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Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter - Ballast Point Brewing Company

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

3,296 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3296
Reviews: 901
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 8.88%


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
Ratings: 3,296 | Reviews: 901 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of RedBrewer83
RedBrewer83

Oregon

4.25/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aggressively poured into tulip...

A: Pours a dark chocolate black, not jet black, has some nice roasted coffee chocolate brown on the edges. Big frothy two finger mocha head, nice staying power.

S: Big aroma of roasted coffee, vanilla, dark fruit, roasted malt, caramel. This is very complex and the flavors all seem very well balanced, not over competing.

T: Follows the nose, starts with the coffee which falls into the vanilla and almost creme brulee caramel malt with some bittersweet chocolate and just a hint of smoke like molasses. A little dark fruit mixed in as well, some raisin, and some date.

M: Incredibly smooth and creamy, a little bit lighter than I expected which is nice as it seems to fit the style. Rather than being a stout named a porter they truly crafted a porter mouthfeel and weight despite the 10%.

D: Incredibly drinkable for this big of a beer. Very delicious, would love to have this one again!

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2010 16:10:55 | More by RedBrewer83
Photo of younger35
younger35

Minnesota

3.58/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a couple bombers of this from Friar Tucks in Bloomington IL probably a year-ish ago. I've had a couple bombers so far but haven't reviewed it now. This is my last bottle unfortunately. Drank from my Darkness snifter.

Appearance- Pours a pitch ass black with a nice one finger dark tan fizzy head. Not much of a cap remains but there is a nice thick collar and some random lacing that sticks around.
Smell- Not the most intense or overly complicated nose which is weird considering all stuff thrown in. The vanilla is noticeable right from the start but its light and somewhat artificial smelling. The coffee isn't real noticeable as there is just a deep roast in the beer. A bit of dark chocolate and caramel top everything off.
Taste- Starts with a sneaky little bite of alcohol and a bit of smooth vanilla goodness. The vanilla tastes much better than it smells and honestly it's much more subdued and incorporated than it was last time I had it (which has to be summer of '09). Plenty of milk chocolate remains along with some slightly sweet caramel and brown sugar. There is an underlying roastiness in the beer that's lightly acidic and almost harsh as it mixes with the alcohol. A bit of vanilla lingers and lingers.
Mouthfeel- Fairly nice and on the heavy side of medium with a nice crisp bite of carbonation. Despite the fact that the bubbles are fairly aggressive there is still a nice light creaminess to the mouthfeel.
Drinkability- Uggghhh... Not bad I suppose. I really love the concept of this beer and I think they are on the right path but something about this just isn't drinkable. The vanilla can get to be a bit much and there is a underlying sweetness that isn't necessarily cloying, but it's a bit much. Also, 10% for this beer is entirely too much. You can taste and feel every bit of it. A fun beer that I'm glad to have been able to try a couple times but make sure you have a friend around because a full bomber is too much.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2010 23:37:06 | More by younger35
Photo of Tilley4
Tilley4

Tennessee

5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to the crew over at Bruisin Ales in Asheville for the chance to try this brew! Gotta pimp their store since it's so awesome...

Poured into a Yazoo Hop Project tulip pint glass..

Pours a magnificent jet black with a thick 1 inch head that stays virtually the entire time I'm enjoying this one... I mean, this one is ridiculously black.. It's RIS black to say the least... Probably the best looking porter I've ever laid eyes on...

Wow, 2 for 2 so far on this one.. A ridiculously tasty aroma of dark bitter chocolate, dark roasted coffee and loads of roasted malts.. There's almost a smokiness here that really makes this one a joy to just stop and smell over and over...

Well, I'm probably enjoying the best porter that I've ever had the privilege to have.. Edmund Fitzgerald from Great Lakes used to be the best I've ever had but this one has just surpassed it.. It's undescribably delicious with its loads of rich dark roasted malts, crushed up roasted dark coffee beans, subtle hints of vanilla, and bitter dark chocolate influences... I almost got emotional while drinking this one... I'm not sure I could ask for much more out of an American Porter than this one offers... At 10%, this one could hammer you quickly but I can't detect a single tinge of booze out of this one.. It's masterfully crafted....The thick creaminess of this one makes it a real pleasure to enjoy as well.. It's thick and rich but not in a cloying way at all... World class in my opinion..

