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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)
BA SCORE
4.61/5
World-Class
12,772 Ratings
Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
foundersbrewing.com

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#26
Reviews:
3,252
Ratings:
12,772
pDev:
8.46%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
4,517
Gots:
6,724
Trade:
522
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 12,772 |  Reviews: 3,252
Photo of Kegatron
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap @ Founders (Grand Rapids, MI) on 4/22/10. 8 oz of the 2010 edition served in a snifter.

Pours black as midnight in the glass, with a thin covering of reddish & burnt looking mocha colored head. Swirling elicits a huge creamy flare-up that drenches the sides with thick swathes of lace and dark goo. I'm surprised by just how much of the Breakfast Stout is coming through upon first whiff. Roasted coffee and chocolate form a decadent smelling pillar in the nose, which the bourbon and vanilla notes rises up and wrap themselves around. Woody tannins and a touch of floral character lend this a certain degree of gentleness in the nose despite this being such a powerful bouquet.

The taste is very rich up front with crunchy coffee chocolate roast before bourbon and vanilla character just absolutely DRENCHES the back of the throat with warm sweetness. The bourbon does have some sharpness to it but never does quite get stinging (although it is close). It definitely does spread a boozy feel across the palate and in the chest. The tannic notes from the oak has a touch of raw and green feel to it, with the bourbon and wood leaving a lot of deep dryness in it's wake. The mouthfeel is full bodied and rich, with a big creamy feel that fills the mouth up with flavor. I'm getting some of that 11% ABV but most of the alcohol appears to come from the bourbon and stays out of the body for the most part, helping keep this a very steady sipper.

It's hard for me to say if I like this beer fresher, with the coffee and vanilla popping, or if I like it more with some age and all of that bourbon and wood showing itself a little stronger. Makes me wish that I had tried a glass of the 2009 next to it. Always the tough decisions to make on these ridiculous pre-DLD trips to Founders in the wake of the Black Party the weekend before...

 1,843 characters

Photo of vfgccp
4.79/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Sapsuckers in Huntington, NY

A - Black with cola highlights around the rim. Trace dusting of lace.

S - Sweet brown sugar. Molasses. Oka. Soft smoke note. Chocolate covered raisins. Vanilla. Plum.

T - Chocolate. Scotch-soaked raisins. Malted milk balls. Milk from the bottom of a bowl of Cocoa-Krispies. Chocolate milk shake. Baileys Irish Cream. Light oak.

M - Soft with a never ending aftertaste. Just enough booze to keep it warm.

O - Distinctly better on tap than in bottle.

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Photo of billab914
4.62/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Well we survived the DC snowpocalypse of 2010 but still have no power. I'm getting annoyed and the house is getting colder by the hour, so I deceded to get something from the cellar to lighten my mood and warm me up a little. KBS just sounded like a perfect way to start the cold night off, and it's my first KBS ever as well.

Pours black as can be in the dark, and just as black when held up to the candle light. Not much head to speak of but left a little lacing on the glass as I drank it.

Aroma has bitter coffee, chocolate with a little more subtle wood, vanilla, and Bourbon coming through. Very appealing and complex nose.

The taste is very heavy on the bitterness with a lot of coffee, chocolate, and roasted grains coming through. The bourbon also comes through very well and compliments the other flavors, but isn't overpowering. As in the nose the oak and vanilla are a little more subtle then the other flavors, but add a nice complexity to the beer.

Mouthfeel is thick and carbonation is low, pretty much what I would expect from this style. Very drinkable and delicious, I could use a few more of these tonight to warm me up.

Overall an excellent beer. Breakfast stout is already an amazing beer and the barrel aging really adds to it in this case making it more complex and delicious. Can't wait to buy this here in VA this year.

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Photo of smithj4
4.67/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.64/5  rDev +0.7%

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

Photo of Gkruszewski
4.14/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of nathanmiller
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of PhineasMcClintock
4.75/5  rDev +3%

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

Photo of smcolw
4.52/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Served, on tap, in a brandy snifter. Good starting head but it settles quickly to rim bubbles. Leaves a small amount of blanketing lace and a couple of spots. Deep dark mahoghany brown where the faintest of light passes.

Chalky milk chocolate aroma up front. Mild alcohol with a powdered cocoa kicker (distinct from the milk chocolate.)

Extremely smooth, perhaps the silkiest, velvety mouthfeel ever. This stout works backwards--it starts with a black patent malt bitterness but this fades as the as a strong sherry-like grape sweetness takes over. Strong alcohol finish with semisweet chocolate overtones.

