Wolaver's Alta Gracia Coffee Porter | Otter Creek Brewing

very good
253 Reviews
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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-30-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 253 | Ratings: 780
Photo of Sammy
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I have found organic beers to be a bit watery and thin. Similarly here, however the mildness of the coffee was preferable to me than another thick coffee beer. It was more pleasant to drink at lunchtime, sessionable. Poured black, with roasted coffee aromas.

 258 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.02/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to mhksuccess for sharing this one at his tasting.

Pours a clear crimson-brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, coffee beans, and vanilla beans. Taste is much the same with coffee and vanilla flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty and easy to drink.

 561 characters

Photo of Knapp85
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I guess I never read the label, The whole time I was drinking it I thought it was a stout. Anyway it's pour is and very deep brown color with a few highlights of a very dark red. This beer's aroma is straight up coffee with just a little sweetness on the nose. The flavor is what I really enjoy about this beer, It starts you off with a bitter coffee kick that that really lets you know that it's in there. Then the aftertaste smooths out into a soft vanilla flavor. The mouthfeel is just a little watery but still has enough substance in it to make it stand on it's own. I really enjoyed this brew.

 599 characters

Photo of metter98
3.72/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is very dark amber in color (near black) and has a slight amount of carbonation visible near the edges of the glass. It poured with a finger high creamy tan head that faded away and left only a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are very strong aromas of coffee beans and roasted malts in the nose. There are some hints of sweetness in the initial taste and a slight amount of bitterness in the finish.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and the coffee flavors become stronger as the beer warms up.
M: It feels light-bodied, thin and a bit watery on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The thin body makes this beer seem more like a carbonated coffee instead of a beer.

 725 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy mahogany with an impressive beige head; impressive retention and some clumpage of foam hangs around the side of the pint glass

Smell: Roasted coffee beans with a hint of vanilla

Taste: Chocolate and toasted brown bread, up front, with bold coffee flavors developing, as well; bitterness develops by mid-palate, and if it weren't possible that it was coming from the coffee beans I would guess it was from a dollop of hops; after the swallow, the coffee, chocolate and vanilla flavors dominate, with the bitterness receding quickly

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Wish the mouthfeel were bigger but that is not likely to appeal to the typical Wolaver's customer; clearly the best beer I have tasted from this brewery

 779 characters

Photo of mothman
4.34/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

As I twist the cap off I get an instant dose of hershey's syrup. Yummmm

Poured into Bells tulip

Pours a copper brown, but settles nearly black. Pours about 1 finer of light tan head. Settles down and leaves a slight amount of thin lace.

Aroma: Y-E-S! The hershey's chocolate syrup is still here. Brings some coffee flavors and roasted malts. Honestly, a porter can not get any better than this. Rich, silky chocolate with fresh coffee. WOW! This is in your face awesomeness!

Taste: Crossing my fingers that the taste is just like the aroma. Here we go. It's there, but a just a tad lighter than I was expecting. Starts out with a huge dose of the same hershey's chocolate syrup instantly followed by rich, sharp coffee. It has some roasted malts as well. Has some vanilla in the taste as well. For a porter, this is pretty legit, but it doesn't live up to the aroma.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends with an overly roasted aftertaste with some coffee showing.

Overall, this porter really surprised me. The aroma is unbelievable and I just wish the taste packed a huge punch that the aroma did. It is really good and I am glad I had a chance to try it. I won't have a problem finishing this one.

 1,253 characters

Photo of oberon
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
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.

 474 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.89/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle dated 11/30/11 served in a snifter. Updated and much nicer label (from BA photo).

Pours a dark, slightly hazy brown with a small tan head. A small amount of sediment remained in the bottle although I tried to completely empty it.

The aroma [4.25] is dominated by fine coffee, but with hops and chocolate malt underneath, and hints of vanilla and toffee. The taste follows, and feature a very nice balance of spicy hops and coffee, with the dark malts keeping things tame, and a nice but subtle vanilla note. This is a beer almost certain to be enjoyed by those who like both coffee and dark beer. A fine,dry, bready coffee flavor lingers on and on.

M: light-medium body; I'd prefer something a bit fuller. OK carbonation. Smooth.

O: a fine coffee beer with a pronounced coffee flavor and aroma. Recommended.

 827 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a dark brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of roasted coffee beans, dark malts and a little bit of hops.

