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

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Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial PorterVictory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

1,180 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 1,180
Hads: 5,735
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: 8.51%
Wants: 968
Gots: 1,621 | FT: 100
Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: radshoesbro on 03-17-2009

Our Victory at Sea Imperial Porter is a bold, smooth brew with just the right amount of sweetness. We infused this robust porter with whole vanilla beans and San Diego’s own Caffe Calabria coffee beans. The subtle roasted notes and minimal acidity of the cold brewed coffee, balances perfectly with the sweet caramel undertones of the malt, creating a winning combination for your palate.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,180 | Hads: 5,735
Photo of Notacraftdrinker
4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Look- jet black nice thick tall brown head
Smell- more vanilla with suddle coffee and almost truffle notes
Taste- great coffee bitterness with a sweet slight vanilla finish
Feel- thick and creamy. Full body brew
Overall- very very well balanced. Taste more coffee than you smell. Nice warming alcohol on the finish. A must try porter (334 characters)

Photo of nsg_beer_doc
4.91/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A big beer that is easy to drink (assuming you like coffee, which, let's face it, if you ordered this one up knowing you didn't like coffee you might not be the smartest person in the world). It's smell is intoxicating and its notes of coffee and vanilla are strong but not overpowering. You'll never forget this is a beer at its base, but it's one that is unique in its genre. (380 characters)

Photo of WyethBednar
4.99/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: A beautiful opaque black porter with a nice dense head.

Smell: Great. Roasty notes of malt balanced with the subtle sweetness of vanilla beans and bitter coffee

Taste: Incredible. Highly complex, yet easy to drink. The high ABV forces you to slow down, which is a blessing as it allows you to really get the full effect of the beer. A sipping beer, but in a good way.

Feel: Lightly carbonated and creamy.

This is definitely one of my favorite beers of all time. In my opinion, it's the best example of an Imperial Vanilla Porter I've ever had. It balances all the elements just right, so it's never too roasty, too sweet, or too bitter, but rather is all things at once. A delicious, interesting beer that any dark beer fan should love (753 characters)

Photo of rjs246
3.9/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

So first of all, this beer looks amazing. The fact that it isn't a stout is shocking because, well it looks like a stout. Smells great too, but once again when I get to the tasting a vanilla porter has let me down. A big chocolatey porter with coffee and a hint of vanilla sounds incredible but the end result is merely good, not great. It didn't leave me with the same feeling of meh that the Breckenridge variety does, but it also isn't anything I'll find myself craving any time soon. (487 characters)

Photo of colingaiser
4.58/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass...

L: A gorgeous deep, dark brown with a thick and creamy tan, 3-finger head. It takes a while to disappear and leaves some nice, elegant lacing.

S: Definitely a unique aroma ... there's coffee (more like used coffee grounds), molasses and black licorice, some surprisingly earthy (perhaps some oak?) notes, and undertones of vanilla. A very intriguing scent to say the least.

T: WOW, there is a lot going on here. The robust coffee flavor pervades -- like a bite of espresso -- but it's followed by notes of sweet caramel, bitter baking chocolate, a little black licorice spice, all followed by a sweet, boozy finish. It's hard not to gulp this down it's so well-balanced and delicious.

F: It's chewy but not heavy, and there's a delectable creamy mouthfeel. It's fairly light on carbonation but that serves to highlight the immense palate of flavors. Perfect.

O: This is an absolutely beautiful beer. The flavors are so well-balanced and are highlighted by a decadent mouthfeel that keeps you salivating for more. The coffee notes aren't overwhelming, but provide an essential bitterness that cuts through the vanilla and malty sweetness. An absolute must-have if you find yourself in Ballast Point's distribution area. (1,271 characters)

Photo of HardTarget
4.72/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Black as night, bright light through it shows a ruby glow and clarity. Sticky tan head laces the glass and lasts.

Smell: Coffee, dark malt, coffee, rum, coffee, vanilla, hint of black bread, roasted grain, and coffee. A slight charred barrel note goes a bit ash and overdone knocking a few points off.

Taste: Sweet burnt sugar toffee, coffee, mild bitter lime peel lost in leather, malt, tobacco, and gravitas.

