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

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97
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1,347 Reviews
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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:
1,347
Ratings:
6,551
Avg:
4.35
pDev:
8.97%
 
 
Wants:
1,071
Gots:
2,074
For Trade:
94
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,347 | Ratings: 6,551
Photo of tekstr1der
4.3/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Didn't care much for the peppermint seasonal version this past winter - too much going on. And, getting burned out on coffee flavored stouts and porters. But... this is pretty good stuff. Pours very dark with minimal tan head. Aroma is that of an espresso bean wrapped in a vanilla pod. Flavor is similar with more sweet vanilla both complementing the roasty toastedness This is extremely smooth mouthfeel and slightly sweet finish.

 433 characters

Photo of moonboogie_n8
4.13/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Great smokey vanilla porter leaning on the bitter side.
love the dark (almostblack) color,
smoked peat, vanilla, bourbon, coffee... everything that makes a porter a great porter.
recommended!

 191 characters

Photo of tone77
3.62/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of strong black coffee. Taste is strong black coffee, slightly bitter at the finish. Not getting any vanilla in the aroma or flavor. Feels medium/full bodied in the mouth and overall a good beer, but I was expecting much more.

 310 characters

Photo of senglish7
4.22/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On initial pour and first taste out of the wine fridge , I got coffee smell and coffee taste. As the beer warmed, I still got coffee on the nose, however as the beer warms I get a sweeter coffee taste with a vanilla hint. Definitely a beer that improves as it warms up.

 269 characters

Photo of KomodoDragon
4.37/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Pours black with red highlights. Huge tan head, substantial lacing.

Smells of roasting coffee. caramel, toffee.

Coffee bean flavors are pronounced, and nicely balances the porter sugar sweetness. The vanilla flavor lags and is less pronounced. This is more of a cappuccino than a latte. Creamy smooth bitter finish and hardly a trace of the alcohol. There is a sweet toffee feel in the long finish, It's amazing how they built something with such pronounced flavor without making it over the top. All flavors are welcomed.

I like coffee, I like beer, I like vanilla, I like this.

 594 characters

Photo of Dravin
4.46/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Duvel tulip. The bottled on date of 16028 (Jan 28th 2016).

It's a beautiful beer, an aggressive pour gave two fingers of thick tan foam that left wonderful rings on the glass as it settled down to a protective skiff covering an opaque black body. The nose is dark roasted grain, coffee, and sweetness, with some hints of vanilla, and no booziness. The taste is the same except the vanilla becomes more prominent, it gains a fair amount of bitterness, and some chocolate notes peak through. The body reads porter to me, substantial but not imperial stout levels of chewiness. All in all a delightful vanilla and coffee imperial porter that goes down dangerously smooth given it's ABV.

 718 characters

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

Had this on draft at Thurmans Cafe. Man this is good beer. Very rich and creamy. Jet black with nice head. You would never think this was a 10% brew- most with high a.b.v. aren't this smooth.

 191 characters

Photo of portwood
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

BIG nose: mega coffee, vanilla, and chocolate. Taste: sweet, creamy coffee, roasted caramel, molasses. Finish: bitter chocolate, vanilla bean, dusty cinnamon. There's no mistaking this is a high ABV beer, but it doesn't feel like 10%.

 234 characters

Photo of SPLITGRIN
4.47/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I really poor this one with some oomph to try and generate some head. And I may have overdid it a little bit as I easily generated over three fingers of fluffy, brown head. The body is a gorgeous, perfect to style jet blackness. Lots of lace is left behind as the head slowly turns rocky and recedes. The nose is very vibrant and full of coffee that tingles the nose it is so bright. The aroma also includes soft Coco and vanilla notes. With first sip I quickly think of a jamocha milkshake. Flavors include tons of chocolate and rich creamy coffee and just so pleasant to enjoy. This beer is very dessert like and in all the right ways. It is bold and dynamic and flavor yet approachable and not offputting in anyway. All the flavors come together in gel so well. The vanilla plays as the perfect coffee creamer and overall balancer to the brew. The alcohol is very well hidden in this beer but I think it has the legs to age for probably 2 to 3 years.

