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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

3,285 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3285
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
Ratings: 3,285 | Reviews: 901 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of tpaetow
tpaetow

Missouri

4.63/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a bomber into a tulip

A- dark dark dark with a nice creamy tan head

S- tons of coffee, bitter chocolate, less vanilla than expected, little caramel sweetness

T- toasty delicious coffee up front, biter chocolate and more vanilla around the middle, caramelly, light sweetness in the back

M- medium bodied, decent carbonation, this one is creamy and smooth

O- this is one tasty porter, if you're a fan of the style this is worth seeking out

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2014 05:22:28 | More by tpaetow
Photo of gatornation
gatornation

Minnesota

3.99/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2013 Vintage
A- pours a dark brown.black color wit a 1 finger khaki head a little lacing
S- roasted malts vanilla coffee chocolate
T-vanilla chocolate with mellow roasted malts a slight hop taste with coffee and malt finish
M-sweet smooth and creamy
O-great imperial porter smooth with chocolate,coffee and vanilla a great brew

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2014 23:56:36 | More by gatornation
Photo of flayedandskinned
flayedandskinned

California

4.45/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2013 Vintage
Poured into a Duvel tulip

Appearance: (4.5)
Pours a pitch black with a thick and creamy 2.5 finger tall, dark tan head. The head has fantastic retention and leaves a multitude of sticky lacing behind as it recedes.

Aroma: (4.25)
As soon as you raise the glass to your lips, you're struck by waves and waves freshly roasted coffee beans and rich milk chocolate. As the beer warms, some aromas of marshmallow cream and sweet vanilla emerge alongside notes of baker's chocolate and roasted malts. For 10% the alcohol is very masked.

Taste: (4.5)
Just like in the nose, right away you're greeted by intense coffee and rich, creamy milk chocolate. These milk chocolate tones are overtaken by bittersweet dark roasted grains and a herbal hop edge. As the beer finishes dry, you're left notes of bitter baker's chocolate, coffee, caramel, vanilla and a toasted nuttiness left lingering on your palate. Just as in the nose, the alcohol is very well masked.

Mouthfeel:(4.5)
Heavy and creamy body with moderate to high carbonation. Very velvety and drinkable for 10%

Overall: (4.5)
Ballast Point does a fantastic job with this beer by delicately balancing the acidic, bitter tones of fresh coffee with the sweet notes of chocolate malt and vanilla, while still adhering to the structure of an "Imperial" Porter. This beer has garnered a cult-like following over the years and it is well deserved. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2014 23:39:48 | More by flayedandskinned
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
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BeerDawgs

Georgia

4.95/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A 22oz bomber picked up in GA! New to the state. When I went out to the brewery in 2011, they did not have this one on draft...so finally get to try it.

A - Pitch black, with 2 fingers of head and lace coats the glass all the way down. Beautiful. Looks like a creamy milkshake

S - Huge coffee aroma, roasted grains, and vanilla.

T - Sweet up front...chocolate. Then Espresso coffee kicks in...big time! Vanilla in the aftertaste with a subtle hop aftertaste. ABV well hidden. Unbelievable..

M - Full bodied, creamy, and smooth.

O - The best coffee imperial porter I have ever had. For those from GA, its the Wake N Bake X 2.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2014 00:35:18 | More by BeerDawgs
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Ozzylizard

Pennsylvania

3.6/5  rDev -18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Undated bottle at 50 degrees into goblet
Head small (1.5 cm), creamy with some froth, light brown, mostly diminishing into a surface skin of bubbles
Lacing OK – continuous rings and clots covering most of the surface
Body dark brown/black with no light penetration
Aroma roasted malt, slightly burnt; hint of vanilla
Flavor begins as slightly burnt malt with a slight alcohol aftertaste mixed with coffee bitterness; no hops, no diacetyl, no vanilla
Palate medium to full, slightly creamy, soft carbonation

It succeeds in being a coffee flavored beer; unfortunately I could get the same effect cheaply by dumping some alcohol into a cup of stale coffee

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2014 12:48:35 | More by Ozzylizard
Photo of NRo
NRo

California

3.25/5  rDev -26%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: beautiful black body with a nice light tan head

Smell: Like fresh coffee grounds

Taste: Seriously, all I can taste is coffee. This is marginally better than drinking cold coffee cause at least it's beer.

