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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

1,681 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1681
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: 1,681 | Reviews: 466 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of JayAre46


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

At hay merchant in houston on cask served in a tulip. One finger of creamy light khaki head sits on the rootbeer colored brew. Sheets of lace all the way down the glass as expected with a thin ring on top. The nose is very smoky, earthy tones with a little vanilla presence not strong in the nose. The taste is again a strong smoke, a little black pepper, chocolate malt much more vanilla slightly dry and bitter finish with light hops. No alcohol is present and this beer is very creamy and full bodied while being extremely easy to drink. Overall I would have preferred it not be on cask but beggers can't be choosers. Solid craftsman ship from stone, I like the vanilla and smokey balance with a little chocolate malt compliment to set it off. The gargoyle please once again, drink it.

Serving type: cask

07-10-2012 00:00:33 | More by JayAre46
Photo of AdamBear


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

Excited to find this on cask at Long Bar near Times Square

A-dark dark brown with a nice tan head

S-smells like cocoa powder with a huge amount of vanilla, almost smells like a vanilla cream cupcake. almost too much vanilla here

T-comes in with an awesome mix of bitter cocoa powder and straight vanilla bean. its a well balanced and complex flavor. there's a matching after-taste that doesn't last long. not as much smokiness in this one.

M-smooth and creamy with a creamy finish

O-this is a great porter. i'm lucky to have found this, and on cask to boot. not too many vanilla porters get this much vanilla out of the flavor. a good try for anyone.

Serving type: cask

05-06-2012 01:36:50 | More by AdamBear
Photo of kojevergas


3.35/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served on-cask into a 25 cl Leffe goblet at the Daily Pint in Santa Monica. Reviewed from notes. Expectations were above average.

A: Pours a two finger head of nice cream, good thickness, and good retention. Colour is a dark amber-black. No yeast particles are visible.

Sm: Smoke, dark malts, yeast, cream, and roast. Complex and enjoyable. Smoke is dominant. A moderate strength aroma.

T: Smokey with cream. Some dark malts. Timid. Balanced decently. Built okay for a smoked porter, but I've had better. Vanilla is subtly present and is the best aspect of the flavour. Not bold, unique, or special. I like it but it's not great.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Too light and too thin. Not enough cream. Weak. Should be more coarse. Complements the flavour decently.

Dr: Drinkable and enjoyable, but it suffers from the cask; it'd be better on-draught. I'd like to try this properly. I've had far better beers in the style.


Serving type: cask

04-20-2012 04:17:37 | More by kojevergas
Photo of UCLABrewN84


3.05/5  rDev -21.4%
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.

Serving type: cask

03-05-2012 22:13:04 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of claspada

New Jersey

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

Pours a dark brown (basically black) with brown hues and a nice one inch head with great retention and some nice lacing as it recedes.

Aromas begin with sweet vanilla that initially masks the smokiness of the orginal version. The sweetness of the vanilla with the chocolate and coffee is very nice. Slight smoke emerges as it warms.

The tastes begin with vanilla upfront and in full force to the point that it is really really sweet not at all like the regular version. The smoke is completely gone when cold but as the beer warms it shows up but just in trace amounts. The backend carries some chocolate and coffee.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation and real silky feel to it.

Overall I really enjoyed this beer which I was surprised about. I hate smoke beer and only agreed to try this because someone I trust recommended it to me. The vanilla almost completely changes this beer from the original to the point where if I tasted them side by side I would never think they were the same base beer. Nice to sample and would have more often if it was commercially made. Recommended if you can find it.

Serving type: cask

11-09-2011 20:03:57 | More by claspada
Photo of DarthKostrizer


4.45/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Cask at Churchill's

Look: Black with brown laces on top and bottom a beautiful 1 inch head with great retention and some nice lace

Smell: The sweetness from the vanilla completely masks the smokiness that I love about the orginal version but the sweetness of the vanilla with the chocolate and coffee is amazing

Taste: Vanilla is upfront and in full force to the point that it is really really sweet not at all like the regular version. The smoke is completely gone when cold but as the beer warms it shows up but just in trace amounts. The backend carries some chocolate and coffee

Mouthfeel: Medium body with medium carbonation and real silky feel to it. Perfect

Overall: Really good beer but all the orginal version is missing. Is that a bad thing no but I was hoping that the vanilla would blend better with the smoke instead of just hiding it.

Serving type: cask

08-26-2011 01:25:14 | More by DarthKostrizer
Photo of ehammond1

4.5/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

Dark brown with just the faintest amount of visibility through the beer. Big, dark, khaki brown head and plenty of lacing down the glass. A near perfect appearance.

