Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) | Founders Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
3,056 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: 3,056 | Ratings: 11,999
Photo of chaz01
3.83/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle served in a Founder's snifter/tulip type glass.

A: Jet black, with a 1 inch dark brown head that recedes quickly leaving just a little lacing on the glass.

S: Coffee and chocolate flavors dominate any other aroma, especially the coffee.

T: Vanilla, coffee, bourbon, rum, and lots of grains and maltiness.

M: Thick, rich and full bodied. Lots of boozy alcohol finish to it.

D: I seek this beer out every year when it comes out, mainly based on it's reputation and scarcity in the market. It's very different and very good, but also very pricey, and I think just a bit overrated -- the bourbon and coffee flavors mixed together just don't do it for me -- I'd much prefer a Goose Island Bourbon stout. I'm not saying it's a bad beer, or I don't like it, just that when I rate it objectively it's not on on my list of top 10 beers in the world.

 862 characters

Photo of Florida9
4.47/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Opaque black in color. Pours with a small, creamy, dark tan head that has very little retention, reducing quite quickly to nothingness. Little to no lacing.

S: Dark fruit, molasses, brown sugar. Sweet malt and a little coffee. Lighter notes notes of oak and vanilla. Bourbon begins to show as it warms. The nose on this is quite impressive.

T: Sweet, dark malts with oak and vanilla. Very mild bourbon booziness that fades quickly. Pleasant roasted malt finish.

M: Thick and chewy with a low carbonation.

D: A very good beer. A sipper for sure, but also a pleasure to drink.

 584 characters

Photo of alkemy
4.4/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown...lets just call it black. Above it sits a finger of rich, dark tan head. There's a nuttiness to the smell along with vanilla, bourbon, and coffee. The taste is quite good, as expected. You certainly are aware of the alcohol, but it is very smooth. There's vanilla, chocolate, coffee, and bourbon. I also got a maple syrup note. Creamy, sticky feel was a plus. I really like high viscosity beers. I found this quite drinkable, yet my wallet says otherwise.

 480 characters

Photo of greenlab
4.62/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A lot of expectation from this beer, with all of it met.

Poured dark and very thick, creamy look.

Smells of caramel, coffee,

Smooth, rich flavors of chocolate, caramel, and most important balance. The ABV is hidden well.

Overall very drinkable, really is one of the best beers I've had so far.

 298 characters

Photo of pwoody11
4.37/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to BEERchitect for this one.

Poured a pitch black with a brown head.

Aroma is of espresso, vanilla, whiskey and chocolate.

Taste was amazing. Dark roasted malts, brown sugar, and a sweet bourbon edge.

Great beer. I can't wait to visit it again sometime.

Big thanks to BEERchitect for hooking up such a generous trade.

 329 characters

Photo of camp0474
4.62/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured into tulip glass

A: Pours pitch black and very thick. Dark tan creamy head. Good lacing.

S: Smells of toasted malt, coffee, and some notes of chocolate. On top of those a smell of bourbon, which adds a sweet vanilla bean smell, and smells a bit boozy.

T: Barrel aged bourbon hits the tongue heavy. The strong whiskey flavor rides on top of the malt and coffee flavors. The alcohol flavor lingers for a bit, but still allows the others flavors to come through. The bourbon flavor adds woody, smokey, and fresh vanilla notes. Surprisingly a lot going on here other than straight bourbon.

M/D: Thick and chewy with lower carbonation. The finish is a bit dry due to the high ABV. More of a special occasion beer and a definite sipper. But wanted to keep going back for more.

 781 characters

Photo of sitarist
4.87/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep next to black color, opaque. Half an inch of a caramel colored head falls to a ring with some lacing.

Smells like bourbon and cola. There are some hints of chocolate, caramel, toasted marshmallows, and vanilla, but the bourbon is the main think I pick up.

The first thing I taste is a pleasant, mellow bourbon flavor. Oak, smoke, vanilla, leather. This would be excellent with a cigar.

Medium body, full flavor, light carbonation, not too dry, warming. Very pleasant bourbon aftertaste.

Highly sip-able. Very smooth and pleasant. Everything works well together.

I love bourbon and I love beer, this is Heaven!

Edit: 12.23.10...This beer was better fresh; it does not age well...IMO

Edit: 3.16.11...This beer is definitely better fresh. I just did a vertical with this years, and last years. The fresh KBS is much smoother, and has better balance than the year old bottle.

 891 characters

Photo of mmva321
4.58/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter.

With stouts anymore, I'm not really looking for innovation as much as I just want the beer to have the best quality of the traditional ingredients. This beer does that better than any other. It trumps Founder's Breakfast Stout by making a traditional stout with the best tasting flavors.

A: Pours an extremely dark brown. Opaque body that has just the slightest red tint. About a finger of dark tan head that dissipates quickly and leaves remnants at the top.

