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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.

2,350 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,350
Reviews: 756
rAvg: 4.66
pDev: 10.09%
Wants: 2,910
Gots: 521 | 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: 2,350 | Reviews: 756 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mwa423
4.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had on tap at Dilly Deli, now I get to mark this one off the bucket list!

A - Black...black and blacker, no head but some lacing on the glass.

S - Bourbon, coffee, chocolate, malt.

T - Bourbon, malt all over the place, coffee, surprisingly much sweeter than kbs. Absolutely fantastic I doubt beer will not taste as good for a week.

M -This is the only place I can take half a point off. I wish this was slightly thicker and richer like kbs. Don't get me wrong, it's still a winner.

D - I didn't believe it was 9.4 until I re-read it. Amazing, I could drink this stuff until I passed out

mwa423, Jul 14, 2009
Photo of pwoods
4.03/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Dilly Deli.

A: Pitch, just the sligtest bit of light. No head, little lacing.

S: Good sweetness, lots of maple and molasses richness. Some pleasant notes of alcohol and wood. Some smokiness comes through as it warms.

T/M: More of the rich maple and molasses sweetness. Further notes of wood, smoke, vanilla and warming alcohol. Body is just under full and very smooth.

D: Decent high abv but drinks real easy.

pwoods, Jul 14, 2009
Photo of JonMich13
4.72/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Flying Saucer Charlotte.

A = Super dark brown/black with minimal brown head. Light lacing.

S = Smell wasn't overpowering here. Could pick up some boozy whiskey notes in addition to chocolate and coffee.

T = Unbelievable collection of flavors. Where do I begin? Bourbon, whiskey, chocolate, coffee, maple, spicy alcohol. All of this changes and evolves as it warms. If you're lucky enough to try this, make this last an hour and wallow in its glory.

M = Not quite the mouth of the regular Breakfast Stout, which is the pinnacle IMO. But very nice and thick, coating. Just not quite as chewy as the original.

D = Maybe the exquisite taste makes this so drinkable. Despite its strength and complexity, I wanted to gun right through this one it was so good.

Overall, a near perfect brew.

JonMich13, Jul 11, 2009
Photo of dismal
4.65/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at Kelleher's Irish Pub in Peoria. Was served in a snifter. The bartender was pretty awesome and knowledgeable and told me this one was tasty and she even compared it to the Kentucky Breaksfast Stout for me since this was my first time having it :) The appearance was pitch black with a nice big tan head. The head pretty quickly went down to almost nothing within a few minutes. Despite this happening it still left some, not much, but some lacing down the sides of the glass. Looks very good. I didn't get to much out of the aroma but from what was there it was some coffee and some chocolate as well as some roasted malts. Could have been just me but all the smell was pretty faint and not there but for what was there it was good, like I said was probably just me. The taste, oh my god! Pretty much incredible. Lot's of chocolate in the taste which I wasn't expecting but it was quite the pleasant surprise. There was also some coffee present and some roasted malt. I could also pick up on the bourbon/whiskey flavors and the oak, very nice. The taste was incredible. I've only had the regular Breakfast Stout which was extremely great but this one was amazing! Pretty thick mouthfeel which was just perfect. Drinkability was high especially considering the high ABV and the alcohol was hidden so well. I went in knowing they had this on tap only to have one and ended up drinking three it was so delicious. By far one of the best beers I've ever had. The regular Founder Breakfast Stout was amazing enough but this one, wow, I could drink this every day all day. Like I said, one of the best I've ever had!

dismal, Jul 08, 2009
Photo of jwinship83
4.08/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

on tap at founders night at the bavarian lodge. they claimed this was the fastest keg ever to come and go here and it lasted about 13 minutes. served in a snifter. mike bell said this was one of only 40 sixtels to ever have been brewed for this one.

A- black bodied pour with a head so small its not really a skin. partial skin maybe? little to no lacing left behind.

S- lots of chocolate and dark roasted malts. some sweetness from the maple syrup. lots of oak and vanilla from the barrel. cant find any bourbon.