T: The taste starts out with a semi-sweet coffee flavor along with a hearty roasted malt character and a touch of chocolate in the background. The hops presence is mild as it should be and provides some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry and slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style this is a good coffee-flavored beer to drink for a while but there are a few others that I would pick first.

 789 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
3.84/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours an opaque very dark brown (almost black) in color with some garnet red highlights and light amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a half finger tall tan head that reduces to a medium sized patch of very thin film and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of coffee beans with just a hint of sweetness.

T: Nice strong flavors of coffee that increase in strength as the beer warms. Lighter notes of roasted malts with some very light notes of sweetness. Light bitterness that fades quickly.

M: Light bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: I really enjoyed this beer but I could see others being disappointed because the flavor is completely dominated by the coffee - as a person that really enjoys coffee, I really like this one.

 824 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.06/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Coffee and love are best when they are hot."

--German proverb

Mahogany brown with reddish caramel edges and a thin slice of khaki colored foam that should have been bigger given the increasingly aggressive pour. The featureless head shrinks to a barely covering film in minutes and leaves no lace.

The nose is exactly as expected for a coffee bean added porter. Each sniff delivers a big blast of java, along with roasted malt and hints of vanilla bean. 'Outstanding' is the word that comes to mind... and I'm not even a coffee drinker.

Alta Gracia Coffee Porter is damn good beer however you slice it. The brewers have done a bang-up job balancing the three major elements, allowing none of them to dominate on the palate. Having it favor bitterness rather than sweetness was also a good call during the design stage.

Vanilla is (almost) lost in the shuffle. Having those beans share the spotlight with the coffee beans might have made this stuff even better. Warming brings more flavor intensity and even better flavor definition. Muy drinkable.

One source says the ABV is 5.0%. If true, then there's plenty of barley to go around. That, in combination with well-done bubbles, leads to a light creaminess and a decent amount of cling.

Otter Creek/Wolaver's is not one of my favorite breweries, though they do have their moments. Alta Gracia Coffee Porter is definitely one of their finer moments and is an offering that deserves to be released on a regular basis.

 1,474 characters

Photo of billab914
4.04/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Portsmouth snifter glass. Poured black in color with a thin tan foam ring for a head that clung to the edges of the glass.

It has a fantastic roasted coffee aroma to it. It smells pretty much like a fresh pot of good coffee. I can't say it's an incredibly complex flavor since I'm not getting much else through the coffee, but the the coffee flavor is very good.

The taste is not surprisingly coffee focused. I have to say, this beer damn near is coffee. it finishes with a long lasting roasted coffee bitterness with just a hint of some cocoa. If this was less carbonated and hot it might actually pass for coffee. Again I can't say that it has a complex beer flavor to it but the coffee flavor is pretty good.

Mouthfeel is a little on the thin side with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is decent, but you really have to be in the mood for coffee for it to be drinkable. I really enjoyed it after dinner tonight and it was very drinkable in this setting. Overall however it was pretty one dimensional, a very good coffee flavor but nothing that made me really say wow like say Speedway did. Some beer flavors could have been a bit more pronounced.

 1,189 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.23/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Warning: I'm not a fan of regular coffee. Although I recognize and appreciate the coffee elements of darker beers, the actual aroma and taste of coffee is abhorrent to me.

Moderate head that dies to a single layer of bubbles. Leaves good ring lace. Near black in color, the faintest of light comes through the edge of the glass.

Bitter, bitter black coffee aroma. Think coffee grounds.

Okay, way too much coffee for me to enjoy. Very bitter and dry. There's no other flavor for me to detect. Fairly typical body with a slightly high carbonation level. The aftertaste is all coffee.

In some ways, I should not rate this because I struggle with this flavor. If you are a coffee lover, you may love this.

 706 characters

Photo of Slatetank
4.07/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Hank for this bottle, enjoyed chilled w/ carlos in two sampler glasses.

The color is murky medium brown with a light tan cap that is pillowy and has a fine bead. The lace clings and retention is good. The smell is very beany with a roasty foundation and moderate sweet scent with a slight floral and grainy note the earthy odors are nice like sticking your face into a bag of light roasted coffee. The feel has slight tannins and dry tinges with some oily qualities with moderate carbonation and roasted texture with mild sweet quality but very nicely balanced overall.

