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

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

3,293 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3293
Reviews: 901
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 8.88%


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
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Ratings: 3,293 | Reviews: 901 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of surfrogue1
surfrogue1

Maryland

4.93/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Like the depths that your enemies at sea will experiance, Victory At Sea pours as opaque a black as one beer can pour. Thin dark tan head. Extra thin web-like lacing that lasts long after the last sip has been taken. Aromas of dark chocolate, toffee, and expresso. Yeah, I taste vanilla, on the tail end of the dark chocolate...a bitter-sweet afterburn. The kick of expresso and dare I say hops maybe...is that what the 60 IBUs is all about? They don't call this one Imperial for nuthin.' Excellent brew, one to celebrate the Victory at Sea!

Serving type: on-tap

02-05-2014 02:48:38 | More by surfrogue1
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 Chickenhawk9932
Chickenhawk9932

Pennsylvania

4.43/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours black as night with a thick coffee colored head - good retention.

Smells heavy of chocolate, coffee, vanilla and roasted malt.

Taste is big coffee espresso notes up front followed by bitter dark chocolate and rounded by some sweet vanilla notes. There is also some bitter burnt malt flavor to keep the sweetness at bay as dark fruits (rum, fig, and raisin) come through. Big flavor from a big beer - definitely a slow sipper.

Serving type: on-tap

10-13-2013 00:11:16 | More by Chickenhawk9932
Photo of Sludgeman
Sludgeman

District of Columbia

4.48/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter at Meridian Point on a cool and rainy afternoon.

Don’t let the big vanilla/chocolate nose drive you away from this well balanced imperial porter. An immediate favorite. It will interesting to see how this one holds up to the competition over time.

A – Pours black with a small brown head that quickly dissipates. A good swirl brings it back. Better lacing than expected based on the low head retention.

S – A big nose of chocolate/vanilla. Swirl this beer to find the other aromas of complex alcohols and coffee.

T – A rich beer of coffee, some black licorice, low vanilla/chocolate compared to aroma, with a medium roasty bitterness that balances the richness. Hides it high ABV very well.

MF – Medium bodied, slightly sharp, thinner than expected based on the richness of taste. Some silky smoothness if you get a gulp of foam.

Serving type: on-tap

10-10-2013 22:55:55 | More by Sludgeman
Photo of dowen17
dowen17

Alabama

4.3/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours an almost pitch black with a nice two finger head.

Smell is heavy bitter coffee. Dark malts and vanilla take the back seat.

Taste mirrors the nose. Bitter coffee up front with a wave of vanilla and dark malts after.

Nice mouthfeel and more carbonation than expected.

Excellent beer. Would definitely drink again.

Serving type: on-tap

09-18-2013 01:50:30 | More by dowen17
Photo of brewskifan55
brewskifan55

Mississippi

4.26/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Hop City, Birmingham

A: Tar black. A 2 finger tan head that took its time getting squared away. Sticky lacing.

S: Coffee strong with vanilla and chocolate bringing up the rear.

T: Huzzah! Strong coffee notes, followed by a faint essense of vanilla and a decent chocolate and malt backing. Take your time and enjoy.

M: Medium to heavy with creamy carbonation.

O: An outstanding porter. Would be great with a chocolate chip cookie. Wish I'd bought a bomber. Recommended. Love the label artwork, too.

Serving type: on-tap

09-09-2013 20:08:47 | More by brewskifan55
Photo of Cooker_stp
Cooker_stp

New York

4.7/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Appearance - dark coffee like pour with a small 1/2" head. Granted this was in a plastic cup. But a plastic cup is better than not all at.

Smell - excellent coffee aroma comes through with hints of vanilla.

Taste - amazingly smooth taste as the coffee continue with hints of vanilla.

Mouthfeel - at 10% abv this leaves a slight alcohol mouthfeel and I prefer my beer to hide the alcohol.

Overall - amazing beer even in a plastic cup. Would have loved to get a growler fill but totally didn't expect this type of beer where we stopped for dinner.

Serving type: on-tap

09-05-2013 22:49:05 | More by Cooker_stp
Photo of wpqx
wpqx

Illinois

5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ballast Point has outdone themselves on this one. A mind-bogglingly good Imperial Porter that has pronounced vanilla flavor. One of the smoothest imperial porters you are likely to find. A definite coffee and vanilla taste and a wonderful aroma. This beer is incredibly smooth for 10% abv. Search it out, in bottle, on tap, anywhere this is simply put the finest porter I've ever tasted.

