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Founders CBS Imperial Stout - Founders Brewing Company

Founders CBS Imperial StoutFounders CBS Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,264 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2264
Reviews: 752
rAvg: 4.66
pDev: 10.09%

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:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: CRJMellor on 02-01-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,264 | Reviews: 752 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of corby112


4.47/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at Capones

Pours a oily complately opaque black color with a .5 finger chocolate coffee colored tan foam head that slowly dissipates into a thin ring and cap that lasts throughout. Very minimal splotches of lacing.

The maple is pretty prominent in the aroma balancing out the strong bourbon alcohol presence of the KBS. There is a nice roasted coffee presence that's accompanied by some chocolate malt, toffee, burnt toast, caramel and a healthy dose of bourbon.

The mouthfeel of this beer is silky smooth due to the additional aging in the maple barrels. The high ABV is extremely well masked even with the strong bourbon presence. All of the other roasty and malty flavors are balanced out by this sweet honey, molasses-like syrupy texture. This beers is ridiculously quaffable considering all that's going on and the high alcohol content.

As mentioned above, there are a lot of complex flavors going on here. Nice big roasty coffee presence, chocolate, chocolate malt, toffee, oatmeal, burnt toast and a very nice bourbon presence all wonderfully balanced by the sweet maple syrup flavor coming from the additional aging.

I could drink this beer all day and I'm looking forward to trying it again soon.

Serving type: on-tap

08-28-2009 19:30:12 | More by corby112
Photo of stakem


4.35/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well...hello there old friend. It has been awhile. Poured this time from a bottle into a snifter. The brew appears black in color with a brown head that is more than a finger strong. A full wall of webby lacing sticks to the glass. Faint brown clarity is seen through the edges.

The smell is sweet with chocolate, musty coffee, and a dark sweetness of molasses. Very pleasant and roasty with a well rounded character all about it. My only gripe is the coffee scent inclusion does not offer up and brightness or freshness. Instead it is a bit dull and earthy with that stale mustiness of left over coffee quality.

The taste is super pleasant with a smooth, sweet chocolate flavor. Notes of cocoa blend into roasted coffee, molasses sweetness and a hint of fruity alcohol. This brew is modestly bitter and roasty but very well balanced with all the flavor contributions perfectly blending together and not clashing or fighting for attention at all.

This is a medium bodied brew with a smooth feel that is modestly carbonated. Awesome arrangement of flavor. This is super easy drinking, I would have it regularly if that was possible. I would of had zero issues killing the entire bottle and looking for more.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2012 19:22:18 | More by stakem
Photo of Kegatron


4.83/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap @ Founders Brewing Company on 4/23/09. 8 oz pour served in a snifter.

Pours black as an oil slick with a 1/2 finger of frothy burnt mocha colored head that spreads out across the surface. This just flares up beautifully when swirled, leaving a rich cascade of foam and brown oily residues back. Awesome! The delicious smelling stickiness of the maple syrup is the first thing that sticks in the nose but I'm also quite surprised by how much of the fresh smelling coffee and chocolate character of the regular Breakfast Stout is coming through as well. The mix of these two elements just smells fantastic! Digging at bit deeper in the nose, I'm also picking up some light barrel notes of wood and vanilla underneath, that give the nose even a touch more depth.

The taste quite frankly, is delicious. Crunchy roasted coffee character and a deep undercurrent of chewy chocolate malts, wrapped up in that same slickly sweet (and a touch boozy) taste of maple syrup notes. Really nice balance here with the flavors just intermingling effortlessly. Finishes very sweet with notes of syrup and chocolate just COATING the palate at times. The mouthfeel is full bodied with a huge mouth filling nature that is both creamy and slick at the same time and a feel that just slathers the mouth with flavors. Overall this just flows so easily in the mouth, with the ABV being dangerously hidden. Fantastic.

Wow. Now this is a Breakfast Stout! Not only do you get coffee but now you also get maple syrup covered chocolate chip pancakes! Seriously, this stuff was just damn tasty, easy as hell to drink for the size, and honestly, I think that I prefer this to the KBS. More please!

Serving type: on-tap

04-28-2009 12:11:54 | More by Kegatron
Photo of weeare138


4.45/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appears an opaque black with a small tan head that slowly fades into a mild cap. Scattered spots of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of oak, toffee, caramel, cocoa, & mild booze.
Taste echoes the aromas with more of a meat flavor with a touch of booze & coffee notes.
Mouthfeel is smooth, velvetty, warming, n chewy.

