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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

1,933 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,933
Reviews: 474
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 13.14%
Wants: 76
Gots: 167 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: MiScusi on 08-31-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Smoked Porter - Vanilla Bean Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,933 | Reviews: 474 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of notchucknorris
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

notchucknorris, Aug 22, 2011
Photo of MrVonzipper
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%
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.

MrVonzipper, Aug 22, 2011
Photo of vette2006c5r
3.63/5  rDev -6.4%
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.

vette2006c5r, Jul 18, 2011
Photo of dbmernin83
4.22/5  rDev +8.8%
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

dbmernin83, Jul 09, 2011
Photo of FARGO619
5/5  rDev +28.9%
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.

FARGO619, Jun 24, 2011
Photo of jale
3.43/5  rDev -11.6%
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

jale, Jun 11, 2011
Photo of WestValleyIPA
4.22/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

WestValleyIPA, May 24, 2011
Photo of CHickman
4.33/5  rDev +11.6%
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.

CHickman, May 22, 2011
Photo of chicano4craft
3.18/5  rDev -18%
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.

chicano4craft, May 16, 2011
Photo of d4114
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

d4114, May 12, 2011
Photo of ChugginOil
4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

ChugginOil, May 10, 2011
Photo of Mora2000
4.22/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draught. The beer pours a dark brown to black color with a tannish head. I get a lot of smoke, chocolate, roasted malt and vanilla in the aroma. I also get a tad bit of oaked notes. The flavor is more of the same. The chocolate and vanilla are the dominant flavors, with the smoke hiding in the background. I also get a little oak and whiskey notes behind the other aspects of the flavor. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Very nice, overall.

Mora2000, May 08, 2011
Photo of armock
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Craft & Commerce in San Diego CA

A - Poured a black color with a tan head that leaves lacing behind

S - Is of smoked and roasted malts that give off some chocolate and some vanilla

T - I got a good bit of vanilla upfront then the smoke and chocolate come out

M - This beer has a medium body with medium carbonation to it

O - To me this version tastes way better than the regular Smoked Porter which in turn makes me want to drink it again worth getting if you ever see it

armock, May 05, 2011
Photo of DCon
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on-tap for $7 @ The Stable in Benton Park- Saint Louis, MO. Received in a Snifter from friend I met while talking with the Magic Hat #9 Rep. Gotta love those Beer Reps!

Appearance- Darkest Burgundy Brown body you can even imagine with less than half a finger of tan head. Left a great amount of lacing behind.

Smell- I smell huge Vanilla Bean scents from the beginning and a smoked/malty aroma as well. People would have thought we were smelling this beer instead of drinking it our noses were in the glass so much. Never had an aroma hit me like this one!:

Taste- The starting of the drink had not an artificial but a PURE bourbon vanilla taste. There was a Bailey's taste as well for a minute and then another sweet finish. There are hints of a smoked porter behind these attributes but very mild... Wish there was more of a smoked taste in here.

Mouthfeel- Medium Bodied, Good carbonation, Smooth, and Creamy. Had a terrific feel in all the stages of the drink.

Overall- In my eyes, this is a world-class porter. What I'm bothered about is that the Vanilla Bean is so huge while I could hardly tell it was a smoked porter... How smooth and creamy it was, it could have fooled me for a Fruit Beer. This is beer #6 for me when it comes to Stone (Arrogant Bastard, Pale Ale, Ruination, Levitation, Sublimely Self-Righteous) and so far is my favorite! My journey continues...

DCon, Apr 28, 2011
Photo of emmasdad
3.35/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Ratman for letting me know this one was on tap at Hops and Pies (my new favorite Denver beer spot) last week. I must admit we drove up for the tick, as I'm not a huge fan of the base beer.
Poured a ruby black color, with some decent light brown foam on top. Aromas of smoke, roasted malt and dark chocolate (not a whole lot of vanilla). Some dark fruits on the palate, maybe cherries, figs and plums, vanilla extract, and a little smoke.

emmasdad, Apr 27, 2011
Photo of TheDudeRules
2.28/5  rDev -41.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Served into a snifter.

A very black liquid sits in my glass with a fingers worth of tan head. Slight roast on the nose with very sweet vanilla. Sounded tasty when I ordered it. Mouth was kinda thin for me and not a lot of carbonation. I like vanilla, love it in fact but this tasted like cheap vanilla extract dumped into my beer. It was flat out gross. I can't get around the awful cheap taste and aftertaste in my mouth. I had to dock points for that. Another swing and a miss from Stone for me.

TheDudeRules, Apr 24, 2011
Photo of Brenden
4.22/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Notes are from a tasting not too long ago. Thanks as usual to Steve (a74gent) for one I might not have gotten to try for a long time, if at all.

