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Mill Street Vanilla Porter - Mill Street Brew Pub

Not Rated.
Mill Street Vanilla PorterMill Street Vanilla Porter

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BA SCORE
81
good

162 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 162
Reviews: 57
rAvg: 3.58
pDev: 13.97%
Wants: 10
Gots: 29 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Mill Street Brew Pub visit their website
Ontario, Canada

Style | ABV
English Porter |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Viggo on 12-12-2009

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 162 | Reviews: 57
Reviews by sbarre:
More User Reviews:
Photo of biboergosum
3.71/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

An imperial pint at The Underground in YEGDT.

This beer appears a somewhat hazy, very dark brassy amber hue, with one stolid finger of oh so fine creamy beige head, which leaves a peaks and valleys vista of thick painted lace around the glass as it glacially recedes.

It smells rather strongly of sweet vanilla, candied fruit, an obscured charred caramel malt, some softly astringent woodiness, a bit of wintertime Halls lozenges, and tame earthy, leafy hops. The taste is more vanilla, though much less sweet than on the nose, a sugary caramel maltiness, a touch of thin smoke, waning notes of menthol, mildly soused orchard fruit, and earthy, floral hops.

The bubbles are obviously high on nitrogen, so, small and barely tingly, the body an adequate medium weight, and quite ably smooth, the creaminess present, but in a laid back manner. It finishes on the sweet side, the vanilla and fruit notes still rather prevalent, as the woody, leafy players fade to black.

Definitely more vanilla than porter, if going strictly by the name, as the base dark beer attributes get passed over to a large degree. There are smoke and sour-ish essences, to be fair, but they provide more of a understated support role. Worth a try, but I'm not certain that my palate, and sweet tooth, could take another dose of this.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.4/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Can: Poured a nice light black color porter with a huge creamy light brown head with great retention and some excellent lacing. Aroma of vanilla is quite dominating with some good notes of bitter roasted malt notes. Taste is also dominated by loads of vanilla extract which ends up being a bit too over the top with light dry roasted malt notes. Body is light but has a nice creamy texture courtesy of the can widget. Well brewed but vanilla extract notes becomes over the top at some point.

Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.53/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Kickoff in Waterloo. From the same tap as was previously occupied by their Cobblestone stout, so I'm assuming this is a nitro pour. (It settled like one anyways)

Poured into a Mill Street standard glass. Deep brown, nearly black but with some caramel round the edges. Thick, creamy head, loads of sheeted lacing. Great retention, no surprise there. Looks a lot like Cobblestone.

Nose is subtle: caramel, chocolate, a touch of vanilla, toasted malt.

I was expecting the worst, as I've had "vanilla" beer before that tasted a great deal like a few gallons of vanilla extract were thrown into the mix, but this one was fairly good. A fine beer to usher in the holiday season. Vanilla flavor is present, but subtle enough not to be cloying. Chocolate and hazelnut creep in as the brew is allowed to warm. Nothing really "porter" about this beer, but it certainly is tasty. Sweet, but enjoyable.

Medium body, perhaps a bit watery, but with a wonderful creamy texture that I'm really digging.

Mill Street is hit-or-miss for me; this one was a hit, but not something I can drink too much of. Even though the vanilla/chocolate flavor was mercifully subdued, the brew lacked a roasted porter character to combat the sweetness. Had there been more porter characteristics here, Mill Street Vanilla Porter would have been a first-rate brew. As it stands, it is still a good brew, and a tasty one to enjoy right before the holidays.

Photo of Dcrussell
4.68/5  rDev +30.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A desert beer, omg this is good

Photo of DaveBar
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Purchased at the LCBO for just under $3.00 Served at 10deg C in a draught glass.

A- Pretty good. Open with a carbon dioxide ball. Poured typical to a CO2 ball. Dark but clear.

S- Excellent. Vanilla upon vanilla. Excellent scent

T- Excellent! Enjoyed the first smash to what you thought was going to be less than what it is.

M- Pretty good. Not that creamy at all

O- Very good. Will buy again for sure.

Food Pairing

This nice little porter paired well with... chocolate. The vanilla goes so well with Belgium chocolate. Yum!!!

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.08/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at Mill Street. From the pour, this appeared to be nitro, so I have reviewed it as a nitro-tap.

A - Poured and settled like Guinness. Started out a murky medium brown coloured which cascaded from the top to the bottom and settled dark brown, almost black with only small amounts of light passing through on the edges.

S - Vanilla with subdued roasted malts in the background.

