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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.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

2,337 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,337
Reviews: 754
rAvg: 4.66
pDev: 10.09%
Wants: 2,898
Gots: 520 | 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: 2,337 | Reviews: 754 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Gmann
4.35/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a thick black color with a huge pillowy light brown head that slowly settles.

The aroma is of rich coffee and milk chocolate. Strong woody scent with hints of the bourbon. There is some molasses and vanilla notes as well. Really love that Founders breakfast stout aroma.

The taste is bold and sweet. Things start off with a strong coffee flavor, fresh grounds. The beer has a pronounced woody flavor which brings some bark like notes with earthy bitterness. The bourbon and vanilla are light but noticable, just like KBS it doesn't overpower. Not sure if I taste maple specifically, but there is a big sweetness that runs throughout. Molasses, brown sugar, syrup, its all there. The sweetness is a bit overpowering.

The body is big and thick and velvty smooth despite the needed prickly carbonation. Very sweet on the palate but it does have that earthy bitterness to combat it. It is a tad boozy and the sweetness does border on cloying.

Very bold with plenty of outstanding flavors. The FBS, KBS, CBS line is just fantastic. I prefer the KBS to the CBS because the CBS is a bit too sweet and kind of overpowers the bourbon.

Gmann, Oct 17, 2011
Photo of Lillie1128
3.93/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours jet black with a dark mocha head

S - Coffee overpowered by bourbon

T - Really bourbon-y. The maple syrup is pretty apparent throughout and there's a hint of coffee at the end

M - Pretty thick and syrupy, heavy-bodied

Honestly, I'm not as impressed as I thought I would be. I mean, it's pretty good, but I just didn't get that "wow" I thought it would. It's still a solid brew though.

Lillie1128, Oct 17, 2011
Photo of sliverX
4.33/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured pitch black nice thin wispy cap of tan good lacing
Smell is strong coffee a bit woody
Taste boozy woody a hint of maple heavy coffee backed with some stout
Mouthfeel smooth easy to drink medium body nice
Overall a very nice fun beer but the hype may have elevated this being crazy.

sliverX, Oct 17, 2011
Photo of 33nickadams
4.5/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black and completely opaque.  Tan head almost non existent.  Very little carbonation streams float to the top.  

I first get chocolate.  Then the bourbon and very slight coffee.  Maybe even a little smokiness.  The maple is there, but barely detectable for me.  A little disappointed to sense a metallic smell.  It dicipates over time though.

Taste can be described in one word - subtle.  With so much complexity and different tastes-the coffee, chocolate, bourbon, the maple-there is not one that stands out entirely.  Very well balanced.  There is a nice sweetness at the end of the sip.  It's like a whole meal was tasted in one sip.  The only trace of any alcohol is the slight burn down the throat.  You're almost thankful of this to remind you that this is beer.

Like all of founders breakfast stouts the mouthfeel is silky smooth. Even though it is heavy, you're tricked  into thinking that it is lighter because of the complexity of tastes.  Perfectly carbonated.

Without a doubt, an excellent beer.  What was it worth the hype?I'm not so sure.  Anyway, I feel lucky enough to score a bottle , but a little ashamed at how much I paid.  All in all, trying different beer is a perfect metaphor of   life for me-  be in the moment, experience as much of it as you can, but try not to take it too seriously.

33nickadams, Oct 16, 2011
Photo of KDawg
4.55/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Has this from bottle and poured into an ommegang glass. Poured an almost motor oil dark black color. It didn't have the consistency on the pour, just the appearance.

Big, bold, and rich nose that is very layered. Loads of espresso tones along with malts, dark chocolate and some alcohol as well. The heat on the nose is a bit distracting

About as full bodied as it can get. The feel is well layered but it doesn't feel overbearing at all. Not noticing the alcohol as much on the feel, but it is still there. More espresso based with some maple syrup also noticeable as well

Is it possible to be impressed and let down in a way at the same time? It was still extremely good, but the alcohol showing the way it did was bothersome. This probably needs a little bit of time to fully balance out

KDawg, Oct 16, 2011
Photo of akorsak
4.58/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

At Al's of Hampden. Last night and again this afternoon. Served in a mini snifter both times. 11 ounces of glory.

