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Short's Cup A Joe Coffee Creme Stout - Short's Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Short's Cup A Joe Coffee Creme StoutShort's Cup A Joe Coffee Creme Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

612 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 612
Reviews: 289
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 13.02%
Wants: 306
Gots: 79 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Short's Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Stout |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-26-2006

"A brew uniquely different from most coffee stouts, we cram Higher Grounds roasted fair trade espresso beans into every facet of the brewing process. Prominent aromatics of malt, espresso, and cocoa are abundant and create a flavor robust with big malt characters fused with cream and coffee. The perfect morning night capper." 
20 I.B.U.’s
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 612 | Reviews: 289 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of warnerry
4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Notes from Dec. 2010. Fresh bottle.

Pours pitch black with one finger of quickly dissipating head. Looks nice.

Has a massive coffee nose, similar to Founder's Breakfast Stout. Also, some deep roasted malts, but mostly coffee.

Coffee dominates the taste as well, but the creaminess of the milk sugar adds nice depth and the earthy roasted malts are very nice. Lingering coffee bitterness and some lingering sweetness as well. Nice.

Mouthfeel is actually a bit thin for such a big, flavorful brew.

I could easily start drinking this at breakfast and continue throughout the day. One of Short's best when fresh.

Note: I noticed this one was turning for the worse back in February, so not surprising to see the recent bad reviews. Guess anything with lactose should be consumed fresh.

Photo of alpinebryant
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark hazy coffee grind black with little head, nearly no gas release upon opening.

Aroma of strong bitter iced coffee with no cream or sugar, heavy roasted malt aromas all over.

Taste of straight up cold brewed concentrated coffee. The description says that coffee is used in all different brewing processes during the making of this beer and I believe it. I have had a lot of coffee stouts and this is by far my favorite to date. While coffee stouts are not my favorite style, I do love coffee and clearly enjoy a good beer. This beer does not fall flat in either of those categories. I get a bit of caramel flavors along with coffee flavored malts, and some sweet malty flavors.

While slightly light on the carbonation, I think that it is accurate for the style. I have never had carbonated coffee, so this rings the bell on actually tasting like coffee as supposed to over bittered astringent messes of some coffee stouts that I have had in the past.

Overall very well done by Shorts.

Photo of gregshead
3.15/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to NickD717 Tasted on 4/21/11. Reviewed from notes:

A: Pours a thin black w/ a very thin head

S: Strong sugary & espresso smells. Some milky/cream smell

T: Odd creamy taste, coffee bitterness on front end and a little on the back.

M: Very smooth. Thin feel. Very little carbonation

O: This beer is well made and fits the style. It just didn't offer me anything I loved.

Photo of RomaniIteDomum
4.19/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

What could be better than a cup of coffee before work? How about coffee beer!

Pours black with the tiniest little creamy brown head. Pretty for the style.

This smells fantastic! I could not ask for more depth and freshness from a coffee stout. I could crawl in here and take a nap.

The taste is good, but definitely has a hard time living up to the expectations of the nose on this thing. Lots of coffee, cream, andd a hint of chocolate. Good, but there is room for improvement.

Mouthfeel is a bit light for my liking. It lacks the rich creamy quality I love in coffee brews.

All in all this is a good brew. If it was around me I would probably pick it up from time to time.

Photo of moz9
2.52/5  rDev -38.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Hate to do it, but I have to agree with the last two reviews of this beer. I got it as an extra in a trade from a good trader, so I can't fault them for that, but the beer was flat out disappointing. The previous 2 reviews are pretty much right on with respect to the issues with this beer. Namely, it's flat--with a slight coffee taste but an acidic aftertaste. I was really disappointed that this beer was so bad. I honestly had high expectations for it. Maybe I got a bad bottle? To be fair, I did NOT read any reviews until I had to drain pour the beer and at that point looked at BA to see the previous 2 reviews.

Hopefully this was an anomaly.

Photo of suspect
2.14/5  rDev -47.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Dogfish Head signature glass. Split with mrmarmot.

A: Dark black color. Aggressive pour leads to almost zero head that is disappointing. Not much lacing to speak of.

S: Burnt coffee, toasted malts, caramel

T: Tastes like the coffee pot was left on high for 4 hours, then was turned off, then was turned back on again, then left over night, then reheated in the microwave. Bitter coffee flavor and sweet lactose creamer with slight caramel backing.

M: Thin, undercarbonated, acidic and not pleasant.

O: I was really disappointed. Seeing this beer made me excited to try it and it was so disappointing when I had to drain pour it. I'm wondering why it still has an A- average.

Photo of ChadQuest
2.49/5  rDev -38.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

More opaque then i was expecting, pretty dense and black with some dark brown highlights around the edges. ring of dark tan foam.
The aroma smells over roasted, a bit stale. Strong coffee presence for sure, but it could be done a bit better.
Man, the flavors take the aroma notes but another step down. There is a stale coffee acidity and sourness that is not very cool. Charred coffee with past date lactose milk creamer.

