1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. 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

3,623 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,623
Reviews: 918
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 635
Gots: 688 | FT: 52
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:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,623 | Reviews: 918 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CubsJedi
CubsJedi

Michigan

3.25/5  rDev -26%

02-03-2013 02:52:54 | More by CubsJedi
Photo of mrkdwrds
mrkdwrds

California

3.25/5  rDev -26%

05-26-2014 00:16:36 | More by mrkdwrds
Photo of CityofBals
CityofBals

Illinois

3.25/5  rDev -26%

09-12-2013 01:42:30 | More by CityofBals
Photo of SatlyMalty
SatlyMalty

Washington

3.25/5  rDev -26%

08-04-2013 19:12:47 | More by SatlyMalty
Photo of timoteo833
timoteo833

New York

3.25/5  rDev -26%

06-01-2013 02:06:02 | More by timoteo833
Photo of dozier77
dozier77

Arizona

3.25/5  rDev -26%

02-12-2014 15:56:59 | More by dozier77
Photo of CLanda
CLanda

Florida

3.25/5  rDev -26%

06-17-2013 00:38:25 | More by CLanda
Photo of nguasta2
nguasta2

Illinois

3.25/5  rDev -26%

05-12-2014 02:26:23 | More by nguasta2
Photo of Vestlake
Vestlake

Alabama

3.25/5  rDev -26%

09-03-2013 21:48:04 | More by Vestlake
Photo of egrace84
egrace84

Illinois

3.25/5  rDev -26%

05-01-2012 03:33:58 | More by egrace84
Photo of ptykozoon
ptykozoon

California

3.3/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours blackish, strong frothy head, sticky lacing, red hues in the light, pretty.

Sweet rich coffee, not much else.

Lots of luscious coffee, not gonna lie - can't find much of any vanilla. Detecting a bit of hops.

Lots of heat and sharp carbonation. Smooth density contrasts the alcohol bite and carbonation AND coffee bitterness too much. Could use some time in the cellar.

Not a bad beer, great coffee quality, rich and creamy.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2010 16:51:21 | More by ptykozoon
Photo of MasterfulIdiot
MasterfulIdiot

Georgia

3.35/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an Ikea Snifter

Appearance is black, with an impressively large cafe-au-lait-colored head for the snifter. The head fades quickly, and leaves some scattered tendrils of lace.

Smell is majorly coffee, with a slight lactic tartness. Really smells like some kind of creamy iced mocha drink.

Flavor was a little disappointing to me. Lots of coffee and chocolate. But it's so roasty that it comes across as burnt. There's some nice off-setting sweetness on the palate from the vanilla, but the swallow ends up being overly bitter and charred to me.

Mouthfeel is nice, thick, and creamy, as I'd expect.

Overall, it's definitely good, but there are many coffee beers I'd choose over this one... Not sure what I missed here - maybe my expectations were too high?

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2014 03:59:21 | More by MasterfulIdiot
Photo of mactrail
mactrail

Washington

3.35/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A black liqueur of a beer.

Nice to look at, with a topping of beige-tinted foam. Pleasant enough carbonation. Intense flavors. Hot with alcohol and tastes like rum, with a dollop of Bailey's Cream. Hops are a good touch and cut the sweet maltiness, leaving a bitter aftertaste. I just keep thinking of those flavored instant coffees.

I guess this boils down to whether you like coffee and ice cream in your beer. Maybe for dessert with a piece of angel food cake.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2011 03:23:19 | More by mactrail
Photo of JohnPecod
JohnPecod

California

3.35/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - not quite a stout and not quite a porter. The head doesn't stay around long but still overall a beauty.

S - Oak, coffee, with hints of chocolate and vanilla. Not an outstanding bouquet but perfectly acceptable.

T - Historically this has been one of my favorite beers, but this batch tastes distinctly different than the others I've had. The distinction/problem was the dominance of the oak flavor. Unlike previous batches that deftly balanced the chocolate, vanilla, and coffee flavors this lacked the depth and complexity I've come to expect. The oak muscled everything out.

M - A little extra pop of carbonation but perfectly in line with the style.

O - Maybe my buds we're having an off night. Luckily I have another bottle to do more "analysis."

