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Vanilla Porter - Breckenridge Brewery

Not Rated.
Vanilla PorterVanilla Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

3,201 Ratings
THE BROS
84
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,201
Reviews: 964
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 15.7%
Wants: 70
Gots: 340 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Breckenridge Brewery visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  4.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Mebuzzard on 01-13-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Vanilla Porter Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,201 | Reviews: 964 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DeltaGolfSierra
3.35/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is dark brown to nearly black with orange-maroon tones when held to light. I was expecting a nice whiff of vanilla after opening, but I could hardly smell vanilla at all, just weak roasted malt scents. The taste is roasty malts, nothing complex, with maybe just a hint of vanilla in the background. If it wasn't called a vanilla porter, I may not have noticed it at all. Mouthfeel seemed a bit on the thin side. Not a bad porter at all, but rather ordinary and uninteresting.

DeltaGolfSierra, Oct 18, 2011
Photo of MoreThanWine
3.35/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a 3/4" light mocha head which faded fast. Dark clear burnt umber brown body verging on coffee. The smell is weak and not particularly complex, mainly mild malt, not vanilla. Taste is a very weak and light standard porter but in the aftertaste I'm getting the vanilla. There's either an acidic zing to the finish or a slight bitterness not necessarily from hops. All in all this is a drinkable beer but quite mild and not really living up to the hyped expectations of a "vanilla porter".

MoreThanWine, Oct 18, 2011
Photo of ColdPoncho
3.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - a caramel/mahogany sort of body that is dark with a large tan head.

S - roasted malts, coffee, caramel and vanilla. quite sweet

T - strong vanilla...almost like marshmallows. Some roasted malt notes, and some dryness

M - small, thin, smooth, cold.

O - its not bad, but I would rather have a non-vanilla edmund fitz

ColdPoncho, Oct 17, 2011
Photo of cindyjeffsmith
3.25/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

appearance: Dark brown, tannish head. Mildly attractive.
smell: Roasty vanilla, but faint.
taste: more vanilla in the taste. Balanced. Slight bitterness in the finish.
overall: Was really looking forward to this and was disappointed. Not bad at all, just had high expectations.

cindyjeffsmith, Oct 15, 2011
Photo of CaptJackHarkness
3.63/5  rDev 0%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a deep ruby brown with absolutly minimal head, that was gone in an instant.Slight lacing.
Scent was typical malt, no vanilla aroma. Taste has a hint of vanilla extract note, mostly sweet malt though.Very pleasing on tounge ,does not linger. Not bad overall.

CaptJackHarkness, Oct 13, 2011
Photo of tbern007
3.18/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark walnut brown, reddish around the edges when held against light. Thick light tan head that remains throughout. Good lacing.
Scent- very light. A little earthy, sweet, but too light.
Taste- this is like a light, milk chocolate flavored beer. Light vanilla but it's the chocolate that stands out.
M - light, carbonated, not creamy. Lighter than expected for a porter. A little bit of a funny, dry aftertaste. A bit metallic?
O - decent, tasty. But I don't think it is what it could be, nor what I expected.

tbern007, Oct 12, 2011
Photo of kemoarps
2.9/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Beer pours a decent dark brown cola, with a creamy head and leaves decent lacing.

The nose is fairly crisp, but I can't really identify any unique aromas. a touch of sweet, almost like a cream caramel? Can't quite sort it out.

This isn't a BAD tasting beer per se, but it's really not very well put together. It's got some intriguing flavours in there, but there's no team chemistry, as it were. There's definitely a vanilla bean front to it, which I can respect, but it doesn't really fit in the greater profile of this beer as well as I had hoped. The sour twinge at the end isn't really hoppy it's just kind of... I don't even know what. This makes me think that someone had a good idea, and added in a bunch of interesting ingredients, but didn't put it together very well. There's a little bit of toasty to the malts, and atouch of maybe like biscuit? I don't know.

