KBS - Espresso
Founders Brewing Company

KBS - EspressoKBS - Espresso
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Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
American Imperial Stout
Ranked #179
Ranked #414
4.42 | pDev: 6.11%
Jan 27, 2023
Jul 15, 2019
KBS - EspressoKBS - Espresso
Notes: KBS gets its coffee fix in the very first variant to come from our beloved bourbon barrel-aged stout. Yes, KBS may already be brewed with coffee, but it gets some extra oomph when it’s aged on espresso beans after being removed from barrels. The result is a fresh and snappy coffee twist on our classic barrel-aged beer. Who says you can’t start your day with a barrel-aged stout?

KBS stands for "Kentucky Breakfast Stout"

ABV varies by batch.
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Rated: 4.25 by bacher468 from Pennsylvania

Jan 27, 2023
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Reviewed by MadMadMike from Florida

4.59/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
2021 vint, 12 ounce bottle into a Founders Brewing snifter at 53°.
Generous brown foam rises as darkness falls. Aroma of a colada of Cuban coffee forces its way into the room. No doubt about where this is going.,.
Tastes like as good of a Coffee Stout as I’ve ever had. Big roast malt.,. meet big roast coffee. Put a drizzle of dark chocolate on it, add a dried black cherry and a short horn of bourbon. All day.
Feel is velvet with a sweet little bite. Mid to low carb. Smoove.
Overall, Founders nails the art of the nipple pinch with a Stout that is as good at 10 AM as it is at 10 PM.,.
Jan 15, 2023
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Reviewed by flagmantho from Washington

4.44/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Poured from 12oz bottle into my BeerAdvocate teku. This was bottled 10/21/20, so it has a little age on it, which should be just fine for a 12% stout.

Appearance: totally black with a thick finger of creamy tan foam atop. Looking damn good!

Smell: richly sweet with plenty of coffee and chocolate. The bourbon is prominent, but not overdone, and the coffee, while for sure present, is subtle in a welcome way. Rich and interesting.

Taste: sweet, complex malt, with hints of date, raisin, tobacco, and cherry. The coffee is way more subdued at this level than in the aroma; perhaps it's getting lost behind all those lovely malt flavors. The bourbon adds some heat toward the end, but this is balanced by the (admittedly heavy) sweetness. I think it's great.

Mouthfeel: big, rich body with a good level of carbonation and a wonderfully smooth creaminess.

Overall: this is a rock-solid beer. The underlying stout is so good that the espresso and bourbon aren't gimmicky -- they really all work together to create something delightful.
Nov 23, 2022
Rated: 4.68 by joran from Kansas

Nov 20, 2022
Rated: 4.5 by FLBeerGuy from Florida

Nov 20, 2022
Rated: 4.55 by chiefz1 from New York

Nov 12, 2022
Rated: 4.77 by RoyalKaiju

Nov 06, 2022
Rated: 4.62 by Beecham from California

Oct 26, 2022
Rated: 4.27 by Hendry from Vermont

Oct 20, 2022
Rated: 4.83 by RalphStanley34 from French Polynesia

Oct 19, 2022
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Reviewed by bobv from Vermont

4.4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Bottled on 09.10.21.

Moderate pour yields a one inch tan head over a black body with sticky, sheeting lacing.

Nose of dark roasted malt, bitter chocolate, malted milk, and a bit of coffee.

Taste mirrors nose with flavors of bitter chocolate, slight milk chocolate, very slight vanilla while finishing with a bitterness from the bitter chocolate, espresso beans, and slight hops.

Feel is adequately good, but hoped for a bit more.

Overall, why thank you, I will have another!

