CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout) | Founders Brewing Company

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CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout)CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout)
5,547 Ratings
CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout)CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout)

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.70%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Canadian Breakfast Stout (CBS) is the epitome of why we launched the Backstage Series: to bring some of our most sought-after beers, which have been available primarily at the taproom or at a few select events, to a much larger audience.

Canadian Breakfast Stout is an Imperial Stout brewed with a blend of coffees and imported chocolates, then aged in spent bourbon barrels that have most recently been aging pure Michigan maple syrup.

Added by CRJMellor on 02-01-2009

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,547 |  Reviews: 1,283
Photo of FievelGoesWest
4.45/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Black, the way you think of coffee being black, with hints of fading brown.

S: The booziness sticks out a lot here. Stack maple, various coffee smells, and bourbon hints.

T: The maple here was a little much for me. Not to say it was bad, just didn't feel as necessary.

M: Syrupy and consuming.

O: Great beer. I'm going to have to try it with KBS side-by-side sometime to really hammer down the differences for me. Try this if you get the opportunity!

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

Reviewed from Notes at Armsby Abbey Stoutfest 4/16/11:

11oz pour from tap:

A: Pitch black, almost 2 fingers of frothy mocha brown head that maintains for quite a while.

S: Lots of bourbon and coffee with maple, chocolate, and wood aroma in behind.

T: The first few sips I had were with a good bit of the head, it was extremely creamy and silky smooth with a ton of maple. Getting passed the head, I got the bourbon with coffee and vanilla first with tons of maple syrup and some chocolate behind it. Oak tannins and roasted malts came into play in the middle. Finish was a bourbon, coffee, and maple, a touch boozy. I honestly felt that this was a bit too sweet and boozier than KBS, despite the lower ABV. I felt the maple and bourbon stole a bit too much of the show. Still a great beer, but I was expecting a little more with the hype.

M: While it's thick and smooth, I felt it wasn't quite as viscous or smooth as KBS, surprising as I figured the added sweetness would lend a smooth, luscious mouthfeel, but it didn't (compared to KBS).

O: This is a really great bourbon barrel aged stout, but I actually preferred both the '10 and '11 KBS. A little too sweet, too much maple, not as much depth as the KBS (call me crazy, but that's what I felt), and a little too boozy. If you have the opportunity to try this, of course do so, but don't necessarily expect it to be the most amazing thing ever or way better than KBS.

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Photo of JoshVandy
4.89/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed two 8oz. pours of this at Founders Black Party, April 16, 2011

A- Pours a viscous, oily black from the tap at Founders with very little mocha colored head that disappears almost immediately. As dark as beers get. Beautiful lacing.

S- First whiff is sweet maple bourbon and vanilla. The most amazing thing I've ever smelled. They need to make little CBS air fresheners. Let it warm up and picked up faint chocolate and coffee notes mixed in with a stronger sweet maple character. Fantastic.

T- Slight heat from the bourbon up front, but it's immediately followed by the perfectly balanced sweetness of the maple syrup. The flavors meld so perfectly together, it's hard to really pick out everything going on in this beer. Chocolate, oaky vanilla and a hint of coffee also come through once I let the glass warm.

M- Smooth and creamy with a perfect amount of carbonation. Spot on for the style.

O- Hard to really put this beer into words. At its simplest, it tastes like KBS with maple syrup added, but it's much more complex than that. The bourbon and the maple syrup coexist beautifully together and I could easily drink this all day, every day. A beer that honestly and truly lives up to the infamous status that surrounds it. Believe the hype.

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Photo of Emmaus217
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours midnight black with a thin mocha head that swiftly fades to gorgeous looking lacing.

Smells like sweet maple bourbon with a hint of coffee and dark chocolate.

The taste is out of this world. Completely lives up to the hype. Sweet maple goodness followed by delicious dark chocolate. A delicious bourbony/booze after taste quickly follows it up.

The mouthfeel is thick and carbonated just right.

This beer is everything I had hoped it would be. I'm so glad I came to the Black Party.

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

Armsby Abbey, StoutFest 2011.

A- Black body with a mocha colored creamy cap. Good retention and a nice bubbly thick ring. A few nice blotches of lace.

S- Roast malt, cocoa, coffee and maple. Bourbon and oak round it out beautifully. Maple makes it like gourmet pancakes as it warms up more.

T- Very well done. Great roast malt stout backbone with layers of oak, bourbon, cocoa, vanilla and maple.

MF- Silky carbonation in a moderately thick body. Cocoa bitterness.

God damn. A blend of so many beautiful flavors in a stout that I could drink many glasses of.

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

Taken from notes 20OCT2010

On draft, poured into tulip at Blind Tiger's Founders event

This pitch black "loggers-breakfast-in-a-glass" is a masterpiece. From first sight of its obsidian color to its perfectly laced trail left behind, this was truly one of the finest beers I have ever had.

