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Vanilla Porter - Breckenridge Brewery

Not Rated.
Vanilla PorterVanilla Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,024 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,024
Reviews: 947
rAvg: 3.62
pDev: 15.75%
Wants: 60
Gots: 262 | 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
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Ratings: 3,024 | Reviews: 947 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of HURTemHIZZY


1.98/5  rDev -45.3%

Not my cup o brew I guess. Poured a nice deep brown with a one finger light tan head that had decent retention but left no lacing behind. Smell was not too bad, but not great either. Light vanilla, tiny bit of coffee, slight roasted grains. Straightforward, but not off putting.

Taste is just not good imo. The vanilla is slightly artificial, and completely overpowers the coffee and roasted notes that were present in the aroma. No hop profile is noticeable. The lack of any other noticeable porter characteristics makes the vanilla become cloying pretty quickly. I rarely ever drain pour, but I only made it through about half of this. Not good.

11-10-2010 02:20:26 | More by HURTemHIZZY
Photo of tchenery


4.25/5  rDev +17.4%

Nice dark color but has little to no head. It has a slight rim around the glass but I always want more.

It smells kind of fruity, but I'm sure that's the vanilla coming through. That combined with the dark malt aroma and that's pretty much the profile.

Delicious. Vanilla is very subtle in the taste. It's extremely smooth, rich, and milky. It tastes of dark bitter chocolate, and brown sugar without the sweetness. There is a bit of chocolate sweetness on the finish but it's welcomed.

Totally drinkable, excellent round body and mouthfeel. Well done Breckenridge.

11-09-2010 22:48:33 | More by tchenery
Photo of Naugros

New Jersey

2.7/5  rDev -25.4%

One of two Breckenridge offerings that I tasted on an Arizona vacation. I was excited to have found Breckenridge since I remember it from the early days of the craft beer movement and had found their beers to be really good. Sadly they seem to have faltered or the rest of the American beer scene has blown past them.

This is a super dark porter with a tan, tight head with excellent retention and nice lacing. Unfortunately it goes downhill from here.

There's an odd smell in this beer that I can't wrap my head around. It's almost a meaty smell like a portobella mushroom or something with some spice like a BBQ rub...definitely acidic though and nothing I want my beer to smell like.

The taste is a wee bit of an improvement but that smell infects the whole experience. Holding my nose did not help, but I tried to get past the smell and taste what I could taste and I did taste vanilla. This is contributing to the acidic smell. I've had vanilla in beers before where it is well incorporated. It is not the case here.

The mouthfeel is as a porter should be, but the acidic bite to the beer, rather than a standard bitterness from the roasted malts, drops the score a bit.

I had high hopes for this beer due to the word "remarkable" on the label and was wholly disappointed. I expected something of a vanilla latte and got something more akin to baby back ribs. Blech.

11-08-2010 14:29:26 | More by Naugros
Photo of HuppMJH


3.15/5  rDev -13%

Look - Nice dark (almost black) color that is the norm with a lot of porters. Thin creamy head on the top, but it disappeared pretty quickly. I thought it may have just been a bad pour, but I notice multiple people have mentioned this below.

Smell - Definitely getting a vanilla/carmel mixed with espresso smell. Also picking up an odd smell that I can't exactly place; possibly a metallic type smell?

Taste - I'm picking up on the vanilla and coffee taste. Also finding some malt and a slight carmel finish.

When I'm looking for a porter, this definitely wouldn't be my beer of choice. It's a good beer to try to get your pallet to understand the taste of what people are describing in a beer (especially vanilla). Possibly a beer to take to a tasting as an example, but would be a disappointment as the main beer.

11-05-2010 21:45:12 | More by HuppMJH
Photo of chinchill

South Carolina

3.35/5  rDev -7.5%

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

10-30-2010 20:03:33 | More by chinchill
Photo of prdstmnky


1.63/5  rDev -55%

*review from notes on 3/3/10*

Pours a dark brown, coffee color leaving very little head with next to no retention. A bit of vanilla on the nose, but not a whole lot of aroma's to speak of. Taste is not at all what i expect from a porter - a hint of vanilla and some caramel / roasted malts, but the overwhelming flavor i get is a metallic sourness that is not appealing at all. Also very thin and lacking carbonation. I couldn't even make it through this whole bottle, the first true "drain pour" I've had.

