Vanilla Porter | Breckenridge Brewery

BA SCORE
81
good
4,185 Ratings
Vanilla PorterVanilla Porter
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Breckenridge Brewery
Colorado, United States
breckbrew.com

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
4,185
Reviews:
1,087
Avg:
3.55
pDev:
16.06%
 
 
Wants:
149
Gots:
1,153
For Trade:
1
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,185 |  Reviews: 1,087
Photo of dmorgan310
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of superspak
3.78/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, best before 7/6/2014. Pours crystal clear deep reddish brown color with a 1 finger dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a light amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of chocolate, cocoa, caramel, vanilla, toasted bread, light coffee, cream, and herbal/toasted earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance of dark/bready malt and vanilla notes; with solid strength. Taste of chocolate, cocoa, caramel, vanilla, toasted bread, light coffee, cream, and herbal/toasted earthiness. Light herbal bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of chocolate, cocoa, caramel, vanilla, toasted bread, and herbal/toasted earthiness on the finish for a short bit. Very nice balance and robustness of dark/bready malts and vanilla flavors; with a good malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth and fairly creamy/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with zero warming present after the finish as expected of 4.7%. Overall this is a very good vanilla porter. All around good robustness and balance of dark/bready malt and vanilla flavors; and very smooth to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering.

 1,312 characters

Photo of mothman
3.23/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Color is a deep ruby/brown. Pous a slight tan head and leaves great lacing.

Aroma is of carmel, malts, and the last hint was vanilla. Taste is of overpowering vanilla. Carmel is also mixed in as well.

Mouthfeel is very creamy, after it lingers around, it tastes almost like vanilla vodka.

Overall, this is a very unique beer, not something I would want to try again, but I am glad I got to try it once.

 407 characters

Photo of Boone757
4/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of nickfl
3.43/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours with one finger of light tan head on top of a slightly hazy, dark brown body with ruby highlights. The foam dissipates pretty quickly and leaves moderate lace.

S - An aroma of light toffee and caramel with some roasted malt and chocolate. Some nutty malt and mocha charatcter with perhaps a hint of vanilla.

T - Warm toffee and carmel malt up front with some roasty mocha flavors. Fades to light chocolate in the middle with some light pine hops. The finish is full of very strong toffee with distinct vanilla and butterscotch flavor. The toffee lingers lightly on the palate with a hint of the vanilla.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a somewhat sweet finish.

D - I started out liking this, but by the end of the glass the vanilla/butterscotch flavor of the finish has become very cloying and kind of medicinal. There isn't really that much roast character for a porter, and this almost seems like an old ale to me. No freshness date, so I can't comment on the age of the bottle, but based on this sample, I don't think I will be tring this beer again.

 1,084 characters

Photo of oberon
3.53/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Lindley Park Filling Station here in Greensboro.Poured into a standard pint a deep dar brown with some ruby hue to it,a thinner but well sustained off white head atop.Big sweet vanilla aromas mixed with some roasted notes,flavors are quite sweet up front with vanilla and molasses flavors, there is a decent drying woddy,earthy finish to keep it from being sweeter than it already is.Not bad but the sweetness up front can be a bit much though.

 454 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.35/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

served in pint glass

A - about 98% opaque dark brown; scant but lasting tan head.

S - mainly vanilla and malt, with caramel

T - sour + sweet + bitter + malty + vanilla. Finish is light with lasting elements of malt and vanilla. Not a sweet dessert beer; certainly not as sweet as might be expected given the pronounced vanilla in the aroma.

D - nice novelty beer, but not a great choice as a session beer.

