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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BA SCORE
97
world-class

4,327 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,327
Reviews: 981
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 9.11%
Wants: 773
Gots: 898 | FT: 71
Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
"Imperial Porter"

(Beer added by: radshoesbro on 03-17-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,327 | Reviews: 981 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Floydster
4.03/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Glass at O'Briens in San Diego a few weeks back, also tasted at the Alesmith release courtesy of Dr. Bill and once before at the Stone Bistro, so this is the third time I have tasted this brew on tap, reviewed from notes on two occasions

A-Black as it can possibly be, cannot see through it a bit, 3/4 inch mocha colored head that stuck around for two to three minutes, decent retention, nice lacing

S-Coffee and I mean tons of it, probably the strongest espresso aroma I have smelled in a beer, roasted malt, dark chocolate, some vanilla, caramel, toffee, and burned accents

T-Starts off with a big dry coffe taste, then some vanilla and chewy roasted malt in the middle, finish is very dry and slightly sweet from some chocolate accents, later on this one started to taste like a White Russian with milk, sweet cream, and a big Kahlua flavor like some of the other reviews mentioned, it was not overly sweeet but rather toasty, very well balanced and even though the coffee was strong, it did not seem overpowering, chocolate and caramel came out more in the flavor towards the end, very enjoyable from start to finish

M-Dry and roasted mouthfeel, good level of carbonation, maybe too much carbonation, taste lingered for quite some time, coffee provides unparalleled dry and crisp sensation

D-Could not drink much more than a pint of this stuff, its ABV is high and the alcohol is not fully hidden, smooth for the most part but strong, not too heavy on the stomach but coffee can be tiresome

Did not like it as much as the syrah barrel version I tasted at the anniversary party but it was still very good, one of the better coffee porters out there mainly because of its balance in flavor, would definitely drink more in the future, certainly recommended

Photo of KevinBrewer
4.03/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Deep brown around the edges, bordering on black in the center. Tall tan head that dissipates to a small covering, leaving patchy lacing in its wake.

N- Earthy, mildly roasty coffee tones dominate the nose with soft milk chocolate malt underneath. Vanilla is about equal with the coffee, and the bean characters of both ingredients blend really well here. Also has an unexpected "Fruity Pebbles" character as it warms. Alcoholic fumes are noticeable but not distracting.

T- Lots of vanilla bean goodness on the palate. Soft roasted coffee blends nicely with roasty, chocolatey malt. As the beer warms, there's an odd fruity character which I've never noticed before. Firm leafy, tannic bitterness with an alcoholic kick that becomes a bit biting. This is definitely the hottest batch I've had. Long bitter, roasty finish with some lingering vanilla and a pleasant peppery alcohol to warm the soul on a cold California night.

M- Medium-light body, slightly slick, moderate carbonation, with a long, bitter, dry, tannic finish.

O- A nice treat for the winter season. I like the dry complexity of this brew. The high level of tannins from the coffee and roasted malt work beautifully with the vanilla. I imagine the barrel-aged version of this beer would be ridiculous.

Photo of Lunch
4.03/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz. bottle acquired in a trade with volatilesther (Thanks!) into my Brooklyn Brewery snifter at cellar temperature (02/13/10).

A: Pours very dark shade of brown, nearing black with a one finger cap of an espresso colored head that has some retention and leaves bits of thick lace.

S: The smell is dominated by coffee and vanilla, as one would expect, along with notes of chocolate, roasted malt, and bitter dark chocolate.

T: As with the smell, the flavor profile is made up of primarily coffee and vanilla. Rather fresh tasting with layers of bitter, dark chocolate and roasted malt. Perhaps just a hint of alcohol comes into play as well.

M: Medium-bodied with a with a low-moderate carbonation and some creaminess.

D: Quite drinkable and very flavorful with the 10% abv. hidden extremely well.

Overall this a great take on the Imperial Coffee Porter and another solid offering from Ballast Point. Thanks again Esther! Recommended.

Photo of Eriktheipaman
4.03/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a complete black. Very nice brown head and it amazingly thickens up and stays with the brew considering its at 10% abv.

The smell is of fresh ground coffee, chocolate, and slight vanilla.

I cant pick any vanilla up in the taste. The taste is mostly of coffee and to me it overpowers the aftertaste just a tad.

The mouthfeel is very thick so this isnt a beer you could drink a lot of, and at 10% thats not always a bad thing.

A great beer overall but personally not my favorite. Worth trying for sure though.

Photo of bhyndthebottle
4.03/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Served from Bottle into a snifter glass.

Appearance: Pour a nice thick head that dissipates into a nice cap that remains through tasting.

Smell: This is where I pick up most of the character of this beer. Vanilla and Coffee are first to meet the senses, with a slight hint of booze. Chocolate comes in as well, but only to a minimum.

Taste: Somewhat looses it here. Noticed a majority of the vanilla in the mid palate, with a coffee finish, but neither to an extreme. Was expecting more of a wow factor here, but both flavors match each other nicely. Well balanced.

Mouthfeel: Good medium body feel to it, with appropriate carbonation. The only problem comes in as the glass warms, you get a definite sense of the 10%. Was expecting a little smoother warmth from Ballast Point.

Overall: A good imperial porter, but for the money, I was expecting a little more wow factor. This is one that I will definitely recommend, and it is a good effort, but I think that it could have come across a little more aggressively on some of the flavors.Still though, another very good beer by Ballast Point

Photo of snpub540
4.03/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours such a dark brown that its almost black. Light brown head that leaves the slightest amount of lacing but I didn't expect much.

Aroma is of coffee and the slightest hint of vanilla or oak.

