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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.

925 Reviews
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Reviews: 925
Hads: 3,867
Avg: 4.63
pDev: 18.36%
Wants: 3,938
Gots: 700 | 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.
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Reviews: 925 | Hads: 3,867
Reviews by biga7346:
Photo of biga7346
4.65/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally popped open my lone bottle of CBS after enduring the craziness last month. Poured into a Founders oversized tulip.

A: Black, thick, syrupy and viscous, chocolate brown with a chocolate mousse-ish looking thin head of foam.

N: Chocolate covered cherries hits me right away, that gives way to cocoa, spices, powdered sugar, bakers chocolate, rich buttery notes. A relly defined sweetness that isn't necessarily cloying but somehow just right, reminds me of smelling cookie batter. A touch of maple smokiness, some candi sugar, sugary fruits like overripe banana and something like, can't put my finger on it, like pie cherries or even blueberry? Suggestions of pastry and vanilla wafers.

T/M: A dense bourbony to maple sweetness rests in the back of the palate and stays all night! Such thick chocolate malt character that toes the line to being unbalanced, but it's not man...shit is just right! Maple sugar, whole milk or like heavy cream silkiness, chocolate mousse (great call from my buddy), smokey vanilla, vanilla extract, more of the cookie dough and pastry notes; and like the great line of Founders big stouts, the alcohol is well hidden except there is a slight bourbony alcohol burn in the finish. The maple sweetness makes way for notes of breadiness, graham cracker, rice pudding or even burnt marshmallow. Reminds me of smores.

D: Just a great fucking imperial stout. Pair it with food, don't pair it with food...it doesn't matter.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of KFBR392
5/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Jet black. Menacing brown head. Less then a half of finger of head on the pour. Surprising amount of active carbonation. Some random lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell: Heavenly. Lots of sweet maple syrup still alive in the aroma. Rounded bourbon with lots of toffee, chocolate, and deep malt. Every time I take it in a different aroma rises and showcases itself.

Taste: The front of this beer is so easy drinking and feels soft on the palate then explodes with massive flavors. The maple syrup, chocolate, and toffee really stand out. The bourbon character has mellowed greatly and is a great complimentary accessory. The finish is a slight bourbon tingle and dark roasted malt and chocolate.

Mouthfeel: This beer is heavy yet drinks so easily. Just an amazing drinking experience.

Overall: My first time with this gem. I hate the 5/5 review but this beer deserves it. I could be more lengthy and masturbatory with my review but this beer speaks for itself. Worth every dollar I spent.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.65/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

On tap at Oasis. Served in a pint glass. And a second one. Beer #1100!

A- Dark black body. Like black coffee, but noticeably viscous. One finger mocha head with nice retention. No lacing. Eventually the head dies down after maybe ten minutes into a thin collar.

S- Glorious chocolate aromas come out. Milk chocolate, rich roasty coffee and some whiskey and oak. There is a fair bit of maple in the nose as well, but it's not maple soaked pancakes if that makes sense. Some maple but not a ton, the star is coffee and chocolate with a nice light bourbon aroma.

F- Plenty of coffee; rich roasted coffee bean and even more milk chocolate, like Lindt's. The latter half of the beer brings a nice complex combination of maple and bourbon. More maple than bourbon really, some oak. Very nice sweet finish that is slick and coating, like actual maple syrup; there is more maple syrup in the taste than in the nose but again, it is not overpowering. It is complementary to the other flavours in this beer. Overall wonderful chocolate maple syrup flavours that play together very well.

M- Thick bodied, substantial and oily on the palate. It's like I went Supertroopers and pounded some maple syrup. It coats the tongue in nice chocolate-forward maple syrup sweetness that is cut by bitter roasted coffee. Wow.

O- This lived up to the hype for me. Delicious stout that isn't actually maple heavy, but it feels maple heavy on the finish with a ton of chocolate and coffee. Altogether, this is a very different beer than Good Morning or Mornin' Delight but I honestly think these are very different beers (coffee, chocolate and aged in maple bourbon barrels vs coffee and added maple syrup) and I haven't had anything quite like this before. Worthwhile and would definitely go out of my way to drink this again.

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Photo of Blackboardbrewing
4.91/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The infamous CBS makes it's return. Having had bottles of this in 2011 and not buying to the hype, I had to see what the 2014/15 batch was all about. Multiple pours at the Happy Gnome.

A: Pours a very dark brownish-black, a thin, creamy, off white laced head maybe a mm tall hovers around the edges of the glass. Not 100% opaque/5W-30 consistency like I like them.

S: When first served it's loads of cold pressed coffee. About as fresh as it gets for coffee aroma. As it warms, what a beautiful balanced beer, my goodness. . Awesome smelling stuff. Maple, coffee, chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, damn.

T: After it finally warmed up, I see what the hype is about. It's apples to oranges with KBBS, but man, this is one of the best BA maple/coffee stouts around. Rich velvety chocolates coats the mouth, a surge of maple caresses the tongue, finishes balanced and with just enough vanilla barrel notes (slightly tannic/oaky) to let you know it was BA.

