink this at room temp. The beer got increasingly smoother as it warmed up from my usual 55 degree start point.

I will cellar some, though I have heard it best to drink it fresh. Overall, KBS did not disappoint. I know a lot of people compare to BCBS. I won't. They are two different beers, both enjoyable in their own.

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Photo of Donnie2112
4.44/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

very black and viscous, nice bit of film, no real lace hanging around. Standard stout look really

lots bourbon and coffee on the nose, extremely rich aroma. just a bit of vanilla in there but enough to make this nicely even

I am mostly surprised about the ammount of bourbon I taste. I can even feel a little bit of whiskey burn. There is plenty of coffee here but it's like Irish Whiskey or something where you can definately taste the whiskey. And even though the overall character of the beer is really on the for front the bourbon and to a lesser degree the coffee seem to stand on that base and shout.

Rather carbonated and an oily viscous feel, medium heavy in body

What a flavor bomb, lots of bourbon, lots of coffee a bit of vanilla. I find it quite drinkable especially for the ammount of flavor that is there.

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Photo of slowbie
4.44/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle pours black beer with a small tan head. Hints of bourbon tinges around the edges.

Aroma is coffee and bourbon. Delicious.

Taste is coffee up front fading to a bourbon stout finish. Hints of chocolate but not overdone. The best balance I've ever had in a -bal aged stout (or most any beer for that matter). Mother Earth Silent night is the only one I've had that even comes close to this balance in a -bal aged stout.

Good body and a nice light carbonation provide a nice mouthfeel.

Overall, I had this beer last year and went through the effort to track it down again. I feel like I can say this with most Founders beers but this is one of my favorite beers.

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Photo of jrnyc
4.44/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This one is very solid for sure. Awesome smell, great chocolaty taste. With so many great stouts out there now, it is hard for this one to live up to the hype and its well earned reputation and others have surpassed it. A really good one to drink if you can get it.

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Photo of rtepiak
4.44/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

quite a strange pour. viscus at hell. no head. even when poured aggressively. a small layer that gives the brown tint off the opaque stout color. smell is fantastic. no alcohol really. chocolate, coffee grounds, tobacco, vanilla, coconut sweetness, caramel, earth, woodiness. as for the taste. the bourbon comes forward. not boozy really. quite simple as bourbon can be, some acidity, some vanilla. not a cheap linger afterward. light woodiness, light smokiness, well rounded and dense in appearance but not as dense as expected. quite smooth. finish of some sort of mocha cappuccino assortment but exceptionally sweeter. not as punchy as the goose island. less forward, less dessert like...

as a comparison to another favorite american double. if you haven't had the Péché Mortel (Imperial Stout Au Cafe) get off your ass. its a great beer without the bourbon. excellent example of the style without any funny business. yet there is nothing that makes a beer better than a caring sense of storage.

thank you HIGHPA

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Photo of MusicaleMike
4.44/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pored from a distance into a balloon glass to try and coax the head in this high ABV beer. Great success! Big, two-finger-thick, mocha-colored head that sits with some tight, some foamy bubbles on top. Some lacing too. Deep, black body that does not allow much light to pass through at all. Head dissipates to thin layer after several minutes.

Massive aroma that is pumped up with notes of coffee, vanilla, and dark malts. Coffee definitely dominates the aroma, but those layers of chocolate and bourbon-soaked wood help to add more complexity here. Smells delicious. Delivers what is says it is going to deliver.

Rich coffee/espresso and chocolate notes that are overlaid with notes of bourbon, oak and vanilla. A very supple taste that could easily hold up to some strong food pairings or cigars. As the beer warms the alcohol becomes much more prevalent and even a touch hot.

The beer's body is as thick as can be. Velvety and creamy carbonation. Smooth and rich, with a slick finish. This is a great body for such a big beer. Compliments the flavor and aroma very well.

Yet another great beer from Founders! It isn't something you could drink a lot of, but still remains a tasty beer. I don't think it's the best beer that Founders makes, but it's 100% worth trying and I would definitely drink this again. It exemplifies the signature barrel aged smoothness and bold character that I come to expect from their beers. A must try for barrel-aged beer lovers.

