1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Vanilla Porter - Breckenridge Brewery

Vanilla PorterVanilla Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,666 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2666
Reviews: 935
rAvg: 3.6
pDev: 15.83%

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)
View: Beers (41) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Vanilla Porter Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,666 | Reviews: 935 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of shanny1981


4.5/5  rDev +25%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a very pretty beer with a nice thick, creamy head. It's very dark in color and the maltiness is just right. There is only a minor bitterness in the aftertaste which makes it easy and smooth going down. It definitely smells of toasted malts, chocolate and vanilla. A very pleasant smell indeed! This porter makes a real nice adult float with vanilla bean ice cream. One of the best porters and adult floats that I have ever experienced. Will make this my signature go-to adult float beer.

Serving type: cask

05-14-2013 13:41:56 | More by shanny1981
Photo of JackMcAwesome


3.51/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured fiercely into a mug.

Look: My aggressive attempt to create a solid head failed. This brew seems to be the anti-head maker. Oh well. With that, the lacing is quite minimal as well. A dark cola color, which lets in a mild bit of light.

Smell: Not much going on, and it falls off fairly quickly. The vanilla is there, with a bit of chocolate malt as well. Not even a third of the way through, and the smell has fallen off quite a bit.

Taste: Not much is going on. I was hoping for a lot more punch, but it is all very subdued. The vanilla is the most prominent. I was hoping for a bit more of the caramel malts, I think that would be an awesome combo if balanced right. The taste isn't bad at all, it's enjoyable enough, but I wish there was something that stood out and made you identify with this brew.

Feel: Like water with a slight bite at the end. Very low carbonation, which for a porter I kind of like. Viscosity is on the light side, wouldn't mind if it were just a tad thicker, but still enjoyable.

Overall: Not a bad beer at all, just not great. It isn't something that I HAVE to have when in the mood, but I wouldn't mind revisiting from time to time. I'd recommend to anyone that is a fan of porters, if just to tick it off the list.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2013 21:32:20 | More by JackMcAwesome
Photo of rrlevering


3.39/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.25

Appearance - light carbonation, dark but slightly translucent

Smell - vanilla coffee

Taste - Subdued chocolate, vanilla, and malt flavors. No flavor comes across particularly strongly.

Mouthfeel - light and watery, particularly for a porter

The flavor was close to what I was looking for when I bought this beer, but it was entirely too thin and watery for my current palette. To say it positively, it's one of the most chuggable porters I've ever had. It doesn't kill you with vanilla flavor, I think the ratio is quite good. It's just kinda weak.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2013 23:46:17 | More by rrlevering
Photo of Highlander15401


3.4/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

This is not a "WOW" dessert-like porter. Lean body mass allowing it to warm-up to extract all flavors. Tasted twice with same result on both bottles.

Look- brownish-black with tan lacing

Aroma- roasted nuts, caramel & vanilla bean

Taste- tasted a bit deeper than aroma profile

Finish- light city-roast coffee flavors followed with vanilla & cream

I guess a solid porter for the style, but prefer porters with more depth of roasted malts like Bell's & Great Lakes.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2013 17:45:55 | More by Highlander15401
Photo of StoneTSR


3.38/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

APPEARANCE: Dark brown, nearly black, but when held up to light a reddish-brown shines through. A nice half-inch head rests and remains on top for a while. Pretty decent head retention. Lacing is good, thick layers cover 50% of the back of the glass and much of the sides as well.

SMELL: Very faint aroma, but what is there is pleasant. A mild roastiness along with vanilla undertones. If only the smell were stronger.

TASTE: Again, the flavor is pretty mild here. It’s good, just not very intense. This beer will offend only those most averse to dark beers. As the name and smell would suggest the flavor is nice and roasty. A solid vanilla flavor backs it up and becomes more pronounced as the beer warms. A very slight coffee-like bitterness finishes each sip.

MOUTHFEELL: A very light sparkle compliments the otherwise smooth mouthfeel. Medium-bodied, but not as big as some other vanilla porters I’ve had.

