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 #411
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: 135 | Ratings: 386 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by SierraNevallagash:
Photo of SierraNevallagash
4.3/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle - 2020 release, dated 11.18.19 - poured into a classic tulip at cellar temp (55F).

Pours absolutely black as jet night, with nearly four fingers of light mocha head that builds up like a dusty cloud, and holds its place for ages before eventually settling down to a film with a massive collar and very tenacious lacing.

Nose: Two words: Coffee. Bomb. They took espresso, aged it in bourbon barrels, and then finished it on stout beer. That's what happened right? Deep, full, roasty coffee, with tons of nutty impressions. Praline pecan, hazelnut, chocolate syrup, wet bourbon barrel, booze, vanilla, brown sugar, caramel, toffee, molasses, and tons of fresh ground coffee. I'm not a coffee beer fan, but wow is this something.

Palate: This roasty behemoth greets the palate with a surprisingly restrained sweetness. It's certainly sweet and malty, but it's a mere sliver of the sweetness that CBS has, and from my memory, regular KBS was also a bit sweeter. Big dark malt sets the foundation immediately with some blackened roast quality. Coffee roast, bakers chocolate, and barrel char play supporting roles as well, setting the overall tone of the beer. Past the whole bombardment of all things dark, there are lighter notes of molasses, burned toffee, brown sugar, sweetened dark chocolate, and vanilla serve to add nuance and gradient layers. After this, we swallow, and the first thing to surface is a beautiful sweet, oaky bourbon presence. At this point, we're essentially into the finish, where a bunch of vanilla shows up, as well as toasted oak and caramel, before things take a turn back in the direction of roasty. Bitter cacao, fresh dark/espresso roast coffee grounds, black charred malt, and barrel char all serve to establish a big, bold, roasty, charry, dark finish with multiple sources of bitterness. Coffee and blackened malt lingers on and on.

Mouthfeel/Body: The beer is certainly full-bodied and rich, with a typical barrel-aged stout slickness to it, but it's far from fudgy or viscous. It doesn't put up a fight like most high ABV barrel-aged dark beers. If you chew it a bit, it does get slightly thick, but that's mostly due to the fine effervescence, which is low, naturally, but somewhat lively for the style. Wet up front, wet in the middle, and semi-dry in the finish, with drying roast qualities. Some ABV heat in the swallow, and throughout the palate.

Overall: KBS Espresso is everything you'd expect it to be. It very much mirrors its namesake base beer, but is just stuffed to the brim with fresh, roasty coffee. I normally (personally) prefer sweeter, thicker, fudgy barrel-aged ales, but I find the coffee actually increases the overall drinkabikity of this one, and in this particular case, I actually think that increased drinkabikity works in its favour. It's still one to sit down with, but the fact that it doesn't fight back in any way makes the whole sipping experience that much more enjoyable.

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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 386 ratings