Fuel Cafe (Coffee Flavored Stout) | Lakefront Brewery, Inc.

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Fuel Cafe (Coffee Flavored Stout)Fuel Cafe (Coffee Flavored Stout)

Brewed by:
Lakefront Brewery, Inc.
Wisconsin, United States

Style: American Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
This unique stout combines the flavor of roasted malts and Milwaukee's renowned Fuel Cafe coffee. Pours a deep, dark color with a beautiful creamy tan head.

Coffee aromas dominate the nose, with a background of roasted grain. The fine balance of mild hops, the gentle acidity of choice coffee and the full mouth feel from roasted malt barley make this an unforgettable brew.

Added by Winter on 02-26-2002

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Reviews: 437 | Ratings: 1,011
Photo of GRG1313
2.06/5  rDev -38.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours black with a short tan head.

Nose is fruity coffee but simple and light and not assertive.

Mouthfeel is thin and watery with no character or substance.

Flavors are simple citric bitter light coffee with a very short club soda water finish. Not for me.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.34/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours an almost opaque super dark crimson-brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, and coffee bean aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa and slightly acidic coffee flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer that is drinkable but the coffee presence is better in the smell in my opinion.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.68/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This poured out as a nice looking black color with a tan colored head. The lacing wasn't too bad on the glass. The smell of the beer was full of coffee and other roasted aromas. The taste of the beer had a good amount of coffee flavoring along with some chocolate bitterness in there too. The mouthfeel of the beer was average, there wasn't too much in way of complexity in this brew. Overall it's ok but I wouldn't have to buy it again.

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Photo of metter98
3.45/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer poured practically near black in color (a hint of amber was showing at the edges) with a finger-sized mocha head. A thin layer of bubbles consistently covered the surface.
S: There is a light aroma of dark roasted malts in the nose with some notes of coffee.
T: The overall taste has flavors of dark roasted malts along with some hints of chocolate and coffee.
M: It feels light-bodied on the palate and very creamy and smooth, yet very much thin.
D: The beer is very easy to drink; the flavor is good but it doesn't have a lot of body.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.38/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

I don't get to try too much from Lakefront brewery (only their sorghum beer is available in my own town). Pours black.. and I mean black, with a nice light brown head. Smell is of roasted nuts.. smells like coffee.. what a surprise!! Taste is.. a lot of coffee. While I'm not a big coffee person, I don't necessarily hate the flavor. I'm sure this beer would taste a lot better if I did enjoy coffee more. As it is, it is pretty smooth with a nice creamy mouthfeel but its quite heavy on the coffee flavor. Also, the flavor of coffee does linger in your mouth for an unusually long time.. nice to try if you like coffee.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.56/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A simple yet flavorful Coffee Stout that showcases a deliate balance between coffee and malt.

The beer pour very impressively. Dark brown and completely opaque. A lightly browned head forms and retains in a very sturdy and moussey way. Great lacing and light legging.

Aromas of wet grain and earthiness are a bit distracting at first. But after the beer breathes for a bit, the malty and coffee notes emerge. The roast from the stout-like grains are subdued. No real ester or hop profile.

Flavors of coffee rise just ahead of the roasted grains, giving the balance tilted slightly toward the spicy and bitter coffee flavor. Toast, roast, and campfire notes give complexity to the beer and keeps the coffee from complete domination. Bitter mostly from the coffee, but in complimentary ways from hops and the acrid roast. Cocoa and light ash also give background flavors.

Medium body sometimes seems lighter because of the coffee thinning. Creamy carbonation keeps the beer from completely loosing its texture. The roast sometimes seems astringent and bitey without the extra firmness of a more malty base beer.

Like many other Lakefront beers, the maltiness waivers a bit at mid-palate, allowing for a grain character to a bit more of an impact than I prefer.

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Photo of biboergosum
4/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, a single procured from the only store currently around that breaks down expensive Yankee import six-packs. In Calgary. Shame, Edmonton.

This beer pours a rather opaque black, with slight basal cola highlights, and one finger of thinly creamy beige head, which leaves some low-lying shoreline lace around the glass as it slinks away. Weirdly Guinness like.

It smells strongly of bitter, astringent espresso, chocolate malt, a bit of dark sugary fruit, and sort of acidic, leafy hops. The taste is more pungent bittersweet coffee grinds, 2 creams, 1 sugar, caramel malt, understated milk chocolate, a bit of overwhelmed earthy hops, and a mild alcohol warming.

The carbonation is well on the soft side, the body a decent medium weight, and deftly smooth. It finishes off-dry, as the coffee, tempered malt, and dry chocolate still predominate.

Not being a fan of coffee in any of its myriad forms, I still find this to be a pleasant enough stout - flavourful, and enjoyable. Worthy of picking up, for javaheads and anyone else.

