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Founders CBS Imperial Stout - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders CBS Imperial StoutFounders CBS Imperial Stout

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3,250 Ratings

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Ratings: 3,250
Reviews: 905
rAvg: 4.67
pDev: 9.21%
Wants: 3,443
Gots: 626 | 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: 3,250 | Reviews: 905
Photo of mikedrinksbeer2
4.75/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Acquired in trade, much thanks to JRod1969 - I thought I had a bottle of this on hold and it fell thru so JRod was a life saver here.

This pours thick and smooth. Pitch black with a minimal brown head that dissolves to a halo quickly. The scent has a touch of booze, but is very much malty sweetness, I get lots of chocolate off it, perhaps the maple faded some? Smooth chocolatey flavor, a bit of roasty malt finish, but predominately sweet. The mouth feel is velvety goodness, I'd love to try this again, and hope they'll release it again next year.

Reviewed from notes, sampled 11/17/11

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5/5  rDev +7.1%

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5/5  rDev +7.1%

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5/5  rDev +7.1%

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4.75/5  rDev +1.7%

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5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of mylar
4/5  rDev -14.3%

Photo of jethrodium
4.42/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle courtesy of myspoonistoobig. Thanks Michael. Pours a very dark brown close to black with a small darkish tan head that has good retention and leaves some light lacing on the glass. The is big coffee, some dark chocolate, some vanilla and a bit of bourbon, oak, and some light alcohol. Quite awesome. The initial taste is sweet with dark chocolate, then comes a lot of coffee. A decent amount of oak as well as a bit of vanilla and some bourbon. The maple is there as well, but not overpowering. The finish has a decent coffee bitterness. Medium body. Medium carbonation. Great beer. A substantial improvement over KBS. The coffee is quite strong, and the maple sweetness is not overpowering, which I was slightly worried about.

Photo of mthomas84
5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of DeutschesBier
4.25/5  rDev -9%

Photo of CaptainNomihodai
5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of angrybabboon
4.2/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for sharing this

Review adapted from notes taken 12-11-11

Appearance: Jet black, bubbly tan head, sticky, spotty lacing

Smell: Intense, intriguing - wood, bourbon, vanilla, char, burnt malts - a lot of chocolate and coffee - some dry maple syrup in the background, but honestly not as much as I was expecting - a little hint of booze, too

Taste: So many flavors - a blast of wood, bourbon at first - underneath the bourbon barrel assault, there are some burnt, charred, malts - some lighter, chewier malts, too - burnt bitterness, some sweetness - the maple syrup flavor combines with the malt sweetness at the back of the tongue, creates a phenomenal aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium to heavy body, smooth, creamy, nicely carbonated

Overall: Yeah, it's good, but it's not earth-shattering

I had this at an EBF a few years ago, and it blew my mind into pieces. Perhaps my tastes have changed, but I think there is a lot less maple and a lot more wood in this bottled iteration. It could use some more balance. Honestly, it's a little better than KBS, but if I had to pick... I would pick Founders Breakfast Stout. And I wouldn't have to kill anyone to get it!

Photo of BedetheVenerable
4.12/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: Cool label, 750 Belgian-style brown bottle. The wife just finished her classes and got exemplary marks for the semester, and I just finished a term paper. Bring on this bad boy!

Appearance: Split with the wife into snifters, this beer pours out a dark brown, but is obsidian black in the glass wit a thick, rich cap the color of wet sand, which shows pretty nice retention.

Smell: Tons of vivid, sweet, pungent-but-not-sharp-or-burnt coffee up front, supported by a ghost of maple sugar sweetness. Would I have been able to pick this out without knowing this was aged in maple-bourbon barrels? Probably not, but maybe. Either way, this is one amazing-smelling imperial coffee stout. Ghost of dark chocolate, and no real hint of an alcohol burn here.

Taste: The bourbon is appreciated in the flavor, though it wasn't on the nose. In fact, it's fairly prevalent, though not quite harsh. There's some bourbon and dry, tannic oak, along with hints of bitter chocolate as well. Definitely a nice, sugary sweetness in the background. It's different from a chocolate or malt sweetness, and it's pleasant. Again, would I peg this as maple if I didn't know the ingredients? Probably not. There is a coffee presence, but not nearly as strong of one as is suggested by the aromas and it comes across mostly on the finish. At 10.6%, this brew falls somewhere between warming and a bit hot, but it's certainly not sharp. The sugary sweetness (again, I'm thinking from the maple) is pleasant, multi-dimensional, and balances well with the alcohol and other flavors. That being the case, I wouldn't want an entire 750 of this to myself, as I think it might get a bit cloying.

