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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

3,300 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3300
Reviews: 902
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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,300 | Reviews: 902 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of sentomaster
sentomaster

Connecticut

4.08/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Smith's 2-10-11

A- Dark black body with a thick two finger mocha brown head. Leaves nice legs.

S- Not a huge nose but very nice notes rising up. A bit of light coffee, roasted malts, a little sweet vanilla and dark fruit.

T- Wow. Lots of good stuff going on here. Starts out with dark bittersweet chocolate note, roasted/toasted grains, coagulated sticky molasses, a bit of smoke and understated coffee grounds on the sides. A bit of dark cherries and vanilla ride underneath. Earthy, resiny hops punch through just a bit along with a touch of alcohol spiciness. Finishes back where it started but with a lingering smooth espresso flavor.

M D- Nice creamy, velvety coating with minimal but lively carbonation. Yummy indeed. After my first I had to order another.

Serving type: on-tap

02-11-2011 16:43:06 | More by sentomaster
Photo of angelogarcia3
angelogarcia3

New York

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

This beer poured out syruppy with a slight head. Very dark color almost midnight in darkness. Strong vanilla creme aroma. Almost smells like I'm getting ready to drink a cream soda. However, once you take a sip of this beer you know immediately that you're not drinking a cream soda. A strong chocolate flavor with hints of vanilla and coffee. An excellent beer that I could drink over and over again.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2011 02:06:25 | More by angelogarcia3
Photo of kfsv034
kfsv034

Florida

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

shared with Drink1121

A - poured in a duvel tulip, color is dark dark purple with a reddish purple boarder when held up to the light. A slight mocha colored head.

S - vanilla coffee

T - multiple flavors going on, vanilla, coffee, chocolate, carmel and bourbon or whiskey flavor at the end. It taste like a beer milk shake, Kinda boozy when it warms up.

M - like the texture or milk

D - Kinda boozy but i could drink a few cause it tastes so good

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2010 03:02:14 | More by kfsv034
Photo of sjones5045
sjones5045

New Jersey

4.46/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Pour black with a frothy light brown head. The smell smacks you with a ton of vanilla and a burnt coffe smell. The taste is pretty much the same as the smell. Very nice notes of vanilla and coffee throughout the taste. Pretty smooth with maybe a bit high cardonation and even more importantly there is that burnt coffee taste that tends to burn out the tongue. Overall, it is a great beer with some minor flaws that is always worth having on hand.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2013 02:25:47 | More by sjones5045
Photo of malloyca
malloyca

District of Columbia

4.25/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Opaque brown appearance with a reddish-to-coffee tint around the edge. Nice lacing. Coffee and vanilla aromas leap out of the glass. This initially smells like something to pour over vanilla ice cream; there is no residual aroma of malt, just the coffee and vanilla. Mouth feel is exceptional because it combines a nice viscosity with some carbonation and a finishing bite. This is not a flabby vanilla porter. The flavors are initially of vanilla, but that sweetness is balanced by bitter coffee and roasted malt. The 10 % abv is well concealed.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2013 21:25:10 | More by malloyca
Photo of SanDiegoBeerLove
SanDiegoBeerLove

California

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

A - Very Dark(lika a stout), half finger light tan head.

S - Coffee, Vanilla sweetness, Bourbon and Chocolate. Very even smells.

T - Tastes very close to the smell only stronger. Tastes of Coffee, chocolate, and vanilla with some smoky bitterness. Very light on sweetness(unexpected) and the alcohol. A slight metal taste in the finish also quite high in tannins.

M - Heavy in the mouthfeel with light carbonation.

D - Very drinkable but the 10% could hurt the good time.

