Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) | Founders Brewing Company

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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
3,049
Ratings:
11,928
Avg:
4.56
pDev:
8.77%
 
 
Wants:
4,460
Gots:
6,192
For Trade:
509
User Reviews
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Reviews: 3,049 | Ratings: 11,928
Photo of NYCWheatFanSC
4.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2010 Vintage

A - Pours a solid black, with a tiny tannish mocha head that recedes rather quickly - true to style. Settles to a beautiful microfilm on top. This one is shaping up nicely.

S - Just like a cup of joe! Strong and robust coffee notes, with some more subtle chocolate and roasty hues as well. Amazingly complex.

T - This is everything I want in a coffee stout in particular, and a stout in general: strong coffee (w/cream, not black), dark AND milk chocolate mixed up together, bit of molasses and some hints of licorice - but just barely. Nice vanilla and oak character, never over-bearing as often happens. Light on the hop profile, yet it is evident. Fiercely complex.

M - Very creamy, carbonation goes a long way to lighten this one up.

D - Among the best stouts I've ever had, and the flavor profile is definitive. Glad I got as much as I did!

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Photo of johnbjaeger
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Finally decided I had to review this, perhaps my favorite of beers. I generally crack one of these open once a month or so as a treat for being particularly awesome.

It's basically like my pint of Ben and Jerry's. Rich, creamy and delicious, it is one of the best things I've ever put in my mouth.

First, it looks like beer strained through coffee grounds, head and liquid. Second, it smells like unicorn poop, with just enough of a booze nose to remind you that you are drinking real. Thirdly, it tastes like god's melted ice cream cone, coats the tongue and goes down smoothly. Vanilla, caramel and coffee hit you up front and the bourbon finishes you off. Each sip is superior to the last as this bad boy warms up to room temperature. The only reason I can't drink a six-pack of these is because it is so decadent that my heart may stop. Find some. Drink some. Love some.

If I had to pick one beer to drink for the rest of my life, it might just be KBS.

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Photo of Boitnott
4.74/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Founders KBS (2010) was poured from the bottle into a DFH snifter. The initial pour led to virtually no head, which I blame on the age (year old). A very small head does appear and a small lacing exists as well. The color is basically black with a few brown notes, and no light permeates from it.

The smell has a strong scent of coffee and cocoa nibs, which blend to a mocha sent similar a well made coffee shop mocha. There is also a roasted malt presence, which adds a burnt smell, which does not over power the coffee and chocolate. The smell is also very strong begs you to take a sip; enticing you to drink this miraculous creation. The nose mimics the smell very well, which show how much smell plays a role here. It is very sweet from the chocolate and a slight coffee smell comes out as well. The Kentucky bourbon really hits you in the finish and mixes with the coffee and a faint taste of bitter hops. I would like the hop presence to be more apparent but this is probably due to the age.

The beer feels excellent on the palate, but has no head presence. The very full body makes this a meal in a bottle, but a highly enjoyable one at that. Despite the full body, I could probably drink many of these, and would probably pass out very quickly at 11.2%. The alcohol really comes out from the bourbon, but does not take away from the overall flavor. This defines the style of Bourbon Barrel Stout. All beers of this genre should aspire to be at this level. Worth the hype for any doubters out there.

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Photo of natemort13
4.58/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

'11, poured into a snifter. Thanks Tim!

A hard, jet-black motor oil pour creates a dark mocha head that fades quickly into a ring.

Nose is strong bourbon and mellow coffee coffee with vanilla and dark fruits bringing up the rear. The nose is straightforward and does not play around but retains a ridiculous smoothness.

The taste brings coffee first then fades into bourbon with a strong vanilla finish. Lingering notes of smooth coffee. As the taste becomes more coating the bourbon becomes more prevalent. This is some of the smoothest bourbon I've ever tasted in a beer. Warming alcohol.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and coating. Alcohol becomes a little warming as it hits my belly.

Tough to live up to the hype, but as far as coffee stouts go, this one is right there. Can't find a smoother stout at 11.2.

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Photo of adams82
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours black, opaque, with a 2 finger tan head. Smells of dark roasted coffee, bourbon, chocolate and tastes very much the same.

The flavour is intense. Coffee and chocolate dominate, then a kick of bourbon, a little alcohol, vanilla, hazelnut, more bourbon, coffee and chocolate. Heavily roasted flavors dominate this beer with the mellow chocolate and bourbon offering balance while the vanilla and hazelnut round everything out. Very complex, very tasty, very delicious and very, very worthy of a perfect 5.

