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Mill Street Vanilla Porter | Mill Street Brew Pub

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BA SCORE
82
good
59 Reviews
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
59
Ratings:
190
Avg:
3.61
pDev:
26.87%
 
 
Wants:
10
Gots:
42
For Trade:
0
Mill Street Vanilla PorterMill Street Vanilla Porter
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Mill Street Brew Pub
Ontario, Canada | website

Style: English Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Viggo on 12-12-2009

User Reviews
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Reviews: 59 | Ratings: 190
Photo of thebhoy
1.89/5  rDev -47.6%
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.

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Photo of biegaman
3.3/5  rDev -8.6%
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.

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Photo of kwjd
3.6/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

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Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.53/5  rDev -2.2%
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 mrmanning
3.62/5  rDev +0.3%
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 GodOfBeer
3.87/5  rDev +7.2%
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 cratez
3.53/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

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Photo of bobsy
2.78/5  rDev -23%
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.

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Photo of Viggo
3.12/5  rDev -13.6%
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.

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Mill Street Vanilla Porter from Mill Street Brew Pub
82 out of 100 based on 59 ratings.