Victory At Sea - Coconut | Ballast Point Brewing Company

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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:
Imperial vanilla coffee porter with coconut.

Added by ehammond1 on 02-15-2013

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Reviews: 76 | Ratings: 399
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.44/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the LA Beer Week Kickoff Festival held at Exposition Park in Los Angeles, CA.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a small cap on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa powder, vanilla, coffee bean, brewed coffee, and toasted coconut aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa powder, coffee bean, brewed coffee, vanilla, and toasted coconut flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with a fantastic addition of coconut that works super well with the base beer.

Serving type: on tap.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.24/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

of the three variants of this i have now had, this is my favorite hands down, although it looks like they do about a million, so hopefully a few more will make their way out here to colorado. this looks just like the others, dark black and shiny, with a short inch of tan head and fabulous lacing. the nose is very coconut heavy, in stark contrast on the subtle peppermint version, its almost too much. its coconut for sure, but almost artificial, sweet, and candy-like. im sure it isnt artificial, but it comes across that way. when you get past the added sugar there, it tastes great, the toasted quality of it brings some more depth out of the grain and cocoa aspects, and it goes great with the bitter coffee. all of the other added flavors that are so well integrated with one another in the base beer seem well back behind the coconut in this. its not a bad thing, because the coconut tastes great, the beer just seems a little less nuanced and evolved. coconut is getting real popular in brewing, and this is a nice example of how it can be used. i think its perhaps a touch over flavored, the coconut comes at the expense of the other ingredients, but its excellent beer, and certainly my favorite of the victory variants thus far, although i heard they do a maple one...

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Absolutely shameless about taking a proven beer and laying it with everything shy of the kitchen sink in order to create new flavor, new branding and new interest. But when it's as good as their Victory at Sea imperial porter and the marriage of coconut to those toasty, malty flavors then there's no apologies needed.

Dark as night and easily taken for stout, the hair shade shy of black billows to the rim with a creamy, semi-rocky froth, mocha brown in its color. Dark chocolate, coffee and walnut are met with vanilla and coconut for a savory, decadent, dessert-like aroma. Flavors of burnt sugars grace the tongue with a huge boost of roasted marshmallow with a strong coffee counterpart.

Graciously toasty but mild on actual roast, the larger than life porter is careful not to step into stout territory as its sweetness slowly relaxes and its toasty, roasty, earthy flavors latch onto the tastebuds. Molasses, toffee and cream round into strong french press coffee blends and then roll onto the finish with the bitterness of walnut oils, a light barkish taste and the earthen spice of chicory.

The sultry and seductive power of coconut carries a vanilla nuance and calms the roast and toast perfectly. Its soft char and creamy sweetness is strongly marshmallow-like with a long coffee and cocoa finish. The warmth of creme de cacao simmers on the tongue with an extended savory spice.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.66/5  rDev -9.2%
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

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Photo of mothman
3.91/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap.

Beige head. Dark brown color.

This is a coconut bomb. I love coconut beers and this might be a bit much. The flavor is awesome, but the aftertaste is almost overpowering. Some vanilla. A very light coffee roast. Mainly coconut though.

I wish the coconut was toned down a bit so I could taste the other flavors.

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Photo of jlindros
4.09/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Tap at Flynn's

Thick creamy rich head, nice lacing, pitch black beer.

Nose lots of coconut, toasted tropical coconut, creamy, dark chocolate, vanilla, little nutty, coffee.

Taste tons of coconut, almost a fake flavored rum like coconut, creamy, more dark chocolate and coffee, roasted notes.

Mouth is med fuller bod, bit creamy, nice carb.

Overall ok, lots of coconut but it tastes like artificial.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
4.04/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22-ounce bottle black under a one-inch thick tan head which fades to the rim and a thin cap and leaves spotty lace. Aroma of roasted coffee, vanilla, damp earth, and faint coconut. Flavors follows the nose with more coconut. Rich, chewy, boozy, slightly oily and astringent finish.

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Photo of nathanmiller
3/5  rDev -25.6%
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.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I tried this on tap at Arooga's in Harrisburg served chilled in a goblet.

the color is opaque black with thick sandstone head with very good retention and fine bead. the smell is great - lots of sweet, nutty tropical coconut which is the primary aroma. The feel is very good bitter and dry with moderately high carbonation up front with mild toasted coconut with a subtle sweetness as it warms and light astringency of dark roasted grain with a light alcohol presence drying out the finish.

