CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout) | Founders Brewing Company

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CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout)CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout)
BA SCORE
4.66/5
World-Class
5,582 Ratings
CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout)CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
foundersbrewing.com

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#12
Reviews:
1,291
Ratings:
5,582
pDev:
8.37%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
4,518
Gots:
1,496
Trade:
72
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,582 |  Reviews: 1,291
Photo of BostonBrewins
4.56/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Fairly thick and jet black. Beautiful creamy tan head. Sticky lacing. An absolutely gorgeous stout.

S - A nice bouquet of Cocoa, fresh roasted coffee beans and some maple peaking through. Booze comes through at the end.

T - A contrast of dark and milk chocolate prevail. Rich coffee beans add flavor and bitterness which contrasts with the sweet maple syrup that comes through at the end and stays through the finish. Some vanilla and cinnamon there too. Booze is there but not overwhelming. The flavors components shine independently but blend so perfectly to create a creamy and rich chocolaty/mocha/maple compound that is all its own, not like any other beer or style I've tasted.

M - Full bodied and a little syrupy when gulped (although why would anyone want to gulp this?) but when it's swirled around my mouth it becomes so incredibly smooth and creamy. Can't think of many beers that are as velvety.

O - Incredibly rich, sweet, and decadent. It absolutely lives up to the hype. This is one of those rare "Wow" beer. When you take the first sip you can't help but blurt out"Wow!".

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Photo of ummswimmin
4.92/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer was the feature of a tap takeover at a local bar. They said that it would be tapped at 5pm. To ensure the opportunity to taste this world class beer, I arrived at the bar at 4:40 and placed my order. I was actually jittery on the ride over to the bar, and I was really nervous that I would get there too late for the opportunity for my own taste of CBS. The sixtel took nine minutes to get kicked. You had to order your beer before the first pour to get a glass.

They used mini snifters to serve the six ounces of liquid heaven. You got beer as dark as midnight with a light, tan ring around the top. That scarce, little bit of foam left minimal lacing on this little glass.

I smelled it and saw stars. I then breathed it in again. I could smell toffee, deep roasted espresso, a little touch of sweetness, a touch of maple, and I think... cocoa? I kept sniffing it in anticipation of the first drink. I could only wish that this beer tasted half as good as it smelled.

First taste: WOW!!!
I get a ton of smoothe espresso. There was a decent amount of sweetness present. You get some venous quality, and you can see the legs on the glass. I also picked up some cask flavor in the beer. This is extremely rich. I love that I got 6 ounces, but it seems like 12 is too much. All that was missing was an over-stuffed chair and a roaring fire place.

The after-taste was sublime. The coffee notes start to ease off. And the flavor just sits on the back of my tongue.

I don't think that I fawned too much over this beer. This Wale lived up to its billing. I hope that I can someday get another glass someday.

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Photo of BierGartenok
4.87/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to (Thehand) for this AMAZING BREW!!

Pour is Dark and thick. At first sniff, Coffee and espresso come out first, followed by vanilla and maple. A few swills and she comes to life. Small to medium caramel colored head and huge coffee notes. Lacing is thick and sticky. Wow, this beer taste amazing. Coffee followed by chocolate, vanilla and maple. Big balance of the hops and malt. You can tell that there is A LOT going on in this brew. Mouthfeel is medium to heavy. Not as heavy as I expected but extremely balanced. The alcohol is hidden as the coffee and roasted malt pack a huge punch. Finish is smooth and long. I really enjoyed this brew, although I don't understand all the craziness and drama surrounding it. It's just A BEER. Meant for sharing and drinking. If you get a chance please try one of these with some close friends! Cheers!

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Photo of kennylopez
4.4/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had it on tap at Cloverleaf Founders tap take-over part two and reviewed from notes.

Appearance: poured into a 8oz snifter which was dark black and thick with a small fingers worth of head that lasted as I sipped on it.

Smells: I pick up a dark roasted coffee malt backbone with hints of sweet caramel and chocolate.

