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Founders CBS Imperial Stout - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders CBS Imperial StoutFounders CBS Imperial Stout

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917 Reviews
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Reviews: 917
Hads: 3,797
rAvg: 4.62
pDev: 7.36%
Wants: 3,867
Gots: 689 | 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: 917 | Hads: 3,797
Photo of mechamifune
5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Part of me feels so wrong for giving 5's to every category, but I honestly don't know how the beer could have done better in any of the categories listed.

Pours a pitch black with a slight tan head. The beer just looks inviting, unlike some bigger stouts that can look a little "dead" in the glass.

Smell is coffee and chocolate upfront with a little bit of sweetness behind, but to me the coffee dominates the initial nose. Still, I could just sit and smell this thing for an hour if it didn't taste so damn good.

Taste seems a bit more evened out and the coffee isn't as overpowering as in the smell. The sweetness is evident, but not syrupy or overpowering to me. I get maybe a hint of alcohol but even that works in a pleasant way with the other flavors.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, reminds me almost of hot chocolate at times. Carbonation seems pretty minimal, which is appropriate given what we're working with.

My matra for big stouts is generally, even for the ones I love, that I can only drink a pint or so before it stops being so enjoyable, based on the heavyness of the style more than anything. For this beer I would make the exception. For as big as it is, it's silly easy to drink.

FBS was already one of my absolute favorite beers of any style, and this basically takes it and...well, to put it simply, makes it better. Any stout fan needs to seek this one out. (1,389 characters)

Photo of khumbard
4.68/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Yogi's. Awesome to see some rarities making it down this way...

I've had this on 2 occasions now, once from the batch last year, and now this time. Taste is definitely a lot more balanced this time around. I enjoyed the higher level of sweetness of the first batch, but this is a better overall beer. Pour is very dark with a tan head. Aroma is chocolate, roasted coffee, and a background of oaky maple sweetness, pretty subtle actually. Taste is very smooth. Flavors are all well integrated: all of the regular breakfast stout flavors but with the added maple sweetness, and oak from the barrel. As it warmed up it became even better, and the chocolate definitely takes the driver seat. Stellar beer, and easily put away two 12oz snifters. I love Founders. (769 characters)

Photo of robwestcott
4.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

tapped about 30min ago at yogis for Indiana beer week... dam, thanks to whomever made this happen.

from the tap as close to pitch black that dark chocolate can get into a 12oz snifter with a short lasting thin foam head that leaves lacing to the lip of the glass.

aroma is quite subtle - coffee, chocolate, toffee.

subtlety disappears once the first sip reaches the lips... strong coffee / espresso notes forward immediately fading to smooth chocolate, vanilla and sweet maple. absolutely incredible. believe all you have heard. meant to be sipped ? maybe so, but it's hard to let it just sit there. a second pour will be needed. as it warms, taste transitions to the chocolate cake other reviewers have noted.

very smooth to the palate, alcohol burn is nonexistent - entirely hidden.

drinkability - at 9.4%, this one shouldn't be as drinkable as it seems - I'll be having a second, but it's going to require me staying on this stool for a good while afterward... (969 characters)

Photo of david131
4.51/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- A thick, syrupy, pitch black liquid with a thin brown head that has good retention. Perfect.

S- Coffee, vanilla, caramel, chocolate cake, and a slightly sweet maple syrup aspect. Smells pretty tame at first, but really opens up as it warms.

T- Coffee, chocolate cake, maple syrup, vanilla. Extremely rich and decadent with a wonderful robust chocolate aspect. No alcohol presence. A nice balance of sweet and roasty.

M- Velvety smooth and creamy with a lasting dry, roasted presence.

D- Rich and delicious. A bit of a sipper. Doesn't quite stand up to KBS in my book, but it is still world class.

This is the third time I have had this beer. The first time it was unbelievably sweet, the second time almost having no detectable maple syrup aspect. Founders really seems to have it nailed down here. (806 characters)

Photo of wagenvolks
4.59/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz. hand-bottle shared by stopbarking; split 5 ways. Thanks Daniel!

