1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Smoked Porter - Vanilla Bean - Stone Brewing Co.

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,246 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,246
Reviews: 539
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 12.63%
Wants: 100
Gots: 302 | 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
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 2,246 | Reviews: 539
Photo of flagmantho
4.35/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: rich, dark brown with ruby highlights. Body seems to be haze-free. Head is a finger of frothy tan foam. A good-looking beer!

Smell: smooth, chocolatey aroma with a hint of vegetal hops at the end. The vanilla and smoke are definitely there, but they are very subtle and play a great role bringing out the chocolatey and malty qualities. I like it.

Taste: the chocolate and vanilla work together wonderfully. This beer is smooth and flavorful, but never over-the-top. Vanilla can be a double-edged sword, and in this beer it's handled masterfully. I really love it.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a nicely integrated carbonation and a very smooth creaminess. The more I drink it, the more I like the velvety smoothness ... great!

Overall: a very good beer that I would be glad to quaff over and over again. Love it!

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

Smoked Porter w/Vanilla Bean poured into a pint glass.

Two fingers of khaki head top a coffee-colored beer. Translucency passes red light through a dark brown brew. Head is a-keepin'.

Smells smoky-sweet. Lots of vanilla coming through in the aroma. Roasted malts offer some nuttiness (walnut). There's a light saltiness and a whiff of milk chocolate. Smells absolutely dreamy.

There's still a bitter, rough-and-tumble malt bill with savory smoke and meaty chew, but it's swirled with sweet vanilla bean notes and a hint of baker's chocolate. It remains fairly dry with rugged porter malts. The vanilla bean addition totally makes this. Light coffee, pumpernickel bread, and robust tobacco all push through at times. A delectable porter.

Super-smooth body and a sizzling carb that keeps each gulp alive and kicking. I could see myself drinking several in one night had I the privilege.

This is merely an American Porter, folks. Easily scores higher than many. Such a unique beer. Would love to try the Chipotle pepper version.

Photo of Andrerhausen
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

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

Appearance - Pours a deep, dark ruby brown with a light tan, finger width head. Average retention, but the resulting lace is fairly thick and with good stick.

Smell - Strong notes of vanilla and chocolate; any smoke notes are subtle, masked well by the sweet vanilla aroma.

Taste - Predominate chocolate and vanilla up front. Subtle smokiness and a fair amount of hop bitterness do well to provide nice balance. Subtle coffee undertones. Finishes bittersweet.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, with decent carbonation. Smooth and drinkable.

Overall - I'm a fan of the regular Stone Smoked Porter, but I've always felt it lacked that extra kick - the vanilla provides it here. Though the smoke is masked by it's sweetness, the overall flavor profile is a bit more interesting, in my opinion. If I were head of Stone, this would be the porter I release year 'round.

Photo of ThePaleRider
3.87/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Looks similar to black coffee with an nice off white head. Head doesn't last long and fades down to a light film.

S - Vanilla right in your face. Not overpowering but very present. Malts hiding in the back along with a little bit of coffee and chocolate.

T - Vanilla isn't nearly as strong as I thought it was going to be. Blends really well with the malts. Still picking up some chocolate in there, even some hops lingering around on the back end. I had low expectations for this beer since I'm not a huge vanilla fan, but this is a pleasant surprise.

M - Medium bodied with nice carbonation.

O - Pleasant surprise from Stone and a much better showing than their chipotle pepper porter.

Photo of pumaguy021
3.25/5  rDev -16.2%

Photo of beesy
3.87/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a Founders snifter.

A - pours a medium to medium dark brown that is somewhat clear. A finger and a quarter of medium khaki colored head appears from the depths. A fair amount of lacing as the drink progresses.

S - sweet vanilla paired with an earthy, smokey profile of chocolate and roast malts.

T - slightly a acrid with coffee and dark bakers chocolate the melds into a slight sweetness with the vanilla showing up mid palate and lasting throughout. A noticeable bitterness on the late palate, some attributed to the dark malts no doubt. The vanilla almost tastes artificial but I'm leaning towards not. I make a mean ass creme brûlée with real vanilla beans and I'm always shocked at how artifical they taste without some sugar to lend some sweetness. As it warms, the acrid smokiness becomes more apparent, making it less enjoyable.

M - slightly thin for the style, but just a tad so. Firmly carbed as its easy to build a Head back up from a couple swirls of the glass. Maybe leading to a touch of carbonic bite that doesn't play we'll with the smoke.

D - medium. The smokey and sweetnes of the vanilla keep it from being enjoyed too quickly.

