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Smoked Porter - Vanilla Bean - Stone Brewing Co.

Smoked Porter - Vanilla BeanSmoked Porter - Vanilla Bean

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

1,678 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1678
Reviews: 465
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
Ratings: 1,678 | Reviews: 465 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of TwelveOunces


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

220z bottle poured into a pint glass

A- Pours a very deep near black color. Not very see through. A one finger tan,brown head.

S- A light roast with a hint of chocolate on the back end. A modest smelling beer.

T- Quite roasty but still well balanced out by a nice hop bitterness. The beer has a lot of chocolate tones but remains smooth and easy drinking. I cant say that I pick up much on the vanilla but its there a little on the back end.

M- Easy to drink and hop forward for a porter.

O- A solid beer but not much of an improvement from the original. .

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2014 00:27:41 | More by TwelveOunces
Photo of clayrock81


3.89/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a brownish copper hue with two finger head and lace patches. A mix of chocolate and roasted/smoked aromas (not that smoked) seem to be all I can smell as the vanilla barely registers/is muted. A pretty good smoked porter with roasted/smoked malts and some dark chocolate mingling around but the vanilla beans add themselves in the taste and as the beer warms it tends to get a more sweet vanilla taste. Basically, this is Stone's regular smoked porter with a touch of vanilla, not a vanilla smoked porter, but still a good addition and a really good beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2014 23:05:15 | More by clayrock81
Photo of jj139


4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bomber poured into a pint glass

A - Pours dark brown/black with a 2 finger beige/cream color head. The head fades quickly but the lacing is very long lasting, streaking down the glass.

S - Plenty of things going on aroma wise. First was a creamy/vanilla with dark chocolate and caramel. This was not overly sweet however as it was nicely balanced with roasted and smokey malt.

T - First off was vanilla and chocolate then the caramel, smoke and malt start to take over. A hint of slightly bitter hops really adds to the flavor as well.

M - Medium carbonation with a full creamy flavor. Big flavors but medium body. The vanilla and smoke are in perfect balance and really compliment each other

O - Very enjoyable - The vanilla is present but is balanced with the smoke and malt. A very well crafted brew. I think I enjoy their regular smoked porter just a touch more than this, but I will purchasing this again soon.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2014 17:12:52 | More by jj139
Photo of GrumpyBeer


3.51/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Good beer but I just didn't get vanilla in the smell or taste. The smoke on this is good, not overpowering, but if there is vanilla it was hidden by the smoke. There was some chocolate and roasted oak on the taste. It pours dark with a nice frothy caramel head. I enjoy stone beers and this was good but just not quite my favorite

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2014 03:38:31 | More by GrumpyBeer
Photo of KHarz

New York

2.1/5  rDev -45.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Shared a bottle among four friends using wine glasses. Not well received by anyone in the group. The overwhelming smell of burnt popcorn pervaded the nose. The vanilla was almost non-existent in nose or while tasting. Mouthfeel was almost watery. This beer was not what I expected from Stone. I purchased two bottles, but had to bring the second back and ask for an exchange.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2014 19:38:22 | More by KHarz
Photo of scotorum


3.99/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from the 22 oz. bomber into an English nonick pint.

a; Clear dark ruby with an inch tall tan head which receded to rocky surface foam and patterned lacing.

s; Caramel malt. Later, vanilla.

t; Strong smoke followed by a significant bite. Back of the throat burns a bit. Smoky aftertaste. Curiously, vanilla comes through later and takes over from the smoke in the aftertaste.

m: Medium. Smooth.

o: Initially more than lives up to its title in the smoke department. Porter usually tastes somewhat smoky, but this one plasters your palate with it. Any vanilla seems overwhelmed at first by the dominant smokiness, but later shows up clearly, especially in the aroma and aftertaste. Smooths out to inviting easy drinking once you get past the initial blast of smoke and bitterness. Would probably go well with a cigar. A good buy for $4.50 a bomber.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2014 05:55:06 | More by scotorum
Photo of MattSweatshirt


4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Looks dark in the glass with a thick khaki head. Putting it to the light reveals lots of ruby tones. Plenty of stick as the head recedes and beer is drunk.

