1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

3,763 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,763
Reviews: 920
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 684
Gots: 701 | FT: 54
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:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,763 | Reviews: 920 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Aleks_P
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.

Aleks_P, Jun 22, 2013
Photo of HopHead84
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.

HopHead84, Mar 20, 2009
Photo of thain709
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

thain709, Jun 06, 2010
Photo of Dope
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.

Dope, Nov 27, 2012
Photo of CMB2012
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.

CMB2012, Dec 15, 2011
Photo of elgiacomo
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!

elgiacomo, Nov 04, 2012
Photo of dasenebler
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)

dasenebler, Aug 30, 2012
Photo of ratedz
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.

ratedz, May 28, 2011
Photo of glid02
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.

glid02, Aug 05, 2009
Photo of beerthulhu
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.

beerthulhu, Mar 23, 2011
Photo of Hopstuff
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!

Hopstuff, Nov 27, 2012
Photo of BB1313
4.2/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Enjoy by 11/26/13. 22oz bottle poured into a snifter. Pours pitch black with a khaki-mocha head that sticks out and leaves nice lacing. The aromas are solid and full of roasted black coffee and caramel malts. The vanilla seems to take a backseat in the aromas, but are in full force in the flavor department. Flavors are extremely bold and robust. The bitterness from the coffee dominates. There's a sweet cream like quality which really gives this beer a nice complexity. Chocolate syrup and coconut is in the mix. Hops are present, but subtle. There are hints of grapefruit every now and then in the nose and flavors. Bitter and there's a kiss of heat, but not boozy one bit. Mouthfeel is very creamy and fluffy, but extremely thick. It really works for the style and makes for an easy drinking beer. This is dangerously drinkable, it's very easy to drink and has enough complexity to keep you interested. It also gets better the more you get into it and as it warms up. Alcohol goes unnoticed.

Impressive beer right here. Second time having it. It has enough qualities that remind me of a porter, but stout lovers would obviously love this beer. Well crafted beer. Recommended.

BB1313, Mar 12, 2013
Photo of JamesMN
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...

JamesMN, Jun 08, 2014
Photo of infi
4.2/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 release, 22 oz. bomber. Shared with BAs brun and NYManc.

Poured into a Corsendonk tulip.

A beautiful deep dark-brown color with a thin tan head of short retention. Barely translucent throughout. Smell is incredibly full of dark-roasted coffee bean, as it's the first thing to immediately hit the nose. After all that coffee, were some nice milk chocolate and vanilla bean sweetness notes that really amplified the drink experience. There were some small hints of toasted malt throughout too.

Taste was incredibly roasty with the coffee dictating most of this porter's flavors. The coffee beans were nicely roasted with no points of astringency found at all, which is a nice plus. There was a good amount of maltiness to the taste, as well as some smooth cocoa/chocolate aspects. Not much of a vanilla flavor as I hoped it to have, but the beer was substantial as is.

Mouthfeel felt silky all the way through with low amounts of carbonation. Medium in body and weight. Drinkability is incredible on this beer. One bomber was definitely not enough for us three. Very flavorful and smooth-drinking. The 10% ABV isn't found in the taste at all, but it'll keep you at bay in the long run. Another damn delicious gem from BP.

infi, Dec 09, 2010
Photo of DoubleJ
4.2/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Joe at Walnut Liquorette got this from the back for me. Thanks! On to the beer:

It is black. Very black. The head forms rocky on top, holds up well, and is tanned. Nice roasted coffee bean aroma....almost like Also a little smoke. Behind all that is a whisper of citrus hops. Now there's the addition of chocolate. It really changes are you keep inhaling.

Black Marlin Porter remains one of my all-time favorite porters, and the same folks who make that beer make this one as well. There are vanilla notes, but you need to squint hard enough to taste it. From the get-go, roasted, bitter coffee dominates. Bitter chocolate sits underneath the coffee. Astringent coffee and ash linger in the aftertaste. Alcohol is hidden incredibly well in this beer. There are the hops again, which squirt a little of its juice into the nectar (and a little hop bitterness). As for the liquid, it is smooth with a medium feel. It doesn't feel like its listed 10% ABV.

The aftertaste is the chink in this beer's armor. Otherwise, a good creation by Ballast Point, with the possibility of being wonderful.

DoubleJ, Feb 04, 2010
Photo of jpro
4.2/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had at 10oz draft at Closed for Business...

A: Black. Dark brown, dense head is formed on the pour; rings and sheets of lace get left on the sides of the glass.