The elusive Canadian displays an opaque darkness that clings to the edges of the glass with a sugary, syrup-like viscosity. The head is dirty khaki in color and retains surprisingly well for the ABV. Swirling the snifter quickly builds the foam level, but the aroma never really took off for me. Smells a bit muddled, in fact, with ethanolic booze and soft chocolate undertones. The sweetness is there, but I'm not getting too much maple or barrel aroma.

CBS' flavor more than makes up for what the aroma 'lacks'. A delicious mix of dark chocolate, toffee, earthy hop bitterness, Grand Marnier, and sweet, sweet maple. The syrupy sweetness never becomes cloying, however, making this beer surprisingly quaffable despite its big, complex body. The mouthfeel helps the drinkability, too, as Canadian is light on the tongue (heavy in the stomach) and almost fluffy with carbonation. All in all, a superb beer clearly worthy of the hype (a rarity these days). (1,027 characters)

Photo of jsanford
4.95/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle #47 of 55 from CBX, poured into my Stone RIS tulip.

A - Inky dark black with a bubbly chocolate mousse head that re-formed itself after every swirl. Eventually it settled to a thick ring around the edge of the glass. Outstanding sticky lacing.

S - Definite coffee smell in the forefront with sweet dark malt. Notes of vanilla, oak, and maple syrup.

T - Explosions of coffee, dark sweet malts, oak and vanilla with a subtle maple syrup sweetness on the back-end. Incredibly well put together and balanced, the flavors exist in perfect harmony.Absolutely no alcohol detected. Complex as hell.

M - Creamy and smooth. Silky. Again, no apparent ABV, unlike KBS, which can be a bit hot sometimes. Prickly carbonation is spot-on.

D - One of the best beers I've ever had, I could drink only this for the rest of my life and be perfectly happy. So complex yet balanced, just an amazing offering from Founder's. (913 characters)

Photo of chefmikeanderson
4.84/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark as yum with a one finger mocha late colored head but doesnt stay too long. A real nice lacing completely coats the glass throughout the experience.

S: It smells like breakfast with a steaming cup of coffee in your face. Massive oak and whisky aroma with a side of chocolate pancakes

T: Taste was huge, like the nose. So complex, so much going on. Very tough to single it all out. Thick roasted malt, bourbon, coffee, maple syrup, more bourbon, maybe some vanilla and oak. My tastebuds are completely enveloped. Compared to KBS this has a much smoother bourbon shot to it. The flavors explode in the beginning taste and somehow it all disappears just leaving a coffee aftertaste. So complex yet so balanced. whatever that maple did was great for the beer

M: It reminds me of a beer on nitro. so little carbonation just lets this beer reach every inch on my tastebuds without blowing up but still having enough just to wake them. Its a sweeter beer but it doesn't leave to much of a sticky mouthfeel.

D: I said it to someone while drinking it so I'll write it down. Every sip is like the first one again and again. I love how the beer somehow disappears after that huge flavor upfront. while I feel its easy drinking compared to beers with higher gravity (BCBCS) the booziness is about the same so I cant give it a 5. I drank two glasses and I wanted a third but not because of the rarity, it was because it was good. (1,428 characters)

Photo of liquidcraft
4.67/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It was a nice surprise to see this up on the chalkboard and ordering one was a must. Jet black, mocha colored foam rim around the slick surface. Coffee, oak, vanilla flavors mix in with sweet notes. As it warms up the maple presence comes out more and more. The alcohol is pretty undetectable, I think this is more complex and balanced than the KBS. The carbonation cuts the thickness for a slightly less than chewy feel. CBS is a great beer, one of my favorites, I want some waffles with this next time. (504 characters)

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

Served on tap at Founders in an over-sized brandy glass. The chalk board lists this as 10%abv.

A: poured perfectly, leaving plenty of headspace in the snifter for room to swirl this velvety elixir. The body is jet black. Around the rim a thin ring of chocolate colored foam resides, formed by an active layer of lacing just under the brew's surface.

S: swirling the brew around the snifter releases a torrent of aromatics, including caramel, coffee, molasses, vanilla, and maple. No one character dominates the other, allowing all to ring harmoniously in the nose.

