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
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no score

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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
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Reviews: 39 | Hads: 109
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 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 radioscooter
3.16/5  rDev -18.6%
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. (1,182 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 hoegaardenhero
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
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 (386 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 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 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)

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