1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Smoked Porter - Vanilla Bean - Stone Brewing Co.

Smoked Porter - Vanilla BeanSmoked Porter - Vanilla Bean

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,683 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1683
Reviews: 466
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 13.14%

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  5.90% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: MiScusi on 08-31-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Smoked Porter - Vanilla Bean Alström Bros
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 1,683 | Reviews: 466 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of ncketchum


4.18/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pours a dark brown with a thin ring of light brown head

S - aroma is prominent vanilla initially with coffee and smoke underneath

T - smoke makes its presence known up front, followed by coffee and more subtle vanilla than in the nose

M - very smooth, medium carbonation

O - good smoked beer, I like the vanilla not being overpowering

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2014 02:04:19 | More by ncketchum
Photo of WhiteHillsStore


4.14/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An incredibly rich dark beer. The pour was pitch black with a nice coffee head. The smell was all vanilla which was a little daunting, but left me happily surprised when I gave a taste. A smooth earthy porter with a sweet finish. The vanilla commented the flavors of coffee and dark chocolate well. If i had one problem with the beer it was that it was too filling. One 22oz bottle was more than enough for just me.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2014 22:09:54 | More by WhiteHillsStore
Photo of Resuin


4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a snifter. "Enjoy by 03/15/14". Oops, a week late. Opening this at about 50 degrees.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown with a slight reddish hue. Not 100% opaque but close. Leaves a light, off-white (slightly tan) head which fades quickly to a rim around the glass.

Smell: Big vanilla upfront, which almost dominates the smell. Smoked malts, mild coffee, milk chocolate. Overall, the aroma is fairly sweet.

Taste: More balanced, but the vanilla is still prominent. Big vanilla, roasted malts, coffee, dark chocolate, bitter finish. Tasty.

Mouth-feel: Low to medium carbonation with a thin to medium body. Finishes smooth and a bit bitter.

Overall: A solid vanilla-heavy beer. A bit thin for me, but really nice vanilla flavors as well as some coffee-chocolate. This is a very drinkable porter, and definitely well brewed.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2014 02:23:20 | More by Resuin
Photo of itsscience


3.91/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Black with some ruby around the edges and a finger of off-white head. The vanilla shows up right away on the nose along with roasted malts and a char scent that thankfully avoids overwhelming the aroma. Whereas the smell is nice and balanced, the taste is less so: I get sweet vanilla up front followed by potently bitter char, smoke, cream, and coffee. The bitter and the sweet notes don't quite gel together and the mouthfeel is bordering on watery, but it's a good brew with an interesting combination of flavors.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2014 17:06:44 | More by itsscience
Photo of Pegasus


4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Opaque, deep amber in color with a large, finely-beaded tan head, which retains superbly, and with Belgian-style lacing. Later, distinct tidemarks appeared.

Aroma: Strong roasted malt aroma with toasted nuts, very prominent smoke notes and prominent vanilla.

Taste: Strong roasted malt at the open, with a wave of cold coffee and bitter cocoa soon following. Throughout, there is a fairly strong smoky characteristic, although nothing like a Rauchbier. Midway through the taste, the vanilla bean rises dramatically, dominating the taste to the close. Towards the close, woody notes become quite prominent. Finishes with a lingering , mild note of vanilla and wood.

Mouth feel: Smooth and dry, with soft carbonation, the body seemed thin for the style.

Drinkability/notes: Quite excellent, pairs well with rich chocolate desserts, and seems perfect for a winter night.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2014 15:23:37 | More by Pegasus
Photo of beergoot


4.04/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Deep mahogany red body with an exceptionally thick and chunky light tan head. Smells of fire-pit ashes, mocha, and bitter chocolate. Strong vanilla flavors along with cream and coffee; hop bitterness sneaks up through the sugary sweetness at the finish. Medium bodied; semi-sweet finish.

Overall, a fine tasting porter with emphasis on the dark malt grains, chocolate overtones, and a very fine vanilla edge. The mouthfeel is a little weak, somewhat watery, but that is a minor complaint. On the whole, the peaty smokiness, vanilla, and chocolate flavors triumph.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2014 21:59:41 | More by beergoot
Photo of chinchill

South Carolina

3.46/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Shared pint at the 2014 Most Arrogant Bar Bash (Barleys in Greenvillle, SC).

The aroma indicates that is over-loaded with vanilla, Tasting confirms this impression. The mix of sweet malts and vanilla compound each other, and the ale would be better if one or the other were reduced a bit. So much vanilla I can barely detect the smoked malt.

