1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Vanilla Porter - Rohrbach Brewing Company (Brewpub)

Vanilla PorterVanilla Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

48 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 48
Reviews: 25
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 11.05%


Brewed by:
Rohrbach Brewing Company (Brewpub) visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Sammy on 08-31-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers
Ratings: 48 | Reviews: 25 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of indiapaleale
indiapaleale

Massachusetts

2.8/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours dark as night with a very thin offwhite head.

Smells strongly of vanilla extract, like when Mom was making cookies. A tad too strong if you ask me. Some chocoolate and coffee notes to follow but that strong astringent vanilla is very very present.

Taste is surprisingly that of cocoa and not of vanilla ice cream or cream soda. Lots of sweetness up front with some bitterness at the back of the tongue. Way too much flavor masking what could be a decent porter.

Not altogether bad per se, but there is a strange drying aftertaste with this beer. I couldn't finish more than half a pint. To be fair, I've not been a fan of any vanilla beers...

Serving type: on-tap

01-23-2009 03:04:48 | More by indiapaleale
Photo of rohrbachsfan
rohrbachsfan

New York

2.95/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This porter has the deep dark brown color typical of all porters. It's mouth feel is thick and creamy. Overall this is a good tasting porter but the vanilla flavor is too overwhelming for my taste. I would prefer the vanilla flavor to be tad more subtle.

Serving type: on-tap

02-26-2006 04:31:46 | More by rohrbachsfan
Photo of Kegatron
Kegatron

Pennsylvania

2.95/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap @ the Rohrbach Brewing Company (Rochester, NY) on 6/10/11. Served in a pint glass.

Pours black, topped with a ½ finger of mocha colored head. This retains with a thin creaminess and some rich edges, leaving back foamy swathes of lace down the sides of the glass. The aroma smells of chocolate, roasted coffee, citric hops, and some creamy vanilla flavor. Unfortunately, the aroma is also quite buttery, interfering with what was shaping up to be a decent nose on this.

The taste is chocolate, some sweeter caramel, roasted coffee character, and some green feeling hops for bitterness. A flush of vanilla comes out along the back, lingering in the finish a bit before hops and roast leave things dry and bitter. Butter is present here as well but isn’t quite as noticeable as the nose, as the strength of the flavors are able to mostly mask it. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a firm feel to the carbonation and an all around smooth feel for 6%. No complaints here.

I found this to actually be a fairly well done take on a Vanilla Porter (I thought that the vanilla extract flavor was going to come on too strong but it never did) but that buttery diacetyl off-flavor here really dropped this a notch. It’s a shame to, as other than that, this was shaping up to be a decent glass of beer.

Serving type: on-tap

06-15-2011 19:31:04 | More by Kegatron
Photo of aranheaney
aranheaney

New York

3.13/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served on tap at the Brew Fest on 1/14/12 at Lovin' Cup.

A-Dark brown, some head that hangs out for a bit

S-Good standard porter, roast, malt with some sweetness and nuttiness

T-not much bitterness, ALOT of vanilla, sugary sweet, too much for me, almost a root-beer, sasparilla kind of thing going on here, or maybe more cream soda now that I think of it.

M-kind of thin and watery

O-this was ok, not exactly my cup of tea (er beer), but I have been on a big RIS kick lately and this is way in the other direction from those ..

Serving type: on-tap

01-15-2012 19:23:12 | More by aranheaney
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.43/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

OK, this is a porter, unlike their regular porter which is a stout. Vanilla extract thrown in a good dose. Just too vanilla aroma and taste. It kept the palate a bit more active but still on thin side. Well carbonated and sugar in the vanilla extract.

Serving type: on-tap

08-31-2005 02:49:49 | More by Sammy
Photo of fightingirishcmk
fightingirishcmk

New York

3.45/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Had to wait a bit while they changed kegs, so this was the first glass from the new one. 2 fingered head that dissipated rather slowly. The color was a deep ruby brown. Lacing was light on the glass.

S: Vanilla and roasted malts. There is no denying that this is a vanilla flavored beer. Almost too much vanilla!

T: Overwhelming vanilla. This is a dessert beer, without a doubt. The caramel and chocolate malts were also there. After swallowing, you get a similar taste in your mouth after you eat vanilla ice cream. Not bad, but not completely balanced. Was this real vanilla bean they used? Makes me wonder...

M: Great mouthfeel, overall. It was very smooth and sat in my mouth well.

D: As much as this was a dessert beer, vanilla is one of my favorite flavors. I would most likely have this again.

Serving type: on-tap

01-05-2008 06:21:02 | More by fightingirishcmk
Photo of papaglide
papaglide

New York

3.56/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Poured out of a growler into a shaker glass.

