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: 3,154 | Ratings: 12,350
Photo of puck1225
4.33/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Snagged a last four pack of the 2016 brew during Christmas break in PA. Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass. Rich dark brown color with a thin light brown head and beautiful lacing. Coffee smell with sweet berries. The taste is very strong dark chocolate and coffee with a nice spicy sweetness. Had it with Canadian bacon and eggs and enjoyed it all!

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Photo of Wer34truh
4.44/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a black color with a rather small dirty-brown head.

Smell is really smooth. Coffee, chocolate and vanilla, but more balanced than overwhelming.

Where other beers go bold, this goes for balance. Perfect combination of coffee beans, vanilla, and some slight notes of toffee.

Smooth. This is deceptive drinkable with light medium body and low carbonation. Perfection.

Excellent. This is one of those beers I have a hard time seeing anyone not enjoying.

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

2017 edition from the tap at the New Albanian (Rich O's) Public House, poured thick, black, and smooth, with only a thin ring of head. The mouthfeel matched the look—smoothly coating my tongue and lingering as each of the individual taste characteristics revealed itself.

The strength of this beer is its seeming simplicity and blend of the tastes that everyone notes. The vanilla, the oak, and the expected characteristics of an imperial stout are so nicely presented that it is easy to see why this beer is so highly-regarded and sought-out.

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

Poured from 0,33 l bottle into goblet.
L: Very dark brown (near black) with a weak foam head.
S: Cocoa beans, caramel.
T: Chocolate, vanilla.
F: Very tight, low carbonated.
O: Not in this style of beer but very impressed from this one.

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Photo of AndrewP17
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: very dark with a small tan head
S: big scents of bourbon and oak, slight hint of chocolate and vanilla, I didn't get the coffee like most
T: big bourbon flavor, this is where the coffee crept in along with undertones of chocolate and vanilla
F: one of the best stout feels you can think of
Overall: big beer in single serving bottles

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Photo of Narkee
4.21/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The bourbon was very strong upfront, it was then pleasantly balanced by some cocoa and roastiness which would have been nice to finish here but then the bourbon came back with a vengeance which threw it out a bit. It was balanced, but wasn't, if that makes sense. Perhaps it could do with some time.

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Photo of Bum4ever
4.94/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

L: Pitch black with a one inch dark tan head.
S: Bourbon, like burnt oak, chocolate and coffee
T: Perfect balance of bourbon and oak and coffee and chocolate w/ a hint of vanilla
F: Thick full-bodied feel.
O:Been a big fan of Breakfast Stout for a while and this is my first try of KBS. It is amazing, like the most perfect bourbon aged stout. Bourbon does not over power but is very present, all other flavors still come through. Lived up to its rep.

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Photo of spursfaninla
4.66/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I have been looking, and waiting, for this damn beer. Did not disappoint.

Best bourbon aged stout I have had. The bite comes with the first swig or two, but quickly subsides, and this is a STRONG 12+% beer. Bourbon weights in, continues throughtout, but does not overpower, which is appreciated.

Smell could be stronger. Otherwise near perfect.

Up there with best imperial stouts . Bottled, draft, all of them.

MOST drinkable ever.

Paid 6 a bottle for 4 pack and worth every penny. Subtle flavors for an imperial, but I liked that.

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Photo of JakeScully
4.93/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Slightly superior to Founders breakfast stout which is already exceptional. Worth every pennies I spent to find it in Europe. Awesome beer... Cheers!

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Photo of Newbeergeek1
4.79/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This has been reviewed so many times and I ain't gonna improve on any reviews other than to say, this stuff is freekin' great and I grab it when it comes out and ever celler some of it.

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Photo of Celtics17
4.25/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had this a few months back, but finally reviewing.

This needs some age, and I didn't get much barrel which may come with proper aging. Good overall, but this was my first time having this in awhile, and I was hoping for more.. Again with some age this will be great.

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Photo of goWhite89
4.57/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

One of the best bourbon barrel stouts you can have. The hints of coffee, chocolate, and bourbon are consistent, yet different from year to year, varying in from a strong coffee flavor, to a rich vanilla flavor. Holding this up to light allows nothing to pass through, and it's smell is an intoxicating coffee bean roasting, dark chocolate, bourbon distillery tri-fecta. 10/10 would drink before 10am.

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

One of the first simply smooth as silk bourbon barrel stouts I've enjoyed. New to the analysis of rating and putting down my thoughts but I'd thought I would start here. I'm on a mission this March for more! Love Founders

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Photo of Everydayoff
4.62/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

355ml bottle poured into a snifter.

