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Vanilla Porter - Breckenridge Brewery

Not Rated.
Vanilla PorterVanilla Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.

3,552 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,552
Reviews: 1,021
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 15.38%
Wants: 94
Gots: 592 | 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:
Beer added by: Mebuzzard on 01-13-2006

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,552 | Reviews: 1,021 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DUBinMIA
3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured into a tulip. dark brown when it was poured but when held up to light in the glass it was near pitch black... decent head of about 1 in. reduced to about 1/4in.

Dark malt and smooth vanilla with some very light pine like hop notes towards the end.

smoooth malt to start with some chocolate bitterness in the middle that is followed by light vanilla and an almost black cherry flavor. some bittering hops detected in the end and finished crisp which was weird for the style... carbonation is higher maybe that is why. very interesting.

medium bodied with a higher carbonation... different than other porters but done very nicely. thought it could be a bit thicker though.

Overall a good beer. worth a try if you see it. this is my first from Breckenridge brewery and i think I'll have to try a few more by them for sure.

Photo of vandemonian
3.49/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Breckenridge Vanilla Porter is interesting, in that iot has vanilla, but isn't a great porter.

A: Black with 15 mm head that lasts. 4.5

S: Grainy with a slight hint of vanilla. 3

T: Roasty, burnt malt with noticeable vanilla. A little sour. 3.5

M: Watery with some foaminess. 4

O: It's alright. 3.5

Photo of scratch69
4.13/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I poured a bottle into a mug.

Appearance - Dark brown with red highlights. A small amount of head with a little lacing.

Smell - Very faint aroma of toasted malts.

Taste- Dark roasted malt with a hint of dark chocolate. A moderate vanilla aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied and creamy. Carbonation is not very noticable.

Overall- A very enjoyable beer. A nice change of pace from the run of the mill porters and stouts that are out there.

Photo of olimpia84
3.7/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured the 12oz into my English pub pint glass.

A: dark-brown chocolate color that starts turning more redish towards the bottom of the pint glass. Small coffee-colored head (little less than one finger) that didn't stay on for too long. Decent milk coffee colored lacing left throughout the glass.

S: the smell of this beer becomes stronger as you keep drinking it (peak point was when you have less than half the beer left to consume). Strong sweet coffee aroma along with roasted malts and caramel. Very little vanilla in the smell.

T: follows the nose with coffee/caramel taste along with hints of dark chocolate. Malts are also felt in the taste. Just like in the previous category, there is very little vanilla felt.

M: medium body MF. Goes down very smoothly with a soft and creamy accent.

O: a pretty good beer although I was a bit disappointed in regards to the vanilla. I'm a big vanilla fan and the main thing that caught my eyes while at the beer store was its advertised vanilla flavor. Don't get me wrong, there is some in there, both in the smell and taste, but not as much as I was hoping for. Nevertheless, a good porter beer that can be enjoyed after a food.

Photo of paperbackfoster
3.35/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - A one finger head, the color of Irish cream, disappears to a patchy ring. Color of dark chocolate with an edge of very deep red in the light. No real lacing.

S - Roasty malts, not altogether burnt. Sweetness of vanilla. Hints of coffee.

T - A little much like candy. The vanilla combines with the coffee to make a very caramel-coated taste, almost like a Twix bar. While the vanilla’s resting in said caramel flavor, the chocolate of the malts become predominant. The coffee flavor is a nice touch, and the lingering finish is welcome. Still, very sugary.

M - A bit like an ice cream float. It’s the thickness I want from a porter, but one that melts quickly into a questionable tingly sweetness.

O - Well, the olde-time bottle does mention that it’s “partakable,” and I’d agree. It’s an easy drinker. However, it’s a feeling that only lasts as long as the alotted 12 ounces do. I don’t know if I’d want to knock back another one. Still, a fine dessert beer or a “unique” beer near the end of a session - I wouldn’t want it up front, though.

