Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter - Ballast Point Brewing Company
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Ratings: 3,696 | Reviews: 917 | Display Reviews Only:
4.71/5 rDev +7.3%
This beer pours pretty thick, looking like a stout but with a slight opacity very barely in the edges if you tip the glass just so. Yes, it's thick. It's pretty close to black. Somehow, though thick and dark, it doesn't look too heavy. On the pour, a strong, dense cocoa colored head emerges and rests at a full finger, with little to no settling over the entire course of the drinking session. Along with the strong form it's got some stick, too, as it manages to leave strong, heavy lacing in large patches down the glass.
The aroma is big and rich in this one, and there's no doubt this is a strong, robust and very American-style porter. Roast is the main element in here, lots of big malts for a very strong foundation to build on. There's no acrid edge, no harshness found in malt-heavy beers with lots of roasty character. There is a light note of charred woods that, with the sweetness, come together rather than fighting for dominance. The sweetness is creamy, lots of vanilla and toffee, with just a hint of currants or dark cherry. The roasted coffee lies over it all without overpowering it, but lending itself to the overall character.
I've had a couple people who have tried it tell me this beer must have been barrel-aged, and, while it isn't, I understand what they're getting. Along with the underlying fresh coffee, the sweet creamy vanilla and toffee (and maybe something like a touch of molasses), the hint of dark fruits, and the big roast, there's something like a woody character to it. Honestly, it adds a a bit of balance to the flavor if nothing else. Not only that, but the alcohol has a noticeable warming affect but doesn't get too hot. The woody notes come out even more into the finish.
Big, thick, rich and robust, this is a full-bodied beer. It definitely breaks from tradition to follow the path of Americanization. It's deep, not just big for the sake of being big. Carbonation is enough to keep it lively while maintaining the character, crispness is light and works similarly. It has a nice creaminess to it from beginning to end.
08-22-2013 13:39:14 | More by Brenden
Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 3,696 ratings.