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Smoked Porter - Vanilla Bean - Stone Brewing Co.

Smoked Porter - Vanilla BeanSmoked Porter - Vanilla Bean

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,686 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1686
Reviews: 466
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 13.14%

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
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Ratings: 1,686 | Reviews: 466 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of mfavoino


4.13/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of a 12oz bottle into a pint glass on 6/29/12.

Appearance: Super dark brown that looks black until it has some light behind it. Two fingers of off white head dissipate quickly. Chunky lacing.

Smell: Lots of dark roasted malts. Coffee is present, as well as a tad bit of smoke and vanilla.

Taste: Initial dark roasted malts and some vanilla sweetness, then the palate is taken over by smoke and wood. Finishes with a touch of hops and leaves a lingering combination of smoke and vanilla.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and slick with a medium body. Pretty low carbonation.

Overall: Lots going on in this porter. If you like smokey flavors, vanilla, or both, give this a try.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2012 05:48:46 | More by mfavoino
Photo of cbutova


4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Awesome to see the Smoked Porter variations make it to bottles.

A- Dark body poured into a pint glass but not quite pitch black. Big light tan head forms with a foamy texture and about three fingers in size. A few pretty thick lace patches here and there.

S- Vanilla up front with some dark roast malts that also lend nutty hints. Not much smoke or cocoa here that I remember in the base beer. Kind of like a Creme Brulee here.

T- Vanilla bean bomb, reminds me of a few beers I had up in Montreal. Vanilla leads the way and is backed by roast malts, nutty hints, slight dark fruit and caramel. Smoked malts sneak in after a few sips adding nice complexity.

MF- Silky but fairly light bodied, which can be fine for a porter. Slight bitterness finishes it off.

Vanilla bomb with some nice smoked and roast malts hanging around. Almost reminds of some funky Creme Brulee.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2012 04:42:09 | More by cbutova
Photo of PeterIngemi


4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a troegs pt glass.

A: body is black with a touch of dark brown translucence around the edges when held to the light, much like the body of the chipotle version except i get a fat finger if head here that dissapates nicley and leans a nice bit of lacing, seems like the head here has a bit more retention and lacing then the chipotle did.

A: rich creamy vanilla, reminds me of cream soda, there is a bit of underlying smoke as well, infind the aroma very pleasing
On this one, smells yummy. Notes of caramel and hints of chocolate start to waft through the vanilla as this beer warms.

T: much like the nose, the taste reminds me of cream soda, or vanilla rootbeer, the smoke and vanilla work amazingly well with one another here, with notes of caramel and a touch of chocolate, there is a touch of vanilla sweetness here, but in no way overly sweet. Very well balanced, and deliciously enjoyable. The smoke seems to become more pronounced as this beer warms.

M: this brew, has a light medium body with medium carbonation, and a nice creamy mouthfeel, very drinkable, nice slightly dry finish.

O: an awesome, drinkable, desert beer, I could see making a beer float with this and vanilla ice cream being awesome. Between this or the chipotle, I would deffinatly take this one. I just love the way the smoke and vanilla work together here.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2012 04:15:24 | More by PeterIngemi
Photo of PintOHops


4.48/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Glass - Nonic

A - A little more clarity than other Smoked Porter's from Stone. A dark mahogany with a 2-finger head that looks pretty creamy. Tinges of ruby red can be seen. I didn't get any lacing on my glass.

S - Smokey, woody, charcoal, leather is all there just like in other versions. Subtle vanilla and a bit more pronounced brown sugar characteristic. Wonderfully fresh and inviting aroma. More vanilla comes through as it warms.

T - I definitely notice the vanilla right off the bat. Smokey and woody upfront with a soft but rich flavor of vanilla peeking in and out of the taste. I also pick up a bit of charcoal, and brown sugar. It's a mildly sweet brew that finishes with more bitterness than other versions, dryness, and more vanilla. A bit of leafy hop flavors as well.

M - Moderate-high crispness with a medium body.

O - Just an outstanding Porter here. I love the other versions that I'v tried from Stone, and this one is no exception. Wonderfully smokey throughout, with rich vanilla that isn't overpowering or off putting. The appearance and the smell are inviting, and the feel isn't too carbonated.

Very, very good brew. Definitely give it a try if you can. Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2012 23:24:26 | More by PintOHops
Photo of JosiahS


4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

glass: nonic

Nearly black appearance, some red makes it way in. 2-3 finger tan head. Frothy lacing. Vanilla on the nose, immediately followed by a deep roasted, woody, almost leather-like aroma. Slight hints of herbal hops but not much.

Vanilla straight away on the taste. As with the aroma, it falls quickly into a deep roasted quality but all the while, a milky vanilla flavor stays throughout. Bitterness comes towards the finish, a combination of nearly burnt malts and herbaceous hops. Mouthfeel is medium-full with medium carbonation.

