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Atwater Shaman's Porter - Atwater Brewery

Not Rated.
Atwater Shaman's PorterAtwater Shaman's Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
77
okay

40 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 40
Reviews: 24
rAvg: 3.27
pDev: 25.08%
Wants: 1
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Atwater Brewery visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: jasonpeckins32 on 01-26-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 40 | Reviews: 24 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mcgeebc
1.35/5  rDev -58.7%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

I'm not sure if this batch was bad or not. It has a vinegar smell and taste to it. Looks like a porter but doesn't taste like one. It has a citrus/grapefruit kind of taste. I don't taste any characteristics that are common in a porter.

I hate to dump out a beer, but...

mcgeebc, Jan 28, 2007
Photo of ChainGangGuy
1.78/5  rDev -45.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Every single one of my previous encounters with Atwater beers ended in disaster and heartache. I would like to believe it's my benevolent nature that allows me to give Atwater another opportunity to delight me, but I fear I'm just a chump who doesn't know to leave well enough alone.

The bottle is an extreme gusher upon opening. If this was a low-budget, lackluster comedy film sequel, I could look directly into the camera and say "here we go again!"

Appearance: Dark brown, near black body with a vigorously foamy, light tan head.

Smell: Dark malts are presumably present, but they're greatly overwhelmed by a sharp note of fruit-infused vinegar.

Taste: Dark malts with slender undertones of roast and chocolate, but, as was the case with the aroma, everything is totally buried under this infectious vinegar flavor that's both acetic and lactic and just plain 'ick'. I'd say "never again" with Atwater, but I have a bottle of their Cherry Stout on deck.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Highly carbonated.

Drinkability: Horrendous and a true offense to brewing and beer lovers everywhere. Some breweries are delivering fantastic, wonderful beers time and time again, and then there are some atrocious, wretched breweries that need to close the doors immediately and just give it up. I'm fairly certain I know which group Shatwater belongs in.

ChainGangGuy, Aug 09, 2009
Photo of StoutHunter
1.83/5  rDev -44%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I picked up a bottle of Atwater's Shaman's Porter a couple days ago for $2.49 at The Lager Mill. I haven't seen this beer from Atwater before so I figured I would give it a try and see if they could do this style justice, I also got this because it said it was aged in bourbon barrels, it sounds like a good combo so lets see how it is. It had a brewed on date of September 2011. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a snifter.

A- The label has the stamp that all Atwater's special releases have with the addition of a black and white drawing of a Greek god with a dog by his side, the picture is cool looking. It poured a simple dark black color with a fingers worth of tan head.

S- The aroma is pretty lackluster and is basically just a bunch of sweet roasted dark malts that have a slight coffee and chocolate aroma. Not much going on in the aroma and no bourbon whatsoever.

T- The taste is pretty much an exact mirror of the aroma, and that's for sure not a good thing. The taste is a pretty sweet and watery mixture of dark roasted malts that are pretty bland and overly sweet. The biggest mystery about the flavor is where the bourbon went, there is not a single thing about this beer that would make me believe this was actually aged in bourbon barrels, none of the flavors that come with aging a beer in bourbon barrels is present, that sucks.

M- Slightly cloying, on the light sided of full bodied, and it had a low amount of carbonation.

Overall I thought this was a pretty bad beer that came nowhere close to living up to it's name. I came into this beer expecting a nice barrel aged porter but instead I got a poorly made porter that tastes like it never spent a minute in any type of barrel, this is pretty much false advertising. What I liked most about this beer was the mouthfeel, that was the only thing about this beer that was halfway descent. What I liked least about this beer was the flavor and aroma, they both were a big let down with no hint of bourbon whatsoever. I will never buy this beer again, it isn't what the label says it is and for $2.49 a bottle it was overpriced. If you see this beer on the shelf do yourself a flavor and look the other way, you'll just end up being disappointed. This has been the worst beer I have had from Atwater, it was just way to far off from what it should be and if you claim that your beer is aged in bourbon barrels you should have some bourbon barrel flavors to back that up, stick with making the Vanilla Java Porter and rip this recipe to pieces, I see that this beer hasn't been reviewed since 2009, now I know why.

StoutHunter, Sep 28, 2011
Photo of Mitchster
1.85/5  rDev -43.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Brewed with Munich, Chocolate and Black Patent malts. Hopped with "German" hops. OG=15 plato. 6.0% ABV per the website.

Pours to a slightly cloudy near black very deep brown, forming a creamy light tan head with very good retention and stiff lacing. This looks really nice in my Guinness pint glass. Carbonation is moderate. Yeasties in the bottom of the bottle. The aroma is interesting...initially an odd mixture of black walnuts and the sourness of rye, rotting black cherries, cocoa and sour milk in the tail end of the nose. Mouthfeel is very tart and acidic with a medium body. The taste begins with kiwi sourness, not akin to a gueze, followed by cocoa and coffee. Very obviously infected/contaminated with something. Tart acidity. Looks like I'm not the only one here to experience an infected bottle. I've got another bottle from the same sixer so I'll see if that's any better.

