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Founders CBS Imperial Stout - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders CBS Imperial StoutFounders CBS Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

961 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 961
Hads: 4,069
Avg: 4.63
pDev: 8.86%
Wants: 4,191
Gots: 748 | FT: 10
Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

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: 961 | Hads: 4,069
Photo of pbgnar
4.78/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

9 oz pour on tap. Drank a little colder than ideal temp but who could wait?

Nice black color with very small tan head

Smell is very sweet like candy and vanilla not as much coffee as BS or KBS

Taste is outstanding. The maple syrup and bourbon blend perfectly. There's not a ton of complexity but the handful of flavors that come through are perfectly balanced. Tastes like donuts or chocolate covered caramels. Very sweet from the syrup but not overly sweet at all.

Hands down one of the best beers I have tried. Believe any and all hype

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Photo of tbryan5
4.8/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This lived up to the hype for me. A pitch black pour with almost no head.
Smells wintery... like sticky sweet maple. Chocolate and of course oak and bourbon.
Taste is much the same and does not disappoint.
A little thinner than I was expecting but not thin by any means.
I want more...

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Photo of NateDyk47
4.89/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Had this on tap at Cellar Raid 2016.

L: dark brown/black, minimal head
S: sweet maple syrup, caramel, coffee
T: maple syrup/brown sugar, coffee, bourbon
F: on the heavier side, lightly carbonated, & incredibly smooth

This is one of the best beers I've ever had. Actually lived up to the hype.

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Photo of Chcshammonde
4.59/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Ale Arsenal for SFBW. Stoked, the legendary CBS here at my local beer bar. L: black/brownish. S: Lord have mercy. Smells like a delicious pancake breakfast with the finest possible ingredients. Caramel, chocolate, maple, goodness. T: follows nose. Rich maple, chocolate, dark and roasty malts, caramel, nougat, glory. F: Medium-Rich. O: worthy of hype, this is glorious

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Photo of cherche
4.17/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L: dark dark brown with very slight mocha head, some lacing
S: sweet, sweet sugary maple syrup smell with bourbon on the back
T: maple syrup, bourbon
M: heavy, syrupy
O: very good beer, not quite up to expectations but enjoyable for sure and I am glad I got to try it

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Photo of JoeyStats707
4.83/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Founders take over at Beer Revolution Oakland

Darth Vader black very limited head
Maple and chocolate donut
great maple taste that lingers, its like a liquid bourbon spiked brownie
nice mouthfeel, no heat, couldnt put this down
two could never be enough, it made my SF Beer week.

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Photo of SaulFox
4.85/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Founders tap takeover at Harry's Hofbrau in Redwood City, Ca.

Pitch black goodness. Creamy bubbles and elegant lacing.
Maple, bourbon, dark chocolate, vanilla, molasses, slight coffee.
OH MY! Picking up everything in the nose in the taste! So sweet and rich!
Rich mouthfeel....it coats the mouth and makes you come back for more.
This brew deserves the hype. Founders killed it with this one!

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Photo of Jimmys
4.62/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

2014 bottle shared. 'brewers only' release that was graciously shared by a guy that knows a guy.

A: very dark brown, definitely not black. light brown frothy head. minimal lacing unfortunately.

S: a lot of bourbon on the nose. not off putting, but very present. vanilla, chocolate, smoke, dark licorice, oak.

T: chocolate, this is a very sweet brew. i assume that has something to do with the maple syrup which also has a presence. coffee notes in there as well. sweet brown sugar. alcohol is moderate and there is virtually no bitterness in this.

M: body is full, but not throughout. manages to start very rich and tapers to a thinner than expected finish.

D: really f'ing good. dangerously drinkable. makes complete sense to why it is regarded where it is.

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Photo of danieljspiker
4.45/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Draft at Resolute Day, thick and delicious, smooth flavor with a touch of coffee, bourbon and coffee blends well together, booziness has faded over time and results in a much more mellow beer. Overall, delicious!

