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

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Wolaver's Alta Gracia Coffee Porter
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BA SCORE
88
very good

667 Ratings
THE BROS
86
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 667
Reviews: 236
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 12.72%
Wants: 32
Gots: 52 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
Unfiltered and unpasteurized porter brewed with Vermont grown organic coffee and aged on organic vanilla beans.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-30-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 667 | Reviews: 236 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of doubleaman28
5/5  rDev +27.2%

Photo of klkatz
3.48/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

aroma - coffee, chocolate, toffee - 4

color - dark, reddish browns... 3 --- small off white head

taste - yummy sweet, chocolaty coffee... i think the organicness takes out some of the "fun" of the taste, but i can't put my finger on it... 3.5
w
mf - a little dry... 3.5

I've had better coffee porters, and I've yet to be impressed with organic brews... sorry Wolaver... good, but not great..

Photo of Jspriest
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of SamuelJackson45
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of BelgianDip
5/5  rDev +27.2%

Photo of brentk56
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy mahogany with an impressive beige head; impressive retention and some clumpage of foam hangs around the side of the pint glass

Smell: Roasted coffee beans with a hint of vanilla

Taste: Chocolate and toasted brown bread, up front, with bold coffee flavors developing, as well; bitterness develops by mid-palate, and if it weren't possible that it was coming from the coffee beans I would guess it was from a dollop of hops; after the swallow, the coffee, chocolate and vanilla flavors dominate, with the bitterness receding quickly

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Wish the mouthfeel were bigger but that is not likely to appeal to the typical Wolaver's customer; clearly the best beer I have tasted from this brewery

Photo of Viciousknishs
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- pours a chocolate looking brown with a tan head.

S- Fresh ground coffee bean and chocolate cocoa aromas.

T- chocolate covered coffee bean and iced coffee flavors. Very clean finish with a soft roasted malt.

MF- light effervescent mouthfeel with a light body and bubbly carbonation.

D- high drinkability.

Overall a decent coffee porter with really nice coffee flavor. My only qualm is that it is very light and a bit one demensional.

Photo of tobelerone
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery. Looks beautiful, jet black, nice big tan head, great retention and lacing. Aroma is booming with coffee and roasted malt.

Taste has the expected roastiness, with very prominent and very freshly brewed espresso flavors up front. More subtle is the vanilla flavor, as well as a little hoppy bite on the back end. Creamy, pleasingly full mouthfeel combines well with lively carbonation. Moderately bitter, lingering finish. Pretty easy to drink, could be a good session beer for a colder day or night. Gotta be a coffee fan to really dig this one, though.

Very solid, my favorite Wolaver’s offering so far.

Photo of AleWatcher
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle split by Whitemomba-- served in a RR -ation glass.

Smells a lot like coffee bender. Hmmm. Tastes a lot like coffee Bender. I like coffee bender. So therefore, by deduction, I must like this beer too.
And I do. It is good.

I prefer coffer bender though.

Brown body with reddish hues. Small head left quickly and didn't leave any lace.
Smells like coffee with a crey sweet vanilla note hiding amongst the sweet and roasty malt.
Velvety oat feel... Nice body here.
Not bad at all. Very easy drinking beer.

Photo of ffejherb
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle into shaker pint on 8/14/11.

A - A chocolate brown liquid emerged from the bottle with little effervescence and a wispy tan head that vanished, save for a sparse ring of retention around the edge of the glass, leaving no lacing behind.

S - Iced coffee, nutty fudge and vanilla comprise the aroma. The coffee character is apparent but not dominating, as with most coffee beers.

T - Vanilla comes to mind first, followed by an iced coffee aspect with a light to medium roast character. Cocoa and nutty notes add complexity and complement the coffee and vanilla flavors. Finishes with a tinge of earthy bitterness accompanied by a hint of nutty astringency.

M - Medium bodied, though a little thin in the backend, with an oily texture and fairly bristly carbonation. Bittersweet finish with mild astringency on the palate.

D - Very good coffee porter overall with plenty else going on besides coffee. Try one for breakfast.

Photo of Dreadnaught33
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A nice look with a dark brown body with lots of bubbles in the body of the beer hanging to the glass, and a tall tan head thats fluffy but also a little soda like in how bubbly it is.

The smell has an aroma of espresso beans to it with maybe a hint of molasses and maybe a bit of maple like sweetness. Some cocoa is in there as well. Unfortunately I get quite a bit of metal smell too, though I'm positive it hasn't been on its side to pick up from the cap...

