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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

2,214 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,214
Reviews: 530
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 12.63%
Wants: 98
Gots: 289 | 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:
Beer added by: MiScusi on 08-31-2007

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,214 | Reviews: 530 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of eorwar
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

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

This one poured with a thick, two finger, creamy tan head that took forever to dissipated. Once the head dissipated, it left lots of lacing on the pint glass. The body was a dark brown color with no visible carbonation throughout the body. The nose was smoke primarily and vanilla secondary. Generally speaking, this was a pretty mild nose. The taste started off all vanilla, which muted almost everything else. The smoke came through much later and lasted until the finish. There wasn’t enough roasted malts on the taste and way too much vanilla. The body was thick with moderate carbonation. Shockingly, the beer presented with a quick finish with vanilla. This was alright, but nothing amazing. I wouldn’t rush back to have again.

Photo of Teleweizen2
4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A - pours a deep dark almost black color but turns out to be more of a very dark chocolatey brown. Turns to a bright ruby red when backlit. Thick light tan foam on top which quickly dissipates to a film with a ring around the rim.

S - the aroma seems stronger than classic stone smoked porter. the vanilla beans seem to dominate this beer. they evoke notes of heavy cream, vanilla milk shakes, and starbucks style coffee drinks. smoke is almost not present. just a wisp in the background. the black malt base provides and interesting juxtaposition to the vanilla beans. soft notes of city roast coffee and chocolate add a depth of aroma that is almost like mixing vanilla and chocolate ice cream.

T - smooth chocolate malty flavor up front with just an edge of smoke. Smoke mingles with an earthy hop bitterness. Light notes of vanilla beans throughout. Finish is a bit muted with slight hints of coffee.

M - medium bodied with a slightly watery texture with medium prickly carbonation.

O - this is a real nice dessert beer. The nose is just fantastic though the hops seem to be a bit too high as far as flavors go. Went fairly well with my dad's birthday cake which was coldstone's midnight delight.

Edit - just drank a bomber of the latest batch and the aroma was outstanding but so different i had to update my review.

Photo of dasenebler
4.17/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Stone Smoked Porter w/ Vanilla
12oz. best before 9/20/12

Pours a very dark brown hue with a two-finger tan head. Average lacing and retention. (3.5)

Aroma has a good bit of vanilla, though it is balanced by a peaty, smoked malt character. Some oxidation and staleness, but overall very nice. (4)

This is the old Stone Smoked Porter I know and love, but taken to a new level of complexity. Chocolatey malt flavors bounce off of a well-balanced vanilla character. Dry, lingering finish of smoke and highly kilned malts. The vanilla character enhances the mouthfeel of the beer without hurting the drinkability that I feel was always the hallmark of Stone Smoked Porter. Could use a bit more carbonation, however. (4.5, 4)

Everything's in balance with this beer, and it's a joy to drink. Just wish I got it a bit fresher. (4)

Photo of CloudStrife
4.12/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a dark brown ruby with a 2 finger light whitish tan head that takes a couple of minutes to fizzle down. Leaves some good lacing on the sides. Thin layer of head throughout the glass.

S: Initially there is a lot of vanilla on the nose. Certainly a smokiness in the background blended with chocolate malts. A bit of dark fruits from the malt as well, raisin or plum. Almost a woody characteristic.

T: Smooth blend of smokey malts and vanilla bean. Pretty bold flavor, more smoke than I anticipated. Loads of chocolate malts make up the body. Vanilla is a little lost in the background providing a bit of a bite. Maybe a bit confused and muddled.

M: Medium body with low-average carbonation. Slightly watery but expected for a porter.

Overall a unique beer that is certainly worth a shot. Like the porter characteristics but the smoke and vanilla need something else to blend a little better.

Photo of Jmick28
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of JayDiddy
4.5/5  rDev +16%

Photo of JJFordick
4.5/5  rDev +16%

Photo of tdm168
3.91/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pitch black with a large, soft, bubbly, dense, brownish head that has great retention

S - very faint; roasted malts and light smokiness; not nearly as intense as I would have thought

T - sweet and smoky, vanilla, earthy, roasty, faint bitter coffee, cola; the vanilla plays well with the smokiness and takes some of the bitterness away from the roasted malts

M - medium to full bodied, well carbonated, a bit creamy

This is a nice, rich, complex beer. The smoked malt and vanilla are a great combination. The richness and sweetness actually add to the drinkability by playing down the bitterness. This is definitely worth a try.

Photo of depechemode1983
4.32/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours out dark brown in color. The head is tan with good density. Retention is moderate. No lacing on this one.

S - The nose is nice and roasted with just a little smoke. I Also get a hint of sweet chocolate and vanilla. Smells excellent.

T - So much going on. Roasted malt, coffee, sweet chocolate, a bit of smoke, and well placed vanilla. Everything melds together very nicely.

M - Creamy smooth, medium bodied and with playful carbonation.

O - Excellent stuff. Love the addition of vanilla. Hopefully the Chiptole one is just as good.

