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

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Victory At Sea Imperial Porter - Barrel Aged
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BA SCORE
97
world-class

177 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 177
Reviews: 41
rAvg: 4.42
pDev: 9.73%
Wants: 132
Gots: 25 | FT: 0
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: 177 | Reviews: 41 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -9.5%

Photo of spycow
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.98/5  rDev -10%
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.

Photo of zestar
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of acurtis
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of Thorpe429
4.28/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -9.5%

Photo of womencantsail
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

Photo of SocalKicks
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of largadeer
4.13/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nitro-tap at Ballast Point. This beer is black in the glass, with slight translucency around the edges. The nitro head is thick and creamy, lasting until the final sip.

The aroma is heavy with bourbon, coffee and cream, sort of like an Irish coffee. The barrel is pretty overwhelming in this one, completely overpowering the subtle vanilla character that I enjoyed in the regular version of this beer. There's some caramel and some heat as it warms. Despite smelling nothing like the non-bal-aged Victory at Sea, this is very nice.

Huge bourbon and coffee flavor, backed by quite a bit of heat and roastiness. Moderately sweet, the coffee and wood do a lot to dry this one out. The nitro pour gives the beer a creamy but low carbonation mouthfeel. I get little to no vanilla, the bourbon barrel is incredibly pervasive here. While it's enjoyable and I do like a bold barrel character, I feel like the a lot of the flavors I liked in the base beer are lost here. Taken for what it is, it's quite good but not quite world-class in the -bal aged dark beer category. The finish is sharp and hot, but that doesn't prevent it from going down easily. Tasty stuff, but I prefer the regular old Victory at Sea.

Photo of Kegatron
4.28/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On draft @ Ballast Point Linda Vista on 11/9/09 during their "Beer Meets Wood" event. Part of San Diego Beer Week. Single barrel Old Fitzgerald was used in the aging of this version.

Pours a VERY deep brown, just about near black, with a covering of creamy mocha colored head. Nice richness to the retention, that leaves a ton of frothy spotty lacing behind. The aroma is pretty much dominated here by whiskey and warmth, with the chocolate and coffee fighting nobly against it. Good bit of tannic wood notes in the back of this. Unfortunately, most of the delicious vanilla notes that I love in this beer are mostly covered up here.

Chocolate and coffee up front (I'm getting just a smidge of the vanilla here), but this is quickly muted as the barrel notes slam into it. The whiskey flavor is just very dominate here, giving off notes of woody char and intense dryness. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied, with a mellower creamy feel to the carbonation, and a sharp pang of alcohol to it (which is only intensified by the barrel). My palate does quickly adapt here, but man, is this strong.

I very much enjoyed this but the overall experience was still a bit too raw and young at this point. I bit of age and this will be beautiful.

Photo of Slatetank
4.75/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had this at Teresa's Next Door for the Ballast Point Brunch. Served chilled in a tulip.

A - Murky dark brown w/ an inch band of alabaster. A practically opaque shade w/ spotty lace collecting. The bead is fine.

S - A crisp sweet coffee aroma w/ a fruity nose, roasted bean notes and huge vanilla odor from the barrel. Tthe sweet bread and caramel w/ lots of bittersweet cocoa in the nose are very rich w/ a scent like espresso liqueur

M - creamy feel w/ sweet notes of wood relax into chewy malt and coffee acidity w/ luxurious soft cream vanilla and toasted elments w/ a texture that is strong but yet doesn't feel like a beer that is over 10%

T - Bourbon taste at first is delicious yet restrained, it doesn't punch you. The effect on the palate of booze and mild pine hops follow sweet notes of dark roasted malt, coffee and cocoa. The taste has a mild sweet cherry and cinnamon flavor w/ tinges of toffee and bourbon soaked coffee beans. The taste has a silky vanilla quality from the oak which also gives a nutty effect.

D - A beer that few rival in drinkabiliy it is rare to find anything over 11% that is so smooth. The coffee bourbon and porter all blend together and the experience is so satisfying. The ale was hard to let go of, but went great with the steak and eggs I ordered for brunch.

