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Atwater Vanilla Java Porter | Atwater Brewery

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Atwater Vanilla Java PorterAtwater Vanilla Java Porter
BA SCORE
3.46/5
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1,798 Ratings
Atwater Vanilla Java PorterAtwater Vanilla Java Porter
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Atwater Brewery
Michigan, United States
atwaterbeer.com

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by ypsifly on 10-21-2006

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#41,883
Reviews:
545
Ratings:
1,798
pDev:
18.79%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
35
Gots:
408
Trade:
2
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 1,798 |  Reviews: 545
Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of kylehay2004
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of acurtis
3/5  rDev -13.3%

Photo of Texasfan549
3.25/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.58/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on: 4/1/15.

Pours an opaque super dark crimson-brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. A foamy lattice of lace coats the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, vanilla bean, vanilla frosting, and cocoa powder aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa powder, vanilla bean, and burnt coffee flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with lots of vanilla forward characteristics, but I am only getting coffee in the taste and the flavor comes across as burnt to me.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.58/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

better than its ratings, but definitely not without its flaws. good not great, kind of what i have gotten from all of the atwater beers i have gotten to drink. the look is nice, almost nitro looking, with a creamy inch of thick light brown head, and a dark but silky shiny body. it smells like heavy vanilla, almost too much, more than is normal, and more extract than anything else.its hard to get too much vanilla in a beer, its such a tasty ingredient, but it comes across contrived here and definitely covers up whatever coffee is in here. full bodied and creamy feeling beer though, i like that aspect, its just the vanilla is candy sweet, and it makes the lushness of this a little less enjoyable. come coffee bitterness in the finish, but not enough to balance, and the chocolate aspect of the roast is also on the sweet side. not bad beer, but i think middle of the pack at best for the style. lacking nuance and balance for sure, but tasty enough, and good enough for very broad appeal. one and done for me though with this level of residual sugar.

 1,057 characters

Photo of spycow
4.25/5  rDev +22.8%

Photo of kjkinsey
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of djrn2
2.75/5  rDev -20.5%

Photo of Knapp85
1.5/5  rDev -56.6%

Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.31/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Photo of metter98
3.22/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is very dark amber (near black) in color and poured with a thin white head that faded away and completely disappeared. No signs of carbonation are visible.
S: There are moderate aromas of vanilla in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and also has some notes of roasted malts.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The lighter bodied nature of this beer makes it quite easy to drink compared to other porters.

 489 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.62/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

And the new brews keep rolling into Central Kentucky. Found this one at Wines on Vine (go figure.) This seems to be a beer with a lot of promise and potential... this means that it really isn't there yet. Opens up with a burst of roasted grains and coffee, with back-up notes of cocoa and cream. The color is a nearly opaque, dark brown with a somwhat fizzy head retention. Robust looking, jut a bit flat. The flavors are bold charcoal and coffee, but little after that. The vanilla is barely detected and there seems to be an overbearing coffee / fermentation sourness that won't let any other nuances shine enough to make a difference. The beer seems under-malted, which hurts the flavor roundedness and textrues. The beer is fast fleeting, leaving a powdery, dry coating and lingering coffee bitterness. The beer is intriguing and certainly worth the try, but would buy many more if improved.

 895 characters

Photo of dmorgan310
4/5  rDev +15.6%

Photo of brentk56
3.83/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark coffee brown color with a thick beige head that dots the pint glass with suds

Smell: Smells of mocha, more milk chocolate than coffee; vanilla aromatics are clearly apparent

Taste: Starts with a mocha vanilla flavor that builds in coffee bitterness, mid-palate; after the swallow, the sweeter flavors dry out, leaving a residual sweetness from the vanilla on the tip of the tongue

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Not as challenging as other coffee beers, this is nevertheless an enjoyable brew that I liked better than most of the other reviewers to date

 622 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.25/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of oline73
3/5  rDev -13.3%

Photo of LXIXME
3.56/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of superspak
3.53/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled in 10/2014. Pours fairly crystal clear very dark brown color with a 2 finger dense and rocky khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with some moderate streaming carbonation. Aromas of chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, toast, brown bread, vanilla, light nuttiness, light herbal, and toasted earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt and coffee/vanilla spice notes; with decent strength. Taste of chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, vanilla, toast, brown bread, light nuttiness, light herbal, and toasted earthiness. Light coffee bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, vanilla, toast, brown bread, light nuttiness, and toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Good complexity and solid robustness of dark/roasted malt and vanilla/coffee spice flavors; with a good roasted bitterness/sweetness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth and fairly creamy/bready mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very solid spiced porter style. All around good robustness, complexity, and balance of dark/roasted malt and vanilla/coffee spice flavors; and very smooth and easy to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering.

 1,456 characters

Photo of Boone757
3.75/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of mothman
2.7/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured into Rare Vos glass.

Pours a 1finger of dull tan head. Fades to a ring, leaving some thin splattered lace. Color is a deep brown, pretty much black.

Aroma: Roasted malts and burnt coffee. Dark chocolate and very light vanilla flavors. Not what I was really expecting in terms of the coffee and vanilla.

Taste: Wat too much vanilla here. Also has some sour notes. Burnt roasted malts and coffee with some chocolate. Sweet and burnt.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy but sour. It leaves a sour aftertaste as well. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation.

Overall, I saw this sitting in my fridge and it sounded perfect at the moment, but the taste just didn't reflect on the name of this beer and how good it sounded. Not at all impressed with this one.

 770 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.65/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I won't do my usual review for this beer as I don't think it really needs or deserves it. It's an OK, "flavored" beer that appears to be fairly popular, and if that's what sells, then dammit, sell it! Of course you don't even need to sell it if people like it, so OK. AND, it is helping to get people into craft brewed beers so who's to complain?

It's just that to me, it seems like their regular porter with coffee and vanilla flavoring added. And that's OK, for sure, but it's not really balanced. The vanilla appears in a saccharine way, and the coffee is somewhat acidic, or 'burnt'. All of that vanilla extract and brash coffee atop a very basic porter... it just doesn't work. There's not enough girth to balance or support the additional flavors, and what you end up with is a mis-aligned triangle of flavors that stagger limp-legged and one-foot-dragging across your palate until it finally leaves you, slightly dazed and guessing at what just conspired with an oddly vanilla-chemical and acidic-coffee finish left in your mouth. It may not be exactly "out of balance", but it's certainly dis-jointed.

Drinkable for one, but not two.

 1,143 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.34/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle; date notched (bottled) July 2013; from Siciliano’s Market in Grand Rapids. Served in a Belgian snifter.

Pours very dark reddish-brown, clear, with a bubble and weak beige head. Medium-light carbonation is OK but the body is too thin.

Aroma: unbalanced mix of dark roasted malts and vanilla, with vanilla dominant and coffee barely present. Pretty good smelling nonetheless.

Flavor: follows except with the vanilla seeming even more disproportionate and now this is mildly objectionable. At least it is a natural vanilla flavor. Eventually, the vanilla recedes at bit allowing more coffee and a dose of dark roasted grain to join the vanilla in the lingering aftertaste. Even here, it lacks dark roasted malt flavor, however. Mildly sweet.

O: recommended for fans of dark vanilla ales. Don't expect much coffee aroma or flavor.

 849 characters

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Atwater Vanilla Java Porter from Atwater Brewery
Beer rating: 3.46 out of 5 with 1,798 ratings
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