Completely pitch black in color with one finger of loose tan head that stays for a while before collapsing to some long-lasting bubble sheet on the surface and leaving behind some spotty and patchy lace on the glass-side, it is quite sticky at time.

Coffee, chocolate, cocoa, vanilla, oaky bourbon, roasted profile, licorice, burnt wood, charred nuttiness, some smoke, dark bread, and some earthy hop, all of these scents are delicately presented in a nose. The aroma is more open when the beer starts to warm with a strong presence of creamy chocolate, black coffee, and spicy bourbon.

The taste is malty sweet at first upon initial contact through the tasted buds, however, it won’t last for long as the bourbon character bursting with its vanilla, oaky, and spicy note. Then it is roasted and chocolate malt profile with notes of coffee, chocolate, cocoa, burnt wood, charred nuttiness, some smoke, and dark bread. Some earthy hop too then it is bourbon barrel again that reclaims its place with its spicy heat of alcohol along the end through the aftertaste.

Full body and sticky mouthfeel but it is rich and soft with moderate carbonation to generate a wave of silky effervescence through the palate. It is well proper to cater all the things inside the smooth palate in very good shape. Finish is dry.

Complex and robust but tasty as hell with a lot of thing going on and changing all along in all aspects, the only thing I can recommend is that take your time and sip slowly to let it developed from time to time. Apart from that, let the quality itself to speak the truth and tell how great it is.

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Photo of 98green
4/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2016 version on tap at founders. Finally got this one after several years of passive hunting. So it has been in a keg for 11 months. The look is brilliant black with soft lacing that hangs forever. On the upfront taste and smell, I'm underwhelmed. This is much more restrained than its BBA brethren. The stout base is more pronounced. Rich and malty. I don't get a ton of that barrel fun. Feel is plenty thick and they hide the abv amazingly well. Overall excellent and maybe I'd like it better "hot" right out of the barrel.

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Photo of Danstaats
4.93/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is truly world class. The bourbon notes, the coffee, subtle vanilla, and the smooth, somewhat sweet, rich taste all come together and create a delightful treat. This beer is a masterpiece.

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

Bottled 3/23/2014

Bottle into a tulip. Black with a thin head of khaki bubbles. Big aroma of coffee, chocolate, and bourbon, but not a whole lot else. Maybe some faint notes of vanilla. Thankfully the taste is better. Bourbon and chocolate, vanilla, caramel malt, and coffee/expresso. Lighter than I expected, though far from thin. Decent alcohol burn on the finish.

Pretty underwhelming given the hype. Maybe this one was aged too much, but I was expecting a lot more. Just seemed pretty one-dimensional to me.

EDIT: Got a mason jar of a fresh batch, and I have to say - MUCH better. Same aromas and taste, only amplified. Very robust coffee notes and sweet, vanilla borurbon. Drink this baby fresh. Numbers adjusted.

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Photo of Drvitlkeyustolit80
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

First Had 4/15/14 at Tavern on Liberty. I've had the pleasure of getting every years version since 2014. It seems to stay the same every year, except when properly cellar aged. The flavors develop a bit more, good thing I stashed a few from last year.

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Photo of fern22
4.23/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

You can't slam this beer for being overhyped. That's not how this works. You like it, or you don't. Pay homage to this bad boy: it started a revolution. Its rating rides on its revolution. For a time, it truly was a one of a kind beer. I get it every year out of respect for what it has done, and I do enjoy it everytime.

That being said it's not worth the trouble you're going to go through to get it. People sold bombers and bottles for exorbitant prices. In order to get KBS (in 2017 anyway), you have to smash F5 on your keyboard to refresh founders ticket ordering system online as the 1 minute mark approaches to the pre-order release. Then you have to quickly order the regular size (not the junior) so you could get their bomber bottles and then get enough regular bottles for your friends. Then, after your 30 second - 1 minute transaction, the site is sold out, and you have to be buddy-buddy and pay premium at your specialty for it if you didn't preorder in the small window or want more.

To the point, the KBS isn't what I remember. It's got a thinner body and whiffs straight bourbon. Not nearly as much coffee as I remember. Have it cold, have it warm, age it. Try some things on this one. The taste doesn't really resonate much flavor as it used to either. Not nearly as much chocolate. You still won't have any problem downing this, but it's really isn't as good as it should be. I would dare say I prefer the regular breakfast stout over this now, due to the poor melding of bourbon into the taste. I compared them side-by-side and about smacked myself if I should speak that, but that's how I felt about it and now I'm sad. Currently, I still prefer BBA Flying Buffalo Coffee Stout. More body and flavor.

