Stone Smoked Porter W/Vanilla Bean | Stone Brewing

Stone Smoked Porter W/Vanilla BeanStone Smoked Porter W/Vanilla Bean
BA SCORE
3.88/5
2,360 Ratings
Stone Smoked Porter W/Vanilla BeanStone Smoked Porter W/Vanilla Bean
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States
stonebrewing.com

Style: Smoked Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.90%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
In 2006, almost exactly 10 years after we first released Stone Smoked Porter, Stone Small Batch Brewer Laura Ulrich had a brilliant idea: What if she added whole Madagascar vanilla beans to a small batch of the finished beer? And voilà, Stone Smoked Porter w/Vanilla Bean was born! It was an instant hit, as the resulting flavor combinations—rich vanilla melding with the malty, chocolaty, coffee-like characteristics of the beer—were practically made for each other. Originally available only as an occasional growler fill or on tap all-too-briefly at special events or in our restaurant, this exquisite creation was released in a single bottle run for the first time in 2012, much to the delight of its many fans…who instantly began clamoring for more.

Added by MiScusi on 08-31-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
-
Reviews:
538
Ratings:
2,360
pDev:
12.37%
Bros Score:
3.92
 
 
Wants:
125
Gots:
358
Trade:
8
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 2,360 |  Reviews: 538
Photo of LeRose
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a 2014 bottle into tumblers for me and the missus. Pours very clear, dark coffee brown with an inch of rich, foamy head that persist, minimal cling.

The smell is boozy vanilla with mild smoke that was probably more intense when the beer was younger. Nice malts with the smoky thing going on, but even considering the age the aroma is subdued. Pleasant, though.

Taste is chocolatey coffee with smoke. Vanilla emerges as the beer warms and lends sweetness. The sweetness is at that just right point, being present but not sticky. A little bitterness keeps things clean. Nicely flavored, only mildly boozy versus the nose.

Feel is smooth, medium, and mildly carbonated. Clean, minimal lngering smoke and vanilla.

Overall, this is an excellent beer that I wish we had opened fresh. As it s, with three years on it, it is still drinkng fabulously.

 853 characters

Photo of woodychandler
3.89/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

One of my drinking buddies is the only other person in our circle of friends who really digs smoked beers. On T, 18 July 2017, we got together on my front porch for smoked everything - beer, meats, cheeses, oysters. It was a great excuse to run through some bottles that I had been saving for just such an occasion.

Having Pop!ped the cap, I employed a gentle pour for each of us. An in-glass swirl raised a finger of foamy, deep-tan head with decent retention. Color was Dark Brown to Very Dark Brown (SRM = > 27, < 34) with NE-quality clarity. Nose held a LOT of vanilla, underlain by a sweet smokiness, like peat, perhaps? Mouthfeel was medium. The taste was more sweet than smoky with an emphasis on the vanilla, reinforced by whichever smoked malt had been used in the beer's production. Finish continued with a pronounced vanilla flavor underlain by that same sweet smokiness which reminded me of locally produced Sweet Lebanon Bologna. Very nice!

 954 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
3.91/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown, almost black just like the base version, 1/2" cream colored head. Excellent retention on this one. Aroma was still mostly roast.

Taste has a much obvious vanilla sweetness to it that tempers the roasty notes. The base is also well hopped, so much of that bitterness is also tempered by the vanilla bean addition. Alcohol remains out of the way taste and mouth feel wise. Coffee from the malt feels.

This is a real good base porter and they even improve on it by adding vanilla. Very good, I really like the 12oz bottles because they cost so much less than the 22oz bottles in a price per oz analysis.

 632 characters

Photo of lemmy187
3.99/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Jadjunk
3.73/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

In 2006, almost exactly 10 years after we first released Stone Smoked Porter, Stone Small Batch Brewer Laura Ulrich had a brilliant idea: What if she added whole Madagascar vanilla beans to a small batch of the finished beer? And voilà, Stone Smoked Porter w/Vanilla Bean was born! It was an instant hit, as the resulting flavor combinations—rich vanilla melding with the malty, chocolaty, coffee-like characteristics of the beer—were practically made for each other. Originally available only as an occasional growler fill or on tap all-too-briefly at special events or in our restaurant, this exquisite creation was released in a single bottle run for the first time in 2012, much to the delight of its many fans…who instantly began clamoring for more. Your voices have been heard." Brewed in the style of a Smoked Porter ale with vanilla beans added. Available in 22 oz. bottles and on limited draft. 2013 & 2014 bottled releases with comparative notes.

