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Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter - Ballast Point Brewing Company

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

3,311 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3311
Reviews: 903
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 8.88%


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 Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,311 | Reviews: 903 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of cullen0013
cullen0013

South Carolina

4.68/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have had this beer twice now. Purchased my first growler at the Charleston Beer Exchange several months ago and immediately decided that it was the best beer I'd ever had. A second growler purchased roughly a week ago reaffirmed my first impression. This is a high gravity porter with a complex flavor. The nose is heavy on the vanilla with a strong presence of alcohol. The taste is pure coffee initially, it's only after your tongue is coated that the vanilla kicks in. Deep, dark black with a khaki head, wonderful aroma, excellent taste, velvety mouthfeel. As far as drinkability goes, this beer is as rich as it is delicious and should be enjoyed slowly and sparingly.

Serving type: growler

07-21-2009 19:49:03 | More by cullen0013
Photo of dannyhipps
dannyhipps

California

4.85/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my beloved Trpile Karmeliet lage chalice.

A- Looks like a flat cola(deep dark brown body with crimson tinges on the edges as light hits) as it pours from the bottle, forms an enticing cocoa head that disappears quickly. Heavenly brown-sugar snowdrifts of lacing remain.

S- Coffee hits then gives way to a pleasant sweetness that reminds me of a half-eaten chocolate donut left behind in a delicate brown paper bag. Whiffs of carob and dark fruits/raisins faintly appear in the background as the beer warms.

T- Phenomenal. Deep, delicious, and yes, sweet coffee/vanilla/tootsie-roll up front. A wonderful coffee bitterness kicks in mid-palate followed by a sweet milk chocolate/candi sugar blossom on the finish. A real treat!

Mouthfeel is perfect. Silky, creamy deliciousness. Just enough tingly bite on the palate thanks to the just-right carbonation level. The mouthfeel really saves this beer IMHO, which otherwise could've been a mess since the flavors are so rich on their own in this heavenly brew.

D- This is a rich beer, no doubt. But with the decadent flavors and sublime mouthfeel, probability of gluttony is high!

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2009 05:03:32 | More by dannyhipps
Photo of beerdweeb
beerdweeb

California

4.65/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed many times with dessert and at the end of the night. My favorite Imperial Porter by far.

A: Dark with chocolate milk head

S: Chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, and delicious vanilla

T: This is where it's at for me in this beer. Coffee and chocolate up front with a lingering vanilla finish. Perfect.

M: Silky and smooth. Coats the tongue a little and lets the flavors soak in.

O: Love this beer. Could drink it every day.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2011 04:30:22 | More by beerdweeb
Photo of travisdiener32
travisdiener32

Florida

4.55/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

To my surprise poured into a pint glass on tap at new world brewing in Tampa. Not on the same level as wide awake it's morning but still an impressive imperial porter. Think an imperial Breckenridge vanilla porter. Looking forward to more from ballast point now that they're distributing in florida

Serving type: on-tap

01-28-2013 22:35:30 | More by travisdiener32
Photo of Michael_D
Michael_D

New York

3.73/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours black with a minimal khaki head. Smells heavy on coffee and roasted malts. Vanilla and booze in the background. Tastes sweet up front, some hops to balance, and lots of coffee. Vanilla isn’t as heavy in the flavor as I’d hope it was going to be, but it’s there. A little bitter in the aftertaste, where most of the vanilla is. Thick, mouth coating. Good stuff.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2013 02:33:01 | More by Michael_D
Photo of falc0n2600
falc0n2600

California

4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very very dark in appearance with a smooth brown head. A nice coffee smell with much less of a coffee taste, which is my favorite kind of coffee beer. In fact, you are immediately shocked at how smooth an imperial porter can be before you're overwhelmed by perfectly sweet vanilla. I had this along with Flying Dog Barrel-Aged Gonzo Porter and this was definitely the winner, although the Double Gonzo was the second-best imperial porter I've had. A lot of carbonation that makes the thickness of the beer stand out, with the sweetness balancing the thickness nicely. As the beer warmed up I really began to notice the hops, more so than any other porter I've had. As I finished all I could think of was the brilliant hoppiness.

Serving type: on-tap

02-26-2013 06:11:06 | More by falc0n2600
Photo of bhyndthebottle
bhyndthebottle

Oregon

4.03/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Served from Bottle into a snifter glass.

Appearance: Pour a nice thick head that dissipates into a nice cap that remains through tasting.

