Welcome to BeerAdvocate!

Looking to talk, rate or trade beer? Join today by creating your free account.

Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) | Founders Brewing Company

3,038 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: 3,038 | Ratings: 11,854
Photo of BigIrishman
4.79/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured side by side with a Breakfast Stout

Appearance: Pours black as night and thick as molasses. Almost no head, and what tiny amount there is, is much darker than the breakfast stout.

Smell: Heavenly, much more complex than the BS, there is the overwhelming coffee/espresso but now there is a smokey, earthy and plenty of bourbony smell, and maybe a bit of hops as well.

Taste: Okay wasn't expecting this at all, the vanilla and smoke hits hard up front. Slightly after is the espresso/chocolate pounding, and finally a blast of straight bourbon. This may just be as complex a brew as Ive ever had. Also as somewhat assumed, this brew is way sweeter than it's not kentucky friend, but bourbon has a knack for doing that.

Mouthfeel: Thick/jetfuel etc.

Drinkability: That flavor is so huge and complex I almost need to drink two to wrap my head around it. But it is just like drinking a mornings breakfast in a glass.

Notes: And I thought the BS was amazing, I had no idea a concoction like this existed. Do yourself a favor....Get yourself some KBS!!!

 1,059 characters

Photo of JayS2629
4.79/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Absolutely amazing. I traded some Mad Elf for this and it was well worth it. Best stout I've had to date. Complex and very well balanced.

The pour produced a solid thick motor oil black that had a creamy tan head with moderate retention and sea foam lace. The smell was intoxicating with oak, smoke, and bourbon blending into roasted malts, chocolate, and robust coffee. The taste was a robust coffee, roasted malts, dark chocolate with a perfectly blended woody, oak and bourbon. The sweet bourbon flavor blended into tones of rich caramel sweetness and balanced with robust coffee with hints of vanilla.

The most impressive thing about this beer was how the complex flavors blended and complimented each other. The deep robust coffee lended a bitterness against a sweet caramel and bourbon smoothness. Nothing overpowered or dominated. Great chocolate undertones and smokey, woody notes finished it into a superb and mellow drink. It was creamy and full bodied. This is a beer to be sipped and savored. The bourbon flavor lends a sweetness and the booze burn was subtle and blended. Awesome beer!

 1,102 characters

Photo of Brondeau
4.79/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Incredibly complex. Some sweetness of chocolate masks the alcohol. Tasted to me like a liquid Tootsie Roll. Sourced from a nice employee at Ancona's in Wilton, from the back room.

 182 characters

Photo of SebD
4.79/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer review # 300!

Appearance: It has a nice jet black color to it. It has a thin mocha head that dies down somewhat fast and leaves some lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitly give out hints of chocolate, coffee, caramel, bourbon, vanilla and molasses.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a nice bourbon character with some chocolate, coffee, vanilla, caramel, molasses, oak and a nice roastiness. Such a great taste.

Mouthfeel: It has a low carbonation with a very nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with great flavors and aromas.

 588 characters

Photo of dpuia
4.79/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 bottle poured into a Chimay snifter. Pours rich dark color with no head. The smell is full of fresh ground coffee, nice and aromatic. The taste is like no other, best way I can describe it is take a mild IPA, and mix it with an iced coffee, with a smoked wood overtone. This beer is so thick you can nearly chew it. Drinkability is not exceptional for one reason, high ABV and smooth taste, can be a dangerous combination.

 427 characters

Photo of Niko_G
4.79/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Drank side by side with 2015 KBS. 2016 had a slightly darker head. Decent amount of chocolate and coffee on the nose. Mouthfeel was spot on -- slightly more viscous than the 2015 version. Taste was better than I remember -- better than the 2015, and definitely better than 2014 (if my memory serves me right!). This beer grows more complex as it warms, with the chocolate becoming more pronounced. Overall, a great example of a BA'ed stout.

 440 characters

Photo of mikeys01
4.79/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Upon first cracking the bottle, I am greeted with a decadent aroma of dark roasted mocha coffee, nutty sweetness, and just enough hint of bourbon to make you almost drool.
Kentucky Breakfast glugs into my glass an utmost dark brown color, topped with a thick dark chocolate colored head, which quickly fades into a dirty mahogany rim and lacing. I can already tell this beer doesn’t make any pretenses.

