Founders CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout) | Founders Brewing Company

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Founders CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout)Founders CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout)

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.60%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by CRJMellor on 02-01-2009

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Reviews: 993 | Ratings: 4,306
Photo of fewa
1.33/5  rDev -71.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

This must be the most unbalanced beer I ever had. My fillings jumped out of my teeth because of the sweetness. No depth, just sugary maple syrup with the smell of 5-day-old coffee. Reminds me a bit of Peche Mortel on a bad day with diet sugar in it. I’ll take KBS over this overhyped stuff any day! After Darklord, Darkness and KtG, another huge overly sweet letdown from the USA. Drain pour. Hype hype hype

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Photo of themaj
1.51/5  rDev -67.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Def cooked!! And by cooked I mean way past prime. Smelled of funk and gym socks. Taste of rotten black licorice. Very disappointed in what I gave up for this beer.

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Photo of MADhombrewer
2.22/5  rDev -52.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Thanks to Black13 for this.

A- Black. Very little head. No lacing. 4/5

Smell- Ashy aroma but not much else. 2/5

Taste- Ashy as well. Little smoke but after that it is a bit funky. Weird taste. 2/5

Mouthfeel- Eh. Medium mouthfeel. 3/5

Overall- Not really good at all. Not interesting and too ashy for my taste. Very one sided. Drain pour. 2/5

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Photo of AleWatcher
3.03/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Shared by Whitemomba-- thanks Jason!

Deep reddish hues in the legs and on the edges... Sand colored dark tan head. Nice thick legs. Huge chunks of spotty lace.

Smells like coffee. Coffee rules the nose here, but where's the maple syrup action?
Coffee rocks the flavor too... Very boozy, with roasted coffee flavor, some sweet malt, and a big coffee-flavored boozy bite.
This is nowhere near as good as I remember it being on tap-- too boozy, too much coffee (I like coffee, but this reminds me of "stale" coffee-- not fresh and strong).
Pretty thick feel-- but it's oily and slick.
Overall, this is NOT the same beer I remembered. I'm actually pretty disappointed in this one. It isn't "bad," but it is not "world class."

WAAAY too hot on the back end. (and bear in mind, I like big stouts. I'm not some BMC guy on his 4th review).

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Photo of yungbrew
3.09/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Too maple syrupy and sweet for me. Way too sweet. KBS is much better.

This resembles a mixture breakfast sausage and vanilla, doused in maple syrup.
And I mean that in the worst way possible.

It Looked great. Didn't smell bad either. I'm sorry but the taste is just gross.

Don't get me wrong it's still a decent beer but I don't think this is world class at all. I would give it like an 80 out of 100

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.18/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 6/27/2010. On tap at Founders. Pours black with a ring of tan head. Aroma of bourbon and sticky sweet roasted malt. Flavor of bourbon up front and lots of sweetness. Much sweeter than the KBS which must be due to the maple but I don't actually taste the maple sugar specifically, just a general sweetness. The bourbon also stands out more to me in this one. I had high hopes for this one and thought it would be better than KBS but it wasn't for me.

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Photo of Schmittymack
3.31/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a very near black with a small head. Aromas of coffee, maple syrup, roasted malt, with a touch of vanilla. Taste was coffee, maple syrup, roasted malt, and bourbon. I hope to try this again on a clean palate as I was hoping/expecting more from the hype: good but not great in my humble opinion.

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Photo of champ103
3.5/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes. Many thanks to whoever brought this to one of our BA tastings a while back.

A: Pitch black, glupy, and resinous liquid pours into my snifter. At first a two finger rocky, bubbly head forms and recedes in a second. No lace, no retention. Pretty standard for a huge stout.
S: Bourbon, wood, charcoal, maple syrupy. Burnt acrid coffee. Milk chocolate. lots going on in the nose.
T: Again, lots going on here. Big bourbon and boozy flavors. Charred wood, burnt coffee, sticky sweet maple syrupy. A lot to get my head around.
M/D: A full body that is thick and resinous. Low carbonation and very sticky. Lots of alcohol for sure, and lots going on. One I have to take slow. Though overall a nice sipper.

I do like this, like everything else from Founders. Ultra complex, but ultimatly that seems like the downfall for me. To much going on for me to really sit back and enjoy. Very much in the realm of Black Tuesday and even Utopias. Like those beers, one I don't really crave that much.

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Photo of Etan
3.53/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Bottle shared by Oscar and Caitlin, into a snifter.

A. Black with some woody tones, and a small tan head.

S. Thick chocolate, mint-like note, light oak and vague coffee.

T. More chocolate, licorice, hint of coffee, anise, caramel, sugar.

M. Thick-bodied with light carbonation.

O. The only thing that hasn't faded is the chocolate, which leaves the beer quite sweet. No bourbon, no maple, barely any coffee. Some licorice/anise flavors have also developed, which isn't really good.

