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

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BA SCORE
98
world-class

5,535 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,535
Reviews: 1,229
rAvg: 4.41
pDev: 8.84%
Wants: 940
Gots: 1,528 | FT: 103
Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: radshoesbro on 03-17-2009

Our Victory at Sea Imperial Porter is a bold, smooth brew with just the right amount of sweetness. We infused this robust porter with whole vanilla beans and San Diego’s own Caffe Calabria coffee beans. The subtle roasted notes and minimal acidity of the cold brewed coffee, balances perfectly with the sweet caramel undertones of the malt, creating a winning combination for your palate.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,535 | Reviews: 1,229
Photo of thebeers
3.42/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Bottle date 15058; batch 62.

Near black with two fingers of thick, lasting mocha-colored head that leave impressive lacing. Heavy malts, along with hints of coffee and vanilla on the nose, combine into a chocolate milk / YooHoo smell. The taste, however, doesn't live up to the presentation. The malt flavors expected from a high-quality porter just aren't there. Neither roasty nor creamy, there are hints from the solid nose present in the taste, but then an unpleasant, acerbic aftertaste I attribute to the coffee, although hop bitterness may also play a role. Glad I didn't buy a six pack.

Photo of gopens44
4.52/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours into a a mocha colored foamy explosion, nesting on top a beautiful opaque beast of a porter. Lacing? Yep, it's real and it's fantastic also.

Nose most reminiscent of cola more so than almost anything else I can pickup at first. A little warmth and agitation brings out some chocolate.

Tastes right there with the nose. I get a lot of cola at first, than a bitter chocolate retreat that is faintly sweet. Like unsweetened dark chocolate. I'm going to guess that the vanilla is manifesting itself as the cola I am getting? Finish is bitter chocolate and very little else. I guess I am getting a tad bit of heat? It's there just warming the innards I guess, but masked better than most anything I have ever had at 10%

This blurs the line between RIS and porter IMO. Such a great tasting beverage.

Photo of 14erFan
4.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What a treat - I had never heard of this one and just got a bomber off the shelf because the description sounded intriguing. Such a great, big flavor with rich vanilla and a refined porter finish. Liked it so much I got a six-pack the other day.

Photo of kkleu357
4.63/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

From notes on 3/28/15

Lots of coffee aroma. Smooth and tasty. Dark think body. Tons of coffee flavor with undertones of vanilla. Victory!

Photo of fscottkey
3.95/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: [4.75] Pours a pitch black. Forms a 2 finger head of dense khaki bubbles. The head is really rich and creamy looking. The head leaves nice lacing on the glass and does not dissipate quickly. The bottle lists the ABV (10.0%) and date code for born on 2/20/15.

S: [4.00] Very coffee forward. That is the prominent feature of the nose.

T: [4.00] The taste is roasted malts and chocolate. It is bitter chocolate. As I continue to drink I get more of the coffee taste in each sip. The finish is also coffee with roasted malts.

M: [3.50] There is a little more tingle feel than I expected. The body wasn't as thic as I expected either (given the rich looking head). There is a long lingering coffee and roasted malt taste at the end.

O: [3.75] I know the distinction between porter and stout can be academic - but I agree that this is a 10% porter. It didn't have the thick body I'd expect in a stout. Visually it is a great beer. The nose is also really nice. It has a good taste and is well balanced. The mouthfeel was a little weak - but like I said maybe that is more of a porter experience. Overall this is a good beer that I would drink again. It is not my favorite coffee porter/stout.

Photo of jooler
4.32/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Smells like a prairie Bomb. It tastes pretty damn good. Smooth like a porter but the burn of an imperial stout with a hint of vanilla. Only issue is that the carbonation is low

Photo of Mhelseth
4.38/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Strong alcohol after taste beer

Photo of MissSmisje
4.4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

S: vanilla, coffee, cocoa. F: strong vanilla, cocoa nibs, coffee. F: medium heavy, but not syrupy. Light sweetness to start, pleasant bitter finish with vanilla as the strongest flavor. Could drink this as a house beer.

Photo of jaswilson2
3.5/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Why do I have to justify a 3.5

Photo of smith_s4765
4.23/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

This stuff rules. So full.

Photo of TreeBear
2.96/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Great color and pours a nice head from the tap. Tastes very bitter and not smooth at all.

Photo of John_Beeryman
3.65/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A bit to harsh and burnt in the coffee flavor for me, couldn't really detect any vanilla.

Photo of bgold86
5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

So much coffee and vanilla I find that no beers can stand up to this mighty example. Will ruin your taste buds though to other coffee stouts, it will spoil you silly (my only complaint).

Photo of Stebbimacdaddy
4.74/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A thoroughly enjoyable beer
Dark opaque pour with a lovely caramel foam head that lingers with steps of lacing all the way down.
Nose is coffee and chocolate.
Taste is chocolate and coffee following nose. Smooth and clean taste lingering coffee bitterness, chocolate flavors are smooth and sweet. Well balanced. A truly lovely experience.

