Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) | Founders Brewing Company

BA SCORE
100
world-class
12,635 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
foundersbrewing.com

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
12,635
Reviews:
3,232
Avg:
4.56
pDev:
8.77%
 
 
Wants:
4,497
Gots:
6,681
For Trade:
528
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 12,635 |  Reviews: 3,232
Photo of loganburgh
4.36/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Tommo
4.36/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Draft versus bottle is so different, didnt age the bottle a week but it was much much worse

91 characters

Photo of Crubbsy
4.36/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tall stemmed glass.

Appearance: Pours pitch black like use dmotor oil. completely opaque. short light tan head that disappears quickly. Was visibly thick when coming out of the bottle. 4.5

Smell: Aroma is roasty first, then you can smell the bourbon barrels a little bit, then it turns chocolatey. 4

Taste: sweet first and balanced with roasty flavors and a little bitterness. Barrel aging becomes apparent near the finish. Aftertaste is slightly bitter. Kind of a warm boozy sensation halfway through the bottle 4.5

Mouthfeel: sweetness makes a fairly full body. hefty overall, and leaves a thin bitter coating on the tongue. 4.25

Overall: Worth the hunt. pretty complex w a lot of elements playing on each other. Seemed like the experience kept unfolding as time went on through the tasting. Interested in seeing how aging treats this one 4.25

 902 characters

Photo of Beerasaurus
4.36/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of TMoney2591
4.36/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Pours the way a big, bold stout ought to: deep pitch black (or is pitch "KBS-black"?) with a quarter-finger of burnt sienna head that dissipates into a flat cloud lingering on the surface. A slight bit of sudsily-ringed lacing is left behind. The nose has a seemingly unhealthy amount of wood in it, almost as much as a small forest. There's also some bourbon, maple syrup, molasses, dark roast coffee, and charcoal smoke, making this one of the darkest-smelling brews I have ever had. That said, the coffee, wood, and bourbon o'erwhelm the other notes a bit, leaving me an iota unfulfilled. The taste marks a second manifestation of the nose: heavy wood notes, bourbon, molasses, vanilla, smoke, nutmeg, dark roast coffee, toffee, and a hint of chunky peanut butter. This is a fair improvement on the nose, and leaves very little to be desired. The body is indeed pretty hefty, but not too much so. The low carbonation, thick chewiness, and spitefully smooth feel all lead to a high drinkability, though this brew is clearly not a gulper; rather a highly enjoyable deep-sipper. Definitely lives up to the hype!

 1,146 characters

Photo of jroof1
4.36/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of AWA
4.36/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of brenn79
4.36/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle- Pours oil black with a small tan head that reduces to a thin blanket. Aroma is vanilla, toffee, cinnamon, nutmeg, chocolate, leather. The taste is cocoa, malt balls, a bit nutty, caramel, toffee, velvety smooth with a bit of alcohol presence, but definitely not overbearing. Delicious and lived up to the hype i think.

 332 characters

Photo of chIAhawks89
4.36/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of jminsc76
4.36/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I enjoyed this courtesy of a wonderful gentleman who brought it when he moved out to California from Illinois. He also brought Three Floyds' Dark Lord Imperial Stout, so we started with that, and then after experiencing complete beer jubilation, moved on to this (and experienced a second wave of jubilation). As I was slightly intoxicated from the Dark Lord I cannot comment too much on the look. All I remember is it pours a dark, oily body with slight head, but nothing too extravagant. It's aged two years, so a lot of the carbonation has subsided.

Strong aromas of rye, sawdust, and even oats. Momentarily felt like I was hanging out in a either honky-tonk bar or Irish Pub, you know, the kind with all the sawdust on the floor. Intriguing aromas, but I was not expecting sawdust.

The taste is similar to the smell: sawdust, oak, and oats, but also strong roasted coffee flavors. Keep in mind that my palate may have been a wee bit blunted as I was still reeling from the rich coffee/chocolate/molasses/whatever-else-is-present aromas and flavors of Dark Lord, so any of the molasses or chocolate that other reviewers are alluding to may have been knocked the *bleep* out of me. Perhaps I should have saved this for another night but what can I say? I was inspired from having two top-rated beers in my presence.

The woody, oak-y, and coffee aromas and flavors are the standouts here, and according to the gentleman who brought this to me, it's among the last of its kind. Too bad, I want more.

