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Founders CBS Imperial Stout - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders CBS Imperial StoutFounders CBS Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,361 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,361
Reviews: 756
rAvg: 4.66
pDev: 10.3%
Wants: 2,917
Gots: 516 | 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:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: CRJMellor on 02-01-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,361 | Reviews: 756 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by cjacobsen:
Photo of cjacobsen
4.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

(A) This beer pours black as night. No light gets through when held up to a bulb. Forms a really dark brown head that sits up about a quarter to half inch.

(S) The aroma of this beer is pretty much what you would expect. Coffee, chocolate, maple syrup, some oak/wood, a touch of bourbon, a dryness and a hint of licorice.

(T) Just like the nose, dead on. Chocolate stood out to me first and foremost. The maple syrup was consistent throughout the flavor and gave it that even sweetness. Dark roasted malts helped bring up the foundation and give a robust coffee flavor that paired well with vanilla at the end. Excellent.

(M) Very smooth and big body. Thick and malty. It was easy on the palate and very enjoyable.

(O) This was so good I didn't want to finish it. Just fantastically crafted and well made. I love KBS and FBS and this is the best of both worlds and then some more. It's delectable. Worth the hype.

cjacobsen, Oct 13, 2011
More User Reviews:
Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.5/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

DaPeculierDane, Nov 10, 2009
Photo of DanGeo
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%

DanGeo, Jun 10, 2013
Photo of tectactoe
4.48/5  rDev -3.9%

tectactoe, Nov 12, 2014
Photo of ricke
4.65/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

ricke, May 16, 2010
Photo of DavyJones
5/5  rDev +7.3%

DavyJones, Jun 05, 2012
Photo of TCHopCraver
4.78/5  rDev +2.6%
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!

TCHopCraver, Feb 25, 2010
Photo of brownbeer
4.58/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drove three hours one way to Flying Saucer in KC to taste this beer.

A- Opaque with a thin brown head.

S- A little restrained on the nose. Dark chocolate chips, bourbon, coffee, maple, wonderful subtle smoke.

T- Rich pancakes chased with espresso. Light raisin, a milky sweetness mid palate.

M- Slightly viscous but enough carbonation to stay drinkable.

D- Alcohol is well hidden and a sheer joy to drink as it's not bitter like the original.

brownbeer, Oct 05, 2009
Photo of Schlais
4.5/5  rDev -3.4%

Schlais, Apr 11, 2012
Photo of Spaten454
4.1/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - Jet black with a thin milk chocolate colored head that hangs around for a while. Nice lacing.

S - Bourbon, coffee, roasted malt, bitter dark chocolate, sugary sweetness

T - Chocolaty-bourbon with a coffee backbone. Maple is not very present at all. I drank a Better Half a few weeks before the CBS and the maple in the Better Half is still very dominate.

M - Medium carbonation, really smooth but a little thinner then I was expecting.

O - A very delicious, well made beer. Wish I got a chance to try it fresh.

Spaten454, Jul 15, 2013
Photo of BrohamidAli
4.18/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a 750 bottle

A: poured a thick dark coffee black into a founders snifter. A little finger of a mocha colored head to it.

S: Getting that coffee that reminds me so much of kbs. a little sweetness not so much maple though

T/M: right up front I get that coffee taste that I love. The flavors seem a little more mellow that kbs. I get some of that oaky qualities but i'm really stretching and I get none of the maple. It does have a lot smother finish and more mouthfeel than kbs and is more rounded.

O: I think I had this beer a little to late. It's a good beer but I wish I could of had it fresh off the tap when founders released it. I just don't see how it is the number 3 beer on here. It did not blow me away and It doesn't seem to hold up after time. This is one of those beers you need to have fresh or not at all.

