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
Ratings:
6,862
Reviews:
1,423
Avg:
4.35
pDev:
8.97%
 
 
Wants:
1,092
Gots:
2,223
For Trade:
88
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 6,862 |  Reviews: 1,423
Photo of nathanmiller
4/5  rDev -8%

Photo of XmnwildX12
4/5  rDev -8%

Photo of mendvicdog
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of dcmchew
4.59/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Black pour with a really small tan head, pretty short-lasting, leaving a sticky lacing.
Roasted coffee bean on the nose, raw vanilla bean, cocoa powder and rich roasted malt. Simple, but intense.
Tons of coffee in the taste, the black kind, very lightly sugared, deeply roasted. A rich vanilla edge to it, too, not creamy, but raw vanilla extract. A bit of dark licorice, toffee, actually more like marshmallow. Dark chocolate and rich roasted malts, a bit smokey, turning really burnt and ashy in the finish, feeling amplified by some bitter hop.
Medium body, smooth carbonation. Aftertaste has coffee dregs, vanilla, roasted dark bread, some caramel and a nice more than mild bitterness stuck in the throat, but not the bad kind.
This will not surprise you, it's exactly what it says on the label, "porter with coffee and vanilla". But it's incredibly rich and balanced, one element compensating the other. So it seems that Ballast Point don't make just great IPAs, but also one of the best porters out there. Especially considering it's quite easy to get.

 1,058 characters

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

Really dark brown color with creamy tan head. Aroma has dark chocolate, cacao and a light fruity note. Taste has sweet chocolate and coffee with some slightly artificial vanilla notes. Bitter cacao on the finish and continues on the aftertaste. Medium plus body, quite smooth on the palate. Quite nice overall, good balance between sweet coffee and bitter cacao.

 362 characters

Photo of billab914
4.35/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Stone RIS glass. Pours pitch black with a two finger light brown head. The head retreated to the sides of the glass but left excellent lacing on the sides.

From the aroma it's very east to tell this is a coffee beer. There is a strong presence of coffee along with a decent amount of roastedness to it. There is a slight vanilla sweetness that helps balance it out nicely.

The bitter coffee is the first thing that you notice in the flavor, but the real draw for me is the subtle complex vanilla sweetness it has in it. There is some roasted grains and bittersweet chocolate to go along with the coffee and vanilla in the finish as well.

Mouthfeel is on the thicker side with moderate to low carbonation. I really enjoyed drinking this one and would definitely buy it again. The vanilla sweetness really helped balance out the bitter coffee and roast flavor making this one stand out from other coffee stouts.

 946 characters

Photo of Gagnonsux
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of smithj4
4.56/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

Appearance: Pours a dark brown, near black body with a wispy, fairly small-sized, beige head.

Smell: Deeply roasty nose with some possible perceived hints of added black patent malt as well as eager, oh-so inviting notes of everyone's favorite: coffee, vanilla, and chocolate.

Taste: Dark, roasted malt flavor with a double shot of espresso, chocolate, and reasonably strong, smooth accents of vanilla beans. Subtly sweet. Earthy, predominately roasty bitterness present, particularly as it begins to grow in charred malt qualities upon slight warming. Drying, roasty finish with one last, final departing touch of vanilla.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: I enjoyed this one. It's about as smooth as a man with a pencil-thin mustache. The listed ABV% was never an issue at all.

 812 characters

Photo of russpowell
4.15/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to corby112 & tendermorssel for sending this! Cheers Craig & Mike!

Pours a brown tinged ebony with a finger of mocha colored head. Good head retention & lacing

S: Much coffee & coffee grounds

T: Mocha, charred coffee, & a touch of vanilla, plus dryness up front, plus a tinge of booze. Smooths out a bit a it warms, vanilla, oaky dryness & a touch of toffee as this warms; the coffee fades to more pleasing level once warm. Finishes slightly astringent, with nice coffee bitterness, a wisp of vanilla, dryness & wet charred grain. Almost pulled a 4.5

MF: Very smooth up front, slightly chewy with low carbonation

Drinks very easy for the style & ABV, not the best coffee beer I've ever had, but probably top 3. Worth seeking out, nice brunch beer!

