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Founders CBS Imperial Stout - Founders Brewing Company

Founders CBS Imperial StoutFounders CBS Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

2,266 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2266
Reviews: 752
rAvg: 4.66
pDev: 10.09%


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: 2,266 | Reviews: 752 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of paco1029384756
paco1029384756

Illinois

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

Pours black with a smooth tan head, it's one nice looking beer.

Scent of chocolate, maple, coffee, and oatmeal. Perfect, just an amazing scent, perfectly balanced.

Taste of chocolate, maple, coffee, and oatmeal, just as the scent lets on. This is the greatest beer I have ever had, absolutely perfect.

Mouthfeel is heavy and very smooth, overpowering the senses as it travels through the mouth.

Drinkability is crazy, it gets more drinkable to more you have. They wouldn't let me get a growler of it, but that didn't stop me from drinking a growler's worth of it.

Serving type: on-tap

03-15-2009 22:46:20 | More by paco1029384756
Photo of jdflyer06
jdflyer06

Ohio

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

Had this on tap at DLD 2009. What a way to cap off an exceptional day!

A: Thick, Dark with little or no head.

S: Maple, vanilla and plenty of coffee with some dark chocolate notes. I'm dying to taste this at this point.

M: Smooth and creamy. No bite at all. The alcohol is slightly present at this thing warms, but overall its syrupy and utterly decadent.

T: Maple, coffee, chocolate, vanilla all perfectly balanced and a few more complex, subtle flavors as this one warms. The coffee is more up front on this one than the KBS and of course, the maple syrup makes me hungry for pancakes.

I want more of this! I love the KBS but this brew is absolutely killer. The KBS needs some age to soften up the bourbon heat, but the CBS is nearly perfect right out of the gate. I'll definetely seek this one out again.

Serving type: on-tap

04-26-2009 23:37:21 | More by jdflyer06
Photo of BirdFlu
BirdFlu

New Jersey

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

(reviewed from notes taken at extreme beer fest 09)

This is, without a doubt.. the greatest beer I have ever had in my entire life..
If you are familiar with KBS, imagine taking that, easing the bourbon and general brown liquor character, then inject it with pure maple syrup and you can just start to understand how incredible this beer is.. Again, similar mouthfeel and such to KBS, similar consistency and viscosity. Also a similarly strong aroma, but, again, with much sweeter of an essence. Sweet like pancakes, not like candy.
If there is ever one truly great thing which we, here on BA.com and as advocates of great beer in general, may hope to do for the universe of beer... it would be getting this beer released for real, if only in short supply. It was truly, the greatest beer I could even imagine.

Serving type: on-tap

05-01-2009 04:09:10 | More by BirdFlu
Photo of waltonc
waltonc

Colorado

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

Made the trek out to Grand Rapids while visiting my parents in Michigan in part to sample this beer, which is one of the best I've ever had. Ordered a CBS and KBS and drank them side by side. I can't think of a more perfect drinking experience.

A: Pitch black body with a centimeter of tan head.
S: Bourbon, molasses, subtle sweet maple syrup, and vanilla.
T: See smell. Incredible flavor. Very well balanced components. The maple syrup is subtle and well integrated with the beer. Not too sweet and not too dry.
M: Medium to thick body, creamy, with medium carbonation.
D: Had a couple of these on top of a KBS and bourbon barrel aged imperial stout. Not feeling too great, but it was worth it.

Post-script: downright bizarre that anyone considers this inferior to Breakfast Stout, which is obviously inferior to KBS, much less CBS.

Serving type: on-tap

06-03-2009 03:08:38 | More by waltonc
Photo of Jcb890
Jcb890

Massachusetts

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

Growler split with Reginaldo. Big thanks to mwa423 for the trade!

A - Pours an almost pitch black with about an inch or so of a dark brown head. Lacing has stuck around for the entire glass.

S - A very sweet smell with a lot of maple, vanilla and oak.

T - Delicious! Oh man do I love this beer. I've been missing this since I tried it at the Extreme Beer Festival. A lot of maple here in the taste with some coffee. Imagine Breakfast Stout with lots of amazing maple.

M - Very smooth and rather thick. Leaves a nice coating on the mouth after sipping.

D - This growler will be gone very shortly after this review is finished. I wish I could bathe in it!

If you can get this beer, please, for the love of all that is holy, do it! I think this is honestly the best beer I have had to date (in my opinion). It is absolutely amazing.

- PS/Update: just finished off the growler... I would trade my soul for more of this.

