Einer's Folly Vanilla Imperial Porter (Holiday Wine Cellar's 45th Aniv Ale) - The Bruery
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Ratings: 101 | Reviews: 52 | Display Reviews Only:
4.33/5 rDev +13.4%
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.
12-16-2010 03:23:22 | More by maximum12
3.93/5 rDev +2.9%
Decided to crack this one tonight while watching the Penn State Bama game. Should have drunk a lot more during the day before the game.
A - After picking through the yellow wax, finally opened this bad boy. Pours dark brown with a bubbly head that quickly settles down.
S/T - Blast of oak followed by some coffee/chocolate roast with an undertone of vanilla. Actually, it all comes together pretty well, but if any of the other components took a higher profile compared to the oak, the beer would be that much better.
M - Pretty nice, nothing great but OK.
D - Pretty nice beverage and something that I am glad I got the chance to try. I thought this was pretty solid.
09-12-2010 02:39:52 | More by Beerisheaven
4/5 rDev +4.7%
Awesome extra from JohnnyJ!
A-pours a dark brown liquid with a dense creamy darker khaki colored head.
S-the nose is big time chocolate and vanilla, roasted malts and a touch of burnt bitter coffee in there as well.
T-the taste brings much of the same, desert like rich dark chocolate with an underlying vanilla flavor, roasted malts, bitter slighlty burnt coffee, toffee.
M-medium to full body and chewy, creamy on the palate, a good bit of carbonation, slightyly dry finish.
D-very tasty beer, huge malt body and very rich flavors. a little sweet, much like a dessert, but still a nicely done brew.
08-02-2010 01:34:48 | More by cpetrone84
3.68/5 rDev -3.7%
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.
07-21-2010 06:02:09 | More by Xul
3.85/5 rDev +0.8%
Got this from Holiday down in San Diego. Need to catch up on some reviews.
The appearance is a dark black color, with a nice frothy tan head. It is a good looking porter, the head leaves a medium lacing around the edges of the glass.
The smells in this one are not very strong, but there is some good going on. Vanilla, cocoa nibs, earthy malt, some alcoholic boozy-ness.
The taste is full of vanilla, chocolate, earthy grain, and lots of oak. It is pretty good, actually it is really good its just that the flavors are all basic and text book. Yes, this is a vanilla porter with oak cubes, but is it anything spectacular? No, it is very good but nothing worth remembering.
The mouthfeel is very good on this one, it has a great thick mouthfeel with a silky clean finish. Great mouthfeel.
07-03-2010 02:07:32 | More by Jmoore50
3.8/5 rDev -0.5%
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.
07-01-2010 23:16:28 | More by waltonc
3.88/5 rDev +1.6%
poured into chimay chalice.
No head to speak of. but may be do to the pour not the beer. no real lacing to speak of.
Smell. bourban with a light alcohol smell.
mouthfeel. was a little let down by the mouthfeel on this one. I would think an "imperial porter" would be heavier or creamier. But pretty medium bodied.
Taste. the main taste I get is a mild bourban taste. some dry chocolate and roasted malt to finish. but main flavor is the bourban chips. no vanilla to speak of?
drinkability. is pretty good. the beer is somewhat balanced and it is easy to drink through. Would imagine this beer is much better out of bottle.
06-24-2010 04:47:31 | More by pastradul
3.95/5 rDev +3.4%
750ml bottle poured into a Dogfish Head signature glass.
A - Pours a nearly black dark, dark liquid with a finger of dense cappuccino head the lingers for a while. A tiny bit of lacing is left after the head falls and a nice skim coat of foam remains throughout the glass.
S - A good amount of coffee, roasted malts, oak, dark caramel, dark chocolate, licorice, some alcohol. Surprisingly, I'm not getting any vanilla. Vanilla comes out when it gets room temperature warm, but not before.
T - Crispy burnt malt, black coffee, smokey malt, bbq sauce?, light vanilla. The smokiness dominates this one...becomes almost rauchbeir-like when it approaches room temperature.
M - Medium bodied with smooth creamy and lightly prickly feel. Smokiness fills the mouth on every sip and way into the aftertaste.
D - Split this bottle with another BA, nonstick...half of the bottle is just about right. Very interesting, good porter - perhaps a bit too smoky to be ideal. Recommend trying this one if you can get it.
06-12-2010 22:57:45 | More by portia99
3.43/5 rDev -10.2%
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.
06-07-2010 20:57:10 | More by largadeer
3.53/5 rDev -7.6%
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.
05-26-2010 08:17:15 | More by JohnGalt1
4.05/5 rDev +6%
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.
05-23-2010 02:58:05 | More by jrallen34
4.38/5 rDev +14.7%
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.
05-17-2010 12:20:12 | More by glid02
4.25/5 rDev +11.3%
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.
