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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

3,603 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,603
Reviews: 917
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 630
Gots: 681 | 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: 3,603 | Reviews: 917 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of lnashsig
lnashsig

Texas

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

Many thanks to AugustGarage for the chance to try this. This was an extra in a recent package from him- he consistently amazes me with his selection and generosity.

Poured into my DFH snifter, pours a dark brown/black color, with a tan/off white head that fills the top of the glass, and then slowly recedes. Excellent retention. Smell- dark chocolate, dark coffee, big hops on the nose. This one has it all! Taste- biting hops, followed by a roasty dark chocolate flavor, finished with a big almost espresso roasted coffee flavor. This beer reminds me of Founders Breakfast Stout, but beats it in a big way. This is a luscious, decadent beer that is well balanced, and exciting on all levels. Mouthfeel- I'm honestly surprised this is categorized as a porter- it has the rich syrupy thick mouthfeel of a stout, with perfect carbonation. Drinkabilty- as with most beers I get from AugustGarage, I'm saddened by the fact that I can't buy this easily again. It's an amazing beer and I will be looking for anything close to it that I can buy in Houston (but will probably come up short).

Thanks again- this one was the highlight of my night last night.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2011 13:58:04 | More by lnashsig
Photo of BZero007
BZero007

Virginia

4.03/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a couple bottles from Vendome in Cali.
No dating is shown on the bottle anywhere.

Pours a very black tar color with a brown chocolate head forming with ease. The aroma is light but strong with sweet dark malt and a hint of vanilla in the background. The flavor has the sweet dark malt in the front showing strong as porter should, with the vanilla pushing it through. Body was a bit heavier then the baltic porters that I am used to. Very tasty brew with no taste of the alcohol at all in the brew.
Very enjoyable may pick up another some time in the future.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2011 18:09:19 | More by BZero007
Photo of shand
shand

Florida

4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a chalice.

This brew pours a thick black color with brown highlights. It has a finger of mocha head that goes away quickly. Lacing is nice. The smell is awesome. Roasted coffee and malts on the nose, with some nice vanilla and chocolate aspects too. The nose did nothing to prepare me for the taste though. This hits the tongue super-creamy, with the vanilla, chocolate and coffee working in tandem for a great flavor. The vanilla and chocolate fade to roasted malts, which don't stay for too long, leaving a great coffee aftertaste. This is seriously good.

The mouthfeel is very creamy with a pretty high level of carbonation for the style. 10% alcohol? No way. I don't taste a hint of the alcohol here. This is dangerously drinkable. This is seriously a good brew. I saw the tag of "imperial porter" and shrugged it out, but I can surely see the difference between this and an imperial stout. Highly recommended, especially if you love coffee beers like I do. This is seriously good.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2011 02:21:13 | More by shand
Photo of jsanford
jsanford

Georgia

4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Lodge in Hilton Head, SC on 3/4/11. Glad to finally be able to try this, it's eluded me for some time.

A - Inky black with a thin, creamy head of mocha-colored foam. Great retention, leaves a ton of sticky lacing.
S - Dark roasted malt, coffee-and-cream, vanilla beans, and caramel. Wow, what and amazing nose!
T - Dark malt and a lots of coffee dominate, along with more vanilla bean, dark chocolate malt, and caramel. Tastes like a Mocha Milkshake in the best possible way, so good!
M - Incredibly full, creamy and velvety, with low carbonation.
D - Really amazing, wish I could have had more but the keg kicked. Worth the wait!

Serving type: on-tap

03-15-2011 22:30:40 | More by jsanford
Photo of OakedCanuck
OakedCanuck

Washington

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

22oz bottle poured into snifter. Thanks for this one jodan

A - Black, very slight dark brown edging. Mocha coloured head, 2 fingers, excellent. Lacing was sticky and very nice

S - Strong vanilla, lesser coffee. Slight 'chemical' smell but very faint. Did not pick up very much bitterness but mostly just roast

T - smell followed the nose. Very strong, chemically vanilla, but not in too bad of a way. You do get the bold roasty coffee but it is more in the background. The vanilla is very dominant. I would have preferred the coffee to be the star of the show but it was a tasty brew

M - Medium to light heavy. Semi-sweet and slightly tacky

D - This beer is quite a bit of work to finish an entire bomber. I would not be able to have another. Tasty, just the vanilla was a bit much at time.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2011 14:25:18 | More by OakedCanuck
Photo of stephens101
stephens101

Oklahoma

4.3/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Andewk for the exceptional trade and the hookup on this bonus beer.

Tall, thick, and dark tan head with a cluster of slowly popping bubbles at the top of the jet black brew. Staying power is excellent. In other words, this head don't need no Viagra. A tiered and multi-hued lace is left when the froth is spent.

