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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

3,615 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,615
Reviews: 917
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 632
Gots: 685 | 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: 3,615 | Reviews: 917 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jampics2
jampics2

Ohio

4.15/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle from Mymrngjckt, thanks for the trade! Drank in October with friends watching the Browns play another pathetic game. Just found my notes, so why not post them :)

Pours a dark black with tan head. Looks very nice.

So, I don't know if this was just due to the bottle being almost a year old, but I didn't get these amazing scents of vanilla and coffee others seem to be raving about. A bit of coffee for sure. Vanilla seems to have left the building. This has NOTHING on Aphrodite in the vanilla nose department.

Taste is also good. Coffee is the obvious flavor. But to me, this wasn't anywhere near Speedway, FBS, Central Waters Peruvian, or Shorts Cup of Joe in it's intensity. Caramel malt seems lonely. Vanilla? Wherefore art thou?

Mouthfeel is nice - good amount of carb and a feel that's significant without being too dense.

Drinkability was good as well, mostly because this really didn't taste too significantly strong to me.

Gotta re-rate with a super freshie bottle someday...I'll buy another bottle if I'm ever in a shop that has some, but I won't be mail ordering or trading for more. Kind of a dissapointment after expecting something world class.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2010 15:24:36 | More by jampics2
Photo of fountainofyouth
fountainofyouth

District of Columbia

4.15/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a rocket into a Duck-Rabbit Milk Stout tulip glass (20 oz.)

Appearance: Dang, this thing pours a HUGE thick, sticky head -- like four fingers after two minutes of waiting. The head is light brown and the body is solid brown-black. Held directly up to light it is totally opaque. Pretty intimidating.

Smell: The aroma is fairly complex. I get sweet mild-dark malt, spicy hops, and something a little metallic. It could use a little bit of smoke or roast to round it out. No real hints of coffee or vanilla.

Taste: Not quite what I expected -- or at least not the sequence I thought it would be. I was afraid it would be too hoppy off the bat and mask the malt. The hops are subdued, however, letting the malt sweetness start. Not much coffee, but I get some vanilla. The finish has a little bit of the roasty stout taste I love in my beer. Also a little bit of milk chocolate toward the end.

Mouthfeel: The feel is sugary up front with a light but prickly carb. The finish is very dry given how it starts -- almost acrid at points. Fairly heavy.

Overall: I wouldn't get it regularly, but I'd buy it again. If you like the genre, try it out.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2013 03:29:55 | More by fountainofyouth
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy

Georgia

4.15/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark brown, near black body with a wispy, fairly small-sized, beige head.

Smell: Deeply roasty nose with some possible perceived hints of added black patent malt as well as eager, oh-so inviting notes of everyone's favorite: coffee, vanilla, and chocolate.

Taste: Dark, roasted malt flavor with a double shot of espresso, chocolate, and reasonably strong, smooth accents of vanilla beans. Subtly sweet. Earthy, predominately roasty bitterness present, particularly as it begins to grow in charred malt qualities upon slight warming. Drying, roasty finish with one last, final departing touch of vanilla.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: I enjoyed this one. It's about as smooth as a man with a pencil-thin mustache. The listed ABV% was never an issue at all.

Serving type: on-tap

07-10-2009 22:45:06 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of beerman207
beerman207

Kentucky

4.15/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark - nice chocolate looking beer with a ruby reddish hue to it. Nice head and skim that remains for a while.

S: Nose is coffee, some vanilla, some bourbon, chocolate malt

T: Nice cocoa and vanilla profile with bitter dark chocolate

M: Carbonation is mild, smooth

D: A bit of a sipper. Could go for another but it's definately a bit boozy.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2011 00:34:04 | More by beerman207
Photo of falloutsnow
falloutsnow

Illinois

4.15/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

From: Urbana Co-op, Urbana, IL
Best by: 2013-11-26
Glass: Tulip

Despite being a few months past its expiration date, this bottle of Victory at Sea tastes exceptionally good, balanced, though a bit too ethanol-forward in taste presentation. That being said, the roasted malt and coffee characters have good interplay, leading to a pleasant and complex overall taste. This is a good-tasting beer, one that given the high ABV, I wish Ballast Point would put in four-packs instead of 22oz bombers. One I would pick up again if in the mood.

