1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

3,885 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,885
Reviews: 933
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 725
Gots: 740 | FT: 57
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:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,885 | Reviews: 933 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mrstevens
4.33/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've been wanting to try this beer for awhile and my good buddy gtreid hooked me up last night.

P: Very dark pour with a thick caramel colored head.

S: Coffee was the strongest smell I got from this beer, along with the hints of vanilla, caramel and licorice maybe.

T: I really enjoyed the taste of this beer, big coffee, very creamy with the vanilla and caramel mixing in perfectly.

M: Great carbonation, very silky creamy thick and smooth in the mouth.

D: Drinkability is good, not too much of an alcohol presence, but maybe a little too creamy to drink too much of it.

mrstevens, Apr 17, 2010
Photo of callmescraps
3.63/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I somehow keep missing this beer. It's time to finally give it a try. Ran into it when purchasing some celebratory fruit for good friends.

Appearance- Black? Possibly very, very dark brown. It looks black. Two inches of mocha head settle down and laces somewhat. Only a thin cap remains.

Smell- Like a cup of coffee. Lots of roast. Deep, rich coffee notes. Some licorice. Not getting a lot of the vanilla bean. Roasty. A hint of cherries.

Taste- Comes forward with some nice chocolate covered cherry. That licorice. Then the roast comes in for real. Lots of bittersweet chocolate. The burnt aspect lingers. And lingers. Downright charred. I want more vanilla. It comes through at the start. But then it's burnt caramel and roast, and more roast. The vanilla comes out a touch better as it warms.

Mouthfeel- Nice carbonation. Seems a tad light.

Drinkability- No hint of the booze. So nice. Plenty of hints of burnt coffee.

Probably not meant to be. Not a huge coffee fan. Sometimes I find a coffee beer that does it for me (Speedway Stout comes to mind). This is not one of them. I was hoping the vanilla would balance things out, but it didn't seem to come through.

callmescraps, Apr 17, 2010
Photo of GJ40
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled from a 22oz bottle in a DHF snifter. Purchased at Sam's in Durham and aged for several months.

A - Deep black with very little light coming through even around the edges. A somewhat sturdy tan head. This beer has a real ominous look.

S - Coffee jumped out at the start but then the vanilla seemed to take the lead from there on; especially as it warmed. There's also some chocolate in there.

T - The flavor is coffee, vanilla and chocolate. I got a lot of coffee at the start but then I adjusted and the vanilla seemed to lead. But there's a lot to balance it off. This beer has some nice complexity and a hint of sweetness. In fact, the 10% alcohol was well hidden.

M - Creamy and silky with a nice low carbonation.

D - I was a bit worried about this one after I bought it as I'm not a coffee drinker. But this beer is about a lot more than coffee and the coffee it does have works well. This is a very good beer.

GJ40, Apr 11, 2010
Photo of ShogoKawada
2.4/5  rDev -45.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

22oz into Portsmouth tulip. Been meaning to try this one for a long time.

A- Dark roast coffee... 5 finger head after an aggressive pour. Great formation/retention. Khaki in color, even and thick lacing. One of the better 10% pours I've seen in a while.

S- Kind of buttery toffee caramel. Mild heavily creamed coffee. Not really appealing.. there's something off in the nose here. .

T- The buttery caramel toffee is here but doesn't turn me off like it does in the nose. Vanilla is here but comes across more like artificial sweetener than vanilla bean. Tastes like a chocolate butterscotch sundae with some coffee ice cream. Sweet, but not in the realm of ST's creme brulee. Mild acidity, but the coffee is playing too much of a subdued role and the caramel vanilla sweetness is a bit too much.

M- Flavorful.. a bit too sweet. Stealth ABV, very lush body, great carbonation.

D- Low. I'm very 'meh' on this beer. For the price, I can't see myself buying this again.

ShogoKawada, Apr 09, 2010
Photo of thisisxxmyIPA
4.33/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

A- Dark brown/black color with a tan head which pours thin and dissipates quickly. Only thin film is left chilling on top. Ruby highlights around the beer.

S- Heavy roasted coffee bean flavor dominate the aroma, hard to find much else than that in the aroma. I'm not a big coffee fan, but I do enjoy coffee beers, oddly enough.

T- GOOD LORD! This is amazing! I was not expecting this! Sweet creamy caramel undertones, layered with some dark chocolate, fresh roasted coffee beans, and a big kick of vanilla that adds such a beautiful sweetness to this beer. Seems like there is a decent portion of bittering hops in addition, but it's always hard to tell will rich roasty coffee beers.

