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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

1,686 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1686
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
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Ratings: 1,686 | Reviews: 466 | Show All Ratings:
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 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 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 BubalooBrewMaster


2.23/5  rDev -42.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I honestly can say that this beer is on my "avoid" list.I recently tried clown shoes ganghis pecan.With all that roasted and smoked characters it really gave the beers a taste that my pallet just won't forgive.To each their own.But for this guy I have to give it a fail.

Serving type: on-tap

01-15-2014 05:51:47 | More by BubalooBrewMaster
Photo of Darkmagus82


4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a pint glass

Appearance – The beer is served a slightly hazed, deep brown, almost black color with a one finger of tan colored head. The head fades rather fast leaving a decent level of streaky lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the beer is very sweet with tons of vanilla from the vanilla bean aging. Along with the sweet vanilla, are other sweet smells of chocolate and some light caramel. While overall sweet, there is a nice level of roasted and darker smells as well. Aromas of a roasted malt and a lighter level of smoke and char are all there, balancing out the sweeter smells quite nicely.

Taste – The taste begins with lots of the sweeter vanilla and chocolate flavors detected in the nose. Along with these, are some roasted malt flavors with hint of a light char and smoke mixed within. The vanilla fades ever so slightly with the smoke and char getting slightly stronger. Toward the end the chocolate fades a bit as well with some lighter hoppier flavors of a pine and earth nature taking their place. While the vanilla is slightly less at the end, it is still quite strong, and with an increase in roasted and smoke flavors ends up leaving a still rather sweet, but nicely smoked and roasted porter flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the slightly creamier side with a carbonation level that is on the lower side. Both the slightly thicker body and lower carbonation are fantastic for the roasted and darker flavors of the brew, while accentuating all that vanilla flavor and really allowing them to make a big presence on the tongue (which is sort of what they are going for with the vanilla bean aging.. at least that is what I think..).

Overall – Lots of nice vanilla flavors mixed with a good porter base and a bit of smoke. This was a quite enjoyable brew overall and in my opinion moderately superior to the none vanilla bean aged brew.

Serving type: on-tap

01-11-2014 01:49:06 | More by Darkmagus82
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

4.6/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

On-tap 1/7/2014 at Track 84, in Warwick, RI served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains smoky roasted malts, chocolate, vanilla, coffee and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with a strong and sweet vanilla flavor up front followed by a hearty but not too heavy roasted malt character. There’s some smokiness in the background as well as flavors of chocolate and coffee. The hops presence is decent for the style and brings a very good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Very tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, decent kick, very good representation of style, this is a very nice flavorful porter to drink for a long time.

Serving type: on-tap

01-08-2014 00:52:59 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of BMMillsy


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

On tap at The Top in Gainesville. Pours dark brown to black with some ruby showing through the edges and a small light brown/cream colored head. Aroma of sweet malts, smoke, roast, light vanilla. Flavor starts with some light and sweet roast, light smoke that keeps some balanced bitter on hand, and then explodes with huge vanilla on the midpalate. Finally, a chocolate molasses & vanilla sweetness is left on the palate. Medium bodied--seems right on for a porter--with medium carbonation. This drinks very easy and is a huge improvement over the thin and boring base smoked porter. Worth trying for sure.

Serving type: on-tap

01-06-2014 01:18:31 | More by BMMillsy
Photo of Jacurdy60


3.96/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had it on tap at Leroy's in Montgomery, the best bar for beer in the city

A-Pours a pitch black color with a toffee colored, sticky head that clings to the sides of the glass as I sipped it.

S-Heavy on the vanilla, sweet milk chocolate, cocoa and bitter coffee.

T-Vanilla hits the front of the palate and it fades into a roasted flavor. Smokiness combines with that roasted char note and it finishes pretty sweet with vanilla and milk chocolate.

MF-Creamy, full bodied, rich, but still maintains a touch of airiness. Very nice here.

