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Founders Backstage Series #2: CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout)

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RATINGS: 585   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.29   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 318   ABV: 10.6%
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Ale Brewed with Chocolate and Coffee, aged in Maple Syrup-Bourbon Barrels.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
MatSciGuy (907) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - MAY 20, 2009
[Tap] at Stub and Herbs. Pours a pitch black with two fingers of tan head. Aroma is somewhat hard to dissect, because of the general atmosphere in which I was tasting, however, there was a lot of coffee grounds, roasted malts, and maybe a touch of maple. The flavor really comes in three waves, which is quite interesting. When it first hits, you get a huge smack of maple syrup and oakiness. As it moves across the palate you get the bourbon, and the finish is pure coffee with a touch of alcohol and roasted malts. Good beer, but Iíd like to try it again under a less hectic atmosphere.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
alexsdad06 (4530) - Ohio, USA - MAY 16, 2009
Growler fill. Pours a dark brown/black with a small beige head (combination of the growler and too cold at the time of pouring). The aroma is very similar to the regular Breakfast stout with the addition of the maple syrup sweetness. Mostly coffee, roast, and a touch of dark fruit. The flavor was everything that I have enjoyed in the regular Breakfast stout: Coffee, dark chocolate, and roast with the added dimension of the maple syrup sweetness. Cold the body seemed a bit thin. As the beer warmed, the body came around (although not as full as I would like) but remained creamy smooth to drink. The alcohol was not a major factor until it warmed significantly. I had this at DLD, but my brain and palate were pretty much shot by the time it came out. This was a nice surprise to find so close to home. I have and continue to enjoy this one (at least for a few more sips).

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
shigadeyo (2962) - Harrison, Ohio, USA - MAY 15, 2009

5/15/2009: I missed out on this at DLD this years since I passed out and couldnít drink anymore, so I am shocked and very glad to see that a keg of it made it into the area. I have been looking forward to trying this beer for quite some time now, so here goes... Huh. I have to admit, Founderís Candian Breakfast Stout is a bit of a let down. Donít get me wrong, it is a really good to maybe even great beer, but it just isnít awesome. The aroma is mostly coffee with a maple syrupy sweetness. A tinge of alcohol creeps out as it warms, but the aroma pretty much just gives away a coffee liqueur type of characteristic. The flavor is pretty sweet in the front. It isnít a malty sweetness and it is lacking the expected malty body that the very dark brown to black color of this beer leads me to believe should be there. It is definitely a lighter sweetness and thinner body. Semi-sweet chocolate and soft, creamy coffee come through in the middle with darker chocolate, stronger coffee (espresso beans), and then a really interesting sweetness in the the finish that is definitely like high quality, REAL maple syrup. There is no alcohol burn like fresh KBS tends to have, but the alcohol is definitely in there - strong and warming - and becomes more apparent as the beer warms. For some reason this beer brings a bowl of oatmeal with chocolate chips in it with maple syrup drizzled on top accompanied by a rich, bold cup of unsweetened espresso on the side. The body of this beer is medium-full and has a slightly syrupy and sticky texture. Pretty tasty, but maybe not really what I was expecting or hoping for. To be honest, when I first heard "Canadian" Breakfast Stout, my mind instaneously went to bacon and I was really hoping for a really smokey, meaty version of the KBS. Syrup never entered my mind at first! I really like how the sweetness counter-acts the typical young KBS alcohol burn, but it also seems to overpower the bourbon and other flavor characteristics of the base KBS beer leaving mostly coffee to dominate the aroma and flavor (sometimes too much coffee).

Since I was fortunuate enough to end up with half a growler of this beer, I have been experimenting a little bit and trying it at different temperatures. More of the hoppy and coffee bitterness and flavors seem to pop out when the beer is really cold. The flavor seems less compless, although an interesting blend of bourbony maple syrup can be picked up on the palate. Coffee seems to dominiate when the beer is in the middle temperature range. When it becomes really warm, an extremely rich and mouthwatering semi-sweet to almost unsweetened chocolate character emereges. One thing that is consistent at all temperatures in the incredible smoothless and seemless quality of all of the flavors which can probably be attributed to the oatmeal in the base beer. This beer is definitely going on me as I continue to drink it, but I still donít think that it is nearly as good as KBS in the bottle with a year or two of age on it...

Summary of flavors:
Cold = Bourbon and sweet syrup (a bit thin though)
... = COFFEE
Overall = Very intriguing!

