Founders KBS Kentucky Breakfast Stout

Review Date 9/24/17  Last Updated   11/21/2019  By John Staradumsky

At last, the famous Founders KBS. KBS, of course, stands for Kentucky Breakfast Stout. It’s a beer had never tried before, much to the chagrin of some of my fellow beer geeks. “WHAT? You’ve never had KBS? What’s wrong with you? You call yourself a guru of brew? The nerve!” There’s a simple explanation, though. You see, I won’t chase beer. I don’t stand in line for it, and I don’t get on waiting lists. I’m not memorizing the secret password or bribing anybody.

I did come close to getting a bottle about a year ago. I was in a local liquor store and asked the salesman on the floor what secret beers they had hidden in the backroom. Don’t even get me started on how much it annoys me they do this in the first place. At first, he regarded me with an air of denial, as if they certainly did not do such things. I redoubled my efforts, and he admitted they had some KBS. I would have to get on a waiting list, in case someone already on the list did not pick theirs up. I would be called and would have 3 days to come and get it. I told him to forget it.

Look, I’ve been at this craft beer thing for almost 35 years. At this point, the beer needs to chase me. I’m not chasing the beer. Bottom line is that there are just way too many wonderful beers out there that are easily accessible for me to go nuts trying to find a “whale”.

So, as I said, the beer must chase me. In this case, it did. My local Taco Mac tapped a keg of Founders KBS on a Friday in late September. Miraculously, it was still on the following Sunday afternoon when I showed up to catch a Patriots game with my sons and grandson. See? I knew it would find me sooner or later.

From the website:

What we’ve got here is an imperial stout brewed with a massive amount of coffee and chocolates, then cave-aged in oak bourbon barrels for an entire year to make sure wonderful bourbon undertones come through in the finish. Makes your taste buds squeal with delight.

Founders KBS has an alcohol content of 11.8% by volume. I paid $9.25 for an 11-ounce glass at Taco Mac which was much less than I expected. Consider when Total Wine has it they sell it for $22.99 for a 4-pack.

My glass of Founders KBS arrived a jet-black color with a healthy head of creamy tan foam and a robust nose of chocolate, coffee, and bourbon. Taking a sip (and this is a sipper friends), the beer has thick full mouthfeel, dark chocolate, dark roast coffee, rich bourbon, and a wonderfully warming alcohol boozy finish.

While I really enjoyed this beer, I still would not stand in lines for it, or get on lists, or go crazy trying to find it. There are plenty of other great barrel aged imperial stouts out there that are just as good. If I came across it in my travels, then yes I would buy it again. But Founders KBS will have to chase me if I am to drink it again. I won’t chase it.  

Update 11/21/2019: It's been an interesting year for KBS and me. Last March, I picked up a 4-pack in bottles at Target (Target?). Yes, Target. I paid $23.74 with my redcard, and my purchase was just in time to toast the memory of the Beer Hunter on the anniversary of his passing. As I type, I've just enjoyed a draft glass of KBS at Taco Mac, my 3rd here (ever, not in one night). It's a great beer and I adore it, but I still take back a star on it for the very high bottles price (it has actually gone down a little on tap).

And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.

*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.