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Beer Geek Vanilla Shake | Mikkeller ApS

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Beer Geek Vanilla ShakeBeer Geek Vanilla Shake

Brewed by:
Mikkeller ApS

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 13.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Vanilla Shake it is newest member of the great Beer Geek family. Oatmeal stout with coffee, and lots of vanilla.

Added by Rollzroyce21 on 08-15-2013

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Reviews: 155 | Ratings: 941
Photo of BillDraper
4.42/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Expensive but important . For breakfast on an empty stomach . Smell is weak and I like that. Very sweettongue expecting of hot bourblin brooks and was presently surprised by its timidity.

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Photo of Nicolaiw
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours pure black oily, small dark head.
Aroma: Cocoa, molasses, vanilla, roasted malts, spice/pepper
Taste: thick, huge vanilla profile, coffee, roasted malts, molasses, little smoke, little boozy with pepper notes, very pleasant.

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Photo of brianmandell
4.44/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Best by 10/02/26: Dark brown pour with very thin dissipating head. Smells of darkly roasted malt, sweet chocolate, coffee and vanilla. The flavor is amazingly balanced by lactose sweetness and bittering hops, coffee and roasty malts. The sweet chocolate and vanilla flavors are delicious, like a decadent dessert. The mouthfeel is velvety smoothness with soft carbonation - Almost perfect. Really great sweet stout here. One of the smoothest I've had - goes down dangerously easy!

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Photo of raysat
4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a bottle from the bottle shop in Lyngby. Poured in a snifter. Deep black colour with a thin caramel head. Aroma is vanilla with much coffee and roast. Flavour is rich and warming, alcohol disguised well. Good stout.

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Photo of braican
4.91/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

OK I guess it's not perfect. Didn't really retain head and looks a bit flat so loses a little there. Still looks amazing though.

Vanilla cake and roasted chocolate. Very sweet. Maybe a little booze, but it's real subtle

So much vanilla. So much chocolate. Even some dark fruit as it warms a little, but those ice cream flavors dominate.

Super smooth. A little if the alcohol heat, but it enhances rather than detracts. It FEELS like a milkshake.

This puts in an argument for best beer I've ever had. Definitely heavy on the vanilla, but that's what I like. You could put this on at an ice cream shop. That would be one kickass soft serve machine.

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Photo of ovaltine
4.52/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

If I was tasked with creating an imperial stout that was accessible for all levels of beer nerds, this would be that beer. It pours a pure jet black with 2 fingers of dark tan head. The aroma is toffee, caramel, dark chocolate - and vanilla. Loads of vanilla.

The taste is heavy on the dark chocolate, but the vanilla balances it, then continues to come forward as the taste settles in the back of your mouth. At 13% ABV, I kept waiting for the alcohol burn to light me up, but it never happened. This drinks so smooth, it's almost silly - how can a beer with this much flavor and this much alcohol not pound you into submission? This is spectacular, IMHO.

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Photo of SHODriver
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured into a snifter to a black beer topped by a finger of dense tan head that fades to a collar around the edge of the glass with minimal lacing
S: Smells of boatloads of vanilla with some coffee undertones. Slight roasted malt as well but mostly vanilla and coffee
T: Taste is vanilla, coffee, roasted malt and bitter dark chocolate. The vanilla comes and goes at times to give the other flavors a moment to shine but it always comes back. Swallow is roasted malt, espresso and bitter dark chocolate with slight hints of vanilla
M: Thick and velvety on the palate with slightly prickly carbonation and a dry finish from the ABV
O: This is a very good beer. Probably one of the best I've had from Mikkeller. It has some great complexity and flavors with the nice addition of the vanilla. Definitely one to try if you like big stouts.

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Photo of RMelyon
4.68/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Cellared since late 2014, drank July 2016. Smelled a little like sour milk on the nose, which scared me, but this beer is a goddamned frappachino with alcohol in it. Most chocolate of any beer I've ever had, and the vanilla just puts it over the top. It's a little hot at 13%, but that's mostly masked. Worth the hefty price tag for purchase at least once a year. Drink it.

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Photo of doktorhops
4.38/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well here we are: Beer review #700, another milestone another BIG beer - at 13% ABV Mikkeller Beer Geek Vanilla Shake is no slouch, plus I’ve always been a fan of Mikkeller brews - there’s a real feel of Mad Brewer Scientist about the one-man party machine that is Mikkel Borg Bjergsø. Let’s talk about Vanilla Shake, which is from the much vaunted and sought-after Beer Geek series of Mikkeller brews. It’s got several things I love in a beer: Oatmeal, coffee and vanilla bean. Plus it’s Mikkeller, so it’ll be good (if not awesome). Just a note to my readers: I’m taking a short hiatus from reviewing to do up a top 100 list of beers - keep waiting/watching.

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Strange: From first pour it looked as if it would have nary a head, like most high ABV brews, but then like the birth of the universe (because I was like there man) the most amazingly dense khaki head I’ve ever seen in a non-nitro beer formed and slowly decayed - how poetic Mikkeller! The body is obsidian black. 9/10.

