Stoney Creek Vanilla Porter - Stoney Creek Brewing Company
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Ratings: 99 | Reviews: 94 | Display Reviews Only:
3.93/5 rDev +6.2%
Walnut brown suffused with crimson and topped by a large, toasted tan head of fine-bubbled foam. The head appears to be fairly stubborn, so I'll get back to you on the lacing (very little as it turns out).
Pleasant aroma of powdered cocoa and vanilla. I had feared that the vanilla would be an afterthought, a subtle part of the porter nose, but that isn't the case. Thankfully, the brewers saw fit to add enough vanilla (Madagascar vanilla beans, to be exact) to make it an integral part of the brew.
Atwater Block didn't just 'dry bean' this with vanilla because the flavor matches the nose for vanillaiciousness. Melted milk chocolate isn't overwhelmed by the vanilla, but it's close. This beer is a smashingly good combination of those two flavors where each contributes equally and the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. I'm sure it was a fine line with the vanilla (as in most flavored beer), but it seems to me that they ended up pretty close to perfect.
The malt backbone is big enough and there's a sweetness and a smoothness in the mouth that bears that out. A mildly bitter hop bite on the finish turns a sweet beginning into a bittersweet end. I had hoped for a slightly more full mouthfeel, but the medium one that has been provided is helped by a sedate amount of carbonation.
I enjoy something out of the ordinary once in a while and since this beer combines one of my favorite styles (porter) with one of my favorite flavors (vanilla), I was bound to like it. Given the trickiness of flavor balancing, Atwater Block could still have dropped the ball. To their credit, they didn't. If a vanilla porter sounds like your thing, then I think you gonna like this one.
11-09-2004 19:39:15 | More by BuckeyeNation
3.53/5 rDev -4.6%
Appearance: Pours a mahogany body with a beige head; decent retention but little lacing
Smell: A touch of vanilla over some roasted grainy notes
Taste: Starts out with a roasted character; mid-palate some coffee/tobacco bitterness kicks in and there are some sour notes as well; the vanilla appears at the end along with some sweetness
Mouthfeel: Light/medium bodied but rather fizzy
Drinkability: OK, but not particularly enticing
01-29-2006 02:19:39 | More by brentk56
3.45/5 rDev -6.8%
Had this awhile back visiting family and friends,pours a deep brown with a light but sticky head,the aroma is slightly sweet and roasted. The flavor is roasted malt and light vanilla not overbearing by any means.A light flavored porter. a little uninspired but not bad.
08-17-2003 23:39:17 | More by oberon
3.88/5 rDev +4.9%
A creamy dark-tan head rests lazily atop a dark brown body that displays clear, mahogany highlights when held to the light. The head retention is fair and it slowly drops to a decent, creamy collar and thin surface covering. Unfortunately, it leaves next to no lace about the glass. The nose reveals sweet hints of the promised vanilla atop a slightly roasty chocolate and caramel malt base. The body is medium and it's very nicely creamy in the mouth (which helps to accentuate it's malty sweetness) due to a very fine and moderate carbonation. The flavor delivers a combination of gently acidic dark malt and vanilla flavor up-front; but softens almost immediately into rich, sweet chocolate and caramel. The vanilla becomes much more distinct in the lingering finish that's not bitter but has a touch of acidity that balances. It's actually quite nice (and I was much more impressed with this beer than another vanilla porter that I tasted side-by-side with it). Well-balanced, rich, and interesting with a twist of vanilla that plays a supporting role rather than taking center stage. Surprisingly... probably worth trying!
06-12-2003 14:48:41 | More by NeroFiddled
3.95/5 rDev +6.8%
Appearance: Dark black even when held up to light it barely shows any ruby highlights, big tan head coats to the glass leaves specks sporadically. Aroma: Vanilla beans are evident blended with the dark roasted malts makes a great mix chocolate, coffee, and vanilla seems like something ordered at a Starbucks but the Vanilla really shines through and takes the center stage here. Taste: Dark roasted malts are a bit harsh but the vanilla is soft enough to even out the bitterness from the heavily toasted grains a touch of hops here but no real hop profile to describe in depth, good overall. Mouthfeel: Is medium bodied a bit viscous but not really thick, even carbonation nothing amazing but solid. Drinkability: A nice all around vanilla porter, nothing is overdone and best of all doesn't seem like an extract flavoring there was Vanilla beans added to the boil, good stuff.
