Victory At Sea - Barrel-Aged
Ballast Point Brewing Company

Victory At Sea - Barrel-AgedVictory At Sea - Barrel-Aged
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Porter - Imperial
Ranked #11
Ranked #426
4.42 | pDev: 7.47%
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States
Victory At Sea - Barrel-AgedVictory At Sea - Barrel-Aged
Reviews: 79 | Ratings: 370 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of KilleenTx
KilleenTx from Texas

4.85/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

I love this stuff! Nice rich deep dark porter that is sweet yet cocoa nib back taste. When you have it inna chalice, it beautifully laces the glass as you move...10% alcohol helps it do that. I thought the flavors improved as it warmed. Made me want fresh bread and butter , a fire in a fireplace and to just seriously chill. Good job Ballast Point.

Oct 23, 2019
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teromous from Virginia

4.07/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the bottom of the bottle in yellow print: "VAS19HW 08:09 PKG 26SEP18"
The label I have says: "ALC. 12% BY VOLUME"

Appearance: It pours black with a thick light khaki head with good retention.

Aroma: There is a clear oak aroma to the beer with hints of vanilla and chocolate. As the nose pulls back it takes on a classic bourbon aroma.

Taste: It has a fantastic flavor of chocolate and bourbon with light undertones of vanilla and wood.

Mouthfeel: It feels a bit lighter or thinner than other Imperial Porters. Otherwise it has good carbonation and it is easy to drink for such a high alcohol volume.

Overall: It's an outstanding beer. The label does say that this is made with "COFFEE AND VANILLA FLAVORS AGED IN HIGH WEST BOURBON AND RYE BARRELS" but the coffee character doesn't really come through. This doesn't matter too much though because it has a very lovely wood character and the beer as a whole works nicely. It's the kind of beer that makes you want to drink another. I would recommend it and I would buy it again.

Dec 25, 2018
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HopsAreDaMan from Missouri

4.34/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

It's really good, but in a side-by-side with the regular, I preferred the regular. The barrel flavors are there, yet I have had other BA beers that have better Barrel flavors (Just a couple of weeks ago I had New Holland's Dragon's Milk, and I was more impressed with that than with this BA Victory at Sea).

Nov 19, 2018
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dafla67 from Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours jet black. The smell is very complex -- roasted malts; chocolate, coffee, vanilla & bourbon. The taste is an amazing balancing act of all those smells. Love the vanilla. The feel is quite smooth.

Jul 13, 2018
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Franziskaner from Missouri

4.28/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Black in color and impenetrable to light. There's a fingernail of brown covering all but a dime of the top. A massively complex aroma of sweet vanilla, bourbon, and coffee greet my nose. The taste is decadent vanilla, coffee and sweet bourbon along with milk chocolate. The mouth is viscous and silky smooth.

May 18, 2018
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Scotty859 from Kentucky

4.41/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Rich, dark color with a short head, the creamy chocolate hazlenut taste fades into a roasted caramel/chocolate taste. Excellent mouthfeel, scent does not match taste.

Apr 26, 2018
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scotorum from Massachusetts

4.52/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5


a: Opaque black with a two inch thick tan head which receded slowly to densel lacing and thick even surface foam remaining.

s: Dark chocolate roasty malt.

t: Follows the nose more definitely along with some alcohol notes and moderate bitterness accompanying a sweet to bitter finish.

m; Medium, good body and carbonation tingle.

o; A surprisingly chocolaty-tasting porter with that flavor muting the barrel aging somewhat for awhile, but overall a delicious brew with a well-covered high octane ABV.

Apr 02, 2018
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daliandragon from Maryland

4.41/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Very interesting and compex throughout. The wood and whiskey give the chocolate and coffee and molasses some real backbone. The aftertaste is a treat. Well hopped early, which provides a layering balance. Chunky and thick in the mouth, yet with a velvety richness. Really exquisite there. Big booze number but absolutely delicious.

Feb 23, 2018
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KingTen144 from Illinois

4.46/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into a tulip glass. Pours dark with more head than I'm used to seeing with the high ABV barrel-aged beers, which is a good thing. Head sticks around along the rim of the beer. Probably one of the best smelling beers I've had, with this fantastic bourbon-vanilla-coffee aroma blend. Taste is a touch heavier on the coffee, with bit of booziness, but still very satisfying. Very glad I got a 4-pack. Looking forward to cellaring this one for a little while to see how it evolves.

Feb 04, 2018
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Wasatch from Colorado

4.74/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

12 oz. Bottle
High West
ABV: 12%

Poured into a goblet a very nice dark brown color, with some pretty nice carbonation, which leaves a really nice thick/creamy one-finger tan head, with a nice medium size oil slick, and some sticky lacing behind. The nose is very nice, malty, with a nice touch of chocolate/toffee, coffee, whiskey, vanilla, licorice. The taste is very nice, malty, with some chocolate/toffee, nice touch of coffee, really nice vanilla/sweetness, licorice, nice touch of whiskey. Full Body, ABV is hidden very well with this brew, a nice complex brew. Overall, very tasty. Definitely a sipper, but it goes down so easily. Recommended!