Easy drinking for such an intense and flavorful beer and this really begs to be made available all year long. The bourbon character is present, but not dominating like most oaked or bourbon beers I have had. It complements the other flavors and helps round everything out, making this quite possibly, the best beer I have ever had in my entire life.

There is no hype surrounding this beer... It has earned it's legendary status.

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Photo of sentomaster
4.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

on tap poured into a snifter

A- Black. Pitch black. Jet f*ckn black. Gorgeous mocha colored two finger head pops up. It's surprising to see a monster beer of this abv able to produce such an ample layer of foam.

S- freakin awesome. Served cold, probably about 48 degrees which leads to a much softer nose than what you get after it warms up- regardess, this is a huge beer with massive aromas. When cold, toasty malty and chocolate dominate. The bourbon is not obnoxious, rather it hides behind the HEFTY, thick, roasted malt and cocoa aromas that batter your nose.

T/M- This beer tastes as black as it looks. Unbelievably thick and malty. Malt flavors range from burnt toast to sticky fudge, with the former presenting itself as the beer warms. The first few quaffs may lead you to think the beer is a bit of a one trick pony. The bourbon is again in the background somewhat as the massive malt profile takes centerstage. Roasty dark chocolate, vanilla, and fudge flavors lather and coat your tongue in an epic, huge body that is rounded out by a silky oatmeal smoothness. In the finish the bourbon finally makes its full presence known. After it goes down a woody bourbon heat lingers ever so lightly, falling just short of being too pronounced- perfect.

As it warms the bourbon really comes out in all stages, and the coffee flavors and aromas appear beyond what was just an espresso like quality at first. A bit more astringency and burnt sugar also comes forth. There may even be a slight earthy and herbal hop presence but its almost impossible to tell underneath all this malt, coffee and bourbon.

O- This beer is really quite amazing, noticeably better on tap than I remember it being the half a dozen or so times I've had it out of the bottle- which I also thought fantastic. An epic concoction with copious amounts of malt. A no holds barred concoction that I would liken to a bag of dark chocolate, thrown into a bag of coffee, thrown into a bourbon barrel- but that would be only the beginning. The resultant mixture must be tasted- heaven in a glass.

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

2010
Pours out one of the darkest beers I've seen lately. Dark fudge color 2 finger head. This thing is unbreakable. Great retention, great lacing. Amazing looking beer.

The smell could overall be a bit stronger. You can really get an idea for the whiskey here. Other things I can pick up off the bat are chocolate, toasted malt, and vanilla.

The chocolate is abundant in the taste. Probably my favorite aspect of this beer. Another point of interest is the vanilla. From what I've been told, last years KBS was different in that it didn't have vanilla. Toasted malts, cocoa, bourbon, feint hops; the two strongest elements are the whiskey and the chocolate.

The mouthfeel is also spot on. Very rich. Full-bodied, wonderful creaminess. There is some heat from the alcohol, it might be easy to consider this too hot. I'm going to wait quite a while before I drink anymore of these

This beer is excellent, but the price is off-putting. I may enjoy this extremely, but there are many other beers for much less that I also enjoy extremely. I've seen some wallets pillaged for 14 dollars a bottle at the Dirty Truth in Northampton. The price and the hype don't make this beer any better than it is, which is good to keep in mind.

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Photo of chefmikeanderson
4.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: black motor oil with same looking viscosity. two finger head when poured aggressive that looks like chocolate whip cream. The head dissipates to just a thin coating on top of the beer but leaves some milky lacing

S: big coffee smells with chocolate and vanilla. very robust i must say

T: Yum! Not nearly as powerful as the smell but there sure is a lot of flavors that are going on but then oddly enough the 3rd taste they all meld together. really really smooth milk chocolate with a robust coffee background touch of vanilla and then i get the oak vanilla from the barrel. mighty tasty. the booze is there but in no way hot.

M: Slick mouth with limited carbonation but at least its there.

D: well i just slammed half the glass just trying to figure out how good it is. i keep wanting another sip. its super smooth and doesn't feel like 11% and i can only imagine how nice it will taste in a year

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Photo of scarnold8
4.45/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to hayesez for this one. He is very generous and an awesome dude.

