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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

3,635 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,635
Reviews: 918
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 640
Gots: 689 | 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: 3,635 | Reviews: 918 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of francisweizen
francisweizen

Alaska

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

Toronado in SD
too much beer is good for me

Drinking, horseshoes, in the back
man this stuffs like liquid crack!

Deepest black with mocha foam
smells like yoohoo, and a scone!

Taste is chocolate milky delight
If this was around I'd drink it every night!

Mouthfeel is perfect, drinkability too
come and get your YOOHOO!

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2009 20:47:37 | More by francisweizen
Photo of akorsak
akorsak

Pennsylvania

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

Thanks to jleblanc for this 650 mL bomber.

A: The porter is dark and black, a murky and mysterious color. Completely opaque, the ale carries a finger and a half of coffee-and-cream colored head that slowly dissolves and laces as it goes.

S: The nose is is pungent, laiden with vanilla beans. The porter's aromas pair nicely, adding chocolate and coffee into the mix. Lots of vanilla though.

T: Man, that's a lot of vanilla. Luckily it pairs nicely with the darker porter flavors. Vanilla beans are strong, setting the stage with a mildly sweet presence. The porter offers coffee, chocolate and burnt toast. All the darker flavors struggle against the vanilla, trying to make themselves known. Roasted coffee, coming out as the ale warms, is a nice pairing with the vanilla. Dark malts, roasted and toasted, drive a long porter finish.

M: The porter is heavy-handed, full of coffee and vanilla. A pairing that works even though I don't like flavored syrup in my coffee. The vanilla leaves a long finish.

D: Another whopper that doesn't reveal its strength until it is too late. A nice pairing that doesn't skimp on the coffee or the vanilla.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2009 21:17:17 | More by akorsak
Photo of BedetheVenerable
BedetheVenerable

Missouri

3.9/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 22oz brown pop top with what I must say is one of the coolest beer labels I've ever seen (a pirate sea captain)...nice info about the beer on the label as well, though I didn't see a freshness date...split into two chalices to split with the wife

Appearance: Pitch black, slightly viscous, and utterly opaque, no light's getting through this one, even at the edges...a hard pour produces an attractive light tan creamy head with nice retention and some nice lace

Smell: Typical imperial stout-like aromas...burnt/roasted malts, lots of bittersweet chocolate, some alcohol, and some dark fruit...perhaps just a touch of citrusy hops in here as well...overall, quite nice.

Taste: Big bitter coffee flavors, much more than is present in the aromas...punchy coffee bitterness, but not overpowering...some boozy vanilla as well as a bit of citric hoppiness...bitterness is medium to high but somehow balanced out by the alcohol (which is fairly evident, though not abrasive) and burnt malts...don't get me wrong, this is quite tasty; it just seems SLIGHTLY one-dimensional with big coffee flavors and not quite enough malt depth/complexity

Mouthfeel: Fairly heavy, nice and creamy, with a little booziness

Drinkability: Pretty high for a 10%abv

Conclusion: Not QUITE as much depth as I'd like, but otherwise pretty damn good...we paired this with a chocolate angelfood cake spiced with a touch of cayenne and it was quite nice...as far as big coffee beers go, this is far superior to Jahva IMO and is a bit better than Redhook's as well.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2009 05:03:16 | More by BedetheVenerable
Photo of torchednoodle
torchednoodle

California

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

I socked away a number of these bottles since the release, and decided today was a good day to try one. As I discovered, this beer benefits as much from age as any I've ever had before.

Pours pitch black as night. Lacing and head retention are good. Leaves little wisps of light brown lacing all over the inside of my glass, similar to many world-class stouts. Smells like a bar of really expensive melted dark chocolate.

Tastes like a harmonious infusion of vanilla, coffee, and chocolate. When I first tried this beer back at release I knew the flavors were unbalanced, it was way heavy on the vanilla. That's when I decided this could be a monster with some age, and I hit the lottery with this beer. The vanilla is still the strongest flavor in this beer, but it has settled considerably and works with the coffee and the chocolate notes from the malt to produce a taste that coats your mouth in liquid sex.

