Red Brick Brick Mason Series #4: Smoked Vanilla Gorilla - Red Brick Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Red Brick Brick Mason Series #4: Smoked Vanilla GorillaRed Brick Brick Mason Series #4: Smoked Vanilla Gorilla

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
80
good

194 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 194
Reviews: 81
rAvg: 3.51
pDev: 24.79%
Wants: 15
Gots: 21 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Red Brick Brewing Company visit their website
Georgia, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  7.80% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: AdamBear on 09-21-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 194 | Reviews: 81
Reviews by smonice:
More User Reviews:
Photo of dogfishandi
3.82/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

big thanks to my man tom for letting me try a bottle of this!

12oz bottle at fridge temp poured into a snifter. no freshness info.

pours out pretty much opaque black, reveals a bit of ruby, brown on the edges in the light. small light tan head that faded pretty quickly to a ring and some light patchy foam, then eventually nothing. no lace.

the aroma doesnt have much to offer at first. as it warms i get lots of vanilla. some roasty milk chocolate, and a hint of some woody, smokey qualities.

lots of roast and vanilla at the forefront. also, lots of milk chocolate and maybe some coffee makes itself known. a bit of smokiness is noticeable, more as it warms, but almost nothing from the whiskey barrel aging. different than most stronger porters, off the first sip i almost got a strange kind of barrel funkiness.

for me, the moughtfeel felt a bit too thin for the style, and just a touch too much of a bitey carbonation.

not really sure what to make of this beer, at times the flavor was great, at times, it tasted off. nice vanilla bean taste, not too sure on the whiskey barrel though. a worthy beer non the less.

Photo of chinchill
3.26/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, undated.

A nearly black, clear liquid, topped by a moderate tan head.

Smoke, whiskey, oak and dark malt in the nose. There's a hint of vanilla in both the nose and the mouth, and it lingers into the aftertaste. A hint of hops in the flavor too, but the major change is from the very sweet aroma to a slightly sour taste.

O: too smokey and poorly balanced for my taste.

Photo of lnashsig
3.28/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Many thanks to ahlthe3rd (Hugh) for the chance to taste this one. Never heard of Red Brick or this beer and always looking to try new things! Poured from bottle into Brooklyn tulip. Pours a nearly pitch black/brown medium bodied pour. Barely any head and some visible alcohol legs. Smell- sweet smoked cherry malt. Some mocha and chocolate flavors behind it. That's about it for aroma. Taste- there is a wierd tartness to this, but I am not sure it is from infection, and might just be a malt characteristic. What I get absolutely 0 from here is anything related to bourbon. The flavors are the expected smoke, the sweet and tart malt backbone, maybe a little chocolate or coffee on the end. I like this beer, but it is not as I thought it would be. This is ok, but I'm not blown away.

Photo of azorie
3.25/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a: Pitch clear black beer in color, some spare head that quickly dies. Some tan lacing in a mug.

s: bourbon, vanilla, smoke. any hops or yeast was crushed in the barrel. lol. also no malt as is all overpowered in a bad/good way.

t: at first the smoke overpowers the bourbon/vanilla combo, then on the back of the mouth that flavor comes through. Sort of boozy. lightly sweet, no hops, yeast or malt as above. with the right food this beer could work.

m: oily, full body beer, rich thick and semi chocolate.

o: humm not a big fan of oak aged beers, or smokey beers. This is both. I bought the 4 pack and this is my 2nd go around with it. Its not as bad as the first one was. now with this beer the smoke overpowers it, but not in a bad way. I just find I like less smoke, and I bet the regular porter done this way would be OUTSTANDING! However if you are a smokey beer lover then you think this is a great beer and too you it will be, to me its so so. its worth a try but if you hate smoke beers stay away. I will never buy a 4 pack again.

drink: after taste when it warms up is like drinking an ashtray. YUCK!

Photo of DrewShal9
4.07/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: pitch black with a creamy one finger white head
S: smoky bbq, vanilla beans, hints of bourbon. Very pleasant!
T: as the nose depicts with sweet coffee. As the brew warmed up some burnt yet tasty notes appeared.
M: velvety with thin prickly bubbles. Almost the viscosity of skim milk.
O: thought I wouldn't be this impressed but definitely try this out if you have the opportunity! Wonder what age would do to this.

Photo of cjgator3
3.84/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle 

A- Poured into a sniffer. Pours a dark brown color with an off-white head.

S- The aroma is smoked malts and whiskey. I can't pick up on much of the vanilla in the nose.

T- The taste is malty up front with some smokey flavors and some of the whiskey flavors from the barrel aging come through as well.

