1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Founders CBS Imperial Stout - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders CBS Imperial StoutFounders CBS Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,313 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,313
Reviews: 753
rAvg: 4.66
pDev: 10.09%
Wants: 2,865
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: 2,313 | Reviews: 753 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Beerontwowheels


5/5  rDev +7.3%

11-14-2011 12:10:44 | More by Beerontwowheels
Photo of cyrusthepup


5/5  rDev +7.3%

11-14-2011 12:00:06 | More by cyrusthepup
Photo of jmhart


5/5  rDev +7.3%

11-14-2011 11:33:30 | More by jmhart
Photo of chcfan


5/5  rDev +7.3%

11-14-2011 11:28:14 | More by chcfan
Photo of eerbayman

North Carolina

5/5  rDev +7.3%

11-14-2011 11:10:09 | More by eerbayman
Photo of avaldivia


5/5  rDev +7.3%

11-14-2011 09:41:27 | More by avaldivia
Photo of bsuedekum


4.75/5  rDev +1.9%

11-14-2011 09:13:41 | More by bsuedekum
Photo of abecall98


5/5  rDev +7.3%

11-14-2011 08:39:52 | More by abecall98
Photo of Bobbydigi


4.5/5  rDev -3.4%

11-14-2011 07:53:36 | More by Bobbydigi
Photo of bombadil


5/5  rDev +7.3%

11-14-2011 07:45:50 | More by bombadil
Photo of klipper


5/5  rDev +7.3%

11-14-2011 07:27:20 | More by klipper
Photo of larsenju


5/5  rDev +7.3%

11-14-2011 07:16:50 | More by larsenju
Photo of BrianTheBrewer30


5/5  rDev +7.3%

11-14-2011 07:10:28 | More by BrianTheBrewer30
Photo of AutumnBeerLove


5/5  rDev +7.3%

11-14-2011 07:07:47 | More by AutumnBeerLove
Photo of tbeq00


5/5  rDev +7.3%

11-14-2011 06:56:17 | More by tbeq00
Photo of soze47


4.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've been waiting for this guy for a while. I'm a lucky man to get a bottle of this. My GF and I enjoyed our first small pours of this with pancakes!

Appearance: Black with brown edges. I see a nice amount of rich coffee head form with each swirl. Nothing that sticks around, but it lets you know that it isn't so thick that nothing is going to be overwhelmingly viscous.

Aroma: Bourbon is the primary smell. Hints of complex maltiness come out. Some black chocolate types of notes along with a hefty dose of bitterness on the nose. It needs to open up a bit before the maple sweetness comes into play. Very nice beer to ponder with your nose.

Taste: Very similar to the nose in that it is all at once complex, but evolves throughout the drinking experience. A lot of bourbon flavor up front, but not so much hot like other bb-aged brews. A hefty bitterness comes into play on the secondary. Lots of dark chocolate and rich espresso notes. But the maple is the real star here. It doesn't whack you over the head with its presence and is really not overly sweet. It almost whaffs into your mouth on the swallow and develops a great aftertastes that balances out the strong bourbon tones and bitterness. After a while in the glass, the flavors meld very well. The maple comes forth more in the initial taste and blends well with the other flavors mentioned before. An amazingly developed and tasty brew.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: Thick and heavy, yet the body is light enough to allow your palette to appreciate the nuances this guy offers. This is the perfect beer to enjoy in small pours over the course of the evening. I had three different small doses of this and really had different, altogether remarkable experiences with each.

Overall: This one fits the bill and delivered on the hype. I was a little unsure how it would all come together without clashing, but it is a marvel in that it tastes great, but is extremely nuanced and evolves with each taste.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2011 03:19:47 | More by soze47
Photo of harrymel


4.43/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Well, here it goes. Thanks to woodchopper!
Thanks to my wife, for letting me open this with her!