Mouth feel: nice and thick, smooth

Overall: I'd let it age and hope that the coffee dies down and let's other flavors come through.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2014 06:19:15 | More by NRo
Photo of theteleman
theteleman

California

3.86/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark dark deep sea depth blackish color with a whiteish brown thick head. Smells like coffee, chocolate and vanilla. Mouthfeel is creamy, sweet, lots of malts and coffee upfront. Lots of vanilla, pretty sweet for a stout. High ABV is covered by the vanilla and chocolate. This is a heavy brew. Very dark and thick with lots of sweet notes on the palate. For my personal taste this is a little too sweet, too much vanilla coming through, but I can certaintly appreciate it for what it is and enjoy on occasion. A truly unique beer that should be sipped, good to end a session with.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2014 04:17:24 | More by theteleman
Photo of titty_mcbitty
titty_mcbitty

Texas

4.68/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: black as oil with a super thin dark tan head. Looks sexy.

S: man oh man this smells delicious. Vanilla and chocolate first off. Also some caramel. Roasted malts as well.

T: so good... vanilla soaked chocolate, espresso and cream, toast, bread crust, burnt caramel, toffee, cooked cherries, and deep roasted malts. It's got a bitter kick in the end.
M: thick. Creamy and delicious. It has a hint of booze though on the back end.

O: very very good brew by Ballast Point. Love the flavors of this. The only thing that is disappointing, but not even a big deal, is that boozy kick in the back end. This beer is awesome and worth the money. (EDIT: just had it on tap, and it blew my mind even further- more of a burnt marshmallow taste and a lot more cinnamon and nutmeg mixed in with that wonderful vanilla. Simply amazing. Also, none of that booziness mentioned above.)

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2014 03:32:26 | More by titty_mcbitty
Photo of Treyliff
Treyliff

West Virginia

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

A- pours pitch black with a small creamy light-tan head that retains long after the pour, leaving behind some short rings of lace

S- big fresh coffee espresso notes melds with melted dark chocolate, toasted vanilla biscotti, fudge brownie, dried dark cherry and fruit bread

T- fresh dark roast coffee up front, highlighted by sweet vanilla, chocolaty malt, and toasted almond. Dark fruit notes of prune, fig and raisin on the finish with a sweet cherry juice finish

M- medium body and carbonation with a light-yet-creamy mouthfeel, leads to a smooth and velvety finish. Loaded with flavor, but still keeping a light enough mouthfeel for a porter, ABV is hidden very well

O- the vanilla meshes almost perfectly to an already solid base coffee porter. Drinkability is on point, solid beer!

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2014 01:24:28 | More by Treyliff
Photo of MadCat
MadCat

New Jersey

3/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a nice dark black color with dark tan head, leaves good lacing

Smell: Strong medium roast coffee, some hints of roasted malts and earthy hops

Taste: Strong medium roast coffee dominates the taste. The faintest hints of vanilla, along with a little stronger hints of roasted malts and earthy hops. Good bitterness

Mouthfeel: Full body, good level of carbonation for the style

Overall: Disappointing. Severely. Even without all the hype it gets, picking up a bottle from a good brewery that says "Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter" you would expect something different. This tastes like you brewed a batch of beer replacing the water purely with coffee, and not a coffee with the kind of notes I prefer. If this didn't say vanilla on the label, I would have no idea it was there. And, you have to really know what you're looking for to tell that it is based on a porter. Now, maybe I had it too fresh? Maybe a little age will tone the coffee down? But still, where's the vanilla? I know its there, but it is so over powered by the coffee. I haven't had a ton of coffee beers, but what I have had is a bit more balance, a bit more toned down, and a bit more enjoyable. At $10 a bottle, I'm not going to try to figure out if I got a bad bottle. Still, this isn't a drain pour, but I can think of plenty of 4 pack or 6 pack beers I would rather have.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2014 04:39:16 | More by MadCat
Photo of 01001111
01001111

California

4.79/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A: Deep black oil with a healthy espresso creama colored head.

S: Roasted wood, vanilla, and a subtle spice.

T: Starts with a strong vanilla flavor then gives way to a wave of thick coffee. After that comes the coffee bitterness which then yields to the hop bitterness. The finishing note is roasted malts more reminiscent of a stout than a typical porter.

M: Quite thick, almost espresso-like.

O: Far more impressive than I anticipated. The vanilla is a touch strong but the rest is near perfect for the style. I'd love to try this again after some aging.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2014 00:21:36 | More by 01001111
Photo of BeerEngineer
BeerEngineer

California

4.96/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

General: This is from the 2013 release, when I went to the bar they still happened to have some so I picked last years and this years up.