Usually I'm slightly disappointed by the "top beers". While they are typically great, they usually aren't worthy of their effusive accolades. This one, though, does not disappoint.

 793 characters

Photo of XmnwildX12
4.25/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of mendvicdog
4.23/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of russpowell
4.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Got this from joe151 in an ongoing trade that hopefully yields him a fraction of the beer happiness I think he's sent my way! Cheers, Joe!

Pours oily black with 2+ fingers of mocha/brown head into my La Chouffe tulip. Superior lacing good head retention

S: Big time bourbon smells, coffee & oak, fades a bit as it warms

T: Kahlua, coffee grounds, vanilla & oakyness up front. Chocolate comes through as this warms, along with mocha, a bit of booze, & vanilla. Finishes a little dry, with coffee, chocolate, & bourbon accents with enough restraint to pull everything together

MF: Very rich, dry, with lively enough carbonation to push the flavor out. Becomes fairly warming half way through & super sticky

Drinkability is through the roof for both the style & ABV. Damn near flawless, yum. This damn near pulled a straight-line five, lucky bastards in Michigan that can hoard this!

 885 characters

Photo of ZEB89
4.75/5  rDev +3%

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

Appearance: Pours a viscous-looking black body with a small, short-lived tan head.

Smell: Heavy aroma hits with strong notes of roasted malt, dark chocolate, caramel, vanilla beans, fine pipe tobacco, charred wood, and a smooth, well-aged bourbon.

Taste: Ah, the hearty, robust taste of roasted malts, dark chocolate, and strong vanilla-flavored coffee hit you immediately. A ripple of dark caramel follows. Distinct, yet subtle bourbon flavor with tastes of wood and dark brown sugar. Hint of dark fruit. Just a perfect amount of subdued sugary sweetness. Dash of coarse ground black pepper. Perhaps some mild hops along the way upon warming. Sweetish bourbon, roasty taste on the slightly warming finish. A lingering woody bourbon aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Mild carbonation. Pleasingly smooth mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Remarkably drinkable for being such a powerhouse of a beer. This beer is SO GOOD that it can be hard not to just go on and on about how awesome it is.

 989 characters

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

Thanks to DmanGTR for this one! From notes (12/5).

A: Pours a extremely black. A very small tan head forms for a second and then is gone. No lacing.

S: The bourbon aroma hits right away. I also get a lot of vanilla and chocolate, as well as a small hint of coffee. Slight hint of alcohol, but overall very nice.

T: This has an amazing flavor. Lots of vanilla and oak to go along with a rich chocolate flavor. Not as much coffee as expected and for me that is a big plus. Gets better as it warms.

M/D: Full bodied, but very smooth and extremely easy drinking. Sits warm in my stomach. One of my favorite beers so far.

 623 characters

Photo of duceswild
4.25/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Was able to score 6 bottles of the 2012 version. The fist time I had this was on draft so I maybe a little skewed towards the version.

Poured from the bottle into a CBS snifter. Pours a deep dark brown/black with a dark brown head.

Smells of bourbon, chocolate, vanilla, alcohol. Taste was strong of bourbon and booze, but also included vanilla and coffee. Mouthful was smooth and was thinner then some of the other BA stouts that I've had.

Will be looking to see how this one tastes with some age on it.

 510 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.63/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Complete... utter... total... Stygian black. Despite a big blast of July sunshine behind the glass, there's no hint of lightening at the edges. I think I said the same about Founders Imperial Stout, but I don't know that I've ever seen a darker dollop of foam. The head is 'coffee with a small splash of cream' brown and is incredibly thick and rich. There's even a huge amount of lace for such a high-ABV ale.

Every ingredient that's said to be present is easily noted in the nose. I'm a little disappointed that coffee is in the foreground and bourbon is in the background. I wanted 'Kentucky' to be emphasized more than 'Breakfast'. That said, this is still an incredible aroma. It smells like a prodigious amount of roasted and black malt has been used, complemented nicely by espresso, vanilla and bourbon whiskey.

Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout is delicous beer. My first few mouthfuls tell me that it doesn't live up to my (probably unrealistic) expectations, but that's the last time in this review that I'll be anything other than positive. I know one thing, I'll buy every bottle that I can get my hands on each and every year.

The flavor profile consists of a monolithic maltiness that is Stonehenge-like in size. Think dark chocolate fudge cake flecked with pulverized coffee beans and swimming in dark caramel and molasses sauce. Of the accessory flavors, vanilla is the most prominent, followed by a burnt sugar, bourbon barrel character that, again, should be more up front. As a bourbon whiskey lover, I wish my favorite liquor saturated every sip.

