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Einer's Folly Vanilla Imperial Porter (Holiday Wine Cellar's 45th Aniv Ale) - The Bruery

Not Rated.
Einer's Folly Vanilla Imperial Porter (Holiday Wine Cellar's 45th Aniv Ale)Einer's Folly Vanilla Imperial Porter (Holiday Wine Cellar's 45th Aniv Ale)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

105 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 105
Reviews: 52
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 13.65%
Wants: 41
Gots: 25 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
The Bruery visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: mikedashg on 03-18-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 105 | Reviews: 52 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of VAbdoyan
5/5  rDev +31.2%

Photo of djaeon
5/5  rDev +31.2%

Photo of HopStoopid120
5/5  rDev +31.2%

Photo of Hopsfiend
4.85/5  rDev +27.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I read the reviews for on-tap and the forum post by the brewmaster at the Bruery saying it was much better in the bottles after maturing for over 2 months. '

He was right. Darkest brown with no light penetrating. Nice cascading effect when the glass is tilted. Aroma consists of roasted malts of the black and brown variety, dark chocolate, graham crackers and brownies. Mild coffee puts it's character on every part of the nose. Wow! Very tasty, kind of surprised, complex profile with chocolate chips, french vanilla beans, marshmallow, and breakfast roast coffee with a dash of bourbon. Mouthfeel is silky, thick, smooth and the low carbonation seems just right for the beer. I couldn't tell this beer was any bigger than 6%. Definitely has the big, bold and complex character of an Imperial porter, but remarkably smooth on the palate. Well done!

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4.5/5  rDev +18.1%

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4.5/5  rDev +18.1%

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4.5/5  rDev +18.1%

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4.5/5  rDev +18.1%

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4.5/5  rDev +18.1%

Photo of CheapBeerBuzz
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%

Photo of willjschmidt
4.38/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on-tap at The Bruery.

A: Pours a deep black color with dark red undertones.

S: Roasted barley, a hint of chocolate, a faint whiff of vanilla, and a good dose of alcohol.

T: Lots of layers of flavors here. Dark malt, dark cherries, bourbon, and a bit of alcohol. No taste of vanilla detected.

N: Average carbonation, full bodied.

D: A really good beer. Excellent flavors and complexity.

Photo of glid02
4.35/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Tap Room in Pacific Beach, CA.

Pours one shade from black with a two-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of lightly roasted malts with a good amount of smooth milk chocolate aromas. Also present are mild amounts of vanilla that intensify as the beer warms.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Soft roasted malt flavors kick things off and are joined almost immediately by a combination of dark and milk chocolate flavors, the latter stronger than the former. Midway through the sip vanilla flavors make an appearance although they stay in the backseat. The chocolate and mild vanilla flavors carry through to a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a smooth thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is also very good. I had no problems finishing my glass and could easily have a few more.

Overall I was impressed by this beer - there's nothing too crazy going on, just a solid big porter skewed toward the chocolate side of things. Well worth a shot.

Photo of HoldensHomebrew
4.33/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well, I am the brewer of the original beer that won this competition but I will try and be as impartial as possible. I had it on Tap at the Holiday Wine Cellar.

A - Dark and creamy, a light tan head that dissipates quickly.

S - Vanilla is the most prevalent followed by Dark Chocolate notes and bourbon. Little hop aroma.

T - Vanilla again is the first notes, followed by a Carmel chocolate. Bourbon notes come through in the aftertaste. More bitter then most porters but still well within the realm of the porter world. This beer is still very young and should do well with a few months more of aging.

M - Creamy and full bodied.

D - Wonderfully drinkable! It is different then the original but still wonderfully complex and is quite a tasty beer. Many of the people tasting this beer preferred this one to the original. Some more aging will definitely improve this beer and mellow out a few of the harsh flavours.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.31/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Koufax21 for bringing this out for Christmas 2010. I picked 2 more up since then, we'll have to crush 1 in '11 or '12.

Anyways black pour, great tan lacing all around, great retention, doesn't get much better than this. Aroma was candied to a small degree, vanilla, cocao and a little bit oaky smoky.

Lots of oak in the taste, vanilla again, chocolate. Silky yet a big roast presence. What some might label a mess, I choose to label as complex.

No surprises, no letdowns (other than the hassle of jumping through the hoops to buy one from Holiday Wine Cellar, jeez, get over yourself).

Photo of maximum12
4.3/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hey, I get to review this right after the guy who sent it to me, beerisheaven. Just because it's that kind of night, I tallied them all up, & he's sent me 75 beers over the years. That's a lot of beer. FedEx should bless our beery relationship.

First, I hope that whoever double-waxed this bottle spends a few minutes in Purgatory with a rabid skunk for that error in judgment. I only drew a little blood getting the cap off. Pours as promised, nice big porter. Smell is immediately pleasing, vanilla jumps to the fore, along with milk chocolate & unusually strong oak.

