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Smoked Porter - Vanilla Bean - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Smoked Porter - Vanilla BeanSmoked Porter - Vanilla Bean

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

1,966 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,966
Reviews: 475
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 13.14%
Wants: 83
Gots: 181 | FT: 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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Smoked Porter - Vanilla Bean Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,966 | Reviews: 475 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Pahn
3.78/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a snifter. Drank side by side with the chipotle version.

Appearance: Careful pour yields a 1 inch light tan head that dissipates quickly with popping bubbles. No lacing but for a couple spots. Pours a dark brown with red highlights.

Smell: Definitely smell vanilla, and it works. Brings out the pastry like malt notes, and balances great with any smoky/roasty aromas in the original beer.

Taste: First sip starts great, then quickly gets to be too much vanilla. Base smoky porter stops riding that "smoky beer with hints of dessert" line and goes right to "dessert drink." I'd like the vanilla to be a highlight, since (as in the smell) it would really compliment the flavor of the base beer, but the vanilla is the main player here.

That said, there are some great flavors brought out by the vanilla. The chocolate notes of the beer are emphasized, with some sips being mostly like drinking cocoa with vanilla. There's also an almond-like flavor that comes from the vanilla / base beer interplay that I love. However, the overall flavor always tastes kind of unnatural and unbalanced; it never really finds its way back to "finished beer." Kind of tastes like I bought a Stone Smoked Porter and blindly added vanilla myself.

The bottom line is that, while the flavors are good, I never actually sit back and enjoy the beer, but rather find myself saying, "That's weird / strong."

Mouthfeel: Full side of medium bodied. Creamy. Low side of moderate carbonation (seems a little lower than the chipotle). Good finish; slightly dry.

Overall: The flavors in this beer grew on me, but never got to be something I'd like to drink a lot of. Unfortunately, it sort of squanders the base beer and turns it into dessert.

Photo of OldhouseRecs
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of thegerm87
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of DefenCorps
3.18/5  rDev -18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle from Rodman's, served in my Aecht Schlenkerla Eiche tulip.

A very dark brown that ends up being black in the glass, this beer is capped with a dense, light brown head with excellent retention and lacing. The vanilla really dominates the nose, making it seem one dimensional. However, it does accentuate the cocoa and mild caramel notes of the base beer (the latter was obscured in the chipotle version), while doing a good (but unwelcome ) job of reducing the potency of the roast and smoke.

The palate opens sweet with plenty of vanilla, including a vanilla-like sweetness, coupled with the cocoa and chocolate (which have taken on more of a milk-chocolate note rather than a dark chocolate note that was present in the Chipotle version). The vanilla sweetness does also shine light on the not-so-positive fact that this beer is lighter in body than would be ideal. Mildly smoky on the finish with a moderate roast and cocoa character that is not very harmonious when paired with the intense vanilla. While the vanilla flavor is wholly natural, it is not terribly enjoyable IMO

Photo of LotsofLupulin
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of ImperialSnout
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of Stevie_Janowski
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

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

Black beauty with a thick dark beige, two inch head. Nice lace arms as the head, really slowly, retreats.

Vanilla (duh) fronts the sip, I like the realness of it, like a bean's in the glass, nice dark caramel underneath, hints of chocolate, some tasty smoked burnt sugar. Sniffs along the way taste chocolate.

Caramel and swet vanilla hold hands and then skip gaily through the sip, joiced along the way by coffee, milk chocolate, lightest hints of hoppy herb bitter, and finally stretch out with coffee and vanilla the holdouts. Not a lot of smoke to this.

Light to med. bodied, med. carbonation, perhapsa touch too much of the fizz, though. Decent finish. Surprised this wasn't a little more resinous on palate, would have made this even better.

This beer suffers by being compared to Captain Lawrence Smoked Porter, and by comparison to the other, many superior porters blessedly easy to obtain now.

Photo of hosehead83
4.33/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.
Dark brown/black in color with ruby highlights. Nice, sturdy head of tan foam.
Aroma-Dark malts,subtle vanilla note
Taste-Smoky, spicy,laced with a pleasant little counter-balance of vanilla that takes the edge off of the smoky/spiciness. Has a sessionable, smooth quality that the other Stone Smoked Porters don't seem to have. Very flavorfull. I could have a few of these easily. Well done.

Photo of artdob
3.23/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark cola color. Decent tan head

Nose - getting just the smallest amount of sweet malt. Really minor aroma from this pour.

Taste - light for a porter, but in an ok way. Roasty tones, cola notes withiut the sugar - not really getting a sense of the vanilla. Smokiness is there, but somewhat subdued - not the in your face approach as in Alaskan's Smoked Porter which is a fantastic experience.

Minor but adequate carbonation in the mouthfeel.

Enjoying this brew, but, don' t see myself purchasing more of this one.

Photo of ThinkRedEsq
2.25/5  rDev -42%

Photo of TrickkyGangsta
4/5  rDev +3.1%

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

Picked up a single from Total Wine on 7-19 for $3.29.

Beer poured cola brown with a decent tan head that disapated pretty quickly.

