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

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
97
world-class
1,347 Reviews
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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:
1,347
Ratings:
6,549
Avg:
4.35
pDev:
19.77%
 
 
Wants:
1,070
Gots:
2,074
For Trade:
94
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 1,347 | Ratings: 6,549
Photo of Urk1127
5/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Black as hell, cant see through it even with light, tan head lasts throughout.
Cocoa, black coffee, malty, dark chocolate
Dark chocolate, slight vanilla, roasty, black coffee, slight cream, malty dark beer flavors underneath
I cant believe this has an ABV let alone 10% absolutely no alcohol present. No burn. Slighty sticky, heavier feel

This beer is incredible. All around such a great beer. I didnt believe the hype but i cant deny it. My only complaint woukd be a sticky feel on your mouth but come on. This beer is great. Its big and your face but does not over do it.

 578 characters

Photo of Andrewharemza
4.15/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From bottle, pours a black colour with a huge beige coloured head that disapates to small patches. Aroma vanilla, coffee, chocolate, brown sugar, sweet. Taste vanilla, chocolate, coffee, fudge. Very nice.

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Photo of NEdward
4.46/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

three finger beige head that honeycombs eventually into patchy islands, body is dark but some light getting through. very distinct smell combining coffee, vanilla, dark chocolate, a hint of alcohol. not heavy on the palate; general malt character, definite vanilla notes, an almost granular coffee/dark chocolate bitterness on the middle/back of the tongue that seems to extend into the sinuses. vague syrupy, bitter finish. definitely more potent the fresher it is.

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Photo of Hat_Fulla_Beer
4.39/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

650ml bottle poured into Sam Adams pint glass.

Pours nearly perfect black with faint red-brown edges and three towering fingers of creamy brown head that leaves spooky haunted forest lace as it recedes.

Smells of coffee grounds, vanilla beans, dark fudge, dried berries, brown sugar and faint leafy hops.

Tastes of creamy coffee with a shot of vanilla, more rich fudge, chocolate covered raisins, toasted brown sugar and more mild hops.

Feels big, soft and smooth. Full bodied with creamy carbonation. Finishes dry.

Verdict: Vigorously recommended. A monster of a beer.

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Photo of lbloom
4.46/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark black in most lighting. Looks very dark crimson up against a strong light source. Not much head. Two inches on a strong pour into a tulip glass, but it receded quickly leaving medium lacing.

S: Fresh roasted coffee smell is nearly overpowering. Some vanilla on the nose, but nothing compared to the coffee. Hints of booze, but less than you would expect from a beer packing a 10% punch.

T: Fresh roasted oily coffee beans hit you immediately. Vanilla starts out soft and then strengthens to become the dominant aftertaste. Bakers chocolate and roasted malts sit behind the coffee. Aftertaste is vanilla, coffee, and subdued booze.

F: Great. Smooth and well carbonated without being excessive. Full bodied yet soft.

O: A great beer for anyone who enjoys stouts and porters with dominant coffee notes. I appreciate the total absence of dark fruit. Not a complex beer, but a very flavorful one. Definitely will drink again.

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Photo of jrsqc7
4.6/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Never ending head secretly alcoholic fruits up front with a great big shapely caramel malt ass legs linger lacing glass thick emotionally complex in a relatable way not a cheap date definite wife material

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Photo of DabblinWiscCraft
4.3/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Picked up a six-pack of 12 oz bottles at the Trig's Cellar 70 in Minocqua. The bottling code suggests this one is good for another four months. Poured at cellar temperature into my Samuel Smith pint glass.

L: Pours a deep cola brown--caramel colored at the edges where the light strikes through--with a good three fingers of frothy, dense khaki head that sticks around for a very long time and leaves substantial even lacing on the glass. A beautiful-looking beer.

S: Big, robust coffee and sweet vanilla notes in the bouquet, as advertised. A touch of cinnamon and dark drinking chocolate in the mix. Maybe a bit of earthiness. Just the slightest amount of clear alcohol, which actually is a pleasant addition to whole show.

T: Dark malts--roasty, sweet, and chocolaty--very assertive right out of the gates. Quite a bit more chocolate flavor than the nose forecasts. There's an instant astringency felt as the coffee and vanilla flavors kick in. The middle is really dominated by the coffee--very roasty and robust--with just enough of that sweet vanilla to keep things in check. The middle also brings out a bit of cinnamon and clear alcohol. The back end has that coffee and vanilla continuing atop the dark malts, with a more pronounced clear alcohol and earthy bitterness. The close is significantly bitter, with a healthy amount of alcohol flavor accompany the coffee and vanilla in the aftertaste.

F: Medium-bodied. Extremely smooth. While it isn't syrupy, it does have a good deal of bitter stick to it's close. Nice level of carbonation at the start, though it does feel a bit flat by the end of the glass.

