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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): 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: 3,056 | Ratings: 11,993
Photo of zoso1967
4.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on nitro-tap at the 2011 KBS release with my good friend TCGoalie.

Nitro KBS is served up an inky black with a nice tan head that has great retention. It pretty much looks like normal KBS but with a bit more of a whipped head.

The aroma is quite different and a bit muted. Luckily, it is muted in a good way. The alcoholic nature of the bourbon and the astringency of the roasty malts and coffee give way a bit to a nice toffee and chocolate sweetness with a bit of vanilla mixed in. It is a much friendlier nose that is not necessarily better or worse than normal, just pleasantly different.

The flavor is quite similar to normal draft KBS, but still seems a bit less intense. Coffee, bourbon, vanilla, caramel, toffee and molasses are all present, as is a decent hotness.

The mouthfeel is super smooth and velvety, making this stuff dangerously drinkable. The finish is sweet and slightly roasty as well as seemingly toned down just like the aroma and flavor.

I enjoy KBS no matter what form it is in and this glass is no different. If I had to choose between only having draft or nitro the rest of my life, I would probably take draft KBS. However, if I see nitro available I will surely go for it as delicious and hard to find treat.

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Photo of jwc215
4.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Thanks to BrewerB for this!

Pours black with a brown head that becomes a wisp. A bit of lacing sticks.

The smell is of chocolate, coffee, roasty with bourbon.

The taste is of chocolate, coffee, bourbon - wow - this is tasty! (I think I might like the actual coffee and chocolate used in the other Breakfast Stout a bit more, but I'm far from complaining). It has a great bourbon character to it, while allowing the dark complexities and roast to come through. Doesn't get too sweet, as there is roast and a dryness in the finish.

Silky smooth, it has just the right touch of carbonation to keep it full but not too thick or syrupy.

Awesome! Overhyped? Nope. Very well-done - a great sipper!

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Photo of liquidcraft
4.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours up nice; rich black with a short, enticing mocha head. I've drank my share of these but never with the attentiveness of a review. The smell is heavy with bourbon, but chocolate and coffee are there in full support. I like that the flavors are present above the roasted scents that often accompany stouts.

Taste is just straight up comforting. I'm all about whiskeys and the bourbon variety is no exception. Chocolate and coffee come up first with some of the classic oak-imparted flavor. Bourbon comes heavy in the finish providing a sweet and boozy sensation. There is no mistaking the alcohol in this one but it works for the benefit of this beer, I think the warmth adds to the experience of this. Its carbonated nicely, it wouldn't hurt to be thicker but I dig the balance of KBS. Founders rarely misses the mark with their beers.

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Photo of BrahnSolo
4.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed on 4-25-11

2011 bottle poured into Duvel Tulip.

KBS pours a jet black with a dark tan colored head that quickly dissipates. Leaves a light brown stain to the glass as it's swirled. Little lacing is left behind.

First to hit the nose is a light, roasted coffee, followed by a creamy, chocolate sweetness. Bourbon character has died down since the last taste I had soon after this years release, but it is still strong. Light oak.

Bitter coffee, chocolate, and dark roasted malts come to the front, only to be quickly upstaged by a strong bourbon kick. The more it warms up, vanilla and oak surface, followed by a peppery spice.

Carbonation on the lower to mid range, leaving the flavors to shine. Thick and oily, coating the mouth.

Overall a very complex, rich stout. Surprisingly drinkable at 11.2% ABV, but one is enough in a session.

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Photo of HosP
4.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sharing a bottle of this with the wife for mothers day. Had this on draft at DLD and couldn't wait to try it again. Poured into snifter.

A- Pours jet black with very little light around the lip of the beer. Small head to it, but nice dark brown color.

S- Big bourbon nose to it. Dominates the smell. Hints of coffee towards the end behind the bourbon.

T- Like the nose, bourbon flavor dominates up front. Coffee flavor comes in and starts to balance everything. Some chocolate flavors towards the end. Would love to have this after a year of aging to see how the bourbon holds up.

M- Full body here. Moderate carbonation. A little bitter at the end.

O- Very nice drink here! Could sip on this anytime, anywhere. Can't wait to let a couple bottles age over the years and see what happens. Very enjoyable!