O-A good brew. This is the first smoked porter I've ever had, so I wish it was their basic one so I could get a better idea of what to expect, but I wasn't going to pass it up.

Serving type: on-tap

12-21-2013 16:36:06 | More by Jacurdy60
Photo of Dave2010


3.81/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I like this beer, but only to have one as a change of pace. It definitely has a strong vanilla smell and taste that dominates it. It has nice carbonation which I like in stouts and porters. A nice dessert beer that is a quality entry from Stone, but some people might be put off by the domination of the vanilla.

Serving type: on-tap

12-21-2013 05:03:56 | More by Dave2010
Photo of 57md


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

Appearance is dark brown with ruby edges and a finger of tan head that enjoyed some lengthy retention. The dominant note in the nose is vanilla. Vanilla flavor is also present, but the roast profile is not terrible potent. The finish is surprisingly dry. Much like the standard Smoked Porter, there is really no discernible smoke.

Serving type: on-tap

12-17-2013 07:52:18 | More by 57md
Photo of KickbacksSteve


4.44/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Kickbacks in Jax. Poured into a snifter. Large, fluffy, beige head, high retention on a black body. Suddsy, soapy, sticky lacing. Aroma includes notes of smoke, toasted malt, coffee, vanilla, chocolate malt, milk. Taste includes all of the same but the aftertaste is really a spectacular note of the vanilla. Delicious. I'm happy that the smoke isn't overdone, very nice.

Serving type: on-tap

12-17-2013 03:29:51 | More by KickbacksSteve
Photo of Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

3.53/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On draft at Churchkey in D.C.

Dark brown appearance with a dense, towering, beige head. The aroma brings prominent vanilla, pretty much dominating the scent. The flavor is primarily vanilla. Smoke gets lost a bit here. Pretty sweet throughout. Some bitterness in the finish, even a bit rough on the palate. This was alright.

Serving type: on-tap

12-06-2013 21:54:29 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of DovaliHops


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

Pours a very dark brown, almost black. Small-medium, off-white/tan head that disappears quickly. Scent is nice and roasty. Dark malt, dark chocolate...with A LOT of vanilla. Taste is initially vanilla forward. A TON of vanilla. Not nearly as smokey as the original smoke porter. Very faint smoke with a well balanced, sweet, dark chocolate edge. Somewhat bitter finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied. Drinkability is high. Overall, this is a great beer that is very tasty. I prefer the Chipotle version more though.

Serving type: on-tap

01-23-2013 09:58:22 | More by DovaliHops
Photo of corby112


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

Draft at The Pour House in Westmont, NJ.

Pours a deep dark brown color that's almost black and completely opaque with faint mahogany edges and a two finger beige head that slowly settles into a lasting ring.  Streaks and chunks of soapy lacing left behind.

Slightly smokey, roasted malt aroma with sweet and roasted malt notes countered by silky vanilla sweetness.  Vanilla is prominent but doesn't overpower other notes allowing hints of dark chocolate, caramel, toast and oatmeal to come through.  

Medium bodied with a strong smokey, roasted malt presence up front that lingers over the sweetner notes and vanilla bean into a very dry finish.  Very robust with dark chocolate, oatmeal and burnt toast countered by toffee, lighter chocolate and hazelnut. The sweetness from the vanilla cuts the bitter roasted character with a decent amount of silky sweetness.  Good vailla flavor but is somewhat subtle letting the characteristics of the base beer shine. Was expecting more vailla but it's subtly integrated and shows most toward the finish.  Could use a little more vanilla but is still really good.

Serving type: on-tap

08-21-2012 02:02:31 | More by corby112
Photo of socon67

New York

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

A - Chocolate brown pour with serious lacing. Brown foam settles fast.

S - Initial smell of of smoky malt, and chocolate. Only after settling a bit did I really smell vanilla bean.

T - Flavors seem a bit mismatched. The smoke takes away from the faint vanilla flavor. They don't add to any complexity. However, both flavors do show and are enjoyable.