M- The mouthfeel is light bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation.

Photo of Heatwave33
4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle to a Dogfish Head Snifter.

Color: A coca-cola color with a tan head.

Smell: Smokey, Vanilla, hops and whiskey

Taste: Hops, smokey, vanilla and slight whiskey and chocolate on the back.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation, smooth and mid-light dry on the palate.

Overall: The hops, vanilla, smoke, whiskey and chocolate are well balanced. My brother really enjoyed this one. Cheers!

Photo of Mavajo
3.73/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown body with a tan head. I didn't experience the "thin head" issues that the other reviewers before me noted. Aroma is an onslaught of smoke -- can't pick up on much else. It's like sniffing your clothes after sitting around a camp fire all night. Taste is again predominantly smoke, with a backdrop of vanilla as well as the malt profile I've come to associate with porters or low-ABV stouts. The vanilla compliments the smoke well and really shows up, and it almost puts the smoke in check -- but the smoke still dominates. I can't say I picked up any coffee or chocolate; if there was any, the smoke was completely blotting it out for me. The bottle says it was aged in whiskey barrels, but I can't say I noticed any whiskey. Thinnish body.

When I found out this was a smoke bomb, I didn't expect to like it. But I actually ended up enjoying it. However, the smoke is so strong that it ends up being a bit of a one-trick pony. I think I would have liked a higher ABV, or a slight toning down of the smoke with more coffee/chocolate thrown in instead.

This one really lives up to its namesake though -- smoke and vanilla. I'm not sure if the whole "gorilla" part is fair though at only 7-and-change on the ABV.

Photo of BeerZack
3.98/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Creamy vanilla iced coffee nose with hints of wood and smoke. I think the smoke comes across as a chili pepper-like spiciness moreso than a salty or umami impression. Big, rich dark chocolate flavors with a boozey undertone that blends well with the hop bitterness. I think the strength of barrel and booziness in the mid through to the finish overpowers any of the smoked flavors, which isn't a bad thing for me.

Photo of thagr81us
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks goes out to morimoto76 for sharing this bottle during a recent tasting! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller taster flute. Poured a deep red brown with a one finger off-white head that subsided to a minimal amount very quickly. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, smoke, roasted malt, dark fruit, wood, vanilla, and alcohol. The flavor was of sweet malt, smoke, wood, dark fruit, vanilla, and subtle alcohol. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a decent brew. Just about everything on this one was pretty nice, but I just wish there was a little more complexity and intensity on the aspects present. Been wanting to try this one for awhile and glad I finally got the chance.

Photo of Janderson91
4.44/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Happy to pick up a 4-pack of this today as the first two in the Brick Mason Series have been very nice. No freshness info. Enjoyed on 09/22/11. Poured around 55-60F.

A - Very dark brown, almost black with a small cream colored head. Recedes to a ring around the edge of the glass and leaves little to no lacing.

S - Wow, this is the best aroma I've experience from an American porter. Huge vanilla character from both the whiskey barrels and vanilla beans, along with some roasted malts and dark chocolate aromas. Somewhat smokey but the vanilla shines.

T - This stuff is delicious. The dry, roasted malt character is balanced excellently by the sweet vanilla. Some dark chocolate on the back end and a somewhat smoky character along with nice vanilla, oaky, whiskey flavor throughout. Finishes perfectly balanced with some smokey, roasty flavors along with great chocolate and vanilla sweetness.

M - The mouthfeel is average for a porter. This is the only knock against this beer I have. With a more full, rich mouthfeel, this one could be greater than it already is.

O - Overall, this is the best of the Brick Mason series and maybe the best beer Red Brick has ever made. I'm kicking myself for only getting one 4-pack and will be making the trip back to ATL in the coming weeks exclusively for this beer. Well done.

Photo of CruisaC
2.94/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had heard about this one, I'm a sucker for beers with vanilla. Unfortunately I skipped over the "smoked" part since I almost never care r those beers.

Pours a dark brown/black with a fleeting dark khaki head. The best part of the beer.

I get the smoke upfront but there's a strange sour smell that's creeping in on the back end. Hmmm.

Taste is smoke and sour, sour smoke, a little roasted malt. I get no whiskey notes and especially no vanilla. I'm not sure if this is what they're going for. I hate to bring up the "I" word but I can't think this is what they wanted out of this. Should have a little sweetness, no?

Mouthfeel is a little thin. What's the base beer here?

A pretty big miss for me, after some high hopes. Maybe some infection issues, maybe I need to try the non-smoked version.

Photo of Beejay
1.69/5  rDev -51.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

A: Pours dark brown, in the glass it is black but when held to a bright light it turns deep crimson. The head is chocolate milk in color, and fluffy.