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Photo of dhitchcox
4.66/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On draft at Novare Res (Portland, ME) for Stout Fest.
Look: Black as night; no transparency at all. Light brown head that lingers a bit.
Smell: So rich. Coffee. Bourbon. Chocolate.
Taste: Maple and chocolate dominate. A little surprised but the subtly of the bourbon.
Feel: Fairly thick and coating but fades quickly. Really nice for the type and high abv.
Overall: This is an amazing stout but not sure it [personally] lived up to the hype. That said I'd never turn it down. A fantastic dark-chocolate-maple-bourbon stout.

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Photo of CityofWind_brew
5/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This one lived up to the hype. A 9oz pour at Roots Pizza in Chicago. The maple was perfectly noticeable and added just the right amount of sweetness. The taste seemed to improve as the beer warmed. KBS is amazing, but this one blows it out of the water.

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Photo of Pourharddrinkslow
4.63/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Look - Black with a moderate light tan head.

Smell - Coffee, bourbon, surprisingly light on the maple taste, nice strong roasted cocoa taste.

Taste - Maple up front, with some coffee and chocolate. Slight amount of bourbon, which blends with a little caramel to create a nice sweet overall taste that contrasts the cocoa and coffee.

Feel - Medium body, hardly carbonated at all. Smooth and creamy.

Overall - While it doesn't live up to the hype of a "perfect 5" this is still a damn good beer, and a creative one at that.

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Photo of BSiegs
4.83/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Deep, black pour with a finger of brown/caramel head. Not much lacing, but as expected with a barrel aged beer. On the nose, the maple syrup is the star, so strong. Hints of chocolate, coffee, and bourbon. On taste, the bourbon hits you first, boozy and delicious. Just like KBS, you get that coffee, chocolate, and barrel. The mouthfeel is full with a medium-low carbonation, very nice. So glad I finally found this on tap!

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Photo of rlee1390
4.8/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

A- Black in the glass, one finger tan head that leaves nice lacing.

S-Maple, oak, mild bourbon, some chocolate and light coffee.

T-Great maple sweetness. It meshes amazingly with the oak and bourbon. Chocolate and nice coffee. Some roasted malt as well.

M-Heavy and creamy.

O-An amazing beer. Anything founders ages in maple bourbon barrels that aren't CBS is a waste.

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Photo of jasonpeckins32
5/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Simply put, this was the best beer I have ever drank in my entire life. My best friend was kind enough to share half of his growler of this with me over this past Christmas. The beer.... which I may never even go into detail, is built of pure bliss.
Black. Big. Malty. Rich. Sweet. Maple. Bourbon. Chocolate. Heavenly. Luscious. Vanilla. Just pure amazing. If you're lucky enough to have a chance to get your hands on this beer, even just once in your life, you had better do it.

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Photo of eifster82
5/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Four pours on draft at Founders Brewery on 12/29/2015.

A perfect stout. If you ever get a chance to acquire it or have it on draft, do not pass on opportunity. Dark black color, with a light layer of foam head upon pour. The nose reminds of Breakfast Stout base but with more complexity with the maple coming through. Taste is delicious and pleasant on the palate with, again, Breakfast Stout base being obvious but the maple sweetness note unmistakably coming through as it warms. Shockingly smooth! There is zero hint of booziness. Just delicious with all the ingredients I look for in a stout, coffee, vanilla, chocolate, maple sweetness. Phenomenal.

I've had Rare, Prop 14, DL Coffee, and many other what I would consider high end stouts... but this takes the cake.