Tastes: a smooth subtle coffee base that blends with a bitter chocolate sweetness that is complimented with the barrel features like vanilla and toffee. Not a heavy roasted flavor like the nose made me believe.

Mouthfeel: for being an Imperial this stout is smooth and good drinking fresh. There is pretty good carbonation and a full body in the mouth as you drink it.

Overall: I am happy I got a chance to try this limited release, but I don't know if all the hype is as good as it is made out to be. Bottles were near impossible to get around me and the keg tapped out in 9 minutes where I had it. No doubt this is a great brew but I can not say it is out of this world compared to more readily available barrel aged stout. Good Job Founders just dial in the distribution better in my opinion, maybe 12oz bottle will go a lot farther.

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Photo of Drazzamatazz
4.3/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this one before going out to Novare with Brez07.

A: Pretty much what you'd expected, thick and dark with a smaller mocha cap.

S: Even though he had allowed the beer to warm on the counter before opening, we both agreed it got even better as it sat in our glass. Initial impression was bitter chocolate with a deep roasted character. As it began to open though the maple started to come out along with typical barrel notes of vanilla, oak, and spice. Its a lot more subtle than I had imagined

T: Once at the proper temperature it was really like a delicious glass of liquified chocolate covered espresso beans dipped in maple syrup. I was pleasantly surprised by the balance, I was really kind of expecting this one to be a little too syrupy and sweet, but the roasted coffee and bitter chocolate notes kept things in check.

M: Big and creamy. Full body means slightly lower carbonation, not really an issue though. Bitter drying finish goes well with the creamy body and maple notes.

O: This is one I have been wanting to try for a long time. Once the announcement of bottling came out I got really excited...then I saw the fiasco behind the release and had kind of given up on try this one. Really glad I've now lined up a bottle for myself.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.92/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

11 ounce pour - $7.00 at The Fred in Sandy Springs, Georgia.

Appearance: Viscous-looking, deep black body with an initially surging head that soon settles to a quarter inch of deep tan froth. Sticky-looking lace sheets on the descent.

Smell: Presents a sweetish scent, rich and downright succulent with flourishing notes smelling of chocolate ganache, split vanilla beans, chunky caramel, chilled espresso, maple, and bourbon.

Taste: A deep surge of melty semi-sweet chocolate morsels combined with a heady coffee flavor and spoonful of maple frosting and caramel. Little hints of wood and amiable bourbon. It's fairly sweet without being too sweet and has a richness aided by the mouthfeel to give the impression of melted ice cream. It comes together very nicely, all of the flavors here are integral as well as well-integrated. Roasty bitterness here and there. A choco-roast flair prominent in the finish with a final sliver of sweet maple wrapped in alcoholic warmth.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied. Medium-light carbonation. Silken, smooth mouthfeel.

Overall: After seeing once presumed good, honorable men turn into dire savage beasts over this greatly hyped beer release (in the same manner the Rings of Power created the Nazgûl), I was half expecting it to fall a bit flat, but, no, it's really quite wonderful.

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Photo of Knapp85
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

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Photo of adman08
4.58/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours deep chcolate brown, almost black, with creamy off-white head that leaves a ring on the surface of the beer and nice lacing on the glass.
S-Aroma of coffee is the most prominent with a slight aroma of sweetness and chocolate.
T-Strong flavor of bourbon up front with some caramel/maple syrup sweetness. Distinct flavors of coffee and chocolate. Lots of alcohol.
M-Very thick and sticky, very sweet, fairly light carbonation with a strong flavor of alcohol. Very very smooth.
Overall, I wasn't sure what to expect with the maple-bourbon barrel aging. This is a very heavy and thick beer with alot of sweetness. The combination of the maple and bourbon flavors seems to turn into a sort of caramel flavor. All the flavors you expect from Breakfast stout come through with the addition of the bourbon and maple syrup flavors. This is an exceptional beer, not only very interesting but very well done for the style. Incredibly smooth with lots of different flavors. I was very fortunate to get my hands on this one.

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Photo of Viciousknishs
4.92/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Review from notes

A- pours pitch black with a finger of espresso creama head. Good retention and some lacing.

