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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: 3,873
Avg: 3.55
pDev: 31.27%
Wants: 125
Gots: 889 | 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: 3,873
3.01/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours into a pint glass with a deep blackish brown body and a solid inch of rich tan head that stays well. Nose holds light vanilla tones with a strong backbone of burnt malt. Enters the mouth with a rich mineral like sweetness. But as that settles you start to wonder where the vanilla is. The palate does have a hint of mineral infused vanilla but the real presence is on the finish. Burnt tar like malt glazes the mouthfeel. Needs to be more balanced to increase drinkability.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.01/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A - A nice deep brown with a foamy coffee-coloured head that disappeared very quickly.

S - Not much of a nose at all. Some roasted malts and no obvious vanilla smell.

T - Roasted malts with vanilla bean. The vanilla is a little much. There is a very odd aftertaste that is likely the sweet vanilla residual.

M - Light to medium body. Good carbonation.

D - The sweetness of the vanilla makes this difficult to get through the whole bottle.

A decent porter and an interesting variation, but not one I would buy again.

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Photo of ranger7
3.01/5  rDev -15.2%
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.

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Photo of SamN
3.01/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Nice, robust porter. Dark, but not opaque; at the light it emits a dark amber glow, like a dying campfire. Brings to mind the smokey, earthy nature of porters. Grayish head that fades to a quarter inch.

S- Lots of smokey vanilla; artificial smelling, like they dropped some cheap vanilla extract in right before sealing this bottle. Sweet maltyness, a tad smokey. But slightly gimmicky.

T- Meh, unbalanced without any noticeable hop counter to the strong sweetness. Rather burnt and bitter finish topped with a lacquer-thick slab of vanilla brown sugar. I think it would be a better porter without the stab at vanilla flavoring.

M- Medium light body. Nicely built, smooth and with flat-soda like carbonation.

D- Decent party beer, better for cold winter. It's a heavier beer; I could also see this becoming filling after two or three.

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Photo of Amalak
3/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Well that is indeed a Vanilla Porter...very vanilla. This almost tastes like a milkshake there is so much vanilla bean in there. The after taste is a bit off-putting, but it's an interesting taste. This is only good one at a time. Meh.

The color is black with a big tan bubbly head and with lacing. Some vanilla taste.

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Photo of vdread
3/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Breckenridge Vanilla Porter pours out a dark, almost black, ruby color with a flat little mocha colored head that disappates quickly into nothing. it looks like i'm drinking a Coca-Cola.

i can smell some roastiness, vanilla.

the taste is of over the top vanilla and roasted malts, some light chocolate notes. pretty standard porter fare, but the vanilla seems strong. my friend says he can't taste any vanilla at all, though.

mouthfeel is light for the style, but slightly creamy.

i have enjoyed one or two of these from time to time. i probably will again.

and just for fun:
Breckenridge Vanilla Porter Aged one year (accidental experiment)

pours deep brown with red around the edges. no head, just a thin, sick looking collar. smells of vanilla and sour milk. tastes sickeningly sweet, with the overt artificial vanilla taste. has a slight porter taste. much more roasted porter taste than a fresh bottle, but also much more sour and sweet. mouthfeel light and slick, maybe a little creamy at times. drinkability low. i could barely finish this. obviously, this beer is not meant for age.

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Photo of Francepants06
3/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

it poured a watered down brown ale color with a very small off white head which quickly dissipated. I didn't really smell the vanilla bean till it warmed up. It was not really porter tasting and the vanilla was very weak I got just old cold coffee aromas. The body was more light to medium, but not very smooth. It was just an average beer all around. I will not drink this again.

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Photo of ZeroSignal
3/5  rDev -15.5%
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.

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Photo of AlexJ
3/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Darkest brown with a very small tan head.

Aromas are mild and creamy, with marshmellows, chocolate, dirt, and smokey wood.

Flavor very similar. Some weak coffee, cocoa, vanilla cream, charred marshmellows and a odd drying finish of earthy, dirty hops.

Body on the light side with a bland mouthfeel and undesirable drinkability. Very meh.

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Photo of beavers
2.99/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured cool from a bottle into a nonic pint glass.
A:Pours a somewhat dark brown, yet slightly amber that isn't opaque at all. Head is about half a finger and leaves quickly. Not too much lacing going on here. Doesn't seem to have to porter appearance.
S:Pretty faint smell for a porter: with cocoa, vanilla, maybe caramel notes with alcohol just barely present.
T: Taste is very similar to the smell. Still a weak taste of chocolate malts, vanilla, quick hop flavor in the forefront. Very little, if any, residual flavors.
M: Definitely not enough carbonation in this brew...not bottling date, but it was just shelved, so. Missing the depth and complexity of a true porter in the mouthfeel.

This, to me, tastes more like a less memorable chocolate stout with vanilla notes than a porter--be a vanilla porter or not. Overall it tastes like a beer that just got halfway there--but didn't follow whatever direction it was taking.

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Photo of AgentDark
2.98/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 Fluid Oz brown bottle. Standard non-twist cap. Location Drank: Columbus, Ohio

Drank from bottle:
A: Dark brown

S: The smell of Malt is appearant, vanilla is also there (hense the name), and a bit of chocolate.

T: Can slightly taste the vanilla, but it is not as much as I was expecting. The overall flavor is nothing like I was expecting from the small, so it was a

huge turnoff. It did however, get better tasting as it got warmer.

