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 | website

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:
1,354
Ratings:
6,603
Avg:
4.35
pDev:
19.77%
 
 
Wants:
1,082
Gots:
2,094
For Trade:
92
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,354 | Ratings: 6,603
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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Photo of ilikebeer03
4.93/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured a 2012 bottle into a snifter to share with my girlfriend. Right away the nose is amazing. The vanilla and coffee are very forward and delicious smelling. Pour is fairly dark, not quite opaque like a stout. A finger or two worth of head. Leaves a nice lacing. Taste is, obviously, the best part of this beer. It follows the nose well. Everything is blended perfectly. The 10% alcohol is completely masked. I wish this beer wasn't a four hour drive from me. I should have gotten more.

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Photo of PsilohsaiBiN
4.87/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2012 bottle

Appearance: Pours dark, as expected with one finger of khaki head that eventually recedes.

Smell: Roasted malts, coffee, vanilla, caramel, brown sugar, dark fruit.

Taste: A perfect blend of coffee, vanilla and roasted malt; that's what this is. Nothing more, nothing less. This is the best porter I've ever had. It's not cloying, and everything is balanced just right. Dangerously drinkable for this abv and the alcohol is hidden well.

Mouthfeel: Not quite as viscous as say a BCBS, but there's ample carbonation for the style and it's got some heaviness to it, but not too much.

Overall: Again, this is the best porter I've ever had. I feel so lucky to have discovered Ballast Point recently. Between this and Sculpin, I've added two heavy hitters to my regular rotation that I wish I'd had sooner and look forward to having much more of.

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Photo of Ford
4.79/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

On tap at Nobi Public House in Webster, Texas.. served in a 9oz snifter.

First.. thanks Ballast Point for finally coming to Texas... howdy and welcome.

I love porters and stouts... I especially love them with big coffee smells and flavors.. I also like vanilla...

This one stands with the best I have had... so good... lots of coffee flavor.. a touch of vanilla is there also.. smells so dang good.

I don't know if this is year round.. the website doesn't show it, so I'm guessing it is seasonal.. I would love to see this year round...it's a great beer.

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Photo of mooseo
4.35/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into snifter.

A - Pitch black with a creamy khaki head.

S - Smoked dark malt, fresh black coffee, hints of vanilla and milk chocolate.

T - A delightful blend of black coffee, vanilla bean, chocolate, and sweet roasted malt. The vanilla becomes most prominent, especially as it warms. Finishes with a slight alcohol burn and light coffee bitterness.

M - Full, thick, creamy. Dry finish, warming alcohol.

O - Delicious. The flavor is bold, balanced, and complex. Dangerously drinkable at 10% ABV.

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Photo of Oakenator
4.66/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours very dark - mostly black with a decent head. Head lingers a bit and some lacing. Smell is clearly vanilla and darker malts - prefect mix like chocolate and vanilla ice cream. Taste is sweet with coffee flavors coming through along with a sweetner like toffee or other brown sugar like sweetner. From front to back this is an enjoyable brew.

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Photo of JohnnyMc
4.52/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a deep black with 2 fingers of mocha/tan head.

The aroma is dominated by vanilla bean, coffee, roasted malt notes and dark chocolate.

The taste is also mainly vanilla bean and coffee flavors along with notes of roasted malt and bittersweet dark chocolate. A slight hint of caramel towards the back of the beer, but mainly coffee and vanilla. No alcohol taste or smell apparent.

The mouthfeel is rich, creamy and smooth and the body is on the full side of medium. Extremely balanced between sweet and bitter and is very easy to drink.

Overall, this is a great beer that is very easy to drink and it has a lot of flavor and would be great as a desert beer.

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Photo of ManOfTheDown
4.53/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Oh my god. Thats all I have to say about this world class beer.... Aroma full of roasted coffee and vanilla, nice lacing, great creamy mouthfeel, with a robust dark heavy stout flavor, notes of vanilla bean and coffee, HEAVY roast flavor... soooo good. I hope to find this in my local TEXAS beer haberdasher for times to come. Maybe my new favorite.

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Photo of MattSweatshirt
4.05/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Been hoping for this since Texas finally got Ballast Point this summer.

It pours out dark with a creamy fluffy cloud of a lightly browned head.

