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
98
world-class

5,542 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,542
Reviews: 1,231
rAvg: 4.41
pDev: 8.84%
Wants: 942
Gots: 1,532 | FT: 103
Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,542 | Reviews: 1,231
Photo of WheelsPSU
4.57/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Brought a bomber for Thanksgiving. It poured a dark syrup color bordering on black. It had a khaki head that did not last very long. The smell was of fresh morning coffee with hints of dark chocolate. Not overwhelming.
The taste followed the smell. The coffee hits first followed by unsweetened chocolate and vanilla on the finish. It's velvety, smooth and delicious. The alcohol is well hidden and not detectable until the beer really started to warm.

Photo of clegolfski
4.57/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fun Tasting at Jay's

Super black black with creamed coffee head, not great retention.

Big time carmelly vanilla really good coffee with a flavor shot

Acrid coffee up front and fades into Vanilla deliciousness

smooth and sexy with a nice warming at the end

Photo of Bowers-Brew
4.57/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A - Super dark brown porter. Nice creamy foam head.

S - Coffee, chocolate, and sweet raisin and vanilla notes.

T - Great coffee flavor up front with a sweet vanilla finish.

M - Smooth, creamy, and just the right amount of carbonation.

O - Only my second Ballast Point beer and I'm very impressed so far. I definitely will have this porter again and look forward to trying more of their beers. Prost!

Photo of marvin213
4.58/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I don't really know how a porter could look better. Black as the pitch, it's the frothy, teeny-tiny bubbled tan froth that makes this liquid concoction appear so scintillating. The froth layers the glass each swirl, and it beckons. This beer looks like it came from Starbucks!

Served warm, I do indeed get the coffee, the vanilla, and the oh-so-lovely roasted malt presence on the nose. Wonder what this one would be like thru a vanilla bean randall. Oh how I'd love to try some of the crazy variations listed here on BA!

Served warm, that initial sip (gulp, really) comes through a little hot...I love it, and it tastes imperial! Not sure about the coffee--it should shine through a little better. Some original Dunkin Donuts or some Jittery Joe's (Terrapin WnB) would be a marked improvement. With a flavor like vanilla, I'm like always wanting more. What if they went tequila-style and replaced the worm w/ a big ol fat vanilla bean? I'd eat the bean for sure...especially sine the beer would cost $10 more! Really, though, this is an exemplary American Porter and a sure winner with any beer lover!

The feel is smooth, but more viscosity wouldn't hurt. What about a creamy Victory at Sea on a nitro pour? Thru a vanilla bean
randall? This beer is a medium/additive for all things good. It would be delicious as a substitue for gravy on my morning biscuits. :-0 Overall, it's just great! This is a classic brew that's always worth grabbing, and it represents some of the wonderfulness that is American craft beer!

Editor's note: I have never used so many exclamation points in a single beer review...!

Photo of kfsv034
4.58/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

shared with Drink1121

A - poured in a duvel tulip, color is dark dark purple with a reddish purple boarder when held up to the light. A slight mocha colored head.

S - vanilla coffee

T - multiple flavors going on, vanilla, coffee, chocolate, carmel and bourbon or whiskey flavor at the end. It taste like a beer milk shake, Kinda boozy when it warms up.

M - like the texture or milk

D - Kinda boozy but i could drink a few cause it tastes so good

Photo of MA_hops
4.58/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An absolutely ludicrous beer! The rich coffee notes combined with chocolate, vanilla and caramel make this one of the best beers known to man!!

Photo of Spider889
4.58/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to bobertkuekn for allowing me to cross this want off my list. Hope we can meet up at a future Jackie O's Release!

2010 vintage.

Poured into a Cigar City snifter. The beer was thick and black, and at first a head seemed to be merely a wish... so I upped the ante (and the height of my pour) by about 6 inches and suddenly, whooosh! Up rose a tall head. It lasted a couple minutes then receded, leaving an amazing blanket of lace on the glass, and a very short cap of foam which resembled sushi roe on the edge of the glass the way the bubbles stacked up.

