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Atwater Vanilla Java Porter | Atwater Brewery

523 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: 523 | Ratings: 1,672
Photo of Phil-Fresh
3.91/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Huge amount of vanilla, followed by coffee and roasty malts.

A: pitch black with off-white head , moderate retention.

T: Lots of vanilla, followed by coffee, sweet malt finish. No noticeable bitterness or hops.

M: Light bodied with moderate carbonation, smooth – a bit thin

O: While the vanilla and coffee provide a delicious sensory experience, the beer finishes so sweet I forgot it was a porter base. Moreover while enjoyable, finishes a bit thin.

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Photo of Cheeseboo
4.62/5  rDev +42.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I enjoy this beer quite a bit. It's got a hint of vanilla flavor and is pretty smooth. The taste isn't bitter and there is no aftertaste like some vanilla brews. This is my favorite from Atwater.

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Photo of WhoKnew23
2.76/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2.5

This beer is not awful, but it is a touch too sweet. However, this beer will always hold a place in my heart, as it is the beer that got me into craft beer. This is a good gateway for people who are afraid of dark beers.

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Photo of msromberg
4.39/5  rDev +35.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at The Raven, Port Huron, MI. Strong coffee and vanilla notes (as expected). More interesting than the average porter. Would definitely get this again.

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Photo of beergoot
3.67/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

The body appears jet black and is topped with a thick, dense, light tan head. The aroma oozes sweetness infused with cocoa, coffee, and vanilla notes. The taste follows along the same lines as the aroma with a touch of astringency and hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium yet watery.

This is a likeable, easy drinking beer that oozes sweetness and charred grain character. It feels a bit weak and lightweight for the style but otherwise delivers a distinctive and enjoyable tasting experience.

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Photo of Dave1999
3.78/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Pitch black with a tan coloured head.

The smell is vannila, coffee, sweet malts. The vannila is very strong.

The taste is roasty malts, vannila, coffee. A little watery on the finish.

The mouthfeel is very light.

This was almost an excellent beer but was for a watery taste and watery mouthfeel.

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Photo of Marraybay
2.95/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Pours a deep brownish black with a decent head and some fair lacing. Actually pretty attractive in the glass. I was able to distinguish some coffee in the nose; Taste was less bitter than I expected, particularly given the coffee. Caught one or two brief "glimpses" of both coffee and vanilla notes taste-wise, but not enough to really substantiate/establish those flavors throughout the pour. No discernable sweetness. In the end, I probably wouldn't rush to find/drink this one again, but felt it was far better (wrt bitterness balance) than others, that don't have java in the mix.

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Photo of gueuzeonhigh
3.18/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Looks nice in the glass-- as I'd expect the look of a traditional porter to be...
This one created a frothy but shot lived head.
The flavor was light kind of watery-- it lacked the "weight" of porters closer to my beer drinker's heart. The Vanilla and Java added interesting notes but their performances couldn't quite rescue the rather wimpy flavor demeanor and mouthfeel. I realize that porters tend not to be as muscular as a stout but this one bordered on perhaps a brown ale.

I think the beer's Okay, but there are lots of great porters out there-- and I have not come to a conclusion to what extent the supporting cast of Vanilla and Coffee add to the overall flavor interest of this beer. This porter is worth trying I just wouldn't make an epic trek to acquire a six pack...

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Photo of drunkenmess
4.51/5  rDev +38.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Delicious. Pours light dark almost amber-ish in color with a light tan head. Aromas of roasted coffee and chocolate, light vanilla. Taste is better then expected, sweet lightly robust yet still has that porter after taste along with with the vanilla n coffee bean taste. Very smooth n easily drinkable. On of my top choices

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Photo of Clockwork420
2.89/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3

Pitch black cream mocha two finger head reduced to one.

Smell was acidic, reminded me of bile or stomach acid. Cold coffee and dark malt.

Cold pressed coffee, smoke and dark malts.

Mouthfeel was thin, and barely carbonated.

Overall the smokey flavor and malts is balanced. But the smell and mouthfeel are seriously lacking. Sort of disappointing.

 351 characters

Photo of hophugger
3.24/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Nice black-brown color not allowing any light through, nice!.. Creamy tan head, minimal, though. Lacing is fizzy and average. Aroma is heavy with vanilla with just a small amount of coffee peaking through to the nose. Taste is, once again, heavy on the vanilla extract and somewhat masks the coffee flavor that I was expecting more of. Very creamy with just a touch of wateriness to it. Feels smooth going down and is quite sessionable for a porter. Ok, but not as complex or balanced as I would have expected and wANTED..

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

better than its ratings, but definitely not without its flaws. good not great, kind of what i have gotten from all of the atwater beers i have gotten to drink. the look is nice, almost nitro looking, with a creamy inch of thick light brown head, and a dark but silky shiny body. it smells like heavy vanilla, almost too much, more than is normal, and more extract than anything else.its hard to get too much vanilla in a beer, its such a tasty ingredient, but it comes across contrived here and definitely covers up whatever coffee is in here. full bodied and creamy feeling beer though, i like that aspect, its just the vanilla is candy sweet, and it makes the lushness of this a little less enjoyable. come coffee bitterness in the finish, but not enough to balance, and the chocolate aspect of the roast is also on the sweet side. not bad beer, but i think middle of the pack at best for the style. lacking nuance and balance for sure, but tasty enough, and good enough for very broad appeal. one and done for me though with this level of residual sugar.

