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Tanilla Porter - Knee Deep Brewing Company

Tanilla PorterTanilla Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

170 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 170
Reviews: 54
rAvg: 3.39
pDev: 18.58%

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

Style | ABV
American Porter |  6.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Beerandraiderfan on 04-20-2011)
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Ratings: 170 | Reviews: 54 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of lurpy1


2.2/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

On tap at BJ's charm-free brewpub in Roseville, CA. Not real familiar with Knee Deep. But how can you fuck up with vanilla and beer, right? Well, unless you are one of the C-list breweries I've had who have fucked up vanilla porters.

Pours, well, brown. Not a real impressive porter brown. Cola thin. No head. Not a porter, more of a Mystery Strong Dark Ale.

Smell has some smoke and vanilla. Mostly vanilla. I mean, mostly smoke. Pleasant

I'll say this much for the vanilla flavor - it tastes less artificial than some other flawed vanilla beers I have. It tastes somewhat like the real thing. But there's too damn much of it. Coupled with the bitter astringency, not so hot.

Mouthfeel was a disaster. Thin, watery, zingy with carbonation. Terrible, terrible pop rocks on the tongue sensation.

Overall, very low, although there is room for improvement with better understanding of how to make a bigger dessert beer. While the taste could have been worse, I did not finish the beer, basically the public version of the drain pour. In answer to my rhetorical question "how can you fuck up with vanilla and beer?", the (rhetorical) answer is "let me count the ways".

Serving type: on-tap

03-21-2012 21:42:05 | More by lurpy1
Photo of brew3crew


4.1/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at churhill's sdbw

A dark brown close to black body with a tan head around the eedges.

S-very slight vanilla. Slight. Nothing else really

T-Lots of vanilla and not a whole bunch more. follows the nose but is lacking outside of the vanilla...

M- medium body and smooth

O-decent beer but needs more than the vanilla

Serving type: on-tap

11-04-2011 22:56:59 | More by brew3crew
Photo of ehammond1

3.78/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On Tap

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

Dark brown, and nearly black, with ruby edges and a thin light brown head. Spots of lace and thin lines run down the glass.

Somewhat muted aroma, though what's here is very nice: mild roast, some bittersweet chocolate, and a small amount of vanilla. There just isn't a lot to smell here, unfortunately.

Nice combination of roasted malts, bitter chocolate, and lots of sweet and earthy vanilla. This is a very nice, well-rounded, though sweet, incredibly drinkable vanilla porter.

Medium mouthfeel with low carbonation.

This is in an incredibly drinkable vanilla porter. I certainly wouldn't mind having another glass of this.

Serving type: on-tap

10-30-2011 16:38:35 | More by ehammond1
Photo of srandycarter


3.48/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark brown, but not black. Sudsy brown sticky lace, no head at all.

S - Vanilla mostly, wood, sweet malt and roasted malt.

T - Similar to smell. Roasted malt comes out more, but mostly vanilla and sweet malt. Somewhat chalky at finish.

M - Medium body, good carb, fairly clean finish, decent balance.

D - Hey, for a ballpark beer, not bad!

Serving type: on-tap

09-25-2011 06:27:59 | More by srandycarter
Photo of BierJager89


4/5  rDev +18%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2014 06:23:54 | More by BierJager89
Photo of Hopinista


1.13/5  rDev -66.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2013 07:22:55 | More by Hopinista
Photo of Auraan


4.11/5  rDev +21.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2013 06:48:38 | More by Auraan
Photo of vegassommelier


3.09/5  rDev -8.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2013 07:31:32 | More by vegassommelier
Photo of DedicatedToFun


4.25/5  rDev +25.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2013 05:25:52 | More by DedicatedToFun
Photo of Fatehunter


2.88/5  rDev -15%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2013 05:57:13 | More by Fatehunter
Photo of TheSixthRing


3.65/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2012 07:04:04 | More by TheSixthRing
Photo of quirkzoo


3.53/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2012 03:47:45 | More by quirkzoo
Photo of McShane


2.93/5  rDev -13.6%
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

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2012 04:28:06 | More by McShane
Photo of chinchill

South Carolina

3.78/5  rDev +11.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2012 22:57:47 | More by chinchill
Photo of ngeunit1


4.23/5  rDev +24.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2012 04:14:50 | More by ngeunit1
Photo of oline73


2.68/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from the bottle into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: The beer pours a dark brown color with some red coming through when light hits the beer. There is a layer of off white color that leaves a very thin ring around the pour.

