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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:
1,366
Ratings:
6,672
Avg:
4.35
pDev:
8.97%
 
 
Wants:
1,079
Gots:
2,129
For Trade:
90
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,366 | Ratings: 6,672
Photo of avalon07
4.77/5  rDev +9.7%
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.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
4.54/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This is a classic beer. Love that it is in 6 packs now, so worth it. Pours robust as fuck like you just popped the top on an imperial stout. Good 1/2" tan head. Aroma drops significant coffee, respectable roast malt, and a hint of vanilla.

Taste is world class. Very easy to drink, all the roasted malt, vanilla and coffee really cover up the 10% abv. Not overly acidic or acrid either, somehow manages to pull off being smooth. Coffee, chocolate malt, vanilla beans, not a small run, that they can pull this off in large batches and big distribution gets even more points in my book.

World class.

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

Got this awesome beer from Beerdy. Thanks Brien! can't wait to try this beer!

Poured into a tulip.

Appearance: Dark black beer with a dark mocha brown head. Super thick lacing sticks on side of the glass and a thick cap of tiny yet dense bubbles remains on top this awesome looking brew.

Smell: Roasty malts and massive coffee aromas. The vanilla is still pretty easy to find, but is not a strong as the coffee.

Taste: Upfront you get a strong coffee taste that has a bite to it. The bitterness recedes about mid taste and vanilla takes over; it is subtle yet still has a nice sweetness to balance the coffee. Milk chocolate, mild booze, and a mild bitterness returning in the finish.

Mouthfeel: This is a huge porter! Medium bodied beer with a silky feel to it. I am really amazed at just how well this beer has held up the carbonation is spot on for a porter! The vanilla accents the booze in the beer and the beers has a slightly boozey bite. I wonder what this beer was like fresh. It is a well made beer!

Overall: This is without a doubt the best Ballast Point beer that I have had! This is the only bottle of this beer that I have; looks like I will be trading to get more! Everything is really nice in this porter; great balance without any ingredients overpowering the other and I still has a bite. Which shows me this beers is still a bad ass!

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Photo of rfgetz
4.4/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep rich brown, almost black. Minimal ring of brown head, leaving some lacing. Smell is of medium roast malts with hints of coffee, vanilla, dark fruit and an underlying sweetness. Vanilla scent improves as it warms. Taste is of fresh roasted coffee with a creamy, milky sweetness backed by a nice presence of vanilla. Hints of fruit, chocolate and oak present. As the drink warms, the taste takes on a somewhat vanilla extract type taste, which is one of my few knocks. Nice full body for a porter, encroaching on stout territory with its creamyness and smoothness. Excellent beer which changes drastically as is approaches room temperature. To experience is, I recomended serving below recommended temp and tasting as it warms up.

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Photo of mltobin
4.08/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber of this over in Westchester NY.

Appearance is dark black with a short tan head. The nose of this imperial porter contains chocolate, vanilla and coffee. Vanilla really came out more than I expected in the aroma. For the taste, a fair amount of roasted malts are present, coffee and vanilla. Mouthfeel on this offering from Victory leans towards full with a velvet texture. If you have had some of Ballast Point`s ipas but not this one, you need to check it out, solid quality.

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

Poured from a bomber into a snifter.
A: Pours pitch black with two fingers of head from a rough pour. Small amount of lacing.
S: The smell is dominated by vanilla beans with some chotolate and coffee also in the mix.
T:Mostly vanilla, slight bitter dark chocolate taste, some coffee and alcohol in the end. Very nice.
D: Quite drinkable for the ABV.

This is my goto beer right now. I've drank like 6 of these in the past couple weeks. Great beer!

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Photo of ColForbinBC
4.45/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into my CBS snifter

Thanks to Jebus3513 for the gift

Pours a deep chestnut, near black, with a frothy dark mocha cap. Great staying power with some prominent sip lines. Oily body as it sticks to the glass when swirled.

Vanilla knocks you back first. Roasted coffee, rolled oats, and some milk chocolate round out the nose. Sweetness overall with some bitterness from the roast. Pleasing.