The look and viscosity were good, the whole coffee aspect of this was bad though(i am a coffee geek). Can i assume they added the coffee during the boil for extraction? I don't know, but that's what it tastes like, and it turned out bad.

Photo of Trilogy31
2.96/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a motor oil black with the faintest whisper of a foam head - appears to be a very low level of carbonation. Nose has freshly brewed drip coffee, cinnamon sugar doughnuts, as well as spent coffee grinds and sweet non dairy creamer. Really a nicely put together aroma. Taste is almost sour/bitter coffee, really unpleasant compared to how nice the nose was. Sour red fruits as well but the low level of carbonation really hurts the taste and drinkability.

Photo of beavers
1.89/5  rDev -53.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

No bottled on date to be found.

Prying the cap open produces a quiet pop. Needs a rather vigorous pour to create the head you expect from an imperial stout.

Smell is a rather strange combination of old coffee grounds, burnt granulated sugar and wet peanut shells.

Watered down roasted malt is overpowered by an aggressive sour (and slightly sweet) lactic acid flavor. This tastes like 2 week old burnt black coffee with a spoonful of sugar and some non-dairy creamer. Yep.

Mouthfeel is thin and undercarbonated.

No bottled on date prevents me from knowing how old this is. Infection seems likely — but an unusual amount of powdered lactose also seems like a culprit.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.26/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into two goblets. Thanks to MarcatGSB for the bottle!

Appearance - Pours a very dark brown with almost no head and no lacing. Not quite fully opaque. Light comes through on the edges, but not through the body of the liquid. Looks thin, really.

Smell - Strong coffee flavor. Almost smells like an over-brewed, burnt roast. Another review mentioned Starbucks coffee, probably for this reason. Roasted malts come through, but it's faint by comparison to the coffee.

Taste - Similar flavor. The coffee isn't as pronounced as it is in the nose. It's still strong, but it tastes more like a stout than just a cup of coffee. A lot of lactose sweetness comes through in the back and diminishes any bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Very thin. Fairly low carbonation, but it's not too low. It's an appropriate level. The body is what lets it down. I want something a bit chewier to stand up to the coffee. It doesn't taste like an 8% beer though. I would expect something with such little body to be a lot boozier at 8%, but it isn't.

Overall - Certainly tasty and pretty easy to drink, since it's so thin. The lactose and intensity of the coffee are a turn-off, though.

Photo of RC0032
3.48/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Black, small head, almost no lace.

S - Starbucks type coffee, strong burnt

T - Not as much coffee as I smell but still strong.

M - Good carbonation not as "rich" as I would like

D - Decent couldn't do more than 1.

Serving type: bottle

Photo of scottfrie
2.37/5  rDev -41.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12oz bottle into Delirium Noel snifter.

A: Pour a very dark brown with an extremely huge airy head that foamed up even with a slow pour. This light brown soft looking head took forever to die down into a
S: Immediately I get huge notes of lactose milk-sugar mixed with a huge rich blast of dark roasted espresso beans. There is also a slight touch of alcohol vapor mixed in to remind me that as I sniff this beer I am not in a coffee shop.
T: Coffee is at the forefront along with dark malts. The lactose is there to add a creamy touch of sweetness, but sadly all of these flavors are overshadowed by an overwhelming tart/sourness. Like many a reviewer before me has stated, this beer had great potential but sadly something went wrong. Oddly enough the rich coffee aftertaste is quit good, but sadly I could not take more than a few sips of it before this sour mess went down the drain.
M: Overly carbonated but strangely thin. This beer froths up on the palate before the mouth fall off the edge.
O: This one smelled great and for a second tasted really good. I bet if I had this fresh it would be one hell-of-a beer. Too bad this one wasn’t good.

Photo of srandycarter
3.58/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Pitch black, small mocha head, not much lace.

S - Burnt coffee. Bottom of the 7-11 pot at 11:30 am.

T - Pretty much matches smell, though I don't know if that is a good thing.

M - Bitter coffee.. too much.. Good carb, no balance.

D - Probably won't even finish the sucker.

Photo of DosBeerigos
2.5/5  rDev -38.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

C: Can’t tell how clear it is because it is BLACKKKK
H: Very Dark Black
N:Espresso forward, hints of sweet creme, and sugary roasted malt

Call me crazy, yes I know most of you do already, but I get pepperoncini all up in the nose. Now I can pull the espresso out, and maybe it is just the bitterness of the coffee, but I get pepperoncini. Regardless, I was excited about this beer as I have only been able to try several of the Short’s Beers. Thanks to EvilTwin for sharing this with me.
OK, the taste of the beer is straight black olive. I love black olives, but damn….not in beer. There is a strong salty mid-palate flavor that is throwing the whole flavor profile off. That mixed with a strong espresso back-end, brought me back to the day of eating black olives from the can. Nothing like putting the pitted black olives on your fingers so you have olive fingers, and then eating them off! (Hey don’t judge me….I know you did it too!). Overall this is an interested black olive beer!

