Urca Vanilla Porter - Dry Dock Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Urca Vanilla PorterUrca Vanilla Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

39 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 39
Hads: 109
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 6.44%
Wants: 32
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 39 | Hads: 109
Photo of HeroJH
4.53/5  rDev +16.8%
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. (980 characters)

Photo of claytong
4.51/5  rDev +16.2%
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. (279 characters)

Photo of Mebuzzard
4.47/5  rDev +15.2%
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. (512 characters)

Photo of sevopie
4.45/5  rDev +14.7%
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! (605 characters)

Photo of BradLikesBrew
4.32/5  rDev +11.3%
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. (1,335 characters)

Photo of drumrboy22
4.32/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a growler into a Dry Dock tulip glass.

Beer was black in color with a small, dark brown head. Head quickly diminished, but left heavy lacing around the glass.

Aroma was heavy malt, strong vanilla, coffee, roasted oats, alcohol and brown sugar.

Taste backed up the aroma. Nice, full vanilla flavor, with a hint of coffee. Really tasty beer. Finish was long and slightly bitter.

Drinkability was pretty high, even with such a full flavor. I love this beer and highly recommend it. (505 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.32/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a real nice vanilla porter. beans no extract make this one feel very natural, not artificially sweet. pours a glorious sludgy brown/black with a small off-white head. smells heavenly, vanilla is strong to very strong, with espresso notes and a sappy sort of sweetness. tastes like the essence of vanilla, but with a nice roasted malt backbone and even a touch of hop in the finish. this is the best flavored porter i have had, too sweet to drink a ton of, but memorable and delicious. mouthfeel is closer to a stout than a porter, on the heavier side, and the carbonation is light. another fantastic dry dock offering (617 characters)

Photo of hopfacebrew
4.32/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Note: This review was a re-post from my former account, jmkratt, which was hacked and I lost all my reviews...sorry for the redundancy.

Poured from newly bottled bomber to pint glass! I've had this several times off tap by Dry Dock just started bottling it so I figured I had to buy it today the first time I saw it on the shelves.

A - Beers pours a dark brown, not black, with a solid 2 finger dark tan head with excellent retention and gobs of lacing.

S - Hi Vanilla! The aroma is a powerful vanilla. There are hints of roast as well but overwhelming vanilla!

T/M - The aroma carries over to the start of the beer where you get a hige palete of vanilla. It melds nicely to a blend of vanilla, chocolate, and roast. In fact it is suprisingly smooth and creamy! Beer ends with a sweet note and the vanilla lingers. Unbelievably smooth for a medium bodied Porter.

D - Absolutely.

Overall this is hands down the best vanilla porter I have had to date. Nothing else can match the vanilla aroma and flavor while still bringing extreme creamy smooth deliciousness. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 01-21-2011 18:59:29 (1,141 characters)

Photo of u2carew
4.12/5  rDev +6.2%
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! (485 characters)

Photo of gford217
4.12/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle.

Pours dark chocolate brown, pretty close to black, with a big active tan head that leaves good lacing.

Aroma is excellent and dominated by fresh vanilla aromas, not extract smells but real vanilla beans. There is roasted malts and some cocoa powder as well.

Taste is almost as good as the aroma. The initial taste isn't all that impressive with a lightly roasted malt and chocolate flavor, but as it warms the vanilla really starts to shine and each sip ends with a nice vanilla finish.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with decent carbonation and less roasty and sweeter than most porters.

I really like this beer as the vanilla is distinct and flavorful without becoming too sweet. Excellent porter. (722 characters)

Photo of tlazaroff
4.12/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice moderate vanilla aromas over light mocha coffee. It's a nice aroma over all, and very inviting.

Very dark brown in color with a bubbly, and somewhat frothy tan head with pretty lacing. If anything, I would wish the head would stick around more.

