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: 11,889
Photo of nicknameddad
4.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I am a bit of a rookie, with this being my first review. I have read a lot of KBS reviews and all of them THAT I HAVE READ give this beer it's deserved credit. It is amazing and very satisfying.

This review is from a 2011 bottle. This is my fourth bottle in five weeks. I am trying to pace myself as it calls to me from the refrigerator everyday(not much left). I also chose not to write this review until I was able to pick it apart a little.

A - Always Jet Black when poured. The head is consistently a creamy mocha brown with a light tan tint that dissipates rather quickly but leaves a thin film across the surface throughout your enjoyment of the beer. I pour half to a 1/3 of the bottle at a time and get about 1/8 of an inch of head.

S - The first thing I do is smell the beer 4-5 times before tasting it, it is like beer foreplay and just makes the first taste so much better. Now I do not have a great sniffer, however I smell oak from the barrels, coffee, and bourbon immediately (i love my bourbons), then secondly I can slightly pick up chocolate, vanilla and caramel but I have to really concentrate and take it all in. Either way it smells amazing.

T - I can taste vanilla and chocolate notes throughout. It has a little kick from the bourbon and is comforting and warming on exhale. Now I know this beer is going to mellow out and the flavors are going to develop more over time (about 6 months to a year), but I am impatient as it is so good.

M - Velvety and creamy and smooth as silk is the best way to describe it.

O - I love it. I would have given it 5's across the board if I did not taste 09, 10, and 11 on tap on opening day. I know the taste is going to get better and better if kept well over the course of a year. We will see and try. I am curious how the bourbon will mellow and the other flavors will become more pronounced.

Great job Founders, excellent beer.

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Photo of MbpBugeye
4.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this in a trade with xpimptastikx (great trader by the way).
Poured into a snifter.

A- Blackest of the black. No light can make it past this beer's gravitational pull. A small brown head arrives late and leaves early leaving only a wisp of itself on top and a little lacing.

S- Swirling the glass brings out the charred wood and vanilla that's hiding under the strong aroma of coffee. This is delicious. Founder's should put out candles scented with KBS.

T- There's even more going on here than there is in the nose. I'll do my best to figure it out... Chocolate and coffee are big. The bourbon is toward the finish, right before more coffee, but it isnt overpowering at all. In fact none of the flavors here overpower any of the others, rather they all compliment each other nicely.
Bitterness is akin to a cup of black coffee.

M- Thinner than I thought based on looks. Hardly any carbonation. This is just silky smooth, helped along by some milk sugaryness.

D- This is pretty rich, like a piece of fudge or some chocolate pie. Its very nice, a damn good sipper. Kick back and celebrate an awesome ale.


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Photo of scotvega18
4.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

poured from 12oz 2011 bottle into a 10oz snifter

A - Pretty much what you'd expect. Motor Oil Black with a pretty thin mocha colored head. Lacing is beautiful.

S - HOLY CRAP there is so much going on. Vanilla, Oak, Tobacco, Chocolate and Bitter Coffee all at once. Although theyre all in there, theyre extremely hard to distinguish because theyre all blended so well due to the aging. Simply amazing.

T - The bitterness of coffee and dark dark chocolate come up front with the vanilla, bourbon and smokiness follows it. This is truly remarkable for an 11 percent beer, but the alcohol is not there at all. Not as much chocolate as I would have thought from the smell.

M - Smooth as can be. The fact that this is 11 percent is shocking, and the carbonation helps to cleanse the palate for the bourbon aftertaste.

Notes - This is my first time having this, and I am absolutely blown away. The flavors that are present are HUGE, but rather than compete they just completely meld together. Really incredible experience.

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Photo of legalpete19340
4.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Pours very dark brown into the glass. A solid finger of tan foam develops before settling into a lingering ring around the glass. Very good retention.

S: Lots of roasted coffee and dark chocolate. The bourbon comes through but its not the main event for me. There is a bit of sweetness - perhaps vanilla.

T: Coffee upfront with a strong bitterness that lingers all the way through. Dark chocolate, bourbon stick around the entire drink alternating prominent roles. There is a distinct woody flavor near the end flows into sweetness but evaporates and lets some sweetness and bitterness come back. Dry finish.

M: Thick and dry without being overly chewy or syrupy.

O: Really a great beer. Its not overly sweet or burned or boozey. A great balance of everything. More bitter this time than I remembered but didnt hurt it.