The vanilla beans smell so good in this beer. It battles with the smoke upfront which gives way to chocolate and roast notes. Sweet and smoky and inviting.

Plenty of smoke rolls through sweet vanilla bean following. Some chocolate and roastiness is left to linger with the smoke through the end.

Medium body with slightly crisp carbonation. Doesn't feel big. Easy drinking.

Never had the regular version but it seems like a good porter base. The addition of vanilla beans is just ridiculous. Drink this.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2014 16:45:51 | More by MattSweatshirt
Photo of Alextricity


4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

$7 bomber poured into all that was clean, a shaker pint.

Appearance: Pours about a perfectly clear ruby black sort of color. Really puffy sand colored head that sticks around. Plenty of lacing.

Smell: Vanilla is obviously there. Coffee. A hint of chocolate. A bit of that smoke as well, though it's not as smokey as I thought it might be.

Taste: Mild, yet still packing some awesome flavor. It's about exactly how I picture a porter as opposed to a stout -- a bit lighter on flavor with a less heavy body (this is about medium). Vanilla on the front, smokey roast on the middle, with a bit of a more pronounced coffee finish. Reasonably complex and extremely easy drinking. Smoke sort of flavor lingers afterwards. Slightly bitter aftertaste as a whole. The smoke isn't huge in this porter, but it definitely works very well with that vanilla flavor. Carbonation is slightly prickly, I'd say it's moderately carbonated.

This beer just works for me. It has a nearly ideal look for the style, and the smell and taste, while muted (like I supposed they should be in a porter, in my eyes), is fantastic. The smoke and vanilla work with the roast characteristics in just about perfect harmony. A fabulous beer that I personally believe is getting the shaft with a "mere" 88 rating on this site.

Straight 4.25 rating with a 4.5 overall because it's a fabulous choice when I'm looking for a legitimate PORTER. Not one that's labelled as such and is actually a stout.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2014 19:29:19 | More by Alextricity
Photo of HattedClassic


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

The beer pours a creamy tan head that dissipates very quickly and leaves quite a bit of lacing. The beer itself is a very dark brown that is bordering on black. When held up to the light, the beer is a little bit transparent and can see through it. The beer smell has very strong vanilla notes that overpowers the other notes. Dark chocolate and bits of smoke. The beer taste has a much stronger smokier note than smell but complements the vanilla instead of competing. In essence, the flavor is kinda of liked smoked vanilla beans. The other notes in taste are the same as the smell. Dark chocolate, hints of mocha beans, and a light smoke but with a smokier aftertaste. Also, there are slight hints of caramel. The feel is medium bodied and smooth. This is definitely one of the smoother porters that I've had with very little carbonation. Overall, not a bad porter but the notes are off balance with the vanilla beans taking over.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2014 23:55:35 | More by HattedClassic
Photo of mjmadden


4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I first must preference this is my favorite style of beer, so my score might be skewed (as I am sure all scores on this site are in some way, shape, or form).

Poured out of a 22oz. bottles, the beers pours dark brown almost black with hints of brown when held up to light topped with a thin mocha head that quickly dissipated to lace after 60-90 seconds. The aroma is nice with hints of sweet chocolate, dark coffee, toffee, molasses, burnt malt,vanilla, and a nice hint of smoke. The taste is much smoker than the smell (which I pleasantly enjoy) with nice blend of dark and sweet chocolate, espresso, vanilla bean, and toffee finishing with a nice malty backbone mixed with some more smoke. The mouth-feel is med/full bodied with some slight carbonation. Overall I loved this beer, loved the style, the smokiness, and the twist of adding the vanilla bean to an already great beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2014 22:06:04 | More by mjmadden
Photo of Kadonny


3.46/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bomber bottle. I forgot to look at the freshness date, but it was purchased recently from a bottle shop that does go through inventory regularly so I think it was pretty fresh.

A: A dark brownish color with a light brown 2 finger head. Full glass lacing.