T: This rich nectar has an intensely malty body, complemented by molasses, maple, vanilla, rum, and maple. Truly an experience.

M: thick, velvety, creamy; the body bolsters this brew's rich demeanor.

D: I was shocked by how quickly this brew rocketed to its place on the best of BA list, and decided that it must be had. When o found out that it had been tapped the other day, I decided to wake up early in case the keg got bum-rushed. Fortunately, I made it in time to experience this delightful brew. I highly recommend it, as it rivals any other RIS in quality and flavor. (1,145 characters)

Photo of ricke
4.6/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Basically black with a small beige head.

Small lacings, but the beer reacts beautifully when the glass is swirled.

The aroma is intense - lots of fat malts, molasses, smooth bourbon, dough, and maple syrup. The character is heavy, but it's still fresh and alive. Great integration in the nose.

The taste is almost unbelievable. The body is beyond full and the mouthfeel is beyond smooth and creamy - this is like cream covered in velvet. It is nicely carbonated, which is very delightful. Lovely sweet malty flavor with s smooth bitter accompanying roastiness. Notes of coffee. The barrel character is flawless . smooth toned-down nutty bourbon with hints of wood and vanilla, and sweet fresh maple syrup with hints of honey. A noticeable bitterness develops towards the finish as the beer ends with caramel, toffee, powdery coffee and a hint of alcohol.

This is, from start to finish, a very well made beer. Ridiculously complex, perhaps bordering what is possible with beer without it collapsing in a mess. Here, instead we get great balance and integration. I must say that I find it interesting that the barrel aging made its mouthfeel so full compared to the regular Breakfast stout. Well well, to sum it up: this might be the best barrel aged imperial stout I've ever had. (1,286 characters)

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

Had this at the brewpub, and at first thought it was very good ( as claimed/reported). But as it warmed slightly it began to evolve into a delicious highly (dangerously) drinkable draft. I have had many Founders brews, but this was so exceptional, and so remarkable that I now believe this is as goos as it gets. It has an exceptionally good nose, followed by a perfect mouth. The flavor is, let's face it, just out and out delicious. Hints of vanilla and wood, then the maple...soft, subtle but not overwhelming...just perfectly complementary.
I may have to move to Michigan! (577 characters)

Photo of bierenutz
4.82/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

CBS on tap at the brewery...life doesn't get much better than this.
A-Jet black color with almost no head or lacing as a result of the tap fill. I'm sure a "rougher" pour would result in a thick mocha brown head, but I digress.
S-Sweet maple, bourbon, roasted coffee and malts with hints of vanilla and chocolate.
T-This beer is going to be tough to beat as the best beer made, and for me, the best I've ever had at this point in my BA experience. There is a nice blend of the coffee, maple and chocolatey flavors with some oakey mustiness to provide some character. The bourbon is there but definitely a back seat driver with this brew.
M-Creamy, rich and buttery with minimal carbonation and an overall smooth pleasant finish.
D-This is a sipper, but well worth every sip and worthy of its high top ten rating...bravo Founders! (829 characters)

Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.7/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I really wish I could give this beer a better score but it's not a good lookin beer and not much going on in the aroma. But the taste might be the best beer I've ever had.

Got a 12oz bottle of left over bottles ran through the founders bottleing machine.

Pours a dark black. No head. No lacing. Looks flat

Aroma really only smells like awesome coffee. Not much else.

Taste is the best beer j may have ever had. Tastes like a chocolate covered espresso bean in a glass. Great coffee flavor but not too much, the maple is amazing with all the other flavors and a little bourbon. The chocolate is tasty as well. Like bitter sweet. Such an awesome beer.

Mouthfeel is actually good. Although I think it might be better in tap. Nice light carb. Not too thick.

Overall an amazing beer that I am glad I have more of. Can't wait to drink this again. (846 characters)

Photo of ndekke39
4.67/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Finally got to try this - visited the Monday after the Black Party. Had it on tap, of course - 8 ounces served in a snifter. Pours an oily blank with only a thin right of lace. Very light aromas of maple syrup, with touches of chocolate and cocoa bitterness, hints of some wood. Very rich taste, too: maple syrup, slight twinge of alcohol, sweet but oaky, with a slight bitterness in the finish. The maple syrup sweetness grows as the beer warmed up a bit, and to my taste it became a little unbalanced. It's smooth as all get-out. This is a super drinkable and amazingly delicious beer. And as an added bonus, one of my co-drinkers, who hails from Vancouver, BC, declared the beer "Canadian approved." Need we say more? (720 characters)

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.62/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

8 oz tap pour into a snifter and shared with Sweemzander at Founder's Black Party 2010.

