1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,299 | Reviews: 901 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of doopiedoopiedoo
doopiedoopiedoo

Netherlands

4.47/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A gift I received from TheBrewViking. I was looking forward to this all week as I decided to drink this on a Friday night after work> TGIF. Thanks Brooks.

Poured into a snifter (and little bit into a de Molen tasting glass for the mrs)

I'm looking at a deep dark black brew. Nice mocha colored head and a decent amount of lacing.

The aromas are bold. Coffee upfront with the vanilla, something to be expected from a coffee vanilla porter. The is a lot more going on. A sweet milk chocolate malty scent...

Flavors are just like the nose at the beginning. Yeas there is coffee vanilla and that milky chocolate but it's followed by a very nice bitterness.

It's a failry thick and heavy porter. Carbonation is medium and the finish is dry to neutral. The mouth gets coated leaving all the wonderful flavors for a while.

This is a world class brew. The coffee and vanilla flavors taste natural as opposed to some artificial flavoring. The looks, nose, taste, and feel make this a near perfect after dinner beer. Highly recomended.

Thanks againg Brooks for sending this my way. Amie and I enjoyed this quite a bit and I'll be looking for this on my next trip to AZ!

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2012 08:40:30 | More by doopiedoopiedoo
Photo of beersensei305
beersensei305

Florida

3.9/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Live Review from a bottle:

Appearance: Pours a pitch black with a sliky texture like oil. The head is a dark toffee colo with nice retention and lacing around the glass.

Aroma: Is coffee with a vanilla softness. Some nice roasted malts pop up too.

Taste: Like the bottle says and the way it pours this beer is silky/velvety. Nice smooth coffee flavor up front not as over powering as most similar beers brewed with coffee. Subtly vanilla sweetness. Chocolate undertones, with a nice roasted malt character.

Mouthfeel: Silky and smooth. Nicely balanced and does not dry out the palate no bitterness.

Dinkability: I would have this bad boy again however I am not a big fan of coffee drinks, I have to be in the mood for them. But I would reach for this one... Nice balance of flavors- some coffee brews are too intense.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2010 00:29:03 | More by beersensei305
Photo of brstls4drmrs
brstls4drmrs

North Carolina

4.33/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - A nice dark brown pretty much black pour with an off white froth about 2" thick.

S - Wonderful coffee scents with vanilla and hints of dark chocolate. Just a great smelling brew that I could keep my nose in for hours.

T - Coffee, Vanilla Bean Dark chocolate. Some hints of booze in there too.

M - Good carbonation with a nice bitter, dry aftertaste.

O - A wonderful porter with excellent scents and solid taste.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2011 04:32:30 | More by brstls4drmrs
Photo of pastradul
pastradul

California

4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

poured at Homebrew mart.

into a 4 oz taster glass, so minimal head but do to glass size not beer. there was a nice dense dark brown head the stayed around for awhile.

the nose is smooth medium bodied coffee followed by an even smoother vanilla trail through the nose.

the taste is the same... in the fron you get a nice medium roast coffee hit followed my a nice slightly heavier roasted malt character. then finishes with a light creamy vanilla across the palate!

the only thing i wish this beer had was a slightly thicker mouthfeel. other then that this is one of my favorite beers made in SD!

Serving type: on-tap

10-21-2010 23:15:07 | More by pastradul
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 rodkin
rodkin

Missouri

3.95/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour is extremely dark. Color barely comes through at the edges when held directly to the light. Half finger head, which dissipates pretty quickly and leaves a small lacing and some bubbles at the top.

Smell's great. Coffee, vanilla, a little sweet caramel, kind of a chocolate brownie smell.

Taste is really strong on the coffee. The sweet vanilla, caramel, and chocolate smells really don't come through as well. Still tasty, but kind of disappointing.

Mouthfeel is fine. Medium thick, good carb. A little thinner than I'd like.

Overall a decent beer, but there wasn't as much going on as I'd like. There was no freshness date on the bottle, so maybe it was old? Would like to try it again knowing it was fresh to see if the vanilla was more prominent.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2012 04:31:50 | More by rodkin
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 IdrinkGas
IdrinkGas

Pennsylvania

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

Poured from a bomber into a snifter.
A: Pours pitch black with two fingers of head from a rough pour. Small amount of lacing.
S: The smell is dominated by vanilla beans with some chotolate and coffee also in the mix.
T:Mostly vanilla, slight bitter dark chocolate taste, some coffee and alcohol in the end. Very nice.
D: Quite drinkable for the ABV.

This is my goto beer right now. I've drank like 6 of these in the past couple weeks. Great beer!

