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

Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States

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

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,850 |  Reviews: 1,418
Photo of charlzm
4.2/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consumed August 6th, 2010 in a Triple Petrus tulip/snifter.

Beer is opaque black. Modest little tan head comes and goes, leaving behind a sticky ring of foam.

Aromas of coffee and vanilla (surprise!).

Flavor is full of bitter rich coffee and dark roasted malt. Vanilla is only a fraction of the overall flavor, but it can be picked out. Bitterness is all up front, as finish is fairly mild. A moderate caramel sweetness helps balance out the bitter. Warming alcohol is apparent after a few sips as are faint citric hops.

Mouthfeel is chewy and smooth.

Overall, it is exactly as advertised; nothing out of kilter and no surprises. Very impressive execution.

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Photo of jakecattleco
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of loganburgh
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of thampel09
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

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

Photo of SFC21
4/5  rDev -8%

Photo of curlybird
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of brez8791
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of kidzord
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

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

A: stout black, rich full head that leaves lotsa lace

S: roasted malt, espresso, some mocha and vanilla

T: very nice roasted malt with a vanilla syrupiness through it; burnt bitter back to the creamy sweetness gave it nice depth

M: crisp for a beer this rich; viscous body masks the abv

O: I was not as floored by this beer as some others - the beer started off with sweet vanilla flavors, and then dried into roasted espresso notes - a well-crafted beer for sure

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Photo of T_Hass
4/5  rDev -8%

Photo of Devman171
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of belgbeerdrinker
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of herman77
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of JMS1512
3.92/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured with force into my new favorite luxury-beer glass, my River Horse snifter. This hippo sports a cowbell and blotches belonging to the Oatmeal Milk Stout I’m very fond of.

Sight: Big bold black body like the ocean depths, with orange hues poking through. Tan head that sits firmly atop, persisting at 1 finger in height. It eventually settled down to thin cap of ½ finger. Lacing is thick and bandy.

Smell: Coffee and vanilla bean play a duet. Hops slept in and decided not to show up.

Taste: Wow. Just, wow. Coffee, coffee, and a bit of coffee (almost green coffee as opposed to roast... or I might be crazy from months at sea). I can parse out the other aspects after a few sips. I do get the vanilla, and a storm of roasted malt. Perhaps a bit of dark chocolate, perhaps not. I texted the hops, but I think they’re still sleeping. I do get a bit of heat, and after just a few sips, I’m starting to feel it, I swear. Wait, I think the hops are showing up late in their pajamas, but they definitely didn’t shower.

Feel: Oily, like a treated canvass sail. It coats your tongue and gives you a smooth, luxurious impression, like the interior decorating of the chicest cruise ships. Not as full as a high-abv stout though, which makes sense if it’s a porter. Had enough of the nautical references yet?

Overall: I feel very fortunate to try a single bottle of this much sought-after brew. I like it. Now, I can cross it off my list. Calling me a ticker? Fine, I’ll walk the plank.

 1,525 characters

Photo of apasternak
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of PicoPapa
4.3/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at The Ginger Man. Pours a pitch black color with a thin layer of light brown head. Some lacing. Smells great. The aroma is sweet coffee and vanilla with some smokey roasted malts and chocolate. The taste is a nice boozey mix of the coffee and sweet vanilla. Dark chocolate and roasted malts. More of the coffee and vanilla comes out at the end along with a nice warming alcohol presence. There's a lot going on here but it all blends well together. Slick mouthfeel. Overall, fantastic Imperial Porter that I need to have again.

 535 characters

Photo of woemad
4.16/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

22oz bomber purchased at Total Wine in Spokane, Valley, WA, for $8.49. Not even bothering with deciphering the bottled-on stamp.

Poured into my trusty Iron Goat snifter, this was a totally opaque dark brown color with a big, creamy tan colored head. Said head took its sweet time dropping and left lots of lace on the sides of the glass.