My ratings say it all.. Obviously, others didn't like this one as much as I have, but I really don't care about that... At this point in time, at this moment, this was the perfect beer to me.. I couldn't ask for anything more out of a beer than what this one provided... I will definitely be getting this one again and again... It's terrific..

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2010 03:56:56 | More by Tilley4
Photo of Hojaminbag
Hojaminbag

Colorado

2.98/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Ballast Point Victory at Sea Coffee Vanilla Porter (wow, that's a long one) has a black, opaque body with a large crown of off-white head that is composed of rather large bubbles. Retention is pretty good, and the beer laces the glass nicely.

Lots of coffee in the aroma, with hints of chocolate and vanilla.

This beer is a little bit puzzling for me. How does this beer sound so good to me, (coffee, vanilla, porter, I like ALL of these things!), smell so good, but taste so off? The flavors are there, they are strong, but they are a little bit cloying and I just don't feel like they come together well. Up front there is a ton of coffee and roasted malts followed by a large blast of bittersweet chocolate. The vanilla flavor is huge, reminding me of vanilla extract. A bite of bitter hops rounds out the finish, adding a bit of a citrus character.

The mouthfeel could use a little more punch, it is fine but would be better if it were bigger and a bit creamier.

One thing I will say for Victory at Sea is that it hides that 10% ABV really well, no alcohol flavor or even warming pops up, and I would not have guessed that this bad boy was this strong. Overall, however, this beer just did not work work for me. Ballast Point is great, and everyone else seems to love this one, but I thought it was a bit over-done.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2010 02:00:14 | More by Hojaminbag
Photo of mgbickel
mgbickel

Pennsylvania

4.33/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a Perfect Pint glass. Formed a thick, two finger, sandy colored head. The foam had great lasting power...the slow recession left large tufts behind, clinging to the glass. The body is brown/black. You can get light through the edges if you force it.

Strong aromas...roasted malts and cocoa up front. You can detect a sweet background...a mix of vanilla and caramel (read the label after I wrote this...I swear!).

A sweet caramel flavor comes out first. This fades into a strong roasted coffee taste that digs deep and burns into your palate. Very complex, but missing the sweetness the nose teased you with. Slightly boozy at the finish, but not unpleasant.

Awesome mouth feel. Thick and creamy with the perfect amount of carbonation for the style.

A great drinking beer. As it warms, the 10% ABV starts to come out stronger so it becomes a great sipping beer!

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2010 21:07:27 | More by mgbickel
Photo of Kadonny
Kadonny

Pennsylvania

4.38/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a Duvel tulip glass.

A: A deep dark black color that does not allow any light to pass through. A small thin light brown head leaves bubble lacing throughout the glass.

S: Roasted smells with coffee, chocolate, vanilla, and some oak.

T: The porter roastiness comes through first with a large dose of coffee and espresso followed by flavors of milk chocolate and some caramel sweetness with the vanilla and woody oaky flavors near the end. A earthy hops bitterness leaves the tongue tingling a bit with the finish. Great beer, lots of flavors and very complex.

M: Full coating, creamy, and the alcohol is really well hidden.

D: Very good for a 10% beer. This beer is very drinkable and enjoyable for the entire bomber.

Overall a superb Impy porter that deserves the hype. Another award winner for Ballast Point. Well done.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2010 17:58:46 | More by Kadonny
Photo of gthornton
gthornton

California

4.33/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Was at the brewery for some of their special releases when they started pulling these straight from the bottling line to fill their coolers, so I had to grab a few and drink them as soo as possible.

This pours a dark, thick black with a creamy vanilla colored head that lingers throughout the whole drink, and leaves plenty of sticky lacing on the glass.

The rich vanilla, coffee, and chocolate are present in the smell and the taste. A lingering booziness on the tongue, but it is accompanied by so much coffee and chocolate that I do not mind at all.

This is a thick and creamy beer through and through, the mouthfeel is a bit sticky, and it certainly leaves its mark on the palate. Try it with a steak, or something similar, but I would avoid spices of any kind really, because this beer demands your full attention.

