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

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Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial PorterVictory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

1,160 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 1,160
Hads: 5,641
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: 8.51%
Wants: 949
Gots: 1,580 | FT: 108
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,160 | Hads: 5,641
Photo of LloydDobler
4.62/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

An awesome extra from Mike out east!
Traditional pint
Poured midnight black with a gigantic 2-1/2" head. The nose was major coffee with sweet malt sugars. Taste is a sharp pop of coffee(love it!) with a hint of vanilla peeking out. Light velvet mouth to it, with a slightly lingering bitter coffee feel. Just a dynamite brew! Will be looking for this in the future. (368 characters)

Photo of mlockman
4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Definitely not overpowered by the coffee and vanilla flavors, it reminded me of some an imperial stout with just barely more roast flavor. Deceptively smooth, it was easy drinking; no perceived alcohol presence. (212 characters)

Photo of ELS
4.84/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

As I opened the bottle I immediately smelled coffee. Poured a nice tannish head of foam. The taste was absolutely perfect with a great balance of malt, coffee, hint of vanilla and just a little alcohol burn to let you know it's a high abv porter. Honestly, I thought I was drinking a stout until I looked it up on this site. I should have realized it was a porter since the mouthfeel wasn't overly viscous like some stouts that drink like motor oil. This beer was really smooth and I enjoyed every ounce as it started to warm. Still, I've never had a porter with that high abv burn before. Overall, it's a great beer whatever style you put it in. (652 characters)

Photo of drmeto
5/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

L:
-pours a dark brown with reaaaaaaaaaaaaaaallllllly faint ruby tinges with a medium,creamy,khaki head
-medium carbonation visible
S:
coffee,mocha,cappucino,vanilla,chocolate,cream,prunes,figs
T:
-milk,coffee,chocolate,mocha,toastyy,vanilla,toffee
F:
-medium-full body,medium carbonation
-alcohol scary well hidden
O:
-Absolute Beast of a Beer (344 characters)

Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
4.43/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Black body, big lasting mocha head with carbonation that looks like it's a nitro. Sheets of lace, cool.

S: Vanilla and caramel malt. Coffee lingers.

T: Great balance between coffee, vanilla (both real, not artificial, nice), toasted malt that comes through with coffee and a little nuttiness. Surprised to find the vanilla and coffee play so nicely together. Not much coffee acidity, which is appreciated. Perfect sweetness for me, so probably a little much for most people. No alcohol.

M: Love that fluffy head. The body is a little thin for a porter (read: medium).

O: This needs a much more arrogant label for such a wonderful brew. The coffee and vanilla are up front and don't require 'searching' for them, but there are still beer-y things happening. The persistence of this head is right up there with the best IPA's. Such a great, warming, tasty beer that is dangerously drinkable (and affordable- HOT DAMN!). (924 characters)

Photo of anon
4.54/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Wow, wow, wow!

Pours velvety black, beautiful beer on the pour. A full finger of a coffee colored head, with sticky lacing throughout.

Coffee hits big on the nose, and for a coffee lover, draws you in big time. Mouth watering already. Notes of vanilla, caramel, roasted malts, roasty toasty.

Taste and mouth feel are where this brew owns a gold star. Coffee up front. Big, beautiful roasted, creamy coffee; the bitterness of the dark roast hitting instantly, with the sweetness of vanilla lashing at your taste buds, light caramel and toffee way in the back. A beautiful tangency of bitterness and sweetness.

My favorite Ballast Point beer and my current favorite porter. What an excellent brew. Highly recommended. (720 characters)

Photo of Mikus
4.68/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Tasted at the BP Tasting Room in Little Italy, and brought home a bottle for the wife. An absolute monster of a porter, and completely solid base beer. Poured a black viscous void, with just a small ring of coffee-tinged bubbles. Nose and tastes were very similar, and exactly as advertised. A bit heavier in the coffee than vanilla on both aromas and taste (to my delight). I am normally very picky about the adjuncts in these kinds of brews (particularly vanilla), but this was so well done, balanced, and spot on that I can't say enough. About as close to perfect as I have found in taste and mouthfeel (while still leaving a little bit of wiggle room). If the idea of coffee vanilla porter appeals to you, what are you waiting for! (735 characters)

Photo of Brew_42
4.24/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours cola black with a nice tan head that leaves lacing.

