The crème de la crème is the best. The best of the best. Unfortunately for Arbor, this one isn't even the best of the rest.
Coffee and chocolate is an award-winning combination. It's difficult to get anything wrong when coffee and chocolate are involved, and Arbor have continued this hot streak of winning flavour with Café Crème, even if it is more flat white than fancy-cinno.
At its core this is an oatmeal stout that is brewed with freshly ground coffee and roasted cacao nibs, creating a rich, beer that should be quite decadent.
Arbor are more known for their lighter beers which form the main spread of their range, but they have produced stouts before to good effect, maybe it's just me but this one misses the mark a little.
There's a really strong hit of coffee when you pop the can, with the rich earthiness really tantalising the taste buds along with a smoother, sweeter chocolate aroma that comes underneath.
The pour is fairly thin for a stout, but the texture is really creamy and smooth which makes it go down quite well. The real disappointment is in the flavour which, after the strong aroma, I expected to be much deeper. In reality, it's pretty plain. There's a bitterness to accompany the richness of the coffee, with the roasted cacao also providing a more dark chocolate element which makes it more of a beer to savour rather than smash as part of a session.
The aftertaste is smooth and creamy which is very pleasant, with a much more subtle coffee flavour into the aftertaste and you're left with just a hint of dark chocolate. It's a good beer to drink slowly of an evening, it just lacks the real punch of the flavours.
Arbor have taken inspiration from the visual appearance of a latte with this one, it seems, with the label a yellowy/brown colour that genuinely puts me in mind of coffee and leads my expectations of what the beer will be like.
Arbor are fairly straightforward with their can design, the simple one-colour approach combining with the instantly recognisable maple leaf logo of the brewery to make something that's simple and effective.
The black font with the brewery name and beer name sideways on the front is again typical of Arbor's can designs, with the nutritional information on the back providing plenty of reading material while you're slowly supping your way to the bottom of the can.
This one is hard to find online, so it's best to check in your local bottle shops to see if you can find one. That's where we got ours from, and there's nowhere that has it in stock at the time of writing.