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Mill Street Vanilla Porter - Mill Street Brew Pub

Not Rated.
Mill Street Vanilla PorterMill Street Vanilla Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.

57 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 57
Hads: 176
Avg: 3.59
pDev: 25.63%
Wants: 10
Gots: 35 | 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: 57 | Hads: 176
Photo of Benny_Efkola
4.3/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

One of my faves. I don't live far from this brewery , they have their own pub on site, this is the best one they have on tap, straight form the source.

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Photo of JackieKu
3.93/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

440ml can.

A: Dark brown. Poured with thin head? (The previous time I had it was producing a lot of foam.)
S: Vanilla cocoa. Hazelnut.
T: Cocoa. Low bitterness. Slightly caramel. Dry.
M: Light bodied and refreshing.
O: A refreshing porter, when I want something like cocoa/coffee but still very drinkable I might go with this.

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Photo of shreddamang
4.53/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

First review I've done on the site.

I bought 4 of these cans because of a previous experience that was very good. Last year was the first I had tried this beer. It was poured from a keg directly from mill st at the windsor hosted ontario craft beer festival.

Opening the can and the smell instantly brought back memories of that night at the festival.

I must say it is not 100% the same as it is from a fresh cracked keg but it is still great.

So onto the beer.

Look: Very dark brown, with a clear complexion, not cloudy, very bright khaki foam on the head.
Looks excellent in a glass.

Taste is very mild, easy to drink and carries the vanilla well as it mixes well with the hints of chocolate and hearty fullness of dark beers.
Almost no carbonation, super smooth with a thick frothy head creamy and enjoyable.
Lacks the thickness I remember from the keg.

If this beer was slightly thicker feeling or denser it would be less watery, this is my only issue with this beer.

Smell: vanilla, chocolate, very lightly hinted with fruit.

Overall, excellent an id recommend it to anyone who is a fan of dark brew or looking for a way into dark brew


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Photo of schoolboy
3.61/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Here comes a nitrogen packed porter, English style (which means none of this over the top Americanization).

It pops open to a huge glass full of foam. These are always a pretty spectacular. It's dark brown, and the head dies down to a fine foam. The aroma is OK, but nothing extraordinary, just a bit of malty watery smell with some finishing hops.

The taste is slightly off. Vanilla hits right away. Once you get used to that, there is a fairly bitter sweet malty taste that takes over. The aftertaste lingers bitter sweet and that vanilla. It doesn't totally work.

This is a mild, sweet brew with nothing so outstanding that I would want to seek it out. Not recommended

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Photo of Beerdanza
4.7/5  rDev +30.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 15 oz. nitro can

Beautiful not-brown color clouded with tiny nitrogen bubbles. A beautiful creamy beige head. It looks substantial.

Smells mainly of burnt sugar, in a good way, like home made candy.

This is a delicious and smooth beer! The nitrogen really makes for a creamy, easy drinking experience. I taste vanilla, and chocolate, and a bit of peanut butter. Seriously, this is like liquid Reese's cups. Delicious! You need to like sweetness to appreciate this beer, I think. There's just the faintest hint of hoppy bitterness.

Mouthfeel is wonderful, due to the nitrogen cartridge. Smooth and creamy and fantastic.

Overall, this is one of my favorite beers ever. It's so smooth and goes down easy. Be careful! you could chug a dozen of these and not realize it. I'll always like my hoppy IPAs, but this is like a beer treat. Beer candy? Whatever. I really like it.

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Photo of Trosevear
4.84/5  rDev +34.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 500 ml nitro can.

L: Black brown with a beautiful brown head.

S: Dark chocolate malts with a slight hint of vanilla extract smell to it. With a small amount of coffee.

T: Smooth and creamy with a nice chocolate taste to it and a slight bitterness from a coffee taste but a nice vanilla taste that follows it threw the entire beer.

F: Very little to no carbination but from the nitro it makes the beer taste beautiful.

O: A fantastic beer and one of my favorites, will continue to buy this over and over again. Wish they sold this in a 6 pack or even more.

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Photo of Cheeseboo
5/5  rDev +39.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Amazing beer! I liked everything about it and I cannot wait to try their stout. This is a nitro beer, so the pour is fantastic and fun to watch. The vanilla taste is distinct, but not overpowering, and there is no nasty aftertaste. This is going to be a regular for me.

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Photo of jwilz8806
4.68/5  rDev +30.4%
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

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Photo of superspak
3.94/5  rDev +9.7%
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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Photo of mikesnotesonbeer
3.82/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

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Photo of Bunman3
3.44/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My second stop on a flavoured porter tour. Mill Street has got the nitro can thing down - this pours, looks, and feels like a Guinness. It looks great, smells like vanilla extract, and has a robust roasted malt backbone. The aroma is a bit too sweet for my liking, but it manages to complement the porter in an odd way. The mouthfeel is delightful, but the overall experience is a bit off.

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Photo of joesi
3.91/5  rDev +8.9%
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)

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Photo of bendythumb
2.75/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

Typical porter look with an absolutely perfect and long-lasting head. Weak lacing present, which tickles my fancy as I dislike strong lacing on darker brews for some irrational reason. This baby looks great in a glass. Aroma is somewhat pleasant. Vanilla and coffee tones are present, with an underlying yeast-like scent which slightly puts me off. Mouthfeel is much more watery than I expected for a beer of this colour and consistency. The taste is somewhat of a mixed bag for a palate as distinguished as mine. Lots of vanilla, coffee, and barley with slight wheat and chocolate notes. The can describes "an underlying tone of dried fruit" which I cannot taste. Unless yeast is a fruit, which it is not. Not much of an aftertaste besides a residual yeasty taste which disturbs me.

