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 Duff27
4.38/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours dark brown with an inch tall mocha head. Great lacing and head retention, especially given the style. I received the second half of this bomber and it contained a chocolate worm-like protein creature...I'm going to have nightmares for days.

S- Vanilla whiffs.

T- The vanilla is abundant, not quite cloyingly though. Very sweet. Nice chocolate and coffee notes as well.

M- Thick(!) and creamy mouthfeel. Good carbonation.

D/O- Overall this was a pleasure to try. For fans of huge vanilla/chocolate flavors. Over the top...but in a good way. Would seek out again. Thanks to the guy who traded me for this at Dark Lord Day!

Photo of JWU
4.38/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bottle, poured into a snifter.

A-deep, dark brown/black, with a nice dense, tight tan head. Head dissipates quick due to the high alcohol content.

S- coffee, dark chocolate, brown sugar, and white pepper with some boozy notes.

T- some dark chocolate and smooth coffee, transition to a nice roasty middle, with vanilla coming into the mix, and a warming booze on the finish. The bitterness of the coffee is also very apparent middle to end. Very nice.

M- Pretty thick for a porter, but it's a big beer. The taste doesn't linger too long on the finish as well. Carbonation is spot on, as in light.

O- certainly a sipper, but a delicious sipper at that. Really like the dominating coffee presence, so if that is your thing, this should tickle your fancy.

Photo of match1112
4.38/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a: pitch black body, two finger thick and sticky mocha colored head, tons of patchy lacing.

s: vanilla, roasted coffee, chocolate.

t: big vanilla and chocolate up front, like chocolate milk. then it turns to roasted malts and coffee.

m: big full body, creamy, sticky, great carbonation, coffee bitter on the end.

o: one of the best uses of vanilla in a beer i have had.

Photo of barleywinefiend
4.38/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Port Carlsbad
Poured a deep, deep brown with a tannish head. Nose is sweet, lots of vanilla and chocolate but the coffee plays a backseat and it worked well. Taste is vanilla, cocoa, roasted malt, chewy, a tad nutty with coffee in the background. Mouthfeel is creamy and rich in the mouth. Tasty, well balanced, the ABV is well hidden and this is a great brew in every area. Ballast Point is becoming one of my fav breweries for great beers like this.

Photo of brewdude1982
4.38/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was a bomber poured into a snifter

A: 4.5 deep rich pour into my snifter with a deep dark rich head that dissipated quickly
S: 4.0 slight hop smell and then roasted malts
T: 4.5 such a warm pallet pleasing taste that turns into chocolate and coffee
MF: 4.5 good on the carbonation and very full body
O: 4.5 great beer that I would recommend to anyone. This brewery is really stepping up in my book and I want to try anything that they make in the imperial format.

Photo of WorldWideStout
4.38/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A fairly dark, chocolately brown body with a one-finger light mocha head. I find the colors of the head and body to go together very well. The head is smooth and stays around for a few minutes until I begin to sip.

S: Dark chocolate, coffee, oats, and a little bit of heat. Can't really smell any vanilla.

T: The chocolate comes in first. There there is a bit of coffee with the chocolate, and then out comes the vanilla. I find this vanilla better than what I've had in other porters, mostly because it does not carry an artificial aftertaste with it. The coffee then comes in, a rich, roasty kind, and pervades through the aftertaste.

M: Silky and smooth and not too heavy.

D: Quite drinkable. The coffee is rich, but not as intense as in the Founders brews, and it is balanced out by the chocolate and vanilla.

Quite tasty, indeed.

Photo of MDDMD
4.38/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-dark brown black with a nice tan head and decent lacing

S-vanilla, dark malt, coffee, chocolate, hint of sweetness

T-dark roasted malt, chocolate, vanilla, coffee, light caramel, mild bitterness in the finish

F-medium to full body with mild to moderate carbonation, smooth and creamy

O-a great sipping beer, would make a great dessert beer, the flavors blend very well together

Photo of Mhelseth
4.38/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Strong alcohol after taste beer

Photo of hbensinger
4.37/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of Mora2000
4.37/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to kaiser81 for sending me this bottle.

