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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
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Ratings: 3,285 | Reviews: 901 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of SLeffler27
SLeffler27

New York

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

Light chestnut in color with a rocky head that reaches one-quarter inch before dissipating to form rings of lace in a Dogfish Head snifter. SRM 31-34 with dark brown highlights and a viscous film.

Strong, sweet espresso with vanilla is no surprise here. Deep roasted malt with pumpernickel and Jewish rye is also present. Warming accentuates the vanilla and adds a light baker’s chocolate note. Some wood ash is also discernible. The aroma from this glass fills the room.

Luscious with a mix of sweet and bitterness. Espresso bitterness wins hands down while smoked peat and burnt molasses are also present. Very dark chocolate lingers throughout middle to finish.

The body is fuller than expected of a Porter, with silky smoothness and alcohol as anticipated.

This beer fits squarely within the expectations one would have for a sipping or contemplative beer.

Serving type: growler

03-16-2014 12:39:39 | More by SLeffler27
Photo of Goliveidaho
Goliveidaho

Idaho

4.75/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is the art of brewing. Complex and intriguing. Poured dark, very dark, into a 16 oz. glass. Head full and bye.. lying as near the wind as possible yet moving forward. The sails on this porter never stall. Coffee smashes into the bow, yet crafted in a way the chocolate and vanilla survive the flavor waves which pound the senses. Do I smell coffee, vanilla, dark chocolate. If you have a chance to drink this brew….stop and smell, the aroma is as much as the taste. This is truly a victory at sea, pour full from a growler. Cheers

Serving type: growler

12-29-2013 22:18:24 | More by Goliveidaho
Photo of troegaarden
troegaarden

Pennsylvania

4.73/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This was poured from a Pizza Boy Brewing Co. 1L Growler into a snifter.

A: Pours a beautiful and creamy tan head, reminiscent of Founders Breakfast Stout. The beer itself is definitely a motor oil-consistency.

S: The coffee doesn't jump out at you with this brew, but it's certainly there. I get some dark fruits in there as well.

T: Up front, I definitely get the vanilla and slight hint of coffee. The finish is dry and contains the dark malt backbone of this beer. Excellent and smooth! Not hardly boozy which is weird considering this beer is 10% abv.

M: Creamy mouthfeel during each sip. It seems rather dry after, however.

O: Overall this beer kicks ass. Definitely my new favorite porter. I think this beer most likely better represents the Baltic Porters of long ago.

Serving type: growler

06-18-2013 02:14:50 | More by troegaarden
Photo of bmwats
bmwats

Louisiana

4.14/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a growler into a footed tulip.

A: Very dark brown. Pours about a 1/2 finger, foamy, brown-white head. Settles pretty quickly, leaving a smattering of bubbles on the surface. Very nice spider web lacing.

S: Bold oaky, roasted espresso, plenty of dark chocolate, and just a touch of vanilla, balanced with a little peatiness.

T: Char roasted malt. Coffee is prominent. Bitter pecan shells. Very woody oak. Unsweetened dark chocolate and a little black licorice. Only a slight sweetness from the vanilla... really just an accentuate.

M: Thick and hearty and heavy. Very slightly hints at sweetness in the front. Bitter finish. High alcohol not really apparent until the finish. Leaves something of a whiskey-ish feel hanging on the palate.

D: Sip and savor.

Atmosphere is great. Dark and intimidating, accentuated by a nice head, and some persistent lacing. Nose is bold roasted coffee and oak with dark chocolate and a little vanilla for balance. Charred malt flavor. Prominent is coffee and wood, some bitter dark chocolate and black licorice, and a slight sweet tease. Thick, hearty and robust. Overall, this is a great quaff.

Serving type: growler

06-14-2013 03:40:31 | More by bmwats
Photo of smonice
smonice

New Jersey

3.93/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a growler.

A- Black with a nice tan head and a little lacing

S- Mostly coffee and little vanilla

T- Great taste, the coffee comes through strong and the subtle vanilla evens it out. Slight booze burn but not bad.

M- Creamy in mouth, not too light and not too heavy

O- Really like this beer. Going to finish this growler and then age a bottle I have for a little bit and try it again to see if the burn minimizes a bit.

