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

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

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Reviews: 3,162 | Ratings: 12,370
Photo of jeremy13586
4.82/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Managed to snag a few of bottles from work. Reviewing one and sitting on the rest. Bottled 2/17/12 and poured in to a snifter. Chilled this down to about 55°F. Had this once a couple of years ago, but I think I'll probably appreciate this more now.

The beer has an oily black color. Formed a one finger brown head in my snifter. Looks appealing enough.

Dark and roasty aroma and an alcoholic burn are the first things to hit the nose. The booze does turn in to more of a pronounced whiskey aroma with notes of coffee and chocolate.

The bourbon taste is definitely up front, then follows the coffee and chocolate. The beer has a finish of vanilla and finally ends on a minor licorice note. There is only a very slight lingering bitterness. All the flavors have their place, but mesh together wonderfully.

The mouthfeel was very smooth, slick, and oily. Pretty heavy in body and full flavored.

I'm very glad that I was able to re-visit it and have a few to sit on. This is one of those beers that you wish you could drink all the time, but you're almost glad that you can't. It would take away from the beer, in a way. Anyways, totally awesome.

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Photo of hosehead83
4.82/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to my local craft beer place for saving me a couple of bottles. (The Anderson's-Luv ya)
Poured from a "stubby" 12oz. bottle into a wine goblet.
Inky jet black in color, with a short head of tan foam that struggles to the surface. "High gravity" indeed.
Aroma-Like hovering your nose over a tumbler of fine whiskey, a cup of gourmet coffee, and some Belgian chocolate.
Taste-Ahh, where to begin? Bourbon bon-bons, silky chocolate, Irish coffee with cream, all perfectly blended, with a ghostly minlging of hops in the balance. Super-smooth and dangerously drinkable. "Tingly" mouthfeel lets you know something good is happeneng here. Superbly crafted, sip slowly and try not to smile. Makes you warm and happy. Believe the hype. Wow! Profound.

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

I'm not much for milestones per se, but I have to mention that this coveted brew is my 900th beer review on this site and its my celebratory pick to drink during the opening day game for the Minnesota Twins. Go Twinkies! Well, right now the Twins are up 2-0 over Baltimore thanks to back to back homers from MVP Morneau and Gold glover Torii Hunter.

As for the beer... Bottled in 2007 and served at just a hair below cellar temp.

Dark, tarry black body with a solid finger of dusky cocoa brown head. Nice lacing. Nose features a healthy dose of dark coffee, accented by vanilla, bourbon, caramel, creme brulee, roasted malts, and campfire. Wow. The complexity coupled with the perfect balance of components is amazing.

Roasted malt bitterness greets the tongue, followed by dark chocolate, and sharp espresso. Bourbon flavors sneak in, along with oaky notes, vanilla, caramel, and dark fruits. Lots to process here. Bourbon notes increase toward the finish. Warming and rich. Full-bodied with a tickly, yet creamy thick feel.

Very well done and fails to disappoint this stout lover! Believe the hype.

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Photo of mfrank421
4.82/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

12oz bottle poured into a tree house tulip :)

Looks pitch black with a thin tan head

smells strong of coffee, coffee dominates the smell and i only get slight hints of bourbon barrel and chocolate, smells sweet and and decadent though, the smell warms me up on a cool spring night.

tastes so much more complex then it smells. The coffee is predominant, but the chocolate and barrell realy factor in on the back end. There is no way this has 11.8%, I mean, i know it does, but HOLY sniff nuggets this is wildly good.

Mouth Feel is thick and creamy and perfect. WOW.

Overall...pour this cold and drink it as slowly as possible. the way this beer changes over the course of a 45 minute 12oz consumption is so beautiful its like a freakin piece of art. its beautiful.

EXCEPTIONAL beer....waaaaaaaay better then previous years IMO

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Photo of Flounder57
4.82/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had a chance to try this beer at the Brewhouse this past Palm Sunday. The beer was on draft and poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance: The beer was dark black with a tan head. Only a little bit of lacing remained on the glass when it was drank.

