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: 1,018
Photo of buschbeer
3.92/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 4

12 FL. OZ. bottle
Served in a perfect pint glass

A - It is dark with ruby highlights when held to the light. It is capped with an inch of tan head the disappears quickly.

S - It get a big nose full of coffee aroma. After it warms more I smell some chocolate.

T - It has a huge coffee flavor. It is bitter at first, but some sweeter coffee flavors come in later.

M - Medium which I think is thin for a stout.

O - I am not sure why this beer is rated so poorly. I thought the flavor and aroma were great. It was pretty thin for a stout, but other than that I enjoyed it.

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Photo of martyl1000
3.92/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The aroma comes with a lot of roasted coffee, bit of water-logged wood and a hint of generic sweetness. Nice aroma, beautiful opaque appearance, w/ rootbeer-like fluffy head (large bubbles) but no lacing.

The flavor is solid, but not great. Rather simplistic: coffee and roasted malt. What will be worth coming back to is the strong stout/coffee character lasts beyond the first couple of sips, unlike so many low-ABV stouts that peter out after the first couple of sips. I'm fairly pleased with this beer.

The moderate carbonation gives a refreshing feel.

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Photo of TheChrisK
3.48/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

P: Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Small tan head that fades quickly. Dark and opaque color.

S: A sensible aroma of medium to dark coffee beans.

T: Medium to heavy carbonation that leads into roasted malt and coffee. It has a clean finish with a lasting aftertaste of mild espresso.

M: Lighter than expected for a coffee stout but it goes down smooth and clean.

O: I would prefer it to be a little fuller and thicker but overall it is a good coffee stout. The carbonation was surprisingly stronger than expected but it didn't take away from the flavor.

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Photo of soju6
3.33/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark brown color with a small head that fades to bits of lacing.

S: Aroma of coffee, roasted malt and bit of barley.

T: Taste follows with roasted malt, coffee and some chocolate and the stout warms. Mild bitterness and a clean finish.

F: Moderate body, smooth but with a slight;y grainy feel.

O: Decent beer for the style.

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

12 oz bottle poured into a Lakefront imperial pint.
6.4% ABV

A - Fuel Cafe is completely opaque black with a large tan head that leaves some residual lacing as it goes down slowly.

S - Lakefront's Fuel Cafe smells like cold, bitter coffee slightly overwhelmed by unsweetened dark chocolate and cocoa from the roasted maltiness but at first whiff, it's not an aggressive, bitter roast.

T - Smooth black coffee and dark roasted malts combine for a dark chocolate-covered coffee bean flavor with suggestions of vanilla bean.

M - While the flavor would be considered full, the beer itself is much lighter-bodied than it appears in the pint. Still smooth as velvet and rich in flavor, Fuel Cafe doesn't go down like motor oil but remains balanced with a medium body and trace of sweetness keeping the roasted bitterness in check.

O - Coffee is certainly present in Fuel Cafe but it doesn't punch one in the face with coffee flavor or bitterness, rather, roasted malt incorporates quite a bit of dark chocolate flavor for a stout-leaning coffee beer that's lighter-bodied than it looks.

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Photo of homebrew311
3.4/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.25

Serve on nitro at the brewery. Appearance is black with cascading brown head. Typical creamy nitro appearance with heavy lacing and light brown head. Nose features a moderate level of medium roast coffee with notes if cream and light chocolate. Taste is neutral in the malt department with a light amount of roasted barley followed by significant coffee flavor. The flavors are somewhat subdued here, but what there is is nice. This is more of an easy drinking stout versus a sipper. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, overall, this could benefit form a lot more coffee and roasted malts.

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Photo of Sark
3.24/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Appearance- a soda-esque head with little retention, dark reddish brown

Smell- toasted malts with coffee and chocolate are noted, but this isn't the most aromatic of brews

Taste- definite coffee with slight astringent characters, mid mouth malts and a fast fade out back

Mouthfeel- lots of rough carbonation for a stout, full bodied yet doesn't linger

Overall- I've had much better stouts with more personality

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Photo of Act25
3.23/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

This brewery tried too hard to be original. Evidenced by an 8 pack of crazy 8s!

