Irish Coffee
Carton Brewing Company

Irish CoffeeIrish Coffee
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Cream Ale
Ranked #5
Ranked #5,208
4.09 | pDev: 11.49%
Carton Brewing Company
New Jersey, United States
Irish CoffeeIrish Coffee
Notes: Irish Coffee is a continuation of the Regular Coffee game. Our golden imperial coffee cream ale has been finished on Irish wood and peppermint. Much like Regular Coffee looks to evoke an amusing version of the acidic bitter coffee curbed by milk and sugar that starts a day in a paper cup, Irish Coffee addresses it on the other end of the day. A beer rendition of a mug of coffee touched by Irish and whipped cream with a drizzle of green crème de menthe to tie up a big meal. Drink Irish Coffee to take it all home.
Reviews: 40 | Ratings: 186 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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JerzDevl2000 from New Jersey

4.05/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Traded for this a while ago, as the date on the bottom of the can read 1/16/18 with "[email protected]" written above it. Been a long time since I had a beer from Carton but this was a good one to end that streak with. Sure, it tastes like something that I'd have after dinner or as a nightcap and if you like your beers to be sweet, minty, and warming, then you don't need to look any further!

The pour to this was nice as the liquid was amber, hazy, and full of fine sediment. Not a lot of head topped it off and the lacing was soapy and spotty as a few hints of rings could be seen. Sweet and full of coffee, the aroma was just like this beer's name as it combined the best of a morning brew with the sugar of a boozed up cup of joe. The taste was where this shone as there was mint, whipped cream, and a milky stickiness that took this to the next level with a lot of nuttiness to tie everything in together. A balanced body and lack of carbonation allowed the flavors to linger as it warmed me up pretty quickly!

Much of that had to do with the booze, which was quite high and pronounced throughout my time with this. A clean finish from the creme de menthe left me wanting more as this was slick and smooth from the coffee at the same time. One of the more unique and unusual beers that I've ever had, this deserves to be one of the best American Cream Ales on here as it's should be placed in a new Imperial category for this style. Worth the hype and it's rating on here, this is a must-have for anyone looking for a creamy beer reminiscent of a cocktail...

Dec 23, 2019
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AyatollahGold from Indiana

4.65/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pouring this from a 12 oz. can into a Willi Becher style glass, this beer pours out a clear, light gold until it gets to the very bottom of the can and slight sediment rolls out and morphs the beer into a burnt gold. A pinky width of white bubbles build up, before dissipating rather quickly leaving only an outer ring attached to the glass. 4

The nose brings a plethora of layers. Everything from nice, creamy coffee to fresh, natural mint leaves and even still manages to keep that cream ale sweetness you expect from the style. This could definitely be used as a wake me up, because it awakens your senses. 4.5

The taste offers a hit of freshly ground mint leaves before mellowing into a smooth, creamy and even chocolately coffee. Nutmeg rides as an accent the whole way through while the oak offers presence in the way of a dry wood feel, instead of much flavor. 4.5

If you weren’t told, you might be able to guess that the ABV here is slightly higher than your average cream ale, but not what it really is. You might guess 7.5, MAYBE 8%, but NEVER 12%. It is just way too smooth. Just like the first one I had, it’s dangerous because of it. The rest of the mouthfeel offers a full body and a creamy presence until finishing dry with the oak aspect. 4.75

Overall, Carton knows exactly what they’re doing with these cream ales and are considered world class in my opinion. That is all. 4.5

Jun 02, 2019
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Harrison8 from Missouri

4.24/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a lightly foggy deep copper with a finger of khaki foam (half pour from a 12oz can initially). Head retention is fair to good. Aroma is an initial smack of booze, quickly covered by coffee. Coffee is roasty, medium bodied and turns little charred at the finish. Cream, nutmeg and a twinge of mint give it a little more personality. Flavor profile is mint, nutmeg, coffee, cream, Bailey's, oak, and a little heat. Initially, it tastes a lot like a quality cocktail, before the coffee sweeps in and it turns a little more sharply towards boozy. Toasty, caramely malts add extra depth and complexity to the middle and finish, with the malts scrubbing the tongue clean of any lingering heat. Mouth feel is medium-thick with an effervescence that grows on the tongue as it warms. Overall, an incredible beer that could potentially be disguised as a cocktail. Coffee is heavy and well-done, but not the focal point of the beer.

