Vanilla Porter - Breckenridge Brewery

Not Rated.
Vanilla PorterVanilla Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.

3,716 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,716
Reviews: 1,075
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 15.34%
Wants: 114
Gots: 744 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Breckenridge Brewery visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  4.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Mebuzzard on 01-13-2006

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (53) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,716 | Reviews: 1,075
Reviews by viverlee:
Photo of viverlee
2.73/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

STYLE: American Porter

ABV: 4.7%

LOOK: I was justifiably worried when the short head dissolved to nothing within seconds. Runny, really, though the color is nice. Roasted coffee on top and lighter down the glass.

NOSE: Coffee, vanilla, malty, dark cherries.

MOUTH: Cloying vanilla, faint grapes and cherries, dry but subtle tobacco finish. There seems to be a hokey trend among larger “craft” breweries of adding flavors instead of developing them, and that’s a problem if you ask me. “Brewed with real vanilla beans” is supposed to be a selling point. Maybe it is in some circles. But to me this watery mouthful tastes like a flat vanilla soda begging for some body.

BA Rating: 80

Hayward Abbey Rating: 75

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Lindley Park Filling Station here in Greensboro.Poured into a standard pint a deep dar brown with some ruby hue to it,a thinner but well sustained off white head atop.Big sweet vanilla aromas mixed with some roasted notes,flavors are quite sweet up front with vanilla and molasses flavors, there is a decent drying woddy,earthy finish to keep it from being sweeter than it already is.Not bad but the sweetness up front can be a bit much though.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.29/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle drank at Freshcraft in Denver, CO.

Pours a semi-clear dark brown color with a 1/2 inch tan head that fades to an oily film. Thin rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malts and vanilla beans. Taste is of dark roasted malts, vanilla cola, and vanilla extract. This beer has good carbonation with a soda-like crisp and clean mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good porter with some unique vanilla flavors. I would definitely get this one again. My first beer from Breckenridge.

Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.02/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A: Dark Brown with a tan head. Shiny.

N: Vanilla extract, chocolate, toasted grain, fudge.

T: A light, average porter with some basic coffee and chocolate notes that’s had a ton of vanilla poured into it.

MF: Light, slightly sweet from the vanilla. Slightly syrupy.

D: Ok for one but wouldn’t want any more.

Photo of iiinterstate
4.06/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have to preface this with the admission that I don't usually do porters. Overall, if you are looking for a typical porter this brew might not be the best choice.

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. The head was very thin and disappeared almost immediately, liquid was nearly opaque. I expected more vanilla scent out of the bottle, but there wasn't much. The taste was very smooth with a fair amount of vanilla (not too sweet or overpowering) and a bit of a coffee edge. Its nice and roasty without any bitterness. This feels and tastes like a much lighter beer with quite a bit of carbonation. I wish it were a little creamier, but overall I like it a lot. Would purchase again.

Photo of StoutHearted
3.73/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The color is inky black, wit ha half-inch of foamy head. It smelt of licorice and molasses, which kind of anticipated a sickly-sweet taste. However, the vanilla comes in and saves it, adding in some sarsaparilla, and a hint of something else... anise? I dug the mouthfeel, which was creamy, like a scoop of ice cream was plopped in the glass. But this beer doesn't feel right for anything but sipping, and I'd recommend it for dessert.

Photo of ArrogantDeadGuy
4.15/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown pour with a strong beige head that fizzles quickly. The coffee and vanilla notes meet my nose immediately and the flavor is there as well. Strong coffee and vanilla sweetness and a smooth finish. Over all lack of aftertaste. The body is a little thin for the style in my humble opinion, but the carbonation is good. The flavors are so bold and clean, each sip is interesting. If the body was a bit more substantial it would be just that much better. I bought twelve and don't anticipate having any trouble finishing each one.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.77/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #57 (October 2011):

In an exceptionally drinkable flavored Porter, vanilla is an accessory that helps the Porter just be a Porter. Drinkable, as the dryness asks for another sip. Not your typical dessert beer, it’s actually quite versatile, as it would be good to put up against a spicy beef dish or used as a compliment to something similar.

LOOK: Charcoal

SMELL: Vanilla beans, carob powder, golden raisins, nougat, burnt toast

TASTE: Roasted grain, cream soda, breakfast-blend coffee, cocoa, semidry, vague fruit

Photo of danieldavies
3.33/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sadly, this beer is one of the better micro brewed porters I've had recently. The roasted malt character is full and rich with just a hint of vanilla and compared to the many watery-thin and diacetyl porters I've encountered so frequently it is good and drinkable.

However, I miss the thick black (not dark brown) porters that leave a lacing of head down the glass counting sips like the rings of a tree. I'm a cold weather dweller and these thin porters just don't do it. It's above average by comparison, but sub par on the grand scale.

Breckenridge to me is another brewery focusing predominately on the big IPA and Amber market and producing a generic porter.

