CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout)
Founders Brewing Company

CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout)CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout)
Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
American Imperial Stout
Ranked #16
Ranked #36
4.64 | pDev: 8.19%
Wednesday at 06:30 PM
Feb 01, 2009
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.
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Ratings by Rug:
Photo of Rug
Reviewed by Rug from Massachusetts

4.73/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75
Bottled 10/16/18, about 14 months on this as for the review. So happy to try this one. 750 mL bottle while watching the My Chemical Romance reunion livestream, what a night :)

Pours black as night, with two fingers of a thick, mocha head, incredible lacing. Bottle is beautiful as well

Mmmmm, a solid bourbon smell right up front, aromas pretty similar to KBS overall but more nuanced. The dark malts and bitter coffee give off sweet toffee aromas, not too much maple in the nose

Well damn, this one tastes smooth. Very similar to the nose but toned down. I expected a total taste bud assault, but things are well balanced here. Sweeter than expected, the maple comes in at the back end of the sip to smooth out any bitterness. The coffee character is absolutely stellar with dark chocolate notes supporting it. The barrel gives off wonderful vanilla and nutty notes

Like I said, extremely smooth feel without being too heavy or even too sweet like some have said. There's definitely presence in the body, but it's not overwhelming. A surprising amount of carbonation too

I feel extremely lucky to get to try this, found it at my local and thought I just had to buy it to celebrate the end of a tough semester. Everyone deserves to try this, what I'll consider one of my all time favorite stouts, at least once. I sure as hell hope to have more of this eventually. Veryyyyyyy easy drinking for the 11.6% of this vintage, will kill off this 750 mL for sure. Cheers to Founders, and especially to MCR for making this night extra special for this former emo kid :)

EDIT 10/24/21:
Having another one of these bottled 10/9/21, so just about 2 years later. I just wanted to check in on this one since it’s been my #1 since I originally reviewed it. It honestly is still drinking wonderfully, plenty of coffee and maple in the aroma. Less maple in taste but it’s all still super smooth, really nothing new added but it’s a bit more mellow. My conclusion? I still love this beer. Hoping they bring it back soon
Dec 21, 2019
More User Ratings:
Photo of NorsemanOne
Reviewed by NorsemanOne from Utah

4.62/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75
Bottled 9.25.19

Poured at about 40° into a tulip glass

Pours a deep coffee brown with a surprising one finger+ mocha colored head. Thin almost sheet like lacing and visible rising carbo. Impressive for this older brew. 4.75

Met with maple as soon as I opened the cap, and it's still the dominant note, though there is some very slight bourbon. 4.5

Big maple and chocolate, just a minor hint of coffee. Touch of char and barrel, maybe slight leather. 4.5

Body is wicked smooth with zero sign of how big and burly this beer is. Slight warming blossom as it went down. 11.3% is non-existent- even halfway through the bottle. Dangerous! 5

Overall a world class stout as it says it is that doesn't need my words, but happily leave them anyway as it was a delight of an experience. Haven't enjoyed this fresh, but 4-year mark is truly excellent. 4.75
Wednesday at 06:30 PM
Rated: 4.5 by Vistance from Kentucky

Apr 13, 2023
Rated: 5 by TreeTopCasino from Washington

Apr 11, 2023
Rated: 4.8 by mj81 from New Jersey

Apr 05, 2023
Rated: 4.79 by pvibeer from Colorado

Mar 24, 2023
Photo of BitteNochEinWeissbier
Reviewed by BitteNochEinWeissbier from Pennsylvania

4.27/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
12 oz bottle
Bottled On Date: 10.01.2019
Consumed on: 14 Mar, 2023
Glass: Snifter
ABV: 11.3%
Serving Temp: room temp

Opaque black with a 2+ finger creamy light brown head. The head slowly dissipates to a thick ring and thin cover. Lacing is excellent.

A fairly sweet nose. Semi-sweet chocolate. Some brown sugar and maple syrup. Light notes of vanilla. Faint ones of coffee. A touch of bourbon.

Follows the nose but with the maple and the sweetness much more pronounced. And the bourbon notes. The coffee cannot be noticed until fairly late in the sip. The alcohol is noticeable and provides a bit of a sting at the end along with warmth.

Smooth, silky and mouth-coating. Very noticeable warmth and a sting from the alcohol. The body is medium-full.

A very nice Imperial Stout. Complex. This brew is definitely sweet, which makes it a dessert beer for me.