BrohamidAli, Apr 12, 2012
Photo of SkiBum22
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a very deep black with almost no head and minimal lacing

S: A huge explosion of coffee, maple, oats, and a touch of booze

T: Chocolate, maple brown sugar, wood, boozy, and a nice hint of vanilla

M: Robust and yet very smooth and goes down so easy for a beer around 10%.

D: This is as close to a perfect beer as you can get in my opinion. I'm very happy to hear that they are bottling this soon.

SkiBum22, Aug 14, 2011
Photo of readicculus
5/5  rDev +7.3%

readicculus, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of scott9890
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this beer at Al's of Hampden.

A-Black with a finger and a half of head that lasted the whole time and lacing was impeccable.

S-This was the ultimate beer for the true beer geek. All of the smells: (maple, bourbon, oak, vanilla, coffee, chocolate )all converge into the perfect aroma. At the same time nonetheless.

T-All of the flavors : maple, coffee, bourbon, oak, vanilla, chocolate all converge into the perfect brew. At the same time. This truly is a multi flavor beer in perfect balance converging all at the same time.

O-I would give an arm to have a case of this all to myself...could someone help me open and pour this. -signed the one armed beer geek.

This is the best beer ever.

scott9890, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of bdkucharski
4/5  rDev -14.2%

bdkucharski, Feb 18, 2012
Photo of newk340
5/5  rDev +7.3%

newk340, Feb 04, 2012
Photo of orbitalr0x
4.5/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Bavarian Lodge, Lisle, IL

Arrives in a snifter a deep dark pitch black with a small dark tan bubbly head on top that leaves some lacing behind. Aromas open up as the beer warms with deep chocolate and lots of dark malts. Fresh coffee lies underneath along with mellow oak. The maple syrup sweetness shines through more and more as it gets warmer and adds a really nice twist.

First sip brings big dark malts upfront with a tasty mix of chocolate, mellow coffee and maple syrup sweetness. Oak barrel accents swirl in with vanilla and just a kiss of bourbon. Sweetness lingers on through the finish along with a maple syrup afterthought. Smooth and tasty!

Mouthfeel is rich and creamy with a nice smoothness and mellow carbonation. Goes down pretty damn easy considering and doesn't have the strong bourbon kick of KBS. I wish I could have got more than one glass but the keg blew in an amazing 15 minutes. A great brew by Founders and I hope to run across it again someday.

orbitalr0x, Jun 27, 2009
Photo of supa0525
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%

supa0525, Dec 27, 2011
Photo of DaftPatrick
4.9/5  rDev +5.2%

DaftPatrick, Mar 01, 2014
Photo of heddar33
5/5  rDev +7.3%

heddar33, Mar 02, 2012
Photo of warnerry
4.5/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours black with a good three fingers of tan head. Head has excellent retention and leaves spots of lacing.

S - Aromas of coffee and chocolate initially, yielding to sweet maple syrup, vanilla and oak. Just a touch of alcohol in the aroma.

T - Sweet maple syrup and chocolate, followed by coffee and then a nice bourbon presence. The sweetness builds, but just when I think it is going to be too much, the sweet elements fade and a dry oak barrel presence carries through to the finish. I've had a few batches of this, and I think the sweetness in the bottled version is somewhere in the middle of the batches I've tried: definitely substantial, but not overwhelming. Definitely a good maple syrup presence, but this finishes very dry and clean. Excellent.

M - Full mouthfeel. Initially a bit syrupy sweet, but turns halfway through into a rather dry tannin-filled finish.

O - Just an excellent and unique stout. A touch on the sweet side to want too often, but this is a nice treat and another great stout from Founders.

warnerry, Dec 05, 2011
Photo of DWolf
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%

DWolf, Jan 03, 2014
Photo of Callmecoon
4/5  rDev -14.2%

Callmecoon, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of bishopdc0
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%

bishopdc0, Aug 17, 2012
Photo of beckard13
5/5  rDev +7.3%

beckard13, Dec 16, 2011
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Founders CBS Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,361 ratings.