Smell: This is where I pick up most of the character of this beer. Vanilla and Coffee are first to meet the senses, with a slight hint of booze. Chocolate comes in as well, but only to a minimum.

Taste: Somewhat looses it here. Noticed a majority of the vanilla in the mid palate, with a coffee finish, but neither to an extreme. Was expecting more of a wow factor here, but both flavors match each other nicely. Well balanced.

Mouthfeel: Good medium body feel to it, with appropriate carbonation. The only problem comes in as the glass warms, you get a definite sense of the 10%. Was expecting a little smoother warmth from Ballast Point.

Overall: A good imperial porter, but for the money, I was expecting a little more wow factor. This is one that I will definitely recommend, and it is a good effort, but I think that it could have come across a little more aggressively on some of the flavors.Still though, another very good beer by Ballast Point

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2013 05:04:44 | More by bhyndthebottle
Photo of NRo
NRo

California

3.25/5  rDev -26%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: beautiful black body with a nice light tan head

Smell: Like fresh coffee grounds

Taste: Seriously, all I can taste is coffee. This is marginally better than drinking cold coffee cause at least it's beer.

Mouth feel: nice and thick, smooth

Overall: I'd let it age and hope that the coffee dies down and let's other flavors come through.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2014 06:19:15 | More by NRo
Photo of Rmassimiano
Rmassimiano

California

4.8/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Black. Tan head about 1inch. It poured cloudy, The glass was full of the black beer as the tan bubbles formed and surfaced to form the head. Looked like some sort of wave art.

S: Very suttle scents of equal parts, coffee, vanilla, and chocolate. A winning combination.

M: A nice mouthfeel. Not too thick or thin. Just right. Enought to coat the tongue and last a few seconds.

T: You can definately taste the chocolate and coffee with just a hint of vanilla. Coffee is the first thing I think of when I taste it. Goes down smooth. You would never know its 10%. Carbonation is perfect.

O: I would order this again, oh wait I bought two bombers! That means I get another tomorrow night! Another solid beer from Ballast Point Brewing Company!

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2009 06:52:40 | More by Rmassimiano
Photo of AnotherImperial
AnotherImperial

Arizona

4.71/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I had been holding off on this beer, as porters are usually a bit light and thin for my tastes. Big mistake. This is, by far, the best porter I've ever had. The coffee is definitely the predominant flavor/aroma, but the subtle hints of vanilla perfectly compliment the beer. And, it has a thicker mouthfeel than I was expecting from a porter. This is a phenomenal example of the style, and simply a wonderful overall beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2013 03:46:41 | More by AnotherImperial
Photo of Dwtucker90
Dwtucker90

Texas

5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

10 oz. pour enjoyed at The Dancing Bear Pub in Waco, TX.

Appearance: espresso black body. Poured with a 1 inch deep brown head which dissipates into a nice thin brown foam after a couple minutes. Pretty heavy lacing all the way around the glass.

Smell: dark roasty black malt with a very forward cappuccino smell with some thick cream sweetness. Brown sugar as well paired with some faint booze. Imagine a dark coffee marshmallow. Delicious.

Taste: black malt, super creamy and sweet. Very much a sweet coffee beer, which probably comes from the vanilla. Tastes like a cappuccino and has an excellent boozy aftertaste that burns well after each sip.

Mouthfeel: super super thick and creamy. Absolutely delicious. Taste the carbonation and coffee texture.

Overall: this is one of the best coffee porters/stouts I've ever had.

Serving type: on-tap

04-14-2013 03:18:23 | More by Dwtucker90
Photo of troegaarden
troegaarden

Pennsylvania

4.73/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This was poured from a Pizza Boy Brewing Co. 1L Growler into a snifter.

A: Pours a beautiful and creamy tan head, reminiscent of Founders Breakfast Stout. The beer itself is definitely a motor oil-consistency.

S: The coffee doesn't jump out at you with this brew, but it's certainly there. I get some dark fruits in there as well.

T: Up front, I definitely get the vanilla and slight hint of coffee. The finish is dry and contains the dark malt backbone of this beer. Excellent and smooth! Not hardly boozy which is weird considering this beer is 10% abv.

M: Creamy mouthfeel during each sip. It seems rather dry after, however.

O: Overall this beer kicks ass. Definitely my new favorite porter. I think this beer most likely better represents the Baltic Porters of long ago.

