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Founders CBS Imperial Stout - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders CBS Imperial StoutFounders CBS Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

3,284 Ratings

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Ratings: 3,284
Reviews: 912
rAvg: 4.67
pDev: 8.99%
Wants: 3,457
Gots: 633 | 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:
Beer added by: CRJMellor on 02-01-2009

Canadian Breakfast Stout (CBS) is the epitome of why we launched the Backstage Series: to bring some of our most sought-after beers, which have been available primarily at the taproom or at a few select events, to a much larger audience.

Canadian Breakfast Stout is an Imperial Stout brewed with a blend of coffees and imported chocolates, then aged in spent bourbon barrels that have most recently been aging pure Michigan maple syrup.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,284 | Reviews: 912
Photo of davidn17
5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of drewone
4.75/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of aliving1
5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of markrmoser
5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of chicano4craft
4.59/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review 100 for me. hanks to LostCook for this one. VERY generous.

Poured into a snifter. Dark, dark brown. Almost black with a fingers worth of tan head. Head becomes a bubble crown.

Nose is pretty amazing. The sweetness of the maple syrup sticks out right away. Then a big wave of roasted coffee shows itself. As it warms I get more dark chocolate and fruits. Some woodiness rounds it out. Each whiff is slightly different and exciting.

Taste is almost equal to the nose. Sweet maple mingled with coffee, dark chocolate, some vanilla, and a little heat from the alcohol. Amazing stuff.

I like the mouthfeel. Some what thick and the syrup allws the flavor to coat the tongue.

Overall this beer lives up to everything I had heard. Count myself very lucky to score a bottle here in Colorado.

Photo of elephantrider
5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of hotmanflab666
5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.92/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

CBS is pure beer magic. Poured from the bottle into a sniffer, the sweet whiskey aroma is enticing. The sweetness in the aroma is among the differences between this and other barrel aged stouts. In the glass the appearanace was a darkened color that is a brownish tint away from black with only a slight head.

The initial taste follows a warming maple and whiskey flavor with a malt backbone. It is a complex flavor that blends a measured level of sweetness and with dry notes. To some extent, the texture is slightly syrupy, but this could be an easy drinker with its smoothness. The stout has little carbonation and a thinner mouthfeel than I would have expected for a stout. Still, it is probably the best stout I have I every had.

This is a special release beer that is truly worth the anticipation.

Photo of SpillyBeers
5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of justintcoons
4.55/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an oversized wine glass.

A: Pours an opaque black with 1 finger of tan head that dissipates slowly leaving behind nice lacing.

N: Sweet bourbon, maple syrup, dark chocolate, vanilla, espresso, milk chocolate and fruity esters.

T: Sweet maple syrup, overripe dark fruits (plum and fig) and candy sugar upfront. Mid-palate brings in both dark chocolate and milk chocolate along with some light bourbon and vanilla notes. Finishes with maple, espresso/dark roast coffee and fruit esters mingled with some burnt notes of earthy char.

M: Full bodied, creamy, smooth, sticky, dry and warming.

O: Very complex, sweet, smooth and easy drinking. I was a little disappointed at how light the bourbon, vanilla and oak came through compared to KBS. The sweet maple syrup on the other hand replaces it nicely.

Photo of Breylan
5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of BeRanger
4.82/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from bomber into Founders Snifter.

A: Pours a dark brown / black color with a deep brown head that fades away after a little and leaves just a brown rim.

S: A lot of wonderful smells for this one: Chocolate, Coffee, Vanilla, Bourbon, Molasses and the hint of maple.

T: The taste is well reflective of the smells - all of the pieces of the puzzle come together nicely while the maple comes through a little more bold. Fantastic - finishes smooth without a harsh Bourbon bite given the high ABV.

M: Full bodied, thick and creamy.

O: This was well worth stalking three beer stores near me for nearly a month to get my hands on. Wonderful flavors that was remarkably smooth. I was very impressed with the little twist that the Maple gives it over the KBS. Well done Founders!

Photo of MADhombrewer
2.22/5  rDev -52.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Thanks to Black13 for this.

A- Black. Very little head. No lacing. 4/5

Smell- Ashy aroma but not much else. 2/5

Taste- Ashy as well. Little smoke but after that it is a bit funky. Weird taste. 2/5

Mouthfeel- Eh. Medium mouthfeel. 3/5

Overall- Not really good at all. Not interesting and too ashy for my taste. Very one sided. Drain pour. 2/5

Photo of esammons85
5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of SmokeyD
5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of podunkparte
4.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of claspada
4.32/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to ericfb18 so much for hooking me up with this long-time want. Pours an opaque black, viscous liquid, with a nice creamy small tan/ dark brown head that settles and leaves some nce spotty lacing. I like a nice head even on a big beer like this.

