1. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $14.99 (US/print only). Offer ends April 30. Subscribe now! (Because great beer deserves great stories AND readers.)

Vanilla Infused Porter (V.I.P.) - Hop Valley Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Vanilla Infused Porter (V.I.P.)Vanilla Infused Porter (V.I.P.)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

101 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 101
Reviews: 32
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 10.93%
Wants: 7
Gots: 15 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Hop Valley Brewing Company visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  5.90% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: RedDiamond on 07-29-2009

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 101 | Reviews: 32
Reviews by einman:
More User Reviews:
Photo of bradleyp
3.92/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to $1 beer night at the Cooler in Eugene, OR. Drank from tap. The color is a dark brown, almost black. The aroma of vanilla and coffee is very pungent. I wasn't too excited about the taste because it seemed very spicy as well. I drank about 3 of these, and then i had to switch to the Double D Blonde. There is a decent amount of alchol flavor. I think the abv is around 6%. this is def. not a beer you want to drink too much of, but 1 or 2 works out just fine. Try this beer after eating a hearty steak meal.

Photo of Docer
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: (4.5)
- Pours a nice super dark brown, light brown seen through the edges of the glass. Nice healthy pour yielded a couple of fingers of a light latte beige head. Very creamy head that has left lace all about the glass, and is leaving a nice thin creamy layer above the brew. The look of this brew is making me very thirsty.

Smell: (4.0)
- A melded mix of all the greatest things is a porter. Nice husky grainy notes with a thin sweet blanket of cocoa. Light vanilla is present, with some very grassy and herbal hops. Smells wonderful and solid.

Taste: (4.0)
- Yum. This porter is very solid. Nice smooth creamy cocoa and sweet grains with a nice touch of vanilla that isn't overpowering by any means. Great bitterness shines afterwards with great grassy hops. This porter is a little more hop forward than most which might open the eyes a little of some. I like it. Light citrus notes as well.

Mouth Feel: (3.5)
- Medium to light bodied, very smooth and creamy, and a bit drying from the bitter hops. The hops throw the feel off a bit from what one would expect from a porter. Touch cloying and chalky.

Overall: (3.5)
- Overall this is a great porter. I would have liked a little more robust cocoa, grain, and vanilla.. but then I'd have a robust porter. I think the hops used would work well as they are in a robust. This is a hop forward, and nicely bittered porter that I think most would like quite well. Worth grabbing a few bottles here and there.

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.71/5  rDev -1.1%

Poured from a bottle into a Fremont small snifter. Pours a very dark mahogany brown, appearing nearly opaque in the glass with a thin light khaki head that dissipates to patches, leaving light lacing. Aroma of sweet dark malts, chocolate, vanilla, a hint of lactose. Flavor is light sweet toasted malt, vanilla, hints of chocolate; finishes with a slightly astringent coffee and hop bitterness and roastiness. Medium bodied. A somewhat subdued porter, there are some good flavors and they are well balanced, but seem to need a bit more robustness, exposing the noted astringency in the finish. The vanilla redeems this, otherwise it would be a fairly pedestrian porter.

Photo of djeucalyptus
3.86/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

organic vanilla beans, huh?

pours a nice dark caramel brown near black with a fairly thin head that fades relatively quickly and doesn't leave behind all that much lacing.

aroma of rich earthy chocolate cake, vanilla, dark malt and a hint of hops. more sweetness. caramel and vanilla. smells rich.

taste is surprisingly balanced. aroma seemed sweet, taste is definitely hoppy... only some vanilla. not quite as flavorful as I was hoping... but nicely balanced, ample dark malt. lingering dark chocolate.

mouth is clean, light (maybe a bit too much?) with ample carbonation. intense lingering bitterness on the tongue keeps this one from being sickly sweet. maybe a good thing.

all in all, an interesting offering. Awesome to see it in bottles... and this is one definitely worth seeking out! I had it on tap in Eugene and it was shockingly vanilla-forward in taste (almost too much). This bottling doesn't seem anywhere near as strong, although its still a delicious porter.

