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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: 1,366 | Ratings: 6,673
Photo of leroybrown10
4.18/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours deep brown with both black and lighter caramel highlights. 1 finger head is dark tan in color. Head dissipates down to a thin layer of foam with good sticky lacing left behind.

Rich, dark roasted coffee aroma, mildly bitter. Caramel malt, molasses, and raw grain. Just a hint of citrus. Vanilla isn't noticeable at first but comes out as the beer warms. Still pretty mild though.

Rich, dark roasted, black coffee. Mild bitter chocolate. Caramel malt and dark bread dough. Vanilla is more prominent than the nose but still only an accent, not a main flavor. Some earthiness. Sweetness and vanilla flavor increases on the back end.

Rich, full bodied feel on the tongue. Medium carbonation. Mild bitterness with a creaminess on the tongue. Lingering black coffee.

Excellent beer with strong but smooth dark roasted coffee notes. Would like a boost in the vanilla. Drinks easier than 10% would indicate.

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Photo of Sathanas
4.34/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Not as much vanilla as I was hoping, but still a beautiful imp porter. Coffee, bakers' chocolate and a nice hoppy earthy note. The mouthfeel is what made this one for me. A bit heavier than other porters of its strength which appeals to me a lot as a lover of big, syrupy stouts.

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

Favorite beer of all time. Pours black and is full bodied. Coffee and Vanilla compliment this porter nicely. This beer reminds me of the perfect cup of Iced coffee . Great with a cookie or a muffin. You want to drink it for breakfast. Also great introductory beer for those naysayers , especially women who may have dislikes the beers they've had in the past. I only tried this beer as two women who said they disliked beer in the past had this one and they said it changed their minds about beer .

They were right. It is "a game changer."

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Photo of DesMoinesMike
4.73/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Date night with the wife at Flix and this is an amazing brew. The nose is mostly coffee with a bit of cocoa. Taste is amazing! Nice mix of coffee, cocoa, toffee. Super smooth and gets me all relaxed.

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

Appearance: Pours a jet black color.

Overall: The aroma is a soft milk chocolate with a lot of cocoa and coffee too. Also has a hint of a cinnamon smell. Taste has strong coffee notes, sweet caramel, sweet chocolate, infinite aftertaste of vanilla. Its a very well balanced beer. Excellent beer, one of the best porters I have had.

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Photo of zshaft
4.58/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

this beer was a little easier for me to review. pours black with no light able to penetrate glass. minimal head but good lacing as beer gets consumed. smells like coffee and vanilla. tastes the same. great mouthfeel maybe slightly less thick than a stout would be. this is one great porter. could be a stout far as I am concerned. one of the best out there imo. seek and consume! beware the 10 percent. can't taste it.

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Photo of Wiffler27
4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

pours jet black with a thick dark cream colored head. nice looking beer!

smell is full of vanilla and coffee, as expected. maybe a little too sweet of an aroma for me.

taste is creamy and full of vanilla/coffee spice flavor. creamy full body, nice sipper.

overall this is pretty good. maybe a little too much vanilla/chocolate spice in this for me. still a great taste, very good beer. would definitely drink this again.

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

A - Pours a midnight black with a one finger foamy tan head. The head recedes quickly leaving tons of soapy lacing.

S - Aroma of strong black coffee and

T - The flavor follows the aroma. Strong black coffee throughout with roasted malts. The vanilla appears very faintly in the finish.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Smooth creamy mouthfeel. Sticky dry finish.

O - This is an awesome coffee Porter. The ABV is well hidden and not noticeable. A definite winner.

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Photo of musicsherlock
4.6/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

No noticeable born on date
Reviewed 02/09/16

Jet Black with a tan soapy head

Coffee, Coffee, Coffee

Mmmm...Black coffee w Vanilla cream. Tasty. Buttery as it warms

Creamy but with appropriate carbonation. Maybe a little more than the style. A plus for me. Thick in the mouth

An excellent coffee Porter, up there with Flying Dog Gonzo Porter, one of my faves.

