Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) | Founders Brewing Company

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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.40%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
This stout is brewed with a hint of coffee and vanilla then aged in oak bourbon barrels for over a year.

Note, this is NOT simply barrel-aged Breakfast Stout. It is an entirely different beer.

Now labeled as "KBS."

ABV varies by batch.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-13-2004

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Reviews: 3,042 | Ratings: 11,894
Photo of DrDemento456
4.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

The legendary founders KBS. Never did I think I would find a bottle without trading. Picked it up at my local mix and six for 6.50 a bottle

A - Fuel black with no head to speak of. Thought it was kind of odd but because of the ABV it seemed right. No bottle date on label or bottle.

S - Right up from the bottle I got oak and coffee but in my tulip glass I can smell coffee and bourbon with more oak. Slight burnt sugars also.

T - Warming bourbon followed by vanilla, oak, then bitter coffee and chocolate finish.

M - Wow the bourbon packs a less than mild punch than expected! Still very noticeable yet the bitterness of the chocolate and coffee malt take some of the heat off.

D - What to think... Really an amazing brew that I guarantee at least an A in this reviewers opinion. Strong flavor and high ABV with expected high price tag. May have it again if I hit up the brewery.

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Photo of liamt07
4.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle courtesy of TMoney2591, via the Support Your Team BIF! Cheers dude, a dream come true to sip this one. Into a brandy snifter, bottled on February 18, 2010.

Pours pitch black, less than half a finger of DARK brown head, leaving some bubbles and a collar in its wake. Lacing is trace. Nose is wonderful: loads of dark chocolate, coffee, bourbon, a general lovely roastiness, more coffee, a touch of alcohol. Taste is bourbon sweetness upfront with some molasses and licorice, melds seamlessly with lots of coffee and some lesser chocoalte. Lingering alcohol burn in the throat; long, long finish. Nose and flavour alternates between being dominated by either bourbon or coffee as it warms, pleasing everytime I raise this to my nose. Very warming, smooth, creamy and sweet in the mouth with some stickiness. Excellent drinkability for the ABV.

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Photo of yoko
4.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is clearly the most amazing Stout I have ever had. Sampled at the January 2005 EBF, it remains in memory with clarity. Wow! The visual, smell and taste were of extraordinary synergy. A short tan head accented the rich, deep blackness. Superb coffee and chocolate malts warmed and woven with Burbon tempered by oak cask character. Smooth, thick, big, present. The texture, dimension were divine. The burbon drip was endless and with comfort as it warmed ceaslessly. It remains on my palate to this day!

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Photo of Justin_Neff
4.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: Jet black body. Dark khaki head. Settles into a thin, frothy ring.

S: Tons of coffee. Bourbon, Chocolate milk, loads of sweet vanilla, underlying everything is a strong oaky character.

T: Coffee upfront, balanced with a sharp bourbon bite - although its far from being what I would call overbearing. Tons of bitter chocolate, comes across like a thick chocolate milk. The finish and aftertaste is consumed by sweet vanilla, which brings everything together perfectly.

M: Full body. Creamy. Moderate carbonation. Booze is hidden well.

O: Founders can do no wrong, and this one is no different. It lives up to the hype. The balance in this one is incredible. The bourbon bite upfront is strong, but the chocolate and vanilla balance it out to perfection.

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Photo of jmasher85
4.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I could literally fill myself up drinking this for breakfast, assuming I'm not doing much else that morning. Rich, thick, dense, black as sin, and decent foam on medium carbonation, the texture of a great beastly stout is there. And it gets better once you sip it. This is, for my money, the superior big brother of CBS, and while it shares textural qualities, it's a different animal and, aside from being easier to find, my preferred brew.

Not overtly chocolatey, but plenty of cocoa and coffee for sure, which keeps it from being overwhelmingly sweet. The bitterness of the flavor works here better than any stout I've had before, I think. There's also a mesmerizingly chalky, tannic texture to the bitterness brought on by the cocoa and oak - what I assume is charred oak from the smokey smell that, mixed with a hint of vanilla, makes me dream of this beer days later. God, there's so much going on in this beer that it's hard to say much else besides "drink the dang stuff!"

