Café Royale - AleWerks Brewing Company

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Café RoyaleCafé Royale

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159 Reviews
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Reviews: 159
Hads: 630
Avg: 4.22
pDev: 18.96%
Wants: 275
Gots: 146 | FT: 12
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

We age a stronger version of our CoffeeHouse Stout in Virginia Gentlemen Bourbon Barrels for 3 months. This aging adds layers of complexity including notes of vanilla and bourbon to this big coffee beer.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 159 | Hads: 630
Photo of BMMillsy
3.58/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from trade with Ken. Thanks! Pours black with a half finger creamy mocha head. Aroma of bourbon, earthy coffee, chocolate, oak...a bit heavy on the sharp bourbon smell. Flavor is roast up front, a little sweet lactose, with a straight bourbon finish. Not much coffee to taste. There isn't much else going on here. Velvety smooth with medium carbonation, and medium bodied. Overall I am psyched I got to try this, but these lighter stouts and porters just can't stand up to the bourbon. I can't get into this one. Meh.

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Photo of HattedClassic
4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The beer pours a very light and creamy brown head. The beer itself is a dark chocolate black and appears a little slick on the surface. The beer smells tend to be distinct but mix very well.

The smells vary from milk chocolate, bourbon, cocoa, and a bit of an alcohol note as well. The alcohol note is very minor but the bourbon smell is fairly strong compared to the other notes. However, the milk chocolate taste takes over it as it warms up.

The taste is a different from the smell in that the bourbon taste is not as strong as the smell. The milk chocolate taste actually dominates the tongue instead with the bourbon complementing the taste. Other slight notes include cocoa and a bit of a dark fruit taste as well. The beer taste also has a very strong vanilla note and a little bit of oak as well. There is also a slight boozy taste to it as well.

The beer feels surprisingly smooth such that it also feels creamy and heavy bodied.

Overall, a pretty good sweet stout and worth getting when it's available.

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Photo of stakem
3.89/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to Kegatron for sharing this bomber. Heard nothing but good things about it, excited to get it into my snifter. The brew appears black in color with a thin tan head. Sone spotty lace sticks to the glass and tan clarity is seen around the edges.

The aroma for the most part is quite muted but as it warms and the glass is swirled notes of chocolate, coffee, bourbon and an oatmeal sweetness like freh grain emerge along with some caramel. This boasts an overall sweet fresh graininess about it and the other expected character is downplayed quite a bit.

The tastes includes plenty of oaky bourbon. Some coffee and burnt chocolate. A little raisony with dark fruity alcohol blending to something more along the lines of molasses. Caramel and toffee are noted more towards the finish.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It was decent but not as good as I was expecting. All the advertised flavors are present in equal levels but nothing really stands out to make it memorable.

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Photo of Duane_Opfer
4.46/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2013 Vintage. 24 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Consumed on 11/25. Written from notes.

A - Almost black in color with a brown sugar colored head. Moderate carbonation with no lasting lacing.

S - Very fragrant, and smells easy to distinguish. Bourbon, chocolate, toffee, espresso, and heavy creme.

T - Bourbon, milk chocolate, vanilla, dark fruits, nutmeg, and coffee acids. Beautiful chocolate finish. Hides ABV very well. Loved the fact that unlike many bourbon barrel aged beers, Cafe Royale is not dominated by bourbon; rather, the bourbon is a nice accent that balances well (as does not diminish) other flavors in the beer.

M - Good carbonation and a nice tingle in mouth. Smooth and creamy, and slightly sticky.

O - Loved it. Wish I could have bought more, but the 2013 vintage is already sold out. Fully expect that this beer will be sought out nationwide.

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Photo of PHBoiler
4.21/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A little thin for a stout, but done to style. Loads of chocolate on the nose and in the taste. Goes down very smooth. Hints of oak and bourbon as it warms. Definitely a well done stout and one to seek out if you're a fan of coffee and chocolate. Coffee is more subdued and played well.

