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:
1,405
Ratings:
6,808
Avg:
4.35
pDev:
8.97%
 
 
Wants:
1,091
Gots:
2,193
For Trade:
91
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,405 | Ratings: 6,808
Photo of tarheels86
3.85/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

22oz bomber brought to a tasting in Dec 2009. Pours pitch black with a thin, deep brown head. Good retention. Good lacing. Aroma is coffee, roasted malt, ehh I can’t get too much else out of it. Taste is still too hot. Very boozy. Lots of warming. Hard to get much out of it at this point. Bubbly, biting on the palate. Good definitely take kindly to some barrel aging or cellaring for 1-2 years. Disappointing. Need to retry this when my other bottles start to peak. 6/5/7/3/12=3.3

Tap at the brewery. Doesn’t look as beautiful with scant lacing. Aroma is wonderful tropical, green coffee beans. Taste is less spicy as the booziness is cut by lots of sappy, resinous wood, dry oak. Still biting, bubbly on the palate. 8/4/7/3/13=3.5

22oz 2009 ed from 7/2010. Pours a beautiful deep brown to black with a healthy, dense, rocky, deep brown head that has excellent retention and lace. Booziness is gone. Still very cedar, wood resin heavy, relatively dry, a bit spicy, excellent rich coffee character and raw cacao. Much more refined with 6+ months sitting in the bottle. So definitely hold onto your bottles for a little bit once they are released because this beer definitely gains from it. 8/4/7/4/14=3.7

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

Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter is a big complex beer. Flavours of coffee and biiter dark chocolate. The finish is dry and bitter.

A: Black colour and a nice 1 cm head that lasts really well. 4.5

S: I can smell the roasty malt from 3 feet away. Up close... it's weirdly not that much stronger. Charcoal. Bitter dark chocolate. 4.5

T: Malty with big flavours of coffee and bitter, dark chocolate. Some slight sweetness and a dry-ish bitter finish. A big, complex beer. The finish is too harsh for my taste. 4.25

M: Foamy. 4.5

O: 4

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Photo of Sarlacc83
4/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, split. Thrilled that Ballast Point is delivering beers to Oregon

A: Lightless mahogany with a rim of cappuccino head. Not much in the way of legs, surprisingly, but I’ll manage.

N: The vanilla strikes first, but it’s soft and almost supple. coffee and dark chocolate firm up the base, and there’s a hint of molasses and similar flavors to oak. I get a whiff of charcoal, too.

T: Very bitter like fresh-pressed espresso mixed with some smoked wood. Malty sweetness and vanilla do a good job of rounding this out so that it’s not one-dimensional. Hop greenness also rears its head. Hits multiple parts of the tongue.

M: Oily with a medium-heavy mouthfeel. Alcohol is well-hidden.

O: A really well-built Imperial Porter that never allows any one of its elements to overwhelm the others. I’ll be buying this one on a regular basis.

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Photo of Ri0
4.39/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

poured 22oz bottle into snifter

A - A beautiful deep, dark coffee fudge color with an impressive 2 finger mocha colored head. A nice collar stays on my glass and there is a plethora of lacing.

S - Tons of roasted coffee and bakers chocolate. Nice smooth hints of French Vanilla and dabs of milk chocolate.

T - I get a wave of bitterness and coffee right away that gives way to a creamy dark chocolate and mild vanilla flavor. Even some sweet caramel in the middle. Very roasty and bitter on the finish. This is like a hopped up RIS!

M - Big, rich, and smooth body and very nice carbonation. It's a sipper, but goes down so easy with a linger of bitterness.

O - Very nice Porter that reminds of Espresso Oak Aged Yeti and Stone Espresso RIS, but with subtle vanilla and caramel. One of the best Imperial Porters I have had. And I've had some nice ones from Tyranena.

