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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

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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Reviews: 1,368 | Ratings: 6,679
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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of Rogerlb
4.14/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | 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 from vanilla so much as a dark fruit kind of thing. Raisiny. Fair amount of booze in the taste and finishes with a vanilla - y creaminess. 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. Note the version in a 22oz bomber seems more creamy than the 12 oz bottles in my experience. 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

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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).

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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!

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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 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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Photo of tekstr1der
4.3/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Didn't care much for the peppermint seasonal version this past winter - too much going on. And, getting burned out on coffee flavored stouts and porters. But... this is pretty good stuff. Pours very dark with minimal tan head. Aroma is that of an espresso bean wrapped in a vanilla pod. Flavor is similar with more sweet vanilla both complementing the roasty toastedness This is extremely smooth mouthfeel and slightly sweet finish.

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Photo of moonboogie_n8
4.13/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Great smokey vanilla porter leaning on the bitter side.
love the dark (almostblack) color,
smoked peat, vanilla, bourbon, coffee... everything that makes a porter a great porter.

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Photo of tone77
3.62/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of strong black coffee. Taste is strong black coffee, slightly bitter at the finish. Not getting any vanilla in the aroma or flavor. Feels medium/full bodied in the mouth and overall a good beer, but I was expecting much more.

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Photo of senglish7
4.22/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On initial pour and first taste out of the wine fridge , I got coffee smell and coffee taste. As the beer warmed, I still got coffee on the nose, however as the beer warms I get a sweeter coffee taste with a vanilla hint. Definitely a beer that improves as it warms up.

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Photo of KomodoDragon
4.37/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Pours black with red highlights. Huge tan head, substantial lacing.

Smells of roasting coffee. caramel, toffee.

Coffee bean flavors are pronounced, and nicely balances the porter sugar sweetness. The vanilla flavor lags and is less pronounced. This is more of a cappuccino than a latte. Creamy smooth bitter finish and hardly a trace of the alcohol. There is a sweet toffee feel in the long finish, It's amazing how they built something with such pronounced flavor without making it over the top. All flavors are welcomed.

I like coffee, I like beer, I like vanilla, I like this.

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Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
4.35 out of 5 based on 6,679 ratings.
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