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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.
BA SCORE
87
very good

528 Reviews
THE BROS
88
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 528
Hads: 2,310
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 11.31%
Wants: 108
Gots: 346 | 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:
Beer added by: MiScusi on 08-31-2007

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Smoked Porter - Vanilla Bean Alström Bros
Reviews: 528 | Hads: 2,310
Photo of wordemupg
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

650ml bomber poured into tulip 12/2/15

A clear cola liquid that has a maroon glow when held to the light, long lasting big head leaves lots of random lace deep down the glass

S lots of smoke and wet ash, a little coco and vanilla but mostly ashy, burnt wood, good but lacking complexity

T just a hint of burnt coffee to go along with what I smell, not a whole lot of dark malt or vanilla shining through the smoke

M medium bodied, just stays on the creamy side of foam, long lingering smokey finish

O straight forward but decent, I was expecting more vanilla but there's no shortage of smoke

not exactly what I was expecting but worth a try if you like smoke, not the best Stone has to offer but respectable nonetheless (735 characters)

Photo of blankenhoney
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22oz bomber, best by 03.31.15, enjoyed from a snifter

A: Pours a translucent cola-like brown with a creamy, eggshell white head

S: Smoked wood, coffee grounds, thick vanilla, and dark chocolate

T: Great contrast between the rich, roasty dark chocolate and the sweet, bright vanilla. Mildly sweet, mildly smoky, and laced with a nice vanilla undertone. Finishes dry and quite bitter

M: Lighter side of medium-body, which makes it very easy (and enjoyable) to drink. It's pretty heavily carbed and almost fizzy.

O: A great beer that I would return to frequently, but it's a bit overpriced ($8.99) in my neck of the woods, at least compared to the $6.99 price tag others have mentioned. Love the prominent vanilla flavors and the mild smoke notes. And I preferred it at colder temps. (785 characters)

Photo of wilky
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased a 22oz. bottle from my local beer store for $6.99 this weekend. Solid price, solid beer. Poured into a mug, this beer produces a hefty, creamy head which lingers. Dark brown, almost black in color, but takes on reddish/amber hues when held up to a light. The aroma is roasty and hints at vanilla beans, but mostly I sense chocolate and coffee flavors from the aroma and the taste. Well-balanced, pleasant and drinkable with a hint of dryness in the aftertaste. My only potential reservation is that I did notice the elevated level of carbonation, but overall, I am quite pleased by this selection for the winter season. (629 characters)

Photo of colingaiser
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 22 oz bomber into tulip glass after sitting out of fridge for ~45 min.

L: Nice opaque molasses brown with a tan head, though I only could get a few fingers of light, foamy head with a medium pour.

S: Incredibly inviting ... there's a nice campfire smokiness with underlying sweet vanilla, along with aromas of toasted nuts, brown sugar, and even a little black licorice.

T: The taste is complex, but not one flavor note overpowers the palate. Immediately I pick up on a little Earthy smokiness -- though it's fairly light and approachable for a beer with "smoked" as the first word. Like in the scent, there are also notes of toasted nuts and sweet vanilla bean, then some dark cocoa becomes noticeable in the backend. This gives way to a slightly bitter dark chocolate finish.

F: The mouthfeel is fairly creamy, with a medium body and a medium-high amount of carbonation. It seems appropriate for the style, though I'd be interested what a lower level of carbonation would offer.

O: This is a deceptively light beer where the smoky and sweet aromas and flavors come together harmoniously to create a really enjoyable drinking experience. However, if I had to nit-pick, I'd ask for less carbonation next time around.

Would buy in reasonably priced six-packs. (1,283 characters)

Photo of Chris_the_Tartar
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Look is dark brown but not quite black and very carbonated, two finger head. Smell was vanilla and hints of coffee. Was smooth and lighter than expected, with flavor of vanilla and aftertaste of spice which gave it a nice balance. Overall a pretty good beer, but I have to admit I was expecting more. (300 characters)

Photo of PostRockandCats
3.66/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

My first foray into smoked beers.

