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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

1,822 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,822
Reviews: 472
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 13.11%
Wants: 56
Gots: 145 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: MiScusi on 08-31-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Smoked Porter - Vanilla Bean Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,822 | Reviews: 472 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of billshmeinke


3.38/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at Beachwood BBQ & Brewing in the LBC.

Very dark brown, almost black. Some amber hues at the esges. One finger of off white head. Great lacing and retention.

Smells of smoke dark malt and some vanilla extract.

Taste is just a big blast of vanilla up front, then some dark roasted malt, flavors are almost cola like.

Mouthfeel seems a bit thin despite good carbonation, kinda plays up the impression of cola like flavors.

Interesting, but the vanilla is a little too much. I'd recommend it to anyone with a serious sweet tooth and love of vanilla though.

Serving type: on-tap

11-04-2011 22:58:26 | More by billshmeinke
Photo of HopHead84


4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4


A: Dark brown with a reddish tinge near the edges.

S: Aromatic vanilla blends with dark chocolate and roasted malt. Smoke is light and redolent of beech wood.

T: Roasted malt with a pervasive beech wood smokiness and a pronounced vanilla bean flavor. The vanilla is pretty awesome with this beer. Chocolate is evident.

M: Medium body with upper moderate carbonation.

Overall: An improvement upon an already good beer.

Serving type: on-tap

10-31-2011 02:43:23 | More by HopHead84
Photo of MrTopher


3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this from the brewery, served in a pint glass.

A – Pours a dark brown, almost black but not into the abyss. Nice off white head resonates and adds a decent lacing as its enjoyed.

S – The nose on this beer isn’t 100% in the open, there is some roast and a faint smell of vanilla, but its very faint. Always waiting for more, but never built up to anything.

T – Rich dark malt that I have come as the standard from Stone Smoked Porter, and then suddenly you get that mild hint of Vanilla. And the vanilla adds just a very mild and simple sweetness. Flavor makes up for the smell dramatically.

M – Very balanced nothing overly thick or thin, right in the middle.

O – Do I like this more than the standard SP, maybe… Just the addition of the vanilla makes it a little more complex and adds something really nice. Would be nice if they Bourbon Barrel Aged this version and then bottles it and added it to the 500ml series.

Serving type: growler

10-24-2011 19:31:43 | More by MrTopher
Photo of Spider889


4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Black, thin, with a finger of sandy head. Nice spidery lace.

Smells like vanilla soft serve with very light smoke, and some blackened malt.

Tastes goddamn delicious. Smoke comes through much more than in the aroma, though I would really like to see this beer get even smokier. Ash also presents itself, but the vanilla bean in king. This tastes like Breyer's French Vanilla ice cream with some mild toasty chocolate flavor on the back end.

Medium body to this porter, thin texture, with a bit of dull bitterness. The alcohol seems a bit boozy for the mere 6% abv. The vanilla also adds an oily character to the beer.

Overall I felt that this was an awesome example of what vanilla can do for a beer.

Serving type: on-tap

10-05-2011 07:55:40 | More by Spider889
Photo of adamette


3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Live review. Poured on tap at Winking Lizard in Peninsula, Oh for $4.60 into a clean, clear pint glass.

A Very dark brown body that I cannot see through under a creamy, light brown head. Look is pleasing. Great lacing on the inside of the glass after repeated sips. 4.0

S Not much smell at all. Really, repeated sniffs reveal very little information. The faintest dark roast malt and no vanilla beans like I had been hoping to smell. 2.0

T Very good porter taste of dark roast malt balanced with a nice pleasing vanilla sweetness. I really enjoy the taste of this beer. 4.5

M Moderate thickness. I think that I would have appreciated a little bit more smoothness or creaminess to the feel. It is a bit thin. 3.5

D Because of the ultimately pleasing taste this is an easy drinker. Also the manageable ABV of 5.9% makes it easy to handle repeated pints. 4.5

Notes: Glad that I got to try this one, my first “Vanilla Bean” beer.

Serving type: on-tap

09-23-2011 02:20:14 | More by adamette
Photo of metter98

New York

4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
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 beerpirates


4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap @ moeder lambic " zwanze day "

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

09-17-2011 16:34:03 | More by beerpirates
Photo of nrbw23


4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours pretty much a black color with a touch of red around the edges. A solid little head of tan foam. Head has pretty solid retention and leaves some spotty lacing at best.

S- Roasted malts, chocolate, and a bit of hops. The smoke is toned down quite a bit in this one from the regular version. Vanilla is here but not as much as I expected.