Serving type: growler

12-28-2012 22:55:54 | More by smonice
Photo of JohnnyJam
JohnnyJam

Arizona

3.98/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a growler into a pint glass and got 1 1/2 finger of head.

A: Pours black and opaque with 1 1/2 finger of tan head that dissipates at a moderate rate and leaves only a thin covering on the top of the beer that is just around the edge of the glass toward the end. Only a minimal amount of lacing with this one.

S: Coffee, vanilla, dark chocolate and some alcohol. There is more vanilla and a milk chocolate aroma as the beer is drained along with less alcohol smell.

T: Coffee, dark chocolate and some charcoal upfront with a bitterness following it up and dark coffee aftertaste.

M: This beer is very smooth, especially for the high alcohol content. The carbonation is kind of low. It came from a new keg (I saw them change it for the guy with a growler before me) and is only two hours from the store. It does, at any rate, go down good.

O: A very nice beer that could be dessert. It goes down good which could be dangerous because this beer should be sipped. It gets better as it warms. It leaves me warm.

Serving type: growler

12-14-2012 23:14:43 | More by JohnnyJam
Photo of Lordquackingstic
Lordquackingstic

New York

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

From a 32oz growler found in Davey Jone's locker.

A: Dark as the abyssal plain with a muddy-shoreline colored head that sticks to the sides of the glass like relentless barnacles.

S: Sweet and bitter coffee and freshly pillaged vanilla dominate the nose.

T: Avast! The vanilla and coffee tones come through as heavy as the ocean itself as a slight saltiness washes over the palette. Very sweet, but not overly sweet. The alcohol is not masked all that well and is as harsh as a sea-storm at night. This fucker lets you know you're drinking a big beer and to slow down and enjoy it.

M: Thick, but not too thick. Leaves a slight alcohol burn in the back of the throat.

O: Would like the sweetness to be a little bit more in check, but other than that this is an amazing beer. Not sure if a 32oz growler is the best way to enjoy it, would have liked a smaller bottle, but alas, Davey Jones only had a 32oz bottle.

Serving type: growler

06-19-2012 18:50:08 | More by Lordquackingstic
Photo of stewfnrocker
stewfnrocker

New Jersey

4.4/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I got myself a growler of Ballast Point Victory at Sea Imperial Porter. I poured the beer from the growler into a pint glass. It poured a dark dark brownish maybe black and has a very nice tan head. The smell is of roasted coffee, toffee, maybe caramel and a little vanilla. Lots of sweet smells. When I got that first mouthful you got the taste of the roasted coffee and some malts and is rounded off with that vanilla and a bit of alcohol at the end. Its hard to hide 10% but it really isn't overpowering. There is about an average carbonation, and it has a medium to thick body beer. This beer is a great beer to have with something sweet or after dinner. It has all those sweet flavors of coffee and vanilla and toffee.

Serving type: growler

03-03-2011 04:55:36 | More by stewfnrocker
Photo of jpmclaug
jpmclaug

South Carolina

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

This review is typed up from notes in my notebook. Growler from Greens in Piney Grove.

A - Black with a nice off white head

S - Coffee really stands out. Nice roasted malt with maybe a hint of vanilla.

T - Wow, what a great coffee flavor with hints of vanilla. Really reminds me of something from Starbucks. More sweet than bitter. Really a great coffee beer.

M - Heavy creamy body. Lightly carbonated.

D - Really easy to drink. Awesome coffee beer. Probably the best coffee flavored beer I've had. I really enjoyed this one and will grab it again if I ever see it.

Serving type: growler

07-08-2010 03:09:53 | More by jpmclaug
Photo of Deuane
Deuane

Pennsylvania

4.9/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to FooFaa for sharing a growler of this delicious nectar.

A-Deep, dark brown liquid with mahogany highlights. A thick, creamy tan head reduced to a thin cap and left attractive ringing lace.

S-Intoxicating vanilla, espresso, dark chocolate combination is well supported by rich roasted malt and an underlying earthy hop bitterness.

T-Like a vanilla and cocoa infused espresso drink from some high end coffee shop. A bitter hit of roasted malt and earthy hops keep this from becoming too sweet. Ends with an interesting toffee like swirl.

