Special Snead Porter
Goose Island Beer Co.

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Beer Geek Stats:
Porter - American
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3.91 | pDev: 6.39%
Goose Island Beer Co.
Illinois, United States
Notes: also called Special Porter
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AgentZero from Illinois

4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Black beer with a tan head. Some decent lacing.

S - Well, nose seems to deliver what it promises. Nice vanilla and coffee with some mild roast.

T - I actually like this one a lot, apparently more than my compadres. Great vanilla, great coffee, decent roasat, some milk chocolate sweetness. It is a coffee, vanilla porter, and I taste both coffee and vanilla. Slightly sweet, but it's good.

M - A hefty medium body with moderate carbonation, if that made any sense to you.

O - I liked this one. I like vanilla, and the vanilla tasted pretty real. I like coffee, and it wasn't lost in the vanilla. Would drink again.

Sep 06, 2011
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Spider889 from Ohio

3.92/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Had this at the Goose Island Clybourn location during my first visit to Chicago. Probably the most interesting beer that they had to offer that day.

The description said this was made with Chocolate malt, Terra Spice Tahitian vanilla bean, and Black Cat espresso beans. Sounds amazing.

Arrived in a sizable snifter, pitch black, but not really thick. The glass was pretty full, but there was enough room for a tight head of a few mm of a nice creamy eggnog color.

My initial reaction was that this smelled like a Starbucks! Wow I love a good coffee beer, and this one really delivers on the coffee. It is bold, but also tempered by sweet vanilla.

The taste isn't as impressive as the smell, but the espresso is still very potent and enjoyable. The vanilla seemed to lend more to the aroma, but you can still detect the vanilla bean under all of the coffee. Moderately sweet, with mild char and some bitterness on the finish.

Very smooth, deep and lingering, I liked this. Even at a meager 6.9% this was a sipper though.

Mar 08, 2011
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TurdFurgison from Ohio

3.55/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Vanilla porter! That's pretty much the long and short of it.

I had this on tap at the Clybourn brewpub. The menu notes: "Rich chocolate porter infused with Black Cat Espresso and Terra Spice Tahitian Vanilla Beans"

It's a black looking beer with a tan head, basically it looks as you'd expect. The vanilla beans are STRONG in the aroma, definitely the defining point. Roasted malts and coffee are there too but only with effort to explore beyond the vanilla. Same in the taste, this is pretty damn sweet and I estimate that cutting half of the vanilla would be a great improvement to the beer. At least the coffee could shine more. What coffee I tasted seemed strongly roasted and flavorful, dark beans. I think the sugary sweetness gets a little overbearing after a few sips, finishing the glass wasn't exactly a chore but it took a little while.

Jan 30, 2011
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jrallen34 from Illinois

3.72/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the pub...Pours a light black that stays black, even at the edges, A light tan head. The retention is so-so only lingering a bit before leaving only a ring...The aroma is fantastic in small doses, otherwise I get olfactory fatigue. Coffee on the front with freshly added vanilla on the finish. The vanilla is great, but sharp and too strong, after a few seconds becomes way sweet and I've had enough. Much more vanilla than the BCS Vanilla. As it warms and you drink more the vanilla finally fades...The taste is pretty much the same story. Huge burst of roasted coffee on the front, then tons of sweet vanilla on the finish. The extremes of each is too much for me to handle. Especially, the vanilla. This is way to sweet, almost candy or vanilla bean extract.

Too sweet and too boring to recommend. This would be interesting if they toned down the flavors.

Jan 26, 2011
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MasterSki from Canada (ON)

4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A porter made with coffee and vanilla beans. Served in a snifter.

A - Served with a finger of tan foam that settles to a thick ring and partial cap. Nearly black body that doesn't get any lighter at the fringes. Splotchy lace is left behind.

S - Coffee, vanilla, roasted malts, light cocoa. It's like the Funky Buddha porter I had on Saturday, but not quite as good.

T - Loads of bitter coffee, vanilla, and perhaps some lactose sugar? Strangely enough, this seems more of a milk stout than Chocolate Camaro did. Finishes with some roasted malt. It's a little cloying after a while.

M - Medium carbonation, medium body, fairly smooth for a coffee beer. Finishes dry and roasty, with a bit of residual stickiness.

D - This was a very nice if somewhat unsubtle coffee porter, although it too me a little while to work through it as the vanilla comes through a bit heavy. I'd gladly order it again though!

Jan 26, 2011
Special Snead Porter from Goose Island Beer Co.
Beer rating: 3.91 out of 5 with 5 ratings