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Vanilla Porter - Breckenridge Brewery

Not Rated.
Vanilla PorterVanilla Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,318 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,318
Reviews: 970
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 15.66%
Wants: 75
Gots: 399 | 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: 3,318 | Reviews: 970 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of washburnkid
3.03/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Small cap of head over the expected dark browns and rubies. Aromas are prominently chocolate malt that really wafts out of the pour. Flavors are slightly cloying at first. Sweetness from the chocolate and coffee malt are there but then each sip turns a little sour. I'm not sure where that's coming from? Goes from bitter to tangy and back again, which is a little misplaced in my opinion. Mouthfeel is light with low carbonation. Thankfully the awkward sour character really tone down when the beer warms up, but I think I'll pass on this one next time...

washburnkid, Aug 17, 2011
Photo of kjyost
3.45/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Undated bottle purchased at Happy Harry's North Grand Forks. Poured into a tulip at 4C, let warm through the glass.

A: Clear and fairly dark brown. Edges give wisps or brownish red. Where is the head though? Barely there and fizzy. No lacing.
S: Lots of roasted notes with molasses. InitIally a touch of vanilla comes through.
T: Chocolate, roasted malts, sweetness that was initially cloying but is now more balanced as it warmed, vanilla. The vanilla really comes through as the body warms. Went from meh to decent.
M: Started thin and watery, became fuller over time. Carbonation was overly prickly though.
O: Initially I was going to rake this over the coals. Still not sure I love it, but definitely decent. Let it warm BAs. Let it warm. Still hate the lack of head though

kjyost, Aug 16, 2011
Photo of NotMyRealName
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a bit like root beer for adults. The contrast of the real vanilla and the hops is unusual but tasty. Despite my root beer comparison, this is a beer that doesn't fall into the category of a dessert beer and can be happily enjoyed with a meal.

NotMyRealName, Aug 15, 2011
Photo of Eriktheipaman
4.5/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown that allows some light in. Not much of a head.

The smell is chocolate and vanilla bean.

The taste has a very little bitterness on the front followed by a quick roast and then a hugeee amount of vanilla.

It really surprised me to see such a low rating on here. The beer is exactly what I was hoping for and then some. In my opinion, VERY porter like with a lot of vanilla presence. I am glad I bought two bottles cause this is great!

Eriktheipaman, Aug 13, 2011
Photo of kojevergas
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | 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.

kojevergas, Aug 13, 2011
Photo of weizenbob
2.7/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

"Ale brewed with real vanilla beans". 12 ounce brown bottle purchased at Ladd's & Co. in Muskegon, MI. No bottling date was located on the bottle. The bottle was poured to a chalice. A vertical pour manifests nearly two fingers of mocha head. Retention is moderate. A good amount of lacing bleeds down the side of the glass. The brew is a very dark shade of walnut. It is a pretty glass of beer.

The aroma displays a sweet chocolate scent with a nice vanilla punch and an unfortunate wet cardboard reminiscence.

The flavor is very sweet, and despite the name, not very porter-like. There is a very nice vanilla induced sweetness upfront. Unfortunately, the flavor is quickly overtaken by wet cardboard. I had to look in the bottle to make sure that an extra label didn't somehow end up inside. Blech! An interesting cocoa flavor seeps in; but unfortunately nothing can overcome the sensation that I'm drinking liquid paper. Really there are some interesting things going on here but they are all ruined by the feeling that I put a cardboard box in my mouth.

The mouthfeel is light, but with an underlying creaminess that lifts this beer a notch above average. The carbonation level is light.

This sounded like a great idea. I think of the great porters that I've sampled, and then think of them with a hint of vanilla, and my mouth can't help but wonder how awesome this could have been. Although this isn't a typical porter to begin with, there are some interesting things happening in the flavor profile that are unfortunately ruined by a really gross pulpiness. When I need a nice vanilla tinted chocolate fix, I think I'd be better off eating a box of Cocoa Puffs...literally eating the box.


