Victory At Sea - Coconut | Ballast Point Brewing Company

very good
102 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Victory At Sea - CoconutVictory At Sea - Coconut

Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
This Coconut Victory at Sea takes our popular Imperial Porter to another place. We added sweet roasted coconut to our robust porter brewed with Caffe Calabria coffee and vanilla, the perfect complement to this beer’s subtly roasty intensity. A favorite at our annual Victory at Sea Day, but it’s worth enjoying anytime you need to be transported.

Added by ehammond1 on 02-15-2013

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 102 | Ratings: 464
Photo of Absolut
2.14/5  rDev -46.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from a bomber into a snifter. Excited to try, love victory at sea

Pours jet. Black with a tan head

Smells overwhelmingly of coconut

Taste is like soapy coconut.

So disappointed.

 189 characters

Photo of Moose90
2.72/5  rDev -32%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Served On-Tap 5oz

A — Pours a murky dark brown hue into the glass, there is a dark brownish colored head that tries to form on top, but it settles and leaves some random bits of lacing down the inside of the glass.

S — Smell is incredibly sweet and pungent, huge notes of coconut and chocolate, some almost artificial tones of coconut, like a mounds bar, a tiny bit of toasted coconut is apparent, but it is mostly sweet and heavily sugary.

T — Heavy and dominating notes of chocolate and coffee, overpowered by artificially sweet vanilla and coconut, heavy handed in every category, the overwhelming sweetness is tough to overcome. Sure there are nice notes of coconut, but they come at an expense. This is so overpoweringly sweet it is tough to consume.

M — Heavy, sticky, lingering, low carbonation.

O — They took the already sweet base beer and made it even more artificially sweet and heavy, this is so overpoweringly sweet and artificial it is tough to call it a beer. All that said, this would be great for anyone with a major sweet tooth who loves coconut and needs a boozy coconutty chocolaty fix.

 1,126 characters

Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.74/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

This offers an extremely enticing aroma, as expected. The black coffee and vanilla show up vividly, backed by some gentle roasted malt, brown sugar, and dark chocolate. There's also plenty of enticing coconut...only for it to increasingly comes off in an artificial manner upon opening up. I'd reckon the aroma starts off at a 4.25, but drops some once the artificial qualities show up. And the flavor profile is even worse in that regard. Simply put, it tastes oddly bitter and chemical from start to finish. The coconut addition "balances" the vanilla and coffee notes oddly by ramping up the bitterness by a factor of 44. Dare I suggest it tastes like suntan lotion? Yeah, suntan lotion and bell pepper - maybe some uncooked kale on the finish. Woof. It feels great on the palate, however, retaining the deceptively crisp, dry texture that makes the base so alluringly easy to drink. As polarizing as it was, I found Peppermint Victory at Sea to be quite tasty. This...isn't. Actually, I think Ballast Point did the impossible and turned a tasty imperial porter into suntan lotion. Next!

2.74/5: I ought to slather this all over my body come summertime - what's its SPF rating?

 1,181 characters

Photo of SomethingClever
2.93/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.75

22 oz bottle poured into can glass

A: Body is a deep black, the head was a chocolate color with a fluffiness

S: Tons of coconut, very sweet smelling, vanilla, a little chocolate

T: Over the top sweet artificial coconut flavor astringent bitter finish from the vanilla

M: Medium to fuller body with lowest carbonation.

O: Absolutely awful beer, the beer has a coconut extract taste with ridiculous amounts of sweetness. The bitter finish and sickly sweetness destroys anything left of the base beer.

 505 characters

Photo of nathanmiller
3/5  rDev -25%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Victory at Sea Day '14. Didn't finish my pour, which was sad considering the rest of the options around.

Aroma is strong coconut, flavor is as well. Overpowers the VatS completely, to its detriment. Especially in comparison to the other variants, where the coffee & vanilla were complimented by additions. In this case, there was no compliment, it just turned it into a normal coconut porter.

 393 characters

Photo of Sludgeman
3.09/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From a bottle. $9.99/22 oz. Poured into a small stemmed tulip.

