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Founders CBS Imperial Stout - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders CBS Imperial StoutFounders CBS Imperial Stout

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916 Reviews
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Reviews: 916
Hads: 3,794
rAvg: 4.62
pDev: 7.36%
Wants: 3,866
Gots: 688 | 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: 916 | Hads: 3,794
Photo of SeanBond
4.75/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I'll be the first to admit that I'm a skeptic by nature; I generally assume "whales" are going to be overrated, and when it's a coffee stout I try it only out of obligation, because I'm not a coffee stout guy.

CBS is one of the extremely rare times that I've found the hype to be completely justified, and I've got to admit I'm really surprised. I don't like FBS, and I think KBS is vastly overhyped, so to find out that CBS is not only worthy of praise, but that I actually really like it is crazy to me. On to the beer.

Pours a nice, small brown head. The beer itself isn't quite black, but it's very dark, and pretty thick.

I didn't do a lot of smelling (too busy pouring it into my face), but there was a nice intermingling of coffee/bourbon and a hint of maple. But who cares, because the taste is next.

Alright, wow. Lots of chocolate in the taste (and when I say chocolate, I mean that it actually tastes like fudge, not like it gives an impression of a "chocolate-like flavor"), and a nice, mellow coffee. There are hints of maple, but that side mostly adds sweetness and counters the coffee. This is important, because I dislike coffee in my stouts, and this is the first time I've tasted one that's so well-integrated.

There's more balance to this beer than I expected; most coffee stouts come across as very coffee-forward and bitter, while this beer is the opposite. In fact, this might be the only time that I've accepted coffee in a stout as a necessary factor (to balance the maple sweetness).

Up to this point, BCBCS was my favorite coffee stout--I didn't love it, but I really liked it, despite the coffee. I've tried a bunch of the better coffee stouts out there, and never really been blown away, until now. Is this my favorite stout? No; I still like a few of the Bourbon Counties better, and I'm still generally going to prefer stouts without coffee. However, I can honestly say that this is now on my list of must-try beers when they go on tap (or bottle sale), and is one of my favorites.

Phenomenal job by Founders; if only they could make this with more frequency. (2,101 characters)

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

Yup. 5's across the board. It dominated kbs in a tethered tasting. Maple flavor brings everything together perfectly. Drink it warm tho. Don't b scared to wait 30-45 mins after the bartender hands it to u. It'll b worth it. (223 characters)

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

CBS is my favorite beer in the world to date. The only all 5's review I have ever given. If you actually get the privilege of seeing it on a draft list, quit looking at the menu and order it. I always thought before I had CBS "how could it be better than KBS?" That was a dumb thought to have. (293 characters)

Photo of KYGunner
4.57/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This poured ever so slowly and thickly from the tap and coalesced to a fine brown head. The nose was a bit soft but playful with light coffee, oak wood, chocolate and bourbon. The front end displayed a delicious and decadent chocolate that opened to a roasted coffee. The bourbon is subtle with some added caramel and toffee. The funny thing is that the maple is ever present, never pervasive and blends seamlessly throughout. This is so smooth and velvety that it really lives up to the hype. (493 characters)

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

I had this for the first time today at a specialty keg tapping at The Flying Saucer in Kansas City. I can honestly say this is one of the greatest beers I have ever had. (169 characters)

Photo of ali1987
4.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A- dense black body with a dark khaki colored head

S- caramel, roasted malt, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, toffee, coffee, maple syrup

T- delicious & complex: coffee, cream, chocolate, maple syrup, vanilla, brown sugar, roasted malt, a little bitterness of dark chocolate toward the back end ...

M- medium to full body, little carbonation, very creamy!!!

O- this is a great beer, & it for sure lives up to the hype... but I wish it had more chocolate & coffee and less maple syrup. (491 characters)

Photo of kylehay2004
4.72/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This has been my white whale. So happy to get to try it. FINALLY

A: single finger creamy dark tan head on a jet body with excellent lacing. No light getting through

S: coffee, vanilla, dark fruit, spearmint, bourbon booze, milk chocolate... Really a touch light on aroma but picked up as it warmed.

T: much sweeter than I was expecting. The coffee flavor is all throughout but without much bitterness. Maple and vanilla dominate. Bourbon is disguised as applying sweetness without the liquor sting. Complex and flavorful. Nothing off putting and is close to the hype as almost no beer can match the hype like that surrounding this one.

M: may be the best part. So silky smooth, perfect degree of coating the palate. No bad aftertaste.

Overall: so happy I got to try it. Now that I havr I will likely randomly and unintentionally come accross it a dozen more times. Worth the wait but still not the best beer I have add but damn close (940 characters)

Photo of MattSweatshirt
4.46/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Black bodied with a thin brown head off a draft pour.

Big sweet maple syrup presence jumps out after warming a bit. There is some slight bourbon coming trough with coffee and chocolate.

Lots of sweet syrup and spirit going on. The coffee pops really well in the flavor with a big roastiness that lingers with the chocolate and bourbon.

Medium bodied with mild carbonation. Drinks really smooth and velvety. Ends a little dry with some sugary stick. Could use a touch more body but that's just being picky.

