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Founders CBS Imperial Stout | Founders Brewing Company

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Founders CBS Imperial StoutFounders CBS Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.60%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by CRJMellor on 02-01-2009

User Reviews
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Reviews: 974 | Ratings: 4,171
Photo of Pourharddrinkslow
4.63/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Look - Black with a moderate light tan head.

Smell - Coffee, bourbon, surprisingly light on the maple taste, nice strong roasted cocoa taste.

Taste - Maple up front, with some coffee and chocolate. Slight amount of bourbon, which blends with a little caramel to create a nice sweet overall taste that contrasts the cocoa and coffee.

Feel - Medium body, hardly carbonated at all. Smooth and creamy.

Overall - While it doesn't live up to the hype of a "perfect 5" this is still a damn good beer, and a creative one at that.

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Photo of BSiegs
4.83/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Deep, black pour with a finger of brown/caramel head. Not much lacing, but as expected with a barrel aged beer. On the nose, the maple syrup is the star, so strong. Hints of chocolate, coffee, and bourbon. On taste, the bourbon hits you first, boozy and delicious. Just like KBS, you get that coffee, chocolate, and barrel. The mouthfeel is full with a medium-low carbonation, very nice. So glad I finally found this on tap!

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Photo of rlee1390
4.8/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

A- Black in the glass, one finger tan head that leaves nice lacing.

S-Maple, oak, mild bourbon, some chocolate and light coffee.

T-Great maple sweetness. It meshes amazingly with the oak and bourbon. Chocolate and nice coffee. Some roasted malt as well.

M-Heavy and creamy.

O-An amazing beer. Anything founders ages in maple bourbon barrels that aren't CBS is a waste.

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Photo of jasonpeckins32
5/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Simply put, this was the best beer I have ever drank in my entire life. My best friend was kind enough to share half of his growler of this with me over this past Christmas. The beer.... which I may never even go into detail, is built of pure bliss.
Black. Big. Malty. Rich. Sweet. Maple. Bourbon. Chocolate. Heavenly. Luscious. Vanilla. Just pure amazing. If you're lucky enough to have a chance to get your hands on this beer, even just once in your life, you had better do it.

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Photo of eifster82
5/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Four pours on draft at Founders Brewery on 12/29/2015.

A perfect stout. If you ever get a chance to acquire it or have it on draft, do not pass on opportunity. Dark black color, with a light layer of foam head upon pour. The nose reminds of Breakfast Stout base but with more complexity with the maple coming through. Taste is delicious and pleasant on the palate with, again, Breakfast Stout base being obvious but the maple sweetness note unmistakably coming through as it warms. Shockingly smooth! There is zero hint of booziness. Just delicious with all the ingredients I look for in a stout, coffee, vanilla, chocolate, maple sweetness. Phenomenal.

I've had Rare, Prop 14, DL Coffee, and many other what I would consider high end stouts... but this takes the cake.

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Photo of M_chav
4.82/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a black tar shadow. Tiny small bubble forms on the rim, no foamy head. The bubbles are a mocha brown and dissipate quickly.
Aroma is intense maple/chocolate/coffee in that order. The maple smells so strong, makes for a sweet tooth boner. reminds me initially of Good Morning, but this smells richer and thicker. Plenty to love about this smell, I'm ready for a sugar bomb!
Delicious, awesome bourbon vanilla balance. Now the coffee comes through and its beautiful.. Every flavor incorporated in the making of this beer is felt in even the smallest sip. There are no layers of different flavors here, everything is a pure mix and compliments itself. huge maple,coffee,rich chocolates, and bourbon sweetness to die for. Some will probably knock the (I'm not going to call it thin because it's not) mouthfeel, because we all probably crave the molasses/chewy BCBS style. But this beer is so damn easy to drink, make sure to take your time and let it warm up. Definitely an amazing beer, so awesomely crafted and balanced, very rich - just a pleasure to finally get my hands on a white whale like this. Was at first sad to trade away one of my favorite beers to obtain it, but in the end it was worth the price.

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

The darkest of brown, combined with black that makes a solid full 3/4" of tan head on it. Impressive as they come for barrel aged appearance.

Aroma was decadent, coffee, maple, bourbon, chocolate, oak.

The maple sweetness, heavy roasted malt, bitterness, chocolate, wood, and coffee in a lesser way, all really make for an insanely drinkable brew. Mild tobacco notes counter balance. An excellent breakfast beer.

