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: 11,890
Photo of walteez
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

My notes from a vertical tasting of KBS 2010 & 2011.

Both beers poured the same black, viscous, liquid with a very thin light brown head. The 2010 had a lot more bourbon on the nose and little less coffee, while the 2011's coffee masked the bourbon scent a bit more. The chocolate scent was underlying in both brews.

Down to the good part. 2010 KBS was so smooth, very creamy, chocolate tasting & sweet. It's still very roasty and malty but the coffee was only an afterthought here with just a hint up front with the bourbon. Not a lot of carbonation here either. This beer was all chocolate, much sweeter than a fresh bottle & a lot less harsh going down with just a hint of alcohol warmth at the end.

2011 breaks the ice with a nice rush of coffee and roasted malts on the initial sip. The chocolate lingers mid taste but with a much stronger roasted malt flavor than the 2010. It is a stout but still comes in at 70 IBUs - the end of the taste finishes with some bitterness but still very, very malty.

I've got to say I'm all in favor of fresh KBS. I like the bite it has & although it isn't as smooth, I think the older bottle was just a little too chocolate & sweet for me - not enough coffee. It's still a spectacular beer from either year & I've still got 1 2010 left to do a 3 year vertical next year but I gotta say - drink it fresh!

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Photo of trxxpaxxs
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a pitch-black, motor-oil like, black with on a thin wispy mocha head that lines the beer like a halo. It clings to the side of the glass as it drinks.

S: This beer smells of bourbon barrels and chocolate. Yup. That's pretty much it. Those scents dominate.

T: The taste is wonderful. This beer starts off with huge bourbon right up front. The smoothness in the booze blends seamlessly with hints of chocolate, and. There is an underlying vanilla taste throughout.

M: Full bodied beer. This beer starts and finishes super smooth. It's silkiness goodness is amazing. This beer is exceedingly drinkable for an 11.2% beer.

O: Phenomenal. I'm glad I finally got a chance to review this beer. It's world class, no doubt. It's everything you want in a bourbon barrel aged stout.

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Photo of johnbjaeger
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Finally decided I had to review this, perhaps my favorite of beers. I generally crack one of these open once a month or so as a treat for being particularly awesome.

It's basically like my pint of Ben and Jerry's. Rich, creamy and delicious, it is one of the best things I've ever put in my mouth.

First, it looks like beer strained through coffee grounds, head and liquid. Second, it smells like unicorn poop, with just enough of a booze nose to remind you that you are drinking real. Thirdly, it tastes like god's melted ice cream cone, coats the tongue and goes down smoothly. Vanilla, caramel and coffee hit you up front and the bourbon finishes you off. Each sip is superior to the last as this bad boy warms up to room temperature. The only reason I can't drink a six-pack of these is because it is so decadent that my heart may stop. Find some. Drink some. Love some.

If I had to pick one beer to drink for the rest of my life, it might just be KBS.

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Photo of CircusBoy
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black with very little layer tan head. No real lacing but the thin layer sticks around.

Huge aroma of straight bourbon, could smell it a few feet away from the glass. Also hints of roasted malts.

Taste smacks you in the face with the strong bourbon flavor, yet it's just the right amount. For the big alcohol profile and flavor, this goes down smooth and warm. This is definitely a sipper.

This is the perfect beer when kicking back at night on the couch, but one or two will be the limit.

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Photo of TongoRad
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The aroma is rich with dark fudgy chocolate and bourbon. Roast coffee and vanilla dance around the edges, adding depth, but for now the cocoa is stealing the show. The palate is so full and plush right off the bat, the coffee becomes more prominent before giving way to just the right amount of bourbon and another solid blow of the dark chocolate. Bitterness comes on late, more reminiscent of an 85% dark cacao bar than a beer- everything is just seamless and works so well together. Midway through the glass the bourbon and vanilla become inseparable as the bourbon takes an even more supporting role. In the end this is just smooth and delicious, extremely well put together, nothing more need be said. A+

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Photo of brianlg
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

After searching all over the place I finally got a 4 pack of this! Pours a coffee black with a one finger fluffy chocolate milk head. It smells much like oak, coffee, and chocolate. The taste is just insane! It starts off with oak barrels and some bitterness. Then you can taste the coffee, bourbon and malts. It finishes with a hint of chocolate and vanilla. The after taste is a mix between chocolate milk and coffee. This is incredible! The mouthfeel is thick and chewy. It laces the throat on the way down. No wonder this is in the top 10 beers in the world. KBS is just.. (near) perfect. Drinkability, I couldn't have too many of these in a row (and wouldn't want to due to the price OUCH), but I wish I had these around all year long. Kentucky Breakfast Stout is an amazing beer.