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Photo of jdhilt
4.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a three finger dark brown head that fades slowly to a thin layer leaving some lace. Black color, no highlights. Light carbonation and heavy bodied. Sweet roasted coffee nose. Flavor is sweet roasted coffee, don't detect the bourbon barrel, high ABV is hidden, almost burnt coffee finish. Nice stout. Pricey at $6.95 for a 12oz bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

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Photo of SASN
4.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: dark brown/black, nice head

S: strong but pleasant coffee and bourbon aroma

T: starts great with bourbon, coffee and mild chocolate notes but ends a little harsh and bitter

M: great, smooth

D: smoothness masks some of the alcohol but you still couldn't drink it all night

Conclusion: an excellent bourbon stout but it ends a little too harsh

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Photo of rmalinowski4
4.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark black with a small tan head that recedes quickly and leaves a small ring around the edge of the glass.

Smells of chocolate, roast malt and bourbon. Very faint hints of coffee, vanilla, and oak.

Tastes starts with rich chocolate/ fudge, follows with bourbon and slight coffee bitterness, finish leaves traces of vanilla and oak along with more chocolate. Leaves a lingering taste of chocolate, simply delicious, smooth, and an absolutely wonderful sipper.

Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, but I feel it could use slightly more carbonation.

Overall this is a very fine beer. Complex, smooth, great taste. Very enjoyable to sip and ponder it's complexities. It is not the best in it's class, but it is pretty dam close.

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Photo of bbtkd
4.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Founders KBS!!! I didn't expect to get my hands on this in South Dakota but nabbed 6 bottles. Other BBS's I have had and can compare to are BCBS, Dragon's Milk, and Central Waters. Fairly thick, decent brown head that stuck around, and opaque. Those expecting a bourbon-forward BBS will be under-impressed, as this is more coffee forward, with a lingering chocolate taste. I really like having a beer that has the coffee taste without the strong coffee bitterness many stouts have. Though this tastes quite different from the others, I like it as well as BCBS and Central Waters, and prefer it over Dragon's Milk. ABV aside, I could sit and drink a lot of these. As with most all stouts, this gets better as it warms. Based on other reviews I had half-expected it to be an OMFG experience, and though it's not that, it will go on my favorite whale list.

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Photo of adman08
4.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a very deep dark brown with some deep ruby red at the edges and a small amount of tan foam.
S-Sweet aroma of molasses and bourbon with hints of vanilla and oak, alcohol and coffee.
T-Balanced flavors of bourbon and roasted malt with some coffee, vanilla, oak and some dark chocolate. Slightly sweet, a faint molasses flavor but by no means too sweet. Strong alcohol warmth.
M-Full bodied with light carbonation. Sweet but not exactly sticky with a slightly creamy feel. Lots of alcohol warmth.
Overall, almost as outstanging as I remember from previous tastings. The only thing I might adjust a bit is the alcohol. If it were slightly lower in alcohol content there would be less burn and the sweetness would come through more however, this is true to the style with the alcohol warmth and the strong roasted malt and coffee flavors. There really is no one flavor that overpowers the others. This is just as good as everyone says, absolutely worth a try if you're lucky enough to get some.

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Photo of ramseye4
4.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A=Pours a completely opaque oily black with no head and subdued lacing, the color is enticing.
S=Espresso, rich bourbon, and strong roasted malts.
T=The espresso, chocolate and oaky bourbon blend seamlessly into an extraordinarily great tasting stout
M=Full bodied and highly carbonated with the barrel aging adding a bit of charcoaly goodness
O=DEFINITELY did not dissapoint one of the best stouts I have ever had and a great birthday present to me

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Photo of Sideswipe
4.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 bottle poured into a tulip.

KBS pours pitch black with a finger of mocha colored head. No light penetrates it. The nose is a delightful melange of chocolate, oak, bourbon and vanilla. Taste starts out with sweet roasted malt accentuated by notes of chocolate, coffee and vanilla. A very nice bourbon presence asserts itself in the finish, warming things up a bit. Mouthfeel is thick and viscous with an excellently low level of carbonation which lends a smooth, creamy quality to the beer. This is one of my very favorite barrel aged stouts. The different aspects of the beer are melded together with such skill that the advertised 11.2% ABV is completely hidden. KBS is absolutely delicious and should be enjoyed at every possible opportunity. Highly recommended!

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Photo of Abe_Froman
4.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pour from a bottle into a tulip glass.

Poured nice and dark with a slight amber edge and a milk chocolate head.

Smelled of chocolate and coffee with some malt. I found the smell a bit more subtle than other reviewers.

Flavor was a bit lighter than I was expecting given the pour. Taste sweet on the tongue with hints of coffee/bitter and warm almost bright bourbon flavors without the whisky bite.

Feels light on the tongue and flows freely through the mouth. leaves a nice warm feeling on the back and sides of the palette.