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Photo of ragnar3
4.86/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap (9 oz pour) - perfect mix of bourbon, maple, chocolate, coffee and a hint of vanilla. The barrel doesn't overwhelm the other flavors and the maple adds a nice layer of sweet complexity. Definitely lives up to the hype!

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Photo of Chris_H_2
4.85/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

In the interests of full disclosure, this had been one of my wants for a long time. When I finally got it (fall '14), I was worried it would've fallen off considerably. But much to my delight (and pleasant surprise), it tasted amazing and held up extremely well, especially compared to the CBS I had on tap in spring '15. Just a great beer all around.

Poured from a 750 ml bottle

A - pours dark black with little head (very similar to KBS, which is not a surprise)
S - mmm, smell that maple sweetness; there is a hint of chocolate as well, but not many coffee notes
T - lots going on (maple, vanilla, some chocolate notes), but with the aging, you can actually taste the base beer instead of a bourbon bomb. There is sweetness, but it's not sugary. The bourbon has mellowed considerably, and is less noticeable than the fresher beer on tap.
MF - much like KBS. This isn't a very viscous beer, and if you're looking for a BCBS feel, you're not going to get it.
O - an overall amazing beer, and I would go out of my way every time to get it on tap.

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Photo of madbrewer9
4.15/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A lot going on here, bourbon, maple malt. Lots of booziness and sweetness in taste. Not quite up to my expectations with all the associated hype, prefer KBS, but still a great stout.

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Photo of NDogg44
4.85/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Smells amazing! Maple, coffee, and just a note of whiskey. Had a 4 ounce taster and it was the perfect amount - this beer is pretty sweet. Well deserving of the rating.

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Photo of Tiburon
4.1/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$8 for a 6 oz pour at Uncle MIke's on Black Friday. Lots of subtle choco and a bit of coffee. Very smooth and not boozy at all.
Not as good as the hype, in my opinion

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Photo of q33jeff
4.67/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2011 aged, bottle to rocks glass. Philly beer week. Fiume Bar. Share 3oz pour with DC. Amazing. Complex. Candy. Maple influence is slight, but an overall sweetness really makes this delicious. Bourbon, coffee, chocolate, maple, love. In a bigger pour, would it become too sweet? In all likelyhood, I?ll never get the chance to find out.


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Photo of BranfordBound
4.64/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

9oz pour into an Allagash glass last night at MiKro in Hamden. Comes out dark as night with a small brown head that fades to nothingness. Smell is boozy, hints of raisin and fig, touch of wooden barrel, very big. Taste is layered to perfection. It stands on the sweeter side, big notes of chocolate and molasses. Hints of rum soaked fruit in the middle. Finish is long and sticky, you can taste the maple syrup here along with some roasty notes. While it sits heavier in the stomach, this beer is really easy to drink. There's not a ton of carbonation and that's OK. It's a big beer that demands to be sipped and is super rewarding if you do so. This is truly an amazing beer, waited a long time to have it.

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Photo of costanzo_mike
4.61/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a dark brown/black color. Bourbony, glassy look to the lacing that floats on top of the beer. Smell is dominated by bourbon, coffee and some maple. Bourbon is strong but not overbearing on the taste, coffee comes through with some maple taste at the end. Smooth mouthfeel, some stickiness.

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Photo of Hootie159
4.58/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a midnight brown. Foam is surprisingly light colored but stays very well. A lot of bourbon and booze on the nose. Some notes of coffee and chocolate as well but a little hidden behind. Still nice. More oak on the taste than I was expecting. The sweet and sting of the bourbon is nice. More of a drier rye bourbon. Gives it some oomph. Sweet chocolate and some coffee. Maple comes in at the end. Very smooth. Light carbonation. That bourbon and maple really stick, it's nice.

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Photo of Iamjeff6
4.27/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Having wanted this beer since I got into craft beer I was hyped to finally be able to try it. It is a good beer but I guess the hype and anticipation outweighed how good the beer is. Im glad I got to try it but wouldn't give up my cellar for a bottle.

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Photo of Trevor11
5/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Absolutely incredible. Had at 2015 Founders takeover at Crane Alley in Champaign, Illinois. One of my favorite beers of all time. So sweet with the maple syrup. Miles better than KBS 2015.

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Photo of BerkshireGuerrilla
4.07/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Just recently got this on draft, served in a snifter. It poured tar black with no head or lacing. The nose was filled with chocolate and toffee. Taste wise it was very chocolatey with a little coffee, definitely wasn't as warm/boozy as KBS and the bourbon notes are very subdued. I didn't get much maple flavor from it, subtle at best. Glad I tried it but definitely a lot of hype and not a lot of bite.

