Short's Cup A Joe Coffee Creme Stout | Short's Brewing Company

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Short's Cup A Joe Coffee Creme StoutShort's Cup A Joe Coffee Creme Stout

Brewed by:
Short's Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: Milk / Sweet Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
"A brew uniquely different from most coffee stouts, we cram Higher Grounds roasted fair trade espresso beans into every facet of the brewing process. Prominent aromatics of malt, espresso, and cocoa are abundant and create a flavor robust with big malt characters fused with cream and coffee. The perfect morning night capper." 
20 I.B.U.’s

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-26-2006

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Reviews: 309 | Ratings: 746
Photo of MIbeer27
4.56/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle, dated 12/03/14

Poured into a snifter, the bottle is a pitch black hue with a slowly dissipating, two finger mocha head.

Aroma is huge, wet coffee grounds along with some faint chocolate and roasted malt. Easily the best smelling coffee beer that I have had.

The taste is slightly more focused on the chocolate and roasted malt (compared to the aroma), but the coffee is definitely there. There is a lovely creamy aspect, as well.

Mouthfeel is silky smooth with a charred bitterness on the back end. Carbonation is on the low end.

Overall, the massive coffee aroma is intoxicating and when paired with a creamy chocolate and roasted malt taste, the beer really separates itself. Founders Breakfast Stout sit down, Cup a Joe is the clear Michigan made coffee stout king.

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.41/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Poured into a snifter, the beer was a black with mocha colored bubbles clinging to the sides of the glass.

Smell - The beer has a huge fresh coffee nose. It does not smell like Starbucks so much as a good mom & pop coffee shop.

Taste - Smooth dark roasted coffee begins the initial taste. Malts and burnt sugar are present, rounding out the taste nicely. There is a slightly warming aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Being a crème stout, the beer is quite smooth with little bubbles tickling the tongue on the way down.

Overall - With Spruce Pilsner, this is an annual highlight in the Short catalog

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Photo of blankenhoney
4.31/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle from the recent 2014 release, enjoyed out of a coffee mug

A: Thick-looking shade of pitch black with a burnt sienna or rusty brown head

S: Spent coffee grounds; roasted coffee beans; roasted malts; wood shavings; and sweet, creamy cocoa. Fantastic and incredibly coffee forward nose.

T: Great blend of roasted coffee and dark chocolate. Coffee flavors are dominant, which I love.

M: Smooth, creamy, and rich

O: This is one of the best coffee stouts around, better than Founder's Breakfast Stout and a respectable second to Terrapin Wake-N-Bake. Incredibly rich coffee aromas and flavor.

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Photo of Tripel_Threat
4.59/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had to come back and re-review Cup A Joe, simply because after a year it's even better than I remember. The appearance is of a typical stout, except for a gorgeous mocha head that leaves little lacing behind. The mouth feel is a little dry, and thinner than most stouts. But, my God, the aroma and taste are second to none. Fresh coffee, homemade or from your favorite greasy diner; a hint of chocolate, some malt. But the coffee aroma! The taste follows through on the promise and more, there's a bit of coffee - cream, and a bite of burnt grounds.
If every day started with a carafe of Cup A Joe...

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Photo of Dactrius
4.29/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Small but proud head. Nose is pretty much pure coffee. Coffee isn't quite as strong on the palate but still very nice with a ton of flavor for a beer at 7% (which isn't very noticeable). Feel is solid as well for a lighter beer (when the hell did 7% becomes light? I suppose drinking this immediately following a glass of No Rules might be to blame, at least tonight). I don't love this beer quite as much as that last time I had it but it's still one of the best non-BB coffee stouts I've had.

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Photo of woosterbill
4.23/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle into a Duvel tulip. Thanks to Sandman3479 for giving me this to try!

A: Deep, opaquely black body under two fingers of creamy light-brown head. Good retention, great lace. Lovely.

S: Pure, deeply roasted espresso coffee. Woody, charred, and almost a little smoky. Lots of spice. Definitely one of the most coffee-forward aromas I've encountered, even for a coffee stout, and it's impressively complex despite the single focus. Excellent.

T: Follows the nose up front, with wave after wave of woody, herbal, charred roasted coffee. Some chocolate and cream flavors try to mellow things out a bit midway through (I'm especially impressed by the way the lactose delivers a distinct cream flavor), but the dry, charred bitterness of the coffee overwhelms the finish and aftertaste. After a moment it's honestly difficult to tell if I've just had a sip of beer or espresso. Fun, but a bit unbalanced.

