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Vanilla Porter - Breckenridge Brewery

Not Rated.
Vanilla PorterVanilla Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,392 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,392
Reviews: 977
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 15.66%
Wants: 81
Gots: 435 | 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)
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Ratings: 3,392 | Reviews: 977 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ZeroSignal
2.93/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle

A - Dark, opaque ruby brown color with about a fingers worth of white, foamy head. Retention settles to a thin layer with sticky lacing.

S - Bits of coffee, a malty caramel, vanilla with a sweet edge

T&M - Lighter to medium bodied. Mostly smooth but a bit "sticky" feeling; perhaps too much of a sweet edge. Vanilla seems to be in the nose only. Hints of a grassy bitterness in the finish, which is otherwise sticky. Like some other Breckenridge brews I've had, this feels a bit thin and watery.

D - Overall not a bad porter, but if it has vanilla as part of the name of the beer, call me crazy, I want to taste vanilla. Overall body of the beer could be better. Sweetness detracts from drinkability for me, but it's not cloying.

Photo of Rifugium
3.95/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First had: bottle at Eulogy, Philly, PA

A: Opaque, deep, dark brown color; little to no head.

S: Roasty malts, vanilla.

T: Tasty vanilla right up front, with roasty malts and a bit of coffee in the middle. Finishes sweet and slightly dry.

M: Medium body, not heavy at all.

D: Very tasty. The vanilla is pronounced and very nice.

Photo of Thanby
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark amber, a little clearer than your average porter, one finger of fine beige head that sticks around and leaves some spotty lacing.

Smells strongly of vanilla and chocolate coffee beans.

First taste is very sweet, strong vanilla over a creamy coffee but the bitterness at the end is muted by the sweetness. There's a little metallic taste in the background that isn't too pleasant.

Full body, kind of creamy, aftertaste is basically just a slowly fading image of the malt. The metallic taste becomes apparent here.

Overall not bad, a good porter for someone who doesn't like the typical coffee bitterness. Not really one of my favorites, but I could see this being an excellent choice to introduce someone new to the craft beer scene, maybe get a Guinness drinker to broaden their horizon a bit, so I respect that.

Photo of despainmakesbeer
3.65/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark opaque color, with 1/2" tan head at pour settling to clean face with ring around edge of glass. Dark mahogany highlights around edge of glass. Chocolate and roasted malt aroma, vanilla follows closely, not too much though. Medium mouthfeel, has a slight thickness to it. Malt and chocolate present in beginning. Really find the vanilla on the end and especially the aftertaste. Moderate carbonation. Pick up some dark fruit notes as beer warms. Vanilla and roast picks up with warmth as well. Pretty drinkable for a porter. Sometimes the vanilla seems to hit at a weird point during the drink that strikes me the wrong way, usually in aftertaste or end, as the beer warms the vanilla seemed to show up more in the middle and more balanced in the aftertaste.

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

A: Poured from the bottle into a pint glass. Body is dark brown with red hues when backlit. No real head at all, just a thin film of light-brown. No lace either.

S: Not too strong in the nose - I get roasty barley malt and some vanilla. As it warms it's all vanilla. Think creme soda and you've got the idea.

T: First impression is the vanilla. It overwhelms any porter-like qualities, to be honest, especially when it's cold - maybe some roast or char will be evident when it warms. I'll wait a bit. . . . OK, after a little while I also get some chocolatey malt. Starting to remind me of some sort of breakfast cereal, actually. . . .

M: Light-to-medium in heft; somewhat watery or thin, however. Low carbonation, which keeps it smooth, bordering on slick.

D: OK. This beer is too heavy on the vanilla and too light on the porter. More roastiness and a sharper "bite" to the feel would help, IMO.

Photo of Mosley1212
3.63/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the 12 oz bottle into my Titanic Brewing Company pint glass.

A--Ruby-colored with a small, foamy head when poured. The beer, when held into the light has a nice orange-tint to it that I think is pretty unique in the porter world. Usually I like my porters to be black light motor oil.

S--Weak. It lives up to it's name. You get a good scent of vanilla (which is great, because I love vanilla), but really there's not a whole lot else going on with this beer. You get a little bit of malt scent and maybe a little dark chocolate and coffee, but it's really hidden way down.

