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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

2,314 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,314
Reviews: 753
rAvg: 4.66
pDev: 10.09%
Wants: 2,869
Gots: 514 | FT: 6
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:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Founders CBS Imperial Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,314 | Reviews: 753 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of argock
argock

Virginia

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.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2011 02:54:32 | More by argock
Photo of cjacobsen
cjacobsen

Illinois

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.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2011 12:38:58 | More by cjacobsen
Photo of sjccmd
sjccmd

Minnesota

4.78/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours nearly black with amber highlights. I was expecting a thicker and darker pour. I thought it would gloop into the glass like many stouts of this caliber do. It leaves a small dark brown head that leaves a pretty sticky lacing.

Chocolate, oak, maple syrup, roasted/burnt malts are in the aroma. A slight warming alcohol that is surprising subtle and well hidden. Vanilla and coffee are also dominant.

Loads of maple syrup, roasty malts chocolate, dark roasted coffee in the flavor. Bourbon has a large presence but it isn't harsh. Tastes like a nice smoky breakfast.

Thick and luxurious mouthfeel. Coats the mouth thoroughly. Sweet, but not cloying. Finishes with coffee and roasted bitterness.

Of course this beer was over-hyped, but it is an awesome beer. Everything I'd want in an imperial stout. Beers are like Dark Lord are impressive with the amount of flavor, but this is still a balanced, complex, flavorful stout, that isn't too alcoholic or sweet.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2011 01:55:39 | More by sjccmd
Photo of Bmuncy
Bmuncy

West Virginia

4.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Split with some close friends. You guys are welcome.

Appearance: Jet black and viscous as all get out. There is no light around the edges whatsoever. Poured somewhat aggressively to get a decent head, which remained throughout. The head is a creamy mocha with tight bubbles and quite attractive. Better yet, the lacing sticks to the glass as if it holding on for dear life. Basically, this is everything I look for in an Imperial Stout. The beer pours like molasses... at the very least like motor oil. Delicious molassesy motor oil. Mmmmm.

Smell: A vast array of aromas emanates from the glass. You get tons of coffee up front, with cocoa. There's definitely a vanilla and bourbon presence but they're kept in check and subdued by bouquet of smells. All too often, bourbon barrel aged beers go for too much bourbon and turn me off. CBS found a brilliant medium, second only to The Abyss. There's also a welcoming maple aroma blended in. It's definitely a boozey smelling beer but that is to be expected. Overall, it doesn't take away from the complexity and deliciousness of the beer. As it warms, the maple comes out a little more.

Taste: Suffice it to say, CBS does not disappoint. This baby lives up to the hype. Everything you get in the nose is very apparent on the tongue. A very aggressive assault to the taste buds. There's vanilla and bourbon, coffee, chocolate, smokeyness (though rather subdued) and maple. It's sweet and bitter, both at the same time. Moreover, it's bittersweet when you realize you've finished your bottle. As it warms, the boozey qualities seem to diminish, though still noticeably present. As with the nose, the maple shines through when it warms.

Mouthfeel: Did I mention this bastard is viscous? I did? Because that's an understatement. This thing feels like pure syrup in your mouth. It's thick, chewy and sugary. I usually like thick type beer but this is slightly too much. I never thought I'd ever feel like a beer was too thick until today. I still love it, it's just past it's optimum thickness. Although I have one more, I can't see myself finishing a whole bottle alone.

Overall: Viscous, vicious and voracious Canadian Breakfast Stout is simply wonderful. It's almost everything that a barrel-aged stout should be and more. Part of me wishes I could go above and beyond 5s on some these measures. Believe the hype, CBS is that good.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2011 18:04:17 | More by Bmuncy
Photo of joshuaseresse
joshuaseresse

Minnesota

4.93/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks Chad for the hookup. Shared with brian23456 last Sunday. Poured into snifters...lets see what this CBS hype is all about..

