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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

3,562 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,562
Reviews: 915
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 623
Gots: 675 | FT: 53
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:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,562 | Reviews: 915 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of THECPJ
THECPJ

Delaware

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

Reviewed from notes 1/12/2011

A: vanilla is predominant, coffee, a hint of white chocolate

Ap: black with a 2 finger mocha colored head, very frothy, extreme lacing

B/T: mild carbonation, very smooth, medium body, slightly heavy

Af: chocolate, coffee, and vanilla, very sweet

O: makes an excellent after dinner beer, a perfect nightcap

Cheers!
The CPJ

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2011 03:13:22 | More by THECPJ
Photo of billab914
billab914

Virginia

4.35/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Stone RIS glass. Pours pitch black with a two finger light brown head. The head retreated to the sides of the glass but left excellent lacing on the sides.

From the aroma it's very east to tell this is a coffee beer. There is a strong presence of coffee along with a decent amount of roastedness to it. There is a slight vanilla sweetness that helps balance it out nicely.

The bitter coffee is the first thing that you notice in the flavor, but the real draw for me is the subtle complex vanilla sweetness it has in it. There is some roasted grains and bittersweet chocolate to go along with the coffee and vanilla in the finish as well.

Mouthfeel is on the thicker side with moderate to low carbonation. I really enjoyed drinking this one and would definitely buy it again. The vanilla sweetness really helped balance out the bitter coffee and roast flavor making this one stand out from other coffee stouts.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2010 01:10:25 | More by billab914
Photo of dirtylou
dirtylou

Washington

4.63/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, brawleys - charlotte. split during MNF

appearance: pours into a standard pint - dark ebony body with a creamy chocolate crest. very nice

smell: holy batmobile, rich roasty chocolate cap, strong roasted espresso, french roast, vanilla, alcohol

taste: awesome beer - robust and full bodied, huge espresso notes, vanilla, oak, dark chocolate and cocoa nibs. epic coffee beer - glad to see this one around

mouthfeel: huge body, creamy, robust - full flavor

drinkability: nice

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2009 02:05:48 | More by dirtylou
Photo of HopHead84
HopHead84

California

4.18/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this at Ballast Point's Old Grove location. It's black with a nice light brown head...good retention....good...lacing.

The aroma smells a lot like a breakfast stout with vanilla. Oatmeal and bitter coffee notes are pretty strong, along with a nice vanilla bean aroma. It smells sweet. The taste reminds me a lot of Founders Breakfast Stout. It's sweet, with oatmeal and a moderate bitterness, which I attribute to the strong coffee presence, but which probably has more to do with the hops that I can't taste. Vanilla is strong here as well.

Victory at Sea is full bodied with medium carbonation, and a smooth and creamy mouthfeel.

I'm not a big fan of the style, but this is well done. The coffee was strong, but nicely balanced with oatmeal and vanilla so it wasn't overwhelming.

*edit*

Looks like there are two entries for the same beer. The other one has the word Vanilla in the name, though they're the same beer. That's too bad.

Serving type: on-tap

03-20-2009 21:19:06 | More by HopHead84
Photo of TurdFurgison
TurdFurgison

Ohio

3.08/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bottle, trade with beerman4. Dark brown with a thin tan head. A very strong smell, roasted malts, sweet vanilla, maybe just a little coffee. Almost cloyingly sweet from the vanilla, also too bitter in the aftertaste. Could use more malt presence and less extra flavoring. The body is a tad thin for a robust porter style, didn't match well.

I'm a little disappointed overall, the taste is too sweet, the vanilla is more prominent than I'd like, and the coffee is too bitter. The bottle states this is an artisinal masterpiece but I disagree. Their IPA's are solid though.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2010 02:35:20 | More by TurdFurgison
Photo of dmorgan310
dmorgan310

Panama

4.75/5  rDev +8.2%

02-08-2013 04:26:19 | More by dmorgan310
Photo of chinchill
chinchill

South Carolina

4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

11-17-2013 22:29:33 | More by chinchill
Photo of xnicknj
xnicknj

Pennsylvania

4.33/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into glass - 2009 vintage

Pours an inky black with a thinner tanned head. Fades out almost completely with sine spotty lacing and film.

A strong scent of cocoa with espresso, coffee, dark chocolate, and a hint of alcohol.

Plenty of chocolate and cocoa up front with a nice splash of vanilla flavor. Lighter tones of coffee and mocha mix in with an almost truffle- like sweetness. Roasted dark malts with caramel and some lingering warmth. Finishes toasty with a hint of booze.

