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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.
BA SCORE
87
very good

1,886 Ratings
THE BROS
88
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,886
Reviews: 472
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 12.85%
Wants: 62
Gots: 154 | 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
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Ratings: 1,886 | Reviews: 472 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jera1350
3.58/5  rDev -8%

Solid black in color with a thin ring of sandy colored foam around the glass.

Light smoke, hint of vanilla extract, but not much.

Tasty porter with light smoked malt presence. Where is that vanilla? There is some very light vanilla extract flavor, but you really need to dig deep to get it past the smoke and base porter. Too subtle for me.

Dry, yet smooth with a medium body. Goes down nicely.

I really wish the vanilla was more prominent here. This doesn't really do much more for me than the regular smoked porter. Just too subtle and it left me wanting more vanilla. By no means a bad beer however.

jera1350, Mar 31, 2011
Photo of nickfl
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%

A - One finger of if white foam on an opaque, black body. Ok retention and good lace.

S - Light smoke and some thick toffee. Notes of mocha and molasses with a distinct vanilla character.

T - Brown toffee and caramel up front. Some molasses in the middle with a hint of coffee appearing and vanilla starting to show through. The finish is full of chocolate and coffee with nutty vanilla and lingering smoke.

M - Moderately thick body, moderate carbonation, and a sweet finish.

D - Very nice, the smoke and vanilla combine nicely with the dark, sugary malt. It is a bit too sugary for my taste however and I really can't imagine drinking more than one in a sitting.

nickfl, Mar 27, 2011
Photo of vfgccp
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%

- Pardon the abbreviated review, this was sampled at a free Stone tasting. Special thanks to Big Z's in Huntington NY -

A - Deep cola brown. Bone white head.

S - Soft vanilla icecream and creme brulee.

T - Cream soda, vanilla, coffee, cream, toast. Touch of hazel nut and cedar smoke.

M - Cedar backend. Touch bitter. Semi-dry finish.

vfgccp, Mar 11, 2011
Photo of BretSikkink
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Some clarity around the edges of this black brew. Topped with some white foam. Vanilla does waft up out of the glass, somewhat chalky aroma of cocoa and a hint of smoke. Not overly boozy, always a good sign with these flavored porters.

Definitely a lot going on with this one. Malts lead the way, with chocolate, coffee, and smoke in that order. Vanilla is surprisingly strong and mostly non-cloying. Fairly dry all around, finishes slightly bitter but also fairly sweet. Body is medium, could ask for a little more but fine for a porter.

Drinkable and complex. Nice combination.

BretSikkink, Mar 01, 2011
Photo of Gmann
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%

The porter pours a very dark brown color with a short dense khaki colored head that settles into a light ring.

The aroma is straight up on the vanilla bean. There are some brown sugar and caramel notes as well. I don't pick up much if any smoke, seems that the vanilla is overpowering it.

Very strong vanilla flavor, quite bold. The smoke does pop through in the flavor but adds only some charred bitterness. The malt also brings some toast flavors. A little disappointed that the smoke is overwhelmed but it is still a tasty porter.

Moderate body with tingly carbonation. Sweet on the palate but there is strong roasted/smoke bitterness that helps balance out the beer.

I like the beer, tastes good, however I am a bit disappointed that the smoke was so overpowered by the vanilla. Good but much better smoked porters out there.

Gmann, Feb 28, 2011
Photo of AwYeh
3.1/5  rDev -20.3%

On-tap at Ray's in Kent, Ohio.

A: Dark brown, almost black, with less than a finger of tan head.

S: Roasted malts and a huge kick of vanilla, which is much more noticeable than the smoke in this variation.

T: HUGE vanilla notes; bits of chocolate, roasted malts, and dark fruit are noticeable behind them but only after careful observation and consideration. Very enjoyable for the first half of the glass; not so much for the second half.

M: Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation, which lends the beer a creaminess that greatly benefits it.

D: While I liked the vanilla flavor at first, a pint of this at the bar was just too much to fully enjoy. The sweetness in this one developed into a very cloying taste during the second half of the beer, and I had some trouble finishing it after the novelty wore off. If I see this again, maybe I'll just ask for a sample of it... it would keep me wishing for more, but definitely wouldn't lead to disappointment.

AwYeh, Jan 31, 2011
Photo of cpetrone84
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%

Had on tap at Stone Total Tap Takeover in Baltimore

A-pours a dark brown liquid shy of black with a tan colored head.

S-smokey malts with some campfire aroma and rich chocolate cake in the back. simple and straight forward.

