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Founders CBS Imperial Stout - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders CBS Imperial StoutFounders CBS Imperial Stout

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917 Reviews
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Reviews: 917
Hads: 3,798
rAvg: 4.62
pDev: 7.36%
Wants: 3,867
Gots: 689 | FT: 12
Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  10.60% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: CRJMellor on 02-01-2009

Canadian Breakfast Stout (CBS) is the epitome of why we launched the Backstage Series: to bring some of our most sought-after beers, which have been available primarily at the taproom or at a few select events, to a much larger audience.

Canadian Breakfast Stout is an Imperial Stout brewed with a blend of coffees and imported chocolates, then aged in spent bourbon barrels that have most recently been aging pure Michigan maple syrup.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 917 | Hads: 3,798
Photo of BIll_Currie
4.2/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

i finally got my hands on this one. i had to pay dearly and i had HIGH expectations. I dont know if the bottle was stored properly or what but this wasnt as good as I had hoped. Still a great beer. maple syrup was very pronounced. not overly boozy. great beer. i'd love to try a fresh one to compare (300 characters)

Photo of yungbrew
3.09/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Too maple syrupy and sweet for me. Way too sweet. KBS is much better.

This resembles a mixture breakfast sausage and vanilla, doused in maple syrup.
And I mean that in the worst way possible.

It Looked great. Didn't smell bad either. I'm sorry but the taste is just gross.

Don't get me wrong it's still a decent beer but I don't think this is world class at all. I would give it like an 80 out of 100 (406 characters)

Photo of DavidHume
4.79/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

L: Pitch black, with a persistent khaki head.

S: Bourbon and maple up front, followed by chocolate, coffee, and vanilla.

T: Bourbon-soaked fudge leads, followed by maple sugar and crème brûlée. I could drink this forever. The finish is complex: bourbon, maple syrup, and chocolate, fading into oak and coffee.

F: Not as thick as it could be, but not overly thin, either.

O: A world-class barrel-aged stout. Not worth a two-hour line, but decidedly delicious. (469 characters)

Photo of Austin32
4.46/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This was a great beer....but after all the hype and build up I agree with reviews that say it was rather thin....still very good but not one that quite lived up to its legend for me. (182 characters)

Photo of Scottyg33
5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this at the tap room during KBS week. Probably the best beer I have ever had. The maple sweetness taste caps off the chocolate/coffee/bourbon flavor and all works perfect together. Not to sweet and not to strong. Can't wait to have it again (244 characters)

Photo of Klaerity
3.9/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.75

i had this on tap... loads of licorice and chocolate, some brownie like fudge oak has given a red wine like bitterness which i dont like too much, this is pretty good but was disappointing!! its very thin.. (206 characters)

Photo of Saudereth
4.54/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This beer didn't do as much as I hoped it would for me. It was well executed but the maple linger was the only thing that really set it apart from a lot of the well done coffee stout world. I'd still rather drink BCBCS. I'll be revisiting this in a couple weeks when I have another shot at this beer.

Served: January 2015, Rustico Arlington, Mini-snifter. (356 characters)

Photo of jmasher85
4.56/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A hint sweeter than I'd have wanted, but that's the nature of the beast - the beast being the crazy amount of maple syrup in there. I'd take the KBS over this one, probably, but let's be real here: this is the epitome of the style. Smoother than it should be, and reasonably balanced, but the flavor tips over to maple pretty heavily. Still, you get a fair share of chocolate, wood, practically no bitterness, and a decent head but mild carbonation. Rich and succulent, this would be the perfect desert beer after a hefty steak and paired with some chocolate cake or something, or just sipped by itself beside a fire. Not worth the 5 star rating, but get some if you can! (676 characters)

Photo of BigBadBeerSnob
4.76/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Enjoyed from keg of the 2014 batch at Ray's Beer Gallery. Pours a deep dark toasty stout. The noise was immediately of carmel and maple syrup. Not very boozy and easy to drink (I went back for a 2nd pour of 16oz) (212 characters)

