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Café Royale - AleWerks Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Café RoyaleCafé Royale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

498 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 498
Reviews: 140
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 9.81%
Wants: 236
Gots: 120 | FT: 10
Brewed by:
AleWerks Brewing Company visit their website
Virginia, United States

Style | ABV
Milk / Sweet Stout |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Barrel Aged

(Beer added by: mcallister on 08-21-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 498 | Reviews: 140 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Phyl21ca
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

Phyl21ca, Mar 26, 2011
Photo of ChristianBlack
3.6/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown to black with a tan mocha head. No lacing really.

Lots of roasted and chocolate malts in this one with tons of coffee. I like what someone else said. This one is a coffee story.

Roasted graininess and coffee are all over this one. If you want a coffee beer they named it right. It makes its presence known in the finish. Not a big fan of the lingering flavor.

Not a great carbonation on this one.

Okay just not a big fan of the coffee flavor and aftertaste. I just wasn't blown away with this beer. A bit sweet, even for the style.

ChristianBlack, Mar 25, 2011
Photo of pnkRed
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Chimay Chalice.

Pour is pitch black with little hint of any carbonation. Head is a solid 1/2 cm that disappears pretty quickly. Smell is of fresh coffee and vanilla. Pretty tame, but elegant. Vanilla and coffee blend seamlessly together with the roasted malts. Toffee and chocolate combine with the vanilla and coffee and hit your palate with a complex array of flavors that beg you to want more. Slight bitterness toward the finish. This is a sipper that goes down easy. It's not heavy, but packs a ton of flavor into the medium body. Carbonation is moderate to low.

pnkRed, Mar 11, 2011
Photo of ChadQuest
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours black with a smallish rich tan head that recedes quickly into a collar.
Aroma is composed of roasted malts, coffee, and vanilla.
Wow, this beer has great coffee flavors. One of the better flavor wise i've had. The coffee itself has that rough course roast notion to it that is a must for me. Just very clean roast with vanilla sweetness backup.
I can notice the bourbon barrels poking through in support but not enough to distract.
mouthfeel is light and creamy.

One of the better coffee beers i've had. there are a handfull over Cafe Royale still, but this one is worth seeking out. I'd gladly drink more of this.

ChadQuest, Mar 09, 2011
Photo of kwjd
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown colour with thin bread head. Some mild lacing around the glass. Smells of coffee, vanilla and roasted malt. I only notice a trace of the bourbon in this, but it is there. A really smooth mouthfeel. I don't know if this is an imperial stout or not since the ABV isn't listed, but it doesn't taste boozy. I really enjoyed this.

kwjd, Feb 24, 2011
Photo of Sammy
3.73/5  rDev -12.9%
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.

Sammy, Feb 20, 2011
Photo of KidsDoc
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

(2) separate pourings into snifter

A: dark, dark brown near-black with a full tan/chocolate head. nice thick lacing

S: heavy on the bourbon was it's only downfall for me, but with complementary cocoa, coffe, and wood.

T: wonderfully blended with sweet chocolate and coffee up front followed by just the right amount of bouron sneaking in and completing the finish. THere is a heavy wood undertone throughout that adds depth and the roated/burnt malt backbone is perfect.

M: amazingly smooth and creamy on the tongue then the wood adds a drying quality through the middle. The mouthfeel is full through most then lighten a bit with bourbon finish lingering

D: a great beer experience all around. ABV not listed on the bottle but this did not strike me as boozy or excessive. Still not a session beer, but a wonderfully drinkable beeer.

KidsDoc, Feb 19, 2011
Photo of Tripphop
4.15/5  rDev -3%
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.

