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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
98
world-class

4,828 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,828
Reviews: 1,078
rAvg: 4.4
pDev: 8.86%
Wants: 885
Gots: 1,169 | FT: 91
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: 4,828 | Reviews: 1,078 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of brayton
4.08/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Phelps
4.08/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Looks: like breakfast. An overriding and abundant black liquid fills the glass while a powerful-looking head the color of brown sugar and the consistency of pancake batter slowly retreats to a thin but stubborn blanket. Sweet, sticky spatters of lace pepper the glass as it goes.

Smells: like Cappuccino gelato. Medium roast coffee, with milk. Sweet, dessert like. Subtle vanilla notes in the back, with some roasty delights. Bit of sourdough, brown sugar. More coffee than vanilla.

Tastes: like tiramisu. An excellent balance of bitter and sweet. Bitter medium roast coffee flavors play at the sides of the tongue, while a sweet vanilla and irish cream character builds at the front. Toast. Molasses. Alcohol heat rolls down the throat, noticeable but not overpowering. Sweet finish. Loving the play of coffee bitterness and sweet vanilla. Really comes together as it warms. The vanilla becomes more pronounced, making the overall drink sweeter.

Feels: creamy, smooth and luxurious over the tongue. At first I thought the body could be a touch more full, and the medium carbonation just a bit too heavy, but the beer again improves dramatically as it warms. The mouthfeel expands to a creamy delight.

Drinks: like dessert. Victory at sea is a treat that, while not terribly complex, is utterly drinkable. I foresee the flavors mingling even better with time; I look forward to revisiting an aged bottle in a year or so.

Photo of Thickfreakness
4.08/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this in one of my first trades last year... thought it was about time I opened it.

A- Pours near pitch black into my DFH glass. Nice creamy, thin dark tan head with a nice amount of oily residue clinging to the glass.

S- Nice roasted malt and coffee is the first thing that hits the nose. Cocoa, vanilla bean, and a subtle touch of citrusy hop lies beneath.

T- Fresh pressed black coffee, beautiful roasted chocolate malts! Very nice vanilla notes than open up aas it warms. Tastes like real vanilla beans... not extract. Nice bitterness, probably from both the roasted malt and the citrusy hops.

M- Creamy and chalky at the same time. Rich vanilla and chocolate flavors mingle with the citrus from the hops. Really thick and creamy on the tongue without being sticky. No real sence of the 10% which is nice.

O- This is a fantastic porter! Wishing I had drank this fresher, but hopefully I get another bottle this year. Incredibly drinkable and delicious. The vanilla really shines thru as it warms up.

Photo of sommersb
4.08/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Tasted On: 06-28-2014
Freshness: Best by 12-12-2013
Packaging: 22 oz. brown bottle, pry-cap
Glassware: Tulip
Purchased: Received in a trade

Black, opaque beer that features a small tan head. Very good lacing and a low level of retention.

Aromas have vanilla and wood, rich dark fruits, coffee, chocolates and dark cherry fruit.

The taste has dark chocolate, rich malts and brown breads, bitterness of roasted coffee and earth hops and vanilla. Also get some alcohol warming and perhaps some oxidation from the age.

Thick-bodied mouthfeel with low carbonation. The finish has a pretty intense coffee flavor and bitterness.

A very rich and coffee-forward beer that I enjoyed, but it did seem to have some off flavors that may be attributed to the age.

Photo of mltobin
4.08/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber of this over in Westchester NY.

Appearance is dark black with a short tan head. The nose of this imperial porter contains chocolate, vanilla and coffee. Vanilla really came out more than I expected in the aroma. For the taste, a fair amount of roasted malts are present, coffee and vanilla. Mouthfeel on this offering from Victory leans towards full with a velvet texture. If you have had some of Ballast Point`s ipas but not this one, you need to check it out, solid quality.

Photo of MikesnoHSL
4.08/5  rDev -7.3%

Photo of bcostner1
4.08/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Darker than some porters I have had; borders on black but does transmit at least a little bit of light. Nice tan head.

S: Some char, wood, cocoa, vanilla, chocolate, coffee. Coffee and vanilla do not come through as much as I would have thought/liked but still presents a decent aroma.