Photo of Stevem68
5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Quite simply the best beer I've ever had. Had it on draft. Color is a deep rich chocolate black. Has a wonderful aroma, everything is in balance, you get coffee, chocolate, bourbon & maple syrup. For as heavy as this could be, it drank incredibly smooth. A perfect blend of coffee, chocolate, bourbon & maple syrup. All the flavors complement each other and none over power. My mind is blown. A complexity of flavors that keep evolving through the drinking experience. Love this beer (483 characters)

Photo of Zonk
4.96/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Thick and syrupy. Sweet without being cloying. Bourbon is noticeably. Has a strong coffee component, and maple is also very forward. An amazing beer. (152 characters)

Photo of cultclassic89
4.69/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2014 out of a crowler on 7/19/2015. This is a great beer, probably their best I've had. I don't think it lives up to the hype though.

Appearance is pretty thick, but not motor oil thick, which is what I look for in a stout.

Nose is good, but just missing that pop. Sweet, somewhat roasty, but the maple doesn't pop like I want it too. Almost has a lactose like thing going.

Taste is better, maple comes out more but it's not too big, definitely nothing like KBBS. Sweet but not cloying and very smooth.

Feel is almost perfect, I'd just prefer it to be a little thicker. But it's almost there and still really great.

CBS is really really good, and I generally rate high, but it's not perfect. If you can find it on tap, definitely give it a shot. I doubt the 2011s are worth going for unless you want the tick. (815 characters)

Photo of brother_rebus
4.56/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Not the biggest bourbon barrel aged beer fan. Have had KBS a handful of times and thought it was OK. But its cousin CBS is an entirely different beast. Much more smooth in my opinion. More foreword CO2. The vanilla and coffee flavors expose themselves far more to my pallet. I do enjoy this on the colder side, as the vanilla-ish taste isn't overtaken by the ABV and the cold feel is contrasted perfectly with the warmth the alcohol brings to the back of the tongue. Spectacular beer. Really must try to find it in a bottle. (525 characters)

Photo of foundersfan1
4.93/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

WOW, a little on the boozy side in the nose, but boy does it deliver in flavor. The sweetness of the maple blends exquisitely with the bourbon filled alcohol. (158 characters)

Photo of witschen
4.83/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Tasted on tap at "Founders Keepers" event in NYC. This is a really rock solid beer. I believe it's completely different than KBS. A bit higher FG and the maple, coffee, chocolate is really well balanced. (203 characters)

Photo of EveningCordial
5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Not much to say except this stout is everything I like in a stout. Just enough mocha and fudge, mixed perfect with roasty coffee and expresso. Smooth bourbon and vanilla towards the finish with a nice touch of maple, but not clingy at all. One of my favorite stouts out there. (279 characters)

Photo of wesnile
4.99/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've had the pleasure of having multiple glasses of the 2015 release. It is a sweeter variant of KBS. Dark with slight head. The sweetness from the maple is present and really brings out the other flavors of the beer. It's one of my all-time favorites. (252 characters)

Photo of EaglePledge
5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Dark with a lovely lingering head, aroma that hints of maple, and a complex flavor with the mixing of coffee, chocolate, and dark flavors. Masterfully done. (156 characters)

Photo of VikingBeer
4.64/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Typical imperial stout appearance: black as oil, with a persistent lacy head and a few faint bubbles of carbonation. Pretty, but plenty of stouts look better than they taste. This, however, is not one of them.

The aromas are dominated by a sugary, maple-syrup scent, closely followed by coffee, whiskey, oak, and hints of fruit, with the barest whiff of booze.

