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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
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:
1,368
Ratings:
6,679
Avg:
4.35
pDev:
19.77%
 
 
Wants:
1,078
Gots:
2,136
For Trade:
90
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,368 | Ratings: 6,679
Photo of Fatehunter
4.13/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured a thin tan head on a black body.
The aroma is all coffee with a little chocolate and vanilla. I am smelling a coffee.
It tastes like coffee, then it moves to a little sweet and quickly to bitter chocolate. Quite enjoyable and interesting.
The texture is almost perfect. It's thick with low carbonation.

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Photo of Roose13
4.28/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz bomber poured into a pint glass

A: Black with a thick foam one-finger head. The head drops to a half finger and lingers.

S: Roasted coffee, a bit smoke porter, subtle vanilla

T: Very boozy. The coffee is incredibly strong and roasted. Don't really taste any vanilla, which doesn't bother me. Very strong though. I love the hops in it.

M: Very creamy. Little carbonation. Pretty dry.

Overall: Helluva porter. Very boozy, full of robust flavors and it's definitely something to sip and enjoy for a period of time. It's my first BP beer and certainly won't be my last.

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Photo of Michael_D
3.73/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours black with a minimal khaki head. Smells heavy on coffee and roasted malts. Vanilla and booze in the background. Tastes sweet up front, some hops to balance, and lots of coffee. Vanilla isn’t as heavy in the flavor as I’d hope it was going to be, but it’s there. A little bitter in the aftertaste, where most of the vanilla is. Thick, mouth coating. Good stuff.

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

Saw this by the counter of my local beer spot, asked the cashier what he thought of it, he said it was "Fucking Awesome", had to get some.
Looks like chocolate syrup as it is poured, smells like a typical porter. Great taste as it goes down, you really get the hint of vanilla at the end, very good. Could not believe it was 10%.
Ballast Point strikes again....

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

22 Oz bomber poured into a snifter

A- Pitch black with a one finger of a tan colored head. Quick dissipation

S- Super roasty at first. Almost smokey. A strong coffee presence as well. A bit of alcohol as well. some wood as well. A very desert smelling beer.

T- A big roastynness hits at first. There is a nice refreshing hop bitterness that follows and balances it out. The roastyness carries thought the mouth till the end. The coffee is strong in this beer and also has lingering effects that dry out the palate. A touch of alcohol in this beer give it a bit of a sting. There is some vanilla if you look for it as well. A big roasty monster.

M- A thick and dry beer. Good alcohol feel. Bitter for a porter but drinkable.

O- This is a beastly brew. I would like to have a little less alcohol taste and a little more vanilla. Its fairly well balanced and quite drinkable and overall. Delicious.

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Photo of travisdiener32
4.56/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

To my surprise poured into a pint glass on tap at new world brewing in Tampa. Not on the same level as wide awake it's morning but still an impressive imperial porter. Think an imperial Breckenridge vanilla porter. Looking forward to more from ballast point now that they're distributing in florida

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Photo of StArnoldFan
4.63/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

What a great beer by Ballast Point. Poured from a bottle into a DC Brau snifter. Black pour with a thick mocha head that recedes quickly. Good lacing on the glass as this ine goes down. Strong coffee smell, something I'm growing to absolutely love. 10% masked very well on this one. Once again, what a great beer, so very thankful Ballast Point finally made its presence in Texas. Will buy this one over and over again despite the $9.99 price tag per 22

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Photo of Pegasus
4.8/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Appearance: Utter obsidian in color, with a large dark tan head, which retains rather well. Thick, glass-coating lace adorns the glass walls.

Aroma: Strong notes of cold coffee, bitter chocolate, roasted malt, vanilla, earth, and vinous alcohol. While the coffee/espresso notes are strongest, the vanilla is notable.

Taste: Opens with a massive cold coffee flavor, with a strong undercurrent of bitter cocoa and vanilla. As the taste progresses, a brief moment of sweet chocolate appears, then vinous alcohol, and dark roasted malt. Late in the taste, earthy flavors appear, along with a burst of herbal hops. The 10% ABV is very gracefully concealed. Finishes with a lingering note of cold coffee and bitter cocoa.

Mouth feel: Smooth, soft, and velvety.

Drinkability/notes: An absolutely superb example, an order of magnitude (or two) beyond ordinary beer.

Presentation: Packaged in a twenty-two ounce brown glass bomber with a pry-off crown, served in a New Belgium Brewing chalice.

Sourcing: Purchased at Spec's in Austin, Texas for $9.99 plus tax.

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Photo of kell50
4.48/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Had this one on draft many times at Duckworth's in Charlotte, NC. Time for a review!