A: The stout is pitch black, an encompassing morass of depth, really a beauty to look at. The bottle pour has left only the faintest band of dark head behind, The viscous body has legs.

S: Sweet maple syrup paired with vanilla bourbon, coffee and roasted chocolate. Each aroma takes it time, gradually emerging as the stout warms. The maple is, by far, the most unique aspect, a rich sweetness cuts through the rest of the already-formidable imperial stout.

T: Imperialistic and coffee-drive, the first couple sips bring the coffee stout to the fore. The coffee buzz iz intoxicatingly good, coaxing the rest of the stout out. The bourbon and maple follow, bringing out the intensity of the stout. The bourbon lends vanilla and coconut before the maple comes through with a syrupy strength. That maple is strong and very dry, each sip left my mouth to deal with a dry sweetness that screamed out for more. The whole package, as strong as it is, just tastes right - a velvety smooth stout.

M: The swirling flavors, bourbon and maple and coffee and chocolate, come together like few other beers can. From the late-night neon din to a mid-day sit-down, CBS doesn't disappoint.

O: A beer like this deserves an addendum, an "I'm with you in Rockland" postscript. Each sip is so complex, so flavorful, that words can barely do it justice.

akorsak, Oct 16, 2011
Photo of normyk
4.5/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

After hearing how great this is for so long I was stoked to get to try it myself. Had a nice taste last weekend and now I'm sitting down to try a glass in a relaxed setting. Lightly chilled in a Duvel tulip.

Pours with a nice fuzzy tan head and the expected darker than black color one expects from a monster stout. Attractive.

The aroma has enormous coffee with a smooth background of maple and some hints of bourbon, chocolate and vanilla. Very nice to the nose.

The taste carries on where the aroma leaves off with the maple sweetness that the KBS does not. It's pretty amazingly balanced given how big the flavors are. Its got a creaminess that is pretty surprising in a way - not quite what I expected from a beast like this. It works given the sweetness and between the two they take the edge off of the coffee.

The mouthfeel is lives up to my favorite term for all things right in a good stout - lush. It is thick and fills and coats the mouth with just a little alcohol burn around the edges. Very nice.

Overall its really damn good. I'd place it behind KBS and FBS, but not by much. I get why there has been such hype even if I prefer the established greats better.

normyk, Oct 16, 2011
Photo of orangesol
4.55/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served from a bottle at Al's of Hampden into a 5.5oz taster glass. I got a second one just to be sure...

A - Pours jet black with a small half finger tall mocha colored head leaving small webs of lace down the glass.

S - Smells of rich espresso, chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, nuts, maple syrup, and the ever present dark roasted grains. Some booze begins to creep in as it warms, only growing stronger as it comes to room temperature.

T - Starts off with a big, roasty, espresso kick quickly giving way to quite a bit of sweetness; mostly maple syrup, chocolate, and vanilla; and some light bourbon heat. Some light smoke creeps in as the sweetness begins to ween but it never really goes away fully. The finish is a mix of dark roast and sugary sweetness, lingering on the pallet for some time.

M - Heavy body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Sweet, slightly boozy, feel. Almost syrup like in the finish with plenty of sweetness.

O - There is no doubt that this is one of the best out there. The sweetness is strong but still manageable and even with the high ABV I could still drink a few of these no problem. I still plan to seek this one out on-tap at some point but this was a great introduction.

orangesol, Oct 16, 2011
Photo of Agold
4.83/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours with a nice big head that dissipates to a nice coating. Here comes the maple. Drinking right next to kbs and regular and the maple is nice and noticeable. Big coffee mild bourbon and some nice sweetness. Flavor has a bit more of the maple with a smooth bourbon flavor with a little bit of heat. Maple, coffee, coco, mild sweetness. Holy crap this one kills it. Mouthfeel is not too syrupy not too thin, good mild carb, perfect. This is why I love founders. Great beer, great experience. Kudos to founders for bottling this beer that ive been chasing since I heard it existed.

