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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.

2,325 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,325
Reviews: 754
rAvg: 4.66
pDev: 10.09%
Wants: 2,883
Gots: 517 | 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: 2,325 | Reviews: 754 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BirdFlu

New Jersey

5/5  rDev +7.3%

(reviewed from notes taken at extreme beer fest 09)

This is, without a doubt.. the greatest beer I have ever had in my entire life..
If you are familiar with KBS, imagine taking that, easing the bourbon and general brown liquor character, then inject it with pure maple syrup and you can just start to understand how incredible this beer is.. Again, similar mouthfeel and such to KBS, similar consistency and viscosity. Also a similarly strong aroma, but, again, with much sweeter of an essence. Sweet like pancakes, not like candy.
If there is ever one truly great thing which we, here on BA.com and as advocates of great beer in general, may hope to do for the universe of beer... it would be getting this beer released for real, if only in short supply. It was truly, the greatest beer I could even imagine.

05-01-2009 04:09:10 | More by BirdFlu
Photo of FtownThrowDown


4.3/5  rDev -7.7%

Another offering from the insane guest tap list from DL day.
Pours very dark brown in color. There's just a ring of froth around the perimeter of the glass. Smell is black roasted coffee, some cocoa and a very nice, rich maple smell. The maple flavors really shine in the flavor. It takes the edge off the harshness of the black coffee and really sweetens it up and smooths it out. I actually am thinking that I prefer this to the regular breakfast stout. Still huge and somewhat cloying in the mouthfeel. Very good beer. Very happy I got to try so many one off crazy beers this year. I consider myself lucky.

04-29-2009 18:46:12 | More by FtownThrowDown
Photo of emerge077


4.53/5  rDev -2.8%

Closed out the day with 2 pours of this at DLD '09.

Looked much like KBS in the glass, a thin cap of dark brown creamy mocha foam that gently stuck to the sides. Black oily liquid. Fantastic maple aroma that took the edge off the raw coffee roast, and sweetened it up ever so slightly. Smooth and supple feel, low carbonation, almost slippery. Rich chocolate & bitter coffee elements from the stout, soft maple traces, and buttery vanilla from the barrel. ABV was well hidden, and I had no problem finishing the 10+/- ounces that were combined in one cup. The maple syrup/bourbon barrel really added a nice extra dimension to it, without too much additional sweetness. This was the only guest tap I sampled at DLD, and I felt lucky to try it, though that doesn't factor into the score.

04-28-2009 14:17:13 | More by emerge077
Photo of Kegatron


4.83/5  rDev +3.6%

On tap @ Founders Brewing Company on 4/23/09. 8 oz pour served in a snifter.

Pours black as an oil slick with a 1/2 finger of frothy burnt mocha colored head that spreads out across the surface. This just flares up beautifully when swirled, leaving a rich cascade of foam and brown oily residues back. Awesome! The delicious smelling stickiness of the maple syrup is the first thing that sticks in the nose but I'm also quite surprised by how much of the fresh smelling coffee and chocolate character of the regular Breakfast Stout is coming through as well. The mix of these two elements just smells fantastic! Digging at bit deeper in the nose, I'm also picking up some light barrel notes of wood and vanilla underneath, that give the nose even a touch more depth.

The taste quite frankly, is delicious. Crunchy roasted coffee character and a deep undercurrent of chewy chocolate malts, wrapped up in that same slickly sweet (and a touch boozy) taste of maple syrup notes. Really nice balance here with the flavors just intermingling effortlessly. Finishes very sweet with notes of syrup and chocolate just COATING the palate at times. The mouthfeel is full bodied with a huge mouth filling nature that is both creamy and slick at the same time and a feel that just slathers the mouth with flavors. Overall this just flows so easily in the mouth, with the ABV being dangerously hidden. Fantastic.

Wow. Now this is a Breakfast Stout! Not only do you get coffee but now you also get maple syrup covered chocolate chip pancakes! Seriously, this stuff was just damn tasty, easy as hell to drink for the size, and honestly, I think that I prefer this to the KBS. More please!

04-28-2009 12:11:54 | More by Kegatron
Photo of nrbw23


4.8/5  rDev +3%

Dark Lord Day guest brew split with a fellow BA fiveo2270.

A- Pours a dark black color with pretty much no head but a ring of brownish colored bubbles around the ring.

S- I thought this one smelled pretty much just like KBS with maybe a hint of sweetness from the maple syrup and a bit more vanilla.

T- Again I thought it reminded me a lot of KBS probably since I just drank one a couple days before the big event. I did think this one was a little sweeter than the KBS. Man, I'd love to do a side by side of this one. A bit sweeter in taste and a lot less of the bourbon flavor in this one.

M- Medium in body and low carbonation.

