Café Royale - AleWerks Brewing Company

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Café RoyaleCafé Royale

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589 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 589
Reviews: 155
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: 9.56%
Wants: 261
Gots: 134 | FT: 11
Brewed by:
AleWerks Brewing Company visit their website
Virginia, United States

Style | ABV
Milk / Sweet Stout |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: mcallister on 08-21-2010

Barrel Aged
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 589 | Reviews: 155
Reviews by DrinkSlurm:
Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.18/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into snifter. Pours a deep black with tan thick head. Smells fantastic of roasted coffee malts. Taste is smooth coffee, boozey, a bit of bourbon and smokey wood age. Really full of flavors and just plain smooth. Hides the alcohol so well.
Very highly recommend this brew.

More User Reviews:
Photo of jeonseh
4.32/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25


A - Dark brown, clean beer. Small mocha color head that just has a small layer of foam on the sides

S - Big coffee nose with slight cream and bourbon. Lots of coffee on this one. Coffee is smooth and sweet with no sign of bitterness

T - Sweet coffee up front with cream, brown sugar, sweet bourbon, and milk chocolate. The finish is slight roasted malt and espresso. Overall, this is a nice, smooth and complex beer

M - Smooth creamy body that goes done nice and easy.

O - A nice overall beer that is smooth and creamy, has good coffee flavor, a nice sweetness and hints of bourbon. It reminds me of a baby BCBCS.

Photo of Jeffo
2.77/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle from totoropanda a while back. Cheers!

From a bomber into a snifter
Vintage: 2013
Stout with coffee and aged in bourbon barrels

APPEARANCE: Dark brown pour yields a 1+ finger, slightly looser, foamy, dark tan head with decent retention. Head fades to a half wisp. Black body with minimal carbonation evident. A ring remains leaving some decent lacing down the glass. Darker body, but looser and foamy head.

SMELL: Nice bourbon, with oak, coconut, vanilla and some caramel notes. Milk chocolate and sweet cream with light aromas of coffee there as well. A touch of roasted malt under it all as well. Pretty nice barrel with plenty of nuances.

TASTE: Bourbon barrel, oak and light tartness up front. Some milk chocolate through the middle into a bolder and slightly tart finish of oak, vanilla, coconut, milk chocolate, and a definite tart cherry sourness as well. A touch of biter coffee notes under the slightly tart barrel flavors. Definite sourness to this. Intentional or not, it's not really what was expected. Too bad, as I can taste some good potential here.

PALATE: Thinner body with slightly higher carbonation. Creamy enough on the palate, goes down okay and finishes a touch sticky. Lighter for the style. Definitely needs to be thicker and heavier.

OVERALL: It's not bad at this point, and the tartness might even be seen as somewhat pleasant, but I can't imagine this was intentional. Definitely something starting to take over here, which is unfortunate, as I'd heard good things about this beer. Something I'd like to try again sometime, but not this particular batch.

Photo of oberon
4.28/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours black as an oil slick with a thinner creamy beige head.Chocolate covered nuts and sweet bourbon in the nose,very rich aromas.Creamy smooth in the mouth and quite chewy,very nice.Chocolate and dark fruit flavors abound with more of the nuttiness,the bourbon hits in the end giving a vanilla tinged finish.A rich dessert-like work of art,a great beer.

Photo of Sammy
3.77/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A coffee story. I am not a coffee drinker, still excellent coffee. A lace sheet. Wafting coffee aroma. Dry roast, sugar and milk, black body, coconut from barrel. Medium mouthfeel. Best is its not acidic.Cafe brulee and slight bourbon.
Radek's bottle.

Photo of dafizzif
4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First review with my friends giving input.

Look: Pours terribly opaque brown, like motor oil. No retention of the creamy brown head.

Smell: BOURBON! Even stings the nostrils! Bit of coffee and even less vanilla.

Taste: Coffee up front with loads of bourbon on the back. Some chocolate and a bit of nutmeg. No hop bitterness at all. Boozy boozy boozy. We eventually realized the flavor we were suspecting: dark fruit/figgy.

Mouthfeel: Pretty standard for the style though lighter than many. Medium through and through. Smooth as all get out.

Overall: Just as advertised. Loads of bourbon and coffee with a lot of booziness. Awesome beer that we all enjoyed.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.59/5  rDev +7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz bottle into a Cigar City snifter. Shared with schen9303.

Pours pitch black with a dark mocha ring that dissipates quickly. Lacing is patchy and thick with little cling. Oily, slick legs. Average for the style.

Nose is robust and aromatic. Chocolate, mocha, lactose, roasted malt, and just a touch of sweet bourbon. Super appetizing.

