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Great Lakes Harry Porter And The Bourbon Soaked Vanilla Bean - Great Lakes Brewery

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Great Lakes Harry Porter And The Bourbon Soaked Vanilla Bean
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very good

41 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 41
Reviews: 16
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 8.14%
Wants: 8
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewery visit their website
Ontario, Canada

Style | ABV
American Porter |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Sammy on 03-13-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 41 | Reviews: 16 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JMBSH
3.25/5  rDev -14.7%

JMBSH, Aug 25, 2014
Photo of ktat
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

ktat, Aug 13, 2014
Photo of spinrsx
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%

650ml Bottle from the Ottawa LCBO for $6

Appearance - Dark brown colour with an above average size frothy light brown head. I can't make out the amount of carbonation showing and there is some decent lacing. The head lasted for over 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, chocolate, vanilla

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, chocolate, and light coffee. There is also some vanilla and a bit of a graininess. Not much Bourbon.

Overall - An above average very drinkable porter. The vanilla is subtle and the bourbon is even more subtle - I couldn't taste it. I'd pick this up again if it was in tall cans or 6 packs etc.

spinrsx, Jun 01, 2014
Photo of joemcgrath27
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

joemcgrath27, May 31, 2014
Photo of jriggins6
3.25/5  rDev -14.7%

jriggins6, Apr 28, 2014
Photo of JohnnyMc
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

JohnnyMc, Apr 28, 2014
Photo of Molson2000
4/5  rDev +5%

Molson2000, Apr 27, 2014
Photo of KrisDLSmith
4/5  rDev +5%

KrisDLSmith, Apr 05, 2014
Photo of Pmicdee
4/5  rDev +5%

Pmicdee, Apr 01, 2014
Photo of Bf_89
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Bf_89, Mar 13, 2014
Photo of evil_liver
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

evil_liver, Mar 10, 2014
Photo of biegaman
3.74/5  rDev -1.8%

Vanilla is normally associated with the colour white but there's absolutely nothing white about this beer - even its head is as dark as some mainstream stouts! Between the blackish-brown body and honeycomb wafer coloured foam it looks something like a liquid Coffee Crisp chocolate bar (which, coincidentally, it also smells and tastes like).

Allow me to clear something up that confused me: Harry Porter and the Bourbon Soaked Vanilla Bean is brewed with vanilla beans (1001 of them to be exact) that were soaked in bourbon whiskey. The beans may or may not be the bourbon vanilla variety from Madagascar, which takes its name from when the island was under French colonial (hence "Bourbon") rule.

I wanted to clarify this only because, while there's no mistaking the vanilla beans, the bourbon element is frankly so subtle that it goes undetected. Bourbon is a big flavour but without the oak barrel to back it up all the creamy sweetness of the beans obliterates any trace of it (and what little might have survived is squashed by the smokiness of roasted malts).

Indeed, the aroma alone is so saturated in vanilla as to be borderline saccharine at times. Even all the chocolate, coffee and malty notes of the base beer bow to the mighty beans. The smell reminds me of those quintessential tea wafers that come sandwiched with cream (the pink variety in particular). The taste, however, is more like the Neapolitan ones (which have the hazelnut-flavoured chocolate cream filling) and has a lot of vanilla cupcake qualities.

Harry Porter is a robust, smoky, bitter dark beer. The excessive use of vanilla in this spin-off has resulted in a correspondingly sweet mouthfeel that drinks something like a milkshake made of Nutella and condensed milk. These "magical beans" have "magically" turned flavours of dark chocolate into milk chocolate, coffee into hazelnut latte, and also chased all the hops away.

Harry Porter and the Bourbon Soaked Vanilla Bean is a delicious dessert, perhaps one of the most sweet and satisfying of its kind. (I need to find some way of baking with this!) But it drinks like melted ice cream, and when it comes down to it the original Harry Porter and its other incarnations (i.e., Fair Grounds Coffee Bean) are much better beers.

biegaman, Mar 09, 2014
Photo of Cycle69
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Cycle69, Mar 09, 2014
Photo of byronic
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

byronic, Mar 04, 2014
Photo of deonreds
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

deonreds, Mar 02, 2014
Photo of polloenfuego
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

polloenfuego, Mar 01, 2014
Photo of andrenaline
3.84/5  rDev +0.8%

Props to peensteen for hooking up this brew...

A - Pours pitch black with two fingers of head, solid retention and nice sheeting lacing.

S - Solid nose, burnt cocoa, espresso undertones, hints of vanilla and a touch of burnt toast.

T - Much like the nose, loads of cocoa, some bitter coffee notes, and sweet vanilla. Bourbon is incredibly subdued and a tad underwhelming, but noticeable if you focus on trying to identify it.

M - Medium bodied, smooth and wet.

O - A tasty brew with a solid flavour profile, though a tad disappointing from the bourbon standpoint (though to be expected given that the vanilla beans were the only thing exposed). Nonetheless a tasty brew worthy of seeking out.

andrenaline, Mar 01, 2014
Photo of GoHabsGo
4/5  rDev +5%

GoHabsGo, Feb 25, 2014
Photo of kevinlater
3/5  rDev -21.3%

kevinlater, Feb 23, 2014
Photo of irishkyle21
4/5  rDev +5%

irishkyle21, Feb 21, 2014
Photo of peensteen
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

peensteen, Feb 21, 2014
Photo of yancot
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

yancot, Feb 19, 2014
Photo of TerryW
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

TerryW, Feb 17, 2014
Photo of tbeckett
3.79/5  rDev -0.5%

A few changes have been made to the new version released recently in the LCBO. ABV is a bit higher and the name is slightly different. Assuming it's essentially the same beer.

A - Black pour with good carbonation coming up. One finger of beige head. Spotty lace and a film of retention.

S - Vanilla, chocolate, roast. Really nice vanilla character.

T - Chocolate, less vanilla but still pretty evident. Some roast. Sweet, chocolatey, tasty.

M - Very smooth, medium to full and creamy body, dry and sweet to finish.

O/D - A fairly tasty porter at a respectable ABV. Quite drinkable and enjoyable. While not the most interesting vanilla flavoured beer, it definitely does a good job. No complaints here.

tbeckett, Feb 17, 2014
Photo of RyanPollock
4.18/5  rDev +9.7%

Very interesting beer, the name was very intriguing and the brewery has an interesting concept of allowing brewers to try different things in there Tank Ten series. This is one of the beers from that series.

Appearance- Very dark with a slight redness. Poured with minimal head that was tan brown.

Smell- very lovely smell!. Hints of vanilla shine through, slightly sweet aroma.

Taste- Tastes almost exactly like how it smells. Strong hop taste that quickly reveals hints of vanilla and dark chocolate.

Mouthfeel- Slightly heavy but very easy to drink. The vanilla taste lingers afterwards and it almost has a similar feel to drinking a vanilla bean coffee. Subtle hints of berries and dark chocolate remain that almost mask the hops.

Overall- Very enjoyable beer and that has me intrigued about trying other beers from the brewery and the Tank Ten series. The vanilla taste was not too overwhelming and the beer provided a unique experience, would recommend to anyone looking to try something with a different taste. Still a quality beer but some may be put off by the vanilla taste.

RyanPollock, Feb 15, 2014
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Great Lakes Harry Porter And The Bourbon Soaked Vanilla Bean from Great Lakes Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 41 ratings.