T- sweet maple syrup and chocolate upfront. lots of dark roasted malts. lots of vanilla and oak. couldnt really find the bourbon until after i let it warm up a bit.

M- full bodied and rather thick. palate coating. low level of carbonation that really works for this one.

D- a treat that i wish wasnt so rare. glad i got to try this one. check it out if given the chance. i would have probably gotten a second glass if i was able to.

jwinship83, Jul 05, 2009
Photo of birchstick
4.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a snifter from a tap at Kelleher's in Peoria, IL

A - black with a perfect coffee-brown head...looks beautiful

S - The nose contains heavy burnt malts and dark chocolate with a touch of molasses

T - Wow. It took me a while to figure out all what is going on in there. Starts off with the roasted malt being the most dominating taste. As it warmed a bit, sweet molasses and chocolate tones became noticeable adding a nice sweetness to counterbalance the roasted malts. I also got a lot of bourbony vanilla from the bourbon throughout the finish, which added a nice touch. There is also a bit of alcohol burn on the finish, which is what I expect from something aged in whiskey barrels to have. Also got a lot of maple bourbon on the exhale. This is a beautiful harmony of everything I love about dark, rich stouts.

MF - smooth and goes down nicely. Medium body...I wish it was a tad more full.

D - This was an excellent beer-it is so rich it has to be a sipper. I couldn't have asked for anything more. This was a delicious treat and I am very glad I was able to try it.

birchstick, Jul 04, 2009
Photo of Monkeyknife
4.78/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had a couple of these today on-tap at 33. What a pleasure!

Poured a deep purple black with a rich tan head. Healthy lacing all around.

Beautiful aroma of dark chocolate, maple syrup, bourbon, and coffee.

With each rich and creamy sip I experienced dark chocolate, bourbon, maple syrup, vanilla, dark cherries, molasses, and coffee. The 9.4% alcohol is definitely present.

Full bodied, thick and creamy, with a light carbonation.

A top-notch Impy stout from Founders which I consider myself lucky to try. Enjoyable in a St. Louis summer. I can only imagine this in the heart of winter.

Monkeyknife, Jun 30, 2009
Photo of grub
4.18/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

sampled on tap at founders june 12/09.

pours opaque black with a small very dense light brown head. the head quickly retreats to a ring around the glass and leaves spotty lace.

aroma is great. dark and bittersweet chocolate. alcohol. light maple. caramel and toffee. light butterscotch. multi-grain bread and biscuit. black coffee. just a touch of citrus.

taste is good. dark and bittersweet chocolate again. maple. multi-grain bread and biscuit. coffee. bit of espresso. caramel. bit of butterscotch. toffee. roasty and toasty. light fruity sweetness. medium-low bitterness level. anise. bit of raisin.

mouthfeel is great. nice big body. silky smooth medium-light carbonation level.

drinkability is good. great balance, nice complexity. not sure how much variation there is batch-to-batch, but the maple in this seems more subdued than the taste i had at DLD this year. good stuff.

grub, Jun 30, 2009
Photo of barnzy78
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at The Bavarian Lodge - Lisle, IL

Served a little on the cold side, which probably took away from the appearance and smell categories. Poured black and syrupy with a thin light brown head that dissipated fairly quickly. The thin head left a sticky lacing on the side of the glass. Aromas were weak, but pleasurable - coffee, vanilla, and bourbon mainly. Mouth-feel was incredible! Thick and syrupy with balanced carbonation providing excellent coverage of the palate. tastes were complex and delicious as well - sweet like fresh honey with notes of coffee, bourbon, vanilla, molasses. The maple was slightly present, but not as bold as I anticipated, which actually aided this beer to be more subtle and smooth in comparison to KBS. Also finished sweeter and more complete in comparison to its counterpart. What a treat to have tried this rare gem! Absolutely world class!

barnzy78, Jun 27, 2009
Photo of Adamdc
4.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had on tap at Redbones. Thanks to fellow BA's for posting that it was being served there!!

A: Jet black pour with 1/2 inch dark tan head. Nice lacing.