M - I'd prefer the regular smoked porter a bit more. The finish doesn't have nearly the tobacco feel.

O - I'd still put the chipotle variety at the top. Still a nice porter, but Stone's vanilla variant is the least of the 3.

Serving type: on-tap

08-15-2012 23:00:24 | More by socon67
Photo of zeff80


3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at 44 Stone, Columbia, MO on 7/26/12

A - Poured an opaque, jet black color with a small, tan head of bubbly foam. It left sudsy trails of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of vanilla with some mild smoky notes.

T - It tasted smoky with a nice vanilla touch to mellow the smoke. Nice roasted malt flavor.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry, clean finish.

O - This is really tasty. I think I like this better than the original version.

Serving type: on-tap

07-31-2012 01:44:17 | More by zeff80
Photo of brureview


3.4/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this on tap in Providence. Not bad, but I was very disappointed given the Stone reputation.

The color was a good dark coffee brown, and there was a little head.

The vanilla smell was not strong- I expected more.

Mouth feel was okay- moderately carbonated.

The taste was average, a bit of vanilla, with a standard porter finish. Nothing to write home about.

As the beer warmed up, I was waiting for more- it didn't happen.

I have tried many porters, and this is average. There could be improvements: the vanilla could enhance the finish and smell, but it doesn't work out with this beer.

Serving type: on-tap

07-27-2012 23:46:38 | More by brureview
Photo of BEERchitect


3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Stone's usual brash demeanor takes a more delicate stride with the vanilla coat that adorns their ever popular Smoked Porter.

The beer pours like many other porters; with a dark brown color and delicate creme that gives the dark ale a very espresso-like appearance. Capped by the dainty off white foam that's fueled by carbonation, the beer trails with subdued islands of lace.

But a visit to the nose brings something different- the coffee and chocolate notes that are familiar to porters are complemented by the unmistakable and savory veil of vanilla and campfire. Where the mild smoky notes bring about a spice complexity, the vanilla soothes the senses and evokes a calming response to the nose.

The love affair that the smoky coffee flavor and vanilla companionship provide a masculine and feminine taste that plays out on the semisweet malt base of slightly scorched molasses, light taste of malted milk, and bittersweet chocolates. Toast, walnut oils, and coconut play out underneath the firm malt underpinnings and the decoration of smoke and cream.

Mild to texture, somehow the palate expects more fullness, richness, and viscocity. But the low-lying carbonation allows the ale to rest weightedly on the palate for full appreciation of flavor for a semi cask-like effect. A patient transition across the middle palate lands at the finish with a light mouthfeel of silk and mint-like alcohol warmth.

Although the vanilla provides a soothing effect to the otherwise masculine porter, the mouthfeel keeps me yearning for an imperial version of this beer. But its effortless palate and high rate of drinkability more than make up for it.

Serving type: on-tap

07-18-2012 17:02:52 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of barczar


3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque dark brown, almost black, with a solid half inch creamy, dense tan head that lingers.

Coffee grounds, roast, smoked malt, cocoa, a bit of nuttiness and a hint of vanilla comprise the aroma.

Vanilla is far more prevalent in the flavor, dominating throughout the profile, while heavy roast malt, cocoa, and slightly acrid, tangy coffee taste form the backbone. Bitter hop flavor rounds out the finish. I didn't get much smoke flavor until the aftertaste, when it became a little plasticy. Malted milk balls surface as it warms.

Body is moderate, with more carbonation than anticipated. There's a bit of biting astringency and alcohol warmth.
It's strangely light on the tongue.

Overall, flavor of the vanilla is much more dominant than the smoke character. Good base porter, but I would've liked more balance in the smoke and vanilla characters.

Serving type: on-tap

07-17-2012 21:33:47 | More by barczar
Photo of marlinsfan4


4.38/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Max's, pours a nice cloudy brown color. Smell is of faint vanilla, tannish head to it. Great creamy mouthfeel, well balanced with tons of roasted maltiness and a present, but subtle vanilla undertone. Finishes clean and smooth. Very flavorful porter, Stone shines through once again, one of the best beers I had at the bar all night.