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Photo of brentk56
4.24/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pour almost pitch black with a modest tan cap; some streaks are left behind

Smell: Coffee, caramel and milk chocolate buttressed by the Bourbon and vanilla tones

Taste: The coffee leads the charge, with the caramel and milk chocolate not far behind; by mid-palate, the Bourbon and vanilla add another dimension, with the flavors all merging into the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with low to moderate carbonation

Overall: One of the more nicely balanced barrel-aged stouts I have encountered; this is really good

Thanks, Dave_Treat, for the opportunity to re-visit

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Poured a very deep brown, nearly back with a tannish colored cap, good carbonation left some bubbles and dcent lacing on the glass

S: Creme, wood, milk chocolate and a whiff of barrel like funkiness

T: Initial waves of chocolate cream puffs come to mind. I detect some woody notes and light barrel funk undertones with this.

M: Medium-full to full bodied, well carbonated, a silky sweet and smooth mouthfeel. Decadence in a glass.

O: A definite after meal sipper, a pretty darn good one too.

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Photo of VBWharfRat
4.54/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up my last bottle for the season today (and Alewerks' second to last bottle to boot!). They are just now opening up a tasting room and bar in there, with some exclusive one-offs that are sure to be delicious. If you have the chance to stop in Williamsburg, do it. You won't regret it.

This beer pours a nice, dark black with a mocha head. The smell is sweet bourbon and chocolate. The taste is similar, starting out with bitter dark chocolate, finishing with coffee undertones and a sweet bourbon finish (this is where the fact that it's a barrel aged milk stout really comes out). Solid brew.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.34/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle, thanks to Daniel for sending me this one in a trade. No bottling date, I believe this is from late 2012/early 2013. Shared with Doug today, 8/5/2013. Poured into a Bell's snifter.

Pours a dark black body, not completely opaque but very dark. Comes with a minimal 1cm tan head that drops into the beer fairly quickly. Not much lacing left. Standard appearance for any good imperial stout out there.

Lots of coffee and roasty chocolates in the nose, complemented by a nice milky lactose sweetness.. and a dab of smoky bourbon sweetness and oaky vanilla. The barrel is clearly making a small contribution- the coffee and milk are the stars of the show.

Lactose sweetness, lots of coffee bitterness, balanced milk chocolate sweetness and a touch of sweet bourbon and barrel vanilla. This has good depth, everything comes together very well in complementary ways. The barrel isn't dominant, but it doesn't need to be in this beer. Bravo!

Medium bodied, creamy with the right amount of carbonation for the style. No heat at all. Incredibly smooth and goes down very well. Not quite a sipper, but this is a beer that you can savor.

Doug and I were both very impressed with this one. Its a beer where the barrel treatment makes a definite contribution, but still allows the base beer and its adjuncts to stand out. This was a delicious beer with a lot of depth. Highly recommended if you enjoy milk stouts.

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Photo of harrymel
4.24/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled: unk

When I crowned this bitch, I immediately held it over the sink on account of its excessive pppfffttt! Pours a black ale with a huge light mocha foam, in line with the acoustics provided. Leaves a solid webbing of lace. Smells of oak, vanilla, coffee, sweet cocoa - to be honest, my first sniff made me immediately think of KBS - but easier to get. Really pleasant nose. Flavor is robust with bitter coffee, semisweet chocolate, oak, bits of vanilla and tannin. Body is a hint light probably on account of it's excess carbonation and dry finish. If the body was adjusted, I think the beer would be leaps better, as it warms it achieves this a bit, but still, the beer is negatively affected by these limits.

After awhile, and plenty of swirling, the carbonation died down and the mouthfeel became medium heavy with a really nice finish. This also allowed for more of the sweetness in the flavor to come through, bumped the mouthfeel from 2.25 to 3.5 (since the issue was present) and the flavor up from 4 to 4.5.