Served in a 15.5oz Spiegalau tulip from a 12oz can. Reviewed on Beers by BeerAdvocate.

May 18, 2019
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srw from Virginia

4.39/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours a bronze color with a moderate head that leaves some nice lacing. Looks darker than the regualr coffee and other variants I've had so far.
S: Oak, or some barrel and mint upfront with coffee following
T: Coffee and mint again with some nice irish whiskey flavors on the finish. Light bitterness
F: Medium light carbonation and light bodied. Smooth like all the coffee variants but the booze is a bit more noticeable in this one maybe due to the Irish whiskey barrels.

May 12, 2019
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FFFjunkie from Illinois

4.4/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is a hazy dark copper and poured with 1.5 fingers of off white head.

Aroma is huge oak followed by mint, nutmeg and then coffee.

Taste is a harmonious blend of oak, mint, nutmeg and cream. Neither aspect takes center stage as opposed to the nose. Mint pops just a bit more as it warms.

Feel is dangerously smooth for the abv. Creamy, full and thick . Goes down way too easy.

Overall a fantastic imperial cream ale. Of all of the variants I’ve been lucky enough to try , this one is in the top tier.

Apr 12, 2019
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MacMalt from New Jersey

4.06/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The canning date stamp wasn't clear but it's reasonably fresh. Poured from 12 oz. can into a Carton pint glass. It pours an unusual orange-brown color with two fingers of fluffy, bright white head and a thick, creamy sheen of lacing. It's much darker in color than the base Regular Coffee. The predominate smell is mint, along with freshly brewed coffee. As the glass warms I can also smell nutmeg and toffee. When sipped, the first thing I taste is the Regular Coffee base; it's sweet as expected. At mid-sip there is a rush of mint that simulates creme de menthe, and nutmeg. It finishes with a vague spiciness. It is kind of like drinking two different beers. It has a creamy, pleasant mouth feel with moderate carbonation. I've always thought that 12% ABV is a little high for a Cream Ale and I've made that point in other reviews of the Regular Coffee variants. Overall, I get what Carton was trying to achieve and Irish Coffee is an interesting and well-made Ale. Like everyone else I have my favorite variants, e.g. Cafe y Churro, French, and St. Kitts. If you like real Irish coffee, then you will probably like this offering.

Mar 17, 2019
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Blackop555 from Michigan

4.02/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours orangish yellow. Foamy, short white head Fades fast.

Smells like mint, vanilla, coffee and grain.

Taste sweet coffee vanilla, mint, corn and light Char. Finishes sweet with a coffee and mint linger. Lighter body and smooth lower carbonation.

Sep 02, 2018
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rolltide8425 from Pennsylvania

4.09/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to my buddy Doug for this one. Pours a deep, coppery yellow with a very small head that disappears almost instantly. Aroma evokes a mug of coffee with just a touch of mint. I'm generally not a fan of mint in beer but in this one it is blended perfectly with coffee and some wood so as not to be overpowering. Slides down very easy for 12% abc with just a bit of burn in the back of the throat. Really need to get my hands on Regular Coffee.

Aug 09, 2018
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Act25 from New Jersey

4.09/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great in the series in which Yirgacheffe is my fave. This one is for mint and cookie lovers. Sweet. ABV less hidden due to whiskey barrel aging, but great for meditation, conversation and perhaps sedation.
A) Clear deep yellow body, not a lasting head and no lace lower carbonation.
S) Big but taste is bigger of upfront coffee, mint, whiskey and wood. No hops.
T) BIgger savoring the subtle mint and drink it slow at cask temp.
F) Unlike others I feel the ABV but it’s that Irish Whiskey barrel thing.
O) Must try the entire series. But lemony, Russian yergechef gets my top vote.

May 11, 2018
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yesterdayfaraway from Missouri

4.38/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: see through dark yellow with a film of head
S: big coffee to my surprise, chocolate and sweet mint. Confusing aroma for color
T: yum, jus like the nose. With big coffee, chocolate and a touch of mint
F: so smooth and easy drinking, can't believe this is 12%

May 05, 2018
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DVMin98 from North Carolina

3.67/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from can. Smell is mint and coffee, which I like. Flavor is the same with a bit too much mint for my liking. Nice mouthfeel. Moderate carbonation. Overall, decent. Mint beers just don't make me feel naughty.