Serving type: on-tap

07-15-2009 18:22:13 | More by weeare138
Photo of johnmichaelsen


4.33/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer was sampled after the 2007 through 2011 vertical Abyss and BA Hunahpu tasting at the finewinemike event, and I have to wonder if the CBS suffered by comparison. Especially after the BA Hunahpu, this beer really did not seem to show all that well (at least not as well as I was expecting).

The beer pours a blackish brown color with good head retention and lacing. On the nose, I get a considerable aroma of coffee grounds and light maple syrup, with some underlying citrus (surprisingly, I thought) and vainilla as well. While attractive, my recollection is that I thought this beer considerably more impressive on tap. On the palate, this beer is much better, as I picked up some chocolate, a hint of mint and light tobacco, in addition to the coffee ground flavor and vanilla. While the beer is at least moderately sweet, there's some bitterness on the finish that helps to counter that sweetness. Mouthfeel was medium bodied, and frankly, I thought the bottled version came across as just a bit thin on the palate. The beer finishes well, with some noticeable coffee, dark chocolate and light licorice.

The bottled version seemed a bit more complex to me than the draft version did, and I'm wondering if this beer wouldn't benefit from a bit of short term aging. This is a fine beer, no doubt, but it really didn't show as well as I was expecting during the tasting at finewinemike's.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2011 13:26:03 | More by johnmichaelsen
Photo of Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

4.47/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Founders. Had this at the EBF and DLD, but never ended up reviewing it. 12 oz glass.

Pours a dark and opaque brown/black, some dark reddish highlights in the edges, thin brown head forms, quickly settles to a thin collar, some lace spots stick. Smell is real nice, coffee and chocolate, maple/caramel sweetness, lightly woody, alcohol, dark fruit, very intense roast, touch of vanilla, very nice. Taste is similar, maple and caramel up front, nice rich sweetness, some brown sugar, buttery smooth middle, wood, molasses, chocolate, very intense roast and butterscotchy finish, touch of vanilla as well, real nice. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with low carbonation, some warmth going down, quite smooth. Had an "accidental" snifter of KBS before this because the server heard us wrong, oh no! CBS is smoother, not as roasty, but still pretty damn good. Nice stuff!

Serving type: on-tap

06-15-2009 16:51:22 | More by Viggo
Photo of Beerandraiderfan


4.78/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Very dark brown and black pour, pretty impressive head on it, given all the adjuncts/barrel usage, tends to leave a beer without much if any head/carbonation, but that's not the situation here.

Nice mild maple aroma, had just had koufax21's similar homebrew, that was very in your face (in a good way) with the maple and coffee, this one was excellent in its milder maple announcement to the nose, and the coffee was merely complimentary at best, but more akin to a lurker in the background.

Taste, very solid. Take Founders awesome imperial stout, throw it in some cool ass maple and bourbon barrels, add some coffee I guess. For me, the coffee was really the only part of the beer I couldn't describe as perfect/near perfect really. Some nice added complexity from the caramel and vanilla undercurrent. The mouthfeel gets big nods for staying somewhat dry, yet so rich and full of flavor. Chocolate pretty helpful with its own delightful dark smooth addition, but also with eating up any alcohol on the taste buds.

So ultimately an excellent beer, . . . but . . . is it better than Lawson's Maple Barrel? I don't think so. Unfortunately, I 'only' got to have 4-5oz of Lawson's, whereas I'll be drinking these for years to come, so its something I can kind of half assed revisit in terms of comparison. Plus, I have a bunch of real good homebrews that taste eerily similar to this beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2012 14:52:12 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of Stinkypuss


4.68/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Founders CBS

Pours a dark tar black with a small short
livid head. Aroma of coffee, booze, syrup and chocolate. In the taste, aggressive bourbon, roast, coffee, oak and a pronounced alcohol burn. The stout qualities are there, with a black roast flavor and boozey barrel notes. At the end of the sip there is a sugary residual sweetness due to the maple syrup, along with an astringent bitterness from the hops, coffee and bourbon. Mouthfeel is full bodied and well carbonated. Overall, a treat of a beer and worth seeking. Enjoyed at Fat Heads Brewers Brunch 2011.

