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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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

3,627 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,627
Reviews: 918
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 635
Gots: 687 | FT: 52
Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
"Imperial Porter"

(Beer added by: radshoesbro on 03-17-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,627 | Reviews: 918 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MrDave
MrDave

California

3.5/5  rDev -20.3%

07-23-2013 19:07:45 | More by MrDave
Photo of maximum12
maximum12

Minnesota

3.5/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to mrbubbler for shipping a bottle of this across the country, always happy to have Ballast Point in the house. Cut open to celebrate with my wife after returning from a short trip to Fabulous Las Vegas...where I was surprised to find good beer pretty available.

Poured into our new Devil's Backbone snifters (thanks Vickster & sholland119!!) this beer is a rather unsurprising black. Smell conforms with truth in advertising strictures: hard malts, bold coffee, liberal scoops of vanilla. That doesn't quite do it justice, very nicely medled bunch of aromas.

Victory at Sea brings the vanilla funk. Strangely, the taste isn't as tight as the smell. Vanilla is overriding & seems less honest than really good vanilla beers, a touch artificial. The coffee is good, serving the sweetness, understated. The base beer appears to be good, but it's buried beneath a mudslide of vanilla. A dropperful of chocolate causes this to veer towards what my wife calls "Tootsie Roll" territory.

Ultimately, this doesn't quite do it for me. Pretty good beer, but it taste like a candy whipped up in a big factory with robots vs. a confection whipped up by hand in the back of a local shop. Close for me.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2010 03:30:33 | More by maximum12
Photo of JaBes
JaBes

Texas

3.5/5  rDev -20.3%

09-16-2013 22:48:57 | More by JaBes
Photo of Auslander
Auslander

Ohio

3.5/5  rDev -20.3%

01-24-2014 19:26:07 | More by Auslander
Photo of ArchEnemyBrew
ArchEnemyBrew

Washington

3.5/5  rDev -20.3%

04-14-2013 21:02:07 | More by ArchEnemyBrew
Photo of Jeremy_H
Jeremy_H

Illinois

3.5/5  rDev -20.3%

06-26-2013 01:42:20 | More by Jeremy_H
Photo of StoneyPeaches
StoneyPeaches

California

3.5/5  rDev -20.3%

01-30-2013 02:51:11 | More by StoneyPeaches
Photo of Jonada
Jonada

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -20.3%

11-29-2013 23:29:28 | More by Jonada
Photo of StratManKudzu
StratManKudzu

Florida

3.5/5  rDev -20.3%

03-06-2013 17:37:14 | More by StratManKudzu
Photo of darkmoon66
darkmoon66

California

3.5/5  rDev -20.3%

12-16-2011 10:59:05 | More by darkmoon66
Photo of neorunner
neorunner

Virginia

3.5/5  rDev -20.3%

09-12-2013 15:35:28 | More by neorunner
Photo of JHurley
JHurley

Alabama

3.5/5  rDev -20.3%

04-21-2013 01:41:25 | More by JHurley
Photo of zgunder
zgunder

Vermont

3.5/5  rDev -20.3%

12-22-2011 22:28:24 | More by zgunder
Photo of tastymug
tastymug

Washington

3.5/5  rDev -20.3%

03-31-2013 16:55:45 | More by tastymug
Photo of ImperialStout
ImperialStout

California

3.5/5  rDev -20.3%

01-08-2014 01:57:04 | More by ImperialStout
Photo of joesc230
joesc230

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -20.3%

03-14-2012 01:48:41 | More by joesc230
Photo of Renegrenade
Renegrenade

Texas

3.5/5  rDev -20.3%

09-25-2013 18:54:20 | More by Renegrenade
Photo of Unchi
Unchi

California

3.5/5  rDev -20.3%

03-01-2014 03:16:09 | More by Unchi
Photo of yummybeer
yummybeer

Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -20.3%

11-07-2013 23:31:43 | More by yummybeer
Photo of orbitalr0x
orbitalr0x

Illinois

3.53/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Deep, dark black pour with no light getting through at all. A quarter inch of deep tan head sits atop the brew. Aromas of huge, bold fresh brewed coffee, caramel and vanilla. Roasted malts and chocolate weave in and out underneath. Smells a bit sweet.

First sip brings dark, somewhat roasted malts swimming in bold, nearly abrasive coffee along with big vanilla extract. Chocolate and caramel come through with a bit too much sweetness. The bitter coffee kicks in on the way down but it still doesn't overtake the sweetness I get from the malts and vanilla here. A bit too much of everything going on for me here.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, creamy and smooth but with big alcohol puffs too. This is a bold brew and a bit too sweet for me, but it's a good bomber to share with a friend or two as drinking the whole thing to yourself would be a bit too much. Thanks to emerge for this one.

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2009 16:19:20 | More by orbitalr0x
Photo of biglite351
biglite351

Pennsylvania

3.58/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I am re-reviewing this brew, and leaving my old review for reference. I emailed the brewer to let them not that I got a super-skunked bottle. To their extreme credit, a few days later a replacement bottle arrived at my house. Kudos to Ballast Point for very solid customer service.

L - nice and dark. Full long lasting foam.

S - mild but nice. Vanilla and coffee.

T - rich and deep. Certainly has coffee and vanilla. No real bitterness. Mild after taste.

M - tingle at the front of the tongue to start. The tingle then flows back into the throat for the after taste. Slight alcohol feel late.

D - this might be a little too much for an all nighter, but you could certainly have one or two during the evening.