T-smoked malts, hints of peat with a rich chocolate cakey malt. there are notes of vanilla underneath with some dark fruity sweetness in the back.

M-medium bodied porter with a creamy texture and high carbonation. a little thin but very juicy on the throat.

D-balanced and rich. not too smokey to the point all other flavors are overpowered but present enough to make a statement. the vanilla beans adds some awesome richness to create a desert like chocolate cake finish.

cpetrone84, Jan 21, 2011
Photo of AgentZero
4.28/5  rDev +10%

Had this at the Stone event at Smallbar Division.

A - Black beer, brown on the edges, small tan head that didn't leave anything on the sides. Thin coating of film left during consumption.

S - Roasted malts, you can smell the great roasted backbone of the regular Smoked Porter. The vanilla in this is obviously a big difference, it is quite present and smells pretty real.

T - Great taste. Real vanilla is infused into Stone's regular Smoked Porter, which is already a good beer in and of itself. Little bit of bittering coffee on the end.

M - Thick, medium carbonation, little chewy.

D - This was a fantastic beer, I was pleasantly surprised and drank it quite easily. Would love to have it again.

AgentZero, Dec 30, 2010
Photo of jpro
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%

Tried this one at the Closed for Business birthday event...

A: Served in a standard shaker pint glass, this one is pretty near black, with some mahogany highlights; the oatmeal colored head is quick to dissipate, but leaves a lot of lace.

S: Wow, this one's sweet. It's like taking a whiff of french vanilla cappuccino... whoa.

T: Lots o' vanilla! Kind of cream soda - esque. Some charred malt and smoke on the finish.

M: Medium bodied with a higher than expected carbonation level... almost zingy; leaves a lasting sweetness.

D: Drinkability is OK... it's good and interesting, but a little too sweet to for my taste.

jpro, Dec 20, 2010
Photo of in780
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%

On-tap at Duke's Alehouse. Here we go:

A - Deep dark black, looks like a stout...not much head, but what's there leaves some lacing.

S - The highlight for me. Vanilla mostly, but some roasty malts, and just a little smoke. Enticing

T - Doesn't disappoint. The smoke is more noticeable, but balanced with the vanilla...neither is overpowering, and they don't mask the prominent malt flavor. Even traces of grain/cereal, along with some hop characteristics.

M - fine

D - plenty good, but as with most beers that feature either vanilla or smoke (and in this case both), I feel like having something different when finished

This was a nice after dinner treat

in780, Dec 19, 2010
Photo of DNICE555
4.38/5  rDev +12.6%

On tap at the Sierra Grill on the way back from the Dark Intrigue trip.

A - dark, tan head, pretty lacing left even after the pint is gone.

S - big vanilla aroma, the regular smoked roasted malts

T - Chocolate, vanilla, roasted malts, smoky barrel flavor. Very nice.

M - Feels pretty smooth. Nice carbonation.

D - Fantastic for the style. One is plenty for me but it went down very quickly.

DNICE555, Dec 16, 2010
Photo of Ryan011235
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%

On tap in a pint glass at Bodega on 11/23/10

Really dark in the glass; ruby brown highlights. 1/4th inch head tries to hang on but eventually thins. A collar of retention; minimal lace.

Even-keeled, straightforward nose. Earthy hops among lots of roasted malts & semi-sweet chocolate. The smoked aspect of the malt is modest at most. Vanilla is mild, too. Warmth brings the vanilla & coffee to the fore of the nose.

Ah, the vanilla beans are far more appreciable to taste; a screen through which the rest is filtered. Smoked malts aren't harsh or overbearing. Roasted coffee notes offer a strong dryness that counteracts the subtle vanilla sweetness. Just the right amount of hop kick to bring it all together. Just a great taste all-around.

Full body. Carbonation is vigorously rolling but not prickly. Effervescent carbonation feel, actually. Finishes with notions of smoky vanilla espresso beans.

Drinkability is high for this dessert of a beer. Incredibly well-crafted. Highly recommended.

Ryan011235, Dec 13, 2010
Photo of djbreezy
4.38/5  rDev +12.6%

Holiday Ale Fest 2010 in Portland, OR

appearance - dark, tan head, good lacing and retention

smell - vanilla, smoke, roasty malts

taste - chocolate and vanilla, vanilla beat, roasty malts, smoke/barrel

mouthfeel - slightly chalky, medium body, lightly dry finish

drinkability - great complexity, highly flavorful, nice dash of smokiness, very exception for the style

djbreezy, Dec 06, 2010
Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%

On tap in a tulip.

Appearance: Vanilla Bean Smoked Porter comes out nearly black, with a touch of ruby transparency. A nice foamy brown head sticks around and leaves rings of lacing down the glass.

