CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout)
Founders Brewing Company

CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout)CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout)
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American Imperial Stout
Ranked #8
Ranked #14
4.7 | pDev: 8.09%
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout)CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout)
Notes: 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.
Reviews: 1,549 | Ratings: 6,503 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of opieo
4.84/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

So complex, thick, rich, creamy, and all well balanced. A beautiful stout. The sweetness could be a tab less in my book but overall it is awesome. The flavors include vanilla, maple syrup, roasty beans. This is a great sippn brew.

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opieo from Virginia, May 20, 2020
Photo of Ohknows
4.5/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours black with a brown-ish head.

The flavor is a nice boozy, sweet , coffee flavor. I want to find this beer in draft. Thank you Founders Brewing Company for this beer. It’s awesome!

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Ohknows from Nevada, May 14, 2020
Photo of paltemose2303
4.89/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

10/01/2019 12 oz bottle poured into a tulip glass. Had this one by a bon fire with some smores

L: Dark caramel head with decent lacing on the glass. Head wasn't too persistent and died away fairly quickly.

S: Lots of coffee, bourbon, and chocolate. There is a lot of sweetness mixed in with the bourbon.

T: A lot going on in this beer. Packed with a sweet maple-y bourbon, coffee, and subtle bitter bakers chocolate flavors. Not very bitter and fairly sweet. The high alcohol is hidden but still provides a good bit of warming on the finished and balances out the sweetness from the coffee, bourbon and chocolate. I think the smores brought out out some of those sweet flavors a little more. Really well balanced with a good amount of bourbon heat unlike the KBS. Much prefer this one.

F: Thick. Like syrup. Leaves the mouth pretty sticky. Big creamy and heavy beer, but extremely enjoyable.

Much better than the KBS. One of the better Barrel-aged beers I've had recently. The only better one I can think of is Parabola from Firestone Walker. Great beer!

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Photo of WTBash
4.9/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Thick as heck. Rich as heck. I have it on special occasions. Jet black, smells of coffee, chocolate, and alcohol. Smoother than any 11&+ should be. Tastes of everything Dessert-- maple, coffee, chocolate, vanilla, etc. I consider it the gold standard of imperial stouts.

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WTBash from Virginia, May 13, 2020
Photo of BryanB
4.42/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I was pumped to drink this one. Has been on my list for a while now. So, going into it I had high expectations. That being said - I was a little disappointed. Don’t get me wrong - CBS is a great imperial stout. But not top 25 overall. I guess it’s all relative.

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Photo of just1cho
4.79/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

*Poured into a Teku glass at 50F from a 12oz bottle for review, enjoyed the rest in a nonic pint glass*

*Bottled at: 9/17/19*

*Drank at: 5/1/20*

The beer poured a pleasant cold brew brown with a mocha colored head. The head was razor thin with little to no retention. I'm not sure if half a year not refrigerated at Total Wine contributed to its lack of head. But regardless, I wasn't too impressed with the head, or lack thereof.

On the nose, I immediately got a big hit of chocolate--more specifically dark chocolate brownies. However, this was just on first smell. I eventually picked up a nice balance of bourbon, milk chocolate, some satisfying notes of brown sugar, molasses, vanilla, and a hint of an earthy hop aroma. Strangely, I also got the faintest hint of soy sauce--which was really odd.

The taste followed the nose in that I got a big hit of bourbon and chocolaty sweetness on the first sip. Then, the flavors developed into a nice balance of milk chocolate, maple syrup, and a mellow hoppy earthy bitterness. Towards the end, the aforementioned strong flavors faded out a bit into a mellow sweetness combining notes of maple syrup, chocolate, bourbon, and banana.

This felt like I was drinking straight up liquid chocolate with some bourbon character. Medium to full bodied, super smooth, velvety, and had a bit of a burn on the tongue from the bourbon barrel. There was very little carbonation, but I don't know if that was due to it being half a year old. Regardless, I loved the feel!

Overall, I loved this beer. Other than its lack of head or carbonation, and it's strange soy sauce aroma. Everything about this beer I absolutely loved! I'm definitely keeping a couple in my cellar and seeing how well these age.