Smells awesome. From the aroma at least, the coffee hasn't faded at all. Deep, rich cold coffee mingles with the wonderful sweet chocolate aromas of the porter. The base porter is a great beer in its own right. Vanilla is subtle, but I can certainly pick it out.

Smooth and decadent. Really folks, this is all that needs to be said. The beer is sumptuous and unctuous... seriously, all I can think about are foodie terms to describe this beer. The coffee is the forerunner in the flavor department - it is silky and robust. Very potent despite the age on this bottle, I can only imagine what this beer is like fresh. Layers and layers of chocolate fudge, truffle powder, coffee, vanilla, and dark sweet chocolate rush at your palate like the waves of an advancing army... an army that knows it has already won. The aftertaste is quite bitter. This guy is pretty well hopped up. Not a bad thing, but just another surprise given the age of the bottle.

The mouthfeel is extremely sensual as well. Smooth and velvety, the beer is thick and chewy. All the while, this one is simultaneously delicate and clean.

Overall worth every bit of the hype. I saw on the Ballast Point website that they must have done some one-off casks of barrel-aged and rum-aged Victory at Sea. Guys, bottle the stuff. It must have been amazing!

Photo of colingaiser
4.58/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass...

L: A gorgeous deep, dark brown with a thick and creamy tan, 3-finger head. It takes a while to disappear and leaves some nice, elegant lacing.

S: Definitely a unique aroma ... there's coffee (more like used coffee grounds), molasses and black licorice, some surprisingly earthy (perhaps some oak?) notes, and undertones of vanilla. A very intriguing scent to say the least.

T: WOW, there is a lot going on here. The robust coffee flavor pervades -- like a bite of espresso -- but it's followed by notes of sweet caramel, bitter baking chocolate, a little black licorice spice, all followed by a sweet, boozy finish. It's hard not to gulp this down it's so well-balanced and delicious.

F: It's chewy but not heavy, and there's a delectable creamy mouthfeel. It's fairly light on carbonation but that serves to highlight the immense palate of flavors. Perfect.

O: This is an absolutely beautiful beer. The flavors are so well-balanced and are highlighted by a decadent mouthfeel that keeps you salivating for more. The coffee notes aren't overwhelming, but provide an essential bitterness that cuts through the vanilla and malty sweetness. An absolute must-have if you find yourself in Ballast Point's distribution area.

Photo of Gajo74
4.58/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich looking dark brown with a massive creamy light brown head that spilled over. (My bad. I poured a little too fast) Thick foamy lacing persists. Great complex aroma of dark sugars, roasted malts, coffee, caramel, raisins and nut cake. Taste of sweet roasted malts with a slightly dry bitter sweet and slight alcohol finish. As the bottle indicates, other strong flavors are coffee and vanilla extract. Feel is full bodied, hearty and robust. Minimal carbonation helps keep the flavors intact and makes this a great brew to warm you in the winter and/or drink with dessert. A thoroughly enjoyable brew and one of my favorite examples of porter!

Photo of KillerJigger
4.58/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Best Porter ive had to date!! Wow!

Photo of buckslayer50
4.58/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Very good brew, extremely coffee forward but I like that. Wish I had gotten a little more vanilla, the coffee kind of overpowered everything else, but overall this was damn good and I will buy it again whenever I see it.

Photo of atremains
4.58/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Beautifully black with a strong dark head. Sweet lacing. Awesome looking beer. Very roasty nose with cocoa/vanilla highlights. Smells like an ice cream cake. Coffee is there as well.  Roooast in the taste. Vanilla is awesome and the coffee is right their with it. Feel is bulky, just what I was hoping for. Creamy and delicious. Very drinkable beer. Great flavors. Haven't had this in a year and judging from my buddy's notes it's a good thing we revisited it. 