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Photo of Eriktheipaman
4.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received it in a trade and am glad to finally try this beast!

Pours a SOLID black. A little brown around the edges and a nice little tan head.

The smell is probably the best part of this beer. Lots off chocolate but smoothed out by slight vanilla/oak and a hint of coffee.

The taste is mainly of chocolate with just the right amount of oak on the back as well as some alcohol.

The mouthfeel is fairly thick but not to syrupy.

Damn fine beer and lives up to the hype unlike others I've had.

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Photo of Rhynes2
4.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

So glad that I found this beer. Not much to say for the head or for lacing but the full body flavor makes up for it. Deep dark color has a nice creamy ring around the top but not much else. Alcohol smell is a little noticeable in the nose but not to an extreme. Roasted Malts and vanilla show through on this one. Great stout And I would recommend this to anyone.

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

2010 Vintage

A - Pours a solid black, with a tiny tannish mocha head that recedes rather quickly - true to style. Settles to a beautiful microfilm on top. This one is shaping up nicely.

S - Just like a cup of joe! Strong and robust coffee notes, with some more subtle chocolate and roasty hues as well. Amazingly complex.

T - This is everything I want in a coffee stout in particular, and a stout in general: strong coffee (w/cream, not black), dark AND milk chocolate mixed up together, bit of molasses and some hints of licorice - but just barely. Nice vanilla and oak character, never over-bearing as often happens. Light on the hop profile, yet it is evident. Fiercely complex.

M - Very creamy, carbonation goes a long way to lighten this one up.

D - Among the best stouts I've ever had, and the flavor profile is definitive. Glad I got as much as I did!

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Photo of hu5om
4.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Delic. I'm pretty new, but this is the best I've had and it "lived up to the hype" as everyone, mostly, says.

Split in New Belgium Goblets with newk340 alongside Founder's Breakfast Stout.

Made the Breakfast Stout taste thin! Bourbon smokiness in the nose, taste, and it lingers with you for a long time after. Pleasent. A light tingle/burn in the taste. I could feel the warmeth in my exhale after. A lingering heat. There's a dark chocolate smell and taste, slightly less so than the bourbon smokiness.

Glad to split it, a full bottle would be a pretty intense experience.

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

12 oz from a 4 pack (2010), poured into a Boulevard Smokestack Series Chalice.

I picked this up in a trade with masterhomebrewer ... and good lord was this bad-boy ever worth the cost (russian river sours were involved).

A: No head to speak of, near black with reddish hues.

S: Sweet with coffee up front, back is bourbon all the way.

T: Bourbony, overwhelmingly so in the nose as the strong bitterness of the coffee hits the front of the mouth. Delicious carmelized hops and coffee dominate up front, then straight coffee, the straight up bourbon finish all the way to oblivion. The bourbon finish is enjoyably soft, yet potent. This, is a HUGE beer. The only fault in the taste could be that there is too much going on, I could see it being confusing, but not to my palate.

F: Rich, Velvet, Chocolate. The Feel is phenomenal.

D: For how massive this is, it goes down real smooth. A very drinkable, and very massive beer.

This lived up to the hype, although I would have difficulty pairing it with any meal ... even more so than bourbon, as this would not work at all as an aperitif. This beer is so strong, and so lasting that the Old Rasputin I drank an hour later didn't make a dent in my mouth. **** me.

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

Oh, time to review this I guess. I've had the 08 and 09 at a tasting and a few bottles of the 2010 edition. Cracking a 2010 now, into chouffe tulip.

A- Dark dark roast, head is nutmeg brown and thick as they come. Settles to 1 finger after the pour and laced thickly. Really appealing pour on this one.

S- Vanilla, caramel, bourbon, heavily creamed coffee. Delightful.

T- Follows the nose. Caramel is strong, as is a smooth as butter bourbon note. Creamed coffee and a bit of cola come through. A bit of a hop bite does a great job of breaking up the sweet, rich flavors that come through in the front. I really like how the bourbon is incorporated but allows other notes to come through

M- Perfection. 11.2%? So smooth, great carbonation (low, where it should be) and a full, amazing mouthfeel.

D- High, ABV in mind. A delight to drink, worthy of its place in the top 100 and all the buzz surrounding it. A perfect bourbon beer.

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

A : Pours a dark brown/black with a thin tan head that sticks around for a while. Good lacing left on the glass

S : Roasted malts, some bourbon, some vanilla

T : Strong coffee flavor with notes of chocolate, bourbon, and oak. The flavors go together really well and it's really balanced.