T--Follows from the smell. I think it tastes like a vanilla coke. The vanilla is overly sweet and the aftertaste of the porter reminds me of coca-cola. Honestly, this is not what I expected from this beer.

M--Again, it's a really watered-down taste and the mouthfeel is just weak.

D--It's a good drinkability. At 4.70% it's probably the lowest ABV drink I've had in a long time. All of my DIPAs are really spoiling me I think. I don't enjoy this one as much as I do other porters. Too bad, I thought this had potential.

Photo of bens0n
3.78/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a dark ruby color, almost opaque, but you can see a dark reddish / orange color around the edges. This beer has a fair amount of lacing, but the head was rather foamy and quickly dissipating.

The initial smell is one of hops and malts, then the vanilla creeps in, but is still relatively subtle, I would say the aroma is pleasant but mild.

The flavor is pretty mild too, but there are hints of vanilla which gives it a subtle sweetness. This beer its pretty thick and has an almost sticky quality to it, like the Breckenridge oatmeal stout, this is on the watery side though, very enjoyable and drinkable though, definitely a great beer to have a 6 pack of.

Photo of happygnome
3.25/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

a: pours a dark brown color (similar to pepsi) with maybe 1/8th inch head that disappears very quickly leaving not even a trace of lace. every once in a while, a carbonation bubble can be seen rising to the top of the beer

s: deep roasted nutty cocoa malts with a strong vanilla aroma

t: very similar to the aroma but the nutty malts are stronger

m: medium bodied beer with little carbonation

overall, this is a decent porter, in my glass again? I am unsure

Photo of KarlHungus
2.13/5  rDev -41.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This beer pours a dark brown color. The head is a quarter inch in height, and recedes quickly into no lacing whatsoever. The aroma is of roasted malt and vanilla extract. The taste is similar. The vanilla flavor is very artificial, but there is just enough malt to keep in from tasting like I'm drinking a bottle of vanilla extract. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with almost no carbonation. Overall, this is a bad beer that I will be avoiding in the future.

Photo of BuckeyeSlim
1.83/5  rDev -49.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

12 oz. bottle poured in a New Belgium snifter.

A - Virtually no head on the pour. What's there disappeared almost immediately. Very deep ruby red and pretty opaque.

S - The bottle after the pour smells distinctively of vanilla, but the nose of the glass presents hops. Getting the beer up on the sides of the glass releases vanilla along with some caramel. As the beer warms in the glass, the vanilla takes over the nose just as it does the taste.

T - There's the vanilla, almost like tasting straight extract - it's rather astringent. There's also a bit of roasted malts, a touch of 50% chocolate, and noticeable bittering hops. Finish is an unpleasant medicinal taste that needs a waterback to get rid of it.

M - Light carbonation. Rather thin structure. Finish plants itself in the back-middle of the tongue and stays.

D - There's nothing subtle or nuanced about the components of this beer - they compete with each other instead of blending and complimenting. Way too much cheap vanilla extract. Bakers know a little vanilla goes a long way and this beer proves how easy it is to abuse the flavor. It's a bowser, and a porter in name only.

Photo of mulder1010
3.08/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a wine glass

A-- Poured a dark coke color. One finger light brown head. Little bit of carbonation bubbles. Good head retention.

S-- Very thin smell. Just hints of Vanilla.

T-- Lots of vanilla, little bit of chocolate and toffee. Some roasted malts as well.

M-- Vanilla bomb. Really strong vanilla and some toffee and coffee. Quite sweet.

D-- For a low ABV beer it was hard to get through. Not something to pair with food. Desert, yes. I thought it needed more to offset the massive vanilla flavor. When I have had on tap it is more balanced but not as good on tap as in bottles. One is enough.

Photo of confer
3.63/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- pours like the standard porter. Deep brown, small tan head with tight little bubbles that faded quickly, it left a trace on froth.
S- As it warms the vanilla really is apparent. A slight roasty smell is also there.
T- The taste starts just like the smell. Vanilla featured prominently with a vey small roastiness. But then it falls apart into a bad aftertaste.
MD- A little thin in the feel. This is a easy drinker. I was expecting much more vanilla flavor.