Appearance: Beautiful tan head that diminishes pretty quickly. The color is jet black, I can barely see a light through this. Amazing looking beer.

Aroma: You can tell that this is a coffee vanilla porter right off the bat. The aroma is amazing. It has the expected aroma but there is a great maltiness with a touch of chocolate in it. Great!

Mouthfeel: This coats the mouth the way that you would expect. It's top notch for sure!

Taste: This is the definition of a coffee vanilla imperial porter to me. That's all I can say about it.

Overall: If you see this, but it. It is worth every penny even if you don't normally like an imperial porter. Buy this beer, not sure if the newest version is exactly the same but I will review that one soon.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2014 04:25:43 | More by BeerEngineer
Photo of abeeronthebeach
abeeronthebeach

Washington

4.8/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Ballast Point – Victory At Sea: Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter, from the bottle. Enjoy by: 12/10/13, drank: 01/17/14.

A – Charcoal-brown body with an evenly distributed and smooth head. You could shine a laser through this thing and it wouldn’t come out the other side.

S – Strong. Picking up a bracing hit of roasted malts. Milky coffee with a sweetness to it which you realise is the vanilla once you taste it. Much more pronounced than on Harviestoun’s Old Engine Oil which is the last porter I tasted (and which incidentally I loved.) Reassured me that my nose still functions. Three quarters of the way through this beer the nose continues to improve, to the point where it may be my favourite thing about this beer, excepting the first sip. This demands particular attention for, as a rule, most beer loses fragrance as it sits, whereas here it continues to emanate.

T- This just tastes fucking phenomenal. I mean seriously, seriously good. The way the vanilla mellows out all the roasty-toasty flavours is literally something I’ve never tasted before. And it is so, so good. Few things are more annoying than using sounds and adjectives - so I’ve edited my original entries - but I was quite literally left wondering aloud as this washed over my tongue for the first time. Particularly as having read the reviews, it seemed I ought to be in for something a little bit special. Perhaps tellingly, prolific reviewer UCLABrewN84 reviews this in his top 20 beers out of 5052 beers. That first sip has left me reeling as is reflected in my scattered entry. This is the fucking dog’s bollocks.

M – Nice and creamy. If the mouthfeel here is whole milk, personally I’d love to see this as jersey milk; nevertheless it’s silky as a silk spider. Excellent.

O – Still have almost all the most highly-rated dark, potent and mythic-status beers ahead of me (Abyss, Marshall Zhukov, Dark Lord, Abraxas, BCBCS, Parabola, Darkness, Founder’s, etc.) but this offering only intensifies the excitement tenfold. As I sample more of the finest offerings perhaps this will downgrade but you can only go off what you know. The nose is so wonderfully balanced. The taste follows suit. I’d have sworn this was at 8%; that it’s actually one of the booziest beers I have ever had (at 10%) takes me clean by surprise. Want to give it more than a 4.75 and less than a 5 for flavour but my second sampling leaves me seeking a sweeter finish. Can conceive a creamier and more intensely flavoured beer but this is still glorious. I want that second bottle.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2014 06:53:58 | More by abeeronthebeach
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LambicPentameter

Kansas

4.38/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Reviewed from notes after enjoying on 1/18/14. Served out of a 22 oz brown bomber with an enjoy by date of 01/03/14, although this style should be fine with some age. Poured into a large 22 oz. snifter that looks sort of like a Teku glass without the flared lip.

Appearance - Body is midnight black--no light getting through capped with a half-finger mocha-tan head of predominantly tiny bubbles with a few medium-sized suds interspersed. Retention is moderate, with the foam fading to a line around the edge of the glass and a thin sparse film across the top of the glass. No lacing whatsoever.

Smell - At first, I was disappointed, thinking that I had left this in the back of my fridge a tad too long. Initially, there was very little coffee or vanilla, with the predominant notes being dark chocolate and dark-roasted malt and buckwheat. However, upon letting it warm a bit, the coffee and vanilla became a bit more present on the nose, even if subdued. The coffee element evokes roasted beans, before any grinding or brewing, just waiting to be unleashed.