A - Pours a dark black with a mocha head with tints of ruby. The head is about a half finger thick. Lacing is really nice and creamy and there are patches of foam clouds in the middle.

S - Creamy, dark Belgium chocolate, light roast, caramel and maple syrup. Light oak and nice hints of bourbon. Tiny bits of char, tabacco leaf and candy like sugar.

T - Coffee and Espresso, roast, chocolate and really smooth bourbon. Maple syrup and a touch of peanut butter. Little bit of vanilla and oats as it warms.

M - Creamy carbonation and touch of heat from the barrel but it is well balanced with the roast of the coffee like flavors. Leaves the mouth a bit dry, just taking a drag off a nice cigar.

O - Yep, this stuff is awesome. Lives up to the hype, although I didn't expect it to be as crazy as it is. Way tasty stuff and something that I really enjoyed. Glad I got another bottle hanging out to try again in the future. Believe the hype...

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2011 04:06:06 | More by joshuaseresse
Photo of aherstein
aherstein

Illinois

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

Poured into snifter.

Appearance:
Jet black with a thin, dark brown head.

Smell:
Maple syrup, coffee, whisky and a hint of reisling.

Taste:
This a a bold one! Maple syrup up front, chocolate, with a light whisky finish. Bold flavors mask the high alcohol content.

Mouthfeel:
Thick and syrupy. Lightly carbonated.

Overall:
A phenomenal beer. One of my very favorates. Do not miss this one!

Serving type: on-tap

10-12-2011 02:10:37 | More by aherstein
Photo of BierFan
BierFan

Michigan

4.6/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a tulip glass. 10.6% alcohol by volume.

Black body and a thin brown head. Little bit of lacing. Smells of coffee and bitter chocolate primarily with some vanilla and bourbon. Powerful aroma on this one. The taste is more mellow and intermingled than I was expecting. Again, coffee and chocolate are the dominant players. I think I get some of the maple syrup in the aftertaste. Bitterness is higher than your average RIS. Carbonation seems mild. Very smooth mouthfeel, little thin compared to some others of this style.

If you like big American imperial stouts you will love this beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2011 00:24:17 | More by BierFan
Photo of aficionado
aficionado

New Jersey

4.47/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Duvel Tulip

Thick motor oil black body with a 2-1/2 finger caramel head and some nice lacing for an Imperial Stout.

Aromas of quality bourbon spiked coffee with freshly slit vanilla beans soaked in maple syrup, dark chocolatem and toasty caramel.

Bitter dark chocolate and hops, tons of sweet real maple syrup support with a good deal of bourbon, and smooth strong vanilla-scented coffee (the forefront flavor here). Less chocolate than KBS but there's definitely more vanilla, caramel, maple bourbon sweetness here.

Fullest of bodies. Thick and viscous. 5 out of 5 for the style taking into the account of the extreme smoothness and how it supports the flavor.

A truly excellent beer, but I have to say that I prefer KBS a bit more. KBS is less sweet, less bitter, with more bourbon, and it's more balanced with just as much flavor as CBS.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2011 23:15:54 | More by aficionado
Photo of beerhan
beerhan

Ohio

4.5/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle 10/10/11

A-Another beautiful stout from Founders. Pours a jet black and is completely opaque. Dark as night with the slightest cocoa head that does not remain except for a thin coffee cream colored lacing.

S-Lots of coffee and dark chocolate with a hint of cream and maple.

T-Tastes a lot like the original breakfast stout however just more balanced. The aging has done wonders to this. There is a lot of coffee in this one which I was quite impressed with. A bit of a mocha latte bomb which I am fine with. As this gem warms up you can start to taste the maple syrup. It overall smooths the beer up and the bourbon is so subtle it is barely noticeable.

M-So creamy and thick. Just a fantastic beer that you can roll around your mouth and enjoy its flavors. There is barely any carbonation as well which makes it so smooth and the alcohol is hardly there save for a final bite.