On the tongue, the beer presents a nicely rich mouthfeel, with just enough carbonation to keep things deliciously drinkable. Flavors roll in with a big hit of sweet coffee and maple syrup up front, closely followed by a wave of whiskey. Heady flavors of buckwheat, bittersweet chocolate, oak, pecans snd hazelnuts and more whiskey roll through, with the sometimes slightly overwhelmingly sweet maple syrup and coffee always reappearing. More subtle flavors appear on the back end of the palate, with blueberries, dried fruit, and even a slight hint of mint-tea and herbal hop notes. On the back of the tongue, loads of spices make an appearance, including cinnamon nutmeg and cloves. Finish is, surprisingly, medium-dry, making up somewhat for the assertive sweetness throughout. (1,142 characters)

Photo of don1481
4.69/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

8th anniversary celebration at Burnhearts! 11oz snifter for $7.

Appearance: Pours a dark beautiful stout with a mocha head that disappears immediately.

Smell: Coffee, chocolate, maple syrup, and a little bit of the bourbon. If this tastes like it smells... I'm gonna be in heaven.

Taste: Oh. My. Goodness. This is AMAZING. Tastes EXACTLY like it smells. I am so loving this!

Mouthfeel: slightly sticky, pretty clean overall.

Overall: This is so awesome. (460 characters)

Photo of siliconalchemy
4.5/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The first time I had this - at Founders, during Cellar Raid 2015, on the night Brew Dogs was filming - it was a 5.0; I then had it a month or so later at Warren's Ale House in Wheaton, IL - and it was a 4.0 (maybe it was tap lines, maybe it was age, maybe it was lack of ambiance... who knows?) so we'll go with 4.5 (315 characters)

Photo of sherlin
4.75/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Had the 2015 version on tap at Cambridge Common. An epic, pitch black stout with rich coffee, maple and bourbon aromas.
The sweetness of the maple was at first overpowering, but the body and richness of the beer made the maple act as sweet highlights to an already exceptional aged breakfast stout. (299 characters)

Photo of BayouBengal1537
4.92/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

6oz. pour into a snifter at Lager's in Metairie, Louisiana.
Pours a jet black with a tan head dispersed around the edge of the glass. Smells of coffee, roasted malt, sweetness from the maple syrup, vanilla, and oak. Taste is amazing. Coffee, bitter chocolate, bourbon, maple syrup. The maple syrup seemed to cut some of the bourbon/oaky notes and blend together very well. Slight alcohol warming on the very back. I felt the alcohol warming in my stomach half way through the glass. Mouthfeel was above medium, yet smooth and creamy. Overall, definitely one of the best Imperial stouts I've ever had. (603 characters)

Photo of BrewUSA
4.88/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75


Look 9/10
Smell 19/20
Taste 40/40
Feel 10/10
Drinkability 19/20

Overall 97/100

Such a smooth texture and great gentle over tones of maple on chocolate, coffee and bourbon. About as perfect as a beer can be in my opinion~ (320 characters)

Photo of infinitebruner
4.27/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

May 15, 2015

Draft, snifter

A – Deep black, opaque, with a quarter-inch of dark tan / light brown head. Even foam, actually sticks around for a while. Does not appear particularly thick or viscous, but this beer definitely has legs.

S – Rich chocolate with light vanilla and oak notes, all relatively subdued. A touch of honey-like sweetness (presumably related to the maple syrup). Perhaps some floral or woodsy hop notes, not much detectable.

T – Vanilla is very high, followed by milk chocolate and a hint of maple, similar to French toast. Hops are earthy, maybe some light fruit, mostly contributing bitterness which rides along with sweetness on the finish.

M – Carbonation if fairly low, though quite present. Body is moderate-thick, not oily but slightly slick. Stays fairly juicy and sweet throughout, with bitterness on the finish to balance and both lingering on the aftertaste.

O – I certainly am aware of the accolades this beer has received and its white whale status, and it is certainly worthy of some of the hype. I got to try it thanks to some fortunate timing, and am glad that I did. In a vacuum, this is an excellent imperial / barrel-aged stout, and the maple definitely shows in the final product. I would recommend it, but wouldn’t go crazy trying to find it. (1,313 characters)

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Founders CBS Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 917 ratings.