M: Medium bodied, bit ad thick as I was expecting, but still full.

O: I would not get it again as a personal preference because of the pre concieved expectations, but if you want to expand your horizon, it is a nice one to try.

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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 getch
2.98/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

a-bronze, dark brown, little head when pouring, has a system for born on date, but nothing is marked.

s- at first i thought it smelled very good, with a wood smell with vanilla, but then the smell turns sour and makes you think if something is wrong with the beer, like a ice cream gone bad, not overpowering though

t- not bad, it is smooth, but at the end it reminds of christmas for some reason, the vanilla combines with the rest and its a weird after taste. like a burnt candy sort of taste, what candy it depends upon you

m-a sipping beer that keeps you guessing, should i hold it longer in my mouth or do it swallow it quick

d- the more i sip the beer the more i dislike it, it may be the last one i have, at first i enjoyed it, but the more i drink it, the more i dislike it,

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Photo of Reaper16
2.98/5  rDev -16.1%
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.

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Photo of GregBlatz
2.98/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A - Dark brown in color. Clear when held up to the light and appears dark amber in color. Nice medium head but has an interesting combination of small and large bubbles. Khaki in color and laces the glass nicely.

S - Toffee, chocolate and maple. Sweet malt as well as a diacetyl
butterscotch aroma.

T - Vanilla dominates the taste. Sweet and roasty. Malty sweetness.

M - Surprising carbon bite and actually somewhat thin body.

D - Too sweet to be more than a dessert beer.

Overall it is a nice porter. Maybe too aggressive with the vanilla? I assume that there is vanilla flavoring rather than vanilla tasting notes as a description of the malt.

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Photo of Baraka
2.98/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a deep Black with almost no head whatsoever. Nose is dark chocolate malt and vanilla. Taste is more of the same, but the malt flavors don't seem to be doing anything really interesting. The vanilla flavor is nice, but it doesn't really work without any other interesting flavors or aromas. It is a sweet beer, almost cloyingly so. Very light body, way lighter than I like in a porter. Drinkable, but unimpressive overall.

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Photo of harrymel
2.96/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Couldn't find a bottle or best by date.

pours a brown ale with some etching on the surface and when I give a good shake and theres additional bubbling. Up front artificial grape and then the vanilla kinda comes through, but I feel like it is a real stretch. I'm getting the feeling there is something wrong with this bottle. Flavor is vanilla with some nice cocoa and some toasted grains, but nothing particularly special for a vanilla porter. Medium bodied with moderate carb and a dry finish. It is okay.

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Photo of TimmyL
2.96/5  rDev -16.6%
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.

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Photo of srrn
2.95/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This beer pours a deep dark brown, there is minimal head. Smell is malt and a hint of vanilla. Taste is smooth malts first then the vanilla kicks in and finally a bit of bitterness. There is a long pleasantly bitter finish. This is another of the few beers I find nothing objectional, yet don't really feel like drinking another. I love vanilla, but really have had few flavored beers I like.

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Photo of Onenote81
2.95/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a dark cola color with a light fizzy sheet on top. No lace. This really looks like a coke...wait, a vanilla coke. Scents of vanilla, cocoa beans. Pretty sweet smelling. Not a lot of depth here.

The body is decent. Carbonation level is higher than most Porters, but not astringent at all. This is definitely a vanilla-forward beer. Super sweet. Some milk chocolate noted, and a light roasted aftertaste, but this is really sweet. A decent dessert beer, but that's about it. I hardly could finish the one, let alone have another.

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Photo of solvealways
2.95/5  rDev -16.9%
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

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Photo of hypoboxer
2.95/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I picked this porter up at the store solely based on the fact I had never tried this before. I am the type of drinker that will try anything once and try as much as I can (in moderation or course).

Anyway, I spotted "Vanilla Porter" on the shelf and brought it home. I've had vanilla porters before and enjoyed them a lot.

Pouring the beer wasn't terribly impression. There was an average vanilla smell as I brought the beer up for a taste after pouring it. There was a trace a vanilla taste to it, but at least it wasn't a artificial flavoring. I even let it sit out for a bit for the flavors and scents to develop...still average.

This is an average beer that I more than likely wouldn't pick up again. It was, unremarkable.

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Photo of beersensei305
2.94/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Dark brown or amber in color no head no retention

S - Vanilla

T - Vanilla Dominates the taste. Malty sweetness. It's like drinking vanilla extract really.

M - for a porter it's lacking body I find this brew watery

D - very vanilla lacks body didn't look appealing.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
2.93/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appears a cola brown caramel hue head simply billows above the rim of the glass tan light beige head color with great retention lacing spreads evenly around my pint. Aromatics powderd cocoa mild coffee tones vanilla cream air as well good mix mild herbal hop flow pretty straight forward a little ripe fruit notes peaking through as well. Flavor wise heavy vanilla extract tones among some dark chocolate roastiness but the sweetness is too much completely overbears the natural porter qualities hard to detect the hops with all that extract a flowing. Mouthfeel is medium bodied creamy carbonation definitely feels silky on the palate pretty good feel to it. Drinkability is a bit rough with all of that cloying vanilla extract going on in this brew I'm just not into it can't for see trying this one again.

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Photo of drtth
2.93/5  rDev -17.5%
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.

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