Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) | Founders Brewing Company

3,071 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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): 12.40%

Availability: Spring

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

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

Now labeled as "KBS."

ABV varies by batch.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-13-2004

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 3,071 | Ratings: 12,097
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.

 363 characters

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!

 867 characters

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.

 578 characters

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.

 1,215 characters

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.

 936 characters

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.

 422 characters

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.

 1,194 characters

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!

 247 characters

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.

 1,431 characters

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.

 405 characters

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.

 278 characters

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

 763 characters

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.

 180 characters

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.

 157 characters

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.

 191 characters

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.

 874 characters

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.

 585 characters

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.

 1,408 characters

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.

 412 characters

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.

 845 characters

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!

 841 characters

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.

 1,067 characters

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.

 795 characters

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.

 422 characters

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.

 1,541 characters

Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
4.56 out of 5 based on 12,097 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.