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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)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

102 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 102
Reviews: 52
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 13.87%
Wants: 41
Gots: 24 | 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:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: mikedashg on 03-18-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 102 | Reviews: 52 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JohnGalt1
3.53/5  rDev -7.6%
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."

4/4/3.5/3.5/3

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.

JohnGalt1, May 26, 2010
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.33/5  rDev +13.4%
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).

Beerandraiderfan, May 17, 2011
Photo of HopHead84
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

4/23/2010

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.

HopHead84, Apr 24, 2010
Photo of glid02
4.38/5  rDev +14.7%
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.

glid02, May 17, 2010
Photo of THECPJ
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

THECPJ, Aug 21, 2013
Photo of jrallen34
4.05/5  rDev +6%
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.

jrallen34, May 23, 2010
Photo of claspada
3.4/5  rDev -11%
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.

claspada, Feb 21, 2012
Photo of woosterbill
4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
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!

woosterbill, May 30, 2011
Photo of cpetrone84
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

cpetrone84, Aug 02, 2010
Photo of maximum12
4.33/5  rDev +13.4%
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.

maximum12, Dec 16, 2010
Photo of FosterJM
3.78/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

669th Review on BA
Bottle to Flute
750ML

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.

FosterJM, Jul 25, 2011
Photo of CheapBeerBuzz
4.5/5  rDev +17.8%

CheapBeerBuzz, Mar 19, 2012
Photo of wethorseblanket
3.8/5  rDev -0.5%

wethorseblanket, Oct 15, 2014
Photo of ehammond1
3.78/5  rDev -1%
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.

ehammond1, Oct 20, 2011
Photo of Exiled
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Exiled, Nov 16, 2011
Photo of DarthKostrizer
4/5  rDev +4.7%

DarthKostrizer, May 05, 2013
Photo of jsanford
3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark black with a fluffy khaki head that settles to a thin, bubbly haze and some soapy lacing clinging to the glass. Aromas of dark roasted malt, coffee, and chocolate, along with dark-toast oak and nice vanilla beans. Very smooth and integrated. Taste is pretty similar, more solid Porter flavors of roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, and baked bread with more oak and vanilla bean. Smooth and drinkable, with a medium-full body and ample carbonation. Pretty nice beer, definitely enjoyable.

jsanford, Nov 22, 2012
Photo of Overlord
3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Overlord, Mar 21, 2010
Photo of Arbitrator
2.2/5  rDev -42.4%
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.

Arbitrator, Oct 11, 2011
Photo of 2beerdogs
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

2beerdogs, Aug 25, 2013
Photo of Zbeetleman
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Zbeetleman, Jul 10, 2013
Photo of Phelps
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip

Deep, pure black with a creamy, dense two-finger head of light tan. The bubbles are very sticky, clinging to the glass in thin yet jagged tracts of horizontal lace.

Tangy nose. Licorice, honey, bitter dark chocolate, spicy molasses, vinous oak, vanilla beans. Cocoa and prunes emerge as it warms. Perhaps it’s a little oxidized, but I’d expect as much after the amount of time this has been aging.

A little spice — anise, perhaps — in the flavor as well. Burnt oak, smooth vanilla, lingering burnt toast, molasses, burnt oak and toast. Some tangy dark fruit, probably prunes. A little of the oxidation here as well.

Velvety medium-light body. There’s a touch of silky fizz as is moves, but very little carbonation. A tiny bit of boozy heat causes numbness on the tongue.

Einer’s Folly is no mistake — it may be a little old, but it's held up well. A good blend of flavors.

Phelps, Apr 18, 2012
Photo of portia99
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 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.

portia99, Jun 12, 2010
Photo of HopStoopid120
5/5  rDev +30.9%

HopStoopid120, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of djaeon
5/5  rDev +30.9%

djaeon, Jan 22, 2012
Einer's Folly Vanilla Imperial Porter (Holiday Wine Cellar's 45th Aniv Ale) from The Bruery
86 out of 100 based on 102 ratings.