Vanilla Porter | Breckenridge Brewery

1,076 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: 1,076 | Ratings: 4,126
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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Photo of jim102864
2.19/5  rDev -38.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Another selection while at Gingerman, Dallas. Inky black appearance in my pint glass. Very thin head. Here's where it all goes downhill. Aroma? What aroma? It was barely perceptable. Don't you think this thing would be brimming with vanilla and chocolate malt? Couldn't detect anything at all. The taste was equally distressing. Only the slightest hint of vanilla and maybe a whiff of coffeee bean (moreso than vanilla bean). It tastes bland. This thing has no balls whatsoever. I even let it warm up and still nothing. I suppose its drinkable if you're into very mild, somewhat flavorless beer. A total snoozefest.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
2.2/5  rDev -38%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bottle: Poured a light black color porter with a medium bubbly head with average retention and no lacing. Aroma of light vanilla with some distinctive sour notes. Taste was also dominated by sour notes and light vanilla. Body is really thin with some average carbonation. I don't know if this was infected but it really wasn't appealing to me.

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Photo of Mitchster
2.25/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours out to a clear dark brown, appears thin in color and texture as I pour. Barely achieves a head even with a vigorous pour. Small, soapy and tan with no retention and minimal lacing. Carbonation is mild to moderate. The aroma at first appears oxidized with dank cardboard and newspaper, but as it's swirled I get peat smoked malt, vanilla (although it's barely more that what I would expect for a traditional porter), some green herbaceous hops. Overall, I get more of a smoke impression than a vanilla impression. Odd. Mouthfeel is thin and makes me feel like I just ate some grass. The taste is completely different. The vanilla is there in droves and lends a mild sweetness to the sharply acrid and cheesy hops. The aftertaste is ruddy and odd...again, like wet newspaper that just happens to be soaked guessed it...vanilla porter. The finish is just lightly dry. There are alot of higher alcohols lingering on the palette.

I have no desire to finish this beer. A mistake, even for the curious.

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Photo of rowew
2.26/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Presentation: 12 oz longneck, typical mediocre Breckenridge label. In big words - "REMARKABLE," and "PARTAKABLE." Spot for bottled on date to be notched, but it isn't marked.

Appearance: Very dark brown with just a hint of red around the edges when held to light. Tan colored head has good retention.

Smell: Aroma is very sweet, and smells strongly of sugar and vanilla. The aroma has me worried this is going to be too sweet.

Taste: Confirmed - way too sweet for my tastes. This one is all vanilla and sugar, and no beer.

Overall impression: This might be good for someone who isn't a fan of beer, but to me it was just overly sweet, with nothing to balance it out. I won't be getting this one again.

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Photo of jujubeast6000
2.28/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed 7/5/2006 (12oz bottle):

Pours a black brown color, small head, brownish. Very strong coffee aroma, some chocolate. Not very strong aroma. Strong coffee taste, watery. Not a strong coffee aftertaste. Just a good porter taste. Slight vanilla taste. But very watery overall.

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Photo of Bighuge
2.28/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

AP:Dark ruby. Thin brown head. Minimal lace.

AR: Vanilla Extact. Fudge. Lactose. Slight roast.

TST: Artificial and cloying. Take an average porter and dump a bunch of vanilla concentrate into it and walah. Some decent roasted tones surface every now and then but then succumb to the blanket of vanilla extract and sweet cloying malts

MF: Slightly syrupy. Very little carbonation. Medium-full body. Slick.

DK: This is a tough one. 12 ozs will be a feat in and of itself.

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Photo of MusicaleMike
2.29/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

I poured this 12 oz. bottle into my Carlsberg pint glass. No freshness date is on the bottle.

A: The body is a dark, see-through brown. It is possibly the lightest porter I have ever seen. The tan head is pretty substantial, with a thick and creamy texture.

S: The smell is pretty powerful. The most prominent smells are obviously vanilla and a light cocoa, with not a trace of hops. If the smell is any indication, I think that the vanilla may be overdone a bit.

T: This is not a complex beer. Up front this beer packs a malty punch with an abundant vanilla flavor. Actually, it is not so much "malty" as it is rich, or "boozy" even. However, the sensation of drinking something with a lot of flavor quickly departs. There is something seriously flawed about this beer, because even if you wanted the taste to last, it somehow leaves the palate mid-sip. Needless to say, I wasn't all that fond of the strong vanilla and light malts. I say amp up the malt characteristics and pull back just the slightest amount on the vanilla beans.

M: It was smooth and medium to full bodied.

D: I did not finish this beer. Why? Because I didn't want to. It is way off, and I want a beer to reaffirm my faith in craft beer. It seriously lacks the "easy to drink" factor and that's why I want to give it a low score for its drinkability.

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Photo of TheSeeker61
2.3/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A- Poured a beautiful dark brown with a head which quickly dissappeared.

S- This brew has a nice vanilla aroma.

T- The vanilla was very apparent, however the taste was rather flat to me.

