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Vanilla Porter - Breckenridge Brewery

Not Rated.
Vanilla PorterVanilla Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,100 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,100
Reviews: 954
rAvg: 3.62
pDev: 15.75%
Wants: 62
Gots: 294 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Mebuzzard on 01-13-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,100 | Reviews: 954 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Mavajo
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

Pours an opaque black/rubyish with medium head. The nose and taste are both pretty straightforward - sweet, vanilla. Nothing shocking or especially complex here, but quite tasty. I think I would have enjoyed a bit more prominance from the flavor. Mouthfeel is medium bodied.

All in all, this is one of my favorite porters to date. I tend to find porters a bit too watery and almost flat tasting, but this was great. This will definitely be my go-to beer for the style.

Mavajo, Nov 13, 2009
Photo of Arielle
4.1/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

When I think porter, I think dark, I think heavy, I think intense. This vanilla porter pours dark, has nice lacing, but is not overpowering at all. It would have been really easy to throw off the balance of this beer, but it finishes very well. Upfront, you get the wafting of vanilla bean and cocoa, with a splash of vanilla in the front palette, but not an intense amount of vanilla in the body.

This means it is very drinkable and pleasant; it is the quaffable version of sitting on a fur rug in a snowed in cabin in colorado under a snuggie. It reminds me of all things wintery and jolly; rather than being just another infused porter, it rises above it's competition to the top of the slopes. I would definately reccomend this beer, especially as an introduction into the dark side.

Arielle, Nov 12, 2009
Photo of Rayek
3.6/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Perfect Pint glass.

A: Deep mahogany. A little on the pale side, to be honest. A dense cream cap has OK retention and leaves a good amount of lace.

S: Vanilla stands out, which I guess is the point here. Behind it is a nice dose of dark chocolate. Smells a bit like a malted milk shake.

T: Again, there's a lot of vanilla bean at work here. The malted milk theme continues, as the beer is quite sweet. There's just enough of a burnt bitterness going on to keep the beer from going over the sweet edge. Finishes with lingering burnt bitter and vanilla flavors.

M: The light body feels a touch watery. Carbonation is about right.

D: Not bad, overall. The beer picks its theme and sticks to it. The low ABV makes it go down quick.

Rayek, Nov 09, 2009
Photo of Mosstrooper
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into 19oz pilsner glass.

Appearance: Pours black with some cola-brown showing through, and a medium white head that dissipates quickly, with minimal lacing.

Smell: Roasted malt with a vanilla scent reminiscent of cake.

Taste: Sweet, roasted chocolate beginning with a balanced vanilla flavor. Roasted bitterness comes through in the finish- great balance overall.

Mouthfeel: Thick and smooth, with light carbonation. I rarely say this, but a bit more carbonation could've done nice.

Drinkability: Overall a balanced beer. Would go great with some vanilla ice cream.

Mosstrooper, Nov 06, 2009
Photo of MirkoCroCough
3.65/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz into pint glass.

Dark, coffee color with a nice tan and foamy head.

Smells good. Nice roasted offering.

Sweet, almost coco like with a marshmallow like flav.

Very little carbonation. Like flat cola. Works well for the beer.

While this isn't the type of beer you would drink all day, it serves its purpose. Delicious with some scrambled eggs, hash browns and toast. It would go well with a piece of chocolate cake as well.

Breakfast is served.

MirkoCroCough, Nov 01, 2009
Photo of bonsreeb85
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A - black w/ eye pleasing tan dome that collapses after a couple of minutes.

S - vanilla beans really shine though against a chocolate/coffee bean and roasted malt backing. i get whiffs of oak chips and slight tobacco as well.

T - again, the beers namesake takes center stage with a welcome woody characteristic in the well rounded flavor profile. in the end I wish it was a bit bolder and richer. the nose hints at much more of a robust and flavorful brew, but the flavor never really gets complex or strong.

MF - medium bodied with moderate carbonation. crisper than expected, but in the end it is more watery and thin than i would like.

D - very approachable. hats off for taking a dry vanilla bean approach to this porter, in what could of been an overly sweeted disaster. good flavor overall with enough body to hold it's own. not the best, but drinkable.

bonsreeb85, Oct 29, 2009
Photo of Cyberkedi
3.98/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one pours a deep, opaque sable with a fairly thick light tan head. Aroma is smoky and coffee-ish with an overtone of vanilla, a little like coffee with vanilla flavored cream added. Flavor is strongly of fine roast coffee with a sweet vanilla overtone. Texture is very smooth, almost flat and just a little fizzy.

