1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

Not Rated.
Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial PorterVictory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,761 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,761
Reviews: 920
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 681
Gots: 701 | FT: 55
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,761 | Reviews: 920 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of christoefir
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%

christoefir, Dec 24, 2013
Photo of mattwjones
4.53/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Recently did a side-by-side of VaS 2011 and 2012. I thought I loved this beer fresh, but drinking it a bit more than a year old really lets it shine. Definitely worth grabbing a few bottles of this and putting them in the back of the fridge or in your closet somewhere for a year or two.

a - met all expectations for a high gravity porter

t - a bit acrid and harsh when fresh, but mellows much after a year.

m - here's where its at. this beer is viscous and I love it. Low carb is perfect for a heavy hiring porter like this.

mattwjones, Apr 28, 2013
Photo of JamesMcPolin
4.65/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

poured from the very first bomber I aquired upon this year's release. Have had four or five others by now but this is the first I've allowed to properly cellar for a little while, so decided to review.

looks beautiful. pours black as motor oil with a cafe' mocha colored head. poured ever so softly and still rendered nearly a 3/4 finger head. excellent head retention, sticky in the best sense of the word.

Smells heavenly. no frontin, just as the label reads, COFFEE and vanilla. but what's really interesting, as it warms and the 10% begins to become slightly noticable you also almost get the notes of a smoked porter that you love to smell but sometimes taste unbalanced.

but the nose misleads in this one aspect,the smoked roastyness of these malts are perfectly balanced with the vanilla. wonderful mouthfeel as you take a balanced journey between a nice bitter coffee finish, a sort of barrel-aged sweet vanilla type taste toward the front. it's just so tasty. exceptional really. world class imperial porter, as good as some of the best out there.

Makes me wanna crack open a 21st Anniversary Deschutes imperial porter ive been aging for over a year and compare. maybe tomorrow

the drinkability of this masterful brew comes down to one simple fact. Though it is one of the most enjoyable brews, $50 for myself and my craft loving lady to have partaken just 100fl, well it's just bad economy of scale. wish more people appreciated the majesty of IMPERIAL Porter. increased demand would finance a boost in supply.


JamesMcPolin, Dec 07, 2010
Photo of robL
5/5  rDev +13.9%

robL, Feb 10, 2012
Photo of MRL731
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

MRL731, Aug 27, 2013
Photo of cdayb1
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

cdayb1, Dec 16, 2012
Photo of jraaaaanger
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

jraaaaanger, Jul 11, 2013
Photo of CALHouseAles
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

CALHouseAles, Mar 20, 2014
Photo of Spoppy
5/5  rDev +13.9%

Spoppy, Mar 27, 2013
Photo of pkao
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

pkao, Dec 17, 2013
Photo of dirtyhalos
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

dirtyhalos, Aug 18, 2014
Photo of torchednoodle
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I socked away a number of these bottles since the release, and decided today was a good day to try one. As I discovered, this beer benefits as much from age as any I've ever had before.

Pours pitch black as night. Lacing and head retention are good. Leaves little wisps of light brown lacing all over the inside of my glass, similar to many world-class stouts. Smells like a bar of really expensive melted dark chocolate.

Tastes like a harmonious infusion of vanilla, coffee, and chocolate. When I first tried this beer back at release I knew the flavors were unbalanced, it was way heavy on the vanilla. That's when I decided this could be a monster with some age, and I hit the lottery with this beer. The vanilla is still the strongest flavor in this beer, but it has settled considerably and works with the coffee and the chocolate notes from the malt to produce a taste that coats your mouth in liquid sex.

Carbonation is dialed in just right, with the complexity level in this brew it might be a wee smidge heavy on the mouthbubbles, but personally I'd rather have more carbonation than less. Outstanding drinkability, this is an incredible beer. I hope to age my remaining bottles another 3-6 months and see what happens to this beer with even more time.

torchednoodle, Sep 12, 2009
Photo of bigcat101
5/5  rDev +13.9%

bigcat101, Mar 12, 2013
Photo of Anker13
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

Anker13, May 23, 2013
Photo of Orbfan
5/5  rDev +13.9%

Orbfan, Feb 26, 2012
Photo of CTBeerPope
4.38/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this a while back

Pours black chocolate. 2 finger dense fluffy head that sticks around for a little bit great lacing. Really nice looking porter.

Smells a lot like a good RIS with coffee, vanilla and dark fruits standing out.

Very smooth for a 10% abv. Nice natural vanilla flavor upfront followed by a combination of coffee and chocolate with the coffee riding all the way thru to the back.

Full mouthfeel with modest carbonation

Have to travel to get this one but well worth the trip. One of the best, if not the best, porter's I've had.

CTBeerPope, Apr 08, 2012
Photo of rankandfile
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%

rankandfile, Jan 27, 2013
Photo of flyingace
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%

flyingace, Dec 10, 2012
Photo of teag
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%

teag, Jun 29, 2014
Photo of BravaLenox
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%

BravaLenox, Oct 18, 2013
Photo of cogitodp
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

cogitodp, Jan 08, 2012
Photo of Presticle
4/5  rDev -8.9%

Presticle, Feb 18, 2012
Photo of sw2112
3.75/5  rDev -14.6%

sw2112, Nov 18, 2012
Photo of klinger
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

klinger, Feb 25, 2013
Photo of MattSalisbury
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%

MattSalisbury, Jan 19, 2014
Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 3,761 ratings.