Fuller medium body, mild carbonation, a little creamy and smooth. Really nice drinking, and some age helped mellow out the alcohol although some of the coffee and vanilla flavors faded.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2011 03:30:12 | More by xnicknj
Photo of harpus
harpus

Alabama

3.5/5  rDev -20.3%

01-28-2013 21:11:11 | More by harpus
Photo of wordemupg
wordemupg

Alberta (Canada)

3.99/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

650ml bomber poured into pint glass 2/4/14

A not as dark as expected, dark cola and I could actually see the light on the other side, loose mocha foam takes a few sips to fall to a thin film leaving a few rings along the way

S dark roasted coffee grinds, bakers chocolate, lots of char, a hint of booze but its fairly well hidden, vanilla, coco, powder and more coffee, kind of smells like something I'd drink to start my day without the cream

T the coffees more like a strong espresso in the mouth, very intense dark coffee, heavy charred wood, vanilla, dark chocolate and slightly more booze then the nose

M light bodied for a 10% porter, crazy bitter, foams up a little then ends up flat, a little boozy, super intense dark roast on the finish, not the best feeling big dark brew I've had recently

O it is what it claims, I can feel the caffeine and booze at the same time, she's a big intense brew that I wouldn't recommend as a night cap

a little dead in the mouth with some booze popping up every so often, almost to much coffee and I love my coffee, its still great beer but I wouldn't place it in the top 100 in the world where it sits today

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2014 06:34:11 | More by wordemupg
Photo of rolltide8425
rolltide8425

Pennsylvania

5/5  rDev +13.9%

01-29-2013 19:58:28 | More by rolltide8425
Photo of drummermattie02
drummermattie02

Texas

4/5  rDev -8.9%

12-05-2011 19:00:37 | More by drummermattie02
Photo of GraduatedCashew
GraduatedCashew

California

4/5  rDev -8.9%

06-11-2013 00:03:49 | More by GraduatedCashew
Photo of Zaphog
Zaphog

Michigan

4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

03-27-2012 15:50:28 | More by Zaphog
Photo of BeerFMAndy
BeerFMAndy

Wisconsin

4.61/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle poured into a snifter.
10% ABV

A - As pitch black as the depths of the sea itself, this dark imperial porter has a frothy mocha head that churns upward lapping rocky splashes of lace on the glass as it slowly sinks.

S - At first Victory At Sea's aromatics present nothing more than cold-pressed oily, loosely ground espresso bean. As the dark beer warms, roasted malt incorporates dark chocolaty nuances with the rising tide of vanilla bean and subtle sweet caramel on the finish.

T - Heavily roasted malt unveils dark bitter baker's chocolate with undertones of molasses and dried vanilla bean before launching right back into the robust cold-pressed espresso flavor. While it's damn delicious, it's not quite as impressive at the aroma lets on.

M - Starting with a robust feel, Victory At Sea quickly shifts to a thinner feeling presence due to it's heavily roasted malt and coffee acrid bitterness that's further thinned by warming alcohol on the finish.

O - An iconic beer from it's harrowing label to the sheer robust presence of the coffee, Victory At Sea is a classic coffee beer for any coffee lover, gliding smoothly across the palate with black espresso, vanilla tannins, and bitter chocolate lapping at the bow as warming alcohol fuels it's sails. If you want to totally geek out, enjoy this while watching a 'Pirates' movie.

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2014 01:03:23 | More by BeerFMAndy
Photo of liamt07
liamt07

Ontario (Canada)

4.35/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from Premier Gourmet, 650ml into a tulip. Best by November 26, 2013.

Black body, lofty mocha head. Great retention and lacing. Beautiful vanilla, brown sugar and medium-dark coffee roast on the nose. A creamy quality to this as well. Heavy roast and dark chocolate on the palate, a creamy vanilla quality contributes a moderate amount of balance. Carbonation a tad high to begin with, but this is easily remedied. Medium full feel. Delicious, might have wet dreams thinking about this on nitro or hand pump.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2013 01:15:25 | More by liamt07
Photo of tobelerone
tobelerone

Connecticut

4/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vigorous pour yields a smallish head with dissipates rapidly, leaving a thin creamy band behind. Lacing is thin and not very clingy. Beer is black and totally opaque. Smell is muted, with roast notes, subtle vanilla, and mostly, fresh coffee. Vanilla is faint in the tasting, with coffee coming in stronger and appealing roasty, burnt notes dominating.

Mouthfeel is nice, with just a little syrupy cling, medium carbonation, and medium to thin body. Finish is moderately long with some bitterness; doesn't stick around too long. Dryer than expected.

Nice dessert beer, although the flavors seem a bit muted. No bottle dating makes this one a toss up; although I'm certain it's at least a few months old. Would like to try a fresher bottle. Won't be dropping another 10 bucks for an undated bomber, however. BP beers are awesome, but lack of bottle dating and high prices make them a bit of a crapshoot on the east coast.

I will be visiting the brewery in December and look forward to trying all of their beers at their freshest!

EDIT: Have returned to this beer a few times and gotten much fresher bottles; this one is really delicious when the vanilla and coffee are bright and vivid.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2011 15:25:04 | More by tobelerone
Photo of GarthDanielson
GarthDanielson

North Carolina

4.15/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a tumbler pint, the beer is a near black, with a thick, densely packed, tight bubbled, frothy tan head that sits a solid half an inch on the surface of this brew. Aromas are subtle and very well blended, with hints of day old coffee, vanilla, dark chocolate, and some earthy notes. Flavors are rich and bold, with a blast of bitter dark chocolate and subtle coffee backbone blasting away on the front of the tongue, and quickly covering the palate. Highlights of vanilla and woody characteristics abound, with an earthy overtone throughout, and some boozey profiles as well. The beer's flavors ride a creamy and light body that leaves a great many rings around the glass as you drink. The aftertaste is a bit of the booze, a touch of the vanilla, and a hint of the chocolate and coffee blend, giving highlights of everything that just danced across the palate. The finish is rather quick, with only a slight bitter linger at the very end. The alcohol and bitterness do a good job cleaning everything up and helping the beer to avoid the cloying or overpowering realm of flavor profiles. This is a heavy hitter, and definitely a sipper for the evening. Delicious beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2012 01:52:06 | More by GarthDanielson
Photo of jrallen34
jrallen34

Illinois

4.35/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I drank this from a 22oz bottle into my Rochefort chalice.

