Dark Side Vanilla Porter | Empyrean Brewing Company

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Dark Side Vanilla PorterDark Side Vanilla Porter
BA SCORE
3.7/5
Good
370 Ratings
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
Ranking:
#29,007
Reviews:
147
Ratings:
370
pDev:
13.24%
Bros Score:
3.25
 
 
Wants:
26
Gots:
74
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 370 |  Reviews: 147
Photo of kraticus41
2/5  rDev -45.9%

Photo of Bubukar
2/5  rDev -45.9%

Photo of tewaris
2/5  rDev -45.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Another state ticked, thanks Lowry!

Clear brown colored with a fizzy head. Aroma is faint roast, some acidity and vanilla, I assume. Tastes oddly bland and sharp with a very generic feel to it. Frankly, right from the pour and down to the taste, this beer is closest to Coke than any other that I have had. Thin and overcarbed, it did not excite me in any way. Except being from Nebraska.

 389 characters

Photo of Beaver13
2.28/5  rDev -38.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle. Pours brown with a thinnish meringue tan head that goes to a thin film and leaves a little lacing.

The aroma is sweet nutty malts and lots of vanilla and some lactose.

The flavor is sweet sugary nutty malts with some acidic vanilla and a little plastic roast in the finish. The mouthfeel is a bit on the thin and watery side.

Overall, lots of sweet vanilla with some off notes that become more pronounced the more I drink.

 439 characters

Photo of aforbes10
2.32/5  rDev -37.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

This was a weird one for me to review. I love a good porter, and i get the sense that there was a good one in here somewhere. i just couldn't get past the vanilla. Beer looked great in a glass. very dark, with no much head. Odor of vanilla, but this was swamped out by vanilla. Taste was much of the same...kind of porter-ish with chocolate and roasted malt flavors but then the vanilla hits you and that's all you're left with. maybe im just not in favor of vanilla in beers but thats how i feel. I do not need to have this one again and i plead with brewers not to add weird shit to porters. Anything else, fine, but not porters.

 631 characters

Photo of mothman
2.48/5  rDev -33%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Color is a deep brown. Very light tan head.

Aroma: Artificial vanilla and chocolate. Caramel malt providing more sweetness on top of the vanilla. A light roast to it.

Taste: Mimics the nose. A lot of artificial vanilla. It stands out so much. Chocolate and some cocoa with roasted malts. Caramel.

Mouthfeel: Sticky sweet. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends a little dry.

Overall, I wasn't impressed with this porter. It tasted too fake for me. If you can get past that fact, it is okay.

 513 characters

Photo of Fettpopps
2.5/5  rDev -32.4%

Photo of Slyfox115
2.57/5  rDev -30.5%

Photo of iRun2Beer
2.58/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Photo of Scott17Taylor
2.63/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Very flavorful but it was a bit strong on the coffee and I didn't pick up many other favors. It is an okay porter with big flavor, mostly cofee, there really isn't anything terrible about it but I overall didn't enjoy this beer. I would much rather drink something a little weaker on the coffee and stronger on other favors.

 324 characters

Photo of kels
2.67/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Looks great - dark chocolate brown and completely opaque off the pour. There's a nice 1 finger initial cocoa-brown head that fades to a pretty well-retained milky skim. Not much lace to speak of.

Very little nose to speak of. There's a hint of the vanilla, and a spent-coffee grounds sort of aroma. There's also a hint of something akin to old milk meets wilting vegetables. Not very pleasing at all.

The taste possesses many of the nice qualities of a porter - roasted malts, chocolatey sweetness, fullness without heaviness...BUT those are all offset with that veggie flavor. I don't get any of the vanilla, and there's a hit of metallic in there as well. The feel is well-carbonated, but can't make up for the unnerving off-tastes.

Drinkability is low simply because I don't want to drink it anymore.

 808 characters

Photo of mynie
2.7/5  rDev -27%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Medium ruby almost entirely without a head.

Smell some sweetness, but it's more of a plum and old fruit than a vanilla. Not much "porter" going on, here--there's just a little hint of instant coffee crystals.

