Vanilla Porter - Breckenridge Brewery

Not Rated.
Vanilla PorterVanilla Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
80
good

1,002 Reviews
THE BROS
85
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,002
Hads: 3,745
rAvg: 3.52
pDev: 15.63%
Wants: 116
Gots: 773 | FT: 1
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,002 | Hads: 3,745
Photo of kojevergas
3.4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

33cl bottle served into a glass mug in high altitude Denver, Colorado. Reviewed live.

A: Four finger head of nice cream, good thickness, and good retention. A dark nontransparent brown colour.

Sm: Nuts, cream, light chocolate, and some smoke. I don't get vanilla, but then me nose is broken. All apologies, lads. A mild strength aroma.

T: Heavy vanilla and cream alongside light subtle chocolate notes. I've never had vanilla as full as it is in this beer. With this much vanilla, it'd be easy to venture into the non-beer territory of cream soda flavours, but it holds up. I'd like more cream on the open. Complex enough. Well built and balanced. Quite fanciful indeed.

Mf: Smooth and wet, complementing the flavours of the body.

Dr: Very drinkable. a low ABV, and a decent price (at least in Colorado). I'd definitely have it again, especially if it were on draught.

B
*

12.04.14: Highish B-

*
12.28.14 truncated impressions:

Pours a healthy head which sits for about 3 minutes. Body isn't the opaque black I expected; it's more a very dark amber. Translucent. Odd...

Aroma is of vanilla, caramel, dark malts, cream soda, and chocolate malts. Moderate intensity.

Taste suits the aroma, bringing plenty of soft vanilla notes which are very evocative but could be more genuine; the vanilla character does veer on artificial vanillin here. It's got your usual dark-and-chocolate malt base, but isn't too sweet. Prominent cream soda notes fill it out nicely, and with the chocolate notes make the beer redolent of chocolate milk or a malted shake - an attribute further amplified by its soft, creamy, smooth, wet, and yet full-bodied feel. Aptly carbonated but not too thick. Average depth, duration, and intensity of flavour. I've had far more complex vanilla porters, sure, but this is a great go-to.

I regularly find myself returning to this beer when home in Colorado. It's a vanilla porter, yes, but it's not so much a "dark beer" that it'll turn off fans of lighter fare. That desire to crowd-please may actually be what holds it back from greatness, but as-is it's a damn drinkable vanilla-forward brew with enough flare to keep me coming back to it. Certainly worth trying, but far from world class. I'll have to look for the nitro variant.

B- (2,267 characters)

Photo of smcolw
3.53/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Moderate head that leaves decent lace on the glass although that diminishes as the tasting continues. Light brown color where light shines through easily.

Mildly earthy. No vanilla to the nose. Too mild for the style.

Strong cocoa flavor. Milk chocolate finish-- lightly sweet. A smooth beer with a rich body and a low carbonation. Very low hop presence. With vanilla being such a subtle flavor, I'm not embarrassed to say that I cannot find it in my tasting. Easy to quaff. (477 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.85/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

An interesting label on this one, with some obtuse, too-clever-by-half phrasing. Beneath the words "Vanilla Porter", they proclaim: "Seldom Seen. Never Duplicated." Huh? Does that even make sense?
And, bookending the larger body of the design, at top and bottom, two words that try to belong together and prove the writer's great wit, yet fall flat. "Remarkable" ..."Partakable"...oh, kay...is partakable a word, even? And, do they know these words don't rhyme, exactly, for that seems their only purpose in pairing them.

Basically, they want to say, "It's different, and you can drink it."
So, let's see about that...

Big vanilla aromatics waft out from first crack of the crown.

Pours out a deep, dark brown, with a sliver of crimson at the sides, a meager, but loyal cocoa / tan head. Good.

Roasty nose, swiftly dominated by sweet vanilla. Light hints of coffee below, glimmers of chocolate. Pleasing, yes, but not overpowering, nor especially outstanding.

Chalky, flaky cocoa feel from the start, like a dusting of chocolate powder...rinses the mouth with a smattering of sweetness, then dashes away. Medium, at best, in body, a bit too light for me...vanilla bean flavor clings to the palate and pushes away the other flavors that may reside in the taste. Gets sweeter as we go in, a bit too much for me, actually.

