Vanilla Porter | Breckenridge Brewery

Vanilla PorterVanilla Porter
Liked This Beer
3.66 w/ 4,210 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

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Ratings: 4,210 |  Reviews: 1,096
Photo of Jredner
3.31/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Aroma is very slightly rancid smelling atop a sickly sweetness that might be vanilla, but I’m not staking my life on it. There is also a musty roastiness and some mild chocolate and coffee notes. Body is a fairly thick black and it holds a diminishing thumb thick mocha head. Fore is toasted vanilla and roasted malts that impart an acidic bitterness. Chocolate flavors meld with the vanilla to create a hazlenutty/pastry tasting concotion. It actually tastes pretty good if allowed to warm up to room temp, but the aroma is quite off putting. The palate is about right for the style, but barely.

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Photo of tallar
3.84/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark reddish-brown, kind of like Coca-Cola actually. No real head to speak of, but there is some thin lace.

Smell: Vanilla, with hints of bitter chocolate.

Taste: Vanilla is very apparent, even more so than one would expect judging from the smell. Chocolate and maybe a hint of caramel. Hops are apparent in the finish

Mouthfeel: Light, a little watery, but kind of creamy. Overall, nothing impressive here.

Drinkability: Not sure what to think here. Pretty decent beer overall, but not real complex.

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Photo of mcallister
3.57/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A very dark brown burgundy. Well the burgundy shows through when held up to light. Very little head and lacing.

Subdued aromas of vanilla, roasted malt, and slight bitter chocolate.

Fabulous flavors of vanilla extract, roasted chocolate & caramel malts, big thick creamy mouthfeel, easy to drink. Slightly too sweet to drink all night.

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Photo of MaGno
2.91/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Poured a dark caramel to brown color, slight carbonation with a very small head that dissipates after just 1 minute. Very light lace. Looks almost flat and unappealing.

Smell: Aromas are very weak. I had to put my nose almost in the beer to smell the subtle aromas. Malty and chocolate smell. Hints of vanilla and coffee. No smell of alcohol.

Taste: Vanilla is more prevalent than aroma would suggest. Coffee taste with slight mocha or chocolate. Very pleasant smooth taste. No overpowering ingredients here.

Mouthfeel: Light, slightly thin and carbonated.

Drinkability: This is not a bad beer. I expected more from it but it was a nice smooth ale. The tastes are not complicated and nothing overpowering. Plain vanilla porter....nothing extremely special. I would have another one, but I would probably pick something a little more complex if it was available.

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Photo of Mitchster
2.25/5  rDev -38.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours out to a clear dark brown, appears thin in color and texture as I pour. Barely achieves a head even with a vigorous pour. Small, soapy and tan with no retention and minimal lacing. Carbonation is mild to moderate. The aroma at first appears oxidized with dank cardboard and newspaper, but as it's swirled I get peat smoked malt, vanilla (although it's barely more that what I would expect for a traditional porter), some green herbaceous hops. Overall, I get more of a smoke impression than a vanilla impression. Odd. Mouthfeel is thin and makes me feel like I just ate some grass. The taste is completely different. The vanilla is there in droves and lends a mild sweetness to the sharply acrid and cheesy hops. The aftertaste is ruddy and odd...again, like wet newspaper that just happens to be soaked guessed it...vanilla porter. The finish is just lightly dry. There are alot of higher alcohols lingering on the palette.

I have no desire to finish this beer. A mistake, even for the curious.

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Photo of thinkfull
3.44/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I saw a six of this on the shelves and thought to myself; "Self, that says vanilla on the package. Mmmm, vanilla." I simply had to try it, it is a day off after all. A vanilla porter sounds mighty good on a free afternoon. This is my first vanilla porter.

The beer looks great. Very dark, little to no head. My (by now) mostly empty glass is almost free of lacing on the sides. The color is brown, very little red involved.

The beer has very little smell at all. What smell exists is primarily dried vanilla beans, a little mocha, and a touch of something else; I am reminded of vanilla-bourbon pipe tobacco. Sounds great, but I had to actually get my nose in the beer glass to smell it.