Just to note - this beer is 2.5 years old. That must have had an effect.
Mar 15, 2023
Rated: 4.52 by Chuckg93 from Oregon

Mar 14, 2023
Photo of MadMadMike
Reviewed by MadMadMike from Florida

4.33/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
2019 bomber, poured at 53° into a Founders Brewing sniffer.
Age said no head, so this pours flat black with just a whisper of beige foam that ghosted out fast.
Awesome room-filling aroma of fresh pulled espresso, a chocolatiers best offering in his shop, quite light bourbon too.
Bold flavor - but god awful sweet - tastes of dark chocolate covered coffee beans, vanilla, maple syrup, a bit of mild tobacco. Finishes short with barrel and maple leaf candy left on the palate. Burp of coffee. Sticky lip.
Thick. Really thick. Almost no carbonation at all.
Overall, this fine elixir would’ve been better served two years ago, rather than letting it sit this long. A beattiful effort nonetheless.,.
Mar 09, 2023
Rated: 5 by SoundMakesSense from Indiana

Mar 05, 2023
Rated: 4.68 by jeffmck09 from Connecticut

Jan 16, 2023
Rated: 4.59 by davidbeers

Jan 07, 2023
Rated: 2.74 by ear-bending from Texas

Dec 10, 2022
Rated: 4.38 by HippieDave56 from Arizona

Nov 11, 2022
Photo of Roy_Hobbs
Reviewed by Roy_Hobbs from Connecticut

4.24/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25
Finally enjoying this after many years of it sitting in my beer fridge. Nice looking beer...very dark with a finger of mocha colored head that receded to a thin cap and slightly thicker ring. Maple comes through on the nose and the tongue. Wonderfully full chewy feel. Good beer.
Sep 16, 2022
Rated: 4.25 by Tmappin from Canada (NS)

Aug 22, 2022
Rated: 3 by LAM01833 from Massachusetts

Jul 31, 2022
Photo of stcules
Reviewed by stcules from Italy

4.3/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
2018 Vintage.
Black, with as light brown foam.
In the smell coffee, toasted notes, maple syrup, vanilla.
Very smooth taste, again maple syrup, sweet caramel. And a lot of vanilla.
Relatively easy to drinf for its 11+ ABV.
Jul 24, 2022
Rated: 4.53 by Danny27

Jun 03, 2022
Rated: 4.74 by Richie_C_Johnson from Minnesota

May 14, 2022
Photo of erosier
Reviewed by erosier from Connecticut

4.74/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
2018 Vintage pours a thick black color with a medium bodied tan colored head that laces a bit on the way down. Smells of deep roasted malts, big chocolate, coffee, maple aromas with a hint of bourbon at the end of it. Tastes of chocolate, coffee, maple, bourbon but balanced very well. Rich feeling, thick, you can feel the heft on this one but it's really well done. Overall this is an excellent beer, I hope they bring this back into rotation.
May 09, 2022
Rated: 3.98 by Affinity from Missouri

Apr 30, 2022
Photo of Emichaelbray
Reviewed by Emichaelbray from Pennsylvania

4.3/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Picked this up as a single. Did they stop brewing this one? They wanted $8.xx for a bottle!

L: probably should be higher but I don’t see it fundamental difference between this and something 25% of the price.
S: the best part. Very complex and interesting. The maple syrup and cocoa are strong but, to my nose, there’s a wonderful rye whiskey spice here.
T: follows the nose to an extent but not as good as I remember. Same stuff happening but kinda stunted.
F: oh yeah, no doubt this is barrel-aged. Filling, low carbonation, boozy almost chewy.
O: the 100 rating is insane. I have had far superior beers for less.
Apr 24, 2022
Photo of tradershmulie
Reviewed by tradershmulie from Connecticut

5/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pitch black with nice head.

Delicious smell of chocolate.

Smooth with a hint of sweetness. Somehow never crosses the line into "too sweet."

Update on 5/30/22: Was able to get a bottle from 10/9/19. Still absolutely delicious. Sweet, but nicely so. Not overwhelming, or cloying.
Mar 13, 2022
Rated: 4.73 by Rammses_II

Mar 01, 2022
Photo of pdalton36
Reviewed by pdalton36 from Maryland

4.77/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
Nectar of the gods. The overtones of chocolate, coffee and a hint of maple, with a light bourbon finish make it the best stout I have ever had the pleasure of tasting. Can't believe Founders stopped brewing it.
Feb 20, 2022
Rated: 4.3 by adamstef

Feb 16, 2022
Rated: 4.5 by ryand14 from Michigan

Feb 11, 2022
Photo of mpruden
Reviewed by mpruden from Ohio

4.85/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75
Poured aggressively into a stout glass after a marathon training run on a cold but sunny day. Color is dark brown, nearly black, 1” brown head with fair retention, some lacing.