The Kentucky Breakfast definitely takes the game to another level, with an extremely well rounded full body, and almost unbeatable smoothness for a big bad stout like this one. Tasting envelops you in a malty morass of dark roastiness, fine cocoa, rich coffee, and oaty goodness, with a subtle undercurrent of bourbon lingering here and there. Mouthfeel is just tremendous, this really is almost a meal, and oh so drinkable. Alcohol is nigh undetectable and the finish is pleasantly sweet, with bourbon and vanilla lingering. Wow, this beer is really something, thanks much to CRJMellor for this one!

 1,010 characters

Photo of Smittysguinness
4.79/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


I just left the Michigant Winter Beer Festival...5 straight hours of consumption...hammered...

Anyway, this beer is incredible. My wife and I showed up about 12:30...a half hour after it started. Poured deep black with a dark brown head. Lacing was light, bu t stuck around.

Smelled of rich dark chocolate with malty sweetness. My wife even commented that that the malt sweetness was all she smelled.

Tastes of massive burbon...vanilla and oaky sweetness mixed with a normal Founders-style stout, replete with vanilla and harsh dark chocolate. The malt sweetness and hop bitterness is expertly mellowed by the year-long burbon aging. This is a beer for the ages.

Thanks again to the MI Brewers Guild for the massive beer offering. Only in MI will you drink beer with a thousand other people at below-freezing and love it. It snowed, it hailed, it blew cold wind, and we drank on.

I love this beer. They said they'd brew another batch starting now, and it'll be ready this time next year. Get this when you can!

 1,045 characters

Photo of brewdan
4.79/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black with a thin tan head.

Smells like awesome dark roast coffee and chocolate with a hint of vanilla.

Tastes like it smells; rich roasted dark coffee with a splash of bitter dark chocolate and a hint of bourbon and vanilla. Amazing.

Mouhfeel is creamy and smooth.

Dangerously drinkable although more than one or two would be a problem due to ABV.

I think the thing that sets KBS apart is that the bourbon and barrel aging don't overwhelm the beer. There are plenty of dark roast coffee and bitter dark chocolate notes to go along with the bourbon and vanilla from the barrels.

Exceptional brew that makes me glad that I live in MI.

 651 characters

Photo of Lemke10
4.79/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This highly acclaimed stout pours a smooth, pitch black color with very little head. The aroma is rich with chocolate, coffee, and bourbon. The taste is explosive and delicious. Deep robust flavors erupt on your taste buds as the alcohol warms your stomach. It finishes with a oak, bourbon flavor. This is smooth, delicious, and just as good as expected.

 354 characters

Photo of Cylinsier
4.79/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75


Pours pitch black, with a dark tan head that is little more than a lacing to begin with and dissipates down to about nothing.

Smells of roasted coffee beans and dark chocolate.

Tastes mildly smokey, a bit chocolaty and a little bacony. Has a good bourbony taste as it warms up.

Feels full with little carbonation.

The best imperial stout I've ever had. Too strong to drink a lot, but I would do it anyway.

Edit: After a recent tasting, I feel the need to dial this back a tad. It's still superb and a beer everyone should try, but it's not quite as good as it was when I first tried it. My notes above still perfectly reflect my feelings, but score-wise, I've downgraded this beer slightly.

 711 characters

Photo of StoutElk_92
4.79/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottled 02/16/16

Pours opaque pitch black with a dense, creamy, frosted milkshake-like brown foam head. Smells like roasted coffee, dark chocolate, vanilla, oak, bourbon, spice, caramel, some dried cherry, toffee, with mild grassy pine. Tastes like a dark, rich, baker's chocolate milkshake with dark roasted coffee, charred oak, bourbon, vanilla, caramel, toffee, some dried cherry, and mild earthy grass. Feels thick, medium bodied, soft, dense and creamy with low carbonation. This one meets the hype for me. Pretty much how I imagined it would be, but maybe better. Really rich dark chocolate, coffee, marshmallow vanilla, oak, bourbon, perfectly balanced and met with a creamy milkshake-like look and feel. Overall a really great bourbon barrel aged coffee chocolate imperial stout.

 788 characters

Photo of JWU
4.79/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle dated 2/17/2012 poured into a snifter. I let it warm for about 45 mins before pouring.

A- Black. Half finger of mocha colored head that dissipates quickly, but leaves just a bit around the edges for some lacing. Major alcohol legs here.

S- Really complex. Dark chocolate, vanilla/heavy oak notes, molasses, a light coffee note, and some booziness.

