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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

3,626 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,626
Reviews: 918
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 635
Gots: 687 | FT: 52
Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
"Imperial Porter"

(Beer added by: radshoesbro on 03-17-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,626 | Reviews: 918 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of gford217
gford217

Georgia

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

Bomber poured into a tulip.

Pours dark, dark brown out of the bottle and settles in black in the glass underneath a big tan head that leaves good lacing and hangs on as a cap for a while.

The aroma is really nice and big on this one with the subtle sweetness of the vanilla balancing perfectly with the massive roasted coffee smell. Lots of dark malts underlying the other aromas.

The taste is a bit sweeter than the aroma. The initial tastes are of big roasted coffee and dark malts. The vanilla is subtle to start but really comes on strong in the finish and leaves a very sweet finish.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and very smooth with good carbonation. The finish is sweet but slightly dry with the roasted coffee character.

This is a very good porter with some very bold flavors and aromas, dominated by the coffee but with the vanilla reallyl coming through in the taste. Great beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2009 03:10:06 | More by gford217
Photo of morebeergood
morebeergood

Massachusetts

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

Purchased a bomber at Bauer for $9.99. Poured into a stemmed crystal glass. Dark brown color, bordering on black. Large leather brown head. Significant lacing. Thick body, not a lot of carbonation noticed. Smell was a wonderful combo of coffee and chocolate. Taste was a knock out. Borderline perfect. Had that chocolate and roasted barley flavor of a nice porter, but the addition of the high end coffee was killer. Then, the vanilla was just enough in the background to lend a bit of flavor, but didn't overwhelm at all. A great compliment to the intended flavor profile. Outstanding flavor. Mouthfeel was stout-like, very heavy and hearty. Much more than a porter. Not a beer to session with, but a beautiful beer to have with dessert or have as a sweet treat by itself. A bit more expensive than what I spend normally on a bomber, but well worth it. Puts Ballast Point up there with the big boys in my mind.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2009 22:19:30 | More by morebeergood
Photo of Blakaeris
Blakaeris

Iowa

4.47/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a thick, creamy tan head that hangs around awhile.

Aroma is smokey with burnt malt and dark grain. Big and roasty, plenty of espresso and rich chocolate. Only upon inspection does the vanilla aspect become readily apparent along with an underlying creamy sweetness.

Taste is rich and full of roasted notes as the nose suggested. Initially dominated by chocolate and dark fruit. Then the smokey dark grain and hearty coffee bitterness takes over. Dry oak woodiness. The finish brings out vanilla and milk sugar sweetness. Alcohol has a bourbon character, and lingers throughout.

Mouthfeel is full and creamy, with a slight syrupy slickness that coats the tongue.

Without a doubt this is the best vanilla porter I have had to date. The vanilla is present, but is secondary to the rich smokey flavor of an intense porter. Big, but balanced sweetness and coffee bitterness. Alcohol comes on a little hot and boozy, but for me that adds to character. This is one to try.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2009 17:12:10 | More by Blakaeris
Photo of BigMike
BigMike

Pennsylvania

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

Poured from a 220z bomber into a pint glass.
Pitch black. No light gets through this one. 3 fingers worth of thick creamy tan head.

Some great aromas going on here.Of the bat i smell coffee(which is expected) chocolate, vanilla, raosted malts, caramel, chocolate milk.

WOW! nice mixture of flavors. I taste a strong chocolate flavor of the bat. Tastes like chocolate milk made with dark sweet chocolate. Then the coffee hits your palate and the warmth from the 10%abv.
In all honesty. This is one of the best, if not THE best tasting porter i've ever had the pleasure of drinking.

Mouth feel is light and frothy and silky smooth.

This is a must try for anyone.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2009 22:32:36 | More by BigMike
Photo of FtownThrowDown
FtownThrowDown

Ohio

4.15/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Wow. This is everything that I wanted the Southern Tier Creme Brulee to be. Pours very dark brown in color with a nice half inch of tan head. Smell is wonderful. Perfect amount of vanilla, working with the roasted coffee notes. Smells decadent. Taste follows up with the nose. Perfectly balanced vanilla and roasted coffee beans. A wonderful porter underneath supporting these flavors. I would like the mouthfeel a tad thicker, but I'm not going to complain about this one at all. Don't think I could drink an entire bomber of this, but it's damn tasty. Very good beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2009 13:49:52 | More by FtownThrowDown
Photo of kirok1999
kirok1999

Ohio

4.47/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Holy crap, what a damn fine porter. If you can tell this from a stout you're better than I am.
Pours black with a quickly fading head. Still as night with no apparent carbonation.
Smells of so damn much, vanilla, coffee, chocolate and roasty malts.
Taste is the same as the smell but better. Lots of vanilla to back up the coffee. Sweet as hell in a great way, dense and rich and creamy. Smooth, almost like an oatmeal stout; I'm still amazed this is a porter. A damn fine beer soon to be added to my wants list.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2009 03:32:15 | More by kirok1999
Photo of MasterSki
MasterSki

Illinois

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

Thanks to srandycarter for sending a bottle of this my way. Served in my brand-new Red Hook pint glass.

