Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) | Founders Brewing Company

Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)
12,723 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 12,723 |  Reviews: 3,246
Photo of marine1975
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of riotontheroad
4.71/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Tertullian007
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of FickleBeast
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1st review!

Well, it is about time I started to review beers - why not kick things off with an exceptional beer?

Poured into a Harpoon Winter Warmer Snifter

A: Pitch black, just a thin layer of dark foam after a vigorous pour. Completely opaque.

S: Coffee, oaky,

T: Roasted, charred coffee. Bourbon flavor up front, but quickly fades. Taste of black cherry pokes through the roast flavors. Waming alcohol taste at the end. Extremely complex. Roast bitterness lingers.

M: Viscous, coats your mouth, feels smooth, with some tannins felt at the back of the tongue

D: A sipper for sure, but the high abv goes down very smooth. The complexity makes me want to take another sip to see what other flavors develop as it warms.

Overall, fantastic. I don't care for the roast coffee bitterness that lingers, and there is a little too much alcohol warmth, but those are minor criticisms to an otherwise amazing beer.

 916 characters

Photo of stevehagy
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Photo of ccozzi
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of dcloeren
4.89/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

BIG THANKS to prototypic for a couple of these

A: Poured a dark dark brown, the same color as a really strong cup of coffee. I swear a poured this beer to the best of my ability and all I got out of it was maybe 1 finger of toffee colored frothy goodness that quickly dissipated into a thin film on top of the beer

S: OH SHIT this beer smells amazing! I'm being blasted with rich chocolate and bourbon right away. Once it starts to warm up i'm getting a lot more coffee, vanilla and roasted malts in the background and amazing wood characteristics. Very complex

T: This is a BOLD brew. I'm loving every drop of this beer. It's following the nose pretty true. Rich chocolate, rich coffee, the bourbon has just the right amount of heat, molasses, subtle vanilla and oak... this beer is AMAZING! Each flavor stands out but mixes so well with one another. I could keep rambling but typing is taking away from my next sip...

M: Full bodied and viscous. Coats the mouth with each sip and sticks around until you put a fresh coat on it with the next one. The bourbon stings your tongue with every mouthful and the carbonation is there just enough to enhance that sensation.

O: After drinking this beer I finally understand all of the hype that goes along with it. Its a complex, bold, rich, fantastic, wonderful, delicious, viscous mocha bourbon latte and I cant thank my trading partner enough to have sent more than one. Its one of the best beers I've had to date with out a doubt. Cheers bitches

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Photo of straightlambic
4.4/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of chcfan
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of TKEbeerman
4.77/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my SN XXX glass, this brew pours a black body with a chocolate 1 inch head. Not the darkest stout out there, not the most impressive looking, but note worthy none the less.

S: The nose is by far the best I've ever smelled on a stout. Pure mouth watering Bourbon backed with espresso bean, vanilla bean, and a slight cocoa bean.

T: The flavor profile is dominated by Bourbon. A healthy amount of time was spent in those barrels. Espresso is tame compared to FBS. Notes of chocolate want to poke trough, which I'm sure will with a little age. A little vanilla is present to smooth is all out.

MF: The mouthfeel is light for such a big stout. I expect this is due to the Bourbon. Would have liked a tad bit more carbonation also.

D: Drinkability is above average. Even mild Bourbon lovers will get a kick out of this brew.

Over all Founders KBS is an almost perfect stout. Compared to the big boys of the top 100, KBS IMO stands out as the reigning champ. This brew would make good ol' Jim Beam proud.

 1,017 characters

Photo of ChrisPro
3.86/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at Monk's. Pours jet black, small mocha head. Rich bitter chocolate and coffee aroma, vanilla and bourbon. Unfortunately, flavor is very boozy with a bit too much bourbon. I may be in the minority, but this is my least favorite of the three (Canadian, regular, then Kentucky).

 285 characters

Photo of NHbeerguy
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of edchicma
4.35/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally found my note from teh Extreme Beer Fest. This brew is exceptional..and a bargain! only one ticket!!! Pours black and extremely inviting. Taste is oak, wine-like, but smoooth. For a 10 abv, this is unbelievable. The mouthfeel is rounded, smooth and extremely nice. Drinks like a much lower abv. A must try.

 314 characters

Photo of ArchEnemyBrew
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of fmccormi
4.31/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Straight pour from a 12oz pry-off bottle to my Cigar City snifter; no bottling date that I can see, but this is the 2013 release, so it’s been about two months since it was released.

Appearance (3.5): Maybe half a finger of cappuccino-colored head comes off of the pour before dying down relatively quickly, leaving just a thin foam ring around the edge of the body. The body is pitch black but shows some deep amber tones around the edge when held up to the light. Not a whole lot of retention, the head having fizzled away and left just a couple of wide, flat legs of lace on the near side of the glass. I s’pose it fits the style, but I like more head, personally.

Smell (4.25): Lots of dark chocolate and French roast coffee lying underneath it—high-cacao content cocoa powder and fresh coffee grinds, all mixed with woody, rich vanilla tones (clearly the bourbon coming through here), and a low-level roasted grain character (like burned toast?) and a little smokiness. Not as intense as I was anticipating, but the elements are all very good and very well-balanced.