A: Incredible blend of choc, roast, malt, maple syrup, molasses and vanilla.

T: Taste is same as aroma but with a little alcohol (well-hidden for 9%) and some hops in the backend. The amazing thing is how all the flavors combine together. It's just a 'big' blend of all the flavors with none really dominating!

M: absolutely smooth and creamy with just the right amount of body. I've always felt that Kate the Great was one of smoothest stouts I've had--this one is right there with it.

D: see above. The smoothness and the well-hidden alcohol make this very drinkable.

This was a fantastic drinking experience. A true standout beer. They need to start bottling this stuff!

Adamdc, Jun 27, 2009
Photo of tpd975
4.93/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

HUGE thanks to Gillard for holding this one back to share with the tampa crew at the Cigar City BA Bolita release party.

A: Pours a nice deep dark black. with a small tan head. No lace.

S: Wonderful fresh maple syrup aroma. Hints of bourbon and vanilla hide beneath.

T: WOW! Fresh sweet maple syrup up front, rich, bold, sweet good. The bourbon shows up in the middle. It does not overpower which I like because it lets the maple shine. Vanilla seems to meld right into the maple. The finish a bit of fresh coffee comes out with just a touch of chocolate. Very Very Very complex.

M: Rather full in body, rich, thick, smooth. It lacks carbonation a bit but it has been in the growler a while. No sense of oxidation what so ever.

D: Crazy good. I would love to start and end every day with a glass of this. One of the best tasting beers in the world no doubt about it.

tpd975, Jun 27, 2009
Photo of orbitalr0x
4.5/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Bavarian Lodge, Lisle, IL

Arrives in a snifter a deep dark pitch black with a small dark tan bubbly head on top that leaves some lacing behind. Aromas open up as the beer warms with deep chocolate and lots of dark malts. Fresh coffee lies underneath along with mellow oak. The maple syrup sweetness shines through more and more as it gets warmer and adds a really nice twist.

First sip brings big dark malts upfront with a tasty mix of chocolate, mellow coffee and maple syrup sweetness. Oak barrel accents swirl in with vanilla and just a kiss of bourbon. Sweetness lingers on through the finish along with a maple syrup afterthought. Smooth and tasty!

Mouthfeel is rich and creamy with a nice smoothness and mellow carbonation. Goes down pretty damn easy considering and doesn't have the strong bourbon kick of KBS. I wish I could have got more than one glass but the keg blew in an amazing 15 minutes. A great brew by Founders and I hope to run across it again someday.

orbitalr0x, Jun 27, 2009
Photo of mikesgroove
4.7/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I cannot believe I am getting to type up this review. Soo much thanks has to go out to the kind BA from PA who was able to get me a small growler of this one. It arrived on my doorstep and I nearly fainted. Served chilled and poured into a pint glass.

Deep, dark, inky black pour, about what I would have expected coming from this one. Not a drop of light peeking out at all and a nice, small, compact head of tan crept over the side for just a moment before falling back down and leaving some decent lacing on the glass. Big aroma here, absolutely huge. Very sweet notes, maple, lots of cocoa and hints of coffee and vanilla and very well put together. As it warms bourbon like smells start to come through with nice touches of vanilla really starting to come to the forefront here. Amazingly complex as the subtle maple hints start to find themselves along side blackstrap molasses. As I go in for a sip, I have to admit I am somewhat scared, and at the same time, cannot wait to try it. Rich molasses and maple notes hit first. Soothing, coating, and very filling. Bourbon then rides by, letting you know to take it easy and dropping touches of vanilla along the palate as it goes. Some subtle dark chocolate notes, meld with a hint of coffee, and now we are fully onboard with this one. Long finish is very sweet with the last gasp of maple and vanilla leaving me looking for my next sip.