Aroma: roasted coffee, bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, and hints on oak. They all blend very well together.

Taste: roasted coffee once again, followed by vanilla, chcocolate, and oak. There is a boozy alchohol taste towards the end.

Mouthfeel: The beer has medium carbonation and is a little chewy. It also went down nice and smoothly.

Overall: This was a very delicious and great tasting beer. I would recommend this beer to anyone and happy I got the scoop about this special log of beer at the Union Brewhouse in Weymouth.

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Photo of cbak999
4.82/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big Thanks to CampusCrews for the trade that allowed me to sample this treat. The month is not readable on the bottle, but the year is defintely 2010.

A- Black. Simple as that. A small tan head that quickly fades to a ring around the glass. There is no light getting through this beer.

S- Bourbon, chocolate and coffee, in that order. But the overwhelming smell is the sweet bourbon.

T- Coffee is the first taste. Then boubon is the first aftertaste. The predominant aftertaste fades to chocolate. This beer is complex!! There are so many other tastes going on.

D- I love it! The 11.2% is well hidden, but not so much that you forget that you are drinking a monster stout - the king of imperial stouts. This beer is awesome....there is no doubt it stands up to the hype! I only wish it were more readily available.

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Photo of Darius75
4.82/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle at room temperature, poured into an 8 oz. wine goblet.

A: Black as the devil in the center, lightening to a caramel brown at the edges. Thin, light golden head dissipates fast. I can see the rim of the glass reflected almost perfectly on the surface of the beer. It's like an oil slick on the surface of a magical wishing well. Little islands of foam creep down the sides of the glass.

S: The nose is rich, but not acrid or too insistent. Deep, rich chocolate aromas are the most pronounced, teased forward by hints of coffee and bourbon. This stout smells like a high-class chocolate bar dipped in hard liquor, or a rum-filled truffle dipped in coffee, or a beautiful woman holding a glass of bourbon dipped in high-class melted chocolate. Somewhere between those three.

T: Chewy chocolate and understated coffee flavors predominate for about a second, segueing into a powerful wash of bourbon. The round, tasty bourbon flavor is mellow at first, mediated by the coffee and chocolate. The tail end of the taste proffers hard liquor's delicious sting without numbing the palate, because it's softened by the chocolate warmth that came before. The aftertaste is mostly coffee and bourbon, without the stickiness that makes too-sweet beers difficult to drink. The more I drink, the more I notice the presence of all the flavors throughout each sip.

M: Round, smooth, thick like a dessert liqueur. The pleasant warmth and creaminess linger between sips. The moderate carbonation is not noticeable with all these dapper yet rugged flavors riding into town.

D: This is an incredibly well-balanced brew that goes down easy, unlike flavored stouts (coffee, chocolate, bourbon, or straight-up oak) in which the specialty flavor dominates too fiercely. This is a true gentleman's brew. If only they released it more than once a year.

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Photo of hardy008
4.82/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours as dark a black as any beer I have seen. Has a nice dark tan head about one finger high, with decent retention. I could smell the Bourbon as soon as I opened the bottle, what a great smell it is. In addition to Bourbon, coffee, chocolate, oak, and vanilla is also present in the smell. This should be real good.

The taste is fantastic. Bourbon, coffee, chocolate, vanilla, oak, and some roasted malt all blend together perfectly. There is a little alcohol heat, but much less than I thought there would be. With some age, this should be even more incredible, if that is possible.

Feels medium to full bodied with low carbonation, which is proper for this beer. Very smooth and creamy. Very drinkable. I am glad I was able to pick up several more bottles of this.

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

A- 4.5 Pours a dark, dark brown. You can tell it is brown and not black because of its thin, dark tan head. Ultra fine bubbles lace the sides of the snifter smoothly. It looks great overall but I was hoping for just a little more head retention. Not that this is keeping me away, obviously...

