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

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Red Brick Brick Mason Series #4: Smoked Vanilla GorillaRed Brick Brick Mason Series #4: Smoked Vanilla Gorilla

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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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Ratings: 194 | Reviews: 81
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 ktrillionaire
4.6/5  rDev +31.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The brew pours a deep brown-black and is topped with a frothy tan head that deposits significant lacing upon the glass. The nose does not lend any appreciable vanilla, which is surprising given the brew's moniker. What I am getting from the aroma is a very nicely apportioned balance of roasty malt, charred sugar, and smoke. The flavor is outstanding; vanilla makes an appearance, and lives up to its billing in that regard, but there is a high level of complexity going on here. It is woody, roasty, slightly smokey-sweet, with leather, vanilla and dark chocolate notes. Big creamy mouthfeel too. Overall, a big winner in my book. It is actually much like a Bourbon: though it does not taste like Bourbon, it finds its success by utilizing much of the same palate and profile, as the aforementioned descriptors suggest. This delicious beer has taken me by surprise, and has left quite an impression on me.

Photo of FrattyNattyKA
4.6/5  rDev +31.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Ahh this will be my first time opening a bottle of Red Brick Mason Series brew, and let me say I am excited to try this smoked beer out! I love my smoked brews and I've got to say that Red Brick Vanilla Gorilla did not disappoint. Upon pouring this treat into my glass my first observation is that the beer has a rich and dark coffee like appearance with a thin tan frothy head. The aroma gave a hint of smoked hickory, malt, and a mild fruity smell. The first sip is very smooth, the brew delights the tongue with a slight fizzle sensation without being overwhelming like cheaper beers (natty), absolutely sensational mouthfeel. The taste is wonderfully balanced, the smokiness is there but done just perfectly I where it doesn't overpower the rest of the flavors, the taste of what I'm assuming to be smoked hickory, vanilla (obviously), malty, with a slight citrusy/fruity tang to top it off. I'm still training my taste buds and senses to be able to pick up on everything but if you're a newbie like me trust me you won't regret picking up this brew. Fantastic I highly recommend. Beer on my friends

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 hmf05
4.42/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep brown/red and leaves a nice three finger tan head. Smells like a rauchbier. I get smoked meat and whiskey, but no vanilla. Tastes exactly like the smell. Smoked ham comes through and stays throughout. I can taste whiskey at the end, but vanilla is not how I would describe this beer. Very delicious. Very smokey and the whiskey barrels give this a nice smoothness that other smoked beers lack. Very impressed! More characteristic of a rauchbier than a porter. If you love smoked beers, this is a must-try!

Photo of elgiacomo
4.42/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

March 25, 2012 update. Opened a bottle from the cellar and it appears an infection is setting in. Big rocky foamy head that doesn’t go away, stark contrast from fresh bottles. Biggest difference is a funky sour/tart character coming to light in the nose and particularly flavor. Not totally gone at this point...still gonna drink it but not nearly as good as when it was fresh. A shame...

Score is from the fresh, and excellent, bottles I enjoyed last fall...

--- --- --- ---

12oz bottle, served around 50F.

Pours dark brown with a one finger tan head that leaves some sheets and spots of lacing and holds a light creamy cap and ring.

Aroma starts with the smoke, primarily of the smoked meats variety, beneath the smoke is a nice healthy dose of vanilla, really nice, light whiskey notes along with your typical roasted malt, chocolate and coffee of a good porter. Very good strength and quite complex.

Flavor basically follows suit, smoked ham and bacon, vanilla, caramel, chocolate, roasted malts, coffee, touch of whiskey, fairly sweet, hint of alcohol on the finish. Kind of like a meal and dessert wrapped into one. You get the savory smoked meats along with the sweet, almost sundae like qualities of the vanilla, caramel and chocolate. Unique and very tasty!

Mouthfeel is medium-plus bodied, somewhat creamy, good carbonation.

Okay so this is really good. Excellent smoky notes along with a lot of vanilla...definitely lives up to its name. The whiskey barrel aspect does take a backseat, but there is enough going on here where that isn’t a big issue with me.

Photo of CampusCrew
4.42/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow.... this is by far their best beer they make and possibly one of my favorite smoke beers. This is a big smoke beer. Bourbon and vanilla are there as well as typical chocolate/coffee flavors of typical porters, but the smoke aspect of this beer is the real star. You have to be of fan of the smoke to enjoy this as well as the big woody flavors coming from the barrell aging. More body and head retention would/make this world/class.