Overall this was every bit the beast I thought it would be. I will be honest as I thought the maple would be a bit stronger, but in looking back I think it was nearly perfectly placed. This is a great thing they have done here. Taking one of my favorites and making it irresistible. I would have no issue at all with going for this one again any day.

mikesgroove, Jun 27, 2009
Photo of BiereBlanche
4.88/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at Redbones in Somerville, MA

Looks like any good stout - Viscous, tarry black with a low, mocha head. Lacing sticks well after the beer is gone. Heavy, robust nose like a chocolatey burboun with vanilla beans squeezed in. Definite alcohol presence, but oozing with dark notes. Tastes phenomonal and rich. Loads of gooey chocolate, pleasant coffee notes with cream laced with vanilla syrup. Quite sweet, the vanilla is nearly candy-like in a delicious way. High hops bitterness and a nice earthy, woody flavor - it's surprising how well they blend with the malt and adjunct flavors. The smooth, creamy rich body is the best thing about this beer. Medium carbonation gives just enough lift to the thick body to keep it from being cloying - rich and heavy. The alchohol comes through, this isn't fooling anyone, but it's so rich, so flavorful, so creamy smooth and so delicious that I could drink it all day.

One of the best balanced, most divinely flavourful beers I've ever had. This falls in the (very select) class of beers that I could drink all day, every day in place of any others.

BiereBlanche, Jun 26, 2009
Photo of MrMcGibblets
4.88/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

thick black with a brown head quickly dissipating into a nice collar of lace. chocolate, coffee, vanilla, and maple syrup in the nose follows through to the taste with a round, supple entry. sweeter than KBS, but manages to not be cloying. alcohol is well hidden. full-bodied and viscous but not overly so, this big beer managed to still be quite drinkable. damn tasty shit.

MrMcGibblets, Jun 26, 2009
Photo of treyrab
4.88/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

After hearing so much about this beer, a sixtel miraculously made it to Pittsburgh.

A: Poured into a dark black brown. Poured cold. Cold enough to make the glass fog up. Nice creamy tan head that stuck and laced the glass.

S: Very intense with chocolate liquor, sweet molasses, sweet maple syrup, sweet caramel and nice bitter roast. The sweetness outweighs the roast, but both smell in perfect complement.

T: The breakfast stout and Kentucky breakfast stout are phenomenal. But this is a touch above both. It reminds me of half breakfast stout, half Kentucky Breakfast stout, combined with a shot of bourbon and a shot of maple syrup. A tad sweet, but not overly so. Nice and creamy with chocolate, bitter roast, coffee and maple syrup.

Overall, a fantastic beer that I am glad I tried and will probably never get to try again. One of the best I've ever had.

treyrab, Jun 22, 2009
Photo of Reagan1984
4.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I was so excited to hear that this was on tap at the Sunset in Boston. A big shout out to Jctribe25 (Patrick) for giving me the high sign on the availability. Thanks man!! Having a concern that the beer would not last until Sunday, I made a bee line to the Sunset yesterday afternoon to secure a pint. I arrived just in time and literally the keg kicked as they finished pouring my glass. In fact, the bartender was so cool, he pulled off some more out of the keg and gave us a bonus. This was one of my favorite beers at last winters Extreme Beerfest, so I was quite excited to get a crack at a full serving. The great news is that it was as good/if not better, than I had remembered. Believe the Hype.

Thick tan head that is aggressive and show quite a bit of structure.. Lacing sticks everywhere and is about as thick as I've seen. The beer itself is the color of espresso and is a very deep brown. Looks thick and rich.. Later this is confirmed.

The aroma is just wonderful. If there is such thing as a thick aroma, this is a beer that has it. Coffee, chocolate, vanilla, slight maple sweetness.

Well, it drinks like a milkshake and is just glorious. Many of the same flavors mentioned above are here. Pretty complex actually. Coffee to chocolate to vanilla to maple. All are present. There is certainly plenty of sweetness, but it works with the big mouth feel and smoothness.

I think the best part of this beer is the mouth feel. As mentioned above, it almost drinks like a milk shake. Silky smooth, creamy huge body, but not cloying at all.

Amazing drinkability, but you certainly can't session this big beer. Believe the hype on this beer and seek it out. It now sits among the top beers I've rated. Just love it.

Reagan1984, Jun 21, 2009
Photo of Hojaminbag
4.7/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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
Founders CBS Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,350 ratings.