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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

3,611 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,611
Reviews: 917
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 632
Gots: 685 | 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: 3,611 | Reviews: 917 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of weeare138
weeare138

Pennsylvania

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

Thanks to Josh for this one...
Appears a dark brown, nearing black with a dark tan head that slowly fades into a mild cap. Spotty bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of vanilla, coffee, cream, and warmed barbados sugar.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with a coffe and sugary whipped cream mixed together as the main focus of flavors.
Mouthfeel is viscuous, heavy, chewy, with mild bitterness found in the swallow.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2009 00:31:00 | More by weeare138
Photo of CoolJosh
CoolJosh

Pennsylvania

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

generously shared by Treyrab.

Poured into a pint glass. Very small light brown khaki head. Some lacing drapes the inner glass. The body is a very dark brown head with some "TRANSLUCENCY" around the sides.

The smell is very good. Molasses, tons of roasted coffee beans, vanilla, licorice. There is a creaminess that is slightly bothering me. Tons of sweet chocolate and a little bit of caramel.

The taste is really nice and very robust. Huge roasted malts, primarily chocolate. A nice vanilla accent really plays a nice supporting role. Fairly creamy for a porter, which is a little bit discerning. Very sweet, some licorice flavors prevail on the end of this beer. Again, the roasted malts are absolutely phenomenal, but the sweetness is really bugging me out a little bit and is taking away from my appreciation. I'm very glad I got to try this beer, but don't know how regularly I could drink it.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2009 01:53:22 | More by CoolJosh
Photo of orbitalr0x
orbitalr0x

Illinois

3.53/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Deep, dark black pour with no light getting through at all. A quarter inch of deep tan head sits atop the brew. Aromas of huge, bold fresh brewed coffee, caramel and vanilla. Roasted malts and chocolate weave in and out underneath. Smells a bit sweet.

First sip brings dark, somewhat roasted malts swimming in bold, nearly abrasive coffee along with big vanilla extract. Chocolate and caramel come through with a bit too much sweetness. The bitter coffee kicks in on the way down but it still doesn't overtake the sweetness I get from the malts and vanilla here. A bit too much of everything going on for me here.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, creamy and smooth but with big alcohol puffs too. This is a bold brew and a bit too sweet for me, but it's a good bomber to share with a friend or two as drinking the whole thing to yourself would be a bit too much. Thanks to emerge for this one.

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2009 16:19:20 | More by orbitalr0x
Photo of joepais
joepais

Maine

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

I started my morning out with this brew. Poured into a pint glass it produced a good two fingers worth of coco colored head that went to a sparse lace. The body of the brew was its obligatory black with no light coming threw at all.

The aroma of espresso and sweet chocolate were really pronounced in this brew. There was a slight bourbon vanilla smell in there as well. The flavors were interesting as well the vanilla helped cut the bitterness from the coffee and roasted malts. The feel in my mouth was medium to full with good carbonation.
This is a good brew not to spectacular I had better in this hybrid style. It is worth the try and I would not turn it down that is for sure. I killed the bomber with no problem with brunch myself so drinkability is fine

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2009 22:52:11 | More by joepais
Photo of tpd975
tpd975

Florida

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

Thanks to kiefdog for this treat.

A: Pours a nice dark black hue with a small fizzy head. No retention or lace noted.

S: Lots of artificial vanilla with bold notes of dark chocolate and fresh coffee.

T: Bold vanilla right from the start, a bit artifical in taste though. Bold coffee takes over the middle with mild bitter chocolate playing off the vanilla in the finish. I like this one.... would be great if the vanilla was more vanilla bean like.

M: Medium in body, smooth, tasty.

D: Good, I rather enjoyed it.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2009 16:48:24 | More by tpd975
Photo of Jayli
Jayli

Massachusetts

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

This beer pours a deep brown, almost black with a 3/4 inch of brown head which recedes very quickly. Not much lacing to speak of with this one. Nose is of strong coffee, perhaps the strongest scent of coffee in a beer that I've come across, deep roasted malts, slight chocolate, caramel, and notes of vanilla are present. Taste starts of with a big coffee pop that slides in to roasted malts and chocolate, finish is more sweet with caramel, toffee and vanilla, as the beer warmed it got a bit boozy in the taste as well. Mouthfeel is full bodied, not much carbonation, creamy body with a dry finish. This is a decent beer - watch out for the abv kick, it'll catch up with you!