Carbonation is dialed in just right, with the complexity level in this brew it might be a wee smidge heavy on the mouthbubbles, but personally I'd rather have more carbonation than less. Outstanding drinkability, this is an incredible beer. I hope to age my remaining bottles another 3-6 months and see what happens to this beer with even more time.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2009 01:37:27 | More by torchednoodle
Photo of Wasatch
Wasatch

Utah

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

Thanks goes out to portia99 for this brew.

22oz. Bomber

Pours a very nice dark brown color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger creamy tan head, with some very nice sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, lots of coffee/chocolate/toffee, sweet vanilla. The taste is sweet, malty, nice touch of vanilla, and lots of coffee/chocolate/toffee. Medium body, the ABV is hidden pretty well with this brew. Very drinkable, this one is very tasty. Thanks Bill.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2009 23:23:42 | More by Wasatch
Photo of beertooth
beertooth

Illinois

3.83/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Wendell and his brother for bringing this to a tasting the other day. Review is from notes written on my phone.

Poured a couple of big pours from a 22oz bottle in a taster glass.

Black slick body with a finger of light mocha head.

Smell is rich with vanilla ice cream and coffee, chocolates, roasted malts. Very sweet and roasty. It's very promising.

The first taste follows the nose, but with way more vanilla that I had hoped. There is a lot of coffee and dark malts, but the vanilla overpowers it a bit. It's borderline cloying. It reminds me of a sweeter KBS.

Mouthfeel is soft and slick with medium carbonation

I'm really happy I finally tried this beer, but I don't think I could drink more than a pint or two. The sweet vanilla really gets to me.

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2009 06:38:51 | More by beertooth
Photo of mjl21
mjl21

California

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

Review #200

Acquired via trade...thanks Dan. 22 ounce bottle poured into a snifter. No bottling info is given. Comes in at 10%.

A-A fairly aggressive pour results in black beer with a tiny sand colored head that collapses into a filmy ring in the center of the glass. The ring slowly expands as each sip goes down and results in a layer that looks like the top of a capuccino. Lots of bubbles are visible along the side of the glass and a tad bit of lace is left on the glass.

S-When it is first poured into the glass, a subtle sniff results in vanilla flavors and a light roast character. When I bring it up to my nose and inhale deeper, the coffee becomes quite apparent. After about 20 minutes in the glass, the vanilla starts to become more pronounced. After about 40 minutes the coffee and vanilla really gel together nicely. This one really deserves a 4.25; a 4.50 is a tad too high.

T-On the first sip, the coffee is very upfront. The sweetness from the vanilla hits in the middle and back of my mouth. Before it goes down, the roast flavor comes out. It finishes with some nice bitterness and some roasted flavor in the back. As it starts to warm, the vanilla jumps out quicker and overtakes the coffee. The aftertaste becomes more like a marshmallow dipped in bittersweet chocolate that has been placed into a cup of good coffee.

M-Considering it is an Imperial Porter with vanilla, it's mouthfeel is a lot lighter than I was expecting. It is quite smooth and creamy. It is lightly carbonated.

D-I would never guess this is a 10% beer. It took about an hour and a half to finish this one. A great sipper that only gets better as it warms.

This was another winner from Ballast Point. I would love to try the BA version of this one. Well worth seeking out if you can still find it.

Serving type: on-tap

08-27-2009 17:27:39 | More by mjl21
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

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

"It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell."

--Buddha

Impenetrable onyx with the faintest hint of lightening along the bottom edge of the glass. A large chunk of caramel milkshake colored foam was created on the pour and looks to be in it for the long haul. When the crown finally starts to melt, barely broken sheets of lace appear on all available surfaces.

The aroma is an enjoyable mixture of roasted dark malts and roasted java beans. Vanilla gets lost in the shuffle, which is a shame and is the main reason why the score isn't one notch higher. Even so, I could just as easily have gone with the 4.5.

