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Atwater Vanilla Java Porter - Atwater Brewery

Not Rated.
Atwater Vanilla Java PorterAtwater Vanilla Java Porter

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1,396 Ratings
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Ratings: 1,396
Reviews: 487
rAvg: 3.41
pDev: 19.94%
Wants: 18
Gots: 165 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Atwater Brewery visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ypsifly on 10-21-2006

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,396 | Reviews: 487 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Bounty628:
Photo of Bounty628
3.17/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Vanilla Java Porter is brewed in the American Porter style and has an ABV of 6.0% that was somewhat surprising because the taste of the alcohol was quite nicely muted behind the java of the offering.

The porter pours a brown to maroon consistency and the head that was present was about one finger thick and was a light tan. The head did not maintain itself throughout the offering. There was a moderate amount of carbonation in the pour.

The nose was the largest disappointment of the offering as with a vanilla java name I was really expecting some great things. However, the nose was about as light as one could imagine and there was just a hint of roasted coffee that came through in the nose. Most porters try to pack as much roasted or malted notes as possible into the nose but with this offering that just is not the case. There was absolutely no vanilla that came through in the nose and the weakness of the nose was a good reason to be concerned with the taste.

Moving on to the taste, fortunately the lackluster nature of the nose did not hold true with the taste and Atwater redeemed themselves here. The vanilla is quite noticeable in the taste but it fortunately has a rather natural taste and does not maintain a syrupy or synthetic vanilla taste. There is a good amount of roasted coffee in the taste and the pairing of the two holds up quite nicely. Some dark chocolate also works its way into the taste and the combination of the flavors really gives way to a dynamic taste.

There is a good mouthfeel with this porter and the right amount of carbonation really serves this porter well. There is a rich yet not heavy mouthfeel and the roasted nature of the taste really hangs with the tastebuds giving the mouthfeel a full and complete nature.

Some might argue that porters do not maintain the same drinkability as perhaps a lager or an ale but I would argue that drinkability does not just boil down to session drinking but instead focuses on the overall drinkable nature of the beer. This porter could serve as a nice session beer or it could stand alone as a good beer to pair with a nice meal. Ideally this beer would go nicely with either a smoked chicken or some grilled BBQ meat.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Turbo
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of tectactoe
3.3/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bought a six-pack on sale at my local Meijer store. The beer is very dark, looks black in a dim room, however when placed under light, it shows a bit of brown. Faint tan head that doesn't hang around for very long and leaves little to no lacing on the glass. The beer looks "thin" - I've certainly seen better looking porters.

The smell is nice, however it isn't very powerful. Caramel and vanilla are the main things that hit the nose when you finally do get a nice whiff. Maybe a little bit of cocoa powder on the back-end, but surprisingly, there isn't very much coffee, despite being a part "java" porter. Somewhat disappointing, although the aroma is still pretty good.

Vanilla takes over most of the taste. You can sit there and probably pick out some grains and malts and maybe even a touch of coffee, but vanilla is mostly what you're tasting. Not complex at all, and I feel like more flavors SHOULD be here, but they went a little too far on the vanilla profile. The beer felt as thin as it looked and had quite a bit of carbonation (almost too much) that was a little bit distracting.

Overall, one of the better Atwater brew's I've had, but in my experience with them - that really isn't saying too much. Definitely worth a try at least one time, but there are certainly better vanilla flavored porters out there.

Photo of t2grogan
4/5  rDev +17.3%

Photo of nohead02
4/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a nice novelty beer. Very dark with just a small head that disipates pretty quickly. Medium body. Nice aroma presages the full flavors, with only minimal hoppiness. As advertised, it comes through with a complex array of coffee and chocolate with a vanilla finish. My personal bias is toward hoppy beers, but this was a pleasant switch from the routine on a cold winter night.

Photo of Tiernan
3.25/5  rDev -4.7%

Photo of GameOfBeers
4/5  rDev +17.3%

Photo of SIRIUS2
3.85/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A: Very dark, nearly black with a creamy light brown head. Good retention and moderate lacing.

S: Malts on the nose with a mild coffee aroma.