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Photo of Damasen
4.35/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark with a mocha head with nice retention. Smell is straight brewed coffee. I personally don't get much vanilla but I don't mind because the coffee alone is great. First thing i noticed is the nice chewy mouth feel that only enhances the flavors of the porter. Flavor is straight coffee. Overall I still really enjoyed this even though i didn't get much vanilla.

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Photo of TheLefty1616
4.68/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look: This beer was an absolutely beautiful pour with about an inch of head. The color is a very dark mahogany.

Smell: As noted by others the smell is full of vanilla and coffee flavors, almost a bit sweet.

Taste: I found the flavor to be amazing. It was rich and dark with notes of dark chocolate and coffee coming through.

Feel: Great thickeness which compliments all of the flavors. A beer you almost wished never ended.

Overall: As this is only my 3rd beer rating on BA I don't have the palate of others but definitely recommed this beer. It was one of my most enjoyable thus far, cheers.

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

Thick silky body, smells a like pure malt. Coffee and vanilla assualt your tastes bus immediately, then theres bitter dark chocolate, malts, and hops. This is definitely worth getting if you find it.

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Photo of flyingpig
4.27/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

650ml bottle from Brewdog online shop:
An excellent imperial porter with a strong alcohol kick & lots of flavour, particularly at the end when a warming alcohol kick came through. Well-balanced with nice coffee & vanilla flavours on top of the dark malts & roasted flavours, it was an outstanding beer & one of the better porters I've tried so far, although Orkney Porter probably still comes out on top.

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Photo of Slack
4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Black, opaque, and a small light brown head. Significant lacing.

Coffee, coffee, and more coffee accented by bittersweet dark chocolate. No vanilla discernible.

Roast coffee and chocolate up front with vanilla and some oak in the middle.

Mouthful is medium and smooth with low carbonation. Finish is a little bitter but dry.

This is a big coffee porter. Aroma is there. Taste is there. The minor criticism is the somewhat bitter finish but don’t let that dissuade you. Give it a try.

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Photo of Dragginballs76
4.49/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pour jet black with thick tan head that stays around for several minutes, a quick swish of the glass bring it back. Great lacing.

Smell - Right off the bat I get plenty of coffee it is amazing smells just like a cup of joe.

Taste - Amazing coffee flavors also getting the smooth vanilla and roasted flavors.

Feel - full bodied very creamy and smooth excellent feel.

Overall - One of the best beers I have had i will continue to buy this!!

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Photo of OmahaKF
4.03/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Smell is dark roast coffee, cream, butterscotch, and vanilla.

Taste is rich dark roast, chocolate, and vanilla extract.

A big beer that drinks a lot like a stout, but is very smooth and hides its ABV well.

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Photo of DoctorD
4.54/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep black with a 1cm khaki head that dissipates quickly. Smells faintly of coffee and malt, but the taste is not faint at all - rich coffee blends beautifully with the beer leaving a dry and pleasantly bitter aftertaste. Mouthfeel is tremendous for a porter, but would be considered a little watery if comparing to stouts. I am primarily a stout guy and don't usually enjoy porters but this is an exception - my favorite porter hands down.

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Photo of Macfoshizzle
4.49/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Looks exactly like all the other reviews before me.

Tastes very strong espresso, malt, chocolate, and hint of vanilla. The strong bitterness of the espresso and malt stays with you until the end where you feel it linger top of your mouth and back of your tongue. Alcohol is strong and carb is well known. Full bodied and very smooth. It's a beer that want's to be noticed and indeed you will notice. Very tasty beer and will look for a 6 pack to buy.