Pours a 2cm tall head of dark tan colored foam, made up of small-sized bubbles on bottom, larger on top, yielding a fairly frothy, somewhat soapy appearance. Retention is average, the head lasting for about one minute, eventually fading to a thin ring around the perimeter of the glass and a large island of foam atop the body of the beer. Lacing is excellent, with complex, thin patterns and large dots clinging to the walls of the glass. Body is a dark brown to black color, with light revealing no differences in the beer. Carbonation not visible anywhere throughout the opaque body.

Aroma of somewhat acrid roasted malt mixed with smooth vanilla, coffee grounds, and light chocolate.

Overall flavor is of roasted malt contributing cocoa and burnt toast, base malt contributing sweetness, moderate coffee, mild vanilla, and ethanol. Front of palate tastes sweet milk chocolate, coffee, burnt toast, vanilla, cinnamon, and ethanol. Mid-palate tastes roasted, slightly acrid malt that balances between just the right amount of sweetness and too much roasted character, varying between the two depending on sip. There are attendant flavors of coffee, ethanol, anise, vanilla, and cinnamon. Back of palate tastes charred toast, ethanol, bitter chocolate and coffee, and mild vanilla. Aftertaste of fairly bitter, acrid roasted malt with bitter chocolate and coffee ground flavor.

Beer is medium-heavy to heavy in body, with carbonation of medium-low intensity, resulting in a smooth, creamy mouthfeel with a bit of light foaminess in the background. This is good for the beer, as at 10% ABV it needs to be a slow, sipping beverage. Closes dry, with moderate stickiness clinging to the palate.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2014 21:08:55 | More by falloutsnow
Photo of Uncle_Jimmy
Uncle_Jimmy

California

4.16/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance- deep brown color with dark brown fine white head. some lacing

Aroma- Vanilla, coffee roasted grain Graham cracker and chocolate

taste- Vanilla, coffee roasty malts. Not sure if the sweetness is from the vanilla or the alcohol. Molasses.

Mouthfeel- Buttery smooth texture, slight warming from the alcohol.

Overall- This one is extremely well done. The only beer I think that has a better use of vanilla is the Stone Smoked Vanilla Porter. The coffee plays seamlessly with the hops, mouthfeel is spot on alcohol is subtle but present. Of all the coffee stouts/porters I have had this week I would say that 1st is Black's Dawn , and tied for second is Victory at Sea and Lagunitas Cappuccino Stout. With Victory at sea maybe edging Lag out just a bit. A tasty Bev indeed

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2013 04:07:04 | More by Uncle_Jimmy
Photo of brotherloco
brotherloco

California

4.16/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I like the aroma of this one a lot more than the taste. I'm quite sure this is a fresh bottle, so I may have to age one and compare notes.

Smells like a sweet coffee drink. Roasted coffee, vanilla ice cream, caramel, with hints of alcohol at the end.

Taste is very dry bitter strong coffee, semi sweetens into a vanilla filled booziness, almost a liqueur. Overall not a bad flavor as I can see how it appeals to some, but not so much my thing.

Thick and creamy mouthfeel. The lingering bitter boozy finish kills the drinkability for me.

***
Update Feb 19th, 2013.

Aged a bottle from Feb 2011 for 2 years and just popped it open.

Much better overall flavor and drinkability. A little better aroma. Still a dry chalky type of coffee aroma and flavor, but flavors have blended and alcohol has drifted into background.

A big improvement with the aging.

Original score: 4/4/3.5/4/2.5
Updated: 4/4.25/4.25/4/4

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2011 02:46:27 | More by brotherloco
Photo of lacqueredmouse
lacqueredmouse

Australia

4.16/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

220oz brown bomber purchased from Ledgers Liquors in Berkeley, CA. Brought back to Sydney and shared with Sam and Rich.

Pours a decent brown-black colour, with a relatively light body that doesn't hold carbonation. Head forms a decent filmy crest of golden-crispened brown and the lacing is excellent. I'm a bit surprised at the body, but otherwise it looks pretty decent.

Nose is wonderful, and delivering on everything I expected. Lovely oaky vanilla characters, cut with a crisp, fruity coffee aroma and underpinned with rich dark chocolate and malts that give sweetness but nothing in the way of grassy graininess. It's sweet and luscious and impressive—I don't care if it's also something of a gimmick. Gimme gimme gimme.