S: Very well balanced. Roasted coffee and nuts mix well with the smoother vanilla and chocolate smells. I wish they had leaned a bit closer to the roasted side of things, as the emphasis on the vanilla makes the smell a little faint.

T: This is perhaps the first beer I've had where I actually enjoyed the presence of a strong alcohol taste (or this and BBQ). It has a strong alcohol flavor, but it mixes perfectly with the hearty roasted flavors of coffee. It's complimented well by the added vanilla which smooths it all out. The oak barrell adds character to the alcohol flavor and gives this beer a real burbon flavor.

M: A good thick body with just a little bit of carbonation. It's very substantial, but it doesn't get in the way.

D: Highly drinkable just because it tastes so damn good and is so enjoyable. I used to dream that the best tasting stout would be like sweet liquid chocolate, but I was wrong. Founders upped the alcohol taste, but instead of masking it, they used it to their advantage and balanced it perfectly with the best ingredients.

 1,547 characters

Photo of Lolli1315
4.74/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a snifter at a local tapping in Dayton. Drank over an extended period of time.

A- Opaque black with a small dark brown head that disappears rather quickly. Nice amount of sticking to the glass.

S- The wood and vanilla hit the nostrils first followed quickly by the roasted malts and dark chocolate that one finds in the regular breakfast stout. Finishes with a slight amount of alcohol and bourbon.

T- Large drags of dark bitter chocolate along with high ends of coffee. Throughout the entire drink, the chocolate and coffee is laced with tastes of wood and vanilla that complement the roasted malts. Finishes with a lingering bourbon taste with a medium alcohol presence that really allows you to walk away with a refreshed palate.

M- Chewy and full, thick presence in the mouth is wonderful for a cool day.

D- Hardest part is letting this one sit around and warm up to develop its full character.

Notes- Must allow this beer to warm up if you want to get the full taste of the beer. This is a waste if you try to drink it quickly or too cold.

 1,062 characters

Photo of midnite2sixman
4.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2010 KBS on draft in a snifter from the source @ Founder's in GR.

A: Not a ton of head, which seems to be typical of the draft version of this. Little globs of lacing. A nice swirl livens up the caramel colored foam. Pitch black in the glass otherwise.

S: Roasted oak notes mingle with dark chocolate and coffee undertones. Slight bourbon as well.

T: The bourbon definitely shines through...oaky, roasted malts, mocha, and then some more whiskey on the back end.

M: So smooth, a touch of a bit, but so smooth for this style. Round warming mouthfeel.

D: A true score. Any time you can find it...buy it.

 606 characters

Photo of TJBurgess
4.87/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2010 KBS poured into a snifter.

A: Pours out slightly thicker than expected, but a nice light carbonation and 1/2 a finger of head finish the pour.

S: Good strong coffee and malt with chocolate and just the slightest bourbon.

T: Coffee and chocolate right away with a nice malty aftertaste and bourbon finish.

M: Creamy and very smooth. The carbonation is present, but blended with the thickness.

D: Delicious. I actually finished this one and considered opening another, but it ended up being just enough for the night.


 535 characters

Photo of metter98
4.4/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer poured out of the bottle with little carbonation, almost resembling the viscosity of motor oil.
S: There's an intense aroma of bourbon intermixed with notes of coffee and vanilla.
T: Bourbon flavors really stand out in the initial taste, but they are nicely balanced with the hints of coffee and vanilla. The bourbon flavors are strong, but not overpowering. The taste and balance improves as it warms up and the coffee flavors begin to come through a little more.
M: It has a medium-bodied feel on the palate and the alcohol is very well hidden, but detectable in the finish with some warming sensations.
D: This is a beer to sip to appreciate all of the flavors come through as it warms up.

 704 characters

Photo of kfsv034
4.31/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - pours black with a thin tan head that dissipates quickly

S - Vanilla, Coffee, maybe chocolate and a nice bourbon

T - Follows the noise pretty well, Vanilla and coffee and bourbon. Definitely taste the alcohol but in a good way

M - Medium to full bodied

D - after a few of this id be drunk.

 297 characters

Photo of dippy
4.55/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I love the Founders breakfast stout and I love bourbon. So when I saw this I had to pounce.

Poured a dark brown. The only reason I knew it was brown was the tell tale head which was a dark tan on top. This is a dark beer. Head didn't stick around. I blame a poor pour.

Smell is straight coffee. I appreciate this as dunkin's ice coffee was not up to snuff today. There is a little sweetness/ vanilla scent as well.

First taste is coffee. You could swap this in with my breakfast cereal any day... Chocolate immediately follows. Then the sweetness, vanilla. I am guessing that the vanilla is the bourbon coming through. As I drink more I am picking up more bourbon undertones.

This is a pretty dope beer. Might be a little happy after a 4 pack of these pupies.

