Founders CBS Imperial Stout - Founders Brewing Company

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Founders CBS Imperial StoutFounders CBS Imperial Stout

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905 Reviews
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Reviews: 905
Hads: 3,721
rAvg: 4.62
pDev: 7.36%
Wants: 3,793
Gots: 682 | FT: 14
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: 905 | Hads: 3,721
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)

Photo of themind
4.94/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A beer that finally lives up to the hype. Had this on tap, along with 2013 and 2014 KBS. This beer smashed both of them. The flavors were very distinct and pungent. Overall, this is an amazing beer that I would love to have any time, any where.

Bottom Line: Amazing!!!! (270 characters)

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

On tap @ Cooper's in Scranton, PA. Keg kicked in a little over an hour I'm told. Came out cold with a beautiful head, pitch black. This beer is most certainly not meant to be drank cold, so I took a few reference sips and let it warm. When warmed, this is one of the best beers I have ever had. Oak, chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, and a touch of maple sweetness. So glad I was able to have this, it is, in my opinion, the perfect BA stout. (452 characters)

Photo of cjgiant
4.78/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap:
Look is nice and dark, head a lighter tan. The head is kind of sparse, but does last at the edges throughout the pour. Nose of bourbon barrel with a hint of sweetness. I also get a light smokiness, it seems to me.

Taste starts sweet, maybe the maple influence; if not it's a dark sugar-like sweetness. The next taste I get it sorta bourbon-and-coke. At this point the beer is a tad colder than ideal, I think (review is on 2nd pour). As the beer warms the woodiness comes out a bit more (also in the nose). Also the bitter roasted coffee notes come out (in place of cola) with warmth. The bitterness against the opening sweetness is a slight bit heavy, to me.

Feel and body are pretty full, with a little alcohol heat and minimal carbonation. The feel mellows a tad as the beer warms, smoothing out the edges.

A very solid, top notch beer. It's really a debate for me where this belongs amongst the cream of the crop of my top beers. I don't think it overtakes them for overall enjoyment (see sweet front vs roasted bitter back), but it belongs in the group. (1,080 characters)

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

On tap at Founders 3/15 while picking up my KBS. Exceptional BA stout. Didn't pick up much maple in the barrel aging but otherwise this was fantastic in all aspects that one would rate a barrel-aged stout.
This struck me as a bit of an "amped-up KBS" which, I guess it is! Just delicious and highly recommended if you can find it. (330 characters)

Photo of WolfsbaneBloom
3.85/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pretty one dimensional maple syrup flavor. Body is thin. No real barrel presence (aside from the maple syrup).
Not bad but an incredibly overrated beer. (152 characters)

Photo of boredalready
4.79/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Yeah, as good as advertised. On draft in Vermont after a successful day at Hill Farmstead. I think as far as stouts with maple syrup go, I still prefer Beyond Good and Evil by a nose. Chalk that up to being a HF homer. Still, I was pleased to have this on draft. (262 characters)

Photo of Stevedore
4.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

On tap at Oasis. Served in a pint glass. And a second one. Beer #1100!

A- Dark black body. Like black coffee, but noticeably viscous. One finger mocha head with nice retention. No lacing. Eventually the head dies down after maybe ten minutes into a thin collar.

S- Glorious chocolate aromas come out. Milk chocolate, rich roasty coffee and some whiskey and oak. There is a fair bit of maple in the nose as well, but it's not maple soaked pancakes if that makes sense. Some maple but not a ton, the star is coffee and chocolate with a nice light bourbon aroma.

F- Plenty of coffee; rich roasted coffee bean and even more milk chocolate, like Lindt's. The latter half of the beer brings a nice complex combination of maple and bourbon. More maple than bourbon really, some oak. Very nice sweet finish that is slick and coating, like actual maple syrup; there is more maple syrup in the taste than in the nose but again, it is not overpowering. It is complementary to the other flavours in this beer. Overall wonderful chocolate maple syrup flavours that play together very well.

M- Thick bodied, substantial and oily on the palate. It's like I went Supertroopers and pounded some maple syrup. It coats the tongue in nice chocolate-forward maple syrup sweetness that is cut by bitter roasted coffee. Wow.

O- This lived up to the hype for me. Delicious stout that isn't actually maple heavy, but it feels maple heavy on the finish with a ton of chocolate and coffee. Altogether, this is a very different beer than Good Morning or Mornin' Delight but I honestly think these are very different beers (coffee, chocolate and aged in maple bourbon barrels vs coffee and added maple syrup) and I haven't had anything quite like this before. Worthwhile and would definitely go out of my way to drink this again. (1,807 characters)

Founders CBS Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 905 ratings.