O-This beer is quite fantastic I will say that. I had this back to back with KBS and I think that these two are equally good. CBS is a smoother and tastier beer while KBS is more viscious and has a lot more bourbon kick. The thing is though as impressed I was by this beer it still is not the same as my first regular Founders Breakfast Stout. The first time I had the original I was blown away by it. This beer did not blow me away as how I was by the original but it is better. If I had never tried an FBS this would probably be the greatest beer I have had.

Update* 11-16-12
CBS on tap (fresh) is exceptional. Much more maple present than in any of the bottles I have had. My recommendation-Don't seek out bottles, just wait until it shows up on tap.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2011 20:06:11 | More by beerhan
Photo of paxchristi
paxchristi

Missouri

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

Poured from first edition bottle release bomber into snifter 10/11/2011. Served at about 50 degrees and warming throughout drinking. Drank as breakfast. Totally stoked!

Appearance: Pours a completely opaque black with about 1/2 finger of chocolate head that dissipates into a thin tan film over the top. Has some pretty intense alcohol legs on the side of the glass. No lacing-- but its 10.6%ABV and a double stout...its okay. It looks spot on for the style.-- 5

Smell: Rich dark coffees, deeply roasted malts, a moderate amount of vanilla notes, dark semi-sweet chocolates, an undertone of some sweet maple syrup, and all held together by a fairly obvious bourbon booziness. I was surprised to find the maple syrup as subtle as it is. Its an incredibly complex beer in the nose. Surprisingly, the nose didn't just come out and knock me in the face. It definitely has some patience in the nose, and all the flavors seem to complement one another to form its own unique note of harmony. However, the bourbon is definitely a big note in this one. If you don't dig on big bourbon notes, it may be a turn off for you. But this brew is totally robust in every way-- 5

TASTE: Just wow. Big, huge chocolate and coffee notes are upfront, a sweet sticky maple syrup that shows restraint and is not overly sweet, wrapped up in with a BIG bourbon, bitter dark roast coffee, slightly dry and ever so slightly sweet finish. It might be the most masterfully blended and proportioned beer I have ever had. Absolutely no alcohol whatsoever-- its too wonderfully crafted. However, the bourbon is much bigger in this one than I expected. I interpret this as a well executed risk. Furthermore, the maple influence gives an accent to the original KBS style that blesses it with a certain sweetness and woodiness that gives it an influence that gives even more additional complexity. The maple syrup makes itself more well known as it warms, and it smooths out the big bourbon characters.-- TEN..a f***in TEN!

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: Thick, creamy, and heavy bodied. WOW! So silky in the mouth. It has almost the consistency in the mouth as a homemade cup of hot cocoa but with a bourbon burn. Moderately-low carbonation used to give some slight fizz but only as support to the dark, creamy feel of the overall body. It's master class and the elite example of mouthfeel for stouts. However, it is indeed a sipper. But if you are drinking CBS very fast, you aren't "getting" what it is. It is amazingly smooth, so please savor every last drop.-- 5

Overall: This is a magnificently dangerous beer. It feels so cliche and conformist to underwrite how great this beer is because most everyone says this. However, I cannot doubt that my fellow beer advocates have isolated a true masterpiece in brewing. I have thanked G-d I had the opportunity to try this beer. It has totally redefined my expectations of what is a great beer. People often wait to open the special brews for special occasions. I can tell you, without a doubt, that the special occasion is when you open and sip a bottle of CBS. Every once in a while the hype gets it right-- and its because Founders has dedicated themselves to being masters of their craft before being master's of getting their craft to everyone.-- 5