Mar 29, 2018
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q33jeff from New Jersey

3.71/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75



Carton Coffee Cream Ale tasting.

Impressed overall at all 5 of these beers; didn't eralize they were 12%. The ABV is well masked.

#1 St. Kitts Coffee
Awesome Cocnut Flavor. Rum is sweet and smooth. Awesome beer. Heavy and light at the same time.
#2 Regukar Coffee
The standard. Coffee and lactose are a natural match in this. Very SMooth. This one also feels fuller than the others.
#3 Irish Coffee
Surprise here. Minty and spicy. The mint actually works pretty well in this unlike many other mint beer disasters I've had. Nutmeg is also apparent and gives a kick to the coffe flavors.
#4 Kaffee und Kuchen
Cherry is a downer, but the almond keeps it at bay.
#5 Cafe Y Churro
Disappointed in this since it was rated so high. Felt like it needs mroe of the vanilla and cinnamon.

Overall these were a great experience. Would love to get some of the St. Kitts in the summer.


Feb 24, 2018
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DaveMaciolek21 from New Jersey

3.89/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Great mixture of tastes. Another example of Carton's inventiveness. Carton is the current master of the coffee cream ale. Mint comes in late to accentuate a really tasty brew. Not as nuanced as their Churro version, but extremely good.

Jan 28, 2018
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IvoryFoxhole from Virginia

4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Canned 1/14/18. Poured into tasting glass. Per instruction on bottom of can, let warm to 46 degrees (figured about an hour would do it).

L: 1F head with poor retention, practically no lacing, leaving not a trace. Beer is a clear light copper. Looks good.

S: Peppermint and creme de menthe big up front. Lactose, some sweetness and sweet malts. A little bit of coffee and Irish whiskey barrel.

T: Peppermint and creme de menthe dominate here as well. Lactose, sugar, and then the coffee kind of comes along with some oakiness. Coffee needed to be stronger here, I think. ABV a bit more evident here.

F: Medium bodied, lightly carbonated. Finish draws out as ABV acts lower than it is and certainly drinks quicker than would be indicated. Good construction and balance, but mint runs away a little bit more than it should.

O: Pretty good Irish Coffee parallel, except coffee needs to be a tad more forward. Otherwise, this possibly could fool people in a blindfold test. Nicely done.

Jan 26, 2018
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GarthDanielson from Virginia

4.24/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a can into a schooner, the beer is a hazy, copper gold coloring with a low profile, filmy, white head. Aromas of roasted coffee, sweet cream, subtle mint, woody notes, and hints of nutmeg spice. Very sweet, but also woody and spiced enough to keep it very well balanced. Flavors are rich and creamy forward, blending very well with roasted and bitter coffee notes, with accents of mint and booze. Wood spice and char here and there, too, but this legitimately tastes like spiked coffee. The creamy sweetness and subtle mint work really well. Smooth, creamy feel kept in check by the steady flow of carbonation throughout the body. The aftertaste is more coffee and cream, and the mint and nutmeg notes build as you go. Smooth, creamy finish. Good beer, and the booze is hidden quite well. Wow!

Jul 27, 2016
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Kurmaraja from California

4.06/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Churro takes top spot in this regular coffee iteration set for me. This has a big oaky note, from nutmeg I suppose, that's interesting. The mint, corn flavored sweetness, boozy aftermath was a bit much. A 12 oz can is something to split. Really well done but falls into a novelty space for me. But I tend to put dessert in the novelty space and this would work well as a liquid post-prandial treat.

Jul 18, 2016
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njcraftguy from New Jersey

3.85/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Another in Cartons coffee line - I thought I'd love this one but did not. Regular coffee is far better IMO. Not a bad brew but kinda flat to me. Nothing offensive but nothing that will make me look for it again.

May 02, 2016
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Austin32 from Wisconsin

4.47/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, hard to wrap your head around the look and the taste of this beer. It pours a typical if a little dark cream ale but the smell and even more so the taste is exactly Irish cream coffee. Superb flavors, with excellent creme de menthe tying it all together, get some if you can.