Feel: smooth with very good, medium-light carbonation.

O: too much vanilla.

Serving type: on-tap

03-07-2014 16:29:57 | More by chinchill
Photo of M_C_Hampton


3.91/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: poured from a 22 oz bottle into a dimpled mug, dark ruby brown with a large light tan head that lingers leaving good lacing, clear

S: very sweet and dessert like, brown sugar, vanilla, nutty, slightly smoky

T: flavors are a bit confusing, beginning is sweet with vanilla, middle is nutty, end is bitter pine, odd

M: thinner with lower carbonation

O: I think I like the regular version better. This isn't bad but the vanilla just seems like an afterthought.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2014 01:01:14 | More by M_C_Hampton
Photo of MadCat

New Jersey

4.21/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours a nice shade of black with some tan head, no lacing

Smell: Coffee, vanilla, roasted malts, a nice bouquet of porter

Taste: Again, getting coffee and vanilla up front. Nice smoked malts, some roasted malts, some earthy hops

Mouthfeel: Medium body, good carbonation

Overall: This is fantastic. And, compared to another San Diego porter with vanilla (that is highly rated too) this is way better. Still tastes like porter, but the other characteristics come out nicely and balance well with the porter flavors. I'm happy that I picked this up, and hope it shows up in bottles once in a while again

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2014 01:39:35 | More by MadCat
Photo of garuda


3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Nearly black with ruby highlights, white head has decent retention and lacing.

S/T - Mostly roasted malt/coffee flavors and aroma. Really opens up as it warms, with a vanilla creaminess adding a nice balance to the chocolate and roast. Only a hint of smoke, and I probably would not be able to tell it was there if the bottle didn't say so. Moderate pine, leafy bitterness in the finish.

M - Medium to light body, finishes a bit bitter. Consistency stays smooth.

O - When cold, I felt this was overly bitter; however, once it warmed up, it became much more enjoyable and balanced. I thought the vanilla provided a nice compliment to the chocolate and roast body. Not much smoke for a "smoked porter".

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2014 15:53:15 | More by garuda
Photo of hardy008


4.26/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Black with ruby highlights, and a one finger tan head, with nice retention and lacing. The aroma has vanilla, dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, cocoa and subtle smoke.

Tastes just like it smells with vanilla, dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, cocoa, and some smoke. Has a nice light sweetness, which is balanced by some bitterness from the roasted malt and coffee.

Medium bodied with soft carbonation. Smooth and easy to drink. Has a light vanilla and coffee aftertaste. A nicely made beer from Stone. A very nice example of how an American Porter should be made.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2014 23:47:50 | More by hardy008
Photo of puboflyons

New Hampshire

3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From the 650 ml. bottle. Winter edition. Sampled on February 18, 2014.

This poured dark brown with a lingering, soapy tan head and some lacing as it fades a tad. But not entirely.

The vanilla beans are front and center on the nose with the smoked malts playing up more in the background and an otherwise clean, crisp earthy hop note.

The body is around medium with a smooth albeit carbonated texture.

Ah the taste is nice and sweet like drinking a French Vanilla coffee from my local donut shop. Vanilla is full but the smoke is more vague. Roasted malts find their way into the background and there is a lingering but mild finish. Drinkable all the way.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2014 22:52:37 | More by puboflyons
Photo of DenverHopHead


4.13/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap, poured into a plastic cup, which actually doesn't hurt the beer from what I can see.
Appearance - dark, with a creamy white head. Lacing is decent.
Smell - It's the aroma of the original smoked porter enhanced by the vanilla!
Taste - Complex, rich and flavorful and the vanilla bean makes a strong presence!
Feel - medium body, complex and the vanilla bean adds to the enjoyment!
Overall - A bit pricey, but another homerun by Stone in my opinion!

Serving type: on-tap

02-18-2014 03:02:47 | More by DenverHopHead
Photo of brutusmuktuk


2.09/5  rDev -46.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.75

Pours a beautiful dark mahogany with a very healthy off-white head. Unfortunately the rest of the beer just doesn’t do it for me, which is so disappointing because I love Stone’s original Smoked Porter. The vanilla just does not blend well with the malts in terms of aroma and flavor. The addition of vanilla is more harsh than smooth and sweet, and just plain tastes bad. Perhaps it will be worth a revisit one day, as I can’t quite figure out what happened with what sounds like such a promising (and highly rated) beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2014 14:57:19 | More by brutusmuktuk
Photo of scratch69


3.63/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I poured a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance- Clear, very dark brown color with a fingers worth of tan head. Fair amount of sticky lacing.

