Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99! (Limited time offer, US delivery only)

CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout) | Founders Brewing Company

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout)CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout)
4,747 Ratings
CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout)CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout)

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: American Double / 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.

Added by CRJMellor on 02-01-2009

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 4,747 |  Reviews: 1,104
Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A tasty beer, and credit for that, but I tell you up front coffee and maple syrup, both in huge abundance on top of their regular breakfast stout, is not my preferred choices. I would rather tuned up chocolate. Lots of true coffee, even the taste of creme (though I understand no real creme used). Very filling, the maple syrup seems added in. Above average mouthfeel,, though not as thick as one could imagine. Thanks to Mike at Champane's for putting this one aside for me.

 475 characters

Photo of kylehay2004
4.72/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This has been my white whale. So happy to get to try it. FINALLY

A: single finger creamy dark tan head on a jet body with excellent lacing. No light getting through

S: coffee, vanilla, dark fruit, spearmint, bourbon booze, milk chocolate... Really a touch light on aroma but picked up as it warmed.

T: much sweeter than I was expecting. The coffee flavor is all throughout but without much bitterness. Maple and vanilla dominate. Bourbon is disguised as applying sweetness without the liquor sting. Complex and flavorful. Nothing off putting and is close to the hype as almost no beer can match the hype like that surrounding this one.

M: may be the best part. So silky smooth, perfect degree of coating the palate. No bad aftertaste.

Overall: so happy I got to try it. Now that I havr I will likely randomly and unintentionally come accross it a dozen more times. Worth the wait but still not the best beer I have had but damn close

 940 characters

Photo of acurtis
4.25/5  rDev -9%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.75/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of jaydoc
4.58/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.84/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to bastu for sending me this one!

Pours an opaque black with a dense 3 inch foamy dark khaki head that settles to a small cap. A nice latticework of lace sticks to the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, coffee grounds, cocoa powder, dark chocolate, and maple syrup. Taste is of dark roasted malt, maple syrup, coffee beans, dark chocolate syrup, and a bit of alcohol. There is a nice roasty/cocoa bitterness on the finish that lingers on the tongue and a slight alcohol burn in the back of the throat. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Overall, this is an exceptional beer that completely lives up to its hype. Hands down, one of tne of the best stouts I have ever had.

 748 characters

Photo of GRG1313
5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of spycow
5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev -14.3%

Photo of djrn2
4.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of Knapp85
4.75/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Managed to get one of twelve bottles at Abe's on the day of it's release. The beer poured out as a very dark black color, nice and thick oily looking body with a brown colored head on top. The head lasts for a little bit and fades in time. The smell of the beer is sweet and lightly roasted with some maple, chocolate and coffee aromas. The first sip is sensational, I couldn't believe how great this tasted. The blend of maple and coffee was fantastic. Such an interesting flavor it's hard to explain. The mouthfeel of this brew is creamy, thick and rich. Overall this beer is great. There isn't many other ways to explain how good this is. Makes me wish I could have gotten more. So glad that I got to try this beer finally.

 726 characters

Photo of nmann08
4.75/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.25/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of t0rin0
4.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of metter98
4.6/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a finger high dark tan head that slowly died down leaving lacing on the surface and down the sides of the glass.
S: There are moderate aromas of bourbon in the nose along with some notes of oak.
T: The taste is very well balanced between flavors of bourbon, chocolate and roasted malts. The maple barrel aging contributes a slight amount of sweetness.
M: It feels full-bodied and very smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. Warming from the alcohol is present in the finish.
O: The beer is extremely easy to drink considering its strength because the alcohol is well hidden from the taste.

 660 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4.5/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

As lavish and lush as any beer I've had. The culmination of roast, espresso, maple sweetness, malted milk, and bittersweet chocolates is nearly overcomming, but is also charming in its simplicity.