Serving type: on-tap

09-12-2011 00:26:57 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of glid02


4.55/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours black with a half-finger light brown head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of large amounts of roasted malt, dark chocolate, and coffee. Lurking in the background are hints of sweet maple and vanilla.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Smooth roasted malt and coffee flavors kick things off. Shortly thereafter the coffee fades a bit, allowing room for semi-sweet chocolate and good amounts of vanilla. Midway through the sip hints of maple syrup work their way into things before fading out into a moderately bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is great, as is the mouthfeel for all iterations of FBS - a great thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have a few more.

Overall I was a big fan of this beer but I have to say that I enjoyed KBS more. If I had to choose I would go with KBS, CBS, and FBS. The coffee flavors are more muted in both KBS and CBS however the bourbon flavors that I love are obviously more pronounced in KBS. Whichever you choose you can't go wrong.

Serving type: on-tap

07-28-2010 01:05:25 | More by glid02
Photo of Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

4.72/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On draft today at Churchkey in D.C. Served in a 10 oz. snifter.

Very near black appearance with a 1/4" dark beige head. Upon swirling the head gets bigger (oh my...), and leaves some generous lacing on the glass.

Aromas of roasted malt, bourbon.

T: Really fabulous stuff. The maple syrup element comes through more prominently in the taste than it does in the aroma. I believe this may be slightly better than KBS (I may or may not have had a KBS near me), but they are both top-notch beers, in my opinion. CBS and KBS are also very similar beers, for the most part. The melding of the barrel and roasted malt flavors is impeccable.

M: Really smooth up front and quaffable...Bang! There's some nice alcohol heat in the finish for you.

D: Fantastic beer and worthy of hype. I hope to enjoy this again, maybe even in bottles? Highly recommended.

Serving type: on-tap

08-10-2010 02:21:07 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of Slatetank


4.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I arrived at Capone's with my brother at approximately 10:15 a couple people back in line after akorsak (review below). They had beers poured and ready for tasting when we sat down anticipating the demand - kudos Capone's. I am very glad I got to try this great beer again. Here goes 888.

Served chilled in a small snifter.

A - Ebony, opaque like an 8ball with 1/2 inch of almond capping. The bubbles appear thick and the bead is averages, with generally good lacing

S - The smell is like music to my nose - chocolate covered coffee beans, maple, bourbon soaked stone fruit and vanilla. The nose is so complex with mild caramel and nuts w/ mild alcohol accent from the bourbon. The cocoa presence and complimentary maple and bourbon really drive the aroma

M - Viscous without being syrupy or cloying w/ sweetness in the texture a mild alcohol up front. The roasted feel takes a backseat and some fruity, sappy textures propel the middle toward coffee-like roasty notes w/ bitter residual feel w/ mild woody astringency

T - Creamy smooth roasted coffee and maple synergy leads into a fine bourbon back w/ vanilla and maple flavors that mingle. As I paused to let the liquid sit in my mouth the roasted elements of cocoa and coffee settle and the character becomes mildly tannic w/ acidity of coffee and the creamy oaky vanilla taste saturates the sweet maltiness. The finish is very bourbon influenced with a mild hop accent

D - Not as maple as I expected but just as KBS masterfully blends all of the elements together-so is the case w/ CBS, a delight. The stout is well layered and complex enough to savor for a length of time as the combination of maple and stout are so complimentary, magic for the taste buds.

Serving type: on-tap

08-16-2009 17:11:23 | More by Slatetank
Photo of JohnGalt1


4.15/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hand-bottle (gonna call this a growler) brought over at Friday night's tasting by Ditmier... huge thanks Eric... Poured into my small La Trappe glass.

Expected black beer... no light even when held to the bright kitchen overhead... dark tan head doesn't stick around ... descent cap.

Aroma is chocolate and coffee.. no real "maple syrup" and no vanilla... the "wood" aspect of it does remind me of the smell of maple wood... I know that sounds weird it is what it is.

Flavor has a great blast of roasty chocolate, but not as much coffee as I was expecting... much more vanilla than the nose... The above "maple wood" aroma is more pronounced than the nose... The body is pretty hefty with still a nice smooth carbonation that helps make this a very nice sipper.

Edit: I figured I had better describe the "maple wood" sensations I mentioned above... I can only make sense of it when I describe it to the Sonoran 100... that brew was filtered slowly through maple chips... The wood adds a unique sweetness that doesn't have the astringency/tannic notes associated with some wood aged beers.