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Photo of synapseprolapse
3.91/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pitch black. Half finger head dissipates quickly
S: Coffee, hint of vanilla, hint of chocolate. Sweet.
T: Sweet, a bit watery, bitter at the end, strong coffee finish.
M: Tingly, a bit thin.
O: Enjoyable, high end of sessionable, and delicious; I enjoyed it much the way someone would enjoy, say, 70% chocolate (letting the flavor linger). Coffee definitely pops at the end and lingers. Vanilla is barely discernible. I would like to see this beer with a bit more body, but it is otherwise well hopped and I enjoyed the flavors. It's heavy in the stomach, and I would only drink one at a time.

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Photo of 303beer
4.02/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a pint glass. Gives about a one inch head nice and creamy and dense. The taste is as it is named. Vanilla java porter. Like it. Good job to the brewers. I'll have more of this.

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Photo of Mooslerfitness
4.5/5  rDev +38.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a great porter bottle notched at jan 15 poured into a sniffer drank half of it cold taste like vanilla coffe with slight carbonation this is a solid coffe porter

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Photo of Bone53
3.59/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A ton of vanilla, light roasted malts, and a hint of chocolate. Had this on tap after eddy fitz and i should have just stuck with the latter. Not bad though, just doesn't have a chance next to the best

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Photo of HamdenHector
3.64/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: deep brown - almost black; 11 finger medium brown head that reeded slowly to a wispy cap; very nice lacing;

S: vanilla is most prominent, with deeply roasted grain and coffee behind it;

T: follows the nose; light bitterness on the finish;

M: light to medium bodied; moderate carbonation;

O: not all that complex; very thin for the style; also a little light on the bitterness for my taste;

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Photo of Yancey82
4.19/5  rDev +28.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark and thick into a snifter. A half inch of creamy head lingers. It smells delicious and the taste matches.Not sure why the consensus rating is so low. Solid coffee porter

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Photo of BryantBeerReview
4.07/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, notched 12/2014. Served in a snifter 2/28/2015.

A- Dark brown color, close to black body with dark amber color. Pours cleanly with minuscule foam and lacing.

S- a floating coffee/ java note, with undertones of sweet vanilla. An overall rich smelling beer.

T- Tastes thin. There is truly a smooth, graceful coffee flavor accented by a hit of vanilla. The beer finishes with a nutty almost earthy porter taste. Reminds of eating me of cappuccino with vanilla cake. It's sweet and light, almost too light for a porter. I wanted more flavor out of this beer.

M- Thin bodied, watery, very drinkable but has no depth to it. I would expect more to a porter.

O- Smells and Tastes wonderful but lacks depth which makes this beer a good choice but there is better out there. When I read vanilla java porter I expected something strong and satisfying but instead I got a beer that I could sit and watch a show with.

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Photo of laurellmj
3.96/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I agree with some other reviewers. I really liked this beer and my faves are typically Irish stouts. I found the finish to be much less sweet than the initial aroma, which I must say put me off a tad initially. I've had 4 more since my initial taste in early Feb. 2015. My only suggestion is that you may not want to order this pre-dinner, as it is a sweeter beer.

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Photo of Stevedore
3.33/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle, notched 1/2015. Served in a snifter 2/18/2015.

A- Dark brown, close to black body with a frothy one finger offwhite head. Nice retention. No lacing.

S- Fair amount of raw vanilla bean aromas, a bit of coffee, and not a whole lot else. The vanilla is pretty nice, though.

F- Tastes thin, a bit of raw vanilla bean flavour, not much coffee, very little depth to the beer. A mild earthy bitterness on the backend.

M- Thin bodied, watery, very drinkable but has no depth to it. Tradeoffs, I guess- it's pretty low in ABV (4.5% on the bottle) so there's that.

O- Smells good but there isn't not much else that's exceptional about this beer.

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Photo of Dana_Campbell
4.04/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I can't figure out why the review on this beer is so low. . .I think it is very tasty and would recommend it to any Stout drinker. I just think to many beer drinkers now a days are sucking on IPA's a little to much and ruining their taste buds.

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Photo of Harry-Porter
4.92/5  rDev +51.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I have been a big fan of porters and stout beers for the past few months. I love the hints of coffee and the thickness you get from a porter. After drinking this one I think I have found a new favorite. You can absolutely taste the vanilla and the coffee flavor is a little more pronounced than in other porters. The mouth feel is nice and thick an heavy. The smell is almost like that of an Irish coffee. This is a great beer to try if you are a fan of the Leinenkugel's Snowdrift Vanilla Porter.

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Photo of BeerConny
4.17/5  rDev +28.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

If you like coffee, more specifically vanilla flavored coffee, you will probably like this. I love coffee and this is fairly good. My only problem with this beer is that the flavor is not strong enough. The flavor itself is good but it's a little weak. This is a porter for the wussies! Hardly any bitterness at all. But without judging it for what it is, it's definately not bad.

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Photo of shanegatter
3.4/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Nice vanilla taste, wished it would have been a smooth beer with a vanilla aroma, got tired of it pretty quickly, thought it was better the first time I had it??

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Atwater Vanilla Java Porter from Atwater Brewery
75 out of 100 based on 523 ratings.