CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout)
Founders Brewing Company

CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout)CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout)
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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: 6,171
Photo of mkh012
4.5/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2018 vintage, bottled 4 months ago.

A near-black orb in my tulip glass, topped with a tan head. Visibly dense.

The nose is coffee, chocolate, and a pastry/cinnamon bun sweetness. Definitely some maple vibes with whispers of bourbon.

The taste is similar. This is essentially a sweeter version of KBS. I get mocha and maple, with hints of bourbon and wood on the backend. The sweetness is tame and balanced and rounds out the beer.

The mouthfeel is medium+. Not quite syrupy but big.

Overall, awesome stuff. It's balanced for what it is. Don't expect a wallop of maple or a dessert stout explosion. Every flavor is equally represented.

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Photo of rand
4.21/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750 bottle into giant snifter

Looks like a stout should - pitch-black and viscous with a thick, coffee-tan head that never fully recedes.

Smoky and oaky nose, with lots of sugars dancing about. The maple is obvious, and earthy-sweet bourbon notes linger.

Super sweet flavor profile, even more than expected. Tons of maple essence, bourbon. Sweet, caramelly notes absolutely dominate, as oak and coffee take a back seat. Plenty of chocolate and carob as well. You can get a tiny amount of that kind of rubbery, astringent signature Founders stout flavor (the flavor in KBS that's unmistakable), but it's so overwhelmed by a sugary onslaught your palate soon forgets. Finishes very long and sweet. In fact, it doesn't really finish.

Fun to drink, but this beer was a little overhyped because of its previous relative scarcity.

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Photo of Jigsawjamo
4.57/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A drinkable stout.
I was sceptical at first, after smelling it from the bottle--I wasn't too excited. But once I poured this fabulous stout in a proper glass, the smell (bouquet?) was legit. More maple and coffee than chocolate... It also has very nice smokey undertones. CBS has a solid head and pitch black body.
Seriously smooth for a 11abv stout. Doesn't have a strong boozy taste or smell of others in its abv category. A top tier and pretty complex stout! 4.75 - 5

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Photo of Tripel_Threat
4.41/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap in a snifter. Dark, Cola colored liquid with a half finger of mocha head. Nice aromas of cocoa, coffee, roast malt, anise, wood, smoke, and booze. Big flavors of dark chocolate and coffee, roast, bread, Bourbon, maple.

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

750 mL bottle dated 10/9/18, poured into Kane chalice and allowed to warm.

Not gonna lie, I am pretty pumped up for this.

L: 1F tan head with very good retention, Leaves some lacing and a nice tan cap and ring. Beer is dark black.

S: Coffee, cocoa, and a bit of oaky bourbon barrel. Some maple sweetness. Good, but I expected it to be more authoritative.

T: I GOT YOUR AUTHORITATIVE RIGHT HERE. Wow. Flavor waves of coffee and cocoa and roasted malts, with the bourbon barrel just in the background, but definitely the right amount. Maple sweetness comes in, but while the maple taste is authoritative, the sweetness is not cloying and is nicely cut by both the roast and the ABV. Yeah, baby, this is the stuff.

F: Medium to full-bodied, Slightly carbonated. Construction superb, balance right up there as well. Drinks unbelievably well for a high ABV stout.

O: Believe the hype. Even with the increased production, this is for real.

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Photo of Antg8989
4.65/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Well here it is. C.B.S. Pours dark brown. Light brown long lasting head. Mot much lacing. Aroma is...and my laptop died. Well, I think the maple syrup came through very nicely. Sweeter than KBS.

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Photo of philbe311
4.62/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Long time, no formal review... However, I figured this one was worth it...

L - Thick - It poured slightly sludgy (in a good way)... Rich creamy froth starts at 2.5 fingers before receding, but never quite disappearing completely... Rich dark brown / flat black color...

S - Brazilian coffee... Fudge brownies... Perhaps just a faint hint of the maple syrup... Mildly intoxicating...

T - Starts like most stouts - roasted malts, chocolate and hints of coffee... The sweetness dials up in intensity throughout... Teeters on a touch cloying towards the finish, but never quite gets there... Very good balance and complexity...

F - Dense and lush... On the fuller side of full bodied... Rich and creamy... Did I mention lush?

