Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) | Founders Brewing Company

12,597 Ratings
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): 11.80%

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 Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 12,597 |  Reviews: 3,219
Photo of Jwburns75
4.31/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This was my first KBS. Poured into snifter, jet black, small head that dissipates quick, strong lacing throughout. Heavy bourbon in the nose. Taste was more mild than expected after smelling, at least with the bourbon. It was present for sure in a big way, imparting a smooth, almost vanilla-like taste. I didn't get the roasty, coffee presence FBS brings and I was actually glad for that. This was a sipper but a very smooth one. Very much enjoyed my first KBS.

 469 characters

Photo of uberez8
4.31/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Oh my god, so black. This is the only way to start this review because when I poured it and held it up to the light, not one part of the glass was not black where the beer was present. What a perfect appearance to have for a stout of this caliber. The aroma was good but surprisingly not as strong as I expected. Also the head was thin but warranted, being what it is. As for the taste, quite exquisite. I can taste the alcohol from the bourbon aging, no doubt, and I love it. A slight licorice flavor seems to follow the finish; another flavor I love to see present in a deep, dark stout. Mouthfeel is beyond smooth, it's almost like a cream. This beer has matched the hype well and I will look forward to the release each year now.

Beer and Whiskey have had a beautiful marriage in the aging process and now I get to drink it's golden baby.

 843 characters

Photo of beer456
4.31/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A nice experience. Vey much recommend.

38 characters

Photo of Cdog2cool4u
4.31/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of UtisTheLaw
4.31/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of fmccormi
4.31/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Straight pour from a 12oz pry-off bottle to my Cigar City snifter; no bottling date that I can see, but this is the 2013 release, so it’s been about two months since it was released.

Appearance (3.5): Maybe half a finger of cappuccino-colored head comes off of the pour before dying down relatively quickly, leaving just a thin foam ring around the edge of the body. The body is pitch black but shows some deep amber tones around the edge when held up to the light. Not a whole lot of retention, the head having fizzled away and left just a couple of wide, flat legs of lace on the near side of the glass. I s’pose it fits the style, but I like more head, personally.

Smell (4.25): Lots of dark chocolate and French roast coffee lying underneath it—high-cacao content cocoa powder and fresh coffee grinds, all mixed with woody, rich vanilla tones (clearly the bourbon coming through here), and a low-level roasted grain character (like burned toast?) and a little smokiness. Not as intense as I was anticipating, but the elements are all very good and very well-balanced.

Taste (4.5): Much more of that wonderful, high cacao dark chocolate character mixed with cold-brew black coffee, a little rich molasses sweetness to smooth things out underneath, and some more of that smooth vanilla, bourbon-y component, but without the boozy heat you’d expect from a lot of –bbl stouts (and other styles). The booze does come through in the way the chocolate-coffee combo kind of evaporates away in your mouth, but that’s it—not too bad. The mildly oaky, vanilla tone helps smooth out any bitterness that the coffee, chocolate, hops, or roasted malt might be contributing, leaving just a moderate bitterness that opens up in the finish into a slightly boozy, roasty vaporous character.

Mouthfeel (4.25): On the full side of medium-weight but not heavy, with only a modestly syrupy feel. The carbonation is moderate, with just a bit of tingle here and there accompanied by a soft, slow foaming action. This is very smooth, and kind of hard to drink slowly.

Overall (4.25): This is a very, very good beer. Is it excellent? Maybe. Is it the best imperial stout I’ve ever had? No. That might actually go to (at this date) Founders Imperial Stout. But this does bourbon barrel aging better than 95% of other such beers, which I’m thankful for (’cause a lot of ’em can’t balance their shit very well). But this is a very, very good imperial stout with excellent chocolate and coffee components and a well-played barrel component, too.

 2,552 characters

Photo of JStampler
4.31/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Jsmick
4.31/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of kfsv034
4.31/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - pours black with a thin tan head that dissipates quickly

S - Vanilla, Coffee, maybe chocolate and a nice bourbon

T - Follows the noise pretty well, Vanilla and coffee and bourbon. Definitely taste the alcohol but in a good way

M - Medium to full bodied

D - after a few of this id be drunk.

 297 characters

Photo of Fantasy_Draught
4.31/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Grodd87
4.31/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of GuitarIPA
4.31/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of BartS
4.31/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of paulytasker
4.31/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.31/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Wow! This beer is worth all the hype. Amazing stout! It was very enjoyable.

Poured into a chalice. Pours very dark black and a very thin brown head.

Smells very boozy with coffee and bourbon notes.

Taste is wonderful! This beer is very good. Alot going on with this one! Coffee and roasty flavors followed by slight alcohol burn mixed with the bourbon and oak which balance well with each other! This is the best barrel aged beer i have ever tried. The vanilla taste comes out in the beer in the aftertaste with a bit of boozy taste, but it is not overwhelming at any time! It is done well.

Mouthfeel just adds to this beers appeal! The mouthfeel wonderful. It is like a thick silk on your toungue with flavours that coat your mouth making you want another sip.

The drinkabllity is right where it should be for a beer of this class. After i drank this beer i wanted another, even though i know that one was plenty! At almost 12% this beer goes down easy. I enjoy sipping and savouring the beer, but i really want to drink several in one sitting. If you in joy stout u owe it to yourself to get this beer!!!

 1,112 characters

Photo of Joshkoskinen
4.31/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jwswigs
4.31/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of glazeman
4.31/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 bottle poured into a snifter

A: The beer pours black in color with a 1 finger mocha head that has excellent retention and lacing.

