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.
BA SCORE
98
world-class

5,566 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,566
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: 5,566 | Reviews: 1,235
Photo of GatorCoop
4.26/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Had a taster at the Miramar location in San Diego. Really nice flavor.

Photo of fmccormi
4.26/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Straight pour from a 12oz pry-off bottle to an oversized wineglass (Jester King stemware); there’s some date information printed in white ink near the bottom of the front label (“VAS6715148”), but who the hell knows what that’s supposed to indicate. Either way, given the style, I’m not too worried about freshness.

Appearance (4.75): About one and a half fingers of rocky, dark tan foam rise off of the pour, capping a nearly pitch-black body. As the head dissipates, it leaves close-knit lacing and tightly spaced collars all around the end edge of the glass. It also shows some ruddy, mahogany highlights around the edge. This is gorgeous.

Smell (4.25): Mocha icing, chocolate syrup, deeply caramelized malts, and sweet cream fill out the nose—rich and sweet-smelling, but balanced with a modest amount of lightly acrid roast and cocoa powder. Well-structured and rich, while avoiding the tendency of these big stouts to try to muscle out every single note and component.

Taste (4.25): In contrast to the smooth, full, balanced set of aromas, the palate throws a quick jab right out of the gate, with a mid-level shot of mocha-like bitterness, followed by a smooth, malty body (some of the chocolate syrup from the nose mixed with instant espresso) . . . and then a sharp right hook of deeply bitter roast—espresso, unsweetened baker’s chocolate, and herbal bitterness. The beer leaves a more modest, drying bitterness in the aftertaste characterized more by dark cocoa powder than coffee or any other bittering agent. A healthy, boozy heat pops up halfway back on the palate, and carries on through the finish.

Mouthfeel (4.0): Definitely full-feeling and heavier than medium-weight, the beer’s big but not massive or syrupy. The booze in particular, mixed with coffee and cococa bitterness, lightens up the big body and lets the beer to finish surprisingly dry. Too punchy and bitter to drink lightly or with ease . . . this beer’s not for the novice stout/porter drinker, but the dryness really does improve drinkability.

Overall (4.25): This is a really, really solid beer, and considering its price point in six-packs, it’s a real bargain in the world of imperial stouts/porters/huge dark beers, whatever you want to call it. I like that this beer’s got a dynamic character, with multiple dimensions in every area, from the nose to the body. It’s an awesome drink, and one I’ll definitely keep in mind in the future.

Photo of Gator_Nation
5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Incredible. I'm in love with this beer.

Photo of brettski66
5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Perfect, parfait, perfekt, 完美, τέλειος, perfeito, perffaith.

Photo of Jmikepow
4.72/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

THe sweet smell of vanilla beans and the wonderful taste of this makes this one of the best porters out there! Try it in a beer float and you will not be disappointed!

Photo of ChristinaLynn
4.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wonderful rich malty coffee and vanilla taste.

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 DaverCS
4.56/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured black with a finger of off white, Carmel colored head.

Aroma yields smokey malts, burnt coffee, and tobacco.

Taste is a big burst of smoke in beginning, followed by the roasted almost burnt coffee. Tobacco notes are woven through the smokiness, but primarily present up front. I don't get any vanilla. I get unsweetened cocoa powder followed by a twang of bitterness. The end of the sip is a strong kick/hit of alcohol. Not just warmth but also flavor.

Overall the beer is pleasant,but the lack of vanilla flavor and slight boo ones drops it down for me. Still this is an excellent porter. I could see it paired with a braised lamb shank in a rich Demi glace sauce. It gets a 91.2/100.

Photo of StevenMilligan
4.7/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Look: Pitch black motor oil, with a miniscule and dissipating dark khaki head.

Smell: Coffee, Coffee, Coffee. Dark chocolate notes and a hint of vanilla. The wife says, "Ehh...it smells like wood."

Taste: First notes reminds me of a strong black coffee in a paper cup. Monday mornings. Vanilla quickly sets it and it gives it an espresso or even cappuccino taste. Like if you were to sip sweet milk after a shot of espresso. The coffee quickly fades back in with bitterness. This is key, it's sweet in the middle, but doesn't last. Almost my favorite quality about this brew.

Feel: This is my favorite quality of this brew. It is velvety smooth, but without being frothy. Low carbonation.

Overall: An exceptional porter. My favorite to date. Vanilla bean is present, but the coffee steals the show. Would get again, especially at $2.50 a bottle.