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Photo of OlRasputin989
4.44/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a snifter...

A: opaque black with a small mocha cappucino head. fades quickly and leaves lacing in small arches.

S: rich and delicious! chocolate, vanilla, earthy wood, coffee, and a boozy hint of bourbon.

T: equally as rich! bourbon and espresso, and vanilla. not hard to detect the wood barrel aging at all. not as much chocolate in the flavor as in the aroma. finishes with a bold coffee bitterness, ethanol, and wood.

M: heavy and full body, that has a silky smoothness before revealing the tingly bitterness and warming alcohol. almost like drinking straight liquor.

Overall, this one is a drinker's drink. The characteristics of a top shelf stout blended with the aging in bourbon barrels has created something to be sipped, savoured, and sought after. Also , reminds me of an Irish Car Bomb (Guinness, Jameson, and Bailey's).

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Photo of tectactoe
4.43/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2010 Vintange, aged two years... Thanks, Mick! Pours dark as hell as it glorps itself into the glass, barely making a sound. A deep tan head slowly forms, never getting too big, but perching at a reasonable size and leaving some nice, wet lacing in its path. Who said high gravity stouts couldn't have a nice head?

Big bourbon presence in the aroma, right from the start, but it remains smooth, silky, and inviting; never "hot". Big-time oak and wood notes, outlined with a nutty presence; toasted and again, soaked in booze. The coffee brings up the rear; a nice collage of bitter-roasted coffee beans and a underlying malt sweetness. French blend, cream and sugar, please.

Though I didn't get it at first, after a few more whiffs, super thick and dark fudge becomes apparent. Deep, dark chocolate fudge - bittersweet, savory, and dense. The nose on KBS is fantastic, and I can understand why this beer is held to such high regard. So complex and robust, yet so approachable at the same time.

KBS hits my tongue feeling silky, smooth, and carbonated well considering that it's almost three years old at this point. Not as huge of a mouth feel as Founders' Imperial Stout, but this is still a full-bodied and lightly chewy stout, no doubt. Big, robust, syrupy bourbon flavors are the first things to attach themselves to my palate; heavy yet smooth, well-integrated, and non-abrasive.

Mild notes of oak and vanilla back up the bourbon flavor as well, showing a strong barrel presence in this finely aged stout. Roasted malts are abundant, of course, as is that dark fudge that snuck itself into the aroma later on. Super thick fudge-cake, exploding with dense cocoa flavors and bittersweet chocolate morsels. The wood and oak flavors get heavier as the sip goes on, followed by a bit more nuts and coffee beans.

The coffee is a little less present on the palate than it was in the aroma, but it's still very much there; roasty, creamy, and bold. The aftertaste is full of more thick fudge, nuts, coffee beans, oak, vanilla, all over the fading bourbon background. One of the most beautiful and elegant things about this beer - as it warmed up, the alcohol warmth never got any hotter. If anything, it almost mellowed out a bit and become even easier to drink... very dangerous for an 11.2% ABV stout. I didn't want this one to end.

What a huge stout, tons of things going on, and a beautiful display of how bourbon-barrel aging can turn beer into a work of art. KBS was an excellent beer, and while I certainly think it might be a *touch* overrated in the sense that there are many other "just as good or better" beers of the same type that aren't nearly as hard to get your hands on, it's still a fine beer, regardless - there's no denying that.

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Photo of standardcherry
4.43/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, 2010 vintage served into a snifter:

A: Jet black pour with a small mocha colored head. It dissipated in a few minutes
S: Wow. This is aged almost three years and it still has a massive amount of coffee. Lots of chocolate, vanilla, oak and bourbon.
T: LOTS of coffee/oakiness in the first sips. Some oaky bitterness. Balances out well with chocolate, vanilla and roasty flavor. A bit of roasty, heavy flavor.
M: Heavy, syrupy flavor. Lots of chocolate and roastiness. Thick bodied with medium carbonation.
O: This is one of the best BA stouts I've had. Will seek this again.

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Photo of chinchill
4.43/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured near black; opaque with a proper head.

