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:
1,411
Ratings:
6,820
Avg:
4.35
pDev:
8.97%
 
 
Wants:
1,088
Gots:
2,199
For Trade:
89
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,411 | Ratings: 6,820
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 Beerenauslese
4.32/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a large snifter, it easily produces a half inch head. Body is jet black, with a tan foamy head that quickly dissipates to a ring, leaving small soap clouds of lace on the glass.

Rich aroma of roasted malt, coffee, vanilla, and alcohol.

Tastes of charred malt and dark chocolate up front, with coffee and vanilla mid-palate, and ends with a burning dry finish on the tongue, mostly of bitter char and roasted coffee, and just a hint of smoke. Overall, it is a pleasant and well-balanced Porter.

Body is on the lighter side for a Porter, and carbonation is low, but it is enough to give this a slightly creamy mouthfeel.

This is a nice version of an Imperial Porter, very flavorful, and quite drinkable. The alcohol is slightly warming, but is matched by the great flavors.

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Photo of IronCitySteve
4.53/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a deep dark brown almost black color with no light coming through. Provides a thick brown foam head with excellent retention. Lots of lacing down the sides.

S: Ample amounts of sweet vanilla, chocolate, sugar with a small undertone of roasted coffee. Scents are quite potent.

T: Starts of rich and creamy and smooth. Lots of vanilla and chocolate blended nicely and not overly sweet. In the middle some mild undertones of roasted coffee that balance out the sweetness. The back end finishes with a rich deep roasted black coffee taste with some burnt wood and alcohol. The alcohol is not hot but slightly noticeable.

M: A nice rich full bodied beer. Nice amount carbonation. Leaves a roasted coffee taste on the palate that lingers for a long time.

O: This is a fantastic porter. Very complex with a lot going on but it is quite balanced. There is just a tad hint of alcohol but it is no means hot. Definitely a beer you must try if you enjoy imperial porters.

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Photo of andrewinski1
4.37/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Bendurgin! Poured into a tulip. There is a large tan head atop a pitch black body. Nice stickyness.

The aroma has lots of sweet vanilla and chocolate with hints of sweet coffee.

While the aroma emphasizes the vanilla most, the coffee component dominates the flavor. There is a nice sweet vanilla finish that ends creamy.

This is very delicious. Want moar!

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Photo of MiScusi
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Stone Bistro, served in an 8oz snifter. Poured a pitch black with a thick tan sticky head. The aroma was the most coffee I've ever smelled in a beer and that is compared to Kona Pipeline Porter and Founders Breakfast Stout. It's just a pure roasted coffee aroma. The taste is the same, cold rich coffee and a dark malt backing which is overshadowed by the coffee.

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Photo of ColdPoncho
4.23/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks much to plenum for this bottle! (from my cellar to yours LIF) From notes, 1-6-2011

A - Very dark brown, not cloudy though, medium light brown head which dissipates to a thin layer just on the surface of the beer.

S - I smell wood, which seems mostly to be my confusion about the bitter and dry coffee in the nose. Theres some warming alcohol, and the vanilla comes out as it warms.

T - Very well in keeping with the nose, bitter coffee, very big flavor, with the vanilla coming out more as it warms.

M - big and robust, a bit drying.

D - this is a sipper, but I do like it quite a bit, so drinking it isn't bad at all.

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Photo of jeffjeff1
4.23/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I picked this up at Bevmo I think.

Appearance- black color, nice size tan head, nice lacing

Smell- coffee, roasted malt, chocolate

Taste- coffee, chocolate

Mouthfeel- full bodied

Drinkability- This was very good. It was definitely what I want when I drink an imperial porter. Excellent beer!

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Photo of Retail1LO
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a CBS snifter. Let me start by saying I generally despise porters. Ok....GO!

This pours the darkest brown imaginable with a three finger espresso shaded crown that is simply beautiful. The head fades fairly quickly with minimal lacing. The nose is just fucking brilliant. It's all the coffee and vanilla it claims to be, with a nice rich roastiness and lush, sweet vanilla galore. The taste reinforces the nose. This is no fraud. What you smell is what you get. The coffee is perfect. It has a nice roastiness to it, but doesn't come across as burnt. The vanilla is subtle but present, making this a near perfect experience on the palate. The mouthfeel is glorious. Typically porters are entirely too thin and carbonated for my liking. This is thick, lush, and rich on the tongue with an aftertaste that isn't acrid like many coffee beers. Overall, this is a world championship caliber beer. I want. Lots.

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Photo of hopfacebrew
4.62/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Note: This review was a re-post from my former account, jmkratt, which was hacked and I lost all my reviews...sorry for the redundancy.

Got this in a trade from Heymanivxx - thanks man! Great label too, I love it.

Poured from bottle to pint glass.

A - The beer pours jet black with huge 3 finger dark tan/brown head with great retention and gobs of lacing.

S - Nice aroma of vanilla beans with roasted malt character: coffee, chocolate, almost creamy on the nose.