Oct 17, 2022
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Reviewed by NickSMpls from Washington

4.33/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
Bottled 8/18/21. Rich coffee aromas. Low carbonation, thin head. First sip is bourbon then the coffee comes in; chocolate and licorice / anise notes. Long finish. The stiff 12% ABV does give it a warmth that's actually welcome on a cooler late summer's evening.
Sep 05, 2022
Rated: 4.19 by BradtheGreat7 from Ohio

Aug 30, 2022
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Reviewed by Whyteboar from Michigan

4.28/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
Might have left this one in the cellar just a bit long.
Poured looking like one would expect a BA stout, gloss black with a tan head that hung around longer than expected.
The nose featured bitter coffee and bourbon and malts. Curious how potent the coffee was at this point.
The taste featured that same bitter coffee, I'm not sure if it was meant to be like that or sitting in the cellar for a couple of years did that, but it was definitely a sharply bitter coffee forward, but the barrel aging, I think, kept it from ruining everything else, which was quite good.
The feel was excellent, nicely viscous yet very drinkable. The carbonation kept it feeling lighter than it likely was, so I may have quaffed it a bit quickly.
Not my favorite variant from them, but far from the worst!
Aug 26, 2022
Rated: 4.5 by Vinylboy20 from New York

Aug 20, 2022
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Reviewed by REDAMI from Ohio

4.36/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25
Poured from 12oz bottle into Chimay goblet.

L - Brown/black pour with a thin but tight tannish foam.

S - Sweet vanilla (like cream soda), roast, dark chocolate, barrel wood.

T - Very coffee forward, but with a sweet, almost creamy vanilla flavor. The finish is clean, slightly bitter grains.

F - Thick, smooth, with very fine carbonation.

The barrel aging serves this beer so well. It smooths out all the rough, bitter edges of both the coffee and the imperial stout.
Jul 30, 2022
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Reviewed by Viaduck from California

4.19/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
Brown with a typical modest tan head. Pretty aroma: caramel, coffee & bourbon. Not quite as sweet as the aroma promised & plenty of coffee bitterness. Nice flavor: coffee, bourbon, caramel, chocolate, vanilla plenty of tannins & charred oak flavors. Thick viscosity as expected with good carbonation. It’s 12% is well hidden. Not as good as the original but still excellent.
Jul 17, 2022
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Reviewed by OfficerVZdiver

4.29/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Not as good as the original KBS or the vanilla cinnamon version, but still delicious. You do really feel the shot of espresso in this beer. This would be great for a “5 o’clock some where moment” to have a beee in the morning. Would even put it in a coffee cup haha.
Jul 17, 2022
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Reviewed by Resistance88 from California

3.83/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
Pours thick into glass with light brown head. Looks like Dark black oil. Smells more like hazelnut coffee than espresso as theres a hint of artificial gas station hazelnut coffee on the nose for some odd reason. No barrel on the nose but does have Dove chocolate-esque smell;Can't pick up any dark malt either Flavor is similar like unapplealing nose. Not picking up espresso AT ALL , more like artificial chocolate coffee with light roasted malt, still not picking up barrel in this
I really liked this the first time i had it...maybe its just old now, but not enjoying it half as much.
Jul 16, 2022
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Reviewed by Marcelina from Georgia

4.84/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75
Just as other reviewers have stated, the coffee and chocolate flavors are prevalent. It is a beautiful combination for those of us that love those flavors. It hits all the spots.
I wish it did not feel so dense. For lightweights like myself, it has to be experienced slowly. It is pretty strong and filling.
May 17, 2022
Rated: 4.21 by AGoodStout from Kansas

May 14, 2022
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Reviewed by kitch from Hong Kong

4.33/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
A 12 fl. oz. bottle, bottled on 10th September 2021. Poured into a snifter glass.

Appearance: Pitch black with a one finger tanned brown head that had good retention and left some nice lacing.

Aroma: Lightly sweet, roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, chocolate milk, vanilla, bourbon, with oaky notes.

Taste: Lightly sweet, moderately bitter, roasty, coffee, dark chocolate, oak, vanilla, bourbon, and a nice long bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, medium to full bodied with soft carbonation.

Overall: Another interesting KBS variant, with lots of coffee and a nice bitter finish, but again, I still prefer the original KBS more.
May 13, 2022
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Reviewed by Squire from Mississippi

3.93/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Color of dark expresso coffee with a khaki tan cap that is long lasting with good lacing.

Aroma of roasted acorns, I kid you not, with dark charred wood tanins. Kind of like a used Bourbon barrel without the Bourbon.

Taste on entry is dark roast coffee quickly followed by an underlying roast malt bitterness. That's pretty much it as would be expected. For those who like their morning coffee strong and cold this brew is just the ticket.