May 02, 2016
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BEERchitect from Kentucky

4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Uncertain whether its trying to pick me up... or put me down... Carton Brewing's Irish Coffee, and all of its twelve percent in alcohol content, is certainly screwing with me.

Too dark for the typical cream ale, its deeper copper hues are forgivably hazy while a creamy off-white froth breaks down soon after the pour. Vivid coffee aromas fill the nose along with a rounded and earthen-sweet nutmeg spice. To taste, the kettle caramelization and grain sweetness coat the tongue with the strong sugars of winter's honey.

And all that aligns on the middle palate with the sweetness and corn creaminess holding the bready-sweet textures firm. As the waves of coffee come over the sweetness, the taste of coffee and cream are strongly apparent. Spicy with nutmeg and oak, the light woodsy property of both give a vanilla character to the finish while a soft herbal bitterness plays on the finish like mint julep cocktails.

Its rich finish aligns the beer's taste more with strong ale and barleywine than of cream ale. Though the beer never looses its corn richness, the character of strength, spice, coffee and oak certainly hurl the beer into another stratosphere. Its strong sweetness is unwavering and the taste registers cloyingly sweet and heavy on the throat. Certainly not a "drinkable" ale, reserve this one for sipping and savoring for more of a focus on its immense culinary art.

Apr 21, 2016
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Jason from Massachusetts

4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz can, sample from the brewery.

Bright golden color, thin lacing that stays around. Smells and tastes like some form of mint cordial, incredibly smooth and creamy. Kiss of wood and a mild maltiness that holds things together. Very warming and slightly sweet. Beers like this are way too much fun, share with friends because most likely if they are not a beer geek like you their mind might be more blown that you can imagine ... mine is.

Apr 10, 2016
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Mateo2699 from Texas

3.79/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into snifter. Interesting golden, copper color. Slightly murky with black ground pepper looking debris floating around in it. Very unfiltered looking.

Smell is nice subtle mint. Some cinnamon, rice milk, half and half.

Taste is more mint and cream. Reminds me of Christmas, with some nutmeg and nice warm spices. Getting some nice oak and wood as well.

Mouthfeel is somewhat thick and very creamy.

Not a fan of cream ales but this isn't bad at all.

Apr 06, 2016
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PHBoiler from Illinois

4.19/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

This was a very fun and interesting drinking experience especially compared to Regular Coffee. The nutmeg and mint absolutely shine on the nose. The flavors really elevate the coffee as well. I still couldn't drink a full can myself given the bold flavors and high alcohol. Very well executed and interesting.

Apr 04, 2016
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agreenman19 from Connecticut

4.61/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

L - pours a murky copper gold. Slightly opaque and not much head retention. Has some serious legs though!

S - spearmint and black coffee. Milky sweetness, like drizzling caramel over my latte.

T - more of that minty freshness! An insane amount of peppermint leaves my throat feeling cool after a deep breath. Some christmas-y flavors of nutmeg and clove. Creamy sugar- I can see where the whipped cream comes from in the description. Tastes nothing like a cream ale! None of that stale caramely breadiness. I cannot believe this is 12%! I could drink this all day and would probably die.

F - creamy but on point. Complements the sharp minty blast nicely. Low carbonation.

O - this one is damn drinkable. Can't get over the Thin Mint creme-de-menthe flavor and aroma. Wild.

Mar 23, 2016
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Slack from Virginia

3.82/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Deep amber in color and opaque with no head or lacing

Nose is oak and nutmeg. Mint is also there but minimal.

Taste is a mixture of nutmeg and mint up front with coffee in the middle and a oaky sugary finish.

Mouthful is medium and creamy. Carbonation is medium as well. Finish is warming and cloying.

This is a pretty good cream ale especially when cold. When it warms, it isn't as good IMO. The flavor profile is good but a little unbalanced. It is worth trying if available but I think regular coffee is far superior.

Mar 20, 2016
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HopBomb515 from New Jersey

4.28/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Deep orange and hazy with a small white head that fades quickly leaving some spotty lace. Notes of coffee, cream, mint, oak, spice, and light roast. Light prick of carbonation goes creamy and leaves dry. Fantastic change of pace from run of the mill coffee beers.

Mar 18, 2016
Irish Coffee from Carton Brewing Company
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 186 ratings