Feel: Heavy body, chewy, slick and hot. Lip numbing.

Overall: Big Wow factor, big flavor, heady alcohol, brute strength meets complexity with vanilla, coffee, malt, hops, and alcohol all taking turns crushing it. Big yum, seek, buy, ... more. (670 characters)

Photo of martyl1000
4.06/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is obviously really good. But, like too many porters, Baltic-strength or not, it suffers from one-and-done syndrome -- as in, first-sip awesomeness, but then a steep, steep dropoff in quality in every subsequent sip. (221 characters)

Photo of gcamparone
4.56/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter. Purchased in North Providence, RI.

Pours a deep brown, nearly black body with a light mocha colored head that reduces slowly to leave a layer of foam.

Aromas of heavy coffee, dark chocolate, and vanilla come through. Very potent smelling and inviting. On the tongue is bitter coffee, really high cocoa percent dark chocolate, finish is vanilla and caramel, aftertaste is chocolatey and roasty. Very very nice. Thick and rich, low carbonation, little alcohol detected.

For a highly available imperial porter, this is a great option if you're in the distro range. Definitely would buy again. Prefer over FBS. (654 characters)

Photo of drpimento
5/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Lovely monster. Appearance is a large tan, slow to settle, thick head with lots of lace and and opaque black brown color. Aroma is coffee, vanilla, roast malt, leather, black earth, dank forest, cement. Flavor's similar to nose, fairly dry, just enough tang and bitter to balance and then a hint of sweet in the finish. Body is just right. Long finish. Nary a hint of strength. (377 characters)

Photo of Csikic93
4.72/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a black with a thick brown head. Immediately smell the coffee and chocolate. The taste is coffee initially with a smooth finish. I could only have about one of these a night but enjoy every single second of it. Really glad I bought it before they sold out. (262 characters)

Photo of brother_rebus
3.54/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

maybe i was tricked about this beer due to the fan hype, and notoriety. The first sip was virtually off-putting. I must admin it got better from there. They claim it has "just the right amount of sweetness". Thats my major problem with it. Its a malt pit. Not cool. Love porters. Love imperials. Not this one. (310 characters)

Photo of CrazyDavros
3.75/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours black with a large tan head.
Aroma of vanilla, roasted malt and very soft coffee.
Flavours include more vanilla and a fair bit of sweet malt. A fair whack of coffee too. (175 characters)

Photo of ajm5108
4.78/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Lots of dark chocolate & cacao riding the wave of toasted coffee, but evened out by the semi-sweet vanilla bean. Finishes pretty bitter, but in a good way. Velvety smooth and creamy feel. Reminiscent of Founder's Breakfast Stout, whuch is to say an excellent coffee brew. (274 characters)

Photo of ChestSplitter
4.85/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Out of a bottle.
Had heard/read a lot about this beer, and the best thing I can say is it lives up to the hype.
Pours black.
Smells like coffee, nuts, vanilla
Taste: Coffee up front and some bitter dark chocolate. What amazes is the long vanilla tail at the end. Never had anything like that.
Mouthfeel: makes you realize there's little to no difference between a great "Porter" and a great stout.
Overall: A fantastic beer. A peer of Founders Breakfast Stout, and the best thing called a "porter" that I've ever had. (525 characters)

Photo of SawDog505
4.36/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a 16 oz snifter, struggling with the bottle date. Pours an opaque black, with a two inch light brown head, that leaves plenty of lace behind.

Smell is roasted coffee, dark chocolate, vanilla, toffee, and hazelnut.

Taste is as expected, bitter chocolate up front, with everything else in the finish, with lingering vanilla on the tongue for the finish.

Body is medium, plenty of life, a touch dry as it should be, and easy drinking for 10%, but a chill sipper of a brew.

