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

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BA SCORE
98
world-class

5,564 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,564
Reviews: 1,235
rAvg: 4.41
pDev: 8.84%
Wants: 948
Gots: 1,533 | FT: 105
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: 5,564 | Reviews: 1,235
Photo of JerzDevl2000
4.42/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at Top Hops in New York, having never had this before. I like Porters and have been on a Ballast Point kick as of late in addition to that. Hoped that this would be another winner and sure enough, it was. While not a light beer, the range of flavors and ease of enjoyment of this was a winning combination and as this warmed up, the smoothness of this became much more impressive to me!

Loved the pour to this, as the dark coffee hue had just a hint of garnet around the edges to it to let a hint of light through. Easily the best head I've ever seen on a Porter as the massive, tan foam quickly filled up the remainder of my pint glass and did its best impression of a loaf of bread that a beer could do. Tall and yeasty, the bubbles in it were massive and as they rose to the surface, it left and impression both on the side of my pint glass and on me. The lacing that was left over was extensive and solid as this beer settled into it's liquid state. Nice coffee and bitter chocolate aroma to this, reinforced by a massive vanilla extract presence, with an espresso base underneath that. Thin, carbonated, and strong, this beer packed a punch both in the range of flavors it had and the booze that tied everything together. Certainly bitter, there were hints of cherry, current,and licorice in here as well and for all of the complexity present, I was amazed how well this went down!

Weak, this was not but when you're celebrating a "victory at sea", weak won't cut it. The bread in this beer's head was repeated in the aftertaste as hints of pumpernickel could be found after the liquid went down, owing to the strength of this beer's body and subtle spice. Porters don't come around like this that often so if you can find it, get it. It's not for the faint of heart but there's enough out there that is and who are you kidding - you know you want to find something this well-crafted and savor every last drop of it. On par with the Sculpin IPA's, Ballast Point has a winner here that deserves the lofty rating it has received here on Beeradvocate.

Photo of Dynobolt
4.52/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Not a big stout or porter drinker.. Lots of flavors going on and as it got warmer(took me awhile to drink it) it got easier to drink.. Definitely try it agian.

Photo of maedhros09
4.29/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Look: Deep brown with average tan head that settles to a nicely retained film and bubbles with some lacing
Smell: medium to dark roast coffee, dark fruit, boozy
Taste: Coffee and dark chocolate (mocha) blend with vanilla, brown sugar and dark fruit. a fair amount of sweetness up front with moderate bitterness in the finish. maybe some herbal hops presence.

Overall: A pretty delicious brew - the coffee is really well integrated with the beer and adds an earthiness to the otherwise sweet malty body. Hops is just enough to balance in the finish. Great balance and nice presentation.

Photo of sa93
3.14/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

I feel this beer is somewhat overrated. It's all coffee, all the time. It doesn't have any balance. It completely drowns out the more interesting notes, and doesn't even really taste like beer. A small taste might be enjoyable from time to time, but that's it.

Photo of Floader
3.38/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had better Examples of this style

Photo of prior2two
4.89/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Stout, Porter, whatever you want to call it, its just an insanely good beer.

Now that it comes in 6 packs, that's a game changer.

Photo of Notacraftdrinker
4.42/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Look- jet black nice thick tall brown head
Smell- more vanilla with suddle coffee and almost truffle notes
Taste- great coffee bitterness with a sweet slight vanilla finish
Feel- thick and creamy. Full body brew
Overall- very very well balanced. Taste more coffee than you smell. Nice warming alcohol on the finish. A must try porter

Photo of KBS
4.31/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Big coffee taste and then finishes with vanilla to take the edge off the bitterness of the coffee. Great coffee stout, right there with FBS.

Photo of nsg_beer_doc
4.91/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A big beer that is easy to drink (assuming you like coffee, which, let's face it, if you ordered this one up knowing you didn't like coffee you might not be the smartest person in the world). It's smell is intoxicating and its notes of coffee and vanilla are strong but not overpowering. You'll never forget this is a beer at its base, but it's one that is unique in its genre.

Photo of WyethBednar
4.99/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: A beautiful opaque black porter with a nice dense head.

Smell: Great. Roasty notes of malt balanced with the subtle sweetness of vanilla beans and bitter coffee

Taste: Incredible. Highly complex, yet easy to drink. The high ABV forces you to slow down, which is a blessing as it allows you to really get the full effect of the beer. A sipping beer, but in a good way.

Feel: Lightly carbonated and creamy.

