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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.

52 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 52
Hads: 107
Avg: 3.75
pDev: 13.87%
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 52 | Hads: 107
Photo of hopsbreath
1.77/5  rDev -52.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Thanks to black13 for sharing this at a recent tasting.

A: Turkish coffee brown, good tan head, spotty lacing. 3.5/5

S: Definite oxidation, muddled fruits, weird wet pennies aroma. 1.5/5

T: Definite wet cardboard. No vanilla and more of the weird metal. Porter elements are virtually non-existent. 1.5/5

M: Moderate body with average carbonation. 3/5

O: This was a very bad bottle. It's perhaps past its prime. Two-thirds of the bottle split eight ways was drain poured. 1.5/5

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Photo of Arbitrator
2.21/5  rDev -41.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Chilled bottle into a glass. Shared by Nick3, I believe. From notes.

A: Pours a black body with a short-lived beige head. No lace.

S: A muted, weak nose of some chocolate, some vanilla (and that's only because I looked at the label). Possibly some smoke. Really lackluster.

T: The smell was a good preview for the taste, which is pretty lackluster, as well. It begins with roast and a semi-sweet chocolate flavor, but it becomes lightly bitter, bringing up smoke and mild vanilla. Some fruitiness going on. Pronounced oak.

M: Medium-bodied. It's about the only part of the beer that is halfway redeeming.

O: Unremarkable.

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Photo of corby112
2.64/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Thanks to ZX6Chris for sending this.

Pours a very deep, dark chestnut brown that appears pitch black n the glass. Completely opaque without even the slightest hint of lighter color when held to a light source. One and a half finger light beige head that quickly settles into a lasting ring. Sporadic thin rings and spots of lacing left behnd.

Roasted malt aroma with hints of dark fruit, smoke, toast and earthy oak. I'm not picking up any vanilla in the nose but rather a lot of roasted coffee bean, burnt toast and oatmeal.

Medium bodied and very roasty with an overly acrid burnt malt taste. Hints of deeply roasted coffee/espresso bean, oatmeal and burnt toast. Very slight earthy oak presence but absolutely no vanilla at all. Dry, bitter and roasty but a bit one dimensional. Not well balanced and pretty tough to drink with a palate wrecking, bone dry finish.

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Photo of biglite351
3.09/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A - good bit of red around the edges. Tall creamy off-white head leaving considerable lacing.

S - heavy malts and dried fruit. There is something Sharp in there that I can not place, but I don't really care for that part.

T - malts and dried fruit but also a bit of smoke. However, that part of the scent that I didn't like is also mildly in the taste.

M - Heavy coating. Tingle at tip of tongue and back of throat.

D - just one.

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Photo of DovaliHops
3.23/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours dark black with a small tan head that disappears rather quickly. Scent is...extremely weird. Can't really explain it...oaky? Taste is very dark chocolate. Bitter dark chocolate with hints of vanilla and oak. Some earthiness as well. Mouthfeel is medium bodied. Drinkability is fair. Overall, not my favorite beer from the Bruery. I'm not a huge fan of dark chocolate, and this was VERY dark-chocolatey.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.24/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours out a walnut-brown body with a tall, billowing, mocha-toned head.

Smell: Thin, flimsy aroma, I'm sniffing and sniffing, but there's really not much there, just minute notes of unsweetened chocolate, smoke, vanilla, and vague earthiness.

Taste: A slightly sweetish taste of darkened malts, mingling flavors of chocolate, ashen smoke, and a few stray flecks of vanilla. Light, lightly sour fruitiness. Modest bitterness. Takes a 180 and slides back towards drying dark maltiness for the finish.

Mouthfeel: Just a half notch over medium-bodied. Moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: Sadly, Einer just didn't deliver all that it could. It's not a folly, no, but maybe a bit of a fizzle.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.36/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

On-tap at the Bruery

A: The pour is absolutely fantastic. A nearly black beer with a finger's worth of off-white head on top which has some pretty good retention.

S: The nose is very heavy on the oak with some good notes of bourbon. The roast is also quite heavy and the vanilla is present, but I would have liked there to be a bit more.

T: The roast is perhaps even more pronounced in the flavor, as is the oak--a little too much so. There is a touch of sweetness, but the vanilla is really hidden.

M: A nice body to the beer: medium to full with a smooth and slightly creamy carbonation.