Criticism: My only criticism is that this one may be trying to do too much at the same time, and it may be too sweet for some barrel-aged elitists. Some will definitely find the KBS and the BS to be better than CBS because it (one) does not try to do as much "flavor packing" as CBS does and (two) the maple syrup adds sugar in a way that may perhaps prevent it from being a palate destroyer like KBS or a bit too overly rich juxtaposed to the BS. The maple syrup may perhaps be overkill for many. But CBS is an extreme beer. CBS in an extreme beer for those who enjoy extreme tastes. Is CBS the best beer in the world or even in the US? It might be. But, to absolutely make it the "king of beers" is to take the mystique out of craft beer and buy into the BMC marketing bull**** that a brewery like Founders refuses to buy into.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2011 15:15:05 | More by paxchristi
Photo of drpimento
drpimento

Wisconsin

4.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

BOOM! This beer is exactly what they say it is. Sharing a bottle with friend Patrick. Pours with a fine, tan head that lingers and some lace. Color is an opaque brown black. Aroma is roast, malt, coffee, a little cocoa, maple, and hint bourbon. Flavor is like nose but mammoth! And add in there a little fruit. Body is luxuriant and excellent carbonation. Finish is like flavor and very long and warming. A work of art.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2011 00:52:07 | More by drpimento
Photo of Crftbrfan
Crftbrfan

West Virginia

4.78/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2011 bottle release. Poured into dogfish sig glass

A - jet black no light. 4 finger mocha head on first pour. Really large bubbles. Dissapted quickly

S - lots or roasted coffee, slight oak and vanilla. More of the bourbon and maple comes thru as it warms

T - bitter coffee upfront, smoothest into maples sweetness and tinge of bourbon. Little bit or oaky vanilla

M - smooth and creamy

O - really impressed. Lived up to the hype for me. Sting coffee notes of fresh FBS w thr bourbon notes of KBS, then all dipped in maple.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2011 23:13:42 | More by Crftbrfan
Photo of Kaydogg
Kaydogg

Pennsylvania

4.47/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 release, thank you Jeff!
Appearance- Jet black with a nice Carmel colored head or lacing.
Smell- , smells of coffee, some chocolate. little bourbon..Complex
Taste- coffee is apparent on first sip, with slight bourbon and dark chocolate also present. Not picking up much of the maple...Delicious.a nice dessert beer.
Mouthfeel- no alcohol burn while drinking perfect amount of carbonation.
Overall, an absolutely delicious beer

Serving type: bottle

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2011 15:07:46 | More by Kaydogg
Photo of Sidebordz
Sidebordz

New York

4.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Shared with Daiceman at my place for the UFC fights, after trading a DFH 120 and a Blind Pig for the CBS. Poured into 2 snifters from the bottle.

A: Very dark in color, with a tan creamy head that lingers.

S: Initially the hints of maple syrup and mild bourbon smell hit you, which puts a smile on your face. Then the overwhelming coffee smell hits your nose. One of the nicest smelling beers I can remember.

T: The taste is incredible, delicious coffee taste with sweet malt/syrup taste. A mild warming in your chest as you savor the taste. Gets even better as the beer warms.

M: Creamy, and full bodied, yet not too thick. You know this beer has substance, but it is in no way one of those obnoxious overpowering stouts. It makes you want to immediately take another sip.

O: I went into the tasting thinking there was no way this beer could be as good as people say it is, but boy was I wrong! This is one of the best beers I have ever tried. The smell, taste, mouthfeel all are top notch. I could only imagine how it would taste on tap. I hope to get my hands on another bottle of this soon. If you have the pleasure of trying this brew consider yourself lucky!

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2011 02:09:06 | More by Sidebordz
Photo of GoGriz
GoGriz

Massachusetts

4.78/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

God I want this beer to be less tasty than it is (so as to bring some sanity to this beer) but I can't deny it...one of the best beers I've ever drank.

The color is really dark dark brown. Similar to one of its ingredients, the head is maple brown and creamy looking which is my favorite aesthetic.

The smell is worthy of more than a 5 rating. Coffee dominates and sweet maple follows up. Exactly as promised and perfect.