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Photo of themaj
1.51/5  rDev -67.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Def cooked!! And by cooked I mean way past prime. Smelled of funk and gym socks. Taste of rotten black licorice. Very disappointed in what I gave up for this beer.

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Photo of frozyn
4.94/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Intense coffee aroma. Great melding of coffee, chocolate, and bourbon flavors with just the right sweetness from the maple syrup. I wish the aroma had a bit more dimension, but this is a fantastic beer that deserves the praise it gets.

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

On tap at Doherty's Ale house, added from notes:

Appearance: deep, obsidian black in body, with a tiny rim of dark brown on the edges when swirled. Thin, but persistent mocha-colored head, that dissipates after a minute or two into a slim collar around the edge of the glass.

Aroma: One of the most balanced and delectable smelling stouts I've had. You can smell the maple and bourbon from a yard away, if not more. Upon closer sniffin' around, the beer has a layer of coffee roast in addition to the obvious and pungent maple and barrel scent. The whole bar smelled of CBS.

Taste: one of my favorite types of beer, the maple stout. This one does not disappoint at all. Tastes like rich milk chocolate, with layer upon layer of decadent, dessert-y flavors. Bitter roast of coffee, vanilla and wood from the bourbon barrel, and lots of maple syrup. It's a fantastic, amalgamation of flavor.

Feel: heavy and viscous, although it isn't as high in percentage as some double/imp stouts, it delivers fully in body.

Overall: one of the top 10 beers I've ever tasted in all likelihood, and second only to Good Morning in terms of maple-y stouts.

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Photo of RichD
5/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had on tap. This was the white whale that I could have only dreamed of having since I had tasted my first craft beer 4-5 years ago.

L: Pours a pitch, impenetrable black with a small dark khaki colored had that became nothing but a ring after a few second. I hold this up to the light and see nothing but black.

S: Smells of coffee, alcohol (at first) and a faint maple sweetness. I pick up some chocolate as well. This smells very nice, but the initial pour that I had was colder than it should be. As this warmed, the aroma became more pronounced and the coffee and maple were able to shine.

T: As previously mentioned, the initial pour was pretty cold which yielded some alcohol. I am rating this on what I tasted as this warmed. Coffee and sweet bourbon come through in a strong way. There is a sweetness that is brought forth by the maple syrup that makes this very desirable. The flavors mesh well together and the way this beer is constructed, each flavor is able to shine through throughout the experience. I have had more maple forward coffee stouts, but as a Founders barrel aged stout, I get exactly what I'm expecting, which is a smooth, well rounded stout.

F: This feels higher than the 10.6% that Founders says this is. This is a thick, chewy stout, but it's pretty easy to drink. I was able to polish off 12 ounces of this in a relatively short time. As this warms, the alcohol presence predictably disappears and allows this stout to become smoother and well balanced.

Overall: I had supremely high hopes for this beer. This was the beer that I dreamed to have when I first started getting into craft beer. I actually started drinking craft beer about a month after this beer was released. This beer had some sentimental value to me as it was released on the day that my grandmother passed away. I put this beer on my list of white whales with the understanding that I may never try this in my life. This beer lives up to the hype for me. It is not as coffee or maple forward as some other beers that I have had. However, CBS is a beer brings flavors together in a way that other breweries cannot do. I am completely satisfied and if I ever see this beer available again, I will not hesitate to order it.

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Photo of tmentzer
4.65/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

For look and smell, this was at a festival in the drizzle, so kinda hard to tell. The flavor, however, was amazing. I thought at first it was a tiny bit too sweet, until I had another (4.25+ on BA) imperial stout that proved just how balanced CBS is. This beer is just perfectly balanced, truly amazing. I always want a tiny bit more carbonation in these, but even this was a minor detractor. So delicious.

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Photo of dfillius
4.52/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Beggar's Banquet, East Lansing, MI on 12/9/14. Served in a 12 oz. snifter
A: Pitch black liquid, ring of brown lace. More head please.
S: Some molasses, some whiskey (not hot), maple syrup, lots of vanilla and chocolate.
T: Sweet, molasses, licorice, cane sugar. Not hot. Maybe a tad too sweet. A bit more roast would be nice. Slight coffee and chocolate in the aftertaste as it warms.
M: Warm, but not hot. Silky. Not roasty.
O: Very good. This whale fell in my lap - surprise release today! It was worth the wait. Quite good.

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Founders CBS Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 974 ratings.