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Photo of Coolcheech
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Drank from a tulip, 2015 KBS.

Appearance: Poured jet black, with a bubbly thick head. Left some lacing.

Smell: After pouring you there was a strong aroma of coffee. After drinking the beer for a while I could detect some chocolate.

Taste: You could taste coffee and some smoke. There was also a subtle flavor of alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Medium to heavy body, with some slight burn from the alcohol.

Drinkability: This is a great beer to just sit and sip. I felt it after one, and I wish I had another to follow it up.

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Photo of Martyrob
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

I would say this is excellent, but I'm not sure it's a 100. That's why I gave it a 4.75. But still one of the best BA beers I've had, just not THE BEST!

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Photo of beerhan
4.76/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It made me giggle.

This is one of the finest stouts on the planet. The local good beer bar had one keg of this and decided to have a founder's party and have nothing but founder's beers on tap. KBS was the prize of the night. It goes down very smooth with a very strong coffee overtone with a vanilla and bourbon after taste. The alcohol is hidden very well. It took me at least four glasses to even tell how strong this was. Overall fantastic. Best BBS stout to date.

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Photo of screamking
4.76/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

12oz bottle poured into snifter. 2013

Appearance-pours jet black with thick chocolate head, nice lacing all around. 4.75

Aroma-dark chocolate and roasted coffee beans come through right off the bat. The bourbon profile is there vanilla and oak with toffee. Hints of plum and black cherry. Great smell, but not as strong as I expected. 4.25

Taste-vanilla and oak mingles with the dark chocolate perfectly. It's sweet, then the bitterness of the coffee comes through. This is so balanced. Everything in this works together. 5

Feel-this is a light full bodied beer. Coats the palate fully and stick around a while. This is very drinkable. 5

Overall-I've been waiting for this one for awhile and I must say I'm not disappointed. It reminds me a lot of founders imperial stout in feel, which isn't a bad thing. It's hard to get but I have a feeling with all the expansions coming to their brewery product should increase. While its not the most bourbon forward beer out there (founders own backwoods bastard is more bourbon forward) it is the most balanced barrel aged beer. 4.75

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Photo of b3barron
4.76/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served in a stemless red wine glass.

This is the first time I have tried the 2009 batch which I believe they have changed the recipe for.

Very balanced with less bourbon than in past years and more chocolate...which is think is attributable to the recipe change. Fresh coffee grounds at first taste and chocolate lingering throughout. Some hops and bourbon on the finish.

This has been a favorite for a while now though I prefer it on draft (also fresher for me) but borderline incredible nonetheless and a must try for fans of big stouts.

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Photo of MACrist
4.76/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

APPEARANCE: Pours a rich black with a finger of tan head that settles down quickly into a foamy ring. Good looking carbonation when rocking the glass. Some spotty lacing and legs down the glass.
AROMA: A whiff of bourbon right off the bat. Molasses, nice coffee, chocolate, and vanilla notes, and also slight licorice, smoke, and leather.
TASTE: Basically everything I got in the aroma with the bourbon coming out first and then a nice blend of all the other flavors following along with a nice lingering, growing bitterness.
FEEL: Plenty of carbonation but still had a creamy quality. Sticky on the lips, pretty full body.
OVERALL: First BBA stout for me, won't be my last. This was a nice treat.

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Photo of gaugebozo
4.76/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2011 batch, drank in May. Served in a small glass (totally not appropriate for beer :) ).

Appearance - Opaque black with chocolate foam. Very lacy foam on the glass while drinking.

Smell - Chocolate, bourbon, and light alcohol.

Taste - WOW. So complex! Chocolate malt milkshake, coffee/vanilla, then boozy bourbon (hardcore) all with plenty of roast. Not my favorite type, but hands down the best beer I've ever drank. Can't taste the hops, but they have to be there to balance the sweetness.

Mouthfeel - Thick and milky. The foam is even milk-shakey.