A - Pours thick and black with thin tan/brown head.
S - I get a ton of bourbon. Hint of the alcohol and not really much else.
T - I love it. There is a lot of bourbon and roasted malt. For the amount of alcohol and bourbon taste it is very smooth and goes down well.
M - Somewhat thick, although not as much as expected for the style.
D - Surprising high. I could easily have several of these, though I probably shouldn't.

Very impressed with this beer. I am a big fan of stouts and especially bourbon barrel aged stouts. This did not disappoint.

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Photo of raszputini
4.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was the big winner at ThirstyFest - a craft beer festiva sponsored by the Thirsty Monk. The keg didn't make it through the day. Nothing real unusual about it - its exactly what you would expect. A coffee-heavy Russian Imperial Stout with Bourbon barrel aging. There are no curve balls. What distinguishes it is that is such a fantastic example of this style. The bourbon flavor is definitely there, but not overwhelming. This is just a great beer. Drink one at any opportunity you get.

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Photo of Xenoreactive
2.78/5  rDev -39%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Hype beer. Avoid the strangling drama of this brew.

Had a vertical from fresh to 5 year aged. All were unimpressive and considerably overblown.

One positive note is that the ABV is in double digits, so you might forget the mediocrity after 2 or 3.

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Photo of mryuk
4.7/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a midnight black brown with very little head. no light transmission.

smell is strong coffee molasses with maybe some fruit. lots of excellent smoke and toasted notes.

taste is flavor overload. awesome strong flavor. only a small sip and pow! sweet toasted coffee with a slight bitter finish chocolaty goodness.

mouth is thick with medium carbonation.

very very good. not as much bourbon as expected. very smooth with excellent flavor.

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Photo of angelogarcia3
4.82/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a great beer with a very dark color that allows very little light to pass through it. A very chocolate colored head greets the drinker along with aromas of Hershey's chocolate and hints of bittersweet chocolate. The mouthfeel is very thick but creamy. The taste is very chocolatey with a slight hint of vanilla and bourbon giving this beer a strong flavor that is enjoyable by itself or with BBQ. Had it at The Lark in East Northport, NY.

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Photo of frenchblood21
4.51/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into KBS goblet. This is the 2014 edition of KBS. Date of review is 7/15/14.

Appearance- Black as night with a brown head that disappears almost instantly. Very little carbonation but the lacing looks great so far.

Smell- Roasted malt, coffee and chocolate in that order. Vanilla comes through at the end. There is a complete lack of bourbon, which is strange considering this beer spent over a year in bourbon barrels.

Taste- There's the bourbon! In order of dominance, I get bourbon, vanilla, chocolate and then finally, coffee. Flavors remind me of an Oreo dipped in coffee with cream and vanilla sugar. So awesome.

Mouthfeel- Super thick and creamy. Has the mouthfeel of a milk stout. You get all the flavors at once, and then somehow all by themselves.

Overall- Fantastic offering from the best brewery in Michigan. I went to Grand Rapids during KBS week to pick this baby up and I will be doing it again next year.

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

Can't add much that hasn't been said. 2014 vintage, perfectly black, bourbon and chocolate to the nose. Taste was fantastic, the bourbon had mellowed in the months since bottling letting the coffee and chocolate come through. Coats the mouth and tongue with silky goodness. Just fantastic - everything I was expecting!

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

Some people say this beer has gone downhill over the years. I couldn't disagree more. It just keeps getting better. Bourbon, Coffee, Oak, Vanilla...So good. By far one of the best BA Stouts around.

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Photo of JWD
4.16/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

A- the appearance is great, Black motor oil with a small head, tan in color.

S- deep roasted coffee

T -More coffee with a very small hint of bourbon an vanilla, i expected more bourbon flavor.

m - not as thick as I expected but very drinkable

D - outstanding, I could drink a couple of these pretty easily.

I was disapoined as this beer is rated so highly and i find other of the same style to be much better.

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

A - Poured dark black, thick and oily. Small tan head dissapates quickly.

S - Big aromas of coffee, dark malt, with notes of vanilla, oak and of course bourbon (not as strong as I expected)

T - Coffee flavors dominate up front. There is ample dark malts and dark choco flavors. Oaky bourbon with a vanilla component is in there too. Complex and deep.

M - Full bodied and thick.

D - Very drinkable for the style. Raritiy makes having this regularly difficult.