Tripphop, Feb 14, 2011
Photo of blackie
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: unibroue tulip, a rough pour gives an attractive but short-live deep mocha colored head, receding to a thin ring, the beer itself practically black in color

s: rings true to the standard coffee stout that was obviously used as the base beer here - heavy dark chocolate and smooth cold-brewed coffee nose with a nice lactic sweetness, lots of soft roasty goodness without any harsh char, well implemented barreling - present but in check, providing notes of vanilla and coconut, hardwood and tobacco

m: carbonation low and delicate, body medium-full with a slight silkiness

t: starts with a combination of dark chocolate and rich coffee underneath, with nuances of vanilla and coconut running throughout, finishes with a delicious, booze-free bourbon flavor heavily reminiscent of cured tobacco, love the blend of bourbon and sweet lactic flavors, good stuff

d: it's on the sweet side, but drinks well and is very much a tasty beer

bomber from some WF awhile back

blackie, Feb 05, 2011
Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.53/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance -- Pours an inky dark brown with a faint ring of tan suds. looks nearly still. No lacing, but seems to coat the glass.

Smell -- Chocolatey roast malt, dark fruit, bourbon, vanilla, maple sugar and cafe latte.

Taste -- Gently dark roast, cocoa, and dark fruit are most prominent. Barrel character is somewhat minimal, lending sweet bourbon flavor, gentle vanilla, and faint oaky tannin. Coffee is surprisingly vacant, though it seems to make its presence known in the finish. Lingering flavors of sweet bourbon and coffee.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-bodied with gentle carbonation. Could use more bubbles.

Drinkability -- This is the second time having this beer, the first being about a month after the release. Wasn't blown away by the coffee flavor then, either. A bit sweet, even for the style, but otherwise it's pretty good. There is enough going on to keep one engaged. I distinctly remember enjoying my first experience with this beer more - bottle variation?

yeahnatenelson, Feb 04, 2011
Photo of Futility
4.55/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm getting some syrupy cherry here. But in an coffe rather than a fruit way. A bit sweet? Maybe for some, but it's nice to see coffee flavor without too much of a roasted chocolate flavor. Worth seeking out as a different take from the way others approach the style.

Futility, Feb 04, 2011
Photo of scifan
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black with a light brown head that settles down to a light ring around the glass. Looks like what you would expect a good ol stout to look like.
Nose is dominated by coffee. There's some nice chocolately sweetness in there and the bourbon goodness just rounds things out quite nicely.
Taste every bit as good as it smells. Starts out with dark chocolate sweetness. Followed by a little bit of the bourbon barrel and it ends with the nice bitterness from the coffee. The coffee kind of cleans things up with a nice dry finish leaving me craving another sip.
Very nice mouthfeel. Not too thick with good carbonation level. Great beer from Williamsberg Alewerks.

scifan, Jan 23, 2011
Photo of BarrytheBear
3.78/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle courtesy of bobertkuekn and shared with milwaukeeclassic. Thanks Robert!

Black pour with a very short lived head that diminishes to nothing.Orange/yellow oily ring when held to back lighting.

Iced coffee and bourbon...very rich and sweet.

Chocolate, bourbon, and very sweet iced sugared coffee. The nice parts of this beer, namely the chocolate and bourbon cannot fully repel the lactic sweetness. Try as I might, overly lactic beers just don't fully agree with me. This one has real potential, particularly if the ratios were re-established.

Somewhat light bodied and creamy with moderate-low carbonation. Unsure of the abv on this, but it's an easy drinker.

BarrytheBear, Jan 23, 2011
Photo of philbe311
4.65/5  rDev +8.6%
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...

philbe311, Jan 15, 2011
Photo of jrallen34
3.73/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Mystery beer...Bottle poured into a perfect pint glass...Dark brown, light black pout with a tan head that rises quickly but lacking in retention. A few spots of lacing...A really nice aroma of chocolate, wood and cherry...The taste is like the aroma chocolate with coffee, cherry, and a bit of the barrel. A weird finish, that kind of kills it, acidic...The feel is too thin for, pretty easy to drink.