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Photo of YonderWanderer
4.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Kentucky Breakfast Stout is yet another outstanding brew from Founders. Pouring almost pitch black with a light layer of dark brown foam, it's aroma is full of coffee, chocolate, with hints of vanilla and bourbon. The taste yields this array of flavor, with both the vanilla and bourbon having greater interplay with the dominating coffee and chocolate. Some roasted flavor is evident as well. The alcohol provides a bit of warmth, but in a very pleasant way. KBS is delicious, and very drinkable. Given the ABV, it's not likely something you'd session on, but it's a great way to start or end an evening.

Does it live up to the hype? Absolutely.

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Photo of BlushingMonk
4.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Having tasted bottles through the years, this is a review of 2015. Pours a dark burnt umber, almost black, but not. The dark tan head hangs around and gently fades. The nose is a WHISKY punch with a faint whiff of coffee following behind. Over the tongue it is super smooth and creamy with an explosion of dark chocolate, espresso, and tons of bourbon. This is a damn good beer, although I think earlier years were better. Having said all that, KBS has fallen of the pedestal in my book as other BA stouts have caught my attention. KBS has earned its place in beer history that's for sure, but I find myself wanting more from 2015 KBS than it is willing to give. The story of it in my head, call it "the hype," is more than it can live up to.

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Photo of Czequershuus
4.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This beer pours a motor-oil black with a small but well sustained head. The aroma that hits first is freshly ground coffee, followed by a myriad of other smells - vanilla, nutmeg, oak, plum, apricot, hickory, bourbon, cream, and apple juice. On the sip the first apparent flavor is vanilla, which come is with an ice cream smoothness, as we s some milk chocolate. The mid-palate is where the coffee comes through, but is even more cremy than on the nose, and it is accompanied by plum, date, and fig, and on the finish I get hickory and dark chocolate. The mouthfee is very cremy, not overly sweet but certainly in the dessert world. Overall this is an utterly decadent masterpiece of a beer. My first KBS is an awesome experience.

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Photo of Falcon91Wolvrn03
4.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance – A super dark black that lets no light through. A thin tan head.

Smell – A very nice smell of bourbon and chocolate. There’s some coffee too, but not as pronounced as in their original breakfast stout. A touch of molasses as well. Very nice.

Taste – The bourbon taste is apparent up front, but not overpowering. Chocolate, dark roasted coffee and molasses.

Mouthfeel – Feels a bit thinner than the original breakfast stout. Maybe a little less carbonated too. But it’s good for the style.

Drinkability – I'm really starting to appreciate bourbon beers, and this is one of the best.

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Photo of dav3290
4.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Reviewed 12/25. Finally busted one of these out for Christmas. First time having.

A - Perfect. Dark and rich with a thin brown head

S- Best smelling beer I've ever had. The strong coffee and bourbon notes meshing together are heavenly.

T- While not as great as the smell it's easily one of the top 5 best tasting beers I've ever had. Chocolate, coffee, vanilla, oak, all incredible.

M- Only knock on KBS is I which it was a bit fuller. Kind of thin. Still great.

O- One of the best beers made in the world easily compares to BCBS. So glad I have another bottle. Was afraid getting this at 9 months old the coffee would die down but it's a force in this one. Just an amazing beer.

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Photo of ZeroSignal
4.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle

A - Pours motor oil black with a good one finger's worth of cappuccino colored head. Retention settles to a thin layer but remains until the end; sticky lacing.

S - Immediate smell after pouring is like Hershey's Chocolate Syrup. After sitting for a bit, notes of coffee bean, espresso, chocolate, and a woody/earthy aroma come through. A bit of alcohol is also present in the nose.

T&M - Thick and full bodied but smooth. Many bold flavors; chocolate, vanilla bean, cocoa nibs, and a big earthy presence. There is a woodsy, ashy quality here that contributes to the earthy factor. Fresh roasted espresso beans and coffee notes. The finish is somewhat tannic with a bit of alcohol warmth, and the chocolate and coffee notes seem to linger forever.

D - I wouldn't guess that this was over 11% ABV. What a tasty, deicious and drinkable beer. So many flavors but all well balanced. This is a home run from Founder's, and it would get solid 5's from me but for the high ABV impacting the drinkability

Notes - I was actually expecting this beer to be over hyped and not as good as described...I was very happily proven wrong. I think this beer would be fantastic with dessert or as an aperitif, but my pairing preference would be tiramisu.

