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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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

3,882 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,882
Reviews: 932
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 727
Gots: 739 | FT: 57
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter Alström Bros
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Ratings: 3,882 | Reviews: 932 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Boston trip. This is big coffee, and definately flavoured vanilla. The coffee is good, I am not a coffee drinker or fan, but it was done well for what it is. So yes, big in flavour. Above average mouthfeel. Big coffee aroma. Still most quaffable.Black with retaining off-white head.

Sammy, Jan 17, 2010
Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -8.9%

t0rin0, Aug 20, 2012
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pitch black with a 2 inch chocolate milk colored head that lasts. Good rings of lace on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of bitter cocoa powder, coffee grounds after the coffee has been brewed, and raw vanilla beans. I keep sniffing this beer over and over - it smells so damn good. Taste is of dark chocolate syrup, bitter coffee, vanilla extract, and an earthy mineral taste. Only slight bitterness on the palate after each sip. Absolutely amazing. Beer is thick and creamy in the mouth. A bit of alcohol warming in the throat. Overall, this is a very tasty hard to find beer. There is a distinct smell and taste of Hershey's chocolate syrup in this beer that makes me very happy. I am glad I found a bottle to enjoy. Highly recommended if you can get your hands on one.

UCLABrewN84, Apr 13, 2011
Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -8.9%

djrn2, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of zestar
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

zestar, Jul 09, 2013
Photo of spycow
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

spycow, Jan 13, 2013
Photo of Thorpe429
4.43/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received in a trade with bmanning and consumed in the summer of 2009.

A: Poured a very dark brown, nearly black, with a short tan head.

S: Lots of roasted malt paired with coffee, vanilla, and a bit of chocolate.

T: The vanilla comes through quite a bit and in comes the chocolate with a bit of sweetness, followed by a dry coffee/espresso and plenty of roasted malt.

M: Fairly full-bodied with moderate carbonation.

D: Very, very drinkable. Quite complex and added yet another tally to the number of amazing vanilla-infused beers that I've had.

Thorpe429, Jan 01, 2010
Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -8.9%

acurtis, Dec 31, 2011
Photo of nmann08
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

nmann08, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of metter98
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: It was poured into a snifter glass and was dark black in appearance with a thin mocha-colored head.
S: The aroma is filled with coffee flavors and some hints of vanilla.
T: The initial taste is of dark, roasted malts and chocolate after which the coffee flavors begin to intensify and continue through the finish. There is a bit of sweetness in the overall taste.
M: It feels very rich and medium-bodied on the palate. There is some dryness in the finish.
D: This is a beer that definitely needs to be sipped given the high alcohol content.

metter98, Apr 23, 2010
Photo of Texasfan549
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Texasfan549, Jan 29, 2012
Photo of brentk56
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours an impenetrable obsidian with massive tan head; stickage galore with speckles of lace all around the pint glass

Smell: Not sure which jumps out more - the coffee or the vanilla; underneath, there is a nutty character that lends a nougat depth to the brew

Taste: Nutty toffee, up front, with the coffee and vanilla developing strongly by mid-palate alongwith a bittersweet chocolate aspect; after the swallow, the hops lend a hand mometarily with a hint of pine; some dark fruit appears as well but this beer is about the malt, the coffee and the vanilla right through to the finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Normally, I am not a big fan of vanilla but this beer is so unique, with so many other elements going on, that the vanilla, though dominant, really is additive

brentk56, Jun 04, 2010
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.35/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

"It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell."

--Buddha

Impenetrable onyx with the faintest hint of lightening along the bottom edge of the glass. A large chunk of caramel milkshake colored foam was created on the pour and looks to be in it for the long haul. When the crown finally starts to melt, barely broken sheets of lace appear on all available surfaces.

The aroma is an enjoyable mixture of roasted dark malts and roasted java beans. Vanilla gets lost in the shuffle, which is a shame and is the main reason why the score isn't one notch higher. Even so, I could just as easily have gone with the 4.5.

The flavor leaves no room for that sort of wishy-washiness. VASCVIP is outfreakinstanding beer from the very first mouthful. If warming makes things even bolder and deeper... look out! One of my initial impressions is how expertly the alcohol is buried. This beauty drinks like the ABV is 7.0%. No lie.

There are so many coffee-added stouts (and a few porters) out there in craft beer land that they tend to run together. This one stands out for its sheer quality and because the brewers decided to add vanilla to the mix. I'm happy to report that all ingredients listed in the name are now present and accounted for. As expected, time and warming are turning a great beer into... an even greater beer.

The balance between bittersweet chocolate, black coffee and vanilla beans is pretty much perfect. Although little hop flavor is appreciated (which is probably a good thing), there's a modest amount of bitterness that closes each mouthful (make that 'eager gulp') in tighter than expected fashion. This bottle isn't even history yet and I'm already thinking about how to get more.

The mouthfeel is a little lighter than it should be, especially considering the ABV. The beer is smooth enough, but it isn't crushed velvet plush and heavily creamy. This characteristic might be something for the brewer(s) to work on in future releases. Please tell me that there will be future releases.

Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter is my second favorite Ballast Point offering, behind the outrageously delicious hop bomb known as Sculpin IPA. I will do whatever it takes to acquire additional bombers. When I do, they won't be taken away from me by angels or by demons, heaven or hell. Highly recommended.

BuckeyeNation, Aug 24, 2009
Photo of BEERchitect
4.33/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Coffee? Vanilla? What's there not to love in a larger than life Porter? Throw in a completely intimidating label and we have ourselves an instant winner!

