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Vanilla Porter - Breckenridge Brewery

Not Rated.
Vanilla PorterVanilla Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.

3,591 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,591
Reviews: 1,033
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 15.38%
Wants: 101
Gots: 626 | 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: 3,591 | Reviews: 1,033
Photo of Arithmeticus
3.11/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured chilled in flared glass

A: dark, modest, but very creamy and attractive head; nice carbonation; very nice rings of lace
S: sweet, malty, benign, nondescript
T: Wild. Dry cream soda; not very hopped; the vanilla bean is very strong; slightly sour

I'm torn in my rating between a 1 (it tastes lousy to me) and 5 (it's one of the most creative, wild beers I've had); so I split it down the middle; the curious should definitely try it

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

Had a pint tonight while having dinner at Birch Street Bistro in Roslindale. Served on tap in a standard pint glass. Dark brown colored body. Not much head for a porter; a bit thin. Smell had slight notes of coffee and wood. I enjoyed the taste, but it might not be for everyone. The flavor of vanilla is very prominent. While I enjoyed it, there was a time or two while I was drinking where I thought I'd like it more if it was toned down a bit. Mouthfeel was also on the thin side for a porter, which was kind of a letdown. An interesting beer if you enjoy unique versions of porters. May be better suited to drink after dinner or with dessert, rather than with an entree.

Photo of silver7447
4.17/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- A very dark brown, as is characteristic of porters. Just less than two fingers of head with a vigorous pour. No significant lacing.

S- Very malty background with wafts of chocolate, vanilla, and a hint of caramel. No aroma is particularly overpowering, which gives a good balance.

T- This beer contained sweetness, coffee, dark chocolate, lingering vanilla bean and burnt caramel notes

M- This porter has more carbonation than most I've tried which to me is a good thing. The primary sensation is of very light carbonation coating your tongue which matches the lightness of this porter when compared to others. The carbonation is well balanced and does not bite. After swallowing you are left with a slight syrupy mouthfeel which maintains the beer's aftertaste.

Other notes: The vanilla bean was a perfect compliment for this porter. Seldom seen? Yes. Never duplicated? Not yet, anyway.

Photo of boilermakerbrew
4.08/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From memory, had it at Scotty's Brewhouse in West Lafayette.

Poured and presented with a quarter inch foamy head. Was a deep chocolatey color and very appealing to the eye in the glass. Laced perfectly the whole way down.

A complex taste. My first experience with a porter. Taste hits with a blend of chocolate, vanilla, coffee, and a general sweet flavor. Right at the end, there is a little hops bitterness, but not much. Leaves you wanting more with each drink.

Surprisingly light on the palate. I could drink a few of these and not feel full or drunk, a good combo.

Overall, I may have a new favorite pint when I go to Scotty's. It's a shame this is a seasonal fall/winter brew, I'll miss this one when it goes away.

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

12oz Bottle

Appearance - The beer pours a dark brown colour with an average size fizzy light brown coloured head. I can't see much carbonation due the darkness of the beer and there is some good lacing on the sides of the glass. The head lasted for 4 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Chocolate, malts, smoke, vanilla

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an above average amount of carbonation. I can taste chocolate, vanilla, and some malts. There is also some smokey/roasted notes, it kind of reminded me a bit of a vanilla coke. It finishes with a vanilla malty aftertaste.

Overall – The beer definitely tastes better after it warmed up to room temperature in my glass. The flavour isn't cloying in any way and it is actually quite drinkable. Not something I'd rush out to buy again, but it's worth trying for sure.

Photo of DoktorZee
3.29/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a schooner; definitely an id number stamped on the bottle, but it doesn't seem to be a best before date.

A - brown and clear; surprisingly light in appearance considering it's a porter! One finger tan head dissipates after a minute with no lacing. Some obvious carbonation rising in the glass.

S - lots of oak, sweet vanilla notes and elements of dark chocolate in the background.

T - surprisingly thin and subtle; not what I'd expect from a porter. Come across as excessively light. Some strong initial sweet notes with a hint of vanilla, but then almost nothing. Some subtle wood, with a little bit of caramel, but really, really light. Frankly there just doesn't seem to be any follow-through with this beer.

M - medium body, with mild carbonation.

D - really drinkable, but unfortunately not because of amazing balance, but instead because there isn't much there.

I'm sad to say this was a pretty big disappointment. It was promising on first sniff, but just didn't really deliver as it was just too weak. I wasn't looking for an overpowering flavor bomb, but this was much, much too subtle and lacking concentration.