Photo of TheBigE5
3.95/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appealing brown/red color. Coffee smell with a bit of sweetness. The malt hits your taste buds first, then comes the hint of vanilla bean flavor. Finishes very crisp and clean. The taste sticks around for a few moments which is enjoyable. Exceptional mouthfeel. Drinkability is amazing compared to what i would have guessed, but still keeps its porter backbone. Very smooth and its slight (not overwhelming) vanilla bean flavor will have me buying this again.

Photo of wmtxbb
4.15/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into glass

Appearance: Dark, little to no head. Bit of lacing.

Smell: Little to no scent. Notes of vanilla.

Taste: Light body for a dark beer. Crisp dark malts and vanilla that lasts a while after the initial tasting. Some coffee and toffee flavors as well in the background.

Drinkability: Incredible stuff, almost perfect. I'm not sure how this brew would mix with an evening of food. There is a delicate balance of flavors that might not respond well with food. Overall a great brew.

Photo of bastardface
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I usually don't like Breckenridge beers but I found myself picking up a sixer of the Vanilla Porter. I don't know why, I guess vanilla sounded good for a change. I was surprised to find how easily I was able to drink. There is no harsh bite. The smell is slightly sweet almost like rum cake batter. The taste is just rightin that it doesn't overwelm with vanilla flavor, just enough. I enjoy this beer and wouldn't mind having it again. Peace.

Photo of Shrews629
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Very dark brown with ruby hues showing through. Tan colored head that dissipated rather quickly and didn't leave much lacing. Seems most Breckenridge brew I come across have very little head or head retention even with an aggressive pour.

Smell - Vanilla!!!! I like that. Different and interesting. It's mixed with the roasted coffee and malt to produce a very pleasing aroma. Nice and sweet and very well balanced.

Taste - Coffee and vanilla. This is, again, very nice. Both are balanced very well with the roasted, smokey background to produce a very nice flavor.

Mouthfeel - Medium mouthfeel. Dry, creamy and smooth. Leaves a bit on the palate, however not a tremendous amount. I tend to like a little more with my darker brews.

Drinkabilitly - This is a very nice Porter. I will say that I really like the Vanilla flavoring mixed in. I wish the appearance would have been a touch better. It's the only thing that brings the score down a little. This is another Porter that I would be interested in trying again sometime.

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

Enjoyed on tap at Papago, poured into an imperial pint glass.

A: deep maroon with highlights of crimson when held to the light. A creamy half-finger head of light khaki fades slowly to a thick layer of film and a thin yet persistent ring.

S: cocoa powder, mostly. A sweetish mix of dried chocolate and vanilla not unlike Nestle Quik. Theres also a light coffee character, along with vanilla, sweet cotton candy and a subtle pineyness.

T: like hot cocoa with melted marshmallows floating atop. Tons of vanilla and chocolate, along with subtle maple syrup and a lightly sweet finish of marshmallow cream.

M: medium-high carbonation with a restrained fizziness. The smooth medium body is nice, but slightly below what I'd expect for the style or a beer with flavors of this magnitude.

D: subtle sweetness, nice balance, enjoyable flavors. I've had some flops from Breckenridge, but this isn't one of them.

Photo of mariposafan
3.15/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Looks a lot like Coca Cola when it's poured, both color and (lack of) head. Some lacing seems to persist, however.

The smell is somewhat mild with notes of toffee, vanilla and malt.

The taste is just a little sweet with some roasty bitterness in the aftertaste. The vanilla is present but not overdone. There's some sourness that seems to fit. All of the pieces are there, but the whole just doesn't do that much for me - not bad but not really good either.

It's a bit watery in the feel, though the carbonation is nice and creamy.

Not much alcohol, so that's a plus for drinkability. The biggest problem with this beer is just that it's sort of there - not special enough to justify a return engagement.

Photo of HURTemHIZZY
1.98/5  rDev -45.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Not my cup o brew I guess. Poured a nice deep brown with a one finger light tan head that had decent retention but left no lacing behind. Smell was not too bad, but not great either. Light vanilla, tiny bit of coffee, slight roasted grains. Straightforward, but not off putting.

Taste is just not good imo. The vanilla is slightly artificial, and completely overpowers the coffee and roasted notes that were present in the aroma. No hop profile is noticeable. The lack of any other noticeable porter characteristics makes the vanilla become cloying pretty quickly. I rarely ever drain pour, but I only made it through about half of this. Not good.

Photo of tchenery
4.25/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice dark color but has little to no head. It has a slight rim around the glass but I always want more.