M- Full bodied, creamy, thick luscious mouthfeel.

D- Not incredibly drinkable, at least for me. Bitterness that comes with coffee definitely slows my ability to drink, it's also a very heavy beer. The alcohol also impedes speed. However, this is still a great beer worth the try.

thisisxxmyIPA, Apr 09, 2010
Photo of gloriousglo2
4.45/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

That's right, on freakin' tap, here in PA, into one of those effete snifer glasses..smelled like a dark roasted coffee, deep brown color, no head by the time the bartender got it to me, which took about 20 seconds after he poured it. Very rich, thick, tasted like chocolate with only a hint of vanilla. A little boozy, but a nice balance overall. At 10% ABV, thought this was more like an imperial stout, but not complaining. The wife even thought it was good, which says a lot...

gloriousglo2, Apr 03, 2010
Photo of csmiley
4.22/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to prototypic for the chance to try this one out.

A - Pours a dark brown and borders on black in some areas. The bottom of the glass shows some ruby highlights that turn a cola brown towards the top. Tan head comes to almost one finger and disappears after a minute or two. Ends up a cap that nearly covers the top of the brew. Lacing starts out pretty sticky and ends on an average note.

S - Comes through big with a dry roasted malt aroma. Some bittersweet chocolate quickly follows. A nice espresso layer comes in around midway mixed with a little vanilla. The vanilla is much lighter than expected. Still not bad though. Alcohol is always present yet always under control.

T - The taste in this one is powerful. Loads of chocolate and cocoa stand at the forefront. Alcohol is more noticeable in the flavor but still easily managed. It comes across as warm an spicy but still feels under 10%. Fresh ground coffee and vanilla pretty much dominate the middle. Vanilla is light in the flavor just like the aroma. This beer could pass for a stout any day in my book.

M - Fuller bodied with a light carbonation of fine bubbles. Finish is bone-dry and smokey. Like chewing on a charcoal briquette.

D - Drinkability is good. It's pretty big for a porter, even an imperial. The 10% makes it go down slow. That's not a bad thing for this beer though. Tons of flavor makes you wnat to sip and savor every bit. Might be tough to dink 22 ounces so splitting this works will for me. I could have used a touch more vanilla but that is a very minor issue in the grand scheme of things.

csmiley, Mar 31, 2010
Photo of dondeez21
3.48/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a tulip glass.
A: Deep dark, black, Thin Tan head that disappeared rather fast
S: Smell is of coffee. This beer smells like a cool cup of joe.
T: Initial taste is of coffee. Not much is noticed of the vanilla that was used in the breweing
M: My main gripe with porters is the lack of body. It is prob mind over matter but I see black beer and I assume thick chewy body but this beer falls short.
D: Tasty beer. Not much is to be said of the Vanilla. Not sure Id want to drink more than a 22oz bottle in 1 sitting.

dondeez21, Mar 28, 2010
Photo of prototypic
4.33/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Victory at Sea pours a dark chocolate fudge color. It's nearly opaque, save for a few burgundy highlights at the outermost edges. A very light mocha head covers the top. It recedes to a surface covering quickly. Lacing was spotty and light.

The nose is good. Chocolate malts are noted early. Smells like dark chocolate fudge. A relatively strong vanilla bean scent follows. It's a nice touch. Roasted coffee is in the mix and works very well with the other elements. The more I smell it, the stronger vanilla seems to come through. It definitely has a sweet, sugary vibe. Alcohol isn't noticeable. Pretty good all in all. Maybe a tad heavy on the vanilla for me.

The flavor is a step up. Bittersweet, dark chocolate is apparent throughout. It's very tasty and gives it and excellent base. Roasted coffee is much stronger in flavor. I like that. It works extremely well with the chocolate. As a coffee lover, I'm a big fan. It's not coffee overload though. Non-coffee fans shouldn't be discouraged. Vanilla is more subdued in flavor. That actually works well. It's a nice complementary flavor, and works better in a more subtle role. That's a good thing. Alcohol is slightly noticeable, but is blended very well overall. It's not overbearing in the least. Finishes with a blast of coffee and chocolate.

Victory at Sea has a medium body that grows more substantial with warming. Carbonation is light, and it has a nice smooth feel. It needs just a little more girth to get that creamy feel a beer this big needs. Drinkability is very high. This is a damn tasty beer that goes down far too easily. It never feels as big as it is. Tough to keep from chugging it.