Didn't know what to expect here but not bad at all.

jrallen34, Jan 12, 2011
Photo of MasterSki
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Everyone denies bringing this, but I'm going to assume it originated from Thorpe429 somehow. Served in a Tripel Karmeliet tulip.

A - Pours with a quick-dissolving finger of tan foam that settles to a thin ring and some light haze on top, leaving behind a few spots of lace. The body is black with a hint of brown at the fringes.

S - Chocolate, vanilla, coffee, bourbon, cake. Didn't realize this was a milk stout, but that makes a lot of sense in retrospect.

T - Taste is a little bit understated in comparison to the nose. Some coffee, chocolate, caramel and vanilla. Finish is understated, with a faint hint of char and plastic.

M - Very thin - probably due to the barrel-aging. Booze is well-hidden, even though I have no idea how strong this stuff actually is. Goes down quick and easy, with medium-low carbonation.

D - Easy to drink, but not as good as other beers of this style like KBS. Not a ton of bourbon flavor either.

MasterSki, Jan 11, 2011
Photo of Cheesemoose
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

Cheesemoose, Jan 10, 2011
Photo of Phelps
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Yet another beer received from neorunner in the Blind Beers BIF. This here's a Williamsburg Alewerks Cafe Royale, a stout brewed with coffee and aged in bourbon barrels. It was reviewed blind and poured into my Bruery tulip.

This one pours from the bottle a syrupy, inky black that sucks in all light around it. The cinnamon-colored head is a late arrival, rising from the depths a long while after the pour as disappearing rather quickly, remaining as a tiny-bubbled, sticky ring. Some ultra-thin lines of lace decorate the glass as I go.

The nose is crammed with milk chocolate -- creamy, buttery and sweet. I pick up a little bit of light roast coffee along with sugary creamer, oak and a bit of toasty wheat bread.

In the flavor, the coffee emerges, filling my mouth with the flavor of roasty beans. A bit of sweet vanilla cream sneaks in, along with an impressive amount of vinous oak. Some ethanol and a bit of acrid coffee bitterness appear upon the swallow. I don't pick up much bourbon, but, the finish is rather sweet, with lingering flavors that remind of a mocha latte.

A medium massaging carbonation causes the beer to fizz up just a bit as it moves about. The body is a velvety medium, and the alcohol, though fairly noticeable, isn't out of place amidst these big flavors. Nice.

This is a nice stout -- big booze, flavorful roasted malt, sweetness mixed in. I'm all over this.

Phelps, Dec 22, 2010
Photo of dougofthefuture
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to yourefragile for sending this bottle. I was in the mood for something sweet tonight, so here we go.

A. Very black, one finger tan head that is quite nice before it dissipates. Almost no legs after a moment or two. All fitting for the style.

S. Right away there is a nice roasty aspect that comes through. I am not sure it is from the coffee or the malts, but it is complemented with a sugary sweetness that must be from that lactose. The coffee smell is there as well, but more subtle. A bit of bourbon too, but again, subtle. Nothing is hiding, but they are all very well balanced.

T&M. Wow, this hits the spot. Wanting something sweet, this does not disappoint. There is plenty of initial sticky vanilla sweetness that carries along the coffee and roasty aspects, balancing everything out. The bourbon finish gives a long lingering smoothness that is just the icing on the top. It is possible that on a different day, this would seem too rich to me, but today it seems to deliver an excess of flavor without being overloading.

D. I shared some of this, but I could have enjoyed the whole bottle. Impressive considering the sweetness. I think it really helps that everything else is so subtle, including the ABV. Just a really nice beer here. This is a big beer that doesn't shun balance.

dougofthefuture, Dec 15, 2010
Photo of ebby82
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

ebby82, Dec 12, 2010
Photo of womencantsail
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to James for sending this one my way.

A: The pour is a very dark brown color with a thin mocha colored head.

S: Lots of dark, roasted malts and certainly some coffee. A decent amount of bitter, dark chocolate aroma and a touch of vanilla. Don't really get a lot of bourbon or oak, though.