Serving type: on-tap

06-24-2012 19:19:12 | More by marlinsfan4
Photo of TheSevenDuffs

Ontario (Canada)

4.6/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap @ Cole's. Served in pint glass.

A - Dark black with one finger of bubbly light brown head with decent retention. Great lacing with big long legs on the walls of the glass.

S - Roasted malts, vanilla, smoke. A good balance of the three aromas.

T - Roasted malts and a big hit of vanilla. Smoke is a secondary flavour but is definitely present. A decent bitterness balances out a sweet malt bill. The vanilla is in percent proportion, not overpowering the other flavours but defintiely from and centre.

M - Medium body, smooth. Light to moderate carbonation.

O - A truly excellent beer. Stone found a way to actually improve my favourite beer of theirs. Well done.

Serving type: on-tap

04-29-2012 15:30:04 | More by TheSevenDuffs
Photo of FosterJM


3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1223rd Review on BA
Draft to Pint

@Limericks Pub- Upland,CA

Hanging with Lcmir23

App- Almost a pitch black color. Some brown & amber edges. Bad pour got me zero head on it and had no cling either. Just a very there pour.

Smell- Picks up a little bit in the aromatics. Still had a bit of roasted smokiness to it with some creamy vanilla and a bit of malts as well.

Taste- There it is. Its a tasty beer. Had some good vanilla flavors that lingered for a long time. The smokiness was very tame on this one and I appreciate the blend on this. Not over the top with either flavor but nice balance.

Mouth- A bit of a medium body and a creamy low-medium carbonation level. Residual vanilla and malt flavors.

Drink- Been looking to try this one for a while and am glad I found it. Nice creamy flavors and a good balance. Would love this bottled.

Serving type: on-tap

04-21-2012 18:40:14 | More by FosterJM
Photo of Chico1985


3.55/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I've caught this on-tap a few times before but always passed it up for some reason.

Pours very dark brown, a small beige head retains decently as a cap and ring.

Nice mix of chocolate+vanilla in the scent, good strength. Not much smoke but good enough for the 4.

Same as the smell, big milk chocolate+vanilla bean, good interplay between them. Some roasted malt there but not much smoke, unlike the original. Decent hoppage.

Feels thin, kinda weird feeling carbonation, kinda limp overall.

The chocolate/vanilla combo is nice (reminds me of Aphrodisiaque) but the great smokiness from the regular version is obliterated, this variation is on the sweeter side.

Serving type: on-tap

03-19-2012 13:26:00 | More by Chico1985
Photo of Rhynes2


4.68/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was on tap at the local shop and pours a beautiful dark color with a creamy head. Great head retention and lacing. I could smell the vanilla right off the bat and it has the best vanilla flavor i have ever seen in a beer. It mixes well with the dark malts with flavors found in the original Smoked Porter. Coffee and chocolate are the main flavors I take away from this one. Over all i think this is a great beer and I'll be getting this one again.

Serving type: on-tap

12-04-2011 16:30:22 | More by Rhynes2
Photo of billshmeinke


3.38/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at Beachwood BBQ & Brewing in the LBC.

Very dark brown, almost black. Some amber hues at the esges. One finger of off white head. Great lacing and retention.

Smells of smoke dark malt and some vanilla extract.

Taste is just a big blast of vanilla up front, then some dark roasted malt, flavors are almost cola like.

Mouthfeel seems a bit thin despite good carbonation, kinda plays up the impression of cola like flavors.

Interesting, but the vanilla is a little too much. I'd recommend it to anyone with a serious sweet tooth and love of vanilla though.

Serving type: on-tap

11-04-2011 22:58:26 | More by billshmeinke
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Smoked Porter - Vanilla Bean from Stone Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 1,686 ratings.