Photo of smptenor
3.89/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

It is not a bad beer at all but it is not great either. It's got a great finish of vanilla which makes me really like drinking this beer. It is an easy drinking beer and goes down really well. Definitely a session beer, I could easily drink a few of these in one session. I could not get a lot of flavors out of the smell but could definitely smell a hint of vanilla. It's an average beer but I would drink it again for sure. I liked it more because It is a colder November night and it definitely feels like a fall/winter kind of beer.

Photo of Guden
3.38/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a very dark brown, near black, with chestnut highlights. The half inch cream head fades to a thin layer, leaving no lacing. This is a style that is a little more forgivable for a small head, but still not ideal.

S- Not a lot coming through. Hints of roasted malt and caramel sweetness but not a very strong aroma all around.

T- Up front: sweet malty sugar, then the bitter roasted flavors (like a weak coffee) hit the back of the tongue and sweet vanilla follows on the swallow. An enjoyable experience but nothing too impressive.

M- A bit thin for the style but a medium low carbonation that lets it feel a bit more filling and allows the flavors to coat the tongue well to get a series of sensations.

D- I could have a few more of these, probably not something I would buy again soon but not bad for what it is. A nice take on a vanilla porter, but not a great porter without the added novelty.

Photo of BuckeyeSlim
1.87/5  rDev -48.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

12 oz. bottle poured in a New Belgium snifter.

A - Virtually no head on the pour. What's there disappeared almost immediately. Very deep ruby red and pretty opaque.

S - The bottle after the pour smells distinctively of vanilla, but the nose of the glass presents hops. Getting the beer up on the sides of the glass releases vanilla along with some caramel. As the beer warms in the glass, the vanilla takes over the nose just as it does the taste.

T - There's the vanilla, almost like tasting straight extract - it's rather astringent. There's also a bit of roasted malts, a touch of 50% chocolate, and noticeable bittering hops. Finish is an unpleasant medicinal taste that needs a waterback to get rid of it.

M - Light carbonation. Rather thin structure. Finish plants itself in the back-middle of the tongue and stays.

D - There's nothing subtle or nuanced about the components of this beer - they compete with each other instead of blending and complimenting. Way too much cheap vanilla extract. Bakers know a little vanilla goes a long way and this beer proves how easy it is to abuse the flavor. It's a bowser, and a porter in name only.

Photo of merlin48
3.92/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle pours a dark chestnut body topped by a small tan head that quickly falls to a cap. Minimal spots of lace. Aroma is creamy chocolate and vanilla bean. Also, a hint of dark roasted malts and what seems to be oak. Mouthfeel is light medium with a low medium carbonation. Taste is creamy vanilla and chocolate. Very subdued roastiness with some lactic sourness and hazelnut. Unusual, but it works for me. More a brown ale than a porter, but nicely drinkable.

Photo of Billolick
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A new one to my area, 12 ounce bottle, w/o freshness/botleing date info

Pours darker brown with a dark ruby glow, when held to the light. Dark mocha head, cramy/frothy, staying , thicker collar and then well developed and thoroughly respectable fine lacing.

Vanilla (suprise) says the nostrils, with a hint of chocolate and caramel malting.

Smooth, velvety on the tongue and fairly sweet. Vanilla, clealry present but just short of overpowering. Milk chocolate, caramel, malt balls all picked up. Too sweet for sessionability, but not too sweet to enjoy this one again, perhaps with a piece of pie or chocolate dessert.

Photo of warriorsoul
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to mikeys01 for this one...
Dark brown in color...some mahogany highlights as light penetrates. Half a finger of off white head and disappears quickly...leaves behind some thin lacing.
Vanilla extract in the nose...some caramel and floral hops as well.
Taste is decent...just enough vanilla to complement the style and the perfect balance of hop bitterness to malty sweetness.
Mouthfeel is a tad thin, but quite easy to consume, as it finishes very clean with no sense of alcohol...making the drinkability very easy.
Not my favorite from the folks at Breckenridge, but very much what I anticipated.

Photo of nem2006
3.36/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Drank from a 12 oz bottle from a mixed Breckenridge Brewery mixed pack. Drank out of a pint glass.

Very dark, almost completely black. Carbonation clinging to the glass with a tan head.

There was not a very strong smell so I let it warm a little. Then I caught the vanilla against the coffee smell.

The taste was vanilla with coffee. Pretty smooth, There is a vanilla bite at the start, then a malty middle with a slight hop finish. Medium bodied and can feel the carbonation on the tongue.

Photo of tigg924
3.9/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: dark brown with medium head and medium carbonation

Smell: vanilla, extract, cream, and coffee

Taste: vanilla, cream, coffee, and malts

Mouthfeel: super sweet, borderline syrupy, medium heavy body

Drinkability: When I first had this, I had it on tap in Denver at the brewery. It was excellent and one of my favorite beers from the trip. In a bottle it tends to lose something. It is a bit sweeter. I could drink several at the brewery...from a bottle I think one is my limit.