Pours dark brown with a khaki head. The aroma is a mix of strong black coffee with hints of chocolate. The flavor is black coffee with vanilla and some chocolate. The coffee and vanilla merge together very well to make a very good beer. The mouthfeel is very creamy and the carbonation is low.

Photo of nickd717
4.37/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled at GABF several times over and also at Boonville. This was one of my favorites at both fests. Just so you don't pull out the "Don't review from beer fests!" crap, I also had it on tap at Rose & Crown Palo Alto.

A - Pours black with a small creamy tan head.

S - Aroma is coffee, chocolate, vanilla, and roast. Smells great.

T - Flavor is incredible with fresh, creamy, chocolatey mocha, vanilla, and some caramel and roasted malt. Great balance. This is pretty much to imperial porters what Sculpin is to IPAs, i.e. it's awesome. Ballast Point is becoming one of my favorites.

M - Medium-full body with a smooth palate, somewhat low carbonation, and only mild coffee astringency.

D - Very high for an imperial porter at 10% ABV. Overall this is an amazing beer.

Photo of bashiba
4.37/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer had a nice dark brown color with light mahogany highlights coming through in the light. The head was small to nonexistent with nothing but a small soap ring.

Initially there is a big blast of vanilla coffee in the nose, as it settles a bit it becomes more porter like with mild dark malts and chocolate coming through as well.

The flavor is very good with a nice balance between the slightly sweet vanilla and bourbon alcohol notes that even out nicely with a touch of smokey burnt bitterness and dark coffee.

The mouthfeel is nice and creamy with a good bit of warmth and a bit of resiny oilyness making it linger in your mouth for a bit.

Very drinkable big porter, love the great vanilla and coffee balance. I think this is the first really good vanilla flavored beer I have come across, of course with ballast points quality this is of no surprise.

Photo of liamt07
4.37/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from Premier Gourmet, 650ml into a tulip. Best by November 26, 2013.

Black body, lofty mocha head. Great retention and lacing. Beautiful vanilla, brown sugar and medium-dark coffee roast on the nose. A creamy quality to this as well. Heavy roast and dark chocolate on the palate, a creamy vanilla quality contributes a moderate amount of balance. Carbonation a tad high to begin with, but this is easily remedied. Medium full feel. Delicious, might have wet dreams thinking about this on nitro or hand pump.

Photo of monkeylovebeer
4.37/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ballast Point really has a knack for the dark beers, and this monster is no exception. With a name that's as much of a mouthful as the brew itself, their Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter takes no prisoners and is an excellent closer to an evening of quality tippling.

Pouring as black as the bottom of the ocean, Victory at Sea develops a tight, mocha-colored head that's so dense, it appears almost nitro-driven. A complex nose of vanilla, cocoa, coffee, and roasted malts draws you in to its rich depths. Upon first sip, you're sunk.

The cereal bill alone is heavy enough to take you straight to the bottom--but the American Two-Row Malt, Victory Toasted, Crystal, and Chocolate Malts, and Rolled Oats combine to provide a sturdy keel and keep this brew upright.

For an Imperial Porter at a whopping 10%, the mouthfeel is as smooth as the ass of a wee bonny lass with a nice, velvety finish. For such a high-powered brew, they have balanced it out just right, and if it wasn't so rich, you could quaff a few of these no problem-o.

The coffee taste is predominant and Ballast Point has partnered up with a San Diego roastery, Caffé CaLabria, to get it just right. Their website mentions a 24-hour cold extraction process that leaves a lot of the bitterness behind; whatever they are doing, the java really shines through.

A guest taster at Camp Larsen thought the vanilla was a bit over-stated, and personally, I don't think they really need it. There is already a lot going on with this brew, and if anything, the extract lends a syrupy note to an otherwise beautiful finish. I would love to cellar one of these babies and see what it becomes in a year or so--but it's so tasty now, I seriously don't think that's going to happen.

