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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

3,617 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,617
Reviews: 917
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 632
Gots: 685 | FT: 52
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 Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,617 | Reviews: 917 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of facesnorth
facesnorth

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

07-17-2013 01:30:40 | More by facesnorth
Photo of MikeCactusGordon
MikeCactusGordon

Ohio

4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

01-07-2013 19:38:28 | More by MikeCactusGordon
Photo of alpinebryant
alpinebryant

Connecticut

4.28/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark brown chocolate, not quite black with a mocha head that leaves lots of lacing.

Smell of roasted coffee, vanilla , roasted malts, and sweet sugar.

Taste of not surprisingly, Coffee, vanilla and roasted malts. There is a bitterness that is slightly different, but could also be perceived as licorice mixed with dark burnt malt. Not a whole lot of ashy flavors, but Charred flavor seems to be pretty strong. In other words, burnt, but sweet mixed with vanilla flavored sugars. If you let this warm in your mouth a little bit, the vanilla really becomes more prevalent and tasty.

Mediated carbonation levels with a nice mouthfeel that is not too thick but definitely not thin. All in all, a very drinkable coffee Vanilla Porter.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2010 16:51:41 | More by alpinebryant
Photo of SoCalBeerIdiot
SoCalBeerIdiot

California

4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

07-20-2013 17:19:33 | More by SoCalBeerIdiot
Photo of zrab11
zrab11

Indiana

4.1/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 bottle opened on 1/12/12

A-Pours a dark black color with a nice 1 1/2 finger tan head. Lacing on the glass as well

S-This has a very nice Vanilla smell up front followed by some roasted coffee notes and some more vanilla and chocolate as well

T- HAs a nice coffee flavor in the beginning and then followed by a nice chocolate flavor in the middle and then finishes with an almost cappuccino flavor at the end

M-Medium bodied with decent carbonation. Alittle syrupy and thin for my taste

D-Overall this beer was a very solid Coffer porter but to call it a Vanilla coffee porter it was a let down.. Yes i got a lot of vanilla in the nose but the beer has virtually no vanilla taste which i would of loved to have. I feel like the vanilla flavor would of made this a memorable beer. I will have to revisit this beer through since i had a year old bottle the vanilla may of faded.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2012 04:29:17 | More by zrab11
Photo of InfernoBoss
InfernoBoss

California

4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

03-01-2012 07:56:42 | More by InfernoBoss
Photo of Ajlvt
Ajlvt

Washington

4.75/5  rDev +8.2%

06-11-2013 05:47:33 | More by Ajlvt
Photo of elgiacomo
elgiacomo

Georgia

4.18/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle, best by October 17, 2013. Served at around 45F and allowed to warm.

Pours thick black with a small light brown head that leaves some spotty lacing behind and recedes to a light cap and ring.

Aroma is big and bold vanilla and coffee, in fact those two are so strong I’m having a hard time picking up much else, maybe some underlying notes of roasted malts, chocolate and caramel. Excellent strength.

Flavor starts with a big wave of vanilla, moving towards some dark baker’s chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, a little dark fruit, very little hop presence, moderate sweetness, some alcohol but well integrated at this level of ABV. Really tasty.

Mouthfeel is full bodied, rich, creamy, somewhat sticky, good carbonation.

Man, this stuff is delicious! A vanilla bomb! Such a treat to get to try this. One of my customers brought me a bottle after a trip to the West Coast, so a big shout-out to Mark for this one!

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2012 04:02:21 | More by elgiacomo
Photo of TXhomebrewer
TXhomebrewer

Texas

4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

12-28-2012 16:08:51 | More by TXhomebrewer
Photo of axeman9182
axeman9182

New Jersey

4.05/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle from the generous BA Soonami. This one was allowed to warm a good bit before being poured into my Brooklyn Brewery tulip.

