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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: 3,052 | Ratings: 11,946
Photo of atrus138
4.27/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a thick, almost syrupy black. Completely opaque, with a dark brown head that doesn't last long at all. Minimal lacing. Smell is fantastically rich. Smells a lot like Kahlua. Coffee and vanilla are most noticeable up front with notes of oak and bourbon. Taste is huge, sweet, and rough all at the same time. All that was promised in the smell was there and then some. Very earthy. There was also a flavor that I couldn't put my finger on. The flavor kind of reminded me of the way a cave smells. Can't say I ever said that about a beer before! Mouthfeel is monstrously thick. I'll definitely pick up more of this when I find them and see what other flavors may have gone undetected, because I feel that there's more here than I originally noticed.

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Photo of surfer4life
4.61/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Gorby10826 for this one I got in a trade, poured into a tulip from a 12oz bottle.

A - Pours dark brown like molasses and chocolate. Small head takes a few seconds to form but recedes just as fast to a thin film of foam around the edge of the glass. Nice bits of lacing down the glass.

S - Dark chocolate dominates the nose, perhaps it's to cold, but I don't detect the bourbon smell from the aging process. I do get a good hint at some hops for balance, but mostly this is big on the malty, chocolatey nose. Other than that I get some real good toffee notes. This promises greatness.

T - Wow, amazing. Exactly what I smelled, HUGE chocolate taste, with some roast coffee and toffee. Slight hints at hops to balance. The bourbon comes through, but is not overbearing like the Bourbon County Stout. Amazing oak wood flavor as well.

M - Heavy body, medium to high carbonation. Very good alcohol warming and so very very creamy on the pallet. Leaves the mouth completely coated and helps the taste linger for a long time.

D - At 11.2% alcohol, this is remarkably drinkable. As with most great bottles, I would like to have this on Tap!

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Photo of cpmichael
4.67/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I can't believe I have yet to review this, probably had this over 20 times with a variety of aged selections. This is based off of a 2011 from this past weekend.

A Pours a nice jet black, with about 1 finger tan mocha colored head. Good retention.

S: Smells of coffee beans, roasted malts, chocolate, vanilla and oak with a touch of bourbon.

T: The coffee is upfront, but does not dominate instead it leads to the baker's chocolate, vanilla and oak, and the bourbon, which is subtle, but noticeably there.

M/D: Big bodied, medium carbonation, not overly thick or syrupy. Very well balanced and crafted.

This beer is fantastic either fresh, or aged for a year or two. It is always hard to keep my hands off them.

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Photo of aglose45
4.52/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into snifter glass at Tally Ho, Bethlehem Pa.

A: Pitch black/ licorice colored, dark ivory/ khaki colored head, which was very minimal and did not last long.

S: Notes of bourbon, chocolate, followed by a sweet malty/ alcohol flavor. There is a hint of bitterness in there as well.

T: STRONG bourbon flavor up front - delicious. this is followed by chocolate and roasted malts, maybe a bit of caramel. There is a subtle bitterness to it, which fits in perfectly for this brew.

M: Medium bodied, very smooth considering the immense bourbon note and high alcohol content. Great carbonation (somewhat light) for the style.

D: I could drink this beer all night. It goes down great; the flavor leaves you wanting more.

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Photo of dowen17
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours black as ink. Gurgles as I pour. Thick chocolate colored one finger head. Good retention and nice lacing.

On the nose is coffee, dark chocolate and fruits, vanilla and oak from the bourbon. Very complex and inviting.

Taste mirrors the nose exactly. Big bitter roast coffe. Dark fruits and coffee. Sweet bourbon. Vanilla and oak. Perfect.

Mouthfeel is huge. Warming from the alcohol but chewy. Sticky. Really coats your mouth and lips.

This beer is all its cracked up to be. Worth what I traded to get it. Can't wait until its released again next year. Will definitely buy and drink again. Just perfect.

