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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

3,763 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,763
Reviews: 920
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 684
Gots: 701 | FT: 54
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: 3,763 | Reviews: 920 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jacobbocce72
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

jacobbocce72, Jan 30, 2014
Photo of hombrepalo
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

hombrepalo, Jan 29, 2014
Photo of abeeronthebeach
4.55/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ballast Point – Victory At Sea: Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter, from the bottle. Enjoy by: 12/10/13, drank: 01/17/14.

A – Charcoal-brown body with an evenly distributed and smooth head. You could shine a laser through this thing and it wouldn’t come out the other side.

S – Strong. Picking up a bracing hit of roasted malts. Milky coffee with a sweetness to it which you realise is the vanilla once you taste it. Much more pronounced than on Harviestoun’s Old Engine Oil which is the last porter I tasted (and which incidentally I loved.) Reassured me that my nose still functions. Three quarters of the way through this beer the nose continues to improve, to the point where it may be my favourite thing about this beer, excepting the first sip. This demands particular attention for, as a rule, most beer loses fragrance as it sits, whereas here it continues to emanate.

T- This just tastes absolutely phenomenal. I mean seriously, seriously good. The way the vanilla mellows out all the roasty-toasty flavours is literally something I’ve never tasted before. And it is so, so good. Few things are more annoying than using sounds and adjectives - so I’ve edited my original entries - but I was quite literally left wondering aloud as this washed over my tongue for the first time. Particularly as having read the reviews, it seemed I ought to be in for something a little bit special. Perhaps tellingly, prolific reviewer UCLABrewN84 reviews this in his top 20 beers out of 5052 beers. That first sip has left me reeling as is reflected in my scattered entry. This is great stuff.

M – Nice and creamy. If the mouthfeel here is whole milk, personally I’d love to see this as jersey milk; nevertheless it’s silky as a silk spider. Excellent.

O – Still have almost all the most highly-rated dark, potent and mythic-status beers ahead of me (Abyss, Marshall Zhukov, Dark Lord, Abraxas, BCBCS, Parabola, Darkness, Founder’s, etc.) but this offering only intensifies the excitement tenfold. As I sample more of the finest offerings perhaps this will downgrade but you can only go off what you know. The nose is so wonderfully balanced. The taste follows suit. I’d have sworn this was at 8%; that it’s actually one of the more boozy beers I have had (at 10%) takes me clean by surprise. Want to give it more than a 4.5 but my second sampling leaves me seeking a sweeter finish. Can conceive a creamier and more intensely flavoured beer but this is still glorious. I want that second bottle.

abeeronthebeach, Jan 29, 2014
Photo of kybeerdrinker
5/5  rDev +13.9%

kybeerdrinker, Jan 29, 2014
Photo of HipHopsHooray
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%

HipHopsHooray, Jan 28, 2014
Photo of chemicalhero
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%

chemicalhero, Jan 28, 2014
Photo of Givemebeer
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Givemebeer, Jan 28, 2014
Photo of LambicPentameter
4.38/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Reviewed from notes after enjoying on 1/18/14. Served out of a 22 oz brown bomber with an enjoy by date of 01/03/14, although this style should be fine with some age. Poured into a large 22 oz. snifter that looks sort of like a Teku glass without the flared lip.

Appearance - Body is midnight black--no light getting through capped with a half-finger mocha-tan head of predominantly tiny bubbles with a few medium-sized suds interspersed. Retention is moderate, with the foam fading to a line around the edge of the glass and a thin sparse film across the top of the glass. No lacing whatsoever.

Smell - At first, I was disappointed, thinking that I had left this in the back of my fridge a tad too long. Initially, there was very little coffee or vanilla, with the predominant notes being dark chocolate and dark-roasted malt and buckwheat. However, upon letting it warm a bit, the coffee and vanilla became a bit more present on the nose, even if subdued. The coffee element evokes roasted beans, before any grinding or brewing, just waiting to be unleashed.

Taste - I'm happy to report that the the marquee elements of the porter held up much better on the tongue than they did on the nose. Big, french roast coffee and bold bitterness that finishes with a pleasant vanilla sweetness, like the wonderful innards of a freshly-scored dried vanilla bean. Bittersweet, burnt caramel and waffle cone all add their voices to the mix as well in a complimentary role. It's situations like this where the advantages of a larger format bottle become clear. The first glass was good, but the second glass was great due to some patience and increased temperature.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied (which is a surprise for a non-BA porter with coffee and vanilla that clocks in at 10% abv), with low carbonation on this just-past-the-best-by-date bottle. In spite of the body being a bit lighter than expected, there is a viscous element that leaves a lingering bittersweet finish that is wonderfully complex.

Overall, a great offering from Ballast Point, and even though I've had a limited number of brews from them, this one is a clear favorite of mine. I have one more bottle that I will likely be opening sooner than later, to see just how much difference that best by date really makes.

LambicPentameter, Jan 28, 2014
Photo of ThreeFishes
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

ThreeFishes, Jan 28, 2014
Photo of layinbrix
4/5  rDev -8.9%

layinbrix, Jan 28, 2014
Photo of robwestcott
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

robwestcott, Jan 28, 2014
Photo of Monkeypuker
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Monkeypuker, Jan 27, 2014
Photo of ph33rbob
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

ph33rbob, Jan 27, 2014
Photo of headyhopzhead
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

headyhopzhead, Jan 27, 2014
Photo of Devman171
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

Devman171, Jan 27, 2014
Photo of stereosforgeeks
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

stereosforgeeks, Jan 27, 2014
Photo of 1993Heel
5/5  rDev +13.9%

1993Heel, Jan 27, 2014
Photo of MWolverines66
4/5  rDev -8.9%

MWolverines66, Jan 27, 2014
Photo of BrkfstOfChmpns
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

BrkfstOfChmpns, Jan 26, 2014
Photo of MachoMan410
5/5  rDev +13.9%

MachoMan410, Jan 26, 2014
Photo of PulmonaryArchery
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%

PulmonaryArchery, Jan 26, 2014
Photo of crobinso
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

crobinso, Jan 26, 2014
Photo of rajendra82
4.78/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful deep brown pour, with a tall, three finger thick, brown head. The smell of coffee and vanilla hit he nose from an arms length, and bringing the glass closer revealed chocolate and caramel. The taste was full of dark coffee followed by some rich vanilla and sweet chocolate, and a surprising high amount of hops. The finish was very grainy and hops and coffee lingered long. The mouthfeel was silky, and satisfyingly thick. This is a fantastic beer.

rajendra82, Jan 26, 2014
Photo of Elprico
4.43/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A-Deep black with a great, tan colored head. Mild carbonation can be seen.

S-Almost pure coffee for me. The vanilla is there, but takes a definite back seat to the coffee and chocolate flavors.

T-Tons of coffee right up front. Bitter, dark chocolate followed by a mellow and sweet vanilla aftertaste. This beer has one of the most perfect balances of coffee flavors in a beer that I've ever had. It tastes balanced and like quite a bit of work went into it.

M-Light to medium carbonation. Given the flavors I thought it would have a slightly heavier mouthfeel. I definitely would not call it watery, but would have appreciated a thicker body to this.

O-A beer that should not be passed up. The coffee in this beer makes it exceptional and although I wish it had a thicker body, I'd be hard pressed to insult this beer.

Elprico, Jan 26, 2014
Photo of bigcountry81
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

bigcountry81, Jan 26, 2014
Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 3,763 ratings.