This brew looks excellent and tastes quite mediocre. Mill Street's Cobblestone Stout is a much more refined brew. I feel as though this brew would be excellent after a number of improvements. There are better porters for the money.

On a side note, I wish that this beer had some banana flavours. At first, I thought that the flower on the can was a banana, but on second glance I realized that I was wrong. I drank this porter wearing pyjamas, so I would have loved to have bananas in pyjamas. My dream was crushed upon drinking this brew. I did not take into account my fantasy in my review and rating of this brew.

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Photo of Grogsky
4.08/5  rDev +13.6%
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.

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Photo of FRANKIE65
2.49/5  rDev -30.6%
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.

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Photo of fscottkey
3.99/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

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Photo of Jonathan33373
3.46/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

I was expecting more carbonation, this beer seems to be a little flat for me. I am comparing it to of course one of my favorite drinks, vanilla coke, and so I was a little disappointed. I would not order another one of these, but it does the trick for the time being and I have had alot worst. It has a nice head to it, and pours smoothe. You can down it pretty easily but it doesn't really have a nice smell ( a little overwhelming.) In my opinion the BA score was a little high but I guess they have their reasons.

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Photo of Mlkluther
2.9/5  rDev -19.2%
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.

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Photo of Lunardr0ne
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%

440ml can from the LCBO.

A - dark brown, nice thick creamy foam

S - vanilla, milk chocolate, some roasted malt and a hint of coffee & molasses.

T - very close to the smell, roasted malts come trough a bit stronger and finishes with a little bit of hop bitterness. Vanilla flavor seems to fade somewhat as the beer warms up.

M - smooth, a bit too light for my liking. Leaves a tad dry and bitter aftertaste.

O - Decent dessert beer. Maybe a bit light to be great on it's own but combines nicely with rich desserts.

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Photo of Jeffo
2.11/5  rDev -41.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Got this one from Hopsolutely this past summer. Cheers guys!

From a 16oz can into a snifter

APPEARANCE: A clear brown pour produces a 1 ½ finger, thicker looking, creamy, off-white head with excellent retention. Nice cascading effect from the nitro as well. Clear dark brown body with no bubbles at all. Head slowly fades to a thick cap. A film remains until the end but leaves no lacing down the glass. Nice head and cascading effect, but a very light colored body, even for a porter.

SMELL: Vanilla, some milk chocolate and sweet cream, with light hints of roasted grain as well. Lots of vanilla. Vanilla bomb for sure.

TASTE: Again, heavy on the vanilla extract up front. Dried fruit and lightly roasted notes at the swallow, then a bold and lingering finish of vanilla extract, dried fruit, a bit of burnt malt and some leather flavors as well. Touches of chocolate bitterness under the vanilla and caramel sweetness, but this is all artificial vanilla extract all the time.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Not quite as creamy as expected for the style, unfortunately. Goes down fine and finishes a touch dry on the palate. A bit watery here.

OVERALL: Hate to say it, but this pretty bad. The vanilla tastes very artificial and the overall flavor is a touch too sweet to really be enjoyable. Wasn’t able to finish any more than half the can before I was forced to water the flowers a bit. This is unfortunate, as their Cobblestone Stout is so well done. Avoid this one in the future. Cheers again guys!

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Photo of patre_tim
4/5  rDev +11.4%

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.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.68/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

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Photo of DaveBar
4/5  rDev +11.4%
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!!!

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Photo of The-Jolly-Imbiber
3.63/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

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Photo of mick303
3.33/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from can into craft pint. Dark brown on pour and near opaque in the glass with a thick creamy head, not massive but very dense, decent retention and lacing.

S - whiffs of estery vanilla, candy sugar, sweet vanilla/hazelnut coffee, some notes of dark malts but not a ton, creamy lactose notes are strong, toffee and vanilla sweetness predominate.

T - start is sweet with the toffee vanilla profile of the nose, mild roasty malt profile, mild hazelnut coffee notes. Generally balanced, bitterness is earthy/mildly spicy, but does a fair job of giving this a balanced profile on the palate. Finish has some more dry vanilla, dry biscuity malt and some light roasty porter aspects. I would prefer less sweetness I think, complexity comes in actually not too badly, just an overabundance of sweet french vanilla hazelnut latte types of notes, otherwise this does a fairly good job and would appeal to a wide segment of drinkers.

M - its creamy initially but also refreshingly carbonated. Good all round smooth body for sessionability as I think it was intended to be, it nonetheless feels like its trying to straddle an uncomfortable divide between being a dessert beer and a bitter porter, and I think that is my main issue with this beer in general, as well as the fact it is missing a lot of the best porter aspects to be a vanilla beer...

I think mill street is pretty established on the 'everymans craft beer' track and this fits with that mantra, too sweet initially while also trying to be sessionable and bitter, I did enjoy it though. The vanilla is especially pronounced in the aroma, the beer itself has a fairly muted porter profile, comparatively little roastiness IMO. It is all in all quite one dimensional with the vanilla, worth a try maybe, just dont expect too much.

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Mill Street Vanilla Porter from Mill Street Brew Pub
82 out of 100 based on 57 ratings.