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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

3,299 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3299
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: 3,299 | Reviews: 901 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of shacawgo24
shacawgo24

Illinois

4.61/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Black. Some dark brown. Thin tan head that dies quickly. Few bubbles of lacing if any at all. Quality dark beer appearance.

S-Roasted coffee. Creamy vanilla. Cocoa. Milk chocolate. Mocha. Black licorice. Root beer & horehound.

T-Coffee. Vanilla. Cream. Wow more coffee. Hop is there. Bitter. The darkest of chocolate. Raisin. Charcoal smoke. Woodsy. Bitter resinous finish. Licorice.

M-Moderate/medium body. Not too thick nor watery. Low to moderate carbonation. A bit literally flat. Nothing too exciting.

O-I want to retry this soon. A renowned beer for good reasons. One that needs to be sat with for a bit, to pluck out more flavors than just coffee, vanilla and chocolate. Probably a few better porters out there, but this has to be top ten easily on, Earth, maybe, not just the states.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2014 04:21:19 | More by shacawgo24
Photo of CageyBee
CageyBee

California

4.76/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A truly fantastic beer. Dark and full-bodied, with plentiful hints of coffee and sweet vanilla. Velvet and smooth on the tongue, with light carbonation. A wonderful brew for after dinner. Almost no flavor of alcohol, which is admirable in a 10% beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2014 05:20:20 | More by CageyBee
Photo of FickleBeast
FickleBeast

New Jersey

4.49/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle poured into an Ommegang snifter

Pours pitch black with a finger of mocha foam. Aroma is strong with coffee - roast bitter black coffee flavors.

First sip is viscous, with a sweet strong vanilla flavor that fades into a roasted coffee bitterness. Delectable. There is a nice, sweet chewy moutfeel, and strong bitter finish. But the flavor of the beer is almost dessert-like in its sweet vanilla flavor. Excellent all around.

I first tried this beer at the 2012 Great American Beer Festival - it was my favorite beer of the festival. Excited to have found this in my bottle shop.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2014 01:55:50 | More by FickleBeast
Photo of DPJ3322
DPJ3322

Louisiana

4.73/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Appearance - Deep, dark, almost black in color. Rich mahogany that only lingers around the edges.

Smell - Light vanilla and extremely dominant caramel smell on the background.

Taste - I get vanilla, with more caramel as it warms with the coffee becoming pronounced and strong at the end of my sip.

Mouthfeel - Pretty light in carbonation which suits this beer well. The velvet/viscous texture of porters is there is and it is outstanding.

Overall - Despite me not giving a 5 besides this category, the sum of all parts is indeed the best of all worlds as Leibniz would say. This beer is great and has a lot going on with it. I am really loving the style and I find it to be slightly lighter in body than Founders Breakfast Stout.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2014 01:20:01 | More by DPJ3322
Photo of snaotheus
snaotheus

Washington

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

22oz bottle poured into a large snifter. My bottle doesn't look like the one in this listing's picture, and it doesn't specifically say the name in this listing. It says:
Victory At Sea
Porter with Coffee & Vanilla
Imperial Porter
I'm not sure, but I think a bottle code is printed in a weird location on the bottle (in the blue strip front and center, just to the left of the "Porter with Coffee & Vanilla"): S 35 13297. If I understand it correctly, it's a couple months old (assuming it's a bottled on date, not a best by date)

Pours barely translucent ruby-black-brown. Poured gently, starts out with no head, which surprisingly springs up out of nowhere, but then dissipates pretty quickly. Aroma is powerful. A slightly jostling of the beer sends up a cloud of delicious coffee aroma. They must use a shit-ton of coffee in this, but it smells great. But, the coffee smell nearly obscures everything else. I can detect some vague fruitiness, maybe cherry or plum, a little yeast, maybe a little of the vanilla that's mentioned on the bottle (but I probably wouldn't detect it if it wasn't listed on the bottle).

Taste is coffee bitter, sweet/sour cherry or plum slightly up front, more coffee bitter, some caramel and vanilla.

Mouthfeel is rich, gritty, nice. This is really a nice beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2013 22:21:09 | More by snaotheus
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 aleckpa
aleckpa

North Carolina

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

A: Black with a soapy, mocha head. About a finger's head on the pour, it goes away for the most part but some lingers. Bubbly mocha rims the glass. Great lacing on the side of the glass.

S: Coffee followed by vanilla. Some roasted malts as well. Smells sweet but not overpowering.

T: Similar to the nose. Coffee front of the tongue and vanilla on the back. There is a good balance between the two flavors. In my opinion, you can taste both distinctly and separately yet they balance out. I don't taste any alcohol which could be dangerous.