O - Outstanding beer... Excellent as anticipated... I've drank tons and tons of stouts and this is rather unique... The sweetness is unlike anything else I've ever tried... The mouthfeel is word class... Worth the elevated price I was forced to pay, but a worthy in indulgence...

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Photo of taxandbeerguy
4.51/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

355 ml bottle served cold into a Chimay chalice. LCBo purchase for $8.50 CDN. Only the highest rated beer, I've had the chance to sample. I guess this makes for a good New Year's Day brew, kick it off in style. 11,6% ABV and best before September 24, 2019.

Appearance - Thick and oily, midnight black in color with a dark tan head of about a finger. Moderate retention and a tiny bit of sparse lacing. Great looking brew.

Smell - Big smells of molasses, dark chocolate, coffee and maple syrup. Some bourbon and vanilla shine through as well. Complex and well put together. Maple and brown sugar show a little more after a few whiffs.

Taste - Molasses at first and quite a bit of unsweetened chocolate. Transitions to sweet maple syrup, but not too sweet. Lots of boozy bourbon and wood flavors towards the end as the is a restrained yet astringent quality to the bitterness. Really good stuff. If anything, I wouldn't object if the maple syrup came through just a tiny bit more.

Mouthfeel - Slick, dense and robust like liquid velvet. Boozy finish leaves a great warming sensation at the back of the throat.

Overall - Really, really good stuff, one of the best stouts I've had although I actually prefer the breakfast stout to KBS and CBS. Still, the maple is well ingrained, being present, but the beer is never too sweet and is really nicely balanced. Even at the extravagant price, complete worth picking up a bottle or 4 (as I did) since this calibre of brew doesn't come to these parts too often.

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Photo of HipCzech
4.29/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Serving: 750 ml bottle (“bottled on 10.08.18”), poured into a 9 oz Libbey Embassy snifter.

Appearance: Deep, dark inky black-brown with a short, thick head of mahogany foam and patchy lace.

Smell: Roasted malts and coffee beans, fruity chocolate, maple syrup, burnt caramel, and slight barrel char.

Taste: A big blast of sweet and roasted malt goodness. Coffee, chocolate and roasted malt add nutty, fruity and earthy bitter notes to balance the maple syrup and bourbon vanilla sweetness. Closes with just enough roasted bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with a velvety, creamy feel and soft to medium carbonation.

Overall: A big but harmonious brew; leaning a bit sweet, but still balanced and delicious.

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Photo of Myros
4.33/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 10/2/18.
Poured from a 750ml into a tulip.
Opaque black and gorgeous. Latte colored head with good retention and nice lacing.

Aroma is very nice but a bit overwhelmed by the alcohol for me with notes of maple, vanilla, dark chocolate, sour coffee, and wonderful oak.

Taste is superb with a smooth balance between all the major flavors. Semisweet chocolate hits hard up front and lingers nicely on the palate at the end. I get a subtle maple flavor upfront through midway, which is surprising as I expected a stronger maple flavor, but I’m happy that it’s subtle. Dark roast coffee, sweet roasted malt, and a bourbon barrel background round out the flavors for me. Alcohol is noticeably high as expected.

Mouthfeel is full and luxuriously smooth with a pleasant crispness (from the bitter malt maybe?) that balances the smoothness.

Overall, outstanding and fun but only once a year at best for me. A little too sweet is my only complaint. But that’s just me. The labeling clearly indicates you are in for a sweet beer.

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

New release for 2018 and Wow! Maple and bourbon nose. Chocolate and coffee aromas are perfectly blended. Super smooth taste, more coffee taste emitted as it warms. Phenomenal beer at any Price. Compare to Old Curmugeon it has less maple taste.
Had it at Sisters’ Barn in Redondo Beach,Ca

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Photo of TreeHouse_Erection
4.71/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Ridiculously good. I didn't get much maple at all but it didn't take anything away from it. If they didn't put maple syrup barrels in the description, people would rate this even higher because they wouldn't be expecting a maple bomb. Mouth feel was almost perfect, coffee and chocolate were balanced perfectly with the sweetness. Not too much barrel which can sometimes overpower these barrel aged stouts. Overall it was worth the high price and I will buy it every year it's available.