The beer opens with an extremely creamy and volumnous pour. A creamy tan head forms on at the top of the glass as the opaque black beer settles and cascades while the foam rises. The head reliquishes some control because of the emmensity of alcohol. Amazing to see this amount of foam character from such an alcoholic and syrupy beer.

Dominant in its aromas of espresso, cocoa beans, nutty maple, and roasted barley take hold of the nose. But their intensity is unmistakable. Strong bourbony alcohol scent rises as the beer warms and stimulates the olfactory senses. Simple in variety, but complex in strength.

Flavors continue where aromas end. Extreme flavors of espresso, cocoa, maple syrup sweetness, and roasted barley set the tone. Malt sweetness amplifies with maple contributions while medium attenuated malt flavor gives a sturdy foundation to support the robust complementary flavors. Smoky sweetness accompany the cocoa-coffee attack. Esters and phenolic spice are also foregone thus limiting its complexity. Bourbon alcohol flavors are evident and gives a bit more fullness to the taste.

The mouthfeel is structual and heavy. Creamy, rich, and round while also smooth, velvety, and somewhat sweetish in weight. Bitterness arrives from a lot of angles: hops, espersso, cocoa, and alcohol. Avoiding a cloying feel, the beer has finishes malty-rich with lingering maple syrup flavor in aftertaste.

A very rounded and sweeter variety to the ever stable KBS with maple sweetness that shares the stage with coffee and bourbon. These offer a part of a distraction and a complex note all at once. Complex in its sheer proportions of relatively few dominant flavors, yet simple in its intent. Coffee- Cocoa- Malt- Maple. And it succeeds at every faucet. It has earned its way onto the worlds greatest beers and rightfully so.

 2,030 characters

Photo of kojevergas
4.08/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Brown glass grumbler shared by the very generous Collins, who got it filled in Vermont 8 days ago. Expectations are sky high given its reputation, my love for Founders, and more specifically my love for KBS. Reviewed live at low altitude in Austin, TX. Served cold into an Adelbert's stem-tulip and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. 10.6% ABV.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: None. No lacing. To be fair, this is a growler pour.

BODY: Opaque dark brown-black. No yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible.

Appears undercarbonated. Not unique or special looking.

AROMA: A hint of maple syrup. Bourbon character: faint vanilla, a bit of oak. Dark malts, chocolate malts. The maple rocks my world; that's damned inviting. Certainly on the sweeter side, but it doesn't evoke a dessert beer. I find no coffee character whatsoever. The chocolate is far less pronounced than I expected; at most I get some chocolate malt, but no authentic chocolate. Cream. Maybe some caramel.

No yeast character, overt alcohol, hop character, or off-notes come through. It doesn't have any dark fruit, char, or burnt notes. Roasted barley isn't present, and it's usually a note I miss sorely, but based on the aroma its absence doesn't bother me.

Aromatic intensity is pretty high.

Has easily the best maple character I've ever come across, especially as it warms.

TASTE: The maple syrup isn't as prominent as I'd like, but boy is it good. The dark malt and chocolate malt backbone is nice, and lends it some apt sweetness. Not so sweet that it's a dessert beer. The chocolate is nice, but isn't as evocative or authentic as it could (i.e. should) be. I find no coffee whatsoever. If caramel is present, it's damned subtle - just as it should be. Cream.

No yeast character, hop character, off-notes, or overt boozy alcohol comes through. I would like some roasted barley presence. Not nutty, burnt, toasty, charred, or ashen.

Very well balanced, without too much sweetness. Absolutely cohesive, and almost gestalt. The maple note is emerging more as it warms, which I adore. Good depth and duration of flavour, though the aftertaste doesn't linger. Nice intensity of flavour.

The bourbon barrel character is a bit too subtle and reticent, but it does complement the base beer very well. Subtle vanilla and marshmallow notes are present - and both are marvelous. It doesn't have the white oak you might look for in a bourbon barrel aged beer, but frankly it just doesn't need it. I've experienced bourbon barrel notes that are better than these, but it's rare that the bourbon character just melts into the flavour profile like this does.