T- Ok there is the vanilla much more noticeable in the taste and I'm digging this. The smoke is taken back probably several notches. A touch of coffee and a bit of hop bitterness.

M- Fuller side of medium in body and carbonation was pretty nice.

O- I really enjoyed this one, so much that I ordered a second.

Serving type: on-tap

09-09-2011 10:35:52 | More by nrbw23
Photo of mattcrill


4.18/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma: Nice light cocoa aroma up front. Very light sweet vanilla notes. No fruity esters. Not detecting any smokey or any other porter-like characteristics.

Appearance: Dark brown with shoe leather highlights. Sticky off-white head that retains well.

Flavor: Pleasant soft-vanilla and cocoa notes persist as in the aroma. Bittersweet chocolate character is the theme throughout. Earthy hop bitterness provides the understated counterpoint. Finish is clean and dry. Smokiness lingers in the aftertaste but not a punch in the face as in other smoked styles.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Slightly creamy and no alcohol character.

Overall impression: Nicely done. The smoke and vanilla provide nice accents and don't over-power the beer. I appreciated how subdued they could be and still highlight the amazing quality and drinkability of this beer. Well done.

Serving type: on-tap

09-04-2011 18:24:50 | More by mattcrill
Photo of Hoptometrist


3.05/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served on tap into a nonic glass at the Winking Lizard

A- Poured black with a one finger frothy head that left some lace

S- Very potent aroma, big vanilla, lavender, and floral notes. No chocolate or coffee

T- A ton of vanilla, lavender, floral, and perfume like flavors with a little bit of smoke on the finish

M- Pretty thin for a porter and overcarbonated for my taste in the style

O- This beer tasted like if a vanilla bean and lavender air freshener made love in a field of flowers. Where are the roasty notes, coffee, and chocolate? This one just did not do it for me.

Serving type: on-tap

09-02-2011 03:07:34 | More by Hoptometrist
Photo of jmeyers78


3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Winking Lizard served in nonic pint glass.

A- dark brown almost black with a thin white head. Served in a chilled glass so I tried to let it warm up a bit

S - Mostly vanilla. I picked up a slight aroma of malt but not much

T- as this beer warmed up it went from a mostly vanilla taste that masked the underlying smoked porter to a more blended taste. This beer is much better at 55 degrees than ice cold. As the beer warmed I could taste roasted malts and the smoke but when it's cold all I could taste was vanilla. It was almost like that strange vanilla coke from a few years back.

M - Nice creamy, thick mouthfeel. Stone usually gets this right on their beer.

O - I really wished this would've been served warmer. I spent a third of the glass really thinking Stone missed the mark. After it warmed up I really began to enjoy it.

Serving type: on-tap

09-01-2011 18:39:57 | More by jmeyers78
Photo of DTJPPR


4.28/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tasting notes from 08-26-2011, in a growler from Stone the same day.

A - Poors the usual dark, almost black color with a decent 1.5 finger brown head that fades slowly and leaves nice lacing.

S - Light hints of vanilla and coffee on the nose, very nice. Also some malty, biscuity scents that compliment the vanilla quite well.

T - The scent of this beer hints largely to what it tastes like. There is a strong coffee and vanilla flavor mixed with a bit of biscuity, almost graham cracker flavor. There is just a hint of smokiness on the back end that combines to make the beer taste like a Mud Pie. In fact, that's pretty much the perfect way to describe this beer, especially when it is served closer to room temperature. The coffee and vanilla dominate mostly everything, but some of the maltiness pushes through near the end. It is very nice, almost like an ice cream float mixed with beer(which I understand is where the idea came from).

M - Has a decent, heavy mouthfeel and is decently carbonated like most Stone brews.

O - This is a fantastic idea for a beer, and I kept on drinking it through the night after my initial tasting notes. Very easy to drink, and easy to tuck into a whole 2-liter growler full of the stuff. Although the smokiness is gone, and I agree with other folks on here that maybe they should take the word "smoked" off of the beer, but I also understand that this is one of their special editions, so I can't base it truly to the original. I enjoyed drinking this one and am likely to get another fill next time its available.