The taste is really nice and it tastes like very real espresso or maybe chocolate covered espresso beans with absolutely nothing artificial about it. The vanilla bean flavor comes in at the back, and is quite nice almost like a chocolate and vanilla soft serve. This is a fine and tasty porter, with coffee being very well integrated with the malt of this brew.

M: Nice easy drinker thats smooth and ver carbonated as I saw from just looking at it. Overall, a very nice beer and definitely the best organic beer I've ever had.

Photo of generallee
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: It was poured from tap at the Buffalo Brew Pub and served in a standard pint glass.

Appearance: The body has a very dark brown look with some lighter dark amber/light brown high lights coming through the glass. Visibility is good and the beer is topped off with a small light tan head that fades quickly leaving just a light ring of foam. This makes very minimal slick lacing.

Smell: This is the highlight of the beer. It has lots of wonderful roaster coffee notes in the nose with some milder dark chocolate and dark maltiness for backup.

Taste/Palate: The flavor is more subtle and brings a light medium bodied roasted coffee flavor and dark maltiness to the palate. It has a good balance and pleasant bitterness with some mild dark chocolate and mild hops in the background. On the tongue there is mild carbonation which gives it a very smooth, creamy and mostly slick feel.

Notes: Overall it is a good average Porter with a great aroma and easy drinkability.

Photo of farrago
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rich, creamy two finger head of brown foam, mainly a weave of microbubbles, about average retention, leaves thick lacing streaks which might need to be washed out to disappear. The liquid on the whole is black with a slash of reddish orange at the glass bottom. The coffee is obvious from the first sniff, more of a roasted bean quality with a light bitterness, only a splash of milk, cream or vanilla, same for caramel, butterscotch and grilled nuts, strong undercurrent of green grasses, while obviously focused on the coffee does not come across as unbalanced or unnecessarily aggressive. Medium to full-bodied, the dry mouth texture helps it stay refreshing and actually speeds it up rather than slow it down as it moves through the palate. The dark roasted coffee bean element decisive with an oily character and smoky perfume. The vanilla bean lacks the power to sweeten the pot, stays in the background with the honey and caramel. The carbonation does not seem weak yet just manages a steady lowkey prickle. No distinct fruit nor citrus flavors although there’s a sense of the latter. Same hoppy green notes with maybe a smidgeon of pine. Offers a mineral water note to cleanse the finish. High quality coffee intensity here.

Photo of stewfnrocker
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured this from the bottle to a pint glass, it pours a dark brown almost black look with a visible tan head. The smell is of coffee, vanilla and roasted malts. When I took that first sip and swirled it in my mouth I got a good taste of coffee, vanilla bean, a little bit of a roastiness. The mouth feel is of a full body porter and a bit of overpowering sweetness, but I probably shouldn’t have eaten this with dinner, but with dessert. There is no hint of alcohol when drinking and the taste is very balanced. My only complaint would be it might be a little to on the sweet side. I recommend if drinking, either drink it alone or with some dessert.

Photo of Knapp85
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I guess I never read the label, The whole time I was drinking it I thought it was a stout. Anyway it's pour is and very deep brown color with a few highlights of a very dark red. This beer's aroma is straight up coffee with just a little sweetness on the nose. The flavor is what I really enjoy about this beer, It starts you off with a bitter coffee kick that that really lets you know that it's in there. Then the aftertaste smooths out into a soft vanilla flavor. The mouthfeel is just a little watery but still has enough substance in it to make it stand on it's own. I really enjoyed this brew.

Photo of Bendurgin
3.6/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured this into a pint glass. This one pours a dark cola colored brown with a small mocha head. The head settles down almost right away just leaving a thing rim of lace.

A little bit of sweet vanilla in the aroma with a slight bitter coffee aroma to round it out. Not bad, just a bit boring. Better flavor on this than anything so far. A nice bold coffee flavor is dominant to this. It is rounded out with a bit of vanilla with a bit of bakers cocoa.

The body is nice and full with soft carbonation. Overall this isn't bad. Kind of a run of the mill coffee porter, but it's decent enough.

Photo of VelvetExtract
3.68/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours a very, very dark brown. Deep brown highlights are present, and the rest seems almost black. A tan head is born from the pours, but it recedes rather quickly leaving only a fraction of its original size. Light lacing.