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Photo of brentk56
3.45/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a black/dark brown color with a modest and quickly fading tan head; some splashes of lace

Smell: More like a dark fruit aroma than coffee - prune juice, perhaps?

Taste: Starts with a black bread flavor; after the swallow the prune fruitiness jumps in, followed by a hint of coffee; the finish is surprisingly sour

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: I can finish this one but would not seek out another

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Photo of emerge077
3.68/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle notched: May Wk4

A coffee stout for the masses. The unwashed masses that inhabit the countercultural Milwaukee institution that is Fuel Cafe.

Out of the bottle, there is a billowing mocha-tinged head of foam. Looks similar to a root-beer float, minus the root-beer and ice-cream. Very deep dark stout, with slight brown highlights in the light. Sadly, the head fades to nothing after a few swigs.

Smells like a malted milk ball, with an earthy, vegetal note when swirling.

The coffee is there, it may be the age, but it gives a more sour impression than i'm used to in a coffee stout (not a bad thing). There's a round, medium mouthfeel. Pretty malty. Easily drinkable, most likely better on tap.

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Photo of zeff80
3.89/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a jet black color with a small, fizzy, caramel colored head. It left small traces of lace.

S - It smelled of chocolate, coffee and caramel.

T - It tasted of coffee with a bitter kick. Chocolate flavors added some sweetness along with a subtle caramel taste. Maybe a little vanilla taste, too.

M - It was soft and smooth. Somewhat thick and medium-bodied.

D - This is a pretty good coffee flavored stout. I enjoyed it better than some. The coffee flavor isn't overdone.

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Photo of nickfl
3.67/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Pours with a minimal layer of brown foam and an opaque, black body.

S - Light aroma of coffee and bittersweet chocolate. Distinctly nutty with some wet earth undertones.

T - Flavor of sweetened black coffee up front, mostly roast flavor without much chocolate. Some nutty chocolate flavors appear in the middle. Coffee and toffee in the finish with some lingering acidity.

M - High carbonation and a medium to thin body. Heavy sweetness in the body, but a reasonably dry finish.

D - Ok drinkability. The coffee character in this beer leaves something to be desired. It is assertive but nondiscript and lacks the depth of coffee character that the few excellent coffee stouts possess. The weakest point is its almost artificial tasting sweetness, but that flaw is mitigated by a quite pleasantly flavored coffee finish. The overall impression is a bit strange; this beer isn't really all that great while you are drinking it, but the finish and lingering coffee aftertaste are very nice.

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Photo of mothman
3.32/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into Darkness snifter

Pours a half finger of tan head that fades down very fast to a ring around the edge of the glass. Leaves a slight amount of lace. Color is a deep black.

Aroma: Espresso, chocolate, and coffee. Lots of roasted malts and earthy hops. Some syrupy caramel notes as well.

Taste: Lots of sharp coffee with bright earthy hops. Chocolate and roasted malts as well. Some caramel in the background. I also got some raisins and cherries.The taste seems to be a little light. It is good, but needs to be bigger for a stout.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, bubbly, and a tad crisp. Very roasted feel to it. A medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends dry with a roasted malt aftertaste.

Overall, this beer has potential, but it is just too light. I loved the aroma, but then I got to the taste and it was just didn't pack the punch I was expecting. Still, fairly decent.

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Photo of oberon
2.3/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

My first offering from Lakefront and to be honest it likely wont be remembered,poured an ink black with a thin quick to fade mocha colored head that left no trace as it settled.Hmm something is off in the nose it has almost a sour lactic quality to it wich isnt very appealing in a stout some roastiness and mocha java qualities show thru as it warms a bit but still that sourness never really fades.Way to thin and prickley in the mouth pretty much water fizz,no depth in flavors light roastiness and earth.Ouch this is really bad and I hope to forget about it quickly this is a drain pour.

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Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, best before 11/12/2015. Pours fairly clear dark reddish brown color with a 1-2 finger dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of milk chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, toffee, toast, brown bread, light nuttiness, light herbal, and roast/toasted earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roast/bready malt and coffee notes; with solid strength. Taste of milk chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, toffee, toast, brown bread, light nuttiness, light herbal, and roast/toasted earthiness. Light-moderate herbal/roasted coffee bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of milk chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, toffee, toast, brown bread, and roast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Nice robustness, compelxity, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt and coffee flavors; with a good roasted bitterness/sweetness balance and no cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth and moderately creamy mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a nice coffee porter. All around good robustness, complexity, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt and coffee flavors; and very smooth and easy to drink for the ABV. It is labeled as a stout, but the malt profile feels much more like a porter; but still a nicely enjoyable offering as it is.

