Smoked Porter - Vanilla Bean - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Smoked Porter - Vanilla BeanSmoked Porter - Vanilla Bean

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BA SCORE
87
very good

526 Reviews
THE BROS
88
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 526
Hads: 2,301
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 11.34%
Wants: 107
Gots: 339 | 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
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Reviews: 526 | Hads: 2,301
Photo of larryarms847
3.54/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown, rather thin, and very little foam.

The aroma is just wonderful, coffee, chocolate, and tons of vanilla.

Smoke, woody, vanilla, coffee, and tons of roasted notes.

Light-medium bodied, light carbonation, thin, smoky, bitter, sweet finish.

Overall, not my favorite porter, nor Stone brew, but tasty and worth a shot. (335 characters)

Photo of PeterParker
4.26/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark brown with red on the edges. Nice brown head that lasts pretty long. Looks great in the goblet.

Nose has roastiness, coffee, vanilla, dark chocolate. Very subtle but good aroma.

Different kind of porter. Coffee, roasted malt, vanilla is on the back end. Some smoke still coming through which is nice. A bit of a tangy finish which is nice and unexpected. Better than I expected.

A bit thin for a porter, slick and medium carbonation.

Really good. I've heard mixed reviews of this but I really like it. A nice take on the original smoked porter. (569 characters)

Photo of travolta
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

Appearance: very minimal head retention, decent lacing. Totally black but a beautiful dark ruby when held to the light.

Nose: beautiful whole vanilla bean, coffee and a bit of chocolate. Very delicate and well balanced. Very nice nose.

Taste: Bitter and chocolate at first, which dries out to a clean finish. Not much vanilla in the taste.

Notes: This is an excellent porter, but I want extremely mouth shattering from my Stone beers. This is a great beer.....but it's not a "Stone"... (495 characters)

Photo of Slatetank
4.06/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I enjoyed this bottle with my Brother and Karsten, enjoyed chilled in a stout glass.

The color is dark brown bordering on black with thin beige head good retention with fine bead and lace that sticks. The smell is more vanilla than any beer I have had in recent memory with nice floral sweet and earthy attribute which augments the base very well. The smoothness carries into the taste with nice mild creamy texture which compliments the mild smoke in the malt with moderate carbonation and semi-dry finish..

The flavor is really good with a lot more complexity than most beers of this strength with nice caramel in the malt with mild roasted and slight smoke with the vanilla adding a smooth and almost creamy accent to enhance the sweetness somewhat. I really like the way the vanilla works but I have a feeling the chipotle may be a little more to my taste since the smoke in the pepper could be complimentary to the base. I like the vanilla but it does seem to soften the smoke aspect I enjoy most in the original. (1,023 characters)

Photo of philbe311
3.99/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - A standard pour yields just shy of three fingers worth of billowing slightly late to develop rich creamy light khaki colored frothy goodness... Rock star retention... The frothy goodness turns even creamier as it settles a bit, but it never disappears or approaches anything close to lacing... A light to moderate bit of spry carbonation streaks can be seen around the top of the glass... The color is a highly murky slightly brooding medium brown... A good bit of lacing clings to the glass... This is a very nice looking brew...

S - The nose is equal part vanilla bean ice cream and lightly roasted malty goodness... The two aroma ebb and flow and compliment one another very nicely... The next layer reveals hints of sweet milk chocolate and a faint whiff of freshly brewed coffee... Very pleasing...

T - Tastes a lot like I remember the base Stone Smoked Porter tasting... The vanilla bean addition is largely missing in action... This isn't a bad thing as the base beer is one of my favorites, but it's a wee bit disappointing... Roasted malt and light smoke dominate the flavor profile... I would be very curious to do a side by side comparison with the base beer to see how they actually differ...

M - Medium bodied... Lush and creamy to start before turning a bit drier with a chalky finish... Limited carbonation... Fairly smooth... Even and consistent...

D - Another outstanding offering from Stone... The appearance is world class... The aroma is excellent... The taste is outstanding but lacking in terms of the vanilla bean addition... The mouthfeel is slightly above average... An excellent beer, but the absence of vanilla on the palate is a shame... I would drink again and would love to do the side by side tasting with the other Stone Smoked Porter offerings... (1,789 characters)

Photo of thegodfather1076
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: Very attractive looking label in the traditional painted on gargoyle themed Stone fashion. Front label give ABV info and a small description of the beer. Back label gives a great back story on the beer, a great description of the beer, web info, a bit of brewery info, and states “Drink Fresh”. Front neck label states “Stone Limited Release Winter Edition”. Back neck label has Stone gargoyle. Enjoy by 3/15/14 printed on the bottle.

