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

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6,836 Ratings
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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:
6,836
Reviews:
1,413
Avg:
4.35
pDev:
8.97%
 
 
Wants:
1,087
Gots:
2,210
For Trade:
88
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 6,836 |  Reviews: 1,413
Photo of AndyEdgar
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

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 NickMunford
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours thick and black. With a small head, with little retention or lacing.

S: Definite roastiness, with a lot of coffee and a little vanilla thrown in for good measure.

T: Tastes of espresso and dark chocolate, with a little vanilla in the background.

M: Thick, silky and smooth.

D: Easily drinkable, has some bitterness that lingers a bit as an aftertaste, but overall, very drinkable. Almost dangerously so.

 416 characters

Photo of alcohline_trip
4.38/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of hoppymcgee
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of wisegreensoul
4.22/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of cliff1066
4.37/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of yancot
4.4/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of DRBiser
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of Hojaminbag
3.03/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Ballast Point Victory at Sea Coffee Vanilla Porter (wow, that's a long one) has a black, opaque body with a large crown of off-white head that is composed of rather large bubbles. Retention is pretty good, and the beer laces the glass nicely.

Lots of coffee in the aroma, with hints of chocolate and vanilla.

This beer is a little bit puzzling for me. How does this beer sound so good to me, (coffee, vanilla, porter, I like ALL of these things!), smell so good, but taste so off? The flavors are there, they are strong, but they are a little bit cloying and I just don't feel like they come together well. Up front there is a ton of coffee and roasted malts followed by a large blast of bittersweet chocolate. The vanilla flavor is huge, reminding me of vanilla extract. A bite of bitter hops rounds out the finish, adding a bit of a citrus character.

The mouthfeel could use a little more punch, it is fine but would be better if it were bigger and a bit creamier.

One thing I will say for Victory at Sea is that it hides that 10% ABV really well, no alcohol flavor or even warming pops up, and I would not have guessed that this bad boy was this strong. Overall, however, this beer just did not work work for me. Ballast Point is great, and everyone else seems to love this one, but I thought it was a bit over-done.

 1,323 characters

Photo of kbuzz
3.98/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Really nice nose, but the praise really ends there for me. High bitterness for the style. Clashes with what would otherwise be a great coffee component. As it is, it unfortunately gets muddled a bit. The vanilla is pretty tough to find but is there. As always, the flavors came together a bit more as it warmed...but in the end, the high level of bitterness brought the taste and overall scores down. Certainly not a bad brew by any means, but there are better versions of this recipe out there.

 495 characters

Photo of cmbeddoe7997
4.64/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

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

Photo of alexsergio
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of BigMike
3.9/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 220z bomber into a pint glass.
Pitch black. No light gets through this one. 3 fingers worth of thick creamy tan head.

Some great aromas going on here.Of the bat i smell coffee(which is expected) chocolate, vanilla, raosted malts, caramel, chocolate milk.

WOW! nice mixture of flavors. I taste a strong chocolate flavor of the bat. Tastes like chocolate milk made with dark sweet chocolate. Then the coffee hits your palate and the warmth from the 10%abv.
In all honesty. This is one of the best, if not THE best tasting porter i've ever had the pleasure of drinking.

Mouth feel is light and frothy and silky smooth.

This is a must try for anyone.

 666 characters

Photo of bnes09
4.56/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Dense viscous-looking motor oil colored liquid with a finger of whole wheat colored head on the pour. Head retreats to a ring around the glass and forms many small lace spots.

Rich, warm and inviting aroma of dark chocolate, bold coffee, vanilla and oak. Just a hint of bourbon. Extremely well balanced.

Dense, wheaty malt backbone with hints of cooked corn. Roasted malt boasts complex coffee, chocolate, toast and licorice qualities. Toffee and molasses sweetness in the perfect quantities to balance the roasted bitterness. Hop character starts as a non-specific, underlying, herbal bitterness allowing the malt character to shine through. The hops then morph into an aggresssive pinesol, garlic and nutmeg spice which maintains a good balance with the malty character and adds a spicy aftertaste. HInt of vanilla extract. Great balance for such a complex flavor.

Full bodied and bordering on a syrupy texture. Smooth and slick throughout from the dense malt then changes to ultra-dry from the aggressive hops. One of the more dynamic feels I've experienced in a beer.

Overall, this beer is outstanding. Deeply complex and delicious.

