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Stone Smoked Porter W/Vanilla Bean | Stone Brewing

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very good
535 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.

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 535 | Ratings: 2,358
Photo of M_C_Hampton
3.94/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: poured from a 22 oz bottle into a dimpled mug, dark ruby brown with a large light tan head that lingers leaving good lacing, clear

S: very sweet and dessert like, brown sugar, vanilla, nutty, slightly smoky

T: flavors are a bit confusing, beginning is sweet with vanilla, middle is nutty, end is bitter pine, odd

M: thinner with lower carbonation

O: I think I like the regular version better. This isn't bad but the vanilla just seems like an afterthought.

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

Appearance: Pours a nice shade of black with some tan head, no lacing

Smell: Coffee, vanilla, roasted malts, a nice bouquet of porter

Taste: Again, getting coffee and vanilla up front. Nice smoked malts, some roasted malts, some earthy hops

Mouthfeel: Medium body, good carbonation

Overall: This is fantastic. And, compared to another San Diego porter with vanilla (that is highly rated too) this is way better. Still tastes like porter, but the other characteristics come out nicely and balance well with the porter flavors. I'm happy that I picked this up, and hope it shows up in bottles once in a while again

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Photo of garuda
3.84/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Nearly black with ruby highlights, white head has decent retention and lacing.

S/T - Mostly roasted malt/coffee flavors and aroma. Really opens up as it warms, with a vanilla creaminess adding a nice balance to the chocolate and roast. Only a hint of smoke, and I probably would not be able to tell it was there if the bottle didn't say so. Moderate pine, leafy bitterness in the finish.

M - Medium to light body, finishes a bit bitter. Consistency stays smooth.

O - When cold, I felt this was overly bitter; however, once it warmed up, it became much more enjoyable and balanced. I thought the vanilla provided a nice compliment to the chocolate and roast body. Not much smoke for a "smoked porter".

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Photo of hardy008
4.27/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Black with ruby highlights, and a one finger tan head, with nice retention and lacing. The aroma has vanilla, dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, cocoa and subtle smoke.

Tastes just like it smells with vanilla, dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, cocoa, and some smoke. Has a nice light sweetness, which is balanced by some bitterness from the roasted malt and coffee.

Medium bodied with soft carbonation. Smooth and easy to drink. Has a light vanilla and coffee aftertaste. A nicely made beer from Stone. A very nice example of how an American Porter should be made.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.81/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From the 650 ml. bottle. Winter edition. Sampled on February 18, 2014.

This poured dark brown with a lingering, soapy tan head and some lacing as it fades a tad. But not entirely.

The vanilla beans are front and center on the nose with the smoked malts playing up more in the background and an otherwise clean, crisp earthy hop note.

The body is around medium with a smooth albeit carbonated texture.

Ah the taste is nice and sweet like drinking a French Vanilla coffee from my local donut shop. Vanilla is full but the smoke is more vague. Roasted malts find their way into the background and there is a lingering but mild finish. Drinkable all the way.

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Photo of DenverHopHead
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap, poured into a plastic cup, which actually doesn't hurt the beer from what I can see.
Appearance - dark, with a creamy white head. Lacing is decent.
Smell - It's the aroma of the original smoked porter enhanced by the vanilla!
Taste - Complex, rich and flavorful and the vanilla bean makes a strong presence!
Feel - medium body, complex and the vanilla bean adds to the enjoyment!
Overall - A bit pricey, but another homerun by Stone in my opinion!

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Photo of brutusmuktuk
2.1/5  rDev -46%
look: 4.75 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.75

Pours a beautiful dark mahogany with a very healthy off-white head. Unfortunately the rest of the beer just doesn’t do it for me, which is so disappointing because I love Stone’s original Smoked Porter. The vanilla just does not blend well with the malts in terms of aroma and flavor. The addition of vanilla is more harsh than smooth and sweet, and just plain tastes bad. Perhaps it will be worth a revisit one day, as I can’t quite figure out what happened with what sounds like such a promising (and highly rated) beer.