The Two-Schlitz Scale: (reference my profile for an explanation)
I don't give a Schlitz about this disgusting porter. I've said it before and I'll say it again here; I need to crack open a Schlitz tallboy to wash this awful taste from my mouth.

weizenbob, Aug 11, 2011
Photo of dcall384
3.53/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-This beer poured a dark brown almost black. Did not form much of a head and the head that was there went away pretty quickly.

S- It smelled strong of roasted malts and had kind of a nutty smell to it. Did not smell any vanilla at all.

T- It tasted like a typical porter. Nothing too special.Tasted like coffee and malts. It was actually kind of bland. Not sure why they put vanilla on the lable, because I did not taste any.

M- Felt kind of watery for a porter. Not much texture there at all.

O- Not a bad beer, but not a great beer. It was a pretty forgetable beer. I think they should take the vanilla off the bottle and just call it "porter" instead.

dcall384, Aug 10, 2011
Photo of beerstallion
2.83/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

If you were to order beer at an ice cream shop this is what it would taste like.

Poured a medium black with a light tan head and had some lacing. Honestly didn't look that impressive.

The nose was equally unimpressive. I got a whiff of chocolate malt in one nostril and a whiff of vanilla extract in another. In and of themselves each flavor was great but they did not blend well.

I was a little nervous after the appearance and smell but this Vanilla Porter tasted great. A rich chocolate truffle overtop fresh vanilla bean ice cream with a finish of Vanilla Coke. I really wish the vanilla flavor was more subtle.

Low-medium carbonation made this beer nice and creamy, like a chocolate and vanilla milkshake. At less than 5% i'm a little disappointed. 4.7% makes good session beers, this does not.

I feel like if the vanilla were more subtle than I would give this a B or B+ but hey...

beerstallion, Aug 10, 2011
Photo of axeman9182
2.9/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle, allowed to warm a bit before being poured into my Duvel tulip.

Breckenridge Vanilla Porter pours black, with about two fingers of cream colored foam capping the beer. Head retention and lacing are both present, but neither really impress. The nose is initially downright unimpressive, a weak vanilla presence and some nutty notes that, while not bad, have no place being the centerpiece for a porter over coffee, chocolate, or even caramel. As the beer gets close to room temperature though, a milk chocolate aroma does join the proceedings and redeem the beer a little bit. Unfortunately, even warming can't save the flavor this one. The vanilla that is present tastes like it was added via cut rate flavoring rather than beans, and it's supported only by the taste of toasted nuts, something that should, best case scenario, appear sparingly is a secondary note in a porter. The body is solidly full for being an under 5% brew. The carbonation is right near where it needs to be, but to me comes across as just a touch low at times. I was excited for this one, as I love adding vanilla to dark beers, so Breckenridge's Vanilla Porter is a letdown

axeman9182, Aug 06, 2011
Photo of chocosushi
4.38/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz=>Two Melbourn Bros. Long-Stemmed Tulips

A ~ Pours a deep mahogany/black with a milky, light chestnut head. Looks damn smooth.

S ~ Lovely nose of roasted malt, French Vanilla Ice Cream, faint cocoa powder & powdered sugar.

T ~ Lush chocolate shavings, dark malts & vanilla wafer that fades into fresh heavy cream & coconut milk, finishing with nutella-smeared-toast. Almost a mocha thing going on.

M ~ Sweet & sensual throughout with a twinge of bitter on the end reminding you it is indeed a porter. Pleasant cinsistency; they've got the cream factor d o w n.

D ~ Amazing feel & flavor that is smooth going down. The chocolate flavors remind me of notes in Boulevard's Chocolate.
Wish I had more!
Cheers & Thanks saramisu!

chocosushi, Jul 30, 2011
Photo of lurpy1
3.35/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a medium brownish-black with a medium head, frankly, this beer doesn't impress much on first glance. The smell is nicely sweet without being cloying. WRT taste, my wife was all about this beer; I found it pretty good and nicely balanced, but there was a vague bitterness that was a bit false in a beer that is going vanilla. Very good job at minimizing aftertaste though. All in all, not bad.

lurpy1, Jul 27, 2011
Photo of shand
4.08/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a mug.