Ahh, the taste. As a vanilla lover, I have enjoyed this beer immensely. What was lacking in smell was made up for here. Straight coffee for an instant, followed by rich vanilla and hints of chai and a leathery taste. Aftertaste is almost pure vanilla, with a little of the bourbony tobacco mixed in. I don't reallly taste a lot of "porter" per say, other than the coffee flavour at the start, but it is similar to a lot of beers with added flavourings in that regard. The additions simply adjust the original taste.

The mouthfeel is very watery, I think it is clear that the focus in this beer was the vanilla flavor, rather than matching the taste with the smell and the mouth. Nothing bad here, but nothing great either.

Drinkability is mixed. I could slam it quick, but the flavour would be overwhelming. I could sip it lazily, exept for the watery texture. The beer rewards a little either way you try it, and punishes either way as well. I think I'll try the next one as a sipper; the pure vanilla flavors shift to the aftertaste as it warms, bringing out the rich coffee and ameretto flavors.

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Photo of Gagnonsux
3.63/5  rDev -0.8%
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 allengarvin
3.35/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

12oz bottle, poured into a stein-type glass. Color is deep ruby-tinted brown, with a rocky head about a half-inch tall. Pleasant cocoa aroma with strong vanilla underpinning. Initially sweet caramel flavor, followed up by a huge taste of vanilla, so much that it's somewhat vanilla-bitter. Vanilla lingers for a long time after the end of the beer as well. Body is a little thin and watery.

Not my favorite style, but it should appeal to fans of real vanilla flavor. One glass was almost too much for me, though.

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Photo of dirtylou
3.22/5  rDev -12%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz single, Steve's - University

appearance: pours a very cola-like colour and consistency into a sweetwater pint glass...thin tan head with decent lacing...watery looking brew, not much to porter standards

smell: vanilla, cream, very light roastiness, syrupy, very sweet and quite different from what i expected

taste: cream soda all the way, vanilla cola, creamy...doesn't resemble a porter in really any way...syrupy and only a light roasted feel, very sweet, marshmallow. kinda wierd, kinda not very good

mouthfeel: syrupy, medium body

drinkability: pretty easy but not very good

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3.92/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - 1" tan head fades down to a thick cap. Dark brown porter. Just a little lace.

S - Vanilla and just a little tanginess under it. Simple but appealing.

T - Vanilla melts into a light roasted malt. Woodsy. Caramel. Cream soda style vanilla finish. Bubble gum?

M - Light mouthfeel. Not really thin, just light. Low carbonation. Smooth.

D - Good drinkability. I like it. All the porter qualities, besides color, are non-existent. Nice flavor, nice change.

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Photo of FightingEntropy
3.2/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint class, the head dissapeared almost immediately. Vanilla scent is very apparent in the smell, which is nice, but the taste seems to overwhelm the roasted taste of the porter. The two tastes feel out of balance, fighting, rather than complimenting each other. I'm not a big fan of vanilla, so take my opinion with that in mind. A good beer, well brewed, but I wouldn't go too far out of my way unless I had a friend who needed a sweet introduction to porter.

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Photo of WesWes
3.8/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a nice dark brown color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a creamy malt scent that boasts of crystal and roasted malts. It also has a mild vanilla scent that adds another level of sweetness to the aroma. The taste is decent. It has a well pronounced vanilla flavor layed over a roasted malt taste. It's sweet with a dry element to it. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a good drinking beer, but I think the recipe needs to be tweeked a little. More crystal and chocolate malts would make this a wicked awesome dessert brew.

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Photo of patrick16o
3.12/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark black with just faint highlights of deep red. Somewhat weak tan crown that dissappates quickly. The aroma has a solid vanilla presence, with some roasted malts and toffee, very sweet like frosting. The taste is also very sweet.. Lots of vanilla, toasty sweet marshmallow, butter brickle toffee and a bit of bitterness towards the end. Its quite flavorful, but possibly has too much vanilla and sweetness. The aftertaste of vanilla just hangs on to my tongue. After a few drinks it wears on me and I'm ready for a different beer.

