Vanilla Porter | Breckenridge Brewery

1,082 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: 1,082 | Ratings: 4,150
Photo of ultralarry2006
3.65/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle. Leaves a one finger purlpe-y biege head that quickly fades to a foam ring at the edge, and leaves some traces of lacing. Body is a deep brown with purple highlights.

Smell - vanilla, a hint of chocolate, and hearty maltbread. Somewhat mouthwatering.

Taste - exactly as the smell indicates. A maltbread sweetroll swirled with vanilla and some chocolate. Some vanilla lingers on in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, and slightly syrupy at times.

Drinkability - this is a decent ale.

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Photo of semihobo
3.17/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Barely notched date, I think bottled in September.

Near black body, piddly head that fades fast.

Smells of caramel, scorched sugar, bourbon, and of course, vanilla. Gonna be a sweet one, it seems.

Whoa. Not that much vanilla on the smell but it is major on the taste. Definitely vanilla. Imagine lacing a beer with a bottle of vanilla extract. Do I like it? I think so... although I feel like I'm drinking liquor [not from any burn, but just the taste is un-beerlike]. Tough to taste much around the vanilla, there is some traditional porter bitter chocolate and a slight hop finish. Very interesting.

Mouthfeel is pretty thin for a porter, also contributes to the drinking-liquor feeling. Like a malibu-and-vanilla-coke.

I am happy I drank this as it definitely broadened my horizons. Lacks a quality base under the vanilla, but the flavoring itself is pretty well done. That said, I would not buy a six-pack, and I don't even really want another right now. I love pushing the envelope, though...

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Photo of sauron681
3.31/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark, clean, clear black color. No carbonation, very flat looking. Medium light tan head that leaves suddenly with very light thin lacing. Aroma is that of burnt roasted malt. Very subtle.
First taste is slightly bitter, heavy caramel flavor, with a slight burnt taste. Finishes off sweet-perhaps the vanilla? Could not taste it though.
Medium heavy in the mouth department. A beer you would only have a couple of at a time. Not to bad, but I would have been more inspired if the vanilla would have shown through.

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Photo of Gusler
3.45/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The pours a somewhat opaque brown with red highlights, the head is light tan, creamy and 1 inch in height, as it rapidly dissolves, the lacing forms a thin but complete covering of the glass. Nose has a nice malt sweetness, backed by burnt toast, caramel, and the unmistakable aroma of Vanilla, quite pleasing to the schnozzle. Start has a nice malt profile; the vanilla adding a bit of sweetness and a touch of bitterness, top is light to moderate in feel. Finish has a benign acidity, the hops and vanilla adding both sweetness and a bit of bitterness, a drinkable beer, pleasant to the palate.

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Photo of number1bum
3.8/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one pours a thin looking brown with ruby hues when held to the light. It's somewhat translucent and only gets about one finger of tan head, which recedes to just a thin lace around the rim without much stick.

Smell is very light, with some feint roasted and chocolate malt aromas, and just a little bit of vanilla. Vanilla aroma gets stronger as it warms.

Taste is also not very robust, but I can't say that I expected it to be based on the 4.7% abv. It's a lot lighter than a typical porter, with only mild contributions from roasted and chocolate malts. About halfway through the vanilla flavor hits and is most pronounced midpoint through the finish. Again, like the smell, the vanilla flavor gets stronger as it warms. I don't think the vanilla is overdone here and I actually like it quite a bit.

Mouthfeel is pretty thin, and I'd like a bit more body to it. A bit too watery. It's quite drinkable, though, as the vanilla flavor is not overpowering or extract-syrpuy. I think this is pretty tasty, and it might not be the best beer I've ever sampled but it's unique and I'd definitely have it again.

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Photo of wanker
3.47/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First off, great value! $6.50 for a six-pack at Whole Foods.

This one tastes better than it smells. The smell is nondescript.

Appearance is like pouring a Pepsi. No head. Unimpressive.

Tastes good, though. Nice roasted malt flavor. The vanilla is there, and most evident in the finish. The mouthfeel is pleasant, with a very creamy finish.

I'd drink this again, but wouldn't go out of my way to.

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Photo of getch
2.98/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

a-bronze, dark brown, little head when pouring, has a system for born on date, but nothing is marked.

s- at first i thought it smelled very good, with a wood smell with vanilla, but then the smell turns sour and makes you think if something is wrong with the beer, like a ice cream gone bad, not overpowering though

t- not bad, it is smooth, but at the end it reminds of christmas for some reason, the vanilla combines with the rest and its a weird after taste. like a burnt candy sort of taste, what candy it depends upon you

m-a sipping beer that keeps you guessing, should i hold it longer in my mouth or do it swallow it quick

d- the more i sip the beer the more i dislike it, it may be the last one i have, at first i enjoyed it, but the more i drink it, the more i dislike it,

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Photo of JamesS
2.68/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours out nice, although a little light with very little head and very little lacing later on. Clashing aromas of the usual porter scent with vanilla and what smells like oak cask. The taste also clashes, between a burnt oak (not good) and vanilla (all right if it wasn't for the clash), along with a husky, burnt taste. It's not bad going down, but leaves an odd aftertaste and is a bit rough.

