Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) | Founders Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
3,049 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 3,049 | Ratings: 11,928
Photo of elgiacomo
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2011 batch. Phenomenal. Less boozy than last years, even when fresh. Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow. Near perfection.

Enjoying my second bottle of the Feb 18, 2010 batch on January 2, 2011. Served cellar temp in a New Belgium globe/snifter.

Damn. Damn, damn, damn is this good. Gotta give a little bump to the score particularly due to the incredible aroma. I could sniff on this all night. Wow. Appearance also gets a bump and I'm enjoying the reduced booziness from the fresh bottle. One of the best beers I've ever had. A special blend of all the coffee-infused Imperial Stout goodness with the warmth and complexity of a fine Bourbon. Fantastic. Incredible. On and on and on and on, adjective upon adjective upon adjective...NOMNOMNOMNOMNOM


12oz bottled Feb 18, 2010. Served cool room temperature into a Duvel tulip.

Pours black, quite thick with a one finger brown head that reduces to a small foamy ring and cap, leaves some spots of lacing.

Aroma is heavy on the wood, nice amount of bourbon, vanilla, strong coffee, some chocolate, a little charred.

Flavor brings in a very good dose of dark chocolate and coffee bitterness, vanilla, bourbon, fair amount of alcohol, especially early in the glass.

Mouthfeel is full, but not overly so, feels like there is oatmeal here, does get a tad sticky, low carbonation.

Overall, for a coffee stout, any coffee influence is generally overshadowed by the charred oak and bourbon. Still excellent impression overall, for my first ever KBS. Never thought I'd see this on store shelves in Georgia, and it's quite a treat. Every single Founders beer I've had has blown me away. This one had the most hype, but lives up to it in every way. Cheers!

Appearance 3.5, Smell 4.5, Taste 4.5, Mouthfeel 4.0, Drinkability 4.5, Score 4.25

 1,798 characters

Photo of Bowdoinbeerboy
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

This beer was about 1.5 years old when I tried it (had been sitting in my cellar at a constant 65 or so).

The beer poured with no head whatsoever and is inky, and I do mean inky, black. Totally opaque.

The nos e is pure black coffee with just a hint of some malty sweetness at the back.

The taste is VERY impressive. Incredibly silky and smooth. Up front is pure chocolate, silky, this slowly gives way to a hit of hoppy bitterness but then that fades quickly to a long slow coffee flavor on the palate as the taste subsides. Incredibly complicated multipart flavor profile. I would be curious to see how this compares to the fresh version, but this is most impressive.

Full disclosure, I generally do not much care for Stouts, but this one is an excellent example of the style and the many complexities it can offer.

 826 characters

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

Been waiting to try this for quite awhile. Poured into snifter. Perfect black, opaque color. Perfect head and lacing. The smell is predominately coffee and chocolate. Can smell the bourbon but it isn't overpowering. More highly carbonated than I expected. As to the taste, I expected more bourbon. It's an incredibly smooth blend of coffee, chocolate, and toffee with a somewhat bitter finish. It's also a lighter mouthfeel than I expected. Overall, this is a very fine stout but I can't justify the hype. I actually like Founders Imperial Stout better but that isn't a criticism of KBS. Perhaps my expectations were not reasonable given the difficulty in finding this stout. I'm going to age a couple of bottles and I might change this rating based upon the results.

 779 characters

Photo of sugeknight6289
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz 2011 bottle of KBS poured into snifter.

Pours jet-black mud. Not even dark red hues from the light can be seen through this beast, only my reflection. 1 finger of brown, creamy mocha head sticks around but then gets pushed to the sides of the glass from the 11.2%. Decent lacing left behind.

Dominant bourbon, with hints of vanilla behind. Also, strong cofee notes and a rich dark chocolate character lingering in the background.

Coffee playing the role in the beginning of the tongue, followed by dark, creamy chocolate in the center. The vanilla and bourbon dance down the back of the throat, with warm alcohol heat. Wow how all these flavors are so well integrated and balanced its amazing, they each compliment one another. So warming in the stomach. A bourbon cappucino!

Smooth, creamy medium bodied. I expected it to be full bodied, but this only heightens the drinkability. Just right amount of carbonation too. This beer would be perfect to sit around the fire on a cool, summer night.

But be careful, this delicious, dessert-like brew will come out of the backwoods and knock you on your ass. Worth the hype and every penny too. Seek it out and sip slowly, this beer is for indulging and savoring. A year on this would make this beer epic.

 1,304 characters

Photo of ironchefmiyagi13
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

One word...SMOOTH. Everything layers into the other. The bourbon, coffee and chocolate all mold into a mellow bouquet of flavors. Seriously a world class stout and a world class beer to boot. Well worth the wait and so glad I have 4 left t enjoy over the course of the year.

 274 characters

Photo of hawks10
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap tonight at Brixie's in Brookfield...KBS release night, Stone tappings, Tool cover band, great night!!

10oz. pour into a snifter...

Pours black and thick as expected, a slow rising one finger of light brown head emerges and leaves just as fast...a tiny bit of lacing is left behind...

Very nice complex aromas...initially strongly smelling of coffee and some burnt grains, a slowly emerging presence of bourbon and vanilla pops out to sweeten the nose and hint towards a fantastic brew...

Coffee and some dark chocolate up front make for a somewhat bitter start to this drink...sipping on this longer and letting it warm a bit really reveals a sweet side of this beer. Some vanilla pokes out and a modest bourbon flavor add delicious complexity and a nice bit of sweetness to balance out the beer...

This one drinks as it looks, thick, creamy and smooth, very coating on the palette. Light carbonation adds to the slickness of this beer. Slightly boozy after a few sips, overall, just tremendous...

Definitely one of those beers that lives up to the hype and high regard, if not surpassing it. Tremendously smooth and easy drinking for an 11% beer, such great flavor and complexity. This was the 2010 version on tap, I enjoyed it much more than the 2009 version both bottled and draft...but I'll probably say the same thing next year about the 2011...

 1,367 characters

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!

 1,346 characters

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.

 783 characters

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.

 961 characters

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.

 506 characters

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+

 709 characters

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.

 785 characters

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.

 528 characters

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!

 152 characters

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.

 470 characters

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

 1,080 characters

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.

 542 characters

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.

 698 characters

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.

 835 characters

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.

 708 characters

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.

 558 characters

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.

 720 characters

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.

 419 characters

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.

 645 characters

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.

 642 characters

Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
4.56 out of 5 based on 11,928 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.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!