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Photo of ale1
2/5  rDev -54%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

found this at Moe's Center Street beer store in Jupiter, Fla .

not having tried this porter style ale after searching all the shelves for new one's we added this to this evening's taste session again.

poured into a Seirra Nevada pint glass served around 55°

taste:coffee,vanilla to the nose, however when sipping some, hit with strong coffee,chocolate flavors, not what you'd expect from roasted barley however kind of a instant coffee taste if you like cuban coffee cortaditas, the bittering in the finish not from hops, but from the unsweetened chocalate & coffee.
this ale overwhelming, viscous appearance
really tough to call this a porter as it's really a black coffee bitter stout ..rather potent one at that.

this could be served as a desert type ale if that's what they intended????

naaa this isnt pleasant to drink, obnoxious glorpy cacaraca

like you're to assume ? or beat me, make me like it ?

this ale is like in your face coming and going , we'll pass on the next purchase
to call this an enjoyable beer ? no not really it just doesn't taste good even with all the flavors firing off at different times start to finish
tastes like a bad medicine

i homebrew ale, it has to taste good or i wont make it.

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Photo of beeragent
4.07/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter from a 22 oz bomber.

A - Pours a deep brown with ruby hues. Appears black in the glass. Very small mocha head with light lace.

S - Strong roasted coffee with a hint of vanilla and alcohol.

T - The coffee flavor coats the palate with a bitter cocoa presence. Slight hint of vanilla and bitter hops in the finish. Alcohol is well hidden considering the abv.

M - Thick bodied with low carbonation. Very smooth finish.

O - Definetly what comes to mind when thinking of an imperial coffee porter. I would have liked a more noticeable vanilla presence, but overall it is what it says it is. This will be an awesome beer to have during the winter!

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Photo of EliotRosewater
4.14/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A - absolutely pitch black. Pours a single finger mocha- brown head.

S - tons of chocolate right up front. Some coffee, roasted malt, bread. Looking for the vanilla and not finding it.

T - roasted malts, dark chocolate / cacao, coffee, bourbon. Again, not much vanilla. Little but of sweetness. Alcohol is well integrated.

M - not as viscous or syrupy as one might think. Relatively nice finish but not as much of a lingering aftertaste.

O- one of my favorites given the price and availability. Nothing mind blowing but a really solid late night dessert beer.

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Photo of Ninjabrew
4.45/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Black one of the darkest I've had. Honestly one of the best looking beers I've had but I can't rate black a 5.

S: Dark semi-sweet chocolate with something else I can't place.

T: Very good with a lot going on. Bittersweet start and a herbal hop finish. Too much going on here for me to pick everything out.

M: TOP NOTCH! I don't normally notice the mouthfeel too much but this beer nailed it. I has carbonation but the bubbles seam smaller than other beers making it feel like there is more liquid than others.

O: Very good!

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

Was like drinking baker's chocolate. Very nice beer, but WOW, I really needed something to clean the palate between sips. Which I had a strong cheese.

Dark, full body,dark chocolate bitter, rich flavor with a good touch of vanilla sweet.

When in the mood for a Porter's Porter, I would drink it again.

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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 JoeyBeerBelly
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle served in a snifter.

L - black with a tan head that thinned out some but still left nice rings and trails of lacing.

S - French Vanilla Coffee.

T - French Vanilla Coffee.

F - medium/full bodied with a creamy/smooth feel.

O - very nice.

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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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Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.43/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a tulip.

Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter comes out of the bottle looking dark and brooding. The beer itself pours a dark obsidian color. The head starts as a dark tan foam, bubbling up through the beer and rising up the glass. The foam eventually rises a few inches to reach the top of the glass. A slow recession leaves plenty of lace sticking to the glass.

The aroma provides a blast of roasted malt notes and deep, full coffee. There is a little bit of bitter dark chocolate in the back, but the aroma is mainly a blast of roasted malt and bitter coffee.

My first impression is that this beer is big, bold, and makes no apologies for being so. Dark roasted malt has hints of smoke and dark chocolate. A jolt of vanilla breaks up the bitter transition from fully roasted malt to intense coffee. The coffee starts strong, with the bitterness coming after. With each sip the cumulative bitterness grows, reminding me of just how intense of a beer this is.

