Victory At Sea - Coffee And Vanilla
Ballast Point Brewing Company

Victory At Sea - Coffee And VanillaVictory At Sea - Coffee And Vanilla
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Porter - Imperial
Ranked #9
Ranked #331
4.41 | pDev: 8.62%
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States
Victory At Sea - Coffee And VanillaVictory At Sea - Coffee And Vanilla
Notes: 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.
Reviews: 1,509 | Ratings: 7,147 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of KRug
KRug from Massachusetts

4.37/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

After being impressed by the High West BA version of this a few weeks ago I figured I'd give this a shot. Quite affordable at $3 for a single bottle given it currently sits at #323 of all time on this site

Pours a very dark brown with just a finger of espresso colored head that quickly fades to a thin cap and leaves minimal lacing and decent legs

The aroma here is sweet but not overly so, bringing a nice balance of vanilla, hazelnut, toast, milk chocolate, medium roast coffee, and a slight dark fruit note

A bittersweet balance is maintained throughout the entire sip, starting off with notes of cocoa powder, lightly toasted malt, raisin, and a touch of grain alcohol. The swallow makes this one a bit sweeter, bringing notes of rich vanilla, slightly astringent coffee, milk chocolate, and almond

A medium silky body pairs with gentle carbonation for a smooth slow sipper. The finish is mostly dry, due to the roasty character of the coffee

Damn delicious beer right here. It hits all the notes expected and doesn't feel overly sweet or strong despite the high abv. I'd definitely get it again

Dec 29, 2020
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monkist from Hungary

4.87/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Well, you might hate it - or you might love it!
My wife didn’t like it but I did. Even though I’m not so fond of Porters or Stouts but THIS ONE, I’m telling you was really good!
Vanilla and coffee. Vanilla is really present in the aroma, sweet, but like some cookies or sweets or a kind of a cake? Very pleasant. And its taste is just as good as it smells!!! This isn’t always the case, as I’m sure you must have observed that beers often smell “better” than they taste - but this one was astounding. Sweet but not syrupy, sweet like vanilla sugar. Coffee? Not 100% sure I could decipher it, but maybe overall the thing tasted like drinking a Starbucks latte with vanilla added on top? Oh yes, don’t forget about its booziness, which isn’t harsh at all, rather makes the whole thing taste and feel like an Irish coffee.
This was the first that I had of this kind but it made me curious, I think I might seek more of such coffee or vanilla or oatmeal-infused Porters or Stouts out. Worth giving it a try!

May 22, 2020
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CCLEID from Nevada

4.79/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Initially: robust/strong taste. After several months of sampling Porters and Stouts, Victory at Sea sat AFRAID in the corner of the refrigerator...reattemped tonight; world class favorite!

May 09, 2020
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adab123 from Ohio

4.02/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Smells like a starchy vanilla espresso. Tastes like one too almost, though the coffee is more pronounced and it almost has a dark chocolate taste. A good unique beer, though the smell is a bit too much for my preference.

Apr 16, 2020
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Hooded from Texas

3.99/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Notes from 2/25/2020.
On tap at the Draft House in Austin and served in a 5oz snifter.
The appearance is dark brown with a thin tan ring of foam around the rim. 3.75
The aroma is medium in strength and of delicious chocolate covered caramel, and a little salt. How can a beer smell this good?! 4.75
The taste is moderately strong with chocolate covered caramel, roasted malt, boose, and a moderately bitter finish. 3.75
The mouth feel is above medium in thickness with moderate carbonation. 3.75
Overall, it's very good but it's not quite my thing. I think it's how the bitterness mixes with the flavor. 3.75

Mar 05, 2020
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NYNorseman from New York

4.83/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Ballast Point scores a home run with this big and bold imperial porter. The smell of vanilla greets you pleasantly and invitingly, not overpowering as your first sip brings you beautiful flavor notes of coffee and smoky marshmallow maltiness. This is an amazing porter- one of my favorites. Drinking this on a cold winter day - this beer is nearly perfect. I discovered this beer last year at a St. Patrick’s Day parade when I stopped at a local tavern and it made for a great day!

