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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

3,634 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,634
Reviews: 918
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 636
Gots: 687 | FT: 52
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 Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,634 | Reviews: 918 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Lawnboy33
Lawnboy33

Massachusetts

5/5  rDev +13.9%

11-14-2011 23:55:37 | More by Lawnboy33
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
westcoastbeerlvr

California

3.75/5  rDev -14.6%

11-14-2011 22:28:27 | More by westcoastbeerlvr
Photo of jlb502
jlb502

California

5/5  rDev +13.9%

11-14-2011 21:12:52 | More by jlb502
Photo of djrn2
djrn2

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -8.9%

11-14-2011 21:11:45 | More by djrn2
Photo of heyta
heyta

Georgia

5/5  rDev +13.9%

11-14-2011 19:53:41 | More by heyta
Photo of nanobrew
nanobrew

California

4/5  rDev -8.9%

11-14-2011 18:59:05 | More by nanobrew
Photo of thebouch01
thebouch01

Pennsylvania

5/5  rDev +13.9%

11-14-2011 16:05:34 | More by thebouch01
Photo of dgilks
dgilks

Australia

5/5  rDev +13.9%

11-14-2011 08:54:42 | More by dgilks
Photo of Jspriest
Jspriest

Pennsylvania

5/5  rDev +13.9%

11-14-2011 07:28:25 | More by Jspriest
Photo of BdubleEdubleRUN
BdubleEdubleRUN

California

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

Love this beer, so I was very pleased to see this back again.
Poured into a snifter this beer comes out a very thick black and builds a tan head that sticks to the glass.
The nose is great, rich coffee, roastiness, vanilla and sugar sweetness.
The taste is fantastic altough I am picking up a little less vanilla then I did in last years, I love vanilla and wouldn't mind a bit more. Tons of coffee and malts.
Its medium bodied and a bit thicker then most porters which I enjoy, has lasting flavors and just a bit of alcohol heat.
Always look forward to this beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2011 21:08:37 | More by BdubleEdubleRUN
Photo of DarthKostrizer
DarthKostrizer

California

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

This will be the first beer I give a perfect score to and it has been the only one to date worth a 5

2011 version consumed a few days after the release

Look: Black and totally opaque with a perfect 1 inch foamy head and great retention with some circular lacing. As you drink the beer down it coats the glass and leaves behind a light brown coating. Just beautiful

Smell: Just wonderful gourmet coffee upfront and it might e the best coffee nose I have ever smelled traces of vanilla fill the background nice. Just perfect

Taste: God damn the flavors in this beer are in perfect harmony. The coffee melds so well together with the chocolate and finishes perfectly with just the right amount of vanilla and just a slight amount of alcohol. PERFECT

Mouthfeel: Medium to heavy body with the perfect amount of carbonation. Silky smooth going down and coats the mouth beautifully

Overall: This is truly a perfect imperial porter.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2011 00:31:39 | More by DarthKostrizer
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
TheSevenDuffs

Ontario (Canada)

3.98/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to cbeer88 for this one. Poured in to Founder's tulip glass.

A - Poured dark black with one finger of bubbly espresso coloured head that quickly disappeared.

S - Bitter dark roasted coffee up front that dominates the nose. A touch of sweetness in the background but the vanilla is not specifically evident in the nose. Somewhat one dimensional nose.

T - Dark roasted coffee, brown sugar, roasted malts and a touch of vanilla. As the beer warms the coffee becomes less dominant and the the roasted malts and vanilla become more evident but the coffee remains the predominant flavour.

M - Medium body, light carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2011 15:21:38 | More by TheSevenDuffs
Photo of Sideswipe
Sideswipe

California

4.43/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Barley and Hops.

Victory at Sea arrives in a pint glass. The beer is pitch black with a finger of tan head. The foam recedes leaving wisps of beige bubbles atop the beer and sticky lacing on the sides of the glass. The aroma of fresh ground coffee beans wafts up from the glass. A closer whiff reveals hints of roasted malt, but the coffee overpowers it for the most part. Flavors of coffee and a huge vanilla presence dominate the palate. Sweet, roasted malt is detectable in the background, but the emphasis clearly is on the coffee and vanilla. The finish is semi-sweet wih a lingering aftertaste of... Yep.... Coffee and vanilla. VaS is full bodied, especially for a porter, with a nice, medium level of carbonation. The 10% ABV is quite well hidden by the exquisite melding of coffee vanilla and roasted malt flavors. Overall, a very tasty offering from Ballast Point. Reminiscent of a drink one might order at Starbuck's, but with bubbles and a bit of a kick to it . I enjoy this one every time I have it. Recommended.

Serving type: on-tap

11-04-2011 22:08:12 | More by Sideswipe
Photo of AWolfAtTheDoor
AWolfAtTheDoor

California

4.83/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Split a bomber with beer buddy Phil. Live review.