Ballast Point generally brews good beer. Occasionally they brew something special. Victory at Sea falls somewhere in between the two. It's damn good, but isn't quite special. Frankly, a bigger body might be all it needs to get there. Without question, it's damn solid all-around and is well worth your attention. Easy recommendation.

prototypic, Mar 28, 2010
Photo of kbeals
3.48/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Nesued for this one!

A- Pours a deep black with a finger of brown, creamy head. Head sticks around nicely and forms nice lacing on the glass.

S- Lots of sweet caramel malts, bitter roasted coffee, dark chocolate and vanilla. It's all there, but it doesn't seem to work very well together. It's a tad cloying and bitter at the same time.

T- Resembles the smell flawlessly. The bitterness seems to show up more than anything however. The vanilla is a little too much also. Vanilla is one mf my favorite flavors in the world, but this almost tastes medicinal. Very average flavors, not at my expectations by any means.

M- A bit thin and a little too carbonated IMO. Still a good mouthfeel however, very smooth.

D- The smell and taste aren't the greatest, but it was still relatively easy to drink this beer. I'll probably be splitting my other bomber however. Thanks again Dan!

kbeals, Mar 26, 2010
Photo of jcnd9803
4.22/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired this as part of a trade with mroberts1204
. Thanks!....

A - Pitch black with a small tan head that leaves moderate sticky lacing behind.

S - The vanilla really shines through first, with a finish of coffee on the nose. Very different. There's also some underlying hops in there.

T - Actually starts off bitter. This time the coffee comes first. Vanilla plays in the background and brings home the finish.

M - Nicely carbonated, but not as dry as a typical porter. Very nice.

D - This was a solid beer. I will definitely be looking to score more.

jcnd9803, Mar 25, 2010
Photo of oglmcdgl
4.63/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a duvel tulip.
A- three fingers of head comes forth from a steady pour slowly fades to a slight froth. Very dark almost black with brown edges. Bit of lace stickage.
S- lots of vanilla and coffee, I guess that would make sense, but underneath caramel and dark bread. Hints of molasses and gram cracker. Super nice nose that just gets better as it warms.
T- bang this is some killer stuff. I've had it on tap and the barrel version this beer is good all around. Deep roasted coffee and sweet bourbon vanilla. Whole grain honey wheat bread, caramel and a touch of chocolate malt. I get a bit of char deep in there and it really helps balance out the sweetness. Yea its sweet big woop wana fight about it, but never to much. Lingers softly with a coffee and cream touch.
M- lightly carbed and super creamy. Maybe a bit thick a chewy but I like a full bodied porter and this is one rubenesque body.
D- for 10 abv and as big on flavor as this brew its rather drinkable. I could drink a bomber to myself and I am as I write this review.
I have to say ballast point is on the fing ball. They have yet to show me a product I did not enjoy. Keep up the good work and thanks for bring it to philly.

oglmcdgl, Mar 25, 2010
Photo of ShadesOfGray
4.63/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Portsmouth snifter/tulip glass. Pours an almost solid black and fills the glass completely night black! Looks pretty thick for a porter, closer to a RIS by appearance. Head is decent size of a toffee color...VERY frothy/creamy. Tons of sticky non-sliding lacing, lasts nearly the entirety of the drink. Wonderful looking beer.

Aroma is pleasant, and strong. Tons of coffee, slight(very slight) bitter mid...and a very sweet vanilla backbone. Due to the HUGE coffee smell, booze doesn't really hit the nose...even though it's 10%...so...well hidden.

Wow, outstanding. Hits you quick with a slight kick/bitter hop...very creamy semi-thick mouthfeel and follows with tons of sweetness. Carbonation is strong, but no where near noticable to distract from the huge flavor of this beer! Again, booze is well hidden. Lot's of coffee and vanilla flavors mixing great together. The aftertaste is also outstanding. A few minutes after each mouthful, there's a great vanilla aroma still attacking the nostrils and coffee penetrating the taste buds. What a great tasting beer! Again though, this is a porter!? haha.

ShadesOfGray, Mar 24, 2010
Photo of prg1976
4.43/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours black as night with a small amount of brownish head. Some head retention, slight lacing.

Smells lots of vanilla, a little alcohol, only slight coffee smell.

Taste is a lot of coffee, slight vanilla, some alcohol in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is good, not much carbonation. Very smooth.

Very drinkable, the alcohol is sneaky. About halfway through you realize that it's 10%.

prg1976, Mar 20, 2010
Photo of GregSVT
4.3/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber into a snifter

A: Pours a deep dark cola with a big tan head that fades leaving lots of lacing on the glass.