Sweet and bitter chocolates to the nose initially, with an undercurrent of black coffee and furtive vanilla bean at the very end. Taste is complex with rich caramel malts, pine, espresso, vanilla, milk chocolate and oaken notes.

Creamy goodness going down with an unbroken but never overwhelming alcohol heat.

A stud of a perfectly balanced bittersweet brew that I find finishes off way to quick no matter how you cut it.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2011 23:30:47 | More by stephens101
Photo of July2Nov
July2Nov

Hawaii

4.03/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured a very dark brown (almost black) color with an ever so slight glimmer of light around the edges (ruby like in color). Had a nice two-finger, creamy head on it that soon went down to a half-finger.

Smell: Very coffee like with a big amount of chocolate and a tad bit of vanilla. Also has a syrupy hint. This smells very intoxicating.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Very robust! Big on flavor! Everything mentioned in the smell category is doubled - tripled in taste. Begins with a smooth, chalky coco/vanilla taste, then milds down with the syrup flavor...ends with mild to stronger bit of alcohol bite. The aftertaste is pure coffee.

Drinkabilty: For a 10.00% abv this is drinkable, but not to the point of having another one. Very good American Porter by a respectable brewing team. Ballast Point always tends to put out quality brews and for that, I salute you, Captain.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2011 21:02:58 | More by July2Nov
Photo of TheDudeRules
TheDudeRules

Minnesota

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

Served at a mini tasting.

Pours a ridiculous black. Tan almost coffee colored head. Smell is a full on coffee punch to the nostrils. If there is vanilla it gives way. Incredibly inviting. What a smooth robust coffee flavor. This brew is incredible. It envelops your tongue. Damn. I really dig this beer. The roasty coffee is superb. The carbonation is perfect. A beer I felt good sharing. Everyone enjoyed its splendor.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2011 08:21:19 | More by TheDudeRules
Photo of mdaschaf
mdaschaf

Washington

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

Review from notes 2/6/11. Thanks to THECPJ for pulling this one out at the end of the night!

A: Pours a deep black with a thick two finger, mocha colored head. Decent lacing. Beer appears to be a bit syrupy.

S: Lots of chocolate and vanilla. A little bit of alcohol presence and a touch of coffee.

T: Really intense chocolate and vanilla flavors, they blind very nicely. There is a little bit of alcohol and a note of coffee, but the chocolate and vanilla dominate in a big way.

M/D: Medium bodied with light carbonation, but sort of heavy. Extremely enjoyable, a nice after dinner sipper, or would go great with most desserts. I was really happy (and surprised) that there wasn't as much coffee in this one, but it works for me.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2011 15:56:33 | More by mdaschaf
Photo of brew3crew
brew3crew

Ohio

4.28/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A-nice dark color with a tan head that disapates with time
S-a nice mixture of coffee and vanilla. Who would have guessed?
T-vanilla upfront with a cofee aftertaste. Very smooth with the carbonation.
M-medium bodied and smooth
D-no way I would have guessed this to be a 10% beer. Wow.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2011 19:53:11 | More by brew3crew
Photo of Gunslinger711
Gunslinger711

Indiana

4.1/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Group tasting notes from 2-18-11
Poured out of a bottle.
Served in a goblet.

A- Pours out like motor oil with a beautiful tan head, at least 2 fingers. Lacing apparent through the entire drinking of the beer.

S- It smells like a coffee liqour, like a coffee/vanilla flavored vodka.

M- Heavy mouthfeel as you expect, coats the mouth like motor oil.

T- Coffee on the front end, slight hint of vanilla in the middle, then a heavy malty burn on the back end.

Food: The Chocolate Bacon Brownie calmed down the back end of this beer alot.

Overall: This beer fresh is a little bit hot, it's got a lot going on. It'd like to get another and age it a year or two, I feel like that would calm everything down and hopefully bring out that vanilla a little more.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2011 02:10:31 | More by Gunslinger711
Photo of ChadQuest
ChadQuest

Illinois

4.38/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I poured this rather vigorously into my Smuttynose snifter, and the head has the staying power, and the aromas are lofting strongly around the area. vanilla is by far the strongest airborne scent, even more so then the coffee. digging your nose into it just screams vanilla. The flavors are more balanced then the aromas and meld very very nicely. Chocolate is introduced here to support the coffee and vanilla. For some reason im getting some oaky notes and there is also alcohol notes too. Overall i have to say this is a very impressive Coffee beer, and this is a harshly graded class for me. mouthfeel is creamy and semi-dense, just a joy to drink all around.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2011 03:03:36 | More by ChadQuest
Photo of Nesued
Nesued

South Carolina

3.95/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Obtained locally yesterday. Was thinking of storing it for a bit but the weather has turned back to the chilly side so I thought I'd crack this open.

