Beer 48 of winter – Detroit rising…

Atwater VJ Black

Brewer: Atwater       Craft: VJ Black Imperial Stout       ABV: 11%

So from what I hear, Detroit is having a bit of a rough go of it right now.  I don’t think it’s on the list of top places to visit this year.  The Lions got robbed by some zebras.  (think NFL playoffs)  And do we still buy American made cars here in America?  Well, Atwater is trying its best to bring some positive energy and production back to what really was and could be a great American city.

I first tried some of their crafts about 2 or 3 years ago.  I was impressed.  They make an IPA with bold hops and cool citrus.  They make a dark chocolate ale which makes me giggle with joy every time I smell that delicious aroma.  They make a bourbon barrel porter which is boozy and smooth.  Anything aged in barrel is good, in my opinion.

So I was excited to try this offering from them, which if I’m not mistaken, is probably based off of another of their crafts, the Vanilla Java Porter.  That porter is one of my favorites.  This lead to high expectations and high hopes for the VJ Black.  Set your expectations high, folks.  It’s amazing when they are met!

The VJ Black is ultra smooth.  Aromas of vanilla, chocolate, caramel, even peanut butter give this craft an amazing introduction.  Please do me a solid, and let this craft warm up.  Take your time drinking it.  Let it do its thing.  When I first sipped, (it is 11%, so sipping is prescribed), it was good.  But I was slightly disappointed at the relative simplicity.  So as it sat and warmed, the layers of flavor totally developed and the VJ Black transformed into a completely relaxing, restful, intensely flavorful drinking experience.  Roasty.  Chocolatey.  Vanilla notes.  Coffee notes.  Caramely.  Hoppy.  Peanut buttery.

I’m enthralled and bewildered by VJ.  What an enjoyable, surprising, fulfilling, complex, quaffable, smooth, sip-worthy craft beer.  I can’t wait to have another one of these some time.  But I’m not sure if I will ever match this experience.  Still, I’ll be waiting…Cheers!


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