Serving type: on-tap

08-12-2013 03:15:39 | More by wpqx
Photo of StonedTrippin
StonedTrippin

Colorado

4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

wow! this one floored me, and its been awhile since a beer has blown me away! on tap at bangers and lace in Chicago. it pours a molten black color, hints of brown, but entirely impenetrable to light. there is an obvious weight to this, and a half inch of mocha colored head on top that slowly fades out. the nose is intensely vanilla, sweet and fresh above the deep dark abyssal malts, which are raw chocolate, burnt coffee, and very bitter aromatically. the coffee to me is more pronounced in the flavor than the nose, and the vanilla is strong on both fronts. this doesn't need to be barrel aged, its got all the complexity one could ever imagine already. I taste everything from whole wheat chex cereal to velvety milk chocolate, bakers cocoa, and vanilla frosting. it remains fairly unsweet, given its ingredients are so desserty. huge body, but intimidating. sips like silk, and the alcohol content is barely noticeable. easily one of the best beers ive had in a long time, and ballast point has now impressed me three times out of three, hard. this is a beer not to be missed, and I hope to be lucky enough to encounter it again. like nothing else around, and a real masterpiece.

Serving type: on-tap

07-21-2013 15:10:58 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of Tucquan
Tucquan

Pennsylvania

4.43/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on 2013-06-23 at the Fridge in Lancaster, PA

A - Opaque dark browe with a 1-finger tan head and great lacing.

S - Rich dark roasted malt, dark chocolate, expresso, vanilla.

T - Much like the smell with the addition of char, light molasses, lots of dark chocolate. The vanilla is present but in check. There's some sweetness for balance. Roasted and hop bitterness.

M - Thick body and light medium carbonation. Prickly and creamy.

O - This is a very fine imperial porter. Reminds me of a Founders Imperial Stout.

Serving type: on-tap

06-23-2013 17:14:12 | More by Tucquan
Photo of GreesyFizeek
GreesyFizeek

New York

4.78/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A 10% imperial porter. Tell me again why this isn't a stout? It's stronger and more intensely flavored than 90% of thestouts I've drank. Guess the line between porter and stout is invisible, especially in Ballast Point's case.

8 oz pour at "Extreme Beer Night" at the Old Toad during Rochester Beer Week.

Thick, tar-like black pour, with a generous head.

Smells and tastes basically the same. Sweet creamy vanilla, mild roastiness, intense, bitter coffee flavor, and Hershey's syrup. Incredibly sweet, almost to the point of cloying-ness. The almost cloying sweetness is the only thing keeping this taste score from a 5. The vanilla is far from fake though- like a rich vanilla bean ice cream from Stewart's back home.

Full, sludgy mouthfeel. The Exxon Valdez has nothing on this guy. Low carbonation, full body.

One of the best porters you can buy, but don't go into it expecting a traditional porter. Go into it expecting a good beer, and you'll be happy more than happy.

Serving type: on-tap

06-21-2013 02:03:33 | More by GreesyFizeek
Photo of JoEBoBpr
JoEBoBpr

Missouri

4.53/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Pours a dark pitch-black viscous liquid. There is a thin light tan head.

Aroma is of awesome coffee notes, espresso with hint of vanilla. Definitely some cocoa is present as well. The nose is pretty big on the vanilla with the coffee roast balancing it a bit.

Flavor on the other hand is so much more balanced. There is a strong espresso and coffee-ground roast with a smooth and silky vanilla note. The roast comes up quick and aggressive coating the palate with bitter coffee notes and some deep dark bitter/sweet cocoa. Then the sweet vanilla comes in trying to mellow out the coffee and adding a nice second dimension. There are some nice burnt notes and cocoa sweetness that mingle with the vanilla and the delicious coffee as well near the middle-end of the sip that really make this brew delicious. Mouthfeel seems just right with a nice silky and oily and full feel.

Overall this is a great brew. Top notch Porter as well. The vanilla notes and coffee notes are delicious together and independently are well crafted. The more cocoa like Porter notes also ad a great dimension.

Serving type: on-tap

04-26-2013 22:40:33 | More by JoEBoBpr
Photo of ThePorterSorter
ThePorterSorter

Missouri

4.04/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The beer pours a jet black with 1/2 an inch of a creamy tan head that laces and dissipates into a thin chocolate covering. the nose is chocolatey with bits of vanilla sweetness. the taste is rich & full bodied, malty & roasty with great chocolate sweetness. Initially it's very sweet and slightly warming, but finishes with a heavy burnt roasty and bitterness. this is a really tasty beer, great price and availability in wny, drinks more like a stout though

Serving type: on-tap

04-20-2013 03:26:48 | More by ThePorterSorter
Photo of Dwtucker90
Dwtucker90

Texas

5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

10 oz. pour enjoyed at The Dancing Bear Pub in Waco, TX.