Aromas begin with larger notes of espresso than I expected. Then I get the cocoa, nutty maple and roasted barley take hold of the nose. Strong bourbony alcohol scent rises as the beer warms and stimulates the olfactory senses. Simple in variety, but complex in strength. One simple descriptor would be those bourbon soaked cocoa dessert balls.

The tastes follow the nose with lots of espresso, cocoa, maple syrup sweetness and roasted maltiness. Malt sweetness amplifies with maple contributions while the bourbon flavors of toasted nuts and coconut are present throughout. Very tasty and unique because of the maple additions; really complements the bourbony alcohol bite.

The mouthfeel is creamy, rich and round while also smooth, velvety, and somewhat sweetish in weight. Bitterness arrives from a lot of angles: espresso, cocoa and alcohol. Thick but no where near syrupy. Avoiding a cloying feel, which is so important in my opinion; the beer has finishes malty and rich with lingering maple syrup flavor in aftertaste.

Overall, this is rounded and sweeter variation to the ever stable KBS, with maple sweetness that shares the stage with coffee and bourbon. Complex, yet simple and bold and yet it greatly succeeds. However, I am torn on this beer. I really love the flavor profile but it lacks the depth and complexity I was hoping for. Is it really good, heck yes, is it mindblowingly delicious and complex to make it one of the top beers on the planet, I have my doubts there. Definitely recommended and worth a go, but don't go too overboard to acquire.

Photo of dulwich
5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of jegross2
4.78/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

For BEER REVIEW #100*(!), which just so happened to fall on New Years Eve, I thought I'd bust out something special from the cellar...

*beer review number 100 is determined per my Beer Advocate running total. This is "only" posted review number 98 for SaBEERmetrics. There are two reviews that I have not posted here yet for beers that I reviewed before starting this blog.

Reviewing the infamous Canadian Breakfast Stout (CBS) from Founders Brewing Company.

Score: 97

2011 vintage bottle served in an oversized brandy snifter glass.

Appearance: Jet black color, 100% opaque. No light cuts through this stuff. Pours two fingers of creamy tan/cocoa colored head that very slowly settles into a half finger. Amazing, sticky lacing. 5/5

Smell: Coffee and creamy chocolate. Some fig and maple with muted marshmallows/vanilla. Roasted chocolate aromas come out as the beer warms, and caramelized/burnt brown sugar smells become apparent as the amount of beer in the glass dwindles. 4.5/5

Taste: Very balanced and delicious. Smooth maple and mellow bourbon up front. Lots of creamy chocolate thereafter. Lots of smooth syrupy flavors without the syrupy stickiness/thickness. Lingering maple/chocolate flavor. Increasing amounts chocolate and raisins as it layers. Definitely getting dark fruit on the mid-palate. 10.6% ABV is completely hidden. The flavors are not super intense, but they are amazing. 4.75/5

Mouthfeel: Full-medium bodied with the perfect minimal level of carbonation. Viscous and velvety, like melted chocolate (only lighter on the palate). The flavor of this beer absolutely coats the palate. Finish is sweet. 5/5

Overall: While I would not call CBS my favorite beer, it is an absolutely fantastic, must-try brew. Truly "world class." There is a reason that this brew is universally recognized as one of the best beers in the world. I am very tempted to keep my second bottle for a future tasting, but the Rare variant of Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout beckons...

Recommendation: A must-try stout for beer geeks and casual beer drinkers alike. Highly recommend people try this one.

Pairings: This one is a dessert in and of itself, and should be enjoyed as such. Maybe you could pair it with waffles.

Cost: $7.99 for a 22 oz (bomber) bottle.

Photo of thepeter
4.35/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours deep black and with a tan finger head that leaves some lacing. Aromas of coffee and then some maple, vanilla, spice and malt in the backround. Tastes much of the same but more intense than the smell. The maple shows up at the back end of the sip and then the taste of coffee lingers. Palate is as smooth as the other Founders Stouts which is great! Overall it's a great beer that may be a bit hurt by all the hype it's been given.

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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

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

Photo of cestlavie
4.25/5  rDev -9%

Photo of Beerlistman
5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of benpopper
4/5  rDev -14.3%

Photo of rowingbrewer
4/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opened this beer on christmas figuring it would be a nice time to share a special beer with friends and family.

this beer pours a dark brown to almost black color with a fairly small mocha colored head. the smell is slightly oaky with a very small hint of maple and bourbon. there was really a lot less bourbon and maple than i was expecting. the flavor is very smooth lightly roasty a little sweet with hints of maple booubon and oak. the mouthfeel is smooth and lightly carbed. overall this is a good beer, i just don't think it quite lives up to the hype that was surrounding it. My friends and I enjoyed it, and I was glad to have a chance to try it.

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Founders CBS Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 3,284 ratings.