Probably the best vanilla porter I've tried, but I'm still not crazy about the style.
I like more porter, less vanilla. (1,462 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
3.61/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 6/3/10 notes. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

a - Pours a dark brown color with 1 inch of tan head and light carbonation.

s - Smells of vanilla and roasted malts, but lightly. Also some dark fruits. Would have liked the smell to be a little stronger.

t - Tastes of light vanilla, oak, and roasted malts.

m - Medium to full body and moderate carb. Very smooth and creamy.

d - An ok porter. Thought the smell was a little bit weak, but had a decent taste and a great feel to it. Might try again but wouldn't really seek out. (547 characters)

Photo of jwc215
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tasted in March, reviewed from notes:

Pours dark brown (a bit murky, but darkness mostly covers it) with a thin tan head that disappears in awhile. Some thin lacing sticks.

The smell is of vanilla and chocolate.

Vanilla is prominent but with a firm chocolatey porterish backing - chocolate with very slight roast and some graininess. Not too sweet. Not exactly complex or robust.

Smooth, though a bit thin... thin side of medium with medium carbonation.

It is not too heavy on the vanilla - a good thing... a decent brew... Not one I would look for again, but had no problems going through a six-pack over a few days. I would not have mind it being more robust, however, especially for a winter seasonal. (709 characters)

Photo of superspak
3.78/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, best before 7/6/2014. Pours crystal clear deep reddish brown color with a 1 finger dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a light amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of chocolate, cocoa, caramel, vanilla, toasted bread, light coffee, cream, and herbal/toasted earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance of dark/bready malt and vanilla notes; with solid strength. Taste of chocolate, cocoa, caramel, vanilla, toasted bread, light coffee, cream, and herbal/toasted earthiness. Light herbal bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of chocolate, cocoa, caramel, vanilla, toasted bread, and herbal/toasted earthiness on the finish for a short bit. Very nice balance and robustness of dark/bready malts and vanilla flavors; with a good malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth and fairly creamy/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with zero warming present after the finish as expected of 4.7%. Overall this is a very good vanilla porter. All around good robustness and balance of dark/bready malt and vanilla flavors; and very smooth to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering. (1,312 characters)

Photo of chinchill
3.35/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

served in pint glass

A - about 98% opaque dark brown; scant but lasting tan head.

S - mainly vanilla and malt, with caramel

T - sour + sweet + bitter + malty + vanilla. Finish is light with lasting elements of malt and vanilla. Not a sweet dessert beer; certainly not as sweet as might be expected given the pronounced vanilla in the aroma.

D - nice novelty beer, but not a great choice as a session beer.

M - good carbonation level; perhaps a bit light for a porter (473 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
3.32/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served on tap at Cork City Pub in Hoboken, NJ

A: Pours a clear very dark amber to medium brown in color. The beer has a thin (less than quarter finger) light tan head that reduces to a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Minimal amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate amounts of light coffee roast and roasted malts along with a strong flavor of artificial vanilla - very sweet.

T: Similar to the smell with a strong malt body of dark roasted and caramel malts upfront with a strong presence of artificial vanilla in the finish that lingers for quite a while.

M: On the lighter side of medium bodied with light to moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly thin/watery.

O: A little too light for the style in my opinion and the artificial vanilla flavor is a little overpowering for my tastes. The beer is not the easiest to drink and is nothing special in my opinion. Just average and probably not one I would order again. (933 characters)

Photo of WesWes
3.8/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a nice dark brown color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a creamy malt scent that boasts of crystal and roasted malts. It also has a mild vanilla scent that adds another level of sweetness to the aroma. The taste is decent. It has a well pronounced vanilla flavor layed over a roasted malt taste. It's sweet with a dry element to it. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a good drinking beer, but I think the recipe needs to be tweeked a little. More crystal and chocolate malts would make this a wicked awesome dessert brew. (637 characters)

Photo of mothman
3.23/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Color is a deep ruby/brown. Pous a slight tan head and leaves great lacing.

Aroma is of carmel, malts, and the last hint was vanilla. Taste is of overpowering vanilla. Carmel is also mixed in as well.

Mouthfeel is very creamy, after it lingers around, it tastes almost like vanilla vodka.

Overall, this is a very unique beer, not something I would want to try again, but I am glad I got to try it once. (407 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
3.83/5  rDev +8.8%
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. (440 characters)

Photo of stakem
3.25/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes taken 9/1/10.

Pours a dark brown color that appears more of a clear amber red when held up to the light. Less than a finger of creamy tan head forms and doesn't retain all that well. Faint spots of lace stick to the glass.

The aroma is a very sweet smelling scent of vanilla, chocolate and fruity, estery alcohol.

The taste is slightly bitter from the hops but includes a vanilla sweetness that overtakes the light bitteness and flavor of chocolate malt.

