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Atwater Vanilla Java Porter | Atwater Brewery

525 Reviews
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Atwater Vanilla Java PorterAtwater Vanilla Java Porter

Brewed by:
Atwater Brewery
Michigan, United States | website

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by ypsifly on 10-21-2006

User Reviews
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Reviews: 525 | Ratings: 1,683
Photo of Twotom
2.33/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Nothing subtle here, not even sure it tastes like beer. All I get are the adjuncts, coffee and vanilla. I wish the brewers let the malts do more of the work.

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Photo of EyePeeAyBryan
4.12/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Overall rating of 75?!?! Drank a 13 month old bottle given to me and was pleasantly surprised the amount of flavor coming out of a sub 5% porter. Dark with a fluffy head and a tad thin, which was to be expected. Tons or dark roasted malt, a touch of coffee and chocolate with a little vanilla but bold and beautiful looking for a nearly "session-able" porter.

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Photo of Jon_Hendricks
3.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a muddy/cloudy, dark black appearance.

Overall: Has a aroma of dark chocolate. Flavors include dark chocolate and has smokey tones of coffee, caramel, and a wallop of sweet vanilla. Lingering chocolate and roasted sugary vanilla finish. Well balanced enjoyable but too bland. The flavors in this beer are a little too subdued for me.

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Photo of Stevem68
3.6/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark chocolate color with no head. Aroma is roasted coffee. Flavor is very light, you get notes of coffee and vanilla but it is not blended the best and the mouthfeel is very watery. Overall not bad but had much higher hopes and could have been executed way better.

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Photo of Shaler_Tate
3.67/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Meh not bad. The flavor is pretty nice with good vanilla presence, but there was almost no head and the mouthfeel was very watery. It is a good easy drinker, but not something I would have that often.

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Photo of TerryW
3.33/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Some interesting flavours, but no harmony. Just things piled up, one on the other. Not excessively sweet, which is something of a saving grace. Novelty brew, not really memorable though.

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Photo of yuenglingfan101
4.9/5  rDev +50.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

love this beer unique taste of java and vanilla. taste is so irrestiable and makes me want to drink this beer more and more. the smell is so intoxicating as well

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Photo of Sabtos
3.17/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Black, with an initially large, fizzy, soda-like head that fades fairly quickly but can be rehabilitated with a vigorous swirl.

I get medium roast coffee with cream and a little sugar, but more bitter than sweet.

It has a crisp sting on the swallow, also like soda. Light and fizzy. Okay.

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Photo of Smcavoy
3.92/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Enjoyed straight from 12 oz. bottle. Thin mouthfeel, light carbonation, with a bitter coffee and vanilla finish. As much as I enjoy this beer, It seems too thin and light to be a Porter. For fans of coffee stouts and porters, this beer is definitely worth trying out. It's similar style and taste to Wolaver's Alta Gracia coffee Porter.

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Photo of DDiFran
4.15/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours dark with a tan head. Strong vanilla aroma. Taste is all java. Body is a bit thin for a porter, but it gets better as it warms to room temp. Not great but still a very good session porter.

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Photo of tone77
3.88/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A thanks to my (seasonally) in person trader, woodychandler, for this beer. Poured from as 16 oz. can. Has a black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of vanilla, coffee. Taste is the same, lots of vanilla, coffee, some roasted malts, very easy drinking. Feels medium/light bodied in the mouth and overall is an enjoyable beer.

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Photo of NateDyk47
3.81/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

L- nearly black with a thin tan head
S- weak vanilla scent
T- vanilla, faint hint of coffee, but not as strong as I'd hoped for
F- light body, medium carbonation

Overall a pretty good porter, would be better if it was heavier bodied.

 237 characters

Photo of AndrewCalebRay
3.52/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Smells and taste the most like coffee out of a lot of porters I have had. You can definitely taste the vanella and the Java. The mouth feel is smooth, almost watery at first, but then I the texture and flavor kicks in. A good mix up for a porter with low ALC content and with a different strong coffee flavor.

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Photo of brandongoblue24
3.3/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown with appealing ruby color around edges. Extremely disappointing head. Lots of vanilla in the nose - it overpowers everything but the slightest hint of coffee. The taste was a bit better; more of the coffee came through. It felt thin, and most of all, artificial.

Overall I gave it a four - despite some technical deficiencies, it was still fairly easy to drink. I thought it did a good job emulating the "feel" of drinking coffee as well.

Address the vanilla issue and we'll talk; until then I don't think I'll be buying it again.

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Photo of predikit
3.56/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown, settles in the glass black but brown on the edges. Head dissipated instantly.

Notes of coffee, chocolate, vanilla take the aroma.