Einer's Folly hits with so many things at once it takes a few sips to sort them out. Surprisingly, the chocolate is the strongest link, accented by the vanilla, which blends in to make it smoother & denser. But the standout here is the wood. It follows the nose, as in, I don't think I've ever tasted so much wood in a beer before. It goes beyond drying, and hints, and such; branches, firewood, & bark actually take up legal residence in the back of my throat & stay there. The effect is odd in the extreme, giving the porter a wine-like character without apparent effort or intent (or maybe there was?). Other bits include passing dark fruit, mineral/bath salts. The coffee/char begins to rise as the beer warms. But always back to the oak.

Full bonus points for uniqueness, for getting the wood fully integrated into the beer without ruining it or feeling like I've taken on the POV of a woodpecker. Excellent & unique. Winning combo.

Photo of TMoney2591
4.29/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

First off, were there a category for packaging, this brew would definitely be found to have lived up to its name. Whose idea was it to double wax the bottle? Special circle of hell just for that bastard...making me look like a sadly demented squirrel vainly tearing away at the layers of golden spite. The nerve!

Holy hell, I've forgotten about the beer! Now, this does not mean it's forgettable: far from it. My snifter is currently filled with a silkier, velvetier version of the ink from my Precise V5. Not all that much head, but I've always felt the top bubbles to be overrated anyway. Despite the look, I feel I must act contrarily to the Searchers (and the Clovers) and widen the 'strils, take it all in. Whoompah! I didn't know you could blend chocolate and maple syrups, but they found a way, dammit. Take that, stodgy old food scientists! Some morning beans, a twitch of bourbon, and the whispiest little iota of sugary vanilla all climb into this hedonistic hot tub, completing one of the best food-fetish-based scents I've experienced in some time. Sadly, things can only go down from here (I don't believe in static forces...the mu values just don't make sense...look it up, dammit!), but in this case the drop is not so far. Returning for the oral presentation of the reunion show are the chocolate (now in cocoa nib form), the darkest parts of the coffee beans, and a shade of the bourbon. Now some oak has weasled its way in, adding a further dimension to the already pleasantly cluttered complexity. The only drawback is that the flavors all kinda fade into B-List obscurity at once, as though there was a massive conference call from SyFy Original Pictures, leaving an aftertaste that is decidedly burned-out. I wouldn't worry though, they have enough talent to make it through this rough patch. I am taken aback a bit by the body: lighter than I would have figured, but not so much that I would start shopping for pants with waists below 46. This allows for a nice, even coating of the tongue, a nice, firm hug lasting just long enough to be endearing and short enough to not engender awkward meetings later on. Considering this began life as a homebrew recipe, I'd say hook that brewer up somewhere: I'm sure he's got more good ideas in that melon o' his.

Photo of mikedashg
4.28/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap (first official "open to the public" tapping as far as I know) in the tasting room/cellar at Holiday Wine Cellar on the day of their 45th Anniversary, St Patrick's Day 03/17/2010.

If I could fit the entire title of this beer in the title, I would call it the:

"Bruery Einer's Folly (Holiday Wine Cellar's 1st Anniversary Ale Celebrating the 45th Anniversary/1st Annual Homebrew Contest Winner Eric Holden "Holden's Homebrew") Vanilla Robust Imperial Porter - Aged on Bourbon Oak Cubes - Preconditioned Keg"

History: This beer is a home brew recipe from an open home brew competition event at Holiday Wine Cellar in October 2009. Initially judged by the crowd out of 125 beer entries, and finally the top entries were chosen/narrowed down further by a judging panel, including Patrick Rue from the Bruery. Winner was Eric "Holden's Homebrew" Holden. The beer is in celebration of the the store known as "Holiday Wine Cellar" (located on Mission Ave in Escondido, CA) on it's 45th Anniversary (originally opening on St Patrick's Day). It can be described as an "Vanilla Imperial Porter Aged on Bourbon Oak Cubes" (initially was going to be bourbon barrel aged). Brewed at the Bruery with Eric and HWC.

PLEASE NOTE: This review was from a "pre-conditioned keg." The final beer once bottled will have MORE time spent on bourbon oak cubes then this initial keg.

A - Very dark dark brown, almost black with a good sized tan head.

S - Bourbon, Oak, Chocolate, Vanilla, Coffee.

T -Complex. Similar to nose. Bourbon, Oak, Chocolate, Vanilla, and Coffee. Exactly as described! Pretty balanced in all flavors. Nothing overpowers. Has an English ale yeast taste to it. A little hoppy for a porter (although I was told since this keg was pre-conditioned, and very young, that the final taste in which they are shooting for would be less hoppy).

