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: 3,169 | Ratings: 12,395
Photo of The_Epopt
4.62/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Smells exactly like it should and how you want it to. Well balanced between alcohol and flavor, nothing hot on the tongue. Slides down the throat too easy for a high ABV beer.

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Photo of Premo88
4.46/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle poured into vertical goblet
(2017 release)

L: classic black-and-tan stout look in the glass, though it's clear dark dark brown/claret pouring out of the bottle; pushes up about 3/5-inch head of tan foam, doesn't stick a ton but it's keeping a very thick, soapy-bubble collar and most of a skin ... this collar is something else and fun to look at

S: figgy fruitcake, dusty Belgian dubbel/quad note, molasses-chocolate milkshake with lots of whipped cream, vanilla extract; as it warms, becomes an all-chocolate milk shake ... milk chocolate, cafe mocha, a hint of dark chocolate and loads of vanilla to sweeten it even more ... so perfect it's not even a question

T: bourbon smoothed out by chocolate, cafe mocha, sharp astringent coffee; then smoothing out and sweetening up with loads of milk chocolate as it warms; the alcohol is present ... not what I'd call "hot" (surely the time in the barrel tamed it some) but there is definitely a pinch of alcohol flavor and loads of warmth in the throat; bourbon flavor exists mostly in the finish and aftertaste, even some oak wood in there, but this isn't peaty single-malt Scotch -- this is sweet ol' Kentucky nectar

F: light for a big stout but well filled out with good carbonation ... still has a thick quality to it, almost chewy at times, but overall no more than a firm middleweight

O: obviously good, KBS' best quality for me might be that it comes in four-packs of 12 oz. bottles, a much easier serving size to deal with than the 22 or 25.4 oz. bomber which is often standard issue for big BA stouts; it doesn't stand out from several of the other good BA stouts I've had, but it definitely hangs with all of them, and the smooth milk chocolate finish as it warms is better than most; I'll buy this often ... as often as I can find it in my neck of Texas

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Photo of Nickwierda
4.91/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow best vintage (2017) of the past three years hands down (I've only had Kbs 15, 16, and 17).

A: stout black. Head is lighter though, unlike FIS which has one of the darkest heads I've ever seen on a beer.

S: super coffee forward with dark chocolate to undergird it. When cold it also has overtones of that medicinal/herbal thing you sometimes get from bourbons. Even a hint of a red fruit/cherry note that I find in Bookers. As it warms, though, the medicinal/red fruit thing fades and the vanilla comes on strong.

T: honestly I feel like this is basically a specialty coffee drink. Some place near me does a Vietnamese iced coffee with condensed milk that is rich and sweet but also has a beautiful smokiness/roastiness to it. This tastes like that, with a bit more dark chocolate, caramel, and vanilla sweetness. Very very little booze or heat to speak of. Very little bourbon flavor either, which is not a knock on this beer by any means.

M: much thicker than I remember. Medium-full, carb is just a bit less than silky. A toouuuch prickly but I'm nit picking here.

O: this shit is the bomb. Every time I've had KBS I've liked it but never as much as this 2017 vintage. It's a complete beer. Each individual component - the roasted malt, the chocolate, the coffee, the barrel - does its job so well, harmonizes so well with the others; none takes precedence, all meld beautifully. No clashing of flavors, no clunkiness, no rough edges. If this is them trying to up their game in an increasingly competitive marketplace, bravo. I will definitely seek out other offerings in this series this year.

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Photo of CaptainHate
4.79/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I certainly understand the buzz around this. I'm glad I picked up four more that I can age and maybe that will cut the booze taste and smell that are the only things that keep me from giving it a perfect score. I have nothing to say that hasn't already been said. Just a great beer experience.

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Photo of jazzyjeff13
4.29/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A 355ml bottle with a BB of Feb 2016. 2015 vintage; bottled Feb 2015 with an ABV of 11.2%. I've been sitting on this bottle for a while - I hope it has aged well. I haven't seen this beer in the UK before or since, so I feel fortunate to be able to try it.

