CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout) | Founders Brewing Company

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

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: American Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.70%

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.

User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,409 | Ratings: 6,086
Photo of LBThiele3382
4.83/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Yeah, this stuff's awesome. I've had it on tap and from bottle; I have two bombers in the basement. This is a legendary brew from the great brewing state of Michigan...from the great brewer Founders (aka probably by favorite brewery on the planet). You get maple, chocolate, coffee and everything else you want from a big league-heavy-hitter-stout! Is it better than KBS? Maybe. But maybe just because I finished my last 22 of KBS...

Two big "thumbs up"!

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Photo of LampertLand
4/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Founders Brewing 'CBS' @ 11.6% , served from a 355 ml bottle
A-pour is a dark cola brown from the bottle to a near black in the glass with a small tan head which is quickly dissapating
S-sweet , very sweet , barrel aging ,
T-more chocolate than coffee thru out
MF-ok carbonation , feels full bodied
Ov-more sweet than big , good beer
prost LampertLand

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Photo of darkerisbetter
5/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Yes, straight 5's is, well, rare. What can I say? Best stout I've ever tasted, and stouts are pretty much all I drink in the beer space. My first experience with CBS was on a trip to NYC and a visit to Three Monkeys, a bar in Midtown. The price tag was a bit high, but I chalked it up to location (learned later that location isn't a factor), but my wife ordered it. I ordered something else, which wasn't memorable. The CBS was amazing. I mean, wow. And the fact that it was an imperial and still so sessionable... made it a little dangerous. The nose, the mouth feel, and above all the flavors in the masterful brew is something I'd never experienced and since then I haven't found anything that approaches it. Founders makes a Kentucky Breakfast Stout (KBS) and another simply labeled as "breakfast stout". Both are actually very nice, but not in the same league as CBS in my opinion. The only downside is price. $25 for a 24 oz bottle is high. But Wow.

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Photo of shambeano
4.46/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2018 edition, 355 ml bottle. Bottled on 24/09/2018. Poured into a tulip.
Look: pours thick and dark, gives about 2cm of coffee brown head. Mix of little and large bubbles. Very slowly subsides leaving some sticky lacing.
Smell: Dark chocolate and roasted coffee straight up, getting a little ashyness, touch of bourbon. Sweet maple syrup then comes through.
Taste: Straight up chocolate and coffee again, followed by a roasty bitterness. Bourbon comes through nearer to the end. Maple and vanilla are there, initially as an aftertaste, but coming through more as you adjust to the other flavours. A touch of oak in there too and some heat as it warms.
Feel: Heavy bodied, tingle of carbonation but not much. Dry's out the mouth and has a decent length.
Overall: Tasty beer, a little sweet. I prefer the KBS.

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Photo of jngrizzaffi
4.51/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pitch black color with a thick brown foamy head. Retention is very good and lacing is excellent. Aroma of maple, chocolate, mild coffee and bourbon. Nice and roasty. Taste had more chocolate. There is a lot of maple. Coffee bitterness at the end. Full bodied with mild to moderate carbonation.

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Photo of Hat_Fulla_Beer
4.44/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

355ml bottle poured into tulip.

Pours solid black with one fat finger of brown head that leaves Kansas stormcloud lace as it recedes.

Smells of maple syrup on pancakes, bourbon whiskey, fresh coffee grounds, melting semi-sweet chocolate chips, butterscotch cookies, vanilla, campfire smoke, whiskey barrel, soft licorice and a bit of leafy, peaty hops.

Tastes of lightly watered bourbon, creamed coffee, maple syrup milkshake, milk chocolate, roasted grain, stewed dark fruit, barrel stave, wet ash, more licorice and more faintly leafy hops.

Feels thick and strong. Full bodied with velvety carbonation. Finishes dry with a faint sizzle from the alcohol.

Verdict: Vigorously recommended. Rich and sweet and marvelous. Don't drink this before riding a rollercoaster.

