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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

1,178 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 1,178
Hads: 5,728
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: 8.51%
Wants: 967
Gots: 1,619 | FT: 102
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: 1,178 | Hads: 5,728
Photo of LoveMyBeer1991
5/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Very dark in color, pitch black.

S: Coffee and chocolate.

T: Strong coffee/chocolate flavor. Some toffee?

M: Creamy with good carbonation.

O: Fantastic imperial porter. I'm a coffee fanatic so this beer appeals to me. Would have no problem buying again. (263 characters)

Photo of JeffSpicoli
5/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I love this beer, its appearance, smell, taste, and even the cool bottle. it also has some nice carbonation. you get some nice smoke coming out of the bottle when you open it.

You smell and taste the vanilla, but not extreme at all, to me its more of a blend it softens the strong coffee flavor. I do agree that it is a bit acidic from all the coffee, witch to me its the dominant flavor in the beer, but it blends real nice with the vanilla. you can taste the alcohol but I don't get the burning that some talk about at all. maybe it's just me.

just wanted to add that this beer taste better and better as you drink more. as you know the taste of a beer changes by the time you get to the middle of the glass, and then to the bottom. it also changes even more with some beers, as you drink the second one. I din't get some of the flavors until I got to the middle, where their was a nice taste of chocolate that came into the blend.

you must drink the whole beer to get the best experience out of it. It wont be hard to do, with Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter! (1,081 characters)

Photo of Trueant1
5/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

What can I say? This one pours perfect! Thick head with gobs of lacing stuck on the sides of the glass. The aroma whiffs through the air as you pour this brew into your favorite glass.

Smells of fresh coffee up front. Many in this style have a "stale" coffee smell. This one is fresh and clean. Sweet chocolate and almost a red wine smell. Alcohol and a hint of "bong water" smells. Fresh wheat grass as well.

MMM! WOW! BLISS! Huge brew. Tastes of creamy chocolate liquid mouse. My BA friend in the room tastes milky way candy bars...and so do I. Bitter/burnt chocolate flavors. Alcoholic and very sugary sweet.

This brew is so thick, so creamy, so bitter, and so smooth. Every thing seems to blend together. The only thing that really stands out is the bitterness, and not in a bad way. One of the best brews I have ever had!
Drink this one warm from the start to get the full flavor profile. (897 characters)

Photo of Tilley4
5/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to the crew over at Bruisin Ales in Asheville for the chance to try this brew! Gotta pimp their store since it's so awesome...

Poured into a Yazoo Hop Project tulip pint glass..

Pours a magnificent jet black with a thick 1 inch head that stays virtually the entire time I'm enjoying this one... I mean, this one is ridiculously black.. It's RIS black to say the least... Probably the best looking porter I've ever laid eyes on...

Wow, 2 for 2 so far on this one.. A ridiculously tasty aroma of dark bitter chocolate, dark roasted coffee and loads of roasted malts.. There's almost a smokiness here that really makes this one a joy to just stop and smell over and over...

Well, I'm probably enjoying the best porter that I've ever had the privilege to have.. Edmund Fitzgerald from Great Lakes used to be the best I've ever had but this one has just surpassed it.. It's undescribably delicious with its loads of rich dark roasted malts, crushed up roasted dark coffee beans, subtle hints of vanilla, and bitter dark chocolate influences... I almost got emotional while drinking this one... I'm not sure I could ask for much more out of an American Porter than this one offers... At 10%, this one could hammer you quickly but I can't detect a single tinge of booze out of this one.. It's masterfully crafted....The thick creaminess of this one makes it a real pleasure to enjoy as well.. It's thick and rich but not in a cloying way at all... World class in my opinion..

My ratings say it all.. Obviously, others didn't like this one as much as I have, but I really don't care about that... At this point in time, at this moment, this was the perfect beer to me.. I couldn't ask for anything more out of a beer than what this one provided... I will definitely be getting this one again and again... It's terrific.. (1,829 characters)

Photo of Lukass
5/5  rDev +14.9%

I am a sucker for big, roasty, bold, dark beers and this one hits every damn one of those characteristics, and with full force. I am an avid coffee lover, and the strong coffee and hints of vanilla just add to the deliciousness and complexity of this brew. If I had a couple, I'd definitely try one of these with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream plopped into the glass. Would make for a perfect beer float. I honestly can't find anything that is wrong with this one (and I honestly tried to find something) so that is the reason I gave this a 5. (546 characters)

Photo of NCBeernut
5/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

So many of these beer using adjuncts like vanilla don't get it right. This is simply perfect. The porter itself is outstanding, and you can actually tell despite the additions of coffee and vanilla which are just subtle enough but prevalent enough to be noticed an enjoyed, contributing rather than subtracting from the complexity. I got a sixer on Friday to savor over the next few weeks and could stop drinking them - gone by the end of the weekend. (451 characters)

Photo of WyethBednar
4.99/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: A beautiful opaque black porter with a nice dense head.