I really wanted to like this one more, but it just seemed pretty one dimensional to me.

Thanks again Eric for going out of your way to bring this beer to Boise.... truly appreciated.... You're a good BA. :-)

Serving type: growler

09-14-2009 06:09:05 | More by JohnGalt1
Photo of smakawhat


4.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Well, thanks to you (you know who you are), and on a lark I miraculously scored ONE bottle. Coddled and revered with care, poured into a large snifter glass at a good cellar temperature to review. (many comparisons will be made in terms of this vs. on tap).

Appearance is just a flat out knockout mostly because of head formation. A creamy coffee light brown and caramel, small bubbled consistency and forms so nicely. The head has a spectacular character that I have not witnessed before, and pulls the beer over the top in appearance. While holding like a solid stout, in the corner ring collar there is a sheen like film, not gross looking, but like a small soup like skin, that glosses over the edges. The corners of this head with it's hint of legs, and nice leopard lacing, show an edge of just shining polished glass. Just unreal, never seen anything like it. Body color is your standard walnut black/brown, some noticeable carbonation while tilting the glass.

Nose, in comparison on tap, less sweet and way more balanced and enjoyable. Still incredibly roasty and coffee dominant, but a light soft milk sensation and slight sweet cream. Soft notes continue but there is just a faint bit of heat here.

Taste brings a wonderful balance. Coffee dominant but still with a light brown sugar that doesn't overpower. Texture velvety as ever, but palate then gets on the finish miraculously the one thing I have been waiting for in a stout bourbon used barrel. A hint of whiskey. Whiskey angle is not distinct, but there, a slight sense but not so much. Bitterness comes after some warming, mixes with slight boozy spirit whisk(e)y and gives off tobacco just a slight touch. Chocolate, vanilla angles still not quite there, but others I gave it too certainly picked up on chocolate.

Overall, less of a one trick pony out of the bottle, but still coffee dominant and forward but the hint of whisk(e)y just pushes it over the edge, tastes are balanced, varied, highly exploratory, and it's far less sweet which makes it much more tolerable and enjoyable for myself. Just pure magic. I can't say anymore, I drank it all with ease, it was so easy to drink on top of it.

Nothing more needs to be said than has already been.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2011 04:12:15 | More by smakawhat
Photo of Georgiabeer


4.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Love this beer. One of the main reasons is that it is just so seamlessly integrated- no one flavor dominates, each element of the taste is smell seamlessly flows into the next and plays well together. The pour is black, with a thin head and lacing. Nothing special there, but nice enough. The aroma, however is lovely. Nuanced notes of vanilla, Bourbon, chocolate, and a finish of Maple syrup. Each aroma is noticeable, but it makes a whole greater than a sum of its parts. Sweet, yes, but also complex. The taste is equally enchanting. What strikes me most again, is that each flavor is layered with the others to make a delicious whole. This time, it starts off with a bourbon and maple hit, with the bourbon flavor growing and sharpening into the long finish. The last note you experience is a nice chocolate note that picks up where the bourbon leaves off. Silky smooth, this beer just disappears, only the complex flavors make you linger to contemplate. An exemplary beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2012 00:02:18 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of HopHead84


4/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consumed on 08/26/2009 and poured into a snifter. I have a benevolent ghost from the east to thank for this. The beer is ebony with a small light brown head. Scattered lacing clings to my Darkness glass when the head recedes.

The aroma is immediately black coffee, roasted malt, and dark chocolate. Molasses is strong, and some vanilla is noticeable. Maple becomes evident as the beer warms, but it's not as strong as I was expecting. The coffee and roasted character seem to overshadow the maple in the nose. Other aromas are of oak and alcohol.

The flavor opens up with...well, black coffee. The coffee is fine, but wasn't maple supposed to be a big part of this beer? Isn't KBS a coffee beer? What about the maple?! Black strap molasses is present, as well as a strong roasted malt character. Dark chocolate is evident, and though the maple isn't strong it's more potent here than it was in the aroma, imparting a subtle sugary sweetness. The finish is dry and of bitter roasted coffee.

The beer is full bodied with low carbonation and a full, viscous, and sticky mouthfeel. This is a good beer, but I was expecting more maple character considering its purported presence. I believe regular Breakfast Stout to be superior.

Serving type: growler

08-27-2009 02:39:25 | More by HopHead84
Photo of mothman

United Kingdom (Wales)

4.5/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Busters on 28th for the Beer and Breakfast event.