Smell- Roasted malt and smoke aromas with a hint of vanilla.

Taste- Vanilla and bitter char flavors at first with a small amount of smoke and bittersweet chocolate toward the finish.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied, smooth, and slightly silky.

Overall- Decent enough but I would have preferred stronger vanilla and smoke flavors.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2014 01:48:36 | More by scratch69
Photo of JWU


3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22oz bomber bottle

A - a very dark brown, clear, very nice fluffy tan head.

S- some char, vanilla, and a feint cocoa. You have to search for the smoke, but it's there.

T- A defined char with the bitterness to match. The smokiness blends well with the vanilla bean mid to end. Bitterness and a mild smokiness linger.

M- full side of medium. Not really dry on the finish, but bitterness can impart a bit of dryness.

O- Not a huge porter fan, and certainly not a smoked beer fan. This works though. The normal version of Smoked porter doesn't do a whole lot for me, but add the vanilla, and it makes "meh" into "nice".

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2014 20:54:13 | More by JWU
Photo of obywan59


3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with a 2 1/2 finger chunky, light tan head that recedes leaving some thick, sticky lacing. Held up to a bright light the color is a crisp, clear, brilliant ruby.

The small is amazing! Awesome vanilla with chocolatey caramel and coffee. Maybe a hint of smoke.
When it warms, it's hot chocolate with vanilla.

More harsh at the start than after it warms. Vanilla is upfront as it was in the aroma. Very bitter and burnt in the end. After warming, both caramel and coffee both appear. Caramel more subtle than in the nose, while the taste of coffee is more consistent. The chocolate escapes me here, and the bitter and burnt aspects are much mellowed.

Medium full in body. More than a moderate prickle of carbonation. Light sticky malt on the tongue and warmth in the throat. Slightly drying.

After recovering from some initial harsh qualities, it mellows nicely in the end. Very good.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2014 02:50:31 | More by obywan59
Photo of gillagorilla


3.54/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle poured into a Burley Oak snifter

A: A nearly opaque very dark amber brown with a slight blanket of bubbles on the top.

S: The vanilla isn't too prominent and you have to almost hunt for it. A nice mellow malt core in there. However, I do get quite a bit of smoke and roast on the nose. There are even some nice pine notes from the hops in here.

T: I don't get those standard porter flavors that I'm used. I get almost no roasted notes and only barely a bit of smoke. If I didn't know this was supposed to be a smoked porter. I might say it was just an American Brown Ale. I also get almost no hops, only a bit of pine. The malt is just that, malty, no sweetness.

M: Very smooth, even creamy and frothy. There is only a hint of carbonation and coarseness.

O: I am so glad that Stone has such a great bomber price point, because otherwise I would feel worse about this purchase. There is nothing spectacular or standout at all about this beer. It doesn't even come across as a Porter. Oh, porters what are we gonna do with you.

p.s. Stone had a recipe that had you make your own egg nog with it, but I tried just mixing it with some Bolthouse Farms Eggnog and it did not turn out well.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2014 02:01:39 | More by gillagorilla
Photo of BradtheGreat7


4.25/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22 oz brown bomber with traditional Smoked porter blue and white label only this offering has the with VANILLA BEAN phrase branded toward the bottom of the label. Stone's bottlings and screen printed artwork are of the highest quality! I love their style, their artwork and their bottlings as well as their beer! Poured into a 20 oz nonic pint glass.

A - black until held to the light when its ruby brown body really shows its true colors. Beautiful. Off-white head pours very well and sits even better with a creamy looking texture that eventually deploys a solid ring of lace leaving exceptional stick for its style.

S - woodsy notes of softest of peat and smoke. Vanilla bean comes up, and out of the glass punching at the original smoked porter. Chocolate whiffs do well balancing the overall aroma and the coffee is just a background note. This thing smells brilliant! Exactly what it says.. Stone Smoked Porter with Vanilla Bean.

T - big vanilla bean up front followed closely by a small hint of backdrop of rich chocolate. Smokey toward the middle remind you of what the base of this porter really is. Peat inspired smoke. Malt is dead on with more vanilla bean paired with soft bittersweet chocolate in the finish.