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2009 12:54:19 | More by Jayli
Photo of barleywinefiend
barleywinefiend

Washington

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

On tap at Port Carlsbad
Poured a deep, deep brown with a tannish head. Nose is sweet, lots of vanilla and chocolate but the coffee plays a backseat and it worked well. Taste is vanilla, cocoa, roasted malt, chewy, a tad nutty with coffee in the background. Mouthfeel is creamy and rich in the mouth. Tasty, well balanced, the ABV is well hidden and this is a great brew in every area. Ballast Point is becoming one of my fav breweries for great beers like this.

Serving type: on-tap

05-27-2009 03:08:42 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of smcolw
smcolw

Massachusetts

4.35/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great ring lace on the glass from the substantive tan head. Dark, dark brown color where no lace passes.

Lots of coffee and a little bit of cream. Basically, mocha in aroma. Low level of sweetness...reminiscent of good cocoa.

Lots of powdered chocolate in the flavor. Sweet and bitter from the malt. Rich body with a relatively low level of carbonation. Almost chewy. The aftertaste is complicated: Notable hop bitterness with some dark chocolate malt and sweet milky flavor. Deceptively high in alcohol.

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2009 00:34:58 | More by smcolw
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

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

Thanks to corby112 & tendermorssel for sending this! Cheers Craig & Mike!

Pours a brown tinged ebony with a finger of mocha colored head. Good head retention & lacing

S: Much coffee & coffee grounds

T: Mocha, charred coffee, & a touch of vanilla, plus dryness up front, plus a tinge of booze. Smooths out a bit a it warms, vanilla, oaky dryness & a touch of toffee as this warms; the coffee fades to more pleasing level once warm. Finishes slightly astringent, with nice coffee bitterness, a wisp of vanilla, dryness & wet charred grain. Almost pulled a 4.5

MF: Very smooth up front, slightly chewy with low carbonation

Drinks very easy for the style & ABV, not the best coffee beer I've ever had, but probably top 3. Worth seeking out, nice brunch beer!

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2009 04:08:22 | More by russpowell
Photo of IBUnit63
IBUnit63

Massachusetts

4.45/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I haven't had too much bad luck with Ballast Point stuff so let's give this Porter stuff a go. Seems like this bomber's a good candidate for the Portsmouth snifter, so that's what we'll do once I give it a few minutes to warm up.

Pours a slightly translucent Coke/espresso brown. Head is peanut colored but fades very quickly. Lacing is sparse, carbonation is...well, this is more opaque than I thought, so I can't really see squat for carbonation in the body. Not exceptionally viscous.

First thought of comparables? Founder's Breakfast Stout or Porter. This has a great coffee component here. The vanilla element is thankfully a little understated but it works very nicely - a little bitter alcoholic sting to it which is good. Copious, HUGE quantities of smooth roasted malt with little evidence of patent tannins. Hops seem to make a nice complement in their grassiness with maybe a dash of pine. This shows a hell of a lot of promise.

BOOM! The coffee is powerful as the smell at Starbucks. Malt is huge; patent tannins come about but only sparingly; the mellow dark-roasted malts carry the day. Vanilla is understated but shows up more on the slightly boozy finish. Slight dryness - not so much slate but maybe a hint of charcoal dust. Did I mention this was powerful? Slightly peanutty taste, too. Grassy hops cut the alcohol and coffee just enough to balance this and dry it out a bit. This still has warming to do but it's rich and borderline incredible.

Maybe it's the sweetness of the vanilla, the alcohol and the non-tannic dark malts imparting more of a bittersweet chocolate flavor, but this is a very smooth porter. None of that clamminess and slight metal that I get from so many porters that have a real "stout envy" complex. This is the real deal. Rolls smooth on the palate and down the hatch with a slight peanut saltiness and finishes strong and very creamy...especially for something lacking a huge viscosity. There is balance in abundance, which is some of my favorite kinds of balance. As it warms, the saltiness, booze and dark slate give it an additional kick that's not unpleasant but gives a not-so-gentle reminder of the strength of this beast.