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Photo of scratch69
3.64/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I poured a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance- Clear, very dark brown color with a fingers worth of tan head. Fair amount of sticky lacing.

Smell- Roasted malt and smoke aromas with a hint of vanilla.

Taste- Vanilla and bitter char flavors at first with a small amount of smoke and bittersweet chocolate toward the finish.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied, smooth, and slightly silky.

Overall- Decent enough but I would have preferred stronger vanilla and smoke flavors.

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Photo of JWU
3.87/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22oz bomber bottle

A - a very dark brown, clear, very nice fluffy tan head.

S- some char, vanilla, and a feint cocoa. You have to search for the smoke, but it's there.

T- A defined char with the bitterness to match. The smokiness blends well with the vanilla bean mid to end. Bitterness and a mild smokiness linger.

M- full side of medium. Not really dry on the finish, but bitterness can impart a bit of dryness.

O- Not a huge porter fan, and certainly not a smoked beer fan. This works though. The normal version of Smoked porter doesn't do a whole lot for me, but add the vanilla, and it makes "meh" into "nice".

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Photo of TurboBrew
3/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bomber.. light brown with 1 finger head. Smells great.... light roast/toast, coffee notes, malt, sticky vanilla.
First taste was not pleasant. Band-aid off smoke root-beerish flavor. As you continue to drink it I adapted to the flavor. Its not great, but not terrible either. Just Ok. Too much smoke going on and no creaminess/body. Almost no aftertaste/linger. The flavor takes off quick and doesn't come back.

Feels too light all around. Water-ed down almost sugary flavor almost like a light root beer. Very drinkable because of this. The look and smell trump anything else this beer has to offer. Good to try but not impressed. So many other great beers brewed by stone though, this just isn't one of the greats in my opinion.

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Photo of obywan59
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with a 2 1/2 finger chunky, light tan head that recedes leaving some thick, sticky lacing. Held up to a bright light the color is a crisp, clear, brilliant ruby.

The small is amazing! Awesome vanilla with chocolatey caramel and coffee. Maybe a hint of smoke.
When it warms, it's hot chocolate with vanilla.

More harsh at the start than after it warms. Vanilla is upfront as it was in the aroma. Very bitter and burnt in the end. After warming, both caramel and coffee both appear. Caramel more subtle than in the nose, while the taste of coffee is more consistent. The chocolate escapes me here, and the bitter and burnt aspects are much mellowed.

Medium full in body. More than a moderate prickle of carbonation. Light sticky malt on the tongue and warmth in the throat. Slightly drying.

After recovering from some initial harsh qualities, it mellows nicely in the end. Very good.

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Photo of gillagorilla
3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle poured into a Burley Oak snifter

A: A nearly opaque very dark amber brown with a slight blanket of bubbles on the top.

S: The vanilla isn't too prominent and you have to almost hunt for it. A nice mellow malt core in there. However, I do get quite a bit of smoke and roast on the nose. There are even some nice pine notes from the hops in here.

T: I don't get those standard porter flavors that I'm used. I get almost no roasted notes and only barely a bit of smoke. If I didn't know this was supposed to be a smoked porter. I might say it was just an American Brown Ale. I also get almost no hops, only a bit of pine. The malt is just that, malty, no sweetness.

M: Very smooth, even creamy and frothy. There is only a hint of carbonation and coarseness.

O: I am so glad that Stone has such a great bomber price point, because otherwise I would feel worse about this purchase. There is nothing spectacular or standout at all about this beer. It doesn't even come across as a Porter. Oh, porters what are we gonna do with you.

p.s. Stone had a recipe that had you make your own egg nog with it, but I tried just mixing it with some Bolthouse Farms Eggnog and it did not turn out well.

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Photo of BradtheGreat7
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22 oz brown bomber with traditional Smoked porter blue and white label only this offering has the with VANILLA BEAN phrase branded toward the bottom of the label. Stone's bottlings and screen printed artwork are of the highest quality! I love their style, their artwork and their bottlings as well as their beer! Poured into a 20 oz nonic pint glass.