 965 characters

Photo of jaypaul522
4.46/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours very dark, and thickly with a nice head. The smell is very nicely vanilla with malt overtones. Taste is very strong and good - this one has some punch. Body is quite full - a very pleasant feel to the mouth as you drink. One of the best I have had.

 254 characters

Photo of thatche2
4.35/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter glass.

Appearance is deep black in color with moderate yet creamy tan head.

Smell is roasted malt/coffee with some vanilla (very little alcohol coming through).

Taste follows the nose but packs a bigger punch with a lot of roasted coffee. There is some good sweetness up front with a fairly dry finish.

Mouth feel is medium-full in body and creamy (a little syrupy). The carbonation is fairly low/flat but works well throughout.

Overall this is a very good coffee porter. It is relatively easy to drink but has a lot of roasted malt and coffee flavors.

 599 characters

Photo of EMH73
4.52/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours very dark brown with a poorly retained one and a half inch head. Smells of coffee and more coffee with a hint of vanilla. Taste is that of slightly sweetened coffee, vanilla, chocolate, molasses and a little bit of bitterness on the finish. Light to moderate carbonation, smooth and silky on the palate. Outstanding beer.

 332 characters

Photo of 11-52_4hops
3.93/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a bomber bottle. Classic stout/porter look. Beautiful dark brown color, fluffy tan head, lacing to spare (or a really dirty glass, but I will give B. Point the benefit of the doubt). Nose has a little coffee, with the vanilla coming out as it warms --could be more inviting. Taste is dominated by bitter black coffee -- a little too much lingering coffee bitterness more my taste (and I like my coffee black and strong) - vanilla on the side of the tongue, but I was hoping for more. Not getting much of the sweetness others describe. Mouth feel a little thin. Could be smoother. I was looking forward to this porter, fully expecting to love it, but it just didn't do it for me. Maybe I got an off batch?

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Photo of anteatr23
4.3/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark and cloudy with a one finger brown head. Has a boozy aroma with coffee and sweet dark chocolate. The flavor of chocolate and coffee are a punch in the face, fading into more vanilla and sweetness, leaving behind some bitterness and more roasty coffee. 10% alcohol is somewhat hidden, but not entirely as this doesn't go down without any notice. Flavor is great, but the feel and character are a bit toned down as it's somewhat light and a little bit watery. For a mass produced porter, this is certainly exceptional.

 532 characters

Photo of bin31z
4.28/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pour dark but not quite oily. Nose has tons of vanilla, chocolate and creamy coffee. Palate is a little bit of a let down, a little thin and taste is not as good as the nose, sweetened coffee, vanilla, milk chocolate. Higher ABV but doesn't have a similar thickness to the palate.

 280 characters

Photo of HappyGuy12345
4.79/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Another great beer sampled from a tulip glass at the Ballast Point Tasting Room in San Diego
Appearance: Very dark brown with about 1 finger of head
Smell: Vanilla and coffee
Taste: Impressive mixture of the sweetness of caramel and vanilla and with the bitterness of coffee and hops. The 10% ABV is not detected at all. No bitter aftertaste. Delicious!
Mouthfeel: Full-bodied beer that is smooth as silk. Light amount of carbonation.
Overall: I have not sampled many porters, but after trying this amazing beer, I think I will have to try many more.

 553 characters

Photo of The_Snow_Bird
4.77/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark with a little dark caramel head on it that goes away quick. Can smell roasted malt and coffee. Coffee goes away as it warms up and vanilla takes over. Very delicious.

 177 characters

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

L: dark black with a nice amount of brown head that leaves some nice looking lacing down the side and a head throughout the full beer.

S: Dark espresso beans and cocoa chocolate, with a slight vanilla smell added to it. Very settle and nice smelling.

T: Dark espresso, slight vanilla tones to it. And a cocoa chocolate taste to it as well.

F: A fair amount of carbination with a full body mouth feel.

O: A really good beer, would defiantly buy this beer again. And I was disappointed in all the other SN beers but this one was actually pretty good!!!

 554 characters

Photo of ChrisCage
4.82/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A- Love the artwork of the label! The brew is more of a heavy dark brown than the traditional blackish tones I'm used to seeing....and it appears to be thick in nature. The head is meringue like a creamy espresso foam like color...the retention is most excellent, and eventullly looks like sponge toffee! The carbonation is much too hard to see and lacing is superb! A lovely looking porter!!

