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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

3,292 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3292
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: 3,292 | Reviews: 901 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of ChrisMyhre
ChrisMyhre

Massachusetts

4.58/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a stemmed wine glass from the 22 oz. bottle. Enjoy by January 15, 2014.

a: Dark black, not sure if there's variation from batch to batch but I see no brown at all. Solid looking dark tan head, but not tall. Not much lacing.

s: Very vanilla forward, a little coffee, malt, and yeast though too.

t: Much less vanilla taste (I hate vanilla coffee so this is a very good thing to me), nice roasty, somewhat with lots of good coffee flavor .

m: Drinkable, just slightly on the drinkable side(for a 10.0 abv Imperial Stout at least), lower carbonation but still a very full feeling beer..

o: Excellent, the most balanced coffee stout/porter I've had, very subtle vanilla taste with nice scent, which is very rare. I will pick this up anytime I have extra dough lying around, would love to see in 12 oz bottles.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2013 23:07:30 | More by ChrisMyhre
Photo of Duane_Opfer
Duane_Opfer

Virginia

4.7/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

22 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Enjoy by date of 1/15/14. Consumed on 11/20/13.

A - Brown approaching black with a half finger of light brown small bubble head. Head lasted for a while and left well-defined rings around glass as liquid receded. Visually appealing.

S - Cream, vanilla, dark chocolate, and roasted coffee beans. No booziness.

T - Wow. Chocolate covered espresso beans crossed with a damn good cup of coffee with a beautiful vanilla sweetness. Phenomenal. Lasting dark chocolate/vanilla sweetness with a slight hint of dark fruit. Perfectly mellow. Hides ABV, yet warming.

M - Smooth as silk, creamy, and a wonderful tingle in the mouth.

O - I loved this. I will buy it whenever I see it and recommend you do the same.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2013 02:55:08 | More by Duane_Opfer
Photo of IAmAPenguin
IAmAPenguin

California

3.96/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Aroma: distinct coffee bean, chocolate, cocoa powder, vanilla and brownie. Smells fantastic, literally like a chocolate vanilla cake. Appearance: black as night with a really nice lacing against the glass. Taste: sweet coffee, frappucino, cocoa powder, chalky chocolate, faint vanilla and constant cocoa. Overall, really really nice, sweet flavors with impressive complexity.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2013 09:25:38 | More by IAmAPenguin
Photo of pjkelley82
pjkelley82

New York

4.94/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Recieved this as an extra via grze... thanks.. phenomenal pick...

Poured from the bottle into a snifter...

A- poured a dark leather brown color nearly black with a 2 inch brown sugar colored pillowy head... stayed a good amount... left sparce lacing that left quickly...

S- jesus... what a wonerfull coffe aroma.. light vanilla and chocalate with a nice bold smell to it...

T- So rich and bold at first... then what I guess is the vanilla smooths everything out for a moment before a nice roast punch hits you sqare on the back of your throat.. what a great tasting porter... everything is streamlined perfectly and tho at certain points seems exteme it all balances out...

M- Beside Milkstout Nitro on tap this is the creamiest beer ive ever tasted. Full bodied.. not watery not sticky but kinda sticky.. heavy but not too heavy...The Mouthfeel is by far my demise.. best in a bottle I've ever had... very light carbonated but not flat...

O- Yea... I'd say beside a local porter I've had which is dear to my heart.. this is by far the best porter I've had... bottom line.... I can't say anything else...you don't have to like it... but if you don't try this your dumb...

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2013 05:07:21 | More by pjkelley82
Photo of ExaltedNecrosis
ExaltedNecrosis

Texas

4.78/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

22 oz bottle poured into oversized tulip glass.

A - Pours a pitch black with one and a half fingers of dark mocha/chocolate head. This doesn't let any light through.

S - Massive coffee aroma that can be smelled without even putting my nose to the glass. The roasted coffee is followed by vanilla and chocolate.

T - The taste is a coffee lover's heaven. Huge roasted coffee flavor, followed a bit after by sweet vanilla and a bit of chocolate. The roastiness is very pronounced and quite delicious. Every flavor is very bold and full.

M - This is one of the thickest porters I've had. It's pretty much a stout. Full, chewy body with moderate carbonation. The coffee really sticks to the mouth long after taking a sip. It's got a nice chewy and sticky aftertaste.