Good balance. The smoke takes a little getting used to, but I am attributing that to the style, not anything bad with the brewers. (166 characters)

Photo of StoutHunter
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I picked up a bottle of Stone's Smoke Porter- Vanilla Bean last week for $8.49 at The Lager Mill. I've had the regular and the chocolate orange version, but I've never had this one before and I'm interested to see how it stacks up, so lets see how it goes. 2014 Vintage. Poured from a brown 22oz bottle into a teku.

A- The bottle looks pretty typical for Stone, it has some nice info on it, but it isn't too eye catching. It poured a nice very dark brown almost black color that took on a crimson hue when held to the light with almost two fingers worth of creamy and slightly bubbly dark tan head that died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and it left some nice sticky and patchy lacing behind. This is a pretty nice looking beer, but i don't remember the other versions having that crimson color to them.

S- The aroma starts off with a higher amount of medium sweetness with a nice smokey aroma being the first to show up and it imparts a bonfire smoke like aroma that is quickly followed by the vanilla which shows up nice and it seems to add a little more sweetness to the aroma. Up next comes the malts which impart a roasted malt, sweet malt, chocolate, light coffee and some grainy malt aromas. This beer had a pretty nice aroma, the vanilla was noticeable, but I think it could have shown up just a little more.

T- The taste seems to be pretty similar to the aroma and it starts off with a slightly higher amount of medium sweetness with the smoke still being the first to show up and it still retains that nice bonfire smoke aspect. Up next comes the malts which are just slightly lighter than they were in the aroma, but they still impart the same roasted malt aspects with no single aspect sticking out the most. Towards the end comes the vanilla which shows just a little more than it did in the aroma and it lingers into the aftertaste with just a light amount of bitterness with some smoke and light roasted malts showing up also in the aftertaste. This was a pretty nice tasting beer and it seemed to have nice balance.

M- Smooth, crisp, on the thicker side of being medium bodied with a higher amount of medium carbonation. This beer had a pretty nice mouthfeel that worked well with it.

Overall I thought this was a pretty nice beer and I thought it was a nice example of the style, it had all the aspects from the original Smoked Porter, and while the vanilla wasn't the strongest flavor it did help make this beer a little more complex and it ended up being pretty balanced. This beer had nice drinkability, it was smooth, crisp, not too filling and the taste did a nice job at holding my attention, I think one glass is the perfect amount for me, but I don't think it would be a chore for me to drink the whole bottle. What I like the most about this beer was the complexity, the vanilla added another layer to this beer which makes it not as one dimensional as the original version. What I liked the least about this beer was that vanilla wasn't a little stronger, i think the base beer could hold up a stronger vanilla aspect. I would buy this beer again when In the mood for the style and I would recommend it to anyone who likes smoked beers, I don't think the vanilla covers up any of the smokey aspects. All in all I liked this beer, I'm still not a huge fan of Stone's Smoked Porter, but I thought the addition of vanilla beans worked well with this beer and it didn't take anything away from it, it just added to it a little. It's not a favorite Stone beer, but it is my favorite beer from their Smoked Porter series and it falls at above average for the style. Nice job guys this was a nice take on the Smoked Porter, keep up the hard work. (3,712 characters)

Photo of verygeeky
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Slightly cloudy/murky appearance on tap in a pint glass. Nearly no head.

Heavy vanillin in the smell, slight smoke, as the name would imply. Defined sweetness.

Thinner mouth feel than I'd prefer in a porter. (211 characters)

Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.96/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into a nonic. Cola-like in appearance, dark brown with two frothy milk shake fingers of mocha colored head. Aroma is that of a classic robust porter. Not pungently smoky or reeking of vanilla extract. Rather, a clean crisp coffee and dark baker's chocolate base with a whiff of ash and a developing sweet dulce de leche note, more caramel than vanilla per se. The aroma develops nicely as the beer warms, at which point some hazelnut and ladyfinger notes emerge.

