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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
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Ratings: 1,678 | Reviews: 465 | Show All Ratings:
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 RVigz


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

Appearance: This beer is a burnt caramel color with a nice light amber head of about one inch that lingers.

Smell: It smells chocolatey, malty, slightly hoppy with the faintest amount of vanilla

Taste: This beer starts with a bitter malty/slightly stronger hoppiness to it. Nice smokey dark chocolate body. It has a bitter chocolate taste with lasting bitter hops and a very minuscule finish of sweet vanilla.

Mouthfeel: mouth is bitter aftertaste but smooth hoppy feel.

Overall: Great stout, bitter but sweet on the lips.

Serving type: growler

01-31-2014 01:53:44 | More by RVigz
Photo of steviewonder16

South Carolina

4.43/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorites. Nice color and aroma pours evenly and very easy to get the half inch head. Just the right amount of carbonation. You get the vanilla with a hint of smokiness in a great tasting porter. It has a robust flavor AND smooth on the palate.

Another very good beer from Stone Brewing.

Serving type: growler

12-26-2013 22:28:47 | More by steviewonder16
Photo of MrTopher


3.78/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this from the brewery, served in a pint glass.

A – Pours a dark brown, almost black but not into the abyss. Nice off white head resonates and adds a decent lacing as its enjoyed.

S – The nose on this beer isn’t 100% in the open, there is some roast and a faint smell of vanilla, but its very faint. Always waiting for more, but never built up to anything.

T – Rich dark malt that I have come as the standard from Stone Smoked Porter, and then suddenly you get that mild hint of Vanilla. And the vanilla adds just a very mild and simple sweetness. Flavor makes up for the smell dramatically.

M – Very balanced nothing overly thick or thin, right in the middle.

O – Do I like this more than the standard SP, maybe… Just the addition of the vanilla makes it a little more complex and adds something really nice. Would be nice if they Bourbon Barrel Aged this version and then bottles it and added it to the 500ml series.

Serving type: growler

10-24-2011 19:31:43 | More by MrTopher
Photo of DTJPPR


4.28/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tasting notes from 08-26-2011, in a growler from Stone the same day.

A - Poors the usual dark, almost black color with a decent 1.5 finger brown head that fades slowly and leaves nice lacing.

S - Light hints of vanilla and coffee on the nose, very nice. Also some malty, biscuity scents that compliment the vanilla quite well.

T - The scent of this beer hints largely to what it tastes like. There is a strong coffee and vanilla flavor mixed with a bit of biscuity, almost graham cracker flavor. There is just a hint of smokiness on the back end that combines to make the beer taste like a Mud Pie. In fact, that's pretty much the perfect way to describe this beer, especially when it is served closer to room temperature. The coffee and vanilla dominate mostly everything, but some of the maltiness pushes through near the end. It is very nice, almost like an ice cream float mixed with beer(which I understand is where the idea came from).

M - Has a decent, heavy mouthfeel and is decently carbonated like most Stone brews.

O - This is a fantastic idea for a beer, and I kept on drinking it through the night after my initial tasting notes. Very easy to drink, and easy to tuck into a whole 2-liter growler full of the stuff. Although the smokiness is gone, and I agree with other folks on here that maybe they should take the word "smoked" off of the beer, but I also understand that this is one of their special editions, so I can't base it truly to the original. I enjoyed drinking this one and am likely to get another fill next time its available.

Serving type: growler

08-28-2011 22:44:36 | More by DTJPPR
Photo of WestValleyIPA


4.22/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Tieman for this! Poured from a growler into my Duvel tulip (which I later broke). Very dark, almost black, with a cherry cola colored bottom 1/4 of the glass. About 2 fingers of off white head. Sticky sticky lacing and pretty nice head retention. Vanilla blast up the nose plus coffee. Almost like an iced vanilla latte. LOVE. A little sweet milk chocolate. Bright bitter coffee flavor up front, a little vanilla in the middle. Not nearly as much as on the nose. A surprising amount of burnt bitterness on the finish. Very drying, with very small prickly bubbles. Great beer.

