KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) - Espresso
Founders Brewing Company

KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) - EspressoKBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) - Espresso
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American Imperial Stout
Ranked #105
Ranked #410
4.42 | pDev: 5.88%
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) - EspressoKBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) - 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?
Reviews: 136 | Ratings: 387 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by Ahypercube:
Photo of Ahypercube
4.75/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Kosmicki does it again, this time with extra caffeine!

The espresso edition pours almost identically to the original; pitch black with hints of amber at the edges when held to light. Light penetrates no more than a centimeter through the liquid. The head comes up a frothy mocha brown. Hard to recall exactly, but I think it's a tad darker than the head on KBS.

The espresso really takes center stage here. This is probably the second-most coffee-forward brew I have ever had.* Right out the gate, it's the first notable aroma. Chocolate and molasses follow behind at a leisurely pace, with vanilla, toffee, fresh tobacco, polished leather, coconut and bourbon trailing in the background. The hops are harder to detect in this one over the coffee acidity and roast, but the hints of herbal sage and citrus are still there if you go looking for them. Like the original, the finish is strong roast coffee with hints of salty soy sauce.

Upon sipping, I note that this is considerably more acidic and bitter than the original, although the level of sweetness still keeps it mostly in balance. If you look past the coffee, chocolate, vanilla, molasess and tobacco are present, but they really don't hold their own very well against the espresso, when compared to the balance of the original. That said, it's some really delicious coffee, but I'm not sure it's worth the price tag.

The mouthfeel is also a little more astringent and clingy: not quite as creamy and smooth as the original, but still levels above the average BA Imperial Coffee Stout.

Definitely drink fresh, for the full coffee aroma and flavor. If you don't love coffee in your stouts, I can't imagine what would possess you to buy this. Regardless, there is no fathomable good reason to shelve this brew for longer than a couple months, and I would recommend keeping it in the fridge. Cheers!

*Second to Groundworks by Smog City, which wins this contest because its only flavor besides straight coffee is a touch of malted barley.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of GeorgiaBeerMoose
4.54/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of lemmy187
4.31/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Notninja
4.77/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Tastes of a good espresso and a dam good stout. The chocolate and oak takes a back seat but this time that's a good thing. I will definitely buy this again.

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Photo of GetTheYayo
4.39/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of buschbeer
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 FL. OZ. bottle
Served in a snifter

This beer pours black and is topped with less than an inch of mocha head that leaves spotty lacing.

The smell is coffee forward. I get some anise. There are hints of chocolate and roasted malt.

The taste is smoother than the smell. It starts out with espresso and chocolate. The espresso lingers throughout. There is some black coffee in the finish.

Full bodied with a thick, chewy mouthfeel

This is another excellent beer from San Miguel. I don't think it a whole lot different than regular KBS though. I will follow up with one to confirm/deny my statement.

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Photo of West_Chester_Ale_Tester
3.89/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of swierczt
4.4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of hardy008
4.42/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a one finger tan head which has very good retention. I drank a few of these before reviewing this bottle. At first the aroma and taste had nothing but Espresso. Now the dominant aroma is still espresso, but I can also smell cocoa, chocolate, and dark roasted malt. I do not pick up any Bourbon from the aroma. Espresso is the dominant taste, but I can also detect cocoa, chocolate, dark roasted malt, a little of the Bourbon, molasses, and vanilla. full bodied with moderate carbonation. Has a bitter aftertaste which is somewhat balanced out by the sweet chocolate. Overall an excellent beer.

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Photo of surfcaster
4.42/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Loved it.

KBS "on steroids." Pitch black opaque beer with very little head but good nose and BIG flavor. Coffee very prominent with good body. Not as thick as a Bourbon county but just right for me. Long finish. Excellent

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Photo of kjkinsey
4.4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of TylerJ
4.48/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of csmrx7
4.23/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Prost76
4.33/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of ajm5108
4.03/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A bit boozey, but espresso is rich and full-bodied, nice chocolate undernote

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Photo of jtransel
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of jrc1093
4.19/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on 11/18/19

Pours a deep black body with a quickly cascading light mocha head eventually settling to around 2.5 fingers of froth; solid retention yields a creamy layer of cap, dense frothy collar, and a thin veil of evenly dispersed layered/spotty lacing.

Aromas show bright, balanced, fudgy espresso dominate upfront, hinting vaguely at bourbon barrel and tobacco moving into a dusty mocha middle; bourbon-soaked cherry skins and vanilla beans trend toward the back end as a strong roasted malt presence sits calmly in the background.

Taste brings a level mocha coffee dominating the profile as waves of smooth chocolate and vanilla bean guide into a more roasted malt finish accompanied by a touch of bourbon cream sweetness.

Mouthfeel has a medium body, slightly slick and with a moderate-light carbonation; deepens to a silkier tone on the mid-palate as a mild roasty grit sets in toward the finish, minimal alcohol presence can be detected in a balanced yet robust swallow.

Intense, focused, and maybe a bit one-dimensional (similar to the base beer), this brew exchanges fudgy malt character for a more pronounced espresso char. While I'm enjoying the more expressive coffee in this KBS variant, I am finding it struggles to truly differentiate itself from its base, leaving me quite satisfied yet still wishing for a brew that extended itself just a little further.

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Photo of nodder
4.33/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of TP2MSU
4.46/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of johnnnniee
4.09/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle from Harvest Market
Solid black with a thin tan head that shows light retention. Huge coffee aroma and flavor with the same chocolate sugary sweetness and oaky alcohol as the original. The Espresso is strong but seems to tame the alcohol notes I usually get from this brew. Nice brew.

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Photo of smutty33
4.65/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of jera1350
4.37/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of MusicBeer_1961
4.8/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of SABERG
4.19/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into the test glass
A - Nearly black backdrop, with some coaxing a nice mocha colored froth tops the offering
S - Sweet coffee, espresso for certain, some cocoa notes are on the dark side, a bit of vanilla, char and ash.
T - Coffee anyone, dark chocolate, a bit of boozy bourbon, more char, with some cigar tobacco
M - A bit thin, sharp on the palate, with carbonation doing a nice job cleaning up. Linger is dry and coffee.
O - A very good offering, one that delivers on the labels promise.

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Photo of bbtkd
4.49/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Founders KBS Espresso, 12% ABV. Pours thick and black with a 2+ finger brown head that left ample lacing. Nose is all espresso, flavor follows, with moderate bitterness. Excellent mouthfeel, overall world-class. I like this better than regular KBS, though I wonder how they will be when the coffee falls off.

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KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) - Espresso from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 97 out of 100 with 387 ratings