A- awesome root beer color: dark mohogany with a nice quarter inch lace. Lace falls down quickly. Looks like it has low carbonation.

S- sweet roast with a hint of vanilla. No hop nose distinguishable.

T- sweetish, buttery, roasted coffee. Touch of vanilla. Not as hoppy as some porters are. Somewhat astringent but not annoyingly so. Finishes quite dry.

M- thin and with low carbonation.

O- My first Rohrbach sampling and I enjoyed the hell out of it. To me, this beer cries out drinkability. Its not a hoppy porter. It's a session porter with enough roastiness and hop dryness to fit the bill. Overall, it is a very drinkable and refreshing beer with just enough qualities to hit the spot when a porter is what I am looking for.

Serving type: growler

02-15-2013 01:06:09 | More by papaglide
Photo of kbnooshay
kbnooshay

New York

3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Chili's. Came to me with a quickly dissolving tan head. Body was super dark. Aroma was sweet and malty. This tastes like a chocolate milkshake with a nice hint of vanilla. Hints of chocolate/vanilla swirl cake. This is so dessert like that it barely tastes like a beer. There is some roasted malt flavor but the vanilla really dominates. Feel is smooth, but moderate to light. There is a coke like carbonation. This is easy to drink a lot of despite its darkness.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2010 16:02:26 | More by kbnooshay
Photo of Hermanater77
Hermanater77

Massachusetts

3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I was first introduced to the Rohrbach Brewery with a nice tall glass of their Vanilla Porter poured from a growler. Instant thrill for me as I was not expecting this to taste as good as it did. Not to mention, it is extremely easy to drink and goes down quicker than you can pour it. In all seriousness however, you would be wise to pick up a growler from the shelf to try. As is with all growlers, you will want to drink the entirety of the bottle within a few days (or best, within the day) because it will lose its carbonation and a little bit of glory if it sits in the fridge for too long, especially if it has been opened.
After being poured it doesn't look like a terribly special beer, and the smell doesn't leave much to the imagination, but you will be pleasantly surprised when you take your first sip, because this beer has a great, simple, smooth taste. It certainly doesn't taste or drink like water, but there is a nice drinkable quality to it. The Vanilla Porter is restrained, yet unique and for the price and convenience of a growler, definitely good value.

If it were up to me, I'd get it often, but as is with most local breweries, it is not available where I go to college. Fortunately, I can always enjoy the Vanilla Porter and all of the other Rohrbach's growlers (including Red Wing Ale) with old friends and family. Give it a whirl.

Serving type: growler

02-11-2011 03:11:58 | More by Hermanater77
Photo of Shoehornhands
Shoehornhands

New York

3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

This is my first review and I'm not really into the fancy write ups.

Picked this up in a Grolwer from Wegman's. Pour it into a pint glass. Very dark and black, little tan head (might be my crappy pour) that went down to lacing.

Smell is all vanilla to me. As others have said, it is lighter in the mouth than I'd expect from a porter. Roasted taste with a bitter finish, with hints of vanilla. I'm a bit surprised it isn't more vanilla-y. Nice carbonation.

I like it, maybe I tried it a bit too cold. Would give it another try.

Serving type: growler

02-23-2010 00:29:42 | More by Shoehornhands
Photo of dogfishandi
dogfishandi

New York

3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

served on-tap into a standard pint glass at Rodney's bar and restaurant.

almost black, actually a dark ruby brown color with a very nice looking super creamy light tan head. some nice retention and nice thick lacing at first.

vanilla definatly leads the pack in the aroma, creamy vanilla, a touch artificial. just hints of light roast and cocoa noticable in the back.

again, a nice creamy vanilla at the front, just a little artificial tasting at times, but still tasty. milky chocolate and light roast. kind of an odd estery winey finish at times.

light to medium in body, over carbonated, and a bit too thin feeling. still a nice creamy feel.

overall, not a bad attempt, a little too weak and one dimensional, but id drink this again if offered, wouldnt pay for it again however.

Serving type: on-tap

12-17-2011 00:59:16 | More by dogfishandi
Photo of dem
dem

New York

3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours from the growler with a medium tan head and lacing that fades quickly. Starts with a nice vanilla aroma, and very subtle vanilla taste. Vanilla fades away quickly as classic porter taste takes over. After a while, chocolate taste is revealed as beer warms. Hints of coffee behind the chocolate malt sweetness. A solid drinkable porter.

Serving type: growler

02-16-2006 02:27:27 | More by dem
Photo of yelterdow
yelterdow

New Jersey

3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Steve for hauling this growler back from the brewery for a taste. Served at just over fridge temperature in a pint glass.

Appearance- Pours a medium brown with a light tan head.

