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Vanilla Porter - Breckenridge Brewery

Not Rated.
Vanilla PorterVanilla Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,198 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,198
Reviews: 963
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 15.7%
Wants: 69
Gots: 338 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Vanilla Porter Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,198 | Reviews: 963 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of geomedic
4.18/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: Twelve-ounce bottle rough-poured into a room-temperature "Imperial" pint glass.

A: Nearly opaque black with dark red edges. Two finger tan head that dissipates quickly but leaves dense lasing all the way down the glass.

S: Sweet, slightly vanilla nose with roasty undertones.

T: The vanilla really comes through here and is very nicely balanced by roasty malt and coffee flavors. Some dark chocolate as well. This is a primarily sweet flavor that is well counter pointed by the heavier and roastier flavors commonly associated with the porter style. The sweet vanilla is prominent but not overdone. Breckenridge has found an excellent balance of flavors. Strong work!

M: A good chewy porter mouth feel.

D: This is an excellent beer but the sweetness limits drinkability somewhat in my opinion. Definitely worth a second pint, however.

Overall: A new favorite from a brewery I have known and loved since its founding. Keep it up!

geomedic, Mar 19, 2009
Photo of glid02
3.3/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this courtesy of daryk77 - thanks!

Pours a dark brown color with dark ruby highlights and a half-finger tan head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving light lacing.

Smells of lightly roasted malts and sweet fruits, mostly cherries. I'm not getting much of a vanilla aroma at all. As the beer warms the roasted malt aromas come out a bit more but are still dominated by sweet fruits.

Tastes a bit better than how it smells, though I'm still getting no vanilla. Mild roasted malt flavors up front followed shortly by sweet fruits - again, mostly cherries - and ending with a mild roasted bitterness.

Mouthfeel is alright. It's a bit on the thin side, though the carbonation is at a good level.

Drinkability is so-so. The sweetness is a bit cloying and it's definitely worth letting the beer warm up a bit.

Overall this wasn't a terrible beer but I don't see myself buying it again.

glid02, Mar 18, 2009
Photo of drtth
2.93/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Served in a standard shaker glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: Dark brown with light tan head receded to surface foam with minimal lacing.

Smell: Vanilla dominates and little else shows through but there are hints of chocolate.

Taste: Sweet vanilla taste dominates but some chocolate and caramel do show up.

Mouthfeel: Thin with light carbonation. Short finish with vanilla fading out.

Drinkability: At first it was OK, but not exceptional. After a while, however, I was ready for it to be gone before it was and I'm not sure I want more than one. Nor will I come back to it again.

drtth, Mar 15, 2009
Photo of chilly460
2.6/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12oz bottle into a pint glass

A - Nice brown with tan head, some lacing

S - Not really much scent could be detected, some vanilla definitely there

T - The vanilla sweetness was a bit rough, and was a wierd transition to the somewhat bitter finish. Just can't appreciate get into this.

M - Normal for this style

D - Just too off tasting bitterness next to the almost "artificial" tasting vanilla/sweetness. One was enough.

It got a little better as it warmed up, but I can't say this was one I'd try again.

chilly460, Mar 13, 2009
Photo of saradad
1.78/5  rDev -51%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Damnit, I really want to like this beer. But I can't, it's just too sweet. Candy like sweet. Maybe if the brewery had stamped a date on the bottle or the case it came in then I could say "Self, this beer is past it's prime and therefore must not be reviewed" Shit fire boys!! If the brewery didn't think that freshness of their product was an issue then I must assume that they expect a few bad reviews of their product to come their way, so here goes:

Poured into a glass and formed a nice light tan head over a deep brown body, no staying power to the head yet light lacing remained to the end. The smell is sweet, sickeningly so with only a syrupy not quite vanilla odor. No evidence of hops or grain or malt or anything appetizing. The taste is slightly better and yet I feel as though I'm drinking Vanilla Coke's evil twin. Or Vanilla Pepsi's Mini-Me. And they wish to do me harm, They have assaulted my palate with flavors that no human should be subjected to. Yet, I shall persevere to the end, finishing this glass not knowing whether my mouth will taste again. Somewhere in there is a slight flowery taste, lost amidst proto-vanilla, hops maybe. Mouthfeel, well it feels like a porter, thinner than a stout and thicker than a good lager. Drinkability? No friggin' way. If the choice was between this and soda pop then the soda pop would be better choice. Hell, water'd be a better choice. Possibly the first drain pour I've ever encountered, or perhaps this would make an excellent birthday gift for my brother in law. Hmmmm...decisions, decisions.

