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:
1,387
Ratings:
6,739
Avg:
4.35
pDev:
8.97%
 
 
Wants:
1,087
Gots:
2,161
For Trade:
92
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,387 | Ratings: 6,739
Photo of BierJager89
4.48/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Black with a brown ring of head.

S: Coffee and vanilla in the nose.

T: Coffee with a little bit of vanilla and some dark chocolate.

M: Medium bodied with average carbonation.

O: A bit underwhelming, but only because i expected more out of a brewery this good brewing a beer that sounds as good as this one does.

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Photo of DrinkingDrake
4.32/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a 1 finger coffee colored head. Laces out evenly across the top and clinging to the sides.

Smells like I just brewed a cup of joe and tossed in a white chocolate bar. A little nutty like candied roasted nuts.

Tastes of roasted french vanilla. A lot of deep malty undertones. A slight bitterness of chocolate. Also the malts have a faint smokey character.

The 10% is not that noticeable but you can tell there is a good amount of alcohol in this one.

Split a bomber with a friend and was satisfied with my half.

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Photo of Vlaminck
3.96/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A little to sweet on the vanilla for me. I want my porter malty, toasty but dry with a slight hop character. Good base. I Would love to try this without vanilla in it

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Photo of fscottkey
3.95/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: [4.75] Pours a pitch black. Forms a 2 finger head of dense khaki bubbles. The head is really rich and creamy looking. The head leaves nice lacing on the glass and does not dissipate quickly. The bottle lists the ABV (10.0%) and date code for born on 2/20/15.

S: [4.00] Very coffee forward. That is the prominent feature of the nose.

T: [4.00] The taste is roasted malts and chocolate. It is bitter chocolate. As I continue to drink I get more of the coffee taste in each sip. The finish is also coffee with roasted malts.

M: [3.50] There is a little more tingle feel than I expected. The body wasn't as thic as I expected either (given the rich looking head). There is a long lingering coffee and roasted malt taste at the end.

O: [3.75] I know the distinction between porter and stout can be academic - but I agree that this is a 10% porter. It didn't have the thick body I'd expect in a stout. Visually it is a great beer. The nose is also really nice. It has a good taste and is well balanced. The mouthfeel was a little weak - but like I said maybe that is more of a porter experience. Overall this is a good beer that I would drink again. It is not my favorite coffee porter/stout.

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

Phenomenal beer. Jet black and thick with a big mocha head that laced beautifully. Smell is big and rich with strong notes of roasted coffee, soft vanilla, maple syrup, and bakers chocolate. Taste follows suit with big and rich flavors of dark roast coffee, toasted almond, molasses, caramel, dark chocolate, light licorice, and a wonderful sweet vanilla that appears late in the sip but lingers wonderfully. Feel is medium-bodied and silky, with just the right weight. Hard to imagine a better, more well-rounded porter.

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Photo of RAFH
4.22/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Got it for $12 a six pack of 12 ounce bottles from Meijer in Stephenville, Michigan on 12/12/15. Saw a few other reviews and besides the obvious flavors referenced, I tasted subtle smoke and pepper notes. Outstanding porter. So glad Ballast Point came to Michigan a couple weeks ago.

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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!

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

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a Sierra Nevada 30th anniversary glass.

A: Pours jet black with a dark tan head.

S: Coffee, roasted malt, and a hint of vanilla.

T: Dark roasted malt with a very strong coffee flavor. The vanilla notes are extremely subtle, if it wasn't on the bottle, I probably wouldn't have picked it out. It's very smooth and the flavors meld together very well. A bit of a bite from the alcohol in the finish.

M: Medium bodied, average carbonation.

D: Very drinkable and very delicious. Doesn't drink like a 10% beer at all. One of the better coffee beers I've had.

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Photo of gr0g
4.59/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out pitch black, topped with a one finger head of dark tan foam. Some spotty lacing. Aroma is top-notch provided that you're a fan of coffee. Vanilla soaked fresh ground coffee hits at first, followed by rich, dark cocoa. There's a hint of alcohol that isn't out of place in a 10% ABV brew.

Somewhat astringent and coffee-forward at first taste, giving way to a rich, bittersweet mocha. A noticeable infusion of vanilla complements the flavor excellently. A bit of a fusel alcohol note on the finish is only a slight negative. I'm compelled to take sip after sip until the bomber is finished. Mouthfeel is silky and as rich as a porter can get without getting into stout territory. Carbonation is soft and not all that abundant but still has good longevity. This is an elite beer that has few rivals as a after-dinner treat.

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Photo of HopBomb515
4.48/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Black with a towering coffee colored head and great lacing. Notes of heavy coffee, caramel, toffee and light vanilla in the nose. Big coffee flavor, some toffee and vanilla working in the background smooth the flavor profile. Nice feel as it warmed, creamy, fuller side of medium body and very drinkable at 10%. This was one of, if not the most coffee forward beers I've ever had. Really fantastic.

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Photo of TruePerception
3.34/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Ballast Point's Victory At Sea, porter brewed with coffee and vanilla. 10% ABV.