Nose is smokey with hints of vanilla and coffee.

Initial taste was vanilla that was quickly overtaken by the smokey malt base. Later sips are detecting coffee and chocolate.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and fairly smooth.

Overall this brew grows on you as it warms and its multitude of flavors presents itself. Smoked porters are not for everyone and one with vanilla is even a bit more complex and i suspect folks will not like it. Give it a shot if you are open to a wide range of flavors.

Photo of threeviews
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a Spiegelau ballon (no freshness date, but based on its release, I know it's fresh!)

A- Pours a nearly-black (dark, ruby red when angled properly to the light) with a 1-1/2 finger kahki head.

S- Vanilla up front followed by milk chocolate with a very subtle hint of smoke.

T- Vanilla is immediate followed by subtle nots of coffee and chocolate...the smoked malt component is only detected very late afterthought...As the beer warms, the vanilla dominates and the smoke becomes imperceptible.

M- Slick on the palate, but not cloying. The vanilla overpowers, but the chocolate/coffee notes from the malt hold their own.

O- Never sampling Stone's Smoked Porter prior to this review, I was not sure what to expect. However, I can only imagine the standard release features the smoked malt more than the version with vanilla beans, as it seems to dominate the aroma and taste. By no means is it a sub-par brew, Stone would just need to up-the-ante with regards to the smoked malt to bring it some balance. Overall, very nice and hope they not only make this a year-round but hope they add more smoked malt to the recipe to offset the vanilla component.

Photo of Oakenator
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours black but when held up to light reveals a red tint. For a dark beer there is nothing hiding in it - a typical clean and clear Stone brew. Decent head and produces some lacing on a clean glass. Smell to be expected is chocolate and vanilla. The vanilla almost eliminates the smokiness of this porter and is an interesting but good change of pace from the standard porter. Good for a summer time porter.

Photo of TimV31
4.75/5  rDev +22.4%

Photo of Jmac91
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of rob99er
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of Jovo
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of Momar42
3.73/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into New Belgium globe

A - fairly deep mahogony brown. moderate head settles into off-white ring with ok lacing.

S - smoke, roasted malts come through strong. vanilla is there along with the associated sweetness but it is second fiddle.

T - tastes opposite of the aroma. vanilla takes the front and middle with the smokiness coming through at the end. As it warms, the flavors balance out. Hard to tell if this is a vanilla porter with smoke or vice versa. Tasty either way.

M - medium. frothy and creamy but finishes cleaner than I would have guessed.

O - I really enjoy their smoked porter, I also really like good vanilla beers. This one is a blending but I feel I should have liked this more. I had it on draft earlier this year and was underwelmed. Sadly, it is only marginally better in the bottle. Worth trying, and enjoyable. Not sure how often I would reach for it given its $5 price tag even if it was available year round.

Photo of billab914
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle pouted into my Devil's Backbone glass. Pretty close to black in color with a creamy head rising an inch above the top of the beer. Very nice lacing as I drank it.

The aroma mixes roasty coffee with a creamy, vanilla bean presence. There is some milk chocolate flavors coming through along with a hint of smoke. I really like the coffee and vanilla cream combination, but like the regular version I wish there was more smoke to it.

The vanilla flavors really stand out in the taste. It gives it a creamy, sweet flavor that really compliments well. I get a little more of a coffee flavor to the darker malts up front, but a roasty bitterness starts to take over in the finish. Again though, the smoke is way too reserved for having the word "smoked" on the bottle.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied for the style with carbonation being about average. Overall, I really liked how well the vanilla complimented the roasted malts. As for the smoke though, I have the same problem I have with the regular version of the beer in that the smoke is way too reserved and barely noticeable. I love smoked beers, but every time I drink a Stone version I end up disappointed in the lack of smokiness. It was a very good beer that might have been great with a little more smoke.

Photo of WesM63
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a large snifter

A: Pours a dark brown with a 1 and a half finger light brown head. Decent retention and lacing are present.

S: Mostly malts, a hint of vanilla, smokey peat and some alcohol, Almost some sweetness.

T: Pretty close to the nose. Up front you get some light smokeyness followed by the malts then the vanilla comes in with some more light smokeyness. You're left with a very subtle vanilla smoke after taste.

M: Medium body and carbonation.

O: Overall, not bad. Very mellow to what i was expecting. The vanilla takes a pretty big back seat to everything else, but just noticeable.

Photo of kaseydad
3.2/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pint glass pour. Pours a dark brown with a beige foamy head with nice lacing.

The smell is vanilla forward with some nice chocolate accents, light coffee and a somewhat distracting rubber smell.

The taste is odd. Kinda getting a jumbled mess. Not much vanilla in the taste and whatever vanilla is present, it's contrasting with the porter elements. Some light smoke and a hoppy finish.

Overall the experience was underwhelming. I love vanilla but this just did not work for me. It did improve as it warmed but alas too late for any major improvements.

Photo of ckobes
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of marct
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Smoked Porter - Vanilla Bean from Stone Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 1,966 ratings.