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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

3,761 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,761
Reviews: 920
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 680
Gots: 701 | FT: 55
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
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Ratings: 3,761 | Reviews: 920 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of strangefate
4.55/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours pitch black with a two finger dark brown head and little lacing that disippates quickly.

The scent is of coffee, mocha, a toasty malt presence, and a tinge of vanilla.

I found that for myself when I sipped it in such a way where it first hit the tip of my tongue, I got the sweetness and vanilla taste up front, which is the part of the taste I like the best. The vanilla presence in this is just incredibly delicious. There is also a strong coffee presence, some caramel, and a bit of a hop presence. Although I mostly prefer drinking bigger beers somewhat close to room temperature, I prefer this one a bit colder as the sweetness is more present as opposed to the coffee taste - it's great either way though. The alcohol taste is masked very well for a 10% brew, whether cold or close to room temperature.

This has a medium-heavy mouthfeel which is very smooth and complements the beer so well. I can't imagine a better mouthfeel for the style.

Although I drink this slow and savor the flavor, I could drink this all night, it's just an amazing beer - something I'll make sure to buy every time Ballast Point releases it.

strangefate, Nov 09, 2010
Photo of ZX6Chris
4.8/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle from the late release in 2010.

A-Pitch black with a small dark tan head of tight bubbles that settles to a ring around the glass. A little bit of lacing.

S-Lots of vanilla, chocolate, bitter roasted coffee. Almost a spicy kick from the coffee.

T-Rich roasted coffee, vanilla, milk chocolate. Bitter coffee on the finish.

M-Light to medium body, nicely carbonated. A little harshness from the coffee

D-Wow. The vanill and coffee flavors are HUGE in this. I can't wait to take another sip. I find my self chugging the glass!

ZX6Chris, Nov 09, 2010
Photo of Stigs
4.33/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber, loved this on tap...thank Jim for another shot at this. served in a 12oz tulip

A - pours with a very thin layer of loose, dark khaki colored foam. the beer is pretty much pitch black throughout the whole glass. only a couple random spots of lacing left behind.

S - strong, fresh and cold steeped coffee, lightly creamed. some sweetness fights through with vanilla beans, and milk chocolate. roasted malts are present yet stay mostly in the background until the end, more present as the beer warms.

T - strong, yet bitter fresh roast coffee. cut into sharply near the end by vanilla coffee creamer, the vanilla beans come through strong in the end and linger for a bit. toasted nuts and roasted malts, caramel add balance. cocoa powder is very present in the lingering sweet aftertaste. yum.

M - mediud to thickish body, quite syrupy yet cut into sharply by some tight and crispy carbonation. very sticky finish, with lingering roasty bitterness and vanilla sweetness.

D - coffee has died down a bit here but the slack is taken up by a more pronounced vanilla and toasted nutty sweetness. hides is 10% ABV dangerously well, with nary a spat of alcohol taste or burn present.

Stigs, Nov 07, 2010
Photo of Axic10
4.43/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 22oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours pitch black with two fingers of mocha foam that settles after a few minutes.

Smell: Bold coffee, dark chocolate, vanilla and some boozy notes at the end.

Taste: Coffee, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, vanilla. Tasty!

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and smooth.

Drinkability: Probably a neck and neck tie for my favorite beer from Ballast Point (Sculpin being the other). I've had this beer on tap and out of the bottle and it is really really good. Definitely one I order whenever I see it.

Axic10, Nov 06, 2010
Photo of yeahnatenelson
4.3/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Note: Not sure what batch this is, but it's definitely not the most recent. Late '09, early '10?

Appearance -- Pours an impenetrable dark brown, black in the glass, with two fingers of chocolate tan head. Wide bands of lace and fair head retention.

Smell -- Espresso, leather, pipe tobacco, cocoa powder, burnt bread crust, molasses, and vanilla. Not especially aromatic, but what is there is nice.