Relatively smooth and light entry on the palate just peppered with a little coffee spiciness. Big rounded, slightly empty vanilla characters come through in the mid palate. The back palate is where the richness is: dark chocolate and red mole pricked with more of that coffee bite and everywhere fresh and vibrant from supple vanilla. It's very pleasant once you get here: a little bit lacklustre beforehand.

Feel is very good: light enough to remind you it's a porter, but with heft to remind you it's 10% ABV.

Overall, it's a lovely brew, but perhaps one that was always going to be lovely. The flavours are pronounced and are quite well balanced. It's drinkable and very tasty. Something perhaps stops me from gushing wholeheartedly about it, but there's no doubt that it's a very fine brew.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2013 03:26:01 | More by lacqueredmouse
Photo of scotorum
scotorum

Massachusetts

4.16/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

a: Black with just a hint of ruby clarity. Head was finger plus thick tan, receded slowly to a dense surface foam film and extensive lacing.

s: Combination of dark malt and dark fruit with the emphasis on smoky dark malt.

t; Prunes and vanilla under bitterness; smoky porter aftertaste does suggest cold strong black coffee. Bitterness lingers at the sides of the tongue. A hoppy porter.

m: Medium; the bitterness, excessive for a normal porter, makes it seem heavier.

o: Unique, and at first, highly sippable. Unfortunately, malt sweetness and vanilla flavoring are not prominent enough to offset the prune and cold black coffee flavor and hops bitterness, which after awhile begin to grate.

Probably would be better offered in twelve ounce portions. Might be good with spicy or fatty foods, but would overpower mild flavored anything.

People who like strong cold black unsweetened coffee will likely go for this, but those of us who like our coffee sweet and light, and our porters less hoppy. not so much.

Perhaps this is an old bottle; no date is visible anywhere. If the vanilla has faded, that might explain why I was less impressed with this than the average BA review. But it is definitely a very flavorful brew.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2013 05:45:04 | More by scotorum
Photo of reebtaerG
reebtaerG

Maryland

4.16/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A 10oz pour into wide mouth short glass at Lures

A-a black pour with a thin tan head

S-aromas of coffee, chocolate and licorice

T-taste of coffee, chocolate and a hint of vanilla

M-medium to heavy body with light carbonation well balanced smooth and silky

O-overall a great porter I was expecting more vanilla

Serving type: on-tap

12-11-2013 21:17:53 | More by reebtaerG
Photo of r0nyn
r0nyn

New York

4.18/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into my Otter Creek nonic.

Pours big, dark and thick with a half-inch tan head that recedes slowly. There's a ton of sticky, stringy lacing that just completely coats the inside of the glass. Really a rather pretty beer. Smell is full of coffee beans, coffee beans, coffee beans. You've really got to whiff it good to detect the other nuanced scents in there. After a few deep sniffs, I get the titular vanilla along with some dark chocolate, berries and caramel.. Definitely one of the more complex-smelling beers I've ever sampled.

I thought I knew what to expect tastewise, but this beer totally surprises me. Tons of roasted malts dominate the flavor profile, along with the substantial coffee character. Not too much astringency. Can't really detect the vanilla, which is slightly disappointing, but not dealbreaking. There are notes of sweet, dark and bitter chocolate towards the end with maybe just a hint of alcohol warmth. Mouthfeel is really quite nice, with a medium body and smooth finish. Carbonation is pretty non-existent. Not really chewy, but has a nice amount of oomph that makes the drinking experience quite pleasant.

Drinkability is great with this beer. It looks great, smells and tastes very good and goes down easy. If you love coffee, you'll love this beer, because fresh, it tastes almost like an iced coffee. You'll just need to be careful, because unlike an iced coffee, this porter carries a very well-hidden 10% ABV that can be very dangerous. On the whole, a great beer to crack open with a few friends.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2010 06:31:26 | More by r0nyn
Photo of azorie
azorie

Florida

4.18/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Its a black strong stout /porter, with some lacing, and a tan tall head.

Its very strong boozy coffee vanilla, as you figured it would be. it basically takes over any hops or malt taste. Since this is one of my favorite ways to make my own porter I have to say well done here.

taste is pure pleasure, malty, no hops, strong booze flavor, strong coffee, and vanilla bean but it blends so nice together its very good combo.

strong body of course, med carb. thick but not so much its like a shake.

its a stout of course, if your into history any. great coffee stout.
10% is nice but its not to bad in 1 bomber.

only thing I hate is the price. 9.99 is too much for this beer IMHO period. So while I love it its one and done for me.

