Vanilla Bean Brown Ale | Landmark Beer Company

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Vanilla Bean Brown AleVanilla Bean Brown Ale
36 Ratings
Vanilla Bean Brown AleVanilla Bean Brown Ale

Brewed by:
Landmark Beer Company
New York, United States

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by John on 05-31-2006

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
View: Beers
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Ratings: 36 |  Reviews: 31
Reviews by stegmakk:
Photo of stegmakk
3.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got to try this at the 09 Syracuse Cask fest at Clark's.

A: Deep brown color. Clear. Head was large soapy looking bubbles. Some lacing.

S: Mostly warming vanilla. Almost afraid there might be too much by the smell.

T: Vanilla hit up front hard but not overpowering. Moved to a nutty taste on the back end. Decent balance. Could have been more of a "natural" vanilla taste though.

M: Slick...smooth

D: Very tasty. I could drink a medium number of these. After many I could see the vanilla getting too overbearing.

 517 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of Billolick
3.2/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle. Pours the expected brown ale brown, minor light tan head, leaves very minimal lace bits. Malty nose and I dont get any vanilla. Thin body wise, sweet and fairly off putting stuff. Malty, with more sweetness, vanilla wafting around in the rear, some chalky dryness late. Unimpressive and unenjoyable. Was gonna drain it, but added it to my marinating chicken instead...pass this one by IMHO

 406 characters

Photo of tigg924
2.78/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: caramel brown with a one inch head and medium carbonation, clear

Smell: caramel and toasted malt--surprisingly no vanilla

Taste: faint vanilla, toasted malt then a roasted malt taste

Mouthfeel: smooth, high carbonation, semi-sweet

Drinkability: The vanilla here is super subtle and when it hits, it seems very candy like and artificial. The brown ale portion is ok. I have had better vanilla beers and brown ales. One is enough.

 444 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A medium mouthfeel brown freshly tapped at Kelly Cole's Improper, with the Landmark rep. A claim that it's pure vanilla, it could be. First sample off the tap was sour, so we will ignore that. A bit milky at first and then carmel body and full carbonation felt in the finish. Decent for what it is.

 298 characters

Photo of Gmann
3.18/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy deep brown color, with an average off white head that settles into a light cap. A very strong vanilla flavor, smells almost artificial. Some oak/woody and brown sugar characteristics as well. Some forced vanilla flavor as well which is mellowed by some milk chocolate and bready malt. The added vanilla flavor seems to kill this brew. While not as fake tasting as Leine's fireside nut brown, it seems to go down the same path. Seems to be a bit grainy in the end with a slight hop bitterness. Moderate feel with tingly carbonation, pretty much starts sweet and finishes sweet. There is a nice earthy quality to this brew that bring some balance but the added vanilla presence tastes not natural. Kind of a gimmicky brew.

 733 characters

Photo of njmoons
2.38/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Picked up a bottle at Half Time, to give a vanilla beer a try. While the Vanilla in the aroma was nice, in the flavor is seemed artificially strong, and in conflict with the beer.

This was the first Vanilla beer I have tried, and it did not work for me.

Appearance: A nice chocolate brown color, decent head with limited retention. Looked good.

Smell, the brown ale, hop, and Vanilla flavor made an interesting and nice aroma, I was looking forward to this beer.

Taste: Not too good. The beer flavor seemed all over the place. The base brown ale was a little thin on the malt, the Vanilla hits like a punch right after the ale flavor starts, and the finish is too bitter for a Brown Ale. The Vanilla flavor seems artificially enhanced. The bottle says all natural flavors and I am not suggesting they were not, just too much Vanilla.

Mouthfeel was good. Appropriate for the style.

Drinkability: I would not drink this again.

Serving type: bottle

 952 characters

Photo of Beejay
3.71/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks DmanGTR!

A: Reddish Brown in color and crystal clear. Nice very very full head on top. The head on this thing is huge and persistent. Leaving some lovely lacing. A gorgeous looking beer.