Growler fill from Party Town in Florence, Kentucky. Rating #44 for this beer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
pantanap (3340) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAY 15, 2009
2 8oz pours of this at founders last weekend... pours close to black with a hefty and fluffy light tan brown head... assertive cofee aroma with subtle hints of vanilla but not too much maple in the nose...def. sense the smooth breakfast stout base but finishes off with a dose of sweet vanilla and maple. a lingering coffee roast and residual sweetness also adds to the experience. really smooth and sikly mouthfeel. lightly carbonated and lush. this was pretty nice overall.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Silphium (3158) - East Lansing, Michigan, USA - MAY 12, 2009
On tap at Founders. Deep opaque brown-black body, thick tan dissipating head. Strong, sweet maple syrup aroma with chocolate and roasted malts. Chewy, sweet body, sweet, with maple, chocolate, and coffee. Medium bitter finish. Silky, creamy palate. Breakfast stout is already a decadent beer, and the maple adds sweetness that becomes a tad cloying at about a third of a pint. Very good beer, but not a show-stopper.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
after4ever (5929) - Brier, Washington, USA - MAY 10, 2009
UPDATED: MAY 11, 2009 Draft at Brouwerís. Jet black. Loose sudsy tan ring. Massive blast of bitter coffee on the nose. Big creamy body, but very drinkable. The flavor profile starts with a d-10 Caterpillar bulldozer worth of coffee driving your tastes buds straight back. The big, bold flavor settles down into a more harmoniosu blend of coffee, salt, pepper, and some maple syrup. Lovely blended finish, but starts off a real hyperactive child.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Skyview (5109) - Papoose Jct, Minnesota, USA - MAY 10, 2009
Guest tap during Dark Lord Day í09. Pours an opaque dark brown colored brew with a thin tan head that slowly dissipates and leaves behind some spotty lacing. Aroma of toasted dark malt, coffee, breakfast maple syrup and some citrus/pine hops. Taste is full bodied, smooth, with flavors of toasted dark malt, coffee, maple syrup, some brown sugar and citrus. Finish is just as smooth with a light chocolate/coffee aftertaste that even continues a maple presence. Nice combo specialty Imp Stout.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
trevor211 (1298) - Seattle, Washington, USA - MAY 9, 2009
On tap at Brouwerís "Back in Black" stout night, part of Seattle Beer Week 09. Pours black as night, with a smallish, though dense, mocha brown head. The aroma hits you right away with oak, maple syrup, vanilla, molasses and mild, roasty coffee. It starts off dry as hell, but thereís this magical sweetness that starts to come through as an afterthought. That sweetness is more prominent in the flavor - maple syrup and toasted hazelnuts come through. This one is truer to the breakfast nomenclature than anything else Iíve had. Sweet, roasty flavor, but a dry mouthfeel, leaving your mouth salivating. Thick and syrupy, with just the right amount of roastiness. Great stuff!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
cgarvieuk (13176) - Edinburgh, SCOTLAND - MAY 6, 2009
UPDATED: MAY 7, 2009 On Tap at DLD ... Very late on in day :-( ... When i saw the list for the day This was my number 2 pick after the Oak aged DL ... Sadly i was pretty disapointed with this... It was Still ok but Absolutly no hint of maple syrup anywhere, or at leat to my palate... deep black ... rich roast malts and coffee nose .. again deep roast malt flavours with some coffee.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
timsilvia32 (449) - from Michigan now in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA - MAY 5, 2009
Get to review this as I drink it thanks to the wireless at Founders. Dark black pour with many brown hints swirling around. Strong cream colored head that reduces to a thin layer like oil on top of water. Really sticks to the glass. When I tilt it to the side to bring some of the bubbles onto the glass and tip it the other way, they remain stuck to the glass under the level of the beer for an interesting effect. Aroma has espresso, mocha and a hint of oak and waffles(with maple syrup of coarse). Taste is also an interesting blend of the aromas. More bourbon barrel type flavors with the maple throughout the middle, than in the aroma. Almost creamy mouthfeel, similar to itís breatheren. The kind of caramel latte finish lingers for just a bit, but not real long. Alcohol is non-existant as well. Like that there is just slightly less abv in this one compared to their other imperials. Overall itís safe to say this is another chart topper from Founders. Would go really well with a slab of bacon. I think I prefer the regular KBS just a bit more, will be comparing to the Barrel aged Imperial shortly. Only drawback thus far is the intense grain scents from the brewing operation throwing off the aroma from time to time.

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