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Tanilla Porter | Knee Deep Brewing Company

68 Reviews
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Tanilla PorterTanilla Porter

Brewed by:
Knee Deep Brewing Company
California, United States | website

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Made with only grade-A Tahitian vanilla beans, Tanilla carries a smooth chocolate flavor complemented by the delicate intensity of vanilla beans, and a rich aroma of coffee.

Added by Beerandraiderfan on 04-20-2011

User Reviews
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Reviews: 68 | Ratings: 288
Photo of rodbeermunch
2.83/5  rDev -17%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Light brown pour yields 1/6" off white head. Vanilla absent, some coffee like aroma notes present.

Taste was a hodgepodge of adjunct sweeteners, wasn't matched well mouthfeel wise with the base. Brown malt came off too light. Wasn't what I would call a robust porter hearty enough to take on all the adjunct sweeteners.

Expensive in the bomber format.

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Photo of BillT916
4.11/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a solid dark, little foam, hint of sweetness in the smell that doesn't carry over much to the pallet. Hits the tastebuds with more a hint root beer and vanilla

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Photo of fitzy84
3.97/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bought at the Beer Shop in East Longmeadow, MA. The beer pours with a dark, black appearance with a light brown, foamy head. Aromas include a hint of vanilla, but it mostly smelled like it had light coffee; good but not strong. Taste, however, improved upon the muted aromas with a great coffee cream taste mixed with malt with a light spice aftertaste. Mouthfeel is generally creamy, but there is some good carbonation to this drink. Overall, I did enjoy this porter, but I wish the aroma was stronger.

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Photo of boilerwillie
4.17/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I don't drink a ton of porters, but this beer is very tasty in my opinion. I'm a bit surprised it's not getting higher marks.

I'm a big fan of vanilla, so maybe I'm bias, but it's full of flavor, sweet (but not too sweet), and easy to drink. There's something missing in making it a great beer, but overall, a nice porter.

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Photo of Totalpackage411
3.11/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Very earthy taste, not your typical porter. Very light compared to most porters I've had. good for easing your way into the more rich and stronger porter style beers

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Photo of OmahaKF
3.06/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Smell is lactose sweetness, and bittersweet chocolate (somewhat muted smell overall).

Taste is sweet like flavored milk, slightly creamy, with only hints of vanilla. Mouthfeel is really thin for a porter. Overall a slightly sweeter than normal porter but nothing super special.

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Photo of stevoj
3.47/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Bottle from Brewers Haven. Dark brown with small foamy head. Immediate vanilla aroma, more in the taste, which also brings some cocoa and roast grain bitterness. Smells sweet, without being overly sugary. Bitterness lingers enough to kill any remnants of the perceived sweetness.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.62/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by someone Friday night, Thanks!
Deep golden color with a small head. Huge vanilla on the nose masks most of the caramel and bready malt underneath. you could use this when baking but nice to sip on.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Wet, Vanilla, Chocolate, Smooth

Brewed with grade-A Tahitian vanilla beans shows a large emphisis on this character though less on the “Porter” side on things. Faint cordial or cooking extract flavor in the middle. Subtle chocolate and coffee flavors but no real burnt or roasted character and could easily be confused with a Brown Ale. Is it tasty? Yes. Is it enjoyable? Sure, why not but there is still something left to be really desired here.

STYLE: American Porter | ABV: 6.3% | AVAILABILITY: Year-round

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine issue #97 (FEB 2015)

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Photo of superspak
3.8/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled on 10/15/2014. Pours crystal clear very dark brown color with a 2 finger dense tan head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big vanilla, caramel, toffee, milk chocolate, creamed coffee, toast, and light herbal. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt and vanilla notes; with good strength. Taste of vanilla, caramel, toffee, milk chocolate, creamed coffee, toast, and light herbal. Slight herbal/roast bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of vanilla, caramel, toffee, milk chocolate, creamed coffee, toast, and light herbal on the finish for a good bit. Good complexity and solid robustness of dark/roasted malt and vanilla flavors; with a great malt/vanilla balance and minimal cloying sweetness after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth and fairly creamy mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very good vanilla porter. All around good complexity and solid robustness of dark/roasted malt and vanilla flavors; and very smooth to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering.