M: Soft, creamy, and highly carbonated. I'm a fan.

O: Really digging this beer, even if I wish the finish were a little more restrained. This is definitely the Shorts brew I've had yet. You were right, Dino! Thanks again!


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Photo of superspak
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 12/2/2013. Pours dense pitch black color with a 1-2 finger dense dark brown head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of huge roasted coffee bean, dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, char, toast, cream, light vanilla, and roasted earthiness. Fantastic aromas with big coffee presence and great complexity of roasted malt/cream notes; with great strength. Taste of roasted coffee bean, dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, toast, light char, cream, light vanilla, and roasted earthiness. Light roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of coffee, dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, light char, toast, cream, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice balance and complexity of coffee, roasted malt, and cream flavors; with zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a very creamy and moderately slick mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is an awesome coffee stout! All around great balance and complexity of coffee, roasted malt, and cream flavors; and very smooth to sip on. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of elNopalero
3.55/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is for folks who like a little beer in their coffee. Seriously, warm it up and cut out the carbonation and you’d have… flat, warm, coffee-flavored beer. It wasn’t horrible—but it’s not, to me, as enjoyable as a coffee stout or similar beer should be.

It’s a flat coffee black in appearance. Smell’s like today’s dark roast, after sitting out and warming all day. It has a strong, overpowering and harsh coffee flavor. Again, the burnt coffee notes come out. I had a taster and could barley finish this. Don’t think I’m up for a full pint. Short’s beers tend to be a love-it or hate-it kind of thing, but usually I’m in the former camp. Not this time, though.

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Photo of TreyIsWilson
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a deep dark brown with a very thin tan head.

S - Dark roasted coffee, roasted malts, and bittersweet chocolate.

T - Just like the smell. A big burst of coffee hits first followed by the bittersweet chocolate. The lactose comes through in the finish producing a nice amount of sweet creaminess.

M - Heavy bodied with medium carbonation. Creamy mouthfeel with a dry finish.

O - Another homerun from Short's. Highly recommended.

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Photo of AnchorDrops
3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Dark brown with a finger of brown foam, some lacing

S-Coffee, some alcohol

T-Coffee, some bitter chocolate, sweet cream

M-moderate carbonation, creamy

O-One of the best beers I have had from Shorts, the bitter roasted malts and coffee are well balanced by the lactose sugars. Really creamy, almost like a mochaccino, some lingering sweetness and coffee flavors. Just a really delicious beer.

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Photo of Stu_Grimson
4.04/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A- dark brown almost black with little light getting through, a finger of brown head leaving some lacing along the side of the glass

S- I enjoyed the smell of this one with a good amount of coffee coming through and I also get roasted malts and a hint of chocolate

T- a roasted taste hits me first with the bitterness of dark chocolate and a nice coffee finish that leave me with a nice after taste of coffee

M- not as creamy as I would have liked for a coffee cream stout, it is medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation that takes away from the creamy aspect

O- I enjoyed this beer being a fan of coffee, but would have had it a little higher if it were a little creamier

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Photo of BreakfastStout
3.67/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Finally, a Shorts beer I can cozy up to. A solid OK offering from this brewery, which is a first for me. Pours a dark caramel brown into my Founders snifter with a dark brown head that quickly fades a leaves minimal lacing. I definitely pick up the coffee flavor, maybe a bit of french roast. A slightly bitter coffee taste that only slightly detracts from the drinkability. A solid mouth feel but not chewy enough for my tastes. Overall a solid offering from Shorts. It's about time for a brewery that gets as much praise as they do.

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Photo of Ohiovania
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A little more than your average coffee beer. The espresso really comes through in the nose to start but more of a floral bouquet of coffee. It starts off creamy and coffee and remains until the end. A nice acidity from the coffee is present as well. Super solid and am glad I was able to snag a few bottles.

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Photo of Ri0
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured 12oz bottle into chalice.

A - Well it is the color of coffee with a half finger mocha head that fades into oblivion. A few spots of lacing.

S - Dark Coffee, French latte, mocha, and hints of bitter bakers chocolate. Roasted malts and light caramel round it off.

T - Nice coffee forward stout. Roasted coffee beans and malts, espresso and bakers chocolate. Sweet cream with mellow caramel and mocha.

M - Medium bodied, smooth and creamy feeling with light carbonation.

O - Pretty good milk stout with big roasted coffee flavor. Excellent morning beer.

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Photo of PaulyB83
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass. Even though there is no bottling date it is definitely fresh as most Short's beers move quickly at the local bottle shop and I know they just got this one in last week.

