KBS - Cinnamon Vanilla Cocoa
Founders Brewing Company

KBS - Cinnamon Vanilla CocoaKBS - Cinnamon Vanilla Cocoa
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Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
Stout - American Imperial
Ranked #1,059
Ranked #3,478
4.19 | pDev: 8.11%
Tuesday at 02:38 PM
May 10, 2021
KBS - Cinnamon Vanilla CocoaKBS - Cinnamon Vanilla Cocoa
Notes: Here’s one for the cocoa lovers: KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) Cinnamon Vanilla Cocoa – the sumptuous, deep coffee and chocolate flavors of KBS rise to the next level with a swirl of cinnamon and a hint of vanilla to create a sweet-but-not-too-sweet barrel-aged drinking experience. It’s a whole new spin on KBS that’s sure to sweeten your spirits.

Bourbon barrel aged coffee stout with cinnamon, vanilla, and cocoa.
IBU: 45
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Ratings by Jdells09:
Photo of Jdells09
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by Jdells09 from New Jersey

Oct 06, 2021
More User Ratings:
Photo of BourbonForBeer
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by BourbonForBeer from Illinois

It’s solid.

Tuesday at 02:38 PM
4.37 by brewskis from Indiana on Sunday at 10:50 PM
3.79 by stephenlee93 from England on Sunday at 09:57 PM
Photo of Franziskaner
3.72/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
by Franziskaner from Missouri

Black in color with no light penetration. There’s a fingernail of brown around the rim and covering nearly all of the top. Light lacing. The aroma is of Cinnamon Toast Crunch with chocolate and coffee. I’m tasting an obscene amount of cinnamon, vanilla, chocolate, and coffee. The mouth is very rich, a bit thick, and sticky.

Sunday at 05:25 AM
4.11 by stanale from Illinois on Friday at 06:41 PM
3.9 by TMoney2591 from Illinois on Jan 21, 2022
4 by shigg85 from Japan on Jan 19, 2022
Photo of teromous
4.06/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by teromous from Virginia

From the rear label: "Bottled On: 08.12.21 0805 6"

Appearance: Black bodied beer with a large, thick, creamy textured head that is khaki in color. It has very good head retention and some nice lacing on the glass.

Aroma: Immediately the nose is confronted by a wet wood aroma and hints of bakers chocolate. Earthy char scents come through and a hint of bourbon creeps into the nose.

Taste: Up front vanilla and cinnamon come through in this wonderful merger of flavors. They join this cream-like flavor along with caramel in the middle of the palate. A light hint of coffee caresses the palate as the beer tapers off the back of the tongue and it finishes with a lightly bitter char flavor.

Mouthfeel: It feels thick and smooth with a full body that is easy to drink. Carbonation feels good.

Overall: The label states that this is an "IMPERIAL STOUT WITH COFFEE, CINNAMON, VANILLA EXTRACT, AND COCOA NIBS AGED IN OAK BOURBON BARRELS." The advertised ingredients come through in the flavor and aroma of the beer. The most notable ones for flavor are cinnamon and vanilla which tastes a bit like a horchata with vanilla. There is a cream-like flavor as well. The oak and light bourbon character come through on the nose as well as the cocoa. This beer is really lovely because it gives you what you would want from these ingredients but delivers them really well. I would definitely recommend this beer and I would buy it again.

Jan 19, 2022
4 by Birdlegs from Washington on Jan 16, 2022
Photo of clayrock81
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by clayrock81 from Florida

Poured a black body with almost no head at all. Mild aroma with minimal notes of cinnamon and booze. Smooth, almost slick, with a touch of spiciness from the booze and cinnamon, but mostly this beer comes across as a mild hot-chocolate that is both boozy and sweet. Finishes boozy and a little bit heated, and to be honest I never really got the vanilla except in a couple mild spurts.

