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Victory At Sea Imperial Porter - Barrel Aged | Ballast Point Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
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52 Reviews
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Victory At Sea Imperial Porter - Barrel AgedVictory At Sea Imperial Porter - Barrel Aged
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States | website

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by scottoale on 01-29-2007

BEER STATS
Reviews:
52
Ratings:
260
Avg:
4.36
pDev:
8.94%
 
 
Wants:
190
Gots:
81
For Trade:
2
User Reviews
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first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 52 | Ratings: 260
Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.71/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

On tap at the Pittsford Pub in Pittsford, NY. This is aged in heaven hills barrels.

This pours a very dark black, with a small, wispy head, and not much lacing.

Smells like pure, rich, and super strong vanilla, with roasty/ashy coffee, dark grainy malt, light oak, and sweet bourbon.

This is absolutely wonderful. I thought it would be good- how could it not be?- but I was even surprised at how good this ended up being. The barrels they used meld so well with the base. The barrel aging has amplified the vanilla aspects of the base, while playing down the coffee a bit. There's just so much creamy vanilla here, with a still present roasty grain bitterness, some light roasty and rich coffee, a little bit of oak, and well integrated bourbon. Though the vanilla is quite strong, one flavor doesn't pop out at you and dominate- all the flavors are well-layered throughout the beer.

This is medium bodied, creamy, and pretty rich, but not super thick. There's a normal level of carbonation.

This is an absolute top tier barrel-aged beer here. Really decadent, not much booziness, and just all around delicious.

 1,116 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.37/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750 mL bottle. Heaven Hills [sic], per the neck tag. Bottled 2/2016. Black body with an ample khaki head. Smell has a lot of bourbon. Lots of vanilla. Rich coffee. Some chocolate. Vanilla is the primary flavor. Huge vanilla flavor. Coffee behind it. Bourbon is in the back end, but still strong. Oaky in the finish. Medium heavy. Pretty boozy. This is really delicious.

 384 characters

Photo of mothman
4.3/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Tap.

Tan head. Dark brown black in color.

Nice coffee flavors, maybe a tan too much roast. Nice vanilla and a nice dose of bourbon. Some heat shows. Oak. Chocolate.

Medium to full bodied. Warming and roasty. Ends a little dry.

Overall, really solid BA beer. Definitely worth a try.

 286 characters

Photo of mjpolzin
4.05/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

When this was first poured and served to me, the nose was phenomenal. Unfortunately the taste did not quite follow suit. Although it was a very complex tasting beer, the barrel taste did not do much to add to the base beer.

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Photo of arlo19
4.96/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Thanks to Tim for sharing this beer. We submitted a photo. Aged 11 months in Heaven Hills Bourbon Whiskey Barrels. 12.2 ABV, bottled Feb 2016.

Great amount of head on this. Aroma is bourbon, vanilla, and sweet caramel. Very unique aroma and taste compared to other BA beers since I'm used to traditional stouts. Taste is sticky sweet bourbon and chocolate. Coffee taste is left out of this one after aging. Reminiscent of the Victory at Cereal we had in Little Italy in 2015. Very delicious brew!

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Photo of TimGarcia
4.72/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

2016 release. Aged 11 months in Heaven Hills bourbon barrels. Nose has sweet vanilla bourbon. Taste has sweet bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, oak, and paradise.

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Photo of Raziel313
4.48/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle about a week after release

Perfect example of why hype is so dumb in the beer world. This should be trading at an extremely high level at 1 per person, secret release, and brewery only. All the things that make up a whale essentially. So you can really taste the hype brah...

Look - Dark Brown with small but decent retention

Smell - Heaven Hill barrels and marshmallows

Taste - So much vanilla. Like why isn't this a whale vanilla. It's got vanilla in it brah... followed by a nice blend of heaven hill. IMO better than Rare '15 heaven hill taste

Feel - Main thing i felt that lacked but then I realized this isn't a stout. It's a porter and its right where it should be. Still can't help but want just a little bit of a thicker mouth feel though.

Overall - Seriously why are things like this overlooked.... It isn't always about the hype. Just try different beers and you will see that much of the "highly" rated beers are just normal like most beers. Unfortunately beer hype makes us miss these little gems.

 1,046 characters

Photo of breadwinner
4.06/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gotta love a barrel aged dark beer like this that still managed to maintain great foam/lacing. Delightful to look at. Nose is raisins, straight up raisins. Some barrel notes too, not so much coconut or caramel like some as those raisins and other dark fruit, laced with some bourbon/alcoholic zing. As someone who doesn't tend to like dark fruit-forward porters/stouts (I prefer them more chocolatey/roasty), this wasn't super up my alley, but it wasn't unpleasant. On the palate, that dark fruit remains forward, along with some bourbony heat. The coffee really just contributes a backing bitterness that actually works decently to offset some of the fruity sweetness. This is a solid beer, but I don't know that they really used the barrels to full effect or coaxed out of them all the flavors that the best barrel-aged brews do. As for me, gimme good 'ol regular [email protected]

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Photo of John_M
4.46/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Tap and Growler last night. This is a beer I've been wanting to try for some time.