Taste - I'm happy to report that the the marquee elements of the porter held up much better on the tongue than they did on the nose. Big, french roast coffee and bold bitterness that finishes with a pleasant vanilla sweetness, like the wonderful innards of a freshly-scored dried vanilla bean. Bittersweet, burnt caramel and waffle cone all add their voices to the mix as well in a complimentary role. It's situations like this where the advantages of a larger format bottle become clear. The first glass was good, but the second glass was great due to some patience and increased temperature.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied (which is a surprise for a non-BA porter with coffee and vanilla that clocks in at 10% abv), with low carbonation on this just-past-the-best-by-date bottle. In spite of the body being a bit lighter than expected, there is a viscous element that leaves a lingering bittersweet finish that is wonderfully complex.

Overall, a great offering from Ballast Point, and even though I've had a limited number of brews from them, this one is a clear favorite of mine. I have one more bottle that I will likely be opening sooner than later, to see just how much difference that best by date really makes.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2014 07:45:50 | More by LambicPentameter
Photo of rajendra82
rajendra82

Georgia

4.78/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful deep brown pour, with a tall, three finger thick, brown head. The smell of coffee and vanilla hit he nose from an arms length, and bringing the glass closer revealed chocolate and caramel. The taste was full of dark coffee followed by some rich vanilla and sweet chocolate, and a surprising high amount of hops. The finish was very grainy and hops and coffee lingered long. The mouthfeel was silky, and satisfyingly thick. This is a fantastic beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2014 05:51:13 | More by rajendra82
Photo of Elprico
Elprico

Texas

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

A-Deep black with a great, tan colored head. Mild carbonation can be seen.

S-Almost pure coffee for me. The vanilla is there, but takes a definite back seat to the coffee and chocolate flavors.

T-Tons of coffee right up front. Bitter, dark chocolate followed by a mellow and sweet vanilla aftertaste. This beer has one of the most perfect balances of coffee flavors in a beer that I've ever had. It tastes balanced and like quite a bit of work went into it.

M-Light to medium carbonation. Given the flavors I thought it would have a slightly heavier mouthfeel. I definitely would not call it watery, but would have appreciated a thicker body to this.

O-A beer that should not be passed up. The coffee in this beer makes it exceptional and although I wish it had a thicker body, I'd be hard pressed to insult this beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2014 05:35:11 | More by Elprico
Photo of BierJager89
BierJager89

California

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

A: Black with a brown ring of head.

S: Coffee and vanilla in the nose.

T: Coffee with a little bit of vanilla and some dark chocolate.

M: Medium bodied with average carbonation.

O: A bit underwhelming, but only because i expected more out of a brewery this good brewing a beer that sounds as good as this one does.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2014 05:11:38 | More by BierJager89
Photo of Ieatlambfries
Ieatlambfries

New Jersey

4.78/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Poured a dark bronwnish red. Almost opaque until you hold it up to the light. Rocky dark tan head, which leaves clingy lace after each sup.

Big smell of roasted espresso on the nose. Followed by vanilla and roasted malts.

Tastes like a fresh brewed espresso. Bitter espresso gives way to vanilla, which lends to a milk chocolate or chocolate milk effect. Sweet lactic flavors, and roasted malts follow, with a slightly hoppy finish.

Mouthfeel is thinner than expected, medium to full bodied. Slight biting carbonation.

Overall an outstanding Porter. Without a doubt one of the best uses of coffee in beer I've tasted. This beer just works.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2014 02:24:06 | More by Ieatlambfries
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PoorProfessional

Ohio

4.83/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This right here is a near perfect beer. It's hard to really put into words just how wonderful this beer is - I bought it on a whim at the local supermarket and, given the nearly $10 price tag, it was either going to rock my socks or be an utter disappointment.

It was the former thankfully. I am absolutely turned off by the idea of coffee and vanilla in my beer because nobody can seem to do it correctly. Well, I have finally found a brewery who does it PERFECTLY. This is a GREAT tasting beer - the first sip is going to slap you around a bit. Whoa, is this stuff a departure from a lot of beers out there. But get deep down into this beer, with the coffee and vanilla subtly guiding you along, and you'll likely love it.

It isn't -perfect- but it's damn near close. It pours dark as the winter night and is perfect for cold, frost, "polar vortex" kind of days when you just want to cozy up with a good brew and forget about your troubles for a couple of hours. Oh, and the 10% ABV doesn't hurt, either. It WILL get on top of you pretty fast if you aren't seasoned so be wary of that. But, overall, a wonderful brew - definitely a favorite for me - and one I will seek out and gladly pay ten bucks for in the future!

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2014 20:13:11 | More by PoorProfessional
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tmm313

Georgia

3.89/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Basically black. Poured only a thin sheet of head. Lacing and trailing are excellent. Alcohol legs are thick and sticky.

