Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter | Ballast Point Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
97
world-class
1,330 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,330
Ratings:
6,454
Avg:
4.35
pDev:
19.77%
 
 
Wants:
1,056
Gots:
2,026
For Trade:
92
Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial PorterVictory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States | website

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by radshoesbro on 03-17-2009

User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,330 | Ratings: 6,454
Photo of AdamBear
4.88/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A-black with a thick tan head with good lacing

S-smells strong of creamy coffee. great smell.

T-oh boy oh boy...this comes in with a strong and unmistakable taste of vanilla and coffee. its a great full flavored taste that lasts and becomes an after-taste almost as strong as the initial hit...and it lasts for a long time. this beer is beautiful. i'm really impressed that the vanilla really comes through in this one. most beers i've experienced that claim to have vanilla don't have a lot of vanilla taste to them.

M-creamy medium carbonation with a good heavy finish

O-few beers do i want to savor as much as i wanted to savor this. i found myself so excited every time i went to take a sip....10% ??? i think not...it drinks more like 5%...this beer is just about everything you could ever want in your porter. i can't wait to find this again some day.

 861 characters

Photo of PsilohsaiBiN
4.87/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2012 bottle

Appearance: Pours dark, as expected with one finger of khaki head that eventually recedes.

Smell: Roasted malts, coffee, vanilla, caramel, brown sugar, dark fruit.

Taste: A perfect blend of coffee, vanilla and roasted malt; that's what this is. Nothing more, nothing less. This is the best porter I've ever had. It's not cloying, and everything is balanced just right. Dangerously drinkable for this abv and the alcohol is hidden well.

Mouthfeel: Not quite as viscous as say a BCBS, but there's ample carbonation for the style and it's got some heaviness to it, but not too much.

Overall: Again, this is the best porter I've ever had. I feel so lucky to have discovered Ballast Point recently. Between this and Sculpin, I've added two heavy hitters to my regular rotation that I wish I'd had sooner and look forward to having much more of.

 857 characters

Photo of bohemiandonut
4.87/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is exactly how I like my porters. Rich and creamy, with no confusion for a chocolate soda. Strong bourbon backbone accentuates a dark semisweet chocolate nose and flavor. This is like drinking liquefied rum-soaked cacao bean.

The espresso jolt and texture carry the vanilla and booze nicely, but most impressive are again the notes of premium dark chocolate: Rain forest unripe berry with a back-of-the-throat sweetness. A warming sipper, I can't wait for more.
_
On cask into tulip.

 489 characters

Photo of MannyBats
4.86/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

My first review still learning

Look :Beautiful dark chocolate color with a tan topping staying faint as you drink
Aroma: Smells of chocolate coffee hint of vanilla
Taste: Taste just as it smells
Mouthfeel: Well balance a medium body but very smooth and silky like a cold vanilla frap

Overall: a very wonderful great porter will drink again

 342 characters

Photo of chrismann65
4.86/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

What a nice porter, coffee & vanilla blend. well done , very smooth and easy to drink. Take your time with this beer , it's a slow sipper @- (10%) is well hidden ..!!!! Wow I like this very much...!!! If you see this beer pick it up...!!!

 240 characters

Photo of jsh420
4.85/5  rDev +11.5%
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++

 696 characters

Photo of vickersspitfire
4.85/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance:
Dark brown body, almost black and sealed with a dark tan head that’s three fingers thick, foamy and just looks like a nice place to rest on. Thick lacing marks every sip you take.
Smell:
Dark roasted malts and coffee and a mild semi sweet odor of dark chocolate, brown sugar and butter with a touch of caramel.
Taste:
Strong roasted malts and coffee at first followed by the bitterness of dark chocolate. The aftertaste is a milder version of the taste itself minus the bitterness.
Mouthfeel:
Light bodied.
Overall:
This is a great tasting porter with plenty of malts to go around.

 595 characters

Photo of justintcoons
4.85/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Pours pitch black with a massive fluffy, tan head leaving behind excellent lacing.

N: Coffee, caramel, milk chocolate with subtle vanilla and booze.

T: Smooth dark roast coffee, French vanilla, bitter dark chocolate, caramel, molasses and maybe some dark fruit and oak. There are notes of floral hops in the finish.

M: Silky, smooth and decadent!

O: Dangerously drinkable and delicious! Nicely balanced flavors. Hands down, the best porter I’ve ever had.

 463 characters

Photo of ChestSplitter
4.85/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Out of a bottle.
Had heard/read a lot about this beer, and the best thing I can say is it lives up to the hype.
Pours black.
Smells like coffee, nuts, vanilla
Taste: Coffee up front and some bitter dark chocolate. What amazes is the long vanilla tail at the end. Never had anything like that.
Mouthfeel: makes you realize there's little to no difference between a great "Porter" and a great stout.
Overall: A fantastic beer. A peer of Founders Breakfast Stout, and the best thing called a "porter" that I've ever had.

