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

Not Rated.
Great Lakes Harry Porter And The Bourbon Soaked Vanilla BeanGreat Lakes Harry Porter And The Bourbon Soaked Vanilla Bean

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

46 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 46
Reviews: 18
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 7.83%
Wants: 9
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewery visit their website
Ontario, Canada

Style | ABV
American Porter |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Sammy on 03-13-2011

It’s been said that a great sorcerer with a single magical vanilla bean can infuse the intense depth of flavour and aroma that is found in this ale.

Unfortunately, we are hideously short of such wizards at Great Lakes so instead we simply used 1001 vanilla beans.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 46 | Reviews: 18
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3/5  rDev -21.7%

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3.25/5  rDev -15.1%

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3.25/5  rDev -15.1%

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3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

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3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

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3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

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3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

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3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of peensteen
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a dark black color porter with a large light brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of vanilla and light bourbon is quite nice with light vegetable notes. Taste is a mix between some vanilla beans notes with some bourbon with light corn notes and light black chocolates notes. Body is about average with good carbonation. Overall this was an enjoyable beer but I would to get rid of the vegetable finish.

Photo of spinrsx
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

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.

Photo of joemcgrath27
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

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3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

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3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

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3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

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3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

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3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of biegaman
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

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3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

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3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

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3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

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3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of tbeckett
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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.

Photo of jrenihan
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer is black with a small, bubbly tan head. A sticky and frothy film sticks around for quite awhile.

Smell is faint but nice. Vanilla is the most noticeable element.

As for taste, the vanilla is very nice- but I am a sucker for vanilla. The bourbon is lighter than I expected, though is fairly strong in the finish. A nice malty background gives the beer a bit of a roasted cocoa flavour. The vanilla and bourbon are the main event, however.

Minimal carbonation, medium bodied. A little lighter than I would have liked but pretty good.

Overall, a very enjoyable beer. Vanilla and bourbon together is a good idea!

Photo of andrenaline
3.84/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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Great Lakes Harry Porter And The Bourbon Soaked Vanilla Bean from Great Lakes Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 46 ratings.