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: 438 | Ratings: 1,017
Photo of JLaw55
3/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not a bad coffee stout, I have had better versions though. If you are really into organic products though, this is the way to go.

Good, but there are other coffee stouts that I can get much easier.

Would Drink Again: Yes
Would Purchase Again: No

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

Ratings on this beer do not do it justice. Roasted malt and coffee flavors mix well, resulting in a pleasant drinking experience. Will pickup again.

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Photo of M_J_Z
3.29/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Drinking this as I type this review on 12/26/14. Got this as an "extra" via trade earlier this year and finally am checking it out.

Nothing stands out about this one. Pretty average coffee-flavored beer, in my opinion. I'm not sure it should be called a stout; it reminds me more of a brown ale.

The coffee flavor is nice but nothing extraordinary. I will down this entire bottle since the beer tastes good. This meets my expectations for a trade "extra" added by someone I traded with for the first time. Try it if you like coffee beers, but don't expect much. This is pretty standard, or in the neighborhood of standard, give or take a little.

3.25-3.5 stars.

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Photo of scotorum
3.84/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

No bottling date info visible, purchased about a month ago in a mixed sixpack.

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a Samuel Adams nonick.

a; Black with clear ruby highlights when seen through light. Finger thick tan head receded to thin surface foam and spotty lacing.

s: Mild coffee and chocolate.

t: Chocolate and smoke with some mild hop bite for balance. Dry finish.

m: A smooth medium with good body and carbonation tingle.

o: A very drinkable stout. Little indication of the presence of coffee other than in the initial aroma, but a solid example of the stout style. Perhaps age muted the coffee flavor.

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Photo of JamesMN
3.3/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Bottled 9/3/14.

Appearance: Black/brown body with a head of tan foam.

Aroma: Cream, coffee, roasted malt.

Taste: Watery black coffee with roasty malt. Some nice grassy hop bitterness. Not really balanced as the hops shine through the seemingly thin malt bill. Thin finish, cream and coffee aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Just below medium in body. Decent drinkability though a bit over carbonated.

Final Thoughts: Another decent stout with added coffee. Sort of a popular style these days. Would I drink it again? Meh.

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Photo of Stevedore
3.89/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. Dated 9/23/2014. Poured into a snifter 10/20/2014.

A- Dark black body, two finger light brown head with a lot of retention time. Not much lacing. [3.5]

S- Roast malt, black coffee, slightly burnt grain, earthy hops. Smells good, not complex, but exactly what is advertised. [3.75]

F- Milk chocolate sweetness, bitter black coffee, roast malts. Bitter burnt malt and earthy hops on the finish. This is a more than solid combination of flavours, I'm enjoying this one quite a bit, certainly tastes better than it smells. [4]

M- Thinner bodied, though closer to medium than straight up thin, about par for the American Stout style. Just enough carbonation to keep it crisp and refreshing. A good characteristic to have in a coffee stout. [3.75]

O- Pretty good coffee stout. Plenty of coffee, plenty of roast malt. Just about what you'd expect from an above-average, tasty coffee stout. This packs more flavour than our more local New Glarus Coffee Stout, but it hits you a little bit more quickly. Surprising that it isn't as well-received as I'd expect based on my review, but then again Lakefront has a tendency to be underrated. [4]

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Photo of GRPunk
3.84/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle (04/17/13) poured into Sam Smith's imperial pint.

A- A normal pour creates 1-1/2 fingers of dark tan head. The body is dark brown, nearing black. Head drops to a thin film. Very light lacing left on the glass.

S- Lots of coffee and dark chocolate. Dark roasted and strong. Very aromatic.

T- As the aroma suggests. Clearly infused with coffee, an underlying chocolate quality, and hints of vanilla. Definite dark roasted malts as well.

M- Medium body with moderate carbonation. Light tingle.