Over all an enjoyable experience. Though given the hype I have been hearing over the last few years I was expecting a bit more.

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Photo of Talisker
4.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Certainly a must-try beer. The hype is warranted enough for you to get your hands on at least one bottle try for yourself.

I'll skip the usual breakdown in this review, and just say that in general I'm not a fan of barrel-aged beers, especially bourbon barrels. Most brewers overdo it the moment a barrel is involved.
And I love bourbon on its own.

But in the case of KBS, bourbon is a beautiful complement to the very rich vanilla and coffee. It definitely works, and isn't even as syrupy as you might expect.

I prefer the Founders Breakfast Stout to the Kentucky Breakfast, but I love both. Your life as a beer drinker is not complete until you've at least tried this magnificent beer.

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Photo of Jwale73
4.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

200th review - Received as an extra from iceicebaby (thanks again Sean). Served in my DFH snifter. Poured a dark, opaque brown. Quarter-inch tan-colored head subsided into a slick of foam with a solid ring around the shoulders. Jagged peaks and valleys of lacing, but adherence is somewhat spotty. Smell is decadent. Lots of coffee and molasses up front with a warm bourbon quality in the background. Dark fruit is revealed as the snifter warmed in my hand. Flavors offer a nice and balanced blend of the qualities presented in the nose. Coffee is roasty without tasting burnt or astringent. Cocoa flavors are detected as well. Bourbon character is complementary rather than over-assertive. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied and silky up front; not at all viscous. A little chalky, but not unpleasantly so. Alcohol is fairly well-hidden and quite drinkable. A great brew to celebrate my 200th review.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanx to nopucophop for sending one of these my way

A: poured a black like motor oil with absolutely no head present and honestly no lacing either sticking to the glass.

S: yup.... there is plenty of bourbon to go around with brown sugar, oak notes, slight, spice and toffee notes. I did get a little chocolate and roastiness but for the most part the bourbon dominated the nose.

T: like the nose the bourbon takes over the palate but does give a little room for the brown sugar, oak, vanilla, and chocolate, to take a peak. it also seemed to have coffee on the tail end of a sip but had cocoa coming through as well and slight hop character as well.

M: the brew was full body with a very low amount of carbonation which was sweet, silky, slight chewy, bitter, and boozy finish.

D: it drank pretty damn good considering the ABV on the beer and was really living up to all the hype. I have to say that it is a beefed up regular breakfast stout and is a brew you definitely have to share with friends.

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Photo of ATLbeerDog
4.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 2/8/10

Pours a thin pitch black with a quickly receding small beige head. Smells of bourbon and booze dominate as much of the coffee has long faded. First taste is heaven – with bourbon and dark chocolate and a big splash of strong coffee all blending to make one of the finest beers ever. Thin bodied but well carbonated. The excellent carbonation makes up for the thin body to combine for an overall great mouthfeel. The 11.3% ABV is well hidden. What a great beer!

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Photo of seabass87
4.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another excellent gift I got as an anniversary present. Bottled 02/25/11.

A- Pitch black... One of the darkest beers I've seen. Aggressive pour forms just a finger of dark brown head. Head dissipates quickly and leaves a frothy ring that yields slight lacing.

S- Dark chocolate biscotti, bitter mocha, bourbon, vanilla extract. The sweetness is balanced well by the warm bourbon. Inviting.

T- The bitter chocolate and bourbon tastes are dominant in the front. The bourbon is handled very smoothly, and doesn't have a strong bite during transition phase. Instead, a nice coffee taste comes along and eases over into a well-balanced combination of all of the above flavors. This carries into an aftertaste I can best describe as like an irish carbomb.

M- Medium-thick bodied for the style. Zero carbonation - this is a good thing for this beer. Dry, sticky finish - as one would expect from a strong stout.

O- I love this stout. It has all the classic stout flavors one could want, and handles them in a very smooth fashion. Slightly difficult to come across, but if I see this again I'll be buying lots of it.

 1,115 characters

Photo of chumba526
4.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appears black with small medium bodied brown head.

It smells of strong freshly roasted, roasted malts, subtle vanilla, coconut and mild bourbon.

It tastes strongly of bourbon but it is very smooth. I get a subtle note of vanilla and coconut. It is not "oaky" like many bourbon barreled stouts. I get a nice somewhat bitter coffee finish to the beer. the beer has plenty of flavors mingling together yet it is very smooth and easy to drink. I expected the beer to be more intense then it is. regardless it tastes very good.

the beer has a thin mouth-feel it also is low in carbonation. this is a bit of a lighter beer then i though it was going to be.

