Smoked Porter - Vanilla Bean - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Smoked Porter - Vanilla BeanSmoked Porter - Vanilla Bean

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very good

2,297 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,297
Reviews: 553
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 12.63%
Wants: 106
Gots: 330 | FT: 14
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  5.90% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: MiScusi on 08-31-2007

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,297 | Reviews: 553
Photo of BeersOverBaghdad
2.86/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Definitely would not get this again.

A: Looks very much like a coca-cola when poured. slightly more carbonated than I would have expected.

S: Vanilla comes out a little in the nose, but is still subtle. certainly not overpowering

T: I was expecting very good things when i tasted it, but the beer had no inherent flavor. Tasted like a very mediocre porter with a lot of vanilla flavor that arrives nearing the end of the sip and hits you pretty hard. I'm a huge fan of vanilla porters and stouts, but this one definitely missed the mark. I am drinking it in Jan 2015 and it was a 2014 winter release, so it's possible that I may be drinking it slightly on the older side, but I doubt it. I don't taste many notes that I would have expected in this kind of porter.

F: A little thin, but pretty standard.

O: Eh. Not a fan

Photo of otoolman221
2.94/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Little too Smokey for my taste.

Photo of Drk93TT
3/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bomber.. light brown with 1 finger head. Smells great.... light roast/toast, coffee notes, malt, sticky vanilla.
First taste was not pleasant. Band-aid off smoke root-beerish flavor. As you continue to drink it I adapted to the flavor. Its not great, but not terrible either. Just Ok. Too much smoke going on and no creaminess/body. Almost no aftertaste/linger. The flavor takes off quick and doesn't come back.

Feels too light all around. Water-ed down almost sugary flavor almost like a light root beer. Very drinkable because of this. The look and smell trump anything else this beer has to offer. Good to try but not impressed. So many other great beers brewed by stone though, this just isn't one of the greats in my opinion.

Photo of smokeypeat
3.01/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Been looking forward to this one as I love smoked beers and vanilla. The regular Stone smoked porter is solid so hoping this special treatment will be even better.

Pours a deep dark brown color into glass. Some ruby color to the edges when held up to light.
A light tan head that hovers around 1/2 finger with some lacing on glass.

Smell on this one isn't what I expected. Getting lots of artificial vanilla. Some light roast coffee notes, just the slightest whiff of smoke.

Taste doesn't deliver what I hoped. Vanilla is front and center but it's not a full experience. It tastes "cheaper" than I thought it would like it's an off brand artificial vanilla. It also masks the vast bulk of the smoke and breakfast coffee type flavors I like in the regular version of this.

Mouthfeel really hurts this beer even more. Way too thin, seems very watery for the style. Plays up the cheap overall feel of the beer.

This one was a let down. Maybe if my expectations weren't as high I would have like this beer more, but as it stands I wouldn't seek out again.

Photo of n2185
3.03/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a very dark brown with a finger of tan head that recedes into a thin ring with little lacing.

S: Sweet vanilla dominates the nose with the smoke and roasted malt notes relatively subtle.

T: Roasted malts are a bit more present here before a strong vanilla flavor hits. The finish is bitter and charred, clashing with the sweet vanilla in a not-very-pleasant way.

M: Medium body and carbonation, I'd prefer if it were creamier.

O: An alright beer, overall. Not undrinkable, but the vanilla is too strong and artificial tasting, and it clashes with the roasted malt characters.

Photo of brystmar
3.04/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Loved this on draft at DLD, let's see how it fares from the bottle. 12oz'er shared by blatantdream.

Dark brown body spills into my glass as lots of tan head forms on the surface. Aroma immediately shows oxidization and not much more. Fortunately this died down as it warmed, and the vanilla is now at center stage instead of the cardboard-y-ness.

Taste is meh, and the body is massively overcarbonated. Bland, basic malt base is nothing special. Tastes very oxidized, mild smokeyness in the back I think? Bitterness lingers after I swallow, and it feels totally out of place.

This is just not very good, and that's a shame given how great it was on tap. Avoid the bottles.

Photo of Beestin
3.05/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Looks better than it tastes is the reason for the outlier BA App. Don't question me!