At 10% one of these is great for a very effective nightcap, but I would not want to waste the experience by having any more than two in one night, before moving on to other choices.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2010 01:26:53 | More by gthornton
Photo of Lunch
Lunch

Maryland

4.03/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz. bottle acquired in a trade with volatilesther (Thanks!) into my Brooklyn Brewery snifter at cellar temperature (02/13/10).

A: Pours very dark shade of brown, nearing black with a one finger cap of an espresso colored head that has some retention and leaves bits of thick lace.

S: The smell is dominated by coffee and vanilla, as one would expect, along with notes of chocolate, roasted malt, and bitter dark chocolate.

T: As with the smell, the flavor profile is made up of primarily coffee and vanilla. Rather fresh tasting with layers of bitter, dark chocolate and roasted malt. Perhaps just a hint of alcohol comes into play as well.

M: Medium-bodied with a with a low-moderate carbonation and some creaminess.

D: Quite drinkable and very flavorful with the 10% abv. hidden extremely well.

Overall this a great take on the Imperial Coffee Porter and another solid offering from Ballast Point. Thanks again Esther! Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2010 17:10:54 | More by Lunch
Photo of Stinkypuss
Stinkypuss

Pennsylvania

4.47/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ballast Point Victory At Sea (Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter version)

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a snifter. The darkest of browns with a light brown head. No peering through this beer, its about as dark as night. Attractive lacing that looks very ornate.

Aroma of coffee and faint vanilla sweetness.

Vanilla up front which gives way to a lingering coffee flavor. This beer also has some chocolate notes. Very decadant and full flavors. The aftertaste of coffee, cocoa and vanilla is truly remarkable. There are even some hints of oak in this beer.

Mouthfeel is smooth, full bodied with a lingering coffee/bitter chocolate finish. A little syrupy in nature.

Drinkability requires some respect for this sipper. It wasn't hot with alcohol at all. Overall, this beer is just great.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2010 18:16:42 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of ThreeWiseMen
ThreeWiseMen

California

3.95/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

EDIT (10-25-2010): Just split an 8-month old bottle (same batch as in the review below) with JustinA1. The vanilla had mellowed out a bit, but not as much as I had hoped. Still, the balance was much better, so I boosted the drinkability score from 3.5 to 4.0.

Split amongst Wisemen Nick, Zach, and Jorge. Poured into three standard pint glasses.

Appearance: Poured out dark and thick, producing an ample amount of brown foam atop each 7oz. sample. Head looks beautiful: fluffy and brown with great retention. Body is completely opaque. Nice lacing. Looks great!

Smell: Strong coffee and vanilla from the get-go. Damn! I've never encountered this much vanilla before. Mocha, dark chocolate, and blueberries also contribute, but to a much lesser extent. Pretty incredible. I initially thought the vanilla and coffee aromas were too strong, but as I sit here I can't help but be blown away by this nose. Very nicely done.

Taste: Vanilla, charred grains, black coffee, and (blue)berry-like esters. Very interesting and unique, but I find a good deal of astringency in this one. The alcohol (I'm guessing) does some pretty odd things to the flavor.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, full-bodied, and very, very creamy. This seriously feels like a milkshake. Carbonation is very light and velvety. Victory at Sea finishes dry (showing the 10% ABV) and leaves a bit of a medicinal taste that quickly dissipates. Not a big fan of the finish, but the milky/creamy feel is top notch!

Drinkability: This is a very cool beer that's certainly worthy of all the praise. I personally find it to be over-the-top and a bit medicinal, but I'd be happy to try it again. I think splitting this two ways will be your best bet.

NOTE: Zach and Jorge both found this beer to be over-the-top and thought it would be much better if it were toned down a bit. Reminiscent of ST Creme Brulee.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2010 03:57:30 | More by ThreeWiseMen
Photo of jlindros
jlindros

Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ooooh, I've been waiting to try this beer for a while, and I finally found a good time to do it, a nice snowy day.

A: A heavy pour gives a biiig 3 finger head, which is dark, rich, creamy, and fades slowly. The color is almost pitch black, but not quite.

