CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout)
Founders Brewing Company

CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout)CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout)
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Stout - American Imperial
Ranked #6
Ranked #12
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: 1,606 | Ratings: 6,701 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by jewski:
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jewski from Michigan

4.98/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

An improvement on KBS. Bourbon is better balanced and the touch of sweetness works nicely with the base stout. Pretty much perfect.

Apr 23, 2015
More User Reviews:
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KFBR392 from Illinois

5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Jet black. Menacing brown head. Less then a half of finger of head on the pour. Surprising amount of active carbonation. Some random lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell: Heavenly. Lots of sweet maple syrup still alive in the aroma. Rounded bourbon with lots of toffee, chocolate, and deep malt. Every time I take it in a different aroma rises and showcases itself.

Taste: The front of this beer is so easy drinking and feels soft on the palate then explodes with massive flavors. The maple syrup, chocolate, and toffee really stand out. The bourbon character has mellowed greatly and is a great complimentary accessory. The finish is a slight bourbon tingle and dark roasted malt and chocolate.

Mouthfeel: This beer is heavy yet drinks so easily. Just an amazing drinking experience.

Overall: My first time with this gem. I hate the 5/5 review but this beer deserves it. I could be more lengthy and masturbatory with my review but this beer speaks for itself. Worth every dollar I spent.

Sep 20, 2013
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ScaryEd from New Hampshire

4.94/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a tulip glass.

The pour is pitch black, like straight motor oil, with a healthy finger of thick mocha head. The head literally does not go away, instead electing to settle into a blanket that envelops the top of the beer.

The aroma brings a hefty wave of maple syrup, roasted coffee, vanilla, oak, and sweet milk chocolate. Pretty much exactly as advertised.

The flavor is just stupid. Holy mother of all that is good in this world. Loads of milk chocolate notes flirt with the palate before a huge wave of coffee comes and seals the deal. But the night's not over. Coffee brought his friend maple syrup along and they're planning a menage a trois with my taste buds. My mouth just got laid.

The feel is full-bodied with soft carbonation. Very creamy and smooth, yet a touch syrupy and sticky. But that's what happens when your mouth has a threesome.

Overall, this is absolutely one of the best beers I've ever had. Call me a slave to hype but I fell in love after the very first sip of this nectar of the Gods. It brings everything to the table yet stays remarkably balanced and restrained. The maple syrup dances beautifully with the sweet chocolate, while the coffee keeps the sweetness in check like a strict chaperone at a High School dance. I'm so happy I got to try this.

Dec 01, 2017
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LiquidAmber from Washington

4.83/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours pitch black, appearing opaque black in the glass with a fine, one finger, light brown head with great retention and thick lacing. Aroma of semi-sweet dark toasted malt, chocolate, latte coffee, bourbon, well balanced and inviting. Flavor follows, with mildly sweet dark toasted malt, chocolate, coffee, light maple and bourbon. Finishes with wonderfully balanced milky mocha and bourbon. Medium bodied with nice creaminess and excellent mouth feel. Well, this one has been on my want list for a long time, and I was almost prepared to be a little let down because of its hype and the long wait, but this really lives up to its reputation. It’s a little on the sweet side, which might be an issue for some stout fans, but tastes great to me and is not cloying as a syrup infused brew could be. As a matter of fact, the real story here is balance, a good thick malt body supports the coffee, maple, bourbon and chocolate flavors, but none dominates (maybe a little on the bourbon side, but I'll never quibble about that). This is definitely one of the best stouts I've ever had. My first taste was a 'wow' taste and that's always a good start. The only big problem with this one is the 750ml format; it's just too big unless you have a few people around to split this with. The beautiful balance is accompanied by well covered big ABV, making this dangerously inviting to keep sipping. But when life hands you too much of a good thing, it's best to drink up. This is definitely world class. Glad to have finally scored a bottle. Although our local market is full of excellent local IPAs and stouts, Founders has stood out as a welcome visitor. Since coffee stouts are bit of a dilemma for me because I drink in the evening (no "breakfast" stout for me) and respond well to caffeine, I expected this to be a one-and-done. Nope, I'll chase this next time it comes to town. I can see why this might be a bit on the sweet side for some palates, but for me, the overall balance of flavors with the great silky mouthfeel are hard to beat. Mmmm.