T: Very tasty. Everything blends together pretty well. Not quite as coffee-forward or vanilla-forward as I thought it would be but both elements are still evident. Almost has a kind of "malted milkshake" or "frappuccino" quality to it from the blending of the coffee and vanilla which I like. The finish is pretty dry and is predominantly bitter dark chocolate and/or bitter cocoa. All in all, this is a fairly complex beer. As I sit and sip it, I keep picking different subtleties.

M: Pretty easy drinker surprisingly. ABV is hidden very well. I would say that it is actually a little on the thick/viscous side for a porter but not so much so as an extremely viscous impy stout would be for example. I'm enjoying the body in this one.

Overall, I was very excited to try this one. It did live up to expectations but I do wish that the coffee and vanilla elements (in particular the coffee) were just a little bit more pronounced. I would definitely drink this again though. Recommended.

Photo of sentomaster
4.08/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Smith's 2-10-11

A- Dark black body with a thick two finger mocha brown head. Leaves nice legs.

S- Not a huge nose but very nice notes rising up. A bit of light coffee, roasted malts, a little sweet vanilla and dark fruit.

T- Wow. Lots of good stuff going on here. Starts out with dark bittersweet chocolate note, roasted/toasted grains, coagulated sticky molasses, a bit of smoke and understated coffee grounds on the sides. A bit of dark cherries and vanilla ride underneath. Earthy, resiny hops punch through just a bit along with a touch of alcohol spiciness. Finishes back where it started but with a lingering smooth espresso flavor.

M D- Nice creamy, velvety coating with minimal but lively carbonation. Yummy indeed. After my first I had to order another.

Photo of Gkruszewski
4.08/5  rDev -7.3%

Photo of thedindaniel
4.08/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've had this beer many times now but recently snatched up a bottle since it's been months from the last time I've seen it. Beer is a very dark brown, almost black with off white lacing, good amount of head but not very foamy. Scent is strong coffee beans with a hint of vanilla sweetness. Taste is very similar to scent but is dominated by a combo ofthe coffee, hop bitterness and the roasted malts, vanilla is present and tho not overwhelming seems to shine in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel has a nice amount of carbonation and the beer has a medium body, could be heavier for my tastes but doesn't hurt the beer, probably helps with the drinkability.

Overall, this beer is a great after dinner sipper. I can see myself drinking this by the fireplace around the holidays. Wish it was cheaper but understand why it isn't what with Ballast Point using coffee from a reputable local cafe and real vanilla. Seek it out if you haven't had it and hold on to a few when u need a break from the loved ones in the winter.

Photo of Tim725
4.08/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of SP1_FLA
4.08/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of BeerSingh
4.09/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Photo of ThickNStout
4.09/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22oz bottle from Halftime.com. 8.99. Enjoy by 11/07/13, which I believe is one year after bottling. Served in a Burnt Hickory snifter.

Pours flat black with a finger and a half of fluffy vanilla head that leaves large sheets of lace.

Smells of charred malts, creamed coffee and sweet vanilla.

Bold coffee leads the taste followed by roasty malts, earthy bark, cherry skins, vanilla and resinous pine. A bit of an alcohol bite but it is blended in well enough to make this pretty easy to drink.

Medium body with fairly sharp carbonation. Long, dry bitter piney hop and coffee aftertaste.

This is a great imperial porter and great coffee beer in general. I've had this a few times and I actually think I prefer it after a year or two once the coffee has faded to let the vanilla through a little more. All in all, it's a worthy brew at any age.

Photo of 57md
4.09/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown with ruby edges. Both roasted malt and roasted coffee notes can be found in the nose. Roasted malts are present in the flavor but they take a back seat to the almost burnt coffee flavor that is center stage. I’m not really getting any vanilla at all.

Photo of flagmantho
4.09/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bomber into a tulip. Looking forward to this one!

Appearance: entirely black body -- not much else to be said here! Head pours a thick finger of rich, frothy, dark-tan foam. Retention is decent, and a nice lace is left on the glass. Bam!

