Vanilla Porter | Breckenridge Brewery

BA SCORE
81
good
1,080 Reviews
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
Reviews:
1,080
Ratings:
4,140
Avg:
3.55
pDev:
16.06%
 
 
Wants:
147
Gots:
1,123
For Trade:
1
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Reviews: 1,080 | Ratings: 4,140
Photo of mikesgroove
3.72/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle that I purchased on my trip up to Ohio. Not really too familar with the Vanilla porter but I thought it looked intresting so i figured I would give it a try. Served right out of the fridge and poured into a pint glass

A - Poured a very deep dark brown, almost black with the exception of a touch of light shining through on the sides and the bottom of the glass. Decent amount of head on top, with a nice off white or light tan color that reached a heaight of around two fingers before settling back down and leaving behind a nice film across the top with more then adequate side glass lace.

S - The aroma was very rich and sweet and I was able to pick up on this almost immediatly. A very nice full smell, lots of roasted nuts are in here with a good touch of vanilla as well. Nice sweet caramel aromas and a touch of coffee too, not bad at all.

T - The flavor followed the same course as well. Really nice flavors of coffee and roasted nuts were apparent from the very beginning. These gave way to a nice earthy sweetness with lots of caramel and vanilla coming through here and really pushing the sugar envelope. Finish was nice a touch dry but with a long ligering sweetness.

M - The feel was a little light for a porter but still pretty decent. Lots of carbonation on this one and it was definitly very smooth, that was a definite. Nice somewhat creamy feel in the beginning thinned out as you went on.

D - This was easily a nice session beer for someone with a sweet tooth. Nothing in here that would really detract from having more then one of it. Not bad at all.

Overall I thought this was decent. Nothing really bad about it at all, just nothing here really blew me away really. I could have had another with a doubt. A solid call but its not gonna blow you away.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.83/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

picked a bottle up at Capone's.
Poured into a DFH shaped pint glass cool.

A - A very attractive cola-like brown w/ a 3.5 finger sand colored head that settles slowly. The head is composed of spacious swiss-cheese bubbles and generates copious amounts of lace.

S - A queer, peculier scent,yet very aromatic, like woody root beer. Tinges of vanilla spice and a very creamy aroma. Cake-like and toasted w/ a caramel or creme brulee type scent.

M - Light to med., nutty, carbonated, spiced and smooth with a residual sugar taste that really has flavor. Excellent mouthfeel with light and spiced combined.

T - A wonderful egg cream - meets dunkel lager-like smoothness. Almost too creamy - it wants to be sipped. I take big gulps to get a better taste. The porter ends up tasting like a smore in beer form: Vanilla of marshmallow, Toasted grain of graham cracker, and chocolate of chocolate malt. A very good dessert beer. It doesn't stop being a porter, it seamlessly incorporates the vanilla augmentation into a a pretty tasty porter.

D - I can't say it is the best vanilla beer ever, but a pretty tasty result with the mellow porter flavor. It might be better w/ a tad more porter in flavor, than vanilla IMO, though. Still very drinkable if you are in the mood for a smore or a porter or both.

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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.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.61/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 6/3/10 notes. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

a - Pours a dark brown color with 1 inch of tan head and light carbonation.

s - Smells of vanilla and roasted malts, but lightly. Also some dark fruits. Would have liked the smell to be a little stronger.

t - Tastes of light vanilla, oak, and roasted malts.

m - Medium to full body and moderate carb. Very smooth and creamy.

d - An ok porter. Thought the smell was a little bit weak, but had a decent taste and a great feel to it. Might try again but wouldn't really seek out.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.22/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Mickey Finn's shaker pint glass.

Pours a derk ruby black-brown with less than a finger of light ecru head that doesn't leave much leacing behind at all. The nose is loaded with vanilla beans, relegating the roasted malts, coffee, cocoa, and caramel to supporting roles, but creating a delicious aroma nonetheless. The taste allows the darker aspects to return to the van, especially the cocoa and malts, while still keeping the vanilla at hand as an able auxiliary force. The lighter sweetness and darker porter-ness balance each other quite nicely. The body is a thick medium, with minimal carbonation and a rather smooth texture. Overall, a very tasty and highly drinkable sweet porter.