Photo of Lunch
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received this badboy as an extra, thanks!

Poured into a Brooklyn snifter and this is pitch black with a rather sizable head that has that appearance that this may be a bit over carbonated. Smells of day old coffee and some cocoa. No signs of infection as this smells like a coffee stout. Taste is again of day old coffee and lots of cocoa. Quite bitter with hints of dark chocolate and some roast. Nice flavors, but the rather vibrant carbonation is creating a bit of prickliness that is a bit distracting. Fairly thick and became more enjoyable as I let this motherfucker sit for a while in the glass to burn off some of the CO2.

Decent beer that I would have again, but not worth seeking out.

Photo of genuinedisciple
1.89/5  rDev -53.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A: Poured well with a nice lacing on it throughout the drinking experience. Color was a nice deep brown.

S: Coffee! It's a coffee beer, but man is that smell overpowering. I really couldn't smell anything else. I like the smell of coffee, so it gets an average grade.

T: Awful, just awful. I have no idea how this has an A-. If you look at the other posts on this beer, you'll see that people either loved or hated it. I'm wondering if this is an infection issue. At first you taste a strong coffee flavor (Folger's quality), which immediately turns sour/bitter, and then goes back into the flavor that is supposed to be the best part of waking up (let me sleep). I disliked the entire tasting experience.

M: Started out full bodied, but thinned out quickly...boring.

Overall: A Terrible beer that I would never recommend. Go get the Short's Mystery Stout.

Photo of OWSLEY069
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours jet black with a chocolate brown head. In the aroma, dry coffee and a nice roasted malt. In the taste, dry coffee and a sweet lactose or creaminess. Very similar to a cup of coffee. A smooth and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a dry coffee and a small sweetness in the aftertaste. Like drinking a cold cup of coffee, a bit sweeter than I prefer in my coffee, but for the beer, it works nicely.

Photo of lurpy1
2.24/5  rDev -45%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Business travel means trying local beers, and after having a terrific Humalupalicious the other night, as a coffee enthusiast, stout enthusiast, and coffee stout enthusiast, I was looking forward to the bottle I picked up at Big Ten Party Store in Okemos, MI. Damnitall, this was a letdown. The funky whiff of scorched coffee resin emanating from the bottle was a warning shot. It was smooth in the mouth and had some good stout-y qualities, but my taste buds were battered by overwhelming burnt coffee, left-my-coffeemaker-on-all-day tones. Any other subleties in taste were blown away by the coffee. Cup a Joe was marginally finish-able, but not buyagain-able.

Photo of heebes
3.8/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle.
No visible freshness dating.

Pours into a mug a dark black with a dark tan head that was almost non existant untill pour was agitated. Pretty standard looking for the style. Nose is the strongest coffee auroma I've ever gotten from a beer. There's also dark cocoa and a roasted note of a can of coffee beans. Taste is very bold and sweet. Heavy of the coffee flavour, a toasted bean taste that remains bitter and a sweet hint of milky sugar in the finish which ends creamy. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, a little underwhealming for a stout. Remains creamy throughout. Overall, for me this is an overdone coffee/cream stout, though I suppose that's why it's Imperial. If you like bold coffee notes this is certainly worth checking out; I'll stick with the more subtle coffee beers. Kudos to Shorts for doing an extreme beer - I respect that and remain curious about their other odd beers.

Photo of robwestcott
3.82/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

big thanks to erikkoppin for this one. second bottle from a cool short's mixed six.

poured cold and quick from the bottle like black coffee to a surly darkness 10oz goblet with next to head whatsoever... hmmm... though a thin rim of mocha bubbles formed about 15 seconds after the pour and quickly dissipated.

aroma of a creamy starbucks espresso.

this one's all about the coffee - true to its name - coffee with cream and sugar. a bit of smoke after.

medium bodied, subtle bitter.

drinkable - maybe just one or two.

Photo of tewaris
4.09/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

7% ABV
20 IBU's

Winter seasonal (November). Stout with espresso beans and milk sugar. Received as an extra from lurchingbeast. Thanks man! Excited to try my first Short's brew having heard about their out-of-box methods! Poured from a 12 oz. bottle with no freshness date into a big snifter on 03/31/2011.

Pours dark espresso brown with no head in spite of a very vigorous pour. Few bubbles form on the sides but much stronger and thicker beers pour with better heads. Looks silky and inviting nonetheless.

