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Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter - Ballast Point Brewing Company

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Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial PorterVictory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter

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1,195 Reviews
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Reviews: 1,195
Hads: 5,813
Avg: 4.36
pDev: 8.94%
Wants: 982
Gots: 1,659 | FT: 97
Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: radshoesbro on 03-17-2009

Our Victory at Sea Imperial Porter is a bold, smooth brew with just the right amount of sweetness. We infused this robust porter with whole vanilla beans and San Diego’s own Caffe Calabria coffee beans. The subtle roasted notes and minimal acidity of the cold brewed coffee, balances perfectly with the sweet caramel undertones of the malt, creating a winning combination for your palate.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,195 | Hads: 5,813
Photo of riTLce
5/5  rDev +14.7%

Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass.

A: Black as pitch, only the slightest hint of color shining through in the shallowest areas. Two fingers of light mocha head, turning to tawny in the center. Mixture of large and small bubbles, forming a fluffy foam that lingers.

S: Heavily roasted malts, dark chocolate, dark coffee, some bitter chocolate aroma as well. Some light hints of vanilla on the nose, but very faint. When agitated almost a raisin-y scent comes through.

T: Vanilla up front, coffee, dark roasted malt and bitter chocolate linger to meet the hops that come late in the taste.

M: Smooth, full-bodied, lingering bitterness leaves a roughness on the tongue that begs for another sip.

O: Phenomenal Imperial Porter. There is no booziness to speak of, and the drinkability is off the charts. I need to go get another one of these ASAP.

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Photo of OStrungT
5/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer pours a brown so dark that it looks black in the glass. It boasts a thick brown head that fades very slowly, leaving a great lacing.

This beer smells of fresh vanila beens. Some coffee mixes in. Sweet malt as well. You know what, it kind of smells like Kaluah.

This beer tastes like it smells. Kaluah. Some coffee and some smooth vanila. Maybe a little chocolate. Some toffee also. Great!

This beer is very smooth. The alcohol is well hidden during the entire experience. It leaves a Kaluah aftertaste.

This beer would make a good session beer, but beware of the ABV!

Overall: This beer is great. So complex and good. One of the best I can remember. Ever.

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Photo of MrVonzipper
5/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Black with solid fluffy 1 finger+ tan head with excellent retention and lace.

Big bright nose. Big roast character. Bright rich vanilla. Bright robust coffee. Amazing nose.

Flavor is perfect with perfect balance and harmony. Just lovely and bright vanilla balanced so well with robust roasted buttery coffee and a touch of cocoa. a touch of bourbon too.

Medium bodies with creamy medium carbonation.

IMHO. A perfect Imperial Porter!

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Photo of KingEdward
5/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is great! Look is dark brown with nice lacing. Smell is of sugar cookie , milk chocolate, and vanilla. Taste is of milk chocolate, vanilla, and wow! I want this on nitro! Feel is velvet and creme! Awesome. Ballast point rocks! Can'!!!t wait to try more of there beers!

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Photo of Dwtucker90
5/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

10 oz. pour enjoyed at The Dancing Bear Pub in Waco, TX.

Appearance: espresso black body. Poured with a 1 inch deep brown head which dissipates into a nice thin brown foam after a couple minutes. Pretty heavy lacing all the way around the glass.

Smell: dark roasty black malt with a very forward cappuccino smell with some thick cream sweetness. Brown sugar as well paired with some faint booze. Imagine a dark coffee marshmallow. Delicious.

Taste: black malt, super creamy and sweet. Very much a sweet coffee beer, which probably comes from the vanilla. Tastes like a cappuccino and has an excellent boozy aftertaste that burns well after each sip.

Mouthfeel: super super thick and creamy. Absolutely delicious. Taste the carbonation and coffee texture.

Overall: this is one of the best coffee porters/stouts I've ever had.

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Photo of Nostradrunkus
5/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Phenomenal if you enjoy coffee. The coffee taste is well balanced with sweetness and the alcohol is well hidden for a beer with such a high abv. It is the best porter I have ever had.

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Photo of TexIndy
5/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had a buddy ship me this direct from the brewery on release day - many thanks Milt! Poured from a 650ml bomber into a pint glass. Awesome artwork on the label. Dec 2009 release date. It was pitch black in color even against the light. It had a good sized tan head that settled into a thin wispy cap with good collar. Much lacing. For a porter it's as good as it gets on appearance.

The aroma is exceptional. Roasted and chocolate malts with lots of great smelling coffee (several recent coffee beers had a weak coffee base but this one nails it). A touch of vanilla in the back. A constant sniffer. The taste was also perfect. Rich, chocolaty base with coffee and vanilla highlights. Finishes with a slight bitterness smoothed out by the vanilla. Amazing flavor. Mouthfeel is rich and creamy with good carb and good aftertaste.

Overall, this is perfection for a porter and a coffee beer. 5's all around and wishing I had gotten more than one. Time to re-order. I could drink this anytime and anywhere. Highest recommendation and definitely worthy of the hype. Rotation: not avail here in TX so had shipped by Milt. Will get more immediately!