A - black until held to the light when its ruby brown body really shows its true colors. Beautiful. Off-white head pours very well and sits even better with a creamy looking texture that eventually deploys a solid ring of lace leaving exceptional stick for its style.

S - woodsy notes of softest of peat and smoke. Vanilla bean comes up, and out of the glass punching at the original smoked porter. Chocolate whiffs do well balancing the overall aroma and the coffee is just a background note. This thing smells brilliant! Exactly what it says.. Stone Smoked Porter with Vanilla Bean.

T - big vanilla bean up front followed closely by a small hint of backdrop of rich chocolate. Smokey toward the middle remind you of what the base of this porter really is. Peat inspired smoke. Malt is dead on with more vanilla bean paired with soft bittersweet chocolate in the finish.

M - medium bodied and much the same style thickness as its brother porter. Stone's texture is always world class and this is no different. Just perfect and extremely well balanced. Highly enjoyable and very smooth.

O - I must say I am a big fan of Stone Smoked Porter, but this is new brilliance from stone, and honestly, I prefer this to the regular offering. This is just what that porter was meant to be. I sure hope this is a mainstay in the Stone seasonal lineup. It's that good.

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Photo of DrJay
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Dark brown, clear, chestnut highlights. Medium yellow-brown cap, good head retention with lots of sticky, clumpy lace. Chocolate aroma, mild smoke that was more prominent right after the pour, malty, vanilla, caramel. Solid bitterness, malty and chocolate flavours, hint of smoke, nicely balanced vanilla, light burnt character. Medium bodied, moderate carbonation, a bit creamy, nice texture. Quite enjoyable. The vanilla melded very well with the smoked porter, nicely balanced.

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Photo of Nate139
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Very dark brown, almost black. Thin tan head.

S - vanilla, rich chocolate, roasted malts, with a hint of caramel and coffee

T - strong vanilla and coffee flavor upfront, with a malty chocolate finish

M - medium body

O - great beer. very well balanced

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Photo of dar482
4.01/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

The beer comes in a black/dark brown color with a big foamy light tan head.

The aroma is of straight vanilla with a lightly roasted malt, cocoa, and coffee.

The flavor follows of that strong vanilla along with light roast, milk chocolate, cocoa and coffee. There's a hint of smoke, but that could be mistaken for the roasted malt. The vanilla hides the smoke if there is much to taste.

The body is medium.

The beer is quite flavorful for its ABV and definitely for those who love vanilla.

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Photo of BryanCarey
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown in color, Stone Smoke Porter with Vanilla Beans serves up an aroma of roasted malt, light vanilla, and light cocoa. The aroma is a little more subdued than I expected, but still nice. The frothy tannish foam remains from beginning to end and leaves good lacing on your glass.

This porter tastes similar to what the aroma leads you to believe, but the taste is more intense. You get flavors of cocoa, light smoke, roasted malt, some molasses, and, of course, vanilla. The vanilla component comes through in the finish and it helps take away some of the bitter edge common to Stone’s original smoked porter.

An interesting porter, I found this beer a very tasty one that seems like a great companion to a chocolate- enhanced dessert. The chocolate aspects are just as noticeable- perhaps more so- than the vanilla, which could be a plus or a minus, depending on one’s expectations. I found the balance very nice and it convinces me to rate this as yet another first- class product from one of California’s best breweries.

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Photo of WheelsPSU
4.06/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought a bomber of this from Court Liquors in West Long Branch, NJ while there for the holidays. I don't know why it has taken me this long to crack it open because it is quite decadently delicious. It's like a smoked cafe au lait!

Jet black appearance with a light colored head. The lacing is tiny and covers the entire glass but recedes quickly.

The nose is currants, woodsmoke, and vanilla bean however its not overpowering.

The taste is the winner in this beer. Molasses, smoke, chocolate, and coffee. The best part is the smoke does not steal the show. Once the smoke hits your tongue you then find the vanilla. Great stuff.

