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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Ratings: 12,600 |  Reviews: 3,220
Photo of jorg2619
4.32/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This famous beer has come out of my cellar for a taste 6 months later. The pour was black with a multi toned tan to dark brown head that falls to a thin line of foam with large legs and some irregular lacing. The smell is awesome complex, coffee, boozy overtones and a bit of roasted malt and sweet hints of some malt somewhere out in the beer. i found the taste to be complex (understatement) and strong. I taste a hint of chocolate at the front of my tongue. I then am smashed with the collage of coffee, booze, and roasted malt flavors. i also tasted a hint of metal flavor from the extreme amount of strong coffee flavors. The mouthfeel is exceptional and that is all I am going to say about this. I have one more from this year in my cellar so it will remain fro another 6 months to a year. Good beer

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Photo of hsway
4.32/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

a: Very dark, not very much (dark brown) head or lacing.

s: Bourbony, oaky sweetness, coffee.

t: The coffee and chocolate flavors stand up remarkably well to the bourbon barrel aging. This beer has a lot going on, but all the flavors harmonize very well.

m: Quite thick, bordering on syrupy. Coats your throat.

d: Surprisingly easy to drink given the ABV.

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Photo of baos
4.32/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Black as night. Sedimenty.

S: Alcohol, dark chocolate, coffee, burnt caramel and hops.

T: Awesome dark chocolate and caramel brownie flavor at the start then a big alcohol splash thats not too strong but strong enough.

M: Some sediment and light to medium bodied.

D: I had the rest of a friends bottle in the hot sun and it was plenty to buzz me. I'd like to enjoy it on a cool night in a dark pub.

Make me an angel
That flies from Montgomery
Make me a poster
Of an old rodeo
Just give me one thing
That I can hold onto
To believe in this livin'
Is such a hard way to go

Breakfast Stout from your home state will help you Mr. Prine!

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Photo of steadydose
4.32/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Twist of 12 oz. bottle acquired in a trade

Bottle opened with a hiss, initial smell is fantastic.

KBS is thick with a heavy body. Dark Black, a little foam that looks like a dark brown froth, poured into my tulip glass.

The smell is fantastic, lots of chocolate, roasted coffee, a hint of bourbon which all come together nicely.

I taste a really good chocolate stout, good bitterness on the finish, the bourbon is well integrated, not boozy. I personally like a little more bourbon heat. KBS is so balanced where all the flavors meld well together, and no flavor profile is too dominating.

The mouthfeel is excellent, thick and creamy mouthfeel with the perfect amount of carbonation. My favorite aspect of this beer.

Overall, for a stout coming in at 11.2%, this stout is as drinkable and delicious as I have ever had. Glad to have another bottle, going to need to trade for some more and stock up for winter.

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Photo of Fresh_hops
4.32/5  rDev -5.3%

Photo of AgaetisByrjun
4.32/5  rDev -5.3%

Photo of BrandonMcCarthy
4.32/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2016. Good stout, not amazing. Got a couple for free and enjoyed them at that price.

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Photo of enternalhoppiness
4.32/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2015 lacked the mouth feel of 2014 . What happened? It is till in class of stouts by itself other than Founders Russian Imperial Stout which I feel is better.

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Photo of LoganMc
4.32/5  rDev -5.3%

Photo of DoctorDog
4.32/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 02/09 vintage 12 oz. bottle into a snifter. Thanks to beveritt for passing this along to me.

A- Deep and dark, essentially black and opaque. Pours with just a small dark brown head, which recedes to a smattering of bubbles almost instantly.

S- Rich, roasted coffee, chocolate, bourbon and

T- Bourbon and oak laden vanilla, dark roasted coffee and caramel char give a bit of a smoky edge to the finish. A bit of a boozy kick.

M- Moderately low carbonation, with a fairly full feel.

O- Good to very good. Standout smell and flavor...this beer teeters on the edge of "A+" IMO.

