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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.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

2,996 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,996
Reviews: 867
rAvg: 4.67
pDev: 9.42%
Wants: 3,340
Gots: 599 | FT: 8
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,996 | Reviews: 867 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by brydeen:
Photo of brydeen
4.5/5  rDev -3.6%

More User Reviews:
Photo of KFBR392
5/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

Photo of Blackboardbrewing
4.91/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

Photo of dexterk1
4.76/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.79/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

Photo of Sparty1224
4.84/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

Photo of M-Fox24
4.3/5  rDev -7.9%
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

Photo of Bolivian22
5/5  rDev +7.1%
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!

Photo of Frumious_Bandersnatch
4.36/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

Photo of brianmandell
4.39/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

8 oz draft from the latest batch.

Thick and dark with a lasting brown head. Smells of sweet chocolate and coffee. This beer drinks like a chocolate milkshake. The maple is forward and sweet. Chocolate fudge brownie, coffee and light bourbon flavors follow. The mouthfeel is thick and creamy. This is an ideal dessert beer. It is sweet and decadent. Alcohol, what alcohol? Despite some bourbon flavor there is nearly no heat. Overall it's a little too sweet but I'm very happy to have tried this.

Photo of blackcompg
4.25/5  rDev -9%
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 :)

Photo of Darkmagus82
4.99/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

Photo of AnalogErik
4.86/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

What can I say about a beer like this. The maple is there, and stated well. Its in the taste and the nose. The texture is velvet-smooth with low lacing, even at a high abv. The bourbon is just right, lighter, and takes a back seat to the maple. Chocolate and coffee are present but hidden. Did not recognize them until my second pour :D

Absolutely awesome.

Photo of HighLowJack
4.68/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Thought this was pretty analogous to Good Morning. Didn't get a ton of barrel, but loved the huge maple syrup.

Photo of peacemakers48
5/5  rDev +7.1%
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!

Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.5/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

After not reviewing much for a year, I suddenly see that there are about 30 beers on the top 100 that I've taken notes on but not reviewed. Time to get to work...

Appearance: Similar to KBS. Black oil with a light brown head.

Aroma: Similar to KBS but with some maple syrup. Coffee, Chocolate, Vanilla, Oak.

Taste: Buttery toffee, Vanilla, Dark Chocoalte, Maple Syrup finish.

Mouthfeel: Flattish, oily, boozey.

Drinkability: Very good.

Another outstanding stout form one of America's truly great stout brewers.

Photo of DanGeo
4.84/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Smokesnotes
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of tectactoe
4.48/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of ricke
4.6/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Basically black with a small beige head.

Small lacings, but the beer reacts beautifully when the glass is swirled.

The aroma is intense - lots of fat malts, molasses, smooth bourbon, dough, and maple syrup. The character is heavy, but it's still fresh and alive. Great integration in the nose.

The taste is almost unbelievable. The body is beyond full and the mouthfeel is beyond smooth and creamy - this is like cream covered in velvet. It is nicely carbonated, which is very delightful. Lovely sweet malty flavor with s smooth bitter accompanying roastiness. Notes of coffee. The barrel character is flawless . smooth toned-down nutty bourbon with hints of wood and vanilla, and sweet fresh maple syrup with hints of honey. A noticeable bitterness develops towards the finish as the beer ends with caramel, toffee, powdery coffee and a hint of alcohol.

This is, from start to finish, a very well made beer. Ridiculously complex, perhaps bordering what is possible with beer without it collapsing in a mess. Here, instead we get great balance and integration. I must say that I find it interesting that the barrel aging made its mouthfeel so full compared to the regular Breakfast stout. Well well, to sum it up: this might be the best barrel aged imperial stout I've ever had.

Photo of DavyJones
5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of TCHopCraver
4.75/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I had this at the Founders Taproom yesterday, as the last leg of a Midwest trip. What a great way to finish off a fun trip! Thanks to my good friend and fellow BA TCGoalie for giving me the heads up that this was available at the brewery.

I'm always a little wary of reviewing a beer that I know is rated so highly, but this one made it easy. So tasty and enjoyable to imbibe. This review is from detailed notes.

A: Poured almost jet-black with just a little bit of a brownish tint into a tall, thin, 12 ounce glass that was flared at the top. The head was an attractive mocha that had just about disappeared by the time the beer was brought to me. The beer left a small, dotty, sticky lacing pattern on the sides of the glass, along with a clear, thick film that coated the glass after a sip.

S: As soon as I saw that the smaller pours of this were served in a snifter, I was a little sad that I got the tall 12 oz. glass, because it was a little more difficult to catch the full aroma. However, my girlfriend got the smaller pour a little later, so I was able to get the full effect of the smell from her pour. The main scent was a medium-bodied coffee bean. There was a nice maple sweetness that accompanied the coffee smell, and just a hint of toffee and caramel. It smelled like I imagine a Canadian household smelling at breakfast-time.

T: Phenomenal. The rich flavor was so well balanced between the maple sweetness and the slight acidic coffee taste. The taste starts out sweet and then as the sip is finished, a slight bitter hop characteristic takes over. However the taste left in the mouth after the sip is that rich, coating maple sweetness again. Such a complex and rich flavor. Every component ingredient was perfectly proportioned to the others.

M: Full and coating. The feel was so exciting and satisfying. The beer really disperses its flavors evenly and thickly over the palate. The carbonation was so perfect for this beer that it was almost an afterthought.

D: Not surprisingly, this beer had a fabulous drinkability. I never thought that the sweetness of the flavor overpowered my palate, and there was no alcohol detectable. This beer was so flavorful and rich. Founders really has a good thing going with their Breakfast Stout line and I can't wait to try the Kentucky version soon!

Photo of MadScientist
4.76/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Aroma: moderately strong aromas of coffee and roast with a moderate maple sweetness. Fair amount of caramel malt sweetness and chocolate as well.

Appearance: black with a thin ring of expresso colored bubbles

Taste: The dominate flavors of maple, chocolate and coffee are pretty well balanced along with roast notes. A medium bitterness against a medium strong level of sweetness from caramel malt and some maple making for a moderately sweet beer. There is also some alcohol sweetness an a a bit of dark stone fruit that is more red cherry than anything.

Mouthfeel: A creamy, full bodied beer with a medium level of carbonation. A light alcohol warmth.

Overall: A very smooth beer with rich, dark flavors of coffee, maple and chocolate.

Photo of CavemanRamblin
4.68/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of jono0101
4.65/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

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Founders CBS Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,996 ratings.