Mouthfeel: Full, smooth, silky, ghost of bite

Overall: The final verdict? I was incredibly excited (and fortunate) to get to try two highly-sought after stouts this year: Darklord 2011 (thanks Alewatcher!) and CBS. After hawking three stores in town, I got 3 bottles: one for my wife and I, and one each for my father and father-in-law for Christmas. The grand total? About $50. And a whole lot of time. So, the question is, was it worth it? While I was horribly disappointed by Dark Lord (hey, that just means I don't have to drive to IN this spring or...well...ever) this is honestly quite good. Nice sweetness, fairly restrained booze, wonderful aromas, and interesting profile overall. Was it enjoyable? Abso-floggin-lutely. Is it an A+ beer in my mind? No. The flavors, while awesome, don't show the incredible depth/definition of the very best. Would we buy it again for $16.00? Well, that depends. If it was a fairly readily-available yearly release, we'd probably pick up a bottle every year or so. Would I go to the ends of the earth for one or trade my cellar away for it? Probably not. None of this ought to take away from this beer. Founders did a great job, but when a beer is hyped as much as this one is, it's almost impossible to live up to the hype.

Photo of Billakowski
5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of danielnovak3
5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of pixieskid
4.6/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a standard stout black with a 2 finger head, nothing special... was hoping for that redish brown head like Hunahpu's/Double Black/etc has...no biggie.

Aroma; some roastiness, a bit of coffee, some maple syrup.
Taste; wow, incredible balance notes of dark chocolate, coffee, maple, and a nice woodiness in the finish.
Finishes with a bit of alcohol astringency, coffee, dark chocolate, and a lingering hint of bourbon.

Overall; imo, there are two ways that stellar imperial stouts can go. Layered and complex, or solid & well balanced. This is one of those solid well balanced ones and I loved it!

Photo of mark14580
5/5  rDev +7.1%

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5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of metalgdog
5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of stouts4me
5/5  rDev +7.1%

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5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.95/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22 oz. bomber poured into a Duvel Tulip style glass. The liquid portion of this beer comes out completely black. No highlights can be seen anywhere, black all the way to the edges. Darker than tan frothy head that erupts to the top after a reasonably hard pour, the size of the bubbles vary all over the cap. The head produces some decent lacing, but the liquid coats the glass like a thin syrup so everything makes it's way back down to the liquid pool VERY slowly.

As expected, this beer smells awesome. It has similar qualities to the original Founders Breakfast Stout by smelling of dark, bittersweet chocolate, and coffee/espresso. The big difference is the sweetness. Bourbon and maple syrup clearly present right in the beginning and it smells wonderful. Though all that there is still an earthy hop presence.

Again as expected, the taste is wonderful as well, completely on par with the taste. Complex combination of dark roasted malts producing flavors of dark bitter chocolate and dark roasted coffee flavors. I'm not the biggest hard liquor fan, but the bourbon flavors complement this beer pretty well especially combined with the maple flavor, it's really good. Slight dry earthy hop finish. A lot going on here and it's all REALLY good.

Mouthfeel is also really good. For how dark and thick this brew is, I would almost expect you'd have to chew it. It doesn't have to be chewed, but it just wasn't what I was expecting. The original breakfast stout did the same thing too me. Full bodied, well balanced and perfectly drinkable. I guess it could be a little thicker, but I really would find this to be a very difficult beer to improve. Alcohol is present, but doesn't have any negative effects. This is just an all around wonderful brew. This was probably the #1 hyped beer of 2011 and to me it completely lived up to it. Nice job Founders, as usual!

This beer was consumed while watching the Patriots beat the Redskins. Grandpa, I think you would have enjoyed both today...Rest In Peace, we'll miss you

Photo of deadmule
4/5  rDev -14.3%

Photo of morimoto76
5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of ATPete
5/5  rDev +7.1%

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Founders CBS Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 3,250 ratings.