A: Poured into a Duvel tulip. Bottle conditioned. Pours a very dark brown hue that appears pitch black in the glass. Yields a small head of frothy mocha-coloured foam that swiftly subsides to a patchy surface layer.

S: Aroma of rich dark malt with notes of roasted grain, subtle coffee, brown sugar/molasses, earthy yeast, mild bourbon, faint chocolate, a twinge of vanilla and a warming whiff of booze. Fantastic.

T: Tastes of intense roasted malt with substantial bourbon undertones. Notes of roasted grain, dark malt, bourbon, wood, molasses, mild coffee, earthy yeast, a hint of vanilla, faint chocolate and an alcoholic twang on the finish. A substantial malt-driven bitterness upon swallowing. The flavours are not as well meshed as the aroma, though impressively complex nonetheless.

M: Mouthfeel is smooth and tingly, with soft carbonation. Decent body but not as thick as might be expected. The alcohol dries the palate somewhat. Aftertaste of roasted malt, bourbon, yeast and bitter coffee.

O: A top-notch brew that deserves the recognition it receives. Looks the part, while the aroma and flavour are a heady mix of dark malt, bourbon, coffee and yeast. Body is OK but could be thicker and creamier for the style. Perhaps not the best bourbon barrel-aged stout I've tried - I feel the bourbon is a tad too dominant to the detriment of balance. However, a great beer and worthy of sampling if you have the chance.

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Photo of Bruno74200
4.77/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This beer grows on you at each sip. The balance might be the main attribute of this beer.

Pitch black with a thin brown head.
The smell is quite interesting. It's a perfect mix of cocoa powder, coffee and booze. Smells like a good tiramisu tastes like. Nuttiness on top.
The taste is still about the nuts (mostly hazelnut), the coffee and the coffee. The bourbon oak brings a good balance to this complex smell. The booze is strong here. Quite a sipper.
This beer is thick but not much and astringent. The carbonation is quite low.
One of the best beer I've ever had. The best use of bourbon barrel I've had in a beer to date.

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Photo of dsa7783
4.06/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Echo Tap and Grille in Mountainside. Pours a jet black ebony hue with moderate frothing. Pungent aroma replete with hints of chocolate and molasses. Similar overall flavor profile.

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Photo of HipCzech
4.49/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving: 12 oz bottle ("2017 release") poured into a 9 oz Libbey Embassy snifter.

Appearance: Deep, dark inky brown with a lush, thick head of brown foam that leaves streaky lace.

Smell: Roasting coffee beans, dark chocolate shavings and oak.

Taste: Rich dark chocolate, espresso, vanilla beans, bitter char and oak tannins. Burnt, earthy bitterness moderates the sweeter tendcies well.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation and creamy, smooth feel.

Overall: A big, coffee and chocolate stout matched by bold barrel notes and warming alcoholic burn.

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Photo of TerryMills
4.47/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2017 bottle ..

Bourbon notes ,lightly roasted malts ,maybe a hint of chocolate ,pretty thin for an imperial stout imo..

Good drinkable beer but I don't get the hype .. Black belle and several others are better imo.

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Photo of rarigney
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is hands down the best beer I've had the pleasure of drinking. Also my first 5.0 overall. The complexity is outstanding with notes of dark roast, chocolate, coffee, vanilla, oak, raisins, and bourbon. The praise for this beer from the community is well deserved. Believe the hype!

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Photo of NicholasL
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2017 release.

Dark, rich, creamy and. Dark chocolate and coffee flavors. Slight Bourbon follow. Perfect balance of flavors without one overpowering the other. Overall excellent beer. One of my favorites.

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Photo of futiledevices
4.76/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

2017 release. Bought 4/5/2017 for $6 a 12oz bottle, surprisingly enough. Bought the hype. Lived up.