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Photo of metter98
3.62/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is black when viewed from afar; upon closer inspection it is clear and very dark red in color when held up to a bright light. It poured with a half finger high off white head that died down but left a short head and thick lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of vanilla and dark malts are present in the nose. The malts become a little stronger as the beer warms up.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste has foremost flavors of vanilla beans along with notes of dark malts and hints of sweetness.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: Once the porter warms up, the vanilla becomes dominate and makes for this as being a nice dessert beer.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of RonfromJersey
3.48/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

One of the more Cocoa-Cola looking beers I've seen, from the dark brown body, the ruby red highlights, and the loudly fizzing light tan head. This head stabilized though and stuck around at three fingers though. Good dense lace.

Vanilla and coffee aroma. Pleasant, but could be a little more assertive and inviting.

Taste is vanilla and coffee, some earthy hop notes, not a lot of complexity.

Light for a porter mouthfeel. Could do with some more chewability.

Not bad, not great, I've had much worse vanilla porters, but not a Knee Deep offering I'm looking to revisit.

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Photo of RyanK252
3.98/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at Spokeasy Public House

A: Pours dark brown, not a lot of light passes through, with minimal light brown head that disappears.

S: Sweet vanilla, dark roasted malt, a little chocolate, and a tiny hint of coffee.

T: Follows the nose. Sweet vanilla and dark malt complimented by a little chocolate, with a very light coffee bitterness on the finish.

M: Light to medium body, light carbonation

O: Pretty solid. More sweet than bitter and fairly light drinking. Tasty option on a hot day when you want something dark. Also probably would work great in a beer float.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.3/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass. Bottled May 7th 2014.

Simple dark walnut body, with a two finger light cocoa brown to tan head. Head settles to a real foamy cap, and leaves a simple thin puck while slowly settling down. Pretty much a textbook color porter and non aggressive presence.

Mild hints of roast, and soft sweetness. Not really getting any hints of vanilla off of this at all. Clean but not much going on here and a bit closed. Some cake like sense a bit but very hard to detect. Otherwise kind of neutral.

Palate comes forth kind of ordinary. Some odd faint tang but very mild sourness mixing with a large roasted bitterness. Slightly hinting towards acrid, but also wit a touch of mild fizz in the back, of a slightly wet body. Really not getting any mid vanilla off of this at all. Roast feel comes out with a hint of popped seltzery quality, making the bitterness a bit strange.

Overall an ok porter, but really missing the vanilla quality the beer suggests and claims it offers.

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Photo of BierJager89
4/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours black with a mocha head.

S: Nose has dark roast coffee, some dark chocolate, but very little vanilla.

T: Strong dark roast coffee followed by a decent amount of vanilla, then dark chocolate and more coffee in the finish.

M: Full bodied and not smooth... until it warms up. Vanilla becomes much more noticeable and the body becomes smoother and creamy.

O: Definitely drink this a bit warmer than your average beer. It's a solid vanilla porter. I definitely like the style.

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Photo of Hopinista
1.15/5  rDev -66.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I wish I could give this a proper review, but the bottle i got was infected. I knew something was up when I poured a small amount and it gushed out of the glass. Taste is chocolatey brett. I was very excited to try this too so it's an extra disappointed.

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Photo of Auraan
4.1/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep brown, almost black, with a thin tan head that dissipated to a tan ring, leaving a slight bit of lacing. Looks quite nice, but a bit dark for a porter. Scents of roast malt, vanilla, and slight coffee. A good porter scent with the nice addition of vanilla. Flavors of roast malt, slight dark chocolate and black coffee and some slight sweetness throughout, finishes with more black coffee and a slight hint of vanilla at the end. Aftertaste is bitter with black coffee and dark chocolate. A good classic porter flavor with a nice bit of vanilla. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, slightly thick, with low carbonation. About half-way between a porter and a stout and quite easy to drink. Overall quite the nice vanilla porter, it drinks smooth and has the nice flavor of a porter supporting the vanilla.

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Photo of vegassommelier
3.09/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

In searching for a certain vanilla porter I had on a vacation that I failed to write down or snap a photo of, I came across this offering. some solid value here, with a 22oz bottle going for $5.
The vanilla is not that prevalent, the opposite of what I was worried about. Much more malty and stout-ish, with a faint vanilla finish. Good mouthfeel with a dry, sightly bitter finish.
A good beer, well made, but nothing I would rush to get again.

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Photo of DedicatedToFun
4.25/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Good, smooth, robust porter, dark, good head, smells like chocolate, drink with friends, on bottle, smells as good as it tastes, don't underestimate this beer. Bought in a larger bomber and got the light kind, not the dark, not the hoppy, just the smooth version.

