Vanilla Porter | Breckenridge Brewery

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Vanilla PorterVanilla Porter
4,251 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,251 |  Reviews: 1,103
Photo of kylehay2004
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of acurtis
3.25/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of jaydoc
3.87/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.29/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle drank at Freshcraft in Denver, CO.

Pours a semi-clear dark brown color with a 1/2 inch tan head that fades to an oily film. Thin rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malts and vanilla beans. Taste is of dark roasted malts, vanilla cola, and vanilla extract. This beer has good carbonation with a soda-like crisp and clean mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good porter with some unique vanilla flavors. I would definitely get this one again. My first beer from Breckenridge.

 513 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.89/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

poured a deep mahogany color with almost no head. smells like vanilla beans, fresh and sweet and potent, faint coffee roasted malt fumes as well. love the taste, super strong vanilla happening, which people have critiqued, but i find it perfect for this beer, a really nice bold falvor without beeing rot your teeth sugary. theres a nice long finish on this one as well, where the flavors continue to evolve. mouthfeel a bit thin for a porter in my book, but other than that a real interesting porter. i could see this in an icecream float! mmm

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Photo of GRG1313
3/5  rDev -18%

Photo of spycow
3/5  rDev -18%

Photo of kjkinsey
3/5  rDev -18%

Photo of djrn2
2.5/5  rDev -31.7%

Photo of Knapp85
2.75/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I was really excited to try this brew until I actually did and wasn't very fond of it. The pour was nice its had a deep dark brown color with a tan colored head. The smell of the beer was lacking something to me... The vanilla. Maybe it's in the taste... Nope, not there either. Where is the vanilla in this? I was so bummed that I wasn't able to get any of that flavor that I probably can't give that much of a legit review. The smell did have a roasted aroma to it though, and the taste had a burnt bitterness to it. The mouthfeel wasn't too thick or anything. Overall just really bummed, I hate when something like this fails to please.

 639 characters

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of oriolesfan4
2.83/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

From the Breckenridge sampler pack. Pours a dark mahogany brown, nice little white frothy head to it. Aroma is of very faint vanilla. Taste is really thin, especially for the style which kind of ruins the mouthfeel for me. The vanilla isn't super present, but as the beer warms it shows more. Aftertaste is lackluster and doesn't just come together for me, too sloppy and watered down, and the vanilla feels out of place. The rest of the beers in the sampler pack were good, but I'd pass on this one.

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Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of metter98
3.45/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear dark amber in color and has only a slight amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a two finger high off white head that quickly died down and left rings of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of vanilla in the nose.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell except that the vanilla flavors are stronger, but not overpowering. There are some hints of roasted malts in the background.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied, smooth and a bit thin on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is easy to drink, but there's nothing really interesting about the taste that would make me want to try this again.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.93/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16oz pint. You had me at 'Partakable'.

This beer appears a clear, very dark brown hue, with persistent cola highlights, and one svelte finger of loosely foamy, bubbly beige head, which leaves some random island pattern lace around the glass as things slowly sink away.

It smells of mildly sweet real vanilla, bready caramel malt, a slight lactic sourness, a bit of black licorice, and subtle earthy hops. The taste is is more well blended vanilla extract and caramel malt, a further bit of toffee sweetness, somewhat astringent anise, and understated earthy, weedy hops.

The carbonation is a bit frothy at its zenith, the body a sturdy medium weight, readily smooth, and duly creamy. It finishes a tad sweet, the vanilla and neutered caramel riding this thing out.

A not overly sweet vanilla porter - hurr-fucking-ah! Balanced, drinkable, and yet still dessert worthy. Easy to see why this is 'Breck's' best-seller.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.38/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'd guess that BAers will either love this or hate this. Either you like the imense vanilla flavor and lactose quality, or you hate the weak porter presence. Although I find this beer intriguing and aluring, there are some characteristics that will keep me from buying it again. Smells wonderful initially, but follows up with a sweet-stout character without the stout. A fellow BA described this as soured milk...I can't disagree. The Porter part of the beer falls quite weak and a bit grainy. This allows for the lactose creaminess to become too pronounced and sweet. I would like more chocolate and coffee flavors to come from the malt. This would increase the body and keep the lactose from feeling slick and overly milky-sweet. At times the vanilla tastes like true-brewed vanilla beans, and at times tastes like a plastic-y extract and keeps me confused. I want to like it, but can't bring myself to say it with much confidence.

