03 November 2009

BEER REVIEW: Atwater Block Brewery - Vanilla Java Porter

Atwater Block Brewery’s – Vanilla Java Porter is described as a “robust porter… sure to please” made with chocolate and coffee malts; U.S. Golding hops; vanilla and coffee adjuncts; and weighs in at 6% ABV.  Vanilla and coffee flavors in beer may sound a bit unusual to some, but I like both and they could go well in a porter if well made, so I figured I would give it a try.

Vanilla Java Porter poured with an attractive dark-brown color which when held to a light, revealed a slight ruby tint and a near opaqueness.  It developed a light-tan head, which laid down quickly and left practically no lace behind.  It had a sweet, malty nose with chocolate notes and slight hints of coffee and vanilla.  The first sip revealed a crispness on the front of the tongue with a creamy mouth-feel on the top of the tongue and roof of the mouth.  As it drank, a strange taste developed that I really couldn’t put a finger on but seemed almost “tangy”.  It was also thin and watery and not at all like a porter.

In my opinion (for what its worth) Atwater’s – Vanilla Java Porter did not live up to its own claims or my hopes.  “Robust”, no way; porter, not quite; I just can’t recommend this one.  The first time I tried it was at a tasting event and I thought it was OK and worth reviewing; however, there were 97 beers at this event and I was pretty far along at the time…

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