 760 characters

Photo of atrocity
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

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.

 506 characters

Photo of vfgccp
4.28/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Tan finely bubbled head. Fantastic retention and lace. Bowling ball black with cola highlights.

S - Mocha, coffee, soft vanilla, and fantastic roast.

T - Soft balance on a profile loaded with flavor. Vanilla and coffee into dry roast and warm booze. Rich mocha finish.

M - Smooth, full bodied frame.

O - Thick profile, almost more stout than porter, but still delicious.

 378 characters

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

Review from notes 2/6/11. Thanks to THECPJ for pulling this one out at the end of the night!

A: Pours a deep black with a thick two finger, mocha colored head. Decent lacing. Beer appears to be a bit syrupy.

S: Lots of chocolate and vanilla. A little bit of alcohol presence and a touch of coffee.

T: Really intense chocolate and vanilla flavors, they blind very nicely. There is a little bit of alcohol and a note of coffee, but the chocolate and vanilla dominate in a big way.

M/D: Medium bodied with light carbonation, but sort of heavy. Extremely enjoyable, a nice after dinner sipper, or would go great with most desserts. I was really happy (and surprised) that there wasn't as much coffee in this one, but it works for me.

 736 characters

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

"It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell."

--Buddha

Impenetrable onyx with the faintest hint of lightening along the bottom edge of the glass. A large chunk of caramel milkshake colored foam was created on the pour and looks to be in it for the long haul. When the crown finally starts to melt, barely broken sheets of lace appear on all available surfaces.

The aroma is an enjoyable mixture of roasted dark malts and roasted java beans. Vanilla gets lost in the shuffle, which is a shame and is the main reason why the score isn't one notch higher. Even so, I could just as easily have gone with the 4.5.

The flavor leaves no room for that sort of wishy-washiness. VASCVIP is outfreakinstanding beer from the very first mouthful. If warming makes things even bolder and deeper... look out! One of my initial impressions is how expertly the alcohol is buried. This beauty drinks like the ABV is 7.0%. No lie.

There are so many coffee-added stouts (and a few porters) out there in craft beer land that they tend to run together. This one stands out for its sheer quality and because the brewers decided to add vanilla to the mix. I'm happy to report that all ingredients listed in the name are now present and accounted for. As expected, time and warming are turning a great beer into... an even greater beer.

The balance between bittersweet chocolate, black coffee and vanilla beans is pretty much perfect. Although little hop flavor is appreciated (which is probably a good thing), there's a modest amount of bitterness that closes each mouthful (make that 'eager gulp') in tighter than expected fashion. This bottle isn't even history yet and I'm already thinking about how to get more.

The mouthfeel is a little lighter than it should be, especially considering the ABV. The beer is smooth enough, but it isn't crushed velvet plush and heavily creamy. This characteristic might be something for the brewer(s) to work on in future releases. Please tell me that there will be future releases.

Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter is my second favorite Ballast Point offering, behind the outrageously delicious hop bomb known as Sculpin IPA. I will do whatever it takes to acquire additional bombers. When I do, they won't be taken away from me by angels or by demons, heaven or hell. Highly recommended.

 2,445 characters

Photo of drewone
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of duceswild
5/5  rDev +14.9%

Photo of Jason
5/5  rDev +14.9%

Photo of millerbuffoon
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

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

First off this is an exceptional beer. I had wanted to try it since it came out by missed all the bottles on sale, needless to say when I was able to trade for some it made my day. Served at a nice 55 degrees and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 04/04/2009.