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Photo of pburland23
4.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a snifter.

Beer pours a dark, dense black. No light escapes when held up to a lamp. Pitch black. A thin wispy layer of brown head appeared and quickly dissipated...not surprising from a stout.

Smell is dominated by dark chocolate, a touch of bitter coffee, bourbon and a faint hint of woodiness. There's a lot going on in the nose of this beer. Quite complex and aromatic.

Taste starts off with the traditional flavors of a stout including roasted malts and a touch of coffee and chocolate. As the sips progresses, the sweetness of bourbon (vanilla and oak) trickles in and provides balance to the malt, coffee and chocolate. I really expected the bourbon sweetness to absolutely dominate the flavor. I'm quite pleased that Founders used bourbon as a complimentary player to the stout rather than making it the star of the show. It's that kind of sophistication in brewing that makes KBS a world class beer.

THe mouthfeel is thick and oily. As expected with a big stout, there isn't a lot of carbonation, but what is there works well. For an 11.2% beer, this one is a dangerous beer as the alcohol is cloaked so incredibly well, it's not even funny.

Overall, an exceptional beer. Sophisticated, complex and delicious. Glad I got a chance to enjoy one of these.

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Photo of dookiepower
4.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle poured into my Bruery tulip

Appearance- with a normal pour KBS yielded a 1 1/2 finger head that had pretty decent retention and lots and lots of lacing on the tulip. It poured motor oil black with a very viscous body that just looked amazing coming out of the bottle. A very great looking beer, almost proud of itself inside the tulip with the mocha colored head.

Smell- I sniffed the bottle right after I opened it and got all coffee. Then once I poured it I sniffed again and got all chocolate. After a few minutes and letting it rise in temperature there was a great dark chocolate and coffee smell that seemed to have a small amount of bourbon and a little heat coming off it. I didn't detect any wood in the smell from the barrel but it was all bourbon if anything that I got from the barrel. Also a nice smoky almost tobacco note was extremely nice. Overall a great smelling beer.

Taste- Wow, a great lead off with a beautiful malty chocolate kick that moved into a deep coffee flavor with a beautiful beautiful bourbon backbone. No detection of alcohol at all over the entire hour that I nursed this baby. As it warmed the chocolate became more pronounce and the coffee subsided, and was replaced with even more marvelous bourbon. In the taste however I can get a bit of oak and vanilla from the barrels, not overpowering but just the right balance to let you know it was bal-aged.

Mouthfeel- going along nicely with the pour the mouthfeel is a nice and thick creamy goodness. It was a very very smooth and full bodied beer that I really loved. If anything I would want just a little bit more viscosity but thats nitpicking. The carb was right on for a stout noticeable but not too much.

Overall- Wow so far my favorite stout. KBS was nothing short of amazing for me. After having a not so great time with Abyss (I'm not a licorice fan) I was hesitant towards big bal-aged stouts, but not anymore. I wish I was closer to Michigan so I could get this goodness every year. What a beer.

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Photo of Klym
4.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a syrupy black with a small tanned head. Dark and deep like a good BA stout should be.

S: Espresso, bourbon, spice, and chocolate-- everything dark and rich.

T: Pretty much the same as the nose. Your classic bourbon barrel aged stout flavors, all exceptionally deep and rich. The most amazing thing about this beer is that while it deals with such dark flavors and has a classically thick mouthfeel, it's amazingly sessionable. This is the only BA stout I've ever encountered that I could imagine knocking back four or 5 glasses of. Everything is so incredibly well blended together, you can't get more blend and balance than this.

M: Really balanced mouthfeel, thick but thin enough and smooth. Unlike some BA stouts it doesn't make you feel like you're drinking delicious mud. Again, I don't think you can get more balance than this.

O: KBS is worthy of its worship, I think that can't be denied. If you're talking about classic flavors of bourbon spiciness, chocolate, coffee, and a little roast, I don't think you can put those flavors together any better than it's done in KBS or deliver them in a better mouthfeel. I will say though that if you're looking for not just a perfectly executed version of a classic bourbon barrel aged stout and instead are looking to be surprised with new and bold flavors, that KBS might disappoint you. Besides the balance, blend, and excellent execution, I'd argue there's little here that's very original or new to an experienced stout drinker. Anyway, my hat goes off to founders for this one. Great beer.

