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Victory At Sea Imperial Porter - Barrel Aged - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Victory At Sea Imperial Porter - Barrel Aged
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BA SCORE
98
world-class

122 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 122
Reviews: 38
rAvg: 4.46
pDev: 8.07%


Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  12.20% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: scottoale on 01-29-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 122 | Reviews: 38 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of BMMillsy
BMMillsy

Florida

4.11/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

HOB Gainesville on tap. Just says "barrel aged", so I will assume bourbon barrel. Poured in a Florida Beer snifter. Pours black with a super creamy mocha head. Smells of creamy vanilla and coffee. Flavor is bitter coffe up front, some burn from the bourbon, and a beautiful sweet creamy vanilla finish. Prickly carbonation goes well with the bitter coffee notes. Medium to heavy mouthfeel. Overall I don’t know that the bourbon did much for this except give it more alcohol bite. Good beer though.

Serving type: on-tap

08-24-2013 19:57:34 | More by BMMillsy
Photo of wethead
wethead

New York

4.56/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Huge Coffee Taste with super silky trace feel.

This beer is a must with fish, pork or salad.

Not a good beer for read meat dinning.

You will feel the head rush within the first few sips

I have tried over 800 beers and this one is on my top 20.

I also uploaded a picture for you :))

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2013 06:25:17 | More by wethead
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.98/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On nitro tap for the first anniversary party at Beachwood BBQ & Brewing in Long Beach, CA.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy khaki head that settles to a small cap on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cookie dough, cocoa, vanilla, wood, and bourbon.Taste is much the same with a very woody aftertaste and an alcohol kick on the finish. There is a mild amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a low level of carbonation with an almost flat and somewhat thick mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that smells better than it tastes. I really don't think the nitro presentation is helping this beer out very much either.

Serving type: nitro-tap

07-08-2012 04:24:09 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of BoatsSinkBro
BoatsSinkBro


3.85/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap during SF Beerweek 2012, at Public House.

It's everything like the normal Victory at Sea, except 2 things that I noticed personally;

-Bourbon/oak barrel flavor is strong and a noticeable aroma of it.
-Delicate Vanilla aroma and taste got smothered by the Bourbon/oak.

It's really up to personal state at this point, some people can taste vanilla out of barrel aged stuff, but when I had this, it seems the vanilla was pretty much "smothered" with that strong barrel flavor. Still was a good porter, but I wasn't tasting much of the more delicate vanilla flavors throughout the whole tulip and the barrel flavor (a rich off-dry smoky flavor) sort of overpowered the other flavors, which I felt took a bit away from the complexity.

Serving type: on-tap

03-23-2012 11:41:16 | More by BoatsSinkBro
Photo of brew3crew
brew3crew

Ohio

4.65/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at ballast point during sdbw! What a treat!

A- dark body with a nice tan lacing head!

S-sweet bourbon notes but enough malt to hold it up

T-follows the nose. Very sweet and smooth bourbon with a little bit of vanilla.

M-excellent. Smooth and silky mouth feel.

O-phenominal brew. Absolutely.

Serving type: on-tap

11-04-2011 18:47:37 | More by brew3crew
Photo of pmarlowe
pmarlowe

District of Columbia

3.9/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at O'Brien's. 10oz thin pint-like glass

A: Pours black with a cap of sand colored head, nice retention and lots of lacing. Impressive for the style.

S: Loads of sweet bourbon and vanilla, oak, and some dark chocolate. Medium roast coffee as it warms.

T: Again, tons of bourbon, almost overpowering the other flavors. Pretty hot with the alcohol. Some cocoa, and some medium roast coffee comes out as it warms.

M: Rich with medium-full body and mild carbonation.

O: Overall, while I loved the regular Victory at Sea, this has too much bourbon presence and is too hot.

Serving type: on-tap

09-24-2011 04:09:43 | More by pmarlowe
Photo of ehammond1
ehammond1


4.08/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On Tap (Nitro)

Blue Palms 3rd Anniversary Party
Blue Palms BrewHouse
Los Angeles, CA

Jet black, shiny, with a thin light brown cap. Sheets of lacing down the glass. Thick and menacing.