Smell: Definitely getting some vanilla. There is a slightly sweet malt note along with the vanilla. Overall, not very complex.

Taste: The roasted malt only contributes a little bit. I'm getting some vanilla, just the right amount to compliment the other flavors, but those other flavors are lacking. The finish is slightly roasty and a bit watery.

Mouthfeel: The body is on the thin side of medium with rather large bubbles. The finish is quite dry.

Overall: A very boring beer. The amount of vanilla seemed about right, but I needed more from the malt component.

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2012 01:14:46 | More by oline73
Photo of facundoCNB

New Jersey

3.7/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

a nice dark brown pour with a generous amount of light tan colored head which quickly dissipated, leaving behind a thick ring around the glass. nice retention, patchy lacing.
smells of figs, dates, plum, chocolate, caramel. the taste is sugary sweet.. almost like a candy bar. caramel, lightly roasted malts, chocolate, sweet fruity/nutty overtones. light body, light carbonation. as far as porters go, this is a great tasting one. unfortunately, the body falls weak in comparison to everything else. still, at a $5 tag price, it's definitely worth a shot if you are on a budget and looking for a great tasting craft beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2012 06:19:59 | More by facundoCNB
Photo of scottfrie


3.3/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

22oz bottle into Block15 snifter.

A: Pours a deep coffee brown with a finger and half of frothy light tan head that faded into a thick film that lasted the whole beer through. Great retention. Wispy yet thick lace.
S: Light notes of vanilla, roast, and hazelnuts. Chocolate is light but present, but the hazelnut I pick up really shines.
T: Follows the nose with light notes of roasted nuts, vanilla, and chocolate. Flavors are light overall. Finish has a note or two of cola, and the aftertaste is full of chocolate bitterness and a splash of caramel.
M: The carbonation is very frothy and foams up on my palate. Definitely a bit much, and it takes away from the drinkability. Body is medium and the mouthfeel is foamy, light, and slightly watery in the finish. Mouthfeel really drops off in the finish.
O: Decent flavors but something about it doesn’t sit well with me. The carbonation is way off; maybe I got a bad bottle. Could use a bit more vanilla but I liked the flavors.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2012 21:33:43 | More by scottfrie
Photo of FosterJM


3.53/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1429th Review on BA
Bottle to HF pint

No bottle date
Purchased at El Cerrito Liquor

App- Its a cola brown with a deep brown almost black center. Only a small head formed and was gone quickly, not much of cling in glass. Looks appetizing with a darker color like a dessert beer.

Smell- It had all the requisite porter notes. It just didn't have the vanilla like it advertised. It was a bit thin on aromatics. Kinda there with a flat cola nose.

Taste- Very light on the Vanilla with a small porter flavor. Roasty, char, malty and what I would say is cola, quad note. It's good, but could be better.

Mouth- A light/medium body with a light/medium carbonation. Chocolate and vanilla combo. Needs more vanilla.

Drink- tasty but hoping imperial version is better and more vanilla.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2012 04:58:08 | More by FosterJM
Photo of pants678


3/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Brown headed toward black with a beige head. Nothing out of the ordinary for a porter.

Vanilla, little chocolate.

Not exactly what I'd call a polarizing beer, benign in nature. Not getting much more than roasted malt, some vanilla but hard to call that characteristic. Slightly sweet but mostly empty. Seems so negative but it's not an offensive or obnoxious beer. Dark chocolate eventually comes through.

Texture's fine, actually it'd be perfect for a more pungent brew. Crisp but still full-bodied, stains the palette which is great.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2012 03:18:20 | More by pants678
Photo of PorterLambic


4.13/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review version 2 thanks to getting auto-logged out after 30 minutes, AGAIN. Hope I can remember some of it.