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Photo of TheRossness
4.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

One of my favorite brews. KBS is almost always good. It pours a dark brown and reeks of coffee. It tastes like coffee with boozy undertones. The 2016 version seems to have less of a boozy taste than previous years. It also seems to be a little thinner boddied. I remember KBS being thick. When I've found it on tap, it drinks more like an imperial porter. Its one of the best bourbon barrel aged imperial stouts there is. compared to something like a Bourbon County, this absolutely kills it ever single time.

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Photo of Abbbp
4.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Special thanks to Bryan for letting us dig this out of the cellar, and of course to MajorBuckeye for sending some down in a quality trade, can't wait to vertical that with the 2014 when it drops next April.

The appearance is just crude, crude oil that is. Loved the way it has that "it's so black it's brown" look as you drink it and notice the lackluster, albeit expected, lacing.

The smell is just oak barrel, toasted notes, roasted coffee, dark chocolate, some sweetness from dark dark fruit, just a wake me up smell that's great!

The taste is exactly what you smell, little added piped tobacco in the taste. The mouthfeel lingers just perfectly with the oils of the barrel guiding it down the throat.

Overall, well founders does it again, they really came through with this beast. #3 beer in the world, meh, idk about that, but is it in my top ten and a MUST HAVE, well definitely.

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Photo of Marty30
4.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2011 vintage,poured into my Founders snifter at 55 degrees.

A. Very nice blacker than black thick pour,with about a one finger Khaki colored head that dissapates down to a nice cap.Decent lacing stuck to the glass.

S. Big chocolate and coffee noted hit hard upfront.Bourbon and vanilla and oakey finish.truely wonderful smelling brew.

T. Just like the smell Chocolate ,coffee and a great big bourban taste,it's not overpowering though.I get some vanilla in the end.Awsome and balenced

M. Awesome thick and smooth and creamy.Very impressed,coats the mouth and sits nice on the tounge.

This is my favorite beer hands down.It is very well balenced and complex.At 11.2 it is very drinkable.Founders did an amazing job here. They always continue to impress.A absolute must try.

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Photo of Lerxst
4.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Much thanks to sjccmd for this one.

2009 vintage poured into a tulip

A-Black as night. A moderate pour produced a thin mocha colored head that receded into a ring. Looks good.

S-A great roasted coffee scent hits me right off followed up by definitive chocolate notes, bourbon and some vanilla. Smells great.

T-A nice bourbon flavor hits first but doesn't overwhelm, followed up by sweet vanilla, roasted coffee, chocolate and a wonderful earthy/woody flavor. Well balanced, these flavors all represent and really intermingle nicely with each other. Simply put, this is exceptional.

M-Viscous, full bodied, coats the palate well, creamy with a carb level that is just right.

D-Its really drinkable for a big beer. Many of these would certainly be doable, if I don't end up falling off my chair ;)

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Photo of steve8robin
4.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Got this one from an awesome tip from Yamar18...

A: Perfectly pitch black. No head but little mocha colored bubble along the top of the brew.

S: Smells very well balanced. Coffee, oatmeal, and oak scents eminate from the glass. Smells delicious!

T: Awesome balance! Just like the smell, the coffee and oak flavors are balanced perfectly! Coffee hits you up from first and almost a caramel type flavor on the backend from the oak and bourbon. Is not one bit hard to drink and very complex flavors! Not many brewers get that right.

M: Fantastic cabonation

D: Despite the complexity of this brew, not one aspect is overpowering so it goes down surprisingly easy.

All in all, this brew is fantastic. I can't believe I took so long to try it. Definitely one of my faves! Founder's has a great thing going here. Recommended for craft beer-aholics and people looking to expand into craft brews alike.

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Photo of afdempse
4.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle, 2011 Vintage.

Pours a viscous black liquid with tiny dark brown bubbles that evaporate into the abyss.

Nose is an incredible mixture of vanilla, bourbon, dark roasted coffee and chocolate.

The first sip brings forth solid espresso flavors, followed by bourbon, oak, vanilla, and roasted barley. Bitterness is present, keeping it all in check in a beguiling balancing act. Alcohol definitely comes forward in this beer, but in all the right ways, playing off of the other flavors and enhancing their individual characteristics. Bourbon and sweet vanilla overtones stay all the way through the finish with espresso notes in the breath. Toasted oak takes over at the end, drying things out with an earthy spiciness, and leaving the palate ready for more.

