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
Ratings:
6,860
Reviews:
1,422
Avg:
4.35
pDev:
8.97%
 
 
Wants:
1,092
Gots:
2,222
For Trade:
88
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 6,860 |  Reviews: 1,422
Photo of WillieThreebiers
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of zeff80
4.52/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of dmorgan310
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of LXIXME
4.38/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very dark opaque porter with a light brown head the leaves a nice lacing as well as a small mound of head in the middle of the glass staying atop this beer. Lighter aroma than taste of coffee with a nice accent of vanilla, just seems to be proportioned just right for my taste buds. Another good reason to like Ballast Point BC.

 329 characters

Photo of largadeer
4.02/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Gourmet Haus Staudt.

Appearance: Black as pitch, almost opaque even in the pour. The cream colored head is small but surprisingly persistent.

Smell: Coffee - check. Lots of it. Vanilla - check. Kind of smells like one of those syrupy coffee drinks you'd get at Starbucks, only incredibly alcoholic. The coffee character is dark, heavily roasted. There's plenty of dark malt, too; almost burnt, but not quite there. It's a necessary element, keeping the sweetness in check and providing a foundation for the adjunct ingredients.

The first few sips pretty much taste like spiked coffee. It's ridiculously dominant at colder temperatures, but once the beer has a chance to warm up it reveals a bit more depth. Vanilla appears at a comfortable level, present but not overwhelming. It's amplified by chocolatey sweetness, though the flavor goes right back to bitter black coffee in the finish.

It's a full-bodied beer, certainly potent, but not terribly sweet or syrupy given the 10% ABV. It could be argued that the coffee and vanilla are overbearing, but it really does work - in small quantities at least.

 1,117 characters

Photo of zestar
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of superspak
4.32/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into snifter, best before 12/10/2013. Pours dense pitch black color with a 1 finger dense dark tan head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big vanilla, cream, milk chocolate, caramel, toffee, coffee, light roasted malt, and dark bread. Incredible aromas with great balance and complexity of dark malt and sweet vanilla notes. Taste of milk chocolate, vanilla, cream, roasted malt, caramel, coffee, light char, toast, floral, and light pine. Lingering notes of vanilla, milk chocolate, cream, roasted malt, caramel, coffee, light char, toast, dark bread, floral, and light pine on the finish for a while. Fantastic balance and complexity of roasted and sweet creamy vanilla malty flavor; with a good malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying sweetness present after the finish. Medium carbonation and full bodied; with a very creamy, slick, and slightly syrupy mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a small warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a fantastic imperial vanilla porter! Great balance and complexity of roasted and sweet malty flavors; and extremely smooth to sip on for 10%. A highly enjoyable offering.

 1,250 characters

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

Served in a tasting glass.

Pours 1/2 finger of light tan head. Fades to a thin layer but leaves lots of splattered lace. Color is pretty much black.

Aroma: Nice coffee/espresso flavors with chocolate, vanilla, and roasted malts. It is balanced out by grassy hops.

Taste: Lots of coffee and espresso again. Then the caramel and chocolate roll in. Followed by a nice amount of vanilla. Lots of roasted flavors with some grassy hops and a hint of citrus to balance it out.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, creamy, and a little rich. Full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends roasted, but relatively clean.

Overall, a very solid beer. I really enjoyed this porter. A big beer and none of the 10% abv showed. Very drinkable for how big it is.

 740 characters

Photo of Boone757
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of olradetbalder
3.75/5  rDev -13.8%

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

Photo of Thorpe429
4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received in a trade with bmanning and consumed in the summer of 2009.

A: Poured a very dark brown, nearly black, with a short tan head.

S: Lots of roasted malt paired with coffee, vanilla, and a bit of chocolate.

T: The vanilla comes through quite a bit and in comes the chocolate with a bit of sweetness, followed by a dry coffee/espresso and plenty of roasted malt.

M: Fairly full-bodied with moderate carbonation.

D: Very, very drinkable. Quite complex and added yet another tally to the number of amazing vanilla-infused beers that I've had.

 550 characters

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

A - Pours with one and a half fingers of medium tan foam on top of an opaque, black body. The head settles slowly and leaves nice, thick lace on the glass.

S - Coffee, chocolate, dark sugar, and some vaguely spicy notes of pepper and chicory.

