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): 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

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Reviews: 3,069 | Ratings: 12,092
Photo of Jaypeajus
4.67/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The BA website just crashed but this beer can't wait for me any longer. Spoils of a trade. 2016 Into med snifter. 50 degrees. Black as all get out with a smooth khaki head that thinned pretty quick as expected. Oddly enough, this JUST smells like a normal stout. Not getting much bourbon smell. Sweet decadent oats and rich creamy chocolate. A bit of licorice. Taste is per the smell but, there the bourbon hides. It's like it was in the barrel, soaked in the grains of wood waiting to be released. Not much coffee in the taste, or if it is there it's just the best dang smooth coffee I've ever had. Man this is good! Really regretting passing on the chance to buy a 14,16 to try as a vertical a week ago! DOH! Mouthfeel is silky smooth like doing a good bourbon shot and chasing it with worlds best chocolate. Seriously good. Overall, it's meh.

Just kidding. Actually, my first thoughts overall were 'holy crapdabble'. Thanks noyoudidnt!

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Photo of CwrwAmByth
4.66/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottle from Real Ale in Twickenham. 2016 batch. Smells great, like a fresh cup of coffee just when you need it most. The taste is a good blend of bitter coffee and chocolate, with tangy, boozy bourbon spice and oakey vanilla to balance it out, together with carbonation perfectly aligned between fizzy and creamy, it's thick yet not cloying. Unbelievable Jeff.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
4.72/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Last time I had one of these was on Derby Day. The convenient 12oz bottle makes it available to break out at a variety of settings. You don't need help. Pours thick and black. Hits the tan head, even amasses a 1/2" break point. Retention isn't all that high, there's a lot of booze slickness. Aroma is bunches and bunches of chocolate, vanilla and bourbon.

Chocolate really pushes itself in this one, especially with time on it. Isn't boozy, is enjoyable. Pro tip: Save a few ounces at the bottom of the bottle and put it in your morning coffee. Start the day a fun way. Its not all chocolate, bourbon and vanilla though. There is a mild oak contribution.

She's a keeper and elite tier barrel aged stout. No infection issues ever that I recall.

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

Smell is just WOW - marshmallows, licorice, rich chocolate, big coconut, a little smoke... Some espresso bringing up the rear. Not a huge aroma, but certainly a rich, enticing one.

Flavor is a bit more conventional for BBA stout. Light chocolate, cherry and oak. Certainly a nice cloak of bourbon, although not overpowering. Everything melds well, but feels a little thin. Doesn't drink like a 12% beer, for better or for worse.

Chocolate flavor gets a bit richer and "gooier" as the beer warms. Some apple spice also emerges. Solid, solid flavor profile. There's a level of balance and nuance that is more in line with an abbey quad, rather than the in-your-face character of barrel aged stouts that we've recently grown accustomed to.

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Photo of Mikeybricks
4.72/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Picked up 2016 KBS 3-13-16, and its been sitting in my 45F fridge till now. Drinking it out of a tulip Snifter glass. Liquid thermometer reads 57F, for those who want specifics. This is my first year sampling KBS and I have had it 3 or 4 other times before this review when it was fresher, but wasn't sitting down where I could give a review, so it is possible my overall opinion could have changed from when I tried it fresh, but this is currently its profile to me.

Look- Looks is what I would expect and like in a stout, although I would like a little more head retention, could be my glass though or the couple months its had in the fridge. Dark black though almost like dark chocolate or black coffee color. When swirled around glass, leaves fine head around glass and dissipates after a few seconds leaving alcohol fingers. Head also lingers for several seconds.

Smell- Smell is pretty faint of coffee and bourbon, no oak which I found predominant in the Project Pam and from my memory of my first try of KBS this year. After a swirl or two aroma of coffee and bourbon pick up but fade quickly. At this point in the review beer is at around 61F. No real pick up in aroma with temperature change either. I like and prefer aromatic stouts that smell of fresh coffee and barrel aging, and again this could be the couple months in the fridge.

Taste- The taste is still impeccable from what I remember from memory of my first go around. Upfront in you face coffee flavor. Not really noticing much of the chocolate that I did when it was fresh. Although there was not much oak aroma, I definitely pick it up on the back end of the beer. For me the "Boozy" quality is not present, both at the lower starting temperature and 61F temperature. There is an small alcohol taste but that is quickly overtaken by the coffee bitterness and oak flavor. I love the way the flavor of this stout came out. In my opinion only thing that would make it over the top taste would be the presence of vanilla bean or maple syrup as with CBS (one I have not tried yet.)

Feel- Mouth feel is what I seek in a stout, almost porter-ish kinda feel. Slick mouth feel that starts with a very fine bubble carbonation feel that coats the mouth. Does not leave a dry feeling, I believe this is because of the chocolate. However, you are left with a slight warming feeling from the alcohol content of this beer that coats your mouth and throat down to your stomach, a pretty neat experience if you know what im talking about.

