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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
98
world-class

4,819 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,819
Reviews: 1,075
rAvg: 4.4
pDev: 8.86%
Wants: 884
Gots: 1,163 | FT: 91
Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: radshoesbro on 03-17-2009

Our Victory at Sea Imperial Porter is a bold, smooth brew with just the right amount of sweetness. We infused this robust porter with whole vanilla beans and San Diego’s own Caffe Calabria coffee beans. The subtle roasted notes and minimal acidity of the cold brewed coffee, balances perfectly with the sweet caramel undertones of the malt, creating a winning combination for your palate.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,819 | Reviews: 1,075 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Braz
4.19/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Black in appearance. Frothy white head. Smells like a beer ashtray, didn't care for that. Tastes is full and very good. Vanilla notes and a nice roasted coffee backbone. Texture like a silk pie.

Photo of erialbill
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of Nolen12
4.52/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of IndyDad
4.75/5  rDev +8%

Photo of coz
5/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of JakerLou
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of Evan
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of JohnQVegas
4.05/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle into snifter. Tasting notes from 45 degrees and up.

Pours pitch black, almost no brown showing through anywhere other than the very edges, a nice , dense one-finger light-brown head. Nice stickage, impressive lacing. After the head disappears, a few swirls are all that's needed to resurrect it.

Nose is big on espresso; robust, rich, and full, with an underlying vanilla/smooth dark chocolate sweetness. Not a bit of acidity. Wow, really nice.

Taste is pretty unique. It pretty much throws everything at you right from the beginning - big roasty espresso, loads of vanilla, and some dark, dark chocolate underneath. There's definitely a dichotomy hear between the fairly sharp, roasty bitterness and the big sweet vanilla note, with the vanilla pulling ahead around mid-palate and the espresso roaring back to dominate the long, dry, moderately bitter roasty finish. Bit boozey.

Mouthfeel is smooth, full bodied, with a crisp but reserved carbonation.

Drinkability is ok. This is definitely an "extreme" beer, in that all the flavor notes are really huge and kind of battle it out for dominance instead of syncing up and trying to work with each other. A hair less vanilla and a bit less on the bitterness scale and this one would work quite a bit better. As it is now, it's a nice beer, but it really takes no prisoners.

Photo of BeerThursdays
3.75/5  rDev -14.8%

Photo of ObeMaltKinobee
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of paco1029384756
4.4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle thanks to Kegatron.

Pours black with one finger of smooth light tan head.

Scent of roasted malts, bitter hops, chocolate, vanilla, sugars, oatmeal, and some dark fruit. Not quite amazing, but balanced supremely well with no hint of alcohol.

Taste of sweet creamy vanilla, chocolate, oatmeal, roasted malts, coffee, some bitter hops, and burnt wood. Very tasty, and balanced similarly as the scent. This brewery can balance the hell out of some very strong beer.

Mouthfeel is heavy bodied and smooth with a slowly biting carbonation; wonderful.

Photo of ocelot2500
4.6/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep, black color with a fading tan head that leaves plenty of lacing.

Smells of delicious roasted coffee.

Tastes of the delicious roasted notes. Notes of coffee, chocolate, and brown sugar. Vanilla notes come in the end and add a flair to the coffee. Everything is really well balanced. Alcohol is hardly noticeable at 10% and makes this brew a little dangerous.

Mouthfeel is full with a creamy amount of carbonation.

Photo of LambicPentameter
4.36/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Reviewed from notes after enjoying on 1/18/14. Served out of a 22 oz brown bomber with an enjoy by date of 01/03/14, although this style should be fine with some age. Poured into a large 22 oz. snifter that looks sort of like a Teku glass without the flared lip.

Appearance - Body is midnight black--no light getting through capped with a half-finger mocha-tan head of predominantly tiny bubbles with a few medium-sized suds interspersed. Retention is moderate, with the foam fading to a line around the edge of the glass and a thin sparse film across the top of the glass. No lacing whatsoever.

Smell - At first, I was disappointed, thinking that I had left this in the back of my fridge a tad too long. Initially, there was very little coffee or vanilla, with the predominant notes being dark chocolate and dark-roasted malt and buckwheat. However, upon letting it warm a bit, the coffee and vanilla became a bit more present on the nose, even if subdued. The coffee element evokes roasted beans, before any grinding or brewing, just waiting to be unleashed.

Taste - I'm happy to report that the the marquee elements of the porter held up much better on the tongue than they did on the nose. Big, french roast coffee and bold bitterness that finishes with a pleasant vanilla sweetness, like the wonderful innards of a freshly-scored dried vanilla bean. Bittersweet, burnt caramel and waffle cone all add their voices to the mix as well in a complimentary role. It's situations like this where the advantages of a larger format bottle become clear. The first glass was good, but the second glass was great due to some patience and increased temperature.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied (which is a surprise for a non-BA porter with coffee and vanilla that clocks in at 10% abv), with low carbonation on this just-past-the-best-by-date bottle. In spite of the body being a bit lighter than expected, there is a viscous element that leaves a lingering bittersweet finish that is wonderfully complex.

Overall, a great offering from Ballast Point, and even though I've had a limited number of brews from them, this one is a clear favorite of mine. I have one more bottle that I will likely be opening sooner than later, to see just how much difference that best by date really makes.

Photo of scotv
4.25/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of FreshZ
4.25/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of tdmccarthy
3.75/5  rDev -14.8%

Photo of russwbeck
4.47/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to nhindian for sharing this one! After we popped the bottle I think he wished he had the whole thing for himself...I know I sure did.

A: Dark pour, small beige head, that doesn't stay around for too long, but laces decently.

S: The smell is sweeter than I would expect. Coffee tones and roasted malts. Sweetness must be from the vanilla.

T: Taste is coffee forward, with the vanilla coming up after. Dry aftertaste, the coffee sticks around for a while.

MF: Full bodied and creamy, which I didn't expect. My last Vanilla porter was way too watery for me, this really surprised me in a good way.

D: I didn't want to put this down. Really, really good. I want another one already.

Photo of jayhunter357
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.43/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a tulip.

Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter comes out of the bottle looking dark and brooding. The beer itself pours a dark obsidian color. The head starts as a dark tan foam, bubbling up through the beer and rising up the glass. The foam eventually rises a few inches to reach the top of the glass. A slow recession leaves plenty of lace sticking to the glass.

The aroma provides a blast of roasted malt notes and deep, full coffee. There is a little bit of bitter dark chocolate in the back, but the aroma is mainly a blast of roasted malt and bitter coffee.

My first impression is that this beer is big, bold, and makes no apologies for being so. Dark roasted malt has hints of smoke and dark chocolate. A jolt of vanilla breaks up the bitter transition from fully roasted malt to intense coffee. The coffee starts strong, with the bitterness coming after. With each sip the cumulative bitterness grows, reminding me of just how intense of a beer this is.

Perhaps it is some kind of magic trick, but this beer does not drink like it has 10% alcohol. There is almost no alcohol present in the taste; it is only noticeable in a slight tingle on my tongue and gums. There is a great creamy nature to the carbonation, more so that the beer. If anything, the flaw with this beer is how light the body feels compared to the robustness of the flavor and carbonation. There is a little bit of bitter and sweet sticky residue left on my lips.

This is truly a great beer and may be the best porter I have had so far. The combination of flavors and level of intensity really do it for me.

Photo of valkyre65
5/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of avaldivia
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of ChrisL24481
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of brycevolk
5/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of taospowder
4.75/5  rDev +8%

Photo of Ajlvt
4.75/5  rDev +8%

Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 4,819 ratings.