Taste (4.5): Much more of that wonderful, high cacao dark chocolate character mixed with cold-brew black coffee, a little rich molasses sweetness to smooth things out underneath, and some more of that smooth vanilla, bourbon-y component, but without the boozy heat you’d expect from a lot of –bbl stouts (and other styles). The booze does come through in the way the chocolate-coffee combo kind of evaporates away in your mouth, but that’s it—not too bad. The mildly oaky, vanilla tone helps smooth out any bitterness that the coffee, chocolate, hops, or roasted malt might be contributing, leaving just a moderate bitterness that opens up in the finish into a slightly boozy, roasty vaporous character.

Mouthfeel (4.25): On the full side of medium-weight but not heavy, with only a modestly syrupy feel. The carbonation is moderate, with just a bit of tingle here and there accompanied by a soft, slow foaming action. This is very smooth, and kind of hard to drink slowly.

Overall (4.25): This is a very, very good beer. Is it excellent? Maybe. Is it the best imperial stout I’ve ever had? No. That might actually go to (at this date) Founders Imperial Stout. But this does bourbon barrel aging better than 95% of other such beers, which I’m thankful for (’cause a lot of ’em can’t balance their shit very well). But this is a very, very good imperial stout with excellent chocolate and coffee components and a well-played barrel component, too.

 2,552 characters

Photo of Troville1990
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of darktronica
4.27/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of TheMultiYeast
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of Lochnessmonster
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of Beersnake1
3.89/5  rDev -15.6%
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.

 536 characters

Photo of chrisjws
4.25/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Billy's on Grand in St. Paul, MN. Served in a snifter.

A: Black. Next to no head. Clearly viscous, not quite of motor oil consistency though.
S: Dark chocolate. Dark fruits. Coffee. Little hint of whiskey & oak.
T: Lots of dark chocolate upfront. Some dark roast coffee flavors in the middle and finishes up with a bit of bourbon flavor.
M: A little thinner than I expected. Still a medium to large mouthfeel. Minimal carbonation. Coats your mouth.
O: Really good, but honestly did not live up to what I was expecting. There's other BBA beers I think are much better and not nearly as hard to find. Still, a very, very good beer and glad I got to try it.

 665 characters

Photo of dbc5
4.68/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

12 ounce bottle poured into DFH glass.

A: Pours pitch black with a nice 1 finger cocoa colored head. Head recedes, but leaves a frothy covering atop the beer. What a big imperial stout should look like.

S: One of the best smelling beers you will find. Tons of dark chocolate, coffee, and a nice helping of bourbon beneath.

T: This was one of the first beers I fell in love with and is one of those beers that I seek out with a vengeance each year it is released. When relatively fresh, as this bottle is, the initial flavor is that of melted chocolate. The bitterness of the coffee then creeps in and cuts some of the sweetness. The tongue then picks up the slight bourbon heat that is there to let you know this beer spent some time in barrels.

M: Mouthfeel is exactly as a beer of this size should be, viscous and low carbonation. Sticky and lingers on the palate.

O: This is one of my favorite beers. It isn't as bourbon forward as some other barrel aged beers (e.g., BCBS) but is an exceptional showcase of how flavors can blend for an exceptional drinking experience.

 1,080 characters

Photo of mitch3114
4.91/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Received 5 ounce pour at Saratoga City Tavern

A- very nice, dark, thick, decent cocoa head that was thicker and stuck around longer than I thought

S- I held on to this for awhile until I finished my other beer. I wanted it to warm up. The smell was fantastic; warm bourbon was there with some cocoa and vanilla

T- I hate coffee beers! But it was at the bar so I had to try it. I wasn't dissapointed! The coffee was very there but very subdued. It blended nicely with the other flavors. The same with the bourbon, often these fresh bourbon BA ales come off hot and boozy, bourbon forward but this was not the bourbon was sweet and complimented the brew nicely. Cocoa, mocha, vanilla, hint of coconut, dark roasted malts, very good

M- the mouthfeel was a bit thinner than I had imagined but it seemed to work with this beer. I think if it was thicker it would be too syrupy.

O- overall, i always did want to try this but never wanted to spend the time, energy and money to hunt it down in stores... Plus, as I mentioned I'm not a fan of coffee flavor d beers. This being offered at the bar was a perfect scenario for me. The beer was blended extremely well, yet it was so complex. There were so many flavors mixed in and none really stuck out or outshined the other. A very solid BA offering that is ready to drink. I wouldn't age this one. I think it would risk losing some of those great subtleties and undertones. Plus, I think with time some of the other flavors may fade bringing the bolder flavors forward, thus destroying that perfectly balanced liquid harmony that currently exists!!!

 1,595 characters

Photo of let8it8grow
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

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

This beer pours black and is completely opaque. Two fingers of dark brown head develop on top of this brew with decent retention and some lacing.

The aroma is beautiful. There is huge coffee in the nose, bitter dark chocolate, vanilla, and some caramel sweetness.

Taste is equally as delicious as the aroma. There is a big bitter chocolate note, black coffee, dark roasted malts that are almost burnt. Some vanilla from the oak, and a slight bit of alcohol. I expect this beer will stand up well to some aging.

Mouthfeel is full bodied, very thick and chewy. Carbonation is low, but very appropriate. The mouthfeel on this beer is perfect. It's exactly how I like my stouts.

Drinkability is great. The amazing flavor of this beer makes for an easy consumption, however because the flavor is so strong and the alcohol is high it slows and limits the consumption.

World class. Very happy I finally got some.

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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.61 out of 5 with 12,723 ratings
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