T - The vanilla is dominant and at times tastes very synthetic. Roasted malts are present in the background. A fairly simple beer and one dimensional beer.

M - Medium body and creamy. Light carbonation.

Photo of joesi
3.91/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 3.75

Served from a can. (there is a small plastic reservoir attached to the bottom of the can that presumably contained nitrogen)

Lets kick things off with the smell: It has a fantastic smell. I'd say it's best trait. It wasn't the strongest scent, but smelled to me like liqueur chocolates and vanilla.

Taste: I really like it. It's quite a standard taste (balanced flavors, mostly malts?) but with the fantastic addition of vanilla flavor. Just the right amount too (although personally I wouldn't even mind more but that's my own taste). After that it transitions beautifully into the finish of a pleasant and mild wood taste (not any overpowering hops flavor nor bitterness) which just beckons for another sip like a siren's call.

Mouth feel: This is by far —in my opinion— the worst attribute going on for this beer. It was was very low in carbonation— by a soda's standards, flat. There was definitely some carbonation but it was not that noticeable without swishing. I'd rate it as low or even very low carbonation.

Other: Dark; not quite black. Tiny head of very thin bubbles. Lower alcohol than I'd prefer. Somewhat lower flavor than I'd prefer, but overall very nice. Some people —including myself— would call it watery considering the carbonation level and alcohol level, and not /very/ high flavor level, but it's nice regardless. Definitely would drink again and recommend to anyone who doesn't mind the low carbonation.

Unlike some others who still liked it, I could personally drink a lot of these at once (but I'm just not that kind of drinker usually)

Photo of Mlkluther
2.9/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3

Pours dark brown with lots of tan head that dissipates.

Nose has vanilla, coffee, malt.

Taste follows nose closely. However it feels and tastes light and more watery than I expected and had hoped.

Photo of patre_tim
4/5  rDev +11.7%

A: Dark brown with a light amber tinge when held to the light, cloudy, nitro foam leaves a creamy thick beige head of 4 fingers on the top.


S: Vanilla, cappuccino, coffee, cream.

T: Vanilla cappuccino, dark toasted malts, light sweetness, creamy.


M: Creamy and smooth with the nitro head, clean foamy powdery finish.


O: Excellent, get your hands on one. Very smooth and flavourful, one of my new favourites from this company. Drank in Kunming, Sept 10 2014.

Photo of spinrsx
3.45/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

440ml Can from the Ottawa LCBO for $2.90

Appearance - Dark brown colour with a large size frothy beige head. I can't make out the amount of carbonation showing and there is some fair lacing. The head lasted for around 5-6 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, chocolate syrup, vanilla

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, chocolate syrup, and vanila. There is also a bit of coffee and a graininess.

Overall - Tastes like I expected it to. Maybe a little thin and watery.. but a great scent. Not something I'd want to drink more than one can of, but a decent example of the style.

Photo of FRANKIE65
2.49/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Looks great, nice head, decent lacing.
Smell, vanilla.
All downhill from there.
I love vanilla, but, this porter is so overpowering with vanilla it is almost non drinkable.
Waited to review this until I had it a second time. Won't be having it a third.

Photo of Bigmrred
4.52/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A sweet desert beer, more subtle and balanced than other vanilla porters I've tried.

Photo of mrmanning
3.62/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Chancey Smith's. Deep coffee like pour with ruby hues at the edges of the glass. Has a frothy mocha cap. Nose of intense vanilla extract, roasted coffee beans, dark chocolate too, but the vanilla is powerful here. Tastes of sweet concentrated vanilla, some hoppy bitter roastiness, dark chocolate, a bit of mint. Wow, there is a lot of vanilla here. Finish is creamy, medium bodied, leaving a lengthy vanilla finish. Quite good, but one pint is enough thank you very much!

Photo of ppoitras
3.86/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

473ml can purchased as a single from the LCBO booth at the Toronto Royal Winter Fair.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1" dense tan head over the slightly cloudy reddish brown brew. Nitro head froth lasts and lasts, with tons of coating lace. Aroma is sweet nougat.

Taste starts sweet, vanilla in the middle, and bitterness and vanilla through the close. Did I mention the vanilla? A bit overpowering and artificial-seeming for the vanilla, but still okay. Mouthfeel is nitro smooth, and drinkability is good. Pretty good brew.