M : Thick and creamy

D : Not sure if I could drink more than 1 or 2 at a time but I would come back to this beer any chance I get.

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Photo of bnewall3
4.81/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A- Very little head at all, good amount of lacing. Midnight black just as expected.

S- Perfect to me. Exactly what a stout SHOULD smell like, especially one aged in bourbon barrels. Molasses followed with tannin vanilla and some oak.

T- IDC about all the hype surrounding this beer but for me it lives up to it. Now is it something to sell your first born for, or drive 13 hours to wait another 14 in line for? No, most aren't. But as far as a great top of the line stout KBS meets all standards. The carb levels are on point, its not a sludge bomb, and the flavors are all there. Booze is present from beginning of your sip until the end, but it isn't overpowering or game changing. Its actually awesome if you ask me. Warms ya right up.

M- look up^^

O- Great brew by a great brewery. Funny how i sought founders non stop then a little after they came to CT I sort of took them for granted and walked right past them in a store. Sometimes it takes something like KBS to realize ya do still have great beers right there in the cooler down the street. Don't need to spend 30$ in shipping to drink a DIPA on a thursday work night.
Sorry I rambled, but this beer made me realize some things.

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Photo of OompaMentor
4.81/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A - rich dark pour in a snifter; thick Carmel colored head
S - bourbon with dark chocolate and coffee
T - full bodied (let it rest on palate), bourbon followed by chocolate and hint of coffee
M - thick, rich
O - it mellows as it warms - drink on!

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Photo of JeffreyJDavis
4.81/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: Poured at 57.4F into a Riedel stemless goblet. Pours dark mahogony brown with a relatively minor toffee head which subsides quickly with minimal lacing.

N: Hard to figure out where to begin. You have the milk chocolate, with vanilla, but all wrapped in a kind of buttery toffee smell. The bourbon is there when you first open it, but subsides after a while. Doesn't really smell boozy to me. 11.2%?? No way. But wow, the smell is delicious and just like many a FB relationship status: it's complicated.

T: This really really really is a well crafted stout. Artisinally produced. Evertyhing you get in the nose is there on the tongue, and each flavor on its own is quite bold and distinct, but it's all just sooo dang balanced. You get the very rich coffee and expresso but it's totally interwoven with the chocolate and the vanilla from the bourbon barrel. The bourbon flavors and booziness didn't really start to become prominent until this warmed to 60F or so. But completely and complexly delicious.

MF: So smooth and velvety. Very creamy and sticks to your mouth and palate. You can still get the oak and vanilla 10 seconds after your last swallow on the back of your tongue.

O: This is a truly EPIC stout in almost every way. Is it worth $5 / bottle, for 2 bottles once a year? Sure. Would I pay that much every day?, no way. Continuous battle of hype, expectation, scarcity and quality. But a great beer in any case.

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Photo of CraigP83
4.81/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Very little head almost looks flat. Smell is milk chocolate, roasted coffee and some whiskey. Taste is a melted Hershey bar, coffee is a little muted, good bit of boozyness some people might say it's to "hot" but I enjoy that in these types of beers. I didn't get any vanilla. Mouthfeel is silky chocolate milk. Excellent stout but the price and availability would be a huge deterrent in future purchases.

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Photo of Maestro0708
4.81/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Look: Pours black with dark head.
Smell: Coffee and chocolate with bourbon.
Taste: Again, coffee and chocolate notes. Subtle taste of bourbon. 12.4 ABV but doesn't taste it.

Overall: This is a world class stout. I was thrilled to find this one and I'm so glad I got to try it.

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Photo of bigfnjoe
4.81/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A- pours jet black with a paper thin mocha head. No lacing. The lack of a head is terribly disappointing, but the tiny one that is there looks nice.

S- smells like PURE UNADULTERATED HEAVEN. Strong chocolate smell with hints of coffee and a slight undercurrent of bourbon. One of the most pungent stouts I've ever had. Its amazing.

T- amazing. Absolutely amazing. Tastes like a chocolate espresso drink, with mild hints of bourbon that give a good burn in the aftertaste. Maybe the most amazing taste of a beer I've ever had.

M- thick but not syrupy. Compliments the flavor very well

D- VERY strong flavors, but DAMN are they good. You have to be careful with the burn near the end...but christ, this is amazingly good

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Photo of dee4maine
4.81/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Founders can do no wrong ! What amazes me is the drinkability for something so strong of an ABV. great bourbon nose and flavor along with the intense coffee and layers of choclate.