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Photo of jlindros
3.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled the first week of March. Thank you for putting the bottling date!

It pours a decent 1.5 finger somewhat thick and frothy darker colored head that bubbles away at a decent rate. The beer is just about pitch black, with essentially no light getting through, except a few small bubbles at the very bottom of the glass allowing a touch of light to permeate.

It has mostly dark malt aromas, as expected. Lots of roast, and tons of coffee, some light bakers chocolate, some creamy aromas like a milk chocolate, a little bitterness and acidity seem to be present too, light sweetness and caramel, not bad. So far I'm not sure why this only has a B- for rating.

The taste doesn't hold up as well as the aroma did. It has some malts, roasted and chocolate, a little bakers chocolate, some coffee but not nearly as much as I expected. It also has some bitterness, mostly coming from the roasted malts. A little sweetness and slight creaminess. But from there it goes kinda bleh. Hard to explain, but let's see. It has a weird almost oxidized roundness to it, a little bit of an unpleasant bitterness too. An interesting mineral flavor too, not really the salty minerality you get a lot from heavy roasts, but a different mineral flavor. Some of the coffee flavors and acidity come through more and more as it goes that also come on a little too sharp.

The mouth isn't bad with a heavier to medium body with decent carbonation.

It finishes fairly bitter, again mostly from the scorched malts. Somewhat dry but a slight lingering sticky sweetness with like a corn syrup or dark syrup. A little bit of lingering creamy taste with a little chocolate and lingering roast. Some coffee flavors lingering as well. There's also a long late lingering earthy roasted coffee bean flavor that just sticks to the mouth for a while.

Not sure what is bad about this beer. I'll have to read some of the other reviews. It's a pretty tasty beer IMO, and only has a slight off flavor variation in the taste, mostly from the coffee I believe.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.88/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fuel Cafe pours from the bottle as might be expected, bringing up a full, frothy head of creamy tan over its dark brown-black body. The head holds well, especially given that the oils in coffee would normally kill it, and it leaves some very nice Brussels lace about the glass as it goes. The aroma is more of stout than Starbucks, but there is coffee there, and it is noticeable. In the mouth, the coffee flavor somes on strong with an almost expresso-like character. It acts as the centerpiece, and also the back bone, to the rich maltiness. Some notes of dark, soft caramel and rich chocolate bouy it, and it's quite pleasant and intriguing. Many coffee-flavored beers can push the beans really well, but all too often they end up being just a little too much on the palate as you progress through the glass - even a little too acidic at times, but that's not the case here. Instead, it's fairly well balanced between malt and coffee, and the roastiness and acidity never overpower. Very nicely rounded, I could see having more than one of these in a row, although not too often. Perhaps during a cold winter storm, or a night at the pub with the lads. And I'd certainly be up for buying a six-pack to keep in the fridge for special occassions. Worth trying.

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Photo of chinchill
3.33/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle bottled in November 2010 and served in a pint glass.

Pours opaque and nearly black with a towering head that quickly settles to a rather thin, creamy, resilient, dark tan top

Aroma has coffee and dark roasted malts in about equal strengths. However, the coffee component becomes dominant in the taste and even more dominant in the aftertaste.

T- As advertised, there is plenty of coffee flavor this brew. Too much black coffee in that it doesn't allow the dark malt to shine as it should in a stout. Aftertaste of coffee with some faint roasted malt and fainter hops and smoke. More bitter and sour than sweet.

M - smooth but with some hops/carbonation tingle; semi-dry finish. Near medium body.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a short light brown head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of coffee, roasted malts and a touch of fruit but a bit metallic.

T: The taste is creamy with a strong flavor of roasted coffee beans and a very hearty malt character as you would expect. The hops presence is mild and there just a little bit of sweetness, but there is enough of both to provide some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: A little tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, it's a decent beer but there are several other coffee-flavored beers that I would choose first.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.97/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rumor has this may be an older bottle, but when pressed as to the exact date, my friend politely told me to "mind my own business."

Appearance: Pours a black body with a thin, wispy, beige head.

Smell: Malty nose smelling primarily of chocolate, with lesser notes of roast, nuts, and fruit.

Taste: Chocolate-covered coffee beans with a hint of licorice, almonds, and even prunes. Tiny, tiny blip of acidity. Mild hops with a small tingle of bitterness. Roasty, chocolaty finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Slightly creamy mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Decent enough! Definitely easy drinking, particularly with the restrained ABV.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.71/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours an opaque yet still clear extremely dark brown approaching black in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation rising along the edges of the glass and moderate cola brown + garnet red highlights. The beer has a finger tall foamy tan head that reduces to a large patch of thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of roasted malts with slightly stronger than moderate aromas of freshly brewed coffee.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of roasted malt and chocolate malts with a light hint of sweetness. That is followed by slightly stronger than moderate flavors of freshly brewed coffee. Light to moderate amounts of roasty bitterness which lingers for a short while.