Photo of DarthKostrizer
4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: Black and totally opaque with a great 1 inch head and good retention and some circular lacing

Smell: A nice vanilla bean note and not much else

Taste: Follows the nose upfront is the vanilla bean and it is not overpowering which is nice but I feel like it could use just a touch more vanilla. In the background there is a nice note of chocolate. The vanilla and chocolate blend together perfectly and create a nice drinkable porter

Mouthfeel: Medium body and medium carbonation

Overall: A beer with great use of ingredients and great balance. Highly recommended

Photo of Ghenna
3.3/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Purchased this as part of my tour of the PNW

Deeo red in color, low off white head that sticks around for a bit

Nose is spice, roast, and vanilla

Vanilla is present in the flavor, but kind of minimally. Plenty of smoke and roast too.

My first beer from hop valley, kind of meh truth be told. Honestly. the smoke/roast doesn't mesh too well with the vanilla flavor. The Vanilla stouts I've made always do well with lactose to smooth out the dark malt, but lacking that the flavors don't seem to work too well.

Photo of Reidrover
3.94/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle bought from Roth’s Sunnyslope Market in S.Salem. $3.50 Pours a good porter dark brown with a lovely thick,creamy and bubbly tan head. Aroma a little subdued but it has the typical porter roasted malts and a touch of vanilla essence. Flavour is well balanced with more of the roasty,burnt malts and the vanilla well mixed in but not too forward ( like many vanilla porters). Good. Mouth feel is nice and smooth ..no trouble getting this over the tongue! Very nice beer..better than the usual vanilla porter for sure.

Photo of MaltsOfGlory
4.37/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very aggressive pour yields a pretty standard one finger head into my standard pint glass. The head is a light born color, not the darkest head ever, that's for sure, but definitely darker than just off white. The head is mostly all medium sized bubbles, some small bubbles too though. The head is fading very quickly, and is now pretty much gone, not too impressed with that, but it is giving me good lacing. The body is extremely dark, almost no hints of any colors other than black, I get a little brown when I hold it up to the light. Transparency is zero. Overall a nice looking porter, a little disappointing with the head, but overall it's a nice looking beer. The smell is very nice, very deep, rich, and very roasty. I get a lot of dark malts, maybe some chocolate, and for sure some coffee. I'm confused, I thought this was supposed to be a vanilla porter? It smells much more like a chocolate stout or coffee stout or something. There may be a little vanilla in the smell, but overall it's not the defining factor. The smell still is really amazing though, regardless if it smells like what the label says it should smell like or not. This may be a generous rating, but I'm gonna give it a 4.5 on the smell. Not a perfect smell, but pretty close. Wow, that's a smooth beer. I get a lot of flavors here too, coconut, light nuts (ones that you would find in ice cream or a cake), vanilla is present, not overpowering though, not really any chocolate or coffee like I thought there would be on the smell. The alcohol is a little more present than it should be for 5.9%. It's not unbearable by any means, or even that noticeable, it's just that I shouldn't really be able to notice is at all. Dark malts and a tiny tiny hop bite take a back seat to all the other flavors. Overall this is a very tasty beer, the taste is for sure a 4, and maybe even a 4.5, I'm not sure, but the mouthfeel is really what does it for me in this beer. The mouthfeel just puts everything together here, the taste is good, but without the mouthfeel it wouldn't be this easy drinking and this smooth. It's hard to describe but the body is just so smooth, it's not rough, it's a little small for the style, but it has a slightly creamy feel to it, and the carbonation is just perfect, very low but very good. I would say that the creamyness and carbonation are what do it for me in the mouthfeel, excellent. Like I said drinkability is very high, it's smooth, tasty, and not too bad on the alcohol. Overall this is a really fantastic beer, lots of flavors going on and a great mouthfeel.