Cyberkedi, Oct 27, 2009
Photo of Lolli1315
3.15/5  rDev -13%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A- A dark brown, not quite black that can surprisingly be seen through. Small head that disappears pretty quickly and little lacing to be seen. Not a great start for a porter.

S- A lot of roasted malts jump out quickly, great start. A sort of sweet malt smell as well, not exactly vanilla as you would think, but maybe this is a residue of it.

T- The biggest section of this beer is the roasted malts, and they do not disappoint. The beer is finished with a subtle vanilla sweetness, but it seems too subdued to be effective in the beer. Really what it does it just leave you craving more vanilla because of its absence. The taste seems like a nice starting point for a vanilla porter, but it is more of a stepping stone then anything else. Also starts to nag on you a little big towards the end of the beer making you not want to finish.

M- A little thin for my liking in a porter. I would categorize it as a little beneath medium body, needs to be a little more chewy.

D- Not a bad beer to put down, but I don't think I would go back for another. The lack of anything truly special that jumps out of this beer gives it a little blandness.

Notes: Worth trying and maybe someone else will like the subtle notes of vanilla, but I wanted a little more. Do not know if I will be purchasing this beer again.

Lolli1315, Oct 23, 2009
Photo of Spineypanda
3.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a tasty porter that has a nice roasted taste to it.

The appearance is nice and dark, but allows a little light through, and the head is a nice caramel color.

Smells of roasted malts, and maybe some vanilla... but it may be the name messing with my head.
Has the taste of roasted malts.. a bit spicy tasting but good, and a tiny taste of vanilla, not as much as I expected considering its in the title.

Not a bad beer though and I would buy it again. Interested to try it on tap!

Spineypanda, Oct 20, 2009
Photo of vdread
3/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Breckenridge Vanilla Porter pours out a dark, almost black, ruby color with a flat little mocha colored head that disappates quickly into nothing. it looks like i'm drinking a Coca-Cola.

i can smell some roastiness, vanilla.

the taste is of over the top vanilla and roasted malts, some light chocolate notes. pretty standard porter fare, but the vanilla seems strong. my friend says he can't taste any vanilla at all, though.

mouthfeel is light for the style, but slightly creamy.

i have enjoyed one or two of these from time to time. i probably will again.

and just for fun:
Breckenridge Vanilla Porter Aged one year (accidental experiment)

pours deep brown with red around the edges. no head, just a thin, sick looking collar. smells of vanilla and sour milk. tastes sickeningly sweet, with the overt artificial vanilla taste. has a slight porter taste. much more roasted porter taste than a fresh bottle, but also much more sour and sweet. mouthfeel light and slick, maybe a little creamy at times. drinkability low. i could barely finish this. obviously, this beer is not meant for age.

vdread, Oct 18, 2009
Photo of joshuadlight
3.15/5  rDev -13%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

This beer is such a disappointment. Its not that I've been blown away by Breckenridge's offerings, but its even below the average stuff they churn out.
First of all, this hardly gets your mouth watering when you can see easily all the way through it without even holding it to light. Its far from black and there is no head to speak of.
Vanilla is oily, and clouds most everything else. It doesn't seem like it was brewed with vanilla beans, but rather like they took a weak porter and poured some extract in it.
Its fine as a session if watery and clear porters are your thing.

joshuadlight, Oct 16, 2009
Photo of Phyl21ca
2.23/5  rDev -38.4%
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.

Phyl21ca, Oct 08, 2009
Photo of mdwalsh
3.83/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: A vigorous, direct into the middle of the glass pour produces a decently sized beige head of tightly packed bubbles but little texture. There's a just better than nothing lace. The beer is dark brown and when held up to the light seems pretty clear and has plenty of active carbonation. Head retention is poor.

S: Nice vanilla and malt smell. Some roasted character, but more on the dark caramel side than outright roasted. It doesn't smell strong, but oddly it still manages to fill the air around me with a vanilla-y aroma.

T: Taste is similar to the smell, though I get more vanilla and less roast in general. Gives it a sort of cola/root beer/cream soda taste that's kinda nice. The vanilla is more pronounced as it warms.

M: Very smooth. Almost flat? There's no carbonation sparkle on the tongue, that's for sure.

