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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

2,347 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,347
Reviews: 756
rAvg: 4.66
pDev: 10.09%
Wants: 2,909
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Founders CBS Imperial Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,347 | Reviews: 756 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BarryMFBurton
4.38/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The time has finally come: C. B. S.! Thankfully, I was able to snag a bottle from Village Bottle Shoppe #2’s lottery – I was one of the four (out of THIRTY) who won the chance to buy it! Honestly, I’m still just astonished I was able to get one. So thank you very much Dave and everyone else from VBS for making this epic tasting happen – you guys ROCK!

A: Shining black, syrupy, and bold: one killer look. The head forms slowly and deliberately, coming to a full finger of dense, layered foam. Looks great at first glance, and the addition of moderate retention and abundant bubbly lacing makes it that much better. A final interesting note is the color of the foam: dark, dark brown, so rich that it shines like lacquered wood. It certainly catches the eye. Pay attention, stout-makers: THIS is presence.

S: Damn – that’s awesome. Spicy bourbon and rich dark chocolate are so big you can just about taste them: powerful, yet smooth. Then, in comes a jab of coffee, roasty and bitter, that saddles up with the peppery spice of cinnamon for an added kick of hotness. Now, throughout the whole thing, there’s a sticky sweetness of real maple syrup (awesome), but the true colors only come out on the back end. Mixing with brown sugar, nutmeg, and oak from the barrels, the real Canadian sweetness lays thick as this one’s final aroma. Just fantastic. Even after just a few whiffs, I’m ready to dive right into this one – it’s just that good.

T: I didn’t think I’d ever find another palate like Dogfish Head’s World Wide Stout, a beer that I absolutely loved: that decadent alcoholic tinge, with just enough complexity in the sweetness to keep it from getting too cloying. But now, after just a small sip, I’m happy to say that this has proven me wrong. The first hit is a huge bourbon smash, fiery yet smooth, that overpowers the senses with wood, tobacco, vanilla, pepper, and smoke. It’s excellent. Soon, though, it becomes apparent that the main focus of this beer is a syrupy, darkened sweetness. Though I was expecting it, I don't think I was totally prepared for such a bold statement: earthy-sweet malt grains, chocolate fondue, cinnamon-sugar, molasses, and even some fruity strawberry/banana-sweetness are all carried along by a an extreme maple richness that seems to last a lifetime. It's very good, but, like Goose Island BCBS, the sweetness can hit the palate a bit too strongly at times, making it less and less drinkable. The aftertaste is nice, though: a milk chocolate meltdown, with big maple booze rounding it out. Overall, this palate is smooth, unique, and complex (there’s even a small but mighty hop taste in there, popping up with some pine bits on occasion), but a little too sugary to be an absolute favorite.

M: This is where so many stout “kings” lose me, usually because of thinness. Not this time, though: the body, perfectly smooth, slides around with a substantial viscous feel. The carbonation, smooth as silk, has just enough pop to keep it drinkably playful. Still, it warms the ears, dries the tongue, and opens the nose – a bourbon fire, for sure.

O: No doubt about it, this beer is superb; the maple tastes just add to the richness and complexity. I’m glad that I finally got to try it, so again, many thanks to Village Bottle Shoppe. There’s something special about a beer that’s this hyped, and luckily, it has the intensity to back it up. In all, it was one hell of an experience. You keep releasing beers like this, Founders, and Grand Rapids will no doubt become my second home.

BarryMFBurton, Oct 19, 2011
Photo of SaisonRichBiere
4.47/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served out of a bottle, poured into a 16 oz. mug.

(A) Thick, leggy, oily pour. Dark, dark brown, almost black, with a huge bubbly, dark chocolate milk head. Dissipated slowly, almost "cascading" in the glass. 2-3 finger head, not much lacing, the darkest of the dark. Beautiful.

(S) Strong, bitter, dark espresso/roasty chocolate malt kick followed by faint, clean 90 proof bourbon notes. Nothing too strong, finishing with a residual sugary sweetness on the nose.