O - This was everything I hoped it would be and then some. The best porter I've had hands down, and it beats a lot of my favorite stouts. The roasted coffee, bold vanilla, and chocolate complement each other perfectly. Amazing job, Ballast Point.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2013 02:54:25 | More by ExaltedNecrosis
Photo of grze
grze

California

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

This is one of the best beers I've ever had. It should be in top10 in my opinion. Super delicious porter. You can taste the vanilla, coffee, but everything is super balanced, does not overpower each other. Alcohol is barely there, it's a great tasting beer and easy to drink for the ABV

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2013 01:10:06 | More by grze
Photo of toolbrew
toolbrew

Illinois

4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a Duvel tulip glass. Bottle enjoy by date of December 2013. Poured deep brown with a thick fluffy brown head. Big nose of vanilla. Coffee aromas after agitation. Sweet taste with good vanilla flavor. Bitter finish. Smooth, creamy mouthfeel. No alcohol burn whatsoever. Overall I really enjoyed this beer and will revisit. Would be a good one to lay down to see how it ages.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2013 03:01:53 | More by toolbrew
Photo of Jas45678
Jas45678

Michigan

4.3/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a nice black with a small mocha head that fades fairly quickly. Smell is vanilla, coffee, mocha and a little carmel. Taste is coffee and vanilla with some mocha and carmel. Nice bitter finish. A little light bodied with medium amount of carbonation. Overall a great porter especially if you like coffee and vanilla.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2013 02:23:48 | More by Jas45678
Photo of Shallow_Gravy
Shallow_Gravy

California

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

Bottle to BT whiskey snifter

A- Pours opaque black. When held up to light it'd got the slightest hint of cola red color. Nice 1 finger kakhi head sits on top. Some spotty lacing.

S - Good God. Huge coffee, slight vanilla, roasted malt. Can't get over just how much coffee there is. Could use some more vanilla, but that's a small gripe.

T - Starts smooth with vanilla and slightly woody notes, and then the coffee comes in mid-palate. Coffee and vanilla on the finish. Very delicious.

M - Creamy, with enough carbonation to leave the mouth coated. A bit thin, but again a small gripe. Makes it that much more drinkable.

O - Damn fine beer. A coffee beer if I've ever had one. I could drink this all day.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2013 00:03:28 | More by Shallow_Gravy
Photo of polloenfuego
polloenfuego

Ontario (Canada)

4.01/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Froma 22 oz bottle to a pint glass.

A: deep dark brown with a thumb sized root beer head. The head breaks down giving way to thick lacing.

S: vanilla is the premier smell, followed by coffee, roasted malts and some caramel.

T: roast and coffee but the the vanilla taste really comes through here. I found this to be almost a little overpowering.

M: good carbonation and a chewyness that was nice. The finish was a bit bitter however.

O: a good porter, though the vanilla did at times seem too strong. I also found that as this beer moved up in temperature it became a little less flavorful and a little boozier.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2013 02:36:27 | More by polloenfuego
Photo of usechopstix4soup
usechopstix4soup

New York

4.55/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very black body with a thick foamy caramel head.

Smell is really what makes this beer wonderful. Smells of dark roasted coffee, vanilla, and caramel infused together dancing around the top of the brim into your nose. This is something you must try. There are bits and pieces of bread and other carby smells that give it depth.

The taste reminds me of a dark, black coffee with a shot of espresso and vanilla. It is bitter but porter lovers will be instantly drawn.

The porter has a watery body, lighter than most but this isn't something that I particular mind.

Great beer, definite recommend.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2013 18:34:25 | More by usechopstix4soup
Photo of BeerAficionadoMCMXC
BeerAficionadoMCMXC

California

3.75/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- color is dark brown. Tilt of glass reveals some brown but still maintains the dark brown color.
S-100% vanilla, slightly overpowering.
T- I got roast, vanilla, coffee, and a bitter finish. Chocolate is also very present.
M- chewy, thick, dark, stout.
O- imperial porter?! This is a stout.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2013 06:53:40 | More by BeerAficionadoMCMXC
Photo of joeseppy
joeseppy

Illinois

4.41/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours black as I can get it with a continual amount of mocha frothiness.

Aromas of of dark cocoa, coffee, hops, roasty grain and milk sweetness.

Straight forward in your face-no doubt about it-Hello coffee! May I have some dark cocoa, vanilla bean, piney hop and alcohol put in there please.

Medium to heavy on the mouthfeel with alcohol resonating in the cranium with bitter coffee on the tongue and vanilla ringing on the palate.

Delivers as advertised with no frills or artificial ingredients. Pleasure to have tried and will get better with some time on it. Buyer beware, there is strong black coffee here in the mix. Plain outstanding!

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2013 04:05:04 | More by joeseppy
Photo of beerforpresident
beerforpresident

Texas

4.56/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Revisited this one last night. Rich, of course, but also way more drinkable than I remember. Excellent coffee, chocolate. The vanilla is nice at first, but turns a touch too sweet towards the end.

Been a standby since the first time I had it. Even so, I'm looking forward to trying an even fresher bottle of this when it rolls into town again.