O: This is one impressive porter. Huge coffee and vanilla notes and big ABV make it drink almost like a barrel-aged stout. Perhaps most impressive to me is how well-balanced the flavors are in this one: the malt bill plays extremely well with the other additions, and it yields a beer that is very flavorful and engaging. I definitely recommend giving this a try if you haven't already.

 2,008 characters

Photo of itsmarkalbert
4.29/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

If "the norm" was a port(er) I found myself harbored in, this beer takes me departing on my next liquid adventure. Victory at Sea from @ballastpointbrewing shivers your timbers like being boarded by Captain Barbosa and his crew of curs'ed souls. The aroma is black coffee backed with notes of caramel. The body, rich and strong, bringing in more coffee with a hint of vanilla. As you sip the lace clings to the glass like barnacles as it coats your palate like the spray from a winter swell. Balanced perfectly by a finishing of hop bitterness to complete the voyage of this nautical libation.

 593 characters

Photo of Rabidflamingo
5/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is one of my all time favorites. I consider it on par with, if not better than, Founder's Breakfast Stout. Absolutely delicious and affordable especially considering the 10%abv. If you love imperial porters and stouts, give this a whirl. You will not regret it.

 266 characters

Photo of Rogerlb
4.04/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This is a solid porter, and so roasty it's practically in Russian stout territory. Pours black, with a small even head that goes away quickly with very little lacing. Smells of coffee and toffee. Slight vanilla and tobacco.

Taste is initially bitter and clean, then creamy roast coffee comes right the hell in. It's sweet, not really from vanilla so much as a dark fruit kind of thing. Raisiny. Fair amount of booze in the taste and finishes oily, resiny, and some char. As it opens up it's like a rum-soaked cigar you dropped in your aunt's cold coffee. Better than it sounds.

An aggressive coffee porter. Not as subtle as Stone's Americano Stout which it somewhat resembles; the roast coffee here pretty much overpowers the vanilla. In spite of the 10% ABV though, I'm drinking it faster than I should.

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Photo of dfavreau
4.6/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was an excellent porter for me. One of my favorites. Just the right amount of sweet and bitter combination. The beer had a dark brown/chocolate color and a nice 1/4" creamy head. It smelled of bitter coffee with undertones of vanilla and caramel/toffee. The taste at first was bitter but as my tastebuds got used to the beer the better and better it tasted until I was running on empty. The beer taste combination of coffee, vanilla bean, caramel and molasses was a great porter recipe and it had a warm creamy feel in your mouth and down the throat. Highly recommended. Cost = $2.59/bottle plus shipping- Craft Beer Shack- online

 635 characters

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

12 oz bottle into a stout glass.
I wasn't expecting too much when I cracked this open. Boy, was I pleasantly surprised with this beer. The aroma was a very nice meld of vanilla, roasted malt and coffee. The taste was even better..and I think I told my wife so, about 10 times. Very smooth, with no complaints at all.. I'm really looking forward to another round of this top-notch beer.

 387 characters

Photo of LennyOvies
4.54/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

L- Jet black body, creamy and fluffy tan head with eternal retention, very long. Looks amazing. Leaves a thin crown of head.
S- Freshly poured espresso, cream, vanilla.
T- Espresso, craeamy vanilla, dark chocolate, hazelnuts. Bitter resinous hops and booze at the end.
F- Medium silky body.
O- Great porter, I could do with less booze at the taste but I cant count it as a flaw knowing this is a 10% brew. Amazing.

 414 characters

Photo of nerdboy19
4.54/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appear : Dark, dark black. - 4/5
Aroma : Vanilla & Coffee bomb. Nothing else. - 10/10
Mouthfeel : Medium-full body, medium carbonation. - 4/5
Taste : Lots of coffee, vanilla, some roasted, burnt flavor with some alcohol warmth. - 9/10
Overall : Great showcase of flavored imperial stout/porter. Very easy to get but tops the style. - 18/20

 339 characters

Photo of BloodSoakedAleMug
4.93/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

L: Pours a pitch black color with a khaki head that leaves intricate webs of lacing down the glass.

S: Smells like freshly made espresso and cream with vanilla, dark chocolate malt, sweet tobacco, roasted hazelnut and cacao.

T: Tastes like freshly made creamy iced coffee, rich gourmet dark chocolate italian ice, sweet hazelnut, mocha, vanilla beans and dry, mild tobacco. Has a resinous, hoppy finish. It's so delicious it's hard to put down and stop drinking

F: It's slightly sticky and syrupy, but thats the only thing I can find wrong with the beer. Rich, powerful and flavorful. Starts of sweet, finishes dry. You can tell it's got some alcohol in it, but it doesn't feel like a 10 percenter.