A - Tar black, with a two-finger mocha foam that dissipates slowly and leaves a nice cap, but minimal lacing. A small amount of reddish-brown coloration is visible at the fringes of the glass.

S - Coffee! Vanilla! Ridiculously potent - even cold I can smell it a good foot away from the glass. The coffee is bitter and roasty, and there is also quite a bit of burnt malt, cream, and cocoa mixed with the vanilla. It's slightly reminiscent of Southern Tier's Crème brûlèe, but nowhere near as cloyingly sweet.

T - The coffee is nowhere near as bitter on the palate - it's more roast and slightly smokey. There's also plenty of milk chocolate, vanilla, and sweet malts. There's a tiny bit of alcohol that peeks out from amongst the flavors, but it's not particularly offensive. Roasty aftertaste - not very bitter at all, which is nice for such a coffee-infused brew

M - It's medium bodied, but on the thinner side, and seems a little watery for such a big beer. Carbonation is lively, with lots of tingle on the upper lip and top of the palate. Finishes with loads of sticky sweetness.

D - I'd have no problems with a bomber of this one, although it is mildly palate-busting and a little too high gravity for sessions.

We've started to get the regular Ballast Point line in Illinois, but I'm anxiously awaiting the day that we can get the special limited releases (Sculpin, Sea Monster, etc.).

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2009 02:58:29 | More by MasterSki
Photo of johnnnniee
johnnnniee

New Hampshire

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

Pours a solid black with a thinnish mocha head that sticks around for a bit. Smells of coffee right off, layers of vanilla, milk chocolate, and roasted grain hidden in there as well. Taste is like a half and half milkshake. Lots of milk chocolate and vanilla mix up front followed by some coffee and a lingering roasted coffee and chocolate finish. Full bodied with a creamy mouthfeel and light carbonation. Great Porter, maybe a bit on the sweet side, but certainly very tasty. Call it a desert porter.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2009 03:13:33 | More by johnnnniee
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

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

First off this is an exceptional beer. I had wanted to try it since it came out by missed all the bottles on sale, needless to say when I was able to trade for some it made my day. Served at a nice 55 degrees and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 04/04/2009.

The pour was fantastic. Huge dark beer here, black as night as it pours out. A big cascading brown head comes up and over the top and then settles down into a half inch layer that hung around for the entire rest of the session. The aroma was vanilla, huge vanilla beer and light cafe like coffee notes. Some hints of roasted malts, but vanilla in a beer like I have never come across before. Not terribly sweet and fake, this was like whiffing good vanilla ice cream. As I take the first sip, wow. This beer is suprising the crap out of me. First off where is my 12 percent? This is soo smooth I really got caught off guard by my second glass. The vanilla explosion followed through on the taste, rich and creamy with light and sweet coffee notes following through on them as well. Really tight flavor here, smooth with a long drawn out finish that was sweet, delicate and drying enough to make me want another in a minute.

Overall this was a very unique beer, that falls squarely into the dessert category. I was very happy, and very suprised with how big this was and how good it was as well. A winner here for sure!

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2009 14:22:56 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of bashiba
bashiba

Iowa

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

This beer had a nice dark brown color with light mahogany highlights coming through in the light. The head was small to nonexistent with nothing but a small soap ring.

Initially there is a big blast of vanilla coffee in the nose, as it settles a bit it becomes more porter like with mild dark malts and chocolate coming through as well.

The flavor is very good with a nice balance between the slightly sweet vanilla and bourbon alcohol notes that even out nicely with a touch of smokey burnt bitterness and dark coffee.

The mouthfeel is nice and creamy with a good bit of warmth and a bit of resiny oilyness making it linger in your mouth for a bit.

Very drinkable big porter, love the great vanilla and coffee balance. I think this is the first really good vanilla flavored beer I have come across, of course with ballast points quality this is of no surprise.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2009 23:01:26 | More by bashiba
Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 3,626 ratings.