22oz (Enjoy by: 11/07/13) into tumbler

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2013 15:12:39 | More by beerforpresident
Photo of scotorum
scotorum

Massachusetts

4.16/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

a: Black with just a hint of ruby clarity. Head was finger plus thick tan, receded slowly to a dense surface foam film and extensive lacing.

s: Combination of dark malt and dark fruit with the emphasis on smoky dark malt.

t; Prunes and vanilla under bitterness; smoky porter aftertaste does suggest cold strong black coffee. Bitterness lingers at the sides of the tongue. A hoppy porter.

m: Medium; the bitterness, excessive for a normal porter, makes it seem heavier.

o: Unique, and at first, highly sippable. Unfortunately, malt sweetness and vanilla flavoring are not prominent enough to offset the prune and cold black coffee flavor and hops bitterness, which after awhile begin to grate.

Probably would be better offered in twelve ounce portions. Might be good with spicy or fatty foods, but would overpower mild flavored anything.

People who like strong cold black unsweetened coffee will likely go for this, but those of us who like our coffee sweet and light, and our porters less hoppy. not so much.

Perhaps this is an old bottle; no date is visible anywhere. If the vanilla has faded, that might explain why I was less impressed with this than the average BA review. But it is definitely a very flavorful brew.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2013 05:45:04 | More by scotorum
Photo of DrewskiWhit
DrewskiWhit

Indiana

4.43/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A deep brown/black pour. 1/4 finger head which dissipated to a thin ring. Lots of legs. Really nice looking porter

S coffee notes right away with lots of roasty notes and tons of chocolate characters. Smells excellent.

T basically a chocolate and vanilla milk shake with coffee. The chocolate taste and bitterness is more of a hersheys milk chocolate. A bit of smokiness. Really good. long lingering chocolate coffee aftertaste.

M for a porter I thought this mouth feel was perfect. Not hugely thick like a stout but just right for what it is.

O a really really good porter. This thing has huge milk chocolate and cocoa flavors. The coffee balances it out nicely. The alcohol is detectable but still a very nice beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2013 00:57:03 | More by DrewskiWhit
Photo of MaximalC
MaximalC

Illinois

4.04/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours seal brown with the barest of ruby highlights, topped by a modest head of mocha foam that settles shortly into a thin veil. A persistent sheet of lacing clings to the glass as the beer descends. The aroma features HUGE roasted coffee notes with traces of dark chocolate and vanilla. The flavor matches the nose, with a massive kick of roasted coffee that lingers indefinitely. This is not the watered down coffee adjunct that so commonly passes for "coffee flavor" in beer--this is the real deal. There's also a noticeable alcoholic burn on the front end, which is unorthodox but not shocking considering the ABV, though it's tolerable for the style. Some dark chocolate can be found lurking beneath the charred, roasted foreground, but vanilla doesn't feature as prominently as the label would suggest. A slightly peppery hop bite accentuates the bitterness of the roasted malt on the back end. I can't wait for this to warm up and really see what it can do*. The body is medium and complements the flavor profile well, while the carbonation is appropriately modest.

This is not an especially nuanced brew, but if you're looking for something bold with an authentic, deluxe coffee character, you've come to the right place.

*Warming does indeed reveal some subtle dark fruit that was close to invisible at cooler temperatures.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2013 02:03:57 | More by MaximalC
Photo of Chickenhawk9932
Chickenhawk9932

Pennsylvania

4.43/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours black as night with a thick coffee colored head - good retention.

Smells heavy of chocolate, coffee, vanilla and roasted malt.

Taste is big coffee espresso notes up front followed by bitter dark chocolate and rounded by some sweet vanilla notes. There is also some bitter burnt malt flavor to keep the sweetness at bay as dark fruits (rum, fig, and raisin) come through. Big flavor from a big beer - definitely a slow sipper.

Serving type: on-tap

10-13-2013 00:11:16 | More by Chickenhawk9932
Photo of danieelol
danieelol

Australia

4.59/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

It feels like they cheat a bit cause they absolutely bombard this beer with vanilla and coffee. Still, it tastes amazing, delicious and not artificial.

Nose is amazing- pure vanilla extract and coffee, taste is amazing and finishes with a fantastic roastiness, mouthfeel is all vanilla and is not overly sweet and in fact carries a heavy roast and bitterness. This beer is truly a classic example of the adjunct game and if it were limited release would command all the hype in the world. Fantastic beer which I'd drink anytime.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2013 11:35:05 | More by danieelol
Photo of Sludgeman
Sludgeman

District of Columbia

4.48/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter at Meridian Point on a cool and rainy afternoon.

Don’t let the big vanilla/chocolate nose drive you away from this well balanced imperial porter. An immediate favorite. It will interesting to see how this one holds up to the competition over time.

A – Pours black with a small brown head that quickly dissipates. A good swirl brings it back. Better lacing than expected based on the low head retention.

