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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
87
very good

39 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 39
Hads: 109
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 6.44%
Wants: 33
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
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Reviews: 39 | Hads: 109
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.67/5  rDev -5.4%
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. (561 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 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 brentk56
3.42/5  rDev -11.9%
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 (696 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 kojevergas
3.25/5  rDev -16.2%
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- (1,276 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 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 ArrogantB
3.58/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was definitely more brown than black which surprised me since the naked porter was indeed black. The smell was vanilla but the taste was so much vanilla that I thought I was drinking a cream soda (Big Red!). This was interesting but I much preferred the naked porter. (272 characters)

Photo of mynie
3.77/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Solid porter pour: 90% opaque with a large, tan head.

Smells surprisingly robust, for the style. Fairly strong vanilla mingles pleasantly with sweet'n'sour porter malt. No hang ups, no roughness. The vanilla is aggressive without seeming ersatz (nothing is worse than when a vanilla beer smells like vanilla-scented candle wax).

Tastes a good notch below how it smells, and that's entirely attributable to a body that's just way too weak for this style. The nodes are basically the same--very nice vanilla, very solid porter barley--but they don't come together nearly as well. There's a strong flatness in the back end. Nothing gets tied together.

Overall pretty good. With some refinement, it could be great. (713 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 Beaver13
3.05/5  rDev -21.4%
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. (447 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 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 brdc
2.51/5  rDev -35.3%
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. (406 characters)

Photo of denver10
3.56/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

A: A huge brown head appeared as I poured it into my tulip glass. Took a couple minutes to drop and a nice coat remained on the surface. The beer itself was a nice, consistent black liquid.

S: A very nice sweet vanilla is the focus with some coco hidden underneath.

T: The vanilla iintroduces itself at the beginning and is very sharp and distinct. That the vanilla flavor is generated naturally from beans rather than an extract is obvious.Roasted malts kick in towards the middle and makes for a nice pairing with the vanilla. The one thing I would have liked to have found here was a little bitter coffee flavor to it to help cut the sweetness a little.

M: Maybe the highlight of the drink for me; super silky and creamy. Medium bodied.

O: A very nice porter and one I would gladly go back to. It is quite sweet so this is definitely best appreciated in moderation, as I definitely couldn't drink any more than this bomber's worth and might even prefer a little less than that (l16 oz's is probably ideal), but in the proper allotment this beer is definitely a winner. (1,075 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 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 chugalug06
3.67/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Great mound of fluffy tan head grown on thin black fluid. Lacing is voluptuous.

Vanilla , smoke, nutty, milky, chocolate. Slightly too hazelnutty.

Thin, sweet, underwhelming. Carbonation is much lighter than I expected. Milky, nutty, vanilla is not in sugary quantities, Chocolate flavor is dry and lasting and well buried in the vanilla. Nuts are nice, just not hazel varieties. (see aroma, too much hazelnut)

Cheers, this one is worthy @ $7/22oz. Recommended for the hazelnut lover. (490 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 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 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)

Photo of mulder1010
3.82/5  rDev -1.5%
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. (773 characters)

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Urca Vanilla Porter from Dry Dock Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 39 ratings.