Absolutely amazing stout. This will have to be tried numerous times to fully appreciate it. I think I am up to the task.

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

L: Black with a nice brown head that vanishes and leaves no lacing
S: Bourbon, coffee, roasted malts, alcohol
T: Dark malt, bourbon barrel, coffee, and booze
F: smooth and hot
O: A treat to enjoy whenever you can get your hands on it. For 12 percent it is well made and has just the right balance of barrel and alcohol characteristics

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Photo of kfsv034
4.31/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - pours black with a thin tan head that dissipates quickly

S - Vanilla, Coffee, maybe chocolate and a nice bourbon

T - Follows the noise pretty well, Vanilla and coffee and bourbon. Definitely taste the alcohol but in a good way

M - Medium to full bodied

D - after a few of this id be drunk.

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Photo of camp0474
4.62/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured into tulip glass

A: Pours pitch black and very thick. Dark tan creamy head. Good lacing.

S: Smells of toasted malt, coffee, and some notes of chocolate. On top of those a smell of bourbon, which adds a sweet vanilla bean smell, and smells a bit boozy.

T: Barrel aged bourbon hits the tongue heavy. The strong whiskey flavor rides on top of the malt and coffee flavors. The alcohol flavor lingers for a bit, but still allows the others flavors to come through. The bourbon flavor adds woody, smokey, and fresh vanilla notes. Surprisingly a lot going on here other than straight bourbon.

M/D: Thick and chewy with lower carbonation. The finish is a bit dry due to the high ABV. More of a special occasion beer and a definite sipper. But wanted to keep going back for more.

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Photo of Donco
4.9/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Edit to review (3/18/16):
Just tried a bottle of 2016 KBS and it's the best fresh version I've had since I began drinking beer in 2013.


2015 from a bottle.
Although I had rated this beer highly back in 2013, I had not reviewed it. So now (March 2015) I am adding comments on this beer fresh.
Look is reminiscent of Founders Imperial Stout. Jet black with a bit of head when poured into my Founders tulip glass.
Smell: Wonderful bourbon/coffee as it warms.
Taste: Better than last year's version when fresh. Let this warm from fridge for at least 25 minutes. Then beautiful coffee/bourbon/chocolate comes out with a significant hit of bitterness on the end (again, like Founders IS).
To me, this year's version is better than 2014 and well worth the crazy search. Even better with about 6 month aging.

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

Aged 1 year

A: Black as it gets. Very little head. perhaps lost a little carbonation over the year.

S: Black coffee, bourbon, hints of bitter chocolate.

T: The coffee notes are strong, hints of chocolate and some bourbon notes as well.

M: Pretty thick, even for a stout, and quite filling. Actually more carbonation in the mouthfeel than indicated by the appearance.

D: This one's a slow sipper.

This beer is interesting becuase it tastes kinda like coffee gone cold, which I hate. But add alcohol and bourbon flavor with hints of chocolate and vianilla and its GOLD, Jerry, GOLD!

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

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a snifter

A- Pours dark raisiny brown with a light golden hue. Thin layer of head dissipates and forms large bubbles on the sides of the glass. Nice lacing of small mocha colored bubbles.

S- Smells of sweet bourbon and coffee beans. Roasted chocolate hints with a distinct oak finish.

T- Wow....this is perfect in every way. Sweet bourbon up front followed by coffee notes. Tastes just like it smells and that is delicious. One of the most well-balanced beers I've ever had or will ever have.

M- Thick with little carbonation. Slightly bitter oak finish which lingers beautifully on the palate.

D- Amazing for a barrel-aged beer. So smooth and delicious. This one is right at the top of the list

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Photo of MBrausen
4.3/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was a 2009 vintage poured from a bottle into a CBS snifter.

A. Pours a deep dark black, minimal to no head, and rests at a glassy black finish.

S. Smells of coca, very mild whiskey and LOTS of tobacco

T. Tastes of coca, dark chocolate, mild toffee and tons of tobacco again!

M. This beer was very thick and chewy, heavy body with a very dry finish.

O. A good beer, but I liked the '10 a lot more. The evening I had this, we did a full flight of KBS from '09-'11 and I feel like the more you age this beer, the more the tobacco comes out. Fresh it is a little hot, but I believe the '10 is still my overall favorite of the most well balanced beer. A good beer and always worth a try whenever you can get it.

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Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
4.56 out of 5 based on 11,928 ratings.
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