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Photo of Gosox8787
4.44/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 22 oz. bomber bottle chilled and poured into my Cigar City tulip glass. Big thanks to Centennial for the hookup on this long time want.

Appearance: Dark brown to black in color. A slight medium brown head that recedes into very little lacing.

Aroma: Roasted coffee, caramel and a light chocolate backbone. Definitely some bourbon and vanilla from the barrel. The coffee provides a nice earthy tone to it.

Taste: Strong coffee notes upfront with some nice backing sweetness. Caramel, chocolate fudge, and bourbon add a nice sweetness to the coffee. Not a lot of char or smoke from the coffee, but there is a nice earthy tones. Really nice balance of malt sweetness, barrel notes, and coffee.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and very smooth with average to low carbonation.

Overall, a really nicely balanced and tasty coffee stout with a light bourbon influence. The coffee adds a really great flavor and is elevated by the malt sweetness and the barrels. A really nice surprise and awesome value. Definitely one of my favorite bourbon barrel coffee stouts.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
4.48/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

$9.75 bomber from Abe's.

Pure black body, no highlights, topped by a thin dark tan head.

Aroma begins with deep roast coffee, followed by a big smack of bourbon and vanilla. Strong supporting roles for chocolate and dark fruits.

Taste follows a similar path. Deep roast coffee. Bourbon with vanilla. A big hoppy bite. Warming alcohol in the belly. Doesn't have quite the depth of KBS or Bourbon County.

Smooth and slick, would like it a hair richer.

Highly enjoyable and highly recommended.

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Photo of inlimbo77
4.16/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle
Plastic 16oz cup, Winter 2013 vintage

A: Pours dark black in color. Thin layer tan head sits on top for a little while. Some lacing is left, but mainly only a little due to plastic cup.

S: Vanilla. Dark chocolate. Fudge. Booze. Hints of dark fruit. Molasses.

T: Dark chocolate bitterness up front. Booze leading to vanilla flavors. Pulling some delicious coffee and fudgy flavors.

M: Full bodied. Creamy mouthfeel.

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
3.94/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a deep black with loose lacing and a thin tan halo of head. The nose is a potent caramel sweetness upfront with a hint of vanilla, but little coffee or booze. The taste is obviously great caramel sweetness upfront, with a hint of bitter, roasty coffee, and very little bourbon. Rounded-out chocolatey, full-bodied, smooth sweetness without bitterness or booze defines this potent coffee BA milk stout. I'd love to drink this beer again, but think it lacks the bourbon and coffee I've come to expect with its world-class drinking status.

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Photo of justintcoons
4.32/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Inky black with a short, dark brown head that dissipates quickly.

Coffee & cream, molasses, espresso, dark chocolate and fudge. Hints of bourbon and vanilla.

Light roasted coffee with cream, molasses and caramelized sugar. Hints of espresso, dark chocolate and fudge. Milky and sugary sweet. Touches of sweet bourbon and vanilla.

Medium-full bodied, smooth, silky and sweet.

Sweet, smooth and decadent. This raises the bar for Sweet Stouts.

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Photo of teromous
4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pitch black body with a short dark tan head. Head carbonation looks fairly creamy. Lacing doesn't stay.

S: Strong coffee scent, with a little bit of dark chocolate smell coming out of there. Faint earthy scent but it doesn't linger in the nose for long.

T: Smooth coffee flavor with just a hint of oak. Very low on bitterness. Some notes of rich dark chocolate come through as well. It tastes better than most actual coffees.

M: Very smooth and creamy. Extremely drinkable. No presence of harshness in this at all. The bitterness is very mellow, the coffee sits right where it should.

O; This is an extremely enjoyable drinking experience. It's not an overly complex beer, and I didn't think the bourbon barrel flavor stood out that much, but the beer works as a whole. To me, that is more important than any gimmick or process used to make the beer. This one just tastes wonderful.

