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

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

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Reviews: 3,089 | Ratings: 12,161
Photo of cwoods
4.77/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had this from the bottle @ the pit in raleigh, NC. I wish I had it in the glass to really get a good look at it.

The taste was spot on. thick chocolate, malt, coffee and then the bourban oak.

The mouthfeel was much like the original breakfast stout (smooth) but with a crisp burn from the bourban.

Overall I really wish I had the beer on tap, other than that nothing I would change about the beer. Its great when a beer exceeds the hype. There were times when drinking when I was thinking is this coffe, beer or bourban? Keep it up Founders.

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

Appearance: Pours a viscous-looking black body with a small, short-lived tan head.

Smell: Heavy aroma hits with strong notes of roasted malt, dark chocolate, caramel, vanilla beans, fine pipe tobacco, charred wood, and a smooth, well-aged bourbon.

Taste: Ah, the hearty, robust taste of roasted malts, dark chocolate, and strong vanilla-flavored coffee hit you immediately. A ripple of dark caramel follows. Distinct, yet subtle bourbon flavor with tastes of wood and dark brown sugar. Hint of dark fruit. Just a perfect amount of subdued sugary sweetness. Dash of coarse ground black pepper. Perhaps some mild hops along the way upon warming. Sweetish bourbon, roasty taste on the slightly warming finish. A lingering woody bourbon aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Mild carbonation. Pleasingly smooth mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Remarkably drinkable for being such a powerhouse of a beer. This beer is SO GOOD that it can be hard not to just go on and on about how awesome it is.

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

A-dark brown black color with a small to medium tan head and some retention

S-coffee and chocolate with hints of bourbon

T-rich chocolate and coffee with a nice overlay of bourbon and hints of oak

F-full body with light carbonation and thick, creamy feel

O-another great RIS from Founders with great flavor and balance

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Photo of tprokop7
4.77/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Myself and a friend opened up a KBS and a standard Breakfast Stout last night to compare... Half a bottle, poured into a 12 oz snifter.

A - Thick and black, almost looks syrupy when poured. No head.

S - Rich and sweet, with definite notes of Bourbon that almost cover up more subtle smells, like molasses, coffee and chocolate.

T - Bourbon is a little more mellow in the flavor than in the aroma, and it balances nicely. Complexity is added by the smokiness from the oak, and the chocolate and coffee come through at the end.

M - Without carbonation and smooth, the sweetness of the beer makes it feel just a little syrupy in your mouth, which is the only unpleasantness of the mouthfeel.

D - I wished I'd had more at the end of the glass, so I can't complain about the drinkability.

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Photo of MadScientist
4.78/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A: A black beer with think, creamy dark brown head. The head is thin but long lasting and easily roused.

S: A rich nose loaded with strong chocolate, coffee, caramel, a vanilla oak character and bourbon aromas. There is a fair amount of carmel to toffee like sweetness, some licorice and a medium floral alcohol sweetness. No hops to speak off.

T: The same flavors as in the nose with the coffee and chocolate leading the pack at first then the vanilla and cinnamon oak flavors take over mid-palate along with the caramel malt sweetness and bourbon. A lot of the dark roast character along with just a hint of charcoal are tasted throughout. There is a medium hops bitterness with the balance being about even but slightly towards the malt sweetness. The finish is semi-sweet with a lingering aftertaste of coffee, roast, bourbon and chocolate.

M: A full bodied beer with a medium level of carbonation. A medium amount of alcohol warmth sits solid on the throat and chest.

O: The flavor and fanfare is everything this beer has claimed to be; a stout richly layered with balanced flavors of roast, chocolate, coffee and bourbon barrel aging. The alcohol is well hidden under all that is going on but the warmth

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.78/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Broke this out for the ol' 4th of July weekend celebration right before the awesome UFC 116 fights.

And while I'm seguing, this heavyweight beer is like a hybrid of the best two heavyweight fighters: massive and daunting strength and size of Brock Lesnar, with the technique, skill, consistency and acclaim of Fedor Emelianenko. A big giant thick black pour. Good bourbon smell, notes of vanilla and cherry as well.