saradad, Mar 10, 2009
Photo of treehugger02010
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bought the Breckenridge Brewery variety case from Bryn Mawr Beverage in Bryn Mawr, PA and poured it into a pint glass.
Appearance: The body is a deep translucent black color. The head is about two fingers tall, tan, thin lacing, small bubbles, good retention.
Smell: The aroma is very malty. Chocolate, nuts and expresso are some of the more dominate notes.
Taste: The flavors are chocolate, toffee, expresso and nuts.
Mouthfeel: This mouthfeel is very smooth.
Drinkability: This beer is rather drinkable.
Don't drink and review.

treehugger02010, Mar 08, 2009
Photo of argock
3.95/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap in a clear pint glass at Breckenridge Brewery (Breckenridge, CO).

A: Dark, murky brown with thin off-white head with not a lot of lace.

S: Definitely a complex malt bill with excellent toasted caramel and dark malt and burnt malt aromas which are not overwhelmed but rather enhanced by the vanilla addition.

T: A delicious porter with a slightly acrid, toasty dark malt flavor that tones as it warms with a nice earthy hops bite in the finish to give it a good dryness. The vanilla melds nicely to give a good sweet counterpoint.

M: A little thin in body but the carbonation is just right to keep it smooth. Aftertaste is toasted dark malt with a hint of vanilla.

D: A very nice porter with a good mix of vanilla, toasted dark malt, and earthy hops aromas and flavors. Easily their most sessionable on-tap offering.

argock, Mar 06, 2009
Photo of Brenden
3.33/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark brown with dark reddish hues in the light. The head is an off-white, about one finger that retains very well. Lacing is light.

There is a hint of an alcoholic astringency in the smell that shows up in the taste. The vanilla is there as expected, though subtler than one might think. There is a toasty malt to the smell as well. It's not as sweet as some reviews I've read say it is. There can be a little sourness in the finish.

It's medium-bodied. The feel is thick and can be a little syrupy. Carbonation is light. Finish is a bit heady.

Not a bad one to try, though not a great one. I'd give it a shot and it's not something I'd avoid. Overall a decent brew.

Brenden, Mar 05, 2009
Photo of Tone
3.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark amber/brown color. The amber is present especially along the edges of the glass. 1/4 inch head of a pale tan color. Decent retention and decent lacing. Smells strongly of vanilla, then some sweet and roasted malt qualities come through, and there are some slight hops noticeable. Fits the style of an American Porter, though an extreme vanilla enriched fringe member. Mouth feel is smooth and thick with an average carbonation level. Tastes very tart up front, which was slightly off-putting, but still not bad. The first flavors are vanilla, then roasted malt and sweet malt come through, and there's a slight hop background. Overall, besides the extreme tartness this beer would have been great, but otherwise an average brew.

Tone, Mar 04, 2009
Photo of Murchmac
2.8/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Thanks to zealot for this suprise in a trade.

Dark brown look, cherry/ruby highlights. Looks like beer.

Some vanilla smells, bourbony smell, not much doin.

Dark malts taste, vanilla, sweet. Very let down, didn't think it'd be good, and it wasn't

After a while kinda tastes like vanilla extract. A let down after they used to make an oatmeal stout a whiles back I liked.

Overall this was not unlike watching Vanilla Ice on his own dating show, things that should never be. Remarkable, maybe, partakable, no.

Murchmac, Feb 26, 2009
Photo of deaconoflove
2/5  rDev -44.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Ap: Beautiful clear dark color with reddish highlights. The very thin head was gone before I found my pen and notepad. No lacing on the glass.
Sm: Not much smell, sweet.
Ta: Overly sweet and syrupy with obvious vanilla flavor (I like vanilla). Over the top sweetness and syrup feeling.
Mf: Medium body, the sweetness clings to my mouth, not in a good way.
Dr: Nope. Kind of like a vanilla Coke, only much sweeter. I'd drink it again if my only other choice was Budlight.

deaconoflove, Feb 19, 2009
Photo of htomsirveaux
3.35/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tried 5 Feb 2009 at the brewpub.

