Café Royale | AleWerks Brewing Company

180 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Café RoyaleCafé Royale

Brewed by:
AleWerks Brewing Company
Virginia, United States

Style: Milk / Sweet Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by mcallister on 08-21-2010

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 180 | Ratings: 728
Photo of Sammy
3.77/5  rDev -11.1%
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.

 251 characters

Photo of Knapp85
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This poured out as a thick black looking brew with a tan colored head on top. The head fades rather quickly just leaving a foamy ring around the edges of the glass. The smell of this beer is pretty impressive. Lots of sweet caramel, vanilla and coffee notes. The taste is great. Lots of Vanilla and Chocolate notes with some sweet roasted malty caramel and coffee to bitter it out in the finish. The mouthfeel is nice and thick feeling with a light carbonation level. Overall this is a damn good brew. I'm starting to like Williamsburg AleWerks more and more.

 559 characters

Photo of metter98
4.24/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with just a few tan bubbles on the surface that died down rather quickly, leaving only a thin ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate to strong aromas of bourbon are present in the nose.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste is mostly dominated by flavors of bourbon from the barrel aging process. Not many chocolate or coffee flavors are present; these only become noticeable once the beer warms up.
M: It feels a bit more than medium-bodied and a little smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: For a bourbon barrel aged ale, this beer is very aromatic and flavorful for a relatively lighter body stout so it is rather drinkable considering its strength. The only drawback is that the bourbon obscures the coffee flavors.

Serving type: bottle

 832 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.24/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pour almost pitch black with a modest tan cap; some streaks are left behind

Smell: Coffee, caramel and milk chocolate buttressed by the Bourbon and vanilla tones

Taste: The coffee leads the charge, with the caramel and milk chocolate not far behind; by mid-palate, the Bourbon and vanilla add another dimension, with the flavors all merging into the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with low to moderate carbonation

Overall: One of the more nicely balanced barrel-aged stouts I have encountered; this is really good

Thanks, Dave_Treat, for the opportunity to re-visit

 591 characters

Photo of largadeer
3.8/5  rDev -10.4%
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.

 846 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.27/5  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.

 518 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
4.17/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up at Rick's in Alexandria not too long ago.

Pour brings a near-black liquid with a thin mocha head that has some pretty good staying power. This is definitely a coffee bomb--the nose really loads in some nice, fresh coffee that is fairly dark and roasty. The taste scales the coffee down a tad bit in exchange for some dry roast and hints of chocolate. Feel is quite nice. This is somewhat thick but dry and roasty. Finishes well. I haven't had that many beers from Williamsburg at this point, although the ones I have tried have been quite good.

 560 characters

Photo of mothman
4.17/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to kbutler1 for sharing this.

Poured into founders snifter

Pours a small layer of an head. Fades to a ring and leaves some thin lace rings on the glass.

Aroma: A big amount of bourbon with vanilla and chocolate up front. Very rich and smooth. Some oak flavors as well. Some roasted malt shows as well. The coffee in this beer is fairly rich, but it goes well with the bourbon.

Taste: Very bitter coffee up front, but as it fades away the bourbon and oak come in. A healthy dose of vanilla and dark chocolate. Not as much roast shows here. The bourbon provides a nice warming feel to it.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, warming, clean. Medium to full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends roasted, but clean.

Overall, a pretty solid coffee stout. The coffee is fresh and the bourbon shows enough but doesn't overpower the beer. It is pretty drinkable as well. This was a fun one to drink and I would recommend it.

 923 characters

Photo of oberon
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours black as an oil slick with a thinner creamy beige head.Chocolate covered nuts and sweet bourbon in the nose,very rich aromas.Creamy smooth in the mouth and quite chewy,very nice.Chocolate and dark fruit flavors abound with more of the nuttiness,the bourbon hits in the end giving a vanilla tinged finish.A rich dessert-like work of art,a great beer.

 355 characters

Photo of jlindros
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to rudzud

Light fizzy head fades quickly, decent legs, pitch black.

Nose big fluffy nougat, caramel and candy bar, big spicy hops, little toasted coffee and roast, hint fudgey, little acrid.

Taste big caramel, fluffy nougat, candy bar, little coffee, fudgey, chewy oats, char, hint of vanilla barrel whisky thing, charred oak, bitter earthy spicy hops, nice barrel, vanilla coconut, toasted, little sweet malt. Little nougat biscuit toffee candy. Finish is dry but sticky hint of booze, little caramel, late is burnt charred coffee and malt.

Mouth is med to fuller bod creamy, decent carb, just a hint of carb.

Overall pretty nice.