Photo of TC28
1/5  rDev -74.2%

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

A-dark brown black color with a nice tan head and good lacing

S-roasted malt, cocoa, hints of vanilla slight smokiness

T-dark roasted malt, chocolate, light smoky char, little vanilla

F-medium body with moderate carbonation

O-interesting but flavors not so well balanced

Photo of Travisnin
4.5/5  rDev +16%

Photo of server222
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of Philousa
3.3/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Inky black, but you can see it's not cloudy under the light, where it gives off a reddish brown hue. The head is typical for an American ale yeast, and I recommend a hard pour, as it dissipates to cover the top in patches. There is some thin lacing on the glass. Smokiness is apparent and meat-like. The vanilla is evidently vanilla bean, since it's not too weak or too syrupy. Malt aroma is filled with milk chocolate sweetness with a touch of roast. I even get a little spicy rye in there with a swirl. A drive by sniffing yields a sugary sweet vanilla reminiscent of a candy bar. Flavor starts with chocolate, but not as sweet as the aroma suggests. There is some pungent copper in there as well, pretty typical of a porter or very dark beer. The bitterness is strong for the style. I get a slightly piney and resinous thickness on the tongue. The spiciness is there in the flavor as well with some forcible oxidation (mouth sloshing). It's a biting kind of spice, like something you would put on a meat in the middle east. I assume this is the smoked malt coming out in the flavor. The flavor and feel is mostly smooth and silky despite the characteristics I named. Finish is dry.

This is not as good as what I've had on tap. I've had this particular beer on tap twice, once at the brewery and once in the bay area. Both times they were consistent and had much more vanilla flavor. On tap it resembled a milk stout from the vanilla perspective, but it still had a solid porter flavor profile underneath. This is very similar, but I feel that the vanilla is just not as present, and it takes away from the overall experience. I want more vanilla damnit! Protip: A good sloshing in the mouth really brings out the creaminess and aromatics. Much more pleasurable this way, though the bitterness is still a little too harsh for this sweet-leaning beer. This makes me want to try the chipotle version since this iteration didn't meet my expectations.

Photo of duxky
4/5  rDev +3.1%

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

I've had this beer a few times in a growler from Stone. I heard they were putting it in bottles, but I just happened to see one and grabbed it. I guess I could write 250 words if I actually poured this beer out of the 12 oz bottle... It's the dark beast that you expect, but it's punching you with vanilla, and you like it!

Photo of drinking12many
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of russwbeck
4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

$4.50 for a 12oz bottle.

A: Black pour with three or four fingers of very light brown head. Billowing almost, the head has large bubbles and could use a little bit better retention, but the lacing is very nice down the side of my Stone IRS glass.

S: Much sweeter aroma than the Smoked Porter (clearly). Big hits of vanilla blend very nicely with the smoked malts and chocolate. It almost smells like ice cream and is extremely inviting.

T: This certainly is an interesting taste, but I can't say it's as balanced as original Smoked Porter because it's too sweet. The sweetness starts right off the bat with vanilla bean assaulting the palate. The smokiness comes second, underscored by malt and chocolate. Coffee seems to linger at the backend. I must say I liked the Smoked Porter more. I like the new take on the beer and it really matches the taste of the Troegs Java Head "Beer Float" I had at Troegs Brewery, but the vanilla hinted towards artificial at points (not that I think it's artificial, I just think it was too much).

MF: The body again is lighter than most porters, but pretty similar to Smoked Porter. Nice and smooth, I'm glad this one was only 12oz and not 22oz because the sweetness got to me after a while.

O: This beer was tasty, and a nice new addition to Stone's line, but the vanilla beans didn't enhance the experience for me. Pick this up if you like vanilla, or really sweet beers!

Photo of zduerr
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of crobinso
2.75/5  rDev -29.1%

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint/tulip glass, can't find the usual bottle date. This pours a dark brown almost black color with a massive tan head. The smells are of vanilla bean, smoke, roasted malts. The feel is medium. The taste is okay, not as good as their regular porter, you have the loads of vanilla almost overdone, the smokey flavors and then some roasted malts. Not bad, but not great.

Photo of ADTaber
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of rawfish
3.56/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a few shades off black with a creamy tan head of two fingers. Average retention and terrific looking lacing.

Roasted and chocolate malts, foundation is very strong with slight notes of vanilla bean. Roast is almost charcoal with underlying sweetness. Vanilla really comes out as the beer warms.

Roasted malt with a bit of charcoal and ash. Like alot of Stone brews this one is also well hopped with pine and herbal bitterness coming out on the back end that really brings forward the smoked malt as the beer dries. Vanilla flavor really doesn't stand out, I feel it acts more to mellow out the intense smoke early in the drink.

Average body and carbonation. Dries really well with some charred acidity on the floow through. Really easy to put down.

I was expecting more vanilla bean in the flavor but Stone stays true to it's roots with a strong hop profile that provides bitterness and balance to the power of roasted and smoked flavors.

Photo of HopsintheSack
3/5  rDev -22.7%

Smoked Porter - Vanilla Bean from Stone Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 2,214 ratings.