M- The mouthfeel was not too impressive.

D- I was really unimpressed with this beer especially since I'm a big fan of porters. There's a great chance that I won't have this beer again. Was unable to finish it.

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Photo of disastermouse
2.34/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

A: Dark brown - just shy of a stout.

S: Very biscuity with a hint of vanilla

T: Holy unsweetened vanilla, Batman! What a weird taste. It's not metallic, but it's not really what I'm used to for a porter either. It actually tastes a lot like a macrobrew.

MF: Thinner than expected.

D: One or two is tops for me.

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Photo of n2185
2.38/5  rDev -33%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a dark mahogany with barely a finger of cream-colored head that recedes into a thin layer with no real lacing.

S: Some roasted malts at first followed by some creamy chocolate and a dash of vanilla. Not bad, but a bit muted overall.

T: Similar to the aroma, some roasted malts with a bit of a smoky flavor along with a little chocolate and some light vanilla flavors. Again, also a bit muted/bland.

M: Medium-light body with medium carbonation, it has a watery, spritzy feel to it.

O: Overall, not a very good beer. Tastes more like a watered down vanilla cola than a vanilla porter.I'd like to have much more presence from both the vanilla, roasted malts, and a creamier body.

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Photo of ne0m00re
2.38/5  rDev -33%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Live review of a 12 oz bottle. No best by date.
A: Lighter murky brown with copper hues, it poured with a small cream head with some lacing.
S: Vanilla, woody hops, cocoa powder... overall it kind of smells earthy. OK.
T: Vanilla extract, diacetyl, some woody chocolate... this isn't very exciting. It kind of tastes watered-down and muted with flavor extracts.
M: Thinner with a somewhat creamy carbonation.
O: This kind of strikes me as cheap filler beer for a fridge.

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Photo of hammer09
2.39/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I had high hopes for this beer, being a fan of porters and thinking that a vanilla flavor would correspond well with the style. Unfortunately, in this case, I think the vanilla detracts from what might have been a good porter.

Appearance is typical of a porter. Deep, dark brown with good head development. However, the head quickly subsides. Aroma exhibits a definite vanilla presence with a slight sourness, but the vanilla smells artificial and not natural. Additional aromas include a hint of esters and mild hop notes. Taste is very sweet (too sweet for my liking) and cloying. The vanilla flavor is present, but does not lend itself well to this beer. As stated above, the vanilla appears artificial. Mouthfeel is warming and acidic with too little carbonation.

Overall, I don't find this very drinkable, and I probably won't purchase this again. I would be interested to know if Breckenridge used vanilla extract or natural vanilla beans when brewing this porter. Based on my observations, I suspect extract. However, I'm not convinced that vanilla wouldn't work with a porter which may lead me to experiment with homebrews using this combination.

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Photo of radioscooter
2.39/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Bought at Brews Brothers in Pittsburgh. Was looking for an alternate contender for the Southern Tier Creme Brulee, which they were SUPPOSED to have on tap but did not.

Found this screaming out VANILLA at the top of its lungs. Fair enough, let's give it a shot.

Appearance is root beer. Not pitch black, but brown edging to dark red, some minimal frothy head.

Smell is a bit off-putting. Not getting any vanilla. Cheese - yes.

Taste - okay there it is. Wow. Vanilla does not go well with bitter. It needs to be sweetened a bit.

Very flat taste that is so dry it evaporates fro the tongue almost immediately and chalks up. What am I tasting? Vanilla, (the bitter extract version, not a milkshake version) some coffee, and those roasty toasty malt tastes. But very dry. Very bitter. Fair enough - it's a porter, not a cream stout. But still...

Not a good drinker for me.

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Photo of VncentLIFE
2.4/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12 ounce bottle poured into a 33 cL Hoegaarden glass

Apperance - poured an dark brown color with a 3/4 inch head that dissipated quickly into a thin ring of a head that lasts.

Smell - Very strong roasted malt presence. The lack of vanilla smell is kind of disappointing.

Taste - Now this I could get used to. The strong roasted malt flavor of a porter is offset by the sweetness of the vanilla. The only reason this does not get a 5.0 is this strange aftertaste that I cant exactly pin down. I'm thinking it's related to severely roasted malts, but its a definite turnoff.

Mouthfeel - Light body typical of a porter.

Drinkability - The strange aftertaste, that a fellow BA just informed me is bile really makes me want to pour this thing down the drain, but it deserves a shot.

Final verdict - For the most part, this was an unimpressive beer. Its shining moment is the addition of vanilla. I am a huge vanilla fan, but this bile stuff really turned me away.

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Photo of klewis
2.43/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

On-tap at 69 Taps - Akron, OH

A: Pours dark brown and served with no head. Little lacing.

S: Lots of vanilla with a touch of roasted malt.

T: Overwhelming vanilla taste. There are some classic porter characteristics here, but just WAY too much vanilla.

M: Medium-light bodied with moderate carbonation.