L: Black as you'd expect, big head at first, but it fades fast and laces medium.

S: Roasty, a bit sour, (even tho a very fresh bottle date), smoke, malt, and as astute BuckeyeNation wrote "bacon grease". A true bfast beer!

Not that strong, and lacks the kind of creamy welcome of best stouts.

T: Follows the nose. A lot of smoke. Tobacco. roast. Again to quote my friend "Drinking and thinking… drinking and thinking" what is it that I am tasting? sour, stinky, but in a peaty, grassy legit way. Interesting. But not inviting me back for another.

F: Too thin. A little astringent. I prefer my stouts malty and creamy.

O: A mysterious and ORGANIC beer, definitely worth a try, but I will not be coming back. Good for a stout taste off, as an out-lier.

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Photo of cyclonece09
3.42/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a 14 oz "pint" glass. Pours pitch black with a small light brown head. Smells of coffee and raisins, interesting combination. Tastes of coffee and slight chocolate, but with a watery taste. Beer is carbonated heavily but full body goes down smooth. Overall, a slightly above average beer.

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Photo of GossageBrewery
2.74/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

This American Coffee Stout poured a dark brown color, produced an average tan head, average retention and it left some lacing on the glass. The aroma consisted of prune juice and a slight hint of coffee beans. Aroma was underwhelming. Medium bodied there is a flavor of dark fruit and some hints of coffee. To thin for my liking- there are much better quality coffee stouts- I would not purchase this again.

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Photo of BierStein711
3.71/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle poured into shaker pint. Jet black beer with two finger beige head, low carbonation

Smell: coffee and booze

Taste: coffee, burnt malt, and a hint of hop at the finish

Mouthfeel: smooth elixir

Overall, this is a fine beer, not glamorous, but good! I'd seek this one out on draught!

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Photo of Axnjxn
3.51/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a brooklyn pint glass. 10/30/12 bottling date

Pours a pitch black with a very mild head. Smell is big on roasted malts, though im not picking up much coffee. Taste is sort of "harsh" for a stout. the cocoa notes are definitely there but again, not much coffee flavor. There is an offputting feel on the nose/back of the throat that hurts drinkability some. Medium bodied/low carbonation.

overall this is a decent beer, just dont go out of your way to try it

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Photo of JordanHageman
4.06/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

If you're looking for a good coffee stout look no further. This is quite good. It's one of two that I've had and I couldn't pick which one I liked more so I'd say try this if you want to get into it. I will say, if you don't like the flavor of coffee do NOT try this because you won't like it. That being said I think it's fairly accessible; I found it at my local Friar Tucks in Fenton. Enjoy!

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Photo of vette2006c5r
3.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Fuel Cafe pours a black color with a smaller lacing head. Their is a sweeter roasted aroma, with hints of coffee. The taste has a mellow sweetness, strong roasted flavors, with good hints of coffee. Nice rather full flavors, a bit too carbonated. Overall a nice easy drinking coffee stout.

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Photo of emyers
3.3/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

Appearance: Near black with a one-finger tan head which dissipates quickly into lacing.

Smell: Coffee up front with roasted malt and a hint of cocoa powder. Not the most complex aroma, but it does deliver the coffee.

Taste: Similar to the smell in that there isn't a whole lot there other than roasted malt and coffee. The coffee flavor is a bit thin as well, almost watered down. No alcohol presence, bittersweet finish. Just not a whole lot there.

Mouthfeel: This is probably the biggest weakness of this beer. It's very thin-bodied, which does not help the watered-down impression I'm getting. High carbonation level only accentuates the thin body.

Overall: Not a bad beer, but there are far, far superior coffee stouts out there. This one just doesn't do a whole lot.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.44/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

Received in trade from bluewolf17, thanks for the opportunity!
Pours a solid black color with a small bubbly tan head that dissipates rather quickly. Smells of slightly acrid coffee with a hint of caramel, but little else. The flavor is an assault of java with a roasty malt edge. Light burnt caramel and dark chocolate malts attempt to provide some balance but aren't strong enough to stand up to the unrelenting coffee bean. Medium to thin body with a light carbonation and a slick almost ashy mouthfeel. Decent enough coffee bomb, but really could use a bit more body and sweetness to help stand up to the acrid and thinning effects of the coffee.