The beer pours a blackish brown color with good head retention and attractive lacing all around. On the nose, I get considerable dark chocolate, vanilla, light coffee and light bourbon. The beer smells very nice. The flavor profile replicates the nose, with the vanilla flavor dominating. The beer is on the sweet side, no doubt, but is still pretty easy to drink. Mouthfeel is fairly soft in a medium bodied package, and the finish is long and very smooth. Alcohol is well integrated into the flavor profile, though you can definitely tell it's up there (but even so, I ordered a second 8 ounce glass).

Very nice BA porter from Ballast Point.

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Photo of Sir_Whats-his-face
4.11/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The normal Victory at Sea is so in-your-face, so you might assume that the barrel aged version would be akin to giant, brick-to-the-face intensity of beers like Tweak, Parabola or Bourbon County. Oddly enough, that isn't the case. Instead, the bourbon character smooths out a lot of the beer's rough edges, making for an altogether subtler experience. I have to admit this kind of took me aback, given how huge the normal version tastes, but thinking back on it, I might prefer it.

Bottom line, if you thought that the original was too in-your-face, you'll likely be pleasantly surprised by the barrel aged version. But if you expect something as big and burly, you might be a little disappointed.

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Photo of jakecattleco
4.69/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Draft at Beer Shoppe in a tulip. Great beer! The barrel makes it tougher to pick up the vanilla, but the coffee finish is great. Nose was good, but could've been a bit stronger. Nevertheless, a beer I will buy every time given the opportunity! A great variant of one of favorite beers.

 296 characters

Photo of TheMarkE
4.28/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Smooth and delicious. Great complimentary flavor from the rye whiskey. Coffee, vanilla, and bourbon... what a great combination. Goes down easy for such a high ABV.

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Photo of seedyone
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

02/24/13 On cask at Beer Authority, NYC. Surprisingly at just the right temperature. The coffee & vanilla notes in this well made brew are just that notes. They remain at a polite distance. Could drink his all night but for the 10% ABV. If it's a choice for you, choose it.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.16/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Following one San Diego winner (Barrel Aged Speedway) to another (Barrel Aged victory At Sea), I was lucky to enjoy a pour on-tap at 38 Degrees. On to the beer:

A touch of lace surrounds the top of this ink black liquid. A few spots of lace even stick around as the beer is consumed. The aroma has many of the standard Victory At Sea notes with the infusion of wood. Coffee and vanilla come standard, bits of oak and booze are extra,

The barrel aged version of Victory At Sea leans heavier with the booze than it does with the beer. If you are a passionate lover of whiskey, you have a winner right here. I enjoy it as well, albeit in a smaller ratio to the beer. What I have here seems to be about two parts booze and one part coffee vanilla imperial porter. It's a full bodied beer, no question about that.

It's nice, but my sky-high expectations were not met. Honestly, I prefer the standard Victory At Sea, but I was still happy to try this exclusive version.

 968 characters

Photo of BMMillsy
4.13/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

HOB Gainesville on tap. Just says "barrel aged", so I will assume bourbon barrel. Poured in a Florida Beer snifter. Pours black with a super creamy mocha head. Smells of creamy vanilla and coffee. Flavor is bitter coffe up front, some burn from the bourbon, and a beautiful sweet creamy vanilla finish. Prickly carbonation goes well with the bitter coffee notes. Medium to heavy mouthfeel. Overall I don’t know that the bourbon did much for this except give it more alcohol bite. Good beer though.

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Photo of wethead
4.56/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Huge Coffee Taste with super silky trace feel.

This beer is a must with fish, pork or salad.

Not a good beer for read meat dinning.

You will feel the head rush within the first few sips

I have tried over 800 beers and this one is on my top 20.

I also uploaded a picture for you :))

 288 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.99/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On nitro tap for the first anniversary party at Beachwood BBQ & Brewing in Long Beach, CA.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy khaki head that settles to a small cap on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cookie dough, cocoa, vanilla, wood, and bourbon.Taste is much the same with a very woody aftertaste and an alcohol kick on the finish. There is a mild amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a low level of carbonation with an almost flat and somewhat thick mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that smells better than it tastes. I really don't think the nitro presentation is helping this beer out very much either.

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Photo of BoatsSinkBro
3.88/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap during SF Beerweek 2012, at Public House.

It's everything like the normal Victory at Sea, except 2 things that I noticed personally;

-Bourbon/oak barrel flavor is strong and a noticeable aroma of it.
-Delicate Vanilla aroma and taste got smothered by the Bourbon/oak.

It's really up to personal state at this point, some people can taste vanilla out of barrel aged stuff, but when I had this, it seems the vanilla was pretty much "smothered" with that strong barrel flavor. Still was a good porter, but I wasn't tasting much of the more delicate vanilla flavors throughout the whole tulip and the barrel flavor (a rich off-dry smoky flavor) sort of overpowered the other flavors, which I felt took a bit away from the complexity.

