Mill Street Vanilla Porter - Mill Street Brew Pub

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Mill Street Vanilla PorterMill Street Vanilla Porter

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50 Reviews
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Reviews: 50
Hads: 165
rAvg: 3.43
pDev: 8.45%
Wants: 10
Gots: 31 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 50 | Hads: 165
Photo of jwilz8806
4.68/5  rDev +36.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tried my first one today the employee at the store recomended I thought it was really good great flavor and smell taste like vanilla and chocolate I thought it even started to taste better when it warmed up a bit maybe thats just me to I would deff recomend trying I will be trying again real soon (297 characters)

Photo of Grogsky
4.08/5  rDev +19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

If you're just getting into stouts/porters and want to experience some of the various flavours to try, I recommend the vanilla porter. Great introduction to the vanilla flavour you can get in this beer type. (207 characters)

Photo of tbeckett
4.03/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Half pint at Mill Street Ottawa. From notes.

A - Poured amber, bright, with a one finger creamy head leaving great thick lace and a half finger of retention. Virtually black colour.

S - Vanilla was very strong. Some smokey notes and roasted malts as well. Very nice.

T - Vanilla, nice sweet malt, chocolate, roastiness.

M - Very creamy, medium body, gentle carbonation.

O/D - A very tasty vanilla porter. Very nice with strong flavours and very smooth. A pleasure. (469 characters)

Photo of DaveBar
4/5  rDev +16.6%
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!!! (533 characters)

Photo of patre_tim
4/5  rDev +16.6%

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. (467 characters)

Photo of fscottkey
3.99/5  rDev +16.3%
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. (1,225 characters)

Photo of superspak
3.94/5  rDev +14.9%
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. (1,565 characters)

Photo of TheHammer
3.94/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured with a finger and a half of creamy nitro head that didn't lace but boy did it retain. The body is black as night porter as it should be. Not really a lot to say.

Smell: A big hit of vanilla extract with some well roasted malt. I guess as advertised, as it smells like what I would expect a Vanilla Porter to smell. Warming really brings out the Vanilla.

Taste: Surprisingly light for a Porter, it's starts with a heavy Vanilla element that slowly declines over time as roasted malt and mocha slowly rises over it. It's pretty much an exact scale, the Vanilla starts and begins to descend a halts just as the full malt and mocha taste ends the beer. I'm not complaining, it's just...odd.

Mouthfeel: The beer falls somewhere between a milky and creamy consistency to it, that you'd think with a nitro can would fall more on the creamy end of things. The aftertaste however is quite nice and the carbonation remains consistent throughout. While the transistioning might seem a bit odd, I have to give points for how it plays out.

Drinkability: This went down very quick, and drinks more like a really sweet milk stout than a porter. Surprisingly light for a Porter as well and while I could see the Vanilla getting old over time, this is an exceptional desert beer.

Final Thoughts: All in all, as advertised. If you want Vanilla and a Porter combined this is your beer. It's well done, but it just doesn't quite break out to having that wow factor, landing it somewhere between good and great. Thumbs up. (1,525 characters)

Photo of joesi
3.91/5  rDev +14%
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) (1,580 characters)

Photo of leaddog
3.91/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

440ml nitro- can.

Appearance- Pours a dark chestnut brown with a finger of creamy beige head.

Smell- pure vanilla, chocolate, light roasted malts, and dark fruit (plum or cherry).

Taste- Vanilla, chocolate, roasted malts and a bit of the dark fruit. The vanilla and roasted malts are the more predominate flavours.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied with light carbonation. Has a smooth creaminess but a tad thin.

Overall- An English porter that uses pure vanilla extract in a way that it remains balanced with roasted malts without overpowering. Delicious flavour that can be sipped on all night long. (598 characters)

Photo of GodOfBeer
3.87/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Chancey Smith's.

Pours a dark brown with a thin off white head, some lacing.

Smells of vanilla and chocolate, coffee, roasted barley, sort of like a fresh cappuccino.

I was very surprised by the taste, a lot more vanilla than I would of expected but still very good and different. Not as porter-like as I wish it was but still very good, very refreshing.

A deliciously drinkable beer upfront but slowly it grows on you and near the end you find it hard to finish. I think they added too much vanilla here, if there was less of that and more of the porter this would be almost perfect. (599 characters)

Photo of ppoitras
3.86/5  rDev +12.5%
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. (542 characters)

Photo of LampertLand
3.84/5  rDev +12%
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 (507 characters)

Photo of mikesnotesonbeer
3.82/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Dark.
S: Smells sweet. Right off the bat it's clear that the vanilla flavour is going to be prominent.
T: Very strong vanilla profile. Unfortunately there's too little of a porter profile to balance the sweetness. Still enjoyable, I don't think I'd have this one again.
M: Medium body. Creamy. The mouthfeel is probably the most enjoyable aspect of this beer.
O: Worth trying out, just don't get your expectations too high. I enjoy many of Mill Street's beers, and I enjoyed this one, I just enjoyed it less than their others. (530 characters)

Photo of biboergosum
3.71/5  rDev +8.2%
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. (1,317 characters)

Photo of flagmantho
3.68/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 440mL nitro can into a pint glass.