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Photo of rowew
2.26/5  rDev -38.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Presentation: 12 oz longneck, typical mediocre Breckenridge label. In big words - "REMARKABLE," and "PARTAKABLE." Spot for bottled on date to be notched, but it isn't marked.

Appearance: Very dark brown with just a hint of red around the edges when held to light. Tan colored head has good retention.

Smell: Aroma is very sweet, and smells strongly of sugar and vanilla. The aroma has me worried this is going to be too sweet.

Taste: Confirmed - way too sweet for my tastes. This one is all vanilla and sugar, and no beer.

Overall impression: This might be good for someone who isn't a fan of beer, but to me it was just overly sweet, with nothing to balance it out. I won't be getting this one again.

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Photo of mentor
3.53/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a 1.5 finger light brown head over a pitch liquid. Brown edging when held to light. Smells...uhm...vanillla. Duh. Roasted malts are light behind the rounded vanilla cloud.

Tastes vanilla over mild roast and with a reassuring chocolate. The vanilla is wet, but the malt comes across as dry. The finish is dry. Nice balance in that aspect. Some caramel. The vanilla has an unusual characteristic. Not quite artificial...more of a, fiberous nature.

The aftertaste has an edge I'm not keen about. An off after-taste of vanilla? Light bodies and modestly carbonated. Overall, the vanilla is moderate and in line with the other flavors. Everything mixes quite well and goes down comfortable until the aftertaste.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.28/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from 12oz bottle a dark brown with red hues and a large head of foam that halves itself in a few minutes but lasts through out the session.

The smell is just what I expected from something calling itself a Vanilla Porter...strong Vanilla notes. <g>

The taste has some roasted malt flavour to it up front but it's overwhelmed by a strong surgence of vanilla that lasts right through to the finish. Now, I don't like cream soda but I do like vanilla ice cream so when I bought this, I was wondering what I would think of this. Not bad.

Bottom line: An interesting variation on the Porter style that I find "not bad" isn't something I'd buy very often. It's just worth a try.

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Photo of Winter
3.18/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours dark brown in color with ruby highlights. Light tan head. Traces of roasted malt are overshadowed by a vanilla frosting aroma that dominates a very sweet nose. Full-bodied mouthfeel. Grainy vanilla sweetness is noticed right away. Hop bitterness and roasted malt flavors trip over each other as the vanilla shoves everything out of the way to remain in the forefront. Finish has some coffee-like roasted bitterness to it.

Vanilla is one of those things, where a little goes a long way. It seems like they could've used a litte less, brought the roasted malt flavor more to the foreground and this would have been a winner. As it stands now, the vanilla is way too sweet and dominating. I don't think I could tolerate more than one of these in a sitting.

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Photo of briman
3.56/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap into standard pint glass.

Poured a dark brown with some ruby hues when held up to the light. Very thin tan head that was gone just about as soon as the server put it on the table.

I didn't detect much in the nose of this beer. If anything, some slight roasted malt aroma, maybe a touch of malt sweetness.

Taste was the same, slightly sweet with touches of roasted malt. Didn't really get the vanilla in the front, but it definately came through in the finish....enough so, that any other flavors seemed to take a back seat.

Medium bodied at best, low carbonation....pretty smooth. Probably a beer I could have one or two of in a sitting. Any more than that might be bit too much sweetness for one session.

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Photo of Bighuge
2.28/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

AP:Dark ruby. Thin brown head. Minimal lace.

AR: Vanilla Extact. Fudge. Lactose. Slight roast.

TST: Artificial and cloying. Take an average porter and dump a bunch of vanilla concentrate into it and walah. Some decent roasted tones surface every now and then but then succumb to the blanket of vanilla extract and sweet cloying malts

MF: Slightly syrupy. Very little carbonation. Medium-full body. Slick.

DK: This is a tough one. 12 ozs will be a feat in and of itself.

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

Dark brown with a slight umber tone at the edges. Thin capping of light sandy colored smooth foam. Keeps a slim collar throughout and the lacing is minimal in a few spots.

Aroma is dark and rich with a somewhat burnt brown sugar and molasses tang with a dark vanilla sweetness.

