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

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Victory At Sea Imperial Porter with Coffee & VanillaVictory At Sea Imperial Porter with Coffee & Vanilla
BA SCORE
4.39/5
Outstanding
7,025 Ratings
Victory At Sea Imperial Porter with Coffee & VanillaVictory At Sea Imperial Porter with Coffee & Vanilla
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States
ballastpoint.com

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
Ranking:
#260
Reviews:
1,467
Ratings:
7,025
pDev:
8.66%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
1,115
Gots:
2,295
Trade:
83
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 7,025 |  Reviews: 1,467
Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.77/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A 10% imperial porter. Tell me again why this isn't a stout? It's stronger and more intensely flavored than 90% of thestouts I've drank. Guess the line between porter and stout is invisible, especially in Ballast Point's case.

8 oz pour at "Extreme Beer Night" at the Old Toad during Rochester Beer Week.

Thick, tar-like black pour, with a generous head.

Smells and tastes basically the same. Sweet creamy vanilla, mild roastiness, intense, bitter coffee flavor, and Hershey's syrup. Incredibly sweet, almost to the point of cloying-ness. The almost cloying sweetness is the only thing keeping this taste score from a 5. The vanilla is far from fake though- like a rich vanilla bean ice cream from Stewart's back home.

Full, sludgy mouthfeel. The Exxon Valdez has nothing on this guy. Low carbonation, full body.

One of the best porters you can buy, but don't go into it expecting a traditional porter. Go into it expecting a good beer, and you'll be happy more than happy.

 978 characters

Photo of twiggamortis420
4.77/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage courtesy of cmurren25, thanks Chad! Pours a black-as-night color with awesome retention and great lacing.

Nose has lots of coffee on it and a light vanilla twist. Plenty of roasty malts and a decent amount of sweetness.

Ohhhh, this is way smoother than it should be. Vanilla and coconut-infused chocolate malt flavor. Smooth yet robust. One of those "wow" beers, no doubt about it. This review has officially been cut short due to the extreme enjoyment I get from every single sip. Amazing beer.

 510 characters

Photo of BellsFan
4.77/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of jensenmoon
4.77/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of RyantheReformer
4.77/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Bubba83
4.77/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured my last bottle of the most recent batch that made it up to the Bay Area probably 7-8 months ago. Poured into a tulip at about 50 degrees.

Poured with a good two fingers of tan, espresso like head, super fine, can't even really see the bubbles in the head at all. The body of the beer itself is completely opaque, even when held to a light source. The retention is not great, but the small ring of head does maintain itself rather nicely. Lacing is a lot better than when I've had it on tap.

Wow, the aromas wafting out of the glass are completely ridiculous. Hardcore coffee with some vanilla and a whole lot of dark chocolate. There's quite a lot of roast too. Undeniably amazing smell here. Every time I revisit this beer I expect it to underwhelm for some reason and every single time it impresses instead, especially in this department.

Tastes great too, everything from the smell, and aging this bottle a good number of months seems to have balanced out the normally rather heavy hand of vanilla into a nice balance with the coffee. This beer should theoretically be sweeter than I like, but there's such a good amount of roast that counterbalances the somewhat faded vanilla to make a delicious treat. Little to no alcohol flavor at all, little to no hop presence.

The mouthfeel is as good as it gets, a perfect consistency. The carbonation level is pretty mellow and just perfect for the style. Feels full in body and velvety in the mouth, can't be improved.

Overall this is just such a foreign experience from beginning to end. It's hard to explain because other breweries have used these types of ingredients in their beers, but nothing quite tastes like this one. The vanilla and coffee are at the forefront, but in a very nice balance, especially when aged for a little bit. I don't know how a company that can make such fantastic IPAs can also score such a success with a malt-dominant beer, but they do. Hats off to Ballast Point.

 1,956 characters

Photo of drwatson32
4.77/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of AWA
4.77/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of avalon07
4.77/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Poured from a bottle to an imperial pint glass. Had a jet black color and a thick, opaque consistency. There was an inch of foamy, tan-colored, long-lasting head and excellent lacing. A great-looking beer.

S: Smelled of coffee, vanilla, roasted malt and a little hops. A big, bold, enticing aroma.

T: Tastes like it smells. roasted coffee, roasted malt, and vanilla and a slight hoppiness in the finish. Very flavorful and bold.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a dry finish. A full-bodied beer.

D: An excellent example of an American Porter. Exceedingly drinkable.

 576 characters

Photo of The_Snow_Bird
4.77/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark with a little dark caramel head on it that goes away quick. Can smell roasted malt and coffee. Coffee goes away as it warms up and vanilla takes over. Very delicious.