Opens sweet chocolate, dark fruit, roasted malt, and mocha. Some coffee and a sweet bourbon burn towards the middle. Lactose background smooths everything out. End is bourbon, molasses and sweet dark fruit. Finishes sticky sweet. Great balance of flavors that are perfectly executed.

Medium bodied with low carbonation. Silky smooth in the mouth with just a touch of burn going down. Finish is sticky with an oily, filmy, velvet-y aftertaste. Very solid.

Probably the best of the style I've ever had. The flavors are perfectly balanced and the bourbon is assertive yet mellow. Smells great and drinks like a dream. Wish I could get my hands on more of this.

Photo of dirtylou
4.47/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber, split, served in great lakes chalice

Virginia whale delivered by @blackie. Really a decadent beer - lots of fudge, layered chocolate cake, cookie dough, chocolate covered espresso, bourbon. Hazelnut, brown sugar, luminescent of an iced cappucino or something other sugar-jacked starbucks creation. This one drinks dangerously easy, but after a few servings, you'll likely need to be screened for diabetes. Would definitely drink this one again.

Photo of ordybill
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the keg at the "Bucket Trade" in Chester, VA.
Aroma- Nice coffee aroma with a chocolate follow through.
Appearance- The brew is black with a small brown head.
Taste- Has a nice malt and bourbon flavor with a hint of coffee.
Palate- This is a medium bodied beer with mild carbonation. It has a slightly oily texture that compliments the flavor.
Overall- A real good find, I would drink this again.

Photo of ebby82
4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep black, with a minimal, brownish tinged head of foam.

Smell is of roast coffee, very sweet, with a hint of vanilla, with a very mild alcohol presence.

The taste is of coffee, very sweet, with just the slightest hint of the bourbon flavor. The bourbon flavor is discernible, but in a very limited way. It tastes like a smoother, slightly more complex version of the regular coffeehouse stout.

Smooth, with a medium viscosity, this beer goes down smoothly without the burn of many other bourbon barrel stouts. Additionally, the ABV is reasonable. I would recommend this beer to anyone, but I would not go into it expecting a super boozy bourbon barreled beer. I also really like the fact that this is still a milk stout, and retains the coffeehouse's sweetness.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.68/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Black body transparent at the edges. Nice khaki head that comes back as I move it around. Leggy.

Smell - Acidic coffee. Lactose is more subdued than Coffeehouse Stout, but still present, much to my chagrin. Chocolatey and a touch of oak, but not much barrel.

Taste - Acidic coffee again. Lactose and coffee blend. Much more chocolatey and even a bit more of the barrel. Nice chocolatey finish.

Mouthfeel - Lactose gives it body. Medium carbonation. Heavier than I expected it to be.

Overall - Stupid lactose. Although this is nice despite. Not a fan of that acidic coffee
Is that a byproduct if the lactose or barrel?

Photo of Vonerichs
4.34/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown opaque body with just surface carbonation as the head. It has a viscous appearance.

It smells like a sweet coffee dessert, tiramisu. I love tiramisu. It has the warming smell if freshly ground coffee beans, vanilla, and a light caramel.

The lactose sweetness really pairs well with the coffee. Vanilla, carmalized sugar, and a light oak char in the flavor. It has good depth considering the heavy play in the coffee.

Smooth mouthfeel. The body is on the lighter side for a stout but it works well with the sweet aspect and makes it dangerously drinkable.

It's an amazing beer all around. Great smells, a little complexity in the taste, and drinkable.

Photo of Tripphop
4.17/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 bottle, in the fridge about a year now. Pours a nice deep mahogany brown, light peeks through around the edges and not much head is generated. The thin tan foam quickly subsides, but the beer is definitely still alive. Aromas are of bourbon and wood. Faint coffee wafts underneath the roasted wood and mellow boozy front. Taste is rich and chewy. Good balance with sweet chocolatey malt and a tingling bourbon finish that leaves a nice coating on the tongue. The booziness is well diguised by the rich sweet malt and the finish lingers of ground coffee and a bourbon heat. Best cellarable VA beer I have found.

Photo of Treyliff
4.54/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2013 Vintage, poured into a snifter

A- pours pitch black with dark-tan creamy head that reduces to a small layer, leaving behind some short lasting lace. This one looks deep and dark

S- huge hit of sweet & dark chocolate up front followed by a big nutty hazelnut aroma, toasted coconut, slightly smoky malt, oaky vanilla with a quaff of bourbon. Underlying is a milky lactose sweetness, reminiscent of chocolate milk with a hint of fresh coffee. Very impressive aroma bouquet

T- sweet milk stout base provides milky lactose flavor, notes of caramel, oak, vanilla coconut and a trace of bourbon. The finish gives a big boost of lingering fresh hazelnut coffee that lingers on the palate long after consumption

M- medium body and carbonation lead to a foamy mouthfeel and a smooth and sweet finish

O- This one definitely flies under the radar, its got more coffee than bourbon but it balances out very well. Lucky to occasionally find this one on the shelf

Photo of Bung
4.14/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. Pretty black pour, faint brown around the edges. Not much head to speak of, even with a fairly sturdy pour. Just a ring of dark tan.