Wow - this is a great example of both the style and the imperial nature of a big beer. It's strong enough to show all its colors but not so over-the-top that it hits like a sledgehammer. Having said that, it's a big pour and I will probably savor it over a couple of hours in a self-preservation move, 'cause this horse kicks wicked hard (Edit: I changed my mind. Warm this up and it drinks wayyy too quickly for its weight class.). Very well-constructed effort from the crew that brought us Sculpin.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2009 22:19:54 | More by IBUnit63
Photo of Gueuzedude
Gueuzedude

Arizona

3.78/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled April 2009
A vigorous pour into my 25cl tulip glass produces a dense, creamy, darkly browned crown of froth that rises three fingers in height. The head leaves copious amounts of dense lace on the sides of my glass as it slowly subsides. The beer is almost pure black in color, but does have a touch of brown to it. When held up to the light the beer shows just a touch of an amber hue to it around the edges, but I wouldn't really say that it is passing any light through. The aroma has the coffee leading off along with roasted malt notes, but it has a soft backdrop of vanilla that becomes more noticeable the longer I spend smelling the aroma (though it never goes beyond subtle). The vanilla accentuates a solid dark chocolate aromatic note here and it also helps to soften the sharp, roasted grain and coffee notes. The nose has quite a rich, satisfying, even satiating quality to it.

As the beer hits my tongue I notice that it has a rich, satisfying heft to it, though it is not quite as heavy as the nose might have suggested; it is still a sipping beer though. Vanilla flavors accentuate a malt sweetness as well as a dark chocolate flavor. Bitter, roasted coffee flavors are found in the finish and can get a touch acrid at times. The bitterness from the dark malt and coffee flavors really lingers on in the finish.

This beer has a nice balance to it, between the vanilla notes and sweetness up front and the roasted, biting notes towards the finish, but it can seem a little simplistic at times. The vanilla really helps this beer shine; the roast malt and coffee notes would be too aggressive, too acrid and too bitter without the vanilla. This is definitely a nice after dinner sipping brew and I find that I am quite enjoying it.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2009 17:13:45 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of atsprings
atsprings

North Carolina

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

Review #900! 22oz bottle into a Duvel snifter pours a nearly opaque black with a nice lasting frothy light tan head that leaves great lacing on the glass. Aroma is fresh ground coffee up-front with plenty of brown malts, cocoa and a hint of vanilla. The taste is a nice blend of fresh coffee and brown malts and chocolate, quite intriguing as many coffee porter's don't tend to pull the balance off like most coffee stouts, this one is certainly an exception! The beer is medium bodied with the 10% ABV very well hidden. This is a truly special beer, I'm very glad to have Ballast Point available in this area and look forward to trying more of their beers!

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2009 02:57:33 | More by atsprings
Photo of aerozeppl
aerozeppl

New York

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

Thanks to Weibull for sending this as a kicker.

A: Just about black with some brown around the edges. Minimal white head.

S: Coffee and vanilla right up front. No surprises there. Tons of roast as well. A touch of chocolate as it warmed up.

T: Coffee and vanilla. The chocolate is right behind though. Tons of vanilla in the middle. Very complex.

M: Light bodied for the style.

D: Amazingly drinkable for a beer this big. Very nice all around.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2009 13:06:29 | More by aerozeppl
Photo of drseamus
drseamus

New York

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

A: Dark brown but ruby at the edges. It's a porter so it can get away with this. No head.

S: Heavy roasted coffee. Very thick. Fairly singular.

T: Vanilla, roast, chocolate, and booze. A touch too roasty perhaps. The aftertaste is like I've been drinking all day.

M: Medium bodied behind a thick initial blast of thickness. The roast brings it up a touch.

D: Solid beer but more like a stout than a porter.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2009 03:46:52 | More by drseamus
Photo of meatyard
meatyard

Pennsylvania

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

A-A very dark brown with a milk chocolate, one finger head that fades fast leaving little spots of lacing.
S-The roasted coffee comes on strong and I also get a bit of licorice. As it warms there is a release of alcohol that isn't there in the initial pour.
T-This has a powerful punch right from the beginning. The coffee flavor is most intense followed later by a smaller amount of the vanilla. I still get some licorice flavor hanging around at the end. There was a little bitterness in the beginning but that isn't noticeable as it warms.
M-Not thick, more medium in feel but still full and smooth.
D- It's tasty and drinkable, the bomber is the right size fo those who enjoy this beer.

This is no standard Am. Porter. It's intense and interesting. Maybe a little overpowering but very good.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2009 23:41:35 | More by meatyard
Photo of beerad666
beerad666

Illinois

3.65/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Pours a rich thick black with a heavy brown head. The aroma is sweet, lots of vanilla and chocolate. As for the coffee I feel like it is somewhat missing, just slightly there. I feel the same way about the taste. The chocolate and coffee were fighting it out and the chocolate is winning. They just weren't working together like they should. Very creamy and rich in the mouth. Good flavors and complex but I don't think it completely worked. I had to pass my glass onto someone else it just was too sweet for me, maybe would have been better after a meal.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2009 16:31:21 | More by beerad666
Photo of PirateUlf73
PirateUlf73

Illinois

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

22 oz bottle, poured into a large mug.