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just1cho from California, May 04, 2020
Photo of TerryW
4.05/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Walnut black under a short-lived ed head, good lacing. Sweet, boozy, grainy nose. Appetizing. Syrupy mouthfeel, which is probably the least attractive Thu g about this brew, but with a bit of sparkle or bite to it. Tasty, but super sweet. Many delicious things bappening, cbocolate, vanilla, maple, coffee, malt. Interesting, but potentially overwhelming. Sippin' beer. Go slow.

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TerryW from Ontario (Canada), May 01, 2020
Photo of MackT
4.87/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A 12oz. Bottle, 2019 series, 11.3 %, 28 weeks since capped. A dark brown appearance with a mahogany tint. Nose is glorious, bourbon, chocolate, coffee, maple syrup comes through, your order may differ. Taste is magnifico, getting all of the aforementioned into a awesome blend. Mouthfeel is slightly sticky, coating in a pleasant manner.
To sum up, I never tried CBS before, due to what I considered it being a bit costly. But good stuff usually costs more. Like 2 Chains says, “ some times, you just got to treat yourself.” I’m certainly glad I took the leap, this is the ish!

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MackT from Florida, May 01, 2020
Photo of BJB13
4.68/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

12 ounce bottle poured into a nonic style pint glass.

Near black and absolutely opaque in the glass my pour is topped with two fingers of dense mocha brown foam leaving sticky lace. The head slowly settled but remained in some fashion for the duration of the glass, a thick ring at it's worst. The nose is robust and crowded with sweet delicious aromas. Cocoa, sweet boozy bourbon barrel, caramel and a bit of coffee to start. As it warmed I was also getting dark fruit and graham cracker. The taste is a sweet-tooth's delight, sticky sweet molasses, bourbon, chocolate roast, and toffee. With some char and underlying hop flavor a mild bitterness builds to the finish with a drawn out espresso and tangy dark fruit aftertaste. body-wise it is full, viscous and very smooth. The carbonation is low and despite the ABV is only mildly warming. Even though it is rich and filling I found myself drinking it a tad fast at first while it was still @ 50 degrees but this is definitely a sipper.

This beer certainly did not need my amateur review but it is easy to write about.

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BJB13 from Maryland, Apr 29, 2020
Photo of CTHomer
4.31/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: opaque; very dark brown in color; 1+ finger dark brown head that receded to a splotchy cap; nice lacing;

S: vanilla first, then coffee;

T: complex flavors; a balance between vanilla and chocolate through the middle; then maple gets added in; mild to moderate bitterness on the finish;

M: full bodied; moderate carbonation; dry finish;

O: a pleasure to drink;

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CTHomer from Connecticut, Apr 25, 2020
Photo of beerthulhu
4.89/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

-brewed with chocolate and coffee. Aged in Maple syrup Bourbon barrels.

A: Bready textured head is a dark saddle brown coloring at one half inch statue with a moderate rate of stability. Dark syrupy coffee exits the bottle on the pour, rich and viscose by sight, lovely, leaving a temporary thin milky covering atop.

S: Big thick chocolate malt richness is first to hit the nose, somewhere between a triple chocolate forest cake and Hersey syrup. Heavy molasses brings a sweetness, pancake syrup, along with hints of bacon highlights. Sweet fudge and a light watery bourbon touch combines with some buttery caramel sweetness to strike the perfect balance. A fresh roastiness of oily beans and smoked wood gentle linger in the background.

T: Flavor was thick and syrupy, roasted chocolate and oily coffee beans combine with the molasses to bring a knockout but balanced punch from the start. Roasty with some smoked wood and caramel there is some cocoa powder, bacon and bourbon all mixing well together. Vanilla caramel creamer and butterscotch hints that finish with a eloquent and smooth chocolate cofffee roastness that is exceptionally smooth and delightful. Hints of silky ash and bitterness bring delight as well.

M: Thick and syrupy mouthful does not disappoint with a smooth and creamy fullness and feel. Roasty ash and bourbon warmth.

