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
98
world-class

5,562 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,562
Reviews: 1,235
rAvg: 4.41
pDev: 8.84%
Wants: 948
Gots: 1,533 | FT: 105
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,562 | Reviews: 1,235
Photo of RyFikes
4.96/5  rDev +12.5%
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.

Photo of YodersBeerEmporium
4.96/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

I love coffee stouts/porters and the vanilla in this one perfectly balanced out some supreme coffee notes!!!

Photo of Noahtrumble
4.96/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Absolutely amazing! Can't ask for a better beer.

Photo of Kyndbrah
4.96/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

amazing beer. BP never disappoints but this may be their best.

Photo of BeerEngineer
4.96/5  rDev +12.5%
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.

Photo of Purplehat
4.95/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is the one you'll remember when you think about a porter

Photo of bsidemix
4.95/5  rDev +12.2%
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.

Photo of hip2hops
4.95/5  rDev +12.2%
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!

Photo of pjkelley82
4.94/5  rDev +12%
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...

Photo of Metatron6
4.94/5  rDev +12%
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!

Photo of FogDishHead
4.94/5  rDev +12%
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.

Photo of Redrock
4.94/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Vanilla, mocha and chocolate it's roasted malty goodness in a cup.

Photo of BeerDawgs
4.94/5  rDev +12%
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.

Photo of bradkharris
4.94/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Truly a Victory Beer, one too always get when given the chance.

Photo of dmgeng
4.94/5  rDev +12%
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

Photo of ilikebeer03
4.93/5  rDev +11.8%
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.

Photo of surfrogue1
4.93/5  rDev +11.8%
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!

Photo of vette2006c5r
4.93/5  rDev +11.8%
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.

Photo of mkotsayfan
4.92/5  rDev +11.6%
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.

Photo of SHODriver
4.92/5  rDev +11.6%
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.

Photo of danielp215
4.92/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is an interesting beer to say the least. Pours a dark black with light tan head. The smell is outstanding. Lots of bitter coffee and vanilla extract and some dark chocolate. Taste is out of this world delicious. Starts with big sweet vanilla and sweetened iced coffee and finishes with bitter unsweetened coffee and vanilla extract alcohol. This is one balanced beer. Bold flavors but everything gets a fair shake. Mouthfeel is slightly thin when compared to similar beers. This gives founders breakfast stout a run for its money. Hope you all can get your hands on some.

Photo of InstinctDecay
4.92/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this at Hamilton's Tavern during San Diego Beer Week, poured into a tulip glass.

Poured black with a small residual head, tan.

Aroma was phenomenal. Vanilla character, strong roasted malts, coffee. Much more refined and pungent than from the bottle.

Taste followed aroma rather closely. A near-perfect blend of coffee, toasted malt, chocolate, vanilla, with a warming but smooth presence brought on by the alcohol. Sweetness done right.

Mouthfeel was creamy, sticky, warming, with moderate carbonation. Compliments the taste well.

Overall: I've had this beer several times, and it is undoubtedly my favorite Porter. I couldn't pass down the opportunity to try it from the cask. This was a real treasure to try out.

Photo of biegaman
4.92/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

As different streams having different sources all mingle their waters in the sea, so very different ingredients have led to this masterful creation. The coffee, however, undoubtedly, looks the most prominent. Victory At Sea is black and no light, no matter how bright, can change that fact. The head, once it casts its net, holds on to the glass forever.

Coffee, roasted malt and vanilla are all equally proportioned in the aroma and, I have to admit, I love them all equally - now I know how difficult a question it is for a parent to choose their favourite child. A scent like this makes you wonder why anyone bothers to barrel-age their stouts when they could achieve better results just adding coffee and vanilla.

Victory At Sea has the kind of profound, enduring, distinguished flavour that is so rich and intense it can be summoned days later. It is monumental. Not an aspect overlooked: lush vanilla bean, decadent chocolate cake, strong coffee, nuttiness, zesty hops and roasted malts. Starbucks could sell just this and be equally as popular and successful.

There are some things about this beer that cannot be overstated, one being how decadently, gratifyingly delicious it is. Another is how well the charred coffee is integrated with lusciously sweet vanilla. From a technical standpoint, the beer is near flawlessly engineered: bitter balances sweet and clean drinkability compensates for over-the-top richness.

One thing is for sure: my mouth and stomach are having a much more enjoyable time with this than my liver probably is. At 10% alcohol, this is surely one of the silkiest, most sensual double-digit strength beer I've had the pleasure of drinking. You'd never catch on if you weren't told. Calorie-counters would know better, but even they'd agree it's worth it.

Ballast Point is as constant as the North Star when it comes to putting out well-crafted, full-character, premier beers but this is not only arguably their greatest offering, but perhaps one of the best America has to offer up as well. Few beers this dark, this big and this rich could be this agreeably delicious and easily enjoyed. I'd swim across the sea if that's what it took to get another bottle. A special thanks to Ultraman9000 for this one!

Photo of nsg_beer_doc
4.91/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A big beer that is easy to drink (assuming you like coffee, which, let's face it, if you ordered this one up knowing you didn't like coffee you might not be the smartest person in the world). It's smell is intoxicating and its notes of coffee and vanilla are strong but not overpowering. You'll never forget this is a beer at its base, but it's one that is unique in its genre.

Photo of ArtofBrewing
4.9/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12/12/09
A: Extremely dark beer, light barely passes through, thick head (coffee w/ cream color) that falls slowly.
S: Rich scent of coffee and vanilla. Slight hints of cocoa and dark chocolate.
T: Perfectly balanced notes of bitter and sweet coffee. Vanilla adds a hint of sweetness for additional complexity.
M: Medium body, perfect carbonation and a smooth.
D: Possibly the best porter I have ever had. Highly recommended.

Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 5,562 ratings.