Stone Smoked Porter W/Vanilla Bean | Stone Brewing

very good
2,359 Ratings
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.

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,359 |  Reviews: 537
Photo of CloudStrife
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a dark brown ruby with a 2 finger light whitish tan head that takes a couple of minutes to fizzle down. Leaves some good lacing on the sides. Thin layer of head throughout the glass.

S: Initially there is a lot of vanilla on the nose. Certainly a smokiness in the background blended with chocolate malts. A bit of dark fruits from the malt as well, raisin or plum. Almost a woody characteristic.

T: Smooth blend of smokey malts and vanilla bean. Pretty bold flavor, more smoke than I anticipated. Loads of chocolate malts make up the body. Vanilla is a little lost in the background providing a bit of a bite. Maybe a bit confused and muddled.

M: Medium body with low-average carbonation. Slightly watery but expected for a porter.

Overall a unique beer that is certainly worth a shot. Like the porter characteristics but the smoke and vanilla need something else to blend a little better.

 942 characters

Photo of Jmick28
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of JayDiddy
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%

Photo of JJFordick
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%

Photo of tdm168
3.91/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pitch black with a large, soft, bubbly, dense, brownish head that has great retention

S - very faint; roasted malts and light smokiness; not nearly as intense as I would have thought

T - sweet and smoky, vanilla, earthy, roasty, faint bitter coffee, cola; the vanilla plays well with the smokiness and takes some of the bitterness away from the roasted malts

M - medium to full bodied, well carbonated, a bit creamy

This is a nice, rich, complex beer. The smoked malt and vanilla are a great combination. The richness and sweetness actually add to the drinkability by playing down the bitterness. This is definitely worth a try.

 636 characters

Photo of depechemode1983
4.32/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours out dark brown in color. The head is tan with good density. Retention is moderate. No lacing on this one.

S - The nose is nice and roasted with just a little smoke. I Also get a hint of sweet chocolate and vanilla. Smells excellent.

T - So much going on. Roasted malt, coffee, sweet chocolate, a bit of smoke, and well placed vanilla. Everything melds together very nicely.

M - Creamy smooth, medium bodied and with playful carbonation.

O - Excellent stuff. Love the addition of vanilla. Hopefully the Chiptole one is just as good.

 545 characters

Photo of TC28
1/5  rDev -74.3%

Photo of MDDMD
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-dark brown black color with a nice tan head and good lacing

S-roasted malt, cocoa, hints of vanilla slight smokiness

T-dark roasted malt, chocolate, light smoky char, little vanilla

F-medium body with moderate carbonation

O-interesting but flavors not so well balanced

 274 characters

Photo of Travisnin
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%

Photo of server222
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of Philousa
3.3/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Inky black, but you can see it's not cloudy under the light, where it gives off a reddish brown hue. The head is typical for an American ale yeast, and I recommend a hard pour, as it dissipates to cover the top in patches. There is some thin lacing on the glass. Smokiness is apparent and meat-like. The vanilla is evidently vanilla bean, since it's not too weak or too syrupy. Malt aroma is filled with milk chocolate sweetness with a touch of roast. I even get a little spicy rye in there with a swirl. A drive by sniffing yields a sugary sweet vanilla reminiscent of a candy bar. Flavor starts with chocolate, but not as sweet as the aroma suggests. There is some pungent copper in there as well, pretty typical of a porter or very dark beer. The bitterness is strong for the style. I get a slightly piney and resinous thickness on the tongue. The spiciness is there in the flavor as well with some forcible oxidation (mouth sloshing). It's a biting kind of spice, like something you would put on a meat in the middle east. I assume this is the smoked malt coming out in the flavor. The flavor and feel is mostly smooth and silky despite the characteristics I named. Finish is dry.