Roasted malts and chocolate in the nose and sweet, earthy vanilla. Wonderful!

The flavor is not at all smoky, like the original base beer. Instead, this is a roasty, chocolatey, vanilla masterpiece.

Velvety, smooth, full mouthfeel.

A wonderful base beer made much, much better by the vanilla bean and cask.

Serving type: cask

08-24-2011 19:19:28 | More by ehammond1
Photo of MrVonzipper


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

On Cask @ Churchill's after Stone 15th Anniversary
Dark brown almost black with a perfect foamy cask head with phenomenal retention and lacing like Guinness. 

Vanilla dominates the nose. But nice vanilla. Very little if any smoke. Dark malt whilch combined with the almost resembles French oak.

Vanilla is dominant up front. Very nice and good amount vanilla not overwhelming but substantial. Smokes very mild but on the back end and only as the beer warms. Excellent flavor. 

Medium bodied. Smooth creamy thick yet light creamy. Mild creamy carbonation.

Overall this beer is excellent. Although it'd make sense if they just took the "Smoked" out of the title because there just is not enough smoke to stand up to the vanilla and I wish there was. But the beer is very good and a very easy drink. Especially on cask.

Serving type: cask

08-22-2011 05:45:51 | More by MrVonzipper
Photo of Gfunk720


4.45/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served on cask at Churchkey yesterday in DC. Out of a pint style glass, 14oz pour.

A- Dark dark brown, with a slight touch of red. It's almost black, but just not quite. The head is a khaki color, and is quite prevalent for a cask beer. The lacing is also quite nice.

S- It's a robust, but sweet smell. Chocolatey malts/vanilla/smoke/nuttiness. The smell is a nice rich blend for a fairly light beer.

T- Smooth and creamy when it enters my mouth. The flavor then moves to a nutty malt flavor, with hints of vanilla and smoke. I normally hate overly smokey beers, but this one does it just right. My girlfriend even enjoyed this one...

M- Pretty much perfect. It's as complex of a low ABV porter I've had. The body/carbonation/mouthfeel are all spot on.

O- Glad I got the opportunity to have this one, especially on cask. I've always loved the regular Smoked Porter, and this one was just a notch above. The vanilla blends quite well, and makes a great beer even better.


Serving type: cask

04-10-2011 20:05:59 | More by Gfunk720
Photo of jlindros


4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cask at nerax.

Light bubbly head super dark brown color.

Nose of loaded vanilla light smoke coffee roasted malt oak creamy chocolate.

Taste is semi sweet loaded with vanilla creamy light choc some bitterness lingering sweet and bitter and lots of vanilla.

Mouth is creamy and rich med to heavier body low carb.

Drinkability is good with low abv, no sticky or syrupy flavors, smooth and creamy demeanor.

Serving type: cask

11-13-2010 04:46:03 | More by jlindros
Photo of StJamesGate

New York

3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On cask at the GBBF.

Pours black-brown with a thin tan bubbly head. Vanilla nose with oak underneath. Vanilla, brown bread, brown sugar and marzipan malts cut by a dry roastiness and orange bark hops with more vanilla undertones. Light, some chew, some cling.

Totally loses the smoke, which for me was no bad thing. Maybe a bit too candy sweet, but very tasty.

Serving type: cask

08-05-2010 22:43:35 | More by StJamesGate
Photo of illidurit


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

On cask at The Daily Pint in Santa Monica. Poured into a Duvel tulip (for some reason). Dark clear brown with a huge fluffy cocoa head that sticks around forever. Big vanilla bean aroma with some roasted malt character. In the flavor, the roles are reversed. Roasted malt takes the center stage and the vanilla beans add a noticeable but subtle even sweetness. Just a touch of smoke/charcoal in the end. Nice dry and bitter finish. Very easy to drink, low carb due to it being on cask. Really complex and flavorful for 5.9%.

Serving type: cask

12-21-2009 06:34:35 | More by illidurit
Photo of MisterClean


3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On cask at the Daily Pint. i was never really impressed with their regular smoked, so I gave this one a shot.

A - Pours a deep brown with 3 fingers of mocha head. Dissipates slow and leaves beautiful lacing.

S - Vanilla and toffee.

T - Vanilla, toffee, some smoke and light bittering hops.

M - Full-bodied, malt dominated, sweet.

D - Good overall, but would recommend other robust porters over this one.

