Founders CBS Imperial Stout - Founders Brewing Company
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Ratings: 2,322 | Reviews: 754 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by BedetheVenerable:
4.1/5 rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Presentation: Cool label, 750 Belgian-style brown bottle. The wife just finished her classes and got exemplary marks for the semester, and I just finished a term paper. Bring on this bad boy!
Appearance: Split with the wife into snifters, this beer pours out a dark brown, but is obsidian black in the glass wit a thick, rich cap the color of wet sand, which shows pretty nice retention.
Smell: Tons of vivid, sweet, pungent-but-not-sharp-or-burnt coffee up front, supported by a ghost of maple sugar sweetness. Would I have been able to pick this out without knowing this was aged in maple-bourbon barrels? Probably not, but maybe. Either way, this is one amazing-smelling imperial coffee stout. Ghost of dark chocolate, and no real hint of an alcohol burn here.
Taste: The bourbon is appreciated in the flavor, though it wasn't on the nose. In fact, it's fairly prevalent, though not quite harsh. There's some bourbon and dry, tannic oak, along with hints of bitter chocolate as well. Definitely a nice, sugary sweetness in the background. It's different from a chocolate or malt sweetness, and it's pleasant. Again, would I peg this as maple if I didn't know the ingredients? Probably not. There is a coffee presence, but not nearly as strong of one as is suggested by the aromas and it comes across mostly on the finish. At 10.6%, this brew falls somewhere between warming and a bit hot, but it's certainly not sharp. The sugary sweetness (again, I'm thinking from the maple) is pleasant, multi-dimensional, and balances well with the alcohol and other flavors. That being the case, I wouldn't want an entire 750 of this to myself, as I think it might get a bit cloying.
Mouthfeel: Full, smooth, silky, ghost of bite
Overall: The final verdict? I was incredibly excited (and fortunate) to get to try two highly-sought after stouts this year: Darklord 2011 (thanks Alewatcher!) and CBS. After hawking three stores in town, I got 3 bottles: one for my wife and I, and one each for my father and father-in-law for Christmas. The grand total? About $50. And a whole lot of time. So, the question is, was it worth it? While I was horribly disappointed by Dark Lord (hey, that just means I don't have to drive to IN this spring or...well...ever) this is honestly quite good. Nice sweetness, fairly restrained booze, wonderful aromas, and interesting profile overall. Was it enjoyable? Abso-floggin-lutely. Is it an A+ beer in my mind? No. The flavors, while awesome, don't show the incredible depth/definition of the very best. Would we buy it again for $16.00? Well, that depends. If it was a fairly readily-available yearly release, we'd probably pick up a bottle every year or so. Would I go to the ends of the earth for one or trade my cellar away for it? Probably not. None of this ought to take away from this beer. Founders did a great job, but when a beer is hyped as much as this one is, it's almost impossible to live up to the hype.
Serving type: bottle
12-13-2011 05:21:38 | More by BedetheVenerable
More User Reviews:
4.25/5 rDev -8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
I purchased this bottle of CBS over two years ago, and shortly thereafter I heard that this would be retired. I already know this is going to be good...
Appearance - Pours 2 fingers of cinnamon brown foamy head, the body is opaque, and burnt sienna brown to black, no highlights at the sides. Gentle foam rings are left after each sip.
Smell - The very first whiff fills my nostrils with dark ripe fruits and dark soy sauce, then rich moist roasted malt, now some sweetened dark chocolate, a whiff of french roast coffee with a shot of booze.
Taste - This is so incredibly balanced - at the beginning of the quaff I get all of these flavors at once - really rich roasted malts, warm soy sauce, molasses, dark fruits of fig, raisin, and over-ripe plum, barely sweetened dark chocolate, then as it warms in your mouth you get deep roasted coffee with a little bit of coffee grounds bitterness, pumpernickel crusts, and then there it is... maple and oak. Longer into the finish the maple remains, along with traces of black coffee, dark chocolate and moist oak in the mouth corners. Long after the sip there is astringent coffee grounds, slightly sour dark fruit skins, burnt pumpernickel crust, and slightly sweet maple that keeps it all in check.
Moouthfeel - This is a full mouth filling beer - creamy and silky smooth, lightly coating the mouth. The lips are left sticky with chocolate, coffee and maple syrup. Carb is in the low side, and is smooth and foaming across the tongue, with a few edges that appear as the beer makes it's way over the sides of the tongue. An excellent and contemplative sipper.
Overall - Okay, I'm just going to say it. I've recently had FIS, KBS, and now CBS. And honestly, I would put them in this order: FIS, CBS, and finally KBS. Yes that's right, FIS would be first. CBS is a fantastic IS, but honestly after this bottle I would not seek it out again - I truly feel that FIS is a better beer, and thank heavens, as I can get my hands on this at will. The maple here is very flavorful and interesting, and the balance and complexity here is incredible. I can't knock this beer by any means, but I won't lose any sleep knowing that it is retired. Now if they retired FIS, then we would have a problem... cheers :)
Serving type: bottle
07-20-2014 05:07:59 | More by blackcompg
Founders CBS Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,322 ratings.