O: If they sold this in six packs, this would be a go to beer I would keep in the fridge all year round. It's superb. If you like vanilla, chocolate, coffee and dark beer this will flip your lid. Without a doubt world class beer.

 933 characters

Photo of BeerManDan
4.54/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

When poured, the color was a very dark brown with a good amount of tan foam. The smell of coffee and vanilla, along with roasted grains. The taste of was the same as the aroma. Roasted Malts, Vanilla and coffee, with a little tartness for a porter. But, the flavor out weight's the tartness. An exceptional flavored porter.

 327 characters

Photo of Tonyjenlasc
4.17/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look - Black in the glass, tan head
Smell - COFFEE. Roasted malts, hints of chocolate/mocha, smoke
Taste - Coffee, espresso, bitter chocolate, char/smoke, the vanilla pokes thru a tad once the beers warms

Overall - a good porter but there's better out there, that's easier to get.

 283 characters

Photo of NolaHopHead
4.48/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle. Pours near black with finger off-white head, great retention and coating bubbly lace. Coffee stout aroma, deep n rich. Taste was more coffee and bitter chocolate, liked the bitter dark chocolate finish with just touch of vanilla and char. Medium soft mouthfeel. Excellent coffee stout.

 304 characters

Photo of verdot
4.85/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Victory At Sea is a fantastic porter. I haven't yet encountered a better interpretation of the style. Pours a deep black red garnet. There is a wonderful aroma of fresh vanilla bean that dominates the nose with undertones of rich, roasted coffee and smooth caramel and toffee. The alcohol lingers behind a full bodied mouthfeel that finishes smoothly and lingers on the tounge.

 377 characters

Photo of Skrumpy
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is superb. Poured 12 oz bottle into standard pint glass. Very dark in color, with a brown, bubbly head. I could smell the coffee when I opened the bottle. After it was poured the vanilla aroma becomes more present. The flavors are very well balanced, and the beer is like a delicious desert with a cup of coffee. The mouthfeel is smooth, rich, and warm. If you like these types of beers, do not pass this one up!

 430 characters

Photo of secondtooth
4.17/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pitch black, with a small tan head and very little lace.

Aroma: Coffee, mocha, chocolate, vanilla. Pretty damned nice.

Taste: Heavy and rich on the tongue, with a thick body. Tons of flavor here, mostly coffee alongside tangy, chewy vanilla and a charred cocoa. Really an impressive and complex imperial porter.

 325 characters

Photo of OldSwampy
4.02/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Dark brown with a cream and caramel head - both colors interwoven. Head not too thick, moderately durable. Nose - tomatoes? Sweet chocolate and/or vanilla. Vegetable notes. Also fudgy. Dense. Taste: big luscious thick vanilla fudge and coffee. A few hops in there somewhere in the sweet swirls. Like the nose also some vegetable notes, including a moment where I thought it tasted like green beans. Ends with a bit of tingle. Mouthfeel tingly and thick. Impressive, but I am not sure that I'd like too many repeats; it would be like eating box chocolates every night for dinner.

Bottle poured into nonic. Stamp on bottom included "16037" which I interpret as 6 Feb 2016 (day 37 of 2016).

 688 characters

Photo of Omisco
4.44/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Forgo the typical review as I did not write this one down during consumption but have enjoyed it several times over. This beer is a fantastic beer if you like the things it is supposed to represent. Which is coffee, porter/stout flavors, and a shitload of vanilla. The aroma is slight vanilla, with loads of coffee, bakers chocolate, and roasted malt. When I first taste this beer, there is an intense vanilla taste which is extremely pleasant if you enjoy vanilla. I do feel this taste fades into the background as it warms which is contrary to most vanilla brews. Their is a huge coffee note that is very similar to an intense dark roasted artisan coffee. It is not acrid though it is quite bitter. To me the vanilla and coffee seem to dominate the palate, with the bakers chocolate and slight overall stout/porter flavors following through afterwards. This is one of my favorite coffee beers, and probably the best representation I've had of vanilla in a beer yet. The alcohol is very well masked but this beer will put you on your ass! Try this beer if you love coffee, stouts, and vanilla!

 1,094 characters

Photo of puck1225
4.06/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I like strong coffee, and this beer delivers this. Poured from a bottle into a snifter, very dark brown with a light brown head and lacing. Pronounced coffee smell and taste. It was great with cheese and crackers!

 213 characters

Photo of basaywhat
4.31/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle. Pours black with a full bubbly natural tan head. Aromas of coffee, minerals, and roasted malts. Flavors of chocolate, dark caramel , acidic coffee, and mild roasted malts. Nicely balanced. Smooth and very good!

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Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 1,347 ratings.
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