Very much a stout in most characteristics.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2009 05:33:04 | More by SanDiegoBeerLove
Photo of natemort13
natemort13

California

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

A heavy pour into my sculpin pint glass yields a slightly frothy mocha colored head that fades into a solid ring with a pocked uneven cap. The beer is viscous, nearly opaque with just the slightest highlights of ruby. The nose is smooth coffee with sweet vanilla tones. I also get milk chocolate and cocoa with the slightest hint of tobacco. The first taste brings a somewhat more abrasive coffee taste than the nose suggested that soon is mellowed out by chocolate milk and a finish with hints of cherry. The vanilla bean totally smooths the coffee out. The mouthfeel is carbonated chocolate milk, super smooth and just slightly oily.

Overall this is a massive coffee porter that somehow holds onto enough balance. The coffee is huge but palatable and not cloying at all. There is not any lingering old coffee finish like a lot of coffee porters/stouts. A real treat, great dessert/breakfast stout. Glad I have another bottle.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2012 02:53:40 | More by natemort13
Photo of Raven3464
Raven3464

Japan

4.69/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: It pours a black body with foamy caramel head, about two fingers. Lacing and retention are both great.

Smell: Freshly brewed coffee permeates the air as soon as the beer is poured. There is a sweet malt aroma with some vanilla undertones as well.

Taste: Wow! The first sip is pure coffee. This transitions into hints of vanilla, smokey malts, and crackers. There is just enough bitterness at the end to let you know there are some hops mixed in. A bitter coffee punch blended with malts lingers in the aftertaste with a slight burn from the alcohol.

Mouth feel: Thick and buttery, just like a good porter should be. There is little carbonation and it goes down quite smooth for a beer with an ABV of 10%.

Overall: The balance of this brew is amazing. Other than maybe the initial coffee notes, nothing is ever overpowering. Hop bitterness, smokey malts, and vanilla all come to together to invite sip after delicious sip.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2013 12:40:22 | More by Raven3464
Photo of evanforbeer
evanforbeer

California

4.65/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bomber.

Smell: wow. Vanilla, oily coffee bean, caramel,

Taste: wow. Follows with lots of rich fresh coffee bean and vanilla bean. A little caramel and some earthy/citrusy hops. Cocoa, a touch of cola, and finishes with some coffee and hop bitterness. Almost a subdued peach note from the hops under the layering of robust roasty coffee flavors. A real nice hop bite throughout underneath the fantastic coffee/vanilla.

Mouthfeel: thick, lightly syrupy with some carbonation and bite, very nice. A nice sipper but not a meal. Lighter than an imperial stout.

Overall: this is a phenomenal beer. Gotta have it.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2013 02:37:44 | More by evanforbeer
Photo of titty_mcbitty
titty_mcbitty

Texas

4.68/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: black as oil with a super thin dark tan head. Looks sexy.

S: man oh man this smells delicious. Vanilla and chocolate first off. Also some caramel. Roasted malts as well.

T: so good... vanilla soaked chocolate, espresso and cream, toast, bread crust, burnt caramel, toffee, cooked cherries, and deep roasted malts. It's got a bitter kick in the end.
M: thick. Creamy and delicious. It has a hint of booze though on the back end.

O: very very good brew by Ballast Point. Love the flavors of this. The only thing that is disappointing, but not even a big deal, is that boozy kick in the back end. This beer is awesome and worth the money. (EDIT: just had it on tap, and it blew my mind even further- more of a burnt marshmallow taste and a lot more cinnamon and nutmeg mixed in with that wonderful vanilla. Simply amazing. Also, none of that booziness mentioned above.)

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2014 03:32:26 | More by titty_mcbitty
Photo of CosmoHopHead
CosmoHopHead

Kansas

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

A: poured black as night with almost no head at all.

S: smells wonderful. like yummy vanilla coffee from your favorite coffee shop. BIG aroma!

T: tastes like smells actually. Coffee comes through a little more when drinking but you can still sense the vanilla.

M: silky smooth and velvety. A little heavy with good carbonation.

D: A sipper but drinkable for 10% abv. As it warms up in the glass it tasted even better. Would love to get another bottle for the winter time.

Would definitely buy again and very much recommend.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2009 22:54:39 | More by CosmoHopHead
Photo of prg1976
prg1976

Pennsylvania

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

Pours black as night with a small amount of brownish head. Some head retention, slight lacing.