A- Pours a thick smooth jet black with a nice medium medium brown head that slowly dissipated to a ring. Looks very similar to FBS, like a chilled espresso.

S- Big coffee and chocolate roasts, not getting the extra sweetness that is in FBS.

T- Similar to nose, dominated buy smooth espresso and bitter dark roasts. Lasting bitter coffee and coffee acidity on the tongue.

M- Creamy and smooth and thick, all while being very drinkable.

O- One of the best Short's brews I've had, really starting to come around on them lately. A bit of a one note beer and not as complex as FBS but still wonderful. I feel really lucky to be able to get two great coffee stouts so fresh, when the coffee flavor is at it's peak.

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Photo of TurboBrew
4.79/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Finally obtained a six pack from the local store here in SE MI After many phone calls and pestering. Actually came in and bought it about 30mins after it was unloaded off the truck... ( bottles were STILL COLD !! )

I can only dream of how epic this tastes on draft... guess we need to start planning a winter vacation to Bellaire in addition to the summer one !

A: Pours pitch black with a creamy- brown head. Leaves wet lacing throughout, and a tan sugar like brown ring around the glass as it drops down to the oh so sad zone of when its all gone and empty

S: Coffee forward smell (yes). Smells like my kitchen after we use the Delonghi Semi-automatic espresso maker (w/ lavazza espresso beans from italy) to whip up some vanilla-latte's.

T: 25% of the brew tastes like coffee/espresso roast. This is a great thing. There are many other similar "coffee-stouts" That ive tried that just blow your head off with java. Awesomely, this **Cup A Joe** does not do such a thing. 50% Milk sugar and cream balance nicely with the espresso flavor in a way no other Coffee stout can. and the other 25% id say goes to a a decadent/velvety roasted chocolate explosion that dances on the palate. OH YEAH! Not Kool-aid oh yeah.. but good brew OH YEAH!

M: Rich and creamy. Medium bodied with hints of coffee and sweet milk throughout. Taste doesnt stick around long and give you any sort of lasting coffee-breath. Very happy that the coffee doesnt dominate the mouthfeel. This is the holy grail of coffee stout mouthfeel to me..

O: A must try. If I find this on draft I just might sleep on the floor of the establishment thats serving it..? Maybe not. But it is excellent. And I feel like this beer could be sessioned.. maybe paired with a good book or something of that nature.

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Photo of SerialTicker
4.44/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

$5.50 a pint at Boat Works in St. Clair Shores, Michigan.

I found a new Short's favorite.

Appearance: Pitch black. Little head on it that goes away pretty quickly. Nice lacing at the top, but not much at the end. Looks... well... stouty.

Smell: Ugh. Good Lord. So much coffee... fully loaded with it. Roast. Maybe notes of chocolate. The coffee dominates and permeates all around.

Taste/feel: Like the smell, but the feel puts it to another level -- perfectly silky and creamy and way too drinkable. The coffee is at the forefront, of course, with a bit of chocolate sweetness. A touch bitter, but well balanced as a whole. If you love coffee in your stouts, you'll fall in love with this as I have.

An utterly incredible beer worthy of a pick up. The rating is among Shorts' highest for a reason... I thought their Mystery Oatmeal Stout was awesome, but this is actually a little bit better. Don't bother putting socks on before trying this beer, because it'll knock them right off anyway.

Cheesy? Don't care. Just drink it, damn you.

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Photo of kylelenk
3.67/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled and enjoyed in both a snifter and a pint glass...Not at the same time.

A- Black with a little bit of settlement at the bottom of the bottle. Head is a white/tan bubbly beauty that dissipates quickly and leaves little cascading laces.

S- Rather smokey for the category.

T- Expected it to be more like a mocha shake and yet the pallet is filled with wooded char and burnt almonds. There is a very subtle taste of morning coffee that is just begging to be unleashed. Absent is the lactose that is supposed to make this sweeter (?).

M- Little disappointed with how viscous and rich it is compared to the rather subtle pallet.

O- Never really found Cup A Joe to be a balanced beer. For a milk stout, it isn't that sweet. For a coffee stout, it's rather bland. Every year I keep hoping they'll tweak it and nail it.

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Photo of gcamparone
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter. Acquired in a trade as an extra, forgot from who though!

A- Pours a jet black, inky body with a decent sized mocha colored head that reduces slowly and leaves a little lacing.

S- Heavily roasted coffee, char, dark chocolate, cigarettes, somewhat earthy.