Jan 20, 2020
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Squire from Mississippi

3.93/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark golden brown color with tan cap and lacing.

Aroma at first of something like coconut, quickly followed by a vanilla laced light coffee which reminds me of a Kenya bean rather than something more robust from some other part of the World. Very clean and pleasant.

Taste is more coffeeish than coconut with some elements of roasted malt yet it's restrained. Again coconut blends with vanilla but that's just my perception. That all sounds rather sweet but the brew doesn't come across as sweet in the taste as it does in the scent. It finishes clean and dry.

Medium texture with balancing carbonation.

Overall it's a refreshing take on the Porter/Stout style, very drinkable.

Jan 05, 2020
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stevoj from Idaho

4.41/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from Albertson's. Wow, just wow. Black gold. Chocolate and coffee,slick and oily. Campfire, burnt toast and coffee. Molasses, yum....and the vanilla for a little bit of marshmallow

Jan 03, 2020
Photo of drinkdrankdrunk56

4.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my first time trying this beer and it doesnt dissapoint. Very dark, i would have thought it to be a stout. The vanilla smells hits you instantly followed by coffee and some roasted malt. The taste follows the nose to a tee, with the vanilla hitting first then the cofffe and malts backing it up. All in all this is the best porter I've ever had.

Dec 20, 2019
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Bluerabbitbell from Pennsylvania

4.71/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Ignoring the recent sale of Ballast Point to Kings and Convicts brewery, this is A GREAT imperial Porter! Their brewer notes description are right on for this. Notes of vanilla... Not to sweet.... low acidity.... Coffee comes through..... All flavors balanced so well! From bottle, an early Christmas present from my DW!

Dec 06, 2019
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GuyFawkes from Illinois

4/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Unknown vintage; drank 4/24/16 @ the Yarchives.

Black/brown appearance.

A rough pour yielded a huge tan head; a curtain of frothy lace.

Vanilla, roasted coffee bean & milk chocolate notes in the nose.

Medium thick mouthfeel.

Milk chocolate & vanilla flavors up front; fresh roasted coffee bean notes on the finish. No booze heat.

A smooth, easy drinking treat.

Nov 26, 2019
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Bouleboubier from New Jersey

4.23/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

(12 oz bottle, marginally over-filled, no date code; purchased single off shelf... poured into a snifter)

L: impenetrably deep-dark brown liquid; thick, tan-colored foam pad; head holds well at first... assuming brilliant clarity as no sediment appears in final ounces for top-up... head never quite holds, only thin collar clings; no lace

S: I'll be danged - coffee and vanilla leap out first, in excellent balance with one another, bold collective intensity, with a mocha-shell candy coffee bean the most dominant scent... little overt booze, just decadent dessert aromas, but also perhaps a touch of cardboard-y oxidation

T: yes, a bit more ashy oxidation up front, with the first sip contained a palate-stunning espresso jolt and strident spirit... vanilla (extract) seems to build in the aftertaste not 1/3 through it; concentrated malt nectar, but well short of syrupy sweet... lovely aggressive roast and bitter nip

F: relatively light, taut, clean, and quick; a dense, but thinly-concentrated malty body, perhaps thinned out a bit by the ethanol

O: oxidation aside, the beer is intensely flavorful, nuanced similar to but not quite as (overbearingly) rich and powerful as the Evil Twin stout liqueurs, which altogether aren't very nuanced at all... rather basic in character, but poppin with booze, barley roast, and Coffee-Mate, if that's your thing (1568)

Oct 11, 2019
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klarcbarr3 from Michigan

4.6/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer packs powerful taste. It is earthy with fine coffee and a perfect opposite of vanilla sweetness. It is pleasant, hearty, and filling, with alcohol content well disguised under a seductive coating of comfort. The perfect beer for a dark, short, wintery day. Revile in the decadence.

Oct 02, 2019
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Thankin_Hank from Texas

4.38/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Dark as night with a thin head. Excellent lacing. The aroma is sweet and really smells like chocolate to me. Tastes like chocolate with a slight coffee like bitterness. Mouthfeel is velvety smooth. Overall it’s very tasty and smooth. The only knock on this beer place s the slight bitterness. On draft at Ron’s Corner Tavern. I’ll have another.