Obviously Atwater Block has some quality control issues. Until they fix it or I get a better bottle, I'll rate it as it sits in front of me. Obviously, this is a big turn off to trying their other products. Not reccomended.

Mitchster, Jul 28, 2006
Photo of pwoods
1.98/5  rDev -39.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz. brown bottle, purchased at Party Source, poured into an imperial pint.

A: Pours nearly pitch black with just a touch of ruby on the very edges. Short head forms dark khaki and dies quickly. Not much lace at all.

S: Good roasty characater but there's a healthy dose of diacytel. There's also a bit of barely, but very distracting, rubbing alcohol in the back. Maybe even a touch of lactose.

T/M: Roasty character is much less than in the nose and doesn't give the small benefit but trying to hide the bigger diacytel flavor. More of the alcohol and lactose mix. Added with a less than stellar body and fizzy, over carbonated feel... not impressed at all.

D: Average abv but a bad feel and tons of off flavors. I make a better porter than this.

pwoods, Jul 20, 2009
Photo of BrewtalHonesty
2/5  rDev -38.8%

BrewtalHonesty, Mar 21, 2014
Photo of Jredner
2.48/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

The aroma is lightly sour and lactic with overripe fruit and warm garbage aromas. Not a good sign. It pours dark brown and settles dark brown to black with a diminishing tan head that is just shy of a thumb’s thickness.

Chocolate and dark fruit fore. Slightly tart in an off way with hints of stale coffee, light smoke and mild roast malts. This is almost good, but it has some flaws and what is done right is not very intense or varied. Pretty foregettable.

Jredner, Jan 24, 2007
Photo of jmunsters
2.73/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Bottle poured into a snifter

A: Medium pour produced a billowing thick head that dissipated slowly leaving little lacing. Poured a deep dark brown. Looks like fresh motor oil.

S: A bit of sweet malts up front with a very faint hint of vanilla and tanins. Not really a whole lot here.

T: A nice light sweet, and mildly rich maltiness. I don't get any hints of a barrel aging here. A bit of odd woodiness comes through though.

M: Thin, mild carbonation, easily drinkable. Not typical of what I would have expected from a bourbon barrel aged ported.

O: It's drinkable and entirely average. It's relatively inexpensive for barrel aged beer, but it's the quality is totally indicitive of its price. I'd drink it again, but won't buy it again.

jmunsters, Oct 14, 2011
Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.73/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Opaque umber with a glimmer of reddish gold along the bottom edge of the glass. Shaman's sure looks like it means business. The large, creamy cap is a fetching shade of golden khaki, melts rather than deflates and graces the glass with a decent amount of thick, foamy lace. I knew next to nothing about this beer prior to cracking the crown, but I like what I see.

The nose is a little weak and is more sour fruity than roasted malty. Given the color and opacity, I expected a lot more. The brewery doesn't call this beer a Baltic porter per se, but hints around that that's what they're shooting for. No how, no way. There's very little in the nose that make me think anything other than the style listed above. I hope that it's more interesting on the palate.

Nope. Shaman's Porter tastes pretty much like it smells... sour. There's an acceptable amount of malt present, but, again, almost no roastiness. The flavor profile reminds me of the beer equivalent of chocolate milk that it a week or so past its 'sell by' date. I like Oud Bruins and Flanders Reds as much as the next BA, but please keep the lactic acid out of my porters. Or at least tone it down so that it doesn't dominate to this extent.

Again, there's no resemblance to a Baltic porter at all. Beer of that style--the best versions anyway--is incredibly complex and interesting. This one is uni-dimensional and distracting. Some sweetness manages to sneak in under the sourness, but none of the German hops that the brewery claims are present make any sort of noise at all.

There isn't a whole lot wrong with the body. It's on the lighter end of the style spectrum and is smooth enough. It's just that its cargo isn't up to the task at hand and it's hard to find much enjoyment in the mouthfeel as a result.

The brewery chose to put two words beneath Shaman's Porter on the label, in a font only slightly smaller: Smooth. Enjoyable. After drinking it, I'd have to say that two more appropriate words would be: Simple. Sour. If this beer is representative of their entire line, Atwater Block Brewing Company can be safely ignored. I'll assume that it's an infection though and will give them another chance.

BuckeyeNation, Aug 12, 2006
Photo of Jaysmittyland
2.75/5  rDev -15.9%

Jaysmittyland, Nov 27, 2013
Photo of jdhilt
2.78/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a two finger light tan head that fades to a thin layer leaving a little lace. Black color. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Roasted coffee nose. Starts as roasted coffee but quickly becomes dry and medicinal which lingers. $1.69 for a 12oz bottle from John's Grocery Iowa City, IA.

jdhilt, Jan 23, 2007
Photo of Prufrock
2.78/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle into a pilsner.

pitch black with an effervescing, cola-like inch of brown head. head falls quickly and leaves almost no lace.

smoky, woody roasted malt, chocolate and sugary burnt coffee in the aroma. a hint of raisiny sweetness and molasses as well.

medium-light mouthfeel with a medium-high carbonation. feel is a little thin. roasted malts, sweet coffee, and a slightly odd touch of sour that is subtle at the start but too heavy in the finish. flavor is a little too light and subtle.

