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

Not Rated.
Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial PorterVictory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,219 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 1,219
Hads: 5,922
Avg: 4.36
pDev: 19.5%
Wants: 1,005
Gots: 1,720 | FT: 91
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: 1,219 | Hads: 5,922
Photo of superspak
4.32/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into snifter, best before 12/10/2013. Pours dense pitch black color with a 1 finger dense dark tan head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big vanilla, cream, milk chocolate, caramel, toffee, coffee, light roasted malt, and dark bread. Incredible aromas with great balance and complexity of dark malt and sweet vanilla notes. Taste of milk chocolate, vanilla, cream, roasted malt, caramel, coffee, light char, toast, floral, and light pine. Lingering notes of vanilla, milk chocolate, cream, roasted malt, caramel, coffee, light char, toast, dark bread, floral, and light pine on the finish for a while. Fantastic balance and complexity of roasted and sweet creamy vanilla malty flavor; with a good malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying sweetness present after the finish. Medium carbonation and full bodied; with a very creamy, slick, and slightly syrupy mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a small warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a fantastic imperial vanilla porter! Great balance and complexity of roasted and sweet malty flavors; and extremely smooth to sip on for 10%. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of Zach136
4.32/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pitch black, deep brown head, excellent lacing.

Aroma: Blend of sharp coffee and specialty malt roast.

Flavor: Smooth coffee bean flavor, vanilla comes across as almost cake like. Coffee cake and a sip of black coffee.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, coffee finish is a little bitter. Also a bit fuller bodied and velvety than a porter should be IMO.

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Photo of Beerenauslese
4.32/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a large snifter, it easily produces a half inch head. Body is jet black, with a tan foamy head that quickly dissipates to a ring, leaving small soap clouds of lace on the glass.

Rich aroma of roasted malt, coffee, vanilla, and alcohol.

Tastes of charred malt and dark chocolate up front, with coffee and vanilla mid-palate, and ends with a burning dry finish on the tongue, mostly of bitter char and roasted coffee, and just a hint of smoke. Overall, it is a pleasant and well-balanced Porter.

Body is on the lighter side for a Porter, and carbonation is low, but it is enough to give this a slightly creamy mouthfeel.

This is a nice version of an Imperial Porter, very flavorful, and quite drinkable. The alcohol is slightly warming, but is matched by the great flavors.

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Photo of Cylinsier
4.32/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Pours jet black with an inch of coffee-and-cream head, pretty decent retention.

Smells of roasted coffee, smokey flavors, caramel and vanilla.

Tastes bitterly smokey with roasted coffee at the forefront, followed by hints of vanilla and caramel.

Feels full and creamy with smooth carbonation on the back of the tongue.

Delicious, avoids the sometimes too-acidic flavor of some coffee porters and remains smooth and mellow. The smoked notes are a nice touch. Hides its abv pretty well though there may be a hint of warmth at the end. All in all, a really enjoyable brew.

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Photo of StoutElk_92
4.32/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark with a red-brown head. Smells of roasted coffee sweetened with vanilla. Tastes like a cold brewed black coffee with vanilla. The colder it is the more robust the coffee flavor. Closer to room temperature the coffee becomes slightly tamed and the more chocolate-like flavors settle in. At 10% it can feel a little strong, but the bittersweet roasted coffee flavors help cover up the booze. It is pretty thin and goes down easy with mild carbonation. Overall a nice imperial porter for coffee lovers.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4.32/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark chocolate brown with a half finger of brown head that left good sticky lacing on the glass. Roasted malts, coffee, and vanilla dominate the nose which also had chocolate slight nutty, and a little sweet lacto notes. Like the nose the roasted malts seem to pop more but the chocolate is a bit stonger on taste that had vanilla and coffee accents. There is was also a little underlying booze and nutty flavors. The beer was medium body with a good amount of carbonation that had a sweet roasty creamy finish. Overall it drank very good and was even better when paired with chocolate brownies. I will definitely try to get more of this tasty brew.

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Photo of cavedave
4.32/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The resin left on glass from this thick, darkest brown, opaque elixir is worthy of a stout. A thin, dark beige head relaxes gradually to a skim that swirls as if upon syrup.