Aroma, pretty strong cocoa, coffee. Some vanilla and milk chocolate.

Taste, blends the coffee and lactose qualities into the stout well. The barrel almost imparts more of a Kahlua like quality more than bourbon. Cocoa, caramel, coffee. A little sweeter on the back along with a faint warming.

Just enough carbonation to keep it intersting. Medium bodied, coats well. Could use just a tad more carb, but luckily it is not overly boozy or sweet. Drinks as well as their lower octane version.

A great coffee/sweet stout, with VERY subtle barrel aging. One of the more interesting flavor profiles I've found for the style.

Photo of Cheesemoose
4.4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured between two tulips split with my FIL. Warmed to near room temp before pouring.

Black with a faint brown edge. Head is rather non-existant, but that is to be expected.

Roasted malts, with traces of coffee/chocolate dominating, but with a nice coffee essence on the edges. A big bourbon finish, which comes to dominate as it warms.

Milk chocolate at first sip, which is quickly taken over by the coffee. Roasted malts compliment, with a earthy, burnt bacon flavor profile. Bourbon finishes strong, with a great boozy, though not dominating, finish. Great balance of flavors.

Mouthfeel is rather silky. Carbonation is gone, but that is not needed. ABV is felt, though not really tasted and well balanced with the bourbon flavors. I love this style, and sometimes the bourbon comes off too strong, dominating the beer, becoming almost fake. THis one finds great balance, which I absolutely love.

A great bourbon beer. This needs more distribution. Another homerun from this up and coming brewery.

Photo of philbe311
4.6/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Slightly less than on fingers worth of audibly fizzy dark brown head that quickly fades living next to no lacing and just a slight collar... A slightly viscous flat black color with some brown edges when held up to the light... Quite still...

S - The nose is a wonderful blend or deeply roasted malts, coffee, and chocolate cake... The barrel aging yields some minor bourbon and wood notes...

T - Some times bourbon barrel aging overwhelms the original beer and other times in barely noticeable, but in this case it is the perfect compliment... The roasted malts, coffee, and chocolate notes still are at the forefront and the bourbon adds layers of complexity... Also present are some minor notes of licorice and dark fruit...

M - Full bodied... Starts Thick... Chewy... Syrupy... Lush... A wee bit of alcohol heat lingers on the tongue... A mildly chalky finish... Perfect...

D - An exquisite offering from the folks at Williamsburg Alewerks, a brewery that continues to impress me... The appearance and aroma are good, but the taste and mouthfeel are wordly... This is also a wonderful example of bourbon barrel aging... I highly recommend and look forward to attempting to grab some more for myself...

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.27/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a nice medium size dark brown foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma of very nice aromatic coffee notes with some light bourbon notes and light vanilla. Taste is a very smooth mix of bourbon and aromatic coffee with well rounded roasted malt with light vanilla and bourbon finish. Body is quite full with nice creamy texture and some good carbonation. Very well brewed with great balance and easily drinkable while being quite complex at the same time.

Photo of n2185
4.02/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours black with a finger of brown head that almost completely vanishes with little lacing.

S: Roasted malts with char, some bitter cacao, a bit of coffee, vanilla and toffee, and some sweet bourbon and oak towards the finish.

T: Oak, vanilla, caramel, and toffee dominate here with roasted malts, char, and a bit of dark roast coffee coming through before a moderately boozy finish.

M: Thick body with lowish carbonation, this beer is surprisingly thick and heavy for only 8% and leaves a sticky sweetness behind.

O: A damn good beer overall. A little on the sweet side and I'd like more coffee presence, but otherwise great.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.32/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle poured into a snifter.
8% ABV, bottle signed by brewmaster; thanks Chaney!!

A - Pitch black to the core, even a tall pour doesn't quite coax a formitable head from this beer. A dusting of mocha foam rests briefly on the beer before disappearing into the blackness with little lace left behind.

S - Charred oak stave and notes of peat smoke waft through the cold-brewed coffee and bitter chocolate nose. Dusty, dry cocoa and heavily roasted malt follow with subtle vanilla tannins, hazelnut, and warm bourbon notes. The aroma is good but quite aggressive and rough around the edges.

