Stone Smoked Porter W/Vanilla Bean | Stone Brewing

BA SCORE
87
very good
2,358 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
Ratings:
2,358
Reviews:
536
Avg:
3.89
pDev:
12.34%
 
 
Wants:
126
Gots:
359
For Trade:
9
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,358 |  Reviews: 536
Photo of SocalKicks
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of brentk56
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a coffee brown color with an impressive head that leaves quite a few shards behind

Smell: Loads of vanilla in the aroma; black bread underneath; hard to detect the smoke

Taste: Black bread, up front, with the vanilla developing and overwhelming the middle; after the swallow, the charcoal flavors dominate, leaving a bitter coffee character in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: The flavors in this beer to not meld together - they compete with one another with the vanilla up front and the char (rather than smoke) in the back; would be a very nice vanilla porter if the smoke was excluded but as a smoked porter, the original is much better

 698 characters

Photo of oline73
4.27/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: The beer pours a dark brown with some red when the light hits the edges. There is a half finger of off white head that fades to a ring around the pour.

Smell: Tons of vanilla here. Not getting a whole lot of smoke. Mildly sweet roasted malt and vanilla beans.

Taste: I am getting some of the smoke here. The smoke and roast are a bit smoother than the chipotle version. The vanilla beans show up throughout the sip with a slight malt sweetness. There is a mild vanilla roast in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with very smooth carbonation and a really dry finish.

Overall: I liked this better than the chipotle version. I enjoyed both, but I'm a sucker for vanilla. Very nice.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle: Poured a clear light black color porter with a large light brown foamy head. Aroma of light chocolate notes with light smoky note notes with some vanilla undertones are pleasant. Taste is a mix between chocolate malt notes offset by some vanilla with discreet smoky flavors. Body is thinner then I was hoping for with good carbonation. Well brewed and easy to drinking but lacks some depth and body to be truly great.

 425 characters

Photo of LXIXME
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark mahogany body with excellent clarity. An inch of off-white head forms.

Smell: As advertised, there's plenty of smoke and vanilla, and they work pretty nicely together. The porter base is dry, roasty, slightly ashy. Vanilla gives an illusion of richness to an otherwise dry beer.

Palate: Lots of natural and tasty vanilla flavor, along with a present but nicely integrated smokiness. Roasted malt, a touch of cigar and coffee. The body is medium verging on light. Carbonation is at a lower-medium level. Vanilla lingers, but the finish dries up nicely without being particularly bitter. This is a really enjoyable take on an already good beer.

 661 characters

Photo of zeff80
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at 44 Stone, Columbia, MO on 7/26/12

A - Poured an opaque, jet black color with a small, tan head of bubbly foam. It left sudsy trails of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of vanilla with some mild smoky notes.

T - It tasted smoky with a nice vanilla touch to mellow the smoke. Nice roasted malt flavor.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry, clean finish.

O - This is really tasty. I think I like this better than the original version.

 477 characters

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of dmorgan310
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, best before 9/20/2012. Pours slightly hazy dark reddish brown color with a nice 2 finger dense light khaki head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Nice soapy lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of big vanilla bean, toffee, caramel, toasted malt, chocolate, cream, and light herbal. Very nice aromas with good strength and balance. Taste of vanilla, chocolate, caramel, toffee, roasted malt, cream, light smoke, light citrus, and earthy hops. Light bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of vanilla, toffee, caramel, chocolate, roasted malt, light smoke, and earthy spiciness. Nice balance of vanilla and roasted flavors with hop bitterness; no cloying flavors at all. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly creamy and lightly crisp mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming after the finish. Overall this is a very nice vanilla porter. Nice amounts of vanilla flavor with good balance; very smooth to drink. Very enjoyable as expected.

 1,046 characters

Photo of DrBier
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of Boone757
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of Thorpe429
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Churchkey.

Pours near black and has very little head or lacing. Perhaps a bit more in that department than the chipotle version. Nose is strong, strong vanilla. That's about is as nearly all the smoke and roast are overwhelmed. Taste is similarly unbalanced, although I won't complain, as it is quite a nice flavor. Mouthfeel is medium with good carbonation. Drinks fairly well. Nice and refreshing....would be a great dessert beer.

 443 characters

Photo of nickfl
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - One finger of if white foam on an opaque, black body. Ok retention and good lace.