Slightly watery in the feel with a low level of carbonation. Lingering aftertaste of chocolate and seemingly fruity malt blended with alcohol. Easy drinking but not something I would have again. This would be a beer I would give someone who is not a fan of dark beer but wants to be "eased" into it. (776 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
4.24/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

optimator13 sensed a need for me to get off of the CANned AAL train and drink outside of my box, so he sent me a box of stouts and porters. Cool! I am not averse to any beer and I have to cop to not having reviewed a porter or a stout for some time. Good lookin' out, bro!

Oh, it smells yummy! Man, my aggro pours are netting me some big heads, like this two-finger gem - light-tan, good retention, sticky lacing as it settles. Nose smelled like a swirled soft-serve ice cream cone: chocolate and vanilla at the same time. I miss ice cream not out of intolerance but simply that I never seem to be able to catch Mister Softee as he tools through my neighborhood in the summer. I am going to practice running before the season begins so that I might actually catch him this year. Color was a deep brown with cola highlights. Mouthfeel was medium and it was in the mouth that I really caught the vanilla. Holy Milli Vanilli, Batman! I remember in HomeEc when we were told to use the extract flavorings VERY judiciously and this was what a batch of my kitchen's vanilla cookies tasted like. Back then, vanilla extract was purported to be alcoholic and so we were swigging it as well as shaking it into the dough. BIG vanilla flavors, both in the cookies and this beer. One of the things that I really dig about the porter style is its ability to take on adjunct flavors. This was like a vanilla milkshake more than a Porter. Dang, but it was really pleasant. Finish was mild, smooth, fairly sweet, but it was vanilla, not sugary sweet, which is what does me in every time. I would not want more than one or two, except as a dessert beer or as an ingredient in a dessert recipe. (1,675 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.42/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A reasonably vigorous pour only produces a thin finger thickness, lightly browned, tan colored head. The beer is a deep brown color that is almost black, but it does show a clear, concentrated, ruby hue when held up to the light. Light aromas of vanilla mix in with roasty dark malt notes. The nose has a slight burnt acidity to it, some well toasted bread aromas, a touch of blackened espresso notes and perhaps a touch of malty chocolate. The vanilla is fairly restrained, though easily noticeable, but the base beers aroma does not seem to match the vanilla notes very well.

Not as thin as I was expecting, this has a soft creaminess to it and a certain fullness to it that helps to lightly coat the mouth. The vanilla is much more noticeable in the flavor than it was in the aroma. The vanilla definitely dominates the flavor profile, but there is still some roast grain character that pokes through especially towards the finish were bitter, burnt flavors kick in a bit along with a touch of roast acidity. The vanilla is accented by sweet malt flavors that are note really noticeable underneath the vanilla notes, but are definitely here. This has a very low hop presence, as expected, with perhaps a touch of bitterness being all I notice.

This is definitely a vanilla focused brew, this would not be such a bad thing if the base beer was a bit more noticeable underneath. Instead all I really get is an overly burnt malt character, that doesn't really seem to contribute positively. Though I really like the texture and mouthfeel of this brew.

Purchased: Plaza Liquors, Tucson AZ (1,591 characters)

Photo of tdm168
4.08/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with a reddish hue. There's a soft, off white head that has good retention. The nose has a rich vanilla aroma with some underlying roasty notes. The taste opens up with an intense vanilla flavor followed by a complex blend of flavors including toffee, coffee, roasted malt, and nuts. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, smooth, and well carbonated.

This is a very nice beer. It's complex, balanced, and very enjoyable. The initially the vanilla is so intense and the body so creamy it's like drinking vanilla ice cream. Then, the vanilla settles and the other flavors come to fore where this becomes a very complex, traditional porter. It's definitely worth a try. (680 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
4.12/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours black with a pure white head, some lace.

S: Vanilla, milk chocolate.

T: Lots of milk chocolate, brown sugar, big vanilla, nice flavour. A dessert in itself.

M: Soft carbonation, smooth, medium-bodied.

D: I've been wanting to try this one for a while, and it did not disappoint. For any vanilla fan this would be right up their alley. (362 characters)

Photo of Billolick
3.75/5  rDev +6.5%
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. (622 characters)

Photo of Mebuzzard
4.4/5  rDev +25%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into glass.
Found it at Grapes and Grains in Denver.
This is a good one. I'll have to have more to compare it with Stoney Creek Vanilla Porter. This one has a nice head, perhaps a little thin for a porter. Keeps, but spotty.
Good aroma of coffee, vanilla, chocolate, malt and nuts.
Tastes comes on strong vanilla, but only at first. Typical porter of nuts, chocolate, malt. Coffee taste is the dominate flavor, yet isn't too strong. It says it uses real vanilla beans, and that comes through in the taste. The vanilla is strong, yet in the background.
It's a good beer, but I'll have to drink more to truly get the feel for it.
--update. OK, I've had a six pack. A nice smooth beer. Doesn't linger too long in the back of your mouth. don't drink other beers after this one unless they are big tasting. (814 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
3.56/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from the bottle.