T - Nutty hazelnut and vanilla bean emerge from behind the cold coffee and semi-sweet chocolate for an opening flavor that's considerably smoother than the aroma. Black French-pressed coffee grounds and mocha follow suit with a lingering finish of warming bourbon.

M - It's easy to forget through the course of this beer that it's a milk stout with all of it's roasted characteristics and charred, biting notes, but the lactose shines in feel really smoothing this beer out with a mild sweetness. Medium-full bodied, this beauty of a beer has a supple feel, especially as it warms, with oak and vanilla tannins and a dry feel that blends exceptionally well with the warming bourbon finish.

O - Café Royale was a total sleeper hit the first time I had it. I knew what to expect the second time around and this complex beer still surprised me with loads of nuances and depth. Masterfully blended, the barrel aging adds quite a bit to the beer. A dessert treat to be sure, this is one beer you don't want to miss.

Photo of EgadBananas
4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black, very thin mocha head on the pour.

Aroma is huge with bourbon and alcohol, a bit of chocolate and malts and a light coffee aroma.

Biggest contributor is the coffee up front. Finishes slightly chocolate with boozy bourbon notes.

Feel is pushing full-bodied, but finishes more medium. Not as thick and chewy as expected.

Rather tasty, and good drinkability, but I think this would do well with some age to it.

Thanks to Shane (injuredreserve) for graciously sharing with me!

Photo of smakawhat
4.34/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass. OH NO, dude you bought the milk STOUT! SHOOT... ugh.. well ok it's barrel aged so let's see where this leads?

A very dark walnut brown, with a fleeting tiny pencil thin head on the pour. The head though is quite mocha dark brown, but settles to a tan collar with microscopic bubbles. Body is very opaque and a good black solid walnut with faint red hues on the edges. Probably the darkest milk stout I've seen.

Nose is impressive, but not too varied for a barrel aged brew. Lots of sweet cream, warming roast malts and faint coffee. The coffee angle is quite buried, but the sweet lactose character is not overpowering or overly dominant but in control. It's a good compliment. Pretty solid.

A good controlled sweet cream palate. Creamery finish mixing in with the roast, and the coffee just kisses this nicely. Palate has a light bodied character like most milk stouts, but has a good piping coffee and milky warmth which is harmoniously balanced. Hints of barrel aging, whiskey, tannic quality, caramel, vanilla, are not really to be found, but there's a good depth that is given to the palate with a light milk lactose quality. Carbonation on first sip hints at fizz, but is slightly taken down with obvious barrel aging.

This is probably the best milk/coffee stout hybrid I've ever had. It's a great compliment to the flavors and style, this turned out exceptionally well and drinks like nothing. One of the easiest barrel aged stout beers to drink I've ever had. After note, I am not a milk stout fan. So that says something right there...

Photo of mikesgroove
4.33/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

dark brown, nearly opague with no light what so ever coming through on this one. The growler gave off a nice little pop and hiss when opened so I knew it was still going to be going strong..Poured into the glass with a thus and just had this wonderful thick viscous look

thick oozing amount of coffee, sweeter aroma and just one of the fullest smells I have ever come across in my life. Lots of lactose in here as well with hints of sweet roasted coffee just stronger then anything you could possibly imagine. The flavor followed suit perfectly. sweet coco Lots of carbonation here never let go and never had a dull moment to it. you could literally drink this one all night long,

Photo of Beer-A-Lot
4.34/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This beer is just a superb balance of roasted malts, bourbon-barrel flavors, coffee, and bitter chocolate. It gets better and better as it goes down, with just the right amount of alcohol, a nice touch of sweetness, and while a tad thin in mouthfeel, it doesn't detract from the enjoyment at all. I have a bottle for aging, so I'll give that a try to see what it does for the sweet flavors. Outstanding.

Photo of Immortale25
4.21/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Funky Buddha Brewery snifter. Label says 02 4 2015.

A- Pours a fully opaque black color with a 1/4 inch dark tan head that doesn't retain long before becoming a thin ring around the edge of the glass and some small patches of surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves a solid ring behind.

S- Big milk chocolate aroma with some hints of bourbon barrel. Not much coffee.

T- A little more coffee than in the nose but it's mainly sweet mocha that comes through. Very sweet with notes of caramel, fudge and maple syrup. The barrel notes are quite light which is fine since this is very affordable for a BA stout. Heavy char starts to come through as it warms.

M- Thick and chewy with medium-low carbonation and a full body.

O- As far as BA stouts go, this isn't world-class but it sure is tasty if you like a sweeter, more chocolate-forward stout and you're not hoping for a coffee bomb. If I had any issue with this beer, it would be false advertising since it seems to be a non-BA chocolate stout rather than a BA coffee stout. But delicious is delicious.

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Café Royale from AleWerks Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 589 ratings.