Photo of tony223366
3.05/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Dark brown color, dark, dark walnut with fluffy, creamy head. Nice lacing. Looks an awful lot like Self-Righteous. Good looking beer.

S: Lots of vanilla! It smells like dessert. Lots of chocolate, some light smoked aromas. That vanilla really takes over, but it smells amazing!

T: It is unfortunately too unbalanced for me. I could see some people loving it though. Huge vanilla bean. Some chocolate, some light smoked flavors. Some acidity on the finish. This beer is missing balance. More smoked or malt depth is sorely needed. Don't like the finish much either.

M: Too light, needs more mouth feel. Light carbonation and smooth mouthfeel.

O: Love the vanilla bean, but the beer is not balanced. Won't buy again.

Photo of stonermouse
3.05/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured into a standard beer mug.

Pours cola-colored with an off-white, fluffy head.

Smokey/sweet aroma, as expected. Although, I find myself wishing it was one or the other, because it's hard to find any depth or complexity in the smokiness with the vanilla intruding.

I expected much, but this brew was slightly disappointing. It's truly a two-trick pony. The smokiness is mild and nondescript, and the vanilla is slightly sweet and pleasant. Together, they are interesting, nothing more. I would've appreciated more booze, actually, which may have given these flavors a bit more edge. The vanilla flavoring reminded me quite a bit of the AB winter's bourbon cask ale- extracty with a touch of artificial sweetener. None of this brew was offensive, just OK and unusual.

Mouthfeel was sticky with more artificial sweetener. Not all that pleasant.

Overall, this was OK and I'm glad I tried it, but it fell short of expectations.

Photo of Hoptometrist
3.06/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served on tap into a nonic glass at the Winking Lizard

A- Poured black with a one finger frothy head that left some lace

S- Very potent aroma, big vanilla, lavender, and floral notes. No chocolate or coffee

T- A ton of vanilla, lavender, floral, and perfume like flavors with a little bit of smoke on the finish

M- Pretty thin for a porter and overcarbonated for my taste in the style

O- This beer tasted like if a vanilla bean and lavender air freshener made love in a field of flowers. Where are the roasty notes, coffee, and chocolate? This one just did not do it for me.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.07/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

On cask for Churchill's Renaissance at Churchill's Pub & Grille in San Marcos, CA.

Pours a clear dark brown with a tan head that settles to an oily film. No lacing on this one. Smell is of smoked malt, nutty aromas, and slight vanilla bean. Taste is of smoked malt and smoked meat with a very subtle vanilla note on the finish. This beer has a low level of carbonation and is somewhat flat. Overall, this is a pretty average beer that I was expecting much more from. The vanilla beans are very hard to locate in both the aroma and flavor of this beer.

Photo of charadrius_cerevisiae
3.08/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A - A nice mixture of copper and brown, presenting as semi-tansparent but overly inviting.

S - Appetizing and lightly done smoke hits the nose first and then is followed by a whole bunch of, well, nothing.

T - Smoke leads, though gently done, followed by roasty malt flavors. What comes next, though, is water, and lots of it. There is basically not remanent of the flavor of the beer to be left on the palate. When you find the vanilla notes in the beer, they are fleeting and not very cohesive (sure, each palate will pick them up in varying amounts), and never really add anything to the beer in general.

M - Thin, from beginning to end. I guess I drink a porter to be reminded that there are some lingering unfermentable sugars in that liquor to add to some mouthfeel and warmth to the beer while other people amy just want the flavor and alcohol, but this kind of just become brown water to me.

O - I sure remember when Stone was the thing to have, and sure their IPAs are arguably the best in the world, but I really want beers that I can drink affordable and drink often, and this one does not fit that bill. Asa change to the normal porter lineup, this definitely offers uniqueness, but ask me what porters I am drinking for fun, and this one will not be on the list.

Photo of chugalug06
3.1/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Quite a dark brew with tons of black; no light gets through. Head is three-finger and dense foamy straw color. Nice retention and great lacing.

Smells like campfire rubbish. Loads of forced vanilla and thin smoke. Milky cocoa too. Aroma is a mess.

