Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Wolaver's Alta Gracia Coffee Porter | Otter Creek Brewing

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
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
Reviews: 253 | Ratings: 779
Photo of theBubba
2.98/5  rDev -24%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Okay. Pop the cap and smell. Even before pouring into my stem glass, the coffee immediately came through. A bad omen.

Poured with a nice head that didn't last too long, but kept a decent lace all the way to the end. Color was almost that of black coffee.

Taste was pretty much the same. Well, maybe more like malty black coffee. I can't imagine drinking more than one of these. I would call this a novelty beer. Nothing you couldn't do yourself by adding a shot of strong black coffee to your porter. IMHO a cherry wheat, a chocolate stout, or a coffee porter should first taste like beer. Then after sipping, one should get the subtle flavor of the fruit, nut, spice or whatever was added to the wort.

To my taste, this is more like ale flavored coffee.

 758 characters

Photo of AndyAvalanche
3.54/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into a Sam Adams Perfect pint glass. Good looking on the pour. Comes out black, when held up to the light there are some brown and reddish highlights. There is a thick tan head on the beer, but it goes away very quickly and provides very little lacing. There is a thinner layer of liquid that slowly trickles down after each sip.

The smell is easily the best feature in this beer. Extremely potent and delicious dark roasted coffee aromas. In addition to the roasted coffee beans, there are some slight malt and hop characteristics, but the dominant feature is certainly the coffee.

The taste is probably better than your average porter, but it's quite a step down in quality from the smell. Coffee and some chocolate flavors are the standouts. There are certainly a blend of malts because they are not all chocolate. There is an initial sweetness before the bitter and charred flavors kick in. The sweetness has a slight syrup likeness to it. The lingering flavors are the coffee and the slightest hope presence at the end.

The mouthfeel isn't very pleasant. I'd actually compare it to drinking cold black cheap diner coffee that's slightly carbonated. Very thin, light bodied overall, not typical for a porter in my opinion, average carbonation. The drinkability is pretty average overall, not horrible but nothing to write home about. A unique idea for this, I like the fact that it's organic. Seems as if it would be more of a summer porter in my opinion.

 1,485 characters

Photo of rsgcwhite
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep Brown, thick, only the slightest ruby tinge. Pours a beautiful high density head that gradually fades.

The aroma is pure coffee; it smells milky, like opening a ready-to-drink iced latte drink from the gas station refrigerator. Sweet roasted malts and the slightest hint of vanilla.

After the first taste you realize this is no mere, weakly coffee infused beer; this is running thick with pure, robust coffee. Too much of a 'non-beer' flavorcan be a terrible idea (a 'Bud Light with Lime', if you will), but the coffee notes don't completely mask the roasted malts underneath.

With these two flavor behemoths, hops are more difficult to detect and seperate from the carbonation. The ending taste is sweet and lingering, hints of caramel and vanilla melting into an espresso latte.

Mouthfeel is sweet, with the richness of coffee - while this is no imperial, it's also less watered down than expected. The flavor is strong, interesting, and worth a try; if you can get beyond the intense coffee flavor into the beer itself, you will enjoy it.

 1,056 characters

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

a: Pours black. 1 finger of cream head. Retains well thick lace.

s: Lots of coffee bean right out of the bottle. Very roasty, almost burnt. Strong and punchy with a malted smoothness.

t: Very nice coffee and vanilla flavors. Blended well, really comes out strong as the beer warms up.

m: Medium bodied and carb

d: Very smooth and rich with real coffee bitterness.

 367 characters

Photo of BigPlay1824
4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served in a pint glass

A: pours a deep chocolate brown or even black with a nice layer of thick mocha colored head that disipates rapidly, leaves no lacing at all

S: very nice coffee and slight chocolate notes

T: nice deep coffee taste with a very nice lingering sweetness

D/M: leaves a nice smoothness on the pallet, doesn't go down nearly as heavily as expected

 367 characters

Photo of FickleBeast
3.38/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours pitch black with a half finger of foam that flitters away quickly. Aroma is tannic, bitter coffee, papery, cardboard.

First sip is heavy on the roasted coffee flavor. Hints of vanilla follow up - nice and subtle. Mouthfeel is a little thin. Would prefer this to be a little chewier, sweeter, and full bodied. Tastes almost like a vanilla latte. As it warms, vanilla is more present.

Not terrible. Just needs some sweetness to round it out a bit. Will have to compare this to my homebrewed coffee porter.

 552 characters

Photo of Stoneyrok
4.17/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance is black with very little head which dissipated quickly.

Smell: coffee, slight vanilla bean, no chocolate, malty, or hoppy smell for me.