02-29-2004 20:44:49 | More by WVbeergeek
2.6/5 rDev -29.7%
Big, creamy tan head. Totally black. Intense vanilla nose, with some chocolate, high carbonation. Not sure that I like that combo...no, I'm sure I don't. I don't enjoy vanilla enough to have it in a porter, one of my favorite styles. It's not awful, but I just don't see the point. Once the novelty of the vanilla flavor wears off, it's more like a Dr. Pepper than a true blue porter.
12-09-2002 13:55:02 | More by feloniousmonk
3.58/5 rDev -3.2%
The beer pours a deep, dark black color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is average. It has a stale black malt scent along with some light vanilla notes and a bit of roasted malt aroma. The taste is decent. It has a smooth black and chocolate malt flavor that goes down easy and finishes dry and earthy. It has a vanilla feel, but nothing over the top. I can see why there isn't too many of these around. The mouthfeel is good. It is a full flavored beer with adequate carbonation. This is a neat concept. I like the flavor, but it isn't what I'd imagined it to be. Overall, a pretty good porter.
01-09-2006 02:29:26 | More by WesWes
4.03/5 rDev +8.9%
Appearance: It poured an almost black color with a medium caramel colored head.
Smell: the aroma was a pleasant level of roasted malt and vanilla.
Taste: the flavor was different and quite interesting. Roasted malt, vanilla, coffee, and hints of chocolate were evident.
Mouthfeel: the malt and coffee flavors lasted long after swallowing, while the vanilla seemed to fade a little quicker. Medium bodied. Slight dry finish.
Drinkability: extemely flavorful, but one of these would be enough in a sitting. Never had a vanilla porter before and this was quite different.
11-08-2003 04:06:31 | More by Gavage
4/5 rDev +8.1%
Appears a black with a small tan head and scattered lacing left behind.
Smell is of vanilla creaminess with a sweet creamy sugar aroma.
Taste is of sweet vanilla and cream with chocolate malt and a hint of anise.
Mouthfeel is smooth, sweet, rich, and full bodied.
Drinkability is nice.
11-30-2005 03:04:20 | More by weeare138
3.65/5 rDev -1.4%
12 ounce brown bottle sampled, no freshness dating offered. Pours typical porter, near black, darkest of browns. Minimal tan head, moderate lacing left on the glass. Nose is, you guessed it, vanilla. Initially quite strong and sweet. Notes include, more vanilla, some roasted and sweet malt and perhaps a hint of sweet cola. Fairly soft and smooth mouthfeel, tastwise things clear out quickly and the finish is non descript. Good porter to try on newbies. Lightly hopped, sweet and quite quaffable. Pleasant enuf, sweet porter.
04-23-2005 00:05:56 | More by Billolick
4.35/5 rDev +17.6%
Poured into pint glass.
A good aroma...coffee, pepper, vanilla, cherry.
Nice deep brown/black color. Head was a light brown, foaming heap of suds..mmm.
Coffee hits first, followed by sugar, pepper, toffee , malt and chocolate..and then the vanilla and hops. A good balance. Very good style. Close to the Breckenridge Vanilla Porter
01-30-2006 21:26:46 | More by Mebuzzard
4.65/5 rDev +25.7%
Appearance- Good dark, dark, dark brown top but practically black thoughout the body of beer. Pours with a 1 finger head.
Smell- Malty, chocolatety, and of course vanilla-ish.
Taste- Greta vanilla sweetness but not so much that you forget you are drinking beer. Almost like chocolate/vanilla malt from Baskin Robbins. With much more malt and a hint of bitters to keep the sweetness beery.