S- starts off with Belgian chocolate and rich maple aromas. Amazing chocolate/coffee mocha latte tones in the middle. Fresh brewed coffee and soft oak. A hint of bourbon with a chocolate cocoa on the finish. All the aromas are not overbearing but so well intertwined and supportive. Complex and layered.

T- huge chocolate milkshake up front with an Italian roasted coffee that starts out with an awesome bitterness then becomes a sweet mocha. A hint of roasted dark chocolaty malt with notes of licorice. A touch of booze just to give it some warmth. Ends with delicious bourbon maple and oak with a touch of vanilla.

MF- velvet smooth creamy mouthfeel with a heavy chewy body and soft light carbonation.

D- very drinkable.

Overall an amazing stout with subtle complexity. 

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Photo of Kranders
4.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I was lucky enough to get two bottles of this, and wow, did I enjoy them both. Really rich aroma with a hint of sweetness which completely translates into the taste. You can take multiple sips and each time get different hints of chocolate, coffee, maple or bourbon, depending on what you focus on. Simply an achievement of a beer.

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Photo of SpdKilz
4.3/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap, at the source, during the CBS release. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance – Poured into a sniffer from the bartender with a completely black color with slight tan head that dissipates quickly.

Smell – Coffee, cocoa, maple syrup, molasses, and bourbon. As it warms a wonderful vanilla aroma develops.

Taste – Ahh, so this is what I waited for in the cold for seven hours. This better taste good! Begins with roasted malts, coffee, and then becomes quite sweet. The maple syrup, bourbon, and brown sugar make this a hint cloying to be honest. Very sugary…

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied, creamy, slight carbonation.

Overall – What to think…I felt this was just too sweet. It is a solid imperial stout, no question. However, it just didn’t really do much for me to be perfectly honest. Obviously this is quite subjective and everyone’s experience will vary, though I just couldn’t get past the sweetness. I like a bit more char/roasted character throughout. To be honest, I would take KBS or FBS over this if I were enjoying a stout. However, if I were to share this as an after dinner beer I would choose this over the aforementioned beers. I suppose it boils down to my not liking overly sweet stouts. Would still love to try it again and as stated, for what it is, it is fantastic. Glad I was able to try a couple glasses on tap.

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Photo of sendsilk
4.7/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My 150th review! Waiting on this one for some time now.

Received as a generous surprise box from Shane. You are the MAN my friend!! Shared between my wife and I on a Friday night after the kids are in bed.

A- Excellent as can be expected. We both love KBS and this one looks similar.

S- The coffee is there and the stout is there, but the Maple kind of smooothes out the finish in the nose.

T- C'mon, what am I gonna say that hasn't already been said about this beer. One of the best beers in the world finished off in MAPLE BARRELS??? What are you, kidding me? It's like asking me if I was having sex with my wife and Sofia Vergara asks us if she can join us, as it would just make something great even better!

M- Perfect

O- Obviously almost perfect.

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Photo of dtivp
4.92/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

First I need to thank my son for finding a bottle of this wonderful beer without spending the ridiculous amount of money some people are charging for this beer. Also thanks for sharing.

Poured a very dark deep black with a finger and a half medium mocha head that faded slowly into a thick cap with moderate lacing.

Aroma of coffee, chocolate, some malt and a very slight note of bourbon.

Taste followed the nose with dark roasted coffee, dark bitter chocolate, burnt malt with hints of bourbon. As it warmed some vanilla sweetness came through,however, I never picked up any maple flavor which was the only disappointment with this stout.

Mouth Feel was full body, light carbonation, creamy smooth with a slight alcohol warming.

Overall this stout deserves all of the hype it receives. It would be nice if it was easier to obtain, I guess keeping it so limited adds to the enjoyment of savoring it.

I couldn't think of a better beer for 250th review.

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Photo of pratyk
4.88/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance:
Rich black pour with a mocha/ dark beige head. Good brown lacing as the beer is consumed.

Smell:
Lots of Coffee + Chocolate and a bourbon backbone. Not much of a maple smell. Great aroma.

