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:
1,411
Ratings:
6,820
Avg:
4.35
pDev:
8.97%
 
 
Wants:
1,087
Gots:
2,199
For Trade:
89
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,411 | Ratings: 6,820
Photo of Getalegup
4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Quite good. Definite coffee flavor and smell, some vanilla flavor, mild carbonation, it might improve with 1-3 months cellaring to blend it a bit.
Glad to be able to buy this in my ditro. This will set the bar for a solid barrel aged stout with vanilla.

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Photo of benjamminjones24
4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark as night. Light lacing around the edges of the glass.
The smell, oh my....roasted coffee aroma right away. hints of vanilla & chocolate. Smells delicious
Taste follows the nose. Get lots of coffee and chocolate. Decadent.
Feel is a little thin for me, would like it to have a heavier mouthfeel.
Great beer that is def. worth a go!

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

Reviewed from notes 1/12/2011

A: vanilla is predominant, coffee, a hint of white chocolate

Ap: black with a 2 finger mocha colored head, very frothy, extreme lacing

B/T: mild carbonation, very smooth, medium body, slightly heavy

Af: chocolate, coffee, and vanilla, very sweet

O: makes an excellent after dinner beer, a perfect nightcap

Cheers!
The CPJ

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Photo of hosehead83
4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from "bomber" bottle into a wine goblet.
Opaque black in color with a thick cap of tan foam.
Aroma-Dark roast coffee, subtle vanilla note;
Taste-Black patent malt, roasted coffee, vanilla ice cream, tobacco, black coffee/charred meat finish. Well-balanced, full of character, and very flavorfull. Highly recommended.

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

Look- jet black nice thick tall brown head
Smell- more vanilla with suddle coffee and almost truffle notes
Taste- great coffee bitterness with a sweet slight vanilla finish
Feel- thick and creamy. Full body brew
Overall- very very well balanced. Taste more coffee than you smell. Nice warming alcohol on the finish. A must try porter

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

A-a very dark brown with maybe just a hint of a ruby highlight, but not much. Two fingers worth of a tan head

S-Very sweet smelling at first, but then gives way to the roasted malt, coffee, and a light vanilla.

T-Similar to the nose with roasted malts, roasted black coffee, chocolate, but then finishes with a vanilla milkshake like taste. A light hops presence helps balance things out. Alcohol is well hidden.

M-full body, light to medium carbonation, a dry smooth finish

Overall I like this one a lot. Great smell with the vanilla, nice complex taste, and a good mouthfeel. So good!

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

Black, opaque, and a small light brown head. Significant lacing.

Coffee, coffee, and more coffee accented by bittersweet dark chocolate. No vanilla discernible.

Roast coffee and chocolate up front with vanilla and some oak in the middle.

Mouthful is medium and smooth with low carbonation. Finish is a little bitter but dry.

This is a big coffee porter. Aroma is there. Taste is there. The minor criticism is the somewhat bitter finish but don’t let that dissuade you. Give it a try.

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

A- Pours thick and black into my Founders snifter. A small, 1 finger head forms with the pour and retains well, dwindling down to a moderately thin film on the top. Lacing is tremendous as expected. Looks like a big stout in the glass.

S- Lots of dark, dark coffee here. Coffee is strong and slightly bitter on the nose. Sweet notes of the vanilla are also present, but definitely secondary to the coffee. Also maybe a hint of dark chocolate in there.

T- Wow. Dark, bitter coffee right off the bat. Probably the strongest coffee flavor I've had, whether in a beer or cup of joe. Coffee is dominant and bitter throughout, drowning out most to all of the sweeter vanilla flavor. As it warms, the coffee become more balanced with the dark malts. Ends with a coffee bitterness bite and aftertaste.

M- Thick and smooth going down. No detectable alcohol. Kinda heavy across the palate. Sits heavy in the stomach. Definitely a sipping beer.

