Founders CBS Imperial Stout - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders CBS Imperial StoutFounders CBS Imperial Stout

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2,473 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,473
Reviews: 765
rAvg: 4.66
pDev: 10.09%
Wants: 3,012
Gots: 532 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: CRJMellor on 02-01-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,473 | Reviews: 765 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by ummswimmin:
Photo of ummswimmin
4.93/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer was the feature of a tap takeover at a local bar. They said that it would be tapped at 5pm. To ensure the opportunity to taste this world class beer, I arrived at the bar at 4:40 and placed my order. I was actually jittery on the ride over to the bar, and I was really nervous that I would get there too late for the opportunity for my own taste of CBS. The sixtel took nine minutes to get kicked. You had to order your beer before the first pour to get a glass.

They used mini snifters to serve the six ounces of liquid heaven. You got beer as dark as midnight with a light, tan ring around the top. That scarce, little bit of foam left minimal lacing on this little glass.

I smelled it and saw stars. I then breathed it in again. I could smell toffee, deep roasted espresso, a little touch of sweetness, a touch of maple, and I think... cocoa? I kept sniffing it in anticipation of the first drink. I could only wish that this beer tasted half as good as it smelled.

First taste: WOW!!!
I get a ton of smoothe espresso. There was a decent amount of sweetness present. You get some venous quality, and you can see the legs on the glass. I also picked up some cask flavor in the beer. This is extremely rich. I love that I got 6 ounces, but it seems like 12 is too much. All that was missing was an over-stuffed chair and a roaring fire place.

The after-taste was sublime. The coffee notes start to ease off. And the flavor just sits on the back of my tongue.

I don't think that I fawned too much over this beer. This Wale lived up to its billing. I hope that I can someday get another glass someday.

More User Reviews:
Photo of KFBR392
5/5  rDev +7.3%
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 brianmandell
4.38/5  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 -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 :)

Photo of Darkmagus82
4.99/5  rDev +7.1%
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 peacemakers48
5/5  rDev +7.3%
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 -3.4%
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.

Photo of DanGeo
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of Smokesnotes
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of tectactoe
4.48/5  rDev -3.9%

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.

Photo of DavyJones
5/5  rDev +7.3%

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!

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.

Photo of Schlais
4.5/5  rDev -3.4%

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.

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.

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.

Photo of readicculus
5/5  rDev +7.3%

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.

Photo of bdkucharski
4/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of newk340
5/5  rDev +7.3%

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.

Photo of supa0525
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of DaftPatrick
4.9/5  rDev +5.2%

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Founders CBS Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,473 ratings.