The taste is very good -mostly toasted coconut as in the aroma yet there is a pine-like hop flavor and some dark cocoa adding a bitterness in the middle with a subtle alcohol flavor in the nutty dry finish. Overall I was really pleased with this - not a candy bar type coconut sweetness it builds on the base however the other ingredients(coffee/vanilla) seem obscured a bit by the coconut focus.

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Photo of russpowell
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours an effervescent chestnut/mahogany with 2 fingers of tan head, Nice head retention & lacing

S: Coconut in spades, a little vanilla

T: Coconut, a little vanilla, some coffee grounds up front. Slight astringency mixes with coconut as this warms, some chocolate as well, plus dryness. Finishes dry with toasted coconut

MF: Medium body, slight carbonation, seems to build as it warms

Pretty good, but a little too coconut dominant for me, more coffee or chocolate would help, the ABV is well hidden

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Photo of smcolw
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
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.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Got to sample this up at EBF in Boston.

Better than the PB and Peppermint versions, but the base beer still holds up as the best. Fun to try and a good taste, can't really go wrong with any VAS's.

12/12/16 edit:
Drinking a while bottle of this 10 months later and agree with my original assessment. Coconut is strong but artificial, good not great.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

32 oz growler from Beer City Jupiter. Black body with a substantial mocha head. Smells of coconut just from pouring it. Big whiff yields a ton of coconut with some chocolate behind it. A lot less coffee than I remember regular [email protected] having. Tastes much more balanced. All of the flavors come through here. Coconut, then chocolate, then a strong bitter coffee flavor. Pretty sweet, but the bitterness cuts it nicely. Coconut is sustained with some vanilla in the finish. Medium heavy. I drank most of my glass pretty quickly, but I am definitely slowing down. Nice coconut addition to an already delicious base beer.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.72/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.56/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

On tap at The Basin Pub in Rochester, NY.

Pours a slightly still looking black, with no head or lacing. Quite black and ominous, however.

Smells really strongly of coffee, with some vanilla, and bitter chocolate, along with a nice but not overwhelming toasted, almost roasted coconut aroma.

The coconut here only shows up in the finish. We start here with roasty, bitter coffee, swing into some sweeter creamy vanilla flavors, and finish with almost burnt coconut flavors. The coconut lends a nice toasted sweetness on the finish. There's chocolate, too, but not as strong as some of the other flavors mentioned. There's a small amount of roasted malt flavors, as well.

This one feels slightly less thick than regular Victory at Sea, for whatever reason. It still possesses a body of medium thickness, with a very creamy mouthfeel, and a lower amount of carbonation.

This is a really nice variation on Victory at Sea. The coconut is definitely there, but it's subtle enough to remind you that this is still Victory at Sea, with the big coffee and vanilla flavors.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.07/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pitch black pour, dark caramel colored, dense, sticky lacing.

S - Chocolate, coconut juice, vanilla cream, and some buried spiciness.

T - Coconut juice, dark chocolate, and some coffee, vanilla, and cream, with chocolate roast and char on the back end. Ends with a piney/coffee bitterness and some alcohol presence.

M - Thick, full bodied, viscous, slippery, and oily.

O - Coconut can work well with Porters and Stouts and this one works (IMO).

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Photo of avalon07
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a dark brown color and a thick, opaque consistency. There was a half inch of foamy, tan-colored head that lasted a good amount of time. Fair lacing.

S: A nice aroma of coffee (a whole lot of it), coconut, vanilla, and malt.

T: Tasted of a hint of vanilla, a good shot of coconut, an equally large amount of coffee, some roasted malt, a burnt quality (especially in the finish), and caramel. An interesting flavor that grows on you the more you drink. Sweet, well-balanced and pretty complex.

F: A good amount of carbonation with a super smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

O: This is a solidly made, incredibly drinkable beer. Lots of character.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.04/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Draft pour served in a goblet.

Black body with thick cap of dark brown head.

This smells outstanding. Light vanilla sweet aroma. Nice blast of coconut. Coffee is pretty big, just overpowers the coconut.