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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.

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Photo of hiikeeba
3.87/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours up a deep mahogany color with an off white head that lingers a while.
S: Vanilla aroma is prominent, with some chocolate notes. A hint of malt.
T: Malty and vanilla -y. Malts start off slightly roasty, move towards chocolate, and the vanilla takes over. Almost cake like. Finishes bitter at the back of the tongue.
M: Nothing remarkable. It's not thin, and the CO2 livens up what could be a dense beer.
D: I sampled this first at the Brewpub by Coors field in Denver. It was ambrosia! Peter, my new friend from Australia, and I exchanged raised eyebrows and smiles when we tasted it. From the bottle? The malt is strong, and the beer isn't as smooth and delightful and when it's on tap. Don't get me wrong. I ration this stuff. I can't get in my hometown. But I like it better on tap.

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Photo of Strix
2.03/5  rDev -42.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Smell is weak, but mainly vanilla. Taste is unremarkable. The main flavor is vanilla, with some alcohol taste, but it is otherwise flat. Aftertaste turns a bit like cough syrup. Too sweet for me I guess. Not much carbonation, and mouthfeel is smooth, but thinner than I'd like. Not my thing. Overall, I'm disappointed.

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Photo of TwistedRaisin
2.7/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

The smell of the beer is distinctly vanilla from the very first whiff. The taste that follows is only what you'd expect after the first sniff, extremely vanilla, and I'd say cloyingly so. It very much overpowers the smoky taste that I've come to expect from most american porters. That flavor is there in the aftertaste, which makes sense as it almost seems to be an afterthought.

The beer itself does not have the full mouth feel I expect from porters, and is somewhat disappointing in that regard.

The beer itself looks good, and has the appearance one would expect from a porter - a dark brown body with a creamy head, though the head is a bit lacking.

Personally, I think the beer is overly sweet, focusing too much on the vanilla and not enough on the entire brew. That's not to say it isn't enjoyable in its own way, but it seems overly expensive for the quality.

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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.

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Photo of livin4jc
3.7/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled 9/1/07
Bottled 3rd week of July 2007
Bottle from T-Birds, Plainfield, IL

Cola colored maroon brown color, decent vanilla colored head that settles slowly. Lace residue.

Strong vanilla aroma. Hints of chocolate, caramel, and coffee.

This is a dessert beer. I could not imagine drinking it with anything food related. I also couldn’t imagine more than one serving per session

Good moutfeel, very smooth. Not heavily carbonated.

You can tell this is a strong porter. The major flavor is vanilla, yet you can taste hints of chocolate and coffee beans.

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Photo of AndoBrew
2.71/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

*did not mind would not buy

app: looks nice, deep port lookin beer with slmost no head, looks expensive.

smell: smells of mild dark malts and some produce. lil bit of fall spice.. not much of the lable in the smell.

taste: does have a very plant like flavor, lil bit of root flavor.. tastes more like a sour malt weak root beer than a vanilla porter. this is not remarkable.

mf: thin.. normal.

drinkable?: if you need some booze sure. not otherwise.

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Photo of beavers
2.99/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured cool from a bottle into a nonic pint glass.
A:Pours a somewhat dark brown, yet slightly amber that isn't opaque at all. Head is about half a finger and leaves quickly. Not too much lacing going on here. Doesn't seem to have to porter appearance.
S:Pretty faint smell for a porter: with cocoa, vanilla, maybe caramel notes with alcohol just barely present.
T: Taste is very similar to the smell. Still a weak taste of chocolate malts, vanilla, quick hop flavor in the forefront. Very little, if any, residual flavors.
M: Definitely not enough carbonation in this brew...not bottling date, but it was just shelved, so. Missing the depth and complexity of a true porter in the mouthfeel.

This, to me, tastes more like a less memorable chocolate stout with vanilla notes than a porter--be a vanilla porter or not. Overall it tastes like a beer that just got halfway there--but didn't follow whatever direction it was taking.