Blasts of vanilla right up on your palate on the first sip. Mid palate is full of a lightly roasted coffee and little bits of chocolate. Bitterness comes through on the finish, but just a little bit. This isn't a sweet beer, it's just really vanilla-y. Dry finish brought on by a crisp medium bodied beer offering medium-light carbonation. It's a great after-coffee beer. (623 characters)

Photo of Domingo
4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
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. (1,064 characters)

Photo of stabzmcgee
4.04/5  rDev +4.1%
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 (266 characters)

Photo of angelmonster
4.04/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice one finger beige head. Body is black in color with auburn brown highlights. Head retention and lacing were above average.

Smell is awesome. Similar to Southern Tier Choklat, smells like a banana split. Very heavy on Vanilla Beans with sweet chocolate also present. Hops and alcohol are not detected.

Taste is similar to smell, lots of vanilla, chocolate, and roasted malts but this beer is all about the sweetness, like liquid desert.
Like smell, hops and alcohol are non existent.

Mouthfeel was rather light with a chalky finish. Beer is aggressively carbonated and head was gone halfway through beer.

Overall this was a good beer, pretty sweet but not cloyingly sweet like some vanilla porters. Kind of a one note beer but thats not necessarily a bad thing. Would buy again, definitely would buy one at a restaurant with some brownie a la mode. (864 characters)

Photo of GilGarp
4.02/5  rDev +3.6%
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. (1,090 characters)

Photo of session1979
4.02/5  rDev +3.6%
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. (851 characters)

Photo of zachary80
4.01/5  rDev +3.4%
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. (515 characters)

Photo of YourMomDrinksBud
4/5  rDev +3.1%
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. (698 characters)

Photo of Haybeerman
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown; black in low light. Poured a 2 finger tan head that dissipated to a half finger skim. Laced in wavy rings.

S: Vanilla, lots of vanilla. Faint hops, earthy.

T: Toasted malts along with the vanilla (like the beans, not the flower). The flowery part of the vanilla lingers in the finish that, while a little dry, is not bitter.

M: Light body. Moderate carbonation. Surprising crispness for the style which diminishes the smoothness and richness.

O: Definitely vanilla. Extreme as it masks much of the malt character. The feel was not quite right for a porter. All that said, a beer I enjoyed and will have again. (628 characters)

Photo of scruffwhor
3.89/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

n8dietz is the man for picking this beer up for me.

Dark brown to black in color with a smallish head after the pour and a ring of foam that lasts for all 22 ounces.

Good mix of vanilla and roasted malt aromas of coffee, chocolate, and roasted bread crust.

Creamy texture through and through adds a chocolate, vanilla, cream soda kind of flavor to this roasty sweet vamilla porter. Sweet, but not too sweet session porter IMO. Good vanilla flavor takes center stage it seems, but doesn't dominate. The finish is a little flat and quick, other than that. Glad I got to try this unobtainable CO beer for people from IL. (622 characters)

Photo of russpowell
3.88/5  rDev 0%
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... (565 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
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. (162 characters)

Photo of Oxymoron
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

So vanilla equals clothes (non-naked)? Sampled on site, the appearance was a midnight black color with brown hues that rim around the side of the glass. Very dark with limited transparency. Soft brown head with good head and retention.

The nose is a blend of roast and vanilla. The vanilla is up front with more of a extra quality. This is quickly blended with more of a coffee roast aroma. More of a coffee nose than the Naked Porter. There is a light milky finish on the back end.

The taste is nice as it blended very nicely. Typically the vanilla is too strong in most vanilla porters, but this is balanced well. To start, there is a sweetness with a vanilla flavor and a mild honey undertone. This is blended nicely as the roast comes out more. The vanilla is noticeable but not over bearing. There is a slight earthy hop bite that could be boardline spicy. The finish has a lactic finish as well.

The body is moderate but the vanilla lightens it up a bit. Overall I enjoy the balance. even though I'm not a big vanilla porter fan, I can see how people could enjoy this. (1,077 characters)

Photo of beerdrifter
3.84/5  rDev -1%
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. (667 characters)

Photo of cvm4
3.84/5  rDev -1%
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. (408 characters)

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Urca Vanilla Porter from Dry Dock Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 39 ratings.