Dark brown color. Small light brown head. Slight vanilla aroma, sweet. Lots of vanilla taste upfront. Fairly sweet and roasty, vanilla, caramel and toffee as well. Slight bitterness in finish. Medium body. Moderate alcohol.

Decent, definitely more vanilla than porter.

htomsirveaux, Feb 18, 2009
Photo of tronester
3.03/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brown, getting close to black in color. Thin tan head. Smell is of slightly stale malt. Taste is surprisingly sugary, with a big chocolate flavor as well. A hint of vanilla is also present obviously. The bitterness levels are rather low, but not too bad. Mouthfeel is thin, average carbonation. Drinkability is somewhat lower. At the beginning of the glass, the beer was tasting ok, but near the end, the beer got cloyingly sweet as well as a bit sour. This is not the type of beer you would want to have more than one of. I would drink this beer again, but I doubt I would go out of my way to purchase it.

The first time I tried this beer a couple years ago, I though it was TERRIBLE. But I suspect that that was a bad batch. This one is better, but still IMO not stellar.

tronester, Feb 10, 2009
Photo of Clydesdale
3.35/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: A dark, chestnut brown color with some ruby hints. A medium sized, creamy and frothy tan head with solid retention and very nice lacing.

S: Roasted malts. Some vanilla, yes, along with dark fruit/grapes. Some chocolate as well, with herbal and earthy hop notes.

T: Roasted/burnt malt flavor up front. A pleasant vanilla flavor is coupled with a weird astringent/puckering sourness. Chocolate and some caramel, along with earthy hops.

M: Medium bodied, with subdued carbonation. Slick and somewhat syrupy. Again, at times there are puckering, sour flavors.

D: This one is just okay. I can understand what they were going for here, and it's a nice idea, it just comes across a little less nuanced than I'd like. Perhaps because the vanilla seems artificial, something just doesn't add up.

Clydesdale, Feb 04, 2009
Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.15/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12oz brown bottle, pop top with classy looking label

Appearance: Nice, quite dark brown with a thin but persistant light tan film

Smell: Dark toasty caramel, burnt marshmallow predominates, and there's a hint of vanilla as well.

Taste: Upfront there are toasted marshmallow flavors with touches of bourbon, vanilla, and a roasty back with sweet vanilla flavors that seem a bit artificial.

Mouthfeel: A tad on the thin side.

Drinkability: Medium.

Conclusion: Eh, it's ok...the toasted marshmallow flavors/aromas are quite nice (if a bit odd) but overall there's a kind of "fake" artificial flavor to this beer.

BedetheVenerable, Jan 30, 2009
Photo of AleWatcher
4.13/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a standard pint glass.

A: Deep dark red with brown hues and a creamy tan head that disapates rather quickly. Leaves a nice lacing that moves slowly... clinging to the glass.

S: Smells like a pleasant combination of being a kid and walking into a candy store AND being a bit more mature and walking into a coffee shop. Very enticing aroma.

T: Nicely balanced, toasty (almost a fresh-baked biscuit) meets caramel, coffee, mocha, and just enough vanilla to lighten it all up without distracting from or overpowering the general taste.

M: Nice carbonation... but a slight gritty feel.

D: Very drinkable on a cold winter evening. It would make for a great sipper seeing it improves as it warms up. Might make for a great after-dinner beer... perhaps even with a cigar.

AleWatcher, Jan 26, 2009
Photo of disastermouse
2.33/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

A: Dark brown - just shy of a stout.

S: Very biscuity with a hint of vanilla

T: Holy unsweetened vanilla, Batman! What a weird taste. It's not metallic, but it's not really what I'm used to for a porter either. It actually tastes a lot like a macrobrew.

MF: Thinner than expected.