Serving type: growler

07-26-2009 21:36:42 | More by Jcb890
Photo of reginaldo
reginaldo

Massachusetts

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

Poured out of a growler courtesy of Jcb890. I wish there was a procedure to replace my blood with this beer. It is epic. Pours as any stout should. Jet black color with a dark tan head. Head retention is good as a thin layer of foam remains throughout the glass. Vanilla, coffee, caramel and a sweet maple aroma dominate the nose. The taste is incredible. Very complex beer that gets better as you get deeper into the glass. Starts off with vanilla/caramel sweetness. The coffee notes come through in the middle, followed by a bit of booziness. The maple comes through at the finish, although it's mixed with a nice roasted character. This is one of the smoothest beers I've had the pleasure of drinking. Almost a creamy quality to it. After taking a sip it seems like it coats the tongue. Despite being a stronger ABV it is surprisingly drinkable. All said and done, this is probably the best beer I've had to date. If you ever have a chance to try this, please do it, even if you have to drive to Africa.

Serving type: growler

07-26-2009 21:52:46 | More by reginaldo
Photo of punkrkr27
punkrkr27

Michigan

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

Tap at the 2009 Founders Black Party. Only the 2nd beer I've ever given a perfect rating to. This stuff is incredible! Black as black can be pour with a nice dense brown head. Notes of oak, vanilla, bourbon, maple sugar candy, and nuts. All in excellent balance. Thick oily mouthfeel.

Serving type: on-tap

09-11-2009 20:25:19 | More by punkrkr27
Photo of md655321
md655321

Michigan

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

Stunning. Huge thanks to the Charleston Beer Exchange for being the best ever at what they do. The Michael Jordan of Southeast beer stores.

Just may be the best stout ever. Well, at least the best breakfast stout. Wonderful hints of maple syrup, but nowhere near overpowering. Really ties the chocolate and wood notes together into one super smooth package. Believe the hype.

Serving type: growler

02-13-2010 02:49:41 | More by md655321
Photo of sullenbee
sullenbee

Michigan

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

A-Dark Dark Chocolate. Perfection to me is a beer you can't see through, and this beer definitely fits the bill.

S-Bitter chocolate, burnt coffee. Almost a hint of something peppery. Reminds me of hung over mornings with far away friends in foreign places.

T-Extremely delicious, melt in your mouth goodness. The regular breakfast stout is my staple go-to beer at Founder's when it is available, and this one-ups it nicely. Maple and vanilla afterthoughts, bold rich coffee.

M-Thick and rich, as it should be. A meal in itself.

D-Why is this beer so drinkable? I could drink it all night, but Founder's has far too many other great beers on tap to stick with just one. I will have as much of this beer as possible while it is available, and I look forward to trying KBS in a few weeks to compare it.

Serving type: on-tap

02-28-2010 06:08:57 | More by sullenbee
Photo of BillRoth
BillRoth

Maryland

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

Had this at the brewpub, and at first thought it was very good ( as claimed/reported). But as it warmed slightly it began to evolve into a delicious highly (dangerously) drinkable draft. I have had many Founders brews, but this was so exceptional, and so remarkable that I now believe this is as goos as it gets. It has an exceptionally good nose, followed by a perfect mouth. The flavor is, let's face it, just out and out delicious. Hints of vanilla and wood, then the maple...soft, subtle but not overwhelming...just perfectly complementary.
I may have to move to Michigan!

Serving type: on-tap

05-14-2010 00:30:45 | More by BillRoth
Photo of Avagadro
Avagadro

New Jersey

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

Served on tap at Founders in an over-sized brandy glass. The chalk board lists this as 10%abv.

A: poured perfectly, leaving plenty of headspace in the snifter for room to swirl this velvety elixir. The body is jet black. Around the rim a thin ring of chocolate colored foam resides, formed by an active layer of lacing just under the brew's surface.

S: swirling the brew around the snifter releases a torrent of aromatics, including caramel, coffee, molasses, vanilla, and maple. No one character dominates the other, allowing all to ring harmoniously in the nose.

T: This rich nectar has an intensely malty body, complemented by molasses, maple, vanilla, rum, and maple. Truly an experience.

M: thick, velvety, creamy; the body bolsters this brew's rich demeanor.

D: I was shocked by how quickly this brew rocketed to its place on the best of BA list, and decided that it must be had. When o found out that it had been tapped the other day, I decided to wake up early in case the keg got bum-rushed. Fortunately, I made it in time to experience this delightful brew. I highly recommend it, as it rivals any other RIS in quality and flavor.

Serving type: on-tap

06-09-2010 17:45:25 | More by Avagadro
Photo of mechamifune
mechamifune

North Carolina

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

Part of me feels so wrong for giving 5's to every category, but I honestly don't know how the beer could have done better in any of the categories listed.

Pours a pitch black with a slight tan head. The beer just looks inviting, unlike some bigger stouts that can look a little "dead" in the glass.

Smell is coffee and chocolate upfront with a little bit of sweetness behind, but to me the coffee dominates the initial nose. Still, I could just sit and smell this thing for an hour if it didn't taste so damn good.

