Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter | Ballast Point Brewing Company

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Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial PorterVictory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter

Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our Victory at Sea Imperial Porter is a bold, smooth brew with just the right amount of sweetness. We infused this robust porter with whole vanilla beans and San Diego’s own Caffe Calabria coffee beans. The subtle roasted notes and minimal acidity of the cold brewed coffee, balances perfectly with the sweet caramel undertones of the malt, creating a winning combination for your palate.

Added by radshoesbro on 03-17-2009

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Reviews: 1,411 | Ratings: 6,821
Photo of Lingenbrau
4.34/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours pitch black with a tan frothy head that sticks and laces moderately. Smells of coffee, spice, vanilla, maple syrup, and sweet extra toasted bread. Taste is dominated by semi sweet dark chocolate that has been laced with coffee. Feel is smooth, rich and decadent, and a touch of bitterness to end an initial onslaught of spiced sweetness, only to finish just a tad dry. A mild alcohol warmth considering its high abv. Overall, this is a good flavored imperial porter, and one that I don't mind revisiting from time to time. Cheers!

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Photo of Bombelsky
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Black and opaque. Off-white head, not persisting and leaving a spare lacing.
High aroma of dark malt pronounced by a coffee aroma upfront. Decent burnt character, chocolate and some mild earthy and floral hops aroma. Soft bready notes, low aroma of esters like prunes. Later, when beer have got little bit warmer I could get some soft vanilla kind of whiskey smell.
High sweet, high dark chocolate flavor, medium-low bitter. Sweet aftertaste, chocolate kind.
Full body, creamy, oily, moderately low carbonation, smooth.

Delicious beer but burnt character covers heavily other values. I would like to see it more bitter IMO. Alcohol well covered anyway.

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Photo of Bdubz94
4.39/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

My first Ballast Point beer. Poured from a 4 month old bottle kept in good conditions.

This beer is pitch black--no light gets through-- with a half finger foamy tan head that sticks around for a couple minutes. As the foam goes down, great lacing is left.

I smelled coffee as soon as I take the cap off. Yeah coffee dominates the aroma with roasted malts. But I definitely get the vanilla and caramel too. Smells great! Like coffee ice cream or one of those dessert drinks from Starbucks. As the beer warms, I begin to smell booze but it isn't too overt.

Coffee and dark chocolate come through right away on the palate. I get some sweetness from vanilla and carmel too but overall quite bitter. Would have enjoyed a bit more vanilla and carmel as the coffee really dominates.

It's a pretty thick beer but the alcohol isn't apparent in taste or mouthfeel. I only really notice it in the smell. Medium carbonation.

I'm not a huge coffee porter/stout guy but I really enjoyed this one. Hard to believe it's 10% ABV! Overall a great beer.

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Photo of Holderness
3.94/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L -- Pours a fairly dark reddish-black with a massive, four-finger tan head produced by a gentle/moderate pour. Decent retention and minimal lacing.
S -- The vanilla and coffee flavors definitely shine through here. Notes of dark chocolate, cinnamon, roasted malts, and toffee. Smells a lot like Cinnamon Toast Crunch, which gives it a somewhat gimmicky character.
T -- As prior reviewers have noted, the flavor palate in this brew is largely dominated by a stale coffee flavor that isn't particularly appealing. At this point in my beer drinking career, I think it's pretty obvious that nearly all brewers struggle with keeping the coffee flavor in their brews fresh. Occasionally they are successful (think Speedway Stout, Péché Mortel, etc.), but more often they are not. Otherwise the flavors here are good: mild chocolate, barley, vanilla, and a hint of bourbon on the finish.
F -- The 10% ABV is masked well. Medium body with a smooth, tapering finish.
O -- Hmmm.... Maybe it's just me, but I feel like many of Ballast Point's offerings are hella overrated. Victory at Sea is an easy 87/100, but no way is it a 97/100.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.2/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Victory At Sea has a medium, beige head, a very dark brown appearance, with red shining through, at the bottom corners. There is a good amount of glass lacing present. Aroma is of rich, creamy coffee, vanilla, and dark malt, and the flavor is of those elements, with a rather harsh char, giving it a sort of burnt, acrid bitterness. Mouthfeel is low medium, and Victory At Sea finishes medium dry.


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Photo of Troy-Hawaii
3.5/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Part of a 3-pack Costco 22oz bottles $19.99
Dark black color
Smell of chocolate
Heavy mouthfeel
Medium-heavy carbonation
Taste of coffee, creamy, alcohol taste comes through at the end, some bitterness, slight taste of vanilla, after awhile it does smooth out making for a more pleasant taste. Not sure if the alcohol is getting to me, my taste buds are getting used to it, or is just mellows out at the end.
Overall not for me initially, but towards the end it does taste better. The peppermint version was the best of the 3 pack. I probably wouldn't buy this again as I trust my initial taste first.