Taste is a bit odd. It falls flat and lifeless with a stale coffee bitter that doesn't go anywhere, then the other notes start to activate and it comes together for a great finish and aftertaste. The roasted coffee and vanilla make a good combination, makes me want to try adding some to my morning coffee.

Light bodied, fairly smooth, medium carbonation, fairly drinkable.

A slow, stuttering start to a strong finish, this wasn't bad at all.

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Photo of Bvrat5199
4.01/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Great taste, color and smell. Is a bit watery for a stout out of the bottle. Had it on nitro and it became an outstanding beer, really changed the feel which is its only downside out of the bottle.

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Photo of ribby
3.1/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

The vanilla smell is strong, but it does not blend well with the flavors of this beer. Low carbonation and relatively thin mouth feel. Not really sure how to hop such a beer, I think the trick is to Balance the sweet malt with the vanilla and roasted malt. This is not strongly hopped but still too much for the style. Mostly not malty enough.

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Photo of Slippery_Dud
2.47/5  rDev -24%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I love dark beer. Porters, stouts, brown ales, etc... That being said, I don't think I will be buying this one again. This beer looks and smells great. But it tastes cheap and poorly brewed. It's very sweet which is not always a bad thing, but this tastes like it was sweetened by adding sugar or something to that effect. It tastes artificial. I was actually not very happy with any of the beers from this brewer. I bought a variety pack a few weeks ago. They all had sort of that artificial sort of taste to them. Poorly brewed with additives. When you try new beers, you win some and you lose some... Next.

 609 characters

Photo of Bluegrass49
3/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a stemmed ale glass. Pours a dark, coffee-like color with a very modest foam head. Vanilla stands out the most with a noticeable coffee flavor. A little below average for a porter.

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Photo of JustLikeMyDad
2.5/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a glass, pours a dark, coffee-like color. Almost no foam head.
Smells like a roasted coffee, with some hints or notes of vanilla.
Tastes a lot like a coffee, as the name implies. Not as strong, but not watery either.
Feels thin, very mild carbonation which explains the lack of a foam head to me.
Overall it's alright, tastes like coffee, didn't get much of a vanilla taste, though I could smell it.

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Photo of tekstr1der
3.64/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big aroma is the best part. Pours dark with almost no head. Aroma does have vanilla notes amid the coffee. Flavor deteriorates, with just a thin, kinda boring java flavor. Porters should have far more complexity before adding things like coffee or chocolate. This would never stand on its own.

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Photo of Wer34truh
2.71/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

A beautiful, yet fairly generic looking porter. Head is about 1cm.

With the exception of notes of vanilla and light spices this beer does not have a particularly noticeable smell.

Taste is subtle, with some light spices as an aftertaste. What taste s present quickly dissipates. Carbonation is very light, as is the beer in general. This is one of the most chuggable porters I've tried, which is not usually a characteristic of the style. Then once again, there isn't much in this beer that keeps you lingering.

This is a simple beer alright, and to some people that might have its charm. However, to me simplicity in a porter is not enough.

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Photo of ScaryEd
4.24/5  rDev +30.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a stout glass.

Pours a deep, dark brown with a solid caramel-colored head that dissipates rather quickly.

The smell is incredibly sweet, with vanilla doing most of the work. I also get notes of chocolate and roasted coffee.

The taste was surprisingly restrained given the sweetness of the nose. Don't get me wrong, this is still a very sweet beer, but not cloying or overpowering in any way. The vanilla is still the main event of this porter, but I get plenty of chocolate and coffee notes, as well as a slightly burnt, roasted flavor on the back end.

The feel is medium-bodied with light carbonation. There is no alcohol to be found on any sip, even as the beer warms a bit.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by this one. Given the nose I expected a beer that was simply too sweet for my tastes. And while this is still a very sweet beer, it's not overly sweet and the simple flavors are very effective for my palate.

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Photo of KYGunner
3.53/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very Vanilla forward it has a more tempered sweetness and is easy to drink. Light chocolate malt underpinning with an iced coffee flavor. There is some caramel and toffee notes but I struggle to find it. It's only 4.5% so my expectations were low but I won't disparage any one from giving it a shot.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.58/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on: 4/1/15.

Pours an opaque super dark crimson-brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. A foamy lattice of lace coats the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, vanilla bean, vanilla frosting, and cocoa powder aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa powder, vanilla bean, and burnt coffee flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with lots of vanilla forward characteristics, but I am only getting coffee in the taste and the flavor comes across as burnt to me.

Serving type: bottle.

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Atwater Vanilla Java Porter from Atwater Brewery
75 out of 100 based on 525 ratings.