Sixpoint Brewery

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Porter - Baltic
4.16 | pDev: 7.93%
Sixpoint Brewery
New York, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Notes: With the addition of Madagascar vanilla beans, 4BEANS takes Sixpoint Imperial Porter to the next level. Romano beans used by bygone brewers provide body, as the flavors of dark malt, cocoa and coffee are rounded out by smooth vanilla. The result is a quadrality of roasted, savory, and complex flavors. Modern formulation meets Baltic tradition and BKLYN partnership…it's Mad Science.
Reviews: 302 | Ratings: 988 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of HoppingMadMonk
HoppingMadMonk from New Jersey

4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Cola black color with medium light carbonation. Has a slight creamy feel,medium body yet somehow also has a bit of a thin body feel
Aroma is excellent roasted coffee beans with equal parts roasted malt followed by vanilla and milk chocolate.
Taste is almost identical but the vanilla shows up more than in the aroma . Vanilla actually needed to be toned down a bit as this was very good without it
It still was an excellent beer and glad I picked up a four pack . This is totally worth a try and the high abv is really well hidden

Dec 04, 2018
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Nass from Florida

4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I am getting some cocoa, some coffee, the vanilla & romano beans added make this beer a little more robust. This is strong & savory at 10%, but it's well made & the high abv is well hidden. I dig the Sixpoint can artwork as well. Cheers! A-

Oct 17, 2018
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cosmicdebris from Connecticut

4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

BA 4bean pours a dark chocolate color with a full medium brown head. You really smell the vanilla and coffee on this one. Big roasted coffee flavors with and Vanilla. The rye really compliments the other flavors. Alcohol is there but not what you would think for a 10 % beer. Very easy to drink for this hi of an ABV. Overall I am impressed would definately reccomend BA 4bean from Sixpoint.

Dec 01, 2017
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Lone_Freighter from Vermont

4.14/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The appearance was a black pour with a healthy finger’s worth of white to off white foamy head that dissipated immediately. Light lacing started to cling but slid into the body. The smell started off with an eloquent sweet to bitter espresso; fresh, sticky and smooth over cocoa. Light vanilla balances sweetly. The taste was smooth sticky sweet cocoa over sweet and bitter espresso meshes together finely to leave a sweet wet bitter espresso to cocoa aftertaste. A quick sticky finish smooths it all out. On the palate, this one sat about medium bodied with a nice sipping feel to it. Carbonation runs light allowing the espresso to be the bitterness, but because of the vanilla, the palate, just absolutely feels wonderful. Overall, I think Sixpoint hit exactly what they wanted to do.

Jun 09, 2017
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AgentMunky from New York

4.21/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a can into a plastic glass on the roof of the Lincoln Center.
Dark black with light head.
It smells delightful! Very chocolatey but with obvious coffee and a pleasant hint of coffee.
It tastes really nice too -- a touch thin, but more robust than anticipated. Just what you'd expect, with some sticky sugars. The vanilla is mildly off putting, but the coffee and chocolate is on point. Hugely flavorful and malty.
This is a sweet coffee stout. The cacao and vanillin are a bonus. Go forth and conquer.

Oct 20, 2016
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macrosmatic from Florida

3.65/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Reviewed from (long-standing) notes. Poured from skinny 12 oz. can into a Brooklyn Brewery tulip glass.

A: Very dark brown, opaque. A finger's worth of tan head fades quickly, and a low amount of visible carbonation.

S: Coffee, roasted malts, and a vague nutty sweetness. Meh - nothing inspired here.

T: Coffee that's black and nutty. A touch of cacao with the roasted malts, toffee, hints of vanilla and a bit of booze sweetness. Maybe some lactose here too? A light hoppiness accompanies the roasted bitterness near the end, but overall finishes sweet.

M: Lighter body than the appearance suggested, but still a decent amount of heft. The alcohol is noticeable but not obnoxious. Low carbonation sensation.

O: A decent beer, but nothing exciting. It's just missing something - layers of flavor, bigger flavors, something - to make it a more appealing drink. On another note, I see nothing on the label (nor anything during the drink) to make me think this is truly a Baltic porter. It seems more like an ale, and the body isn't as rich as most Baltics.

Sep 03, 2016
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cwalter from New York

4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black in color with a creamy khaki head that is one finger in depth. The aroma is roasted coffee beans and dark cocoa nibs. Thick bodied with a smooth texture. The taste is initially dark chocolate and roasted coffee. Following this of vanilla, tobacco, oak maybe even a little leather. In the back end the roasted coffee bitterness lingers on the tongue. Very tasty porter clocking in at 10% (alcohol very well hidden).

Aug 31, 2016
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brentk56 from North Carolina

4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A frothy beige head builds atop the fudge colored liquid; good stickage and lacing action

Smell: Dark fruit (prune and raisin), chocolate and vanilla, with coffee tones underneath

Taste: Dark fruit forward, with chocolate, vanilla and coffee building; through the middle, the dark fruit flavors build; coffee in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation

Overall: The fruitiness adds an interesting dimension here but it overpowers the finish

Jun 13, 2016
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mactrail from Washington

3.75/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big brown foam in the little pilsner glass. Color is dark auburn with bubbles streaming. Quite tangy and sharp on the tongue. Sweet and robust but not any charred taste. Deep cocoa nose with that vanilla note.