Overall - This beer is amazing. Easily the best beer I've drank, though I have other favorite types. If you like these flavors, you have to try this. It's never appropriate to pay some of the prices I've seen for it or any beer, ($60 a 4 pack? Please.) but this stuff is great.

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Photo of GJ40
4.76/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Sampled at 50 degrees from a 12oz bottle in a chalice. I reviewed this one side by side with a regular Breakfast Stout to get a better sense of the difference. Thanks surge1311!

A – Black with no light and a very small tan head. It could have used more.

S – A nice medley of bourbon, chocolate and coffee. Well done.

T – The bourbon take center stage pushing the coffee into a supporting role with the chocolate and vanilla. Despite starting at 50 degrees, the bourbon gets better and better as it warms.

M – Creamy, chewy and silky with a nice low carbonation. Goes down smoothly.

O – Wow, this is a good beer. I'm not a bourbon drinker but I've come to love BA beers. This is very well done.

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Photo of BobaFret
4.76/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2013 batch.

A - Same appearance as FBS: black as motor oil with a quickly dissipating light tan/coffee head.

S - The bourbon barrel character is very strong; a slight hint of chocolate is there.

T - The bourbon barrel character is perfectly balanced. Unlike with the smell you can definitely taste the coffee, chocolate, and roasted malt with a slight bitterness. This is an amazingly well-crafted stout/beer.

M - Extremely smooth. Not too thick, not too thin; just right.

O - Perfection. Beg, borrow, or steal to get this beer; it lives up to the hype.

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Photo of Gatch
4.76/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Bottled in March of 2013. The actual day is scrubbed off. This beer is almost intimidating. Didn't even wanna open it up.

A: Beyond black. Thick, viscous liquid. Pours like used motor oil. Thin layer of deep brown foam forms and fades quickly. No head on this baby. A thing ring of retention and some serious legs.

S: Massive chocolate, roasted malt, and dark espresso.

T: Really heavy espresso. Slight booze but mainly sweet and beyond tasty. It's difficult to describe. The barrel is there once it warms up. Very earthy.

M: Smooth. So smooth. Thick and creamy. Finish is dry and strong and bitter like espresso.

O: This is serious stuff. Wow. Wish I could drink it once a week. Very special treat. Worth the hype.

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Photo of frognot
4.76/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Dark chocolate brown with a finger of mocha head.

Smell: The aroma is a strong chocolate with faint coffee and bourbon

Taste: Very malted chocolate with smooth coffee, bourbon and toffee notes.

Mouthfeel: Liquid velvet. Expected more viscosity with an 11.2% ABV but was pleasantly surprised.

Drinkability: Wish that I had enough of these to assess drinkability but happy to finally try this fine beer.

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Photo of stephenjmoore
4.76/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Bottled in 2011

A- Pitch black pour with virtually no head to speak of. Some mocha colored bubbles around the edges of the glass.

S- Chocolate, charred oak, vanilla, bourbon, oats, bitter coffee. Full aroma, in your face.

T- All the flavors from the nose are there and they work great together. The chocolate and bourbon are prominent from the beginning and the charred oak is very noticeable towards the end. Oats come through at the end too.

M- Somewhat thin, syrupy and very low carbonation. Not bad, but not the best.

O- The smell and taste of this beer is exceptional. One of the best I have had. Hoping to try it fresh at some point.

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Photo of CaptCleveland
4.76/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle dated 3/17/2012 poured into CCB Hunahpu snifter.

Opaque, black, thin liquid. Light brown head quickly dissipates to thin ring.

Wonderful aroma of chocolate, coffee, light vanilla, bourbon, slight oak. Could sniff this one all night.

The taste doesn't disappoint. A complex amalgam of nicely roasted malt (smooth bitterness), chocolate, caramel and oats. The bourbon is present throughout, like nice background music.

Thick, nicely bitter, well carbonated. Smooth on the back end. Solid.

Very nice bourbon barreled stout, well balanced and complex. Not a 5, but close. I have probably been ruined by Peg's G.O.O.D. Rare D.O.S.

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Photo of tastymug
4.76/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Pours a thick black, with a minimal dark-tan head with some retention around the edge of the glass; lots of lacing as you drink.

Smell: Nose is sweet and roasted with coffee, chocolate and a hint of vanilla and oak.

