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Roebling Vanilla Espresso Porter | Rivertown Brewing Co.

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
82
good
76 Reviews
THE BROS
80
good
Read the review
BEER STATS
Reviews:
76
Ratings:
394
Avg:
3.58
pDev:
37.43%
 
 
Wants:
13
Gots:
51
For Trade:
0
Roebling Vanilla Espresso PorterRoebling Vanilla Espresso Porter
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Rivertown Brewing Co.
Ohio, United States | website

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.80%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
Roebling Imperial Porter brings together Cincinnati coffee, Ugandan vanilla beans and raw, organic turbinado sugar into a big, rich, chocolate, espresso infused brownie of a beer that is as innovative as its namesake. Rivertown was asked to craft a beer for a community festival in 2011 which celebrated the 145th Birthday of the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge linking Cincinnati, OH and Covington, KY. This Imperial Porter is inventive, unique, well balanced, strong, and has been created to be as timeless and remarkable as the Roebling Bridge, the man who dreamed big and the community that brought that dream to life.

Added by kirok1999 on 04-24-2011

User Reviews
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Reviews: 76 | Ratings: 394
Photo of shanblur
1.81/5  rDev -49.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Purchased locally in Evansville, IN. No date on bottle.

A - Dark brown to black with a tan head which leaves moderate lacing.

S - Chocolate and coffee aromas dominate.

T - Not like the smell at all. Cannot describe how bad this thing tastes. Get a little chocolate but overpowered by a taste which make me want to vomit. Have never had anything so bad. Perhaps a bad bottle? If they meant for it to taste like this than no thanks.

M - Thin and watery

Do not try this. You have been warned.

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Photo of IlliniRob
1.93/5  rDev -46.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Serving: 12 oz bottle.

A -- Pours a translucent dark brown. Minimal head and minimal retention.

S -- Weak notes of coffee, chocolate and vanilla.

T -- Taste on the front of the tongue is actually pretty pleasant, with chocolate and malt, but as soon as it touches the back of your tongue, gives way to an overpowering and unbalanced sourness. Not pleasant in a "sour ale" type of way with these flavors. If I weren't cheap I would have dumped this before finishing the beer; it does get better towards the end since your tastebuds are dulled.

M -- Moderately chewy with the chocolate and malt, but finishes thin.

Overall -- I drink a lot of beer but I don't often review it. That said, I felt I had to review this one as a public service, to prevent others from wasting their money on it. The label reads "Roebling Porter brings tons of chocolate aroma and a docile acidity", but it's more accurate to say that it brings a bit of chocolate and a gallon of vinegar. I will avoid beers from this brewery in the future.

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Photo of RocPorterFanatic
2.03/5  rDev -43.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A - Pours dark brown, almost black into a tulip. Thin in body, very little, quickly fading, eggshell colored head. Leaves no lacing at all as it fades.

S - Not much aroma at all. What smell I can pull from it is of toasted nuts, faint hints of burnt marshamallow.

T - Alot of vanilla, almost vanilla extract flavor. There's no body to this beer. Its more similar to vanilla coke than to any other porter I've had. The label notes "like a big, chewy, vanilla, coffee infused brownie". Where's the coffee and chocolate? Where's the chewiness I was promised? There's also a slight sourness to it. Could I have an infected bottle? I don't toss the "infection" word around lightly, I think this beer may be off.

M - As stated twice before, there's no toothiness to it. No body, too much carbonation.

O - Not a good beer. I pride myself on being a porter afficianado. Its my favorite style. This was one of the worst I've ever had.

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Photo of tsauce2
2.26/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

P: 12 fl oz bottle in to an imperial pint

A: SRM is brown. Translucent. Head is tan, 1 1/2 in., pillowy/cloudy, dissipates to line the top of the beer. Medium carbonation. Medium lacing.

S: Chocolate brownie with a slight hint of malt.

T: Watery is the initial thought. Slight hints of malt, vanilla, coffee, and chocolate are discernable. Metallic aftertaste.

M: MF is a puckering reaction to tartness.

O: If only this beer tasted like the label described it or how it smelled. Something went horribly wrong in making this beer. Their Helles lager is fantastic, so I don't know what happened here. If they would have trippled the ingredients used and gotten rid of the acidity, which is described on the label, we might have a real winner on our hands.