(T) Big, strong espresso, followed by bittersweet chocolate, French toast, creamy cinnamon, slight toffee, finishing with a slight bourbon burn, then a huge maple syrup linger- like pancakes on Sunday morning. Amazing.

(M) Dense, smooth, creamy. Coats the tongue and roof of the mouth with heavy, very mild acidic sugar.

(O) Great beer. Enjoyed it considerably more than KBS. I am a big bourbon fan as well, and this is a clinical take on what a bourbon aged beer should be. Very balanced, very justified in it's standing. Founders setting the bar very high. Should I be fortunate enough to get another bottle, I would not pass this up.

(M)

SaisonRichBiere, Oct 19, 2011
Photo of bballmj2k
4.9/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

No time like a Tuesday to crack this baby open.

A - pours a jet black as expected with a finger or so of coffee/mocha head. Lacing sticks around and tons of alcohol legs.

S - wow. Immediately smells like fresh FBS with the bourbon component. Definitely get some sweet notes from what I assume is the maple. Enticing.

T - bitterness up front leadin to huge huge coffee, chocolate, bourbon. So complex. There's a sticky sweetness that remains at the back of the tongue - can't make out maple exactly but it gives that impression.

M - silky smooth, goes down dangerously easy. Creamy mouthfeel with only a hint of heat at the end that complements the flavor profile so well.

O - stunning beer. I love how mellow it is while still being complex. To mimic others it's well worth the hype and seems to remind me of a mellowed, sweeter KBS. so good.

bballmj2k, Oct 19, 2011
Photo of callmescraps
4.28/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This showed up on tap down the street. Much easier than hunting a bottle like a maniac!

App- Dark brown to black. Thin tan cap. Minimal lacing, very fine bubbles if anything.

Smell- Picking up the maple, for sure. The bourbon is a little muted, as the maple dominates to my mind. A little coffee roast as well. The vanilla, coffee and chocolate smells I am used to, so it's the maple that stands out. It may not be the strongest component of the aroma, but it's the most unusual to my mind.

Taste- There is some coffee burnt at the front, a little roasty to my mind. However, the waves of vanilla mellow it out, and it's all maple to the finish. The sweetness of the maple takes its toll on me, and lingers for quite awhile. The bourbon is pretty mellow, as it should be for a Canadian. The harshness of the roast is nicely balanced. A sweeter beer than anticipated, for sure. I'd prefer a stronger heat.

Mouthfeel- Good and rich without being thick or syrupy. Nice carbonation. About as good as it gets.

Overall- Something about the way the maple lingers doesn't do it for me. It's a really good beverage, but that lingering sweet maple is off-putting. I like a little stronger heat, bourbon, vanilla and I was not getting it. I'll take a Bourbon County any day of the week, but that's just me. Glad I got to have it this year, and glad I didn't have to run over an old lady to get some.

callmescraps, Oct 17, 2011
Photo of Stockfan42
4.33/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep black body with a foamy dark brown head. The head decipitates down to a tine lace that sticks too the glass.

Smells of roasted coffee beans and bourbon with hints of sweet maple, dark chocolate and a bit of heat in the finish.

Taste is mainly the coffee, bourbon and maple all well balanced with hints of dark chocolate and a tiny bit of vanilla at the end. A bit boozy at first but settles as the beer settles.

Mouthfeel is heavy and thick, very velvety yet slightly creamy. Well carbonated and very smooth.

Overall this was worth the 20$ price tag. Although I do prefer the kbs, its still highly recommended

Stockfan42, Oct 17, 2011
Photo of trxxpaxxs
4.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a beautiful deep black. There is a surprising brown (almost grey) head on this beer that lingers for awhile. Some lacing is left on the glass as it drinks, but nothing major.

S: Smells of mainly of roasted malt and coffee with tons of sweet vanilla in the background.

T: Tastes of coffee, maple, vanilla, milk chocolate, and dark chocolate. This beer is a lot sweeter that I was expecting, but it's still fantastic.

M: Full bodied beer, and I'm absolutely blown away by how creamy it is. There is a cloying nature to this brew. It sticks to the palate and you sometimes want to chew it down. This beer is super sooth, like drinking melted chocolate.

