Smoked Porter - Vanilla Bean | Stone Brewing

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Smoked Porter - Vanilla BeanSmoked Porter - Vanilla Bean
Very Good
2,361 Ratings
Smoked Porter - Vanilla BeanSmoked Porter - 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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,361 |  Reviews: 538
Photo of nh2032
3/5  rDev -22.7%

Photo of SadMachine
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of whodeyvols
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of CB_Crowe
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of TheBronze
3.25/5  rDev -16.2%

Photo of Phelps
3.2/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This was the second beer released by stone, on December 96. The chipotle variation was born ten years later, and was the first stone beer to get modified.

Poured into my Bell's tulip.

A chocolate brown liquid that melds into inky dark brown in the glass. The head, creamy, gets to about an inch thick and does its best the stay in place, leaving thick, pocked webbing.

Smoky, but gently so. A little campfire smoke, a noticeable scoop of chipotle. A touch of chocolate. Smells like a Mexican chocolate with peppers.

I've never been a huge fan of stone's smoked porter. It's a bit too subtle for me. Same deal here. The peppers are nicely integrated, and the heat on the tongue, just a suggestion of it, is perfect. but there's just not enough here to back it up. A smidge of dark chocolate, some piny hops, a rather dry finish. Just thin.

Like I said, thin. Light and a little fluffy in body. Moderate massaging carbonation, no hint of alcohol, the soft glow of pepper fire.

Eh. It's nowhere near as good as the vanilla porter, which could also be better. The chipotle integration is masterful, but the base beer leaves something to be desired.

 1,153 characters

Photo of chrisxmartin
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of deonreds
4.75/5  rDev +22.4%

Photo of frozenjogurt
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of felixljr
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of tbone1384
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of frank12
4.5/5  rDev +16%

Photo of MEW
3.25/5  rDev -16.2%

Photo of HumphreyLee
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of BeerHunter76
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of mkotsayfan
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter. Pours a dark black with a two-finger light mocha head that dissipates fairly quickly. The aroma has a dominance of the smoke and vanilla, along with some roasted malts and chocolate. The taste is a nice blend of vanilla and smoke, the smoke does show through more in the taste than the smell though. Also, these flavors along with the chocolate tend to mix better in the taste rather than the smell. The mouthfeel is light and crisp, with a decent amount of carbonation.

Overall a really solid beer from Stone, now lets see a Stone IRS w/Vanilla bottled.

 597 characters

Photo of angrybabboon
3.58/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Consumed 10/27/12

Appearance: Moderately dark brown, with some lighter brown and a lot of clarity around the edges - thin, wispy, off-white head - retains a little cap, but not much - leaves some nice streaks of lacing

Smell: Lightly burnt and charred, with some chocolate - dark chocolate bars and dark chocolate malts - some vanilla bean in the background, but doesn't really scream "vanilla" at first but it comes more apparent as it warms, and then becomes the main feature of the aroma (!) - some smoke, bready malts, and some sweetness

Taste: Vanilla with a side of char and smoke - kind of an odd combination - sweet, almost creamy vanilla - dark, burnt malts, with hints of charred grains and dark chocolate - some coffee - a moderate amount of bitterness

Mouthfeel: Medium body, lightly carbonated, a slight stickiness to it, pretty drinkable

Overall: Good, not classic like the original

Stone Smoked Porter is a benchmark for the style. Somehow, despite the fact that I like vanilla, adding it to this beer did not create something better. Yes, it is good, but it's not amazing. Still worth a try, though.

 1,121 characters

Photo of cfrobrew
4.06/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 bottle poured into a tulip

A- A little light but still plenty dark. Very nice creamy head when its initially poured that disappears to a ring after a few sips.

S- Very strong vanilla smell with a malty pairing.

T- Mostly a pretty pure vanilla smell with a little smoke but its pretty hard to get past the vanilla. As it warms up the smokiness is a little more noticeable.

M- Nice carbonation, thin front feel with a creamy feel after especially for the first few sips with the creamy head.

O- Pretty neat vanilla beer, very different. Im not a huge vanilla porter fan but if I had to pick one it would be this one because its got a good sweetness paired with the vanilla instead of bitterness.

 703 characters

Photo of mooseo
3.55/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into snifter.

A - Dark brown-black with a small tan head.

S - Roasted and smoked malt, vanilla bean, milk, light chocolate and coffee.

T - Smoked burnt malt up front, with vanilla, milk chocolate, and black coffee blending in throughout. The vanilla flavor overall is subtle but pleasant.

M - Soft and creamy, medium-full body. Mild carbonation.

O - A nice drinkable porter. The vanilla is there but I was expecting a bit more I guess. Good balance between sweet and bitter.

 491 characters

Photo of fragilehearted
4.5/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A - Beautiful pour. Beer is deep brown, with a little light showing through. Huge thick creamy head with amazing retention and beautiful lacing that sticks around.

S - Delicious. Vanilla (obviously) upfront, with chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted malt. Seriously, it smells like a dessert.

T - follows the smell. Simply amazing how the vanilla complements the roasted malts. I like their regular porter, but I don't even want it after this - the vanilla makes it so much better.

M - Medium bodied, perfect (medium) carbonation, very creamy.

D/O - I have to say, this is absolutely one of my favorite porters. It has all the regular porter appeal with the added vanilla that I love to make it a winner. I could drink this all the time. It is sublime. Stone, please make this one on the regular, and not the chipotle one.

 855 characters

Photo of swungomonkey
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of AgentMunky
3.59/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a Talisker tasting glass.

A: Ruby-clear glints. Ostensibly black beer is actually mahogany.

S: Smells amazing. So sweet. Heavy vanilla bean, dark cocoa, and trace spice.

T: Light and roasted, with hints of smoke and vanilla, the latter which grows on the end taste. The aftertaste is mysteriously bitter and hoppy, with little trace of the initial flavors.

M: No carbonation. Thin and bitter.

O: Not so tasty. Still interesting. The main taste is great; the aftertaste kills it.

 523 characters

Photo of AleGal79
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.53/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle pours a dark crimson color with an ample head that shows awesome lacing and good retention. This is a very good looking beer.

Nose is smoke and original of me to come up with those descriptors, eh? Really though...thats all I get.

The combination of vanilla beans and smoke give this a little bit of a barrel aged feel to it. I had this before and didnt enjoy it as much as I am seems there has been a bit of a mellowing effect after a month or two. Before, the smoke and vanilla fought each other tooth and claw...but they are a little more integrated now and actually is fairly decent. Still think the vanilla is a bit much, especially paired with the relatively light smoke flavor the regular Stone Smoked Porter shows. I dont think this is one of Stone's better offerings...especially at nearly $4 a bottle!

 849 characters

Photo of stickboy1125
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

Smoked Porter - Vanilla Bean from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 3.88 out of 5 with 2,361 ratings