When I first got into beer this was the whale du jour. Never thought I'd get to drink it. (602 characters)

Photo of Flight317
4.9/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This beer was great. I didn't pick up as much coffee as I did chocolate and a maple syrup flavor. Had a bit of a burn on the lips from the bourbon but not too much. Really hoping since all of these kegs popped up that this will be bottled again this year! (255 characters)

Photo of Zach136
4.71/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Aroma/Flavor: Rich oak, maple, and chocolate. Palate has more chocolate and bourbon. Maple is very present. Flirts with the too sweet line, but doesn't cross it.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and luscious (203 characters)

Photo of Cyclone8
4.75/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Been waiting 4 years to try this.
As I sip (and as it warms) new flavors keep emerging, like a good whisky. Sweet but not cloying, bourbony but not overpoweringly so, it is just beautifully put together, like if Mozart was a brew master. (238 characters)

Photo of micromaniac129
4.93/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The sweetness of the maple which I did't notice really tones down the bourbon taste and brings it more in line with stout as a whole, so it drinks more balanced.
My god this was a good beer. (190 characters)

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

Beautiful beer. The maple sweetness makes you crave it the next day. If I had to be critical, I would say it was just a skosh thin. Well worth the two-hour wait. (161 characters)

Photo of gcamparone
4.57/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Served in a snifter at Dohertys Irish Pub in Pawtucket, RI.

Pours a deep brown, nearly black body with a deep brown mocha colored head that reduces to a thin layer of foam. Sparse spotty lacing.

Aromas are very whiskey heavy, vanilla and light chocolate with a pretty substantial boozy background. Aromas develop and intensify as it warms.

Upfront is sweet milk chocolate, cocoa, whiskey, developing into absolutely delicious heavy roasted coffee, maple, vanilla. The finish is roasty malt and bittersweet chocolate. Thick, chewy mouthfeel, low carbonation.

Amazing. Complex, flavorful, full bodied. Let it warm up to let the layers come out. (647 characters)

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

On tap @ Clinton Hall 3/24/15. Bourbon, chocolate, maple and coffee in compete balance and harmony. This was simply the best beer I have ever tasted. Perfection in a glass. (172 characters)

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

On Tap at Mohawk House in Sparta, NJ. They were having a Founders CBS Dinner that was put together with Founders and the restaurant, I was fortunate enough to have 6 or 7 glasses that night.

I was surprised by the heavy Chocolate tones and sweetness of this stout that was on tap. Until now, my favorite stout has been Rogue Double Chocolate Stout. (349 characters)

Photo of 4lo
4.15/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Review is based on the '14/'15 release.

'14 was a good bit thinner than the previous '11 release and you could tell by the pour and mouthfeel. Slightly different base so I can appreciate that. Way sweeter without nearly as much roast and the thinness really took away from this for me. Had with MBCP and DB Mexican Cake the same day.....'14/'15 CBS would be behind those two for me. (386 characters)

Photo of VelvetExtract
4.57/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

EBF pour. Pours black and viscous. Smells of hearty coffee, burnt sugar and maple syrup with wood. Flavor is very roasty and dense with a bunch of java, chocolate syrup, maple syrup, burnt sugar, and bourbon. Espresso and dark chocolate. The feel is very syrupy and thick. Sticky with noticeable heat and lingering barrel character. Finally got to notch this one on the bedpost. A pretty terrific beer. (402 characters)

Photo of papat444
5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is it, my first 5! On tap at Cornerstone in Barre. Intense maple like I've never tasted in a beer before. Decadent and smooth, coffee has a velvety feel to it. So very happy to have had this and sad that I may never have it again. (235 characters)

Photo of Brams17
5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Absolutely one of the best stouts I've ever had. Poured into a 10oz snifter glass.

The aromas and flavors in this beer were just so complex. There were notes of coffee, maple, bourbon, coffee, roasted malt, some sweetness, and vanilla.

It had a nice tan head that left quickly, and this beer was thick and chewy. I can't think of how a stout could be better. (365 characters)

Photo of Kevinpitts
4.5/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Good beer. Lots of vanilla notes especially on back end. Not enough bourbon flavor IMO. Good though. (150 characters)

Photo of docoman
4.96/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Just an amazing stout from Founders, was lucky enough to have while picking up my KBS last week. Perfectly balanced in all aspects. Hope to have again in near future. (168 characters)

Photo of KVNBGRY
4.22/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I was so disappointed in this after having the KL Summation and SR-71 that I dumped it in order to get something else quicker. Edit* just had it At e15 in Jax. A little too sweet. Maple is good. Too easy to drink though. Not enough... Umpf? Side by side with KBS '15 it's hard to decide which is better. (303 characters)

Photo of Axnjxn
4.43/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

draft at bottle rev

poured too cold, got a good bit of maple then and not much booze.

more boozy as it warmed, but the maple really showed through. definitely a very impressive stout that could once have been considered the best, but nowadays has a lot of competition. still world class. mouthfeel is still great. a beer worth seeking out but not one that you should abandon everything for. (395 characters)

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

The first actual full review I've done so I figured it would have to be a special beer and we most certainly have a special beer here
A: pours a pitch black liquid with a very tan head, not as much viscosity as day a bourbon county but it's definitely dark.
S: first thing you smell is that delicious maple syrup, keep going and you get hints of coffee and coconut and subtle dark chocolates
T: I had half of this beauty cold and half warm and those states you have 2 different beers and both are phenomenal. Cold taste-you get a lot more of the coffee and chocolate here with subtle maple syrup and all around smooth drinking beer. Warm taste- this is where this beer takes a whole new form and you get maple syrup right away, followed by some coconut and oak flavors and on the after taste you get a nice coffee bitter chocolate flavor that just leaves you wanting more, perfection.
F: I will say it's not at thick as most of my favorite stouts but it's not far behind and I like it for that I like a stout to not be overly think and feel like you just took a mouthful of motor oil. Some beer that make its better judging on the flavors you have going on but this one with all the flavors you have it lets you taste them all and you really get to get an equal taste of them all instead of just tasting coffee throughout.
O: overall this is what all barrel aged stouts should stride to be. It has all the flavors you would want and more with the added maple syrup 10/10 would drink (1,485 characters)

Founders CBS Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 916 ratings.