Overall, this is a coffee bomb. A very good beer, but I find the coffee to be a little overpowering. Between the alcohol and heavy flavor profile, sipping is a must for this beer. Not as good as I had hoped, but still a very good beer.

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Photo of barnzy78
4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz. Poured near-black with a light brown head that left decent lacing on the glass. Aromas were of bold coffee, roasted grains, vanilla, chocolate, and maybe some oak. Mouth-feel was medium bodied. Tastes were bold up-front coffee and roasted malts with notes of dark chocolate and vanilla. Also some hints of fruity esters - maybe some ripe dark fruits, although fairly faint. Alcohol was present, but balanced well with the flavors. Finished sweet with a lingering of sweet cocoa and espresso. Basically, this was a good interpretation of going with something different and thinking outside of the box. Worth the try if you can find it.

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Photo of SLeffler27
4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Light chestnut in color with a rocky head that reaches one-quarter inch before dissipating to form rings of lace in a Dogfish Head snifter. SRM 31-34 with dark brown highlights and a viscous film.

Strong, sweet espresso with vanilla is no surprise here. Deep roasted malt with pumpernickel and Jewish rye is also present. Warming accentuates the vanilla and adds a light baker’s chocolate note. Some wood ash is also discernible. The aroma from this glass fills the room.

Luscious with a mix of sweet and bitterness. Espresso bitterness wins hands down while smoked peat and burnt molasses are also present. Very dark chocolate lingers throughout middle to finish.

The body is fuller than expected of a Porter, with silky smoothness and alcohol as anticipated.

This beer fits squarely within the expectations one would have for a sipping or contemplative beer.

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

Pours a glistening, deep black with three inviting fingers of dark, sudsy eggshell head. I can't ask for much more when it comes to making a beer pretty.

The nose. Forgoing the cloying flavours of vanilla essence, genuine vanilla pods fill the nostrils, swirling with creamy coffee to grant the impression of a quality tiramisu. Yes, this is a fabulous desert beer.

Having had Victory at Sea a good few times, I would note that, on the tongue, some batches lean substantially more toward coffee than vanilla, and vice versa. I sampled one from a friend's six-pack that was so packed with sweet vanilla that it gave me 20 year-old deja vu of Cadbury's Dairy Milk chocolate. Likewise, some batches have much more roasty bitterness than others, occasionally masking the vanilla.

This temperamentality doesn't carry over to the feel, however. This always brilliantly masks the ABV as pleasant warmth in the throat, and goes down with a thick, creamy finish, and a smile. This is a welcome mainstay in my fridge.

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Photo of DaneBramage
4.43/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a tap at a local restaurant into a flute glass.

A: Dark brown with a peanut-butter head.
S: Coffee
T: Coffee and vanilla.
F: Harsh
O: My wife was in a hurry to go and wanted me to chug it, I gave her a look that said "whachu talkin bout, Willis?"

This is one delicious beer.

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Photo of Catracho5
4.43/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type: 12 ounce bottle poured into a Belgian tulip glass

Appearance: pitch black, nice creamy tan head with tons of tiny bubbles. The head did not stick around long after the pour, doesn't quite reach the appearance of an imperial stout.

Aroma: First smell, coffee, lots of it, bitter, roasted, chocolate aroma, second, a lovely sweet vanilla bean aroma, the sweet aroma lingers, getting a little bit of caramel aroma, smells outstanding.

Taste: Big bitter coffee flavors up front, then I got some vanilla, more bitterness, very dry on the end, getting a combination of alcohol and coffee bitterness at the end. I am getting a lot of roasted coffee flavors, very nice.

Mouthfeel: It's a bit thin but that does not take anything away from this beer. It leaves a dry feeling. The mouthfeel is the beer's weakest point but it's still a world class beer.

Overall: Love this beer, it's high up there on my list, it has everything I love about a beer, big coffee, roasted, chocolate flavors, a very nice sweetness from the vanilla, it adds just a touch of vanilla, great blend, and its big on the ABV 10%, and it's available in a six-pack. While I prefer a stout over a porter, this beer is so big and flavorful that the preference is erased. You love coffee, roasted, flavors in your beer, a must try!