What an aroma, full of vanilla, with a less roasty coffee flavor, really smooth notes of fine dark caramel, but it's the vanilla that takes it here, sweet, and inviting.

Not a stout at all, perfectly described, this baby is all porter on the palate, BIGtime. Talk about delicious, the vanilla and sweet caramel start, then some chocolate into a medium roast coffee flavor. A lot going on here, but alcohol is absent (this can't be 10%). It seems a simple, winning combination, but there are subtle roasty notes, really clean and tasty, some floral hints, some fruitiness (cherry?) in there. None of these flavors want to dominate the taste, and at times all of them do. Quite sweet, but there's enough going on to make it an asset, and the finish has an edge of herbal bitter and roast to balance.
Wonderful taste!

Mouthfeel is on the stout side of modern porter sensibility, quite viscous, lasting resins, low carb., a slow sipper, wonderful finish. Too thick for style? I just don't know.

Drinkability is good for a big beer. It's one to sip and savor.

Impression: Another Stellar beer from BP. Thank you to them. Get this if you see it, it's a must try.

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Photo of birchstick
4.32/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a black color with a nice one finger mocha head on it. Nose is freshly pressed coffee with loads of vanilla. Taste is similar. Lots of coffee and chocolates dominate the front and back. A lot of vanilla is in th middle. Pretty solid, really enjoys the taste profile on this. Solid mouthfeel taboot. Really good vanilla coffee porter here. Loved it and will seek out again.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.32/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Undated bottle served in a goblet. Beer is black and forms a thin brown head. Carbonation is low and so is lacing.

There is a nice coffee aroma with a slight hint of vanilla. As the beer warms closer to room temperature the aroma develops more and there is more of a vanilla character to it, also more sweetness.

There is a strong coffee flavor and bitterness in the back palate. The front palate detects a mild sweetness. The beer is smooth, no carbonation on the palate. Beer is lighter in body than expected overall. The bitterness lingers but there is no aftertaste, just a flavor that holds on. Overall, pretty enjoyable and a good porter for sure.

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Photo of meatyard
4.32/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-A very dark brown with a milk chocolate, one finger head that fades fast leaving little spots of lacing.
S-The roasted coffee comes on strong and I also get a bit of licorice. As it warms there is a release of alcohol that isn't there in the initial pour.
T-This has a powerful punch right from the beginning. The coffee flavor is most intense followed later by a smaller amount of the vanilla. I still get some licorice flavor hanging around at the end. There was a little bitterness in the beginning but that isn't noticeable as it warms.
M-Not thick, more medium in feel but still full and smooth.
D- It's tasty and drinkable, the bomber is the right size fo those who enjoy this beer.

This is no standard Am. Porter. It's intense and interesting. Maybe a little overpowering but very good.

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Photo of mrstevens
4.32/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've been wanting to try this beer for awhile and my good buddy gtreid hooked me up last night.

P: Very dark pour with a thick caramel colored head.

S: Coffee was the strongest smell I got from this beer, along with the hints of vanilla, caramel and licorice maybe.

T: I really enjoyed the taste of this beer, big coffee, very creamy with the vanilla and caramel mixing in perfectly.

M: Great carbonation, very silky creamy thick and smooth in the mouth.

D: Drinkability is good, not too much of an alcohol presence, but maybe a little too creamy to drink too much of it.

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Photo of 100floods
4.32/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a fizzy pitch black, you can't see through it when put up to light. It's followed by a thick yet bubbly mocha head that after the first sip goes away.

Smells of vanilla, espresso creme, and dark chocolate covered coffee beans. You can almost taste the texture of the beans, but that's more memory than anything.

Thick and full bodied texture.

That's espresso bean flavor comes strong, before the beer fully touches your lips, then it's mostly sweet and gentle roasted notes with a roasted strong finish that lingers in your mouth. Definitely a few things going on, yet nothing is hidden. This beer has sweet notes to it, but not the kind that make this beer too sweet. This beer provides a lot of balance for what it has to offer. Yes, it's that good.

