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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.

2,333 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,333
Reviews: 754
rAvg: 4.66
pDev: 10.09%
Wants: 2,888
Gots: 519 | FT: 8
Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  10.60% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: CRJMellor on 02-01-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,333 | Reviews: 754 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Hojaminbag
4.7/5  rDev +0.9%

Extremely dark brown body with no head and no retention to speak of.

Smell has notes of chocolate and coffee, and a great maple syrup aroma also.

Up front comes some big malt flavors in the form of bitter chocolate and coffee. Next I notice a great maple syrup flavor that pairs well with the slight, spicy oak and vanilla notes that come with it. I swear there is also a touch of bourbon in there. The finish is just a little bit hot from the alcohol. Overall, this flavor is both balanced and complex.

Mouthfeel is pretty good also. Not a lot of carbonation, which adds a nice thickness to the feel.

Extremely drinkable. This is a fantastic beer that exceeded my expectations

Hojaminbag, Jun 21, 2009
Photo of sonicdescent
4.65/5  rDev -0.2%

Wow, what a great beer. Had this little surprise on tap at Smokin' Joe's in Pittsburgh.

Looks a beautiful black liquid with a small but pillowy tan head.

Smell is that great founders stout scent with some barrel and a little maple. Not as strong as I had imagined, but still very very good.

Taste is similar to smell, reminds me of KBS with brown sugar. Coffee, roasted malt, barrel, brown sugar.

Mouthfeel is out of this world, thick and low carbonated but not flat, a real pillowy mouthfeel with some coaty goodness.

Worth the hype and drive.

sonicdescent, Jun 20, 2009
Photo of hckyfn9999
4.43/5  rDev -4.9%

A special treat from Founders on tap at iTap. Pours black into a snifter with a nice sized cocoa colored head. Aroma is of chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, and a touch of maple.

This beer is a delicous blend of roasted coffee, chocolate, and caramel. Some noticeable booze., and a bit of vanilla and maple. Very complex flavor profile. Lots of bitterness from the roasted malt and coffee. A little sweeter than I would prefer, but not too bad, just brings the drinkablility down. Not as much maple flavor as I thought there would be, but it doesnt matter, this is a great stout.

hckyfn9999, Jun 20, 2009
Photo of Vancer
4.33/5  rDev -7.1%

Ok, got to try this bad boy at the STL Stables, 12oz glass, none-the-less. Could have had more, but hooliganlife and his entourage sucked ½ of the soda keg down before I got there... ;)

Served in a nice snifter tulip, pure back with the classic tan head. Sticky and oily sheets of lace really give this a good start.

But yeah, what can ya say about the aroma and taste? Just a delicate dance of maple, fig, vanilla, caramel, coffee - finishing with the bourbon kick to round it out. But, I will say, it's just touch on the sweet side to make it an absolute drinker. The high alcohol does have a smidgen of a medicine taste and flushing of the cheeks.

I'm glad to have had the opportunity to try such a limited brew.

Vancer, Jun 20, 2009
Photo of rudylaw
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%

On tap @ Founders

Served to me pitch black with a huge mocha head. Just an all-around appetizing way to start my drinking day (not to mention enjoying the fantastic company of eyebrews and his lovely lady)!

Lots and lots of maple in the nose. Chocolate maltiness as well. Hints of coffee.

I taste almost nothing but maple syrup up front. Then the rest of the smells come into play. There are notes of fruitiness but I can't get past that delicious maple... but that's why we're here isn't it?!

It's an extremely smooth beer and on a day where I had the BA Imperial, Sweet Darkness on nitro and BA Red's Rye... this one stole the show!

rudylaw, Jun 16, 2009
Photo of Viggo
4.47/5  rDev -4.1%

On tap at Founders. Had this at the EBF and DLD, but never ended up reviewing it. 12 oz glass.