I am not going to do my usual full review on this one. The brew looked great when I poured it. Very dark brew with a lasting full dark foam. The smell seemed a little off bit wasn't something rusting could place. The taste was the kicker. It actually took me back. It reminded me of a cheese that had been sitting out a a party for a bit too long. I really didn't get any coffee flavor at all. I truly hope that this was just an off bottle. It tasted nothing pike I expected. I actually did not finish it, I dumped it. Maybe in tje future I will try another bottle and re-review it. This was NOT a good bottle to grab though.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2010 02:13:15 | More by biglite351
Photo of Wadsey
Wadsey

Indiana

3.58/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Victory At Sea, vintage '08 or '09

Served in DFH signature glass

A: Pours black with modest light brown head that leaves little in the way of lacing. 

S: Milk chocolate and dry roasted maltiness. Earth, honey, vanilla and coffee bring up rear. Honestly, Ballast Point Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter smells like one of those iced coffee drinks from Starbuck's that has a ridiculously long name. 

T: Sweet milk chocolate and roasted malts mingle on palate before vanilla joins in. The vanilla tastes extracted. Coffee has faded and reminds me of the last cup after dwelling over the Sunday newspaper a little too long. Medium- high bitterness. Finish is bitter chocolate and coffee. 

M: Relatively big body and medium-light carbonation. Somewhat oily and mouthcoating. 

O: BPVASCVIP was one of the first beers for which I traded and that I loved. I'm sure this beer has lost a step or two after a couple years in my cellar, but it wasn't bad by any means. Recommended, but consume it within 18 months of bottling. 

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2011 05:19:29 | More by Wadsey
Photo of younger35
younger35

Minnesota

3.58/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a couple bombers of this from Friar Tucks in Bloomington IL probably a year-ish ago. I've had a couple bombers so far but haven't reviewed it now. This is my last bottle unfortunately. Drank from my Darkness snifter.

Appearance- Pours a pitch ass black with a nice one finger dark tan fizzy head. Not much of a cap remains but there is a nice thick collar and some random lacing that sticks around.
Smell- Not the most intense or overly complicated nose which is weird considering all stuff thrown in. The vanilla is noticeable right from the start but its light and somewhat artificial smelling. The coffee isn't real noticeable as there is just a deep roast in the beer. A bit of dark chocolate and caramel top everything off.
Taste- Starts with a sneaky little bite of alcohol and a bit of smooth vanilla goodness. The vanilla tastes much better than it smells and honestly it's much more subdued and incorporated than it was last time I had it (which has to be summer of '09). Plenty of milk chocolate remains along with some slightly sweet caramel and brown sugar. There is an underlying roastiness in the beer that's lightly acidic and almost harsh as it mixes with the alcohol. A bit of vanilla lingers and lingers.
Mouthfeel- Fairly nice and on the heavy side of medium with a nice crisp bite of carbonation. Despite the fact that the bubbles are fairly aggressive there is still a nice light creaminess to the mouthfeel.
Drinkability- Uggghhh... Not bad I suppose. I really love the concept of this beer and I think they are on the right path but something about this just isn't drinkable. The vanilla can get to be a bit much and there is a underlying sweetness that isn't necessarily cloying, but it's a bit much. Also, 10% for this beer is entirely too much. You can taste and feel every bit of it. A fun beer that I'm glad to have been able to try a couple times but make sure you have a friend around because a full bomber is too much.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2010 23:37:06 | More by younger35
Photo of n2185
n2185

North Carolina

3.6/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a tulip.

A: Pours a deep viscous black with about a finger of coffee-colored frothy head that quickly recedes into a thin film. Very little lacing.

S: Smoked malt at first, but then a sweet vanilla smell overtakes it. Only a little coffee smell at the end.

T: Smoked peat up front followed by a strong, bitter coffee and bitter chocolate flavors somewhat sweetened with vanilla. There's a very apparent alcohol burn along with the bitterness in the aftertaste. As the beer warms, the vanilla begins to shine through in both the taste and aftertaste, though it doesn't mesh well with the bitterness or alcohol burn.

M: Surprisingly medium-bodied for such a dark beer with medium carbonation. It's not nearly as thick and creamy as it initially looks.

D: Very much a sipper--goes down bitter with a fairly strong alcohol burn. Not something I would want to drink multiples of.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2011 00:42:56 | More by n2185
Photo of ktrillionaire
ktrillionaire

Florida

3.6/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

If you want to get the best flavor out of this brew, drink it straight from the bottle. Or let it air out for a day.

A - Dark as night, with a solid amount of tan froth that lasts and lasts, some sticky lace.

S - Whoa, someone went WAY overboard with the vanilla. That just about overwhelms all of the other strengths of the nose. The richly roasted malt and the cold-brewed coffee would be quite impactful, if they weren't drowning in vanilla. I had to let this air out for at least an hour.

T - The taste is a bit hot. And again, it is overly laden with vanilla. It is not very good as it pours out of the bottle. Once it airs out for several hours (I actually let it rest overnight) it tastes quite sublime; as the coffee and roasted malt show interesting flavors and dynamics, and the booze element settles down. Even on the second day, it drinks a bit hot. A beer should not have to rest for 24 hours in order to deliver optimum flavor, bottom line.

M - Pretty nice, except for just a little too 'hot'.

D - Very close to being a drain pour; instead I corked it and drank it the next day, when it was finally enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2010 23:42:47 | More by ktrillionaire
Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 3,627 ratings.