A: Almost two fingers of lighter chocolate milk colored head. Pitch black in the glass. Very dark brown in the dimple. A good amount of multi-layered lacing. Slight sheeting.

S: Deep roasted coffee up front. Vanilla is hard to make out against the coffee. Slight powdered cocoa.

T/MF: Very dark coffee, mixed with a bunch of char! And a heavy dose of hops. Quite heavy for a porter, all told.

Hmm. I'd heard good things about this one, but it is quite disappointing. I'll see how it warms up.

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle, into a Belgian tulip glass.

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Photo of JackieKu
4.08/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle.

A: Opaque black. Poured with 4 fingers high head, the foam is quite dense, and it persists.
S: Roasted coffee mixed with elegant vanilla. Somewhat woody.
T: Roasted coffee. Slightly caramel. Moderate bitterness. Low sweetness. Dry finish.
M: Creamy. Full bodied.
O: Aromatic strong porter. Unfortunately the vanilla flavor is not as obvious as the aroma.

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Photo of RAlmeida77
3.41/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Wasn't blow away by this beer. Thought it was pretty good. HInts of vanilla and coffee in the nose but definitely wanted more of a vanilla presence in the flavor.

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Photo of mikey711
4.35/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark black, more stout like than porter like. Mocha colored head that was fluffy, retained well and left great lacing

S: Coffee, vanilla smokiness, gram cracker and burnt caramel. No flavor overwhelms and all are very present individually but also as a whole

T: Very much the same as the smell. The coffee is present and prvoides some bitterness, the creates a balance betweent the sweetness and bitterness, the smokiness provides more complexity and the gram cracker provides some chewiness.

M: A bit light in body but there is only a minimal amount of head and a nice creamy feel.

D: I think i could have this one everyday and a bomber would go down way to easy

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

This beer is great! Look is dark brown with nice lacing. Smell is of sugar cookie , milk chocolate, and vanilla. Taste is of milk chocolate, vanilla, and wow! I want this on nitro! Feel is velvet and creme! Awesome. Ballast point rocks! Can'!!!t wait to try more of there beers!

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Photo of jjboesen
4.7/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Ballast Point is your typical brewery; that is, if the typical brewery produces superb beers. I fell in love with these guys during my recent trip to San Diego (San Diego Beer Week 2012). Excellent stuff to say the least. This one, the Victory at Sea Vanilla Porter (there is the regular "Victory at Sea", of course) is endowed with vanilla.

Any way, here is how it goes: we have at the start, a spongy beige head accompanied by massive gobs of gummy lacing. We see a body that is tar black. Take a whiff; we smell freshly ground coffee. Taste it: there is an intense hit of the aforementioned coffee - supplemented by caramel undertones with bits of dark chocolate arbitrarily strewn about for effect. That said, I did not get much vanilla, but then it is somewhat bland and unaccustomed to standing out - vanilla, that is.

The mouthfeel is very creamy, very silky; this is an extraordinarily balanced beer to belie the 9% alchohol level. Really, it does. A superb dessert beer from a superb brewer.

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

I poured this rather vigorously into my Smuttynose snifter, and the head has the staying power, and the aromas are lofting strongly around the area. vanilla is by far the strongest airborne scent, even more so then the coffee. digging your nose into it just screams vanilla. The flavors are more balanced then the aromas and meld very very nicely. Chocolate is introduced here to support the coffee and vanilla. For some reason im getting some oaky notes and there is also alcohol notes too. Overall i have to say this is a very impressive Coffee beer, and this is a harshly graded class for me. mouthfeel is creamy and semi-dense, just a joy to drink all around.

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

L: Espresso poured into a snifter
S: The coffee aroma is so on point. I'm a huge coffee geek, I even roast my own, so I feel somewhat qualified to say that this beer has the best coffee aromas you will find in a beer. It really blows me away. It's very earthy, and somewhat roasty.
T: The coffee is there in the taste too, and subtle hints of vanilla, especially in the finish, strike a nice balance. The flavors are pretty earthy for a porter, I would have love a little fruitiness.
F: A little sharp initially, but you ease into the beer quickly. Body is nice, but could be a teeny bit fuller. Great carb.
O: I almost passed on this one when my beer guy put it aside for me... Really glad I didn't! This is a world-class beer for sure. Not my favorite porter ever, but pretty damn close to it.

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Photo of GallowsThief
3.92/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of a bomber into my Duvel.

A - Coffee black pour with about a 3 inch head that is a nice creamy brown.

S - Wonderful coffee smell with just enough hint of vanilla. Smell comes across with just enough sweetness in it.

T - Big roasty taste. Great hints of vanilla as well. Comes cross the palate with just a touch of sweetness and caramel. Mocha along for the ride. The warmnesss of the ABV is very subtle on this. Cant help but getting a bit too much of a burnt wood out of it. Odd.

M - Medium bodied with a creamy feel. Coats the tongue in a velvety goodness.

D - High ABV but still pretty damn drinkable.