Taste: slight carbonation, coffee taste takes front stage, is dry, thin, with noticeable bitterness towards the end. Full flavored but thin body.I found a minimal chocolate barley flavor, but had to search for it. The thin body (Body reminded me of a Guinness draught bottle) lingering dryness, bitterness, is what I will remember of this beer. It is a very good beer if you like coffee brew. It meets or exceeds that style, and therefore is very good and I respect that. I like a little more body and sweetness, and noticeable chocolate and that is what makes this a different porter. Very good.

Mouthfeel: is thin, prickly carbonation,goes down smooth, did not remind me of founders breakfast stout as someone else said, instead it is the thinnest porter I think I have had.

Drinkability: goes down smooth and quick, dryness lingering, I could finish a few of these...

Conclusion: I would not buy this again, not because It is bad bad by any standards, it is just not what I like in a porter at this time. Again, I prefer sweeter, less dry, fuller body, noticeable chocolate with the coffee, with a creamy feel that makes me think, ah... Yum... And this didn't do it. I do think many out there looking for this taste would think this is a perfect beer.

 1,409 characters

Photo of OWSLEY069
4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours jet black with a light tan head. In the aroma, a dry roasty malt and coffee. In the taste, roasty malt, dry coffee, and a small sweetness at the end. A smooth and medium to big bodied mouthfeel, with a hint of dry coffee in the aftertaste. Nice big coffee presence and just a hint of sweetness, just like how I enjoy my coffee.

 333 characters

Photo of DrDemento456
4.42/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I loved this as equally as I did with the blueberry ale!

A - Pours a nice dark black, want to say porter color with an inch of fluffy head.

S - On the nose coffee and lots of it. Maybe some slight vanilla but really no chocolate which is cool since it is a coffee based beer. Very nice.

T - Wow its strong (in taste!) Bitter coffee followed by a creme like sweetness (vanilla) and maybe a slight bit of chocolate and finishes slightly bitter, almost natural. A very solid coffee brew.

M - Medium bodied. After I had more it was a bit watery but for the ABV it was expected

D - Well yeah I could drink more and it was smooth and the flavor was constant. Very nice. Still like my Founders Breakfast tough.

 708 characters

Photo of Onenote81
3.36/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nice to see this seasonal on the shelves at my local TW. Threw it in a mixed sixer and was on my way. I'm a sucker for coffee-beers. 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Enjoyed during the Packer game last night. 45-7!!

Pours a dark amber-tinted brown with a thin beige head on top. Light lace. The nose was excellent. Lot's of dark-roasted coffee, espresso, faint chocolate, and a mild nuttiness. The mouth was a little more carbonated than I'd prefer, and the finish was oddly thin. It was an easy drinker though. The coffee is very pronounced in the flavor as well, as expected, but it finishes slightly sour and off. Some chocolate sweetness balances it out a bit. Some notes of vanilla in there as well. All-in-all, this was definitely coffee-forward, but it just wasn't my cup of "coffee." Glad I tried it though.

 821 characters

Photo of Doomcifer
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

 492 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 silver0rlead
3.28/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a very dark brown bordering on black, with a thin tan head that leaves nice lacing. The aroma is all french roast coffee and espresso, along with a bit of dark fruit, very dark chocolate, a bit of lactose and some burnt bread. The flavor is a bit one dimensional, with big arabica coffee and espresso, some dark chocolate, burnt bread, hints of dark fruit and alcohol. The mouthfeel is light and smooth and drinkability is limited by the intense coffee flavor. This is a decent coffee beer, but it lacks the complexity of the better coffee stouts/porters (pipeline porter, FBS, Bell's Java, etc.)

 602 characters

Photo of claspada
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Aromas are coffee, dark chocolate and roasted malt.

The tastes begin with burnt roasted astringent coffee but it's a little watered down. Mainly chocolate and roasted malt round out the taste. Finish is a lingering bitterness from the roasted coffee which is unpleasant; and I love coffee and coffee beers but this is not balanced well in my opinion.

Overall this beer is muted and does not hold it's own in the coffee porter character. Few organic beers can truly hold their own for whatever reason and those flaws will keep this one from being revisited.

 558 characters

Photo of maximum12
3/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to billab914 for dropping this as an extra into a recent trade.

Pours black, no sugar, hold the cream. Smell, taste, aftertaste, & everything else screams coffee at the top of its lungs.

Nothing wrong with this beer, but I like a little beer in my coffee. There's nothing here but a bit o' Folgers black.

 315 characters

Photo of biglite351
3.43/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - a tiny red strip around the edges. Medium tan thick foam that leaves no lacing.

S - coffee with some chocolate and malt. There is also a bitter bad scent buried in there.

