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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.

937 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 937
Hads: 3,945
Avg: 4.62
pDev: 18.4%
Wants: 4,017
Gots: 726 | FT: 11
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 937 | Hads: 3,945
Photo of scott9890
5/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

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Photo of Scottyg33
5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this at the tap room during KBS week. Probably the best beer I have ever had. The maple sweetness taste caps off the chocolate/coffee/bourbon flavor and all works perfect together. Not to sweet and not to strong. Can't wait to have it again

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Photo of gibgink
5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap 1/29/14, enjoyed with a fellow BA'er which made for an even more memorable experience. Barrel characteristics are present, but so much more going on! First time getting such a nice chocolate flavor that blends so well with a barrel aged beer. No one flavor dominates, every sip is a new experience. Worst part was knowing I probably will not be able to have it again.

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Photo of pat61
5/5  rDev +8.2%
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 mondegreen
5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Founders Balloon Tulip. 2011 Vintage.

Pours midnight black with an inviting fluffy tan head. Looks perfect.

Nose is incredible. Decidedly, but not overwhelmingly, sweet. The chocolate and maple/bourbon come together like a lovely Ménage à trois. The coffee plays a supporting role, lending just enough roasted notes to smooth it all out.

Taste is everything I want in a stout. All the flavors work together in balance - sweetness with a touch of alcohol heat up front, and a light but noticeable bitter bite on the finish.

Mouth is full, but not viscous. It actually comes across as a bit fluffy to me, almost mousse-like.

Founders has a true gem with CBS. I really hope that their current expansion can help them get more of this beer into distribution at a reasonable price. Fantastic brew, as close to a perfect stout as I've had.

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Photo of gcpanda
5/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

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Photo of mobius387
5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

what can i say that others haven't said 300+ times already. this beer looks, smells and tastes just like everyone else has already noticed. i will say this tho:

overall: this beer lived up to the hype. getting this on tap at a bar here in milwaukee, i feel like im one of the luckiest BA's right now. imagine the KBS with maple syrup flavors and a little less boozyness to the beer. its perfect. absolutely stunned by this beer. i really can't wait until they mass produce it and everyone gets to try some that wants to. its a beer that no one should miss out on having.

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Photo of mfunk9786
5/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

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Photo of md655321
5/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

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Photo of dvmin98
5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I have had CBS several times at tastings, etc, but this was the first time I've had the cooyans to actually crack open one of my bottles. Enjoyed it with a couple of friends (lucky bastards).

A - Deep brown color with 1/2 inch of head

S - bourbon, coffee, chocolatey

T - best tasting beer I have ever had. I couldn't get enough. I was literally rubbing the glass with my finger to get every last drop. Bourbon, coffee, chocolatey, with sweetness. The maple is just a hint, but just the perfect amount.

M - creamy and thick with a very full body

O - Best beer I have ever had. I have two bottles left and can't wait to open them up and enjoy them, but only for a special occasion.

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Photo of sguzman
5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This has to be one of the best Imperial Stout by Founders. I am a big fan of Imperial Stout beers and Found has tip the scale on this one. I cannot wait to taste it ontap. Founders usually makes an appearance in late Spring in either at Bind Tiger or RattleAndHum on 33rd East street.

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Photo of SeaUrchin
5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

went to the founders happy hour at slows bbq, had this on tap into a goblet, low light room so appearance might not be perfect, also i got 2 pours of it since my buddies girlfriend didnt like it, also this was a whale of mine and i had a godly expectation and it did not let me down, 2011 vintage

appearance - black, void of all light but around the head it appeared to be slightly red, this could have been due to the lighting, a darkish light brown head about a finger tall, that left but left nice lacing, low carbonation

smell - up front was a very sweet coffee smell (i think it is a beautiful blend of the maple syrup, the bourbon, and the coffee) almost fruity, next came the bourbon and coffee that is reminiscent of KBS and chocolate, once it warmed up there was a noticeable alcohol smell but one that seemed appropriate and almost helped to balance out the sweetness

taste - coffee, but not as bitter as breakfast stout or KBS up front, fading into a sweet blend of maple syrup, chocolate, bourbon, vanilla and coffee, and finishes with a sweet maple bourbon coffee flavor, similar to a sugar cube and a drop of syrup into an irish coffee, simply amazing, as it warmed up a bit of booze came through

mouthfeel - thick, sticky, and lingered on the tongue, amazing, fit the nose and taste perfectly

overall - if there is a god this is evidence of it, simply amazing, lived up to the hype and my own expectations, and more, a perfect 5, hit all the notes i wanted sweet, bitter, booze, and coffee

other note - decided to sit on my bottle for at least a year, i was spoiled with 12oz (more like 18 from the pours) will report back once it is opened, once again probably my favorite beer to this point

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Photo of vrbulldog22
5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Shared a bottle with a few friends (thank you, Jerk44).
Pours black, with a tiny tan head that doesn't stick around too long.
Smells of coffee, hints of bourbon & maple.
Has all of the coffee & chocolate taste from the breakfast stout, with bourbon & maple sweetness added.
Velvety in the mouth, very smooth.
Strong without tasting too boozy. Definitely one of my favorites.