This brew, like the original Smoked Porter it's built from, is a very rich, deep brown that doesn't quite hit black. The head one this one is brown and sists between one and two fingers tall. Lacing left behind in patches is thick.
The aroma is, of course, smoky, reminiscent of a wood fire with charred wood notes and a touch of charcoal. The light vanilla sweetness is subtle, but present, adding just a touch to the overall character. I get the same herbal leaf tinge from hops and big, robust malt as in the original.
Smoke, as in the original, all over the tongue on a sturdy malt backbone. Heavily roasted with notes of bittersweet baker's chocolate and coffee with stronger notes of charred woods and charcoal as in the nose. Vanilla really just sneaks through, hiding out underneath, and is very subtle. Of course I love this beer because I love the original, and the one single difference is very light.
This one's big, rich and robust, drinking more like a stout than a porter. Body is full and carbonation is light, and there's a light bite and smoothness that isn't amazing but makes for a good feel.
There's no reason I wouldn't drink a few of these in a sitting, though I couldn't down them all too quickly. This is a great effort at a smoked beer.

Brenden, Apr 20, 2011
Photo of Gfunk720
4.45/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served on cask at Churchkey yesterday in DC. Out of a pint style glass, 14oz pour.

A- Dark dark brown, with a slight touch of red. It's almost black, but just not quite. The head is a khaki color, and is quite prevalent for a cask beer. The lacing is also quite nice.

S- It's a robust, but sweet smell. Chocolatey malts/vanilla/smoke/nuttiness. The smell is a nice rich blend for a fairly light beer.

T- Smooth and creamy when it enters my mouth. The flavor then moves to a nutty malt flavor, with hints of vanilla and smoke. I normally hate overly smokey beers, but this one does it just right. My girlfriend even enjoyed this one...

M- Pretty much perfect. It's as complex of a low ABV porter I've had. The body/carbonation/mouthfeel are all spot on.

O- Glad I got the opportunity to have this one, especially on cask. I've always loved the regular Smoked Porter, and this one was just a notch above. The vanilla blends quite well, and makes a great beer even better.


Gfunk720, Apr 10, 2011
Photo of ColdPoncho
4.6/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great thanks to danwho and Brew3Crew for this. Tasted at Jackie O's Bottle release, 4-2-2011, notes from same.

A - Pours a black body with a loose tan head.

S - Theres some nice roasted character in the nose, nicely balanced with some sweet vanilla.

T - Sweet vanilla and roasty malts. Well balanced flavor, and very much in line with the nose. Really Very excellent.

M - thick and smooth, great body.

O (D) - Very tasty, nice complexity, definitely a great beer. Nothing is too powerful, very drinkable.

ColdPoncho, Apr 08, 2011
Photo of Snow81
4.83/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Black as night

Head: Very little head that dissipates quickly and leaves a little lace on the edges

Smell: Light notes of vanilla extract and a bit of a heavy smokey maltyness

Taste: Creamy vanilla with sweet black malts

Weight: Creamy body medium to heavy

Finish: Vanilla bean sticks around with a little roosted malt

Snow81, Apr 02, 2011
Photo of mistakebythelake
4.28/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Shared by brew3crew at JOs.

Pours a blackish brown with good lacing and head that dissipated slowly. According to my wife this smelled like lucky charms and I definitely agreed on the lucky chars marshmallow smell with some vanilla notes. Tasted of vanilla toffee and lucky charms marshmallows.

Low carbonation was definitely hoping for a thicker mouthfeel. Definitely enjoyed this brew though and my wife loved it -which is a hard sell since she doesn't like too many. Would like to try again as it is a great porter treatment.

mistakebythelake, Apr 02, 2011
Photo of Urbancaver
4.43/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks danwho and brew3crew for this one

Pours a very dark brown with. Touch of off-white head. Looks tasty. Smells smoky and strongly of vanilla. Almost too much vanilla on the nose. Same on the tongue. Just TONS of vanilla! Solid mouthfeel and a wonderful sipper

Drink it all day long, yeah. Really delish

Urbancaver, Apr 02, 2011
Photo of brew3crew
4.72/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks from danwho! You are the man

A-dark black with nice white lacing.
S- kinda smells like lucky charms lol.
T- alot like it smells. Huge vanilla taste. Love it. And I thought you could have too much! Nope!
M- medium body and very sweet. Love the vanilla.
L- did I mention I love the vanilla?

brew3crew, Apr 02, 2011
Photo of jera1350
3.58/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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 +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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
Smoked Porter - Vanilla Bean from Stone Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 1,933 ratings.