O- Very nice coffee stout. I particularly like the pricing point (1.59 for the bottle at Copper Vine). While not a deal breaker for me, the USDA Organic stamp is a bonus. Maybe not quite up to the Bell's or Dark Horse versions, but very drinkable.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.3/5  rDev -1.8%

Pours a thin tan head on a dark brown colored body.
The aroma is a nice mixture of dark chocolate, roasted malt and milk.
The taste has lots of coffee notes: bitter dark chocolate, sweet roasted malt and milk. Mild bitterness at the end.
The texture is crisp with a soft edge.
Great aroma and a descent tasting beer.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.22/5  rDev -4.2%

Serving Style : 12 oz glass bottle from The World Market

Appearance : n/a

Smell (3.5) : Roasted bitter coffee beans, hint of cocoa, mocha, some sour malts.

Taste (3) : Smooth and much like iced coffee. Cocoa and malts first, a little grain, and then bitter roasted beans at the end, like chewing a coffee bean. For the finish, roasted caramel coffee settles on the palette leaving a good aftertaste. Everything is good except for the "coffee bean chewed up" taste at the tail end.

Mouthfeel (3) - A little creamy. But overall watery, iced coffee-like. Just a hint of prickly carbonation. Finishes mildly dry. Again like a coffee bean. Not great, just...okay.

Overall (3.22) - Not a beer I'd buy again but it was an interesting tryout. I get an image of sitting by a fire on a cold winters' night drinking this beer with family and friends. But of course there's winter lagers for that.

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Photo of wac9
2.06/5  rDev -38.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

coffee coffee coffee the over powering smell of coffe the overpowering taste of coffe thats all i can say it gags me i cant get tatse out of my mouth i got nothing more to say about it skip it and try another beer they make others but this one doesnt work for me the coffee lingers too long in my mouth

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Photo of zimm421
2.92/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter. Appears a dark brown, but not quite black, color with a small tan head, that dissipates quickly, leaving a nice ring around the glass, and touches of lacing. The pour was a much lighter color than expected here.

The nose is very weak, with the roasted malts taking the lead. It's tough to get anything else here, and the coffee is non-existent. The taste is pretty sharp for a stout; definitely not the smooth roasted malt profile you're looking for. There's definitely bitterness from those roasted malts, which tells me it just needs to be handled a bit differently. Again, the coffee is absent, which is disappointing. There's just not a lot going on here...

The mouthfeel is quite thin for a stout, with active carbonation playing on the palate. Overall, this is a very disappointing brew. The lack of coffee presence, and the lack of complexities in the stout as a whole make it something not really worth drinking.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.41/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

APPEARANCE: A dark brown color with an light tan foam, carbonation appears strong. Good clarity, head retention is less than average.

SMELL: Coffee, Malt, and Chocolate Liquor aromas are the standouts in the nose.

TASTE: The taste is roasted and bitter, with some iced coffee elements as well. Coffee grounds, raw chocolate, char, and dark breads round out the brew firmly. Though ample bitterness exists, the hop flavor is rather muted. Coffee flavors are not as strong as other stouts brewed with it, but certainly agreeable nonetheless.

FEEL: Medium bodied, well carbonated feel with coffee lingering in the after taste.

OVERALL: Fuel Cafe delivers on the promise of an accessible coffee beer, and it works, but doesn't take it to the next level like some gourmet coffee brews. Barrel aging or adding more quality ingredients could really develop this one into something special.

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Photo of KTCamm
3.54/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Served from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. 3/16

Pours black, some fizzy tan foam on top but mostly settled and gone. Dark chocolate nose, some coffee. Stout taste, coffee flavored, light bitter. A little buttery. Taste fades, not abrupt. Becomes more coffee like over time. Lightly carbonated. Good.

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Photo of thecheapies
3.64/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Very dark brown. Head looks foamy and slowly fizzles away. Still keeping a medium-sized cap on top for insulation. Looks like a porter.

Coffee beans, earthy hops, caramel malt, moderate roast, and some tobacco. Has a burnt sugar vibe to the nose. Slightly herbal, too. Faint whiff of mole smoke. As it warms, there's a hint of artificial cherry that bleeds through, although I'm sure it's an unintended byproduct.