Absolutely an intricate build for an imperial stout, but not the most complex brew I've had. As much as I adore it, I'm not finding any coffee whatsoever.

TEXTURE: Creamy, smooth, wet, unrefreshing, slightly overcarbonated, and aptly soft. Slightly gooey, which coaxes out more nuance from the marshmallow. Full-bodied, with a perfect thickness and perfect weight on the palate. Overall presence on the palate is fantastic. This texture elevates the beer - mostly by staying out of the way and just backing up the intricate flavours. Not as sticky or syrupy as you'd think a maple syrup imperial stout would be.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, harsh, rough, or scratchy.

OVERALL: Not a sipper because it's so damn good. The ABV isn't unnoticeable, but it's not a boozy brew. This is hands down an incredible imperial stout and - as it warms - has some of the best maple character I've ever experienced period. Worth seeking out, but do serve chilled - not cold. This is a beer that's meant to be savored, and I'm happy to say it's worthy of the hullabaloo. Huge thanks to Collins for the share. The maple is transcendent, especially as it warms.


 3,818 characters

Photo of Taphouse_Traveler
4.41/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of emerge077
4.54/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Closed out the day with 2 pours of this at DLD '09.

Looked much like KBS in the glass, a thin cap of dark brown creamy mocha foam that gently stuck to the sides. Black oily liquid. Fantastic maple aroma that took the edge off the raw coffee roast, and sweetened it up ever so slightly. Smooth and supple feel, low carbonation, almost slippery. Rich chocolate & bitter coffee elements from the stout, soft maple traces, and buttery vanilla from the barrel. ABV was well hidden, and I had no problem finishing the 10+/- ounces that were combined in one cup. The maple syrup/bourbon barrel really added a nice extra dimension to it, without too much additional sweetness. This was the only guest tap I sampled at DLD, and I felt lucky to try it, though that doesn't factor into the score.

 787 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.37/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Arrives at the bar with a pitch black color and a modest tan cap; despite the minimal head, the lacing action was rather robust

Smell: Canadian whiskey barrel, vanilla. maple, dark chocolate, oatmeal and coffee - it is all there and then some

Taste: On the opening, the dark chocolate, oatmeal and Canadian whiskey flavors are the first to emerge, along with a dark fruit complexity; by mid-palate, the maple, brown sugar, coffee and vanilla elements become more prominent as the beer adds a rather boozy aspect; after the swallow, the flavors meld together in layered complexity, though the lasting impression is chocolate, coffee and whiskey though the finish adds a tobacco character

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with low to moderate carbonation; warmth in the gullet after the swallow

Drinkability: Sippable, in small quantities, this beer is a treat to behold; one day it would be interesting to pair the BS, CBS and KBS together for a side by side tasting

 971 characters

Photo of oline73
4.92/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: Pours almost black with a hint of red coming through at the edges. There is a layer of beautiful tan head and decent retention.

Smell: Sweet bourbon and maple syrup with strong notes of coffee. Quite sweet and a bit nutty.

Taste: Just as wonderful as the smell. Smooth coffee and bourbon. The maple notes are perfect. Bourbon heat is really good.

Mouthfeel: Thick, but not too thick. Tingly and smooth carbonation with a dry finish.

Overall: Damn near perfect!

 521 characters

Photo of zeff80
4.57/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a jet-black, viscous looking color with a two-finger, brown head of bubbly foam. Nice retention that left sheets of sticky lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of bourbon, chocolate and maple syrup. A boozy aroma overall.

T - It tasted of oak, bourbon, chocolate and toffee. Some maple syrup flavors with a burnt molasses flavor.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A full bodied ale with a dry, clean finish.

O - This is really an outstanding beer. It delivered upon all my expectations.

 504 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
4.75/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of LXIXME
4.52/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.67 out of 5 with 4,747 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.