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Photo of orcrist_cleaver
4.68/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Midnight black pour; multi-tonal brown head with spongy stratum of khaki, mocha, and mahogany. Hazelnut coffee, spelt grain chocolate chip pancakes, dark amber maple syrup. There's a little spice and heat from the barrel aging, and juxtaposes well against the sweetness of the malt and maple. Flavor parallels the nose tightly, but with more bittersweet accents of burnt pecan brittle, earthy smokiness. Herbal vanilla balances the deeply pronounced flavors of earth & wood. Body is expectedly full and velvety. Just acrid enough to not be super cloying although my lips still stick a bit.

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Photo of ZAP
3.94/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L-Syrupy rich pour....dark brown/ head..

S-Coffee is the first impression and the strongest aroma...kind of one dimensional....straining I get light whiffs of dark chocolate as well.

T-Coffee and espresso for sure but the chocolate notes are more evident here...kind of a mix of sugary milk chocolate and dark chocolate. Also a little char. Not getting much of the barrel aged notes or maple. if it's there it is pretty light and overwhelmed by these other characteristics.

F-Body is rich and full. It's not the biggest beer I've had in this style but it is right in the middle of what I'd expect body and feel wise. Not much sharp alcohol or heat.

O-Quality beer. Wish the maple and barrel aging came through a little more.

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Photo of jpkand
4.33/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Jet black with brown dense head that lasts.

Aromas of vanilla, alcohol esters, and dark chocolate. A sweetness pervades the nose, nice and syrupy.

Tastes of bourbon, with aged oak/sweet vanilla flavors, espresso, sweet milk chocolate. Closes with more sweetness and nice alcohol warmth.

Body is great. On the full/thick side for sure with a wonderful syrupy smoothness to it.

Overall the sweetness is almost closing but for a post meal beer it's on point. Defiy interesting and satisfying , but t me it's best in smaller doses. Split the bottle!

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Photo of KomodoDragon
4.39/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Big tan head upon a black smooth brew.

Espresso smell, some syrup/sugar notes

Sweet upfront and sweet at the finish. In between, complex flavors abound. Some coffee, some nutiness, much chocolate - especially as it warms. Desert quality and alcohol warmth. Perfectly smooth and exceptionally blananced.

Optimal in beginning sips but sweetness grew tired over time. Little to criticize, but if I had my druthers I would dial back the sweetness a touch.

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Photo of LifesAnesthesia
4.7/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

L - Pitch black with a thick, smooth, dark tan head that dissipates somewhat quickly yet leaves behind a solid amount of lacing. Exactly as a stout should look. If the head had stuck around longer I would have gave this 5/5.
S - Rich chocolate, coffee, and maple syrup along with some earthy notes. It's a pleasing smell, but I wish it were stronger.
T - Roasted and toasted malt and rich chocolate up front followed by notes of slightly bitter coffee and sweet maple syrup with sweet bourbon and a slight warming alcohol on the back end - but not offputting. Slight hints of vanilla throughout.
F - Full bodied with a light amount of carbonation. Smooth, soft, creamy, silky, decadent. Feels exactly as a stout of this magnitude should.
O - I've been waiting to have this for years and I have to say, while it doesn't blow me away like I might have thought it would, it definitely does not disappoint - it is one of the most well balanced bourbon barrel stouts I've ever had - all the flavor notes are there and the mouthfeel is incredible. Definitely one of the best BBSs I've ever had. Definitely one of the best beers I've ever had. Compared to KBS, the maple syrup adds a level of sweetness, richness, and overall smoothness that just adds to the experience.

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Photo of mpipe
4.42/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Go read all the other reviews and I’ll keep mine simple. This is one of the best balanced annual releases that simply does not disappoint when compared to other releases.

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

2018 vintage. Deep and dark brown, basically black. Thick chocolate mousse colored head that slowly fades but never goes away, leaving nice lacing and a substantial ring of foam around the glass. Nice if roasted malts, coffee with hints of chocolate and maple as per the ingredients. What a delicious beer! Roasted malts with strong presence of coffee, chocolate and bourbon with that maple sweetness on the backend. Very well balanced! For an 11% beer aged in bourbon barrels it is not overly boozy. It's smooth with a soft finish, mild bitterness, chocolate and bourbon aftertaste. Not a fan of the format as there is 0.0z5 chance I could finish this on my own but as far as sharing a top notch beer with friends/family this is perfect!