The taste of coconut is monstrous. Tastes like suntan lotion its that strong. Thank goodness that the coffee matches the intensity of coconut to help break up the massive coconut flavor. Finish is bitter acidic roast coffee with a hint of sun tan lotion and toasted coconut.

Medium body with low carbonation that is adequate. Body is a little watery, but nothing overly extreme. Fairly drinkable despite the bold flavors of the previously mentioned adjuncts. Not boozy at all.

Overall is a great adjunct porter. Definitely better than the peppermint victory at sea variant, but I still think that regular victory at sea is better than both variants that I have tried so far. Looking forward to trying peanut butter variant in the near future.

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Photo of cbutova
4.63/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Cask served, taken from notes last week during San Diego.

A- Pours black as night from the cask and a nice dark mocha colored head forms atop the beer. Good head retention, for cask too, and it falls to a thick ring. Lacing forms webs down the glass.

S- Atop the rich cocoa, roast malt base Porter is a massive amount of coconut. The toasting process helps release the aromatics and I immediately think of Samoa Girl Scout cookies. Mostly coconut but the base beer does just enough to round it out, splendid!

T- Between the toasted coconut, roasted malts, coffee hints and vanilla it reminds me of a really, really good dessert-like iced-coffee. Coconut is still the focus but the base beer pokes through more with intense roast malts and the flavors mentioned above.

MF- Thick bodied with a nice creamy texture for a cask. Carbonation on the lower end but this is the type of beer that can withstand that and still be great. Roast bitterness lingers on the palate.

Samoa beer is always good. I was skeptical to see how much a difference toasted coconut would make to this beer but it is an entirely different beast thanks to this key ingredient.

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Photo of champ103
3.48/5  rDev -13.6%
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.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.74/5  rDev -32%
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?

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Photo of scottfrie
4.27/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On-tap at THG. Consumed side-by-side with peppermint and peanut butter.

A: Pours a very dark brown cola color, near black, with a foamy, frothy, light brown head that faded into a lasting fuzzy collar. This one has more carbonation and softer carbonation than the other two variants, and looks better in the glass.
S: Coconut is prominent with notes of greasy coconut oil and not much else. Dominates the other scents.
T: Coconut dominates, greasy and creamy like cream pie, vanilla is strong as it usually is with coconut flavored beers. The coconut dominates pretty much all other flavors, as the nose did, except for a bitter punch and light chocolate quality in the finish.
M: Medium full body, bitter, light greasy, and slick mouthfeel. This coconut VAS in particular is very fluffy, creamy and chewy, while the other two variants are lightly astringent and rough around the edges.
O: The coconut was the best of the three variants and was a pleasure to drink. Only one of the three I wouldn’t mind having again.

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Photo of morimech
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma is heavy on the coconut but the flavor is more in balance. Flavors of coconut, chocolate, coffee, and vanilla. Sort of mocha Mounds bar if that was ever made. It should be if it hasn't. The texture is a little oily which I assume comes from the coconut but it does not hurt the overall experience of the beer.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.54/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

On tap at the Tamarack Tap Room in Woodbury, MN. 10 oz. pour in a chalice.

Appearance: Color is jet black. Moderate amount of bubbles and a solid finger of tan head that settles into a thin creamy layer.

Smell: A roasty and fairly sweet dark malt driven aroma with a scent of coffee, chocolate, coconut, and vanilla. Dark roasted barley malt with a big scent of dark roast coffee beans and dark chocolate. Sweet scent of coconut and vanilla along with some burnt sugar. Also some malt hints of burnt toast, biscuit, smoke, nuts, and caramel along with yeast. A very good aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a roasty and sweet dark malt driven taste with notes of coffee, chocolate, and coconut. Dark roasted barley malt with bitter notes of dark roast coffee beans and dark chocolate. Big sweet taste of coconut, vanilla, and burnt sugar. Additional dark malt notes of smoke, toast, nuts, biscuit, and caramel with some yeast. The roast and sweetness mix well. A really good taste.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy and somewhat sticky. Alcohol heat is masked well.

Overall: A really good twist on Victory at Sea. The coconut sweetness and roasty bitterness balance each other out nicely.

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Photo of argock
3.22/5  rDev -20.1%
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....

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Victory At Sea - Coconut from Ballast Point Brewing Company
4.03 out of 5 based on 399 ratings.
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