The flavor profile follows the nose. Prominent vanilla with roast coffee and dry, flaky oats. The chocolate flavor mixes with everything else and gives a fudge-like flavor.

Fill body with low carbonation. This guy is smooth and drinks really easy. Little mixture of sweet and roast that lingers.

This is a damn fine porter. Full, well-realized flavor without being overly bold. One of the best I have had. Seek this out.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.3/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Grabbed a few in PA and boy, is it worth it!

This beer pours black with reddish brown highlights, capped by an 1/2" thick brown head. Retention is excellent, as is the lacework it leaves. On the nose, it's pretty awesome. Fresh coffee (somewhere between an espresso and a regular cuppa joe), an awesome vanilla note, as well as a great rich chocolate aroma. The palate replicates the nose, with the balance between the flavors being fantastic. Opens up with chocolate, followed by coffee and then vanilla before a beautifully bitter finish with flavors of dark chocolate and coffee. The palate is great too, with a medium body, soft and rich carbonation and a great finish. A nice slickness as well. Drinkability? I drank a bottle and could have gone for another

**Edit Jan 2011**
Drinking the 2010 winter release, I can say that my review is the same, but I have to dial down my scores a bit to reflect how I feel about this beer.

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Photo of sweemzander
3.61/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. bottle poured into a snifter. Thanks Beerwolf for another share!

(A)- Pours a pitch black. Some tan bubbles.

(S)- Some chalky cocoa and spicy pepper-like dusty funk.

(T)- Some nice vanilla with rich raisin, dusty cocoa, and caramel.

(M)- A mellow/smooth carbonation level. A nice balance albiet some chalky/dusty characters, but good.

(D)- A solid porter with some fun flavors, though a little weird smell-wise.

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Photo of Brad007
4.63/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

She pours a pitch black, reminiscent 'o dark nights on a foamin' mad sea. thar's no woe fer them seekin' th' light here.

Vanilla bean, cream 'n cocoa greet th' nose. As it warms up, th' flavors increase in intensity. Mmm.

Vanilla compliments th' cocoa 'n coffee notes apparent here.

Despite bein' a baltic porter, it beats out a few imperial stouts bin had latel. extra spit shine finish. Lin'erin' vanilla, cream 'n cocoa flavors. It rivals Stone's Vanilla Porter in strength 'n despite th' fact that it has more alcohol, it never hits ye over th' head wit' it.

Easily one 'o me favorite baltic porters. th' use 'o vanilla adds to th' complexity.

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Photo of Viggo
4.4/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle, big thanks to dyan and DRINKNDRIVE for the hookup.

Pours a deep and opaque black, some ruby red highlights, thick tan head forms, drops down to a thin ring around the glass, some lacing sticks, and great retention. Smell is real nice, vanilla and chocolate, caramel, burnt sugar, dark fruit, milk, lactose sweetness, honey/nougat, touch of coffee roast, really rich. Taste is similar, very nice, vanilla up front, toffee, lactose sweetness, burnt brown sugar, chocolate and some coffee roast, dark fruit/raisins, very malty, nougat finish, touch more roast in the back. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied, low to medium carbonation, some warmth going down but ABV is well hidden. Awesome beer, reminds me of an imperial version of Aphrodisiaque from DDC. Thanks guys!

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.71/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber opened on 1-22-12.

A - Pours a dark brown with a dark tan head. Great retention with good lacing.

S - Nutty and lots or roasted malts.

T - Chocolate milk and roasted malts, lots of vanilla.

D - Good carbonation and medium body.

O - Bitter chocolate and lots of coffee and vanilla. Not quite what I was hoping for.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.55/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Wow, so impressive. Only other vanilla porter I've had was from Breckenridge, also good, but more pedestrian than this. Pours black like a stout, always a good sign. Smell, just gives a hint of the vanilla, but there's more of that to come.

The taste if phenomenal. Delic. The vanilla must absorb some alcohol, because I was shocked after having a few sips to find out this is 10%. I was guessing in the 7% range. Love when that happens. So smooth, went so good with the pork tenderloin tonight, which usually you don't pair with a stout.