Taste -- Rich and roasty almost to the point of burnt. Cafe macchiato, tobacco, leather, vanilla bean, bittersweet coffee, minty hops and pine sap. Malt sweetness crescendoes toward the finish with caramel and vanilla ice cream. Lingering flavors vanilla, espresso, and gentle pine resin.

Mouthfeel -- Medium in body, a bit chewy, with moderate prickly carbonation. A little extra body and this would be a 5 for certain.

Drinkability -- Quite good. Passed my expectations, nearly made it to my hopes. Rich, roasty, great balance, good feel. The flavor opens up considerably as it warms. Must get more.

yeahnatenelson, Nov 05, 2010
Photo of afksports
4/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to my buddy Matt for shipping me these from San Diego, days after their recent October release. Perfect to drink on a fantasy football day. Also perfect because there's a skeleton on the bottle and it's Halloween.

The appearance is dark brown with hints of amber, and a nice finger of tan head that diminishes fairly quickly to just rimming the drink. The smell is excellent. Coffee, vanilla, like the name suggests, but then also malts, chocolate, and a little carbon.

The taste is also big on coffee. Starts like an espresso, then finishes with some caramel, mocha, and vanilla. In the mouth it's a little bit less creamy than I'm accustomed to with an imperial, but nothing terrible. It's definitely drinkable, although the alcohol is definitely present as it warms. Happy Halloween!

afksports, Oct 31, 2010
Photo of twiggamortis420
4.78/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage courtesy of cmurren25, thanks Chad! Pours a black-as-night color with awesome retention and great lacing.

Nose has lots of coffee on it and a light vanilla twist. Plenty of roasty malts and a decent amount of sweetness.

Ohhhh, this is way smoother than it should be. Vanilla and coconut-infused chocolate malt flavor. Smooth yet robust. One of those "wow" beers, no doubt about it. This review has officially been cut short due to the extreme enjoyment I get from every single sip. Amazing beer.

twiggamortis420, Oct 28, 2010
Photo of jamex
4.15/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Russian River tulip. Paid $7.99 at the brewery for a 22 oz. The beer was bottled within days.

Poured an amazing dark - very opaque. Nice 1-2 finger head.

Smell is phenomenal; coffee, mocha, vanilla, kahlua, coffee cake...the aroma is outstanding. Perhaps the best porter I've ever sniffed.

This beer is simply delicious. Slight let down from that A+ aroma but minimal. Tastes like the smell but with some malt and roasty notes. There is some sweetness but it is balanced with the other tastes. The 10% ABV is hidden behind the other characters nicely.

Feels great in the mouth - maybe a LITTLE thin, but nothing to get worried about. Carbonation about right for a porter - they nailed it.

Before I knew it the 22oz was dust. Very drinkable.

jamex, Oct 22, 2010
Photo of pastradul
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

poured at Homebrew mart.

into a 4 oz taster glass, so minimal head but do to glass size not beer. there was a nice dense dark brown head the stayed around for awhile.

the nose is smooth medium bodied coffee followed by an even smoother vanilla trail through the nose.

the taste is the same... in the fron you get a nice medium roast coffee hit followed my a nice slightly heavier roasted malt character. then finishes with a light creamy vanilla across the palate!

the only thing i wish this beer had was a slightly thicker mouthfeel. other then that this is one of my favorite beers made in SD!

pastradul, Oct 21, 2010
Photo of maximum12
3.5/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to mrbubbler for shipping a bottle of this across the country, always happy to have Ballast Point in the house. Cut open to celebrate with my wife after returning from a short trip to Fabulous Las Vegas...where I was surprised to find good beer pretty available.

Poured into our new Devil's Backbone snifters (thanks Vickster & sholland119!!) this beer is a rather unsurprising black. Smell conforms with truth in advertising strictures: hard malts, bold coffee, liberal scoops of vanilla. That doesn't quite do it justice, very nicely medled bunch of aromas.