Taste:
As with the smell, a good lot of coffee, chocolate, bourbon. A little maple backbone (Though less maple presence than last years CBS). Wonderful taste.

Mouthfeel:
Full bodied, just the right amount of carbonation, very smooth.

Drinkabilty:
Very easy to drink. Not difficult to finish the bottle quickly.

Overall:
I was hoping for some more maple presence but it's an excellent beer nonetheless. I'm glad it has lived up to the hype (unlike some other beers like Westy 12). I wish this was more readily available. I'm looking forward to next years version of CBS.

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Photo of rwf08
4.62/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is nothing special. Looks like any other stout.

Smell is of cocoa nibs, coffee, and whiskey.

Taste is the same but smooth and rich.

Mouth feel is velvety and rich. Like chocolate silk. But with whiskey.

Overall this is exceptional but I wouldn't say it is better than KBS. It is good but I like KBS much more.

Try it if you can but don't kill yourself for it.

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Photo of minterro
4.83/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The mysterious beast has finally been found! At Crunchy’s in East Lansing? Who would have thuk’ it?

This is one of the few beers that I have seen the rating on beeradvocate before trying it so I tried not to be biased.

A & S: The smell of this beer is truly described by intense. A very formidable smell of caramel, sweet burnt sugars, malty smokiness, and a splash of bourbon. The aroma is an ongoing invigorating part of the beer. Not a big head but I would say it was one, if not the coolest head. It formed a tan ring around the top of the inky black liquid, and in the center whisks of the head was where the magic happened. These whisks would form the most interesting shapes. It was like a shrunk showing you new inkblots ever time you took a sip. I saw smiley and frowny faces, MSU block “S”s, two kids skipping along, ect. it was weird to say the least. It wasn’t just the sniffer either cause I had a different beer after the CBS and it wasn’t even close to being the same. The lacing is very slight but reminds me of legs on a fine wine, that are trying their best to cling to the glass before falling back into the inky blackness.

T & M: At first I was disappointed that I could only have ½ a sniffer of this beer, but I would say that is an ok amount, I wouldn’t want anymore then a full sniffer at a time. This beer is incredibly rich with flavor. As far a major tastes go: upfront the taste is very sweet, this followed by a mighty bite of alcohol (cause a very pleasant warming sensation), trailed by a nice bitter finish. This beer is incredibly complex, those main tastes are just the surface. The smokiness in the taste is more of a woody smokiness (probably part of the aging). Other flavors include: black coffee, dark chocolates and fruits (dates), roasty malts, burnt sugars, and a sting of bourbon. These other flavors weren’t like in the background, they were all a major part of this beer. I was also getting a piney tone once in a while. The after taste was magical it leaves almost an exact imprint of the beer in your mouth which leaves you wanted more, while your brain tells you to savor every drop. Semi smooth and very chewy (my teeth felt actually gross it was so chewy). On the low end of full bodied, with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: I had this beer yesterday, and I think this is the only beer I can’t get out of my mind, at least to this extent. It lives up to all the hype it gets and it is truly a special thing. Hands down my favorite stout and easily top 5 beers of all time. It might be a long while till I have this beer again, exclusively because of the price and availability of it. I was lucky enough to enjoy it on tap at a bar 2 blocks from where I live, many people search and search for this beer. The price is to say the least very high I’m unsure about how much people are paying for a pint of it (I think its quite high), but at Crunchy’s it was $8 for 6oz, and only one per customer. Anyways I would recommend this beer to anyone who enjoys trying good beer (this is just not a beer I would start someone unfamiliar with good beer out on, I feel they would feel disappointed about paying so much). I wish I had the money and resources to find and have this beer multiple time every winter, I keep picturing myself sipping a sniffer of this while seating in a leather recliner chair beside a toasty fire watching the wintering weather outside.

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Photo of claaark13
4.26/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nothing like drinking an faux insta-whale to the face. Ok, I poured a little out for my hommies, but mostly it was all me. Poured into none other than the trusty Founders snifter.

