CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout) | Founders Brewing Company

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CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout)CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout)
5,370 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:
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Ratings: 5,370 |  Reviews: 1,253
Photo of rfgetz
4.72/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Deep dark black, fluffy creamy head. Great rentention and lacing. Minimal stickage of to the side of glass with each sip.

S: Delicious blend of bitter cocoa, medium roasted coffee, vanilla, brown sugar. Minimal oaky wood notes.

T: Follows the scent with a delicious, complex blend of medium roasted coffee beans, bitter cocoa, warm brown sugar, vanilla, oak. The maple follows at the end, and becomes fuller when the beer reaches room temperature. Excellent.

M: Medium bodied, not thick or sticky. Very good.

D: Closer in style to the KBS without the burbon and booze. Lighter bodied than the regular FBS. Delicious and very drinkable.

Update: Sampled again on 6/6/11. Nose greatly improved and definite notes of maple syrup present. Taste had a touch more sweetness then I could recall. Overall better experience the 2nd time around.

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

64 oz growler received in a trade with HopFu. The first one leaked in transit, but Austin was awesome enough to send a replacement. While it was still decent when flat and slightly oxidized, the second growler was phenomenal. This was enjoyed side-by-side with Kentucky Breakfast Stout and regular Breakfast Stout.

CBS appears pitch black in the glass, completely opaque, viscous and oily, with two fingers of nearly black head that retains well, though it leaves no lace as it settles.

The nose is dominated by dark roasted coffee upon first smell. As it warms the maple begins to reveal itself, subtle at first but stronger as the beer reaches room temperature. Dark chocolate, roasted malt and the slightest hint of alcohol are present beneath the coffee and maple goodness. While I wouldn't say this is one of the most complex stouts I've smelled, it's easily one of the best.

The taste is bittersweet up front, a beautifully expressed maple syrup flavor lending sweetness and contrasting the dark roasted coffee. Roasted malt provides a nice bitter backbone, and the sheer viscosity is impressive. KBS and BS seemed thin in contrast. The coffee flavor begins to take over mid-palate, leading into a bitter, semi-dry finish. As rich and sweet as this is, it never gets cloying, and this is coming from someone that doesn't like most sweet beer. Phenomenal stuff, I'm hugely disappointed that there are no plans to rebrew it. This beer is light years ahead of KBS.

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Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.1/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer came an nondescript dark brown with a creamy tan collar on top.

Smells of honey, milk chocolate, coffee and a deep, smokey campfire. Sadly, there's a significant boozy sting in the background. Otherwise, there's a great balance here.

Tastes not-so-surprisingly much like the Breakfast Stout with a bit of green grape, roasted sappy wood and a smokey coffee. The big difference here is that this one is heavier on the rye than the sweeter bourbon take. If you know your brown liquors, the substitution is pretty obvious, focusing more on sour, dryer grains which brings out a dry astringent woodiness.

Feels slick and clean although dense with a light froth of CO2.

Nice. A great take on the legend, but I must say that I vastly prefer the KBS.

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

Received by largadeer in a trade, and shared generously with us po' folk. Thanks Chris.

The first growler leaked and lost carbonation, but I still felt it was a fantastic beer. The replacement growler was properly carbonated -- and with bubbles, this beer is mindblowing.

A: Pours an opaque, oily black color with a huge inch of mocha-colored head. Retention is pretty poor, and within 30 seconds the bubbles are almost entirely gone. But it had terrific legs, and it coated the glass quite well when swirling. It was so viscous that my glass still looked brown after drinking.

S: Black coffee, roasted malt, and dark chocolate. A subtle maple scent underneath it -- I was worried this characteristic would be too strong. Some brown sugar and molasses to be found. I know this was barrel-aged, but I had trouble identifying any oak.

T: The taste starts off with a heavy coffee-forward flavor that is countered with maple. Someone on the forums described this as Breakfast Stout with a shot of maple, and that's an apt description. But it's not a strong flavor; it's more mellow than the bourbon in KBS (which we tried side-by-side), and does surprisingly well in a tasting filled with people who hate sweet beers. The mid-taste is mildly tannic with vanilla and a roasted malt component. The finish sees dark chocolate and molasses. I didn't taste the brown sugar I smelled. The finish is semi-dry and carries coffee into the aftertaste, but it's less coffee-forward than FBS or KBS (a good thing in my opinion).