D: Considering the ABV, it's pretty drinkable, but the oak was just a bit overdone for my tastes. I thought this one had some good things going on, but it didn't quite come together for me and was waaaay too oaky.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.36/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From 01/02/11 notes. Brought this to a local tasting, was pretty excited to open it up.

a - Pours a dark brown, almost black color, with one inch of off white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of light chocolate and roasted malts. Light oak and vanilla as well, but very faint and faded. Everything seems a bit faded; a bit disapointing.

t - Tastes of oak, caramel malts, vanilla, chocolate, roasted malts. A step up from the nose.

m - Medium to full body and very low carbonation.

d - I think I liked this better than some of the people at the tasting, but it's not a great beer. It's not bad/offensive or anything, but the smell is faded and average. The taste is a bit better, but not great. Glad I got to try this one but wouldn't trade for another bottle.

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Photo of DaveHS
3.38/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by nbree00

A-Pours shiny black with burgundy highlights and a fluffy coffee colored head. Leaves a blanket of thick foam down the glass.

S-Cocoa powder, vanilla extract, a little booze/wet cardboard mustiness. More chocolate comes through once it's had some time to settle.

T/M-Tastes like a lesser Victory at Sea. Vanilla and baker's chocolate dominate the palate, with sharp bitterness on the back end. Body is full and soft, with a dry bitterness that creeps in and builds up residually.

O-The dryness hurts drinkability. Decent. I would've liked to try it fresh, seems like it's on the decline.

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Photo of largadeer
3.43/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Fancy looking waxed 750ml bottle shared by Sandstone. Thanks, Roger.

Pours the color of espresso with a tall off-white head that slowly recedes. Solid head retention, a fine looking porter.

It reeks of fresh oak. Beneath the sharp and spicy oak there are whispers of vanilla and bitter baker's chocolate, but any subtlety is wiped out by the heavy-handed use of oak chips.

Oak, chocolate. That's all I taste initially. It's sort of like a chocolate covered oak chip. Apparently there's some vanilla in here, but it's subtle. Somewhat astringent and drying on the palate with a medium-full body. The vanilla shows up a bit more in the finish, along with a surprising hoppiness and huge tannins. This has the mouthfeel of a big Zinfandel or Cabernet Sauvignon, which isn't really a quality that I desire in porters. It's not a bad beer, all things considered, but the components in different proportions could have made something much better.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.43/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at The Bruery's St. Veronus celebration,

A: Pours a dark brown with a medium off-white head. Good head retention, solid look.

S: Roasted malt with a hint of vanilla and bourbon, not the most aromatic compared with some of The Bruery's other offerings.

T: The roasted malt and charcoal is heavy. The vanilla and bourbon/oak which I was hoping would be more of a focal point is not as big as I'd hoped. A good flavour, but I'm not getting anything that's going to make me go nuts.

M: Very smooth carbonation, smooth, robust for sure.

D: There's nothing wrong with this as a stand alone, I liked it. But when I hear bourbon and a Bruery beer I get my hopes up so much, I guess they're dashed a bit here. A solid porter, don't get me wrong but nothing profound.

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Photo of claspada
3.45/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown with a medium off-white head. Good head retention, spotty lacing as it recedes.

The aromas begin very heavy on the oak with some good notes of vanilla beans. As it warms the roast becomes quite heavy and dominant with faint hints of bourbon in the background.

The tastes begin with a touch of caramel sweetness and a hint of vanilla. The roast is perhaps even more pronounced in the flavor than the aromas which I didn't think was possible, as is the oak, but the roasted char becomes too dominant and lingering on the palate.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation. Finish is dry and roasty and overly oaky; too much so for myself and others I sampled this with.

Overall this beer was enjoyable colder and become abrasive and taxing on the palate as it warmed. Maybe a bit too heavy on the dark malts and too long of an extended contact period with the oak. Maybe the base beer wasn't bold enough to handle the aging as well, either way the vanilla wasn't as pronounced as I had hoped for and this just didn't work for me in the end.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.46/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Thanks to John11486 for sharing this one at Wowcoolman's tasting.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, and vanilla bean aromas. Taste is much the same with a slightly sour and acrid cocoa flavor on the finish. There is a mild amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer that smells much better than it tastes at this point in time.