S- Super heavy cocoa power aromas upfront, with background smells of high cocoa content dark chocolate, very fresh dark roast coffee, vanilla sweetness, charred black malts, burnt nuttiness and Earth...super balanced and smooth aromas...Wow!!

T- This is awesome!!! Highly regulated smooth balancing flavors such as cocoa bean, blended dark chocolate, cold press espresso, burnt almond nuttiness, fresh vanilla bean to sweeten things up slightly, hints of toffee/caramel/molasses and the finish is dry, robust and bold, with mellow hopped bitterness....simply amazing!!

M/O- This is one of the most delicate beers I've ever experienced on the palate....the body gently tickles the tongue with wee tight bubbles that explode with a smooth vigor....enhancing the overall flavors/character. I refuse to believe that this is 10% alcohol...that's how well hidden the booze is within this brew! A very highly drinkable porter that is spot on for the style and I am afraid of what will happen the next time I purchase this, as it will be more than one bottle!! OUTSTANDING!!

 1,470 characters

Photo of njnolan1
4.73/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I first had this beer in early 2015. Had I known it would have been the first and only one for nearly a year I would have bought more. 10%. Dark. Coffee. I loved it. I didn't think much of it other than it was cheap enough for a 10% porter.

It pours well. Little dark head. The smell hit me hard. The vanilla really works with the strong coffee smell. Almost a touch skunky. I loved it!

Then after trying to get my hands on some for nearly a year they finally released some. The first batch I tried wasn't as I remembered. The vanilla was way too strong. It wasn't terrible but not what I fell in love with. Then about a month later another batch was delivered in my area. This was what I was missing.

One of my favorite beers. Most wont agree but I like this better than KBS or Goose Island's Bourbon County. That's just me though.

Strong coffee smell mixed with vanilla. Goes down smooth. I love to pair it with some Trader Joe's 72% dark chocolate. Can't wait to have another soon!

 992 characters

Photo of FBarber
4.23/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a jet black with a thick two finger brown head. Head slowly dissipates leaving sticky tan lacing along the glass and a half finger film along the top of the beer.

Smell is full of aromas of coffee, chocolate, roasted malts and undertones of vanilla.

Taste follows the nose with lots of coffee flavor up front. Notes of sweet vanilla and chocolate come through giving way to a pleasant bitter finish.

Feel is a bit thin, with mild carbonation.

Overall a really enjoyable and flavorful porter from ballast point. If you enjoy coffee and vanilla you'll love this one. I know I certainly do.

 600 characters

Photo of JuicesFlowing
4.34/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Ballast Point shaker pint glass.

Look: Pitch black body with brown coming through the fringes. Dark cream colored head that recedes to a collar and fine film. Light spots of lacing.

Aroma: Charred grains and roasted malts blend with sweet vanilla and cinnamon spiciness. Dark roasted coffee on the back end.

Taste: Tons of roasted malts and rich dark coffee flavor covered in a perfect touch of vanilla. The finish has more of a sharp hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, pretty smooth for 10% ABV.

Overall: This goes down way too easy for 10% ABV. Perfect amount of vanilla, and tons of roast.

 619 characters

Photo of Lunchboxhead
4.02/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This was a very good porter but I must say I was a little disappointed. Reading the reviews, I thought this would be unbelievable but it was merely very good. I felt the tasted a bit too much like burnt coffee and the vanilla took a bit too much of a back seat to the coffee. that being said I might be splitting hairs. It was still very good. A nice nightcap after a long day in early March.

 392 characters

Photo of dmgallag
4.61/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Wow. Great balance here. A little coffee. Check. Vanilla...check. Nothing overpowering and everything in balance....check. Awesome brew that goes down easy at 10%. My only want would be a thicker mouthfeel, but that may be my own bias because I like chewy.

 263 characters

Photo of vienna_mantrap
4.69/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Ooops.

That's the impression I instantly got when I took a sip of this. Ooops. I've wasted the first third of my life. I should have been drinking this the whole time. If I split the next 60 years evenly between this and one of my favorite lighter beers (a nice tripel maybe?), I will die a happy man.

 302 characters

Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 1,347 ratings.
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