Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter - Ballast Point Brewing Company
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Ratings: 3,703 | Reviews: 917 | Display Reviews Only:
4.58/5 rDev +4.3%
Pours an opaque darkness with a loose full finger tan head that fades quickly, leaving spotty patterns of Belgian lacing. The smell is really nice rich aggressive moderately roasted malt and high quality coffee...as it warms I sense a barrel aged vanilla sweetness. Full flavored, the high quality java notes are the bomb, second only to GI Coffee Stout that I recently had. The toasted malt and classy roast coffee lingers nicely in the after taste like i wish every cup of coffee would. Light-medium body from a lighter carbonation creamy smooth is a classic example of the style...I still really prefer the texture of a stout. This one is going down WAY TOO EASY...no way would I have guessed that this was even half the 10% ABV!! This one is drinking CRAZY!! Perfect accompaniment to the playoffs. Cheers!
01-24-2010 22:06:58 | More by jjayjaye
3.65/5 rDev -16.9%
Enjoyed in a 5 oz. taster at Stone Bistro.
A: Very dark brown with 1/2 finger of head.
S: Kahlua! Reminiscent of walking down the coffee aisle at the supermarket.
T: Bitter from coffee flavor maybe more than hops. Alcohol, and a bit of Kahlua.
M: Heat definitely
D: Meh. Delicious, but not too much due to the strength of the alcohol.
02-11-2008 22:19:47 | More by dfillius
4.48/5 rDev +2.1%
Had this one on draft many times at Duckworth's in Charlotte, NC. Time for a review!
A: Very dark black with a nice 2 finger off white creamy head that seems to completely attach itself to the glass. Looks similar to a Guinness as it flows from the tap.
S: MMMM. There's so much going on here. I first detect some roasted coffee notes up front; followed by hints tobacco, vanilla beans, caramel, and dark chocolate.
T: Tastes just like it smells. Fresh brewed coffee, vanilla, chocolaty sweetness and with a touch of a smoke as well. Probably the most full flavored porter I've ever had. Victory at Sea clocks in at 10% abv, but drinks more like 5%. Scary.
M: This beer definitely has a heavier, full-bodied mouthfeel. It's sticky, viscous, and has a low amount of carbonation.
O: Very impressed by this beer! It's an excellent pairing with cold temperatures. The beer's flavors and richness became more pronounced as the beer reached room temperature.
01-27-2013 20:38:09 | More by kell50
4.38/5 rDev -0.2%
Reviewed from notes after enjoying on 1/18/14. Served out of a 22 oz brown bomber with an enjoy by date of 01/03/14, although this style should be fine with some age. Poured into a large 22 oz. snifter that looks sort of like a Teku glass without the flared lip.
Appearance - Body is midnight black--no light getting through capped with a half-finger mocha-tan head of predominantly tiny bubbles with a few medium-sized suds interspersed. Retention is moderate, with the foam fading to a line around the edge of the glass and a thin sparse film across the top of the glass. No lacing whatsoever.
Smell - At first, I was disappointed, thinking that I had left this in the back of my fridge a tad too long. Initially, there was very little coffee or vanilla, with the predominant notes being dark chocolate and dark-roasted malt and buckwheat. However, upon letting it warm a bit, the coffee and vanilla became a bit more present on the nose, even if subdued. The coffee element evokes roasted beans, before any grinding or brewing, just waiting to be unleashed.
Taste - I'm happy to report that the the marquee elements of the porter held up much better on the tongue than they did on the nose. Big, french roast coffee and bold bitterness that finishes with a pleasant vanilla sweetness, like the wonderful innards of a freshly-scored dried vanilla bean. Bittersweet, burnt caramel and waffle cone all add their voices to the mix as well in a complimentary role. It's situations like this where the advantages of a larger format bottle become clear. The first glass was good, but the second glass was great due to some patience and increased temperature.
Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied (which is a surprise for a non-BA porter with coffee and vanilla that clocks in at 10% abv), with low carbonation on this just-past-the-best-by-date bottle. In spite of the body being a bit lighter than expected, there is a viscous element that leaves a lingering bittersweet finish that is wonderfully complex.
Overall, a great offering from Ballast Point, and even though I've had a limited number of brews from them, this one is a clear favorite of mine. I have one more bottle that I will likely be opening sooner than later, to see just how much difference that best by date really makes.
01-28-2014 07:45:50 | More by LambicPentameter
4.3/5 rDev -2.1%
Huge thanks go out to SuzyGreenberg for sending me this bottle.
Pours a deep deadly black with a nice light tan head that lingers for some time and leaves pretty good super sticky lacing.
Nose is mostly roasted malt and coffee, with a little chocolate like presence peeking out from behind the corner.
Wow. An excellent concoction (as most from ballast point are). Right off the bat cream and coffee infiltrate the palate and nostrils. I really like the amount of coffee presence in this one, nice and noticeable without raping you in the face. Not getting a whole lot of vanilla, but im thankful for that. Although, it does come out a bit more as it gets warmed up a bit. The thickness and creaminess sure are there though. The finish has a suprising amount of bitterness, given the adjunct bill on this one, but i like that about it. Coffee and dry roasted malt linger in the aftertaste.
The mouthfeel is a real beauty on this one. Nice chewy viscosity and a well maintained dose of dryness despite the adjuncts involved. Carbonation is right where it should be.
Drinkability is great for the abv. Really doesn't seem hot at all, and the coffee isn't too abrasive, nor is the vanilla, so for something with so much going on, the drinkability is still pretty solid.
Overall, this is yet another winner from Ballast point. These guys are slowly but surely becoming my favorite San Diego brewers. Their IPAs get all the love and trading attention, but i encourage everyone to branch out and try some of their other offerings, as they are all quite solid, and this one is no exception. For a beer that it would be easy to make a mess of, they have made a gem out of it. Great brew.
11-25-2009 05:24:50 | More by AKBelgianBeast
4.6/5 rDev +4.8%
Pours a deep, black color with a fading tan head that leaves plenty of lacing.
Smells of delicious roasted coffee.
Tastes of the delicious roasted notes. Notes of coffee, chocolate, and brown sugar. Vanilla notes come in the end and add a flair to the coffee. Everything is really well balanced. Alcohol is hardly noticeable at 10% and makes this brew a little dangerous.
Mouthfeel is full with a creamy amount of carbonation.
12-12-2010 03:06:05 | More by ocelot2500
2.4/5 rDev -45.3%
22oz into Portsmouth tulip. Been meaning to try this one for a long time.
A- Dark roast coffee... 5 finger head after an aggressive pour. Great formation/retention. Khaki in color, even and thick lacing. One of the better 10% pours I've seen in a while.
S- Kind of buttery toffee caramel. Mild heavily creamed coffee. Not really appealing.. there's something off in the nose here. .
T- The buttery caramel toffee is here but doesn't turn me off like it does in the nose. Vanilla is here but comes across more like artificial sweetener than vanilla bean. Tastes like a chocolate butterscotch sundae with some coffee ice cream. Sweet, but not in the realm of ST's creme brulee. Mild acidity, but the coffee is playing too much of a subdued role and the caramel vanilla sweetness is a bit too much.
M- Flavorful.. a bit too sweet. Stealth ABV, very lush body, great carbonation.
D- Low. I'm very 'meh' on this beer. For the price, I can't see myself buying this again.
04-09-2010 02:41:36 | More by ShogoKawada
Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 3,703 ratings.