M: Surprisingly, for all the sweetness and richness, the beer doesn't get too cloying or syrupy. I had at least 10oz, I'd guess, and none of them bogged down on me at all. And it seems pretty well attenuated, so that helps.

D: Wow, I'd love it if they would release this in bottles. This beer is just fantastic.

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Photo of Deuane
4.32/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Thirsty Monk, Asheville, NC

A-Deep, dark black with a thin tan cap that quickly reduced to a thin veil leaving zero lace.

S-Rich roasted malt, chocolate and a subtle maple sweetness that only becomes noticed with significant warming. Vanilla and oak notes pop in the background as well.

T-Vanilla sweetness and chocolate bitterness fight it out in a one on one death match! Various notes slide in as the brew warms with oak, coffee, maple, toffee and even turbinado. A complex brew that takes on different aspects with temperature change.

M-Full bodied, thick, rich and viscous. A velvety mouthfeel that slides down easy. Long lingering flavours.

D-Tasty stuff indeed. The maple flavour is not very prevalent but it does poke through here and there especially upon warming. A bit smoother than "standard" KBS and just as tasty in a different way. Another fine barrel aged breakfast stout from the folks at Founders.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.17/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hand-bottle (gonna call this a growler) brought over at Friday night's tasting by Ditmier... huge thanks Eric... Poured into my small La Trappe glass.

Expected black beer... no light even when held to the bright kitchen overhead... dark tan head doesn't stick around ... descent cap.

Aroma is chocolate and coffee.. no real "maple syrup" and no vanilla... the "wood" aspect of it does remind me of the smell of maple wood... I know that sounds weird it is what it is.

Flavor has a great blast of roasty chocolate, but not as much coffee as I was expecting... much more vanilla than the nose... The above "maple wood" aroma is more pronounced than the nose... The body is pretty hefty with still a nice smooth carbonation that helps make this a very nice sipper.

Edit: I figured I had better describe the "maple wood" sensations I mentioned above... I can only make sense of it when I describe it to the Sonoran 100... that brew was filtered slowly through maple chips... The wood adds a unique sweetness that doesn't have the astringency/tannic notes associated with some wood aged beers.

I really wanted to like this one more, but it just seemed pretty one dimensional to me.

Thanks again Eric for going out of your way to bring this beer to Boise.... truly appreciated.... You're a good BA. :-)

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Photo of Overlord
4.33/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was starting to think my efforts to acquire this were utterly cursed. First person I had a trade set up with managed to break their growler. Second person sent me a flip top hand bottle, the bottle looked tampered with, and a box that was apparently shipped new looked like it had been opened and resealed. Well, third time's the charm, as I managed to get a fairly fresh handbottle to review.

Pours a dark black with deep brown edging. An inch or so of off-white foam (I thought high ABV brews couldn't be carbonated!)

Smells like vanilla, dark roasted malts, some chocolate, and coffee. I get no maple syrup in the nose.

Taste gives me some maple syrup ... maybe ... and some vanilla sweetness. Still it isn't as sweet as I expected. Mostly roasted malt, some chocolate, and thankfully, not as much coffee as I find distracting in the KBS and BS versions. I didn't think this was bourbon barrel aged, but I almost get a touch of oak and bourbon to it. The cocoa/chocolate rounds out a robust, but not overpowering, coffee profile.

Nice and thick, but not overpoweringly sludge-like.

Very good, but not quite upper echelon.

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Photo of beerphan
4.38/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

on tab @fatheads, pitt -> mini-snifter

Arrived pitch black with a deep mocha head. A couple of crooked thin patches of lace, but not much, as expected.

Nose: Bourbon, vanilla, sugar, subtle maple

Thick chewy mouth. Starts of boozey but quickly burnt coffee, chocolate, and candied sugar take over. Vanilla and bourbon reenter the picture along with some currant. Finishes smooth with maple and bourbon mixing. They were passing around bottles of the syrup that was aged in the same barrels, with some great local waffles. Dipped a waffle covered in maple syrup into the head of my 2nd glass, now that's whats for breakfast!

Thanks for Fatheads for bringing this in, and thanks to Founders for another wonderful brew.

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Photo of rabsten
4.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I drove 240 miles for this. Yes, it was worth it.

