Café Royale
Alewerks Brewing Company

Café RoyaleCafé Royale
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Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
English Sweet / Milk Stout
Ranked #27
ABV:
8%
Score:
95
Ranked #800
Avg:
4.31 | pDev: 8.58%
Reviews:
190
Ratings:
784
From:
Alewerks Brewing Company
 
Virginia, United States
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SCORE
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World-Class
Café RoyaleCafé Royale
Notes: 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.
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Reviews: 190 | Ratings: 784
Photo of akaizer
3.94/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour has a luxurious 1/2 dark foam head that quickly settles down to leave a dark black-brown that beckons. The scent is deep with bourbon with a hefty bit of sweetness. The taste follows with a full bodied and smooth bourbon and vanilla flavor profile that is pretty equally balanced. A bit surprisingly, nothing lingers too long, leaving plenty of room for another sip.

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Photo of Oh_Dark_Star
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I've had six Virginia brews and they've all been a hit. What are the chance? Do the brewers in VA really know what's up?
This treat in particular I would trade for again!

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Photo of 2blikehim
5/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I’m new to the whole beer thing, but this is a sweet(?), creamy stout, with a very pleasing aroma and a wonderfully smooth flavor. Bitterness isn’t even in the vocabulary here; totally nonexistent. I do love my stouts and porters and this definitely ranks right at the top.

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Photo of LifesAnesthesia
4.45/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

L - Deep, opaque black with a dark tan head that dissipates somewhat quickly leaving behind minimal lacing
S - a solid amount of roasted coffee notes along with roasted malt and sweet chocolate
T - Follows the nose: roasted coffee and roasted malt followed by sweet chocolate and a sweetness from the lactose. Slight hints of nuts and vanilla as well. Not really getting too much bourbon - maybe a little extra sweetness from it.
F - Medium to full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy, smooth
O - A really nice coffee stout, but I'm not really sure this one needs the bourbon barrel aging as it doesn't really enhance the flavor profile.

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Photo of Radcpa
4.52/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very dark appearance with slight tan head that disipates quickly. Aroma is a very nice bourbon with an equal amount of coffee. Taste is also a pleasant blend of bourbon and coffee.

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Photo of Almost_retired
4.43/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a very good stout. Good nose and very satisfying flavor. Alcohol bite well hidden. Outstanding mouth feel. Tried this stout in the brewery and subsequently purchased a growler.

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Photo of CanConPhilly
4.18/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Cafe Royale - Williamsburg Alewerks
BBA Imperial Coffee Milk Stout - 8.4% abv
Purchased for $6.49 at Growlers to Go, Richmond, VA

L - 2-finger hazelnut head atop a dark brown opaque body.

S - chocolate milk, coffee, nuts, vanilla sweetener, roast.

T - follows the nose. Moderately sweet, zero booziness, zero bitterness.

F - medium body with medium-low carb.

O - very good, but a bit too sweet and the barrel doesn’t have much of an influence.

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Photo of TijuanaTovar
5/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured at 50F from a 01/17 bottle. At almost the 1-year mark this is drinking SUPERB!

I like to compare brews and this is identical to BCBS. At 8% + it drinks like a bigger beer but def taste like an 8% but the alcohol is well hidden. Full body. Fudgy brownies dipped in bourbon. Need to find more ASAP!

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.99/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Acquired from mtanoury74 so a big “Thank You” goes out to him. Poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color with a short brown head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains coffee, bourbon, chocolate, roasted malts, some lactose and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet and creamy with flavors of coffee, milk chocolate, lactose and some licorice. Then a hearty roasted malt character comes in. The hops presence is very mild as you would expect but complementary and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and a little crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry and slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, decent representation of style, this is a solid stout to drink for a while.

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Photo of rugyrl04
3.49/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Look: Deep brown with a healthy carmel brown halo.
Smell: sweet, coffee, bourbon
Taste: Bourbon and coffee, well balanced
Feel: medium feel, smooth with a carmel flavor
Overall: Originally in bottle, I drank from a tulip glass. I experience a smooth, well balanced bourbon and coffee flavor.

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Photo of Buck89
4.1/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. Inky, viscous black color that produced a modest and fleeting tan head. Whiskey, coffee, and cocoa on the nose. A touch of sour cherries. Smooth aroma with the bourbon up front. Chocolatey taste at first which opened to coffee and finally a warming, slightly tart whiskey flavor. Some milk up front as well. Nice vanilla and oaky notes on the path to a warming finish. A slightly sticky, sweet quality but definitely not cloying. Drinks "bigger" than the 8.4% ABV, which is nice but also a slight knock. Overall a great sipper.

