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Vanilla Porter - Breckenridge Brewery

Not Rated.
Vanilla PorterVanilla Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,131 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,131
Reviews: 958
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 15.7%
Wants: 65
Gots: 305 | 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: 3,131 | Reviews: 958 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of biglite351
2.75/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A - some light through around the edges. Large bubbles in the foam. Oddly, thee were bubbles on the sides of the glass as well, like a soda. Overall, very rootbeer like.

S - extremely mild. A little vanilla. Nothing worth note.

T - vanilla id present, but like the scent, the overall flavor is too mild.

M - actually quite nice. Mouth feels somewhat refreshed.

D - doable, but other options should get picked first.

biglite351, Mar 21, 2010
Photo of jera1350
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black color with a thin light tan head. Leaves a bit of lacing.

Vanilla extract with some roasted malt.

Vanilla is evident from the get go. The most vanilla I've tasted in a beer, but not overwhelming. Seems to just be perfect. Nicely roasted malts with some bitter coffee that lingers into the aftertaste.

Smooth body that lies somewhere between medium and full. Soft carbonation.

A nice sessionable porter. The vanilla works well and I would actually like to see more beers with it in a larger capacity like this one. All around solid beer that I would have again.

jera1350, Mar 13, 2010
Photo of TMoney2591
4.2/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Mickey Finn's shaker pint glass.

Pours a derk ruby black-brown with less than a finger of light ecru head that doesn't leave much leacing behind at all. The nose is loaded with vanilla beans, relegating the roasted malts, coffee, cocoa, and caramel to supporting roles, but creating a delicious aroma nonetheless. The taste allows the darker aspects to return to the van, especially the cocoa and malts, while still keeping the vanilla at hand as an able auxiliary force. The lighter sweetness and darker porter-ness balance each other quite nicely. The body is a thick medium, with minimal carbonation and a rather smooth texture. Overall, a very tasty and highly drinkable sweet porter.

TMoney2591, Mar 07, 2010
Photo of WakeandBake
3.1/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A Dark brown color pour with a small light tan head , short lasting leaving some streeks of lace , Light carbonation . Aroma is roasty with some nutty malty sweetness and lots of vanilla . Flavor is quite sweet , roasty with almost too much vanilla for me , a bit of cream and chocolate , medium body for the style , watery mouthfeel , lingering sweet vanilla finish , drinkable but not really my thing , nothing really wrong with it just coulde'nt wrap my head around it , love your other stuff though .

WakeandBake, Mar 06, 2010
Photo of katan
4.03/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint

A - Pours a deep dark brown color, fairly opaque but not hazy. Head formation was very light, just a light white film.

S - A notably potent vanilla flavor - very strong. Some sugary malts are present as well. Overall a sweet smelling beer.

T - Starts off with a light smooth malt flavor and a hint of vanilla. Mid-stream brings some bitterness, but not much hopping. Finishes with a huge vanilla flavor bomb, very direct. Aftertaste is sweet.

M - Thick and creamy. Leaves behind a clinging sweetness. Not much carbonation bite.

D - Easy drinking. ABV is very manageable. Flavors are not overwhelming.

This is a very accurately named beer - it is vanilla and is a porter.

katan, Feb 26, 2010
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A - A nice deep brown with a foamy coffee-coloured head that disappeared very quickly.

S - Not much of a nose at all. Some roasted malts and no obvious vanilla smell.

T - Roasted malts with vanilla bean. The vanilla is a little much. There is a very odd aftertaste that is likely the sweet vanilla residual.

M - Light to medium body. Good carbonation.

D - The sweetness of the vanilla makes this difficult to get through the whole bottle.

A decent porter and an interesting variation, but not one I would buy again.

TheSevenDuffs, Feb 22, 2010
Photo of rootbeerman
3.38/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into sam adams perfect pint

A: deep reddish brown, thin light brown head
S: dark roast malts, not much vanilla
T: dark malt, sweet cookie like, little more vanilla
M: sort of thick, light carbonation smooth.
D: its good i would guess

rootbeerman, Feb 12, 2010
Photo of allforbetterbeer
3.33/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

No freshness date on bottle, poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours syrupy with minimal head that quickly dissipates. Dark ruby body.

