Vanilla Java Porter (VJP)
Atwater Brewery

Vanilla Java Porter (VJP)Vanilla Java Porter (VJP)
Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Atwater Brewery
Michigan, United States
Porter - American
Ranked #478
Ranked #27,979
3.47 | pDev: 18.73%
May 07, 2022
Oct 21, 2006
Vanilla Java Porter (VJP)Vanilla Java Porter (VJP)
Notes: None
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
3.77 by bschmidt_37 from Illinois on Jan 29, 2022
2.53 by dhannes from Wisconsin on Jan 01, 2022
3.6 by TP2MSU from Michigan on Dec 10, 2021
4 by n2492004 from Michigan on Dec 05, 2021
Photo of Bierwizard
3.41/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25
by Bierwizard from Pennsylvania

Tastes and smells a bit like a chocolate milkshake. I’ve had better.

Nov 18, 2021
3.51 by Meddwol from Michigan on Oct 25, 2021
3.28 by dafla67 from Pennsylvania on Oct 22, 2021
Photo of MacMalt
3.54/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5
by MacMalt from New Jersey

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a tulip glass. It pours a very deep cola color with a thin, khaki-colored head that dissipated quickly. A subdued nose: mostly roasted malt, cocoa, and earthy nuts. The taste is primarily char, bakers chocolate, and burnt nuts. There is little of the cocoa that I smelled. The vanilla bean is noticeable in the after taste. In that sense it's rather one dimensional. The mouth feel is okay for a Porter but on the thin side. The carbonation is appropriate and at 5% ABV it's quite drinkable. Overall, there is nothing wrong with this Porter but nothing memorable either. I would recommend it as an accompaniment to a burger, cheese steak or other substantial meat dish rather than for casual drinking.

Sep 03, 2021
3.83 by stucat from Illinois on Jul 15, 2021
4.43 by Jerid from Florida on May 23, 2021
Photo of RobertB412
3.71/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
by RobertB412 from Pennsylvania

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass with a very dark brown almost black color, tan head and decent lacing. Aroma is vanilla front and center, some coffee and caramel notes as well. Taste is more coffee than vanilla with notes of chocolate, roasted malt and nuts. Mouthfeel is smooth, thin bodied with decent carbonation and somewhat sweet finish. Overall, its a decent porter. I like vanilla, but its a bit too sweet and thin-bodied for me.

Mar 12, 2021
4.62 by Jonnybgood from Massachusetts on Feb 06, 2021
Photo of Roguer
3.64/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5
by Roguer from Connecticut

Very good head production, although it looks a touch fizzy and light, and is remarkably smooth and even. Retention, however, is ridiculously good. Dark beige/light tan head; body a shade darker and thicker than cola. Flat fields of lacing with decent legs.

Nose is a very nice blend of toast, caramel, toffee, dark fruit, cola, vanilla, and coffee - really a straight forward traditional porter profile, simply with vanilla added.

Very thin on the palate - perhaps not surprising for the low ABV, but still disappointing. Light bodied; semi-dry.

Grape, prune, and coffee up front; the light mouthfeel robs the flavors of any immediate impact. Growing toastiness mid-sip, with mild notes of coffee along with toffee, a touch of brown sugar, and cola. Nutty, a touch of chocolate, light toast, and more vanilla on the finish.

A very straight forward but pretty tasty beer. Nothing is off about it, but it doesn't really stand out from the crowd. A thicker body would have been preferred, but I suppose this is all about providing a good amount of flavor in a light, drinkable body.

Nov 21, 2020
Photo of lastmango
3.59/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
by lastmango from Pennsylvania

Poured black with a two finger tan head. Heavy lacing is present. Nose leads with pronounced vanilla followed by a whiff of mustiness, then burnt sugar. I like vanilla though. Taste of vanilla cream, malt an nuts that lingers on the finish. Thin mouthfeel and carbonation. Overall, ok. This is not a porter that you want to shout about, but it is very drinkable.

Nov 05, 2020
Photo of DoubleDown248
4.83/5  rDev +39.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
by DoubleDown248 from Michigan

the VJP is so good, there is a whole family of variants (of which, all are quite good, too). This one is widely available, sometimes in larger quantities, and the price is usually very fair (around $10 for a 6er). the only downside, as with many other porters, is can be a little heavy if you are drinking more than a couple and this one is quite sweet, another downside for anything more than 2, maybe 3 in a session. Still, very happy to have those couple. A seasonal multi-pack with a raspberry, boston cream and coconut variant could have a place in my fridge all year long.