It smells kind of fruity, but I'm sure that's the vanilla coming through. That combined with the dark malt aroma and that's pretty much the profile.

Delicious. Vanilla is very subtle in the taste. It's extremely smooth, rich, and milky. It tastes of dark bitter chocolate, and brown sugar without the sweetness. There is a bit of chocolate sweetness on the finish but it's welcomed.

Totally drinkable, excellent round body and mouthfeel. Well done Breckenridge.

Photo of Naugros
2.7/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

One of two Breckenridge offerings that I tasted on an Arizona vacation. I was excited to have found Breckenridge since I remember it from the early days of the craft beer movement and had found their beers to be really good. Sadly they seem to have faltered or the rest of the American beer scene has blown past them.

This is a super dark porter with a tan, tight head with excellent retention and nice lacing. Unfortunately it goes downhill from here.

There's an odd smell in this beer that I can't wrap my head around. It's almost a meaty smell like a portobella mushroom or something with some spice like a BBQ rub...definitely acidic though and nothing I want my beer to smell like.

The taste is a wee bit of an improvement but that smell infects the whole experience. Holding my nose did not help, but I tried to get past the smell and taste what I could taste and I did taste vanilla. This is contributing to the acidic smell. I've had vanilla in beers before where it is well incorporated. It is not the case here.

The mouthfeel is as a porter should be, but the acidic bite to the beer, rather than a standard bitterness from the roasted malts, drops the score a bit.

I had high hopes for this beer due to the word "remarkable" on the label and was wholly disappointed. I expected something of a vanilla latte and got something more akin to baby back ribs. Blech.

Photo of HuppMJH
3.15/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Look - Nice dark (almost black) color that is the norm with a lot of porters. Thin creamy head on the top, but it disappeared pretty quickly. I thought it may have just been a bad pour, but I notice multiple people have mentioned this below.

Smell - Definitely getting a vanilla/carmel mixed with espresso smell. Also picking up an odd smell that I can't exactly place; possibly a metallic type smell?

Taste - I'm picking up on the vanilla and coffee taste. Also finding some malt and a slight carmel finish.

When I'm looking for a porter, this definitely wouldn't be my beer of choice. It's a good beer to try to get your pallet to understand the taste of what people are describing in a beer (especially vanilla). Possibly a beer to take to a tasting as an example, but would be a disappointment as the main beer.

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

served in pint glass

A - about 98% opaque dark brown; scant but lasting tan head.

S - mainly vanilla and malt, with caramel

T - sour + sweet + bitter + malty + vanilla. Finish is light with lasting elements of malt and vanilla. Not a sweet dessert beer; certainly not as sweet as might be expected given the pronounced vanilla in the aroma.

D - nice novelty beer, but not a great choice as a session beer.

M - good carbonation level; perhaps a bit light for a porter

Photo of prdstmnky
1.63/5  rDev -55.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

*review from notes on 3/3/10*

Pours a dark brown, coffee color leaving very little head with next to no retention. A bit of vanilla on the nose, but not a whole lot of aroma's to speak of. Taste is not at all what i expect from a porter - a hint of vanilla and some caramel / roasted malts, but the overwhelming flavor i get is a metallic sourness that is not appealing at all. Also very thin and lacking carbonation. I couldn't even make it through this whole bottle, the first true "drain pour" I've had.

I didn't find any kind of bottled on / best by date anywhere - perhaps it was a bad bottle? It was bought from a very reputable shop, properly stored. Im willing to give this another shot (if i come across this beer again) and adjust my review if warranted.

Photo of steve8robin
4.2/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this on a trip to OH. 12oz bottle...

A: Dark brew with light highlights. Small off white head that quickly fades to nothing. Decent.

S: Hmm, kind of smells like an autumn beer here. A little confused on what you're trying to be? Hints of some smokey vanilla and cocao. Decent.

T: Super smooth vanilla. Almost like vanilla ice cream mixed with hints of roasty coffee and chocolate. I like the flavor of this one. Very good.

M: Light body with a great carbonation. Good.

D: This one goes down super easy. Very good.

All in all, this is a decent brew. If you like light flavors with an overbearing taste of vanilla, then this is for you. Otherwise avoid.

Vanilla Porter from Breckenridge Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 3,392 ratings.