Photo of Kimberly_48
4.59/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Needs more vanilla mixed with the coffee

Photo of CloudStrife
4.59/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle split and poured into a snifter. Best by 11/26/13.

A: Glugs out of the glass a thick dark brew and a 2 finger light khaki head develops. Leaves a fair amount of lacing. Light barely gets through the edge when its held up to a bulb.

S: Nice blend of coffee and roasted malt with a touch of vanilla. Also a bit of milkiness that reminds me of an iced coffee. Really top notch, quite pure in aroma and very well balanced.

T: Amazing taste, nails you with a very craftily blended vanilla and coffee mix. Hops certainly come through on the backend, however again the coffee overtakes the flavor and lingers in the aftertaste.

M: Smooth and velvety, the body is great for a porter. Doesnt have any watery aspects or complaints of being thin. ABV provides some warmth but goes great with the taste.

Overall I am floored, this is a seriously good beer. Very well refined the recipe is extremely balanced but still provides a boatload of flavor. Highly recommended to anyone.

Photo of BrewUSA
4.59/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ballast Point Victory at Sea

Look 9/10
Smell 19/20
Taste 40/40
Feel 9/10
Drinkability 19/20

Overall 96/100


Everything about this is excellent, its the best porter on the market. The fact that its really more of a stout helps it. Such massive Chocolate, Vanilla and Coffee... It finishes extremely smooth and drinkable smooth at 10.5. One of my all time fave beers ever, top 10 for sure~

Photo of Ohiovania
4.59/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

$14.99 -6pack

I had this beer a while back. Must have been old because the coffee and vanilla were way underneath. Today I know I have a fresh bottle thanks to them doing 6-packs now.

This is insane. One of the best coffee beers I've ever had.

Photo of lackenhauser
4.59/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Somewhat murky brown in color. Small tan head on top. Very, very pleasant aroma of rich coffee and faint vanilla. Great, great flavor-actually tastes like a porter before the rich coffee comes thru. Nice balance of vanilla against the coffee. Dark chocolate hints as well. Some hop bitterness and flavor. Pleasant roasted grain flavors. Nice body-not overly full or syrupy. LOVE this-going to be a permanent want for me. I love the way it comes thru as an actual porter, not some amped up, big, bad ass flavored something. A lot of flavor-well balanced and true to style for me. Yummo!!!

Photo of PHBoiler
4.59/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

There is a slight brownish-cream colored head on the jet black beer. The scent changes from coffee to vanilla with each smell. The coffee taste is light, but the vanilla shines. The flavor hides the alcohol well. The mouthfeel is surprisingly light but certainly not watery. This beer offers everything you want in a porter, then takes it to another level with the additional flavors. Highly recommend.

Photo of gr0g
4.59/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out pitch black, topped with a one finger head of dark tan foam. Some spotty lacing. Aroma is top-notch provided that you're a fan of coffee. Vanilla soaked fresh ground coffee hits at first, followed by rich, dark cocoa. There's a hint of alcohol that isn't out of place in a 10% ABV brew.

Somewhat astringent and coffee-forward at first taste, giving way to a rich, bittersweet mocha. A noticeable infusion of vanilla complements the flavor excellently. A bit of a fusel alcohol note on the finish is only a slight negative. I'm compelled to take sip after sip until the bomber is finished. Mouthfeel is silky and as rich as a porter can get without getting into stout territory. Carbonation is soft and not all that abundant but still has good longevity. This is an elite beer that has few rivals as a after-dinner treat.