S- 5 Dark roasty malts, chocolate, and coffee dominate. There is a definite bourbon aroma in the background which balances its sweet smell nicely. I can smell the oak from the barrels as well, which is a surprise! It smells as perfectly as you'd imagine from reading its label.

T- 5 As you'd suspect from its aroma, this wonderful stout is bursting with flavors of chocolate and coffee. There is much more heat from the bourbon present in the taste than the smell, which is to be expected. I love that about this beer, though! It has a strong, excellent kick and it balances the initial sweetness perfectly, reminding me of its potency.

M- 4.5 Nice feel to this medium-full body stout. It isn't too heavy considering the strength of the brew, but it does coat the mouth well. There is just a bit of syrup on the tongue from the booze which leaves my senses tingling. There is a mild carbonation.

D- 4.5 One thing I love about this complex, beautifully crafted stout ale is that it really isn't that complex to decipher. All of its flavors are pronounced in their respective ways as it is balanced perfectly. It is definitely high in volume and flavor... And unfortunately, price. At $23.99 / 4-pack, it lost some of its "drinkability" for me before I was able to snag it off the shelf (or should I say from the employee who brought it out to me from the back room of the last store in town to have it stocked). Honestly, it is just so limited, so expensive, and so powerful that I couldn't see myself drinking more than one (maybe two on a special night). I'd rather hoard it! I'm wishing now that I would have saved one from last year to compare it with vertically... I'll be sure to do that for the 2012 batch! Excellent beer.

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Photo of johnd513
4.82/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The perfect beer for my 50th review. This beer pours syrupy black with a frothy creamy head that quickly disappears . Smells of huge coffee/espresso flavors, dark chocolate and molasses. Taste of coffee, bourbon and chocolate. The mouthfeel has a medium body and is creamy and smooth, not as thick as I expected but very smooth. This is the most drinkable high abv beer I have had to date. Truly an exceptional stout!

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Photo of jonvan04
4.82/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

After keeping an eye out for many months, I was finally able to land a bottle while eating dinner at Hawthornes in Philadelphia. It didn't feel right drinking this straight out of the bottle, so I ended up pouring it into the jar that was supposed to be my water glass. It was jet black without very much head. The aroma is a very nice blend of coffee, roasted malts, and a little hint of the oak. The taste was an intense blend of the coffee and roasted malts. The mouthfeel was rather light considering how heavy of a beer this is, which would made it very easy to drink a few of these. Anyone who likes coffee flavor in their beer would absolutely love this.

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Photo of jlpepper13
4.83/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I almost cried. Accidentally poured into a pilsner glass after confusing it with a Founder's Breakfast Stout.

A: Comes out black with with amazingly full, thick head that comes down to a solid finger of well built, beautiful head on top. Tiny beads of lace linger as the drink disappears from the glass.

S: pronounced aroma of chocolate and coffee. Some kind of amazing spiciness is present that isn't like any other beer I've ever had. Fusel burn is picked up when deep breaths are taken.

T: Sweet chocolate comes on strong that eventually settles down to a mellow coffee. Again, that spiciness comes through in the back palate. Not at all bitter and very pleasing.

M: Quite the mouth full of beer, I tell ya! It's thick and filling. It took me a good half an hour to enjoy the whole glass. No dryness, it's wet and delicious. Hardly any carbonation is felt which is surprising after seeing so much head on this beer.

O: I'm revisiting this beer and remember why it was the first high end craft beer that really turned me on to the culture. Man is it good! and the 11.2% ABV is nice too. This is the highest score I've given to a beer so far.

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Photo of camil1mj
4.83/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I have had this one so many times, but have never got around to reviewing it.

A: The deepest dark brown. Mocha colored head. Great lacing.

S: Coffee and bourbon.

T: So much going on. The coffee and chocolate are at the forefront. The finish is wonderful bourbon goodness.