A mounds bars porter. Could almost be classified as a milk stout. This is one of those situations where the aroma so overwhelms that it distracts from the rest of the beer. 3

L - Very dark brown with a light brown three finger head, Great lacing, almost Belgian-like. 4

S - Over the top sweet coconut. 2.5

T - Roasted, almost burnt bitterness with some sweetness and coconut (but not too much). 3.25

MF - Heavy body with a semi-dry finish. 3.5

 513 characters

Photo of HattedClassic
3.11/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The beer pours a nice brown head and a nice coffee black beer. It's a decent look and kind of resembles of a nice coffee color with a bit of a thin looking sheen to it.

The beer smell is decent. It has a strong coconut that dominates the other beer notes. When it's detectable, the beer gives off a nice light caramel note and a decent milk chocolate with a bit of roasted malt. Mostly, it's fake coconut.

The taste is different but not good. It has a strong and fake coconut note with only a little of the roasted malt coming out. The darker notes come out more as it warms up but the coconut is still super strong and barely lets up.

The feel is pretty thin with very light carbonation.

Overall, barely better than BMC but you can skip it anyway. The coconut note is waaay too strong.

 790 characters

Photo of argock
3.22/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 22 oz brown bomber into a clear glass tulip. No readily apparent freshness date but purchased in the last two months.

A: Black with a short cap of light beige head receding to scattered lacing.

S: Very artificial/chemical vanilla aroma with black coffee mixed in. More dark malts with agitation. Coconut is minimal for me.

T: Flavor also has an unpleasant chemical character as well, affecting the flavor in all areas. The coffee is flat and burnt, the vanilla is extracty flavored, and the coconut is hard to detect to be honest.

M: Fairly light bodied for the ABV but with weird chemical/artificial tacky feel on the finish.

O: Really a poor beer -- not sure if mishandled or just too many artificial flavors....

 733 characters

Photo of Thirstygoat
3.26/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

This seems like the nightmare that starts out on Gilligan's Island and ends up with the fat coconut scented stripper chasing me through some semi-familiar city that I cannot identify.
Too damn much of a good thing,
I really like the base VaS and even tolerated the Mint.
This is Too much

 291 characters

Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.37/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Dark pour with 3 finger head

Aroma of pure coconut, chocolate, fudge, and more coconut shavings.

Holy green pepper. Lots and lots of coffee with a hint of coconut. Toasty bitterness all the way through. Green pepper, coffee. Coffee. Coconut. Coffee.

Feel is roasty and creamy which I like.

Overall, too much coffee again. Blech.

 332 characters

Photo of JISurfer
3.41/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

The past couple of years, to me, Victory at Sea has taken on this bitter over roasted coffee taste on the back end. It's quite harsh. So much, that I don't really drink it anymore. I was hoping the coconut would cut into the bitterness. It did a little, but it was still there and in your face. Coconut wasn't as strong as I was hoping either. Glad I tried it, but I won't get it again.

 392 characters

Photo of AmeriCanadian
3.47/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Love Victory at Sea, love coconut, but here there's too much of the latter (IMO). That starts with the smell that is dominated by the coconut, which you'd expect. Notes of espresso, vanilla, chocolate, and dark malt in there as well, but the sweet coconut is the first-through-tenth thing you notice. Unlike some coconut-infused porters that are scared to go with a full dose of coconut flavor, this one goes a little too far the other way, with the taste being dominated by sweet coconut, as well. Unfortunately that seems to crowd out much of the vanilla and chocolate flavors that I love so much about regular Victory at Sea, leaving heavy coconut and dark roast coffee as the overwhelming takeaways. Interestingly the beer is both extremely sweet (coconut) and extremely bitter, and not in a balanced, harmonious way. Would make for an interesting after-dinner dessert beer (in small doses), but not one that I would want a full pint of just hanging around drinking.

 976 characters

Photo of champ103
3.48/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

On tap at Hughie's in Houston.