Pours a dark and opaque brown/black, some dark reddish highlights in the edges, thin brown head forms, quickly settles to a thin collar, some lace spots stick. Smell is real nice, coffee and chocolate, maple/caramel sweetness, lightly woody, alcohol, dark fruit, very intense roast, touch of vanilla, very nice. Taste is similar, maple and caramel up front, nice rich sweetness, some brown sugar, buttery smooth middle, wood, molasses, chocolate, very intense roast and butterscotchy finish, touch of vanilla as well, real nice. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with low carbonation, some warmth going down, quite smooth. Had an "accidental" snifter of KBS before this because the server heard us wrong, oh no! CBS is smoother, not as roasty, but still pretty damn good. Nice stuff!

Viggo, Jun 15, 2009
Photo of ThePeskyDingo
4.72/5  rDev +1.3%

Dark brown, almost black in color. Opaque except around the edges. Tan head, not much lacing.

Smells of chocolate, roasted malts, hint of vanilla, and a hint of alcohol.

Tastes of cocoa, coffee, alcohol at the back of the tongue, and hints of vanilla. Very similar to how it smells.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and creamy, very low carbonation, and a sticky finish.

Very easy to drink. Wish I had more of this beer.

Expensive stuff... the rep said it cost the bar $188 for 5 gallons!!! Wow...

ThePeskyDingo, Jun 14, 2009
Photo of tedpeer
4.55/5  rDev -2.4%

On-tap at Founders.

A - Black with a thin mocha halo. Little bit of clingy lacing.

S - Chocolate, coffee, maple, and roasted malt.

T - Alcohol and maple syrup up front followed by roasted malt, chocolate, and coffee. Dark fruit and a little bitterness in the finish.

M - Smooth, viscous, and low carbonation.

D - Wow. It was pretty good.

tedpeer, Jun 12, 2009
Photo of tjthresh
4.05/5  rDev -13.1%

Tap at Chumley's. The pour is Black with a rich brown head, as usual. I got to do this side by side with the KBS, and I perfer this one because the bourbon is much restrainded. I expected more maple. I think that maybe there's a second batch and a second use of the barrel. Full body and lightly sweet finish. Really pretty good.

tjthresh, Jun 12, 2009
Photo of kmeves
4.47/5  rDev -4.1%

Sampled at the Milwaukee Beer Barons World of Beer Festival. Pours a brownish amber with a nice amber head. Aroma is vert nutty, caramel, whiskeyish and strong strong coffee. Flavor is really more of the same although the alcohol seems more pronounced and a bit of the Canadian whiskey comes through. Texture is oily and full bodied. Really very similair to KBS with a hint of Maple Syrup. Yum yummy good!

kmeves, Jun 12, 2009
Photo of ritzkiss
4.55/5  rDev -2.4%

This Canadian boy has died and gone to heaven - trekked to Grand Rapids to try this treat at the brewpub.

12oz pour is an an inky black, little head. This brew is THICK. Seriously, you can see the viscosity on this one - it's syrup! Lacing down the glass.

Smell is toasted maple oats, maple syrup, roasted malts, light espresso.

Taste is SWEET. Wow, this is the ultimate dessert beer, thick and sweet - but it hurts the drinkability level. Sweet maple syrup, dark roasted malts, vanilla, brown sugar, hints of espresso. Alcohol in the finish, pretty hot - a little boozy. Would love to see how this one ages - would pretty much be perfect.

Overall, this is one ridiculously good beer and I'm glad I had the chance to try it. Not the most drinkable (especially on a warm Sunday evening) but so good. Please bottle this!

ritzkiss, Jun 07, 2009
Photo of TurdFurgison
4.35/5  rDev -6.7%

I had this on tap at the Founders brewpub, my first choice after looking at a chalkboard full of good choices. Dark brown-to-black color with a thin mocha colored foam. The beer smelled like fresh Breakfast Stout, lots of coffee and malty sweetness with a hint of maple syrup (much less maple than I expected). The beer tastes the same as Breakfast Stout too, again with just a little maple. Delicious and addictive. Based on everything I've heard (and now tasted) I'd say this is almost identical to regular Breakfast Stout, a very close variant.

TurdFurgison, Jun 07, 2009
Photo of mothman
4.5/5  rDev -3.4%

Had on tap at Busters on 28th for the Beer and Breakfast event.

