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: 11,888
Photo of Gobearswalter34
4.7/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

So much anticipation with this one. Sharing with the wife and she took first sip and is loving it. Also drinking it in front of real fire place at home on a cold, rainy spring Sunday.

Pours a dark brown with a thin, off-white head.
Smells of coffee, sweet malted bourbon.
First sip allows coffee, chocolate and bourbon to come through in which all blend together nicely with the malt. A good bourbon burn on the back side. I will allow to warm up. As it warms, some vanilla notes appear.
The mouthfeel is nearly perfect along with the bourbon burn finish.

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Photo of badgustav
4.94/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

From the bottle, poured into a tulip, temp @45. The beer is a deep chocolate brown, almost black in color, with a thin nut-brown head that dissipates but continues to lace the glass. On the nose there is coffee, first and foremost, followed by chocolate maltiness. Coffee leads on the tongue but opens up to chocolate, sweet malt, hints of bourbon, and then a surprising hint of malt bitterness that finishes with a roasted coffee and dark chocolate bite. There is a light astringency I associate with wood aging. The mouthfeel is rich, smooth, and not cloying as one might expect. In all, one of the best barrel aged stouts I've had.

As the beer warms up, notes of vanilla and oak become more prevalent. It's a beer that keeps on giving

I'm not doing this beer justice. Suffice to say, if I ever see it again, I will buy as much as I can.

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Photo of NotAlcoholicJustAHobby
4.21/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2016 release

L-The beer pours thick, viscous, and black. No light penetration whatsoever. The head is about 2.5 fingers of fine mocha. The head almost looks like a nitro pour. Lacing clings everywhere and lasts throughout.
S-The nose is coffee immediately, with hints of chocolate midway, finishing with some alcohol at the back end.
T- The taste is initially a pleasant chocolate which transitions to some coffee. There is some bourbon presence, but its much more muted than it is in a BCBS. The alcohol in the nose is covered much better than expected.
F-The carbonation is light as you would expect. The beer isn't as full in mouthfeel as some other stouts, but is thick enough not to detract.
O- As someone who is not a coffee drinker, I was concerned I wouldn't like this beer. Those doubts have been pushed aside. While it's not something I could drink every day, it is an excellent treat. The coffee bitterness is balanced out nicely by the chocolate. The bourbon presence is more muted than I was expecting, but still the beer is enjoyable. I'd rate it a touch below BCBS in the grand scheme.

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Photo of basaywhat
4.83/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle. Pours deep black with a very small tan head. Aroma hits you with big notes of chocolate, bourbon and coffee. Very nice thick, but not too thick mouthfeel. Taste of slight bourbon notes of roasted malts, chocolate and coffee. Overall one of the best beers I have ever had!

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Photo of jngrizzaffi
4.48/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pitch black color with a small brown, foamy head. Retention and lacing are both almost non-existent. Strong coffee and chocolate aroma. Some roasted malts. Bourbon is strong. Strong chocolate and coffee flavor with some big time bourbon and some vanilla. Medium to heavy bodied with low carbonation. Very good but cannot drink a lot.

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

12oz bottle into a tulip. Nice to see in California for the first time.
Look: Very nice frothy head that dissipates slowly. Color is like motor oil.
Smell: Mostly coffee and chocolate.
Taste: Same as the nose but with vanilla coming through.
Feel: Just the right amount of carbonation, smooth, velvety, and booze at the end that is over the top.
Overall: A very well made BA stout. For being around over a decade, this not only classic but hard to beat overall. This is the standard of BA stouts.

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

I just bought this today. Looks pitch black with almost nothing of a head, just a ring around the side of my glass. The smell is vanilla, chocolate, coffee, oak, and bourbon. The taste is awesome, nice bourbon, coffee, chocolate, some sweetness. The feel is good, thick lingering bourbon and coffee. I am glad I saw this one at a local liquor store. He had a limit of one per day. I will buy another one tomorrow. 5.99 for a single bottle. Hotdawg, hot diggity dawg!

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Photo of Jkolls
4.62/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

In Ohio, so this is the 11.9% version, in adherence with Ohio's 12% beer law.

Look: pitch black. Nice sized coffee colored head, not too much.

Smell: Coffee and huge bourbon smell.

Taste: Was worried there would be way too much bourbon flavor but I thought this was perfect. Super strong coffee, and just enough booze bringing the heat.

Feel: Thick and heavy, just what I was hoping for.

Overall: 4.75

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Photo of Czequershuus
4.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This beer pours a motor-oil black with a small but well sustained head. The aroma that hits first is freshly ground coffee, followed by a myriad of other smells - vanilla, nutmeg, oak, plum, apricot, hickory, bourbon, cream, and apple juice. On the sip the first apparent flavor is vanilla, which come is with an ice cream smoothness, as we s some milk chocolate. The mid-palate is where the coffee comes through, but is even more cremy than on the nose, and it is accompanied by plum, date, and fig, and on the finish I get hickory and dark chocolate. The mouthfee is very cremy, not overly sweet but certainly in the dessert world. Overall this is an utterly decadent masterpiece of a beer. My first KBS is an awesome experience.

