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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:
1,366
Ratings:
6,673
Avg:
4.35
pDev:
8.97%
 
 
Wants:
1,079
Gots:
2,132
For Trade:
90
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,366 | Ratings: 6,673
Photo of nhindian
4.69/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber split with russwbeck and poured into a Great Lakes snifter.

A - Pours a pitch black body culminating in a finger's worth of khaki-colored head. Retention is moderately poor and when it leaves it doesn't leave much lacing in it's wake, just the occaisonal wisp here and there.

S - Smell is huge, huge coffee. Not sure I've gotten this much espresso in a beer before, especially not from a porter. A bit of vanilla, but the thing I'm also picking up is a lot of thick chocolate, reminding me of freshly-baked fudge and Southern Tier's 'Choklat'. Definitely a sweet smelling beer that also has a nice, hop finish to it as well. Delicious smelling.

T - As in the nose, this beer has a ton of coffee and chocolate up front in this beer, mixing together with silky smooth malts to make the taste utterly creamy and smooth. Again, drawing lots of comparison to 'Choklat' here without being overboard on the fudge and without much of the alcohol heat as well. The vanilla starts to come in around mid-taste and follows the coffee and chocolate nicely and provides a nice segue to the surprisingly hoppy finish. Not 'Storm King' or 'Yeti' hop, but still noticeable. Very little alcohol comes through here.

M - Mouthfeel is a lot thicker than Porters of the past, but still noticeably thinner than most Stouts I had. Rich and creamy the entire way. I feel the increased body really helps with such rich flavors in this beer and it leaves a nice coating on the palate. Pretty sweet throughout without being cloying. Big, long finish.

D - Drinkability is high. Especially following Infinium, this beer is just fantastic. The smell, taste, and mouthfeel are incredible and I could easily drink a bomber of this and come back for more. Only downside to this beer is the relatively weak appearance, but the rest more than make up for it. One of my favorites.

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Photo of zhanson88
3.48/5  rDev -20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Victory at Sea pours close to pitch black with about to 3 fingers of head. This beer definitely qualifies as opaque in the glass. Retention and lacing are great.

Smell: This beer smells of roasted malts, coffee, and vanilla. The coffee and vanilla components seem to be a bit out whack for me. Just a little out of balance, but still not bad at all.

Taste: I definitely get a bunch roasted malts and coffee on the front end, with vanilla and some acridness on the back end and finish. I'm really not a fan at all of the coffee component in this beer. It's just too acrid and seems artificial to me. After having a fair number of coffee-infused beers, I find that I'm pretty picky about how it is incorporated. It doesn't work in this beer for me.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: Just a bit under full bodied and very smooth on the palate. Very nice. Overall I just don't find this beer overly drinkable due to how the coffee flavor fits in with the profile of this beer. Other components of the review are going to help carry the score on this beer for me, but I definitely feel like it's overrated.

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

Black with a scant amount of ruby on edge when held up to the light; thick tan to light brown head; great lace, cap, and carbonation. Roasted coffee and caramel malt nose with some oak notes too. Flavors of roasted coffee, bittersweet dark chocolate and a little wood; a little vanilla on the finish as the liquid warms. Dry medium lite mouthfeel, yet creamy tongue coating. Overall, I like how the vanilla comes out along with the roasted coffee, however, the linger is a bit wooden.

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

P: Pitch black body with a cappuccino jiggly cream top. Delicate lace on edges.

S: Robust columbian coffee, vanilla potpourri, near burnt dark malt, pumpernickel bread, no bake cookies and astringent booze.

T/M: Huge vanilla extract presence hits the palate first then the coffee and chocolate cookies take over. Hints of smoke and charred molasses mingle with the velvety feel. Finishes semi dry with lingering espresso. Nice warming sensation.

O: Love it. A great impy porter that showcases both the vanilla and coffee in a circus of flavors for your mouth. It's like having a cold triple shot if espresso with vanilla added. Highly recommended.