05-04-2010 05:30:20 | More by TMoney2591
4.08/5 rDev +6.8%
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.
04-30-2010 21:31:06 | More by billshmeinke
4.88/5 rDev +27.7%
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!
04-27-2010 06:07:23 | More by Hopsfiend
3.95/5 rDev +3.4%
On tap at the release party at Churchill's and served in a Bruery snifter. The beer is dark brown with a deep crimson tinge and a glorious two finger light brown head which exhibits excellent retention and leaves thick lacing on the sides of the glass when it disappears.
The aroma is quite mellow and innocuous. There are no real flaws, but there are also no standout qualities to set it apart from other beers of the same or similar styles. My first impression is that the beer is still a bit young. The hops are quite strong, and they seem to overshadow what may or may not lie underneath. It seems green. The vanilla is very, very faint. If a beer makes a point of advertising the use of vanilla on the label, I would expect more vanilla than what I find here. On a positive note, the subtle combination of oak, chocolate, and caramel is nice, and when the beer warms there's a noticeable bourbon presence. It's not strong, but it's pleasant and comes through nicely for only having used bourbon soaked oak chips rather than barrels.
I find the flavor to be more enjoyable than the aroma. The medium hop bitterness adds a nice touch to the milk chocolate and oak. Bourbon is again evident, and there's a light roasted malt presence. As the beer warms, the chocolate becomes more pronounced and I detect some vanilla. There's a light astringency from the oak chips and a little alcohol warming. The finish is bitter pine chocolate oak with a little bourbon and lingering bitterness. I'm enjoying this quite a bit. The mouthfeel is one of the highlights. It's full and thick with a distinct creaminess that does the beer great credit.
This turned out to be quite enjoyable and pretty damn drinkable. I'd have no trouble putting down a few pints of this. For a beer of this style, the drinkability is quite high. I think this is a bit young at this point and that it in time it will improve.
04-24-2010 01:32:04 | More by HopHead84
3.58/5 rDev -6.3%
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.
03-31-2010 16:41:54 | More by Kegatron
4/5 rDev +4.7%
On Tap at The Bruery
Poured a dark black into The Bruery tulip glass. Smell of roasted oaks and vanilla. Taste of an Imperial Porter with vanilla and a definite bourbon backend. Mouthfeel had different tastes going on at the same time i.e. vanilla, roasted oaks, bourbon. Good drinkability for a porter. Had to get a full glass after this taster. Hope they have this in a bottle.
03-30-2010 07:15:27 | More by Westsidebuddha
3.9/5 rDev +2.1%
On tap at Holiday Wine Cellar.
Pours a deep brown. Very little head. Little bit of lacing. More of a thin layer of film as a head.
Aroma is mostly roasted grains. Slight bit of oak. Not alot of diverse aromas going on. Just roast mostly.
Tastes pretty much how it smells. Not alot of diversity. Don't get me wrong it's a pretty good beer but nothing to really set it apart as an anaversary beer. I was expecting a little more actually. A little hint of bourbon but not much.
Mouthfeel needs to be heavier IMO. Carb was good.
Overall I could drink a whole 750 of this beer because it is actually easy drinking but it's not very special IMO. Tastes like a really roasty porter. Needs more caramel malt. It's good and I would have it again I was just expecting more.
03-24-2010 00:37:33 | More by PeprSprYoFace
4.08/5 rDev +6.8%
A thick fluffy head and dark like all porters.
The aroma is subdued roasted malts and oak.
The taste is an improvement, mainly roasted malts, minerals, and oak. I was hoping for more vanilla and bourbon. I blame victory at sea for the lower rating.
Has a creamy, moderately high carbonated mouthfeel.
Surprisingly drinkable from the nice combination of flavors and creamy mouthfeel.
03-22-2010 23:50:00 | More by jobcrackerbah
4.4/5 rDev +15.2%
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.
03-22-2010 18:27:06 | More by willjschmidt
3.9/5 rDev +2.1%
Pours black with brown highlights. Surprisingly robust light brown head.
Smells like roasted malt. With a heaping accompaniment of roasted malt. And some roasted malt.
Taste is primarily burnt/roasted/charred malt with a hint, just a hint mind you, of some bourbon. Maybe a tad bit of dark chocolate in there. I detected zero vanilla.
Interesting, good, solid porter, but it went in a different direction than I expected.
03-21-2010 07:37:50 | More by Overlord
3.33/5 rDev -12.8%
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.
03-21-2010 06:19:19 | More by womencantsail
3.45/5 rDev -9.7%
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.
03-21-2010 02:35:01 | More by Halcyondays
4.3/5 rDev +12.6%
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.
03-19-2010 15:07:54 | More by HoldensHomebrew
Einer's Folly Vanilla Imperial Porter (Holiday Wine Cellar's 45th Aniv Ale) from The Bruery
86 out of 100 based on 101 ratings.