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Photo of JackBurtonPorkChopExpress
5/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Amazing. Smell, flavor, taste. Super easy to drink and not overly sweet. Smell of maple toffee and chocolate. Smell and taste coincide.

The hype is legit on this one. Originally didn’t give it a straight 5 because I didn’t wanna be “that guy”, but after filling up a second pour, I had to edit my review. Get it if you can, you won’t be disappointed.

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Photo of Sandis
4.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had this on tap at Celts Craft House Farmington, MN. Perfect breakfast beer. Rich maple and chocolate with low carbonation. It was hard to stop at just one but with rare beer fest later that evening, I needed to pace myself.

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Photo of absolutchi
4.39/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This is delicious. The strong stout is well balanced with a bit of sweetness from maple syrup and bitterness from chocolate.

Pours black. Not much smell. Mouthfeel is smooth.

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Photo of garymuchow
4.41/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Kinda' fun this became more accessible this year.
Boy that's black. I'm not even getting any highlights on the edges. Smallish but dense light brown head with a funny look of some bigger bubbles amidst the dense cover. NIce dark lacing.
A soft coffee that is smooth and nice. Mixed in is some soft bourbon and vanilla, and just a little chocolate. Not a strong or powerful aroma. Actually have to search some in this one. But it's nice and a bit different than some other big beers.
Now the taste is bold...and complex. It's gonna' take a bit to parse this one out. Beyond the complexity and strong roast, I first notice the warm shot in my gut. Yikes. Also the lingering on the finish, again of roast with some coffee. Not particularly bitter, but smooth and pleasing. Can pick up the maple in the taste up front where the sweetness is. That's nice. It seems to blend with the chocolate and coffee roast. Bourbon is later and blends with the roast as well and shows hints of vanilla too. A 2018 version so there is still a little sharpness and bite. No too much, just enough to notice. Can feel is on the insides of the cheeks with the coffee.
Not a real bit feel but very smooth, almost velvet. Very nice. Alcohol becomes a little perfume like in time.
Each take is an adventure and a delight. Each drink is satisfying. Can't ask for more than that.

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Photo of TrojanRB
4.23/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours an inky, oily pitch black. No head.

Nose is toffee and a little oak.

I get a lot more barrel and bourbon character on the taste. There is a nice maple sweetness on the finish.

Mouthfeel is smooth, silky, a little oily. Really hides the ABV well. Not overly sweet which is nice.

This is a very good beer, but to me, it fell a bit short of the hype. I'd like to get another bottle and do side by side with some of the barrel aged offerings from Alesmith and The Bruery.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

750 ml
2018 Release
Bottled On: 10.16.18
ABV: 11.6%

Almost 5 months on this bottle. First time with this one.

Poured into a Tree House glass a very nice dark brown/black color, with some very nice carbonation, with a very nice thick/creamy one-finger plus tan head, which also leaves a very nice medium size thick creamy island, and some pretty nice sticky lacing behind. The nose is very nice, malty, hoppy, with some really nice chocolate/toffee, some nice coffee, with a nice touch of vanilla/maple, licorice, bourbon, oaky. The taste is very nice, malty, hoppy, with some really nice chocolate/toffee notes, some pretty nice coffee, very nice vanilla/maple sweetness, licorice, with a really nice bourbon/oak note. Full Body, ABV is hidden very nicely, a very nice complex brew, with a nice dry/bitter finish. Overall, a very tasty brew! Glad to see it around here.

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Photo of jkblr
4.6/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

750mL bottled 9/28/18 (5 months ago) poured into a Spiegelau stout glass after warming 30 minutes from the fridge 11.6% ABV. The beer pours dense, inky black with no light penetration and builds a generous head of reddish brown. The head slowly settles to a thick cap and leaves plenty of lacing. The aroma is bourbon, oak, maple, chocolate fudge and vanilla all rolled into one. The taste is fairly sweet liquid brownie with maple icing melding into a mild coffee, bourbon and oak middle before ending with a mildly bitter vanilla finish. The mouthfeel is full bodied with less than medium carbonation and an undry, but clean, finish. There is no alcohol presence in the aroma or taste, only a mild heat. Overall, world class. Really special beer here.