Appearance: A aggressive pour from its 22oz brown bomber into a 16oz English pint led to a 3 finger tanish light brown head of a medium density atop a deep opaque brown beer with amber hues visible when held to the light. Head retention is amazing at 5min 56sec while still retaining a thick coating and ring with a very impressive lacing.

Smell/Aroma: Smell is of a nice dark roasty bready malt and heavy natural vanilla bean. Also has a nice smokiness detectable that is not quite as strong as the regular version of Stone Smoked Porter.

Flavor/Taste: Taste is of smoke and a nice vanilla infused roasted chocolate maltiness on the front end. Smoke and vanilla carry through to the mid point with the vanilla bean flavor becoming more prevalent and the roast becoming deeper and darker blending into the coffee flavors that start to become very prevalent. Back end is dominated by deep roasted dark chocolate and coffee malts with the smoke seeping back into the picture along with a light vanilla bean flavor. Aftertaste is of very deep roasted coffee.

MouthFeel/Drinkability: On the full side of medium bodied with an above average amount of carbonation and a smooth creamy mouthfeel leading to a very drinkable brew.

Overall/Comments: I thought this was an excellent beer that was a great twist on an already classic porter. The vanilla bean blended seamlessly into the existing flavor profile. Try it if you can find it. Consumed 12/28/2013. Classified as an American Porter @ 5.9% ABV. (1,970 characters)

Photo of seedyone
3.81/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

02/05/14 On tap. Well placed as a porter. Smoke is way back as is the vanilla...but there is much to like in this glass. It could be...smokier...sweeter...warmer...more vanilla-y...more a lot of things. Any of which would mess with what it wants to be. I get it & I like it. (274 characters)

Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.55/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.25

22 oz bottle poured into a Stone snifter.
5.9% ABV, Enjoy by 03/25/14

A - Dark brown, this smoked porter looks nearly black in it's bulbous glass, crowned by an ivory pile of tight foam that loosely dots the glass with lace.

S - Wafts of fresh vanilla beans are interwoven with bittersweet chocolate-draped raisin nuances and a faint trail of smoke for an exciting and unique nose.

T - Tepid vanilla remnants maintain their natural, not artificial flavor but have since faded towards the background of this delicately smoked porter as baker's chocolate and burnt toast rise to the surface.

M - Medium-light bodied but very smooth, this porter is dry with a roasted profile that finishes slightly bitter with a touch of smokiness lingering on the palate.

O - Unfortunately Stone's Smoked Porter with Vanilla Beans, a brew I've much been looking forward to, has succumb to the overwhelming variety of my beer fridge and wasn't drank soon enough. Having not experienced this before, I can't speak on the changes it's undergone, a month and a half past their "enjoy by" date, but what I can tell from drinking this bottle is that I'll be keeping my eyes out for it when it's released again because the natural Madagascar vanilla bean additions are a wonderful compliment to the beer. I'm sure they're only much better fresh. (1,325 characters)

Photo of Antikythera
3.81/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

a: dark, barely brown when held to the light. Creamy head sticks to sides of glass.

s: baked goods, almost like chocolate cake.

t: rich and toasty. More caramelized than smokey.

m: creamy and fizzy at the same time.

o: at first I thought I would have liked a bit more vanilla in this, but ultimately everything is balanced very well to make a really nice, interesting, rich and creamy porter. (397 characters)

Photo of Roguer
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Surprisingly thin and relatively light brown pour, with a nice two finger cream head with excellent retention and very nice lacing.

Initially smells more coffee forward, but more vanilla comes forward as it warms. Chocolate malt and cream.

Surprisingly, very bitter, with a combination of hops and roasted coffee notes. Hints of dark cocoa malt, very little presence of any vanilla. Slightly smoky and charred, but not very strong.

Relatively thin mouth feel, giving very little satisfaction, but making the beer very drinkable.