S: Loads of roasted smells with some burnt charred wood notes and some sweet tones. I can maybe get some slight vanilla.

T: The dark roasted flavors are up front and heavy. I get a heavy charred wood flavor, but I'm not sure I'd call it smoke flavor. Weird. Roasted malt, wood, coffee, milk chocolate that brings out a sweetness to the beer, a little bit of dark fruit and perhaps the slightest hint of vanilla. Not a real full beer, but it is only 5.9abv.

M: Medium at best, even a bit thin. No alcohol but it is felt in the body of the beer.

O: Decent, but far from spectacular. This is the second time I've bought this beer, the first was a six pack of 12 ounce bottles. Those bottles had way more smoke and vanilla it seems than this one did (if you can trust my taste buds).

Overall this was a "meh" beer by Stone. I was actually a little disappointed in it. This is a take it or leave it beer that I won't go seeking out in the future.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2014 19:13:31 | More by Kadonny
Photo of Flounder57


4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle was poured into a NERAX nonic glass. Enjoy by 3/15/14.

Appearance: This beer poured a one finger mocha head that reduced to a thin layer and left nice lacing on the glass. It is a dark brown/black color with a little light coming through when held up to a light and vision of bubbles coming up through the glass. Super tight lacing as the beer was drank.

Smell: Roasted coffee, sweet vanilla, chocolate, and smoke.

Taste: The sweetness balances out the smokey and roasty characteristics and then dies off. Pretty tasty and very enjoyable.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied, medium carbonation, a little smokey bitterness, and balanced.

Overall: I would definitely have yo day that the vanilla beans balances out the smokiness in the beer. Very enjoyable and lets hope they make they a once a year release.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2014 08:38:18 | More by Flounder57
Photo of bnes09


3.43/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown, translucent ale. Surprisingly light colored head, vanilla ice cream shade. Descent retention and a few lace spots.

Smoked meat aroma. Roasted nuts and vanilla.

Strong burnt smoky sausage flavor in contrast with smooth bready malt and vanilla. Aggressive resiny hop. I thought the smoke and vanilla flavors would have balanced each other but instead they kind of clash.

Medium body. Dry. Well carbonared.

Not what I expected.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2014 02:21:34 | More by bnes09
Photo of JackieTH


3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Cola brown, translucent pour with a thick persistent khaki cap and loads of lacing. Smells immediately of roasted/smoked malt with hints of vanilla, molasses, and bakers chocolate. The smoke isn't overpowering and combines well with the other flavors in the nose for a very inviting beginning. Taste is rather mild. There is the roasted/smoked character right away, but not strong. The smoke is pleasant but dominates with hints of vanilla, semisweet chocolate, earth, and coffee rounding out the flavor. Carbonation seems bright. Mouthfeel is a bit light and watery. This is a pretty drinkable smoked porter that is lighter on the smoke and I think the hints of vanilla are a nice addition.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2014 03:31:18 | More by JackieTH
Photo of Pencible


3.28/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: This poured a nearly opaque cola color with moderate light tan head.
S: It smelled like charred oak and roasted barley, with some dry mocha and earthy vanilla bean.
T: It tasted like earthy mocha and charred oak, with some smoky copper and a little vanilla been. It had a rough smoky aftertaste.
M: It was slightly thick with lots of carbonation. Kind of fizzy body.
D: This was a decent smoked porter, but I didn't get a lot of vanilla character. The scent and taste were sort of dirty and artificial. The body wasn't great either, and the finish was pretty harsh, so it wasn't really easy to drink. I'm not impressed.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2014 03:34:10 | More by Pencible
Photo of brewskifan55


3.84/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a tulip glass

A: A tawny dark brown with cherry highlights. A tan one finger head that dissipates down to medium size bubbles. Decent lacing.

S: Smokey, oak-y. Chocolate highlights with a nice patch of vanilla and a coffee backdrop.

T: Sweet and smokey. The charred taste usually associated with the regular Smoked Porter is smoothed out nicely by the addition of the vanilla beans. Light chocolate and coffee blend in with a smooth, vanilla finish. Terrific with pork tenderloin.