Smell: Great. Roasty notes of malt balanced with the subtle sweetness of vanilla beans and bitter coffee

Taste: Incredible. Highly complex, yet easy to drink. The high ABV forces you to slow down, which is a blessing as it allows you to really get the full effect of the beer. A sipping beer, but in a good way.

Feel: Lightly carbonated and creamy.

This is definitely one of my favorite beers of all time. In my opinion, it's the best example of an Imperial Vanilla Porter I've ever had. It balances all the elements just right, so it's never too roasty, too sweet, or too bitter, but rather is all things at once. A delicious, interesting beer that any dark beer fan should love (753 characters)

Photo of Reema
4.98/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | 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. (469 characters)

Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.97/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22 oz. bomber that's been aged about 18 months; poured into a Duvel Tulip Style Glass. Liquid comes out very dark brown, pretty close to black in fact. There are brown highlights and edges. A darker than tan colored head that sticks around for a decent amount of time. The head and liquid itself produces a decent amount of lacing.

Wow does this beer smell great, every swirl makes the aromas dance and scream all the way to your nose. Nice malt backbone (as every porter should have). Huge waves of natural vanilla blended with dark roasted coffee. Smells sweet and big all around.

Taste is 100% truly outstanding in every aspect. I'll certainly put a disclaimer here, I was in the mood for something sweet and this totally hit the spot. As sweet as it is, there is a good balance. The name "Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter" is truly the perfect description. There may even been the slightest bit of chocolate flavor as well. If you were to wonder what that would taste like, this is exactly it. If this were ice coffee, imagine a dark fresh roasted cup and you're sipping it through a vanilla skewer straw. This is truly the best vanilla flavor in a beer that I've had in something that wasn't barrel aged.

Mouthfeel hit the nail on the head again. Full flavored, but only on the heavier end of medium bodied. Perfect carbonation level, and a great balance of bitter and sweet from the coffee and vanilla. Absolutely no detection of the alcohol, I would have never guessed 10% on this bad boy. Great drinkability here too. Worth sharing, but one person could easily polish it off in a night. Great value too, totally worth the purchase. (1,643 characters)

Photo of Merkur
4.97/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had on tap at Tiger Tiger in San Diego.

Beer poured into a snifter glass.

Beer pours a very dark brown with a bit of light brown head.

Beer smells wonderful. First notes is that of vanilla, followed by a nice rich coffee smell.

Beer tastes even better than it smells. The vanilla sweetness at the front end of the sip give way to a nice malty chocolate, followed by some robust coffee flavors. This is hands down the best beer I have ever tasted.

Beer has a good mouthfeel and is not too thick and just the right smoothness.

Probably the best beer I have ever had. The richness of the coffee taste and how the vanilla adds the right amount of sweetness at the right time makes this beer excellent.

Highly, highly recommended. (732 characters)

Photo of deuschbag
4.97/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22 oz. poured into a snifter. pours a dark ruby brown color with a good light tan head.

the nose starts off with a slight roasted coffee, chocolate, vanilla smell. but once it gets around room temperature, it's almost like waking up with folgers in your cup. glorious.

taste starts with a nice coffee flavor witch leads to a silky smooth piney hop vanilla heaven.

mouthfeel is soft and smooth.

drinkability is insane. such rich strong aroma and flavors masked behind that 10% alcohol. totally worth the mula. (512 characters)

Photo of RyFikes
4.96/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Unbelievably amount of flavor. The vanilla really stands out and the coffee compliments is perfectly. This beer could easily stand toe-to-toe with Founder's Breakfast Stout. (173 characters)

Photo of BeerEngineer
4.96/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

General: This is from the 2013 release, when I went to the bar they still happened to have some so I picked last years and this years up.

Appearance: Beautiful tan head that diminishes pretty quickly. The color is jet black, I can barely see a light through this. Amazing looking beer.

Aroma: You can tell that this is a coffee vanilla porter right off the bat. The aroma is amazing. It has the expected aroma but there is a great maltiness with a touch of chocolate in it. Great!