M: Smooth and creamy. Not thick like a stout. Medium bodied.

O: This is an excellent beer. I personally don't like vanilla in beers, but with the coffee it balances it out. At 10% ABV, the alcohol is masked pretty well, so it will sneak up on you. For the flavors and ABV in this beer, it's worth the price.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2013 20:30:30 | More by aleckpa
Photo of ISmith87
ISmith87

Arizona

4.35/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - 4 - Good looking dark brown-black beer with a nice dark tan head that leaves nice lacing on the glass. Bottle is classic Ballast Point.
S - 4.25 - The smell is very heavy on the coffee with maybe some hints of vanilla and dark fruits? Definitely roasted malts in there.
T - 4.5 - Super good coffee, vanilla, creamy flavor to it. Roasted malts. A slight taste of alcohol but it's good. Tastes like Breckinridge Vanilla Porter but better.
M - 4.25 - Medium mouthfeel. Lighter given that it's an imperial porter rather than a stout. Roasty coffee aftertaste. Alc is really well covered.
O - 4.25 - This is a good beer. It's what it says it is (a coffee vanilla porter), and it's good, but I don't know if I'd give it the 98 rating it has. I'd like to see a little thicker body on it and some more complexity.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2013 04:43:21 | More by ISmith87
Photo of BubalooBrewMaster
BubalooBrewMaster

Nevada

4.41/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle

A: its like a cascade of molasses ,rich and dark.

S:obvious smell of coffee,toasted malts and a hint of chocalate.

T:a beautiful balance of coffee and vanilla.although not a strong taste of vanilla you can taste it if you wait for it.A bitter finish but not overwhelming.

M:very smooth.

O:Best porter I've had till now.A balance of quality flavors that you can expect from your favorite coffee house with the added bonus of alcohol.Need I say more.Highly recommend for 7.99$ for a 22oz.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2013 07:20:22 | More by BubalooBrewMaster
Photo of darthvohn
darthvohn

Texas

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

Glass Used: Tulip

Appearance: Black with a thick tan head. Head descends into a nice thin cap.

Smell: Vanilla, strong coffee, waifs of toffee and chocolate swirl around along with a light singe of alcohol.

Taste: Coffee, heavy roasted malts, vanilla, chocolate and a bit of the alcohol.

Mouthfeel:Mild carbonation, smooth and slick. Pleasant finish with a bit of burnt bitterness.

Overall: Pretty damn good porter. The aroma and finish hooked me for this one. Would definitely recommend if you are a fan of the style.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2013 03:02:49 | More by darthvohn
Photo of bhyndthebottle
bhyndthebottle

Oregon

4.03/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Served from Bottle into a snifter glass.

Appearance: Pour a nice thick head that dissipates into a nice cap that remains through tasting.

Smell: This is where I pick up most of the character of this beer. Vanilla and Coffee are first to meet the senses, with a slight hint of booze. Chocolate comes in as well, but only to a minimum.

Taste: Somewhat looses it here. Noticed a majority of the vanilla in the mid palate, with a coffee finish, but neither to an extreme. Was expecting more of a wow factor here, but both flavors match each other nicely. Well balanced.

Mouthfeel: Good medium body feel to it, with appropriate carbonation. The only problem comes in as the glass warms, you get a definite sense of the 10%. Was expecting a little smoother warmth from Ballast Point.

Overall: A good imperial porter, but for the money, I was expecting a little more wow factor. This is one that I will definitely recommend, and it is a good effort, but I think that it could have come across a little more aggressively on some of the flavors.Still though, another very good beer by Ballast Point

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2013 05:04:44 | More by bhyndthebottle
Photo of BoldRulerVermont
BoldRulerVermont

Vermont

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

Poured from a 22oz bomber into handblown tulip glasses.
Pours a very nice dark chocolate with a minimal roasted molasses colored head.
Smell was nice, coffee, some sweet vanilla notes, dankness, roasted malts.
Taste was intense, delicious. A very nice combination of coffee, vanilla, alcohol forward.
Mouthfeel was really nice. Not too think, just enough to chew on with minimal carb.
Ballast Point continues to impress me with incredibly high quality beers that are readily available nation wide.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2013 13:45:52 | More by BoldRulerVermont
Photo of MannyBats
MannyBats

California

4.88/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

My first review still learning

Look :Beautiful dark chocolate color with a tan topping staying faint as you drink
Aroma: Smells of chocolate coffee hint of vanilla
Taste: Taste just as it smells
Mouthfeel: Well balance a medium body but very smooth and silky like a cold vanilla frap

Overall: a very wonderful great porter will drink again

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2013 04:01:29 | More by MannyBats
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 SpeedwayJim
SpeedwayJim

New York

4.54/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

22oz. bottle into a Cigar City snifter. Shared with schen9303.