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.59/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

wow! this one floored me, and its been awhile since a beer has blown me away! on tap at bangers and lace in Chicago. it pours a molten black color, hints of brown, but entirely impenetrable to light. there is an obvious weight to this, and a half inch of mocha colored head on top that slowly fades out. the nose is intensely vanilla, sweet and fresh above the deep dark abyssal malts, which are raw chocolate, burnt coffee, and very bitter aromatically. the coffee to me is more pronounced in the flavor than the nose, and the vanilla is strong on both fronts. this doesn't need to be barrel aged, its got all the complexity one could ever imagine already. I taste everything from whole wheat chex cereal to velvety milk chocolate, bakers cocoa, and vanilla frosting. it remains fairly unsweet, given its ingredients are so desserty. huge body, but intimidating. sips like silk, and the alcohol content is barely noticeable. easily one of the best beers ive had in a long time, and ballast point has now impressed me three times out of three, hard. this is a beer not to be missed, and I hope to be lucky enough to encounter it again. like nothing else around, and a real masterpiece.

Photo of dcmchew
4.59/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Black pour with a really small tan head, pretty short-lasting, leaving a sticky lacing.
Roasted coffee bean on the nose, raw vanilla bean, cocoa powder and rich roasted malt. Simple, but intense.
Tons of coffee in the taste, the black kind, very lightly sugared, deeply roasted. A rich vanilla edge to it, too, not creamy, but raw vanilla extract. A bit of dark licorice, toffee, actually more like marshmallow. Dark chocolate and rich roasted malts, a bit smokey, turning really burnt and ashy in the finish, feeling amplified by some bitter hop.
Medium body, smooth carbonation. Aftertaste has coffee dregs, vanilla, roasted dark bread, some caramel and a nice more than mild bitterness stuck in the throat, but not the bad kind.
This will not surprise you, it's exactly what it says on the label, "porter with coffee and vanilla". But it's incredibly rich and balanced, one element compensating the other. So it seems that Ballast Point don't make just great IPAs, but also one of the best porters out there. Especially considering it's quite easy to get.

Photo of jjayjaye
4.59/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque darkness with a loose full finger tan head that fades quickly, leaving spotty patterns of Belgian lacing. The smell is really nice rich aggressive moderately roasted malt and high quality coffee...as it warms I sense a barrel aged vanilla sweetness. Full flavored, the high quality java notes are the bomb, second only to GI Coffee Stout that I recently had. The toasted malt and classy roast coffee lingers nicely in the after taste like i wish every cup of coffee would. Light-medium body from a lighter carbonation creamy smooth is a classic example of the style...I still really prefer the texture of a stout. This one is going down WAY TOO EASY...no way would I have guessed that this was even half the 10% ABV!! This one is drinking CRAZY!! Perfect accompaniment to the playoffs. Cheers!

Photo of BradMacMullin
4.59/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Salty Pig. This was such a big tasting bomb of a porter - amazing stuff. Enjoyed it while I listened to my buddy John talked about his match.com dates as of late. Made me wonder why someone doesn't order a 12 pack of these for a 1st date. 6 each of these bad guys, and everyone will be in love. Anyways.....great beer. Wonder why Beer Advocate doesn't offer a dating website on the side. This could not fail...

Photo of Marius
4.6/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A dark crimson pour with generous head and visible carbonation. Huge vanilla smell, together with coffee, chocolate, cocoa and caramel. The taste is quite complex and perfectly balanced, with vanilla up front, followed by coffee, alcohol spiciness and malt sweetness blended together with a soft bitterness. The soft carbonation makes for a very nice mouth-feel. Medium-dry finish with a strong vanilla feel that lasts on the palate. One of the best porters around, and I am quite picky about my porters.

Photo of dirtylou
4.6/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, brawleys - charlotte. split during MNF

appearance: pours into a standard pint - dark ebony body with a creamy chocolate crest. very nice

smell: holy batmobile, rich roasty chocolate cap, strong roasted espresso, french roast, vanilla, alcohol

taste: awesome beer - robust and full bodied, huge espresso notes, vanilla, oak, dark chocolate and cocoa nibs. epic coffee beer - glad to see this one around

mouthfeel: huge body, creamy, robust - full flavor

drinkability: nice

Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 5,542 ratings.