Overall- Overall I love this Beer! Not because of the hype, but because of my actual opinion of it. Im not sure if this style of stout would go over well with a hardcore stout lover, depends on there pallet, lots of flavor and complexity. I think even for a hesitant stout goer that has tried a few and has some likes and not likes this might be a go to. For me, I wish KBS was available all year round, it would easily be my go to stout. If it was the hype that brought this beer to light then im glade it got me around to trying it. Even with a couple months I still dig this beer.

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

I like kbs. I used to not, but I think I may have had a bad batch. I don't go nuts over it like the majority, but if I see it I'll grab it. The bourbon is strong in it, but I like that it doesn't completely overpower the rest of the adjuncts. Founders usually does pretty well with their stouts and this is no exception.

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Photo of Beric
4.28/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Serving: From the bottle into a snifter
Served: 17 May 2016

Appearance: Pours a deep brownish black color with a very minimal tan head. Looks like your average imperial stout.

Smell: Definitely picking up a lot of the vanilla bourbon influence in the nose. Quite boozy, which was unwelcome.

Taste: Surprisingly well done given the super boozy nose- it still finishes a bit hot, but I found the boozy notes to be toned down appropriately on the palate. This beer has your standard stout notes--chocolate, coffee, and espresso--but also a distinctive burnt note which I really enjoyed. Vanilla sweetness from the barrel aging, though one that complemented the overall flavor profile, especially that subtle smokiness.

Mouthfeel: Big body with medium-low carbonation. Finishes off-dry.

Overall: This is a good beer, but one that I firmly believe is hyped up *way* too much. I like this much better than BCBS as far as a straight barrel-aged stout goes, but I believe that there are much better imperial stouts out there than this. Maybe I'm just not gaga for barrel aged stuff. Nonetheless, this remains a great beer, but I can't see myself drinking more than one of these a year.

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Photo of Mrdiesel
4.59/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a great stout. If you get the chance to buy it, please do so. It is better balanced than goose island Bourbon county brand stout, especially lately, which is saying a lot. I've had both iterations for a few years and founders KBS is far superior in every aspect and I absolutely love goose island beers.

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Photo of Drudy8
4.84/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This was a wonderful sip. Full of flavor coffee notes to begin with a backhand of bourbon, all calmed down with a slight and tinder chocolate notes. Over all this is an amazing beer. It is exceptionally difficult to find and even more difficult to get more than one four pack this it is a beer you should horde only for those true beer searchers looking for a stout not for those looking to just explore stouts and see what it is they like.

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Photo of LarryV
3.9/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Definitely a good stout, but (IMHO) way over-hyped and overpriced. Poured with virtually no head at all, very light carbonation if any. It's pretty well balanced, the bourbon notes don't overwhelm and the coffee is pretty subtle. An enjoyable beer but at $25 a 4 pack around here, I'll pass. There's a ton of more reasonably priced alternatives. I prefer Goose Island Bourbon County stout over this one.

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Photo of Slack
4.58/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2016 Bottle

Deep brown to black in color with minor head and significant lacing as it drank down.

Smell is boozy, bourbony, and a minor bit of coffee.

Taste is malt and vanilla, bourbon and coffee, oak, and booze.

Mouthful us medium to medium heavy and smooth with medium to medium low carbonation.

This is another homer for me. Very very drinkable and very balanced. Compared to Victory Java Cask, this is more booze forward and maybe a hair heartier but both can hold their own. Smell, taste, mouthful are all on point. Find this and drink it.

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

On Draft. A- opaque and very dark; S- mild tannin and bourbon, roasted malt with obvious vanilla; T- mild bourbon and vanilla somewhat dominating over roasted malt and tannin, with suggestions of coconut; F- surprisingly a little on the light side for such a full bodied stout; overall, this beer is what it's cracked up to be.

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Photo of NoYouDidnt
4.39/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black pour thin tan head. Surprised how pulled back the aromas are. Little bit of coffee and bourbon(Hennessy as it warms up), and grape medicine hint. They really seem to marry nicely here. It's mouth watering. And wow this is really good. I don't like coffee I admit. But it's a subtle coffee flavor, subtle bourbon, subtle chocolate, subtle plum. The texture in the mouth is smooth and creamy. Not a real presence in alcohol. Overall. Thumbs up. They made a great beer, not a great coffee beer.

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Photo of Jeff_Grndmn
3.48/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3

Beautiful black stout with a thick tan head. Nose was all bourbon with the merest hints of malt. The feel in the mouth was creamy with an alcohol burn. Unfortunately the flavor was much like the nose. I enjoy both stouts and bourbon but a boiler maker is not the best way to experience either. There may well have been a quality beer under the booze, but sadly it was largely hidden.

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Photo of pezhead_79
4.67/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

No much new to add here, clearly one of the best beers around. The alcohol is not overpowering and the added time of aging helps further bring forward the chocolate flavors.

This stuff is great, if you have never had one don't wait any longer.

