Vanilla Porter | Breckenridge Brewery

1,080 Reviews
Vanilla PorterVanilla Porter

Brewed by:
Breckenridge Brewery
Colorado, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Deep in the jungles of Papua New Guinea and Madagascar grows the perfect ingredient for an extraordinary Porter brewed in Colorado. Breckenridge Brewery’s Vanilla Porter. An ale that has all the chocolate and roasted nut flavor of a classic Porter, with an enigmatic surprise thrown in for good measure.

Added by Mebuzzard on 01-13-2006

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Reviews: 1,080 | Ratings: 4,137
Photo of TonyJ
1/5  rDev -71.8%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Bought a 6 pack of this because I'm a fan of Vanilla Porters. The cap just about burst off the top of the 1st 2 bottles I opened and the proceeded to pour as as if I just shook the bottles on the way home. So after dumping them I opened the 3rd only to pour a flat beer, tasted and dumped, opened a 4th only for it to explode open. I then drove them back to the store which iI go to often and traded it for something else! Leinies Snowdrift Vanilla Porter instead!

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Photo of tfp4268
1.21/5  rDev -65.9%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

I picked this up because I like vanilla, and I like porter. oops!

Pours rather typical for a porter, not quite as dark, with a little bitty head, and bubbles on the inside of the glass, like a coke.

Smell...Yuck! Smells like soured milk. This thing stunk so bad my wife smelled it six feet away!

Taste very sweet, very vanilla with a harsh, metallic aftertaste at first but starts to take on the spoiled milk taste as the drink progesses.

Mouthfeel is probobly the best thing this beer has going for it. It's soft and smooth enough, but I really wish this one was thin so it would go away.

Normally, I can choke anything down, but this one I had to pitch into the yard...I hope it doesn't kill the grass.

I really wanted to like this brew, maybe it was a bad bottle, but this one was just plain nasty. I've got 5 more, but I'm afraid to even open another. I"ll re-review, if I get the guts to try it again...with different results.

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Photo of jds1469
1.35/5  rDev -62%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Awful all around for real. The First sip was just ok at best. No vanilla taste at all. Smell is like your breath after a night of heavy drinking. Poor idea with poor execution.

If you find this. Leave it sit where you found it. Pick up something else.

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Photo of jcdiflorio
1.47/5  rDev -58.6%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

12 brown bottle served in a nonic glass. Date on side of bottle wasn't notched out.

Mirky,mahogany with deep reddish hues. Tan head that loudly fizzled out like soda,no retention,not leaving any lacing.

Faint aromas,sweet candied carmell with a oakey/vanilla scent.

Earthy/woody with a mustyiness. Very sweet and syrupy/scorched malt. Very cola like with some dark fruitness,lots of vanilla (artifical extract-like) finishes on the dry side.

Meduim to thick bodied,syrupy with a bit a cloyingness. Was too sweet and syrupy to have any drinkability. could not finish this one. Was more like a cough syrup than a beer.

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Photo of prdstmnky
1.67/5  rDev -53%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

*review from notes on 3/3/10*

Pours a dark brown, coffee color leaving very little head with next to no retention. A bit of vanilla on the nose, but not a whole lot of aroma's to speak of. Taste is not at all what i expect from a porter - a hint of vanilla and some caramel / roasted malts, but the overwhelming flavor i get is a metallic sourness that is not appealing at all. Also very thin and lacking carbonation. I couldn't even make it through this whole bottle, the first true "drain pour" I've had.

I didn't find any kind of bottled on / best by date anywhere - perhaps it was a bad bottle? It was bought from a very reputable shop, properly stored. Im willing to give this another shot (if i come across this beer again) and adjust my review if warranted.