O: Overall a perfect balance and sweetness hides this monster abv% into a session like drinking experience. So smooth and eloquent, a perfect flavor and drink-ability that seems like a steal at $7 for a 12oz. What I wouldn't do for a sixtel.

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beerthulhu from New Jersey, Apr 25, 2020
Photo of Cory_Cameron
4.98/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This is my favorite stout. Founders did great work. When I was first able to taste it I was surprised my head didn't explode after all of the hype surrounding it. Turns out it is just beer, great beer, but beer nonetheless. It doesn't punch you in the face like KBS. The additional ageing and maple balances it right out. perfect desert beer for me.

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Photo of Patrick2012
4.84/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Just a top notch stout plain and simple. I was drinking a bunch of good beer the day I first tasted it. It was the best hands down. The carbonation doesnt even show because the smooth caramel texture covers. I watched my buddy get goosebumps from his first sip. Enough said.

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Patrick2012 from California, Apr 22, 2020
Photo of UWDAWG
4.97/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a snifter.

Look- Jet black, light brown frothy head, average head retention, above average lacing.

Smell- Coffee, maple syrup, chocolate, vanilla, bourbon.

Taste- Starts slightly sweet with maple syrup and chocolate flavors, transitioning to a coffee flavor with a bourbon finish. Very complex and outstanding balance.

Feel- Full body, average carbonation, sticky bourbon finish, warms mouth, very smooth.

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UWDAWG from Washington, Apr 22, 2020
Photo of BadBob18
4.69/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Summary: This beer is the "go-to" bourbon barrel-aged stout for me.
A: Pours black. You cannot see through it (and I tried).
S: Bourbon is here. Boozy and a little sweet, for sure.
T: Maple, chocolate, beer ice cream. This is a "tasty" dessert. My wife hates it, but my poker buddies love it!
M: The high alcohol-content certainly heats up your mouth a bit. Creamy, heavy, smoky, and sweet.
O: I live in Michigan. Since Founder's "lives" here, this is the most accessible bourbon barrel-aged stout in my area. Highly accessible, and not over-priced. Founders has done an excellent job at scaling their operation to put more beer out, while still maintaining excellent quality (especially in the bourbon barrel-aged stout arena).

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BadBob18 from Michigan, Apr 21, 2020
Photo of jimmybram
4.58/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2018 release drank on 4/19/20 in a tulip.

A: Chocolate brown but not viscous or overly opaque. Serious milky carbonation.
S: Tons of espresso bean on the nose with a decadent cocoa. Can smell bitter sweetness of this beer.
T: Mouthwateringly good. Expressive chocolate and espresso on the palette with hints of cloves and nutmeg. Overall, very sweet with a bitter finish. The maple does a nice job of mellowing the other flavors. Aging actually softened this beer a little which is nice. Like a chocolate chip pancake in a beer but not so sweet or dense that you want to stop sipping (like a pastry stout).
M: Like a buttered rum. Smooth, silky and not too thick.
O: Just an awesome beer. Could drink forever and not get bored/overwhelmed. Balances the rich flavors nicely and provides a beer thats both interesting and drinkable. Worth more than it's already worthy parts.

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jimmybram from North Carolina, Apr 20, 2020
Photo of BeckyClarky
5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I. Love. This. Beer.

I hope that's clear. From day one with this particular Stout, I fell hard and fast. I tend to do a hard pour to minimize the amount of carbonation that is released in my stomach which leads to a bloated feeling. It's got a rich head, wonderful complex taste, and as an added bonus, I don't have to drink that much of it to have a nice Buzz. I always share a bomber with another friend or two. It's definitely a sipping beer and one to enjoy over time.

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Photo of BeerBaronBear
4.59/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dee-lish! I had just tried KBS Espresso and picked up a 12-oz bottle of CBS at the same time, early April 2020. $6/bottle actually isn't terrible, given that some Tree House stouts in 16-oz formats cost $8/can. This one's coffee notes are much more muted than KBS Espresso, but are still there. This one's maybe a touch sweeter, and overall I liked the balance. The barrel-aged stout style is still not my absolute favorite, because there's less foam and often a syrupy body. But I really did enjoy this one despite all that, which is testament to how much flavor they packed in. Hid its very high 11% ABV nicely. I sort of felt like I was drinking a rum and coke made with exceptional rum, except with a richer mouthfeel. Apparently some of the KBS and CBS varieties are going out of commission for a while, so grab some of these before they're gone!