My rating for this was way higher, but that doesn't mean it's bad. If you have the chance to nab a KBS, always take it, don't trade it, drink it.

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Photo of patre_tim
4.6/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black with no visible carbonation. Topped with a half finger of rusty beige head. I can see a hair of copper and a hair of amber, side by side when held up to sunlight, like a two toned rainbow.

Smells of coffee, dark chocolate, alcohol, liquorice, and hints of vanilla sweetness. Its got that kind of rusty, earthy, coconut fiber quality I get in a lot of imperial stouts. Umami, soy sauce, salami qualities as well. Cinnamon at moments. The bourbon comes in as it warms.

There it is! So many layers, so much going on in this brew. The coconut fiber, black liquorice tar like, earthy qualities come in first, then it opens like a flower in the middle with vanilla, dark chocolate, sweet carmel notes. It continues then with the umami, soy sauce qualities that come in from another angle, and it finally finishes with coffee and sugar. Like a full course meal! Alcohol is mostly hidden but shows up on feel for sure. The cinnamon comes in as well. I only get the bourbon after it warms, but its there.

Thick and oily but smooth with moderate carbonation. Alcohol shows up mid palate, then burns in the throat and back of the nostrils.

Amazing brew. At first I was like smelling it and going 'There must be more!' but it opens up with each sip. More scents, more flavours, really delicious, well rounded brew. My first time to have this is December 1st, 2016 in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Amazed to have found it online in Thailand! In Michigan, over a year earlier, I saw some empty return bottles in Saginaw and yearned for it, in spite of it not being available. This was the 2015 batch.

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

So many factors, but it's easily the most balanced beer I've had given what it promises in its price range. Light on the tongue, but rich in flavor. Can barely taste the booze. Fantastic.

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

Waited until a little warmer than room temperature before opening
L: Pours dark chocolate brown with a fine foam lacing. The lacing residual lasts a reasonable amount of time. Legs don't appear thick as the beer is swirled around.
T: At this temperature the bourbon hits a bit first with its astringency. This is well balanced by the sugars present and the vanilla that comes from the aging. There is wood in this beer too. This beer is just really well crafted and all the flavors are well integrated. It is not an overwhelming push of bourbon.
S: Light bourbon smell -- not over powering and nearly perfectly balanced with chocolate vanilla and oak. The smell sets the table for expectation of a well balanced beer w/o over powering bourbon flavor. Slightly sweet smell with the residual sugar.
F: Smooth without bite. Well balanced between thick and thin. Not cloying. Pretty fricking amazing. Is that a rating?
O: A huge fan of Founders and a lover of stouts overall so this review is probably doubly biased. Despite the more recent push against barrel aging, it does offer an extra depth and done well it is worth the extra coin. (Done poorly and it is a mess) An amazing beer at a reasonable price point. It gets the I love it rating.

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Photo of Beersnake1
3.89/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I had very high expectations for this beer. Poured from fridge temp to a snifter. Color is jet black - looks beautiful. Smell is, to me, like a typical imperial stout. I was expecting some bourbon, but it wasn't there. Taste followed the nose. Not much barrel at all, which was a huge disappointment. I just can't give it a good rating for taste since it just doesn't follow expectations. There are so many BA stouts above this one. Mouthfeel was good, but not thick and creamy. Overall, it's a fine beer, but not what you might expect.

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Photo of IKR
4.44/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Black with a fairly generous-sized dark beige head that gradually faded. A good looking Imperial Stout

Smell: Coffee, Bourbon, mild oak, and mild brown sugar.

Taste: The taste profile features equal measure coffee, Bourbon notes, mild tannic oak notes, and mild brown sugar. The taste profile is balanced with the bal-aging notes notes well represented. Very restrained alcohol presence.

Mouth-feel: Medium bodied with a medium level of carbonation. The body is spot on where it needs to be.

Overall: A very good coffee-infused Imperial Stout.

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip

L: Inky black pour... 1.5 fingers of brown head. Modest lacing.

S: Rich roasted malts, coffee, cocoa, and lots of barrel char/bourbon.

T/F: Very similar to the nose... lots of barrel character. Boozy and warming. Good roast/char and espresso. A bit sticky on the mouthfeel. Finish is slightly bitter.

O: A beer that lives up to its reputation. All around fantastic, and one of the standard bearers for barrel aged Imperial Stouts. Something to keep you warm on a chill night. Sip and enjoy.

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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
4.56 out of 5 based on 12,350 ratings.
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