Palate is perhaps less resplendent than the nose but certainly noteworthy in its own right. The smoke is more salient here but still mellow. More bitter, ashy, and earthy flavors ... Cacao power, wood char, burnt almonds. A chocolate-covered raisin sweetness does emerge over time. The vanilla is subtle and adds a floral character. I appreciate the effort to preserve a porter base instead of just wailing away with the bells and whistles. Moderate thick body with carbonation on the low end. Quite smooth and creamy. Finish is dry with some woody ashtray and burnt marshmallow and coconut vapor trails.

Stone's true strength is in their hoppy offerings but this is well worth your time. The aroma is more complex than the taste. I am not a fan of rankly potent vanilla extract in beers and this skillfully avoids that issue, using actual beans to season rather than dominate. The emphasis is firmly on the dark malt flavors. (1,408 characters)

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

I really love stones smoked porter and this is a great addition. Different flavor. I can't really figure out a distinct vanilla flavor, but you can taste a difference between this and the regular and that difference is still very delicious. (240 characters)

Photo of lushes22
4.06/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A. Almost pitch black but a bit of ruby red. Finger high head which dissipates quickly. Light lacing.
S. Typical porter smell, chocolate, coffee, and some malt with a bit of smoke. Slight vanilla so pretty much how would expect it to smell.
T. Enjoyable as get more of smoke and vanilla is mild. Get more vanilla as it warms.
M. Smooth with light carbonation.
O. Very solid smoked porter and vanilla is nice compliment. Not quite up there with founders and smuttynose though. (480 characters)

Photo of LordofthePings
3.84/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 22oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Dark and clear. Some head but not too much
S: Not overly fragrant, typical porter smell with hints of vanilla. I could not sense any smoke.
T: Not too bad. Typical porter with a bit of vanilla though not overwhelming. I cannot taste the smoke. Smooth flavor and well blended. Some tartness at first but not as much as some other porters.
M: Low to medium carbonation. Goes down smoothly.
O: Not a bad porter. I'm not a huge fan of the style but when I'm in the mood for a porter, this one would be good. Would purchase again when in the mood for this style. I like the vanilla character, not too strong but present nonetheless. (675 characters)

Photo of BeersOverBaghdad
2.86/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Definitely would not get this again.

A: Looks very much like a coca-cola when poured. slightly more carbonated than I would have expected.

S: Vanilla comes out a little in the nose, but is still subtle. certainly not overpowering

T: I was expecting very good things when i tasted it, but the beer had no inherent flavor. Tasted like a very mediocre porter with a lot of vanilla flavor that arrives nearing the end of the sip and hits you pretty hard. I'm a huge fan of vanilla porters and stouts, but this one definitely missed the mark. I am drinking it in Jan 2015 and it was a 2014 winter release, so it's possible that I may be drinking it slightly on the older side, but I doubt it. I don't taste many notes that I would have expected in this kind of porter.

F: A little thin, but pretty standard.

O: Eh. Not a fan (824 characters)

Photo of Mikus
3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This hits all of the notes that are advertised. Tastes like vanilla-infused smoke. Heavy on the vanilla. Not my favorite combo, I find. That said, it does a great job of providing the said components of the recipe. Make sure that you REALLY like these components (could I suggest a sampler) before diving into the whole snifter or bomber. Love Stone, Smoked Porter was not a big hit for me, and this wasn't either. However, you definitely get what you are asking for with this one. Maybe I am just not a big fan of the 'smoked' aspect. If you are, try this. I, for one, will be trying some of their other brews. (611 characters)

Photo of Chastise
3.76/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The vanilla flavor hits a moment after it's in your mouth, and is gone before you swallow. Pleasant and very drinkable, with a slightly-roasted (but not quite coffee-roasted) aftertaste. (187 characters)

Photo of leroybrown10
3.56/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber-brown with ruby highlights when held to the light. Thick cream colored head which leaves major lacing as it settles.

Nose starts with the smoke though it isn't overpowering. Some rye notes(though I don't believe rye is used in this brew) to go with mild roasted malt and pepper. I'm not picking up much, if any vanilla.