N: Nose is loaded with roasted malts, coffee, dark rich malts, vanilla and oak. A touch of chocolate graces its presence.

T: Wow, tons of rich thick goodness. Lots of milk chocolate, coffee, vanilla roasted goodness, and dark malts. A ton of vanilla. Some more rich milk chocolate, and bitter bakers chocolate. Then a little oak to go with it. more coffee and roast. A little sweetness, but it hides the abv very well!

M: Thick, luscious, and creamy milky, good carbonation.

F: Finishes a little bitter, with lots of creamy richness and milk chocolate lingering. The vanilla never seems to go away either. Coffee and oak also linger a bit, with some dark malts. The bitterness of both stout like quality and hints of hops seem to build more and more as I drink more. Overall it delivers just as it promises too, lots of vanilla, coffee, chocolate, roast, creamy goodness, and just overall luscious deliciousness, and hides the abv well with all that.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2010 00:04:09 | More by jlindros
Photo of yourefragile
yourefragile

District of Columbia

3.75/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle shared with 321Jeff

I was fairly excited to try this but I'll cut to the chase and say I found this a little too sweet, rich and artificial tasting so I was happy this was being shared. Pours a dark, sludgy near black chocolate with a tan head which barely moves and covers the inside of the glass in sheets. Aroma is actually very pleasant, with little vanilla presence. Primarily a roasted malt, typical porter aroma with a pleasant punch of coffee beans. Unlike the aroma, the flavor begins with a potent vanilla sweetness. Body is very creamy and smooth, low carbonation and chewy finish. The vanilla slowly blends into a strong roast coffee flavor which lingers into a slightly bitter, hoppy burnt finish. Not much porter presence here, or alcohol presence. Not a bad beer, certainly unique, but too sweet and artificial for me to rate this much higher.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2010 02:13:13 | More by yourefragile
Photo of constahoogan
constahoogan

California

4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thick dark molasses and motor oil black body with a leather brown rocky head. The nose is very coffee malted with a hint of vanilla. The palate is very rich with a nice blend, in this order, coffee, vanilla, maple syrup, molasses, oak and another kind of creaminess i can't quite pick up on. There's no detection of alcohol whatsoever. Rich thick full-bodied mouth feel with the desirability to devour more.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2010 00:13:44 | More by constahoogan
Photo of cpetrone84
cpetrone84

Pennsylvania

4.55/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A-very dark brown liquid that lets just a little bit of light shine through giving off a red hue. The head is dark tan, thick and creamy with solid retention, well over a minute, and leaves a thick lacing on the glass. Borderline perfect appearance.

S-huge nose that brings roasted malts with a nice touch of vanilla leading into the roasted java, this is begging me to drink it!

T/M huge body!!! This is so thick it is chewy! The texture is very smooth and creamy. The taste brings huge roasted malts, some nice roasted java comes in next with a hint of vanilla. There is some nice dark chocolate and the finish is slightly bitter and brings a crisp bite

D- this beer is absolutely delicious, I really enjoy all of Ballast Point's offerings that I have had so far. This beer follows suit and is absolutely huge! I love the big coffee flavors and the vanilla is very light but mixes in well with the roasted malts.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2010 04:31:42 | More by cpetrone84
Photo of JeremyinUtah
JeremyinUtah

Utah

3.95/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

bought this with many other Imperials over the weekend. I was really looking forward to trying this, as the Sea Monster was awesome.

A- dark dark color with nice little bubbles of mocha colored foam

S- smell is great, however, maybe a bit too much coffee. as it warms up, the porter/vanilla comes through

T- overall disappointed because of the hype i gave it. I love coffee, but this one is overpowered with coffee. a bit bitter, lots of chocolate and sweetness, but a bit too bitter and coffee flavored for me. the alcohol is not too hot, which is nice.

m- smooth and good. coffee-like
overall- as i said, a great brew, but a bit too much coffee for me. i believe Sea Monster is much better, however, sea monster is a different style, so not a fair comparison.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2010 04:30:25 | More by JeremyinUtah
Photo of rfgetz
rfgetz

