Sunday, December 13, 2009

Atwater Block Brewery - Vanilla Java Porter

I had been hunting this beer for two months since first tasting it at the World Beer Festival in Durham. You could only get a small two-ounce sample at the event, but the Vanilla Java Porter was one that I made a point to return to sample a second time. Since then, it's been at the top of my must-revisit list.

While shopping for singles at Total Wine & More last night, I decided to check out the six packs. Surprise... they had it. Early Christmas for me!  

I was extra pleased, because I hadn't been able to find it at my usual Total Wine location.

Vanilla Java Porter is one of nine year-round offerings from Detroit's Atwater Block Brewery. They describe it as:
"a robust porter made with chocolate malt.  We blend it with Vanilla and Java beans, and balance it with U.S. Golding Hops."
6.0% ABV

Looks like a typical porter. It has a very dark brown color and nearly opaque appearance with just a bit of light shining through around the very edges of my glass. There seems to be a decent amount of carbonation, which forms a frothy tan head that leaves a nice amount of lacing.

This beer has a sweet and syrupy aroma that strengthens with warmth. Vanilla is most prominent. It also has a slightly metallic quality which, combined with the vanilla, reminds me of pipe tobacco.

Taste & Feel
Medium-full body, significant carbonation. It starts off with a brief, but lively, bubbly burst. The robust maltiness is highlighted by very smooth vanilla, caramel and roasted coffee flavors. It has a sweet, rich vanilla bean finish with a bit of a coffee aftertaste. Very desserty.

I found this to be a good, flavorful beer. Drink it at a higher temperature, since it gets sweeter and more aromatic as it warms. I'm eagerly awaiting my wife's coffee cake to finish baking... this should go great with it.

No comments: