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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

3,872 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,872
Reviews: 929
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 728
Gots: 737 | 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
Ratings: 3,872 | Reviews: 929 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of SFC21
4/5  rDev -8.9%

SFC21, Feb 25, 2012
Photo of starrdogg
4.3/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beer pours a thick black with a thin tan head - looks kinda imposingly dark. Smell is all roast and coffee, smells like it's going to be heavy on the roast. Fortunately the taste isn't nearly as roast-heavy as the smell would indicate. There's certainly a good amount of roast and coffee here, but it's balanced out nicely by a little bit of sweetness and vanilla. It manages to keep from being too sweet or too roasty - honestly the flavor is more of a 4.25 than a 4.5, but I'm balancing it out by giving it a 4 overall. Mouthfeel is full-bodied, but with nice carbonation. Overall, this is a really tasty beer that I'm excited to have access to regularly now that Ballast Point is distributing to DC. It's extremely drinkable despite the higher ABV.

starrdogg, Dec 04, 2012
Photo of Tilley4
5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to the crew over at Bruisin Ales in Asheville for the chance to try this brew! Gotta pimp their store since it's so awesome...

Poured into a Yazoo Hop Project tulip pint glass..

Pours a magnificent jet black with a thick 1 inch head that stays virtually the entire time I'm enjoying this one... I mean, this one is ridiculously black.. It's RIS black to say the least... Probably the best looking porter I've ever laid eyes on...

Wow, 2 for 2 so far on this one.. A ridiculously tasty aroma of dark bitter chocolate, dark roasted coffee and loads of roasted malts.. There's almost a smokiness here that really makes this one a joy to just stop and smell over and over...

Well, I'm probably enjoying the best porter that I've ever had the privilege to have.. Edmund Fitzgerald from Great Lakes used to be the best I've ever had but this one has just surpassed it.. It's undescribably delicious with its loads of rich dark roasted malts, crushed up roasted dark coffee beans, subtle hints of vanilla, and bitter dark chocolate influences... I almost got emotional while drinking this one... I'm not sure I could ask for much more out of an American Porter than this one offers... At 10%, this one could hammer you quickly but I can't detect a single tinge of booze out of this one.. It's masterfully crafted....The thick creaminess of this one makes it a real pleasure to enjoy as well.. It's thick and rich but not in a cloying way at all... World class in my opinion..

My ratings say it all.. Obviously, others didn't like this one as much as I have, but I really don't care about that... At this point in time, at this moment, this was the perfect beer to me.. I couldn't ask for anything more out of a beer than what this one provided... I will definitely be getting this one again and again... It's terrific..

Tilley4, Feb 28, 2010
Photo of thebouch01
5/5  rDev +13.9%

thebouch01, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of fossage78
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%

fossage78, Sep 29, 2014
Photo of SLeffler27
4.43/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Light chestnut in color with a rocky head that reaches one-quarter inch before dissipating to form rings of lace in a Dogfish Head snifter. SRM 31-34 with dark brown highlights and a viscous film.

Strong, sweet espresso with vanilla is no surprise here. Deep roasted malt with pumpernickel and Jewish rye is also present. Warming accentuates the vanilla and adds a light baker’s chocolate note. Some wood ash is also discernible. The aroma from this glass fills the room.

Luscious with a mix of sweet and bitterness. Espresso bitterness wins hands down while smoked peat and burnt molasses are also present. Very dark chocolate lingers throughout middle to finish.

The body is fuller than expected of a Porter, with silky smoothness and alcohol as anticipated.

This beer fits squarely within the expectations one would have for a sipping or contemplative beer.