Dec 07, 2017
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Stevedore from Oregon

4.65/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

Mar 01, 2015
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Greywulfken from New York

4.56/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


As one of two beers that passed through my area without my knowledge back in the day (the other was their Better Half), I had thought this would be a beer I never got to try. This 2017 release was a real surprise and despite the high sticker price, I grabbed two bombers.

I let this beer sit out of the fridge for 20-30 minutes before popping the cap. Black-bodied beer produced a big, creamy dark foam head... Aromas of chocolate, bourbon, maple, vanilla, and coffee were all well-expressed, and supported by more of the same on the sip. Really impressed with how clearly the maple bourbon came though. The body was full and smooth, more sweet than dry or roasty, basically what I had anticipated.

Better than KBS...

Dec 02, 2017
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Darkmagus82 from Texas

4.99/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from bottle into a snifter glass

Appearance – The beer pours a thick and viscous black color with a one finger of tan colored head. The head has a good level of retention, slowly fading to leave a moderate level of lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the beer is of a huge and delicious coffee and roasted malt smell mixed with a strong showing of chocolate. Along with these big and robust darker aromas are strong notes of maple syrup as well as sweet darker fruit smells of raisin, fig, and plum. A decent amount of a bourbon and vanilla are there as well and seem to add a nice dimension of warmth to the aroma inviting one to come and sip the fine roasted nectar that awaits the tongue.

Taste – The taste begins with a sweet chocolate and roasted malt flavor with the sweetness being a fine balance of maple syrup, vanilla, caramel and the darker fruits that were detected in the nose. While quite dark and roasty upfront, it gains even more robustness in the roast being accompanied by some smooth espresso flavors matched by a faint smokiness. The sweeter flavors all the while stay strong, wonderfully balancing out the big tastes of the brew. Around the middle of flavor profile comes some bourbon tastes mixed with a bit of a woodsy flavor. These flavors, like their counterpart aromas did, bring a warming taste to the brew, bringing on just the right level of “heat”. Right at the very end, after the warm has hit the tongue, a slight surge in the maple syrup flavor is delivered, culminating the taste and leaving a wonderfully smooth and warmingly sweet and roasted, but balanced flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is huge and thick with a lighter but creamy level of carbonation. The combo of thick body and subdued carbonation is magnificent for the big and bold blend of flavors in this dark roasty brew and truly create a fantastic medium for all the flavors of the brew a to bath the tongue in all the richness of flavor.

Overall – This is one amazing beer. One of the best if not the best stout I have ever had, and competes with the world wide I had run through the vanilla coffee randall. It is super smooth and approachable with a wonderful blend of flavors that make it a true pleasure to sit back and sip.

May 09, 2014
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Blackboardbrewing from Minnesota

4.91/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The infamous CBS makes it's return. Having had bottles of this in 2011 and not buying to the hype, I had to see what the 2014/15 batch was all about. Multiple pours at the Happy Gnome.

A: Pours a very dark brownish-black, a thin, creamy, off white laced head maybe a mm tall hovers around the edges of the glass. Not 100% opaque/5W-30 consistency like I like them.

S: When first served it's loads of cold pressed coffee. About as fresh as it gets for coffee aroma. As it warms, what a beautiful balanced beer, my goodness. . Awesome smelling stuff. Maple, coffee, chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, damn.

T: After it finally warmed up, I see what the hype is about. It's apples to oranges with KBBS, but man, this is one of the best BA maple/coffee stouts around. Rich velvety chocolates coats the mouth, a surge of maple caresses the tongue, finishes balanced and with just enough vanilla barrel notes (slightly tannic/oaky) to let you know it was BA.

F: Although I don't LOVE the mouthfeel, it's quaffable enough to enjoy a second and a third pour without feeling full to the point where you want to just take a nap. If this had the mouthfeel of FIS, would just about be perfect.

O: I almost skipped this tapping knowing it was going to be a mess. However, the folks at the Gnome handled this perfectly. And, this is about as close to perfect gets, with well you know not being such. I was surprised by how balanced it was. I could drink this daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Please bottle again.