On tap at Fatheads as the finale to Founders weekend. Pours pitch black into a goblet, cocoa head, no lacing but it's a thick-ass stout so none expected. Just as a big stout should be. Anise, alcohol and, yes, maple in the nose. As it warms up the maple practically explodes. Thick and heavy mouthfeel, much like the artisan syrup that formerly inhabited the barrels in which this masterpiece was aged ( I had some of that too; if ever syrup was worth $50/bottle, this was it.). Sweet, malty flavor with residual bite. Coffee nature of the breakfast stout was subdued by the maple aging but not outright subjugated: call it a "mellowing." Nice finish. Drinkable as hell but only go for one - the second'll knock you on your ass.

Is it the 10th best beer in the world? No. Is is really fucking good and worth making a weekend of? Oh, yes. kudos.

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Photo of punkrkr27
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Tap at the 2009 Founders Black Party. Only the 2nd beer I've ever given a perfect rating to. This stuff is incredible! Black as black can be pour with a nice dense brown head. Notes of oak, vanilla, bourbon, maple sugar candy, and nuts. All in excellent balance. Thick oily mouthfeel.

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Photo of ffejherb
3.9/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Capone's on 8/15/09.

A - Dark oily black body with a thin tan ring that quickly receded to an almost non-existent patch.

S - Maple character is quite subtle, surprisingly. Vanilla presence, however, is not as meek. Same goes for chocolate. Some woody notes and hints of coffee also emerge. Overall, the nose is quite sweet yet subtle.

T - Lots of vanilla sweetness in the initial flavor, with an understated maple syrup presence. It's there, but it's quite restrained. Flavor is very chocolatey, caramely and sweet with hints of coffee beans, the latter of which adds a tinge of bitterness. Overall, the vanilla dominates the flavor.

M - Full bodied and thick with a rich, luscious texture and slick mouthfeel, which allows the liquid to literally glide down the throat with ease. Carbonation is pretty subtle and provides only a hint of prickle on the tongue. Finishes quite sweet on the palate.

D - Don't get me wrong. CBS is a very good beer, no doubt about it. However, in the eschelon of Founder's Breakfast Stout brews, this is clearly on the bottom. While it is a fine brew in itself, it is the lesser Breakfast Stout, in my opinion.

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Photo of nickd717
4.83/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Review #20 on BA, and I'm saving it for #1000 on RB.

Growler generously shared by largadeer (thanks, Chris!). I was really looking forward to trying this beer and annoyed him about it at every possible opportunity. Same growler that Arbitrator reviewed this from, and yes, it did leak in transit and lose a substantial amount of beer, so the packaging materials were lucky enough to sample quite a bit of this rare brew. I knew from the start this was right up my alley since I love imperial stouts, coffee, and maple syrup. I could probably take almost anyone in a Super Troopers style syrup bottle chug.

Growler poured into snifter.

A - Black and viscous with the tiniest bit of brown foam when agitated. Clung to the side of the glass when swirled.

S - Coffee, roast, maple syrup, and a tiny bit of alcohol. Very inviting.

T - I've heard you can drop a tablespoon of maple syrup into a Breakfast Stout and approximate this beer pretty closely closely. CBS is a little fuller-bodied and more viscous, but as far as taste goes, that is a very good approximation. Flavor is lots of bitter coffee that is very reminiscent of regular Breakfast Stout, roasted malt, dark chocolate, maple syrup, vanilla, and a faint hint of oak. Alcohol is detectable but very well-hidden. This beer is really well-rounded and succeeds in balancing the sweetness from the syrup and malt with the coffee bitterness.

M - Well, because of the shipping mishaps, the amount of carbonation was somewhere between really, really, ridiculously low and Angels Share - i.e. it was damn near flat. Surprisingly, that didn't matter much. Call me crazy, but I like it when a syrup beer has a syrup-like mouthfeel. That's exactly how this was. CBS is smooth and viscous on the way down and lingers on the palate afterwards.

D - This is incredibly drinkable for an imperial stout. The second I put the glass down, I was thinking about my next sip. It just keeps you wanting that mapley, coffeey (not even close to being a word, I know) goodness and almost makes you cry when it's gone and you know you'll probably never try this again.

Founders, I can't stress this enough, please brew this beer again. If I could have a keg of this stuff delivered to my apartment once a month, I would be a very happy, drunk, and fat person.

