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Founders CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout) | Founders Brewing Company

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Founders CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout)Founders CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout)
4,340 Ratings
Founders CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout)Founders CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout)

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.60%

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: 4,340 |  Reviews: 996
Photo of Jason
5/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of mdfb79
4.62/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had on tap tonight at Churchkey in DC.

a - Pours a dark black color with no carbonation evident and less than an inch of white head.

s - Smells of bourbon, roasted malts, vanilla, light oak, and maple syrup.

t - Tastes of roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, bourbon, and a hint of vanilla and dark fruits.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Smooth and pretty easy to drink for 9.4% ABV.

d - Another very nice stout from Founders. I found it sweeter and obviously with less bourbon to it than KBS, but still good none the less. Some nice roasted malts and bourbon in the smell and taste, and it was pretty easy to drink. I prefer KBS, and I think Founders Breakfast Stout as well, to this, but if I saw it on a tap list I would definitely buy a glass. Glad I got to try it and would like to have again. 4/4.5/4.5/4.5/4

Update: I've had this beer 4 times now, most recently at Churchkey again on 10/04/11. The buzz around CBS has been insane this time around, mostly due to trading and it being in bottles, but I figured might as well go get it on tap since I probably won't get a bottle. I've really liked it in the past, but not as much as KBS and about on par with FBS, so wasn't too upset if I didn't get any bottles. All hype aside, after having this again on Tuesday I thought it was absolutely fantastic. The maple sweetness and bourbon mix amazingly with the coffee and roasted qualities, and it's super easy to drink for almost 10%. This was by far the best I've ever had and really made me wish I hadn't been so lazy looking for bottles. Oh well, next year I'll try harder. Would now put this above FBS and very close to KBS in my book.

 1,668 characters

Photo of Zaphog
4.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.72/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I cannot believe I am getting to type up this review. Soo much thanks has to go out to the kind BA from PA who was able to get me a small growler of this one. It arrived on my doorstep and I nearly fainted. Served chilled and poured into a pint glass.

Deep, dark, inky black pour, about what I would have expected coming from this one. Not a drop of light peeking out at all and a nice, small, compact head of tan crept over the side for just a moment before falling back down and leaving some decent lacing on the glass. Big aroma here, absolutely huge. Very sweet notes, maple, lots of cocoa and hints of coffee and vanilla and very well put together. As it warms bourbon like smells start to come through with nice touches of vanilla really starting to come to the forefront here. Amazingly complex as the subtle maple hints start to find themselves along side blackstrap molasses. As I go in for a sip, I have to admit I am somewhat scared, and at the same time, cannot wait to try it. Rich molasses and maple notes hit first. Soothing, coating, and very filling. Bourbon then rides by, letting you know to take it easy and dropping touches of vanilla along the palate as it goes. Some subtle dark chocolate notes, meld with a hint of coffee, and now we are fully onboard with this one. Long finish is very sweet with the last gasp of maple and vanilla leaving me looking for my next sip.

Overall this was every bit the beast I thought it would be. I will be honest as I thought the maple would be a bit stronger, but in looking back I think it was nearly perfectly placed. This is a great thing they have done here. Taking one of my favorites and making it irresistible. I would have no issue at all with going for this one again any day.

 1,745 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.85/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750 mL bottle poured into my CBS snifter. MASSIVE thanks to MarcatGSB for this bottle. I'm still blown away.

Appearance - Dark black body (duh) with a one-finger khaki head. Decent retention and decent lacing. Nice wisps of bubbles on top of the beer.

Smell - Strong coffee aroma, as with KBS. Almost too strong, but the stout shines through enough to temper the coffee. Delicious roast and some maple sweetness in the back.

Taste - Just about perfect. Dark coffee that blends seamlessly with the stout flavors. It's difficult to discern where the coffee ends and the roasted malt begins. Another seamless transition into a maple finish. Finishes slightly sweet, with still a hint of coffee bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Perfect body. I could gulp this down if I didn't want to savor every drop of it. Low, but appropriate carbonation. The flavors linger long enough to make me want to take another sip.

Overall - I need more of this. Holy crap. I can't thank Marc enough for this bottle. Worth the hype and I'd say worth trading through the nose for in the future.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.7/5  rDev +0.4%
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.

 2,342 characters

Photo of orangesol
4.54/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served from a bottle at Al's of Hampden into a 5.5oz taster glass. I got a second one just to be sure...

A - Pours jet black with a small half finger tall mocha colored head leaving small webs of lace down the glass.

S - Smells of rich espresso, chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, nuts, maple syrup, and the ever present dark roasted grains. Some booze begins to creep in as it warms, only growing stronger as it comes to room temperature.

T - Starts off with a big, roasty, espresso kick quickly giving way to quite a bit of sweetness; mostly maple syrup, chocolate, and vanilla; and some light bourbon heat. Some light smoke creeps in as the sweetness begins to ween but it never really goes away fully. The finish is a mix of dark roast and sugary sweetness, lingering on the pallet for some time.

M - Heavy body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Sweet, slightly boozy, feel. Almost syrup like in the finish with plenty of sweetness.

O - There is no doubt that this is one of the best out there. The sweetness is strong but still manageable and even with the high ABV I could still drink a few of these no problem. I still plan to seek this one out on-tap at some point but this was a great introduction.

 1,210 characters

Photo of atlbravsrno1
4.25/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jgunther71
5/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of BEER88
4.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of womencantsail
4.8/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I cannot express how enthused I am to be typing this review! Enormous thanks to Kevin for inviting me (and others) over last night to share this one!