The vanilla is the surprise, but it adds some smoothness to the coffee and scratchy hop flavors. Deeply roasted malt with a burnt sugar taste. From the tall can. Flavors have lasted well in the last of my cans from last summer.

Jun 04, 2016
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ChrisMon02 from Ohio

3.77/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Can poured into a tulip glass.

Was dissappointed with this one. A nice looking beer that lacked in aroma, was weak in flavor and had a thin mouthfeel. Maybe I had too high of expectations. Glad I tried it but nothing I would go out of my way to find.

May 17, 2016
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FickleBeast from New Jersey

4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz can poured into a Savor snifter. Best by July 2016.

Pours pitch black with a half finger of mocha foam. Aroma is full of dark roasted coffee

Flavor is sweet, but with a lot of roast coffee/malt bitterness. Pretty astringent but the massive chewy body helps prevent it from being overwhelming. Very enjoyable, the ABV is nicely hidden. My only suggesting would be to dial back the astringency a touch.

May 14, 2016
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Harrison8 from Missouri

4.36/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours black with a medium-thin, dark khaki head. Head retention is short, with no lacing left behind. Splendid aroma of vanilla, coffee, cocoa, and some malts in the background. Taste is very much coffee forward, with cocoa and vanilla meeting up later. Smooth malty finish. Mouth feel is grainy from the start. Although it's evokes the idea of being bold and robust, it feels medium-thick in its consistency. Overall, a beer that I've been looking forward to trying, and it delivers. But also keep in mind, this one was hyped for me, and I love coffee. Regardless, you can't go wrong with this one if you're looking for an easy drinkin' 10% coffee beer.

Served in a 12oz snifter.

Apr 30, 2016
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donspublic from Texas

3.81/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from can into New Belgium Goblet, aggressive pour yields 1 finger tan head, recedes to a pool, moderate lacing. Dark black to look at, no light passing thru. Smells of dark roasted malt, coffee with a hint of vanilla. Taste reminiscent of chocolate, followed by coffee and smoothed out by vanilla. A little heat slipping thru. Nice mouthfeel, with a dry creamy finish.

Apr 21, 2016
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BigGold from Mississippi

3.97/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

First had poured from slender 12-oz. can into nonic pint. Not sure barley should count as a bean, but cacao, coffee and vanilla add up to an excellent sweeter Porter.

Mar 29, 2016
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jzeilinger from Pennsylvania

4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Dark brown, opaque, thick toffee cream colored lacing ring.

S - Dark roasted chocolate, cocoa. Nice overall roasted aroma.

T - Dark roasted chocolate, cocoa, a little bit of char, vanilla, a touch woodiness, and alcohol presence.

M - Very thick and full bodied, slick, sticky on the lips, creamy finish.

O - This is a very heavy Imperial Porter that pushes the boundaries for the style and quite well done. Sixpoint has a definite winner here.

Mar 17, 2016
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EMH73 from New York

4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark brown with a one inch head. Smells of malt, coffee, chocolate and vanilla. Taste follows the aromas with a subtle sweetness. Well carbonated with a smooth mouthfeel. Another fine beer from Sixpoint.

Mar 14, 2016
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tkdchampxi from New Jersey

4.62/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Hey guys. This is a great beer. And I'd just like to say that I gave Sixpoint the idea for this beer, right on BeerAdvocate once upon a time. It's really cool that they actually listen to their fans.

Mar 09, 2016
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BeerAndGasMasks from Virginia

3.65/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From the cute little can, it pours a very dark brown with a tan had, which quickly dissipated to a light skim on the surface. Somewhat of a tin-can smell to me, along with the expected coffee. Taste is chocolatey with some coffee. Interesting, but the smell was a bit off-putting.

Feb 15, 2016
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floridadrift from Florida

3.81/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

L: Light brown with white-tan head
S: Smells great, coffee bomb
T: Bitter, metal, coffee, malt
F: Creamy smooth, goes down great
O: Awesome can coffee beer

Jan 26, 2016
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tekstr1der from New Hampshire

4.34/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark brown with fairly clingy thin top. Aroma is vanilla and roast mostly. Tasty stuff, this is true to its namesake - vanilla taking the forefront with chocolate and coffee notes. Smooth and perfect carbonation, this finished with a slightly dry roastedness. Otherwise great.

