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Urca Vanilla Porter - Dry Dock Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Urca Vanilla PorterUrca Vanilla Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

39 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 39
Hads: 111
Avg: 3.9
pDev: 21.79%
Wants: 34
Gots: 24 | 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  | next → last
Reviews: 39 | Hads: 111
Photo of u2carew
4.12/5  rDev +5.6%
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!

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Photo of BradLikesBrew
4.32/5  rDev +10.8%
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.

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Photo of beerdrifter
3.84/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

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Photo of cvm4
3.84/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

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Photo of mulder1010
3.82/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

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Photo of hopfacebrew
4.32/5  rDev +10.8%
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

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Photo of StoneTSR
3.73/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

APPEARANCE: Black as night. Light is not penetrating this thing at all. A little off-white head topped the beer at first, but faded in about 30 seconds leaving some wispy bits of foam on the surface.

SMELL: The smell is dominated by roasted malt flavors and a bit of coffee. There is also some dark chocolate lingering in the background, but that aroma seems to grow as it warms.

TASTE: The subdued taste of chocolate leads the way in this porter that leans towards the lighter side of the spectrum. The vanilla kicks in for a moment right before the finish and lingers on the tongue as the liquid disappears. Roasted malt and a touch of coffee serve to cut some of the sweeter flavors and provide some bitterness. Not much hop character to it at all, although, the finish leaves a hint of lemon.

MOUTHFEEL: Smooth and easy going down is the best way to describe this feel, it is very pleasant. It is also a bit creamy and very light with just the tiniest hint of sparkle.

OVERALL: This is a solid Vanilla Porter, but I’m not sure it is worth bomber prices. I would be more likely to buy this as a six-pack or on draft somewhere. It certainly improves as it warms though. If it comes straight from your fridge or a beer cooler, give it a chance to breath and the true complexity of this beer will reveal itself.

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Photo of tlazaroff
4.12/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

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Photo of zachary80
4.01/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4


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.

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Photo of angelmonster
4.04/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

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Photo of drumrboy22
4.32/5  rDev +10.8%
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.

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Photo of hoegaardenhero
3.68/5  rDev -5.6%
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

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Photo of TenHornsProud
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

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Photo of sevopie
4.45/5  rDev +14.1%
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!

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Photo of radioscooter
3.16/5  rDev -19%
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.

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Photo of HeroJH
4.53/5  rDev +16.2%
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.

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Photo of stabzmcgee
4.04/5  rDev +3.6%
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

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Photo of YourMomDrinksBud
4/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

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Photo of session1979
4.02/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

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