Stone Smoked Porter W/Vanilla Bean | Stone Brewing

very good
536 Reviews
Stone Smoked Porter W/Vanilla BeanStone Smoked Porter W/Vanilla Bean

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States

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.

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 536 | Ratings: 2,359
Photo of drunkenmess
3.43/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Love vanilla porters. Loved their smoked porter. Decided to try this. Pours dark dark amber with a dark crimson glow. Ultimate khaki head. Lacing is tremendous thru out. The head diminishes later but still lingers around. Smells of sugar sweetness. Taste is surprisingly light bodied. Full of flavor tho. Upfront blast of all around vanilla with after tastes of smokiness and light burntness. Also hints of cocoa as well. Veeery niiice

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Photo of dmgeng
4.45/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My buddy really wanted to try it and we split it.

A - Nice dark brown, black color with a light brown head and light lacing.

S - Soft but rich aroma with the vanilla really coming upfront and then the smooth smoked malt, light roast, dark chocolate and sweet coffee tones. The smoked character is there but it seems to be behind the real vanilla bean character.

T - The sweet malt and french vanilla are first to the tongue. The middle opens up into more of the depth that is Stone's smoked porter with caramel, light roasted coffee, chocolate, and the perfect amount of smoked character to add depth. The finish is where the roasted character really takes shape allowing some contrast to the sweet porter base. Very smooth and much richer than I would have anticipate at less than 6% ABV!

M - Moderate to high mouth-feel. low to moderate carbonation. I was surprised at the significant amount of mouth-feel that you could get from this beer. Enough to coat the palate on the sip and accentuate the flavors but still light enough not to linger.

Overall, this is a very delicious version of the smoked porter. It really blends the base beer with the vanilla very well and has a much more natural place than some of the vanilla beers I've had. The same goes for the amount of smoke with just enough to compliment but not be predominant. I really liked this beer and if you like porters I would strongly recommend this one since it is flavorful and easy to drink.

Glass- Snifter

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Photo of JamesBondGA
4.21/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

dark cherry wood in color. Aroma has some Vanilla notes. But the Vanilla is not overly prevalent when tasting the brew. It's there in the background, but you get more coffee taste.

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Photo of MetalMatt
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

I'm not a big fan of Stone as a whole, but this is one of the best porters I've had since Sockeye powerhouse porter. It has a sweet toasty vanilla flavor that finishes thick and chewy in a delightful way.

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Photo of stevoj
3.77/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

nitially taken by the way the vanilla rounds the porter bitterness. An all around pleasant drinking experience. Only knock against this is a slightly metallic finish. Pours out a nice dark brown, with a medium airy, frothy beige head. Aroma of vanilla somehow tricks the mind into thinking chocolate. taste has the vanilla rounding out the roast grains, mild sweetness with bitterness lingering in the background. Overall nice presentation.

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Photo of Trentt2
4.04/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An outstanding version of an American porter. The look is incredible and everything complements well. Feel is a touch of a let down but even it's not bad. I'd get it again.

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

A: Fast paced effervesce races up the vessel walls within a black licorice sheen colored body is topped off by a light walnut toned, frumpy foam head. Healthy retention at 1.5 inches is stubborn and lasting leaving heavy patches of foam lace behind for lacing.

S: Decent level of smokiness, smoked cherrywood, with a hint of fresh coffee roast and creamer.

T: Roasty flavor, hearty, oily coffee, freshly grounded, dry vanilla backed by a good level of smokiness. Dry chocolate, black cherries, black tea, that finishes off with a bit of smoky charred woodiness and spent coffee ground bitterness.

M: Oily mouthful medium bodied, smoky, milky depth, with an alkaline like feel.

O: Good flavor, decent level of smokiness and malt depth for 5.9%. Good start of smokiness, but maybe weens off a bit mid-drink, maybe due to getting used to or having the bruery's smoking wood earlier in the week.

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Photo of ARoman
3.52/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

*transferred from old ntoes - 12/31/2013*
22oz bomber poured into a brandy snifter. The aroma initially comes through as musty - kinda like a wet rag - but, shortly after, the vanilla bean comes through; although the vanilla bean aroma, once found, dominates, the wet rag smell still lingers a bit. As the drink warms up, some cola aromas come through too; overall not too offensive, and the vanilla and cola combination make it more pleasant. The deep, rich ruby brown color (cola comes to mind again) is nearly opaque. The fluffy, brown-yellow head reduces down to some "clumps" of head floating on top. Small, even lacing cascades at a somewhat quick pace, although a sparse amount will cling to the side of the glass throughout the drink. There really is no initial taste, just a very plain maltiness; however, swishing it a bit brings out the vanilla sweetness with some cola, followed shortly by some burnt bitter notes and some hop spiciness. Swallowing without swishing allows the vanilla to really be accented without as much of the burnt smoky flavors. It?s a thinner texture with very light carbonation. The lightly burnt, maybe roasted, aftertaste lingers for awhile. Initially it strikes me as a bit salty and meaty, kinda like a salami, but eventually gives way to a creamy sweet vanilla with some pepper spicy to it. Definitely not a beer for those who shy away from sweeter beers, but I could see this pairing nicely with a lot of different food combinations; and could be a lot of fun tasting the different aspects of the beer that come out whether it?s paired based on its sweetness or roasted-ness.

