Vanilla Porter - Breckenridge Brewery

Not Rated.
Vanilla PorterVanilla Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.

3,720 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,720
Reviews: 1,076
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 15.34%
Wants: 114
Gots: 746 | 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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,720 | Reviews: 1,076
Photo of khiasmus
2.13/5  rDev -41.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

The brown clarity of imitation vanilla makes its way into the glass. A pour from a good height somehow only yields the slightest amount of soap-bubble head. looks a bit thin, though clarity is good.
Then the memories of a childhood drug come flooding back.. I can't remember what it was, but one of those medicines I had to swallow... and images of my sister baking cookies with imitation vanilla extract... must have been almond cookies, I can smell the almonds... and the smoky mountain sweetener that my mom used to put in her coffee... the vanilla candles that I loved so much until I sniffed them so long I got a migraine as an 8-year-old... funny how aromas can conjure such vivid memories, more than any other sense.
The flavor and mouthfeel follow the profile and get worse... the overwhelming sweetness of the vanilla, but thin... is this imitation vanilla extract, simply carbonated and chilled? It has the body for this possibility, and only the faintest grain notes show it to be anything else.
I don't suppose I'll have this again. The sickly sweetness, almond notes, and cloying finish are bringing back that childhood migraine... I've had good vanilla beers, I love the flavor vanilla... but this just tastes cheap, imitative. Disappointing.

Photo of KarlHungus
2.15/5  rDev -41.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This beer pours a dark brown color. The head is a quarter inch in height, and recedes quickly into no lacing whatsoever. The aroma is of roasted malt and vanilla extract. The taste is similar. The vanilla flavor is very artificial, but there is just enough malt to keep in from tasting like I'm drinking a bottle of vanilla extract. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with almost no carbonation. Overall, this is a bad beer that I will be avoiding in the future.

Photo of udubdawg
2.16/5  rDev -40.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

arrives dark brown, with a little reddish color at the edges. Head is fizzy like that of a cola and quickly redeces.
I appreciate good vanilla, but if this was good vanilla it was ruined in the process. Very extract-y. Artificial almost. A light toasted malt aroma underneath - where's the roasted malt? Smells waaay too sweet. Let's give it a try...
Nope, not for me. Sweet, definitely qualifies as cloying. Rampant vnailla, light roasty and toasty malt flavors. Just a little bit drying. I keep thinking of creme soda although it isn't quite THAT sticky.
Thin (although as much as I dislike the flavor, I suppose it could be worse if it wasn't so thin!) too spiritzy, again reminiscent of a soft drink. I'll have great deal of trouble finishing this one, and won't order another anytime soon. Sure, you could pay me to drink this, but there are so many better examples out there...

Photo of TopherBreski
2.18/5  rDev -40.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This came in a craft beer combo pack. Color is black with red tints and a head that dissipates but sticks around on top. Surprisingly no vanilla smell, just a good Porter smell. The taste is not very good.

Photo of jim102864
2.19/5  rDev -40%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Another selection while at Gingerman, Dallas. Inky black appearance in my pint glass. Very thin head. Here's where it all goes downhill. Aroma? What aroma? It was barely perceptable. Don't you think this thing would be brimming with vanilla and chocolate malt? Couldn't detect anything at all. The taste was equally distressing. Only the slightest hint of vanilla and maybe a whiff of coffeee bean (moreso than vanilla bean). It tastes bland. This thing has no balls whatsoever. I even let it warm up and still nothing. I suppose its drinkable if you're into very mild, somewhat flavorless beer. A total snoozefest.

Photo of Phyl21ca
2.2/5  rDev -39.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bottle: Poured a light black color porter with a medium bubbly head with average retention and no lacing. Aroma of light vanilla with some distinctive sour notes. Taste was also dominated by sour notes and light vanilla. Body is really thin with some average carbonation. I don't know if this was infected but it really wasn't appealing to me.

Photo of Mitchster
2.25/5  rDev -38.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours out to a clear dark brown, appears thin in color and texture as I pour. Barely achieves a head even with a vigorous pour. Small, soapy and tan with no retention and minimal lacing. Carbonation is mild to moderate. The aroma at first appears oxidized with dank cardboard and newspaper, but as it's swirled I get peat smoked malt, vanilla (although it's barely more that what I would expect for a traditional porter), some green herbaceous hops. Overall, I get more of a smoke impression than a vanilla impression. Odd. Mouthfeel is thin and makes me feel like I just ate some grass. The taste is completely different. The vanilla is there in droves and lends a mild sweetness to the sharply acrid and cheesy hops. The aftertaste is ruddy and odd...again, like wet newspaper that just happens to be soaked guessed it...vanilla porter. The finish is just lightly dry. There are alot of higher alcohols lingering on the palette.

I have no desire to finish this beer. A mistake, even for the curious.

Photo of rowew
2.26/5  rDev -38.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Presentation: 12 oz longneck, typical mediocre Breckenridge label. In big words - "REMARKABLE," and "PARTAKABLE." Spot for bottled on date to be notched, but it isn't marked.