Kind of a cross between a coffee stout and a Belgian Dark Ale. There's some yeasty phenol thing happening in the finish that produces notes of dark fruits and lingering medicinal flavors. Forefront is all coffee with a roastiness in the middle that fades to malt bitterness before black cherry and plum make brief cameos. Gets more charred as it warms, where I'm now welcoming true stout-like flavors. Earthy hops get in there with some husky roughness, but I really dig them. I don't know if this was trying to be a little hoppy, but the hops I get stand out enough where some meddling caramelized grain sugars want to get all perky. Almost robust, and in the feel too, almost robust. The body is medium speed and the carbonation has a little grittiness. Feels good in the mouth, and is easy to drink, easy to gulp down.

No real complaints, just not as ballsy as a beer called 'Fuel Cafe' should be. Still, a worthy coffee stout.

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Photo of Franziskaner
3.33/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Dark brown in color with a fairly limited amount of light breaching this beverage. The khaki colored head quickly dissipates to the point that it only just covers the majority of the top. Aroma is faint but is a blend of roasted barley and coffee. The flavor is predominantly bitter dark roasted coffee and yet the back of the palate is a bit on the sweet end with plum like notes. The mouth is a bit oily and viscous.

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Photo of samtrillo
3.66/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up at Cost Plus World Market.

The Coffee flavor grows more noticeable the more you drink and closer to room temp it gets.
It's not overpowering with stout flavor or mouthfeel. Medium to light body with lots of carbonation. Like another reviewer said could be considered a "sessionable" coffee stout. As much as that's a buzz word in this situation.
If you like coffee and beer and coffee stouts you'll enjoy the drinkability of this one, don't expect to be wowed with stout attributes. More of coffee brown ale or porter.

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Photo of MaximalC
3.48/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours seal brown with peripheral transparency and a thin cap of beige foam. Aroma smells of coffee, toffee, and salted caramel.

The taste is surprisingly mild compared to the aroma, with gentle flavors of coffee and roasted malt, and a semi-sweet, slightly nutty finish. The body is relatively thin and the mouthfeel slightly overcarbonated, lending a drinking experience more akin to a brown ale than a stout. The bitterness of the coffee is held in check well, avoiding the cloying acridity that so often accompanies coffee-flavored beers.

Fidelity notwithstanding, this is a surprisingly drinkable coffee stout--dare I say sessionable--if one avoids excessive warming.

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Photo of SamN
3.11/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours a bit thin looking, with a crackling, active head that manages to stick around for longer than expected. Deep dark hazel brown color, a deep garnet/reddish hue to light. Decent looks, smell is a bit odd, almost a smokey-fish smell initially. Hint of peppers in there, but devoid of heat. Grainy smells, a bit of coffee in there, too. Taste offers more than the aroma, with some decent coffee flavors and dark roasted grains. I still taste a sort of hollow peppers, no heat just the pepper essence. Is that the hops? The hops in this beer, seem buried, with only a bit of their potential peeking out from beneath the malt and roasted tastes. Taste is a bit scatterted, directionless. Wide array of flavors that don't quite mesh together. A "coffee stout" is a stretch.

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Photo of MartzMimic
3.04/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a deep brown with a foamy brown head. Smells of coffee, chocolate and a bit of malt. Big dark-roasted coffee taste that overpowers everything else. Very little bitterness. Slightly sweet. Medium mouth, but not very oily. Coffee stouts have to strike a good balance to be noteworthy. This one is missing the stout.

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Photo of joeseppy
4.1/5  rDev +22%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Dark brown pour with minimal mocha head and retreats to the rim and lasts. Wispyness on the top.

The aroma steals the show here. First beer that came to mind was Peruvian Morning by Central Waters in all it's creamy chocolate goodness smattered with quality coffee as you would smell from a fresh ground bag.