Appearance: espresso black body. Poured with a 1 inch deep brown head which dissipates into a nice thin brown foam after a couple minutes. Pretty heavy lacing all the way around the glass.

Smell: dark roasty black malt with a very forward cappuccino smell with some thick cream sweetness. Brown sugar as well paired with some faint booze. Imagine a dark coffee marshmallow. Delicious.

Taste: black malt, super creamy and sweet. Very much a sweet coffee beer, which probably comes from the vanilla. Tastes like a cappuccino and has an excellent boozy aftertaste that burns well after each sip.

Mouthfeel: super super thick and creamy. Absolutely delicious. Taste the carbonation and coffee texture.

Overall: this is one of the best coffee porters/stouts I've ever had.

Serving type: on-tap

04-14-2013 03:18:23 | More by Dwtucker90
Photo of BeerForMuscle
BeerForMuscle

New Jersey

4.05/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Virtually black, with a sticky, thin layer of irregular bubbles on top. Looks strong.

S - Apple skin to black chocolate with cane sugar. Notes of alcohol and dark, rich sweetness. Maybe some steamed milk.

T - An assertive flavor profile with heavy coffee presence. Not much in the way of vanilla. There is a sweetness in the middle, but the strength of the coffee takes over. The 10% ABV is present; too strong for the rich flavors to mask.

M - Rich and strong, like a cappuccino. This beer is very sturdy and dry.

O - A hearty brew, but not sure this is a porter. This one seems like a coffee stout more or less.

Serving type: on-tap

04-06-2013 00:01:29 | More by BeerForMuscle
Photo of jrenihan
jrenihan

Ontario (Canada)

4.28/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On-tap at Ginger Man.

Beer is black with a small tan head,

Vanilla is the strongest smell. it is actually somewhat overpowering, though nice. Some chocolate as well.

Tonnes of vanilla and chocolate in the taste. Roast malt and a bit of anise. The coffee is quite muted in comparison to the vanilla, which is very strong. Quite balanced, with a notable bitterness despite the inherent sweetness of some of the flavours. Very nice- truly a dessert beer.

Full bodied, moderately carbonated. Fairly thick. A bit creamy.

Overall, very enjoyable indeed. Reminiscent of DDC's Aphrodite, which I suppose is not surprising.

Serving type: on-tap

03-28-2013 01:15:17 | More by jrenihan
Photo of socon67
socon67

New York

4.48/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at The Good Life, Massapequa NY

A - Dark brown pour with a brown foam. Lacing on this is very nice streaks along the glass. Foam retention is pretty solid. This appears to be a thick beer.

S - Okay I love vanilla scents so this was simply awesome. The vanilla aroma was promounced, consistent, and gave a sweet, bakery cake smell. There is also a distinct smell of ground coffee. The malt profile on this smells sweet. This is a dessert beer.

T - A very sweet flavor that has sugar and vanilla frosting flavor. The is a slight bitterness of coffee that has an ever so slight anisette flavor of licorice. The complexity of sweet malts and these flavors makes this an enticing beer.

M - A bit heavier than most porters. Has a syrupy thickness as this hits the mouth. While I throughly loved this beer, it is not sessionable and I'd say it certianbly reuqires resetting your palate to taste more beer, or other foods for that matter.

O - A well crafted big porter that once again blurs the porterstout lines. For vanilla beer lovers this is a must try. Easily my favorite from Ballast Point and that includes Sculpin.

Serving type: on-tap

03-27-2013 18:12:50 | More by socon67
Photo of PicoPapa
PicoPapa

Connecticut

4.31/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at The Ginger Man. Pours a pitch black color with a thin layer of light brown head. Some lacing. Smells great. The aroma is sweet coffee and vanilla with some smokey roasted malts and chocolate. The taste is a nice boozey mix of the coffee and sweet vanilla. Dark chocolate and roasted malts. More of the coffee and vanilla comes out at the end along with a nice warming alcohol presence. There's a lot going on here but it all blends well together. Slick mouthfeel. Overall, fantastic Imperial Porter that I need to have again.

