Dismiss Notice
Microbrew Invitational
Join us June 3 + 4 in Boston and help us drink 300+ beers, ciders, kombuchas, meads, sakes and more!

TICKETS: beeradvocate.com/micro/

Founders CBS Imperial Stout | Founders Brewing Company

975 Reviews
no score
Send samples
For Trade:
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 975 | Ratings: 4,173
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.

 550 characters

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

8 oz pour (2015)
Dark black pour. Small dirty head.
Smells of slight vanilla, roastiness, sweetness. Very mouthwatering.
The smell follows through on the taste. Up front the roastiness and barrel character come through (vanilla, slight wood). There is no heat in the aftertaste, just a nice sweetness that lingers.
The mouthfeel is thick and completely coats the mouth.

 369 characters

Photo of jjdc
4.68/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Hey, this is a really solid beer. Great coffee and maple. Super clean and bright for a BA stout. The flavors really sing. With that said, it's not really a top 10 all time for me.

 179 characters

Photo of LAp
4.69/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Had this beer in a 12oz snifter at a KBS-CBS-Blushing Monk tasting event. Beautiful pitch black pour with a dark khaki head. Mouthfeel is on the thicker side like its other breakfast stout brethren. The syrupy-sweet of the maple syrup really builds on the (already excellent) smell of KBS, and adds another layer to the taste, but 4 or 5 ounces in, that sweetness starts to get cloying. Ultimately the maple syrup addition is a nice tweak to an already phenomenal base beer, but compounding the saccharine notes of bourbon with still-more-saccharine maple syrup was a little much for my tastes. Though I'd place the standard KBS higher on my personal list, this is the superior choice for anyone who wants to go sweeter still. Regardless, personal nitpicks aside, this is an incredible beer.

 797 characters

Photo of govlady
4.79/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

on tap at a CBS release party. poured pitch black. smelled coffee, chocolate, bourbon, hint of maple syrup. i expected to taste more maple, but definitely tasted the chocolate, bourbon, coffee. fairly thin, would love it to be a tad thicker. overall, an amazing beer. obviously had very high expectations for it, and it's right up there with the best of them.

 359 characters

Photo of BIll_Currie
4.2/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

i finally got my hands on this one. i had to pay dearly and i had HIGH expectations. I dont know if the bottle was stored properly or what but this wasnt as good as I had hoped. Still a great beer. maple syrup was very pronounced. not overly boozy. great beer. i'd love to try a fresh one to compare

 300 characters

Photo of yungbrew
3.09/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Too maple syrupy and sweet for me. Way too sweet. KBS is much better.

This resembles a mixture breakfast sausage and vanilla, doused in maple syrup.
And I mean that in the worst way possible.

It Looked great. Didn't smell bad either. I'm sorry but the taste is just gross.

Don't get me wrong it's still a decent beer but I don't think this is world class at all. I would give it like an 80 out of 100

 406 characters

Photo of DavidHume
4.79/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

L: Pitch black, with a persistent khaki head.

S: Bourbon and maple up front, followed by chocolate, coffee, and vanilla.

T: Bourbon-soaked fudge leads, followed by maple sugar and crème brûlée. I could drink this forever. The finish is complex: bourbon, maple syrup, and chocolate, fading into oak and coffee.

F: Not as thick as it could be, but not overly thin, either.

O: A world-class barrel-aged stout. Not worth a two-hour line, but decidedly delicious.

 469 characters

Photo of Austin32
4.46/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This was a great beer....but after all the hype and build up I agree with reviews that say it was rather thin....still very good but not one that quite lived up to its legend for me.

 182 characters

Photo of Scottyg33
5/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this at the tap room during KBS week. Probably the best beer I have ever had. The maple sweetness taste caps off the chocolate/coffee/bourbon flavor and all works perfect together. Not to sweet and not to strong. Can't wait to have it again

 244 characters

Photo of Klaerity
3.9/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.75

i had this on tap... loads of licorice and chocolate, some brownie like fudge oak has given a red wine like bitterness which i dont like too much, this is pretty good but was disappointing!! its very thin..

 206 characters

Photo of Saudereth
4.54/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This beer didn't do as much as I hoped it would for me. It was well executed but the maple linger was the only thing that really set it apart from a lot of the well done coffee stout world. I'd still rather drink BCBCS. I'll be revisiting this in a couple weeks when I have another shot at this beer.

Served: January 2015, Rustico Arlington, Mini-snifter.

 356 characters

Photo of jmasher85
4.56/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A hint sweeter than I'd have wanted, but that's the nature of the beast - the beast being the crazy amount of maple syrup in there. I'd take the KBS over this one, probably, but let's be real here: this is the epitome of the style. Smoother than it should be, and reasonably balanced, but the flavor tips over to maple pretty heavily. Still, you get a fair share of chocolate, wood, practically no bitterness, and a decent head but mild carbonation. Rich and succulent, this would be the perfect desert beer after a hefty steak and paired with some chocolate cake or something, or just sipped by itself beside a fire. Not worth the 5 star rating, but get some if you can!

