On the second day of RIS-Mas, my true love gave to me…Canadian Breakfast Stout!

In my attempt to make my own Russian Imperial Stout Advent calendar, here is the second installment of my 12 part series!  Check out Day 1 as well for more RIS action.


Founders Canadian Breakfast Stout

One of my very favorite beers when I first started to get into craft beer was Founder’s Breakfast Stout. Years later I can still remember the first time I tasted this beer at Radio Maria restaurant in Champaign Illinois while having a wonderful coffee encrusted filet mignon with vanilla creme sauce.  The beer was perfect and the pairing was heaven.  When I first tried Kentucky Breakfast Stout (KBS), the bourbon barrel aged version, I was again blown away.  That beer was in my top 5 beers for a couple of years after and I spent a lot of time stalking and hoarding bottles.  But the cream of the crop was that rarity of rarities, the CBS.  Spending time in a Canadian maple syrup barrel this one was the end-all be-all of Founders’ beers.

The first and only time I tried this beer it was as a small 4 oz sample shared with my wife Sj at The Happy Gnome.  This is the first time I’ve been able to have a whole glass all to myself!  I was more than overjoyed that Waconia’s own Iron Tap had special tapping of CBS yesterday and was able to swing by after work.  By the way, the new chef is turning out some really good new dishes with a stellar salmon on a bed of spicy risotto getting high marks from both of us.


Not my best photo ever, but you get the idea!


Aroma: At first I get a strong metallic twang that is off-putting, but this does fade with time.  As it warms I get dark roast espresso and hints of chocolate.  Vanilla and maple syrup are very subtle.  Smells like it will be very sweet.

Appearance: Deep and black in color and purely opaque.  Large bubbles of tan colored head that are persistent.

Flavor: The beer is too cold off the bat.  Initially seems less complex than expected.  I ended up ordering an tasty Unmapped Brewing‘s Freq Drive DIPA to drink with my food while I waited for the CBS to warm up.  Once I got back to it the CBS had blossomed.  There is plenty of dark coffee flavor here, but does not taste like beer flavored cold press like a few examples of the style.  Dark and bitter finish of French Roast coffee and bitter baking chocolate but rides the line of not being astringent.  I do get that hint of vanilla and maple on the very tail end but not extreme.

Overall:    This beer is worth the hype.  Complex, rich, and firmly flavored all at once.  I wish I had bottles of it to hoard, but I can let it go now that I’ve had time to sip a full tulip glass of this over an hour.  Also coffee beers don’t age well, so drink up my hoarding friends.

Rating (0-5):  4.5


Keep an eye out for day 3!  At this point I’m not sure what RIS I might open next…