Serving type: growler

06-18-2013 02:14:50 | More by troegaarden
Photo of levineju
levineju

California

4.68/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

My wife and I both enjoy this style, and I have been wanting to try more from BP. Poured into his-and-hers nonic pint glasses from a 1pt. 6oz. bomber, about $8.50 retail.

A - pours an appealing cola-brown, almost black color that translates little light. Two fingers of frothy mocha head that, while pleasing to the eye, dissipates fairly quickly.

S - the label boasts locally sourced coffee beans utilized in the brewing process, and they're not kidding. It's all roast coffee on the nose, malty and rich. Not picking up the vanilla as much.

T - now THAT'S a coffee IP! Great coffee up front, roasted nut shells, a little bit of that cola again - likely the vanilla coming through - mid sip. Finishes with strong, bittersweet cocoa powder.

M - very creamy, but not cloying.

O - Ballast Point does it again with this sweet treat.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2014 00:59:06 | More by levineju
Photo of hbensinger
hbensinger

Oklahoma

4.39/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed a bomber of this with a friend on brew day. Poured into tulip glass.
Who says you can’t drink at 8am? That’s why it has coffee in it, right?

This beer pours as you might expect a porter to. Dark and rich. Just enough off white head to let you know it is well conditioned. The aromas are all there of the coffee and roast malt. Great mouth feel. I am not usually a big fan of porters but this one was exceptionally smooth and well balanced. The coffee was noticeably present but in fantastic balance with the malt sweetness and vanilla creaminess. Im glad we only had the one bomber of this or we would have been drunk by 10am.
This is one of those beers that you have to get your hands on and try with some friends.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2014 02:05:47 | More by hbensinger
Photo of itsromy
itsromy

California

3.85/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I really do not enjoy porters too much, but to be perfectly honest, I thoroughly enjoyed this particular one. Ballast Point has crafted a fine porter with the Coffee Vanilla Imperial here.

It poured out of the bottle a dark dark hazy brown with nice foam forming at the top. It smelled more like coffee than vanilla... The taste was better than I expected. Being able to taste the coffee and hints of vanilla which balanced it out perfectly. Neither of the flavors were too overpowering. Although the beer went down relatively easily, I could not see myself putting down more than a pint.

All in all... A great porter! Highly recommended!

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2010 22:51:04 | More by itsromy
Photo of JohnPecod
JohnPecod

California

3.35/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - not quite a stout and not quite a porter. The head doesn't stay around long but still overall a beauty.

S - Oak, coffee, with hints of chocolate and vanilla. Not an outstanding bouquet but perfectly acceptable.

T - Historically this has been one of my favorite beers, but this batch tastes distinctly different than the others I've had. The distinction/problem was the dominance of the oak flavor. Unlike previous batches that deftly balanced the chocolate, vanilla, and coffee flavors this lacked the depth and complexity I've come to expect. The oak muscled everything out.

M - A little extra pop of carbonation but perfectly in line with the style.

O - Maybe my buds we're having an off night. Luckily I have another bottle to do more "analysis."

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2011 16:12:58 | More by JohnPecod
Photo of DSlim71
DSlim71

New Jersey

4.15/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Bomber pours pitch black with a dark tan head that hangs around for a few minutes. Some nice, spotty lacing is left behind after the head is gone.

S - Coffee right away with vanilla coming through pretty strongly. A little char, roastiness, and dark chocolate.

T - Same thing with the taste, you get the coffee up front but the vanilla takes over, maybe a little too much. The dark chocolate is there, and it's a little boozy, especially as it warms. Finishes with a roasted bitterness.

M - Creamy, medium bodied with a low to mid level of carbonation.

I picked this up in a bottle shop in PA, and I'm glad I did. It was a nice sipper to finish off the weekend, but the heavy vanilla kept it from being great in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2012 03:27:25 | More by DSlim71
Photo of joshbhs04
joshbhs04

Pennsylvania

3.86/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A- Jet Black with 1/4 in of nice creamy head
S- Roast, can def smell the Vanilla.
T- Lots of Coffee with just a hint of the Vanilla. Lots of roasted malt flavors.
M- Med-Heavy Body with a slightly lingering mouthfeel.
O- Was looking forward to more Vanilla but was still a great Coffee porter. Might bring out some more Vanilla with age.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2013 19:20:55 | More by joshbhs04
Photo of ChipMurray
ChipMurray

Pennsylvania

4.63/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: Black as sin and twice as sexy, a beautiful look to my glass.