S-Perhaps my favorite part of the beer. Very organic coffee nose complements the normal porter scent. Very attractive smell. A bunch of vanilla is detectable as well. A great smelling porter; can the taste live up to the nose.

T-The flavor is not up to par with the smell in my opinion. The rich natural coffee aroma is muddled down in the taste. A milky-tasting porter. The coffee and vanilla is there but not in the same way as the nose. Still, pretty good.

M-Pretty light, almost watery feel here. Lighter than expected. Low carbonation.

O/D-High hopes after smelling the beer, mildly let down. Still not a bad beer but for my limited porter experience, I would probably go for something else before this in terms of the style. Still worth a try.

Photo of Hoagie1973
3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Even with a strong pour it only sports a very thin latte colored head that disappears in a flash. Minimal lacing. Black body.

Smells strongly of black coffee with a little bakers cocoa and roasted malt.

Definite black coffee character. A bit charred like the burnt gourmet coffee you overpay for at most fancy coffee places. It works pretty well with the roasted malts though. Roasted coffee bean bitterness lingers in the finish.

Low carbonation, but still maintains a medium body.

Pretty decent if you're a coffee lover. I enjoyed it overall.

Photo of SkunkWorks
3.55/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

64 oz growler shared with my girlfriend, filled at Stony Brook Beverage in Stony Brook, NY. Poured into a Stone nonic.

Look: black body with a mocha colored head that ends up being two fingers after an aggressive pour. A bit of lacing is left in layers on the glass as I work towards the bottom. The head dissipates into a thin layer of bubbles as I work to the bottom.

Smell: big on coffee beans, bits of roasted malt, and well... not much else, unfortunately.

Taste: follows the nose with a dominant coffee bean taste. Hints of dark, roasted malt, some caramel and dark chocolate lurk in the background, but they are really playing second fiddle to the coffee bean flavor. Everything to be expected from a coffee bean added porter.

Feel: a little thin for a porter and that's a big shortcoming on this beer. Moderate carbonation, which is good for the style. Lingering mochachino-esque taste is left in my mouth for hours afterwards.

Drink: even though the Bros changed the ol' drinkability category to "overall," I still think its worthwhile to evaluate how eay dirnking something is... even if it doesn't get shown in the numeric score. This is a fairly easy drinking porter, though after a few pints I am feeling it. The absence of any alcohol content information is unfortunate, but its still a reasonably sessionable beer.

Overall, this is a decent beer but nothing about it is particularly exciting to me. Coffee added beers tend to overdo the coffee and this is no exception. A bit one dimensional, maybe this could do better with some age. Still, worth a try and it gets some extra points (I guess) for being entirely organic. Cheers!

Photo of Gambrinus1184
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap in a plain pint glass at Delaney's Tap Room in New Haven, Conn.

A: Pitch black color with a two-finger head of frothy espresso foam which settles quickly but leaves a thick ring around the glass for the duration of the brew.

S: Huge roasted coffee bean aroma with smoky, black malts and bitter, herbal, burnt hop aromas.

T: Like a cup of freshly brewed coffee with a semisweet, burnt sugar and molasses flavor profile lumped in. Bitter, roasted earthy grains and smooth, rich bittersweet cocoa flavors meld with the earthy and resinous coffee bean oils. The finish is bittersweet and slick with some drying, herbal hop and lingering coffee flavors.

M: Bold, rich and full-bodied but smooth as hell and very versatile with or without food.

D: A coffee drinker's delight and one porter that had me wishing I had saved it for dinner. Would probably be a tough pair with anything but rich chocolate or raspberry desserts, but it's really enjoyable on its own. Something about porter lends itself better to coffee flavors better than stouts, and Wolaver's Alta Gracia is another superb example of why that's so.

Photo of washburnkid
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Under one finger of light brown head. Ale is nearly jet black. Head dissipates rather quickly.
S: Vanilla and roasted coffee. There's a berry-infused chocolate aroma in there as well.
T/M: Relatively thin mouthfeel gives me flavors of berries and coffee. The vanilla is prominent but not overpowering. Roasted coffee is reminiscent of my early mornings filled with slightly burnt espresso...just the way I like it. Lower to medium carbonation. Intensely more roasty with warmth.
D: Quite enjoyable. Give this beer time to recover from the cooler...it's quite something! And this is a great cause; always giving it up for sustainability and moral coffee consumption!