 647 characters

Photo of Kurmaraja
4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Batch from 2013. An unfortunate cherry tartness coming in and sourness taking over the aroma. Too bad as it seems the base beer is very good.

Just beware of aging. Seems like there are other reports of sourness beyond mine.

- Revised. Infected version was no bueno. New and fresh, this is solid.

 298 characters

Photo of Rifugium
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

First had: bottle from...not sure where I got this, but probably Pinocchio's beer garden

Poured a dark brown-black with a finger of mocha head; decent lacing and retention. Aroma is roasty with lots of coffee. Taste is similar, dark roasty malts, coffee, hints of cocoa and vanilla, not too heavy on the bourbon or oak. Definitely good, but nothing extraordinary. Might come through a bit better if allowed to age for a while. Medium mouthfeel, and decently drinkable.

*Edit: I liked the second bottle I had a lot more. Bourbon character came out more in the aroma and taste, overall feel was smoother, body was fuller...don't know what they did different in this batch, but it bumped the rating right up from a 4.0 to a 4.25 easily. Thanks to pdeepak for the share!

 768 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
4.31/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours an opaque yet still clear jet black in color with light to moderate amounts of gentle visible carbonation along the edges of the glass and moderate amounts of dark cola brown + garnet highlights. The beer has a finger tall foamy dark tan head that reduces to a couple of small patches of thin film and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of freshly brewed coffee with light to moderate aromas of roasted malts, milk chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, and oak.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of roasted malts which is quickly overtaken by strong flavors of freshly brewed coffee. That is quickly followed by moderate flavors of milk chocolate which contributes a moderate amount of sweetness. There is a moderate to strong flavor of bourbon and vanilla with just a hint of oak. Minimal amount of roasty bitterness in the finish which lingers slightly.

M: Slightly heavier than medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth. Hints of alcohol warming from the barrel-aging in the finish.

O: Extremely easy to drink, hiding the alcohol very well with the exception of the bourbon flavors. Wonderful aromas of coffee and bourbon which are quite complementary with the milk chocolate sweetness. So glad that I finally got distribution to this brewery as I have wanted to try this one for a while. Very enjoyable.

 1,403 characters

Photo of billab914
4.29/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

 1,102 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

dark brown, nearly opague with no light what so ever coming through on this one. The growler gave off a nice little pop and hiss when opened so I knew it was still going to be going strong..Poured into the glass with a thus and just had this wonderful thick viscous look

thick oozing amount of coffee, sweeter aroma and just one of the fullest smells I have ever come across in my life. Lots of lactose in here as well with hints of sweet roasted coffee just stronger then anything you could possibly imagine. The flavor followed suit perfectly. sweet coco Lots of carbonation here never let go and never had a dull moment to it. you could literally drink this one all night long,

 682 characters

Photo of womencantsail
4/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

 809 characters

Photo of mdfb79
3.97/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 09/21/10 notes. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a tulip.

a - Pours a dark brown color with two inches of tan head and light carbonatioin evident.

s - Smells of coffee, bourbon, oak, roasted malts, vanilla, and chocolate. Very complex and balanced.

t - Tastes of bourbon, coffee, roasted malts, chocolate, and vanilla. Oddly sweet.

m - Medium to full body and low carbonation.

d - Overall this was a good stout. I thought it smelt great; lots of bourbon, oak, vanilla, and chocolate. The only thing that brought this down for me was the taste. While I enjoyed it, I thought it was a bit too sweet. Luckily I split it with a buddy because I don't know if I could drink a full 22 oz. bottle by myself because of the sweetness. Either way I'm glad I tried it and would try it again.

 789 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Big thanks to therealnomayo for this bottle!

I was hoping to net one o' these bad boys before leaving NoVa, but the release was painfully delayed just to screw with me (or so the voices tell me...). Thankfully, awesome BAs populate BIFs. This bit o' haul pours a pure obsidian topped by a finger of light sienna foam. The nose comprises oak, whiskey, blackened pretzels, rather light roasted malts, and a layer of char. some chocolate syrup comes in if you inhale deeply enough. The taste also focuses on the whiskey-drenched oak, with some light chocolate syrup, light roasted malts, and very light molasses backing that up. Don't get me wrong: this shit is good. It's just dominated by the barrels. The body is on the heftier side of medium, with a very light moderate carbonation and a smoothly chewy feel. Overall, a very solid stout, though I think if the stout characteristics were enhanced to further counterbalance the barrels it would truly shine.

 992 characters

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle split with mdfb79. Thanks Dan.

The beer is near black with a thick beige cap that leaves some decent lacing on the glass.

The aroma brings a heavy dose of coffee, followed by chocolate, vanilla, light booze. I am a regular coffee drinker, and certainly appreciate a nice coffee aroma in an imperial stout.

