Dismiss Notice

Site Performance Updates: We're aware of the nightly site outage, and working on resolving the issue.

Follow our progress ...

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

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
97
world-class
1,344 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial PorterVictory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States | website

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by radshoesbro on 03-17-2009

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,344
Ratings:
6,531
Avg:
4.35
pDev:
19.77%
 
 
Wants:
1,071
Gots:
2,076
For Trade:
93
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,344 | Ratings: 6,531
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.

 842 characters

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

 383 characters

Photo of hbensinger
4.37/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

 729 characters

Photo of Mora2000
4.37/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

 342 characters

Photo of nickd717
4.37/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

 773 characters

Photo of bashiba
4.37/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

 865 characters

Photo of richj1970
4.37/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12 oz bottle into snifter.

A: Pitch black with two finger mocha head. Decent retention and heavy 360 degree lacing.

S: Roasted coffee and fresh vanilla beans. Subtle hints of dark chocolate.

T: Vanilla and coffee dominate the flavors, but rich chocolate notes underneath.

M: Full bodied but not heavy with a creamy milk shake like texture.

O: Excellent coffee stout. It's billed as a porter but at 10% ABV, it's a stout, and a good one.

 463 characters

Photo of DoctorZombies
4.37/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Black with a scant amount of ruby on edge when held up to the light; thick tan to light brown head; great lace, cap, and carbonation. Roasted coffee and caramel malt nose with some oak notes too. Flavors of roasted coffee, bittersweet dark chocolate and a little wood; a little vanilla on the finish as the liquid warms. Dry medium lite mouthfeel, yet creamy tongue coating. Overall, I like how the vanilla comes out along with the roasted coffee, however, the linger is a bit wooden.

 484 characters

Photo of liamt07
4.37/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

 515 characters

Photo of monkeylovebeer
4.37/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

 1,751 characters

Photo of KAP1356
4.37/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

 857 characters

Photo of bamadog
4.37/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

 1,765 characters

Photo of mgbickel
4.37/5  rDev +0.5%
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!

 896 characters

Photo of IronLover
4.37/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Black in color. Poured with a short, light beige that slowly reduced to a wispy cap. Sweet milk chocolate, light roasted coffee, light roasted malt and vanilla aromas. No hop aromas. Medium bodied with a creamy smooth feel and rich, medium light carbonation. Dark roasted malt and dark chocolate flavors up front followed by roasted coffee, milk chocolate, and vanilla into the middle. No hop flavors but medium high bitterness through the middle. Flavors transition from bitter hops to dark chocolate, to dark roasted coffee. Finished with a vanilla sweetness followed by chocolate malt and a lingering hop bitterness. Intense malt flavors and vanilla sweetness are nicely balanced by the hop bitterness. Smooth and flavorful with very little alcohol presence for the 10% abv.

 777 characters

Photo of delta490
4.37/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

 388 characters

Photo of Chriscrundwell12
4.37/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

 624 characters

Photo of Beric
4.37/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Serving: Bottle into a tulip
Served: 5 August 2015

Appearance: Pours a thick, deep black color with a minimal tan head that quickly collapses to a sheen of bubbles under influence from the high alcohol content. Looks like your average imperial stout/porter.

Smell: Huge coffee notes, with a nice assertion of dark chocolate or cocoa notes as well. I wasn't able to pick up on much of the vanilla in the nose, but the beer smells absolutely fantastic.

Taste: Like the nose, big notes of coffee, though the vanilla is now evident as well. The roasted malt provides a nice, sharp roastiness- almost burnt- like French roast coffee. No one aspect of this beer is overdone, and the major flavor elements play well together, which is brilliant.

Mouthfeel: Big body, medium-low carbonation.

Overall: One of the best coffee beers I've had. Right up there with FBS, and quite possibly even better.

 893 characters

Photo of Chaney
4.37/5  rDev +0.5%
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...

 671 characters

Photo of Kadonny
4.37/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

 862 characters

Photo of Florida9
4.37/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

 595 characters

Photo of koopa
4.37/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

 603 characters

Photo of Bajasith
4.37/5  rDev +0.5%
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...

 676 characters

Photo of KomodoDragon
4.37/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Pours black with red highlights. Huge tan head, substantial lacing.

Smells of roasting coffee. caramel, toffee.

Coffee bean flavors are pronounced, and nicely balances the porter sugar sweetness. The vanilla flavor lags and is less pronounced. This is more of a cappuccino than a latte. Creamy smooth bitter finish and hardly a trace of the alcohol. There is a sweet toffee feel in the long finish, It's amazing how they built something with such pronounced flavor without making it over the top. All flavors are welcomed.

I like coffee, I like beer, I like vanilla, I like this.

 594 characters

Photo of andrewinski1
4.37/5  rDev +0.5%
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!

 368 characters

Photo of popery
4.37/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: wall-to-wall black with a creamy beige head. Some coffee black shades show up on the edges when swirled in the glass. Some lacing.

Smell: vanilla beans, creamy chocolate, roasted malt and fruity coffee. There's a lot of good stuff going on. Some booze heat in this fresh bottle.

Taste: starts sweet like a chocolate milkshake and transitions to a bitter note combining roast and coffee. The finish is nicely bitter and sticks with you for awhile.

Mouthfeel: creamy, thick and wonderful. Some booze burn in the finish.

Drinkability: All of that roast, coffee and booze cuts down on the drinkability, but, given those qualities, it's pretty easy to drink. The soft feel helps a lot.

 697 characters

Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 1,344 ratings.