As I get to the bottom of the glass, the lacing really wasn't too impressive, so I think 4 for the rating was just fine. Part of me really wants to give this beer a 4.5 for taste (I'm still pondering that rating) because it's very complex and really tasty, it's just not quite as big as I want it to be. This might be the hardest it's ever been deciding whether to give a beer a 4.5 or a 4 on taste, I'm going to say right now that I give this beer a 4.25 for taste, because I just can't decide. As far as what I put in the box....it's really good, so I'm gonna give it a 4.5.

Photo of vkv822
3.25/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle into tulip snifter.

Pours black with very dark brown edges when held to the light. A foamy light brown head that dissipates fairly quickly.

Sweet vanilla upfront blended roasty malts, and a light coffee character.

Light vanilla and roast notes.

A medium-light body with average carbonation.

A decent porter, with the vanilla adding a small layer of complexity, but overall, while it is enjoyable it is still fairly standard.

Photo of MadeInOregon
4.3/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I couldn't pass on a beer that was made by "adding vanilla beans to the conditioning tank", as the label says. I'm so tired of companies making vanilla/coffee/fruit beers by just throwing in some random soy lecithin or something at the end to try to trick our palettes into thinking we're tasting something authentic. Rant over. Onto the review...

THE LOOK of Hop Valley's V.I.P. was good for a porter, in that it looks like a good porter. The body is black with a thin and creamy khaki head. The foam recedes into that nice swirly whirlpool shape which only good stouts and porters seem capable of.

THE SMELL was of chocolate malt with only a hint of vanilla. Chocolate is dominant. Very sweet on the nose. Overall, I feel the smells are quite faint for a beer this full.

THE TASTE was typical of a sweet, but good, stout when cold. As the beer warms coffee and vanilla flavors really come through and the Vanilla Infused Porter begins to really taste like a porter. The label calls this a "robust porter" and I would agree; it has a slightly dry and hoppy finish, which is reminiscent of other fine American porters (Deschutes, Kona, etc.) . However, this is also sweet beer. Very sweet. But, the vanilla is nicely balanced against the chocolate and coffee making for a very drinkable beer.

THE FEEL is nice. V.I.P. is medium bodied and goes down smoothly.

CONCLUSION: This was my first from Hop Valley Brewing Company and I'll be looking out for more of their stuff when I'm in Oregon again. This is a great example of a true artisan porter. It's true-to-style in just about every regard. I think the smell is the only thing that is lacking; for all the flavor I would expect a greater aroma. Kinda weird, but no biggie.

Photo of Chris-MOC9
3.66/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another awesome beer from Hop Valley

I really enjoyed this one a lot.

First off the color is a nice dark brown to black

The aroma of malt and vanilla is very pleasant to the nose.

And last the taste is the best part of this porter, the nice malt and vanilla is intriguing.

very drinkable and recommanded

Photo of notchucknorris
3.93/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours black with a thin light brown colored head.

S: I was expecting a ton of vanilla on the nose, but you really have to dig for the vanilla here. Nice notes of roasted malt and coffee with a thin hint of vanilla in the background.

T: I'm really digging this one. Lots of roasted malt, some hints of grain, coffee, hints of dark chocolate and a touch of vanilla sweetness which makes up for a slightly thin mouthfeel. Really easy to drink and pretty tasty to boot.

Photo of mactrail
3.47/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Surprisingly drinkable dark brew. Attractive and sudsy in the tall glass. The threatened vanilla is quite restrained, with a more chocolatey flavor. Malty and faintly sweet, followed by the dry hops.

Light and frothy mouthfeel. Some blackened grainy taste, nicely balanced by the vanilla undertone. A funny peppery note at the end. Just a brush of hops with a resiny taste in the back of the throat.

Thoroughly drinkable concoction. From the 22 oz bottle.

Photo of artoolemomo
3.61/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance- Pours up an okay amount of head which has similar retention. The head is a medium beige while the body is a dark chocolate brown that shows a good amount of garnet when held up to the light. Considerable lacing left behind- some of which is sheeting.

