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Wolaver's Alta Gracia Coffee Porter - Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's

Not Rated.
Wolaver's Alta Gracia Coffee PorterWolaver's Alta Gracia Coffee Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

717 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 717
Reviews: 244
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 12.44%
Wants: 32
Gots: 83 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-30-2009

Unfiltered and unpasteurized porter brewed with Vermont grown organic coffee and aged on organic vanilla beans.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 717 | Reviews: 244
Photo of ab39z
1/5  rDev -74.6%

Photo of tdatt43
2/5  rDev -49.2%

Photo of bootsandbeer
2/5  rDev -49.2%

Photo of jessdrinksbeer
2/5  rDev -49.2%

Photo of protex_blue
2/5  rDev -49.2%

Photo of david18
2.25/5  rDev -42.9%

Photo of beerman207
2.3/5  rDev -41.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

My sister hooked me up with this one and it survived the plane ride home in tact.

A: Pours just like I want - dark brown head, fluffy at first then disappearing into a light skim. The body is the deepest brown you can get without being black. Pretty excited.

S: Coffee, maybe even a bit of licorice? smoke as well.

T: Man, just when I was really excited this thing kind of reminds me of a local oatmeal stout we have in Cincinnati (not a good thing). Coffee dominates the whole thing and it's kind of a mess imo. Needs more sweetness to balance.

M: Mild carbonation, body is medium.

D: Man, what a bummer. Thought this was going to be great based on the pour but for my taste this is just an average or below average porter. To be fair, my favorite is the Edmund Fitzgerald and that's a lofty goal for any porter to reach.

Drain pour - better beer in the fridge than this.

Photo of sinstaineddemon
2.42/5  rDev -38.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A - dark mahogany brown with a quarter finger of tan head that fizzes away quickly

S - smells like last nights coffee still in the coffee maker, cant pick up the vanilla in the aroma, some nutty malts, but day old cold coffee is overpowering

T - acidic day old coffee harshly greets the palate and blankets out any other flavors, the vanilla bean is a slight echo at the back of the taste

M&D - it really tastes and feels liks i am drinking day old coffee, slightly acidic and medicinal, without a terribly complex flavor to save the experience, not a beer i would buy more of, but not horrible either, the coffee flavors are tasty

Photo of grahuba
2.5/5  rDev -36.5%

Photo of jjd315
2.5/5  rDev -36.5%

Photo of ShanePB
2.5/5  rDev -36.5%

Photo of ygtbsm94
2.5/5  rDev -36.5%

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2.5/5  rDev -36.5%

Photo of Ainjyll
2.5/5  rDev -36.5%

Photo of stoppertb18
2.5/5  rDev -36.5%

Photo of MarkNNJ
2.5/5  rDev -36.5%

Photo of Polasiuss
2.5/5  rDev -36.5%

Photo of CaptDavyJones
2.59/5  rDev -34.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Poured pitch black from a 12 oz bottle with no ABV or freshness date on the label. Good head which disappears fairly quickly. As the name suggests, this is coffee all the way. Right from the moment I cracked the bottle open, the aroma of coffee was evident. In fact, it is so overpowering that it is hard to get past the coffee if indeed there is anything else to the aroma. The taste again is coffee, coffee and more coffee. Decent lacing along the glass, and mouthfeel is good. But the weakness is the taste, way too much coffee for my liking. It is definitely not up my alley, and I don't see myself having this one in the distant future. Wolaver's/Otter Creek definitely have better beers than this one.

Photo of founddrama
2.71/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

LOOK: Rich brown with some red hues. About a finger's worth of light tan head when poured into a shaker glass.

NOSE: Coffee. Just coffee.

TASTE: I'm just getting coffee. That's the one and only note here. It doesn't complement any other flavors, it's just the only thing there.

FEEL: A much lighter body than I'd expect for something billed as a porter. Maybe it'd work if billed as a brown?