But damn, if the chocolate wasn't clearly the most established taste. I remarked, if Younger's has a Double Chocolate Stout, this is a Quadruple Chocolate Stout. Just immense. So smooth, there's 11+% alcohol here? The chocolate smothers it. But it doesn't smother the vanilla, oak and cherry flavors. They are embraced throughout and so smooth.

At around $5 for a 12oz. stout of this caliber, its a pretty good deal. I think I like it more than Abyss, but then again, Abyss was so easy to get out here, whereas this, I have to go back to my Milwaukee homies to hook this up. We'll see how future tastings (got 2 more to go) work out. As far as my first, excellent, and could easily be the world champion stout. Of course, I still have some Speedway, Hunahpu among others aging right now, so who knows, but I can say with conviction, this is the best barrel aged stout I've ever had.

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Photo of Shumista
4.78/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I've been waiting to get a chance to try this beer for a long time. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into my snifter.

A- KBS is beautiful. It pours completely pitch black, no highlights, with a small brown head. Tons of lacing.
S- Huge delicious aroma. Coffee, chocolate, oak, bourbon, roasty burntness. What more could you ask so for?
T- Perfect. Really I mean it, for me this beer is perfection. The taste is a perfect balance of chocolate, coffee, oak, bitterness, bourbon and it is so incredibly smooth.
M- This beer is like a warm hug, and it only gets better as it warms.
D- Do I want another, yes. But I will not indulge.

Thus far, whenever I have gotten the opportunity to try one of the beers in the BA top 25 or so, I have tended to be let down because of the hype surrounding the beer. With KBS though, there is no let-down this is honestly one of the best beers, if not the best beer I have ever had.

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Photo of bonbini26
4.78/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Pete from Shoprite Liquors in Westfield for holding 2 of these for me.

A- Pours a dark dark brown, with a foamy tan head, no light going through the glass, with sticky brown lacing left behind

S- The smell of vanilla, coffee, chocolate, and light oak. The bourbon is not overwhelming either

T- Sweet chocolate, roasted coffee, burnt burbon, suttle vanilla and malts

M- Medium body, low carbonation, silky smooth, sticks to the inside of your mouth, you almost don't want to swallow it. Alcohol is just right too, nice and balanced

D- I split a bottle with my father and it was not enough, drank at cellar temperature and even as it warmed to room temperature it was just as good, simply an outstanding beer.

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Photo of B967ierhunter177
4.78/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

Aroma is as complex as the flavor. Coffee, chocolate, bourbon, and a hint of smoke. Flavor evolves as it warms leading with milk chocolate, wood, coffee with cream, and bourbon. It's followed by smooth bourbon, dark chocolate, mild coffee, and vanilla. The pour is pitch black with a brown head and lacing. Mouthfeel is full and is surprisingly drinkable for 11.2% ABV. Highly recommended!!

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Photo of mwcullnane
4.78/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2011 draft at Trion, New Haven, IN

Appearance: Viscous and coffee black in appearance with faint head

Smell: Roasted grain, coffee, and faint bourbon aroma; not overwhelming

Taste: Exceptional. Coffee and chocolate flavors mingle with similar flavors contributed by specialty grains. This is an amazing beer.

Mouthfeel: I didn't have to chew it, unlike some other high quality stouts. So that's good. Went down exactly the same as bottled kbs - smooth as silk.

Overall: Smell could be more intense but this is merely my opinion and should not come at a cost to other attributes. Taste is superior to Bourbon County and Dark Lord imho. I find it hard to give any beer a 5.0. This beer could only get better if it were allowed to age for a while. That's why I got a case when it came out :)

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Photo of WritersBlock
4.78/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Amazing. Smooth, sweet bourbon with chocolate, coffee and vanilla coming through. Mouthfeel is very thin which is kinda disappointing. A very good BA stout.

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Photo of CMUbrew
4.78/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

12oz bottle into a Founders snifter

A: Pours thick and viscous and is midnight black in color. Dark brown head forms on the pour and soon fades to a ring. Filmy bubbles float on parts of the surface.

S: Right after the pour coffee leads the nose, but not overpoweringly so. Chocolate is noticeable also and smells on the sweeter side. The bourbon nose does not show up until after some warming, first coming on as a nice meld with the coffee and chocolate, and then eventually taking center stage and pushing the other smells into the back seat as the beer becomes even warmer.