 1,505 characters

Photo of jlsims04
4.36/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

Dont really get the hype for this one but it is a solid beer. I much prefer it with 8 months to a year on it.

109 characters

Photo of RickyBfromCT
4.36/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of acbe
4.36/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of sk8man121
4.36/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle obtained in a trade w/ craytonic.

12 oz bottle poured into Unibroue snifter.

Before beginning, this is my first KBS and I want to make clear that the cap popped with almost no sound and poured no head whatsoever. Someone please feel free to BM me and let me know if this is common, as I'm worried perhaps I got a bottle with some issues.

A: Pours jet-black with no head whatsoever, even with a vigorous pour. Filmy mocha lacing sits atop this brew. As I said, this may be an off bottle, but I'm not impressed with how this looks at all.

S: Cocoa powder is strong upfront, as is vanilla, maple syrup, leather and a hint of freshly ground coffee beans. Smells great, although I'd like there to be a bit more bourbon present.

T: Mmmm...as roasty as it gets, and not overly sweet. Vanilla, cocoa and bourbon; the bourbon is a bit strong, but welcomed as far as I'm concerned, as the heat really brings out the more complex flavors in this brew. Outstanding.

M: Carbonation is low, which may be the result of a potentially poor bottle. Nevertheless, it fits the style and works fine. I'm happy to say that this beer isn't syrupy or overly viscous at all.

D: If I had a few more of these, I'd happily session them so long as I had nothing else to do. The high ABV (11.2%) is hidden extremely well; this drinks more like an 8% stout. I may have hyped this a bit too much in my own head, but I'd by lying if I said this wasn't a pleasurable experience.

Looking forward to keeping my eyes peeled for more KBS in the future.

 1,530 characters

Photo of devilishprune
4.36/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 Founder's Kentucky Breakfast Stout - Reviewed 3/26/11

A. Pour yielded NO head at all. I wondered if it was carbonated. Black as the night and thick like motor oil. Has legs in the glass

S. Very alcoholic, vanilla, bourbon, licorice, coffee, caramelized dates. Smells like chocolate espresso.

T. Booze is hidden well here, not following the smell. Like drinking a glass of very smooth bourbon, with raisins in it? Caramel sweetness verging on cloying, but it's still balanced. Finish is all strong coffee.

M. Very low carbonation and VERY thick mouthfeel; almost slick.

D. Half a glass is a good amount for this beer. Definitely up my alley, especially on a rainy cold day. I'd be interested to compare this to a fresher version, as well.

Overall, this is one of the best bourbon stouts I have ever had. It's hard to get my hands on them, but this one still stands out amongst the others that I've had.

 913 characters

Photo of BreweryRun
4.36/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the first year a fresh batch of KBS has made it to SoCal, Excited to try this one.

Pours completely opaque black with a fairly quickly dissipating light brown head. Smell is earthy coffee, lots of milk chocolate, oak, and mild booze. Taste follows pretty closely with a prominent woody, bourbon milk chocolate flavor and coffee. Booze is noticeable but not offensive, it hits you along with a warming sensation right at the end. Body is full but not huge, and it finishes pretty dry for the style. I poured this on the warm side to begin with but as it warms the milk chocolate flavor comes even more to the forefront.

Overall, this is a very solid BBA stout that manages to be cohesive and smooth even with a fairly apparent booze character.

 758 characters

Photo of mobrado
4.36/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Not among my favorite bourbon-barrel-aged stouts, but very pleasant nonetheless. Surprisingly the vanilla and cocoa notes almost overpower the coffee for me (not a bad thing). The main drawback is that it feels thin for the ABV. Terrific value when compared to some other barrel-aged offerings (if you can get it).

 314 characters

Photo of tberry1693
4.36/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had to bribe my local craft beer store to actually sell me one of these. Enjoying it as I write this. This is by far the best I've had from Founders and definitely up there with some of my other favorite beers. It pours near black with a creamy brown head. The smell is fantastic, like chocolate milk and vanilla bourbon. I've had many stouts flavored with coffee and chocolate before but this one definitely takes the cake, far and away. The first thing that hits the palate is the oak and the bourbon with a little bit of coffee bitterness. You can definitely tell that this beer is 11.2% alcohol; it warms the throat but in a very pleasant way. The aftertaste is very forward on the chocolate with undertones of coffee. It was mildly carbonated, and I enjoyed it more as it warmed up. Overall, fantastic beer. I will try my best to find another before they all sell out, and I recommend that you do too!