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Photo of paulys55
4.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed at Liberty Tavern Founders Flight Night along side several other Founders goodies (including KBS).
Ticket #69 so I knew it would be a good night. By the time it made its way to my table the head had dissipated to a thin, light brown ring around the edge of a pool of blackness. No light penetrating this bad boy. Aroma of dark chocolate, vanilla, coffee, maple syrup and whiskey is marred only by the cloud of cigarette smoke I am sitting in. I honestly wanted to take my beer and drink it outside. But this is the price I pay for the oportunity to taste this gem. Taste matches the aroma with sweet maple syrup taking more of a supporting role than I expected but just enough to balance the bitter dark chocolate and bourbon warmth. The complexity of flavors go beyond my ability to describe all of them but my overall impression is that this is as good if not better than KBS and I would not hesitate to seek it out again in the future. Thanks to Liberty Tavern for holding this event and Chris for the heads up.

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

Great Taste of the Midwest 2010.

A: black coffee color with a thin, disappearing brown head.

S: maple syrup, bourbon booze and espresso.

T: Absolutely amazing! Bourbon taste with maple syrup followed by a nice slightly dry coffee flavor.

M: Very nice but somewhat thin with the bourbon and maple rolling around in the mouth.

O: One of the best beers I have ever had. Well done Founders.

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Photo of boz4uali
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

5.5 oz at a Founders event @ Tavern on Liberty

A: black, no head (although by the time they brought the glass over to me it may have gone down)

S: black mission figs dipped in maple syrup with a splash of bourbon, all blended with KBS...incredible and not overwhelmingly sweet or bourbon-y . the smell of alcohol is hardly present. sweet but not sickeningly sweet--like a dried black mission fig.

T: delicious stout qualities with fig, vanilla, maple and bourbon

M: thick syrupy goodness

O: had CBS for the first time served with KBS, porter, centennial, double trouble, nemesis, dirty bastard, imperial stout--the CBS was my favorite. although i only had a 5.5 oz serving, i nursed it for as long as possible--the taste and smell were absolutely perfect. smell reminds me of sam adams utopias but better.

Serving type: on tap

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Photo of stimulus
4.35/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a 5.5 taster glass from a Founders tasting @ Tavern on Liberty in Allentown.

A: Pours jet black all the way through with no head by the time I was served, but can't count that against the beer itself.
S: Bourbon, soy sauce, and bitter roasted coffee, followed by maple syrup replacing the soy sauce scent as it warmed up a bit.
T: Initially, I'm only getting soy sauce, the distinctive flavor that reminded me of SA Triple Bock for the first 15-20 minutes until I let it warm up. Finally, after trying a couple other tasters, I got what I expected: big malty bourbon notes, followed by a balanced bitter coffee, and sweet maple syrup/brown sugar on the finish.
M: Viscous, but not cloying, on the lighter side for the carbonation, and full bodied.
O: Thick and viscous, I think one taster was probably enough for me anyway. I'm sure I could have enjoyed a 10 oz snifter, but that would be it for a beer of such a style. It just wasn't that drinkable, even compared to the KBS a little bit later. Also, the alcohol burn wasn't there at all in this or the KBS but it was prominent in the Imperial Stout.

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Photo of aglose45
4.62/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this in a 5oz pour as part of the Founders Flight Night at Liberty Street Tavern.

A: Pitch black, didn't have any head left once the flight made it to me.

S: There is a very nice maple aroma up front that blends well with the bourbon notes. There is some coffee present towards the end as well.

T: The maple flavor is present up front, but not as prominent as it is in the nose. Immediately following the maple is the pleasantly bitter coffee. Bourbon follows the maple and coffee, rounding out the taste.

M: Thick, full, and almost syrupy.

D: I like this better than KBS because of the maple addition. I'm a sucker for maple syrup, and it shows when I compare these two beers.

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Photo of SamuelJackson45
4.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Founders Night at The Tavern on Liberty.

A- pours a thin head with dark coffee color look.

S- Smell of maple syrup and bourbon booze and hint of strong coffee.

T- Everything I thought it would taste. Bourbon taste with maple syrup flavor with little hint of coffee.

M- Thin with the bourbon flavor and maple rolling in the tounge.

D- no words can put the.essence of pure bliss of goodness.


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Photo of tarheels86
4.58/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Tap at Paradiso Dupont.

A- Pours a near pitch black- more like a muddy deep ruby with a super thick, rich, creamy, reddish brown head that has excellent retention, beautiful reverse cascade, and giant sheety lace.

N- Nose is coconut, rather muted overall with perhaps some coffee coming through.

T- A bit hot, very bitter, raw cocoa, unsweetened dark chocolate, some spicy oak, lots of bourbon character coming through rather than what I would describe as "maple". Mostly comes across as coffee heavy.