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Photo of fnong2
5/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is my first review for a beer after stalking this website for many months. I had to write about this because it was that good. I shared a bomber with a good friend who is also a BA after tasting a small flight at Tap Room a week ago!

A - Pours black with a finger tan head that lingers. Some lacing on the glass.

S - Strong roasted espresso smell with sweet chocolate and a slight hint of vanilla. If there was a perfect mocha chocolate chip cookie from Betty Crocker, this would be that smell from her oven. I had to smell this for about 30 seconds because it was so heavenly.

T - This beer is a "dude moment." Those moments are rare and they come natural. When you taste a beer that is so good to you, you just exclaim "Dude!" to your company. The taste follows the smell. It was a strong, sweet, roasted espresso in the start that followed with sweet, dark chocolate and a small taste of vanilla at the end. The alcohol is masked very well and only a hint of it comes at the end as the beer warms.

M - Very creamy, rich, and smooth. My taste buds were coated with a silky sweetness.

O - Ballast Point really did their best with this brew! I bought five bombers and wanted to decide if I should age a few after having one. I decided that I'm not going to age them and I will consume them in about a month. I was also planning on giving a few as gifts but I am reconsidering because I want to be greedy with this one! Fantastic beer! Very delicious!


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Photo of rrock44
5/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Picked up a growler. This is tasty. Creamy, chocolaty, with a nice finish of vanilla. Goes down real smooth. Alcohol is well hidden. Just screams dessert to me. May have to pick up a German chocolate cake or some vanilla bean ice cream. Definitely would buy a case of the sixers if they ever came to town.

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Photo of DarthKostrizer
5/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This will be the first beer I give a perfect score to and it has been the only one to date worth a 5

2011 version consumed a few days after the release

Look: Black and totally opaque with a perfect 1 inch foamy head and great retention with some circular lacing. As you drink the beer down it coats the glass and leaves behind a light brown coating. Just beautiful

Smell: Just wonderful gourmet coffee upfront and it might e the best coffee nose I have ever smelled traces of vanilla fill the background nice. Just perfect

Taste: God damn the flavors in this beer are in perfect harmony. The coffee melds so well together with the chocolate and finishes perfectly with just the right amount of vanilla and just a slight amount of alcohol. PERFECT

Mouthfeel: Medium to heavy body with the perfect amount of carbonation. Silky smooth going down and coats the mouth beautifully

Overall: This is truly a perfect imperial porter.

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Photo of drmeto
5/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

-pours a dark brown with reaaaaaaaaaaaaaaallllllly faint ruby tinges with a medium,creamy,khaki head
-medium carbonation visible
-medium-full body,medium carbonation
-alcohol scary well hidden
-Absolute Beast of a Beer

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Photo of OldGriz
5/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the best beers I've had. I typically don't like dark beer, but this made me a believer. It felt like chocolate milk and tasted like espresso. I had it on draft, but will definitely pick up a six pack next time I can find it.

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Photo of Thecalmdrinker
5/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The coffee is strong in this one, both in smell and taste. There's a hint of vanilla, chocolate and dark fruit as well, with a semi bitter finish. You do smell and taste the vanilla more as it warms up a bit. Mouthfeel is thick and creamy. Overall, I love it.

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Photo of bgold86
5/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

So much coffee and vanilla I find that no beers can stand up to this mighty example. Will ruin your taste buds though to other coffee stouts, it will spoil you silly (my only complaint).

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Photo of trygelski1
5/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22oz bomber poured into tulip glass

Look: Dark black with a small amount of head

Smell: Tons of coffee notes evident and either some chocolate or toffee notes also, don't get any of the vanilla here

Taste: Tons of coffee notes again but also the vanilla comes into play but it is in the background of things when compared to the coffee notes, also some hints of chocolate/toffee notes

Feel: Full bodied and smooth

Overall: This is probably the best coffee porter I have ever tasted. This beer is right up there with the Founders Breakfast Stout. Another great offering from Ballast Point!

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Photo of LazyBas7ard
5/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Delicious! If you love stouts you will thoroughly enjoy this one. Drink this at a warmer temp, a guy told me 55 degrees so I just let it sit for 45 minutes (after refrigeration). It has a delicious taste, smooth on the pallet, and had a feel that warms the soul; close your eyes next sip if you don't believe me. Can't find a flaw in the taste, color, nor feel. Great beer, new personal favorite!

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Photo of wpqx
5/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ballast Point has outdone themselves on this one. A mind-bogglingly good Imperial Porter that has pronounced vanilla flavor. One of the smoothest imperial porters you are likely to find. A definite coffee and vanilla taste and a wonderful aroma. This beer is incredibly smooth for 10% abv. Search it out, in bottle, on tap, anywhere this is simply put the finest porter I've ever tasted.

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Photo of BRadPhotography
5/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours thick and black... Looks real good! Had a quick rising head and quickly dissipated to none due to the 10% ABV. Lost of lacing on the glass.

