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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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

581 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 581
Reviews: 223
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 13.27%
Wants: 29
Gots: 29 | 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: 581 | Reviews: 223 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of matty


3.4/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pitch black colored beer with a slowly fading head.Aroma is the smell of a diner in the morning(heavy coffee).Taste is coffee grinds,cocoa,and smoked malts.If you do not like the taste of coffee this is not for you.I enjoyed it but I would find it hard to drink more than one at a sitting.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2010 19:03:41 | More by matty
Photo of Ineedabeerhere

Rhode Island

3.55/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Jeff for the bottle, which provoked me to buy a 6pk and try it again. From notes.

Pours near black with a small light khaki head. It would be an understatement to say that the aroma is very coffee forward. Rich, high quality roast. Vanilla bean comes through as it warms but is generally more evident in the taste along with hints of dark chocolate. Low to medium bodied with low carbonation which is fine for the style but nothing really outstanding about the substance of it. Good drinkability, but the vanilla gets to be a bit much as it warms closer to room temp. A nice coffee-centric beer, but there are many better ones out there. Definitely reasonably priced though.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2010 23:31:56 | More by Ineedabeerhere
Photo of MrHurmateeowish

New Hampshire

3.55/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz screw-top bottle purchased at McKinnon's in Salem. A vigorous pour yields a short-lived half inch of dark tan head a-top a nearly opaque black body with ruby-red highlights. Roasty espresso pretty much dominates the aroma with hints of vanilla, nut, and dark chocolate. Coffee is pretty powerful in the flavor too, lending some astringency to the flavor, with notes of vanilla toward the finish. Dark chocolate and nut struggle to be noticed in this coffee bomb. Light to medium in body with moderate carbonation. The roasty coffee tends to make this a bit on the astringent side, hurting the drinkability. If you're a big coffee fan, this is for you. Not a bad porter overall, but kind of a one-trick pony IMO.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2010 00:11:51 | More by MrHurmateeowish
Photo of soupyman10

District of Columbia

3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap the other day and was really impressed, so I figured I'd try it out of the bottle. Didn't quite do it for me - everything was basically the same, just without the "oomph" of the on-tap version. Vanilla and coffee dominate, but it's a lot waterier and thinner than I expected, and the tastes and aromas are just not as big or delicious. A disappointment, overall, although not a "bad" beer by any means. I'll stick with this one on-tap, if I can ever find it again.

P St. Whole Foods/$8/6-pack

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2010 16:34:09 | More by soupyman10
Photo of Pahn

New York

4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Pours solid black with a 1/2 inch head that disappears almost immediately. Lots of visible carbonation at the top and sparse lacing.

Smell: Strong, fresh coffee beans. Very intense coffee aroma; this isn't Dunkin' Donuts or Starbucks, this is coffee with distinct character. Also hints of chocolate and vanilla, but the coffee aroma is by far the dominant note.

Taste: First sip is coffee ice cream with the slightest bit of smokiness. As I get further into the beer and it warms, the sweetness gradually disappears, a vanilla smoothness emerges in the middle, and the adventurous character of the coffee really makes itself known. There's a sort of unpleasant metallic bitterness near the end, and a rather dry finish.

As with the smell, the coffee is the star. Again, it doesn't just "taste like coffee," it tastes like a high quality coffee. It's not a coffee note, it's deep and complex coffee with its own set of notes and flourishes. This beer should be reviewed by coffee connoisseurs, not beer geeks. As with great, deep beer, the character of the coffee flavor just expands and explodes as the beer warms (and that beautiful coffee bean smell keeps on heightening the flavor). I'm not sure if this makes Alta Gracia a great beer, but it's certainly a good flavor experience if you like coffee.

Mouthfeel: More so than the somewhat "Is this even beer?" aspect of the taste, mouthfeel is this beer's flaw in my opinion. It's a bit watery and slightly overcarbonated. It's sort of like great coffee soda... I hate soda, and I wanted a beer, but then again the flavor of this soda/beer is "excellent coffee" so I guess I can't complain too much.

