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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.

918 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 918
Hads: 3,805
rAvg: 4.62
pDev: 7.36%
Wants: 3,880
Gots: 690 | FT: 12
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 918 | Hads: 3,805
Photo of infinitebruner
4.27/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

May 15, 2015

Draft, snifter

A – Deep black, opaque, with a quarter-inch of dark tan / light brown head. Even foam, actually sticks around for a while. Does not appear particularly thick or viscous, but this beer definitely has legs.

S – Rich chocolate with light vanilla and oak notes, all relatively subdued. A touch of honey-like sweetness (presumably related to the maple syrup). Perhaps some floral or woodsy hop notes, not much detectable.

T – Vanilla is very high, followed by milk chocolate and a hint of maple, similar to French toast. Hops are earthy, maybe some light fruit, mostly contributing bitterness which rides along with sweetness on the finish.

M – Carbonation if fairly low, though quite present. Body is moderate-thick, not oily but slightly slick. Stays fairly juicy and sweet throughout, with bitterness on the finish to balance and both lingering on the aftertaste.

O – I certainly am aware of the accolades this beer has received and its white whale status, and it is certainly worthy of some of the hype. I got to try it thanks to some fortunate timing, and am glad that I did. In a vacuum, this is an excellent imperial / barrel-aged stout, and the maple definitely shows in the final product. I would recommend it, but wouldn’t go crazy trying to find it. (1,313 characters)

Photo of Zaximus
4.66/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

On tap a Maria's as part of CCBW. I was fully expecting to be a bit disappointed by this offering but was thrilled when that turned out not to be the case.

Sweet but well balanced. The coffee and bourbon are toned down here in comparison to KBS and play very well together with the maple. Rich, creamy mouthfeel. Well hidden alcohol. I'd love to see this in attainable bottles at some point. Guessing others may feel the same. (427 characters)

Photo of CTbrew32
4.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Oak & Ore in OKC. Black in color with a thin mocha head. Aroma is a mix of bourbon, chocolate, and maple sweetness and some coffee bitterness. In the taste the bourbon barrel is strong at first,, eventually giving way to a chocolate and subtle maple syrup sweetness. The sweetness continues into the finish with the addition of coffee bitterness as well. Feel is very full bodied and low in carbonation. Overall, the combo of maple and bourbon makes for a delicious sweetness that is perfectly balanced with the coffee bitterness. Definitely a world a world class beer with very few quality alternatives of the same style, which for that reason alone makes this a must try even if it requires a little extra effort. (728 characters)

Photo of Treyliff
4.87/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

2014 vintage on tap at 622 North, Blacksburg

A- pours pitch black in color with a small creamy khaki colored heads that reduces to a ring around the edge

S- huge aromas of dark chocolate and bourbon with sharp toasted oak and barrel juice, toasted coconut, caramel, toffee, burnt brown sugar. The maple adds a deep sweetness of molasses and enhances the bourbon aroma

T- deep dark chocolate malt upfront mixed with boozy bourbon barrel, adding flavors of toasted coconut, toasted almond & caramel/toffee. The bourbon continues through the mid palate before giving way to the sweet maple syrup, adding flavors of molasses and more caramel. The finish adds notes of dried fig, prune and date, before closing with more bourbon and maple

M- medium viscous body with low carbonation leads to a creamy mouthfeel that continues into a silky warming finish

O- I chased this beer for 4 years and it definitely lived up to the hype. It’s basically KBS with maple syrup sweetness, I drank 4 glasses of it and it still tasted great (1,031 characters)

Photo of StoutHunter
4.68/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I got a snifter of Founder's Canadian Breakfast Stout today at Big E's Sports Grill. I've been wanting to try this beer for more than a few years and I pretty much gave up on being able to try the newest batch, but I was lucky to be able to get a glass right before the keg kicked, so lets see how it goes. 2014 Vintage.

A- It poured a nice looking black color that didn't let any light come through and it had a finger and half worth of slightly creamy darker tan head that died down top a thin ring that stayed till the end and it left plenty of patchy lacing behind. This is a very nice looking beer, I have no complaints.

S- The aroma starts off with a lower amount of higher sweetness with t the malts being the first to show up and they impart some nice roasted malt and sweet malt aromas with a good amount of chocolate coming through along with a lighter coffee aroma. Up next comes a nice maple syrup aroma that goes right into the barrels which impart some nice boozy, vanilla and lighter bourbon aromas with just enough oak aromas coming through. This beer has a very nice aroma, but the boozy aromas are a little heavy.