Smell: I picked up the vanilla and chocolate quickly with the sweet notes. Roasty aroma lots coffee busting out. Many other notes I can't point out yet. I love coffee beer so the smell was perfect!

Taste: BIG roasty flavor up front for me. I get vanilla & chocolate then all the dark malts with the coffee at the end. Not a coffee drinker so it really hits at the end for me.

Mouthfeel: Heavy body, some carbonation... what I would expect for a porter. creamy, smooth finish.

Overall: Amazing if you like coffee porters or stouts. This is a must get!

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Photo of Premo88
5/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22 oz. bomber poured into "stout glass" -- tall tulip

L: black as it rests on the table with a thick tan head of sticky foam ... head is a solid inch tall and the sticking is incredible, looks like leftover milkshake; the lacing is unbelievable ... it's like a coat of paint; needless to say, keeps a solid tan collar of foam and about a half a skin (you can't see them, but clearly bubbles are flying up the column in that inner darkness); up to light the beer looks clear, dark orange/amber/brown

S: sweet chocolate, vanilla ... like a yummy ice cream desert, so very sweet (and this is almost ice cold);

T: wow ... uhhhh ... wow -- an instant 5. super sweet chocolate and vanilla with the dark malt giving it a fantastic burnt/bitter finish that's still very smooth because of all the up front sweetness; man, it is packed full of sweet chocolate and burnt dark malt bitterness, both ends just spilling over full of flavor, and the way they're balancing out the swallow is amazing; there's some alcohol flavor in it, but it's not bothering me one bit with all the other flavor; the coffee flavor is nicely sweetened out, so it's much more like a latte than raw coffee/espresso

F: a ton of carbonation really crisps it up; weighty feel

O: big everything ... big sweet, big bitter/burnt notes, big ABV that instantly makes its presence felt, even big carbonation with a big look with all the sticking and lacing and perfect black/tan color combo. as good a beer as I've come across and completely worth the money (about $10.50 for the bomber)

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Photo of Tonedef
5/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Very very tasty...well balanced and smooth...the smell is exactly what's in the title..coffee and vanilla bean with the taste right on point as well with some fudge and milk chocolate notes..abv is well hidden..truly a delicious beer..A+ in my book

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Photo of sacrelicio
5/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The perfect coffee porter. Let me elaborate: I had this on my wants for long time, almost a personal whale if you will. I spied a bottle at Whole Foods in NYC (Tribeca) and my eyes popp'd from my head. I purchased the bottle and opened it for my friend's 30th birthday. It was amazing. The coffee and vanilla were decadent and rich with a delicacy that can't be beat.

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Photo of Reema
5/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Oh baby. This stuff here is excellent. Aromatic as fuck, super roasted coffee/chocolate scents. The taste is excellent, the coffee is very forward and tapers down to a light vanilla aftertaste. The ABV is extremely well hidden (careful, it creeps up on you). Rejoice as this is now in 6ers.

I may have a slight bias as I drink my coffee black but Victory at Sea is excellent porter and it does not disappoint. Goes well with brunch or a small light lunch on a weekend.

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Photo of osant37
5/5  rDev +14.7%

Poured from a 12oz. Bottle into a dogfish head sniffter glass at fridge temp.
A - pours a jet black with just slight hints of brown around the edges. . Massive 3 finger pancake colored head. That sucks around for a while. Leaving substantial . Lacing with very present alcohol legs.

S - intense roasted Coffee grinds. French vanilla syrup. Hints of caramel candy. This beer smells unbelievably good. Very similar to southern tier creme Brulee in smell.

T - bitter roasted malts with a slight char. Tons of roasted coffee.middle of the mouth it becomes a vanilla bomb.finished with a strong caramel note with the alcohol present on the way down.

M - full bodied and creamy. Very slick and smooth.almost oatmeal stout feel to it.

O - another strong and solid offering from ballast point.these guys know beer. The best porter I have ever had. From the pour to the last drop in the glass. I'm so glad I picked up a few of these.The place I got them from is all sold out. 5 star good!


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Photo of TastefulNudity
5/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Opaque black with a tan, thin ring up top.

S: Fresh black coffee, vanilla bean ice cream, dark fruit, caramel, malt, dessert.

T: Bitter cocoa, black coffee, vanilla sweetness, hint of caramel, bitter dark fruits.

F: Heavy, not too much carbonation.

O: Grapefruit what? Sculpin huh? This is the best thing Ballast Point makes hands down. And actually worth the price they sell it for (at least in 6-packs). This is my go-to stout/porter.

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Photo of drpimento
5/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Lovely monster. Appearance is a large tan, slow to settle, thick head with lots of lace and and opaque black brown color. Aroma is coffee, vanilla, roast malt, leather, black earth, dank forest, cement. Flavor's similar to nose, fairly dry, just enough tang and bitter to balance and then a hint of sweet in the finish. Body is just right. Long finish. Nary a hint of strength.

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Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 1,195 ratings.