Serving type: growler

05-24-2011 05:48:15 | More by WestValleyIPA
Photo of CHickman

New York

4.33/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tasting notes from 2/26/11 (growler): pours pitch black with a creamy/foamy 1 finger tan head that faded very slowly and left great lacing sticking to the glass, leaving rings as it went down; really nice lacing that stayed right where it was as the beer went down.

Smells of coffee, vanilla, toasted grains, roasted malt, burnt wood, smoky peat, cocoa, alcohol sweetness like bourbon or rum, and earthy tones like mulch and hay, and then some licorice. Very nice nose overall.

Tastes like it smells, with coffee grinds, vanilla, sweet malt, toasted grains, burnt smoked wood, smoky peat, cocoa, chocolate, caramel and a slight bite of alcohol; a very sweet porter that's smoky and loaded with vanilla notes that are sweet and yet it's still very malty and tasty. The vanilla beans add an excellent dynamic to this beer.

Mouthfeel is light and smooth, with little to no carbonation, an overall malt sweetness lead by the vanilla and coffee, and an almost watery feel for a beer that comes off as heavy in both flavor and aroma.

Highly drinkable porter that is easy to drink and extremely tasty, which makes this a dangerous combo for a porter. A high recommendation as I loved this porter and how easy it was to put down or sip and savor.

10/18/2012-had a 12 oz bottle and it was just as tasty as it was last year; it seemed very mellow with nice, rich roasted coffee and vanilla beans that trailed off with a slight bitterness. The low ABV makes this so easy to drink while remaining packed with flavor. I liked it so much that I'm pushing the flavor rating up to 4.5.

Serving type: growler

05-22-2011 03:35:48 | More by CHickman
Photo of Brenden


4.22/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Notes are from a tasting not too long ago. Thanks as usual to Steve (a74gent) for one I might not have gotten to try for a long time, if at all.

This brew, like the original Smoked Porter it's built from, is a very rich, deep brown that doesn't quite hit black. The head one this one is brown and sists between one and two fingers tall. Lacing left behind in patches is thick.
The aroma is, of course, smoky, reminiscent of a wood fire with charred wood notes and a touch of charcoal. The light vanilla sweetness is subtle, but present, adding just a touch to the overall character. I get the same herbal leaf tinge from hops and big, robust malt as in the original.
Smoke, as in the original, all over the tongue on a sturdy malt backbone. Heavily roasted with notes of bittersweet baker's chocolate and coffee with stronger notes of charred woods and charcoal as in the nose. Vanilla really just sneaks through, hiding out underneath, and is very subtle. Of course I love this beer because I love the original, and the one single difference is very light.
This one's big, rich and robust, drinking more like a stout than a porter. Body is full and carbonation is light, and there's a light bite and smoothness that isn't amazing but makes for a good feel.
There's no reason I wouldn't drink a few of these in a sitting, though I couldn't down them all too quickly. This is a great effort at a smoked beer.

Serving type: growler

04-20-2011 19:45:21 | More by Brenden
Photo of ColdPoncho


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

Great thanks to danwho and Brew3Crew for this. Tasted at Jackie O's Bottle release, 4-2-2011, notes from same.

A - Pours a black body with a loose tan head.

S - Theres some nice roasted character in the nose, nicely balanced with some sweet vanilla.

T - Sweet vanilla and roasty malts. Well balanced flavor, and very much in line with the nose. Really Very excellent.

M - thick and smooth, great body.

O (D) - Very tasty, nice complexity, definitely a great beer. Nothing is too powerful, very drinkable.

Serving type: growler

04-08-2011 21:48:00 | More by ColdPoncho
Photo of mistakebythelake


4.28/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Shared by brew3crew at JOs.

Pours a blackish brown with good lacing and head that dissipated slowly. According to my wife this smelled like lucky charms and I definitely agreed on the lucky chars marshmallow smell with some vanilla notes. Tasted of vanilla toffee and lucky charms marshmallows.

Low carbonation was definitely hoping for a thicker mouthfeel. Definitely enjoyed this brew though and my wife loved it -which is a hard sell since she doesn't like too many. Would like to try again as it is a great porter treatment.