T: Heavenly. The flavor is simply a perfect amalgamation of coffee, chocolate, and bourbon. All these awesome flavors come together to create the finest flavor experience I've ever had in a beer. No single flavor overpowers any other, and the bourbon barrels have worked awesome magic to lend a fine bourbon quality that just blends in so well. Bourbon can be so overdone in beers, but that is not even remotely the case here. There is simply a perfect harmony of flavor in this stout.

M: Full, creamy, smooth. Very, very light carbonation, but just enough. A year in barrels has made this beer so velvety smooth it's ridiculous.

O: A must-try for any lover of beer. KBS is worthy of its acclaim and is easily the best beer I've yet had the pleasure of drinking. Simply amazing. KBS.

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Photo of crossovert
4.78/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

THe Amazing Kosmicki's Highly Acclaimed KBS. I'm popping it in celebration of completion of my winter term finals, and appropriately, for breakfast. Served lightly chilled. 09 vintage thanks to scubarex, unfortunately with the twist off, but it is only a year old so im not worried about oxidation. I can smell this one even with the cap on.

Pours into my orange juice glass a dense pitch black with hints of ruby/brown at the extreme edges of the glass. The thick, liquid looks like motor oil as it exits the bottle. The creamy cocoa/tan head is thick and creamy and about a finger thick. It dissipates within a minute leaving behind a frosting of lacing one the sides of the glass and a foamy layer above the beer. Looks tasty.

The smell is bursting with a large hit of coffee with some chocolatey notes and a nice kick of bourbon. The bourbon lends some nice malty scents and a touch of woody vanilla. Unlike the FBS this oen doesn't have any sign of hops on the nose.

This beer is thick and intoxicating. The bourbon takes center stage in the taste, much like a BCS but with a leveling amount of coffee that balances out the beer immensely. The oak and vanilla also make a larger appearance and taste delightful, creating a breakfast stout above the others. THE hops make their presence in the after taste with a tiny hint of citrus, that is one of the main tings that makes this brew so amazing, its subtleties. The coffee, alcohol, and hops linger in the back of the throat while creamy, chocolatey malt lingers in on the tongue and roof of the mouth. The biitterness is perfect and the alcohol and sweetness aren't overt or cloying.

The mouthfeel is right on in my opinion, it is lightly carbonated, but not under carbonated. The mouthfeel is thick and creamy without being over the top.

This is a monster of a stout, though I'm not a coffee fan the flavor in this beer just explode on the palate and mingle with each other perfectly thus creating a highly delectable beer for my palate.

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Photo of mattgreger
4.78/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up at 2009 Aged Bottle at Capones Bottle Shop in East Norriton.

This brew poured as black as the night. Allowing no light to penitrate its darkness. It poured with a dark brown, bubbly head. It smells and looks delicious just on the pour. There was a little bit of lacing as the drink is consumed, but not very much.

Its hard to discribe that aromas that I am smelling as I sniff this brew. There is a aromas from all sides, all strong, and yet independant enough I can smell each one. The front has a blast of chocolate malts and vanilla. As the brew sits, the oak and bourbon come together with the alcohol to give this brew that warms you with just its aroma. There is a hint of a dark fruit as well.

As I take my first sip of this brewl, im at lose for words. This brew is amazing. My first taste is of vanilla and malts that just blend together so well. As the brew sat and warmed, there is hops background that moves in, but allows the brew to remain creamy. Then the best part hits, and the there is an amazing flavor of toasted oak that just warms you almost instantly. Again, I have had some amazing brews, this brew has me at a lose for words.

The mouthful on this brew is crazy, its creamy, soft and yet full of life and bold. Its a full bodied brew, that has amazing balance and flavors.

Though some would say the drinkability on this brew be hard because of such a high ABV at 11.2%. But once you get a few sips in you hardly want to put it down. I finished, and wanted another. This was a great, no an amazing brew. Founders has done it again. I will be sure to get my hands on this as much as I can.

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Photo of Duhast500
4.78/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the tap into a tasting glass.

The color is a dark black with brownish head and thick lacing on the glass.

The smell is a bit toasty at first, with some nice chocolate flavor that jumps out front. Some nice bourbon flavor kicks at the aroma and really pushes at the nose.

The taste is heavy bourbon stout flavor with some roasty flavor that feels like a nice biscuit flavor that was burnt in the toaster.

