Red Brick Brick Mason Series #8: Vanilla Gorilla - Red Brick Brewing Company
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3.68/5 rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Brewed in the style of an American Porter with vanilla beans added. Entry #8 into the Red Brick Brewing's Brick Mason one-off series, there is no label information for this beer.
Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a Red Brick snifter. Served above 58º Fahrenheit.
(Appearance) Pours a creamy, frothed cocoa cream head over a very dark brown, near black body, very dense. Retention is above average and lacing is light and stringy. 4.5
(Smell) Moderate roasted malt, a pinch of cocoa nibs, some lactic sweetness and a pinch of black patent malt for an earthy bitterness. A pleasing vanilla aroma amidst the malt profile is mellow by comparison but certainly a potent component of the aroma. The aroma is fairly well balanced with a good balance of earthy and grainy bitterness to malt sweetness. Potency is medium. 3.75
(Taste) Moderately toasted caramel malts, earthy black patent malt bitterness over a subtle under sweetened bready malt base. Unfortunately, the vanilla bean is much less of a key component in the flavor than it was in the aroma and doesn't play much benefit to the diversity of the flavor of the beer here. The porter finishes with a wave of moderately roasted malt for a nice toasty finish. 3.5
(Mouthfeel) Mouthfeel is smooth, moderately full and creamy. Carbonation generates a creamy, soft texture with a minimal frothiness. Body is medium+ for an American Porter and medium+ overall, although the body may be to a minimum within the "imperial" porter market. Balance is nearly equal between bitterness and sweetness with a slight edge to the latter for a fuller-bodied but still very drinkable porter. Alcohol presence is mild and astringencies are to a minimum. 3.75
(Overall) Red Brick crafts fine porters if nothing else, and Vanilla Gorilla, in its standard and smoked variations (released in 2011 & 2012) seem to be some of the highest demand beers that they've done in recent years. For what it's worth, it's a solid crafted malt body with a niche market invested in vanilla beans that just doesn't pan out as distinctively as one may hope, playing more of a contribution to the beer than making itself a headliner. I don't expect Red Brick to shy away from the Vanilla Gorilla market too soon, but think that refining the balance of ingredients could bring out the unique subtleties of vanilla more. As dangerous to drinkability as it may sound, a beer that has a strong vanilla bean emphasis- thinking vanilla bean ice cream- may be preferable for some, but to a few, the vanilla that they find in this beer may fall below expectations. 3.75
Red Brick Brewing Company's
Brick Mason: Vanilla Gorilla
Serving type: bottle
04-30-2014 02:03:09 | More by Jadjunk
Red Brick Brick Mason Series #8: Vanilla Gorilla from Red Brick Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 66 ratings.