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Photo of mjl21
4.28/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review #200

Acquired via trade...thanks Dan. 22 ounce bottle poured into a snifter. No bottling info is given. Comes in at 10%.

A-A fairly aggressive pour results in black beer with a tiny sand colored head that collapses into a filmy ring in the center of the glass. The ring slowly expands as each sip goes down and results in a layer that looks like the top of a capuccino. Lots of bubbles are visible along the side of the glass and a tad bit of lace is left on the glass.

S-When it is first poured into the glass, a subtle sniff results in vanilla flavors and a light roast character. When I bring it up to my nose and inhale deeper, the coffee becomes quite apparent. After about 20 minutes in the glass, the vanilla starts to become more pronounced. After about 40 minutes the coffee and vanilla really gel together nicely. This one really deserves a 4.25; a 4.50 is a tad too high.

T-On the first sip, the coffee is very upfront. The sweetness from the vanilla hits in the middle and back of my mouth. Before it goes down, the roast flavor comes out. It finishes with some nice bitterness and some roasted flavor in the back. As it starts to warm, the vanilla jumps out quicker and overtakes the coffee. The aftertaste becomes more like a marshmallow dipped in bittersweet chocolate that has been placed into a cup of good coffee.

M-Considering it is an Imperial Porter with vanilla, it's mouthfeel is a lot lighter than I was expecting. It is quite smooth and creamy. It is lightly carbonated.

D-I would never guess this is a 10% beer. It took about an hour and a half to finish this one. A great sipper that only gets better as it warms.

This was another winner from Ballast Point. I would love to try the BA version of this one. Well worth seeking out if you can still find it.

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Photo of cavemanlawyer1999
4.64/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from bottle into pint glass, black-brown liquid with large and delicious looking cappuccino brown head. Smells heavily of mocha and vanilla. Taste is very vanilla and coffee, very nice but odd finish i couldn't quite place. Very good beer though, would drink again and recommend.

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Photo of MCain04
4.28/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

22 oz from the Beer Temple, dated 12/20/12, poured into a FFF Teku at around 40F.

Dark dark body almost black with thin khaki head, some retention, some lacing.

Smell is a pungent vanilla. They did not shy away from this ingredient. The coffee follows suit and is a nice roast, even 6 months after this was brewed. The roasted malts are also apparent, with some chocolatey, caramel notes. A little overpowering on the vanilla but the nose is anything but subdued.

Flavor profile follows the nose well. A lot of vanilla, with dark chocolate, bitter coffee, roasted malts, and caramel toffee rounding this out. The flavor profile almost makes it taste like it's been in a barrel, which it has not. That's actually the major thing missing from this beer, is the 10% ABV punch. Alcohol is pretty well hidden. Probably by the overwhelming sweetness of vanilla, but still a complex and diverse flavor profile, if not the best balance.

The mouthfeel has a higher than expected carbonation given the head size, but it doesn't detract. A full body with some dryness on the finish and a sticky malty residue on the tongue.

On of the better imperial porters I've had. I haven't tried the base beer but assume it would be very good as well. I like the coffee addition, the vanilla could have been better integrated and balanced though. Overall very nice beer that worth drinking more than once.

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Photo of thebeers
3.42/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Bottle date 15058; batch 62.

Near black with two fingers of thick, lasting mocha-colored head that leave impressive lacing. Heavy malts, along with hints of coffee and vanilla on the nose, combine into a chocolate milk / YooHoo smell. The taste, however, doesn't live up to the presentation. The malt flavors expected from a high-quality porter just aren't there. Neither roasty nor creamy, there are hints from the solid nose present in the taste, but then an unpleasant, acerbic aftertaste I attribute to the coffee, although hop bitterness may also play a role. Glad I didn't buy a six pack.

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Photo of homebrewhawk
3.95/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to MASPuros for this one. 22oz. bottle served in a snifter. Poured a deep brown with a finger of tan head. Coffee, chocolate malt along with a bit of hops in the aroma. Lots of chocolate in the flavor. Rich and smooth, medium to full bodied. Some piney hops in the middle. Vanilla in the finish. Finish lingers fairly long. Also some drying from the hops in the finish. Solid beer, but the coffee stout/porter thing just doesn't do it for me.

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Photo of mgbickel
4.37/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a Perfect Pint glass. Formed a thick, two finger, sandy colored head. The foam had great lasting power...the slow recession left large tufts behind, clinging to the glass. The body is brown/black. You can get light through the edges if you force it.

Strong aromas...roasted malts and cocoa up front. You can detect a sweet background...a mix of vanilla and caramel (read the label after I wrote this...I swear!).

A sweet caramel flavor comes out first. This fades into a strong roasted coffee taste that digs deep and burns into your palate. Very complex, but missing the sweetness the nose teased you with. Slightly boozy at the finish, but not unpleasant.

Awesome mouth feel. Thick and creamy with the perfect amount of carbonation for the style.

A great drinking beer. As it warms, the 10% ABV starts to come out stronger so it becomes a great sipping beer!

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Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
4.35 out of 5 based on 6,739 ratings.
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