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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.

937 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 937
Hads: 3,942
Avg: 4.62
pDev: 18.4%
Wants: 4,017
Gots: 725 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 937 | Hads: 3,942
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!

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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!

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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!!

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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!

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.)

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of pat61
5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had on tap at the Bryant lake Bowl
A: rich black opaque, thick creamy sticky tan foam collar that graps the side of the glass leaving thick lace.
S: Coffee, chocolate, spice and fruit.
T: Rich coffee with a dark chocolate aftertaste, dark dried fruit in the middle, spice, oily up front and dry and grainy on the finish
F: Chewy, creamy, medium to medium low carbonation. The texture is infused with very fine bubbles.
O: Very lucky to have this on tap without having to fly to Grand Rapids.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.76/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

On tap, the beer is jet black and thick, with a thin, tan head. Aromas of rich cocoa nibs, coffee, vanilla, hints of maple, woody highlights, and a bourbon undertone. Flavors are rich and sweet forward, with bittersweet chocolate blending perfectly with vanilla and maple. Wow! Backbone of subtle coffee, hints of bourbon, and a building warmth. The body is smooth, creamy, and velvety smooth. There is a candy sweet aftertaste of chocolate, maple, and vanilla. It's like an awesome piece of candy. The finish is amazingly smooth, with a subtle roasted coffee and maple linger. This is an amazing beer!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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Founders CBS Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 937 ratings.