Nose: Immediate fragrance of maple syrup, bourbon, and dark roast, some chocolate, considerable sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied, plenty thick.

Attack: Complex combination of roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, bourbon, and maple syrup. There’s a lot going on in this fine brew.

Finish: Some hops but very well balanced. Lingering taste of alcohol.

Overall: This was a near perfect marathon training recovery drink!
Feb 05, 2022
Rated: 4.78 by gkrishnan704 from Connecticut

Jan 29, 2022
Rated: 5 by birdsellam from Indiana

Jan 25, 2022
Photo of JasonMarquez
Reviewed by JasonMarquez

5/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
I love how well balanced it is, with loads of robust chocolate and coffee, just the right amount of alcohol and sweetness. Nice full and creamy mouthfeel.
Jan 25, 2022
Rated: 4.6 by not2quick from Missouri

Jan 18, 2022
Rated: 4.46 by bismarksays from Iowa

Jan 10, 2022
Photo of Eddieeight
Reviewed by Eddieeight from Ohio

2.61/5  rDev -43.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75
Obtained a 4 pack for $35 at my local stout store. Couldn't believe they had it, i haven't seen it anywhere else, so even though there was a steep price to pay i just had to try it. Poured out a deep dark brown with a light tan head that lingered long after i poured it. In fact, several minutes after i poured it there remained a frothy loft of bubbles just waiting for me to taste it. Smell is not too strong. Not strong at all in fact. Very weak. Not what I look for in a beer. I usually want at least some kind of scent, but i've poured this into a snifter and swirled it around a good deal and still receive barely anything. Am i losing my sense of taste or have i just become accustomed to stronger beers? Well whatever nevermind i'll try a sip. A little bit of nuttiness, a little bit of caramel and toffee, a little bit of molasses, a little bit of coffee, a little bit of chocolate, but it's all just a little bit. i'm not certain what's supposed to be the dominant note here. i don't really get what they're truly going for. Usually there should be at least one taste that's predominant, but i'm getting a flat wash of not really much of anything except muted tones of what it claims to have. Aged on maple syrup it says, bourbon it says, well hell i'm not getting much of either. There is a sweetness to it, but it's kind of a flavorless sweetness. Did i get a bad bottle? How could this be rated a 100? I look for deep, dark, strong, bold flavors and this has none of that. Mouthfeel is light and sparkly, probably the best part about this beer. Overall, i'm rather disappointed. I can't believe i spent so much on this flavorless effort. I've had a LOT of brews that have been barrel aged, flavored with coffee and chocolate and maple syrup, but this just doesn't deliver. What's the hype? I'll stick to Hoppin Frog who knows how to get it right. I thought this would be a smooth slow sipper but i'm tempted now to just slam it, get the buzz, and call it a night. So disappointed. Ah well.
Jan 09, 2022
Photo of jackflaps
Reviewed by jackflaps from Pennsylvania

4.49/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
Bottled 10/9/19. Bottle to tulip glass.

L: Very dark brown, almost black. Small head that settled quickly; very little lacing.
S: Low aroma, mainly of bourbon. The barrel is here but it's more oak than maple syrup. A little roasty, too.
T: Very sweet, but balances really well with the malt and the bourbon heat. I remember this being too much maple when it was new but after two years it's almost perfectly balanced.
F: Thick, a little bitter at the back. Boozy but not overwhelmingly so.
O: Might be the best of the Breakfast Stout variants.
Jan 03, 2022
Rated: 4.28 by Jakepitbull from New York

Jan 01, 2022
Rated: 5 by JeffNev from Nevada

Dec 29, 2021
Rated: 3.62 by stephenlee93 from England

Dec 26, 2021
Photo of kp7
Reviewed by kp7 from Massachusetts

4.69/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
Not much to say here that hasn't been said many times before. Yeah there is a ton of hype, but at the end of the day this is simply a great beer. Even better when shared with friends.
Dec 26, 2021
CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 100 out of 100 with 6751 ratings