The flavor leaves no room for that sort of wishy-washiness. VASCVIP is outfreakinstanding beer from the very first mouthful. If warming makes things even bolder and deeper... look out! One of my initial impressions is how expertly the alcohol is buried. This beauty drinks like the ABV is 7.0%. No lie.

There are so many coffee-added stouts (and a few porters) out there in craft beer land that they tend to run together. This one stands out for its sheer quality and because the brewers decided to add vanilla to the mix. I'm happy to report that all ingredients listed in the name are now present and accounted for. As expected, time and warming are turning a great beer into... an even greater beer.

The balance between bittersweet chocolate, black coffee and vanilla beans is pretty much perfect. Although little hop flavor is appreciated (which is probably a good thing), there's a modest amount of bitterness that closes each mouthful (make that 'eager gulp') in tighter than expected fashion. This bottle isn't even history yet and I'm already thinking about how to get more.

The mouthfeel is a little lighter than it should be, especially considering the ABV. The beer is smooth enough, but it isn't crushed velvet plush and heavily creamy. This characteristic might be something for the brewer(s) to work on in future releases. Please tell me that there will be future releases.

Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter is my second favorite Ballast Point offering, behind the outrageously delicious hop bomb known as Sculpin IPA. I will do whatever it takes to acquire additional bombers. When I do, they won't be taken away from me by angels or by demons, heaven or hell. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2009 20:55:47 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

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

Coffee? Vanilla? What's there not to love in a larger than life Porter? Throw in a completely intimidating label and we have ourselves an instant winner!

The beer pours a thick, viscous, nearly black color with a creamy lace of carbonation that retains well and clings to the sides of the glass in moderate fashion. Legging shows barley-stained liquids crawling just beyond the lace. Complete opaqueness makes this beer rival the biggest of Stouts.

Strongly Porter-like in aroma: not as roasty as a Stout, but heavy toast, dry toffee, bitter cocoa, and deep espresso notes peppered all over the scent. Vanilla softness helps to temper the aggression from coffee and toast but it leaves me wanting much more.

Even stronger flavors of heavy, heavy toast, espresso, and a charred flavor that makes me think ash. Still, the toffee and vanilla do little to balance the stronger darker flavors. They have some melding together to do.

Very bitter and strong bite from the roasted grains create a harsh feel that the sweetness cannot round out. Bitterness is aggrevated by high grassy hops, coffee oils, and alcohols making the beer a bit of a chore late.

The beer seems to have a lot of 'young' characteristics that may come together better with age. Regardless, a heavier vanilla taste and feel could improve the beer.

Thanks kmurray8621!

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2009 02:12:04 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of nomomentwasted
nomomentwasted

Oregon

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

Had this on-tap at O'Brien's pub in a pint glass. Tapped a new keg today and bailed on class so I could try this one that has been on my list for quite some time. And it's a full pint too! Huzzah O'Briens!

Appearance: Black. Dark. Like coffee. I have a feeling I'll be saying that a lot, but it's really dark, almost no light escapes. The tap was a little headless though, and so that's the only knock on the otherwise splendid appearance.

Smell: Big nose of huge malty texture, slight bitterness and, oh yeah, coffee. Slight tinge of vanilla in the nose, but really muted and less than I expected from a coffee vanilla porter. Aromatic, big, and pleasing.

Taste: Coffee, burnt malty flavors, and stout, porter back end. I tried hard to get the vanilla here, but it's not too big. Definitely very little boozy quality though, and less than the Stone 12th, which was my comparison beer for this one. Really, really coffee-y though, and reminded me of a more porter-take on the Speedway Stout from Alesmith. Pleasant, but not mind-blowing either. Don't get me wrong, loved the taste, just not exactly as complex as I'd hoped.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and full, and not watery while not boozy either, which is a tough line to walk for big, dark beers.

Drinkability: I knock it slightly as I couldn't imagine drinking much more than I did of it as far as a pint goes, it's simply a little too filling. On the enjoyability, however, fantastic, and well worth seeking out. Looking forward to having this in the future aged in the bottle as well and see how it matures.

Serving type: on-tap

08-13-2009 03:47:58 | More by nomomentwasted
Photo of glid02
glid02

Georgia

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

Had on-tap.