Pours dark with ruby hues showing through when place infront of a light. Nice dark mocha colored head. Not a lot of lacing.

Cold vanilla and a blast of coffee on the nose. This is exciting.

Lots of coffee up front. As the coffee dissipates, the vanilla emerges tentatively. Roasted malts, bitter chocolate round this masterpiece out. Hint of alcohol in there as well.

Really smooth mouthfeel. Not heavy by any means, and certainly does not feel anywhere near 10%. Incredibly well crafted beer.

Overall I'd climb over your mother to get this beer. This beer has been sitting in my fridge for maybe 2 years? Absolutely incredible beer. It was a stretch not to give it full 5s.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2011 07:34:36 | More by AWolfAtTheDoor
Photo of WanderingFool
WanderingFool

Massachusetts

4.43/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Victory at Sea pours black into the glass with a small off white head on top. The foam dissolves quickly to a ring around the surface leaving behind a few spots of lace on the glass.

The rich malty aroma is full of coffee, chocolate, toffee and roasted malt.

Each sip of this medium to full bodied beer is smooth, creamy with a moderate carbonated fizz. The flavor is sweet with rich notes of chocolate, coffee, toffee, roasted malt, nuts and pine. It finishes dry with a lingering chocolate flavor.

This is a very tasty beer that hides it's 10% abv well. The bottle I opened has been in my refrigerator for a year and it aged very well.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2011 01:31:08 | More by WanderingFool
Photo of samie85
samie85

Illinois

4.13/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a deep dark black color with a few fingers of dark brown head.

S-Smells of fresh roasted coffee, dark chocolate, a bit of vanilla, and a bit of cocoa.

T-Roasted, dark coffee with some vanilla robust dark chocolate with lots of roast on the finish.

M-Rich, smooth body with ample carbonation that cuts through some of the richness of this one and a bit of alcohol warmth on the finish.

D-Pretty drinkable for 10%, that being said, there is an alcohol presence to this one that isn't entirely unwelcome.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2011 01:34:34 | More by samie85
Photo of aasher
aasher

Indiana

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

This bottle was courtesy of thagr81us in a recent massive trade. Thanks Calton! I've been wanting to try this forever.

It pours a dark, dark, dark brown in color, medium in body, with a light beige lacing around my snifter. The aromas are an array of soft chocolates, toffee, lightly roasted malts, vanilla, coffee with cream, with a subtle sweetness. Surprisingly there is no bitterness on the nose at all. The flavors consist of sweet milk chocolate, lightly creamed coffee, dark chocolate, light vanilla bean, chocolate milk, and it finishes with a slight coffee bitterness. It's really smooth and moderately rich. It's sweet but not too sweet. Overall it's a very, very nice beer and a hell of a porter. The alcohol isn't overly present and it's a fine beer to sip on. This is another well made beer from Ballast point and worth your while.

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2011 02:55:17 | More by aasher
Photo of mltobin
mltobin

Connecticut

4.08/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber of this over in Westchester NY.

Appearance is dark black with a short tan head. The nose of this imperial porter contains chocolate, vanilla and coffee. Vanilla really came out more than I expected in the aroma. For the taste, a fair amount of roasted malts are present, coffee and vanilla. Mouthfeel on this offering from Victory leans towards full with a velvet texture. If you have had some of Ballast Point`s ipas but not this one, you need to check it out, solid quality.

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2011 01:43:12 | More by mltobin
Photo of kaseydad
kaseydad

California

4.53/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

In the cellar for almost a year but couldn't take him staring back at me each time I passed him over for another. Pours a beautiful black ale with a brown fluffy head. Stays for awhile and then turns to a thin layer. Great vanilla in the smell. Simply awesome with a background of milk chocolate and Hershey's syrup. I could smell this all day. It's that good. Nice roasty flavor with some bitter chocolate, espresso hints and some smokiness on the swallow. Not getting much vanilla in the taste but the coffee charachter really comes out as it warms. I thought the mouthfeel was a little too carbonated for my liking but that was only a slight "problem" with this amazing brew. Overall I am a forever fan of this brew and look forward to his release again. And the 10% must be a misprint. Much too easy to consume and sharing may be difficult. Great job!

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2011 02:27:11 | More by kaseydad
Photo of Spider889
Spider889

Ohio

4.58/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to bobertkuekn for allowing me to cross this want off my list. Hope we can meet up at a future Jackie O's Release!

2010 vintage.

Poured into a Cigar City snifter. The beer was thick and black, and at first a head seemed to be merely a wish... so I upped the ante (and the height of my pour) by about 6 inches and suddenly, whooosh! Up rose a tall head. It lasted a couple minutes then receded, leaving an amazing blanket of lace on the glass, and a very short cap of foam which resembled sushi roe on the edge of the glass the way the bubbles stacked up.

Smells awesome. From the aroma at least, the coffee hasn't faded at all. Deep, rich cold coffee mingles with the wonderful sweet chocolate aromas of the porter. The base porter is a great beer in its own right. Vanilla is subtle, but I can certainly pick it out.