Powerful, enticing aroma of dark malts, fine bourbon, and faint wood. Slightly boozy, but less than expected for over 11% ABV. There's a lot going on here, with even more complexity in the flavor. An excellent mix with good balance. Taste is just a tad too smoky/burnt.

M: full body is slightly harsh (recall over 11% ABV); medium carbonation, if off at all, is a tad high; smooth and warming.

O: had 2-3x in the past on tap but this was the 1st time bottled; perhaps because it had some additional age (no way to tell at this point) this was even better than remembered. An excellent big beer; very rich and complex, and a bit boozy in manner most may find appealing.

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.43/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- pitch black w a thin sticky dark khaki lace... Looks viscous.

S- coffee heavy... Fresh coffee with some sweet malt and cream.

T- like baileys! Coffee and cream with a touch of booze... Vanilla works it's way in...

M- smooth and almost no hints of booze... Silky and medium-bodied mouthfeel.

Excellent beer.

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Photo of WillDavis707
4.43/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This was a great beer all around, but honestly was a bit disappointed only because the fact that it is so hyped up.

Very smooth taste, nothing really stands out, was expecting more bourbon flavor. A treat for sure, but ill drink the regular breakfast stout any day, and just as enjoyable to me.

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a pint glass. The Liquid is dark brown almost black, Ok carbonation. The head is a solid fat thumb, Way Nice chocolate brown and just a bit of lace. About as good as a BA stout can get.

The smell is great, I just love this Style. Great Imp stout Coffee all washed in Bourbon. Ooo, That is nice.

The taste follows with just a slight drop. Not sure if it is a bad coffee Bourbon mix or what but even though this is a wonderful brew and I really love it, It is not my top favorite BA stout. Real close however. I really like the coffee in this brew and the bourbon and oak is one of the best I have had. Chocolate notes come in to play as well. As this brew warms it really comes to a masterful complexity.

Mouthfeel is great, A real dream to sip. Room temp is perfection.

This is the kind of beer you can drink forever sip all night it can sit for quite long time and not loose a thing. What a nice treat.
Many many thanks to NFLMVP for providing me with this very fine brew.
Prosit und Zum Wohl. MK

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Photo of triplecoil
4.43/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served up in a snifter.

Poured super dark with some red and amber highlights with not much of a head and no lace to speak of. Nose is cigar smoke and faintly alcohol. Taste is coffee, bitter chocolate, smoke, toffee, whisky, and vanilla. Mouthfeel is smooth and dry with just a few sharp bubbles.

This is a fantastic brew. Though the nose is a little too much on the burnt plastic side, the rich, complex, and lingering flavor is outstanding. Definitely one of the elite American stouts.

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Photo of ColdOneKev
4.43/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Black, one finger dark tan head with very aggressive pour into a tulip.

S - Dark fruit, vanilla, earthy leather.

T - Bourbon, alcohol, coffee, bitter chocolate. After the first sip my palate was acclimated to bourbon and I was able to pick up on the vanilla, coffee, roasted malt easier.

M - Thin, silky smooth, low carbonation.

O - Definitely an amazing brew. Really happy to have gotten the chance to try. Would like to see how it ages alas I was only able to get one 12 oz bottle.

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Photo of IvoryFoxhole
4.43/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle 2015 vintage into stout glass

L: Aggressive pour leads to 3 finger tan head with impressive retention, lots of sticky lacing, and cap. Very dark, almost black.

S: Coffee and malt up front, bourbon and vanilla in back.

T: Coffee predominates up front. Vanilla comes in, along with maybe some chocolate and anise. Not sweet up front, not too bitter in back. Can't taste the alcohol.

M: Surprisingly medium-bodied compared with expectations. Dry finish, but very little carbonation. Very well-balanced.

O: So this is my first KBS after a few years of trying to find a bottle. I came up with 5 in 2015 using an elaborate game plan. Is it great? Yes. Is it worth all the fuss? Honestly, no.

Glad I had one; I'm aging another for a couple of years, and I gave three away to friends.