Nicely done. A porter that has a touch of interest and at the very least makes itself stand out from the mundane and regular offerings in it's style.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2012 23:18:17 | More by JosiahS
Photo of johnnnniee

New Hampshire

3.45/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz Bottle from Julio's
Pours a solid dark brown with brilliant garnet highlights and a huge fluffy mocha head that persists forever. smells of caramel, chocolate, smoke and vanilla mostly with little to no hop aroma easily sniffed. The taste is a nice mix of chocolate smoke caramel and vanilla. The smoke and vanilla duke it out for top billing and ultimately the vanilla wins. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation and a sweet creamy almost syrupy mouthfeel. I'm glad I got to try this, but I think the vanilla is a bit over the top and competes with the other flavors rather than enhancing them.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2012 23:17:40 | More by johnnnniee
Photo of vic21234


3.6/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz Limited Edition bottle poured into a snifter. Bottle says enjoy by 09/20/12.

A- Pours very cola-like. Medium to dark brown with some light going coming through it. About a finger and a half worth of head fades to about a half finger that sticks around. It appears rather thin.

S- Smells like a vanilla campfire. Smokey notes dominate the aroma, but give way to some faint vanilla notes as well.

T- Tastes much like the smell. Starts off very smokey and malty. The backend of the taste opens up the vanilla notes. I think the vanilla is a little too overpowering at the end of the sip.

M- Light to medium bodied, easy drinker, but too much vanilla as stated above.

I have now had the pleasure to have both vanilla bean and chipotle pepper smoked porter (Had the chipotle at a Stone brunch with Koch.) While not a huge fan of porters this is a pretty good beer. Nothing I would buy again but worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2012 23:51:28 | More by vic21234
Photo of marlinsfan4


4.38/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Max's, pours a nice cloudy brown color. Smell is of faint vanilla, tannish head to it. Great creamy mouthfeel, well balanced with tons of roasted maltiness and a present, but subtle vanilla undertone. Finishes clean and smooth. Very flavorful porter, Stone shines through once again, one of the best beers I had at the bar all night.

Serving type: on-tap

06-24-2012 19:19:12 | More by marlinsfan4
Photo of IKR


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

Appearance: Very dark brown with a fairly generous light beige head.

Smell: The vanilla is the most notable aroma.

Taste: Vanilla, and some roasted malt notes.
The beer finishes fairly dry with some slight smoke and roasted malt notes.

Mouth-feel: Fairly thin bodied with a generous level of carbonation.

Overall: I like this beer well enough but nothing like my favorite Porter with Vanilla beans, Victory at Sea.

2012 Bottle

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2012 04:45:39 | More by IKR
Photo of Rollzroyce21


3.63/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2012 bottle poured into tulip

S - I'm immediately reminded of a camp fire when I get my first whiff, so the aroma's got a strong smoke presence but since it's expected it's not overwhelming. I do get hints of the vanilla.

T - As I sip, the signature Stone smoked porter dominates. And then it turns into a light-bodied, velvety, creamy milk stout in the 2nd half of the taste.

O - I find that my preference isn't toward porters in general. I believe it's got something to do with that light body (all about the RIS's). I don't prefer smoked beers even more. With that said, Stone got this one right. I can appreciate this one. May even purchase it again sometime to experience the interesting blend of stages of the flavors.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2012 03:41:06 | More by Rollzroyce21
Photo of AdamBear


4.33/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Excited to find this on cask at Long Bar near Times Square

A-dark dark brown with a nice tan head

S-smells like cocoa powder with a huge amount of vanilla, almost smells like a vanilla cream cupcake. almost too much vanilla here

T-comes in with an awesome mix of bitter cocoa powder and straight vanilla bean. its a well balanced and complex flavor. there's a matching after-taste that doesn't last long. not as much smokiness in this one.

M-smooth and creamy with a creamy finish

O-this is a great porter. i'm lucky to have found this, and on cask to boot. not too many vanilla porters get this much vanilla out of the flavor. a good try for anyone.

Serving type: cask

05-06-2012 01:36:50 | More by AdamBear
Photo of TheSevenDuffs

Ontario (Canada)

4.6/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap @ Cole's. Served in pint glass.

A - Dark black with one finger of bubbly light brown head with decent retention. Great lacing with big long legs on the walls of the glass.

S - Roasted malts, vanilla, smoke. A good balance of the three aromas.

T - Roasted malts and a big hit of vanilla. Smoke is a secondary flavour but is definitely present. A decent bitterness balances out a sweet malt bill. The vanilla is in percent proportion, not overpowering the other flavours but defintiely from and centre.

M - Medium body, smooth. Light to moderate carbonation.

O - A truly excellent beer. Stone found a way to actually improve my favourite beer of theirs. Well done.

Serving type: on-tap

04-29-2012 15:30:04 | More by TheSevenDuffs
Photo of FosterJM


3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1223rd Review on BA
Draft to Pint

@Limericks Pub- Upland,CA

Hanging with Lcmir23

App- Almost a pitch black color. Some brown & amber edges. Bad pour got me zero head on it and had no cling either. Just a very there pour.