The feel of this beer is a bit heavy for a beer I expected to have some mellow flavor but was kicked hard. A bit of a heavy feel going down but a great tasting beer.

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Photo of RacerX5k
4.78/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Had one single last year and one single bottle this year and was not impressed at all. Thin, black licorice, with an unpleasant aftertaste. That review would be a generous 3.0 very average. This is not that review. When I saw the draft pop up on my list at an out of the way bar I purchased a good bit of Heady at last year, I thought, well, if I dont like it its only 7 bucks, and if I dont go after work Ill never know. So off I went. And what a pleasant surprise.

Walked in there is only 2 people in the bar and thats good. My 8 oz pour listed at $7 was only $5 and thats better. Beer looks real good, smells just ok (which does get better as you go), hints of chocolate, coffee, bourbon. First taste blows me away, nothing like the bottle. Big chocolate, coffee flavors mixing with a beautiful bourbon barrel in perfect harmony. Finishes dry, stout like dark fruits. Really impressive balance of flavor, thick and rich. 3 pours later I had my 24 oz bomber equivalent for $15 now thats what Im talking about. Something to chew on and contemplate this rainy, quiet, Monday afternoon. Founders you have finally impressed this Bourbon County lover. I will never care to have just one bottle, but this was a real treat.

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Photo of NolanGTI
4.78/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A stunner. Pitch black, little head. Huge nose of chocolate and roasted malts, vanilla at the edges.

Tastes smooth and rich with a hint of sweet chocolate at the front that strengthens on finish. Light carbonation makes this beer a great sipper and easy to actually drink in the morning. Have with some chocolate chip pancakes and get your Sunday started off right.

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Photo of ToasterChef
4.78/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A bottle of the 2010 edition of KBS is poured into the center of a tulip glass. It is an opaque dark brown liquid, with a perfect brown foam head. It's not too thick, but has enough heft to give you pause when you look at it and remark "now that's what a stout should look like!" Swirling the beer gives the head some strength and coats the walls of the glass with a foamy film that is trying its hardest not to recede.

The aroma is a great mix of coffee and bourbon. Roasty bitterness is quite apparent, but there is also smokiness in the background to remind you of the year this beer spent in close proximity to bourbon-soaked oak.

Tremendous flavor that refuses to admit it's an 11.2% imperial stout. Coffee and vanilla flavors dominate, but neither overpowers. It's not too bitter nor too sweet; both tastes are balanced perfectly. Bourbon notes come into play as I swallow and leave my mouth feeling warm without burning. Even as the bourbon flavor fades, an oakiness remains long after I've swallowed. I don't recall how hot KBS is when fresh, but a year in the cellar has mellowed things out to make it an exceptional beer.

It is certainly a heavy beer and has low carbonation. It is a touch sticky on my lips and does leave a coat behind, but has a viscous feel, like it wants to be swallowed and not cling to your mouth.

KBS is a benchmark in the world of bourbon aged stouts. There is justification to how sought-after this beer is. Do yourself a favor and seek a bottle out. Even better, spring for the entire 4 pack. Drink one fresh and age the remaining three. It will be worth it.

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Photo of CMoPink
4.78/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Absolutely love this beer. Got it on tap at the Founder's release party and it was just as delicious as it was talked up to be. I also have one bottle I am saving for a special occasion (I lied to someone and told them it was my birthday to get the bottle).

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Photo of becktone
4.78/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From notes 3-29-09

Here's to 500 reviews! I think I'm going to retire my trusty Guinness pint glass which has proved usefull in about 4/5 of these was my first and only glass for quite a long time. Prost!

Eye: Black and opaque...color doesn't get better than this! Is it clear? Who knows? Its too damn dark to tell, awesome! Head is steady at 1/2 finger and is very creamy, almost looks as if it came from a nitrous tap. Color of head is a light muddy brown. Really this is everything that you could expect. I think it would look marvelous next to a steak and some over-easy eggs at about 10:30-11:00 in the morning. It'd definitely look much better than that glass of OJ next to the plate. Lacing is very beautiful, rings and sheets....don't get much better...