The beer pours black with a medium tan head. There is nice carbonation as it rises about 3 fingers of creamy head. It lasts a couple minutes and has great lacing that sticks from the top of the glass to the beer.

The aroma is medium, mostly roasted coffee, but not overpowering. In the middle you get the glimpse of vanilla, lake a cappucino. Wish it was a little more dominant.

The taste is good, but way to overpowered with coffee from start to finish with a bitter roast finish. I want the vanilla to come out to play more, along with some other complexity please?

The feel is good, very lasting, but limited drinkability because of the overwhelming coffee.

Overall, this is pretty good but if they toned down the coffee a bit it could be world class.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2010 01:37:14 | More by jrallen34
Photo of johnnnniee
johnnnniee

New Hampshire

4.22/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a solid black with a thinnish mocha head that sticks around for a bit. Smells of coffee right off, layers of vanilla, milk chocolate, and roasted grain hidden in there as well. Taste is like a half and half milkshake. Lots of milk chocolate and vanilla mix up front followed by some coffee and a lingering roasted coffee and chocolate finish. Full bodied with a creamy mouthfeel and light carbonation. Great Porter, maybe a bit on the sweet side, but certainly very tasty. Call it a desert porter.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2009 03:13:33 | More by johnnnniee
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Rhettroactive

District of Columbia

4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

03-02-2013 19:26:28 | More by Rhettroactive
Photo of HuskyinPDX
HuskyinPDX

Washington

3.7/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber opened on 1-22-12.

A - Pours a dark brown with a dark tan head. Great retention with good lacing.

S - Nutty and lots or roasted malts.

T - Chocolate milk and roasted malts, lots of vanilla.

D - Good carbonation and medium body.

O - Bitter chocolate and lots of coffee and vanilla. Not quite what I was hoping for.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2012 04:28:57 | More by HuskyinPDX
Photo of Bitterbill
Bitterbill

Wyoming

4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of the generous trader known as russpowell. Thanks Russ!

This pours a near pitch black with about an inch of tan foam. The foam is receding fairly quickly and at this point there's some lacing.

The smell is very big vanilla! Vanilla and caramel malt sweetness. I can't say I smell any coffee at all...maybe that will change during the session.

The taste doesn't hide the coffee at all. Big flavourful notes of coffee and vanilla dominate and dominate in a very nice way. Very tasty. I get a light chocolate flavour as well with some caramel malt sweetness. Overall, the taste is ruled by bitterness but the malt and vanilla hang in there big time. Oh, there's the alcohol now, not so much in the taste but definitely gives a nice warming after the swallow.

It has a pretty thich chewy mouthfeel to it and the carbonation is on the light side but perfectly suited. At this point, the foam and lacing gone.

Drinkability? I'm not going to kid anyone and say I could drink this all night long but hell, it *is* damn drinkable for the strength of this monster and I think the collaberation between the vanilla and coffee works oh so well. A real treat to drink and one I'd look forward to trying again. Wonderful brew!

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2009 22:43:45 | More by Bitterbill
Photo of avalon07
avalon07

South Carolina

4.75/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Poured from a bottle to an imperial pint glass. Had a jet black color and a thick, opaque consistency. There was an inch of foamy, tan-colored, long-lasting head and excellent lacing. A great-looking beer.

S: Smelled of coffee, vanilla, roasted malt and a little hops. A big, bold, enticing aroma.

T: Tastes like it smells. roasted coffee, roasted malt, and vanilla and a slight hoppiness in the finish. Very flavorful and bold.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a dry finish. A full-bodied beer.

D: An excellent example of an American Porter. Exceedingly drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2010 13:28:35 | More by avalon07
Photo of LiquidAmber
LiquidAmber

Washington

4.31/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into an Elysian snifter. Pours pitch black with a thin medium brown head that dissipates to a thin film and thick ring around the glass with light lacing. Aroma dominated by roasted coffee and vanilla with a bit of alcohol, reminiscent of a coffee liqueur, light toasted malt. Flavor of espresso coffee, vanilla, toasted malt, light oak; finishes with charred, rich coffee and long lasting hop bitterness with a hint of chili pepper hotness. Medium bodied with some creaminess. A very nice, complex porter, rich enough to pass as a stout. Flavors a very complex and rather unusual for a porter, with the ambigous nature of the final pepperiness and bitterness especially interesting. A hyped beer that lives up to its reputation.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2013 03:39:24 | More by LiquidAmber
Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 3,562 ratings.