S: There is a hint of sour mash in there, as well as a floury bread aroma. Not picking up a lot of dark malt character, although the vanilla is coming through.

T: Tart and sour. No smoked character, some bready flavors, with some vanilla aftertaste. No whisky. Not really any Porter flavor.

M: Fairly thin on body. Carbonation feels a little lack luster. There is a lingering tartness that continues to pucker for a bit.

O: While this certainly isn't the worst beer I have had, it may very well be the worst beer that I would have imagined to be great. I should love everything about a smoked, whisky barrel, vanilla porter. However I am greeted by a thin, lack luster, sour mess of a beer that's only resemblance to a porter is the color; which is a shame because considering some of the other reviews, I think I really would have liked it.

Photo of EgadBananas
3.76/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours darkest brown. Light brown finger of head. Light oak and Bourbon, slight chocolate and a massive vanilla note. Meaty smokiness shows when warmer. Vanilla bursts out on the taste, definitely like vanilla beans. Some chocolate and subtle oak and Bourbon notes. Smoke is present and adds a nice element. Medium bodied, clean finish. Good brew. My favorite Brick Mason brew thus far.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.12/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

black as night as it pours out. A big cascading brown head comes up and over the top and then settles down into a half inch layer that hung around for the entire rest of the session. The aroma was vanilla, huge vanilla beer and light cafe like coffee notes. Some hints of roasted malts, but vanilla in a beer like I have never come across before. Not terribly sweet and fake, this was like whiffing good vanilla ice cream. As I take the first sip, wow. This beer is suprising the crap out of me. First off where is my 12 percent? This is soo smooth I really got caught off guard by my second glass. The vanilla explosion followed through on the taste, rich and creamy with light and sweet coffee notes following through on them as well.

Photo of buschbeer
4.03/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle
Served in a perfect pint glass

A - This beer pours damn near black with some mahogany highlights. It is topped with about an inch of mocha head.

S - The aroma gives off milk chocolate, vanilla, and roasted malt scents.

T - I taste the milk chocolate right away. I think that is the combination of the chocolate and vanilla. I also taste some roasted malt, and it finishes with black coffee.

M - Full and creamy

O - I enjoyed this beer. I wasn't expecting much with the mediocre rating, but it had a lot of flavor and a nice, creamy mouthfeel. I would definitely drink this again if it was available. I did not get any indication of smoke though.

Photo of largadeer
1.77/5  rDev -49.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Extra from jpmclaug. Thanks!

I'm greeted by a blast of vanilla as soon as I uncap the bottle. Pours a muddy auburn color, but rests in the glass an opaque dark brown capped by a thin but lasting head. Smoke is much more dominant on the nose once this is in the glass, but there's an element of sweet vanilla along with an undercurrent of tart dark fruit and roasted malt. The palate is all over the place, with clashing flavors of smoke, acidic dark fruit, lactic sourness, vanilla and charred malt. I can't imagine that this was intentionally soured, and boy does the sourness not work here. The body is pretty thin, and the finish is more sour than roasty. This may have been an interesting beer prior to infection, but it's hard to tell.

Photo of angrybabboon
2.34/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for sharing this

Consumed 4/28/12

Appearance: Dark brown, light tan head, leaves wispy lacing - unexpectedly dark, could pass for a stout

Smell: So much smoke - kind of like a rauchbier - smoky, burnt organic matter - somewhere between charred meat and charred vegetables - overall, it kind of smells like a poorly maintained, musty barbeque grill - wet wood

Taste: Smoke and weirdness - ridiculously burnt and smoky, tastes... unhealthy - some chocolate and vanilla underneath - lots of damp, wet wood - an odd undercurrent of sourness, some odd fruits - some cardboard - I honestly don't know if this is infected, or just that there is a weird interaction between the extremely smoked malt, vanilla, and other elements

Mouthfeel: Thin to medium body, adequately carbonated, smooth, a little sticky

Overall: Not sure if infected, or just bad

So much smoke, and so much weirdness. Smoked malt doesn't begin to explain this. It's like someone decided to burn some smoked malt. Very strange, yet not awful.

Photo of Kromes
2.36/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A: Pitch black with a finger's width tan colored head and good lacing down the glass.

S: Sweet roasted and smoked malt with chocolate and a bit of vinegar....which is weird.

T: Up front there is a little bit of roasted malt, but it is taken over by a very, very citric acid bite. No Bueno. I'll keep this review until I can try another....yuck.

M: The beer is rather light and smooth...but then finishes with a citric acid bitterness that kills everything.

