Café Royale
Alewerks Brewing Company

Café RoyaleCafé Royale
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
English Sweet / Milk Stout
Ranked #29
Ranked #816
4.31 | pDev: 8.58%
Alewerks Brewing Company
Virginia, United States
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.
Reviews: 191 | Ratings: 786 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by rrryanc:
Photo of rrryanc
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

More User Reviews:
Photo of jeonseh
4.32/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25


A - Dark brown, clean beer. Small mocha color head that just has a small layer of foam on the sides

S - Big coffee nose with slight cream and bourbon. Lots of coffee on this one. Coffee is smooth and sweet with no sign of bitterness

T - Sweet coffee up front with cream, brown sugar, sweet bourbon, and milk chocolate. The finish is slight roasted malt and espresso. Overall, this is a nice, smooth and complex beer

M - Smooth creamy body that goes done nice and easy.

O - A nice overall beer that is smooth and creamy, has good coffee flavor, a nice sweetness and hints of bourbon. It reminds me of a baby BCBCS.

 626 characters

Photo of Jeffo
2.77/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle from totoropanda a while back. Cheers!

From a bomber into a snifter
Vintage: 2013
Stout with coffee and aged in bourbon barrels

APPEARANCE: Dark brown pour yields a 1+ finger, slightly looser, foamy, dark tan head with decent retention. Head fades to a half wisp. Black body with minimal carbonation evident. A ring remains leaving some decent lacing down the glass. Darker body, but looser and foamy head.

SMELL: Nice bourbon, with oak, coconut, vanilla and some caramel notes. Milk chocolate and sweet cream with light aromas of coffee there as well. A touch of roasted malt under it all as well. Pretty nice barrel with plenty of nuances.

TASTE: Bourbon barrel, oak and light tartness up front. Some milk chocolate through the middle into a bolder and slightly tart finish of oak, vanilla, coconut, milk chocolate, and a definite tart cherry sourness as well. A touch of biter coffee notes under the slightly tart barrel flavors. Definite sourness to this. Intentional or not, it's not really what was expected. Too bad, as I can taste some good potential here.

PALATE: Thinner body with slightly higher carbonation. Creamy enough on the palate, goes down okay and finishes a touch sticky. Lighter for the style. Definitely needs to be thicker and heavier.

OVERALL: It's not bad at this point, and the tartness might even be seen as somewhat pleasant, but I can't imagine this was intentional. Definitely something starting to take over here, which is unfortunate, as I'd heard good things about this beer. Something I'd like to try again sometime, but not this particular batch.

 1,600 characters

Photo of ThisWangsChung
4.3/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pure. Dessert. In. A. Glass. That's what I'm getting from the amazing nose. Yes, some coffee comes through, as well as a nice amount of bourbon - with those two notes alone, this would still smell decent. But this also features an incredible amount of dark chocolate and dark fruit esters. In a way, the nose invokes chocolate-covered cherries in such a beautiful manner. Thankfully, the flavor follows the nose (nearly) to a T. It starts off with evocative bourbon flavors, along with some gentle fruit esters. It finishes with nice amounts of chocolate, lactose, and roast. Maybe it could be a little bit roastier. Whatever. This feels full and oily on the palate, coating the mouth quite well. Because it's so sweet, it's not a beer that can be drunk quickly. If I have to bitch (and you know I always have to!), it gets too sweet after a while. Just split it with someone and enjoy the chocolate-bourbon-and-coffee goodness to its fullest. Problem solved!

4.3/5: Awesome dessert beer

 988 characters

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.

 540 characters

Photo of l1fted
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of Treyliff
4.54/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2013 Vintage, poured into a snifter

A- pours pitch black with dark-tan creamy head that reduces to a small layer, leaving behind some short lasting lace. This one looks deep and dark

S- huge hit of sweet & dark chocolate up front followed by a big nutty hazelnut aroma, toasted coconut, slightly smoky malt, oaky vanilla with a quaff of bourbon. Underlying is a milky lactose sweetness, reminiscent of chocolate milk with a hint of fresh coffee. Very impressive aroma bouquet

T- sweet milk stout base provides milky lactose flavor, notes of caramel, oak, vanilla coconut and a trace of bourbon. The finish gives a big boost of lingering fresh hazelnut coffee that lingers on the palate long after consumption

M- medium body and carbonation lead to a foamy mouthfeel and a smooth and sweet finish

O- This one definitely flies under the radar, its got more coffee than bourbon but it balances out very well. Lucky to occasionally find this one on the shelf

 961 characters

Photo of ChrisKayler
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of ebby82
4.2/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

 775 characters

Photo of ThePorterSorter
3.94/5  rDev -8.6%
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.

