Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) | Founders Brewing Company

3,072 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 3,072 | Ratings: 12,099
Photo of Trevor11
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Very powerful beer. 2014 > 2015. The aged beer (2014) was more enjoyable with the mellowing of the strong flavors and prominence of the alcohol in this barrel-aged beer.

 169 characters

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

I have had this beer both on tap and 12oz bottle
Served in a snifter

A - It pours very dark and fairly thick. A half inch of head rests on top.

S - I get the coffee, bourbon and vanilla that is advertised.

T - AWESOME, I get a hint of coffee with a nice bourbon finish. The

M - Full and creamy

O - This beer is one of the best, it's so sad that it is so hard to get. Founders once again does an outstanding job with an outstanding brew.

 443 characters

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

review of a 2011 bottle, fresh, poured from the bottle into a tulip

appearance - Black, held to the light and very little lightens it up even around the edges, mocha colored head thats about 1 finger tall but faded to about 1/2 a finger and remains throughout the brew, low visible carbonation

smell - up front is coffee, strong coffee but less than FBS, second is whiskey, but a mellow whiskey almost sweet smell, in the back ground there was hint of chocolate and alcohol, the nose alone on this made me drool

taste - now i dont believe in god but i heard angels sing upon my first sip, up front is a nice roasted coffee flavor(less than FBS) that moves into a sweet whiskey, nice roasted malt and chocolate notes with coffee still being the main player, that quickly moves into a a sweet whiskey, and finishes with a slight burn, the after taste is like a frozen mocha coffee with a shot of whiskey in it, absolutely delicious, as close to perfect iv ever tasted, enjoyed this one far more than last years but i feel iv evolved as a beer drinker, and iv tasted many more BA stouts so i have other things to compare it to.

mouthfeel - very thick, rich velvety mouthfeel, very little noticeable carbonation, this is what i feel a big stout should feel like

drinkability - i know this is no longer rated but old habits die hard, if i could drink this every day i would be a happy man, i could of enjoyed another after but its too precious to drink at once

overall - my first ever perfect score but waiting for KBS is like waiting for christmas, if i had to pick a beer as my favorite it would be KBS, one of the few beers i can honestly say "i would have paid more for this and still been happy)

planning on aging at least one and doing a side by side next year, i planned that last year too and it didnt work out, only time will tell

 1,841 characters

Photo of STKPICR0720
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle date 2/17/12

Wow this brew is amazing. Well worth getting no matter what it takes. The alcohol is prevalent but hidden well. Boozy to the nose but wow great mouth feel. I would love to drink this brew at least a couple times a week if my waistline and budget could cover it. A truly phenomenal brew hats off to Founder's well done, well done.


 358 characters

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

Had to go for something special for my 200th review. I had the good fortune of picking up 2 4 packs of 2010 and even more 2011 (well, actually 2009 and 2010 if you count when bottled).
Yes, I know this is an extremely hyped beer, this years causing a frenzy even. In my opinion, this is one that that lives up to the hype.
appearance: Black, black, black, gorgeous mocha head.
smell: Incredibly smooth mocha. Coffee w/o over the top bitterness, chocolate w/o over sweetness, and that buttery barrell aged thing in just the right amount to balance all.
taste: again, all this coffee, chocolate, and barrel aged goodness in perfect mellow harmony.
This is my second perfect score. Not sure if that's over-use or not but I just can't imagine this beer being any better. Like a great work of art, nothing should be added or taken away.

 832 characters

Photo of jcnd9803
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: A motor oil slick look with no head but incredible lacing.

S: A wonderful mix of vanilla, bourbon and coffee.

T: Just an amazing flavor! The taste mirrors the smell. The alcohol is there, but it's really smooth.

M: Three words: thick, chewy and creamy.

D: For such a big beer, it's amazingly drinkable. For it's heat and thickness, I would reach for another one after drinking one, it's that good.

For me, this is the gold standard of beer. I've had at least 35 of the top 100, and I would take this before any other beer.

