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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

1,179 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 1,179
Hads: 5,732
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: 8.51%
Wants: 968
Gots: 1,618 | FT: 100
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: 1,179 | Hads: 5,732
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
5/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | 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)

Photo of dpgoblejr
4.8/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Black, mostly dark brown, porter that has a small tan head and not much lacing. Smells of coffee and vanilla dominate the aroma. Taste follows suit with the coffee coming in strong to start with the vanilla and a sweetness to end. Nice bodied brew with a somewhat thicker feel than other porters and quite drinkable for being 10% abv. Overall, an awesome imperial porter that won't disappoint! (397 characters)

Photo of VTR
3.55/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Smells of coffee, slight vanilla, faint caramel. Taste is where this gets good. Coffee hits you hard right off the bat but mellows as the malts start to take over with some sweetness, followed with some slight vanilla. The bitterness was not too bad and carbonation was just right. It is expensive but I will pick this up again! (332 characters)

Photo of hophugger
4.06/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Pours deep and dark with maybe a touch of dark, dark brown highlights around the edge of the glass. Head is decent and a nice tan color, dissapating quickly and leaving some fizzy lacing around the glass. Aroma is bold with vanilla bean, tobacoo and light coffee. Taste bites you right from the start, the warmth of the 10% abv, the natural vanilla bean taste and the background of dark roasted coffee. This beer balances quite well and the vanilla is just right, not too sweet, but enough of it there to make this beer special. The mouthfeel is nice and the longer it lingers in the mouth, the vanilla fades and the deep, dark roasted coffee comes forward. Aftertaste is of slight bitterness and coffee, but only slightly overwhelms. Nice brew, glad I got the chance to try !! (777 characters)

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

Phenomenal if you enjoy coffee. The coffee taste is well balanced with sweetness and the alcohol is well hidden for a beer with such a high abv. It is the best porter I have ever had. (183 characters)

Photo of Premo88
5/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22 oz. bomber poured into "stout glass" -- tall tulip

L: black as it rests on the table with a thick tan head of sticky foam ... head is a solid inch tall and the sticking is incredible, looks like leftover milkshake; the lacing is unbelievable ... it's like a coat of paint; needless to say, keeps a solid tan collar of foam and about a half a skin (you can't see them, but clearly bubbles are flying up the column in that inner darkness); up to light the beer looks clear, dark orange/amber/brown

S: sweet chocolate, vanilla ... like a yummy ice cream desert, so very sweet (and this is almost ice cold);

T: wow ... uhhhh ... wow -- an instant 5. super sweet chocolate and vanilla with the dark malt giving it a fantastic burnt/bitter finish that's still very smooth because of all the up front sweetness; man, it is packed full of sweet chocolate and burnt dark malt bitterness, both ends just spilling over full of flavor, and the way they're balancing out the swallow is amazing; there's some alcohol flavor in it, but it's not bothering me one bit with all the other flavor; the coffee flavor is nicely sweetened out, so it's much more like a latte than raw coffee/espresso

F: a ton of carbonation really crisps it up; weighty feel

O: big everything ... big sweet, big bitter/burnt notes, big ABV that instantly makes its presence felt, even big carbonation with a big look with all the sticking and lacing and perfect black/tan color combo. as good a beer as I've come across and completely worth the money (about $10.50 for the bomber) (1,558 characters)

Photo of AirBob
4.45/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Notes from 1/24/15

A - About 1 cm of coffee-milk brown head which settles to barely a collar. Deep black body even around the edges of the glass. Good legs but retention is weak.

S - Deep dark roasted coffee bean. Touch of vanilla and cocoa. Coffee is very dominant. Vanilla becomes more pronounced as it warms.

T - Follows the nose. Maybe some brown sugar. Boozy vanilla comes through. Coffee leaves a bitter finish.

M - Medium carb. Full bodied (oily). Bitter finish from the coffee. Tingly.

O - Vanilla does its best to balance out the coffee bitterness but its still a litter too bitter for my liking. (622 characters)

Photo of SensorySupernova
3.65/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Black as night, with a low brown head.

Smell: A little bit of whiskey and caramel. Not too strong.

Taste: Very sweet all the way through. Caramel and whiskey, a bit woody. Roasted malts, although not as strong as the appearance would suggest. Reminds me of a Scotch ale. Plenty of vanilla in there. Some alcohol heat at the end; about what you would expect at 10% ABV.

Mouthfeel: Very thick, moderate carbonation.

Overall: Enjoyable, but too sweet for me. Maybe it would improve with a year of age; I had it fresh on tap so I don't know. Definitely lots of different flavors in here. Look and feel fit well with a big beer. (639 characters)

Photo of Franziskaner
4.09/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Black in color and impenetrable to light. There's a fingernail of khaki colored head sitting on top. Heavy Brussels lacing. The aroma is comprised solely of dark bitter coffee. The flavor is absolutely dominated by the bitter dark roasted coffee. I get a slight bit of vanilla in the end to help things from getting too oppressive. The mouth is creamy and viscous. (370 characters)

Photo of JamesStreet
4.29/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A- thin-looking ink-black with a wispy beige head that leaves nice lace on the glass.
S- blasts of strong bitter coffee roast dominate. Lovely aroma! Small hint if vanilla bean comes through as well.
T- coffee subsides a bit but is still the dominate character in this one. Sweet molasses flavor on the back that cuts the coffee nicely.
M- velvety medium feel with moderate carbonation.
O- this brew is a delight to quaff if you're like me and love big, coffee aromas. The taste falls off a tad from the nose but is still high quality. Lovely beer! (553 characters)

Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 1,179 ratings.