Jan 25, 2016
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AmeriCanadian from Tennessee

4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Really interesting beer that I would love to have again. Look was dark, dark brown, a little thinner than I expected, but with a thick, tan head that laced well. The smell was a real surprise as all I could think of was Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy -- heavy, heavy earthy malt and barley, with a lot of peat and a touch of licorice char. There was a little vanilla and coffee in the mix, but the peat and malt dominated the aroma. But the taste didn't follow the nose (or at least my Scotch Ale thoughts disappeared as soon as I took a sip). Sweet latte and espresso stood out first, with a small amount of semi-sweet chocolate in the background. The vanilla is there and acts as a nice bridge between the coffee and cocoa, but it doesn't dominate in any way. Earthy malt, bread, caramel, all in there. Sweet is what keeps coming to mind, but not in a milk/sweet stout kind of way. Somehow more subtle and less cloying. Feel is very creamy and silky, medium consistency, minimal carbonation. Like I said, really interesting beer that stands out in positive ways, even if the smell was somewhat misleading.

Jan 24, 2016
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kojevergas from Louisiana

3.04/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Regrettably brief impressions from a can served into a conical pint glass:

A: ~3 inch khaki cap. Creamy and smooth, with a style-appropriate even consistency. Retention is quite good (especially for the high ABV) - ~8 minutes. Body colour is an opaque black. No yeast or sediment is visible within.

Sm: Vanilla bean jumps out of the glass, backed by your usual dark/schwarz malt sweetness. Coffee is surprisingly mild, and disappointingly one-dimensional, coming off shallow and reticent. Cocoa nibs never make an appearance, but I do pick up on some artificial chocolate flavoring in addition to chocolate malt.

As with many beers "brewed with natural flavors," this has me worried it will taste anything but natural.

T/Mf: Smooth and wet in mouthfeel, with fair carbonation and some mild creaminess. More of a coarser, drier mouthfeel would really help coax more depth of flavour out of the shallow one-dimensional coffee character, which could be achieved with the addition of (more?) roasted barley. Coffee roast is nonexistent. The coffee is pretty underwhelming, especially with the myriad of expressive coffee beers out there. It's not quite your buddy's Folger's homebrew, but it fails to evoke java vividly or expressively.

Save for the vanilla bean, which isn't itself all that genuine anyway, this beer's flavours all suffer from general shallowness and artificiality - a victim of the "natural flavors added" euphemism. I find no powdery cacao nibs or cocoa dust - only generic chocolate malt and chocolate extract.

What does work well here is how well disguised the 10% ABV is...this drinks like it's maybe 6-8% ABV. Additionally, I suppose the chocolate malt and schwarz malt/dark malt backbone (and its concomitant sweetness) are appropriate for the style.

Lacks the acidity of better coffee beers, to its detriment. The harshness of some more aggressive coffee beans would actually do this well, helping tame the dominant sweetness with needed bitterness. There're no hops (to style) to do the job.

Yeast profile is underwhelming. No ale esters, Baltic cleanliness, or anything of note.

It's not imbalanced, but it's unbalanced. It lacks the gestalt nature of better coffee beers (and Baltic Porters), never coming across as a cohesive whole of a flavour profile. There's not a harmony of texture and taste, and I find its smoothness and wetness prevents its flavours from really emerging. It does open up a bit as it comes to temperature, but the intricacy, subtlety, and depth of flavour observed in the best examples of the style just isn't there.

O: Marketed as an imperial porter but stylistically actually a Baltic Porter. I think that's telling intrinsically. To its credit, it hides its ABV quite well, and I'll enjoy polishing off the 4-pack. But I see no need to purchase this a second time, and I remain underwhelmed by Sixpoint's offerings. I wouldn't recommend it to friends, but it's by no means a bad brew - just a lackluster one. That said, I think the premise is a great one - a Baltic Porter with vanilla and coffee? Sign me up! The execution just doesn't fulfill the potential of that premise.

Ditch the artificial (i.e. "natural") flavors, inject more roast (via both barley and coffee), change the coffee source to a better one (maybe single origin, something roasty but smooth like Hawaiian), mellow out the vanilla, dial in the fermentation temperature, and use actual cacao nibs - instead of the husky cocoa used here.

Low C+ (3.04) / ABOVE AVERAGE

Jan 21, 2016
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GregA135 from Pennsylvania

4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured a dark brown with a tan head. Smell and taste of coffee, vanilla and strong alcohol. Definitely left a boozey burning feeling afterwards, but I still enjoyed it! Sixpoint makes some great brews!

Jan 19, 2016
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ajm5108 from Pennsylvania

3.17/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours with a very creamy, inviting foam, good retention. Coffee & vanilla on the nose, though the coffee is a little thin & muted by the malt. Watery mouthfeel, much thinner than you might expect. Medium dark malt, the coffee again is pretty muted. There is also a cacao nib flavor that takes up a lot of real estate. Vanilla is lost entirely, which was dissapointing. Ends with a moderate bitter / black coffee not. Overall not a bad beer but certainly not one to go out of your way for.

Jan 06, 2016
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JayWhitson from Montana

4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Wish this was a year round available can here in MT but had to trade to get it. Solid robust coffee porter with great notes. Meant to age this last one longer but that didn't happen. Would love to have this aged in a bourbon barrel but that's personal taste, still a wonderful brew from a very generous brewery.

Jan 05, 2016
4Beans from Sixpoint Brewery
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 988 ratings