D- A totally awesome brew just add this one to the list of awesome Founders brews. I hope this one keeps coming year after year and hopefully bottled sometime down the road.

04-28-2009 03:26:49 | More by nrbw23
Photo of brewdlyhooked13


4.85/5  rDev +4.1%

Another DLD '09 sample review.

Not much head, but a stubborn collar that never quite went away. The aroma was intense chocolate and roasty malt with a candyish maple, but genuine, no Golden Griddle in sight.

The taste I think I actually prefer to KBS as I like maple more than whiskey <gasp>..it's true!

Plenty of rich roasted malts, coffee and chocolate. Despite a day of measured tasting, the intensity of this beer was impressive. The sample size was small but the aftertaste hung around for the patient, allowing me to pick out and concentrate on any particular flavor I wanted as it ever so slowly faded.

The mouthfeel is velvety, thick and viscous.

I shared my glass with a number of attendees, why the *hell* were they not in there getting some of their own?!?! But proof positive that Founders needs to find a way to get this brew bottled and distributed.

04-28-2009 02:51:19 | More by brewdlyhooked13
Photo of gorby10826


4.55/5  rDev -2.4%

At DLD 2009, my favorite guest brew. Love this ten times more than KBS.

A- Dark. Slight brown head at the beginning.

S- Chocolate, roast, maple, whiskey.
T- Chocolate, roast, maple. LOL don't mean to repeat but this was a wonderful flavor. Think KBS but less coffee, and a little sweeter and thicker.

M- Thick. Coats the mouth and throat.

D- Yum wish I had more than 6-8oz

My favorite founders stout(and michigan brew).

04-27-2009 04:03:07 | More by gorby10826
Photo of rhinos00


4.78/5  rDev +2.6%

Another quality beer on-tap @ DLD 2009. Poured into a plastic cup.

A- Pours a dark, chocolate brown with a vibrant off-white head.

S- The smell was mesmerizing. A nice chocolate roastiness that was tapered with a maple sweetness. The most impressive part was that neither was over done. Just the right amount.

T- Possibly even better than the aroma. The balance was there, yet unique enough to entertain from beginning to end. Initially taste is that of roasted and chocolate malts with a little bit of maple. As the taste progresses, the sweetness of the maple transforms almost to a fruit like finish. What I really liked is the maple wasn't overdone and really complimented the flavors.

M- Nice, thick body that almost makes it feel like a dessert.

D- One of the most drinkable RIS I have had in a while.

Overall, this is definitely my favorite from Founders. I would gladly take this over the KBS and Breakfast Stout.

04-27-2009 02:48:46 | More by rhinos00
Photo of jdflyer06


5/5  rDev +7.3%

Had this on tap at DLD 2009. What a way to cap off an exceptional day!

A: Thick, Dark with little or no head.

S: Maple, vanilla and plenty of coffee with some dark chocolate notes. I'm dying to taste this at this point.

M: Smooth and creamy. No bite at all. The alcohol is slightly present at this thing warms, but overall its syrupy and utterly decadent.

T: Maple, coffee, chocolate, vanilla all perfectly balanced and a few more complex, subtle flavors as this one warms. The coffee is more up front on this one than the KBS and of course, the maple syrup makes me hungry for pancakes.

I want more of this! I love the KBS but this brew is absolutely killer. The KBS needs some age to soften up the bourbon heat, but the CBS is nearly perfect right out of the gate. I'll definetely seek this one out again.

04-26-2009 23:37:21 | More by jdflyer06
Photo of stonequarrywest


4.55/5  rDev -2.4%

@ KBS release Day

Dark brown to black pour w/khaki head
Smell the Maple right off the bat..wonderful, with coffee and chocolate backing up the Maple.
Sweet coffe taste like I put syrup in my coffe instead of milk...Pancakes where are you.
Thick/Smooth mouthfeel..with the Alcohol definitely in there..

Great Beer Here.

04-13-2009 03:09:12 | More by stonequarrywest
Photo of jim102864


4.95/5  rDev +6.2%

I had this for the first time at this year's Extreme Beer Fest and it was love at first sip. Once I realized a business trip was in store in March for MI, I knew I had to seek this out at the source.

This brew is quite simply, nirvana. It's a balance between sweet maple syrup and ale, yet not cloying. A choclately brown color served in a 12 oz pilsner glass at the brewery. A thin tan head graces the surface and lace clings to the glass. It's chocolatey and full mouthfeel blesses the imbiber with each pull. First gracing my tongue at EBF, it again offered an aggressive coffee, maple and chocolate nose. This is meant to be enjoyed in the dead of winter next to a roaring fire. This is as near perfection as you can get. A one off from what the bartenderes tell me due to the difficulty of getting wine barrels in which maple syrup was stored from one supplier. One of the finest brews I've ever had. Only wish they could make this part of their seasonal line-up.

