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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.

3,764 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,764
Reviews: 920
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 685
Gots: 703 | FT: 54
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: 3,764 | Reviews: 920 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of magictacosinus
3.75/5  rDev -14.6%

magictacosinus, Jun 27, 2014
Photo of PHBoiler
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.

PHBoiler, Apr 04, 2013
Photo of Bendurgin
4.35/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of Alec. Thanks homey! Poured into a tulip. This one pours black with a thick cap of beige foam that leaves some thick gobs of lace.

The aroma has a heavy vanilla aroma right up front with a robust coffee aroma lingering in the background. Seems to have notes of bitter chocolate in the background.n The pallet gives more of what the the aroma indicates. A little more subtle on the vanilla with more of an emphasis on the coffee. This one is rich and delicious.

The body is full and smooth with soft carbonation. A little bit of a lingering finish would I attribute to the coffee. Overall this one is real solid. Would love to end up with more of these guys anytime.

Bendurgin, Apr 30, 2012
Photo of cfrances33
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

cfrances33, Sep 23, 2013
Photo of wtkphoto
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%

wtkphoto, Feb 23, 2013
Photo of deadliest
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

deadliest, Oct 24, 2013
Photo of stortore
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

stortore, Jul 07, 2013
Photo of stumac
5/5  rDev +13.9%

stumac, Jul 01, 2013
Photo of BuckTuckian
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

BuckTuckian, Sep 18, 2013
Photo of ThreeWiseMen
3.95/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

EDIT (10-25-2010): Just split an 8-month old bottle (same batch as in the review below) with JustinA1. The vanilla had mellowed out a bit, but not as much as I had hoped. Still, the balance was much better, so I boosted the drinkability score from 3.5 to 4.0.

Split amongst Wisemen Nick, Zach, and Jorge. Poured into three standard pint glasses.

Appearance: Poured out dark and thick, producing an ample amount of brown foam atop each 7oz. sample. Head looks beautiful: fluffy and brown with great retention. Body is completely opaque. Nice lacing. Looks great!

Smell: Strong coffee and vanilla from the get-go. Damn! I've never encountered this much vanilla before. Mocha, dark chocolate, and blueberries also contribute, but to a much lesser extent. Pretty incredible. I initially thought the vanilla and coffee aromas were too strong, but as I sit here I can't help but be blown away by this nose. Very nicely done.

Taste: Vanilla, charred grains, black coffee, and (blue)berry-like esters. Very interesting and unique, but I find a good deal of astringency in this one. The alcohol (I'm guessing) does some pretty odd things to the flavor.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, full-bodied, and very, very creamy. This seriously feels like a milkshake. Carbonation is very light and velvety. Victory at Sea finishes dry (showing the 10% ABV) and leaves a bit of a medicinal taste that quickly dissipates. Not a big fan of the finish, but the milky/creamy feel is top notch!

Drinkability: This is a very cool beer that's certainly worthy of all the praise. I personally find it to be over-the-top and a bit medicinal, but I'd be happy to try it again. I think splitting this two ways will be your best bet.

NOTE: Zach and Jorge both found this beer to be over-the-top and thought it would be much better if it were toned down a bit. Reminiscent of ST Creme Brulee.

ThreeWiseMen, Feb 17, 2010
Photo of JoeMans
5/5  rDev +13.9%

JoeMans, Jun 03, 2013
Photo of sammyg832
5/5  rDev +13.9%

sammyg832, Jun 26, 2014
Photo of oso
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

oso, Dec 23, 2013
Photo of coz
5/5  rDev +13.9%

coz, Oct 13, 2013
Photo of elkinbrown
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

elkinbrown, Jan 12, 2013
Photo of TXhomebrewer
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

TXhomebrewer, Dec 28, 2012
Photo of Nunya
3.5/5  rDev -20.3%

Nunya, Nov 17, 2013
Photo of thereal_adam
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

thereal_adam, Jun 04, 2014
Photo of Karibourgeois
4/5  rDev -8.9%

Karibourgeois, Mar 08, 2014
Photo of PaBeerLover
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

PaBeerLover, Dec 30, 2011
Photo of wisrarebeer
3.75/5  rDev -14.6%

wisrarebeer, Oct 14, 2013
Photo of jtierney89
4.3/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Super deep brown color, cant tell on the clarity but looks a little hazy. about 2 inches of tan sticky head. Smells alot like coffee and asphalt. Herbal woody hop nose. Burnt malt as well. Coffee really comes through as the beer airs.

Wow, tastes as if a delicious big ol black beer had a baby with an amazingly rich coffee. Bitter black chocolate on the tip of the tongue with a sweet creamy vanilla twang . Huge coffee flavor along the mid palate. Finishes with burnt sugar and underlying hop bitterness, much like a straight black coffee. Almost no detectable alcohol. Quite a brew. Could easily work as a breakfast brew with it's sweet vanilla start and bitter coffee finish. Loving it. Hope it doesnt give me the jitters though, coffee burns often do :-(

jtierney89, Dec 10, 2012
Photo of TwelveOunces
4.26/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22 Oz bomber poured into a snifter

A- Pitch black with a one finger of a tan colored head. Quick dissipation

S- Super roasty at first. Almost smokey. A strong coffee presence as well. A bit of alcohol as well. some wood as well. A very desert smelling beer.

T- A big roastynness hits at first. There is a nice refreshing hop bitterness that follows and balances it out. The roastyness carries thought the mouth till the end. The coffee is strong in this beer and also has lingering effects that dry out the palate. A touch of alcohol in this beer give it a bit of a sting. There is some vanilla if you look for it as well. A big roasty monster.

M- A thick and dry beer. Good alcohol feel. Bitter for a porter but drinkable.

O- This is a beastly brew. I would like to have a little less alcohol taste and a little more vanilla. Its fairly well balanced and quite drinkable and overall. Delicious.

TwelveOunces, Jan 30, 2013
Photo of meatyard
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.

meatyard, May 08, 2009
Photo of KeefD
3.88/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Review from notes:

Black, thick, nice look for a porter, definitely bordering on stout, small tan head, decent lacing.

Aroma is coffee and vanilla, mostly on the vanilla side, and so much so that it almost makes it seem artificial.

Here's where things got weird. My friend that i shared this bottle with had a weird boogery substance floating about in the top of her beer. I asked her what the hell it was and she said "Meh, it's just foam." A few minutes later and she was gagging it out, as it seemed to be some slimy, disgusting substance. We examined it and couldn't figure what the heck it was to no avail. Kinda killed the enjoyment of the beer, despite it tasting good.

Taste was loaded with vanilla, while coffee took secnd place. Really liking how the vanilla paired with the chocolaty roasty malts, but got a bit cloying after awhile. Good, but became artificial after awhile, reminiscent of ST Creme Brulee. I kept drinking it after loogie incident because it just tasted so good! Nice bitterness on the finish, very sweet, but yummy.

Good stuff, but hard to finish a lot. Would make for an excellent desert drink, but only at about 8-10oz at a time. Would still like to know what the hell was in that beer, but it didn't seem to diminish the flavor.

KeefD, Aug 11, 2010
Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 3,764 ratings.