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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.
BA SCORE
87
very good

1,684 Ratings
THE BROS
88
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1684
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: 1,684 | Reviews: 466 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

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 womencantsail
womencantsail

California

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 brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

3.7/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a coffee brown color with an impressive head that leaves quite a few shards behind

Smell: Loads of vanilla in the aroma; black bread underneath; hard to detect the smoke

Taste: Black bread, up front, with the vanilla developing and overwhelming the middle; after the swallow, the charcoal flavors dominate, leaving a bitter coffee character in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: The flavors in this beer to not meld together - they compete with one another with the vanilla up front and the char (rather than smoke) in the back; would be a very nice vanilla porter if the smoke was excluded but as a smoked porter, the original is much better

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2012 21:25:17 | More by brentk56
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

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 Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

3.73/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Churchkey.

Pours near black and has very little head or lacing. Perhaps a bit more in that department than the chipotle version. Nose is strong, strong vanilla. That's about is as nearly all the smoke and roast are overwhelmed. Taste is similarly unbalanced, although I won't complain, as it is quite a nice flavor. Mouthfeel is medium with good carbonation. Drinks fairly well. Nice and refreshing....would be a great dessert beer.

Serving type: on-tap

10-05-2010 23:03:40 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

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

On-tap at Blind Tiger Ale House, New York, NY

A: The beer is very dark amber (near black) in color and poured with a half finger high beige head that died down and left some lacing on the surface and a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light aromas of vanilla bean in the nose.
T: The initial taste has notes of smoke, but this quickly transitions to lots of flavors of vanilla, which persist through the finish, which also has a hint of sweetness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and somewhat smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is rather easy to drink because the alcohol is well hidden and the sweetness and vanilla flavors are balanced enough from being overpowering.

Serving type: on-tap

09-18-2011 00:52:13 | More by metter98
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy

Georgia

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

Appearance: Displays a reasonably clear, dark brown body capped by a modest bone white head.

Smell: Nicely fragrant vanilla top note atop scents of light cocoa powder, mild roast coffee, and smokey peat.

Taste: Dark maltiness with taste of dark whole meal bread and hints of cocoa and coffee. Moderate sweetness. Vanilla coming through as a generous splash of A&W Cream Soda. A bit more coffee peeking through. Very subtle earthy bitterness tucked away in the back. Dries out for the most part, leaving you with a taste of lightly roasted, toasted vanilla bean pods.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-low carbonation.

Drinkability: Smooth, pleasant, and without any hard edges. Just as the standard iteration gives you just enough smoke character, so, too, does this give you just enough vanilla.

Serving type: on-tap

10-12-2010 13:38:58 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poures a roasted nut brown with a thinner somewhat creamy off white head atop,the color seems to be a bit lighter than an avergae porter.Aromas are smoked and somewhat earthy with the vanilla pretty faint and in the background.The vanilla flavors are more pronounced on the palate intermingling nicely with the dryer,lighter earthy/smoked flavors.A fuller creamy feel is nice but I have to admit I was expecting a little more from this beer,I would have liked more vanilla in the aromas and a little more smoke on the palate.In saying that it's still pretty damn good,Stone is held in real high regard from me.

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2012 20:53:44 | More by oberon
Photo of TheManiacalOne
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 russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

3.76/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Picked this up at Goebel's in Wichita...

Pours an effervescent chestnut/mahogany with 2+ fingers of tan head. Nice head retention & lacing

S: Smokeyness, roastyness, faint vanilla notes

T: Follows the nose, some dryness too along with faint coffee notes up front. Smokey notes mix with mocha as this warms, some vanilla & woody notes as well. Finishes dry, roasty, with mocha notes

MF: Medium bodied, fairly firm carbonation

I think I prefer the plain Jane Version more, but glad I got to try it. I think vanilla in Porters is something I like in theory more than practice. Drinks alright...

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2013 04:11:19 | More by russpowell
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

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

Three smoked porters tasted side by side at Churchkey last night, regular, vanilla and chipotle. Served in a wine glass.

Beer is black / dark brown with a thin broken head of brown tiny bubbles that leaves minimal lacing on the glass. Carbonation is low, they all three looked exactly the same.