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle to a snifter glass.

(Appearance) Pours a creamy frothed head of a pale tan complexion over a deep caramel brown body with abundant carbonation. Retention is good and lacing is light and spotty. 3.75

(Smell) Caramel and pale malts, soft chocolate malts, faded vanilla, delicate smoked grain. Still nicely balanced aroma despite a limited depth of aroma, with a solid balance of malt to specialty character. Potency is moderate. 3.75

(Taste) Chocolate and smokey grains forward, with a soft residual sweetness and some light vanilla backbone with more flavor and less filling sweetness, nicely presented and highly drinkable with a solid specialty grain depth, nonetheless not particularly memorable flavor. 3.75

(Mouthfeel) Texture is slick, lightly residual, softly chewy, smoky and medium dry. Carbonation is medium, generating a medium frothiness and a modestly crisp finish. Body is medium+ for the style, medium+ overall. Balance is nearly even sweet to smokey grain and specialty malt character. Alcohol presence is light and there are no off characters. 3.5

(Overall) Despite being significantly past the suggested peak of enjoyability, this 2014 bottle of Smoked Porter with Vanilla Bean retains a great smokey character and the essence of vanilla without bringing saccharine sweetness to ruin the balance of flavors. It is surprisingly much better than I anticipated. 3.75

Vertical Notes:

2013 (3 years aged): Pours a crisp, foamy head of a medium tan tone over an equally dense body with lively carbonation, slightly more clarity, but superior retention to the fresher batch. The aroma was significantly more stale, with cardboard and musty vanilla cream, less smoke character and more residual sweetness, nonetheless serves more resemblance, despite its flaws, to what I anticipate of a Vanilla bean-infused porter. The flavor largely follows the aroma, with significantly more perceived sweetness, less smoked malt character, and a shallow chocolate body, yet retains most of its lightness, and the vanilla, largely due to the absence of specialty grains, is more evident in this vintage than the fresher beer. Texture is slick, softly syrupy, more smooth. Carbonation is a touch lighter, with more creaminess and a softer crisp finish. Body remains the same, while balance brings slightly more sweetness to the mix over specialty grain character, with the creaminess and almost lactose vanilla bean sugars throwing balance off somewhat. In the end, this beer marks a crossroads between a well-built beer just going old to a bad fresh beer going soft and thus, turning somewhat enjoyable as some of the more fragile adjuncts mellow out. Nonetheless, I prefer the retained smokiness of the fresher batch with the vanilla bean a delicate afterthought, but think that a beer that retains the best of both vintages would be outstanding. There was no doubt some recipe tweaking (or dialing back of the vanilla in particular) between years evidenced here.

Recommended Vintage: Fresh (And don't do this experiment... take it from me.)

Stone Brewing's
Smoked Porter With Vanilla Bean
3.73/5.00

 4,099 characters

Photo of FrancisM12
3.76/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Dreynolds1808
3.3/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of dag1991
4.89/5  rDev +26%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of VashonGuy
3.77/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Yermomsfavorite
4.06/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of IceAce
4.04/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of VABA
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of StoutElk_92
4.38/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark mahogany with a creamy tan head. Smells like toasted marshmallow, vanilla, caramel, almost bourbony, toffee, sweet dark fruit, roasted malts, heavy chocolate, mild coffee, and grassy pine. Tastes like chocolate cereal, marshmallow vanilla bean, dark roasted malt, caramel, mildly smoky dark roast coffee, dark fruits, toffee, with mild piney earthy woody grass. Feels light bodied, creamy with moderate carbonation. Overall a really enjoyable smoked porter with vanilla bean.

 486 characters

Photo of GMorgan
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Jacobprice
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of q33jeff
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

**
12/31/2014
Nice; Vanilla is apparent. Smoke. Vanilla, caramel, bacon?, Wood.Cola Black with Small White Head.Different flavors. Taste not as attractive as aroma. OK Overall, only above average.
**

 202 characters

Photo of TravisMason
3.76/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of sposter4
3.92/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of brayton
3.1/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of rolltide8425
3.94/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Jmoor
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I like porters espressos vanilla aroma beans like coffee milk stout stone but better by far pop pour enjoy

106 characters

Photo of Griggsy
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of aratcliffe
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of cleve1212
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of ucmike11
3.84/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Stone Smoked Porter W/Vanilla Bean from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 3.88 out of 5 with 2,360 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.