Smell- strong coffee notes with some definite sweetness to it. Vanilla, maybe even some maple notes.

Taste-Follows the nose and then some. Great job of balancing out the sweetness with the coffee taste.

MF- Heavy body, normally I don't like beers like this in the summer, but I'm in Korea so I will drink any beer that isn't Hite or Cass. More of a cold weather beer for sure though in that is full bodies and a bit chewy.

Overall- Great beer from a great brewery. (526 characters)

Photo of TruePerception
3.34/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Ballast Point's Victory At Sea, porter brewed with coffee and vanilla. 10% ABV.

A: Almost two fingers of lighter chocolate milk colored head. Pitch black in the glass. Very dark brown in the dimple. A good amount of multi-layered lacing. Slight sheeting.

S: Deep roasted coffee up front. Vanilla is hard to make out against the coffee. Slight powdered cocoa.

T/MF: Very dark coffee, mixed with a bunch of char! And a heavy dose of hops. Quite heavy for a porter, all told.

Hmm. I'd heard good things about this one, but it is quite disappointing. I'll see how it warms up.

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle, into a Belgian tulip glass. (634 characters)

Photo of Jaysauras
4.45/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

L: Dark, velvety, like a pepsi or coke look. Head is thick and creamy looking. As you would expect from a porter. Very sharp looking beer. Excellent head/lace.

S: Smells of rich coffee flavor, a hint of sweetness that accompanies a bowl of cinnamon and brown sugar oatmeal. Also the distinct smell of oak or bourbon.

T: This is where the Victory at Sea really separates itself from other porters. Most are simplistic in a way. You get your coffee, your chocolate, and then you go about your business. Ballast Point has done a very strong job here in incorporating some more complex flavors. It is a touch boozy, but the way it works isn't overpowering. You get your typical and advertised flavors of Chocolate, Coffee, and Vanilla, but there is a wonderful rich undertone of nutmeg and cinnamon. It also has a hint of bourbon or whiskey. The best part is the finish, which blends a nice strong hoppy flavor of an IPA with a roasted malt and coffee bit. An undertone of vanilla still lingers. It is like S'mores meets alcohol meets Hershey's kisses. From beginning to end it takes you from sweet, to rich, to hoppy. An excellent combination from start to finish.

F: Chewy, sticky, but also crisp and boozy. A nice balance. For a 10%-er the booze is evident but not overpowering.

O: Tremendous. One of the best porters I've ever tasted. It goes above and beyond your standard porter. With rich tastes and textures it is a must try for those who appreciate a good solid stout, porter, or Imperial stout. It takes the standard flavor of a porter, which can be lazily applied to a plethora of brews, and expands upon them. It adds an element of complexity to the style while maintaining a lovely simplicity and loyalty to the popular style of American Porter. (1,762 characters)

Photo of everyman
4.71/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I'm impressed, but maybe this beer is not really a porter at all. ? Well..ok, it is, but Only according to popular belief that a porter is malty - slightly sweet. Actually, if wasn't for the nice sticky lacing on the glass, I would say its a lot more stout-ish. It's dark. It's dense and full bodied. Also, it's full of roastiness and there is some lightly-bitter coffee taste. Maybe its malt character is something that only a brewer can know and define. It's great. It's a bad ass porter that's stout-like. (508 characters)

Photo of vette2006c5r
4.93/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Victory at sea pours a black color with a nice size lacing head. There is a big roasted malty and coffee aroma. The taste has a big roasted flavor, big hints of coffee, then finishes with a subtle sweet vanilla flavor. Great body great flavors. Overall, its big, complex, and enjoyable. (290 characters)

Photo of buckslayer50
4.58/5  rDev +5.3%
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. (221 characters)

Photo of MA_hops
4.58/5  rDev +5.3%
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!! It's a classic! (159 characters)

Photo of RossiDaMan
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Coffee drinkers unite. Very strong coffee flavor that finishes with sweetness and an alcohol kick-- like a Starbucks with a vanilla extract chaser. If you like your morning Joe be sure to check this one out! (209 characters)

Photo of sjccmd
4.31/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Aroma is strong coffee. Some peppery notes. Cinnamon and spices, and a good dose of vanilla. Dark chocolate, some fruity esters and citrusy hops, but those are kept to a minimum. Vanilla comes out more and more.