A - Totally oily black tap pour with a low dense tan head. Low retention and lace chunks are left over on the inside of the glass. Not much to look at after mere moments.

S - Dark roasted malts back up the full, thick aroma of rich vanilla and maple syrup. Really rich and smooth with molasses and caramel notes swirling around. An ever-present coffee roasted scent meanders though the background. The booziness is there but not outrageous. Delicious! I could smell this for ever!

T - Lots of maple and bourbon flavor with a dark roasted malt backing but a generally thin profile for how the nose comes across. The roasted coffee is much more present in the flavor than in the nose. Molasses seems to be a bigger part of the flavor profile too.

M - The profile is a little thinner than I expected from this one actually! It's full-bodied but not syrupy or thick like I had hoped for, rather it's still smooth before the slightly dry finish with a light boozy sensation.

D - This one is a sipper for sure. I was hoping for a bit more maple syrup flavor going on here but it's one damn good beer! Like I mentioned, the barrel aging is all over the place but never gets out-of-control. (1,276 characters)

Photo of Chico1985
4.82/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Stoutfest, Armsby Abbey. My next few reviews from the fest will be brief, too stoked and busy to take notes, but I remember the beers well for sure. Glad I got this before it kicked. Appearance is black, nice bubbly tan head that sticks around the whole time and leaves lacing. Smell I pick up alot of the coffee and some sweetness and chocolate but not much maple. The taste though, especially when it warms up, brings out the maple in such a great way. The maple goes so great with coffee, chocolate, and some vanilla, definitely fits it's name quite well. The bourbon brings one the vanilla flavor but the booze taste is seriously non-existent. Roasty flavors are there but take a backseat to all the sweet flavors here. Definitely a great first beer of the day choice at noon, I would love to sip this with a real Canadian breakfast. The mouthfeel is great, a perfect thickness and there is no alcohol taste here at all. I saved the last 2-3 ounces for a friend who missed it on-tap and before I knew it I had to stop drinking this. Very easy to drink. Infinitely more drinkable than Kentucky (fresh), more complex and flavorful than the regular Breakfast Stout, best out of the 3 probably. I wish it was a little cheaper but who knows when I will get to try this again.

**4/16/11 more notes**

Lucky to have this again at Stoutfest this year, as good as last years was this years killed it. Way more maple presence without being overpowering, awesome balance of flavors. When the beer was gone my glass literally smelled like a syrupy pancake had been in there. (1,577 characters)

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

Served in a ten ounce chalice, the beer appears a black opaque color with a deep beige colored head that is quarter inch high. A chocolaty fragrance with a touch of whiskey a wood and coffee scents follow. A rich chocolaty flavor, with coffee overtones, then the sweet woodsy flavor of whiskey that comes through at the halfway point across the palate; a maple syrup sweetness blends itself into the flavor that gradually grows to at the soft flavor of a grassy bitterness. A thick oily texture, that begins with a heavy water feel that grows in weight. A mild burn of alcohol on the throat, but it does not last long. This is an easy to drink stout you have no idea that this beer is ten percent. The dark and rich inviting color, with an intoxicating aroma, along with the beautiful and wonderful taste and finishing with a sticky and oily texture makes this a great beer (873 characters)

Photo of Tetano
4.57/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had it on Tap for the second year in a row.

Fantastic color, deep brown tinged black. This baby sucked all the light out of the room. Thin brown head at the top of the snifter hinting at the coffee chocolate flavored goodiness I have come to expect with this variety of beer.

Smell is inviting. Coffee and maple sweetness is there. I have a large nose and I almost dipped into the brew because I wanted to really smell this one. Mouth was watering immediately in anticipation.

