Urca Vanilla Porter - Dry Dock Brewing Co.

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Urca Vanilla PorterUrca Vanilla Porter

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BA SCORE
88
very good

109 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 109
Reviews: 39
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 12.44%
Wants: 32
Gots: 24 | FT: 2
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: 109 | Reviews: 39
Photo of hopfacebrew
4.32/5  rDev +9.6%
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

Photo of denver10
3.56/5  rDev -9.6%
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.

Photo of gford217
4.12/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.32/5  rDev +9.6%
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

Photo of mynie
3.77/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

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 scruffwhor
3.89/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

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 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 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 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 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 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.

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 angelmonster
4.04/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

Photo of Haybeerman
3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

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 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 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 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 ArrogantB
3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
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.

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 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 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!

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Urca Vanilla Porter from Dry Dock Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 109 ratings.