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

look: pitch black and a chocolate head.
smell: bourbon, chocolate, vanilla, and coffee
taste, a bit sweet but delicious, you taste the bourbon, chocolate and coffee.
feel: full bodied and smooth.
overall: delicious.

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Photo of rlshep
4.07/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2012 Release
Aroma: Big alcohol followed by lots of bourbon. A touch of chocolate with some bready malt. Low to no hop aroma.

Appearance: Less than a finger dark mocha head, dissipates quickly. Pitch black, no light coming through. Good alcohol legs.

Flavor: Good chocolate flavor, Lots of bourbon. Soft warm bread flavor. Plenty of roast but not getting a lot of coffee more chocolate and a bitter roast. Medium high bitterness. Low to no hop flavor.

Mouthfeel: Starts off creamy then the alcohol and bourbon kick in with a bite. Lots of alcohol a touch hot. Finishes drier than I expected, still leaves a sticky sweetness on lips but not tongue.

Overall: A really nice beer, but honestly I’ve had better bourbon imperial stouts. I wish I had bought more so I could have aged this for another year, that could have mellowed out some of the harsh edges. Worth the hype? I had better have a few dozen more before I decide.

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Photo of ph2001
4.35/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle in pint glass

pours thick. black in color with a thin layer of head the color of chocolate ice cream. it smells like bourbon and coffee grounds.

it is a very smooth medium body, not nearly as thick as it looks. lots of strong flavors in there. there is a rawness to the coffee flavor that makes it seem more like grounds than beans, not really a bad thing though. theres chocolate and molasses in there too. the more it warms up the bigger the bourbon flavors get huge. the alcohol is slightly warming in the chest but still pretty mellow. very drinkable.

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

Aged approximately one year. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a large wine glass.

A: Opaque dark brown. Little head, perhaps a side effect of aging.

S: Chocolate, coffee, and of course bourbon. Small hint of vanilla from the oak.

T: Like sipping on an espresso with dark chocolate. Finishes with a bitterness like a freshly brewed cup of black coffee.

MF: Thinner than appearances suggest, but a good medium body without the heaviness like many other big stouts. Well carbonated despite the lack of head.

D: Ultra smooth with no hint of alcohol. Amazing!

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Photo of mkotsayfan
4.97/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to a generous trader, I finally get a chance to try this great stout. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter. Pours a dark inky black with a dark mocha colored head. The aroma is amazing - chocolate, bourbon, and coffee all stimulating the senses, and in a balanced fashion. The taste is just as wonderful, chocolate and bourbon are a little more pronounced than the coffee. The mouthfeel is heavy-bodied with good carbonation, and is smooth and silky.

This is how a BA stout is made, it is amazingly balanced and hides the ABV pretty well.

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Photo of srv33
4.67/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wow. The darkest pour I think i've ever had, almost zero head, so hardly any lacing. Smells very strongly of bourbon, chocolate, and herbal extracts. Taste is incredible and quite strong, definitely one you need to take slow. You can taste coffee, chocolate, at first - then malt and bourbon, especially in the aftertaste. The flavor profile has several evolutions in your mouth and the mouthfeel is thick and balanced. Its a little less sweet than their Breakfast stout, though more complex. It was pricey, though i'm very glad I got it, this is one of the last bottles in MI. One of my all time favorites, can't wait for next years batch.

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Photo of Dave_in_GR
4.63/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Finally got a bottle of this at Martha's Vineyard in GR. Served in a pint glass. Poured an opaque brown-black color with two finger widths of tan head. Great lacing on the side of the glass, Smell is mostly coffee and chocolate, but with notes of bourbon as well. Taste is remarkable, starts with a heavy burst of coffee and then follows with bourbon flavors, but it all fades quickly, leaving virtually no aftertaste. This really helps the mouthfeel - this is a full bodied beer but it feels light on the tongue. Very different from the regular breakfast stout from Founders, very unique flavor, absolutely delicious.