Taste is coffee, chocolate bitterness, with a hint of maple sweetness. Oatmeal is there. This tastes like a perfect breakfast on a Sunday morning. Now I did have last years version and it was sweeter. The flavors are well balanced. Nothing was over bearing. Big alcohol but with so much going on, you will not taste it. With that said I liked last years better by one notch. What can I say, I have a sweet tooth.

Drinkability is based on style. In terms of what it is this baby is smooth as silk. Goes down real easy almost to easy. Unlike its cousin KBS, this one is not nearly as hot. It still is a sipper, but hey the longer it takes the more time to savor. This is worth driving to the brewery for if its on tap. (1,197 characters)

Photo of ChrisPro
4.4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Draught at Capone's. Pours jet black, mocha head. Sweet maple aroma with touch of coffee, oak and caramel. Very sweet up front, nice caramel-maple aftertaste lingers with a slightly dry coffee bitterness. Incredibly smooth and far too drinkable. Agree with previous rater: 9.4% ABV is COMPLETELY hidden. Not much could improve this. (332 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
4.84/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Hand bottle from a generous BA, thanks Andrew, I don't know if I'll ever be able to try this again so here are my thoughts,

A: Pours a dark brown with a light head, the carbonation is mild.

S: Coffee all the way. Like the best cup of coffee you have ever had. Elegant, strong and soothing.

T: The coffee is heavy in the flavour, it reminds me a bit of Peche Mortel on the first sip. The complexity goes through the roof as some whiskey and maple come to the party, very light hit of vanilla.

M: Smooth, full-bodied, robust.

D: I am so glad I got to try this legendary beer, I can see why it's in the top 10. This beer is incredible, on the short list of the best stouts I've ever had in my life. (700 characters)

Photo of hayesez
4.72/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Received a bottle of this from a generous BA...what a hook-up!

Split between two tulips and shared with some friends. Pours dark dark brown, allowing virtually no light to pass. Very thin head, that disappears very quickly. Not sure exactly how the filling and capping of this bottle happened, but I'm guessing that some of the "thin head" can be attributed to bottling a beer that isn't generally bottled. Looks very similar to this year's KBS as well.

A strong coffee aroma coupled with fainter whiffs of chocolate, cherry, and smokiness. Again, reminiscent of the KBS, with a little different twist.

The coffee and roasted malts stick around through the entirety of each drink. Definite cherry / dark fruit in there as well. I also continue to get hints of a very nice smokiness...this is a great beer. Although I do get a bit of sweetness in there, I think it can more closely be associated with a semi-sweet chocolate as opposed to maple syrup. I really tried to get maple syrup out of this beer, but just couldn't find it. Don't get me wrong - Great flavor, excellent taste, but no maple...at least for me. Nice and thick and creamy. Just how I like these kinds of stouts. Outstanding.

Overall , I was very impressed with this beer. It is a bit fresh and stinging, but it's also less than a month old. Still a very drinkable brew, especially considering an ABV of nearly 10%. This was a great introduction to the Canadian Breakfast Stout; now I need to track it down on tap.

Consumed: 3/19/2010 (1,505 characters)

Photo of WeedKing4
4.62/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Got to enjoy a pint of this while in line at KBS day at founders. Such a beautiful tasting beer. So damn smooth, its like maple syrup!! Well kinda anyways. Such a thick stout too. It was incredibly easy to drink. Definately one of the best stouts I have ever had. So glad it was on tap at the brewery today. Just beautiful. (323 characters)

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

Reviewed from notes taken 1/25. This came from a CP-filled bottle - out of a keg, so I will call it a growler, I think that's the best qualification for it.