Victory at Sea brings the vanilla funk. Strangely, the taste isn't as tight as the smell. Vanilla is overriding & seems less honest than really good vanilla beers, a touch artificial. The coffee is good, serving the sweetness, understated. The base beer appears to be good, but it's buried beneath a mudslide of vanilla. A dropperful of chocolate causes this to veer towards what my wife calls "Tootsie Roll" territory.

Ultimately, this doesn't quite do it for me. Pretty good beer, but it taste like a candy whipped up in a big factory with robots vs. a confection whipped up by hand in the back of a local shop. Close for me.

maximum12, Oct 16, 2010
Photo of Mebuzzard
4.05/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I would say this beer would be perfect first beer on a Saturday or Sunday morning tailgating.
Pours a dark dark brown, almost black. Off tan head is medium in size, looks a touch soapy.

Aroma is what makes me think of mornings. Coffee and roasted malt, like dark toast. Hints of vanilla smooth it out and calm down the roastiness.

Yum. Good flavors. Vanilla and coffee blend nicely with the coffee taking the upper hand. Dark roast and rich. Sweetness is halted by the warming alcohol, which would make drinking two or these a chore, but fun.
Smooth feel to it. Gimmie some pork and beans, grilled on an open flame with this stuff.
very nice.

Mebuzzard, Oct 12, 2010
Photo of Jeffo
4/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of the many cool brews sent to me in a very exciting trade with craytonic. Thanks again man!

From a bomber into a snifter.

Vintage: 2009

APPEARANCE: Pours our dark brown and produces a two finger, medium looking, tan head with good retention. Sits black in the glass with zero carbonation evident. Head slowly fades to a healthy wisp and ring. A good wisp remains until the end but leaves no real lacing down the glass. A good looking porter.

SMELL: A bold nose of roasted malts, caramel, coffee, and a slight touch of vanilla as well. Follows exactly what the bottle says. Coffee and vanilla are definitely there, and blend quite nicely with the malt backbone.

TASTE: Follows up on the nose nicely. Roasted malts, caramel sweetness, and some big, burnt coffee beans. Hints of vanilla show up near the finish, as well as some spicy alcohol notes. Quite hot still, actually. Bold and lingering aftertaste is bitter-sweet, with plenty of bitter, roasted coffee flavors, caramel and vanilla sweetness, and boozy notes. Almost tastes like this porter has been bourbon barrel aged for a bit. Enjoyable.

PALATE: Medium-lighter body, luscious, and very creamy-smooth on the palate. Goes down smooth and finishes slightly mouth-coating. A touch of heat after the swallow.

OVERALL: Good, enjoyable beer. A nice nose and some very nice flavors, though it's still a little boozier than I'd hoped. The heat makes it a bit of a slower drinker actually, but that doesn't make it any less enjoyable. Very glad I got to try this brew, and would gladly have another if given the opportunity. Thanks again craytonic.

Jeffo, Oct 06, 2010
Photo of FeDUBBELFIST
4.28/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bomber to tulip. 2009 vintage, sampled 8/31/10.

A: Four fingers of medium dark brown head transitions from frothy/creamy to slightly rocky as it slowly recedes. The body is very dark, but not quite black. Still, no light comes through. Straggling lace is produced from the head, while the body covers the glass in sheets.

S & T: This bottle has a little bit of age on it, which may have caused the hop aroma to fade. A light yeast quality is evident, but it is indistinguishable to me. Heavy roasted malts of chocolate and coffee dominate the nose with a light vanilla note and a hint of caramel in the background. This beer is reminiscent of all things chocolate: chocolate syrup, fudge, cocoa powder et cetera. The vanilla bean component is mostly noticeable on the palate. Moderately sweet, lightly bitter and an even lighter lactic sourness fills out the flavor profile. Alcohol is absolutely buried.