OVERALL: This is a perfect gateway beer. Your friend that only drinks Guinness might see the light in something like this. Obviously not the same style, but something a little more flavorful that they could get into. This will never be my go to, but certainly a good fall back beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2013 02:38:14 | More by StoneTSR
Photo of BucannonXC5


3.7/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Type: 12-oz. bottle
Glass: Lagunitas mason jar
From: Bine & Vine Bottle Shop in Normal Heights (San Diego), Calif.
Price: $1.99
Purchased: March 28, 2013
Consumed: April 5, 2013
Misc.: N/A

Poured a brownish-black (more black) color with two fingers of khaki tan lacing that dissipated rather quickly. Average lacing on the sides. Minimal retention.

Smelled roasty nuts, toffee, caramel, vanilla bean ice cream, faint bitter coffee beans, milk, chocolate and faint smoky fire.

Tasted surprisingly stronger than the smell. My first thought was Nesquick chocolate milk. Also cocoa, milk, vanilla, faint bitter coffee beans and still that light smoky fire.

Medium body. Creamy texture. Soft (below average) carbonation. Slightly bitter, but still smooth finish.

A pretty good porter overall. I’d definitely have it again. Not as much vanilla as I would have thought, more of a chocolate milk taste, but it gets the job done.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2013 05:00:29 | More by BucannonXC5
Photo of MikeAAL


3.81/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Drinkable but, not as much taste as I thought there would be.

White head, black body.

Smells like vanilla and roasted malts.

First taste is vanilla followed with malts and a little bit of caramel.

A lot thinner mouthfeel than I expected. Light carbonation.

It's alright but, not what I was hoping it would be.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2013 18:10:40 | More by MikeAAL
Photo of idResponse

North Carolina

4.3/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This is the Cream Soda of the beer world. I mean that in a good way. This is a very nice addition to a robust chocolate coffee toffee porter with a good layer of vanilla flavor on top to give it a nice rich sweet flavor that isn't overly cloying. I highly recommend trying this out as a good dessert beer. Very well done!

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2013 02:05:11 | More by idResponse
Photo of RunningFox


4.29/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Well balanced and not overpowering - surprisingly drinkable for a flavored brew. Some have reported this is artificial and cloying - but I did not find it that way.
It had a weak, tan head that did not last long. (My biggest complaint). Just a bit of lacing on the glass. The color was a classic dark, rich mahogany brown. Mild vanilla-caramel nose and a sweetish malt taste with undertones of caramel, vanilla and bitter chocolate. The mouthfeel is very smooth. It has a gentle finish and hints of coffee in the nose on the swallow. Overall a nice, balanced brew

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2013 16:22:53 | More by RunningFox
Photo of VelvetExtract


2.73/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A-Pours a dark, clear brown. Soft head. Dots of lacing.

S-Smells a bit awkward. A bit of odd mustiness. There is also a serious dosage of artificial vanilla. Vanilla extract. Not much depth behind the vanilla either. The Porter aspects of the nose are silent here.

T-More of the same. A bit of odd must then a blast of cloying, artificial vanilla. As if I took a baby sip of vanilla extract I swear. Cheap vanilla bean ice cream. Maybe a hint of flat cola.

M-Light bodied. A bit sticky. The taste lingers.

O/D-Not a fan of this.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2013 00:51:48 | More by VelvetExtract
Photo of PaterMorse


3.46/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

One of those beers you need to be prepared for or get used to. Actually quite drinkable (found myself sipping away); but a little limited in scope.

A: Mostly whiteish head evaporates ASAP; leaving a look of Cherry Coke with ice already melted. Little grains of sand dot the surface (or, if agitated, some faint striation).

S: Vanilla extract and banana bread. Caramel. Spiked flan!

T: Honestly, a little off-putting at first -- very cream-sodaish. Taste follows nose (see above). Very pleasing, non-bitter aftertaste. Seems a one-trick pony: brewers tried hard to be unique (when "unique" doesn't always equate to successful).

M: Fine. Holds together OK; soft, buttery, light body. But again, a little off-putting because so sweet and mild.

O: Easy enough to drink, and unique experience. Worth a try; wouldn't turn down another. Just wouldn't seek to stock my refrigerator with it. I suspect it's good for what it is; just not sure I'm a big fan of "what it is"...

Repeat? Not as a staple, but does fill a niche -- after dinner with dessert, campfire with s'mores, just after downing a giant poppyseed muffin!