I bet its 8oz at the brewery for 6 to 7 bucks, rip off land.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2012 21:41:17 | More by azorie
Photo of Rutager
Rutager

British Columbia (Canada)

4.18/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Big thanks to willandperry for this long time want! Enjoying this while making brunch.

Appearance. Pours a deep dark brown, black in the glass with half a finger of tan head.

Smell. Big coffee, some roasty malts and vanilla and just a touch of semi-sweet chocolate. Pretty much as advertised.

Taste. Big coffee again with more pronounced vanilla bean than the smell, some dark roasty malts, and a little almond.

Mouthfeel. Medium-full body, smooth medium-low carbonation.

Overall. A very nice porter with huge coffee flavours. Thanks again willandperry!

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2013 15:34:38 | More by Rutager
Photo of Aleks_P
Aleks_P

Florida

4.18/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Very dark brown, almost black except where light penetrates on the perimeter. Pours with a very thin light brown head.

Smell: Coffee and vanilla are very apparent, smells great.

Taste: First reaction was that it tasted fantastic. Coffee and vanilla tastes, exceptional initial taste. High ABV though and noticed the alcohol in the aftertaste - not overwhelming but definitely noticeable.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, dry. Low carbonation.

Overall: Really enjoyed this beer overall, thought the flavors worked well together. Noticed the alcohol a bit in the aftertaste but would certainly have this again. This was my first Ballast Point beer and I am encouraged to see what else they can do.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2013 02:20:09 | More by Aleks_P
Photo of HopHead84
HopHead84

California

4.18/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this at Ballast Point's Old Grove location. It's black with a nice light brown head...good retention....good...lacing.

The aroma smells a lot like a breakfast stout with vanilla. Oatmeal and bitter coffee notes are pretty strong, along with a nice vanilla bean aroma. It smells sweet. The taste reminds me a lot of Founders Breakfast Stout. It's sweet, with oatmeal and a moderate bitterness, which I attribute to the strong coffee presence, but which probably has more to do with the hops that I can't taste. Vanilla is strong here as well.

Victory at Sea is full bodied with medium carbonation, and a smooth and creamy mouthfeel.

I'm not a big fan of the style, but this is well done. The coffee was strong, but nicely balanced with oatmeal and vanilla so it wasn't overwhelming.

*edit*

Looks like there are two entries for the same beer. The other one has the word Vanilla in the name, though they're the same beer. That's too bad.

Serving type: on-tap

03-20-2009 21:19:06 | More by HopHead84
Photo of thain709
thain709

Pennsylvania

4.18/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - A deep, black body with no light getting through...a thin, tan head formed and showed little retention...a little bit of lacing

S - The nose was very, very sweet smelling...vanilla and cream (lactose) dominated the nose...hints of coffee were apparent

T - The flavors flipped from the aroma with the coffe and espresso flavors standing out...the coffee in this beer is like a fresh cup of iced coffee with a hint of cream...the vanilla and cream notes were subdued over the roasted and bitter coffee flavors...I was actually picking up a bright hop presence at first sip

M - Full bodied...smooth and creamy...great coffee finish

D - This porter is 10% so watch out...but you can not taste any alcohol...great coffee flavor with hints of cream...make sure you like coffee before having this one

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2010 16:11:08 | More by thain709
Photo of Dope
Dope

Massachusetts

4.18/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Last year's batch.

A: Black as night pour. Big, dense mocha-colored head. Fades at a moderate pace. Nice spiderwebs of lacing left behind.

S: Lots of coffee (naturally). A bit of sharp alcohol. Get a touch of vanilla and... cherry, oddly enough.

T: Coffee and a bit of char up front, but not overpowering. It's mellow and sweet with hints of dark fruit. Nice wave of vanilla follows that into the middle with some milk chocolate. More char and coffee (bitter now instead of smooth like up front) in the finish. Long lingering bitter coffee and baker's chocolate in the aftertaste.

M: Full bodied, fairly heavy. Smooth and creamy vanilla coats the mouth.

O: A nice heavy imperial porter with some big coffee notes and just enough vanilla to smooth it out. Tasty with a really nice mouthfeel that helps it go down easily despite the 10% ABV. I'm normally not a fan of coffee beers but this is one of the best.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2012 05:22:15 | More by Dope
Photo of CMB2012
CMB2012

Illinois

4.18/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks go to Soonami for this one! Been sitting in the cellar for a few months. Poured into two stemless snifters at just above cellar temp. and shared with the lady.