Poured into a 5 oz tasting glass.

Color is a dark brown/nearly black. Tan head. Very little head of course, but great lace. Very nice.

Aroma: Chocolate coffee, toffee, maple, a little alcohol, earthy hops. A little lighter aroma than Darkness, but still amazing because of the coffee notes here.

Taste: Chocolate, a lot of coffee, a little vanilla here, maple, some alcohol. A lot of roasted malts. Toffee. The taste is just like the smell.

Mouthfeel: Rich, creamy, and thick. Full bodied. Good carbonation. Ends with a chocolaty coffee aftertaste. Slightly dry.

Drinkability: only a 5 oz pour but I really tried to make it last long, but it didn't. Great easy drinking stout. I would want to drink a lot more of this if it wasn't so expensive.

Serving type: on-tap

06-06-2009 23:36:36 | More by mothman
Photo of dirtylou


4.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

on-tap, brouwers, from notes

appearance: short pour in an unbranded snifter during "big wood" - dark mahogany body, little head - mild carbonation

smell: fresh roasted coffee, maple, roasted malt, vanilla, bourbon, rich caramel

taste: i've had this before but only a handful of times and never in a really personal setting - damn tasty, but i still think i'm content with 4 KBS bottles for the same price. Founders definitely crafted this well - extremely well balanced - maple, coffee, chocolate, vanilla and bourbon. i told myself i would pass on this, but then i got to brouwers and couldnt resist. Damn you hypetrain.

mouthfeel: great, perfect really. balanced, full bodied, rich and creamy

overall: sigh, lovely

Serving type: on-tap

12-10-2011 06:58:31 | More by dirtylou
Photo of thagr81us

South Carolina

4.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served from tap into a goblet at the Founders event at Duckworth's. Poured pitch black with a minimal tan head. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of roasted malt, smoke, wood, molasses, and slight alcohol. The flavor was comprised of sweet malt, roasted malt, coffee, alcohol, and a smokey note on the followthrough. It had a heavy creamy feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this beer blew me away. This might be one of the better Imperial Stouts I've had to date. I loved how the mouthfeel on this one was both heavy and creamy at the same time making is scarely drinkable. This brew had an awesomely well balanced flavor and nice aroma to boot. Seriously, what else could you want in a beer? This is a must try if you have never had it before and if you have and are like me, you want MORE!

Serving type: on-tap

11-15-2010 12:50:59 | More by thagr81us
Photo of OWSLEY069


4.93/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours jet black with a small light tan head. In the aroma, maple syrup, bourbon, and a nice roast. In the taste, oak, dry bourbon, maple syrup, coffee, and a small alcohol presence. A smooth and big bodied mouthfeel, with a dry sticky bourbon in the aftertaste. WOW, is all I can say!

Serving type: on-tap

09-14-2011 14:41:51 | More by OWSLEY069
Photo of largadeer


4.88/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

64 oz growler received in a trade with HopFu. The first one leaked in transit, but Austin was awesome enough to send a replacement. While it was still decent when flat and slightly oxidized, the second growler was phenomenal. This was enjoyed side-by-side with Kentucky Breakfast Stout and regular Breakfast Stout.

CBS appears pitch black in the glass, completely opaque, viscous and oily, with two fingers of nearly black head that retains well, though it leaves no lace as it settles.

The nose is dominated by dark roasted coffee upon first smell. As it warms the maple begins to reveal itself, subtle at first but stronger as the beer reaches room temperature. Dark chocolate, roasted malt and the slightest hint of alcohol are present beneath the coffee and maple goodness. While I wouldn't say this is one of the most complex stouts I've smelled, it's easily one of the best.

The taste is bittersweet up front, a beautifully expressed maple syrup flavor lending sweetness and contrasting the dark roasted coffee. Roasted malt provides a nice bitter backbone, and the sheer viscosity is impressive. KBS and BS seemed thin in contrast. The coffee flavor begins to take over mid-palate, leading into a bitter, semi-dry finish. As rich and sweet as this is, it never gets cloying, and this is coming from someone that doesn't like most sweet beer. Phenomenal stuff, I'm hugely disappointed that there are no plans to rebrew it. This beer is light years ahead of KBS.