 551 characters

Photo of Fordknox
3.98/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma of coffee, vanilla, mild bourbon & wood, malt. Taste sweet creamy coffee, malt, vanilla, faint bourbon & oak, chocolate. Nice!

132 characters

Photo of whallgren
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of CTJman
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of nickfl
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of bsuedekum
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of PHBoiler
4.21/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

 285 characters

Photo of Photekut
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of boilermakerbrew
4.38/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Hits the glass pretty much pitch black in color with very little head. With a little coaxing and rough pouring I was able get a tan colored head of about half a centimeter to form. There is minimal lacing on this beer, but the scent is pretty incredible. Huge coffee notes hit first and are quickly followed up with bourbon barrel goodness. The vanilla is really more prominent than the oak, but then moves toward a touch of dark fruits towards the end of the drink.

When this beer hits the tongue it follows the scent pretty closely, but the coffee is stronger than in the smell. The dark coffee is mildly bitter before the bourbon barrel kicks in with charred vanilla sweetness. It balances out the coffee nicely before the coffee returns to combine with the dark malts of the stout. Lingering taste is of coffee and sweet vanilla from the barrel. The feel of this beer is very smooth and very, very easy to drink. The alcohol is low and undetectable, while the carbonation to fairly low as well. Neither the coffee or the barrel flavors are overwhelming, making this close to chug-able.

Overall, this is a great, low ABV, barrel aged stout. The coffee and the barrels work together seamlessly and give the beer both a great feel and taste.

 1,244 characters

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

Photo of szmnnl99
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of Vdubb86
4.32/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter

Thanks to billab914 for hooking me up with this want

Who can say no to a barrel aged imperial vanilla coffee milk stout? I sure can't. And I'm glad I didn't. This beer pours a black liquid into the glass, initially has a sandy froth on the top but that doesn't stay around too long. It smelled darn tasty. From the descriptor above you can assume that there was a distinct coffee and vanilla presence. There wasn't really any milk stout aroma due to the strong aroma of the roasted malts. The simplicity of roast and vanilla together, for some reason is perhaps one of the greatest smells in beerdom to me. The flavors resemble a smooth iced coffee with a distinct oak and vanilla flavor to it. This is coffee with creamer mind you. I felt for the strength of this beer, that the mouthfeel could have been a little thicker, but it wasn't bad in the slightest. My overall opinion of this beer is that if it was thickened up I would never be able to get enough of the beer. As it currently stands, it's not. That doesn't slight this beer in any way. This is a damn tasty brew and should be appreciated by more individuals.

 1,142 characters

Photo of IndyDad
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

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

I just wanted everyone to know that the pic on the BA profile for Williamsburg Alewerks is one that I took. However, I gave this place a bad review in terms of customer service, and I'll stand behind that review.

FYI: I still have an autographed 2011 bottle in my basement.

I poured this 2012 version into a Delirium Tremens snifter.

A: Poured a dark, black chocolate milk night, with a finger head that stuck around for a while.

S: Definitely lactose on the nose, along with a good bit of coffee. Intense! The bourbon is definitely present, but in the background.

T: Tasted sort of like a chocolate banana malt that I often stir up in my Vitamix machine. Simply awesome! The bourbon is the overripe banana part... and it's very cool in this setting! Almost the perfect coffee/chocolate balance!

M: Thick and snot-like, decadently sweet, and with very skimpy lacing... but most BBA stuff usually is.

O: Alewerks does some really nice brews, but I think this is their crowning accomplishment! For you traders: I've heard that multiples of this one trades for some brewery only releases. Cool!

 1,099 characters

Photo of plumcrazyfx
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Café Royale from Alewerks Brewing Company
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 786 ratings