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Cafe Noir | Tap It Brewing Co.

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Awaiting 10 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Tap It Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.30%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by largadeer on 03-14-2014

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 7 | Ratings: 29
Photo of BWood
2.63/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

L: great khaki head that lingers

S: all wine barrel. No porter or malt.

T: again all wine barrel. Not what I wanted. I never read the bottle. Deschutes does this much better.

F: nothing good here.

O: drain pour.

 216 characters

Photo of ccg
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle labeled 2014, opened in early March of 2016.
It a deep, murky brown. Minimal head dissipates quickly, leaving a seemingly permanent ring of tiny bubbles around the edge. Some nice, temporary lacing if you swirl it around or tilt it.
The smell is almost all chocolate and red wine, maybe figs and raisins. Not getting any coffee on the nose.
The flavor is similar. There is a clear red wine component with chocolate and figs. The coffee is subtle. If the bottle didn't mention the coffee component, I probably would not have known what it was, other that a general earthy/roastiness with a hint of bitterness, but that could be hops and roasted malt. The flavor is pretty mild overall.
It's moderately carbonated and somewhat light on the tongue.
I wish I could have tried this beer fresh. The pinot noir-barrel aging has held up nicely, but the coffee has definitely faded (I'm assuming it was stronger fresh). Still, it's a pleasant weekend afternoon sipper.

 966 characters

Photo of Zorro
4.3/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2015 Bottle.
Quoted from the Label:

"Café Noir

An imperial coffee porter, barrel-aged 8 months in pinot noir barrels from the California central coast then cold infused with a blend of locally roasted coffee hand-selected by Tap It’s brewing team, added just before bottling for the freshest of coffee flavors. We fermented this whack job of a beer at a slightly higher temperature to lend the warmth and mouthfeel of a Hot Toddy. With the seasonal temperature changes of the 8 months of barrel aging, we believe this imperial porter gained the nuances of old ale in some of its malt character and body."

Clear brown colored ale with a medium sized light brown colored head.

Smells Strongly of chocolate and grapes. Scents of plum and cherries. Coffee and black pepper in the ethanol fumes. Alcohol clearly detectable. Scent of Kahlua and white rum.

Starts out strongly roasted with the taste of wine. Coffee and chocolate with a wine tartness in the finish. Long lasting fruit after taste. Mildly sweet, a weird beer with lots of wine qualities. Abundant alcohol warmth in the stomach but in no way does this taste like the big beer it is, very smooth.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall one of those beers that is more than the sum of its parts. Exceedingly easy to drink. Seems about as strong as a Kona - Pipeline Porter when you are drinking a beer twice that strong

 1,387 characters

Photo of riotontheroad
4.43/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

the pinot barrels have an amazing effect on this beer! coffee gives way to wine, and finishes with an incredibly clean, dry oak flavor.
not what i was expecting with this beer, but i was pleasantly surprised.

 209 characters

Photo of DPETRIILO79
5/5  rDev +30.2%

Might be my favorite beer. Flavor is amazing. It's like drinking coffee that turns into Port. The flavors and layers of this beer seem to continually change as you sip it. I'm addicted.

 188 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.69/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle I brought to share at Retsinis' tasting.

2014 vintage.

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.

 640 characters

Photo of HopHead84
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75


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.

 2,056 characters

Cafe Noir from Tap It Brewing Co.
- out of 100 based on 7 ratings.
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