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

For Trade:
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Reviews: 3,159 | Ratings: 12,360
Photo of cbak999
4.82/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big Thanks to CampusCrews for the trade that allowed me to sample this treat. The month is not readable on the bottle, but the year is defintely 2010.

A- Black. Simple as that. A small tan head that quickly fades to a ring around the glass. There is no light getting through this beer.

S- Bourbon, chocolate and coffee, in that order. But the overwhelming smell is the sweet bourbon.

T- Coffee is the first taste. Then boubon is the first aftertaste. The predominant aftertaste fades to chocolate. This beer is complex!! There are so many other tastes going on.

D- I love it! The 11.2% is well hidden, but not so much that you forget that you are drinking a monster stout - the king of imperial stouts. This beer is awesome....there is no doubt it stands up to the hype! I only wish it were more readily available.

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Photo of afdempse
4.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle, 2011 Vintage.

Pours a viscous black liquid with tiny dark brown bubbles that evaporate into the abyss.

Nose is an incredible mixture of vanilla, bourbon, dark roasted coffee and chocolate.

The first sip brings forth solid espresso flavors, followed by bourbon, oak, vanilla, and roasted barley. Bitterness is present, keeping it all in check in a beguiling balancing act. Alcohol definitely comes forward in this beer, but in all the right ways, playing off of the other flavors and enhancing their individual characteristics. Bourbon and sweet vanilla overtones stay all the way through the finish with espresso notes in the breath. Toasted oak takes over at the end, drying things out with an earthy spiciness, and leaving the palate ready for more.

Mouthfeel is super smooth and creamy with oatmeal slickness and sparkly nitro-esque carbonation.

This is the beer that sets the bar high for all others to follow. Sublime in every way, I hope they continue to brew this for years to come.

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Photo of raoulduke37
4.55/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Another great brew from Founder's. Thanks to sarahspat for this awesome trade. Poured it into a tulip glass and man was this a thick beer, black as night, with a very small brown head. A little bit of lacing makes this one look promsing. Smells of smoke, coffee, oak, almonds, and definitely vanilla. The taste is unbelievable roasted malts, hinting at espresso beans. So incredibly delicious. This one is creamy and thick like a good stout, but with a kiss of carbonation that cuts through it and gives you a pleasant break. Simply a magnificent beer.

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Photo of beagle826
4.51/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Beautiful pitch black coloring with a tan 1" head. Chocolaty, roasted aromas. Lingering scent of vanilla and bourbon.

First sip is overwhelming. Awesome roastiness up front, with a smooth vanilla finish. This is what a beer should taste like! 11.2 % is very well hidden, which could be dangerous. One of the best RIS I've ever had!

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Photo of mortarit
4.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Every now and then this little town gets some good stuff.

Absolutly no head during the pour, only around the sides

Smell seems to be weak but the taste packs a punch. Bourbon, yes I can taste it. You can feel the complelxity of all the notes but in unison.

This deserves a spot on the boards.

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Photo of Jerzdevil1116
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this on tap at Founders Brewery. Stopped there as part of my Dark Lord Day road trip. Served in a snifter.

A: Black opaque body. No head. Little to no carbonation visible.

S: Earthy, oaky, and full of coffee. Hints of bourbon and dark fruits (raisons).

T: Strong coffee presence. Slightly bitter. Nice notes of oak and boubon.

M: Full bodied. Slightly syrupy. Very smoothe.

D: Not a session beer by any means, but I could sip it from a snifter all night like a fine bourbon. I've had it in it's bottle form and wasn't thrilled. Enjoying it on tap opened my eyes to how good this beer really is.

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Photo of StLThrash
4.94/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12 ounce bottle poured into my New Belgium globe.

A - The darkest of dark. Thick, dark, brownish/black with minimal tan head and some light lacing.

S - Mmmm... get lots of coffee, chocolate, vanilla, bourbon. A great bouquet of flavors. Almost like a spiked chocolate milk!

T & M - Just like the smell but better. You get deep, dark, robust coffe and dark chocolate, with a kick of bourbon and a hint of vanilla. As it progresses, you get a little bit more bourbon and alcohol. Very smooth and drinkable for an 11.2% stout. You can't drink a lot of this or it will knock you on your ass, but wow is having one just amazing. Medium, chewy body with some rich sweetness.