Perhaps it is some kind of magic trick, but this beer does not drink like it has 10% alcohol. There is almost no alcohol present in the taste; it is only noticeable in a slight tingle on my tongue and gums. There is a great creamy nature to the carbonation, more so that the beer. If anything, the flaw with this beer is how light the body feels compared to the robustness of the flavor and carbonation. There is a little bit of bitter and sweet sticky residue left on my lips.

This is truly a great beer and may be the best porter I have had so far. The combination of flavors and level of intensity really do it for me.

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Photo of vic21234
4.55/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber poured into a snifter. Enjoy by date on the bottle reads 12/20/13.

A- Pours a very dark brown/ black with some very slight red hues if held to the light. A small amount of off white head quickly fades to the sides of the glass. Some lacing is noted too.

S- Awesome smelling beer. Tons of coffee notes immediately upon popping the cap. The coffee dominates the aroma and nothing more is really noted.

T- Starts off smooth with notes of vanilla and chocolate. Then comes the huge coffee flavor which takes over the rest of the taste. A heavy coffee bitterness is at the back of each taste.

M- Smooth, medium bodied, coffee forward, bitter aftertaste.

This is a great Porter, by far the best I've had. The coffee notes are fantastic. I'm glad BP is distributing to Illinois now.

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Photo of Tucquan
4.41/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on 2013-06-23 at the Fridge in Lancaster, PA

A - Opaque dark browe with a 1-finger tan head and great lacing.

S - Rich dark roasted malt, dark chocolate, expresso, vanilla.

T - Much like the smell with the addition of char, light molasses, lots of dark chocolate. The vanilla is present but in check. There's some sweetness for balance. Roasted and hop bitterness.

M - Thick body and light medium carbonation. Prickly and creamy.

O - This is a very fine imperial porter. Reminds me of a Founders Imperial Stout.

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Photo of Aleks_P
4.2/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Very dark brown, almost black except where light penetrates on the perimeter. Pours with a very thin light brown head.

Smell: Coffee and vanilla are very apparent, smells great.

Taste: First reaction was that it tasted fantastic. Coffee and vanilla tastes, exceptional initial taste. High ABV though and noticed the alcohol in the aftertaste - not overwhelming but definitely noticeable.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, dry. Low carbonation.

Overall: Really enjoyed this beer overall, thought the flavors worked well together. Noticed the alcohol a bit in the aftertaste but would certainly have this again. This was my first Ballast Point beer and I am encouraged to see what else they can do.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.77/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A 10% imperial porter. Tell me again why this isn't a stout? It's stronger and more intensely flavored than 90% of thestouts I've drank. Guess the line between porter and stout is invisible, especially in Ballast Point's case.

8 oz pour at "Extreme Beer Night" at the Old Toad during Rochester Beer Week.

Thick, tar-like black pour, with a generous head.

Smells and tastes basically the same. Sweet creamy vanilla, mild roastiness, intense, bitter coffee flavor, and Hershey's syrup. Incredibly sweet, almost to the point of cloying-ness. The almost cloying sweetness is the only thing keeping this taste score from a 5. The vanilla is far from fake though- like a rich vanilla bean ice cream from Stewart's back home.

Full, sludgy mouthfeel. The Exxon Valdez has nothing on this guy. Low carbonation, full body.

One of the best porters you can buy, but don't go into it expecting a traditional porter. Go into it expecting a good beer, and you'll be happy more than happy.

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Photo of JohnG190
4.71/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance - Black with ruby highlights. Thin mocha head that settles into a lace cap that remains throughout.

Aroma - Coffee, can't smell anything past all that coffee.

Taste - Coffee, with a hint of vanilla. Bitter, but in a coffee way, not hops.

Mouthfeel - Full body with moderate carbonation. Finishes dry.

Overall - Well crafted porter, seek this one out!

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Photo of troegaarden
4.69/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This was poured from a Pizza Boy Brewing Co. 1L Growler into a snifter.

A: Pours a beautiful and creamy tan head, reminiscent of Founders Breakfast Stout. The beer itself is definitely a motor oil-consistency.

S: The coffee doesn't jump out at you with this brew, but it's certainly there. I get some dark fruits in there as well.