 530 characters

Photo of 120minuteman
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2013 Batch, popped open on New Years Eve (12/31/2014). Poured in to Wild Turkey tumblers.

What a beer! Did not disappoint. Well worth the wait. Very complex beer, yet highly drinkable.

Lots of chocolate and caramel (both in flavor and smell), with notes of vanilla and bourbon. Light carbonation and slick feel on the tongue.

Looking forwards to picking up another bottle on April 1st!

 390 characters

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

I recently had the pleasure of drinking this fine beer. It has one of the most complex flavor profile's I've tried. It is a very strong coffee smell and taste along with some nice caramel notes. I'm reminded of Kahlua and cream. I loved this beer and yet again am proud that I live in MI with so many fine breweries.

 316 characters

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

Pours a beautiful silky, dense, black that absorbs all light. A thick, creamy head forms. The nose is firmly chocolate, bourbon, smoke, layered with notes of vanilla and dried fruits. The palate is rich with a medium-full body, with intense lingering of bourbon, chocolate malt, smoke and vanilla. Attractive lacing. This stout makes me smile. Definitely moreish! Reverence and dedication to sensory exploration is a must. This is not a quaffing ale but a serious sipper for pondering and reflection. The alcohol is hidden behind the richness. With dessert or after dinner or whenever you have time to spare and enjoy.

 618 characters

Photo of Tomdee74
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I love this beer!!

S- amazing
T-insanely good
O-could drink everyday!!

This is one of my very favorites! Crazy my wife doesn't like any beer but loves this and is just as crazy about it as me. When I first drank it years ago I didn't like it, but now it's one of my favorites definitely in the top 5.

 310 characters

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

A: Deadly Black !! huge mocha creamy head that left fairly quickly after i started drinking but left great lacing. oh man this looks good.

S: WOW! there is so much roast in here! lots of caramel, espresso, dark coffee, and vanilla. there is nice bourbon and oak on the end. i cant wait to drink this!

T: a nice bourbon up front. vanilla, toffee, and burnt coffee in the middle with rum soaked raisens on the end. super complex. i found as i drank this it had 3 distinct verses. the first verse was when it was cold and it very sweet with alot of caramel and toffee with some coffee thrown in there. The second verse was where the bourbon, vanilla and oak came in. the final verse was very fruity with rasiens and figs. absolutely amazing!!

M: creamy like milk. no carbination. this was motor oil thick but it was oh so smooth.

O: Words can't even describe. i came into this beer with a lot of expectations and this exceeded all of them. i drank several glasses and it was just as good each time. a timeless classic. i'll give it my highest rating which is a 99. awesome, awesome, awesome.
2013 vintage.

 1,106 characters

Photo of ajramirez1
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Live in NW WA rec'd in a beer trade with my buddy DWitt. Beer cold is really good. Let it warm, it is amazing...
Worth the hype. KBS is best stout to date. Cant imagine how good it taste kegged
With age, this beer would be mind blowing. So if anyone had the beer cellered, contact me. Pink Q Tip


 299 characters

Photo of ElijahCraig69
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I really love this beer. Its hard to find though. I drink these in the morning. This is one of those beers you start to drink cold but it warms and it still tastes just as good. color is perfect. Smell is incredible. Tastes like bourbon and i like that. Mouthfeel is like a party in your mouth. You gotta love this beer. Pick it up when you can.

 345 characters

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

Ok so I'm reviewing this beer now in tears. A tragic thing just happened in my kitchen. I have some of my rare saved beers hidden away in the back of the fridge. I was rooting around cleaning out old food containers when I hooked the btl cap of my last KBS. It fell out hit the floor and began to bleed coffee chocolate stout goodness. I actually didn't loose too much but I wasn't prepared to drink this particular bottle of beer as you can imagine. There's no special celebrations going on other than the fact that I just got my 4 month old son to fall asleep for the night. So anyway, here I am drinking what I believe to be one of the greatest beers ever conceived/created/brewed/served/sold.
I received a four pack of the KBS as a wedding present from my best man back on Halloween 2009. We each drank one before I was wed. I drank the 3rd one when my son was born and now I drink the last on on a fluke. BUT GOD DAMN THIS IS GOOD ALE!
I'm not going to break it down for you, describing all the intricate flavors and complex I'm just going to tell you to go out and find some, try it, love it. The 4 pack I got came from eBay. My best bud tracked it down and paid $15 a that's $60 for 4 12 ounce bottles of this stuff!