UPDATE 9/19/09: largadeer got a new growler that was perfectly hermetically sealed, and it was PHENOMENAL. Huge lasting tan head with great retention and lacing. Flavor is just incredibly complex with a lot (but not too much) of maple syrup. Nice lively mouthfeel. This destroyed both KBS and regular BS in a side-by-side. This is flat-out one of the best beers I've ever had.

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Photo of corby112
4.47/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at Capones

Pours a oily complately opaque black color with a .5 finger chocolate coffee colored tan foam head that slowly dissipates into a thin ring and cap that lasts throughout. Very minimal splotches of lacing.

The maple is pretty prominent in the aroma balancing out the strong bourbon alcohol presence of the KBS. There is a nice roasted coffee presence that's accompanied by some chocolate malt, toffee, burnt toast, caramel and a healthy dose of bourbon.

The mouthfeel of this beer is silky smooth due to the additional aging in the maple barrels. The high ABV is extremely well masked even with the strong bourbon presence. All of the other roasty and malty flavors are balanced out by this sweet honey, molasses-like syrupy texture. This beers is ridiculously quaffable considering all that's going on and the high alcohol content.

As mentioned above, there are a lot of complex flavors going on here. Nice big roasty coffee presence, chocolate, chocolate malt, toffee, oatmeal, burnt toast and a very nice bourbon presence all wonderfully balanced by the sweet maple syrup flavor coming from the additional aging.

I could drink this beer all day and I'm looking forward to trying it again soon.

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Photo of HopHead84
4/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consumed on 08/26/2009 and poured into a snifter. I have a benevolent ghost from the east to thank for this. The beer is ebony with a small light brown head. Scattered lacing clings to my Darkness glass when the head recedes.

The aroma is immediately black coffee, roasted malt, and dark chocolate. Molasses is strong, and some vanilla is noticeable. Maple becomes evident as the beer warms, but it's not as strong as I was expecting. The coffee and roasted character seem to overshadow the maple in the nose. Other aromas are of oak and alcohol.

The flavor opens up with...well, black coffee. The coffee is fine, but wasn't maple supposed to be a big part of this beer? Isn't KBS a coffee beer? What about the maple?! Black strap molasses is present, as well as a strong roasted malt character. Dark chocolate is evident, and though the maple isn't strong it's more potent here than it was in the aroma, imparting a subtle sugary sweetness. The finish is dry and of bitter roasted coffee.

The beer is full bodied with low carbonation and a full, viscous, and sticky mouthfeel. This is a good beer, but I was expecting more maple character considering its purported presence. I believe regular Breakfast Stout to be superior.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap yesterday at Teresa's Next Door. WTF is this beer doing in the top 10?

A: Jet black with a dark brown head with excellent retention, it hangs around until after I'm done drinking this! Plenty of lace.

S: Plenty of coffee with a rich maple syrup sweetness. Rich and decadent with dark chocolate, and mild vanilla. I really like the fact that the maple character is an accent, instead of a driving flavor. Excellent stuff. While having no semblance of balance, this is still pretty great on the nose.

T: Opens bitter with coffee followed by sweet maple syrup before a dark chocolate bittersweet character comes through. Rich and tasty with the combination of chocolate, coffee and maple being good. Bittersweet on the finish with (more ) maple and chocolate. As it warms up, the maple character grows, and the beer becomes a little less enjoyable

M: The m/f is excellent. Creamy, full bodied and mildly carbonated, this beer is quite great on the palate. The finish is pretty good, but as the beer warms up and maple character grows, it does drop off.

D: I did enjoy one glass of this, but was physically incapable of drinking more. Not because it was a bad beer or cloying, but the combination of a warm bar, plenty of other good beers, and a good brunch curbed my urge for another glass.

Edit 23 Oct 2009:
I drank this again last night at the Church Key opening and found it to be quite hugely different. The coffee was lower in the mix, with an absolutely stellar blend of maple syrup, coffee, chocolate and bourbon. Exceptionally balanced, this is noted on the palate too. The finish is an excellent contrast between a coffee bitterness (and almost an espresso-like tartness) with the maple and bourbon. I drank about 5 glasses of this, truly wonderful stuff. S,T,D+0.5,+0.5,+1

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Photo of dwaz
4.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Has this on draft at Tersea's Next Door 08/23/09. Poured into a tulip glass and had nice dark appearenace with small tan head. Gave off a sweet aroma, but not overpowering. Good balance of carbonation and flavor. It's impossible to write about this beer without comparing it to Kentucky Breakfast Stout. CBS finishes with a sweet aftertaste probably from the maple syrup wheras KBS finishes with a strong alcohol flavor. This makes CBS much more drinkable in my opinion.