Taste seems a bit more evened out and the coffee isn't as overpowering as in the smell. The sweetness is evident, but not syrupy or overpowering to me. I get maybe a hint of alcohol but even that works in a pleasant way with the other flavors.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, reminds me almost of hot chocolate at times. Carbonation seems pretty minimal, which is appropriate given what we're working with.

My matra for big stouts is generally, even for the ones I love, that I can only drink a pint or so before it stops being so enjoyable, based on the heavyness of the style more than anything. For this beer I would make the exception. For as big as it is, it's silly easy to drink.

FBS was already one of my absolute favorite beers of any style, and this basically takes it and...well, to put it simply, makes it better. Any stout fan needs to seek this one out.

Serving type: on-tap

07-15-2010 22:57:36 | More by mechamifune
Photo of NorthsideFred
NorthsideFred

Illinois

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

Enjoying at Captain Mike's in Kenosha.

8 ounce pour for $7.50. Served by a cute bartender.

Beautiful black pour with a creamy dark brown froth. Looks great!

Smells wonderful, the coffee grabs you first then the chocolate, I can't say I detect the maple but there is a sweet scent that I like. This really smells good.

Tastes incredible! Wow! The coffee and chocolate, I think I taste the maple but it is very subtle.

This is full-bodied with perfect carbonation.

I could drink this all day.

This is one of the best beers I've ever had. Hopefully our paths will cross again someday.

Serving type: on-tap

07-17-2010 19:23:21 | More by NorthsideFred
Photo of levifunk
levifunk

Wisconsin

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

Made the trip to Captain Mike's for this. Well worth it. This is my first time having CBS and my first time going to Captain Mike's. I look forward to experiencing both again. I believe this had been aged for 1 year.

This beer is definitely of the same blood as KBS. It has the same coffee, chocolate, vanilla, smokey flavor, but then has an added maple sweetness that smooths any harshness out. Absolutely phenomenal beer. Glad to have tried it, but now may be even more tempted to open up the bottle I have.

Serving type: on-tap

07-18-2010 18:18:23 | More by levifunk
Photo of gcpanda
gcpanda

North Carolina

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

Easily my favorite of the 3 stouts released by Founders. Pours a dark brown, almost black with a decent tan head. Sweeter than the other two breakfast stouts, with strong maple tones and the standard coffee/vanilla/chocolate notes found in a Founder's Stout.

Serving type: on-tap

08-10-2010 16:24:03 | More by gcpanda
Photo of biophiliadude
biophiliadude

Pennsylvania

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

Served in an oversized Brandy snifter at the Founders Brewery. From notes from August 2010.

A: Black: Like space without the stars*

S: chocolate, dark fruit, maple syrup

T: Amazing. woody overtones, with the traditional Breakfast stout complex combo of perfect parts coffee, chocolate, caramel, toffee, and chocolate covered fruit, but with a mellowed out boozey maple syrup liqueur almost back. Where it excels more than any other beer I've had is in the balance of all the flavors. It truly is the perfect stout. The 6-8 months spent in maple syrup soaked bourbon barrels really added an amazing touch flavor, changing the whole beer.

M: full bodied

D: I'll say I could drink it all night - and I could - but it'd just be an early night.

This is by far the best beer I've ever had that was so closely watched- constantly under a microscope. It exceeded all my expectations. Beg, Barter, or Steal (not really) for this bad boy because everyone should experience it.

*Spinal Tap reference so you KNOW it's good.

Serving type: on-tap

12-12-2010 19:38:44 | More by biophiliadude
Photo of boz4uali
boz4uali

Pennsylvania

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

5.5 oz at a Founders event @ Tavern on Liberty

A: black, no head (although by the time they brought the glass over to me it may have gone down)

S: black mission figs dipped in maple syrup with a splash of bourbon, all blended with KBS...incredible and not overwhelmingly sweet or bourbon-y . the smell of alcohol is hardly present. sweet but not sickeningly sweet--like a dried black mission fig.

T: delicious stout qualities with fig, vanilla, maple and bourbon

M: thick syrupy goodness

O: had CBS for the first time served with KBS, porter, centennial, double trouble, nemesis, dirty bastard, imperial stout--the CBS was my favorite. although i only had a 5.5 oz serving, i nursed it for as long as possible--the taste and smell were absolutely perfect. smell reminds me of sam adams utopias but better.

Serving type: on tap

Serving type: on-tap

04-01-2011 17:46:01 | More by boz4uali
Photo of MarkFy
MarkFy

Illinois

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

Great Taste of the Midwest 2010.

A: black coffee color with a thin, disappearing brown head.

S: maple syrup, bourbon booze and espresso.

T: Absolutely amazing! Bourbon taste with maple syrup followed by a nice slightly dry coffee flavor.

M: Very nice but somewhat thin with the bourbon and maple rolling around in the mouth.

