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Urca Vanilla Porter - Dry Dock Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Urca Vanilla PorterUrca Vanilla Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

106 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 106
Reviews: 39
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 12.69%
Wants: 30
Gots: 23 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Dry Dock Brewing Co. visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
Herbed / Spiced Beer |  5.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: drumrboy22 on 09-11-2007

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 106 | Reviews: 39
Reviews by beerdrifter:
Photo of beerdrifter
3.84/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Picked this up while on vacation in Denver. Dark brown, nearly black pour with a quickly fading one finger caramel colored head with decent lacing. As expected, the vanilla dominates the nose along with hints of coffee, subtle cocoa, and hazelnut. The taste is also dominated by the vanilla along with hints of maple, hazelnut, caramel, coffee, cream, and subtle chocolate. The mouthfeel is incredibly creamy and smooth, but at the same time a bit thin. Overall, I love the fact that the vanilla is very natural tasting as opposed to the artificial taste you sometimes get with vanilla beers. Unfortunately, it's a little too sweet for my tastes, but still enjoyable.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Beaver13
3.05/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle. Pours dark brown with a small creamy light tan head that quickly goes to a thin film and leaves a little lacing.

The aroma is sweet perfumey vanilla, some wood and some roasted chocolate malts. Smells a bit like lodgepole pines.

The flavor is lots of sweet vanilla with some roasted malts. The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied and a bit watery.

Overall, a bit thin and too much sweet vanilla for me. Better than Breck's though.

Photo of GilGarp
4.02/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dry Dock Vanilla Porter has lost the Urca from it's name in going from tap to bomber? Sad, really, since Seven Cs has become Seven Seas and the U Boat is now simply Hefeweizen.

Served cold into a goblet on St. Patrick's Day.

The vanilla porter is a very dark brown color with thin, short-lived, creamy off-white head.

Aroma is immediately recognizable as vanilla. There is a little bit of roasty malt but it is easily dominated by the fresh vanilla bean.

My initial response to the flavor is "cream soda" followed by "a good porter overwhelmed by vanilla flavoring." Either way you look at it, this is a unique beer that seems to have nailed the concept. If a vanilla porter is what you're after, this is the one.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low/gentle carbonation. The alcohol is low so it's not surprising that it hides well in this full-flavored beer.

Overall I think they hit the nail on the head. Whether this is your kind of beer or not will determine if you enjoy it. I think it's good for what it is but not something I would drink on a regular basis. A good dessert beer.

Photo of russpowell
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Thanks to SteveO for this one!

Pours an effervescent mahogany with 2 fingers of mocha colored head. Minimal head retention & lacing

S: Carob, vanilla & coffee

T: Vanilla & carob, some roastyness & dryness up front. Dryness & coffee, plus more vanilla as this warms. Finishes with roastyness, vanilla, a touch of woody hops & coffee

MF: Medium bodied with smooth carbonation

A drinkable & enjoyable porter, but I've had a few that best it, the best thing about this how natural the vanilla tastes. I've had plenty where it seems like extract is badly added...

Photo of u2carew
4.12/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber
A) Pours with a dark tan head. Slowly settles leaving a thin lacing on top and semi-sticky on the drink down. Nearly opaque with some mahogany hues.
S) Robust vanilla aroma mixed with chocolate and coffee notes.
T) Vanilla. Coffee. Cocoa. Hints of smokiness in the finish.
M) Full body yet with the slight thinness that accompanies porters. Gritty. Creamy.
O) A well crafted brew. Not too outrageous on the vanilla; a good balance. I'd have another...if only I had another!

Photo of HeroJH
4.53/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

WOW, so good! I am always skeptical of any beer that has anything added to it in the way of herbs/spices/fruit. This one was executed so well, I had no complaints. I can't wait to have some again, I might have to get a growler of this.

A - real dark, black - nice head, small in size does linger around

S - rich and full with a full vanilla scent

T - wow, delicious vanilla flavor but executed way better than I've ever had before. It tasted like REAL vanilla, nothing fake or weird tasting as a lot of flavored beers can be. There is an overall richness to the beer, though I was having trouble picking things out individually, but that was fine. Just this really creamy full flavor. Probably coffee and chocolate flavors would be the most obvious with a slight feel of roastyness in the finish.