Serving type: growler

04-02-2011 05:07:04 | More by mistakebythelake
Photo of Urbancaver


4.43/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks danwho and brew3crew for this one

Pours a very dark brown with. Touch of off-white head. Looks tasty. Smells smoky and strongly of vanilla. Almost too much vanilla on the nose. Same on the tongue. Just TONS of vanilla! Solid mouthfeel and a wonderful sipper

Drink it all day long, yeah. Really delish

Serving type: growler

04-02-2011 05:01:48 | More by Urbancaver
Photo of brew3crew


4.72/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks from danwho! You are the man

A-dark black with nice white lacing.
S- kinda smells like lucky charms lol.
T- alot like it smells. Huge vanilla taste. Love it. And I thought you could have too much! Nope!
M- medium body and very sweet. Love the vanilla.
L- did I mention I love the vanilla?

Serving type: growler

04-02-2011 05:00:54 | More by brew3crew
Photo of Gmann

New York

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

The porter pours a very dark brown color with a short dense khaki colored head that settles into a light ring.

The aroma is straight up on the vanilla bean. There are some brown sugar and caramel notes as well. I don't pick up much if any smoke, seems that the vanilla is overpowering it.

Very strong vanilla flavor, quite bold. The smoke does pop through in the flavor but adds only some charred bitterness. The malt also brings some toast flavors. A little disappointed that the smoke is overwhelmed but it is still a tasty porter.

Moderate body with tingly carbonation. Sweet on the palate but there is strong roasted/smoke bitterness that helps balance out the beer.

I like the beer, tastes good, however I am a bit disappointed that the smoke was so overpowered by the vanilla. Good but much better smoked porters out there.

Serving type: growler

02-28-2011 03:02:20 | More by Gmann
Photo of SanDiegoBeerLove


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

A - Darker Brown almost Black in quantity with lighter Brown highlights and over 2 Fingers of Tan Head which fades to leave a light film. Beer is limpid and Lacing is heavy on the glass.

S - Smells of Vanilla, Choclate, Coffee, and Some Fruitness(maybe Plum).

T - Tastes of Vanilla, Roasted Malts, Smoke, Coffee, and Dark Fruit.

M - This beer has good carbonation with a bitter hit at first that moves to a little chalkiness and some Tannins in the finish.

D - Too good. Glad I have 2L of this beer. I will have to save some for Tomorrow so I can do a beer float.

Serving type: growler

12-03-2010 06:43:32 | More by SanDiegoBeerLove
Photo of koopa

New Jersey

4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Growler received in a trade with a generous BA thanks!

Appearance: Pours a chestnut to dark brown with the slightest honey amber folds. The crown is 1 finger, off white (brown/beige), shows moderate retention and some lace.

Smell: Medium roast malt, a slight nutty note, and a nice vanilla bean note that smells natural (as opposed to a super strong artificial one), and a bit of smoke that adds support.

Taste: Same as the nose with a moderate bitterness from the roast malt that covers up and smoke. I'd like some smoke to come through though. I'd give it a 4.2 as is if possible and a 4.5 if there was some smoke presence. This is one well balanced vanilla porter though.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with decent carbonation.

Drinkability: Goes down easy.

Serving type: growler

10-17-2010 01:55:00 | More by koopa
Photo of Dlish


4.33/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- Pitch black with a large tan head

S- Coffee, Chocolate, Smoke, vanilla

T- The vanilla comes out a lot more in the taste, defiantly good amount of chocolate. The smokiness is not strong but comes out in the finish.

M- Good bit heavy maybe from a lighter carbonation

D- A rare and delicious treat get it whenever possible.

Serving type: growler

10-09-2010 23:50:57 | More by Dlish
Photo of younger35


4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Just received this brew from mikedashg in a recent trade. I've been wanting to try this brew for quite some time and thanks to Mike, I'm getting the opportunity. Had the Chipotle one not long ago and it was tasty. Drank from my Surly Darkness snifter.