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.4/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Very nice to see another great beer from Red Brick- I'm really enjoying the Brick Mason series. This one pours black with a thin beige head that leaves some lacing. Lightly smoky in the nose, with some underlying roastiness and a fair bit of noticeable sweetness. The taste is similar, but a beautifully integrated whole. Very nice, but gentle notes of wood smoke, subtle bourbon notes, restrained vanilla, some light roastiness and a somewhat sweet and quite creamy finish. Quite nice. The mouthfeel is downright silky- ultra-smooth with notes of smoke drifting in and out of the creaminess. Really good, and hopefully this and the double IPA are harbingers of things to come.

Photo of AdamBear
4.4/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Found a bottle of this at Total Wine in Sarasota. it was the last one left.

Thought this might possibly be a remake of the original "vanilla gorilla stout", but according to the site, this one is based on their porter.

Bottle reads.."Smoked Vanilla Gorilla. Aged in Oak Whiskey barrels with vanilla beans"

A-very dark brown to black. you need to pour harshly to get a thin light tan head that quickly fades to nothing.

S-smells like dark salted and smoked cocoa beans. there's a scent of vanilla that is faint but stable. fairly complex and big smelling.

T-comes in with a smokey and slightly spicy taste of dark roasted malts that taste like a strong brewed mocha. there is a faint but very tasty hint of vanilla. the after-taste is mostly dark roasted malts with some small but good evidence of the oak whiskey barrels. its a very complex and solid flavor. not detecting any off-flavors or undesirable traits in the taste. Probably should serve this warmer than cooler.

M-good smooth medium carbonation that quickly fizzles with a crisp finish.

O-overall, this is a great beer, something i wouldn't mind getting a lot of. its rare to find this much flavor in a reasonably priced 12 ounce bottle. also besides the good pricing, i'm guessing the ABV is much lower as well, though it achieves the tastes of a big stout.

Photo of suspect
4.35/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Samuel Adams Perfect Pint glass. Thanks to my buddy Audi for the hookup from the ATL.

A: Pours a dark dark brown color with a 1.5 finger creamy tan head that disappears to a thin ring after a couple of minutes. Spotty lacing.

S: Roasted malts and alcohol hit my nose first followed by the oak smell and some smokey smell and coffee as well. Not a huge smoke flavor but enough to make me want to be sitting next to a campfire.

T: As it warms, the malts take a back seat to the oak and the vanilla. Roasted chocolate malts come through in the middle of the taste as does some more coffee and cocoa. As it warms more, the coffee really comes through at the end.

M: Creamy, wonderful feel that coats the mouth. The alcohol peeks itself out here moreso than at any other point in the brew but it's really welcomed. Perfectly carbonated.

O: A superb brew from Red Brick which at this point isn't anything new. These guys are really good and this beer does not disappoint.

Photo of gford217
4.35/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle.

Pours a nice deep chocolate brown with a small tan head that recedes slowly to a thick collar.

Aroma is interesting and heavy on smoked malts with some hints of vanilla. There are some roasty malts and a little bakers chocolate underneath.

The taste is excellent and has a few interesting things going on. The smoked malts are still there but the vanilla is a little more prominent as is the chocolate and malts in the backbone.

Smooth feel with good carbonation.

I'm a big, big fan of this beer and I'm pretty excited about what ABC has been putting out lately. Get some now.

Photo of ryanonline
4.3/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

dark black with some deep ruby highlights. a very thin tan head that is very bubbly but disappears quickly leaving sheet like lacing.

smells very rich with some strong roasty coffee notes and a deep smokey nose. it also smells a bit salty, perhaps even a very light vanilla bean scent.

the taste is amazing, very roasty but the smokey salty flavor has become very much more prevalent and amazingly delicious. the vanilla is also much more up front. even has an almost scotch like flavor. very complex.

the mouthfeel is a bit thin though slightly syrupy but has a significant amount of very prickly carbonation. dry finish.

this beer has some really complex flavors and characters but still remains fairly easy on the palette and not very filling, also at just under 8 percent, this beer is fairly sessionable.

overall this is an amazing beer, I've only had a few smoke beers, but this beer is quite something else. as a porter it even is fairly good. thumbs up, now I gotta try some more beers from red brick.

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 sk8man121
4.24/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to gford217 for this generous extra!

12 oz bottle poured into Delerium Tremens tulip.

A: Pours a completely opaque dark, dark brown with cherry-cola highlights. 1-finger mocha head dies into a thin cap, leaving a bit of lacing.

S: Vanilla and sweet cocoa dominate the nose, followed by a bit of wood and fresh cream. Also some caramel and molasses Very inviting.

T: Nose characteristics start this off, followed by a great deal of oak and a bit of coffee. Not getting much bourbon, but the oak is omnipresent. Delicious.

M: Carbonation is rather high for the style, although the feel itself is thinner than I'd like to see in a beer like this.

