CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout)
Founders Brewing Company

CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout)CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout)
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
American Imperial Stout
Ranked #7
Ranked #13
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: 1,425 | Ratings: 6,172
Photo of garymuchow
4.41/5  rDev -6.2%
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.

 1,379 characters

Photo of TrojanRB
4.23/5  rDev -10%
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.

 483 characters

Photo of Wasatch
4.9/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

 871 characters

Photo of jkblr
4.6/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

 761 characters

Photo of mishi_d
4.75/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

 159 characters

Photo of BerryKumquat
4.91/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

 254 characters

Photo of doktorhops
4.08/5  rDev -13.2%
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?

 2,621 characters

Photo of VTbrewfan
4.53/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

 387 characters

Photo of VoxRationis
4.97/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

 956 characters

Photo of Moohing
4.67/5  rDev -0.6%
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.

 238 characters

Photo of beergoot
4.63/5  rDev -1.5%
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...

 568 characters

Photo of MNAle
4.3/5  rDev -8.5%
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.

 389 characters

Photo of Brutaltruth
4.6/5  rDev -2.1%
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.


 1,043 characters

Photo of HoppingMadMonk
4.49/5  rDev -4.5%
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

 366 characters

Photo of PatrickCT
3.53/5  rDev -24.9%
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.

 810 characters

Photo of Thankin_Hank
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.

 226 characters

Photo of cambabeer
4.62/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2018 Release

L - Jet black, inky pour. Frothy brown (with a hint of orange) head. Varying sizes of bubbles, and sticky on the side of the glass. Looks perfect.

S - The bourbon really comes through heavy here. Just opening the bottle almost got a waft like opening a bottle of bourbon. Peat and grass in the background, a little smoky, but mostly sweet. Some butterscotch, chocolate, and vanilla.

T - Much less bourbon than the aroma would have suggested... though still there. A lot of sweetness coming through, maple syrup, brown sugar. A little smoky malt bitterness wants to come through, but the sweetness wins that battle.

F - Light carbonation, expected some real sticky feel and while the stickiness is there, it comes across as more smooth and silky. Not light, but not nearly as heavy as I would have thought.

O - Lived up to the hype. Great choice for my #1000.

 879 characters

Photo of Longhorn08
4.65/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A real treat. Thought i had missed my shot but found it on the shelf at a local HEB grocery store. They syrup flavor was there but not too prominent that it over powered the beer. Glad I was able to try it once. Wish the price point was a bit lower, but worth a try for anyone who hasn't before.

 299 characters

Photo of Viaduck
4.5/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Body as dark as a moonless night with a thick foamy head the color of milk chocolate. Very pretty aroma, chocolate, lots of chocolate, coffee, maple & alcohol. Plenty of chocolate sweetness balanced with coffee bitterness. Flavor wise I was expecting more maple, it is still delicious, very sweet & I like that. Feel is viscous & velvety. I think it is slightly lacking in barrel flavors. At $26 , it is the most I’ve paid for a bottle & certainly worth trying but not quite as god as bourbon county stout. Still it is one the best & should be on everyone’s must try lists.

 578 characters

Photo of HoptopsY
4.36/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Just for the sake of this I let my bottle sit for 4 months after bottle date before popping open. 2018 vintage. Aroma is nice dark and milk chocolate, vanilla, bourbon spirit, coconut, light coffee in the background, maple syrup. Taste is sweet chocolate and maple syrup. Slight warming from the spirit. Not much barrel wood. Outstanding beer.

 343 characters

Photo of Ehall1995
4.62/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Smooth. I love Founders barreled aged series and this one is absolutely amazing. The sweetness of the maple adds so much flavor and the bourbon adds to it.

 155 characters

Photo of Impetuous
3.61/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Opaque, deep brown body with small caramel head and lotsa lacing.

Flavors are chocolate, sweet malts, alcohol, and some pine hops hiding in the weeds. Carbonation is easy, making it seem easier than it is.

It's good.

 222 characters

Photo of GeeL
4.63/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2017 vintage served in a tulip glass in late February for my 50th b-day.

About as perfect a stout I've ever had.
L: dark, like a stout of this type should look
S: brown sugar, chocolate, malt, hint of coffee and vanilla
T: At first it's sweet, then as you adjust it gets more complex. The maple is there but not particularly pronounced.
F: thick, the flavor lingers

O: this was a "whale" beer for me, Had it on my 50th b-day. It was a treat, and I'll get some more next time it comes around.

 493 characters

Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4.23/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Served in a red wine glass from the bottle.

Appearance: Semi thick, dark black body with medium bubbles creating a tan head which rose nudge over a finger's length. Settles steady nice and even after one or two sips.

Smell: Milk chocolate and whiskey aroma accompanied by doses of brown sugar. It's a warm scent and literally lingers in your nostrils.

Taste: Sweet complex taste of chocolate which is so evident and complex whiskey with maple. It's a touch overpowering sweet when you start sipping and it's definitely distinct but honestly I was expecting more from the brew.

Mouth: what can I say this beer is sticky, medium carbonation with a super Full body and lingering after taste which overpowers anything you are eating with it.

Overall: Nice pick up but personally founders does make better imperial Stouts and you know where to look if you really want them. Always in a glass, Salud!

 904 characters

Photo of DraconusDesanctus666
4.66/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

First review in a long time.Picked this up for my birthday.2018 release.

Look- Thick frothy light brown head 2 finger widths tall.Dark black body with no light showing through.Very little small bubbles,stuck to the bottom of the glass,otherwise not much going on.

Smell- I get heavy notes of chocolate,coffee,maple syrup,and bourbon.It has a really nice smell.

Taste- This one is really strong.Then again it’s been a long time since I drank an imperial stout.I get dark and sweet chocolate,up front with some faint maple syrup.Strong notes of dark black coffee,and bourbon on the back end.Nice dark malty after taste long after the booze subsides.

Feel- Very heavy body with a thick syrupy texture.Chalky in the mouth after swallowing.Very nice feel in the mouth.

Overall- This is a really nice beer.I probably would have appreciated it more 2 years ago when I was drinking a lot of stouts.But this was still a very enjoyable beer for me,even with the high ABV.I would recommend anyone who likes stouts try this beer.

 1,024 characters

CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 100 out of 100 with 6172 ratings