Overall - glad I was able to score some of this during recent release. Well worth the wait. They should release this beer in the coldest part of winter, not at the beginning of spring in my opinion... this would best be enjoyed on a cold, dark, snowy night in front of a fire.

Great job Founders - another great beer.

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

Fresh as possible - 4/1 release, purchase and consumption
A - Super black with a tremendous tan/brown head
S - Very strong and pleasing coffee and chocolate
T - Delicious with coffee flavor dominance, very slight bitterness at the finish
F - Thick and oily
O - Fantastic coffee stout - results meet the hype. Lucky enough to have landed 11 more that I'll consume over time (up to one year unless it starts lose too much coffee).

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Photo of diddy4l
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2015 bottle aged for an entire year, carmel notes,chocolaty, super glad i waited so long to crack one open,would aged it longer as good!

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Photo of bozebus17
4.84/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

It poured like a thick syrup out of the bottle into my glass. The color is darker than any I've ever seen, pure black. The small head is tan but doesn't last long. There is a bit of foam around the edges and not much lacing.

Smell is an elegant blend of vanilla, coffee, and alcohol. The best way I can describe it is to say that it smells like Kahlua. Someone should make a scented candle out of this.

Taste is like nothing I've ever experienced. I'm hit with coffee, sweet carmel, and a strong roasted flavor. The alcohol is noticeable but not unwelcome. As this beer warms the flavor of bourbon from the barrel becomes more evident.

Mouthfeel is extremely full and creamy. The alcohol is apparent again and leaves a clean lingering feeling in the mouth. It warms the throat as it goes down. I'd love to have this on a cold winter night. This beer is a pleasure to drink and I was sad when I reached the end of the pint.

Wow, what an interesting brew! I must thank my girlfriend who gave me a 4 pack as part of my birthday gift. I don't know what to say about this beer that hasn't been said. It is like nothing else yet delicious. Founders really pushes the envelope with this one. If you get the opportunity you owe it to yourself to try this one.

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Photo of ltjska04
4.57/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

UPDATE: Recently had this side by side with normal Breakfast Stout. From my notes:

A: Black w/ brown head lasting about a minute. Falls into swirls on top with ring around glass. 4.7

S: Bourbon/chocolate/coffee equally, none dominates the other. 4.7

T: Bourbon is front and center, almost no coffee taste. A little salty when cold. Milk chocolate as it warms and bourbon lessens after a while. 4.7

M: Silky smooth. Doesn't get much better. 4.7

D: Not too hot but the bourbon is still pretty overpowering to drink much. 4

I finally nabbed myself this fine beer from Party Source in Bellvue which luckily just started carrying some Founder's brews. I've been loving coffee stouts lately and have looked forward to this. At $7.50 a bottle I hope the beer's worthit; here goes nothing:

A: Poured black and viscous into my Maudite snifter. Nice tan head that dissipated very quickly into a ring that leaves some lacing. No light's getting through this one.

S: Straight up coffee at first. Can't really tell what else is in there but I love it. One of the best-smelling beers I've had yet.

T: Mostly coffee and bourbon, as expected. There's some chocolate and roasty/malty taste followed by a bit of hotness from the 11.2%, but not enough to detract from the experience.

M: This feel pretty thick and coats the mouth well. Even after it goes down the taste lingers around the mouth for a while. The bourbon leaves a bit of a burning sensation around the perimeter of my mouth... not a fan of that.

D: KBS is gonna lose some points here. Don't get me wrong, it tastes great. But the price/availability/abv are going to prevent me from having more than one of these at a time.

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

A really nice beer, but I think the flavors get overwhelmed by the bourbon. Not to say I don't like a good barrel aged beer, but my 2009 was overwhelmed with bourbon flavor.

A: Pouted black, thick and rich. With a 1/2 finger of brown foam

S: Sweet, roasty, and oak aromas, mingle with bourbon and strong fruits to create a complex and wonderful aroma.

T: The flavor suggested by the aroma are all there. Initially the flavor are balanced and complex. Really enjoyable. The bourbon flavors start to take over pretty quickly and are overwhelming through the finish. I enjoyed the taste, but think this would have been world class had the bourbon been in better balance with the rest of the beer.

M: Thick, but not too thick. Very nice.

D: I would drink these one at a time.

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

Bottle into a snifter.