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Photo of DenverLogan
3.51/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 750 ml into Corsendonk chalice.
Pours a dark brown with large brown head that eventually goes bye bye.
Aroma of dark roasted chocolate, burnt malts, slight wood.
Significant carbonation and mouthfeel.
Flavors of burnt malts, bitter chocolate, cream of tartar, molasses, slight funky dark tropical fruit juice, carob, black pepper. Overall tasty but challenging with a bitter sweetness and semi-dry finish. Some travel damage and slight oxidation is likely, but not overwhelming. Perhaps best to share after a few lighter brews.

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Photo of phichifiji00
3.53/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into tulip glass.

Appearance: Dark brown, 1/2 finger of tan head, fades quickly, minimal lacing.

Smell: Smoked malt, oak and lots of vanilla.

Taste: Tons of vanilla, oak, smoked malt and some bitter chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, decent carbonation, very smooth.

Overall: Very pleasant, huge vanilla profile. I wasn't expecting the smokiness.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.55/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Ditmier busted this one out at a tasting at his house a couple weeks ago... Very cool Eric!!

Pours with a dark tan head... deep clear brown brew... nice lacing...

Roasty malts and hints of chocolate with a pretty strong vanilla presence on the nose.

Flavor is a fairly dry big porter with way too much vanilla... strong cookie vanilla for my liking... the beans overpower what is a nice porter.... maybe some malty sweetness would help, but given the dry beer, I just don't appreciate it... oak shows with warmth, so does some piney hoppiness that seems out of place.... There is just too many things going on here that all come full circle to the vanilla.... multi-dimensional and muddy.

Body seems a tad thin and carbonation is a bit high for a big ABV porter.... I don't know what will improve this one except .... age.... and even then, I don't think I will like it any better.

Weird note with a big ole arrow toward the bottom of the page says "pretty well made despite my drawbacks."


Glad I got a chance to try this and damn glad I didn't order any.... Even more thankful that I have such a good friend and beer buddy like Ditmier.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.58/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap @ The Bruery (Plancentia, CA) on 3/20/10. Served in a tulip glass.

Pours just about black, maybe more of a deep brown with some ruby highlights coming out along the bottom, with a thin frothy covering of burnt looking dark mocha head. Solidly rich looking retention on this, which leaves back a lot of creamy foam and brown oils down the sides of the glass. Wow, LOTS of woody tannics and green citric notes are present, along with some lesser Bourbon character that is mixed in. Chocolate, vanilla, and dark roast add a dark tang to the back of the nose.

Much like the aroma, the taste is very heavy on that woody oak feel, which blends in with notes of toffee, chocolate, and burnt roast up front. Vanilla and bourbon add some extra sticky sweetness to the back of the profile. Very dry overall (especially the finish on this), which speaks to all of that oak presence. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied, with a nice mellow creaminess to that keeps that big 8.5% ABV nicely in check. Just the right amount of alcohol warmth is present, keeping the profile big in the mouth but not overshawdowing any of the flavor.

I was expecting a little more from this Barrel-Aged Porter but I think that once this gets bottled, it could develop into something nice. Right now, it just seems a bit too young and muddled tasting. One to keep an eye on.

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Photo of jmarsh123
3.61/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours deep brown with a 1.5 finger creamy tan head.

Aroma is cocoa, vanilla, some spiciness and a bit of oxidation.

Starts out with some chocolate and cocoa flavor. Vanilla and oak make their presence known, but the vanilla appears to have faded with time. A little bit of a spice kick and some more expected oxidation. Finishes sweet on the back of the tongue.

Medium body and carbonation has held up well.

Some good flavors here even though it's slightly oxidized due to age. I'm not a huge fan of some of the spice profile, but overall still a rather enjoyable beer. I wish I could've tried this when the vanilla popped a bit more. Probably over the hill now.

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Photo of Xul
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours dark brown with rich ruby highlights when held up to the light, capped by a foamy two finger beige head. Retention is moderate as the head settles down to a thin layer, leaving some light lacing behind.

S: Total oak bomb at first, but it balances a bit as it warms and opens up. Vanilla, bittersweet chocolate, roasted malts/light coffee, and dark fruits - dark cherries and figs - integrate nicely behind the oak. Perhaps this aspect will improve as it ages but the oak is just too strong right now.

T: Opens up with strong, spicy oak notes again before moving into dark chocolate and roasted malts. Dark fruits barely show up near the backend, before movingg into an oaky finish with some hints of vanilla in the background.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation, would benefit from being fuller bodied.