Agold, Oct 16, 2011
Photo of smakawhat
4.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Well, thanks to you (you know who you are), and on a lark I miraculously scored ONE bottle. Coddled and revered with care, poured into a large snifter glass at a good cellar temperature to review. (many comparisons will be made in terms of this vs. on tap).

Appearance is just a flat out knockout mostly because of head formation. A creamy coffee light brown and caramel, small bubbled consistency and forms so nicely. The head has a spectacular character that I have not witnessed before, and pulls the beer over the top in appearance. While holding like a solid stout, in the corner ring collar there is a sheen like film, not gross looking, but like a small soup like skin, that glosses over the edges. The corners of this head with it's hint of legs, and nice leopard lacing, show an edge of just shining polished glass. Just unreal, never seen anything like it. Body color is your standard walnut black/brown, some noticeable carbonation while tilting the glass.

Nose, in comparison on tap, less sweet and way more balanced and enjoyable. Still incredibly roasty and coffee dominant, but a light soft milk sensation and slight sweet cream. Soft notes continue but there is just a faint bit of heat here.

Taste brings a wonderful balance. Coffee dominant but still with a light brown sugar that doesn't overpower. Texture velvety as ever, but palate then gets on the finish miraculously the one thing I have been waiting for in a stout bourbon used barrel. A hint of whiskey. Whiskey angle is not distinct, but there, a slight sense but not so much. Bitterness comes after some warming, mixes with slight boozy spirit whisk(e)y and gives off tobacco just a slight touch. Chocolate, vanilla angles still not quite there, but others I gave it too certainly picked up on chocolate.

Overall, less of a one trick pony out of the bottle, but still coffee dominant and forward but the hint of whisk(e)y just pushes it over the edge, tastes are balanced, varied, highly exploratory, and it's far less sweet which makes it much more tolerable and enjoyable for myself. Just pure magic. I can't say anymore, I drank it all with ease, it was so easy to drink on top of it.

Nothing more needs to be said than has already been.

smakawhat, Oct 16, 2011
Photo of drumminbrewer
4.9/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thank you Marie @ discount for coming through...never thought I'd land one of these. Served in my D'Achouffe glass tulip...

Pours a viscous black body...large and creamy tan head...retains for quite a while leaving a thick layer of lacing on the top of the glass.

Nose...oh goodness. Coffee, chocolate & maple syrup - makes sense seeing as those are the main ingredients. Some vanilla, oak & bourbon notes popping through but this is a coffee bomb. So happy I'm trying this fresh.

First sip...yes, oh yes. All of the above flavors are so present - coats my entire mouth. Almost like a malted milkshake, it's so thick and savory. Dear lord. No alcohol heat whatsoever.

Enormous body....BCS level of viscosity.

Finishes; everywhere. Usually there's a defining point of my palate where I taste the end (tip, mid, back of the tongue). This beer is everywhere, and leaves me with some sweet vanilla.

Outstanding. Light years ahead of KBS, and worth the hype. *** A+

drumminbrewer, Oct 16, 2011
Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.63/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fresh 2011 batch, poured from a 64 oz. growler into a snifter.

Appearance: Unfortunately either the keg was light on the carbonation or it lost a bit in the growler. My pour has a minimal tan head that fades to nothing quickly. The color is a ebony with just a bit of ruby in the edges.

Smell: The aroma is pretty fantastic, I can tell that I am in for a serious bourbon barrel beer. Dark semi-sweet chocolate, molasses, and roasted malt dominate what aroma I assign to the base beer. Bourbon, oak, vanilla, and a nice dash of maple are from the barrel aging process.

Taste: The flavors all make themselves known immediately, with little or no progression. A dark Belgian chocolate flavor blends with sweet molasses and some dark roasted malts. Bourbon, vanilla, and oak all bracket the taste and add further complexity, with the maple simply serving as a way to push the flavor over the edge. Fantastic. There is a soft coffee bitterness at the end that is much more noticeable as it warms.

Mouthfeel: The lack of carbonation accounts for me knocking it down a notch. Other than that, the body is luxuriously thick and creamy. A bourbon bite lurks, but the creaminess is just right. There is a bit of carbonation and a touch of alcohol bite as well.

