Cafe Noir - Tap It Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 17 | Reviews: 3 | Display Reviews Only:
3.7/5 rDev -7%
Bottle I brought to share at Retsinis' tasting.
Pours a hazy orange-brown with a foamy beige head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, coffee bean, wood, and slight red wine aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa, red wine, and wood flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of wood bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp and dry mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with the red wine barrel aging coming through better in the taste in my opinion.
04-28-2014 03:17:43 | More by UCLABrewN84
3.86/5 rDev -3%
Thanks to largadeer for the bottle. I've only had Tap It's IPA, but I was impressed by it and would buy it all the time if it were available fresh. Regarding Cafe Noir, I'm glad I read the description on the back because I thought it was simply an imperial coffee porter, but it's actually an imperial coffee porter (coffee before the barrel aging?) aged for 8 months in pinot noir barrels and then cold infused with coffee before bottling. Why am I writing all this? Who the fuck is reading this? Maybe one or two people. I'll continue on.
The lighting is dim in the room so I can tell little about the appearance aside from the fact that it's dark brown with a finger of beige foam. Lacing is scattered.
The aroma is surprising, but in a good way. The label says they fermented the beer warmer than usual, and I imagine that's why it smells like more than an Imperial Porter, or maybe that just means it's no longer an Imperial Porter. I mean, chocolate and roast are background characters at best. Regardless, there are some really cool fruity notes that harmonize wonderfully with vinous and sherry character. It's reminiscent of an Old Ale or maybe a Scotch Ale, with a bit of toffee and date accompanying the grape. The coffee is well balanced and complements the beer rather than dominates it. It brings to mind earthy chocolate and cashew. There's a vanilla note in there, but that's likely my mind playing tricks on me.
The flavor is estery and warm, with some apple, roast, and a mild bitterness offsetting the slightly more assertive sweetness. Grape and plum meet leather and coffee, and I'll be damned if I don't perceive vanilla again. Malt is rich and reminiscent of chocolate and a bit of toffee. Alcohol is well hidden and there's much warming on the palate with oak in the finish with a touch of tartness. Coffee is less apparent here than in the aroma.
Overall, this beer is many things at once. Though the parts might not fit perfectly together, they do not clash, and the beer comes off as interesting and enjoyable.
04-05-2014 04:29:32 | More by HopHead84
Cafe Noir from Tap It Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 17 ratings.