This is definitely one of my favorite beers of all time. In my opinion, it's the best example of an Imperial Vanilla Porter I've ever had. It balances all the elements just right, so it's never too roasty, too sweet, or too bitter, but rather is all things at once. A delicious, interesting beer that any dark beer fan should love

Photo of rjs246
3.9/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

So first of all, this beer looks amazing. The fact that it isn't a stout is shocking because, well it looks like a stout. Smells great too, but once again when I get to the tasting a vanilla porter has let me down. A big chocolatey porter with coffee and a hint of vanilla sounds incredible but the end result is merely good, not great. It didn't leave me with the same feeling of meh that the Breckenridge variety does, but it also isn't anything I'll find myself craving any time soon.

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 HardTarget
4.72/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Black as night, bright light through it shows a ruby glow and clarity. Sticky tan head laces the glass and lasts.

Smell: Coffee, dark malt, coffee, rum, coffee, vanilla, hint of black bread, roasted grain, and coffee. A slight charred barrel note goes a bit ash and overdone knocking a few points off.

Taste: Sweet burnt sugar toffee, coffee, mild bitter lime peel lost in leather, malt, tobacco, and gravitas.

Feel: Heavy body, chewy, slick and hot. Lip numbing.

Overall: Big Wow factor, big flavor, heady alcohol, brute strength meets complexity with vanilla, coffee, malt, hops, and alcohol all taking turns crushing it. Big yum, seek, buy, ... more.

Photo of martyl1000
4.06/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is obviously really good. But, like too many porters, Baltic-strength or not, it suffers from one-and-done syndrome -- as in, first-sip awesomeness, but then a steep, steep dropoff in quality in every subsequent sip.

Photo of gcamparone
4.56/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter. Purchased in North Providence, RI.

Pours a deep brown, nearly black body with a light mocha colored head that reduces slowly to leave a layer of foam.

Aromas of heavy coffee, dark chocolate, and vanilla come through. Very potent smelling and inviting. On the tongue is bitter coffee, really high cocoa percent dark chocolate, finish is vanilla and caramel, aftertaste is chocolatey and roasty. Very very nice. Thick and rich, low carbonation, little alcohol detected.

For a highly available imperial porter, this is a great option if you're in the distro range. Definitely would buy again. Prefer over FBS.

Photo of drpimento
5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Lovely monster. Appearance is a large tan, slow to settle, thick head with lots of lace and and opaque black brown color. Aroma is coffee, vanilla, roast malt, leather, black earth, dank forest, cement. Flavor's similar to nose, fairly dry, just enough tang and bitter to balance and then a hint of sweet in the finish. Body is just right. Long finish. Nary a hint of strength.

Photo of ALC82
4.34/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Very excellent smell/feel...I may have let it warm to far...still very solid

Photo of founddrama
3.45/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Coffee flavor is strong; vanilla less so. That's a porter for you. (I guess the vanilla takes the edge off the coffee a bit.)

Photo of Csikic93
4.72/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a black with a thick brown head. Immediately smell the coffee and chocolate. The taste is coffee initially with a smooth finish. I could only have about one of these a night but enjoy every single second of it. Really glad I bought it before they sold out.

Photo of KarmicSkrambl8
4.28/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

enjoyed the coffee notes, bitterness balanced, faint vanilla...average viscosity...might buy again but not obsessively

Photo of brother_rebus
3.54/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

maybe i was tricked about this beer due to the fan hype, and notoriety. The first sip was virtually off-putting. I must admin it got better from there. They claim it has "just the right amount of sweetness". Thats my major problem with it. Its a malt pit. Not cool. Love porters. Love imperials. Not this one.

Photo of CrazyDavros
3.75/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours black with a large tan head.
Aroma of vanilla, roasted malt and very soft coffee.
Flavours include more vanilla and a fair bit of sweet malt. A fair whack of coffee too.

Photo of ajm5108
4.78/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Lots of dark chocolate & cacao riding the wave of toasted coffee, but evened out by the semi-sweet vanilla bean. Finishes pretty bitter, but in a good way. Velvety smooth and creamy feel. Reminiscent of Founder's Breakfast Stout, whuch is to say an excellent coffee brew.

Photo of NavyGoat
5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The Navy Goat Loves Victory at Sea!! This is a 100 in my book !!

Photo of dredmahawkus
4.54/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

one of the best coffee porters I have had! its very smooth and balanced! the vanilla note at the very end is kinda perfect! wonderful beer!

Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 5,564 ratings.