Jan 25, 2018
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Harrison8 from Missouri

4.43/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a finger and a half of dark caramel-colored head. Head retention is nice, with a caramel-colored foamy ring lingering for a long time. Aroma is bourbon and barrel first, with roasted and toasted malts forming a strong presence just behind. Caramel, toffee, and molasses all mingle as well. Flavor profile is sweet and soft notes of toffee, and caramel, over a heavy base of roasted and toasted malts. Bourbon and barrel are present throughout, but heavily present at the finish. Mouth feel is thick, and velvety. Overall, a heavy barrel aged porter that tastes smooth and well balanced.

Served in a 12oz snifter from a 12oz bottle.

Jan 07, 2018
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NeilSilber1 from California

4.9/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Exceptional dark beauty with large fluffy head and dark color with strong notes of coffee, vanilla and dark seeet chocolate and whiskey. Amazing but deadly at over 12%.

Jan 01, 2018
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BoldRulerVT from Vermont

4.29/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

High West.
Poured from the 12 oz bottle into a tuilp.
Pours jet black with half a finger of light khaki head.
Aromas are a good deal of bourbon and vanilla with dark roast.
Flavors come in waves. Bourbon then vanilla, then chocolate and coconut then coffee. Unreal, Balanced.
Mouthfeel was fine silky but thin.
Overall pretty much exactly what I wanted and expected. Well crafted. Flavorful and complex.

Dec 31, 2017
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BeerDawgs from Georgia

4.56/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

L - Pitch black, 1/2 a finger of tan head, and some minor lacing left on the brew

S - Vanilla, coffee, chocolate, bourbon,

T - Sugar, coffee, dark chocolate, hints of bourbon

F - Thin body, low carbonation.

O - Great brew without the barrel aging. The bourbon is subtle but add great character. Great beer

Dec 23, 2017
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colts9016 from Idaho

4.28/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a tulip glass at 45 degrees. A foam and creamy dark brown head. The head has excellent retention. The inky black beer is opaque. The head left lacing on the glass the head dissipated.

Oh wow, a rich bourbon and vanilla nose leaps off the beer. Additional aromas are wood, oak, chocolate, coffee, roasted dark malts, bread, burnt sugar, molasses, yeast, caramel, citrus, earthy, and floral.

The bourbon and the vanilla flavors are the strongest. Dark roasted malts, caramel, burnt sugar, molasses, yeast, earthy citrus, earthy, alcohol, floral, coffee, chocolate, and oak are the additional flavors.

The mouthfeel of the beer is a touch hot, smooth, and dry. The body of the beer is medium-plus, a medium plus carbonation, and long finish.

The beer alcohol content is noticeable, wish it was weaved better in the beer. The balance is not a 100 percent but close enough. Good solid beer, a must try.

Dec 21, 2017
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andrewh995 from Arizona

4.41/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark black with a small brown head that dissipates quickly. Smells of strong bourbon, vanilla, coffee, and roasted malts. Tastes of bourbon, vanilla bean, coffee, chocolate, roasted malts, rye whiskey, light toffee, and booze. Medium-heavy mouthfeel with medium carbonation. Overall an insanely taster Barrel Aged Stout.

Dec 14, 2017
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dertyd from California

3.87/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The beer pours out the darkest of brown/black color, with 2 fingers of mocha colored head------------- the aromas are of whiskey, dark chocolate, coffee, vanilla and fudge------------ the flavors are of dark chocolate, roasted malts, coffee, vanilla and bourbon, the beer has a thin to medium mouthfeel finishing with some spice and alcohol burn--------- overall this beer was nice, to be honest I'm not the biggest fan of the base beer it's to thin and flavors are kinda subdued imo, and this one is similar, I would rather have a big imperial stout than this, still decent thouh

Dec 13, 2017
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SomethingClever from Ohio

4.23/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz beer poured into a tulip glass.

A: Slightly khaki colored head Big at first tiny bubbled, but it settles quickly. The body is an obsidian of no return.

S: almost has a marshmallow quality. It has a nice rye bourbon hints and then lots of vanilla and coffee.

T: Nice Light bourbon with a little toffee, then lots of vanilla and coffee.

M: Thin feel with a bitter finish.

O: This is a very tasty beer, the bourbon is light, but still plays well with vanilla and coffee. Not a fan of the bitterness.

Dec 10, 2017
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Brolo75 from California

4.31/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 ounce bottle poured into a snifter

A: Pours black with a tan colored head minimal retention, slight lacing, very little carbonation.

A: Lots of aroma, bourbon, vanilla, coconut, oak, espresso, chocolate, lots of alcohol coming through as well, it's smells sweeter than most barrel aged dark beers I've tasted, lots of vanilla.

T: Bourbon, vanilla sweetness, coconut, oak, touch of coffee, moderate amount of bitterness, finish is really dry with lingering notes of bourbon, vanilla, espresso, and lots of alcohol burn, it has lots of flavor but it's not blending well.

