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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

2,246 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,246
Reviews: 539
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 12.63%
Wants: 101
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
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Ratings: 2,246 | Reviews: 539
Photo of steamboatbrewer
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of JohneHoodlum
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of manutdfan
4.5/5  rDev +16%

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

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass
A: Appears pitch black unless held up to light, then it reveals a dark reddish-brown. A creamy 1/2-finger head lingers.
S: Smells like a vanilla latte, in a very good way. A nice creaminess comes through along with coffee and malt undertones.
T: A bit smokey up front, followed by coffee, a hint of vanilla, then chocolate. A bit disjointed though.
M: This isn't nearly as smooth as the nose would imply. Certainly not bad, just not what I expected.
O: In the new bottled vanilla vs chipotle battle, I give the round to chipotle. By no means is this a bad beer, it just isn't harmonious and I'm not in love with it like I am most of Stone's lineup.

Photo of illini4x4
4.5/5  rDev +16%

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

12oz bottle into a snifter. Drank side by side with the chipotle version.

Appearance: Careful pour yields a 1 inch light tan head that dissipates quickly with popping bubbles. No lacing but for a couple spots. Pours a dark brown with red highlights.

Smell: Definitely smell vanilla, and it works. Brings out the pastry like malt notes, and balances great with any smoky/roasty aromas in the original beer.

Taste: First sip starts great, then quickly gets to be too much vanilla. Base smoky porter stops riding that "smoky beer with hints of dessert" line and goes right to "dessert drink." I'd like the vanilla to be a highlight, since (as in the smell) it would really compliment the flavor of the base beer, but the vanilla is the main player here.

That said, there are some great flavors brought out by the vanilla. The chocolate notes of the beer are emphasized, with some sips being mostly like drinking cocoa with vanilla. There's also an almond-like flavor that comes from the vanilla / base beer interplay that I love. However, the overall flavor always tastes kind of unnatural and unbalanced; it never really finds its way back to "finished beer." Kind of tastes like I bought a Stone Smoked Porter and blindly added vanilla myself.

The bottom line is that, while the flavors are good, I never actually sit back and enjoy the beer, but rather find myself saying, "That's weird / strong."

Mouthfeel: Full side of medium bodied. Creamy. Low side of moderate carbonation (seems a little lower than the chipotle). Good finish; slightly dry.

Overall: The flavors in this beer grew on me, but never got to be something I'd like to drink a lot of. Unfortunately, it sort of squanders the base beer and turns it into dessert.

Photo of OldhouseRecs
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of thegerm87
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of DefenCorps
3.21/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle from Rodman's, served in my Aecht Schlenkerla Eiche tulip.

A very dark brown that ends up being black in the glass, this beer is capped with a dense, light brown head with excellent retention and lacing. The vanilla really dominates the nose, making it seem one dimensional. However, it does accentuate the cocoa and mild caramel notes of the base beer (the latter was obscured in the chipotle version), while doing a good (but unwelcome ) job of reducing the potency of the roast and smoke.

The palate opens sweet with plenty of vanilla, including a vanilla-like sweetness, coupled with the cocoa and chocolate (which have taken on more of a milk-chocolate note rather than a dark chocolate note that was present in the Chipotle version). The vanilla sweetness does also shine light on the not-so-positive fact that this beer is lighter in body than would be ideal. Mildly smoky on the finish with a moderate roast and cocoa character that is not very harmonious when paired with the intense vanilla. While the vanilla flavor is wholly natural, it is not terribly enjoyable IMO

Photo of LotsofLupulin
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of ImperialSnout
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of Stevie_Janowski
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of cavedave
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black beauty with a thick dark beige, two inch head. Nice lace arms as the head, really slowly, retreats.

Vanilla (duh) fronts the sip, I like the realness of it, like a bean's in the glass, nice dark caramel underneath, hints of chocolate, some tasty smoked burnt sugar. Sniffs along the way taste chocolate.

Caramel and swet vanilla hold hands and then skip gaily through the sip, joiced along the way by coffee, milk chocolate, lightest hints of hoppy herb bitter, and finally stretch out with coffee and vanilla the holdouts. Not a lot of smoke to this.

Light to med. bodied, med. carbonation, perhapsa touch too much of the fizz, though. Decent finish. Surprised this wasn't a little more resinous on palate, would have made this even better.