The flavor is pretty strong with coffee bean taste that has a lightly roasted quality with subtle citrus and spice from the bean and mild caramel malt backing. There is a nutty quality with the roasted malt adding dimension to the coffee flavor and working in tandem with it. The taste has a nice earthy quality and is almost chocolate tinged. The light spice and citrus from both the beans and hops are nicely paired in the porter with mild yeast fruitiness in the finish.

Overall this is a very good porter and the coffee is mild yet in the flavor enough not to mistake what you are drinking. I like the balance it offers however I prefer a little darker roast quality from the coffee I drink so that may be why I found the coffee flavor to be light overall. I think the base beer works which is important when adding any flavor to a beer like this.

 1,440 characters

Photo of Jason
3.67/5  rDev -6.4%
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.

 517 characters

Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

a - Pours a dark brown/black, where the brown is only apparent in the light. Small amount of light brown head, little rentention and carbonation.

s - Coffee coffee coffee. Also small hints of chocolate, roasted malts, and maybe a little cream.

t - Tastes strong of coffee and lighter of cream and roasted malts. Nice creamy/smooth taste to it.

m - Medium body with little carbonation, this felt good and was both smooth and creamy.

d - Overall this was a very solid coffee porter. I have had a few coffee stouts I would prefer, but the smoothness and creamy flavor this has makes me think I could drink a couple of these, and I would definitely go for this again.

 715 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Pour out the darkness and watch the ecru head guillotine itself down to almost nothing, a tropical shoreline in the Atoll of the Damned. Frankly, it's not as bad a place as it sounds. Give it a chance and leave your preconceived notions (and inhibitions, YOW!) at home. Nearly nothing but, and, I know, I'm shocked, coffee up front: roasted and dark. My kind of chicken. Hell, it may just be my sad excuse for a nose, but I'm gettin' nothin' but the roasted dark. Na ja. This coffee-ness is nicely subdued a bit once the mouth is involved. Don't get me wrong, it's still there in all its bean-founded glory. It's just that now its solitude is shattered by visits from bitter chocolate and almond. The Hersheys, though, don't stay long, and the coffe once again finds itself alone in that big ol' house. It'd be sad if it weren't tasty. A medim-sized body and thickness will help ease this guy back into the arms of a waiting, sociable public. Trust me, if you'd met him, you'd like him. Ask around.

 1,043 characters

Photo of woodychandler
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Once more, my main man in town, tone77, hits me with some bottles to keep my numbers in line with The CANQuest (TM) madness.

From the label: "Certified Organic by Vermont Organic Famers"; "Brewed with organic roasted barley & chocolate malts for a rich, dark and robust flavor with an infusion of organic vanilla beans and coffee from the Dominican Republic farm country Alta Gracia."; and "Our products contain no preservatives, are not pasteurized and, like all fresh foods, will change over time. We print the date we bottled on [11/11/10] for your information." Veterans' Day Beer! Right on!

The pour revealed Black Death! I had a thick two-finger cap of deep-beige head sitting atop what looked like the oil spill of last summer in the Gulf of Mexico. Nose smelled like the interior of Starbucks and I usually eschew their coffee because it is too strong even for me, a retired US Navy sailor. Zounds! Lifting the glass to the light reveled NO light penetration, just a glass of oily liquid, black as night, black as the Ace of Spades. The Black Hole of Calcutta came to mind, also. Cue Moe at Sam's Saloon: "Woody takes his coffee like his women - hot and black!" Har. The mouthfeel was really full for a porter and the taste was really acidic bitter with hints pf chocolate. Wow! Me likee. As the liquid level went down in my glass, thick, sticky lacing began to appear. The finish remained highly coffee-like and strong coffee at that. It is going to go a long way for you if you like coffee but it may not entice others.

 1,531 characters

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.43/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle shared my matt9875. Thanks Matt!

This porter appears dark brown in color, with an eighth inch of beige head. The aroma is primarily of coffee grounds. The coffee aspect is not as wonderfully aromatic as I would like. The taste is similar to that off yesterday's leftover coffee, served cold. The feel is medium / thin in body with a moderate amount of carbonation. This was an OK beer, but there are many better coffee porters and stouts available.