A definite try is you see this one around.
I will buy again... for breakfast tomorrow. Imagine this beer with bacon and waffles... Has anybody made bacon beer yet???

 930 characters

Photo of Augustiner719
4.19/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a duvel tulip.

Appearance: Pourse a jet black, motoroil like black color with zero visability. Great viscous looking body with a tan thin layer of foam on top.

Smell: Smells beautiful. Big vanilla, almond and cream components make up the bourbon background. Solid brown sugar and marshmallow undertones are synced with the deep coffee and chocolate maltiness.

Taste: Tastes a bit hot as its a 2010 release. Big bourbon bite leaves the mouth dry. Huge does of bitter chocolate followed by a marshmallow like sweetness with a touch of coffee and rich brown sugar.

Mouthfeel: Slightly astrigent, overly bitter. Nice texture but with age i suspect this will be fantastic.

Drinkability: Its got a slight dryness on the backend that makes this a slow sipper. Worth the 25$ 4PACK sticker price but it will be great with age.

 853 characters

Photo of OlRasputin989
4.44/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a snifter...

A: opaque black with a small mocha cappucino head. fades quickly and leaves lacing in small arches.

S: rich and delicious! chocolate, vanilla, earthy wood, coffee, and a boozy hint of bourbon.

T: equally as rich! bourbon and espresso, and vanilla. not hard to detect the wood barrel aging at all. not as much chocolate in the flavor as in the aroma. finishes with a bold coffee bitterness, ethanol, and wood.

M: heavy and full body, that has a silky smoothness before revealing the tingly bitterness and warming alcohol. almost like drinking straight liquor.

Overall, this one is a drinker's drink. The characteristics of a top shelf stout blended with the aging in bourbon barrels has created something to be sipped, savoured, and sought after. Also , reminds me of an Irish Car Bomb (Guinness, Jameson, and Bailey's).

 851 characters

Photo of mherring
4.77/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Definitely black. Not even sure a flashlight would shine through it. Very small amount of light brown head at the top.

S - You can really tell they piled in the malts with this guy. I got mostly a coffee scent with some alcohol laced in there as well.

T - Very, very smooth. I picked up a lot more chocolate in the taste than I got from the scent, but that is most certainly not a bad thing. Finishes with a nice bite from the alcohol, but at 11.2 abv, I'd say that's to be expected.

M - Very solid. A little more carbonation than I had expected from such a dark, alcoholic beer.

D - Great stuff. Seems like a perfect beer for winding down at night. Malty, rich, smooth, and strong enough to make you sleepy.

 720 characters

Photo of jdflyer06
4.03/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

A big thanks to an unbelievably kind dude at DLD '09. It's been about a year so I thought I'd crack this bad boy open. Poured into a snifter.

A: Black, pitch black. The head is pretty thin but leaves some sticky lacing as it goes down.

S: Coffee notes dominate as well as dark chocolate notes. Hints of vanilla as I take it in as the bourbon has mellowed out a bit. Woody and oaky. Very sweet in the nose.

M: Rich and creamy with some soft carbonation. A little bit of heat in the throat. Just about perfect for the style and ABV. Finishes fairly clean with a bit of a dry afterbite. Awesome.

T: Coffee and dark chocolate up front, followed by vanilla and oaky notes. Just as I expected. The flavors are nicely balanced. Not the most complex tasting beer but extremely well done. Some alcohol comes through but is pretty well hidden given the ABV.

O: An excellent offering from Founders. It has some obvious differences over their standard breakfast stout. It's a nice change of pace but I'm glad to have the traditional breakfast stout around all year with this to bring a nice surprise once a year. I actually prefer the Canadian Breakfast Stout which I was lucky enough to try last year. The drinkability is low but honestly, who wants to drink this all night? It's decadent and a perfect one-off.

 1,306 characters

Photo of blackenmn
4.45/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a small glass:

A:Poured a nice heavy black with brown showing through on the edges when light shines through. Very much like thick coffee in appearance. An aggressive pour left a small creamy brown head which faded pretty quick.

S:Smelled of chocolate, plenty of coffee and roast on the nose. Along with a bit of bourbon which went along nicely with the slight oak/wood smell. This lets it origins be known.

T:There were some slight similarities to FBS. This had plenty of heavy hitting characteristics going on at once. Sweet chocolate, delicious coffee, vanilla and molasses like sweetness, and definite straight oak flavor on the tail end. Not alot if any hop pressence

M:This went from creamy and sticky to dry and bitter. They both worked complimented eachother nicely and kept anything from being too overwhelming.

D:This was a very drinkable, enjoyable brew. A great unique treat. Nothing is needed to accompany this due to the various heavy flavor and feel throughout. It finished a bit dry while it was extremly fresh but that was about the only thing close to a complaint I could come up with for this thing.