VANILLA!!! that's all I can smell, makes the beer smell super sweet like you are smelling vanilla extract.

VANILLA also wins in the palate, the beer is good and medium to light in body, easy to drink to an extent but the vanilla makes the beer VERY vanilla-y and really sweet too. Side by side with the other two, this one loses the threeway. I probably wouldn't drink it again but it was fun to have once.

Serving type: on-tap

10-05-2010 15:56:45 | More by drabmuh
Photo of Mora2000
Mora2000

Texas

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

Draught. The beer pours a dark brown to black color with a tannish head. I get a lot of smoke, chocolate, roasted malt and vanilla in the aroma. I also get a tad bit of oaked notes. The flavor is more of the same. The chocolate and vanilla are the dominant flavors, with the smoke hiding in the background. I also get a little oak and whiskey notes behind the other aspects of the flavor. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Very nice, overall.

Serving type: on-tap

05-08-2011 16:20:46 | More by Mora2000
Photo of zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

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 jlindros
jlindros

Massachusetts

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 RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

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

Nice looking beer, though the head just keeps on growing off the initial pour. Guess I could have done it less aggressively. Regardless. The vanilla is a nice tone on here, but there is so much of it that it gives this very sweet tone to things that seems too pronounced to me. I salute the idea and the execution, but I think it could stand to be a bit more rounded.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2012 07:47:43 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of WVbeergeek
WVbeergeek

Ohio

4.16/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark crimson mahogany hue, typically I recall the smoked porter to be a bit darker in color. Huge billowing light tan head fine speckled lacing covers the sides of my glass very pleasant looking brew. Aromatics offer up a nutty/vanilla earthiness combined with dark chocolate/milk chocolate cocoa notes, the nose invites the notion of dessert or something very decadent about to reach the palate. Balanced flavor profile upfront vanilla bean character, with charred roasted malt and a mild smokey character offering up a nice bitterness to dry the palate out. In addition to the dark roasts, smoked malts, and vanilla beans this beer is packing around 50 or so IBUS. I get a nice herbal hop in the backend and it plays to how drinkable and well crafted this special winter release is, medium to light bodied nice textures a bit more residual sugars or caramelization on the palate but still finishes clean and dry ample moderate carbonation carries the flavor profile very well. Overall a go to beer, if your lucky enough to have Stone in your distribution network where you live, give this a try this winter.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2013 23:02:19 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of Gavage
Gavage

New Jersey

4.23/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a dark brown color with a short 1/2" head that breaks down quickly. Some spots of lace stick on the sides of the glass.

Smell: roasted malt, vanilla, and a hint of smoke is easily detctable by the nose.

Taste: roasted malt, light smokiness, a muted vanilla tone, milk chocolate, and a moderate bitterness create a well balanced beer.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Light crispness throughout. Long lasting aftertaste as the soft vanilla and smokiness linger on the tongue.

Overall: a very drinkable smoked porter that would go great with a dessert.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2012 19:41:56 | More by Gavage
Photo of Halcyondays
Halcyondays

California

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

On-tap at the Beachwood BBQ, in Seal Beach, CA,

A: Pours black, with a thick cap of tan foam, leaving nice lacing in one of Gabe's new wide-mouthed glasses.

S: Lighter than I expected, get vanilla notes, of course, with roasted malt, and a hint of smoke.

T: On first sip, you get a bit of coffee, and then a nice, natural vanilla flavour, that complements the beer well, reminds me a bit of Irish Creme style coffee. Didn't get a huge smoke note like I did with the original and the Chipotle style, the vanilla seemed to balance it out and become the dominant flavour along with the roasted malts.

M: Smooth, creamy, a tad thin, but overall, a nice feel for a porter beer.

D: A good beer overall by Stone, I didn't like it as much as the other 2 variations that I have had, but it's a solid porter beer. Another good beer from Stone.