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Photo of Maestro0708
4.6/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: Pours black with a one finger, foamy, tan head. Good head retention.

Smell: Coffee and roasted malts, vanilla notes and subtle hints of chocolate.

Taste: Bold dark roast coffee, roasted malts. Sweet vanilla counters bitterness from the coffee. Flavors are well balanced. ABV is masked. Coffee lingers on the palate.

Feel: Smooth with medium carbonation.

Overall: Tasty, smooth coffee Porter. Lives up to the hype.

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Photo of nick_perry
5/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Black color, thin white head. Coffee aroma very noticeable up front. The taste matches with the right-away-coffee note. Delayed silky smooth vanilla note, followed by a hint of alcohol on the finish.

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Photo of NastyNorseman
4.34/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This delicious porter is thick, rich, with beautifully roasted malt and a nice, heavy coffee and vanilla notes that interweave nicely. Pours dark brown with a frothy, tannish head with good lacing. Flavors really come out with brew warms. Aroma and taste are spot on. This is a great showing for a pure porter.

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Photo of spursfaninla
4.37/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Wanted to try a ballast point, and I don't like IPAs, i prefer stouts and porters. So, this was a good entre.

Did not disappoint. Looked gorgeous with nice full head, solid color.

In short, very flavorful, with the accents definitively being attainable. A little bit of burn to start, which quickly mellowed. The vanilla continues to rise to the top of the palate throughout the glass.

Overall, enjoyed it greatly.

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Photo of Omaha_Style
4.79/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I just had this on tap for the fist time and quite frankly it was so good that I felt obligated to use this site to rate the beer, a task I haven't done in well over 2 years. This may very well be my new favorite craft beer. Dark oil look with definite coffee aroma. You can distinctly taste both vanilla and coffee flavored accented by the high gravity nature of this beer. Mouth feel is wonderful due to higher alcohol content and it surprisingly is smooth to drink. Winner in my book.

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Photo of breakdownbbe
4.71/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This stuff will stand tall alongside any imperial-barrel-aged-coffee-whatever your buddy from another state waited eight hours in line to get. Huge chocolate, huger vanilla, hugest espresso. Fantastic winter beer, fantastic dessert beer, fantastic beer period. It's a shame they're using that Corona money to put out dumb crap like Watermelon Dorado and beet stouts instead of using it to make this year-round.

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Photo of goingbrokeonbeer
4.37/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours almost black with a half inch tan head. Smell is coffee and toasty malt. Big flavor of coffee, dark chocolate, and a hint of vanilla. Mouthfeel is medium. I look forward to this beer every year.

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Photo of Tohibii
3.99/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This beer is really strutting. When others say "Espresso Stout" or something like that, you taste it and you're like "hmmmm, yeah, I think I can taste the coffee a bit there...."

This Porter tastes straight like stale coffee. I mean, stale coffee front, middle and back. Its like half and half world class beer with stale coffee and 100% authentic.

I personally love coffee and, hell, I even love stale coffee. I appreciate Ballast Point just being like "screw it, lets not even whiff of Soda Pop like other Porters....let's go full with this stuff." They really didn't pull any punches and the whole experience feels properly agrarian, making most other beers taste like processed food. That's a mixed blessing, but I appreciate this sort of experience being available.

Aside from that, it really hides the 10% ABV very well, though it lingers with a bitter aftertaste that is actually rather welcome, because it - again - is just so very authentic of a flavor. I almost felt a voice in the back of my head saying 'Duh! A beer like this SHOULD have an aftertaste as a matter of principle!'

That said, I'm probably only having one of these a night and any other beer consumption that evening will be something a bit lighter (i.e.. processed food); but, I do suspect that I'll be getting this one again.

I would also note that $14.99 for a six pack is greatly mitigated by the amazing power of these things, so it's actually a reasonable deal.

Any aficionado should at least try this one, IMO.

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Photo of Radcpa
4.27/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

What a great blend of bourbon and vanilla taste. Dark color is very appealing. Aroma matches the taste. This was a good beer but not excellent a I would buy it again.

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Photo of sjdevel
4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Look: 4.25
Dark dark, and very black. 1 + finger head. A nice deep tan foam.

Smell: 4.0
Slight plumb and grape scent. Caramel and slight fruitiness. Coffee and chocolate are very apparent.

Taste: 4.75
There is a huge bite upfront. The hops are quite powerful. Strong flavors of coffee, tobacco, and chocolate take turns on the palette.

Feel: 4.0
This one is very thick and creamy. Definitely a Full-Bodied brew.

