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Vanilla Porter - Breckenridge Brewery

Not Rated.
Vanilla PorterVanilla Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,028 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,028
Hads: 3,879
Avg: 3.55
pDev: 31.27%
Wants: 125
Gots: 897 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Breckenridge Brewery visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  5.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Mebuzzard on 01-13-2006

Deep in the jungles of Papua New Guinea and Madagascar grows the perfect ingredient for an extraordinary Porter brewed in Colorado. Breckenridge Brewery’s Vanilla Porter. An ale that has all the chocolate and roasted nut flavor of a classic Porter, with an enigmatic surprise thrown in for good measure.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,028 | Hads: 3,879
Photo of barczar
3.53/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Not a huge vanilla fan, and this is just too overwhelming for me. I think I'd prefer the base beer without the vanilla additions and some coffee or chocolate.

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Photo of Franziskaner
3.73/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Black in color and yet still barely penetrable to light. A fingernail of khaki colored foam is on top. Light Brussels lacing. Aroma is comprised of dark malt and coffee. When I taste it I initially get dark malt and then a rush of vanilla sweetness quickly dials it the other direction. The mouth is slightly oily and viscuous.

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Photo of dcscientist
4.3/5  rDev +21.1%

Now here's a good porter. The vanilla flavor adds a nice smoothness and mild taste to this beer, and as a result it's not one of the smokier ones out there for those that prefer that taste. This is a great dessert beer and one of my preferred porters.

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Photo of illpass78
4/5  rDev +12.7%

12 oz. bottle poured into a Libby stout glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown with some ruby notes. Not the darkest porter. Minimal lacing and head. Carbonation somewhat heavy.

Aroma: The vanilla is there in noticeable amounts, but it's not overpowering. Dark chocolate, coffee beans and roasted malt are also present.

Taste: This beer has a pleasant, mellow taste that is somewhat similar to black French vanilla coffee. There's some nice roasty notes as well, along with a detectable chocolate accent. Good stuff.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth. Dense, but not thick. Not as light as the light-ish color (for the style) would suggest.

Overall: This is a very nice porter that dark beer drinkers will enjoy. Works best as a dessert beer, I think, because of the vanilla and chocolate notes, though it isn't overwhelmingly sweet. A good find for any fan of domestic porters.

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Photo of philbe311
3.9/5  rDev +9.9%

Sleek dark brown color with a slight creamy light khaki colored froth... A terrific mix of vanilla, coffee and roasted malt dominate the aroma... The vanilla dominates the palate but it never comes close to approaching cloying... Medium bodied... Goes down smoothly... A very nice easy drinking well rounded brew...

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Photo of whistlepig
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

Sweet, creamy head. Vanilla flavor is present and the main focus, but not overwhelming. Could benefit from more carbonation, but that might be my personal taste and not a reflection of the porter style.

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Photo of REGreenBTRB
3.43/5  rDev -3.4%

A: 3.25 - Pours a very thin head that immediatley dissipates. Dark with an amber tint, leaves no lacing.

S: 3.25 - You pick up on the vanilla, though it is not as strong as I was expecting. Roasted malt.

T: 3.75 - Tasty beer! Strong taste of roasted malt and vanilla. The vanilla lingers for awhile after. Also a little bit of dark fruit.

M: 3.5 - Thin with low carbonation. Very drinkable.

O: 3.43 - Overall a nice porter, though not my favorite.

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Photo of TheCondor
3.25/5  rDev -8.5%

Side poured with standard vigor from the bottle into the Deschutes goblet.

Appearance - Pours just like you would expect a nice porter to pour. Dark brown to black in color, one finger head that dissipates relatively quickly (within 1/4 of the drink) and leaves little lacing.

Smell - You can smell the vanilla along with traditional porter scents: malts, a bit of chocolate, and some roastiness. Smell is relatively subdued.

Taste - This is where the brew really starts to lose me. Has a decent vanilla flavor at the front of the drink, with the rest of the flavors kicking in towards the finish. Roasted malts, a bit of chocolate.

Mouthfeel - Disappointing. Watery, which is what I do not want out of a porter. Kind of a funny aftertaste as well, but the thin character of the beer is certainly a big downfall.

Overall - The presentation is probably the best part, but thats pretty hard to screw up, especially with a porter. From there, the brew goes steadily downhill, culminating in what tastes like what would be a decent porter but is so watery it ruins it.

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Photo of Vivelepositif
4.25/5  rDev +19.7%

Purchased in bottle. Pours a 1/4" light tan head. Dark amber brown body, extremely smooth. Despite being a porter tastes light, but still hoppy. On first sip, I didn't taste anything reminiscent of vanilla, then it got stronger about 1/5 down the glass which stays consistent from there. Definitely tastes of vanilla bean- pure, somewhat sweet, with a sense of woody spice. Great beer for pairing with desserts.