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Photo of jdubjacket
2.68/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured out of a bottle. Minimal lacing. Head dissipates quickly. Colors is almost amber - almost too light to be a true porter. Smell is muddled and unremarkable. Smells mostly like alcohol. Taste is probably the most disappointing part of this beer. Doesn't taste like porter. Tastes very little like vanilla. Overall, the taste is bland. Mouthfeel is watery unlike the traditional porter. Drinkability is average since the beer has little taste and is not too heavy.

This beer was a big disappointment considering all the hype I've read.

EDIT: I tried this beer again, and I think I had a bad bottle the 1st time. The beer has a very creamy mouthfeel and the vanilla jumps out at you. However, the taste is only OK. Tasted a little like cough medicine and you can only have one of these at a time.

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Photo of athensbeermaster
2.57/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

This porter poured a small head. The nose had a small hint a vanilla and roasted malts. The mouthfeel was thin and weak. I was expecting even more than a regular porter with all the hype of the real vanilla beans. But this beer was to thin to be a good porter.
A small hint of vanilla and some waterdown malts. I wish Bert Grant was still alive to make the real deal "Perfect Porter" !
Big let down

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Photo of scaliasux
2.52/5  rDev -29%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - Dark brown with maybe just a hint of red. Nearly opaque, but appears clear. Short, but durable light tan head.

Smell - Rather light almost indistinct. Most prominent odor is light vanilla.

Taste - Dark, quite sweet malt with mild/moderate vanilla flavor. Even cloying.

Mouthfeel - Medium to full bodied.

Drinkability - It's nice that the vanilla doesn't overwhelm this beer like is the case with too many flavored beers. The sweetness of this beer is a little too much for me, though.

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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 templar316
3.71/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours nicely though a thicker head would be nice this would be an excellent candidate for the nitrogen widget, as the head on this faded rather fast. The color shows in nice deep ruby when held up to the light. The vanilla is definately apparent in the smell, and you know that you have to be fan to enjoy the beer. It's perfect as an after dinner beer, sweet, creamy, rich. The vanilla hits first, probably because of the smell, then caramel and chocolate malts follow, ending with a sweet creamy finish. Perfect for after dinner, though a little sweet to drink all night.

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Photo of Metalmonk
3.93/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours deeply black with a ruby tint, as the thin head reduces to a crown rather quickly. Some lace is left as the beer disappears.

Aroma gives vanilla (surprise!), cocoa, cinnamon and cookie dough.

Taste: This is just crammed with vanilla. Good thing, because I love vanilla. It's a remarkably rich porter, so the creamy mouthfeel takes its dessert elements and capitalizes them. There's a bit of gooey chocolate here too, in taste and mouthfeel. Finish brings in some burnt chocolate and coffee beans, so it doesn't entirely forget about being a porter.

And about that mouthfeel: it's amazing; the best part of this beer. Smooth, buttery, gooey, slick...more dessert than beer. At just the right temperature (after about 1/2 hour out of the fridge) it's close to a "5".

If it's drank too cold it reminds of vanilla cola or root beer. It's not everyday beer material, but still, it's pretty great if you like vanilla. Good freakin' luck trying to pair it with anything but an equally indulgent dessert.

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Photo of kernalklink
2.9/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Brew poured an attractive deep black with a nice clean smooth head. Aromas were of roasted coffee malts and a big vanilla presence was noted. Mouthfeel was great- nice and smooth, cooling to the palate. The taste was not up to par however- the vanilla was way too overpowering and destroyed the nice subtle flavors of the well-brewed malts. This brew would be refreshing if the vanilla was somehow balanced by some hop flavor or more roasted coffee form the malts. As it is now it is too sweet- vanilla should be a note, not the whole symphony. I cant really imagine being able to pair this brew with much of anything- but it may be good for some irish car bomb fodder.

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

This was plesant. Appearnce was very dark, like drinking a pepsi. Decent head, didn't stick around too long. Smell was dominated by vinilla, as was the taste, with a sligh chocolate, and a little nutty coffee as well. Not overwhelming, but I would buy again, a nice, differant porter.

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Photo of Riggsy
3.08/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle poured into Nonic pint glass.

Pours a dark brown, ruby highlights show off when held up to the light. A thin creamy beige head forms, falls quickly to a surface film which stays throughout.

Complex aroma of caramel, vanilla, chocolate, coffee and roasted malt. Vanilla is pretty powerful which some might find off putting but I found it pretty pleasant.

Vanilla and an almost cloying sweetness dominate the flavor. Some chocolate and coffee in the background. The sweetness took away from this but would still be real good as a dessert beer.

Mouthfeel is full and thick, like syrup. Not much carbonation, some more might make it less heavy on the tongue.

Nice dessert beer, but wouldn't want more than one in a sitting.

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Vanilla Porter from Breckenridge Brewery
3.55 out of 5 based on 4,150 ratings.
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