Pours black with a one-finger tan head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of roasted malts with good amounts of semi-sweet chocolate and vanilla.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Roasted malt flavors up front are joined by semi-sweet chocolate almost immediately. Midway through the sip smooth vanilla flavors join the fray and carry through until a bitter chocolate ending. The vanilla flavors manage to linger for a bit.

Mouthfeel is good. The thickness is very nice with soft carbonation. As it warms it becomes smoother.

Drinkability is great. I finished my glass rather quickly and could have a few more.

Overall this was a very good Imperial Porter. I have to say I didn't get a whole lot of coffee flavors out of this, but the beer did just fine without them. Worth a shot.

Serving type: on-tap

08-05-2009 03:42:27 | More by glid02
Photo of CosmoHopHead
CosmoHopHead

Kansas

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

A: poured black as night with almost no head at all.

S: smells wonderful. like yummy vanilla coffee from your favorite coffee shop. BIG aroma!

T: tastes like smells actually. Coffee comes through a little more when drinking but you can still sense the vanilla.

M: silky smooth and velvety. A little heavy with good carbonation.

D: A sipper but drinkable for 10% abv. As it warms up in the glass it tasted even better. Would love to get another bottle for the winter time.

Would definitely buy again and very much recommend.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2009 22:54:39 | More by CosmoHopHead
Photo of cullen0013
cullen0013

South Carolina

4.68/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have had this beer twice now. Purchased my first growler at the Charleston Beer Exchange several months ago and immediately decided that it was the best beer I'd ever had. A second growler purchased roughly a week ago reaffirmed my first impression. This is a high gravity porter with a complex flavor. The nose is heavy on the vanilla with a strong presence of alcohol. The taste is pure coffee initially, it's only after your tongue is coated that the vanilla kicks in. Deep, dark black with a khaki head, wonderful aroma, excellent taste, velvety mouthfeel. As far as drinkability goes, this beer is as rich as it is delicious and should be enjoyed slowly and sparingly.

Serving type: growler

07-21-2009 19:49:03 | More by cullen0013
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy

Georgia

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

Appearance: Pours a dark brown, near black body with a wispy, fairly small-sized, beige head.

Smell: Deeply roasty nose with some possible perceived hints of added black patent malt as well as eager, oh-so inviting notes of everyone's favorite: coffee, vanilla, and chocolate.

Taste: Dark, roasted malt flavor with a double shot of espresso, chocolate, and reasonably strong, smooth accents of vanilla beans. Subtly sweet. Earthy, predominately roasty bitterness present, particularly as it begins to grow in charred malt qualities upon slight warming. Drying, roasty finish with one last, final departing touch of vanilla.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: I enjoyed this one. It's about as smooth as a man with a pencil-thin mustache. The listed ABV% was never an issue at all.

Serving type: on-tap

07-10-2009 22:45:06 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of Viggo
Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

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

22 oz bottle, big thanks to dyan and DRINKNDRIVE for the hookup.

Pours a deep and opaque black, some ruby red highlights, thick tan head forms, drops down to a thin ring around the glass, some lacing sticks, and great retention. Smell is real nice, vanilla and chocolate, caramel, burnt sugar, dark fruit, milk, lactose sweetness, honey/nougat, touch of coffee roast, really rich. Taste is similar, very nice, vanilla up front, toffee, lactose sweetness, burnt brown sugar, chocolate and some coffee roast, dark fruit/raisins, very malty, nougat finish, touch more roast in the back. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied, low to medium carbonation, some warmth going down but ABV is well hidden. Awesome beer, reminds me of an imperial version of Aphrodisiaque from DDC. Thanks guys!

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2009 19:37:54 | More by Viggo
Photo of barnzy78
barnzy78

Illinois

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

22oz. Poured near-black with a light brown head that left decent lacing on the glass. Aromas were of bold coffee, roasted grains, vanilla, chocolate, and maybe some oak. Mouth-feel was medium bodied. Tastes were bold up-front coffee and roasted malts with notes of dark chocolate and vanilla. Also some hints of fruity esters - maybe some ripe dark fruits, although fairly faint. Alcohol was present, but balanced well with the flavors. Finished sweet with a lingering of sweet cocoa and espresso. Basically, this was a good interpretation of going with something different and thinking outside of the box. Worth the try if you can find it.

