Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) | Founders Brewing Company

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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)
12,876 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 12,876 |  Reviews: 3,261
Photo of bucklemyshoe
4.32/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 4-pk ($19.99) @ Harvard's. 12 oz bottle at 50 degrees into a snifter.

A: It pours a pitch black color with a finger of khaki head that fades quickly but laces very well.

S: There is quite a bit going on; dark chocolate, coffee, vanilla, anise, blackcurrants, and cream.

T: It is a struggle between boozy, semi-hot bourbon and medium-roast coffee early with vanilla cream, hazelnut, and bitter dark fruits late.

M: The body is a bit thinner than I expected with a little heat and a sticky, syrupy finish.

D: This is very good but not quite what it is cracked up to be. On the plus side, the bourbon plays more of a supporting role instead of a dominating one.

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Photo of SirBentham
4.32/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of cheers2beers
4.32/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: This beer poured jet black with little to no head. Spotted brown suds are left clinging to the glass as I swirl along with a dark topaz colored stain. No much lacing to speak of.

Smell: The aromas are very complex. This has a combination of milk chocolate and a bitter dark chocolate. The vanilla is exploding throughout this dark enigma. The wood from the barrell is very strong as well. Perhaps some cedar notes? Wierd, i'm getting some celery too. The alcohol is definitely strong due to vapors that are almost burning the nostrils.

Taste: Chocolates galores. Bittering cocoa film all throughout my palate. A premium blend of the worlds finest coffee grounds seem to be ground up within. The vanilla is a bit overpowering for me, but then again it is well balanced for a monsterous chocolate thunder of a beer. The alcohol doesnot seem to have the same punch that I was getting in the aroma, but believe me it is present. In the words of Borat," Very niiicce!"

Mouthfeel: Not as thick as I had anticipated, but I would say it has a lighter side of thick body with a low to medium amount of carbonation. Alcoholic vapors musters all throughout the session. It leaves behind a gourmet coffee film. Sweet and bitter.

Drinkability: This does improve as it warms. I like the complexity. I would love to try this again perhaps a fresher bottle. If you have not had the pleasure , you dont know what your missing. Mmmmm....(Raises glass)....


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Photo of buschbeer
4.32/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle
Served in a snifter

A - It pours about as dark as a beer can get. A half inch of cocoa head rests on top.

S - I get that coffee and vanilla that is advertised.

T - I immediately get a puss full of bitter coffee. I get some subtle hints of anise and molasses. The bourbon still has some life as well.

M - Full and creamy

O - This beer looms large on the senses. Founders once again does an outstanding job.

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Photo of gunnerman
4.32/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Recieved this from Ron at Vintage Estates on my last trip to Youngstown ohio. Poured into a taster glass pours a nice pitch black with minimal head. The smell is jumping off the charts dark chocolate, cocoa, espresso, strong brewed coffee, simply amazing smells coming from this beer. Taste is just as good as the smell, I can pick up a nice roasted nut flavor with a chocolate velvet flavor then with an aftertaste of coffee grounds with oatmeal. I could drink this stuff in my cereal it is that good for a mornng bevereage, who needs coffee when you have this giant.

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Photo of Hophead717
4.32/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed 2010 and 2012 bottles side by side. Each are reviewed separately.

2012 (fresh)
A: Full black with no head and little lacing.

S: Sweet chocolate upfront, with light coffee, and even lighter bourbon. Alcohol is definitely noticeable in the back, but not bourbon specifically.

T: Bittersweet chocolate upfront, yielding to dominate coffee mid-sip that lingers into the finish. Light bourbon in the finish, but not very present. Very well-integrated flavors, with the bourbon playing second fiddle to the choco-coffee stout.

M: Medium bodied, with full carbonation.

O: Enjoyable and not nearly as bourbon-y as expected.

2010 (Aged 2 years)
A: Full black with no head and little lacing.

S: Cocoa powder, sweet, less complex coffee, little bourbon if any is noticeable. No alcohol noticeable, unlike fresh

T: Sweeter chocolate—less full flavored than the fresh, but sweeter. Little of the coffee remains and what does is a shell of the fresh coffee. Bourbon dominates the finish, much more noticeable than in the fresh, probably due to the lack of coffee.

M: Medium to light, with some carbonation, but not overly so.

O: Sweeter than fresh with the chocolate a little lessened and with the coffee all but gone. The upside is that the bourbon dominates the back to finish in an outstanding way. If I'm looking for a bourbon-y stout, I'd go for an aged KBS. If I want totally integrated choco-coffee stout with the slightest hint of bourbon, I'd go for fresh KBS. If I want a bourbon-dominate beer, I'd go for BCBS.

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Photo of mayxday
4.32/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of ChewbaccaSD
4.32/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of hermit990
4.32/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.32/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired from both plaztikjezuz and jpm30 in concurrent trades, so a big Thank You goes out to them. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep black color, with a very thin brown head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of roasted coffee, vanilla, creamy chocolate, oats and dark malts.

T: The taste is very malty with strong roasted flavors of coffee, vanilla and chocolate as you would expect. There's a significant alcohol sting and a mild hops presence, but there's also a nice balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium-to-heavy body, light-to-medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily for a beer with 10.00% ABV, not too filling, strong kick, very good representation of style, this is one of those good big stouts that is worth drinking for a while until the ABV catches up to you.

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Photo of Cramerican
4.32/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of alanamato
4.32/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Gaisgeil
4.32/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's been a while since a beer with such hype really lived up to it in my mind, but this one certainly does! I love the bourbon touch to this brew, some beers that try this stray too far from beer territory and are closer to just basically tasting like bourbon themselves, this one balances things nicely. Pours a deep dark black, viscous and marvelous. No real head to speak of but a thin medium brown crown formed a few seconds after finishing the pour. Nose is roast, wood, cocoa, vanilla and of course, bourbon. Taste follows suit but with a nice milky consistancy as well. Impeccible balance, well done! Beautiful!


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Photo of objectivemonkey
4.32/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Into a tulip glass, pours an oil thick jet black crazy crazy, no head until the glass is full and only then does a thin quarter inch of dark tan head grow from the abyss, sticks around for a few seconds, then fades away into a swirl of film and some stringy lacing. Pretty nice, but for the small glob of syrupy guppy goo floating on top (fished out, forgotten, on to drinking!!).

Aroma is deep, dark, and nasty, loads of coffee up in there, vanilla hints and dark chocolate, and just barely some licorice and brown sugar, very faint. The bourbon is nicely handled but a bit faintish, I think a good thing, letting everything else come through clean and clear, very satisfying.

Taste is complex, tasty, thick. Taking it slow with this one, potent, the boubon much more expressive up front, playing center stage with fresh coffee grounds, merging into nicely chocolaty toward the end, with coffee grounds faint and lending a bit of lingering strength through the finish, while the bourbon lingers in the background, and lingers, and sits around for a but longer. Adjusts itself, shifts to the other cheek, hangs around some more. Finally, after a few minutes, take another sip, repeat, fantastic.

The mouth is preffy full, could be a little thicker, but beautifully smooth and warm, just enough carbonation, pretty darn nice. Now, let me just say that I am no fan of bourbon, but here it melds perfectly into a stouty perfection that is just fantastic.

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Photo of Aaron28
4.32/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of kels
4.32/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

So I was slightly disappointed in the bottled 09 KBS and heard that the on-tap version was immensely better. When I heard Party Town in Florence, KY was getting a keg and selling growlers, I had to give it a try. Review is from a pour into a snifter.

Appearance: Pours super dark brown with slightly oily-looking residue sitting atop the completely headless liquid. Little specks of cream-colored lacing attempt to cling to the glass, and slide away quickly.

Smell: Delicious aromas of bittersweet chocolate and dark coffee combine with slightest hints of vanilla, chewy malts, sweet oak and very subtle bourbon.