Victory at Sea pours a solid black, with a tan head that comes up to between two and three fingers in height. There's a decent amount of lacing left behind, and the foam takes its time in inching down the side of the glass. The nose is almost perfectly balanced. There's some sweet milk chocolate that's neck and neck with strong coffee in terms of flavors standing out. I think a lot of porters and stouts sometimes overdo it on roasty grain notes, but this beer is notable for it's pretty much complete lack of any. I actually wish there was a little bit of roast to give the nose more of an edge, but that's really nitpicking. That superior balance isn't found in the flavor, for the most part. Coffee jumps out and dominates any chocolaty notes on my palate. As the beer finishes approaching room temperature, the coffee and vanilla bean influences finally begin to even out again, but it's a bit too late to make this a truly great beer. The carbonation is appropriately subdued, but I expect a rich and full body from a 10% porter, and this one just doesn't deliver on that front. Victory at Sea is a very good beer, and one that I would gladly come back to, but it's just a step below true greatness.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2011 03:17:50 | More by axeman9182
Photo of PHBoiler
PHBoiler

Illinois

4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

There is a slight brownish-cream colored head on the jet black beer. The scent changes from coffee to vanilla with each smell. The coffee taste is light, but the vanilla shines. The flavor hides the alcohol well. The mouthfeel is surprisingly light but certainly not watery. This beer offers everything you want in a porter, then takes it to another level with the additional flavors. Highly recommend.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2013 15:00:59 | More by PHBoiler
Photo of Eighty
Eighty

Washington

4/5  rDev -8.9%

12-05-2013 18:30:35 | More by Eighty
Photo of AdamP
AdamP

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

08-25-2013 19:21:13 | More by AdamP
Photo of IBUnit63
IBUnit63

Massachusetts

4.45/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I haven't had too much bad luck with Ballast Point stuff so let's give this Porter stuff a go. Seems like this bomber's a good candidate for the Portsmouth snifter, so that's what we'll do once I give it a few minutes to warm up.

Pours a slightly translucent Coke/espresso brown. Head is peanut colored but fades very quickly. Lacing is sparse, carbonation is...well, this is more opaque than I thought, so I can't really see squat for carbonation in the body. Not exceptionally viscous.

First thought of comparables? Founder's Breakfast Stout or Porter. This has a great coffee component here. The vanilla element is thankfully a little understated but it works very nicely - a little bitter alcoholic sting to it which is good. Copious, HUGE quantities of smooth roasted malt with little evidence of patent tannins. Hops seem to make a nice complement in their grassiness with maybe a dash of pine. This shows a hell of a lot of promise.

BOOM! The coffee is powerful as the smell at Starbucks. Malt is huge; patent tannins come about but only sparingly; the mellow dark-roasted malts carry the day. Vanilla is understated but shows up more on the slightly boozy finish. Slight dryness - not so much slate but maybe a hint of charcoal dust. Did I mention this was powerful? Slightly peanutty taste, too. Grassy hops cut the alcohol and coffee just enough to balance this and dry it out a bit. This still has warming to do but it's rich and borderline incredible.

Maybe it's the sweetness of the vanilla, the alcohol and the non-tannic dark malts imparting more of a bittersweet chocolate flavor, but this is a very smooth porter. None of that clamminess and slight metal that I get from so many porters that have a real "stout envy" complex. This is the real deal. Rolls smooth on the palate and down the hatch with a slight peanut saltiness and finishes strong and very creamy...especially for something lacking a huge viscosity. There is balance in abundance, which is some of my favorite kinds of balance. As it warms, the saltiness, booze and dark slate give it an additional kick that's not unpleasant but gives a not-so-gentle reminder of the strength of this beast.

Wow - this is a great example of both the style and the imperial nature of a big beer. It's strong enough to show all its colors but not so over-the-top that it hits like a sledgehammer. Having said that, it's a big pour and I will probably savor it over a couple of hours in a self-preservation move, 'cause this horse kicks wicked hard (Edit: I changed my mind. Warm this up and it drinks wayyy too quickly for its weight class.). Very well-constructed effort from the crew that brought us Sculpin.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2009 22:19:54 | More by IBUnit63
Photo of joepais
joepais

Maine

3.93/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I started my morning out with this brew. Poured into a pint glass it produced a good two fingers worth of coco colored head that went to a sparse lace. The body of the brew was its obligatory black with no light coming threw at all.

The aroma of espresso and sweet chocolate were really pronounced in this brew. There was a slight bourbon vanilla smell in there as well. The flavors were interesting as well the vanilla helped cut the bitterness from the coffee and roasted malts. The feel in my mouth was medium to full with good carbonation.
This is a good brew not to spectacular I had better in this hybrid style. It is worth the try and I would not turn it down that is for sure. I killed the bomber with no problem with brunch myself so drinkability is fine

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2009 22:52:11 | More by joepais
Photo of MN_Beerticker
MN_Beerticker

Minnesota

4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

05-09-2014 20:24:16 | More by MN_Beerticker
Photo of cdkrenz
cdkrenz

Wisconsin

4.25/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Black to dark black body up in the 30 to 35 SRM range. This is about as black as they come. The head is a medium to dark tan color with decent stamina.