New Jersey

4.43/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep rich brown, almost black. Minimal ring of brown head, leaving some lacing. Smell is of medium roast malts with hints of coffee, vanilla, dark fruit and an underlying sweetness. Vanilla scent improves as it warms. Taste is of fresh roasted coffee with a creamy, milky sweetness backed by a nice presence of vanilla. Hints of fruit, chocolate and oak present. As the drink warms, the taste takes on a somewhat vanilla extract type taste, which is one of my few knocks. Nice full body for a porter, encroaching on stout territory with its creamyness and smoothness. Excellent beer which changes drastically as is approaches room temperature. To experience is, I recomended serving below recommended temp and tasting as it warms up.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2010 15:37:53 | More by rfgetz
Photo of SaCkErZ9
SaCkErZ9

Florida

4.65/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours from a 22oz bottle into a New Belgium snifter. Emerges pitch black with a light brown colored head. Plenty of lacing as the head remains around one finger and stays fluffy and frothy.

Aroma is beautifully filled with coffee. Some vanilla is present as the beer warms a bit but the coffee remains throughout. A bit of fruitiness up front. A touch of roasty malts which dont go out of style too much. Typically, the roastiness is kept to a minimum in the porter style and the roasty is kept in check here as well but borders on a robust porter.

The flavor is much more stout like. There is significant coffee and roasty flavors in this beer. The vanilla is more obvious in the flavor as compared to the nose, which suits me just fine. The coffee flavor is outstanding. Tastes like fresh brewed coffee was added to this and flavors of Founders Breakfast Stout or Bells Java Stout quickly cloud my mind.

A very stellar beer. I had a growler of this from Charleston Beer Exchange in Charleston, SC, but I much prefer the bottled version; typically, it is the opposite for me. Very easy to drink and full bodied with a coffee bite. Simply fantastic!

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2010 22:54:33 | More by SaCkErZ9
Photo of PittBeerGirl
PittBeerGirl

Pennsylvania

4.38/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle poured into my snifter.

A- Opaque nearly black body that pours with a nice 2-3 finger tan head. Head fades eventually to a thick collar but leaves plenty of lacing behind in the glass.

S- Nose is very sweet and vanilla is certainly the main character. Coffee beans are definitely present as well and make up the background of the nose.

T-The initial flavor is subtle and offers a subtle vanilla sweetness with a touch of dark malt backbone. The finish is full of vanilla sweetness with some coffee undertones-but then just as the sweetness almost becomes too much a moderate roasted malt bitterness comes through to balance all the flavors. The slightest alcohol heat can be detected as well.

M-Medium to high carbonation and medium weight-silky smooth body.

D- This is 10%???? Really??? I thought I was drinking atwater vanilla java porter until the finish. This is a well rounded balanced coffee porter with ABV nearly undetectable.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2010 02:20:17 | More by PittBeerGirl
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billab914

Virginia

4.35/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Stone RIS glass. Pours pitch black with a two finger light brown head. The head retreated to the sides of the glass but left excellent lacing on the sides.

From the aroma it's very east to tell this is a coffee beer. There is a strong presence of coffee along with a decent amount of roastedness to it. There is a slight vanilla sweetness that helps balance it out nicely.

The bitter coffee is the first thing that you notice in the flavor, but the real draw for me is the subtle complex vanilla sweetness it has in it. There is some roasted grains and bittersweet chocolate to go along with the coffee and vanilla in the finish as well.

Mouthfeel is on the thicker side with moderate to low carbonation. I really enjoyed drinking this one and would definitely buy it again. The vanilla sweetness really helped balance out the bitter coffee and roast flavor making this one stand out from other coffee stouts.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2010 01:10:25 | More by billab914
Photo of DoubleJ
DoubleJ

California

4.2/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Joe at Walnut Liquorette got this from the back for me. Thanks! On to the beer:

It is black. Very black. The head forms rocky on top, holds up well, and is tanned. Nice roasted coffee bean aroma....almost like Also a little smoke. Behind all that is a whisper of citrus hops. Now there's the addition of chocolate. It really changes are you keep inhaling.