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

From XXXII. In Teku glass. Reading CSHTP6 Ch18. Tastes like coffee a lot. I dont like coffee. But this brew is so great that even Ive enjoyed its coffee. The more you drink the more you want. A pity its high ABV that keeps you from repeating. Well, and its price here (8€)

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Photo of StoutElk_92
4.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottled 02/16/16

Pours opaque pitch black with a dense, creamy, frosted milkshake-like brown foam head. Smells like roasted coffee, dark chocolate, vanilla, oak, bourbon, spice, caramel, some dried cherry, toffee, with mild grassy pine. Tastes like a dark, rich, baker's chocolate milkshake with dark roasted coffee, charred oak, bourbon, vanilla, caramel, toffee, some dried cherry, and mild earthy grass. Feels thick, medium bodied, soft, dense and creamy with low carbonation. This one meets the hype for me. Pretty much how I imagined it would be, but maybe better. Really rich dark chocolate, coffee, marshmallow vanilla, oak, bourbon, perfectly balanced and met with a creamy milkshake-like look and feel. Overall a really great bourbon barrel aged coffee chocolate imperial stout.

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Photo of brureview
4.24/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

First time drinking this stout. I have tasted BCBS and some of the varietals but this beer is difficult to find.

Poured an opaque chocolate brown color with a 1F head- I couldn't seem to get a bigger head.

The aroma is prominent coffee. A bit of vanilla, chocolate. No Bourbon or oak as in other IS.

The taste follows the aroma. Very strong coffee, the strongest I have tasted in an imperial stout. However, the vanilla and chocolate seem to be missing. No oak or Bourbon.

Excellent bitter coffee finish.

Overall: a lot of hype, although an excellent beer. This IS is not in another class. The top of the class is still BCBS and its varietals. This stout is excellent. However, it's only standout quality is the coffee prominence. An excellent beer, one of the best of the IS, but not outclassing any other stouts to rise to another level.
Sunday Morning Stout is as good or pehaps more enjoyable. Great beer. Very complex, but not in a class by itself.

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

This was really good, but I don't understand the hype of standing in line to get one. I have a had this a few times and its a really good beer. I only had the 2015 KBS.

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Photo of puffthestuff
4.64/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

L: pitch black pours. Small mocha colored head that sticks around a while
B: Boozy, Vanilla, bourbon notes. Wonderful smell actually
T: chocolate with vanilla wood and oak. Barrel sweetness and bourbon bite isn't too strong but the barrel flavors are very apparent. Love the taste
F: this 2016 blows 2015 out in the mouthfeel field. Much thicker chewier absolutely great feel. Much better than 2015 in my opinion.
O: huge improvement from last year. I have redeemed faith in this brew. Warms the belly and makes the palate happy. Loved this years batch. Only know one place I can get more unfortunately and it's a 20 dollar bottle. Still it was worth it to have another year of KBS wonderful mouthfeel smell and taste. The barrels chocolate and coffee really take this stout to its fame. I don't know think it lives up to the hype it's wonderful but I've had better but it is an excellent beer.

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Photo of d3brewing
4.66/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A delicious BA stout that rivals any out there. I prefer these over Parabola based on mouthfeel and over Bomb based on taste. Always a treat to get in a trade and an awesome bonus for us poor San Degians who rarely if ever get these on the shelves.

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Photo of PerfecTool
4.09/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This is a great beer - everyone knows that. An outstanding bourbon aged stout, no doubt. However, I'm not sure it's worth all the hype. If you've never tried it, it should definitely be on your list. I wouldn't break my neck to get it though. I actually prefer Sunday Morning Stout.

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

No where near CBS, but still phenomenal. Worth the hype. 2015 KBS was one of the best beers I've had. Great chocolate, vanilla, coffee, and bourbon barrel taste.

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Photo of IPA1978
4.4/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This stout looks amazing, pitch black, tiny tan bubbles sparkle as they lace down the glass. Smells of chocolate, coffee and a bit woody. Taste is big dark chocolate, coffee, vanilla, toffee and a hint of bourbon barrel. No burnt overwhelming flavors, or cloying sweetnes at this abv, well balanced. My experience with big imperial stouts is that one particular flavor typicaly overwhelms other subtle flavors, not the case here. Mouthfeel is full boddied with flavors that linger and drying tannic qualities. Incredible BB aged stout, a must try.

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

2016 vintage
~ 3 months since bottling date

Appearance- Pours a black color, opaque. Half finger thick, medium tan colored head, creamy and frothy. Lots of sticky alcohol legs and spotty head lacing.

Aroma- Roasty coffee, spicy espresso bean. Dry, astringent oak, leathery earthiness, bourbon undertones. Bittersweet dark chocolates with plenty of milk chocolates, caramel, and vanilla.

Taste- Rich and earthy coffee, spicy and green. Mocha sweetness, roasted malt, bittersweet dark chocolates. Lots of dry oak, sweet bourbon, sweet milk chocolates, vanilla, caramel, and toasty creamy coconut.

Feel- Medium to full feel, slightly less than full. Creamy and smooth. Lower carbonation.

Overall- All advertised flavors come through and come through well. Coffee is so rich and unfolds in complex layers. Barrel adds a great deal of oak and creamy vanilla. Chocolates give the beer a great dessert-like feel without getting too sweet. Wonderful beer.

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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
4.56 out of 5 based on 12,092 ratings.
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