Serving type: cask

10-21-2009 05:08:36 | More by MisterClean
Photo of digitalbullet


3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Apperance: served in a duvel tulip glass. Black brew with a thick head. Looks freakin' awesome.
Smell: roasted coffee with a touch of vanilla.
Taste: roasted coffee and chocolate. The vanilla is hard to detect Kind of dissapointing. Expected more vanilla flavor.
Mouthfeel: lightly carbonated. Very thin on the tongue
drinkability: it's an awesome porter from Stone and easy to drink. Kind of dissapointed on the lack of vanilla taste however. Will definatly have again if the opportunity arises

Serving type: cask

08-27-2009 18:54:43 | More by digitalbullet
Photo of DeathbySexyBT


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

A: Black...as in this beer absorbs light! Coffee head that recedes after a few minutes. Light to moderate lacing is left along the glass.

S: Vanilla is faint here (more on that later). Smells like dark malts were toasted with charcoal. There is a smoothness to the aroma that I am attributing to the vanilla (though I cannot readily assure you that this is the culprit) that cuts the charcoal with a sweet aroma. Very complex and inviting.

T: Burnt dark malts, coffee beans, and sugars. Vanilla is there, I guess. This is an incredibly smooth beer. There is a definite nutty flavor in there that is quite pleasing to the palate. Finally, you get a nice bitter dry finish. I absolutely love this brew.

M: Carbonation was good. This was an incredibly smooth beer if not a little thin.

D: Very drinkable, but I would say that of any style Porters cask condition the best. Very nice!

Serving type: cask

08-17-2009 19:58:57 | More by DeathbySexyBT
Photo of augustgarage


4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on cask at Blue Palms Brewhouse in Hollywood. Poured into a 20oz/22oz? nonic.

Liquid is a very dark seal brown which on first glance appears opaque. When held up to the light, Carmine-Ruby highlights are present, revealing the true clarity of the beverage. A prodigious tan head of foam with large uniform bubbles and great retention sits on top. Lacing is decent and casts a wide-net pattern.

Aroma is rather weak though beyond a basic roasted malt there are hints of banana, flamed orange peel, and baking chocolate.

The foundation of the flavor is roasted malt, although this is a little subdued to my tastes. Following this however is a melange of candy sweetness, lightly burnt malt (the smoke coming into play here I think), vanilla (marshmallows, bean, coffee creamer, etc), leading into a nutty flavor, the slightest hint of bitterness, and finally a long very dry finish. Just short of perfect for a porter that (I'm guessing) doesn't rely on a wide variety of malts or roast levels...

The mouthfeel is a real treat, velvety, rich, creamy, with just a hint of astringency from the roasted malt and smoke. Carbonation is spot on, and this is wonderful when served properly from a fresh cask.

Drinkability is high, and you could just about session this one, though you'll want to savor it at the same time.

Stone does good work, but this is the first beer I've had of theirs that really lives up to the hype. Can't wait to try it again!

Serving type: cask

07-31-2009 05:46:13 | More by augustgarage
Photo of tyanow


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

This is a sweeter and decidedly more delicate version of the normal smoked porter from Stone.

The vanilla is present throughout the drinking experience. I could smell it as he pushed the glass across the bar. The smokey goodness of grains and bitter chocolate were tempered by the sweet vanilla aroma.

The taste is much of the same. This is a full body porter that is way to sweet and complex to session but a very nice treat.

Not sure if they still make this. The owner of Blue Palms said he had it aging for a couple of years.

Serving type: cask

07-23-2009 00:37:35 | More by tyanow
Photo of womencantsail


4.63/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on cask in the Bistro.

A: Very dark, pretty much black with a tan head.

S: Smell is like vanilla ice cream to me. But it still retained some of the smokiness.

T: Initially it tasted like a great vanilla float, to be honest. Very wide range of flavors though. The smoked flavor isn't as noticeable, it becomes more roasted/nutty.

M: Very smooth, seemed to coat the mouth a bit. Very pleasant.

D: I could drink this all day.

Serving type: cask

06-22-2009 21:58:05 | More by womencantsail
Photo of CJthirty7


4.78/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Dark, dark brown, almost black with about a 1/4" thick, frothy head, tan in color. Head remained to the last drink. The whole thing looked thick enough to spread on some toast in the morning.

S - I could sense hints of Nestle Nesquik, perhaps some of the vanilla bean. I'm not sure how they used the Nesquik in the brewing process, but however they did it, it was amazing to smell. I poured some on the carpet of my car to give my car the scent.

T - An explosion of carmel, chocolate (um, nesquik?), roasted malt all in one. I really couldn't put the drink down it tasted so good. I didn't really taste the vanilla bean, but could sense a sweetness in the porter.

M - Rich and creamy. Had the mouthfeel of a Guiness. Just smooth.

D - I drank two, very quickly. I really didn't want to set this beer down. I asked if I could fill a growler of it, but I guess thats illegal in CA bars.