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Photo of mishi_d
4.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Black color with tan head, aroma of chocolate, caramel, maple syrup and bourbon, medium sweetness, medium bitterness, full body, alcohol is burning at the end.

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Photo of BerryKumquat
4.91/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

L: Very beautiful dark coolor.
S: Very strong chocolate/coffee.
T: A light start into a a strong dark coffee flavor that ends up with rich chocolate notes at the end.
F: A strong, punchy dark flavor.
O: A crazy dark rush of flavor from start to finish.

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Photo of doktorhops
4.08/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Review #1,111 – This is it; my last hurrah, my final long-format review on BeerAdvocate (I’m now on Untappd as “doktorhops” where I will still on occasion dispense beer-laden advice 140 letters at a time). I have several reasons, but it mainly boils down to having two little ones and too limited an amount of time keep writing these reviews (over 458,700 words and counting – that’s enough to fill a novel FFS). So I saved the best for last: Founders Canadian Breakfast Stout. Some ppl know me as “that guy wot wrote the most liked FBS review on BA” and I figured it rather fitting to review one of their most legendary brews: the maple syrup bourbon barrel ripper known affectionately as “CBS”. Spoiler alert: This’ll be bitchen.

Poured from a 355ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Pours richer, denser, more-viscous than FBS – Wow! What a demonic looking beast this Imp-Stout is! Blacker than a black heart covered in a tar-like ooze, with a thin ring of tan lace, this is the beer that launched a thousand beer nerds – to paraphrase Marlowe. 10/10.

S: Very much a KBS meets a maple syrup barrel kind of aroma: bourbon hints, oak/woody/vanilla tones, dark chocolate and roasted coffee… and of course the signature ingredient: maple syrup! There’s an odd pear/apple ester too – not sure what that’s doing here (not unlike the odd shochu character in KBS). Still this is a complex and well-rounded fragrance, superb work again from Founders. 9/10.

T: Hmmm, much sweeter than I recall KBS. I’m sure you’re thinking “derp man” however it is customary for sweeter flavours from a barrel to mellow out during the ageing – this just feels like KBS with maple syrup added post-ageing. That said, if you’re a sweet-tooth then this is maple heaven. Flavour profile is very much like KBS, powerful with notes of: roasted coffee, dark chocolate, bourbon, oak/woody/vanilla, molasses and a hint of coffee bitterness in the finish. 7/10.

M: Yep, there’s that Founders body – smoother than a Motown R&B singer, this is as heavy and luscious as they come – a perfect 10 like the other BS’s. 10/10.

D: Alas, for me this brew was sweet to the point of a needle – an insulin needle. Too much of a good thing, there is such a beer: Canadian Breakfast Stout. IMO the best of Founders is (and perhaps will always be) KBS. No lie – I struggled to finish this it was so sweet, paying $24 for the bottle helped it go down, I cant abide wasting a beer at this price point. Sorry for the (semi)-sad ending. 8/10.

Food match: Perhaps pancakes could soak up this sugar-bomb of a brew?

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Photo of VTbrewfan
4.53/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Brewer’s Fork in Charlestown, MA.
Look: dark mahogany with thin tan lacing
Smell: maple, bourbon, wood
Taste: prominent maple syrup, caramel, coffee, baker’s chcoclate. Extremely sweet but not cloyingly so.
Feel: thick and syrupy
Overall: a great dessert beer. Glad I got to try some on tap. Might be too heavy for a full pint, but a 9-12 oz pour puts you in a good place.

