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Mill Street Vanilla Porter - Mill Street Brew Pub

Not Rated.
Mill Street Vanilla PorterMill Street Vanilla Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
80
good

114 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 114
Reviews: 38
rAvg: 3.53
pDev: 13.6%
Wants: 4
Gots: 8 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Viggo on 12-12-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 114 | Reviews: 38 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.36/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

Phyl21ca, Jan 12, 2014
Photo of biboergosum
3.71/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

biboergosum, Jan 21, 2013
Photo of wrightst
4/5  rDev +13.3%

wrightst, Sep 12, 2014
Photo of ppoitras
3.84/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

ppoitras, Dec 04, 2013
Photo of biegaman
3.25/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On-tap at C'est What?, in Toronto.

Vanilla seems to have had at least as much influence on appearance as it has the other aspects: the beer is far from black, but rather an exact vanilla bean brown and even offers extensive clarity beyond all its lovely highlights. The quality of froth produced by the nitro-tap makes this look like a freshly-shaken milkshake. Dessert is now served!

My sweet-tooth and I have big expectations for a vanilla porter. The smells of hot-chocolate powder and vanilla - although far, far from decadent and, as anticipated, seemingly a little artificial - still remind of creme anglaise, which means we're off to a good start. (Mind you, I'd have liked some chocolate brownies or coffee to go with it!)

Turns out the aroma wasn't concealing any secrets: the beer really is just that simple and prosaic. And, for that matter, unimpressive. You'd think that a vanilla porter would have flavours that go on and on like a PBS fundraiser. But no. This tastes simply like one of those mass-produced cupcakes buried under a mound of fake icing you'd find at Wal-Mart.

And that might work, if only it had some supporting cast; cloying sweetness is less a product of the vanilla flavour than it is the lack of dark roast malts to stand in its way. This is a bit of a string-bean. The diluted taste and absence of said malts makes this difficult to take seriously as a porter and is really to the detriment of both its flavour and drinkability.

Vanilla is one of my favourite flavours for any sweet treat and I've yet to find a vanilla something or other that I can't at least tolerate with a smile. But I don't love it enough to overlook this beer's lack of maltiness and other flavours. Gimmicky or not, a porter requires more than just some artificial flavouring. Otherwise, it's not much of a porter at all.

biegaman, Feb 03, 2011
Photo of Viggo
3.13/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Viggo, Dec 12, 2009
Photo of DrJay
3.51/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear chestnut, a bit of a reddish hue, topped by dense tan foam. Good head retention, spotty lacing. Roasty aroma, slight vanilla, chocolate. Low bitterness, more chocolate and vanilla, light roast, brown sugar and cocoa. Medium bodied, low carbonation. Decent overall. I liked that the vanilla was more of an accent than an overpowering characteristic.

DrJay, Jan 03, 2014
Photo of liamt07
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

liamt07, Oct 25, 2013
Photo of wordemupg
3.51/5  rDev -0.6%
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

wordemupg, Nov 10, 2013
Photo of flagmantho
3.69/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

flagmantho, May 21, 2014
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.08/5  rDev -12.7%
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.

TheSevenDuffs, Dec 09, 2011
Photo of spinrsx
3.43/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

spinrsx, Nov 05, 2013
Photo of tbeckett
4.03/5  rDev +14.2%
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.

tbeckett, Jan 29, 2012
Photo of laituegonflable
2.84/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

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.

laituegonflable, Aug 06, 2013
Photo of canucklehead
3.16/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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,

canucklehead, Nov 17, 2013
Photo of andrenaline
3.75/5  rDev +6.2%

andrenaline, Dec 31, 2013
Photo of bobsy
2.78/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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.

bobsy, Jan 17, 2010
Photo of kwjd
3.58/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

kwjd, Dec 16, 2010
Photo of Molson2000
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

Molson2000, Apr 03, 2014
Photo of cfalovo97
3/5  rDev -15%

cfalovo97, Nov 06, 2012
Photo of Howlader
4/5  rDev +13.3%

Howlader, Jul 20, 2014
Photo of joemcgrath27
4/5  rDev +13.3%

joemcgrath27, Mar 09, 2014
Photo of schnarr84
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

schnarr84, Mar 06, 2014
Photo of Kmat10
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

Kmat10, Jan 24, 2014
Photo of patre_tim
4/5  rDev +13.3%

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.

patre_tim, Sep 10, 2014
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Mill Street Vanilla Porter from Mill Street Brew Pub
80 out of 100 based on 114 ratings.