Nose- Starts off with a rich array of typical porter aromas- caramel, cocoa, and some chocolate. Noticeable vanilla but not overwhelming. There's a little less presence from the glass which tends to show more milk and cream. Slight roasted notes with a tinge of a sweet coffee note. Swirling shows this but more pronounced.

Taste- Pronounced sweetness on the front which is also a bit tart- very similar to the sweet/sour I get from a lot of coffee. Moves into heavy cocoa which has hints of dark chocolate flitting around the edges. Sweetness has some inclination toward sour cherry or tart (maybe green) raisins. Some bitter coffee, light oak, light vanilla. Some milk and cream on the finish. Nothing bad about most of the notes, they just seem to be in the wrong order. Pretty typical of my experience with vanilla beers- no substantial vanilla. If anything, I get more oak than vanilla. This porter is defined by coffee more than anything else. A little thin as well. Between above average and good at the moment.

Mouthfeel- Between light and medium bodied, so a little thin for a porter. Carbonation is tame but there is a slight zing at the end.

Drinkability- Fairly drinkable but sort of mellows out to become less than interesting. Price is good (just over 4 bucks)- just wish the actual beer was better.

Overall- Above average to good beer. No real flaws but the flavor profile does seem a little off balanced. Worth a shot if you don't expect to taste too much vanilla.

Photo of Hoptometrist
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap into a shaker glass at the brewpub

A- Poured brown with ruby red hues shining through, very minimal head with no lace

S- Big natural vanilla bean aroma, chocolate, and roasty notes

T- Big natural vanilla bean taste, big milk chocolate, nice roasty notes, some surprising and very pleasant bourbon flavor

M- Creamy and smooth, some tongue tickling carbonation, finishes dry

O- Great mouthfeel and a great blend of vanilla, chocolate, roasty, and bourbon notes. Very natural flavors, lots of sweetness but the roastiness gives it a nice balance

Photo of flagmantho
3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 22oz bomber into a tulip.

Appearance: rich, deep, very dark red hue with virtually no haze. Head is a finger of frothy tan foam. An interesting color on a porter, but not an unwelcome one!

Smell: bready, caramelly, nutty and slightly toasty, with a bit of sweet vanilla coming through. Quite good.

Taste: caramelly, toasty and with just a hint of that vanilla. It reminds me a bit of a brown ale, but there's just enough roast in there to be a ruddy porter. Not bad at all.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a good carbonation and a quite-decent creaminess.

Overall: this is a pretty decent vanilla porter. It's not perfect, but it is definitely worth a try if you like vanilla beers.

Photo of N3rdM3t4l
3.38/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brown bomber into standard pint. Served cold.

A: opaque black with a finger of mocha head that fell to a sparse cap. A decent ring leaving good lacing though.

S: vanilla, chocolate, and ethanol up front. A slightly tinny smell like black olives too. Bit roasty and I think I smell black malt in there too.

T: just like the nose. Chocolate up front, almost carob like. Vanilla isn't overpowering but sits patiently in the middle of the flavor profile where it belongs. The tinnyness isn't present in the taste but a little alcohol is, very little warming though. A slight hoppy twang but no bitterness. Good but not great, I have had better porters.

M: slightly chewey when cold and a little heavier as it warms. Smooth with a tiny bit of carbonation.

O: good vanilla beer but not a prime example of a porter. I would get it again though, maybe let it age a little.

Photo of dlbrockmiller
4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a darkish beer with a light tan head. It has a light roast, malt aroma with a nice vanilla. You can really taste the vanilla and malt flavor along with a light caramel. It is really a nice pairing, slightly sweet, vanilla and light bitter flavor.

Photo of Jeffsta1
2.99/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

This is a so-so beer.
Dark color and thick head inspires confidence, which dissipates on first taste.
There's a whack of cheap American lager on the approach. Sad face at that point.
On the tongue, this doesn't have the richness I want in a porter.
I don't get vanilla from it - so that's very subtle (or an old bottle).