M-Medium-full bodied, very creamy and luscious with long lasting flavours and a bite of earthy bitterness.

D-One of the most amazing beers out there. I am amazed time and time again how great this beer is after each highly enjoyable encounter with it. Without question, one of my most favorite of brews on the planet!

Serving type: growler

01-14-2010 16:59:27 | More by Deuane
Photo of ffejherb
ffejherb

Pennsylvania

4.88/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to FooFaa for sharing a growler on 1/12/10.

A - Emerged from the growler as a deep brown liquid with hazelnut hues and a thick, creamy tan head that retained very well and deposited thick swatches of lace down the sides of the glass.

S - Wonderful blend of sweet vanilla, chocolate, coffee and an underlying toasted marshmallow presence. There is a slight hint of roast and earthy bitterness in the midst of all the sweetness.

T - Lush cocoa presence with equal parts vanilla and coffee as well as a hint of butterscotch. Finishes with a bit of roasted malt and earthy bitter notes, although Victory at Sea still retains its core sweetness.

M - Medium to full bodied with an extremely creamy texture and moderate carbonation. Finishes with a pleasant bittersweet aspect on the palate.

D - One of the best porters ever. Period. Not much more to say about this stellar offering from Ballast Point. If I had to pick between this and Sculpin as the only Ballast Point beer I'd drink for the rest of my life, I'd have a very difficult time choosing. This beer is simply phenomenal.

Serving type: growler

01-14-2010 00:24:21 | More by ffejherb
Photo of cullen0013
cullen0013

South Carolina

4.68/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have had this beer twice now. Purchased my first growler at the Charleston Beer Exchange several months ago and immediately decided that it was the best beer I'd ever had. A second growler purchased roughly a week ago reaffirmed my first impression. This is a high gravity porter with a complex flavor. The nose is heavy on the vanilla with a strong presence of alcohol. The taste is pure coffee initially, it's only after your tongue is coated that the vanilla kicks in. Deep, dark black with a khaki head, wonderful aroma, excellent taste, velvety mouthfeel. As far as drinkability goes, this beer is as rich as it is delicious and should be enjoyed slowly and sparingly.

Serving type: growler

07-21-2009 19:49:03 | More by cullen0013
Photo of hoppymeal
hoppymeal

Michigan

4/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Scott for the opportunity. Label on the cap of the growler states 10% abv. Pours black with a nice large creamy tan head that slowly recedes. Aroma is a nice roastiness, very earthy and slightly nutty, a bit of chocolate sweetness, and a tangy porter acidity. Taste follows with a nice coffee and cream flavor, earthy roasted malts, some cola and root beer like sweetness and a touch of vanilla, just a hint of alcohol in the drying hoppy finish as well. Mouthfeel improves greatly as the beer warms, becomes much more creamy which suits the flavor well. Body is medium in weight, some pepperiness and a drying finish. A very good beer, really hard to believe the 10 or 12% as it is very well hidden/balanced. The flavor and mouthfeel were also considerably better nearer to room temp. Earthiness was nice and any sweetness was subtle which helped the drinkability. Thanks Scott!

Serving type: growler

02-16-2009 03:28:03 | More by hoppymeal
Photo of m1ked
m1ked

California

4.9/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This one was a gift from my wife on Valentine's day....quite a pleasant surprise!

A- Pitch freaking black. There is absolutely no light getting through this guy. Created a healthy tan head. Looks like a black and tan almost, or like a cafe au lait. Foam eventually fades creating a beautiful sticky lacing along the sides of the glass.

S- A super rich oily coffee, dark chocolate with a barely detectable bitter tartness.

T- Mmmm, an obvious black coffee flavor, coffee bite/bitterness up front. Followed by the rich bittersweet chocolate.

M- Thick, chewy, oily

D- I imagine this warming up the soul by a fireplace, while it snowing outside. Luckily I live in San Diego, so I can drink this one on a 70 degree "winter" day. I love this beer. My favorite coffee porter by far.

