Vanilla Porter - Breckenridge Brewery

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Vanilla PorterVanilla Porter

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1,003 Reviews
very good

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Reviews: 1,003
Hads: 3,751
rAvg: 3.52
pDev: 8.24%
Wants: 117
Gots: 777 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Breckenridge Brewery visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  4.70% 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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Reviews: 1,003 | Hads: 3,751
Photo of WVbeergeek
2.93/5  rDev -16.8%
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. (808 characters)

Photo of drtth
2.93/5  rDev -16.8%
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. (629 characters)

Photo of Duff27
2.93/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A- Dark, not bad at all. Thin head is light brown. Not much lacing.

S- Smells of a sweet smokey scent.

T- Standard porter and then boom, artificial vanilla (or whatever tastes that is). Real sweet. Too much.

M- Thin but creamy.

D/O- Unfortunately, I don't think I'd want more than one of these. It's sad but I've had this a few times and I always want it to be good... it just never is. Would like to try other Vanilla Porters out there to compare. Any suggestions? (469 characters)

Photo of BigMike
2.93/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

"Original mountain recipe. Seldom seen, never duplicated"

Pours a black brown with not alot of head.

Smell is pretty light. A little coffee and a little chocolate.

For a supposed vanilla beer, the vanilla is pretty much hidden.
I'm tasting chocolate and iced coffee but not alot of vanilla.

Mouthfeel is nothing too spectacular. a little bit light. I'm suprised at how little is going on here. I was expecting something with some flavor but this beer is pretty darn bland.

Not something i would ever drink again. It sounded more appealing then it turned out to be. (569 characters)

Photo of axeman9182
2.93/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle, allowed to warm a bit before being poured into my Duvel tulip.

Breckenridge Vanilla Porter pours black, with about two fingers of cream colored foam capping the beer. Head retention and lacing are both present, but neither really impress. The nose is initially downright unimpressive, a weak vanilla presence and some nutty notes that, while not bad, have no place being the centerpiece for a porter over coffee, chocolate, or even caramel. As the beer gets close to room temperature though, a milk chocolate aroma does join the proceedings and redeem the beer a little bit. Unfortunately, even warming can't save the flavor this one. The vanilla that is present tastes like it was added via cut rate flavoring rather than beans, and it's supported only by the taste of toasted nuts, something that should, best case scenario, appear sparingly is a secondary note in a porter. The body is solidly full for being an under 5% brew. The carbonation is right near where it needs to be, but to me comes across as just a touch low at times. I was excited for this one, as I love adding vanilla to dark beers, so Breckenridge's Vanilla Porter is a letdown (1,162 characters)

Photo of celticfutblclub
2.93/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass

a brownish black body that appears quite thin with a thin white head and no real lacing. vanilla toffee and chocolate are in the nose but it all feels very light and subdued. with a vanilla porter you expect a big bang and this nose is a dud. vanilla toffee and chocolate again its a little bit more noticeable in the taste than the nose but it definitely is still lacking and feels watered down. they definitely got the balance of the flavors down well and if they were just a bit more present this would be a very good beer. carbonation is low and works well. overall this is just a decent beer which is too bad because i think if they tweaked a few things here they could have a real beast. (732 characters)

Photo of JLSIV
2.92/5  rDev -17%
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. (703 characters)

Photo of MaGno
2.91/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Poured a dark caramel to brown color, slight carbonation with a very small head that dissipates after just 1 minute. Very light lace. Looks almost flat and unappealing.

Smell: Aromas are very weak. I had to put my nose almost in the beer to smell the subtle aromas. Malty and chocolate smell. Hints of vanilla and coffee. No smell of alcohol.

Taste: Vanilla is more prevalent than aroma would suggest. Coffee taste with slight mocha or chocolate. Very pleasant smooth taste. No overpowering ingredients here.

Mouthfeel: Light, slightly thin and carbonated.