Feb 05, 2015
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amano_h from Oregon

4.41/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I could probably write an equivalent of a graduate thesis on the impact of the first batch of this beer to the craft beer community and the way the current batch is being portrayed to the same community, with the added factor of secondary market shitlords in play, but I won't because ain't nobody got time for that.

But with CBS I decided to try something different from what I usually do with my beer reviews: whereas the majority of the reactions to this beer seem to be something akin to disappointment--which is understandable if you take into consideration the impact that a stout brewed with maple would have had in 2011 as opposed to now--there were a few that were fervently assertive in claiming that the 2017 batch of CBS becomes a different animal once it's given some time to warm up. I therefore decided to pour two separate glasses and do two reviews, with one at 40°F and the other at 55°F.

Given the astounding levels of innovation and improvement that takes place in any industry within a span of 6 years, I'm not surprised at the majority opinion of this brew (to wit: it sucks), based on the vibes this brew puts out straight out of the fridge at around 40°F which is the temperature at which most beer drinkers will drink beer because, who the fuck has the money to land whales and maintain a temperature-controlled cellar at the same time.

At colder temps, this beer exhibits aromas of light maple syrup that smell more like honey; bitter cacao nibs follow, with medium-roast espresso notes at bay. There's a grainy scent reminiscent of mushy cereal grain and rolled oats which also join the party toward the end, but is eventually overpowered by more of the persistently sweet maple.

On the palatal department, the faint maple leads off, followed by distinctly separate flavors of low-fat chocolate milk, and 88% dark chocolate. The coffee manifests itself into existence in the form of French-press sludge from burnt "espresso blend" coffee beans; toward the end there's a slight honey-like cloying sweetness which I'm not digging at the moment.
The mouthfeel at this point is half way between being medium and full-bodied; there' a gorgeous creamy initial mouthfeel, with an exuberant slick and silkiness which coats the tongue with each sip, There is however, some heat detectable toward the very end.
At warmer temps, the more obtuse elements come together to present a more united front than there was previously before, with harmony being the key factor involved in showcasing the strengths of the brew.
On the aroma department, the maple is no longer limited to just providing a sugary honey-like presence, but the more natural raw wood-like elements of the ingredient is represented front and center. The maple introduction is well supported by a huge mocha-like backdrop; a soothing medium-roast Americano and 67% cacao chocolate bar mix mingles almost effortlessly to carefully balance out the maple constituents that were initially introduced.
The palatal sensation closely matches the aroma in terms of the overarching theme; the maple, coffee, and chocolate are balanced in such a delightful manner as to provide a beautiful contract between the subtly sweet maple and the coffee at play. After the maple and coffee are through with their cat fight, the chocolate swoops in to add a nice bitter drying touch to beckon a repeat taste.
Where the aroma and taste benefited from a little time and temperature, the mouthfeel suffers in contrast; after 30 minutes of being exposed to a non-vacuum environment, the brew inches closer to becoming medium-bodied, and the rich creamy initial mouthfeel disappears. If you can get this brew to somehow exhibit the smell/taste which it exhibits at 55 degrees while maintaining a 40 degrees mouthfeel, you've probably brewed the perfect BA Maple Stout.

Dec 19, 2017
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Bolivian22 from Virginia

5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had the unbelievable luck of trying this at black rock in chicago on vacation. Pours pitch black with a small brown head. Smells of bourbon, vanilla, syrup, and chocolate. The smell is so balanced it was almost impossible to wait any longer before trying it. Spoiler: it tastes just like it smells. So smooth and balanced and this beer definitely lives up to the hype. A light alcohol burn (whisky flavored) with medium carbonation and a chewy mouthfeel. Overall this beer is fantastic and greatly deserving of its legendary status. So glad I had the chance to finally chase this whale down!

Jan 11, 2015
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Gatch from Massachusetts

4.82/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Approaching my 12-year anniversary on BA, so it's funny to finally get my hands on a bottle of CBS after wanting a taste of this beer since 2006 when I became involved in the burgeoning craft beer scene and BA website. And fitting now, after thousands and thousands of dollars spent on this "hobby," that I spend $27 on a 750ml bottle. Wish I could have shared it with someone, but alas, this will be used to distract from the stress involving a very important, life-altering result, potentially this week. Dated 10.08(?).18 with an 11.6% ABV; regardless, it's the 2018 release, surprisingly discovered in mid-November at one of my few go-to beer spots in Jacksonville, FL. Though it makes sense because Florida is a big market for Midwest beer now.