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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.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.24/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

optimator13 sensed a need for me to get off of the CANned AAL train and drink outside of my box, so he sent me a box of stouts and porters. Cool! I am not averse to any beer and I have to cop to not having reviewed a porter or a stout for some time. Good lookin' out, bro!

Oh, it smells yummy! Man, my aggro pours are netting me some big heads, like this two-finger gem - light-tan, good retention, sticky lacing as it settles. Nose smelled like a swirled soft-serve ice cream cone: chocolate and vanilla at the same time. I miss ice cream not out of intolerance but simply that I never seem to be able to catch Mister Softee as he tools through my neighborhood in the summer. I am going to practice running before the season begins so that I might actually catch him this year. Color was a deep brown with cola highlights. Mouthfeel was medium and it was in the mouth that I really caught the vanilla. Holy Milli Vanilli, Batman! I remember in HomeEc when we were told to use the extract flavorings VERY judiciously and this was what a batch of my kitchen's vanilla cookies tasted like. Back then, vanilla extract was purported to be alcoholic and so we were swigging it as well as shaking it into the dough. BIG vanilla flavors, both in the cookies and this beer. One of the things that I really dig about the porter style is its ability to take on adjunct flavors. This was like a vanilla milkshake more than a Porter. Dang, but it was really pleasant. Finish was mild, smooth, fairly sweet, but it was vanilla, not sugary sweet, which is what does me in every time. I would not want more than one or two, except as a dessert beer or as an ingredient in a dessert recipe.

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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.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
2.93/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appears a cola brown caramel hue head simply billows above the rim of the glass tan light beige head color with great retention lacing spreads evenly around my pint. Aromatics powderd cocoa mild coffee tones vanilla cream air as well good mix mild herbal hop flow pretty straight forward a little ripe fruit notes peaking through as well. Flavor wise heavy vanilla extract tones among some dark chocolate roastiness but the sweetness is too much completely overbears the natural porter qualities hard to detect the hops with all that extract a flowing. Mouthfeel is medium bodied creamy carbonation definitely feels silky on the palate pretty good feel to it. Drinkability is a bit rough with all of that cloying vanilla extract going on in this brew I'm just not into it can't for see trying this one again.

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Photo of stakem
3.25/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes taken 9/1/10.

Pours a dark brown color that appears more of a clear amber red when held up to the light. Less than a finger of creamy tan head forms and doesn't retain all that well. Faint spots of lace stick to the glass.

The aroma is a very sweet smelling scent of vanilla, chocolate and fruity, estery alcohol.

The taste is slightly bitter from the hops but includes a vanilla sweetness that overtakes the light bitteness and flavor of chocolate malt.

Slightly watery in the feel with a low level of carbonation. Lingering aftertaste of chocolate and seemingly fruity malt blended with alcohol. Easy drinking but not something I would have again. This would be a beer I would give someone who is not a fan of dark beer but wants to be "eased" into it.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.22/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Bottle at America on Tap.
Deep brown with a small off white head. Lots of vanilla flavor with some light caramel and chocolate maltiness behind it. I would have preferred a richer sweeter malt base to counter the vanilla.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.88/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown. A thinner crème head doesn’t stick around long. Uneventful nose. Flavor is kind of tangy sweet, but not overpoweringly so. Thin, but good malt character. A bit too much of a sugar edge, but it’s not too bad. Feel is a bit thin on the liquid, but decent still. Minor carbonation. Not too bad a drinker. I could go for more than one, but this might be a good beer to pair with food. I am thinking hot wings or some kind of spicy lamb dish.

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Photo of tdm168
4.08/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with a reddish hue. There's a soft, off white head that has good retention. The nose has a rich vanilla aroma with some underlying roasty notes. The taste opens up with an intense vanilla flavor followed by a complex blend of flavors including toffee, coffee, roasted malt, and nuts. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, smooth, and well carbonated.

