Founders Brewing | Canadian Breakfast Stout
Few things evoke childlike joy from fully-grown adults like old video games and rare beer. Recently I got to combine the two when I played Super Smash Bros with my friend while sipping on the 2017 version of Founders Brewing’s famed Canadian Breakfast Stout. As I sat there with my N64 controller in hand, taking in the maple syrup-laced decadence that has garnered this imperial stout high praise and a fervent following over the years, I fully understood why CBS had gained its “whale” status.
— Taylor Laabs 🍺 (@TaylorLaabs) November 17, 2017
Below are my thoughts on this year’s Canadian Breakfast Stout, which will rightfully give adults the type of joy usually reserved for unearthing your favorite N64 game–but this imperial stout will get you drunk, too.
Pour: The pour of this beer is extremely clean; you get a whizz of carbonation as you pop the lid which is followed by a smooth stream of deep brown liquid, that has an almost syrup-like viscosity to it. Once CBS settles in the glass, it has a small, golden-brown head that separates itself from the darker liquid below.
Aroma: Amazing; It acts as a perfect precursor to the main course by giving you glimpses of what is ahead. I was able to take in intense notes of bourbon and maple syrup, with a whiff of chocolate at the end as well. From sniffing this stuff you can tell you’re in for a high-gravity ride, as the bourbon stands out as the main aromatic.
Taste: Intense and impactful. The first sip of this was really strong, as it delivered on the bourbon barrel heritage it came from. Then, the bitter bourbon transfers to a mellow and sweet maple syrup flavor that eases your taste buds. The maple syrup here does a great job of setting up the other flavors, as you get wonderful combinations of rich imported chocolate and dark coffee notes in the middle and end of the sips. I can’t emphasize enough how vital the maple syrup is in CBS – it stands out from start, middle to end. I was impressed at how this stout was able to pack so much flavor into one beer while not being overbearing on the taste buds, which I think is a testament to Founders and the care they take in producing the barrel-aged beers in their Backstage series. It’s wonderfully smooth, but in the back of your head you know it’s also almost 12%.
Verdict: CBS is one of few beers to earn a 100 rating on Rate Beer and one (or two) of these bombers was more than enough to convince me to give it the same rating. The multiple levels of intricate flavors mixed with the bourbon-barrel aging and creamy mouth-feel makes CBS 2017 intensely enjoyable and incredibly unique at the same time. It’s a beer that you’ll want to sit down and take in; and perhaps, even share with your friends so they can experience it the wonders of a beer that only sees bottles every half decade or so.
Interested in grabbing a coveted bottle of CBS? Founders says that CBS in 750 ml bottles will be available everywhere in their 46-state footprint starting December 1st, retailing for $24.99 a bottle. Founders will also have it flowing in their taproom throughout the holiday season. After the experience I had drinking this one, I definitely recommend pursuing. Happy hunting – cheers!
*Feature image courtesy of Founders Brewing