Sep 12, 2020
3.56 by Yendor61 from Michigan on Mar 21, 2020
3.72 by Haybeerman from Colorado on Mar 12, 2020
4 by jakej654 from Pennsylvania on Feb 27, 2020
Photo of cwm51662
4/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25
by cwm51662 from Indiana

As they say, a light and soon gone brown head. Vanilla smell, not much else. The thing I don't like about vanilla porters is they seem to be all vanilla and no porter. This isn't terrible, though, and I like the creamy texture.

Jan 12, 2020
4 by rare_bird from Michigan on Dec 03, 2019
4 by Tgally from Michigan on Nov 23, 2019
Photo of Franziskaner
3.33/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5
by Franziskaner from Missouri

Light copper colored with yellow highlights. There’s a fingernail of dishwater white on top. The aroma is of vanilla and cold brewed coffee, but is tough to seek out. I’m tasting vanilla, light roasted coffee and, oddly enough, coriander. The mouth is silky smooth.

Nov 03, 2019
3.76 by gbiello from Massachusetts on Sep 24, 2019
3.59 by blissfulNemo from Michigan on Aug 01, 2019
Photo of Harrison8
3.91/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
by Harrison8 from Missouri

Pours black with a finger of khaki foam. Head retention is okay. Aroma is vanilla, cream brulee, coffee and burnt sugar, layered over subtle earthy, bready, toasty malts. Really pleasant, robust coffee and coffee cake up front that is followed by hearty malts. Flavor profile is vanilla, cream brulee, coffee and sugar with bready, earthy, toasty malts. Really light sweetness up front that lingers throughout, but takes a slight undercutting at the finale, netting it more of a balance. Mouth feel is lightly grainy with very subtle effervescence. It has a medium-thick consistency. Overall, coffee and vanilla mingle well, forming a light dessert opening, with malts rounding out the remainder of the profile.

Served in a 15.5oz Speigalau tulip from a 12oz bottle.

Jul 19, 2019
3.63 by travelguy from Ohio on Jul 05, 2019
3.8 by Zaktcc from Maryland on Apr 27, 2019
Photo of zeff80
3.54/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5
by zeff80 from Missouri

On tap at Detriot Airport. Poured an opaque, jet-black color with a small, off-white head of foam. It smelled of vanilla, chocolate and toffee. Very strong vanilla taste with chocolate and toffee.

Apr 07, 2019
Photo of Wolvmar
3.74/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
by Wolvmar from Michigan

Drinkable porter with balanced vanilla and cofeee. Not too sweet, good mouthfeel. Would work well with lots of food.

Mar 16, 2019
Photo of Michelleroo
4.17/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
by Michelleroo from Michigan

Not sure why this is just “ok” accdg to this audience all wrong af. This is a good, if not VG!, Porter. ✊

Mar 14, 2019
3.53 by Bukihawk from Ohio on Mar 08, 2019
3.45 by Shantzak from Pennsylvania on Feb 27, 2019
3.33 by kyleondrums from Illinois on Feb 26, 2019
3.25 by caahare from West Virginia on Feb 17, 2019
3.25 by RickyBfromCT from Connecticut on Feb 13, 2019
4.24 by MatticusFinch17 from Indiana on Feb 09, 2019
Photo of beersampler6
3.86/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
by beersampler6 from Michigan

Nice dark brown color with just a hint of lingering head and spotty lacing. Smells of medium roast coffee and some mocha chocolate. The vanilla and caramel is very faint. Taste follows the nose, but is quite nice and well-balanced although I would have preferred a little more boldness and depth (like a stout). Vanilla could have been a little creamier as well. Faint hints of malt and nuttiness. Smooth thin mouthfeel, decent carbonation. Not much change as the beer warmed. All in all, a solid effort but not sure why the hype and popularity as Atwater has much stronger brews.

Dec 10, 2018
Photo of Beginner2
3.54/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
by Beginner2 from Illinois

Curious, this beer.

First, this a brewer who specializes in darks ( I cannot think of another among the 972 brewers I have sampled.

Second, this has over three times as many BA ratings as the brewer's second most rated beer (a dopple.)

Third, there are lots better vanilla porters than Atwater's that are not the cash cows of those brewers.

Mysteries aside, Atwater's Looks pretty good, foam becomes a nice lace. An inviting ale. Smells do not betray, although the vanilla could be more calming. Taste largely ends the fun, coming in with an artificial vanilla. The coffee dries out that syrup, but my buds cannot recover.

Atwater has two sites in Detroit and seems to be making a go of that tough-sledding also. So for that, for their specialty in darks and for piquing my curiosity, I give them some OA hugs.

Nov 28, 2018
Vanilla Java Porter (VJP) from Atwater Brewery
Beer rating: 79 out of 100 with 1866 ratings