Smells lots of vanilla, a little alcohol, only slight coffee smell.

Taste is a lot of coffee, slight vanilla, some alcohol in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is good, not much carbonation. Very smooth.

Very drinkable, the alcohol is sneaky. About halfway through you realize that it's 10%.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2010 23:15:59 | More by prg1976
Photo of jgagne
jgagne

Kentucky

4.48/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- very dark, almost opaque body with a huge chocalate milk looking head.

S-huge chocalate and vanilla notes come woffing off this beer. With mild roasty coffee notes.

T-wow, this beer has a wonderful blend of coffee, dark chocalate and vanilla. The chocalate hits you at first then the vanilla really smoothes out the beer. And you end with nice roasty finish.

M-nice heavy body with low carbonation. Sits almost like an imperial stout.

O-what a truly wonderful beer. Great balance and flavor. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2012 03:00:15 | More by jgagne
Photo of warrenout330
warrenout330

Ohio

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

22 oz bottle pour, 28oz snifter in hand

A- pours a deep black brown color.... black once all the beer is poured .. 2 finger thick khaki colored head... minimal lacing... minimal retention

S- whiffs of deep bold roasted coffee grounds.... bold hits of bakers chocolate .... sweet vanilla... coffee lingering throughout the smell

T- more pronounced than the smell.... deep complex flavor of coffee and chocolate... sweetness from the vanilla and chocolate .... roasty flavors

M- smooth and creamy... oily aspect on the mouth... bittness on the tongue .... no evidence of the 10% alcohol ...

O- big and bold complex flavors give this Porter depth ... this Porter leads in the pack of flavor and uniqueness on the craft movement ... now I see why this is so sought after and respected .... this is special .... savor every sip

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2013 01:06:43 | More by warrenout330
Photo of uturn
uturn

Florida

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

22 oz capped bomber poured into a Petrus glass.

A: Beer poured a very dark brown to black with a nice 1 finger fluffy dark tan head.

S: The nose is just about all iced coffee and a damn good iced coffee, with hints of vanilla and maybe some cocoa.

T: The taste is coffee and chocolate (mocha), I didn't get much of the vanilla, it was there, but only mildly for me and some roasted malts. Not to sweet, not to bitter, just right.

M: The mouthfeel was big and very smooth.

D: The 10% was very well hidden. This is one heck of an amazing porter.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2010 03:16:58 | More by uturn
Photo of PatrickSwayze
PatrickSwayze

California

4.13/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass. Obviously deep black in color with a thin lightly dark head that creeps its way to the edges leaving a decent trail on the glass as you drink.

S: I love the smell of this beer even though i don't even care for coffee. The rich chocolate malts are complemented so well by the coffee.

T:  A pretty rich beer that at times can come off a little sweet. The coffee, chocolate, and slight roast are presented exquisitely in this brew. Depending in how fresh you obtain this beast, you could get a good amount of heat from it.

M: A sweet offering that offers plenty of body and moderate to low carbonation.

O: I really enjoyed this beer though i could only take down no more then one bomber to myself. Even that is pushing it. Great but wish it was a tad bit mor dry.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2012 07:09:04 | More by PatrickSwayze
Photo of Bajasith
Bajasith

California

4.38/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pilsner glass to get the full effect of a dark porter.

A: So dark almost black with no sign of color around the edges of glass... thick
S: You could definitnetly smell the roadted malts, coffee and a hint of vanilla... Alcohol blends them well.
T: Very creamy as the roasted coffee hits the palate with a slight sweet caramel undertone to erase the bitterness.
M: Medium to heavy, with a creamy and smooth texture. Low carbonation adds to the creamyness. Drinkability is dangerous. This doesn't taste 10% at all, and I will easily finish this bomber myself.
D: Very drinkable as none of the robust flavors tire the palate, but the 10* ABV can creep up on you...