Poured into a 5 oz tasting glass.

Color is a dark brown/nearly black. Tan head. Very little head of course, but great lace. Very nice.

Aroma: Chocolate coffee, toffee, maple, a little alcohol, earthy hops. A little lighter aroma than Darkness, but still amazing because of the coffee notes here.

Taste: Chocolate, a lot of coffee, a little vanilla here, maple, some alcohol. A lot of roasted malts. Toffee. The taste is just like the smell.

Mouthfeel: Rich, creamy, and thick. Full bodied. Good carbonation. Ends with a chocolaty coffee aftertaste. Slightly dry.

Drinkability: only a 5 oz pour but I really tried to make it last long, but it didn't. Great easy drinking stout. I would want to drink a lot more of this if it wasn't so expensive.

mothman, Jun 06, 2009
Photo of waltonc
5/5  rDev +7.3%

Made the trek out to Grand Rapids while visiting my parents in Michigan in part to sample this beer, which is one of the best I've ever had. Ordered a CBS and KBS and drank them side by side. I can't think of a more perfect drinking experience.

A: Pitch black body with a centimeter of tan head.
S: Bourbon, molasses, subtle sweet maple syrup, and vanilla.
T: See smell. Incredible flavor. Very well balanced components. The maple syrup is subtle and well integrated with the beer. Not too sweet and not too dry.
M: Medium to thick body, creamy, with medium carbonation.
D: Had a couple of these on top of a KBS and bourbon barrel aged imperial stout. Not feeling too great, but it was worth it.

Post-script: downright bizarre that anyone considers this inferior to Breakfast Stout, which is obviously inferior to KBS, much less CBS.

waltonc, Jun 03, 2009
Photo of Sean9689
4.45/5  rDev -4.5%


On-tap @ Founders.
12oz pour into Pils glass (?).

A - Black as black can be with a tan-colored head. Good lacing, very sticky head.

S - Sweet milk chocolate, maple syrup, expresso, no hint of the almost 10% of alcohol.

T - Huge sweet syrup flavors along with chocolate, expresso, and a nice creamy flavor as well. Slight alcohol burn and a bitterness on the end.

M - Full bodied, rich & thick, a little more carbonation then I really prefer with this style but still very smooth.

D - Way too easy to drink...another? Yes please!

A little better then the regular breakfast stout but not as good as KBS, IMO.

Sean9689, May 27, 2009
Photo of callmemickey
4.45/5  rDev -4.5%

"I'm sorry, Bruce. These boys get that syrup in 'em, they get all antsy in their pantsy."

A: Thick black body capped by a tight khaki head. good retention and lacing down the glass.

S: Yum. Chocolate, coffee, caramel, maybe a bit of molasses and of course, maple syrup. You can feel the rich sweetness coming off this guy. A hint of booze.

T: Dense, boozey sweetness. Lots of maple syrup coating the chocolate and coffee flavors. Hearty. Breakfast like. Roasted and toasted sweet malts.

M: Thick. Sweet. Massive body. Clean flavors throughout.

D: Woah. When I finished it screamed "Well that was damn good, now get me a glass of water."

callmemickey, May 25, 2009
Photo of BARFLYB
4.88/5  rDev +4.7%

Served on-tap at the Southphillytaproom in a wine glass. I jumped at the chance to get this offering from Founders.

A- The Canadian version is just as black and thick looking as the other version. Black as the night with a fairly sturdy dark tan head that loked yummy by itself. Some small spotty patches of lace on the way down.

S- This smells like pure bliss, and reminisant of an early Sunday breakfast with the family. Deep sweet roasted coffee backed with a good amount of roasted malt. Maple syrup is not spared and is right up there with the coffee, they make a good couple. Chocolate as well but not as prominent.

T- This is great, exactly what I needed. The maple syrup takes the lead and is sweet and yummy. The roasted coffee is not far behind and is almost making me cry at how well it melds with the coffee giving off a very sweet taste. Some vanilla from the barrels which I did not smell. Chocolate as well. I did not really pick up on any oatmeal from the base beer but that's probably cause I was focused on the main flavors.