A: pours black with brown hedging. A gaudy mocha top slowly falls to a solid sheet of lighter mocha. Spotty lace. Pretty beer.
S: Getting the bourbon, not getting the maple so much. Smells malty, dark, with hints of coffee. Smells really good....After a few more minutes, the maple starts to come out and reminds me of maple butternut ice cream.
T: Dark chocolate ice cream, hints of sweet bourbon, flecks of toffee, coffee and not really much maple. Then when I swallow on the subsequent exhalation, I get a really nice rush of the maple. There is just the slightest heat from the alcohol here.
M: Viciously sticky with a full feel and just perfect carbonation. The finish is lasting and combative with my preferred reservation to savor this beer rather than gulp it. This beer has perfectly matched feel for the profile. Only other beer with such a profoundly matched mouthfeel I've had is Hunahpu's.
O: Well, this beer is really really good. The maple tones are subdued with initial tastes, and then initiate their subtle bellicose intents to compel my idle hands to guzzle. Good shit, I expected it to be sweeter, and was pleasantly surprised. I am grateful to have been able to try this one. I would love to have again, and wouldn't pass up an opportunity. A perfect dessert for this accompaniment would be a hot fudge sundae with peanut brittle bits mixed into a rich, high quality vanilla bean ice cream...After which I would probably be sick to my stomach from such a degree of extravagance.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2011 03:34:32 | More by harrymel
Photo of stabzmcgee


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

An oily thick viscous black pour glugs out of the bottle and into my snifter. A healthy brown head appears and then turns into a nice halo on my glass. Aroma is immediately of maple and chocolate. Taste is of sweet maple, brownie batter and some oaky-vanilla.As it warms the coffee flavor shines through. What I like is it doesn't taste like the burnt coffee flavor I got from the FBS. For as thick and syrupy these flavors sound this beer has such a nice light drinkability... even though its flavors coat the mouth and linger quite long. This beer is amazing but the availability of it drives me crazy. I wish I could get it a little easier... but that might take away from the experience. Overall this is a perfect stout and I would change nothing about it. (except its availability).

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2011 00:07:06 | More by stabzmcgee
Photo of ehammond1

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

Bottle (2008 hand-bottle and 2011 fresh bottle side by side)

Thanks for sharing, Rich and brew3crew!

**The 2008 hand-bottle was significantly better than the fresh bottle. This is my review of the hand-bottle.**

(Aged for 3 years)

Thick and black throughout with a thin layer of light brown crown atop. This is a sticky and thick looking stout, and leaves the glass messy with spots of lacing down the glass.

A divine, complex, and evolving aroma: roasted malt, coffee, rich bourbon, and some sweet maple and vanilla, especially at room temperature.

The taste follows the aroma, but it's even more complex and evolving as the beer progresses from chilled, to cellar, to room temperatures. Initially, this seems very similar to KBS, but as it warms, the vanilla and maple notes emerge more and more, leaving behind something perfect.

Medium to thick mouthfeel with low carbonation. Smooth and incredibly drinkable.


Serving type: bottle

11-12-2011 17:26:12 | More by ehammond1
Photo of julian89


4.98/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of my good friends and I lucked out this past week. I received a bottle of Founders Canadian Breakfast Stout and he bought two bottles of Pliny the Elder. We had the most epic beer tasting afternoon ever. We began with the famous beer from the Russian River Brewing company and ending with the CBS.

Appearance- Black, opaque, and minimal lacing and head. Not much carbonation visually.

Smell- Strong chocolate, roasted coffee, maple syrup, and dark malt notes. Weaker bourbon smell. Has a earthy nutty aroma that lingers slightly.

Taste- This was an ideal/perfect stout. A lot smoother than the traditional breakfast stout and a differently more pronounced maple taste. The bourbon taste isn't as strong as the Backwoods Bastard. All of the aromas come out in the taste, each one being highly distinguishable, balanced so well.

Mouthfeel- Very filling and heavy. Medium to heavy bodied beer. Carbonation in the beer is not as intense but it builds a frothiness on the back end that accents the flavors "frothy goodness".

Overall- The best beer I've ever had to date. Actually bought tears to my eyes. The flavors and smell, each flavor so pronounced and the body of the brew so perfect. This brew embodies the definition of breakfast stout!

Serving type: bottle

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2011 14:59:35 | More by julian89
Photo of rmalinowski4


4.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my Mikasa snifter.

Pours a dark black with one finger tan head. Leaves some lacing on the glass. Very nice.

Smell is pure coffee. Sweet malt. Smooth coffee, some burbon. Very nice.

Taste is all coffee. Sweet malt and some burbon. Very ice.

Mouthfeel is good. Medium bodied with good carbonation.

Overall this a really good beer. Coffee, some bourbon, some maple. Pretty good. Not better than BT or VB DL, but still very good.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2011 05:01:02 | More by rmalinowski4
Photo of AleWatcher


3/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Shared by Whitemomba-- thanks Jason!

