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Beer Review #134 Wolaver’s Alta Gracia Coffee Porter

Now if that isn’t one of the longest names for a beer ever I don’t know what is. Wolaver’s Alta Gracia Coffee Porter is brewed by Otter Creek Brewing of Middlebury, Vermont. The actual brewer of this beer is a bit of a mystery to me. Wolaver’s Organic Brewing is the brewery that this beer is named for, but I believe that it is owned by Otter Creek. Perhaps it is a separate brand of Otter Creek, kind of like how Blue Moon Brewing Company is a subset of Coors. Nomenclature aside, I tried their Oktoberfest last year and wasn’t a big fan of it, but I have had a few other beers of theirs and enjoyed them quite a bit.

Alt Gracia Coffee Porter is a certified organic beer and the label says it is, “brewed with coffee and vanilla beans.” Shocking, a coffee beer brewed with coffee! This porter pours a nice black color and has a thin tan head. I couldn’t tell if it was clear or not since it was so dark but clarity don’t make a whole hill of beans to me. Call it a homebrewer’s mentality. The nose has lots of rick coffee coming off of it. There is some dark bitter chocolate in there as well. The vanilla does make an appearance, but it isn’t overly strong. Thank God. Overall I would describe the smell of this beer as “earthy.”

On the first taste I was surprised at how smooth this beer is. All of the components flow nicely and evenly. There is a good amount of coffee and chocolate but they are not overpowering in anyway. This beer still has a porter feel. When I was drinking this porter I felt like it had a “milk shake” quality to it. I’m not sure how to describe that feeling, but drinking this beer reminded me of a watery milk shake. Chocolate.

This beer was wonderfully drinkable. Lots of bold flavors but they stayed restrained enough as to not take over or take away from the rest of the beer. This porter comes in at 5% ABV and I think it could be a great beer to have on the coming crisp fall days. If you are a fan of coffee beers¬† I think this one could be right up your ally. (more…)

Michelob Winter’s Bourbon Cask Ale Beer Review

When I first saw a case of this beer sitting at my local beer store, I was intriguing. A bit excited to tell the truth. There was a snowman holding a bottle of beer and wearing some sweet shades, all of this to advertise a bourbon cask ale. Sounded wonderful!

When I got home, I threw a six-pack in the fridge and noticed that this beer was made by Michelob. There was no evidence of this on the box (or else I would not of gotten it), but I already opened it so it was too late. I don’t hate Michelob, I just don’t like that they are pretending to be a craft brewery when you are really an InBev product. The bottles read:

“Winter ale aged on bourbon oak casks and whole Madagascar vanilla beans. 6.0% ABV.”

I waited from them to get cold and two hours later, they were ready to drink. When I think of a winter beer, I generally think of something dark and heavy and full of alcohol. I think the same thing when I hear of bourbon and cask. I popped the top to a nice little pfff and poured it into my glass. This stuff was a copper colored!?! Nothing like what I was expecting. It had a thin head that disappeared within seconds.

A bit annoyed, I cleared my head and decided to give the beer a chance to say something. The first smells were sweet and strongly vanilla. There is a hint of malt and no hops at all. Upon first sip I didn’t really enjoy it at all. It tasted like cream soda. There was also a strange metalic taste that I did not enjoy at all. There was also very little carbonation and no flavor of bourbon.¬†Some beers get better as you drink through the glass, this is not one of them. I let about half of the glass sit for a bit to see if it being warmed helped at all; no change.

I was very, very disappointed by this beer. I expected something totally different, and the flavor of the beer completly ruined any positives I held on to. Don’t get fooled, don’t buy this beer, don’t look at this beer! (more…)