Taste/Mouthfeel: So much milder than the bottle pour! The feel is smooth as silk, with a slight sticky wetness that's heavy enough to hold the flavors on the tongue awhile. The taste is full of delicious bourbon that doesn't overpower the accompanying flavors of dry, charred oak, barely sweet bitter chocolate, dry roasted coffee and subtle bitter hops. Really nice balance that isn't overpowering in any way. Even the alcohol, while present, isn't overwhelming.

Drinkability: Moderate for the style. The warming sensation is really nice and the mouthfeel is very satisfying. I certainly wouldn't drink too many at once, but only because I know better.

I have to say that I'm so much more impressed by the draught version of this beer. The flavors were much more well-blended and balanced and the alcohol was better contained. In the bottle version I really felt like the bourbon came across in the nose and taste waaay too hot and seemed more like rubbing alcohol. I'm hoping the rest of the 4 pack I have aging comes out like this growler did.

 1,667 characters

Photo of soccrgump
4.32/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours black w/ a light brown, small head.
Aroma: Chocolate, coffee, dark roasted malt, bourbon.
Taste: follows the smell, bourbon comes through strong and stays on the tongue, definite bitterness; more choc/coffee as it warms.
Mouthfeel: surprisingly thin; light alcohol burn.
Overall: I'm not a huge BB fan, but I am enjoying this beer. Like it much better than last year's.

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Photo of MacDomer
4.32/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I recently (~two weeks ago) had a bottle of 1 yr old '08 KBS and a fresh '09 KBS. Shout out to Andrew the manager at Binny's on North Ave. in Elmwood Park for hooking me up with the aged bottle! I'm having another bottle of the fresh '09 tonight and will attempt to review both...

Overall, I prefer the aged KBS to the fresh, at least this year - bourbon flavor was more forward in the '08, coffee a bit more muted, and flavors were better blended and overall richer. Both of these served in my Duvel tulip at about 58F.

Both pour thick and black in color with minimal head but a nice dark cap. There's dark chocolate aroma in both, a bit of nutiness, but the big difference was that the bourbon and vanilla was a lot bigger in the '08 and the coffee a lot bigger in the '09. The coffee in the '09 is a bit too much, actually, and I'm even a coffee drinker. I may wait another 3-6 months before revisiting this one in order to let the coffee ease a bit.

Both bottles were big a chewy up front and quite tasty. Lots of roast malt and chocoloate flavors. Same comments about the bourbon and coffee in the flavor department as I already said about the nose.

Mouthfeel on both is quite nice, with the '09 being a bit thinner than the '08. Still big and thick though. Carbonation is good.

Drinkability is good for the style, I could have another no problem.

Overall, a great beer. I just tend to prefer a bit less coffee and a bit more bourbon, so hopefully laying these down for a little while will help with that.

 1,517 characters

Photo of bronco94
4.32/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured strongly into a pint glass

A - pitch black with minimal dark khaki head, not too much lacing. Great color and thickness, but i would have liked to see more head

S - amazing...woody bourbon, hints of dark chocolate and coffee, dark roasted malts

T - very similar to the smell, only intensified. bourbon, coffee, chocolate, slight hint of vanilla, mild alcohol taste

M - thick, smooth and viscous, mild carbonation, feels like every inch of your mouth is being coated by the liquid

D - a very drinkable double/imperial stout. The alcohol presence is there, but balanced well. The beer is thick and heavy, but for the style it is pretty easily drinkable.

Overall, great beer...I can't wait to try this again and hopefully buy more of it next time.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.32/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into 25oz snifter. Bottled on 2/15/2010. Huge thanks to the BA who traded me this a year ago. Consumed 3/2/2011.