The flavor is great but comes in a little sweeter than I would like. It's a great sweetness (meaning that I like it enough) and fortunately, not cloying but I could do with slightly less. I suppose when you are drinking a beer that claims maple syrup as an ingredient this should be expected and I kinda did. Only enough to knock it to a 4.5. Roastiness lingers after the swallow, co-existing with the sweetness of the brew. This is phenomenal as it cleans up the aforementioned sweetness. Really solid.

The mouthfeel is the perfect viscosity in that it isn't syrupy but is heavy enough. Creamy but not too much. Perfect.

Overall, this beer is exactly what you would hope it to be based on its description and that carries a lot of weight with me. Many beers say they are conditioned with this and that yet you can't taste those elements. This beer is breakfast (coffee/roast), maple syrup (sweet) and bourbon-y.

What a treat!

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2011 01:11:20 | More by GoGriz
Photo of Blanco
Blanco

Pennsylvania

4.38/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a 23 oz snifter. Jet black with smallish light tan head that was difficult to achieve even with vigorous pouring. Thins out to a slight tan film on top. Lacing is strong however. Smell is mostly of coffee and bourbon, with dark maltiness as well. So far, this smells a lot like KBS to me. The taste however, is very different. Bourbon is not nearly as prevalent in the taste. coffee is also much milder. hint of sweetness from the syrup and becomes much more prevalent as the beer warms up. ABV is well hidden though definitely present. Body is medium, not as thick as I expected and not a lot of coating though there is definitely an aftertaste that lingers.

Overall, this one is solid, up there with the other "Breakfast" stout offerings though different. The smell is definitely the best part. Subtlety (as far as barrel-aged stouts are concerned) is what sets this one apart for me. Bourbon and coffee are definitely much more mild in this beer than KBS. The maple is a nice touch but not as strong as other reviewers seem to indicate. This is the third beer I've had from these barrels (kaiser curmudgeon and Cashew Moutain Brown) and I've never gotten a strong maple presence. Definitely digging this nonetheless. The definition of "smooth."

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2011 01:03:04 | More by Blanco
Photo of bramsdell
bramsdell

Massachusetts

4.6/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Pizza Paradiso at Dupont in DC. It was served rather cold, but I tasted it immediately and took my time with it to let it reach a warmer temp.

A: Thick, dark body with a beautiful creamy head.

S: I had this with another beer geek and we both agreed this is the best-smelling beer we had ever encountered. It was like the sweetest dark coffee of all time. I love dark coffee served black, and this was like the best coffee brew I've ever smelled, plus a malty sweetness to back it.

T: Coffee. Oh yes, so much rich, dark coffee. Where coffee flavors this deep and dark might make a lesser beer bitter, there is a beautiful malt back to it that balances everything out. I savored every sip, and it only improved as the beer warmed.

M: I wish I could feel this with every beer. There was a beautiful fullness that I can't aptly describe. A warming as it went down from the ABV, but the maltiness on the tongue prevent any boozy flavor.

O: Incredible. This is my favorite aroma of any beer. The taste is nearly equally amazing. I had serious doubts about this beer because of its god-like status on BA, but it delivered. Thank you, Founders. This beer alone made my night.

Serving type: on-tap

10-10-2011 00:42:06 | More by bramsdell
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celticfutblclub

Massachusetts

4.45/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz splint between two.

A - dark chocolate body with a light brown head with great retention and good head.

S - chocolate and roasted coffee. the roasted aroma is overpowering. maple sits in the back offering a sweet edge. superb.

T - coffee and chocolate balance well here if i had to pick one i'd say the roasted coffee flavor wins out by a hair. finishes with a sweet maple flavor.

M - good carbonation full bodied good boozy feel to this but not overpowering.

O - very very good. go get some.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2011 00:38:53 | More by celticfutblclub
Photo of GRPunk
GRPunk

Michigan

4.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've heard about "angels pissing on your tongue." This angel was loaded on Bald Eagle heads and Faberge eggs.

