Thursday, March 15, 2012

Beer in Review: Atwater Brewery's Vanilla Java Porter

As a recent migrant from Florida and a lover of all things beer, I'm finding Michigan to be one helluva beer Mecca. I have been really impressed with both the wide variety of breweries and the overall high quality of beers made by these breweries.

With that said, I feel it is my job to review all of these beers. Each and every one. One at a time. Delicious beer, me drinking it... Oh! and I'll post a review of said beer as well. Sound good, loyal readers? Well, then, let's hop in. (Pun joke...I know, I know.)

(As an aside, I've never reviewed beer before, and I therefore reserve the right to sound like a first grader describing a Pollock painting.)

(As a second aside, I take no responsibility for the fact that I may sound like Tobias from Arrested Development as I describe what I taste in my mouth, what's in my mouth, or what's happening in my mouth.)


Beer: Vanilla Java Porter
Brewery: Atwater Brewery
Location: Detroit, MI
ABV %: 6.0
Etc.: poured into pint glass

Out of the bottle, it smelled a little weak. I'm a big fan of stouts and porters, and I prefer a distinctive taste and smell. This one just smelled very normal to begin with. On the pour, the head is very thin, which I don't mind. I probably could have poured it more slowly and eliminated the head entirely.

Fortunately this beer gets immediately better once it hits your mouth. It starts with the vanilla on the front end, and the back end gets more complex, throwing in the other elements (like, the java). It's thickness is certainly not on par with Guinness, but it's not thin either, a nice medium thickness that makes it just thick enough stop light waves dead in their tracks. After a few drinks, I could actually taste some bitter chocolate undertones, which makes sense with the vanilla and java tastes mucking around in my mouth. Like all good stouts and porters, the deliciousness of this beer is way at the back of your mouth. (Speaking of back of the mouth, beer burps are usually pretty awesome, and a Vanilla Java Porter beer burp is not something you want to avoid.) In sum, this beer is exactly as it purports to be and worthy of a drink when you have the leisure time to enjoy it.

I give Atwater Brewery's Vanilla Java Porter: 3.5 out of 5 Michigan Mittens.

1 comment:

  1. Sometime in the last year (probably coinciding with the redesign of the bottle's label), it seems that Atwater modified the recipe for this beer. During the time leading up to the redesign, it was a lot sweeter and thinner on the mouthfeel, which is probably why the online beer rating sites like RateBeer and BeerAdvocate didn't give it such a sterling ranking. Personally, I liked it just fine, since it was just plain delicious; much more than your average porter. The redesign has this beer a lot heavier on the mouthfeel with more bitterness, coffee, and chocolate feel. All in all, still a good beer and still something I buy...just a bit different than it once was.