T - Sweet malt and dark sugar up front with notes of caramel, nutty toffee, and dark bread. Smoky coffee and chocolate in the middle with a hint of vanilla. The vanilla really comes out in the finish with more smoky coffee and spicy notes of clove and cinnamon.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a sweet finish.

D - Thick and sweet, there is a lot going on here. The vanilla works well with the dark sugar and coffee flavors though it becomes a bit excessive in the finish. The finish is a bit too sweet for my taste and that, combined with the vanilla, puts it in the same category as Southern Tier's sweet stouts; it is a dessert beer and works well for one glass, but finishing a full bottle is a bit of a challenge.

 981 characters

Photo of chinchill
4.24/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottles: Now available in 6 packs! :)
Great looking, with a frothy tan head that leaves lovely lacing and has great retention.
Aroma: coffee, dark roasted grains, vanilla and alcohol, in that order.
Flavor: initially more subdued coffee allowing a nicely balanced mix, but the coffee does build at the end and build with repeated sipping. Vanilla is subtle.

 368 characters

Photo of oberon
4.22/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I hald this for a little while but the urge got to me to much last night.Poured into an imperial nonic a deep dark chocolate brown with a thin dark beige head that didnt last long,a great mix of heavy coffee roast and vanilla imparted sweetness,a bit of sweet alcohol and dark fruit shows thru as it warmed.Roasty and sweetish upfront with the dark roast coffee flavors prevelent,a vanilla/carmel flavor lends some hefty sweetness,there is a drying earthy almost resiny note in the finish that is drying just enough.A great beer it is a one and done though because the alcohol is potent and can give off some big sweetness,a rich well made beer.

 645 characters

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

Ballast Point Brewing "Victory At Sea"
12 fl. oz. brown glass bottle, packaged on 4 OCT 2016 (via the Julian date on the bottom of the bottle) and sampled 13 DEC 2016
$2.99 @ Total Wine & More, Cherry Hill, NJ

Notes via stream of consciousness: This is not the first time I've had Victory At Sea. I had it on tap in San Diego a few years back. Or did I? I don't recall the alcohol being so clear. Hmm? I do remember thinking, however, that it was much more coffee-like (like opening a fresh bag of oily beans) than it was vanilla, and that remains. The vanilla is just a secondary note that helps to balance it, because let's face it, it is a pretty aggressive beer. It's strong, and it's completely saturated with coffee (one of the best coffee flavors I've ever had in a beer). There's an edge of dark roasted acidity to it, that along with the bitterness and alcohol brings it to an almost raspy finish. Note that I said almost. It's not quite there, but there's clearly enough that you'll know within the first quarter of the glass that this is not a beer to mess with. So is that good or bad? Depends on how you call it. Personally I think there's a time and place for every beer, and this one fits right in. But let's take a step back and cover the basics. Typical appearance. Opaque black-brown body with a thin edge of dark mahogany at the base of the glass. Creamy dark tan head. Decent head retention and lacing. Aroma of oily coffee beans. Roasty and nutty with a touch of pine but not much else. The flavor follows but adds some vanilla and coconut and heat from the alcohol, which brings us full circle. I'm actually finding a bit of heat at the back of the throat, but I don't recall that - I must have been asleep at the time! Haahaa! So where do I stand on this? Intense and aggressive beer, but not completely overdone... brilliant! The coffee and vanilla work together with the malt and hops and it all comes together in the end. Is it heavy handed? Yes, but that's part of the charm - if it was any less feisty it wouldn't have (no pun intended) the fire that it has, and it would just fall into a clump of similar vanilla/coffee porters. So what to do with it? Normally I might suggest this beer as a sipper after dinner, but I think it demands more than that. It's too full throttle to be a nightcap (unless you want to pass out ;), or just sit idly by in a snifter while you work through chapter 23 of Moby Dick. No, this is something else. Pair it up with a raunchy comedy-concert vid or action adventure flick. Or make it your one strong beer with a back yard BBQ (should go well with saucy ribs or a more refined steak). I think you get the idea.

 2,673 characters

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

Ooooh, I've been waiting to try this beer for a while, and I finally found a good time to do it, a nice snowy day.

A: A heavy pour gives a biiig 3 finger head, which is dark, rich, creamy, and fades slowly. The color is almost pitch black, but not quite.

N: Nose is loaded with roasted malts, coffee, dark rich malts, vanilla and oak. A touch of chocolate graces its presence.