M: Medium bodied with very little carbonation, stick vanilla sweet mouthfeel with a touch of coffee dryness.

O: This beer while it has plenty of barrel and vanilla sweetness along with the coffee is very alcoholic, has lots of burn, bourbon burn. I think some time in the cellar would allow that burn to subside and allow the other beer's notes to emerge. It's not bad tasting but I expected more from it.

Dec 04, 2017
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larryarms847 from Illinois

4.27/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours very dark brown and sits black in the glass with a bit of carbonation, looks to style.

Rich and pungent chocolate and chocolate malt aroma right up front with notes of vanilla, oak, and bourbon.

Chocolate comes through strong in flavor as well while the barrel lends some complexity but lacks a strong barrel character.

Higher carbonation for the style, rich and easy drinking.

Overall, I expected a little more barrel character, but overall a very nice beer!

Dec 03, 2017
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DaverCS from Arizona

4.32/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours black with brown undertones and 1 finger of an slightly brown, off-white colored head.

Aroma is beautiful. Bourbon foward with tons of coffees, vanilla, and cocoa. Truly delicious smelling beer.

Taste has moderate-high carbonation for the style, which creates the perception of a thinner mouthfeel. This beer is hot with bourbon. Very bourbon foward with a cold brew coffee flavor. There is also a cherry-like very mild tartness that underlines the sip; perhaps a fruitier coffee was used. Vanilla extract is noted in a minor way.

Overall, I do like this beer but in comparison to many of the other BA beers, its lack of mouthfeel with probably make me not buy it again. I see this pairing well with a cherry pie or fruited pie. It gets a 86.5/100.

Nov 28, 2017
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mdfb79 from New York

4.44/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lot of whiskey, caramel, and dark chocolate. Thick full body and low carbonation.

Overall a very good beer because the base is so good. It definitely lost a lot of the coffee vs the normal version so I’d say just depends if you want the coffee or bourbon.

Oct 22, 2017
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briandschorr from North Carolina

4.78/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Amazing. This beer combines two of my favorite elements: Porter and Barrel Aging. It is no wonder that this beer as a WC rating. Complex. This is the only word to describe this home run from Ballast Point. This is the kind of beer that you have to taste slow and take notes. Yes, grab a pen and paper and take notes. The color is deep brown color with a thick tan head. The nose is a rich combination of bourbon, vanilla, and roasted coffee. For me, I found the balance between the bourbon, vanilla, and coffee to be spot on. Remeber when I said to take notes? Here is why. The taste starts off with burnt wood and coffee at the start and then at the end you find other elements like the coffee and vanilla. The flavors come in and out as on my second taste I also found toffee and molasses. The body, the mouthfeel, the taste... superb.

Aug 18, 2017
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.25/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

this is a killer beer, a really fine edition of one of their best, but it is also a great example of a beer that simply does not need to be put in the barrel. its already so flavorful, so complex, yet so mellow while being huge, the barrel only brings out more of that, but honestly the base beer is so dialed in that the barrel flavors almost overwhelm this balance. heavy whiskey and vanilla along with old charred wood come out so much to the front of both nose and taste on this that its almost difficult to recognize some of the underlying elements, especially the coffee, which is lost to the now overpowering vanilla flavor. still so rich and smooth though, i just think it throws some of the flavor off balance. this would be a cool beer to do in new oak without the whiskey element, just pick up the wood while leaving everything else in tact. they should do that. i had this side by side with several of the variants and it was not my favorite, despite being obviously the most special of the lot. amazing beer, dont mean to knock it down at all, but as good as it is, the barrel aspect is not necessary. delicious and wintery and special though, get some if you can!

Dec 22, 2016
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AmeriCanadian from Tennessee

4.54/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Absolutely spectacular. I'm a fan of regular Victory at Sea, though the vanilla is a little much. For my tastes this barrel-aging (the rep said it was Woodford barrels) adds positively to it in a big way by mellowing the vanilla and adding all kinds of additional depth. The look is its usual velvety, jet black with a thin chocolate milk head that leaves a little sticky lacing. The aroma is big and boozy with the familiar vanilla, chocolate, and roasted coffee, but additional, wonderful notes of whiskey, toffee, raisins and dark fruit. The flavor profile is near perfect. The strong vanilla and bitter espresso from the regular [email protected] are mellowed somewhat (though still very present), while the dark fruit, molasses, and chocolate are enhanced. And, again, added notes of caramel and toffee, a little oak, chocolate-covered raisins, and dark jam round things out. You're very aware that the bourbon is there, but it seems to weave its way around the other flavors, really acting as the glue that ties it all together.

It's honestly unfair to compare this offering against regular American Porters. This beer is absolutely decadent and I would drink it for very different reasons and in different situations than regular [email protected] But I certainly hope to drink it again soon.

Dec 06, 2016
Victory At Sea - Barrel-Aged from Ballast Point Brewing Company
Beer rating: 97 out of 100 with 370 ratings