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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.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

3,761 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

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

22oz-er, enjoyed at a recent tasting. Thanks again daryk77!

Poured into a nonic glass. Black, with a generous inch of tan head that settles into a thick ring with a thin layer of foam. Icicles and sheets of lacing. Great looking brew.

The nose on this is a bit one dimensional, but damn its a fine smelling dimension to be in. Sweet vanilla coffee and plenty of it. The coffee is particularly dark, bordering on espresso, and there's a sweetness to it which probably speaks to the brew's booze strength.

Wow, is this a bitter coffee porter. Holy mother that is some good roasted coffee. The vanilla and cream provides an excellent counterpoint to the bitterness of the coffee, which helps this brew go down incredibly well.

Great thickness to the brew, nice carbonation. Creamy and damn easy to drink.

Awesome coffee porter, highly recommend.

JohnnyBarman, Feb 04, 2013
Photo of plumcrazyfx
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark, dark black with a 3/4" tan head. Smells of dark roast coffee and a little bit of sweet vanilla. Taste is heavy on the bitter coffee with a bit of smooth vanilla, round sweetness, and just a smooth, smooth enveloping finish. The coffee may be the best I've ever had in a beer - most coffee in beers have an oxidized metalic taste like it's been on the warmer in the break room too long. Not here, this is smooth velvety coffee and a round long, though quite bitter flavor, but with a little bit of a fizzy carbonation that accentuates the bitterness on the very back of the outside of the tongue and a little round vanilla/chocolate smoothness. The carbonation and medium, slightly viscous feel is perfect for the beer. This is the best porter?!?! I've ever had. I don't know if I'd really call it a porter due to the heavier mouthfeel and coffee - it's kinda stoutlike. Whatever it is it's a supreem beer and one that I'll be seeking more of.

plumcrazyfx, Apr 19, 2011
Photo of LakerLeith
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%

LakerLeith, Jun 12, 2014
Photo of dfillius
3.65/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

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.

dfillius, Feb 11, 2008
Photo of AdamP
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

AdamP, Aug 25, 2013
Photo of bamadog
4.38/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Extra special thanks to beerman207 for hooking me up with a sample of this one at the Superbowl party he and his wife hosted. Game came out all wrong, but this beer definitely came out all right. Review is from notes taken on 2/6/2011 and poured from the bottle to a pint glass.

Appearance: Pour is dark brown/near black; starts with a nice 1 and 1/2 finger dark tan head; body is dark and entirely opaque; head fades to a full cap and leaves a full curtain of lacing on the back of the glass that holds throughout most of the drink.

Smell: Creamy and milky chocolate and coffee/espresso roastiness; touch of smoke and sweet vanilla; slight bit of alcohol in the nose -- this beer comes across as very robust and it smells like a creamy Jamocha shake from Arby's.

Taste: Jesus, it doesn't just smell like a Jamocha shake, it really tastes like one with friend ground coffee and ample vanilla; lots of chocolate that is bittersweet combined with just a touch of a sweeter milk chocolate; lots of ground and burnt coffee and espresso that creates a nice earthy and nutty bitterness; definite presence of alcohol that's a little bourbony, but the heavy chocolate and coffee flavors remind me even more of Kahlua.

Mouthfeel: Mouth is thick and creamy, with spot on carbonation that provides just the right amount of liveliness to keep it interesting; a thick semi-dry coating and grittiness is left on the palate and teeth; does sit a little heavy, but it's super tasty and I'd be willing to have it sit in my tummy.

Drinkability: This is definitely a worthy offering -- great scents and flavors and a super creamy mouthfeel; ABV and weight do slow it down a bit, but this one is pretty tough to come around in these parts so ABV be damned, drink it while you can.

bamadog, Feb 10, 2011
Photo of rowingbrewer
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured from a bomber into a pint glass

This beer pour jet black with a very large frothy head that lingers for some time

The aromas coming from my glass were of strong coffee and sweet vanilla

The taste is mostly coffee with a little bitterness followed by smooth sweet vanilla finish. not much bitterness really just the right amount

This beer is big and has a fairly heavy feel to it, but that does not take away from its drinkability, could have had a second if it weren't so damn strong

rowingbrewer, Jan 01, 2011
Photo of mjtiernan
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

mjtiernan, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of wcudwight
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thick black with a nice creamy mocha colored head with good retention. Mocha and chocolate aroma with a hint of vanilla. Flavor is very similar to the aroma with more vanilla. Dark chocolate with rich roasted coffee flavors and strong vanilla. The flavor just sits in the mouth and lingers for awhile. I love it. Mouthfeel is on the lighter side of heavy and coats the mouth. As drinkable as a 10% beer can be.

wcudwight, Jan 16, 2011
Photo of craytonic
3.43/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bit of a letdown.

Appearance: Decent head and lacing; pour is of course near-black with some ruby/mahogany to it

Smell: Lots of dark, roasted malts, bittersweet chocolate, and coffee grounds. Hint of vanilla, but not much

Taste: Roasted malts, burnt coffee and espresso, dark chocolate, hint of vanilla. Title is fitting. A bit more bitter / acidic than I would have liked.

Mouthfeel: Smooth enough, but the coffee ground taste makes it feel a bit chewy.

Drinkability: Bitter / accidic element of the coffee and roast limits drinkability unless you are big on those elements.

craytonic, Jan 09, 2010
Photo of kbrown
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

kbrown, Oct 12, 2013
Photo of dertyd
3/5  rDev -31.7%

dertyd, Jun 17, 2013
Photo of jjayjaye
4.58/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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!

jjayjaye, Jan 24, 2010
Photo of LambicPentameter
4.38/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

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.

LambicPentameter, Jan 28, 2014
Photo of vande
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

vande, Nov 21, 2012
Photo of jwps214
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%

jwps214, Apr 11, 2014
Photo of VonZipper
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

VonZipper, May 25, 2012
Photo of Jason1337
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Jason1337, Apr 17, 2013
Photo of Bartos
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Bartos, Feb 22, 2014
Photo of Ajlvt
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%

Ajlvt, Jun 11, 2013
Photo of calcnerd
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

calcnerd, Jan 30, 2013
Photo of ObeMaltKinobee
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

ObeMaltKinobee, Dec 20, 2011
Photo of IndyDad
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%

IndyDad, Jun 16, 2013
Photo of freduardo
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

freduardo, Dec 30, 2012
Photo of MN_Beerticker
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

MN_Beerticker, May 09, 2014
Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 3,761 ratings.