Serving type: on-tap

03-21-2013 01:43:42 | More by PicoPapa
Photo of falc0n2600
falc0n2600

California

4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very very dark in appearance with a smooth brown head. A nice coffee smell with much less of a coffee taste, which is my favorite kind of coffee beer. In fact, you are immediately shocked at how smooth an imperial porter can be before you're overwhelmed by perfectly sweet vanilla. I had this along with Flying Dog Barrel-Aged Gonzo Porter and this was definitely the winner, although the Double Gonzo was the second-best imperial porter I've had. A lot of carbonation that makes the thickness of the beer stand out, with the sweetness balancing the thickness nicely. As the beer warmed up I really began to notice the hops, more so than any other porter I've had. As I finished all I could think of was the brilliant hoppiness.

Serving type: on-tap

02-26-2013 06:11:06 | More by falc0n2600
Photo of travisdiener32
travisdiener32

Florida

4.55/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

To my surprise poured into a pint glass on tap at new world brewing in Tampa. Not on the same level as wide awake it's morning but still an impressive imperial porter. Think an imperial Breckenridge vanilla porter. Looking forward to more from ballast point now that they're distributing in florida

Serving type: on-tap

01-28-2013 22:35:30 | More by travisdiener32
Photo of kell50
kell50

North Carolina

4.48/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Had this one on draft many times at Duckworth's in Charlotte, NC. Time for a review!

A: Very dark black with a nice 2 finger off white creamy head that seems to completely attach itself to the glass. Looks similar to a Guinness as it flows from the tap.

S: MMMM. There's so much going on here. I first detect some roasted coffee notes up front; followed by hints tobacco, vanilla beans, caramel, and punch of dark chocolate.

T: Tastes just like it smells. Fresh brewed coffee, vanilla, chocolaty sweetness and with a touch of a smoke as well. Probably the most full flavored porter I've ever had. Victory at Sea clocks in at 10% abv, but drinks more like 5%. Scary.

M: This beer definitely has a heavier, full-bodied mouthfeel. It's sticky, viscous, and has a low amount of carbonation.

O: Very impressed by this beer! It's an excellent pairing with cold temperatures. The beer's flavors and richness became more pronounced as the beer reached room temperature.

Serving type: on-tap

01-27-2013 20:38:09 | More by kell50
Photo of Ford
Ford

Texas

4.78/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

On tap at Nobi Public House in Webster, Texas.. served in a 9oz snifter.

First.. thanks Ballast Point for finally coming to Texas... howdy and welcome.

I love porters and stouts... I especially love them with big coffee smells and flavors.. I also like vanilla...

This one stands with the best I have had... so good... lots of coffee flavor.. a touch of vanilla is there also.. smells so dang good.

I don't know if this is year round.. the website doesn't show it, so I'm guessing it is seasonal.. I would love to see this year round...it's a great beer.

Serving type: on-tap

01-13-2013 06:05:52 | More by Ford
Photo of Oakenator
Oakenator

Pennsylvania

4.66/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours very dark - mostly black with a decent head. Head lingers a bit and some lacing. Smell is clearly vanilla and darker malts - prefect mix like chocolate and vanilla ice cream. Taste is sweet with coffee flavors coming through along with a sweetner like toffee or other brown sugar like sweetner. From front to back this is an enjoyable brew.

Serving type: on-tap

01-11-2013 22:11:19 | More by Oakenator
Photo of JohnnyMc
JohnnyMc

Ohio

4.54/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a deep black with 2 fingers of mocha/tan head.

The aroma is dominated by vanilla bean, coffee, roasted malt notes and dark chocolate.

The taste is also mainly vanilla bean and coffee flavors along with notes of roasted malt and bittersweet dark chocolate. A slight hint of caramel towards the back of the beer, but mainly coffee and vanilla. No alcohol taste or smell apparent.

The mouthfeel is rich, creamy and smooth and the body is on the full side of medium. Extremely balanced between sweet and bitter and is very easy to drink.

Overall, this is a great beer that is very easy to drink and it has a lot of flavor and would be great as a desert beer.

Serving type: on-tap

01-11-2013 03:30:51 | More by JohnnyMc
Photo of RaulMondesi
RaulMondesi

California

4.26/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at tha joint - Ballast Point Brewery in San Diego, CA.

Just crushed a sample of this bad boi and it got Raul thinking like he was a Seahawk and cruzin with Errol Flynn. Luscious vanilla coffee notes with a sweet delicate after balance. If you want to get loose, pop a bottle with ur grl n git at it.

Holla!

Serving type: on-tap

12-31-2012 21:50:40 | More by RaulMondesi
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Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 3,293 ratings.