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2009 03:42:39 | More by barnzy78
Photo of grub
grub

Ontario (Canada)

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

Viggo shared this treat. thanks eric!

22oz bottle. sampled july 1/09.

pours deep dark brown, not quite black, with a few pale brown highlights around the edges. the layer of dense brown head drops slowly and always seems to maintain at least a ring around the glass. spotty lace.

aroma is great. dark and milk chocolate. coffee. vanilla. caramel and toffee. bit of butterscotch. toasted whole wheat bread and biscuit. bit of cracker. light alcohol. nice light sweetness. bit of earthy character too.

taste is great. black coffee. dark and milk chocolate. vanilla. warming alcohol. caramel and toffee. nice light sweetness. just a touch of roast, but it comes across more as coffee and chocolate. dark toasted whole wheat bread. biscuit. bit of cracker. just under medium bitterness level, again more coffee and chocolate than hoppy.

mouthfeel is good. fairly big body. just under medium carbonation level.

drinkability is great. excellent balance. the alcohol feels a bit warm at first, but it mellows out as it warms. nice depth and complexity. love the coffee and vanilla, really complimenting the base beer. vanilla is often overdone, but this one is just right to me. great stuff.

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2009 18:56:24 | More by grub
Photo of AltBock
AltBock

Ohio

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

22 oz. bomber bottle with one cool slick black label. This black label has a sweet ass drawing of a pirate skeleton at the ship's wheel trying to steer his ghostly ship out of a hurricane. You can tell he's a pirate because he has the pirate standard long hair, a tri cornered hat, and he has his skeleton parrot on his shoulder. Above and below the pirate is the name of beer and brewery in bold blood red letters. To the far left of the label is where you can find all the mandatory US information and a picture of a ballast. To the far right of the label is the name of the coffee company and a long description of the beer. The only thing missing on this label is a brewed on date or vintage year.

Appearance: Pouring this beer into a Snifter would have been nice, but I decided to pour this Imperial Porter into my Sly Fox Imperial pint glass. This Ballast Point poured a bone chilling black as heavely coffee beans and as thick as crude oil. This beer is so black that you have to careful raising this glass up against any kind light source. This beer was so damn black that when I held it into my lamp, light bounced right off the beer and back into the light bulb almost causing the light bulb to explode it into a million pieces. Not only was the color impressive, but the head of foam as well. The initial head of foam was a good 2 inches in height and dark mocha in color. This dark mocha head of foam had excellent super slow retention that left behind an everlasting ¾ of mocha skim of foam and an insane amount of sticky streaks of lace around the glass. If you want to stare into utter darkness and you don't want to get up off the couch to flip off the light switch, then pour a glass of Victory At Sea.

Smell: If you ever visited a coffee shop before and smelled their finest most expensive coffee beans, then you already know what this Coffee Porter is going to smell like. This Porter was just bursting at the seams with fine heavily roasted coffee beans! This scent of coffee beans was so strong that there wasn't much of anything else backing up all of the coffee beans. The only thing my nose was able to pick was a subtle and I mean subtle whiff of French vanilla. I love the scent of coffee as much as the next coffee fan, but more of variety in the nose would have been nice.

Taste: If you think that the aroma put the word "coffee" into "Imperial Coffee Stout," then wait till you wrap your lips around this beer. If can't tell what this beer is going to taste like from the thick roasted coffee aroma, then let me tell you. The taste was thick, dry, and heavily roasted with some fine and expensive roasted coffee beans, a gentle touch of bitter dark chocolate, and a tiny little speck of French vanilla at the roasted coffee finish line. It was great where this beer stood, but a little more French vanilla would have made this beer even better, if that's possible. If you love the taste of coffee, then put down your cup of coffee and pour this Coffee Stout into your beer glass immediately!