S - Aroma is that of coffee with accents of anise and chocolate.

T - Coffee, rich rich coffee with a vanilla steadfast. This is a tasty beer. One of the best, if not the best tasting porter I've ever had.

M - Thick and slightly coarse.

~ This makes for a perfect desert beer. I mentioned above that this is probably the best porter I've ever had and I truely believe that. You must get your hands on a bottle or two of this big time porter.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2011 19:58:59 | More by cdkrenz
Photo of cestlavie
cestlavie

New York

4.75/5  rDev +8.2%

02-15-2012 23:08:22 | More by cestlavie
Photo of meatyard
meatyard

Pennsylvania

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

A-A very dark brown with a milk chocolate, one finger head that fades fast leaving little spots of lacing.
S-The roasted coffee comes on strong and I also get a bit of licorice. As it warms there is a release of alcohol that isn't there in the initial pour.
T-This has a powerful punch right from the beginning. The coffee flavor is most intense followed later by a smaller amount of the vanilla. I still get some licorice flavor hanging around at the end. There was a little bitterness in the beginning but that isn't noticeable as it warms.
M-Not thick, more medium in feel but still full and smooth.
D- It's tasty and drinkable, the bomber is the right size fo those who enjoy this beer.

This is no standard Am. Porter. It's intense and interesting. Maybe a little overpowering but very good.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2009 23:41:35 | More by meatyard
Photo of sgoro
sgoro

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

02-10-2013 02:54:43 | More by sgoro
Photo of Evan
Evan

Maryland

4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

04-06-2012 12:02:55 | More by Evan
Photo of IndyDad
IndyDad

New York

4.75/5  rDev +8.2%

06-16-2013 02:27:56 | More by IndyDad
Photo of NickThePyro
NickThePyro

Washington

4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

12-11-2013 05:37:14 | More by NickThePyro
Photo of Gatch
Gatch

Massachusetts

4.1/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep black with a light brown, creamy, pillowy head. Little lace or head retention.

S: Plenty of roasted malt, dark chocolate, espresso, and a hint of vanilla and alcohol.

T: Malty, boozy concoction. Thought it would get better near room temperature but turns out the alcohol becomes stronger. Sweet malt with burnt, roasted malt, dark coffee, and some mellow vanilla in the finish.

M: Some cloying burnt malt. Pretty smooth and tasty. Drinkable for the ABV but the booze is definitely noticeable throughout and hits you about halfway through the bomber.

O: Pretty solid Imperial Porter. Enjoyable. Big.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2012 06:19:23 | More by Gatch
Photo of FeDUBBELFIST
FeDUBBELFIST

Pennsylvania

4.28/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bomber to tulip. 2009 vintage, sampled 8/31/10.

A: Four fingers of medium dark brown head transitions from frothy/creamy to slightly rocky as it slowly recedes. The body is very dark, but not quite black. Still, no light comes through. Straggling lace is produced from the head, while the body covers the glass in sheets.

S & T: This bottle has a little bit of age on it, which may have caused the hop aroma to fade. A light yeast quality is evident, but it is indistinguishable to me. Heavy roasted malts of chocolate and coffee dominate the nose with a light vanilla note and a hint of caramel in the background. This beer is reminiscent of all things chocolate: chocolate syrup, fudge, cocoa powder et cetera. The vanilla bean component is mostly noticeable on the palate. Moderately sweet, lightly bitter and an even lighter lactic sourness fills out the flavor profile. Alcohol is absolutely buried.

M: The mouthfeel is velvety smooth at first but falls off mid bomber as the temperature has risen out of the sweet spot. Once the carbonation loses some of it's effervesence, the body becomes medium-light and the texture thins. The mouthfeel experiences is still above average, it was just significantly better at 55 degrees and cooler.

D: Excellent beer overall. Perfect with dessert or even for dessert. Would be interested in trying this one fresh.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2010 01:37:50 | More by FeDUBBELFIST
Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 3,617 ratings.