F: Although I don't LOVE the mouthfeel, it's quaffable enough to enjoy a second and a third pour without feeling full to the point where you want to just take a nap. If this had the mouthfeel of FIS, would just about be perfect.

O: I almost skipped this tapping knowing it was going to be a mess. However, the folks at the Gnome handled this perfectly. And, this is about as close to perfect gets, with well you know not being such. I was surprised by how balanced it was. I could drink this daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Please bottle again.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.79/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

On tap at the Tap and Mallet in Rochester, NY. I got 2 5 oz pours.

Pours a fairly dark black, with a small foamy half inch head, and a little bit of lacing.

Smells very strongly of maple, with Hershey's syrup, bourbon, and roasted coffee beans.,

I am finally getting a chance to taste this one, and it tastes exactly like I expected it to taste. Every advertised ingredient is on full display here- syrupy, ultra sweet maple syrup, sweet, creamy chocolate syrup, roasted coffee beans, and sweet bourbon. There is a pretty significant boozy kick on the end of each sip, providing a bit of bitterness to the very sweet flavors up front. I'm not getting a whole lot of roasted malt, but that's likely due to the loads of adjuncts in this one.

This is medium bodied, not quite as thick as I'd like, with a very syrupy mouthfeel. I have the feeling in my mouth that I often have after I eat pancakes. That sort of call-back to a memory I like- eating pancakes- is just one thing that makes this beer really nice. It has a lower level of carbonation, and is really drinkable.

One of the biggest bucket list beers for me is finally crossed off. It is honestly worth the hype, and absolutely amazing. The definition of decadent.

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Photo of Sparty1224
4.84/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Serving: Two separate 7 oz. pours into some tasting glasses at a CBS tapping event in Chicago. 2014 edition.

A: Pitch black. Pours a light tan head initially, but gets darker as it's agitated. Good lacing up the glass.

S: Nice dark coffee aroma up front, then soft bourbon notes come through. Maple syrup comes in at the end bringing a nice sweetness to it.

T: Coffee and bourbon right up front, then gets enveloped in maple sweetness, like you just took a bite of some of your favorite home-made pancakes doused in maple syrup. Finish is all fresh maple syrup, but not overpowering by any means.

M: Nice and full. Great balance of coffee and bourbon wrapped in a maple syrup glaze.

O: Man, where to start with this one. I've had the original from the bottle, the 2012 edition at the 15th Anniversary party, and now the 2014. This beer still stands as my favorite BBA Imperial Stout. It's not light-years ahead of some of the other greats by any means, but it's just a special beer and the intangibles put it over the top for me. There's nothing really like it. In a nutshell, it's KBS wrapped in maple syrup, and that's an improvement to me. There's times, especially as the beer warms, that it becomes slightly cloying or too sweet. But other times, earlier in the beer when it's a bit cooler, it's just perfect. The aura and legend surrounding this beer lives up to all the hype.

Recommendation: No matter what it takes, every fan of craft beer needs to try this at least once.

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Photo of Bolivian22
5/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had the unbelievable luck of trying this at black rock in chicago on vacation. Pours pitch black with a small brown head. Smells of bourbon, vanilla, syrup, and chocolate. The smell is so balanced it was almost impossible to wait any longer before trying it. Spoiler: it tastes just like it smells. So smooth and balanced and this beer definitely lives up to the hype. A light alcohol burn (whisky flavored) with medium carbonation and a chewy mouthfeel. Overall this beer is fantastic and greatly deserving of its legendary status. So glad I had the chance to finally chase this whale down!

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Photo of ER527
5/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Words just do not do it justice..... This is the best beer I've ever had

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Photo of ali1987
4.65/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A- dense black body with a dark khaki colored head

S- caramel, roasted malt, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, toffee, coffee, maple syrup

T- delicious & complex: coffee, cream, chocolate, maple syrup, vanilla, brown sugar, roasted malt, a little bitterness of dark chocolate toward the back end ...

M- medium to full body, little carbonation, very creamy!!!

O- this is a great beer, & it for sure lives up to the hype... but I wish it had more chocolate & coffee and less maple syrup.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
4.99/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from bottle into a snifter glass

Appearance – The beer pours a thick and viscous black color with a one finger of tan colored head. The head has a good level of retention, slowly fading to leave a moderate level of lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the beer is of a huge and delicious coffee and roasted malt smell mixed with a strong showing of chocolate. Along with these big and robust darker aromas are strong notes of maple syrup as well as sweet darker fruit smells of raisin, fig, and plum. A decent amount of a bourbon and vanilla are there as well and seem to add a nice dimension of warmth to the aroma inviting one to come and sip the fine roasted nectar that awaits the tongue.