The aroma definitely tells you that there is coffee in this. Sweet milk chocolate and vanilla. Light roast and dark fruit notes. Everything is under the prevalent coffee aroma.

Coffee, roast, and alcohol are balanced a bit by the sweeter vanilla and chocolate flavors. The roasty coffee profile of the beer again exerts its dominance on this beer in the flavor department.

Has a big creamy silky smooth mouthfeel.

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Photo of BeerLover99
4.48/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: dark brown/black, finger khaki head, awesome lacing

S: dark chocolate, sweet vanilla, nutty, toffee, malt, coffee

T: dark chocolate, roasted malt, toffee, mild roasted coffee, nutty

M: med/heavy, chewy, smooth mouth

O: OH MY! Ballast has hit a HR.
PORTER/STOUT fans should seek this gem out.

AMAZING; GET THIS TREAT!

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

Poured in a Bruery glass, not overly cold.

Off-black, deep reddish-brown meniscus, small dark tan head, looks good.

Smells delicious, the vanilla and coffee are each quite distinct but at the same time the aroma is totally cohesive. The vanilla almost makes it seem barrel aged, like maybe rum barrel. Deep chocolatey roasty malt, too. NICE.

Tastes deep and roasty, well balanced with a good dose of sweetness. Lingering bittersweet coffee, cocoa, vanilla, quite a long finish. Very tasty.

Good medium-full texture, fine cushy carbonation makes it almost creamy, this and the balance make it very easy to drink.

Excellent beer, nice to finally review it.

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

Thanks to maximumu13 for bringing this along as an extra for our IP trade. Cheers, my friend! Reviewed from notes. Poured from bomber into an Upland pint glass.

A: Very dark brown to black, opaque, with a thin tan head, and low visible carbonation.

S: Dark black bitter coffee, sweet malt, some vanilla and a bit of dark cacao.

T: Coffee, some vanilla, with a touch of very dark cacao near the end. There is some hop bitterness as well.

M: Thick mouthfeel for porter, heavy-bodied, but a good amount of carbonation sensation, and a moderate alcohol presence.

O: This was pretty good, but I'm not sure it quite stands out among its peers. I expected more vanilla, but what was there was overshadowed by the coffee.

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Photo of gtermi
4.7/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: The beer pours a dark black body with a thin tan head that quickly fades and leaves a tiny bit of lacing on the glass.

S: The first thing I pick up is a nice sweet vanilla with a little bit of coffee and a chocolate fudge type smell.

T: Wow, I have to say that this is one of the best tasting porters I have ever had in my life. The vanilla and coffee go absolutely perfect together and there is a little bit of bitterness and also a bit of chocolate flavors that add a lot to the beer. It sort of reminds me of a vanilla latte from Starbucks.

M: The beer is super smooth and feels creamy going down. There is hardly any carbonation and I prefer that when I am drinking a higher alcohol beer.

O: This is just a fantastic beer from Ballast Point and the more I try their beers, the more I start to love this brewery.

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Photo of bum732
3.93/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

S: Vanilla sweetness, some roastiness including some light coffee

L: Black, tan creamy head that dissipates slightly. Ok lacing.

T: Vanilla sweetness up front with a chocolate note. Medium low malty bitterness leading to a rich dark chocolate flavors. Coffee is very muted, only making an appearance in the finish. Is very woody with some slight mint as it warms.

M: Medium full body, medium carbonation. Slight alcohol.

Pretty good, has a very unique flavor. Coffee very subtle with vanilla having a big role. Aroma was pretty lacking, surprisingly.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark brown, almost black, with a nice thick rocky tan head. Nice lace and retention.

Big coffee nose, with good hints of vanilla, but not overdone in this factor. Dark roasted malt, some dark chocolate round this out. A whiff of booze.

Nice balance between the roasted malt, carbonized bits, and coffee. There is some sweetness in here to bring some balance, but is not fruit. Vanilla extract (as there is an alcohol note), some wood, charred bits, bitterness, and a long coffee finish. Wonderfully complex.

Fuller bodied, appropriate carbonation.

Liked this a lot. Glad I found it. Nice complex porter.

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Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
4.35 out of 5 based on 6,603 ratings.
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