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: 3,049 | Ratings: 11,928
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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Photo of BruceBruce
4.82/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First review ever, so I will do my best.

Appearance: Very dark almost used motor oil look (mean that in a good way) Very little lacing and almost no foam, very small rim around the glass.

Smell: Amazing Strong Bourbon Scent (I love Bourbon) a bit of wood and chocolate after but the bourbon hits you and gets better as it warms.

Taste: at first I think you get the other flavors and then the bourbon hits you. I get the tingle on my tongue then get a strong bourbon and then another after taste of bourbon coffee.

Mouthfeel: Thick and creamy, wow that sounds gay but very thick

Overall: Very impressed with this beer, I almost like it as much as BCBS 2010. I loved it overall, I would drink this anytime no matter the season. The flavors all go amazingly together and its funny but I swear I feel the alcohol after one beer. Great Job!

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

12 oz. Murky black brown pour, light does not penetrate, brown around the edges. Very limited brown head, a ring sticks around and a swirl leaves a minibubble lace around the glass.
Aroma is abundant with roasted malts, espresso, vanilla, woody tones, caramel and molasses. All this does nothing but increase as it warms.
Mouthfeel is near creamy, surprisingly a bit lively for the dissapation of the head.
Taste is everything in the nose intermingling. Great barrel and vanilla one second, dark chocolate, molasses and espresso the next. Finishes with just a hint of coffee, and molasses. There are no negatives in bitterness/sourness or anything overdone in this. As long as you are ready for what you should expect from this, there is absolutely no dissapointment.
This is the best double stout I have had sans aging flat out. There is no need to cellar this to get what you are expecting. I have several to age, but I'm guessing this will be one that does not change much from age. The Alesmith stouts are the only others I've had that can equal this without age.

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

Pours out black as night with dark tan suds and spotty lacing around the pint glass. This is black, as black as any beer I have tried.
Burnt coffee and dark chocolate malt and a yeast that burns the nose. A hint of the bourbon is in the back with the sugars.
Taste is mellow and fruity and sweet. I taste wood here. There is grape and black cherry with the coffee and chocolate. This is unlike anything I have ever tried. Just fantastic. You can not tell that there is any alcohol here. Masked quiet well.
Mouthfeel is very mellow/mild. While there is coffee here there is no bitterness in the aftertaste. The flavor dies out quietly and quickly making the palate ready for the next drink.
Too bad I can't get this on a regular basis. They need to make more.
Just fantastic. Like no other.

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Photo of mcintire78
4.82/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

a: Silky black, with little carbonation and almost no head that dissipates very quickly.

s: Strong smell of bourbon and whiskey. Overpowering. Maybe a bit of vanilla at the end.

m: Very smooth with almost no carbonation.

t: Strong taste of bourbon and whiskey, with a slight taste of chocolate and vanilla.

d: High level of drinkability, with a bit of a liquor bite at the end but nothing too serious. Well balanced.

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Photo of Px2GrafX
4.82/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a deep dark black with a 1 inch dark tan head in a snifter glass. poured vigourously to get 1 inch. head drops to a ring quickly, (typical of founders stouts) but it still laces well, and you just don't need it to keep the aroma lingering 'til the end. aroma is very pungent from the snifter with huge roasted malt, wood, coffee, chocolate and alcohol. oh, and yes, strong bourbon aromas. wonderful nose. something different dominates with each sniff. first sip goes through a wide array of flavors. burnt malt with earthy hops, coffee and chocolate. sweet tails off to a strong woody oak and bourbon flavored warming alcohol. this is the only way i can enjoy the flavor of bourbon. :) quite nice. dark chocolate tickles the sides of your tongue while a sweet vanilla lingers on the tip. back of the sip is woody like the lingering effects of having a toothpick in your mouth all night. aftertaste is bitter roasted coffee and a cashew-like bourbon alcohol. delish. mouthfeel is a nice medium-heavy body with light carbonation and a tongue tingling alcohol effect. rolls super smoothly and swallows just as smoothly. drinkability is quite good considering the abv. bourbon by itself makes me wrinkle my nose, but there's no stopping me here. easy drinking, but stop and savor this one. overall, this is a very delicious ADS. i've had several founders breakfast stouts, and maybe i had a bad batch, because this is soooo much better. i can taste resemblences, but this is in a league of it's own. it renews my faith in founders' stouts.

