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Vanilla Porter - Breckenridge Brewery

Not Rated.
Vanilla PorterVanilla Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,316 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,316
Reviews: 969
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 15.7%
Wants: 75
Gots: 398 | 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: 3,316 | Reviews: 969 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of turamarth
3.28/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: The bottle makes some bold claims, with this 'nilla porter being "Remarkable" and such. Has a fluffy cream colored head that doesn't stay for long. Body is a fairly opaque dark brown.

Smell: Hints of vanilla, some slight roasty malts. Faint hints of chocolate. Maybe some caramels. Also, there is a noticeable metallic smell, very odd.

Taste: The vanilla is pretty well blended into the porter, though it is prevalent. It sits well next to the toasty flavors. Again, some chocolate notes. Has a hint of hops as well.'

Mouthfeel: Fairly medium bodied, nice carbonation. Doesn't leave the mouth feeling too thick.

Drink: This is fairly drinkable. Dunno if I would go out of my way to drink another. But its decent.

turamarth, Jan 02, 2009
Photo of khiasmus
2.1/5  rDev -42.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

The brown clarity of imitation vanilla makes its way into the glass. A pour from a good height somehow only yields the slightest amount of soap-bubble head. looks a bit thin, though clarity is good.
Then the memories of a childhood drug come flooding back.. I can't remember what it was, but one of those medicines I had to swallow... and images of my sister baking cookies with imitation vanilla extract... must have been almond cookies, I can smell the almonds... and the smoky mountain sweetener that my mom used to put in her coffee... the vanilla candles that I loved so much until I sniffed them so long I got a migraine as an 8-year-old... funny how aromas can conjure such vivid memories, more than any other sense.
The flavor and mouthfeel follow the profile and get worse... the overwhelming sweetness of the vanilla, but thin... is this imitation vanilla extract, simply carbonated and chilled? It has the body for this possibility, and only the faintest grain notes show it to be anything else.
I don't suppose I'll have this again. The sickly sweetness, almond notes, and cloying finish are bringing back that childhood migraine... I've had good vanilla beers, I love the flavor vanilla... but this just tastes cheap, imitative. Disappointing.

khiasmus, Jan 01, 2009
Photo of coasterfreak75
3.95/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The pour was a dark reddish mahogany, bordering on black with a two finger creamy head that quickly dissapated and left a slight amount of lace on the glass throughout the drink.

The smell was very malty sweet up front with a hint of coffee and vanilla thrown in the mix.

The drink was very sweet up front with sweet coffee and vanilla, a quick flash of hops in the middle and a lingering sweetness at the end. Almost candy like in the finish.

I was quite taken with this beer, easy to drink and enjoy. I think I'll have another. Would be a great after dinner drink or while watching the game.

coasterfreak75, Jan 01, 2009
Photo of dmamiano
3.35/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

almost coal like in appearance, dark but able to see through when held to the light.
Chocolate malts, vanilla intermingle in the nose.
Taste is an initial hit of vanilla, followed by sweet malts, brown with a bit of roastiness.
Smooth in the mouthfeel and well rounded.
ps. The vanilla taste almost a bit fake, I guess extracty, but its a good beer.

dmamiano, Dec 30, 2008
Photo of BigBry
3.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Single brown 12 oz bottle, picked up somewhere in my travels. "Ale brewed with real vanilla beans. Remarkable, Partakable, Seldom Seen Never Duplicated."
Pours dark brown with reddish highlights. Light tan head, creamy but quickly disipating, thin rings of lace. Nice caramel malt sweetness, nutty, and of course vanilla aroma. Good malt flavor, slightly chocolate, with the vanilla adding some sweetness. A little bit of hop bitterness, but quite sweet overall. Medium mouthfeel, not overly sticky sweet.
Personal preference was Sonora Brewers Den Vanilla Porter over this one.

BigBry, Dec 29, 2008
Photo of Reaper16
2.93/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

served from a 12oz. bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a fairly opaque dark brown, but hold the glass to light and the dark brown gives way to an attractive deep-ruby-red. Minimal amount of cream colored head but it leaves very pretty rings of lacing.

A malty nose, trace hints of the "remarkable" vanilla quality alluded to on the bottle. Some tartness develops; cherries?

The taste is dominated by sweet malts, slightly roasted in character. You can taste the vanilla, sure, but it isn't altogether assertive or "natural" tasting. That tartness from the nose follows, reminding me of fruit dipped into a chocolate fondue pot. This seems more like a winter warmer than a porter in many ways. There is a wash of coffee in the finish, but not good coffee or anything -- more like some Maxwell House that's been sitting on the pot at a diner for a couple of hours.

No carbonation at all, it seems. It's not that thin, but the "flat" nature of the drink makes it seem thinner than it maybe is. The sweetness gets cloying after a while, too. I couldn't see this being a good session choice. As something to pair with dessert? Sure -- this seems like a good pair with a chocolate dessert or especially some vanilla ice cream.

Breckenridge's Vanilla Porter is not as "remarkable" or as "partakable" as the bottle boasts, but it is an okay beer. It seems more like a winter warmer than a traditional porter; whatever it is, the abundant sweetness prevents this from being enjoyed too often. If you're looking for a beer to pair with dessert, this seems like a good choice. As a sessionable porter it doesn't quite cut it.

Reaper16, Dec 29, 2008
Photo of hopdog
3.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving type: 12oz bottle.

Poured a dark brown color with an averaged sized tan head. Aromas of roasted and toasted nuts, chocolate, and lighter vanilla. Tastes of vanilla (more than the aromas), chocolate, lighter roast, and nuts.

Notes from: 5/30/07

hopdog, Dec 18, 2008
Vanilla Porter from Breckenridge Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 3,316 ratings.