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Photo of JohnCassillo
4.43/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bomber poured into pint glass

A: Almost black and completely opaque with zero head whatsoever. This is what a porter should look like.

S: The coffee and vanilla notes are immediate and pungent, with an underlying bit of chocolate as well.

T: Dark chocolate appears at both the front and back end of each sip, taking on different characteristics in each instance. First is sweet, the second almost comes off bitter (in a good way). Vanilla and coffee are top of mind at all times.

M: Warm, crisp and thick. It's got a decent amount of carbonation and ends up quite filling.

O: If you're looking for a quality porter with a boatload of flavor depth, this is your choice. Wouldn't call it a "dessert beer" necessarily, but a much easier drink post-dinner.

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Photo of TreyIsWilson
4.43/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a midnight black with a one finger foamy tan head. The head recedes quickly leaving tons of soapy lacing.

S - Aroma of strong black coffee and

T - The flavor follows the aroma. Strong black coffee throughout with roasted malts. The vanilla appears very faintly in the finish.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Smooth creamy mouthfeel. Sticky dry finish.

O - This is an awesome coffee Porter. The ABV is well hidden and not noticeable. A definite winner.

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Photo of Chickenhawk9932
4.43/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours black as night with a thick coffee colored head - good retention.

Smells heavy of chocolate, coffee, vanilla and roasted malt.

Taste is big coffee espresso notes up front followed by bitter dark chocolate and rounded by some sweet vanilla notes. There is also some bitter burnt malt flavor to keep the sweetness at bay as dark fruits (rum, fig, and raisin) come through. Big flavor from a big beer - definitely a slow sipper.

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Photo of BowWowWowYippyYoIPA
4.43/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

No bottle date

Look - Pour pitch black with a frothy cappuccino colored head. Decent retention, okay bubble distribution. 4 paws.

Smell - Great nose full of chocolate and coffee aromas. The vanilla blends well to create a milk chocolate scent. Hints of bell pepper and chili pepper. Very nice. 4.75 paws.

Taste - Bitter coffee flavors up front. The vanilla is a bit hidden, but lingers after the finish. Bell pepper, bitter hops, creamy cappuccino, bit of smoke. Alcohol is well hidden. 4.25 paws.

Feel - Medium-full bodied, a bit creamy. Low-medium carbonation, tingle on sides of tongue, sting from alcohol. 4.5 paws.

Overall - Had many times before, always a lovely beer. I wish the taste was as pronounced as the nose, the more nuanced flavors are covered a bit by the bitterness, but still, a great beer. 4.5 paws.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.43/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ballast Point Victory At Sea (Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter version)

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a snifter. The darkest of browns with a light brown head. No peering through this beer, its about as dark as night. Attractive lacing that looks very ornate.

Aroma of coffee and faint vanilla sweetness.

Vanilla up front which gives way to a lingering coffee flavor. This beer also has some chocolate notes. Very decadant and full flavors. The aftertaste of coffee, cocoa and vanilla is truly remarkable. There are even some hints of oak in this beer.

Mouthfeel is smooth, full bodied with a lingering coffee/bitter chocolate finish. A little syrupy in nature.

Drinkability requires some respect for this sipper. It wasn't hot with alcohol at all. Overall, this beer is just great.

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Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
4.43/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Black body, big lasting mocha head with carbonation that looks like it's a nitro. Sheets of lace, cool.

S: Vanilla and caramel malt. Coffee lingers.

T: Great balance between coffee, vanilla (both real, not artificial, nice), toasted malt that comes through with coffee and a little nuttiness. Surprised to find the vanilla and coffee play so nicely together. Not much coffee acidity, which is appreciated. Perfect sweetness for me, so probably a little much for most people. No alcohol.

M: Love that fluffy head. The body is a little thin for a porter (read: medium).