Serving type: growler

02-15-2008 21:29:45 | More by m1ked
Photo of Pencible
Pencible

Virginia

4/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This poured a nearly opaque black garnet with a little off white head.
S: It smelled like tons of coffee grounds, with a little artificial vanilla and bitter dark chocolate.
T: It tasted like bitter coffee grounds, with some artificial vanilla and semi-sweet chocolate. The aftertaste was somewhat clean and bittersweet.
M: It was a little thick with moderate carbonation. Decent body.
D: This had a good scent and taste and body, but it wasn't as complex or delicious as I expected. The finish was a little rough, so it wasn't super easy to drink. It might improve with age, but was not that impressive fresh.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2014 18:54:06 | More by Pencible
Photo of biboergosum
biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

4.43/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

22oz bottle, thanks anew to doktorzee for garnering this, among others, from a Total Wine store in Las Vegas. I've watched the WWII naval battle documentary 'Victory at Sea', so I guess I'm qualified to tuck into this one.

This beer pours a rather solid, abyssal black, with the barest of basal cherry cola highlights, and three fingers of puffy, shiny, and thickly foamy tan head, which leaves some decent patchy Swiss cheese lace around the glass as it evenly subsides.

It smells of acrid dry-roast coffee, dried vanilla pods, once they've been applied to a bottle of vodka (been there, I have), bittersweet chocolate, and a bit of toasted white bread. The taste is a better blend of bitter coffee and sweet vanilla cream, chocolate-ensconced caramel, roasted, but not quite charred or ashy wood, a threatening, but too timid to follow through boozy warmth, and some faint earthy, herbal hops.

The carbonation is understated, but still well supportive of all that stuff going on above it, the body a decent medium-full weight for the style, actually rather smooth, and even a bit creamy, even with that anvil with the frayed rope (here played by the equally slick 20-proof alcohol) hanging over it. The finish is on the sweet side, sure, but with more than enough moderating coffee notes to keep things as sane as they can be.

Wow - I'm sort of vacillating on this one, in the vein of one Stephen Colbert - is this a great vanilla coffee imperial porter, or the greatest vanilla coffee imperial porter? Hard to say, as I've not yet had them all, but up to now, this one might fall into the latter's singular camp, what with the well integrated bitter coffee (not usually my favourite thing), pleasant vanilla-prodded creaminess, and yes, nearly masked big ABV. Get your hands on this particular Victory at all Costs!

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2014 04:44:45 | More by biboergosum
Photo of wordemupg
wordemupg

Alberta (Canada)

3.99/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

650ml bomber poured into pint glass 2/4/14

A not as dark as expected, dark cola and I could actually see the light on the other side, loose mocha foam takes a few sips to fall to a thin film leaving a few rings along the way

S dark roasted coffee grinds, bakers chocolate, lots of char, a hint of booze but its fairly well hidden, vanilla, coco, powder and more coffee, kind of smells like something I'd drink to start my day without the cream

T the coffees more like a strong espresso in the mouth, very intense dark coffee, heavy charred wood, vanilla, dark chocolate and slightly more booze then the nose

M light bodied for a 10% porter, crazy bitter, foams up a little then ends up flat, a little boozy, super intense dark roast on the finish, not the best feeling big dark brew I've had recently

O it is what it claims, I can feel the caffeine and booze at the same time, she's a big intense brew that I wouldn't recommend as a night cap

a little dead in the mouth with some booze popping up every so often, almost to much coffee and I love my coffee, its still great beer but I wouldn't place it in the top 100 in the world where it sits today

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2014 06:34:11 | More by wordemupg
Photo of Thoroughbred88
Thoroughbred88

Illinois

4.63/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Head lingers at first then trails off as it's sipped. Smells like a typical coffee beer. Very pronounced Coffee at first hitting the palate then smooth vanilla for the finish. The finish was surprising, in fact. Smooth would be a good way to describe it again.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2014 02:22:27 | More by Thoroughbred88
Photo of M_C_Hampton
M_C_Hampton

Georgia

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

A: poured from a 22 oz bottle into a pint glass, dark brown almost black with a large tan head that lingers leaving good lacing, clear

S: huge coffee and vanilla, dark toasty malts, slightly sweet, imagine a French vanilla cappuccino

T: very sweet up front with big flavors of vanilla, flavor profile moves towards bitter coffee, nice hop bitterness at the end mixes with warming alcohol

M: thick and oily, lower carbonation

O: an excellent beer that is on the sweet side, nice for dessert

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2014 00:31:35 | More by M_C_Hampton
Photo of GOBLIN
GOBLIN

Ohio

4.55/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Ballast Point Victory at Sea

Ahoy matey

Poured into 10oz snifter

A: Black like a stout, like the bottom of the ocean floor

S: Smell is just solid . . . roasted malts, coffee beans, vanilla bean ice cream. Seriously one of the best smelling porters out there.