Appearance - Big dark pour from this 22oz bottle. The lush tan head formed with a mix of large and small bubbles forming the landscape. Lacing is present as the head retracts to a thin tan ring around the edge of my Chimay chalice. Very inviting.

Smell - Robust coffee and vanilla are the first aromas that hit your nose. A very rich coffee aroma, unlike some other coffee beers where the coffee almost seems to be added for namesake rather than as a contribution to the overall flavor. Some caramel and a hit of alcohol as well.

Taste - Bittersweet chocolate, malty initial presentation with a nice vanilla presence as well. Just as advertized, so it delivers. A drying finish from the ample hop presence does a nice job finishing the current sip as you anticipate the next. As you finish you do notice the 10% ABV coming through at the end.

Mouthfeel - Medium mouthfeel. One of the few down-ticks for this offering. Was expecting a more. Perhaps the carbonation could use to be brought up a bit. Regardless these is a chewy quality to this beer with a nice presence.

Drinkability - One of the best in the style. The coffee presence is excellent. Not overdone nor a fake over-processed taste. My only down ticks is the medium body and the finishing alcohol burn. I would love to taste the BA version to see how it rounds out the corners of this beer. Well done.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2011 01:53:52 | More by Nesued
Photo of Vdubb86
Vdubb86

Illinois

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

Served in a 3 Floyds pint glass

Thanks to Mages64 for this want

This beer pours a gorgeous dark black chocolate color with a tan foam residing on the surface. The aromatics are rather pleasant they remind of all of the smells listed in the name of this beer. Coffee, check. Vanilla, check. Imperial Porter...well that translates to dark chocolate for me, so we're good. I wanted to rate this beer higher than I did. The first couple of sips were heavenly nectar, but the sips after that were acidic and astringent to my palate. I must say that the mouthfeel when warmed up to nearly room temperature was solid, but at suggested temps was merely good. This beer was pretty darn tasty and easy to drink to boot. I would crack open my other bomber of it, but at 10% that would spell disaster. I really enjoyed drinking this beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2011 06:03:24 | More by Vdubb86
Photo of augustgarage
augustgarage

California

3.88/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Dogfish Head shaped pint glass. I've had a few barrel aged versions of this but never the original strangely enough:

Seal brown liquid, thoroughly opaque, with an active fluffy three finger raft of tan up top. Sticky soapy lacing, obscure whatever legs that might be beneath.

Roast malt (and barley?) in the nose - perhaps a couple specialty malts as well, along with a touch of vanilla and over-roasted espresso beans.

Vanilla comes on strong on the palate followed rapidly by a variety of bittersweet roast flavors (scalded coffee, cocoa nibs, malt, barley, etc) and a powerful kick of alcohol. Fruit pits, moderate earthy hop notes (with low bitterness however), and an almost cedar-like woodsy flavor emerge in the finish. A very distinctive profile that I find difficult to pinpoint.

Moderately astringent (more from the coffee perhaps than the beer), well carbonated, velvety, full-bodied, and warming.

A sipper for sure - you can easily split a bomber thanks to the potency. An immense beer, but arguably over-done.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2011 00:12:30 | More by augustgarage
Photo of stewfnrocker
stewfnrocker

New Jersey

4.4/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I got myself a growler of Ballast Point Victory at Sea Imperial Porter. I poured the beer from the growler into a pint glass. It poured a dark dark brownish maybe black and has a very nice tan head. The smell is of roasted coffee, toffee, maybe caramel and a little vanilla. Lots of sweet smells. When I got that first mouthful you got the taste of the roasted coffee and some malts and is rounded off with that vanilla and a bit of alcohol at the end. Its hard to hide 10% but it really isn't overpowering. There is about an average carbonation, and it has a medium to thick body beer. This beer is a great beer to have with something sweet or after dinner. It has all those sweet flavors of coffee and vanilla and toffee.

Serving type: growler

03-03-2011 04:55:36 | More by stewfnrocker
Photo of IdrinkGas
IdrinkGas

Pennsylvania

4.78/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a snifter.
A: Pours pitch black with two fingers of head from a rough pour. Small amount of lacing.
S: The smell is dominated by vanilla beans with some chotolate and coffee also in the mix.
T:Mostly vanilla, slight bitter dark chocolate taste, some coffee and alcohol in the end. Very nice.
D: Quite drinkable for the ABV.

This is my goto beer right now. I've drank like 6 of these in the past couple weeks. Great beer!

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2011 03:23:07 | More by IdrinkGas
Photo of badboyrsl84
badboyrsl84

California

4.78/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of my favorite porters of all time. I've had this a ton of times but have yet to review it so here it goes

Look - pours a dark caramel almost black color with a 2 inch thick tan head.