Jul 11, 2019
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timon from California

4.57/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This tastes soooo good. It tastes like how I wish a good rum would taste. Lots of charachter due to the perfect blend of dark fruits, alcohol, vanilla and coffee. The flavors come on in that order for me: dark fruits & alcohol > vanilla > coffee. Look is nothing special, but nice, dark with some lacing. The smell is like vanilla rootbeer with rum. Just divine. OH, and it hits hard at 10%. A steal at $14 a sixer.

Jun 12, 2019
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josanguapo from Spain

4.27/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

De Labirratorium. En copa tulipa de Basqueland. Viendo Rick y Morty 3x05-07. Mas que cafe lo que me da es perfil a canela, muy suave y bien combinado con la vainilla al principio aunque a la larga se va algo de madre y da lugar a notas algo artificiales. Aun asi no desempaña la experiencia inicial y mereceria la pena repetirla

May 16, 2019
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defunksta from North Dakota

4.21/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours completely black with a mild to moderate tan and sticky head.
Aroma: Strong aroma of roasty, milk chocolate. Definitely a coffee flavor as well. Has the richness of the chocolate, but no bitterness on the nose.
Taste: Not just mild, but some serious strong flavors of hot chocolate w/ creamy milk, vanilla, & marshmellows. Modereate bitterness. Definite roasted coffee, but not roasted to the Starbucks level. Much more smooth. Some bourbon and licorice.
Feel: Heavy and thick. Moderately carbonated, but completely consumed by the heaviness. Not too oily. Finishes slightly sweet, but relatively dry. Not too bitter. Finishes very smooth like cold-brew coffee.

Overall: Quite a porter. Drinks thick and heavy. Such strong cocoa & hot chocolate flavors. Definitely a milky, vanilla profile. Not too bitter. Less hops than I expected. Thick, rich, & milky. Roasted cold-brew coffee underneath. More milk chocolate than I've ever experienced. If you were to drink liquid milk chocolate from Charlie and the Chocolate factory, this would be it!

Apr 29, 2019
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RyanK252 from California

4.3/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Rocket Dog Brats & Brew

A: Pours dark brown nearly black with a frothy khaki head that settles to a firm layer and leaves some very nice lacing.

S: Nice spice notes up front, vanilla, peppery, maybe a hint of spicy cinnamon, roasted malt, dark chocolate, bold coffee, slight earthy herbal notes, big brown sugar sweetness, and a touch of almost bourbon like alcohol.

T: Additions come right out up front, big vanilla and bold coffee, roasted malt, dark and milk chocolate, light earthy herbal notes, peppery spice, a hint of cinnamon, brown sugar and almost maple sweetness, with some complimentary kinda bourbon like alcohol notes.

M: Medium to full body, moderate carbonation to keep it from getting syrupy, a little creamy, with just a touch of pleasant warm.

O: I know I've had this one before, but somehow haven't put in a full review. One of the OG big dark beers with some fun stuff thrown in. Despite not having seen the inside of a barrel it does have a bit of that quality.

Feb 23, 2019
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CaptainHate from Ohio

4.45/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured in an oversized wine glass. Inky dark brown body topped by a small tan head which quickly dissipated. Smell was of vanilla coffee over a charred malt base echoed in the taste. Mouthfeel was just fine for an imperial porter. A perfectly tasty imperial porter.