Mouthfeel: This beer wasn't going to mask anything. This was a clearly a full bodied Imperial Porter with a low level of carbonation, and a full flavored roasted aftertaste. This long lasting aftertaste contained a ton of dry roasted coffee beans, a pinch of bitter dark chocolate, and a subtle hint of French vanilla. This aftertaste was so thick that it was take at least 2 liters of water to wash away the aftertaste. I could feel a little bit of the 10% ABV, but not enough where you could actually tell that it was a high ABV% beer.

Drinkability: Imperial Porter? You know it! Filled with coffee? You bet your ass it is! Vanilla? Sure, I'll give them that one. Delicious? Yep! This beer is a must have for all of you coffee drinkers or the type of people who enjoy a delicious craft beer. I wish I had bought more than one bottle of this great beer. Well, live and learn.

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2009 01:14:04 | More by AltBock
Photo of GatorBeerNerd
GatorBeerNerd

Georgia

4.25/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle purchased at Bruisin Ales. Poured into a 22 oz Terrapin snifter.

A: Pours a extremely dark brown with ruby highlights around the edges. Nice looking cocoa colored head that didnt last very long before settling to a ring. That ring leaves a little bit of lacing.

S: This beer smells incredible. Huge vanilla aroma that is mixed with a huge coffee aroma. There is a bit of roasted malt aroma in the background as well.

T: Coffee seems a bit more prominent in the flavor but the vanilla is still the star of the show. There was a bit of a boozy kick that seemed to become less aggressive as it warmed up.

M: Unbelievably smooth and creamy in the mouth. Perfect carbonation level. Medium to thick body.

D: After letting it warm just a bit more, it was much easier to drink because the alcohol edge seemed to mellow. For a 10% big flavored beer like this, it still disappears faster than you would expect.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2009 03:42:17 | More by GatorBeerNerd
Photo of tai4ji2x
tai4ji2x

Massachusetts

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

22oz bomber. no date found. poured into tulip. tasted in mid/late april 2009

opaque black, with some red-brown tints under the light or when tilting glass. light brown, 1.5-finger head, slowly recedes to wispy layer and ring. multiple, though sometimes thin, rings of lace.

aroma: lots of vanilla and coffee, with cocoa hint, caramel and lightly roasted malts give faint earthy note underneath, along with hint of hops. a bit simple, but bold and fragrant.

taste: bold coffee and roast, with vanilla to back up the caramel, though it can be slightly over-assertive. bitterness is almost quite bold. acidic coffee flash before bitter coffee finish, with more vanilla tones.

medium body, ever so slightly thin, with syrupy smoothness at first, then lots of acidity and some astringent texture. moderate carbonation gives tingle upfront, then back off to help give body.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2009 07:32:51 | More by tai4ji2x
Photo of Bitterbill
Bitterbill

Wyoming

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

Bottle courtesy of the generous trader known as russpowell. Thanks Russ!

This pours a near pitch black with about an inch of tan foam. The foam is receding fairly quickly and at this point there's some lacing.

The smell is very big vanilla! Vanilla and caramel malt sweetness. I can't say I smell any coffee at all...maybe that will change during the session.

The taste doesn't hide the coffee at all. Big flavourful notes of coffee and vanilla dominate and dominate in a very nice way. Very tasty. I get a light chocolate flavour as well with some caramel malt sweetness. Overall, the taste is ruled by bitterness but the malt and vanilla hang in there big time. Oh, there's the alcohol now, not so much in the taste but definitely gives a nice warming after the swallow.

It has a pretty thich chewy mouthfeel to it and the carbonation is on the light side but perfectly suited. At this point, the foam and lacing gone.

Drinkability? I'm not going to kid anyone and say I could drink this all night long but hell, it *is* damn drinkable for the strength of this monster and I think the collaberation between the vanilla and coffee works oh so well. A real treat to drink and one I'd look forward to trying again. Wonderful brew!