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

On the unofficial last night of summer, I figured that I would cap off an incredible summer of beer consumption with one more special treat from my trip to Pittsburgh one week ago. The trip that brought Yellow Bus, BA Decadence, and BA Yeti continues to give. Picked this bottle up at the Fathead's bottle shop.

A: Just about everything you would expect from a big imperial stout. Thick in the pour like a used 10-W30 motor oil. It almost looks like syrup as it leaves the bottle and deposits itself in my glass with hardly a disturbance to the surface. Black, dark, and creamy. The laces start as thick rings and finish as speckles of foam as the lacing slowly slid back into the beer. The only thing missing here is a bit of head.

S: Where do I even start? Hazelnut coffee and dark roasted malts spring out of the beer into my anxiously waiting nostrils. Bourbon and vanilla find their way with a little more effort, and as I bury my nose in my glass, I can make out some freshly ground coffee beans as well, rounding out a stellar aroma.

T: Complexity out the ass...let's see how I can describe it...It starts with the roasted flavor of dark coffee. As the beer sits on my tongue, maple syrup swarms around my pallet as if I just drowned a stack of pancakes and went in for the first bite. Oakey and vanilla notes fill in as the syrup reluctantly bows out and all of a sudden BAM! There is the bourbon. It really gets you, and if you love bourbon, this is a dream come true. The bourbon, like the rest of the flavors, lingers just long enough to satisfy, then moves on. It gives way back to coffee in the aftertaste, and a slight taste of alcohol in the exhale, bringing the flavor full circle.

M/D: Extremely thick, as I mentioned before. Every bit as thick as the pour indicates. Almost no carbonation at all. The texture is silky, smooth, and creamy. The complexity is the most amazing part of this beer. I have never experienced so many flavors in such even and well- balance proportions. A bit too heavy for more than 2, but an absolutely phenomenal beer. I am so happy that I was able to enjoy this.

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

Pours black with a thin mud of head

I can't think of a stout that smells better, extra roasted coffee chocolate, molasses and of course tons of bourbon

Taste: Lots of coffee chocolate and bourbon obviously, notes of vanilla, nuts, oak and alcohol, lots of flavors develop as it warms, pretty much greatness in glass finishes with somewhat astringent coffee and oak notes

Mouthfeel: thick oily coating, not the heaviest though, medium low carbonation seems right

Drinkability: Sip worthy, but I want to drink it like a milkshake because its so chocolatey

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

KBS bottled 2.17.09 shared with cpz28

Appearance is pitch black with a one finger tan head. Minor lacing with a nice collar of foam. The carbonation is hidden in the blackness but shows up when taking a sip.
Smells of big coffee notes and bourbon. Very roasty as well. The coffee just smells fantastic. Would love to know what they used in the beer. One of the best noses on a stout that I've had.
Taste is coffee and roasty flavors initially. The bourbon makes its presence known more as it warms up. Slightly sweet with vanilla, bourbon, and oak making their presence known too.
Medium to full bodied with good carbonation. Very easy drinking.

Just a great beer to sip over the course of an hour or so and see all the flavors develop and change. I feel it's best a bit fresher when the bourbon presence is felt more. I cannot wait for KBS day to arrive so I can get some more for the coming year. Definitely seek this one out!

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

Poured an opaque, dark-brown, almost black, with dark brown head. Thick beer

Smells like chocolate. I can smell the oak too from the bourbon barrels.

Initially you get the chocolate sensation in the taste. That fades away to get a sweet vanilla flavor. Little bit of acidty at the end, but not overwhelming. Slight taste of the alcohol but it is hidden well by the chocolate taste.