The beer pours black, with a beautiful thick, dense brown head, leaving a little bit of lacing down the glass. Looks great from the start. The smell is amazing. You can really smell the sweetness upfront, the maple syrup really enhances that, and it blends and mellows well with the bourbon smell, the charred, roasty, toasty, oak and dark malt combinations, also bringing out a bit of vanilla, and the coffee is in there too, almost getting lost in the incredible mix of smells. A really great smelling beer. The taste, to but it briefly is incredible. This is one of those beers that you hear so much about, you just can't believe that it's true, I actually wanted to like this less than I did. It starts out creamy and chocolatey, the sweetness, combined with the roasty flavors, make it like drinking a coffee and chocolate milkshake, but it's not cloyingly sweet - which may be in part thanks to the oaky-bourbony taste. The syrup isn't necessarily easily picked out, but this is definitely reminiscent of syrup, even so much to make me crave pancakes as a start to dig into it. The vanilla of the barrel really comes out in the taste as well, and I still can't say enough about the rich creaminess, jsut balanced perfectly with the dark roastiness. I mean, it's possibly one of the smoothest (I know that word is a bit lame, thanks the AB) beers I've ever tasted. Just perfect mouthfeel, moderate carbonation, to let you know it's there, but not slow you down any. The drinkability is great, though it's a heavy hitter. I mean, I could barely stop drinking to take notes, but the ABV caught up with me by the end, making the last few sips a little slow, but I really, really loved this beer. (1,855 characters)

Photo of portia99
4.67/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Hand bottle received in trade with ucusty. Thanks...really appreciate getting this one! Poured into a Portsmouth goblet.

A - Bottle opens with a nice solid burst of carbonation...definitely a good sign to get things started. Pours with a thick, oil-like consistency, almost totally opaque in the glass, just the slightest of brown around the edge when held to a moderately bright light. A half finger of cappuccino foam rises on top and sits for a short time, slowly falling to the surface and leaving a thick collar where it meets the glass.

S - Really deep and roasty with some nice dark fruit aspects...good amounts of coffee and bittersweet chocolate. Struggling a bit to find the maple syrup...I know it's gotta be there, but it's not hitting me in the face (must retract this...as it warms the maple really starts to come out). Maybe even a touch of bourbon and some vanilla in there too. Excellent.

T - Really smooth flavors and lots of them. I'm struck first by the large presence of vanilla - almost like melted vanilla ice cream - smooth and sweet. Also picking up quite a bit of woody oak flavors here too. The barrels have worked some magic on this one. Actually quite a bit of bitterness overall too - good hop presence without much flavor added to it - just bitterness. This blends nicely with the dark roasted malt and serious coffee flavors found here. Maple syrup - not sure, without some advance knowledge I'd identify this as maple syrup, but knowing what I know I can definitely find the maple here. It takes form of a complementary sweetness that combines with the vanilla exceptionally well. Sit these on top of a nice bitter base and we have ourselves one excellent stout.

M - The flavor is excellent, but the mouthfeel is really a standout feature of this stout. It is so silky and creamy feeling - feels like I'm drinking heavy cream. Thick and oily -slick on the tongue. Being a hand bottle, not sure about how the carbonation was intended to present itself, but it fits quite nicely for me. Carbonation is on the low side, but definitely not flat...has just enough life to tingle the tongue gently and caress it as the beer floats down the throat. Any more carbonation and I'd be afraid of it being a bit distracting. I've had a couple of beers recently with amazing mouthfeel...this takes a new 2nd place behind the BA Blackout which was amazing.

D - Alcohol really doesn't make itself known very well. There are so many wonderful sweet and desert-like flavors swimming around in this stout, the alcohol might be consumed among them. This really is a fabulous beer...if anything, I feel like it's missing a bit of the maple I remember (but maybe I'm romanticizing my first experience with this beer), but it hardly matters. Excellent American imperial stout...highly recommend doing whatever it takes to try this beer...hope Founders finds it within themselves to bottle this as some sort of regular seasonal offering. (2,951 characters)

Photo of bret27
4.72/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Counter pressured bottle courtesy of ucusty.

Notes are scant, so I'll just bang out the highlights. Jet black stout w/creamy head. Smell is phenomenal with vanilla, maple, booze, wood all pouring out. Taste is shockingly good. Especially when tasted alongside KBS and FBS. The other bottles actually cowered and ran off in the Canadian's presence. We've got maple syrup, serious sweetness including vanilla and chocolate perfectly balanced w/roast and some slight bourbon/oaky character. Mouth is thick w/the sweetness making it a true breakfast-worthy beer. Highly recommend. Lived up to the hype for me and then some. (620 characters)

Founders CBS Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 917 ratings.