Deep reddish hues in the legs and on the edges... Sand colored dark tan head. Nice thick legs. Huge chunks of spotty lace.

Smells like coffee. Coffee rules the nose here, but where's the maple syrup action?
Coffee rocks the flavor too... Very boozy, with roasted coffee flavor, some sweet malt, and a big coffee-flavored boozy bite.
This is nowhere near as good as I remember it being on tap-- too boozy, too much coffee (I like coffee, but this reminds me of "stale" coffee-- not fresh and strong).
Pretty thick feel-- but it's oily and slick.
Overall, this is NOT the same beer I remembered. I'm actually pretty disappointed in this one. It isn't "bad," but it is not "world class."

WAAAY too hot on the back end. (and bear in mind, I like big stouts. I'm not some BMC guy on his 4th review).

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2011 04:53:16 | More by AleWatcher
Photo of byrdman16


3.5/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Finally....I got my hands on one of these bad boys and I didn't even have to pay 50+ bucks for it on e-bay! Pretty good overall. Poured like motor oil with little head and lacing. Good nose to this one, I picked up more on the chocolate rather than the coffee, maple syrup, or bourbon. Big heavy SWEET beer. This thing was a dessert beer for sure...It tasted like a shot of hershey's chocolate syrup. Alcohol was hidden very well, considering the 10.6% EtOH content. Overall it was a good beer BUT I'm not big on big sweet syrup beers so...I am glad that I can say that I've tried it, but not my fav. Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2011 03:55:12 | More by byrdman16
Photo of scottfrie


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

750ml bottle into Portsmouth snifter. HUUUGE thanks to jbck109 for finding me a bottle! Thanks Jay!

A: Pours thick pitch black with three fingers of dense and creamy looking dark brown head that took forever to fade into a thin bubbly film leaving spots and streak of soapy lacing down the glass.
S: Dominant notes of rich drip coffee and roasted coffee beans with hints of sweet molasses, spicy bourbon barrel, and a touch of vanilla. This is one potent and fragrant beer.
T: Rich notes of coffee, sweet chocolate, vanilla, thick molasses, spicy bourbon and a touch of oak. Flavors are rich and decadent. The alcohol is completely hidden. The finish is sweet and full of raisins, and the aftertaste is syrupy sweet with lingering flavors of bourbon, chocolate syrupy and molasses. The coffee dominates in this beer, but the maple and chocolate add a beautiful sweetness.
M: Soft, tingly carbonation, rich and sweet mouthfeel, and a thick body that is definitely thick, but not the thickest I’ve had.
O: A truly decadent and rich sipper of a beer. There are few imperial stouts that I would put above this one (although there are one or two). This beer is definitely worth the hype. Thank you so much for the bottle, Jay.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2011 02:38:11 | More by scottfrie
Photo of BobZ


4.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml Bottle poured into my Duvel tulip and shared with a friend.

Appearance: Deep dark reddish brown with surprisingly large frothy tan head of about a 3” that recedes to a healthy 1” and hangs around. Excellent sticky lacing. Since most barrel aged stouts yield little to no head this is quite different possibly the best looking barrel aged stout I have ever seen.

Smell: Sweet chocolate with coffee underneath and hints of whiskey, highly complex. Much more complex than FBS and KBS, also not as “bourbon forward” as KBS.

Taste: Wow, much better than expected, I thought it would be good but I didn’t honestly expect it to be this great. The sweetness imparted by the maple sugar is unique and in perfect balance with the coffee, chocolate, and whiskey flavors. I don’t know if I would have pinpointed the sweetness as “maple” but it was definitely unique and incredibly delicious. The beer was poured at below room temperature (around 50 degrees I would estimate) and I wondered if the sweetness would change as the beer warmed and possibly become mouth coating and cloying. I drank this beer very slowly (as I had done a horizontal tasting and was drinking a 2011 FBS & a 2011 KBS at the same time) and as it warmed it got better, and better, never falling below excellent, and never cloying in the least bit.

Mouthfeel: Creamy smooth on the palate with a mildly bitter finish that left the mouth clean.

Overall: I did not expect that this beer would live up to its reputation. It is the best stout of any kind that I have ever had; period (blew KBS & FBS away with ease). I don’t know if I’ll ever get the chance to have it again but I’m glad I was lucky enough to get this opportunity.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2011 18:22:06 | More by BobZ
Founders CBS Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,313 ratings.