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Photo of DrHopHead
3.53/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I wasn't as impressed with this beer as I am of the KBS. Founders makes some great beers and I am not knocking it, but it wasn't as good as I had expected. The Frangelic Mountain is like heaven in a glass though. Keep making great beers Founders and to all the great breweries in Michigan!!!!

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Photo of byrdman16
3.55/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Finally....I got my hands on one of these bad boys and I didn't even have to pay 50+ bucks for it on e-bay! Pretty good overall. Poured like motor oil with little head and lacing. Good nose to this one, I picked up more on the chocolate rather than the coffee, maple syrup, or bourbon. Big heavy SWEET beer. This thing was a dessert beer for sure...It tasted like a shot of hershey's chocolate syrup. Alcohol was hidden very well, considering the 10.6% EtOH content. Overall it was a good beer BUT I'm not big on big sweet syrup beers so...I am glad that I can say that I've tried it, but not my fav. Cheers!

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Photo of beagle75
3.6/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Opaque black color with one finger of diminishing beige foam head. Light lacing remains on the glass.

S: Coffee is immediately evident, followed by reedy wood and intense vanilla. Coffee fades somewhat as the beer warms, replaced by dark and rustic grain. Some pure bourbon is also present, although the smell is only slightly boozy.

T: Begins off-dry, with aggressive carbonic acidity and dark chocolate. Flavors sweeten into the middle alongside potent anise that dominates the palate for a few beats. The finish begins to dry out, allowing for husky roasted malt and freshly-ground coffee to close the profile on an earthy and moderately bitter note. Hints of bourbon and vanilla linger on the palate, but essentially no alcohol is detected.

M: Thick viscosity, syrupy and slightly acidic on the palate, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: This beer exhibits powerful sensory qualities, even for an imperial stout. It is also a bit of a mess, although the end result is palatable. Founders KBS can be wildly inconsistent from bottle to bottle; this value-added rendition comes across as an average effort on the KBS scale--neither a disappointment nor a home run.

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Photo of JDizzle
3.61/5  rDev -22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I drank this bomber on New Years Eve. I had been holding on to this gem for a little while. I was about to be let down....

Poured into a Snifter that looked quite well. Really dark with browish hints and a big mocha colored head. Looks mighty tasty! I was about to jump out of my skin from the hype train to try this beer!

Uhh... I thought this was aged in maple bourbon barrels?? I have had all the other maple BB aged beers at the brewpub and know what wonderful flavor comes from them, on lesser beer!! This was not even close. The only aroma I got after almost snorting this thing is MOCHA! Basically a mix of light coffee and chocolate. Not cool

The taste was the biggest let down. It was all over the place. Just a blended mess of chocolate, coffee, extreme sweetness, and a hint of wood and vanilla. I could not get any of the maple I got from all the other killer beers they have released before this one. It tasted like Mokah from Souther Tier, which is good-but easy as hell to find.

Mouthfeel was solid and the carbonation was spot on for a stout.

Overall I was really disapointed from a beer I had been dying to try for years. I still have not had it on tap and can't wait to try. I adore Founders and will seek this out on tap to see if it changes my mind.

Edit-had it on tap and it was the same. Really wanted to like this, but O'well!!!

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Photo of mulder1010
3.65/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to readbaron for the bottle, Spicelab for bringing it back to Australia, Mrkennedy for opening it and me for setting this whole puppy up.

A-- Poured a dark cola and settled black. One finger light brown head that stayed at film through drinking. Impressive looking beer and good lacing. Nice spotty lacing as went through this.

S-- Coffee fading?? Really?? Tons of coffee in this. Lots of green pepper in this. Thought I was smelling a cab at some point. Big, bold coffee nose followed by waves of maple syrup, bourbon and more coffee. Impressive smell as so wine like in a lot of ways.

T-- Hey, even more coffee. What a shocker. Waves of bourbon and maple syrup. Short lived waves as very dominated by coffee. Oppressive coffee taste at times.

M-- Thick, rich, luscious and decedant. Just a solid beer. Low carbonation and full feel. Needed more bourbon and maple syrup feel. Mostly coffee and more coffee.

O-- good but not brilliant. Overload on coffee in a big way. Lacks balance and needed more bourbon notes and maple syrup. Easy to drink even with the coffee harshness.
Quite overhyped as out of balance

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Photo of aasher
3.76/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a full bodied midnight black with dark brown highlights and a beige lacing around my glass. It smells like a Breakfast Stout, a lot of bitter coffee with moderate chocolate. I don't get any bourbon notes at all. The flavors featured are very sweet maple syrup, smooth chocolates, and bitter coffee. It's really not that complex and is overly sweet. It's a maple bomb. I wish it was far more subdued. It drinks medium to full in body. It's a nice drinker but its sooo sweet. It's holding it back. As it stands this beer is vastly overrated and inferior when compared to FBS and KBS. Recognize.