Bourbon, wood, and vanilla play the dominant roles within the aroma; the roast, coffee, and chocolate elements are somewhat hidden.

More bourbon and alcohol in the flavor, but balanced nicely with the typical chocolate and coffee flavors. This version seems a bit sharper, raw, and more astringent than the standard Victory at Sea.

Medium to thick mouthfeel. Incredible, especially on nitro.

A good version of a great beer, though the alcohol is a touch hot and sharp. I wish it was just a bit smoother and mellow.

Serving type: nitro-tap

08-16-2011 23:03:46 | More by ehammond1
Photo of Cavery
Cavery

California

4.1/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

had on nitro-tap @ Blue Palms 3rd Anniversary party, another great offering!

review from notes 8/13/11.

A: Raven feather black with a thick vanilla coulis bubble head. Such a micro-- nay, nano-knit head that sits like milk fat. Super thick fatty creams sit atop the glass like snow that will never melt. I love your work nitro.

S: Barrel aged vanillas that dance with bourbon residues. Creamy murangs hang out for a bit deep in the nose. Light almond butter oils make it in the mix. Extremely whipped mousses are deeply embedded. It all comes to a close with an egg white whipped lightness.

T: The taste is surprisingly clear with iced coffees ruling. Vanilla adds to the theme of airy creams. Kashew milks give a nutty cream element to the flavor. It remains consistent in the nose with being a very whipped buttery milk chocolate treat. Though chilled coffee bean flavors really come forward for me. Along with a rather forward syrupy alcohol.

M: A very silty medium bodied mouth that coats with a thick unpasteurized nitro-cream sensation. The nitro silk blanket is a great match for the cream theme. Vanilla shows up as a flavoring of the creams in every form: froths, murangs, coulis, and mousses are experienced in the mouth sequentially.

O: This is really pretty good, but also very much a sipper. Every possible form of vanilla flavoring comes into play, but it actually doesn't become bludgeoning. Carmelized sugars do well to give an authentic yet light seasoning of sweetness. This comes off very balanced, with only some minor peaking from syrupy sweet alcohols. This is a lot like a good spiked cup of chilled coco. Worth a try for sure.

Serving type: nitro-tap

08-16-2011 19:44:53 | More by Cavery
Photo of DarthKostrizer
DarthKostrizer

California

4.05/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: Black with a perfect 1/4 foam head like Guinness with great retention and lacing

Smell: Bitter chocolate coffee and vanilla

Taste: Bourbon right upfront which brings a bit of an alcohol burn and the beer finishes with a trace of vanilla but lots of chocolate

Mouthfeel: Full body with lots of alcohol burn and low carbonation

Overall: I love the regular version of this beer but I am not crazy about the BA version. Still a great beer highly recommended

Serving type: nitro-tap

08-14-2011 23:48:59 | More by DarthKostrizer
Photo of sholland119
sholland119

Pennsylvania

4.35/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Teresa's Next Door, 6/6/11.

A-Pours a deep dark black with a thin creamy tan head. Great retention, no lacing (not expected with nitro pour).

S-A bit light but some nice sweet caramel and chocolate.

T-Sweet caramel and mocha, lots of boozy warmth in the finish, good vanilla, toffee and bourbon notes.

M-Creamy, heavy, rich and warm, velvety.

O-Delicious beer. Creamy, rich flavors with an appropriate amount of warmth and heat. Excellent.

HV

Serving type: nitro-tap

07-29-2011 19:43:35 | More by sholland119
Photo of mfunk9786
mfunk9786

Pennsylvania

3.83/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Capone's during PBW.

Incredible pour, lacing like a glass of milk. This'll be a recurring theme. Victory at Sea has so much depth between coffee, vanilla, and chocolate that this -bal version is a disappointment by default. The smell and taste are hugely lactic, like drinking chocolate milk - which while not usually an issue when drinking chocolate milk, is a bit disconcerting when expecting a complex vanilla and coffee porter. Bourbon flavor is way in the back. Very smooth and creamy on the mouth. Something you don't need a review for - you'll drink it if it's on tap anyway - but it was weirdly disappointing for me.