A stout cannot look better. Simple as that. Even my roommate, a Miller Lite drinking Alabaman, asked how a beer can be so dark. Aroma is massive barrel, wood, earth, booze, char, smoke, and molasses. You get some 'Grade B' dark/robust maple syrup if you really inhale. Flavor is similar, though a bit sweeter after all is said and done. The coffee and chocolate really show up when you let the beer breathe and come to room temperature. So complex, so flavorful, so intense! I really wish I could have aged this for a while to allow some of the booze and intensity to mellow out, but I justified it by telling myself it was already aged before being bottled. And the situation called for this beer to be consumed the same day I bought it. As smooth, viscous, and rich as a beer can be. This is serious stuff. Finishes strong with an incredible body and feel. Yeah, it's boozy, but I expected that. The hype is real. Simply stellar.

I haven't analyzed a beer this thoroughly, over such a long period, with so many inhales/short sips. Borderline nerd territory, which I had gotten away from for a while. But this is a special beer, which calls for a unique approach. Even as "fresh" as it is, this is a masterpiece. A 'pièce de résistance' beer; their magnum opus; the crown jewel of Imperial Stouts. One that truly defines the craft and the industry. And one of the few beers I'd want to drink before (potentially) closing out my experience as a beer snob.

Question, though...what happened to the Canadian Mountie on the label?? Looks like he was knocked off the saddle!

Nov 19, 2018
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peacemakers48 from Massachusetts

5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Honored to try the last batch ever of this fantastic beer. This is the 2011 version and according to the founders rep here, is the last of this beer. This is one of the finest beers that I have ever had. As close to a perfect drink as you can get. It tastes like breakfast stout with a subtle maple taste. Wow!

Apr 05, 2014
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GreesyFizeek from New York

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

On tap at the Tap and Mallet in Rochester, NY. I got 2 5 oz pours.

Pours a fairly dark black, with a small foamy half inch head, and a little bit of lacing.

Smells very strongly of maple, with Hershey's syrup, bourbon, and roasted coffee beans.,

I am finally getting a chance to taste this one, and it tastes exactly like I expected it to taste. Every advertised ingredient is on full display here- syrupy, ultra sweet maple syrup, sweet, creamy chocolate syrup, roasted coffee beans, and sweet bourbon. There is a pretty significant boozy kick on the end of each sip, providing a bit of bitterness to the very sweet flavors up front. I'm not getting a whole lot of roasted malt, but that's likely due to the loads of adjuncts in this one.

This is medium bodied, not quite as thick as I'd like, with a very syrupy mouthfeel. I have the feeling in my mouth that I often have after I eat pancakes. That sort of call-back to a memory I like- eating pancakes- is just one thing that makes this beer really nice. It has a lower level of carbonation, and is really drinkable.

One of the biggest bucket list beers for me is finally crossed off. It is honestly worth the hype, and absolutely amazing. The definition of decadent.

Dec 23, 2014
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JoeLev from Ohio

4.89/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Had this beer both out of a bottle and on tap:

A: Pours black as expected with a surprising amount of head formation. Beautiful dark and thick head that stays put.
S: Overall very pleasant aroma, with very even amounts of chocolate, coffee, and bourbon barrel. The maple comes through but seems to only dance around in the aroma rather than dominate it.
T: Similar to the aroma, the flavor profile is very well rounded and incredibly smooth. There is very little heat given that it is 11.7% ABV but there are mellow bourbon notes pleasantly on the back end. There is a presence of oak and vanilla but it is not very forward in flavor. This is not a bad thing as this is a perfect fit in this beer.
M: Silky smooth and spot on.
O: Overall this is a world class stout. My impression is that it does everything just about perfectly but was never meant to be a "huge" stout. It's a perfect breakfast stout. It is unfortunate that it had been so hyped up over the years because it likely won't get the credit it deserves. I was able to have '16 and '17 KBS next to this on tap and CBS was on a different planet. $25 a bottle is steep in price but it is absolutely worth buying a bottle to try. Get it on tap if you can.