A- Close to pitch black, you really have to search for any light coming through. Very nice and rich beige head that dissipates slowly. So far we are looking good.

S- Rich sweet malts with coffee in the background. I don't know for sure but I think this beer is around a year old. I've had it aging for at least 7 months and some of the coffee has faded. What is there smells good though, even if it is subtle. This mixes with a sweet vanilla and oat character, kinda like a sugar coated cereal. Finishes with that chocolate malted milk character I've come to love in a good porter.

T- Vanilla and roasted malts blend with some alcohol into coffee bitterness. Not as balanced as I would have hoped with the age and based on the aroma. I'm thinking either drinking fresh or waiting even longer might be the right decision here. Still it is good.

M- The mouth is great. Thick, creamy, somewhat viscous. Tight carbonation amounts to a fairly dry finish with some lingering sweetness. Slight alcohol burn on the end, but I expect this.

O- I would definitely like to try this beer fresh considering some of the flavors and aromas were muted. However, seeing as I only got one, I wanted to wait for the right time to drink it. I just finished my first semester of graduate school so I thought it was appropriate. It's a good porter and among the best I have had. I say try it if you can.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2011 03:07:56 | More by CMB2012
Photo of elgiacomo
elgiacomo

Georgia

4.18/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle, best by October 17, 2013. Served at around 45F and allowed to warm.

Pours thick black with a small light brown head that leaves some spotty lacing behind and recedes to a light cap and ring.

Aroma is big and bold vanilla and coffee, in fact those two are so strong I’m having a hard time picking up much else, maybe some underlying notes of roasted malts, chocolate and caramel. Excellent strength.

Flavor starts with a big wave of vanilla, moving towards some dark baker’s chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, a little dark fruit, very little hop presence, moderate sweetness, some alcohol but well integrated at this level of ABV. Really tasty.

Mouthfeel is full bodied, rich, creamy, somewhat sticky, good carbonation.

Man, this stuff is delicious! A vanilla bomb! Such a treat to get to try this. One of my customers brought me a bottle after a trip to the West Coast, so a big shout-out to Mark for this one!

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2012 04:02:21 | More by elgiacomo
Photo of dasenebler
dasenebler

Maine

4.18/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ballast Point Victory at Sea
8/29/12
22oz. best before 5/11/12

Pours a dark brown hue, pretty much black until you hold it to the light. Towering tan head is very attractive, leaving great lacing on the way down. (4.5)

Aroma has a strong but pleasant vanilla note, along with a hefty dose of chocolate and a wee bit of dark fruit. A hint of oxidation, but otherwise nice and clean. (4)

Flavor is bold, malty and hugely chocolatey. The vanilla is readily apparent, making this brew seem more like a piece of liquid chocolate cake than a beer. Mild roast leaves some tang on the finish, and the coffee character builds as the drink wears on. More rich than sweet. Alcohol is as well masked as anything I've had for the style. The mouthfeel is thick and chewy with creamy, medium-low carbonation. (4, 4)

This is a very nice beer and would make for a great dessert when shared between two beer lovers. (4.5)

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2012 01:15:00 | More by dasenebler
Photo of ratedz
ratedz

Kansas

4.18/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

HUGE thanks to MrTopher for sending this my way...I have been wanting to try this for a long time. Thanks again, Chris!

A - Pours a very dark brown, almost black, with about an inch of light brown head. The head retention was fairly impressive and as it did subside, it left a lot of lacing on the glass.

S - Nose is full of coffee followed by some roasted malts and a little vanilla.

T - Some bitter coffee, bittersweet chocolate, and hints of vanilla. A little alcohol burn on the finish.

M - Fairly thick body, very creamy and smooth. Light carbonation, which feels perfect for this beer.

O - An excellent porter. Very smooth and easy to drink despite the 10% ABV. I would buy this fairly often if Ballast Point decided to send it the KS or MO.

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2011 01:14:50 | More by ratedz
Photo of glid02
glid02

Georgia

4.2/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on-tap.

Pours black with a one-finger tan head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of roasted malts with good amounts of semi-sweet chocolate and vanilla.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Roasted malt flavors up front are joined by semi-sweet chocolate almost immediately. Midway through the sip smooth vanilla flavors join the fray and carry through until a bitter chocolate ending. The vanilla flavors manage to linger for a bit.