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Photo of Fatehunter
2.92/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

A half finger of tan head on a black body.
The aroma is single-mindedly vanilla.
The taste is moderately sweet moving sweeter at the end. The middle has an unexpected bitterness. The profile is a bit disjointed.
Smooth texture with low carbonation and thicker body.
If you like sweetness this is for you.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.67/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours a near black, deep mahogany brown with an off-white, 2 finger head. Decent retention. Shows a fair amount of lace with decent stick.

Smell - Strong notes of vanilla, with hints of chocolate and, less so, coffee.

Taste - A lot of natural vanilla favoring upfront, dominates much of the roasted malt aspect of the beer. Very little in the way of classic porter flavors, opting instead for what I can only describe as a "french vanilla ice cream topped with a sparse amount of mocha flavored topping". Finishes with a tinge of bitter coffee flavoring.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with a fair amount of carbonation. Smooth and easy to drink. Finishes with a bit of sharpness.

Overall - Not a bad beer overall, but far from anything you might associate with your classic American porter. Too much dominating vanilla character. Might make for a hell of a root beer float partner, but in so far as beer is concerned, it's so-so, and definitely not worth the $7 price tag it comes with.

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Photo of quirkzoo
3.53/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Courtesy of Ehammond1, 22oz bottle markintihard into my CBS snifter.

Pours a very nice dark brown with just a hint of light showing around the edges, 1 finger of light brown head that recedes to a thin cap.

Smell is very pleasant. Tons of vanilla up front followed by chocolate and a touch of roastiness.

Taste is chocolate up front with vanilla behind. Medium bitterness that is roasty without being ashy or charred. Turns into a bit of a coffee flavor as those elements combine.

Mouthfeel is somewhat light. This is not a big huge, heavy vanilla beer, instead it is a well balanced porter that has the vanilla as an accent piece.

Overall pretty straighforward, not a beer that is going to blow your socks of but a very solid beer with a lot of flavor.

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Photo of McShane
3/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Kneed Deep brewing has been impressing me. I really like their imperial Red ale and their IPA. The Tanilla is well ehh. So let's get into it.

Appearance- It's a sexy beast. I dig the look. It holds promise. Deep red with a large thick head. Great start.

Smell- That head does a great job pushing the vanilla fragrance. It holds it there and since the head doesn't dissipate quickly its aroma lingers. Again, GREAT start.

Taste- So this is a porter and it's vanilla. My expectations would be that it does both well. Well it doesn't really. The porter aspects are somewhat harsh. I'm a porter guy and this just wasn't fun to drink. It didn't commit in any one direction. I couldn't call it a Vanilla beer either because the vanilla was such an afterthought.

Mouthfeel- This is probably the worst part. It was heavy on carbonation and at times I had to swallow several times to clear my mouth. So it brought out alot of saliva. Not to be gross but that's just not fun.

I think this company has a lot of potential and they've made some good beers and will continue i'm sure. This one, I'm not coming back for.


Steve McShane
The Drunkards Call Podcast
Growler Radio
Find both on iTunes and Stitcher Radio

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Photo of chinchill
3.72/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle served in a Samuel Smith's becker.

Pours a VERY dark and remarkably ruby tinted clear liquid covers by a medium dense and well-proportioned tan head. The head has very good retention but leaves little lacing. [4.25]

The aroma [2.75] is disappointing. Too much like a sweet liqueur, especially after warming when the alcohol esters are a little too prevalent, a trace of dankness, and the vanilla seems less subtle than desired.

The flavor, in contrast, is rather good. The alcohol remains adequately hidden, there is no unpleasant dankness, and it is not objectionably sweet. The vanilla addition does seem a bit overdone. Plenty of dark malt with a hint of smoke.

M: Creamy smooth; full body; excellent medium-light carbonation.

O: a fine, vanilla-flavored porter.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.2/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark brown-black color with a finger of frothy khaki-chocolate colored head. The head fades down at a normal pace leaving behind some nice lacing.

S - Aroma is a mix of roasted chocolate malts, roasted coffee, vanilla, and some sweet caramel malts.

T - Starts off with a mix of roasted chocolate malts with some roasted coffee, vanilla, and caramel malts. Through the middle, some more coffee flavor and vanilla with some nuttiness. The finish is a mix of roasted chocolate and coffee malts with some vanilla, caramel malts, and nutty flavors.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth and a touch thick with a sweet and roasty finish.

D - Very drinkable. Nice American porter with a good overall balance.

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Tanilla Porter from Knee Deep Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 68 ratings.