P- Slick, full, a bit oily.

Much more in your face bourbon and oak than KBS or FBS.

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Photo of TarasBeerezowsky
4.24/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Local Option. (Served in a small highball glass due to snifter shortage; completely tapped out before mine even warmed to a good temp.)

A - much like regular BS and KBS; black as an Upper Peninsula forest in the middle of the night; thin hazelnut-colored head, dissipates quickly.

S - a lot sweeter than BS/KBS, with maple nudging out coffee or chocolate notes.

T - roasty and sweet, but with much less body than I expected. Maple doesn't hang around -- in fact, hardly makes an appearance on the palate.

M - falls much shorter than a Speedway or Bourbon County Brand Stout. kept trying to let it redeem itself, but i'm afraid the best the CBS has to offer is on the nose.

wouldn't necessarily drink as a substitute for breakfast stout or kentucky -- unless i really was out of syrup for my pancakes.

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

A - Thick and black, completely opaque. Small brown head that didn't tick around for long.

S - Nice mixture of bourbon and maple that is pretty unique. Chocolate and a little bit of roast and a touch of espresso. Very nice.

T - I don't actually find the taste on this nearly as good as the nose. The maple is pretty pronounced, but it tastes a bit thin. Some coffee, a bit of chocolate, it's not bad, but I find it overly sweet, and slightly one dimensional, with the maple coming way too much to the forefront and blowing the rest of the flavors out of the water. It's good, but not great.

M - Thick, syrupy (fitting), lighter side of full bodied, not particularly carbonated. Somehow it manages to feel just slightly thin when it's going through the mouth.

D - Good beer, but not great, was hoping for more given how long I'd seen it on the top 100. I like it alright, but prefer KBS.

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

This beer is decent, but original KBS stout is a lot better. This is too sweet. Overall, Founders Brewery makes some of the best beers I have tasted anywhere. Three Floyds and Bells are some other top ones to hit if you are in that region. Jolly Pumpkin also has good restaurant and good beer in Ann Arbor.

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Photo of PDXHops
3.89/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap in a shaker pint. Near black with mahogany highlights. Wispy head that manages to leave spotty lacing here and there.

With apologies to regular Breakfast Stout, this is what breakfast should smell like: chocolate chip pancakes with maple syrup and a pot of coffee. All that's missing is a side of bacon. Flavors are nicely integrated, with only a surprising bitterness and strong coffee disrupting the general smooth, sweet flow. Just enough roast to keep sweetness, maple and otherwise, in check. Medium-thick and pretty smooth. Good stuff.

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Photo of rye726
4.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Drank all day Saturday at the '10 GAGF, had no reason to try anything else. I love KBS and I love CBS. They are both near perfect. Both just lack a bit of complexity through the finish. However, I'm not sure CBS is any better or different than KBS. Perhaps a bit of fresh maple in there, but not much else noticed. Like KBS, a near perfect stout that is only enhanced by the coffee and whiskey barrels. Viscous pour, silky espresso head. Huge flavors, very well balanced. Full creamy body.

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Photo of cpetrone84
4.56/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this on tap at Fathead's for opening day of the Steelers season! Great beer and great win!

A-pours a jet black viscous liquid with a thick creamy light brown head.

S-the nose is light, there is a fair bit of bourbon up front with some scorched wood as well. Notes of maple, vanilla, and hints of chocolate cake batter sweeten this beer up a little as lots of roasted coffee comes through in the back.

T-the flavor is bold and balanced, the bourbon and wood hits first subtly on the front of the tongue. the maple syrupy and rich vanilla add a nice balance and transition into the breakfast stout that was aged in the barrel. integrated roasted malts, burnt coffe and rich chocolate cake batter in the finish.

M-this is robust and full bodied, very rich and decadent with a soft carbonation holding the large body up just right with a very creamy feel to it.

D-this is a huge beer but very well balanced as the flavors integrate in cooperation. it is rich and tasty but has a complex barrel aging component to add complexity. well done stuff!

Go Steelers!

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Photo of vandemonian
4.73/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this at the Founders tasting at Big Hunt in DC in November 2010. Canadian Breakfast Stout (CBS) was pretty much completely black and maintained an excellent laced head. The smell was a mixture of roasted malts and whiskey; it smelled a lot like Irish coffee. The wood aroma was noticeable too. The taste was malty and delicious, with noticeable sweet coffee. There was some bitterness in the middle with a tiny amount of smokiness. The aftertaste was very smooth with the main flavours being sweetness and the whiskey. This is a very full bodied brew (thick, foamy, creamy) and when coupled with the bourbon flavour, it made CBS seem very... intoxicating. Delicious. I wanted more than the two glasses I had.