M: light to medium with frothy carbonation.

O: The recent addition of vanilla beans to harsher tasting porters and stouts really gives these beers more drinkability. Stone rings the bell with this one. Try it with some sharp cheddar or barbecue.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2014 15:27:24 | More by brewskifan55
Photo of gcamparone

Rhode Island

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

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a Stone tulip glass. Purchased in North Providence, RI.

A- The pour exhibits a dark brown but clear stream, opaque and black with cherry highlights once in the glass. Light mocha head which reduces slowly and leaves spotty lacing. Classic appearance of a porter.

S- Light on the nose.. toffee, molasses, light chocolate, vanilla and roasted coffee.

T- First up is a distinct smokey flavor, followed by creamy vanilla, milk chocolate, and a roasty, coffee flavor on the finish. The aftertaste is pretty smokey and toasty. Not sweet or heavy in the least bit.. very dry, reminiscent of an Irish stout.

M- Somewhat watery, but this was expected with the low ABV. Smooth and easy to drink. Low carbonation.

This is a pretty good porter, and a nice change of pace from the high-ABV, rich, thick stouts that are saturating the market. If you want an easy drinker which some nice, subtle flavors, grab a bottle.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2014 03:35:36 | More by gcamparone
Photo of GarthDanielson

North Carolina

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

Poured from a bomber into a shaker pint, the beer is a dark, vibrant, brown-caramel coloring with a frothy, clingy, off-white head that clings all over the glass as you drink. Aromas of rich, creamy vanilla, subtle smoke, milk chocolate, and subtle coffee notes. Very rich and creamy sweet nose. Flavors are smoked forward, with a bitter coffee introduction, followed quickly by rich and sweet creamy characteristics, chocolate notes, and a subtle bitterness underneath it all. Very well balanced, and sweet overall, like a sweet dessert cake. Smooth and light in mouth, with a roasted and slightly bitter blend to the creamy linger in the aftertaste. The finish is smooth and slick, with a subtle linger of bitter and sweet balance. Tasty and very drinkable. Great brew.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2014 23:30:29 | More by GarthDanielson
Photo of Vonerichs


3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Dark opaque brown, chocolate syrup color. Dense light tan head.

It has some real nice smokey smells. Tobacco, meaty, boiled and salted shell on peanuts.

Flavors are tobacco spice, salted meat, char, and light vanilla. I wish the vanilla was heavier but still good.

Medium bodied with heavy carbonation.

Overall, a very good smoked porter. The vanilla could have been amped up a little to give it a sweet touch but the smoked aspect is done well.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2014 21:14:50 | More by Vonerichs
Photo of shacawgo24


4.68/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A-Pitch black. Rosewood colored edging on the bottom. Manila creamy head that clichés aside, looks like vanilla bean ice cream. Fluffy soda float head is few fingers thick. Lacing is wavy and washes down glass with every sip and sticks. For porters, (which have small heads) the head life lasted until the last drop. A thin layer of bubbly head was around half an hour later. Dark body with a contrasting bright head. Incredible.

S-Roasted vanilla bean. Musty. Spoiled milk. A spiced flower or root or something, like chicory. Unpleasant smelling, like wet mildew. When warmed it smells more natural.

T-Vanilla bean. Roasted coffee. Creamer. Bitter chocolate. Resin. Charcoal. Slight sour finish. Sweet white sugar on the finish as well. This honestly is the best flavored porter I have had so far, flavor as in specialty porter, not regular porter. Like tasting flavored vodkas and finding a favorite. This vanilla bean porter is my favorite flavored porter now. Interesting, the smell is off-putting, but the taste you can't get enough of. Tastes stronger then 5.9% ABV.

M-Perfect medium. Feels frothy even when the head shrinks to a thin top layer. This is due to the perfect medium carbonation which is surprising via porters being low carbonated usually. Lush milk softness, you can lap the beer up. Palate is left tingled and tickled, how a roasted beer should feel. Dry finish, with a slight oily coating. Becomes alky and slightly astringent with time. Would give perfect score for feel, it does get watery after 8 minutes or so.