750mL bottle poured into a Duvel tulip glass on an unusually warm (hot) fall afternoon.

A- So rich. A normal pour created a 1-1/2 finger, dense, brown head. The deep, deep brown body looks nearly black through the middle of the glass. The head falls to a nicely covering, bubbly film. There are great sticky spots left all about the glass.

S- While really cold and in the bottle I got a chocolate and roasted aroma. It really opens up after the pour with a ton of vanilla and Bourbon-like qualities. There's a sweet, brown sugar scent that reminds me of a packet of "Sugar in the Raw." Sugary qualities begin to come out more like maple syrup. Medium-dark roast coffee. Somewhat of a "Coffee Crisp" chocolate bar at points. It's so complex. More semi-sweet chocolate later on. Even raisin-like at times.

T- Like Heaven on the tongue. Semi-bitter chocolate early. Brown or unrefined sugar and maple syrup. There are underlying raisin-like qualities at first. Smooth alcohol, especially in the finish. Vanilla notes I'd associate with a nice Bourbon. A hint of wood. There's the slightest of lingering sweetness. It's all very "dessert-like." I'm picturing a decadent, double chocolate fudge cake. There's coffee in the background. The raisins go away with some warmth leaving all chocolate, vanilla, maple, and some lighter coffee.

M- It's rich and creamy. VERY full bodied. There's some slightly warming alcohol that not harsh, whatsoever. Light carbonation. Velvety.

O- Absolutely no let-down here. While incredibly smooth days after purchase, I'd love to try some with a year or more on it. I'd also like to do this as a nightcap on a chilly evening. While pricy, I feel it's worth every penny. I got to a point with this where I was looking hard for a flaw and the best I've got is slightly poor head retention.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2011 21:38:05 | More by GRPunk
Photo of Treebs
Treebs

Illinois

4.83/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Shared this bottle at the UFC tasting. We did the Founders horizontal leading up to this guy (Imperial Stout, Breakfast Stout and KBS). I had this on tap at Founders at the release day and after having it out of the bottle I figure it deserves a proper review. Poured out of a 750 ml bottle into a Deschutes snifter.

A: Pours a jet black with a great mocha colored head that lingers for a bit and resides to brown swirls and nice ring around the edge.

S: The maple syrup and the barrel really shine in the smell. Nice roasted coffee with a sweet vanilla and chocolate.

T: The coffee is more prevalent in the taste and is backed by a nice chocolate. Sweet vanilla mixes with the maple syrup and really makes the barrel shine. There is a little booze kick at the end to remind you that it's there. Everything is integrated so beautifully. Really fucking good.

M: Heavy bodied with a smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Wonderfully carbonated to keep you stimulated. I could drink this every day.

O: This beer lived up to the hype and more for me. It's a shame that everyone is making this a whale, but I know I'll be able to have it again soon.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2011 20:12:10 | More by Treebs
Photo of fo1ksguitar
fo1ksguitar

Missouri

4.78/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this alongside a 2 year old FBS, what a treat thanks to to the generous guys that shared this!

A- Pours black with brown sugar head that sticks to the side of the glass.

S- Smells amazing, can pick up the maple and vanilla hints but is more full of coffee.

T- wow, this is smooth. Subtle coffee upfront followed by sweet malts, hints of chocolate and definitely maple. The bourbon is hid very well but there is a little heat kick on the end. Not as much complexity as I would have liked but it is really well balanced!

M- It has a medium thickness and a stickiness that helps it linger a bit in your throat. a slight hint of bourbon hotness.

O- This was definitely one of the best barrel aged stouts I've tried. I'm not sure if I can hold off the bottle I have, but I want to try this next to KBS & FBS soon.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2011 18:11:48 | More by fo1ksguitar
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thebeerisgood

Indiana

4.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Aroma: Huge coffee and dark chocolate right up front with maple syrup just peeking through. A touch of bourbon is there to remind you that this isn't your ordinary Imperial Stout.

