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Smoked Porter - Vanilla Bean - Stone Brewing Co.

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,137 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,137
Reviews: 510
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 12.63%
Wants: 95
Gots: 259 | FT: 15
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  5.90% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: MiScusi on 08-31-2007

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,137 | Reviews: 510 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JohnBender
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of Chaney
2.64/5  rDev -32%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Served in a Delirium Tremens tulip.

A: Looks like a dark, roasty porter, with a very bubbly, frothy, and vicious mocha head that clung to the glass on the way down and then some.

S: Didn't care much for the smell on this one. One of the danger of adding a dessert element to a base beer with a very smokey smell (or flavor) is that is come off (to me) like melted plastic.

T: The taste wasn't any better. It had sort of a stomach acid quality mixed in with the plastic as well, which kill all the smokiness of the original while leaving the bitterness intact.

M: Yeah, pretty bitter and most unpleasant taste-wise, but I still like the thick, snot-like texture here and the ridiculous lacing that was left behind.

O: This one sounded great on paper, but the result left far more to be desired.

Photo of kew
3/5  rDev -22.7%

Photo of Lantern
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of deapokid
3.63/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of magictacosinus
3.42/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

As Stone's Smoked Porter is one of my all time favorites, I thought it would be really exciting to try it with vanilla bean this time around! After all, the original tastes like double fudge brownies, so the addition of vanilla should prevent me from adding actual vanilla whipped cream to the original - still tempted though! Poured into a pint glass from a 12oz bottle.

Not much of a head on this thing, but it still produces the very same Stone porter color I know and love. It really looks like dark chocolate mousse. As other users have already pointed out, the lacing is prominent, to the point of making up any lost head. Not much carbonation, but good enough.

Indeed, the vanilla bean has manged to become present enough, and it whirls really well with the smoked, chocolate malty aroma. It smells delicious - almost like freshly baked cake! There's a sweetness around the end, and while there's barely any hoppiness or spiciness, it's pretty great.

Flavor and feel are another story, however. The beginning is quite smoky (as expected), with a vibrant dark chocolate flavor. The middle turns bitter and yeasty, and while the finish attempts to leave a vanilla aroma, it is quickly overpowered by the smoke and slightly burnt chocolate. In fact, I hate to say this, but the vanilla - as much as it *should* produce a crème brûlée flavor - doesn't do anything more than distract from the original Smoked Porter recipe! Body is too thin for me, despite the fact that the flavor overall is decent. The everlasting smokiness doesn't mix too well with the sweetness produced by the vanilla, and indeed, it all tastes like burnt sugar by the end.

I suppose I'll have to honestly say that I much rather prefer the original over this. It was good experimental try for Stone, but it has flavors that conflict, rather than benefit one another.

Photo of BeerDawgs
3.57/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A 12 oz bottle picked up at Total Wine in Columbia, SC

A - A dark brown, with 1 finger of head and some sticky lace all over the glass

S - Strong vanilla smell, obviously. Sweet, smoked aromas.

T - Sweet vanila flavors dominate. Not sure if it meshes with the smoked flavors that well

M - Light bodied, smooth. Thin

O - An interesting twist on the smoked porter. Its good, but the original, non-vanilla added smoked porter is better

Photo of mocktm
4.5/5  rDev +16%

Photo of syntheticwings
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

Photo of EgadBananas
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark, near black. Dark tan head.

The aroma is big with vanilla bean, some light smoke, but it's muddles by the vanilla. The vanilla is fantastic though.

The smoke plays a bigger part in the taste, but there's still plenty of vanilla. There's some charred smoky notes and some chocolate and roast.

The feel is a little thin, but not bad.

A nice take on a classic. The base gets lost a bit, but it's still tasty and aromatic enough to excuse that part.

Photo of PhatAtUT
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of 12owls
3.25/5  rDev -16.2%

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

$3.99 single from Bourbon Street.