Smell: Vanilla is prominent, although it may not be the strongest aroma. Whiffs of smoke, cococa, and coffee are present as well.

Taste: Lots of dark chocolate and roasted malt, with some vanilla already coming through at the start. Chocolate and coffee bitterness step in toward the middle. Tons of vanilla and a bit more chocolate complement the smoke rather nicely.

Mouthfeel: This beer feels a bit heavier than it is. The vanilla always adds a smoothness that I like. Creamy carbonation.

Drinkability: It has been a while since I have had the regular Smoked Porter, so a side-by-side comparison is not really possible. Overall this was nice, although I switched to something else after one glass.

KickInTheChalice, Dec 05, 2010
Photo of SanDiegoBeerLove
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%

A - Darker Brown almost Black in quantity with lighter Brown highlights and over 2 Fingers of Tan Head which fades to leave a light film. Beer is limpid and Lacing is heavy on the glass.

S - Smells of Vanilla, Choclate, Coffee, and Some Fruitness(maybe Plum).

T - Tastes of Vanilla, Roasted Malts, Smoke, Coffee, and Dark Fruit.

M - This beer has good carbonation with a bitter hit at first that moves to a little chalkiness and some Tannins in the finish.

D - Too good. Glad I have 2L of this beer. I will have to save some for Tomorrow so I can do a beer float.

SanDiegoBeerLove, Dec 03, 2010
Photo of OnThenIn
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%

A: jet black body with a light tan head that was barely existant due to the pour.

S: vanilla like ka pow. There are hints of roasted malt and a tiny bit of smoked malt is hidden but present. There spice notes which are pleasant.

T: the taste starts with hop bitterness and flows into a sweet vanilla flavor, which is then consumed by smokey and slightly bacony taste. There are hints of spices,with a roasted malt bitterness lingering on the tongue.

M: great carbonation and full body.

D: The beer is rather enjoyable and decently drinkable. It is somewhat smooth and the vanilla really helps with the drinkability.

OnThenIn, Nov 23, 2010
Photo of yeahnatenelson
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Imbibed at Finnegan's in Plainfield, IL, 11/19/2010.

Appearance -- Pours a deep dark brown with chestnut highlights and a slim sudsy beige head.

Smell -- Chocolate malt, peaty smoke, leather, and split vanilla beans. Overall, the smell is rich, but not sweet.

Taste -- Well-roasted malts, cocoa powder, woodsmoke, fresh vanilla, and a little bit of leather. Malt sweetness is still subdued, but the addition of the vanilla been seems to mellow the smokey character, which I'm not completely keen on with the regular version.

Mouthfeel -- Medium to light in body, a bit thin, but with ample fluffy carbonation.

Drinkability -- In my mind, this is a nice improvement over the base beer. The vanilla bean addition does well in tempering the smoke character making the beer much more drinkable. I've got to hand it to stone for consistently bettering their beers with these 'special versions'. Always complimentary, never distracting. Good on 'ya, Stone.

yeahnatenelson, Nov 21, 2010
Photo of Duff27
3.48/5  rDev -10.5%

A- Black with a thick one finger head. Head recedes gently and leaves a plethora of lace.

S- Straight up vanilla. Honestly, how could you pick out anything else here? Smells great.

T- Not getting any of the smoke, very little anyway. The vanilla bean is all but over powering. Leaves the mouth watering.

M- Creamy. Carbonation sneeks up at the end of the sips. Seems a tad watery for a porter.

D/O- Good one and done beer. Not sure if I could handle anymore than that. Glad to have tried it though.

Duff27, Nov 14, 2010
Photo of jlindros
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%

Cask at nerax.

Light bubbly head super dark brown color.

Nose of loaded vanilla light smoke coffee roasted malt oak creamy chocolate.

Taste is semi sweet loaded with vanilla creamy light choc some bitterness lingering sweet and bitter and lots of vanilla.

Mouth is creamy and rich med to heavier body low carb.

Drinkability is good with low abv, no sticky or syrupy flavors, smooth and creamy demeanor.

jlindros, Nov 13, 2010
Photo of m1ked
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%

At Callahans pub during SDBW

A-pours what appears to be a nearly pitch black color. When held up to the light there are some garnet brown edges the light I able to bring to life. Creamy off white 1" foamy cap thy recedes to. Splotchy thin covering. Noticeable cling on the edges.

S- roasted coffee notes with a touch of coffee bitterness and, of course, some full vanilla notes, but not overpowering.