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2009 22:43:45 | More by Bitterbill
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callmemickey

Pennsylvania

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

An exceptional brew that blew my mind... it was an unexpected treat that involved me asking the bartender "what the hell style is that beer" to which she responded "i have no idea, let check it out" ... poured to sampler glasses... i took one swig and said "yeah, uhh... i'll take a full glass please"

A: Dark brown/black body.. moderate khaki head.. nice coating on the glass.

S: Bam! Vanilla. Bourbon. Chocalate. Roasted Coffee. Rich caramel. Slight oak. Booze. Cola.

T: Yeah it tasted like the nose! A frigging smörgåsbord of incredible flavors. Blended to perfection. Each flavor popped yet didn't drown out the others. At 12+ the booze was present in a way which accentuated the flavors rather that killing the tastebuds.

M: Medium-heavy on the palate. Good finish. Nice carbonation. Delicate for such a big beer.

D: Something about porters make me struggle... but this one was rather remarkable...

Serving type: on-tap

06-19-2009 11:48:19 | More by callmemickey
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jmalex

Pennsylvania

3.78/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Ballast Point has really exploded onto the scene in the past 6 months or so and I was excited for the chance to buy this limited release bomber of my favorite style.

APPEARANCE: Pours into a Duvel tulip a deep black with a one-finger, tan head. It's tightly-bubbled and eventually shrinks to a full coating of foam covering the surface of the beer. Lacing is spotty and abundant the full height of the glass.

SMELL: I haven't even picked up the glass yet and I can smell the intense aroma of coffee. It really dominates the nose and doesn't let much else through. Some roasted malt and a strong hint of vanilla show through, but that's about it. Not that it's entirely a bad thing because what's here smells awesome, if just a bit overwhelming. As the beer warms though, some distinct hop aroma adds some much-needed complexity to the beer.

TASTE: The coffee gives way much more in the taste but still dominates. Chocolate and caramel make their way through initially with the coffee coming up to meet it then passing it by. A roast barley flavor comes on toward the finish giving the beer a very stout-like quality. The roastiness continues on through the finish and takes on a bittering role in conjunction with the coffee. Again as the beer warms, hops show themselves and aid in both bittering and depth of flavor.

MOUTHFEEL: Medium-full body with a lower than average carbonation. Seems just about right for style with a minor syrupiness.

DRINKABILITY: The flavors individually are all really nice, but rather than creating depth, they seem to just muddle each other up. That coupled with the fact that it's impossible to get past the coffee flavor no matter how good it is makes this more of an amalgam of tastes rather than a finely-tuned, interconnected blend. It is worth noting however that the 10% ABV is really hard to find.

I like this beer. I really did. It's really all over the place though, and I feel like I can find much more cohesive restrained examples of the style that drink much better. Worth trying for sure.

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2009 02:48:32 | More by jmalex
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JohnQVegas

Tennessee

4.03/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle into snifter. Tasting notes from 45 degrees and up.

Pours pitch black, almost no brown showing through anywhere other than the very edges, a nice , dense one-finger light-brown head. Nice stickage, impressive lacing. After the head disappears, a few swirls are all that's needed to resurrect it.

Nose is big on espresso; robust, rich, and full, with an underlying vanilla/smooth dark chocolate sweetness. Not a bit of acidity. Wow, really nice.

Taste is pretty unique. It pretty much throws everything at you right from the beginning - big roasty espresso, loads of vanilla, and some dark, dark chocolate underneath. There's definitely a dichotomy hear between the fairly sharp, roasty bitterness and the big sweet vanilla note, with the vanilla pulling ahead around mid-palate and the espresso roaring back to dominate the long, dry, moderately bitter roasty finish. Bit boozey.

Mouthfeel is smooth, full bodied, with a crisp but reserved carbonation.

Drinkability is ok. This is definitely an "extreme" beer, in that all the flavor notes are really huge and kind of battle it out for dominance instead of syncing up and trying to work with each other. A hair less vanilla and a bit less on the bitterness scale and this one would work quite a bit better. As it is now, it's a nice beer, but it really takes no prisoners.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2009 18:49:37 | More by JohnQVegas
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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
Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 3,635 ratings.