 1,140 characters

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

Photo of Overlord
3.93/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

First off, what's with the proliferation of names for this brew? Are they really different styles? In any event, this is a bottle that reads the exact name listed above, so I hope this is the right listing.

Thanks to Hophead 84 for grabbing a few of these for me.

Pours a dark black with a dark tan head. Two or three inches, surprisingly big for the ABV. Smells like coffee. Not roasted malt, not vanilla, just coffee. Okay, maybe a whiff of vanilla.

Taste is, thankfully, more balanced. Still, this beer is shockingly coffee-esque. Not a big coffee fan myself, it is a bit offputting, but I can appreciate what they accomplished here. The flavor does add in some chocolate and vanilla notes. Still, it's bracingly dark, cold coffee.

Nice creamy mouthfeel. One 22 oz'er will be enough for a while. I am going to let this age for a year ... or two ... and let the coffee mellow a bit.

 889 characters

Photo of agreenman19
4.12/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Patches826
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of leroybrown10
4.18/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours deep brown with both black and lighter caramel highlights. 1 finger head is dark tan in color. Head dissipates down to a thin layer of foam with good sticky lacing left behind.

Rich, dark roasted coffee aroma, mildly bitter. Caramel malt, molasses, and raw grain. Just a hint of citrus. Vanilla isn't noticeable at first but comes out as the beer warms. Still pretty mild though.

Rich, dark roasted, black coffee. Mild bitter chocolate. Caramel malt and dark bread dough. Vanilla is more prominent than the nose but still only an accent, not a main flavor. Some earthiness. Sweetness and vanilla flavor increases on the back end.

Rich, full bodied feel on the tongue. Medium carbonation. Mild bitterness with a creaminess on the tongue. Lingering black coffee.

Excellent beer with strong but smooth dark roasted coffee notes. Would like a boost in the vanilla. Drinks easier than 10% would indicate.

 925 characters

Photo of mcallister
4.33/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Honestly a porter or many stouts for that matter don't look better than this. Viscous deep mahagonny bordering on black with an awesome thick molten mocha colored head of 2 fingers. Thick and chunky with very good retention and when it finally fades the lace is thick sticky and quite sexy.

Great nose. Vanilla stands out and wafts from the glass and is noticable in a three foot circumfrence. Fresh ground coffee and espresso aromas lead into dark chocolate and cocoa. Some dark fruit esters linger at the back.

Damn fine monster beer here. Could really be considered a dessert beer with a slightly cloying sweetness on the long finish and very tannic from the coffee and acidic as well. Rich vanilla and bitter cocoa, dark chocolate, espresso, more vanilla, black berry, plum and a good amount of earthy hops and hop bitterness. Finish is long. Mouth spudders slightly hence the sweet tannic end. Otherwise a very worthy beer.

 931 characters

Photo of GABrew
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of grub
4.45/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Viggo shared this treat. thanks eric!

22oz bottle. sampled july 1/09.

pours deep dark brown, not quite black, with a few pale brown highlights around the edges. the layer of dense brown head drops slowly and always seems to maintain at least a ring around the glass. spotty lace.

aroma is great. dark and milk chocolate. coffee. vanilla. caramel and toffee. bit of butterscotch. toasted whole wheat bread and biscuit. bit of cracker. light alcohol. nice light sweetness. bit of earthy character too.

taste is great. black coffee. dark and milk chocolate. vanilla. warming alcohol. caramel and toffee. nice light sweetness. just a touch of roast, but it comes across more as coffee and chocolate. dark toasted whole wheat bread. biscuit. bit of cracker. just under medium bitterness level, again more coffee and chocolate than hoppy.

mouthfeel is good. fairly big body. just under medium carbonation level.

drinkability is great. excellent balance. the alcohol feels a bit warm at first, but it mellows out as it warms. nice depth and complexity. love the coffee and vanilla, really complimenting the base beer. vanilla is often overdone, but this one is just right to me. great stuff.

 1,190 characters

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

There is a slight brownish-cream colored head on the jet black beer. The scent changes from coffee to vanilla with each smell. The coffee taste is light, but the vanilla shines. The flavor hides the alcohol well. The mouthfeel is surprisingly light but certainly not watery. This beer offers everything you want in a porter, then takes it to another level with the additional flavors. Highly recommend.

 402 characters

Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
4.35 out of 5 based on 6,836 ratings.
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