Nice flavor. Relatively sweet, with a pronounced milk presence. Almost sugary like chocolate milk. As in the aroma, coffee plays a major role, while the bourbon presence is subdued. Vanilla and coffee for the most part. I never found the sweetness to be cloying, and had no trouble with my half of the bomber.

Medium bodied with appropriate carbonation. Fairly sweet, with prominent coffee throughout. Though the abv isn't particularly high for a bourbon barrel stout, it is disguised gracefully here.

Overall, I enjoyed this and would definitely have it again. Recommended.

 893 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.68/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Black body transparent at the edges. Nice khaki head that comes back as I move it around. Leggy.

Smell - Acidic coffee. Lactose is more subdued than Coffeehouse Stout, but still present, much to my chagrin. Chocolatey and a touch of oak, but not much barrel.

Taste - Acidic coffee again. Lactose and coffee blend. Much more chocolatey and even a bit more of the barrel. Nice chocolatey finish.

Mouthfeel - Lactose gives it body. Medium carbonation. Heavier than I expected it to be.

Overall - Stupid lactose. Although this is nice despite. Not a fan of that acidic coffee
Is that a byproduct if the lactose or barrel?

 673 characters

Photo of stakem
3.89/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to Kegatron for sharing this bomber. Heard nothing but good things about it, excited to get it into my snifter. The brew appears black in color with a thin tan head. Sone spotty lace sticks to the glass and tan clarity is seen around the edges.

The aroma for the most part is quite muted but as it warms and the glass is swirled notes of chocolate, coffee, bourbon and an oatmeal sweetness like freh grain emerge along with some caramel. This boasts an overall sweet fresh graininess about it and the other expected character is downplayed quite a bit.

The tastes includes plenty of oaky bourbon. Some coffee and burnt chocolate. A little raisony with dark fruity alcohol blending to something more along the lines of molasses. Caramel and toffee are noted more towards the finish.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It was decent but not as good as I was expecting. All the advertised flavors are present in equal levels but nothing really stands out to make it memorable.

 1,014 characters

Photo of AlexFields
4.23/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to mojiboo02 for this bottle.

Pours a very dark near black with a big rich coffee head.

Smells of bourbon, lactose, sweet vanilla and chocolate...not getting much coffee.

Taste is moderate bourbon, creamy espresso/latte style coffee, sweet chocolate and vanilla malt. Delicious.

Very drinkable with a rich creamy mouthfeel.

Great beer, wish it were more readily available all the time.


 405 characters

Photo of smakawhat
4.34/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass. OH NO, dude you bought the milk STOUT! SHOOT... ugh.. well ok it's barrel aged so let's see where this leads?

A very dark walnut brown, with a fleeting tiny pencil thin head on the pour. The head though is quite mocha dark brown, but settles to a tan collar with microscopic bubbles. Body is very opaque and a good black solid walnut with faint red hues on the edges. Probably the darkest milk stout I've seen.

Nose is impressive, but not too varied for a barrel aged brew. Lots of sweet cream, warming roast malts and faint coffee. The coffee angle is quite buried, but the sweet lactose character is not overpowering or overly dominant but in control. It's a good compliment. Pretty solid.

A good controlled sweet cream palate. Creamery finish mixing in with the roast, and the coffee just kisses this nicely. Palate has a light bodied character like most milk stouts, but has a good piping coffee and milky warmth which is harmoniously balanced. Hints of barrel aging, whiskey, tannic quality, caramel, vanilla, are not really to be found, but there's a good depth that is given to the palate with a light milk lactose quality. Carbonation on first sip hints at fizz, but is slightly taken down with obvious barrel aging.

This is probably the best milk/coffee stout hybrid I've ever had. It's a great compliment to the flavors and style, this turned out exceptionally well and drinks like nothing. One of the easiest barrel aged stout beers to drink I've ever had. After note, I am not a milk stout fan. So that says something right there...

 1,593 characters

Photo of MasterSki
4.04/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

 934 characters

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured on tap at the brewery in a tulip, the beer is jet black,with a light, creamy, clingy, tan head. Aromas of roasted coffee, rich sweet cream, and highlights of chocolate and molasses. Flavors are heavily roasted, with milk chocolate and bitter cocoa nib blending nicely, on a bitter roasted coffee backbone, with vanilla and woody highlights. Overtones of earth and subtle char provide depth. This beer is insanely smooth and velvety, with a delicate layering of balanced flavors. The aftertaste is richly sweet and creamy, like coffee ice cream. Smooth, soft, slow and lingering finish. Tremendous.

 604 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Café Royale from AleWerks Brewing Company
4.24 out of 5 based on 728 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.