Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A Year of Craft Beer, Vol. 58, Wolavers Alta Gracia Coffee Porter


Mi Amigo, Mike.  You would like this if you like PBC Joe!  (Oh, by the way, I gave up editing because these take too long to write, grammar shmammer!  I should though, really should, kind of have been regretting not the last few or so posts or so.)  - like there!  I should have edited that better!

So before I get into it.  Joe, my college buddy, it's been great having you here in Philly.  If I hadn't moved back, we probably wouldn't have reconnected and that would have been wrong.  Through you I met an awesome crew of people all except that cheese artist guy who is picky on things like grammar!  ha ha ha  I was hurt to the core with that one!  *snickering philly-type Ha Ha laugh*  Only kidding.  The selfish part of me wishes you didn't split.  The part that is happy want's you to succeed as inspiration to us all!  F@ck dude, hone those surfing skillz and save me a spot on your floor!  Find me a barista job even though I hate coffee.  One of my true best friends.  I'm a rich man.

So like tonight I was out seeing my buddy Joe off.  Went to Pizza Brain.  I can't eat pizza.  The cheese was good!  Macy ate the dough, I ate the cheese.  Good times.  I drank lots of  Eddie's Small bier instead of eating.  You know, I didn't get bloated from the beer.  I'm liking this cheap table beer!  My friends, to my astonishment as they know beer, liked it as well.  The hops were mostly floral in that beer Mike, did you notice?  Smelled hoppy, and only tasted slightly floral and not bitter.  Anyway, we all had fun poking jibes at each other, but really we were sad to see Joe leave.  Who else is going to get drunk at our age and do cartwheels to impress the girls?  Just kidding Joe, as I'm impressed that you can do that sh!t with your f@cked up knees!  Anyway, I had a diversion of tantamount importance and wasn't going to write the review tonight.  And it's a struggle, but I have this fantastic beer next to me that was my inspiration!  I read about it a few times and once recently from the plethora of beer periodicals that I brought with me on the EL (elevated train) to keep me company for jury duty.

Wolavers Alta Gracia Coffee Porter.  Did I mention that I hate coffee?  Such a strong emotion hate.  I may have to reassess that emotion.  I have been a fan of Wolavers as they serve the Organic Brown at the Goodfoot in Portland, Oregon.  It was one of my favorite hangouts and I do miss my friends from there.  Carrie, remember Jujuba?  I really enjoyed the organic brown and was looking forward to trying this beer tonight.  I am glad that I am having it this evening.  A special night that I had a blast AND am reminiscing of old friends afar from both east and west.

 The beer I poured at room temperature into that tulip looking glass. A good glass to test beer in as it funnels aromas toward your knows (nose). I learned that from the new DFH beer glass video.

It poured a very brown black and clear with very little head of medium brown bubbles. I was a little wary from the look of the head. But that dissipated (the head, not the worries. in fact, with the head dissipating I worried more) and the larger sized bubbles were replaced with a nice ring on top of the beer of super fine bubbles that leave a really cool archway looking lacing pattern on the glass. I tend to wonder sometimes that if under controlled conditions if the same beer from the same batch AND a different batch would leave the same kind of lacing pattern on the glass. Like a fingerprint.

Aromas are super pleasant and an equal mix of coffee, roasted malt, caramel malt and an underlying note of vanilla, one of it's ingredients. I know there is a slight hop aroma in there somewhere, but can't pinpoint it.

The taste is phenomenally similar to the description of the aroma. Wow! If compared side by side with PBC, regrettably I would choose this. In no way do I mean to offend, but I was never a Joe Porter fan until recently when I had it on a tour there on tap and then again tonight with a reputedly new formula which tasted creamier and with vanilla. Not sure, just my observation. But anyway the Wolavers is smooth, creamy, very much like coffee and vanilla in with roasted malt and some caramel. Hops aren't super apparent but there and only really noticeable, to me, at the end. I do not that the beer is slightly sweeter than it is hoppy, but mostly balanced well.

Mouthfeel is mostly full, creamy and lightly sweet with light carbonation that really lifts the coffee and vanilla to your nose and taste buds. Hops are apparent at the end leaving a dry and bitter, but not overly floral bitter, in your mouth. It really is a function of making you want more and I do!

Overall, I give this beer a 4, or better, out of 10. I'm going to review this on Beer Advocate and see where the numbers take me, but I really love this beer!

You gotta get out and try these beers! Life is too short for those crappy beers! Don't let them tell you what to drink!

-Wiss, and Fish, but really Hooper

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