Overall: The difference between trying this fresh and trying a batch that is almost a year old is like night and day. The bourbon, molasses, and maple flavors are so much better defined, while the beer is full and viscous enough to make it drinkable. Truly a phenomenal beer. One day I will get to try a full carbonated fresh batch and it will probably be a near perfect score.

KickInTheChalice, Oct 16, 2011
Photo of ColdPoncho
4.63/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Great many excellent thanks to cam for sPlitting this bottle!!!

A - dark dark black body with minimal dark tan head.

S - chocolate bitter coffee, beautiful roast with light maple

T - bitter coffee big roast and chocolate with a great extra dimension of maple. Like a more complex KBS.

M - one of the best I've had. Big and thick and super smooth. Just about perfect.

O - ok so it's super good. Nothing deserves hype like this, but this lives up to it. A marvelously good beer

ColdPoncho, Oct 15, 2011
Photo of InebriatedJoker
4.4/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into Duvel Tulip -2011 release.

A: Black as midnight with three finger head that formed a thick frothy lacing, good carbonation.

S: Bourbon , coffee , whiffs of chocolate, roasted malts and barley.

T: Sweet bitter chocolate , hints of bourbon, coffee is prevalent, slight maple syrup hints, slight toffee/vanilla/caramel , roasted barley.

O: Seems alot like KBS with some maple syrup added (Not that that's a bad thing) A little sweet for me, maybe a month or two would do this one some good, The 10.7% abv is extremely well hidden , As this beer warms the flavors seem to meld together very well, The sweetness of the Maple syrup compliments the bourbon , The coffee is ever present and as a coffee lover this is a good thing, Overall a solid American Double /Imperial Stout that was a treat to drink, would definitely have again.

Side note - This paired well with a BLT.

InebriatedJoker, Oct 15, 2011
Photo of xenjoiii
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I won this bottle on 10/14/2011 at a lotto/Founder's tasting at A & R Beverage on Long Island. I was the first name pulled!

A: Jetblack with a two finger dark tan head.

S: Sweet chocolate, strong coffee, and some vanilla/bourbon scents; I picked up a mild amount of heat in the smell.

T: Upfront, there was an abundance of chocolate, and coffee flavors running wild. As they began to subdue, sweet vanilla began to bloom. The flavor out the back blew me away; the maple syrup starts to emerge, however, it clashes with the heat from the alcohol, making a really interesting flavor.

M: a decent amount of carbonation, and a really smooth mouth feel. I was expecting a thick-syrupy feel, but that is not the case.

O: The beer lives up to its hype, and I can now understand why people are going above, and beyond to get their hands on this. This was one of the most complex beers I have had, and probably the best beer I have tried to date. Words cannot express how grateful I am for being one of the 11 to win a bottle last night.

P. S. - Hey Dan, you jelly?

xenjoiii, Oct 15, 2011
Photo of StarshipPoopers
4.93/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Good amounts of lacing, dies down a bit as it warms up. Retention also diminishes as it warms, produces a couple finger's worth of head when first poured. Black and completely opaque.

S - Strong maple, coffee, hints of chocolate, and faint booziness.

T - Maple blends nicely into the chocolate, gives the dark chocolate a sweet but contained edge. Roasted coffee balances out the sweetness perfectly. In the centre of the palate you have notes of bourbon which add more depth, and perhaps a hint of vanilla as well (it's hard to tell with the maple). The flavours meld together exceptionally, while the base palate seems rather simple, I think that CBS seems more layered than KBS. The aftertaste consists mostly of the rich maple sweetness, but it's not overpowering or off-putting. Perfectly done stout, wish there was more of it readily available.

M - Great mouthfeel, quite creamy and smooth. Easy drinkability for a beer with this much flavour.

O - Outstanding beer, certainly worth the hype and steep price. Worthy of an A+. Will be hard to top this when it comes to Imperial Stouts.

StarshipPoopers, Oct 15, 2011
Photo of FoundersFanatic
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- very dark with a caramel colored head. Pours very thick

S- to die for. You can smell the mocha coffee, the bourbon, and syrup flavors.