S: Vanilla, maple, caramel, sweet roasted malt and the slightest bit of pipe tobacco.

T: Roasted malts with a significant hop presence greet the tongue first, making this beer feel more like a bock or other dark lager than a porter. Nowhere does the vanilla shine through (other than in the nose) but it peeks out a bit here and there. The aftertaste is melding of the dry hops with a lager-type of end malt. On some sips the vanilla is sweet in the aftertaste, in others it is nonexistent.

M: Rather thin for a porter (even and American porter). Something robust in the feel is lacking.

D: This is a drinkable beer, but not overly inviting.

Overall: I gave the taste low marks because it does not truly fit the style. In a blind taste I would never have called this a porter, but some type of flavored lager, or maybe a malty sweet amber. The body of the beer isn't even opaque, but instead dark amber.

allforbetterbeer, Feb 09, 2010
Photo of jwillcourt
3.8/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served from a 12oz bottle into a wine glass.

A - Cola black with a red tint when held in the light. There is finger-sized tan head comprised of medium bubbles that settles in three minutes into a ring of white foam. There is no lacing, but it leaves a sticky sheen on the glass.

S - Coffee and roasted malts, with some hops.

T - Vanilla dominates the flavor, which is sweet overall, ending with a roasted coffee bitterness. The vanilla flavor is a little syrupy. The effect is just like vanilla coke.

M - Light to medium body with low carbonation. It has a sticky, syrupy feel from the vanilla. This gives it an overall fuller mouth feel than the body alone.

D - Delicious and easy on the alcohol. The sweet vanilla would discourage me from having too many though.

jwillcourt, Feb 09, 2010
Photo of MOB210SA
3.8/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ Pizza Italia, right down the road.

Got a pitcher of this enjoyable porter.

When poured, a huge cascading, brown/tan guinness-like head. Really a great looker. Very dark brown w/ ruby amber highlights. Dies to a 2 finger retaining head. Lots of good looking lace.

Light sweet maltiness, with a tad noticable vanilla to it.

Lots of sweet roasted malitness, and good vanilla finish.

Mouthfeel was smooth, and nice. Good body.

The pitcher was awesome, we switched to Hercules DIPA afterwards- the pitcher was a perfect amount. Really drinkable, but not the all night drinker.

MOB210SA, Jan 23, 2010
Photo of jrallen34
3.23/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

I drank this from a 12oz bottle into my Rochefort chalice.

The beer poors dark brown, showing very light and clear in the light. No head comes as it pours but after settling for a second a light tan 1/4 inch head fizzes than fades quickly. Lacing is not there.

The aroma is very light but what you did get is mostly vanilla, with a touch of coffee at the end.

The taste is light, a little roasted coffee to start with a little vanilla a the end. The taste has a weird bitter finish.

The feel is super watery. Drinkablility is low because its so low in alchool just doesn't make you really want to drink it.

Overall, pretty boring to me, lacks in flavor and viscosity.

jrallen34, Jan 22, 2010
Photo of mikebiewer
4.68/5  rDev +28.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4


This beer is almost black but has really nice brown highlights within it. There isn't much head and if there is, it doesn't stick around very long. However you can see it stick to the sides on its way down.


Smells very roasty with a bit of chocolate in it. There is a very minute smell of hop floral coming off of it. Could have been the one I had.


Awesome! I've gotten people who don't drink dark beer to drink it and like it. I usually preface it with saying, imagine coffee, with chocolate and vanilla in it.


This beer pours a little bit thicker and it drinks the same way. It has a thicker texture, but I still have a hard time saying its "thick" or "full bodied" I guess it is full bodied, but I would say closer to a heavy medium.


I can drink a few of these but probably not a full night. The first one goes down smooth and easy. When its in your mouth it hits all the parts of the tongue and really surprises you. So its good, but not completely easy to do. It seems the more of it you drink the bitterness comes out.

I did a video review on my site if anyone is interested.



mikebiewer, Jan 14, 2010
Photo of Shumista
3.35/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A- Clear, dark brown cola color, small off white head. Looks pretty thin from the pour, even for a porter.
S- Chocolate, nutty and vanilla. Smells pretty good.
T- The taste is ok, nothing to run and tell your friends about. Seems like a pretty average porter with a nice vanilla note.
M- Thin, but it is a porter so I understand why.
D- I've had a six pack of these in my fridge for a few weeks now and this is only the 3rd I have drank. I think that says something about my eagerness to drink them. Not bad once I get myself to pop one open though.