Texture is rich, full and creamy. In short, quite a mouthful.

Overall it's a great example of this style of brew.
May 12, 2022
Rated: 4.25 by hopley from Massachusetts

May 11, 2022
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Rated by evanwoertz from California

4.78/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5
very dark. coffee on the nose. bourbon finish. smooth stout.
May 09, 2022
Rated: 4.45 by mattjp03 from Alabama

May 07, 2022
Rated: 4.25 by Wizzle32 from Pennsylvania

Apr 18, 2022
Rated: 4.49 by hozersr from Pennsylvania

Apr 18, 2022
Rated: 4.65 by Thirstygoat from Illinois

Apr 16, 2022
Rated: 5 by AngusOg from North Carolina

Mar 29, 2022
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Reviewed by BitteNochEinWeissbier from Pennsylvania

4.91/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5
12 oz bottle
Glass: snifter
Serving Temp: room temperature (approx 71 F)

Look: Inky black with a 2 finger light brown head. The head does not last, leaving a thin film of brown bubbles on top of the beer. Some lacing remains on the glass.

Smell: Rich semi-sweet chocolate with nice dose of coffee that reminds of Starbuck's Verona or Pete's Major Dickenson. Vanilla is present in the background along with a bourbon-y sweetness. And some char.

Taste: Initial taste is a chocolate-covered cherry (a real maraschino cherry perhaps) that gives way to waves of semi-sweet chocolate mixed with good coffee and some low/no-rye bourbon. Sweet vanilla pops in the background. Alcohol is not noticeable at all. Everything is well balanced; nothing is overpowering nor in-your-face. Finish is fading coffee and bittersweet chocolate and bourbon.

Feel: Smooth and silky. Body is on the heavier side of medium

Overall: An excellent stout and a very good winter warmer. Very nice on a cold night or a snowy day. I like to think of it as Breakfast Stout's big brother. It definitely has more coffee than standard KBS. Dangerously drinkable, especially at 12.0% ABV. This will sneak up on you if you are not careful.
Mar 13, 2022
Rated: 4.44 by Ox8840bo from Illinois

Mar 13, 2022
Rated: 4.33 by soarinsteven from Illinois

Mar 11, 2022
Rated: 4.74 by AdmiralOzone from Minnesota

Mar 09, 2022
Rated: 4.5 by FrankCastle from California

Mar 03, 2022
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Reviewed by MNAle from Minnesota

4.39/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
Aroma is rich coffee. Chocolate mixed in there, but dominated by rich coffee.

Impenetrable black body. Nothing gets through, even with a backlight. Topped by a 1½ inch dark tan head, thick and creamy, with good retention leaving gorgeous lacing as it does recede.

The taste has the coffee dialed back just a bit, allowing the chocolate to come through more and for the bourbon and barrel to make an appearance. Well balanced flavors, with none of them overbearing; just a very well done interplay of coffee and chocolate with the bourbon playing a minor role adding to the mix, but very much a subtle touch. There is a light amount of bittering in the middle which continues through to the finish and aftertaste; more of a coffee-like bitter rather than from hops. The finish is on the dry-ish side.

The body is substantial, but hardly viscous.

Overall, a BBA coffee stout handled with both complexity and subtlety. An excellent mild winter evening sipper.
Feb 28, 2022
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Reviewed by 150lRoast from Missouri

4.52/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
The color is dark with a coffee tint as it is poured. The foam resembles espresso crema and falls quickly, but stays stuck round the rim while sitting. The smell has a lot of toasted malt with a strong barrel smell. When tasting, the espresso hits you first and has a strong acidic coffee taste. Then the traditional KBS taste comes in with the whisky barrel. The feel is surprisingly light for what it looks like and does not leave much behind. Overall this is an great beer. Buy if you see it.
Feb 20, 2022
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Rated by Dutchcraftbeergeek from Netherlands

5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
Phenomenal beer!
Feb 16, 2022
Rated: 4.25 by johnny_c from New York

Feb 14, 2022
Rated: 3.62 by stephenlee93 from England

Feb 13, 2022
KBS - Espresso from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 98 out of 100 with 763 ratings