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Photo of Flounder57
3.82/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: This beer poured a small head that reduced quickly to a ring of foam. It is a pitch black color with no clarity or bubbles coming up through the glass.

Smell: Roasted coffee, milk chocolate, and sweet and bready oats.

Taste: Same as above with lingering bitterness from the coffee.

Mouthfeel: Creamy smooth, full bodied, low to medium carbonation, and a little chewy.

Overall: Pretty nice American stout. Coffee bitterness is a bit much, but it is still an enjoyable and drinkable beer.

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Photo of HopHead84
2.89/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75


Thanks! Snifter.

A: Dark brown with a quarter inch of pillowy, bubbly tan foam.

S: The aroma is nutty and earthy with some raw, piney, forest floor earthy notes and a bit of cinnamon (strange). Smells like a roasty watered down coffee with some cinnamon and essence of earth sprinkled in. Pretty standard around the office.

T: Bland watered down coffee flavor with a low bitterness and the thought of the suggestion of chocolate. Lightly earthy with some astringency near the end. Blah.

M: Upper medium body with matching carbonation.

O: Not very good. Not a beer I would ever buy or order on tap if it were available.

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Photo of Murrhey
2.7/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle poured into a conic pint glass in high elevation Libby, Mont. Reviewed live. Bottled in the third week of August, 2012.

A- One-finger thick mocha head with fairly low retention. Lasts 45 seconds. Lacing doesn't cling to the glass. Black beer. No light permeates. Not a top-notch looking brew.

S- Musty coffee smell. Chocolate, toffee, roasted malts but more than anything dark coffee.

T- Not a very rich flavor. Musty and grassy. Burnt coffee flavors. Blech.

M- Grainy and dry finish. Not a great feel.

O- The weakest beer I've had from Lakefront. Maybe it would be better fresh. Right now it tastes like old coffee grounds.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.46/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Been on my tick list for a while so I found a single for 3 bucks.

A - Sweet 1/2 inch of deep mocha head and beer itself is a nice deep black with mild hues of amber at the base. Looks far too good for an "average" beer.
S - Mild notes of coffee and espresso. Some vanilla highlight but it's faint. Not much hops to speak of.
T - Well its a very mild coffee stout yet it's fairly balanced. Sweet vanilla malts and mild bittering hops help to balance the roast and cold coffee taste. Good but not great.
M - Worst part of the beer it is way too thin for a stout to be. Very watery yet somewhat creamy.
Overall not worth a repeated purchase but a great gateway to someone who wants to try a coffee stout.

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Photo of mtboozeaddict41
4.25/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into pint glass
A: extremely thick pour. Beautiful and dark
S: Aromas of thick morning coffee and fresh espresso beans. its like stepping into my favorite coffee shop. Sweet malt
T: Straightforward espresso bean and mocha dominate the palate. Malts don't intrude too far in the way and it just lets the espresso do the talking. Absolutely refreshing for a coffee stout(never thought i'd say that)
M: Great level of pretty strong carbonation has a cleansing effect upon the palate make this also drinkable
O: this is an awesome espresso stout. I wish i could buy this by the case but since I'm huddled away in a whole in Montana this'll have to do. the most concentrated espresso flavor i've had yet in a beer. Good job lakefront, always a fan of your brews

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Photo of MCain04
3.55/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark brown/black, only a half-finger head of light tan, quickly dissipates, minimal lacing.

S: Intensely coffee, old burnt coffee. Dark chocolate. Roasty. Something else seems a little off... kind of like a campfire but not in an appealing sense.

T: Less coffee on the taste than one would expect. A little thin on the taste. Some acidity, a touch of sourness. Roasted barley malts.

M: A little high on the carbonation. Medium-bodied. Wet on the finish.

O: Not terrible, but not something I'd have again. A lot better offerings out there. Definitely an interesting take on a coffee stout.