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2011 16:12:58 | More by JohnPecod
Photo of Teleweizen2
Teleweizen2

New Jersey

3.35/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - pours pitch black with a bubbly mocha head of foam. Two fingers worth. It dissipated rather quickly. Leaves streaks of lacing.

S - lots of oily espresso on first sniff along with varying degrees of roasted malt and a bit of milk chocolate. Some mild spice notes along with hints of vanilla and toasted coconut.

T - vaguely sweet on the front of the tongue. The roasty bitter flavors enter mid palate to balance the sweetness. There are hints of vanilla as well but it seems to be providing a counter notand e to the strong esprosso bean roasty flavors.

M - full bodied. medium carbonation. Creamy texture.

O - an interesting ale. I was expecting a little more desert beer
from this with the vanilla playing a larger role. But still flavorful and well produced.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2012 03:29:31 | More by Teleweizen2
Photo of harrymel
harrymel

Washington

3.38/5  rDev -23%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Black with light tan foam. Smells of coffee and vanilla, very strong and decadent. Flavor is overpowering coffee and burnt malts. Full bodied with moderate carb and an off dry finish. Decent beer, nose>flavor

Original review on 19FEB11: 3/2.5/2.5/3.5/3- 2.73
A: Pours a dark, brown ale. single finger latte head falls quickly leaving a fine velvet sheet. Little lacing.
S: Plenty of coffee. Sharp alcoholic nose. A little overbearing with the coffee and alcohol.
T: Once the beer hits the mouth, it's all vanilla. Such a severe transition from coffee to vanilla, man I don't really dig this. Okay, a little bit later and the coffee is starting to balance out the vanilla sweetness a bit. Roasty background.
M: Thick with low carbonation. Sticky.
D: This is a big beer. I will finish the bottle, but I will never seek this out again.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2012 06:43:19 | More by harrymel
Photo of mrmiles
mrmiles

California

3.38/5  rDev -23%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

One of my all time favorites. First time review. First bottle of the 2010 batch. Poured into my St. Bernardus goblet.

A: Pour is a dark brown. Very dark, almost black when held to the light. Slight foaming at edge of glass, but no real head to speak of. Small groupings of bubbles ride the surface.

S: Coffee first. Followed by vanilla and some chocolate notes. Some chocolate malt presence as well.

T: The vanilla comes first mixed with some roast coffee. Chocolate malt follows and then aftertaste picks up the coffee again. Boozy, but well hidden. Some bitterness present, most likely from the coffee.

M: Solid carbonation makes this beer feel lighter than it really is. Very deceptive. A bit viscous for a porter however.

D: Extremely drinkable. Even better after a year or 2 when alcohol mellows. Be careful though as the abv will catch up quickly.

Overall I love this beer. Like I said, one of my all time favorites and without a doubt my favorite porter. That being said, it very often doesn't feel like a porter. I will drink this beer again, and again, and again...

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2010 07:40:15 | More by mrmiles
Photo of Goblinmunkey7
Goblinmunkey7

Massachusetts

3.38/5  rDev -23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Pours near black. Hints of dark rich browns at the edge. Head is dark khaki and starts off big and rocky. Drops to a smaller cap and clumpy collar. Some small notches of lacing. Moderate carbonation on the pour.

Smell: Loaded with fresh vanilla bean and straight up roasted coffee bean. A slight twinge of coffee acidity as well. Nicely roasted with a touch of burnt malt. Nicely caramelized with a measured sweetness. A touch of herbal hops with a ton of cocoa. Bitter baker's chocolate with some milder dark chocolate thrown in the mix. A touch of brownie as well. Vanilla adds a touch of sweetness as well.

Taste: Holy vanilla batman. Slightly bitter over extracted vanilla bean. Roasted coffee beans lend a bit of an acrid edge as well. Deeply roasted with some charred and burnt edges. Some cooked and caramelized malts, but it's more and more burnt with each sip. Sweet. Milk chocolate, bitter cocoa, straight nibs and then some overextracted clespresso. Very chocolatey. Did I mention chocolate and coffee and vanilla because seriously. It's borderline candy.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy up front. Finishes clean with a medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: Edward Kenway sank this ship.

Sweet and burnt. It hits on all the promised flavors, but it's just not all there. So very heavy on the vanilla and chocolate. A dessert beer yes.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2014 21:40:24 | More by Goblinmunkey7
Photo of kingcrowing
kingcrowing

Vermont

3.43/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber poured into a Duvel tulip.