M - so smooth, very creamy. Tastes so good and leaves a nice flavor in the finish.

D - Excellent I had 2 pints and could have had more if I had the time and didn't have to drive.

Photo of Thorpe429
3.85/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Dry Dock. Heavy vanilla. A LOT of vanilla. Quite nice. Milk chocolate underneath. Medium body. Pretty good, but I expect a bit more from a vanilla beer.

Photo of YourMomDrinksBud
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into a pint glass. No freshness date to be found.

A- Pours black with no highlights. One finger head that dissapears pretty fast leaving a nice film. Leaves some nice lacing, nothing to spectacular.

S- Vanilla bean, vanilla ice cream, white chocolate, marshmellow.

T- Vanilla cream dominates the taste. Malts only come through lightly. A little chocolate and graham cracker. It's a pretty sweet beer, makes for a great dessert.

M- On the light side for a porter. Very creamy mouthfeel. Ample carbonation, sweet but not cloying. Drinkability is great if you like the vanilla.

O- Interesting beer. A little one dimensional in the taste department but enjoyable none the less.

Photo of stabzmcgee
4.04/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aroma is of a vanilla and hot chocolate. Appearance is opaque black with a tan leather head that stays for the experience. Taste is that of vanilla bean, coffee and hot chocolate. Palate is full bodied, creamy thick texture with a soft carbonation. Long tasty finish

Photo of mulder1010
3.82/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Dry Dock.

A-- deep, dark, murky brown, or near black. Looked sort of nitro really. No head at all just a bit of film here and there. To me the weakest part of the beer.

S-- Vanilla bean, chocolate, and more vanilla. A little muted at first but good vanilla notes.

T-- Rich vanilla. Beans and Extract taste though they used beans with this. Chocolate and coffee in the background. Very nice taste and how the coffee and chocolate play off the vanilla.

M-- Touches of coffee acid in the mid and back palate. Vanilla at first, followed by chocolate and then coffee. Like how it builds to coffee. A little bit sweet but workable. Medium feel and medium high carbonation.

O-- Good desert beer. A little sweet at times but a good vanilla porter. Liked it a lot.

Photo of TenHornsProud
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with a tan head that lasts and laces.

Smells of vanilla and malt, almost dairy/milk character.

Has smoky undertones, some nutty character, and, of course, vanilla in the front.

It is smooth and creamy, vanilla ice cream comes to mind, lower carbonation.

This is a good beer with vanilla distinctly in the forefront, but there are some more subtle, smoky aspects that makes this not just a vanilla bomb. I would buy it again.

Photo of cvm4
3.84/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours dark brown with light around the edges. The cream tan head dissipates quickly.

S - A refreshing hit of vanilla and light roasted malts.

T - At first it's like a hit of cream soda, just like the reviewer below me. Then the vanilla comes on in full force.

M - Just what I'd expect from a porter, lighter body & medium carbonation.

O - This beer captures the style of a vanilla porter in spades.

Photo of kojevergas
3.25/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

1 pint 6 fl oz brown bottle glass with standard pressure cap served into a New Belgium pilsner glass in high altitude Fort Collins, Colorado. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average.

Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a two finger head of fairly decent cream, nice thickness, and good retention. Colour is a solid nontransparent black. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Heavy vanilla, some cream, light roast, and a dark malt foundation. A moderate strength aroma.

T: Heavy vanilla, cream soda, some cream, and a dark malt foundation. Some nice layering. Not horribly complex or subtle, but certainly pleasant and enjoyable. It's a nice little beer. I do like it. Well balanced and pretty well built for the style.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Nicely thick for the style. Apt for a porter. Adequate carbonation. Nicely moderate on the palate.

Dr: A nicely drinkable little beer. I like it, but it does need work. It's a nice little Vanilla Porter, and is pleasant considering its aims. I'd have it again. I'm growing increasingly excited about Dry Dock's beers. This was my first, but I look forward to trying more.