Photo of Digimaika2
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Grabbed this at Winooski Beverage Warehouse in Vermont. I had Wolaver's Oatmeal Stout and really enjoyed it, so eager to try another Wolaver's product.

A: Pitch black with a thin creamy head. Great blood red/dark brown comes out when pressed against the light. Beautiful tan bubbles.

S: Very strong dark roasted coffee with dark chocolate, but also complimented nicely with a sweet vanilla aroma. Well balanced.

T: Dark roasted coffee is dominant upfront. Haven't tasted coffee this "fresh" in recent memory. Faint hint of vanilla and roasted malts coming through. Finishes with a mellow dark chocolate taste, which from the smell I thought would be more prevalent. Well rounded between bitter coffee and sugary vanilla.

M: Higher carbonation noticed, which kind of effects the taste. Rather thin and less viscous than I would like. Still nice.

D: Very drinkable. Even with the lower alcohol content, not sure I could drink alot of this considering the strong coffee, but certainly a pint or two. Wolaver's does not disappoint - would definitely buy again (when in Vt)

Photo of philbe311
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - The slightest of heads, possibly a quarter fingers worth, of audibly fizzy tan colored head quickly fades leaving a swirling vibrant lacing comprised of bursting bubbles... A deep dark brooding brown color that leaks in a bit of light which helps display inviting ruby red colored highlights... Upon very close examination some very small bubbled rapid carbonation can be seen...

S - A great nose, dominated by coffee... Not being experience with Alta Gracia coffee, I can only say that this smells of fresh harvested high-quality coffee beans... Some roasted malts... Perhaps some very faints of caramel, toffee, and maybe even vanilla...

T - Freshly brewed medium roast Latin American coffee... Roasted malts... A hint of caramel... Some faint choclate notes... Perhaps some vanilla notes on the deep finish... Quite tasty...

M - Medium bodied... Lots of fizzy carbonation... A bit of a burnt texture... Even though this one seems a bit dry, tThe finish is surprisingly "juicy..."

D - A wonderful marriage of coffee and beer... Deep, rich, and slightly sophisticated... After a not so favorable Otter Creek experience early on in my beer geekdom, I was leery of trying other OC/W offerings, but this one more than restores my faith... I'm happy I invested in a sixers of this and recommend it to either beer or coffee lovers (but hopefully both)...

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Coffee and love are best when they are hot."

--German proverb

Mahogany brown with reddish caramel edges and a thin slice of khaki colored foam that should have been bigger given the increasingly aggressive pour. The featureless head shrinks to a barely covering film in minutes and leaves no lace.

The nose is exactly as expected for a coffee bean added porter. Each sniff delivers a big blast of java, along with roasted malt and hints of vanilla bean. 'Outstanding' is the word that comes to mind... and I'm not even a coffee drinker.

Alta Gracia Coffee Porter is damn good beer however you slice it. The brewers have done a bang-up job balancing the three major elements, allowing none of them to dominate on the palate. Having it favor bitterness rather than sweetness was also a good call during the design stage.

Vanilla is (almost) lost in the shuffle. Having those beans share the spotlight with the coffee beans might have made this stuff even better. Warming brings more flavor intensity and even better flavor definition. Muy drinkable.

One source says the ABV is 5.0%. If true, then there's plenty of barley to go around. That, in combination with well-done bubbles, leads to a light creaminess and a decent amount of cling.

Otter Creek/Wolaver's is not one of my favorite breweries, though they do have their moments. Alta Gracia Coffee Porter is definitely one of their finer moments and is an offering that deserves to be released on a regular basis.

Photo of BeefyMee
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Good looking beer. Appears blackish/dark brown but is actually a deep, transparent crimson when held to light.

S: Roasted coffee beans and sweet coffee liqueur. Some chewy malts are in there as well.

T: Coffee is still the overwhelmingly dominant characteristic. A nice sweetness upfront gives way to more of the roasty flavor in the finish. Trails only Peche Mortel as the strongest coffee flavor in a beer that I've ever experienced.

M: Ok, not quite as good as I expected.

D: Good for one bottle but you're not gonna make a night of these or I'm not at least. Sometimes it seems more like coffee soda than beer, not that this is a bad thing, but it has to be something you're into. I like it and will probably keep one or two on hand for when I'm in the mood.

Wolaver's Alta Gracia Coffee Porter from Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's
88 out of 100 based on 667 ratings.