Serving type: nitro-tap

06-17-2011 02:54:22 | More by mfunk9786
Photo of shangwang
shangwang

Pennsylvania

4.72/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

tried this at Khyber Pass during their Philly Beer Week BP event.

Beautiful looking pour- dark viscous appearance with a creamy finger of head that lingered for a while. The smell was very potent- notes of chocolate, coffee, vanilla, toasted almond and wood. It was such a pleasant aroma that I continued to go back to the smell throughout drinking this. The taste mirrored the smell- very sweet at the beginning with some roasty bitterness at the end, but extremely balanced and smooth. It was like drinking a dessert, but it wasn't overwhelmingly sweet. This might be one of the best beers I've ever tasted. Great mouthfeel- not overly heavy but a solid consistency. Finished smoothly and was very easy to drink. I could have easily had a few more if not for the other BP selections I wanted to try. Awesome beer.

Serving type: nitro-tap

06-13-2011 00:39:25 | More by shangwang
Photo of DefenCorps
DefenCorps

Oregon

3.83/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap, 12.2%ABV

Black with brown highlights, there's a creamy brown head with great retention and lacing. The reverse-cascading head thanks to the nitro pour is especially nice. Nose is thin and tannic with bourbon when cold, mildly tart and fruity even. The vanilla does grow as it warms up, completely dominating the nose. Not much malt is present.Chocolate is milky and sweet, and seems a little tame when compared to the Plead the Fifth. The coffee's faded as well.

The palate opens with boozy hot chocolate with a harsh barrel character, overly tannic and mildly astringent. Strangely, it does tame down a lot as i let it warm up and breathe. Vanilla and chocolate dominate, and the simpler flavors don't stand up to the barrel as well. Medium light in body with silky feel, this does improve with temperature but it is a little disjointed. While good stuff, I passed on finishing my 5.5oz pour simply so I could drink the rest of my BA Plead the Fifth and Pliny.

Serving type: nitro-tap

06-12-2011 13:08:00 | More by DefenCorps
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

4.28/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On nitro-tap at Capone's. Served in a mini snifter.

Pours near black with a really nice head that goes from light tan to nearly white at the top. Beautiful nitro head. Some spotty lacing on the way down. The nose immediately carries a ton of vanilla with some nice chocolate notes in the background. As it warms, a nice bourbon character and mild oak presence take hold.

The flavor isn't quite as complex or integrated as the nose -- and doesn't contain nearly as much vanilla -- but it's still quite nice. The bourbon takes on the dominant role with some chocolate and light vanilla backing. Mouthfeel is uber-creamy and nicely carbonated. Really solid effort, and I'm glad I finally got to try this one, which has been on my radar for quite some time.

Serving type: nitro-tap

06-12-2011 12:46:27 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of philbe311
philbe311

Pennsylvania

4.33/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - A very slow to develop head... It rises post pour to a thin creamy medium brown head with some decent retention... This is arguably the thickest beer I have ever seen... The carbonation bubbles are the slowest I have ever encountered as they struggle to rise to the top... Motor oil black...

S - Surprisingly subdued... Not as potent as I would have expected... A bit of booze... A bit of vanilla... A bit of coffee... Some faint caramel notes...

T - Wholly booze... The bourbon is front and center in this one as it dominates from the get go... Down beneath the surface are the vanilla and coffee notes traditionally associated with Victory at Sea...

M - Beyond full bodied... Viscous... Thick... Chewy... Sludgie... Sleek... Velvety... Very subtle carbonation...

D - In my opinion, a great barrel aged beer is complemented by the additional flavors, not dominated by them... In this case the barrel again is omni-present and dominates... Even with that said, there is no denying this is an exceptionally well crafted brew...

Serving type: on-tap

06-12-2011 04:14:31 | More by philbe311
Photo of alexhahn82
alexhahn82

California

3.75/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On cask/nitro at the 15th Annual Booneville Beer festival.

A. Wow, crazy slow chased of nitrogen after the pour. Dark rich color, creamy head.

Smell. Smell is slightly tame, but hints at the rich creamy bourbon that is in store for you.

T/M Taste is creamy with medium viscosity, frothy for being an American Porter, moderately light tones of bourbon the end.