Overall, a pretty solid beer. I can't say I enjoy it more than the non-flavored smoked porter Stone puts out, but its an interesting change. For some reason the smoke seems more acrid than in the "traditional" version. A touch less acrid smoke and maybe a touch of sweetness would help balance the vanilla making it more enjoyable.

Photo of JayQue
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice Porter. A lot of Vanilla beers are overdone with vanilla. This one has a more subdued vanilla. Pours a dark brown color into a pint glass. Lots of red highlights on the sides and bottom of the glass. Good size light tan head with excellent retention and thick bands of lacing,

Smell is roasted malt and vanilla.

Taste is the same. Definitely a good Porter flavor with roasted malts. The vanilla is vry evident but not over the top. If there was a smoky taste it was probably masked by the vanilla.

Mouthfeel is crisp and rich. Very appropriate for a Porter. A little sweet but not too much. I had it with Krinerwurst, bratwust and German potato salad. The beer was an excellent complement to the meal. I would drink this again.

Photo of TheRealBigC
3.63/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Being a fan of Stone's Smoked Porter, I was thrilled to give this one a shot. At first, I could barely smell or taste the vanilla. It was extremely disappointing. But as the beer warmed a little, the vanilla started to come through - dominant in the nose, underlying in the flavor. It does seem to smooth out the taste of the Smoked Porter, but I do feel like more vanilla would be nice. It's not terribly different from the original, though I'd like to think on tap it would be creamier and the vanilla would be stronger. I will definitely give it another go then. As a bottle purchase, to pay the same for a 12oz. of this as a bomber of the regular, I'd probably just go with the regular, because this just isn't worth the extra cost. Still a really tasty beer.

Photo of willjschmidt
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of CaptDavyJones
4/5  rDev +3.1%

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

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, best before 9/20/2012. Pours slightly hazy dark reddish brown color with a nice 2 finger dense light khaki head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Nice soapy lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of big vanilla bean, toffee, caramel, toasted malt, chocolate, cream, and light herbal. Very nice aromas with good strength and balance. Taste of vanilla, chocolate, caramel, toffee, roasted malt, cream, light smoke, light citrus, and earthy hops. Light bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of vanilla, toffee, caramel, chocolate, roasted malt, light smoke, and earthy spiciness. Nice balance of vanilla and roasted flavors with hop bitterness; no cloying flavors at all. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly creamy and lightly crisp mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming after the finish. Overall this is a very nice vanilla porter. Nice amounts of vanilla flavor with good balance; very smooth to drink. Very enjoyable as expected.

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

Poured into a pint glass.

Dark brown with reddish-brown highlights. Has 1 finger of tan head that dissipates quickly. Decent lacing.

Milk chocolate, vanilla, smoke, Cola and caramel.

Smokey wood tones are still in the forefront. Underlying notes of bitter dark chocolate, charcoal and Cola. Only a tiny hint of vanilla is apparent which is disappointing. I guess that’s why the bottle says “w/ Vanilla Bean” instead of it being plural.

Medium bodied, clean and smooth.

Superior to the standard and Chipotle versions of Smoked Porter in my opinion, but not by much. Although there isn’t a whole lot of vanilla flavor, the vanilla bean(s) seemed to have really smoothed out this beer and brought out some more chocolate flavors.

Photo of iwantsomerocks
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of tree777
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

Photo of davey101
3.6/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Trying side by side against the Chipotle. 2012, 12 oz bottle into a snifter glass.

A - Very dark brown body that lets just the slightest bit of light through to reveal a red tinge. Thin light tan head with some edging and a splotchy cap. Decent lacing and retention.

S - Smokey and sweet. Certainly roasted and smoked malts, a bit of milk chocolate and coffee beans, and a pleasant vanilla warmth. Has a very candy like aroma. Milk Duds maybe?

T - Smoked malts, milk chocolate, lingering but faint vanilla sweetness. Pleasant but simple. Mouth feel is on the thin side.

O - Not a bad beer. The vanilla is certainly present, but in an almost candy like fashion. I do prefer the excitement that the chipotle version brings though.

Photo of prototypic
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The vanilla bean variation of Smoked Porter pours a darker mahogany color. It’s nowhere close to opaque. Plenty of light cuts through and reveals nice garnet highlights. A rather modest tan head covers the top. It’s enough to cover the surface, but doesn’t rise far above that. It disappeared quickly, leaving a light, spotty lacing in its wake.

The nose is a little light, but is pretty good. More strength would easily improve it. It features a nice mix of cocoa-ish chocolate malt and a hint of the roasted variety. It’s definitely smoky, but it’s not overdone. Works really well with the malty notes. There is a bit of a vanilla scent, but it’s definitely secondary to the smoke and malts. It’s a nice touch though. Works pretty well. Alcohol is definitely buried and isn’t really noticeable. Not big shock. Smells pretty good.