Smooth and decadent. Really folks, this is all that needs to be said. The beer is sumptuous and unctuous... seriously, all I can think about are foodie terms to describe this beer. The coffee is the forerunner in the flavor department - it is silky and robust. Very potent despite the age on this bottle, I can only imagine what this beer is like fresh. Layers and layers of chocolate fudge, truffle powder, coffee, vanilla, and dark sweet chocolate rush at your palate like the waves of an advancing army... an army that knows it has already won. The aftertaste is quite bitter. This guy is pretty well hopped up. Not a bad thing, but just another surprise given the age of the bottle.

The mouthfeel is extremely sensual as well. Smooth and velvety, the beer is thick and chewy. All the while, this one is simultaneously delicate and clean.

Overall worth every bit of the hype. I saw on the Ballast Point website that they must have done some one-off casks of barrel-aged and rum-aged Victory at Sea. Guys, bottle the stuff. It must have been amazing!

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2011 09:06:16 | More by Spider889
Photo of homebrew311
homebrew311

Illinois

4.22/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to the Central PA crew for sending this as part of the Gang Bang BIF.

A: pours a deep dark brown, dark brown head, creamy appearance, opaque

S: vanilla comes on strong followed by sturdy roasted profile, coffee is faint...seems to have faded a bit

T: well never mind about the coffee fading... that is the first thing I taste. This is countered with delicate notes of vanilla and roasted barley. Things get a little sweet at the end.

MF: medium body, medium carbonation

O: I can't think of a much better combo then coffee, vanilla, and stout. This brew pulls it off nicely, would love to try it fresh.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2011 06:04:53 | More by homebrew311
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 tobelerone
tobelerone

Connecticut

4/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vigorous pour yields a smallish head with dissipates rapidly, leaving a thin creamy band behind. Lacing is thin and not very clingy. Beer is black and totally opaque. Smell is muted, with roast notes, subtle vanilla, and mostly, fresh coffee. Vanilla is faint in the tasting, with coffee coming in stronger and appealing roasty, burnt notes dominating.

Mouthfeel is nice, with just a little syrupy cling, medium carbonation, and medium to thin body. Finish is moderately long with some bitterness; doesn't stick around too long. Dryer than expected.

Nice dessert beer, although the flavors seem a bit muted. No bottle dating makes this one a toss up; although I'm certain it's at least a few months old. Would like to try a fresher bottle. Won't be dropping another 10 bucks for an undated bomber, however. BP beers are awesome, but lack of bottle dating and high prices make them a bit of a crapshoot on the east coast.

I will be visiting the brewery in December and look forward to trying all of their beers at their freshest!

EDIT: Have returned to this beer a few times and gotten much fresher bottles; this one is really delicious when the vanilla and coffee are bright and vivid.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2011 15:25:04 | More by tobelerone
Photo of amphion1065
amphion1065

Massachusetts

2.93/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bomber purchased in 2011, poured into a Duvel tulip.

A really fantastic-looking beer. Pour is very dark brown, almost black. A two-finger mocha head (that is, appropriately enough, reminiscent of cappuccino foam) just won't go away. Very tight bubbles, great retention. Awesome lacing, too.

Tons of of roast coffee in the nose. Those roasted malts are very, very strong. There's a pretty clear alcohol element in the nose as well. Just a very slight hint of vanilla. Nice, if one-dimensional.

Unsurprisingly, the taste is basically all coffee. There's a persistent, acrid bitterness that really lingers. Thought there's not a lot of vanilla at work here, there is definitely a pronounced boozy taste. Some dark fruits, but that burnt coffee quality is overpowering.

The mouthfeel is too thin, with overactive carbonation. This really needs to settle down.

I remember loving the first bottle of Victory at Sea I tasted - a friend had brought one back to Boston from San Francisco back in February, and I can still recall both smelling and tasting caramel in this beer. This was just average, and I'm not sure that age is to blame given the fact that the coffee was so strong. A let down for me.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2011 21:26:04 | More by amphion1065
Photo of ehammond1
ehammond1


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

On Tap (2010)

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

(Aged 1 year)

Jet black, shiny, with a thin light brown cap. Sheets of lacing down the glass. Thick and menacing.

Roasted malt, lots and lots of rich coffee, and some faint vanilla round out the nose. Complete and decadent aroma.

The flavors are a wrestling match between the rich, creamy, yet bitter coffee, and sweet, earthy vanilla. It's a wonderful wrestling match I'm happy to referee. Delicious, and in my opinion, better than the barrel aged nitro version.

Medium to thick bodied.

A vibrant, delicious, balanced, big, big stout. Lots of vanilla, coffee, and roast battle it out big time--good thing they're all delicious.

Serving type: on-tap

08-24-2011 19:51:48 | More by ehammond1
Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 3,634 ratings.