Overall, probably the best porter I've ever had. Came from a cask, so that probably brings things up a notch. I'm going back for more before they run out.

Serving type: cask

05-15-2009 14:57:53 | More by CJthirty7
Photo of RidiculedDisplay


3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On cask at Beachwood BBQ. From notes:

Appearance: Pours with a huge froth slightly off-white head. Settles slightly, but remains pretty big throughout the time I drank my imperial pint. Lacing was not particularly impressive - fairly transient and frothy, but not sticky or impressive in formation. Body was a pretty standard porter color - slight brown-highlighted deep black.

Smell: Cream soda! That's my initial impression of this one - just a ton of vanilla hitting you in the face. If you're a vanilla fan, which I've always been (still my favorite ice cream flavor!), you'll love it. The porter notes really struggle, that being said, to break through the vanilla notes, but they're there with a slight roastiness. The vanilla and porter aromas sort of combine to almost (almost) a hint of vinousity.

Taste: Cream soda, roastiness, and slight vine. A little bitter, almost too much so, on the back end, and the vanilla is less prominent in the mouth than the nose. It sort of trails off here into good but not great territory, but it's still a very interesting beer. I prefer it over the Chipotle Smoked Porter.

Mouthfeel: This was a cask pour, so it was velvety smooth, which worked well. Very, very slight astringency.

Drinkability: Intensely, intensely drinkable. I quaffed mine with some ribs and I could have been drinking a non-alcoholic drink as far as I could tell. The vanilla just turns it into a sweet affair.

Serving type: cask

02-23-2009 00:26:14 | More by RidiculedDisplay
Photo of raoulduke37


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

The first cask beer I am yet to try, and I sure as hell like what it did to the texture. Appearance and smell were both good, but nothing that stood out to me. It was difficult for me to smell the vanilla, but then again, we were in a crowded bar. Taste was seriously good. Plenty of vanilla up front, good vanilla, though, with the word "bean" attached to it, not "Dreyer's", and mix that with slightly bitter baking chocolate, and you've got yourself one hell of a combination. I thorougly enjoyed it. Mouthfeel was creamy and smooth. Due to the cask, carbonation or any type of harshness was undetectable. I wonder how this one ages? This is definitely the ultimate "dessert beer."

Serving type: cask

02-21-2009 15:42:40 | More by raoulduke37
Photo of DoubleJ


4.45/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On cask at Beachwood BBQ, on to the beer:

Is this a vanilla/chocolate shake from Ruby's? The vanilla is very pronounced in the flavor, where it melds well with the bittersweet chocolate. The porter part seems to be hidden underneath the vanilla bean. There was a touch of cardboard found in the aroma and flavor, but otherwise this was a rich, creamy treat that I would suggest to be served/mixed with vanilla ice cream.

Serving type: cask

02-21-2009 06:31:11 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of sloejams


4.13/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was happy to see this on the cask at the new, glorious Blue Palms Brewhouse in Hollywood. The barkeep did a fantastic job to make sure this was served properly. Dark as night with a fluffy cumulous cloud head - this looked fantastic. The first few sniffs were all vanilla bean. After warming the ole nose up to that I got some of the roasted chestnut malts through. Brings about a dessert drink - like someone dipped a scoop of vanilla into my porter. I mean that in the best way.

Serving type: cask

08-19-2008 23:46:04 | More by sloejams
Photo of Overlord


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

One of the few casked beers I've tried. Thanks Stone!

Pours an oily looking light brown with a darker core. Tan head (big).

Mouthfeel is surprisingly thin. The vanilla is gigantic in the aroma and the flavor. I'll be frank, it's obliteratingly gigantic. Is this a negative? Not really. Though, if you don't like vanilla, I could see why folks would find it offputting.

Serving type: cask

08-18-2008 07:12:31 | More by Overlord
Photo of HalfFull


3.48/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on cask, this beer pours a very deep brownish black with a full inch of head. Retention was strong and lacing was considerable, with a cap easily renewed with some agitation.

Nose was overwhelmingly of vanilla, and in a pure oily sense. A nice aroma but it seemed to drown out the underlying subtleties of the smoked porter itself. Not much else poked through, yet the nose was quite enjoyable in and of itself.

Tastes of coffee and roasted malts, but nothing in the smoked department. The vanilla, be it on the nose or the tongue, is once again a bit overwhelming here. I've tried this brew on cask once in the past and I don't remember it being so overpowering. Nonetheless, an enjoyable and easy drinking beverage, assumably weighing in at the typical 5.90% of Stone's standard offering.

Serving type: cask

08-15-2008 07:49:22 | More by HalfFull
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Smoked Porter - Vanilla Bean from Stone Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 1,681 ratings.