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
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
Reviews:
1,402
Ratings:
6,796
Avg:
4.35
pDev:
8.97%
 
 
Wants:
1,090
Gots:
2,183
For Trade:
91
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,402 | Ratings: 6,796
Photo of BMMillsy
4.34/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours darkdark brown to blak with a very small mocha colored head. Earthy peppery coffe on the nose, some roast with a tad of vanilla and molasses. Biye up front that soothes into lots of chocolate on the palate. Second sip is a bit more earthy coffee. Don’t get a lot of vanilla, but it lingers in the aftertaste just a hint. Pretty prickly carbonation, but not too much. Medium mouthfeel but very drinkable (one of the lighter imperial porters i have had). Very nice beer.

 476 characters

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

Looks. Dark, dark, dark,with a frothy head.
Smell. Not my strong point, but lots of caramel, coffee, vanilla, sweet fruits and earthiness. Very nice.
Taste. A whole mouthful almost simultaneously; sweet malts up front to a smoky dry finish.
Feel. Full bodied, almost creamy, and sparkley.
Overall. A tad dry in the finish for me, but very small complaint, my newest favorite beer. Have one in the cellar, waiting for next year.

 431 characters

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

Pours black with ¼ inch of khaki head and nice lacing.

Smell is of spent dark roast coffee grounds up front with vanilla and faint cocoa on the back end.

Taste is black coffee at first, then some bitter hops, followed by faint vanilla. There is a slight alcohol bite. The flavor of coffee and vanilla begin to intensify as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy allowing the flavors to linger on the tongue. Medium carbonation.

Impressive, although the vanilla flavor is a bit weak.

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Photo of far333
4.33/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Inky black and opaque with an inch high head of light brown dimpled and uneven foam that lingers long and rises up the sides of the glass.

Aroma of coffee and cocoa, some roasty malt and marshmallow.

Rich flavor of bitter chocolate and light cocoa, molasses and dark coffee. The coffee doesn't take over, it melds well with the other flavors. Vanilla is very subtle, almost hidden. Notes of licorice and leather, some grainy brown sugar, and firm bitterness in the background. Well hidden alcohol.

Firm and rich mouthfeel, slightly tangy, crisp and tingly. Very flavorful and rich, with high drinkability for such a bold beer.

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Photo of tdm168
4.33/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black with a thick mountain of brown head. The head has great retention. The nose has very strong notes of coffee and hints of cocoa. The taste is heavy coffee and light chocolatey, roasty notes followed by some faint vanilla. There is a faint hop bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is rich, smooth, full bodied though a little heavily carbonated.

Wow! This is well balanced, complex, and insanely drinkable. The ABV is hardly noticeable which made this bomber a dangerous one.

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Photo of BrownAleBollocks
4.33/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours an opaque oily black with a two finger mocha color head. Aroma is just like cold brewed black coffee with some roast and vanilla coming through as well. Taste follows with coffee, chocolate, vanilla, roast, and robust dark malts with a little bit of almost rye bread and dark chocolate on the fringes. Mouthfeel is medium and smooth, a little harsh when the beer is cold, but smooth as it warms. Overall, a very nice coffee brew that holds up with the porter backbone making it easy to drink and all the flavors coming through.

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Photo of mdvatab
4.33/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received 2011 Vintage in a recent trade.
Poured from 22oz bottle into Bordeaux glass.
Couldn't wait to try this one!

Aroma: Rich mocha plus a soft vanilla note work extremely well together. Molasses underneath, plus powdered cocoa. The vanilla comes through more and more over time.

Appearance: Pours like a porter with a dark, dark brown body. 1/2 finger light tan head thins to a layer of fine, splotchy patches of bubbles.

Flavor: Strong, yet smooth vanilla flavor up front. Sweet, roasty mocha maltiness with a touch of peppery alcohol. A slightly-acidic coffee note followed by a robust, bitter, espresso finish. Bitterness lingers, and vanilla then returns.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, medium carbonation, and light pepper in the mouth and throat afterward.

Overall: The combination of vanilla and coffee work exceptionally with what would be a delicious porter on its own. The only improvement I could see for this brew would be barrel aging. Give this one a try!