Photo of LampertLand
3.84/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Mill St. Brewery 'Vanilla Porter' @ 5.0% , served from a couple of 440 ml nitro-can's purchased for $3 each

A-pour is very 'Guinness' like frothey , dark & cascading leaving a near black in the glass with a whole lotta ruby red peeking thru a medium size tan head leaving a spotty lace along the pint

S-vanilla

T-sweet & creamy tasting porter , very sweet

MF-ok/good carbonation , weak medium body

Ov-big sweetness dominates this brew , it needs to be more in the background perhaps

prost LampertLand

Photo of thehyperduck
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

440 mL nitro-can picked up at the LCBO; dated Oct. 24 2013. Glad to see Mill Street making more stuff available in single cans. Cobblestone Stout is one of my favourite beers from this brewery, so I'm hoping that this one will live up to its more traditional cousin's standards. Served well-chilled.

Pours a lovely mahogany-brown colour, relatively clear and topped with one finger of beige-coloured head that soon settles into a 1 cm cap. Looks good to me, and I'm really digging the aroma too - vanilla extract is a component, but not the focus, with lots of roasted barley, milk chocolate and mocha to round things out. Suddenly I am in the mood for a milkshake.

Pretty yummy stuff. Vanilla is a little more pronounced here, but not to the point of obnoxiousness. Besides that, the first flavours that come through are plums, caramel and milk chocolate - sounds like a diabetic nightmare, but in all actuality it's not cloying right off the bat. These sweet features soon blend seamlessly into the roastiness of the malts, with a vaguely coffee-like feel toward the finish. The aftertaste is light in nature, but includes chocolate, vanilla and roasted malts, managing to linger on the palate for quite a while. Too long, actually. Medium-bodied and silky-smooth in the mouth; this one goes down easily, but it's the sort of brew I don't think I could handle more than a can or two of per night. The flavour is kind of relentless, and the one-dimensionality just becomes tiresome after a certain point.

Final Grade: 3.5, a serviceable B. Mill Street's Vanilla Porter is delicious at first, but becomes increasingly less interesting as you make your way through the glass. That gob of vanilla and milk chocolate that hits you with the first sip is really all this beer has going for it - after that, it just feels flat, limp and uninteresting. A decent dessert beer that I'd consider getting again, but Cobblestone is the superior product by a comfortable margin - both in terms of quality and adherence to style, as anyone looking for a serious porter is likely to be disappointed with this one.

Photo of The-Jolly-Imbiber
3.63/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 440 mL nitro can into a pint glass.

1.5 finger head over a solid black-brown body.

Nice, sweet aroma over the head, with a hint of vanilla, as advertised.

Flavour is quite nice! Some people might consider this not bitter enough, though, I'd imagine. The vanilla flavour is quite evident, and mixes very nicely with the usual porter flavours of cocoa/coffee. All in all, quite a light flavour, with the vanilla and sweetness dominating the bitterness. It almost seems like a mixed drink, as if it were sweet, non-alcoholic ingredients with just a bit of alcoholic beverage added. This experience might be a turn off for some, but I'm enjoying this.

Very little carbonation here, but that doesn't take away from my enjoyment of this beer.

Overall: pretty good. I'd buy this again.

Photo of kenworhz
3/5  rDev -16.2%

tastes ok like the coffee porter not keen on the device they put in bottom of can made the can basicly explode when opened lost half a beer

Photo of thebhoy
1.89/5  rDev -47.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

On tap at Rhino.

Appearance- As in another review, the colour is reminiscent of a vanilla bean brown, rich but not lacking in clarity. Expectations tended towards a lighter interpretation of porter

Smell- Not sure if this is more a comment on the pub than the beer, because one of them has made a mistake. Nice vanilla notes were overpowered by a metallic aroma, very offputting.

Taste- Sweet and Sour? Vanilla and sugars are certainly present, malts weren't pronounced but brought somewhat a balance to the syrupy vanilla flavour. All this again was overpowered by what tasted like old pennies (mate compared it to licking batteries), so much so that we requested a different beer, citing that the keg had clearly been contaminated. Staff argued that each keg they've had has tasted like this, so who were we to argue. There was also a strong sourness not unlike a lambic, this beer was not right.

Mouthfeel- Thin and cloying, tail of taste lingered on the palette like a vinegary wine.

Drinkability- Will give this another chance if I encounter it, but if this beer was right, it's definitely a huge blunder by the usually reliable mill street.

Photo of DenisKolkin
3.26/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Picked up 440 ml nitro-can from LCBO for $2.90 CDN the other day. Served cold and straight into a pint glass. Working from notes taken a couple of weeks ago.