S: A mad fusion of vanilla bean and cold drip coffee - fully one of the sweetest smelling brews I’ve encountered, which begs the question of whether there will be anything to balance it out with. Hints of powdered chocolate add to the gargantuan dessert-like aroma - I fully thought for a second there that my nose would dive right in to the glass. 8/10.

T: Soooo damn tasty! A syrupy coffee/vanilla concoction that hits the palate with a truckload of vanilla sugar then sweeps it away with bitter roasted coffee... towards the finish a kiss of smoke touches the back palate and lingers on like a dying campfire. Yes, this is one BIG brew, but it’s never chaotically so, it remains throughout a rich decadent and more importantly: harmonious experience. Bravo yet again Mikkeller! [you handsome bastard] 9/10.

M: Mouthfeel is like drinking something with a viscosity akin to honey with a soul-crushingly dense but light carbonation. Another reason why Oats rule man! 9/10.

D: This is one of those once-in-a-lifetime brews that is really quite nice but you wouldn’t have more than one in a sitting because it’s just so damn BIG and syrupy (and ever so slightly more bitter than I like), it’s borderline waaaay too much (like Black Buffalo) but it’s good to have these massive brews on occasion (as long as you don’t have to drive anywhere forever). I found this a fitting way to reach beer #700, and I’m looking forward to doing up my top 100 beers list. 9/10.

Food match: Bernard Black’s luxury pie.

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Photo of EmperorBevis
4.55/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Pours a jet black body with tan head that retreats to the edge of the glass
Smells of chocolate shake fizzy treats and wet cardboard
Tastes like a special chocolate vanilla crusha limited edition with a shot of something special

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Photo of fondyball20
3.69/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Too much char, bitter coffee, smoke. Based on other reviews I think there is a lot of batch variation because I didn't get much vanilla, almost all char/smoke

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Photo of ccg
3.83/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Beer Geek Vanilla Shake
Look: Roughly a finger of foam, tons of lacing happens almost immediately. 4.25
Smell: The smell is all smoked oats and earthy hops. No coffee or vanilla to be found. The smell reminds me of Mikkeller's Black Hole stout, which I thought was a bit too aggressively hopped, but it had the same earthy/floral thing on the nose. 3.75
Taste: Bitter coffee is a layer underneath bitter hops. Toasty. Oats. Chocolatey malt. Vanilla is there if you really look for it, but it's not in the foreground. 3.75
Mouthfeel: Soft and smooth and perfectly carbonated. 4.25
Overall: It's a well-made stout, but I'm disappointed. If you're going to call it "Vanilla Shake," there should be more sweetness, and it should be showcasing the vanilla. 3.75

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.06/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

11.2oz. capped bottle into a Cigar City snifter. Shared with schen9303.

Aroma is roasty... seems like the case with all Mikkeller stouts. Aromas of chocolate, vanilla, fudge, brownie and lactose. Moderately aromatic but the flavors work well together. Upfront flavors or chocolate, smoke and roast. Lots and lots of roast. Vanilla comes in waves towards the middle and doesn't stop. There's a lactose and fudge component that serves to amplify and really display the creaminess of the vanilla. Accented, boozy aftertaste. Full bodied with low carbonation. Slick, full and chewy in the mouth with some heat going down. Given the pedigree, not unexpected but the feel here is excellent.

Solid but I just don't understand why there needs to be so much roast and smoke in this one. Really detracts from the overall experience of the beer. This is good... but could be way way better.

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Photo of mobrado
4.41/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Outrageously expensive at over 3x the price of Victory at Sea, but very tasty, with more vanilla, more coffee and more body than VaS. The bitterness of the coffee and the hops offset the massive dose of vanilla and sweetness nicely.

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Photo of superspak
4.33/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330 ml bottle into snifter, best before 2/10/2026. Pours opaque dark brown/black color with a 1 finger dense tan head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Dense soapy lacing clings around the glass. Fantastic appearance. Aromas of big milk/dark chocolate, cocoa, nutty coffee, vanilla, cream, brown sugar, toffee, toasted dark bread, light smoke/char, and roasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/roast/bready malt and coffee/vanilla notes; with great strength. Taste of big milk/dark chocolate, cocoa, nutty coffee, vanilla, cream, brown sugar, toffee, toasted dark bread, light smoke/char, and roasted earthiness. Moderate roast/char and herbal hop bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of milk/dark chocolate, cocoa, nutty coffee, vanilla, cream, brown sugar, toffee, toasted dark bread, smoke, char, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt and coffee/vanilla flavors; with a nice malt/bitterness balance; with slight lingering roasted astringency building up after the finish. Light-moderate dryness from hop/char bitterness, that lightly increases through the glass. Light carbonation and very full bodied; very smooth, creamy/silky/slick, and moderately sticky/chalky balanced mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warmth lingering after the finish, with zero booziness. Overall this is a fantastic imperial stout. All around awesome complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt and coffee/vanilla flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the huge ABV. I wish this wasn’t so acridly roasty/bitter, but it was still highly enjoyable all around.