Photo of kjh5040
4.54/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Cola black appearance when poured into a pint glass with a small amount of head. Smells of roasted malts and vanilla. Vanilla hits you immediately but mellows out after a second or two, also note malty and brown sugar flavors too. To me its the perfect amount of vanilla, more present than most other vanilla porters but not overpowering. Very drinkable and I'd definetly get it again.

Photo of Mora2000
3.83/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark brown color with a tan head. The aroma is roasted malt and chocolate with just a touch of vanilla. The flavor is much different. The vanilla stands out with some chocolate to balance things out. I also get a little bit of roasted malt but it plays second fiddle to the vanilla and chocolate. I also get a little bit of nuttyness in the flavor. The aftertaste is strong vanilla. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of jamesmk48
4.02/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Very light and drinkable porter. Definitely not my favorite, that being said its flavorful, sweet ( not too sweet), low ABV so something you could enjoy several off, and reasonably priced.

Photo of maki88
3.73/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5


12oz bottle poured into a tumbler. Enjoyed at home.

A: Rich dark brown with ruby shades. A light brown head that dissipated slowly, as well as solid lacing on the glass. Beautiful, dark porter coloration.

S: Very bold coffee and chocolate scents with nutty undertones. The big question: Where's the vanilla? Very faint and difficult to detect.

T: Medium body. Vanilla is more evident here, but still not significantly so. Nuttiness with a hint of coffee is the predominant taste combination. It's a slightly sweet, malty start, with a somewhat bitter finish. The balance is interesting, but again, for a "vanilla porter," the vanilla is lacking.

M: Smooth overall. Good carbonation brings out the different flavors. I'd say that this porter tends on the lighter side of a medium body.

O: A good porter! Vanilla flavor is underwhelming, to the point where I'd suggest a change in the name of this brew. Nevertheless, it was delicious -- I'd rather have a delicious beer with a slightly off-the-mark name than one with a great name and a disappointing flavor. I'd have this beer again in a heartbeat.

Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.41/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Single bottle from Premier Gourmet in Buffalo, my second brew from Breckenridge after their Oatmeal Stout.

Poured into a nonic. Dark chestnut in colour, light brown in places when held to the light. About a half inch of cream-coloured head that recedes into a thick ring. Some pretty nice lacing here.

Nose is certainly vanilla, but it smells just slightly more pronounced than usual. It's unmistakably vanilla, but it wasn't overdone, which is a huge plus. Sweet malt, caramel, a touch of dry roasted grain.

I think this one was a decent effort, and the vanilla tastes just fine - it's not as if a shot of vanilla extract was dumped in my glass of dark ale. However, that is about all I can say about the Vanilla Porter. Is it tasty? Absolutely, and I'm sure it would be quite a popular brew, especially around dessert time. But other than vanilla, there isn't much here. Quite one-dimensional, only the faintest dry roasted grain lingering in the back.

Carbonation is a bit high, but the brew is smooth and slightly creamy.

I give the edge to the Oatmeal Stout between the two Breckenridges, though I wouldn't be disappointed with this one in the fridge.

Photo of mattster
3.55/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured 12 Fluid Ounce bottle into Nonic glass. Bottle date not marked.

Poured a nice had of 1" that reduced to light lace across top of mostly opaque dark, dark brown brew. I would be more convinced of real vanilla bean if there were bits in the glass, but that is not always possible - I guess.

Smells of - guess what - VANILLA, no other notable smells - but it is pleasant - not too sweet of a vanilla smell. Taste of vanilla is very dominant, but there is also a slight hint of coffee. Bubbles are a little more than they should be (in my humble opinion). Except for bubbles, very smooth aftertaste. Is a drinkable brew, nothing outstanding though (I would drink another if I had it).

Photo of 1Adam12
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark, yet see through, brown. Reminds me of a coke. Smells of sweet vanilla, a tad bit of coffee, and a bit of malt. Tasting however, i swear I catch a hint of cherry to go along with the vanilla dominated porter. The coffee is present, but very light. There is a slight malt flavor as well. I can catch some hops right on the tail end of the swallow. Starts out creamy, but that is soon dominated by carbonation. Very light mouthfeel. Lighter than I like, but drinkable. This is my first "vanilla" brew, and I enjoyed it. If anything, this makes me want to get some of the "better" vanilla brews. Over all I would drink this again, probably as a session beer.

Photo of djmitche
2.88/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: not much carbonation, and redder that I expect from a porter

Smell: Vanilla - not like the bean, but like sniffing a bottle of extract. I can't smell anything else.

Taste: Vanilla, bitter chocolate. No hops in evidence.

Drinkability: for all that, the beer manages not to be cloying. I had it with tacos, and found that it paired quite well with the guacamole. I probably wouldn't look for this beer, but I finished it...

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Vanilla Porter from Breckenridge Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 3,716 ratings.