T- don't have tons of experience with ultra exclusive beers, but so far I can say this is the best tasting beer I have had so far. I still have not had KBS and a few others I have a feeling might be "the best", but so far, this is the best tasting beer ever! Very complex, robust, and delicious. The main mocha coffee, bourbon, and syrup flavors come through mostly, with some other amazing flavors as well. It also has a zesty kind of warm flavor to it, which I assume is the high alcohol content and bourbon presence. The taste is just insane and you never want it to stop. It's a crying shame it's only available for one day a year and in such limited quantities. Next time I'm going to buy at least 3.

M- very very smooth like velvet. Thick, luxurious, creamy, it's pretty much perfect.

O- can't say enough amazing things about this beer. Being a huge fan of Founders and having tried almost everything they make (even the special brews) this is definitely the best beer I've had so far, and imagine it will always be one of the best. You owe it to yourself to get a few of these every fall! Can't wait until next year!

FoundersFanatic, Oct 15, 2011
Photo of zachary80
4.63/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 Bottle poured into an oversized wine glass.

A Midnight black, good brown head for style, decent lacing
S Strong coffee, roasted malts. Around room temperature the alcohol fumes are pretty strong, sweetness comes through more.
T Lots going on in the flavor, very similar to kbs. maple presence is very noticeable. sweetness is a noticeable character but not overwhelming. all works together exceptionally well. vanilla comes through well. coffee is less strong than smell. cocoa in the finish
M About perfect - lower carb, smooth body, not too thick, mild alcohol presence. could me a little fuller
O Definitely an amazing beer, wish there was a little more lacing and more diverse aroma would be nice

zachary80, Oct 15, 2011
Photo of Yagman3000
4.88/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This 2011 bottle was happily opened with a strong anticipation. Shared with fellow BA CosmicEvan on a mission to enjoy quality beer. Served into a Duvel Goblet.

Appearance is really pleasing. It stands as dark as night and, upon a nice swirl, it develops a beautiful frothy head. A really nice pudding settles that prompts me to think I'm in for a true joy ride.

Smell is interesting. At first I was getting a ton of coffee. Now, as it settles in a bit, I'm getting more and more of a boozy bourbon smell. I want to catch the maple but I'm really not getting it yet. I'm still feeling trustful that it will come through in its flavor.

Taste is a dream come true. It starts off wonderfully sweet and creamy with plenty of maple (there it is!). A swirl of bourbon, vanilla, and molasses come through. There's a subtle chocolate in there too but it's not overpowering at all.

Mouthfeel is excellent. Sweet dessert-like cream gives its way to a coffee float without being too sweet or cloying. I loved the number of stages I went though with this.

Overall an amazing experience. I am incredibly happy I obtained these beers and decided to sure them with friends and family instead of asking for someone's kidney in return for the beer. We found the whale, stuck her with a harpoon, and got everything we could out of her (scrimshaw anyone?).

Yagman3000, Oct 15, 2011
Photo of cosmicevan
4.93/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

bottle generously shared by yagman3000 (thanks jeff!).

a - pours a lush black with a thin grey white head that vanishes leaving a ring on the surface. swirling the glass rebuilds for a moment. leaves traces of lacing on the glass. overall a bit thicker than your typical barrel aged brew, possiblely thickness from the maple syrup barrels? still has that glorious bourbon barrel aged shine.

s - the medley of soft milk chocolate with coffe and brown sugary bourbon sweetness is divine. the maple barrels add a layer of thickness to the wood from the bourbon. it gives it a down home sitting by the fire warmth. interesting to note that jeff and I used different glasses, me an oversized snifter, jeff an oversized duvel tulip...his was way more milk and creamy frappicino type drink. just love it.

t - Mmmm. Mmmm. luscious. rich. delicious. coffee and chocolate with bourbon maple delicately glazed over the top. seriously, it doesn't really get much better than this for my taste buds.

m - rich and lush with a delicate softness. quenching and cooling. the boozy tingle I normally look for is washed in maple richness for a silky cool after vibe.

o - overall, this beer is NOT overated. it rightfully earned the respect it has. this one is no joke.

cosmicevan, Oct 15, 2011
Photo of Atlas1
4.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Special thanks to my sister-in-law who used to live in Grand Rapids and was able to score one bottle of CBS. This may be the only bottle of CBS ever consumed in the Rio Grande Valley of deep south Texas. Founders doesn't do bad stouts, in my opinion, and this is no exception.

Poured into an open-mouthed stemless wine glass, just for kicks. Dark as midnight, with a light head that bears a slight reddish-orange tint. The nose is intense and all over the place. Yes, the maple is there, but this unmistakably a Founders stout. Dense, rich malt sweetness fused with an earthy smokiness. Tastes about the same, with a stronger vanilla presence as well. My wife said it tastes like "liquid ice cream" and I won't argue with that description. Delicious. Mouthfeel is very formidable.

Perhaps the best beer I've had in a very long time. Maybe since my last KBS? Maybe. Really good stuff. If you can find this beer, and that's a big IF, consume as much as you can. It's incredible.

Atlas1, Oct 15, 2011
Photo of WanderingFool
4.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I was invited to a beer tasting where one of the participants had a bottle of CBS. I've had this beer before on tap at the Extreme Beer Fest, but this was the first time I've tried it from the bottle.

CBS pours black into the glass, but has ruby highlights around the edges. The small light brown head fades down to a ring around the surface and leaves behind a fair amount of lace on the glass.

The aroma has notes of coffee and chocolate with some bourbon and alcohol mixed in.

Each sip of this full bodied beer is velvety on the palate. Light carbonation. The flavor is sweet and similar to the aroma with notes of coffee and chocolate blended with oak, roasted malt, and bourbon. The coffee is the most pronounced flavor, but doesn't overpower. I couldn't detect any maple in the beer. Once gone the coffee and bourbon flavor lingers on the palate.

This is a very tasty stout with a fantastic mouthfeel. It's too bad there's so much hype surrounding this beer. I'd love it to be more readily available.

WanderingFool, Oct 14, 2011
Photo of Ungertaker
4.65/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I shared this bottle with some good friends last night. Poured into a 5oz tasting glass. Reviewed from notes.

A- Black with very little light penetration, red hues shine where the light does get through. A nice mocha-colored head sits atop this viscous liquid and leave a tight lacing in its tracks.

S- Whiskey, chocolate, vanilla, coffee, toasted malts and maple syrup

T- Espresso, dark chocolate, whiskey, maple syrup, hints of vanilla and toasted malts. The maple syrup comes through more at the end of the sip.

M- Not as thick as I had imagined it would be; although it wasn't thin by any definition of the word. It had a balanced carbonation level. It did leave a slight coating.

O- Overall, this was one of the best beers I have ever had. It lived up to the hype. The flavors were so well-balanced; nothing dominated to any degree. I wish I had more, but I am glad I got one bottle (and even happier that I got to share it with my friends).

Ungertaker, Oct 14, 2011
Photo of argock
4.45/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750mL brown bottle into a clear glass snifter. No freshness or vintage date but from recent wide-range release. Purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $18.49. Thanks a lot Matthew.

A: Totally opaque black with plummy brown 2-finger head with good retention for the ABV and numerous streams of lace.

S: Delicious bourbon notes that grow in strength with warming. The dark malts are sumptuous and provide plenty of body. Coffee and roast come through but there is an undercurrent of caramel-maple sweetness there as well.

T: The flavor is much sweeter than either KBS or Imperial stout with the maple component really carrying sweetness throughout. The coffee is mostly present in the aftertaste, and the bourbon-whiskey contribution is more powerful with warming and time. The dark malt character is a little lost in the sweetness. Compared to KBS, FBS, and FIS, this is much sweeter and dessert-like.

M: The sweetness really adds a thick and chewy mouthfeel, even above and beyond FBS or KBS. THe carbonation is high and gives a more scrubbing quality that increases this drinkability of this beer. It is syrupy for sure but still drinkable due to the high carbonation.

O: This is a really great beer, but just a bit sweeter than optimal for me. KBS and FIS both outrank this guy, but I am really glad to have had the chance to give it a run. It is very unique, and a lightly smoked "bacon" or "Canadian bacon" version would be a great permutation to try.

argock, Oct 14, 2011
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
Founders CBS Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,337 ratings.