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Vanilla Porter | Breckenridge Brewery

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1,071 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: 1,071 | Ratings: 4,092
Photo of nrbw23
2.53/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A- Pours a dark brown color with a beige head. Head disappears pretty quick and leaves pretty much no lacing.

S- The vanilla was all over the place and was a lot stronger as it warmed up. Quite a bit of coffee and choclate here too.

T- Roasted malts, coffee, chocolate and way too sweet. Vanilla also dominants this brew.

M- On the lighter side of medium and a bit more carbonation too.

O- A bit of a let down here. I don't think I'll have this one again.

 463 characters

Photo of wnh
2.54/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12 oz. bottled poured into a pint glass. This is bottle number three of six, and I'm giving it one last shot before I give up on this beer.

Pours a deep brown, almost black, that looks chestnut tinted ruby when held up to the light. Quite a nice color, really. Poured with a huge 1.5" light tan head that has dissipated to a small, slightly foamy film across the surface.

The nose is chocolate up front, somewhere between milk and dark chocolate. Not as sweet as the former, not as bitter as the latter. Vanilla comes in next, increasing in intensity the more I sniff, and eventually becoming somewhat one-dimensional. If there's anything else to smell, it's being suppressed by the vanilla.

First sip is sweet chocolate with hints of vanilla; the vanilla flavor comes more into the foreground on each subsequent sip. Bitter chocolate in the finish starts to bring this beer back into balance, but doesn't go far enough. Caramel-filled-chocolate aftertaste is a little too candy-like.

Mouthfeel is noticeably light, and on the verge of watery. Little to no mouth coating, which actually turns out to be a good thing since it keeps the sicky sweetness from sticking around too long. Finishes pretty dry.

Drinkability is nil as far as I'm concerned. It's not the worst thing ever, but I'll be hard pressed to finish this glass, let alone have any desire for another. It's just too sweet. The sweetness is a perfectly acceptable component, but here it acts as the lone component.

To my palate, this beer is in serious need of something to balance the sweet, whether it be a nice roasty backbone, or some coffee or dark chocolate bitterness, or even some earthy hoppiness. But it's got little of that balance--presumably enough to keep it from being pure sugar water, but not enough to really make it an enjoyable beer. In short, I was looking for a good porter with vanilla notes, but instead this feels like a vanilla beer built on a sub-par porter. The label proclaims that this beer is "Remarkable" and "Partakable." I disagree with each. I'm quite disappointed.

I eventually paired this up with some locally-made artisanal chocolate (from Askinosie, for those interested) made with sugar crystals and vanilla. Interestingly enough, the vanilla in the chocolate served to (a) bring to light just how cheap the vanilla in the beer tasted and (b) provide the appropriate bitterness to bring the flavors of the beer back into check. In other words, the chocolate showed me just how bad this beer tastes, but actually made it taste better.

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Photo of Jakeszetela
2.56/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 1 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

I would say that i normally rate things on the generous side. Whether it is food or beer, I am more inclined to say, "eh it wasn't that bad i guess" even if it should be more critically rated. I preface with that, because that is really saying something when I rate this beer so poorly. I poured rather aggressively and I was absolutely shocked that it produced NO head. Not very little, not less than I'd prefer...NO HEAD. After a few seconds all that was left was a rootbeer-ish foam rim around the glass and that haze that sits in the middle of the glass. To put it in perspective, I literally had to look at the bottle and box to make sure I had not accidentally bought a fancy soda. The mouthfeel is very thin and extremely undercarbonated. The flavor hammers with vanilla and reminds me of a very tasty soda, but not a tasty beer.

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Photo of OldSwampy
2.56/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

One of those "X tastes good, Y tastes good... maybe X + Y will taste good" experiments. Nope.

I like vanilla, and I like porter, but this is weird. Color is decent enough, a dark cola with a light tan head. Nothing exceptional. Nose, typical porter malts... and yep, there's a sweet vanilla cloud there. Taste: maybe for a split second I thought this would be decent, then the vanilla kicked in, and it's too strong, too much like candy all through the middle of the flavor profile. And then if that's not enough, it sort of gets watery at the end. Mouthfeel is nothing strange, but leaves an aftertaste that's a little too much like artificially flavored candy. Glad I only bought one. Best by date was 6/19/16 ("06B19B16"), so freshness was not the problem.

 761 characters

Photo of weller1js
2.56/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

appearance: pours a moderate reddish-brown, readily transparent when held up to the light; moderate carbonation with a filmy foam that dissipates leaving a slight filmy ring of lacing.

smell: light vanilla scent, with a sharper sweetness that seems to be a mesh of hops blended with the alcohol.

taste: subdued and bland, the malts have little body, and the vanilla taste comes off with an vanilla-extract-alcohol-like taste, any hops taste seem to clash with that taste.

drinkability: for a porter, it is too light and subdued, the attempt at the vanilla flavor comes off as trying too hard, not terrible but nothing notable.