This brew pours a brown color with two fingers of head that quickly drop down. The aroma is very nice, there's a very nice, realistic vanilla bean note over roasted malts. The taste has a nice roasted maltiness, along with chocolate notes. But the real star of the show is the vanilla notes, which are very well done. They're not heavy-handed, but instead a realistic vanilla note shines through the other notes. The mouthfeel is nice, it's got a nice, creamy, well-carbonated mouthfeel. The drinkability is very good; however, you have to like vanilla to want to be able to drink this one. Overall, this was a very enjoyable brew.

shand, Jul 27, 2011
Photo of celticfutblclub
2.95/5  rDev -19%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass

a brownish black body that appears quite thin with a thin white head and no real lacing. vanilla toffee and chocolate are in the nose but it all feels very light and subdued. with a vanilla porter you expect a big bang and this nose is a dud. vanilla toffee and chocolate again its a little bit more noticeable in the taste than the nose but it definitely is still lacking and feels watered down. they definitely got the balance of the flavors down well and if they were just a bit more present this would be a very good beer. carbonation is low and works well. overall this is just a decent beer which is too bad because i think if they tweaked a few things here they could have a real beast.

celticfutblclub, Jul 27, 2011
Photo of DaveBlack
3.53/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark brown with a reddish tint when viewed through the light and at the edges, just barely opaque. An aggressive pour yields only about a finger's width of off-white head that has decent retention and leaves a very thin coating over most of the beer's surface.

S: Smell is super sweet with heavy hits of vanilla, also some chocolate and a very light roasty aroma.

T: Taste is pretty good. Malts add a nice roasted bitterness, and then the sweetness of the vanilla swoops in and adds sweetness and a creaminess to the beer. The aftertaste is actually relatively bitter, which also helps balance out the sweetness. Even with that, however, the sweetness gets a bit cloying after a few sips. I wish there was more to the flavor beyond the chocolate malts and vanilla bean, but not bad.

M: medium body, so actually very light for a porter, with a low amount of carbonation.

O: Not a great beer, but pretty good. Certainly drinkable, and might be best after a meal since it tastes so strongly of vanilla. Lacking for complexity, but well balanced, if a bit on the sweet side.

DaveBlack, Jul 26, 2011
Photo of jman892
3.7/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours into a pint glass, dark brown with ruby highlights, with a tan head that retained very well. Nice lacing

S - Smells mostly of vanilla, not a whole lot else

T - Taste strongly hints of vanilla, some charred malts, a hint of black licorice

M - Somewhat on the thin side, especially for the style. Low carbonation

O - A nice easy drinker, would have this again.

jman892, Jul 26, 2011
Photo of claytong
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

appearance - soda pop looking on pour. small head retains lacing nicely. dark ruby red. pretty but not what you expect out of a porter

smell - takes a hard sniff to get vanilla and some roasted malts, a hard hard sniff

taste - ah, very nice vanilla beans. creamy, actually a lot of cream on end. pretty nice

mouthfeel - creamy, smooth and well carbonated for the style. i like it.

claytong, Jul 24, 2011
Photo of Chickenhawk9932
3.4/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured dark brown - mahogany - with a tan head, little retention.

Smelled largely of vanilla, hard to detect much else, some coffee and chocolate notes.

Taste is vanilla - it dominates the scene- there is a nice porter here with subtle coffee & chocolate notes, but the aftertaste again is all vanilla. It has a very nice creamy mouthfeel, but is too much vanilla for me.

Chickenhawk9932, Jul 15, 2011
Photo of bayougutter
4.1/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured to a snifter and is a medium brown with ruby highlights. A medium pour produced a solid one finger off white head that had decent retention and very good lacing.

Smell: Vanilla slaps you in face but it was blended with sweet roasted malts and chocolate. Smelled great.

Taste: Vanilla slaps you again with roasted malts, cocoa, and finished with a little bitter coffee.

Mouthfeel: A little creamy, coats the mouth well, for a porter.

Overall: Me likey. But you had better like vanilla as it is its main flavor but not too overbearing for me. A nice change of pace beer.

bayougutter, Jul 14, 2011
Photo of horshack7
3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: The beer is oh so wonderfully dark with a light caramel colored head that is about two inches thick. As the head thins out it does leave behind some decent lacing.