S- Dark fruits, coffee, vanilla, and a nutty scent I'm thinking reminds me of hazelnut. Some boozy notes when you dig in.

T- Dark fruits and vanilla up front, followed by dark roast coffee, licorice, caramel, and some piney hops. Big roasty, bitter finish.

M- Medium-light body. Slick on the tongue. Intensely drying with big lingering bitterness.

O- This was a pretty good beer. Super sweet beginning; super bitter finish. Not what I was expecting, but still nicely complex. The big bitterness on the finish was just too much for my tastes.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2014 01:34:06 | More by tmm313
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MasterfulIdiot

Georgia

3.35/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an Ikea Snifter

Appearance is black, with an impressively large cafe-au-lait-colored head for the snifter. The head fades quickly, and leaves some scattered tendrils of lace.

Smell is majorly coffee, with a slight lactic tartness. Really smells like some kind of creamy iced mocha drink.

Flavor was a little disappointing to me. Lots of coffee and chocolate. But it's so roasty that it comes across as burnt. There's some nice off-setting sweetness on the palate from the vanilla, but the swallow ends up being overly bitter and charred to me.

Mouthfeel is nice, thick, and creamy, as I'd expect.

Overall, it's definitely good, but there are many coffee beers I'd choose over this one... Not sure what I missed here - maybe my expectations were too high?

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2014 03:59:21 | More by MasterfulIdiot
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StoutItOutLoud

Illinois

4.3/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22-oz bomber to tulip, shared on 1-11-2014. Kept at room temperature for approximately 5 hours before consumption. Best by date of 1-3-2014.

dark appearance, but not opaque. there is an obvious red tint at the edges. large, very pleasant tan head, eventually settling to nothing in my glass, although there was spotty lacing in the other glass.

there is a lot going on in the aroma. at first, the roasted malts / coffee dominates, despite the year of aging. there is milk chocolate as well. with time, i got a vanilla creme scent, but only when placing my nose a few inches away. with deep inhalation, i continue to get the coffee scent.

less complex taste - there is a vegetal hop bitterness at first, a roast coffee bitterness in the back half. more alcohol burn (but not astringent or metallic) as the beer opens up. i would not drink this too cold or too warm.

thin body at first, yet fairly high carbonation. more slick residual

Hard to compare this one to more standard porters, due to the high ABV, but it is complex and solid.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2014 14:14:35 | More by StoutItOutLoud
Photo of deadonhisfeet
deadonhisfeet

Kentucky

4.49/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a Brooklyn Brewery snifter. The pour is very dark, but not quite opaque. When held to the light it appears clear and shows a tiny bit of ruby highlight. The head is mammoth, brown, rocky, and quite long-lasting. The nose is slightly astringent, not too assertive, and gives off some nice roasty notes and promises both coffee and vanilla.

The beer has a medium-full body and a complex, superbly balanced flavor. Lots of roasty notes up front as well as a hint of toffee-like malt. Around mid-palate, the roastiness gives way to coffee and the toffee gives way to vanilla, still maintaining a balance. Some of the roastiness comes back on the back of the palate and really lingers on the finish. Is this beer really 10% ABV? No way I would ever guess that. The feel seems thin given the ABV, but I think it's the roastiness playing tricks on me.

I can see why this is a ``Beer of Fame''. It's a tasty, incredibly well-balanced porter that is a near perfect example of the style description and therefore I must rate it very highly. Still, I think I prefer Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald and its slight, woody sweetness to this. I like to taste a little more malt and a little less roastiness. It's a personal preference, nothing more (darn sweet tooth). This is a terrific beer and I think it's a better example of the style than EF, but if I could only have one porter, I'd still take EF.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2014 01:30:46 | More by deadonhisfeet
Photo of kdlz
kdlz

Ohio

4.83/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from 22oz bomber into tulip glass.

A - Jet black pour with 1 finger tan head. Almost stout-like.

S - Coffee, dark chocolate, and amazing vanilla aromas jut wafting from the glass

T - Just like the smell, all were present. Not boozy at all.. Made me wish I could wake up to this every morning.

M - On the bitter side, like drinking a cup of coffee, low carb, very easy drinking

O - I think this should be a stout, color taste depth and weight of this beer is astounding. Not a beginners beer. Looking forward to next years plus the 2 I have cellared.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2014 22:31:35 | More by kdlz
Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 3,285 ratings.