Smell. Sweet coffee and vanilla

Taste- this is one of the few beers best when its warm all the time. I get some carbonation tons of long lasting coffee with a touch of vanillia. Some chocolate and little alcohol taste. Its the most perfect combination of coffee and beer. I love it.

This beer never lets me down. I cherish when its here and miss it when its gone.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2011 07:37:39 | More by badboyrsl84
Photo of Buddha22
Buddha22

Vermont

3.85/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a delirium tremens glass.

When poured great head retention two finger light tan head, but the dark color of the beer looks great underneath the fluffy tan head. Great lacing in this beer. Chocolate roast definitely in the nose with slight hint of vanilla. Now the taste of this porter is somewhat average. There is a decent amount of hotness in the taste and the alcohol is not hidden as well as I would like. As it warms the alcohol taste definitely decreases a little. Mouthfeel is full bodied and nice and creamy smooth. Drinkability is decent the hotness of the alcohol makes it less drinkable, but for 10% abv, works pretty well.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2011 01:23:11 | More by Buddha22
Photo of nataku00
nataku00

California

4.45/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber shared with a friend, poured into a shaker pint. Very dark brown, bordering on black, with some lighter shades of brown at the edges when held up to the light. Finger of dark brown frothy head that leaves a lot of nice lacing as the head dissipated to a collar around the edges of the surface. Looks to be well carbonated as it is very easy to swirl and reform a finger's worth of head.

Nose is dark roasted malt, black coffee, and a little caramel malt. I don't get too much vanilla on the nose, but the rest of the aromas are nice and strong and smells great.

Taking a sip, dark roasted malt and bitter coffee right away, melting away into sweeter malts, caramel, wheat bread. A slight hint of vanilla on the back of the tongue, so perhaps that component has faded somewhat.

Light to medium body, smooth small bubble carbonation that's pretty common for a porter. For a 10% abv beer, the alcohol is very well hidden by smooth and balanced flavors.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2011 06:54:04 | More by nataku00
Photo of Rizalini
Rizalini

Nevada

4.45/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - pours a very deep, dark black color. No light can be seen thru this one. Nice creamy 2 finger, light brown head that slowly disipates leaving a beautiful lacing.

S - great vanilla aroma, big and rich! Can't wait to taste this one

T - the coffee really comes thru on the front, and the vanilla really rounds this one out very nicely. maybe even some slight chocolate note as well. a little alcohol taste in the end, but not overpowering.

M - medium-heavy mouthfeel. perfect amount of carbonation.

D - extremely drinkable for 10%! Im actually kinda glad I have this bomber to myself, so I can have 2 glasses.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2011 06:48:07 | More by Rizalini
Photo of 100floods
100floods

California

4.33/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a fizzy pitch black, you can't see through it when put up to light. It's followed by a thick yet bubbly mocha head that after the first sip goes away.

Smells of vanilla, espresso creme, and dark chocolate covered coffee beans. You can almost taste the texture of the beans, but that's more memory than anything.

Thick and full bodied texture.

That's espresso bean flavor comes strong, before the beer fully touches your lips, then it's mostly sweet and gentle roasted notes with a roasted strong finish that lingers in your mouth. Definitely a few things going on, yet nothing is hidden. This beer has sweet notes to it, but not the kind that make this beer too sweet. This beer provides a lot of balance for what it has to offer. Yes, it's that good.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2011 21:55:20 | More by 100floods
Photo of WJVII
WJVII

Wisconsin

3.68/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2/23/11 review session hosted by Cdkrenz reviewed from notes- cdkrenz sample:
Poured into a pint glass this brew has a thick oil like black color with a nice 3 finger chocolate head. There is a strong aroma of burnt malts, coffee and caramel. The flavor is more mild than expected and not until a few sips do you notice the subtle but delicious vanilla that matches perfectly with the chocolate flavor. The coffee that is advertised is not very noticeable. This had a smooth milky body and was good but not the best we had that night. Strong brew and definitely recommend.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2011 20:46:23 | More by WJVII
Photo of notchucknorris
notchucknorris

California

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

50th review and a biggie.

A: Obsidian black with a thin mocha colored head. Looks bomb.

S: A ton of the freshest coffee I've ever smelled. Last year's was great, but this year, the coffee smells even better. Incredible.

T: Lots and lots of coffee and roasted malt with a little vanilla sweetness that smooths things out. Bitter coffee finish. This is such an incredible beer. I saved one and can't wait to try it in a year.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2011 00:35:58 | More by notchucknorris
Photo of cdkrenz
cdkrenz

Wisconsin

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.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2011 19:58:59 | More by cdkrenz
Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 3,603 ratings.