M- Very sweet and a bit chewy. This one has a full body with ample carbonation. This one really blows your palette away probably because of it's super freshness. A sipper for sure, it would be wrong to gulp down this wonderful creation. Just like with regular breakfast and KBS a very nice feel on this.

D- I wish I was not driving as I would of had another and probably another. I sipped this gem throughout my meal and it worked both with the entree and as a desert beer. This is the real deal and fingers crossed that more gets made soon. Get on this if you have the chance.

BARFLYB, May 24, 2009
Photo of SPRichard
4.5/5  rDev -3.4%

had this at The South Philly Tap Room for their special tapping of this one of a kind beer

small tan head sits on top of the pitch black liquid....carbonation was no where to be found

coffee...hint of chocolate....sweetness from the maple syrup

lots of flavors going on in this one...coffee, roasted chocolate, a nice hop bite and sweetness from the maple syrup came in at the end and was more apparent as the beer warmed....hint of vanilla and light alcohol burn

rich...chewy, but smooth...slight alcohol presence...light carbonation

totally a sipper for sure...changes can be found as the beer warms so no need to pound it down...very balanced and almost begs you to order another...i only had 1 tonight but could have easily drank 2 or 3 more

SPRichard, May 24, 2009
Photo of AVDeuph
4.95/5  rDev +6.2%

I made a special trip to Founders to have this beer before it ran dry.

A: Served in a pilsner glass, kinda weird but I'm rolling with it. Dark black color with maybe a half-finger of head.

S: Man this is going to be good. A really nice blend of coffee, chocolate, dark dark malt and only a little bit of maple syrup. Maybe 15 minutes later as the serving was warmer, the maple syrup smell started to assert itself and that was a really nice addition.

T: This tasted extremely...refreshing? Can I say that about this beer? If you are saying no I can't, go to Founders soon and try some. Having had the Breakfast Stout and KBS, to me this was the most clean and crisp taste, I'm not sure if that is the maple syrup difference or what. Really nice balance, nothing is particularly overpowering. I thought to myself that this is the truest "breakfast" beer of the three from Founders, because it really tastes like a full breakfast in a glass.

M: Wonderful, see comments above. Thick of course, but this serving was well carbonated which I think actually improved the beer a lot.

D: Drinkability was the most striking improvement with this edition. I thought for 9.4%, this beer has some serious, world-class drinkability. If I didn't really want to tap into (I know) their other specialty offerings, I would have had more.

This was a fantastic beer. One of the best in the class, if not the best, that I have had to date. Founders, please, for your own sake and mine, start making this beer on a regular basis!

AVDeuph, May 23, 2009
Photo of maximum12
3.95/5  rDev -15.2%

Man, I hate to be the first one to rain on the CBS parade down a confetti-filled street in downtown Manhattan, but I wasn't wowwwwed by it like everyone else seems to be.

Had a small glass at Stub & Herb's last night at the Founder's release party. Pitch black. Nose quiet but intriguing with the correctly advertised smells.

Taste is subtle coffee with a lot of backing sweet malts, tangled up with the hint of maple that I might not have picked out if not for the blurb in front of me. A little vanilla, just a hint of bourbon, a few puppy dogs tails thrown in for good measure. Lots of stuff going on, but all fairly subtle, & the overall taste was good, not spectacular.

Hard to judge drinkability by the small serving, but I could have easily downed a pint of this, so that's good, right (I mean good score, not good that I didn't, since I had to back out of the parking lot where some ass had parked me in, but that's another story...).

Overall a very good beer. Personally I'd take the regular Breakfast Stout or KBS over the CBS, but glad I had a chance to try it, & if it shows up in the Cities again, I'll go have another glass.

maximum12, May 21, 2009
Photo of tempest
4.28/5  rDev -8.2%

On-tap at Stub & Herb's in Minneapolis. The only had a 5 gallon keg awaiting a special tapping, but accidentally confused it with the Dirty Bastard and tapped it early. Alas.