I've been wanting to try this one for a while. Pleased as punch it made it to MN.

 1,239 characters

Photo of phreak1983
4.32/5  rDev -5.3%
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.

 596 characters

Photo of Monfort
4.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I literally dumped this beer in to my Kasteel glass knowing it wouldn't foam over. Color is a nice deep black with a golden tint around the edges of the glass. This beer has to be served slightly cool to be truly appreciated, when served under 65 degrees its nose and palate become muddled and not as pleasant. I poured this beer at about 45 degrees, I let it decant and warm up to about 65 degrees to room temperature. Wow! opened up and warm this beer shows how amazing it truly is. The nose includes nuances of vanilla, cinnamon, caramel, bourbon, oak, sweet oatmeal, cappuccino and chocolate. All of these characteristics follow on the palate, absolutely delicious with a lingering aftertaste that please. The mouthfeel is full bodied but not chewy or oily. Great beer I can't wait to get some more.

 803 characters

Photo of wedge421
4.9/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- Black as night with a kakhi colored head of about .5 fingers.

S - Chocolate with coffee notes followed slowly but surely with the bourbon notes. Just an absolute gem to smell!

T - Perfection! Perfect mix of chocolate, coffee, bourbon and followed by a slight hint of the alcohol. Just blended so perfectly! Bravo

D - Its 11.2% so more then 2 would be tough if you still want to appreciate this absolutely epic brew. BUt other then that it is just so smooth and drinkable.

Check out my full HD vid review at:

 557 characters

Photo of kylehayworth
4.92/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I feel lucky to have had this on tap, thanks to Jason for keeping me posted. With more to come I'm sure.

A: I watch as the bartender at Chumley's in Broadripple poured my liquid gold into a half pint snifter. It was extremely dark, the light cried out, but I ignored it.

S: It was bottled KBS, but with subtle differences, the bourbon smell was a little more pronounced. You get slightly more alcohol, bourbon smell, with hints of vanilla and caramel.

T: It was simply smooth, great nose helps you taste it before the first sip. This is so well balanced, everything is working together: hints of bourbon, vanilla, roasted coffee, slivers of chocolate.

M/D: I could actually drink this all day. Considering the high ABV (11.2 thanks Jake for the quick response) its amazing. This is what they serve in heaven, because CBS is even hard to get there, maybe someday...

 870 characters

Photo of Adamdc
4.45/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

'09 KBS 12 oz bottle poured in tulip snifter

A: Black as night. When held up to light, nothing penetrates. Half inch of dark tan head recedes but leaves lots of sticky lacing

S: Very nice combination of aromas going on----dark/bitter chocolate, coffee, molasses, dark fruits, slight bourbon, slight vanilla and booze.

T: All the above mentioned aromas blend very nicely in the taste with a nice finish of bourbon and booze. The bourbon is perfect, the booze is a little too much. Everything blends together very nicely. If the booziness was a little less I would have given it a 5.

M: Thick-bodied! Very full mouthfeel on this one. This is how a big stout should be.

D: As mentioned above, the booziness detracts a little from the drinkability of this, along with the 11.2% abv

I first sampled this last year when I first picked it up and it was much 'hotter'. It has definitely dissipated quite a bit but is still a little on the hot side. With that said, this is a very well-done, big stout. I still have another '09 to have, along with a couple of '10's. Another gem from Founders!!!!

 1,096 characters

Photo of billshmeinke
4.48/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Review number 111!!! (I forgot to have something special for review 100, so this will have to do.)

Bottle poured into a Duvel glass. Thanks to a trade with triptens.

Dark black with a hint of brown. Pours a one finger mocha head. Quickly resides to a soapy ring of foam around the edge of the glass. Oily, spotty lacing down the walls of the glass. Exceptional looking, especially when considering the abv and barrel aging.

Smells of mocha, coffee, vanilla, and molasses. Also, a light bourbon and light oak presence. Strong, complex nose. Smells great.

Taste comes full force with mocha, dark chocolate, vanilla bean, bitter coffee, toffee, molasses, and oak. Some boozy bourbon at the end accompanied with a bitter smokiness. The bourbon flavor is lighter than expected. The bitter coffee/dark chocolate flavor is pretty strong, but balanced with all the sweet flavors (vanilla, molasses, toffee). Very flavorful, complex and delicious.

Full bodied, viscous and chewy. Low end of medium carbonation that serves to break up the thickness. Smooth and creamy. Slightly hot as well. Mouthfeel met my greatest expectations for this beer.

This beer is balanced enough, and the alcohol is hidden well enough to be considered to have good drinkability. Also, the flavor is complex and delicious which continues to invite you back for more.

A truly exceptional beer. I'd buy a case if it were distributed out here.

 1,414 characters

Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
4.56 out of 5 based on 11,999 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
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!