D: Pretty drinkable, not amazing, I'm still not THAT into this beer, but it's good.

mdwalsh, Oct 08, 2009
Photo of rfgetz
3.55/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Hazy dark brown in color. Pours with little head and little lacing. Smell is a very mild roasted coffee, semi-sweet chocolate and vanilla. Whiffs of earth and smoke also present. Taste follows smell with a mild blend of medium roasted coffee, semi sweet chocolate, vanilla and sugar. Does indeed have a smokey and earthy quality as well. Medium bodied, on the thinner side of a porter. Decent beer, best served as close to room temperature as possible to get all the nuances.

rfgetz, Oct 07, 2009
Photo of Blakaeris
3.1/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours dark brown with ruby highlights. Head is a fluffy mass that leaves sheets of lacing.

Aroma is charred dark grain, vanilla, and powdered cocoa. However, there is also a strange vegetal quality.

Taste is exactly what the nose described. Smokey dark grain and vanilla dominate. Chocolate, nut, and hints of toffee make an appearance. Finishes with a musty, stale coffee bitterness.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, soft and smooth.

Worth a try, but not outstanding. A little syrupy for my taste, with a touch too much vanilla and an odd off finish.

Blakaeris, Sep 27, 2009
Photo of ski271
3.03/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Clear, slightly ruddy, dark brown with a small, tan, foamy head that slowly dimishines to a thin film. Smells of lightly smokey, roasted malts with light vanilla. Taste follows suit, but with the vanilla MUCH more noticable. It has a medium-full body, texture starts out creamy, then gets a little syrupy, and then turn dry late on the finish. It's not a very complex beer. Not terrible, but nothing special.

ski271, Sep 20, 2009
Photo of Redrover
3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I like the Breckenridge beers I have drank, so I had high hopes for this one. On tap for $2.75 at the Flying Saucer in Houston (great Monday night specials!). Served in a standard pint, the beer us dark brown with a tan head. Decent lacing.

It has a aroma of vanilla and dark roasted malts.

The taste leads with roasted malts and sweet vanilla and slowpoke sucker. I like it, but it's a bit understated. Everything was tad subdued.

The mouth borders on thin, but it is silky. This is a once a month desert type beer for me.

Redrover, Sep 16, 2009
Photo of kerklein2
3.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a shaker pint. Head is very thin, even when vigorously poured. Lacing is slight. Color is dark but with a nice ruby red feel. I would expect more head out of a porter.

S: The smell is mostly of vanilla but some of the chocolate sneaks through as well. A little bit of bourbon in there too.

T: Really heavy on the vanilla, but I personally like that. Some bourbon taste too, but that may just be the vanilla. The chocolate, caramel, and roasty notes really play second fiddle to the vanilla. Not much bitterness but the bitterness that does come across seems more of a bourbon bitterness than a hop bitterness.

M: Very creamy in texture, almost like a stout. I think this one blurs the line between porter and stout. For how creamy it is, it finishes a little empty, a little watery. This watery flavor lingers in your mouth and takes away from the excellent start.

D: I personally love the vanilla richness of this beer, but a lot of people may find it too overwhelming. At 4.7% ABV, I'll probably polish off this 6er I'm working on.

Overall, the beer is exactly what it says it is and I'm very happy with it. Would definitely purchase again.

kerklein2, Sep 15, 2009
Photo of mntlover
3.63/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a brown some red when held to the light thumb sized brownish head falss to ring some lacing left behind.

Aroma is light roasted malts some chocolate hints mixed with vanilla and some sweetness.Little light maybe but eenkoyble non the less.

Taste is like aroma but little milder, some roasted notes llightly sweet. Chocolate notes mingle with vanilla hints. Finish is light sweetness and some bittering hops. Overall flavor is on the light side not as good as the nose indicates.

Mouthfeel is on the light side of medium carbonation is decent non issue. Just seems like the flavor a little light.

Drinkability is like the taste decent but not good enough to make you want to purchase more really. Vanilla is on light side also for a so called vanilla porter.

mntlover, Sep 11, 2009
Photo of apbarwood
2.73/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark dark brown color with some redness against the light. Nice lace on the sides of the glass and swirling on the top of the beer. Almost nothing on the aroma, a faint sweetness that I guess is supposed to be vanilla but it's hard to tell. The flavor started weak but strengthened as it warmed up. A subtle vanilla flavor that isn't really all that pleasant and some mild roasted malt. Also, it kind of sticks to the mouth and given it's less than stellar flavor, it's not a welcome stickiness. All things considered a very disappointing brew, I expected more from these guys and this beer in particular but found it very lackluster. Very unmemorable and lacking any kind of direction. The flavors and aromas that were present were either uninteresting or unpleasant.

apbarwood, Sep 10, 2009
Photo of damndirtyape
3.78/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle with no date poured into a tumbler. Practically no head at all and just a thin foam skim on the top of the beer and the edge of glass. No lacing. The beer is a dark orange-red.

