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Atwater VJ Black | Atwater Brewery

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Atwater VJ BlackAtwater VJ Black
Very Good
220 Ratings
Atwater VJ BlackAtwater VJ Black

Brewed by:
Atwater Brewery
Michigan, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by DrDemento456 on 04-09-2011

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 220 |  Reviews: 71
Photo of Cody_k_53
2.89/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Photo of h4ger
3.87/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of bushbeer75
3.52/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz brown bottle - Bottled on December 2015 [label marked D-15]

Atwater VJ Black Imperial Stout poured an opaque black hue and atop sat a 1/2" tan head. The head shrunk quickly to form a ring on my tulip glass. Only 'hit-and-miss' lacing was present. The nose is dominated by malt that smells burnt and roasted. Also, the scent of dark chocolate is noted. The taste follows the smell with the flavor of coffee and just a trace of vanilla. The hops seem to show up at the finish. Mouth feel is a little sticky, lower carbonation, and is only medium bodied for an RIS - it's on the thin side for the style.

Nothing bad about VJ Black. It is just not as full flavored as the better RIS's. Maybe this stout should be consumed fresh and not with time on its clock.

 771 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to my brother for hooking this one up. Russian Imperial Stout pours black as can be. Brown head, 1/3". Aroma of heavily roasted malt, adjunct free, mild dark fruit and alcohol.

Taste, hey this isn't overly bitter from the roast or hopping, nor does it reek of alcohol all the way around. Distinct chocolate malt, relatively dry finish. Dark fruit notes really stay hidden, thankfully. No overly thick or viscous. Body probably feels lighter given the relatively high carbonation levels going on. Good char super mild smoke quality in there.

This beer looks impressive, its mouth feel is good. Nothing adjunct wise going on. Solid for what it is.

 668 characters

Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.07/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Pours a brown cola color and forms a dark brown body in the snifter. Head retention is good, sticking at about 1 finger.

Aromas of roast malt, light licorice, sassafrass, molasses, and chocolate. Slight sourness.

The flavor profile IS tasty, but not something I look for in a Russian Imperial Stout. Not at all. It starts with roasted barley, some sour lactic acid bite, metal, and some faint cheese-injected chocolate.

The feel is thin as well. Almost like a porter. Dryness on the finish.

Overall, this is not at all what I could classify as a RIS. If I were brewing this, and it came out this way, I'd call it an English Porter. Thick it is not, rich it is not. It's just kind of a sorry mess. I dumped the rest.

 723 characters

Photo of Wisconsin_IPA_Lover
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of psmith161
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of NateDyk47
4.27/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Jonathan-Morgan
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of dmorgan310
4.02/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of scmtim
3.84/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of MrDis
3.26/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Photo of TheWayTheWorldEnds
4.23/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of VirginiaBeerMan
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of GameOfBeers
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Zazzi82
3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of sposter4
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of DaveBar
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Purchased at Champagne's as a 6pk of 12oz bottles for around the $15.00 mark or so from memory. Served at 10deg C in a tulip glass

A- Opened with a mighty POP poured a huge airy head that lasts forever and a day. Very dark brown colour

S- Lots of heat. Licorice, molasses.

T- Chocolate, malty. Some coffee. This one was aged nearly a year before I opened it so it seems all has blended together. Not bad but not great. Coco get chalky at the end.

M- Extremely carbonated for a stout.

O- Very good brew. Not great but very good. The only heat off this brew is on the nose as it's not in the flavor so be careful.

Food Pairing

This rather good brew went very well with........ Slow roasted pork. I put some season all, garlic powder and onion powder then 250deg covered for 7-8hrs. I enjoyed potato pancakes with it this time.


 842 characters

Photo of rkf1976
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of kyle_goochstink
4.06/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Cannibalgasm
3.42/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 12oz. bottle.

A: Pours nearly opaque black with two fingers a creamy frothing head. Retains very well and leaves some very nice lacing.

S: Aromas of roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, vanilla, and a hint of brown sugar.

T: Chocolate, vanilla, coffee, roasted malts, caramel, brown sugar, and a slight hint of pine like hops. Finishes with some bitterness. Very little alcohol presence considering the ABV.

M: Very light in body for an imperial stout, with a moderately high amount of carbonation. Creamy and smooth goes down way to easy for an imperial stout. This is much closer to a porter in feel and is quite disappointing. There is little to no alcohol presence making this dangerous. If I was served it not knowing what it was I would think it closer to like a 6% ABV not the 11% it is.

O: An interesting brew to say the least. It poured beautifully and has some nice flavors too it but the feel and lack of depth is really disappointing. Overall I'm not sure how I feel about this one. I guess it would be perfect if your looking for a nice tasting easy drinker that will f*** you up after a few.

 1,124 characters

Photo of Mxsluis
3.61/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Farral
3.62/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of neenerzig
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A friend of mine and I spent a few hours at this brewery about 2 weeks ago on a Saturday afternoon when we went to Detroit to see Motorhead and Anthrax play. A guy sitting next to me was inquiring as to whether or not the brewery had any bottled beers he could buy to go. They only had this one available, and also they apparently only sold beer to go by the case. Not sure why that is or if it is a state law, etc. The guy made the purchase and was complaining a bit that he had to buy so much. So I asked if he'd want to sell any to me. So he sold one of the six packs in the case to me, which had four of them, for $7.00. I thought that was quite an excellent deal especially considering the fact that there is no way I'd pay such a bargain price for a 6 pack of 11% ABV stout at any retail outlet here in Ohio. poured out of a 12 oz bottle into one of my tulip glasses, this beer pours a very dark brown, almost black color and a creamy looking tan, light brown head that is about an inch thick when first poured that eventually settles to a nice thick ring lining the inside of the glass along with a nice, thick surface layer of foam. Pretty good lacing too. Aromas of roasted caramel malts, roasted coffee, and a nice hint of vanilla are nicely present. Flavors of roasted malt caramel sweetness upfront that gives way to roasted coffee bitterness along with sweet hints of chocolate and vanilla that is all rounded out with a bit of earthy hop bitterness. An excellent flavor profile here and the different flavors blend together and compliment each other quite nicely. No single flavor dominates either. It gets better too as the beer warms a bit. Has a crisp, smooth, slightly prickly, medium bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. I feel the mouthfeel is a bit thin for an imperial stout though, as this feels more like a porter or a sweet/milk stout, etc. Perhaps the lighter body is good this reason being that it is still about 75 degrees and sunny here in Cleveland right now. A pretty good beer all around and worth a try.


 2,069 characters

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Atwater VJ Black from Atwater Brewery
Beer rating: 3.86 out of 5 with 220 ratings
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