The beer drinks really easily. I could easily put away a few of these bombers.

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
3.25/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a tulip glass from a 22oz bottle.

Pours a nice dark dark brown with some mahogany hints. There is a nice half-inch light tan/off-white head that is pretty dense and slightly sticky.

Aroma strats off with mild cocoa notes that are then taken over by some nice rich vanilla hints. Notes of vanilla bean spice with some slight extract sweetness. The background has the more traditional smoked and roasted malt notes form their traditional porter.

Flavor is pretty straight forward. Starts off with smokey, roasted and burnt malt notes. Slight coco powder sweetness is perceived with some nice vanilla bean spice and sweetness. The burnt notes still take the lead on this brew with the vanilla bean riding shotgun. Nice dry roasted finish.

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Photo of RVigz
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: This beer is a burnt caramel color with a nice light amber head of about one inch that lingers.

Smell: It smells chocolatey, malty, slightly hoppy with the faintest amount of vanilla

Taste: This beer starts with a bitter malty/slightly stronger hoppiness to it. Nice smokey dark chocolate body. It has a bitter chocolate taste with lasting bitter hops and a very minuscule finish of sweet vanilla.

Mouthfeel: mouth is bitter aftertaste but smooth hoppy feel.

Overall: Great stout, bitter but sweet on the lips.

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Photo of TwelveOunces
3.94/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

220z bottle poured into a pint glass

A- Pours a very deep near black color. Not very see through. A one finger tan,brown head.

S- A light roast with a hint of chocolate on the back end. A modest smelling beer.

T- Quite roasty but still well balanced out by a nice hop bitterness. The beer has a lot of chocolate tones but remains smooth and easy drinking. I cant say that I pick up much on the vanilla but its there a little on the back end.

M- Easy to drink and hop forward for a porter.

O- A solid beer but not much of an improvement from the original. .

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Photo of clayrock81
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a brownish copper hue with two finger head and lace patches. A mix of chocolate and roasted/smoked aromas (not that smoked) seem to be all I can smell as the vanilla barely registers/is muted. A pretty good smoked porter with roasted/smoked malts and some dark chocolate mingling around but the vanilla beans add themselves in the taste and as the beer warms it tends to get a more sweet vanilla taste. Basically, this is Stone's regular smoked porter with a touch of vanilla, not a vanilla smoked porter, but still a good addition and a really good beer.

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Photo of jj139
4.17/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bomber poured into a pint glass

A - Pours dark brown/black with a 2 finger beige/cream color head. The head fades quickly but the lacing is very long lasting, streaking down the glass.

S - Plenty of things going on aroma wise. First was a creamy/vanilla with dark chocolate and caramel. This was not overly sweet however as it was nicely balanced with roasted and smokey malt.

T - First off was vanilla and chocolate then the caramel, smoke and malt start to take over. A hint of slightly bitter hops really adds to the flavor as well.

M - Medium carbonation with a full creamy flavor. Big flavors but medium body. The vanilla and smoke are in perfect balance and really compliment each other

O - Very enjoyable - The vanilla is present but is balanced with the smoke and malt. A very well crafted brew. I think I enjoy their regular smoked porter just a touch more than this, but I will purchasing this again soon.

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Photo of GrumpyBeer
3.52/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Good beer but I just didn't get vanilla in the smell or taste. The smoke on this is good, not overpowering, but if there is vanilla it was hidden by the smoke. There was some chocolate and roasted oak on the taste. It pours dark with a nice frothy caramel head. I enjoy stone beers and this was good but just not quite my favorite

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Photo of KHarz
2.16/5  rDev -44.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Shared a bottle among four friends using wine glasses. Not well received by anyone in the group. The overwhelming smell of burnt popcorn pervaded the nose. The vanilla was almost non-existent in nose or while tasting. Mouthfeel was almost watery. This beer was not what I expected from Stone. I purchased two bottles, but had to bring the second back and ask for an exchange.

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