Smell- Picks up a little bit in the aromatics. Still had a bit of roasted smokiness to it with some creamy vanilla and a bit of malts as well.

Taste- There it is. Its a tasty beer. Had some good vanilla flavors that lingered for a long time. The smokiness was very tame on this one and I appreciate the blend on this. Not over the top with either flavor but nice balance.

Mouth- A bit of a medium body and a creamy low-medium carbonation level. Residual vanilla and malt flavors.

Drink- Been looking to try this one for a while and am glad I found it. Nice creamy flavors and a good balance. Would love this bottled.

Serving type: on-tap

04-21-2012 18:40:14 | More by FosterJM
Photo of kojevergas


3.35/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served on-cask into a 25 cl Leffe goblet at the Daily Pint in Santa Monica. Reviewed from notes. Expectations were above average.

A: Pours a two finger head of nice cream, good thickness, and good retention. Colour is a dark amber-black. No yeast particles are visible.

Sm: Smoke, dark malts, yeast, cream, and roast. Complex and enjoyable. Smoke is dominant. A moderate strength aroma.

T: Smokey with cream. Some dark malts. Timid. Balanced decently. Built okay for a smoked porter, but I've had better. Vanilla is subtly present and is the best aspect of the flavour. Not bold, unique, or special. I like it but it's not great.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Too light and too thin. Not enough cream. Weak. Should be more coarse. Complements the flavour decently.

Dr: Drinkable and enjoyable, but it suffers from the cask; it'd be better on-draught. I'd like to try this properly. I've had far better beers in the style.


Serving type: cask

04-20-2012 04:17:37 | More by kojevergas
Photo of Chico1985


3.55/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I've caught this on-tap a few times before but always passed it up for some reason.

Pours very dark brown, a small beige head retains decently as a cap and ring.

Nice mix of chocolate+vanilla in the scent, good strength. Not much smoke but good enough for the 4.

Same as the smell, big milk chocolate+vanilla bean, good interplay between them. Some roasted malt there but not much smoke, unlike the original. Decent hoppage.

Feels thin, kinda weird feeling carbonation, kinda limp overall.

The chocolate/vanilla combo is nice (reminds me of Aphrodisiaque) but the great smokiness from the regular version is obliterated, this variation is on the sweeter side.

Serving type: on-tap

03-19-2012 13:26:00 | More by Chico1985
Photo of UCLABrewN84


3.05/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

On cask for Churchill's Renaissance at Churchill's Pub & Grille in San Marcos, CA.

Pours a clear dark brown with a tan head that settles to an oily film. No lacing on this one. Smell is of smoked malt, nutty aromas, and slight vanilla bean. Taste is of smoked malt and smoked meat with a very subtle vanilla note on the finish. This beer has a low level of carbonation and is somewhat flat. Overall, this is a pretty average beer that I was expecting much more from. The vanilla beans are very hard to locate in both the aroma and flavor of this beer.

Serving type: cask

03-05-2012 22:13:04 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of beer272

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - appearance was good. Nice carbonation that lasted with some lacing. Light clear brown.

S - Smoked effect was pronounced.

T - taste was nice. Very balanced between hops and malt Seems this was done to pull out the smoke effects, in this they succeeded.

M - Good mouth feel. Surprised since the beer was a light brown.

O - I'll admit I am not a smoked beer fan. This specialty beer is not for me, but nice for the style.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2012 21:59:38 | More by beer272
Photo of Rhynes2


4.68/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was on tap at the local shop and pours a beautiful dark color with a creamy head. Great head retention and lacing. I could smell the vanilla right off the bat and it has the best vanilla flavor i have ever seen in a beer. It mixes well with the dark malts with flavors found in the original Smoked Porter. Coffee and chocolate are the main flavors I take away from this one. Over all i think this is a great beer and I'll be getting this one again.

Serving type: on-tap

12-04-2011 16:30:22 | More by Rhynes2
Photo of claspada

New Jersey

4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown (basically black) with brown hues and a nice one inch head with great retention and some nice lacing as it recedes.

Aromas begin with sweet vanilla that initially masks the smokiness of the orginal version. The sweetness of the vanilla with the chocolate and coffee is very nice. Slight smoke emerges as it warms.

The tastes begin with vanilla 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.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation and real silky feel to it.

Overall I really enjoyed this beer which I was surprised about. I hate smoke beer and only agreed to try this because someone I trust recommended it to me. The vanilla almost completely changes this beer from the original to the point where if I tasted them side by side I would never think they were the same base beer. Nice to sample and would have more often if it was commercially made. Recommended if you can find it.

Serving type: cask

11-09-2011 20:03:57 | More by claspada
Photo of billshmeinke


3.38/5  rDev -12.9%
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 +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 -2.6%
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 +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%
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 +5.2%
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
Smoked Porter - Vanilla Bean from Stone Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 1,686 ratings.