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Photo of argock
2.87/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into a Duvel tulip. Bottled in Feb (presumably 2012) notched on side of label. Single purchased at Total Wine (Norwalk, CT) for $1.69.

A: Dark brown but far from black with 1-2 finger soft beige head with average retention and no lacing.

S: The aroma is very weak -- mainly hazelnut, spent black coffee grounds, and sour dark malts.

T: The flavor is not terrible but not very strong in the coffee department with a chemical nuttiness, a lot like hazelnut flavored artificial creamer without the creaminess. The sourness is not completely off-putting but is a big detractor, not sure if this is a malt problem or fermentation. The coffee contribution is very weak and really only evident on the aftertaste. Finishes bitterly chalky dry with maybe a hint of cocoa.

M: Way way too light in body and has an overly dry finish that doesn't combine well with the sourness

O: Not horrible and maybe hurt a little by age but I still think this is simply an average to below average beer because of the number of off-flavors and lack of substantive body.

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Photo of GoldHorde
2.74/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

Correct me if you feel I am wrong about this BUT as a rule I expect STOUTS to be of a HEAVIER mouthfeel than PORTERS - even though BOTH can be a dense opaque black. This stout pours a beautiful chocolately opaque black with a thin tan head around the edge of the glass. I've had MANY porters like this but very few stouts - it seems misnamed. As a stout I would give it a lower grade than if it were classified as a porter. As a stout it lacked the expected body and malty flavor where as a porter it had a very sweet finish - too sweet for me. Billed as "Coffee Flavored Stout" I was wondering where the coffee went - I am an avid coffee drinker and I did NOT get the delivery of coffee at all while many stouts deliver strong espresso aftertastes. As a homebrewer, I know how it is to 'miss your intended style' and this one to me is more at> Porter or a black Belgian Ale style than a stout classification. If I were to rate THIS BEER in a "style class of choice" I would have the highest probable rating for this beer in the Belgian Ale classification with a judged complexity of sweet/sour notes and finishing notably sour.

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Photo of jondeelee
3.37/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Fuel Café opens to a medium-strength nose of nuanced and varied aromas. The notes are split between sugars and dark, acidic coffees, with a noticeable advantage given to the sugars. These sweet notes bring black cherry, berry, prune, date, and fig fruit esters, as well as brown sugar, honey, touches of molasses and vanilla, and an almost candi sugar-like sweetness around the rim, which plays well off of the darker sugars. These sweet notes as a whole bounce off of the black coffee, ash, tobacco, and chocolate malt aromas, which sometimes struggle to be noticed. There are also thick, dark breads and toast crust adding countering factors to the sugars. As a whole, the nose is quite good, and surprisingly aromatic for a beverage of such low ABV. Even better, while the coffee notes are certainly present, they don’t overwhelm the nose, evidencing a good balance.

On the tongue, the beer opens far darker and blacker that the nose let on, with a huge rush of black coffee, coffee grounds, ash, tobacco, and chocolate and black malts washing over the tongue. Here the coffee is extremely noticeable, almost swallowing the other flavors at times. Even the heady sugars hinted at in the nose take a backseat to coffee, the fruit esters muddled into a darkly sweet fruity wash, and the brown sugar, molasses, honey, and vanilla having an equally hard time distinguishing themselves. In subsequent sips the sugars disappear further, as do many of the basic beer flavors, until strong, but somehow strangely watery coffee seems to overtake everything else. The aftertaste is a quickly fading coffee and ash remnant. Mouthfeel is medium-light, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, while there was much in the nose that was excellent, the flavors were much weaker on the tongue, and were largely washed out by coffee. The watery mouthfeel does not help here, giving the impression of someone trying to disguise a weak porter with a bevy of coffee grounds. And even the coffee grounds aren’t terribly flavorful, equivalent to perhaps pre-ground Folgers, as opposed to fresh-ground Peet’s. Better ingredients, and a better recipe, including several more pounds of good malt, would have done much to make this beer more rounded and flavorful.

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Fuel Cafe (Coffee Flavored Stout) from Lakefront Brewery, Inc.
3.36 out of 5 based on 1,018 ratings.
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