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Photo of tyboxr
1.7/5  rDev -52.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

pour: dark, mild head

smell: wheres the vanills, slight sower funk

taste: again, wheres the vanilla, now I get to taste the funk

mouthfeel: now i feel the funk, and not in a good way
Drinkability: not really

overall, do not waste your time much better beers for the money

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Photo of saradad
1.8/5  rDev -49.3%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Damnit, I really want to like this beer. But I can't, it's just too sweet. Candy like sweet. Maybe if the brewery had stamped a date on the bottle or the case it came in then I could say "Self, this beer is past it's prime and therefore must not be reviewed" Shit fire boys!! If the brewery didn't think that freshness of their product was an issue then I must assume that they expect a few bad reviews of their product to come their way, so here goes:

Poured into a glass and formed a nice light tan head over a deep brown body, no staying power to the head yet light lacing remained to the end. The smell is sweet, sickeningly so with only a syrupy not quite vanilla odor. No evidence of hops or grain or malt or anything appetizing. The taste is slightly better and yet I feel as though I'm drinking Vanilla Coke's evil twin. Or Vanilla Pepsi's Mini-Me. And they wish to do me harm, They have assaulted my palate with flavors that no human should be subjected to. Yet, I shall persevere to the end, finishing this glass not knowing whether my mouth will taste again. Somewhere in there is a slight flowery taste, lost amidst proto-vanilla, hops maybe. Mouthfeel, well it feels like a porter, thinner than a stout and thicker than a good lager. Drinkability? No friggin' way. If the choice was between this and soda pop then the soda pop would be better choice. Hell, water'd be a better choice. Possibly the first drain pour I've ever encountered, or perhaps this would make an excellent birthday gift for my brother in law. Hmmmm...decisions, decisions.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
1.81/5  rDev -49%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A - Deep brown hue, cola-like, not so much head or lace.

S - Uhh ohh. This doesn't smell good. It smells like someone went overboard with the Glade vanilla air freshener. Actually it smells like someone spilled several gallons of vanilla extract. I guess there is a bland beer underneath it, but I don't care to be assaulted by the perfume-y vanilla any longer.

T - Uggghhh. This is tough stuff. Sickeningly cloying; a chemically enhanced mess.

M - Decent; it is just about the only non-catastrophe.

D - Never again.

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Photo of BuckeyeSlim
1.87/5  rDev -47.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

12 oz. bottle poured in a New Belgium snifter.

A - Virtually no head on the pour. What's there disappeared almost immediately. Very deep ruby red and pretty opaque.

S - The bottle after the pour smells distinctively of vanilla, but the nose of the glass presents hops. Getting the beer up on the sides of the glass releases vanilla along with some caramel. As the beer warms in the glass, the vanilla takes over the nose just as it does the taste.

T - There's the vanilla, almost like tasting straight extract - it's rather astringent. There's also a bit of roasted malts, a touch of 50% chocolate, and noticeable bittering hops. Finish is an unpleasant medicinal taste that needs a waterback to get rid of it.

M - Light carbonation. Rather thin structure. Finish plants itself in the back-middle of the tongue and stays.

D - There's nothing subtle or nuanced about the components of this beer - they compete with each other instead of blending and complimenting. Way too much cheap vanilla extract. Bakers know a little vanilla goes a long way and this beer proves how easy it is to abuse the flavor. It's a bowser, and a porter in name only.

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Photo of LarryV
1.93/5  rDev -45.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Can sum it up in three words - Unremarkable, barely partakable,

In concept, a vanilla flavored porter sounds good, but in execution it seems like not such a great idea. Even though they claim vanilla beans were used in the production, it tastes more like vanilla extract. There's a kind of sour bitterness to the beer that I don't find attractive at all. Without the addition of the vanilla, this would be a run of the mill bland porter, there's nothing special going on here. I wouldn't buy this one again.

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Photo of ChadQuest
1.93/5  rDev -45.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Looks like darker Coca Cola with less carb bubbles. finger of head, receding in its own good time.

Vanilla overtakes everything else on the smell.

Strong cloying vanilla flavor. tastes kinda like when i steamed vanilla bean powder with milk=slightly burnt. lightly roasty, milky,carmel in the distance. very sweet...very very sweet. If Vanilla Coke was a beer, breckenridge would make it.

Slightly thin mouthfeel yet creamy. very much like slightly carbinated milk. Gives me that feeling after a soda that their is syrup in my mouth i need to clean off.

Too sweet for my tastes, i dont like spoonfulls of vanilla sugar.

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Photo of Taipans
1.96/5  rDev -44.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I tried an AB winter brew this past season that had vanilla in it. It was really the first time I had tried it and I liked it. I was thinking this would taste similar, at least the hinting of vanilla. As the AB product was not a porter.