Overall. Very nice, I am not a huge porter fan, but am a huge bourbon barrel fan. This is a very unique blend of the both. I would definitely give it a shot. Does not disappoint!

Serving type: cask

05-16-2011 19:47:44 | More by alexhahn82
Photo of scottfrie
scottfrie

California

4.47/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nitro-tap served at room temperature.

A: Pours a near-black dark brown with a typical dense, creamy, thick, and long lasting nitro head that left sheets of lacing down the glass.
S: Extremely huge notes of vanilla and well integrated bourbon along with some woody, oaky notes.
T: Sweet notes of caramel and vanilla with warm notes of bourbon coming through near the finish. Vanilla is potent all around. Coffee is subtle and creamy in the aftertaste like a latte. Bourbon adds some spicy warmth. I get a touch of caramel and raisin as well, along with a subtle sort of fruit or sherry flavor that I can't quite place.
M: Creamy nitro body that tapers a bit at the end. Low carbonation, smooth. Alcohol and bourbon add flavor but not really a lot of warmth. Nice.
O: Incredibly drinkable and smooth. This was the highlight of my day to drink.

Serving type: nitro-tap

05-16-2011 03:27:30 | More by scottfrie
Photo of beagle75
beagle75

Iowa

3.93/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Draft pour into a shaker pint glass at the Old Grove tasting room.

A: Opaque black color, dark brown light showing at the edges, with a ring of beige foam. No lacing remains on the glass.

S: Burnt sugar, dark dried fruit (plums, figs, and cherries), pipe tobacco, and restrained bourbon. Aside from the obvious smell of the bourbon, no other alcohol is detected.

T: Begins off-dry, with big dark-roasted grain flavors and faint dark chocolate. Flavors expand in the middle, with dark fruit, licorice, and bourbon that never becomes overpowering or off-putting. The finish is moderately bitter, with some herbal and citrus hop aromatics emerging late. The flavor of alcohol is frequently present but carefully disguised or managed, never becoming obnoxious.

M: Light to medium viscosity, briefly coating the palate, with moderate carbonation.

D: This variant of Victory at Sea does not hit the highs of the original, nor does it stoop to the same lows in certain areas. The smell of this beer is more balanced, despite the bourbon presence, featuring much less chocolate. Too bad! The intensity of the original's chocolate smell was so enveloping and comforting. On the other hand, acidity does not stand out here, making the front end of the taste as well as the sensation on the palate much more pleasant than in the original. Compared to Caldera's Mogli barrel-aged imperial porter, this is overall a much bigger beer--with more intense sensory qualities--but not necessarily better, lagging behind the Mogli in overall appeal.

Serving type: on-tap

12-30-2010 21:27:47 | More by beagle75
Photo of juhl31
juhl31

California

4.35/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

thanks toronado SD for the '08 vintage!

-black with a tan/brown head with some good retention, especially for an '08

-choco syrup taste. the chocolate is very strong which makes it very hard to pull other notes out of it

-that artificial chocolate is in there which makes sense. some coffee, and the vanilla rolls in through the back end. a lot like a candy drink

-would like it to be thicker, but it does work for the taste

-very drinkable. definitely a dessert style stout. also not too heavy like a lot of imperials are

Serving type: on-tap

11-29-2010 01:39:24 | More by juhl31
Photo of mulder1010
mulder1010

Australia

3.78/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

on tap at Ballast Point

A-- Black as heck with no head at all. Just a bit of film

S-- Bourbon, coffee,Vanilla and a lot of vanilla

T-- Sweet Vanilla. Really overpowering vanilla.

M-- Excellent carbonation and good mouth feel. More coffee and bourbon in the mouth as opposed to the taste.

D-- Good but not outstanding. Too much vanilla for me. Needed more to round it out. What I had was 10% ABV Was very alcoholic.

Serving type: on-tap

11-14-2010 00:47:14 | More by mulder1010
Photo of jamex
jamex

California

3.63/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Toronado.

Very dark pour that produced a quickly fading head.

Nice smells of vanilla, mocha, malt and bourbon. Not as amazing as the standard VaS but good.

Taste was good. The bourbon with this porter didn't add anything special for me. I prefer the original VaS over this one.