Photo of Nagrom
2.75/5  rDev -30.2%

Photo of chippo33
2.75/5  rDev -30.2%

Photo of elizard
2.75/5  rDev -30.2%

Photo of MaltistLupulist
2.93/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

On tap at Pizzeria Paradiso (Dupont Circle) in Washington, D.C.; served in a nonic glass.

Appearance is pretty dark, considerably more so than a standard porter, but nonetheless a shade shy of what you'd a expect a stout to look like. A good amount of short-lived head resembling raw umber yields feeble lacing.

The nose is an assorted mix of predictable and unexpected, even random and whimsical, aromas: dark-roasted coffee, some dark fruits, some ham (smokiness), some vinosity, and some sharp funk/rancidity. While I'm normally quite keen on sour ales, I'm concerned as to the presence of aromatics characteristic of that style in something as different as a coffee porter. I suspect the vanilla component plays some role in this olfactory confusion, in particular its interplay with the coffee component, which may work well in a caffe latte but not when fermented grains become a variable, at least not in this case.

My concerns are confirmed as I take my first sip: all the aromatic components have their counterparts in the flavor, but, surprisingly, the vinosity and sourness, while unusual, are far less offensive than the coffee component, which is harsh, astringent, and grimace-inducing. Some roastiness in terms of the malt itself, rather than the coffee, is detectable but obscured by that of the java (hispaniola, actually). I'm ambivalent as to the sourness--one moment I like it, the next I don't--but the peculiar combination of fruit and funk is an intriguing and not inharmonious one. The coffee element, however, is uniformly offensive (although it mellows a bit in the finish), and, as this is the primary flavor, spoils what may otherwise have been a tasty beer. The burnt coffee flavor in this porter is enough of a repellent on its own, but its incompatability with the sourness of the beer renders this a near-drainpour.

Medium-bodied, lightly-to-moderately carbonated. Mouthfeel could be described as silky, but I'm too busy scowling to pay much attention. Drinkability is poor not because of any alcohol detection but because of the reasons described above; if you can tolerate the harshness, I imagine you can have a few of these without exceeding "tipsy" on the inebriation scale.

In summary, I'm glad I tried this at a half-price happy hour rather than committing to a sixer--I'd ogled this beer many times on the shelves of my local Whole Foods--but I'm extremely unlikely to ever try it again. I suppose I should never say never, though; my review of Founders Breakfast Stout was likewise damning, but I have come to realize it can be quite toothsome with a few months or even weeks on it. Perhaps the same is true of Alta Gracia, but even if this is the case, I doubt a compromise can be reached between the disparate coffee and lambic/sour ale traits of this beer--it's almost as if it has a split personality.

Photo of gfreed
2.98/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

If you must have coffee in your beer, this one isn't a bad one to try. I'm not a huge fan of the style: unlike the combination of chocolate and peanut butter, beer and coffee do not represent a happy accident. The coffee here is far too forward in both aroma and flavor, although the burned and slightly bitter aftertaste is pleasant. The sweet whatever-it-is up front, however, is a bit icky. Non-dairy creamer, anyone? Postum?

Photo of theBubba
2.98/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Okay. Pop the cap and smell. Even before pouring into my stem glass, the coffee immediately came through. A bad omen.

Poured with a nice head that didn't last too long, but kept a decent lace all the way to the end. Color was almost that of black coffee.

Taste was pretty much the same. Well, maybe more like malty black coffee. I can't imagine drinking more than one of these. I would call this a novelty beer. Nothing you couldn't do yourself by adding a shot of strong black coffee to your porter. IMHO a cherry wheat, a chocolate stout, or a coffee porter should first taste like beer. Then after sipping, one should get the subtle flavor of the fruit, nut, spice or whatever was added to the wort.

To my taste, this is more like ale flavored coffee.

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Wolaver's Alta Gracia Coffee Porter from Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's
88 out of 100 based on 717 ratings.