T: Taste does not disappoint either. Same as whats on the nose but the taste is really where it's at isn't it ? Tastes like a rich luxurious liquid desert.

M: Smooth and creamy. Full to medium-sized body.

O: Perfect stout . . . Uh, I mean porter . . . perfect porter for this cold, windy, snowy march evening on the high seas. Well done Ballast Point !

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2014 01:05:36 | More by GOBLIN
Photo of itsscience
itsscience

Florida

4.11/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nearly black with a finger and a half of tan head that retains well. The nose is ground coffee, vanilla, roasted malt, dark cherries, and booze. Tasting it, I'm hit with chocolate with a generous addition of vanilla, then I get roasted coffee beans that add bitterness. This is diminished somewhat by a sweet malt characteristic and a taste of caramel on the finish. Medium mouthfeel. It's slow going because the whole thing is quite heavy and the alcohol is evident. A big, flavorful porter.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2014 01:48:05 | More by itsscience
Photo of Bosoxfan20
Bosoxfan20

Missouri

4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- slides out of the glass with a thick and hearty look. Near black with a khaki head of a half finger that quickly dissipates into a soft ring around the edge.

S- Espresso and cocoa nibs come out strong from the get go. Vanilla comes in late. Roasted and toasted.

T- Big, bold flavors here. Intense roast without becoming obnoxious. Huge cocoa that is almost milky, coffee beans and hints of vanilla. Smooth and complex.

M- Simply amazing. Right there with Everett as the best feel on any porter I have had. Thick, viscous, creamy. Full body. Coating and timely bitterness. Alcohol well hid.

O- This thing is outstanding. I expected so much and yet it found a way to blow away my expectations still.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2014 03:08:17 | More by Bosoxfan20
Photo of BigMurph
BigMurph

Massachusetts

3.99/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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

S: Great smell of roasted coffee beans

T: The mix of coffee and roasted malt is real nice here. Has excellent dark chocolate notes.

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

O: Very good but not as good as I was hoping.

Serving type: bottle

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2014 03:15:01 | More by BigMurph
Photo of bens0n
bens0n

Texas

4.25/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This beer pours a nice dark black, but theres not too much head or lacing going on, looks pretty flat, tiny bit of medium tan head.

On the nose I pick up on a slight trace of vanilla and coffee and another smell that I can only describe as a soggy wood deck, its really interesting, not really what I was expecting though.

Flavor wise its got a nice smokey backbone, slight hint of vanilla comes in thats kind of sweet. Not picking up on too much roast/coffee at all, smoked vanilla is what I can pick out. Definitely well masked ABV though, not boozy at all. Has a funky woody/smokey flavor that lingers around

Mouthfeel is nice and slick, not too thick, but a decent viscosity.

Overall, not really what I was expecting, especially given the fact that has additional flavor additives in it. Its not a bad imperial porter by any means, but really did not live up to my expectations of a coffee vanilla porter.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2014 01:45:50 | More by bens0n
Photo of OneEye78
OneEye78

Texas

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

Poured from a bomber into a wide mouth pint glass. Black body with a hint of light brown at the edges and a 1.4 inch white/brown head. The nose was true to its name with heavy coffee and vanilla scents, and a bit of tart fruitiness, maybe cranberry. Taste was very complex, with a blast of coffee up front, followed by a soft caramel, vanilla flavor and fruit that fades into a bit of bitterness. This is a substantial beer that coats the mouth and leaves behind a lingering flavor,. It really drinks more like a stout than a traditional porter. Overall, I would say that this is a very strong beer, definitely one of my favorites.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2014 04:29:41 | More by OneEye78
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Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 3,285 ratings.