Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter - Ballast Point Brewing Company
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Ratings: 3,716 | Reviews: 918 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by biggied:
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4.6/5 rDev +4.8%
First off this is an exceptional beer. I had wanted to try it since it came out by missed all the bottles on sale, needless to say when I was able to trade for some it made my day. Served at a nice 55 degrees and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 04/04/2009.
The pour was fantastic. Huge dark beer here, black as night as it pours out. A big cascading brown head comes up and over the top and then settles down into a half inch layer that hung around for the entire rest of the session. The aroma was vanilla, huge vanilla beer and light cafe like coffee notes. Some hints of roasted malts, but vanilla in a beer like I have never come across before. Not terribly sweet and fake, this was like whiffing good vanilla ice cream. As I take the first sip, wow. This beer is suprising the crap out of me. First off where is my 12 percent? This is soo smooth I really got caught off guard by my second glass. The vanilla explosion followed through on the taste, rich and creamy with light and sweet coffee notes following through on them as well. Really tight flavor here, smooth with a long drawn out finish that was sweet, delicate and drying enough to make me want another in a minute.
Overall this was a very unique beer, that falls squarely into the dessert category. I was very happy, and very suprised with how big this was and how good it was as well. A winner here for sure!
04-05-2009 14:22:56 | More by mikesgroove
4.33/5 rDev -1.4%
Coffee? Vanilla? What's there not to love in a larger than life Porter? Throw in a completely intimidating label and we have ourselves an instant winner!
The beer pours a thick, viscous, nearly black color with a creamy lace of carbonation that retains well and clings to the sides of the glass in moderate fashion. Legging shows barley-stained liquids crawling just beyond the lace. Complete opaqueness makes this beer rival the biggest of Stouts.
Strongly Porter-like in aroma: not as roasty as a Stout, but heavy toast, dry toffee, bitter cocoa, and deep espresso notes peppered all over the scent. Vanilla softness helps to temper the aggression from coffee and toast but it leaves me wanting much more.
Even stronger flavors of heavy, heavy toast, espresso, and a charred flavor that makes me think ash. Still, the toffee and vanilla do little to balance the stronger darker flavors. They have some melding together to do.
Very bitter and strong bite from the roasted grains create a harsh feel that the sweetness cannot round out. Bitterness is aggrevated by high grassy hops, coffee oils, and alcohols making the beer a bit of a chore late.
The beer seems to have a lot of 'young' characteristics that may come together better with age. Regardless, a heavier vanilla taste and feel could improve the beer.
08-14-2009 02:12:04 | More by BEERchitect
4.75/5 rDev +8.2%
Pours a pitch black with a 2 inch chocolate milk colored head that lasts. Good rings of lace on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of bitter cocoa powder, coffee grounds after the coffee has been brewed, and raw vanilla beans. I keep sniffing this beer over and over - it smells so damn good. Taste is of dark chocolate syrup, bitter coffee, vanilla extract, and an earthy mineral taste. Only slight bitterness on the palate after each sip. Absolutely amazing. Beer is thick and creamy in the mouth. A bit of alcohol warming in the throat. Overall, this is a very tasty hard to find beer. There is a distinct smell and taste of Hershey's chocolate syrup in this beer that makes me very happy. I am glad I found a bottle to enjoy. Highly recommended if you can get your hands on one.
04-13-2011 01:59:59 | More by UCLABrewN84
4.45/5 rDev +1.4%
Thanks to srandycarter for sending a bottle of this my way. Served in my brand-new Red Hook pint glass.
A - Tar black, with a two-finger mocha foam that dissipates slowly and leaves a nice cap, but minimal lacing. A small amount of reddish-brown coloration is visible at the fringes of the glass.
S - Coffee! Vanilla! Ridiculously potent - even cold I can smell it a good foot away from the glass. The coffee is bitter and roasty, and there is also quite a bit of burnt malt, cream, and cocoa mixed with the vanilla. It's slightly reminiscent of Southern Tier's Crème brûlèe, but nowhere near as cloyingly sweet.
T - The coffee is nowhere near as bitter on the palate - it's more roast and slightly smokey. There's also plenty of milk chocolate, vanilla, and sweet malts. There's a tiny bit of alcohol that peeks out from amongst the flavors, but it's not particularly offensive. Roasty aftertaste - not very bitter at all, which is nice for such a coffee-infused brew
M - It's medium bodied, but on the thinner side, and seems a little watery for such a big beer. Carbonation is lively, with lots of tingle on the upper lip and top of the palate. Finishes with loads of sticky sweetness.
D - I'd have no problems with a bomber of this one, although it is mildly palate-busting and a little too high gravity for sessions.
We've started to get the regular Ballast Point line in Illinois, but I'm anxiously awaiting the day that we can get the special limited releases (Sculpin, Sea Monster, etc.).
04-09-2009 02:58:29 | More by MasterSki
4.22/5 rDev -3.9%
I hald this for a little while but the urge got to me to much last night.Poured into an imperial nonic a deep dark chocolate brown with a thin dark beige head that didnt last long,a great mix of heavy coffee roast and vanilla imparted sweetness,a bit of sweet alcohol and dark fruit shows thru as it warmed.Roasty and sweetish upfront with the dark roast coffee flavors prevelent,a vanilla/carmel flavor lends some hefty sweetness,there is a drying earthy almost resiny note in the finish that is drying just enough.A great beer it is a one and done though because the alcohol is potent and can give off some big sweetness,a rich well made beer.