I opened the bottle and the smell was not what I expected, very strong and pungent. I poured it into a pint glass and noted very little head. The color was dark brown.

I liked the first taste until about midway through. I got nailed by a ton of different flavors, one that hinted of metal. I really did not pick up much on the vanilla, but more of a chocolate coffee overtone. The after taste was just as bad, and the hint of metal stayed in my mouth for about 10 seconds or so.

I didn’t notice the mouth feel being off so much, it went down pretty easy and thankfully didn’t leave some kind of film in my mouth.

I decided to keep going of course, but could not finish the entire glass. This is a rarity for me as I am sure it is with most of you. I have no idea how everyone is giving this such high scores, and I am wondering if I got a bad batch or porters just aren’t my thing?

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Photo of jmd1978
1.98/5  rDev -44.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2

Nice cola color with no head. Nose is very sweet and vanilla. Taste is heavy vanilla with hints of toffee and root beer. Strong finish. I don't know if this was an old bottle but this beer was way too much vanilla. Tasted like a melted flat root beer float and not much else. Not a fan.

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Photo of veech
2.01/5  rDev -43.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

I have sampled the wares of this nice, and generally dependable brewpub while skiing on several occasions, and was surprised by just how terrible this beer was. Its taste was a combo of diacetyl, formaldehyde and soured vanilla cream soda. It was a beer that I literally took about three sips of, and promptly poured out. I have little to say about this beer other than avoid it at all costs. Colorado has excellent craft brews across the state, New Belgium, Avery, Great Divide to name just a few, and even Breckenridge's other styles. You would be much better off to take advantage of those, and limit your vanilla intake to ice cream.

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Photo of deaconoflove
2.01/5  rDev -43.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Ap: Beautiful clear dark color with reddish highlights. The very thin head was gone before I found my pen and notepad. No lacing on the glass.
Sm: Not much smell, sweet.
Ta: Overly sweet and syrupy with obvious vanilla flavor (I like vanilla). Over the top sweetness and syrup feeling.
Mf: Medium body, the sweetness clings to my mouth, not in a good way.
Dr: Nope. Kind of like a vanilla Coke, only much sweeter. I'd drink it again if my only other choice was Budlight.

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Photo of jpkoch1962
2.02/5  rDev -43.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Not sure how a brewery with such a good reputation can brew such a bad ale. I was expecting an American Porter with perhaps a note of Vanillia bean. What I got instead was a vinuous, funky beer with no Porter character at all.

The appearence was the best thing about this beer. It poured a deep brown, ruby red with plenty of fluffy head and lacing. The aroma was surprisingly tart, fruity, with sour wine notes. The taste was very strange. Funky and a bit vinuous -much like a white wine. No porter quality at all. I suppose the vanillia dominated the taste way too much. Very silky body -much like smooth creme. When combined with off flavors, the body was quite nasueating -much like creame gone bad. Couldn't finish.

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Photo of Strix
2.03/5  rDev -42.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Smell is weak, but mainly vanilla. Taste is unremarkable. The main flavor is vanilla, with some alcohol taste, but it is otherwise flat. Aftertaste turns a bit like cough syrup. Too sweet for me I guess. Not much carbonation, and mouthfeel is smooth, but thinner than I'd like. Not my thing. Overall, I'm disappointed.

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Photo of HURTemHIZZY
2.06/5  rDev -42%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Not my cup o brew I guess. Poured a nice deep brown with a one finger light tan head that had decent retention but left no lacing behind. Smell was not too bad, but not great either. Light vanilla, tiny bit of coffee, slight roasted grains. Straightforward, but not off putting.

Taste is just not good imo. The vanilla is slightly artificial, and completely overpowers the coffee and roasted notes that were present in the aroma. No hop profile is noticeable. The lack of any other noticeable porter characteristics makes the vanilla become cloying pretty quickly. I rarely ever drain pour, but I only made it through about half of this. Not good.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
2.07/5  rDev -41.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Dark chocolate color with blackberry colored highlights. Tan head of about one finger in size. Great lacing. Head turns into a film on top of the beer. Bubbles on top of varying degrees in size.

Aroma is burnt malts. Also vegetal. Cabbage and dirty diapers. Not pleasing at all. Stale and metallic. NO VANILLA at all.