This is a very nice beer. It's complex, balanced, and very enjoyable. The initially the vanilla is so intense and the body so creamy it's like drinking vanilla ice cream. Then, the vanilla settles and the other flavors come to fore where this becomes a very complex, traditional porter. It's definitely worth a try.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.68/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

The Vanilla Porter is an easy drinking dark beer that has a great scent and balanced taste. The beer poured a nearly opaque dark with ecru head that is leaving a lace. The scent is vanilla. The taste is slightly sweet with vanilla and peat presence. The Mouthfeel is lighter in body with smooth carbonation. Overall it's drinkable.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.56/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from the bottle.

A big four finger head of off white cream consistency, some snap in the bubbles. Fairly good retention on the head for this beer. Body is a little disturbing but not awful. A cloudy brown when finished but pours with a good solid chestnut out of the bottle. Some sticky ring lacing. Ok...

Bouquet... something is off. Weakened vanilla I'll give it that, but where is malt, coffee, roast anything? talk to me here... It's a very odd smell also, like watered down vanilla extract barely a hint of some chew bread. Ok they did manage some vanilla but it is weak and the rest on the nose is really missing hardly remarkable so far. It's as if the vanilla does not match on the nose with malt or the other ingredients that should go with this beer. It's a strange mix on the nose and it seems to just not meld well.

Taste... ok this is much better. Mild weakened root beer quality vanilla and bean feel. Wet though, but it has a nice simple supermarket simple bread chew. Has a soda characteristic though which seems real strange for a porter. Small mouthfeel no carbonation, and vanilla creeps up after a swallow for a short time.

Next to nothing for abv and it shows. This is like drinking soda beer or something, but it's a piece of cake. Might even make a simple easy weakened dessert beer for people with training wheels. But it's easily likeable to drink so I'll rate it good on those points, and not hard at all, a very sessionable drinking beer which some might find kind of fun.

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Photo of jwc215
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tasted in March, reviewed from notes:

Pours dark brown (a bit murky, but darkness mostly covers it) with a thin tan head that disappears in awhile. Some thin lacing sticks.

The smell is of vanilla and chocolate.

Vanilla is prominent but with a firm chocolatey porterish backing - chocolate with very slight roast and some graininess. Not too sweet. Not exactly complex or robust.

Smooth, though a bit thin... thin side of medium with medium carbonation.

It is not too heavy on the vanilla - a good thing... a decent brew... Not one I would look for again, but had no problems going through a six-pack over a few days. I would not have mind it being more robust, however, especially for a winter seasonal.

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Photo of Billolick
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A new one to my area, 12 ounce bottle, w/o freshness/botleing date info

Pours darker brown with a dark ruby glow, when held to the light. Dark mocha head, cramy/frothy, staying , thicker collar and then well developed and thoroughly respectable fine lacing.

Vanilla (suprise) says the nostrils, with a hint of chocolate and caramel malting.

Smooth, velvety on the tongue and fairly sweet. Vanilla, clealry present but just short of overpowering. Milk chocolate, caramel, malt balls all picked up. Too sweet for sessionability, but not too sweet to enjoy this one again, perhaps with a piece of pie or chocolate dessert.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.85/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

An interesting label on this one, with some obtuse, too-clever-by-half phrasing. Beneath the words "Vanilla Porter", they proclaim: "Seldom Seen. Never Duplicated." Huh? Does that even make sense?
And, bookending the larger body of the design, at top and bottom, two words that try to belong together and prove the writer's great wit, yet fall flat. "Remarkable" ..."Partakable"...oh, kay...is partakable a word, even? And, do they know these words don't rhyme, exactly, for that seems their only purpose in pairing them.

Basically, they want to say, "It's different, and you can drink it."
So, let's see about that...

Big vanilla aromatics waft out from first crack of the crown.

Pours out a deep, dark brown, with a sliver of crimson at the sides, a meager, but loyal cocoa / tan head. Good.

Roasty nose, swiftly dominated by sweet vanilla. Light hints of coffee below, glimmers of chocolate. Pleasing, yes, but not overpowering, nor especially outstanding.