SLeffler27, Mar 16, 2014
Photo of Mikecap
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

Mikecap, Jun 15, 2014
Photo of vinny21bal
4.84/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Best Porter around. I have not had any of the variants but this one is amazing. Chocolate, vanilla, and not bland like a lot of the other porters can be. It is like the Breckenridge Vanilla Porter with a lot more flavor and balls. I am very excited to see it in Illinois and can't wait to drink my case of it. Mouth feel is very rich as well but not to big like a bourbon county wear you can only have a little.

vinny21bal, May 09, 2013
Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.38/5  rDev -23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Pours near black. Hints of dark rich browns at the edge. Head is dark khaki and starts off big and rocky. Drops to a smaller cap and clumpy collar. Some small notches of lacing. Moderate carbonation on the pour.

Smell: Loaded with fresh vanilla bean and straight up roasted coffee bean. A slight twinge of coffee acidity as well. Nicely roasted with a touch of burnt malt. Nicely caramelized with a measured sweetness. A touch of herbal hops with a ton of cocoa. Bitter baker's chocolate with some milder dark chocolate thrown in the mix. A touch of brownie as well. Vanilla adds a touch of sweetness as well.

Taste: Holy vanilla batman. Slightly bitter over extracted vanilla bean. Roasted coffee beans lend a bit of an acrid edge as well. Deeply roasted with some charred and burnt edges. Some cooked and caramelized malts, but it's more and more burnt with each sip. Sweet. Milk chocolate, bitter cocoa, straight nibs and then some overextracted clespresso. Very chocolatey. Did I mention chocolate and coffee and vanilla because seriously. It's borderline candy.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy up front. Finishes clean with a medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: Edward Kenway sank this ship.

Sweet and burnt. It hits on all the promised flavors, but it's just not all there. So very heavy on the vanilla and chocolate. A dessert beer yes.

Goblinmunkey7, Feb 18, 2014
Photo of CEDAMA
5/5  rDev +13.9%

CEDAMA, Oct 01, 2012
Photo of TexIndy
5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had a buddy ship me this direct from the brewery on release day - many thanks Milt! Poured from a 650ml bomber into a pint glass. Awesome artwork on the label. Dec 2009 release date. It was pitch black in color even against the light. It had a good sized tan head that settled into a thin wispy cap with good collar. Much lacing. For a porter it's as good as it gets on appearance.

The aroma is exceptional. Roasted and chocolate malts with lots of great smelling coffee (several recent coffee beers had a weak coffee base but this one nails it). A touch of vanilla in the back. A constant sniffer. The taste was also perfect. Rich, chocolaty base with coffee and vanilla highlights. Finishes with a slight bitterness smoothed out by the vanilla. Amazing flavor. Mouthfeel is rich and creamy with good carb and good aftertaste.

Overall, this is perfection for a porter and a coffee beer. 5's all around and wishing I had gotten more than one. Time to re-order. I could drink this anytime and anywhere. Highest recommendation and definitely worthy of the hype. Rotation: not avail here in TX so had shipped by Milt. Will get more immediately!

TexIndy, Jan 07, 2010
Photo of Belittle
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Belittle, Jan 10, 2014
Photo of robwestcott
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

robwestcott, Jan 28, 2014
Photo of Lucnifter
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

Lucnifter, Jul 07, 2013
Photo of Drucifer
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%

Drucifer, May 09, 2013
Photo of derkfromwi
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

derkfromwi, Nov 20, 2012
Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.03/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Victory At Sea, finally got to buy a bottle at, huh, don't remember? Either Wegman's in Princeton or Oak Tree in South Plainfield, both in New Jersey.

Appearance: Served in my Sierra snifter, Victory At Sea pours thick and creamy, producing an exuberant mocha-colored head that dies soon. Bubbles, a rim around the glass and some of the grandest lacing I've ever seen remain throughout, though.

Smell: Coffee, some bourbon and/or barreled liquor. Lots of vanilla, but sort of a fake vanilla scent, like liquid Mexican vanilla. Not bad but could be better (like Goose Island Bourbon Vanilla- pure vanilla pods). Some wood too.

