Mill Street Vanilla Porter - Mill Street Brew Pub
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Ratings: 108 | Reviews: 37 | Display Reviews Only:
1.8/5 rDev -48.7%
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.
02-22-2011 07:22:50 | More by thebhoy
2.25/5 rDev -35.9%
Didn't know what to expect on trying this. I poured it into a glass and knew right off the bat it was going to be a love it or hate it situation. Colour was very dark brown blocking all light going through the glass, good foam and very strong but enjoyable smell.
One sip and I was overwhelmed with a taste of chocolate and vanilla. Not much beer here. Extremely sweet and too thick. I couldn't stomach it. Tried to take another sip and had to call it quits. Definitely has a niche market but I doubt a go-to drink for any beer lover.
02-02-2014 02:22:36 | More by haharight
2.78/5 rDev -20.8%
On tap at the brewpub.
Comes to the table with a wonderfully cascading creamy off-white head. Huge sheets of lace, and an ever present nice cap round off a nice nitro appearance, which is only marred by the fact that the russet coloured body is off base for a porter. Sadly, while the nitro works wonders for the body, it kills the aroma. All I get is faint vanilla and chocolate malt.
The flavour is decent enough, but completely lacking the roast of a porter, and as its advertised as such, is a rare fail for Mill Street. There's certainly nice chocolate and vanilla notes that make this a pleasant drinker, but little else and certainly nothing in the character of a real porter. A porter on nitro is a bit strange anyway, but its does lend a smoothness to this beer that works well with the chocolate and vanilla flavours.
It was a pleasant drink, but if you come across it do not expect anything like the porter style.
01-17-2010 20:20:54 | More by bobsy
2.78/5 rDev -20.8%
Picked out two 500ml cans of this stuff at an LCBO. I won't say which LCBO, but it's much better known for its selection of deeply-chilled discount Ontario macros and mass-produced Euro-pilsners than it is for its craft brews.
When I arrived at the till, the clerk asked me if I'd tried it yet. I said I hadn't. She excitedly informed me that it was an amazing beer, but that it had to be served really cold. She recommended that I remove it from the fridge and put it in the freezer for 10 or 15 minutes before serving. She then warned me about the dangers of leaving beer in the freezer too long. Had there not been a lineup I might have asked to hear the rest of that story.
I chilled the beer for significantly less than the recommended time, then slowly poured it into an imperial pint glass. It poured quicker than expected, but cascaded into a dark mahogany body with a soft, fluffy, half-inch beige head. Gorgeous.
For some reason I expected a dark-chocolate and vanilla nose, but it was more of a milk chocolate truffle. A bit of spice and dark syrup (black cherry?) lingered underneath.
Upon first sip, I immediately noticed the mouthfeel. It was very thin for a porter. I felt like I had to go digging for the malts. Chocolate syrup, roasted coffee beans. Not special and not enough malt character. Then came a wave of "flavour" that made me wish I'd heeded the red flags that were waved in my face at the LCBO. The vanilla tasted generic, artificial and added rather than integrated. Some caramel and dark fruit. A bit coppery as well.
Overall quite disappointing. Not enough malt character for a porter. It's almost as if they took their excellent Cobblestone Stout and threw some artificial flavour at it.
That second can may well be served as a dessert beer, and I just might take LCBO Lady up on her serving suggestion and give it the deep freeze first.
11-07-2013 16:58:48 | More by NedShakeshaft
2.79/5 rDev -20.5%
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.
11-04-2013 18:48:58 | More by EvanHarper
2.84/5 rDev -19.1%
On tap at the brew pub, 9th July 2013.
Pours a dark red-brown colour. Definitely too pale for porter. Head is nice, dense ecru foam. Decent lace. Looks great, apart from the colour which is just wrong.
Smells tasty. Very sweet, with vanilla making itself very much felt, then giving way to caramelly malts and a touch of crême brulée. Wouldn't mind more roast or chocolate notes, but it's still a very enticing desserty smell.
Taste is quite watery upfront, I think yet another flow-on effect from insufficient dark malt for the style. Vanilla midway is quite nice, sweet with a touch of spice; cinnamon mostly. Finishes maybe slightly bitter with a touch of chocolate, which maybe demonstrates that there is malt, and maybe it's chocolate malt or slightly roasted, but not nearly enough.
Surprisingly decent body upfront, but gets thin very quickly. Not great.
Vanilla yes, porter definitely not. From the marketing around this pub it almost seems to me like they're afraid of putting people off with big-flavoured brews. I get that but this effort is just weak. No brewer should ever be afraid of making a proper dark beer. They can still be sweet, tasty and drinkable anyway.
08-06-2013 05:37:10 | More by laituegonflable
3.08/5 rDev -12.3%
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.
12-09-2011 16:01:54 | More by TheSevenDuffs
3.1/5 rDev -11.7%
Nitro pint served in branded glassware at SmoQue Shack in Ottawa, ON.
Clear dark brown beer with a thick nitro induced light tan head, a hint lighter than I had expected. Decent nose dominated by vanilla and not much else. The body is thin with no roast notes evident and the only flavour in play is vanilla. This may have been served a little cold but even as it warmed, no real other flavours came out. One-dimensional to a fault.
12-30-2012 20:56:38 | More by kjyost
3.13/5 rDev -10.8%
On nitro at the brewpub.
At first I thought this was the wrong beer, as it pours a light reddish brown, very light, definitely not much of a porter colour, big and thick off white head forms, settles to a thick ring, good lace chunks on the glass.
Smell is very light, a bit of vanilla, some sweet maltiness, caramel, honey wafers, a touch of biscuit and grain, light nuttiness, some more vanilla, no porter character.
Taste is similar, quite sweet and malty up front, honey/caramel, nuts, wafers, some biscuit, bit of brown sugar, some sweet vanilla, no porter character.
Mouthfeel is light bodied with low carbonation, creamy and smooth. I have no idea who decided this was a porter. Zero porter character from the appearance down to the taste. Vanilla is alright but seems a little fake. Not too bad as a beer but as a porter this is shameful.
12-12-2009 14:56:07 | More by Viggo
British Columbia (Canada)
3.16/5 rDev -10%
From the mixed winter 6 pack. Pours big and thick but the mouthfeel is underwhelming. The Vanilla is actually not a big detriment to the beer but rather a part of the flavour. I wanted a richer beer and the lack of a real mouthfeel let me down. Not as good as the cobblestone stout but drinkable,
11-17-2013 02:57:32 | More by canucklehead
3.23/5 rDev -8%
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.
10-27-2013 03:20:22 | More by DenisKolkin
Mill Street Vanilla Porter from Mill Street Brew Pub
80 out of 100 based on 108 ratings.