1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Atwater Vanilla Java Porter - Atwater Brewery

Not Rated.
Atwater Vanilla Java Porter
No picture uploaded.
Have one? Upload it now.

1,458 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,458
Reviews: 505
rAvg: 3.42
pDev: 19.88%
Wants: 18
Gots: 208 | 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
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 1,458 | Reviews: 505
Photo of bacher468
2/5  rDev -41.5%

Photo of waiting4lunch
4/5  rDev +17%

Photo of jdgerow
4/5  rDev +17%

Photo of doucmehu
3/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of jman892
3.2/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked up a single of this from a local shop. I know nothing about this brewery or this beer, but the name sounds delicious. We will see

A - Aggressive pour into a pint glass, still yields little in the way of head. Small cap remains. It is dark brown, toward black, in color.

S - Smell is very faint. There is a touch of vanilla, some malts, but not too exciting.

T - Good amount of vanilla in the taste. Reminds of the Vanilla Coke they had out a few years ago. I really am not picking up any coffee at all. Pretty much straight vanilla.

M - Feel is very light, especially for the style, would expect a bit more robustness. On the watery side.

O - A bit of a let down. I was looking forward to the vanilla java combo, but the vanilla really overpowered anything else. The watery mouthfeel was also a let down

Photo of Annesemj
3/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of Lawnboy33
3/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of oline73
3/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of UncleJimbo
3/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of bpfrush
3.75/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of StlHopHead77
2.18/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottled October 2011

A-Pours a thin,watery brownish black with 1 1/2 inches of loose and quickly dying tan suds that left spotty lacing.

S-Weak coffee,stale chocolate,lightly charred malts and cheap,vanilla extract.

T-Weak,coffee,tootsie roll,caramel and more cheap,vanilla extract.

M-Super thin.Nothing there that lingers or is worth mentioning.Way too much generic,synthetic vanilla flavor.

O-Serious disappointment.

Photo of cosmicevan
2.8/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to florida9 (kirk) for tossing this into the Growler Plus BIF box he sent my way. Not sure how their dating system works, but the bottle has July 2011 ticked off on the label.

a - opened the brew and filled my E snifter. brew poured a watery brown with a huge bubbly greyish white head. the head was really bubbly and actively bubbled away. had a very coca cola look to it.

s - wow, that's different. smells kind of like charred vanilla coke. coffee is there, but has a bit of a stale smell.

t - mish mosh of too much vanilla and bleh coffee...with some porter like qualities of charred roasted malts, but overall doesn't work that great for me.

m - mouth jumps out at first as this brew is overly carbonated.

o - overall, very soda like. Not sure if I'll get through the entire bottle or not, but certainly one that I won't seek out again. The vanilla just doesn't work too great. If they did a tiny amount of vanilla and beefed up the chocolate, this one might stand a chance.

Photo of MsRif
3.83/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My experience with this brew on-tap vs. bottled is vastly different...hopefully I can hit on everything in one review.

Poured a dark brown, opaque color from the tap into a pint glass. Very large tan head that receded slowly but did not dissipate completely. From the bottle, it was more see-through and I noticed less head retention.

On tap it had a lovely quality coffee aroma with sweet undertones of vanilla. The vanilla was not overwhelming at all and the character was very balanced. Bottled...it smelled like coffee that had been soaking in vanilla and Splenda for too long. Taste on tap was wonderful. Starts out strong with coffee, notes of chocolate and vanilla...sweet, but not overly so. Finishes a tad bitter. Nice, multidimensional brew. Bottled...way too sweet. Way too much vanilla. Tasted artificial and just wrong. Not at ALL what I remembered from getting it on tap. I will never buy it bottled again.

On tap, was medium in body. Bottled...THIN. Way, way too thin. Do they cut it with water and then bottle it? Not cool. Very disappointing since I really enjoyed it on tap.

I'll get it again if it's on tap...I will never buy it in a bottle again. This review focuses ratings more towards the draught...I really enjoyed it.

Photo of jtingue
2.64/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured into a snifter. Bottle dated June 2011.

Appearance. Clear, but dark black in color with a red tint. Pours with the thinnest tan head that dissipates so quickly that its like it was never there.

Smell. The strange combination of coffee and vanilla creates a smell that reminds me quite a bit of toffee with a hint of maple sugar candy. None of the usual porter characteristics.

Taste. Starts out with strait vanilla. Some dark roastiness tries to pop through but are quickly killed by an unpleasant coffee bitterness. A flavor of gas station coffee lingers around on the palate until a sweet vanilla and coffee finish.

Mouthfeel. A thin watery body is slightly masked by a small amount of carbonation, quite unpleasant.

This beer completely lacks any sort of subtlety. The only way it can call itself a porter is through its color, a pretty weak argument. This would be well and good if the coffee and vanilla were used with some sort of beneficial effect on flavor, but the beer just ends up tasting like a poorly made malted milkshake.

Photo of match1112
3.83/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: black in the center with brown hues around the edges. a finger of mocha colored head quickly settles into a cap with little lacing.

s: roasted coffee, malts and very little vanilla.

t: cold cup of coffee, lacking in vanilla.

m: pretty thin and smooth. a little creamy texture to it and a slight bitterness from the coffee.

o: it's alright, probably a good starter porter, kind of bland.