Extremely dark brown, topped by three fingers of highly whipped medium tan foam. Lots of drippy lace bits.

Aroma is a mix of chocolate, coffee, vanilla, and a hint of smoke.

Taste follows. Plenty of chocolate and coffee. Accents of vanilla and smoke. Good bitter bite. Everything meanders through the afterglow.

Smooth, slick medium-plus mouthfeel.

A nice tasty porter. Could use a little more of the vanilla.

Photo of mbs11
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of Chugs13
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of starkmarvelo
4.75/5  rDev +22.4%

Photo of gtermi
3.2/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: This beer pours a very dark brown, almost black body with a thin white head that quickly fades to nothing. The beer also leaves a tinny bit of lace on the side of the glass.

S: There is a good amount of vanilla on the nose, some roasted scents, which sort of remind me of Voodoo Maple Bacon. Nothing special to me.

T: The roasted flavors just don't do much for me. It just doesnt blend with the vanilla to me. The vanilla flavors do make this beer taste beer the more it lingers, but I feel it would have worked better without the roasted malt.

M: The beer has a nice crispness on the back of the tongue and throat as it goes down.

O: Just a miss for me.. It does have some nice qualities, but but this just isn't doing it for me. The flavors dont blend well together and its just is an average beer.

Photo of Holland
3.65/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: black with brown highlights and a thick tan head that becomes a nice lacing.

S: vanilla and smoke are obvious, but there's some sweetness and roasty notes too.

T: not as impressive as the smell, it still tastes like smoked malt and vanilla and roasty goodness.

M: thinner than I would like but decently carbonated

O: good beer overall, but for $4 per 12 ounce bottle at Binny's was not really worth it. Probably won't buy again, but enjoyed my experience.

Photo of RblWthACoz
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.

Photo of beerhan
2.75/5  rDev -29.1%

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.

Photo of carteravebrew
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of comfortablynumb1
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle

A - Pours a dark brown with a one finger tan head. Head retention is decent, and there is a little lacing to be had.

S - Vanilla and roast are prominate with some chocolate in the mix...

T - Vanilla and chocolate up front with roasted malt in the finish. Vanilla is present throughout, but never comes across as cloying...

M - Medium bodied, with a decent amount of carbonation. Pretty middle of the road...

O - An improvement over the original, but still not a great beer. Glad I got a chance to try this one, but probably not something I will be purchasing again...


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

A-Pours a bold black hue. Minimal to no light penetration. Head is two fingers high and fluffed mocha. Head retains perfectly and leaves plentiful lacing as a dowry.

S-The vanilla bean infusion is a big boost to the nose. It accentuates the chocolate and bitter coffee perfectly. Light smoke matched with vanilla extract. Very aromatic.

T-The vanilla bean and the smoke are perfect complements to one another. It starts off vanilla then the smoke obliterates the vanilla. Then the vanilla sneaks back up stronger than ever. Bitter espresso beans and dutch dark chocolate. I find this to be a noticeable upgrade in flavor than the original.

M-Medium bodied with a bitter finish. Dry and the booze does cut through the body a bit. Mellow bubbles.

O/D-The addition of the vanilla is a godsend here. The original Smoked Porter is still awesome, but this is simply an upgrade. The vanilla is delicious and really puts this one in a different class of complexity and deliciousness.

Photo of RuckusDu
3.82/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - A decent head of your average stout/porter color - light beige. Body is lighter as you find in a porter. A deep red/amber to it. Strong lacing.

S - Quite sweet and delicious. Tons of vanilla but mixed with some graham cracker. That's really all I'm getting.

T - A lot more bitterness to the flavor, but still those vanilla and graham cracker notes. Maybe a little molasses and cashew flavors.

M - Pretty solid body for a porter which may be the stronger carbonation.

O - It is a good beer, but nothing special. Some interesting flavors and all around well put together.

Smoked Porter - Vanilla Bean from Stone Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 2,137 ratings.