Drinkability: Well, the alcohol is fully masked (whatever the ABV is), and it's not as heavy as some porters, so I guess it's pretty drinkable.


What a weird beer... In a few ways, I don't feel like it's that well done as far as beers go, but what a coffee flavor! I would never reach for this brew if I had the inclination to have a beer, but at the same time I can't bash it. It's a strong and delicious coffee beverage that happens to have some alcohol and carbonation in it.

edit: while I can't speak for this beer on tap (though given the reviews, I would definitely try it on tap despite my somewhat lukewarm review of the bottle), I want to emphasize that this beer belongs in a snifter or a tulip; if this beer is your kind of thing, you don't want to miss any of that aroma.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2009 01:49:50 | More by Pahn
Photo of Durge


4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew was discovered at the Riverview Cafe in Brattelboro, VT. It's a thick black color with just slight root beer highlights. The head is fair in stature and a light tan color. The lacing is very substantial and uniform. The aroma jumps out with delicious mocha and vanilla caramel, full and sweet, wow! The taste is assuredly bitter sweet coffee, medium bodied, somewhat milky and one of the most coffee rich brews I've had in terms of a pure blend of the two base flavors. Carbonation is very subtle at best, it's quite drinkable and full of flavor. Good coffee bitterness but very pleasant on any tastebud. My favorite Wolaver yet!

Serving type: on-tap

12-31-2009 00:41:19 | More by Durge
Photo of Philabeerphia


4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On tap 12/29 poured into a shaker at Blue Monkey in Merchantsville NJ. Served a handful of degrees too cold. I let it sit for about 15 min.

Whipped mocha head, stagnant atop the thick midnight brown beer. Robust. Heavy. Pretty.

Smells like... Cream, sweet and soft with some vanilla. caramel. Oh yeah, nose is layered with heaps of freshly ground coffee. Beautiful coffee smells, rich layered. Um, lots of coffee. Finished off by a touch of vanilla - almost liquer-like at points.

Strangely light mouthfeel when it hits the tongue. I am having a hard time deciphering the taste difference between this brew and the starbucks I drank this afternoon... Which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Bitter at the highest point in the mouth. A bit of sweet alcohol, like a rum drenched chcocolate cherry spreads in the back of the swallow. The earthy hoppiness that hangs around my throat lends itself to the bitter coffee that has caked my mouth. Dry... but rich finish. Under carbonated by a long shot. Needs help there.
Otherwise I am smitten with this beer. Great job.

Serving type: on-tap

12-30-2009 02:31:13 | More by Philabeerphia
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly

New York

4.4/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got this brew from scottg for winning SNF Squares - Week 13, Thanks Scott!

12oz bottle served in a glass beer mug.

Black coffee color with a thin tan head that left in a hurry.
The smell is delicious roasted coffee beans.
The taste is also delicious, full of roasted coffee, vanilla bean and chocolate malt flavors.
Medium bodied with good carbonation, enough to let you know it is beer and not iced coffee.
Highly drinkable for both coffee and porter lovers.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2009 22:25:05 | More by JoeyBeerBelly
Photo of Reagan1984


4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Momentary beige head forms and vanishes on the surface. The beer is a dull brown with some burgundy highlights when held to the light.
No lacing.

Aroma is fantastic and smells like french pressed coffee. If I didn't know the vanilla was in this I don't think I would have indicated it in the aroma. Can't detect it.

Straight coffee flavor. Especially if its on the colder side of the serving temperature. Slight charcoal and a little smoothness from the vanilla.
I think could stand to have just a touch more sweetness to provide balance to the coffee.

Medium body with just a tingle of carbonation. Smooth finish.

Interesting and a nice substitution for a coffee with dessert.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2009 00:18:20 | More by Reagan1984
Photo of jeffthecheff


3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pour is black, with some reddish brown highlights at the bottom of the glass. Head is minimal from the start, even with a down the middle pour. After a few seconds, it's barely a lace.