This beer suffers by being compared to Captain Lawrence Smoked Porter, and by comparison to the other, many superior porters blessedly easy to obtain now.

Photo of hosehead83
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.
Dark brown/black in color with ruby highlights. Nice, sturdy head of tan foam.
Aroma-Dark malts,subtle vanilla note
Taste-Smoky, spicy,laced with a pleasant little counter-balance of vanilla that takes the edge off of the smoky/spiciness. Has a sessionable, smooth quality that the other Stone Smoked Porters don't seem to have. Very flavorfull. I could have a few of these easily. Well done.

Photo of artdob
3.17/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark cola color. Decent tan head

Nose - getting just the smallest amount of sweet malt. Really minor aroma from this pour.

Taste - light for a porter, but in an ok way. Roasty tones, cola notes withiut the sugar - not really getting a sense of the vanilla. Smokiness is there, but somewhat subdued - not the in your face approach as in Alaskan's Smoked Porter which is a fantastic experience.

Minor but adequate carbonation in the mouthfeel.

Enjoying this brew, but, don' t see myself purchasing more of this one.

Photo of ThinkRedEsq
2.25/5  rDev -42%

Photo of TrickkyGangsta
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of arizcards
3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a single from Total Wine on 7-19 for $3.29.

Beer poured cola brown with a decent tan head that disapated pretty quickly.

Nose is smokey with hints of vanilla and coffee.

Initial taste was vanilla that was quickly overtaken by the smokey malt base. Later sips are detecting coffee and chocolate.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and fairly smooth.

Overall this brew grows on you as it warms and its multitude of flavors presents itself. Smoked porters are not for everyone and one with vanilla is even a bit more complex and i suspect folks will not like it. Give it a shot if you are open to a wide range of flavors.

Photo of threeviews
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a Spiegelau ballon (no freshness date, but based on its release, I know it's fresh!)

A- Pours a nearly-black (dark, ruby red when angled properly to the light) with a 1-1/2 finger kahki head.

S- Vanilla up front followed by milk chocolate with a very subtle hint of smoke.

T- Vanilla is immediate followed by subtle nots of coffee and chocolate...the smoked malt component is only detected very late afterthought...As the beer warms, the vanilla dominates and the smoke becomes imperceptible.

M- Slick on the palate, but not cloying. The vanilla overpowers, but the chocolate/coffee notes from the malt hold their own.

O- Never sampling Stone's Smoked Porter prior to this review, I was not sure what to expect. However, I can only imagine the standard release features the smoked malt more than the version with vanilla beans, as it seems to dominate the aroma and taste. By no means is it a sub-par brew, Stone would just need to up-the-ante with regards to the smoked malt to bring it some balance. Overall, very nice and hope they not only make this a year-round but hope they add more smoked malt to the recipe to offset the vanilla component.

Photo of Oakenator
3.78/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours black but when held up to light reveals a red tint. For a dark beer there is nothing hiding in it - a typical clean and clear Stone brew. Decent head and produces some lacing on a clean glass. Smell to be expected is chocolate and vanilla. The vanilla almost eliminates the smokiness of this porter and is an interesting but good change of pace from the standard porter. Good for a summer time porter.

Photo of TimV31
4.75/5  rDev +22.4%

Photo of Jmac91
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of rob99er
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of Jovo
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of Momar42
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into New Belgium globe

A - fairly deep mahogony brown. moderate head settles into off-white ring with ok lacing.

S - smoke, roasted malts come through strong. vanilla is there along with the associated sweetness but it is second fiddle.

T - tastes opposite of the aroma. vanilla takes the front and middle with the smokiness coming through at the end. As it warms, the flavors balance out. Hard to tell if this is a vanilla porter with smoke or vice versa. Tasty either way.

M - medium. frothy and creamy but finishes cleaner than I would have guessed.

O - I really enjoy their smoked porter, I also really like good vanilla beers. This one is a blending but I feel I should have liked this more. I had it on draft earlier this year and was underwelmed. Sadly, it is only marginally better in the bottle. Worth trying, and enjoyable. Not sure how often I would reach for it given its $5 price tag even if it was available year round.

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Smoked Porter - Vanilla Bean from Stone Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 2,246 ratings.