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Photo of braker649er
4.27/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I'll call it "pitch brown" for a touch off black in the color. But opaque. A little sweeter than I would have hoped for, but otherwise very rich and deep in flavor. I appreciated the smell more than anything, which is rare for me. There was booze and plenty of lactose milk stout sugar. And a touch of black licorice in smell and taste that gave it spiciness. A worthwhile pour in my book. Not any head to speak of, even on the pour, but still a tinge of carbonation in the mouthfeel--not as creamy as some milk stouts, but still smooth around the edges.

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Photo of FBarber
4.28/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a shiny black color. So shiny that you can see your reflection in the beer itself. Fizzy soda like brown head dissipates quickly leaving a thin ring of brown foam along the outside of the beer.

Smell has prominent notes of coffee, milk chocolate, roasted malts, some musty oak and a touch of bourbon, but not too much.

Taste has notes of coffee, milk chocolate, and malts up front. The malts are curious because there is a roast character to them, but they taste more like they were smoked providing a bit of a smoky flavor to the beer that is quite nice. Some smoked wood comes through - almost like BBQ smoking wood chips. Remarkably strong bourbon flavor for a beer that was only aged 3 months provides an overarching bourbon flavor and some permeating heat. It might be a milk stout base, but there is not much sweetness here other than that milk chocolate like flavor. The smoke and bourbon cuts down on being overly sweet.

Feel is smooth and medium bodied. Mild to medium carbonation, but prickly and lively. Sweet finish with some alcohol burn.

Overall I really like the smoky character coming through from this one - added some depth to the beer. Im also impressed with how prominent the barrel was for only being in there 3 months - just goes to show that you can do a well done BA stout without needing to leave it in the barrel forever.

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Photo of Riff
4.4/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours an inky black color with a light tan head about a half finger thick and dissipates quickly away. Smells of coffee, bourbon, chocolate, and vanilla. Tastes of dark chocolate, mild coffee, cream, and vanilla. Sweet but in a pleasing, not overly sweet way. A little thin but doesn't take away from the beer. Excellent take on the variety, sort of like a mocha coffee.

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Photo of DankScuba
4.11/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L: Pitch black, quickly fleeting off white head.

S: Coffee, bitter chocolate, molasses, roasted malt

T: Very sweet, milk, chocolate, subtle chocolate

F: On the thinner side, but not detracting from the beer.

O: Great beer, good balance.

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Photo of Slack
4.43/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Deep brown in color with minimal head and no lacing.

Nose is strong molasses, sweetness, smoke, and bourbon.

Taste is sweetness up front, molasses, roasted coffee, vanilla, bourbon, and oak / black coffee on the finish.

Mouthful is medium and smooth. Carbonation is a touch above medium. Finish is semi dry.

This is a super dessert beer. Sticky, sweet, and sippable. Alcohol is hidden. Flavor profile is nice. Body is excellent. Reminds me of a lighter version of Parabola. I would drink this after dinner every night if I could.

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Photo of Masonz223
4.52/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Smell: big chocolate notes fudge medium roast coffee vanilla oatmeal.
Taste: big amounts of fudgy chocolate upfront middle of the mouth medium
Roast coffee milk chocolate vanilla oatmeal finishes with a hint of toasted coconut and French vanilla coffee creamer.
Feel: medium body creamy mouthfeel
Overall: an awesome beer lots of big fudgy chocolate notes but also nice barrel notes. A pretty sweet beer but not over the top it's just right!

Note: this was bottled 1/23/15 and I'm drinking this on 9/9/16. I'm blown away that a 8.5% percent coffee beer aged this well!

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Photo of WunderLlama
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bomber poured into a snifter

Pitch black liquid, pours a one finger brown foam cap that quickly subsides to a brown ring around the edges

Aroma of bourbon, vanilla

Taste of bourbon, vanilla, coffee

Velvety Smooth , low sudsing

Deliciously good, repeatable

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Photo of Stevem68
4.27/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a rich dark chocolate color. Aroma is boozy with notes of vanilla, cocao and a lIttle sweetness. Flavor is coffe and chocolate with a bourbon note throughout. Has notes a slightly sweet vanilla too. Overall this drinks really smooth and had great flavor, it's just a delicious beer.

