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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

3,758 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,758
Reviews: 919
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 679
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: 3,758 | Reviews: 919 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Karibourgeois
4/5  rDev -8.9%

Karibourgeois, Mar 08, 2014
Photo of brycevolk
5/5  rDev +13.9%

brycevolk, Feb 22, 2013
Photo of ortie
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

ortie, Jan 26, 2014
Photo of alpinebryant
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.

alpinebryant, Nov 13, 2010
Photo of cestlavie
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%

cestlavie, Feb 15, 2012
Photo of JoeMans
5/5  rDev +13.9%

JoeMans, Jun 03, 2013
Photo of zrab11
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.

zrab11, Feb 11, 2012
Photo of DOCRW
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%

DOCRW, Feb 07, 2014
Photo of thampel09
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

thampel09, Apr 23, 2013
Photo of elgiacomo
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!

elgiacomo, Nov 04, 2012
Photo of Kubrickx
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

Kubrickx, Jan 24, 2013
Photo of axeman9182
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.

axeman9182, Jul 24, 2011
Photo of Nunya
3.5/5  rDev -20.3%

Nunya, Nov 17, 2013
Photo of Yeti1979
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

Yeti1979, Oct 06, 2013
Photo of aquazr1
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

aquazr1, Aug 01, 2013
Photo of IBUnit63
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.

IBUnit63, May 18, 2009
Photo of vrbulldog22
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

vrbulldog22, Jul 22, 2012
Photo of Eighty
4/5  rDev -8.9%

Eighty, Dec 05, 2013
Photo of joepais
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

joepais, May 31, 2009
Photo of JVan
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

JVan, Aug 23, 2013
Photo of sloelco
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

sloelco, Jan 02, 2013
Photo of cdkrenz
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.

cdkrenz, Feb 24, 2011
Photo of JMUbrewz
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

JMUbrewz, Jul 21, 2013
Photo of larryi86
4.35/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle poured into a tulip

A- Black with a two finger light tan head.

S- Roasted coffee, vanilla, some dark chocolate.

T- Roasted coffee, bitter finish, some dark chocolate, vanilla adds a nice sweetness, kind of boozy.

M- Smooth, light to medium body.

O- A tasty coffee beer, but a little boozy. Vanilla adds a nice touch to the beer. Good, but not sure if I would pick it up again. Gets better as it warms.

larryi86, Nov 29, 2012
Photo of BB1313
4.2/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Enjoy by 11/26/13. 22oz bottle poured into a snifter. Pours pitch black with a khaki-mocha head that sticks out and leaves nice lacing. The aromas are solid and full of roasted black coffee and caramel malts. The vanilla seems to take a backseat in the aromas, but are in full force in the flavor department. Flavors are extremely bold and robust. The bitterness from the coffee dominates. There's a sweet cream like quality which really gives this beer a nice complexity. Chocolate syrup and coconut is in the mix. Hops are present, but subtle. There are hints of grapefruit every now and then in the nose and flavors. Bitter and there's a kiss of heat, but not boozy one bit. Mouthfeel is very creamy and fluffy, but extremely thick. It really works for the style and makes for an easy drinking beer. This is dangerously drinkable, it's very easy to drink and has enough complexity to keep you interested. It also gets better the more you get into it and as it warms up. Alcohol goes unnoticed.

Impressive beer right here. Second time having it. It has enough qualities that remind me of a porter, but stout lovers would obviously love this beer. Well crafted beer. Recommended.

BB1313, Mar 12, 2013
Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 3,758 ratings.