The beer pours a thick, viscous, nearly black color with a creamy lace of carbonation that retains well and clings to the sides of the glass in moderate fashion. Legging shows barley-stained liquids crawling just beyond the lace. Complete opaqueness makes this beer rival the biggest of Stouts.

Strongly Porter-like in aroma: not as roasty as a Stout, but heavy toast, dry toffee, bitter cocoa, and deep espresso notes peppered all over the scent. Vanilla softness helps to temper the aggression from coffee and toast but it leaves me wanting much more.

Even stronger flavors of heavy, heavy toast, espresso, and a charred flavor that makes me think ash. Still, the toffee and vanilla do little to balance the stronger darker flavors. They have some melding together to do.

Very bitter and strong bite from the roasted grains create a harsh feel that the sweetness cannot round out. Bitterness is aggrevated by high grassy hops, coffee oils, and alcohols making the beer a bit of a chore late.

The beer seems to have a lot of 'young' characteristics that may come together better with age. Regardless, a heavier vanilla taste and feel could improve the beer.

Thanks kmurray8621!

BEERchitect, Aug 14, 2009
Photo of kjkinsey
5/5  rDev +13.9%

kjkinsey, Dec 07, 2011
Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a thick dark brown foamy head with good retention and some very nice lacing. Aroma of aromatic coffee and light astringent note is more dominant at first then anticipated. Taste is also a nice mix between some dry roasted malt with dominant notes of aromatic coffee and with a dry finish. Body is quite full with a thick body and a creamy texture with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Very well brewed with loads of complexity while still sustaining a good drinkability factor.

Phyl21ca, Mar 28, 2011
Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev -14.6%

GRG1313, Dec 18, 2012
Photo of mikesgroove
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

First off this is an exceptional beer. I had wanted to try it since it came out by missed all the bottles on sale, needless to say when I was able to trade for some it made my day. Served at a nice 55 degrees and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 04/04/2009.

The pour was fantastic. Huge dark beer here, black as night as it pours out. A big cascading brown head comes up and over the top and then settles down into a half inch layer that hung around for the entire rest of the session. The aroma was vanilla, huge vanilla beer and light cafe like coffee notes. Some hints of roasted malts, but vanilla in a beer like I have never come across before. Not terribly sweet and fake, this was like whiffing good vanilla ice cream. As I take the first sip, wow. This beer is suprising the crap out of me. First off where is my 12 percent? This is soo smooth I really got caught off guard by my second glass. The vanilla explosion followed through on the taste, rich and creamy with light and sweet coffee notes following through on them as well. Really tight flavor here, smooth with a long drawn out finish that was sweet, delicate and drying enough to make me want another in a minute.

Overall this was a very unique beer, that falls squarely into the dessert category. I was very happy, and very suprised with how big this was and how good it was as well. A winner here for sure!

mikesgroove, Apr 05, 2009
Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -8.9%

ygtbsm94, Jan 29, 2012
Photo of jaydoc
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

jaydoc, Apr 27, 2014
Photo of womencantsail
4.7/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Naja's Place in Redondo Beach.

A: The pour is a beautiful black color with a rather nice layer of mocha colored foam, but no lacing to speak of.

S: The aroma is full of coffee and vanilla, as one might expect from the name of the beer. There are also a lot of roasted malt and chocolate.

T: While the nose was spectacular, the flavor is just as good (maybe even a little better). The coffee and vanilla flavors really come out as the beer warms up a little, as does a great chocolate flavor. The roasted malts are present throughout as well.

M: A rather full body and smooth mouthfeel. The carbonation is low to moderate, which helps out the aforementioned feel on the tongue.

D: This is a dangerously drinkable beer. I didn't really detect any alcohol and it's just such a solid beer that you can't help but keeping going back to it.

womencantsail, Dec 18, 2009
Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured out as a thick black looking brew. I was pretty surprised because I would have said this was a stout just by looking at it. The smell of the beer was roasted with a few faint notes of vanilla. The taste of the beer was full of coffee flavors with a subtle aftertaste of vanilla dryness. The mouthfeel is lighter than I thought it'd be judging by the look of the beer. Overall though, I think this beer is quite good. I would drink this one again if I happen to stumble upon it.

Knapp85, Jul 18, 2011
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.15/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark brown, near black body with a wispy, fairly small-sized, beige head.

Smell: Deeply roasty nose with some possible perceived hints of added black patent malt as well as eager, oh-so inviting notes of everyone's favorite: coffee, vanilla, and chocolate.

Taste: Dark, roasted malt flavor with a double shot of espresso, chocolate, and reasonably strong, smooth accents of vanilla beans. Subtly sweet. Earthy, predominately roasty bitterness present, particularly as it begins to grow in charred malt qualities upon slight warming. Drying, roasty finish with one last, final departing touch of vanilla.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: I enjoyed this one. It's about as smooth as a man with a pencil-thin mustache. The listed ABV% was never an issue at all.

ChainGangGuy, Jul 10, 2009
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.75/5  rDev -14.6%

westcoastbeerlvr, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of oberon
4.22/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I hald this for a little while but the urge got to me to much last night.Poured into an imperial nonic a deep dark chocolate brown with a thin dark beige head that didnt last long,a great mix of heavy coffee roast and vanilla imparted sweetness,a bit of sweet alcohol and dark fruit shows thru as it warmed.Roasty and sweetish upfront with the dark roast coffee flavors prevelent,a vanilla/carmel flavor lends some hefty sweetness,there is a drying earthy almost resiny note in the finish that is drying just enough.A great beer it is a one and done though because the alcohol is potent and can give off some big sweetness,a rich well made beer.

oberon, Feb 21, 2011
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Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 3,882 ratings.