Serving type: growler

08-28-2011 22:44:36 | More by DTJPPR
Photo of DarthKostrizer


4.45/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Cask at Churchill's

Look: Black with brown laces on top and bottom a beautiful 1 inch head with great retention and some nice lace

Smell: The sweetness from the vanilla completely masks the smokiness that I love about the orginal version but the sweetness of the vanilla with the chocolate and coffee is amazing

Taste: Vanilla is upfront and in full force to the point that it is really really sweet not at all like the regular version. The smoke is completely gone when cold but as the beer warms it shows up but just in trace amounts. The backend carries some chocolate and coffee

Mouthfeel: Medium body with medium carbonation and real silky feel to it. Perfect

Overall: Really good beer but all the orginal version is missing. Is that a bad thing no but I was hoping that the vanilla would blend better with the smoke instead of just hiding it.

Serving type: cask

08-26-2011 01:25:14 | More by DarthKostrizer
Photo of ehammond1

4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

Dark brown with just the faintest amount of visibility through the beer. Big, dark, khaki brown head and plenty of lacing down the glass. A near perfect appearance.

Roasted malts and chocolate in the nose and sweet, earthy vanilla. Wonderful!

The flavor is not at all smoky, like the original base beer. Instead, this is a roasty, chocolatey, vanilla masterpiece.

Velvety, smooth, full mouthfeel.

A wonderful base beer made much, much better by the vanilla bean and cask.

Serving type: cask

08-24-2011 19:19:28 | More by ehammond1
Photo of notchucknorris


3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Black with a very thin light brown head.

S: Lots of nice vanilla on the nose. It doesn't smell overly sweet or artificial, which is a really good thing.

T: I'm really not a fan of the smoked porter, but this is way way better. Nice chocolate and vanilla flavors, which mellow out the harsh smokiness of the original version. Pretty nice.

Review from bottle 7/3

A: Pours black with a thin tan head. Massive amounts of lacing down the glass.

S: I get a good amount of roasted malt, cola nut, vanilla and maybe a hint of chocolate.

T: Lots of vanilla upfront, but luckily it doesn't taste very artificial. Roasted malt and coffee with a good amount of smokiness towards the finish. Lots of dark roasted coffee on the finish.

Serving type: on-tap

08-22-2011 15:20:30 | More by notchucknorris
Photo of MrVonzipper


4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On Cask @ Churchill's after Stone 15th Anniversary
Dark brown almost black with a perfect foamy cask head with phenomenal retention and lacing like Guinness. 

Vanilla dominates the nose. But nice vanilla. Very little if any smoke. Dark malt whilch combined with the almost resembles French oak.

Vanilla is dominant up front. Very nice and good amount vanilla not overwhelming but substantial. Smokes very mild but on the back end and only as the beer warms. Excellent flavor. 

Medium bodied. Smooth creamy thick yet light creamy. Mild creamy carbonation.

Overall this beer is excellent. Although it'd make sense if they just took the "Smoked" out of the title because there just is not enough smoke to stand up to the vanilla and I wish there was. But the beer is very good and a very easy drink. Especially on cask.

Serving type: cask

08-22-2011 05:45:51 | More by MrVonzipper
Photo of vette2006c5r

South Dakota

3.63/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Stone porter with Vanilla bean, poured black with a decent size white head. The smell was similar to that of a urnal cake, and was rather offesnive. The taste was full of vinilla. Very little porter like taste, just alot of vanilla. Very strong flavor, good carbonation. Overall a very unquie beer, STRONG overpowering vanilla flavors, if you dont LOVE vanilla you will not like this beer, luckly for me I do.

Serving type: on-tap

07-18-2011 05:41:46 | More by vette2006c5r
Photo of dbmernin83


4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's a porter. It's dark. Great 1 inch khaki head that lasts.
Roasted espresso and vanilla.
Espresso with some dark chocolate and a vanilla finish.
Good carbonation and not too heavy for the big flavor.
This is a great porter. The vanilla smooths things out and makes this even more drinkable than the normal stone smoked porter

Serving type: on-tap

07-09-2011 07:06:17 | More by dbmernin83
Photo of FARGO619


5/5  rDev +28.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

BASED ON NOTES: Tried late last year during SDBW.
A: Nice solid dark beer. Served shamelessly in a chilled pint glass...bastards!

S: Vanilla, vanilla, and a little vanilla. Chocolate, coffee was present.

T: Alwesome beer. The gravity of this beer was mild, and a light/medium body that just went down with ease. Went well with pizza that we ordered it with.

O: Top porters for sure. Great beer for any special occasion.

Serving type: on-tap

06-24-2011 15:57:38 | More by FARGO619
Photo of jale


3.43/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

had on tap at Crunchy's in East Lansing.

A: Pours dark brown with two quarters of tan head.

