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Atwater VJ Black - Atwater Brewery

Not Rated.
Atwater VJ BlackAtwater VJ Black

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

151 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 151
Reviews: 59
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 13.04%
Wants: 6
Gots: 16 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Atwater Brewery visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: DrDemento456 on 04-09-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 151 | Reviews: 59 | Display Reviews Only:
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pavpav12

Pennsylvania

5/5  rDev +27.9%

06-13-2012 22:56:58 | More by pavpav12
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5/5  rDev +27.9%

You rated this beer. Consider writing a review.

11-11-2012 02:13:26 | More by
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maxwelldeux

Washington

4.75/5  rDev +21.5%

06-03-2013 01:51:47 | More by maxwelldeux
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bassbase

Pennsylvania

4.75/5  rDev +21.5%

07-21-2012 22:21:08 | More by bassbase
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chefdaddy18042

Pennsylvania

4.65/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Oh yeah! Finally an RIS that has the vanilla side of the category. I really enjoyed this brew. Little booziness, lots of vanilla present that completely hits the tongue and matches great with the dark malt flavorings. Had the 2010 batch with I felt was far superior to the 2011 batch. I would say let this one age one year before cracking, the vanilla takes a step back and comes into harmony with the roasted malts that create a beautiful beverage. Definitely case worthy!

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2012 19:10:51 | More by chefdaddy18042
Photo of PorterLambic
PorterLambic

Florida

4.58/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours pitch black with a substantial mocha colored head. Retention is decent and dissipation is a bit noisy but lacing is good.
Smell is great. Roasted malt, molasses, graham cracker, baking chocolate/cocoa, alcohol-soaked oak and some dark fruits. Phenomenal balance. I swear I smell oreos.
Taste is amazing. Semisweet chocolate, molasses, toasted graham crackers, malt, dark fruits and light hops to balance.
Medium-full body, light effervescence. Alcohol presence but nowhere near what you would expect for 11%. Smooth with a slight coating of the tongue and palate. A slight astringency in the finish. This is a very, very good beer. I could drink several of these easily.

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2011 01:49:26 | More by PorterLambic
Photo of MI_gal616
MI_gal616

Michigan

4.55/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The VJ black is Atwater's Vanilla Java Porter made into an Imperial Stout (more, more, more of everything).

This poured like a beauty into the glass. Small, tan head with great legs on a super robust dark brown, almost black beer.

The smell is what blew me away. Like vanilla extract, super sweet. Normally not what i'd be looking for in a beer, but it smelled so good!

The flavor was rich with roasted coffee, smooth roasted malts, and not nearly as sweet as the nose would suggest. In fact, there was a rather pleasant hop bitterness in the aftertaste that was not present in the initial flavor.

The mouthfeel was medium to full body. Definitely more robust than I expected after reading some reviews of this beer and having a rather watery Vanilla Java Porter earlier this year.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2013 05:01:13 | More by MI_gal616
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wrightst

Maryland

4.53/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've had sevaral of Atwater beers, and most seem to target the medium range. This one aims for the smaller, center of the target, which of course, is more rewarding.

It pours very dark brown, nearly black with a tan head. As appealing as that is, surprisingly, I did not drink in the appearance.

The smell was a strong presence of vanilla, which really surprised me, as I was expecting what the label told me to expect, a Russian Imperial Stout. It lead me to do some digging and right here, two reviews down from mine, is the answer - it's a vanilla porter, repurposed as a RIS. If you'd asked me ahead of time, I'd have said two things: I don't think it will work, and try it anyway. I love brewers that will go out on a limb like this.

The flavor was similar, but the vanilla was much less intense. Common for beers with vanilla. The taste was much more in line with an imperial stout, but the vanilla continues to linger. This is one of those high gravity beers (11%) that does not taste it. A feature I like.

It is robust in mouthfeel, but not as hearty as some imperial stouts, and not close to say, triple abbeys or double bocks.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2013 00:52:49 | More by wrightst
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reitzbrewing

Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

12-01-2012 05:03:39 | More by reitzbrewing
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jtb0608

North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

07-16-2012 01:01:50 | More by jtb0608
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HipHopinHooligan13

North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

06-29-2012 01:10:13 | More by HipHopinHooligan13
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ROBSTARR

Michigan

4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

12-30-2011 23:33:07 | More by ROBSTARR
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DaleMcMutt

Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

11-17-2012 15:30:10 | More by DaleMcMutt
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TheBeerDad

Michigan

4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

07-07-2014 00:38:02 | More by TheBeerDad
Photo of B0bD0bbselbock
B0bD0bbselbock

Michigan

4.5/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into tumbler pint glass.

A- Deep, dark black with elements of brownish with an amber tinge (under light). Pretty high opacity, and a nice, brownish, two-finger head that receded to about 1/4 finger with medium lacing.

S- Sweet, roasted malty goodness, smelling somewhat like roasted marshmallows and vanilla with a hint of coffee. Kinda reminds of a good chocolate donut, in some sense. I also detect something like sweet, dry roasted peanuts.

T- Wow! The aroma of this beer seems to match up quite a bit in the flavor profile. Its pleasantly sweet, with a bold body of roasted, maybe toasted malts, and a nice chocolaty flavor, with hints of vanilla bean. The alcohol is beautifully hidden.

M- A near full-bodied mouthfeel that i find smooth and silky. Seems to be a bit mildly carbonated.

This one I would highly recommend to those who enjoy the darker side of beers. Being a huge fan of imperial stouts, this one pleases my palate on many levels. Truly a delicious representation of a great style of beer that i tend to enjoy year round, tho Michigan's winter season makes this an even warmer welcome. I found the flavors exciting and deep, captivating even, and the aroma very inviting, sort of flirting with my olfactory senses, which, of course, i went for home base. Very surprisingly, I found this very high 11% ABV so well hidden, that i could easily drink two in a row before i blissfully melt into my chair. I'd like to pair this one side by side with the Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout, as they seem like they'd become fast friends. Atwater brewery has truly impressed my brain with this one, and I further convinced that Michigan has some of the greatest breweries in one state. Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2011 03:10:51 | More by B0bD0bbselbock
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yergermeister

Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

04-18-2012 15:04:58 | More by yergermeister
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mquinn919

Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

04-02-2012 22:34:36 | More by mquinn919
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agreenman19

Connecticut

4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

08-21-2012 23:53:26 | More by agreenman19
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ShadyJay

Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

04-03-2012 22:39:42 | More by ShadyJay
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Lynn

Ohio

4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

07-07-2012 01:14:16 | More by Lynn
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TastingRoomCharNtony


4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

01-19-2013 23:30:04 | More by TastingRoomCharNtony
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jnikkel

Indiana

4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

04-22-2012 22:40:13 | More by jnikkel
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NCStateAE

North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

05-31-2014 22:04:29 | More by NCStateAE
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Eric1Mess

Michigan

4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

08-27-2013 01:57:52 | More by Eric1Mess
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

4.43/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

VJ Black pours out as a rich semi thick looking black color with a brown colored head that leave a light lacing. The smell of this beer is a very nice. There a really good chocolate aroma with a light mix of roasted malts and vanilla. It smell like it could be extremely tasty. The aroma gives a really good idea of what the taste is. It's got the flavors of some milk chocolate and vanilla. There is some wooden flavors in there and a dry roasted aftertaste. The mouthfeel is ultra smooth and very drinkable. The 11% abv is no where to be found. It's a very impressive beer!

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2011 23:17:23 | More by Knapp85
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Atwater VJ Black from Atwater Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 151 ratings.