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Photo of athensbeermaster
2.57/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

This porter poured a small head. The nose had a small hint a vanilla and roasted malts. The mouthfeel was thin and weak. I was expecting even more than a regular porter with all the hype of the real vanilla beans. But this beer was to thin to be a good porter.
A small hint of vanilla and some waterdown malts. I wish Bert Grant was still alive to make the real deal "Perfect Porter" !
Big let down

 399 characters

Photo of chicano4craft
2.58/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours brown with some red highlights. One and a half fingers worth of of white head. No retention.

Very clean smelling nose. Some roasted malts, although more biscuity, with a hint of vanilla. Really subtle.

Nice vanilla flavor right away. Sort of a one trick pony. Doesn't feel like a porter backbone. Lacks real depth.

Mouthfeel is okay if not a little light.

Overall I'm not a fan. It easy drinking but I don't like vanilla enough to have more than one.

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Photo of esv
2.61/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A) Fat, tan head off the pour but it disappears quickly. Porous. Dark, dark brown.

S) Light vanilla and a whiff of floral hops which seems out of place. Some dark, light chocolate. And something I don't have the words for. I think if you made a brown sugar, oatmeal cookie with some vanilla and cooked it a little too long, you might get the same smell ... it's pleasant.

T) Vanilla and soft sweetness with just a hint of roasted malt at the end.No bitterness, no hops. I kind of find it sickeningly sweet.

M) Falls very flat. Low carbonation.

D) So hard for me to drink. I need some kind of bitterness, something to balance it. Struggled through this one.

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Photo of Sumo_Steve
2.61/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Color was a reddish brown with a small caramel head. Body was a bit thin food a porter. Initial flavor was thin with a slight vanilla tinge, with a strong coffee-like bitterness to follow. Thoroughly unremarkable. Too dry for the style and not nearly enough vanilla. Dry Dock makes a much better iteration of this beer.

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Photo of Kemmerlin
2.62/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

A: Poured an amber purple color with a thin head from a hard pour and light lacing down the glass.

S: Smells malty like a porter with very very faint coffee notes but no vanilla.

T: A sour bitter taste of malts and yeast with a very strong vanilla front and aftertaste. This is the second time I've had this beer with the same results in taste as the last time.

M/D: Leaves a slimy and alcohol astringent feel in the mouth surprising for only 4.7% abv. The drinkability is quite awful, I have to choke this one down.

 519 characters

Photo of MrDanno96
2.62/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

A: Pours with surprisingly little head - in fact, almost none. Dark brown, almost black, with a little lacing.

S: Fairly pedestrian - a good does of roasted malt with a hint of vanilla.

T: A little roasted malt, barely any vanilla, and some bitterness in the finish.

M: This is the brew's main problem - it's incredibly thin and watery. Medium amount of carbonation, but that doesn't help at all.

D: Very disappointing - almost no vanilla flavor and incredibly thin bodied.

 481 characters

Photo of Satchboogie
2.62/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

A: Looks pretty standard for a Porter, albeit thin.
S: Artificial Vanilla sweetness and bit of chocolate. The sweet aroma almost smells chemical
T: Upfront is a lot of sweet vanilla, it mellows out mid-palate to a watered down semi-sweet chocolate. Sweet finish that becomes more chemical vanilla as you drink through a glass. Not pleasant.
M: Watery thin, carbonation was fine.
O: Definitely underwhelmed. I knew going in it would likely be sweet, thin, and maybe a bit chemically, but the aftertaste made this impossible for me to finish. I'm not going back to this beer again.

 592 characters

Photo of webbcreative
2.62/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Poured Dark Brown almost black, but with reddish when looked at through the light, Tan 1 finger head. Taste is tobacco like, it reminds me of a vanilla black and mild or swisher sweet. Taste is about the same, still reminded of a flavored cigar. Cant get past the tobacconess of this one. Vanilla tastes like artificial extract syrup, thats not even that good to begin with.

Overall, not somthing I would try again, although I would like to find or make a good Vanilla Porter still...

 486 characters

Photo of TheDeuce
2.63/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Breckenridge Vanilla Porter, on tap at Bridgewater Pub in 30th St Station

Appearance-a thick brown color that is thick and hard to see through, the tan head rises and dissapears quickly.

Smell-faint hints of vanilla, maybe some hop and alcohol, overall not that aromatic

Taste/Mouthfeel-thin and watery, light to medium mouthfeel, vanilla upfront, taste more of a vanilla syrup style than actual vanilla. This flavor dominates, alcohol is very hidden, a touch of malt on the way down, decently smooth.

Drinkability-not that much a fan of the flavor, alcohol was hidden well, not alcoholic.

Overall-disappointing as I was really excited to try this on the menu, sad that it didn't quite live up to the hype. Try it for something different but don't expect too much.

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Photo of chilly460
2.63/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12oz bottle into a pint glass

A - Nice brown with tan head, some lacing

S - Not really much scent could be detected, some vanilla definitely there

T - The vanilla sweetness was a bit rough, and was a wierd transition to the somewhat bitter finish. Just can't appreciate get into this.

M - Normal for this style

D - Just too off tasting bitterness next to the almost "artificial" tasting vanilla/sweetness. One was enough.

It got a little better as it warmed up, but I can't say this was one I'd try again.