Mouthfeel is super smooth and creamy with oatmeal slickness and sparkly nitro-esque carbonation.

This is the beer that sets the bar high for all others to follow. Sublime in every way, I hope they continue to brew this for years to come.

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Photo of davesway10
4.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I must say, after waiting nearly two years to try this beer I am not disappointed. Well worth the wait. The coffee and chocolate mix beautifully with this brew. The bourbon while muted is very present and pleasant. I have a case to last me till next years release, I hope it makes it.

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Photo of HoppedUp420
4.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle poured into a pint glass

Appearance - Very dark brown almost black. Opaque, very thick and creamy look. A small amount of coffee colored head appearing at the top.

Smell - Very complex and rich. Strong coffee odor followed by a strong bourbon atmosphere. Chocolate, and Vanilla notes peaking there way though the strong coffee and bourbon smell.

Taste - Simply Amazing. One of the best stouts I have ever had. Coffee, Bourbon, Chocolate, Vanilla. All well balanced to make a delicious beer. Very complex strong taste. Truly outstanding!

Mouth feel - Smooth and rich. The bourbon characteristic warms the mouth and throat. Amazing.

Drinkability - For how complex this beer is, I was able to drink the 4-pack in one sitting with ease. Then again, I drink a 4 pack of regular Founders Breakfast Stout at least once a week, so this was more of a treat for me.

Simply an amazing stout. The bourbon character makes this beer so unique. It warms my insides as does good whiskey and scotch. A+ without a doubt.

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Photo of MRAnderson
4.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pitch black in appearance with a cocoa tinted creamy one finger head which i poured aggressively.

The smell is bourbon with tons of vanilla,dark and milk chocolates with some great expresso coffee notes.I just want to attach my sniffer to my face and live this way, that is how good this beer smells.

The taste of this beer is heavenly! Vanilla,chocolate,prominent bourbon on the back end with deep expresso notes..There is a warming effect much like whiskey on the way down to your stomach. There is quite a bit of boozieness to this beer which is expected with the high abv...This beer has more than a hint of Bourbon to it, it tastes like the barrels were filled with some whiskey before the beer itself was poured in to age..This is a huge beer and i personally love every aspect of it! Founders does it again!!!

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Photo of rye726
4.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

'07 vintage poured into a snifter at 45F.

Pitch black color, can't detect any shades of brown here. Oh I love a beer with a nice espresso colored head. It subsides quickly, but settles to a nice cover and creates a quality lace.

The nose is of coffee, oats, chocolate, bourbon and oak. There is also sweet roasty malts, vanilla and molasses.

The taste is stong of coffee, vanilla, oats and chocolate with a light whiskey and oak character. The finish contains a faint lavender floral hop taste that is quite delicious. Fantastic.

Full body and medium carbonation creates a beautifull mouthfeel. This brew passes over the tounge like silk.

Very well balanced and oh so drinkable. It is an oatmeal infused coffe/beer delight. Could drink this for breakfast any day. Good stuff and highly recommended.

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Photo of ryantho00
4.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I am excited to finally try this beer, cheers Mark for the 4pack!

12oz bottle poured into snifter.

It pours perfectly opaque black, with a creamy, frothy 2 finger that settles quickly. Good carbonation, nice creamy swirls and lacing.

I usually don't get much from smell, but man this smells awesome! Coffey, chocolate, some tobacco, vanilla and a spiciness that could be hops. Very deep and complex on the olfactory system.e

This beer is just phenomenal from the first taste. I get coffee chocolate and oatmeal with vanilla, some smokiness, marshmallow tastes, bourbon (slightly, very well balanced), more coffee, mocha, caramel, espresso, and some alcohol. Has a nice warming alcohol bitterness, some hops. Alcohol is masked well.

I get a fully chewy mouthfeel, and pure creaminess and smoothness. Very very delicious. Nice carbonation, did I mention very smooth?

This beer is just fantastic, I love regular breakfast stout, but this tops something that I didn't think could be topped, I literally could drink this for breakfast in Kentucky, or anywhere!!!!


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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 3,042 ratings.
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