Dark Side Vanilla Porter - Empyrean Brewing Company
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Ratings: 263 | Reviews: 128 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by jdhowe:
3.61/5 rDev -1.9%
12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. No idea how old this beer is -- bottle showed an area for a "drink by" label but it was not labeled. Bottle courtesy of Duffman929.
A: Pours a clear deep brown with very little light showing through with one and a half fingers of light tan colored head that recedes to a film. Good looking porter.
S: Roasty, lightly fruity, but full of creamy chocolate character alongside vanilla. A little smokiness shows through behind the sweetness, but it's mild. Alcohol is slightly evident. Fruitiness maybe just a little pungent, but otherwise a very nice aroma.
T/M: Thin, roasty, and well carbonated. Fruity character is more muted than in the nose, thankfully. Mouthfeel is definitely a little too thin. Little to no vanilla is detectable, making this a slightly disappointing vanilla porter, but a fine porter... maybe just a hint of vanilla is in the aftertaste, but I definitely want more of it.
O: This one was a little disappointing, but is still very drinkable and enjoyable. I always get so excited about flavors I like being in beers, and then let down if the beer does not deliver on that flavor. Here I am missing vanilla. Otherwise, this is a pretty good porter... pretty much right on for the style, but just a little thin in the mouthfeel. I wish I knew how old this bottle was... it could easily be years given that it was a "cleaning my cellar" addition to a box I received.
08-12-2013 02:31:35 | More by jdhowe
More User Reviews:
3.4/5 rDev -7.6%
Deep dark murky brown with a finger of khaki foam that quickly falls to a ring around the glass. Aromas of mellow roast with vanilla extract. A touch of coffee and cocoa along with some mineral notes. Kinda understated overall.
First sip brings a nice mellow roasted dark malt upfront alongside some sweet vanilla extract flavors. Hints of cocoa and a very light coffee work through as well. Flows down with more vanilla that lingers on into the finish of the brew.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied and somewhat smooth with steady carbonation. A tad light but overall it's pretty well on. A bit to sweet for me and the vanilla seems a bit too heavy on the extract. Overall, glad I got to try it but not something I would drink regularly.
08-31-2010 01:29:38 | More by orbitalr0x
2.23/5 rDev -39.4%
12 oz bottle. Pours brown with a thinnish meringue tan head that goes to a thin film and leaves a little lacing.
The aroma is sweet nutty malts and lots of vanilla and some lactose.
The flavor is sweet sugary nutty malts with some acidic vanilla and a little plastic roast in the finish. The mouthfeel is a bit on the thin and watery side.
Overall, lots of sweet vanilla with some off notes that become more pronounced the more I drink.
07-27-2012 04:11:06 | More by Beaver13
4/5 rDev +8.7%
Thanks to a77cj7 for sending me this bottle.
The beer pours a dark brown color with a tan head. The aroma is roasted malt with some vanilla and chocolate. The flavor is vanilla, chocolate and roasted/burnt malt. Medium to thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation.
The vanilla is very well done in this beer. It is present in both the aroma and flavor, but it is not overdone and doesn't taste artificial. This is what a vanilla porter should taste like.
11-18-2010 05:16:41 | More by Mora2000
3.35/5 rDev -9%
Dark brown, nearly black with a light brown head. The head started very small, and then shrunk to nothing, and left no lacing on the glass. Aroma is strong, and is unmistakably vanilla. Mouthfeel is a bit slick, and the flavor is full on strong vanilla. Subtle hints of chocolate, some roasted malt, but very very sweet vanilla. Vanilla flavor is smooth and even, but leaves little room for anything else, and is way too sweet for me.
06-28-2003 05:52:19 | More by far333
3.85/5 rDev +4.6%
via trade from bditty thanks man, straight out of Nebraska. Appearance has a dark ruby brown almost black cola colored body with a tan head looks very appetizing. Aroma has a roasty dark malt redden tone gives off hints of dark chocolate and coffee roasts with a vanilla finish to it not overdone here touch of the vanilla, nice. Taste more dark roasts bring some bitterness to the table the vanilla finishes this solid stout it doesn't overpower blended with an herbal hop character, well balanced. Mouthfeel is medium bodied evenly carbonated goes down smooth with a bit of a creamy texture. Drinkability is very nice some flavored porters kill it this one does with ease pulls it off quite nicely props goes out to Nebraskan brewers.
02-15-2006 21:44:28 | More by WVbeergeek
4.18/5 rDev +13.6%
What a corny label! Reminds me of a Broadway Musical poster. Fortunately a gorgeous porter flows from the bottle to the snifter. Don't judge a book by its cover!
Smells of dark cacao milk...
Nice cocoa splendor wrapped in a vanilla wisp...
Coats my mouth my chocolate milk!
This is not a quaffing porter. This is a dessert beer all the way. A local favorite that I have had many times before. Proud to serve this beer at dinner parties!
06-19-2008 07:47:59 | More by CamuMahubah
4/5 rDev +8.7%
Pours a deep, dark amber with a nice full finger off white head that melts rather quickly to a ring of off white bubbles.
Aromas are coffee bean, cocoa bean, and a whiff of vanilla at the end to mellow out the scent nicely.
Taste is a blend of the chocolate and coffee from the aromas...rich and dark but again the finish is mellowed by a very nice vanilla presence. Some tobacco notes also present. Everything tastes fresh and clean...nothing artificial at all.
Mouthfeel is sufficient for a porter....creamy yet light and thin at the same time. Nice drying in the aftertaste with just a bit of chocolate coffee remaining on the tongue.
