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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

598 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 598
Reviews: 224
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 13.27%
Wants: 30
Gots: 32 | 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: 598 | Reviews: 224 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Reagan1984, Dec 26, 2009
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.

jeffthecheff, Dec 24, 2009
Photo of jsdunlop
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!

jsdunlop, Dec 23, 2009
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.

Lunch, Dec 17, 2009
Photo of sisuspeed
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.

sisuspeed, Dec 13, 2009
Photo of abuliarose
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.

abuliarose, Dec 13, 2009
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

sinstaineddemon, Dec 13, 2009
Photo of WesWes
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.

WesWes, Dec 05, 2009
Photo of donniecuffs
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.

donniecuffs, Dec 04, 2009
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.

tigg924, Dec 02, 2009
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

donkeyrunner, Nov 30, 2009
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.

smcolw, Nov 30, 2009
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...

mgbickel, Nov 28, 2009
Photo of Mag00n
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.

Mag00n, Nov 23, 2009
Photo of timtim
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.

timtim, Nov 18, 2009
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.

OatmattStout, Nov 17, 2009
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.

morebeergood, Nov 16, 2009
Photo of Stimack
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Since the weather has started to turn a little cooler and fall is here my choice of brew has landed in the Porter and Stout areas.

I saw a 6'er of this and it sounded very good so I thought I would give it a try.

The brews pours to a dark black color, looks like a dark stout, with a good sized medium to dark tan head that has very good retention and lacing.

The aroma here is excellent if you like dark coffee, which I do. The coffee aroma is clear and present, clearly the first thing that I notice. There also seems to be a light cocoa aroma there as well but to me it is mixed nicely and in the back.

The flavors are similar to the aroma in that ... man this tastes like coffee. The chocolate/cocoa flavors are there as well and come out more as the beer warms. The flavors here are a nice mix. The bitterness in this brew I feel is not from hops but the coffee and chocolate additions as well as the dark burnt malts that would have been used.

I could drink a few of these at a sitting but I think after the first one I would not enjoy the others to the same extent.

A nice offering from Wolavers hope they keep it up!

Stimack, Nov 16, 2009
Photo of aerozeppl
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep black color with a touch of brown when held up to the light. A Quarter finger of coffee colored head with a little bit of lacing.

S: Straight up 80% cacao dark chocolate. So vibrant and clear. The coffee is right up there as well. Freshly roasted coffee beans. Nothing short of an amazing nose. You even get a bit of the vanilla.

T: Almost tastes like black coffee. The chocolate is just massive. This must be some really good coffee.

M: It has that wolavers mouthfeel that all their beers have. Very creamy just short of full bodied.

D: Really surprised by this one. I might have to go back and grab a full 6 pack.

aerozeppl, Nov 12, 2009
Photo of portia99
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, bottled on 10/22/09, poured into a Portsmouth goblet.

A - Poured a totally opaque pitch black with a low, 1/2 finger of cream colored head. Head fades away quickly leaving islands of bubbles and a nice collar of bubbles around the glass.

S - Smells heavily of coffee, a touch of vanilla and a light sweet creaminess to it. Not particularly complex, but smells very good.

T - As with the aroma, coffee is the dominant flavor in this porter. Dark malts, burnt flavors. No real hop character and bitterness seems more to come from the coffee and the black malt than hops. Just a hint of vanilla which adds a creaminess and smoothes out the burnt flavors and the light astringency from the malt and coffee.

M - Light to medium body. Feels slightly oily on the tongue. Light astringency is felt throughout the mouth and after the swallow. Fine bubbled carbonation, somewhat on the light side. Smooth and a bit on the slick side.

D - A very nice coffee porter...wish there was a touch more vanilla character here, ideally. Alcohol isn't specified on the bottle, but doesn't seem to be very high. This bottle is going down quite smoothly - full flavored, nothing harsh, somewhat light in body. Quite easy to have more than one of these in a session.

portia99, Nov 08, 2009
Photo of NJpadreFan
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wolaver's- Alta Gracia Coffee Porter

A- Dark amber/black, thin, with a moderate soapy head.
S- Good strong black coffee slightly astringent. Sugary cream and vanilla.
T- Sugary sweet heavy dark roasted coffee beans, nice touch of cream, whipped cream, and vanilla. Black coffee flavor dominates.
M- Thick roasted malt body with sugary sweet cream throughout. A slight bitter touch in the end. Creamy overall.

Overall- Delicious Coffee Porter. Heavy on the coffee and very creamy.

NJpadreFan, Nov 07, 2009
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've always been a moderate fan of Wolaver's brewery--I like the idea of an organic brew.

Right when this hit the shelves at my local store, the label and description grabbed me...I've had far too many porters that are bland and watery. This was an epic porter.

Intense coffee flavor up front. Huge coffee smell and bite right off the bat. I enjoy brews, of all varieties that go above and beyond on flavor and don't come off as fake or chemically. This flavor reminds me of biting into a coffee or espresso bean. Also, the more you sip and let this brew warm up, the slight vanilla compliments the coffee and creates a rich, creamy body.

I was truly impressed by this brew...it snuck up on me as an instant favorite and stand by. I hope that more people get to try this one out.

JTWILDOATS, Nov 06, 2009
Photo of Brad007
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown/black color with a brown two-finger head that fades down.

Aroma is full of coffee but it seems to have a bit of cream about it and less bitterness than I figured. Very nice aroma so far.

Taste is full of coffee that is only mildly bitter with a good hint of cream and chocolate. A hint of vanilla peeks out but otherwise, this is all about the coffee.

There's just a few problems with the mouthfeel though. For one thing, it feels a bit too slick. Carbonation is somewhat high as well. Coffee flavor also feels a bit diluted at the back of the mouth.

Despite the shortcomings mentioned, this is still a drinkable coffee porter. The coffee isn't harsh but at the same time, it could be a bit more thick. Otherwise, check out this beer.

Brad007, Nov 05, 2009
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Wolaver's Alta Gracia Coffee Porter from Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's
88 out of 100 based on 598 ratings.