M: The mouthfeel is velvety smooth at first but falls off mid bomber as the temperature has risen out of the sweet spot. Once the carbonation loses some of it's effervesence, the body becomes medium-light and the texture thins. The mouthfeel experiences is still above average, it was just significantly better at 55 degrees and cooler.

D: Excellent beer overall. Perfect with dessert or even for dessert. Would be interested in trying this one fresh.

FeDUBBELFIST, Oct 05, 2010
Photo of GbVDave
4.38/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a Boulevard tulip.

A: What a fantastic looking porter! Pitch black and not watery in the least (in fact it sported legs when swirled). Sitting on top was three mocha fingers of creamy/pillowy foam that featured amazing retention and left a lacey mess on the inside of the glass. Lovely!

S: Initial waft was pure espresso. As it warmed, out came aromas of vanilla, cocoa, fudge brownies, toasty caramel, and dark chocolate. There was an ever so slight hint of alcohol.

T: Just like the smell, the taste was dominated by espresso at first. Vanilla, dark chocolate covered cherries, caramel, and fudge. Alcohol merely lurks in the background. Not intrusive in the least.

M: Thick and full with a heaping helping of spicyness. From the alcohol? The hops? The fresh espresso? Who knows... Whatever it is, it's very good.

D: The coffee, chocolate, and vanilla kept me coming back for more, but the 10% finally reared it's head by the very end of the bottle. Excellent coffee porter to share with a friend!

GbVDave, Sep 03, 2010
Photo of DrDemento456
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle of this at my local beer nutz for 9.99. Score!

A - Pours as black as a porter can get. Even if you try and hold it to it the light doesn't seem to come through. A very smooth coca colored head greets me.

S - Mostly of dark roasted malts with a small twang of vanilla in the nose. Smells kind of like a cappuccino.

T - Ow man this stuff is great! It gave off a great vibe of coffee and cream right to the tee. Too bad as it warms the coffee malt flavor takes full hold and it ABV is noticeable toward the end or I really would have loved it.

M - Medium to heavy bodied with full flavor.

D - Well at that price is truly was great to try it. Maybe it's just me but like Creme Brulee, I can't seem to focus on the extreme vanilla that everyone says is in there. A very drinkable coffee porter but would kind of work better at a lower ABV since it comes off kind of cloying.

DrDemento456, Aug 19, 2010
Photo of uturn
4.35/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz capped bomber poured into a Petrus glass.

A: Beer poured a very dark brown to black with a nice 1 finger fluffy dark tan head.

S: The nose is just about all iced coffee and a damn good iced coffee, with hints of vanilla and maybe some cocoa.

T: The taste is coffee and chocolate (mocha), I didn't get much of the vanilla, it was there, but only mildly for me and some roasted malts. Not to sweet, not to bitter, just right.

M: The mouthfeel was big and very smooth.

D: The 10% was very well hidden. This is one heck of an amazing porter.

uturn, Aug 13, 2010
Photo of KeefD
3.88/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Review from notes:

Black, thick, nice look for a porter, definitely bordering on stout, small tan head, decent lacing.

Aroma is coffee and vanilla, mostly on the vanilla side, and so much so that it almost makes it seem artificial.

Here's where things got weird. My friend that i shared this bottle with had a weird boogery substance floating about in the top of her beer. I asked her what the hell it was and she said "Meh, it's just foam." A few minutes later and she was gagging it out, as it seemed to be some slimy, disgusting substance. We examined it and couldn't figure what the heck it was to no avail. Kinda killed the enjoyment of the beer, despite it tasting good.

Taste was loaded with vanilla, while coffee took secnd place. Really liking how the vanilla paired with the chocolaty roasty malts, but got a bit cloying after awhile. Good, but became artificial after awhile, reminiscent of ST Creme Brulee. I kept drinking it after loogie incident because it just tasted so good! Nice bitterness on the finish, very sweet, but yummy.

