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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: 4,093
Photo of Pantalones
3.7/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Decided to give this one a second chance after having a six-pack that I'm pretty sure was a bad batch (very inconsistent, very little noticeable vanilla, only two bottles even had "roasty" porter/stout type flavor.) Single bottle this time, best-by date is April 6th, 2016 (or "04 B 06 B 16" as it's printed. 04/06/16 with B's instead of slashes, that's kinda neat actually.)

Anyway, on to the beer! It pours a dark cola-like brown, settling into something a lot closer to black once in the glass, though I can see hints of dark brown around the edges. Seems to be pretty clear, as my little LED flashlight pierces straight through (albeit only in the form of a circle of red dots... it's dark enough that the light beam itself doesn't quite make it all the way through.) Not a lot of bubble activity though, even with the flashlight I only occasionally see one rising up. There's a pretty good layer of foam on top (light tan in color) when I first pour, but several minutes later it's shrunk to a thin cap on the top with a thicker ring around the sides. Leaves some pretty nice trails behind on the inside of the glass, too -- and these last basically forever, the lacing from the first couple sips is still very much present even as I'm getting near the end of the glass.

Smell is a tad faint after the initial foam has shrunk away, but there's a good bit of sweetness, some vanilla, and a bit of roastiness hanging out in the background. The sweetness has a bit of a raisiny fruitiness to it. Toward the end of the glass it's coming out as more of an earthy dark malt sort of thing, with the sweetness and vanilla not standing out in the smell as much anymore (though they are present in the taste all the way through to the last drop, fortunately!)

Taste is roasty right away on the first sip, blending in a bit of that raisiny thing from the smell with a dark bready sort of malt flavor and... okay, yeah, this is DEFINITELY a vanilla beer, I feel like I just had a bite of already-mostly-melted vanilla ice cream. On later sips, the raisiny thing fades away a bit and it's more like roasty/malty straight into nice smooth sweetish vanilla. Occasionally it comes across a little weird at the moment the roasted malt gives way to the vanilla, but that's my only real complaint here and it's a minor one.

Feel is on the lighter side, but at only 5.4% ABV that isn't too surprising. It's not at all prickly or harsh and is EXTREMELY drinkable. I'm not sure how they do it but this legitimately does leave my mouth feeling like I just had a little sip of a vanilla milkshake, or partly melted ice cream, right after I swallow -- not sure if that's entirely mouthfeel or a mixture of that and the flavor, but either way it definitely works.

Overall, this is DRASTICALLY better than the six-pack I had before -- enough of the roasty malt flavors to work as a porter, but also a load of vanilla. It's a really nice combination. There's so much vanilla that I can only really see this working as a dessert beer rather than with a meal... but considering that dessert-beer is exactly what I wanted when I grabbed that bottle out of the fridge, that works for me!

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Photo of Gajo74
3.74/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown with a hint of amber and mahogany. A modest creamy head and lace that clings to the glass.
Aroma is sweet all around. The dark fruits the nose, followed by vanilla which predominates throughout the rest of the drink. There are also some light coffee and roasted malt tones to balance out the sweetness.
The taste is interesting and a bit unusual for a porter. There are some roasted malt tones, however, surprisingly I detect more of a fruity presence, particularly a slightly citric and sour finish. The vanilla flavor is also there .The hops bitterness is minimal. The body is medium and perhaps a bit thin for a porter. It is easy to drink however and would make for a good session beer.
Overall I did like it. I think Peyton Manning should have endorsed this local Colorado brew instead of Bud.

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Photo of brewskifan55
3.56/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a taster glass.

A: Dark brown with more of a foamy tan ring than head. Light lacing.

S: Vanilla blends in nicely with chocolate undertones.

T: Follows nose with a smooth chocolate/vanilla mixup with a bit of nuttiness thrown in.

M: Low to medium with medium carbonation. Creamy.

O: Nothing spectacular, just a decent porter with those great vanilla touches. Sessionable.

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Photo of Brew_42
3.93/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pretty decent Vanilla porter. I recently had this and Saucony on consecutive days and I think Saucony Creek tastes better but Breckenridge has a much better texture. The Vanilla in this one doesn't work as well but it is still pretty tasty.

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Photo of C_Solodkin
3.85/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep dark brownish tint. Minimal head retention and very little lace. Has a nice vanilla scent. Drinks smooth with a nutty vanilla being the dominant flavor and hints of oatmeal and clove. Smooth and light finish. Very drinkable and on the lighter side for a porter but didn't knock my socks off.