Aroma: Well nice roasted malts with of course notes of vanilla. From the hops side of things a solid roasting for them. Bits of dark bread in the nose as well.

Taste: The mouthfeel is fairly creamy with a little bite. Lots upon lots of vanilla at the start. Malts release a molasses sweetness but it's certainly not alot a good touch. Hops are once again roasted dark that add a slight floral note to it.

Notes: A very tasty and well brewed vanilla porter. A good find. Cheers.

horshack7, Jul 10, 2011
Photo of Bfarr
3.7/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown with a thin tan head, light orange highlights with no retention or lacing. Vanilla and light chocolate aroma. Strong vanilla with roasted and dark chocolate notes and an overall strong sweetness. Sharp yet robust feel.

I will start by saying I am rather preferential to vanilla. That being said I did rather enjoy this beer although I will say I wasn’t sure whether this was brewed with vanilla or infused with vanilla. The vanilla is so strong it seems fairly artificial. However, I still liked it overall although the feel left something to be desired for a porter.

Bfarr, Jul 08, 2011
Photo of oriolesfan4
2.83/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

From the Breckenridge sampler pack. Pours a dark mahogany brown, nice little white frothy head to it. Aroma is of very faint vanilla. Taste is really thin, especially for the style which kind of ruins the mouthfeel for me. The vanilla isn't super present, but as the beer warms it shows more. Aftertaste is lackluster and doesn't just come together for me, too sloppy and watered down, and the vanilla feels out of place. The rest of the beers in the sampler pack were good, but I'd pass on this one.

oriolesfan4, Jul 08, 2011
Photo of mjgooner13
3.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Nice dark brown color, 1 finger head which disappears quickly but leaves some lacing

S- Getting loads of vanilla and some smoky/roasted notes...quite enjoyable

T- Getting some coffee flavors which is a nice surprise since i didn't get any of that in the nose. Vanilla is next and followed by the roasted flovors from the nose. The beer's flavors become more pronounced as it sits and is def a nice flavorful drink.

M- Def a little on the heavy side as you might expect from a porter, but it a smooth drink and rolls through the mouth.

O- Nice vanilla, coffee and roasted flavors...not the best i've every had but still very good. I will certainly have this again at some point.

mjgooner13, Jul 06, 2011
Photo of Francepants06
3/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

it poured a watered down brown ale color with a very small off white head which quickly dissipated. I didn't really smell the vanilla bean till it warmed up. It was not really porter tasting and the vanilla was very weak I got just old cold coffee aromas. The body was more light to medium, but not very smooth. It was just an average beer all around. I will not drink this again.

Francepants06, Jul 06, 2011
Photo of uustal
4.3/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a mahogany brown with a one-finger coffee cream colored head. Aroma of vanilla beans, cream, hint of coffee and molasses. Really big vanilla bean flavor to start. Vanilla cake and melted ice cream like sweetness. Bit of caramel and a hint of roasted malts wrap this one up. This beer is vanilla or bust, but very enjoyable if that's in your wheelhouse.

uustal, Jul 06, 2011
Photo of ferrari29
3.43/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Beer poured from bottle into a Mug shaped glass

A - Beer poured with a latte colored head, which was about half a finger in height and dissipated rather quickly; body has a dark brown, with reddish hue colored body, opaque; well-carbonated; little lacing left behind

S - Light roasted malt nose; vanilla beans; perfume; licorice; floral, rose; light touch of sweet caramel

T - Vanilla bean, reminds me a bit of root beer float; sweet and bitter flavors; sweet at the beginning and just a mix of roasted malt flavors at the end; floral, rose; licorice

M - Has body, but light for a porter; I expected it to be a lot heavy; flat and not very bubbly; sweet vanilla aftertaste

D - Not a bad beer with some nice vanilla sweetness; low scores for flavor character but still has a nice balance of vanilla beans and roasted malt

ferrari29, Jul 03, 2011
Vanilla Porter from Breckenridge Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 3,318 ratings.