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Photo of coltonbrimhall
4.39/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

-lots of tiny bubbles for a nice sustaining thick head on a black body
- scent is smokiness like its brother but more mellow and refined
-the vanilla bean is the perfect note level not to strong but softly lingering, while there is more coffee in this one than the smokiness of the last one very complex with the few notes they applied
- feel is thicker than the last one earning it a higher rating
-great porter liked this much more than the other variety, a greatly crafted beer!

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Photo of oregonduck
2.62/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The smoke flavor was very overpowering. I just don't see the allure of this beer. I normally really like darker beers but the overwhelming smoke flavor made this very hard to drink.

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Photo of KYGunner
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The nose and flavors are virtually the same as the vanilla is strong, yet a tad artificial, strong dry chocolate malt, light char or smoke and a bit or roasted coffee.

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Photo of mchegash
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tried a 4oz sample at Pasadena (Liberty Station) store

Appearance - 3.5/5
Thing ring of head, would have liked more. Very dark brown.

Smell - 4.25/5
Dark malts, strong delicious vanilla smell.

Taste - 4/5
Roasted Malts, dark smokiness, vanilla.

Mouthfeel - 4/5
Medium bodied, smooth, medium-light carbonation.

Overall - 4/5

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Photo of founddrama
2.77/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Like a vanilla-ish version of Southern Tier Chokolat. Except whereas that was exceptionally chocolaty, this has only slight vanilla and only slight smoke. Not *bad* (it is smooth) -- it just didn't come across as a big, strong flavor.

Overall? Kind of a "flat cola" flavor, actually.

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Photo of HardTarget
3.35/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Deep brown, not really black, shows clarity and holds a thin cover of white that laces a bit.

Smell: Mild chocolate, roast, coffee, and a bit of vanilla. Everything is clean but a little low in volume.

Taste: A bit of a cola taste, the vanilla comes in late and a little alcoholic. Sweetness overpowers the smokey notes, a bit cloying.

Feel: Medium light body, bit oily, a bit thin and watery.

Overall: The base Smoked Porter is a very fine beer. The vanilla is a nice touch, but like most vanilla beers, a bit heavy handed making the balance a bit too sweet for my tastes.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.99/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$ 9.99/22 oz bottle at Vintage Estates, Boardman, OH
Bomber at 45 degrees into hand washed and dried tulip
Aroma Roasted malt and vanilla
Head average (3 cm, aggressive pour), light brown, creamy, diminishing to 4 mm ring and layer
Lacing poor – few medium islands of tiny bubbles
Body dark brown, clear
Flavor begins slightly sweet roasted malt and vanilla; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate medium, somewhat syrupy, soft carbonation

Appearance 3.75, Aroma 4, Flavor 4, Palate 4, Overall 4

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

22 oz bottle

Pours a dark clear brown, eggshell film for a head.

Smells of brown sugar, biscuit, vanilla, roasted coffee, and a light wooden finish.

Tastes of brown sugar, buttered toast, vanilla, roasted coffee, and walnut.

Medium body with stinging carbonation on the roof of the mouth.

A pretty decent porter, the vanilla is a nice touch and comes through in the aroma and taste. Overall, not fantastic, but above average and very enjoyable to drink.

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

LOOK: Dark black with a tan head that laces the glass. Good clarity, however dark, no sediment. On par for the style.

SMELL: Vanilla is noticeable above the roasted and slight meaty smoked malts. Smells like a beer, not so much like a dessert, and that is desirable.

TASTE: The flavor of vanilla coffee is big upfront with some toasted and slight smokey quality. Mealy and vanilla like, pretty unique character. The smoke element really comes out more as the beer warms, with hints of smokey chocolate (if such a thing exists). Pretty tasty brew and worth savoring.

FEEL: Medium bodied with a firm carbonation. The beer loosens up a lot at room temperature.

OVERALL: A nice rendition of the smoked porter. Vanilla kind of sticks out like a sore thumb, but it is still nice. If they took this beer and aged in in bourbon barrels with coffee it would probably be the best thing ever.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Enjoyed from a growler in a Rhinegeist snifter. This unique porter pours a dark blackish brown with ruby highlights and a solid off white foam head that dissipates to a thin pool and light ring of foam leaving some fantastic lacing. Nose of smoke, roasted malts, and rich vanilla. Flavors are smoke and vanilla forward, with vanilla and smoke resting heavily on the back with a light bitter malts aftertaste. Nice carbonation makes for an easy drinking experience, while the aftertaste reminds one that this is a unique take on a traditional porter. Smoke is a bit lighter in this one than the standard smoked porter which is very nice. For those who are not smoke fans this is a decent foray into the style.

