Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter | Ballast Point Brewing Company

BA SCORE
97
world-class
6,837 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
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
Ratings:
6,837
Reviews:
1,413
Avg:
4.35
pDev:
8.97%
 
 
Wants:
1,087
Gots:
2,212
For Trade:
88
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 6,837 |  Reviews: 1,413
Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.75/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

When I went to Washington state, one of my main goals was to pick up this beer. Touted on the forums, I figured I had to try it. Apparently it was out of season because all I could find were the giant bottles, no six packs. So, poured out of a giant bottle into a snifter...

Dark coffee black; 100% opaque; 2 fingers of beige head; hills and splashes of generous lace.

Smell is mostly of coffee grounds and black pepper, trailing with vanilla, rum, nuts, malts. Overall it comes across a bit burnt.

For a porter this one sure packs a punch. Taste is of roast coffee, alcohol, coffee beans, cream, vanilla, a touch of banana, and a burnt finish. The burnt flavor sort of takes away from the overall profile, but it is complex and full.

Definitely thicker in body, in fact I've had more watery stouts. I love it, though. Dry parch on the finish. I get a bit of heartburn from the alcohol as well.

Overall impressions : I can see why people go nuts over this beer. It's huge, robust, and delivers buzz quickly. After half a snifter I'm done with it, though. A super exhausting porter that makes you beg for mercy after just a handful of slow sips. Get your money's worth? Sure. That coffee is like a wall of destruction. I'd much rather take it in 8 oz portions though.

 1,272 characters

Photo of TheBen5
4.88/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Photo of Dan3320
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Tone
3.81/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a black color. 3/4 inch head of a tan color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of strong coffee, vanilla, strong sweet malt, and slight roasted malt. Fits the style of an American Porter. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of strong coffee, vanilla, strong sweet malt, and slight roasted malt, hint of caramel malt, and a hint of hop. Overall, great appearance, good aroma, body, and blend.

 448 characters

Photo of JackieKu
4.08/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle.

A: Opaque black. Poured with 4 fingers high head, the foam is quite dense, and it persists.
S: Roasted coffee mixed with elegant vanilla. Somewhat woody.
T: Roasted coffee. Slightly caramel. Moderate bitterness. Low sweetness. Dry finish.
M: Creamy. Full bodied.
O: Aromatic strong porter. Unfortunately the vanilla flavor is not as obvious as the aroma.

 368 characters

Photo of 71CrazyOtto
3.15/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

New arrival in Michigan.
First off I will state I am more partial to Baltic Porters and kinda expected this one to be similar because of it's high ABV I suppose.
Taste was way to burnt and bitter for my taste and the word "smooth belongs nowhere in it's description imo.
SoCal brewers I notice tend to go very hoppy or other extreme in bitter levels and perhaps that is the way they like it. To each his own but not one I'll revisit.

 433 characters

Photo of siscokid79
5/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of Prager62
4.02/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a single to try while visiting Michigan recently. Nice to see Ballast Point there as it's not available in Indiana. Not sure of the bottle date, but I see a 15 3 22 on the bottom right of the label. Poured into a twelve ounce snifter.

Look- Pours a dark thin brown with a generous finger of mocha colored foam.

Smell- Coffee, coffee, and more coffee. A bit of roast/smoke. Not picking up any vanilla.

Taste- Dark roast coffee forward with the slightest hint of vanilla trying to work its way through in the end.

Feel- Thin and bitter.

Overall- A pretty robust coffee beer. Perhaps too robust in that it tastes like espresso and not much else? The heavy coffee and roast just buries any vanilla flavor in this for me. While I like it, I was hoping for more vanilla flavor with my coffee.

 806 characters

Photo of ljc973
4.17/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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

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

Photo of HopHunter19
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A - dark black beer with nice mocha he ad that leaves nice lacing
S - hardcore coffee, cocoa, vanilla, roasty malts
T - same as aroma, coffee, cocoa, roasted malts, vanilla
M - medium to thick mouthfeel. Alc covered aftertaste bitter coffee/cocoa/roastiness
O - another great coffee beer

 288 characters

Photo of Raime
4.03/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Ballast Pojnt Victory At Sea.

This right here was the one I wanted more than anything outta Ballast Point. Found a single for 2.99 at my local craft store and if this shit doesn't blow my dick off I'll be racking BP up to a higher level good although not great brewery and likely only buy their stuff from time to time. Going in with exceptional expectations, so let's see what the fuck we fucking get.

Look - Poured from a twelve ounce bottle into a pint glass. Pours a deep and dark as the blackest black man you have ever seen with a big ass thick frothy and bubbly head, thought not as densely compact as some others I have seen tonight. Carbonation is completely unreadable due to the depth of the brew. Lacing is sticky and long lasting.

Smell - Pure vanilla and coffee. I understand that it is kind of the point here but it smells virtually exactly the same as the calm before the store cream ale minus the buterscotch with just a touch of chocolate on the back end. Nothing else to say, smells like pure vanilla bean extracts. From the nose I would never guess this beer to be 10%.

Taste - Yeah once again as I have already stated this is the most vanilla forward beer I have ever had. I really don't get much of the coffee or anything else for that matter. Mind you this is not sweet vanilla or white chocolate esque it tastes exactly like drinking some kind of vanilla bean concoction. It is unique to me thus far, and the alcohol isn't noticeable despite the higher range on ABV so it wins a quarter outta that one.

Feel - The body was very thick and highly creamy, almost milk like in nature in terms of the two. The flavor profiles remain mostly the same and the beer does swallow with a lower level of alcohol presence. This is the best feel I have ever encountered in a beer without a doubt.

Overall - I do like this beer but I do not belive it deserves the insane amount of hype it gets. The flavors are all there if you like pure vanilla bean without the aftermarket sweetness which in my opinion makes it more drinkable. The body is the best I have ever had but everything else was very solid without being mind blowing. Overall, I can safely safe ballast point is a good brewery not worth the insane hype. As always try it for yourself and come to your own conclusion...

 2,295 characters

Photo of twloco
1.91/5  rDev -56.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 1.5

This has always been amazing in past years. I've only had it in bombers and on tap. I just bought fresh six pack and it's horrid. Just has a bitter cheap coffee flavor. Sadly no redeeming qualities. This is nasty, not sure what went wrong, but I'm going to try returning it. Undrinkable swill. This the 2015 in 6-pack bottled in November. Something is wrong with it, this was a favorite prior to this.
It's never had a bitter coffee flavor before and the vanilla was clearly there which seems missing, it even smells like cheap coffee.

 537 characters

Photo of Pourharddrinkslow
4.44/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Kerrie
3.88/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

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

Photo of Primeminus
4.26/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Wer34truh
4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark oilesque color, with a moderately large two-finger sized head with a dirty, yet appealing white color.

Emanates a delightful vanilla, and roasted coffee bean aroma.

Besides the vanilla, and coffee present in the smell, this beer has quite a noticeable bitter flavor as well. Feel is relatively light, which is hardly surprising as it is after all a porter. Carbonation is slightly to heavy for my preference, but I am also quite conservative when it comes to carbonation in my beer.

Overall, a delightful brew, which does not disappoint.

 548 characters

Photo of Brandonvlansdown
4.12/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of robc3366
4.39/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Richter525
3.98/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

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

Photo of egoo33
5/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of chewy6935
4.17/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
4.35 out of 5 based on 6,837 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Subscribe