M - Moderate to moderately high carbonation, full body and a quite nice creamy finish.

D - Pretty easy drinking and really quite balanced in all of it's complexity and advertised characteristics. I can see why this recipe won the contest. I can't wait for it to be bottled, the hops to mellow out a little bit, and for it to take on a bit more oak and bourbon flavor. I will be sure to create a separate review from bottle. My guess is that it will get an even higher score from me! But I'll try and be fair :D.

Photo of brandoman63
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

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4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.23/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge dark beer here, black as night as it pours out. A big cascading brown head comes up and over the top and then settles down into a half inch layer that hung around for the entire rest of the session. The aroma was vanilla, huge vanilla beer and light cafe like coffee notes. Some hints of roasted malts, but vanilla in a beer like I have never come across before. Not terribly sweet and fake, this was like whiffing good vanilla ice cream. The vanilla explosion followed through on the taste, rich and creamy with light and sweet coffee notes following through on them as well. Really tight flavor here, smooth with a long drawn out finish that was sweet, delicate and drying enough to make me want another in a minute.

Photo of billshmeinke
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Wax dipped bottle with Holiday Wine Cellar logo instead of the Bruery's. Looking classy. Poured into an oversized wine glass.

Dark black with hints of brown at the very outer edges of the glass when held to light. Pretty much impenetrable darkness. Steady pour yields a finger and a half creamy tan head that stick around for awhile before becoming a layer of foam that spans the entire top of the beer and already shows evidence of some serious lacing. Layer of foam retains throughout, leaving tons of tan colored lacing behind. A magnificent looking beer.

The nose is complex and layered. Oak, vanilla bean, and roasted malts are most prominent accompanied by whiffs of bourbon. There is some pine and spearmint in there as well plus a touch of dark berries. Smells a bit hot from the bourbon. Fairly aggressive nose. Pretty much what I expected from this beer with a few interesting surprises (specifically, the pine/spearmint and dark berries).

The taste kicks off with dark chocolate, charred malts (producing a slightly burnt flavor), hints of coffee, oak, a bit of peat, vanilla beans, a touch of dark berries, and some caramel/toffee flavors start to develop mid palate. The bourbon is definitely there and adds some heat to the brew. Some piney/minty hops add an interesting dimension and a bit of balance. Oak/vanilla, smoke with a bit of ash, and a slight tobacco flavor linger on the palate.

As far as mouthfeel goes this one is on the lower side of full bodied. It is quite well carbonated and creamy, much like a belgian dark or quad, which keeps the otherwise viscous brew from feeling too heavy on the tongue.

This beer is a little on the aggressive/harsh side, and comes off as a bigger beer than its abv would suggest. The vanilla beans work very well with the bourbon soaked oak chips to produce an after dinner/dessert oriented beer, and the flavors and aromas it produces are quite big and bold. I have three more bottles, and I am extremely excited to see what a few years of aging will do for this beer. My feeling is that the aggressive/harsh characteristics are due to the beer's youth, and that age will do it wonders.

Photo of woosterbill
4.08/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into a wine glass. Big shout-out to BA drewba for sharing this obscure Bruery treat at DLD '11.

A: Dark brown-to-black body with a 3/4" head of creamy light-brown foam. Great retention and sticky lace. Beautiful.

S: Malt, malt, licorice, malt, and malt. Spice and vanilla back things up. Big and good, if a bit over-insistent with the pure malt sweetness.

T: Smooth vanilla and pleasantly spicy malt. Light dark fruit. Some chocolate and coffee. Weird mix of roast and sweetness, but very enjoyable.

M: Thick, lively, and rich. Excellent.

O: Tasty beer. It didn't quite have the balance and integration to get up into the next-highest score territory, but it was a real pleasure to experience. I'm really glad I got to try it. Thanks again, drewba.

Cheers!

Photo of jrallen34
4.07/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I drank this from the 750ml bottle into my Orval glass.

The beer is a medium brown but it settles much darker, almost black. There is a very nice head, two full fingers of medium to light tan head that is fully and creamy. Lasts a couple minutes, good lacing.

The aroma is really nice and complex. It starts off sweet vanilla, apples, sweet candied juice, but then a nice backbone finsih of some light coffee roastyness. Not any oak here.

The taste is disappointing because it doesn't translate the great start from the aroma. All that sweet vanilla yumminess is gone, replaced by an oaky and alcoholic light roasted coffee taste. Its not bad, its just not what I was expecting or hoping for.

The feel is on the lighter side, pretty easy to drink.

This is an ok porter, just a tease though because you don't get to taste any of the vanilla nibs.

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Einer's Folly Vanilla Imperial Porter (Holiday Wine Cellar's 45th Aniv Ale) from The Bruery
86 out of 100 based on 105 ratings.