 525 characters

Photo of FaradayUncaged
4.85/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Pours deep brown with a nice half inch plus of tan head. Head dissipates to light ring around the glass with very little lacing, but some present.
Smells nicely of coffee, roasted malt, hint of cocoa, and vanilla. Taste follows with a fantastic base Porter with coffee, cocoa, and light vanilla on the finish.
Mouth feel is much more Porter than stout as expected. Every so slightly watery but not too thin with medium body and a nice level of carbonation.
Overall the ten percent ABV is really well hidden. A fantastic non-barrel aged Porter. If you can find this one, it's worth picking up several.

 603 characters

Photo of verdot
4.85/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Victory At Sea is a fantastic porter. I haven't yet encountered a better interpretation of the style. Pours a deep black red garnet. There is a wonderful aroma of fresh vanilla bean that dominates the nose with undertones of rich, roasted coffee and smooth caramel and toffee. The alcohol lingers behind a full bodied mouthfeel that finishes smoothly and lingers on the tounge.

 377 characters

Photo of silverblaze540
4.85/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A - Motor oil black. Two inch head that holds well, lots of lacing.

S Vanilla and coffee.

T - Vanilla, coffee, with a mild bitterness.

M - Very thick

O - Fantastic, very pleasant smell and taste.

 201 characters

Photo of ffejherb
4.85/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to FooFaa for sharing a growler on 1/12/10.

A - Emerged from the growler as a deep brown liquid with hazelnut hues and a thick, creamy tan head that retained very well and deposited thick swatches of lace down the sides of the glass.

S - Wonderful blend of sweet vanilla, chocolate, coffee and an underlying toasted marshmallow presence. There is a slight hint of roast and earthy bitterness in the midst of all the sweetness.

T - Lush cocoa presence with equal parts vanilla and coffee as well as a hint of butterscotch. Finishes with a bit of roasted malt and earthy bitter notes, although Victory at Sea still retains its core sweetness.

M - Medium to full bodied with an extremely creamy texture and moderate carbonation. Finishes with a pleasant bittersweet aspect on the palate.

D - One of the best porters ever. Period. Not much more to say about this stellar offering from Ballast Point. If I had to pick between this and Sculpin as the only Ballast Point beer I'd drink for the rest of my life, I'd have a very difficult time choosing. This beer is simply phenomenal.

 1,089 characters

Photo of Realbeer1542
4.84/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Poured into a porter glass. Ebony black - no light will penetrate. Rapid 1/2 inch head quickly fading to lace and edging.

S- Espresso, dark chocolate, malt.

T- Great! lightly sweet very expensive black coffee. Medium dark chocolate and mild vanilla.

M- Medium carbonation dissipates rapidly with a medium mouth feel. Smooth finish hiding alcohol well.

O- I like many beers but this is one of my favorites. Excellent coffee porter - an easy two glass beer at one sitting. Goes well with light desert fair but will remain the star of the palate show. I will seek it out again.

 585 characters

Photo of PoorProfessional
4.84/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This right here is a near perfect beer. It's hard to really put into words just how wonderful this beer is - I bought it on a whim at the local supermarket and, given the nearly $10 price tag, it was either going to rock my socks or be an utter disappointment.

It was the former thankfully. I am absolutely turned off by the idea of coffee and vanilla in my beer because nobody can seem to do it correctly. Well, I have finally found a brewery who does it PERFECTLY. This is a GREAT tasting beer - the first sip is going to slap you around a bit. Whoa, is this stuff a departure from a lot of beers out there. But get deep down into this beer, with the coffee and vanilla subtly guiding you along, and you'll likely love it.

It isn't -perfect- but it's damn near close. It pours dark as the winter night and is perfect for cold, frost, "polar vortex" kind of days when you just want to cozy up with a good brew and forget about your troubles for a couple of hours. Oh, and the 10% ABV doesn't hurt, either. It WILL get on top of you pretty fast if you aren't seasoned so be wary of that. But, overall, a wonderful brew - definitely a favorite for me - and one I will seek out and gladly pay ten bucks for in the future!

 1,225 characters

Photo of virginia_lurker
4.84/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I have to admit, that I do go a little bit crazy when this one is not available to my tastebuds.

What an amazing coffee vanilla roasted delight this one is. An absolute necessity to your fridge/cellar whenever you can keep it available.

 238 characters

Photo of Ranz
4.84/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: Obsidian-black, this porter has it going on. In my stemless wine glass, it didn't create too much head, but the bubbles cling to the sides like the skeleton clutching its heart on the bottle. Speaking of which: great design.

S: Vanilla and Guatemalan coffee beans, both roasted, hit first. There's a slight alcohol pungency here, too. Spicy malt is just present enough as well. This thing is a winner.

T: My God this thing is fantastic. The roasted malt and coffee beans invite the alcohol singe which follows, and it ends so smoothly with the vanilla bean and caramel profile. If I didn't read the label, I would this this were a stout, maybe even imperial.

M: Creamy, lush, decadent; the syrupy quality still has some nice carbonation to balance it out.

O: It's so good that I can't decide to sip and enjoy or pound it and go buy another. I will certainly make another trip to the store and buy a few for storage. This has easily placed itself as a new all-time favorite.