The most amazing thing about KBS is how completely the alcohol is buried. Other than the beginnings of tongue numbing as I reach the halfway point of the bottle, I have a hard time picking it out. Maybe that because it tastes like bourbon rather than like ethanol. In any case, there's no need to age this beer since there's no alcoholic heat whatsoever. Of course, I'm drinking it almost four months after its release.

I'm tempted to bump the flavor score as the beer warms, but can't quite do it. For all the reasons stated above, I can imagine a better KBS, so this one will have to settle for a less than perfect flavor score. The mouthfeel is luxurious. It's medium-full with a heavy silkiness that promotes gulping rather than sipping. I could get into trouble in a big hurry with this beer.

I don't believe there's a brewery in existence that can match Founders when it comes to big stouts. Breakfast Stout, Imperial Stout, and now Kentucky Breakfast Stout are three of the most incredible beers that I've ever had the pleasure to drink. Never has twelve ounces seemed so much like six. Good thing I have three more bottles to go.

 2,712 characters

Photo of drewone
4.25/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of Jason
4.25/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of mdfb79
4.77/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Received in a BIF from SpeedwayJim, thanks Jim!Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into my Duvel tulip.

a - Pours a dark brown with 2-3 inches of tan head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of coffee, bourbon, roasted malts, and vanilla. Hints of coffee.

t - Tastes of coffee, vanilla and bourbon. It tasted sweeter than I was expecting, but I enjoyed it a lot. A great combination here as everything is quite balanced. Also some roasted malts and maybe a little chocolate.

m - Medium body and low carbonation, very smooth and creamy. Perfect.

d - I loved KBS. I'm a huge fan of bourbon stouts and this might be the best one I've ever had. I thought the coffee, vanilla, and bourbon in the taste was perfected balanced and that the mouthfeel was perfect for a stout. It's a touch hot, but I still really enjoyed it. Would love to get more of this one.

 855 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4.88/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Well at long last here it is. The fabled and much adorned Kentucky Breakfast Stout. I was finally able to get my hands on this one, and did not waste anytime in getting my review up here. This was one mean beer, I have to say. This one hurt me, mostly because I did not know it was. Poured a very deep dark black, thick like a shake and a full two finger head of caramel brown foam at the top. Nice gradual settle down left behind some very nice side glass lace. The smell was wonderful, full of sweet caramel and lactose sugar with a rich coffee and chocolate undertone, simply to die for as for as RIS’s go. The taste was so complex and diverse, I did not know what I was trying, this one was nuts to say the least. Full on assault of sweet caramel and chocolate from the very start, as this mellowed some very nice coffee tones. Very full, rich, and robust profile. This was one not to take lightly. The feel was like a dessert shake. Such a warming feeling, with really no hint of alcohol at all. Overall I would have to say this definitely lived up to its hype. It was a fantastic offering and easily one of the best RIS I have ever had. It fully deserves its reputation and its rating on here. A truly top notch beer that everyone should have to try at least once, definitely and whole hearted recommendation from the BA.

 1,328 characters

Photo of Zaphog
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.59/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter. My first KBS! I am excited. 2011 vintage.

Appearance - Jet black with a small tan head. It dissipates with some wispy lacing on top. Looks better than FIS for sure.

Smell - Coffee, bourbon, and heavy roasted malts. Dark, burnt chocolate. What's amazing is how well all three components shine through, without any one overshadowing the others.

Taste - Follows the smell. Bourbon first, then some coffee, followed by a very roasty malt character. It's fairly bitter throughout, mostly from the coffee and the roasted malts, which give off even more coffee flavor. Distinguishable is a chocolate flavor, but it's very dark and very burnt. I first thought the malts were a bit harsh, but on a second tasting, I appreciate more than Founders could maintain the intense stout flavor among the bourbon and coffee.

Mouthfeel - Amazingly light, considering the ABV. Low carbonation, but that's to be expected. It finishes quite bitter, which makes the lingering flavors a little bit harsh. A thicker beer might make for some mellowing of these effects.

Overall - I've edited this review upon drinking a second bottle on 3/7/12. It tastes decadent now. Really spectacular blend of flavors. The coffee has faded to my liking and I get a touch of the vanilla from the barrel which was previously masked.

Edited a third time as a result of drinking this multiple times over the course of two days. Side by side, it's better than Black Note.

 1,470 characters

Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.61 out of 5 with 12,772 ratings
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