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
BEER INFO

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

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,354
Ratings:
6,603
Avg:
4.35
pDev:
8.97%
 
 
Wants:
1,081
Gots:
2,093
For Trade:
92
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,354 | Ratings: 6,603
Photo of Qwest_35
4.82/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

My first Victory! Pours a dark brown, almost black. The vanilla aroma on this beer is right up front, with a dark roasted cappuccino notes close behind. The flavor and mouthfeel of this beer is insane! Rich coffee with a sweet vanilla backbone, light hint of caramel, the hops are definitely present on the tongue as well, a really great porter! I can't say enough good things about this stuff! the alcohol is really well hidden and I am getting no bad aftertaste to boot. Overall a supremely tasty brew from Ballast Point, a bit pricey for a bomber, but I am not disappointed at all!

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Photo of wogreen
4.82/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A - dark black, brown head dissipates quickly
S - malty and coffee grounds
T - potent coffee flavor. the sweetness of the vanilla has a nice undertone...not overpowering like many vanilla flavored beers
M - thick almost like a milkshake
O - a very fine porter, and nearly like a stout

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Photo of dannyhipps
4.82/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my beloved Trpile Karmeliet lage chalice.

A- Looks like a flat cola(deep dark brown body with crimson tinges on the edges as light hits) as it pours from the bottle, forms an enticing cocoa head that disappears quickly. Heavenly brown-sugar snowdrifts of lacing remain.

S- Coffee hits then gives way to a pleasant sweetness that reminds me of a half-eaten chocolate donut left behind in a delicate brown paper bag. Whiffs of carob and dark fruits/raisins faintly appear in the background as the beer warms.

T- Phenomenal. Deep, delicious, and yes, sweet coffee/vanilla/tootsie-roll up front. A wonderful coffee bitterness kicks in mid-palate followed by a sweet milk chocolate/candi sugar blossom on the finish. A real treat!

Mouthfeel is perfect. Silky, creamy deliciousness. Just enough tingly bite on the palate thanks to the just-right carbonation level. The mouthfeel really saves this beer IMHO, which otherwise could've been a mess since the flavors are so rich on their own in this heavenly brew.

D- This is a rich beer, no doubt. But with the decadent flavors and sublime mouthfeel, probability of gluttony is high!

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Photo of maxcoinage
4.81/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Split a Bomber with a buddy, poured into two snifters with a few cm mocha colored head. Color was a dark black

ARoma was dominated by the name of the beer as I was hoping - coffee and vanilla. Some chocolate and booziness were apparent as well.

Taste was fantastic, dominated by roasted malt/coffee, some vanilla sweetness, dark chocolate

Mouthfeel -medium carb, not as big of a body as I was expecting for 10%ABV but still good. creamy and slightly bitter on the finish

Overall - Honestly two of my favorite flavors are coffee and vanilla- so I had high expectations for this beer and it delivered. Great sipper for a winter afternoon. Definitely recommend this and will be seeking out more. Gotta thank my buddy Mike for this, won it in a fantasy football bet.

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Photo of Kodama78
4.81/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I'm not the biggest fan of porters. I tend to think that if I want a dark beer I might as well get a stout. That being said, the taste of Victory at Sea is ridiculous. I have never tasted another beer with such a perfect blend of coffee and vanilla. One of my favorites any time I can get it

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Photo of kdlz
4.81/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from 22oz bomber into tulip glass.

A - Jet black pour with 1 finger tan head. Almost stout-like.

S - Coffee, dark chocolate, and amazing vanilla aromas jut wafting from the glass

T - Just like the smell, all were present. Not boozy at all.. Made me wish I could wake up to this every morning.

M - On the bitter side, like drinking a cup of coffee, low carb, very easy drinking

O - I think this should be a stout, color taste depth and weight of this beer is astounding. Not a beginners beer. Looking forward to next years plus the 2 I have cellared.

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Photo of vinny21bal
4.81/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Best Porter around. I have not had any of the variants but this one is amazing. Chocolate, vanilla, and not bland like a lot of the other porters can be. It is like the Breckenridge Vanilla Porter with a lot more flavor and balls. I am very excited to see it in Illinois and can't wait to drink my case of it. Mouth feel is very rich as well but not to big like a bourbon county wear you can only have a little.

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Photo of mrelizabeth
4.8/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Wonderfully dark. Moves in the glass like thick coffee. Tan foam, doesn't last quite as long as I would have liked.

S: Inviting. No alcohol notes. Coffee blends nicely with vanilla, roasted malts.

T: Really great balance of flavors. I got the malts first, followed quickly by the vanilla, then coffee, then a bit of porter at the finish. Smooth with nothing left on your tongue but coffee and vanilla.

M: Clean. Memorable thick and creamy texture.

O: If you are looking for an impressive coffee stout, this one balances more nicely than most. The vanilla shouldn't dissuade you; it adds to the complexity of the beer, but neither it nor the espresso completely overpower the beer. Keep a few bottles of this around for after dinner on a cold night.
*three months and three bottles later, I had to revise my original numbers. this beer only gets better, and is one of the best i've ever had.