T/M - A nice vanilla flavor right up front which quickly is joined with a nice coffee/chocolate flavor. The middle is so creamy it's like a milk chocolate shake! Mild bitterness with a huge creamy mouthfeel. The beer ends with a nice coffee roast on the palate that lasts forever. Full bodied and delicious.

D - The beer is strong but hides it's strength well. Very drinkable.

Overall, this is an outstanding beer. I was really impressed and an thankful for the hook up. Highly recommended!

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 02-02-2011 01:49:16

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Photo of PaulyB83
4.2/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottled Nov. 18, 2015. Served in a snifter.

L- Dark brown, some light on the edges, one finger of light brown head.

S- Coffee, some green pepper, vanilla, little bit of dark fruits.

T- Coffee, light bitter roast, bitter chocolate, some vanilla, finishes with bitter chocolate, some warming alcohol on the tongue.

F- Lighter side of a full mouthfeel.

O- Very nice beer with huge coffee notes and a nice medium amount of vanilla. Great price for a 6 pack of 10% beer as well.

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

Serving: Bottle into a tulip
Served: 5 August 2015

Appearance: Pours a thick, deep black color with a minimal tan head that quickly collapses to a sheen of bubbles under influence from the high alcohol content. Looks like your average imperial stout/porter.

Smell: Huge coffee notes, with a nice assertion of dark chocolate or cocoa notes as well. I wasn't able to pick up on much of the vanilla in the nose, but the beer smells absolutely fantastic.

Taste: Like the nose, big notes of coffee, though the vanilla is now evident as well. The roasted malt provides a nice, sharp roastiness- almost burnt- like French roast coffee. No one aspect of this beer is overdone, and the major flavor elements play well together, which is brilliant.

Mouthfeel: Big body, medium-low carbonation.

Overall: One of the best coffee beers I've had. Right up there with FBS, and quite possibly even better.

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Photo of yesterdayfaraway
4.19/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: black with 2 fingers of off white head.
S: big coffee, dark and toasty. A little bitter
T: big bitter coffee, no vanilla. Below is a review from last year, this must be a bad batch.....
F: fairly thin, doesn't coat well.

Big coffee with vanilla, just like the bottle says. It comes in a 6 pack too, what a complete joke that most 12oz beers are in 4 packs now, but I digress. This is fantastic! I'll seek this out again.

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

Poured from a 22oz. bottle acquired in a trade with volatilesther (Thanks!) into my Brooklyn Brewery snifter at cellar temperature (02/13/10).

A: Pours very dark shade of brown, nearing black with a one finger cap of an espresso colored head that has some retention and leaves bits of thick lace.

S: The smell is dominated by coffee and vanilla, as one would expect, along with notes of chocolate, roasted malt, and bitter dark chocolate.

T: As with the smell, the flavor profile is made up of primarily coffee and vanilla. Rather fresh tasting with layers of bitter, dark chocolate and roasted malt. Perhaps just a hint of alcohol comes into play as well.

M: Medium-bodied with a with a low-moderate carbonation and some creaminess.

D: Quite drinkable and very flavorful with the 10% abv. hidden extremely well.

Overall this a great take on the Imperial Coffee Porter and another solid offering from Ballast Point. Thanks again Esther! Recommended.

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

I love coffee beers. I think it is because of that then that I don't rank some of them very high because I have such big expectations.

After Ballast Point started showing up in Wisconsin, I found myself liking them a little more after each new beer I had. Victory at Sea helped raise my love for Ballast Point as this was one of the better coffee beers I have ever had.

The coffee was very strong and front and center without being overpowering. The vanilla added a nice sweet compliment as sometimes coffee beers will taste like nothing but coffee. The booze was noticeable but smooth. I look forward to drinking this again.

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Photo of KFBR392
4.28/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Texture was heavy but very much like a traditional porter. Dark brown head formed to about a finger but dissipated quickly. Very dark color and enjoyed out of a goblet shaped glass.

Smell: The coffee aromas take over here. Accents of dark chocolate and burnt oak play along very well. There is also some vanilla sweetness begging to burst through the other heavier players in the smell. Aroma is subdued, have to dig for it a little bit.

Taste: Best part right here. A roasted coffee taste greets the palette which then becomes a bold vanilla bean flavor. The vanilla goes along very well with the malt/caramel flavor of the porter. The coffee accents come back at the end with a heavier roasted flavor then on the front end. 10% abv is no where to be found.

Mouthfeel: A surprisingly clean smooth mouthfeel. I thought there would be a thicker mouthfeel similar to an imperial stout but I was wrong. The coffee flavors don't really stick around either. I just wish there was a little more going on here.

Overall: Awesome brew. Drank so much like a regular porter but with a few extra levels of complexity. Coffee and vanilla play their role without totally taking over this beer. Feels like a porter the whole way.

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Photo of spacecake9
4.8/5  rDev +10.3%

Very happy so see this at my local liquor store.
A - Pours almost black with a nice foamy head.
S - All I can smell is coffee. Smells just like one of those big tins of ground coffee where you'd rip off the lid and all that coffee aroma would hit you in the face.
T - Coffee and vanilla flavors dominate.
M - Another reviewer thought this was thin but it strikes me as a solid medium body beer.
O - I'm not a huge fan of porters - I prefer stouts - but this one tastes great. Probably helps that I really like coffee. And the vanilla lends a little sweetness that rounds off the bitterness of the coffee (or the porter for that matter). I really like this beer and look forward to getting my hands on another bomber.