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Photo of SFNC
4.77/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | 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 PeprSprYoFace
4.31/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This has got to be one of my favorite beers. Very tasty. It has an awesome head that stays the whole time and is super creamy and leaves a lot of lacing on the glass. It smells of wonderful roasted malty sweet goodness. You can smell the coffee a little bit. Taste is very intense. Lots of flavors going on such as slot of roast and good light vanilla flavor with a smooth coffee roast to it. Mouthfeel is great with great carbonation. Overall it is a sipper because of how intense it is but with a year or more of age on this I can see this beer being even better. Very good

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

Dark, dark brown almoust black with just a little beige head.
Not much lacing on the glass.

Nose: Vanilla, milk chocolate, cream, yoghurt, chili, fudge, coffee and sweet licoriche.
Taste: Coffee, roasted malt, dark chocolate, licoriche, soy sauce, wood, brown sugar, raisin and just a little bit of booze.
A full body with almoust no carbonation and so complex taste!

I just LOVE this!

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Photo of RaulMondesi
4.27/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at tha joint - Ballast Point Brewery in San Diego, CA.

Just crushed a sample of this bad boi and it got Raul thinking like he was a Seahawk and cruzin with Errol Flynn. Luscious vanilla coffee notes with a sweet delicate after balance. If you want to get loose, pop a bottle with ur grl n git at it.

Holla!

 315 characters

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

Thinnish tan head. Deep brown body.

Deep roasty coffee nose. Rather remarkable, some wood even.

Flavor is interesting-- oscillates between bitter coffee and dry milk chocolate and ample vanilla.

Smooth, almost nitro-smooth.

A good beer if not living up with the hype. Interesting but not something that hasn't been done before.

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Photo of Urk1127
5/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Black as hell, cant see through it even with light, tan head lasts throughout.
Cocoa, black coffee, malty, dark chocolate
Dark chocolate, slight vanilla, roasty, black coffee, slight cream, malty dark beer flavors underneath
I cant believe this has an ABV let alone 10% absolutely no alcohol present. No burn. Slighty sticky, heavier feel

This beer is incredible. All around such a great beer. I didnt believe the hype but i cant deny it. My only complaint woukd be a sticky feel on your mouth but come on. This beer is great. Its big and your face but does not over do it.

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Photo of BdubleEdubleRUN
4.65/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Love this beer, so I was very pleased to see this back again.
Poured into a snifter this beer comes out a very thick black and builds a tan head that sticks to the glass.
The nose is great, rich coffee, roastiness, vanilla and sugar sweetness.
The taste is fantastic altough I am picking up a little less vanilla then I did in last years, I love vanilla and wouldn't mind a bit more. Tons of coffee and malts.
Its medium bodied and a bit thicker then most porters which I enjoy, has lasting flavors and just a bit of alcohol heat.
Always look forward to this beer.

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

Big thanks to Scott for the opportunity. Label on the cap of the growler states 10% abv. Pours black with a nice large creamy tan head that slowly recedes. Aroma is a nice roastiness, very earthy and slightly nutty, a bit of chocolate sweetness, and a tangy porter acidity. Taste follows with a nice coffee and cream flavor, earthy roasted malts, some cola and root beer like sweetness and a touch of vanilla, just a hint of alcohol in the drying hoppy finish as well. Mouthfeel improves greatly as the beer warms, becomes much more creamy which suits the flavor well. Body is medium in weight, some pepperiness and a drying finish. A very good beer, really hard to believe the 10 or 12% as it is very well hidden/balanced. The flavor and mouthfeel were also considerably better nearer to room temp. Earthiness was nice and any sweetness was subtle which helped the drinkability. Thanks Scott!