Low B-

Photo of session1979
4.02/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at the brewery over the weekend. I initially ordered the Imperial IPA but decided to get a sampler so I could try out some of the other beers. Being a dark beer whore I of course tried this one right away and was pleasantly surprised how much I liked it as the style isn't a favorite of mine.

Appearance: Jet black with a slight beige head.

Nose: Chocolate, roasted/burnt hops, coffee and of course a healthy nose of vanilla.

Taste: Lots of vanilla in the forefront followed by roasted barley and coffee. Capped off with a very nice slightly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Light in texture with only a bit of carbonation.

Drinkability: Highly drinkable, have a few!

Overall: I tend to stay away from spiced beers but this beer is very well done and although the flavors are all prominent they are all very well balanced. Very nice.

Photo of hoegaardenhero
3.68/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

apparently I was in a very sparse mood when I wrote these notes:

a: deep black w/ light tan head and light lace

s: very light coffee; chocolate; sweet vanilla bean

t: strong lightly artificial vanilla; coffee; chocolate; tastes a little bit like a dunkin donuts flavored coffee

m: very smooth and very creamy

d: worth a try but certainly not the best vanilla porter i have ever had

Photo of BradLikesBrew
4.32/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Kevin for the bottle.

Brewed with over 2 lbs of Tahitian and Madagascar Vanilla beans.

Pours a very dark brown, nearly black body with a mocha head.

The aroma is an amazing dose of vanilla. Like the smell of a premium Madagascar vanilla bean at a gourmet spice shop. Intense, complex, natural vanilla.

You can taste some chocolate and toffee on the palate, but the story of this beer is the vanilla. With beers brewed with fruits or spices added, it is typically inappropriate to allow the fruit or spice to overwhelm the base beer. It should merely add an accent. The exception to this, is when the flavor contributed by this addition is so extraordinary, that balance no longer matters. This is one such beer.

The vanilla flavors are so amazing, so natural, so complex, that I don't care about balance. Rather than a Porter that uses Vanilla as an accent, this is a Vanilla beer with a touch of Porter roasty character rounding out the edges. Not sweet, not bitter, just genuine vanilla flavor and a hint of porter.

Medium bodied, smooth, and creamy on the finish. Maybe a little thin, but it really helps the drinkability.

I have tried this on tap a few times and I enjoyed it, but for whatever reason, it seems to taste much better out of the bottle. Hopefully, we will have bombers of this on the shelf soon.

Photo of zachary80
4.01/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bomber.

Super dark brown body, little to no tan head fades and leaves only slight lacing.

Aroma of strong vanilla, very sweet, some coffee, a hint of the roastiness but the vanilla is the star here.

Vanilla is at the forefront again, more roastiness and coffee flavors come through than in the aroma.

Mouthfeel is on the lighter side, right for a porter, but maybe a little too watery. Carbonation is fine.

Tasty, I would love to try an imperial version of this. Seems like it as is would be better in sixers.

Photo of Mebuzzard
4.47/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown pour..looks black at first. The head was off white and demonstrated good retention.
Vanilla in the smell, along with faint coffee and chocolate. Some leather and tobacco in the back of the nose. could be the atmosphere, but it's a non-smoking place.
Some vanilla porters seem to be made from extract. This tastes like vanilla bean. It has that 'husk' portion of the vanilla, a bit more earthy and less sweet. Some Bryer's Vanilla ice-cream would make a good float with this one.
Very easy drinking.

Photo of radioscooter
3.16/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Got this in my first BIF (Thanks Lambic lady) and was so excited to try it I popped it in the fridge and 4 hours later - here I am. Just came off of a Founders KBS which i did NOT like. I love me some sweet vanilla stout (STCB) so let's get this show off the road.

Appearance is perfect. Pitch black body, staggered cafe au lait head that sits about a finger up after an aggro pour.

Smell is some flowery vanilla and hops. Hmm. It's a porter so I'm good with it. But it is claiming EXTREME vanilla so - I am unconvinced.