06-02-2007 06:10:22 | More by IntriqKen
3.03/5 rDev -17.7%
Drank this at a friends house where it was brought from Nebraska by his son. Not a lot going on with a typical dark pour, slight head and minimal lacing.
Vanilla came through but did not sense much else like coffee, nuts or chocolate. May have been beyond its best date.
Again not much coming through with the exception of vanilla.
Mouthfeel and Drinkability could have also been affected by the age of the bottle so will give the benefit of the doubt and rate as average. Could be a better brew if revisited but not sure.
11-12-2006 14:34:45 | More by SMark
3.6/5 rDev -2.2%
12 oz. bottle poured into a straight pint glass.
A: The beer pours a very dark brown, almost black. As you titled the glass there are some tan and reddish-purple tones that become present. There is a dense head of tan foam which quickly dissipated down to nothing.
S: Very strong notes of coffee and vinegar in the nose. The vanilla is not present in the aroma whatsoever.
T: The vanilla is the dominant flavor here. There are hints of chocolate and coffee lingering the background, but Empyrean isn't joking when they call this a vanilla porter. Very smooth with nice sweet and bitter notes to balance it out.
M: The beer has a slightly thin/watery mouthfeel, I thought it would be bigger. Very drinkable.
O: This is a really nice porter, more on the light side of things. The vanilla is a nice change of pace and really makes this something that the non beer drinking might enjoy.
12-26-2011 17:18:42 | More by distantmantra
3.83/5 rDev +4.1%
Pours a clear, crimson-tinted deep mahogany body with a long standing and creamy off-white head. Lacing about the glass, unfortunately, is limited (possibly due to the oily nature of the real vanilla beans?). The nose delivers a combination of almond and vanilla over a chocolate-tinged caramel malt base that's welcoming but not necessarily natural. The body is light/medium and it's lightly creamy and quite smooth across the palate. In the flavor caramel and almond appear up-front with some chocolate and vanilla following mid-palate. It's a very soft beer that has the beautiful balance of not being sweet, but not necessarily being balanced by an underlying bitterness either. It's subtle and smooth with the exception of the way that the vanilla extract stands out as it warms. It finishes much as it starts, soft and smooth with a note of vanilla that just seems to slip away. Overall, it's a well-made and interesting beer.
06-12-2003 15:01:36 | More by NeroFiddled
3.65/5 rDev -0.8%
Thanks to Ben(madorb) for sharing this with me on the train ride down to Flossmoor last weekend. Review is from notes taken.
A cola brown liquid with a thin layer of white head that drops fast and forms a collar.
The nose is interesting and what you'd expect from a vanilla porter. Dark malts, coffee, sweet, but not cloying vanilla. There's isn't much else going on.
The first sip gives me some sugary vanilla up front followed by a mild coffe flavor and finishes with some more bitter burnt malts. It is enjoyable, but would fare better with a heavier malt bill.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied and well carbonated.
I'm glad I was able to try this, although it reminded me more of a brown ale with coffee creamer in it. It's worth a try if you come across it.
10-06-2009 21:48:27 | More by beertooth
4/5 rDev +8.7%
A: Quite black with a one-inch light brown head and good lacing; looks like a nice medium bodied porter
S: Lots of roasted malts; it really smells like coffee initially and then bam! comes the vanilla which works so well with the roasted malts
T: Such deep dark roasted flavors here; vanilla of course on top of chocolate, coffee, and even a touch of smokey meats; this is a tasty porter
F: Decent creaminess and a medium to heavy body that holds up during the entire drinking experience
O: Really a nice porter; such a great subtle sweetness complementing such a dark roasty beer; this is a solid porter--really one of the better American porters available
08-10-2011 01:43:08 | More by dbossman
3.7/5 rDev +0.5%
Pours dark brown with a 1.5" tan head. Some head retention & lacing
Smell: Vanilla then toasted malt
Taste: Vanilla up followed by toasted malt, finishes dry
MF: A little light, especially for its abv & slightly undercarbonated
Drinks okay, makes a nice dessert beer
05-31-2006 04:03:18 | More by russpowell
3.98/5 rDev +8.2%
Had on tap into a pint glass at a college bar in Lincoln, NE.
A - dark brown with a bit of head, didn't leave much lacing (to be fair, it was quite dark where I was, so I don't know how accurate my assessment here is going to be ).
S - strong roasted coffee and vanilla bean aroma. Interesting mix, and I really enjoy the smell.
T - again, coffee and vanilla are up front with a slight bit of spiciness on the back end. A very nice taste, and it improved as the beer warmed up while I was drinking it.
M - medium body, not too bad, just right for this porter. Carbonation was on the low end, but that was ok.
D - overall, I really enjoyed this beer and would love to try it again. It's a bit sweet for drinking on a regular basis, but I can see wanting to give this a shot when I have a sweet craving.
04-09-2011 13:13:06 | More by lawlerj
3.7/5 rDev +0.5%
Blackish-red hue with a foamy head, very tiny with no retention. The nose is vanilla with malt undertones; very nice. The flavors on the palate are, not surprisingly, vanilla but by no means is it overwhelming or overpowering. There are some healthy toasted malt notes (kind of like bittersweet chocolate). This is a very nice porter, fairly robust, good consistency enjoyable.
I wanted to drop a Star Wars joke in my review, you know, Dark Side Darth Vader The Empire ah, hell
12-05-2002 17:00:11 | More by bditty187
Dark Side Vanilla Porter from Empyrean Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 263 ratings.