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Photo of StoutItOutLoud
4.32/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22-oz bomber to tulip, shared on 1-11-2014. Kept at room temperature for approximately 5 hours before consumption. Best by date of 1-3-2014.

dark appearance, but not opaque. there is an obvious red tint at the edges. large, very pleasant tan head, eventually settling to nothing in my glass, although there was spotty lacing in the other glass.

there is a lot going on in the aroma. at first, the roasted malts / coffee dominates, despite the year of aging. there is milk chocolate as well. with time, i got a vanilla creme scent, but only when placing my nose a few inches away. with deep inhalation, i continue to get the coffee scent.

less complex taste - there is a vegetal hop bitterness at first, a roast coffee bitterness in the back half. more alcohol burn (but not astringent or metallic) as the beer opens up. i would not drink this too cold or too warm.

thin body at first, yet fairly high carbonation. more slick residual

Hard to compare this one to more standard porters, due to the high ABV, but it is complex and solid.

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

22 oz bottle poured into Breckenridge 471 Small Batch snifter.

Look: Deep brown to black, almost fresh asphalt in color. Tan head that lingers. Lacing all around the snifter.
Smell: Roasted coffee, sweet vanilla beans. Toasted grains.
Taste: Cold brewed coffee, caramel, a sweetness added to finish. Only opens up more as it warms.
Feel: Creamy, hearty, balanced carbonation.
Overall: I apologize to Ballast Point for taking too long to try this amazing porter. It's the perfect beer for any day, but especially a fall/winter morning with nowhere to go. Because, you just want to savor each sip.

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Photo of BierJager89
4.48/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Black with a brown ring of head.

S: Coffee and vanilla in the nose.

T: Coffee with a little bit of vanilla and some dark chocolate.

M: Medium bodied with average carbonation.

O: A bit underwhelming, but only because i expected more out of a brewery this good brewing a beer that sounds as good as this one does.

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

Pours black with a 1 finger coffee colored head. Laces out evenly across the top and clinging to the sides.

Smells like I just brewed a cup of joe and tossed in a white chocolate bar. A little nutty like candied roasted nuts.

Tastes of roasted french vanilla. A lot of deep malty undertones. A slight bitterness of chocolate. Also the malts have a faint smokey character.

The 10% is not that noticeable but you can tell there is a good amount of alcohol in this one.

Split a bomber with a friend and was satisfied with my half.

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Photo of Chickenhawk9932
4.43/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours black as night with a thick coffee colored head - good retention.

Smells heavy of chocolate, coffee, vanilla and roasted malt.

Taste is big coffee espresso notes up front followed by bitter dark chocolate and rounded by some sweet vanilla notes. There is also some bitter burnt malt flavor to keep the sweetness at bay as dark fruits (rum, fig, and raisin) come through. Big flavor from a big beer - definitely a slow sipper.

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Photo of Vlaminck
3.96/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A little to sweet on the vanilla for me. I want my porter malty, toasty but dry with a slight hop character. Good base. I Would love to try this without vanilla in it

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

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a Sierra Nevada 30th anniversary glass.

A: Pours jet black with a dark tan head.

S: Coffee, roasted malt, and a hint of vanilla.

T: Dark roasted malt with a very strong coffee flavor. The vanilla notes are extremely subtle, if it wasn't on the bottle, I probably wouldn't have picked it out. It's very smooth and the flavors meld together very well. A bit of a bite from the alcohol in the finish.

M: Medium bodied, average carbonation.

D: Very drinkable and very delicious. Doesn't drink like a 10% beer at all. One of the better coffee beers I've had.

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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 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.

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Photo of gr0g
4.59/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out pitch black, topped with a one finger head of dark tan foam. Some spotty lacing. Aroma is top-notch provided that you're a fan of coffee. Vanilla soaked fresh ground coffee hits at first, followed by rich, dark cocoa. There's a hint of alcohol that isn't out of place in a 10% ABV brew.

Somewhat astringent and coffee-forward at first taste, giving way to a rich, bittersweet mocha. A noticeable infusion of vanilla complements the flavor excellently. A bit of a fusel alcohol note on the finish is only a slight negative. I'm compelled to take sip after sip until the bomber is finished. Mouthfeel is silky and as rich as a porter can get without getting into stout territory. Carbonation is soft and not all that abundant but still has good longevity. This is an elite beer that has few rivals as a after-dinner treat.

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Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
4.35 out of 5 based on 6,673 ratings.
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