D: Goes down easy in spite of the overpowering oak, but isn't particularly memorable. I'd be curious to pick up another bottle and see where it is in 6 to 12 months, but there are definitely better examples of the style.

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Photo of KAP1356
3.7/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes. I was lucky enough to get a bottle of this when it first came out. 750 ml bottle split 4 ways at a birthday party. Poured into a pint glass...

A - Pours a dark brown color that almost borders on being black. A nice light tan head forms about a finger thick. Some nice lacing along the glass.

S - The aroma is roasted malts, chocolate, and a lot of vanilla and oak. The vanilla and oak really takes the stage here as the other aromas are slightly muted by it. I love vanilla, but I also like it when its integrated well.

T - Chocolate, vanilla, and oak all up front. These are really the main flavors I get here. There are some tannins, and some subtle coffee coming through as well. Surprisingly, the vanilla is more subtle on the palate than on the nose.

M - The body is medium, but it really feels a tad too thin for what I expected. The carbonation is also a bit higher than I wanted it to be.

O - I'm glad I got to try this one, but I wasn't blown away by it. A few of us who split it really liked it, while the others were on the opposite side of the spectrum.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.7/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer served in a Bruery tulip. Beer is aggressviely carbonated. Huge tan head of small bubbles, some lacing, moderate carbonation, dark black beer, looks nice.

Aroma is a little sweet, ashy, weak.

Beer is medium in body and sweet with an ashy bitter finish. Not the best beer and I don't detect any vanilla but overall it is a fine beer. Not a repeat though I feel it is over the hill.

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Photo of FosterJM
3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

669th Review on BA
Bottle to Flute

App- A dark brown, almost black in color, a nice tan head maybe 1/2” was there. Left a little bit of cling and lace on the side

Smell- It's faded a little bit but you get some of the vanilla, a little roast and some hints of chocolate. I would think with all these flavors freshly bottled this would've been amazing on the nose.

Taste- Right of the bat, you know it's a porter. A roasty thicker taste with slight notes of the vanilla and chocolate. Again a bit faded but still good.

Mouth- Medium bodied and medium carbonated. Nice vanilla oak residual flavors.

Drink- This was a long time want of mine. I am very glad I got to try this at Clusterfork #6.

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Photo of ehammond1
3.78/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

On Tap

Pizza Port
Carlsbad, CA

Midnight black pour with a thin light brown head. Spots of lacing left down the glass. Simple and as expected.

A very muted aroma, though what's here is very nice: roasted malt, lots of oak, a touch of smoke, and a bit of sweet vanilla. The only unfortunate thing about the aroma is that it's not stronger, because if it was, it'd be phenomenal.

I have a similar complaint, if you can call it that, with the flavor. What's here is nice (oak, earth, vanilla, roasted malt), but there just isn't a ton of flavor here. Perhaps the flavors have muted during the aging process...though it really hasn't been that long.

Medium to thick body with low carbonation--particularly appropriate for this. This is a joy to drink, and the alcohol is nowhere to be seen.

This beer was better than it's individual parts may indicate; I really enjoyed drinking it, I just wish all the flavors and aromas were far stronger.

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Photo of waltonc
3.78/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours dark translucent brown with a large tan head. Smells of vanilla and chocolate, mostly. Not very complex. Tastes of chocolate, oak, vanilla, and hops. The pronounced hop pine bitterness seems slightly out of place here. Tastes good, but doesn't blow me away. Not boozy or hot. Maybe expectations were set too high due to the fancy wax-topped one-off anniversary celebration factor, but this doesn't strike me as meriting a Vanna White gliding arm presentation. Body is a bit thin in my opinion (but certainly thick in comparison to an ice cold Coors Light), with high carbonation. If this were sold in sixers at a reasonable price, I'd buy more. But given the high cost, I would pass on trying it again.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.78/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Shared by drabmuh. Thanks Matt!

The beer is a dark chestnut brown with a gargantuan tan head. Copious lacing caked on the side of the glass. The aroma offers vanilla, roast, booze, coffee. The flavor is ok. Dominant oak and ash flavors with alcoholic vanilla lingering in the aftertaste. Medium bodied. Not all the flavors are in total cooperation with one another.

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Einer's Folly Vanilla Imperial Porter (Holiday Wine Cellar's 45th Aniv Ale) from The Bruery
84 out of 100 based on 52 ratings.