S: Porter, Malt, brown sugar and vanilla. Almost like a sweet oatmeal scent in there with the vanilla. Very nice and mellow, with a subtle roasty flavor at the end.

T: Nice an malty, creamy smooth with a nice vanilla kick in the end. Good but not ground breaking. Bet it would be awesome with ice cream or a float.

M: Medium bodied, carbonation is nice. Nothing funny here.

D: Good. Not something I would drink all night. But a good change of pace beer, interesting and tasty.

 676 characters

Photo of tclapper
4/5  rDev +21.2%

Photo of MTNboy
3.65/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- It has a somewhat deep hazy brown body. It had an average head that disappeared quickly to form average lace.

Smell- It was milder than I thought it was going to be. It has real vanilla infused with malt smell. Very nice without being overdone.

Taste- Vanilla like flavor hits you right off the bat but then it turns in to a roasted caramel malt flavor. It is sort of root beer like.

Mouthfeel- A little watery and light.

Drinkability- This is very mellow kick back and unwind beer.

 500 characters

Photo of rohrbachsfan
4.24/5  rDev +28.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark brown (almost opaque). Tall head.

Smell: Sweet malt, vanilla.

Taste: Sweet malt. Roasted coffee. Fresh vanilla with hints of chocolate. Tasted almost like a vanilla porter. I felt like I was eating a chocolate cake with vanilla icing while drinking a cup of black coffee

Mouthfeel: Creamy with smooth finish.

Drinkability: This is not something I would drink with a meal but it’s a great dessert beer or something for a cold winter’s night. All the flavors are perfectly balanced. This is a filling beer, but very nice.

 551 characters

Photo of weeare138
3.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to hopdog...
Appears a hazy, dark amber with a fluffy, off-white head that quickly fades into a small cap. Spotty lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of vanilla extract up front with carmel, and light citrus with caramel malt standing out.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas. Good idea but not overly complex. The vanilla and caramel seems like it's a tad heavy on the sweetness.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, light, thin finish, with sweet, sugar cane, and stickiness on the lips.

 490 characters

Photo of jneiswender
1.72/5  rDev -47.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Had a pint glass of this from the bottle.

A-gem brown, rocky beige head, very dense.

S-malty, metallic and some vanilla

T-smoky, malt front, snap pea flavor in the middle, and some hop bitterness at the end. Very little vanilla flavor at all


D-very little vanilla flavor to this brew. the other competing flavors were some what off-putting

 353 characters

Photo of ppoitras
3.97/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle purchased at either Party Source or Brilbeck's, Syracuse, NY.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/4" beige head over the clear orangey copper brew. Head is promptly down to a swirly layer of uneven bubbles, with average to good lacing. Aroma is vanilla and grain. Taste starts nutty, with a touch of vanilla in the middle, and a balanced to bitter close. Caramel notes as well. Mouthfeel is soft over the tongue, and drinkability is good.

 463 characters

Photo of wiseguy142
3.34/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Had this at the 2009 CNY Brewfest and thought it was pretty tasty, decided to pick up a bottle. Bottle says brewed both with vanilla beans and flavoring, which is disappointing but economical. Probably would be about 10x more expensive if it was all vanilla beans so I guess I can't complain.

Pours a perfectly clear brown, like brown stained glass. Thin smoky head dies down fairly quickly but sticks around for some good, very solid lacing around the glass.

Aroma is a great mix of almost smokey brown malt, pure vanilla, and coffee. I think the coffee does it for me in terms of appeal and adds a great amount of complexity to the aroma. Like smelling a cappucino.

Taste is just a bit watery at first and too dextrinous. The coffee and roasted barley flavors aren't as apparent in the taste at all. Tastes a little more like watery vanilla syrup. Not bad, but could use some british-ifying with some gypsum, a tougher bite from the roasted malt, etc. Something to back up the great vanilla flavor.