Mouthfeel is good. The thickness is very nice with soft carbonation. As it warms it becomes smoother.

Drinkability is great. I finished my glass rather quickly and could have a few more.

Overall this was a very good Imperial Porter. I have to say I didn't get a whole lot of coffee flavors out of this, but the beer did just fine without them. Worth a shot.

Serving type: on-tap

08-05-2009 03:42:27 | More by glid02
Photo of beerthulhu
beerthulhu

New Jersey

4.2/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark heresy chocolate pour becomes coffee black in the tulip glass with a substantial and sturdy cinnamon colored head that refused to budge much. A thin spongy coating lines the interior for lace. Simple deep coloring, and a very nice head both color and structure wise gives this some lasting appeal.

S: Smooth roasty coffee for aroma, along with some dry bitter chocolate intermingles with a medium sense of strength. Freshly burnt firewood rounds things out.

T: The flavor is hearty and thick, creamy with substantial body highlighted with a dark coffee roast, dry vanilla bean, and freshly burnt timber. Dark roasted chocolate malts combine with a smooth, dry earthy bitterness of espresso beans providing a dark and heavenly coffee flavor that may make you forget your are drinking a beer and more like a fancy $10 cup of specialty coffee, especially when with a well concealed alcohol content of 10%abv drinking much lower like a 7% at best.

M: luscious, hearty and thick with a creaminess that adds both weight and resistance upon a swirl. Big burnt bitterness and dark roast coffee lingers long after the swallow, staying for quite a bit.

D: Wow, is there really 10%abv in this, with the heavenly dark coffee roast you wont even notice. Robust, hearty this is a big drink full of substance and flavor that will dare you to have more then one.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2011 22:41:58 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of Hopstuff
Hopstuff

North Carolina

4.2/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Good lord Mary Joseph, this one strikes the knickers like a lacy momma ready to pounce on a unborn tadpole. I am dripping with amazement. Ballast Point's best effort to date. Something tells me I might OD on greatness. But seriously this beer hits home for me. A Porter born to sail the night, without fear, without wavering from the very foundation of why I love the west coast set. Its like surfing in a sea of mocha foam born from the depths of a dark sea, married to the sky. I can't imagine a darker sailor to share the night with. It like two passionate mates are meeting in my mouth to shag!

Serving type: on-tap

11-27-2012 05:09:28 | More by Hopstuff
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JamesMN

Minnesota

4.2/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoy by 12/19/13. Bought it about a year ago and its been sitting in the fridge ever since.

Appearance: Black and opaque with carbonation bubbles stuck to the bottom of the glass. One finger tan head of froth.

Aroma: Dark roasted malts with a hint of vanilla. Some black coffee just detectable. Smells like a run-of-the-mill imperial stout with added sweetness.

Taste: Based on the aroma I was not prepared for how delicious this would be. The coffee and vanilla may not be very aromatic but they are definitely pulling no punches when it comes to flavor. Interestingly it starts off kind of mundane. Just clean dark malt with a touch of sweetness to balance things out. Then, right before the finish, the coffee lends a good flavor and bitterness that is evened out by the vanilla and a touch of confectionary sweetness. For a beautiful moment the flavor is reminiscent of a vanilla frapuccino. The finish is smooth and well-rounded. A combination of dark malt, roast coffee, and hop bitterness lingers in the aftertaste, making it quite dry. The 10% ABV is completely believable due to the depth of flavor but the actual alcohol never shows itself apart from a slight warmth in the throat after several sips. Really well done.

Mouthfeel: Upper medium to full in body with a lot of small effervescent bubbles that somehow don't interfere with the chocolate milk-like softness of the beer. Good drinkability but definitely not a session option due to the big ABV. Great size to split a with a like-minded friend though.

Final Thoughts: I love it when a beer blows past my expectations like this. I've never been a huge fan of porters and an imperial version of any style I'm not fond of is usually a bad bet for my palate. However, Ballast Point Victory at Sea imperial porter is off the charts. Although it walks a fine line between porter and stout, the flavor speaks for itself. If you're a stout fan or even a hop head (like myself) who enjoys full flavored beers, definitely pick this one up if you're in the mood for a robust brew. Would I drink it again? Yes, I will be seeking out a nitro-tap version...

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2014 22:39:14 | More by JamesMN
Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 3,615 ratings.