T: Up front, I definitely get the vanilla and slight hint of coffee. The finish is dry and contains the dark malt backbone of this beer. Excellent and smooth! Not hardly boozy which is weird considering this beer is 10% abv.

M: Creamy mouthfeel during each sip. It seems rather dry after, however.

O: Overall this beer kicks ass. Definitely my new favorite porter. I think this beer most likely better represents the Baltic Porters of long ago.

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Photo of Bowers-Brew
4.57/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A - Super dark brown porter. Nice creamy foam head.

S - Coffee, chocolate, and sweet raisin and vanilla notes.

T - Great coffee flavor up front with a sweet vanilla finish.

M - Smooth, creamy, and just the right amount of carbonation.

O - Only my second Ballast Point beer and I'm very impressed so far. I definitely will have this porter again and look forward to trying more of their beers. Prost!

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Photo of SebD
4.62/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: It has a nice practically jet black color to it. It has a nice dark tan head that dies down moderately fast and leaves some lacing.

Smell: Wow, the aromas definitely give out hints of sweet roasted malts, lots of dark chocolate, coffee/espresso, vanilla and caramel.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a some sweet roasted malts, coffee/espresso, dark chocolate, vanilla, toffee and caramel.

Mouthfeel: It has a medium carbonation with a great overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with great flavors and aromas.

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

Poured from a growler into a footed tulip.

A: Very dark brown. Pours about a 1/2 finger, foamy, brown-white head. Settles pretty quickly, leaving a smattering of bubbles on the surface. Very nice spider web lacing.

S: Bold oaky, roasted espresso, plenty of dark chocolate, and just a touch of vanilla, balanced with a little peatiness.

T: Char roasted malt. Coffee is prominent. Bitter pecan shells. Very woody oak. Unsweetened dark chocolate and a little black licorice. Only a slight sweetness from the vanilla... really just an accentuate.

M: Thick and hearty and heavy. Very slightly hints at sweetness in the front. Bitter finish. High alcohol not really apparent until the finish. Leaves something of a whiskey-ish feel hanging on the palate.

D: Sip and savor.

Atmosphere is great. Dark and intimidating, accentuated by a nice head, and some persistent lacing. Nose is bold roasted coffee and oak with dark chocolate and a little vanilla for balance. Charred malt flavor. Prominent is coffee and wood, some bitter dark chocolate and black licorice, and a slight sweet tease. Thick, hearty and robust. Overall, this is a great quaff.

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Photo of Hopswagger
4.47/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

P: Pitch black body with a cappuccino jiggly cream top. Delicate lace on edges.

S: Robust columbian coffee, vanilla potpourri, near burnt dark malt, pumpernickel bread, no bake cookies and astringent booze.

T/M: Huge vanilla extract presence hits the palate first then the coffee and chocolate cookies take over. Hints of smoke and charred molasses mingle with the velvety feel. Finishes semi dry with lingering espresso. Nice warming sensation.

O: Love it. A great impy porter that showcases both the vanilla and coffee in a circus of flavors for your mouth. It's like having a cold triple shot if espresso with vanilla added. Highly recommended.

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Photo of BobZ
4.21/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22 oz Bottle poured into a Pint glass.

Appearance: Almost black with a small 1/4" tan head that quickly recedes to only a cap, nice lacing.

Smell: Big coffee with a hint of sweetness.

Taste: Rich dark roast coffee is the dominant flavor there is some vanilla on the finish but it is subtle. This is done in a good way the coffee bitterness up front with just the hint of vanilla sweetness on the finish. Very little chocolate flavor as again the roasted malt supports the coffee flavor.

Mouthfeel: Very well bodied for a porter, smooth and drinkable.

Overall: An excellent coffee porter, full and very flavorful.

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

pours thick and dark. no head. very little clings to the sides. 2nd pour of the bomber resulted in some beautiful dark brown chocolatey foam....
smells like roasted espresso, roasted malt. some vanilla.
taste is closely the same. some bitterness and taste of alcohol. very well balanced, regardless. very nice. very good for 10% entering the system.
overall, very good. sweet and filling. bitter, yet tasty. very substantial across the board.

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Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
4.35 out of 5 based on 6,808 ratings.
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