Photo of BEERMILER12
4.4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a pitch black color with 2 fingers of head that fairly quickly fade down to a cap that leaves decent lacing

S: Roasted malts and coffee up front, with the vanilla lingering a bit in the back. Some dark chocolate also comes through, providing a light bitterness to counteract the sweetness of the vanilla

T: Follows the nose. Roast, vanilla, and coffee all come through first which provides a nice mix of bitterness and sweetness. Dark chocolate in the back again. Finishes with more of the vanilla and hints of the roast and coffee

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Could definitely be a little smoother

O: A great porter that highlights both coffee and vanilla. All components go very well together (roast, coffee, vanilla, dark chocolate) and really make this a nice treat. Alcohol goes completely under the radar, which is impressive for 10%. Definitely worth picking some up if you're a fan of either coffee or vanilla beers

Photo of Jaskeller
4.56/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Just found a six pack of Victory At Sea and jumped on it. Typically in Somerville I only find the single bottle so have six servings really made my day.

The coffee flavor in the beer is on the dark roast side; floral but definitely bitter. The vanilla does a really good job of balancing out the beer but it definitely is not sweet. I really like the richness of the beer; it is very dark color but not too viscous.

If you like a porter with a bit of a spicy bite and a ton of balance, pick this sucker up and enjoy it!

Photo of BradMacMullin
4.59/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Salty Pig. This was such a big tasting bomb of a porter - amazing stuff. Enjoyed it while I listened to my buddy John talked about his match.com dates as of late. Made me wonder why someone doesn't order a 12 pack of these for a 1st date. 6 each of these bad guys, and everyone will be in love. Anyways.....great beer. Wonder why Beer Advocate doesn't offer a dating website on the side. This could not fail...

Photo of teromous
4.1/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black bodied beer with a creamy dark tan head. The head fades shortly and leaves some spots of lacing on the glass.

Aroma: There is a very strong coffee-shop aroma to the beer accompanied by a woody oak-like aroma. I don't pick up any vanilla aroma.

Taste: It has a very nice dark chocolate flavor with some bitter roasted presence and a strong dark coffee flavor. I don't pick up any vanilla flavor. There is a notable lack of alcohol flavor which is nice.

Mouthfeel: It is extremely smooth and thick and velvety. The aftertaste gives a good bite of bitterness.

Overall: It's an excellent porter. I didn't get any vanilla presence in this beer at all which was disappointing, but ignoring the lack of vanilla still makes it a great coffee porter. I would recommend it and I would pick it up again.

Photo of ColdOneKev
4.22/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A-black body with big tan head leaves heavy lacing.
S-overwhelming cocoa and vanilla. Roasted malts.
T-layer and layers of coffee and vanilla. Chocolate and roast. Bitterness of coffee is offset by malty sweetness and vanilla. No detectable alcohol burn.
M-thick body low carb oily mouth feel.
O-i knew this was going to be a good brew based on reputation and I wasn't disappointed. Seek it out!

Photo of JerzDevl2000
4.42/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at Top Hops in New York, having never had this before. I like Porters and have been on a Ballast Point kick as of late in addition to that. Hoped that this would be another winner and sure enough, it was. While not a light beer, the range of flavors and ease of enjoyment of this was a winning combination and as this warmed up, the smoothness of this became much more impressive to me!

Loved the pour to this, as the dark coffee hue had just a hint of garnet around the edges to it to let a hint of light through. Easily the best head I've ever seen on a Porter as the massive, tan foam quickly filled up the remainder of my pint glass and did its best impression of a loaf of bread that a beer could do. Tall and yeasty, the bubbles in it were massive and as they rose to the surface, it left and impression both on the side of my pint glass and on me. The lacing that was left over was extensive and solid as this beer settled into it's liquid state. Nice coffee and bitter chocolate aroma to this, reinforced by a massive vanilla extract presence, with an espresso base underneath that. Thin, carbonated, and strong, this beer packed a punch both in the range of flavors it had and the booze that tied everything together. Certainly bitter, there were hints of cherry, current,and licorice in here as well and for all of the complexity present, I was amazed how well this went down!

Weak, this was not but when you're celebrating a "victory at sea", weak won't cut it. The bread in this beer's head was repeated in the aftertaste as hints of pumpernickel could be found after the liquid went down, owing to the strength of this beer's body and subtle spice. Porters don't come around like this that often so if you can find it, get it. It's not for the faint of heart but there's enough out there that is and who are you kidding - you know you want to find something this well-crafted and savor every last drop of it. On par with the Sculpin IPA's, Ballast Point has a winner here that deserves the lofty rating it has received here on Beeradvocate.

Photo of Dynobolt
4.52/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Not a big stout or porter drinker.. Lots of flavors going on and as it got warmer(took me awhile to drink it) it got easier to drink.. Definitely try it agian.

Photo of maedhros09
4.29/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Look: Deep brown with average tan head that settles to a nicely retained film and bubbles with some lacing
Smell: medium to dark roast coffee, dark fruit, boozy
Taste: Coffee and dark chocolate (mocha) blend with vanilla, brown sugar and dark fruit. a fair amount of sweetness up front with moderate bitterness in the finish. maybe some herbal hops presence.

Overall: A pretty delicious brew - the coffee is really well integrated with the beer and adds an earthiness to the otherwise sweet malty body. Hops is just enough to balance in the finish. Great balance and nice presentation.

Photo of sa93
3.14/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

I feel this beer is somewhat overrated. It's all coffee, all the time. It doesn't have any balance. It completely drowns out the more interesting notes, and doesn't even really taste like beer. A small taste might be enjoyable from time to time, but that's it.

Photo of Floader
3.38/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had better Examples of this style

Photo of prior2two
4.89/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Stout, Porter, whatever you want to call it, its just an insanely good beer.

Now that it comes in 6 packs, that's a game changer.

Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 5,535 ratings.