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2011 03:23:07 | More by IdrinkGas
Photo of BdubleEdubleRUN
BdubleEdubleRUN

California

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

Love this beer, so I was very pleased to see this back again.
Poured into a snifter this beer comes out a very thick black and builds a tan head that sticks to the glass.
The nose is great, rich coffee, roastiness, vanilla and sugar sweetness.
The taste is fantastic altough I am picking up a little less vanilla then I did in last years, I love vanilla and wouldn't mind a bit more. Tons of coffee and malts.
Its medium bodied and a bit thicker then most porters which I enjoy, has lasting flavors and just a bit of alcohol heat.
Always look forward to this beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2011 21:08:37 | More by BdubleEdubleRUN
Photo of JamesShoemaker
JamesShoemaker

Michigan

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

650 ml poured into a snifter and a tulip. I ordered two of these bottles from Holiday Wine Cellar, excellent selection; they will definitely get my business again when I need certain California brews.

A - very black, very little brown on the periphery. Huge head recedes very slowly. I'm reminded starkly of Guiness.

S - Definitely the worst aspect of the beer, but it's still pretty good. The alcohol content is a little overwhelming in the snifter, but the coffee plays a role.

T - very tasty. Chocolate, alcohol, coffee, and only a slight hint of vanilla. This reminds me quite a bit of ST's imperial stouts, like Choklat and Mokah. It isn't quite as up front and personal with its flavors, but that might be a good thing. A little too carbonated and a little too much alcohol are the only points off it gets.

M - very good, the alcohol and carbonation hug the mouth in a good way. Very drinkable.

O - excellent beer. I don't want to pay for shipping from California every time I buy this beer, so it may be a while before I get it again. I certainly will next time I'm on the west coast.

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2012 01:00:41 | More by JamesShoemaker
Photo of ElSid
ElSid

California

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

The Beers of California

#59

Freshness Date: 11/8/13

A: Black opaqueness with a thin layer of light brown head which fades to a faint cling to the glass.

S: Freshly roasted coffee beans and vanilla sweetness. Essentially a whiff of Coffee Bean's Vanilla Cappuccino. Dried leaves and toasted bread in the background.

T: The roasted coffee and smoke comes first which transitions to an alcohol warmth. Through the alcohol there are glimpses of vanilla sweetness. The bitterness is earthy and slightly floral. The malt is strongly toasted with a nice caramel twang. The finish is somewhat dry with a warming alcohol finish.

M: Smooth with bourbon warmth. The feel rocks and carbonation is exactly where it needs to be.

O: The vanilla and coffee combine with the toasted backbone of this Imperial Porter resulting in a flavorful and wonderful brew. The flavor combination works and adds some variety to the Imperial Stout dominated market.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2013 05:40:44 | More by ElSid
Photo of shleepy
shleepy

California

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

On tap at Handles in Pleasanton on 1/25/2012.

A: Black, with a creamy, tan-colored head.

S: Very pungent; heavy coffee smell, with roastiness, vanilla, and gingerbread in the mix.

T: Immediate but quickly fading alcohol notes up front, followed by the aforementioned vanilla/gingerbread/roastiness. An interesting balance of flavors. Surprisingly clean finish.

M: Fairly full-bodied, but not as heavy as an imperial stout.

O: Pretty unique for a coffee porter, but maybe just a little too boozy and unsubtle.

Serving type: on-tap

04-01-2012 22:35:27 | More by shleepy
Photo of slaintemhor
slaintemhor

Oregon

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

Ha d a bottle of this last summer. The colour was dark brown with no head. The aroma had plenty o' coffee and Madagascar vanilla tones. On the palate, there was a big coffee hit on the front of my palate, then some vanillin after (perhaps the coffee made the vanilla seem more like vanillin??), toffee and caramel helped round off the long finish.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2009 03:54:08 | More by slaintemhor
Photo of Kelly88
Kelly88

Kentucky

4.53/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Popping a special brew for my 25th review.Victory at Sea received as an extra in a trade, thanks billshmeinke. Poured multiple times into my Arrogant Bastard pint glass.
A- Pours a dark brown into the glass and ends up looking pitch black with ruby edges and a light brown fizzy head that quickly succumbs to a spotty cap. Beer is trying to hold onto the glass with each sip.

S- this beer has a rich smell of creamy milk chocolate and it smells great. Vanilla is there and adds to the great milk chocolate smell.The smallest amount of alchohol comes through and really creates an enticing smell.

T- Great tastes of chocolate and vanilla. I only taste the coffee at the very finish which creates a nice balancing act of oh so sweet and tasty and the bitterness of the coffee bringing it back to a tasty balance.