Mouthfeel: This coats the mouth the way that you would expect. It's top notch for sure!

Taste: This is the definition of a coffee vanilla imperial porter to me. That's all I can say about it.

Overall: If you see this, but it. It is worth every penny even if you don't normally like an imperial porter. Buy this beer, not sure if the newest version is exactly the same but I will review that one soon. (888 characters)

Photo of bsidemix
4.95/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: This beer looks like it should look. A nice dark brown with a tan foamy top. Looks delicious.

S: If you take some time to really let your nose sit on top of the pour, you'll get the full smell of a rich coffee with overtones of vanilla and bitter chocolate.

T: Amazing. On the front palate - a sweet, pleasing taste. On the back palate - the full richness of the coffee and malts. Aftertaste - a great mixture of both the sweet and the bitter immediately begging you to take another sip.

M: Exactly what a rich porter should be. Smooth, creamy and clean.

D: I can drink this beer all night and not get tired of the complexity and versatility of the flavor. At 10%, it can sneak up on you if you aren't keeping tabs on your tab. (734 characters)

Photo of hip2hops
4.95/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Maybe it's the glow of the moment, but...
after three bottles over three weeks, this BP brew is my favorite beer...
a complex, balanced, sip-orific masterpiece.
Coffee & vanilla, yes. But, chocolate, too.
I could just breathe in the aroma for hours and be satisfied.
Bravo, San Diego! (285 characters)

Photo of pjkelley82
4.94/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Recieved this as an extra via grze... thanks.. phenomenal pick...

Poured from the bottle into a snifter...

A- poured a dark leather brown color nearly black with a 2 inch brown sugar colored pillowy head... stayed a good amount... left sparce lacing that left quickly...

S- jesus... what a wonerfull coffe aroma.. light vanilla and chocalate with a nice bold smell to it...

T- So rich and bold at first... then what I guess is the vanilla smooths everything out for a moment before a nice roast punch hits you sqare on the back of your throat.. what a great tasting porter... everything is streamlined perfectly and tho at certain points seems exteme it all balances out...

M- Beside Milkstout Nitro on tap this is the creamiest beer ive ever tasted. Full bodied.. not watery not sticky but kinda sticky.. heavy but not too heavy...The Mouthfeel is by far my demise.. best in a bottle I've ever had... very light carbonated but not flat...

O- Yea... I'd say beside a local porter I've had which is dear to my heart.. this is by far the best porter I've had... bottom line.... I can't say anything else...you don't have to like it... but if you don't try this your dumb... (1,177 characters)

Photo of Metatron6
4.94/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Tried for the first time in late January and tried again and agaiin. If you only try one beer this month, make it this one.

Bought the big man bottle at Hair of the Dog in Easton. I wish they sold this beer in growlers.

Poured into Sam Adams iconic pint glass.

Its appearance is pitch black, middle of the night. Tunnel dark. Close up to the light rich dark browns are hghlighted. A little head, but quickly recedes. A narrow band continues to rim the glass as you go.

Smell is very pleasing. The coffee and vanilla mixes exceptionally well. It isnt overpowering, but a welcoming scent egging you to deeper. Its that all-too familiar scent of deliciousness that arrests and sends you impulsively in search of its origination.

Taste is as advertised. Hits your lips, buds, tonsils, and gums. Very enveloping. Even better on the way down. Im not a heavy coffee drinker, but you get a satisfyingly warming sensation in your stomach. Even though at 10% its fairly strong, there isnt much of a hint with the alcohol. Its provides a very relaxing buuz

Overall, this beer is ice cream. This is what you want women to taste like. Never a dull moment with beer. Its a take your time and enjoy beer. I can imagine certain cheeses being outstanding with this beverage. Donut pass this one up! (1,289 characters)

Photo of FogDishHead
4.94/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bitter cocoa powder, sweet vanilla bean, smokey espresso, more vanilla... Absolutely delicious on every level. One of my favorite beers. Perfect breakfast beer... Also amazing for lunch, dinner and dessert. (206 characters)

Photo of BeerDawgs
4.94/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A 22oz bomber picked up in GA! New to the state. When I went out to the brewery in 2011, they did not have this one on draft...so finally get to try it.

A - Pitch black, with 2 fingers of head and lace coats the glass all the way down. Beautiful. Looks like a creamy milkshake

S - Huge coffee aroma, roasted grains, and vanilla.