 177 characters

Photo of Antg8989
4.77/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look: Thick Mocha Creamy Head with considerable lacing. Deep brown in color.
Smell: Malty - smells like a cappuccino and the pleasant smell of an ice cream parlor. Tiny hints of alcohol detected.
Taste: A pleasant, yet bold and roasted coffee with sweet vanilla.
Feel: Smooth, creamy and medium balanced.
Overall: Breakfast Stout lovers, this could be the competition. While not an oatmeal stout, this beer has numerous comparisons to Breakfast Stout, with the addition of vanilla. Although I'm not a vanilla lover, this Porter was delightfully balanced in flavor. Ballast Point is becoming my go-to for stouts/porters. Grab some before the season is over!

 656 characters

Photo of Navalartichoke
4.77/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Mack
4.77/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of tws1
4.77/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of barret1
4.77/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Lerxst
4.77/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Much thanks to beernerd81 for this one

A-Pours black with a nice one finger mocha colored head that has good retention and leaves nice lacing.

S-I am loving this nose. My nose is telling me this is an RIS. Strong vanilla and coffee aromas, roasty malt, chocolate. With apologies to Campbell's soup, this is mmmm, mmmm good.

T-Slightly sweet and a bit bitter at the same time. Follows the nose with vanilla, coffee, roasted malt, chocolate, along with a slightly bitter hoppy twist at the back end and a bit of booze. Man, this is REALLY good!

M-Medium bodied, but has a rich, lush mouthfeel. Slightly stinging carb bite works well.

D-This is a big beer make no mistake, but it is absolutely delicious making it almost dangerously easy to pound a bomber.

I really loved this beer. If I had ready access to it, I'd buy a case. A truly GREAT job by Ballast Point.

 867 characters

Photo of burtybeer
4.77/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Ungertaker
4.77/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bomber poured into a Deschutes snifter.

S- Coffee, roasted malt, nuts, brown sugar

A- Deep black with a quickly-vanishing khaki head. A ring is left around the glass where the head once was. A bubbly lacing adheres to the glass with each sip.

T- Coffee hits immediately and remains throughout. It is accompanied at the front by a bitter dark chocolate that transitions to a sweeter, almost milk, chocolate with subtle hints of vanilla. Both the milk chocolate and vanilla dissipate, leaving a roasted coffee and hints of raisin at the finish.

M- On the thicker side of medium; a perfect consistency for a porter, IMHO. The carbonation is in the background throughout. 

O- Phenomenal! The balance and complexity have never been matched by anything I have had in a porter that has not been barrel-aged.

 806 characters

Photo of aqualung23
4.77/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dangerously smooth and drinkable at 10%.

40 characters

Photo of walterk
4.77/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Reagan1984
4.77/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours like a milk shake. Really thick tan head forms and rises like an Imp Stout. Really looks and acts line a big Imp Stout in the glass. Very creamy head that has great structure. Extremely dark brown in color with really no light getting through even at the edges. Clumps of lacing line the inside of the glass.

The aroma is fantastic. Wow, that's pretty awesome. A wonderful creamy coffee aroma with a hint of vanilla extract behind. Can an aroma be creamy? If so, then this one is. If Not, then this one still is!

OK, so now I see why this beer resides in the top 100. I figured it would be good, but this is really great. The balance between the components is really amazing. Again I use the term vanilla extract vs bean or just plain vanilla. I think this is the melding of the vanilla with some of the abv. The coffee flavor is great. Creamy, sweet and with a nice dark roast. There is a nice hop finish that is almost lost in everything else. Is it roasted coffee or hop bitterness? Who cares, the complexity is wonderful. How did I only pick up one bottle of this? I'll get more, probably tomorrow.

The mouth feel here is close to perfect. Creamy with a prickle of carbonation. So creamy.

This drinks like a wonderful milkshake and goes down so smoothly. While it's a big flavor it doesn't really drink like a 10% abv. Goes down a little scary smooth.

Wonderful beer.

 1,382 characters

Photo of Ryannel24
4.77/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of rajendra82
4.77/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful deep brown pour, with a tall, three finger thick, brown head. The smell of coffee and vanilla hit he nose from an arms length, and bringing the glass closer revealed chocolate and caramel. The taste was full of dark coffee followed by some rich vanilla and sweet chocolate, and a surprising high amount of hops. The finish was very grainy and hops and coffee lingered long. The mouthfeel was silky, and satisfyingly thick. This is a fantastic beer.

 458 characters

Photo of mwa114
4.76/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of SuperMartino
4.76/5  rDev +8.4%

Victory At Sea Imperial Porter with Coffee & Vanilla from Ballast Point Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.39 out of 5 with 7,025 ratings