M - good carbonation level; perhaps a bit light for a porter

 473 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.7/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Many of the vanilla porters I've tasted have been over-done with vanilla extract that tends to build on the palate and lead to a nasty finish. This one, however, is at least a little bit more nicely balanced. The vanilla definitely makes it's presence known amidst the mildly roasty, chocolatey, and lightly caramelish character of the malt, but it doesn't cover them up. And it lingers nicely in the finish, without becoming too "artificial". The beer is well made and has a good appearance and head retention. As for drinkability, I still think that the vanilla has to hinder it on a volume scale (ie. it's kind of a one and done beer), and I don't think that it adds enough character and flavor to REALLY make you want to have one (ie. along the lines of a Sam Adam's Triple Bock). However, it's still pleasant enough throughout a single glass, and I'd enjoy having one during a night out with the lads or with dinner. I wonder how this might pair with something like honey-glazed wings, or potato pizza? I think it has the potential to work as more than just a dessert beer. Interesting.

 1,091 characters

Photo of jlindros
3.58/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Fizzy 1.5 finger head fades semi slowly with a little lacing, over very dark brown, with a rosy hue.

Nose adds some light roasted malts, a bit of chocolate, tons of vanilla, slight syrupy caramel, that's mostly it, just lots of vanilla, some light roast and chocolate.

Taste is just tons of cheap vanilla flavoring, its like cheap vanilla ice cream with a little bit of porter mixed in, a very light roast and coffee, caramel, a creamy demeanor, but pretty much just cheap vanilla. Finishes a little bitter, but semi sweet, and little bit of minerality.

Mouth is medium bodied, creamy, smooth, and decent carbonation.

It's not bad if you like overpowering vanilla and cheap vanilla ice cream, but nothing special.

 717 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.42/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Acquired from DrJay courtesy of Birthday Club 2, so a big “Thank you” goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a dark reddish brown color with a very thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is smoky and contains strong vanilla and roasted malts with a little bit of caramel & hops in the background.

T: The taste is loaded with vanilla, more so than any other beer that I’ve had. There’s a little bit of caramel, spice and hops in it but they only show up briefly. The malt character is very hearty as you would expect. The after-taste is sweet. Previously, I have disparagingly described other beers as tasting like cream soda. While this beer tastes more like cream soda than those beers that I berated, this one does it well, because it retains taste qualities of beers that the others did not.

M: Very smooth with a decent amount of crispness, medium body, light-to-medium carbonation, finish is a little sticky.

D: Very tasty, goes down quite easily, slightly filling, very good representation of style within the style (while it's listed as an Herbed/Spiced Beer, it probably should be listed as an American Porter), this beer is one I could drink quite a few of until I get too full, but it’s still very good.

 1,323 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
3.32/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served on tap at Cork City Pub in Hoboken, NJ

A: Pours a clear very dark amber to medium brown in color. The beer has a thin (less than quarter finger) light tan head that reduces to a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Minimal amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate amounts of light coffee roast and roasted malts along with a strong flavor of artificial vanilla - very sweet.

T: Similar to the smell with a strong malt body of dark roasted and caramel malts upfront with a strong presence of artificial vanilla in the finish that lingers for quite a while.

M: On the lighter side of medium bodied with light to moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly thin/watery.

O: A little too light for the style in my opinion and the artificial vanilla flavor is a little overpowering for my tastes. The beer is not the easiest to drink and is nothing special in my opinion. Just average and probably not one I would order again.

 933 characters

Photo of Rifugium
3.95/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First had: bottle at Eulogy, Philly, PA

A: Opaque, deep, dark brown color; little to no head.

S: Roasty malts, vanilla.

T: Tasty vanilla right up front, with roasty malts and a bit of coffee in the middle. Finishes sweet and slightly dry.

M: Medium body, not heavy at all.

D: Very tasty. The vanilla is pronounced and very nice.

 334 characters

Photo of nathanmiller
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of XmnwildX12
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of mendvicdog
4/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of Gagnonsux
3.63/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Color is dark brown with a nice maroon glow. Head is of average height and light brown. Retention is good, a small layer of cream lasts through the end of a glass. Aroma is of dark, sweet lightly roasted malts and a vague whiff of vanilla. Smell seems more like that of a brown ale than a porter. Taste has more of that sweet, lightly roasted brown ale flavor. Vanilla comes into play towards the middle of a sip and adds it's mellow charms. Finish is abrupt. Overall, this is pretty good, maybe a bit on the thin side, and is probably a vanilla brown ale and not a porter.