 1,245 characters

Photo of Number45forever
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Listen. I love beer, I love craft beer. I get deeper and deeper into this web of delight each day. I've read about KBS. The stories...too good to be true. There's just no way.

Yesterday, on the Ides of March, I toasted Caeser's memory by purchasing 28 bottles of KBS from my local shop. A beer-acle. Lord save me, for I may never see another day so great.

After all this time: my first KBS. I opened one tonight.

It pours an unnatural black. No beverage can be this dark, this transcendently deep, dank and bottomless. How can this be?

This beer smells better than anything else I've ever smelled. I smell it, and I think Mozart. Spine tingling. The definition of balance. Coffee, chocolate, bourbon. Not one note out of place, not one phrase misplaced. Harmony.

The taste dances. Each sip a symphony of fireworks in your mouth. Such greatness. How will any other beer live up? It's all there. Nothing missing. No thought of "this is great, I wish it just had..." No, this is whole. A finished piece.

Moutfeel. Not too thick. Not too thin. Coats just enough, finishes clean. This is a treat.

Overall. Well, how can any beer stack up to this. KBS. I love this beer. I will always remember my first. Sitting motionless for 45 minutes in my seat, savoring each sip. Afraid to move. Contemplating life. What was your journey to KBS? Mine has been a ride. I can't argue with the path, I know the culmination of KBS was worth any price.

Cheers to KBS! To Founders! What a beer.

 1,479 characters

Photo of Roke87
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

(Saved something a little special for my 100th review)

12oz. bottle, chilled and poured into a snifter, 2011 vintage.

Appearance- Pours black as midnight, one of if not the darkest beers I have ever seen to this day. Gentle pour yields a very small bubbly top that very quickly disappears into the darkness with a very very small ring around the glass, you almost have to search for any type of head left over after the pour, leaving

Smell- I’m getting huge amounts of bitter coffee aromas right off the bat paired with that woody bourbon aroma, mild dark chocolate in there as well with some sweet hints of vanilla and a mild touch of roasted malt in the nose.

Taste- Holy shite this thing will put hair on your chest, wow what an adventure for the palate! First off I get a milk chocolate flavour paired with the alcohol bite from the bourbon, very sweet with hints of vanilla in there as well, lots of roasted bitter coffee notes coming through next with a mild touch of roasted malts in there as well.

Mouthfeel- Full bodied and smooth as silk, creamy and goes down as sexy as red velvet cake, very little to no carbonation but the tastes more than make up for the lack of carbonation.

Overall- I think only one word can describe this beer; amazing! It deserves all the hype and score that it has here on BA, this is easily one of the best stouts in the entire word. Everything about this beer is absolutely stunning, from the initial kick of the bourbon in the tastes balanced perfectly by the coffee, chocolate milk, vanilla, and woody flavours to the amazing smells right down to the feel of it on the palate. This is a world class beer for a reason, all other stouts take notes because this is what you should taste like, and hides the big ABV extremely well. Will always search this one out and drink it every day if I could, there’s nothing more to say, 5/5, A+ all day everyday.

 1,917 characters

Photo of h00dak
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I think that someone supposing to rate any part of this beer much less than perfect would be doing so simply for dramatic effect. Every aspect of this beer is phenomenal.

I finally had the opportunity to buy two bottles of this in Grand Rapids and did so promptly. I'm not one to buy into hype and typically go against the grain when it comes to things that are trendy and popular. This beer is definitely trendy in the craft beer world and you are considered some sort of loser if you haven't had it.

The taste is multi-dimensional and I am pretty sure there are several more dimensions beyond the roasty, woody, chocolatey, bourbon.... the list goes on.