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Photo of rapidsequence
4.55/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle I bought at that beer/wine store on Wade Ave by Wellspring. $7.99. Poured into a snifter.

Appearance: Its black, basically opaque, but not the darkest black. Light brown head that faded quickly at first, but a little bit remained. Very nice lacing.

Smell: Big time mocha aroma. Rich cold coffee, caramel, vanilla, cocoa, a tiny hint of a smoky roastiness. Complex, fantastic.

Taste: Again, very much like a Starbucks iced mocha. Bitter, roasty coffee, vanilla, caramel, and chocolate. A bit of heat (just a bit) and bitterness from ethanol near the end.

Mouthfeel: This thing is big, soft,and unbelievably creamy. Incredible.

Overall: What a beer! I had one a few months ago on draft that was really good, but this is amazing.

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Photo of keithmurray
4.74/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance - dark brown nearly black beer with dark khaki head

Smell - coffee, vanilla, dark chocolate

Taste - much the same as the aroma, coffee, vanilla, dark chocolate, roasted malts, molasses

Mouthfeel - full bodied, medium carbonation, sweetness upfront from the vanilla, coffee makes its presence known, hint of bitterness to try and balance things, flavors linger a good amount

Overall - this is a top notch imperial porter, very sweet upfront, teeters on the edge of cloying without ever going there. Porter and stout fans should be sure to try this

Price Point - $2.99/12 oz single

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Photo of captaincoffee
4.19/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Near black with full tan head and lots of staying power. Nose is complex with various malts and burnt malts, and plenty of coffee and vanilla. Taste is a bit much...tons of flavor, but somewhat muddled and overdone. Finish leaves a bit too much bitterness over the coffee and dark malt notes. Definitely a good big beer. Definitely not a quick or quaffable. Need to spend some time with it, and one is probably plenty. Overall very good.

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Photo of grimey68
4.56/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this fresh in the beginning of December, and burnt coffee is extremely dominant in both the smell and taste; amazing if that's your thing. Hints of vanilla and subtle chocolate as well. The nose of coffee is just so dominant it's hard to get past. I plan on aging 2 or 3 and will revisit this review once aged a year.

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Photo of rallison
4.28/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a great, thick black with a creamy tan head that lasts for quite a while.

Huge vanilla on the nose with notes of chocolate syrup and childhood sweets.

Very smooth chocolate, espresso and vanilla in the taste. The coffee has minimal astringency (huge pet peeve for me) and the taste is nicely backed up by a tootsie roll chocolate sweetness. The coffee/espresso notes nicely balance the sweetness. This beer is over the top in many ways, but so very well put together.

Mouthfeel is smooth, creamy and appropriately carbonated.

Drinkability is very good.

Highly recommended. Great on its own, great barrel aged, etc.

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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!!

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

Good God Almighty, ths is one good brew! I'd held Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald, Fuller's and Founder's Porter to bethe standard bearers for the Porter style, but no more. A great complexities of smells and flavors, coffee, mild chocolate, vanilla, malt, and more coffee. The alchohol does have a bit of a burn, but at 10% it probably should. This a killer!

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Photo of geodonnokepyo
4.16/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Smell: vanilla and roast
Taste: vanilla at the forefront, followed by roasted coffee with a nice bitterness to it
Feel: really smooth, lightly carbed, a little tingly from the hop bitterness, abv is hidden very well.

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Photo of Premo88
5/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22 oz. bomber poured into "stout glass" -- tall tulip

L: black as it rests on the table with a thick tan head of sticky foam ... head is a solid inch tall and the sticking is incredible, looks like leftover milkshake; the lacing is unbelievable ... it's like a coat of paint; needless to say, keeps a solid tan collar of foam and about a half a skin (you can't see them, but clearly bubbles are flying up the column in that inner darkness); up to light the beer looks clear, dark orange/amber/brown

S: sweet chocolate, vanilla ... like a yummy ice cream desert, so very sweet (and this is almost ice cold);

T: wow ... uhhhh ... wow -- an instant 5. super sweet chocolate and vanilla with the dark malt giving it a fantastic burnt/bitter finish that's still very smooth because of all the up front sweetness; man, it is packed full of sweet chocolate and burnt dark malt bitterness, both ends just spilling over full of flavor, and the way they're balancing out the swallow is amazing; there's some alcohol flavor in it, but it's not bothering me one bit with all the other flavor; the coffee flavor is nicely sweetened out, so it's much more like a latte than raw coffee/espresso

F: a ton of carbonation really crisps it up; weighty feel

O: big everything ... big sweet, big bitter/burnt notes, big ABV that instantly makes its presence felt, even big carbonation with a big look with all the sticking and lacing and perfect black/tan color combo. as good a beer as I've come across and completely worth the money (about $10.50 for the bomber)

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Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
4.35 out of 5 based on 6,820 ratings.
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