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Photo of sholland119
4.35/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Capone's.

A-Pours a deep black with a thin white head and no lacing. Very nice.

S-Maple syrup and vanilla notes combined with a nice roasted malt.

T-Light maple and vanilla, roasted malt and a moderately bittersweet finish. Is that all there is? I thought it might get more interesting as it warmed but it didn't.

M-Medium bodied, just a little rich.

D-Very nice. A huge disappointment based on expectations, though. We poured a KBS side by side about half way through. This was no match on any front. I like regular Breakfast Stout better also, as the coffee flavor is largely masked here. A nice beer but not a Top 100 beer to me.

UPDATE: Tried this yesterday at Teresa's Next Door and tasted a totally different beer. Less maple dominated, a bit boozier, but in a good way, richer in body and deeper in flavor. I have revised the T, M and D factors up. This is still, IMO, wildly overrated and still the least good of the three variations of Breakfast Stout. But yesterday I could almost get what others saw. I hope your experience with this beer is more like my second than my first.



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Photo of Kadonny
3.9/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I never wrote up my review from my taste at the CAH in Limerick a few weeks ago. I got there late that day and was only able to secure a 4 ounce pour into a tasting glass, still I was glad to at least try it.

A: A dark brown almost black thick liquid with almost no head on the pour. No glass lacing.

S: I got the maple smell immediately and noticed how much swetter the nose was than the KBS. Also smells of roasted coffee and dark chocolate.

T: The maple syrupy taste comes out first in the sweetness of the beer. Sweet maple with caramel malt get pushed aside by the roasted coffee/espresso flavors with dark chocolate flavors and a hint of vanilla, oak and some bourbon. A slight hop tinge is felt but the sweetness of the maple comes back in at the end to finish out. This is really a complex beer that needs to be drank a bit warmer to open it up. Alcohol heat comes in at the end too.

M: Full, coating, sweet with a decent alcohol kick. Very smooth though.

D: Medium at best. This one was just a tad bit sweet for me.

I have drank a fair amount of the Breakfast Stout line from Founders, so for me there is no question I tasted the maple right up front. Others seemed that they could not really taste it, I for sure could. This is a solid beer, but for me the KBS is much better. I love KBS so much and for me is the perfect blend of sweet and roast. This one bends a bit more on the sweeter side, not my bag. Still a very good beer that is rare as hell and I'm extremely happy I got to try it.

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Photo of capra12
4.92/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Reviewed solo at Capone's in Norristown, the 2 hours drive was well worth it. Special thanks to Dave from the gingerman for letting me know about the event. Served out of a snifter.

Appearance: Dark and opaque with little head.

Smell: Roasted dark malts, roasted coffee.

Taste: This is why it was worth the trip. Opens malty and sweet and transitions to a dark chocolate in the middle. From the middle to the end I get coffee, woody and subtle hints of vanilla, leaving an earthy and sweet aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and smooth, leaving no stickiness or film in my mouth. No carbonation.

Drinkability: I would definitely have another because of how enjoyable the flavors work with each other.

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Photo of BeerImmediately
4.43/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed a 9oz. snifter at Capone's CBS event Saturday. Started a little too cold, so warmed up in the hands over 30 minutes.

Nice appearance - small tan head so they could pack as much in the glass as possible, sitting atop a deep brown/black body. Minor lacing.

Worked a bit to get the smell going (temperature), but was primarily a roasted espresso, and a touch of sweetness - bittersweet chocolate and vanilla.

Taste was much more pronouced than the smell, and the roasted malt and espresso qualities dominated, without being the least bit bitter. The sweet maple flavor was tame, but you can tell it really helps level things out. I guess I was expecting "more waffle, less coffee", but the reverse worked well.

MF started very creamy smooth - like a goose-down pillow in a glass, and then puts the breaks on gently with a slightly acridic bite. This aspect was the real winner for me here.

Very, very drinkable - in fact, I continued with two other imperial stouts after this one.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.7/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

re-reviewed below original review.
I arrived at Capone's with my brother at approximately 10:15 a couple people back in line after akorsak (review below). They had beers poured and ready for tasting when we sat down anticipating the demand - kudos Capone's. I am very glad I got to try this great beer again. Here goes 888.
Look -5 Smell -4.5 Taste -5 Feel 4.5 Overall 5
Served chilled in a small snifter.