I would agree with the label that this beer is indeed quite partakable. Remarkable however is a stretch and not a word I would use to describe it.

Shumista, Jan 10, 2010
Photo of tjd112
5/5  rDev +37.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

There is nothing better than a fresh brew. Had this at the Hard Rock Cafe in Denver!

Presentation - Tapped into pint glass

Appearance - Looks kind of like a darker Coca-Cola

Smell - Vanilla, vanilla, and more vanilla

Taste - Vanilla, milk, with a thick maltiness

Mouthfeel - Medium to heavy body with a somewhat creamy finish

Drinkability - Could drink these all day

Overall - a new fave

tjd112, Jan 09, 2010
Photo of ChadQuest
1.9/5  rDev -47.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Looks like darker Coca Cola with less carb bubbles. finger of head, receding in its own good time.

Vanilla overtakes everything else on the smell.

Strong cloying vanilla flavor. tastes kinda like when i steamed vanilla bean powder with milk=slightly burnt. lightly roasty, milky,carmel in the distance. very sweet...very very sweet. If Vanilla Coke was a beer, breckenridge would make it.

Slightly thin mouthfeel yet creamy. very much like slightly carbinated milk. Gives me that feeling after a soda that their is syrup in my mouth i need to clean off.

Too sweet for my tastes, i dont like spoonfulls of vanilla sugar.

ChadQuest, Jan 04, 2010
Photo of chicagoish
4.13/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Take this beer for what it is... a nice "treat." It's not something you will want to drink all night long. But for a nightcap, or change of pace this beer fits the bill. The vanilla taste is not overpowering, it's there, but not so bold and overpowering that it seems fake.

chicagoish, Jan 02, 2010
Photo of mgbickel
4.1/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint glass. Formed a very nice two finger foamy tan head. The froth dissipated leaving a good amount of lacing. Deep brown body with lighter amber edges. Allows light through when held up at eye level.

Wonderful nose! Lots of coffee with cream, vanilla ice cream and toasty chocolate. You can pick up some roasted malts in the background once warmed.

Your tongue is greeted by the coffee flavor first. This gives way to a creamy vanilla flavor. You can really taste the roasted malts and burnt chocolate at the finish.

The mouth feel is medium with mild carbonation. Slightly creamy and a little dry even.

Very drinkable...I will buy again.

mgbickel, Dec 31, 2009
Photo of TheQuietMan22
3.7/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Deep black. Not quite opaque because light gets through. An off-white, tan head develops and slowly dissipates to a leave a nice, billowy lacing on top and ring of foam around the edge.

Smell: Cocoa and a hint of vanilla. Maybe a little fruit -- raspberry and plum. (Is plum fruit?)

Taste: Cocoa malts. A little like hot chocolate. A little vanilla and the plum come through as well. Not as "stout" as I usually like.

Drinkability: Tom made the comment that it was not as thick and many stouts and porters, and I agree. It was smooth drinking, and tasty, but it didn't offer anything truly spectacular. Flavorwise I don't think it is as unique as it's made out to be.

TheQuietMan22, Dec 25, 2009
Photo of devilben02
3.2/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a deep chestnut brown, with a solid tan head of tiny bubbles. The vanilla hits you right up front in the aroma, but there are also underlying scents of chocolate and grain. The vanilla is also prominent on the taste. It is noticeable but subtle at first, but the potency of the vanilla builds, especially as the beer warms. There are also notes of milk chocolate, toffee, and mildly roasted malts. The roasted malts can't combat the dominance of the vanilla, though, so the sweetness of this one makes it drink more like a brown than a porter. It's not very full-bodied, which would generally make me say that this one goes down pretty easy, but the compounding sweetness of the vanilla eventually gets to be too much for me, and I wouldn't want to have too much in a session. As a result, this isn't going to be in the regular rotation, but it is nice as a change of pace.