Prufrock, Jul 04, 2006
Photo of WesWes
2.98/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

The beer pours a dark brown color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a sweet, malty scent that boasts of crystal and chocolate malts along with an earthy breadlike aroma. The taste is average. THis has a very sour flavor to it. It's almost undrinkable. The crystal and chocolate malts are present, but there appears to be some contamination here. The mouthfeel is average. It is a full bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a terrible porter. It has a wonderful aroma, but the taste is really sour.

WesWes, Apr 21, 2006
Photo of rsitarski
3/5  rDev -8.3%

rsitarski, Nov 17, 2011
Photo of Rons35
3/5  rDev -8.3%

Rons35, Feb 25, 2013
Photo of choover14
3/5  rDev -8.3%

choover14, Jan 08, 2012
Photo of Frozensoul327
3.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

An odd-ball porter. Pours out to a dark coffee mocha color with a frothy head of brown foam. Lots of lace, and a medium low level of carbonation. Aromas of chocolate and molasses are noted, with hints of roasted malts and wood. Taste was off... sweet and sour flavors of dark plumbs and grapes, with hints of sweet herbs and sugar cane. Not for me. Mouthfeel was like lightly carbonated vinegar; bites slightly, but still very thin and rather light. Average drinkability. Reminds me alot of Kuhnhenn's Penetration Porter.

Frozensoul327, Mar 16, 2006
Photo of RyanCFriedrich
3.25/5  rDev -0.6%

RyanCFriedrich, Feb 10, 2014
Photo of BlissJunkie
3.25/5  rDev -0.6%

BlissJunkie, Jan 14, 2013
Photo of mvanaskie13
3.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a sam adams custom glass: color is near black, no real brown edges, head is tan and dense with finer bubbles and presents about 1/2 inch thick, then creates some lacing and lingers well.

Smell is slightly acidic, but its overtaken by the malty flavors and light earthy hops; some biscuit, toast and chocolate are prominent.

Taste is lightly thick, not quite cloying, sweetness is definitely present, possibly some lactose backing this up? malt flavors are chocolate, biscuit, toast. There is a mild bourbon/oak note, its subtle but present.

Mouthfeel is a bit heavy on the tongue, not cloying but thick like a milkshake, i'm still thinking lactose; its carbonation is stinging and slightly drying.

Overall, an okay beer - it seems to miss the mark of a bourbon porter as it does not seem to meet porter qualities (maybe a sweet stout, except for the chocolate) and its bourbon/oak qualities are muddled.

mvanaskie13, Jan 22, 2014
Photo of proc
3.35/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours out to a dark, dark brown in the glass with a decent-sized head. The aroma is predominantly roasted malt, with bread dough thrown in on the edge. The taste is good, but a bit thin. The roasted malt gives this beer an edginess that lets up at the end, finishing with a light swallow. A good porter to introduce a macro drinking friend into the world of craft beer.

proc, Sep 27, 2006
Photo of WuAnquo1
3.5/5  rDev +7%

WuAnquo1, Jan 11, 2012
Photo of buschbeer
3.5/5  rDev +7%

buschbeer, Dec 30, 2012
Photo of Stinkypuss
3.58/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A. Served on tap into a chalice. Ruddy brownish amber with a small head that diminishes quickly.

S. Lightly toasted malt and not a strong scent at that.

T. A subtle maltiness and earthy hop with a dominant oak flavor. Hints of acrid smoke and just a bit of nuttiness.

M. Medium to full bodied, semi dry finish.

D. Kind of filling, kind of strong, but a good session porter here. If the price were right a case of these could be a welcome addition to my collection.

Stinkypuss, Jan 21, 2009
Photo of Derek
3.6/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From their website:
"Atwater's newest Lager! A porter traditionally brewed in the Baltic region. We use the finest ingredients include Munich, Chocolate and Black Malt's along with German hops to create the smoothest Porter you've ever tasted. Shaman's Porter will thrwart and tricksters or evil spirits!"

I haven't had many Baltic porters, so I searched this out at the Michigan Brewers Guild Winter Beer Festival.

A: Very dark black, with only a touch of tan head.

S: Roasted malt.

T: Quite malty (chocolate, nut, coffee/mocha, caramel). There's doesn't seem to be enough alcohol here... though perhaps it's just well hidden. There's some residual sweetness, but it's more acidic and dry than I had anticipated.

M: Moderate body that's highly carbonated (too carbonated).

D: Alright.

I think this one has potential... and maybe wasn't served under optimal conditions.

Derek, Feb 27, 2006
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Atwater Shaman's Porter from Atwater Brewery
77 out of 100 based on 40 ratings.