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Photo of dleigh
4.43/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Did a side-by-side tasting of the 2014 and 2015 at Timmy O'Tooles in Chicago (couldn't believe my luck that their kegs lasted until I got there a couple days after the release). I liked the 2015 better--super chocolaty with a nice bitter kick at the end. The 2014 was a lot smoother, but I like the 2015's kick. Lovely beer overall.

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Photo of Rish907
4.43/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Wow.. finally got to try this sucker. Had high expectations, and it lived up to them. Didn't realize how thick it pours and dark color. Taste oatmeal, dark chocolate, hint of vanilla, perfect amount of booze. Overall, a superbly balanced stout with tons of character and aroma and well blended and balanced. The oatmeal taste is very prominent as well. This stout is in my top 10 for sure!

Serving: 12oz bottle.

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Photo of Umdrunner
4.43/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured black with 1 finger mocha head that dissapeared quickly and lightly laced. Scent was rich chocolate, roasted malt, coffee, and light bourbon. Scent was very strong right after pour, then faded quickly. Flavor was roasted malt, coffee, dark chocolate, burnt oak and bourbon. There is a definite, though satisfying, bourbon heat that lingers. Mouthfeel is moderate with lively carbonation. As the beer warms it seems to soften. The dark chocolate flavors blend to milk chocolate and I begin to taste light brown sugar.

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

A. Pours out a black hue with a thin tan head that maintains really nice lacing and retention.
S. Coffee, bitter dark chocolate and bourbon hit the nose and makes you want to drink this.
T. The taste starts out with some coffee, followed by some vanilla and bourbon and finishes off with some very bitter dark chocolate. Chocolate and bourbon is in the aftertaste.
m. The mouthfeel is very smooth and very creamy in which the taste melts in your mouth. Yummy, yummy, yummy.
O. A very very good beer that I wish was more available and a little bit lower in price, but it is a must try and get it if it is available.

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

thanks to redhaze! (review from notes)

Pitch black... opaque... can't see any light pass...

dark tan head forms quite large.. stays for a bit.

chocolatey aroma.... coffee-hints... some alcohol... faint tar-like smell and dried fruit... was good but hoped for more.

Excellent creamy mouthfeel (standard for Founders)... well done.

Huge coffee and chocolate... good alcohol burn... some raisin and balsamic flavors. Very good... VERY good flavor.

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Photo of keithmurray
4.43/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2014 vintage

Appearance - dark brown almost black body with tan head

Smell - whiskey, coffee, dark chocolate, oak, ash, coconut

Taste - whiskey, coffee, dark chocolate, vanilla, coconut, oatmeal

Mouthfeel - fuller end of medium bodied, low carbonation, sticky beverage, whiskey notes are prominent upfront, chocolate and coconut and coffee in the back end

Overall - good BA beer that isn't as in your face with the booze as BCBS

Price Point - $19.99/4pk 12 oz bottles

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Photo of Josh012012
4.43/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

updated rating whiled drinking a vertical of kbs . felt compelled to do this because it has changed a lot. my original rating was 4.65. note... did 10 blind tastings at different points during the night.. the kbs with 1 year plus on it won every time..

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Photo of MattSweatshirt
4.43/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Draft pour is a black body with a finger of mocha colored head that retains very well.
Sweet chocolate, coffee, vanilla, and bourbon on the nose.
Great taste of chocolate, vanilla, roasty coffee, slight bourbon, alcohol warmth, and oak barrel.
Drinks full with slight carbonation. Gets dry at the end.
A great beer that shines on all fronts allowing all the components to come out.

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Photo of Melachai
4.43/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

KBS has an wonderful dark chocolately, caramel color. The head is a lighter version of the same color, with small frothy bubbles that fade shortly after pouring.

The dominating smell is the bourbon barrels it was aged in with some coffee in the background.

The is full, rich and strong. The first taste is of the same bourbon you smell, followed by coffee and warm malts.

Mouthfeel is heavy and creamy with mild carbonation.

This beer is very drinkable, but I don't know if I could drink more than one in a night due to the heaviness in flavor and alcohol content.

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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 3,042 ratings.
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