Pours black with a dark tan/brown head. Medium sized head recedes leaving a good amount of lacing. Clarity is pretty good.

Taste is again big on coffee. Filled in with roasty malts and a hint of citrusy hops. Vanilla comes in on the finish with cinnamon and clove. Coffee is balanced nicely with robust dark malts, burnt toast, and some caramel. Very rich, but the coffee seems to keep it from being cloying. Vanilla adds a hint of sweetness.

Full bodied with medium low carbonation. Vanilla seems to add to the body. Some residual sweetness balanced with roasty bitterness.

Big and luscious. Coffee balanced nicely with the rich porter character. Heavy for the style. (884 characters)

Photo of OldGriz
5/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the best beers I've had. I typically don't like dark beer, but this made me a believer. It felt like chocolate milk and tasted like espresso. I had it on draft, but will definitely pick up a six pack next time I can find it. (231 characters)

Photo of virginia_lurker
4.84/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I have to admit, that I do go a little bit crazy when this one is not available to my tastebuds.

What an amazing coffee vanilla roasted delight this one is. An absolute necessity to your fridge/cellar whenever you can keep it available. (238 characters)

Photo of Reema
4.98/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Oh baby. This stuff here is excellent. Aromatic as fuck, super roasted coffee/chocolate scents. The taste is excellent, the coffee is very forward and tapers down to a light vanilla aftertaste. The ABV is extremely well hidden (careful, it creeps up on you). Rejoice as this is now in 6ers.

I may have a slight bias as I drink my coffee black but Victory at Sea is excellent porter and it does not disappoint. Goes well with brunch or a small light lunch on a weekend. (469 characters)

Photo of raiderob
4.18/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From a bomber into das boot.dark coffee color with brownish foamy head.vanilla bean.caramel coffee taste with slight hint of 10%.....sweet&tasty...Prost (152 characters)

Photo of citizencane
4.71/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A touch on the boozy side as apparent on mouthfeel, but this is delicious nonetheless. Coffee, vanilla, and beer flavors all blend together without getting lost or overpowering one another. If you like coffee and vanilla, try this. (233 characters)

Photo of Samuel906
4.74/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

This is a seriously amazing beer. Had this long ago on tap and it is one of the reasons I started to get into craft beers, and had a lot to do with my current love for good, rich stouts and porters. Pours a deep brown, murky and ominous like the bottom of the Mariana Trench. Thin khaki head laces the calm seas above. The smell is absolutely exquisite. Sooo much rich coffee, like smelling the bag of your favorite beans before you brew your first cup in the morning. Hints of tantalizing maple and dark chocolate beckon you to your first sip. The taste is equally divine, like the finest cup of cold brew coffee, with black cherries, smokey and bittersweet. Feel is smooth, coats your mouth, and mild carbonation brings the coffee and lighter notes up from the depths. There are lots of beers that are infinitely complex, where you could write a college dissertation of all the flavors you can discern: this is not that beer. It is simple, straight forward, and perfectly balanced but has everything you're looking for in a stout or porter. Absolutely fantastic; one of my favorite beers on the planet. In a sea of good stouts and porters, this is truly a victory for Ballast Point. (1,184 characters)

Photo of hip2hops
4.95/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Maybe it's the glow of the moment, but...
after three bottles over three weeks, this BP brew is my favorite beer...
a complex, balanced, sip-orific masterpiece.
Coffee & vanilla, yes. But, chocolate, too.
I could just breathe in the aroma for hours and be satisfied.
Bravo, San Diego! (285 characters)

Photo of LoveMyBeer1991
5/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Very dark in color, pitch black.

S: Coffee and chocolate.

T: Strong coffee/chocolate flavor. Some toffee?

M: Creamy with good carbonation.

O: Fantastic imperial porter. I'm a coffee fanatic so this beer appeals to me. Would have no problem buying again. (263 characters)

Photo of Moose90
3.58/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle Served Into 16oz Tulip

A – Pours a deep rich black with a thin and cream colored head, really nice lacing for a beer of this style.

S – Chocolate, coffee, vanilla, sugar, very very sweet.

T – Sweet notes of vanilla, cocoa, coffee, toffee, caramel, exceedingly sweet.

M – Medium bodied, moderately lasting finish.

O – Good overall, especially if you have a sweet tooth, this is borderline artificially sweet, but has a solid base. (456 characters)

Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 1,160 ratings.