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Photo of CantankerousCaveBear
4.59/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

The nose has a pronounced coffee char and roastiness. However, there are no discernable bourbon notes. CBS is integrated exquisitely, it is smooth, an easy sipper and bold. The bitter baker's chocolate blends superbly with the mellow maple syrup sweetness. The body isn't viscous, and the stout isn't overly hot. I don't detect booze or the presence of the bourbon barrel. There might be a trace of vanilla in the finish. Admittedly, I love coffee in stouts, so the addition only serves to bolster an already well made stout.
The mouthfeel is a standout, there is a silkiness, and the mocha taste isn't cloying.

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Photo of mothmanscott
4.59/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours midnight cavern on the dark side of the moon black. Clear and burgundy colored when bright light is passed through it. The pour produces a short finger of frothy, somewhat lasting, mocha head that leaves a thick surface cap, a decent collar but only a little lace above the collar. The head is sticky. Aroma is rich chocolate, maple, coffee & vanilla/oak. Alcohol is barely detectable in the nose until the beer has warmed. Taste is extra rich, dark semi-sweet chocolate, Hershey's Chocolate syrup, coffee, woody oak/vanilla, roast, toffee, brown sugar, bourbon with faint hints of fig and prune; earthy hints appear with light pepper in the finish; a mild bitterness lingers in the aftertaste. Alcohol becomes apparent by mid-sip and blossoms from there. Its presence runs the spectrum of flavor/spice, warmth and bitterness all melding in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is heavy bodied with low-moderate carbonation, velvety smooth, silky and at the risk of being redundant creamy. Very warming in the mouth & throat especially in in the latter half of the sip & aftertaste. Its reputation is well deserved.

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Photo of smcolw
4.41/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown color where no light passes through the edge. Lasting beige head which leaves many minor spots.

Very smooth, creamy cocoa aroma. Lots of subtlety with semisweet chocolate, light smoke, and vanilla.

The flavor is similar to the smell except there's no smoke and far more alcohol warmth to the tongue and throat. The feel is rich with a modest effervescence. This is a powerful beer with many soft touches: vanilla, Baker's chocolate, and cream. Long aftertaste.

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Photo of BigGold
4.44/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally had at Cochon Butcher, New Orleans, on $14.00 draft into pint tumbler.

Many varied flavors are more subtle and balanced than expected, and maybe best of all hide the ridiculous ABV all too well.

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Photo of Unrelenting
4.58/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Look: Black as night with a brown head. Chilled to ~50 degrees and poured into a tulip. Head faded rather quickly.

Smell: Coffee and maple predominant, chocolate there but less so. Smells rich and inviting.

Taste: Maple-syrupy sweetness on the front, rich coffee (predominantly) and chocolate on the middle, and a well-balanced touch of bourbon on the back end. The bourbon lingers for a bit in the back of the throat. I'm not a fan of cloying, sweet beers, but this is wonderful: Just enough sweetness on the front that quickly fades as the chocolate, coffee, and bourbon take over. The coffee and bourbon linger on the palate. Barely any heat, the alcohol is very well-hidden.

Feel: Medium- to full-bodied. Maybe slightly heavier than an IIPA (such as a Dogfish Head 90), but a tad lighter than other stouts I've had. Soft carbonation. A nice balance.

Overall: I like a lot of different styles, but stouts are usually not something I seek out. My go-tos are dank, cloudy New England-style IPAs or Belgian darks and saisons. One of my favorite stouts is Prairie Bomb and this reminds me of that, only "softer"... and without the chili peppers, but with the addition of maple. Very well-balanced and delicious. Recommended!

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

750ml bottle in a snifter glass. 2017 release, aged 13 months.

Opaque black in darkness. A passive pour yields a solid 1-plus F of dense mocha tan colored cap. Thick film and sticky rings of lacing remain throughout.

Maple, coffee, dark chocolate. The bourbon and alcohol have mellowed nicely while aging. Note of alcohol as it warms.

Flavors are more of the same. The maple sweetness is balanced by the coffee and chocolate bitterness. Finishes slightly sweet and chocolatey containing the alcohol.

Feel is full, smooth, and a bit sticky from maple and chocolate. Rich flavor and body carry the potency.

It's bourbon barrel aged with notes as such without the bourbon overkill. That's key to its overall enjoyability - for me.

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CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 100 out of 100 with 6171 ratings