Future outlook: This brew did very well after 2.5 years of hibernation....would like to see how one would withstand even longer...but alas, this was my only sample, and the hassle to getting another one when they come out and stowing it for 3+ years....

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Photo of benclimbs
4.32/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black and totally opaque, beautiful - no light coming through this beast, about the viscosity of motor oil, knock a few points off for lack of head even when direct poured but doubt you could really get any with a beer this big.

Smell is good but the coffee really overpowers the subtleties in the nose - bourbon is hard to pick up and the cocoa comes through but 80% of what you smell is just coffee grounds. Again, this is good but I look for geared complexities in big stouts like this.

Again, the taste maintains the strong coffee profile but brings in the vanilla from the boubron barrels, some cocoa/chocolate and a lot of off-bitter malts - very enjoyable.

Mouthfeel is perfect for a 12% imperial stout, super impressive - maintains a lightness that is super surprising.

Overall this is a great beer, I've waited years to try this and am very thankful that Saint Kitten sent this over to us from the land of Texas.

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Photo of ZBELL
4.32/5  rDev -5.3%

Photo of matttttYCE
4.32/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - A little more than a finger high brown head is produced from a moderate pour rate into my Stone IRS glass. Color is pretty much black as the night, as I expected. Head diminishes pretty quickly and leaves some slight lace. That's expected also from the high alcohol content and barrel aging.

Smell - Smell is actually not that much like what I expected, but not bad at all. Up front I'm getting coffee, dark chocolate, very rich roasted malts, some burnt notes, caramel, and sweetness. Behind that I get some lighter notes of vanilla, oak, and bourbon aromas. These aromas come out a little more as this warms but the bourbon/vanilla really take a back seat here, which wasn't what I was expecting at all. Not bad but I think I'd prefer a little more bourbon aroma.

Taste - Bourbon flavors aren't as light as the aroma suggested. Taste is VERY balanced and complex like Founder's achieved the perfect ratio to let the base beer shine through while the bourbon, coffee, and vanilla work their magic in such a wonderful way. I get dark chocolate, coffee, burnt and roasted malts, a little bittersweet taste in there, lighter oak, vanilla, caramel, balanced bourbon flavors, and some light alcohol burn on the way down. Really are a treat to sip on.

Mouthfeel - Feel is essentially medium-full. It's actually not as thick as I thought it'd be, but pretty full. Consistency is viscous, carbonation is light, body is pretty close to full, and the finish is nice and long, leaving me with lingering hints of all the complex flavors.

Overall - I am very impressed with this beer. Some people might crucify me for saying this, but it's not my favorite bourbon barrel aged beer. With that said, I really do like this beer. I can't imagine the bourbon flavors have faded a bunch since bottling, but I'd still like to have this really soon after bottling. Either way, I completely enjoyed this beer. It's fantastic, complex, and just one of those beers that everyone should try. Thank you SO very much to Tom/trxxpaxxs for sending this to me (among many other goodies) in the N00B BIF 5! Unbelievable generosity on his part!

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Photo of bbothen
4.32/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into snifter.

Pours pitch black, sludgy, chunky with rust colored head that lingers & faint sticky lacing on the glass.

Smells of bourbon obviously, along with expresso, leather, tobacco, plum, and wet wood. Delightful.

Tastes like burnt expresso & a shot of bourbon. Very warm, but not hot. Blind, I would think someone gave me chilled expresso with a shot of whiskey. I think that's a good thing.

Feels warm, smooth, & boozy. You can feel the 10% for sure.

Very drinkable for the style & ABV. Probably a good thing I don't have easy access to this.

I enjoyed this much more than the Breakfast Stout. I could have 2+ of these easy, & I can't say that about FBS. More complex and not as chocolatey. This is going to be a staple on my wants list for awhile. If you enjoy imperial stouts or barrel beers, especially stouts, you owe it to yourself to find this one. Get some if you can.

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Photo of maljay26
4.32/5  rDev -5.3%

Photo of jdoncbus
4.32/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into SA tulip glass. Color is oil and hot tar, thin brown head, with oily lacing.