T- Sweet, bold mocha and vanilla upfront, dark chocolate, develops into a roasty, charred, black coffee flavor. Leaves a nice roasty flavor on the tongue. I even get some grass or earthyness mixed in.

M- Thick, rich, but very drinkable. Low carbonation.

I was blown away by how good this beer was. Hits all the high points of a coffee stout. The coffee isn't overpowering while maintaining a bold, charred character. Well done.

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.26/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

On tap, served in a pint glass at Slow's.

My pour of Cup A Joe arrives without much visual fanfare. The beer itself is very thick dark brown color, and there is just a little wisp of a light brown head.

The coffee in the aroma hits my nose hard. The Higher Grounds espresso provides a pleasant, earthy espresso tone with underlying notes of cocoa and tobacco. Medium roasted malt, some dark chocolate, and sweet cream are also noticeable.

By no means is this a complex beer, but each sip is packed full of coffee, cream, and malt, as advertised. The coffee used to make this beer is of good quality and provides a smoothness I would like in my coffee in the morning. The cream adds a sweetness that cuts the bitterness from the coffee and accentuates the chocolate flavors more. The roasted malt provides a nice backbone for the whole experience without really getting in the way.

The creamy nature of the mouthfeel really puts this mouthfeel over the top. It is clear that the creme and the way this beer is made allow for such a luxurious and rich feel. The carbonation is smooth, and a residual sweetness stays on the lips after each sip.

Living in Michigan definitely has its perks. Being able to drink Short's on tap is definitely one of them. I would go so far as to say that this is one of the best 7% coffee stouts I have had. However, the bottle I had was absolutely putrid. It was not old but had clearly refermented into an undrinkable mess. Drinking Short's on tap is the only way to go.

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Photo of cpetrone84
2/5  rDev -50.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pour is jet black with virtually no head. Nose is a bit artificial, artificial vanilla, overly sweet malt an sugar, and used coffee grounds. Taste is just as bad, overly sweet, under attenuated malt and coffee mess. Virtually no carb and extremely oily and slick feel.

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Photo of russpowell
3.92/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 2 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Got this from Stormking47, cheers Joel!

Pours an effervescent mahogany with 2 fingers of mocha colored head. No lacing or head retention

S: Big time coffee & coffee grounds, fades as this warms

T: Dryness, much coffee & a bit of lactose up front. Nice mocha & cocoa flavors blend with straight up coffee & exrpesso as this warms. plus some more lactose sourness. Finishes dry with mocha & coffee grounds

MF: Smooth, some what creamy, medium bodied

A nice coffee stout, not upper rung, but right on the heels of them

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours motor oil black with a razor thin tan head that dissipates. There is very little lacing or head retention. The nose emanates a potent, bitter coffee with a touch of sweetness. The beer drinks like a cup of coffee with a touch of milk, leaving a roasty, slightly bitter aftertaste. There is almost no distinctly hoppy bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium-full bodied, oily, sweet and roasty. It definitely a coffee cream stout with a great body and a sweet, effervescent finish. Worth trying and it definitely lives up to my expectations.

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Photo of kawilliams81
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours from a 12 oz bottle into a Pipeworks snifter.

A- pours pitch black with a 2 finger brown head. Trails and blotches of lacing all over the glass.

S- huge coffee, espresso aromas! Lang with roast and some pine.

T- bitter coffee, espresso, bitter roasted malts.

M- medium body and carbonation. Very smooth with some creaminess.

O- very good coffee beer. Pretty straight forward coffee beer but damn good.

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Photo of Scotchboy
4.21/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Awesome bottle from Adam (thanks man!) poured into my Snake River pint glass.

A: Black pour with a tiny dark brown head; some lacing.

S: Straight-up coffee. Coffee grounds, fresh coffee; potent, and kinda in-your-face. Dark, espresso coffee. Light notes of acrid char.

T: This is a different animal; much more diversity here. Bigger body than I expected as well, but we'll get to that...sweeter notes, sugary even; dark caramel, brown sugar, milky lactose, and even some mocha. Still plenty of coffee, but now blended beautifully with a gorgeous milk stout that has some heft.

MF: Not quite full but a creamy medium body...soft, velvety mouthfeel.

O: Impressed with the taste and feel on this one; coffee cream stout for sure! Lactose sugars come through brilliantly, cutting the acrid bitter coffee down to size and blending into a wonderful cold coffee concoction.

Fun one to try, would love to have it again. Thanks Adam!

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Short's Cup A Joe Coffee Creme Stout from Short's Brewing Company
4.03 out of 5 based on 746 ratings.
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