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Photo of tobin
4.72/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had on tap at Ashleys in A2 during their Founders night

A: Very dark and opaque. Little head at all, though a good amount of lacing as it went down. Small amount of carbonation bubbles.

S: Mainly coffee with some vanilla, caramel, and maple. Good smell, but not overpowering.

T: Unbelievable is the only way to describe it--coffee, chocolate, vanilla, maple, caramel. Quite sweet and ever so delicious.

M: Medium to full body with fairly light carbonation. Exceptionally creamy.

D: Absolutely sublime.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
4.76/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Edited 10/19/11: On tap at Big Hunt in DC twice in 2009 and 2011. Pours pitch black with a big, super thick tan head that recedes slowly to a small cap and leaves lots of lacing along the sides. The aroma is stunning. This big coffee aroma, bourbon, and dark roasted malts from the underlying beer is still dominant, but the reason it's world class is the maple syrup sweetness. The Breakfast Stout is still easy to pick out with the heavily toasted dark malts and freshly ground coffee. But the maple syrup and bourbon takes over midway through the taste and leaves a lingering sweetness after each sip. The mouthfeel is as smooth as any beer I've ever tasted in this particular FBS category with soft but noticeable carbonation. It's not full bodied, but close. Something about the maple syrup seems to balance the coffee perfectly. This is my favorite BS in addition to KBS.

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Photo of glazeman
4.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured on tap at the recent Founder's event at Haymarket. Reviewed from notes

A: Dark, dark brown in color, though not quite black. There was a 1 finger mocha head on my beer. The head had excellent retention, and left excellent lacing.

S: The main notes I got where vanilla, maple, a little cappuccino, and a little earthiness.

T: The taste was a little more roasty than I had anticipated, but not anywhere near that of a porter. I agree with those that say the maple has faded somewhat, as I remember there being more maple when I had this beer at the Founder's Black Party back in April or so. There was also nice flavors of oats, and vanilla. Overall the taste was smooth, balanced, and terrific. Better than KBS in my opinion

M: The beer had an appropriately medium-low level of carbonation, a nice viscosity, and a great oat aftertaste.

D: One of the most drinkable beers I have had that is over 10%. There was no noticeable alcohol, and every sip left me wanting more. I polished of two 4 ounce servings in about 20 minutes and wish I could have gotten more.

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

This beer is extremely complex but not overwhelming. The sweet and full taste of maple and bourbon are present. The texture is thick and smooth with light carbonation. The best beer I have every tasted. It pours very dark brown. The nose body and finish are excellent. I would drive across the country to get this beer.

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

tasted at Haymarket during Founders taping event. Drove 2 hours into chicago because i have wanted to try this beer for a longgg time...hope i am not disappointed!

8 oz pour into small tasting glass.

Appearance: Black with dark brown head. less than 1 finger head that is short lived.

Smell: Oh boy, this smells great!!! Maple, coffee, and chocolate.

Taste: Maple sweetness right away(no cloying sweetness either, just the right amount) that gives way to roasty coffee. Also, has faint flavors of vanilla, oak, honey, and maybe some bourbon sweetness without any alcohol burn. Ends with more coffee and maple flavor tasting more integrated after several sips.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied. Carbonation is perfect. Smooth, absolutely no alcohol burn at all! Silky and sexy!!!

Drinkability: As if the taste wasn't amazing...the mouthfeel is great as well. Easy to drink alot of this beer. U would not think that its only around 9.5%!

Overall: FOUNDER'S please bottle this beer! No dissapointment here, it was well worth the wait! I would drive all the way to Grand Rapids for a pint of this beer at the tap room! This beer is better than KBS, but KBS is a solid beer that I love as well; one of my other favorite beers.

Went to the Founders CBS Release on 10/01/2011. All I got to say is I have been anticipating Fresh CBS since I tried it at the Haymarket!

poured into snifter by founders brew pub staff!

Appearance: 4.0 Dark black beer minmal head just a ring around the top of the beer.

Smell: 4.75 Smells like roasty malts, coffee, and bourbon. Its making my mouth water!

Taste: 4.5 Very sweet and roasty. Lots of expresso notes and bourbon. Subtle wood / barrel notes in the background and the expresso/bourbon combonation is a "one two punch" that dominates! This dark beer is very robust! Nice! This beer really becomes great when it warms up to room temp; It becomes a bit sweeter and you start to get the maple syrup in the finish and aftertaste. Not really very boozey either! I am impressed with this since its fresh!

Mouthfeel: 4.5 High end of a moderate bodied beer. Low carbonation levels. Chewy and viscous. Its done well.

Overall:4.5 Nice and complex just like I remembered! This beer will age nicely! I will always seek this beer out. One of my favorites fresh or aged! I liked it a little better when its was aged. But Fresh is still world class beer! Founders always brings it!

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CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.66 out of 5 with 5,547 ratings