Founders CBS Canadian Breakfast Stout

Review Date 12/21/2017  Last Updated   1/30/2020  By John Staradumsky

Well well! It’s been quite the year for the “whales” to swim to me, folks! Now, I must confess thatI hate the term “whales”, used by beer geeks for beers that are hard to find. For my part, I don’t chase down beers, or stand in lines waiting for them. There are just too many great beers out there to do that. If you wait long enough, the beers will chase you. And that’s just what happened to me this year.

The first one to chase me was Founders KBS. I had never had it before, but it showed up at Taco Mac right around the corner from me in September. Next, on Black Friday, came Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout. It was standing right in front of me on a table at Total Wine, just waiting for me to take home. Indeed, I could have had a variant with blueberries and almonds, too, but the $25 price tag was too ridiculous to even consider.

Yesterday, the latest whale swam right up to me. I got a message from Taco Mac. Founders beers were the featured beer of the month (knew this), and as a special surprise, most all locations would be tapping a keg of Founders CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout). As it so happened, I was going to be at Taco Mac in a few hours, so win for me!

Founders CBS Canadian Breakfast Stout is, well, I’ll let them tell you:

CBS was born when we stumbled upon some bourbon barrels that had previously housed maple syrup. We opted to put the same base beer as KBS, an imperialized version of Breakfast Stout, in the maple barrels and, after one taste, we knew we had something special. Rich maple syrup, roasted coffee and velvety chocolate meld together in what can only be described as a transcendental drinking experience.

Sounds cool, huh? Now, I’m not sure what’s so Canadian about maple syrup. I’m sure they make it there, but hey, they make it in Vermont, too, so why not VBS? Oh well. Whatever you call it, it’s darned tasty. I had asked about it when I had visited a few liquor stores in this month of December, but of course nobody had it. So how great then that it came asking for me!

Founders CBS Canadian Breakfast Stout has an alcohol content of 11.7% by volume. Here’s the hard part to swallow, the beer in bottles runs $25.99 a bottle in these parts, if you can find it. It is a 750ML bottle, so that’s 25.6 ounces, but that’s still a lot. My draft seemed a relative bargain at $9 for 11 ounces, and-it’s draft!

My glass of Founders CBS Canadian Breakfast Stout arrived a jet-black color with a thick creamy tan head of foam and maple, boozy bourbon and a hint of coffee in the nose.  The beer has a thick, viscous mouthfeel and a palate rich with dark bittersweet chocolate, lighter coffee notes, coconut, boozy bourbon especially in the finish, warming alcohol, and a dash of maple syrup underlining it all.

My friends, this is an amazing beer, and one that on it’s own merits I’m inclined to give five stars to. The draft price is reasonable to me, though I will take a star off my final rating because the bottles price is ridiculous.

Update 1/30/2020: Last call for CBS! At that's what Founders is saying. That being the case, I bit the bullet and bought a 4-pack at Total Wine on Black Friday 2019 for $23.49 (a better deal than the fifth bottle for sure, half the price per ounce). The beer is amazing, and the coffee and maple really seemed to pop more than in the past. Then on January 30th of 2020 I found it on tap at Taco Mac Woodstock-on a nitro pour no less! The nitro added a smooth creaminess to the already rich roasty-chocolaty goodness in the palate, and all the flavors seemed to pop even more. Ten bucks for that 11-ounce glass, but they, I had bonus cards, so it was free!

And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.

*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.