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Photo of TappaKeggaBrew
4.57/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: Very dark brown, with just a hint of red at the edges -- it's too dense for light to penetrate anywhere else. The head is walnut brown, but thin in spite of an aggressive pour and lacing is non-existent.

S: Coffee is the first aroma, which even for a coffee-based brew is a little surprising. Next came vanilla, then dark fruit notes, then heavily-toasted grain, and finally some floral hops.

T: Malt is potent, more sweet than toasted grain. Coffee notes develop, but more like an iced vanilla latte than straight coffee. As with most stouts, I get the acrid taste of burnt malt, but it's very subtle and not at all unpleasant. I definitely taste the bourbon here as well, blending seamlessly with the mildly bitter hops at the end. I think I even detected a little diacetyl in the mix as well.

M: Smooth, creamy, and chewy. Alcohol was well hidden for an 8% ABV. About as good as it gets for this style.

O: This is the best beer I've yet had from Williamsburg AleWerks. It is really good -- almost a dessert beer for all its sweetness, smoothness, and flavors.
I'm definitely going to get another of these -- Correction: I'm going to buy several more of these for future consumption!

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Photo of Shumania
4.61/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

22 ounce bomber poured into a tulip

a: dark as night with minimal head

s: coffee and sweet booze. vanilla and oak in there too.

t: a lot sweeter than I thought it would be. Same flavors as the smell with coffee, dark chocolate milk, vanilla, and oak. There is a small boozy finish from the bourbon.

m: very creamy. this is a sipper.

This beer is awesome. I had heard good things about it, but this is a great combination of coffee and bourbon!

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Photo of CampusCrew
4.63/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was a hit at my derby party of bourbon beers. Poured nealry pure blacj
Kmwith a nice tan head. Awesome nose. Coffee stuck out huge. With a touch a bourbon. Drank really smooth. Lots of flavour and thr perfect beer with derby pie. Huge chocolate and cofee of course. Loves this beer. Great for desserts

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Photo of Vonerichs
4.34/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.34/5  rDev +2.8%
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...

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Photo of nihiloexnihil
4.36/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bomber into Dogfish Head glass.

Appearance: Inky black, reddish tints to the edges, littles rim of mocha head that dissipates quickly but clings ridiculously to the glass. Looks like a nitro tap.

Smell: Hm. How to describe. Almost as if someone added coffee to your hazelnut milk. Then chocolate and vanilla all at once. Hints of bourbon but not exceedingly strong.

Taste: Coffee, bourbon, vanilla, very sweet, lactose-y. Absolutely delicious.

Mouthfeel: Super creamy, smooth, the thickest mouthfeel I've ever experienced in a milk/sweet stout.

Overall: This is delicious. Why this isn't more hyped up, I'm not sure. I will definitely seek this out again.

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Photo of dlello2
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle at a tasting. Had about a 3oz pour... could have had more bit this one was intense!

A - Great thick brown/black pour. Good amount of head.

S - Chocolate creamy sweetness. Not as much coffee as I'd hoped. Not the best but nice.

T - Whoa this is like dessert. Super sweet. I mean, it's delicious, but it's too sweet for me to want to drink a full pour. The lack of coffee in the nose follows through in the taste. Lingering sweetness with a touch of roasty bitterness.

M - Thick and full bodied. Medium-low carb.

O - Again, this is a great dessert beer. I'm just not the biggest fan of overly sweet brews. Even for a milk stout it's definitely above average in that category.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.68/5  rDev -12.8%
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?

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Photo of AlexFields
4.23/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to mojiboo02 for this bottle.

Pours a very dark near black with a big rich coffee head.

Smells of bourbon, lactose, sweet vanilla and chocolate...not getting much coffee.

Taste is moderate bourbon, creamy espresso/latte style coffee, sweet chocolate and vanilla malt. Delicious.

Very drinkable with a rich creamy mouthfeel.

Great beer, wish it were more readily available all the time.


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Café Royale from AleWerks Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 159 ratings.