M- Nice and thick that delivers the flavor oh so well. Nice viscosity for a porter and really makes it feel more like an imperial stout. Mild carbonation. I really like the feel.

D- Ive only had 12 ounces of the bomber and Im feeling the effects. No barriers in drinking this beer except for the alcohol. Not to sweet and it only gets easier to drink the more I drink.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2011 04:08:58 | More by Kelly88
Photo of stxSS07
stxSS07

Illinois

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

22oz bomber into a Duvel tulip. Split with lookitsmp

A- Pours a near-black with a 1 finger espresso-colored head that hangs around forever. Leaves great lacing and nice alcohol legs.

S- Sweet vanilla notes and a huge coffee background. Some roasted malts in there as well with a hint of booze.

T- Starts with huge waves of vanilla and coffee followed up by a roasted malt note and a small tinge a booze at the end. Fantastic.

M- Medium bodied with a nice amount of carbonation that lets the flavors linger just long enough.

O- The second best porter I've had behind Black Butte XXI. Amazing depth of flavors made possible by the contrasting vanilla/chocolate/coffee.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2011 02:57:44 | More by stxSS07
Photo of BastardKing24
BastardKing24

Oregon

4.9/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I love this beer, which is saying a lot because I love dark beers in general and this is no meer exception. This has to be my #2 favorite coffee porter, behind black butte anniversary.

Pours with a thick and lasting mocha head that leaves lots of lacing. Almost jet black in color, with a brown ring at the edges. This thing is massive and borders on being a stout.

Smell is heavenly. Rich dark roasted coffee is immediately recognizable. After that there is some chocolate and vanilla, but its mostly just espresso right up front. Some caramel notes as well but its hard to detect based upon, guess what, the HuGE coffee presence.

Taste is more complex than the smell. Right away big coffee notes, just a slight vanilla note, which is nice, and chocolate and toffee in the background. This thing has huge amounts of smell and flavor. If I were to choose a beer to promote based on coffee taste/smell, it would probably be this. Just my opinion, but Black butte anniversary has slightly more complexity due in part to it being barrel aged. I think I like this better than speedway stout.

Mouthfeel is damn near perfect. Medium carbonation and a light but viscous feel.

Overall a winner in my book. Can't make this beer any better really it is just perfect.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2014 01:46:16 | More by BastardKing24
Photo of djaeon
djaeon

California

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

A: Pours thick and black. With a small head, with little retention or lacing.

S: Definite roastiness, with a lot of coffee and a little vanilla thrown in for good measure.

T: Tastes of espresso and dark chocolate, with a little vanilla in the background.

M: Thick, silky and smooth.

D: Easily drinkable, has some bitterness that lingers a bit as an aftertaste, but overall, very drinkable. Almost dangerously so.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2009 01:03:39 | More by djaeon
Photo of DearthVader
DearthVader

California

4.33/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz poured into a Delirium snifter.

Poured a dark black which let no light shine through at all. It left a half finger of tan head on top that left a fair amount of lacing.

I pick up mostly coffee in the smell, but you do get some vanilla at the end of your sniff. A very pleasant smelling brew.

This is a very good tasting Porter. Heavy on the coffee with a slight trace of alcohol presence, and a balancing sweetness with the vanilla

Relatively thick mouthfeel, but that could just be because I had spent my previous 3 weeks drinking nothing but IPA's and DIPA's.

A good sipper. I actually paired this with some ice cream and a couple bites of a brownie. My girlfriend was craving dessert and I told her "only if I get to have my beer with it." She can never say no to me.

Go ahead and try and pick one of these up. A great brew crafted from a very talented brewery.

Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2011 18:34:42 | More by DearthVader
Photo of unclejazz
unclejazz

New York

4.34/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Manny in Chander,AZ for turning me on to this. Talk about meeting and exceeding expectations, check out this review!

A-a nice pour with a 1 finger head that slowly dissipated leaving a thin foam that laced a bit.

S-yum, the vanilla and coffee combine with the roasted malt to create a wonderful bouquet. This smell really jumps up and attacks your nose, with pleasure.

T-spot on, vanilla hits first follow by roasted malts, cocoa, and coffee. You can barely taste the alcohol. As I take a sip, I savor it like its the last, until its all gone. Now I am sad.

M-just heavy enough for not be watery, and a pleasant pop of carbonation I was not expecting by really enjoyed.

O-damn that is one tasty beverage, I wish I would have popped this one sooner, so I would have known how delicious it is. Founders Porter has some competition. Look out!

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2012 12:01:56 | More by unclejazz
Photo of CommanderOfAwesome
CommanderOfAwesome

California

4.58/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 2012 Bomber into a snifter glass. Second time having this awesome beer.