Taste: More vanilla, again sort of fake but pleasant anyway. Gourmet coffee at the end, and liquid sugar. Some wood and smoke. Nice, but not terribly complex. And that "fake" vanilla buggers me a bit. Nice dry hoppiness at the end.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy overall. VERY smooth indeed. Medium-to-full body, full flavor, medium (and very appropriate) carbonation. Dry woodsy finish. Elements of bourbon.

Overall: For a porter, this is superb. If it were an Imperial Stout (which, at 10%, it kind of should), then it might not be so great. Drinkable, smooth, balanced, never boozy. Not terribly interesting but very pleasant. The fake vanilla aroma/taste bothers me a little, but it doesn't hurt this overall good brew. Would love to try on tap and/or cask.

DoubleSimcoe, Apr 27, 2011
Photo of MastaShonuf
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

MastaShonuf, Aug 23, 2013
Photo of Zimm
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Zimm, May 10, 2013
Photo of Blakaeris
4.47/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a thick, creamy tan head that hangs around awhile.

Aroma is smokey with burnt malt and dark grain. Big and roasty, plenty of espresso and rich chocolate. Only upon inspection does the vanilla aspect become readily apparent along with an underlying creamy sweetness.

Taste is rich and full of roasted notes as the nose suggested. Initially dominated by chocolate and dark fruit. Then the smokey dark grain and hearty coffee bitterness takes over. Dry oak woodiness. The finish brings out vanilla and milk sugar sweetness. Alcohol has a bourbon character, and lingers throughout.

Mouthfeel is full and creamy, with a slight syrupy slickness that coats the tongue.

Without a doubt this is the best vanilla porter I have had to date. The vanilla is present, but is secondary to the rich smokey flavor of an intense porter. Big, but balanced sweetness and coffee bitterness. Alcohol comes on a little hot and boozy, but for me that adds to character. This is one to try.

Blakaeris, Apr 12, 2009
Photo of FtownThrowDown
4.15/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Wow. This is everything that I wanted the Southern Tier Creme Brulee to be. Pours very dark brown in color with a nice half inch of tan head. Smell is wonderful. Perfect amount of vanilla, working with the roasted coffee notes. Smells decadent. Taste follows up with the nose. Perfectly balanced vanilla and roasted coffee beans. A wonderful porter underneath supporting these flavors. I would like the mouthfeel a tad thicker, but I'm not going to complain about this one at all. Don't think I could drink an entire bomber of this, but it's damn tasty. Very good beer.

FtownThrowDown, Apr 10, 2009
Photo of FrankHammer
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

FrankHammer, Jul 24, 2014
Photo of dgherm
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

dgherm, Nov 27, 2013
Photo of Treebs
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into my Founders snifter. Split the bottle with my old man during the Homerun Derby.

A: Pours a very dark brown, almost black with a wonderful bubble dark brown head. Leaves some wonderful sheet lace behind with some bubbles trying to to keep the head afloat.

S: Big dark coffee beans. Roasted to the point where it's almost slighty burnt and bitter, but in a good way. Some slight dark chocolate notes are present as well.

T: Big coffee right up front. That same REALLY toasted flavor is even more present, but after the initial assault on the taste buds it makes way for some light sweet chocolate and vanilla. I'm also picking up a burnt sugar/caramel flavoring as well.

M: Medium to heavy bodied, almost chewy in nature. Leaves a great roasted coffee bean flavor with a mild sweetness on the tongue. Leaves an oily feeling on the palate which is highly enjoyable as it allows the taste to linger LONG after I've swallowed this black gold.

O: I'm becoming more and more a fan of brews with heavy coffee flavorings and this might be one of favorites. It's not as balanced as others I've had, but it's still a wonderfully crafted brew and I would LOVE to try this on draft.

Treebs, Jul 12, 2011
Photo of Tiernan
4/5  rDev -8.9%

Tiernan, Aug 19, 2013
Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 3,872 ratings.