Drinkability: This is not a bad beer. I expected more from it but it was a nice smooth ale. The tastes are not complicated and nothing overpowering. Plain vanilla porter....nothing extremely special. I would have another one, but I would probably pick something a little more complex if it was available. (886 characters)

Photo of ElGeordie
2.91/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a 6 pack at Whole foods - I'd never tried a vanilla porter - now I know why!
Poured into a Sam's perfect pint glass. Very dark translucent amber colour with minimal off white head that quickly dissapated.
Hardly any carbonation to speak of.
Initial taste was not vanilla but more metallic. As the beer warmed up the vanilla flavour became more apparent but it was never dominant. The vanilla flavour is very subtle but so too is the malt - there really isn't anything there. A porter should have more body than this.
After the first one I poured a second to check that the lack of head / carbonation (and flavour) wasn't due to a leaky bottle. The second one was exactly the same.
This is a drinkable beer; the style is closer to an English mild ale but as a porter it just doesn't cut it. (799 characters)

Photo of deebo
2.9/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

A-Pours a thick finger of tan bubbly foam that laces the pint glass. Clear brown with reddish tint.

S-Rich caramel barley malt, with a heavy vanilla bean aroma.

T-Sweet malt with definite bourbon vanilla taste.

M-Thin malt body yet has an almosty syrupy, solvent alcohol mouthfeel. A bit of a bitter finish.

O-This beer has real potential but feels out of balance. Too much vanilla, lacks that nice malt backbone and creamy mouthfeel. (438 characters)

Photo of Padron4KM
2.9/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle. There’s a place on the lable for the bottled on date to be notched, but it’s not.

Dark brown with ruby hues. Thick tan head and nice lacing.

Aroma is vanilla cake and a touch of molasses.

Flavor is a lot like vanilla coke with some blackstrap molasses thrown in.

Ok, but I don’t think I could drink more than one. (343 characters)

Photo of kernalklink
2.9/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Brew poured an attractive deep black with a nice clean smooth head. Aromas were of roasted coffee malts and a big vanilla presence was noted. Mouthfeel was great- nice and smooth, cooling to the palate. The taste was not up to par however- the vanilla was way too overpowering and destroyed the nice subtle flavors of the well-brewed malts. This brew would be refreshing if the vanilla was somehow balanced by some hop flavor or more roasted coffee form the malts. As it is now it is too sweet- vanilla should be a note, not the whole symphony. I cant really imagine being able to pair this brew with much of anything- but it may be good for some irish car bomb fodder. (669 characters)

Photo of teromous
2.9/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Dark brown in color, but a good amount of light passes through as poured. The head is off-white and fades rather quickly. Good lacing.

S: I barely get any scent at all from this. It has a very very very faint roasted barley scent, and what smells like spoiled milk...but very faint.

T: has an interesting flavor. Well it really does taste a whole lot better than it smells. I get this cream-vanilla flavor, but not a whole lot in the porter department. The beer has a lot of graininess (flavor, not texture) which is good.

M: The mouthfeel is medium-light. It has a lot of backbone for a sweet, light beer. Carbonation is pretty good. The beer is a bit sticky.

O: Overall I wouldn't really recommend the beer. It's not bad, but it's just not really good. It's not much of a porter, but it has some nice vanilla flavors. I guess you could just call it a vanilla beer and be done with it. I would rate it below average if it weren't for the vanilla. (963 characters)

Photo of kemoarps
2.9/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Beer pours a decent dark brown cola, with a creamy head and leaves decent lacing.

The nose is fairly crisp, but I can't really identify any unique aromas. a touch of sweet, almost like a cream caramel? Can't quite sort it out.

This isn't a BAD tasting beer per se, but it's really not very well put together. It's got some intriguing flavours in there, but there's no team chemistry, as it were. There's definitely a vanilla bean front to it, which I can respect, but it doesn't really fit in the greater profile of this beer as well as I had hoped. The sour twinge at the end isn't really hoppy it's just kind of... I don't even know what. This makes me think that someone had a good idea, and added in a bunch of interesting ingredients, but didn't put it together very well. There's a little bit of toasty to the malts, and atouch of maybe like biscuit? I don't know.