Nothing special across the tongue, here. Pretty much standard decent carbonation, but more filling than I would have expected considering.
Overall I'd say the best word for this is disappointing. I've liked other Breckenridge beers I've had, I've liked other vanilla beers I've had and I THOUGHT I remembered enjoying this the first time I had it. I guess my memory was faulty. I really wanted to like this beer. I like that you can taste the vanilla beans as opposed to a vanilla extract kind of flavour, but overall it is just not very well constructed. Underwhelming.

kemoarps, Oct 11, 2011
Photo of airforbes1
3.58/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

There's a lot more red in this beer than I'd normally see in a porter or stout, but that's not why I dinged the appearance. The head is really thin for the style and doesn't properly crown the beer. But the proof of the beer is in the smelling and the drinking, not the viewing! The nose is modest, with a sweetness that reminds me of a milk stout.

The taste is OK. There isn't any vanilla bean flavor to speak off. I taste some vanilla extract flavor, but it tastes more like skimmed milk to me than anything else. The milkiness isn't necessarily bad, but I compare it to skimmed milk just because it's really thin for the style.

This isn't a bad beer, but it does suffer an identity crisis. It's sweet enough to not be poundable, but isn't flavorful enough to amaze me. It's not a bad beer, but I don't know when it will be in my refrigerator again.

airforbes1, Oct 11, 2011
Photo of Keeton
4.75/5  rDev +30.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm getting ready to try and recreate a version of this beer in two weeks and I cannot wait! This beer is roasted malty vanilla goodness. this is one of those beers that I sip, then wait 15 minutes, then sip, then wait another 15 minutes... I usually drink this beer while drinking another beer. I recommend that when you get to the end of this beer, the last two ounces, warm it in your hands to almost room temp. It really comes full flavor then!

Keeton, Oct 10, 2011
Photo of chodinheaven
3.3/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Deep ruby in color with undertones of brown. Small sea foam head on a medium pour, a light khaki in color. Dark roasted malts with vanilla hints on the nose. The malts are slightly more up front, with vanilla right behind it. Pleasant.

Medium in body, creamy in the feel. Dark roasted malts are present in the taste, but seem to be pushed back by a sweetness that is not vanilla, and a somewhat strange sourness. Vanilla is there, yes, but it doesn't jump out at you as much as this nearly sour milk taste. A slight bitterness on the back that tingles a little, but doesn't do much else for the character. It does leave a very small coffee bitterness in the linger, but the sourness lingers heavier. Not my favorite, it definitely smells better than it tastes. Could have used a bit more vanilla in my opinion, but maybe thats the root of the strange sour taste.

chodinheaven, Oct 10, 2011
Photo of AdamBear
3.33/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A-dark brown, thin cream colored head that disappears.

S-smells very malty with hints of baking chocolate. its a faint smell, but its a quality smell...smells tasty

T-comes in with a taste of chocolate cereal. it honestly reminds me of cocoa crispies. the taste is decent but has that taste of carbonation that many adjunct lagers posses. it has a slight bitterness to it, and then almost a complete lack of after-taste, just some chocolate undertones to it. the taste seems to be pretty weak and very simple. i'm not getting to much vanilla here. Every once in awhile, hints will pop up in the after-taste.

M-high carbonation with a semi dry finish

O-its not a bad beer, but it seems to be a porter for the people accustomed to drinking macros. Although the tastes are good enough to make this beer a decent pairing with any activity. It at least goes down easier than most porters.

AdamBear, Oct 08, 2011
Photo of Flounder57
3.43/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 0z. beer was poured into a pint glass

Appearance: The beer poured a one finger mocha head that has reduced quickly to about a quarter inch with some lacing. A very dark brownish black beer with no signs of carbonation.

Smell: All I cna pick up is some slight hints of maple, vanilla, and sweet malts. Not much else is going on there.

Taste: Ahh, that's what I was looking for in the smell. Vanilla is the main taste here, which is followed by sweet caramel malts and a bit of chocolate.

Mouthfeel: A good amount of carbonation there. Smooth and little chewy. Very easy to drink.

Overall: Not too shabby for a porter. I know there are better ones out there, but this one is very reasonable and probably would taste better on draft. Can't wait to order a pint when I am out in Denver for the Pats game in December.