A: Very dark black with a nice 2 finger off white creamy head that seems to completely attach itself to the glass. Looks similar to a Guinness as it flows from the tap.

S: MMMM. There's so much going on here. I first detect some roasted coffee notes up front; followed by hints tobacco, vanilla beans, caramel, and dark chocolate.

T: Tastes just like it smells. Fresh brewed coffee, vanilla, chocolaty sweetness and with a touch of a smoke as well. Probably the most full flavored porter I've ever had. Victory at Sea clocks in at 10% abv, but drinks more like 5%. Scary.

M: This beer definitely has a heavier, full-bodied mouthfeel. It's sticky, viscous, and has a low amount of carbonation.

O: Very impressed by this beer! It's an excellent pairing with cold temperatures. The beer's flavors and richness became more pronounced as the beer reached room temperature.

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Photo of Jimmys
4.48/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

bomber into tulip. best before 11/06/13.

A: pours a very dark brown. very opaque. head is tightly bubbly, but nothing massive. retention is average. tons of thick lacing.

S: a lot of chocolate and coffee on the nose. dry and bitter. smells like black chocolate powder. maybe some caramel as well. if there is vanilla in there, which I believe there is, there is enough caramel and chocolate to make it more of a blended aroma.

T: tastes like something I would buy from Dunkin Dounuts. there is ton of caramel, chocolate, and coffee. seriously first sip is just like a chocolate caramel something-or-other from DD. a little bit of alcohol heat towards the finish, but certainly manageable. the roast makes its presence known at the finish. lingers.

M: pretty silky carb. maybe its the body, which is massive, but definitely a velvety drink.

D: wow, this is a lot of beer. big time porter flavors combine with even more chocolate. throw coffee and vanilla into the mix and you have a very tasty, very complex brew. im sure if you let the heat chill for another 4 months this could get even better. very tasty and if you are a fan of coffee stouts, porters, get your paws on this thing.

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Photo of malloyca
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Opaque brown appearance with a reddish-to-coffee tint around the edge. Nice lacing. Coffee and vanilla aromas leap out of the glass. This initially smells like something to pour over vanilla ice cream; there is no residual aroma of malt, just the coffee and vanilla. Mouth feel is exceptional because it combines a nice viscosity with some carbonation and a finishing bite. This is not a flabby vanilla porter. The flavors are initially of vanilla, but that sweetness is balanced by bitter coffee and roasted malt. The 10 % abv is well concealed.

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

The Beers of California

#59

Freshness Date: 11/8/13

A: Black opaqueness with a thin layer of light brown head which fades to a faint cling to the glass.

S: Freshly roasted coffee beans and vanilla sweetness. Essentially a whiff of Coffee Bean's Vanilla Cappuccino. Dried leaves and toasted bread in the background.

T: The roasted coffee and smoke comes first which transitions to an alcohol warmth. Through the alcohol there are glimpses of vanilla sweetness. The bitterness is earthy and slightly floral. The malt is strongly toasted with a nice caramel twang. The finish is somewhat dry with a warming alcohol finish.

M: Smooth with bourbon warmth. The feel rocks and carbonation is exactly where it needs to be.

O: The vanilla and coffee combine with the toasted backbone of this Imperial Porter resulting in a flavorful and wonderful brew. The flavor combination works and adds some variety to the Imperial Stout dominated market.

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Photo of jvillefan
4.36/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: A dark brown beer that has a light brown half finger head that does not stick around very long.

S: Roasted malt is the primary aroma here. There are some coffee and vanilla flavors in the background of this beer's aroma.

T: Vanilla Coffee is dominate here. It is well balanced with the heavy roast malt with caramel undertones as well.

M: A little light for my liking and the carbonation is also a little light but overall good.

O: Great beer. Get it if you can. The roasted malt, coffee, and vanilla mix well together.

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Photo of Raven3464
4.68/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: It pours a black body with foamy caramel head, about two fingers. Lacing and retention are both great.

Smell: Freshly brewed coffee permeates the air as soon as the beer is poured. There is a sweet malt aroma with some vanilla undertones as well.

Taste: Wow! The first sip is pure coffee. This transitions into hints of vanilla, smokey malts, and crackers. There is just enough bitterness at the end to let you know there are some hops mixed in. A bitter coffee punch blended with malts lingers in the aftertaste with a slight burn from the alcohol.

Mouth feel: Thick and buttery, just like a good porter should be. There is little carbonation and it goes down quite smooth for a beer with an ABV of 10%.

Overall: The balance of this brew is amazing. Other than maybe the initial coffee notes, nothing is ever overpowering. Hop bitterness, smokey malts, and vanilla all come to together to invite sip after delicious sip.

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Photo of thecheapies
4.46/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 5

Bomber dated 'Enjoy By 11/06/13'.