 972 characters

Photo of edthehead
4.33/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Totally decadent porter. Huge head, huge vanilla nose and taste. Smooth mouth feel. A little too much on the sweet side, but undeniably packed with flavor and body!

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Photo of Beer-A-Lot
4.33/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Love the bitter coffee, vanilla, and tar tastes and smells. You can't tell the alcohol at first, but it does warm up and start to kick in later. With just a tad more sweetness, it would be phenomenal. Delicious anyway.

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Photo of mbudner
4.33/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from bomber into a snifter.

A- Pours black with a 1-finger tan to mocha colored head, 1-finger, dissipated very quickly leaving little to no lacing, but a syrupy resin.

S- The vanilla is unmistakable whether or not I knew this was a coffee vanilla porter. It is a very sweet vanilla akin to vanilla extract. The only negative to the vanilla is that it is slightly artificial/chemical-like. Some grassiness, burnt coffee, roasted malts

T- The coffee and bitterness of the malts hits the tip of my tongue as a very sweet vanilla (though not over-done in my opinion) envelops my entire palate. Creme brulee/caramelized sugar, some semi-sweet chocolate, macadamia nuts. There is some bitterness combined with some heat (but not much) in the finish.

M- Very well done. It has just the right amount of thickness and is very creamy initially. For the first second of a sip, I almost feel as if there is no carbonation, but then the bubbles pop on the middle and back of my tongue really rounding out the finish. I find the only thing separating this (and many other "imperial" porters) from an RIS is the prickly carbonation, but the chewiness is definitely there. Really outstanding job on the mouthfeel, a true gold standard.

D- The sweetness combined with full body and high abv makes this a beer that is not extremely drinkable, but it is definitely good. Overall, a great beer and I had no problem finishing a bomber of. I really liked how it evolved and some of the flavors that came out as it warmed (true of most/all beers, but especially true of this one.)

 1,572 characters

Photo of smcolw
4.33/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great ring lace on the glass from the substantive tan head. Dark, dark brown color where no lace passes.

Lots of coffee and a little bit of cream. Basically, mocha in aroma. Low level of sweetness...reminiscent of good cocoa.

Lots of powdered chocolate in the flavor. Sweet and bitter from the malt. Rich body with a relatively low level of carbonation. Almost chewy. The aftertaste is complicated: Notable hop bitterness with some dark chocolate malt and sweet milky flavor. Deceptively high in alcohol.

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Photo of PhxHorn
4.33/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this one by mail order and couldn't wait to try it. This is the 10% version, part of the Robust series. It pours a dark dark brown, almost black, with two fingers of light brown lumpy head. Plenty of tan lacing. Smells strongly of coffee, roasted malt, a touch of smoke, and a touch of vanilla. Tastes pretty much as it smells: coffee, roasted malt, a touch of smoke, and a hint of vanilla. A bit more smoke than vanilla, actually, but that's not a criticism. This is a damn tasty porter with a lot of complexity going on. Carbonation was just a touch low for my tastes, but it was silky smooth and that's not a bad thing, either. Really, there's nothing to complain about and lots to praise with this beer. A real keeper.

 726 characters

Photo of Buck89
4.33/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter. A beautiful opaque, nearly black color with a generous tan head. Great retention and lacing. Bright aromas of freshly brewed coffee, vanilla beans, toast, cocoa, and some char. The taste is well-balanced notes of the above. A nice mix of coffee and vanilla of the finish. Medium-bodied.

 309 characters

Photo of stxSS07
4.33/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber into a Duvel tulip. Split with lookitsmp

A- Pours a near-black with a 1 finger espresso-colored head that hangs around forever. Leaves great lacing and nice alcohol legs.

S- Sweet vanilla notes and a huge coffee background. Some roasted malts in there as well with a hint of booze.

T- Starts with huge waves of vanilla and coffee followed up by a roasted malt note and a small tinge a booze at the end. Fantastic.

M- Medium bodied with a nice amount of carbonation that lets the flavors linger just long enough.

O- The second best porter I've had behind Black Butte XXI. Amazing depth of flavors made possible by the contrasting vanilla/chocolate/coffee.