Flounder57, Sep 26, 2011
Photo of Arithmeticus
3.05/5  rDev -16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured chilled in flared glass

A: dark, modest, but very creamy and attractive head; nice carbonation; very nice rings of lace
S: sweet, malty, benign, nondescript
T: Wild. Dry cream soda; not very hopped; the vanilla bean is very strong; slightly sour

I'm torn in my rating between a 1 (it tastes lousy to me) and 5 (it's one of the most creative, wild beers I've had); so I split it down the middle; the curious should definitely try it

Arithmeticus, Sep 26, 2011
Photo of morebeergood
3.73/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had a pint tonight while having dinner at Birch Street Bistro in Roslindale. Served on tap in a standard pint glass. Dark brown colored body. Not much head for a porter; a bit thin. Smell had slight notes of coffee and wood. I enjoyed the taste, but it might not be for everyone. The flavor of vanilla is very prominent. While I enjoyed it, there was a time or two while I was drinking where I thought I'd like it more if it was toned down a bit. Mouthfeel was also on the thin side for a porter, which was kind of a letdown. An interesting beer if you enjoy unique versions of porters. May be better suited to drink after dinner or with dessert, rather than with an entree.

morebeergood, Sep 24, 2011
Photo of silver7447
4.2/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- A very dark brown, as is characteristic of porters. Just less than two fingers of head with a vigorous pour. No significant lacing.

S- Very malty background with wafts of chocolate, vanilla, and a hint of caramel. No aroma is particularly overpowering, which gives a good balance.

T- This beer contained sweetness, coffee, dark chocolate, lingering vanilla bean and burnt caramel notes

M- This porter has more carbonation than most I've tried which to me is a good thing. The primary sensation is of very light carbonation coating your tongue which matches the lightness of this porter when compared to others. The carbonation is well balanced and does not bite. After swallowing you are left with a slight syrupy mouthfeel which maintains the beer's aftertaste.

Other notes: The vanilla bean was a perfect compliment for this porter. Seldom seen? Yes. Never duplicated? Not yet, anyway.

silver7447, Sep 24, 2011
Photo of boilermakerbrew
4.13/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From memory, had it at Scotty's Brewhouse in West Lafayette.

Poured and presented with a quarter inch foamy head. Was a deep chocolatey color and very appealing to the eye in the glass. Laced perfectly the whole way down.

A complex taste. My first experience with a porter. Taste hits with a blend of chocolate, vanilla, coffee, and a general sweet flavor. Right at the end, there is a little hops bitterness, but not much. Leaves you wanting more with each drink.

Surprisingly light on the palate. I could drink a few of these and not feel full or drunk, a good combo.

Overall, I may have a new favorite pint when I go to Scotty's. It's a shame this is a seasonal fall/winter brew, I'll miss this one when it goes away.

boilermakerbrew, Sep 23, 2011
Photo of spinrsx
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz Bottle

Appearance - The beer pours a dark brown colour with an average size fizzy light brown coloured head. I can't see much carbonation due the darkness of the beer and there is some good lacing on the sides of the glass. The head lasted for 4 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Chocolate, malts, smoke, vanilla

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an above average amount of carbonation. I can taste chocolate, vanilla, and some malts. There is also some smokey/roasted notes, it kind of reminded me a bit of a vanilla coke. It finishes with a vanilla malty aftertaste.

Overall – The beer definitely tastes better after it warmed up to room temperature in my glass. The flavour isn't cloying in any way and it is actually quite drinkable. Not something I'd rush out to buy again, but it's worth trying for sure.

spinrsx, Sep 19, 2011
Photo of DoktorZee
3.25/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a schooner; definitely an id number stamped on the bottle, but it doesn't seem to be a best before date.

A - brown and clear; surprisingly light in appearance considering it's a porter! One finger tan head dissipates after a minute with no lacing. Some obvious carbonation rising in the glass.

S - lots of oak, sweet vanilla notes and elements of dark chocolate in the background.

T - surprisingly thin and subtle; not what I'd expect from a porter. Come across as excessively light. Some strong initial sweet notes with a hint of vanilla, but then almost nothing. Some subtle wood, with a little bit of caramel, but really, really light. Frankly there just doesn't seem to be any follow-through with this beer.

M - medium body, with mild carbonation.

D - really drinkable, but unfortunately not because of amazing balance, but instead because there isn't much there.