Photo of Spica66
3.9/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Got this from my folks for my birthday.

A: Dark brown pour with good head formation and retention. Some lacing. Good looking brew.

S: Vanilla and dark roast, but mostly vanilla. I am amazed that their web site says this is made with real vanilla beans. It must cost a small fortune to get this much vanilla from beans.

T: Dark roast with lots of vanilla that takes all of the bitter edge off from the roast. Tastes unlike any beer I have ever had before.

M: Not a creamy as an Edmund Fitzgerald, but not watery either. Good carbonation.

O: If you like vanilla and you like porter, this would be a good beer to try.

Photo of roodie
3.4/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Lagunitas pint jar.

A: pours a black/brown cola color with thin head, light lacing

S: faint vanilla and light hops

T: light vanilla with a mild bitterness

M: limp, light, thin

O: an ok beer, nothing I'd return to

Photo of ehammond1
3.54/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5


Thanks to Jon and Dan @thefullpint.com for this!

Dark brown with just the faintest of ruby at the edges. Thick khaki colored head and plenty of lined lacing down the glass.

Roasted malt, coffee, and vanilla make up the aroma, though the vanilla seems already somewhat artificially sweet and inauthentic.

Roasted malt, a mild bitterness, and some sharp, somewhat artificial tasting vanilla notes. The beer isn't too sweet with vanilla, though the vanilla simply doesn't feel authentic or natural.

Medium mouthfeel though somewhat sharp and unpleasant.

A decent vanilla porter, and perhaps I've been spoiled by other world-class examples.

Photo of Mako82
3.92/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

A - Very dark brown practically black, short lived off white head
S - Rich dark malts, yeasty/bready aroma, hint of vanilla, sweet smell, slight alcohol esters
T - Nice taste of malts, dark coffee with lots of sweetner type of taste, taste the vanilla upon the aftertaste stays with you fairly long
M - Low carbonation

Photo of BBP
4.28/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours dark, dark brown. Maintains a slight, but steady head. Laces quite well.

S- Definite vanilla. Some rum-like sweetness to it as well.

T- Definitely where this one shines. I'm not a huge fan of vanilla, but this one makes it work for me. There's roasty malt bitterness that seems to perfectly balance the vanilla sweetness. The vanilla also tastes quite genuine and rich as well. Additionally, there's a surprising amount of flavor for a beer this light.

M- Medium full, and quite creamy in the mouthfeel. Carbonation is very unintrusive, but works wonders making this beer full, but light at the same time.

O- Exceptional drinkability, especially as it warms up.

I picked this up initially to fill a mix a 6pk, and I barely looked at what it was. After arriving home, I suspected that this would be far too sweet for me, but it was actually surprisingly good.

Photo of yesyouam
4.47/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Breckenridge Vanilla Porter is a dim, dark brown ale with a khaki head that quickly fades to a bubbly ring. The aroma is brimming with chocolate and roast. There is a slight hint of coffee in the nose and the vanilla seems to manifest itself almost as oak. It's medium bodied, smooth and sudsy. The finish is dry and clean. It tastes much like it smells, but stronger, with lots of chocolate and roast. There's a little coffee in there too. The vanilla is not prominent and comes off as oak. There's not really any noticeable bitterness or sweetness. There's a slight, roasty aftertaste. This is smooth, tasty and easy to drink.

Photo of bamojr
3.83/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black brown color.
Lots of Malts and chocolate with a nice vanilla smell.
Lots of vanilla in the taste choclates and some caramel.
This is a great dessert beer as it has all of the right sweet to compliment something decedent like chocolate cake or the like. This is how a porter should be. I wasn't that impressed with Lucky U, but this one may change my outlook on Breckenridge.

Photo of ckollias
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this 12oz bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Dark brown ale with amber highlights. Frothy, white, one and half finger head that dissipates rather quickly and leaves a very wispy lace.

S: Smooth chocolate porter aroma. Great vanilla bean and coffee background.

T: Smooth chocolate and coffee flavor, with a nice vanilla bean malt backbone. One of the smoothest porters I have ever tasted. A little weak on the body for a porter but overall a delicious beer.

M: Light body and medium carbonation

O: A great vanilla porter. Super smooth and well balanced.

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!

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Vanilla Porter from Breckenridge Brewery
82 out of 100 based on 3,591 ratings.