Trade dress of the bottle I had doesn't match the photo - the one I got was pale olive green.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.55/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to wethorseblanket for sharing this one at drewone's tasting.

Pours a hazy dark brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of 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, cookie dough, and vanilla extract aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa powder and vanilla bean flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp but fairly thin mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but the vanilla presence in this one is extract-like in my opinion.

Photo of Murrhey
3.01/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass in high elevation Libby, Mont. Reviewed from notes.

A- Not a very impressive head. Quarter inch mocha color with medium retention. Dark brown, not quite black in color. No clarity.

S- Vanilla and chocolate. Sweet and appealing. It's got my mouth watering.

T- Roast malts, a touch of vanilla and an odd metallic taste. Rather light for such a dark porter.

M-Thinner and lots of carbonation. Mediocre at best for a porter.

O- Has good parts, but tries to rest its laurels on the vanilla and doesn't stand out in other ways.

Photo of loren01
4.53/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a dark black color, nice tan head with great lacing down the glass
S: Smell is sweet, hint of vanilla. Also some chocolatey scents
T: Similar to the smell, the vanilla really comes out here, not overpowering though but you can tell its there a bit more than what the smell was like. Lingering sweetness as well as chocolate flavors. Earthy hops in the aftertaste
M: Velvety smooth beer, very nice
O: I must admit this beer did not sound good to me at first. I am really glad I tried it, one of the best porters ive had in quite a while. Will get this again for sure.

Photo of Lam
5/5  rDev +33.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Vanilla Infused Porter is like 'cheesecake in a glass'. It was smooth, tasty. I tried on tap and bottle. Both were excellent.

It is a dark, yet you can see the beer if you pour it in a glass.

I think it might be the best porter I have ever had. In addition, you can taste the coffee flavor.

Photo of Jeffo
3.04/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Got this one at Bert’s Bierhuis a while back.

From a bomber into a snifter
IBU: 50

APPEARANCE: Clear, light brown pour yields a 2+ finger, medium looking, fluffy, off-white head with good retention. Clear brown body with no carbonation evident. Light colored, even for a regular porter. More like a brown ale in body. Head slowly fades to a full foamy cap and clings to the sides a bit. Splotchy wisp with some traces of lacing down the glass. Decent head and lacing, but the body is too light for the style.

SMELL: Some dark malts, nuts, light milk chocolate and some vanilla notes on the nose. Some leather in there as well. Medium strength, and the vanilla is well measured. Base porter is a little light on the burnt and dark grain aromas though.

TASTE: Some darker malt notes, leather, nuts and vanilla up front. A bit of sweet toffee at the swallow as well, then a bolder and lingering finish of leather, some milk chocolate, vanilla notes and touches of toffee as well. Sweet, with a bit of burnt bitterness on the finish as well. Okay.

PALATE: Thinner body and slightly higher carbonation. Creamy but a little light on the palate, goes down fine and finishes a touch dry.

OVERALL: Alright, and the vanilla is done nicely, but the base porter is a little lack luster perhaps. A little more of the burnt malt qualities would be nice here. A decent drink, but not something worth seeking out per se.

Photo of bearsxco
4.13/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received this in a trade with djeucalyptus. Thank you.
A- poured a very dark brown with a small tan head that does not last long. Semi- opaque.

S- slight smell of vanilla, more of a dark roast smell. Expected more of a vanilla aroma

T- first taste is more of the dark roasted coffee with a hint of chocolate, then a slight aftertaste of the vanilla hits. Nice layered flavor. Again as with the smell I expected more vanilla.

M- nice carbonation, smooth

O- overall a very nice beer. Definitely could be a nice session beer. I do get nervous with some of the " flavored" stouts and porters. That it would be just a vanilla added. This is not the case with this one. Nice flavor that I would try again.

to view more.
Vanilla Infused Porter (V.I.P.) from Hop Valley Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 101 ratings.