Smell- Aromas of coffee and vaniila, more of that than the roasted character you might expect from a porter. Very, very nice... the sweetness is really enticing.

Taste- Roasted coffee with vanilla undertones. Exquisitely balanced with regard to malt and hops, it's a great porter by all accounts.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Foaming and active, certainly exciting on the palate. Delicious, and a treat from Rohrbach.

Serving type: growler

12-19-2008 00:04:57 | More by yelterdow
Photo of wiseguy142
wiseguy142

New York

3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours near balck with a creamy mocha head- the perfect size and lacing as it starts to die down. Can't really ask for much more.

Moderate aroma of vanilla and milk chocolate. Like some sort of ice cream sundae.

Taste is very dry up front but vanilla dominates for most of the rest of the flavor. Slightly papery, followed by a short burst of chocolate malt. Keeps the dry, roasted aspect of a good porter down without diving into stout territory. Seems like they've toned the vanilla down a bit too from previous batches.

I think this porter and vanilla were made for each other. Especially with a growler of this sitting next to me, every sip I take makes me want more.

Serving type: growler

04-17-2009 04:15:46 | More by wiseguy142
Photo of Redrover
Redrover

Illinois

4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After a hearty dinner at the Rochester Dinosaur BBQ, I was in the mood for desert.

Served in a standard shaker pint, the beer is black with brown highlights

Nose of brown sugar vanilla and roasted grains. It is inviting and not artificial smelling.

Taste tracks the smell. Sweet with vanilla notes, roasted malts, a bit of brown sugar and a hint of smoke.

The mouth is an enjoyable and smooth. Easy drinker, I had 2 after dinner. My 2nd good beer from this brewer and I must say, Well Done!

Serving type: on-tap

11-20-2008 20:00:59 | More by Redrover
Photo of jrnold
jrnold

New York

4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: very dark almost black. Dark tan head a little less than a finger width which dissipates fairly quickly.

Smell: Strong vanilla and chocolate with hints of coffee.

Taste: Vanilla with some of the roast malt on the back of the tongue.

Mouthfeel: Thin and watery, but the carbonation is very crisp.

Drinkability: Overall, I liked the beer. The vanilla is a little strong, but it makes for a very tasty drink.

Serving type: growler

05-24-2009 22:49:06 | More by jrnold
Photo of pandashaver
pandashaver

South Carolina

4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a opaque dark brown/black with tan/off-white head. Head was not large (may be due to very cold serving temp), but however faded quickly which was a little disappointing but still left some lacing.

S - Vanilla scent atop the roasted malt. Very enticing.

T - Lots of vanilla comes through, along with the classic roasty and bitter porter taste. It's also a bit watery, but this lends to some added drinkability which is a nice change.

M - Very thin and watery initially, but some syrupy thickening afterward. Nice bitter, but not too bitter aftertaste with vanilla leaves me wanting more.

D - Very easy to drink, with or without a meal of any size. Definitely a plus in a flavorful local porter.

Serving type: growler

01-13-2009 19:50:20 | More by pandashaver
Photo of mrdalton
mrdalton

New York

4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Dark as night with a beautiful tan head.

S- I have a very hard time smelling anything unfortunately.

T- This beer starts out very bitter to me. With the first sip I get a lot roasted dark chocolate and vanilla flavor. The vanilla pretty much overpowers. But then it finishes with a creamy vanilla smoothness that I liken to french vanilla ice cream.

M/D- Great, heavy, creamy feel in the mouth, good beer to enjoy with food and to sip slowly.

Have had this in growlers from Beers of the World, and on tap at the Railroad St. location. I truly enjoy this beer either way.

Serving type: growler

06-13-2010 20:45:18 | More by mrdalton
Photo of Black7Blue
Black7Blue

New York

4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Nice black color. Not too heavy, classic porter feel.

S - The Vanilla tones come righ out from the pour. Good stuff right there.

T- The porter comes over the vanilla, but the vanilla leaves the aftertaste.

M - feels good in the mouth. I liked the light taste of the porter

D - It's a great beer to taste of have with a meal in the winter. Not an all night beer, but good for a growler.

*On a personal note, this was the first beer that I got in my growler (a limited Rochester Red Wings Rohrbach growler). She's a great friend of mine and this porter is greatly missed by her.

Serving type: growler

11-14-2007 18:04:51 | More by Black7Blue
Photo of sliverX
sliverX

S. Georgia & S. Sandwich Isls.

4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poors a very dark brown/black, thin mocha head that turns to film with most bubbles around the rim of the glass
Smell is faint coffee, vanilla, maple syrup
taste is of coffee, heavily of vanilla, with a hint of maple in the finish
mouthfeel is medium but is very clean and crisp in the mouth perfect carbonation
so very drinkable, lovely porter may just have to drink the whole 1/2 gallon growler

Serving type: growler

01-15-2009 03:05:48 | More by sliverX
Photo of LTS
LTS

New York

4.18/5  rDev +10%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I've discussed the vanilla porter with the guys at Rohrbachs and it has become clear that there was a bad batch that circulated Rochester at somepoint over the winter.

