Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter - Ballast Point Brewing Company
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Ratings: 3,716 | Reviews: 918 | Display Reviews Only:
4.3/5 rDev -2.1%
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 :-(
12-10-2012 05:29:32 | More by jtierney89
3.88/5 rDev -11.6%
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.
08-11-2010 21:57:27 | More by KeefD
4.33/5 rDev -1.4%
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.
05-07-2009 23:41:35 | More by meatyard
4.28/5 rDev -2.5%
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.
11-13-2010 16:51:41 | More by alpinebryant
4.1/5 rDev -6.6%
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.
02-11-2012 04:29:17 | More by zrab11
4.28/5 rDev -2.5%
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.
10-05-2010 01:37:50 | More by FeDUBBELFIST
4.18/5 rDev -4.8%
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!
11-04-2012 04:02:21 | More by elgiacomo
4.05/5 rDev -7.7%
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.
07-24-2011 03:17:50 | More by axeman9182
4.45/5 rDev +1.4%
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.
05-18-2009 22:19:54 | More by IBUnit63
3.93/5 rDev -10.5%
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
05-31-2009 22:52:11 | More by joepais
Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 3,716 ratings.