Nothing special across the tongue, here. Pretty much standard decent carbonation, but more filling than I would have expected considering.
Overall I'd say the best word for this is disappointing. I've liked other Breckenridge beers I've had, I've liked other vanilla beers I've had and I THOUGHT I remembered enjoying this the first time I had it. I guess my memory was faulty. I really wanted to like this beer. I like that you can taste the vanilla beans as opposed to a vanilla extract kind of flavour, but overall it is just not very well constructed. Underwhelming. (1,446 characters)

Photo of dizknee24
2.9/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A hazy brown not appealling really

S smelt like vanilla at least. very malty as well

T I could not get into this taste. half way between vanilla stout and normal ale.

M- nothing amazing just thin thin thin

D- never again it literally made me sick. not saying its bad but it made me sick and im done with it. anyone want 3 more of these? (340 characters)

Photo of djmitche
2.88/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: not much carbonation, and redder that I expect from a porter

Smell: Vanilla - not like the bean, but like sniffing a bottle of extract. I can't smell anything else.

Taste: Vanilla, bitter chocolate. No hops in evidence.

Drinkability: for all that, the beer manages not to be cloying. I had it with tacos, and found that it paired quite well with the guacamole. I probably wouldn't look for this beer, but I finished it... (438 characters)

Photo of GeezLynn
2.88/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Dark brown with a little red-brown tint visible at the bottom. Aggressive pour yields a substantial white head that subsides pretty quickly. Aroma is a sour dark malt with a bunch of vanilla. Bready characteristics emerge at it warms. Flavor is a snap of dark malt immediately flattened by vanilla. For a brief period I enjoy the malt profile - a little chocolate and caramel and whatever else - flavors that are immediately annihilated by the vanilla deluge. And this is not a nice vanilla ice cream, but rather like drinking vanilla extract from the bottle. To add insult to injury, there's an unwelcome bitter finish. Mouthfeel is thinner and fizzier than many lagers.

Wow. I wasn't expecting Victory at Sea, but that was "Partakable" at best. (747 characters)

Photo of zeledonia
2.88/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I've had good results home-brewing both porters and vanilla-infused beers, so I'm excited to try a production version. IMO, a bit of vanilla often adds a nice fullness to a beer's flavor (Surly's Moe's Bender is a great example). On to the beer.

A: Pours a clear, deep reddish brown, with a half-finger light tan head that quickly dissipates to a thin layer of foam on the surface. Seems quite light for a porter, in color, texture, and the color of the head.

S: I don't get whole lot in the nose at all. Smells a bit yeasty/mushroomy, with some caramel-y and chocolate malts in there, but very subtle. I'm getting a bit concerned. I do pick up a bit of the vanilla.

T: Wow, the vanilla is right there. But where's the porter? I get some dark roasted malts, but the flavor is gone quite quickly. A little bit of bitterness in the finish; the hops are there to round out the flavor, but pretty subdued.

M: Rather light for a porter, as expected from the appearance. It does have a nice richness to it; I feel it in my mouth well after the flavor is mostly gone.

D: Flavors are surprisingly simple and light for this style of beer, esp. one infused with vanilla. I found myself taking more sips, chasing the flavor. That's not the kind of drinkability I want. Interesting, but mostly falls short on the porter front. It's just too light on the dark roasted malts. (1,366 characters)

Photo of BattleRoadBrewer
2.88/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a pilsner glass from a 12 oz brown bottle.

Pours and looks just like root beer, dark red and amber, can see right through it, with a thin tan head that dissipates without any lacing.

Aroma is meaty and brown sugary. Blatant in your face vanilla smells like a candle, not a beer or any other beverage.

Flavor is stronger than I expected from the light color and subtle aroma. Chocolatey and sweet, with a bit of a dry and bitter chocolate finish. Mouthfeel is thin and effervescent, reminiscent of soda pop.

Drinkability is decent, I'm able to finish it but certainly wouldn't grab another. (603 characters)

Photo of Dave1999
2.88/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours very dark brown almost black with a red hue. It had very little head with some white lacing.