Taste is good, perhaps a bit overly sweetened in the front at first, but begins to draw out some as it sits. Flavors are dark and favorably rich and lasting with a doughy, milky center surrounded by its dark vanilla skin. Rounds off nicely into the finish with a milk chcolate tone and a resurrected tang of vanilla and molaases like sweetness with just a very slight note of burnt dryness.

Feel is milky smooth and soft on the palate as it quenches favorably well in a medium statured body. Clean, fresh, and well rounded feel and flavors throughout its stay with just the right amount of bearable sweetness and vanilla. Although this did seem a bit overbearing at first few sips but it tended to mellow off some and was no longer bothersome as it grews on me. The little chocolate push in the finish really helped. Although, as well to mention here, this might not be for everone who thinks of a porter and try this stuff. My take is that its a solid, drinkable little porter thats worth trying out.

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Photo of budgood1
3.73/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours out of the bottle a dark brown with ruby and crimson highlights. ample tannish head reduces down to a thin coating which ends up leaving sparse lace. lots of choco and vanilla notes in the nose...really smells like a beer one should have on valentines day with your chocolate treats. really a liquid milky way candy bar. the vanilla is proportioned right to meld nicely with the chocolate covered nougat maltiness. this is nicely balanced, well crafted beer. the mouthfeel is velvety smooth on top of a seemingly light body. finishes lightly creamy smooth with vanilla hints. really sessionable and not too sticky sweet or cloying. i like it and it's worth seeking out for the style.

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Photo of plaztikjezuz
3.43/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

pours a very deep and dark mohogany with a lacy head.
the aroma is malty, chocolate and vanilla.
the flavor has malty, chocolate, vanilla,hop spice, with a lingering pleasent after taste.
mouthfeel is nice
this beer has a little to much vanilla flavor for me.

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Photo of ADR
3.22/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown color and clearish, lets highlights through at the bottom. Skim of a flat head, just dots for lace. Aroma is straightforward, a dash of vanilla but not too exaggerated, especially at first. Mouthfeel seems a bit thinnish to me, not like some others seem to detect, it could use more of a creaminess in my opinion. The flavor is slightly bland, water searching for a flavor, vanilla notes are apparent and not too bad, not as oxidized as some Stoney Creek examples I've had, not as heavy-handed as something like Michelob Celebrate. Finishes a little fuller but with some extra heavy but still hummingbird feeder watery sugariness. Not too bad, if the texture worked out better for me, it would make it more quaffable.

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Photo of Domingo
3.62/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Was looking for another Vanilla Porter when I encountered this one from Breckenridge instead.
Pours a dark black color. Reminscent of an imperial stout...very murky. At the same time, something that dark is quite enticing at the same time!
Scent is of vanilla, rum, and molasses. Reminds me of a warm flambe' dessert.
Flavors are everything I hoped for. Bitter chocolate, vanilla highlights, a little bit of alcohol, and (maybe) some hops, but the hop profile is DEFINITELY minimal. I think the bitterness is coming from the chocolate flavors.
Thickness is what you'd want. It's thick and coats the glass like a syrup, but it goes down wonderfully. An ideal dessert drink or solo beer for the evening. There's a little bit of a "salty" flavor in there that actually adds some contrast to the vanilla. It's not actually salt, but it has a similar character.
Drinkability is the main weakness here. Much like other brews of this variety, I doubt I'd ever have more than one or maybe 2. At the same time, I don't think this was ever intended to be a session brew by iteself. It is what it is and it does a good job.

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Photo of Frozensoul327
3.68/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A worthy flavored porter. Pours out to a pitch black color with a large tan head. Some notes of lacing, and a medium low level of carbonation. Aromas are light, some vanilla bean, mild spice and malt, a touch of granola. Taste was pretty good; flavors of full roasted malts, sweet cream, grains, and some vanilla bean made their way to the palate and matched well. Mouthfeel was medium-full bodied, and had a decent amount of consitancy. Lower ABV and good flavor make this a possible session brew for watching sports. This beer kind of borders on "Stout-ville", but it's a good porter however you look at it. Give it a shot, this is among the better flavored beers i've had.

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Vanilla Porter from Breckenridge Brewery
Beer rating: 51.3% out of 100 with 4,210 ratings
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