Very wet start. Not much flavor. Moving into a decent smokey coffee and ending on a musty flavor that's inbetween imitation vanilla extra and dirty socks. Not very good.

Nothing much to see here, folks. Move along.

 433 characters

Photo of UrbanCaveman
2.75/5  rDev -25.7%
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 orcasteve
2.76/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

poured a brownish black color with a small white head, the sent of this reminded me of green olives out of a jar, this turned me off instantley, the taste is a tuch sour in the begining (not what i'm use to in a porter), the midle is hops that come in to way to strong and a tuch each of coffie and vanilla, and the end is just bland. this is a beer that i dont think i will revisit any time soon

 396 characters

Photo of BieresDesMoines
2.83/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

I can't put my finger on it but the label for this beer couldn't be further from what I like in a beer label. Truly like something from the early 90's in the worst way possible. But this isn't ratelables.com now is it? What comes out of this silly looking bottle looks impressive enough It's got a very deep almost black color with a big tight head and some very good lace. The aroma is roasty and lightly smoky with some almost burnt toast kind of character. One thing I can certainly say that I like about the flavor is that the vanilla bean is very under control, this is in no way like the sickly vanilla character of say Breckenridge or others I've tried. The vanilla is there, you would be crazy not to notice it. But by no means does it dominate the flavor of this beer. Beyond that there is almost a cream soda kind of flavor here paired oddly with a very roasty burnt toast character that doesn't particularly mesh all that well. The palate is a bit thin. Overall I liked it more than I expected to, and I liked it a lot more than I dis-liked it.

 1,055 characters

Photo of sweemzander
2.86/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle poured into a nonic. Best by Jan. 2011. Thanks to beerwolf77 for tossing one my way.

(A)- Pours a very dark brown; almost black color. Produced a good fluffy tan head with good retention. Some lacing.

(S)- A mellow creamy nutty raisin roastedness. Slightly dry.

(T)- Similar to the smell in every way. It has a weird metallic aspect that comes through as it warms.

(M)- A good carbonation level and balance. It is a bit thin in the flavor department. Its good up front, but disappears in the mid palate into a metallic dry finish.

(D)- A decent porter. A bit thin and lacking flavor. Where is the vanilla? Maybe better fresher.

 647 characters

Photo of Thundarollz
2.88/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.75

First Vanilla Porter. Beautiful dark color and impressive head. Would buy again.

82 characters

Photo of ThickNStout
2.92/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

12oz bottle from LambicPentameter (thank you!). Best by 7/14. Served in a goblet.

Pours deep brown with three fingers of pale, sand-hued head. A fluffy half finger cap longers and leaves large sheets of lace.

Smells a bit musky with roast malts, caramel and vague vanilla.

Taste is overall bittersweet with dark roasted malts, coffee, cocoa powder, burnt sugar, fruit skins and very mild vanilla bean. It suffers from being just a bit too bitter to let the vanilla through and unfortunately that vanilla flavor comes across to me as more sharp extract than smooth bean in nature.

Fairly thin yet near-creamy feel with a strong seeming dose of carbonation. The finish is roasty with a little lingering vanilla character.

Far from offensive but this didn't deliver near as much vanilla as I would like. Far more roasty and bitter with a body much too thin to be something I'd look to drink much of.

 906 characters

Photo of surlyseth
2.92/5  rDev -21.1%

Photo of AleMan66
2.94/5  rDev -20.5%
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 bashiba
2.95/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured cola brown with a soap ring of head.

Has a light roasty nose.

The flavors are mild, with a light touch of smoky and roasty malts with a light sweet vanilla finish. A bit of astrigency poking through.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin.

Just ok, not something I would look to drink again.

 287 characters

Photo of Yankeejw
2.96/5  rDev -20%
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 VDODSON
3/5  rDev -18.9%

Photo of danfix99
3/5  rDev -18.9%

Photo of Basoos1
3/5  rDev -18.9%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Dark Side Vanilla Porter from Empyrean Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.7 out of 5 with 370 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.