Pours extremely dark, like a brown-black. I elevated the bottle during the pouring and it produces about an inch and a half of cappuccino-like foam. Retention is superb. Lacing is plus-plus.

Rich coffee porter scents boosted with a teaspoon or so of vanilla extract. Liqueury, but not entirely sweet. Robust roasty grain notes mesh in, and well. The vanilla really brings out the mocha character in this beer with notes of chocolate syrup and marzipan. Some hazelnut, too. Hints of Fig Newton and citrus/pine hops. Truly phenomenal.

Impressive! Great 'cup of joe' flavor. Tastes like a coffee (black) with a teaspoon of sugar and a half-teaspoon of vanilla extract just as I depicted in the nose description. Big time vanilla presence and it almost intensifies the already slightly unruly alcohol note. Still, it's stiff and burly with hefty amounts of hop and roast bitterness. Lots of kilned grain char and earthiness and dark roast coffee, but there's a sweeter butterscotch note in the middle that can't be left out of my evaluation. Char, too, like burnt popcorn. Hops play a few cards, citrus and pine, but these are all small hands. Very minor fruit notes recall fig and cherry. Has flavor you want to write about all day.

Drinks with a medium-plus body. Heady booze and striking carbonation; I mean, this beer is alive and ready. Just a little too amped-up.

Ha! I'd rate this very high as an Imperial Stout. American Porter, you say? Fuhgeddaboudit!!

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Photo of FatBoyGotSwagger
4.51/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark with a creamy mocha head, fading to a silky lacing.
Smell is sweet with vanilla and coffee.
Taste is of quality coffee beans complimented by notes of vanilla and chocolate. The vanilla lingers for a while.
Mouth feel is creamy, easy sipping.
Overall this is a very flavorful and easy drinking imperial porter. The coffee, vanilla and chocolate is bold and in your face.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.88/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Type: 22-oz. bomber
Glass: Oversized wine glass
From: Holiday Wine Cellar in Escondido, Calif.
Price: $9.99
Purchased: Dec. 27, 2012
Consumed: Jan. 23, 2013
Misc.: Enjoy by 12/10/13

Poured a black color with two fingers of bubbly tan head. Lots of thick, sporadic, foamy lacing on the sides. Good retention on the top.

Smelled very bitter coffee malts up front. Also strong notes of toffee, caramel and dark chocolate, and a light whiff of vanilla.

Tasted a smoother, milder version of the smell. Got bitter coffee malts, dark chocolate, Oreo cookie, smoky fire, roasty malts and burnt toast. Alcohol is well hidden. Nowhere near as good as the smell.

Full body. Slick-to-thick texture. Average carbonation. Long, smooth finish. Got better as it went down. Toffee and caramel really come through, and even got some light vanilla notes late.

I have to say I was a bit disappointed. I saved this beer for the longest out of any of the others I purchased on Dec. 27. Good, but not great.

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

A- pours black with a tan head with dense bubbles.
S- mmm coffee, vanilla, oak, some caramel
T/M- creamy, coffee, vanilla, some marshmallow, soooo smooth, tastes like a frozen cappuccino ice cream. I can't believe how great this is. Some coffee stouts/porters have such a bitter coffee flavor but this nails it.
O- if you like coffee and sweets do not miss this beer, it's so good and so drinkable. Regret never having this before

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Photo of ironchefmiyagi13
4.52/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: pours pitch black with a delicious espresso creme head, about 2-3 fingers thick that lasts for a several minutes, leaving partial lacing that clings to the glass

S: this is where the true triumph and talents of the beer shine through. After the beer has sat and opened up for a minute or two, the coffee notes permeate through your nose with every sniff, with hints of the vanilla trailing quietly behind. Another interesting smell is a faint hint of soy sauce, acting as a type of umami on the nose. The fact that the coffee plays at the forefront and not the vanilla is a truely amazing feat; the way it should be. Despite the high ABV, the alcohol does not burn or singe the nose. It is actually quite pleasant and invigorating.

T: malt, malt and more malt is all I can say. The coffee is rich and the malt is thick, with notes of mocha, caramel, soy sauce and toffee with the finish lasting for several minutes.

M: rich, thick and creamy with the sharpness of the alcohol awakening the taste buds.

O: this beer definitely deserves the high marks everyone gives it, including myself. Porters and imperial porters are my favorite styles of beer, and this beer definitely has implanted itself into my all time favorites. A triumph ballast point, keep them coming!

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Photo of CloudStrife
4.59/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle split and poured into a snifter. Best by 11/26/13.

A: Glugs out of the glass a thick dark brew and a 2 finger light khaki head develops. Leaves a fair amount of lacing. Light barely gets through the edge when its held up to a bulb.