 984 characters

Photo of bborche
4.83/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

That is what I call an awesome porter. Goes really well with cookies. Love the vanilla flavor. My favorite porter. Its better than great lakes than Edmund Fitz, Founders porter, Deschutes black butte, and stone smoked porter.

 225 characters

Photo of ummswimmin
4.83/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

It was kind of weird opening an imperial porter, but I read on BA that this is not a cellaring beer. I picked this up a few weeks ago as a "find" in a great store an hour away from home.

I really like Ballast Point, as I used to live three blocks from their brew maker store. Since then I moved a little bit... to New Jersey. Every time I see a Ballast Point, I have to pick up a bottle.

I never had this beer before... so this should be a nice adventure.

I poured a bomber into a pint glass. There was a nice, brown two finger head. The beer is a very dark color, and I can not see through it (as you would expect from an imperial porter). The foam had a creamy consistency.

Off the pour I got the coffee and vanilla coming off the top. It was nice to get the vanilla scent from the beer.

The taste is luxurious. The vanilla and coffee balance really well. The coffee is not overwhelming, and I can taste the vanilla in each drink. The backend of each drink brings in the porter flavor. The aftertaste keeps the same flavors, and neither comes through.

This is an excellent beer. I thoroughly recommend it for anybody.

 1,127 characters

Photo of ChrisCage
4.82/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A- Love the artwork of the label! The brew is more of a heavy dark brown than the traditional blackish tones I'm used to seeing....and it appears to be thick in nature. The head is meringue like a creamy espresso foam like color...the retention is most excellent, and eventullly looks like sponge toffee! The carbonation is much too hard to see and lacing is superb! A lovely looking porter!!

S- Super heavy cocoa power aromas upfront, with background smells of high cocoa content dark chocolate, very fresh dark roast coffee, vanilla sweetness, charred black malts, burnt nuttiness and Earth...super balanced and smooth aromas...Wow!!

T- This is awesome!!! Highly regulated smooth balancing flavors such as cocoa bean, blended dark chocolate, cold press espresso, burnt almond nuttiness, fresh vanilla bean to sweeten things up slightly, hints of toffee/caramel/molasses and the finish is dry, robust and bold, with mellow hopped bitterness....simply amazing!!

M/O- This is one of the most delicate beers I've ever experienced on the palate....the body gently tickles the tongue with wee tight bubbles that explode with a smooth vigor....enhancing the overall flavors/character. I refuse to believe that this is 10% alcohol...that's how well hidden the booze is within this brew! A very highly drinkable porter that is spot on for the style and I am afraid of what will happen the next time I purchase this, as it will be more than one bottle!! OUTSTANDING!!

 1,470 characters

Photo of fullthrottle77
4.82/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into a snifter glass

A- Very dark brown/black appearance. About a fingers worth of a rust brown colored head.

S- The coffee dominates the nose of this beer. Lots of roasted characters and maybe a slight bit of vanilla. Reminds me of the smell of a coffee shop in the morning.

T- Massive coffee notes blend beautifully with the vanilla. No taste of the 10% abv at all, making this dangerously drinkable.

Overall this is an impressive imperial porter. I'm not really a fan of porters, and prefer stouts, but this beer was excellent. Highly recommend giving it a try. In my opinion at 6.99 this is a bargain for such a top notch brew. Don't hesitate to pick up a bottle.

 691 characters

Photo of IdrinkGas
4.82/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a bomber into a snifter.
A: Pours pitch black with two fingers of head from a rough pour. Small amount of lacing.
S: The smell is dominated by vanilla beans with some chotolate and coffee also in the mix.
T:Mostly vanilla, slight bitter dark chocolate taste, some coffee and alcohol in the end. Very nice.
D: Quite drinkable for the ABV.

This is my goto beer right now. I've drank like 6 of these in the past couple weeks. Great beer!

 451 characters

Photo of berebrando
4.82/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I really wanted to toss up straight fives. that is, the 2009 vintage aged, is a five star treat.

pours dark black with a nutty tan head that is almost nonexistent.I love the smell. the aged version has a heavier chocolate presence than the young version. I love the blend of vanilla and chocolate in the aged bottle. I highly recommend aging this and drinking it around sixty.

great beer. I love the thick viscous mouthfeel and the drinkability.

 448 characters

Photo of Qwest_35
4.82/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

My first Victory! Pours a dark brown, almost black. The vanilla aroma on this beer is right up front, with a dark roasted cappuccino notes close behind. The flavor and mouthfeel of this beer is insane! Rich coffee with a sweet vanilla backbone, light hint of caramel, the hops are definitely present on the tongue as well, a really great porter! I can't say enough good things about this stuff! the alcohol is really well hidden and I am getting no bad aftertaste to boot. Overall a supremely tasty brew from Ballast Point, a bit pricey for a bomber, but I am not disappointed at all!

 584 characters

Photo of wogreen
4.82/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A - dark black, brown head dissipates quickly
S - malty and coffee grounds
T - potent coffee flavor. the sweetness of the vanilla has a nice undertone...not overpowering like many vanilla flavored beers
M - thick almost like a milkshake
O - a very fine porter, and nearly like a stout

 284 characters

Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 1,330 ratings.