T: A big roasted malt backbone to this beer with lots of vanilla and chocolate to go with it. The coffee is there too, but a little bit more subtle and well integrated than on the nose. Again, not much evidence of -bals other than the vanilla.

M: The body is medium and so is the carbonation. Fairly smooth on the tongue with a touch of warming alcohol.

D: Pretty enjoyable imperial stout. Nothing that really wows me about it, but good. Wish I could have picked up a bit more of the oak and whiskey, though.

womencantsail, Dec 09, 2010
Photo of drewba
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A - opaque black with blood red tones, oily. Nice small bubbles which pours with a one finger brown head.

S - French roast coffee, some bourbon action going on. I could smell this for days.

T - Quick coffee up front with a touch of lactose milk. Bourbon highlights this, but doesn't overwhelm. Also, milk chocolate, heavy tobacco, some caramelized brown sugar.

M - thin, reminds me more of a porter with very low carbonation.

D - Very balanced, I'd love to keep drinking this.

drewba, Dec 08, 2010
Photo of largadeer
3.8/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Tick thanks to bifrostguard.

Blackened with a mocha head, appealing but typical of the style. Coffee and creamy sweetness are prominent on the nose. There's a ton of vanilla and brown sugar; it smells very sweet for the relatively low ABV. The coffee character isn't reminiscent of freshly roasted beans like Founders Breakfast Stout, it's more like brewed coffee; perhaps a bit stale smelling in contrast, and somewhat acidic. It's coffee forward on the tongue, but equally sweet and quite creamy. The combination of coffee and milky sweetness makes me think of one of those syrup-laden Starbucks espresso drinks. Bourbon barrel aging has contributed a ton of vanilla, though little oak or heat. It's a mellow beer, very sweet but not particularly heavy. The finish is mild, creamy, and never quite dries up. This is solid, but nothing special.

largadeer, Dec 04, 2010
Photo of vtfan77
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Near-black with about a half inch of tan head that quickly dissipates into a persistent ring of lace. A good bit of carbonation is visible through the dark liquid.

S- Big blast of coffee upfront, backed up by a nice bourbon aroma. There's also some wood and a banana-like fruitiness. Fairly complex and quite nice.

T- Quite sweet upfront with a syrupy chocolate character backed by bourbon, oak, and vanilla. The coffee comes through towards the end along with a hint of alcohol, adding some bitterness and balancing out the sweet malt.

M- Thick and syrupy, but with enough carbonation to keep it from getting too overbearing.

D- Pretty good. For a bourbon barrel imperial stout, it's not bad at all. It's rich and the alcohol is evident at times, but I won't have much problem taking down the bomber.

This is a very tasty and clearly well-made beer. The bourbon is well-integrated and the flavors mesh well. I'd be happy to drink this anytime. Good job, Alewerks. Recommended.

vtfan77, Dec 01, 2010
Photo of billab914
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Dogfish snifter. It poured pitch black in color with a thin tan head concentrated around the edges of the glass. The head mostly disappeared after a minute or so and it didn't leave much for lacing either.

The aroma is very strong with coffee. It's dark and very roasty, and really has a straight coffee bean flavor coming through. The bourbon and oaky vanilla adds some very nice depth and sweetness to it.

The taste shows a lot of the dark and roasted coffee to it right up front. The vanilla from the oak really comes through in the finish and gives it a very nice sweet and smooth character. The bourbon adds some nice depth without having an overwhelming alcohol heat. Very nice flavors overall.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied for the style and carbonation is on the lower end. Drinkability is good, it had some very nice coffee, bourbon and vanilla flavors to it. Everything really came together very nicely in it. I'm really looking forward to see how this develops in the future. Another very good barrel aged beer from Williamsburg that I enjoyed greatly.

billab914, Nov 27, 2010
Café Royale from AleWerks Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 498 ratings.