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Photo of Ryan011235
2.27/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured into a snifter on 1/11/12

Dark brown with a slight grape juicy highlight at the stem. A bubbly, one finger head thins out quickly, leaving a skim over most of the top of the beer. No lace. The Roebling beckons no merriment.

The aroma finds our a rag-tag band of cocoa powder, chocolate fudge, vanilla and coffee beans wandering from the earthy landscapes of forest toward the metallic charge of industrialization and, having grown inclined to rest, are now in not-too-far proximity of a campfire.

After a short sleep on topsy-turvy ground, our heroes make a breakfast concoction of last night's cold coffee, pan-roasted bitter chocolate and vanilla from a bottle that dropped and broke in the dirt. Tangy, roasted and bitter flavors pick at their wiry bones.

Not one for a hearty breakfast, coffee beans procures and adds a large dram of club soda; seems he prefers things on the thin and bubbly side.

The finished product not being the most pleasing, our heroes decide to drink it regardless. After all, it's better than hitting one's head against the wall.

 1,070 characters

Photo of Spider889
2.32/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

On draft at Bodega:

Served in a shaker pint. Black, no head, no lace.

Smells of vanilla extract, cocoa beans, and heady dark english malts.

The flavor isn't exactly bad, but the vanilla flavor is overwhelming and artificial. It overshadows everything else (aside, maybe, from the Hershey chocolate syrup flavor).

Medium bodied with lower than adequate carbonation.

I wound up giving up on the attempt to finish this glass and just ordered something else instead.

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Photo of jeranbrews
2.37/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

A - nearly flat low head. Dark cola brown. Instantly disappearing beige head 3.25

S - soda. Ginger and cola. Chocolate vanilla 3

T - vanilla cream soda that one day saw a beer in a magazine. This is not beer. 2

M - very soda like. Not creamy not slick. Just like a cream soda 2

O - For an "imperial robust porter" there is very little about this beer that is imperial or robust or porter like aside from the color. I chose this just wanting to tick Ohio off my list of beer states. Won't buy this again. 2.25

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Photo of denver10
2.5/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

Pours dark brown with minimal khaki head that quickly recedes. Looks like root beer. Aroma is vanilla, some coffee, caramel, some roastiness. Flavor was bad, dominated by some terrible vanilla, IMO. Mouthfeel with quite thin and too effervescent, prickly. Overall, huge miss for me.

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Photo of xpdrinker
2.68/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A - 12oz bottle (trade extra - huge thanks to boxcar01) into Libbey porter/stout glass. Pours cola brown with spongy yellowish-tan head that mostly disappears. Ripples of lacing but not much to write home about. 

S - Coffee with a slight yeasty, banana funk. Not picking up much else.

T - There's a tartness that immediately attacks the palate followed by a tingly splash of chocolate and vanilla extract. Not sure if this is old, compromised or what, but the "robust porter" aspect is bullied into the corner by a hulking tart funk looking for lunch money.

M - Light bodied and medium carbonation, a bit effervescent.

0 - Like I said above, not sure where this porter went wrong but if it's not fresh then I'd love to try another one. The description on the label had me drooling, with a lot of talk about vanilla, espresso and coffee-infused brownies. I didn't get a whole lot of that but I'm willing to give it another shot and see if they deliver on those words.

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Photo of mattcrill
2.86/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Aroma: Bready rich malty aromatics up front. Powdery chocolate notes as well. Clean fermentation character.

Appearance: Dense black pour with a low, thin, filmy off-white cap.

Flavor: More bready malt notes, subdued chocolate, slight burnt flavors that are well knit. Light cola notes as the beer opens up. Balance is nearly even with some definite earthy hop tones. Finish is dry.

Mouthfeel: Thin-medium body with high carbonation. Slight dark grain derived astringency. No alcohol heat.

Overall impression: A little thin and kind of one dimensional. I was expecting more.

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
3.15/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a La Fin Du Monde snifter. Dark, clear mahogany color with a slight ruby tint. Decent size head very quickly fizzles out. Nose is faint with a slight vanilla cola note to it. Not really getting any coffee or roasty tones.

Medium-bodied beer with a fairly thin mouthfeel. There is a good deal of vanilla, especially at the front of the palate, but unfortunately there isn't really enough malty sweetness to complement it. I know this beer is made with coffee, but I'm not getting any coffee notes from it. I get some vanilla, then some hops, and that's about it.