A: Pours a near opaque black color. A one finger beige head forms and recedes after a minute. Light lace is left behind.
S: Toasted coconut and chocolate are rich up front. At first that is very enjoyable, though quickly becomes one noted. Not bad at all, and really great at first. Though becomes tiering after a minute when nothing else develops.
T: Like the nose, at first this is great. The toasted coconut is up front and center, with light roast and sweet chocolate. After a while the sweetness takes over and becomes a little overbearing.
M/O: A full body with moderate carbonation. Smooth and creamy. Overall, becomes a bit tiresome to drink, and the sweet becomes overbearing. A one and done.

Something that starts off great, but even after a few ounces becomes overly one noted, simplistic, and almost cloyingly sweet. While the first few ounces are really enjoyable, it does not hold up and not something I am coming back to soon.

 989 characters

Photo of jaketaz
3.52/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

I'm a total sucker for coconut everything - curry, macaroons, gelato, rum, you name it. Normally I would love this beer, but unfortunately I had regular Victory at Sea first and this suffers from comparison between the two. The most impressive thing about the original is its excellent balance, on par with Founder Breakfast IMO but cheaper and available year-round. This one doesn't have that balance.

Coconut dominates the nose crowding out almost all other aroma, which had me excited for a full-on coconut experience. But the taste doesn't deliver on that sweet smell, it's harsher and more alcoholic than I was hoping for and the coconut flavor is too artificial. It is drinkable and some people would probably dig it, I would even enjoy it if I weren't already aware of the higher-quality original.

Appearance is what you'd expect, dark brown, opaque, short tan head with minimal lacing and retention. Carbonation is a bit too active and body a bit too thin for my taste but again it's a drinkable beer overall.

 1,021 characters

Photo of Sabtos
3.61/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Black with a soft off-white fluffy convex head.

Smell is almost tart, almost artificial coconut, exclusively, nearing sunscreen territory, but not quite offensive.

This is really coconut heavy in taste, but at least you get what they advertise. It's tangy and liqueur-like with booze and cocoa.

 296 characters

Photo of q33jeff
3.61/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5


Still not the original, but better than that damn peppermint.

Dark black with a big frothy head. Good looking pour. The big head fades leaving Some lacing.

Coconut is there in the aroma, but mixed with coffee which strangely is not meshing well. The coconut seems a little fake.

Coffee/coconut/vanilla.....yeah, yeah, yeah. Something doesn't taste right....can't out my finger on it. There is like a sour wine flavor in the finish. Maybe a reaction to the expected sweetness from coconut, but not getting it.

Medium to full body. Carbonation is light.

Good, not great, not regular [email protected], but better than that damn peppermint. Starting to see the chinks in the armor of Ballast Point, left by their merger with Corona & friends.


 760 characters

Photo of Spinaltapped
3.65/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Acquire from my hometown Binny's (thank you Mr. Binny). Drank out of a Night Shift brandy snifter style glass.

Look: Two fingers of quickly dissipating khaki head, dark fudgey brown, light visible tiny bubble down-up carbonation, heavy medium spider web lacing.

Smell: Gobs of pina colada tropical aroma, fruit forward espresso vanilla latte, whole stale vanilla bean , a touch of dusty/mustiness, similar to a less roast coffee forward Tropical Speedway.

Taste: Initial punch of cheap vanilla quickly overtaken by a haymaker punch of canned shredded coconut, coffee takes the form of light roast on the back end and ripe fruitness, semi-sweet bakers chocolate, roast hazelnut, pretty (artificially tasting) sweet, a bit of booze as well but well hidden for a 10% beer.

Mouthfeel: Lighter end of medium mouthfeel, roasty dryness, a bit more carbonated than I would prefer for a beer of its style.

Overall: Not a bad imperial porter. I just feel like this beer tastes a bit... cheap? With better sourcing of ingredients (namely the vanilla and coconut, the coffee is actually really solid as usual), this beer would be a grand slam. I'll be patiently waiting for a Coconut Victory At Sea Reserve, but until then, I don't think I'll be pulling the trigger on this beer at the price point again.

 1,298 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.66/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

BOTTLE: $10.99 in Brooklyn for a 22 fl oz bomber. Iconic Ballast Point label design. Branded pry-off crown cap. Brown glass.

"Porter with coffee & natural flavors." "Imperial porter." "Added sweet roasted coconut to our robust porter." The question emerges...did they add actual legitimate coconut or just coconut extract/flavoring?