Still, I got a small glass and it was a tasty treat. No, it'd didn't change my world or light up my tastebuds like my favorite beers, but I'd easily say it's near the top of the style. You've got a hint of maple syrup with bourbon and vanilla oak, all paired with rich, delicious coffee - and that's before you even get to the malts. The malt actually just provided a gentle, dry dark chocolate flavor behind all the bigger dessert flavors. A heck of beer and very drinkable for the style, but not a best-in-the-world beer in my opinion. Still, very, very good. I can't stress that enough.

tempest, May 21, 2009
Photo of supercolter
4.47/5  rDev -4.1%

Oh baby, I'm not worthy. Appearance is fantastic, looks silky smooth with a very deep black color- nice head and frothy lacing.
Smell is a bit weaker than expected- a good amount of coffee and bitter chocolate.
Taste- It doesnt get much more complex than this. Nice bourbon taste up front with a healthy dose of coffee. The finish is amazing, a lot like guiness but I find some of the maple syrup come through.
Mouthfeel- is fantastic, very velvety witha decent amount of carbonation.
Drinkability- well good for the style. Really enjoyed this one.

supercolter, May 21, 2009
Photo of alleykatking
4.83/5  rDev +3.6%

Had on tap at Founder's. Review from notes I took while there.

A- Poured into snifter. Nice dark off black/deep brown color with some reddish undertones when held to the light. This came to me with a little I guess you could call head. No real lacing per say but it coats the glass and never really leaves.

S- Upon first smell I could make out a chocolate malty maple goodness. The maple and some oakish scent were faint and made a nice undertone to this beer. Almost a soy sauce smell like the KBS but not as strong.

T- If this is what the hype with the beer has been then bring it on! Nice hot maple chocolate taste as the alcohol is doing it's thing. this seems to mellow out after some sipping is done. I like this. Nice tones of maple, slight presence of woody charater and a nice malty flavor comes through. This is amazing!

M- This is a chewy heavy beer that coats the palate through and through. After a drink it still stays around for a good while. Nice carbination for the style but I could have used maybe a little more. Heavy mouthfeel but not over the top.

D- This is a very drinkable beer. I wish I could have this aged but alas, it's not bottled. Oh well good job on raising the bar Founder's!

alleykatking, May 20, 2009
Photo of beerman207
4.45/5  rDev -4.5%

Thanks goes to Bamadog who shared some of his Growler with me. With this one being so limited in it's release I am happy to have sampled some

A - Pours very dark with a bit of amber to it - the consistency is slightly less than motor oil - nice.

S - The nose has sweetness coming through up front as well as chocolate and a hint of maple.

T - Coffee is the most present in this brew - sweet flavor but in some ways it's lacking the maple syrup that I was searching for in this one. I even detect a bit of smoke in there.

M - the carbonation is very light but it works for this beer.

D - I would rate the drinkability as high even considering the high ABV. Is it worth selling your house to sample this beer - no. However - I believe if you can get your hands on some it's quite enjoyable.

beerman207, May 18, 2009
Photo of kels
4.22/5  rDev -9.4%

Thank you beerman207 for letting us know this was going to be on tap at Party Town. Bamadog brought back a growler to split.

Appearance: Extremely dark brown, nearly black, with gleaming red highlights, especially at the surface. Pours flat with no head and looks incredibly viscous and oily/sticky, leaving thick, leggy wash on the glass instead of lace.

Smell: Chocolately, reminiscent of the original breakfast stout, slight maple syrup presence, reminds me of maple sausage, with a definite alcohol presence.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Flavors of mild chocolate, sticky maple syrup that's earthy and a little smokey/oaky, darkly roasted malts, very sweet. Moderately hot alcohol upfront and again in my chest. Feel is very heavy, sticky and just carbonated enough to keep from falling flat. It is slick and oily as it slides over the palate.

Drinkability: Moderate to good - almost too sweet for the style; keeps it from going down too fast.

kels, May 17, 2009
Founders CBS Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,333 ratings.