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Photo of Deerslayer210
4.73/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Thanks to the mind. This is a very dark, thick, rich bourbon stout. The smell is excellent and the taste is outstanding. No burn, all pleasure! Founders Breakfast stout is one of the top beers of all time on my list. Add in bourbon barrel aging and it is knock out. I must have more of this stout next year.

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

A: Deep brown, almost black. Thin rim of tan foam along the outside. Trail of little bubbles slips down the glass.

S: VERY alcoholic! Bourbon, vanilla, molasses, burnt sugar.

T: Coffee explosion, right away. Espresso beans. Alcoholic aftertaste, and more of that burnt sugar. Nut/ oat flavor comes about halfway. Towards the end, dark forest fruits. Blackberry, currant.

M: Sort of tingly carbonation, the alcohol burns a little. Very dry. Almost characteristic of red wine.

D: It takes a long time to properly drink and enjoy. You wouldn't want more than one at once, but it's not intended like that.

Also, I got it right from the source, at Founders, about two weeks after release... pretty cool.

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Photo of bennyman12
4.37/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Just finished a bottle of 2012, poured in a somewhat fluted glass, which may have minimized the aroma.

What's interesting about this beer is the way the bourbon and coffee play as the bass note. There's very little roast to balance the sweet dark caramel malts, but the bourbon and the coffee provide a strong enough foundation--without it being hot or astringent. There has to be some lactose in this, as the body is creamy, though by no means thick. 2012 still holding up well. I love this beer!

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Photo of xanok
4.6/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Been waiting a week to pour this guy, since I was sick when I first purchased.
2010 vintage poured into a Stone IRS tulip.

A-Thick pour, as black as you're going to get in color. A finger of tan head that fades surprisingly quickly.

S-Coffee and bourbon dominate the aroma. Coffee almost overpowering. Hints of chocolate and vanilla.

T-Happy to say the coffee wasn't overpowering like it was in the aroma. The bourbon is great here, adds awesome flavor, not hot at all until it hits your throat. Chocolate, caramel, and wood come in nicely. It's not overly complex, just blended and balanced perfectly.

M-Very big body. Carb is medium, great for the style. Great aftertaste as well. Just makes me wanna sip it more.

D-ABV is barely present. Big body, but still smooth. It's a sipper, but a fast one.

I'm not a huge fan of coffee in my beer, but this one hits the spot. It's so perfectly crafted, how could I not love it?

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Photo of dahlen22
4.84/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Dark with a nice head if poured right.

Aroma: Mainly bourbon which is what you would expect.

Taste: Bourbon, oak, vanilla, coffee, cocoa.

Overall: This beer is super complex and tasty. Matches the hype. A sipper that gets better as it warms up. Outstanding. Only negative is it is extremely hard to get and most stores limit you to one or two twelve ounce bottles. Cheers!!

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Photo of tippebrewcrew2
4.63/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I struggle to find the better beer. I can't decide as to which is my favorite stout. There are too many variables involved. This is what I have decided. I love this beer. Sometimes you have to put away the note pad and sit back, relax, and enjoy. This is one of those beers that will make you do that. I can't scribble enough on my pad to even remotely come close to doing this beer justice. Pours black chocolate with Bourbon, chocolate, coffee, and alcohol on the nose. 100% velvet with the bourbon coming through just enough and then slowly fades back into a bitter chocolate and soothed over with malt sweetness. I can't say enough and I do not have the skills to properly do this beer justice. This is an extremely complex beer. It is above me.

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Photo of hotpauko
4.59/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally got to have one and well worth the wait. Very nice strong coffee bourbon smell. A really smooth flavor and high ABV packed stout. The high ABV is present but nowhere near a presence you would expect of 11.2, just enough. The flavors other describe of coffee, chocolate and vanilla are superbly blended. The coffee flavor is most apparent, more of a smoky coffee flavor (note, I don't drink coffee) that hits the mouth in the front. Silky smooth mouthfeel, a tad heavy but not too much. Best I've had but looking forward to other future top tier coffee stouts for comparison.