S: The nose has tons of coffee aromas with a creamy vanilla and malty smell there as well.

T: The taste starts with coffee but soon after the vanilla and roasty malt flavors take over and leave a wonderful finish on the tongue.

M: The feel is creamy from the carbonation but it's a bit thin for an "Imperial" porter.

D: High ABV yet tasty profile puts this on the medium end of drinkability.

Very tasty and I wish I had access to this without having to trade for it. This along with Terrapin Wake N Bake are the best coffee beers I've ever had.

GregSVT, Mar 20, 2010
Photo of bonkers
4.38/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I got this in a BIF, thanks Dunt. I poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a snifter. It pours a deep, jet black, no highlights. The head is wa sticky, little white thing that sticks around for a while. It smells like a Frapacino infused beer, which is not a bad thing. Bitter coffee hits up front and is mellowed by the very obvious vanilla. The roasted coffee follows you to the lingering finish. This brew is creamy and smooooth. The carbonation is on tap and the alcohol is hidden. This drinks like a much smaller beer. Highly recomended.

bonkers, Mar 16, 2010
Photo of drabmuh
4.33/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Undated bottle served in a goblet. Beer is black and forms a thin brown head. Carbonation is low and so is lacing.

There is a nice coffee aroma with a slight hint of vanilla. As the beer warms closer to room temperature the aroma develops more and there is more of a vanilla character to it, also more sweetness.

There is a strong coffee flavor and bitterness in the back palate. The front palate detects a mild sweetness. The beer is smooth, no carbonation on the palate. Beer is lighter in body than expected overall. The bitterness lingers but there is no aftertaste, just a flavor that holds on. Overall, pretty enjoyable and a good porter for sure.

drabmuh, Mar 16, 2010
Photo of Kegatron
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a dense black in the glass, with several tight foamy fingers of rich burnt mocha colored head. Retains with a sturdy 1/2 finger that throws a big cascade of lacing on the sides of the glass, which eventually settles into some equally large frothy spotting. The aroma is just DRENCHED with sticky sweet notes of chocolate, toffee, and smooth vanilla. This all just mingles in effortlessly with robust smelling high quality roasted coffee. The bouquet is just so rich and dense in the nose, I could sit here with my nose in the glass for a while.

The taste is deep and tangy in the mouth, wih a chewy sweetness to it full of chocolate, caramel, and citric hops. A deep burnt and crunchy flush of roast, hops, and coffee spreads out across the back of the palate. Not astringency at all to the coffee here (which speaks to it's quality), leaving nothing but straight up flavor and lingering roast back that just STICKS in the throat. The mouthfeel is full bodied and huge feeling in the mouth, with a massive chewy softness to the carbonation that keeps this easy in the mouth. That 10% ABV is mostly only felt in the body, and that's mostly on towards the swallow, with any kind of actual alcohol flavor being marvelously hidden.

Man, I love this beer. While not too overly complex, it's just so RICH with flavor, with it feeling like you just had an after dinner dessert AND coffee in your glass. Just really fantastic stuff that will get you buzzed in more ways than one.

Kegatron, Mar 16, 2010
Photo of bbeane
3.85/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Poured into a snifter... starts with a finger thick brown head on top of a pitch black beer. Leaves a fair amount of lacing stuck to the glass after receding

S- A nice blend of coffee and sweet malts... don't get any more than a hint of the vanilla in the nose

T- Very opposite from what I smelled. More vanilla than coffee in taste... combined with sweet malt and bitterness

M- Full bodied with a light carbonation

D- Very tasty, though theres better out there IMO

CHEERS!!

bbeane, Mar 16, 2010
Photo of snpub540
4.03/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours such a dark brown that its almost black. Light brown head that leaves the slightest amount of lacing but I didn't expect much.

Aroma is of coffee and the slightest hint of vanilla or oak.

Taste is definitely reminiscent of a light RIS. Coffee and roasted flavors make up the bulk of the flavor. Alcohol fruitiness is definitely in the finish.

Mouthfeel is spot of for a porter. Smooth and silky with the flavor of a stout. This is for sure the biggest porter I have ever drank.

snpub540, Mar 15, 2010
Photo of WYVYRN527
4.35/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours pitch black, with a thick tan head that settles to about a finger thick. Lacong is excellent.

S: Smell consists of coffee, vanilla, chocolate, and dark fruits. Hops are noticeable in the backround, but not much of a factor.