Photo of ZAP
4.09/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Deep brown/black with ruby highlightsa lot of coffee grounds on the aroma...not much vanilla...full bodied....nice smooth creamy body....a lot of coffee on the taste as well...not getting much vanilla...some roasted malts...

The velvety texture is probably the high point along with the coffee notes. It's good to very good and I will rate it that way but nothing extraordinary that I would buy it again at its price point.

Photo of Andymac28
4.21/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Wowzerz! Pitch black. Dark tan slim head. Smells like burnt dark chocolate and slight vanilla! If you want lacing clean your f-in glass correctly and it will be fine. Taste- black coffee slight vanilla bean, just like it says on the label..incredibly well done BP

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 tt_andy
4.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

an exceptionally good beer. must try

Photo of jlharman
4.8/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Wonderful aroma of coffee with a hint of vanilla. Bitter at first but becomes smoother leaving a hint of coffee aftertaste. I wish I could find an espresso this good. Best Porter I've tasted.

Photo of Bone53
4.64/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pitch black, absolutely no light coming through when put up to the light, and a creamy one to two finger light brown head

Smell: Coffee, vanilla, roasted malts. Its all there, and from first whiff you can tell its of very high quality

Taste: i find the taste even better than the nose, which says volumes for a beer. Coffee and vanilla upfront then a very nice quality roasted malt and caramel sweetness mid palate which carries throughout the aftertaste. Some bittering hops on the finish as well

Mouthfeel: Heavy medium body id say; Goes down smooth with a bitter, coffee-like finish

Overall: First class coffee porter without a doubt. Had this on tap a couple years back and still remember how much i enjoyed it. Well, i think i enjoyed it today as much as i did back then. The balance of coffee, vanilla, roasted malts, and bittering hops is second to none. I get more roasted malt in the taste than nose which i really appreciate. It really rounds the beer out. This is up there with Founders Breakfast Stout for sure. Get it while you can! Cheers!!

Photo of parkcenterlounge
4.87/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Outstanding beer. You can drink this first thing in the morning if you want to have an awesome day.

Photo of calitrie1486
3.58/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

ehhhh. . . not my cup of tea!

Photo of Sergiog7562
4.8/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Very dark in color. Coffee scented. Taste like coffee with a lil sweet vanilla. Extremely smooth. Velvety one might say. Awesome beer

Photo of hawgdude
4.43/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A deep, rich, almost caramely porter. Definitely not a sweaty-summer-afternoon post-lawn-mowing beer. I slugged one down and got half snockered-- 10% ABV needs to go down slower than that. The remaing five will have to wait for chilly autumn nights.

Photo of BryanReed
4.9/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Sooooo good. Vanilla and coffee aroma, tastes like a nice dark roast coffee with vanilla creamer. Nice solid body. I could drink this every friggin day.

Photo of Beastcpa
5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Perfect balance of coffee and vanilla. Wonderful!

Photo of frozyn
4.47/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

L - Pours very dark black, purplish tint at the top with light overhead.
S - Coffee scent is strong, with a sweet something to go with it. Maybe the vanilla, but I didn't pick it up distinctly.
T - Wonderful coffee flavor, very similar to eating a chocolate-covered espresso bean. Vanilla comes through nicely, subtly. The alcohol is similarly subtle, although you know it's there. The warmer the beer got, the more I tasted everything beyond the coffee, especially what others have called the toasted malts (not something I've learned to distinguish yet, perhaps it starts now).
MF - Very smooth -- as many have said -- velvety feel.
O - Great nuanced flavor, very smooth to drink. You can't go wrong with this!

Photo of Grant79Johnston
5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Just a great, rewarding porter.

Photo of LloydDobler
4.62/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

An awesome extra from Mike out east!
Traditional pint
Poured midnight black with a gigantic 2-1/2" head. The nose was major coffee with sweet malt sugars. Taste is a sharp pop of coffee(love it!) with a hint of vanilla peeking out. Light velvet mouth to it, with a slightly lingering bitter coffee feel. Just a dynamite brew! Will be looking for this in the future.

Photo of mlockman
4.42/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Definitely not overpowered by the coffee and vanilla flavors, it reminded me of some an imperial stout with just barely more roast flavor. Deceptively smooth, it was easy drinking; no perceived alcohol presence.

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Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 5,566 ratings.