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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

4,552 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,552
Reviews: 1,018
rAvg: 4.4
pDev: 9.09%
Wants: 835
Gots: 1,030 | FT: 79
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

Imperial Porter with Coffee & Vanilla.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,552 | Reviews: 1,018 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of PieOhMy
4.65/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from 12 oz bottle into snifter
Dated 12/30/14

A Runny black with some head if poured aggressively, little head if poured slowly (I poured two!). No transparency, of course. Some brief lacing when tumbled a bit. Probably a little sticky.

S Espresso, chocolate milk, toffee, vanilla. A blitz of spices; clove, nutmeg, mint, and cinnamon. A cornucopia of aroma!

T Dark chocolate and roasted coffee. Very potent this. Vanilla bean, burnt sugar, mocha, and roasted malts. Grand flavor!

M Way more full than the pour would indicate. Very rich. Velvety and smooth, leaves a bitter follow.

O So good! The flavors mesh perfectly. You want a coffee stout/porter? This is it. You want a smooth sweet stout/porter? Yep. You want a big rich, high ABV impeccably crafted brew? This it. Top notch brew by Ballast Point!

Photo of Treb0R
4.17/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Alcohol content too high for a porter. Drinkability suffers because of this. The vanilla is lost; I didn't sense much if it here at all because it was full of roasty coffee and bitter hops. High IBUs are not necessary when you also have bitter coffee presence that is not tamed by a balancing sweetness. Needs less alcohol, more body, less hops, more vanilla, and some sort of balance so you don't just get a blast of bitterness from the coffee and hops.

I'm picky as hell so take the above advice with a grain of salt. I enjoyed this beer. A lot. Just being brutally honest with this review. The only reason it will not be a repeat buy is the cost at $15 for a sixer. It was truly one of the best porters I've ever had. I just wish the flaws mentioned were worked on.

Photo of the_benskii
4.75/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of BPMeyer27
4.46/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of oldmankoch
4.24/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Holy smokes this is just like biting into a coffee bean.

Photo of Tonedef
5/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Very very tasty...well balanced and smooth...the smell is exactly what's in the title..coffee and vanilla bean with the taste right on point as well with some fudge and milk chocolate notes..abv is well hidden..truly a delicious beer..A+ in my book

Photo of Knobs303
4.31/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of rbjbjr
4.87/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Ihadbeer
4.44/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of fearfactory
4.29/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Blksab99
4.48/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of hockeypuck
4.35/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of schmeagol
4.63/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Amazing deep coffee flavor. One of the best stouts I've had.

Photo of geryeb624
4.18/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of dcmchew
4.59/5  rDev +4.3%
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 benloho
4.58/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of MynamesRickJames
4.94/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Photo of cjohns73
4.75/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Beestin
4.17/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of damndirtyape
4.61/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

12oz bottle (no date I could find) served in a snifter.

Appearance: Pitch black - no light coming in even through the sides. 1/4" rocky tan foam upon pouring died back slowly to a thick ring and persistent skin across the top. Lots of fine lacing all over the glass.

Smell: Fresh roasted/brewed espresso and a hint of vanilla. Some cocoa powder as it warms up.

Taste: Wow! Deep and strong dark roast coffee/espresso up front. Reminds me of the taste of a chocolate covered espresso bean after you bite past the chocolate and get that hit of coffee bean. After that coffee hit, there is a nice sweetness of vanilla and malt that shows up. The finish has some more vanilla, cream, cocoa, and coffee flavors all combined into one. Well crafted and flavorful.

Mouthfeel: For all the strength of this beer you expect a stout and all that heavy creaminess, and instead you get the body of a porter. Carbonation is good, but not strong. There is a nice blend of slick and smoothness with a nice thickness that doesn't come across at stout-level thick.

Overall / Drinkability: An imperial porter indeed! I've had Russian Imperial Stouts that were not this strong in flavor and aroma before. Probably if I had not seen that this was listed as a porter I would not have guessed it was that style. All that aside, the depth and strength of the coffee and vanilla are just right - very strong to stick out, but not so strong as to be overpowering. Rich, but not cloying. Dangerously drinkable as the alcohol is well hidden, and yet I can feel this creeping up on me after half the glass, so I know better to not have another 12oz bottle, but I really wish I "had to finish a bomber because I can't recap it" sort of problem right now. Well done and I can see why so many people rate this so high. I would bet this beer would go well with a wide range of desserts, but it does work well as an after-dinner sipping beer as if it was its own dessert.

Photo of Beaver13
4.08/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle. Pours dark brown black with a big creamy tan head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is huge roast coffee with fudgy malts and a little vanilla.

The flavor is a little more subdued than expected. Lots of roast coffee, chocolate malt and vanilla with a big bitter roast finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and slightly watery.

Overall, a very nice coffee porter with nice chocolate and vanilla notes.

Photo of dcc449
4.32/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of PVMT
4.4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of swanfungus
4.44/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of SurferEric
4.51/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

My favorite porter to date.

Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 4,552 ratings.