A: Rich black color with a substantial chocolate-tan head.

S: Lots of chocolate and coffee on the nose. Some pleasant dark roast notes as well. Perhaps a smidgen of vanilla sweetness. Quite rich and soft. Very nice.

T: A VERY strong roasted coffee character is tempered slightly by soft vanilla and chocolate tastes. Almost like biting into a bar of bitter, dark chocolate. Hugely sweet and pretty tasty.

M: Massive, chewy feel for and already full-bodied beer. Feels slick yet silky. Lower-than-average carbonation.

D: Slow is the way to go with this one. Would make an excellent after-dinner brew.

Man, oh man! This beer claims to be robust and it delivers. The immense coffee and chocolate flavors make me almost forget that I'm drinking a beer. My only real knock against this brew is that the thick body took away from the drinkability, ever so slightly. All in all though, if you like sweet beers, get this if you can find it!

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2009 00:45:44 | More by PirateUlf73
Photo of tempest
tempest

Pennsylvania

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

Picked up a bomber at Abe's Cold Beer in Bethlehem, PA. Poured pitch black in my glass with a tan head. Right away in the aroma I'm hit by what becomes the most striking feature of this beer - fresh ground coffee beans. This beer doesn't smell or taste of brewed coffee, instead it's like you've just roasted beans into a coffee machine. Frankly I think this is actually more complex and pleasing. The vanilla quickly joins the coffee to smooth the flavor out and there's a touch of chocolate malt in the background. Man, if you like coffee beers, this one's for you. I'd have liked a little more depth of flavor, but it was fairly drinkable for the strength and a tasty after-dinner treat.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2009 20:19:10 | More by tempest
Photo of joe1510
joe1510

Illinois

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

22oz Bomber

Here is yet another beer in a long line of beers off my "wants" courtesy of Mr. Kegatron, thanks again Heath! Victory at Sea has the look of black coffee pouring from the pot as it enters this snifter. When the glass is full the body is black as night with a dense two finger mocha head that has some impressive staying power. Not only does the head show a stick-to-it-tiveness but it leaves behind some impressive jagged lacing as well.

Damn, this beer has an interesting nose on it! When the label says vanilla, it MEANS vanilla. Coffee leaps from the glass first but the vanilla is planted directly on its coattails. There's a handful of dark berries in here as well that actually play a big role, I didn't expect that. The vanilla has a tendency to smell a little artificial at times but it's rich and plays nicely with the coffee and berry undercurrents. Creaminess in the form of heavy cream and sugar make appearances too. A light roast pulls up the rear. The nose really comes into its own when this brew warms. This is an interesting smelling beer to say the least.

This porter is like some sort of delicious, eye opening breakfast concoction. A steaming hot cuppa joe complete with a cube of sugar and a dash of cream comes across the tongue and leads the way from start to finish. The vanilla is pure and clean in the flavor and adds a deep richness to the coffee overtones. A light roast snuggles up toward the finish. This beer is 100% smooth and enjoyable.

The body is lighter than I expected and actually works very well for this coffee-infused brew. The weight is moderately heavy with a carbonation that keeps things moving. There's not even a hint of coffee bitterness like in so many other coffee infused brews.

The first glass goes down incredibly fast. The second glass I slow down slightly and after that this bomber is gone. Two glasses of this brew is plenty for me, I don't think I could do another. The vanilla is so rich it slows me down on my second but it's still immensely enjoyable.

Ballast Point makes some incredible beer and Victory at Sea is no slouch either. The coffee, roast and vanilla make for a luscious libation. I'd love another couple bottles. Thanks for the hook up Heath!

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2009 04:18:28 | More by joe1510
Photo of jsh420
jsh420

Illinois

4.88/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

pours thick pitch black with a big 3 finger tan head that leaves spot lacing down the glass.

smell is strong coffee and sweet milk chocolate and as it warms up the vanilla is the first thing that hits your nose

taste is out of this world starts with bitter coffee and then comes in sweet smooth vanilla and creamy chocolate. you can not tell this beer has 10%abv until you are done with this bomber and you try to stand up.

this beer has the feel of a great imperial stout but with more carbonation.

drinkablilty - yes i want more but i got to hold tightly onto my 3 remaining bottles

overall this beer is world class sorry KBS, breakfast stout, and peche mortel but this beer owns you A++

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2009 02:44:51 | More by jsh420
Photo of DefenCorps
DefenCorps

Oregon

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

Grabbed a few in PA and boy, is it worth it!