Overall excellent, disappointed I didn't purchase more when I had the chance. (567 characters)

Photo of Shaler_Tate
4.2/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This one was really good and the nose was really nice. I got nice notes of vanilla and chocolate, but I think this is best when aged. It didn't see very balanced today with the bitterness on the backend. I have a few more to age a little longer, and I think it will be spectacular with more time. (296 characters)

Photo of delta490
4.37/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The body is an incredibly dark brown, nearly black, with a nice light brown head that has good retention and leaves nice tight sticky lacing. The aroma is rich with coffee and just a hint of the vanilla adding some counterbalance. The taste is a little dialed back from the aroma but with the same characteristics. The body is nicely weighted on the palate with a nice full smooth finish. (388 characters)

Photo of BowWowWowYippyYoIPA
4.43/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

No bottle date

Look - Pour pitch black with a frothy cappuccino colored head. Decent retention, okay bubble distribution. 4 paws.

Smell - Great nose full of chocolate and coffee aromas. The vanilla blends well to create a milk chocolate scent. Hints of bell pepper and chili pepper. Very nice. 4.75 paws.

Taste - Bitter coffee flavors up front. The vanilla is a bit hidden, but lingers after the finish. Bell pepper, bitter hops, creamy cappuccino, bit of smoke. Alcohol is well hidden. 4.25 paws.

Feel - Medium-full bodied, a bit creamy. Low-medium carbonation, tingle on sides of tongue, sting from alcohol. 4.5 paws.

Overall - Had many times before, always a lovely beer. I wish the taste was as pronounced as the nose, the more nuanced flavors are covered a bit by the bitterness, but still, a great beer. 4.5 paws. (837 characters)

Photo of ctjoumas
4.09/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark color like a stout but with a brown hue to it. While pouring I got a heavy aroma of spices. The initial taste had the same spices but then mellowed out with a burnt coffee taste and a hint of vanilla to finish it off. It also has a nice bitter aftertaste and a feel of dryness. After a few minutes of drinking this beer, the aftertaste might be a bit more than I'd like but overall a damn good beer. (413 characters)

Photo of rrock44
5/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Picked up a growler. This is tasty. Creamy, chocolaty, with a nice finish of vanilla. Goes down real smooth. Alcohol is well hidden. Just screams dessert to me. May have to pick up a German chocolate cake or some vanilla bean ice cream. Definitely would buy a case of the sixers if they ever came to town. (307 characters)

Photo of AndrewMichael
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured in a snifter. 10% very subtle, and smooth. Lingering coffee aftertaste. A unique beer, very enjoyable. Glad I finally got to try it. (156 characters)

Photo of Zraly
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Beautiful dark mocha head sits on black. Fantastic coffee note. Flavor-wise, this is smooth, flavorful, and robust. Creme brulee undertone.The coffee note is not acidic and the body is creamy and full. Sweet but not cloying. Amazing. (233 characters)

Photo of DIM
4.45/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Goddamn it took me too long to try this one!

The aroma was fairly mild to me, I found a pleasant balance of vanilla, roasty malt, caramel, and a hint of coffee. This tastes leaps and bounds better than it smells. Sweet up front with vanilla and caramel playing nicely off of one another; a big roasted note come comes in mid-palate before a massive coffee finish. Just phenomenal! I especially appreciate how subtle the vanilla is. Vanilla is not my favorite ingredient in beer but it absolutely adds something special here.

Sign me up for a case in the not too distant future. This may well be my breakfast stout substitute. (628 characters)

Photo of Antg8989
4.77/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look: Thick Mocha Creamy Head with considerable lacing. Deep brown in color.
Smell: Malty - smells like a cappuccino and the pleasant smell of an ice cream parlor. Tiny hints of alcohol detected.
Taste: A pleasant, yet bold and roasted coffee with sweet vanilla.
Feel: Smooth, creamy and medium balanced.
Overall: Breakfast Stout lovers, this could be the competition. While not an oatmeal stout, this beer has numerous comparisons to Breakfast Stout, with the addition of vanilla. Although I'm not a vanilla lover, this Porter was delightfully balanced in flavor. Ballast Point is becoming my go-to for stouts/porters. Grab some before the season is over! (656 characters)

Photo of RyFikes
4.96/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Unbelievably amount of flavor. The vanilla really stands out and the coffee compliments is perfectly. This beer could easily stand toe-to-toe with Founder's Breakfast Stout. (173 characters)

Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 1,180 ratings.