Mouthfeel- medium palate, very smooth but les your palate know there is VANILLA in this porter. Hint of sourness aftertaste on the back of the tongue.
Drinkability- Would have to another and another for desert or two with a creamy, rich cake of some sort.
12-07-2005 02:17:33 | More by scruffwhor
3.6/5 rDev -2.7%
I was expecting an overpowering vanilla aroma/flavor but that was not the case. The coffee flavor was great but it was a little on the carbonated side. Very thin head although it had a nice chocolate color. The downside is I can see this beer not having much longevity. It makes a great dessert beer but I wouldn't want to throw back a 6-pack. All in all, a decent porter that I would definitely get again (just one at a time).
08-01-2002 12:45:18 | More by Dogbrick
3.78/5 rDev +2.2%
Color is brown stout like with a bright off- white head that is light. Vanilla is very strong at first smell, I wasn't ready for that, but has good roasty aroma underneath. Taste is very mixed and seemed to change alot from a roasty malt to a vanilla shake. Maybe the vanilla moves around or something, but with some sips it wasn't present, and with others it was almost to much. Overall it was a good experience to try this, but it wasn't quite a porter in my book. It was closer to a milky stout. Somewhere in between those. I'd drink it again if given the opportunity.
03-15-2003 08:30:55 | More by tavernjef
2.08/5 rDev -43.8%
Black bodied with ruby-orange edges. Dark brown head fades out completely after a few moments.
Funky aroma of artificial vanilla (even though it is insisted that it is all natural vanilla flavors), smoke, roastedness, paper. Pretty nasty.
Tastes is big on a very off vanilla flavor. Smoked flavors loom large, though I imagine they shouldn't. Roasted malts and rotting dark fruit.
Med-Thick body becomes cloying with all the strange flavors floating around.
Contemplated dumping this, and probably should have. There is a lingering aftertaste that is nearly nausea-inducing.
11-20-2002 00:16:55 | More by cokes
3.93/5 rDev +6.2%
Dark, maple-syrup brown body with a small, light-tan head.
Smells of roasted coffee, dark chocolate, and sweet vanilla rum. Nice.
Tastes much like it smells. Roasty coffee blends nicely with the chocolate and the vanilla. Vanilla isnt too strong or sweet (like it could be). Finish is roasty and bitter with lingering vanilla essence. Creamy, full-body feel. Velvety and nice, especially for a beer that could easily be screwed up (vanilla).
10-27-2004 18:22:19 | More by alexgash
4.7/5 rDev +27%
This is a great change of pace. Body is surprisingly light, with pronounced dark chocolate notes and a delicate vanilla bean finish. Extremely smooth, and mildly hopped. Most of the bittering seems to come from the roasted malt. A good after dinner drink. Be sure to get this fresh, however, as the vanilla seems to develop a burned character when it gets old.
08-15-2001 18:26:57 | More by Brent
3.85/5 rDev +4.1%
Dark brownish-black color with modest head but very good lacing. Milk-chocolate vies with lightly roasted malt in the nose. First taste is coffee-ish malt, fairly ordinary, but after a couple seconds a huge vanilla flavor roars in. If there's any hops, I can't find them under all the vanilla. Or any other flavors, in fact. Astringent texture with medium carbonation.
If you appreciate vanilla, this is a tasty beer, but it lacks subtlety. I enjoyed the first few quaffs, but it became rather boring half-way through.
01-24-2006 02:47:15 | More by allengarvin
2.73/5 rDev -26.2%
Deep, deep brown. Head is very dark as well but is gone after 30 seconds. Just a trace of malt aromas. Malt flavor warbles in the mouth, a bit of chocolate at the finish along with the vanilla. Hops minimal at most. There's a trace of sourness at first and an off taste at the back of the mouth that is suspiciously similar to rancid vanilla beans. Body is not very impressive, either. I've got to give a thumb's down though the possibility of an old bottle might be the culprit (suggested by Brent in his review). There wasn't any dust on the bottle, though.