M: Medium to heavy body. Medium carbonation.

O: One of the best. This one deserves the hype it gets. So glad I am able to find this one annually.

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Photo of jrstamp
4.83/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2013 Bottle
Purchased: 04/03/2013

A: Dark brown to black with a dark tan thin head.

S: Alot of oak and booze. Have some trouble pulling the chocolate and coffee out at first, but after a couple of more whiffs you can get them.

T: Not as boozy as expected, but there is definitely a decent amount of heat. Good amount of oak and a pretty significant bitterness, some from the coffee and some from hops.

M: A little thinner than expected. Some oak tannin/astringency are definitely present.

O: There are alot of people trying to do big oak aged stouts, alot without success, but that is not the case with Founders. This is a very drinkable big barrel aged stout, that will probably improve with a little age, but is also quite good at this age. Too bad it is so damn limited.

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Photo of ccm414
4.83/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from the 12 oz bottle... thanks BeerMaverick!

A- Black. A little chocolate looking around the edges. Not much head, a little less than one finger. It disappears relatively quickly leaving some slight lace on the glass.

S- Not overwhelming but nice on the nose. Coffee notes that are nicely complimented with hints of chocolate. Sweet malt with heavy bourbon scents. Excellent combination!

T- Pure bliss. One of the best. Great coffee flavors with hints of chocolate and vanilla bean. The bourbon also really comes through in the perfect amount, has an almost spicy feel to it. Slight alcohol burn towards the finish, but its just the right amount that lingers. Very enjoyable.

M- Medium to heavier bodied beer here. Lightly carbonated. Coats the palate nicely and almost feels like it coats the entire mouth with a film of flavor.

D- Very drinkable. Can probably become dangerous at 11.2% abv. It has a nice drinkability with the pop from the bourbon.


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Photo of RTJakarta
4.83/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a gorgeous dark brown, without much a head, and without much lacing. On the pour, this beer looks as thick as molasses. I'm not sure if I find this more intimidating or inviting. Definitely has me excited.

Smells mostly like chocolate and coffee to me. A little backdrop of bourbon. If I smell it really quickly, it almost smells like a tasty, tasty chocolate milk.

Holy mother of God, this is one of the tastiest beers I have ever had. Thick, rich chocolate-ty goodness. Definitely coffee, and a little bit of a bourbon-y taste. Myself, I'm not tasting much of a vanilla presence, but I'm not too mad about it.

Mouthfeel is a full, rich, and thick. After you start drinking this bad boy, it really sticks with you. I'm going to be happy having this linger in my mouth when I'm done.

Overall, I've been waiting for what seems like an eternity for this beer, and I'm so happy I finally got it. If you can't tell....I'm a huge fan just like everyone else. Believe the hype for this beer. Incredible.

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Photo of beerwolf77
4.83/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed this on tap at Romans pub.

Served in a tulip glass the beer is pitch black with a thick dark tan head that sits at two fingers for at least ten minutes with out moving. The lace is unreal. It clings to the glass throughout the entire drinking experiance. Every sip or swirl leaves a thick coating around the edge of the glass.

The aroma is much more chocolate and roast malt then I had expected. It has a light bourbon feel to it but it's just super smooth and mild.

The flavor is absolutely perfect. One third chocolate one third coffee and one third bourbon. It simple doesn't get any better then this. I simply don't think any one aspect wins out in the battle. It's as if they all decided on a tie. I don't kn ow how founders got all three to play so well with eachother.

Full thick and chewy rich body. Super smooth with hardly any carbonation.

Overall maybe the easiest drinking barrel aged beer I've ever tasted. I would have no problem polishing off afew pints of this. As long as I have a ride home.

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Photo of scottyr2
4.83/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Fortunate enough to have this on tap at Big Beers and Barleywine tasting in Dayton Ohio.