10% ABV.

HEAD: ~2-3cm in height. Khaki colour. Creamy and soft, with a good complexion. Retention is impressive for the high ABV- ~10 minutes.

BODY: Opaque black. No yeast is visible within.

Appears well-carbonated. It's a nice looking imperial porter, though the appearance isn't unique or special.

AROMA: Vanilla and coconut are obvious but lack authenticity, making me suspect artificial flavours were used. Actual coconuts have a very shallow depth of flavour; this has a strong coconut presence. Chocolate malt sweetness and dark malt sweetness are in there, but they're well balanced/restrained in spite of the lack of a roasted barley presence; I guess that's the coffee bitterness doing its job. Cold-brewed coffee is present but subtle and lacking in terms of vividness and expressiveness, failing to rise above the pack in terms of distinctiveness of character. This isn't the rich roasty coffee of Founders' Breakfast Stout or the popping bitter coffee of Mikkeller's Beer Geek Breakfast.

Suggests a terrific if non-genuine brew redolent of a Vietnamese coconut coffee. Aromatic intensity is moderate and I can't wait to try it.

To style, there are no off-notes, overt hoppy notes, or overt yeasty notes.

TASTE & TEXTURE: Nails the Vietnamese coconut coffee vibe, bringing me right back to Cong Ca Phe in Hanoi (if you'll forgive the borderline pretentious reminiscing). Bursts of distinct coconut, generic coffee (lacking roast or rich java depth, but coffee nonetheless), artificial vanilla flavour/imitation vanilla extract, and chocolate malt. It's a sweet imperial porter but a balanced one, stopping short of cloying dessert beer sweetness by a few notches.

A gestalt whole of a beer, with the coconut playing seamlessly into the build. Often breweries put out variants on their popular brews that feel forced - just the base plus an ingredient. This isn't that; the coconut makes this its own, and it's a nice take on Victory At Sea...not better per se, merely different.

ABV is shockingly well hidden; this drinks like it's 6-7%.

Silky smooth, with a soft comforting presence on the palate and an easy approachability (is that even a word?). Medium to full-bodied but not sticky, syrupy, too heavy, too thick, or overbearing. Well-carbonated if a bit too much so. Unrefreshing (to style). Wet. Not oily, gushed, boozy, astringent, harsh, rough, or scraping.

The silky feel of the brew helps the coconut and vanilla sing (artificial though the vanilla feels). there's a nice harmony of texture and taste here.

OVERALL: I'd like to see Ballast Point shift to 6 packs instead of bombers like they did with regular Victory At Sea given how good this is (I'd buy it regularly at $10-14 per 6 pack). Highly drinkable, and not the gimmicky variant I feared it might be. It's a worthy equal to regular Victory At Sea, but there is room for the coffee to be improved and made more distinctive (maybe source better coffee - a man can dream of Indonesian java, Kopi Luwak, or the like). Victory At Sea is, for me, the bar in terms of imperial porters; this doesn't raise the bar, but it's right up there.

I can't see any discerning drinker being disappointed by this, and I'd recommend it to friends. It's rare I actually want to kill a bomber of a heavy boldly flavoured imperial stout or porter, but this is hard not to inhale. The artificiality of its "natural" flavours does get tiresome the further one gets into the bottle, but it's worthwhile fare from a brewery who still stands out in the San Diego beer scene.

B (3.66) / GOOD

 3,893 characters

Photo of TruePerception
3.71/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ballast Point's Coconut Victory At Sea, imperial porter. 10% ABV.

A: Black in the glass. Solid, transparent red in the dimple. Decent sheeting and lacing.

S: Smells like a Mounds bar straight out of the bottle. More coconut paste. Dry, dark chocolate. Definite sweetness to the coconut aroma. Not much else, yet.

T/MF: Very dark flavor. More char and bitterness, but then a flare up of coconut hits, kind of like when you add mint essence to things. Leaves behind a very deep char bitterness, as if they burnt the coconuts black. A small amount of fibrous green leaf. I'm not really a fan.

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle, into a Belgian tulip glass.