T: Coffee is most noticeable at first, followed by vanilla, dark chocolate, and some caramel. There is only a slight booziness to this beer. The finish is relatively dry, with some floral hop tones.

M: Full bodied, but the silkiness of this beer is short lived, as the finish doesn't last as long as I would have expected.

D: Excellent beer, although it's a sipper. For it's intense flavor and high ABV, it's very easy to drink. It does not need age, as it is showing brilliantly right now.

WYVYRN527, Mar 15, 2010
Photo of jminsc76
4.22/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

On tap at Simmzy's in Manhattan Beach, California.

Pours a decently sized espresso head atop a black body. Very little lacing or legs at first, that is until I let it warm, then agitate, and then bam! out comes the head with thick legs as I tilt the glass.

Strong aromas of coffee, oak, and sweet vanilla beans, the last of which is the most prevalent in the bouquet. Wonderful smells.

Bitter coffee and vanilla on the front end, with bananas and darker fruits exhibiting toward the finish. Also accompanying those fruits is a slight quantity of booziness, which detracts slightly from the richness of all the other flavors. Grrr...

An incredibly thick mouthfeel as I swish, very full-bodied and pillowy. Love that feeling.

Overall, I was a little offset by the heat, as I have had this both from the bottle and from the cask and both consist of heaven on earth in deliciousness without the booziness. However, this is still a masterpiece of an imperial porter, and remains among my top five favorite beers of all time.

jminsc76, Mar 15, 2010
Photo of Casey10
4.4/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow a great beer given to me as a "extra" from SwillinBrew thanks Gil this one is really nice.

Wow what flavor this one really stands out for what it is shooting for the coffee flavor really stands out and is so nice.

A - Dark, wispy mocha head.

S - chocolate is prominate I can not really tell about the vanilla but this smells nice.

T - Lovely, so good smooth similar to southern tier chokolat but yet different. Not able to pick up the vanilla but most likely there whatever I like this.

M - smooth again leaves almost a feel after you have had just drunk a chocolate milk and the contents are slipping down the back of your throught.

D - I want another I gave a lower score because of the ABV and if I quickly drank another well lets just say I might not enjoy this beer the way I have.

A must try well done !!!

Casey10, Mar 14, 2010
Photo of biglite351
3.58/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I am re-reviewing this brew, and leaving my old review for reference. I emailed the brewer to let them not that I got a super-skunked bottle. To their extreme credit, a few days later a replacement bottle arrived at my house. Kudos to Ballast Point for very solid customer service.

L - nice and dark. Full long lasting foam.

S - mild but nice. Vanilla and coffee.

T - rich and deep. Certainly has coffee and vanilla. No real bitterness. Mild after taste.

M - tingle at the front of the tongue to start. The tingle then flows back into the throat for the after taste. Slight alcohol feel late.

D - this might be a little too much for an all nighter, but you could certainly have one or two during the evening.

I am not going to do my usual full review on this one. The brew looked great when I poured it. Very dark brew with a lasting full dark foam. The smell seemed a little off bit wasn't something rusting could place. The taste was the kicker. It actually took me back. It reminded me of a cheese that had been sitting out a a party for a bit too long. I really didn't get any coffee flavor at all. I truly hope that this was just an off bottle. It tasted nothing pike I expected. I actually did not finish it, I dumped it. Maybe in tje future I will try another bottle and re-review it. This was NOT a good bottle to grab though.

biglite351, Mar 13, 2010
Photo of WhiteOak
3.8/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Dark coffee brown color with a cola edge. The expansive, foamy head is light brown.

S- From a bottle, there was a short-lived but wonderfully seductive initial aroma of espresso layer cake with caramel and creme brulee┬┤, but unfortunately this aroma blew-off within mere minutes of the first pour. After this, the nose became muted and offered only a whiff of one-dimensional roasted malt. There were hints of some very nice aromatic notes here, but since they were so fragile, I had to score accordingly.

T- Flavors of roasted, slightly chocolatey malt attack the palate first, followed by a mid palate of bitter dark roasted coffee. The lingering finish is dominated by a bit too much coffee bitterness, but it is not unpleasant. A moderate amount of smokiness is present as well. The hops are restrained, as they should be with these added flavors.

M- The feel is creamy and moderately viscous; very pleasant.

D- ABV is masked behind its richness and structure, with only a warming touch. Certainly quite drinkable, and a nice interpretaion of a Porter.

Comment: Nice brew, and might have made a great candidate to spend some time in oak.

WhiteOak, Mar 12, 2010
Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 3,885 ratings.