M - medium bodied and much the same style thickness as its brother porter. Stone's texture is always world class and this is no different. Just perfect and extremely well balanced. Highly enjoyable and very smooth.

O - I must say I am a big fan of Stone Smoked Porter, but this is new brilliance from stone, and honestly, I prefer this to the regular offering. This is just what that porter was meant to be. I sure hope this is a mainstay in the Stone seasonal lineup. It's that good.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2014 16:05:47 | More by BradtheGreat7
Photo of DrJay


3.86/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Dark brown, clear, chestnut highlights. Medium yellow-brown cap, good head retention with lots of sticky, clumpy lace. Chocolate aroma, mild smoke that was more prominent right after the pour, malty, vanilla, caramel. Solid bitterness, malty and chocolate flavours, hint of smoke, nicely balanced vanilla, light burnt character. Medium bodied, moderate carbonation, a bit creamy, nice texture. Quite enjoyable. The vanilla melded very well with the smoked porter, nicely balanced.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2014 02:36:25 | More by DrJay
Photo of Nate139


4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Very dark brown, almost black. Thin tan head.

S - vanilla, rich chocolate, roasted malts, with a hint of caramel and coffee

T - strong vanilla and coffee flavor upfront, with a malty chocolate finish

M - medium body

O - great beer. very well balanced

Serving type: growler

02-06-2014 03:22:15 | More by Nate139
Photo of dar482

New York

4.01/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

The beer comes in a black/dark brown color with a big foamy light tan head.

The aroma is of straight vanilla with a lightly roasted malt, cocoa, and coffee.

The flavor follows of that strong vanilla along with light roast, milk chocolate, cocoa and coffee. There's a hint of smoke, but that could be mistaken for the roasted malt. The vanilla hides the smoke if there is much to taste.

The body is medium.

The beer is quite flavorful for its ABV and definitely for those who love vanilla.

Serving type: on-tap

02-02-2014 06:20:37 | More by dar482
Photo of BryanCarey


4.01/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown in color, Stone Smoke Porter with Vanilla Beans serves up an aroma of roasted malt, light vanilla, and light cocoa. The aroma is a little more subdued than I expected, but still nice. The frothy tannish foam remains from beginning to end and leaves good lacing on your glass.

This porter tastes similar to what the aroma leads you to believe, but the taste is more intense. You get flavors of cocoa, light smoke, roasted malt, some molasses, and, of course, vanilla. The vanilla component comes through in the finish and it helps take away some of the bitter edge common to Stone’s original smoked porter.

An interesting porter, I found this beer a very tasty one that seems like a great companion to a chocolate- enhanced dessert. The chocolate aspects are just as noticeable- perhaps more so- than the vanilla, which could be a plus or a minus, depending on one’s expectations. I found the balance very nice and it convinces me to rate this as yet another first- class product from one of California’s best breweries.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2014 02:01:27 | More by BryanCarey
Photo of WheelsPSU

New York

4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought a bomber of this from Court Liquors in West Long Branch, NJ while there for the holidays. I don't know why it has taken me this long to crack it open because it is quite decadently delicious. It's like a smoked cafe au lait!

Jet black appearance with a light colored head. The lacing is tiny and covers the entire glass but recedes quickly.

The nose is currants, woodsmoke, and vanilla bean however its not overpowering.

The taste is the winner in this beer. Molasses, smoke, chocolate, and coffee. The best part is the smoke does not steal the show. Once the smoke hits your tongue you then find the vanilla. Great stuff.

The beer drinks really easily. I could easily put away a few of these bombers.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2014 00:54:42 | More by WheelsPSU
Photo of JoEBoBpr


3.25/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a tulip glass from a 22oz bottle.

Pours a nice dark dark brown with some mahogany hints. There is a nice half-inch light tan/off-white head that is pretty dense and slightly sticky.

Aroma strats off with mild cocoa notes that are then taken over by some nice rich vanilla hints. Notes of vanilla bean spice with some slight extract sweetness. The background has the more traditional smoked and roasted malt notes form their traditional porter.

Flavor is pretty straight forward. Starts off with smokey, roasted and burnt malt notes. Slight coco powder sweetness is perceived with some nice vanilla bean spice and sweetness. The burnt notes still take the lead on this brew with the vanilla bean riding shotgun. Nice dry roasted finish.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2014 22:58:17 | More by JoEBoBpr
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Smoked Porter - Vanilla Bean from Stone Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 1,683 ratings.