M: Just shy of medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Thin/slightly watery.

O: Easy to drink with well hidden alcohol and enjoyable flavors/aromas but way too thin in the mouthfeel in my opinion.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.48/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Lightless dark walnut with dusky gold edges. In fact, the beer looks like iced coffee except for the head. The cap of foam is large after a vigorous pour, is coffee-with-cream in color and is impressively frothycreamy, like hazelnut mousse. Arcing strands of soapy lace decorate the glass and add to the attractive appearance.

It seems to me that a coffee-flavored stout should smell more like coffee than this. The nose is low on power and consists primarily of roasted black malt and smoke. I was a little surprised by that second one, but I detect a definite hint of bacon grease. Mmm... bacon. Even more reason to consider this a breakfast beer.

Fuel Cafe is more sour than expected and not quite as stout. Man oh man, the smoky bacon is now rampant on the palate. I can't believe that actual smoked malt was used, but I'm here to say that this beer is more rauch-like than many rauchbiers. I'm still not impressed with the coffee, especially since I'm having trouble detecting it.

The flavor profile is interesting even if it isn't all that delicious. There's something to be said for interesting though, it keeps me drinking and thinking, drinking and thinking... trying to sort out the oddities and idiosyncrasies of this most unconventional stout. Upon further reflection, the sourness is somewhat phenolic, almost like Islay whisky without the peatiness or the alcoholic power.

The body is just barely able to mingle among the other stout bodies in the stout locker-room without being embarrassed by its size. It's just about where I like my porters to be, but then I have a big body bias (with beer, not women). The low level of carbonation keeps it in the realm of acceptable.

Fuel Cafe Coffee Stout is a strange beast in that it isn't very coffee-like at all. An ounce of Peche Mortel per bottle ought to fix it right up. My two other experiences with Lakefront beer (Organic ESB, Pumpkin Lager) were less than happy ones. This beer though, while a bit bizarre, is worth a purchase if only to see just how bizarre it really is. Don't worry, there's still some enjoyment to be had.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.32/5  rDev +28.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

dark black with nearly no light at all shining through on this one. Rich tan colored head of about two inches quickly settled down to about a half inch of tan that thoroughly coated the inside of the glass. This was what the style is all about!

The aroma was just loaded down with coffee. Rich notes of mocha mixes in with a rich, and sweet coffee note. A tiny bit of bitterness and an earthy flare lying down underneath of it, but the majority of this one was hands down, rich brewed coffee. The flavor was more of the same. Rich notes just rolled over the tongue in waves and thoroughly coated the inside of the mouth. Sweet with touches of chocolate and vanilla to highlight the coffee notes,

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Photo of russpowell
2.53/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured ink black with a hige tan head that retained well ans showed great lacing on the bottom side of the pint glass

Smell: Roasted coffee and slight roasted grain smell

Taste: Reminds me of coffee that's been cold after being schorched for 4+ hours, nasty. Some sweetness in the finish, not enough

MF: Thin and under carbonated

This is by far the worst coffee stout/porter I've had ( out of about 6). The one that work, well like the red hook expresso stout use the coffee as an enhancer, this tastes likes the coffee with beer added as an afterthought. Plus it did a terrible job of waking me up!

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Photo of billab914
3.42/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Cigar City pint glass. it poured dark brown in color with a modest tan head barely covering the top of it.

The aroma has a sweeter, milk stout like quality to it with some lactose showing through. I get more milky chocolate to it than I do the coffee. I little bit of the roasty, bitter flavors of the coffee poke through through.

The taste also has a sweeter, milk stout character to it right off the bat. Like the nose, I get some lactose as well as milk chocolate in it. I get some lighter, roasty and bitter coffee flavors that start to come in towards the finish. The coffee flavors are very light for a coffee beer though.

The mouthfeel is on the lighter side for the style, and carbonation is moderate. Overall, it wasn't one of my favorite coffee infused beers, but it was a decent American/milk stout. Easy drinking, slightly sweet, with some decent chocolate flavors.

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Photo of smcolw
3.82/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good start to the head although the head is non-existent. The color is just off-black.

Not much coffee aroma...far closer to dark chocolate.

OK, I like this more than their traditional Irish Stout, Snake Chaser. To me, it is richer and more flavorful. I'm not a fan of coffee and this doesn't have any discernable pure coffee flavor outside of the typical black patent tastes. A nice touch of hop for balance.

This is the stout from Lakefront that I'd like to try against other stouts.

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Fuel Cafe (Coffee Flavored Stout) from Lakefront Brewery, Inc.
3.36 out of 5 based on 1,011 ratings.
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