T- Heavy handed on the oak and bourbon notes up front, and a smoky wood note that dissipates quickly. Chocolate and some light sweetness associated with the Breakfast Stout portion come to balance. There's a little booze, but it's really quite well hidden. Dark chocolate and coffee bitterness hits later on as well. I get a slight coconut note as well (I get this on a lot of bourbon barrel aged beers). A lot going on here, and you can sit and pick out different flavors the more you sip on it.

M- Thick, syrupy. Carbonation is pretty agressive on the tongue, but not overdone. Drier on the finish than I would expect, and I appreciate that because otherwise I think I would fatigue on this beer quicker than I actually do.

O- I can't say it failed my expectations. Pretty much what I expected after having Backwoods Bastard a few times, and being a BIG fan of regular Bfast Stout. An excellent beer in every sense.

 1,283 characters

Photo of BigDaddyWil
4.79/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My vote for most anticipated beer of the year. After having a sample at the MIchigan Winter Beer Fest, I just couldn't wait to get my hands on it. First time bottled and a limited number of cases, less than 250. I sure hope Founder's will produce more in the future, so everyone has the opportunity to try this beer. And at $18.00 a four pack, make it more affordable. Enough griping, on to the review.
Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a snifter glass.
Kick ass label, no freshness or batch date.

Inky black in color, with a half inch dark tan head. Fades quickly leaving some spotty lacing, and a oily like residue clinging to the glass. Beautiful aromas of coffee, chocolate, bourbon, wood, and vanilla. Every whiff just seems to get better. The taste mimics the smell, very complex, but oh so yummy. The boubon seems to tame some of chocolate and coffee flavors. Perfectly balanced and not heavy at all. Creamy smooth, and just a suttle hint of 10% abv. Very easy too drink, maybe two or three in one sitting. Worth the wait!!! If you like the Breakfast Stout, your gonna love this!!! Fantastic job!!!! Already looking foward to next years batch!!! Consider yourself lucky, if you can find it.

 1,202 characters

Photo of circus_cat
4.79/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

L: motor oil black, thin ring of mocha head, inviting
S: bourbon, currant, coffee, cigar
T: bourbon, booze (in a good way), cigar, dark fruits
M: velvet-smooth

This lived up to the expectation!

 194 characters

Photo of paco1029384756
4.79/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a small, dark tan head that fades quickly into a thin ring of lacing.

Scent of bourbon and coffee dominate with some chocolate, vanilla and raisins in the background. There is a hint of alcohol, but it does not divert from the awesome scent.

Taste is mostly coffee, with a smooth chocolate and bourbon backbone. Roasted malts, some chocolate and raisins come in finishing dry. Wonderful bourbon flavor, but too much coffee flavor.

Mouthfeel is heavy and smooth, very enjoyable.

Drinkability is good, better than most beers its strength.

After a few months, this mellows into perfection with a strong sweet dark fruit presence in the scent with a nice coffee and bourbon presence still.

The taste is more of the same. Insanely rich with a lot of sweet dark fruit and sugars. The bourbon keeps it lively without being overpowering.

Served at cellar temperature, this beer is among the best I've ever had. I didn't think this beer was worth the hype before, but now I know that it exceeds the hype and then some. One of the best Imperial Stouts I've ever had.

 1,080 characters

Photo of Murph-Dawg
4.79/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Lynnfield Yardhouse had a small release on tap of both 2013 and 2014, I preferred the 2013 but both had Excellent flavor, well worth the lunchtime trip!

2013 was a bit stronger of a bourbon but was soo good!!!

2014 seemed slightly less bold in terms of the bourbon flavor but again absolutely lived up to the reputation!

This beer is the real deal, completely deserving of all the hype!!

 390 characters

Photo of Oh_Dark_Star
4.79/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This was an exceptional beer, if I recall it was the 2013 I first tried and fell in love - very smooth chocolate and coffee and wonderfully oaky. Unfortunately the 2015 was more boozy/hot and had less barrel character.

 218 characters

Photo of vfgccp
4.79/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Sapsuckers in Huntington, NY

A - Black with cola highlights around the rim. Trace dusting of lace.

S - Sweet brown sugar. Molasses. Oka. Soft smoke note. Chocolate covered raisins. Vanilla. Plum.

T - Chocolate. Scotch-soaked raisins. Malted milk balls. Milk from the bottom of a bowl of Cocoa-Krispies. Chocolate milk shake. Baileys Irish Cream. Light oak.