 650 characters

Photo of smakawhat
3.72/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

Good cascading head creation out of the bottle into the glass, a fluffy if light tan head. Three fingers tall, some good swiss cheese bubbles and clumpy pock marks of lace and retention. Dark walnut brown and almost red hued slightly a bit too. Nice looking brew.

Coconut is quite noticeable and big on the aroma. First whiff is a big husky note, but there's also a boozy pina colada like quality smell on this as well. A very noticeable pineapple, tropical, even slightly mint like quality but comes off slightly cheap and medicinal even. Still a decent and impressive bouquet.

Boy this is really surprisingly bitter. Big amounts of bitter hop astringency, lime and nearly tongue stretching. Coconut and milk, with a large hop lime and pine aftertaste. After awhile, some char and real husky malt with coconut richness really hits nicely.

That first wallop of bitterness though is pretty powerful, but at least the beer gets more pleasurable and enjoyable afterwards.

 1,031 characters

Photo of ccg
3.72/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

It looks very good for a porter. The khaki-colored head is creamy and fluffy and has great retention. It will lace the glass if you tilt it a bit. The base is jet black and opaque like a stout, except it does not appear to have the density of a heavy stout.
The smell is a sweet coconut bomb. The vanilla makes the coconut smell even sweeter and tricks my nose into believing that there is pineapple here. Unlike the base Victory at Sea, the coffee here is almost undetectable on the nose. Instead, it's sweet and fruity and tropical.
The flavor doesn't quite back it up. There's some coconut upfront, not much going on mid-palate, and then an unpleasant, almost metallic bitterness on the finish.
The mouthfeel is rather light and thin, even for a porter.
This variant of Victory of Sea takes one step forward but two steps back. The addition of coconut made it smell great, but compared to the base beer, I think the flavor is noticeably worse.

 946 characters

Photo of zeff80
3.73/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured out a jet-black color with a small, tan head that left little to no lacing. It smelled of toasted coconut and roasted malt. Coconut flavor was present but not over the top.

 179 characters

Photo of BergBeer
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Look: Opaque black with a thin mocha head. Little activity.

Smell: Sweet toasted coconut, vanilla, coconut sugar, mocha, fresh coffee, and more coconut. Sticky sweet on the nose.

Taste: Rich toasted coconut dominates the attack. This is followed by a sweet vanilla and freshly brewed coffee. The
coffees to a lightly bitter cocoa nibs with coconut sugar.

Feel: Medium plus bodied. The flavors sit heavy on the tongue. Mild plus bitterness. Finish is dry. Alcohol is barely present.

Overall: A serious coconut beer. This beer oozes sweet toasted coconut. It can become a bit overwhelming at times and it's missing some of the finer subtleties of regular Victory. Yet, it's still an awesome beer and a fun take on a classic.

 731 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours dark brown where light barely passes through the edge of the glass. Beige head which lasts throughout the tasting leaving rings of lace after each sip.

Mild cocoa to the nose. Sweet, as in milk chocolate. Think Swiss Miss instant cocoa and you'll get the idea.

The taste is very much like a semisweet hot cocoa gone cold. The rich body and low carbonation enhance this impression. The coconut I get reminds me of the brown skin of the coconut meat. The finish is a combination of coffee and sweetened cream. Chewy aftertaste.

 535 characters

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.76/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

22oz. bottle into a Surly teku. Shared with schen9303.

Nose is heavy on the coconut and vanilla with hints of chocolate, fudge and a touch of coffee. Delicious! The flavor here doesn't quite live up to the aroma. Beer opens with hints of coffee, roasted malt and cocoa powder. Coconut comes in big towards the middle but instead of the creaminess and sweetness, there's almost a coconut shell bitterness. Vanilla and chocolate flavors try to balance out the bitterness but it peaks out again and again all the way through to the end. Body is medium with way too much carbonation. I wish this was heavier and smoother. Goes down aggressive with an oily and filmy finish.

Decent but there's something missing here. The flavor and body are just not quite right.

 762 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Victory At Sea - Coconut from Ballast Point Brewing Company
4 out of 5 based on 464 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.