O: This needs a much more arrogant label for such a wonderful brew. The coffee and vanilla are up front and don't require 'searching' for them, but there are still beer-y things happening. The persistence of this head is right up there with the best IPA's. Such a great, warming, tasty beer that is dangerously drinkable (and affordable- HOT DAMN!).

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Photo of Murrhey
4.43/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured on-tap in a mug at Hollingshead's in Orange, Calif. Reviewed from notes.

A- Two finger mocha head. Great retention and lacing. Dark brown color, very little light goes through.

S- Chocolaty, vanilla, oak, brandy smell.

T- Vanilla and roast malts. Very bitter and some sourness. Boozy. Quite nice.

M- Very thick and smooth. Dry linger.

O- This beer isn't even one of my favorite styles and I admit it is phenomenal.

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Photo of turboedtwo
4.43/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this at Toronado in North Park.

A - DARK! Lighting wasn't the best but it looked pretty close to black.

S - Smelled of coffee to me.

T - Had a bit of a chocolate / coffee taste.

M - Your typical porter. Had a smooth but thick feel to it.

D - I could drink this all night assuming I had a nice meal before. Not something you want to do on an empty stomach.

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Photo of hawgdude
4.43/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A deep, rich, almost caramely porter. Definitely not a sweaty-summer-afternoon post-lawn-mowing beer. I slugged one down and got half snockered-- 10% ABV needs to go down slower than that. The remaing five will have to wait for chilly autumn nights.

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Photo of myveryown
4.43/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance-Dark brown/black with a tan head that stayed through the beer.

Nose-Coffee and chocolate with some light spice notes from hops

Taste-Very reminiscent of a chocolate covered espresso bean. Great balance between sweet and bitter with coffee being the main note and vanilla chocolate flavors supporting.

Mouthfeel-Creamy smooth and rich

Overall-Very good, too rich to have multiple in one go-but that just spreads out the enjoyment of several bottles. It is a very coffee flavored beer, don't expect anything else!

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Photo of nodder
4.43/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Dark brown..almost black with a two finger dark tan head. Sticky lacing remains on the glass.

S- Strong coffee, dark chocolate, vanilla, roasted malts. Slightly boozy.

T- Sweet espresso and dark chocolate. The vanilla is there but def. in the background. The strong coffee flavor dominates here, and thats fine. Alcohol burn is there but well masked.

M- Medium mouthfeel with average carbonation. Quite smooth. Somewhat bitter finish but nothing big.

O- Love it! Recommended. Gonna grab another bottle to age a bit.

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.43/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a tulip.

Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter comes out of the bottle looking dark and brooding. The beer itself pours a dark obsidian color. The head starts as a dark tan foam, bubbling up through the beer and rising up the glass. The foam eventually rises a few inches to reach the top of the glass. A slow recession leaves plenty of lace sticking to the glass.

The aroma provides a blast of roasted malt notes and deep, full coffee. There is a little bit of bitter dark chocolate in the back, but the aroma is mainly a blast of roasted malt and bitter coffee.

My first impression is that this beer is big, bold, and makes no apologies for being so. Dark roasted malt has hints of smoke and dark chocolate. A jolt of vanilla breaks up the bitter transition from fully roasted malt to intense coffee. The coffee starts strong, with the bitterness coming after. With each sip the cumulative bitterness grows, reminding me of just how intense of a beer this is.

Perhaps it is some kind of magic trick, but this beer does not drink like it has 10% alcohol. There is almost no alcohol present in the taste; it is only noticeable in a slight tingle on my tongue and gums. There is a great creamy nature to the carbonation, more so that the beer. If anything, the flaw with this beer is how light the body feels compared to the robustness of the flavor and carbonation. There is a little bit of bitter and sweet sticky residue left on my lips.

This is truly a great beer and may be the best porter I have had so far. The combination of flavors and level of intensity really do it for me.

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Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
4.35 out of 5 based on 6,820 ratings.
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