Thursday, February 23, 2012

Trip to Perch Pub

I recently met up with my friend Eric at Perch Pub. Part of the reason I wanted to go to Perch was because I'd finally get to try Cafe Royale from Williamsburg Alewerks. The other part being that their half price happy hour is a really good deal. When we got there around 5:30, the bar was pretty busy but after our first drink two seats opened up in front of us. Pretty convenient. The rest of the place wasn't too crowded, though, so if you're looking for a table instead of chilling at the bar, it's a good choice for happy hour.

I of course started with the Williamsburg Alewerks Cafe Royale, their Coffeehouse stout aged in bourbon barrels.
I've enjoyed the coffee house stout every time I've had it and have wanted to try this one since I first read about it. I saw it come on draft at Perch over the weekend and was lucky enough for it to still be around when we went Thursday. Quite lucky. It had a pretty strong coffee nose with a sweet bourbon base beneath. Decently thick body. Started with the same coffee as the nose, still surprisingly strong even after barrel aging, and just like the nose a sweet bourbon finish followed. I liked this one a lot as the bourbon blended really well with the coffee milk stout base and brought it to another level. Really good.

After that I changed gears a little, partially because the beer I wanted wasn't pouring properly, and ordered an Ithaca Caskazilla, a red ale.
Hard to tell in my picture, but it was a reddish brown color. Some sweetness in the nose followed by citrus bitterness. Pretty reminiscent of a red ale which is a good thing considering. Very clean with some nice citrus notes, orange juice flavor and a well balanced finish. Not too sweet and not too dry, just a well balanced choice.

So the beer I was going to order second was the Central Waters Bourbon Barrel Stout but when I went to order it the first time I was told it wasn't pouring properly as I said. Luckily, by the time I finished my second beer, they were willing to pour me a glass with the caveat that I wouldn't complain if it had some sediment in it. I knew it wouldn't bother me so I went ahead and ordered a glass.
Let me start by saying, holy crap, this was awesome. Just delicious. Huge chocolate and vanilla nose with some bourbon flavor but no heat. Initially, my thought was that it was quite amazing. Very smooth with lots of bourbon flavor balanced by chocolate and vanilla. No hint of the ABV or any bourbon heat. Honestly one of the best bourbon stouts I've had in recent memory.

Great choices at Perch Pub as always. They've grown into a very solid beer bar in Philly with an awesome happy hour and good food (we had some delicious nachos) though I haven't had much of the latter. Glad I finally got to try the Cafe Royale even if it was overshadowed a bit by the amazing Central Waters which surprised me with how delicious it was. The best part was the Central Waters was only $3 or something crazy. Amazing deal for a great beer.


  1. I agree with you completely about everything that you said. I went for the Williamsburg (which I really enjoyed), but was blown away by the Central Waters. It tasted like bourbon marshmallows -- that's a tasting note, right?

  2. I think anything can be a tasting note if it's descriptive. And yeah the Central Waters was just great. Everything in it blended really well together with a nice mouth feel to pull it all together.