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Photo of Auraan
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured a deep brown, almost black with a thin ring of tan head. A nice looking porter, true to form. Scents of smoked malt, roast malt, coffee with cream and vanilla, with the cream and vanilla predominating, but fairly balanced. Overall impression of aroma is of a nice porter, true to form, with the special ingredients discernible and complementing the aroma profile. Quite nice. Flavor begins with the typical porter flavor compliment, dark chocolate, coffee, roast malt, at medium levels, aided by a cream, vanilla and lightly smokey flavor. Middle opens up more bitterness, with a stronger roast malt character, black coffee with cream and vanilla, along with an increasing smoked malt presence, and bittersweet cocoa. Finish is dry with notes of smoked malt, smokey wood, bittersweet chocolate and black coffee, with a bit of vanilla. Aftertaste is roasted and smoked malt. Overall impression of flavor is of a bold, smokey porter, more intense than the base smoked porter, with enough vanilla flavor to add further depth. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium-high carbonation and a smooth initial feel that becomes drying. Overall impression of mouthfeel is of a rather chalky porter, still within the style, and pleasant in its own way. Overall this is a fairly good beer. It has a nice aroma that highlights the special additions and a flavor that follows. Mouthfeel aids flavor and makes the beer quite easy to drink. Perhaps a bit too bold and lacking in subtlety, but it's Stone, so that is to be expected.

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Photo of Falcon91Wolvrn03
3.15/5  rDev -19%
look: 4.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Appearance – A dark, but clear ruby red black. Has a big head with lots of lacing.

Smell – Vanilla and ashtray smoke, and coffee. The vanilla has no sweetness to it, and I think it clashes with the smokiness.

Taste – Smoke, vanilla, malt. Decent, but not great.

Mouthfeel – Good carbonation, somewhat watery, and a little bitterness in the aftertaste.

Drinkability – This is a decent beer, but didn’t stand out as anything special.

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Photo of Bmftbl8
3.35/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Good porter but not a big fan of porters because of the lack of carbonation. Nice and smooth with a hint of vanilla bean. stone knows what they are doing and cannot mess up a beer.

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Photo of Capsfan90
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Based on a 3/31/15 enjoy by date bomber- Poured a two finger off-white head into a pint glass. The color was a beautiful ruby brown color, with initial scents of vanilla and chocolate and ended with smells of coffee. To be honest, I was expecting a creamery feel, which I believe was over shadowed by the excessive carbonation. Overall I did enjoy it throughly and look foward to trying it again winter.

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Photo of wordemupg
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

650ml bomber poured into tulip 12/2/15

A clear cola liquid that has a maroon glow when held to the light, long lasting big head leaves lots of random lace deep down the glass

S lots of smoke and wet ash, a little coco and vanilla but mostly ashy, burnt wood, good but lacking complexity

T just a hint of burnt coffee to go along with what I smell, not a whole lot of dark malt or vanilla shining through the smoke

M medium bodied, just stays on the creamy side of foam, long lingering smokey finish

O straight forward but decent, I was expecting more vanilla but there's no shortage of smoke

not exactly what I was expecting but worth a try if you like smoke, not the best Stone has to offer but respectable nonetheless

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Photo of blankenhoney
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22oz bomber, best by 03.31.15, enjoyed from a snifter

A: Pours a translucent cola-like brown with a creamy, eggshell white head

S: Smoked wood, coffee grounds, thick vanilla, and dark chocolate

T: Great contrast between the rich, roasty dark chocolate and the sweet, bright vanilla. Mildly sweet, mildly smoky, and laced with a nice vanilla undertone. Finishes dry and quite bitter

M: Lighter side of medium-body, which makes it very easy (and enjoyable) to drink. It's pretty heavily carbed and almost fizzy.

O: A great beer that I would return to frequently, but it's a bit overpriced ($8.99) in my neck of the woods, at least compared to the $6.99 price tag others have mentioned. Love the prominent vanilla flavors and the mild smoke notes. And I preferred it at colder temps.

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

Purchased a 22oz. bottle from my local beer store for $6.99 this weekend. Solid price, solid beer. Poured into a mug, this beer produces a hefty, creamy head which lingers. Dark brown, almost black in color, but takes on reddish/amber hues when held up to a light. The aroma is roasty and hints at vanilla beans, but mostly I sense chocolate and coffee flavors from the aroma and the taste. Well-balanced, pleasant and drinkable with a hint of dryness in the aftertaste. My only potential reservation is that I did notice the elevated level of carbonation, but overall, I am quite pleased by this selection for the winter season.

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Stone Smoked Porter W/Vanilla Bean from Stone Brewing
3.89 out of 5 based on 2,359 ratings.
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