Two Words: Spike Flan

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2013 21:03:28 | More by PaterMorse
Photo of JohnnyBarman

Ontario (Canada)

3.39/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Single bottle from Premier Gourmet in Buffalo, my second brew from Breckenridge after their Oatmeal Stout.

Poured into a nonic. Dark chestnut in colour, light brown in places when held to the light. About a half inch of cream-coloured head that recedes into a thick ring. Some pretty nice lacing here.

Nose is certainly vanilla, but it smells just slightly more pronounced than usual. It's unmistakably vanilla, but it wasn't overdone, which is a huge plus. Sweet malt, caramel, a touch of dry roasted grain.

I think this one was a decent effort, and the vanilla tastes just fine - it's not as if a shot of vanilla extract was dumped in my glass of dark ale. However, that is about all I can say about the Vanilla Porter. Is it tasty? Absolutely, and I'm sure it would be quite a popular brew, especially around dessert time. But other than vanilla, there isn't much here. Quite one-dimensional, only the faintest dry roasted grain lingering in the back.

Carbonation is a bit high, but the brew is smooth and slightly creamy.

I give the edge to the Oatmeal Stout between the two Breckenridges, though I wouldn't be disappointed with this one in the fridge.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2013 02:00:45 | More by JohnnyBarman
Photo of JClarson

4.2/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

A- Very thin head that disapated almost as soon as I poured it. Very dark murky brown with amber staining.

S- Sweet banana bread and vanilla.

T- Sweet malts and vanilla with a bit of roastiness. Slight earthy notes after about three quarters through when my palate started adjusting to the sweetness.

M- Thin to medium bodied, no lingering aftertaste with a fairly clean finish.

O- Some might consider the vanilla overwhelming and too sweet, but I found it pleasant almost like a dessert beer. I could drink maybe two of these before having to switch it up. This is the vanilla porter that all others should be compared to.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2013 22:54:03 | More by JClarson
Photo of tvljr


3.76/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Aroma of vanilla bean, coffee, subtle cocoa, and nutty tones.

Dark brown with a lasting, tan head. Somewhat sweet, cream soda flavors, with dry, roasty tones providing balance.

Medium bodied with average carbonation and a mellow finish.

Very drinkable porter.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2013 00:23:07 | More by tvljr
Photo of MDDMD


3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A-dark brown color with a nice tan head and decent lacing

S-dark roasted malt, vanilla, caramel

T-dark roasted malt, caramel, vanilla, slight bitter finish

F-light to medium body with moderate carbonation, on the light side but does have some smoothness

O-nothing special, a little too much sweetness or vanilla for me, but fairly drinkable

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2013 22:25:30 | More by MDDMD
Photo of JohnFatAss

New Jersey

3.71/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Brown in color with an off white head.

It has a very mild smell. Vanilla comes through and not much else.

Taste - Roasted malts and vanilla. Not overly sweet, but there is a touch of sweetness.
Finishes dry with some bitterness.

I would say this beer is a little on the heavy side but still easy to drink.

Overall - A very nice beer for a cold winter night.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2013 03:09:08 | More by JohnFatAss
Photo of solvealways

2.95/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Pour: Semi-soft pour - low fizz - very little head remains. very slight lacing

Color: Dark brown - slight red - expected darker

Aroma: Subtle (much more subtle than I hoped) malty aroma with light vanilla

Taste: Vanilla cream up front - bitter earthy in the middle - sparkling water at the end

Mouthfeel: Creamy feel up front but thins out very quickly

Soundwave visual metaphor: light but fast attack - 2 second decay/sustain - flat release: 15 seconds at about 5% intensity

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2013 22:26:33 | More by solvealways
Photo of sinstaineddemon


3.01/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Dark as a porter should be (man I'm running out of adjectives), the pour wells up a half finger of medium tan,filmy head

S - Smoky peaty malts with mild vanilla hints, not all together enthralling, but nice nontheless

T - The vanilla comes out in the taste, the smoke and the earthiness are huge in the beginning. After a minute these flavors melt away into a smooth vanilla character, especially in the aftertaste. The vanilla takes the stage solo right at the end of the sip.

M&D&O - normal. tasty. nondescript. This beer would appeal to many people. The vanilla is part of the beer, not added on, which is a huge plus. Sessionable and quaffable, a good beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2013 00:51:18 | More by sinstaineddemon
Photo of stephenjmoore


3.91/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A- Very dark brown body, with a bubbly light tan head. Head fades rather quickly and leaves a thin layer of bubbles along with some lacing.