L: Pitch black, medium brown creamy head, lots of lacing

S: Massive chocolate, sweet bourbon, fresh oak, charred oak, chocolate milkshake, medium roast coffee, hazelnut

T: Like drinking a chocolate milkshake at first. Creamy and sweet with lots of dark chocolate, oak, bourbon, marshmallow, overripe dark berries, ganache-like richness. More and more and more whiskey as it warms up. Flavor comes in big waves well after the drink down.

F: Super sticky and creamy. Decadent.

Overall, this is worth the hype for me. I love Breakfast Stout, but this is a completely different animal. So rich and flavorful. Like chocolate cake soaked in bourbon and espresso. Beautiful.

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Photo of Radcpa
4.73/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Very dark appearance with minimal head. Very nice bourbon and coffee aroma. Taste is also coffee and bourbon. Very smooth without any alcohol taste. Aging is not necessary

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Photo of Hopheadjeffery
4.54/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Tasted in an 8 oz snifter from draught at Firkin on April 4, 2017. A very nice balance of flavors. The barrel notes compliment the coffee and chocolate flavors without overwhelming them. Highly recommended.

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Photo of TX-JROD_81
4.76/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

L- Pours very dark brown and opaque. Head of medium bubbles, sticky and tan.
S- Cacao nibs and cake batter. Faint back of fresh ground coffee.
T- Much of the same. The roasted coffee back becomes more noticeable. The bourbon barrel comes through with hints of raisin and vanilla. The intensity of flavors picks up as it warms. Pour this one mid 60s and finish near room temp.
F- Like velvet from start to finish. Perfectly carbonated. Smooth in the mouth and slightly sticky on the lips. 5 stars.
O- Magnificent stout. I will buy more of this if I find it again.

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Photo of CochonKing
4.92/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

2017 Founders KBS - Served in the 2017 Founders KBS glass.

Look - The beer pours a nice black with brown edging. Foam is sturdy with a large amount of longevity and it forms thick legs that run down the glass.

Smell - Coffee, chocolate and raisins are in the initial attack for me when I first opened it up. Vanilla comes off the nose next as well as some of the more subtle whiskey notes throwing in a little tar and tire at the end. The bouquet is beautiful and has a lot of depth as it starts to warm up slightly.

Taste - Chocolate leads in the taste based off of my perception with some of the roasted coffee notes to follow. The alcohol then picks up its intensity. Vanillas, chocolate, molasses, burnt wood, caramel and burnt sugar. The flavors are amazing.

Feel - The mouthfeel is incredible as well. Full bodied and similar to heavy cream in texture the bubbles are small and yield to the intensity of the beer beautifully. Creamy and rich this beer is a beast.

Overall I'd say I'm really happy I bought this beer. Took a lot of searching in NY but when I found that Half Time in Poughkeepsie was selling it after I've been waiting three years to try it (always sold out before I got out of work).

My only complaint is that its gouged. Much like Pappy Van Winkle this 4 pack cost me 36. Half time, a store in Poughkeepsie I normally love really enjoys making a shit load of money of of this beer.

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Photo of kculrich
4.54/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

From a 12oz bottle, 2017 release. Served in a tulip.

Pours an opaque, semi-thick, deep mahogany-black with no highlights to be found and a fat, sturdy, creamy-brown head that lasts, and lasts, and then lasts some more. Thick walls of lacing sheet down the glass to join with the thick ring of foamy suds which stays all the way to the end.

The nose is rich caramel eggy custard, milk chocolate, toasted marshmallows and cinnamon, with the merest whiff of booze afar off on the horizon. There is no trace of coffee and it isn't missed. I could lay my nose down on the edge of the glass and take a nap.

Taste follows the nose so precisely that I don't need to repeat myself except for the part about napping in it because, now that I've tasted it, I can't stop drinking it. Finally picking up some bitter cold-pressed coffee at the finish.

Mouthfeel is smooth, rich and creamy, medium-thick bodied, a little better carbonated than it needs to be, and finishes with a slight dry, bitter pucker. Just a little boozy warmth in the gullet.