A - Pours black with a little light getting through the pour. Good, thick, tan head. This one looks great. Sticks to the glass when swirled, head continues to form when doing so. Honestly, this is one of the best looking stouts I've seen from start to finish in the glass. At first it was a 4.5, but I bumped it to a 5.0 after it sat in my glass for an hour and still looked fantastic. Of course, I was drinking it this entire time.

S - Coffee with a slight sweetness. There are some dark malts present with a slight amount of bourbon that backs the coffee. The aroma could be more dominant on this one. My true criticism of this beer is the lack of a dominant aroma. Pleasant, yes. Dominating, no.

T - Malts/Chocolate meld into bourbon, which quickly turns sweet from the maple. The sweetness takes away the bite that was present momentarily in the middle of the flavor. Coffee finishes. After a couple sips, the bourbon and coffee are more evident upfront and the chocolate is more evident throughout. The bourbon to slight maple to coffee/sweet bourbon towards the end is pretty nice and interesting. There is just a tad bit of head in the middle before the sweetness picks up.

M - fairly thick, carries flavor, smooth/silky. Pretty good.

O - This is a great beer. My first few sips were not great if I'm being honest. It wasn't until about 6 ounces in that I began to really like this beer. I don't think it would fare that well at a blind tasting. Unique as well with the maple/bourbon barrel. It could also benefit from a better aroma. Would I seek this one out again? Yes. Would I recommend it? Yes. Would I go to a special release for it? Most likely. Would I follow distribution trucks/vans around Indiana to buy it from every store? No, those people are idiots.

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Photo of gford217
4.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle. I've had this numerous times on tap at the Brick Store, but might as well post a review for the bottled version.

Pours pitch black in the glass with an enormous mocha head, at least 3 inches thick, and leaves fantastic lacing.

Aroma is excellent with a combination of roasted coffee beans, cocoa and molasses. The bourbon is more subtle than KBS and I'm not sure if that's a positive or not. Nonetheless, intense aroma.

Taste is exceptional, just as I remember on tap and from growler. It's a bigger, more robust version of the aroma. There is plenty of coffee beans and heavily roasted malts with a thick, syrupy sweet finish with a bit of whiskey burn. Throw in some chocolate and vanilla and it's a wonderfully big flavor.

The mouthfeel is on the fuller side of things, very creamy with soft carbonation.

KBS is one of my top 5 beers ever probably, so I'm not sure if this is quite that sublime, but it's close. Fantastic stuff.

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Photo of iadler
4.27/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at The Map Room for $7 a glass! Served in a snifter.

A- Pitch black with a thin bubbly brown head that leaves some spots of lacing.

S- Dark chocolate, roasted malt, burnt sugar, vanilla, sweet maple, subtle bourbon and a hint of dark fruit. Smells pretty damn amazing and changes as it warms up.

T- Roasted malt and a bit of coffee hit first, followed by sweet maple syrup, bourbon, dark chocolate chips, oak, and finishes with black cherries and some bitter and earthy hops with notes of pine and grass.

M- Low carbonation and a full rich body with a bit of heat and bitterness that lingers on.

O- A pretty sweet stout with the maple syrup being noticeable. There is an odd bitterness (from the hops?) that lingers on in the aftertaste that hurts the drinkability overall. I'm very glad I had to chance to try this, but I prefer KBS.

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Photo of Slyjoker87
4.92/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a pint glass from a 750 bottle.

A - Pours out dark and magnificent with a brown/tan lacing and head. As others have noted, the head is fairly impressive.

S - Chocolatey coffee goodness with some maple syrup. Take a few whiffs and you'll also notice some vanilla and perhaps some cinnamon on the outskirts of smell along with a subtle bourbon. Absolutely perfect combination which makes you salivate like a dog.

T - This is heaven in liquid form. Velvety smooth chocolate coffee with some maple syrup bourbon in the middle. It's like taking a bite of your favorite gourmet dark chocolate and pairing it with an aged bourbon.

M - Surprisingly mellow on the tongue and mouth despite the high alcohol content. Very near perfect and tops just about every other beer I've tried. I could easily sip this all day.