 513 characters

Photo of lonestar4lunch
2.63/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours very dark, almost black. Small head with little lacing that sticks around. Aroma is of smoked toffee along with a hint of coffee, malt.
Taste is initally smooth and creamy then the vanilla & toffee kick in. Wow… this is quite overpowering but at the same time this is why I appreciate beer. The plethora of brews avaliable that all taste different. I have to admit quite drinkable but man does that vanilla stick around. Too much for me.
My least favorite brew from Breckenridge but have to appreciate it for the style. Maybe enjoy again someday with a good cigar, would make a GREAT partner in crime on that one.

 624 characters

Photo of andrewinski1
2.64/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a pint glass. There is just about no head atop a dark nearly black body.

The aroma has some sweet malt with notes of molasses.

The flavor is sweet and slightly syrupy, with maple notes. This comes off as being too sweet with a lingering aftertaste.

This is light bodied with a syrupy mouthfeel.

Eh, this isn't terrible, but I probably won't ever get it again.

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Photo of u2carew
2.66/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12oz. longneck.
A) Pours with a thin head - creamy and off white. Lacing is thin and sticky. Dark brown in color with reddish hues.
S) Hints of vanilla, roasted grains and coffee.
T) A slight astringent taste up front then moves to a robust vanilla flavor. It is almost as if the vanilla is in mix to cover up the astringent flavor like some liquid conspiracy. There are light notes of roasted grain - coffee and chocolate, but not enough to salvage the beer. Each sip starts astringent and finishes with a rich sweetness that is a bit too much for this beer drinker.
M) Crisp. Medium to full body. Dry in the finish. A bit of a tannin feel in the after taste.
D) Not a porter I will return back to...

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Photo of aforbes10
2.66/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

scarlet brown with nice solid head. odor like plums, vanilla, chocolates. taste is like a porter with a ton of artificial vanilla flavor added. why would you do this? what a great way to ruin a porter. the roasty malt and choco flavor that i like in a porter was there, but instead of the subtle vanilla flavors washing in and out, its just a major vanilla blast that destroys the beer. not my thing i guess.

 408 characters

Photo of dsa7783
2.67/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Appearance: Dark, maroon-colored hue... Minimal head, moderate lacing...
Smell: purple grapes, chocolate, mocha essences...
Taste: Dark purple grapes, malts, cocoa, mocha, slightly sweet finish...
Nothing special...
A light-bodied porter...

 259 characters

Photo of AgentZero
2.68/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - A black porteresque look with a head that was just a little bit ligher than I would have liked. Shines through ruby on the edges of the glass.

S - Roasted/burnt malts dominate. Little bit of chocolate in there. I'm looking for vanilla and I smell it, I think, barely, or maybe it's my imagination.

T - Dissapointing. I loved Victory at Sea, which made me want to try another vanilla porter, but this is nothing like that. I honestly don't taste vanilla, and I'm trying to. Other than that, it's mostly burnt malts that finishes a little bitter.

M - Little thin, medium carbonation, medium bodied.

D - Well, I guess you can drink it, but I'd rather have a nice "normal" porter than this. Not all that great, no desire to drink it again.

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Photo of jdubjacket
2.68/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured out of a bottle. Minimal lacing. Head dissipates quickly. Colors is almost amber - almost too light to be a true porter. Smell is muddled and unremarkable. Smells mostly like alcohol. Taste is probably the most disappointing part of this beer. Doesn't taste like porter. Tastes very little like vanilla. Overall, the taste is bland. Mouthfeel is watery unlike the traditional porter. Drinkability is average since the beer has little taste and is not too heavy.

This beer was a big disappointment considering all the hype I've read.

EDIT: I tried this beer again, and I think I had a bad bottle the 1st time. The beer has a very creamy mouthfeel and the vanilla jumps out at you. However, the taste is only OK. Tasted a little like cough medicine and you can only have one of these at a time.

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Photo of urwithdave
2.68/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Drank this from a imperial pint glass.

A- Pours dark brown in color. No head or lacing. Looks very thin.

S- Some slight hints of dark chocolate and some distant malts. There really isn't anything else going on here.

T- Weak roasted malts. Some fake vanilla and a slight suggestion of hops. I am really Really not feeling this one.

M- Very thin almost water like. Light carbonation with a weak finish.

D- I could drink this like water but there is a reason for that.

 471 characters

Photo of JamesS
2.68/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours out nice, although a little light with very little head and very little lacing later on. Clashing aromas of the usual porter scent with vanilla and what smells like oak cask. The taste also clashes, between a burnt oak (not good) and vanilla (all right if it wasn't for the clash), along with a husky, burnt taste. It's not bad going down, but leaves an odd aftertaste and is a bit rough.

 394 characters

Photo of json83
2.68/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I tasted the vanilla which seemed to hold slightly in the back of your mouth after you took a sip - that was the best thing about this beer. The aftertaste was pretty strong and not very impressive. Maybe it's the Ale flavor that turns me away?

I was looking forward to trying the vanilla flavor but something tells me there is a better one out there.

 353 characters

Vanilla Porter from Breckenridge Brewery
3.55 out of 5 based on 4,092 ratings.
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