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Photo of NYNorseman
4.93/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Cracked this open today for my wedding anniversary. Although I'm a great fan of KBS, CBS is a step above. The aging in bourbon barrels that housed maple syrup imparts a beautiful complexity on this loaded imperial stout. This beer is easy enough to find but it does come with a high price tag. Our local beer store sells bombers for 30.00. Crazy steep! Despite the price, I drink a few a year because it's a delicious treat. This earns its well deserved spot at #7 for imperial stouts. Well done Founders!

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NYNorseman from New York, Apr 01, 2020
Photo of BlueJay2852
5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I’m rating this a 5 out of 5 star rating, however the price for this beer is pretty outrageous so even though this is one of the best beers I’ve ever had, I won’t be getting this 27 dollar beer very often.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.59/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally get to crack this legendary beer as a present to myself for turning 35 today. Kind of crazy to think in just a couple months I would be with BA for 11 years! Into a pint glass it was thick viscous and downright velvety but a slow pour only made for a 1/4 inch of froth that settles to a thin ring. Maybe I should have poured harder? Smell isn't in your face maple or bourbon but it is there and shine brightly almost overtaking any chocolate aroma. Taste was crazy thought it was going to be straight up maple but it hit chocolate with a duet of maple and bourbon mixed flavors that made me say "Woah!" Maple does become a bit stronger in the front end (If that's possible) once it warms a tad.
Body to me is thick don't get me wrong still smooth as ever but I really should have had it with food since it hit me hard.

Overall this beer was made to be sweet and damn it is ever tasty! Quite a shame they will take a break with this one but to me this was better than KBS Espresso and well worth the wait to smaller format. If ever bottled again I would grab a four pack and have it on a couple occasions to savor it!

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DrDemento456 from Pennsylvania, Mar 17, 2020
Photo of firesidewithphil
4.16/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I am writing this review on the 2019 release of CBS as I feel that this will be consistent moving forward. I purchased the 4 pack of 12 oz bottles.

CBS is an ideal winter stout. The feel is the most fascinating part of this beer. It is chewy, and has a ton of maple and wood present. The beer is smooth from start to finish. The wood balances the abundance of sweetness form the maple. This is still the best version vs. Breakfast Stout and Kentucky Breakfast Stout.

If i was to judge the 2018 version (prior to small bottling), the rating would be about a 4.6.


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Photo of Radome
4.52/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tasted on tap at the Yard House, Summerlin in Las Vegas, NV. Great stout appearance with massive head. Luscious aromas with maple and heavy bourbon. Flavors a bit blown out by the strong bourbon heat, but still delicious.

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Radome from Florida, Mar 14, 2020
Photo of MaximalC
4.38/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

*Bottled 9/16/19

Pours seal brown, topped by nearly an inch of fine, khaki suds. Roasty aroma smells of toffee, chocolate, and salted caramel.

The taste features equal measures of chocolatey roasted malt, bourbon, and maple syrup up front before acquiescing to dry, earthy hops on the back end. Warming reveals subtler notes of buttery oak and vanilla along with prunes and marshmallow. Heavy body and moderate carbonation make for a full, supremely smooth mouthfeel that delivers a touch of class.

In a world full of over-hyped stouts, this one actually delivers the goods. The refined, complex flavor profile and luxurious mouthfeel are both excellent, with no weak points to speak of. CBS rightfully earns its place at the top of the Founders imperial stout heap.

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MaximalC from Illinois, Mar 06, 2020
Photo of Acibien
4.8/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Love it pour into a 12 oz cup nice and dark taste was good as it get warmer the taste comes out more very strong on alcohol can taste the booze overall one my favorites

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CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 100 out of 100 with 6503 ratings