This is a coffee stout, no doubt! Smells strongly of well roasted coffee beans and some sweetness at the back. If this beer is 4-5 months old now, I can only imagine how it would smell fresh! Nothing complex about it but exactly what you expect, and loads of it.

While the aroma reminds of chewing on coffee beans, taste is more diverse: of course there is coffee, and the acidity that comes with it, but there's a good amount of sweetness as well. The overall impression is what I am guessing Shorts was aiming for: coffee with cream.

Although it is smooth, there is some roast in the mouthfeel, and the perceived bitterness is way higher than 20 IBU's. Yes, they haven't fell short on adding coffee in here ;) The finish is slightly sweet with a long and very very flavorful coffee aftertaste. This belongs in the same league as Founders Breakfast Stout as far as the coffee flavors are concerned and I am sold!

Scores: Appearance 3/5, Aroma 4/5, Taste 4/5, Mouthfeel 4.5/5, Overall 4.5/5

Photo of Onenote81
2.27/5  rDev -44.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

I had received a boxload of Shorts earlier this year and only 1/4 of what I had tried was not infected. I thought surely this beer, with its A- average, would be alright. I was anticipating it greatly, as coffee stouts are one of my favorites. Alas, it did not deliver. And because Shorts has horrible quality control and I am not alone in my experience with this , I will review nonetheless.

Split this with my wife. Poured my allotment into a chalice. Pours a very dark black, with the thinnest of tan heads on top. No lace. The nose is the best part of this beer. With the other infected Shorts brews, I could sense it in the aroma, not with this one. This misled me into believing it was indeed an alright beer. Big notes of freshly-ground coffee, some chocolate, and roasted malts. What I expected and hoped for.

The mouth is overly-carbonated for the style. I like a bit more smoothness and heft. This one was bordering spritzy and thin. Eh. The flavor is where this fell flat. Some coffee is notes, but it is so overpowered by sourness, that I can't even begin to pull out other flavors. Chocolate? Not so much. Sweet cream? Nope. Sour vinegar? Bingo! That's it. "Beer," meet drain. What a mess this was. I am honestly done with this brewery. There's only a few breweries overall that I will write off. This one made the list.

Photo of cetherid
3.17/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

poured into a tulip


Beer is a pitch black beer...don't really think there is another way to describe the color. I had a very thin brown head on this beer that dissipated rather quickly, leaving just a tiny ring of light brown around the surface/glass.


Pretty one dimensional. COFFEE! Basically smells like you're smelling the leftover coffee grounds from a freshly made pot of coffee.


Big time coffee (obviously) with perhaps a hint of VERY bitter chocolate. You can taste the lactose as well, giving this beer a slightly sweet and creamy touch. Unfortunately I get a slight sour taste in it, although not as sour as other Cup A Joe's I've had. This is probably the 4th bottle I've cracked of this beer before actually reviewing it.


a little on the thin side and carbonation almost non-existent. A slight tang from the sweet and sour parts of this beer which isn't really enjoyable IMO.


After 5 try's, this beer still isn't what I hoped it would be. I could go for more carbonation, less sour/more bitter and a little thicker in body. Don't think I'll ever try this again unless it's on tap. Too many other coffee dominant beers I'd grab over this.

Photo of jlindros
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks a lot to grub for one of the great interesting Short's.

Pours a super dark oily rich pitch black beer, with very light fizzy head that disappears quickly, but normal for the style.

Nose brings tons of fresh roasted coffee beans, fresh brewed coffee, roasted barley, chocolate malt, creamy milk chocolate and baker's chocolate, some bitterness from the roasted malts.

Taste starts with coffee again, but this time brings a bit of a acrid coffee grind flavor, some fresh coffee as well, roasted malts, plenty of bitterness from the roast, a slight sweetness hiding the booze well, some light creamy chocolate, the coffee keeps going and gets a bit of a rotten coffee grind flavor, but still adding a nice coffee taste as well, espresso and a creamy lactose. Finishes drier with a slight rye like taste (huh?), yeah some rye, weird, lingering sweeter malts, dark malts, roast, and plenty of coffee, but the bad acrid coffee taste is gone luckily.

Mouth is fairly heavy bodied, very creamy, not really a booze hit which is nice, and decent carbonation for the style at least.

Overall, not bad, the nose was great, but the acrid rotting coffee grind taste took away a bit. It's a pretty good beer, a slow sipper, but pretty good.

Photo of emmasdad
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received this one in a recent trade (thanks FrankenBrew). Shared this with a couple of friends last Saturday night. Poured a deep, rich black color, with a little light brown head. Huge coffee aromas here, along with cream and dark chocolate. Medium to full bodied, with flavors of freshly pressed espresso, heavy cream, roasted malt and cocoa.

Short's Cup A Joe Coffee Creme Stout from Short's Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 612 ratings.