A little light bodied, but drinkable. VERY strong at 12%. Watch out.

Serving type: on-tap

11-09-2010 16:48:25 | More by jamex
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

4.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The pour is just about black as night with a finger's worth of mocha colored foam on top.

S: The vanilla aroma is even more pronounced and intense than the regular version (I didn't realize that was possible). Though the coffee is a bit subdued, the bourbon, oak, roast, and chocolate notes really give this a great nose.

T: Once again, the vanilla is incredibly intense and really defines this beer. The bourbon, oak, and subdued coffee are nice compliments to it and there is a sweet chocolately flavor as well. The bourbon really comes through as this one warms up.

M: A very full bodied beer with a soft, smooth, and creamy carbonation.

D: I suppose my only complaint about this beer is that the coffee has died out a bit too much for me. I only say this because it's one of the things that defines Victory at Sea. That said, I wouldn't turn down a taste of this.

Serving type: on-tap

04-21-2010 00:30:24 | More by womencantsail
Photo of Kaiser81
Kaiser81

California

4.3/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had a pint in the Old Grove tasting room on 2/18.

A - It pours pitch black, with about a finger width of mocha colored head. It settles fairly quickly to a nice ring, and great lacing is left on the glass. I might have wanted just a touch more head, but it is barrel aged.

S - Bourbon! There is some roast and oak present mixed with a bit of coffee. It's delightful, though the bourbon dominates and the vanilla gets drowned out compared to the original.

T - I did not expect this, but the vanilla jumps out initially, and then fades fast to coffee and then a bourbon aftertaste. Really all around awesome. As the beer opens up a bit, the bourbon begins to dominate.

M - Heavy body, with the right amount of carbonation. It's got a creamy mouthfeel to it too. Just about right.

D - Too easy to drink...at first. You can feel and taste the bourbon once it warms and opens a bit, and then it becomes just a tad bit of a struggle to drink. But, I wouldn't turn this down...ever.

Serving type: on-tap

03-06-2010 03:57:53 | More by Kaiser81
Photo of jneiswender
jneiswender

Massachusetts

4.8/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had as part of a tasting at the Ballast Point Brewing Company. Served on tap in a tasting glass.

A-tar black body, mocha brown head.

S-chocolate smell with some grain

T-coffee front, chocolate middle and a nice bitter finish

M-heavy mouthfeel

D-Such a complex beer. Exceptional on all counts. High alcohol is well hidden. Get it if you can.

Serving type: on-tap

03-05-2010 01:42:44 | More by jneiswender
Photo of HopHead84
HopHead84

California

4.55/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2/18/2010

Consumed in celebration of my vanquishment of BEC. Another barrel aged version of a Ballast Point beer aged in a different barrel for a variable amount of time called the same thing. Oh well. This particular beer was on tap at the Old Grove location and was aged for 99 days in Heaven Hill Bourbon Barrels.

It appears impenetrable black in my snifter, crowned with a one finger light brown head. It looks like beer.

The aroma is of dark chocolate cake and brown sugar cookies with notes of molasses. Oak is evident, and vanilla, while less apparent here than in the regular version, is more noticeable than the last two barrel aged versions I tried at Beer Meets Wood at the Homebrew Mart during San Diego Beer Week 2009 and Ballast Point's Anniversary Fest in 2009. Bourbon is apparent and well integrated. Dark chocolate is very powerful and a little caramel is evident. Coffee has backed off a bit after the beer's sojourn in the barrels, and I prefer it at this lower level. Anyway, this smells great.

The flavor is a combination of dark chocolate cake, coffee, roasted malt, and vanilla, with an excellent and well integrated bourbon presence. Coffee influence increases midpalate and a light astringency can be perceived. I'm really digging the bourbon influence here. Notes of brown sugar are present, and a little alcohol is noticeable in the flavor. Bourbon presence is strongest in the warming dark chocolate roasted brown sugar vanilla finish. Yes, those attributes are all there. The mouthfeel is full and creamy and carbonation is at a low moderate level. This is excellent.

Serving type: on-tap

02-19-2010 20:01:58 | More by HopHead84
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Victory At Sea Imperial Porter - Barrel Aged from Ballast Point Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 122 ratings.