I'm not going to camp or pay $50 for a bottle of this but I wouldn't think less of someone who did. This beer is one of a kind and is simply amazing.

 809 characters

Photo of techfed87
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a jet black, with a dark mocha head.

Appearance is onyx black, with no light getting through at all.

Smells of roasted coffee mixed with something darker and more sour.

First sip is deeply chocolate, with the smoothest mix of espresso, all of which has a woody boubon-like after-taste, but man, it's just smooth smooth smooth! Everything's just centered and concentrated and organized into a flavor spectrum that feels like it's all meant to be there in exactly the way it is. Hands down, this is the tastiest beer I've had to date.

Mouthful is huge, with new flavors constantly introducing themselves as you drink it.

Drinkability is frighteningly good. At nearly 12%, it balances the mocha sweetness with its bourbon sour attributes to make my favorite beer to date.

Find this beer. Find it and buy it and enjoy it. It really is that good.

 859 characters

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

Some people say this beer has gone downhill over the years. I couldn't disagree more. It just keeps getting better. Bourbon, Coffee, Oak, Vanilla...So good. By far one of the best BA Stouts around.

 199 characters

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

I just wanna say up front that I had no idea before I tried this beer that this was gonna be my favorite Oatmeal Stout of all time...

pours up black as night with a big brown head. great lacing! the nose is composed of bourbon, dark malts, oak. taste is oh soooo good! magnificent bourbon, delicious chocolate, secret oak, tastey vanilla, warming oatmeal, a little alcohol spice. full as hell body! perfectly aged! drinking this beer with Tara Reid would be a perfect monday. I just don't want this beer to ever end!

 517 characters

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

Yes, I am calling this beer perfect. I cannot get over how all of the wonderful flavors blend together to create such a unique experience. My initial taste was bourbon, but as the beer warmed more and more flavors came to light, especially malt and chocolate. I found one bottle, but I need to find at least one more before this goes away for the year, I'd like to age it some and taste the results. Smooth, clean, fresh. As the description says, this is not simply barrel aged breakfast stout, this is an entirely different beer. An amazing experience.

Bottle poured into a snifter

 584 characters

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

So many factors, but it's easily the most balanced beer I've had given what it promises in its price range. Light on the tongue, but rich in flavor. Can barely taste the booze. Fantastic.

 187 characters

Photo of derekrick420
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Teresa's tapped a 2010 firkin the day before the Super Bowl, unfortunately one was spilled on my coat. All I have to say was 25 out, and windy. My coat was soaked with KBS and all I thought was how lucky I was that my coat smelled like KBS while I waited on a commuter train platform.

 292 characters

Photo of gbbass16
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The beer that started it my complete obsession with craft beer. I have had this numerous times now so this is an overall review, not just a one off. Please see my review of CBS as well, as I was able to do a side by side of both.

This is my pinnacle beer. Pours dark and think like motor oil with a half inch head that disperses quickly. The smell pulls you in with coffee, cocoa, and bourbon. The taste absolutely will blow your taste buds and your mind. Thick viscous mouthfeel. Its crazy to think but this has absolutely no heat whatsoever. Chocolate, coffee, bourbon, typically in that order with a finish that goes on and on and on.

100% guarantee...This will always be in my top 3 beers ever!

 701 characters

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

Thanks a million to Lukafer for this amazing brew!!!!

12oz stub into a Snifter Glass.

A- Pours black as black could be with a nice thin brown head that doesn't stick around to long other than a nice thin line around the edge.

S- Strong oak vanilla nose with a great amount of coffee and a roasted toastiness.

T- So complex! Dark roasted blend perfectly with the strong vanilla oak flavors from the barrels. Getting hints of bourbon, coffee, and bittersweet dark chocolate in the background as well. Some alcohol is present but no where near overpowering like a lot of fresh imperial stouts. Just enough to give it a slight sting on the tongue and fullness. Really well blended and full of so many flavors!

M- Full bodied with lower carbonation and a slight bitter dry in the finish but not bad at all. This brew is so easy to drink it should have a warning label.


 876 characters

Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
4.56 out of 5 based on 12,099 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.