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: 1,405 | Ratings: 6,808
Photo of jp32
3.93/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours black in color. Not much head retention at all. Smells of roasted malts and coffee. It's flavor is chock full of vanilla. Strange that I didn't notice any in the smell, but its flavor is loaded with vanilla. It's a warm, boozy vanilla, sweet, with lots of roasted malts. Very good tasting beer. It could use more carbonation, but otherwise I like it.

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Photo of AmeriCanadian
4.33/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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. The overall aroma experience can be greatly muted if the beer is overly cold (realized through first-hand mistakes), so give it a chance to warm up a bit. 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. Little more astringent than I was expecting, but there's certainly a lot of bitter coffee there. Feel is medium-bodied and silky, with just the right weight. Pretty great, well-rounded porter, and the added vanilla is a real positive. The only way it would be better is if the chocolate and coffee notes were a little more balanced toward the former.

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Photo of m_hall
4.44/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz longneck into a nonic pint. Black with just the faintest of brown highlighting around the very edge of the glass under illumination. Topped with a dense two-finger tall light brown head that falls away slowly. Lacing is very good.

Nose has very big notes of vanilla beans, with coffee and a hint of caramel. Barely smells like beer, but smells great anyway.

Flavor is much as the nose would suggest right up front- vanilla and black coffee tones, that progress into dark roasted malts, toffee and bittersweet chocolate. These sweet-er notes come much more to the fore as the beer warms. The finish is long and dry, with a pleasing espresso-like bitterness.

Mouth-feel is big, sticky, and chewy, on the girth-y side for a Porter. This is definitely a 'sipping' beer, even with the big flavors doing a pretty good job limiting the 10% ABV hit to just a gentle warmth.

Victory at sea is a great beer for fans of "big" beers... The sheer size of this beer rivals quite a few Stouts. The flavor profile here isn't necessarily complex, opting instead for a focused set of huge notes, well balanced with each other and delivered with tremendous feel in the mouth.

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Photo of MikeWard
4.44/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into a chalice. No freshness dating.

Looks great. Jet black body, oatmeal colored head, excellent lacing

Aroma is dominantly coffee. and more coffee.

Solid roasted malt taste. Good coffee flavor, only a hint of vanilla. Alcohol very well hidden, only a faint burn at the back of the throat. Roasted aftertaste.

Good honest full mouth on this one.

Overall, a very tasty beer to enjoy slowly.

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Photo of Urk1127
5/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Black as hell, cant see through it even with light, tan head lasts throughout.
Cocoa, black coffee, malty, dark chocolate
Dark chocolate, slight vanilla, roasty, black coffee, slight cream, malty dark beer flavors underneath
I cant believe this has an ABV let alone 10% absolutely no alcohol present. No burn. Slighty sticky, heavier feel

This beer is incredible. All around such a great beer. I didnt believe the hype but i cant deny it. My only complaint woukd be a sticky feel on your mouth but come on. This beer is great. Its big and your face but does not over do it.

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Photo of Andrewharemza
4.15/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From bottle, pours a black colour with a huge beige coloured head that disapates to small patches. Aroma vanilla, coffee, chocolate, brown sugar, sweet. Taste vanilla, chocolate, coffee, fudge. Very nice.

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Photo of NEdward
3.74/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

three finger beige head that honeycombs eventually into patchy islands, body is dark but some light getting through. very distinct smell combining coffee, vanilla, dark chocolate, a hint of alcohol. not heavy on the palate; general malt character, definite vanilla notes, an almost granular coffee/dark chocolate bitterness on the middle/back of the tongue that seems to extend into the sinuses. vague syrupy, bitter finish. definitely more potent the fresher it is.

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

650ml bottle poured into Sam Adams pint glass.

Pours nearly perfect black with faint red-brown edges and three towering fingers of creamy brown head that leaves spooky haunted forest lace as it recedes.

Smells of coffee grounds, vanilla beans, dark fudge, dried berries, brown sugar and faint leafy hops.

Tastes of creamy coffee with a shot of vanilla, more rich fudge, chocolate covered raisins, toasted brown sugar and more mild hops.

Feels big, soft and smooth. Full bodied with creamy carbonation. Finishes dry.

Verdict: Vigorously recommended. A monster of a beer.

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Photo of lbloom
4.46/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark black in most lighting. Looks very dark crimson up against a strong light source. Not much head. Two inches on a strong pour into a tulip glass, but it receded quickly leaving medium lacing.

S: Fresh roasted coffee smell is nearly overpowering. Some vanilla on the nose, but nothing compared to the coffee. Hints of booze, but less than you would expect from a beer packing a 10% punch.

T: Fresh roasted oily coffee beans hit you immediately. Vanilla starts out soft and then strengthens to become the dominant aftertaste. Bakers chocolate and roasted malts sit behind the coffee. Aftertaste is vanilla, coffee, and subdued booze.

F: Great. Smooth and well carbonated without being excessive. Full bodied yet soft.

O: A great beer for anyone who enjoys stouts and porters with dominant coffee notes. I appreciate the total absence of dark fruit. Not a complex beer, but a very flavorful one. Definitely will drink again.

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Photo of edthehead
4.33/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Totally decadent porter. Huge head, huge vanilla nose and taste. Smooth mouth feel. A little too much on the sweet side, but undeniably packed with flavor and body!

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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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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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