Photo of KAP1356
4.37/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a Weyerbacher tulip...

A - Poured a dark, creamy, opaque black. A nice tan color head, about 1.5 fingers thick, forms and sticks around for a bit. Nice head retention for such a big ABV beer.

S - Lots of vanilla right up front mixed with some delicious smelling coffee. Creamy milk chocolate mixes in there too. I think I get a bit of hops in there too.

T - Creamy, smooth milk chocolate, vanilla, and some great fresh coffee. Starts nice and sweet and then transitions to a nice bitter coffee taste. Very milk shake like and very nicely done.

M - Creamy, milkshake like, thick and hearty. Really nice feel. A little bit of alcohol heat at the end of the palate.

D - Nice and creamy, but the roasty/bitterness really cuts down a bit; especially since its a 22 oz. bottle. But it's really a great and well balanced beer.

Photo of bamadog
4.37/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Extra special thanks to beerman207 for hooking me up with a sample of this one at the Superbowl party he and his wife hosted. Game came out all wrong, but this beer definitely came out all right. Review is from notes taken on 2/6/2011 and poured from the bottle to a pint glass.

Appearance: Pour is dark brown/near black; starts with a nice 1 and 1/2 finger dark tan head; body is dark and entirely opaque; head fades to a full cap and leaves a full curtain of lacing on the back of the glass that holds throughout most of the drink.

Smell: Creamy and milky chocolate and coffee/espresso roastiness; touch of smoke and sweet vanilla; slight bit of alcohol in the nose -- this beer comes across as very robust and it smells like a creamy Jamocha shake from Arby's.

Taste: Jesus, it doesn't just smell like a Jamocha shake, it really tastes like one with friend ground coffee and ample vanilla; lots of chocolate that is bittersweet combined with just a touch of a sweeter milk chocolate; lots of ground and burnt coffee and espresso that creates a nice earthy and nutty bitterness; definite presence of alcohol that's a little bourbony, but the heavy chocolate and coffee flavors remind me even more of Kahlua.

Mouthfeel: Mouth is thick and creamy, with spot on carbonation that provides just the right amount of liveliness to keep it interesting; a thick semi-dry coating and grittiness is left on the palate and teeth; does sit a little heavy, but it's super tasty and I'd be willing to have it sit in my tummy.

Drinkability: This is definitely a worthy offering -- great scents and flavors and a super creamy mouthfeel; ABV and weight do slow it down a bit, but this one is pretty tough to come around in these parts so ABV be damned, drink it while you can.

Photo of mgbickel
4.37/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a Perfect Pint glass. Formed a thick, two finger, sandy colored head. The foam had great lasting power...the slow recession left large tufts behind, clinging to the glass. The body is brown/black. You can get light through the edges if you force it.

Strong aromas...roasted malts and cocoa up front. You can detect a sweet background...a mix of vanilla and caramel (read the label after I wrote this...I swear!).

A sweet caramel flavor comes out first. This fades into a strong roasted coffee taste that digs deep and burns into your palate. Very complex, but missing the sweetness the nose teased you with. Slightly boozy at the finish, but not unpleasant.

Awesome mouth feel. Thick and creamy with the perfect amount of carbonation for the style.

A great drinking beer. As it warms, the 10% ABV starts to come out stronger so it becomes a great sipping beer!

Photo of delta490
4.37/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The body is an incredibly dark brown, nearly black, with a nice light brown head that has good retention and leaves nice tight sticky lacing. The aroma is rich with coffee and just a hint of the vanilla adding some counterbalance. The taste is a little dialed back from the aroma but with the same characteristics. The body is nicely weighted on the palate with a nice full smooth finish.

Photo of Chriscrundwell12
4.37/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 0z bottle poured into a Darkness snifter.