Thin, light, creamy, nice toasty vanilla flavor. Milky, mildly smoked, caramel cocoa. Flavors are way less awkward than the aroma. Flavors are pretty good and nicely complex. My only gripe is the feel is too watery. Carbonation is heavy and detracts. Sweetness is a bit forced and over done, I wish it were more dry and reserved.

It's a much better beer than I thought it was going to be...but, IMO, it's a mess; unrefined. Flavors are very good and provide a nice profile, mouthfeel and aroma are a mess. Not sure I can recommend. But, I would like to say, for a smoked beer the flavors are done very nicely.

Photo of Bosoxfan20
3.12/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A- Pours a moderate brown with lighter hues faintly coming thru once the light hits the glass. A delicate khaki head fades into a ring around the edge, but leads to some outstanding lacing. As with the standard version, looks quite thin in comparison to most porters today.

S- Smoke still leads the way from the get go, but it is accompanied with an authentic vanilla undertone that avoids any artificial flavoring. Smoked meats, roasted walnuts, and light earthy hops. Not bad, but doesn't seem to be a perfect fit for me.

T- Flavor is bold and aggressive. While the vanilla is present, it isn't overpowering to any degree. Adds a level of softness in the finish. Lots of peat all the way though. Certainly a perfect example of the style that is dying to be paired with a great dish (salmon, smoked bacon, burger, etc).

M- Probably the aspect of this version that I prefer over the standard. Seems to be a bit more body to it, but still more mid body. Smooth with little bitterness or astringency.

O- It makes no bones about being a 100% smoked beer. The vanilla adds a little twist on the original without deviating too far from effort previously set forth.

$4.99 for 22 oz bottle

Photo of Falcon91Wolvrn03
3.15/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Appearance – A dark, but clear ruby red black. Has a big head with lots of lacing.

Smell – Vanilla and ashtray smoke, and coffee. The vanilla has no sweetness to it, and I think it clashes with the smokiness.

Taste – Smoke, vanilla, malt. Decent, but not great.

Mouthfeel – Good carbonation, somewhat watery, and a little bitterness in the aftertaste.

Drinkability – This is a decent beer, but didn’t stand out as anything special.

Photo of harrymel
3.15/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Glad I am going to get to try this one, thought I might miss the train on this one.

Pours black with a good solid quilt of tan foam and nice lace resides along the glass. Lots of vanilla up front in the nose, smoke is reserved and plays tertiary fiddle to the beans and malts of chocolate and raw wood. Flavor is initially vanilla, then smoky (overly dry smoky sans flavor) then chocolate and dark portered malts then followed back up with more vanilla - this time with a vengeance. The vanilla is nice. There is a bitterness in the mid point that is not really justified or enjoyable to me - just strait bitterness like aspirin. Medium on heavy for the style with moderate carb and a semi dry finish. Meh, one and done for me.

Photo of AwYeh
3.15/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

On-tap at Ray's in Kent, Ohio.

A: Dark brown, almost black, with less than a finger of tan head.

S: Roasted malts and a huge kick of vanilla, which is much more noticeable than the smoke in this variation.

T: HUGE vanilla notes; bits of chocolate, roasted malts, and dark fruit are noticeable behind them but only after careful observation and consideration. Very enjoyable for the first half of the glass; not so much for the second half.

M: Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation, which lends the beer a creaminess that greatly benefits it.

D: While I liked the vanilla flavor at first, a pint of this at the bar was just too much to fully enjoy. The sweetness in this one developed into a very cloying taste during the second half of the beer, and I had some trouble finishing it after the novelty wore off. If I see this again, maybe I'll just ask for a sample of it... it would keep me wishing for more, but definitely wouldn't lead to disappointment.

Photo of Oldmankeebler
3.16/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Too much smoke for me. It lingers to long in the after taste.

Photo of ArrogantB
3.16/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle $3.99. Picked up the chipotle so I figured I might as well get the vanilla for comparison. This is truly a vanilla beer. It doesn't really taste sweet but the vanilla flavor almost completely overpowers the porter. The aroma was straight vanilla beans. The flavor was so much vanilla I thought I was drinking a cola. Not bad but not something I would ever purchase again.

Photo of artdob
3.17/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark cola color. Decent tan head

Nose - getting just the smallest amount of sweet malt. Really minor aroma from this pour.