Good stuff, but hard to finish a lot. Would make for an excellent desert drink, but only at about 8-10oz at a time. Would still like to know what the hell was in that beer, but it didn't seem to diminish the flavor.

KeefD, Aug 11, 2010
Photo of charlzm
4.22/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consumed August 6th, 2010 in a Triple Petrus tulip/snifter.

Beer is opaque black. Modest little tan head comes and goes, leaving behind a sticky ring of foam.

Aromas of coffee and vanilla (surprise!).

Flavor is full of bitter rich coffee and dark roasted malt. Vanilla is only a fraction of the overall flavor, but it can be picked out. Bitterness is all up front, as finish is fairly mild. A moderate caramel sweetness helps balance out the bitter. Warming alcohol is apparent after a few sips as are faint citric hops.

Mouthfeel is chewy and smooth.

Overall, it is exactly as advertised; nothing out of kilter and no surprises. Very impressive execution.

charlzm, Aug 07, 2010
Photo of Murchmac
4.1/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Been wanting to drink this beer for a while, thankfully got a chance.

Pours a 2 finger mocha head, dark beer. Carbonated bubbles travel upward while this beer looks creamy, interesting mix.

Great smells of Vanilla, coffee, caramel, roasted malts, chocolate, beautiful, cant wait to drink it.

Complex taste, very complex. Vanilla, citrus hops, coffee, chocolates, caramel.

Bitter, dry finish, carbonated yet smooth again, a little boozy, but great great beer.

Murchmac, Aug 03, 2010
Photo of mcallister
4.33/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Honestly a porter or many stouts for that matter don't look better than this. Viscous deep mahagonny bordering on black with an awesome thick molten mocha colored head of 2 fingers. Thick and chunky with very good retention and when it finally fades the lace is thick sticky and quite sexy.

Great nose. Vanilla stands out and wafts from the glass and is noticable in a three foot circumfrence. Fresh ground coffee and espresso aromas lead into dark chocolate and cocoa. Some dark fruit esters linger at the back.

Damn fine monster beer here. Could really be considered a dessert beer with a slightly cloying sweetness on the long finish and very tannic from the coffee and acidic as well. Rich vanilla and bitter cocoa, dark chocolate, espresso, more vanilla, black berry, plum and a good amount of earthy hops and hop bitterness. Finish is long. Mouth spudders slightly hence the sweet tannic end. Otherwise a very worthy beer.

mcallister, Aug 01, 2010
Photo of CrellMoset
4.3/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle as an extra from a great trader - many thanks! Poured in to a 22 oz. snifter.

Appearance: A deep cocoa charcoal bodied brew capped by a finger of tan, almost grayish head that has somewhat poor retention (though that could have been the pour - I didn't do this one). Minimal lacing and surface markings, though a nice amount of zippy carbonation races up around the edges of the glass towards the (marginally lifeless) surface.

Aroma: Fantastic. A subtle, approachable aroma, full of vibrant but smooth and soft aromatics. Bright and springy, green espresso coffee dominates initially, but sweet, earthy, estery vanilla bean soon springs forth, decadent and inviting, mingling nicely with toast, cocoa bean, dark toffee, and faint tinges of char.

Taste: A robust and heavily roasted porter with tons of lighter flourishes. The malt backbone on this one is rough, intense, severe, with tons of flashes of astringent obsidian barley, dark, glossy, and spicy. It's dry, puckering at points, almost, with hints of char but with no smoke at all, revealing a nice amount of underlying mineral notes. The dryness provides a wide open palette for french roast espresso, hints of bitter, dark chocolate, freshly plucked, stripped, and scraped Madagascar vanilla bean. This one's nice, reasonably complex and varied.

Mouthfeel: Thicker, but not syrupy or cloying by virtue of its relative dryness (which, as mentioned above, doesn't come across as too terribly dry due to the variety of flavors here). A mild amount of carbonation keeps things aloft nicely, though.