T- The taste seems to be similar to the aroma and it starts off with the a lower amount of higher sweetness with the malts still being the first to show up and they impart the same roasted malt aspects with some chocolate and a light coffee flavors coming through. Up next comes the maple syrup which impart a nice natural maple syrup aroma and it's followed by a somewhat light boozy flavor. On the finish comes the barrels which impart the same nice bourbon aspects that it did in the aroma and on the finish there's no bitterness with some boozy sweetness taking it's place and it had a nice maple syrup, chocolate and bourbon like aftertaste. This is a great tasting beer, it's got great balance and while it is sweeter than KBS I find that maple syrup sweetness helps bridge the malts and the bourbon barrels together.

M- Fairly smooth, velvety, not too crisp, a little creamy, full bodied with a lower amount of carbonation. The mouthfeel was great and it worked well with this beer.

Overall I thought this was a great beer and I thought it was a great example of the style, it had all the aspects that I look for in the style and it turned out to be a very tasty beer and it lived up to being even better than KBS. This beer had good drinkability, i would have no problem drinking a few snifters of it. What I like the most about this beer was the balance and complexity they were the highlights of this beer. What I like the least about this beer is the boozy aroma, i wish it was hidden a little better. I would for sure buy this beer again on draft and hopefully in bottles one day. I highly recommend this beer, I think ti's a must try for every craft beer drinker. All in all I really enjoyed this beer and it lived up to the hype, I had to really search this beer out, but I thought it was worth it. It's my new favorite Founders beer and it's the best barrel aged stout I've had. Fantastic job guys, this was a world class beer. (3,102 characters)

Photo of Roguer
4.41/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Extremely dark brown, nearly black, shot through with purple highlights. Nice dark tan head. Decent retention and nice lacing. Oily sheen lasts on top the brew.

Aroma is nutty, dark, and slightly boozy. Some dark fruit, caramel, and coffee.

Flavor is big, sweet, boozy, and thick. The sweetness is immediate but not overpowering: dark fruit, maple syrup, and bourbon. Chocolate, coffee, and oak. Thick and dense flavors.

Very thick mouthfeel; long wet finish; slightly hot, but not bad for the ABV. (501 characters)

Photo of ironchefmiyagi13
4.63/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Had on draft at tap takeover at World of Beer.

Always nice to get to try a whale without having to trade for one.

Decadent nose and palate. Would have liked a little more 'grit' from the coffee, but the maple syrup really comes through the more it warms up.

A real treat. (276 characters)

Photo of madelfonatree
4.74/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Founders Canadian Breakfast Stout

Look - Dark oil body. Thick tan head with small bubbles.

Smell – Whiskey. Chocolate. Sugar (maple).It smells like chocolate chip Eggo waffles.

Taste – Chocolate. Whiskey in the end but smooth vanilla finish.

Feel - Smooth and creamy. Doesn't explode with carbonation but isn't flat. This is what I imagined coffee would feel like as a child haha.

Overall – 2/4 for CBS in Columbus isn't bad, right. The time off work was worth it. Get it if you can. I hope I can have this from a bottle in the future. (546 characters)

Photo of kevdemers
4.74/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Enjoyed on draft 5/7/15:

Don't regret going out of my way to enjoy this at all! Some people may think the finish is a little sweet from the maple but it was perfect IMO. Thinner mouthfeel than BCBS and that's the only reason for a lower rating there. But this is THE template for a great BA stout... (303 characters)

Photo of Chrissythebeerlover
5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Smells amazing like vanilla, chocolate and molasses. I usually prefer refreshing beer but this is purely to enjoy a good beer and doesn't even need to be cold to enjoy it. The flavors are good at room temperature as well as fresh out of the cooler. Really smooth beer no matter what time of day, year, or temperature. Would highly recommend! (345 characters)

Photo of JohnofUpton
3.89/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Had the 2015 on tap. I thought the dominant flavor was vanilla- overwhelmingly so. Couldn't really pull any bourbon or coffee flavors. Really sweet. I consider this to be the most overrated beer I've had. Love the KBS! (218 characters)

Photo of SHDoyle
5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On draft at World of Beer Easton, poured into a snifter.

A beer that lives up to the hype. You can really smell the maple syrup and taste the sweetness although the beer is not overly sweet. Compared to KBS, I would give the nod to CBS. KBS has more of a coffee flavor and I felt I could taste the alcohol/bourbon more in the KBS. CBS was a little more mellow but no less complex. If you're a fan of craft beer...or a beer fan in general...or a human being...you should try this beer!! (491 characters)

Photo of RyBrew54
4.82/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured on tap 4/30/15 at Tap House St Charles. Pours an opaque black with light tan head. Medium to light lacing. Smell is rich vanilla, cocoa, molasses, oak, with hints of maple and smoked malt. Wow is all one can say to the taste. Bourbon heat is mellowed out to a caramel-sugar sweetness, rich molasses, with a syrupy cocoa clinging to the palate. Flavors really open up when brought to room temperature. The mouthfeel and body are what really make this beer elite. Silky smooth from start to finish. A real treat I am happy to have finally tried. Cheers! (558 characters)