I tried this beer at a tasting and really liked it (perhaps I had a different version of it). This bottle was a big disappointment. I was hoping for something creamy-feeling, with sweet malt and vanilla balancing out some bitter, roasty coffee tones. What I got was fizzy, vanilla-flavored tonic water. This was a great idea for a beer (a vanilla and coffee imperial porter). Unfortunately, it was rather poorly executed. I seriously hope that Rivertown goes back to the drawing board on this and changes a few things. If they do, I'll try it again.

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Photo of metter98
3.16/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is very dark amber (near black) in color. It poured with a half-finger high off white head that died down and left patches of bubbles on the surface and a thick ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are faint aromas of vanilla in the nose.
T: The taste has flavors of chocolate with notes of vanilla and hints of espresso. As the beer warms up, the vanilla becomes stronger and resembles imitation vanilla extract.
M: It feels somewhat short of medium-bodied on the palate but is smooth with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is easy to drink but would be much more interesting if it had stronger aromas and flavors. The alcohol is well hidden from the taste.

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Photo of BB1313
3.17/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Pours black with some brown hues, kakhi head that fades and leaves a little lacing. The aromas are subtle and full of chocolate malts, vanilla bean, and expresso. The flavors are full of black coffee and cream. This one has a solid sweetness to it, although remains somewhat bitter. The flavors are solid, but a little watered down. Mouthfeel is very solid. It's light, but fluffy and creamy. There's a refreshing smoothness going on. The active carbonation makes this an extremely easy drinking beer. The alcohol goes completely unnoticed. There's no way I would've guessed this beer was almost 8% abv.

This is a solid beer, but nothing too special.

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Photo of ltjska04
3.17/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

AKA Roebling Porter. On tap at Pachinko's in Main Strausse, Covington KY. It is a dark brown to black beer that pours with no head whatsoever. Not much to the scent either except a faint waft of vanilla. The taste is overwhelming vanilla. Over the course of the pint I can't help but think Vanilla Coke every time I take a drink. The vanilla is really overpowering but hints of chocolate poke through every once and a while. No strong porter or coffee flavors even though that's what the bartender told me to expect. The vanilla flavor is nice at least and not too artificial; it's just really strong and sweet and kind of deteriorates from the drinkability of this. Maybe a 6oz. beer, but a pint is too much. Nice to see a local brewery do something different but this is way too skewed towards the vanilla with barely any other flavors coming through.

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Photo of Tilley4
3.18/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Picked up a single of this a few days ago... stepped out front with a Partegas this morning and brought this along with me...

Extremely subdued aromas present here... the roasted malts don't even jump out... they are there as is a little vanilla and maybe a kiss of hops but for the most part this seems rather non descript...

Roasted malts dominate pretty much as expected... hints of some hops here and there as well as a little vanilla...reminds. me more of a schwarzbier with the thin palate on it... not sure there's anything "Robust" going on here but its not offensive either... not detecting the booze so its well hidden... not getting much vanilla either...

This isn't a bad beer but it isn't anything I care to seek out... I'd drink it on tap at a bar but wont be making any trips to the stote with this on my list if you get my drift...

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Photo of ColdPoncho
3.19/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - dark brown body with ruby light on the edges and a weak light tan head of big bubbles.

S - Sweet fruitiness, vanilla, hint of astringent menthol. It's actually ok

T - Roasty and a bit of vanilla, but its astringent again, and a bit reminiscent of mouthwash. Oh well

M - a presence of carbonation tingles the tongue, and the astringency dries it out. It's a medium body that is moderately unpleasant.

O - well, I mean, it's ok. I keep trying these rivertown beers for some reason, but I consistently dislike them.

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Photo of hosehead83
3.19/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a "stubby" 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.
Ruby/brown in color, with a moderate head of thin foam.
Aroma-Roast coffee
Taste-Sweet vanilla bean, chocolate, coffee, underlying roastiness carries to the finish but not enough to counterbalance the almost cloying sweet vanilla. Dare I say vanilla bomb? Maybe not that bad, but man, vanilla seems to take over this brew"s flavor. More balance needed.

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Photo of McNealc31
3.25/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours like every other porter. Roasted malt, smoke, coffee, and chocolate in the aroma. Carbonation gives a bit of bite, Flavor isn't quite as big as the aroma sets up, but it's well balanced and has a wonderful finish. Charred oak lasts forever.