S: Lots of coffee and molasses on the nose. There's a smidgeon of vanilla in there as well. By and large, a great smelling beer.

T: Incredible balance in this beer. Nice flavors of coffee at the start, followed by caramel. As I examine this beer more closely I find saltwater toffee and a tad bit of hop bit at the finish. Not an overwhelming sweetness at all as there is in some beers of this style.

M: Great level of carbonation, viscosity, and wonderful aftertaste.:

D: Overall, an excellent beer. The fact that it's not all that hard to come by in the Midwest is a major plus. I probably would have given this a slightly higher overall score, If it only wasn't for the bourbon barrel plead the fifth I had last week that was out of this world.

 887 characters

Photo of swhitt
4.31/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Picked this up on August 13, 2006 at the Sunset Grill and Tap, a few minutes after the keg was tapped. Reviewed from notes. I'd been looking forward to tasting this for ages and it finally came my way so I figured I'd check it out.

Poured into a Delerium Tremens snifter, this guy was dark black, completely opaque. The head was brown and extremely foamy - big, big bubbles instead of the small teeny ones I'm used to. Head retention was good.

Smells of coffee and bourbon, leaning towards the bourbon side. Very roasty. Vanilla was also definitely present, although not as present as the other smells.

Taste is dark and roasty, much more so than I'm used to in stouts. This is tasty - notes of bourbon, coffee and vanilla. This is a delicious brew, just not my favorite example of the style.

 803 characters

Photo of toothirsty
4.31/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Greeny87
4.31/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Tsar_Riga
4.31/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours up inky black, completely opaque. A slight bit of brownish tan head, really just a trace, but what pours does not fade.

S - Sweet bourbon odor, laced with a slight alcohol sting. Reminds me of of the bourbon balls my mother taught me to make when I was a wee one. Hints of vanilla, a touch of chocolate and roasted coffee, with a buttery note coming in from the oak.

T - Delivers on the nose, but more subtly. The sweetness is balanced off the more bitter line from the coffee, which comes forward mid-palate. Bittersweet chocolate notes as well, but these fade toward the end, with the close primarily suggesting spiked black coffee. The bourbon permeates everything, linking with the high ABV to suggest some form of stout-spirit hybrid.

M - Slick and full, with significant warming from the alcohol. This one does not put its ABV behind a curtain - it is out front.

O - Nothing can meet the hype, but this is still an outstanding beer that deserves recognition for its power and carefully crafted combination of bourbon and stout. If the hype cools off some day, I'd buy it, but I doubt I'd wait around in line to get a 2 bottle allotment again.

 1,171 characters

Photo of IHeartPumking
4.31/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of PrinceDarren
4.31/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Excited to find a bottle at Brixies!

Due to rarity and hype, I thought KBS would be comparable to FFFs Dark Lord. I was way wrong. This is much more delicate (whereas the latter is brutually massive).

Flashback: On cool winter nights, I like to enjoy a glass of hot chocolate with a couple of shots of Irish Whiskey while watching a bad DVD rental. KBS reminded me a lot of those evenings. The best way to describe it would be as follows: 1) go to Starbucks and buy a mocha latte 2) add an extra shot of espresso 3) add too much extra chocolate syrup 4) put it in the fridge until its cold 5) toss in a shot or two of bourbon. Congratulations, you've just created a glass of Founder's Kentucky Breakfast Stout.

KBS is a little weak on the nose, a light aroma of bourbon is to be expected, but there is not much more than that. It is surprisingly drinkable - no need to share it with a friend - you'll want to hog it all to yourself anyway. It is not so much a "beer" as it is a "dessert drink". I could sip on this any night of the week, after a full meal, and feel full and content.

Bottom line: KBS is a fine dessert beverage that I, personally, won't soon part with $10 to try again (not in the near future anyway). I do look forward to trying this when it is tapped at Bavarian Lodge.

Now excuse me while I head over to Applebee's and order a mudslide.

 1,361 characters

Photo of hopflyer
4.31/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Revisited 2017 version...completely Different from my 2015 version. Drank this one fresh. Bourbon much more subdued but adequately there. Chocolate forward with coffee and light bitterness background. Barrel carries a smooth vanilla flavor.

Feel is still quite thin but little in way of lingering bitterness. A touch of booze heat.

Glad I gave this another shot.

2015 version bottled 3/5/15. Consumed 12/5/15.

Pours jet black, no highlights even when held up to light. Head is one finger, light tan. Retains a thin ring and sparse film on top. Looks really good.

Nose is mostly bourbon whiskey. Not in your face, but that is the smell. Not picking up much coffee, chocolate. If anything, there's faint light roast coffee. Where's the chocolate?

Taste again is whiskey forward all the way. There is a touch of coffee but everything else is dominated the whiskey. Some bitterness, which is expected with 70 IBUs. Bourbon retreats a little as it warms, but only opens up to bitterness instead of char, wood, or chocolate. Some vanilla arrives late.

Feel is just medium body and carb is sufficient and not overdone. Surprised and let down that this isn't heavier. Lingering bitterness, maybe too much, and some boozy heat.

I gotta say I'm pretty disappointed. I chased this each year and struck out. Got one bottle this past year. This doesn't have much depth beyond the bourbon. Doesn't even carry a whole lot of oak, wood from the barrel and I'm really not picking up any of the chocolate. Yes there is coffee and bitterness, but for something sought after be so many, I would think this had something special. It doesn't! Nonetheless, it's a decent BBA Coffee stout, but not worthy of such high marks.

Revisited 2017 version...completely

 1,771 characters

Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
4.56 out of 5 based on 12,597 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.