O - This is creamy, smooth, complex, but not overwhelming. It's like your best buddy beer - being everything you want it to be and more. Having a sad day? No problem, sip on a glass of CBS and watch your worries melt away. This is chocolatey, coffee, maple syrup, burbon aged perfection.

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Photo of rwmiscik
4.45/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured into a tulip. beer pours a dark brown head with decent lacing down the glass. The smell is one of maple and a touch of bourbon. The taste is fairly sweet and taste reminds me of pancakes with syrup on them. there is chocolate and maple as well as some tannins from the oak. A beer everyone should try have a chance to try as it is very tasty.

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Photo of gory4d
4.12/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with a thin tan head - lots of lacing. The smell is very sweet, with note of coffee and chocolate and just a faint twinge of bourbon. The taste is (as a friend described it) "milkshake beer:" super sweet, though with some nice roasted notes from the coffee; chocolate flavors predominate, with a hint of maple; not much from the bourbon here. It's thick and creamy, with mild carbonation. All in all a nice beer, easy enough to drink for what it is. Glad to have had a chance to try it with friends.

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Photo of jmarsh123
4.4/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

10/31/11
Poured a viscous black with a tiny tan head.

Aroma mostly consists of chocolate, bourbon and coffee. Not much maple in the nose.

Taste follows the nose. You can taste the barrel aging as the bourbon at times almost overpowers. Lots of chocolate and roasty malt flavor with a touch of vanilla and just a bit of maple syrup. Seems to have less maple presence than when it had it on tap at Founders.

Mouthfeel is just a touch thin for the style although far from watery. Lowish carb levels.

A fine beer, but it's impossible to live up to the crazy hype train. I slightly preferred the KBS we opened along with this and FWIW, it was a 2-2 tie between KBS and CBS as best beer amongst our tasting party.

[Edit] Cracked another bottle on 11/25. In this bottle the bourbon was much more subdued and more maple flavor was present much more similar to what I remember from having it on tap on release day. Incredibly smooth and one of the best beers I've ever had. I'm not sure if the first bottle was slightly off or if it really did just congeal and become awesome in just under a month. Went from a very good beer to a f'ing spectacular one.

[Edit #2] Tons of bottle variation in this. Score is more or less an average, but the bottles I've got to try have ranged from around a 3.5 to a 5.

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Photo of cbeer88
4.88/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22oz bottle poured into matching Founders snifter.

Appearance: Looks like dark roast black coffee, with a corresponding frothy mocha head of 1.5 fingers. Head has nice staying power, largely thanks to glass's nucleation point. Lacing leaves a pretty brown on the sounds of the glass. About perfect.

Smell: Bourbon, chocolate, and coffee. No noticeable maple on the nose, but it otherwise smells fantastic.

Taste: So much going on here… bourbon, coffee, roasted malts, chocolate. The maple mostly makes its presence known on the backend, and it leaves a wonderful taste in the mouth that makes you yearn for the next sip. Every sip gives you something a little different.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, good carb, very silky and smooth in the mouth. The alcohol blends beautifully and provides no burn.

Drinkabilty: Really high. As soon as you finish one sip, you want another.

Overall: The rare beer that truly lives up to the hype. It's nearly perfect - the lack of maple in the nose is the only thing holding me back from perfect 5's across the board. All of that said, it's only a baby step ahead of KBS. Given the difficulty of acquisition, I'm happy to have tried a bottle but I will be sticking with regular KBS in the future unless more CBS falls into my lap.

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Photo of nkersten
4.27/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes, poured into Orval goblet. Pours black with brown edges, no head, small bubbles are the only evidence of carbonation. Smells like coffee and burnt sugar, syrup, light bourbon. Taste is great, much better than I remember it being on draft. Sweet, balanced coffee bitterness, thick sugary syrup flavor, a hint of bourbon and oak, bitter chocolate, finishes sweet. Body is a bit lighter then I would like but still thick, light carbonation. A very good beer overall.

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CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.66 out of 5 with 5,582 ratings