Chalky, flaky cocoa feel from the start, like a dusting of chocolate powder...rinses the mouth with a smattering of sweetness, then dashes away. Medium, at best, in body, a bit too light for me...vanilla bean flavor clings to the palate and pushes away the other flavors that may reside in the taste. Gets sweeter as we go in, a bit too much for me, actually.

Probably the best vanilla porter I've tried, but I'm still not crazy about the style.
I like more porter, less vanilla.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.83/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tumbler pint, the beer is a ruby highlighted, vibrant, dark brown that is almost black in the depths. No head on this brew. Aromas are rich in vanilla extract and brown sugary scents. Very smooth and enticing. The beer's flavors are very rich, as well, with a sugary/candied sweetness overlaying the rich, smooth vanilla and buttery backbone. Only the slightest hint of mocha coffee, but it was just enough to bring some balance to everything. Despite all the overly sweet characteristics, the beer remains crisp and clean on a light body. Not cloying, the aftertaste is rich and darkly sweet, with the vanilla making a slight cookie-batter flavor. Slick, quick finish, making this beer insanely easy to drink. Wow...very tasty!

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Photo of Duff27
2.93/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A- Dark, not bad at all. Thin head is light brown. Not much lacing.

S- Smells of a sweet smokey scent.

T- Standard porter and then boom, artificial vanilla (or whatever tastes that is). Real sweet. Too much.

M- Thin but creamy.

D/O- Unfortunately, I don't think I'd want more than one of these. It's sad but I've had this a few times and I always want it to be good... it just never is. Would like to try other Vanilla Porters out there to compare. Any suggestions?

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Photo of Tone
3.67/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark amber/brown color. The amber is present especially along the edges of the glass. 1/4 inch head of a pale tan color. Decent retention and decent lacing. Smells strongly of vanilla, then some sweet and roasted malt qualities come through, and there are some slight hops noticeable. Fits the style of an American Porter, though an extreme vanilla enriched fringe member. Mouth feel is smooth and thick with an average carbonation level. Tastes very tart up front, which was slightly off-putting, but still not bad. The first flavors are vanilla, then roasted malt and sweet malt come through, and there's a slight hop background. Overall, besides the extreme tartness this beer would have been great, but otherwise an average brew.

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Photo of tempest
3.6/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a single bottle from Abe's.
Not a bad dessert beer, if you're in to vanilla. It looks a dark brown with an off-white head. Not much lacing, but there are more important elements to beer. The aroma is of vanilla and chocolate grains. Those carry over into the flavor, along with deeper roasted flavors. The mouth is on the dry side and a little bitter, but smooth enough. Like I said, a decent dessert beer.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
4.4/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into glass.
Found it at Grapes and Grains in Denver.
This is a good one. I'll have to have more to compare it with Stoney Creek Vanilla Porter. This one has a nice head, perhaps a little thin for a porter. Keeps, but spotty.
Good aroma of coffee, vanilla, chocolate, malt and nuts.
Tastes comes on strong vanilla, but only at first. Typical porter of nuts, chocolate, malt. Coffee taste is the dominate flavor, yet isn't too strong. It says it uses real vanilla beans, and that comes through in the taste. The vanilla is strong, yet in the background.
It's a good beer, but I'll have to drink more to truly get the feel for it.
--update. OK, I've had a six pack. A nice smooth beer. Doesn't linger too long in the back of your mouth. don't drink other beers after this one unless they are big tasting.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.01/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A - A nice deep brown with a foamy coffee-coloured head that disappeared very quickly.

S - Not much of a nose at all. Some roasted malts and no obvious vanilla smell.

T - Roasted malts with vanilla bean. The vanilla is a little much. There is a very odd aftertaste that is likely the sweet vanilla residual.

M - Light to medium body. Good carbonation.

D - The sweetness of the vanilla makes this difficult to get through the whole bottle.

A decent porter and an interesting variation, but not one I would buy again.

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Photo of tone77
3.29/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is very mild, some notes of vanilla. Taste is strong of vanilla, up front and throughout, some mild hops are detected. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has good drinkability. Overall this is a pretty good beer.

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Vanilla Porter from Breckenridge Brewery
3.55 out of 5 based on 4,140 ratings.
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