A big four finger head of off white cream consistency, some snap in the bubbles. Fairly good retention on the head for this beer. Body is a little disturbing but not awful. A cloudy brown when finished but pours with a good solid chestnut out of the bottle. Some sticky ring lacing. Ok...

Bouquet... something is off. Weakened vanilla I'll give it that, but where is malt, coffee, roast anything? talk to me here... It's a very odd smell also, like watered down vanilla extract barely a hint of some chew bread. Ok they did manage some vanilla but it is weak and the rest on the nose is really missing hardly remarkable so far. It's as if the vanilla does not match on the nose with malt or the other ingredients that should go with this beer. It's a strange mix on the nose and it seems to just not meld well.

Taste... ok this is much better. Mild weakened root beer quality vanilla and bean feel. Wet though, but it has a nice simple supermarket simple bread chew. Has a soda characteristic though which seems real strange for a porter. Small mouthfeel no carbonation, and vanilla creeps up after a swallow for a short time.

Next to nothing for abv and it shows. This is like drinking soda beer or something, but it's a piece of cake. Might even make a simple easy weakened dessert beer for people with training wheels. But it's easily likeable to drink so I'll rate it good on those points, and not hard at all, a very sessionable drinking beer which some might find kind of fun. (1,528 characters)

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.77/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Breckenridge Vanilla Porter. Brewed with Vanilla beans.

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Dark amber in color. A short livid head froms and recedes to the edges. Just a few spots of lace.

Aroma is strong of vanilla, with a roasted malt background.

Flavors of roasted malt and vanilla. Smooth and a bit creamy. Hop bitterness is on the back end to balance the sweetish malt/vanilla.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and quite smooth.

An easy drinking session porter. 4.7% alcohol makes this easy to drink more than one. (527 characters)

Photo of tempest
3.6/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a single bottle from Abe's.
Not a bad dessert beer, if you're in to vanilla. It looks a dark brown with an off-white head. Not much lacing, but there are more important elements to beer. The aroma is of vanilla and chocolate grains. Those carry over into the flavor, along with deeper roasted flavors. The mouth is on the dry side and a little bitter, but smooth enough. Like I said, a decent dessert beer. (416 characters)

Photo of Georgiabeer
3.82/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Definitely a sweet beer, but it is what it is. You either like that or you don't. I found it fairly pleasant. Pours dark brown with a short head that fades. No lacing. The smell is redolent with vanilla, rum, sweet malt and some bitter hops at the end. Taste is similar, and ddefinitely sweet but not overally so- and certainly there are some hops to balance the sweetness as well. Lots and lots of vanilla and some oaky bitterness at the end. Creamy and smooth, I enjoyed this for what it is. (493 characters)

Photo of weeare138
4.32/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appears a dark brown with mild, ruby transparencies. A fluffy, light tan head slowly fades into a mild cap and a bubbly collar. Scattered streaks of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of huge vanilla notes, caramel, and brown sugar with a dusting of cocoa powder, molasses, and milk chocolate.
Taste is of vanilla laced cocoa beverage with a hint of mocha and a touch of mint.
Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied, smooth, and just sweet enough to keep me coming back for more. This is a very drinkable, lip smacking, after dinner brew that keeps you so interested that you don't want to put the glass down.
I could pound a few six packs of these and keep coming back for more. (680 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.26/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a deep, deep brown with a 1/4 inch head. Smelled of malt and a little bit of vanilla on the nose. The nose could have been stronger. Taste was of vanilla up front but not as much as I thought but the vanilla stays around throughout the taste and mouthfeel. Overall a good vanilla porter but it was to subtle on the taste for me. (335 characters)

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.83/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tumbler pint, the beer is a ruby highlighted, vibrant, dark brown that is almost black in the depths. No head on this brew. Aromas are rich in vanilla extract and brown sugary scents. Very smooth and enticing. The beer's flavors are very rich, as well, with a sugary/candied sweetness overlaying the rich, smooth vanilla and buttery backbone. Only the slightest hint of mocha coffee, but it was just enough to bring some balance to everything. Despite all the overly sweet characteristics, the beer remains crisp and clean on a light body. Not cloying, the aftertaste is rich and darkly sweet, with the vanilla making a slight cookie-batter flavor. Slick, quick finish, making this beer insanely easy to drink. Wow...very tasty! (756 characters)

Vanilla Porter from Breckenridge Brewery
80 out of 100 based on 1,002 ratings.