Jan 13, 2022
Photo of josanguapo
3.49/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5
by josanguapo from Spain

De Hopt. En copa Mahou Barrica. Jugando a Fortnite y estudiando. Con caña de lomo de Mercadona. En nariz saluda un agradable aroma a bourbon, pero un exceso de canela lo sepulta totalmente en boca. No llega a estar mala, porque es difícil estropear un KBS tanto, pero lo cierto es que la canela está de más.y toma demasiado protagonismo

Jan 13, 2022
Photo of Specialmick
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by Specialmick from Connecticut

Look...Jet black with an inviting tan almost cinnamon head.
Smell...Cocoa sweetness, espresso, molasses, caramel, cinnamon(OBVIOUSLY), vanilla(duh), and a strong hint of bourbon presence for sure.
Taste...chocolate with a bitter cinnamon off the top keeping the sweetness in check. I really like the presence of the sweet into a bitter biscuit. i often find other BA stouts a little too sweet. A swirl of bourbon is extracted and balanced with a bourbon bitter finish that is deliscious.
Feel... A bit thin i thought and prickly in the ample carbonation and lacing. It delivers a little slick and not heavy . Excellent
Overall...I like this easily as much as the original. The sweetness is reduced by the cinnamon which people like me really enjoy if you like cinnamon and chocolate and coffee. No brainer for me . Excellence

Jan 12, 2022
Photo of ZenAgnostic
4.14/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5
by ZenAgnostic from Texas

12oz bottle poured into Teku glass. Picked up from the wine shop for about the going rate. Bottled On: 09.02.21 printed in black box in the middle of the back label.

Appearance - Opaque, perfectly black body. Even on backlight, not a photon shines through. Small brown head with good retention, etc. 5

Smell - Chocolate, coffee, and dusty musk. Perhaps it's too cold at the moment. Realizing that dusty musk is cinnamon and vanilla. Hopefully it tastes better than it smells. 4

Taste - Dusty, musky coffee. I guess that's supposed to be the cinnamon. Smooth. But above that, boozy. 4.5

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, with a touch of creamy head. 3.75

Overall - Underwhelming, given the prestige of the name. But not bad. Just... middling. 3.5

Jan 10, 2022
Photo of mushroomcloud
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by mushroomcloud from Texas

12oz bottled 9-3-21. Opened 1-9-22.
2+ finger tan head with impressive retention. Black stout. Early lacing as the head slowly recedes, fully laced in the end. Vanilla, booze, and rich malt in the nose initially. More barrel in the aroma as it sits. Pipe tobacco vanilla, light cinnamon, chocolate, and booze in the flavor. So balanced and smooth, easy to forget the 12%. Full body, smooth mouthfeel, and appropriate carbonation. Lengthy finish that warms and is only a bit sweet. Outstanding to World Class.

Jan 09, 2022
4.35 by Vonerichs from Colorado on Jan 08, 2022
4.44 by seangibbs60 from Minnesota on Jan 06, 2022
4.43 by BeerBeast from Florida on Jan 05, 2022
4.16 by reebtaerG from Maryland on Jan 02, 2022
Photo of DoctorZombies
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by DoctorZombies from Florida

Creamy tan head with some rocks sits atop a black base with ruby edges; very good cap retention; solid almost heavy ring and soapy lace; thin legs. Cinnamon sticks nose. Cinnamon and the cocoa entry; minimal notes of coffee and bourbon; vanilla on backend as beer continues to warm from 58° pour. Medium light body; feels thin for 12% and no mouth warmth; moderate minus carbonation. Overall very good but the cinnamon linger makes this my least favorite KBS variant.

Jan 01, 2022
4.09 by jakea from Wisconsin on Jan 01, 2022
4.5 by Corburk from Pennsylvania on Jan 01, 2022
Photo of MNAle
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by MNAle from Minnesota

Allowed to warm for 20+ minutes from a ~40°F refrigerator temperature.

Impenetrable black topped by a tall, dark khaki, bubbly head, creamy on top with large bubbles developing underneath, leaving plentiful sticky lacing as it recedes.

Moderately strong aroma. Cocoa to the fore (and to my nose, it is cocoa, not generic chocolate), with some vanilla and a little spiciness behind. The spiciness may be cinnamon, but it is not strong enough for me to be that distinct about it. After a short while, the cinnamon becomes more obvious.