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Photo of spacecake9
4.8/5  rDev +10.3%

Very happy so see this at my local liquor store.
A - Pours almost black with a nice foamy head.
S - All I can smell is coffee. Smells just like one of those big tins of ground coffee where you'd rip off the lid and all that coffee aroma would hit you in the face.
T - Coffee and vanilla flavors dominate.
M - Another reviewer thought this was thin but it strikes me as a solid medium body beer.
O - I'm not a huge fan of porters - I prefer stouts - but this one tastes great. Probably helps that I really like coffee. And the vanilla lends a little sweetness that rounds off the bitterness of the coffee (or the porter for that matter). I really like this beer and look forward to getting my hands on another bomber.

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Photo of Pegasus
4.8/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Appearance: Utter obsidian in color, with a large dark tan head, which retains rather well. Thick, glass-coating lace adorns the glass walls.

Aroma: Strong notes of cold coffee, bitter chocolate, roasted malt, vanilla, earth, and vinous alcohol. While the coffee/espresso notes are strongest, the vanilla is notable.

Taste: Opens with a massive cold coffee flavor, with a strong undercurrent of bitter cocoa and vanilla. As the taste progresses, a brief moment of sweet chocolate appears, then vinous alcohol, and dark roasted malt. Late in the taste, earthy flavors appear, along with a burst of herbal hops. The 10% ABV is very gracefully concealed. Finishes with a lingering note of cold coffee and bitter cocoa.

Mouth feel: Smooth, soft, and velvety.

Drinkability/notes: An absolutely superb example, an order of magnitude (or two) beyond ordinary beer.

Presentation: Packaged in a twenty-two ounce brown glass bomber with a pry-off crown, served in a New Belgium Brewing chalice.

Sourcing: Purchased at Spec's in Austin, Texas for $9.99 plus tax.

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Photo of AWolfAtTheDoor
4.8/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Split a bomber with beer buddy Phil. Live review.

Pours dark with ruby hues showing through when place infront of a light. Nice dark mocha colored head. Not a lot of lacing.

Cold vanilla and a blast of coffee on the nose. This is exciting.

Lots of coffee up front. As the coffee dissipates, the vanilla emerges tentatively. Roasted malts, bitter chocolate round this masterpiece out. Hint of alcohol in there as well.

Really smooth mouthfeel. Not heavy by any means, and certainly does not feel anywhere near 10%. Incredibly well crafted beer.

Overall I'd climb over your mother to get this beer. This beer has been sitting in my fridge for maybe 2 years? Absolutely incredible beer. It was a stretch not to give it full 5s.

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Photo of jlharman
4.8/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Wonderful aroma of coffee with a hint of vanilla. Bitter at first but becomes smoother leaving a hint of coffee aftertaste. I wish I could find an espresso this good. Best Porter I've tasted.

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Photo of Pete_IV
4.8/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

22oz bomber poured into tulip

Pours a nice black with a tan head around an inch high. Smell dark chocolate at first mixed with coffee. Taste starts with a nice roasty flavor with a bitter background. Chocolate sits on the tongue when you let your mouth sit empty a few seconds. Nice and smooth in the mouth.

All around I think a very nice smooth beer with a bit of bite for the price. Would buy again.

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Photo of dpgoblejr
4.8/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Black, mostly dark brown, porter that has a small tan head and not much lacing. Smells of coffee and vanilla dominate the aroma. Taste follows suit with the coffee coming in strong to start with the vanilla and a sweetness to end. Nice bodied brew with a somewhat thicker feel than other porters and quite drinkable for being 10% abv. Overall, an awesome imperial porter that won't disappoint!

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Photo of 01001111
4.79/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A: Deep black oil with a healthy espresso creama colored head.

S: Roasted wood, vanilla, and a subtle spice.

T: Starts with a strong vanilla flavor then gives way to a wave of thick coffee. After that comes the coffee bitterness which then yields to the hop bitterness. The finishing note is roasted malts more reminiscent of a stout than a typical porter.

M: Quite thick, almost espresso-like.

O: Far more impressive than I anticipated. The vanilla is a touch strong but the rest is near perfect for the style. I'd love to try this again after some aging.

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

22 oz bottle poured into oversized tulip glass.

A - Pours a pitch black with one and a half fingers of dark mocha/chocolate head. This doesn't let any light through.

S - Massive coffee aroma that can be smelled without even putting my nose to the glass. The roasted coffee is followed by vanilla and chocolate.

T - The taste is a coffee lover's heaven. Huge roasted coffee flavor, followed a bit after by sweet vanilla and a bit of chocolate. The roastiness is very pronounced and quite delicious. Every flavor is very bold and full.

M - This is one of the thickest porters I've had. It's pretty much a stout. Full, chewy body with moderate carbonation. The coffee really sticks to the mouth long after taking a sip. It's got a nice chewy and sticky aftertaste.