It's thick. Light on the front of the tongue but you feel the weight in the back of the mouth. Tingling sensation on the roof and in the throat.

I would restrict myself to one beer at a special occasion, ONLY because of the limited release. And because I don't have to budget to tear through my 4-pack in one sitting.

Love this beer!

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

2011 Vintage - Poured into a snifter

Appearance- Pours jet black, no light enters the glass. Just a black hole. A small tan head bubbles up, sits for a minute then retreats back down. Great legs, a wisp of lace here and there.

Smell- Chocolate hits the nose first, behind that is some coffee, and strong bourbon notes.

Taste- Chewy chocolate and vanilla on the palate first. Followed up by caramel, molasses, a little oak and smoke, and a faint hint of dark fruits. Bitter coffee roast on the finish, with lingering chocolate and bourbon on the palate.

Mouthfeel- Full body, ample carbonation, very creamy. ABV's hid very well, literally no burn. Ridiculously smooth! Spot on.

Overall- This beer does not mess around. Truly one of the best beers in the world. This fresh is better than BCS, it is not harsh at all, and the bourbon flavors are melded perfectly with the imperial stout base without needing to give it time to "mellow".

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

Thanks to beerbeing for this beer I think. It might have beenn pimpp, but I'm pretty sure It's beer being.


Pours a decent two finger head with nice lacing and amazing retention, very nice dark dark brown color.

Smell is wonderfully complex. Nice vanilla bean notes with mint and an oaky overtone. Chocolate and roasted malts with some cofee bean. I think I am picking up some nice licoricy notes and bourbon overtones. This beer absorbed some of the bourbon scent.

Taste is wonderfully complex. Oh man, I am lazy and this will take a long time to review! Upfront is a upfront sugar sweet swetness. This is followed by a tartness from the bourbon barrel again. A little mint and vanilla come out. This is followed by thick chocolate malts and coffee beans Roasted characteristics come out to balance. Hop bitterness is low and isn't all that distinctive. The alcohol hides itself well and this beer isn't boozy at all.

Nice creaminess and slight astringency from the alcohol. Very nice mouthfeel.

Wonderfully complex and a true breakfast stout. I find it nice in the cold weather. I don't drink in the morning because I never have a full day off of work at this point, but I wish I would have the oppurtunity to drink one of these in the morning. I want more please.

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

A - Completely opaque black with a considerable amount of mocha brown head. Lots of lacing clings to the glass.

S - Even a few minutes out of the fridge it already has many layers to start picking through, but it's a treat once it's warm.

T - Bourbon and vanilla sweetness countered by coffee, dark chocolate and roasted malts. Incredible complexity without being overpowering or too unbalanced. The oak is also noticeable in amongst all of the other flavours. It's an exciting beer from start to finish.

M - Quite heavy. While not completely motor oil, it's texture is very thick and syrupy. The full body helps to leave an excellent aftertaste as well, with all of the flavours still lingering long after the beer is finished.

O - An incredible beer that I am glad to have gotten a hold of. I had worried from the aroma that it might be on the sweet side, but Founders have done an excellent job in achieving a perfect balance. I'll be searching for this after the next release, I'd love to see what a longer time aging this would produce.

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Photo of hopstermonster1
4.82/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured dark brown/black with some nice lacing. It smelled like bourbon and vanilla, which was what I was expecting. However, the taste was simply amazing. So smooth and alcoholic. It reminded me of sipping some fine scotch. I was pleasantly surprised. Founders really wanted to emphasize all the deliciousness of the imperial stout. If you are looking for a coffee, bourbon, vanilla tasting beer, try getting this. It really worth it!!

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

09 (08?, the one that was released in Spring 09) vintage at Stoutfest. Same basic review as my bottle on with some improvements. The aggression is gone. Pitch black with dark tan head and cloud. Good lacing for aged beer. Taste and smell of cocoa, bourbon, vanilla, roast malts, big coffee, alcohol. Balance is amazing with an extra year of age. Smell is of great strength. Cocoa, coffee and barrel whiskey rules in balance. No more overaggressive alcohol, oak and bourbon. This beer needs age! MF is thick, warm, and low carbonation, very good. Drinkable besides the price, so amazing with age.