Pours a velvety black with a very small light brown head that quickly dies down. Nose is coffee, a bit of sweet vanilla and chocolate malts.

Taste is rich and sweet, the coffee bitterness is quite strong and present, a bit astringent and harsh. The vanilla isn't very apparent but I think it's toning down the bitterness of the coffee a bit. It's pretty good but a bit harsh for drinking a lot of.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2010 20:06:34 | More by kingcrowing
Photo of ryan1788a5
ryan1788a5

Massachusetts

3.43/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bomber poured into an oversized snifter.

A: Pours black with a two-inch tan head. The head dies down after a few minutes, but never quite goes away. Lacing clings to the glass in rings.

S: Whole, roasted coffee beans with hints of vanilla bean and a roasted malt base. Malted milk balls. Faint dark chocolate. Not the most complex nose, but it still smells quite good.

T: Bitter and acidic coffee flavors kick things off. Darkfruit lingers underneath with almost a tart edge. Vanilla bean barely breaks through now and then. Kick of citric hops. More bitter coffee. Dark chocolate before the finish. Nutty and coffee tastes finish, along with some lingering bitterness.

M: Medium bodied. Creamy. Low carbonation. Good enough to get the job done, but it seems to be lacking some intangible dimension.

O: Too bitter, in my opinion, with a double dose coming from both the coffee and the ample hopping. Hop tastes were also very distracting and felt out of place. Good but not great, don't see what all the fuss is about.

Notes: This beer disappears from the shelves very quickly around here, and has quite a reputation. Not sure why. I can readily think of several similar and easier to find options at this price point or lower that I would rather have.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2012 05:25:29 | More by ryan1788a5
Photo of zhanson88
zhanson88

California

3.43/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Victory at Sea pours close to pitch black with about to 3 fingers of head. This beer definitely qualifies as opaque in the glass. Retention and lacing are great.

Smell: This beer smells of roasted malts, coffee, and vanilla. The coffee and vanilla components seem to be a bit out whack for me. Just a little out of balance, but still not bad at all.

Taste: I definitely get a bunch roasted malts and coffee on the front end, with vanilla and some acridness on the back end and finish. I'm really not a fan at all of the coffee component in this beer. It's just too acrid and seems artificial to me. After having a fair number of coffee-infused beers, I find that I'm pretty picky about how it is incorporated. It doesn't work in this beer for me.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: Just a bit under full bodied and very smooth on the palate. Very nice. Overall I just don't find this beer overly drinkable due to how the coffee flavor fits in with the profile of this beer. Other components of the review are going to help carry the score on this beer for me, but I definitely feel like it's overrated.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2011 05:00:11 | More by zhanson88
Photo of craytonic
craytonic

District of Columbia

3.43/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bit of a letdown.

Appearance: Decent head and lacing; pour is of course near-black with some ruby/mahogany to it

Smell: Lots of dark, roasted malts, bittersweet chocolate, and coffee grounds. Hint of vanilla, but not much

Taste: Roasted malts, burnt coffee and espresso, dark chocolate, hint of vanilla. Title is fitting. A bit more bitter / acidic than I would have liked.

Mouthfeel: Smooth enough, but the coffee ground taste makes it feel a bit chewy.

Drinkability: Bitter / accidic element of the coffee and roast limits drinkability unless you are big on those elements.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2010 21:43:05 | More by craytonic
Photo of Zorro
Zorro

California

3.45/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Lightproof black colored beer with a small brown colored head.

Smell is coffee and chocolate with patent malt. Vanilla is there but the scent is more spiced rum than vanilla. Toffee and something else spicy, maybe allspice berry.

Starts out bitter chocolate with vanilla in the after taste, fairly bitter. Not a sweet beer. Chocolate and vanilla with a trace of ash in the taste. An OK Stout but they went overboard with the patent malt. Alcohol is quite detectable.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Overall it is at best OK. Too bad they didn't balance out the patent malt better.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2012 01:36:17 | More by Zorro
Photo of kbeals
kbeals

North Carolina

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!

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2010 15:07:16 | More by kbeals
Photo of dondeez21
dondeez21

New Jersey

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2010 02:34:23 | More by dondeez21
Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 3,623 ratings.