M - Soft with a never ending aftertaste. Just enough booze to keep it warm.

O - Distinctly better on tap than in bottle.

 492 characters

Photo of Gambyt20
4.79/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Great nose on this beer. Bourbon and coffee dominate the smell in a very good way. Taste follows the nose and the chocolate comes thru at the end. Very well balanced and great sipper. This was from bottle dated 2/16/16 and would love to try this on tap. Stocked up to age some but since I love coffee stouts, might be drinking these sooner than later. Great stuff.

 364 characters

Photo of TheBeerTruck
4.79/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2013 KBS - Opened a bottle on March 27th, the first day of this year's bottle release:

A - As always, a super dark oil black color with a nicely creamy light brown head.

S - Coffee and bourbon all over the top of it in a great way. Behind them, chocolate with hints of vanilla.

T - This beer ages great, but it's so nice to have it fresh again. The bourbon comes through in a way that just doesn't hang on with aging. It makes me wonder how much bourbon was still in the barrels when Founders put the beer in them.

M - The aroma and taste has lots of great boozy characteristics, but it's not hot in the mouth the way one might expect.

O - Amazing! I can't wait to slowly drink my bottles over the next year to experience the diversity time will give this beer's flavors.

 780 characters

Photo of nrbw23
4.79/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours either a very dark brown or black. No head at all just a few tan bubbles.

S- Very rich and very deep. Expresso with hints of bourbon and chocolate, cream, lactose, brown sugar, caramel, bourbon is more powerful as the beer warms. Vanilla extract comes out near the finish. Smells really awesome.

T- Follows the nose really well and is very complex. Burnt coffee up front with a lot of roasted malt coming through. Dark bitter chocolate and a hint of bourbon.

M- Crisp and very smooth, medium to heavy body, light to medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D- Drinkability is very good. Everything about this brew is impressive. Highly recommended.

 668 characters

Photo of SacoDeToro
4.79/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured a rich coal black with a small brown head.

The aroma was huge. It was bursting with roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, bourbon and vanilla. There was a little alcohol in the nose as well. No hops.

The flavor of the beer was richly malty with a ton of intense coffee and bittersweet chocolate. Vanilla was there to accent things. The bourbon flavor was very pronounced. I'm a big bourbon fan so this was a real treat for me. There was a nice creaminess to the beer and it also had some faint tangy notes. The hops were there to balance things out, but weren't too powerful.

The carbonation was perfect. I can't believe this beer is 10% - it's dangerously drinkable at that level. This beer is a superior example of complimentary flavors, most notably stout, chocolate, and coffee.

 803 characters

Photo of epickup
4.79/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Finally got my hands on this after two years of trying and I was not disappointed.

I'm not an IPA pimp by any stretch & I don't like most rice adjunct crap from the mega breweries.

This case cost me right around $122.00 give or take some change but was split between several friends buying in. averaged out around $5 / bottle.

smell: Good lord in heaven can this be an aftershave?

taste: dark chocolate, coffee, something sweet I couldn't place, honey maybe, milk chocolate? Great notes from the bourbon cask.

first drink: not sure - my eyes rolled back in my head. The flavor was amazing, I wonder how this beer would do under Nitrogen, instead of CO2

second drink: able to taste the above flavors, a bit of euphoria, and I could feel the alcohol evaporating in my mouth. No lingering, nasty aftertaste.

end of bottle: small buzz, definitely slightly impaired.

halfway through second bottle: I feel like I've had about 9 Yeunglings in an hour, on my own buzz-rating.

I'd love to taste the difference from bottle to tap, but I get the feeling there really wouldn't be much of one.

damn glad I bought it, damn glad I drank it.

 1,138 characters

Photo of ixodus
4.79/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: KBS pours jet black in color with a small mocha colored head that dissipates immediately leaving a few floating bubbles. Light does not penetrate the beer.

S: Strong hints of bourbon, vanilla, and coffee

T: This is most balanced bourbon oaked beer I have ever had. The first thing I taste is bourbon and vanilla followed by rich dark coffee . The flavors really compliment each other, nothing is overpowering. The aftertaste lingers for quite awhile.. I wish it lasted forever.

M: Very smooth and creamy with a medium body. Carbonation doesn't appear in the head but it's definitely there and perfect for the beer.


 629 characters

Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 3,038 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.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.