Subsequent batches haven't seemed all that world class, but always very good. But they keep selling out very quickly, so they must be doing something right.

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Photo of Bung
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. Nearly black pour, cream colored head with a small amount of bubbly lacing. Aromas roast malt, hints of woody vanilla. Tastes similarly with much more assertive vanilla, coffee and some caramel. A little bourbon like booziness, but not bad at all. Definetely a sipper right now. Close to creamy mouthfeel. I bet this will age very nicely. Been very impressed with Ballast Point, this one did not disappoint.

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Photo of jmdrpi
4.57/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle, code of "VA513 05112", which is unclear of dating.

appears black, nice thick dark tan head. good lacing and retention. aroma is amazingly appetizing, bold vanilla, and sweet coffee with cream and sugar.

taste is a nice balance of roastiness and sweetness. not cloying at all. improves and gets more complex as it warms. medium body, moderate carbonation. nice and smooth drinking.

overall - a great beer. I guess called a porter because it's a bit thinner in body than most imperial stouts.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.97/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks again to stevemcqueenjr for sharing this rare treat. The label on this bottle is awesome (a skeleton at the helm). 22oz. bottle served in my Gouden Carolus chalice. Poured one shade shy of black. No head, just a few bubbles and a thin, bubbly band wound around the bowl of the glass. Reddish-brown highlights were revealed at the base when held up to the light. Nose is roasted coffee/espresso upfront with a hint of vanilla in the back. Taste is char, roast and coffee followed by some vanilla and toffee/butterscotch. Some bitterness lingers between quaffs. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied and lightly effervescent. Nice complexity with a slightly burnt quality. This is a really nice offering from Ballast Point, but there's just a little too much char and bitterness in the mix that impacts the drinkability.

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Photo of cbutova
4.73/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Re-review, drank this one almost exactly one year ago and my old review is below.

A- Amazing pour with an intensely creamy and foamy dark mocha head that has amazing retention. Can take chunks off the top like ice cream, still perfect. Lace pretty much sucks away 2oz of the beer.

S- Intensely dark roast coffee, malt and cocoa up front. Vanilla comes in big time behind these rounding it out very nicely. Don't know what I was smelling last year. Nice strength.

T- Monstrous vanilla atop very nice roast coffee beans/grounds, dark roast malts and milk chocolate notes. The balance of these flavors is pretty much a very good dessert. Some earthy hops.

MF- Thick and creamy, pretty much where I would want an "Imperial Porter" to be. Carbonation is moderate and silky smooth. Bitterness from cocoa.

DB- Alcohol hidden amazingly in a beer that rivals all dessert-oriented beers. The vanilla, coffee and cocoa combine to make this taste like a twist ice cream cone, don't know why the bottle I had last winter was underwhelming, first A+ in a long time.

Last year:
5 3.5 4 4 4 = 4.1
Pours amazingly with a pitch black body and a nice two finger dark tan coffee colored head that has great retention. Insanely thick lacing is left on my entire pint glass as I drink this one down. Smell is a bit weak on this one, in strength and complexity. Smells of lots of malts, cocoa and some vanilla. I pick up a pinch of alcohol too. The malt profile of this beer is gigantic. Taste is basically a strong version of the smell, like many beers. Lots of cocoa and some vanilla among the huge malts. There is just nothing too amazing sticking out on this one. Mouthfeel is moderate bodied and pretty oily with low carbonation and some good warming. Drinkability is alright, the taste is good, the price is not too bad for such a big beer, not sure if I would get this one again, probably on tap.

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

Lovely monster. Appearance is a large tan, slow to settle, thick head with lots of lace and and opaque black brown color. Aroma is coffee, vanilla, roast malt, leather, black earth, dank forest, cement. Flavor's similar to nose, fairly dry, just enough tang and bitter to balance and then a hint of sweet in the finish. Body is just right. Long finish. Nary a hint of strength.

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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.

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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 claspada
4/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Second time on this beer, this is a fresh review. My first experience I had aged the bottle for a year plus (which I recommend, this beer is a B fresh and an A aged). Anyway...