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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 Local390
4.56/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Thick, black and rich, poured into a cold glass produced a small 1cm head.
Smell - Sweet chocolate with mild coffee, not overpowering and surprisingly mellow, not overpowering at all.
Taste - Sweet malt taste with very mild coffee and vanilla, very sweet on the back end and very smooth. Taste is very moreish leading to small frequent sips.
Feel - Lighter than the alcohol content and appearance would suggest. Nice mild carbonation which may be the key to the lighter feel of this heavier beer.
Overall - Great beer and a new favorite. I love coffee but hate when it overpowers all other flavors and the balance here is just right for me.

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Photo of bushbeer75
4.29/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz brown bottle

Ballast Point Victory at Sea filled my tulip glass with an opaque very dark brown almost black hue. Atop sat a milkshake like 1-1/2 finger tan that held well. The nose is dominated by coffee and roasted malts. Coffee and roasted malts are the first flavors detected followed by dark fruit, caramel, and chocolate. The coffee and roasted flavor seem to overpower the vanilla as only very little is noted. I was hoping for a stronger vanilla taste to come through. The mouth feel is rather full bodied, thick and creamy with a light bitter finish.

My first brew from Ballast Point and I am a fan. Good representation of the style. Remember, do not drink this Ale too cold as the flavor really comes out when it is warmer.

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Photo of Trevor11
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I cracked open this porter in the fall of 2015. Very deep and rich vanilla notes that pair well with the strong alcohol presence. Ballast Point does it again.

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Photo of Benjo87
3.32/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Look - jet black in the glass with a nice and fluffy 2 finger tan coloured head.

Smell - coffee is the dominant smell here. I'm getting a touch of the vanilla, roasted and malt and slight alcohol.

Taste - coffee coffee coffee. It's quite bitter. I was hoping for a bit more sweetness. Its that type of bitterness you get from an espresso with no sugar. Alcohol slightly present. I was expecting more.

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Photo of Briken
3.62/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Deep chestnut brown and frothy brown head with good retention. Coffee and roasted aroma and faint hint of vanilla. Coffee and very bitter burnt nut upfront gradually give way to a light sweetness and the slightest hint of vanilla in the finish. Smooth, full bodied feel with a slight tack.

Roasted burnt coffee is a little too forward and overwhelming right off the bat. Unfortunately it continues in such a way that only hint of sweetness and vanilla break through at the end. Not a bad overall flavor but not completely as promised and just a little heavy handed on the roasted flavors.

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Photo of gwguest
4.52/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle with no bottle date to be found; I think it's fair to assume that it's fresh as Ballast Point is making a return to my area after a long hiatus.

Look - Pours a deep dark brown with minimal foam. Even a heavy pour seems to yield little foam.

Smell - For a beer labeled "Coffee Vanilla" I smell surprisingly little of either. It's a well-crafted beer with notes of a typical porter roast and chocolate, but with time (and a little warmth) the sweetness and distinct coffee notes are there.

Taste - Again, like the smell, I really expect more coffee and vanilla from a beer labeled this way. However, it's a fantastic beer. Victory at Sea skews very bitter for the style. It's actually a blessing that Ballast Point was delicate with the coffee and vanilla; it's very much in balance with the expected porter roast and just makes this beer a little rounder with more depth. Any more of either and it would be a gimmick or dessert beer. This beer is intensely bitter, almost to the point of being some sort of Black DIPA. Almost. This beer is an imperial porter through and through.

Feel - Right on target for a beer like this. It has more body and feel than a porter, but they didn't bump up the viscosity for the sake of being chewy or heavy. It finishes remarkably without really coating the palette.

This beer would pair excellently with tomato and brown sugar beef-based BBQ from Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma or Texas. Victory at Sea with beef burnt ends might be a good last meal.

It took me several beers (over several days) to really understand Victory at Sea; It's an Imperial Porter with a distinct west coast slant. It's not a beer for everyone, nor a beer that I want every day. However, I enjoy this beer more every time I drink it, and that's quite rare. Outstanding.

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Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
4.35 out of 5 based on 6,673 ratings.
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