Appearance: Very dark brown with just a hint of red around the edges when held to light. Tan colored head has good retention.

Smell: Aroma is very sweet, and smells strongly of sugar and vanilla. The aroma has me worried this is going to be too sweet.

Taste: Confirmed - way too sweet for my tastes. This one is all vanilla and sugar, and no beer.

Overall impression: This might be good for someone who isn't a fan of beer, but to me it was just overly sweet, with nothing to balance it out. I won't be getting this one again.

Photo of jujubeast6000
2.28/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed 7/5/2006 (12oz bottle):

Pours a black brown color, small head, brownish. Very strong coffee aroma, some chocolate. Not very strong aroma. Strong coffee taste, watery. Not a strong coffee aftertaste. Just a good porter taste. Slight vanilla taste. But very watery overall.

Photo of Bighuge
2.28/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

AP:Dark ruby. Thin brown head. Minimal lace.

AR: Vanilla Extact. Fudge. Lactose. Slight roast.

TST: Artificial and cloying. Take an average porter and dump a bunch of vanilla concentrate into it and walah. Some decent roasted tones surface every now and then but then succumb to the blanket of vanilla extract and sweet cloying malts

MF: Slightly syrupy. Very little carbonation. Medium-full body. Slick.

DK: This is a tough one. 12 ozs will be a feat in and of itself.

Photo of MusicaleMike
2.29/5  rDev -37.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

I poured this 12 oz. bottle into my Carlsberg pint glass. No freshness date is on the bottle.

A: The body is a dark, see-through brown. It is possibly the lightest porter I have ever seen. The tan head is pretty substantial, with a thick and creamy texture.

S: The smell is pretty powerful. The most prominent smells are obviously vanilla and a light cocoa, with not a trace of hops. If the smell is any indication, I think that the vanilla may be overdone a bit.

T: This is not a complex beer. Up front this beer packs a malty punch with an abundant vanilla flavor. Actually, it is not so much "malty" as it is rich, or "boozy" even. However, the sensation of drinking something with a lot of flavor quickly departs. There is something seriously flawed about this beer, because even if you wanted the taste to last, it somehow leaves the palate mid-sip. Needless to say, I wasn't all that fond of the strong vanilla and light malts. I say amp up the malt characteristics and pull back just the slightest amount on the vanilla beans.

M: It was smooth and medium to full bodied.

D: I did not finish this beer. Why? Because I didn't want to. It is way off, and I want a beer to reaffirm my faith in craft beer. It seriously lacks the "easy to drink" factor and that's why I want to give it a low score for its drinkability.

Photo of TheSeeker61
2.3/5  rDev -37%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A- Poured a beautiful dark brown with a head which quickly dissappeared.

S- This brew has a nice vanilla aroma.

T- The vanilla was very apparent, however the taste was rather flat to me.

M- The mouthfeel was not too impressive.

D- I was really unimpressed with this beer especially since I'm a big fan of porters. There's a great chance that I won't have this beer again. Was unable to finish it.

Photo of Fuzzgun91
2.3/5  rDev -37%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pretty bitter. Vanilla is very subtle and buried in the bitterness. Not bad, but not as distinctive as I hoped it would be.

Photo of GregoriousMaximus34
2.33/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.25

I am not a fan of this. Maybe it's because I don't have a sweet tooth but it is just waaay too much vanilla for me.

Photo of disastermouse
2.34/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

A: Dark brown - just shy of a stout.

S: Very biscuity with a hint of vanilla

T: Holy unsweetened vanilla, Batman! What a weird taste. It's not metallic, but it's not really what I'm used to for a porter either. It actually tastes a lot like a macrobrew.

MF: Thinner than expected.

D: One or two is tops for me.

Photo of n2185
2.38/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a dark mahogany with barely a finger of cream-colored head that recedes into a thin layer with no real lacing.

S: Some roasted malts at first followed by some creamy chocolate and a dash of vanilla. Not bad, but a bit muted overall.

T: Similar to the aroma, some roasted malts with a bit of a smoky flavor along with a little chocolate and some light vanilla flavors. Again, also a bit muted/bland.

M: Medium-light body with medium carbonation, it has a watery, spritzy feel to it.

O: Overall, not a very good beer. Tastes more like a watered down vanilla cola than a vanilla porter.I'd like to have much more presence from both the vanilla, roasted malts, and a creamier body.

Photo of ne0m00re
2.38/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Live review of a 12 oz bottle. No best by date.
A: Lighter murky brown with copper hues, it poured with a small cream head with some lacing.
S: Vanilla, woody hops, cocoa powder... overall it kind of smells earthy. OK.
T: Vanilla extract, diacetyl, some woody chocolate... this isn't very exciting. It kind of tastes watered-down and muted with flavor extracts.
M: Thinner with a somewhat creamy carbonation.
O: This kind of strikes me as cheap filler beer for a fridge.

Photo of hammer09
2.39/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I had high hopes for this beer, being a fan of porters and thinking that a vanilla flavor would correspond well with the style. Unfortunately, in this case, I think the vanilla detracts from what might have been a good porter.