Even before I touched the glass I could smell the coffee. As I brought it to my nose, I smelled some really fresh, dark beans. The quality and strength of the coffee aroma is great, but any other beer qualities fail to make their way through.

The flavor is similar to the aroma. It's like drinking black coffee but without the strong bitterness. The bitterness is light, and you can even pick up a slight astringency from the coffee. They really wanted to showcase the coffee here, not letting any beer flavors overpower. I noticed a moderatley strong vanilla in the finish, and then I remembered that this beer uses vanilla beans. The vanilla presense is strong enough that you could pick up on it without knowing its actually there.

The mouthfeel is quite thin and really lacks any livliness. It's lowly carbonated but almost too low for this style. It's very easy drinking, and I'm guessing this has an ABV under 5.5%.

I'd liked this beer as a straightforward coffee flavored beer. It's not as layered as some of my other favorite coffee beers, but the quality of the coffee used seems to be top notch. Worth a try but I'm not sure I'll get it again.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2009 22:50:11 | More by jeffthecheff
Photo of jsdunlop

North Carolina

4.6/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 ouncer poured into a Samuel Smith pint glass.

Nice pitch black color, tan 1 1/2 finger head. Strong aroma of coffee, dark chocolate, roasted malts and slight vanilla undertones. This porter tastes just as great as it smells. My gustatory receptors were blasted up front with freshly brewed coffee, chocolate and a perfectly balanced residual sweetness with a minor hop bitterness to finish it off. Matched with the minimal carbonation and moderate body, this porter is quite possibly one of the best I have tasted yet! Thank you Otter Creek Brewing Company!

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2009 22:22:59 | More by jsdunlop
Photo of Lunch


4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at Frisco Grille in Columbia, MD (12/16/09) into a shaker pint glass at the appropriate temperature.

A: Pours a very dark brown to the point of being almost black capped off with and slight off-white head which dissipates quickly leaving a mild amount of spotty lacing. A nice looking porter, but fairly standard for the style.

S: The aroma is so powerful and one dimensional that you would think that this was not a beer at, but a glass of iced coffee. I have never smelled a coffee beer smell this much like coffee, they nailed it.

T: Like the nose, this beer overwhelms the palate with intense coffee flavor that seems extremely fresh. It is literally like drinking a glass of iced coffee with some added malt and vanilla. Great flavor.

M:Medium-bodied with crisp carbonation and no sense at all of any alcohol.

D: I must say that even though the coffee flavor is expertly done, it is quite strong and perhaps a little too strong for more than one pint at a time.

Overall this was the best coffee porter that I have ever had and i look forward to trying it again soon. Recommended.

Serving type: on-tap

12-17-2009 15:40:26 | More by Lunch
Photo of sisuspeed

New Hampshire

3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled on 10/22/09. Stored at cellar temperature.

Poured this into a "Drink Vermont Beer" pint glass. The color of the body is dark brown, almost black, with a small white head that eventually fades away.

Lots of coffee on the nose. Very roasty, almost burnt. A little on the metallic side. Some of the vanilla comes through as well. I thought this might get overshadowed by the coffee, but it manages to come through nicely. Roasted malts.

Good coffee flavor. Not as strong as some coffee brews I've had, but there's no mistaking that there is coffee in here. Roasted malts and some of the vanilla come through next. The vanilla is a great addition to this beer and helps to smooth out some of the acidity and bitterness from the coffee. There is also a faint bit of dark chocolate in the background as well. Unfortunately, the metallic taste/aroma still lingers, but seems to be fading somewhat as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel is ok. The carbonation is a little more prickly than I would like and the body could be a little thicker, but overall its not too bad.

Drinkability is good. I could see myself having more than one of these in a sitting if I were in the mood for coffee and beer.