Pours an opaque black with an inch of dense milky/coffee foam head. Dissipates into a small cloud on the surface with significant lacing.

Rich smell - loaded with bourbon, coffee and chocolate. Lost of toast from the oak in the nose, and a touch of heat. I don't get an overwhelming heat from this, which seems to be a point of contention this year (and in general...). I'd say this - to each their own, but I don't see it out of style. It's well balanced, but the nose doesn't suggest more than a year two of aging. Plenty of depth at the moment: but age could be good.

Very deep and dense on the tongue. Creamy, but not sticky. Very palatable. Coffee and bitter cocoa dominate the flavor - with enough other flavors floating over. Some of the milk flavors are present, but the sweet honey flavors from the bourbon are light. No florals, but a touch of heat from the bourbon. Lots of toasty flavors come into play to keep the warmth in check. Warms well - a hint of metallic stuff on the end.

Clearly, unless someone is in the mood to kill their liver and brain (not to mention their wallet), don't have a bunch in one night. I'll be aging one or two. I can see some complexity coming out and it would be good, but if you like it now, there's not a reason not to drink it if you've got more than one bottle.

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

I want to start this off by saying many hyped beers really don't live up to the hype! Fortunately there is founders. I've been looking for a KBS for a while and scored one Wednesday night. Popped it open Thanksgiving and split it with my dad.

A: Black as black can be, we help up to light there is not see through this, a little mahagony around the edges but that is it. Nice little head that disappates, nice lacing.

S: Bourbon, Oak, Smoky Chocolate, Roasted Malts. Excellenc

T: The bourbon was not to overpowering upfront in this one, it was more on the back end which is great, because I also like to taste my stout along with the bourbon notes. Espresso, chocolate and toast were very noticable. Slightly malty and a mild hop character for a beer that is supposed to be 70 IBU's

M:Very Light carbonation, smooth and heavy.

O: Great, this is a big beer so you have to like that, but this does not disappoint one bit. If you have a chance grab up one or two of these. You won't regret it!!!

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

Recieved in a DLD trade w/ Sman (insert #'s here).

Poured into my oversized DFH snifter.

Jet black body. "How much more black can it get? Really, the answer is none. None more black". -Spinal Tap
Like I said, very dark body. Dark tannish/brown head. 1finger. Decent retention. Heavy whisps of lace left in the glass once the head subsided.
Huge malty coffee and bittersweet chocolate nose. Semi smokey bourbon with whisps of marinated figs and peat. More alcohol comes through as the beer progresses.
Sooo smooth on the tongue. Oh my god. This is one smooth beer. I'm gonna be all over the place with this one between mouthfeel, taste and drinkability, because I think all 3 play into each other.
Chocolate and coffee instantly assault my palate. But it's a good assault. Bourbon and vanilla oakiness come through almost as fast. This is gorgeous. I find myself wanting drink this beer faster than almost any beer I've ever had. I have to force myself to slow down at every sip. Sips turn into swigs which turn into gulps. And this is definitely not a gulping beer. Although it goes down like one. This is too drinkable for a 10% beer. The bourbon is well present, but so well balance that you don't recognize an alcoholic "burn". It's just not there. I almost want to chew this beer there's so much flavor. I feel like I'm rambling, but it's hard to put into words everything I'm tasting.
This is one hell of a beer. I'm gonna leave it at that. Thanks to Founders for this offering. My first perfect 5 beer.

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Photo of abriggs1
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I almost don't want to write this review since it will break the 666 number of reviews. There's a reason why this beer seems to be advocated by satan. This is the kind of stuff people leave their families for. My buddy and I accidently stumbled on it in Weymouth, MA after looking for the stuff for weeks. It did not disappoint. It pours like crude oil and has a very warm and inviting smell. The complexity of this beer is through the roof. The bourbon barrels give it a beautiful vanilla taste that's mixed with coffee and chocolate. Although it's thicker than the regular breakfast stout, somehow it's smoother and has a mellow but lingering aftertaste. It's really amazing how this beer can be so mellow and subtle, yet so bold at the same time. I only hope I can find more of this stuff. The ABV was 11.3%, not 10%

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Photo of thirdeye11
4.26/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Ktown67 for this during an in person trade.

Presentation: Poured from 12oz bottle into Duvel tulip.