Fruit flavors hit the tongue right off the bat. The burnt and roasted malt is kept to a minimum. Chalky and grainy. Very toasty, like burnt toast.

This was just a disaster. Besides the appearance, this was just about gross. I dont know what went wrong but something did. Chalky mouthfeel, dry finish. No good. I have five more of these to drink. Great!

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Photo of mtnbikerpa
2.12/5  rDev -40.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a small snifter. No head and no lacing after being poured. Very little carbonation almost flat. Vanilla flavor is all but lost. Very noticeable tinny, metal flavoring. Flat mouthfeel because of lack of carbonation. Very disappointing compared to other times I have had this brew. Flavor doesn't live up to its porter profile.

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Photo of yeahnatenelson
2.13/5  rDev -40%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance -- Pours a dark amber hue with nearly no head. It coats the glass, but no lace apparent.

Smell -- Dark toast, vanilla extract, pancake syrup, cocoa powder. There is a general air of artificiality to the aroma.

Taste -- Toasted malt, hard water, grassy and earthy hops, vanilla extract, chocolate, and maple-flavored syrup. Lingering flavors of vanilla and cocoa.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-bodied with harsh carbonation. Chalky finish.

Drinkability -- This was...weird. So much of the flavor profile tasted fake: artificial vanilla, artificial maple, cheap chocolate. These things aside, I don't think the rest of the beer would be any better without them. It just doesn't come together. Pass on this one.

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Photo of khiasmus
2.13/5  rDev -40%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

The brown clarity of imitation vanilla makes its way into the glass. A pour from a good height somehow only yields the slightest amount of soap-bubble head. looks a bit thin, though clarity is good.
Then the memories of a childhood drug come flooding back.. I can't remember what it was, but one of those medicines I had to swallow... and images of my sister baking cookies with imitation vanilla extract... must have been almond cookies, I can smell the almonds... and the smoky mountain sweetener that my mom used to put in her coffee... the vanilla candles that I loved so much until I sniffed them so long I got a migraine as an 8-year-old... funny how aromas can conjure such vivid memories, more than any other sense.
The flavor and mouthfeel follow the profile and get worse... the overwhelming sweetness of the vanilla, but thin... is this imitation vanilla extract, simply carbonated and chilled? It has the body for this possibility, and only the faintest grain notes show it to be anything else.
I don't suppose I'll have this again. The sickly sweetness, almond notes, and cloying finish are bringing back that childhood migraine... I've had good vanilla beers, I love the flavor vanilla... but this just tastes cheap, imitative. Disappointing.

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Photo of KarlHungus
2.15/5  rDev -39.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This beer pours a dark brown color. The head is a quarter inch in height, and recedes quickly into no lacing whatsoever. The aroma is of roasted malt and vanilla extract. The taste is similar. The vanilla flavor is very artificial, but there is just enough malt to keep in from tasting like I'm drinking a bottle of vanilla extract. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with almost no carbonation. Overall, this is a bad beer that I will be avoiding in the future.

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Photo of udubdawg
2.16/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

arrives dark brown, with a little reddish color at the edges. Head is fizzy like that of a cola and quickly redeces.
I appreciate good vanilla, but if this was good vanilla it was ruined in the process. Very extract-y. Artificial almost. A light toasted malt aroma underneath - where's the roasted malt? Smells waaay too sweet. Let's give it a try...
Nope, not for me. Sweet, definitely qualifies as cloying. Rampant vnailla, light roasty and toasty malt flavors. Just a little bit drying. I keep thinking of creme soda although it isn't quite THAT sticky.
Thin (although as much as I dislike the flavor, I suppose it could be worse if it wasn't so thin!) too spiritzy, again reminiscent of a soft drink. I'll have great deal of trouble finishing this one, and won't order another anytime soon. Sure, you could pay me to drink this, but there are so many better examples out there...

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Photo of TopherBreski
2.18/5  rDev -38.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This came in a craft beer combo pack. Color is black with red tints and a head that dissipates but sticks around on top. Surprisingly no vanilla smell, just a good Porter smell. The taste is not very good.

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Vanilla Porter from Breckenridge Brewery
3.55 out of 5 based on 4,137 ratings.
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