Overall, I'm liking this new addition to the Wolaver's line. They've managed to execute a tasty coffee porter and have probably produced the best organic beer I have ever had. I think if they could beef up the body a little bit and cut back on the carbonation and metallic flavors, then they would have a stellar brew on their hands. Either way, I'm glad I got to try this.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2009 04:49:13 | More by sisuspeed
Photo of abuliarose

New Hampshire

3.43/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass. Body is clear and deep dark brown with many bubbles and a thin, sandy head that fades into a film. Smells like espresso or some thick-brewed french roast. Slight metallic note to the smell, though.

Tastes mostly like a serious coffee soda over a backdrop of beer. Lots of acidic coffee presence, which is nice if you like yours black and strong and of the doughnut shop variety. Not too sweet, but not drying. Malty thickness is low, as expected from a porter. Carbonation nucleates rapidly and is a little numbing. Not getting too much of the vanilla except perhaps as a slight creamy touch and any hop bitterness is indistinguishable from the rest of the bitterness. Kind of weird aftertaste like plasticy-rubber (complements the metallic smell nicely). Otherwise it's enjoyable. Mouthfeel is a little grainy and a little big with the carbonation. Drinkability is good if you enjoy this sort of coffee roast. I think it could have been tempered a little better (and maybe it ages phenomenally) and more of the other flavors brought into the picture.

Props to the Wolaver's line for what they're making with organic ingredients. It could have been more well-balanced, but it's a formidable offering for what it is.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2009 04:13:12 | More by abuliarose
Photo of sinstaineddemon


2.42/5  rDev -38.3%
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

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2009 02:38:38 | More by sinstaineddemon
Photo of WesWes

New York

4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a pitch black color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great! It has a perfect coffee aroma. It's like smelling a cup of French roasted java along with a light hint of vanilla. It's dry and earthy; very nice. The taste is good. It has a dry, coffee flavor with a bit of chocolate and patent malt character as well as vanilla in the finish. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is one of the best coffee beers I've ever had. It's simple and easy drinking with the best damn coffee flavor around.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2009 22:19:34 | More by WesWes
Photo of donniecuffs

New Jersey

4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Poured black into an American pint glass, with one finger of tan head that laced spottily. The smell was fairly one-dimensional (but not surprisingly, given the name of the beer) coffee, with some hints of caramel. The taste however was amazingly ice-coffee-like, with a nice mix of toffee and caramel mixed in. The mouthfeel was thick, creamy and silky, which was a welcome surprise relative to many 'session porters' being made nowadays. Too thick to sit down to session a few, but certainly worth sipping on a relaxing night. Going to stock up on some of these for the upcoming winter months.

Serving type: on-tap

12-04-2009 16:49:00 | More by donniecuffs
Photo of tigg924


3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: dark brown in color, 1/3 inch head, clear, high carbonation

Smell: dark roasted coffee, some sugar

Taste: dark coffee dominates, there is a creamy touch in the middle that ends with a vailla taste

Mouthfeel: a moderately sweet end, medium/light body, minimal carbonation

Drinkability: The vanilla taste at the end really makes this one different from other coffee porters I have tried. I think this one is fairly drinkable and I could have 3 or 4. A very solid coffee beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2009 15:55:00 | More by tigg924
Photo of donkeyrunner


3.4/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Black with with brown highlights. Tan head collars quickly and leaves 1 happy foam ring.

Aroma is coffee, vanilla, and freshly crushed dark grain. Taste is similar dark roast coffee with thin vanilla. Body was fairly thin and watery.

The coffee beans are from the Alta Grace community in The Dominican Republic and roasted right down the street from the brewery at the Vermont Coffee Company. Ain't that something.

via duffextracold

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2009 04:54:36 | More by donkeyrunner
Photo of smcolw


3.2/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Warning: I'm not a fan of regular coffee. Although I recognize and appreciate the coffee elements of darker beers, the actual aroma and taste of coffee is abhorrent to me.

Moderate head that dies to a single layer of bubbles. Leaves good ring lace. Near black in color, the faintest of light comes through the edge of the glass.