 739 characters

Photo of brew3crew
4.65/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at ballast point during sdbw! What a treat!

A- dark body with a nice tan lacing head!

S-sweet bourbon notes but enough malt to hold it up

T-follows the nose. Very sweet and smooth bourbon with a little bit of vanilla.

M-excellent. Smooth and silky mouth feel.

O-phenominal brew. Absolutely.

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Photo of pmarlowe
3.95/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at O'Brien's. 10oz thin pint-like glass

A: Pours black with a cap of sand colored head, nice retention and lots of lacing. Impressive for the style.

S: Loads of sweet bourbon and vanilla, oak, and some dark chocolate. Medium roast coffee as it warms.

T: Again, tons of bourbon, almost overpowering the other flavors. Pretty hot with the alcohol. Some cocoa, and some medium roast coffee comes out as it warms.

M: Rich with medium-full body and mild carbonation.

O: Overall, while I loved the regular Victory at Sea, this has too much bourbon presence and is too hot.

 578 characters

Photo of ehammond1
4.08/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On Tap (Nitro)

Blue Palms 3rd Anniversary Party
Blue Palms BrewHouse
Los Angeles, CA

Jet black, shiny, with a thin light brown cap. Sheets of lacing down the glass. Thick and menacing.

Bourbon, wood, and vanilla play the dominant roles within the aroma; the roast, coffee, and chocolate elements are somewhat hidden.

More bourbon and alcohol in the flavor, but balanced nicely with the typical chocolate and coffee flavors. This version seems a bit sharper, raw, and more astringent than the standard Victory at Sea.

Medium to thick mouthfeel. Incredible, especially on nitro.

A good version of a great beer, though the alcohol is a touch hot and sharp. I wish it was just a bit smoother and mellow.

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Photo of Cavery
4.1/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

had on nitro-tap @ Blue Palms 3rd Anniversary party, another great offering!

review from notes 8/13/11.

A: Raven feather black with a thick vanilla coulis bubble head. Such a micro-- nay, nano-knit head that sits like milk fat. Super thick fatty creams sit atop the glass like snow that will never melt. I love your work nitro.

S: Barrel aged vanillas that dance with bourbon residues. Creamy murangs hang out for a bit deep in the nose. Light almond butter oils make it in the mix. Extremely whipped mousses are deeply embedded. It all comes to a close with an egg white whipped lightness.

T: The taste is surprisingly clear with iced coffees ruling. Vanilla adds to the theme of airy creams. Kashew milks give a nutty cream element to the flavor. It remains consistent in the nose with being a very whipped buttery milk chocolate treat. Though chilled coffee bean flavors really come forward for me. Along with a rather forward syrupy alcohol.

M: A very silty medium bodied mouth that coats with a thick unpasteurized nitro-cream sensation. The nitro silk blanket is a great match for the cream theme. Vanilla shows up as a flavoring of the creams in every form: froths, murangs, coulis, and mousses are experienced in the mouth sequentially.

O: This is really pretty good, but also very much a sipper. Every possible form of vanilla flavoring comes into play, but it actually doesn't become bludgeoning. Carmelized sugars do well to give an authentic yet light seasoning of sweetness. This comes off very balanced, with only some minor peaking from syrupy sweet alcohols. This is a lot like a good spiked cup of chilled coco. Worth a try for sure.

 1,660 characters

Photo of DarthKostrizer
4.06/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: Black with a perfect 1/4 foam head like Guinness with great retention and lacing

Smell: Bitter chocolate coffee and vanilla

Taste: Bourbon right upfront which brings a bit of an alcohol burn and the beer finishes with a trace of vanilla but lots of chocolate

Mouthfeel: Full body with lots of alcohol burn and low carbonation

Overall: I love the regular version of this beer but I am not crazy about the BA version. Still a great beer highly recommended

 463 characters

Photo of sholland119
4.33/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Teresa's Next Door, 6/6/11.

A-Pours a deep dark black with a thin creamy tan head. Great retention, no lacing (not expected with nitro pour).

S-A bit light but some nice sweet caramel and chocolate.

T-Sweet caramel and mocha, lots of boozy warmth in the finish, good vanilla, toffee and bourbon notes.

M-Creamy, heavy, rich and warm, velvety.

O-Delicious beer. Creamy, rich flavors with an appropriate amount of warmth and heat. Excellent.

HV

 458 characters

Photo of mfunk9786
3.84/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Capone's during PBW.

Incredible pour, lacing like a glass of milk. This'll be a recurring theme. Victory at Sea has so much depth between coffee, vanilla, and chocolate that this -bal version is a disappointment by default. The smell and taste are hugely lactic, like drinking chocolate milk - which while not usually an issue when drinking chocolate milk, is a bit disconcerting when expecting a complex vanilla and coffee porter. Bourbon flavor is way in the back. Very smooth and creamy on the mouth. Something you don't need a review for - you'll drink it if it's on tap anyway - but it was weirdly disappointing for me.

 639 characters

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Victory At Sea Imperial Porter - Barrel Aged from Ballast Point Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 52 ratings.
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