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Photo of MacMalt
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into snifter. It pours a dark brown with cola hues and a thin, khaki-colored head and lacing. It features a nice vanilla scent. The taste is vanilla forward with coffee, dark chocolate, and nuts. It has a nice blend of vanilla sweetness and bitter coffee grounds. It also has a slight sourness at the finish. This porter is medium-bodied, moderately carbonated, and very easy to drink at 5.4% ABV. Overall, it is tasty and light but not nearly as flavorful and satisfying as Victory at Sea, Eddie Fitz or Founders Porter

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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 Bennybgood7
3.48/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nice porter. There is something different going on, but the vanilla eludes me. Not bitter, but also not cloyingly sweet. Still very good, glad I bought a 6 pack.

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Photo of rapayn01
4.25/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The vanilla flavor interacts in an interesting way with the roasted malt of the porter. It isn't sweet, which is good, but some of the bitterness is altered.

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Photo of ctylinebeer
3.32/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into an oval glass. Poured down the center with no tilt.

L - dark brown color with brown highlights. Not an aggressive pour, so only one finger of head. Little bit of lacing on the glass.

S - milk chocolate, vanilla, dark malts, coffee, oatmeal.

T - chocolate cake, chocolate milk, followed by a dark malt finish. Pairs well with vanilla ice cream

F - pretty light in body. Not too much carbonation. Not too heavy.

O - did not get too much vanilla but I have heard other people taste it. Unfortunately, they just sold to AB-INBEV, which is too bad. It's pretty good though, give it a try.

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Photo of THSdrummer
4.4/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a black with a decent sized cafe creme colors head. Leaves behind a small lingering of lace. Taking a whiff brew hits the nose with a sweet, vanilla flavor, inviting you to take a sip, or long swig. The taste is fantastic. It starts off with some flavorful malts which mix with vanilla. It certainly has a delightful, sweet taste. Mouth feel is great. It feels smooth and creamy. Exceptionally easy and a pleasure to drink. Overall, this is a lovely brew. Great flavors right now, with a nice sweet taste that is not overwhelming.

Served in 12oz snifter. Bottled before Breckenridge Brewery buyout.

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Photo of CalebM
3.43/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Undated bottle, slowly poured into a cheap-o pint glass I have.

Look: dark hickory, minimal head. Lots of lacing that lasted the entire time.

Smell: Vanilla, some nuttiness (walnut? pecan?). Tincy bit of of dark chocolate.

Taste: I noticed the vanilla a bit more upfront than some of the other reviewers here, but it didn't wow me. The same roast-y, nutty character in many porters--and it works. Somewhere along the line, the vanilla tasted too sweet, if not artificial. Would love to see the ingredients :)

Feel: Surprisingly light, very drinkable. Pretty highly carbonated, and it sticks to your mouth a little bit.

Overall: Less than expected in taste factor, but this is a good, ballpark porter w/ a vanilla twist. Worth trying if, like me, you see a lone bottle at your beer stop.

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Photo of theBubba
3.78/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Good "proper Porter color" with a nice but not long lasting head. Lace that really did last...'til the end of the glass. Aroma of vanilla, chocolate and a bit of coffee.

After tasting, my first impression was that of a slight sourness and a thin mouth feel. This stayed with me to the end but I have to say that this Porter was still tasty and non offensive in terms of bitterness. I'm an avid hater of the current IPA trend and believe there is more to beer than hops.

Overall I enjoyed this beer but at its price (I payed 3 bucks for a 12oz. tall neck) I can think of better. It seems as the craft beer trend is peaking so are the prices of partaking.

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Photo of oldn00b
3.63/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass at a restaurant.

Is a very standard, all around porter with a greater emphasis on vanilla. Vanilla, to me, is a bit artificial but otherwise it's a nice vanilla porter.

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Photo of ajilllau
3.69/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

I usually don't like porters, but this beer was very good. It smelled like vanilla and coffee, which increased as it aired a bit. The taste was smooth with hints of coffee and an unsweet vanilla. It's lower in abv than I expected. Very good drinkable beer.

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Photo of dbl_delta
3.81/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Undated bottle into pint glass. Pours a clear deep brown. Thick head of coarse, light tan bubbles that lasts a long time. Initial impression is mild vanilla (of course...), with some light caramel, bread, and nutty undertones. Also a touch of roasted malts. No hops to speak of. Everything is nicely understated and complementary. Medium mouthfeel and carbonation. Smooth finish. Very well-balanced and enjoyable.

