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

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BA SCORE
97
world-class
1,342 Reviews
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,342
Ratings:
6,522
Avg:
4.35
pDev:
19.77%
 
 
Wants:
1,072
Gots:
2,071
For Trade:
92
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

User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,342 | Ratings: 6,522
Photo of birchstick
4.32/5  rDev -0.7%
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 -0.7%
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 -0.7%
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 -0.7%
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 -0.7%
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 -0.7%
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 -0.7%
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 -0.7%
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 -0.7%
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 -0.7%
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 -0.7%
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 -0.9%
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 -0.9%
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 -0.9%
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 -0.9%
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 basaywhat
4.31/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle. Pours black with a full bubbly natural tan head. Aromas of coffee, minerals, and roasted malts. Flavors of chocolate, dark caramel , acidic coffee, and mild roasted malts. Nicely balanced. Smooth and very good!

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Photo of illidurit
4.31/5  rDev -0.9%
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 -0.9%
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 -0.9%
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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Photo of argock
4.31/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz bornw bottle into a clear glass snifter. No obvious born on/bottle on date, indecipherable code stamped on the front of the label and something unreadable on the bottom. Purchased in allocation from Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA).

A: Black with soft dark brown opaque edges with 1/2-finger of beige head that has good retention for the ABV and leaves a lot of small dots of lacing.

S: Great aroma with heavy black coffee aroma, but dark fruit, cocoa, and roast malts plow through as well. The vanilla is more of a hint. Alcohol singes the nostrils barely. Maybe the fruity aromas are low-level yeast esters, maybe they are date and plum from the malts.

T: The flavor is good but the coffee could be ratcheted back by 10-20% to let more of the porter through. If I could get another bottle, I would hold onto it for about 3-4 more months and let the coffee fade more and let more porter come through. THat being said, it is still delicious and the coffee works very well with the no, more apparent vanilla component. The porter base is supplying some nutty flavors, roast for sure, and a light touch of caramel. THe alcohol is well hidden and mainly is a warmth in the throat and belly. Any yeast component is some very mild stone fruitiness like cherry or plum. A very good beer that I think would be a bit better with a lighter coffee hand. Bitterness is moderate, mainly from coffee and roast, not from hops which are hard even to detect.

M: I think thefeel could be a bit more lush, but the lighter body helps with the drinkability, which I am not sure is a good thing in a 10% beer. Carbonation is moderate.

O: BP Victory at Sea Coffee Vanilla IMperial Porter is a stellar beer that I think has a few small fixes that could turn this into a very top-tier beer. I am very glad to have had the chance to try it, and do not overlook this beer -- it is special and still has potential.

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Photo of Jas45678
4.31/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a nice black with a small mocha head that fades fairly quickly. Smell is vanilla, coffee, mocha and a little carmel. Taste is coffee and vanilla with some mocha and carmel. Nice bitter finish. A little light bodied with medium amount of carbonation. Overall a great porter especially if you like coffee and vanilla.

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Photo of snaotheus
4.31/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle poured into a large snifter. My bottle doesn't look like the one in this listing's picture, and it doesn't specifically say the name in this listing. It says:
Victory At Sea
Porter with Coffee & Vanilla
Imperial Porter
I'm not sure, but I think a bottle code is printed in a weird location on the bottle (in the blue strip front and center, just to the left of the "Porter with Coffee & Vanilla"): S 35 13297. If I understand it correctly, it's a couple months old (assuming it's a bottled on date, not a best by date)

Pours barely translucent ruby-black-brown. Poured gently, starts out with no head, which surprisingly springs up out of nowhere, but then dissipates pretty quickly. Aroma is powerful. A slightly jostling of the beer sends up a cloud of delicious coffee aroma. They must use a shit-ton of coffee in this, but it smells great. But, the coffee smell nearly obscures everything else. I can detect some vague fruitiness, maybe cherry or plum, a little yeast, maybe a little of the vanilla that's mentioned on the bottle (but I probably wouldn't detect it if it wasn't listed on the bottle).

Taste is coffee bitter, sweet/sour cherry or plum slightly up front, more coffee bitter, some caramel and vanilla.

Mouthfeel is rich, gritty, nice. This is really a nice beer.

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Photo of darthvohn
4.31/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Glass Used: Tulip

Appearance: Black with a thick tan head. Head descends into a nice thin cap.

Smell: Vanilla, strong coffee, waifs of toffee and chocolate swirl around along with a light singe of alcohol.

Taste: Coffee, heavy roasted malts, vanilla, chocolate and a bit of the alcohol.

Mouthfeel:Mild carbonation, smooth and slick. Pleasant finish with a bit of burnt bitterness.

Overall: Pretty damn good porter. The aroma and finish hooked me for this one. Would definitely recommend if you are a fan of the style.

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Photo of babaracas
4.31/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a nearly opaque very dark brown with two finger thick fluffy medium brown head, settles to a half inch that stays, with rings down the glass for a few inches. Smell: big espresso with roast, caramel and earth; vanilla, dark chocolate. Taste: vanilla pop upfront, then high cocoa chocolate atop dark brown sugar and buttered toasted brown bread, thins out into earthy espresso with prune note and more chocolate, earthy hopping and re-emergence of the vanilla. Medium-light bodied, creamy feel, sticky finish. Delicious.

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Photo of Billolick
4.3/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

$9.99 for the bomber at DeCicco's, Ardsley, NY.

Pours straight up black, dark mocha head, thats rich, dense and staying around. Thick sheeting and nice looking and well developed lacing left behind.

Nose resonates with coffee and more coffee. Also some dark grains, mocha, light chocolate.

Full flavor porter, lucious waves of coffee, chocolate, vanilla, and dark malty goodness. Rich, dense, boldly amped up and thoroughly tasty stuff. Heavy and viscious on the tongue and coating the mouth.

Over the top and highly worthy of seeking out.

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Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 1,342 ratings.