Review #600

Appearance- Pours a dark brownish ruby red with a very nice one finger creamy tan head. A thin cap and collar remain after the head finally dissipates along with quite a bit of spotty lacing.
Smell- The vanilla is noticeable upon first whiff but it is very light and pleasant. Not an ounce of smoke in the nose. Plenty of chocolate in the nose but other than that, just vanilla.
Taste- Starts much like the nose with a nice subtle bit of vanilla that isn't unnatural in the least. The vanilla seems to really cover the smoke for the most part because I'm not getting a shred of it. The chocolate is extra accentuated though and is somewhat dry and cocoa-ee. Finishes with a slight bit of caramel and coffee.
Mouthfeel- Nice medium body with a silky smooth feel and spot on prickly carbonation.
Drinkability- Probably the best beer I've ever had with vanilla. Usually the vanilla is either too potent or too fake. This is neither. Yes, the vanilla does take over a bit but it's not too much. Amazing how one ingredient can change a brew so much. Thanks much Mike!

Serving type: growler

11-21-2009 15:34:21 | More by younger35
Photo of coldmeat23


4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

GLASS: Sam Adams Perfect Pint Glass
TEMP: Chilled to approx 40 degrees
Thanks to a kickass Cali based trader for this hook-up!

This pours a super dark brown, practically black. Almost a fingers worth of creamy, light brown colored, foam sits on top. Retention is decent. Lacing is almost curtain-like and fairly sticky.

The nose is full of roasted malt notes. It's not much different than 'regular' Stone Smoked Porter, at this point.
As it warms though, the vanilla begins to come out, along with some caramel toffee notes.

The flavor is filled with a big roasted malt presence. Hints of chocolates and dark coffees. Nice, light, presence of smoke. There are good, yet mild, vanilla notes. This really balances this beer out, quite nicely.

Nicely full-bodied with a medium level of carbonation. This gives it a very nice creaminess, which I like. I think it is smoother than the 'regular' version.

At just under 6%abv, this is a very drinkable beer. Very tasty and smooth with a great balance.

Serving type: growler

11-03-2009 04:11:50 | More by coldmeat23
Photo of HeyItsChili


4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got a growler of this from the Charleston Beer Exchange's rare beer Tuesdee.

A - Poured from a growler into a pint glass. Pours murky dark brown with garnet highlights and a thin khaki head.

S - Fresh, sweet smelling vanilla dominates the aroma.

T - Vanilla infused porter, charred smoky wood flavor, roasted malt grittiness, with a tinge of hop in the finish that eventually becomes a past-its-expiration-date-Vanilla-Coke aftertaste.

M - Thinner bodied, light carbonation.

Serving type: growler

07-15-2009 18:14:03 | More by HeyItsChili
Photo of djaeon


4.63/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The first time I had this was on cask at the Stone 12th Anniversary festival, and it was all 5's, in my opinion. This review is based on a growler I got at the brewery last Saturday.

A - Black with a two finger cappuccino colored head.

S - Smells like what I imagine burning vanilla beans to smell like. Sweet and smoky. Very appetizing.

T - To me, this tasted like it has more smoky overtones, with vanilla in the near background, rather than the other way around. All mixed in with that great dark porter taste.

M - Smooth and dry. There was something in there that kinda made me think of a "gritty" mouthfeel, if that's possible in a liquid form.

D - A very drinkable beer. I could easily go through the whole growler myself.

Serving type: growler

Serving type: growler

03-11-2009 01:35:59 | More by djaeon
Photo of MiScusi


4.25/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brownish red on close examination, dark brown if looked at from afar. Head is off white and frothy with pretty good retention. Leaves ok lacing. The smell has a a good amount of chocolate malt in it, as well as vanilla. The taste has more sweetness compared to the regular smoked porter, not only by the vanilla character but also from chocolate malt and caramel flavor. Still, the vanilla gives a real nice tweek that comes through not too strong but enough to transform the beer into something a little different. I like the mouthfeel, it's not too thick and gives it a real drinkable character over other richly flavored beers. The carbonation level in this is real fine and not course or abrasive. This was a growler that had been kept in the fridge for 4 days so I don't know if that enabled it to mellow or not.

Serving type: growler

08-31-2007 01:37:00 | More by MiScusi
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
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Smoked Porter - Vanilla Bean from Stone Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 1,678 ratings.