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Photo of BreweryRun
4.36/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the first year a fresh batch of KBS has made it to SoCal, Excited to try this one.

Pours completely opaque black with a fairly quickly dissipating light brown head. Smell is earthy coffee, lots of milk chocolate, oak, and mild booze. Taste follows pretty closely with a prominent woody, bourbon milk chocolate flavor and coffee. Booze is noticeable but not offensive, it hits you along with a warming sensation right at the end. Body is full but not huge, and it finishes pretty dry for the style. I poured this on the warm side to begin with but as it warms the milk chocolate flavor comes even more to the forefront.

Overall, this is a very solid BBA stout that manages to be cohesive and smooth even with a fairly apparent booze character.

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Photo of Moquinbrendon
4.71/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Opened a bottle from the 2014 batch. Smells like oak, coffee, chocolate, earth, tobacco, bourbon. Poured into pint glass. Beer was room temp. At first taste I got coffee, chocolate, vanilla, then the oak and bourbon hit with a nice tingly sensation on the lips. Beer is a very dark in color. This beer is a must if you like barrel aged brew. I was lucky to get this bottle for free from the liquor shop I go to... I am forever greatful.

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

Is the juice worth the squeeze.....

If you have Indiana Jones type skills and are able to get this beer than go for it, it is a much hyped up beer that actually is worth it. The flavor is exquisite so much coffee, cocoa and vanilla hit the taste buds and runaway with your imagination. This is a rare beer that you must savor because you may only get that one 12oz bottle if your lucky and while the exclusivity definitely lends itself to the lore it is definitely legendary.

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Photo of HopHunter19
4.96/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

A - nice pitch black beer with a big mocha head that sticks and leaves great lacing
S - big coffee and bourbon, vanilla, milk chocolate, oak, burnt marshmallow, roasted malts
T- big coffee, bourbon, vanilla, roasted malts, burnt marshmallow, less vanilla, coconut, molasses than other bba beers
M - this is a big beer, pretty thick but not insane like parabola. Alcohol is present, not as smooth as you might expect from a year long aged beer, aftertaste is coffee and bourbon
O - it's not like other beers in its category for sure, where a lot of them are so smooth and complex this is more in your face with coffee and bourbon, still I feel like I cannot knock this one, it's from my home state of Michigan

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

This pours with a beautiful thick chocolate color. A light but creamy edge lingers in the glass. There is an inviting nose where the vanilla hints come through. The taste is not overbearing but a great balance of the vanilla, chocolate, coffee and bourbon flavors. The finish leaves you with light bourbon presence softened by the other flavors. I've had a number of other bourbon aged stouts. This one is a real memorable "Yum".

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Photo of brewaddict
4.4/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2015 bottle opened on 2/6/16
L - This pours dark dark brown with a creamy mocha head and lots of lace.
S - I get lots of mocha and chocolate like breakfast stout with the addition of vanilla and cream and some coconut.
T - The flavors are coffee, chocolate, vanilla and subtle bourbon. The finish is a little bitter.
F - The texture is nice and creamy. Not overly carbonated.
O - excellent and well balanced.

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Photo of Crubbsy
4.36/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tall stemmed glass.

Appearance: Pours pitch black like use dmotor oil. completely opaque. short light tan head that disappears quickly. Was visibly thick when coming out of the bottle. 4.5

Smell: Aroma is roasty first, then you can smell the bourbon barrels a little bit, then it turns chocolatey. 4

Taste: sweet first and balanced with roasty flavors and a little bitterness. Barrel aging becomes apparent near the finish. Aftertaste is slightly bitter. Kind of a warm boozy sensation halfway through the bottle 4.5

Mouthfeel: sweetness makes a fairly full body. hefty overall, and leaves a thin bitter coating on the tongue. 4.25

Overall: Worth the hunt. pretty complex w a lot of elements playing on each other. Seemed like the experience kept unfolding as time went on through the tasting. Interested in seeing how aging treats this one 4.25

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Photo of SD-Alefan
4.56/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 2/11/16. Pours an opaque, deep, dark brown with a tan head that is minimal but sticks around and leaves lots of lace.
Aroma: A roasted, nearly charred smell hits my nostrils first followed by dark chocolate, iced coffee and vanilla. A touch of bourbon as well.
Tasty stuff! Lots of bitter dark chocolate and roast notes on the first swallow. Roasted coffee, more chocolate, a bit of vanilla and a bit of boozy warmth. Then some lingering char, some oak, a touch of bourbon. As it warms, it seems markedly sweeter with more vanilla and a bit of brown sugar and a touch of dark fruit.
Mouthfeel is medium-thick, creamy, quite nice.
Excellent beer.

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Photo of soccrgump
4.32/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours black w/ a light brown, small head.
Aroma: Chocolate, coffee, dark roasted malt, bourbon.
Taste: follows the smell, bourbon comes through strong and stays on the tongue, definite bitterness; more choc/coffee as it warms.
Mouthfeel: surprisingly thin; light alcohol burn.
Overall: I'm not a huge BB fan, but I am enjoying this beer. Like it much better than last year's.