Drinkability: A solid beer, with a great array of flavors and aromas, even if the process notes were a little off. I could see this paring fantastically well with German chocolate cake or some other such rich dessert, and though the alcohol was present both in the feel and in the taste, I think it was on the whole well-tempered, all things considered. Recommended.

CrellMoset, Aug 01, 2010
Photo of TMoney2591
4.4/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in my trusty Devil's Backbone willibecher.

Big thanks to Brundo4 for this bottle!

Does the skeleton really indicate a victory? Anyway... It pours an opaque black brown topped by over a finger of very light tan foam. The nose comprises coffee, chocolate syrup, molasses, roasted malts, vanilla ice cream, and some sprinkles o' cinnamon. The taste follows the chocolate path to enlightenment, accompanied by some light coffee, roasted malts, maple syrup, brown sugar, and a nice subtle burst o' vanilla bean. Damn, this be some tasty shit! The body is a solid medium, with a light carbonation and a silky feel, baby. Believe the hype, people, this shit tastes damn good! Get some!

TMoney2591, Jul 31, 2010
Photo of Slatetank
4.7/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had this on tap at brass rail deli in campbelltown - served chilled in a snifter allowed to warm gradually.

A - An ebony liquid, no light passing through. The porter is augmented by a thick rocky cream cap which sticks securely to the glass as it settles, the bead is very fine

S -The smell is intensely aromatic w/ sweet notes of caramel and vanilla floral aspects shining through, mild coffee elements provide a sturdy scent for the vanilla bean and the aroma of alcohol is very mild, yet sligthly noticeable. I get a subtle bittersweet cocoa note in addition to the strong vanilla qualities

M - The feel is creamy, smooth and highly carbonated for the strength, yet it does not detract from the overall texture which has a sweet edge and moderately high bitterness quotient to balance the malt body with a light alcohol note in the semi-dry finish

T - The flavor is a complex array of earthy and sweet notes, both beans are noticeable, yet not overdone in the flavor. The vanilla is the standout adding an almost silky cocoa quality to the caramel notes of the malt. The coffee is almost bordering on citrus with its gentle sweet accents and mild roasted notes. The porter itself is smooth, mild roasted flavors with lots of caramel undertones which are balanced by a slightly spiced flavor from the hops which are bitter and add to the complexity bringing you back for some more vanilla goodness into the last sip

D - Wow, a truly unique Porter calling anything other than Imperial would be wrong -it has so many attributes, though. The masterful use of the spices improves the overall beer rather than detract from it which is why it gets the '5' it really never lingers in one flavor realm too long, it is a progressively subtle yet intense and balanced experience. The 10% is not apparent until after you've downed a snifter - so deceptive and yet so luxurious.

Slatetank, Jul 27, 2010
Photo of bohemiandonut
4.88/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is exactly how I like my porters. Rich and creamy, with no confusion for a chocolate soda. Strong bourbon backbone accentuates a dark semisweet chocolate nose and flavor. This is like drinking liquefied rum-soaked cacao bean.

The espresso jolt and texture carry the vanilla and booze nicely, but most impressive are again the notes of premium dark chocolate: Rain forest unripe berry with a back-of-the-throat sweetness. A warming sipper, I can't wait for more.
_
On cask into tulip.

bohemiandonut, Jul 21, 2010
Photo of Shumista
4.08/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle shared three ways. From notes.

Pours black with a brown head, no surprises there. The smell is roasted coffee (the cheap stuff though, folgers maybe), chocolate and some vanilla. I was pretty taken aback by the flavor, I expected roasted coffee to dominate but this is an absolute vanilla bomb. Coffee, chocolate and a nuttiness are all underlying flavors as well. Everything combines to make a beer that reminds me more of a mocha vanilla milk shake than a porter. Creamy mouthfeel, very sweet but not to the point that drinkability suffers. Definitely some delicious stuff.

Shumista, Jul 16, 2010
Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 3,761 ratings.