Taste - light for a porter, but in an ok way. Roasty tones, cola notes withiut the sugar - not really getting a sense of the vanilla. Smokiness is there, but somewhat subdued - not the in your face approach as in Alaskan's Smoked Porter which is a fantastic experience.

Minor but adequate carbonation in the mouthfeel.

Enjoying this brew, but, don' t see myself purchasing more of this one.

Photo of pants678
3.18/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap in Manhattan Beach @ Brewco.

Pours a deep brown to black with an off-white head. Head barely sticks around, nothing impressive.

Dead on smell, it's like getting a whiff of vanilla extract.

Not quite as potent as the nose but vanilla's still apparent but it's a subtlety. There are nuts, roasted malts and twinges of smoke covered up. It begs for distinction, though. Breckenridge does this better.

The body's lighter for a porter, certainly manageable. Able to enjoy this with a full plate no problem.

Photo of gtermi
3.2/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: This beer pours a very dark brown, almost black body with a thin white head that quickly fades to nothing. The beer also leaves a tinny bit of lace on the side of the glass.

S: There is a good amount of vanilla on the nose, some roasted scents, which sort of remind me of Voodoo Maple Bacon. Nothing special to me.

T: The roasted flavors just don't do much for me. It just doesnt blend with the vanilla to me. The vanilla flavors do make this beer taste beer the more it lingers, but I feel it would have worked better without the roasted malt.

M: The beer has a nice crispness on the back of the tongue and throat as it goes down.

O: Just a miss for me.. It does have some nice qualities, but but this just isn't doing it for me. The flavors dont blend well together and its just is an average beer.

Photo of Phelps
3.2/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This was the second beer released by stone, on December 96. The chipotle variation was born ten years later, and was the first stone beer to get modified.

Poured into my Bell's tulip.

A chocolate brown liquid that melds into inky dark brown in the glass. The head, creamy, gets to about an inch thick and does its best the stay in place, leaving thick, pocked webbing.

Smoky, but gently so. A little campfire smoke, a noticeable scoop of chipotle. A touch of chocolate. Smells like a Mexican chocolate with peppers.

I've never been a huge fan of stone's smoked porter. It's a bit too subtle for me. Same deal here. The peppers are nicely integrated, and the heat on the tongue, just a suggestion of it, is perfect. but there's just not enough here to back it up. A smidge of dark chocolate, some piny hops, a rather dry finish. Just thin.

Like I said, thin. Light and a little fluffy in body. Moderate massaging carbonation, no hint of alcohol, the soft glow of pepper fire.

Eh. It's nowhere near as good as the vanilla porter, which could also be better. The chipotle integration is masterful, but the base beer leaves something to be desired.

Photo of nova009
3.2/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass

A- pours a dark mahogany with red tints around the edges, a small (less than a half finger) fizzy tan head appears, the head settles to a nice covering and slowly dissipates

S- dark roasted malt, bitter cocoa, a slightly smokiness, slightly sweet with a little vanilla in the late nose, a little bit coffee too

T- bitter dark malt, some smoke, bitter dark chocolate, maybe a slight hit of vanilla but I'm struggling to find it, there's a strange aftertaste that I cannot quite place, not exactly pleasant

M- medium body, fairly creamy consistency, decent carbonation, covers the entire palate

O- not my favorite, I'm not a huge fan of porters but I'm by no means opposed to them, just something about the really odd and unpleasant aftertaste is making this one difficult to drink for me, I wouldn't buy again

Photo of chicano4craft
3.2/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at Uptown Brother's...

Pours very dark with some amber on the edges. Lighting wasn't very good so I could be off. Minimal head with no real lacing.

Nose is all vanilla. Extremly hard to pick out the smoke or any of the other qualities the regular Smoke Porter has.

Taste is as expected...hugh vanilla. It dominates through out. There's the faintest hint of smoke, but you really got to hold it on the tongue to find it.

I'm not a fan of vanilla in my beer. However, I did hope for more with this beer. I wanted the vanilla to more subtle and compliment the smoke and roasted malt I enjoy in the reuglar porter. As my friend said "It was an experience." It just wasn't a very good one.

Smoked Porter - Vanilla Bean from Stone Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 2,297 ratings.