A: The pour is thick, creamy, and dark as the night with a thin layer of mocha colored head sitting on top. Some mild lacing as I drink a couple pours of this.

S: Insane amounts of fresh, roasted coffee are the first sensations to hit the nose. There are some nice undertones of bourbon, oak, and chocolate. The maple aromas are present, but not super bold.

T: All the good things about the nose are translated to the flavors of the beer. The coffee is once again very intense, with an ever so slight maple sweetness. The oak and bourbon flavors provide a touch of sweet vanilla to the beer.

M: Despite the travel from Michigan to CA, this growler has held up quite nicely. A smooth, creamy mouthfeel and a nice full body.

D: I cannot say enough nice things about this beer. I'm absolutely thrilled to have had the opportunity to try it, and I would drink more of this again in a heartbeat.

 1,045 characters

Photo of dfhhead25
4.33/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of PA-Michigander
4.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.7/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On draft today at Churchkey in D.C. Served in a 10 oz. snifter.

Very near black appearance with a 1/4" dark beige head. Upon swirling the head gets bigger (oh my...), and leaves some generous lacing on the glass.

Aromas of roasted malt, bourbon.

T: Really fabulous stuff. The maple syrup element comes through more prominently in the taste than it does in the aroma. I believe this may be slightly better than KBS (I may or may not have had a KBS near me), but they are both top-notch beers, in my opinion. CBS and KBS are also very similar beers, for the most part. The melding of the barrel and roasted malt flavors is impeccable.

M: Really smooth up front and quaffable...Bang! There's some nice alcohol heat in the finish for you.

D: Fantastic beer and worthy of hype. I hope to enjoy this again, maybe even in bottles? Highly recommended.

 848 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
4.57/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a snifter at ChurchKey.

This is why the CK is the baddest-ass bar in the District. Greg, there are no words, baby. This guy pours an Elvis painting black topped by over a finger of lovely dark tan (bordering on actual brown) foam. The nose is loaded with everything good found in big stouts: bourbon, oak, caramel corn, vanilla, maple syrup, molasses, roasted malts, light coffee, chocolate, and brown sugar-cinnamon. What's more interesting is that I could distinctly make out each of these components. Clearly. My 'strils haven't been this happily busy in a long time. And my tongue was not left out of the action. For fear of being overly redundant, everything I listed above came back, in some form or another, in the taste. In addition to a bit more bourbon, some burnt biscuits and heavy dark chocolate notes join in on the fun, while the maple syrup doesn't appear quite as strong as before. Damn, this is some tasty shit! The body has plenty of heft, with a heavy moderate carbonation and a thick, gooey, chewy feel. Overall, one of the best bourbon barrel stouts I've had the pleasure to sample. Believe the hype. 'Nuff said.

 1,145 characters

Photo of krome
5/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of johnnnniee
4.25/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled at EBF on Saturday afternoon.
Pours thick and black like motor oil with a creamy tan head that sticks around for a while before attaching to my -stache. Smells of coffee and chocolate mostly with bits of earthy hops in there that try in vain to balance the sweetness on this bad boy. The maple aroma is very subtle but there. I pick up little to no barrel aromas. Taste is sweet with tons of coffee chocolate and caramel malts with again faint maple and some earthy spicy hops trying to cut through the sweetness. Thick body with a sweet creamy silky smooth mouthfeel and a light level of carbonation. This is a great beer, but the maple seems very subtle. I remember having this a couple of years ago and thinking it was over mapled. If it didn't cost my first born and require swapping spit with the beer store guy I'd add a few of these to my basement.

 864 characters

Photo of thatoneguymike
4.69/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Photo of stakem
4.35/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well...hello there old friend. It has been awhile. Poured this time from a bottle into a snifter. The brew appears black in color with a brown head that is more than a finger strong. A full wall of webby lacing sticks to the glass. Faint brown clarity is seen through the edges.

The smell is sweet with chocolate, musty coffee, and a dark sweetness of molasses. Very pleasant and roasty with a well rounded character all about it. My only gripe is the coffee scent inclusion does not offer up and brightness or freshness. Instead it is a bit dull and earthy with that stale mustiness of left over coffee quality.

The taste is super pleasant with a smooth, sweet chocolate flavor. Notes of cocoa blend into roasted coffee, molasses sweetness and a hint of fruity alcohol. This brew is modestly bitter and roasty but very well balanced with all the flavor contributions perfectly blending together and not clashing or fighting for attention at all.

This is a medium bodied brew with a smooth feel that is modestly carbonated. Awesome arrangement of flavor. This is super easy drinking, I would have it regularly if that was possible. I would of had zero issues killing the entire bottle and looking for more.

 1,209 characters

Photo of dvmin98
5/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I have had CBS several times at tastings, etc, but this was the first time I've had the cooyans to actually crack open one of my bottles. Enjoyed it with a couple of friends (lucky bastards).

A - Deep brown color with 1/2 inch of head

S - bourbon, coffee, chocolatey

T - best tasting beer I have ever had. I couldn't get enough. I was literally rubbing the glass with my finger to get every last drop. Bourbon, coffee, chocolatey, with sweetness. The maple is just a hint, but just the perfect amount.

M - creamy and thick with a very full body

O - Best beer I have ever had. I have two bottles left and can't wait to open them up and enjoy them, but only for a special occasion.

 684 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.9/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Photo of BMart
4.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of InspectorBob
4.75/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of 22Blue
4.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of chippo33
3/5  rDev -35.9%

Founders CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout) from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.68 out of 5 with 4,340 ratings
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