 672 characters

Photo of mcallister
4.33/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Honestly a porter or many stouts for that matter don't look better than this. Viscous deep mahagonny bordering on black with an awesome thick molten mocha colored head of 2 fingers. Thick and chunky with very good retention and when it finally fades the lace is thick sticky and quite sexy.

Great nose. Vanilla stands out and wafts from the glass and is noticable in a three foot circumfrence. Fresh ground coffee and espresso aromas lead into dark chocolate and cocoa. Some dark fruit esters linger at the back.

Damn fine monster beer here. Could really be considered a dessert beer with a slightly cloying sweetness on the long finish and very tannic from the coffee and acidic as well. Rich vanilla and bitter cocoa, dark chocolate, espresso, more vanilla, black berry, plum and a good amount of earthy hops and hop bitterness. Finish is long. Mouth spudders slightly hence the sweet tannic end. Otherwise a very worthy beer.

 931 characters

Photo of donspublic
4.33/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bottle into tulip yields 1.5 finger tan head. Recedes slowly with nice lacing. Dark black to look at, no light passing thru. Smells of roasted malt, roasted coffee, caramel and vanilla. Taste roasted malt on the front end, mild coffee bitterness smoothed out by the vanilla. There is sweetness in the middle of this, but it finishes up somewhat dry, by far not a sweet beer. This is the remaining bottle from a six pack from last year, going on 1 year old. The earlier bottles were more coffee forward, but I have found that with a little aging the coffee smooths out and the alcohol presence is reduced. Going to have to grab another 6 pack now that this one is gone. Love this beer

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Photo of brureview
4.33/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured in a Stone Imperial Pint glass. Dark coffee color with a 2F head.

Coffee, vanilla, and lemon wafting from the head.

The mouth feel is moderate.

The balance of coffee-vanilla-lemon in the taste is impressive. The
coffee and vanilla don't overwhelm as in other beers- they are blended well
into the taste profile.

Overall an excellent Imperial Porter: fresh with an Enjoy By Date
1/15/14.

 397 characters

Photo of Thingus
4.33/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Live tasting, bomber into Duvel tulip...

Appearance; pours black with two fingers of bubbly mocha colored head... Retention is decent with the head hanging around for a couple minutes before falling to a thin film... Lacing is good, with blotches and spiderwebs all over the glass.

Smell; coffee and vanilla!! And not much else... Try as I might, I can't get any more aroma from this brew...

Taste; holy moly, this is a vanilla latte lovers dream brew!! Tons of coffee and vanilla... Smoothly roasted and not overly bitter or burnt tasting, great flavors of vanilla bean... As the coffee and vanilla fades out with hints of malt and chocolate sneaking in...

Mouthfeel; on lighter side of full bodied, with good carbonation... Slightly bitter finish..

Overall; a damn good beer all around, the vanilla and coffee work exceptionally well together!! I'll definitely track this one down again, absolutely worth the effort to obtain!

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Photo of WYVYRN527
4.33/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours pitch black, with a thick tan head that settles to about a finger thick. Lacong is excellent.

S: Smell consists of coffee, vanilla, chocolate, and dark fruits. Hops are noticeable in the backround, but not much of a factor.

T: Coffee is most noticeable at first, followed by vanilla, dark chocolate, and some caramel. There is only a slight booziness to this beer. The finish is relatively dry, with some floral hop tones.

M: Full bodied, but the silkiness of this beer is short lived, as the finish doesn't last as long as I would have expected.

D: Excellent beer, although it's a sipper. For it's intense flavor and high ABV, it's very easy to drink. It does not need age, as it is showing brilliantly right now.

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Photo of Bendurgin
4.33/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of Alec. Thanks homey! Poured into a tulip. This one pours black with a thick cap of beige foam that leaves some thick gobs of lace.

The aroma has a heavy vanilla aroma right up front with a robust coffee aroma lingering in the background. Seems to have notes of bitter chocolate in the background.n The pallet gives more of what the the aroma indicates. A little more subtle on the vanilla with more of an emphasis on the coffee. This one is rich and delicious.

The body is full and smooth with soft carbonation. A little bit of a lingering finish would I attribute to the coffee. Overall this one is real solid. Would love to end up with more of these guys anytime.