04-04-2009 13:13:28 | More by jim102864
Photo of TheodorHerzl


4.97/5  rDev +6.7%

On tap this weekend at Founders for only 5$ a snifter! I love you Founder's you fickle whore of my heart!

A: Pours a very deep black with almost no head and no lacing
S: A wonderus explosion of coffee, maple sugar, oats, and a touch of booze
T: Chocolate, maple brown sugar, wood, boozy, and a splash of vanilla
M: Robust and yet very smooth and goes down so easy for a beer around 10%. I bellied up to three of them while I was there.
D: This would be my imperial stout for good if I could have this beer forever. Just delicious!

03-24-2009 18:54:16 | More by TheodorHerzl
Photo of Thorpe429


4.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Had on tap at the brewpub on March 22, 2009. Served in a snifter.

A: Very dark and opaque. Little head at all, though a good amount of lacing as it went down. Small amount of carbonation bubbles.

S: Mainly coffee with some vanilla, caramel, and maple. Good smell, but not overpowering.

T: Unbelievable is the only way to describe it--coffee, chocolate, vanilla, maple, caramel. Quite sweet and ever so delicious.

M: Medium to full body with fairly light carbonation. Exceptionally creamy.

D: Absolutely sublime. Much better than the standard Breakfast Stout, and I dare say also significantly better than KBS. Hands down, this is the best-tasting beer I've had to date.

03-22-2009 23:58:37 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of DrewOSU


4.25/5  rDev -8.8%

Poured on tap at Founders Taproom on KBS Day 09.

A: Pours a dark maple brown to black with a 1/8 inch khaki head. Lacing is minimal and spotty.

S: Sweet maple syrup takes over the senses. I smell nothing else, but brown sugar and maple syrup. I think this beer is going to be extraordinarily sweet!

M/T: Lighter bodied then I expected. Medium carbonation bite and a semi sweet taste on the tongue. This beer does not taste ½ as sweet as I thought it would be. The backlash is kind of bitter actually which was surprising. The aftertaste is way intense, maple syrup, sweet malt and the bitterness gets a little overwhelming.

D: Zero drinkability, but definitely an experience. The maple sweetness backs up on the pallet where you have to drink a water in between. Full flavor.

03-16-2009 02:36:06 | More by DrewOSU
Photo of paco1029384756


5/5  rDev +7.3%

Pours black with a smooth tan head, it's one nice looking beer.

Scent of chocolate, maple, coffee, and oatmeal. Perfect, just an amazing scent, perfectly balanced.

Taste of chocolate, maple, coffee, and oatmeal, just as the scent lets on. This is the greatest beer I have ever had, absolutely perfect.

Mouthfeel is heavy and very smooth, overpowering the senses as it travels through the mouth.

Drinkability is crazy, it gets more drinkable to more you have. They wouldn't let me get a growler of it, but that didn't stop me from drinking a growler's worth of it.

03-15-2009 22:46:20 | More by paco1029384756
Photo of kbeals

North Carolina

4.58/5  rDev -1.7%

Had this on tap on KBS Day. Appears like their other Breakfast stouts, pitch black, although not much head and very little lacing. Smell was awesome, lots of rich coffee, whiskey, chocolate, and a bit of sweetness in the background from the maple syrup. Taste was also great, lots of coffee and a nice touch of alcohol to it. The maple syrup gives it a sweeter side compared to regular Breakfast Stout. Mouthfeel was thick and smooth, almost chewy. Drinkability was good, I had to fight to not take a huge swig of it, although the high alcohol content makes it a little too much to have a lot.

03-15-2009 14:33:51 | More by kbeals
Photo of dukedevil0


4.83/5  rDev +3.6%

on tap at the 09 kbs release...i can't help but compare this to KBS

A: pours dark black with light khaki head that dissipates

S: smells bourbon (even though I know this isn't aged in bourbon barrels), chocolate, vanilla, coffee...smells almost identical to KBS

T: just like the smell but even less boozy in the flavor, some extra sweetness and it tastes like the flavors are much better melded together

M: perfectly creamy for this style

D: dangerouly drinkable, alcohol is masked well in the flavor and it tastes really good

I think this one trumps KBS just a tad. I would love it if they bottled this and distributed it!

03-15-2009 05:39:50 | More by dukedevil0
Photo of MasterSki

Ontario (Canada)

4.38/5  rDev -6%

Had this on-tap at the Founders brewpub. Served in a pint glass.

A - By the time I got my glass from the server there was no foam left, so I spied on a glass being poured and noted a half-finger of mocha foam that dissipated quickly with negligible lace. Pitch black.

S - Coffee with cream, maple syrup, a hint of whiskey, roasted malts. It's a lot like regular Breakfast Stout (which is the base beer), but with the obvious maple/whiskey influence.