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2010 02:42:52 | More by Bajasith
Photo of bohemiandonut
bohemiandonut

California

4.88/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is exactly how I like my porters. Rich and creamy, with no confusion for a chocolate soda. Strong bourbon backbone accentuates a dark semisweet chocolate nose and flavor. This is like drinking liquefied rum-soaked cacao bean.

The espresso jolt and texture carry the vanilla and booze nicely, but most impressive are again the notes of premium dark chocolate: Rain forest unripe berry with a back-of-the-throat sweetness. A warming sipper, I can't wait for more.
_
On cask into tulip.

Serving type: cask

07-21-2010 01:17:48 | More by bohemiandonut
Photo of mindspin315
mindspin315

New Jersey

4.72/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Massive milk chocolate colored head, black body with brown hues on the sides/bottom, and thick lacing all over the glass. Long head retention. Swirling the glass produces huge amount of head as well.

Right away a huge dose of roasted coffee and espresso beans. Followed by vanilla bean, milk chocolate, chocolate milk, and faint caramel aromas. Everything here is so big and in your face. Absolutely fantastic!

Sweet chocolate, lots of vanilla, and dry roasted coffee. Hops play a big part in the mouthfeel. I didn't pick up much of them in the aroma, but they add bitterness right at the middle which carries through into the aftertaste. Mild carbonation and smooth creamy like velvet mouthfeel. The vanilla bean flavor is very strong and makes for a great smooth flavor that hits the tastebuds and the roof of the mouth. Drinks a lot like an irish dry stout on the back end. Roasted notes come out in the aftertaste. The dry aspect goes across the tongue.

One damn good beer! (thanks Amstel Light commercial) A bit more chocolate flavor that was given off in the aroma would've been highly welcomed. The hops are pretty strong not in flavor but in feel and they slightly mask some of the flavors here. Victory at Sea is an incredible beer. Doesn't drink at all like an imperial beer...goes down way to easily.

[96/100]

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2012 08:16:38 | More by mindspin315
Photo of drink1121
drink1121

California

4.8/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shared bottle with kfvs034.
A-Pours black with a light brown small head. The little head quickly fades but never completely.

S-Big vanilla up front then I get coffee with some caramel in the middle and light bourbon at the end.

T- Different than the smell. Coffee at first, then some roasted malts . Bourbon and vanilla come to towards the end.

M- Smooth as ever. Some hop bitterness on the tongue. I can feel the hops, but cant really smell or taste them.

D- Wow. 10% thats crazy drinkable for that. I would have never known. I bought 4 of these in Illinois and am glad I did.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2010 02:54:34 | More by drink1121
Photo of itsscience
itsscience

Florida

4.11/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nearly black with a finger and a half of tan head that retains well. The nose is ground coffee, vanilla, roasted malt, dark cherries, and booze. Tasting it, I'm hit with chocolate with a generous addition of vanilla, then I get roasted coffee beans that add bitterness. This is diminished somewhat by a sweet malt characteristic and a taste of caramel on the finish. Medium mouthfeel. It's slow going because the whole thing is quite heavy and the alcohol is evident. A big, flavorful porter.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2014 01:48:05 | More by itsscience
Photo of teamizm
teamizm

California

3.78/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark brown with minimal head that quickly recedes.

S - Roasted coffee, burnt chocolate, rummy, and a shitload of vanilla

T - Vanilla, coffee, chocolate, roasted malts.

M - More thinner and carbonated than i expected.

O - Great porter. I say great PR/marketing by the Ballast Point team not to call this a RIS because as a RIS this beer would be just ok. Don't you love the BJCP categories??

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2011 08:12:23 | More by teamizm
Photo of abeeronthebeach
abeeronthebeach

Washington

4.8/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Ballast Point – Victory At Sea: Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter, from the bottle. Enjoy by: 12/10/13, drank: 01/17/14.

A – Charcoal-brown body with an evenly distributed and smooth head. You could shine a laser through this thing and it wouldn’t come out the other side.