S: Piney hops??! Not expecting that to be the first thing I noticed... Coffee and roasted malt; a dark chocolate sweetness; vanilla.

T: Starts with a short blast of vanilla; then transitions to roasted malts and a hoppy bitter; surprisingly bitter finish given the sweetness from the vanilla and chocolate malt.

M: Near full; creamy and slightly viscous; higher carbonation than expected.

D: Fairly drinkable considering the 10% abv (I had no idea... wow!); a lot of flavor going on (especially the sweetness) might wear out the ol' taste buds.

jpro, Jan 23, 2011
Photo of tpd975
4.2/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to kiefdog for this treat.

A: Pours a nice dark black hue with a small fizzy head. No retention or lace noted.

S: Lots of artificial vanilla with bold notes of dark chocolate and fresh coffee.

T: Bold vanilla right from the start, a bit artifical in taste though. Bold coffee takes over the middle with mild bitter chocolate playing off the vanilla in the finish. I like this one.... would be great if the vanilla was more vanilla bean like.

M: Medium in body, smooth, tasty.

D: Good, I rather enjoyed it.

tpd975, May 29, 2009
Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.2/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance - The beer poured a murky black color with a modest mocha colored head.

Smell - The aroma was a pleasant vanilla malty aroma. The aroma is not overly sweet, but certainly seems to suggest a dessert beer.

Taste - My first impression on drinking the beer was to think of vanilla coke. Notes of malt, vanilla, dark chocolate, and a little dark fruit was present. The chocolate evolved to be more dry in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - For the style, I thought the beer was a little thin. Taking into consideration all the extras in this porter, the thinness is a little surprising.

Overall - I enjoyed the beer and would certainly drink it again. I am not certain that I would seek the beer.

JohnnyHopps, Jul 13, 2014
Photo of Vdubb86
4.2/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a 3 Floyds pint glass

Thanks to Mages64 for this want

This beer pours a gorgeous dark black chocolate color with a tan foam residing on the surface. The aromatics are rather pleasant they remind of all of the smells listed in the name of this beer. Coffee, check. Vanilla, check. Imperial Porter...well that translates to dark chocolate for me, so we're good. I wanted to rate this beer higher than I did. The first couple of sips were heavenly nectar, but the sips after that were acidic and astringent to my palate. I must say that the mouthfeel when warmed up to nearly room temperature was solid, but at suggested temps was merely good. This beer was pretty darn tasty and easy to drink to boot. I would crack open my other bomber of it, but at 10% that would spell disaster. I really enjoyed drinking this beer.

Vdubb86, Mar 07, 2011
Photo of matttttYCE
4.2/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into my Deschutes snifter glass. I've had this for a little while but I don't know why I haven't drank/reviewed it yet.

Appearance - Aggressive pour yields a tan, creamy smooth looking 2 finger head that diminishes but not very quickly. Leaves some lace but not much. Color is pretty much thick black (maybe a little bit lighter than that) and opaque.

Smell - At first I'm getting mostly a soft pleasant coffee smell with vanilla like someone made me a cup of coffee that wasn't really strong at all and put some nice vanilla creamer in there. After that is some nice malt and that typical porter smell (not quite deep dark roasted malt like a stout but it's there). Also getting some toasty nutty smell in there a bit and some chocolate as it warms. It's a nice complex smell. Not really overpowering or overwhelming at all and I'm not sure whether I'd rather have more vanilla in it or not. But this one may be a bit old and the vanilla may have faded some.

Taste - It's sweet. It's got the other tastes like you would expect too. Lots of coffee, roasted malts and light vanilla and a bit of alcohol noticeable on the way down. Also feel like I'm getting some of the chocolate in the taste as well since I'm smelling it more in the nose as it warms. I could drink this so much more often if it was more available. A little bit of a bitter coffee note finishes off the taste on this one.

Mouthfeel - Mouthfeel is actually really good. Not thick and chewy like a big imperial stout, but more rich with a nice medium body. I guess this is bordering on a stout, but who cares. It's a damn good beer. Carbonation is probably light or creamy on par with a nice imperial stout. Finish is more wet and lasting but it doesn't last too long.

Overall - This is a very good beer. Of course, I feel like I'm on a roll with big flavorful beers that I'm reviewing. Maybe I've got a thing for vanilla or coffee flavored beers, I don't know. What I do know is this: If you think coffee or vanilla (or both) sound interesting in a beer, DO NOT hesitate to pick this one up if you see it. I doubt it will disappoint.

matttttYCE, May 30, 2011
Photo of Huhzubendah
4.2/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This bottle was a gift from drabmuh. Thanks Matt!