devilben02, Dec 23, 2009
Photo of billzee
3.7/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into pint glass. Darrk brown/ruby in color. Off-white finger head faded quickly. Mildly roasty with slight toasted notes. Mild hops and a nice hint of vanilla. Great balance between toasted nut and vanilla. The vanilla slightly dominates up front with almost perfect balance in the finish. No hops present. Slight carbonation, a bit thin bodied. Could use a beffing up here. Overall I enjoyed this porter. The vanilla is not overpowering and lends a nice touch.

billzee, Dec 23, 2009
Photo of mtnbikerpa
2.1/5  rDev -42.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a small snifter. No head and no lacing after being poured. Very little carbonation almost flat. Vanilla flavor is all but lost. Very noticeable tinny, metal flavoring. Flat mouthfeel because of lack of carbonation. Very disappointing compared to other times I have had this brew. Flavor doesn't live up to its porter profile.

mtnbikerpa, Dec 17, 2009
Photo of adamette
4.03/5  rDev +11%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Live review. Poured from the 12 oz. brown bottle that my wife bought me as a gift last weekend. Poured into my Great Lakes Christmas Ale goblet/glass.

A One and a half cm light brown head over a dark brown translucent body that glows a medium mahogany in front of direct light. 3.0

S Dark roast malt and vanilla, just as advertised. The vanilla is interesting but otherwise, not much going on here. 3.5

T You know, nice dark roast malt in what would otherwise be a standard, boring porter but the vanilla is really a nice touch. It simutaneously softens and sweetens the dark roast malt and each of them conspire to make a good tasting beer. 4.5

M Appropriately moderately big with dark roast malt, sweet vanilla tastes. 3.5

D Good as this is such an interesting tasting beer that it kept me coming back for more sips. 4.0

Notes: A basic porter with a very nice and welcome addition of vanilla. I recall this being better on tap but it is entirely drinkable and probably my favorite from Breckenridge.

adamette, Dec 12, 2009
Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.58/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer is a dark purple with a brown haze to it. The head is a manila collar that left behind some nice lace.

Smells of old coffee, old over-ripe fruit and a touch of astringent bitterness. This is nestled into a sweet French vanilla.

Tastes of a dry toasty cereal grain with a splash of coffee. The dryness of this bites at the sides of my cheeks. This quickly fades delivering a sticky sweet French vanilla that reminds me of the vanilla in vanilla coke.

Present and viscous with a soft carbonation. It fades quickly but leaves a bit of a sticky film behind.

Not the best, but I find myself attracted to the sweetness of this one nonetheless.

DarkerTheBetter, Dec 11, 2009
Photo of drizzam
3.28/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Poured from the bottle into a clear pint glass, the brew is a clear but dark ruby/brown color. Nice one finger tan head that dissipated but still left a nice frothy top with good lacing.

S - Sweet smelling, malty with a bit of vanilla in the background.

T & M - Definitely a unique tasting brew...I haven't had a vanilla flavored beer up to this point and I guess it's not too bad. I guess I was expecting more Porter taste with a hint of vanilla, this brew is kinda more vanilla than porter. Mouthfeel was thinnish, almost watery. It did finish fairly clean. Not much in the way of carbonation.

D - I love the idea of a Porter infused with some vanilla. If done correctly, the taste would be phenomenal. That being said, I think if a different brewery gave this a shot (maybe New Glarus) the result would be much better. This wasn't a terrible brew, but one that should be brewed a little differently in order to be truly great. It was worth a try and I look forward to trying other breweries interpretations of this brew style.

drizzam, Dec 09, 2009
Photo of GeezLynn
2.88/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Dark brown with a little red-brown tint visible at the bottom. Aggressive pour yields a substantial white head that subsides pretty quickly. Aroma is a sour dark malt with a bunch of vanilla. Bready characteristics emerge at it warms. Flavor is a snap of dark malt immediately flattened by vanilla. For a brief period I enjoy the malt profile - a little chocolate and caramel and whatever else - flavors that are immediately annihilated by the vanilla deluge. And this is not a nice vanilla ice cream, but rather like drinking vanilla extract from the bottle. To add insult to injury, there's an unwelcome bitter finish. Mouthfeel is thinner and fizzier than many lagers.

Wow. I wasn't expecting Victory at Sea, but that was "Partakable" at best.

GeezLynn, Dec 06, 2009
Vanilla Porter from Breckenridge Brewery
82 out of 100 based on 3,131 ratings.