Mild smoke on the first sip which increases a bit as I hold it in my mouth. Creamy vanilla that was missing from the nose shows up after the smoke. Some earthy, almost peaty hop notes with pepper, caramel, bitter chocolate and very mild roasty malt.

Thin mouth feel that leaves me wanting more. Some creaminess to go with medium carbonation.

Overall, I decent tasting beer that could use a bit more vanilla and roasted malt. It doesn't need they thick mouth feel of an imperial style but a bump up from what it is would be nice. (880 characters)

Photo of charadrius_cerevisiae
3.08/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A - A nice mixture of copper and brown, presenting as semi-tansparent but overly inviting.

S - Appetizing and lightly done smoke hits the nose first and then is followed by a whole bunch of, well, nothing.

T - Smoke leads, though gently done, followed by roasty malt flavors. What comes next, though, is water, and lots of it. There is basically not remanent of the flavor of the beer to be left on the palate. When you find the vanilla notes in the beer, they are fleeting and not very cohesive (sure, each palate will pick them up in varying amounts), and never really add anything to the beer in general.

M - Thin, from beginning to end. I guess I drink a porter to be reminded that there are some lingering unfermentable sugars in that liquor to add to some mouthfeel and warmth to the beer while other people amy just want the flavor and alcohol, but this kind of just become brown water to me.

O - I sure remember when Stone was the thing to have, and sure their IPAs are arguably the best in the world, but I really want beers that I can drink affordable and drink often, and this one does not fit that bill. Asa change to the normal porter lineup, this definitely offers uniqueness, but ask me what porters I am drinking for fun, and this one will not be on the list. (1,280 characters)

Photo of Trooper92292
5/5  rDev +28.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I popped this open on a cold winter night. The Vanilla taste and aroma is there but it isn't overwhelming, well balanced. Beautiful color in a glass. A very great porter. Next time I'm at my local craft beer stop I'll be picking a bottles of this. Perfect for this time of year. Stone has yet again made another fantastic beer. (327 characters)

Photo of hophugger
3.86/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Deep chocolate brown with just a hint of light working its way through. Average head and minimal lacing. Aroma is light, giving me ever so light amount of smoke. Taste is on the light side for a porter IMO, but is good overall. Smokiness is very faint and I feel that this could be elevated a little more to ad some body to this brew. Vanilla hints are nice, just enough, and adds a nice cool smoothness to the beer. Slight watery finish, but overall, a decent porter and another good brew by Stone (498 characters)

Photo of JuicesFlowing
4.07/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a balloon glass.

Look: The darkest brown imaginable -- nearly black, if not held up to a light source. Perfect porter color. Nice cream colored head, good foamy film settlement. Light sheets of lace until it dissipates.

Aroma: Roasted malts, faint chocolate, vanilla.

Taste: Vanilla is perfect in this. Not so much of a smokey element, but all the other traits ring true -- roasted malts, faint chocolate. Slightly watery finish.

Mouthfeel: Slightly watery in that good porter way.

Overall: Totally dig this beer. It gets better every sip, and they have the vanilla spot-on. (591 characters)

Photo of biboergosum
3.77/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, a decent New Year's Eve kickoff, if there ever was one.

This beer pours a clear, dark red brick amber colour, with two fingers of weakly puffy, and mostly just bubbly tan head, which leaves some decent, if awkward webbed lace around the glass as it slowly ebbs away.

It smells of roasted, gamey caramel malt, wet dark bread, bittersweet chocolate, burnt cream, an acrid nuttiness, vanilla that I only notice because it's in the freaking name, a bit of earthy yeast, and very tame weedy, leafy hops. The taste is more toasted caramel malt, a rather emergent vanilla bean sweetness, a now more ethereal smoked meatiness, middling cocoa powder, a touch of mid-day cold coffee, and weak leafy, weedy hops.