A: Pours the blackest of blacks, with a semi-vigorous pour it has no head, but the bubbles settle to the top and form a 1/2 finger of dark tan bubbles. No lacing on the glass, and some odd sediment that lingers on the sides of the glass.

S: Smell is awesome. So complex for a stout which are normally one dimensional. Coffee and dark unsweetened cocoa powder, whiskey/bourbon and even some woody notes that are muted. Even some cream in the smell.

T: Having this and the standard breakfast stout from Founders this week have opened my eyes to the style which I generally don't like much. Lots of coffee, some unsweetened hot chocolate powder, maybe some marshmallow creme, whiskey is on the finish as is some bitternes that I wish wasn't. Very complex it isn't lacking anything I want. The bitterness is really not bad at all, and on the very lowest end of the spectrum compared to most stouts I've had. I really like this one, creamy too!

M: Almost perfect. Creamy, coating my mouth, but slightly more carbonation and it WOULD be perfection.

D: Very high for a strong flavor beer. I could have 2 or 3 of these no problem.

Recommended for any beer drinker even if you don't drink stouts because it's awesome. Complex, flavorful, delicious, even refreshing which is odd to say.

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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...

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

12 oz bottle provided by HopsBreath poured into a snifter.

A: Black as night, could not see through it, no head, little carbonation.

S: Bourbon was the dominate smell here accompanied by coffee notes. Maybe vanilla here and their. Smells awesome.

T: Big stout, BIG STOUT. Bourbon and a dark chocolate/coffee roast combo are the many flavors that I am receiving from this brew. Vanilla notes here and there. Most warming brew that I have ever had.

M: Very thick, mild to no carbonation. Very smooth and warming.

D: With the alcohol at 11.20%ABV, you can tell its there, but goes down very smoothly. This beer is very much a sipper, a beer I could see myself winding down the week with.

Lived up to all the hype it gets. Excellent brew, got to get my hands on to some more of this stuff.

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Photo of TVolt1
4.62/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Great dark brown color with a small amount of off white head. Nice and clear with decent lacing.

S: Smells strongly of coffee bean with a hint of white chocolate. A stronger smell of dark chocolate follows the other smells. Normally when a beer smells heavily of coffee bean, I am not excited to drink it because i am not a coffee person but whatever they paired with this beer, makes me very excite.

T: Initially I get a dark chocolate taste followed heavily by the coffee beans. There is a smokey flavor that empowers the finish of the beer and overwhelms my nostrils. This is definitely, in my opinion, what a imperial stout should taste like.

M: Good thick mouthfeel but pleasant on the pallet.

O: Overall, great beer. I am glad my husband did a trade for this. As much as I love Abyss and Darkness, so glad to have tried KBS and even more glad we have two more bottles! :)

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Photo of travMI13
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Figured I should do a formal review of this one, finally. 2011 vintage. Bottled on 2/25/11. 12 oz. bottle poured into a Founders snifter.

A: Black as night with a half-finger of tan head that recedes quickly. Fantastic lacing. Completely opaque, even around the edges. Whoa. I never realized how dark this is.

S: A perfect blend of chocolate, vanilla, oak, and bourbon. Very sweet and decadent smelling, like chocolate cake.

T: Dark chocolate, with hints of oak, bourbon, coffee, and vanilla mixed in. The bourbon flavor is incredibly mild and takes a backseat to the chocolate and the coffee. This is like drinking a chocolate cake. I would probably even call it liquid sex.

M: Thick, sweet, and lightly carbonated. The flavor coats the tongue and lingers for quite a while. The bitterness from the coffee really balances out the lingering chocolate quite nicely.

O: Quite simply, if not my favorite beer, this is one of my favorite beers of all time. Every time I drink it, I am blown away. In all honesty, if a brewer can make a better beer than this, I don't believe I have had it. Deserving of the all the hype and praise it receives. Founders absolutely kills this barrel-aged imperial stout.

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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 Zoomslowik
4.38/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

L- Dark brown, almost black. Tan head.

S- Strong coffee aroma. Hints of bourbon, chocolate and vanilla.

T- Very nice blend. Bourbon, dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malt and vanilla. Not a lot of booze given the ABV.

F- Not as heavy or creamy as a lot of stouts.

O- Very good beer, but I'm not sure it was quite worth the rush to get it.

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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
4.56 out of 5 based on 12,360 ratings.
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