Aroma begins with a boat ton of coffee and dark roasted malts. As you further investigate you get notes of toffee sweetness, vanilla and a slight alcohol presence.

The taste directly follows the nose; roasted malts assault the taste buds followed by coffee bitterness and slight toffee sweetness. Just like the smell, the hints of vanilla, chocolate and alcohol become more prevalent as you get to glass #2 (this was a 22 oz. bottle). The roasted maltiness/coffee is slightly overpowering to be completely honest and if you don't like dark roasted coffee you probably won't like this beer. Medium bodied with average carbonation; luckily enough to balance the ABV. Flavors were much better integrated in the cellared version I had last year. The alcohol and roastiness are overpowering midway through glass #2.

Overall this fresh bottle of Imperial Porter was good but no where as good as the cellared version, so I definitely recommend this beer 100% but not fresh, buy it and hide it from yourself for at least a year, you will be rewarded if you do.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.09/5  rDev -29%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bottle, trade with beerman4. Dark brown with a thin tan head. A very strong smell, roasted malts, sweet vanilla, maybe just a little coffee. Almost cloyingly sweet from the vanilla, also too bitter in the aftertaste. Could use more malt presence and less extra flavoring. The body is a tad thin for a robust porter style, didn't match well.

I'm a little disappointed overall, the taste is too sweet, the vanilla is more prominent than I'd like, and the coffee is too bitter. The bottle states this is an artisinal masterpiece but I disagree. Their IPA's are solid though.

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Photo of maximum12
3.52/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to mrbubbler for shipping a bottle of this across the country, always happy to have Ballast Point in the house. Cut open to celebrate with my wife after returning from a short trip to Fabulous Las Vegas...where I was surprised to find good beer pretty available.

Poured into our new Devil's Backbone snifters (thanks Vickster & sholland119!!) this beer is a rather unsurprising black. Smell conforms with truth in advertising strictures: hard malts, bold coffee, liberal scoops of vanilla. That doesn't quite do it justice, very nicely medled bunch of aromas.

Victory at Sea brings the vanilla funk. Strangely, the taste isn't as tight as the smell. Vanilla is overriding & seems less honest than really good vanilla beers, a touch artificial. The coffee is good, serving the sweetness, understated. The base beer appears to be good, but it's buried beneath a mudslide of vanilla. A dropperful of chocolate causes this to veer towards what my wife calls "Tootsie Roll" territory.

Ultimately, this doesn't quite do it for me. Pretty good beer, but it taste like a candy whipped up in a big factory with robots vs. a confection whipped up by hand in the back of a local shop. Close for me.

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Photo of rlee1390
4.23/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received in a beer trade, poured into a snifter.

A-Dark motor oil black, creamy brown heady that leaves some lacing.

S-Coffee and Roasted malt, not picking up the vanilla though.

T-Mainly coffee and roasted malt. Some vanilla is in there as well. However it really needs just a tad bit more vanilla to be perfect. Some bitterness in the finish but not much.

M-Heavy, syrupy with some carbonation.

O-A solid beer, but when Vanilla is in the title, I would like to see a tad bit more for my tastes. Still a great beer that I'm glad was included in the trade.

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

A: Pours a deep black with one full finger of dark khaki colored head. The foam settles fairly quickly, leaving a frothy ring of bubbles along the edges of the glass. Minimum lacing as it drinks.

S: The nose is is milk chocolate, dark chocolate, roast, and burnt toast. I'm not picking up a ton of vanilla in the nose, but this beer smells delicious.

T: It starts off sweet and smooth with milk chocolate and vanilla flavors. The bitter roast and toast start to really come through in the middle. It mixes with coffee flavors and finishes pretty bitter. It's like dark chocolate, burnt toast, and coffee grinds in the back end.

M: Full bodied beer. Smooth, and coating to start, almost milky. The flavors envelop the palate but transition nicely without much cloying. Smooth to finish with lingering bitters on the back end.

O: Really great beer. One of my go-to porters/stouts when I am in the mood. Can't believe it took me this long to write a review. Delicious. I will definitely be drinking this again.

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Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
4.35 out of 5 based on 6,672 ratings.
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