The initial taste is a symphony of flavors all at once. Cinnamon, cocoa, vanilla, barrel, and bourbon. All backed by a bit of alcohol warmth. The flavor that leads the pack for me is, as with the aroma, cocoa. The middle develops a kind of a baker's chocolate bitterness (perhaps actually from the coffee) that continues through into the finish and aftertaste. The vanilla is secondary, but still strong throughout, along with the bourbon and cinnamon. I don't get much, if any, coffee anywhere. I appreciate that the cinnamon is a secondary flavor, providing a nice accent. The finish has a nice bitterness and is relatively dry with very little residual alcohol warmth.

Mouth feel is moderately thick.

Overall, while not my favorite in the BA Imperial stout landscape, it is well done with the flavors well balanced.

Dec 31, 2021
Photo of philbe311
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
by philbe311 from Pennsylvania

A slight dark khaki color froth quickly fizzes away... The color is a deep dark brooding mahogany brown, not quite black... A big assertive nose... Kind of boozy with equal hints of of vanilla and cocoa.... The cinnamon additions add extra depth and complexity to make it even more well rounded... Palate is a bit muddled... Strong cinnamon to start... Roasted malt and cocoa... No well vanilla notes detected... On the lighter side of full bodied... Briskly carbonated... Chalky finish... Decent beer, but he original is still the best...

Dec 31, 2021
4.19 by BAsbill from California on Dec 30, 2021
Photo of BillyBoxer
4.01/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by BillyBoxer from Wisconsin

After reading the reviews, I went into this beer without the super high expectations I've come to expect from KBS. KBS is one of my all-time favorite beers. And cinnamon, vanilla, and cocoa are some of my favorite additions to pastry stouts. So I held out hope that this beer would still find a way to blow to me away. But sadly it didn't. It's good, but nowhere near as amazing as the original KBS, CBS, the KBS mackinaw fudge, or even the KBS espresso. I've actually had way better imperial stouts lately from many different breweries than the KBS cinnamon. I'm glad I tried one to check it off the list, but I'm happy I bought a single and didn't get the 4 pack. This beer certainly isn't worth the price and really should not carry the KBS name in it

Dec 29, 2021
4.28 by HopBelT from Belgium on Dec 29, 2021
Photo of cwm51662
4.39/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
by cwm51662 from Indiana

So I learned today that Oak Lactones from barrels create a "coconut aroma", which explains the first whiffs I got from this. After whiffs catch a very subdued cinnamon with a bit of the vanilla. Opaque black with rich tan head. It is amazing how much the smell/taste change from taster to taster. I only get cinnamon faintly on the back end, and a bit of unsweetened cocoa in the middle. Front end is KBS, vanilla, and alcohol. Mouthfeel is pretty much my target: thick, creamy, and without being sticky. This 4 pack is part of a Christmas present, and one I need to thank more thoroughly for.

Dec 29, 2021
Photo of REVZEB
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by REVZEB from Illinois

Shimmering black with a fluffy khaki head with bands of lacing. Smell is the star of this kbs variant: coffee, bourbon, dark chocolate, rugged oak, molasses, and a touch of leather create a base for vanilla and cinnamon to play off of. Taste is a drier and enhances malt and adjuncts more than barrel version of the nose, classical. Feel is warm, dry, roasty, and medium bodied, not as thick as the orignal kbs, nor as good

Dec 27, 2021
Photo of CHickman
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by CHickman from New York

Looks like every other KBS variant, pouring pitch black with a 2 finger thick tan head that faded on the quick side and left good foamy lacing. Smells like bourbon and coffee grinds up front, with the cinnamon and vanilla coming in right after that. A lot of oaky and earthy notes trail, with the dark chocolate and piney hops closing it out. This was bottled 09.02, so it had time to age and mellow a bit as it had no bite or boozy heat. The flavor had the elements of the aroma plus metallic notes, bitter bakers chocolate, cocoa powder, dark chocolate and smoked malts and/or peat moss. A nice tasty variant.

Dec 27, 2021
Photo of MikeWard
4.21/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by MikeWard from Pennsylvania

12oz bottle into an oversized wine glass. Bottled 8/26/21, so 4 months old.

Looking stellar in the glass. Jet black body, initially very large tan head shrinks to a fat collar and covering, early lacing is very interesting.

Aromas of cinnamon and bourbon greet the nose. There is a little cocoa wafting in and out.