Tastes surprisingly dry and the vanilla is right there, but floral. I'd love to have this on tap. A bit dry, the flowery vanilla lingers on after the dry porter goes down. Tastes more floral than beans would suggest.

It is what it says it is - a vanilla porter. But I think vanilla needs some more sweet to go with it. Just like cocoa does. Coffee can stand bitter on its own. Vanilla and Chocolate NEED more sweet. This needs more cream and sweet.

Also too carbonated. A bit too bubbly for the style and for me.

It's an odd choice for a porter. I love vanilla mixed with the creaminess of a milk stout or stout. But with a dry porter it is a rough fit.

Photo of Domingo
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dry Dock does a fine job with their fruit and spiced offerings. This is another great example.
This is in permanent rotation at the BJ's on Alameda and I225 as well as at the brewery itself.
Arrives a pretty deep brown to black color. There's a pretty thin head on top, but it does stick around for the life of the beer. Looks thicker than it really is.
The nice thing about this take on a vanilla porter is that the vanilla doesn't taste artificial, AND the beer has a backbone beyond the vanilla flavoring. Sweet, malty, & roasty with a generous warm vanilla flavor that compliments the beer instead of covering it up. Even a hint of hops in there to keep everything honest.
Even though it isn't a nitro tap, it has that sort of texture. Not too thick or thin - spot on for what you want.
This is the best vanilla porter I've had to date. Makes for a great dessert beer, too.
Dry Dock's got something huge on it's hands with this.

NOTE: If you're not a big vanilla fan, they also offer a "naked porter" which is essentially the same beer sans the vanilla beans.

Photo of sevopie
4.45/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Dark brown with lighter hints at the edges. Tan to brown head, little lacing.

Smell - Vanilla is prominent, along with a sweet chocolate and not much else.

Taste - Vanilla again is at the fore, but is more balanced out by some coffee and chocolate flavors, some maltiness, and finishes with a bit of a hop bite, again with the vanilla rounding it out.

Mouthfeel - Decently thick with a healthy amount of carbonation for a porter.

Drinkability - Oh man, I love this beer. I went in with high hopes and was not disappointed. I *will* be getting this one again, even the girlfriend likes it!

Photo of brdc
2.51/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Had this one on tap at the brewery.

Dark brown, nice head, some lacing.
Aroma is heavy on the vanilla, and unfortunately, most other notes are just pushed aside by the vanilla.
Somewhat thin, on the palate it again shows massive doses of vanilla, and the other expected porter notes are nowhere to be found.
It gets very sweet and cloying after a while, and although I tried, could not finish this one.

Photo of brentk56
3.42/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a fudge brown color with a rocky head that leaves a pretty nice curtain of lace behind

Smell: Vanilla beans scraped from the pod; hints of chocolate and grain underneath

Taste: The vanilla is very strong, up front, but by mid-palate, there is a grainy, tobacco-like element that joins the profile; after the swallow, the vanilla really dominates, however

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation; a bit light for the style

Overall: Love the smell and love the concept but am not crazy about this beer as the vanilla that smell so good on the nose just dominates everything on the tastebuds; I would like to see more porter flavors to balance out the vanilla

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.67/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Purchased at Argonaut Liquor in Denver, CO.

Pours an opaque dark brown with a 1 inch beige head that fades to an oily cap. Random patches of lacing form on the glass on the drink down. Smells of vanilla beans, vanilla ice cream, and vanilla coffee creamer. Taste is of vanilla beans, vanilla extract, and roasted malts. There is a slight roasty bitterness after each sip that lingers on the palate. Good carbonation with a crisp and clean mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good porter with a better vanilla smell than taste. I am glad I got to try this one.

Photo of claytong
4.51/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

one of my favorite porters to date.

appearance - is pretty typical, small head, black and opaque

smell - beautiful, vanilla chocolate, so rich and creamy smelling

taste - similar to a chocolate malt with vanilla

mouthfeel - creamy and thick and very drinkable, i wanted more.

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Urca Vanilla Porter from Dry Dock Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 106 ratings.