O - This was everything I hoped it would be and then some. The best porter I've had hands down, and it beats a lot of my favorite stouts. The roasted coffee, bold vanilla, and chocolate complement each other perfectly. Amazing job, Ballast Point.

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

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a teku glass while studying for my LEED AP exam.

A - Pitch black opaque with a couple fingers of light tan foamy head that gives way to sticky lacing.

S - Coffee and toasted malts.

T - Taste is still very coffee forward, but a little bit of vanilla sneaking in there. Malt and hops are well balanced and neither is pushing the other out of the way.

M - I'm impressed that a beer this dark with this much flavor doesn't feel heavy. It's crisp and dry on the palette.

O - I'd like to get some more vanilla and maybe a little more malt sweetness, but overall this is a fantastic imperial porter.

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

On tap at Nobi Public House in Webster, Texas.. served in a 9oz snifter.

First.. thanks Ballast Point for finally coming to Texas... howdy and welcome.

I love porters and stouts... I especially love them with big coffee smells and flavors.. I also like vanilla...

This one stands with the best I have had... so good... lots of coffee flavor.. a touch of vanilla is there also.. smells so dang good.

I don't know if this is year round.. the website doesn't show it, so I'm guessing it is seasonal.. I would love to see this year round...it's a great beer.

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Photo of HappyGuy12345
4.79/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Another great beer sampled from a tulip glass at the Ballast Point Tasting Room in San Diego
Appearance: Very dark brown with about 1 finger of head
Smell: Vanilla and coffee
Taste: Impressive mixture of the sweetness of caramel and vanilla and with the bitterness of coffee and hops. The 10% ABV is not detected at all. No bitter aftertaste. Delicious!
Mouthfeel: Full-bodied beer that is smooth as silk. Light amount of carbonation.
Overall: I have not sampled many porters, but after trying this amazing beer, I think I will have to try many more.

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

22 oz bottle poured into Breckenridge 471 Small Batch snifter.

Look: Deep brown to black, almost fresh asphalt in color. Tan head that lingers. Lacing all around the snifter.
Smell: Roasted coffee, sweet vanilla beans. Toasted grains.
Taste: Cold brewed coffee, caramel, a sweetness added to finish. Only opens up more as it warms.
Feel: Creamy, hearty, balanced carbonation.
Overall: I apologize to Ballast Point for taking too long to try this amazing porter. It's the perfect beer for any day, but especially a fall/winter morning with nowhere to go. Because, you just want to savor each sip.

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Photo of Trifecta1
4.79/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Absolutely insane coffee-forward porter. World-class, nigh perfection, end of story. Buy it.
PS: Porters are supposed to be medium-bodied. Don't understand everyone else sh*tting on this for "thin mouthfeel, it's only medium-bodied!"

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Photo of DM1293
4.79/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Let's be real here; this is essentially a stout. It might SAY Porter, and it might be BREWED like a Porter...but this beer is pretty darn thick in mouthfeel, more than any other porter I've had.

The taste is phenomenal. It's very prominently sweet chocolate, hints of dark fruit, balanced out by a firm but unimposing coffee bitterness. It's like drinking dark chocolate really, with even hints of vanilla coming through. Fairly thick, but this is an Imperial-style so I expect it to be so.

For all the praise I give it, I'd probably still just drink it just as a "Dessert Beer" due to its 10% ABV. Regardless, it's definitely worth tracking down while you can.

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Photo of drink1121
4.79/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shared bottle with kfvs034.
A-Pours black with a light brown small head. The little head quickly fades but never completely.

S-Big vanilla up front then I get coffee with some caramel in the middle and light bourbon at the end.

T- Different than the smell. Coffee at first, then some roasted malts . Bourbon and vanilla come to towards the end.

M- Smooth as ever. Some hop bitterness on the tongue. I can feel the hops, but cant really smell or taste them.

D- Wow. 10% thats crazy drinkable for that. I would have never known. I bought 4 of these in Illinois and am glad I did.

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Photo of ZX6Chris
4.78/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle from the late release in 2010.

A-Pitch black with a small dark tan head of tight bubbles that settles to a ring around the glass. A little bit of lacing.

S-Lots of vanilla, chocolate, bitter roasted coffee. Almost a spicy kick from the coffee.

T-Rich roasted coffee, vanilla, milk chocolate. Bitter coffee on the finish.

M-Light to medium body, nicely carbonated. A little harshness from the coffee

D-Wow. The vanill and coffee flavors are HUGE in this. I can't wait to take another sip. I find my self chugging the glass!

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Photo of ajm5108
4.78/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Lots of dark chocolate & cacao riding the wave of toasted coffee, but evened out by the semi-sweet vanilla bean. Finishes pretty bitter, but in a good way. Velvety smooth and creamy feel. Reminiscent of Founder's Breakfast Stout, whuch is to say an excellent coffee brew.

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Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
4.35 out of 5 based on 6,603 ratings.
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