My first experience was a growler purchase from Beers of the World. The vanilla flavor was so harsh I could not finish even one beer. I thought at that point I was doomed.

Later I ventured into Rohrbachs to sample it from the source. I figured I could also discuss the hellish growler I had. Well, much to my surprise when they first poured me the pint I swore up and down it was the wrong beer.

The vanilla porter I had at Rohrbachs (and had, and had, and had) was absolutely fantastic. The vanilla flavor is very subtle. The smell from the pint indicated a faint vanilla flavor as well.

The head was beautiful and thick and stuck around for quite some time as I drained pint after pint.

The appearance was nothing special, in reality once you get that dark you aren't going to get much difference. I gave it a lower score on drinkability because after awhile the vanilla flavor does creep up on you. Three pints in a night would be pushing it. After the third pint I swore I had had enough vanilla to last a lifetime, but a few days later I went back for more.

Serving type: on-tap

07-31-2006 15:28:01 | More by LTS
Photo of yesyouam
yesyouam

New York

4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Rohrbach Vanilla Porter is a cola colored ale with a small beige head that leaves nice lacing on the glass. It has a dark roast coffee aroma with a note of chocolate. It is thick and creamy, pretty full bodied and smooth with a clean finish. The flavor has notes of vanilla creme, strawberry and chocolate. It's fruity, slightly sweet, milky and roasty. It's full flavored with a pretty clean finish. The flavor of roasted coffee lingers.
(rated Nov 28, 2008)

Serving type: growler

12-20-2008 03:31:01 | More by yesyouam
Photo of TheBrewo
TheBrewo

Michigan

4.22/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A pour from our growler gives us a dark brown brew with a quickly departing one finger high tan head. It is near complete opacity, but some light does shine through towards the bottom of the glass. Little lacing appears throughout the session. As the name suggests, the aroma houses light roasted malts and sweet vanilla. There are also faint notes of coffee beans and hops. The taste takes off with a bitter front, reminiscent of black coffee. This folds to a middle that is highlighted by phenols, malts, and the start to a strong vanilla flavoring. The latter brings us into the aftertaste which is sweet, leaving the mouth cooled. The mouthfeel is otherwise moderately creamy and carbonated. Drinkability remains high, and the medium body and sweeter characteristics keep you going back for more.

Overall, our favorite thing about this brew is the smooth taste. Even through to the aftertaste, the flavors carry the beer, making you want to continually replenish the sip that just departed with another fresh one.

Serving type: growler

12-01-2010 23:45:04 | More by TheBrewo
Photo of generallee
generallee

New York

4.38/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: It was poured from tap and served in a pint glass at the Rohrbach brewpub.

Appearance: The body has a dark brown, almost black color with a small one finger tan head. The head hangs on well and makes some lacing on the glass as I drink.

Smell: In the nose I pick up a nice roasty, toasty character with a pleasant whiff of vanilla.

Taste/Palate: On the tongue I pick up the roasted sweetness and toasted semi-bitterness from the malt. There are hints of toasted bread, dark chocolate and coffee with a nice level of sweet vanilla creaminess running through the center. The hops are not much of a noticeable factor but do held with balancing the malt sweetness. The palate is smooth but well carbonated with a solid medium feel.

Notes: To me vanilla can be a dangerous thing in a beer. If it's not done right it can come of as tasting like Vanilla Coke. This beer is done right. It still has enough bitterness and body to remind you that you are drinking a beer. Well Done Rohrbach!!!

Serving type: on-tap

01-28-2011 13:39:59 | More by generallee
Photo of DmanGTR
DmanGTR

New York

4.5/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap recently at Rohrbachs and reviewing from notes. This year's batch is IMO far superior to last year's. Poured very dark brown, nearly black with ruby hues in the light. Tan head retained well and laced down the pint glass. Rich malty sweetness, cream, and a touch of vanilla. Taste follows suit. Incredibly smooth and mildly carbonated. Silky and highly sessionable.

I think it's better than last year's because the vanilla is far more subtle this time. It allows the roasted malt flavors to round it out a bit. Another well done brew by Rohrbachs.

Serving type: on-tap

12-24-2008 06:34:41 | More by DmanGTR
Vanilla Porter from Rohrbach Brewing Company (Brewpub)
85 out of 100 based on 48 ratings.