Pours a deep, chestnut brown with red throughout. Latte colored head drops to a thick film that stays forever. no lace, though.
Smell is roasted malt, coffee, cardboard, dark chocolate and a hint of vanilla. Really well balanced though weak overall until it warms some.
Taste is toast, malt, coffee, vanilla, bittersweet chocolate. Well balanced. Warming helps here as well. Slight medicinal note in the aftertaste.
Smooth, medium bodied, lightly effervescent. Let it rest for 20-30 minutes before drinking and you will be rewarded.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2012 01:30:16 | More by PorterLambic
Photo of Zorro


3.33/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear brown colored beer with a small tan colored head.

Coffee and creme soda aroma. Little bit of smoke is in there with the chocolate and vanilla. Vanilla isn't an overpowering force in this one.

Starts out mildly sweet with a hit of chocolate cake with vanilla frosting. Vanilla is definitely in here and this reminds me a bit of a Guinness beer float. Taste a little coffee and a little patent malt.

Mouthfeel is average.

Overall an interesting beer but not a great one. I do not regret giving it a try but I won't buy another now that my curiosity is satisfied.

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2012 00:21:48 | More by Zorro
Photo of ThickNStout


3.08/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

22oz bottle from Total Wine (Kennesaw, GA). 5.99. Served in a large snifter. 

Pours dark brown with 1.5 fingers beige head. Very little lacing. 

Smells of faintly roasty malt, vanilla extract and heavily creamed/sweetened coffee. Meh. 

Luckily the vanilla and roast comes through a little better in the taste. A one trick pony of vanilla/roast that borders too sweet without any balancing depth but it knows what it is. Zero alcohol apparent, not surprising at only 6%. 

Feel is light and thin with nearly too much carbonation. Long sweet aftertaste. 

Not a bad drinking experience but not one I'll be clamoring to repeat. It has a distinct sweet vanilla edge, of which I'm a fan but there are several other beers that do it better in my opinion. 

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2012 04:47:53 | More by ThickNStout
Photo of DovaliHops


3.35/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brown color with a dark reddish hue when held up to the light. Large, light tan head. Scent is very heavy in sweet vanilla. Vanilla bean and light coffee. Not very dark with some roasted malt and chocolate. Taste is not as impressive, as the vanilla turns out to seem somewhat artificial. There is a ton of vanilla in the flavor, but it tastes as if it could have been a normal porter and just added vanilla bean powder and stirred it up. By no means does this taste bad, just not very complex. The roasted malt profile is nice though. Mouthfeel is light-medium bodied. Drinkability is fairly high. Overall, this beer is a somewhat tasty brew...just has an off-putting artificial taste/feel to it.

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2012 09:16:15 | More by DovaliHops
Photo of lacqueredmouse


2.88/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle purchased from Ledger's Liquors in Berkeley, CA.

Pours a pleasant, deep red-brown, with a solid clarity. Body is firm enough, and the head is frothy and thick, although it doesn't retain particularly well, and there's only minimal lacing. Still, it looks pretty decent.

Nose is mildly grainy with a smooth vanilla undertone, but an unpleasant echo of tinny metal comes through as well. Vanilla is dominant as it warms, almost making it smell overly sweet. The vanilla's a nice touch overall, but it doesn't really blend with the other characters, mainly because no other character is robust enough to keep up.

Taste is rather thin, with a fake vanilla sweetness coming through the centre, before a harsh roasted, almost tobacco ash character comes through on the finish. It's no better as it warms—the body still feels thin, there's no sweetness to support the vanilla, and the bitterness on the finish adds a dollop of unpleasantness to top things off.

It's not terrible, but it should be better than this. It's way too thin, and there's not a depth or complexity to it. Moreover, what characters it does have don't gel together into a coherent whole, and some actively rebel against the flavour of the whole. Disappointing.

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2012 02:08:10 | More by lacqueredmouse
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Tanilla Porter from Knee Deep Brewing Company
78 out of 100 based on 170 ratings.