S: I smell vanilla and chocolate, some coffee, and oh so heavenly .

T: All I'm getting is a beautiful mellow chocolate. Some coffee, and perhaps my bottle has aged, but if it has it's all good as it goes to heaven..

M: So drinkable it's a sin, sweet, round, tasty, and down.

O: Is beergasm an accepted descriptive term? This will put a smile on your face if you have any love for stouts or porters. Simply beautiful, loved it.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2013 23:12:50 | More by ChipMurray
Photo of Elprico
Elprico

Texas

4.43/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A-Deep black with a great, tan colored head. Mild carbonation can be seen.

S-Almost pure coffee for me. The vanilla is there, but takes a definite back seat to the coffee and chocolate flavors.

T-Tons of coffee right up front. Bitter, dark chocolate followed by a mellow and sweet vanilla aftertaste. This beer has one of the most perfect balances of coffee flavors in a beer that I've ever had. It tastes balanced and like quite a bit of work went into it.

M-Light to medium carbonation. Given the flavors I thought it would have a slightly heavier mouthfeel. I definitely would not call it watery, but would have appreciated a thicker body to this.

O-A beer that should not be passed up. The coffee in this beer makes it exceptional and although I wish it had a thicker body, I'd be hard pressed to insult this beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2014 05:35:11 | More by Elprico
Photo of BubalooBrewMaster
BubalooBrewMaster

Nevada

4.41/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle

A: its like a cascade of molasses ,rich and dark.

S:obvious smell of coffee,toasted malts and a hint of chocalate.

T:a beautiful balance of coffee and vanilla.although not a strong taste of vanilla you can taste it if you wait for it.A bitter finish but not overwhelming.

M:very smooth.

O:Best porter I've had till now.A balance of quality flavors that you can expect from your favorite coffee house with the added bonus of alcohol.Need I say more.Highly recommend for 7.99$ for a 22oz.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2013 07:20:22 | More by BubalooBrewMaster
Photo of Hopstuff
Hopstuff

North Carolina

4.2/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Good lord Mary Joseph, this one strikes the knickers like a lacy momma ready to pounce on a unborn tadpole. I am dripping with amazement. Ballast Point's best effort to date. Something tells me I might OD on greatness. But seriously this beer hits home for me. A Porter born to sail the night, without fear, without wavering from the very foundation of why I love the west coast set. Its like surfing in a sea of mocha foam born from the depths of a dark sea, married to the sky. I can't imagine a darker sailor to share the night with. It like two passionate mates are meeting in my mouth to shag!

Serving type: on-tap

11-27-2012 05:09:28 | More by Hopstuff
Photo of sleepyteacher
sleepyteacher

North Carolina

4.75/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is definitely in my top 5 favorite beers of all time. It is one of the few beers that incorporates vanilla without tasting like it incorporated vanilla. It is a porter, but it is not bitter (my girlfriend even admitted to liking it and that's a first for a porter). When I have friends over for a tasting, I always sneak this in and it is always the one that they leave wanting to buy.

WARNING: Early in my beer drinking days, Ballast was recommended to me and I shunned it because I didn't like their labeling. Don't let this bottle fool you! It has an old-school sensibility to its design and a very classic and smooth taste. I just picked up a few bottles to age and can't wait to dive into them.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2014 00:42:32 | More by sleepyteacher
Photo of tpaetow
tpaetow

Missouri

4.63/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a bomber into a tulip

A- dark dark dark with a nice creamy tan head

S- tons of coffee, bitter chocolate, less vanilla than expected, little caramel sweetness

T- toasty delicious coffee up front, biter chocolate and more vanilla around the middle, caramelly, light sweetness in the back

M- medium bodied, decent carbonation, this one is creamy and smooth

O- this is one tasty porter, if you're a fan of the style this is worth seeking out

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2014 05:22:28 | More by tpaetow
Photo of smonice
smonice

New Jersey

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

Poured from a growler.

A- Black with a nice tan head and a little lacing

S- Mostly coffee and little vanilla

T- Great taste, the coffee comes through strong and the subtle vanilla evens it out. Slight booze burn but not bad.

M- Creamy in mouth, not too light and not too heavy

O- Really like this beer. Going to finish this growler and then age a bottle I have for a little bit and try it again to see if the burn minimizes a bit.

Serving type: growler

12-28-2012 22:55:54 | More by smonice
Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 3,311 ratings.