I didn't find any kind of bottled on / best by date anywhere - perhaps it was a bad bottle? It was bought from a very reputable shop, properly stored. Im willing to give this another shot (if i come across this beer again) and adjust my review if warranted.

10-30-2010 19:21:53 | More by prdstmnky
Photo of steve8robin


4.2/5  rDev +16%

Got this on a trip to OH. 12oz bottle...

A: Dark brew with light highlights. Small off white head that quickly fades to nothing. Decent.

S: Hmm, kind of smells like an autumn beer here. A little confused on what you're trying to be? Hints of some smokey vanilla and cocao. Decent.

T: Super smooth vanilla. Almost like vanilla ice cream mixed with hints of roasty coffee and chocolate. I like the flavor of this one. Very good.

M: Light body with a great carbonation. Good.

D: This one goes down super easy. Very good.

All in all, this is a decent brew. If you like light flavors with an overbearing taste of vanilla, then this is for you. Otherwise avoid.

10-30-2010 02:56:55 | More by steve8robin
Photo of ElGeordie


2.88/5  rDev -20.4%

Picked up a 6 pack at Whole foods - I'd never tried a vanilla porter - now I know why!
Poured into a Sam's perfect pint glass. Very dark translucent amber colour with minimal off white head that quickly dissapated.
Hardly any carbonation to speak of.
Initial taste was not vanilla but more metallic. As the beer warmed up the vanilla flavour became more apparent but it was never dominant. The vanilla flavour is very subtle but so too is the malt - there really isn't anything there. A porter should have more body than this.
After the first one I poured a second to check that the lack of head / carbonation (and flavour) wasn't due to a leaky bottle. The second one was exactly the same.
This is a drinkable beer; the style is closer to an English mild ale but as a porter it just doesn't cut it.

10-27-2010 03:10:36 | More by ElGeordie
Photo of TheSeeker61


2.25/5  rDev -37.8%

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.

10-25-2010 12:43:03 | More by TheSeeker61
Photo of AmberMan22


3.3/5  rDev -8.8%

I found this to be a rather interesting beer, in that it excelled in some areas, but failed to excite in others. Most importantly, it did not excel in the taste category.

The beer certainly looks good enough, with a solid overall opacity to it, dark brown with some garnet highlights. A light cocoa dusting color head manages some tightly scrunched bubbles and scraps of lace. Off to a good start.

The smell is overwhelmingly of Vanilla, but not the real vanilla extract you mind find at the grocery store -- just a little off. The next smell is the chocolate malt, which actually works quite harmoniously with the vanilla. Very little roastiness or sharpness comes off in the nose, which is a letdown.

The taste is where that slightly suspect vanilla flavor meets its downfall. Way overdone IMO, the vanilla needs to be a supporting character, and there is little roasted malt presence or much else to identify the beer as a porter. That said, I will not by any means put this on the negative end of the scale, as no flavors are even close to bad.
I find the taste improperly balanced, simply put.

This certainly knocks the drinkability score, though the miniscule carbonation bubbles make this surprisingly smooth while retaining a sense of crispness.

Certainly worth a try, and I suppose the name has nailed the pecking order on the head. Vanilla, then Porter.

10-22-2010 03:32:07 | More by AmberMan22
Photo of ncaudle


3.18/5  rDev -12.2%

poured from bottle into St Bernardus goblet.

poured a dark brown with barely any head.

nice vanilla aromas, as expected. some light coffee too.

lack of head appears to be due to complete flatness. very thin body. lack of carbonation makes it somewhat hard to drink.

10-19-2010 22:23:49 | More by ncaudle
Photo of strangefate


3.6/5  rDev -0.6%

Poured into a pint glass.

Pours a dark brown with little head and little lacing.

The scent is of vanilla with a hint of coffee.

The vanilla hits your taste buds first, then dark malts. It tastes good up front, but has an almost lagery finish.

This has a light-medium body, which is a bit thinner than I would like a porter to be. Medium carbonation.

This beer didn't blow me away or anything, but it's a decent brew that I could definitely session.