T: Mild but sweet maltiness is first on the tongue, with the light coffee flavors coming through just moments later. I couldn't specifically taste the vanilla in the brew but I can certainly pick out the effects - the general smoothness and blending of flavors is great. Nothing jumps out and screams for attention here, but that's kind of what makes this good. Everything plays together nicely and just has an enjoyable mildness to it.

M&D: Mouthfeel is generally good but just a little bit thin on the tongue after a few seconds. Don't get me wrong, I really liked this but compared to other porters, this one is just a little thin. As for drinkability, this goes down so smooth and easy that I could enjoy several in a row before considering something else. Give this one a try. Good stuff.

Photo of acelightning80
4.27/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance was dark, but with a reddish tinge when held up to the light.
Smelled of very strong vanilla with a slight hint of coffee.
First sensation of taste was a sharp almost sour feel on the tongue combined with a bit of bitterness. Immediately followed by a vanilla taste with a bit of coffee. As the beer lingers the vanilla and coffee flavors flipflop in intensity, almost like an inverse relationship. The beer finishes with a very smooth coffee taste.

Very good beer, easy to drink, delicious.

Photo of markallmon
4.5/5  rDev +32%

Photo of StephSwander
4/5  rDev +17.3%

Photo of gleason_usmc
3.85/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tastes more like a vanilla milkshake than a beer.

Photo of RobertClevenger
4/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

S - 12oz bottle poured into tulip

A - Dark brown, nearing black, little to no light passing through, medium brown head

S - Strong vanilla, slight coffee and chocolate

T - Vanilla is strong up front, just a little trace of coffee and some bitterness that is reminiscent of dark bitter chocolate

M - Medium body, not too light, bordering on medium/heavy

O - A good, solid beer. I'd love to put down a sixer of this stuff. I would definitely buy it again.

Photo of TimoP
3.25/5  rDev -4.7%

Photo of Chappyjason
5/5  rDev +46.6%

Photo of Swane
4.25/5  rDev +24.6%

Photo of fdrich29
4/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of the few beers I was able to try while serving as a captain of volunteers at the American Beer Fest in Boston. Enjoyed it so much I contacted the brewery and distributors to see if it was available in Massachusetts. Found it at Kappy's in Wellington Circle and grabbed a six pack.

I love a beer that delivers what it advertises. The vanilla extract is very nice, not too sweet or over the top, but provides flavor. The sweetness mixed with the coffee beans makes this a simple, yet special beer. Highly enjoyable beer to drink.

Photo of banglin
4.65/5  rDev +36.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Thin light tan head that is retained long after pouring. Rich dark color.

S: Very strong vanilla notes. Don't smell much of the java.

T: Java flavor upfront followed by vanilla. Somewhat chocolatey malt flavor.

M: Just the right amount of carbonation.

O: This is a very good beer with if you like the vanilla taste. It's something a bit different from the ordinary that is still refreshing on a warm day.

Photo of mctizzz
2.5/5  rDev -26.7%

Photo of Mugenlude
4/5  rDev +17.3%

Photo of Mealy58
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of jcdiflorio
2.88/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

served into a nonic glass from a 12 oz. brown long neck bottle with crimped-on cap.

Opaque,black slightist reddish hue when held to light. 4" thick, very creamy, head light tan towards white,dissapated quickly to 1/2 layer of foam.

Moderate aromas mostly of roasted coffee,a burnt wood aroma also,not a much of a vanilla scent if any. Nothing here to get me excited about tasting this beer.

Tastes of roasted coffee,chocolaty, tastes of smoke from a wood fire,a hint of vanillia.Clean,quick sharp bitter finish. Bits of tartness throughout.
Not a bad tasting beer, just very predictiable and uninteresting.

Meduim bodied, towards light for a porter. Smooth, good drinkability,easy going, just not a lot of reason for sessions. An average porter,nothing fancy,very predictable. Not a much of a vanilla presence as expected from the label. Not a bad beer. I think I just expected a little more from this offering.

Photo of NilocRellim
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of wattoclone
4.25/5  rDev +24.6%

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Atwater Vanilla Java Porter from Atwater Brewery
78 out of 100 based on 1,396 ratings.