 934 characters

Photo of Taphouse_Traveler
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of kojevergas
3.4/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

33cl bottle served into a glass mug in high altitude Denver, Colorado. Reviewed live.

A: Four finger head of nice cream, good thickness, and good retention. A dark nontransparent brown colour.

Sm: Nuts, cream, light chocolate, and some smoke. I don't get vanilla, but then me nose is broken. All apologies, lads. A mild strength aroma.

T: Heavy vanilla and cream alongside light subtle chocolate notes. I've never had vanilla as full as it is in this beer. With this much vanilla, it'd be easy to venture into the non-beer territory of cream soda flavours, but it holds up. I'd like more cream on the open. Complex enough. Well built and balanced. Quite fanciful indeed.

Mf: Smooth and wet, complementing the flavours of the body.

Dr: Very drinkable. a low ABV, and a decent price (at least in Colorado). I'd definitely have it again, especially if it were on draught.


12.04.14: Highish B-

12.28.14 truncated impressions:

Pours a healthy head which sits for about 3 minutes. Body isn't the opaque black I expected; it's more a very dark amber. Translucent. Odd...

Aroma is of vanilla, caramel, dark malts, cream soda, and chocolate malts. Moderate intensity.

Taste suits the aroma, bringing plenty of soft vanilla notes which are very evocative but could be more genuine; the vanilla character does veer on artificial vanillin here. It's got your usual dark-and-chocolate malt base, but isn't too sweet. Prominent cream soda notes fill it out nicely, and with the chocolate notes make the beer redolent of chocolate milk or a malted shake - an attribute further amplified by its soft, creamy, smooth, wet, and yet full-bodied feel. Aptly carbonated but not too thick. Average depth, duration, and intensity of flavour. I've had far more complex vanilla porters, sure, but this is a great go-to.

I regularly find myself returning to this beer when home in Colorado. It's a vanilla porter, yes, but it's not so much a "dark beer" that it'll turn off fans of lighter fare. That desire to crowd-please may actually be what holds it back from greatness, but as-is it's a damn drinkable vanilla-forward brew with enough flare to keep me coming back to it. Certainly worth trying, but far from world class. I'll have to look for the nitro variant.


 2,267 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of oline73
4.05/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown color with some light coming through at the edges. There is a half finger of creamy off white head that fades to a ring around the pour.

Smell: Some sweet roast with lots and lots of vanilla. The vanilla may be a bit artificial, but it's still quite nice. I'm also getting some dark fruit notes.

Taste: Some roast up front. This beer isn't very sweet until the finish. The finish has the sweetness along with the strong vanilla presence. Nothing earth shattering, but not bad.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with fluffy, smooth carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: The first time I had this beer it was a real eye opener for me. I didn't realize the kind of things you could do with beer. That being said, it will always hold a special place in my heart.

 835 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.68/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a few shades of brown too light for a porter; looks more like a brown ale; the rocky head retains fairly well and leaves some lacing, too

Smell: Lots of vanilla and toffee elements; pronounced and appealing

Taste: Starts out with plenty of caramel but by mid-palate, the vanilla takes over and dominates; subtle coffee and milk chocolate elements are underneath, and there is a bitter element that appears at the swallow but quickly fades as the vanilla re-asserts itself

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Interesting concept but not something I would want to drink on a frequent basis due to the underlying sweetness

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Photo of zeff80
3.3/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours out a dark brown color with no head to speak of.

S - Smelled very strongly of vanilla and malt.

T - Tasted mainly of vanill and some malt. As it warmed the vanilla flavor became more subtle and the beer tasted better.

M - It was soft and creamy. Medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a very unique beer. At first sip I wasn't sure if I'd like it but it gets better as it warms.

 394 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
2.2/5  rDev -39.9%
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.

 343 characters

Photo of LXIXME
4/5  rDev +9.3%

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Vanilla Porter from Breckenridge Brewery
Beer rating: 3.66 out of 5 with 4,251 ratings
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