Bitter, bitter black coffee aroma. Think coffee grounds.

Okay, way too much coffee for me to enjoy. Very bitter and dry. There's no other flavor for me to detect. Fairly typical body with a slightly high carbonation level. The aftertaste is all coffee.

In some ways, I should not rate this because I struggle with this flavor. If you are a coffee lover, you may love this.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2009 00:41:56 | More by smcolw
Photo of mgbickel


4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint...Dark amber/brown body with a single finger light tan head. Some lacing.

Very strong coffee aromas...like freshly ground Arabica beans.

Coffee flavoring dominates the palate. Acidic and earthy undertones. Finishes with a touch of vanilla.

Light and thin mouth feel...medium carbonation.

This is a COFFEE Porter! I was tempted to add cream and sugar! Good overall, but could only handle every once in a while...

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2009 05:30:51 | More by mgbickel
Photo of Mag00n

New York

4.68/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very dark brown/black, pours with a very small light brown head and moderate lacing

S: wow, coffee, coffee and more coffee. This stuff is made from coffee produced in the dominican republic. Think of a really strong, really good coffee, then throw in some a small amount of chocolate into the mix

T: Very similiar to smell, its like drinking a coffee treat that happens to have some alcohol in it. The vanilla beans even things out a bit and provide a welcomed creaminess. I detect some chocolate malts as well. I really cant taste the alcohol at all.

M: Light mouthfeel, doesnt coat the tongue too much but provides a pleasant drinking experience.

D: Very good but not great, i could probably put down 2 or 3 of these, but after that you might need a break.

Warning: You REALLY have to like coffee to appreciate this porter, the coffee is the main attraction, not an afterthought

My only complaint is id like to see this beer offered as an imperial, as it lacks the punch and warming feeling of an imperial porter.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2009 20:37:09 | More by Mag00n
Photo of timtim

District of Columbia

3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

black, but not opaque, with an off-white head that leaves just a touch of lace. wow! nose. it seems like it's all coffee in there, but coffee and yeast/hop/malt share a lot of similar charcteristics. basically, it smells like a really nice, top shelf, freshly dark roasted coffee that exhibits cocoa, vanilla, caramel, vine, earth and smoke. taste doesn't translate quite as well on my palate, but it's still quite good and carries a long, roasty finish that is very earthy, slightly bitter and acidic. i imagine it would be difficult to have more than a few of these, so it loses points for drinkability. 2009 has been the year for organic coffee beers in the northeast it seems. after being well impressed by Peak Organic's Espresso Amber, i was a little let down by this one, but both beers certainly raise the bar and are a must for coffee/beer fans in the ne.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2009 23:16:54 | More by timtim
Photo of OatmattStout


3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Big fluffy head with very nice lacing.

Color is well, like dark coffee.

Nose has big coffee in your nose, dark roasted coffe and malts.

Flavor is very much coffee dominated. It reminds me of when i add a shot of espresso to a Guinness in the AM on those special festive days for breakfast. This is by far the most coffe I have tasted in a coffe flavored beer. I like it.

It has a nice mouthfeel, not overly full. The drinkability is decent and the coffee would make it a beer where a "couple two tree" would be good.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2009 00:23:42 | More by OatmattStout
Photo of morebeergood


3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Picked up a six pack at Walsh for $8.99. Poured into a standard pint glass. Dark black color. Thin white head. Some lacing noticed. Smells like fresh coffee grounds. Tastes like an espresso on steroids. You really have to like strong quality coffee to enjoy this beer. While I really like coffee porters and stouts, this one I think went a bit overboard by using such a intense coffee bean. It totally overpowers any flavors of the porter beer that may have been present. More coffee than beer. While it was an extremely flavorful porter, I was not inclined to drink more than one that night.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2009 22:43:41 | More by morebeergood
Wolaver's Alta Gracia Coffee Porter from Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's
88 out of 100 based on 581 ratings.