10-18-2010 21:06:09 | More by strangefate
Photo of Bizz88


4/5  rDev +10.5%

Poured a very dark brown with a fading fast one fingered head with little to no lacing to speak of. Aromas of dark robust vanilla coffee. On the palette this brew was a chocolate, vanilla explosion on the tongue, Awesome! Medium bodied with desent carbonation. Two thumbs up.

10-16-2010 22:25:10 | More by Bizz88
Photo of shodrod


4.13/5  rDev +14.1%

This beer pours with a beautiful, super dark brown (not black, brown) color. The ivory colored head has decent retention and leaves a very nice lacing around the rim. The aroma hits hard with the vanilla with just a trace of alcohol. The vanilla bean dominates the front and finish of this beer with accents of coffee and chocolate. Despite the intense presence of vanilla, none of the flavors are overwhelming or overpowering. One of the smoothest beers I think I've ever had; this beer feels good in your mouth.

10-11-2010 06:10:10 | More by shodrod
Photo of revolt914


3.95/5  rDev +9.1%

Picked a bottle of this up simply because I haven't tried a Vanilla Porter and the label screamed at me what it was... a Vanilla Porter! I must say it is very vanilla and very roasted coffee/chocolate.

A: It poured a very dark brown into a Halloween skull mug. I get a little head for a second but was gone in literally a second. Left a little foam around the edge of the beer looks slightly off white on the very light brown side.

S: Smells amazing... very vanilla and I can really smell the chocolate and roast coffee smell. Love the smell of organic vanilla and it's very noticeable in this.

T: Pretty in your face taste and a damn good taste at that... couldn't give this beer a session beer status cause it's a bit harsh for consistent drinking.

M: I feel like this is one of the down points of the beer. It really doesn't open up much as you hold it on your tongue. Pretty much a sample of this for a second on the tongue and you might as well swallow.

D: It was good and it was what I was expecting for the most part but I give it a good beer grade and it's very good for what it is. I guess it isn't that great because I really just didn't enjoy it as much as I had hoped.

10-09-2010 08:18:03 | More by revolt914
Photo of goblue3509


3.6/5  rDev -0.6%

Pours a dark brown color that has a nice reddish hue to it with a thin creamy head which gives way to very little lacing. The aroma is of big vanilla over hints of coffee and light chocolate. The taste is much of the same vanilla flavor in a big way along with hints of coffee and chocolate. The mouthfeel is a little thin for the close with basically no carbonation. The drinkability is okay, it has a very nice flavor, but it is very sweet, I couldn't see you make it a session beer, but it is a nice change of pace.

10-03-2010 21:44:31 | More by goblue3509
Photo of stakem


3.23/5  rDev -10.8%

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.

09-30-2010 15:39:39 | More by stakem
Photo of gopens44


3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

I gave this one a second try as I used it for some chili that I made.

Poured the thing into a pint glass for appearance and smell, then poured off about 4 oz. into a smaller glass to give the taste another whirl (saving the rest for the chili since I didn't expect to like it the second time either)

A - Dark with a caramel colored hue. Head was foamy at first before receding from it's original 1/2" to a thin layer with some bubbles.

S - Yep, it's a Vanilla flavored beer alright. Get that right away from the smell. Hiding under the vanilla was an espresso like presence wrapped around the faint hint of malted barley.

T - Much better the second time. Almost sad that I dedicated it to cooking. If you are looking for a beer as a dessert, this could be in the line up. Plenty of syrupy vanilla taste with just the right balance of barley. Nice coffee hints as well.

M - Pretty basic. Not too thick at all, not very viscous, and maybe a moderate amount of carbonation. Aftertaste was not an issue either. Maybe a touch of vanilla lingering in a sweeter form on the tongue.

D - Upon further review, I will reverse the call on the field (dropped ball) and call it a good catch. It certainly has a time and place.

09-27-2010 12:56:02 | More by gopens44
Photo of JMad


3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

From a bottle to a pint glass...
Pours a very dark brown, had almost no head a left very little lacing.
Smells roasty and has a hint of vanilla.
Tastes of caramel roasted malt and more vanilla.
It's not that heavy, feels pretty average.
It's ok but I wouldn't drinkk too many the vanilla begins to overpower at the end.