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Photo of BrewLancer40k
4.81/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The strong oak taste opens with notes of chocolate and coffee follow. The after taste brings the bourbon characteristics along with some tobacco and leather.

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Photo of BeerTick
4.81/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Found on tap at World of Beer in Tucson, AZ. This review is purely speculation as I was drunk as fuck when I ordered it. Im basing my score on how pumped I was to finally get to try it. Yolo.

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Photo of rodlavers
4.81/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2012 vintage poured from bottle into Founders snifter, now with 4-5 months on it. Thin dark chocolate coffee brown head which fizzes out quickly leaving an extremely thin layer around the inside of the glass and on top of the body; some chunky lacing left behind, I think more so now than fresh. I thought it would smooth out a bit more, creating "legs" with the bourbon, etc. Color almost black. Coffee aroma has dissipated somewhat at this point, leaving sweet and boozy chocolate with some oak. Taste is similar; less coffee, more sweet vanilla and bourbon coming through now. Sweet bourbon is prominent. Mouthfeel seems to have balanced out a bit more, both bitter and smooth now, I'd say a tad less creamy. Light carbonation. Going to let this one sit and breath for awhile. Still, it's one of my "special" beers, glad I have 5 or 6 more to enjoy in the future. Cheers.

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Photo of PorterLambic
4.81/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours black as the underside of a rock at the bottom of the Marianas Trench. Small, dark tan, head develops from an aggressive pour into a standard tulip glass. Some scattered lacing is left behind.
Smell is rich, with malt, dark chocolate, coffee, slight oak notes. Great balance.
Taste is heavily toasted malts, coffee, dark chocolate, slight wood notes. Coffe is a little more noticeable here.
Rich, full-bodied, lightly effervesced. Relatively smooth, somewhat drying in the finish with a nice alcoholic warming presence.
$6 for a 12 oz. bottle at Whole Foods. Good stuff, Maynard.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.82/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

After sampling this beer at various festivals, I'm glad to finally sit down to a bottle of it all to myself. Pours from the stubby brown bottle like an oil spill, thick and black as night, producing a half inch of dark tan creamy foam on top of the brew. Spotty sticky lacing is everywhere. Stellar. As my nose reaches the glass I'm assaulted by lush, rich fresh coffee alongside chunks of dark chocolate. Vanilla, caramel and woody tones peek through as well. The bourbon aroma is well integrated and adds a wonderful twist to the already awesome nose on this beer. Just smells so damn good.

First sip brings a wonderfully rich maltiness teeming with fresh brewed coffee and lushious chocolate. The flavor simply explodes when it hits the tongue. Notes of vanilla, caramel and a touch of nuttiness. Midway through each sip the bourbon flavors roll over the palate along with some underlying woody tones. A superb blend of flavors that come together to create one awesome coffee/chocolate/bourbon stout.

Mouthfeel is rich and chewy, but with a medium body and a certain smoothness. Goes down almost too easy with no evidence of the alcohol, except for the slight warming sensation in the belly. Simply an amazing beer that I would love to have on hand constantly if I could! A good evening sit and sip brew and another winner from Founders. Between this and the original Breakfast Stout....I'm in love.

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Photo of ROBORB
4.82/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle served into a snifter. This beer pours motor oil black with a very nice chocolate head. The aroma consists of coffee, bourbon, dark fruit and oak. The flavor follows the smell. The initial taste is bourbon and then it is followed with coffee and chocolate. The carbonation is just right and not overpowering. This beer is fantastic and deserves all the praise it gets. This is a must get for anyone.

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Photo of Infamous7100
4.82/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Pitch black with a very, very thin tan head.
S: The smell of fresh coffee comes wafting out upon pouring followed up by waves of chocolate and bourbon. Reminds me of the bourbon balls on Derby day. Just an outstanding blend.
T: Absolute perfection. Coffee and chocolate hits you right away and is accompanied by some vanilla. The bourbon rears its head toward the back and makes you take notice. However, not one flavor is too dominate. Founders was spot on when they brewed this.
M: Slick and creamy. A nice aftertaste thats not too dry and a slight burn from the high ABV.
D: Somehow, with all that is going on with this beer, it manages to stay highly drinkable and not too filling. Use discretion at 11% ABV, but this tastes so good, you might as well have another because you aren't going anywhere. Kudos. Best Imperial Stout I have had.

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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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