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to my best friend for this generous Christmas surprise.
Appearance: black gold. Opaque, and creamy looking. Thick tan head and lacing.
Smell: man oh man. Maple is not as forward as the fresh bottle I split when this was released. Reminds of kbs, but maybe even better. Reminds also of a fine chilled mocha. Dark chocolate, espresso. Maple still part of the mix, and a wonderful mix it is.
Taste: all that is in the nose in a perfectly balanced taste. Mellow and vibrant at the sAme time.
Mouthfeel: fat creamy goodness.
Overall: I have a hard time giving perfect scores what with much more experienced ba's never going that far. But when a beer transcends what I thought a great beer was, I gotta do it. Like kbs this one deserves the hype.

Update 07/29/2012 : lucky enough to have 2 more bottles saved. Much debate that this should not be aged. One legitimate point is that the maple will fade. Yes, but it's still in the profile, and man is this freak smooth. Drinkin like a milkshake. Awesome.

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Photo of mjshearer1
5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this on tap at Founders' 2012 Black Party.

A - Oily, black, and thick. Just how I like my imperials.

S - Huge coffee, chocolate, bourbon, and a sweetness that had to be the maple syrup.

T - Everything I've ever wanted it to be. I've been trying to track this stuff down for a while now, wasn't able to get it in the bottles, but held out hope that it'd make an appearance at the Black Party, and it didn't disappoint. This is basically a sweeter KBS on account of the maple syrup, with all that smooth, warm, choco-coffee goodness we've all come to know and love.

M - Smooth and silky to the point of danger.

O - One of the best beers I've ever had. It certainly lives up to it's hype.

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Photo of Monkwhobrewsbeer
5/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

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Photo of papat444
5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is it, my first 5! On tap at Cornerstone in Barre. Intense maple like I've never tasted in a beer before. Decadent and smooth, coffee has a velvety feel to it. So very happy to have had this and sad that I may never have it again.

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Photo of duckyboycantfly
5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On draft. Perfect after warming a bit, but if left too long the maple really comes out and overpowers with sweetness. Really glad I got to try it, definitely worth the trip.

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Photo of mechamifune
5/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

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Photo of Drucifer
5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Fantastic beer by Founders. CBS looks like most stouts should look and feels like a 10% beer should feel. However, the taste and smell are top notch. Maple and coffee dominate the nose. I rarely am able to pick up more than 2 flavors in a beer, but this one has 4 easily distinguishable tastes that do not dominate whatsoever. Maple, coffee, chocolate, and bourbon all show up with no heat at all. This is the ultimate breakfast beer.

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Photo of MarkFy
5/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

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Photo of stoutluvr420
5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap @ TPT. Poured a deep, dark brown- one shade away from black- with a nice, lasting head of dark tan foam. The aroma was loaded with fresh bourbon spiked coffee- lots of heavy roasted notes, and also a subtle woody sweetness of maple syrup. The flavor was also heavy on the coffee, just like the regular Breakfast Stout. Complimenting this was a smooth vanilla-maple sweetness, oat creaminess, and oak woodyness. The bourbon, coffee, and chocolate are so bold, that the maple really adds some nice depth and contrast. The mouthfeel was full-bodied and had light carbonation. Sweet, sticky, smooth heavenly viscus liquid. Damn.

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Photo of levifunk
5/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

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Photo of jdflyer06
5/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

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Photo of pimphm5
5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I drank this out of a standard English pub glass. It poured blacker than dirty fucking oil. I LOVED THE APPEARANCE. OH SHIT!!! The smell was of coffee, some chocolate, some vanilla, some bourbon, some sugar maple syrup qualities. AMAZING!!! Taste was like taking the breakfast stout, and putting it on steroids, and then aging it in maple syrup-bourbon barrels. It was titty. The mouthfeel was fucking smooth. I could drink 124 of them, though I would probably die, but it would be well worth it because it is better than anything. I love it more than anything, even more than my girlfriend, and I broke off our marriage because of this fucking beer!!! I just love it, and Founder's, I love you as well. Founder's if you are listening to this. Please reward me with more CBS for free. Much appreciated. Overall. If you didn't drink this, you are fucking stupid, and don't fucking talk to me you fat fucking piece of shit. I would pay $50.00 for a bottle of this. I love you Founder's. The End.

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Founders CBS Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 937 ratings.