09-25-2010 17:49:12 | More by JMad
Photo of Beerandraiderfan


3.69/5  rDev +1.9%

Scored this from Lee's in Vegas. I think on Flamingo. Brown non viscous pour, a little less head than hoped for. Nothing hits you over the head aroma wise, but as advertised, there is a faint bit of vanilla with the deep roasted malt.

More of the vanilla comes along in the taste, again, never sledgehammer like. Just right. A degree of wood mouthfeel with it, but not heavy on the palate, seems similar to black butte porter, but with some vanilla taking the place of the high hop ratio in black butte. Everything in moderation, this has just enough wood, vanilla, chocolate to it to make for a drinkable porter. Bring the price down though $9 is less than desireable.

09-23-2010 16:51:59 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of WhittlingWombat


3.45/5  rDev -4.7%

Had this been a blind tasting, I would not have guessed it to be a porter. Upon first pouring, it looked like root beer with little head. The aroma was definitely of vanilla and there were slight hints of chocolate in the taste. As the beer got warmer it seemed to get better. Notes of coffee came out the more it sat. It was a soft and light, smooth beer with an almost velvety texture. It was not overly hoppy at all; not much bitterness to it really. In fact, it had very little taste of alcohol to it as well. It was pleasantly malty.

This is a rather easy beer to drink. That being said, there is not much that is really spectacular about it. I would not find myself buying a six-pack of this, but I would not pass up drinking it at a gathering if it was there. Overall, this is an average beer.

09-23-2010 16:30:15 | More by WhittlingWombat
Photo of FreshHawk


3.85/5  rDev +6.4%

A - Dark walnut with deep ruby hues on the edges. Slightly smaller than average sized, creamy, frothy, fairly dense, toasted marshmallow color head. Pretty good retention with a really nice layer of creamy lace.

S - Good amount of roasted barley and malt aroma. Some chocolate aroma and vanilla is present. Some caramel, toasted grain, and just the slightest hint of burnt brown sugar.

T - Dark roasted barley and some caramel malt starts off the taste with some chocolate flavors also coming out. Mid sip, the vanilla comes out pretty strong with some chocolate in the background. Some earthy and nutty flavors come out in the middle as well. It finishes with a pretty good mix of chocolate and vanilla. Has a good amount of sweetness and some roasted flavors as well. Nice that it isn't really artificial tasting vanilla or cloying.

M - Lighter side of medium body with a good level of carbonation. Pretty smooth but a bit on the thin side.

D - Pretty easy to drink, but the sweet and roasted flavors get a bit much on the tongue that I wouldn't want to drink more than maybe 2 in a night.

Notes: Interesting tasting beer with a nice vanilla taste. Not too cloying, sweet, and not really artificial tasting. I liked this, but didn't really love it. One that I wouldn't mind every once in awhile, but it doesn't really enchant me.

09-18-2010 02:57:22 | More by FreshHawk
Photo of StephenRich

Ontario (Canada)

3.93/5  rDev +8.6%

"A vanilla kiss in a rich, dark sea" is how the Breckenridge Brewery describes their Remarkable Vanilla Porter. For several years I have heard, and read great things about this Colorado brewery - with so many other amazing beers being produced in Colorado it was easy to believe the hype. But I had never had any of their beers, sadly. During my last trip to the United States I saw a classically branded bottle of beer blatantly staring at me with the word Vanilla. That is an easy way to my heart, and when I recognized that it was a Breckenridge beer I saw the perfect opportunity to score!

So lets break this down... Vanilla and Porter. A porter is a dark ale with soft favors of roast, nut, cocoa and sometimes coffee. It is not as dry or roasty as a stout, and is often mild in strength. Sweetness can come by way of caramel, malt, nuts, or vanilla. Then add vanilla beans from Madagascar - more vanilla! This porter is not to boisterous, it is just 4.7%, so I am expecting smooth, creamy, lightly warming, but gentle.