O: Not good. I'll try again and update if necessary.

Photo of DividedAvery
4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I will preface this by saying that I am not a fan of smoke beers, so take my review with a grain of salt. That being said I reviewed the beer in it's style

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a New Belgium Snifter

A: Pours extremely black and fairly thick with a nice one finger tan head that lingers nicely throughout the tasting.

S: Smoke dominates the nose for me. Chocolate and vanilla notes play nicely in the background with a slight note of booze.

T: The first taste was full of smoke. On the second taste the vanilla and chocolate notes flood through giving way to a slight boozy heat and a smokey finish

M: Very enjoyable. Creamy and smooth with good carb levels

O: Like I said in the beginning, I am NOT a smoke beer fan. At first taste I thought this might be a drain pour for me however the subsequent tastes brought out a lot of wonderful characteristics in this beer. Really like this guy

Photo of shand
4.27/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This one? This is a strange one. It's a nice deep brown with two fingers of mocha head. The smell and taste? They're kinda like an ashtray that was ashed with some sort of vanilla cigarillo. In the best way possible. There's also a touch of that whisky aspect in the aftertaste. It's got a lot going on for sure, it won't leave you wanting for complexity.

The mouthfeel is fairly smooth, with a bit of prickliness on the back. The drinkability is surprisingly good for the complexity of the flavors. Overall, I really enjoyed this beer. It's very unique tasting and has a lot of different flavor aspects to dig into. I surely don't regret picking up a four-pack, and look forward to the next Brick Mason offering. They're two for two on these out of the ones I've had, I really enjoyed the double IPA from the series I picked up too.

Photo of hopking311
4.62/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours dark pitch black, thin off white head dissapates quickly to a nice mm ring around inside of tulip snifter.

smells smokey, caramel, toffee, fresh cut vanilla beans

thick full body, well carbonated.

Immediately getting smokey bourbon, milk chocolatey malts with slight hoppy backbone

Best beer Ive had from Red Brick. Definately best smoked beer Ive ever encountered thus far.

Photo of daliandragon
3.58/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had never seen this beer and I definitely dig the name so this was an easy pick up, plus we're finally getting some winter weather to drink cold weather beer with. Pours an almost solid black with a tiny orange sliver at the bottom. Head is tan with tiny bubbles and dissipates to a cap in about five minutes with some lacing already evident. The nose is vanilla and woodsmoke and some general dark malt/porter notes. Nothing overpowering.

The smoke flavors are very strong throughout the sip, almost to the detriment of everything else. The aftertaste in particular tastes like an edible campfire. Some dark malt and a late tinge of alcohol and maybe a hint of the vanilla, but this beer is mostly gorilla. I like smoked beers sometimes, but this one, despite a smooth texture, is a little too one dimensional in flavor for me. Certainly its quality craftsmanship and worth a try but I won't look for this again.

Photo of sulldaddy
4.14/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampling at cellar temp poured into a snifter. The beer pours a deep cola brown hue with fizzy beige head of 1 cm fading quickly to an edge layer. Aromas are rich with brown sugar and some vanilla. I also get a little smoke with a mix of campfire ash and sausage notes, the smoke is pretty mild however.
Overall the nose is complex and appealing.
First sip reveals an average body with fine gentle rolling carbonation. Flavor is fairly sweet up front with molasses and vanilla and a bit of whiskey mixing together. A complex flavor profile but not over the top or messy.
Pretty easy to drink with no hints of booze or hops anywhere.
A complex beer that is pretty much what the label advertises. A nice beer that I would pick up again if I came across a bottle.

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.07/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

thanks to mrandypandy for this beer in a recent trade!

poured into tulip glass.

Appearance: Black bodied beer with 1 finger of white head that falls quickly to a ring around the top of the beer.

Smell: Very oaky and heavy smoke too. Charcoal briquets. Roasty malts and vanilla sweatness. Earthy notes & peat.

Taste: expecting really sweet, but this beer is seriously smokey. A dry and meaty almost bacon like smokiness. Subtle sweetness from notes of milk chocolate, vanilla, and whiskey. This beer also has a nice oak presence. The barrel notes are really well integrated. Mild booze kick in aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied porter with low end of medium level carbonation. The carbonation is prickly and crisp for a barrel aged beer. Smoke makes this beer finish really dry.

Overall: This is a nice beer, but it was just a little over the top with the smokey notes. I feel like I am sitting next to a bonfire with every sip of this beer. It like a Porter combined with a Rauch beer then barrel aged.

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Red Brick Brick Mason Series #4: Smoked Vanilla Gorilla from Red Brick Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 194 ratings.