T: Wow, tons of rich thick goodness. Lots of milk chocolate, coffee, vanilla roasted goodness, and dark malts. A ton of vanilla. Some more rich milk chocolate, and bitter bakers chocolate. Then a little oak to go with it. more coffee and roast. A little sweetness, but it hides the abv very well!

M: Thick, luscious, and creamy milky, good carbonation.

F: Finishes a little bitter, with lots of creamy richness and milk chocolate lingering. The vanilla never seems to go away either. Coffee and oak also linger a bit, with some dark malts. The bitterness of both stout like quality and hints of hops seem to build more and more as I drink more. Overall it delivers just as it promises too, lots of vanilla, coffee, chocolate, roast, creamy goodness, and just overall luscious deliciousness, and hides the abv well with all that.

 1,212 characters

Photo of Kurmaraja
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

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

Poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep black color, with a short light brown head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is full of coffee, roasted malts, vanilla, some chocolate and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with strong creamy flavors of vanilla and coffee up front. Then a very hearty roasted malt character comes in along with some background flavors of chocolate, dark fruit and a little smokiness. The hops presence is very mild but complementary and strong enough to bring a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium-to-heavy body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Very tasty, goes down dangerously easy, slightly filling, strong but disguised kick, very good representation of style, this is a very flavorful porter that is worth drinking for a long time if you're in the mood for the style.

 949 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
4.57/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours jet black with a two finger mocha head with large bubbles in it. The beer has very good head retention and significant lacing.
S: Roasty malts with hints of vanilla, coffee, and chocolate.
T: Starts with the taste of the vanilla, followed by coffee, then a little chocolatey, and finishes with a nice roasty maltiness... has a little bit of the bitter acidity that one would normally associate with coffee. The taste of the alcohol is hidden.
M: Very full bodied with very little carbonation, nicely coats the inside of your mouth while drinking it.
O: Wonderful example of the porter style and something I could definitely have over and over again.

 658 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -8%

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

22 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a dense black in the glass, with several tight foamy fingers of rich burnt mocha colored head. Retains with a sturdy 1/2 finger that throws a big cascade of lacing on the sides of the glass, which eventually settles into some equally large frothy spotting. The aroma is just DRENCHED with sticky sweet notes of chocolate, toffee, and smooth vanilla. This all just mingles in effortlessly with robust smelling high quality roasted coffee. The bouquet is just so rich and dense in the nose, I could sit here with my nose in the glass for a while.

The taste is deep and tangy in the mouth, wih a chewy sweetness to it full of chocolate, caramel, and citric hops. A deep burnt and crunchy flush of roast, hops, and coffee spreads out across the back of the palate. Not astringency at all to the coffee here (which speaks to it's quality), leaving nothing but straight up flavor and lingering roast back that just STICKS in the throat. The mouthfeel is full bodied and huge feeling in the mouth, with a massive chewy softness to the carbonation that keeps this easy in the mouth. That 10% ABV is mostly only felt in the body, and that's mostly on towards the swallow, with any kind of actual alcohol flavor being marvelously hidden.

Man, I love this beer. While not too overly complex, it's just so RICH with flavor, with it feeling like you just had an after dinner dessert AND coffee in your glass. Just really fantastic stuff that will get you buzzed in more ways than one.

 1,516 characters

Photo of mactrail
3.38/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A black liqueur of a beer.

Nice to look at, with a topping of beige-tinted foam. Pleasant enough carbonation. Intense flavors. Hot with alcohol and tastes like rum, with a dollop of Bailey's Cream. Hops are a good touch and cut the sweet maltiness, leaving a bitter aftertaste. I just keep thinking of those flavored instant coffees.

I guess this boils down to whether you like coffee and ice cream in your beer. Maybe for dessert with a piece of angel food cake.

 465 characters

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.35/5  rDev 0%

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

First had: on tap at Pinocchio's, Media, PA

Poured oily black with a small tannish head that receded quite a bit and left little to no lacing. Aroma of roasted dark malts, vanilla, chocolate, coffee. The aroma carried over well in to the taste, with practically all the same elements in a good balance; flavors came out more as the beer was allowed to get closer to room temperature. On the fuller side of medium-bodied, smooth, lower carbonation, and a bit of alcohol warmth that really didn't affect the flavor. Very good overall.

 533 characters

Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
4.35 out of 5 based on 6,860 ratings.
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