A: Pours a deep dark brown with a thin dark brown head that quickly bubbled away into a faint collar that left a few wisps of lacing down the glass.
S: I can only describe the smell in adjectives: bourbony, choclatey, spicy and woody. The barrel-like quality to the scent is outstanding. There is kind of a spicy oak texture to the nose with maybe a hint of vanilla.
T: Rich flavors of roasted coffee mixed with sweet malts, a hint of vanilla, and spicy woody bourbon. Chocolate comes through in the finish, and the aftertaste is creamy and warm with just a touch of caramel as well. Everything is so well integrated that, while the flavors are all very bold, no single aspect overshadows another.
M: Light frothy carbonation creates a medium body with a lighter than expected mouthfeel. This beer could be thicker, but it is a minor nuisance. Alcohol is warm but never hot or uncomfortable.
D: One of the best bourbon stouts I've tried. I was very impressed at how well the flavors worked together. Another great beer from a great brewery!

EDIT: Bottled 2/8/2010, consumed 3/12/2012.
Two year old bottle is incredible smooth - almost too smooth. All of the warming bourbon heat has vanished from the brew, and the boldness as seemed to have mellowed. An amazing beer, but I think I prefer it with a little bit more heat actually.

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Photo of drgonzo3705
4.32/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep black beautiful looking beer with little head that dwindles to a tiny ring around the edge. Not much lacing going on.

S: Big coffee nose with a nice oaky undertone and a splash of bourbon.

T: Nice bitter chocolate and coffee up front. Some oak and bourbon rides smoothly underneath.
M: Full bodied and just chewy enough. Good carbonation. Leaves a nice stout coating in your mouth.

D: Not too bad at all definitely a sipper but so worth having.

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Photo of thomcatr3t
4.32/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2011 KBS poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a snifter. Posted from notes taken on May 16, 2011.

A: Deep deep black, khaki head that did not stick around. It seems to suck in the light from the room.

S: Wonderful. The coffee is much more pronounced than I remember. Some chocolate and bourbon but the coffee steals the show.

T: Very deep. Each sip produces a different quality to the beer. Coffee, chocolate, and bourbon all blended wonderfully together. Not too hot on the finish, but it's still a sipper.

M: Sticks in the mouth, but I would still call it medium. I could live with it being even a little thicker.

O: A wonderful beer. I have to restrain myself from flying through a 4 pack. The only thing I could request more of from this stout is a little more bourbon.

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Photo of goalie33
4.32/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into snifter glass. Bottled March 2011.
A) Pitch black with a ring of brown head around the edges of the glass. Leaves lots of alcohol feet.
S) Vanilla, bourbon, chocolate and coffee. A bit of alcohol in the nose.
T) Coffee is the first flavor that hits and does so mid-mouth. Nice vanilla and bourbon notes on the finish with a lingering mocha aftertaste.
M) Full, thick mouthfeel, really coats the mouth. Leaves a bit of a chalky dryness on the finish.
O) Very good beer but not sure it lives up to the hype. Very nice flavors and wonderful aroma. Very enjoyable. Highly recommended.

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Photo of phreak1983
4.32/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I decided to reward myself for doing my taxes tonight and drink my only bottle of KBS! Here goes nothing...

A- Black with a slight tan head that goes away pretty quick and some odd looking oily foam that sticks to the side that I wouldn't really call lacing.

S- Coffee, vanilla, and a light bourbon scent

T- Coffee and vanilla along with some oak and roasty flavors I didn't smell. The coffee flavor is the dominant aftertaste.

M- A little more thin than I expected, finishes dry.

D- Excellent! The 11.2% ABV doesn't show at all. I could drink this until it crept up on me and kicked my ass.

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Photo of EvilKeith
4.32/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout poured into the glass viscous and nearly black in color. The head began as a half finger of reddish brown foam that fell to a thick collar and a wispy cap. The lacing was somewhat spotty, but was still clingy.
The smell was sweet roasted malts, strong coffee, ripe dark fruits, molasses, rum, and spicy alcohol.
The taste was initially espresso, a strong roasted character with moderate bitterness that got lost in the overt peppery and warming alcohol. There were flashes of sweetness throughout balanced against hop bitterness and a moderate dryness in the finish.
The body was thick and heavy, the carbonation was fairly light.

Wow! This is one fine American Double Stout! A couple of these for breakfast would certainly precipitate an early nap, with no complaints from me!

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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.61 out of 5 with 12,876 ratings
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