 456 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.53/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is excellent stuff, tastes like ice brewed coffee. Dark body maybe a hint of ruby makes it through the light, with dark tan head forming thick, fine speckled lacing left behind. Aromatics bring out acidic coffee notes/earthiness/dark chocolate/fruity full roasted fresh coffee roasts. Flavor brings out a super creamy rush of coffee/creamy vanilla bean/earthy robust ballsy porter notes. I can actually tastes fine bits of coffee roasts going on in this brew. Dark chocolate/tree bark/coffee grinds god bless America I'm getting buzzed on beer and coffee. Mouthfeel by the way the acidity doesn't hurt the palate/mouthfeel in anyway, carbonation a bit tight bubbled effervescent for the sytle but it carries everything through even the oils from the Dominican coffee beans from Alta Gracia. Overall this is the best organic beer I've ever tasted, and it's hella drinkable. Alcohol doesn't come through too strong, either it's hiding that fact or it's meant to be drank in number.

 984 characters

Photo of stakem
3.89/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Kkottonmouthkngz for the chance to try this one.

Poured into a pint glass this brew appears a dark chocolate brown color with some reddish brown around the edges. A thin formation of bubbles covers the top of this brew which quickly and audibly fizzles away to nothing. Rising bubbles of carbonation collect around the outside of the glass but fail to formulate a head.

The aroma of this brew is an equal blend of coffee, chocolate and dark roasted malt. There is a slightly sweet scent of vanilla which really accents the sweetness of the cocoa smell while the roasted malt blends with the coffee notes. Swirls of the glass release a more citrusy aspect to the nose.

The taste of this brew is tangy, roasted coffee over a burnt malt base that lingers with a taste of fresh coffee that has some citrus elements partially influenced by the coffee bean and hops. Quite enjoyable. The finish includes a touch of warming alcohol but the flavor of coffee persists.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest, lively level of carbonation that could be tuned down a bit. It was surprising how prickly and evident the fizz to this brew was but it couldn't produce a head no matter how hard it is swirled or poured.

 1,220 characters

Photo of smakawhat
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

Fleeting light espresso head, manages only about half a finger on the pour even with some cascading bubbles when being filled. Settles to a nearly no existent puck, slightly oily top and fine to good sized bubbled collar. Body color on the porter angle is dark walnut brown, quite opaque maybe even a bit hazy towards the top strangely, and a deep Indian red edge.

Well, morning coffee has arrived here on the nose. Excellent ripped bean coffee nose which is the dominant smell off the beer. Roast angle does get into the malt side but the coffee does lead forward, with an oily sensing smell as well, and quite fresh too. Slighty notes of cream as well, but for the most part it's one dimensional but a very good coffee bouquet.

Palate goes for the basics. Light bodied simple porter mouthfeel but a touch of wetness as well, losing a bit of that creamy anticipating flavor hinted on the nose. Mid palate has a bit of coffee flavor but also a hint of sour bean just a bit which is interesting as it doesn't come off like acrid roast grain which is nice. A bit of mild hop bitterness seems to perkalate (no pun intended) out on the finish, which also gets oily as well matching a bit of the beers mid palate oily character. The oil word just keeps coming up all the time here interestingly. The coffee flavor is of very good quality, fresh and feeling like just roasted.

Looks like the went for better coffee quality, but sort of got the porter basics a little bit neutered and buried. I would prefer a better show, but this is a very good take on a coffee forward brew. This has the potential to be better, but it's nothing disappointing in the slightest.

 1,720 characters

Photo of Billolick
3.82/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

 570 characters

Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.28/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Bottle purchased at Oliver's in Albany, NY.

Pours a clear, dark brown, with a one inch short-lasting head, and not much lacing to speak of.

Smells like burnt coffee, espresso, and vanilla beans.

The burnt coffee flavor in this is a bit much to overcome. The coffee is astringently bitter- when combined with a watery mouthfeel, it's not all that enjoyable. The vanilla is nice and adds some silky creaminess to the proceedings. As the beer warms up, the coffee flavor becomes stronger, but less astringent.

Thin body, low carbonation. Watery mouthfeel.

Not the best from Wolaver's that I've had.

 600 characters

Photo of tone77
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of my morning coffee. Taste is of strong coffee, espresso like, some malts, good flavor. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has average drinkability. Overall this is a quality brew.

 267 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Wolaver's Alta Gracia Coffee Porter from Otter Creek Brewing
3.92 out of 5 based on 780 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.