T - Sweet up front...chocolate. Then Espresso coffee kicks in...big time! Vanilla in the aftertaste with a subtle hop aftertaste. ABV well hidden. Unbelievable..

M - Full bodied, creamy, and smooth.

O - The best coffee imperial porter I have ever had. For those from GA, its the Wake N Bake X 2. (631 characters)

Photo of dmgeng
4.94/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Everything about this beer intrigued me and beer trading allowed me to get one of these. I was very pleased with this imperial porter.

A - Deep dark brown, that basically black but is very clear. It pours great with light brown creamy head and very strong lacing. Very much like a mocha-chino.

S - Initially the signature dark, black malt "porter" smell is the most predominant. After the beer warms to room temperature the rich dark roasted coffee and the deep vanilla tones come through beautifully. No discernible hops but the elixir sucks you in.

T - The first sip there is a very smooth but full flavored taste with all of the flavors that you would expect: dark roasted coffee, natural vanilla bean, chocolate, black malt, and sweet malt. No discernible alcohol or hops with the full flavor and smooth character that represents this great beer. The roasted bitterness is strong too allowing the balance of vanilla/cocoa sweetness. Complex and roasty but very smooth and flavorful.

M - High mouth-feel with moderate carbonation. A thick beer with much to offer. Not as thick as some but basically perfect in terms of the ABV and style.

Overall, this is one of the best beers that I've ever tasted. Great flavor with tremendous smoothness and full flavor. Definitely a porter with a distinct black malt flavor with less of the traditional burnt, roasted character of roasted malt stouts. I love the great coffee, vanilla, and chocolate flavor that comes through. Really a perfect example of taking a vanilla mocha and blending it with a full flavored porter. I strongly recommend this flavored imperial porter especially since it is less bitter, less harsh, and less alcoholic than many RIS's.

Glass- Snifter (1,721 characters)

Photo of ilikebeer03
4.93/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured a 2012 bottle into a snifter to share with my girlfriend. Right away the nose is amazing. The vanilla and coffee are very forward and delicious smelling. Pour is fairly dark, not quite opaque like a stout. A finger or two worth of head. Leaves a nice lacing. Taste is, obviously, the best part of this beer. It follows the nose well. Everything is blended perfectly. The 10% alcohol is completely masked. I wish this beer wasn't a four hour drive from me. I should have gotten more. (489 characters)

Photo of surfrogue1
4.93/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Like the depths that your enemies at sea will experiance, Victory At Sea pours as opaque a black as one beer can pour. Thin dark tan head. Extra thin web-like lacing that lasts long after the last sip has been taken. Aromas of dark chocolate, toffee, and expresso. Yeah, I taste vanilla, on the tail end of the dark chocolate...a bitter-sweet afterburn. The kick of expresso and dare I say hops maybe...is that what the 60 IBUs is all about? They don't call this one Imperial for nuthin.' Excellent brew, one to celebrate the Victory at Sea! (541 characters)

Photo of vette2006c5r
4.93/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Victory at sea pours a black color with a nice size lacing head. There is a big roasted malty and coffee aroma. The taste has a big roasted flavor, big hints of coffee, then finishes with a subtle sweet vanilla flavor. Great body great flavors. Overall, its big, complex, and enjoyable. (290 characters)

Photo of mkotsayfan
4.92/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2010 vintage on tap in a snifter at the City Beer Store in SF. Pours a deep dark black with a finger of dark mocha head. The aroma has a very strong vanilla and chocolate presence, along with some roasted malts and coffee notes. The taste has those same pronounced vanilla and chocolate flavors along with a nice balance of coffee flavor. The mouthfeel is medium-thin bodied with decent carbonation, and is velvety smooth and rich.

A great porter, best porter I've ever had. Love to get my hands on some more of this. (518 characters)

Photo of SHODriver
4.92/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a deep black with a half finger of tan head. It looks the part and pours a little thick
S: Espresso, roasted malt, dark chocolate, and maybe some hints of vanilla but the coffee notes dominate
T: Chocolate to start with some coffee notes, a bit of vanilla, roast malt, burnt sugar, dark roast coffee for sure. aftertaste is straight coffee and black malt
M: full bodied with solid carbonation, a little prickly which helps keep things light and moving. Not heavy or chewy.
O: ABV and flavor profile of an imperial stout with the easy drinking of a porter. My goodness is this stuff good. Get it if you can, I'm very happy that I have another bottle of this to look forward to. (685 characters)

Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 1,178 ratings.