D: The flavor of this beer is obnoxious, and a bit of subtlety and restraint with the vanilla beans would have been nice. Pass on this one.

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Photo of spartanfan
2.43/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: Pours a dark reddish brown with a thin layer of white foam that quickly fades to an island of bubbles surrounded by a ring around the interior of the glass.

S: Smells of sweet and roasted malts. Coffee and a little vanilla are also noted.

T: The titular vanilla is more aparent in the flavor, but does not seem to mingle well with the other flavors. Strong chocolate flavor with a roasty finish.

M: Carbonation is there in the proper amount, but this beer is not as smooth as I would like it to be.

D: I wanted to enjoy this beer, but the flavors are not to my liking. This will be a struggle to finish and I will certainly not be having it again.

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Photo of SWMeyer4141
2.45/5  rDev -31%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I bought this and a Breckenridge Oatmeal Stout for 1.29 a piece and wasn't sure which to have first. Turns out I dropped the Oatmeal Stout so that decision was easily made.

Appearance-Dark brown color with a tan lacing. Head almost gone, and leaves no lacing.

Smell-Malts with a hint of vanilla. Maybe a little coffee

Taste-Pretty similar to the smell. Malt, Vanilla, Coffee, lots of carbonation, no booze taste.

Mouthfeel-Very thin, very easy to drink, with alot of carbonation.

Overall-Won't purchase again. If it's sitting infront of me i'll drink it. Not impressed. Only benefit was using it for a palate cleanser for my Hop Stoopid Ale.

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Photo of IntriqKen
2.46/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Pours a deep black amber with practically no head that disappears to merely a faint ring.
Aromas are honestly too faint to classify.
Taste is vanilla...definately vanilla to start with ... moving to almost a root beer taste...finishing with sweetness from the amber malts then an unpleasant aftertaste almost like synthetic vanilla.
Mouthfeel is rich and creamy.
Interesting...but probably not again.

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Photo of cnally
2.46/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

the beer pours a good tan head. but it is a see through brown with red tints, unimpressive for a porter.

sour, sour smell. slightly acrid, bitter undertones.

you know, the malt is the first thing you notice. it rises up and then fades into the vanilla afterflavor. which seems slightly artificial. not a deep flavor whatsoever.

great feel. creamy and heavy, but not in a bad way.

well, I didn't like it. it just didn't seem like it had a deep and grand flavor. the feel is great, but the aromatics and flavor depth are lacking.

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Photo of Marraybay
2.48/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Meh...pretty pedestrian. Very thin and nothing special wrt taste. Couldn't really discern the vanilla. Some mild sweetness off and on, but not enough to keep my attention, particularly as someone who searches for sweet dark stouts/porters. Would perhaps drink one handed to me at a gathering, but wouldn't invest in another 6-pack.

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Photo of brandoncox
2.51/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 1 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Lighter hue than what I'm used to with porters. A lot of redness creeps in through the glass. Khaki brown head erodes quickly.

I don't get a strong vanilla scent but its presence is there just enough to be noticed. Probably not even beans either, just extract possibly. Sweet malty chocolate mainly but has some bitter burnt caramel in there as well.

The taste is where this one fails. The most noticeable character of this brew is that it's not bold enough and I keep getting a flat watery chocolate vanilla punch with no bitter finish or bite.

Mouthfeel is just average at best. I won't elaborate.

This beer just lacks any standout qualities. Doesn't feel authentic and true to the Porter category. Avoid.

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Photo of scaliasux
2.52/5  rDev -29%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - Dark brown with maybe just a hint of red. Nearly opaque, but appears clear. Short, but durable light tan head.

Smell - Rather light almost indistinct. Most prominent odor is light vanilla.

Taste - Dark, quite sweet malt with mild/moderate vanilla flavor. Even cloying.

Mouthfeel - Medium to full bodied.

Drinkability - It's nice that the vanilla doesn't overwhelm this beer like is the case with too many flavored beers. The sweetness of this beer is a little too much for me, though.

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Photo of pweis909
2.53/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A=Dark, opaque, thin head.
S=Vanilla, cookie like, but like a chemically store bought cookie, also, metallic
T=Subdued roast, sweetish, metallic
Drink=I wouldn't want another.

I found this beer interesting and complex, but not really in a good way. Too many negative flavors and aromas.

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Photo of Marty30
2.53/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz botlle poured into Sam Adams perfect pint glass.Poured at fridge temp.

A. Really dark amber colored clear body when held up to the light. Leaves a one finger dirty white head,That leaves behind a decent amount of lacing.Very carbonated.

S. Smells of bready malts and grains.Smells like sweetend Iced tea.Some vanilla smell,very faint.

T. Not much here to talk about,not very complex.Just some bready malts and some sweet vanilla.Some bittering hops at the end.

M. Kind of thin and very carbonated.

Overall This is not a well made beer in my opinion.I would not reccomend.

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Vanilla Porter from Breckenridge Brewery
3.55 out of 5 based on 4,126 ratings.
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