S: Nice blend of coffee and roasted malt with a touch of vanilla. Also a bit of milkiness that reminds me of an iced coffee. Really top notch, quite pure in aroma and very well balanced.

T: Amazing taste, nails you with a very craftily blended vanilla and coffee mix. Hops certainly come through on the backend, however again the coffee overtakes the flavor and lingers in the aftertaste.

M: Smooth and velvety, the body is great for a porter. Doesnt have any watery aspects or complaints of being thin. ABV provides some warmth but goes great with the taste.

Overall I am floored, this is a seriously good beer. Very well refined the recipe is extremely balanced but still provides a boatload of flavor. Highly recommended to anyone.

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Photo of rangerred
4.49/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a snifter out of a 22oz bomber.

Pours pitch black and reminds me of used motor oil. Not much in the way of a head but the wisps of lacing left on the sides of the glass is truly impressive considering the abv.

The aroma is extremely pleasant and soft. Dark roast coffee and some light hints of caramel. The vanilla is there but it is very subtle, much more so than any other vanilla flavored beer I have had before. Dark chocolate is also mixed in. Sort of reminds me of a mocha coffee drink.

The flavor is even more impressive and substantial than the aroma. The vanilla is extremely subtle and well-integrated becoming most apparent immediately after the sip. Dark roast coffee and vanilla quickly followed by a shot of caramel. Bitterness reminiscent of dark chocolate and espresso followed then by more vanilla and moderate sweetness. Mouthfeeel is on the sticky side and there is a little bit of tannic bitterness on the roof of the mouth.

Overall, an extremely well done coffee vanilla porter. For once the vanilla is not overdone and is perfectly integrated. A sipper for sure but perfect for the cold winter months and one to savor over the course of an evening.

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

A: Poured from the bottle into a Sam Smith's nonic-style pint glass. Body is black with a 2-finger, tannish/chocolate brown head that leaves behind nice thick rings of lace.

S: Not as strong as I'd expected, but I think that actually bodes well, as I've had plenty of vanilla-added beers that really overdo it and you note it right away in the nose. I get mainly roasty notes - roasted barley malt & coffee beans - with just a touch of vanilla.

T: "Roasty" is the first word that comes to mind. Some coffee, plenty of malt, a modest amount of vanilla and a touch of charcoal/char that provides bitterness. Finishes with a surprisingly solid bitterness that provides a nice offset of all the otherwise malty flavors (as well as the "added" flavors of vanilla and coffee). No trace whatsoever of the 10% ABV.

M: Good for an imperial porter - nearly full-bodied in heft, but with a good creaminess that makes it drink lighter.

O: Tremendous stuff. Nicely balanced and tasty.

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Photo of Uncle_Jimmy
4.15/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance- deep brown color with dark brown fine white head. some lacing

Aroma- Vanilla, coffee roasted grain Graham cracker and chocolate

taste- Vanilla, coffee roasty malts. Not sure if the sweetness is from the vanilla or the alcohol. Molasses.

Mouthfeel- Buttery smooth texture, slight warming from the alcohol.

Overall- This one is extremely well done. The only beer I think that has a better use of vanilla is the Stone Smoked Vanilla Porter. The coffee plays seamlessly with the hops, mouthfeel is spot on alcohol is subtle but present. Of all the coffee stouts/porters I have had this week I would say that 1st is Black's Dawn , and tied for second is Victory at Sea and Lagunitas Cappuccino Stout. With Victory at sea maybe edging Lag out just a bit. A tasty Bev indeed

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Photo of buschbeer
4.64/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

22 FL. OZ. bottle
Served in a snifter
Enjoy by: 12/10/13

A - It is black as night with an inch or two of mocha head.

S - I get a snoot full of coffee. It basically smells like iced coffee.

T - It starts out with vanilla. Then the taste is rich, flavorful, fresh roasted coffee. It don't get no better!

M - Full, smooth, and creamy.

O - This is just an awesome beer. I love it. The only way I could improve it would be to have it on tap on nitro again. That is perfection.

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

Pours very dark brown, night shade with a one finger tan head, small-carbed head. Nose is of freshly roasted coffee beans. Not much vanilla on the nose. Taste a bit smoky/roasted getting much more of the fresh coffee note that Ballast has added. Vanilla beans show up on the back end of the drink, staying for a while and almost becoming gourmand. Mouthfeel is creamy and enjoyable. It is a bit heavy but is a nice after dinner, dessert beer in the winter. This is more reminiscent if a stout than an imperial porter. Definately a fun change of pace as far as normal smoky porters/stouts go. Pick one up and give it a try. Very much enjoyed by a true hop-head who normally doesn't deviate from IPA land.

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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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