A: A flawless appearance. The beer is jet black and completely opaque. There is a dense, thick, foamy head of a dark tan color. The head retention is great and the glass is coated in lacing.

S: Fresh coffee beans. I am a coffee drinker, and I appreciate the aroma of fresh coffee. We are off to a great start with this beer. Also noted are scents of roasted malt, chocolate, vanilla, and alcohol.

T: The beer tastes great. The coffee is more present than the vanilla. The beer leads off with coffee and segues to vanilla and chocolate intertwined in roasted malt. Very impressive. As good as it is, I wish Ballast Point would use authentic vanilla instead of natural flavors. This beer is so close to being amazing. It's the little things that often make the biggest difference.

M: The beer is very flavorful and smooth. The 10% alcohol is disguised very well. It's creamy and thick, with the perfect carbonation level.

D: It's so good, I'm drinking it too fast, but not as fast as last time (see notes). This stuff can catch up to you quickly. I thoroughly enjoy this beer. I'm taking down the bomber by myself tonight, as I have been really looking forward to a good night to enjoy it, but honestly, it's probably best shared a few ways.

Note: Chugging this beer midway through an epic tasting can lead to immediate and irreversible intoxication (even if your friend grills you chicken in the middle of the night) and palate wrecking, causing the imbiber to not be able to differentiate Kate the Great from Alpha Kong. Seriously.

Huhzubendah, Nov 23, 2010
Photo of Halcyondays
4.2/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours black, with a full-finger light brown head.

S: Great smell of roasted coffee beans, one of the best smelling beers I have had in a while, I just want to keep smelling it until the volatiles dissapate.

T: The mix of coffee and roasted malt is real nice here, but is not as good as Speedway. Still it's a nice brew, and has excellent dark chocolate notes.

M: Smooth and full-bodied, it hides it's 10% very well, but you'll feel it by the end.

D: A nice finish to my BP round, 2nd best of the 5 IMO, it's nice to be able to try this stuff, though it sucks I may never have them again.

Edit - 2/8/10 - Got to have this again, yum.

Halcyondays, Mar 25, 2009
Photo of kiddynamite920
4.2/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this one on tap at the Blue Dog pub in Lansdale.

A: Poured a pitch black, wasn't too surprised here. The bar was a bit dark but not much light was going to get through this one anyway. About a fingers worth of tan head slumped down to a thin ring around the glass.

S: Huge roasty aroma, heavy on the coffee and a bit bitter smelling. Had a very nice sweet aroma as well of a sweetened coffee. The vanilla was noticeable but not overwhelming. Very nice. Good sweet malt profile.

T: Chocolate and coffee mingling well, mocha. The coffee tastes like a very dark roast and adds a very mild astringency. Good bitter flavors balanced with some sweet malts. One big, bad porter for sure.

M: Went down very smoothly with no burn from the alcohol content noticed at all. Good full bodied porter.

D: This one falls into the dangerous category. May be hard for some to stomach more than one of these, but I'm a fan of huge dark beers. Very drinkable and glad I had the opportunity to taste this on tap.

kiddynamite920, Apr 19, 2010
Photo of BobZ
4.21/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22 oz Bottle poured into a Pint glass.

Appearance: Almost black with a small 1/4" tan head that quickly recedes to only a cap, nice lacing.

Smell: Big coffee with a hint of sweetness.

Taste: Rich dark roast coffee is the dominant flavor there is some vanilla on the finish but it is subtle. This is done in a good way the coffee bitterness up front with just the hint of vanilla sweetness on the finish. Very little chocolate flavor as again the roasted malt supports the coffee flavor.

Mouthfeel: Very well bodied for a porter, smooth and drinkable.

Overall: An excellent coffee porter, full and very flavorful.

BobZ, Jun 09, 2013
Photo of oberon
4.22/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I hald this for a little while but the urge got to me to much last night.Poured into an imperial nonic a deep dark chocolate brown with a thin dark beige head that didnt last long,a great mix of heavy coffee roast and vanilla imparted sweetness,a bit of sweet alcohol and dark fruit shows thru as it warmed.Roasty and sweetish upfront with the dark roast coffee flavors prevelent,a vanilla/carmel flavor lends some hefty sweetness,there is a drying earthy almost resiny note in the finish that is drying just enough.A great beer it is a one and done though because the alcohol is potent and can give off some big sweetness,a rich well made beer.

oberon, Feb 21, 2011
Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 3,763 ratings.