Taste is definitely reminiscent of a light RIS. Coffee and roasted flavors make up the bulk of the flavor. Alcohol fruitiness is definitely in the finish.

Mouthfeel is spot of for a porter. Smooth and silky with the flavor of a stout. This is for sure the biggest porter I have ever drank.

Photo of JohnQVegas
4.03/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle into snifter. Tasting notes from 45 degrees and up.

Pours pitch black, almost no brown showing through anywhere other than the very edges, a nice , dense one-finger light-brown head. Nice stickage, impressive lacing. After the head disappears, a few swirls are all that's needed to resurrect it.

Nose is big on espresso; robust, rich, and full, with an underlying vanilla/smooth dark chocolate sweetness. Not a bit of acidity. Wow, really nice.

Taste is pretty unique. It pretty much throws everything at you right from the beginning - big roasty espresso, loads of vanilla, and some dark, dark chocolate underneath. There's definitely a dichotomy hear between the fairly sharp, roasty bitterness and the big sweet vanilla note, with the vanilla pulling ahead around mid-palate and the espresso roaring back to dominate the long, dry, moderately bitter roasty finish. Bit boozey.

Mouthfeel is smooth, full bodied, with a crisp but reserved carbonation.

Drinkability is ok. This is definitely an "extreme" beer, in that all the flavor notes are really huge and kind of battle it out for dominance instead of syncing up and trying to work with each other. A hair less vanilla and a bit less on the bitterness scale and this one would work quite a bit better. As it is now, it's a nice beer, but it really takes no prisoners.

Photo of tai4ji2x
4.03/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber. no date found. poured into tulip. tasted in mid/late april 2009

opaque black, with some red-brown tints under the light or when tilting glass. light brown, 1.5-finger head, slowly recedes to wispy layer and ring. multiple, though sometimes thin, rings of lace.

aroma: lots of vanilla and coffee, with cocoa hint, caramel and lightly roasted malts give faint earthy note underneath, along with hint of hops. a bit simple, but bold and fragrant.

taste: bold coffee and roast, with vanilla to back up the caramel, though it can be slightly over-assertive. bitterness is almost quite bold. acidic coffee flash before bitter coffee finish, with more vanilla tones.

medium body, ever so slightly thin, with syrupy smoothness at first, then lots of acidity and some astringent texture. moderate carbonation gives tingle upfront, then back off to help give body.

Photo of nickfl
4.03/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours with one and a half fingers of medium tan foam on top of an opaque, black body. The head settles slowly and leaves nice, thick lace on the glass.

S - Coffee, chocolate, dark sugar, and some vaguely spicy notes of pepper and chicory.

T - Sweet malt and dark sugar up front with notes of caramel, nutty toffee, and dark bread. Smoky coffee and chocolate in the middle with a hint of vanilla. The vanilla really comes out in the finish with more smoky coffee and spicy notes of clove and cinnamon.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a sweet finish.

D - Thick and sweet, there is a lot going on here. The vanilla works well with the dark sugar and coffee flavors though it becomes a bit excessive in the finish. The finish is a bit too sweet for my taste and that, combined with the vanilla, puts it in the same category as Southern Tier's sweet stouts; it is a dessert beer and works well for one glass, but finishing a full bottle is a bit of a challenge.

Photo of whatthehull
4.03/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tulip

A - deep brown/ black, one finger very tan head and some nice sticky lacing

S - Coffee, vanilla, hop, wood, chocolate and tons of roastiness

T - tons of vanilla up front, tons of coffee, chocolate, very roasty, tons of malts, earth, wood, a funk (maybe yeast?), a big hop note and just tons of coffee. It even has the coffee acidity!

M - medium plus body, lots of acidity, not much complexity, not very balanced and a very long finish

D/O - this is a big beer and tons of coffee, if you don't like coffe this one, you will not be a fan of! Very enjoyable, love the flavor profiles and fun to drink from cold to room temp. Not refreshing at all, just a fun enjoyable imperial beer

Final thought - I really like ballast point and I have yet to try this beer, not a big porter fan, but this one is nice. $8 a pop and 10% is nice. Hope it ages well

Photo of vutoq
4.01/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of owenbrau
4.01/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of polloenfuego
4.01/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Froma 22 oz bottle to a pint glass.

A: deep dark brown with a thumb sized root beer head. The head breaks down giving way to thick lacing.

S: vanilla is the premier smell, followed by coffee, roasted malts and some caramel.

T: roast and coffee but the the vanilla taste really comes through here. I found this to be almost a little overpowering.

M: good carbonation and a chewyness that was nice. The finish was a bit bitter however.

O: a good porter, though the vanilla did at times seem too strong. I also found that as this beer moved up in temperature it became a little less flavorful and a little boozier.

Photo of FightinIrish88
4.01/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of t2grogan
4/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of Tiernan
4/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of Ben7773
4/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of freshflesh
4/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of csmartin6
4/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of Afroman
4/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of StoutFox
4/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of Motleydrunk56
4/5  rDev -8.9%

22 oz Bomber.Pours a brownish black.Smell is every thing you get when you taste it.Coffee coffee and more coffee.Very smooth beer.If you drink this whole bottle you can get to the point where you taste the slight vanilla flavor.Very slight.This is for the coffee drinkers out there.Unfortunately I am not a big coffee drinker so this was not for me but I did appreciate how smooth it was.I would recommend this to coffee drinkers but if you don`t like coffee stay away. Has a 10.0 Abv .

Photo of ccurrid
4/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of timahood32
4/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of Rosethoj
4/5  rDev -8.9%

Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 4,327 ratings.