The flavor is a notch better. The malt base is mostly cocoa-ish chocolate. There is a light roasty flavor, but chocolate comes through stronger. The smoky flavor is really nice. It’s moderately strong and plays its complementary role extremely well. It’s not overpowering at all. There’s a bit of coffee here, too. Vanilla is a little more pronounced here and its presence has a very positive impact on the overall flavor. It adds a little sweetness, but isn’t at odds with the smoky flavor. It’s good. Alcohol is buried. Finishes smoky, a little sweet, and with just a touch of coffee.

The body is definitely lighter. Carbonation is light and feels nice and soft. It needs a bit more body to really feel smooth, but it’s not bad at all. Goes down easy for sure.

Vanilla bean has a nice impact on Stone’s Smoked Porter. I thought it might be a bit at odds with the smoky side, but it’s not really. It certainly takes a backseat to it, but it works out pretty well. I enjoyed it. Well worth picking up a bottle.

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Central Waters snifter.

A: deep dark brown in color as expected. Aggressive pour leads to a 1 finger latte colored head. Lacing is spotty but present.

S: strong notes of vanilla, cocoa, smokey malts and some sweet malts

T: big time vanilla notes take over the flavor with a touch of smoke and toasted malts. Tastes like a boozy cream soda.

M: creamy feel. Perfect carbonation.

O: a solid beer with very interesting flavored although a bit on the pricy side.

Photo of smokeypeat
3.01/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Been looking forward to this one as I love smoked beers and vanilla. The regular Stone smoked porter is solid so hoping this special treatment will be even better.

Pours a deep dark brown color into glass. Some ruby color to the edges when held up to light.
A light tan head that hovers around 1/2 finger with some lacing on glass.

Smell on this one isn't what I expected. Getting lots of artificial vanilla. Some light roast coffee notes, just the slightest whiff of smoke.

Taste doesn't deliver what I hoped. Vanilla is front and center but it's not a full experience. It tastes "cheaper" than I thought it would like it's an off brand artificial vanilla. It also masks the vast bulk of the smoke and breakfast coffee type flavors I like in the regular version of this.

Mouthfeel really hurts this beer even more. Way too thin, seems very watery for the style. Plays up the cheap overall feel of the beer.

This one was a let down. Maybe if my expectations weren't as high I would have like this beer more, but as it stands I wouldn't seek out again.

Photo of UWBadgerFan4Life
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of axeman9182
3.41/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, poured into my Brooklyn Brewery tulip.

Stone's Smoked Porter with Vanilla Beans pours black, with a couple ruby red highlights shining through. Almost two fingers of khaki colored foam crown the beer, before fading slowly. The head proves to be fairly sticky too, leaving lots of lacing behind. The nose has a bit each of dark chocolate and smoke. The predominant aroma though is of vanilla. I wish it was just a little bit less overpowering. Similarly, the flavor profile leads off with a nice interplay between dry, roasty, dark chocolate and a light smoke character. Straight vanilla then comes in for the back end and the finish. As much as I like vanilla, it works much better when it's supporting and contrasting with other flavors. Here the vanilla is just on its own, and it comes across as a bit cloying as it lingers on my palate. The body is on the dry side for a porter, but it works just fine. The carbonation comes off as just a little bit low though. My recollection of having prior (draft only) batch of vanilla bean aged smoked porter is of a better beer than the one in my glass tonight. I like the composite parts, but the vanilla just is not well integrated into the final product.

Photo of GennyCreamAle
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of adam42381
4.09/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a Spiegelau tulip. Enjoy by 9/20/12 etched on label. Thanks to iHeartBeer247 for this one. Drinking it on it's best by date.

Appearance: Pours a dark chestnut brown with a 1 finger light tan head. Nice lacing. Not quite as dark as I'd expect from a porter.

Smell: Sweet vanilla, milk chocolate and smokey malt.

Taste: Milk chocolate and a bit of vanilla bean up front followed by semi-sweet chocolate in the middle before ending with a nice combination of smokey malt and bitter hops at the finish. Aftertaste is dry, fairly bitter and a little smokey with just a hint of vanilla peaking through.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: Very good drinkability. Goes down quite smooth. You could easily drink multiples, especially on a cool evening (which this is not).

Overall: Very good beer overall. I'm very happy that I was able to try this one. The aroma was better than the flavor, but that's not saying the flavor wasn't quite good. I really enjoyed this one and I hope they bring it back (and ship some to this part of Florida). I'd definitely recommend trying this one if you get the chance.

Photo of Hopmodium
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of bkrbdan
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Smoked Porter - Vanilla Bean from Stone Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 2,246 ratings.