Wolaver's Alta Gracia Coffee Porter - Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's
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Ratings: 542 | Reviews: 218 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by jondeelee:
3.61/5 rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
Alta Gracia Coffee Porter opens to a coffee-heavy nose, with black coffee and espresso grounds mixing nicely with ash and tobacco, and all of this atop a layer of heavy coffee cream, molasses, and caramel. The aromas are big and bold here, at least at first, resembling in potency an Imperial Stout aged on coffee grounds. The aromas do fade after a few seconds, reducing from medium-heavy strength to medium-light, but remain finely nuanced. As the aromas fade, a layer of toast crust and brown breads emerges, as well as notes of wet hay. Tinges of pine and grapefruit from the hops add bitterness. As a whole, the initial aromas are excellent, but fade quickly, and these lesser later aromas seem somewhat watery and weak, and overly reliant on coffee for body, as if the removal of the coffee would reveal a rather average porter.
On the tongue, the beer is immediately full of coffee, with strong black coffee, coffee grounds, espresso beans, and light ash washing across the tongue. The coffee notes are strong enough that other flavors are initially difficult to locate, and only after a few seconds do bits of caramel, vanilla, molasses, brown sugar, and cream come forth—but these are very light, as if a single teaspoon of flavored coffee creamer had been mixed into a very large cup of over-strong coffee. In subsequent sips, however, the coffee flavors actually lose potency, and instead the beer features a balance between breads, coffees, and sugars that is more tolerable, with nice notes of vanilla and caramel mixing with dark breads, toast crust, and espresso. The coffee notes, however, are those of coffee that has been ground and exposed to open air for a while, reducing their flavor and potency. Hops are almost nonexistent, providing mainly a bitter piney background fuzz. The flavors are still somewhat weak and watery, but are nicely flavorful. The aftertaste is a continuation of the coffee and bread notes, with fading sugars, and lingers on the tongue for a short while. Mouthfeel is medium-light to medium, and carbonation is medium.
Overall, this is decent fare, but marked at first by an overly-heavy reliance on coffee notes, and afterwards, by a watery mouthfeel and slightly weak flavors. The flavors themselves are fairly nicely balanced, but the beer as a whole seems like it needed to be better balanced from start to finish, with more oomph put in to maintain flavors over time, and a few more sugars to increase the molasses and caramel notes. The coffee notes could have also been more fresh, like the lovely oily notes that come from beans fresh out of the roaster. In all, some very nice points here, but nothing extremely eye-opening or catchy.
Serving type: bottle
02-05-2013 20:47:04 | More by jondeelee
More User Reviews:
Wolaver's Alta Gracia Coffee Porter from Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's
88 out of 100 based on 542 ratings.