S - Light smoke and some thick toffee. Notes of mocha and molasses with a distinct vanilla character.

T - Brown toffee and caramel up front. Some molasses in the middle with a hint of coffee appearing and vanilla starting to show through. The finish is full of chocolate and coffee with nutty vanilla and lingering smoke.

M - Moderately thick body, moderate carbonation, and a sweet finish.

D - Very nice, the smoke and vanilla combine nicely with the dark, sugary malt. It is a bit too sugary for my taste however and I really can't imagine drinking more than one in a sitting.

 668 characters

Photo of oberon
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poures a roasted nut brown with a thinner somewhat creamy off white head atop,the color seems to be a bit lighter than an avergae porter.Aromas are smoked and somewhat earthy with the vanilla pretty faint and in the background.The vanilla flavors are more pronounced on the palate intermingling nicely with the dryer,lighter earthy/smoked flavors.A fuller creamy feel is nice but I have to admit I was expecting a little more from this beer,I would have liked more vanilla in the aromas and a little more smoke on the palate.In saying that it's still pretty damn good,Stone is held in real high regard from me.

 610 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.48/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Shared pint at the 2014 Most Arrogant Bar Bash (Barleys in Greenvillle, SC).

The aroma indicates that is over-loaded with vanilla, Tasting confirms this impression. The mix of sweet malts and vanilla compound each other, and the ale would be better if one or the other were reduced a bit. So much vanilla I can barely detect the smoked malt.

Feel: smooth with very good, medium-light carbonation.

O: too much vanilla.

 422 characters

Photo of jlindros
4.27/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cask at nerax.

Light bubbly head super dark brown color.

Nose of loaded vanilla light smoke coffee roasted malt oak creamy chocolate.

Taste is semi sweet loaded with vanilla creamy light choc some bitterness lingering sweet and bitter and lots of vanilla.

Mouth is creamy and rich med to heavier body low carb.

Drinkability is good with low abv, no sticky or syrupy flavors, smooth and creamy demeanor.

 408 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.77/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.58/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

On-tap 1/7/2014 at Track 84, in Warwick, RI served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains smoky roasted malts, chocolate, vanilla, coffee and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with a strong and sweet vanilla flavor up front followed by a hearty but not too heavy roasted malt character. There’s some smokiness in the background as well as flavors of chocolate and coffee. The hops presence is decent for the style and brings a very good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Very tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, decent kick, very good representation of style, this is a very nice flavorful porter to drink for a long time.

 887 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours an opaque very dark brown in color with hints of dark amber when held up to the light and some light amounts of visible carbonation near the edges of the glass. The beer has a finger tall dense dark tan head that slowly reduces to a thin film covering the entire surface of the beer with a couple of large thick patches and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of vanilla bean and smoke.

T: The flavor of this beer starts out with some dark roasted malts with notes of smoke and iodine. After that, the vanilla bean sweetness comes through and there is very light notes of bitterness in the finish.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly thin but very smooth.

O: This beer is very enjoyable with the sweetness of the vanilla combining nicely with the smokey and roasted malt flavors. Easy to drink but more of a sipping beer than a session beer.

 958 characters

Photo of nathanmiller
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of XmnwildX12
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of mendvicdog
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of Ciocanelu
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%

Photo of billab914
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle pouted into my Devil's Backbone glass. Pretty close to black in color with a creamy head rising an inch above the top of the beer. Very nice lacing as I drank it.

The aroma mixes roasty coffee with a creamy, vanilla bean presence. There is some milk chocolate flavors coming through along with a hint of smoke. I really like the coffee and vanilla cream combination, but like the regular version I wish there was more smoke to it.

The vanilla flavors really stand out in the taste. It gives it a creamy, sweet flavor that really compliments well. I get a little more of a coffee flavor to the darker malts up front, but a roasty bitterness starts to take over in the finish. Again though, the smoke is way too reserved for having the word "smoked" on the bottle.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied for the style with carbonation being about average. Overall, I really liked how well the vanilla complimented the roasted malts. As for the smoke though, I have the same problem I have with the regular version of the beer in that the smoke is way too reserved and barely noticeable. I love smoked beers, but every time I drink a Stone version I end up disappointed in the lack of smokiness. It was a very good beer that might have been great with a little more smoke.

 1,279 characters

Stone Smoked Porter W/Vanilla Bean from Stone Brewing
3.89 out of 5 based on 2,358 ratings.
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