Serving type: on-tap

12-09-2007 19:25:38 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of StonedTrippin
StonedTrippin

Colorado

3.7/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

dont like this as much as the chipotle version, but its still a nice porter. it pours a lazy looking dark brown color without a whole lot of head. it smells very strongly of vanilla beans, sticky and sweet, fresh. the smoke smell and flavor is largely masked by the vanilla, which i think is a major detriment to this beer. the original is great for that robust smoke flavor, and the chipotle version really enhanced that property, but its not as evident with the vanilla, and its missing to me. flavor is good though, desserty, sweet. i wouldnt drink a bunch of these, but one is fine. might also be nice with a creamy dessert like panacotta or something. feel is good, low on carbonation but thats okay here, sturdy body, sugary finish. an excellent porter on its own, but compared to the rerular smoked porter, it seems unnecessary.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2012 18:35:31 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of barleywinefiend
barleywinefiend

Washington

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

A: Poured a deep rich brown with moderate carbonation leaving a small dirty white cap, minimal lacing and bubbles

S: Fresh vanilla beans, liquid smoke.

T: A bit of light roastiness and cocoa upfront with smoke lingering and vanilla beans. I felt it was it astringent and overcarbonated

M: Medium bodied and overcarbed. Some astringency, smoke ad vanilla resides on the palate

O: Meh. It's ok.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2012 02:01:10 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of mdfb79
mdfb79

New York

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

From 10/04/10 notes. Had on tap at Churchkey in DC at the Stone Tap Takeover event. Unfortunately this was the only version of the smoked porter I got to try.

a - Pours a dark black folor with one inch of off white head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of vanilla beans, roasted malts, and chocolate. Vanilla dominates the nose, but I really enjoy it.

t - Tastes of vanilla, roasted malts, and chocolate, with vanilla dominating again. A little bit of smoke, but not too much.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

d - A pretty easy drinking vanilla smoked porter. This was one of the surprises of the night for me. I thought it smelt and tasted great, though I didn't get a whole lot of smoke thanks to the vanilla. Would definitely try again.

Serving type: on-tap

10-07-2010 20:07:30 | More by mdfb79
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

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.

B-

Serving type: cask

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

New York

3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Happy to track down a 12 ounce bottle of this much sought after nectar. No bottling date or other freshness info offer, but the consumer is encourage to "Enjoy Fresh" I do not have to be told twice.

The pour is dark brown, dark tan head, and leaving decent fine lacing.

The nose is of milk chocolate, and of course, vanilla.

Notes of more chocolate, darker, smoky grains and moderate sweetness, provided by the vanilla infusion.

Very smooth, light and creamy in the mouth.

Ehh, not really my favorite. One and done for me.

Best application would be as a dessert beer, for example with a decadent chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream, so sounds pretty damn good actually.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2012 15:17:36 | More by Billolick
Photo of rhoadsrage
rhoadsrage

Illinois

3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a nonic)

A- The dark black body has a garnet glow at the base with a sticky light tan head that last a good bit and a gentle carbonation.

S- The dark nougat vanilla custard aroma has a hint of smoke to follow and some earthy dark malt notes coming through as it warms a bit.

T- The vanilla bean nougat taste blends with roasted black malt flavors and a meaty smoke note in the clean slightly dry finish. As the beer opens a chocolate malt flavor really grows in the finish. There is an earthy black roasted malt flavor that lingers but no bitterness.

M- The medium mouthfeel has a slightly slippery texture and no alcohol heat noticed.

O- The nice mellow smoke compliments the good vanilla flavor but the nougat notes take on a bit of a plastic quality when it opens.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2012 20:05:22 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of Jason
Jason

Massachusetts

3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz brown bottle with no freshness date

LOOK: Dark brown hue, clear, ample tan head

SMELL: Vanilla, cocoa, mild char, dried grass, ghost-like smokiness

TASTE: Burnt grain, very smooth, mild smokiness, coffee grounds, kiss of vanilla, hint of alcohol, nutty, moderate hoppiness, ashy burnt finish

Trying this again after over a year, perhaps my palate changed or the beer was tweaked a bit ... flavors seem to mesh well together. Worth a go.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2013 02:34:40 | More by Jason
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Smoked Porter - Vanilla Bean from Stone Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 1,684 ratings.