Very little smell, some malts and some sweet vanilla.

There was some vanilla to the taste but not as flavoursome as I'd hoped.

The mouthfeel was fairly carbonated and thick.

This isn't the worst beer ever but I was disappointed by it and don't feel the need to give it another chance. (387 characters)

Photo of beertastegood
2.88/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a deep deep garnet, so dark that it is almost black. Thin head fades into a few fish-eye bubbles. Aromas of black malt and espresso, slight raisin overlaid with a distinct vanilla smell. Tangy, tart aroma in there as well.

Taste: This is one sweet beer. Intense vanilla character all the way through, but underneath it there is a sweet stout on a sugar high. Very little roasted character or hop bitterness, letting this beer fall firmly on the "cloying" side of the fence. I think they went a bit heavy on the lactose (milk sugar) in this beer. The finish is slightly tart leaving a molasses-like sweetness on the tongue. Not many porter-like qualities here.

Mouthfeel: Full body, medium-low carbonation.

Drinkability: Yeesh...if you like your beers sugary (not malty), this is a good one for you. As for me, I would prefer something with a little balance.

It lives up to the "vanilla" descriptor, so I can't say I wasn't warned. There is something to be said for subtlety and harmony in beer. This beer does not say it. (1,049 characters)

Photo of Innocentexile
2.88/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz. Poured into pint glass. A-little or no head. Dark brown, not quite black. S-Smells like faint coffee and little vanilla or brown sugar aroma. T/M- this wasn't a very good taste. Lots of malty flavor, almost sour and then came the porter aftertaste. Pretty bubbly for a porter too. O- not very impressive (309 characters)

Photo of TheAlamoWrocker
2.87/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed November 16, 2011 late into the night. Poured a 12 oz bottle into a JFF is my BFF novelty Pint glass.

A: Poured a great creamy 1 1/2 fingered head. The body is a standard dark black with red shading around the edges.

S: I'm starting off right now that I could barely smell anything coming off of this, almost muted, and what I do smell is not strong. It has a standard sweetness maltiness. After attempting to pick additional smells off of this for at least 2 minutes I finally picked up its promised vanilla, maybe it just emerges as this warms up.

T: A nice light coffee comes and it definitely stays along for quite a bit. Nice roasted malts make an appearance at the end and this is your aftertaste. I smell the vanilla while drinking, but I still don't taste it.

M: The head adds a nice creaminess to this drink. The carbonation almost dances on the tongue. Body feels medium.

O: I had this drink once out of a bottle and was disappointed by it, but this time around I was really surprised by it. I didn't pick up anything of vanilla and so this is why this drink will get bad marks from, it simply promised something that it did not have and if it did it was really muted. (1,195 characters)

Photo of UncleFlip
2.86/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Brought to me by my sports producer. Thanks, Kyle!

Now, on to the review...

Nice cascading tan head...stops at two fingers. Looks nice and black in the glass- but held to the light, it's a nice ruby w/copper overtone.

Smeell is a bit of molasses and yeast, but also has some wet towel in it.

Taste is a littel woody up front, with a dark maltiness that's overcome by a root beer-cola like quality. They don;t really work very well together, unfortunately.

Mouthfeel is good. Hearty liquid, with just a less than moderate carbonation.

I have to give this one below average drinkability because of the way the flavours clash. I doubt I'll have another.

Be well
-UF (684 characters)

Photo of EgadBananas
2.86/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark brown in color, beige colored finger and a half of head, lacing is splotchy and spotty.

Aroma is slightly sweet, slightly vanilla, but it's an odd vanilla. More like a coke vanilla smell; bubbly and sugary.

Some toasted malts, but there's that coke vanilla taste. It's not awful, just odd. Not the kind of vanilla taste I like.

Feel is smooth, slick, a bit buddly, and more lighter in body.

An average porter with vanilla that just seems out of whack. I wonder how old these bottles are? (500 characters)

Vanilla Porter from Breckenridge Brewery
80 out of 100 based on 1,003 ratings.