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Photo of Abilow33
4.6/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours very thick and dark. A thin dark brown head. I bought this beer while on vacation and saved it until I got home. This beer has a very rich taste. I taste chocolate and coffee right off the bat. The fact it is aged in an oak barrel and has a high alcohol content gives it that extra flavor you don't find in most stouts. I really enjoyed this beer.

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Photo of unclederby
4.63/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

So i just paid $4.99 for this 12 oz. bottle. But hey, i priced it myself, and that's probably pretty cheap. Dissapointed by the regular B-fast Stout - i hope this is worth it...

Opaque ebony, this thing poured out with just a whisp of a tan head, and that didn't stay around long. Smells of chocolate, french roast, dark malts and bourbon... taste is the same, and pretty well balanced really: not too sweet and just a touch of bitterness. Alcohol is apparent but not harsh in the least. All of the ingredients are very well integrated and represented here, and this is a nice, rich stout that goes down smoothly.

Thick, creamy and resinous; the mouthfeel is superb.

I'm finding this highly drinkable, and only it's richness and pricetag would keep me from putting down more than two of these in a sitting.

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

Served On Tap! at Big Hunt DC

A: Midnight strikes and plunges its dark stake into this Michigan brew witha light whisper of a mocha froth covering a dark vamperic heart.

S: Bourbon barrel cherries soaked in Vanilla oak, dark molasses malt brown maple syrup.

T: This is a bourbon monster! Definitely the biggest booze flavored Stout that I have had. It is thick and rich with cocoa malt nibs. Tons of black cherry. Loads of burnt barrel and sweet sappy sugary bourbon corn mash.

M: This is one full bodied super smooth bourbon stout. You can see where the hype and demand is for this beast. It's sweet luscious cream with a big time boozy black pepper back bite. This viscous nature of this brew must be applauded like a pricey chewy Bordeaux wine.

O: This is a damn outstanding beer that is deserving of the HYPE. My number one Bourbon stout by far. This is not for the regular beer Fan Boy.

(side note, drank this in a bottle the night before and I must say its more richer and thicker in bottle form!)

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Photo of Umdrunner
4.43/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured black with 1 finger mocha head that dissapeared quickly and lightly laced. Scent was rich chocolate, roasted malt, coffee, and light bourbon. Scent was very strong right after pour, then faded quickly. Flavor was roasted malt, coffee, dark chocolate, burnt oak and bourbon. There is a definite, though satisfying, bourbon heat that lingers. Mouthfeel is moderate with lively carbonation. As the beer warms it seems to soften. The dark chocolate flavors blend to milk chocolate and I begin to taste light brown sugar.

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

Poured out an opaque black. Aromas of wood, bourbon, hint of milk chocolate, with smoke.

Flavors of dark chocolate, malt, wood, roast, some metallic.

Mouth feel is huge body, creamy, milkshake like. Carbonation is low, no lacing but has legs.

Overall this is a nice well balanced, flavorful beer. Awesome.

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

This amazing beer pours opaque brown into the awaiting pint glass. No light penetrates through the inky stout. The initial scent is coffee, no qualms about it. Following the dissolving coffee is an underlying cocoa aroma. The taste is so complex its almost perplexing. Again, coffee is in the forefront. Next, in come the chocolate. Its not hidden, its like a punch in the face, almost syrup-like. The alcohol is well hidden. Its only appearance is at the back of the tongue, just before swallowing. This beer cannot be a session beer by definition, unless your session is one or two drinks. I've been looking for Kentucky Breakfast Stout for quite a while. I am so happy to have found this. This is one of the most amazing beers I have ever tasted. Its so absolutely amazing, words can do it no justice.

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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
4.56 out of 5 based on 11,946 ratings.
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