O: I thought this beer pretty damn good. The sweetness is high, but not overpowering. All the flavors are spot on, and they really blend nicely. I'm really glad to have tried it, but I would choose 2 bottles of KBS over a CBS.

trxxpaxxs, Oct 17, 2011
Photo of MicroBeerMan1980
4.68/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I had this beer at Al's of Hampden, in Enola, PA on 10-15-11.

A: This beer is black like used motor oil. It has a white/tan head that dissipates very quickly into a thin ring around the edge of the glass. The bubbles are very fine and creamy in appearance.

S: It has very strong coffee notes. The black and chocolate malts are extremely prevalent as well. I'm also getting some leather and licorice in there. Perhaps some toasted wood as well? I can't really pick out a hop profile.

T: Coco, cream and coffee. The malt profile in this beer is astounding. Earth, chocolate, cereal, blankets of coffee, etc. The hops are non-existent. The overall taste is synonymous with the feelings I had as a child when Saturday Morning Cartoons came on. Superb!

M: Velvety and very smooth, for a breakfast stout. It's well balanced and doesn't leave a harsh or sticky after taste on the palate and tongue.

D: This beer is VERY drinkable. It's warming and comforting. Wonderful beer.

MicroBeerMan1980, Oct 17, 2011
Photo of JayS2629
4.55/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This pours dark black with a mocha colored thick cream that fades slowly and leaves huge rings of lace.

Whiff of faint bourbon and dry cocoa with bitter coffee notes and licorice notes. Subdued earth tones, colar, and oaky, woody tones.

Sweet chocololate up front fades into coffee and a slight boozy burn in the finish. Chocolate and coffe persist and linger throughout. Nice maple middle sticks in the finish with an after breah of cocoa, vanilla, and woody oak tones. Earthy tones throughout.

Lots of layers, complex and interesting. The most amazing thing is the balance and body. Maple tones the bourbon which placed nicely. No element overpowers another.

Smooth, cream, velvety and tounge coating. Syrupy slickness.

Overall, an amazing beer in balance, flavor, body and aroma. Abolutely delicious.

JayS2629, Oct 17, 2011
Photo of dogfishandi
4.55/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

huge thanks to tom for sharing this with us!

750ml. bottle at fridge temp poured into a snifter.

pours out a thick opaque black with a creamy dark tan head with some random giant bubbles. spots of lace, and some syrupy looking legs left on the glass.

some big heavily roasted espresso coffee jumps out initially. a bit of heat. a bit sweet and syrupy, not necessarily maple, and some roasted malt. a hint of vanilla.

all the flavors meld with one another very nicely. espresso coffee beans are mostly at the forefront. sweet milk chocolate, creamy. just a hint of maple and maybe some vanilla towards the finish.

really loved the mouthfeel of this. so smooth and creamy... velvety. minimal carbonation, with a thick heavy body.

this is an exceptional stout, definatly unique. love the coffee flavors, but maybe lacked a touch on the maple. i hate to say it considering the hype and all, but id prolly take a KBS over this. had this right after my very first kate the great and they were about even for me, even though my scores may say different...

dogfishandi, Oct 17, 2011
Photo of aasher
3.8/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a full bodied midnight black with dark brown highlights and a beige lacing around my glass. It smells like a Breakfast Stout, a lot of bitter coffee with moderate chocolate. I don't get any bourbon notes at all. The flavors featured are very sweet maple syrup, smooth chocolates, and bitter coffee. It's really not that complex and is overly sweet. It's a maple bomb. I wish it was far more subdued. It drinks medium to full in body. It's a nice drinker but its sooo sweet. It's holding it back. As it stands this beer is vastly overrated and inferior when compared to FBS and KBS. Recognize.

Edit: After having both this and Wide Awake It's Morning, I'm sure the two are related. It makes me want to try the Maple Bacon Coffee Porter to see if it's in the middle.

aasher, Oct 17, 2011
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
Founders CBS Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,347 ratings.