Photo of Florida9
2.78/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Very dark brown, almost black, in color, yet still visibly clear. Forms an enormous light tan head that slowly reduces to a small, but stable 1/8" of bubbly head. No lacing.

S: Smells of cola and a strong sweet artificial vanilla scent. Almost like some sort of Vanilla Coke knock-off. There is some roasty malts in the mix, but the artificial vanilla dominates.

T: Cola, chocolate, coffee, and that sweet fake vanilla. Thinly flavored, finishes quick and watery. Leaves a sweet saccharin aftertaste in the mouth.

M: Thin to medium in body with heavier carbonation. Thin for the style. Very low bitterness.

O: Simply not a very good beer that I didn't even bother finishing. Reminds of a mildly alcoholic cola with it's sweet, fake taste.

Photo of jbierling
2.6/5  rDev -24%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Dark coffee brown color.

Smell: Was expecting more. Smelled more vanilla at Kilwins today.

Taste: Was expecting more taste from vanilla porter.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Average at best. I was expecting to really like it.

Photo of ChadSimmons
3.37/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a very dark brown with some hints of red. Absolutely no head but did leave a fizzy film at the top. I found this beer very refreshing, and the java taste was very pleasant. Couldn't taste very much of the vanilla though. I found the mouthfeel to be very watery. This beer has VERY little body. Overall it was a refreshing beer that goes down very easy. I would definitely drink again but wouldn't seek out.

Photo of Josiah2729
3.13/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle poured into tumbler

A- Dark, little to no head that dissipated quickly

S- Vanilla with some coffee, sweet smell

T- Slight bitterness, malty, fairly strong vanilla, some coffee

M- Light, cola texture, pretty thin

O- Average, I was somewhat dissapointed, kind of overdid it with the vanilla

Photo of RedSpecial1
3.79/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep rich coffee color, even the highlights are reminiscent of a dark roasted cup of coffee. Relatively little head remains after the initial pour. The smell is of stale, Italian roast coffee. The flavor has notes of strong Madagascar vanilla, and finishes with a deep, smokey coffee flavor. The beer's mouthfeel is appropriate for a porter, which could be perceived as thin by people expecting a stout. Overall, this is a good example of a porter. It's very drinkable, and refreshing like a porter should be.

Photo of gatorbreath
3.65/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is solid. Looks like an opaque fudge brown pour with a minimal, carbonated, offwhite/tan head..minimal lacing..

Smell is strongly of malt and java. Seems interesting at the outset.

Taste is different, for sure. There is an attack on the palate of malt and even picking up some hoppiness as well, the java is very prominent and the vanilla seems well disguised. I cant say I enjoy it too much, but there is a slight burnt/smoked taste to this that I am definitely noticing.

Mouthfeel is full-bodied, not too carbonated, and slick.

Going to probably abstain from this offering in the days to come. It is good but I enjoy others more!


Photo of yankeej13
3.55/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this beer on tap at Atwater Block Brewery.

A- Nice dark malty beer, had a medium head of foam and a minor amount of carbonation.

S- Fairly potent, you can totally pick out a coffee smell and a medium amount of vanilla as well.

T- It was much more thin of a beer than I realized considering it was a 6 percent beer. Mild taste of vanilla as well as coffee malts.

M- Light good drinkability. More on the thin side goes down easy. Even though it was on the light side it has distictive flavor you can pick out.

Overall I enjoyed it alot just which it had a bit higher alcohol content. Always liked my porter on the heavy side. Cheers

Photo of bushbeer75
3.15/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz brown bottle label notched Jan. 11 consumed 5/8/11

Atwater Block Brewery Vanilla Java Porter poured black with dark brown/red highlights color producing a ¾-finger tan fizzy head that reduced very quickly to a thin fizzy film. The aroma is dominated by burnt coffee, and there is just a wisp of vanilla. The flavor begins with mild dark chocolate followed and dominated by burnt coffee. The taste finishes with a [too] light touch of vanilla. Mouth feel is light medium with medium carbonation.

With a name like Vanilla Java…I was expecting a brew with much more vanilla flavor. Atwater’s Porter is not as heavy as other Porters, however, a good entry level porter.

Photo of WoodBrew
3.46/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The Atwater Vanilla Java Porter is big on aroma, but short on body. My preference for porters and stouts is to have some body...a bit thicker mouthfeel. This Porter is very light. The appearance is very dark amber, not completely opaque. Minimal carbonation and almost no head. The aroma is filled with vanilla and coffee. The taste has vanilla and coffee, but the coffee is definitely more prevalent. Those that like iced-mochochinos will like this beer. The mouthfeel is lacking cuz I like body...this beer does not have body. Still worth a try however.

Photo of tdm168
3.06/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at the Village Draft House in Raleigh

Arrived a deep brownish-black with a thin lacing of head. Smell is bold mesh of vanilla and coffee, but the combination combines to make vanilla cola. Taste is again vanilla and coffee. The taste is a little unbalanced. Each flavor has its own place; initially, there is a sweetness from the vanilla followed by coffee and roasted malts, but the combination tastes like cola in the finish. This beer has no carbonation and is rather watery.

This one isn't as robust as I would like, and I couldn't really shake the not-so-impressive cola aftertaste. Not upset that I tried it, but there are far better coffee and/or vanilla porter out there.

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Atwater Vanilla Java Porter from Atwater Brewery
78 out of 100 based on 1,458 ratings.