Wolaver's Alta Gracia Coffee Porter | Otter Creek Brewing

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Wolaver's Alta Gracia Coffee PorterWolaver's Alta Gracia Coffee Porter
Very Good
781 Ratings
Wolaver's Alta Gracia Coffee PorterWolaver's Alta Gracia Coffee Porter

Brewed by:
Otter Creek Brewing
Vermont, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Unfiltered and unpasteurized porter brewed with Vermont grown organic coffee and aged on organic vanilla beans.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 781 |  Reviews: 254
Reviews by SolipsismalCat:
Photo of SolipsismalCat
4.14/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Dark hazy brown with one-finger, off-white, creamy head that lasted a couple of minutes. Okay lacing.

S: Strong coffee aroma. The strongest I've smelled.

T: Moderate sweetness and light bitterness. Vanilla at first, then a super rich coffee flavor. Chocolate in the finish.

M: Medium bodied with fizzy carbonation. Really smooth and creamy.

O: The head was a bit disappointing, but then the coffee aroma and flavor were ridiculously good. The way vanilla AND chocolate are integrated into the flavor profile is really neat. And, this porter was very smooth. Possibly one of my new favorites here.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.7/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my Guinness pint glass an ink black except for just a few rays of ruby when held to a bright light,a thinner toasted almond colored head atop.Aromas are like stickin your nose in French roast coffee gorunds,its that domant in its coffee aromas,a slight dark fruit element comes thru but its light.Flavors of dark roast coffee crystals are overwheleming,I havent had a beer is domianant its coffee character.Its a decent beer,if you like cofee you will like this.

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Photo of stewfnrocker
4.17/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured this from the bottle to a pint glass, it pours a dark brown almost black look with a visible tan head. The smell is of coffee, vanilla and roasted malts. When I took that first sip and swirled it in my mouth I got a good taste of coffee, vanilla bean, a little bit of a roastiness. The mouth feel is of a full body porter and a bit of overpowering sweetness, but I probably shouldn’t have eaten this with dinner, but with dessert. There is no hint of alcohol when drinking and the taste is very balanced. My only complaint would be it might be a little to on the sweet side. I recommend if drinking, either drink it alone or with some dessert.

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Photo of ArrogantDeadGuy
3.81/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Deep auburn pour into a Brooklyn Pilsner glass. Off white to tan head that falls quickly into a slight swirl. Not as dark as I'd hoped. Nearly transluscent in the light.

Wonderfully sweet coffee bean aroma. I don't think I have had a porter with such a distinct coffee bean aroma. It is like sticking my nose in a barrel of fresh roasted beans. The sweet malts make the aroma remeniscient of a chocolate covered espresso bean. Really great nose!

Flavor of watered down coffee with a dry finish. Blandish flavor in comparison to the aforementioned nose. Unpleasant bitterness on the finish. Really lacking definitive coffee, nutty, smokey, cocoa notes that I was expecting from the aroma of the beer.

Slightly watery and fizzy. the thinness is a real dissapointment, additionally lacking a smooth finish. There is missing a certain silkiness on the pallet that my favorite porters possess (ie Fuller's, Smutty, etc.)

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #36 (Jan 2010):

Brewers infusing coffee into Stouts and Porters has become sort of a no-brainer, meaning roasted malts and coffee beans simply go hand-in-hand with each other. A lot of brewers have crafted a coffee beer as a result since it's an easy marriage of two insanely popular beverages that enhance one's mood.

This week, we're tasting one of these beers, but with a couple of twists. Part of Wolaver's "Organic Farmer Series," Alta Gracia Coffee Porter is brewed with organic roasted barley and chocolate malts, infused with organic vanilla beans and shade- grown organic coffee from Alta Gracia (cafealtagracia.com),
a Dominican Republic nonprofit farm community that em- powers its farmers with tools, techniques and fair wages in order to build sustainable farms. The beans are also roasted down the road from Wolaver's (Otter Creek Brewing Co. in Middlebury) at the Vermont Coffee Company.

Pours virtually jet-black with a magnificent creamy, milky-coffee lacing that sticks to the last drop. Very robust and roasty in the nose, which is full of fresh coffee, dry chocolate and nutty brown bread. Silky smooth palate, very creamy and lush, with a malty sweet foundation. Body is surprisingly lighter than anticipated. Vanilla notes are smoothed in nicely and complement the sweetness that also has a bit of a lactose edge. Acrid notes creep in, followed by bold, roasty coffee notes, baker's chocolate, hints of toffee, nuts and slight alcohol esters. Finish is extremely dry, a bit grainy and moreish.

A very well-balanced beer for everything that's going on. Not one element dominates, but rather they all complement each other, making for a very drinkable brew. If you dig coffee, chances are you're going to dig this beer--especially if you truly care about your beans as much as your beer.

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Photo of Bitzer
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of SunDevilBeer
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of generallee
3.94/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: It was poured from tap at the Buffalo Brew Pub and served in a standard pint glass.

Appearance: The body has a very dark brown look with some lighter dark amber/light brown high lights coming through the glass. Visibility is good and the beer is topped off with a small light tan head that fades quickly leaving just a light ring of foam. This makes very minimal slick lacing.

Smell: This is the highlight of the beer. It has lots of wonderful roaster coffee notes in the nose with some milder dark chocolate and dark maltiness for backup.

Taste/Palate: The flavor is more subtle and brings a light medium bodied roasted coffee flavor and dark maltiness to the palate. It has a good balance and pleasant bitterness with some mild dark chocolate and mild hops in the background. On the tongue there is mild carbonation which gives it a very smooth, creamy and mostly slick feel.

