Dark Side Vanilla Porter | Empyrean Brewing Company

BA SCORE
83
good
367 Ratings
THE BROS
75
okay
Read the review
Dark Side Vanilla PorterDark Side Vanilla Porter
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Empyrean Brewing Company
Nebraska, United States
empyreanbrewingco.com

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
An infusion of an old-world beer style and contemporary soul. Smooth, dark and roasted with highlights of chocolate, coffee and vanilla. Brewed with American, Canadian and English grown barley, American hops, Madagascar vanilla beans and natural vanilla extract.

23. IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-27-2002

BEER STATS
Ratings:
367
Reviews:
146
Avg:
3.65
pDev:
13.42%
 
 
Wants:
26
Gots:
72
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 367 |  Reviews: 146
Photo of BLarson31
3.78/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Jimbob-gbr
4.39/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorite local beer. A very good porter. Pours dark and tan head with good lacing. Smells of roasted chocolate and faint vanilla. Tasted of roasted chocolate vanilla and coffee. It is not to robust like some porters. Overall one of my favorites

 255 characters

Photo of Nolster
3.33/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Strigiform_Witness
4.18/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of GuyFawkes
3.92/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Had this on draft several years ago; from my notes:

Brown/black color; some light passes around the edges.

Nice khaki head; strong lacing.

Vanilla & coffee in the nose.

Medium/thick mouthfeel.

A vanilla blast in the taste upfront; smooth cream on the back end with a smattering of hops. Delicious.

 306 characters

Photo of Jarudy
3.16/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Amedlin18
3.94/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of moodyxc9
3.48/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Musineer
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Joe_recker
3.6/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of bbtkd
3.32/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm more of a stout fan, as I find many porters to be just too bland. Some porters are more robust and fall more towards stout, but Dark Side did not fit into that category. I found it bland and slightly bitter, could not really pick up the taste of the promised vanilla at all. If a beer is going to have a flavor in the name, then you should be able to at least detect it.

 377 characters

Photo of L_Hill15
4.18/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of psoriasaurus
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of zaraspook
3.62/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Evilyak
3.28/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

This didn't need the vanilla. This needed a tweak to the base beer.

Color is right. Smells of vanilla and imperfect coffee. Taste is vanilla and acidic coffee with raisins.

We don't drink raisins and coffee with vanilla. I'm glad I have something to clean my palate.

 270 characters

Photo of AleMan66
2.94/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

I poured this beer into a clear teardrop glass. It is dark black with little head. The vanilla taste was a bit like mosquito repellant and I didn't care for it. Carbination is medium. After taste just fine. I wouldn't buy this one again.

 242 characters

Photo of BeersAndBears
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Yankeejw
2.96/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nice dark color, not much head, little aroma, vanilla notes in taste but not the coffee or chocolate it also claims. Not blown away by it.

138 characters

Photo of mabalacat
3.86/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Aoyoc
4.09/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jw4free
3.67/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Weizen glass. L: medium brown, clear, limited head, limited lacing. S: good sweet maltiness aroma, vanilla, barrel oak, caramel does present. T: nice whiskey barrel, alcohol flavor. Caramel and vanilla. No real coffee notes. F: decent mouthfeel. O: good beer worth trying.

 305 characters

Photo of UrbanCaveman
2.75/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.75

On tap at Short's in Iowa City. Arrived in a shaker pint.

Appearance: Arrived as a glass of black (in the bar lighting) liquid, with almost no head - just a thin, patchy cap.

Smell: Sweet caramel and blackstrap, with hints of a lightly roasted coffee and a heavy dose of vanilla extract.

Taste: Actually, somewhat bland. There are flavors of light coffee, chocolate, and vanilla, but they seem rather thin and dispersed. Supporting them is quite possibly the lightest malt backbone I've tasted in a porter, almost not present.

Mouthfeel: Quite light and thin, and light on the carbonation as well. This goes down quickly, as it feels as though it has little substance.

Overall: Not exactly a game-changer or favorite for me. I'll likely not repeat this one.

 762 characters

Photo of nicksamuelson
3.73/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.98/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

It pours a dark chocolate brown with lighter brown accents. Head is 4 fingers, beige, and bubbly. Opacity 100%.

It smells of vanilla, roast coffee, barley malt, a fruity fig note here or there.

Tastes of coffee with faint vanilla accents, cocoa malts, and a bit of raisin.

Feel is the best part, it's so crushable and goes down smooth. This is the porter to drink when you're not thinking about drinking a porter. Still creamy enough to satisfy, but easy enough to not exhaust the palate.

Overall the vanilla porter is a decent beer. I'd have it again, it's a nice sessionable porter.

 592 characters

Photo of superspak
3.29/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, best before 9/2015. Pours lightly hazy very dark brown color with a 1-2 finger dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of milk chocolate, cocoa, coffee, vanilla, toast, brown sugar, brown bread, light dark fruit, and herbal/toasted earthiness. Okay aromas with solid balance and complexity of dark/roast/bready malt, vanilla, and light earthy hop notes; with very poor strength. Taste of milk chocolate, cocoa, coffee, vanilla, toast, brown sugar, brown bread, light dark fruit, and herbal/toasted earthiness. Light herbal/roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of milk chocolate, cocoa, coffee, vanilla, brown bread, and herbal/toasted earthiness on the finish for a short bit. Good balance, robustness, and complexity of dark/roast/bready malt, vanilla, and light earthy hop flavors; with a good malt/bitterness balanced and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, fairly creamy/bready, and slightly chalky mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with zero warming present after the finish. Overall this is was a pretty solid English porter style. All around good complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt, vanilla, and light earthy hop flavors; and very smooth and easy to drink. The aromas were nearly non existent, but the flavors were well done and pleasantly enjoyable.

 1,560 characters

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Dark Side Vanilla Porter from Empyrean Brewing Company
3.65 out of 5 based on 367 ratings.
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