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Photo of ckeegan04
4.33/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - Black as night with a medium brown tight foamy cap, about two fingers thick. Slowly fades to about an inch of foam and lingers through most of the drink. Thick rings of foam left on the glass.

S - Lot sof fresh roasted coffee bean in the nose with a faint hint of vanilla. Big bitter roasty malt aroma as well.

T - Strong bitter roasted cofee bean taste initially. A light sweetness with a hint of fresh vanilla bean lingers in the background but this is very much a coffee intensive beer. Roasted malts provide the backbone. Almost no hops whatsoever other than a faint floralness in the finish.

M/D - Full bodied and very creamy. Lively carbonation carries the beer through your mouth. Very easy drinking. One of the better coffee beers I have had in a long time and the vanilla provides a very nice sweet match.

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Photo of uturn
4.33/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz capped bomber poured into a Petrus glass.

A: Beer poured a very dark brown to black with a nice 1 finger fluffy dark tan head.

S: The nose is just about all iced coffee and a damn good iced coffee, with hints of vanilla and maybe some cocoa.

T: The taste is coffee and chocolate (mocha), I didn't get much of the vanilla, it was there, but only mildly for me and some roasted malts. Not to sweet, not to bitter, just right.

M: The mouthfeel was big and very smooth.

D: The 10% was very well hidden. This is one heck of an amazing porter.

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Photo of SerialTicker
4.33/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

...I've been wanting to try this beer for a few years now. Now that Ballast Point is finally here (in Michigan), I CAN TRY IT. $3 12oz bottle poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint. Evidently bottled November 18th ... holy hell. 11 days ago. Can't get too much fresher than that, no?

Appearance: Looks stouty -- pitch black. There's about two fingers of a brown head with a soapy consistency. Quite a bit of thick lacing. Very nice looking beer.

Smell: Dark coffee, roasty malt, and then just a little bit of vanilla on the "aftersmell." Nothing else to it, but I don't think there needs to be.

Taste/feel: Bitter black coffee when it's straight out of the fridge -- like really, cold, bitter black coffee, just with a little more depth of flavor and a slightly thicker mouthfeel. Almost like coffee grounds, but not in an unpleasant way, fortunately. There's only a very subtle vanilla flavor in the aftertaste. The feel is very porter-ish -- that is to say not very thick, too drinkable (especially at 10%), and pretty well carbonated.

Very good stuff -- doesn't taste like I imagined it would though. I pictured a thicker feel (despite being labeled a porter), a little more sweetness and vanilla, and a bit less coffee. That isn't to say I'm disappointed -- I'm definitely not. This is one of the best coffee beers I've had, and it comes at a fabulous value. This beer really becomes special once it warms up, so make sure to enjoy it after it's been out of the fridge awhile. Everything seems to come together even better at that point: the vanilla comes out more, it's a little less bitter... it's just a treat. Seek this one out and try it as soon as you can if you haven't already. Very good, dangerously easy drinking stuff.

 1,737 characters

Photo of jrallen34
4.33/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I drank this from a 22oz bottle into my Rochefort chalice.

The beer pours black with a medium tan head. There is nice carbonation as it rises about 3 fingers of creamy head. It lasts a couple minutes and has great lacing that sticks from the top of the glass to the beer.

The aroma is medium, mostly roasted coffee, but not overpowering. In the middle you get the glimpse of vanilla, lake a cappucino. Wish it was a little more dominant.

The taste is good, but way to overpowered with coffee from start to finish with a bitter roast finish. I want the vanilla to come out to play more, along with some other complexity please?

The feel is good, very lasting, but limited drinkability because of the overwhelming coffee.

Overall, this is pretty good but if they toned down the coffee a bit it could be world class.

 819 characters

Photo of tmoneyba
4.33/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by alexsdad06.

Poured dark brown color with an average frothy brown head that mostly lasted with excellent lacing. Moderate roasted malty, vanilla and chocolate aroma. Medium to full body with a smooth texture and flat carbonation. Medium to heavy dark roasted coffee sweet flavor with medium to heavy sweet finish of moderate to long duration.

Solid complex beer.

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Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
4.35 out of 5 based on 6,796 ratings.
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