Smell - when the beer is cold I smell nothing. Upon warming up I get some hints of vanilla and a hint of those coffee/porter smells one gets from the roasted malts. But not a lot.

Taste - when cold its mostly sweet - so like others have recommended I let it warm up before drinking more. Upon warming I get that sweet vanilla at first (reminded me a bit of a cream soda) followed by coffee and mild bitter. Guessing correctly the beer would be on the sweet side it went really well with chocolate chip cookies. It's a nice blend of flavors but you really must let it warm up. Cold out of the bottle I thought I was having a soda. Once warm though it's much more like a real porter with vanilla flavor balanced with the typical porter tastes.

Mouthfeel - no carbonation, a bit thick and it evenly coats the tongue and throat. Goes down smoothly.

Drinkability - I'm finding I'm enjoying porters so much that I may change my favorite beer type, but for me this is a beer that I have because the combination of flavors sounds interesting, but it's not an outstanding porter. This means that if I had to choose between this porter and another, I'd probably pick the other one. Not because I didn't like it, but because I want just the coffee and chocolates in the porter, not the vanilla so much. It's strictly a personal taste issue - some people like white chocolate, some people like dark chocolate. I like a normal porter but this Vanilla porter was a good experience just not my favorite flavor combination.

damndirtyape, Sep 10, 2009
Photo of PerroGrande
3.73/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours to a deep orange-red with a moderately thick, tan foamy head. The foam disperses at a moderate pace, leaving only a few laces on the glass.

Smell: Certainly noticeable vanilla aroma. Otherwise, nothing stands out to my rather insensitive nose.

Taste: Opens rather tamely and indistinctly. Nothing bad or offensive in the opening -- just nothing overwhelming or even distinct. Vanilla steps in throughout, along with some gentle malt tones. Finish is smooth and fades gently away leaving only some hints of vanilla. Given the opportunity to warm and breath, some hops show up *very* subtly in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: A little thin for a porter, in my opinion. Smooth, although not particularly creamy.

Drinkability: Certainly not a bad drinking experience. ABV is certainly manageable. Seems to improve with some opportunity to breathe and warm. I might try another one of these at a slightly higher temperature.

I'd like to try this beer with various foods -- although there is a distinct risk that it would be overwhelmed by a highly flavored food. Recommendation: Pour this, let it breathe and warm before drinking.

PerroGrande, Sep 04, 2009
Photo of ThatWineGuy
3.1/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Cola appearance, brown edges, momentary light brown head that left a ring and a wispy centre with no visible carbonation. Smell was more dark chocolate than vanilla, there was a dry cocoa aroma. Tasted more like a vanilla flavoured beer than one brewed with vanilla beans per se. Bitterness lacking and no hop presence or astringency whatsoever. Mouthfeel was a bit silky yet syrupy. As I sipped on, this beer reminded me very much of a flat cola - featureless and uninspired. Finish was equally one dimensional and I couldn't be sure if it conjured up dark chocolate or vanilla extract. If one argues that the chocolate predominates, it certainly wasn't akin to a bakers chocolate as it lacked the bitter edge. Body quite thin for the style. Unfortunately, this beer did not live up to its promising label (which includes the advisement that it was brewed with "real vanilla beans' - as opposed to "imaginary vanilla beans" I suppose?). This is worth a try, if only once.

ThatWineGuy, Sep 02, 2009
Photo of projectflam86
3.2/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a deep dark brown color with a thin foam head. Not much lacing left.

S- Hints of roasted malt and vanilla. Not quite as strong as I had hoped.

T- The flavor is a bit stronger than the nose but could hardly be considered strong. A decent rush of roastedness with a fair amount of vanilla extract flavoring in the finish.

M- A bit light for what I was expecting. Still fairly smooth and a bit creamy.

D- Not a bad brew, just wish the flavor and nose were a bit more intensified.

projectflam86, Sep 01, 2009
Photo of frequentgear
3/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

pours some appealing creamy head, which fades to almost nonexistent lace. dark red, practically brown.

smells delicious, sweet bread and vanilla/liquor scents.

slight malty taste. not very much in the way of body. the vanilla is powerful and isn't as good as it smells, but tastes sweet before a somewhat bitter finish/aftertaste. kinda reminds me of vanilla cola...or flavored coffee creamer, in a not-so-good way. would rather have a full porter or a stout. it's okay

wouldn't really seek it out again though.

frequentgear, Sep 01, 2009
Vanilla Porter from Breckenridge Brewery
82 out of 100 based on 3,100 ratings.