04-24-2002 08:31:02 | More by ADR
2.93/5 rDev -20.8%
Black. Semi fragrant and attractive aroma highlighting the vanilla beans quite well along with the malt nose, which shows a bit of chocolate and roast. The flavor is a bit sweet with heavy vanilla and the slight hop fragrance in the nose has vanished. The malt backing, which was present in the nose, just does not back up the heavy and sweet vanilla beans. A bit sweet and a bit one dimensional.
03-29-2006 01:59:13 | More by Crosling
2.88/5 rDev -22.2%
Dark brown in hue, almost black, there is a tickle of ruby around the edges. The head was beige in color; at the apex the foam was one finger in height but it quickly, and loudly, faded to a thin collar and then to nothing. After a few moments the liquid was naked. Needless to say, head retention was very poor. Oh yeah, there is no subsequent lacing. The appearance is adequate, I suppose. Oh my, the nose is so rich with vanilla, I cant believe it. The bouquet is a mixture of vanilla liquor drizzled on ice cream (I smell pecans?) and vanilla wafers. There isnt much development beyond that if there is some maltiness I cant detect it because the vanilla is that loud! Wow, the vanilla is strong and this makes the nose a bit sluggish. I wish there was something more to it. Did I say the nose has a lot of vanilla? The palate offers a blast of, come on guess yep, vanilla. Rich vanilla like good vanilla ice cream, the palate is sluggish like Ive been drinking a big-ass vanilla shake. Cloying. I like vanilla but not this much. Sweet. Flat. Tiresome. I could really use some more malt to breakup the god, I dont even want to type that word again. Yuck. I love vanilla in Porters or Stouts but this is way to heavy-handed. There is something gimmicky about it. Where is anything that says, Porter in the smell or taste? It is Alco-pop, cream soda with alcohol. Good with food? Maybe some killer chocolate. The mouthfeel is thick, medium/medium-full in body, the carbonation is very low and this makes this beer unpleasant to drink. What a shame. I needed a little effervescence to help cut the vanilla. Drinkable? No. Is my 12-ounce bottle finishable? No. Im not digging this simplistic, heavy handed, untalented beer. Blah. I purchased one bottle in Iowa City for $1.60. I will not be purchasing more. Not recommended.
04-15-2005 19:24:31 | More by bditty187
3/5 rDev -18.9%
Hey, who put a cream soda in my beer?
Pours black and highlight-less, topped by a big frothy light brown head. Too bad the head drops to a thin layer way too soon, with little lacing in it's wake. Aroma has bits of vanilla, coffee, and cocoa, but it's surprisingly low-key. Taste has similar elements, but also nothing to shout about. The vanilla masks the hop qualities of the brew. Mouthfeel might be thin, but I do tend to like my porters chewy. Drinkability is easy, but desireability is just "eh". I could have another, but I'm in no real rush for one.
Lesson here: before we look to make a flavored porter, let's make an above average porter first.
This beer really impressed when I first tried it several years ago. Many beers later, I guess I'm a tougher sell.
08-27-2003 03:09:34 | More by RonfromJersey
3.23/5 rDev -12.7%
Pours a nearly opaque black with about an inch of creamy dense head. Smells of vanilla, caramel, mocha and malt. Starts off tasting of sweet vanilla and finishes with both coffee and cocoa notes along with some mild bitterness. Feels slightly thin in the mouth but contains a fair amount of carbonation. A nice change up from the ordinary porter. One to try for all fans of the style.
11-10-2006 17:32:30 | More by ClockworkOrange
3.53/5 rDev -4.6%
Deep brown in color, almost opaque. Very little head when poured, disappears quickly, modest lace. Very strong aroma of vanilla, subtle malts. Flavor is of vanilla, molasses, and bittersweet chocolate, with vanilla and roasted malt finish; overall, the taste is very sweet for a beer. This would be a very nice dessert beer.
Having read the previous reviews, I believe that this sample is fresh and reflects the brewer's intent. Certainly worth a try for a change of pace.
04-28-2002 08:15:03 | More by Pegasus
Stoney Creek Vanilla Porter from Stoney Creek Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 99 ratings.