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Photo of EyePeeAyBryan
4.04/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Chocolate, vanilla, smoke, metallic and booze - Sadly, not in that order. The flavors work well, just nothing that works amazingly well. Was hoping for less char taste, WAY less heat and a touch more sweetness and vanilla.

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Photo of pants678
3.28/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Black with no head to speak of.

Candied vanilla extract.

Powdered sugar and vanilla. Might be missing cacao. Not awfully complex and isn't hitting my palate right. Vanilla's bordering piercing, not countered by much of anything.

Somehow hallow.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.83/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

This one pours a dark, dark black, with a small head, and no lacing. It looks thick AF.

Smells like a big vanilla disaster, sweet, maybe a tiny bit artificial, gummy, with some chocolate, and roasted malt.

This has a whole hell of a lot of vanilla in it, practically to it's detriment. The amount of vanilla lends a sort of gummy and slightly astringent thing to the proceedings here, making it slightly unpleasant. It's got a that bitter black barley thing that lots of Mikkeller stouts have, with some chocolatey malt, and light coffee notes. I know it's called Vanilla Shake, but if the vanilla was toned down a little, this would be way better.

This is incredibly thick bodied, probably a milkshake (duh?), with a lower level of carbonation. It's so rich.

Far from the best in the Beer Geek series, but alright in small doses.

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Photo of papat444
4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours totally black, getting a whiff of vanilla and chocolate. Flavor intense and sweet but bitter and dry in finish. Mouth coating, chocolate coffee flavor like moka a bit.

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Photo of -Rick
4.34/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark brown/black with a nice amount of tan head. Big notes of chocolate and coffee. Vanilla notes are also present, but not as pronounced as I had thought they would have been. Taste follows the nose. Vanilla, coffee, chocolate. Very solid mouthfeel, drinks like a meal. Overall a very nice beer. Would have liked a bit more vanilla taste, but was very happy overall.

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Photo of floyd_pugman
4.31/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A fine offering. I'm normally not a fan of Mikkeller Beer Geek stouts, as they’re too dry and bitter for my liking. This beer has the same characteristics, but the vanilla nicely offsets those flavors, resulting in a complex and flavorful beer that's neither too sweet nor too bitter; indeed the bitterness on the finish draws me back in to get the next sip of vanilla. At nine bucks I'll definitely be grabbing some more bottles of this.

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Photo of mtomlins
4.58/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a tall brown head with good retention and cutains of lace. The nose and taste are massive grain bombs, roasted and sweet with lots of dark and milk chocolate, huge vanilla and nice coffee. There are a bit of bittering hops at the finish to keep this from being sweet overload. The mouthfeel is heavy, velvet smooth with appropriate carbonation. A divine experience!

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Photo of OmahaKF
4.03/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Smell is big chocolate and coffee, hint of caramel, and a little bit of soy sauce.

Taste is molasses sweetness, vanilla, chocolate, coffee, some slight booziness and a fairly bitter finish.

Overall, another nice Beer Geek offering - really smooth for the ABV.

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Photo of CoreyC
4.31/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

11.2 oz bottle into a snifter

A - Black/brown with a reddish ting. Light tan head dissipates quickly.

S - Very nice - Coffee, vanilla, chocolate.

T - Vanilla, bitter chocolate, and coffee. Not too sweet with a bitter finish.

M - Nice, not too thick or heavy.

O - Very good, but could have been sweeter for me with less of a bitter finish. For those who like more bitter balance than me (most everyone) you will probably like this one a lot. ABV very hidden.

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Photo of Tsar_Riga
4.17/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - This a glorious looking beer, with a tight tan head and opaque brown-black body. The head fades down to a nice ring, and there is a smidge of lacing as you go.

S - Interesting nose, vanilla is showcased, with boozy heat coming out front, particularly as it warms. There is a subtle sour line, suggesting a milk note.

T - This is a wild one. Open is bright hit of roast, along with vanilla and sweetness, which quickly turns to spiky coffee bitterness, and closes with acidity and a slight milky note. It is an interesting ride. Surprises include the backgrounding of the alcohol. It is a subtle note throughout, and lingers after the close, but after its dominance in the nose, it is interesting it remains more hidden in the taste.

M - Similar to the taste, the fact that this is not a super hot hit of alcohol burn is a major trick. There is some acidity, and the slick oatmeal feel, and a bit of sharpness in the close.

O - This is a huge beer, with a wild mix of flavors. It really does manage to have elements of milk, vanilla, coffee, and beer, along with a major boozy nose that is kept dialed back in both the taste and feel. It is still there, though, and the ABV is sky-high, so drink with care. If I'd knock one thing, it is the acidity is too far forward. Still, creative, and surprisingly drinkable as a moderate sipper.

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Beer Geek Vanilla Shake from Mikkeller ApS
4.32 out of 5 based on 941 ratings.
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