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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

708 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 708
Reviews: 243
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 12.44%
Wants: 33
Gots: 76 | 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: 708 | Reviews: 243 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ffejherb
3.89/5  rDev -1.3%
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
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
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
3.94/5  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
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
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
4.17/5  rDev +5.8%
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
3.92/5  rDev -0.5%
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
3.55/5  rDev -9.9%
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
3.72/5  rDev -5.6%
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
3.54/5  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
3.53/5  rDev -10.4%
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
4.12/5  rDev +4.6%
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 +1.5%
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
3.97/5  rDev +0.8%
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
3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
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
4.06/5  rDev +3%
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 +4.1%
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.

Photo of Axic10
4.09/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark coffee black with a thin layer of tan head that fades away rather quickly.

Smell: Roasted coffee, dark chocolate, and vanilla notes.

Taste: Iced coffee, coffee grounds, vanilla, dark chocolate. and roasted malts.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and smooth.

Drinkability: I was very impressed with this. I will be picking up more after this six pack is gone.

Photo of yesyouam
4.53/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wolaver's Alta Gracia Coffee Porter is a brown-black ale with a coffee-colored head. It thins to an even foam and leaves thick sheets of lacing on the glass. It has a huge fresh ground coffee aroma with notes of chocolate and vanilla. The soft, chewy medium body leaves the mouth clean and dry. There's lots of coffee in the taste. It's lightly bittered. The hops are hiding beneath the coffee-- everything else is too, really. It's well balanced and pretty mellow with lots of coffee coffee flavor. You want coffee? Here you go. This is quite sessionable.

Photo of MaltsOfGlory
3.73/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a nice two finger creamy looking head. The head is somewhat dark, looks like milk chocolate. The body is pitch black, you cannot see through this beer at all. The lacing leads me to think that this will be a tasty brew. Wow, the smell of coffee is just so overpowering in this beer. It smells like just strait up coffee, I maybe pick up a faint hint of vanilla as well, but not much, it's pretty much just all coffee on the nose. Taste is pretty disappointing, I was looking for a very robust mouthfeel and full taste, but I am not getting that. This beer basically tastes like generic beer mixed with coffee, it doesn't even really taste like a porter mixed with coffee, rather just a generic ale or lager. There are not enough malts or other interesting flavors for me to consider this a porter, and the mouthfeel is way too thin for it too be a porter, it feels more like a pilsner. With all that being said - it still isn't a bad beer, it is very tasty, just not at all what it could be. It is very drinkable, tasty and smooth, but as for mouthfeel, like I said before - pretty disappointing.

Photo of woodychandler
4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Once more, my main man in town, tone77, hits me with some bottles to keep my numbers in line with The CANQuest (TM) madness.

From the label: "Certified Organic by Vermont Organic Famers"; "Brewed with organic roasted barley & chocolate malts for a rich, dark and robust flavor with an infusion of organic vanilla beans and coffee from the Dominican Republic farm country Alta Gracia."; and "Our products contain no preservatives, are not pasteurized and, like all fresh foods, will change over time. We print the date we bottled on [11/11/10] for your information." Veterans' Day Beer! Right on!

The pour revealed Black Death! I had a thick two-finger cap of deep-beige head sitting atop what looked like the oil spill of last summer in the Gulf of Mexico. Nose smelled like the interior of Starbucks and I usually eschew their coffee because it is too strong even for me, a retired US Navy sailor. Zounds! Lifting the glass to the light reveled NO light penetration, just a glass of oily liquid, black as night, black as the Ace of Spades. The Black Hole of Calcutta came to mind, also. Cue Moe at Sam's Saloon: "Woody takes his coffee like his women - hot and black!" Har. The mouthfeel was really full for a porter and the taste was really acidic bitter with hints pf chocolate. Wow! Me likee. As the liquid level went down in my glass, thick, sticky lacing began to appear. The finish remained highly coffee-like and strong coffee at that. It is going to go a long way for you if you like coffee but it may not entice others.

Photo of Docer
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received this in a trade from Ranbot, another fantastic extra...

- This thing pours nothing but Porter.. dark rich coffee and black colors.. minimal light beige head down to some scattered bits, and a ring left to stay.

- Great coffee notes, bitter, grassy.. light cocoa, vanilla..

- Grain, bitter roasty grain, light cocoa, bitter black coffee.. not too sweet, light sweetness w/ vanilla... overall very good, and balanced. Bit bitter which I like for the style.

- Light bodied, slightly creamy, and just a touch dry because of the bitterness..

- Overall a fantastic porter, and sets a good standard. I would prefer a little more vanilla flavor as it says it was brewed w/ vanilla beans, but it is hardly noticeable past the coffee and grain notes.

Photo of mountdew1
4.28/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Aroma was prevalently coffee, slightly burnt hints. Also reminded me of very dark chocolate. Taste was a sweet milky mocha. Had some vanilla lactose hints, but was strongly a milk chocolate with tad of coffee. Tended to finish with well balanced coffee flavors. Solid in the mouth. Very slightly thin, but not bad. Needed a tad more carbonation. Very easily drinkable. Very well balanced and extremely pleasant to drink.

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 grover37
3.66/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance (2): Dark brown with burnt orange around the edges. Finger and a half of head which disappeared entirely very quickly. Hopefully it wasn't my glass. No lacing at all.

Smell (3.5): Stale coffee, oats, a touch of vanilla. Maybe some oatmeal raisin cookies and some pine if you dig deep.

Taste (3.5): Mostly the coffee flavor up front. Other than that some dark malts and a roasty finish. The malts of a porter don't shine through per se, but it is definitely more porter than a stout.

Mouthfeel (4): A bit thin for a porter, but that's OK with me. It's smooth but not too creamy and the roastiness lingers which is pleasant.

Drinkability (4.5): Being a porter it stands out from some other coffee beers. Although it probably wouldn't be a great porter, it's not a bad beer overall. Although there is no ABV information to be found, I'd say it's around 5.5% and hidden well. Very drinkable.

Photo of trappistlover
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

(12oz bottle courtesy of plondrigan!). Pours dark brown with 1" tan head. Aroma is ground dark roasted coffee, earth, dark chocolate and a light berry note.Taste is slightly sweet with a roasty bitterness. Unfortunately, this beer is quite thin. Mouthfeel is somewhat creamy, but still watery. Finish is roasty. An ok beer that would be much better if there was any body to it.

Wolaver's Alta Gracia Coffee Porter from Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's
88 out of 100 based on 708 ratings.