 573 characters

Photo of smithj4
3.9/5  rDev +9.9%

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.18/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, dark, dark reddish body with a wispy, off-white head.

Smell: How upsetting. Incredibly weak aroma of sour grains with a tinge of herbaceousness to it.

Taste: Light, sour malt taste with a mild milk chocolate flavor. Only the faintest hint of vanilla crops up midway and lasts into the chocolate water finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Woefully weak and unappealing.

 434 characters

Photo of atrocity
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of russpowell
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a ruddy brown/black with little light penatrating the glass. Tan malt head starts off about 1" deep but drops down to a film. Below average lacing and head retention

Smell: Roasted malt, vanilla not much else

Taste: Sweetness and vanilla notes up front. Some grainy bitterness/leather taste in the middle and slight dryness and more vanilla in the finish

MF: Slighty prickly but not out of balance

Drinkable for 1 or 2 but too sweet past that. Would be great with a brownie. I'd think this would work for me with about 2% more abv. Worth a try when you you sweet tooth is calling

 597 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.53/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Moderate head that leaves decent lace on the glass although that diminishes as the tasting continues. Light brown color where light shines through easily.

Mildly earthy. No vanilla to the nose. Too mild for the style.

Strong cocoa flavor. Milk chocolate finish-- lightly sweet. A smooth beer with a rich body and a low carbonation. Very low hop presence. With vanilla being such a subtle flavor, I'm not embarrassed to say that I cannot find it in my tasting. Easy to quaff.

 477 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.73/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Roasted walnut brown on the desktop, maroon with orange highlights when backlit. A golden ecru cap sits atop the beer and begins to deflate as surface bubbles pop! pop! pop! in rapid succession. Better than average lace helps turn this into a pretty good looking porter.

The nose is weak and isn't all that porterish. That's somewhat surprising since the malt bill runs the gamut from pale to caramel to chocolate to black to roasted barley. Precious little of the darker malts were used, I'm guessing. I do appreciate the unmistakable aroma of vanilla, so all is not lost.

Breckenridge went to the trouble to acquire vanilla beans from New Guinea and Madagascar. I guess a blending of the two is required to get exactly the vanilla flavor they're looking for. Why then does it taste like poor quality vanilla extract? Despite the fact that it has a great deal of flavor, I'm not enjoying the beer as much as I was during the first few sips.

It's a little too sweet, with a chocolate and caramal extract flavor. I'm sure the brewery uses quality ingredients, it just doesn't taste like it. Vanilla, which I usually love, is becoming more overpowering as I drink. Good thing the bottle is only twelve ounces.

The body/mouthfeel is both thin and slightly sticky, a combination of characteristics that has always made me think that sugar was added (after fermentation) to a relatively light-bodied beer. It's a fairly unexciting mouthfeel that might have been helped by a few more bubbles. Nah, probably not.

A vanilla porter sounds like something I would enjoy. It's too bad this winter seasonal isn't very good. I have no idea where the fault lies, but the beer tastes fake. Never mind the word 'partakable' along the bottom edge of the label. I won't be partaking of Vanilla Porter ever again.

 1,798 characters

Photo of duceswild
3.25/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of vfgccp
4.15/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A – Deep black cranberry red with cola highlights. Head pours creamy, about 2 fingers high in the glass, and leaves a nice lace. Moderate retention.

S – Light roast with soft maple syrup. The net effect is waffles. Hunt of caramel booze and vanilla deep in the nose.

T – Smooth chocolate and whipped cream. The vanilla is broad and supports a light roast behind the profile. Mellow coffee and marshmallow finish.

M – Full, creamy body.

O – Nice, complex profile, but could use a shade more intensity.

 514 characters

Vanilla Porter from Breckenridge Brewery
3.55 out of 5 based on 4,185 ratings.
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