S – A big nose of chocolate/vanilla. Swirl this beer to find the other aromas of complex alcohols and coffee.

T – A rich beer of coffee, some black licorice, low vanilla/chocolate compared to aroma, with a medium roasty bitterness that balances the richness. Hides it high ABV very well.

MF – Medium bodied, slightly sharp, thinner than expected based on the richness of taste. Some silky smoothness if you get a gulp of foam.

Serving type: on-tap

10-10-2013 22:55:55 | More by Sludgeman
Photo of itlnstallion11
itlnstallion11

California

3.94/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This is an impressive imperial porter that is really masquerading as a stout in my opinion.

A-Dark almost motor oil black with a vague ruby blood red glimmer at the bottom of the glass when put up to light

s- coffee, chocolate, butterscotch, marshmelow powdered sugar with some vanilla hint

taste- COFFEE right up front with a surprising intense bitterness that was definitely unexpected. Around the intense coffee flavor there is dark chocolate, boozy bourbon and some dark fruit.

m- medium bodied

O- A good porter that really pushes the envelope of a stout. It really shattered the common perspective on how porters are just wimpy stouts. Although this porter is great, the bitterness is a little overwhelming and i feel like it covers up the unique sweeter qualities of this beer. It is definitely a heavier beer ideal for those cold winter nights.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2013 04:07:52 | More by itlnstallion11
Photo of lacqueredmouse
lacqueredmouse

Australia

4.16/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

220oz brown bomber purchased from Ledgers Liquors in Berkeley, CA. Brought back to Sydney and shared with Sam and Rich.

Pours a decent brown-black colour, with a relatively light body that doesn't hold carbonation. Head forms a decent filmy crest of golden-crispened brown and the lacing is excellent. I'm a bit surprised at the body, but otherwise it looks pretty decent.

Nose is wonderful, and delivering on everything I expected. Lovely oaky vanilla characters, cut with a crisp, fruity coffee aroma and underpinned with rich dark chocolate and malts that give sweetness but nothing in the way of grassy graininess. It's sweet and luscious and impressive—I don't care if it's also something of a gimmick. Gimme gimme gimme.

Relatively smooth and light entry on the palate just peppered with a little coffee spiciness. Big rounded, slightly empty vanilla characters come through in the mid palate. The back palate is where the richness is: dark chocolate and red mole pricked with more of that coffee bite and everywhere fresh and vibrant from supple vanilla. It's very pleasant once you get here: a little bit lacklustre beforehand.

Feel is very good: light enough to remind you it's a porter, but with heft to remind you it's 10% ABV.

Overall, it's a lovely brew, but perhaps one that was always going to be lovely. The flavours are pronounced and are quite well balanced. It's drinkable and very tasty. Something perhaps stops me from gushing wholeheartedly about it, but there's no doubt that it's a very fine brew.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2013 03:26:01 | More by lacqueredmouse
Photo of Furlinator
Furlinator

California

4.33/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours black with ¼ inch of khaki head and nice lacing.

Smell is of spent dark roast coffee grounds up front with vanilla and faint cocoa on the back end.

Taste is black coffee at first, then some bitter hops, followed by faint vanilla. There is a slight alcohol bite. The flavor of coffee and vanilla begin to intensify as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy allowing the flavors to linger on the tongue. Medium carbonation.

Impressive, although the vanilla flavor is a bit weak.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2013 20:39:43 | More by Furlinator
Photo of brureview
brureview

Massachusetts

4.34/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured in a Stone Imperial Pint glass. Dark coffee color with a 2F head.

Coffee, vanilla, and lemon wafting from the head.

The mouth feel is moderate.

The balance of coffee-vanilla-lemon in the taste is impressive. The
coffee and vanilla don't overwhelm as in other beers- they are blended well
into the taste profile.

Overall an excellent Imperial Porter: fresh with an Enjoy By Date
1/15/14.

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2013 01:46:46 | More by brureview
Photo of BRadStudios
BRadStudios

Texas

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

Appearance: Pours thick and black... Looks real good! Had a quick rising head and quickly dissipated to none due to the 10% ABV. Lost of lacing on the glass.

Smell: I picked up the vanilla and chocolate quickly with the sweet notes. Roasty aroma lots coffee busting out. Many other notes I can't point out yet. I love coffee beer so the smell was perfect!

Taste: BIG roasty flavor up front for me. I get vanilla & chocolate then all the dark malts with the coffee at the end. Not a coffee drinker so it really hits at the end for me.

Mouthfeel: Heavy body, some carbonation... what I would expect for a porter. creamy, smooth finish.

Overall: Amazing if you like coffee porters or stouts. This is a must get!

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2013 01:17:25 | More by BRadStudios
Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 3,292 ratings.