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Photo of slasher007
4.32/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Mora2000 for sharing this bottle.

Pours a very dark brown color with medium tan head and pretty good lace. Smells of coffee, vanilla, and some creamy malts. Taste is more balanced with flavors of coffee, vanilla, chocolate, and somewhat espresso. Nice creamy mouthfeel with low carbonation. I was very suprised with how big this was and how good it was as well. Excellent beer from Ballast Point Brewing Company

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Photo of wyattshotmaker
4.32/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into a snifter, pretty dark. slight ruby hues, but more or less black with a tan head. decent lacing and head retention.

roasted coffee, mocha, caramel, touch of dark fruit in the nose.

big coffee flavor upfront, fades into a creme brulee like richness, burnt sugar, just a hint of acidity in the finish. not overly sweet, just enough to balance out the roasted malt/coffee flavor.

mouthfeel is a tough thin, but this is a porter so i find that fairly acceptable. overall this is way too drinkable. not overly boozy and deceptively smooth,

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Photo of CliffBrake
4.32/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow - like drinking a chocolate mocha creme pie! A great dessert to linger over on Christmas Eve.

It pours with a light tan colored head with modest lacing. Coffee and vanilla are both very prominent on the nose. The flavor combines these notes with chocolate and bread from the malts. Throughout, the coffee is very prominent and tastes about as rich and fresh as any coffee I have had in a beer (and better than you'd get with most coffee in this country). The vanilla is well integrated and doesn't stand out as much as it seems to holds things together.

A very tasty, sweet libation for slow sipping.

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Photo of jooler
4.32/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Smells like a prairie Bomb. It tastes pretty damn good. Smooth like a porter but the burn of an imperial stout with a hint of vanilla. Only issue is that the carbonation is low

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Photo of kzoobrew
4.32/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to SpdKilz for hooking me up with this bottle. Cheers Carleton!

Poured into unbranded 12oz snifter. Deep walnut color from the bottle though settles into the glass an opaque black. One finger Cafe Au Lait head works its way back in short order. A nice ring is left around the perimeter, heavy lacing clings to the glass.

There are some beers that you find yourself admiring the aroma to a point that you have to remind yourself to take a sip, this is one of them. Medium roasted coffee bean with a bit of cinnamon up front. Fudgy dark chocolate wedges itself smack dab in the middle. Caramel vanilla cream lays underneath be delicately weaves its way into each sniff.

The aroma is an excellent indicator of things to come. The flavor is very reminiscent of the aroma but much more even. The java flavor is very clean, providing a nearly perfect level of roastiness. Molten chocolate is intertwined with the bean though moves towards a dry cocoa flavor towards the back of the palate. Sweet caramel creme provides a lighter sweetness to compliment the darker flavors. The vanilla is not overly obvious, the flavor smooths and blends the other flavors together.

Full bodied porter. The carbonation is a bit too lively, so far that is the only fault I can find in this beer. Very smooth and nearly creamy texture. The finish is moderately long, the flavors do not dig in to the tongue as much as I expected.

Quite the impressive beer. Flavors are very well integrated and smooth. Remarkably easy to drink for a 10% beer. Alcohol is well hidden. Drinking several servings may not be the best idea though it would be remarkably easy to accomplish. Well done Ballast Point!

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Photo of garuda
4.32/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Thick, black, oily pour that only gets a tiny tan head with little retention and spotty lacing down the glass.

S/T - Rich, smooth roasted coffee in the forefront with touches of vanilla and chocolate creating a sweet underlying tone.

M - Full body, great low carbonation, creamy across the palate, with a little residual oiliness in the finish.

D - Wow, abv is hidden extremely well, with only a hint coming through as it warms. This is such a smooth easy drinker, I only wish the vanilla was a bit more prominent.

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Photo of don1481
4.31/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22 oz poured into pint.

Pours a dark jet black with a mocha head that leaves a nice amount of lacing on the glass. Smells like a strong coffee with a hint of vanilla. Tastes like a strong coffee with a bit more vanilla. Mouthfeel is a bitter coffee taste, but not over the top. Alcohol is well hidden. I'll get more of this.