A: Pours extremely dark brown, very opaque. Very little light getting through this. Almost non exist dark khaki head. Does provide some nice lacing and alcohol legs.

S: This is where this beer shines the most IMO. Air freshener. Could smell this all day, esp once it warms up. Getting strong vanilla and coffee aromas along coco powder. Some of the roasted malts shinning through as well. Great aroma, really opens once it warms up a bit.

T: Taste strong in the categories advertised. Vanilla Coffee with a hint of what I can only describe as chalky chocolate (in a good way). Smooth as hell and delicious. Some slight alcohol taste pokes through.

M: Full bodied, and sweet on the tongue. Bit of a alcohol burn on the finish.

O: Fantastic beer. Loving every sip and a must try for any stout/coffee fan.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2012 02:30:13 | More by CommanderOfAwesome
Photo of TheDinger
TheDinger

South Carolina

4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The awaited review of VaS. Finally able to locate 2 bombers and have been waiting to crack this for quite some time. Poured from bomber into DFH snifter. Beautiful motor oil black pour with a bit of light making it through. Nice 2 finger mocca head, with excellent retention and great lacing throughout. Smell was spectacular. Vanilla with chocolate and coffee. Some burnt fruits notes and dark malts. Complex and inviting. Couldn't stop smelling it! Taste followed the nose with huge coffee on the front that fades to subtle bitter and vanilla finish. A great blend that is almost perfect. Hides the 10% well, but a definite sipper. Feel is very strong. Full bodied and great carbonation. Creamy and smooth. Overall- One of the best beers I have ever had. A great blend of coffee, dark fruits, hops and a touch of vanilla. Smell is outstanding and mouthfeel is spectacular. Top notch effort from Ballast Point. In my top 10 for sure-

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2012 01:21:26 | More by TheDinger
Photo of ratedz
ratedz

Kansas

4.18/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

HUGE thanks to MrTopher for sending this my way...I have been wanting to try this for a long time. Thanks again, Chris!

A - Pours a very dark brown, almost black, with about an inch of light brown head. The head retention was fairly impressive and as it did subside, it left a lot of lacing on the glass.

S - Nose is full of coffee followed by some roasted malts and a little vanilla.

T - Some bitter coffee, bittersweet chocolate, and hints of vanilla. A little alcohol burn on the finish.

M - Fairly thick body, very creamy and smooth. Light carbonation, which feels perfect for this beer.

O - An excellent porter. Very smooth and easy to drink despite the 10% ABV. I would buy this fairly often if Ballast Point decided to send it the KS or MO.

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2011 01:14:50 | More by ratedz
Photo of ZX6Chris
ZX6Chris

California

4.8/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle from the late release in 2010.

A-Pitch black with a small dark tan head of tight bubbles that settles to a ring around the glass. A little bit of lacing.

S-Lots of vanilla, chocolate, bitter roasted coffee. Almost a spicy kick from the coffee.

T-Rich roasted coffee, vanilla, milk chocolate. Bitter coffee on the finish.

M-Light to medium body, nicely carbonated. A little harshness from the coffee

D-Wow. The vanill and coffee flavors are HUGE in this. I can't wait to take another sip. I find my self chugging the glass!

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2010 01:39:42 | More by ZX6Chris
Photo of BigBarley
BigBarley

Texas

4.59/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black, like an imperial stout, with a respectable thick khaki foam head, with a hint of brown. Smells like a bourbon barrel painted with vanilla extract. Hints of coconut, vanilla, bourbon, roasted chocolate, french coffee. Tastes damn near like the perfect porter, smooth chocolate, bitter dark coffee, vanilla and bourbon, and just the slightest hint of coconut. This flavor can stand up to many BA imperial stouts out there. Amazing. Mouthfeel is thick and velvety, relative to a foreign stout but the sweetness could ave you believing you were drinking an imperial stout. An all around beautifully brewed beer that touches on a wide range of flavors that many beer geeks go nuts for. A must-have brew in the craft community.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2013 14:39:21 | More by BigBarley
Photo of brewdude1982
brewdude1982

North Carolina

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

This was a bomber poured into a snifter

A: 4.5 deep rich pour into my snifter with a deep dark rich head that dissipated quickly
S: 4.0 slight hop smell and then roasted malts
T: 4.5 such a warm pallet pleasing taste that turns into chocolate and coffee
MF: 4.5 good on the carbonation and very full body
O: 4.5 great beer that I would recommend to anyone. This brewery is really stepping up in my book and I want to try anything that they make in the imperial format.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2012 20:58:17 | More by brewdude1982
Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 3,299 ratings.