Smell: rich, sweet coffee and roasty aroma. Very light and subtle hints of vanilla are indeed coming through. In general, there is not a lot of complexity to the aroma; however, it seems extremely clean and well-crafted. I like it a lot.

Taste: rich and heavy porter taste. Lots of roastiness with plenty of coffee thrown in; the coffee is nice but definitely adds its share of bitterness. Hop bitterness is also high; unfortunately, though, there is a quite a bit of vegetal hop character which detracts from the overall flavor in my book. Still a tasty beer, though.

Mouthfeel: big body with a rich, smooth and creamy texture. I like it a lot, but I feel like maybe there is a bit of missed opportunity here -- the beer is not a super silky and sleek as I feel it could be.

Overall: this is a great-looking and great-smelling beer; tasty, too, but I feel like the cleanliness of the flavor and the smoothness of the texture could be dialed in just a little bit more.

Photo of KindaFondaGoozah
4.09/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of dextermcgurk
4.09/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Joshmistake
4.09/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of SomethingClever
4.1/5  rDev -6.8%

A: Dark black in the appearance as it should be off white head decent lacing on the glass

S: Right up to the nose you get a dirt smell then you notice it's a roast coffee smell

T: Right up front you get coffee but then the vanilla softens the edges of the coffee very satisfying taste a little bitter on the finish but that might be the coffee

M: medium mouthfeel but it's supposedly a porter not a stout so maybe forgivable

O: Very solid beer I'm not a huge coffee stout/porter guy but the way the vanilla smooths out the roughness of the coffee taste it's not bad it's a one trick pony though no real depth here but better than the average bear

Photo of tempest
4.1/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bomber at Abe's Cold Beer in Bethlehem, PA. Poured pitch black in my glass with a tan head. Right away in the aroma I'm hit by what becomes the most striking feature of this beer - fresh ground coffee beans. This beer doesn't smell or taste of brewed coffee, instead it's like you've just roasted beans into a coffee machine. Frankly I think this is actually more complex and pleasing. The vanilla quickly joins the coffee to smooth the flavor out and there's a touch of chocolate malt in the background. Man, if you like coffee beers, this one's for you. I'd have liked a little more depth of flavor, but it was fairly drinkable for the strength and a tasty after-dinner treat.

Photo of WeisGuy
4.1/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the Rose & Crown in Palo Alto with Sculpin right next to it.

a - pours deep dark black, one-finger mocha colored head, retention around the edges and decent lacing

s - vanilla extract and dark chocolate dominate, dark fruits and deep roasted coffee add a nice depth

t - fairly sweet with semi-sweet chocolate and vanilla up front, mid-palate is dominated by dark roasted bitter coffee, finish has lots of bittersweet chocolate, coffee, vanilla extract and some boozy notes

m - medium-to-full bodied, medium carbonation, pretty dry finish, strong alcohol warming

d - definitely a sipper and not overly drinkable, the coffee bitterness is fairly hard on the palate, that said, the flavors are interesting and I'd have no problem polishing off a few snifters or a bomber

Photo of Murchmac
4.1/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Been wanting to drink this beer for a while, thankfully got a chance.

Pours a 2 finger mocha head, dark beer. Carbonated bubbles travel upward while this beer looks creamy, interesting mix.

Great smells of Vanilla, coffee, caramel, roasted malts, chocolate, beautiful, cant wait to drink it.

Complex taste, very complex. Vanilla, citrus hops, coffee, chocolates, caramel.

Bitter, dry finish, carbonated yet smooth again, a little boozy, but great great beer.

Photo of straightlambic
4.1/5  rDev -6.8%

Photo of fropones
4.1/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark as night with no light shining through. Very minimal mocha head. Smells of roasted malt, coffee, dark chocolate, a little bit of caramel. Very little vanilla in the smell. The taste is more delicious roasted malt and coffee. A hint of dark fruits as well. The notes of vanilla are very subtle. Will let this one warm up for a bit to let more flavors come out. Mouthfeel is very full-bodied and creamy, with just the right amount of carbonation. Very drinkable, alcohol very well hidden. The only reason it'll take me a bit to drink this one is because I want to let it warm up.

Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 4,828 ratings.