 676 characters

Photo of BigBadBeerSnob
4.76/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Enjoyed from keg of the 2014 batch at Ray's Beer Gallery. Pours a deep dark toasty stout. The noise was immediately of carmel and maple syrup. Not very boozy and easy to drink (I went back for a 2nd pour of 16oz)

 212 characters

Photo of Stevem68
5/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Quite simply the best beer I've ever had. Had it on draft. Color is a deep rich chocolate black. Has a wonderful aroma, everything is in balance, you get coffee, chocolate, bourbon & maple syrup, has a touch of booziness. For as heavy as this could be, it drank incredibly smooth. A perfect blend of coffee, chocolate, bourbon & maple syrup. All the flavors complement each other and none over power. Leaves a great chocolate and coffee aftertaste. My mind is blown. A complexity of flavors that keep evolving through the drinking experience. Love this beer

 557 characters

Photo of Zonk
4.96/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Thick and syrupy. Sweet without being cloying. Bourbon is noticeably. Has a strong coffee component, and maple is also very forward. An amazing beer.

 152 characters

Photo of cultclassic89
4.69/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2014 out of a crowler on 7/19/2015. This is a great beer, probably their best I've had. I don't think it lives up to the hype though.

Appearance is pretty thick, but not motor oil thick, which is what I look for in a stout.

Nose is good, but just missing that pop. Sweet, somewhat roasty, but the maple doesn't pop like I want it too. Almost has a lactose like thing going.

Taste is better, maple comes out more but it's not too big, definitely nothing like KBBS. Sweet but not cloying and very smooth.

Feel is almost perfect, I'd just prefer it to be a little thicker. But it's almost there and still really great.

CBS is really really good, and I generally rate high, but it's not perfect. If you can find it on tap, definitely give it a shot. I doubt the 2011s are worth going for unless you want the tick.

 815 characters

Photo of brother_rebus
4.59/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Not the biggest bourbon barrel aged beer fan. Have had KBS a handful of times and thought it was OK. But its cousin CBS is an entirely different beast. Much more smooth in my opinion. More foreword CO2. The vanilla and coffee flavors expose themselves far more to my pallet. I do enjoy this on the colder side, as the vanilla-ish taste isn't overtaken by the ABV and the cold feel is contrasted perfectly with the warmth the alcohol brings to the back of the tongue. Spectacular beer. Really must try to find it in a bottle.

 525 characters

Photo of foundersfan1
4.93/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

WOW, a little on the boozy side in the nose, but boy does it deliver in flavor. The sweetness of the maple blends exquisitely with the bourbon filled alcohol.

 158 characters

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

Tasted on tap at "Founders Keepers" event in NYC. This is a really rock solid beer. I believe it's completely different than KBS. A bit higher FG and the maple, coffee, chocolate is really well balanced.

 203 characters

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

Not much to say except this stout is everything I like in a stout. Just enough mocha and fudge, mixed perfect with roasty coffee and expresso. Smooth bourbon and vanilla towards the finish with a nice touch of maple, but not clingy at all. One of my favorite stouts out there.

 279 characters

Photo of wesnile
4.99/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've had the pleasure of having multiple glasses of the 2015 release. It is a sweeter variant of KBS. Dark with slight head. The sweetness from the maple is present and really brings out the other flavors of the beer. It's one of my all-time favorites.

 252 characters

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

Dark with a lovely lingering head, aroma that hints of maple, and a complex flavor with the mixing of coffee, chocolate, and dark flavors. Masterfully done.

 156 characters

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

Typical imperial stout appearance: black as oil, with a persistent lacy head and a few faint bubbles of carbonation. Pretty, but plenty of stouts look better than they taste. This, however, is not one of them.

The aromas are dominated by a sugary, maple-syrup scent, closely followed by coffee, whiskey, oak, and hints of fruit, with the barest whiff of booze.

On the tongue, the beer presents a nicely rich mouthfeel, with just enough carbonation to keep things deliciously drinkable. Flavors roll in with a big hit of sweet coffee and maple syrup up front, closely followed by a wave of whiskey. Heady flavors of buckwheat, bittersweet chocolate, oak, pecans snd hazelnuts and more whiskey roll through, with the sometimes slightly overwhelmingly sweet maple syrup and coffee always reappearing. More subtle flavors appear on the back end of the palate, with blueberries, dried fruit, and even a slight hint of mint-tea and herbal hop notes. On the back of the tongue, loads of spices make an appearance, including cinnamon nutmeg and cloves. Finish is, surprisingly, medium-dry, making up somewhat for the assertive sweetness throughout.

 1,142 characters

Photo of don1481
4.69/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

8th anniversary celebration at Burnhearts! 11oz snifter for $7.

Appearance: Pours a dark beautiful stout with a mocha head that disappears immediately.

Smell: Coffee, chocolate, maple syrup, and a little bit of the bourbon. If this tastes like it smells... I'm gonna be in heaven.

Taste: Oh. My. Goodness. This is AMAZING. Tastes EXACTLY like it smells. I am so loving this!

Mouthfeel: slightly sticky, pretty clean overall.

Overall: This is so awesome.

 460 characters

Founders CBS Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 975 ratings.