Appearance: A black hole of darkness with a creamy 1-finger tan head. Thin sheets of sticky lace cling to the side, only to be enveloped by each swirl of the glass.

Taste: While some beers give you a certain impression from the aroma that doesn't quite match the taste, that's certainly not the case with CBS. Center stage is the coffee and bitter chocolate, but the maple syrup adds a touch of sweetness to balance it all out. A seductive hint of bourbon provides just a fleeting warmth, but certainly does not steal the show.

Mouthfeel: Viscous, a little oily and coats the entire mouth in sweet delicousness. Medium carbonation rounds out the experience.

Overall: In my opinion, this is nearly perfectly balanced, but allows the chocolate and coffee to shine just a bit more than the other components. Let this bad boy warm up a bit before drinking so that all of the aroma and flavor can come out. This certainly isn't an after-work refresher, but instead a rich, decadent dessert that I'll choose over cake (and I love cake) any day.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2011 17:16:12 | More by thebeerisgood
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Labonix

Illinois

4.72/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap a few times, but the first from the bottle. This beer pours pitch black with about 1-2 fingers worth of a beautiful brown colored head. The smell is bourbon right away followed by coffee and vanilla. This beer taste great. Right away I could taste the massive amounts of coffee followed by the bourbon kick. After that theres the taste of chocolate and vanilla followed by the sweet taste of the maple. This beer leaves a nice creamy texture in the mouth and a nice slight burn in the throat from the bourbon. This is a great stout.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2011 15:17:19 | More by Labonix
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perrymarcus

Massachusetts

4.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle served in a snifter.

pours your standard imp. stout used motor oil black while yielding a 3/4" mocha-toned head that slowly fades to a lasting cap, leaving some nice patches of lacing. very nice appearance, particularly for a style where it can be hard to distinguish yourself.

in the nose, coffee explodes out of the gate; joined by secondary notes of chocolate, roasted malt, maple, and a touch of vanilla. not picking up much bourbon. very good, but far from transcendent. gives me pause: could the famed CBS amount to an overvalued let-down?

fortunately the answer here is a resounding no. taste exceeds the aroma by a fair margin, delivering rich, tasty flavors in spades. coffee, chocolate, roasted malt, vanilla, maple, toffee, and boubon... the more it warms the more these characteristics emerge. it's not a bourbon bomb - nothing along the line of BCBS or older viscosity - but even though i'm a bourbon fan this doesn't diminish my enjoyment of the beer. nice maple sweetness gives it a distinctive flair. smooth, velvety, medium-full bodied with medium carbonation.

overall i have to go A+ here. hype or no, IMO there's no denying this is just a delicious, flavorful beer. fantastic; if they ramp up the bourbon a bit (production numbers would also be nice) i think i'd have a serious contender for overall favorite beer. hell, i might have one anyway.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2011 14:23:22 | More by perrymarcus
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gregy55902

Minnesota

4.93/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Founders CBS imperial stout, 10.6% abv, bomber bottled on or near 10/1/2011. Poured into a snifter.

A -Pitch black with minimal tan head, which dissipates quickly leaving a few patches of bubbles and some lacing. Looks like a great imperial stout.

S – Strong bourbon and maple presence, along with light notes of chocolate and dark fruits. Smells amazing!

T – Wow this beer is complex. Strong bourbon punch to begin with, and the maple taste follows almost immediately with a hint of burnt sugar and chocolate. Light warming sensation from the alcohol, very pleasant. The best-tasting imperial stout I have ever tried, to date.

M – Lightly carbonated, thick on the tongue. Near-perfect balance.

O – I am very impressed. This is great fresh, but it would be a good candidate for further aging. If there is a better imperial stout, I have yet to find it.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2011 08:04:52 | More by gregy55902
Founders CBS Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,314 ratings.