Appearance: very dark amber hue, reminiscent more of a ruby porter, and reasonable for this English style. Head poured a thin layer of creamy tan foam; the nitrogen charge didn't create the big cascading head typical of the presentation.

Smell: light aroma of roast, chocolate and a little vanilla. Reminds me of a milk stout more than anything. Nice, but not particularly nuanced.

Taste: very chocolatey right up front with a nice vanilla component. The flavor is what the aroma really should be; great dessert flavor like a chocolate milk stout. That said, it is still a bit on the simple side. Not bad, but not mind-blowing.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a decent carbonation and creamy mouthfeel. Like many nitrogen presentations, it lacks just a little bit of oomph.

Overall: this is a pretty tasty beer. I could see finishing a meal with one of these sweet pints. (919 characters)

Photo of dreamchaser
3.68/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours out a very nice, deep dark brown, almost black, with a beautiful creamy off-white head. Strong vanilla notes on the nose, with hints also of coffee and chocolate. Taste is of a light, nicely balanced and smooth porter - vanilla notes appear halfway through a taste and fade slightly at the finish, giving way to lightly bittering hop qualities. Mouthfeel is light, airy and creamy, like a whipped topping. Very drinkable. Could use a little more malt to smooth out to the hoppier profile, but overall, quite well-executed. (528 characters)

Photo of The-Jolly-Imbiber
3.63/5  rDev +5.8%
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. (797 characters)

Photo of mrmanning
3.62/5  rDev +5.5%
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! (482 characters)

Photo of CAMRAhardliner
3.62/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a brown/blood red color with a foamy off-white head that lasts a good while. The smell is sweet, aromatic vanilla with some malt roastyness faintly in the back. The taste is sweet like a Milk Stout but not cloying. Lots of vanilla extract mix with caramel, chocolate malts and a ligt roastyness. Hops are very restrained throughout - only providing bitterness. The mouthfeel is light bodied with a creamy, full carbonation. Light bitterness and vanilla linger in the medium lengthed finish.

A nice Porter from Mill Street. Lots of sweet flavors but not overly sweet. Vanilla is out front obviously, but not as much as I expected. Worth a try. (649 characters)

Photo of hopsolutely
3.62/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From notes after enjoying on tap in Guelph yesterday. Remember thoroughly enjoying a creaminess and fundamental vanilla flavour in last year's batch that has modified to a more oak-focused palate this year.

Bright, clear mahogany coloured beer with brilliant white head. Thinner mouthfeel than I expected. Aroma of roasted malts and barrel tannins, with underlying peat and smokiness. The vanilla is more prevalent in the taste than the aroma, but more subtle than I remember.

An enjoyable pint and I'll buy it again, but my socks remained firmly on. (552 characters)

Photo of kwjd
3.6/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Had this on nitro-tap at C'est What. Pours a really dark brown colour with a finger of thick white head. Smells of vanilla and chocolate with some mild roast, almost like a milkshake. Very sweet, almost no bitterness. Mouthfeel is incredibly creamy. Easy to drink porter, but I wouldn't want to drink more than one of these in a row due to the sweetness. (354 characters)

Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.53/5  rDev +2.9%
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. (1,435 characters)

Photo of cratez
3.53/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Chancey Smith's. Based on other reviews, I didn't expect much from this beer. But it's actually quite flavourful.

Chestnut brown in colour with ruby highlights and a ring of cream coloured head. Sheets of lacing down the shaker. Smell and taste are cocoa, vanilla, chocolate malt, substantial sweetness, some nutty bread, with a hint of roasted dryness in the finish. The vanilla extract and chocolate malt produce a white chocolate flavour that I've never picked up in a beer before. Simple but delicious. Thin mouthfeel, light-bodied, moderate carbonation, mild chalkiness to end.

MSVP does not have the features of a traditional porter (smoke, hops, lots of roast, medium/full body) but it's still a very tasty dark beer. Worth a try IMO, even if doesn't adhere to the style. (790 characters)

Photo of wordemupg
3.52/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

440ml can poured into tulip 10/11/13

A deep maroon cola like liquid, enough clarity to see a few tiny bubbles and light on the other side of the glass, cascading foam ends up as a thumbs width long lasting mocha foam that leaves lace deep down the glass, looks like nitro

S milk chocolate and lots of vanilla, doesn't smell real though almost to strong, some weedy leafy notes and coco powder with a little raisin

T the vanillas not as heavy, earthy hops, raisins still there, pretty basic but decent

M fairly thin and the bubbles flatten out quickly, coco and vanilla linger faintly

O all right brew but nothing special, nitro makes it look good but appearance is not all that important compared to other areas

not all that complex but drinkable, memorable? not so much (780 characters)

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Mill Street Vanilla Porter from Mill Street Brew Pub
79 out of 100 based on 50 ratings.