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Photo of Bluegrass49
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass. Very dark brown color with a minimal straw colored head, half a finger, slow dissipation with decent lacing. Vanilla was the first taste to appear followed by chocolate. Very smooth, but slow to tantalize the taste buds. A "Remarkable and Partakable" beer.

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Photo of cwmayer
3.91/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I had it at our local bar. Nitro beer. I'm going to rate it high. I really enjoyed it. Smooth. Hints of vanilla. Dark and malty but not overpowering at all. Drinks much lighter than it looks. I could easily down a few of these on a cool, brooding autumn afternoon (and did.)

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Photo of Bonkinishwa
3.99/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Breckenridge Brewery - Vanilla Porter. 5.40% ABV. 12oz bottle poured into standard pint glass.

Look: Dark brown, pretty much black. Non aggressive pour yielded a half finger head, light tan in color, that dissipated very slowly, leaving thick, sticky lacing behind.

Smell: Some roast coffee, bitter chocolate, and dark malts on the nose, along with a very faint hint of vanilla; none of which very strong.

Feel: Thick and creamy, with the head contributing to the creaminess. Minuscule amount of carbonation, but still present. Has a dry finish to it.

Taste: Up front, and most profound is roast coffee, with the chocolate and some nuttiness backing it. Dark malts on the back end and into the aftertaste. Very little, if any noticeable vanilla.

Overall: This was the first Porter I tried while getting into craft beer. I thought highly of it then, since it wasn't bitter, and I actually liked it. After trying more since then, and revisiting this, I still do like this, however it does not leave the same impression. This beer has a nice feel to it, and tastes good, but it is not extremely remarkable.

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Photo of ritwingr
3.93/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours almost black with a thin head that disappears instantly.

Smell is burnt coffee...but only faintly so. By far the most stand-out aspect of this was, to me, the carbonation, It has a real pop. Not unpleasantly so though. As for the vanilla.....I had to strain to taste it. Not sure that I did to be honest.

But it's a nice American Porter. Unique in the mouthfeel. Definitely a keeper.

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Photo of schoolboy
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I've started loading up on Colorado brews again - heading there for skiing in about 6 weeks.

This one has the look and aroma of a good porter.

The taste is a nice malty sweetness. It's a little thin but still quite serviceable. Recommended.

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Photo of ribby
3.83/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I haven't had too manythe tnilla porters, but I am starting to develop an opinion about them. They should have less hoops. Maybe even none. It is okay to be a little sweet, the vanilla will balance the malts sweetness, you don't need the hops to do that.

The Breckenridge had a nice red color
It lets a little more light thru than typical porters. The aroma is shaped by the roasted malt. As I suggested above, the three way balancing act of malt hoops and vanilla is a bit off. The hops and vanilla clash a bit too much in my opinion. I think you could get the same effect by adding a teaspoon of two of Mexican vanilla to your favorite porter. Even better try adding it to a sweet Scottish ale.

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Photo of dacrza1
3.42/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

DATE TASTED: October 18, 2015 ... GLASSWARE: Barley Creek pint... OCCASION: soaking up the tears of a Browns wasted opportunity... APPEARANCE: coal-black body, to be expected of porter; reasonably thick, slush-brown two-finger head that becomes a screen shade on the glass while keeping a quarter-inch ring--suitable... AROMA: vanilla bean, smoky, toasted dark malts and a milky lactic allure; little in the profile otherwise... PALATE: rather light-bodied for a porter; swift and dissipating aftertaste... TASTE: soft vanilla is present but almost an additive, like in a soda; speaking of which, this exhibits the cola qualities one expects from a porter, with some ginger and hops at the finish... OVERALL: a reasonable, dutiful porter that has some nuance but doesn't stand out as one to reach back for ...

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Photo of schwansmantr
4.3/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very dark porter with a nice light carbonation with very little aroma and nice head. The aroma you do get wich is oh so faint of vinnila. This beer shocked the crap out of me and I thought I would hate it before my first sip. It went down extremely smooth with a slight hop taste followed by another of vinnila. Absolutely hardly no after taste and extremely drinkable with a meal or just at the camp fire. A for sur

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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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Vanilla Porter from Breckenridge Brewery
3.55 out of 5 based on 4,093 ratings.
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