S: Light smoked malt, chocolate and some roasted coffee.

T: Upfront bitter chocolate followed by mild smoked malt and slight bitter coffee finish.

M: On the lighter side of Medium with average carbonation.

O: Not as thick as I would like for the style

Serving type: on-tap

06-10-2011 23:10:10 | More by jale
Photo of WestValleyIPA


4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Tieman for this! Poured from a growler into my Duvel tulip (which I later broke). Very dark, almost black, with a cherry cola colored bottom 1/4 of the glass. About 2 fingers of off white head. Sticky sticky lacing and pretty nice head retention. Vanilla blast up the nose plus coffee. Almost like an iced vanilla latte. LOVE. A little sweet milk chocolate. Bright bitter coffee flavor up front, a little vanilla in the middle. Not nearly as much as on the nose. A surprising amount of burnt bitterness on the finish. Very drying, with very small prickly bubbles. Great beer.

Serving type: growler

05-24-2011 05:48:15 | More by WestValleyIPA
Photo of CHickman

New York

4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tasting notes from 2/26/11 (growler): pours pitch black with a creamy/foamy 1 finger tan head that faded very slowly and left great lacing sticking to the glass, leaving rings as it went down; really nice lacing that stayed right where it was as the beer went down.

Smells of coffee, vanilla, toasted grains, roasted malt, burnt wood, smoky peat, cocoa, alcohol sweetness like bourbon or rum, and earthy tones like mulch and hay, and then some licorice. Very nice nose overall.

Tastes like it smells, with coffee grinds, vanilla, sweet malt, toasted grains, burnt smoked wood, smoky peat, cocoa, chocolate, caramel and a slight bite of alcohol; a very sweet porter that's smoky and loaded with vanilla notes that are sweet and yet it's still very malty and tasty. The vanilla beans add an excellent dynamic to this beer.

Mouthfeel is light and smooth, with little to no carbonation, an overall malt sweetness lead by the vanilla and coffee, and an almost watery feel for a beer that comes off as heavy in both flavor and aroma.

Highly drinkable porter that is easy to drink and extremely tasty, which makes this a dangerous combo for a porter. A high recommendation as I loved this porter and how easy it was to put down or sip and savor.

10/18/2012-had a 12 oz bottle and it was just as tasty as it was last year; it seemed very mellow with nice, rich roasted coffee and vanilla beans that trailed off with a slight bitterness. The low ABV makes this so easy to drink while remaining packed with flavor. I liked it so much that I'm pushing the flavor rating up to 4.5.

Serving type: growler

05-22-2011 03:35:48 | More by CHickman
Photo of chicano4craft


3.18/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at Uptown Brother's...

Pours very dark with some amber on the edges. Lighting wasn't very good so I could be off. Minimal head with no real lacing.

Nose is all vanilla. Extremly hard to pick out the smoke or any of the other qualities the regular Smoke Porter has.

Taste is as expected...hugh vanilla. It dominates through out. There's the faintest hint of smoke, but you really got to hold it on the tongue to find it.

I'm not a fan of vanilla in my beer. However, I did hope for more with this beer. I wanted the vanilla to more subtle and compliment the smoke and roasted malt I enjoy in the reuglar porter. As my friend said "It was an experience." It just wasn't a very good one.

Serving type: on-tap

05-16-2011 20:49:59 | More by chicano4craft
Photo of d4114


3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

April 28th 2011-

Wow super strong smell with the vanilla beans it almost takes over all the other smells, I personally really enjoy it though. Taste follows the nose really strong vanilla flavor, really good, pretty rich though. Overall I liked this a lot and would get it again. I could see if someone didn't like this though because I can see it getting overwhelming after a whole glass.

Serving type: on-tap

05-12-2011 00:31:25 | More by d4114
Photo of ChugginOil


4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Stone smoke porter w/ vanilla beans.

Served @ Dark Lord Day 2011

Pours very dark brown with a lot of amber edging. Barely any head, spotty lacing.

The scent is of vanilla up front mixed with some oak and amoke. Roasty malts linger.

The taste follows the nose closely. Roastiness up front followed by vanilla, oak and a bit of smoke.

The mouthfeel is a bit thin but has a decent amount of carbonation.

Overall, a nice twist on the Stone Smoked Porter. More enjoyable than the regular.

Serving type: on-tap

05-10-2011 00:59:07 | More by ChugginOil
Smoked Porter - Vanilla Bean from Stone Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 1,822 ratings.