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Photo of seedyone
4.37/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Nov 2014 - Rattle n Hum, on tap. Seems vanilla is farther back but still a worthy brew.

2013 At Rattle N Hum Caught this on the cusp of the season. Glad to see it. This is a fine brew. Balanced & polite. Not much is given away under the nose but the coffee, chocolate & of course the vanilla, jump out on the tongue. Subterfuge at it's most hospitable. 74F outside & it still has relevance. Go you Breckenridge.

2013 Rattle n Hum, NYC. On tap. Second try reveals serious vanilla followed by a nicely balanced taste & mouth feel. Well crafted. Demands a second helping & at a friendly 4.7 ABV, let's do it.

01/10/12 At Rattle N Hum, NYC. Nice. Not too sweet. Medium body. Not the winter warmer I expect from a porter, but worth a try.

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Photo of JLSIV
2.92/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Poured into a 16 oz pint glass, head dissipated rather rapidly, never got to more than 1 finger, some lacing, Nice deep chocolate brown color,

Some background aromas of baked bread, not as pronounced vanilla as advertised, some chocolate backgrounds

Good initial chocolate flavors, some spiciness a little bitter (dark chocolate) at the back of my tongue, pleasant though, just nothing high end that made me want more. Vanilla was not pronounced at all, which is unusual since that is a flavor that is usually associated with porters to me

Started dry finished dry, nothing exciting to me

Overall, I really like Porters, and want to see this type on the market, but this one just hit me as average.

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Photo of deneb
4.19/5  rDev +18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Dark brown, moderate head
S: Rich, sweet, faintly chocolaty, porter smell
T: Dark chocolate, subtle vanilla; lingering aftertaste
M: Thick feel, moderate bite albeit brief

Not a huge fan of thick porters but the bite is satisfying and the aftertaste is wonderful.

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Photo of AdmiralOzone
3.4/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured from bottle into an imperial pint glass. Beer is dark brown with a reddish tint. About an inch and a half tan head forms from a center pour that recedes rapidly. Looks nice.

The aroma is all about the vanilla, there are roasted malts and a little chocolate. No discernible hops.

The taste follows the nose. This is a tasty vanilla porter.

The mouthfeel is a little on the watery side.

Overall I enjoy this beer and will buy it again.

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Photo of leantom
3.59/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Saw this in the beer and wine store near my house. I was in the mood for a porter and decided to give it a shot. Here goes:

A: The best thing about the beer. Pours a dark amber with a beautiful, foamy head. The head lingers on for minutes and produces great lacing. Great protein content despite being a lighter beer.

S: OK, not as much vanilla as I would've hoped, but not bad. Don't get me wrong; you can still smell vanilla but it isn't the heavy, oaken smell that I'm used to from beers of this style. No hops, lots of roasted, heavily-kilned malts.

T: Good. The roasted malts predominant, but they're quite mellow. This beer doesn't have any of the coffee bitterness typical of most stouts and porters. Rather, the malt imparts a nice chocolatey taste with a hint of vanilla bean (again, nothing severe). Very toasty and perfect for casual drinking. No hops and no bready notes from yeast.

M: Pleasant. Very little alcohol but still thick (probably because of the protein content, as evidenced by the stupendous head).

O: A pleasant porter. Recommended but nothing special.

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Photo of BeerWithMike
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Sampling right now on 5/28/14. Bought a single bottle for $1.99 at Spirit World in Omaha a couple of weeks back. Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured into a 10 ounce glass 'boot'.

Pours a very dark amber brown in color with a thin beige head. Some spotty lacing is seen. The aroma is of roasted malts, chocolate with a hint of vanilla. The taste is about the same but is on the weak side. Not bad tasting at all but needs more flavor. Perfect carbonation for the style and goes down easy. Just wish there was more of a stronger flavor.

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Photo of Shade1951
3.81/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I generally prefer beers with much higher ABV than this, but this was a pleasant surprise! While I prefer a porter's color to be darker than the kind of reddish black appearance of this one, it certainly didn't look unappealing.

Smell is quite nice. As others have noted, hints of cocoa and a touch of the vanilla as advertised.

Taste is this beer's strongest quality. It is similar to the nose and quite smooth. Mouthfeel was okay - I prefer a "chewier" body.

Overall, nicely done!

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Photo of Dna_Infinity
3.72/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle to glass

Appearance - Dark amber/brown. Tan head that leaves good lacing

Smell - Slight chocolate and coffee smell, can definitely smell the vanilla, toasty

Taste - Smooth and easy drinking. Vanilla is there with slight coffee. Roasted malts, a creamy mouth feel. A little watery however

Overall - A good porter and the vanilla is there. It is however a little watery at the end. A good porter regardless.