This is not as good as what I've had on tap. I've had this particular beer on tap twice, once at the brewery and once in the bay area. Both times they were consistent and had much more vanilla flavor. On tap it resembled a milk stout from the vanilla perspective, but it still had a solid porter flavor profile underneath. This is very similar, but I feel that the vanilla is just not as present, and it takes away from the overall experience. I want more vanilla damnit! Protip: A good sloshing in the mouth really brings out the creaminess and aromatics. Much more pleasurable this way, though the bitterness is still a little too harsh for this sweet-leaning beer. This makes me want to try the chipotle version since this iteration didn't meet my expectations.

 1,950 characters

Photo of duxky
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of fourthaxis
4.6/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I've had this beer a few times in a growler from Stone. I heard they were putting it in bottles, but I just happened to see one and grabbed it. I guess I could write 250 words if I actually poured this beer out of the 12 oz bottle... It's the dark beast that you expect, but it's punching you with vanilla, and you like it!

 323 characters

Photo of drinking12many
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of russwbeck
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

$4.50 for a 12oz bottle.

A: Black pour with three or four fingers of very light brown head. Billowing almost, the head has large bubbles and could use a little bit better retention, but the lacing is very nice down the side of my Stone IRS glass.

S: Much sweeter aroma than the Smoked Porter (clearly). Big hits of vanilla blend very nicely with the smoked malts and chocolate. It almost smells like ice cream and is extremely inviting.

T: This certainly is an interesting taste, but I can't say it's as balanced as original Smoked Porter because it's too sweet. The sweetness starts right off the bat with vanilla bean assaulting the palate. The smokiness comes second, underscored by malt and chocolate. Coffee seems to linger at the backend. I must say I liked the Smoked Porter more. I like the new take on the beer and it really matches the taste of the Troegs Java Head "Beer Float" I had at Troegs Brewery, but the vanilla hinted towards artificial at points (not that I think it's artificial, I just think it was too much).

MF: The body again is lighter than most porters, but pretty similar to Smoked Porter. Nice and smooth, I'm glad this one was only 12oz and not 22oz because the sweetness got to me after a while.

O: This beer was tasty, and a nice new addition to Stone's line, but the vanilla beans didn't enhance the experience for me. Pick this up if you like vanilla, or really sweet beers!

 1,413 characters

Photo of zduerr
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of crobinso
2.75/5  rDev -29.3%

Photo of DavidST
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint/tulip glass, can't find the usual bottle date. This pours a dark brown almost black color with a massive tan head. The smells are of vanilla bean, smoke, roasted malts. The feel is medium. The taste is okay, not as good as their regular porter, you have the loads of vanilla almost overdone, the smokey flavors and then some roasted malts. Not bad, but not great.

 402 characters

Photo of ADTaber
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of rawfish
3.56/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a few shades off black with a creamy tan head of two fingers. Average retention and terrific looking lacing.

Roasted and chocolate malts, foundation is very strong with slight notes of vanilla bean. Roast is almost charcoal with underlying sweetness. Vanilla really comes out as the beer warms.

Roasted malt with a bit of charcoal and ash. Like alot of Stone brews this one is also well hopped with pine and herbal bitterness coming out on the back end that really brings forward the smoked malt as the beer dries. Vanilla flavor really doesn't stand out, I feel it acts more to mellow out the intense smoke early in the drink.

Average body and carbonation. Dries really well with some charred acidity on the floow through. Really easy to put down.

I was expecting more vanilla bean in the flavor but Stone stays true to it's roots with a strong hop profile that provides bitterness and balance to the power of roasted and smoked flavors.

 949 characters

Photo of HopsintheSack
3/5  rDev -22.9%

Photo of KJabo
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of vkv822
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz : tulip

Pours black, with a very thick, creamy light tan head that leaves nice lacing.

Aroma is sweet vanilla blending into cocoa and faintly roast malts.

Similar to the aroma, vanilla bean transitions to chocolate and a faintly roasted/smoke malt finish.

Medium body, light, foamy carbonation.

The vanilla beans definitely take over the aroma and palate, but are a nice compliment to the base beer.

 409 characters

Photo of sanford_and_son
4.75/5  rDev +22.1%

Photo of sflefthander
4.75/5  rDev +22.1%

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