O-First sip I was very surprised how awesome the vanilla bean was. I thought it was going to be a dark porter with a slight, somewhat detectable amount of vanilla bean. Instead it sips like a porter vanilla bean ice cream float. With enough porter qualities for the porter fanatic, this beer is one that I see most having to try. Cheers to Laura Ulrich at Stone for her creative infusion.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2014 22:09:28 | More by shacawgo24
Photo of MattyG85


4.29/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a Surly Darkness chalice glass. Bottle says enjoy by 03/15/14.

Appearance: Pours a deep dark brownish black with a slight hint of ruby. Moderate amount of bubbles and about one finger of light tan head that slowly fades into a thin creamy layer. Leaves a moderate amount of lacing around the glass.

Smell: A sweet, creamy, and roasty aroma with good hints of chocolate, vanilla, coffee, and smoke. Dark roasted barley malts with hints of dark chocolate, coffee roast, toast, burnt caramel, toffee, biscuit, grains, smoke, and nuts. Huge scent of creamy vanilla sweetness. Some brown sugar sweetness as well. Subtle hints of earthy hops in the background. A really nice sweet roasty aroma.

Taste: Like the smell, a sweet, roasty, and creamy porter taste with big notes of sweet chocolate, vanilla, and some smoke. Upfront dark roasted barley malts with big notes of sweet cocoa, dark chocolate, coffee, burnt toast, caramel, toffee, grains, nuts, biscuit, smoke, and nuts. Big sweet taste of vanilla beans and cream. Some brown sugar as well. Very light presence of earthy hops towards the finish. A very good taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Very creamy, silky, and fairly sweet. Finishes somewhat dry.

Overall: A very good twist on the original Smoked Porter. The big vanilla presence adds a nice twist.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2014 07:54:56 | More by MattyG85
Photo of Omnium


3.79/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bomber > Pint Glass

A - Black brown with a finger of white soapy head, little spotty lacing.
S - Huge vanilla, very little smoke, a little coffee, a little roasted malt.
T - Some dark chocolates, vanilla beans, a little nutty, light on the smoke, roasted malt, a hint of earthy hops.
M - Very chalky feel, dry.
O - Decent smoked porter, nice touch of vanilla, not as good as it could be.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2014 02:24:34 | More by Omnium
Photo of Fcolle2


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

Pours dark brown in color with mild hues of mahogany. Head is light tan in color and retains nicely.

Smell is good. Light smokey doughy malt is one the front end and blends nicely with the rich sweet vanilla aromas.

Taste follows the nose lightly smokey doughy malt is one the front end with hints of vanilla all through the beer. Light earthy bitterness balances the rich malt and vanilla flavors nicely.

Mouthfeel is good. Not to thick, moderate bitterness. Rich body is cut with medium amounts of carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2014 01:48:40 | More by Fcolle2
Photo of SawDog505

New Hampshire

4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a deep mahogany with a 3 inch tan head, that settles slowly and leaves behind rings of lace on my giant Duvel tulip glass, bottle says best by 3/25/14. Smell is french vanilla, bread, honey, some hints of coffee, tobacco, and subtle smoke. Taste is has some butterscotch, more smoke than the nose, some french vanilla, and some leather. Body is medium especially for its 5.9 ABV, plenty of carbonation, a touch dry, and tremendous drinkability. Very nice brew, I prefer it way over regular.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2013 23:38:17 | More by SawDog505
Photo of BoldRulerVermont


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

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a large tulip glass.
Pours nice dark brown, with minimal head.
Smell is roasted coffee, some sweetness (toffee).
Tastes smokey up front with some vanilla sweetness coming on towards the end.
Mouthfeel was a bit thin for me.
All in all, not a terrible beer but I guess I was hoping for more.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2013 14:36:42 | More by BoldRulerVermont
Smoked Porter - Vanilla Bean from Stone Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 1,678 ratings.