This is not at all a bad beer, but it hardly seems to hit on anything that I would have looked for with the beer of this name. Neither something I would refuse, nor seek out. (707 characters)

Photo of ncketchum
4.18/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pours a dark brown with a thin ring of light brown head

S - aroma is prominent vanilla initially with coffee and smoke underneath

T - smoke makes its presence known up front, followed by coffee and more subtle vanilla than in the nose

M - very smooth, medium carbonation

O - good smoked beer, I like the vanilla not being overpowering (346 characters)

Photo of WhiteHillsStore
4.11/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An incredibly rich dark beer. The pour was pitch black with a nice coffee head. The smell was all vanilla which was a little daunting, but left me happily surprised when I gave a taste. A smooth earthy porter with a sweet finish. The vanilla commented the flavors of coffee and dark chocolate well. If i had one problem with the beer it was that it was too filling. One 22oz bottle was more than enough for just me. (415 characters)

Photo of Resuin
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a snifter. "Enjoy by 03/15/14". Oops, a week late. Opening this at about 50 degrees.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown with a slight reddish hue. Not 100% opaque but close. Leaves a light, off-white (slightly tan) head which fades quickly to a rim around the glass.

Smell: Big vanilla upfront, which almost dominates the smell. Smoked malts, mild coffee, milk chocolate. Overall, the aroma is fairly sweet.

Taste: More balanced, but the vanilla is still prominent. Big vanilla, roasted malts, coffee, dark chocolate, bitter finish. Tasty.

Mouth-feel: Low to medium carbonation with a thin to medium body. Finishes smooth and a bit bitter.

Overall: A solid vanilla-heavy beer. A bit thin for me, but really nice vanilla flavors as well as some coffee-chocolate. This is a very drinkable porter, and definitely well brewed. (849 characters)

Photo of itsscience
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Black with some ruby around the edges and a finger of off-white head. The vanilla shows up right away on the nose along with roasted malts and a char scent that thankfully avoids overwhelming the aroma. Whereas the smell is nice and balanced, the taste is less so: I get sweet vanilla up front followed by potently bitter char, smoke, cream, and coffee. The bitter and the sweet notes don't quite gel together and the mouthfeel is bordering on watery, but it's a good brew with an interesting combination of flavors. (516 characters)

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

Appearance: Opaque, deep amber in color with a large, finely-beaded tan head, which retains superbly, and with Belgian-style lacing. Later, distinct tidemarks appeared.

Aroma: Strong roasted malt aroma with toasted nuts, very prominent smoke notes and prominent vanilla.

Taste: Strong roasted malt at the open, with a wave of cold coffee and bitter cocoa soon following. Throughout, there is a fairly strong smoky characteristic, although nothing like a Rauchbier. Midway through the taste, the vanilla bean rises dramatically, dominating the taste to the close. Towards the close, woody notes become quite prominent. Finishes with a lingering , mild note of vanilla and wood.

Mouth feel: Smooth and dry, with soft carbonation, the body seemed thin for the style.

Drinkability/notes: Quite excellent, pairs well with rich chocolate desserts, and seems perfect for a winter night. (883 characters)

Photo of beergoot
4.02/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Deep mahogany red body with an exceptionally thick and chunky light tan head. Smells of fire-pit ashes, mocha, and bitter chocolate. Strong vanilla flavors along with cream and coffee; hop bitterness sneaks up through the sugary sweetness at the finish. Medium bodied; semi-sweet finish.

Overall, a fine tasting porter with emphasis on the dark malt grains, chocolate overtones, and a very fine vanilla edge. The mouthfeel is a little weak, somewhat watery, but that is a minor complaint. On the whole, the peaty smokiness, vanilla, and chocolate flavors triumph. (564 characters)

Photo of chinchill
3.48/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Shared pint at the 2014 Most Arrogant Bar Bash (Barleys in Greenvillle, SC).

The aroma indicates that is over-loaded with vanilla, Tasting confirms this impression. The mix of sweet malts and vanilla compound each other, and the ale would be better if one or the other were reduced a bit. So much vanilla I can barely detect the smoked malt.

Feel: smooth with very good, medium-light carbonation.