Pours a 1 finger dark mocha head with moderate retention. Beer is opaque and pitch black. Lacing is thick and webbed but sticks close to the head. Solid.

Nose is roasted malt, coffee beans, chocolate, fudge, and cocoa. Moderately aromatic and real deep.

Opens sweet chocolate, molasses, and espresso. Cocoa powder, dark chocolate and just a slight touch of sweet vanilla lingers in the background. Sweet prunes mixes with more cocoa power, roast and coffee at the end. Sweet finish and aftertaste. Very good.

Full bodied with low carbonation. Smooth and silky in the mouth and goes down slick with just a little bite. Finishes messy with a sticky, lingering aftertaste. Awesome!

The flavor and body are near perfect here and overall this is just a very nicely put together beer. Certainly a must try.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2013 02:37:40 | More by SpeedwayJim
Photo of babaracas
babaracas

Florida

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

Pours a near black, thin light brown colored head, thin ring left and nothing on the glass. Smell: vanilla, espresso, dark chocolate, molasses. Promises the sweet.
Taste: quick vanilla hit upfront, then dark roast, dark chocolate, molasses, earthy hopping, prune and raisin, toasted brown bread. covers all of the bases, almost checks the decadent dessert box but it's far more drinkable. Syrupy start, carb brings it back to creamy. Delicious.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2013 03:33:46 | More by babaracas
Photo of JackieTH
JackieTH

Minnesota

4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Deep brown black pour kicking up a creamy mocha colored foam that levels off to a thinnish but persistent cap. Lacing coats the edge of the glass. This smells fantastic. A bold, dark and quality French roasted coffee is the prominent feature, interwoven with subtle vanilla, roasted caramel, toasted grain. Taste..dark roasted coffee. Nice French roast coffee bitterness plays well with roasted and toasted malts, lightly charred toffee and the vanilla. This may be lightly sweet, but the bitterness of the coffee and hop are very dominant. Body is medium, this of course being an impy porter in weight but carrying imperial stout ABV and flavor so one may expect a more weighty body. Finish is a long lingering coffee bitterness with very subtle hints of vanilla and toffee. If you enjoy high quality coffee and delicious beer you must give this a try.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2013 01:57:48 | More by JackieTH
Photo of McStagger
McStagger

California

4.41/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoy by 11/26/13. Whoops! Hope the vanilla hasn't faded too much.

A: Might as well be a stout. Pours out thick and inky. Dark. Dark dark dark. Put up to the light and you can get some small tiny bits of garnet on the edges. Head was half a finger that evaporated. A vigorous swirl brings us a touch more than a finger of dark, espresso creme colored foam. Still fades pretty quickly. Good lacing on the glass.

S: Deep roasted malts. Candied sugar in there. Toasted sugar in there as well. Think of toffee that's been brulee'd. Vanilla is still very present. As is the coffee. Coffee is a rich, full bodied roast. Super dark fruit under there. Dried black cherry, maybe some currant or casis. Back end has a woody/smoky characteristic with just a touch of alcohol heat.

T: Hell's bells. Flavors just explode! Entrance is sweet milk chocolate with big notes of vanilla! This is overtaken by a rush of dark fruit. dark fruit. Figs, dates, more of the dried black cherry. The malt bitterness picks up in the end, hitting you with huge notes of roasted and torched grain. Heat begins to show up in the finish, but it works so well with the vanilla sweetness. Very little coffee in this one. Just getting a tiny bit on the finish.

M: A little north of medium bodied. I understand that this is an Imperial Porter, but for with flavors that go pretty much toe to toe with an RIS, I guess I just expect the body of the beer to behave like an RIS.