O: One of the best beers I have ever had. Well done Founders.

Serving type: on-tap

04-05-2011 00:33:13 | More by MarkFy
Photo of Emmaus217
Emmaus217

Indiana

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

Pours midnight black with a thin mocha head that swiftly fades to gorgeous looking lacing.

Smells like sweet maple bourbon with a hint of coffee and dark chocolate.

The taste is out of this world. Completely lives up to the hype. Sweet maple goodness followed by delicious dark chocolate. A delicious bourbony/booze after taste quickly follows it up.

The mouthfeel is thick and carbonated just right.

This beer is everything I had hoped it would be. I'm so glad I came to the Black Party.

Serving type: on-tap

04-16-2011 19:19:40 | More by Emmaus217
Photo of Franch
Franch

New York

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

what a glorious beer. i love FBS and KBS, so this isn't exactly earth-shattering, but this is by far my favorite of the founders breakfast stouts. i was worried that it'd taste like syrup, but the vanilla and maple syrup is only lurking in the back. one thing it DOES do is help take away the heat that was around in KBS '11. all the flavors come together perfectly: vanilla, maple, bourbon, and breakfast. i want it bottled NOW!

Serving type: on-tap

06-17-2011 15:29:13 | More by Franch
Photo of SkiBum22
SkiBum22

New York

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.

Serving type: on-tap

08-14-2011 16:08:13 | More by SkiBum22
Photo of isitsavage
isitsavage

Texas

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

On-tap at Churchkey in DC yesterday.

Arrived in a snifter. Jet black with a finger of light brown head. Head lingered for a bit before falling to a whisp on top. A beautiful beer to look at but even better to smell. Smell is like a very nice chocolate/coffee desert with a good bit of cream as well. I'm thinking coffee ice cream or espresso anglaise.

Taste here is phenomenal, maybe the most beautifully balanced beer I've had. Maple is probably most prominent and you can almost taste the wood from the barrels. Fades to chocolate and cream and then a really great cappacinno flavor. Slightly bitter but very creamy. Really helps to balance out the maple and chocolate. 10% alcohol is perfect as well, it's there for sure and this beer certainly warmed me up, but I never got any alcohol burn, smooth all the way. Lacing after several sips is excellent, beautiful light brown spiderwebs all over the glass. Really adds to the appearance.

Excellent moutfeel especially given all that maple flavor. Not syrupy at all, lightly carbonated and medium in the mouth.

I was very happy to have gotten a taste of this given it's limited availabity. Also saw it mentioned that Churchkey kicked it's keg in 12 minutes to I consider myself lucky. Now if I can just find a bottle....

Serving type: on-tap

10-05-2011 18:03:01 | More by isitsavage
Photo of mfunk9786
mfunk9786

Pennsylvania

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

After calling 25 (yes, 25) local and not-so-local stores looking for a bottle of this today, I finally stumbled upon one. This is a beer that had always eluded me, and I was thrilled to finally get to try it. It pours with a glistening thickness that immediately sticks to the side of the glass, smelling of fresh coffee that's been bludgeoned with mocha and maple. Absolutely delicious. The taste brings all that's right about KBS with a sweet blanket of additional smoothness brought on by the maple. The flavor is simultaneously restrained and bold, mild and audacious. The mouthfeel is reminiscent of excellent stouts like Bourbon County Rare, slick and oily with only a bit of a carbonation and alcohol tingle (but I don't mean that in the creepy undercarbonated way - this beer tastes fresh and well [correctly] carbonated). The best beer I've had to date, period. My first 5.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2011 05:08:11 | More by mfunk9786
Photo of Monkwhobrewsbeer
Monkwhobrewsbeer

Indiana

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

I was at Founders for the CBS release on 10-1-11, was able to buy two bottles that day. I still have not opened them as of this date, but I drank two glasses on-tap that day and it was fantastic! Even though stouts are not my favorite style of beer, it was one of the best beers I have ever had. Everything about it was great. The total blend of coffee, maple, and bourbon melted in your mouth like candy.

Serving type: on-tap

10-08-2011 13:00:49 | More by Monkwhobrewsbeer
Photo of monitorpop
monitorpop

Michigan

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

A: Almost opaque black, with a nice mahogany glow on the edges, creamy head faded away between the pour to being served.

S: Strong sweet aroma with subtile chocolate and coffee. Gives a bit of alcohol burn to the nose.

T: Mild roasted coffee, sweet maple syrup, subtile bourbon, faint chocolate with a touch of vanilla.

M: Smooth, low carbonation, no alcohol burn.

O: One of the best beers I have ever had. I love sweet, low hop imperial stouts and this is certainly one of the best.

Serving type: on-tap

10-08-2011 15:15:22 | More by monitorpop
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Founders CBS Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,266 ratings.