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Photo of M_chav
4.82/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a black tar shadow. Tiny small bubble forms on the rim, no foamy head. The bubbles are a mocha brown and dissipate quickly.
Aroma is intense maple/chocolate/coffee in that order. The maple smells so strong, makes for a sweet tooth boner. reminds me initially of Good Morning, but this smells richer and thicker. Plenty to love about this smell, I'm ready for a sugar bomb!
Delicious, awesome bourbon vanilla balance. Now the coffee comes through and its beautiful.. Every flavor incorporated in the making of this beer is felt in even the smallest sip. There are no layers of different flavors here, everything is a pure mix and compliments itself. huge maple,coffee,rich chocolates, and bourbon sweetness to die for. Some will probably knock the (I'm not going to call it thin because it's not) mouthfeel, because we all probably crave the molasses/chewy BCBS style. But this beer is so damn easy to drink, make sure to take your time and let it warm up. Definitely an amazing beer, so awesomely crafted and balanced, very rich - just a pleasure to finally get my hands on a white whale like this. Was at first sad to trade away one of my favorite beers to obtain it, but in the end it was worth the price.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
4.75/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The darkest of brown, combined with black that makes a solid full 3/4" of tan head on it. Impressive as they come for barrel aged appearance.

Aroma was decadent, coffee, maple, bourbon, chocolate, oak.

The maple sweetness, heavy roasted malt, bitterness, chocolate, wood, and coffee in a lesser way, all really make for an insanely drinkable brew. Mild tobacco notes counter balance. An excellent breakfast beer.

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Photo of ragnar3
4.86/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap (9 oz pour) - perfect mix of bourbon, maple, chocolate, coffee and a hint of vanilla. The barrel doesn't overwhelm the other flavors and the maple adds a nice layer of sweet complexity. Definitely lives up to the hype!

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Photo of Chris_H_2
4.85/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

In the interests of full disclosure, this had been one of my wants for a long time. When I finally got it (fall '14), I was worried it would've fallen off considerably. But much to my delight (and pleasant surprise), it tasted amazing and held up extremely well, especially compared to the CBS I had on tap in spring '15. Just a great beer all around.

Poured from a 750 ml bottle

A - pours dark black with little head (very similar to KBS, which is not a surprise)
S - mmm, smell that maple sweetness; there is a hint of chocolate as well, but not many coffee notes
T - lots going on (maple, vanilla, some chocolate notes), but with the aging, you can actually taste the base beer instead of a bourbon bomb. There is sweetness, but it's not sugary. The bourbon has mellowed considerably, and is less noticeable than the fresher beer on tap.
MF - much like KBS. This isn't a very viscous beer, and if you're looking for a BCBS feel, you're not going to get it.
O - an overall amazing beer, and I would go out of my way every time to get it on tap.

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Photo of madbrewer9
4.15/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A lot going on here, bourbon, maple malt. Lots of booziness and sweetness in taste. Not quite up to my expectations with all the associated hype, prefer KBS, but still a great stout.

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Photo of NDogg44
4.85/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Smells amazing! Maple, coffee, and just a note of whiskey. Had a 4 ounce taster and it was the perfect amount - this beer is pretty sweet. Well deserving of the rating.

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Photo of Tiburon
4.1/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$8 for a 6 oz pour at Uncle MIke's on Black Friday. Lots of subtle choco and a bit of coffee. Very smooth and not boozy at all.
Not as good as the hype, in my opinion

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Photo of q33jeff
4.67/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

**FROM OLD NOTES, 05/31/15:
2011 aged, bottle to rocks glass. Philly beer week. Fiume Bar. Share 3oz pour with DC. Amazing. Complex. Candy. Maple influence is slight, but an overall sweetness really makes this delicious. Bourbon, coffee, chocolate, maple, love. In a bigger pour, would it become too sweet? In all likelyhood, I?ll never get the chance to find out.


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Photo of BranfordBound
4.64/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

9oz pour into an Allagash glass last night at MiKro in Hamden. Comes out dark as night with a small brown head that fades to nothingness. Smell is boozy, hints of raisin and fig, touch of wooden barrel, very big. Taste is layered to perfection. It stands on the sweeter side, big notes of chocolate and molasses. Hints of rum soaked fruit in the middle. Finish is long and sticky, you can taste the maple syrup here along with some roasty notes. While it sits heavier in the stomach, this beer is really easy to drink. There's not a ton of carbonation and that's OK. It's a big beer that demands to be sipped and is super rewarding if you do so. This is truly an amazing beer, waited a long time to have it.

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Founders CBS Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 961 ratings.