T - nice coffee scent with mild malts. Overall good, but too light beyond the coffee.

M - mild coating a hint of tingle on the back sides of the tongue.

D - as a coffee drinker, I could drink this brew all night.

 391 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 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 cbutova
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours out black but some light shines through the edges. A fairly creamy two finger head builds up but dies down fairly quickly to a thick cloud atop the beer. Leaves a small bit of lacing.

S- Fairly faint. Coffee hints come through the most. Some brown sugar and caramel roast malts are behind the coffee. Definitely needs some strength because I can hardly pick it up.

T- Pure coffee, wow. Some roasty malt notes and caramel malt in the background but mostly pure coffee. The coffee taste is not as good as Peche Mortel or Breakfast stout but it is one of the strongest ones there is. There is some bitterness from the coffee.

MF- Fairly creamy but the body is pretty light, needs some more thickness for the flavors that the beer contains. The carbonation is moderate and appropriate. A coat of coffee stays on the palate. No alcohol effects.

DB- Good taste, decent everything else. The price is good as with most Wolaver's stuff. No huge off flavors but the coffee gets to be too strong for me after a bit, but it is a coffee porter. Would like to try it again on tap sometime.

 1,088 characters

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

This poured a nearly opaque dark mahogany with some tan head. It smelled like delicious roasted coffee and cream, with some dark chocolate and hazel nut. It tasted like fresh roasted coffee with dry dark chocolate, and some sugar and cream. It was watery with a little carbonation, and had a bitter aftertaste. Overall this had a great coffee scent with a nice clean taste. The body was a bit weak, and there wasn't much depth to it - basically like drinking a chilled coffee. But it was very enjoyable and definitely worth trying once.

 536 characters

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 younger35
4.92/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This brew has been sitting in the fridge since my main man BeerTruth sent this awhile back. Not sure why it's sat so long, especially after my first sip. Drank from my Surly nonic pint glass.

Appearance- Pours a nice deep dark black with a beautiful one finger light tan head that seems to stick around forever. A decently spotty cap and thin collar remain leaving behind some freckles of lacing.
Smell- Nice milky cream smell with plenty of rich roasted coffee to back it up. Slightly sweet smelling with a touch of vanilla and a touch of chocolate. Absolutely what a coffee brew should smell like as the coffee is dominate but plenty else going on.
Taste- Starts much the same as the nose. A nice light milky sweetness slowly gives way to loads of rich roasted coffee that is at the perfect strength. A bit of milk chocolate peaks through in the finish as does a bit of roasted bitterness.
Mouthfeel- Maybe just a touch lighter than I'd like but the carbonation is spot on as its light and tingly.
Drinkability- What a great freaking beer. It's no secret I love coffee beers but this was a hidden gem. So drinkable and smooth and the coffee aspect is EXACTLY where it should be. Potent and even somewhat balanced with the rest of the beer. Thanks much Adam, awesome shit!!

 1,275 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 ispeakfree
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

My first experience with Wolaver's- will not be my last!

Appearance- Pours black like coffee, with a creamy white head that's only a finger and does not retain that long.

Smell- Coffee, coffee, some vanilla, and more coffee- in the best way possible

Taste- Strong hints of vanilla and fancy brewed coffee in the beginning, very smooth with little hop follow through or typical beer bitterness- especially delicious

Mouthfeel- Smooth to drink, with the creamy head helping to smooth out the bitter coffee notes and molasses flavor. Slightly thick, but nothing unpleasant.

Drinkability- Loses points here mainly because I can't imagine having more than one or two in a sitting. Strong buzz of caffeine and alcohol, and it certainly feels like you are enjoying a mug of coffee.

Highly recommended, unique coffee porter. The organic certification and sustainable and fair farming practices for the products add another neat and inspiring dimension, as well. A beer I would love to have laying around at all times, to be enjoyed in moderation.

 1,048 characters

Photo of scottbrew4u
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Clear and black with a one finger, tan head. Good lacing as you drink.

S: Strong coffee, burnt and roasted malt and a touch of vanilla. Coffee dominates so no hop aroma.

T: Coffee is the main flavor and heavy roasted and burnt malt give a heavy hit. Some acrid flavors. A vanilla taste in the background is welcome and a touch of black cherry and currants too. Some hops ad to bittering but not to flavor much.

M: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation.

D: A nice porter that is hit with a heavy dose of coffee. Coffee lovers will cheer this one. The coffee is delicious in this beer which is the best coffee porter I have tried. It is a great blend but I would have a hard time having more than one of these in a row.

 732 characters

Wolaver's Alta Gracia Coffee Porter from Otter Creek Brewing
3.92 out of 5 based on 779 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.
  • Extreme Beer FestĀ® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!