T - There's a lot more whiskey in the flavor, with a healthy amount of maple syrup, bitter coffee, and roasted malts. Again, it's a slightly richer version of regular Breakfast stout, and the added flavors complement the beer very well.

M - Moderate carbonation the complements the whiskey bite. Medium bodied, very smooth and creamy. It's what I expect from an American Double Stout.

D - The ABV is high, and the flavor is very intense, particularly the coffee bitterness and the whiskey bite. As a result palate fatigue sets in earlier than usual. Other than that, eminently quaffable!

A great variation on an already great beer. Hope this makes it out of the brewpub at some point.

03-14-2009 22:28:59 | More by MasterSki
Photo of Yetiman420


4.55/5  rDev -2.4%

Sitting in Founders on KBS release day at 11:30 enjoying this Canadian Breakfast Stout out of snifter.

8 oz for $5.

Black with a cocoa head.

Sweet, alcohol aroma. Some coffee notes.

Deep rich flavor. Roasted malt and coffee. Maple syrup lends a touch of sweetness.

Malt flavor and coffe punch on the finish. Major aroma down to the very last ounce.

03-14-2009 15:49:52 | More by Yetiman420
Photo of mcallister


4.68/5  rDev +0.4%

Pours black with a small off white head creamy and thick in appearance.

Big coffee aromas with hints of maple, vanilla, chocolate and oat.

This is tasty as hell. The maple adds a whole other layer of complexity. Adds a bit of resudual sugars that go nearly perfectly with the coffee and chocolate of the original. Thick in body and creamy as well. Possibly the most complex beer I've had to date. Absolutely delicious. Some dried dark fruits coming through as well. The finish is forever.

03-14-2009 15:15:11 | More by mcallister
Photo of smibroncos

New York

4.9/5  rDev +5.2%

This stout was creamy in the mouth, bitter in the finish and sweet maple syurup in the beginning. The beer had lots of dry coffeee flavor and some maple chocolate sweetness. The color was coffee black.The head was spare, I tried it mixed 3/4 canadian to 1/4 cherise cherry ale, and it was like a chocolate covered cherry. The guys at founders take alot of pride in their product and the beertenders are well versed in their profession.

03-07-2009 06:08:54 | More by smibroncos
Photo of alovesupreme


4.38/5  rDev -6%

Had some of this at Extreme beer fest.
Very dark liquid with minimal head but looked great regardless.
Lots of coffee, and chocolate with noticeable Maple.
As is the original breakfast stout, this beer has lots of coffee character. This has much less bitterness than the original however since the maple balances out the beer and adds additional sweetness.
The mouthfeel is rich and thick, with a dry finish which I attribute to the extreme amounts of coffee in this beer.
This is a fantastic beer, I think it may be slightly better than the original since the maple balances out the acrid character of original breakfast stout.

03-05-2009 03:16:03 | More by alovesupreme
Photo of wiseguy142

New York

4.08/5  rDev -12.4%

I don't think I've had a more delicious coffee beer in my life. This beer pours unholy black with a thicky tan creamy head. Aroma is basically of the most delicious coffee you could possibly imagine. Completely irresistable. Tastes follows the aroma up with pure coffee and roasted/chocolate malt. The flavor is so good but almost so intense that it turns you off. As good and as pure as this beer is, it's almost like tasting the most delicious coffee grounds in the world. You know it's the best coffee in the world, but it's still so strong that it makes you choke a bit. A mixed blessing.

03-01-2009 06:44:35 | More by wiseguy142
Photo of WakeandBake


4.63/5  rDev -0.6%

On tap at Founders. A nice dark black color pour with a light brown foamy head.Aroma is nice sweet maple,brown sugar,coffee and a hint of alcohol,smoke,and grain. Flavor is huge roasted coffee molasses,vanilla and maple syrup,with a hint of smoke, a nice alcohol flavor/bite at the end,and the maple sweetness stays on your lips after the sip. Thick body,soft carbonation, a little sweet and thick to be called sessionable but wow what a good beer,you swear that you are going to taste or smell bacon next but never quite do. Very Very good.

02-07-2009 14:29:33 | More by WakeandBake
Photo of CRJMellor


4.55/5  rDev -2.4%

This barrel-aged version of regular Breakfast Stout is aged in a maple syrup barrel.
This version is really enjoyable and maintains the majority of the characteristics of the regular BS. However, the maple syrup cuts down on some of the more bitter elements and replaces with a smooth sweetness from the maple influences. Mouthfeel is a little bit smoother and mellower than the regular version. Overall, just as enjoyable and really enjoyable version of the regular great beer.

02-01-2009 22:02:52 | More by CRJMellor
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Founders CBS Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,325 ratings.