Nose is burnt oak, vanilla, bourbon, plums, and raisin. Notes of cream, espresso roast coffee, and sweet alcohol.

Palate is bombarded with a silky-slick bitterness followed by a deep molasses, maltiness. After taste reminds me of a caffeinated Yoohoo which leaves a warm, alcohol finish. Mouth is left a bit tart.

A very nice offering and glad I was fortunate to run across a couple of these gems. Despite my three year old knocking over my glass, I really enjoyed this one. It's not my favorite style but the complexities and unique taste make it really good.

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Photo of JohnQVegas
4.32/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into snifter. Thanks to Dev (buckeyesox) for this one!

Pours the obligatory opaque black with some spotty lacing on the side of the glass from the pour. No noticeable head. Sticky, but not particularly viscous.

Nose is interesting - big espresso, brown sugar, light vanilla and bourbon, some baker's chocolate down deep. Espresso is the foundation that everything else seems to wrap around, the rest of the aromas are complementary. Just a bit boozey and rough around the edges. Really nice, like a super dark bourbon-fudge cake soaked in espresso.

Taste also orients itself around the dark espresso note in the center. A bit boozey up front, with notes of bourbon, vanilla, cocoa, and brown sugar wrapping around the espresso core; both the espresso and the bourbon seem to have a rough edge to them. Some alcohol bite at the back of the throat. A nice beer, but definitely feels a bit young and green at this point. Could use a bit of time to mature.

Mouthfeel is thick, very lightly carbonated, and with noticable prickliness from the alcohol.

For what it is, it's nicely drinkable. Still, would take the right set of circumstances to really want to down more than one of these giants.

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Photo of washburnkid
4.32/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gotta love trading!!

KBS is black with a tan head. Very little retention or lacing. Aromas are all vanilla and bourbon. They are heavy but most definitely inviting. Despite being hot (this is the most recent release and it's still very strong on the alcohol), the flavors are smooth, going down like a fine bourbon should. Vanilla, spice, and a bit of coffee bean. That is all, but that's not to say there isn't complexity. Everything here is so finely layered, while also pulling together to effectively create a delicious imperial stout that demands to be sipped on for dessert! Big body and low carbonation. I look forward to trying this again after a year or two. Age will do this beer some good.

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Photo of Lothore
4.32/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a nice black color letting no light pass through with a small, mocha head.

S- Smell has a whole lot going on. Strong coffee, bourbon notes, a sort of syrupy sweetness, roasted malt.

T- Starts off with sweet dark fruit notes and moves into a strong but balanced bourbon taste which lightens into coffee that lasts quite a while.

M- Thick and creamy with appropriate carbonation.

D- This is a sipper but honestly it is the best of the style that I have experienced. I don't put much stock in Imperial stouts but if you are going to try one, this is the one to try.

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Photo of JVinson
4.32/5  rDev -5.3%

Photo of BucannonXC5
4.32/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Type: 12-oz. bottle
Glass: AleSmith Barrel-Aged Reserve snifter glass
From: San Diego Wine Company in Miramar (San Diego), Calif.
Price: N/A
Purchased: N/A; Received on April 23, 2016
Consumed: April 27, 2016
Misc.: Bottled on March 3, 2016 at 1:21 a.m. ET

Thanks, Tom!

My wife’s uncle, Tom, brought this as a gift, along with Trapistes Rochefort 8 and Acoustic Ales Instant Triple Karma. Unbelievably nice as I hadn’t had the chance so have either. I had obviously really been looking for this one. Wasn’t sure what he paid for it (was able to check the other prices on the place’s website), but have heard others pay anywhere from $7 for a single bottle to $24 for a 6-pack. Have unbelievably high expectations for this one. I’m talking 4.60 range.