Photo of oline73
5/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of DoubleJ
4.14/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Following one San Diego winner (Barrel Aged Speedway) to another (Barrel Aged victory At Sea), I was lucky to enjoy a pour on-tap at 38 Degrees. On to the beer:

A touch of lace surrounds the top of this ink black liquid. A few spots of lace even stick around as the beer is consumed. The aroma has many of the standard Victory At Sea notes with the infusion of wood. Coffee and vanilla come standard, bits of oak and booze are extra,

The barrel aged version of Victory At Sea leans heavier with the booze than it does with the beer. If you are a passionate lover of whiskey, you have a winner right here. I enjoy it as well, albeit in a smaller ratio to the beer. What I have here seems to be about two parts booze and one part coffee vanilla imperial porter. It's a full bodied beer, no question about that.

It's nice, but my sky-high expectations were not met. Honestly, I prefer the standard Victory At Sea, but I was still happy to try this exclusive version.

Photo of BARFLYB
4.63/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap at Teresa's Next Door in a Tulip. I would of kicked myself if I passed this up.

A- BA Victory at Sea is black, even behind some light this one is still black. Some off white/tan foam was on top forming a cap and than fading. Some swirls brang it back while lacing was very light.

S- The smell is great with signs of a balanced barrel aged beer. It opened my eyes up. Big smells of sweet vanilla and coffee with top notch bourbon. Also behind that some roast and malt.

T- A wonderful porter with robust malts taking the spotlight with the Kentucky bourbon. Good bourbon too not that cheap crap at the company parties. Vanilla (which I love in my beer) is also up front giving a different swetness. Chocolate and coffee. This one has it all, even a nice hop addition in the back.

M- Above medium bodied, hell it might as well be full bodied with some heat from the 12.2%, wow that's high. The alcohol is well hidden though. Robust malts vanilla giving this one a somewhat creamy feel. Light in carbonation.

D- This one is a sipper but I wanted to gulp it. delicious and well balanced plus not to hot. Really cant complain with this one. Now I just need to track down the regular version.

Photo of HopHead84
4.55/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

Photo of DefenCorps
3.83/5  rDev -13.3%
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.

Photo of LoveStout
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of CheapBeerBuzz
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of ffejherb
4.33/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Teresa's Next Door on 6/28/09.

A - Pitch black body with dark brown accents around the bottom and about half a finger of creamy tan head that retained well but left only a bit of spotty lace around the rim of the tulip.

S - Vanilla and coffee notes up front with only a hint of bourbon. Surprisingly, the aroma is quite subtle overall. The sweet vanilla bean character really dominates. However, the coffee becomes more apparent as the liquid warmed up a bit.

T - Wonderful balance of sweet vanilla and rich, roasty coffee notes with a bit of caramel sweetness and mild earthy notes. Again, the bourbon presence is rather subtle overall. Finishes with a huge roasty coffee character and plenty of earthy hop bitterness.

M - Medium bodied with a smooth, creamy texture, though it's just a tad thin overall. Alcohol? Really? At 12.2%, it's nowhere to be found. Finish is fairly bitter with a touch of residual sweetness on the palate.

D - Very good bourbon barrel aged porter, though this wasn't as heavy on the bourbon as I had anticipated. The flavor of this brew is excellent, and it drinks like a champ for such a high ABV beer.

Photo of scottfrie
4.47/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

Photo of Deuane
4.95/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

After reading the previous two glowing reviews and my own tasting notes of this brew I noticed a bit of wetness in the corner of my eye. A tear it was. This due to the wonderful memory of drinking this fantastic brew. If only I could track it down again someday!

A-Deep, dark light absorbing black with a fluffy, creamy dark tan head that lasted forever and a day! No lacing left, it was more like caking. A truly gorgeous looking beverage.

S-OH MY! Like a chocolate covered coffee bar. This is awesome. If they could only solidify this and package it. I think it would be a HUGE hit! Hints of vanilla and oak and just a subtle notion of sour cherry?

T-Chocolate and coffee with the oh so sweet, touched by an angel, bourbon flavours of indulgent vanilla and astringent oak. Tart, sour twangs of cherry in the finish. This is seriously complex stuff.

M-Medium to medium-heavy body with a nice, round smoothness courtesy of the bourbon barrel aging. Luscious and velvety.

D-Well, I simply cannot give this anything but a 5. At 12+% ABV I would fall into a stupor trying to drink as much as I could! This stuff was like liquid crack! Not only was this one of the best BBA beers I have ever had it was one of the best BEERS I have ver had, period. I only wish I could have enjoyed more, and more and more! As the end line in my notes read...What a beer!

Photo of ehammond1
4.08/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

Photo of ste5venla
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%

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Victory At Sea Imperial Porter - Barrel Aged from Ballast Point Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 177 ratings.