O: Certainly a delicious take on a vanilla porter, although I'd say the flavor profile leans more towards a stout. I also would have liked to see more bourbon, even though the oak is there in droves. Regardless, I would love to have regular access to this beer.

Very nice, and worth more than one take.

Photo of champ103
4.21/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark brown, nearly black color. A two finger, rocky, tan head forms with good retention. Rings of sticky lace are left behind. This is a looker.
S: Smoked meat right up front. Bacon and ham. Slightly astringent with some vanilla making its way in towards the end.
T: Again, huge smoked meat flavors that follows the nose. Though more balanced. Plenty of smoke and wood along with toasted malts. A great vanilla sweetness cuts through the smoke more than the nose for an excellent balance.
M/D: A medium to full body. Low on the carbonation, but not under carbonated at all. Velvety smooth. So easy to drink. There is no alcohol, and everything is very well balanced.

At first the nose showed a bit of an unbalanced smoked meat character that I am not a fan of (though most smoke head are). Though the flavor is very balanced. Plenty of smoke to go around, but the toasted malts and vanilla are great as well. Highly recommended.

Photo of TMoney2591
4.17/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Gale Sayers shaker pint glass.

Thanks to Lillie1128 for this bottle!

"Vanilla Gorilla, gorilla for sale..." C'mon, I can't be the only one who thought of that song when introduced to this beer, right? Regardless, it pours a vaguely translucent dark sienna (highlighted in dark ruby) topped by a finger of dirty tan foam. The nose comprises smoked ham, light oak, light roasted malts, light chocolate powder, mild whiskey, light chipotle pepper (or, at least, it seems like some, anyway), and molasses. Tasty. Speaking of which, the taste brings in more of the same, with the roast, whiskey, oak, and chocolate taking center stage. The vanilla doesn't come through very much, though I do think I get a bit of the bean in the background (and off to the left). The body is a straight medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fairly smooth feel. Overall, a damn fine brew all-around. Good times, indeed.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.15/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to bastu for sending me this one!

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a 2 inch foamy beige head that settles to a thin film. Thin broken rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of smoked malt first and foremost. Maybe some slight vanilla and bourbon aromas if you smell very hard. Taste is of smoked malt, chili chocolate, and slight vanilla and bourbon flavors. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a somewhat creamy and smooth mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good smoked porter but the vanilla and bourbon that is supposed to be in this beer is very hidden in both the smell and taste.

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 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 kmatlack
4.12/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Second offering from Red Brick, i quite liked the first one, so hopefully this one is as impressive. No bottled/best by date on the bottle. Poured into a brooklyn tulip.

A- Pours a very dark brown, only light getting through is at the edge of the glass. Semi-aggressive pour yields a finger width off-white head. Seemed a little coarse at first, but has settled down to a thin, creamy head that covers the surface of the beer. Lacing down the side of the glass.

S- First thing that hits the nose is sweet, roasty chocolate. Quickly following is the smoke. Some milk chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, more smoke.

T- Alot going on here so ill just describe it as it comes. Sweet vanilla on the tongue, smoked malts, chocolate, bourbon, roasty malt flavors, coffee, some caramel, and the finish is very reminiscent of chipotle peppers. Almost even seems to have a little spice to it? Maybe my mind is playing tricks on me. Very, very good.

M- Decent carbonation, thin, slick mouthfeel. Wish it was a little more dry but, whatever.

O- Another very good beer from Red Brick. Drink this one slightly cooler than room temperature to fully appreciate this beer. Also really liked the fact that this wasnt overly smoked. There is nothing worse that getting a smoked beer that is like eating a fucking campfire. Great balance.

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 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.

Photo of neobob187
4.07/5  rDev +16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Good appearance. Dark brown color with a great beige/cream colored lace.

S: Very pleasant smokey smell. Barbecue, coffee, and subtle chocolate round out the notes.

T: Rich chocolate flavor, with an incredible smoked malt finish that gets better as it warms up.

M: Pillowy and smooth. You get a lingering coffee flavor that's really flavorful as well.

O: Overall, I really enjoyed this beer. I think that a Pappy Van Winkle barrel aged version of this must have been 1,000times better though.

Photo of dcs1548
4.07/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black in color, little to no foam and a smokey vanilla smell. Very present, but not over bearing, smokey taste, with a nice balance of vanilla after taste. It's an excellent beer that's full of complex flavor. I was surprised when I saw the rating on here, oh well, I guess we all have different tastes.

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.05/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Haven't been totally thrilled with the Red Brick beers I have had so far, but this is bucking the trend.

This is a nice porter. Vanilla accents mesh well with the overall robust porter tones. Pretty good bit of hoppy spice tones in there as well.

I dig this beer. It's not the typical porter. It gives a whole lot more to think about and enjoy.

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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.