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

A: Dark black with a dark brown inch+ of head

S: deep, full coffee aroma

T: Complex mix of the full-bodied coffee and the bourbon oak mix. It is such a change from Breakfast Stout.

M: smooth mix of complex flavors

D: The smooth flavor make me want to drink this beer all day long, other then the 10% APV.

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Photo of mirish72
4.82/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally managed to snag two KBS four packs a few weeks ago after months of scheming. I was somewhat skeptical, simply because of the hype, but I was impressed.

Poured into s snifter and it pours incredibly black with a small chocolatey brown head that doesn't stick around too long. The beer has an aroma of sweet, malty bourbon with hints of vanilla.

The beer tastes thick and is very complex, changing with almost every sip. It also hides the booze well, especially as compared to other bourbon stouts. This beer got better with every sip and it takes a lot too keep it to one beer a sitting, trying to make the supply last.

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

Shared with BA infi, r0nyn, and many many others. Drank during Thanksgiving. Poured into a tulip.

A: Poured motor oil black with little to no head. When held against the light, little bits of dark dark red was seen around the edges. Little to no lacing on this. When swirled a small mocha head would a appear briefly.

S: Strong smell of coffee, bourbon and vanilla. Upon further and deep sniffs of the beer, I got a hint of chocolate mixed in there. Bits of nice malts mixed into that smell as well. The smell of alcohol is prevalent in this one. This smell got my mouth watering.

T: Taste of coffee upon the first sips, mixed with vanilla and a good malty backbone taste. The taste of the bourbon comes into play as well. Not overbearing, but a perfect mix in my opinion. After taste was dark chocolates with notes of malt. Very great mix

M: Feels great going down, so smooth. Medium bodied with little carbonation. It was what I expected for this type of beer.

D: Alcohol is prevalent so it may slow down the drinking a bit. Otherwise, if it wasn't for its 11.20 ABV I would be downing these like no other.

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

Pour looks like used motor oil with some head. About a one finger head of light brown foam. Rings of lace down the glass, not a lot of pattern, but good cling where it settles. Color is a 40 on the SRM beer color chart. Black as coal, even in a shot glass it is black. Smell is very intense, aromas of coffee, raisins, caramel, semi sweet chocolate, and plums. Taste is rich and complex, with flavors of roasted coffee, dark chocolate, dates, raisins, plums, caramel, oak aging, and lemon zest. Warning, the demon alcohol, which is masked by the wonder flavors, comes like a thief in the night and hits you the side of the Mouthfeel is velvet cream, moderate zing, and a slight dry feeling in my soft palate. A touch of maple syrup aftertaste lingers in the back of my hard palate. Not for chain drinking, although I would like the flavor to go on for a month. Breakfast, well maybe with waffles covered with chocolate syrup. A wonderful treat anyway you look at it.

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Photo of ohbeer89
4.82/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Lives up to the hype. A few people have complained about "excessive carbonation," which is BS; it's beer, not motor oil. Does a great job of really playing the bourbon against the coffee and chocolate without having to resort to excess sweetness. Does anyone know what distillery the barrels come from? Tastes like Beam to me.

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Photo of tipfortap
4.82/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

5 words to describe it: Burnt Sugar, Fudgey, Chewy, Roasty, Smooth

Paired it with: CBS

Should have paired it with: Actual breakfast. Pancakes or French toast.

Drink it if you like: Silent killers; any oatmeal, coffee, or chocolate porter or stout.

A few other thoughts: KBS is by far my favorite of the Breakfasts. It was SO smooth and velvety, and hid its 11.2% ABV remarkably well. It’s sweeter and creamier than the CBS, and has none of that licorice funk that I found in its sibling. It’s just an amazingly balanced, practically perfect beer.

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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
4.56 out of 5 based on 11,928 ratings.
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