Serving type: growler

09-20-2009 04:12:15 | More by largadeer
Photo of BeerFMAndy


4.6/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

04-18-2010 22:57:03 | More by BeerFMAndy
Photo of bluejacket74


4.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750 ml bottle. Served in a DFH snifter, the brew pours dark brown/black with about an inch light brown head. The head stays around a little while, and there's a good amount of lacing left behind on the glass. The aroma is wonderful, it smells like chocolate, coffee, maple, roasted and charred/burnt malt, vanilla and bourbon. The taste is pretty much just like the aroma, but with the chocolate, coffee, maple and roasted/burnt malt flavors starting out the strongest, and the bourbon/vanilla flavors getting stronger as the beer warms up more. Mouthfeel/body is full, it's rich, creamy and coating, with a moderate amount of carbonation. It's very easy and enjoyable to drink. I think it's an excellent overall brew, it's easily in my Top 10 favorite beers. I'm just glad I was lucky enough to get a bottle of this, it really is a great beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2011 22:06:11 | More by bluejacket74
Photo of DefenCorps


4.72/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap yesterday at Teresa's Next Door. WTF is this beer doing in the top 10?

A: Jet black with a dark brown head with excellent retention, it hangs around until after I'm done drinking this! Plenty of lace.

S: Plenty of coffee with a rich maple syrup sweetness. Rich and decadent with dark chocolate, and mild vanilla. I really like the fact that the maple character is an accent, instead of a driving flavor. Excellent stuff. While having no semblance of balance, this is still pretty great on the nose.

T: Opens bitter with coffee followed by sweet maple syrup before a dark chocolate bittersweet character comes through. Rich and tasty with the combination of chocolate, coffee and maple being good. Bittersweet on the finish with (more ) maple and chocolate. As it warms up, the maple character grows, and the beer becomes a little less enjoyable

M: The m/f is excellent. Creamy, full bodied and mildly carbonated, this beer is quite great on the palate. The finish is pretty good, but as the beer warms up and maple character grows, it does drop off.

D: I did enjoy one glass of this, but was physically incapable of drinking more. Not because it was a bad beer or cloying, but the combination of a warm bar, plenty of other good beers, and a good brunch curbed my urge for another glass.

Edit 23 Oct 2009:
I drank this again last night at the Church Key opening and found it to be quite hugely different. The coffee was lower in the mix, with an absolutely stellar blend of maple syrup, coffee, chocolate and bourbon. Exceptionally balanced, this is noted on the palate too. The finish is an excellent contrast between a coffee bitterness (and almost an espresso-like tartness) with the maple and bourbon. I drank about 5 glasses of this, truly wonderful stuff. S,T,D+0.5,+0.5,+1

Serving type: on-tap

08-24-2009 15:14:31 | More by DefenCorps
Photo of gford217


4.83/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle. I've had this numerous times on tap at the Brick Store, but might as well post a review for the bottled version.

Pours pitch black in the glass with an enormous mocha head, at least 3 inches thick, and leaves fantastic lacing.

Aroma is excellent with a combination of roasted coffee beans, cocoa and molasses. The bourbon is more subtle than KBS and I'm not sure if that's a positive or not. Nonetheless, intense aroma.

Taste is exceptional, just as I remember on tap and from growler. It's a bigger, more robust version of the aroma. There is plenty of coffee beans and heavily roasted malts with a thick, syrupy sweet finish with a bit of whiskey burn. Throw in some chocolate and vanilla and it's a wonderfully big flavor.

The mouthfeel is on the fuller side of things, very creamy with soft carbonation.

KBS is one of my top 5 beers ever probably, so I'm not sure if this is quite that sublime, but it's close. Fantastic stuff.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2011 03:10:21 | More by gford217
Photo of jrallen34


4.03/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I drank this on tap into a snifter.

CBS pours a very dark black with no brown in the light with a very nice mocha colored head. The head is about a finger and super thick but is gone quickly. Lacing is ok.

The aroma is light chocolate and oak with a little vanilla. I didn't get any syrup here.

The taste is very sweet, almost way to sweet and now i know where the maple was hiding. It is prominent here with some bourbon and a coffee finish.

The feel is nice but too sweet to be drinkable.

I was very excited to drink this and I like it better than the KBS but to me this is way overrated. There are so many better beers let alone better RIS that no way this is deserving of a top 10 ranking. The rarity really must bump it up.

Serving type: on-tap

12-07-2009 15:12:56 | More by jrallen34
Founders CBS Imperial Stout from Founders Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,264 ratings.