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Photo of Newbeergeek1
4.34/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a wonderful jet black, with a very nice coffee/bourbon smell and a terrific nose/taste blend. I picked this up at the brewery last spring and am really enjoying this as I am watching the Daytona 500. Nice way to celebrate a great race with a great beer. Hope they haves eat Alewerks the next time I am there.

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Photo of Eamonn-Cummings3
4.59/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a spieglau stout glass.

Look is pitch black with a razor thing dark brown head.

Lots of rich wonderful roast and vanilla bourbon.

Taste is delicious. A wonderful balance between roasted malt and sweet creamy vanilla. Absolutely wonderful.

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Photo of TomMorris
3.99/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with some mahogany highlights. No head save for a tight ring around the perimeter of my glass.

Incredible nose with rich fudge notes and buttery vanilla bourbon.

Taste is a slight let down overall, but quite delicious. I'm not getting as much coffee or roasted malt flavors as I was hoping; the beer largely reminds me of bourbon-flavored chocolate syrup. It's extremely decadent and fudgy with a considerable, but not at all hot or overbearing sweet bourbon presence.

The feel is also a bit thinner and dissipates more quickly than I would like, but when the moment it first hits my tongue is pretty sublime. Plenty thick and chewy, but too much of a transient.

Overall, I was slightly disappointed in Cafe Royale. I was hoping for a very roasty and balanced coffee stout with barrel characteristics and instead got a decadent, incredibly sweet tasting stout with some barrel characteristics. A great beer for sure, but a bit cloying to be amongst the upper echelon of barrel-aged stouts.

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

This was an excellent beer. A massive coffee presence, both in the nose and in the palate is complimented by roast, chocolate and a good sweetness. The barrel comes through mostly in the form of vanilla, which compliments the coffee very well.

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Photo of DavidHume
4.34/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber bottle. No date code, but given how that Alewerks' barrel releases don't exactly sit on the shelves around here, it's probably a very recent batch. Served in a teku at around 50°F.

Pours 8 ball black, with a rich brown head of fine bubbles which slowly dissipates into a ring around the edge of the glass, with persistent lacing on the sides. The aromas are very bourbon-forward; no doubts about where this stout was aged. Chocolate and sweetened coffee follow, with a faint hint of vanilla. Bourbon dominates the palate initially, followed by chocolaty coffee flavors. The coffee develops into dark cocoa and fig, before finishing with dry and tannic. It's definitely a sweet stout; while not cloying, it's sweet enough that finishing a bomber alone would be a challenge. Share it with a friend; they'll thank you for it (and you can thank me for the suggestion). The mouthfeel is quite thick, especially given the beer's strength. You expect a big mouthfeel from a 12% monster, but it's quite unexpected from an 8.4% brew. Overall, it's an excellent stout, well-worth seeking out, and a perfect nightcap for a crisp fall evening.

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Photo of bwood06
4.26/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22 oz. bottle into a pint glass (multiple pours)

A - 1/4 finger head (from a very hard pour) that is dark brown in color and dissipates to a sparse lacing rather quickly. Beer itself and pitch black and cannot see carbonation whatsoever. Ever so slight hint of mahogany on the bottom of the glass if titled to the right angle to the light. 3.75/5

S - Vanilla, oak, and cream are the main aromas that I get with this beer right off the bat. Brown sugar/molasses is also present. A bit of smokiness comes out as well as tobacco and leather. Dark cola (i.e. Coca Cola) seems to be present as well. 4/5

T - Brown sugar and honey hit my tongue immediately followed by a dark chocolatey malt as well as toffee. More milk chocolate than dark chocolate (hints at this being the milk stout as classified). A bit of vanilla and coffee comes across with the milkiness. Coffee comes across as more of a latte than just straight coffee or espresso. Dry coffee bitterness on the back end but does not linger. Leaves a sweet taste in the mouth. Not really getting any sort of hops, but this may be hidden by the coffee. Dominated by sweetness with only moderate bitterness. A hint of oak rears its head right at the end as the bitterness comes in but only for a split second. 4.5/5

M - Very smooth with very little carbonation, only a slight tickle on the tongue for the carbonation. Very full bodied and heavy, almost chewy. Surprisingly, for this heaviness, does not linger on the palate. 4.25/5

O - Nice complex flavor profile, especially for a milk stout. Appearance loves something to be desired since there is virtually no head, even with an extremely hard pour, but the taste and mouthful more than make up for this. Does not have the boozy bite that many bourbon barrel aged beers have which is a nice change. 4.25/5

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Café Royale from Alewerks Brewing Company
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 784 ratings