T- starts with the roasted, rich coffee notes. The smoky wood notes really come through that is nicely able to keep the rich sweet vanilla notes from dominating the flavor profile. Tastes like a beer vanilla float... In a good way.

M- as dark as this looks and a. Rich as this tastes, I was expecting something much heavier. It is a bit on the full side but not heavy though. Nice carbonation too

D- Ive had this beer on several occasions and always enjoy it. It is a nice treat for sure. I'm not putting down alot of these in on sitting, but always welcome a pint. Hands down the best vanilla beer I've ever had. Easy to imagine how good this would go with dessert or even a scoop of ice cream dropped in there.

m1ked, Nov 10, 2010
Photo of xnicknj
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%

on tap at RnH during Total Takeover event. review from notes.

Poured a dark brownish black with a fluffy two finger high head. Tons of lacing and decent filmy retention.

Smoky malts, vanilla, coffee, and some bitter hops in the nose.

Begins dark and smoky but very smoothed out compared to the regular bottled version. Vanilla and bitter hops take over as the beer finishes crisp and refreshing with plenty of smokiness.

Mid level body and clear, crisp drinking. I enjoyed this far better than the regular variety, which I've never been a huge fan of.

xnicknj, Oct 20, 2010
Photo of stakem
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%

Review from notes taken on 10/1/10 at the Alewife's Stone total tap takeover event.

Pours a dark brown color with some lighter brown clarity around the edges. The head is tan in color and receeds to a layering around the edges of the glass. Lacing clings all around the glassware in patches.

The aroma of this brew is smoked goodness over roasty malt. There is a chocolate malt underlay and a touch of vanilla sweetness from the bean addition. The smoked quality is all upfront and the vanilla plays a minor role in the backend of this brew. Well played, it is subtle and makes for a very enjoyable nose. Once the brew warms, the vanilla really comes forward with a sweetness that never quite makes it into the flavor.

The taste is smokey and roasty with a burnt grain bitterness upfront that yields to the vanilla bean flavored sweetness through the body that is shorted lived before the rest of the flavor takes back over. There is a lingering flavor of bitter roasted malt that is quite smokey left clinging inside the mouth. As it warms, there is some citrus hop character that comes forward which was previously hidden beneath the smoke and burnt grain.

This is a medium to light bodied brew with a moderate level of carbonation. Overall it is quite drinkable but maybe just a bit more forward sweetness or vanilla flavoring would really drive this one home in the drinkability department. The smell of this brew was a bit deceiving, it made me anticipate quite a sweet vanilla profile which was not as forward or bold as the nose led on. Regardless it was well done and I would have it again.

stakem, Oct 19, 2010
Photo of pants678
3.18/5  rDev -18.3%

On tap in Manhattan Beach @ Brewco.

Pours a deep brown to black with an off-white head. Head barely sticks around, nothing impressive.

Dead on smell, it's like getting a whiff of vanilla extract.

Not quite as potent as the nose but vanilla's still apparent but it's a subtlety. There are nuts, roasted malts and twinges of smoke covered up. It begs for distinction, though. Breckenridge does this better.

The body's lighter for a porter, certainly manageable. Able to enjoy this with a full plate no problem.

pants678, Oct 17, 2010
Photo of koopa
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%

Growler received in a trade with a generous BA thanks!

Appearance: Pours a chestnut to dark brown with the slightest honey amber folds. The crown is 1 finger, off white (brown/beige), shows moderate retention and some lace.

Smell: Medium roast malt, a slight nutty note, and a nice vanilla bean note that smells natural (as opposed to a super strong artificial one), and a bit of smoke that adds support.

Taste: Same as the nose with a moderate bitterness from the roast malt that covers up and smoke. I'd like some smoke to come through though. I'd give it a 4.2 as is if possible and a 4.5 if there was some smoke presence. This is one well balanced vanilla porter though.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with decent carbonation.

Drinkability: Goes down easy.

koopa, Oct 17, 2010
Photo of Gobzilla
4.38/5  rDev +12.6%

poured a very dark brown with brown highlights that had a hlaf finger of head and left a little lacing sticking to the glass. the aroma was very nice consisting of chocolate, vanilla, slight smokiness, and a faint coffee notes. like the nose chocolate and vanilla dominate the palate with cocoa and slight smokey accents with a touch of coffee at the end. the brew was medium in body with a moderate amount of carbonation which had a sweet, smokey, slight astringent, and creamy finish. it drank very good and was very tasty. I'm glad I had the chance to have this one again.

Gobzilla, Oct 16, 2010
Smoked Porter - Vanilla Bean from Stone Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 1,886 ratings.