Vanilla and coffee are the dominant scents, in that order, though it must be said that the vanilla is not overpowering. I picked up some milk chocolate notes as well.

The coffee stands out a little more in the taste than in the nose, but it’s well balanced with the vanilla. Definitely an alcohol taste in the background that is most noticeable at the fadeout. It’s just a teeny bit too alcoholically “hot” for my tastes.

A little thinner in the body than I expected, but not to a deal-breaking degree. Sticky, coating mouthfeel.

I’m generally of the opinion vanilla should be used sparingly when it makes an appearance in beer. This one could be an example of how it should be done. It’s a little too sweet and WAY too boozy for repeated glasses, but this works well as an after-breakfast beer and could work as a nightcap or dessert beer as well. I’m thinking of getting another couple of bottles and laying them down for a bit to see if the alcohol heat mellows a bit.

 1,330 characters

Photo of Elicoleman
4/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Duffman79
4.29/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Damian
4.27/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank from a 22 fl. oz./1 pint 6 fluid ounces/650 ml bottle purchased at Julio's Liquors, Westbooro, MA
Served in a snifter

The liquid poured a deep brown/black with a frothy, one-finger, cocoa-colored crown that faded to a lasting ring. A substantial amount of drippy lacing cascaded down the glass with every sip.

Super smooth, freshly brewed coffee dominated the aroma. The coffee was potent yet well balanced by a milky sweetness. Strong vanilla notes came through as well. Caramel malts trailed in the background. Although the aroma was not terribly complex, it was really pleasant and inviting.

The flavor profile was interesting (perhaps more so than the aroma) but lacked the intensity and smoothness of the nose. Deep and malty up front. French roast coffee beans appeared in the center. Some bakers chocolate notes came through as well. The finish was a bit more harsh than I anticipated it to be. Quite roasty and ashy (almost a touch acrid) with a generous dose of piney, bitter hops.

The mouthfeel was pillowy soft and frothy. Medium bodied with an average amount of carbonation. For a 10% ABV brew, I was hoping for a bit more heft however.

Drinkability was notable. This beer buried its alcohol quite well.

Victory at Sea has its strong points (aroma and flavor profile on the font end) as well as its shortcomings (finish and mouthfeel). This is a very good imperial porter (which is incorrectly categorized as an "American porter" here on BeerAdvocate) but there are a number of coffee infused beers out there which are better.

 1,550 characters

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

$8.33 bomber fro Liquor Outlet, Boonton.

Blackest body as can be, with a sliver of ruby highlights at the bottom of the glass. Big billowing dark tan foam. Very good inviting lacing.

Big alluring coffee aroma, with vanilla and hints of chocolate.

Rich roast coffee, deep chocolate, with a vanilla splash at the swallow. Earthy hops provide a tasty background.

Rich full mouthfeel coats the tongue, then the whole mouth.

Great overall package, rich, smooth, deep, with the alcohol completely buried.

Extremely recommended. Enjoy.

 534 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 ryan1788a5
4/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into an oversized snifter.

A: Pours black with a two-inch tan head. The head dies down after a few minutes, but never quite goes away. Lacing clings to the glass in rings.

S: Whole dark roasted coffee beans with hints of vanilla bean and a roasted malt base. Malted milk balls. Faint dark chocolate. Not the most complex nose, but it still smells quite good.

T: Bitter coffee flavors kick things off. French roast, smokey. Vanilla bean breaks out from behind the coffee eventually. Kick of citric hops. More bitter coffee. Whisper of dark caramel and blackstrap molasses. Dark chocolate before the finish. Alcohol spikes a bit toward the back. Nutty and coffee tastes finish, along with some lingering bitterness.

M: Full and creamy body. Low carbonation. Silky and decadent.

O: Very coffee-forward and bitter, but a solid sipper if you're into that.

 875 characters

Photo of BarryMFBurton
4.37/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
4.35 out of 5 based on 6,850 ratings.
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