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Photo of VoxRationis
4.97/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Decanted from a 25.4 oz (750 ml) bottle into a customer taster pint; 2017 release.
A: Pours a deep mahogany to black color with about a one finger, light brown head, retention to a full cap, and spidery lacing.
S: Aromas of dark chocolate, vanilla, whiskey, honey, molasses, plum, and dark roasted coffee.
T: More semisweet than sweet. Flavors follow the nose and work together well on the palate. Bitterness solid and provides strong counterpoise to the sweetness.
M: Full bodied with moderate effervescence.
O: Opened this to celebrate my Father-in-law's 95th birthday. Had read about it and ultimately traded for it (thank you Rkitchen!). This is a great stout: it drinks smoothly, it is not overly sweet, it is complex and balanced (no easy feat for a flavor-adulterated stout). Really just a gorgeous olfactory and gustatory experience. Thankfully, I was able to procure the 2018 release locally and am looking forward to an occasion to open it.

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Photo of Moohing
4.67/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Great beer but I'm not sure if it's top 25 overall material. Great smell and look, beautiful head especially out of a keg. Definitely something I'd look for again and would be interested to see how well a bottle would sit for a few years.

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Photo of beergoot
4.63/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Ebony body topped with a very thick, creamy and dense light tan head. Luscious aroma of gently sweet cocoa and baker's chocolate; some charred grain and fruity esters; peanut butter. Incredible bursts of flavor, highlighting sweet chocolate, bourbon and, yes, maple syrup; some bitterness. Thick and velvety texture to the beer; heavy with residual sugars

This is one damn fine beer! Great appearance and aroma but, brother, the taste and mouthfeel are exceptional. It reminds me of a boozy chocolate brownie. I will be picking more up when the chance arises again...

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Photo of MNAle
4.3/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

2018 batch. Aroma is roasted coffee, whiskey, vanilla, and sweet malts. Deeply black, with only a tinge of ruby around the edges with a back light. Short tan head, creamy and thick, that falls quickly to a ring. Wonderfully thick and creamy body. Initial taste is vanilla, cinnamon, and coffee; just a little whiskey. The finish is slightly bitter, but the sweet malts remain throughout.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
4.6/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From the 750 ml bottle in a snifter. This mighty malt bomb pours a rich coal black
with a nice head of tan foam that subsides to a thick ring, thin pool with a sudsy side
saddle, and a nice sudsy and soapy lacing. Nose of coffee, dark fudge, maple, mild bourbon,
and laced with touches of vanilla and brulee. Flavors show a fine balance of flavors
for such a heady brew. Vanilla and rich dark cocoa laden fudge align nicely against
a dark bitter coffee background that is awash in brulee and mild bourbon with a
balanced maple note that is mild without being overpowering. Exceptional
mouth feel; full rich body, medium light soft carbonation that is just enough
to give some light effervescence to this beast with a rich and lightly coating
sweet and bitter malt finish.

Overall----it's Founder''s killer----DUH!

This deftly crafted imperial is on par to be one of my favorites minus the price tag
and has helped pull me away from my of late distaste for sweet imperial stouts.
It shows balance and fine crafting.


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Photo of HoppingMadMonk
4.49/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Solid jet black color . Medium light carbonation above average body.. thick creamy, slightly oily feel.
Aroma is boozy, bourbon, sugary maple syrup, black coffee a d milk chocolate
Taste is maple and bourbon, mildly sweet with some alcohol burn that lingers. Fudge, coffee, mocha a day taste with some roasted malt.
It deserves a world class ranking

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Photo of PatrickCT
3.53/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Matte black body. Bubbly, active two finger head the color of brown leather. Sticky, webbed lacing.
Big aroma of maple and chocolate. There is a beer there somewhere as I can detect the roasted malts of an imperial stout. Also some coffee. And wood.
The malts come out a bit more in the taste. The sweetness of the maple mixed with the chocolate give the impression of chocolate milk. The barrel flavor and nip of bourbon give the impression of chocolate milk with a drop of bourbon. The beer in general gives the impression that I would have saved some money making chocolate milk and dropping in a shot of bourbon.
The body is syrupy smooth. Heavy with medium-low carbonation. Uninteresting finish.

The beer is drinkable. I am sure it is priced according to all that goes into it. It is just too damn sweet.

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Photo of Thankin_Hank
4.77/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

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CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.65 out of 5 with 6,086 ratings