Appearance - Dark brown with garnet hues when held up to the light. Dark enough that you can't tell whether it's transparent or not, but I suspect it is. Creamy half finger of tan head that stays awhile.

Smell - Vanilla (obviously), dark fruit, chocolate. None of these aromas were terribly strong even as the beer warmed up a bit, which was not surprising in the case of the dark fruit and chocolate, but I expected the vanilla scents to be more robust. Nonetheless very tasty.

Taste - Vanilla hints, then into a malt based mixture. Light vanilla aftertaste. Not a whole lot else here.

Mouthfeel - Very smooth but watery, with lowish carbonation. Definitely not filling enough for my tastes to be considered a porter, but is quite quaffable.

Overall - Not a bad beer by any stretch of the imagination, but not one I'm overly impressed with. Expecting more vanilla, even though that was the focus of this one-dimensional beer, and definitely expecting more of a porter fullness than what was provided.

Photo of EvanHarper
2.84/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Very dark red, on the light side for a porter, with 1.5 fingers of creamy off-white head, good retention and lacing. Strong vanilla smell with hints of toasted bread, toffee, and dark fruits. Taste is very light and sweet, with strong rich vanilla all over the place, a lot of caramel malt, disappointingly slight roast flavor and only a hint of chocolate on the finish. Steady background of hop bitterness throughout. Light, smooth, creamy mouthfeel.

I really love vanilla - favorite ice cream flavor and everything - but I'm afraid that the vanilla and caramel sweetness are rather overpowering here, and it doesn't quite come together for me as a porter. I'm glad I tried it and I wouldn't turn it down if offered but I doubt I would buy it more than once a year. Mind you it would be gorgeous for baking.

Photo of rooskey379
3.03/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

Love Mill St but they missed w this one

Photo of fscottkey
3.99/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: [4.50] Looks jet black but you can see through it with a strong back light. Forms a perfect 1 1/2 finger khaki head. The head does not have distinguishable bubbles it is just dense. The head does not receded at all when left alone. The Can lists the ABV at 5.0% and there is no dating info. However the can does list the ingredients (water, malted barley, flaked wheat, roasted barley, vanilla extract, hops). I don't see a lot of beers with a ingredient list.

S: [3.00] Strong, but synthetic vanilla smell. The smell is thick and syrupy.

T: [4.25] The taste is like Guinness with vanilla. Actually sweeter than Guinness with some nice vanilla tones in there.

M: [4.50] Very smooth. No carbonation feel at all. A slight dry finish. Overall nice body but not as creamy as I thought it might be based on the head.

O: [4.25] I have had Mill Streets Cobblestone Irish Stout. This tastes very similar but with a nice infusion of vanilla. This would go really well with desserts - and maybe even with ice cream right in it. The body is so smooth and the beer goes down really easily. Other than a synthetic smell on the nose this beer hits on all cylinders. I really like it as a approachable low abv beer.

Photo of polloenfuego
3.4/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I found the vanilla heavy handed and the sweetness over the top. Definitely not a beer I would revisit.

Photo of superspak
3.94/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

15 ounce can into imperial pint glass, canned on 11/14/2014. Pours fairly clear deep reddish brown color with a 2 finger dense light khaki head with fantastic retention that reduces to a nice cap that lasts the whole glass. Nice dense soapy lacing clings down the glass. Aromas of milk chocolate, cocoa, vanilla, toffee, toast, brown bread, nuttiness, cream, light herbal, light dark fruit, and yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roast/bready malt, vanilla, and light fruity yeast notes; with solid strength. Taste of big milk chocolate, cocoa, vanilla, toffee, toast, brown bread, nuttiness, cream, light herbal, light dark fruit, and yeast earthiness. Minimal herbal/roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of milk chocolate, cocoa, vanilla, toffee, toast, brown bread, nuttiness, cream, light herbal/dark fruit, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice robustness, balance, and complexity of dark/roast/bready malt, vanilla, and light fruity yeast flavors; with a good roasted bitterness/sweetness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light carbonation and medium bodied; with a very smooth, creamy, and slightly bready/chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with zero warming present after the finish as expected of 5%. Overall this is a damn nice English porter style. All around great robustness, balance, and complexity of dark/roast/bready malt, vanilla, and light fruity yeast flavors; and very smooth to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

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Mill Street Vanilla Porter from Mill Street Brew Pub
81 out of 100 based on 162 ratings.