02-21-2011 13:18:36 | More by oberon
4.4/5 rDev +0.2%
I got myself a growler of Ballast Point Victory at Sea Imperial Porter. I poured the beer from the growler into a pint glass. It poured a dark dark brownish maybe black and has a very nice tan head. The smell is of roasted coffee, toffee, maybe caramel and a little vanilla. Lots of sweet smells. When I got that first mouthful you got the taste of the roasted coffee and some malts and is rounded off with that vanilla and a bit of alcohol at the end. Its hard to hide 10% but it really isn't overpowering. There is about an average carbonation, and it has a medium to thick body beer. This beer is a great beer to have with something sweet or after dinner. It has all those sweet flavors of coffee and vanilla and toffee.
03-03-2011 04:55:36 | More by stewfnrocker
4.35/5 rDev -0.9%
Shared with Mike - thanks to GetMeAnIPA for sending this one my way. Pours a deep and dark obsidian-like color; very, very little brown on the edges with a solid, fine-bubbled tan head that fades much too fast. A quick swirl of the glass can coax it back, but only for a few moments.
The aroma on this one is very tantalizing; heavy, HEAVY roasted coffee beans - I'm talking burnt, scorched, charred, ashy. These beans smell super roasted and super bitter. This plays off of a delicate sweetness induced from the vanilla aromas that hang in the balance. Might be a tiny bit of cocoa somewhere deep in the abyss, but any attempt to further sniff it out is just met with more and more heaps of coffee beans, roasted malts, and light vanilla. I've always been partial to bitter porters rather than overly sweet ones. The nose on this beer tells me that my bias may be in effect.
...and right I was - the aroma is a perfect indication of the malt assessment in Victory At Sea. From the moment the beer hits your tongue, your palate is pile-driven with an enormous roasted, charred, and borderline burnt flavor. Coffee beans, coffee beans, coffee beans. Imaging taking a hand full of French Roast coffee beans, scorching them in a skillet, then shoving them in your face. A little overboard? Maybe.... but you get the idea. The alcohol is also noticeable from the first sip to the last, but at 10% ABV, I have no complaints. Some lightly sweet vanilla coats each and every sip also, providing a tiny bit of balance to the bitter-roasted brigade. Some chocolate definitely comes out more upon warming, although it was nearly absent in the aroma. The aftertaste is a compilation of mild charcoal flavors with some ashy and dry bitterness - a "balls to the walls", unadulterated coffee bean roast. Medium-thick body with a decent amount of carbonation; mildly creamy and smooth.
Hell yes. Victory at Sea gives the roasty bitterness lovers more of what they crave. Such a roasted, charred, and bitter stout with lovely little sweetness interruptions to keep things interesting. Very pleasantly surprised by this one - great way to end the night.
02-28-2013 15:56:40 | More by tectactoe
4.89/5 rDev +11.4%
A: A black beer that lets just a bit of light through a deep garnet beer. The creamy head is a deep espresso color with good retention.
S: Strong coffee and a rich dark chocolate pumped up with vanilla and a light roast aroma. A sweet, light alcohol note.
A: Rich, smooth vanilla, coffee and chocolate with a depth of flavors that just goes on. Some roast, caramel and a little burnt sugar. There is a high amount of malt sweetness but it's countered by a moderately strong hops bitterness giving a balance that is somewhat sweet. This beer doesn't dry out and finish about medium. There is lingering chocolate and vanilla flavors mixed with some hops bitterness.
M: A medium-full bodied beer with a lot of creaminess and a moderate carbonation. There is a noticeable amount of alcohol but it isn't boozy.
O: Well this outstanding beer sets a high water mark for Porters in my book. There's more going on here than in a lot of stouts
05-31-2013 00:52:48 | More by MadScientist
4.39/5 rDev 0%
Enjoyed a bomber of this with a friend on brew day. Poured into tulip glass.
Who says you can’t drink at 8am? That’s why it has coffee in it, right?
This beer pours as you might expect a porter to. Dark and rich. Just enough off white head to let you know it is well conditioned. The aromas are all there of the coffee and roast malt. Great mouth feel. I am not usually a big fan of porters but this one was exceptionally smooth and well balanced. The coffee was noticeably present but in fantastic balance with the malt sweetness and vanilla creaminess. Im glad we only had the one bomber of this or we would have been drunk by 10am.
This is one of those beers that you have to get your hands on and try with some friends.
04-22-2014 02:05:47 | More by hbensinger
4.4/5 rDev +0.2%
22oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass
It pours a deep rich brown high a large 3 finger head that settles with a nice thick layer of bubbles that leave thick lacing down the side.
The smell is heavy on the roasted coffee with just a hint of the vanilla. No detection of alcohol at all.
The taste very heavy on the roasty coffee. The coffee is not too bitter which can be a common problem in these coffee porters and stouts. Even though I know this isn't an oak aged beer I'm picking up some subtle oak with the vanilla at the end. Once again no hint of the alcohol. The finish is just a little too sweet for me and that is my only complaint.
This is just a silky smooth beer and drinks easily and quickly. I really enjoyed this beer and glad I was able to get a bottle.
01-25-2010 01:23:51 | More by weatherdog
Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 3,716 ratings.