S – Strong. Picking up a bracing hit of roasted malts. Milky coffee with a sweetness to it which you realise is the vanilla once you taste it. Much more pronounced than on Harviestoun’s Old Engine Oil which is the last porter I tasted (and which incidentally I loved.) Reassured me that my nose still functions. Three quarters of the way through this beer the nose continues to improve, to the point where it may be my favourite thing about this beer, excepting the first sip. This demands particular attention for, as a rule, most beer loses fragrance as it sits, whereas here it continues to emanate.

T- This just tastes absolutely phenomenal. I mean seriously, seriously good. The way the vanilla mellows out all the roasty-toasty flavours is literally something I’ve never tasted before. And it is so, so good. Few things are more annoying than using sounds and adjectives - so I’ve edited my original entries - but I was quite literally left wondering aloud as this washed over my tongue for the first time. Particularly as having read the reviews, it seemed I ought to be in for something a little bit special. Perhaps tellingly, prolific reviewer UCLABrewN84 reviews this in his top 20 beers out of 5052 beers. That first sip has left me reeling as is reflected in my scattered entry. This is the dog’s bollocks.

M – Nice and creamy. If the mouthfeel here is whole milk, personally I’d love to see this as jersey milk; nevertheless it’s silky as a silk spider. Excellent.

O – Still have almost all the most highly-rated dark, potent and mythic-status beers ahead of me (Abyss, Marshall Zhukov, Dark Lord, Abraxas, BCBCS, Parabola, Darkness, Founder’s, etc.) but this offering only intensifies the excitement tenfold. As I sample more of the finest offerings perhaps this will downgrade but you can only go off what you know. The nose is so wonderfully balanced. The taste follows suit. I’d have sworn this was at 8%; that it’s actually one of the booziest beers I have ever had (at 10%) takes me clean by surprise. Want to give it more than a 4.75 and less than a 5 for flavour but my second sampling leaves me seeking a sweeter finish. Can conceive a creamier and more intensely flavoured beer but this is still glorious. I want that second bottle.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2014 06:53:58 | More by abeeronthebeach
Photo of TaySuth
TaySuth

California

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

Appearance: Dark, chocolate brown in color with a creamy, dark tan head that dissipates down to a solid ring.

Smell: Very inviting. Dark malt aroma with strong coffee smell and a good dose of vanilla in the background.

Taste: Lots of complexity and well-balanced. Sweet yet not cloying. Coffee, vanilla, dark malt character. Hops give just the right amount of bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Just the right amount of body for a porter. Far from light but not too heavy. Very good amount of carbonation.

Overall: I am not a huge drinker of dark beers and tend to stick with IPAs and DIPAs but this is by far the best and most complex porter I have ever had. Very impressive offering from Ballast Point.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2012 05:30:15 | More by TaySuth
Photo of fountainofyouth
fountainofyouth

District of Columbia

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

Poured from a rocket into a Duck-Rabbit Milk Stout tulip glass (20 oz.)

Appearance: Dang, this thing pours a HUGE thick, sticky head -- like four fingers after two minutes of waiting. The head is light brown and the body is solid brown-black. Held directly up to light it is totally opaque. Pretty intimidating.

Smell: The aroma is fairly complex. I get sweet mild-dark malt, spicy hops, and something a little metallic. It could use a little bit of smoke or roast to round it out. No real hints of coffee or vanilla.

Taste: Not quite what I expected -- or at least not the sequence I thought it would be. I was afraid it would be too hoppy off the bat and mask the malt. The hops are subdued, however, letting the malt sweetness start. Not much coffee, but I get some vanilla. The finish has a little bit of the roasty stout taste I love in my beer. Also a little bit of milk chocolate toward the end.

Mouthfeel: The feel is sugary up front with a light but prickly carb. The finish is very dry given how it starts -- almost acrid at points. Fairly heavy.

Overall: I wouldn't get it regularly, but I'd buy it again. If you like the genre, try it out.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2013 03:29:55 | More by fountainofyouth
Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 3,300 ratings.