Appearance is typical of a porter. Deep, dark brown with good head development. However, the head quickly subsides. Aroma exhibits a definite vanilla presence with a slight sourness, but the vanilla smells artificial and not natural. Additional aromas include a hint of esters and mild hop notes. Taste is very sweet (too sweet for my liking) and cloying. The vanilla flavor is present, but does not lend itself well to this beer. As stated above, the vanilla appears artificial. Mouthfeel is warming and acidic with too little carbonation.

Overall, I don't find this very drinkable, and I probably won't purchase this again. I would be interested to know if Breckenridge used vanilla extract or natural vanilla beans when brewing this porter. Based on my observations, I suspect extract. However, I'm not convinced that vanilla wouldn't work with a porter which may lead me to experiment with homebrews using this combination.

Photo of radioscooter
2.39/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Bought at Brews Brothers in Pittsburgh. Was looking for an alternate contender for the Southern Tier Creme Brulee, which they were SUPPOSED to have on tap but did not.

Found this screaming out VANILLA at the top of its lungs. Fair enough, let's give it a shot.

Appearance is root beer. Not pitch black, but brown edging to dark red, some minimal frothy head.

Smell is a bit off-putting. Not getting any vanilla. Cheese - yes.

Taste - okay there it is. Wow. Vanilla does not go well with bitter. It needs to be sweetened a bit.

Very flat taste that is so dry it evaporates fro the tongue almost immediately and chalks up. What am I tasting? Vanilla, (the bitter extract version, not a milkshake version) some coffee, and those roasty toasty malt tastes. But very dry. Very bitter. Fair enough - it's a porter, not a cream stout. But still...

Not a good drinker for me.

Photo of VncentLIFE
2.4/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12 ounce bottle poured into a 33 cL Hoegaarden glass

Apperance - poured an dark brown color with a 3/4 inch head that dissipated quickly into a thin ring of a head that lasts.

Smell - Very strong roasted malt presence. The lack of vanilla smell is kind of disappointing.

Taste - Now this I could get used to. The strong roasted malt flavor of a porter is offset by the sweetness of the vanilla. The only reason this does not get a 5.0 is this strange aftertaste that I cant exactly pin down. I'm thinking it's related to severely roasted malts, but its a definite turnoff.

Mouthfeel - Light body typical of a porter.

Drinkability - The strange aftertaste, that a fellow BA just informed me is bile really makes me want to pour this thing down the drain, but it deserves a shot.

Final verdict - For the most part, this was an unimpressive beer. Its shining moment is the addition of vanilla. I am a huge vanilla fan, but this bile stuff really turned me away.

Photo of klewis
2.43/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

On-tap at 69 Taps - Akron, OH

A: Pours dark brown and served with no head. Little lacing.

S: Lots of vanilla with a touch of roasted malt.

T: Overwhelming vanilla taste. There are some classic porter characteristics here, but just WAY too much vanilla.

M: Medium-light bodied with moderate carbonation.

D: The flavor of this beer is obnoxious, and a bit of subtlety and restraint with the vanilla beans would have been nice. Pass on this one.

Photo of spartanfan
2.43/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: Pours a dark reddish brown with a thin layer of white foam that quickly fades to an island of bubbles surrounded by a ring around the interior of the glass.

S: Smells of sweet and roasted malts. Coffee and a little vanilla are also noted.

T: The titular vanilla is more aparent in the flavor, but does not seem to mingle well with the other flavors. Strong chocolate flavor with a roasty finish.

M: Carbonation is there in the proper amount, but this beer is not as smooth as I would like it to be.

D: I wanted to enjoy this beer, but the flavors are not to my liking. This will be a struggle to finish and I will certainly not be having it again.

Photo of DeeRayT
2.44/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

I got this on draft at a bar in Yuma AZ so not sure if pour was correct. Seems thin and fairly tasteless for a porter. Vanilla not overwhelming.

Photo of SWMeyer4141
2.45/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I bought this and a Breckenridge Oatmeal Stout for 1.29 a piece and wasn't sure which to have first. Turns out I dropped the Oatmeal Stout so that decision was easily made.

Appearance-Dark brown color with a tan lacing. Head almost gone, and leaves no lacing.

Smell-Malts with a hint of vanilla. Maybe a little coffee

Taste-Pretty similar to the smell. Malt, Vanilla, Coffee, lots of carbonation, no booze taste.

Mouthfeel-Very thin, very easy to drink, with alot of carbonation.

Overall-Won't purchase again. If it's sitting infront of me i'll drink it. Not impressed. Only benefit was using it for a palate cleanser for my Hop Stoopid Ale.

Photo of IntriqKen
2.46/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Pours a deep black amber with practically no head that disappears to merely a faint ring.
Aromas are honestly too faint to classify.
Taste is vanilla...definately vanilla to start with ... moving to almost a root beer taste...finishing with sweetness from the amber malts then an unpleasant aftertaste almost like synthetic vanilla.
Mouthfeel is rich and creamy.
Interesting...but probably not again.

Vanilla Porter from Breckenridge Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 3,720 ratings.