Feb 11, 2019
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LifesAnesthesia from Virginia

4.57/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L - Deep, opaque black with mahogany highlights around the edges with a thin tan head that dissipates somewhat quickly leaving behind a small amount of lacing.
S - Hints of bitter coffee and roasted malt along with dark chocolate on the nose along with sweet vanilla and lingering caramel notes
T - Follows the nose with a really nice amount of bitter, roasted coffee up front along with roasted/toasted malts followed by bitter dark chocolate balanced by notes of sweet vanilla and caramel
F - Medium bodied leaning on fuller bodied with a light to moderate amount of carbonation - smooth, rich, creamy
O - An incredible porter that really hits all the right notes - powerful flavors, a great feel, and a fantastic smell

Jan 19, 2019
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penguinsgoboom from California

4.47/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a fizzy thick one finger latte colored head. Color is almost pitch black

S: Powerful cocoa flavors. Coffee is present. The vanilla sweetness permeates through. Slightly toasted. Smells incredible

T: Dark and rich. The dark chocolate and coffee work in tandem with the heavy toasted flavors. Just as that wanes, a creamy milky sensation takes over and the vanilla drops in.

O: This is a decadent dessert beer. Like a bitter chocolate cake, vanilla ice cream, and black coffee blended up into a beer. Fantastic.

Jan 17, 2019
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nicholas2121 from Ohio

4.66/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Victory At Sea - Coffee And Vanilla brewed by Ballast Point Brewing Company, with an ABV of 10.00% This American Imperial Porter pours out of a 12oz glass bottle into a pint beer glass. The color is a deep brown color, with a nice light brown head. This brew has the look of coffee,and not saying that is a bad thing. Nice amount of lacing to this this Porter, it sticks to the side of the glass well. The smell is rich with roasted grains and malts, mixed with coffee an sweetness. The roasted smells are definitely high an in the smell of this brew. So far Victory At Sea - Coffee And Vanilla is a nice inviting brew. Now for the taste, it is Rich an Bold with flavors. You first pick up on a Sweet, Roasted grains, malts and coffee. A smooth easy going finish. It is really hard to pick up on the 10.00% ABV in this brew, it is just that smooth an rich. The vanilla flovor is a nice touch this brew. This is one of the better coffee Porters on the market.
The body of Victory At Sea - Coffee And Vanilla is a medium to heavy, but not to heavy. This is a well put together coffee Porter. If you are a fan of coffee or Porters, you should look this on up. The mouth feel is Bold, Rich, Roasted, Sweet, Clean, Smooth and Refreshing. Overall I am going to give Victory At Sea - Coffee And Vanilla a 4.75 out of 5. I would definitely look this brew up again giving the opportunity to. Ballast Point Brewing Company, did a super nice job with this American Imperial Porter.

Dec 28, 2018
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Spacejamflam from Louisiana

3.93/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours velvety smooth and black with a very slowly rising and slowly falling tan head.
Smells of chocolate and vanilla, not much coffee.
Taste follows, dominated by chocolate! There's dark chocolate in the taste but milk chocolate in the feel. Slight hoppiness but it's well balanced, and if it didnt have that, it would be too rich.
Feel is silky smooth, very round and lingering but not too rich. Alcohol is well hidden.
Overall a great chocolately porter, a nice replacement for desert!

Dec 25, 2018
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Reef from South Carolina

4.31/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Daleville in a tulip glass
Ebony colored, 1 cm tan head and full curtains lacing
Strong vanilla scent, milk chocolate, light coffee, brown bread, toffee
Taste leans more toward coffee, bitter hop tickle, light vanilla, and yes caramel
Rich full body, initially sweet then a bitter tickle, 10% ABV is well hidden, carbonation lasts.
Great porter, there are so many varients but none improve on the original.

Dec 23, 2018
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StJamesGate from New York

4.03/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Viscous jet with steady copper foam; latte + burnt marshmallow; big ash + licorice, caramel, coffee grounds, vanilla creme + grassy hops to end; med-full, slightly hot, and chewy.

4.25 4.25 4 4 3.75

Sorry, but what's the fuss here? Dessert nose that gives way to some pretty astringent things in the taste which lay awkwardly next to a full body + considerable residual sweetness. There's a chocolate thing not happening, which is maybe how it's a porter not a stout, but it's doing it no favours. Every time I want to love this, I'm getting the bottom of a pot of Maxwell House. I'm drinking it at room temp, not cellar temp, but either way, there's some buzz I'm just not catching.

Dec 21, 2018
Victory At Sea - Coffee And Vanilla from Ballast Point Brewing Company
Beer rating: 98 out of 100 with 7147 ratings