A- One finger tan head dissipates quickly decent lacing, dark black, when held up to the light you cannot see through it.
S- Big coffee/espresso aroma, nice chocolate aroma as well, nice roasted notes, roasted malts.
T- Every sip is really smooth, the coffee flavor is delicious with hints of chocolate and vanilla, very balanced.
M- Medium/big, perfect amount of carbonation for this beer, a bit sticky, really smooth velvety finish.
O- Really impressed with this beer, huge coffee presence that goes down very smooth. This is a very tasty easy drinking brew, really impressed.

Photo of Chaney
4.37/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I cracked this one for Valentines Day to split with my wife... which she absolutely LOVED!!

A: Totally dark and then some... with a mocha head that stayed on the brew throughout the session.

S: Vanilla... dessert... a tinge of coffee and chocolate.... but not much more. Awesome!

T: Very thick dessert-like feel with tons of vanilla and maybe a tinge of coffee. A bit of salt, in a dessert-like way, but the cocoa was there and then some!

M: Thick as hell, yogurt-like almost tons or lacing on the glass which didn't translate to the palate.

D: I would drink this a lot if were available to me. However, it is only available to me every once in a while in my area...

Photo of Kadonny
4.37/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a Duvel tulip glass.

A: A deep dark black color that does not allow any light to pass through. A small thin light brown head leaves bubble lacing throughout the glass.

S: Roasted smells with coffee, chocolate, vanilla, and some oak.

T: The porter roastiness comes through first with a large dose of coffee and espresso followed by flavors of milk chocolate and some caramel sweetness with the vanilla and woody oaky flavors near the end. A earthy hops bitterness leaves the tongue tingling a bit with the finish. Great beer, lots of flavors and very complex.

M: Full coating, creamy, and the alcohol is really well hidden.

D: Very good for a 10% beer. This beer is very drinkable and enjoyable for the entire bomber.

Overall a superb Impy porter that deserves the hype. Another award winner for Ballast Point. Well done.

Photo of Florida9
4.37/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Fully opaque black in color. Forms a moderate sized, very dark tan, almost-mocha colored head. Decent retention. Some lighter lacing.

S: Aroma is coffee and heavily roasted malts. Chocolate, cocoa, espresso, char, and just the faintest hint of vanilla.

T: Taste is more of the same. Full of flavor. Dark, bitter, chocolate and cocoa seem to dominate, but there are also flavors of coffee and nearly burnt malt. Very mild sweetness. Cola. Hint of smoke. And some light vanilla notes.

M: Full bodied, lower carbonation, mild chalkiness, mild bitterness.

O: Yes, a very nice beer indeed.

Photo of koopa
4.37/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had the opportunity to try this during the Black Friday event at Capone's.

Appearance: Pours black with a minimal khaki crown that shows little retention or lace.

Smell: Wow this is one lovely smelling brew! Loads of coffee and vanilla over a nicely roasted malt. Some chocolate makes an appearance but it's more of a supporting role.

Taste: Very good blend of coffee, vanilla, roasted malt, and chocolate. So close to a 5.0

Mouthfeel: Enough carbonation and very creamy!

Drinkability: The flavors are bold and the abv is in double digits, but it's delicious tasting with a rewarding mouthfeel.

Photo of Bajasith
4.37/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pilsner glass to get the full effect of a dark porter.

A: So dark almost black with no sign of color around the edges of glass... thick
S: You could definitnetly smell the roadted malts, coffee and a hint of vanilla... Alcohol blends them well.
T: Very creamy as the roasted coffee hits the palate with a slight sweet caramel undertone to erase the bitterness.
M: Medium to heavy, with a creamy and smooth texture. Low carbonation adds to the creamyness. Drinkability is dangerous. This doesn't taste 10% at all, and I will easily finish this bomber myself.
D: Very drinkable as none of the robust flavors tire the palate, but the 10* ABV can creep up on you...

Photo of andrewinski1
4.37/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Bendurgin! Poured into a tulip. There is a large tan head atop a pitch black body. Nice stickyness.

The aroma has lots of sweet vanilla and chocolate with hints of sweet coffee.

While the aroma emphasizes the vanilla most, the coffee component dominates the flavor. There is a nice sweet vanilla finish that ends creamy.

This is very delicious. Want moar!

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