Dec 05, 2017
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pat61 from Minnesota

5/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

Apr 09, 2015
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ER527 from New York

5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Words just do not do it justice..... This is the best beer I've ever had

Apr 16, 2015
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ali1987 from Florida

4.65/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

Apr 01, 2015
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Sparty1224 from Michigan

4.84/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Serving: Two separate 7 oz. pours into some tasting glasses at a CBS tapping event in Chicago. 2014 edition.

A: Pitch black. Pours a light tan head initially, but gets darker as it's agitated. Good lacing up the glass.

S: Nice dark coffee aroma up front, then soft bourbon notes come through. Maple syrup comes in at the end bringing a nice sweetness to it.

T: Coffee and bourbon right up front, then gets enveloped in maple sweetness, like you just took a bite of some of your favorite home-made pancakes doused in maple syrup. Finish is all fresh maple syrup, but not overpowering by any means.

M: Nice and full. Great balance of coffee and bourbon wrapped in a maple syrup glaze.

O: Man, where to start with this one. I've had the original from the bottle, the 2012 edition at the 15th Anniversary party, and now the 2014. This beer still stands as my favorite BBA Imperial Stout. It's not light-years ahead of some of the other greats by any means, but it's just a special beer and the intangibles put it over the top for me. There's nothing really like it. In a nutshell, it's KBS wrapped in maple syrup, and that's an improvement to me. There's times, especially as the beer warms, that it becomes slightly cloying or too sweet. But other times, earlier in the beer when it's a bit cooler, it's just perfect. The aura and legend surrounding this beer lives up to all the hype.

Recommendation: No matter what it takes, every fan of craft beer needs to try this at least once.

Jan 10, 2015
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Thankin_Hank from Texas

4.77/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Lovely dark beer. Smells like heaven. Sweet and molasses. Tastes of maple syrup and the coffee kicks in. Smoother than a cheerleader's thighs. Over the top. Excellence at Founders. 2017 release. Pay the money and get you some.

Jan 21, 2019
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IckyT2012 from Florida

4.61/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

I've had this 4 nights in a row now. Nobody knows the tap is here! Shhhh...

Apr 16, 2015
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TheDoctor from Canada (QC)

4.54/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Serving: Bottle
Best before: Oct-27-2018

Pours a thick, oily black with three fingers of tan styrofoam head. Decent retention; swoopy lacing. (4.25)

Toasty malts, toffee, licorice, coffee, baker's chocolate, bourbon vanillins. (4.5)

Huge thick wave of sweet roast flavors. Really strong toffee/maple undercurrent almost caramel-like, with roast layers piled on top (following the nose). (4.5)

Full body with light carbonation and a rich, decadent feel and finish with a slow warmth and smooth finish. (4.5)

It pours a murky jet black with a solid slab of brown head on top. The aroma and flavor are both roasty as could be but on the sweeter end of the spectrum, without any char or bitterness. The maple comes through a lot more in the flavor than in the smell but it is there throughout (moreso as it warms). Exactly as advertised, also the bourbon is there but does an excellent job in a supporting role l rather than the focal point.
This is a top notch stout. Really something special. (4.75)

Feb 19, 2018
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CayseyW from Connecticut

4.82/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Just an amazingly perfect beer. I love everything about it--from its complex nose and flavor profile of coffee, chocolate AND vanilla, maple and bourbon to its unbelievably smooth feel. I can't say enough good things. This beer truly deserves all the hype.

Apr 19, 2016
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MrRB from Connecticut

4.9/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Met my incredibly lofty expectations. Color of extremely dark chocolate, very viscous, with a medium brown head. Intoxicating aromas of dark chocolate, roasted coffee, browned butter, bourbon, and just a hint of maple syrup. Everything melds together on the palate, creating an extremely deep and complex flavor profile. Sweet, yes, but not cloying, with a touch of roasted malt bitterness on the finish that lends balance. A brilliantly conceived, bar-setting imperial stout.