S- Roasted malt, vanilla, caramel. Nothing overwhelming, but nice notes of each.

T- Pretty good flavor. Vanilla comes through along with roasty malts and a hint a caramel malt. Again, nothing overwhelming, but nice flavors. Very balanced and easy to drink.

M- Medium bodied, medium-low carbonation, smooth and creamy

O- Nice sessionable porter that is easy on the roasted flavor.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2013 00:43:49 | More by stephenjmoore
Photo of ranger7


2.99/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Got this in a custom 6-pack.
Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A - A dark brown with smallish head.

S - Toasty, almost burnt scent. Some definite coffee and malt notes, can't really smell much vanilla though, which is surprising considering the name of the brew.

T - Tastes similar to the smell. Majority is coffee and malt, slight hint of vanilla.

M - Some carbonation, but not too much. Pretty smooth after setting in my glass and warming for a minute. Very clean aftertaste, which is nice.

Summary - I have to say, I'm a bit disappointed in this porter. I thought I'd be getting a little vanilla kick somewhere in here, but there is almost nothing - the memories of the drink are of burnt coffee, which is never good. I'm thinking I will try it again in the future. For right now though, it's very average.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2013 02:53:34 | More by ranger7
Photo of guityler83


3.78/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown in the glass with a redish hue around the edges. A nice cocoa, coffee colored head about a finger worth that leaves vertical laceing.

S: A nutty, roasty arroma mixed with carmel vanilla and a hint of smoke.

T: Vanilla, carmel are roasted barley polling for position on my taste buds. there is also a grainyness to it and a mineraly yeast backbone (english yeast strain?)

M: Chewy with moderate carbination and a slickness too it.

O: One of my favorate styles and this one doesn't disapoint. If i could find this on cask somewhere I'd go out of my way!

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2013 02:54:52 | More by guityler83
Photo of NiceTaps

New Jersey

3.73/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap in a tulip glass.

A- Dark brown sugar, cola color that lets just a bit of light pass. Minimal head, mega rings of lacing.

S- Mild smokey porter aroma, toasty and sweet. Understated vanilla.

T- Oak, vanilla, liquid fireplace if I may.

M- Smooth light feel with good carbonation. The vanilla and low abv make it light and easy to drink.

O- good, easy drinking porter.

Serving type: on-tap

12-28-2012 21:25:44 | More by NiceTaps
Photo of TimmyL

New Jersey

3.03/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap into a pint
A- dark brown with a small tan head that doesn't last or lace.
S- as a uge vanilla fan, less vanilla than I hoped. some cocca and roasted malt but not much going on here.
T- follows the nose, not as strong with the vanilla but a nice porter nonetheless.
M- decent carbonation. medium body. low ABV and smooth. sessionable.
O- good but not great... could have a few without a problem, but wouldn't seek out.

Serving type: on-tap

12-12-2012 04:41:46 | More by TimmyL
Photo of TwelveOunces


3.8/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass

This beer pours dark brown that turns black in the glass, red around the edges and a light brown head. The beer has a lot of roasted character, there is also a good deal of coffee in this beer. The vanilla however, is its strongest taste attribute. It is a very vanilla forward brew. There is a little chocolate character to this beer as well. The mouthfeel is lacking, it is a very sessionable beer but I would like to have seen something a bit thicker. It is a solid drinkable and flavorful porter.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2012 17:39:46 | More by TwelveOunces
Photo of HarryPotHead


3.98/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured almost black into a frosty pint glass, the pour yielded a thin tan head of about a finger or so that disappeared quickly with just a bit of lacing. The vanilla notes are interesting...they come on late and aren't overpowering, but seem to be very well balanced with the rest of the brew. This is a decent porter...very easy to drink with just the right amount of creamy vanilla flavor. Just a little too much carbonation, but otherwise not too much to complain about. The price for 6 was over 10 bucks here in Maryland. Seemed a little steep for this brew, but again this is a pretty decent brew so I'm not gonna complain much. Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2012 02:55:39 | More by HarryPotHead
Vanilla Porter from Breckenridge Brewery
82 out of 100 based on 2,666 ratings.