On tasting, the cinnamon is the strongest flavor, but it isn't harsh or bitter. A little cocoa and chocolate lay on the tongue before the barrel finish comes in.

Mouth only a little above medium. Somehow the finish isn't strongly cinnamon, chocolate first and a bourbon finish.

Overall, a fine beer indeed, though I think I prefer the original and earlier variants.

Dec 27, 2021
4.49 by BeardedWalrus from North Carolina on Dec 26, 2021
Photo of Jugs_McGhee
3.07/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5
by Jugs_McGhee from Colorado

12 fl oz bottle nabbed in Colorado:

"Imperial stout with coffee, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and cocoa nibs aged in oak bourbon barrels."
"Malt beverage with natural flavors." 12% ABV. 2021 release.

No mention of which bourbon's barrels were used appears on the label, nor is there an age statement regarding how long the beer spent in barrels.

HEAD: Robust, lasting ~10 minutes. Dark tan in colour, evocative of fudge. Creamy, smooth, fluffy.

BODY: Opaque black. No yeast/lees are visible within.

AROMA: Vanillin, dark malt sweetness, specialty chocolate malts, vanilla-forward bourbon, Hershey's chocolate syrup, gooey caramelized malts, barrel sugars, cassia bark.

I don't pick up any overt oak aromatics or even any coffee/coffee roast aromatics. Some of the bourbon barrel aromatics that tend to signal a finer bourbon (e.g. coconut, rich white oak, toasted wood) are also absent. I guess I'm wondering why a coffee stout aged in oak isn't rife with notes of coffee and oak, especially when the beer in question is a KBS variant.

The vanilla doesn't seem derived from genuine vanilla bean and the cinnamon doesn't seem to be true cinnamon.

In short, it promises a disappointing KBS variant that doesn't deliver on the ingredients mentioned on the label. Here's hoping I'm wrong...

TASTE & TEXTURE: Creamy and silky yet robust and thick, hitting hard on Hershey's chocolate syrup notes without the butyric acid. Doesn't really evoke cocoa powder in the sense that cocoa powder tends to be powdery and dry...it's more a chocolate syrup stout than a cocoa nib stout in that respect.

Gooey dark malt sweetness intermingles with specialty chocolate malt sweetness, giving this beer its sweet core. Unfortunately, there's zero coffee bitterness or roasted barley bitterness to help balance out that sweetness, and the absence of any coffee flavour whatsoever is definite disappointment.

Powdery cassia bark does make an appearance, but like most subtleties in this beer, it gets drowned out by all the chocolatey sweetness. Vanilla extract doesn't ring distinct from the bourbon barrel vanillin, which is to say this beer has some vanilla-redolent flavours but no actual authentic vanilla bean (to its detriment).

The bourbon barrel flavours are disappointing...don't look for rich white oak, toasted barrel wood, or coconut here. Just a blip of vanillin and some unneeded barrel sugar sweetness. Better bourbon barrel selection and more time in those barrels would obviously fix this...man, I can't believe I find myself disappointed by the bourbon barrel component of a KBS variant - never thought I'd see the day Founders didn't nail a bourbon barrel aged ale of any kind.

It's not sludgy thick, but it does sit in the gut a bit. Brings welcome warmth to the belly. I've had a few powdery messes of cinnamon ales, but luckily this isn't one of them.

OVERALL: This is my least favourite KBS variant to date, which is to say it's merely an above average imperial stout. The transcendent bourbon barrel character and potent coffee I've come to expect from KBS is missing here.

Where previous variants felt like they brought new dimension and interesting angles to KBS, this one just feels like a gimmick.


Dec 25, 2021
3.73 by Gobzilla from California on Dec 25, 2021
4.13 by BrewsOverHoes from Georgia on Dec 25, 2021
4.25 by hotwired from New Jersey on Dec 24, 2021
4.5 by NickThePyro from Washington on Dec 22, 2021
4.48 by chippo33 from Vermont on Dec 22, 2021
4.29 by mando31 from Illinois on Dec 21, 2021
4.1 by KeyWestGator from Florida on Dec 21, 2021
KBS - Cinnamon Vanilla Cocoa from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 276 ratings