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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

1,280 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,280
Hads: 6,207
Avg: 4.35
pDev: 19.77%
Wants: 1,032
Gots: 1,874 | FT: 91
Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States | website

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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,280 | Hads: 6,207
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...!!!

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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++

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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

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Photo of dannyhipps
4.82/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my beloved Trpile Karmeliet lage chalice.

A- Looks like a flat cola(deep dark brown body with crimson tinges on the edges as light hits) as it pours from the bottle, forms an enticing cocoa head that disappears quickly. Heavenly brown-sugar snowdrifts of lacing remain.

S- Coffee hits then gives way to a pleasant sweetness that reminds me of a half-eaten chocolate donut left behind in a delicate brown paper bag. Whiffs of carob and dark fruits/raisins faintly appear in the background as the beer warms.

T- Phenomenal. Deep, delicious, and yes, sweet coffee/vanilla/tootsie-roll up front. A wonderful coffee bitterness kicks in mid-palate followed by a sweet milk chocolate/candi sugar blossom on the finish. A real treat!

Mouthfeel is perfect. Silky, creamy deliciousness. Just enough tingly bite on the palate thanks to the just-right carbonation level. The mouthfeel really saves this beer IMHO, which otherwise could've been a mess since the flavors are so rich on their own in this heavenly brew.

D- This is a rich beer, no doubt. But with the decadent flavors and sublime mouthfeel, probability of gluttony is high!

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Photo of maxcoinage
4.81/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Split a Bomber with a buddy, poured into two snifters with a few cm mocha colored head. Color was a dark black

ARoma was dominated by the name of the beer as I was hoping - coffee and vanilla. Some chocolate and booziness were apparent as well.

Taste was fantastic, dominated by roasted malt/coffee, some vanilla sweetness, dark chocolate

Mouthfeel -medium carb, not as big of a body as I was expecting for 10%ABV but still good. creamy and slightly bitter on the finish

Overall - Honestly two of my favorite flavors are coffee and vanilla- so I had high expectations for this beer and it delivered. Great sipper for a winter afternoon. Definitely recommend this and will be seeking out more. Gotta thank my buddy Mike for this, won it in a fantasy football bet.

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Photo of Kodama78
4.81/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I'm not the biggest fan of porters. I tend to think that if I want a dark beer I might as well get a stout. That being said, the taste of Victory at Sea is ridiculous. I have never tasted another beer with such a perfect blend of coffee and vanilla. One of my favorites any time I can get it

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Photo of kdlz
4.81/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from 22oz bomber into tulip glass.

A - Jet black pour with 1 finger tan head. Almost stout-like.

S - Coffee, dark chocolate, and amazing vanilla aromas jut wafting from the glass

T - Just like the smell, all were present. Not boozy at all.. Made me wish I could wake up to this every morning.

M - On the bitter side, like drinking a cup of coffee, low carb, very easy drinking

O - I think this should be a stout, color taste depth and weight of this beer is astounding. Not a beginners beer. Looking forward to next years plus the 2 I have cellared.

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Photo of vinny21bal
4.81/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Best Porter around. I have not had any of the variants but this one is amazing. Chocolate, vanilla, and not bland like a lot of the other porters can be. It is like the Breckenridge Vanilla Porter with a lot more flavor and balls. I am very excited to see it in Illinois and can't wait to drink my case of it. Mouth feel is very rich as well but not to big like a bourbon county wear you can only have a little.

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Photo of mrelizabeth
4.8/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Wonderfully dark. Moves in the glass like thick coffee. Tan foam, doesn't last quite as long as I would have liked.

S: Inviting. No alcohol notes. Coffee blends nicely with vanilla, roasted malts.

T: Really great balance of flavors. I got the malts first, followed quickly by the vanilla, then coffee, then a bit of porter at the finish. Smooth with nothing left on your tongue but coffee and vanilla.

M: Clean. Memorable thick and creamy texture.

O: If you are looking for an impressive coffee stout, this one balances more nicely than most. The vanilla shouldn't dissuade you; it adds to the complexity of the beer, but neither it nor the espresso completely overpower the beer. Keep a few bottles of this around for after dinner on a cold night.
*three months and three bottles later, I had to revise my original numbers. this beer only gets better, and is one of the best i've ever had.

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Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 1,280 ratings.