Overall, delicious. There will be no aging of any other bottles. They will be consumed forthwith. I wish I could save some for autumn campfires but, realistically, that's just not going to happen.

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Photo of bostonbrand65
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Got a heads up on this beer, and as an IPA guy, wasn't too sure i'd like it. Gave it a whirl, then had to run out and get more to stash away.

This beer is a luxury, wonderful barrel aged stout. Enjoy a slow session of 1-2 beers at room temp - to let the flavors (many and complex) linger and lurk on the palate. Best beer I have ever tried. Wonderful stuff.

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Photo of DraconusDesanctus666
4.84/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

P- Poured from a 12 oz bottle,into a large Funky Buddha snifter.Bottled on 02/23/17.

L- Thick,creamy,light brown / dark khaki colored head that stands 1 finger tall with good retention and sticky lacing.Silky / jet black body with no light showing through the glass.Low amount of carbonation.

S- On the nose I get dark roasted coffee,toasted malt,dark chocolate,blackstrap molasses,roasted caramel,smoked wood,and slight notes of burnt maple syrup notes.The nose is strong,yet very pleasant.

T- The palate follows the nose with smoked wood,toasted malts,and dark roasted coffee up front,dark chocolate and blackstrap molasses in the middle,and roasted caramel and burnt maple syrup on the back end.

F- The mouth feel is thick,sticky,heavy,and viscous with a sticky and chalky texture.Low amount of carbonation on the tongue,and a smooth / silky finish.

This is one of the best barrel aged stout I have ever tasted.The sweetness is perfect.The smell,taste,and body are all perfect.I would drink this beer 365 days a year if it were available.If you love Imperial Stouts like I do I definitely recommend it,especially if you like barrel aged stouts like I do.Definitely top shelf...I recommend,and I will absolutely drink again.As usual,well done Founders.

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Photo of frankwynn
4.67/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This highly sought after Barrel Aged Stout pours pitch black with a 2 finger, light brown, slowly receding head with small tightly compact bubbles. Smells are of coffee, vanilla and bourbon. The mouthful is full, coating the tongue and throat. First tastes reveals a ton of Bourbon, Vanilla and coffee bitterness. Chocolate comes much later as this beer hangs around on the palate for awhile. The second drink was more chocolate with a sweetness that kinda of tastes like cinnamon. I paid 6.50 for a 12oz. bottle, so the price point is great. I think it lives up to the hype, it a world class beer no doubt, i can't find anything wrong with it.

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Photo of ZebulonXZogg
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Last night I stopped at the local liquor where the had this on tap. This afternoon I'm sharing a 2016 and a 2017 bottle.
L: Pours a very dark brown with a creamy tan head.
S: The tapped version seemed heavy on the chocolate and coffee smell. I honestly didn't catch a whiff of bourbon at all. The bottled versions similar, but both had bourbon aromas, the '16 version was more pronounced.
T: The tapped beers had coffee and chocolate flavors, again no noticeable bourbon except for the warming effect. I actually thought I was drinking an Imperial Breakfast Stout an nitro. The 16/17 bottles had similar tastes, I think the 16 bottle had more bourbon in the taste. All had the "heat".
F:. All had medium thick feel to them, not in the Ten-Fidy of FIS class.
O: The tapped version went down easy, the ABV not noticeable until I stood up. The two bottles were more sippers. Definitely, one the really good ones. Founders is probably #1 on my list, especially when it comes to stouts. So what happened to Double Trouble and Devil Dancer.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.78/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2017 release. Grabbed the very last one from my local beer store.

Jet black color, very active and fizzy vibe with a dark tan colored foam topping. Fizzes and slowly recedes. There is always a fine swirly covering, thicker mocha colored ring all the way around the outer-edge of the glass that never goes away. Very active for a huge beer layed down for a full year !