The bubbles are present, in a genial, mostly supportive frothy measure, the body a sturdy medium-heavy weight for the style, and pretty much straight-up smooth, with a cold creaminess waiting in the wings. It finishes on the sweet side, the bready caramel, vanilla, and fading cocoa notes carrying the day.

A pleasant enough re-imagining of the original smoked porter, wherein the vanilla guest star eventually overcomes the inherent smokiness of the base beer. I actually like this one better overall, for the same reasons - less acrid meaty smoke (save that for the summer BBQs on my deck), and more sweet, sweet vanilla - the sort of thing I used to derive from homemade vanilla vodka - yeah. (1,417 characters)

Photo of zac16125
4.01/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into a pint glass
2014 vintage

A: Pours a dark brown with ruby hues when held to light. 3 plus fingers width of light tan head builds and has good retention before dissipating down and leaves lots of lacing. 4

S: Chocolate, coffee, a lactose like cream, subtle char, and lots of nice vanilla. Fairly simple, but hits all the traditional porter notes, then the big vanilla characters adds a pleasant richness. 4.25

T: Roasted malt, light roast coffee, bakers chocolate, cream. The vanilla notes are presents but aren’t as strong as the aroma. Some herbaceous characters as well. 4

M/D: Medium body, carbonation on the heavier side, a bit thin, drinkability is good though. 3.5

O: Good beer. Not mind blowing, but solid. Wish the vanilla from the nose was as prevalent in the taste. 4 (815 characters)

Photo of EvoRich
4.36/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Look: On the lighter side for a porter. Lights shines through pretty easily. Big fluffy head develops while pouring.

Smell: Roasted malts, nuts and vanilla.

Taste: Very mellow taste overall, with a strong sweet vanilla flavor. There is a flavor of smoked and roasty malts blended nicely with the vanilla

Feel: Creamy, yet medium bodied and easy drinking.

Overall: Very please with this beer! Very sweet and easy drinking. The flavor is mellow, and just a joy to drink! (474 characters)

Photo of BeerImmediately
4.38/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Growler poured at about 50-60 degrees into wide-mouth stout glass.

Fairly short and soapy tan head over a deep brown body (mahogany edges when held to the light). Very good lacing.

Aromas lead with the smoky wood, salty meat, peaty qualities. Some roasted coffee and chocolate in the background.

Very creamy, smooth mouthfeel. Flavors are awesome - nice roasted malt, and a lot more sweetness comes through than in the aromas. Milk chocolate, vanilla beans, and a touch of sweet spice. Not overly smokey - just right.

Tasty, and very easy drinking... glad I picked this one out of the 20+ I had to choose from! (622 characters)

Photo of Budinetz
3.81/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a snifter at 55 degrees. 2014 release, purchased about a week ago after it was released. (It does state on the bottle to drink fresh and at 5.9% I am inclined to agree).

Pours a midnight red color with an antique white colored head that dissipates slowly an actually keeps a thin layer on the beer the entire time I drink it. Decent head retention and nice lacing around the glass.

Smells pretty bland actually...very characteristic of a porter, bit with a hint of vanilla and smoked sausage, almost as if my Yankee candle is sitting next to a smoked bologna I'm eating...very interesting.

Tastes of sweet roasted malts, vanilla bean, milk chocolate, Kona coffee, smoked meat, bitter hops, and divine roastiness. This brew begins sweet and ends very bitter. Aweome balance and great flavor all around. Although recommended to drink fresh, I wonder if the bitterness would subside with aging and just be full in sweet.

Mouthfeel is interesting. Due to the high amount of alpha acids from the ops added during the boil, this brew has a seriously bitter finish that is amazingly pleasant. The sweet roasted malt and vanilla notes balance this brew out quite well. It makes your tongue dance!

Overall this beer is very different, however very traditional, all at the same time. The porter style is represented well, but with an interesting twist of flavors. The flavors are taking to each agreement of sweet and bitter. Definitely worth purchasing a bottle or two.


Cheers! (1,501 characters)

Smoked Porter - Vanilla Bean from Stone Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 528 ratings.