 906 characters

Photo of cueball52
4.36/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It pours a deep chocolate brown with virtually no head. It looks like motor oil but the smell tells you it isn't.
The aroma is dark chocolate and coffee followed by a faint wet cardboard smell, but it isn't unpleasant. There is also a hint of bourbon. The combination makes for a very good overall aroma with the dark chocolate taking center stage.
The taste is of dark, very bitter chocolate and dark roasted coffee followed with a slight bourbon bite and a warm alcohol finish. The mouthfeel is oily with almost no detectable carbination.
As I get to the bottom of the glass the dark roasted coffee aroma has taken over.
This is a very good complex stout. A couple cups of this in the morning might make for an interesting day!

 733 characters

Photo of iliketurtlesthx
4.36/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This review is based on the 2016 release, which I had on draft and bottled.

My first impression is that this tastes better than the 2015 release fresh out of the bottle. Tons of chocolate, a little bit of barrel, and love that bourbon heat. Coffee is there, but chocolate flavors seem to overpower it. The smell is delightful. Very nice and thick.

One of my favorite beers. It seems to be easier to find on draft. The bottle hunt this year was a war and I might settle for only draft moving forward.

 509 characters

Photo of rx-beer
4.36/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a still black with a very thin ribbon of head that fades almost entirely. Very fine lacing.

S - Upfront and at lower temperatures there's a lot of coffee with some notes of bourbon. As the temperature rises, bourbon becomes more apparent and the coffee becomes much harder to detect.

T - Dark chocolate predominates initially, and then gives way to some espresso. Finally, the bourbon becomes more evident. Aftertaste has a balance between the bourbon and the coffee flavors. The warmer it gets, the more bourbon comes through.

M - Very full bodied, quite thick, and no carbonation.

O - This is a phenomenal beer. It blurs the lines between a fine beer and a fine liquor. Even though I think this is a great stout, it would not be my go-to stout. I would save this one for special occasions. I have to say, my favorite stout continues to be Breakfast Stout.

 871 characters

Photo of boudeysbigbrew
4.36/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received 8 of these bad boys in a trade with user PeteGuento!

Appearance - Gentle pour with practically no head save for a tiny darkened brown circle. Lacing is minimal for the most part. Color is pure black with zero transparency.

Smell - In one word: delicious. Noticeably aged in bourbon barrels, with some sweetness clearly present. Smell of coffee beans comes through nicely.

Taste - Hints of vanilla I had not expected, which is something I've always loved in beer. Aftertaste is full of molasses and dark brown sugars. As it warms the bourbon's presence becomes noticeably more apparent.

Mouthfeel - great thickness with a bourbon aftertaste.

Overall - Though this is only my second KBS, it is certainly turning up to be my favorite RIS along with the Parabola. It completely lived up to the hype for me and cant wait to get to the remaining 6 I have left in my cellar!

 881 characters

Photo of nater919
4.36/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of ribby
4.36/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Paid $7 for a bottle at International Beverage in Cascade.

Appearance: I rated this a 5, but that is absurd, as this beer appeared completely black to me. Even the head was dark brown. This poured with a fingernail sized head that dissipates quickly.

Aroma: Charred malt and bourbon.

Taste: Malt, oak, and bourbon. There must be some hops in there, but its main effect is to balance the other ingredients.

Mouthfeel: Not a lot of carbonation, a little bit of heat on the way down to let you know where it spent the last year.

Overall: I am partial to consistently excellent beers rather than one-off curiosities. This is a consistently excellent curiosity. If you are going to age something in bourbon barrels it had better be a blockbuster to start with. This works.

For comparison, I had saved a bottle of Backwoods Bastard. The BB is sweeter, lighter in color, and not as big. It really isn't fair to the BB to compare it to KBS, but if you want to know what KBS is about, there is no substitute.

 1,006 characters

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.37/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Chris at Ebenezer's Pub for this one. Intensely black, with a small cocoa head. It had an aroma of coffee, molasses, and whiskey. The taste followed right along. Very strong coffee, like espresso, the molasses and whiskey more muted but still present. Fairly smooth in the mouth. This is a beer to sip and savor one at a time.

 336 characters

Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
4.56 out of 5 based on 12,635 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.