Edit: After having both this and Wide Awake It's Morning, I'm sure the two are related. It makes me want to try the Maple Bacon Coffee Porter to see if it's in the middle.

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Photo of DrunkAl
3.78/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle, black pour almost flat. Aroma is weird, stale air, like a dense wet cave. Taste is completly different, lots of coffee. Cant find the bourbon or maple.

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Photo of sawwsea
3.78/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Extremely sweet. Would have liked more maple to have come through for as cloying as it was. Lots of burn from the bourbon as it warmed. Not a bad beer, but not even close to being a top tier bourbon barrel aged stout. Absolutely does not live up to the hype.

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Photo of bnes09
3.78/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ink black stout with a light tan colored head. Solid, sticky retention and sticks to the glass well. Lighter color head than expected but exceptional retention for the style.

Dark and sweet aromas. Lots of maple, hint of bourbon and some figs.

Deeply sweet malt flavor. Complex maple, dark fruit and molasses sweetness up front. Chocolate character comes in mid-drink and dominates the rest of the way. Mild coffee flavor provides a bitter balance. Not too much to say about the hops, they are really over-powered by the malt and maple syrup. Not bad, just too sweet for my taste.

Thick and syrupy body. Sticky. Mildly carbonated. Feel is slick with a syrupy stickiness.

Not bad. Very complex flavor. Just sweeter than I like my stouts.

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Photo of baconsausage
3.8/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is the second time I have had this beer, and I think it was better the fist time.

Thick dark pour with thin tan head. Aromas of maple, bourbon and milk chocolate abound. The taste follows suite, adding a bit of cold coffee to the mix. And then a charcoal, burnt woodiness that I find very off putting, and was arguably not in the first bottle I had. This astringent like flavor kinda ruins this for me. Beer has great mouthfeel, coating the palate with creaminess and a little heat from the booze.

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Photo of crazyfoMostout
3.82/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Recently had this on tap, as part of a Founders tap takeover and rare tasting event. I had lusted after this longer than any other beer I can remember. But I have to be honest ; the bourbon was overpowering and it was extremely cloying. I know Founders does big, bold, in -your- face beers, And I do like some BA beers, but this was too much. Please don't misunderstand what i'm saying here. If you love beers with a huge bourbon flavor, then you will probably enjoy this one. I had BCBS back to back with CBS, and like the GI and plain ol' FBS much better.

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Photo of WolfsbaneBloom
3.85/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

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

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Photo of phisigben
3.86/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Severed in a snifter it pours a nice dark mocha colored head that linger that leaves great lacing, near the edges it isn't exactly a very dark color its almost a dark reddish brown. I smell a good coffee flavor, boozy smell that I would contribute to the bourbon barrel, and very disappointingly a very faint maple. The coffee flavor is good not great, and the bourbon flavor is good but the maple flavor is very muted almost like the coffee over powers the maple flavor. The mouth feel is good its slick and slightly oily. I had this beer a year ago at the brewery and it was the most fantastic beer I ever had, this isnt that beer. I don't know if they changed the recipe or something but I was very let down by this in a bottle. Dont get me wrong this is a solid beer but I can think of several other stouts that I would much rather have.

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Photo of ne0m00re
3.87/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Live review of a 750 mL bottle.
A: Pitch black with a dark tan head that settles with an OK lacing.
S: Maple and fig, milk chocolate, very smooth bourbon, slight hint of coffee, vanilla oak and some raspberry. Somewhat medicinal, it kind of comes together like smokey maple fire.
T: Medicinal or mentholated in the finish, almost like chocolate mints. The onset and slow build is an interesting mix of chocolate, maple, and creamy bourbon, almost like Irish cream in coffee. It is slightly sweet with a medicinal cherry finish, with little notice given to any citrus hops. It's OK.
M: Thicker, with a creamy carbonation that slowly breaks to the crisp mentholated with a sweetness that lingers on your teeth.
O: Pretty good. The aroma offsets the taste. I'd like to try this on tap--and I wouldn't mind trying it again--but I'd rather have KBS or BORIS.

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Photo of JohnofUpton
3.89/5  rDev -16%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Had the 2015 on tap. I thought the dominant flavor was vanilla- overwhelmingly so. Couldn't really pull any bourbon or coffee flavors. Really sweet. I consider this to be the most overrated beer I've had. Love the KBS!

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Photo of PDXHops
3.89/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap in a shaker pint. Near black with mahogany highlights. Wispy head that manages to leave spotty lacing here and there.

With apologies to regular Breakfast Stout, this is what breakfast should smell like: chocolate chip pancakes with maple syrup and a pot of coffee. All that's missing is a side of bacon. Flavors are nicely integrated, with only a surprising bitterness and strong coffee disrupting the general smooth, sweet flow. Just enough roast to keep sweetness, maple and otherwise, in check. Medium-thick and pretty smooth. Good stuff.

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Founders CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
4.63 out of 5 based on 4,306 ratings.
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