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Photo of WillKorn
4.5/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am typically a bigger fan of stouts than I am of porters, but I just had this the other day and it is very good. I always love heavier beers like this from nitro taps because of how unbelievably smooth the nitro makes the beer. I enjoyed this beer after a meal almost as a dessert.

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Photo of bgillespie
3.51/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: A very dark brown/black. Cannot see through it at all. A thick tan head that dissipates to a lacing.

Smell: A hint of vanilla, coffee, not very strong.

Taste: What it lacks in smell, it makes up for in taste. A strong porter taste with a touch of vanilla. Similar to coffee.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth and drinkable.

Overall: After a weak aroma, the taste saved the beer. A smooth, easily drinkable porter. Glad I had it.

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Photo of arichter96
2.98/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I decided to try this beer as it sounded interesting from all the reviews. At first I wasn't a fan, but then it grew on me. It's quite smooth and has a hint of vanilla, nothing overpowering. I'm used to heartier beers, but this was pleasant to drink. It has a nice flavor. I would buy again if I needed something light and smooth to drink with a bit if flavor. I finished it quickly without noticing and wishing I had another as it went by so fast. It's not at the top of my list, but I did enjoy it enough to buy again.

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Photo of rangerred
3.4/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear deep, dark brow with a thick one finger light tan head. Extremely good head retention and it also has a nearly solid layer of lacing all the way around the glass.

Aroma has loads of vanilla along with caramel, some light roasted coffee and just a hint of smoke. Not bad but it is a little bit on the weak side.

Lots more vanilla in the flavor bordering on too much. There is almost a bit of a medicinal note to it that is off-putting. More lightly roasted coffee, caramel, and a bit of smoke. Mouthfeel is pretty light but silky with a pretty good dose of stickiness on the finish.

Overall, this beer is definitely drinkable and not bad but is just lacking that something to make it great. Glad I got to try it but not really something I will be seeking out.

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Photo of Sumo_Steve
2.61/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Color was a reddish brown with a small caramel head. Body was a bit thin food a porter. Initial flavor was thin with a slight vanilla tinge, with a strong coffee-like bitterness to follow. Thoroughly unremarkable. Too dry for the style and not nearly enough vanilla. Dry Dock makes a much better iteration of this beer.

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Photo of Richardbeerlover
3.04/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Pours a nice dark brown with a half inch light brown head. Not much vanilla smell at first. After the beer warms up a little I could smell the vanilla. Not much vanilla taste at all. A very dry tasting beer with a dry finish. There is a slight sweet smell and taste. Was a bit disappointed in this one.

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Photo of jucifer1818
3.84/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: this one looks a bit too light....It looks more like a brown ale than a porter, or like a amber ale even! I don't get too hung up on appearance or styles, but it bothers me a bit. just a bit. 3.5

Smell: The smell is very faint, but pleasant. A almost sweet cream like smell is present, tho to pick it up I had to inhale a LOT. I suppose its a bit too weak for my tastes. 3.25

Taste: This is where the beer really arrives. This brew has the flavor of sweet vanilla cream, with a dry grainy malty sweetness. Almost like a mix of vanilla soda and very lightly roasted coffee. I think its fantastic. 4.25

Mouthfeel: This beer has a bit of sweetness to it, but also had enough carbonation to balance it out. It also has a grainy like feel that oddly enough I think works. 4

Overall: I've tried a lot of vanilla beers before. Some are good, but most are bad. This beer falls closer to the second category. It has al its eggs in the vanilla basket and that should not be a problem. If you picked up this beer, you do want vanilla, and it delivers it in spades. I would had preferred a deeper roast, a darker color, and a more porter-stout flavor, but for what I got I found it to be very nice. 3.75

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Photo of Jakeszetela
2.56/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 1 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

I would say that i normally rate things on the generous side. Whether it is food or beer, I am more inclined to say, "eh it wasn't that bad i guess" even if it should be more critically rated. I preface with that, because that is really saying something when I rate this beer so poorly. I poured rather aggressively and I was absolutely shocked that it produced NO head. Not very little, not less than I'd prefer...NO HEAD. After a few seconds all that was left was a rootbeer-ish foam rim around the glass and that haze that sits in the middle of the glass. To put it in perspective, I literally had to look at the bottle and box to make sure I had not accidentally bought a fancy soda. The mouthfeel is very thin and extremely undercarbonated. The flavor hammers with vanilla and reminds me of a very tasty soda, but not a tasty beer.

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Vanilla Porter from Breckenridge Brewery
81 out of 100 based on 1,028 ratings.