Incredibly black with a nice, tight toffee colored head. The smell of the bourbon is prominent, along with a nice mixture of vanilla, butterscotch and chocolate.

Taste- wow. The sweetness of the bourbon blends beautifully with the chocolate and slight scorched butterscotch tastes. From sip to swallow, a wonderful experience. This is a must taste for any big stout drinker.

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Photo of basaywhat
4.83/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle. Pours deep black with a very small tan head. Aroma hits you with big notes of chocolate, bourbon and coffee. Very nice thick, but not too thick mouthfeel. Taste of slight bourbon notes of roasted malts, chocolate and coffee. Overall one of the best beers I have ever had!

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Photo of PescadoBlanco
4.83/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

One of the most unbelievable things to cross my lips. Pours really dark, lots of pungent bourbon in the nose. Honestly, I love this stuff. A great beer for aging if that's what you're into. If you get a chance to try it, try it.

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Photo of donspublic
4.83/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had this on tap this past weekend while in Tulsa. Found this at a Mixology bar, never discount a non beer centric joint.
Served in a slender stemmed tulip and had about 2 finger light tan head. Smelled of chocolate, coffee and a slight hint of bourbon
Taste was unlike any other barrel aged beer I have had before, it was more of a muted bourbon taste with very little alcohol burn. This is a beer that I would get a case of if I could.
I have one sitting on my desk now that my daughter scored when she was traveling up north. I was planning on opening it this month, but I think I will save it now for winter and a cuban. Well done Founders

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Photo of kundog18
4.83/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2011 Bottle poured into Jackie O's snifter.

Pours jet black, viscous and oily in appearance, one finger of dark tan head. Good lacing and legs.

Smell is of vanilla, oak, coffee, with a hint of chocolate.

Taste is an amazing amalgamation of coffee, chocolate, caramel, vanilla, and roasted malt. The barrel is evident, but tannins are smooth and well integrated, especially for a barrel aged beer so young. Somewhat sweet, but never cloying. Absurdly drinkable for 11%.

Mouthfeel - fine carbonation complements the beer perfectly and is spot on for the style. Could use a little more body for my taste, but this is really nitpicking.

Overall - Exceptional - easily one of my favorite beers. I wish I could drink this everyday.

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Photo of Vancer
4.83/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

What a freakin’ great brew. At first, it seemed high priced at $5 a bottle – but crap – that’s only $10 for a bomber.

SOB – this bad boy poured pure black, and a frothy tan head popped up that just painted the glass the entire quaff. Can’t believe this is a filtered brew.

Malty goodness of dark fruit – plums and raisons in the aroma, chocolate and deep roasted coffee. Thick and chewy as you quaff, the bourbon is there but not overwhelming in the least. Like eating a cherry chocolate bourbon bon-bon. No hint of booze until the cheeks start to flush.

I can’t wait for another one, but I may hang onto it for a year and see what happens.

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Photo of Ungertaker
4.83/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2009 KBS

2009 tap pour into a Unibroue tulip.

A- jet black with a two-inch tan head that left a thick, foamy lacing as it slowly faded away.

S- bourbon, vanilla, dark chocolate, espresso

T- Vanilla is present at the front. The bourbon hits hard, then fades into dark chocolate and espresso. the dark chocolate stays until the end while the bourbon fades bringing on a black cherry-like flavor. The bourbon eases back in at the finish with a soothing burn as it goes down.

M- thick, but not mouth-coating. A perfect level of carbonation throughout; just enough to know it is there.

O- Unbelievable. I had only tried current-year KBS on tap and this blows it away. It starts and finishes with an unparalleled deliciousness. Now I can't wait to open my bottle of 2009 that has been taunting me for over a year!

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Photo of Wasted_Youth
4.83/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Smooth creamy coffee and chocolate malts stand out the most. The barrel aged taste isn't as strong as expected, however this beer is amazing. One of the better imperial stouts out there.

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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
4.56 out of 5 based on 12,370 ratings.
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