Dec 11, 2017
THANAT0PSIS from Wisconsin

4.14/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Founders CBS (2017)

A: The second (official) bottling of this (in)famous beer pours completely black and utterly opaque, seeming to suck the light out of everything around it with the intensity of its blackness. An espresso crema head of about a finger forms upon an aggressive pour. Retention is good. Lacing is very good. Viscosity appears very high, thick and sticky. Alcohol legs are no surprise at 11.7%. This is a great-looking American imperial stout. 4.75/5

A: Coffee and chocolate dominate the nose to the point of completely hiding the base stout, and, even more surprisingly, obscuring the usually assertive aromas of maple syrup, bourbon, and oak barrel. In true Founders fashion, the coffee is a very deep and dark component more in the vein of an old school French or Italian roastiness than the fruitier, more complex third wave roasts. The chocolate smells rich and sweet, more milk chocolate than dark or baker's, and it is a far cry from cacao nibs. What is there of the maple is more of a sweetish earthiness than the unctuous liquid usually found on pancakes. The base beer contributes some more readiness and a vaguely creamy notion, probably attributable to the oats, but it really only seems to serve as a field for the additives to play on. The barrel is nearly impossible to find either in oak or bourbon; maybe there is some sweet vanilla toward the back end, but it is a reach. This seems to be a rather simplistic dessert showcase.On the plus side, the alcohol is nowhere to be found on the nose. 3.75/5

T: Aha, there is the maple! It runs a beautifully rich undercurrent of sweet, rustic earth through every sip, playing beautifully off of the moderately heavy coffee roast and sweet chocolate, which still remain the primary flavors. The base beer contributes a little umami and a ton of earthy hop flavors and bitterness; these hops get along wonderfully with thr maple. Finally, the bourbon barrel comes around in a big way with some savory spiciness, oaky tannins, bitter vanilla, and a little alcohol sweetness. The overall impression is something like buckwheat pancakes with too many chocolate chips and dark chocolate chunks drizzled moderately with bourbon barrel-aged pure maple syrup and with too-dark coffee washing each bite down. All that was absent from the nose shows up here resulting in a vast improvement and a delicious treat (though it is still lacking in nuance and balance keeping it firmly in the dessert beer category). 4.5/5

M: The feel is a slight tug of war between the thick and creamy base stout and the thinning nature of high alcohol beers, bourbon aging, and maple syrup. What results is a tale of two beers with the prevailing impression of a slightly too thin beer. The bitterness and dryness is surprisingly (and pleasantly) on the high side, letting this be far more drinkable than it should be. There is medium alcohol heat on the end of each sip, which is expected but still unfortunate. This area could use some improvement. 3.5/5

O: First things first: this is a marked improvement over KBS, which is even more imbalanced and is generally (ironically) way over-barreled in addition to the too-strong nearly burnt coffee assault. The maple syrup bourbon barrels are slightly more subtle, and the balance of the flavors is much better for it. That said, this is not a beer that benefits much from scrutiny and analysis like this; no, this beer was meant to be savored, a hedonistic prize for those who want pure enjoyment. For them, it will succeed, but for me, well, I prefer more balance, more nuance, and more base beer. This is enjoyable, no doubt, but it is not worthy of the hype, the cost, or the search. At the time of its original release, CBS was innovative, but it has since been definitively surpassed time and time again, just like its brash older brother. Pair with seminal death metal group Morbid Angel's newest (and still somehow dated) release "Kingdoms Disdained". 4/5

Jan 27, 2018
Photo of Scottsbeer
Scottsbeer from Florida

4.94/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2017 release

with the all of the hype I needed to try this one.

Poured too cold for the style with a semi gentle pour and this beer gave me a finger and a half of a mocha colored head. Subsided rather rapidly and left a huge amount of lacing clinging to every surface of the glass. So dark that no light penetrates.

Smell is decadent chocolate, oak, vanilla, maple, bourbon, coffee and maybe some dark fruit.

Taste WOW. The hype is not over rated! I don't care who owns the brewery this stuff is awesome! Starts with decadent chocolate and strong coffee. Vanilla and oak from the barrel kicks in then the subtle maple and Bourbon follow up, The finish is bitter chocolate sweetened by maple syrup with a slight warming with vanilla and bourbon notes. As it warms a little I am also getting breads, fig and barley. Just perfect.

Feel is slightly chewy, lightly syrupy and the perfect amount of thick and medium carbonation.

Overall; One of the best, If you can get it try it.

Dec 02, 2017
CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 100 out of 100 with 6701 ratings