A - Ebony, opaque like an 8ball with 1/2 inch of almond capping. The bubbles appear thick and the bead is averages, with generally good lacing

S - The smell is like music to my nose - chocolate covered coffee beans, maple, bourbon soaked stone fruit and vanilla. The nose is so complex with mild caramel and nuts w/ mild alcohol accent from the bourbon. The cocoa presence and complimentary maple and bourbon really drive the aroma

M - Viscous without being syrupy or cloying w/ sweetness in the texture a mild alcohol up front. The roasted feel takes a backseat and some fruity, sappy textures propel the middle toward coffee-like roasty notes w/ bitter residual feel w/ mild woody astringency

T - Creamy smooth roasted coffee and maple synergy leads into a fine bourbon back w/ vanilla and maple flavors that mingle. As I paused to let the liquid sit in my mouth the roasted elements of cocoa and coffee settle and the character becomes mildly tannic w/ acidity of coffee and the creamy oaky vanilla taste saturates the sweet maltiness. The finish is very bourbon influenced with a mild hop accent

D - Not as maple as I expected but just as KBS masterfully blends all of the elements together-so is the case w/ CBS, a delight. The stout is well layered and complex enough to savor for a length of time as the combination of maple and stout are so complimentary, magic for the taste buds.

I recently had this on tap again after 5 years of my first try reviewed above.
It looks a little less nice than I remember -head retention is not as good. The smell is great and has plenty of coffee and maple. The taste seems sweeter than before and feel less smoothly blended.
Overall I like this a lot -not really deserving of my top 10 of all time beers considering I kept going back to KBS while having it side by side and seemed to like that better still excellent and just as good as any of the stouts in Founders repertoire to me.

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Photo of DIM
3.95/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

a: This was absolutely black as far as I can tell. My nine ounce snifter came to me with a short, frothy dark brown head.

s: Fairly mild aroma overall. I got notes of coffee and a little chocolate even when it was cold. As it warmed, vanilla, oak, and some sugary maple candy emerged. Very good, but I was hoping for something more potent.

t: Plenty going on in the flavor department, I'm just not sure that it all works together. Upfront I tatsed fairly strong chocolatey coffee. Sweet elements of vanilla and those maple leaf shaped candies you buy in gift shops in maple syrup producing regions close things out. The finish was pretty sugary for my taste, but as it warmed some oak flavors came out that helped quite a bit. Unique and well crafted for sure, but the flavors just didn't fit well together.

m: Thick, chewy, and gently carbonated. Close to perfect and exactly what I expected from Founder's.

d: I did enjoy this, but even if I see this again, I doubt I'd order it. Nothing off with this one, the coffee and the maple sugar flavors just don't go well together.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.03/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The stout appears a nearly opaque dark brown color with about a finger of creamy ecru foam. Aromas and flavors consist of a nice caramel sweetness, notes of vanilla, roasted coffee beans, dark and bittersweet chocolates, a pleasant maple note, mocha, milk chocolate. The stout falls somewhere between medium and full bodied with more than ample carbonation. Really glad I had the chance to try this one. Seek it out if you can.

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Photo of brdc
4.08/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap, poured into a sample glass.

Very dark brown, close to black, with a coffee colored head that holds well and laces the side of the glass.
Very nice aroma, roasted coffee beans and chocolate, caramel sweetness, hints of wood and vanilla, dark fruits.
Full bodied and creamy, and flavor follows suit, but it is better balanced than their other "breakfasts", with more roasted beans and chocolate notes, and less intense coffee.
A very nice one, and IMHO, an improvement over their other breakfast offerings. Smoother and better balanced.

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Photo of alcstradamus
4.57/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sampled at the 2009 great taste of the midwest. A nice 4-6 oz. pour with a clean palate.

Smell was strong coffee with light hints of wood and maple syrup. Taste was fresh brewed coffee with an extra sweetness from the maple, although I can't say I could have pointed out that it actually was maple if I didn't know already. This is like a slightly less boozy, slightly sweeter version of KBS. Overall, I found to to be almost equal to that beer. This is a full bodied beer, but not quite what I would call creamy, and I was left wanting more and more. I can't say I find this to be any more exciting than KBS though.

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CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.66 out of 5 with 5,370 ratings