O: Dunno why it took me so long to pick one of these up. The ten dollar price tag probably had something to do with it. Still, this one is defintely worth the money. An absolutely stellar beer for the chill winter nights.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2013 09:44:27 | More by McStagger
Photo of mtstatebeer
mtstatebeer

West Virginia

4.69/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22 oz bottle. Pours a pitch black with a frothy brown head, good lacing. Aroma is roasted malts, coffee, vanilla, and chocolate. Flavor is the same with a bit of hoppy bitterness to match. Mouthfeel is full, syrupy and proper carbonation. This is a wonderful beer, my favorite right now.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2013 05:29:43 | More by mtstatebeer
Photo of WheelsPSU
WheelsPSU

New York

4.59/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Brought a bomber for Thanksgiving. It poured a dark syrup color bordering on black. It had a khaki head that did not last very long. The smell was of fresh morning coffee with hints of dark chocolate. Not overwhelming.
The taste followed the smell. The coffee hits first followed by unsweetened chocolate and vanilla on the finish. It's velvety, smooth and delicious. The alcohol is well hidden and not detectable until the beer really started to warm.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2013 01:09:36 | More by WheelsPSU
Photo of maxcoinage
maxcoinage

Illinois

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

Split a Bomber with a buddy, poured into two snifters with a few cm mocha colored head. Color was a dark black

ARoma was dominated by the name of the beer as I was hoping - coffee and vanilla. Some chocolate and booziness were apparent as well.

Taste was fantastic, dominated by roasted malt/coffee, some vanilla sweetness, dark chocolate

Mouthfeel -medium carb, not as big of a body as I was expecting for 10%ABV but still good. creamy and slightly bitter on the finish

Overall - Honestly two of my favorite flavors are coffee and vanilla- so I had high expectations for this beer and it delivered. Great sipper for a winter afternoon. Definitely recommend this and will be seeking out more. Gotta thank my buddy Mike for this, won it in a fantasy football bet.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2013 22:50:50 | More by maxcoinage
Photo of laituegonflable
laituegonflable

Australia

4.3/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Purplish-tinged dark brown hue. Head is ochre, pretty dense but thinned out to a rim. Interesting, and head revives well.

Smells spiky and pungent. Vanilla, cinnamon, plums, mostly. Spice, sweet and a massive amount of coffee roast. No other word, it's intense.

Taste is less intense, but carries on the same notes. Huge vanilla sweetness with caramel drops, a touch of coffee roast, but yeah, creme brulee kind of sweetness as well. Could be off-putting but that roasty bitterness just tacks up the sweetness to make it not just palatable, but drinkable and enjoyable.

Little bit of booze pull, but stands up OK thanks to a sizeable and smooth body.

Everything about this beer made me recoil at first, but with every subsequent sip I fell more and more under its spell. Sweet, desserty, and quite amazingly balanced, with its most intense notes intricately counterbalanced. This is a far, far better beer than I initially gave it credit for.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2013 04:36:16 | More by laituegonflable
Photo of JohnCassillo
JohnCassillo

California

4.44/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bomber poured into pint glass

A: Almost black and completely opaque with zero head whatsoever. This is what a porter should look like.

S: The coffee and vanilla notes are immediate and pungent, with an underlying bit of chocolate as well.

T: Dark chocolate appears at both the front and back end of each sip, taking on different characteristics in each instance. First is sweet, the second almost comes off bitter (in a good way). Vanilla and coffee are top of mind at all times.

M: Warm, crisp and thick. It's got a decent amount of carbonation and ends up quite filling.

O: If you're looking for a quality porter with a boatload of flavor depth, this is your choice. Wouldn't call it a "dessert beer" necessarily, but a much easier drink post-dinner.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2013 05:16:31 | More by JohnCassillo
Photo of ADZA
ADZA

Australia

3.63/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another beer I never thought I'd see locally so glad I was proven wrong and it pours a black coffee short black hue with a creamy two finger head and lacing everywhere,the smell is strong and I mean strong vanilla mixed with strong expresso and also massive hints of milk chocolate,the feel is full bodied with moderate carbonation and has tastes of strong vanilla,strong dark coffee,ripe berries and finished with a milk chocolate bittersweetness and overall it's nice but a little too sweet for sessionability and I feel the vanilla dominates a little too much cheers.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2013 15:36:24 | More by ADZA
Photo of emyers
emyers

Illinois

4.23/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22 oz. bottle poured into a Founders snifter.

Appearance: Pours near black with a 1-finger medium brown head. Leaves a nice lacing down the glass.

Smell: Very multidimensional. Coffee takes the forefront, but strong vanilla and dark chocolate take over at times, only to fade out and be replaced by another aroma, creating a layered bouquet.

Taste: The base beer comes through a lot more here with a very strong roasted malt base. Coffee and dark chocolate build off of this foundation. The vanilla is much more subtle here than in the aroma, but provides added complexity. Caramel malt and some earthy hops come through on the finish along with a nice bitterness and a slight acidity from the coffee.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied, medium carbonation. Hint of acidity from the coffee.

Overall: Great beer. This would be above average even before the addition of the coffee, chocolate, and vanilla, but they really bring it over the top. Excellent.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2013 04:18:00 | More by emyers
Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 3,299 ratings.