The pour was fantastic. Huge dark beer here, black as night as it pours out. A big cascading brown head comes up and over the top and then settles down into a half inch layer that hung around for the entire rest of the session. The aroma was vanilla, huge vanilla beer and light cafe like coffee notes. Some hints of roasted malts, but vanilla in a beer like I have never come across before. Not terribly sweet and fake, this was like whiffing good vanilla ice cream. As I take the first sip, wow. This beer is suprising the crap out of me. First off where is my 12 percent? This is soo smooth I really got caught off guard by my second glass. The vanilla explosion followed through on the taste, rich and creamy with light and sweet coffee notes following through on them as well. Really tight flavor here, smooth with a long drawn out finish that was sweet, delicate and drying enough to make me want another in a minute.

Overall this was a very unique beer, that falls squarely into the dessert category. I was very happy, and very suprised with how big this was and how good it was as well. A winner here for sure!

 1,396 characters

Photo of Slatetank
4.72/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had this on tap at brass rail deli in campbelltown - served chilled in a snifter allowed to warm gradually.

A - An ebony liquid, no light passing through. The porter is augmented by a thick rocky cream cap which sticks securely to the glass as it settles, the bead is very fine

S -The smell is intensely aromatic w/ sweet notes of caramel and vanilla floral aspects shining through, mild coffee elements provide a sturdy scent for the vanilla bean and the aroma of alcohol is very mild, yet sligthly noticeable. I get a subtle bittersweet cocoa note in addition to the strong vanilla qualities

M - The feel is creamy, smooth and highly carbonated for the strength, yet it does not detract from the overall texture which has a sweet edge and moderately high bitterness quotient to balance the malt body with a light alcohol note in the semi-dry finish

T - The flavor is a complex array of earthy and sweet notes, both beans are noticeable, yet not overdone in the flavor. The vanilla is the standout adding an almost silky cocoa quality to the caramel notes of the malt. The coffee is almost bordering on citrus with its gentle sweet accents and mild roasted notes. The porter itself is smooth, mild roasted flavors with lots of caramel undertones which are balanced by a slightly spiced flavor from the hops which are bitter and add to the complexity bringing you back for some more vanilla goodness into the last sip

D - Wow, a truly unique Porter calling anything other than Imperial would be wrong -it has so many attributes, though. The masterful use of the spices improves the overall beer rather than detract from it which is why it gets the '5' it really never lingers in one flavor realm too long, it is a progressively subtle yet intense and balanced experience. The 10% is not apparent until after you've downed a snifter - so deceptive and yet so luxurious.

 1,875 characters

Photo of mdfb79
4.52/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

a - Pours a dark brown color with one finger of tan head. Light carbonation and lacing evident.

s - Smells of milk chocolate, roasted malts, cofee, and a hint of alcohol.Some vanilla too. Very nice.

t - Tastes of bitter chocolate, hops, roasted malts, coffee, and alcohol.

m - High carbonation and medium body. Some alcohol warmth.

d - A pretty good porter. Smells amazing with lots going on, but I wasn't the biggest fan of the bitterness in the taste; it was a bit too much. I didn't get any vanilla from the taste which I would have liked, and also thought the high carbonation hurt it a bit. None the less, it is still a very good porter worth checking out. Would have again.

____________

Edit: 07/24/15 - Have had this a ton of times over the years and I think it has gotten much better. One of my favorite porters ever to be honest.

 892 characters

Photo of ZEB89
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of womencantsail
4.67/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Naja's Place in Redondo Beach.

A: The pour is a beautiful black color with a rather nice layer of mocha colored foam, but no lacing to speak of.

S: The aroma is full of coffee and vanilla, as one might expect from the name of the beer. There are also a lot of roasted malt and chocolate.

T: While the nose was spectacular, the flavor is just as good (maybe even a little better). The coffee and vanilla flavors really come out as the beer warms up a little, as does a great chocolate flavor. The roasted malts are present throughout as well.

M: A rather full body and smooth mouthfeel. The carbonation is low to moderate, which helps out the aforementioned feel on the tongue.

D: This is a dangerously drinkable beer. I didn't really detect any alcohol and it's just such a solid beer that you can't help but keeping going back to it.

 849 characters

Photo of Gkruszewski
4.08/5  rDev -6.2%

Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
4.35 out of 5 based on 6,862 ratings.
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