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Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.31/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This has got to be one of my favorite beers. Very tasty. It has an awesome head that stays the whole time and is super creamy and leaves a lot of lacing on the glass. It smells of wonderful roasted malty sweet goodness. You can smell the coffee a little bit. Taste is very intense. Lots of flavors going on such as slot of roast and good light vanilla flavor with a smooth coffee roast to it. Mouthfeel is great with great carbonation. Overall it is a sipper because of how intense it is but with a year or more of age on this I can see this beer being even better. Very good

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Photo of sjccmd
4.31/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Aroma is strong coffee. Some peppery notes. Cinnamon and spices, and a good dose of vanilla. Dark chocolate, some fruity esters and citrusy hops, but those are kept to a minimum. Vanilla comes out more and more.

Pours black with a dark tan/brown head. Medium sized head recedes leaving a good amount of lacing. Clarity is pretty good.

Taste is again big on coffee. Filled in with roasty malts and a hint of citrusy hops. Vanilla comes in on the finish with cinnamon and clove. Coffee is balanced nicely with robust dark malts, burnt toast, and some caramel. Very rich, but the coffee seems to keep it from being cloying. Vanilla adds a hint of sweetness.

Full bodied with medium low carbonation. Vanilla seems to add to the body. Some residual sweetness balanced with roasty bitterness.

Big and luscious. Coffee balanced nicely with the rich porter character. Heavy for the style.

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Photo of Powderhornphil
4.31/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours black, not too thick. Nice looking head, but again, not particularly thick. Over all good looking.

Vanilla is heavy, roasted coffee. The vanilla is quite heavy. As it warms, some malty sweet aromas appear.

Taste follows the nose. Vanilla sweetness, coffee, sweet malt sugars, mild malt roasts. Finishes with a healthy dose of coffee bitterness. The alcohol... wait what alcohol. Very well hidden.

Mouthfeel comes across as much lighter than the 10 percent ABV.

Great beer here, no doubt about it. I have been excited to try this beer for a long time and am glad to try it finally.

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Photo of illidurit
4.31/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery during RBSG 08. Darkest brown with a creamy cocoa head that leaves a bunch of lacing. Nice roasty nose with milk chocolate and vanilla. Intense iced coffee with a roasty bitterness, some earthy herbal hops, chocolate sweetness. Excellent beer.

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Photo of Googs
4.31/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark, dark brown. Not seeing through this one. Looks almost like a cola. About 3/4 of an inch head when poured which faded quickly into a small layer of bubbles. Alcohol legs lingering on this, and not surprising at all for the the !0% ABV. A very nice lookin' imperial porter.

S: Not a very strong aroma on this one. Dark chocolate roasted malts upfront. A bit of coffee and vanilla. Not an intense smelling brew but pleasant.

T: Malty sweetness that is quickly covered up by the roasted coffee, hops and a touch of vanilla. Very good imperial coffee porter.

M: Perfect mouthfeel for this style of beer. Smooth and just the right amount of carbonation. 10%? this one goes down easy. It's creeping up on me.

O: Pretty awesome Imperial Coffee Porter and one of the best I've had. If you like that roasted coffee flavor and your Imperial porters on the bitter side, you'll love this. I've heard they last years batch was a bit sweet. This year's is fairly bitter when fresh. I'd prefer a little bit more sweetness in it so I'm going to grab a bottle to age for a year and re-visit. Delicious brew, I'd get this if you can.

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Photo of hoppytobehere
4.31/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber, bottled October 28th

A: Just as you would expect. Dark as hell. Nice sticky tan lacing.

S: Coffee heavy, but for a guy that drinks 4 cups a day, this is great. Dark chocolate as well, not getting much vanilla yet. Fair amount of hops.

T: Keeps getting better as it warms up. Roasted coffee, raisins, dark chocolate. Slight bitterness from hops and coffee. Pretty dry actually for what it is.

M: Smooth, creamy, chewy. Everything you want a porter to be. 10% ABV and it feels much lower.

O: $7.49 bombers, perfect beer for winter. Might be even better with a little age on it.

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Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 1,219 ratings.