I'm sad to say this was a pretty big disappointment. It was promising on first sniff, but just didn't really deliver as it was just too weak. I wasn't looking for an overpowering flavor bomb, but this was much, much too subtle and lacking concentration.

DoktorZee, Sep 14, 2011
Photo of Spica66
3.9/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Got this from my folks for my birthday.

A: Dark brown pour with good head formation and retention. Some lacing. Good looking brew.

S: Vanilla and dark roast, but mostly vanilla. I am amazed that their web site says this is made with real vanilla beans. It must cost a small fortune to get this much vanilla from beans.

T: Dark roast with lots of vanilla that takes all of the bitter edge off from the roast. Tastes unlike any beer I have ever had before.

M: Not a creamy as an Edmund Fitzgerald, but not watery either. Good carbonation.

O: If you like vanilla and you like porter, this would be a good beer to try.

Spica66, Sep 12, 2011
Photo of roodie
3.4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Lagunitas pint jar.

A: pours a black/brown cola color with thin head, light lacing

S: faint vanilla and light hops

T: light vanilla with a mild bitterness

M: limp, light, thin

O: an ok beer, nothing I'd return to

roodie, Sep 11, 2011
Photo of ehammond1
3.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle

Thanks to Jon and Dan @thefullpint.com for this!

Dark brown with just the faintest of ruby at the edges. Thick khaki colored head and plenty of lined lacing down the glass.

Roasted malt, coffee, and vanilla make up the aroma, though the vanilla seems already somewhat artificially sweet and inauthentic.

Roasted malt, a mild bitterness, and some sharp, somewhat artificial tasting vanilla notes. The beer isn't too sweet with vanilla, though the vanilla simply doesn't feel authentic or natural.

Medium mouthfeel though somewhat sharp and unpleasant.

A decent vanilla porter, and perhaps I've been spoiled by other world-class examples.

ehammond1, Sep 10, 2011
Photo of Mako82
3.93/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

A - Very dark brown practically black, short lived off white head
S - Rich dark malts, yeasty/bready aroma, hint of vanilla, sweet smell, slight alcohol esters
T - Nice taste of malts, dark coffee with lots of sweetner type of taste, taste the vanilla upon the aftertaste stays with you fairly long
M - Low carbonation

Mako82, Sep 09, 2011
Photo of BBP
4.33/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours dark, dark brown. Maintains a slight, but steady head. Laces quite well.

S- Definite vanilla. Some rum-like sweetness to it as well.

T- Definitely where this one shines. I'm not a huge fan of vanilla, but this one makes it work for me. There's roasty malt bitterness that seems to perfectly balance the vanilla sweetness. The vanilla also tastes quite genuine and rich as well. Additionally, there's a surprising amount of flavor for a beer this light.

M- Medium full, and quite creamy in the mouthfeel. Carbonation is very unintrusive, but works wonders making this beer full, but light at the same time.

O- Exceptional drinkability, especially as it warms up.

I picked this up initially to fill a mix a 6pk, and I barely looked at what it was. After arriving home, I suspected that this would be far too sweet for me, but it was actually surprisingly good.

BBP, Sep 07, 2011
Photo of yesyouam
4.47/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Breckenridge Vanilla Porter is a dim, dark brown ale with a khaki head that quickly fades to a bubbly ring. The aroma is brimming with chocolate and roast. There is a slight hint of coffee in the nose and the vanilla seems to manifest itself almost as oak. It's medium bodied, smooth and sudsy. The finish is dry and clean. It tastes much like it smells, but stronger, with lots of chocolate and roast. There's a little coffee in there too. The vanilla is not prominent and comes off as oak. There's not really any noticeable bitterness or sweetness. There's a slight, roasty aftertaste. This is smooth, tasty and easy to drink.

yesyouam, Sep 07, 2011
Photo of bamojr
3.85/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black brown color.
Lots of Malts and chocolate with a nice vanilla smell.
Lots of vanilla in the taste choclates and some caramel.
This is a great dessert beer as it has all of the right sweet to compliment something decedent like chocolate cake or the like. This is how a porter should be. I wasn't that impressed with Lucky U, but this one may change my outlook on Breckenridge.

bamojr, Aug 31, 2011
Vanilla Porter from Breckenridge Brewery
82 out of 100 based on 3,201 ratings.