Taste: Lives up to the hype; roasted, chocolate, vanilla (which typically comes from being aged in bourbon barrels) with a little hint of sweet bitterness; can also pick up on the oak and bourbon.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a real creamy smoothness; coats the tongue and lingers.

Overall: This was my first encounter with the esteemed KBS, and I have to say, it didn’t disappoint. I was drinking several very good beers in a flight while waiting for KBS to be poured at a local establishment’s Beer-Fest KBS party, and when compared side-by-side to KBS, the other beers definitely fell a bit into its shadow. In a special class, KBS is well worth the effort of hunting it down. I’m sure I’ll be doing the same when it releases again next year!

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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 cschepers
4.77/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a room-temperature bottle of the 2010 release Kentucky Bourbon Stout into a rinsed-out sippy cup.

..just kidding, it's in a large wine glass.

Pours black as night. Minimal dark brown head, that sorta sticks around the edges of the glass. Swirl the glass and the beer oozes down the sides. Neat.

Smell is strong with black coffee, charred oak, burnt toffee... and something else I can't quite place. Smells totally awesome.

Taste is chocolate, coffee, bourbon, and charred.. something (maybe more toffee). Lots of coffee and bourbon in the aftertaste. Crap, this is some good stuff.

Mouthfeel is super thick, almost the consistency of heavy cream. The bit of carbonation that's in the beer seems to load up on your tongue and make the beer seem really thick.

Drinkability is as high as an %11.2 abv beer could be. Can't taste much alcohol. Really, the most surprising thing about this beer is how balanced all the flavors are, and how nothing is all that overpowering.

Lives up to the hype. Fantastic. I only managed one 4-pack.. I had planned on putting at least a couple down for a year, but I really don't know how I'll manage that.

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Photo of TKEbeerman
4.77/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my SN XXX glass, this brew pours a black body with a chocolate 1 inch head. Not the darkest stout out there, not the most impressive looking, but note worthy none the less.

S: The nose is by far the best I've ever smelled on a stout. Pure mouth watering Bourbon backed with espresso bean, vanilla bean, and a slight cocoa bean.

T: The flavor profile is dominated by Bourbon. A healthy amount of time was spent in those barrels. Espresso is tame compared to FBS. Notes of chocolate want to poke trough, which I'm sure will with a little age. A little vanilla is present to smooth is all out.

MF: The mouthfeel is light for such a big stout. I expect this is due to the Bourbon. Would have liked a tad bit more carbonation also.

D: Drinkability is above average. Even mild Bourbon lovers will get a kick out of this brew.

Over all Founders KBS is an almost perfect stout. Compared to the big boys of the top 100, KBS IMO stands out as the reigning champ. This brew would make good ol' Jim Beam proud.

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Photo of Soonami
4.77/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I had this at South Philly Tap Room as part of their Founder's Tasting this weekend. At SPTR they had this and 13 other Founder's beers on tap, I'm glad I got some before they ran out (as they definitely would've even with the 1 per customer limit)

The stout poured an opaque oily black, with a tinge of sandy foam. This is what in a imperial stout should look like.

The smell was fantastic! There was initial nose of roasted coffee, followed by some sweet chocolate, malt, and vanilla. It smelled like brewing coffee at a bakery with hot pastries coming out of the oven

The taste was just as good. I hate imperial stouts that are just sweet, the KBS had creamy malt flavor with the balance of bitterness from the coffee and chocolate and sweetness from the grain. You could taste all the ingredients individually and they blended very well together. Even my friends, who tend to like lighter ales, were impressed.

The mouth feel was full and luxurious with the beer coating my entire mouth and transfering all of its goodness to my whole palate

I rated this beer only as a 4 for drinkability, because with any beer with 10% ABV, this is just not possibly sessionable. And after more than one you couldn't really taste or appreciate anything else from the KBS tastebud assault

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.77/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to DmanGTR for this one! From notes (12/5).

A: Pours a extremely black. A very small tan head forms for a second and then is gone. No lacing.

S: The bourbon aroma hits right away. I also get a lot of vanilla and chocolate, as well as a small hint of coffee. Slight hint of alcohol, but overall very nice.

T: This has an amazing flavor. Lots of vanilla and oak to go along with a rich chocolate flavor. Not as much coffee as expected and for me that is a big plus. Gets better as it warms.

M/D: Full bodied, but very smooth and extremely easy drinking. Sits warm in my stomach. One of my favorite beers so far.

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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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