Nose: Lots of coffee aromas here, like coffee beans, expressos, and cappuccinos all combined. But the strongest aroma is the coffee bean aroma, smells like you've got you're nose in a pot of Folgers or something....yet its much better quality than that. Under that roasted qualities come out but diminished by the strength of the coffee. Oak is under all that. Hints at bouron and alcohol warmth associated with bourbon, yet still hidden for the most part under the dominant coffee. I'd really like some more vanilla and oak tones that should be associated with bourbon barrel aging...Goose Island BCS has it right. Perhaps some age on this guy would improve its balance of aroma.

Tongue: Alcohol is evident, yet it doesn't get in the way, infact the flavor of the beer overtakes it! Oak is noticeable, but does not yet seem to meld all that well with the far I'm beginning to think that this one would be much better with some age on it. There is also a warmth to the flavor...yes from alcohol but the flavor of it is more of that associate with spirits-bourbon-than with high abv beer. Bourbon flavors tend to come through more closer to the finish, some oak, tiny hints at vanilla, but moreso a raw bourbon flavor like its been mixed with this beer as opposed to infused with it (BCS). Its different than BCS, more of a raw and less pronounced, yet at the same time more pronounced bourbon flavor. BCS has bourbon hints, oak and vanilla-that obviously come from the bourbon-as an overall flavor. This beer has a more pronounced "shot of bourbon" flavor. Its almost like during part of this beer you've added bourbon or taken part of a shot. It comes in right before the finish. Just before the finish bourbon flavor is perceived and the finish is a mix of beer and bourbon finish, a little warm and well...very good...hard to describe. Oakiness is there too, a woodiness. Both beers are good, but I think I'll have to say that this one is crafted better, the bourbon is more a part of the beer, it doesn't stick out. Rather its an integral part of this beer, it doesn't stick out but needs a bit searching for. All in all, this is the best bourbon barrel beer I've had to date, its blended the best and all the flavors work together the best.

Feel and Drinkability: Thick and heavy on the palate. Awesome. Slight warming at the swallow, but not all that much. Low carbonation. Overall the feel of chocolate syrup in melted chocolate ice cream slightly warming being spooned into the mouth...thick. Hahahha! Seriously kinda like that. I feel that this is an easily drinkable beer, so coffee infused that it can become dangerous. It is much easier to drink than BCS. Whereas BCS is a sipper, this one is a much easier beer to drink, not as hot. Its still a sipper, yet it doesn't feel me like I've just taken a shot of bourbon....where if I did-after drinking some beer-I'd need a few minutes to gather myself...(thats how BCS feels sometimes). This beer feels and drinks much better. Altogether awesome, expensive, yet awesome! Would that it were a bit cheaper though.

edit: and with this beer I retire this glass...

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Photo of schroederm
4.78/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

In a snifter:

I got an overpour, but clearly the head was thick - I have a solid blanket of chocolatey head on top. Jet black body, no light gets through. Tons bitter chocolate aromas, with some coffee, and bourbon as well. Tastes unbelievable: there's a perfect maltiness to balance heavy coffee bitter, followed by a wonderful bourbon aftertaste. It's thick and velvety as well, with perfect carbonation I could drink so much of this. The only thing that diminishes drinkability in my mind is it's ABV.

Overall: I enjoyed this so much more on tap than I did from a bottle. This is a truly unique and delicious AIS.

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Photo of bs870621345
4.78/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Finally broke into the top 10 on BA's top 100, and this was a great one to do it with.

Pours a black with a half finger mocha colored head. Leaves a bit of lacing down the glass.

Smells like bourbon. Hints of coffee and chocolate in the background, but more oak and vanilla.

Taste is like smell, lots of major flavors going on. Alcohol is mixed in as the beer warms. Some subtleties that i picked up on, hard to distinguish with my palate.

Mouthfeel is nice, not too carbonated, just the right amount for the style. Its oily and coats the mouth, and taste lingers on the tongue for a while.

Drinkability is great. If not so rare, I'd put down another. Its a really great beer.

Personally, I love the hot taste that these have and age would mellow them too much for me.

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4.78/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Served in a snifter.

Appearance: Pitch black, true darkness with a dark tan head which rose to maybe one fingers length.

Smell: Butterscotch, dark chocolate and rum. Wow!

Taste: Bitter sightly sweet (hence the dark chocolate), you feel the molasses and slight bourbon. You will not complain at all in this department.