The branding of the Remarkable Vanilla Porter is what first caught my attention. The 355ml bottle has a cream and off white label with classic type and plainly indicates VANILLA PORTER. Therein lies an issue though; it claims right on the bottle that is it a Remarkable Vanilla Porter. To me this means that this porter has a fantastic vanilla flavor, a big lush and creamy one. Putting something like this on the label means that if it doesn't live up to its name, it will disappoint. If it was just the Remarkable Porter it would still be great even if only a smidge of vanilla was present. Only one way to find out I guess.

I opened the Porter cool around 10C (50F) and poured it into a stemmed beer glass. The pour was smooth and soft gently building a seemingly dense medium tan brown head right away. A slow and silky pour created an amber brown to black beer with 1.5 inches of almond shade creamy head resting atop it. The beer had a rich bronze glow peeling inward from the sides and bottom of the glass. You could tell the color was richly transparent and golden, but the dark nutty and roasty malts inherent to a porter have created a midnight brown that is almost impenetrable. Very impressive.

The nose is soft and gentle wafting light roast, hint of nuts, malt and vanilla into my senses. It is calm and smooth without any abrupt characters, just simple and refined ones. A wide range of malts finds its way in from bready pale malts to roasty and lightly chocolate dark malts. Caramel fades in the back, as does the unmistakable aroma of vanilla. I tried to keep in mind that this beer is just under 5%, so I shouldn't expect a crash of vanilla, nor should I need one. This is an easy drinking porter, perhaps even a sessionable one.

Letting the Porter glide into my palate was a soothing and relaxing moment of joy. It is soft and gentle with light roast and toasted nuts right off the bat. The more I sipped this beer the more came out of it. Warming malts come in from the back to your cheeks bringing caramel and vanilla - vanilla the whole time. The silky vanilla sensations here match warm baked bread, walnuts, and oatmeal.

Roasted barley an touches of cocoa are gentle in the background, as is a hint of earth and hops. But overall the bitterness here comes from the roast, and helps balance soft caramel and soothing vanilla. The flavors are not big, but they are apparent. This beer pulls off flavor very well while remaining soft and relaxing. I could session this beer for sure, but would enjoy it best with cheeses or roast meat. Or better yet, a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I still want more vanilla.

What I did not love about it was the mouthfeel and its somewhat aggressive carbonation. The finish was pretty crisp, and even a bit refreshing - but I wanted smooth and soothing here. Not that it is attacking or sharp, but smoother and creamier would have done very well for the flavors found here. It is hard to create that, but I think it would have stepped this beer up a big notch. Nonetheless, I very delicious vanilla porter, but not quite remarkable in my eyes.

Pics at: http://wp.me/pNKWo-1da

09-15-2010 15:58:00 | More by StephenRich
Photo of LacquerHead


3.05/5  rDev -15.7%

Poured this into an average pint glass. It looked a lot like root beer, produced a cool webbing of foam on the glass.

S: not much to it.

T: I was expecting a whole lot more. There wasn't a "natural vanilla" flavor; rather it seemed manufactured - like the difference between imitation and pure vanilla extract. A coffee flavor showed up now and again in the beginning. As it got warmer the beer showed signs of hope. A more malty flavor emerged but it was rudimentary.

M/F: it had lager characteristics. Very carbonated

D: it was decent. I had two and that was enough.

Conclusion: It reminded me more of a black lager then a porter. I was expecting more flavor and smoother texture. For a porter it was on the lower end of average for me. I might drink this again at a bar if the options were limited, but I wouldn't purchase a 6pck.

09-08-2010 18:57:45 | More by LacquerHead
Photo of Onenote81

North Carolina

2.95/5  rDev -18.5%

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a dark cola color with a light fizzy sheet on top. No lace. This really looks like a coke...wait, a vanilla coke. Scents of vanilla, cocoa beans. Pretty sweet smelling. Not a lot of depth here.

The body is decent. Carbonation level is higher than most Porters, but not astringent at all. This is definitely a vanilla-forward beer. Super sweet. Some milk chocolate noted, and a light roasted aftertaste, but this is really sweet. A decent dessert beer, but that's about it. I hardly could finish the one, let alone have another.

09-08-2010 14:36:28 | More by Onenote81
Vanilla Porter from Breckenridge Brewery
82 out of 100 based on 3,024 ratings.