Notes: Overall it is a good average Porter with a great aroma and easy drinkability.

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Photo of SmellsofMahagony
3.82/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of TimoP
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of Doomcifer
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown with a hint of light making it through...nice frothy head that retains very well. Smells of coffee and not much else...maybe earthiness. Tastes of the same...loads of coffee, roasty, slight vanilla, dark chocolate but not that bitter at all. Aftertaste is predominately dark roast coffee. This beer is....coffee. Not beer, coffee. I like coffee so I guess it's pretty enjoyable. Slightly thin mouthfeel and a dry finish. If you enjoy coffee, you'll enjoy this. Coffee.

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Photo of Magister_Beav
4.31/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of JakerLou
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of BuckeyeSlim
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Solid porter base supports extremely well-balanced medium roast coffee with just the right amount of vanilla in the background. Enjoyable nose. Absolutely delicious.

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Photo of Jason
3.67/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

12oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

LOOK: Dark enough to be almost black, thin tan lacing

SMELL: Fresh coffee grounds, hint of vanilla, roasted grain, slightly sweet

TASTE: Smooth, mild crispness, semi-slick medium body, malty, sweet coffee, mild roasted character, toasted bread, mild vanilla, hint of alcohol, dark berries, roasty coffee finish

Good enough balance between the core of the beer, coffee and vanilla to make it work. Was hoping for more robust flavors though the drinkability is pretty high.

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Photo of Billolick
3.82/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle, twist off cap, no freshness info offered. Pours darn near black, dark tan head, shows lengthy retention, tight and long lasting, leaves the expected tongues of sticky lace. Bright nose of black coffee and bitter chocolate. MOre strong coffee notes, light vanilla and again ample dark and bitter chocolate notes. Decent mouthfeel, give em points for the organic purity, but a bit too much of a java flavor jolt here, unlikely I'd ever go for much more of this full flavor cofee infused brew, hence the lowered and rare (for me) lowered dinkability score.

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Photo of mctizzz
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of tigg924
3.83/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: dark brown in color, 1/3 inch head, clear, high carbonation

Smell: dark roasted coffee, some sugar

Taste: dark coffee dominates, there is a creamy touch in the middle that ends with a vailla taste

Mouthfeel: a moderately sweet end, medium/light body, minimal carbonation

Drinkability: The vanilla taste at the end really makes this one different from other coffee porters I have tried. I think this one is fairly drinkable and I could have 3 or 4. A very solid coffee beer.

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Photo of reitzbrewing
4.75/5  rDev +20.6%

Photo of KolbMarley
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of GreenMountainBoy
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of alienlifeforcecube
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of kingcrowing
4.13/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a tumbler.

Pours a very nice deep dark brown, almost black, with a small super creamy nitro-like light brown head. Nose is fresh coffee, bitter and burnt.

Taste is mellow coffee, it's there but unlike some others (Victory at Sea) it's not over the top. The bitterness is well balanced with the sweetness leading to a nice dry finish. Dark chocolate and earthy, chewy dark malt flavors round it out nicely - very well done.

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Photo of Milkysunshine
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of jondeelee
3.6/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Alta Gracia Coffee Porter opens to a coffee-heavy nose, with black coffee and espresso grounds mixing nicely with ash and tobacco, and all of this atop a layer of heavy coffee cream, molasses, and caramel. The aromas are big and bold here, at least at first, resembling in potency an Imperial Stout aged on coffee grounds. The aromas do fade after a few seconds, reducing from medium-heavy strength to medium-light, but remain finely nuanced. As the aromas fade, a layer of toast crust and brown breads emerges, as well as notes of wet hay. Tinges of pine and grapefruit from the hops add bitterness. As a whole, the initial aromas are excellent, but fade quickly, and these lesser later aromas seem somewhat watery and weak, and overly reliant on coffee for body, as if the removal of the coffee would reveal a rather average porter.

On the tongue, the beer is immediately full of coffee, with strong black coffee, coffee grounds, espresso beans, and light ash washing across the tongue. The coffee notes are strong enough that other flavors are initially difficult to locate, and only after a few seconds do bits of caramel, vanilla, molasses, brown sugar, and cream come forth—but these are very light, as if a single teaspoon of flavored coffee creamer had been mixed into a very large cup of over-strong coffee. In subsequent sips, however, the coffee flavors actually lose potency, and instead the beer features a balance between breads, coffees, and sugars that is more tolerable, with nice notes of vanilla and caramel mixing with dark breads, toast crust, and espresso. The coffee notes, however, are those of coffee that has been ground and exposed to open air for a while, reducing their flavor and potency. Hops are almost nonexistent, providing mainly a bitter piney background fuzz. The flavors are still somewhat weak and watery, but are nicely flavorful. The aftertaste is a continuation of the coffee and bread notes, with fading sugars, and lingers on the tongue for a short while. Mouthfeel is medium-light to medium, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, this is decent fare, but marked at first by an overly-heavy reliance on coffee notes, and afterwards, by a watery mouthfeel and slightly weak flavors. The flavors themselves are fairly nicely balanced, but the beer as a whole seems like it needed to be better balanced from start to finish, with more oomph put in to maintain flavors over time, and a few more sugars to increase the molasses and caramel notes. The coffee notes could have also been more fresh, like the lovely oily notes that come from beans fresh out of the roaster. In all, some very nice points here, but nothing extremely eye-opening or catchy.

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Wolaver's Alta Gracia Coffee Porter from Otter Creek Brewing
Beer rating: 3.94 out of 5 with 781 ratings