Photo of hopsputin
4.74/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

S: bourbon, dark chocolate, maple syrup, dark cherries, oak, vanilla, rich roasted caramel malts. Smells amazing

T: taste is following the nose really well. It's a chewy taste. Dark chocolate, tons of oak and vanilla, roasted malts, caramelized dark fruits, and a punch of sweet syrup at the end

M: it's a heavier mouthfeel, and is sticky and chewy. Not much carbonation

O: real glad I got the chance to try it. It's absolutely perfectly harmonized and is possibly the smoothest barrel aged beer I've ever had. Excellent. Please give this a chance to warm up, as it warm it becomes even more amazing (602 characters)

Photo of Get_Lowell
4.56/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

2011 batch opened in 2014.
Look: Pitch black with a decent layer of tan foam
Smell: Maple syrup, chocolate, caramel.
Taste: More maple syrup with very noticeable licorice notes. It's amazing that the syrup degrades over time into licorice, I never would have anticipated that. Lot's of chocolate in there as well. A fresh batch would be quite a different experience.
Feel: Very smooth overall, medium body, kind of wish it was a bit chewier.
Overall: I loved drinking this and I am really happy to have tried the 2011 batch. It's an excellent experience in the effects of aging beer and how the taste can change considerably. (625 characters)

Photo of odcardinal
4.98/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

On draft, 6 oz pour into snifter. Best stout I've had to date. The mouth feel was crazy good. It was like having maple pancakes with a coffee stout. The maple after taste was very enjoyable. I would definitely drive hours away to have another taste. (251 characters)

Photo of chefbigjon
4.88/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Crazy good at room temperature. My favorite quality about this beer was the mouthfeel. It was like having your breakfast and coffee all in one taste. Probably a once in a lifetime event, it is very worth your time to seek this out. (231 characters)

Photo of kerry4porters
4.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Tasted like KBS and disappointment. Was a tasty bourbon stout with coffee and chocolate slightly sweeter than KBS but only a hint of maple after swishing it in my mouth like mouth wash (185 characters)

Photo of DVoors
4.94/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

One of the best beers I've ever had. Just wonderful all-around. The only beer that I might slightly prefer over this would be Founders KBS. It's tough to pick a favorite between the two when they are both so amazing. (216 characters)

Photo of rodmanfor3
4.84/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Excellent. Best stout I have had to date. The maple syrup flavor is amazing. Though it will not see bottles again for years (according to the Founders rep), this beer is worth seeking out on draft whenever available. Bottles that remain are certainly worth trading for. (269 characters)

Photo of schris
4.66/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

In my view, pretty much every imperial stout would be improved if the carbonation were smoothed out to the level of this batch of CBS. I had an 8oz pour, served at around 55 degrees at a tapping event this spring. The maple flavor, while a solid core of the beer, was still subtle enough that it didn't mask the beautiful roasty malts. Rather, it made its influence known by being present at the nose, on contact, and as a lingering whisper at the finish.

I was surprised to find I didn't smell much coffee, despite a robust initial head of about 1cm. But if I hadn't been expecting coffee, I wouldn't have missed it. Overall, a beautiful sweet balanced gem, that I may never get to try again. (I hope I do.) (710 characters)

Photo of pagriley
4.68/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Engine oil thick; black with a dark mocha head
Sweet caramel and hints of coffee on the nose.
Not much Maple coming through but it is there in the taste - fudge chocolate
Thick and chewy mouthfeel
Overall an amazing amalgam of flavors (236 characters)

Photo of GallowsThief
4.88/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

On tap at The House of Brews in Jensen Beach, Florida. Let it warm up a bit as hard as it was to wait. Delightful flavors of coffee, chocolate fudge, sweet maple and toffee. Vanilla at the end with a smooth bourbon taste. Just a little bit of bitterness. Creamy and smooth on the palate with almost no carbonation. Excellent. (327 characters)

Photo of marcfromphilly
4.89/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

For me, it's the epitome of what I want from a beer. Crisp yet thick, roasted malt, full bodied, flavored masking alcohol, with a light, sugary finish. I waited a long time and it was everything I hoped it would be. Washed it down with a 2012 KBS too at Capones in E. Norriton PA. Both were drank on draft out of a 5.5 glass. (329 characters)

Photo of bgold86
4.85/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Everything about this beer was perfect...except that it was a tad over-sweet. The bourbon, the chocolate, all of that was really evident, but the maple syrup pushed its way to the front, and it didn't need to be there taste wise. (229 characters)

Founders CBS Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 918 ratings.