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Photo of Ikeithbot
4.95/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I really feel in love with weyerbacher Sunday morning stout and evil twin biscotti break. Those were the best bourbon barrelled stouts I had access to. Those are great beers. What brings KBS to a whole other level is how balanced it is. Those you know you are drinking a high abv beer. KBS is like a beer with roofies. Now I know why it gets such high scores. Such a perfect example of the style.

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Photo of ProfessionalJ
2.94/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

i am completely baffled with the hype over this beer, and this is coming from someone who loves bourbon barrel aged imperial stouts (barrel aged grimm double negative and barrel aged bomb being some outstanding ones i've tried in the last few months). i took an hour off of work to grab two four packs from two different beverage centers (4 pack limit) thinking i had my hands on gold and fifty dollars later i'm stuck with what i think is the worse imperial stout i've ever had. i don't get it? i much rather have a plain old founders imperial stout than this crap, here's my taste review cos it looks good but who cares
taste; rubbing alcohol. maxwell house. carnation instant breakfast. vantage cigarette butts. jim bean. rubbing alcohol.
KBS kentucky bullshit stout

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Photo of Zoomslowik
4.38/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

L- Dark brown, almost black. Tan head.

S- Strong coffee aroma. Hints of bourbon, chocolate and vanilla.

T- Very nice blend. Bourbon, dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malt and vanilla. Not a lot of booze given the ABV.

F- Not as heavy or creamy as a lot of stouts.

O- Very good beer, but I'm not sure it was quite worth the rush to get it.

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Photo of Cfred371
4.55/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2016 bottles, and my first KBS ever. Let sit out for ten minutes to warm a little.

Look: pours a dark brown with a lot of carbonation and a beautiful tan head. Alcohol legs are sure there.

Smell: all the adjuncts are there: chocolate first, a slight coffee and then a barrel that dominated my senses.

Taste: Taste is similar to the smell, barrel dominates to me, with some chocolate and coffee in there too.

Feel: Holy full mouthfeel. As someone relatively new to the craft beer scene, this is one of the thicker mouth feels I've encountered. Similar to milk. The beers alcohol certainly makes its presence known as there's a warming sensation in the chest. There's a slight bitter finish and a drying sensation as well.

Overall: I came away very happy with this bottle. Loads of flavor and a nice mouthfeel.

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Photo of martinpfal
4.52/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Its founders kbs. It is exquisite. Vanilla nose. Hint of coffee and even less hint of the Burbon in the taste. I hate to say it's very similar to an expedition stout, but it is. 7 bucks for a bottle. Worth it. Yes!

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

2016 Edition Bottled on 2/16/16 poured aggressively into a pint glass. Pours a dark, syrupy, sludge with a good two finger head that dissipates rapidly. Good lacing lasts throughout. Smells of coffee, dark chocolate, bourbon, and malts. The taste leads with coffee, middle is chocolate & malts, finishing with almost a burning sensation from the bourbon barrel. Not in a bad way by any means, but there's a stronger, boozy finish. Mouthfeel is medium, to full-bodied. I dig it. Super happy I finally got my hands on some KBS. Paid $6.99 for the bottle, but after seeing/hearing about others experiences, I'm happy with what I paid. Good bottle to add to the collection. Definitely worth trying if you haven't already. Happy hunting!

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Photo of 911CROFT
4.55/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2015 Vintage (11.2%) Aged for 1 year.
355ml bottle into an oversized tulip. Paid £7.35 for a single bottle.

Pours a completely opaque, pitch-black body that is unchanged when held to the light. A one-finger in height, dark tan coloured bubbly head fades quickly to a patchy film and collar, but leaves behind plenty of thin, soapy lace.

Bourbon undoubtedly leads the aroma, but its presence isn't so powerful as to dominate. Underneath, a complex bitter-sweet mixture of dark chocolate, ripe stone fruit, wood smoke, charred malts and heavily roasted barley comprise the remainder of the nose, whilst subtle roast espresso profiles become noticeable towards the finish. Taste follows suit. Soft, warming notes of bourbon and vanilla slowly transition to a rich and heavily roasted malt profile. Dark, bitter-sweet chocolate and the slightest hint of ripe black cherry join charred, faintly smoky, robust dark malts to form the perfectly balanced mid-palate. Medium to full-bodied with a low amount of carbonation, the mouth-feel starts rich, slick and smooth, despite being just a tad thinner than expected. Towards the end, moderately bitter, dark roasted espresso, cocoa, dark chocolate and woody impressions of the oak barrelling linger on the palate for an age, finishing dry with only a trace of alcohol warmth.

Overall this is an incredible beer. The bourbon barrelling is unquestionably a prominent feature, but it is so superbly well integrated with the base beer that it never becomes too much. The exceptionally well-balanced dark roasted malt profile masks its 70 IBU’s with ease, keeping bitterness in check throughout, and at 11.2% ABV, alcohol is almost undetectable. Undoubtedly this is a treat to be sipped and savoured, I wouldn't hesitate to pick up another bottle should I be lucky enough to come across one in the UK. Recommended.

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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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