Mouth: Medium carbonation but closer to the lighter side of things. But overall smooth!

Overall: I do not read any reviews before writing one, I don't check number nor anything else I just buy a beer sip a little and already have in my head what I think about. I think you and most real beer drinkers will not be disappointed. This beer is a true beast, an animal in it's own right. Complex, strong and incredibly satisfying. Salud!

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Photo of BradenMK
4.78/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

(In the interest of full-disclosure, this IS my first KBS tasting)

APPEARANCE (4) - Poured pitch black and let not a ray of light escape its grasp, as any self-respecting imperial stout should, unfortunately, had only a fleeting, fizzy head, and left no lacing. It was certainly above-average looking, but definitely not amazing in appearance. But hey, looks can be deceiving.

SMELL (4.75) - Vanilla. Bourbon. Maple Syrup. Dark Chocolate. Holy shit. Surprisingly, I don't pick up the coffee on the nose. I'd be interested to know at least a cursory summation of the recipe for this beer. Even though I don't care as much for bourbon barrel stouts, this smells almost perfect.

TASTE (5) - It's outstanding. I don't understand all the hate over this beer. Such a great depth of flavor with a balanced nuance of malt sweetness, upfront bourbon, followed by black coffee, and finally a lasting cocoa note that lingers as the heat from the alcohol warms all the way down. And yet, with all that alcohol, I wasn't hit by a harsh heat on the tongue, and the flavor wasn't influenced by alcohol burn at all. That's a good stout. The barrel-character itself may be a little drowned out by the coffee and bourbon (and any actual chocolate if there is some in the recipe), but it's perceptible in the after-taste. Oh, man, the coffee here is so much better integrated than it is in FBS, and it melds with the bourbon notes into a wholly different beast. Now I've gotta see how this compares with something like Toppling Goliath's Mornin' Delight. The chocolate definitely does come forward a bit more as the beer warms.

I've gotta say, with this beer jumping to 5th overall on the top 250 list this year, I was very skeptical that it would actually stand up to the hype. I am very much glad that it did. Maybe I've got blinders on because I'm just tasting it this year. Maybe it was better in years' past like so many people say it was. But that just goes to show how great a beer it still is.

Ha! I even got a slight cherry note on my last sip. What a nice little send-off to an already amazing beer.

MOUTHFEEL (4) - A little thin, which isn't truthfully unexpected from a beer with so many alterations and additions. Coffee + bourbon + lots of alcohol - it can unbalance the base recipe a little and break up some of those proteins. Not watery by any stretch of the imagination, but in terms of thickness, this guy doesn't measure up to beasts like Founders Imperial Stout or Yeti.

OVERALL (5) - Will I say I like this better than the more readily available Imperial Stout? That's hard to say, but after a few moments deliberation, I don't think so. But am I going to bash it for being so hard to get my hands on? Absolutely not. It is clearly a beer that is more difficult to make and more difficult to balance. If I liked bourbon in my stouts more, then this would absolutely be MUCH better than FIS. There is a LOT going on here, and I'm glad I got to try it. Am I going to go out seeking it every year from now on? Well... yeah, a little bit. It's not overpriced at all, so if I find it, and I will look for it, even if only a little, I am definitely going to buy some. Great, great beer. Founders nails it again.

Thanks again, Core42, you are a true Beer Advocate, my friend!

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Photo of eyncognito
4.78/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A strong pour produces a 1-finger head the color of chocolate milk. The beer is dark black with slight tints of brown. The aroma is awesome-it smacks you in the face with coffee, big bold and roasty, followed by bitter chocolate, hints of vanilla before the bourbon comes in-slightly boozy.

Taste isn't surprising, huge notes of coffee and chocolate mingle perfectly with the vanilla coming in along with bourbon, big bold brassy bourbon, just the slightest taste of alcohol and a slightly dry finish for such a sweet beer. Mouthfeel is thick, chewey-viscous with lively carbonation. A pleasure.

This is a one and done beer for me. Whereas with FBS I can knock back two or three in a sitting, this beer is a doozy with such boozy goodness. Highly recommended, unless you don't like bourbon or coffee-then stay away from this beer and perhaps you should consider how it is you live.

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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
4.56 out of 5 based on 12,161 ratings.
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