Nice, but not amazing

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Photo of Maestro0708
3.32/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Look: Dark brown, thin head that dissipates fast.
Smell: Vanilla and coffee
Taste: Strong vanilla extract sort of taste, coffee notes, a bit too sweet at times for my taste.
Feel: Thinner than I prefer.

Overall: I took a shot with this one because I love porters and coffee beers, and it's not bad, but too strong on the vanilla side and very sweet. Not my favorite but worth trying.

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Photo of macrosmatic
3.34/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Reviewed from notes. Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Russian River pint glass.

A: Dark brown, but fairly translucent. Forms a thin light tan head with a low amount of visible carbonation.

S: Brown toasted malts and some nutty sweetness. That's about it.

T: Roasted malts up front, then has a vanilla and hazelnut sweetness in the middle to end. Some restrained coffee flavor near the end. Light roasted bitterness with vanilla in the hang with just a touch of medicinal astringency.

M: This has a thin body for a porter (especially for one self-described as "Imperial"), but not quite watery. Carbonation sensation on the low side, moderate alcohol flavor.

O: It's not awful. But there are an awful lot of better porters out there to be drank. Can't recommend this one, but if I was at a party and it was what was available, I wouldn't refuse.

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Photo of jasonpeckins32
3.36/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Close to black in color. No head at all. Aroma is sweet and sugary with some vanilla notes. Taste is very heavy on the vanilla and sugar. This tastes more like a milk stout or sweet stout than a porter in my opinion. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied. Overall I'd like this a lot better if it had a little less vanilla and a lot less sugar.

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Photo of wvsabbath
3.36/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Brown/dark tan with a very minimal head and slight lacing.

Smell - Sweet malts, vanilla, chocolate, coffee, honey and brown sugar. Bitter plum and raisin.

Taste - First sip is roasty malts, chocolate, honey and brown sugar. Coffee comes in near the finish and provides a bitter, bold flavor. Vanilla is tasted throughout the whole drink. Pretty much a 1-2 punch in flavor.

Mouthfeel - Tongue gets malts, chocolate and sugars, where palate gets mostly coffee with some raisin. Aftertaste is coffee bitter.

Overall - Pretty simple, straight forward beer. Nothing special, nothing done well, just solid and simple.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.39/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

2.5 A: Black color. Half a finger of fizzy tan head that falls quickly and leaves no lacing. I know how coffee can wreak havoc on head retention, so I went easy on them.

3.5 S: Loads of vanilla in this with coffee secondary. Smells like something too sweet that you might order from Starbucks. Perhaps a hint of chocolate, but it's hard to tell since the vanilla and coffee are quite strong. Doesn't really smell a lot like beer, but it's pleasant nonetheless.

3.5 T: Again, not a lot of beer flavor in this beer, but it's still a tasty drink. Vanilla isn't at all overdone and it meshes well with the coffee. Slight graininess is detectable. Simple, but tasty.

3.0 M: Lighter body. A little more carbonation that is necessary, but it isn't really a bad thing. The only thing I don't like is that it's lacking creaminess. Otherwise, very smooth.

3.5 D: I enjoyed this, but I won't lie to you and say it's a good beer. The adjuncts are way more powerful than the beer itself. In any case, it's a tasty drink.

 1,038 characters

Photo of birchstick
3.39/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a brownish black without much of a head. Smells of vanilla, molasses, coffee, and some chcoloate. Smells really sweet. Taste follows suit. Opens up with chocolate flavors that move to a vanilla and cola flavor. Finishes with a little bit of chocolate and coffee tones. Really sweet all over, which works well if it is treated as a dessert beer. Pretty good overall.

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Photo of ONUMello
3.4/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass
A: Dark brown with a 1/2-finger head
S: Lots of vanilla, some coffee bean, a bit of cocoa and chocolate malt
T: Pleasant vanilla/chocolate to open, some coffee on the midpalate but then it turns watery and unpleasant on the finish
M: Initially medium-bodied & smooth but then it turns thin/watery on the finish
O: This had a lot of potential but I almost drain-poured it. I finished it and left my initial notes above since it improved somewhat with air. Good potential but not a repeat buy

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Roebling Vanilla Espresso Porter from Rivertown Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 76 ratings.