Mill Street Vanilla Porter - Mill Street Brew Pub
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Ratings: 107 | Reviews: 37 | Display Reviews Only:
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
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
3.71/5 rDev +5.7%
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.
01-21-2013 23:11:47 | More by biboergosum
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
3.65/5 rDev +4%
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.
02-13-2012 00:30:04 | More by hopsolutely
4.03/5 rDev +14.8%
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.
01-29-2012 22:09:25 | More by tbeckett
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
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
3.25/5 rDev -7.4%
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.
02-03-2011 05:07:48 | More by biegaman
Mill Street Vanilla Porter from Mill Street Brew Pub
80 out of 100 based on 107 ratings.