Photo of bpw28
3.59/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Look: Four finger mocha shaving cream head, good retention, clear deep ruby ( about a 32 SRM), lots of carb, very nice lacing.

Smell: Burnt malts, chocolate, light whole bean coffee.

Taste: Big malts, chocolate, coffee, fresh bean vanilla (not extract tasting) that smooths the end to a coffee bitter finish it tastes like a nice high end coffee, body is a too light, carb is too much IMO.

Final Thoughts: I think this would make a perfect intro to porters for people that are totally new to it. Very basic porter thats toned down a bit with added vanilla. But for more experienced porter lovers, this is gonna come up short for you and leave you wanting something more. Not bad a bad beer, just nothing to go nuts about.

Photo of CHickman
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours amber chestnut brown in color with red around the edges, a creamy tan head that faded quickly, leaving good foamy lacing sticking to the glass and leaving rings as it goes down.

Smells of vanilla, toasted grains, burnt coffee, toffee, wheat, toasted malt, citrus hops and other earthy or grainy notes.

Tasted like it smells, with vanilla, toasted grains, burnt coffee, toffee, wheat, toasted malt, citrus hops, caramel, syrup, molasses, cocoa and other earthy or grainy notes like peat moss; very sweet syrupy flavor that has a hop bite which then let's the vanilla come through and settle on the tongue, which left a nice flavor.

Mouthfeel is slick and smooth on the tongue, with very light carbonation, a medium body and a sweetness that trails off with a bitter bite.

A real nice porter that was tasty and full of nice robust flavors, but my only knock is that it borders on being too sweet.

Photo of washburnkid
3.09/5  rDev -15.1%
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...

Photo of kjyost
3.44/5  rDev -5.5%
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

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.

Photo of Eriktheipaman
4.44/5  rDev +22%
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!

Photo of kojevergas
3.4/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | 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.


12.04.14: Highish B-

12.28.14 truncated impressions:

Pours a healthy head which sits for about 3 minutes. Body isn't the opaque black I expected; it's more a very dark amber. Translucent. Odd...

Aroma is of vanilla, caramel, dark malts, cream soda, and chocolate malts. Moderate intensity.

Taste suits the aroma, bringing plenty of soft vanilla notes which are very evocative but could be more genuine; the vanilla character does veer on artificial vanillin here. It's got your usual dark-and-chocolate malt base, but isn't too sweet. Prominent cream soda notes fill it out nicely, and with the chocolate notes make the beer redolent of chocolate milk or a malted shake - an attribute further amplified by its soft, creamy, smooth, wet, and yet full-bodied feel. Aptly carbonated but not too thick. Average depth, duration, and intensity of flavour. I've had far more complex vanilla porters, sure, but this is a great go-to.

I regularly find myself returning to this beer when home in Colorado. It's a vanilla porter, yes, but it's not so much a "dark beer" that it'll turn off fans of lighter fare. That desire to crowd-please may actually be what holds it back from greatness, but as-is it's a damn drinkable vanilla-forward brew with enough flare to keep me coming back to it. Certainly worth trying, but far from world class. I'll have to look for the nitro variant.


Photo of weizenbob
2.72/5  rDev -25.3%
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.

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.

Photo of beerstallion
2.78/5  rDev -23.6%
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...

Photo of axeman9182
2.93/5  rDev -19.5%
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

Photo of chocosushi
4.35/5  rDev +19.5%
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!

Photo of lurpy1
3.39/5  rDev -6.9%
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.

Photo of shand
4.09/5  rDev +12.4%
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.

Photo of celticfutblclub
2.93/5  rDev -19.5%
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.

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.

Photo of jman892
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

Photo of claytong
3.48/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

Photo of Chickenhawk9932
3.45/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

Photo of bayougutter
4.12/5  rDev +13.2%
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.

Vanilla Porter from Breckenridge Brewery
82 out of 100 based on 3,552 ratings.