Mouthfeel is dextrins and nothing else. A little wrong for this beer I think. You'd also think that you'd get tired of the strong vanilla flavor after a while but it's not bad. Not too sweet and the flavor stays appealing throughout the beer.

 1,249 characters

Photo of iceball585
2.93/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A- Dark brown/black color, one finger thick tan color head that quickly faded down to a thin layer

S- Nuts, dark malts, coffee, smokey, slightly metallic

T- Smokey, coffee, chocolate, dark malts, nuts, hint of vanilla beans

M- Fairly light feeling on the tongue, heavy carbonation

D- Worth a try but not something I'd buy often

Really fizzy for being a brown ale. Not as much vanilla taste as I was expecting but still worth a try.

 436 characters

Photo of sulldaddy
3.82/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I am sampling a cellar temp bottle of this brew poured into a pint glass.
HOLY FOAM! Not a gusher but the first 1 oz of beer fills my pint glass 2/3 with creamy beige head. This could take a while.

The beer has a nice aroma, some roasty malt notes, maybe some almond nut hints and definitely some sweet vanilla. Could be hints of chocolate mixed in too.

First sip reveals a very fizzzy and tingly carbonation that dominates the texture of the beer. Body is a little thin but not really watery.

Flavor is mostly sweet malt with some chocolate and roasted malt mixing with hints of vanilla and brown sugar too. Flavor is not as sweet as expected as the roasted malt dominates the lingering flavor and leaves an almost bitter coffee note after each swallow.
there is no hint of ABV and the beer is very easy to drink. Slightly over carbonated IMO as this beer would be pretty nice on cask.
Worth a shot if you see it, but probably not something to hunt down.

 959 characters

Photo of williamherbert
3.28/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance is dark. Very dark. A brown, almost black. Totally opaque. Couldn't see the sun through this beer from an inch away.

The smell is very feint, almost non-existant. What I could smell was malty, but with a little sweetness to it.

The flavor has a dash of vanilla, but the more overwhelming flavors are of the molasses and licorice variety. It's a thick flavor.

It has a syrupy but surprisingly smooth flavor, but the aftertaste is dry and has a surprisingly nice finish. It's a nice beer to have one or, but too many in a row would be overkill. This would need something to cut through the thickness of it.

 624 characters

Photo of WesWes
4.18/5  rDev +26.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a brown color with a beautiful creamy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a complex array of malt scents ranging from pale and crystal to roasted along with a mild vanilla aroma. The taste is good as well. It has a nice roasted and crystal malt flavor that goes down easy and finishes with a really flavorful vanilla character. The taste is well balanced with sweet and dry components. It's also not overly vanilla in nature, but it's sure noticable. The mouthfeel is great. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a tremendous beer. It's highly drinkable and is a fine session ale.

 645 characters

Photo of LumpyGuitar
3.52/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked this up, saw it was local and wanted to support.

Poured a light brown, thin white head with poor retention. No lacing.

Smell is of roasted malt and vanilla. Vanilla dominates but smells nice.

Taste is very balanced. Vanilla dominates again, with a mild malt and hop presence. Mild spice and slighty bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is light bodied, crisp, good carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I could throw a few back and this is actually a pretty good beer considering I thought it'd be a novelty beer.

 510 characters

Photo of albern
3.62/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This strikes me as one of those novelty beers that are worth trying so that you will know what vanilla bean in a beer ought to taste like; or perhaps this will widen your repretoire when coming across a vanilla like flavor that you otherwise wouldn't be able to pin down. It is a beer for the purposes of education. That said, I'm not sure that I would come back to this beer again, and having more than one or two would be rather difficult. A six pack of this? Unthinkable. The beer pours a nice tawny brown with some off white head and a bit of retention. The aroma, well you guessed it, vanilla and lots of it. There is also a coffee aroma in this beer too. The aroma of the two pretty much overpower anything else going on underneath. The taste is a bit more complex. The beer has a very strong and noticeable vanilla cream flavor in the mid section and this segues to a slightly less sweet, perhaps a bit harsher nutty flavor towards the finish. Things get a bit drier on the back end. I'm picking up a bit of hop in the very end as well. The beer is fairly light bodied, and hard to tell if there is much of a creaminess to the beer, because the vanilla gives off a vanilla creme de menthe texture throughout. I wouldn't say the beer is watery though. The mouthfeel is light and the aftertaste fairly mild. I'm not sure if the brown ale underneath all the vanilla flavoring is any better than average. This is worth a try for the novelty of it all.