Not as sweet as the aroma but I can appreciate the slightly bitter coffee with hints of dark chocolate. An artificial sweetener like aftertaste.

Mouthfeel thin for a stout and the carbonation holds well throughout. Lacking in the malt department. Coffee does linger well also.

I was Jonesing for a coffee stout tonight and wanting something new so I bought this. I got home, saw the score and became disappointed immediately but jumped in with an open mind. IMO this brew is soooo underrated. This is a straight forward, no frills, no nonsense coffee brown, although it claims stout. Only two things hold this back for me-one is the sweetener aftertaste and the other is the thin structure, but hey, neither bother me. This you can literally have in the morning and get a nice buzz to carry you-if you were inclined to do so. Hell, Mikkeller could put this brew in bourbon barrels for a week and sell this for about 6 bucks @ 12oz and receive accolades-I think you get my point. This Fuel Cafe sixpack is at a great price, a Mikkellerish like coffee stout (c'mon some of those overrated), Peruvian Morning aroma, not infected make this a click to pick!

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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 DerekQXQX
3.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this on Nitro. It was pretty good. When a stout is on nitro, the coffee taste stands out. My girlfriend didn't try this one. She pouted and got mad. We went to comet cafe after this and I bought her a canvas bag. This kind of changed her mood.

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Photo of Beric
3.73/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Serving: Nitro-tap, 6oz sampler from brewery tour
Served: 3 January 2014

Appearance: Magnificent nitro-head when this one pours. Takes what seems to be an eternity to finally settle into something other than nitro-foam. Dirty white one finger head that sticks around for an eternity. Lacing evident even in the plastic sampler cup they give you. Looks spectacular.

Smell: Not much of a nose on this one. Faint coffee smells and some sweetness but that's about it. Maybe the nitro head just doesn't let the same sort of bouquet come through?

Taste: Coffee, coffee, and more coffee. Almost tastes like coffee ice cream melted down. Not really able to taste much "stout" here at all, actually. Odd.

Mouthfeel: Stouts on nitro are always damn smooth and delicious.

Overall: Generally, I can't see why this beer is rated as low as it is here. It's a solid offering, but one that could use just a little tweaking. More roasted malt would really make this beer take the cake- there just isn't enough "stout" happening in this beer for me. An offering with a higher proportion of roasted/smoked malt would make this one golden.

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Photo of socon67
3.83/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - Black pour with a thin brown foam. Pours relatively thin. Minimal lacing and carbonation.

S - Scents of roasted malt and coffee. Nice aroma, but not particularly complex.

T - Rich malt that has notes of chocolate. The finish has some coffee flavors, and gives a mild bitterness & roasted taste.

M - I find this thin for a porter, let alone a stout (the whole porter\stout debate not withstanding). However it is a sessionable beer, and one that is good to finish the night with in your mug.

O - The first time I had this was at the Brickskeller in DC and it holds some nostalgia for that reason, although even at that time I knew there were much better coffee stouts out there. Coming back to it I appreciate Fuel for what it is as an easy drinking stout with some coffee flavor. It is worth trying it you frame it from that perspective.

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Photo of dacrza1
2.59/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

DATE TASTED: December 20, 2013... GLASSWARE: Guinness pint...OCCASION: let the Christmas season celebration season begin!... APPEARANCE: jet black body--no daylight--with a dominant, three-finger brown head that settles to a beautifully even line'; no lacing, though .. AROMA: peppercorn, vanilla bean and coffee; creamy latte also works its way in; the combination is not altogether appealing... PALATE: a warming, rather thin body; slickly moves down the throat; mellows and remains drinkable, but not an impressive strength...TASTE: whoa--complex and intense--the coffee isn't pronounced, but creates a funky, briny stringently medicinal quality; a bit of a downer... OVERALL: surprisingly, a Lakefront bummer--the overall effect neither promotes the coffee or the stout aspects...

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Fuel Cafe (Coffee Flavored Stout) from Lakefront Brewery, Inc.
3.36 out of 5 based on 1,017 ratings.
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