Overall: 4.5
Great beer. Not just a gimmicky coffee stout. There are enough other flavors to keep it interesting. Flavorful.

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4.2/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Served in a tulip glass right from the bottle.

Appearance: Thin brownish to black body which comes off almost purely opaque. Tan head rising super thick, just about two finger's length.

Smell: Hit of espresso and brown sugar, little light but seriously appetizing scent.

Taste: Bitter coffee and you definitely few the vanilla. Gives the beer a sweet feel combined with light molasses notes.

Mouth: Toasted bitter finish. Sticks very well and paired with the right tapas the beer compliments very well. Medium carbonation and definitely full bodied.

Overall: Great grab and amazingly at my local Costco store. Beer worth searching for and of course always in a glass. Salud!

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Photo of aquabears
4.49/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Reddish, rich, black, mocha head, slightly mottled color in the foam. Thick lacing. Smell is roast and coffee, hint of vanilla and malty sweetness. Bitter coffee, with a sweet, gentle vanilla flavor on the back. Bitterness fades after you swallow, and you end up with a roasty flavor on your breath and sweetness on the tip of your tongue. Mouthfeel is lighter than expected, a little oily, not very thick.

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Photo of car2052
4.48/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle to snifter.

A: Chocolate brown and black. 1 in. caramel colored head.
S: Vanilla Espresso, teriyaki glaze, tobacco, bourbon, char.
T: Coffee dominates the taste, with slight vanilla notes. Slight sweetness followed by a slight hop bite. You get the sharp coffee acidity in the aftertaste.
M: Medium full. Not overly syrupy.
O: Very nice coffee imperial porter. I like the fact it is not overly full and sweet.

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Photo of DenisKolkin
4.44/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz pour on tap at the Griffon in Niagara Falls, NY. Finally glad to try this legendary imperial beer.

Appearance - black and ominous, with just a glint of light shining through from a reflection made on the table. Long lasting tan head, curtains of lacing left behind.

Smell - freshly brewed coffee, some vanilla present too but dialed back. Close to Peche Mortel on the nose alone.

Taste- loads of coffee, traces of vanilla and generally a bitter demeanour. Super delicious and wishing I could have another.

Mouthfeel - two words. Liquid velvet!

Overall- fantastic beer that lives up to the hype. Will have to pick up a six pack the next time I see it.

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Photo of danh53
4.35/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Wish they made this in 12oz bottles. This is fantastic. Big chocolate, lots of coffee and some dark fruits. Coffee is the dominant note here, but its not overpowering and everything blends together well. The mouth feel is big for a porter and big soapy bubbles look great in the glass and improve the mouth feel. Next time I see this on draft., I won't hesitate.

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Photo of BeerGuy8315
4.48/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap in a pokal glass on 1/20/17.

A: Pours a dark cola brown to black in color with a 1/2 inch, foamy, khaki-tan colored head with short retention. Thin khaki colored lacing throughout.

S: Mostly notes of coffee accompanied by vanilla, caramel, and dark fruits.

T: Taste matches the nose almost exactly. Starts off with bitter black coffee followed by vanilla, cream, caramel, and toffee. Ends with a very slight lingering bitterness.

F: Full bodied, smooth, thick, and creamy. Slight carbonation.

O: Overall, a great Imperial Porter. Love the vanilla and coffee additions. Tastes as advertised. Well balanced and well done. Very drinkable. Would definitely try this one again.

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Photo of erk0607
4.4/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Look: Oily off black/very slightly brown with a short lived, dark tan head. Lacing lingered for duration of beer.
Smell: Like you walked into a slightly sweet, vanilla-caramel scented coffeeshop. Also get somewhat of a sugary dark fruit nose...maybe?
Flavor: Moderately bitter coffee, malt, caramelized sugar. Mild bitter aftertaste. Toffee.
Feel: Smooth, soft carbonation, medium-heavy body, slightly slick going down.
Overall: Very good, a great dark beer if you're in the mood for a caramelly-coffee beer.

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Photo of Blackop555
4.46/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark brown with a medium, creamy, tan head that fades quickly.

Smells of coffee, dark chocolate, roasted malt and hints of vanilla and char

Tastes light sweet and roasted malt, coffee, smoke and finishes semi dry with a smokey hint and vanilla. Medium to medium full body. Creamy lighter medium carbonation.

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Photo of tprinzing
4.85/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I really like this one! The vanilla is very well balanced with the coffee! It has great lacing on the glass, and a nice creamy mouthfeel. The coffee has a somewhat mellow quality about it like one gets from a better roast.

I just keep enjoying this one more with each tasting. This is a great beer!

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Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
4.35 out of 5 based on 6,821 ratings.
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