 1,454 characters

Photo of Brad007
3.23/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a nice dark brown with a small brown head into my glass. Very light for a brown ale.

Just a trace of vanilla bean among sweet molasses and a very dull hop presence.

Vanilla bean essence (read: essence) dominates upfront, followed by a malt profile that seems more at home in a red ale.

Lingering trace of vanilla bean followed by traditional malt. Nothing really special and the carbonation level seems too high.

Not bad but not as great as I had hoped.

 464 characters

Photo of bluntedboywonder
2.5/5  rDev -24.2%

Photo of Hojaminbag
3.82/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brown body with a head that is creamy by cask standards and even leaves a bit of lacing.

The aroma has some slightly pale, sweet malts, a bit of toasted character and a good dose of vanilla.

The flavor has the pale, sweet malts that have butterscotch flavors, and the slight toasted character is very slight. One flavor that is strong is the vanilla. The flavor tastes like natural vanilla extract, which is basically concentrated vanilla.

Medium in both carbonation and body, nothing to comment on really.

This is drinkable, but I could see the vanilla getting cloying after a bit.

 586 characters

Photo of fightingirishcmk
3.55/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is the second time in a row that my review has been above rohrbachsfan's review. Very strange.

A: Pours a deep brown color with a moderate head, small carbonation bubbles. Short lasting head retention.

S: Prounounced vanilla smell (obviously). The best way I can describe it is this: Take a glass of milk and put some hersheys syrup in it, and stir. It is very similar to that.

T: Tastes like you'd think. A malty brown ale with some vanilla flavoring. The vanilla wasn't too intense for me, but there was a definite lack of complexity to the taste.

M: This felt really good. Just the right amount of carbonation to make this a creamy ale.

D: Would recommend this primarily as a dessert beer. I had it once on tap (i think) and it was slightly better and had a fresher taste to it. I enjoyed this on a summer afternoon and it was still pretty good though.

 875 characters

Photo of tavernjef
3.14/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Nicely tarnished dark brown with a smallish capping of light tanned creamy froth. Keeps a good skim and collar as it leaves minimal lacing in a few big spots.

Aroma is lofty of hazelnut and vanilla extract, slimmer ginger hints with a hint of sweet browned malt. However, it seems alot less then a brown ale aroma then it trying to be a whole mess of Anchor OSAs' that are made from preservatives and over processed bakery goods then the natural stuff that beer is made from. Kinda fakey smelling.

Taste is definately more of the same, extract vanilla weakness in flavor is actually the overbearing character of the overall taste. Too much vanilla here, root beer-like sweetness slacks up the remainder balance, but the vanilla stuff is too much for me.

Feel is clean and simple with a tender carbonation that helps keep the overly settling vanilla sweetness from being sharp. And thank goodness for that. Otherwise this would be over the top by another hurdle not wanting to jump over during the middle of a race. Body is slightly less then medium with a slight dryness in the finish with vanilla extract and cookie dough fluff very lightly wafting about.

For a Brown this just didn't do it for me. Overly vanilla in nearly every manner and not in a fresh, wholesome way. Not sure if extract is actually used in the making of this brew, but man it sure seems to be coated in the fashion that it is. Either that or its just too much of the real thing? Unfortunately, not to my liking either way I put it.

 1,517 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Vanilla Bean Brown Ale from Landmark Beer Company
Beer rating: 3.3 out of 5 with 36 ratings