Taste – The taste begins with a sweet chocolate and roasted malt flavor with the sweetness being a fine balance of maple syrup, vanilla, caramel and the darker fruits that were detected in the nose. While quite dark and roasty upfront, it gains even more robustness in the roast being accompanied by some smooth espresso flavors matched by a faint smokiness. The sweeter flavors all the while stay strong, wonderfully balancing out the big tastes of the brew. Around the middle of flavor profile comes some bourbon tastes mixed with a bit of a woodsy flavor. These flavors, like their counterpart aromas did, bring a warming taste to the brew, bringing on just the right level of “heat”. Right at the very end, after the warm has hit the tongue, a slight surge in the maple syrup flavor is delivered, culminating the taste and leaving a wonderfully smooth and warmingly sweet and roasted, but balanced flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is huge and thick with a lighter but creamy level of carbonation. The combo of thick body and subdued carbonation is magnificent for the big and bold blend of flavors in this dark roasty brew and truly create a fantastic medium for all the flavors of the brew a to bath the tongue in all the richness of flavor.

Overall – This is one amazing beer. One of the best if not the best stout I have ever had, and competes with the world wide I had run through the vanilla coffee randall. It is super smooth and approachable with a wonderful blend of flavors that make it a true pleasure to sit back and sip.

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Photo of peacemakers48
5/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Honored to try the last batch ever of this fantastic beer. This is the 2011 version and according to the founders rep here, is the last of this beer. This is one of the finest beers that I have ever had. As close to a perfect drink as you can get. It tastes like breakfast stout with a subtle maple taste. Wow!

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Photo of jewski
4.98/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

An improvement on KBS. Bourbon is better balanced and the touch of sweetness works nicely with the base stout. Pretty much perfect.

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Photo of rsquared59
5/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Excellent! Smooth, alcohol comes through. Perfect sweetness at the end. Awesome!

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Photo of pat61
5/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had on tap at the Bryant lake Bowl
A: rich black opaque, thick creamy sticky tan foam collar that graps the side of the glass leaving thick lace.
S: Coffee, chocolate, spice and fruit.
T: Rich coffee with a dark chocolate aftertaste, dark dried fruit in the middle, spice, oily up front and dry and grainy on the finish
F: Chewy, creamy, medium to medium low carbonation. The texture is infused with very fine bubbles.
O: Very lucky to have this on tap without having to fly to Grand Rapids.

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Photo of joandrade
4.78/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Makes KBS look like a knock off. Wow

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Photo of dexterk1
4.76/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Outstanding! Smooth and silky mouth feel. Taste has sweetness(maple,chocolate) and a hint of whiskey. Great balance of the two. Worth the hunt to track this down.

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

I call this beer The Unicorn. It's the best of the best!

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Photo of NinjaJesus
4.95/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

What a fantastic stout. A must try

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

Had on tap at Taphouse in Lemont IL, just simply unbelievable. Nothing like i expected way way better. Smooth

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Photo of chefbigjon
4.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Crazy good at room temperature. My favorite quality about this beer was the mouthfeel. It was like having your breakfast and coffee all in one taste. Probably a once in a lifetime event, it is very worth your time to seek this out.

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Photo of DVoors
4.94/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

One of the best beers I've ever had. Just wonderful all-around. The only beer that I might slightly prefer over this would be Founders KBS. It's tough to pick a favorite between the two when they are both so amazing.

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Photo of odcardinal
4.98/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

On draft, 6 oz pour into snifter. Best stout I've had to date. The mouth feel was crazy good. It was like having maple pancakes with a coffee stout. The maple after taste was very enjoyable. I would definitely drive hours away to have another taste.

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

I had this for the first time today at a specialty keg tapping at The Flying Saucer in Kansas City. I can honestly say this is one of the greatest beers I have ever had.

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Photo of M-Fox24
4.3/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Pour is a deep slick black with decent carbonation. Head is a nice, off-white, color with good retention and lacing

S: Maple, chocolate, vanilla, and cinnamon pave the path here. Accompanying notes of coffee, bourbon, oat, malt, and dark fruit leave quite an impression

T: Notes continue along a path of vanilla, coffee, maple, marshmallow, raisin, fig, and of course the presence of a creamy rich chocolate. Flavors are very well balanced, not cluttered, not too sweet, and a nice touch of bourbon

M: Robust for sure: full body, some carbonation, and very drinkable…rich, creamy, silky smooth

O: Hype is a letdown; seek out a beer because you want to, and because you’re a fan of the genre. No hype here just a complex, very well executed, delicious stout

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Photo of Frumious_Bandersnatch
4.36/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2014 version on tap. After all the hype, I was honestly a bit disappointed. Started with a nice looking head and great coffee and maple aroma, but after that it was downhill. Waaaay too sweet and not bourbon forward enough for my taste. So sweet that it overwhelms everything else. Seemed to get even sweeter as it warmed. Still a really good beer and I'm glad I had a chance to try it, but it's nowhere near the best beer I've ever had and I wouldn't go out of my way to have it again.

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Founders CBS Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 925 ratings.