D: One or two is tops for me.

disastermouse, Jan 21, 2009
Photo of jujubeast6000
2.25/5  rDev -38%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed 7/5/2006 (12oz bottle):

Pours a black brown color, small head, brownish. Very strong coffee aroma, some chocolate. Not very strong aroma. Strong coffee taste, watery. Not a strong coffee aftertaste. Just a good porter taste. Slight vanilla taste. But very watery overall.

jujubeast6000, Jan 20, 2009
Photo of weeare138
4.3/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appears a dark brown with mild, ruby transparencies. A fluffy, light tan head slowly fades into a mild cap and a bubbly collar. Scattered streaks of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of huge vanilla notes, caramel, and brown sugar with a dusting of cocoa powder, molasses, and milk chocolate.
Taste is of vanilla laced cocoa beverage with a hint of mocha and a touch of mint.
Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied, smooth, and just sweet enough to keep me coming back for more. This is a very drinkable, lip smacking, after dinner brew that keeps you so interested that you don't want to put the glass down.
I could pound a few six packs of these and keep coming back for more.

weeare138, Jan 20, 2009
Photo of jimsimply
2.65/5  rDev -27%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Dark as a porter should be. Full caramel colored head that falls quickly.

S: Vanilla. It's a vanilla porter, but the vanilla is a little more than I want.

T: Again, the vanilla takes over, leaving almost no other discernible taste. I'm not sure I would know I was drinking beer if I had one blindfolded.

M: About right for a porter, moderately heavy.

D: Not my favorite beer. It's certainly light enough for a session, but wanting more porter than vanilla, this one doesn't deliver for me.

jimsimply, Jan 16, 2009
Photo of PhillyStyle
3.38/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer appeared a very dark black with what appeared to be some red around the edges when held up to light. The beer had a nice, call it, mocha colored head that was well retained that was light in texture and retained fairly well.

The beer gave off a nice thick malty aroma with hints of coffee and vanilla. I felt that the coffee and vanilla should have been more pronounced, but still above average.

The taste followed the aroma well, heavy on the malt, but I felt that the vanilla was more pronounced than that of the coffee, which seems to make sense.

The beer fell down a little on mouthfeel and drinkability. The beer appeared to be a little thick, almost like syrup at times. Lacked some needed carbonation, seemed flat. The beer did give off a slightly sweet aftertaste, which was good. Overall, a good beer, but not the best representation of the style.

PhillyStyle, Jan 12, 2009
Photo of gmfessen
3.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, beer is a deep, deep mahogany color with a one inch tapioca looking head. The smell definitely has vanilla to it, not a whole lot else is noticeable. The flavor of the beer is very smooth and neutral, allowing the vanilla to take center stage but not in an overwhelming way. Well balanced. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a velvety carbonation. Decently drinkable, I think the vanilla could get old for some but I think that it is gentle and balanced enough to make this a drinkable beer.

gmfessen, Jan 11, 2009
Photo of dakid618
3.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into pint glass. Pours black with a half finger of head. Smells kind of chocolatey. Taste is a mix of chocolate malt and vanilla. Surprisingly light mouthfeel. A little to bold to be very drinkable but 2 or 3 would be the max. Overall a solid brew.

dakid618, Jan 08, 2009
Photo of DoctorDog
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12oz bottle into a nonic.

A- Dark brown/mahogany and nearly opaque. ~2 fingers of tan head. Head fades slowly,eventually only a thin ring. No lacing noted.

S- Starts off with a grassy/earthy nose. Mellows to some sweet, subdued vanilla notes.

T- Moderately sweet vanilla maltiness. Some interestingly "chalky" coffee notes. Moderate/low bitterness. Slightly drying on the finish.

M- Medium carbonation and body/smooth.

D- Pretty good. Fairly easy drinker w/a low enough ABV. Sweetness is short of being cloying.

Future outlook: Decent drink. I won't turn it down if it ends up in my hands again, but I probably won't buy it again.

DoctorDog, Jan 06, 2009
Photo of nem2006
3.38/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Drank from a 12 oz bottle from a mixed Breckenridge Brewery mixed pack. Drank out of a pint glass.

Very dark, almost completely black. Carbonation clinging to the glass with a tan head.

There was not a very strong smell so I let it warm a little. Then I caught the vanilla against the coffee smell.

The taste was vanilla with coffee. Pretty smooth, There is a vanilla bite at the start, then a malty middle with a slight hop finish. Medium bodied and can feel the carbonation on the tongue.

nem2006, Jan 03, 2009
Vanilla Porter from Breckenridge Brewery
82 out of 100 based on 3,198 ratings.