Black Marlin Porter remains one of my all-time favorite porters, and the same folks who make that beer make this one as well. There are vanilla notes, but you need to squint hard enough to taste it. From the get-go, roasted, bitter coffee dominates. Bitter chocolate sits underneath the coffee. Astringent coffee and ash linger in the aftertaste. Alcohol is hidden incredibly well in this beer. There are the hops again, which squirt a little of its juice into the nectar (and a little hop bitterness). As for the liquid, it is smooth with a medium feel. It doesn't feel like its listed 10% ABV.

The aftertaste is the chink in this beer's armor. Otherwise, a good creation by Ballast Point, with the possibility of being wonderful.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2010 05:30:28 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of PeprSprYoFace
PeprSprYoFace

California

4.33/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This has got to be one of my favorite beers. Very tasty. It has an awesome head that stays the whole time and is super creamy and leaves a lot of lacing on the glass. It smells of wonderful roasted malty sweet goodness. You can smell the coffee a little bit. Taste is very intense. Lots of flavors going on such as slot of roast and good light vanilla flavor with a smooth coffee roast to it. Mouthfeel is great with great carbonation. Overall it is a sipper because of how intense it is but with a year or more of age on this I can see this beer being even better. Very good

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2010 04:14:50 | More by PeprSprYoFace
Photo of Gyle41386
Gyle41386

South Carolina

3.63/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a mug.

Dark, dark black pour. About a finger of mocha-colored foam retains pretty well and sticks nicely.

Very, very coffee nose. Light sweetness up front keeps it porter-y, with a light roasty bitter finish.

This is definitely a coffee beer. I'm not really tasting much of anything else. There's a little bit of boozy heat in the finish. Certainly an imperial porter. The vanilla doesn't come through right away, which is a bit of a bummer.

Body is maybe a little heavier than medium, just a step below what I'd expect from an imperial stout, so that seems right on the money. Low carbonation. Slick and chewy.

ABV is apparent, but never a bother. Definitely a sipper. Very nice beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2010 21:47:45 | More by Gyle41386
Photo of vince4953529
vince4953529

California

4.3/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Finally scored a bottle of this elusive brew after months of searching...

Poured pitch black with medium head and decent lacing.

Drank this with near-room temperature. Tastes incredible with hints of vanilla, it's a bit sweeter than other stouts I've had, but it's perfectly balanced.

A very hearty and warming brew. It goes down very quick and very flavorful. This is an excellent beer and I would love to have it again.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2010 05:55:09 | More by vince4953529
Photo of BretSikkink
BretSikkink

Mexico

4.25/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark dark black in color with a good-looking head of two fingers, beige in color, with large bubbly pock-markings. The nose is quite large, especially once the head settles and the thick lace starts to form. Notes of heavily roasted barley and plenty of coffee, with I suppose a hint of vanillin in the sweetness.

Solid flavor all around, with a good dosage of what you would expect from a Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter. Espresso notes are present, and mix with the clear vanilla hints to give a white bittersweet chocolate impression. Hops are earthy, and melt into the roasted coffee notes to add a pepper edge - not to mention the zing provided by the alcohol.

Great drinkability, as the booze is masked by the preponderance of quality flavors. It comes off as fairly sweet overall, however, which hurts the drink score for me personally. I wouldn't mind if the mouthfeel were thinned a bit by a heavier hand of hops. No matter - this is a solid brew all around.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2010 03:42:38 | More by BretSikkink
Photo of NorCalYeti
NorCalYeti

California

4.33/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

taste- chocolate, subtle dark roasted coffee flavors, caramel undertones

color- dark chestnut brown

clarity- clear

smell- cocoa, roasted malt, biscuits

body- sweet/tangy chocolate hop bite at the front and sides of the palette, soft, medium-heavy weight mouthfeel, smooth, medium-long finish

appearance- mocha-colored head, nice heavy lace, slight carbonation

overall impression- nice beer, almost a little too sweet but would pair well with desserts. the brewer says this is an imperial porter...i think it departs slightly from the style and tends to be a little "showy" with the vanilla imprint

notes and comments- the aroma is very one note...i may be mistaking the smell of vanilla for cocoa but it is very pronounced and delightful. killer label

glassware: tulip

song: my brother esau - 10/3/87

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2010 05:20:46 | More by NorCalYeti
Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 3,296 ratings.