This beer pours black with reddish brown highlights, capped by an 1/2" thick brown head. Retention is excellent, as is the lacework it leaves. On the nose, it's pretty awesome. Fresh coffee (somewhere between an espresso and a regular cuppa joe), an awesome vanilla note, as well as a great rich chocolate aroma. The palate replicates the nose, with the balance between the flavors being fantastic. Opens up with chocolate, followed by coffee and then vanilla before a beautifully bitter finish with flavors of dark chocolate and coffee. The palate is great too, with a medium body, soft and rich carbonation and a great finish. A nice slickness as well. Drinkability? I drank a bottle and could have gone for another

**Edit Jan 2011**
Drinking the 2010 winter release, I can say that my review is the same, but I have to dial down my scores a bit to reflect how I feel about this beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2009 19:46:18 | More by DefenCorps
Photo of Bierguy5
Bierguy5

Ohio

4.35/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle, 10% ABV. Pours nearly pitch black, with a slight amount of visable sediment. Creamy mocha head holds together very well.

Vanilla, coffee, and milk chocolate all blend together very well in the nose. What a treat this is.

Good amount of sweetness up front, leading into a nice roast coffee note. Some vanilla comes in, along with nice chocolate notes. Very nice combonation.

Medium body, good amount of carbonation. Alcohol very well hidden. Very nice here.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2009 13:14:17 | More by Bierguy5
Photo of alcstradamus
alcstradamus

Washington

4.35/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A--Moderately hard pour into a pint glass yields a huge 3 finger mocha head that almost overflowed due to a bit of a cascade effect. This beer is pitch black with no visible highlights. The head recedes very slowly and leaves a half-finger on it that sits as long as you can hold out from drinking it. Leaves a good lacing on the glass...this is how a imperial porter/stout should look.

S--Strong mocha scent...gourmet coffee beans, cocoa powder, creamer.

T--Yum, this is why I love craft beer. Strong but not overpowering fresh-brewed coffee taste, some sweet vanilla pokes through but I wish there was more because damn its creamy and good. There is a strong piney hop bitterness on the back end to balance this one out. Aftertaste is mainly just that lingering hop bitterness. For a little while I thought it was too hoppy but as it warms the flavors peek through again. This beer is riding a fine line, I think it is "slightly" too hoppy, so I can't give it a 5 but if you are a hop head first and a stout/porter fan second then I can't can tell you that this is definitely the beer for you.

M--Creamy but not thick, just enough carbonation to make it lively. Look and mouthfeel are the two high points of this beer.

D--Easy to put away the bomber, extremely drinkable for an "imperial" anything. Solid beer overall, not my favorite porter by any means but it is so well rounded that I can't help but give it a very high score.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2009 04:28:52 | More by alcstradamus
Photo of aglose45
aglose45

Pennsylvania

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

22 oz. Bomber

A: Pitch black with a half inch, mocha colored, head which dissipated over about a minute.

S: The bottle doesn't lie - tones of roasted coffee which eventually gives way to a hint of vanilla.

T: Tastes exactly as it smells. The bitterness from the coffee is offset extremely well by the sweetness of the vanilla. The bitterness does fight back though at the end. The brew is 10% abv, but you can't really tell until you get the warming feeling in your stomach. Some chocolate and caramel notes are also in there, but very subtly. Tastes more like a stout. Towards the end of the beer the vanilla really shines.

M: Medium bodied - this is where I could tell that it was a porter and not a stout.

D: I am a bit of a hop-head, but I put down a bomber of this in a bit over an hour and I want more. I bought two and I'm cellaring the other until at least the fall.

Edit:

It is now fall and I'm enjoying this fine beverage that I set aside. I still get a hint of chocolate and caramel in there, but the main difference over the past year has been that the coffee has faded. In addition to that, the vanilla flavor has really become prominent. It still tastes phenominal and I still love this beer! Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2009 03:11:46 | More by aglose45
Photo of RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

4.05/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a tan head. Nose is tight vanilla and coffee. But mostly coffee. Flavor is sweet coffee tones. Almost like you added that faux creamer to your coffee. A bit too sweet IMO, but it does still work quite nicely. Feel has a biting carbonation on the mouth and the liquid is thicker on the body. Overall a good stout. Robust and ripe with character. Though I feel the vanilla is coming on just a bit too much. It'll be interesting to see how this reacts as it warms up.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2009 02:23:52 | More by RblWthACoz
Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 3,611 ratings.