A huge malty nose: caramel, roasty chocolate, vanilla and cream, freshly ground french roast coffee bean and dry, earthy hop notes under that. Plenty of high heat tingle and dense, dark fruits. A very intense aroma. The nose really opens up, as the liquid gets warmer, sweeter chocolate, bigger sweet dark fruits and more caramel pop out....even more. The nose is really dominated by the bourbon and alcohol effect. Coffee grounds become much more intense later on as well.

I must comment on the mouthfeel first, the first sip proves to be one of the, if not, THE most LUSH, full and smooth effects I've ever expereinced in a beer. Velvety smooth, full, long and very easy to gulp for such a beast. The heat is pretty high but the addition of chocolate and coffee really make for a "full"effect without the alcohol presence taking over. Thick, viscositous and oily but still exceptionally smooth.

The alcohol heat and bourbon barrel taste hits you first in the flavor. The Oak bourbon barrel effect is huge, adding massive complexity to the already full- bore flavor's of: roasty chocolate, mild, dark roasted coffee, vanilla...?more like heavy cream really; dark roasted grains and dry earthy tones. The hops provide an excellent dry, herbal and earthy counter ballance to all of the massive malty and adjunct style complexities found within the flavor spectrum of this rather incredible brew.

The lable does not give the actual abv. % (after closer inspection, the lable does include the abv... But it was faded) 11.8 % for 2017......but I would guess somewhere near 12%. Usually "barrel aged beers" have a slight oak... And whatever spirit the barrel holds flavoring that is very subtle. This Bourbon Barrel aging actually brings it on home ! Aged for a full year, does the trick! Kudo's for creating a Very aged Massive stout!

The aftertaste has dates and sweet but also sour notes of alcohol infused chocolate. Grassy and very herbal flavor's tend to take over slightly near the end of the glass, when the liquid is at it's warmest.

Certainly an Epic stout. I love how the Bourbon oak cask really effects the already excellent malty spectrum offlavor's. Favorite aspect: The feel. Best ever. If a 6 was

Overall, a true Beast. Epic stout. Not in my top 5 RIS/ADS . But very close.

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Photo of Impfan
4.88/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

With its midnight black pour, and heavy body, it was obvious that this was going to be a stout to reckon with. The nose was coffee, foremost, with chocolate next, followed by mild bourbon. The flavor was more intense with an overall impression of letting a raspberry truffle melt in my mouth. The finish was very long, and completely balanced. This beauty was definitely worth the (years long) wait to enjoy.

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Photo of Meow49
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This was the most decadent, yet balanced imperial stout I've had the pleasure of savoring. Coffee was in the forefront with chocolate and cacao coming through next, followed by dark fruit. The finish was a smooth and mellow marriage of all three, and the finish was quite lengthy. The body was voluptuous; firm, but yet, silky and not syrupy. Yummy stuff!

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Photo of Kdouble
4.74/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A 12 oz bottle listed as 2017 release poured into a tulip.

Appearance- A deep thick black with around a 3 finger brownish thick head. The head faded rather quickly, but there was nice lacing down the glass. A classic stout look

Smell- Dark chocolate with roasted coffee are dominant. I was expecting more of the bourbon barrel aroma to come through, but next none there. I did notice some other dried fruits as I let this breathe a little. Really enjoyable mix of flavors with a pleasant change around the middle of the glass.

Taste- The coffee hit me a little strong for the first sip then the dark chocolate and caramel kick in. The dried fruit seemed like a mix of dates and figs with more sweetness. The bourbon barrel smokiness is more like a mellow aftertaste with the sweetness mixed in. The most difficult mix of flavors I have tried to explain- just know that I really liked it.

Mouthfeel- Lite to medium carbonation with warming feel. A slight bite from either the high ABV or the bourbon mix.

Overall- A fantastic stout made to be sipped and enjoyed. This stout leaves no doubt about the 11.80% ABV without a bitter alcohol taste. The complex mix of dried fruit and sweetness definitely shine through. Stock up on it while you can get it.

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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
4.56 out of 5 based on 12,395 ratings.
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