Poured a pitch black color with two fingers of frothy, tan head. Great uneven, spiderweb lacing. Very good retention. (Sight - 4.50)

Smelled dark milk chocolate and black coffee malts. After second effort got smooth bourbon, oaky wood, booziness, toffee, caramel, crayon, hints of vanilla and roasted hazelnut. Reminding me a bit of Tioga-Sequoia’s Autumn Rush. (Smell - 4.25)

Taste followed the nose nicely. Still reminding me of TSAR. Got dark milk chocolate, boozy bourbon, oaky wood, creamy vanilla, hazelnut, chocolate milkshake, roasted coffee malts, toffee, caramel, Oreo cookies, wet cocoa and hints of spice (cinnamon?). (Taste - 4.25)

Full body. Creamy-to-sticky texture. Average carbonation. Long, smooth, warming finish. (Feel - 4.75)

This was just an awesome beer. I still think I slightly overrated it a tad with the pedigree, but so be it. It is not elite to me, but just a great beer. (Overall - 4.25)

4.32 | 96 | A

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Photo of greenmonstah
4.32/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 batch into pint glass

A - Black. Solid black. Thick as can be. Almost no head. Good lacing, somehow.

S - Tons of coffee. Sweet chocolate. Hint of bourbon. Dominated by coffee ground aroma. The coffee aroma is so intense you can smell it across the room, as if someone just put on a fresh pot.

T - Tastes like boozey coffee. A splash of bourbon in a mocha. Chocolate and booze and coffee. So much going on, it is delicious. Finish is allll bourbon. Some charred oak. Finish is so warm and inviting. Tastes like the best whiskey you've had. Also tasted a sip of 2009, and it was markedly better. Let this one age.

M - Quite thick. Needs to be creamier. It is quite wet throughout, with a slightly drier finish. I love how thick it is. Great feel.

O - One of the best. That said I think FBS is a better balanced beer. KBS is almost too much bourbon. I think BCBS does a better job of accentuating the bourbon flavor without losing the best parts of the underlying stout. KBS is a bit too much bourbon for my taste. Even still, it is beyond delicious, especially with some age on it.

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Photo of bbeane
4.32/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Poured into an oversized wine glass. No head. Looks like oil when you pour it. Black in color... no light can be seen through it when held up to one

S- Strong bourbon smell with some coffee overtones and maybe a slight hint of vanilla

T- Can taste the bourbon the whole way through. Where it lacks the vanilla in smell, it makes up in taste. Can definately taste the vanilla mixed in with with the heavy bourbon and mild coffee overtones

M- Pretty smooth tasting... no carbonation. Definately leaves a bourbon flavor in your mouth as well as throat after the swallow

D- Very tasty... I would drink more. Could definately see the alcohol catching up with you


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Photo of ZymCity
4.33/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013 edition KBS
Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a snifter glass.

appearance - beer pours thick, oily, black with a relatively light, one-finger, rust-brown head. the head unfortunately dissipated relatively quickly.

smell - bourbony, boozy dominance with hints of licorice, coffee and notes of chocolate.

taste - thick mouthfeel, pleasantly boozy, moderate sweetness, roasty bitterness compliments the other flavors well

mouthfeel - thick bodied with low carbonation is appropriate for the style and allows a variety of flavors to come through as you make your way through the beer.

overall - sort of a bummer that the first time i saw this beer on the shelf this year was in mid-may. at this point, im ready to put any and all winter warmers behind me and transition to more "sessionable seasonals". i wonder why they wait until the spring to release this one. either way, the beer was wonderful and very much true to style. i like that the bourbon characteristics were obvious but not overwhelming. i've had bourbon-minded beers in which the boozy-bourbony elements were overpowering and ruined the experience as well as my palate....sometimes subtlety is a virtue. i'll probably age this one a bit and see where it goes.

 1,227 characters

Photo of kingcrowing
4.33/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours a motor oil black that's nice and syrupy and thick. There's a small deep brown head that's super nce and small then fades.

Taste is really deep, sweet dry, slightly dry and a cloying but it's really nice and easy drinking. Great beer and much better than the regular version

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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
4.56 out of 5 based on 12,600 ratings.
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