Overall a great beer. it is clean and it has a great collective flavor. however it did not blow my mind. regardless I would love to have this beer again.

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Photo of blakesell
4.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This year's 2008 model, poured from the twist off 12oz bottle into a wine glass.

Appearance- Beer pours a solid obsidian oil slick with only a ring of red foam around the sides of the glass. Lacing is glued to the sides and is a rich tan.

Smell- Rich espresso with hints of bourbon and masses of Belgian chocolate, cream, lactose, brown sugar, caramel, bourbon is more powerful as the beer warms. Vanilla extract snakes through on the finish.

Taste- Bourbon, chocolate, creamer, black licorice. Chocolate gets more powerful like a marraige of dark and milk chocolate. Whiskey warming on the finish, just like taking a shot. Hops and fruity notes are nonexistant.

Mouthfeel- Creamy, warming, full-bodied as all hell, evenly-carbonated, lightly prickly, smooth and gluey.

Drinkability- The Kentucky Breakfast Stout I had enjoyed in the past was not near as great as this KBS. This could damn well be teh best double stout in the world.

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Photo of scoand
4.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pitch Black, one finger head dissipating to coffee brown head. Appears to have significant carbonation.
Smell: Bourbon, alcohol, toffee
Taste: Bourbon, alcohol, toffee, mocha/coffee. Bitter at the end. Warming, earthy.
Mouthfeel: great mouthfeel, warming syrupy.
Overal: Exceptionally special RIS.

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Photo of Malt_Man
4.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

L) Very dark chestnut brown, opaque. Thin bubbly tan head.

S) Bourbon is the major smell. Some sweetness, some chocolate. No beer.

T) Lots of things happening here... boozy but not overpowering slightly sweet bourbon flavours come in first, followed by subtle bitterness from roasted malt. Ends on a mellow caramel / slightly sweet malty note.

F) Lovely density to it. Alcohol warmth at the end is very nice. Slight bitterness in the aftertaste, but nothing like as strong as other stouts can be.

O) Lives up to the hype. £5.50 well spent, will buy another perhaps later in the year.

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Photo of Tmyhre802
4.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Not a stout fan, but this definitely isin't a regular stout. I couldn't have enjoyed this more.

A- Extremely dark with a slight bubbly brown head.

S-Coffee and Chocolate all day, awesome smell.

T-Neither the coffee or chocolate was terribly over whelming and complemented each other perfectly.

M-Full body but not overly syrupy at all.

O-Believe the hype, this beer is the real deal. Real pleasure to enjoy!

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Photo of cquinn17
4.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.
2013 vintage.

A- Black, 1 finger thick mocha head that dissipates quickly. Pretty much just a pitch black barrel aged stout.

S- Lots of coffee and chocolate lead the way in the nose. The bourbon and oak characteristics are a little more subdued. To me it almost smells like a mix of FIS and FBS. Wish there was more bourbon in the nose.

T- Again, fresh, bitter coffee beans are balanced out by silky smooth milk chocolate. The bourbon comes through a little more on the taste but there still isn't as much barrel as I'd like. I get a little vanilla, oak and even some anise at the end, but its mostly a coffee and chocolate bomb, which isn't a bad thing.

M- I'd say its a medium to full body, not as thick as I'd expect but not too thin to where it detracts from the beer. Pretty high carbonation for a barrel aged stout as well.

O- After trying many barrel aged stouts this year, (bcbs,bcbcs, peruvian morning, cwbbs, parabola), this falls in the middle of the pack. Nothing spectacular for me, but still a very solid beer. Something everyone should definitely try once, but if you miss out on it, don't feel too bad.

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Photo of ASymon13
4.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This one pours a viscous black, with no visible light passing through it. It has almost no head, despite a fairly aggressive pour. The smell is full of black coffee, with some solid bourbon and roastiness. Kinda like a southern version of an irish coffee.

The coffee and bourbon really work magic in the flavor. Neither one is overpowering, and they complement eachother wonderfully. There is some slight hop bitterness that hits you early on, but mellows out very quick. There is a hint of anise, some very slight sweetness to it and a decent spicy alcohol twinge, but this beer really is all about the melding of coffee and bourbon, and the two flavors linger long afterwards. The carbonation is pretty low and the body is lighter than I expected.
Overall, this is an excellent brew. A nice blend of southern goodness with some eye-opening coffee.

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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
4.56 out of 5 based on 11,993 ratings.
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