1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. 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
98
world-class

4,109 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,109
Reviews: 959
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 9.11%
Wants: 757
Gots: 814 | FT: 61
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: 4,109 | Reviews: 959 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Goblinmunkey7
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.

Goblinmunkey7, Feb 18, 2014
Photo of Jordenfay
3.4/5  rDev -22.6%

Jordenfay, Oct 19, 2014
Photo of kingcrowing
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.

kingcrowing, Nov 14, 2010
Photo of ryan1788a5
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.

ryan1788a5, Jan 27, 2012
Photo of zhanson88
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.

zhanson88, Feb 06, 2011
Photo of craytonic
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.

craytonic, Jan 09, 2010
Photo of Zorro
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.

Zorro, Dec 24, 2012
Photo of kbeals
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!

kbeals, Mar 26, 2010
Photo of dondeez21
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.

dondeez21, Mar 28, 2010
Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
3.5/5  rDev -20.3%

RBassSFHOPit2ME, Jun 07, 2013
Photo of ipa247
3.5/5  rDev -20.3%

ipa247, Dec 13, 2011
Photo of Hardcore
3.5/5  rDev -20.3%

Hardcore, Apr 01, 2013
Photo of BKArmstrong
3.5/5  rDev -20.3%

BKArmstrong, Feb 07, 2013
Photo of uncccegr
3.5/5  rDev -20.3%

uncccegr, May 30, 2013
Photo of hyuga
3.5/5  rDev -20.3%

hyuga, Jan 27, 2012
Photo of ThrashMaster
3.5/5  rDev -20.3%

ThrashMaster, Aug 02, 2013
Photo of BrewmanCapote
3.5/5  rDev -20.3%

BrewmanCapote, Jun 30, 2013
Photo of imfrigginfly
3.5/5  rDev -20.3%

imfrigginfly, Mar 18, 2013
Photo of Kaydogg
3.5/5  rDev -20.3%

Kaydogg, Nov 20, 2011
Photo of alpenglocken
3.5/5  rDev -20.3%

alpenglocken, May 28, 2013
Photo of krl2112
3.5/5  rDev -20.3%

krl2112, Mar 18, 2013
Photo of BH712
3.5/5  rDev -20.3%

BH712, Nov 08, 2014
Photo of chrispoint
3.5/5  rDev -20.3%

chrispoint, Feb 18, 2012
Photo of glazeman
3.5/5  rDev -20.3%

glazeman, Apr 22, 2014
Photo of spamages
3.5/5  rDev -20.3%

spamages, Jan 07, 2012
Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 4,109 ratings.