O: too much vanilla. (422 characters)

Photo of M_C_Hampton
3.94/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: poured from a 22 oz bottle into a dimpled mug, dark ruby brown with a large light tan head that lingers leaving good lacing, clear

S: very sweet and dessert like, brown sugar, vanilla, nutty, slightly smoky

T: flavors are a bit confusing, beginning is sweet with vanilla, middle is nutty, end is bitter pine, odd

M: thinner with lower carbonation

O: I think I like the regular version better. This isn't bad but the vanilla just seems like an afterthought. (463 characters)

Photo of MadCat
4.21/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours a nice shade of black with some tan head, no lacing

Smell: Coffee, vanilla, roasted malts, a nice bouquet of porter

Taste: Again, getting coffee and vanilla up front. Nice smoked malts, some roasted malts, some earthy hops

Mouthfeel: Medium body, good carbonation

Overall: This is fantastic. And, compared to another San Diego porter with vanilla (that is highly rated too) this is way better. Still tastes like porter, but the other characteristics come out nicely and balance well with the porter flavors. I'm happy that I picked this up, and hope it shows up in bottles once in a while again (616 characters)

Photo of garuda
3.84/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Nearly black with ruby highlights, white head has decent retention and lacing.

S/T - Mostly roasted malt/coffee flavors and aroma. Really opens up as it warms, with a vanilla creaminess adding a nice balance to the chocolate and roast. Only a hint of smoke, and I probably would not be able to tell it was there if the bottle didn't say so. Moderate pine, leafy bitterness in the finish.

M - Medium to light body, finishes a bit bitter. Consistency stays smooth.

O - When cold, I felt this was overly bitter; however, once it warmed up, it became much more enjoyable and balanced. I thought the vanilla provided a nice compliment to the chocolate and roast body. Not much smoke for a "smoked porter". (707 characters)

Photo of hardy008
4.27/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Black with ruby highlights, and a one finger tan head, with nice retention and lacing. The aroma has vanilla, dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, cocoa and subtle smoke.

Tastes just like it smells with vanilla, dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, cocoa, and some smoke. Has a nice light sweetness, which is balanced by some bitterness from the roasted malt and coffee.

Medium bodied with soft carbonation. Smooth and easy to drink. Has a light vanilla and coffee aftertaste. A nicely made beer from Stone. A very nice example of how an American Porter should be made. (574 characters)

Photo of puboflyons
3.81/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From the 650 ml. bottle. Winter edition. Sampled on February 18, 2014.

This poured dark brown with a lingering, soapy tan head and some lacing as it fades a tad. But not entirely.

The vanilla beans are front and center on the nose with the smoked malts playing up more in the background and an otherwise clean, crisp earthy hop note.

The body is around medium with a smooth albeit carbonated texture.

Ah the taste is nice and sweet like drinking a French Vanilla coffee from my local donut shop. Vanilla is full but the smoke is more vague. Roasted malts find their way into the background and there is a lingering but mild finish. Drinkable all the way. (658 characters)

Photo of DenverHopHead
4.13/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap, poured into a plastic cup, which actually doesn't hurt the beer from what I can see.
Appearance - dark, with a creamy white head. Lacing is decent.
Smell - It's the aroma of the original smoked porter enhanced by the vanilla!
Taste - Complex, rich and flavorful and the vanilla bean makes a strong presence!
Feel - medium body, complex and the vanilla bean adds to the enjoyment!
Overall - A bit pricey, but another homerun by Stone in my opinion! (455 characters)

Photo of brutusmuktuk
2.1/5  rDev -45.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.75

Pours a beautiful dark mahogany with a very healthy off-white head. Unfortunately the rest of the beer just doesn’t do it for me, which is so disappointing because I love Stone’s original Smoked Porter. The vanilla just does not blend well with the malts in terms of aroma and flavor. The addition of vanilla is more harsh than smooth and sweet, and just plain tastes bad. Perhaps it will be worth a revisit one day, as I can’t quite figure out what happened with what sounds like such a promising (and highly rated) beer. (528 characters)

Photo of scratch69
3.64/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I poured a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance- Clear, very dark brown color with a fingers worth of tan head. Fair amount of sticky lacing.

Smell- Roasted malt and smoke aromas with a hint of vanilla.

Taste- Vanilla and bitter char flavors at first with a small amount of smoke and bittersweet chocolate toward the finish.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied, smooth, and slightly silky.

Overall- Decent enough but I would have preferred stronger vanilla and smoke flavors. (469 characters)

Smoked Porter - Vanilla Bean from Stone Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 526 ratings.